If you ever go to Tombstone, Arizona one thing you DON’T want to do is speculate aloud over who started the infamous O.K. Corral gunfight. Even though the courts found the Earps and Doc Holliday innocent of murder, there is still a lot of controversy over whether Holliday and Morgan Earp fired the first two shots of the historic gunfight… and whether or not that shooting was justified.
The southeast corner of Fremont Street and 3rd Street is where the O.K. Corral, now a major tourist location, still stands. The original gunfight took place in the empty alley north of the O.K. Corral between Fly’s Lodging House and Photographic Studio and the MacDonald Assay House to the west. At 3 P.M. on Wednesday, October 26, 1881 approximately thirty shots were fired in thirty seconds. Wyatt Earp walked away from the gunfight unscathed. Virgil Earp, Morgan Earp, and Doc Holliday sustained minor wounds. Ike Clanton (whose aptly named descendant, Ike Clanton, still lives in Tombstone) and Billy Claiborne ran through the gunfight uninjured. There were three casualties when the fray was finished—Billy Clanton, Frank McLaury and Tom McLaury all sustained fatal wounds in the gunfight.
While the justification of the shooting is still heavily debated to this day, one thing is certain—Billy Clanton is not resting in his afterlife. Continue reading