Celebrated on December 20th every year. The day is observed to celebrate the birth of Dr.Samuel Mudd, a man who gave treatment to the disguised John Wilkes Booth in his home after President Lincoln’s assassination.
|2019||December 20th||Friday||United States|
|2020||December 20th||Sunday||United States|
|2021||December 20th||Monday||United States|
Why Mudd Day?
Mudd Day is observed to celebrate the birth of Dr.Samuel Mudd, a man who gave treatment to the disguised John Wilkes Booth in his home after President Lincoln’s assassination. But it’s still unclear why this day was created and by whom, as it’s not still clear whether Mudd is not involved in the plot of assassination of President Lincoln. Dr.Mudd’s name is dragged through the mud since his sentencing. It gave the phrase “Your name is mud” a new meaning.
How to celebrate Mudd Day?
- Post various information regarding Dr.Samuel Mudd on social media, using hashtag #MuddDay.
- If you are interested in knowing about Dr.Mudd, you can pay a visit the cell in which Mudd was locked at Fort Jefferson.
- Post about the phrase ‘Your name is mud’ and how Dr.Mudd’s life added to the meaning of the phrase.
Interesting facts on Mudd Day:
- Dr.Samuel Mudd was a son of a large plantation owner, graduated from the University of Maryland, where he studied medicine. He was an advocate of slavery and supported the Confederacy during the Civil War, and often expressed his hatred for Abraham Lincoln and his policies.
- Dr.Mudd is infamously known for his involvement in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Dr.Mudd helped John Wilkes Booth who assassinated the President in 1865 by providing treatment to Booth’s broken leg after Booth assassinated Abraham Lincoln. He also provided stay for Booth and David Harold who was also involved in the assassination at his residence.
- When Dr.Mudd was interrogated by the Military Commission, he lied to them regarding the conspiracy and his contacts with Booth and others, before the assassination. His answers were contradictory, and were found that he was in contact with Booth earlier, and had met him four times before the assassination, according to witnesses.
- Mudd was arrested for the conspiracy and for harboring Booth and David Harold, and was sentenced to life imprisonment after many trials. He was sent to the prison at Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas. He escaped the death penalty by a single vote shortage.
- Dr.Mudd also tried to escape prison but failed and was sent to the carpentry shop in the prison. During this time his wife kept on writing letters to the President to release her husband as he was innocent. Later when an epidemic of yellow fever spread in the prison in 1867, the heroic action of Dr.Mudd in helping the sick and treating them, gained him pardon and was released on March 8, 1869.
- Though Mudd was released he was not announced innocent. His family members tried repeatedly to prove him innocent. But, Mudd’s conviction was neither overturned nor his record expunged.
- The phrase “Your name is mud” was given a new meaning after the sentencing of Dr.Samuel Mudd. Mud referred to something worthless since the 16th century. But by the 19th century, the word applied to people who were seen as foolish and hence the phrase ‘Your name is mud’ became popular.
- Dr.Samuel Mudd, though a doctor by profession was involved in the assassination of a U.S. President and hence his name was dragged into mud and all his lies and contradictory answers during the trial proven him to be a part of the conspiracy and the assassination.
- Dr.Mudd died in 1883 due to pneumonia.
History of Mudd Day:
The origin of the celebration of Mudd Day is unknown.