The most famous western gunfight occurred in Tombstone at the O.K. Corral on October 26, 1881. The fight was over, who held the power in Cochise County. The battle was between the McLowery clan and the Clanton clan, who were cattle rustlers on the side and U.S. Marshall Wyatt Earp, his brothers and Doc Holiday, a notorious gunfighter.
The fight took place in a lot at Freemont and 3rd Street. It started with the Clanton group stirring up trouble with tough talk. Wyatt Earp responded by sticking a gun into the belly of one of the Clanton’s, who fled the scene. Then, within seconds the gunfight started. When the dust cleared, three of the Clanton clan members were dead and two of the Earp brothers were seriously injured.
The battle continued with the Earp brothers and Doc Holiday being cleared of murder charges. Then a few months later, in the dark of night Virgil Earp was shot. The injury left him with a crippled arm for life. Later, Morgan Earp was shot and killed. Wyatt Earp was angered by these shootings and killed three men he suspected of making these attacks.
Many historians still discuss and argue what really happened that day. There are many accounts of what took place. When you visit the O.K. Corral today, you will learn of one version. The story is shown by life-sized figures standing in the corral where the fight took place. A narrator describes the shootout, which has made Tombstone famous. Nearby you will see the Fly Photographic Studio which houses historical photographs of Geronimo’s surrender.
The O.K. Corral is located on Allen and Third Street in downtown Tombstone. You can get there from U.S. Highway 80 by heading south on Third Street. You will travel south on Third Street, until you come to the corner of Allen and Third. You will see signs directing you to the corral.
Many Hollywood movies have been made about this famous gun battle, it is exciting to walk were this piece of history took place. It is a must see when visiting Tombstone.