Thursday, August 08, 2002

Ham, the first American in space, was born free in Africa in 1956. Stolen from his mother, he was trained using electric shocks and launched on a rocket when he was only 4 years old. Two years later, when he had outgrown his usefulness to NASA, Ham was sent to the National Zoo. After living for many years alone in a cage, he died in 1983. As in life, in death he has become an object of human curiosity and amusement.


Museum of the Medical Macabre Edges Into the Mainstream

WASHINGTON, Aug. 5 — Over its 140 years, the National Museum of Health and Medicine has been a destination for amateur Civil War historians, medical researchers and tourists with a penchant for the macabre....

Some specimens — like President Dwight D. Eisenhower's gallstones and the skeleton of Ham, the first chimpanzee in space — are in back offices....

[Photo] Paul Sledzik, curator of the anatomical collections, shows the bones of Ham, the first chimpanzee in space.