Soviet children in 1967 dreamt of space travel, free ice-cream & robots doing homework in 2017
Letters from a time capsule opened in the Russian city of Novorossiysk have revealed that Soviet students in 1967 believed their peers in 50 years time would be living on other planets and eating ice cream for free, while their homework will be done by machines.
Hundreds of time capsules were laid across the USSR in 1967 as the country celebrated half a century since the Russian Revolution, which eventually led to the creation of the Soviet state. Those messages, containing the accounts of Soviet people’s lives and their messages to descendants, are being opened in Russia this year, coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the events of 1917.
One of the most impressive time capsule efforts was undertaken in the port city of Novorossiysk by the members of the youth literary-patriotic club ‘Shkhuna rovesnikov’ (The schooner of peers). The massive container they placed on the bottom of the Black Sea had 144 letters, magnetic tapes, photos, drawings and even a bobbin with a popular movie inside.
When the capsule was recovered in September, its contents were in perfect condition, providing a unique insight into the dreams of Soviet children about the future.
It turns out that the children of 1967 had no doubts that in 50 years time, their peers would be living under Communism, a fair and prosperous system, in which money is annulled and people willingly work for the benefit of the society, and being handed everything they need for free. Back then, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev promised that Communism would be built in the country by 1980.
“Dear descendants, you are so lucky – you live under Communism; fly to the moon! And it was us, who laid foundation of this future for you,” a typical beginning of many of the letters read. Those, who laid the capsule half a century ago, told Rossiyska Gazeta that the messages to the future were uncensored and contained the genuine thoughts and aspirations of kids from that period.
“We dream of Communism, of the time when we’ll be able to eat ice cream and go to the movies free of charge, when our homework will be made by machines and patient robots will be our teachers,” fifth-grader Olga Shvydkova wrote in her letter.
The girl’s foresight deserves admiration as computers now play an important part in the education process, while some schools around the globe begin to experiment with robot-teachers. However, Communism along with the USSR collapsed in 1991, and ice cream prices are only rising compared to 1967.
The forecast of another schoolgirl, Olga Pupko, was even more optimistic as she wrote, addressing her descendants: “I envy you because you will live in the time when our great country celebrates its 100th anniversary. You will already witness mass interplanetary space flight; you’ll be living on some other planet, but you will always remember your native planet (Earth).”
“It is possible that during the years of your life the question of immortality will be solved, people will learn how to turn a person into an eternally living being,” she added. Well, in 2017, Earth remains the only planet inhabited by humans who only briefly visited the moon, and who are still years away from the first expedition to Mars. Immortality remains just as fantastical a thought for modern science as it was 50 years ago.
Ninth grade student, Yury Zambrovsky, expressed hope that people will treat each other better in 2017 and such phenomena as hooliganism will be eradicated. “In 50 years the system of coexistence will change for the better, people will be sensitive and kind in relations,” he wrote.
The messages in the Novorossiysk capsule weren’t only written by local children, but gathered from people of different ages across the USSR, including celebrities, such as famous radio announcer Yuri Levitan. “Dear comrades, descendants, please remember our generation with a kind word... And we are sure that you will honorably carry the banner of peace, good and communism and pass this banner into reliable hands of other generations,” Levitan said in his iconic voice in a taped message recorded five decades ago.