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Saddam Hussein exhibit to go on display in Oklahoma City

Dec. 30, 2006: A frame grab from Al Iraqiya television shows former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein speasking to his masked executors shortly before his hanging.Reuters

An exhibit featuring military artifacts belonging to former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein is opening this month in Oklahoma to mark the 10th anniversary of his capture, according to the Oklahoma History Center.

“We’re very excited to have this exhibit,” said Dr. Bob Blackburn, executive director of the Oklahoma Historical Society, in a statement. “It is not every day that such historic items from recent history can be viewed by the public and we are very proud of the ties they have to Oklahoma.”

". . . the display will call to remembrance the soldiers wounded and lost during the hunt and capture of Saddam.”

- Army Lt. Col Steve Russell (Ret.)

Those Oklahoma ties are in reference to the owner of the items, retired Army Lt. Col. and former Oklahoma State Sen. Steve Russell, who is loaning the collection for a special temporary exhibit.

Russell, who helped lead the hunt for Saddam, is also the author of the book “We Got Him!,” his personal memoir of the hunt and capture of Saddam.

“For years I have kept low key about these artifacts,” said Russell, according to a statement released by the Oklahoma History Center. “I realize that they are an incredible part of our nation’s history that should be enjoyed by the public and hope the display will call to remembrance the soldiers wounded and lost during the hunt and capture of Saddam.”

Among the highlights of the display in Oklahoma City is a European-tailored service uniform worn by Hussein.

The exhibit -- which also includes firearms and other items -- will go on full display at the center later this month. It's open to the public.

Hussein was captured Dec. 13, 2003, and executed in 2006.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.