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80-year-old typo etched in stone caught

Sorry, George

80-year-old typo etched in stone caught

The Supreme Courthouse in Manhattan is topped with a quote engraved in granite: "The true administration of justice is the firmest pillar of good government." The quote from George Washington makes a lot of sense on top of a courthouse. Except, turns out that isn't what the first president said. More than 80 years after the court opened, the New York Post reports that Washington actually said "due administration." Since it's New York, they are blaming a guy from Boston. Architect Guy Lowell designed the building. Now historians want a correction. "Washington was a real stickler for detail. He wasn't one to let small things slide," James Rees, executive director of Washington's estate, who also gets ticked that people think Monday was "President's Day" when it was actually the official observation of Washington's birthday. Fixing the typo could get sticky, though. And changes would have to be approved by a landmarks commission.

Police reports

Burglars aced when victim robs them

While burglars were busy robbing Patrick Rosario's Bellevue, Wash., home last week, he slipped out the back door. Then he found that the burglars had left their van in the driveway. With the keys in the ignition. And the engine running. So he thought about it for about half a second, then drove off with it. "I wish I could have seen the look on their faces," Rosario told the Seattle Times. Police found most of Rosario's expensive stuff sitting by the door in front of the house, but the burglars had taken off on foot. Then they had to deal with the fact that Rosario, 32, stole the van. "They looked over at me and go, 'You stole their car? Way to go, dude! That's awesome.' " So, apparently, they are cool with that.

Tales from the tracks

Commuting sentences

• If there is one thing that drives officials of England's Virgin Rail crazy, it's when people kiss outside the station in Warrington. Apparently, people were pulling their cars up to the station and getting one last smooch upon dropping off their beloved. Officials point out that there is a parking lot nearby where people can pay to park, then they can kiss all they want.

• A masked man jumped on a train in Stockholm, Sweden, and started spray painting things, broke a window and hurled himself on a platform. But it's okay. It was performance art. Video of the incident was turned in as part of a college art thesis. The transit authority is maintaining that it is not okay, though, and wants $12,000 in damages. The school says it doesn't allow students to break laws — or windows — but it doesn't know if he was the filmmaker or the subject and is pretending that matters.

Compiled from Times wire services and other sources by staff writer Jim Webster, who can be reached at

80-year-old typo etched in stone caught 02/16/09 [Last modified: Monday, February 16, 2009 10:06pm]
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