The Gunfight at O.K. Corral

July 10th, 2014 · No Comments

 by Jane St. Clair

Tombstone, Arizona, where the cowboys live, sets in the mountains and is known as the Town Too Tough to Die. The very cool citizens of Tombstone brag that other towns may have histories but their town has a LEGEND.


The guns, violence, and brave dead cowboys inherent in this LEGEND are very so American that it just makes you feel proud. Everybody in Tombstone takes their LEGEND very very seriously. They play opera music during the reenactment of the Gunfight at Okay Corral. The actor who plays Doc Holliday quotes Shakespeare.

There are actually statues of all eight participants in their exact spots. This is serious stuff.
The way the Gunfight at O.K. Corral started was like this. The McLaury boys and the Clantons had been feuding with the Marshall Virgil Earp, his brothers Wyatt and Morgan, and Doc Holliday. It started over a hold-up of a Wells Fargo stagecoach, and just kept escalating until the afternoon of October 26, 1881. Snow was falling and the good guys wore black dusters. The bad guys had red sashes round their waists. Their feud climaxed at the Gunfight at the OK Corral. Legend has it that they fired 30 shots in 30 seconds.
When the first shots fired, Ike Clanton ran tail and pleaded for his life. Bam bam bam Bam BAM – !!!

Within a few seconds, Frank and Tom McLaury and Billy Clanton were dead.

Doc Holliday got himself a permanent limp from a bullet hole to his knee. He was actually drunk during the Gunfight at O.K. Corral, but luckily he had a shotgun and the others had pistols.

The Earp brothers ended up just fine.

Frank and Tom McLaury and Billy Clanton ended up in Boothill Cemetery near the Tomb of the Unknown Cowboy …

With a great view of the mountains…

That night there was a party in the Bird Cage Saloon, which today is haunted by ghosts of cowboys and saloon women.

You can still have a great time in the saloons of Tombstone and feel all goosebumpy and part of history.

So pardner, it’s true — old cowboys and their legends never die,

They just ride off into the sunset and live in technicolor movies forever and ever.

For more information on Tombstone and how to go to the enactment of the Gunfight at O.K. Corral, see “The Gunfight at O.K. Corral”

Tags: Arizona