George Washington returns his library book... 221 years too late

Even the US President makes mistakes - but returning a library book 221 years late surely takes the biscuit.

George Washington was perhaps too busy cementing his legacy as a United States Founding Father to remember that he had borrowed a copy of the Law of Nations from his local library.

First US President Washington loaned the book from New York's Society Library on October 5, 1789.

Executors of Washington's Virginia estate have finally replaced the copy. But, according to reports, it has not paid the $210,000 library fine.

However, if his estate was asked to settle the bill, it would only have to sell one of Washington's historic autographs - among the most valuable and sought-after in the world.

One of the biggest sales of 2009 was a letter by Washington to his nephew Bushrod describing his views in favour of the pending United States Constitution. It auctioned for a stunning $3.2m.

 

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