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George Washington Was a Scofflaw

Washington was also notorius for ruining books by reading in the bathtub ...and the Delaware.
Washington was also notorius for ruining books by reading in the bathtub ...and the Delaware.

According to a ledger from New York City’s oldest library, George Washington owes 220 years worth of late fees for two books he checked out during his presidency. The books were due on November 2, 1789, but were never returned, which merits a late fee of about $300,000 at today’s prices, adjusted for inflation. Though the library is not seeking payment of the fines, it would very much like the two books back. One was the “Law of Nations,” a book on international law, and the other was a volume of debates from Britain’s House of Commons.


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