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President Teddy Roosevelt's pocket watch back on display after being stolen decades ago

Cherished possession of President Theodore Roosevelt recovered after a theft decades ago
Cherished possession of President Theodore Roosevelt recovered after a theft decades ago 02:09

COVE NECK, N.Y. - A pocket watch that belonged to President Theodore Roosevelt is back in its rightful place. 

The 126-year-old cherished possession has been recovered after being stolen from an exhibit in 1987. 

It was given as a gift to T.R. in 1898 by his sister as he left for the Spanish-American War.   

It recently turned up at an auction in Florida. The National Park Service and FBI agents proved the watch is U.S. property. 

As of Thursday, it was back on public display at Roosevelt's family home on Long Island, called Sagamore Hill.  

There have been no arrests in the theft, but the investigation continues. 

President Theodore Roosevelt's pocket watch.  CBS2

Roosevelt's watch was with him on many adventures

The watch was in his pocket when Roosevelt charged San Juan Hill, explored the Amazon River, and became the youngest U.S. president, our nation's 26th. 

"He used it to go to war. He used it to travel Africa, and to travel South America, and it seemed to be with him most of his life," said Clare Connelly of the Sagamore Hill National Historical Site. 

Roosevelt was a tireless conservationist who made use of every second. 

As for the watch?

"It has traveled thousands of miles over the last 126 year, or about four billion seconds," Jonathan Park of Sagamore Hill said. "In an historic manner. The value to its family, the value to our country, because it belongs to the nation, it is a priceless presidential timepiece."

Some 90,000 historical objects are preserved at Sagamore Hill, but the small pocket watch reflects on a larger-than-life icon. It is not gold or platinum, but silver, and rugged and enduring, like the legacy of T.R.

"The watch is home, and what a trip it has had. To me, it feels like a little piece of T.R. has come back home," Roosevelt's great grandson Tweed Roosevelt said. 

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