CNN Films’ “Dinosaur 13” is a great documentary about the federal government’s seizure of Sue, the Tyrannosaurus discovered by a team of paleontologists from The Black Hills Institute. It is one of the most outrageous stories of government overreach you have heard. CNN premiered it on Thursday night and will air it again this evening, December 14, at 9 pm and 11 pm Eastern Time.
I watched it the other night, and it brought back a ton of memories for me. I lived in the Black Hills in South Dakota back when the controversy around Sue took place. I was a student at Black Hills State University then. The story of Sue was a big story in the local news for most of the 1990s there.
My only personal experience with the whole Sue situation was kind of a funny story. I was in the leadership of the South Dakota Federation of College Republicans in 1992 when Vice President Dan Quayle came to Rapid City on a last minute campaign stop in the unsuccessful Bush-Quayle re-election effort. I was one of the people who got to go to the airport to greet his plane, then I was a volunteer at the campaign rally later that day.
The campaign had strict rules against allowing people to bring their own signs to the rally. Of course, they only wanted Bush-Quayle signs to appear in the television coverage of the event. Well, one of the Black Hills Institute people, the wife of one of the Institute’s co-founders, snuck in a “Free Sue” sign.
I was sent to ask the woman to surrender the sign. Just as I asked her for the sign, the lights went out in preparation for a dramatic entry by Quayle on the rally stage. She refused to give it up. I reached out in the dark to grab the sign, and my hand got caught on the woman’s sweater. I couldn’t get it free. Then she started screaming, “Get your hands off me!!!” It was quite a scene!
I’ve often thought that my little incident with the Sue lady at the Vice-President’s rally would have been a really big news story if it occurred today. Just think of the viral video that would be out there of the College Republican tangled up with the dinosaur lady! Anyway, that’s my Sue story.
I hope that you take the opportunity to see the interesting documentary about Sue tonight on CNN. Watch this CNN report about it: