Once upon a time in 1942, researchers in Rolla, MO isolated the first sample of plutonium. Glenn T. Seaborg was asked to join the metallurgy group in Chicago to weigh the sample, determine the chemical characteristics of this new element, and start to figure out how to do chemical separation on a large scale. In order to do that, the small sample was moved by train, in Seaborg's briefcase clutched in his lap, to what would become Fermilab, arriving on Seaborg's birthday an April 12. He was more than a little intimidated to be holding the world's only known sample of plutonium and traveling alone (to the best of his knowledge).
And yesterday, I held it in my hands. Presently, it lives in a bucket as hazardous waste in one of my buildings. I will be heartbroken if I have to fill out the paperwork that sends this to a grave in Nevada. This should be sitting side by side with the first lunar sample in the Smithsonian, dammit.
The container with the sample:
Here's the real deal, the speck visible through the maginifying glass in the side of the container.