OK, so you couldn’t tell a lie, Georgie boy, but apparently you made no bones about stealing a couple of library books and not paying your fines. Gasp! That’s right, Pres. George Washington was just as big a fan of the library as Ask Umbra (woot for reusing, Mr. Prez); however, according to an old ledger book (and Boing Boing), Washington checked out two books from the New York Society Library in October 1789—one on international law and one a transcript of debates in the British House of Commons—and never returned them. His inflation-adjusted fines are now more than $100,000.

“We’re not actively pursuing the overdue fines,” said head librarian Mark Bartlett, “but we would be very happy if we were able to get the books back.”

That’s quite the different tune than Jerry Seinfeld got from library investigations officer Mr. Bookman for not returning Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer in 1971:


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