On this day in 1881, the Gunfight at the OK Corral occurred. It’s famous because it has been mythologized. It didn’t become a thing until Stuart Lake’s 1931 fictional biography, Wyatt Earp: Frontier Marshal. This led directly to a number of films, ultimately, Gunfight at the OK Corral, which solidified the name, even though it didn’t take place at the OK Corral.
It’s also famous because things like that didn’t much happen: a group of guys facing off against each other and just firing. The whole thing took 30 second during which time about 30 shots were fired. I assume it had more to do with panic than anything else. The same thing happens to nervous police officers all the time.
Basically, the whole thing was just a conflict between rival gangs. The Earps might have had the cover of law. But when Morgan Earp was killed, Wyatt took out a personal vendetta when the legal system didn’t provide him with the justice that he considered his. I don’t bring it up because I think that Wyatt Earp was an especially horrible man. It’s just that, as usual, history is written by the winners.