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Joan Denoo commented on Hope's group Imagine No Organized Religion
"You make an excellent point, Mrs. B. "
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Joan Denoo commented on Loren Miller's group Quote Of The Day
"I did a DuckDuckGo search for Carlespie Mary Alice McKinney and found this:  The Secret…"
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Mrs.B commented on Hope's group Imagine No Organized Religion
"No, glorifying war is not something I willingly want to see. The way humans treat fellow humans is…"
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Joan Denoo commented on Hope's group Imagine No Organized Religion
"Chris B., I have 85 years of memories and the spirit of adventure. Couple these with a profound…"
6 hours ago
Joan Denoo commented on Hope's group Imagine No Organized Religion
"Obviously, Religion, gods, dogmas, and litanies grow out of the imagination of human beings. The…"
6 hours ago
Joan Denoo commented on Hope's group Imagine No Organized Religion
"Loren, I just now watch the MASH video you included and could not help but start crying. The year…"
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Chris B commented on Hope's group Imagine No Organized Religion
"I love your memories, Joan!"
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Chris B commented on Loren Miller's group Quote Of The Day
"Poor fox..."
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Mrs.B commented on A Former Member's group Animal | Vegetable | Mineral | Fungus
"Very odd looking lot."
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Doone commented on A Former Member's group Animal | Vegetable | Mineral | Fungus
"Gnathosaurus had needle-like teeth for catching small prey. (Credit:@JoschuaKnuppe )"
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Doone commented on A Former Member's group Animal | Vegetable | Mineral | Fungus
"Artist's impression of a female Maiacetus and her newborn pup. Also known as the 'walking…"
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Doone commented on A Former Member's group Animal | Vegetable | Mineral | Fungus
"Sauropods of the Early Cretaceous. (Credit: Juan Carlos Alonso)"
10 hours ago
Mrs.B commented on Loren Miller's group Quote Of The Day
"Couldn't see anything....too dark."
11 hours ago
Stephen Brodie commented on Loren Miller's group Quote Of The Day
"wild urban fox This three-legged Fox has been living in the area of my building for about a year or…"
11 hours ago
Mrs.B commented on Hope's group Imagine No Organized Religion
"Which is why I don't care for programs concerning war....it's not entertainment to me."
12 hours ago
Stephen Brodie commented on Hope's group Imagine No Organized Religion
"Joan. Wow what a story"
12 hours ago
Joan Denoo commented on Hope's group Imagine No Organized Religion
"In 1966, I think it was, Don, my dentist husband, who was in Viet Nam in a battlefield hospital…"
12 hours ago
Ruth Anthony-Gardner commented on Loren Miller's group Quote Of The Day
"Great Daniel Dennett and Carlespie Mary Alice McKinney quotes. (I'd never heard of…"
16 hours ago
Mrs.B commented on Loren Miller's group Quote Of The Day
"Ongoing nightmares."
18 hours ago
Loren Miller commented on Loren Miller's group Quote Of The Day
"It is said that men may not be the dreams of the god, but rather that the gods are the dreams of…"
23 hours ago

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Preserving a Nation: How embalming got its start in America

On May 24, 1861, Union Army Colonel Elmer E. Ellsworth was shot and killed in Alexandria, Virginia, while trying to remove a Confederate flag from the roof of the Marshall House Hotel.  The unfortunate Ellsworth was also a lawyer who had a special relationship with the president of the United States.  He had clerked in Abraham Lincoln’s law office in Springfield, Illinois.  When he heard of the death, a distraught Lincoln asked the colonel’s regiment to bring his friend’s body to the White House for the funeral service.  By being so honored, the colonel was about to become part of a process that would alter the course of American mortuary history.

At this point, the Civil War was only a little more than a month old.  Washington was a frenzy of activity as thousands of military personnel as well as manufacturers, suppliers and professionals sought to call attention to themselves and their wares and services. These included undertakers and some embalmers.  Among them was Dr. Thomas Holmes, a coroner’s physician from New York who had been experimenting with a new arterial methods of embalming developed by the French.   To distinguish himself, Holmes offered to embalm Ellsworth for free and permission was granted.

At the time, embalming was a relative rarity in the United States as well as a work much in progress.  In any event, the colonel was embalmed and lay in state displayed in a casket with his face and chest visible through a glass plate. Notable politicians and military men paid their respects.  Mary Todd Lincoln said he appeared to be sleeping.  Abraham Lincoln was impressed.

Read the rest on Obit-Mag.com.

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