A federal judge ruled today that the original Howdy Doody puppet belongs in a Detroit museum instead of with the family of Howdy's late puppeteer, Rufus Rose, according to the Associated Press. The Detroit Institute of Arts claimed that Rose, who died in 1975, promised to give the original 1950s puppet to the museum. The Rose family argued that no such promise was ever made, and even went so far as to say that the Howdy Doody they have may not even be the original (several copies were made, including a stunt "Double Doody"). The judge, however, ruled that there was absolutely no question that Rose's Howdy Doody is the same one that existed at the end of the show. The museum, which also houses Punch and Judy, Kermit the Frog and other puppets, is said it was pleased with the ruling. The Rose family is deciding whether to appeal, said their lawyer, Mark Block.
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