Fw: Travel pool report #12a: Addendum, and a correction

From: Eilperin, Juliet [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Monday, July 27, 2015 09:19 PM
To: Velz, Peter T. EOP
Subject: Travel pool report #12a: Addendum, and a correction

First, a correction on the information the pool was provided: Donald Johanson, not Ronald, found Lucy.


Second, the pool was ushered in later to see the bones displayed at the National Palace. In addition to Dr. Zeresenay Alemseged Lemseged, head of the California Academy of Sciences, and Yonas Desta Tsegaye, Director General of the National Museum of Ethiopia, Dr. Berhane Asfaw, the sccientist who found the 4.5 million fossil Ardi, gave some information to the pool about the three fossils.

Just a few details:

The president touched a vertebrae from Lucy’s torso, AL288-1AD.

POTUS later brought in the lawmakers to see the fossils. “He wanted to share his excitement with his colleagues,” Alemseged said.

The scientists couldn’t recall a time the bones of Lucy were displayed uncovered, and the last time they were displayed outside the museum was two years ago during the 50th celebration of the African Union, when 63 leaders were in Addis Ababa.

“Extraordinary people have extraordinary access,” Alemseged said.

In addition to Ardi being displayed, so was Selam, the 3.3 million year-old fossil Alemseged discovered roughly a decade ago. It is the oldest fossil of a child ever discovered, and includes many parts including the skull.

The bones of Lucy were transported in a group of “multiple cars so people don’t know which one the fossils are in,” Berhane said, “as you are protecting your president.”

Juliet Eilperin

White House Bureau Chief

Washington Post


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