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On This Day… The Wild West And A Famous Gunfight

Written by: George Chittenden : 27 Jul 2019

It was on this day, 26th Oct, back in 1881 when one of the most famous gunfights of the American Old West took place, the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. The fight took place in the Arizona Territory town of Tombstone, and It was thought to have only lasted about thirty seconds, but those thirty seconds have earned their place in the history books. The men causing the trouble were outlaws Tom Mclaury, brother Frank as well as Ike Clanton and a few others. They’d issued death threats to the lawmen of Tombstone who had been interfering with their business.

Wyatt Earp at age 21 in Lamar, Missouri.

Wyatt Earp at age 21 in Lamar, Missouri.

The lawmen they went up against that day were the famous Earp brothers… Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan who were U.S. Marshals, and of course Doc Holliday. Holliday was a heavy drinking dentist who was handy with a gun and was acting as Virgil Earp’s temporary deputy at the time of the gunfight. Three of the outlaws died that day. The lawmen Virgil, Doc and Morgan were all wounded and hurt leaving only Wyatt stepping away clean.

The frontier town of Tombstone

The frontier town of Tombstone

Over the course of time the fight has come to symbolize the spirit that the vast western territory placed on those living there-you don’t have to obey the law. Though it’s a famous piece of history now, the fight was virtually unknown among the American people. It wasn’t until author Stuart Lake came along and published a biography on Wyatt that was largely fictionalised that the story of this now famous gunfight took off. As the years wore on the story was sensationalised earning its permanent place in history.

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