George Washington racks up $300K late fee for two library books!April 17th, 2010 - 6:12 pm ICT by ANI
New York, April 17 (ANI): Late US President George Washington is said to have racked up 300,000 dollars in late fee for failing to return two books from a Manhattan library.
Two centuries ago, the nation’s first President borrowed two tomes from the New York Society Library on E. 79th St. and never returned them, racking up an inflation-adjusted late fee.
“We’re not actively pursuing the overdue fines,” the New York Daily News quoted head librarian Mark Bartlett as saying.
“But we would be very happy if we were able to get the books back,” he said.
Washington’s deed had gone unnoticed for almost 150 years, and it was only discovered in 1934, when a dusty, beaten-up ledger was discovered in a trash heap in the library’s basement.
On its tan pages were the names of all the people who had borrowed books from the city’s oldest library between July 1789 and April 1792.
At the time, the city was the nation’s capital and the library - then located at Wall and Broad Sts. - was the only one in town.
On October 5, 1789, Washington borrowed the “Law of Nations”, a treatise on international relations, and Vol. 12 of the “Commons Debates”, which contained transcripts of debates from Britain’s House of Commons.
Beside the names of the books, the librarian wrote on the ledger only, “President”.
The entry, written with a quill pen, contains no return date.
The books were due by November 2, 1789, and have been accruing a fine of a few pennies per day ever since.
This week, Bartlett and his staff became even more convinced the books were filched when librarian Matthew Haugen stumbled upon the long lost 14-volume collection of the “Commons Debates”. (ANI)
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