Another change of pace day. The Presidential election is burying us.
The Wild West is part of America. Part of our fiber.
Two heroes of the Wild West were Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson. I write about both today.
Why western tales of old? I could have selected another topic. What happened is I read that on this date in 1881, the Gunfight at O.K. Corral occurred.
Wyatt Earp hero of the day.
Tombstone, Arizona the site. The fight took all of 30 seconds. It is regarded as one of the greatest shootouts in the annals of the Wild West.
The good guys were Wyatt, his brothers Virgil and Morgan, and Doc Holliday. The bad, the Ike Clanton gang.
Earp did not walk off into the sunset never to be heard from again. He outlived the Wild West.
Earp ended up in Hollywood. An acknowledged hero. Participated in a bit of show business.
While in Hollywood, he became good friends with the western movie actor William Hart. Earp taught Hart how to quick draw.
Earp died in 1929. Many years after the Wild West had been transformed from cowboys and Indians.
Bat Masterson another western hero.
He had nothing to do with Earpand the O.K. Corral fight. An active man in other western exploits. A busy guy. He was an Army scout, Indian fighter, lawman, professional gambler, and journalist. Served as Sheriff of Dodge City.
Masterson was purported to have killed 28 men while still in his 20’s. His reputation re killing much greater than what actually occurred. He only killed 3. However the reputation followed him which made bad guys fear him.
Masterson eventually went east. Ended up in New York City. His last job was as a sports columnist. He worked for the prestigious New York Telegraph. Prize fighting his specialty.
He too discovered Hollywood as Earp had.
Masterson became good friends with a young prop man named Marion Morrison. Morrison became John Wayne. Wayne said he based his portrayal of western lawmen on conversations he had with Masterson.
Wayne was not the only person of repute with whom he became friends. In later life, Masterson became friends with President Theodore Roosevelt. He visited with Roosevelt in the White House many times.
Masterson died in 1921.
Both stories interesting. I selected to share them after discovering that on this day in 1881 the Gunfight at O.K. Corral occurred. Wyatt’s experiences led me to Bat Masterson. Both perfect change of pace historical figures to write about.
Enjoy your day!