Heroes

25 years ago, this dino was discovered. $8.4 million later, it was ready for the world to see.

Reflecting on the story of how Sue found a way home, a quarter-century after discovery.

25 years ago, this dino was discovered. $8.4 million later, it was ready for the world to see.

On August 12, 1990, a fossil hunter named Susan Hendrickson spotted what appeared to be bones in the side of a South Dakota cliff.

While working at the Black Hills Institute, a South Dakota-based company that excavates fossils and minerals, Hendrickson made the find of a lifetime: a 65-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus rex in excellent condition, more than 90% complete.

In honor of Hendrickson, the dinosaur was named Sue.



Hendrickson attends the unveiling of Sue at the dinosaur's eventual permanent home in Chicago in 2000. Photo by John Zich/AFP/Getty Images.

But it turned out finding the skeleton was only part of the battle. Then came the legal fight.

Black Hills Institute's president, Peter Larson, originally planned to keep Sue as an exhibit at the institute's private museum. Larson paid Maurice Williams, who owned the land on which the fossil was buried, $5,000 for the right to excavate; his team extracted the dinosaur over the next few weeks.

Photo by Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images.

Within two years, though, the FBI seized Sue from the museum, alleging that the dinosaur was "stolen property." The FBI claimed the land on which the fossil was found belonged to the Bureau of Indian Affairs and that Williams didn't technically have the power to sell excavation rights. In 1993, a judge ruled that Williams was Sue's rightful owner.

Sue was eventually put up for private sale at Sotheby's auction house.

In 1997, Williams was exploring the idea of selling his prized fossil and reached out to Sotheby's. Paleontologists grew concerned that should the dinosaur be put up for auction, it was possible that a private buyer would swoop in, and Sue would never be seen by the public again.

With that in mind, Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History launched a massive fundraising operation in hopes of winning the auction and keeping Sue accessible to the public. On Oct. 4, 1997, Sue was put up for auction, and the museum's plan was put to the test.

Photo by Mark Wilson/Newsmakers via Getty Images.

At a cost of $8.36 million, Sue was sold to the Field Museum.

With the help of corporate sponsors like Disney, McDonald's, and the California State University system, Chicago's Field Museum claimed victory after six and a half minutes of bids.

On May 17, 2000, after workers spent more than 30,000 hours on preparing and assembling Sue's more than 250 bones and teeth, the museum unveiled a newly restored Sue to the public.

The story of Sue the T. rex is a testament to the power and importance of education.

When you look at the amount of time, energy, and money the people most passionate about Sue invested in making sure the public could see it, it's hard not to appreciate the awesomeness of the world as it was millions of years ago; it's hard not to ask yourself what more is out there for us to find.

Photo by Mark Wilson/Newsmakers via Getty Images.

If just 25 years ago, a nearly complete 42-foot long, 12-foot high T. rex can turn up in the side of a cliff, there has to be more we can learn. Sue the T. rex is an inspiration.

True

This year more than ever, many families are anticipating an empty dinner table. Shawn Kaplan lived this experience when his father passed away, leaving his mother who struggled to provide food for her two children. Shawn is now a dedicated volunteer and donor with Second Harvest Food Bank in Middle Tennessee and encourages everyone to give back this holiday season with Amazon.

Watch the full story:

Over one million people in Tennessee are at risk of hunger every day. And since the outbreak of COVID-19, Second Harvest has seen a 50% increase in need for their services. That's why Amazon is Delivering Smiles and giving back this holiday season by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Second Harvest to feed those hit the hardest this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local food bank or charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your selected charity.

via Brittany Kinley / Facebook

Brittany Kinley, a mother from Mansfield, Texas, had a hilarious mom fail her and she's chalking it up to being just another crazy thing that happened in 2020.

When Kinley filled out the order form for her son Mason's kindergarten class pictures, there was an option to have his name engraved into the photos. But Kinley wasn't interested in having her son's name on the photos so she wrote "I DON'T WANT THIS" on the box.

Well, it appears as though she should have left the box blank because the computer or incredibly literal human that designed the photographs wrote "I DON'T WANT THIS" where mason's name should be.

Keep Reading Show less
True

A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.
popular

Funny how a 'new' male problem is a very old problem for women. Amy Poehler explains.

Not many people are brave enough to talk back to the guy who co-created "Chappelle's Show" when he says something kinda clueless. But not many people are Amy Poehler.

Men struggle to comprehend the pressures women feel. The same is true of women!

Gah! We'll never get along.

This conversation between comedian Neal Brennan and Amy Poehler is a pretty good example of how hard it can be to figure life out sometimes.

Neal, the genius who co-created "Chappelle's Show," sat down with Amy for his show "The Approval Matrix." The topic? WHAT are men supposed to be now? Cool? Adorkable? Both? Neither?

Keep Reading Show less
via UDOT / Facebook

In December 2018, The Utah Department of Transportation opened the largest wildlife overpass in the state, spanning 320 by 50 feet across all six lanes of Interstate 80.

Its construction was intended to make traveling through the I-80 corridor in Summit County safer for motorists and the local wildlife.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that there were over 100 animal incidents on the interstate since 2016, giving the stretch of highway the unfortunate nickname of "Slaughter Row."

Keep Reading Show less