Washington (CNN) - President Obama used a total of 22 pens to sign the historic health care reform bill into law. To keep as mementos, the president handed all but three of the pens out to various luminaries like Vicki Kennedy, widow of Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Massachusetts.
Obama kept one pen for himself and is sending two others to the National Archives, according to White House aides. The White House initially said it was giving out 12 pens, but the number apparently grew as the list of people the president wanted to thank increased.
The other 19 pens went to Vice President Joe Biden; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, as well as other top lawmakers, administration officials and VIPs who helped get the historic legislation passed.
The list of who did not get pens is also worth noting: former President Bill Clinton, who helped make lobbying calls this past weekend, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who pushed reform unsuccessfully with her husband in 1993, both did not get the mementos.
And not everyone who got a pen decided to keep the keepsake. Reid spokesman Jim Manley told CNN that the Senate majority leader has already handed his off to his chief health care aide, Kate Leone.
In the House Democratic Caucus, pens were also doled out to: House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland, House Majority Whip James Clyburn of South Carolina, Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman of California, and Rep. George Miller of California.
The president also tried to side-step a potential controversy by giving a pen to both New York Democrat Rep. Charlie Rangel, who served as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee during most of the debate over health care reform, and to Michigan Democrat Rep. Sander Levin who recently took over as acting chairman of the powerful committee after an ethics scandal forced Rangel to temporarily give up the gavel.
Obama also gave a pen to Michigan Democrat Rep. John Dingell, the dean of the House who has been in office since 1955 and has long pushed for comprehensive health care reform. In an amazing bit of political trivia, a Dingell aide told CNN that the lawmaker also has a pen from President Lyndon Johnson's signing of Medicare into law.
Among the Senate Democrats, pens went to: Majority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois and key lawmakers Sens. Max Baucus of Montana, Chris Dodd of Connecticut, and Tom Harkin of Iowa.
Within the administration, pens went to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, White House health care czar Nancy-Ann DeParle, and congressional liaison Phil Schiliro.
A pen was also given to Sister Carol Keehan, president and CEO of the Catholic Health Association, who provided a pivotal endorsement of the legislation amid a controversy over whether it opened the door to federal taxpayer funding of abortion.