this day in crime history: october 26, 1881

The graves of Billy Clanton and the McLaury brothers in Boot Hill Cemetery.

On this date in 1881, the feud that had been brewing between the Earps and the Cowboys came to a head in Tombstone, AZ. Wyatt, Virgil, and Morgan Earp, along with their friend Doc Holliday, confronted Ike and Billy Clanton, Tom and Frank McClaury, and Billy Claiborne in a lot next to the OK Corral. Ike Clanton (who was unarmed) and Billy Claiborne fled the scene unscathed. Billy Clanton and the McClaury brothers stayed and shot it out with Holliday and the Earps. The gunfight lasted maybe 30 seconds, and when it was over, two of the Earps (Morgan and Virgil) and Doc Holliday were wounded, and Billy Clanton and the McClaury brothers were dead.

Further reading:

My 2007 blog post on the gunfight (with pictures from my trips to Tombstone)

The Notorious Clanton Gang

Wikipedia: Gunfight at the O.K. Corral

OK Corral Famous Gunfight Site

Wyatt Earp’s Testimony Re: The Gunfight at the OK Corral 

5 thoughts on “this day in crime history: october 26, 1881

  1. John D.:
    I’ve yet to see any western movie that ACCURATELY depicts this gunfight…the History channel did a good reenactment in an area that was more closely resembling the actual location…which was more like an alley than what we see in the flicks.

    Great story…never gets old (imho).

    Ride safe out there.

    Like

  2. Tombstone. Still one of my all time favorite westerns. Very loosely based on history but still a good watch. You’re no daisy at all!

    Like

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