Modern Relics

Relics are the bones and belongings of revered decedents.  For eons, societies all over the world have preserved and venerated the bits and bobs of their saints, martyrs, chiefs and ancestors.

Reliquary containing St. Adelbard’s foot.
Museum of the Middle Ages, Paris



In modern times, we continue to esteem the tangible personal property (and body parts) of today’s heroes.  I’ve written about John Lennon’s rotten tooth and Elvis Presley’s dental crown and today I received news about the latest relics to go view at the Smithsonian.

For “about” the next two weeks, recently deceased astronaut Neil Armstrong’s moon gloves and helmet will be on display at the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum Annex  (if you plan to go, note that the Annex isn’t on the Mall with most of the other Smithsonian museums – it is out by Dulles Airport).


The rest of Armstrong’s spacesuit is not on display because it is in some kind of uber-sophisticated climate controlled stasis so it doesn’t fall apart.

If you can’t catch a view of the gloves and helmet now, they will next appear in 2018 when the Air and Space Museum plans to open a refurbished Apollo exhibit.  Read more about Armstrong’s theengs and the Smithsonian’s plans to preserve them at the Air Space Blog.




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