The Latest

Southern California breaking news and trends

Ronald Reagan blood vial auction dries up

A vial containing Ronald Reagan's dried blood residue. A Channel Islands online auction house has angered Ronald Reagan's foundation by claiming to offer a vial that once contained his blood. The auctioneers say it was used by the laboratory that tested Reagan's blood when he was hospitalized after a 1981 assassination attempt in Washington.
A vial containing Ronald Reagan's dried blood residue. A Channel Islands online auction house has angered Ronald Reagan's foundation by claiming to offer a vial that once contained his blood. The auctioneers say it was used by the laboratory that tested Reagan's blood when he was hospitalized after a 1981 assassination attempt in Washington. AP Photo/PFCAuctions

An auction listing for a vial purportedly containing the blood residue of Ronald Reagan had the late president's foundation seeing red.

The British auction house embroiled in the bloody mess halted the would-be sale, and the item's owner has agreed to donate the DNA in question to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation after they threatened legal action, says the L.A. Times.

"While we contend that the removal of the vial from the hospital laboratory and the U.S. auction sale in February 2012 were not legal acts in our opinion, we are grateful to the current custodian of the vial for this generous donation to the foundation ensuring President Reagan’s blood remains out of public hands," said John Huebusch, the foundation’s executive director.

According to the PFC Auctions house, the vial once contained a blood sample taken at  George Washington University Hospital when President Reagan was shot by John Hinckley, Jr. in 1981. 

After testing on the sample was completed, a woman who worked at the lab says she was given permission by a supervisor to keep the vial. Earlier this year, one of her family members decided to sell the unusual heirloom.

The Reagan Library in Simi Valley declined to purchase the piece when approached by the seller, according to a statement on PFC's website. A presidential artifacts collector then acquired the tube at auction, and listed it with PFC.

Bidding had reached over $30,000 before deal dried up. The sale was set to close Thursday.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Enjoy reading The Latest? You might like KPCC’s other blogs.

What's popular now on KPCC