**The Discovery Center will be hosting an event celebrating the 50 year column opening in September of 2018. Please check our events page for details and updates on this celebration.
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.