Locals, who have been to Tombstone and taken Dr. Jay’s enlightening and entertaining walking tour, know fact from fiction. But our European visitors have a difficult time distinguishing between actual historical events and legends. To help, I am working on a series for my ‘Local History’ section. Here is the second one on Wyatt Earp.

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Photo of Wyatt Earp in 1923

Wyatt Earp. Photo taken in 1923. He died in Los Angeles in 1929.

After what became the most famous gunfight in history, Wyatt Earp went on what became known as the Earp Vendetta Ride to avenge the ambush that crippled his older brother, Virgil, and the assassination of his younger brother, Morgan, by a gang of outlaws known as “The Cowboys”.

However, by the 1920’s, Wyatt Earp was an almost forgotten lawman of the Old West who had been trying unsuccessfully to sell his story to Hollywood movie producers for more than a decade. Near poverty, Mr. Earp was living in a Los Angeles hotel with his wife of 40-plus years, Josephine Sarah (Sadie) Marcus.

His lack of notoriety began to change when Stuart Lake’s Wyatt Earp: Frontier Marshall was published in 1931, two years after Mr. Earp’s death.

Since then, there have been hundreds of books and thousands of magazine, newspaper, and Internet articles published about Mr. Earp and the gunfight that made Tombstone, AZ world famous. Read More