Hi Everybody...I was gonna do a little thing about ...This Day in History!
But not much of interest happened on this date. I don't think you wanted to hear about John Dillinger joining the Navy to avoid arrest in 1923. But yesterdays date was kinda interesting...July 21, 1865. That was the date usually attributed to the first "Showdown" in the Old West.
In Springfield Missouri 1865, Wild Bill Hickock was eking out a living as a professional gambler.
During a card game with someone that he already knew ( a former Union Soldier named Dave Tutt), Tutt brought up the subject of a past debt. Wild Bill did indeed fess up to owing him some money, and handed him 25 Dollars. But Tutt insisted that Bill owed him 35 Dollars and snatched a very nice pocket watch of Bills off of the table in front of him. An argument ensued, and it was agreed to settle the dispute with guns, and in the street the next day. Bills final words that night before leaving was.."And Dave, don't you be wearing that watch tomorrow!"
So sure enough at High Noon on the streets of Springfield Missouri, Dave Tutt was seen purposfully pulling out the watch and very obviously gazing at it for a long time. This incensed Wild Bill, but he kept his cool. As they faced off in the middle of the street, they stopped and stared intently and silently at one another. They were an unusually long distance from each other, about 75 feet, Tutt's nerve's got the best of him and he drew first and fired at Bill, missing him. Wild Bill then drew his cap and ball revolver, took dead aim, and shot Dave Tutt right through the heart, killing him within seconds. He then very calmly walked over to the dead body, removed his watch from the corpse, and mosied over to the saloon.
Bill was arrested for murder, but a jury acquitted him because of self-defense.....
Harpers Magazine later published a very sensational account of the duel, and that article made Wild Bill a Household name. But on August 2nd in 1876, Wild Bill walked into Nuttal and Manns Saloon in Deadwood South Dakota seeking a card game. Bill always sat in a corner chair so he could protect himself from a sneak attack, but all of the chairs were taken, so he sat in the only available seat....With his back facing the door! Sure as shit, some glory seeking yahoo named Jack McCall snuck up behind Wild Bill and shot him in the head with a 45 caliber revolver.
It was said at the time, that the Poker hand that Bill was holding when he was gunned down was a pair of Aces, and a pair of Eights. And ever since in Poker, Aces and Eights is known as "The Dead Man's Hand".!!..McCall was tried, acquitted, Re-tried ( S.D. was only a Territory, and NOT a state, so there was NO double indemnity), found guilty, and hanged!!
I've been to Deadwood, I have the T-Shirt to prove it.
And now you know...The rest of the story!!