WASHINGTON — Evidence from the 2001 anthrax attacks is going on public display at the Smithsonian Institution.

The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum opened an exhibit Friday about the work of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. “Behind the Badge” explores the history of one of the nation’s oldest law enforcement agencies.

The new exhibit includes an anthrax-laced letter sent to Sen. Tom Daschle on loan from the FBI. Examination of the letter and the decontamination process left it nearly illegible. The museum also is displaying the mail collection box from Princeton, New Jersey, where the anthrax-laced letters were deposited.

From another high-profile case, the exhibit includes the handcuffs used to arrest unabomber Ted Kaczynski.

The Postal Inspection Service dates to 1776 when Benjamin Franklin sent a surveyor to investigation early U.S. mail routes.

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