60 Minutes profiles Barry Landau, the thief who stole priceless treasures from the National ArchivesHistorians in the News
American history is housed in the National Archives. Forty-four of them, spread all over the country. They contain documents, photos, maps, artifacts that go back to our founding fathers. Every school kid knows about some of them: the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and Bill of Rights; but there are millions of others, from the patent for Michael Jackson's moonwalking shoes, to Benedict Arnold's loyalty oath.
Many are priceless treasures which means they attract not only scholars but thieves; more and more of them all the time. Getting to the crooks before they get to the archives has become a new priority in law enforcement.
No one knows more about this than Barry Landau - a self-described presidential historian and one of the foremost collectors of presidential memorabilia. That's because Barry Landau carried out the largest theft of these treasures in American history. Prosecutors say he is one of the most accomplished conmen they've ever encountered....
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