No VP has ever been assassinated, but one did commit murder while in office
Speaking of Jefferson, his own vice president was Aaron Burr, the murderer of future Broadway sensation Alexander Hamilton. After gunning down Hamilton in a duel in 1804, Burr went on the lam, during which (among a great many other shenanigans) he explored the idea of taking over Spanish-ruled Florida and turning it into his own kingdom. When this didn’t pan out, he returned to Washington, DC and resumed his vice presidential duties. And no one (well, almost no one) batted an eye. Because that’s how people rolled back then.
The dueling pistols used to kill Hamilton are on display -- but not at the vice presidential museum
Sorry, those fateful shootin’ irons reside at a slightly higher-profile facility called the Smithsonian Institution. Though each VP at Quayle’s museum gets his own first-floor display area, the exhibits aren’t exactly A-list. Many, in fact, were acquired on eBay. Be sure to check out the Spiro Agnew souvenir trash can, along with an authentic 1789 newspaper with a story about John Adams (the very first vice president) breaking a tie vote in the Senate. And cut the museum management some slack, because many of the vice presidents are so obscure that finding any artifacts at all was a struggle.
Quayle was the most unintentionally funny Hoosier VP, but Thomas Marshall was the most intentionally funny
Quayle, who once misspelled “potato” in front of a classroom of kids and regularly blurted out pearls such as, “I stand by all my misstatements,” was always getting laughs at his own expense. But the real life of the party (in his case the Democratic Party) was Thomas Marshall of Columbia City. Marshall was legendary for his sick burns, such as, “Indiana is the mother of vice presidents; home of more second-class men than any other state.” His remarks were so saucy -- and relentless -- that his president, Woodrow Wilson, moved his office out of the West Wing so he’d stop joking with White House tour groups.
Thomas Marshall wasn’t the only veep to complain about his job. They pretty much all did.
The vice president is the human equivalent of a tire donut -- rarely needed, usually ignored. Thomas Jefferson, who served as James Madison’s vice president, described the gig as a “tranquil and unoffending station.” John Nance Garner, one of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s veeps, was a bit less tactful, stating that the job is “not worth a bucket of warm piss.” Roosevelt’s other vice president, Harry S. Truman, said veeps were “about as useful as a cow’s fifth teat,” and Calvin Coolidge (Warren G. Harding’s wingman) added, “I enjoyed my time as vice president. It never interfered with my mandatory 11 hours of sleep a day.” Somebody from HR really should have talked to these guys.
The vice president museum is having a banner year -- in relative terms
Because of Pence, it’s expecting to see north of 10,000 visitors in 2016 -- a record. But don’t expect Disney-esque lines, because most of the guests are school tour groups. If there isn’t a school bus in the parking lot, you’ll likely have the entire place to yourself. General admission is $3 for adults, $1 for kids.
There's a gift shop!
... albeit a tiny one. The somewhat limited stock includes Quayle Vice Presidential Learning Center refrigerator magnets (of course), plus mugs, and copies of Dan Quayle’s two books, Standing Firm and Worth Fighting For. This may be the only place on earth (outside of bookstore remainder bins) where these tomes can be found.