Psalm book goes for record $14.2M
A tiny book of psalms from 1640, believed to be the first book printed in what's now the United States, sold for just under $14.2 million on Tuesday, setting an auction record for a printed book. The Bay Psalm Book, which was auctioned at Sotheby's in New York, is one of 11 copies of the publication that survive in varying degrees of completeness. The book sold at Sotheby's was one of two owned by Boston's Old South Church, which voted to sell it to increase its grants and ministries. A copy of John James Audubon's Birds of America had been the record-holder, selling for $11.5 million at Sotheby's in 2010.
Cathedral in D.C. to charge fee
Struggling to cover its costs, Washington National Cathedral has decided to begin charging an admission fee for tourists who visit the church beginning in 2014. Cathedral officials said Monday that they will begin charging a $10 fee for adults and $6 for children, seniors and military members in January. Admission will be free on Sundays, as well as on weekdays for those who visit to worship or pray. The Rev. Gary Hall, the Episcopal cathedral's dean, said the decision to charge a fee was made reluctantly. But he noted that the cathedrals of Europe charge fees to help fund their upkeep.
By the numbers
203,000 People around the world who died of flu and respiratory problems during the H1N1 "swine flu" pandemic in 2009, according to a new study funded by the World Health Organization and published online Tuesday by PLoS Medicine.
18,449 Deaths from the pandemic that the WHO reported in 2009.