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October 22, 2019, 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM @ Copper Queen Library
The story of Wyatt Earp, like so many others in our national pantheon, begins with a creation myth. Portrayed as a fearless champion of justice, Earp was said to have launched his career as a western peace officer in the dusty streets of Ellsworth, Kansas where he faced down a deadly gunfighter named Ben Thompson. Historians have analyzed this tale many times over the years, and while it has been deemed questionable at best, one of the most compelling clues to its spurious origins can be found in the letters of his biographer, Stuart N. Lake and (surprisingly enough) from scenes of the television pilot episode of The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp. This talk will examine the evidence in detail to uncover what really happened in Ellsworth during the summer of 1874.