…how was the play? may not be as tacky as Seth Macfarlane’s “The only actor to get into Lincoln’s head was John Wilkes Booth.”, but it comes pretty close.
Daniel Day Lewis winning his third OSCAR for his masterful portrayal of the 16th President, and all the hype about the Lincoln movie and his murder brought to mind some things that are and are not related to the topic.
“Break a Leg”.
Thespians use this term when wishing one another good luck before going onto stage. Saying Good Luck is unlucky, saying break a leg is not.
Many people mistakenly think the term comes from the fact that Booth broke his leg when he leapt from the State Box at Ford’s Theater after shooting President Lincoln.
But, alas, not. The term didn’t show UP in the theater until the early 20th Century.
There are many theatrical superstitions, none of them stem from Booth’s dastardly deed.
After Booth’s escape from Washington, his broken leg was treated by Dr. Samuel Mudd, an ancestor of newsman Roger Mudd.
I have always thought that Dr. Mudd was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, but some evidence indicates he was a co-conspirator of Booth’s, or at the very least knew who Booth was and what he had done when he treated him. At any rate, he didn’t turn him in, which made him complicit in the crime and landed him in prison on the Dry Tortugas for quite some time.
Hence the term, “His name is Mudd”, which I always thought was “his name is mud”, meaning dirt, scum, mire.
Well, maybe it’s both!
Any way, now you know.
As far as Lincoln goes, Mudd yes, leg no!