library of congressIt is 1895 and people are visiting the Library Of Congress. The library has some amazing features like:

  • a Mosaic of Minerva, and she is holding a scroll that lists 27 different subjects
  • Putti that represent 16 different jobs that people do and are made out of marble
  • some Gods that are painted or designed by marble
  • decorations on the roof that are made by important people including Aristotle, Moses, and Bacon.

On January 12, 1945, Hitler secretly planned to destroy the Library Of Congress by flying over it and detonating a bomb. By January 13, the library had become ash. People were wondering how to fix it and restore the books that were once there. President Harry S. Truman, who had all books in the world, didn’t want to give up his books to restore the library. President Truman wanted to let other people donate books first before he donated some of his.

There was another fire before this one in 1815. Thomas Jefferson was the one to sell most of his books to restore the library. People expected President Truman to donate first like Jefferson, but that did not happen.

There was only one person who donated a book after the 1945 bombing—Adolf Hitler, the leader of the Nazi Party. Hitler was trying to not give away any clues to the crime he committed. So, the investigation was on.

The police found nothing but a piece of Hitler’s bomb. Hitler tried to steal it; but, he was caught and sent back to Germany for messing up the crime scene. Everyone was now devastated because the Library of Congress was destroyed and there were not many clues. When President Truman found out how America was feeling, he made the decision to donate all of his books. President Truman was now a hero. He made over a $1 billion book donation. President Truman was trying to make himself more of a hero by promising the people of America that he would catch the person responsible for destroying the Library of Congress.

It is now April 30, 1945, and Hitler has died. He died because of how he would pay the debt for all the destruction he had done in World War II. He was shot in the back of his head, on one of his couches he had put in a room. He had been captured by Russians and couldn’t take it anymore. Some Americans were happy, and some were sad.

Meanwhile, President Truman was busy trying to figure out who was responsible and put the bomb piece in a machine that scanned it for fingerprints. A hit came up, and the President gasped when he saw Hitler’s name. Also, another name came up, the famous military general, George Patton. President Truman gasped in shock and went to the military with his information.

When he got to the military base, he first saw General Patton, and asked to go to the security room privately with him. President Truman asked General Patton why his fingerprint was on the piece of bomb from the Library of Congress fire? General Patton said, “Hitler took it from my desk.” General Patton said that he had a tape that showed Hitler stealing the bomb and the detonator. President Truman was now convinced that General Patton was innocent. When President Truman gave a speech to Americans, he told the people exactly what had happened. After his speech, President Truman received a medal because he solved this crime by himself. He was now truly the hero of the United States of America.

President Truman traveled to Germany to get money from Hitler’s bank account for the Library Of Congress. The money was put toward decorations; all of the books had been donated by the President. Some of the same decorations restored were the Putti people, the picture of the Minerva, and the roof paintings. Some new decorations included the President’s names and sculptures of eagles.

The library now contains 151 million items, including:

  • the world’s largest collection of films, maps, sheet music, and sound recordings
  • more than 2,000 baseball cards dating from 1887 through 1914
  • more than 100,000 comic books
  • over 34 million books written in 470 languages.

Sixth grader Michael Rampulla, Central Middle School, Anne Arundel County, enjoyed his visit to the Library of Congress.