Saturday, June 21, 2014
Cowboys in History: Wyatt Earp
Wyatt at age 5 with his mother
Wyatt at age 21
Wyatt at home age 75-1923
Over the years the shoot out at the O.K. Corral has been depicted as one of the most amazing gunfights in western history, though few realize it wasn't all television depicted it to be.
On Oct. 26, 1881 the feud between the Earps and local cowboys, Ike Clanton, Billy Claiborne, Tom and Frank McLaury continued with death threats against the Earps adding up. Virgil Earp, acting marshal of Tombstone at the time deputized Wyatt Earp as assistant marshal, Morgan Earp was already Deputy City Marshal and Doc Holliday was deputized for the said event, which began around 3:00pm. The group headed toward Fremont Street where the threatening cowboys had been collecting in wait in the lot between Harwood House and Fly's Boarding House and evidently a photography studio. The most missed item on made for television reenactments is the fact that the Earp's were only about 6 to 10 feet away from the others as the gunfight began.
Ike Clanton and Billy Claiborne fled the gunfight where Tom and Frank McLaury along with Billy Clanton stood their ground and were killed. Morgan Earp was clipped by a shot across his back that nicked both shoulder blades and a vertebra. Virgil was shot through the calf and Holliday was grazed by a bullet. The gunfight in Tombstone lasted only 30 seconds, but it would end up defining Wyatt Earp for the rest of his life, much to his dismay.
The last surviving Earp brother and the last surviving participant of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, Wyatt Earp died at home at 4004 W 17th Street, in Los Angeles, of chronic bladder inflammation others labeled as prostate Cancer on January 13, 1929 at the age of 80. His Associated Press obituary described him as a "gun-fighter, whose blazing six-shooters, were for most of his life allied with the side of law and order".
Tombstone is one of my favorite movies due to the fact there was Kurt Russell (Wyatt Earp), Sam Elliot (Virgil Earp), Bill Paxton (Morgan Earp) and Val Kilmer (Doc Holliday)--nothing wrong with the line up! "I'll be your Huckleberry."
Kevin Costner as Wyatt Earp showed some of Earps younger years and is one of my favorites as well.
What are some of your favorites?