CowboySpirit.TV - We've got it all in this week's cornucopia of old west history, including a true Cantina-style shootout, an all-star buffalo hunt, and one of the more unusual marriages in the annals of the west.
1874: Today marks the passing of a lesser-known old west gunfighter by the name of Chunk Colbert, shot by the better-known Clay Allison. Despite being enemies, the two were sharing a meal together when Colbert attempted to draw his gun under the table. Allison spotted it and shot him straight through the head. Sorry about the mess...
1895: On this day, notorious old west gunslinger John Wesley Hardin, then 41, was married to Callie Lewis who was, at the time, not yet 16. Neither the details of their courtship nor their falling out are recorded, but their blessed marriage lasted less than a week.
1959: Head 'em up, move 'em out! Move 'em on, head 'em out! Rawhide debuted today on CBS, among the pioneers in the wave of more mature, thoughtful western television programming. Besides being known for its quality writing and willingness to tackle difficult issues, the show is perhaps best remembered today for launching the career of a certain Mr. Eastwood.
1862: Today, the inventor of the first mass-produced revolver -Samuel Colt- died in his mansion. Besides revolutionizing gunsmithing, Colt was also a pioneer of marketing. Much of his weapons' fame was gained through celebrity endorsements, publicity stunts, and paid inclusions in popular artwork of the time.
1885: Today, the notable rodeo and silent-era Western star Jack “Hart” Hoxie was born. While not as well-remembered these days as some of his contemporaries, Hoxie was featured in over a hundred cowboy pictures and received top billing alongside such folks as Fay Wray, Ann Little, Jackie Coogan... and Rin Tin Tin.
1872: Today, an old west all-star game! The Russian Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich departed on a buffalo hunt as part of a tour of America, accompanied by a number of notables including General Philip Sheridan, Lt. Col George Custer, Buffalo Bill and Texas Jack Omohundro. Alexei would score a kill with Buffalo Bill's own gun.
1929: Legendary old west lawman Wyatt Earp passed on today, aged 80. A rarity among those featured in our column: he lived a long life and died peacefully in retirement, attended by his beloved wife.
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