Hollywood has certainly had a big influence on the way we think of the old west, and this is just another of those cases. Not as glamorous, but shockingly more honest!
The Gunfight at the OK Corral
It’s the most iconic gunfight in history, the sort of thing Sam Peckinpah used to dream about on lonely nights—and it’s mostly crap.
For starters, it didn’t take place at the OK Corral, but in a nearby back alley. The only reason we associate it with the Corral is because that’s a hell of a snappier title. Second, the body count was low—as in three. Third, it lasted 30 seconds, some of which were taken up by two of the participants running away like little girls.
Nor was the aftermath any more heroic. Wyatt and Holliday were arrested for murder, Earp lost his job as sheriff and evidence surfaced that not only was one of the dead men unarmed, but Holliday probably pulled a Han Solo and fired first. While the charges were eventually dropped, many local people were pushing for conviction—at the funeral of the three men killed, 300 mourners turned out, while nearly two thousand citizens lined the route. It wasn’t until 1931 that a book came out portraying Earp as a modern saint, and by then everyone involved was too old or dead to care.
Makes you wonder just how many of the stories of western times were expanded and glorified, doesn't it? If you want to read some other facts about the days of the "Wild West", why not ramble over to Listverse and check it out!
Coffee out on the patio this morning. It may rain, but at this point I don't care!