On September 29th, people from all over the panhandle came out to celebrate the opening of the 50-year time column of the Helium Monument. The 4-hour celebration featured big science demonstrations, live music, food trucks, family activities and crafts, and an official ceremony to reveal the 50 year old artifacts from the time capsule. There were visitors that were present at the 25-year opening in attendance, and even people that put in artifacts as a kid back in 1968. TXDOT was also here recording people’s memories about the old Helium Plant. A great nostalgic time was had by all, and the new generation was introduced to the rich history of helium in our area.
The web was inflating with the helium excitement all week.
A very special thank you to the Helium Time Columns Gold Celebration Event Chairs and Committee Members for planning a fun historic event.
This celebration could not have happened without these the Helium Time Columns Gold Celebration Sponsors and Contributors: Air Products that provided funding for the VIP event on Friday evening hosting many distinguished guests, the Kelley Family Foundation, the City of Amarillo, Don Harrington Discovery Center, Amarillo Chamber of Commerce, Amarillo College, Amarillo Independent School District, Amarillo National Bank, Bell, Bureau of Land Management, Golden Spread Electric Cooperative, Panhandle PBS (KACV), ROI Online, Townsquare Media, Wiley Hicks Jr. and Xcel Energy. THANK YOU ALL!
Helium Monument Background/History
The Helium Centennial Time Columns Monument was erected in Amarillo, Texas during 1968 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the discovery of helium. Amarillo was selected for its central role in the US Government’s strategic helium reserve and the gas production from the Cliffside Gas Field beginning in 1927. The Bureau of Mines placed the Amarillo Helium Plant in operation in 1929 and has maintained its headquarters for the Federal Helium Program in Amarillo. In 1982 the Helium Monument was airlifted by helicopter from I-40 and Nelson to its current site at the Don Harrington Discovery Center.
Funding for the Time Columns Monument and site was obtained through contributions from individuals, and private and public organizations, especially those in the local helium industry. In May of 1993, the first time capsule in one leg of the monument was opened during a two-day celebration organized by the Silver Celebrations Committee.
For more of the history, please visit Helium Time Capsule webpage.