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A reminder that the nation’s capital remains a historic region, as opposed to a welter of tweeting pundits and grimacing politicians. Alex Salmond, the first minister of Scotland, will soon arrive on these shores to return a pair of George Washington’s books long held by the National Library of Scotland. It’s all part of an effort by Mount Vernon to recreate a collection of Washington’s favorite reading materials, to be ultimately housed in the spiffy Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon, set to open in September.

The two volumes date from 1795 and come under the grand title “Official Letters to the Honorable American Congress, Written, During the War between the United Colonies and Great Britain, by His Excellency, George Washington, Commander in Chief of the Continental Forces.” The books were donated to Scotland’s national collection 75 years ago by the family of one Hugh Sharp, a bibliophile and jute manufacturer who lived in Dundee.

Mr. Salmond returns them to Mount Vernon at a formal ceremony Monday with a flourish and bagpipe music.


“I never met a veteran who fought for socialism.”

— Bumper sticker spotted in Anaheim, Calif.


• 69 percent of Americans say there’s “solid evidence” that the Earth is warming; 44 percent of Republicans and 87 percent of Democrats agree.

• 66 percent of Americans favor the proposed Keystone XL pipeline; 82 percent of Republicans and 54 percent of Democrats agree.

• 48 percent overall favor increased use of fracking techniques to drill for natural gas; 66 percent of Republicans and 33 percent of Democrats agree.

• 42 percent overall say global warming is caused by “human activity”; 19 percent of Republicans and 57 percent of Democrats agree.

• 23 percent say global warming is caused by “natural patterns”; 22 percent of Republicans and 23 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Pew Research Center survey of 1,501 U.S. adults conducted March 13 to 17 and released Tuesday.

• Cat calls and doggerel to