Morbid museum fleshes out history
Ike's gallstones among the oddities preserved
10:27 PM CDT on Saturday, August 6, 2005
By ROBERT DODGE / The Dallas Morning News
WASHINGTON – Alan Hawk, a museum collections manager, turns the key on a big light blue locker, opens a drawer and reveals some of history's treasures: sections of bullet-pierced vertebrae from both President James Garfield and Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth.
Next to them is a little jar containing President Dwight Eisenhower's gallstones. And in a nearby cabinet is the full skeleton of Able, the first monkey sent into space.
The gems are among 25 million artifacts held by the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Washington.
The museum's Civil War collection draws plenty of inquiries from people wanting to know if they have a bone or other tissue of an ancestor. Sometimes they do.
"Most are proud it is here," Mr. Hawk said. "It is a chance to connect with their family history."
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