Among other things, [Governor Bill] Richardson assembled a team of scholars to look into disputed claims about Billy the Kid's identity. New Mexico claims to be the Kid's final resting place, in an old military cemetery in Fort Sumner. But residents of Hico, Texas claim Billy escaped New Mexico law enforcement officials and eventually moved to their town, dying there in 1950 at the age of 90.
At his announcement about the pardon on Friday, Richardson denied the focus on a pardon for Billy the Kid was a publicity stunt to whip up tourism in his state. "It's living history. We should not neglect the historical record and the history of the American West," he told ABC News.
But he did admit that the debate over the pardon boosted travel to the state. Points of interest in New Mexico linked to Billy the Kid include his foster home in Silver City, where he liked to gamble in Ruidoso, and the Fort Sumner cemetery. There is also a Billy the Kid Museum in Fort Sumner.
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