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

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Image: Heritage Auction Gallery

Tombstone was firmly in the grip of a typical Wild West mining boom, with silver bullion the prize for the diggers’ efforts. By 1880 the town’s population had already swelled, making it a burgeoning settlement of approaching 6,000 people. Consequently, the good folks of Tombstone decided that they needed some law enforcement.

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Image: Historica Graphica Collection/Heritage Images/Getty Images

And now that Tombstone had 14 gambling establishments, 110 saloon bars and countless brothels it’s easy to believe that the need for some hardened lawmen was pressing. Ultimately, the townsfolk’s desire for some law and order led to the arrival in Tombstone of probably the most famous of the O.K. Corral combatants, Wyatt Earp.

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