On October 26 1881 the Earp brothers, along with friend Doc Holliday took on the Clancy and McLaury gangs in the mining town of Tombstone in Arizona.
The famous gunfight in the streets became a global legend.
Virgil Earp was the town Marshal and along with his two brothers was struggling to keep his community free of the outlaws who were running wild in the West.
Ike and Billy Clanton, and Tom and Frank McLaury were cowboys with a bad reputation from a ranch near town.
The morning of the gunflight Ike and Tom had gone to town and got drunk. Applying town rules, the Earp brothers disarmed the pair. Enraged, and joined by Franck McLaury, the men get their guns back by the start of the afternoon and go looking for revenge.
The Earps catch up with them on Fremont street near the OK Corral, and 30 seconds of smoke and gunfire later as many bullets have been fired, and the McLaurys and Billy Clanton lie dead. Morgan and Virgil Earp are wounded, and Ike Clanton gets away unharmed.
The Earps are then tried for murder before the charges are dropped, but face constant public pressure and eventually leave Arizona in 1882 after Morgan is murdered.
Also on the 26th October: First example of use of lead pencil (1492); the Directory is invested with Executive power in France six years after the Revolution (1795 – ); first rotary washing machine patented (1858) ; Sweden recognises Norwegian independence (1905); Italian government resigns under pressure from Mussolini and Fascists (1922); the Soviet’s Luna 9 sends the first pictures from the dark side of the moon (1959); hereditary peer’s right to vote ended in Britain’s House of Lords (1999); George W. Bush signs the patriot Act (2001).
Born on the 26th October: friend to European students everywhere Erasmus, The Netherlands (1466), Domenico Scarlatti, Italian composer (1685), Leon Trotsky, Russian revolutionary (1879), Don Seigel, American director (1912), late French president François Mitterrand (1916), John Arden, British playwright (1930), Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State (1947), William “Bootsy” Collins, Planet Funk (1951).