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Humpday History Highlight

By Wyatt Earp | October 21, 2009

This is five days early, but I figured it was appropriate for the blog.

October 26, 1881 – The Gunfight at the OK Corral

On the morning of October 25, Ike Clanton and Tom McLaury came into Tombstone for supplies. Over the next 24 hours, the two men had several violent run-ins with the Earps and their friend Doc Holliday. Around 1:30 p.m. on October 26, Ike’s brother Billy rode into town to join them, along with Frank McLaury and Billy Claiborne. The first person they met in the local saloon was Holliday, who was delighted to inform them that their brothers had both been pistol-whipped by the Earps. Frank and Billy immediately left the saloon, vowing revenge.

Around 3 p.m., the Earps and Holliday spotted the five members of the Clanton-McLaury gang in a vacant lot behind the OK Corral, at the end of Fremont Street. The famous gunfight that ensued lasted all of 30 seconds, and around 30 shots were fired. Though it’s still debated who fired the first shot, most reports say that the shootout began when Virgil Earp pulled out his revolver and shot Billy Clanton point-blank in the chest, while Doc Holliday fired a shotgun blast at Tom McLaury’s chest. Though Wyatt Earp wounded Frank McLaury with a shot in the stomach, Frank managed to get off a few shots before collapsing, as did Billy Clanton. When the dust cleared, Billy Clanton and the McLaury brothers were dead, and Virgil and Morgan Earp and Doc Holliday were wounded. Ike Clanton and Claiborne had run for the hills.(H/T -

Cochise County Sheriff John Behan charged the Earps and Holliday with murder, but they were later acquitted by a Tombstone judge. Fair or not, history paints the Earps and Holliday as the heroes of the incident.

Topics: HHH | 10 Comments »

10 Responses to “Humpday History Highlight”

  1. John D Says:
    October 21st, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    It’s like the man says, “History is written by the victors.”

    I love Tombstone, the movie and the town. I’ve been there three times now, and I’d go back again in a heartbeat.

  2. Todd Says:
    October 21st, 2009 at 9:32 pm


    Saw that you were a Philly police detective, probably know all about the Acorn Video Sting thing.

    We blogging lunatics have been trying to figure out how to read the police report in the link below

    Anyway if you could maybe post a guide to help us out at (or e-mail me on) so we can either gloat over our conspiracy theories or shoot them down (probably the later) LOL

    Thanks, Todd

  3. Wyatt Earp Says:
    October 21st, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    John D – I do as well. Unfortunately, it rained during the only time I was in Tombstone.

    Todd – Long story short, the part you want to be concerned with is the story in the middle. The rest of just police coding/information, and the participant’s names. It’s a valid report, though, and has already been through Reports Control – the unit which goes over every report for accuracy. That’s why it was signed by the corporal on the right.

  4. Glenn Cassel AMH1(AW) USN Retired Says:
    October 21st, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    In June we have to cover the fight at the Little Big Horn. I had a shirt-tail relative who was KIA on the second day of the fight. If you want to call it a fight.
    BTW, there Wyatt, I have started a blog for my recent adventure with cancer. It is entitled Old Retired Petty Officer at I figured it might be a good idea. I have been doing posts at Parrothead Jeff and Friends but the lady we have doesn’t deal to well with the surgical details. But I thought, what the heck?
    Still pulling for you buddy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Bill R. Says:
    October 22nd, 2009 at 5:29 am

    Wow, Wyatt. I lived in Phoenix for a long time while in the A.F. They have something like 340 days of sunshine a year in the Sonora desert. How’d you manage to pick a rainy day? I also remember when it was safe to go to Nogales.

  6. kaveman Says:
    October 22nd, 2009 at 10:02 am

    That clip has one of the great “movie mistakes” involving guns…

    3 successive shots out of a double barrel shotgun.

  7. RobD Says:
    October 22nd, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    I also lived in Tucson for a while and went to Tombstone a bunch of times. The Birdcage Theater is a must, it is like going back in time, bullet holes in the ceiling and all. A cool fact is that the no guns law in Tombstone only recently was taken off the books(preempted by state law I believe).

  8. RobD Says:
    October 22nd, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    Another cool place nearby Tombstone is Cochise Stronghold. He is buried somewhere in the stronghold is believed.

  9. Wyatt Earp Says:
    October 23rd, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    Glenn – You have been linked, sir.

    Bill R – It was the only day of the week it rained. My sons were super pissed to miss the reenactment.

    Kaveman – Didn’t even notice. Shame on me.

    RobD – We went to The Birdcage. It was awesome!

  10. Glenn Cassel AMH1(AW) USN Retired Says:
    October 23rd, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    Roger that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!