The Story Of What Really Happened During The Shootout At The O.K. Corral

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Image: American Experience

The year is 1881, and it’s around three in the afternoon on October 26, a Wednesday. There’s already been trouble that day in the Wild West township of Tombstone, Arizona. Consequently, two groups of armed men are facing off in a vacant lot by the O.K. Corral. And there’s a lethal showdown brewing for sure.

Image: Grombo

We’ll come back to just who those two groups of men were and why they were sworn enemies later. But first let’s learn a little about the venue of their clash, Tombstone. The town is in the south of Arizona, just about 26 miles from the Mexican border as the crow flies.

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Image: Terryballard

Today, the town has a population of around 1,300, and its main source of income is the tourism generated by the fact that it hosted the O.K. Corral shootout almost 140 years ago. As many as 450,000 visitors travel there each year. Tombstone’s second claim to fame is as the home of the largest rose bush in the world.

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