Shame on You, George!

Founding father's library book is returned 221 years late

View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    George Washington's overdue library book.

    It’s a good thing they didn’t have background checks back when George Washington was running for president. Someone might have dug up a little dirt on him. That dirt: he had an overdue library book.

    That book was still checked out -- until yesterday!

    The New York Society Library accepted a copy of "The Law of Nations" from the staff of Mount Vernon. Our founding father checked out the book back on Oct. 5, 1789. That would make it 221 years overdue.

    Perhaps he lost it; perhaps he forgot about it; perhaps he just loved that book so much that he couldn’t stand to part with it. Whatever the case, he never returned it.

    In fact, that original book may never be found. The folks at Mount Vernon heard about the missing book and looked everywhere for it. They finally found a replica online for about $12,000.

    And so the great George Washington is no longer on the hook for that missing book. It’s a good thing, too. His late fee was about $300,000.

    Lucky for his estate, the library waived that fee.