On Monday's excursion to the Harry Truman Library and Museum to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Mount Vernon's own presidential library devoted to the study of George Washington, I had the opportunity to play presidential trivia for prizes. Questions focused on George Washington and Harry Truman.
The high score in the room was 19.5 points. Yours Truly came in second with 19! That meant I earned second choice from the prize tables. Who knew I was so intelligent!
The most valuable prize? A bottle of whiskey distilled, bottled, and aged in George Washington's distillery at Mount Vernon, priced around $200 if one is to purchase it at Mount Vernon. Certainly a valuable prize, but before anyone asks, while I can certainly appreciate the design of the label, and while the chemistry of the distilling process intrigues me, I do not drink, and no, I did not choose it as my prize (Neither did the first trivia winner.).
So they raised an additional $10 million and sent a representative to the auction. At the $8.7 million bid, a record was already broken. It would now be the most expensive American book every sold. At $9.8 million, it far surpassed the previous record.
The book of which I now own a copy is the Acts of Congress, including the United States Constitution and Bill or Rights as they were ratified by the first congress of the United States of America. This particular copy was gifted to Washington and existed in his library for a period before many of his personal papers were dispersed to others. The video (right) explains why the original book is so valued to the Washington Presidential Library.
I'll enjoy pondering its pages, from government documents to the lunar module.
Both books (three actually) will remind me of my experience in Independence on the fifth anniversary of George Washington's library, ultimately because of my initial acceptance and invitation to join the Teachers Institute Summer Residency at Mount Vernon, last month.