The Great Presidential Spoon Theft of 2014

by Shelby Powers

The latest presidential scandal occurred right here in Ohio late on the night of May 6, when burglars broke into the suburban Cleveland tomb of President James Garfield and stole spoons. Not just any spoons: these utensils were commemorative of the election of our nation’s 20th president, emblazoned with his face on the handle and an image of his Ohio home on the end.

The burglars, who are suspected to be either bored teenagers or die-hard history buffs, broke a window to access these 13 little metal pieces of history. The mystery surrounding this heist is heightened by the odd objects that the burglars left behind at Lake View Cemetery: cigarette butts, a t-shirt, and an empty bottle of whiskey. In what appears to be an effort to minimize the theft, they even left cash stuffed in the donation box of the monument. Police are analyzing these for DNA to catch the perpetrators, and have found a fingerprint on the glass.

When interviewed by the Washington Post, Katherine Goss, president of the Lake View Cemetery, describes her response to this news as: “We were like, ‘Really? They took spoons?’” The spoons, Goss said, “Would be hard to sell in a historical auction because everyone would wonder where they came from.”

 Garfield served only 200 days in office, never fully recovering and passing away 80 days after an assassination attempt in 1881. His is the only presidential casket on full display, draped with an American flag and near to the grave of his wife Lucretia and the ashes of his daughter Mary.


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