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Theodore Roosevelt’s pocket watch was stolen in 1987. It’s finally back at his New York home

The silver pocket watch was a prized possession of Theodore Roosevelt, a keepsake given to him by his sister and her husband in 1898 before he became president that would travel with him around the world and end up at Sagamore Hill — his home on Long Island, New York, and now a national historic site.

But in 1987, it went from museum piece to pilfered prize when someone stole it from an unlocked case at the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site in Buffalo, New York, where it was on loan.

It was mystery that endured 36 years until it turned up at a Florida auction house last year and was seized by federal agents. On Thursday, it was returned to public display at Sagamore Hill as the National Park Service and the FBI triumphantly announced it was back home during a ceremony featuring Roosevelt’s great-grandson, Tweed Roosevelt.

“This was feel-good news,” Tweed Roosevelt, 82, said Friday in a phone interview. “For me, it kind of felt like almost as if a piece of TR’s spirit being returned to Sagamore Hill, like a little bit of him was coming back. And so I felt that was really cool.”

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