It’s hard to imagine one of the leading actor’s in our country trying to kill the president. The thought of a movie star like Brad Pitt trying to assassinate the President seems ludicrous.
But in 1865 that’s what happened. The handsome, famous actor John Wilkes Booth shot President Lincoln. During his escape, Booth broke his leg jumping from the balcony to the stage. Outside of Washington, he stopped at a country doctor’s house in Maryland. The doctor, Samuel Mudd, set Booth’s leg and let him sleep in the barn.
Dr. Mudd was arrested for aiding Booth and convicted as an accomplice, but was eventually pardoned 4 years later by President Andrew Johnson. Yet the conviction was never overturned. His name became mud.
Over 100 years later, his grandson, Richard Mudd persuaded several states to pass resolutions declaring his grandfather’s innocence. He even got President Carter and President Reagan to write letters affirming their belief that Dr. Mudd had been innocent. Why was that so important? What’s in a name?