Bill de Blasio used a historic Bible that belonged to President Franklin D. Roosevelt when he was sworn in as New York City’s 109th mayor on Wednesday — a holy book that subsequently went missing, sparking a panicked, hours-long hunt for the text.
One source told the New York Post that at least 50 NYPD police and city officials went frantically looking for the Bible, which was reportedly given to FDR as a gift during his first presidential inauguration in 1933.
“They had the whole detail looking through blankets,” the police source told the outlet.
Another individual who helped search for the book added, “We were looking in garbage cans outside, in all the bags.”
The Bible reportedly went missing around 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday and was recovered by the search team hours later around 5 p.m. When it was found — reportedly “on the landing of a staircase” inside city hall — applause and relief abounded.
It’s unclear how the Bible was lost in the first place. Comedian Alex Edelman, who was purportedly on scene, tweeted that he saw a couple remove it from the podium after the swearing in, though this has not been verified.
The Poughkeepsie Journal was among the outlets that previously covered the fact that the historic Bible would be used during de Blasio’s swearing-in ceremony, which was conducted by former President Bill Clinton.
“It’s a small Bible embossed in the front with ‘The White House,’” Lynn Bassanese, director of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, told the Journal prior to the event. “Since FDR signed it and dated it for his very first inauguration, we thought that was particularly symbolic for the mayor-elect.”
Bassanese told the outlet that she would personally bring the Bible to the ceremony and then take it back to the library after it ended. It’s unclear how the Bible went missing, considering what seemed like a solid plan to ensure its safety.
(H/T: New York Post)