The gunfight at the O.K. Corral was roughly 30 seconds long and took place on October 26th 1881 in Tombstone, Arizona Territory. Although only three men were killed during the gunfight, it is regarded to be one of the most famous gunfights in the Old West.
The Gunfight was quite unknown to the public until 1931 when author Stuart Lake published a biography (Wyatt Earp: Frontier Marshall) two years after Wyatt’s death. Lake retold his story in 1946 in a book that director, John Ford, developed into the movie My Darling Clementine. After the movie Gunfight at the O.K. Corral was released in 1957, the shootout came to be known as that name. The conflict has since been portrayed with varying accuracy in numbers of Western films and books.
The Gunfight Begins
At the beginning Virgil Earp immediately commanded the Cowboys to throw up their and hands and that he wants their guns but instead the cowboy’s reached to draw their guns. Virgil and Wyatt saw Frank McLaury and Billy Clanton draw and cock their six-shooters. Virgil yelled “Hold! I don’t mean that!” Two shots went off right together. Billy Clanton’s was one of them. Billy leveled his pistol at Wyatt but Wyatt didn’t aim at him. He knew that Frank Mclaury had the reputation of being a good shot and a dangerous man, so he aimed at him. Virgil and Wyatt thought Tom McLaury was armed. When shooting started, Wyatt saw Tom throw his hand to his hip and run behind the horse he was holding and then shot once over the horses back.
Doc Holliday eventually stepped forward and fired his shotgun into Tom McLaury’s chest. Ike Clanton ran forward and grabbed Wyatt saying that he was unarmed and didn’t want to fight. Wyatt responded “Go to fighting or get away!” Ike Clanton ran through the front door of Fly’s Boarding House and escaped, unwounded. Billy Claiborne also ran from the fight. After shooting Tom, Holliday tossed the shotgun aside, pulled out his revolver,...