On November 9, U.S. District Judge Catherine Blake sentenced Jason Savedoff to twelve months and one day in prison, plus two years’ probation, for conspiracy and theft of historical documents from cultural institutions in four states, including the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library in Hyde Park, New York.
Among the items known to be stolen from the Roosevelt Library, which is part of the National Archives and Records Administration, were seven “reading copies” of speeches that President Roosevelt delivered. They contained President Roosevelt’s edits and handwritten additions, along with his signature. The speeches have all been recovered.
Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero thanked the Maryland Historical Society, the National Archives’ Holdings Protection Team and Office of the Inspector General, and the U.S. Justice Department, for bringing the case to justice. He stated: “Close coordination with these tireless stewards allowed us to stop Jason Savedoff and Barry Landau, to build a case against them, and to bring them to justice.”
According to court records, seven “reading copies” of President Roosevelt’s speeches were stolen when Savedoff and Landau visited the Roosevelt Presidential Library on December 2, 2010. “Reading copies” are the actual copies of the speeches from which the President read. They contain edits and handwritten annotations made by him and bear his signature.
Four of these “reading copies” of speeches were sold to a collector on December 20, 2010, for $35,000. Three other “reading copies” of inaugural addresses delivered by President Roosevelt were recovered elsewhere. Each was valued at more than $100,000, and one was the water-stained reading copy of the inaugural address President Roosevelt delivered in a steady rain in 1937.