Saturday, June 6, 2009

Booths on History Detectives & National Public Radio

The popular program History Detectives has returned to many public television stations for its 7th season. One of the historic objects they will explore this season is an angry and threatening letter Junius Brutus Booth Sr. wrote to President Andrew Jackson. Dinah Faber, coordinator for Spirits of Tudor Hall, assisted with the research for this feature.

The Maryland Public Television website describes the feature as follows:

"Booth Letter - A contributor gave HISTORY DETECTIVES a letter indicating that, 30 years before John Wilkes Booth assassinated Abraham Lincoln, Booth's father threatened to kill another sitting president, Andrew Jackson. Signed "Junius Brutus Booth," the letter to Jackson reads, "You damn'd old scoundrel ... I will cut your throat whilst you are sleeping." The writer insists that Jackson pardon two men who were sentenced to death. Why did the fate of these two men incite such fury? HISTORY DETECTIVES host Tukufu Zuberi travels to Nashville to consult historians at The Hermitage, the ancestral home of President Andrew Jackson, and to Washington, DC, to talk with a Booth biographer. Was the letter a hoax? Or did assassination run in the Booth blood?"

The episode featuring the Booth letter will be aired on Maryland Public Television on:

Tuesday, July 07, 2009 09:00 PM
(Channel: MPT2—Digital)

Sunday, July 12, 2009 06:00 PM
(Channel: MPT2—Digital)

Monday, July 06, 2009 09:00 PM
(Channel: MPT HD)

Tuesday, July 07, 2009 03:00 AM
(Channel: MPT HD)

You can watch a preview of the History Detectives 7th season on their website. Junius Brutus Booth is mentioned in the preview, and you'll get a brief glimpse of the actual letter he wrote to Jackson. Just do an online search for History Detectives. The preview is available on their home page.

The story of the outlaw George Lovett alias Fontaine asking that his skull be shipped to Junius Brutus Booth Sr. was recently featured on "All Things Considered" (National Public Radio). On June 4, 2009, NPR aired a feature about Jude Law who is currently appearing in a production of Hamlet in London. Mr. Law apparently insisted on having a real human skull as a prop for the grave digger's scene. This prompted listener Jay Dennis Robinson of Portsmith, NH, to contact the show about the human skull that still "resides" in Edwin Booth's bedroom at The Players in New York City.

You can listen to both features at:

June 4th Feature about Jude Law, "On London's West End, 'Hamlet' With Human Skull":

June 5th Feature about the Booths, "Letters: 'Hamlet' Skull":

If the links don't work, go to the NPR site and do a search for Jude Law and Edwin Booth and links to both features will come up.