Welcome to my all about teaching History page. Here you'll find all my latest tips and tricks. I'll

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Lots of great insights into what my students like and don't like when they are in the classroom. Even a few suprises.


Learn Our History Today: On October 26, 1881, the famous shootout at the O.K. Corral took place in Tombstone, Arizona. Widely remembered as one of the Old West’s most famous gunfights, the shootout’s origins go back to 1877, when silver was discovered in Arizona. It turned Tombstone and many other small towns like it into boom towns. Wyatt Earp, a Kansas lawman who had recently been working the violent cow town of Dodge City, moved to Tombstone in early 1881 along with his brothers Morgan and Virgil in an attempt to capitalize on the newly found riches there.

Virgil and Morgan quickly took positions as Marshals in Tombstone, an action that brought them into contact with the Clanton and McLaury brothers. Ike and Billy Clanton and Tom and Frank McLaury were notorious cattle rustlers and criminals who called themselves “cowboys.” The four cowboys soon began making threats against the Earp’s lives all while constantly violating Tombstone’s laws. Following these threats against his brothers, Wyatt decided that they should swear him in as Deputy Marshal as well. On October 26, the Clantons and McLaurys rode into Tombstone carrying rifles and wearing pistol belts in blatant violation of Tombstone’s policy against carrying guns in town. The Earps decided they had to act, and together with Wyatt’s friend Henry “Doc” Holliday, the four men marched to the O.K. Corral where the cowboys had their horses tethered and confronted the law breakers.

What happened next has been a subject of debate and controversy ever since, and nobody knows for sure exactly what occurred. What we do know is this: in less than thirty seconds, thirty shots were fired and when the smoke cleared Tom McLaury, Frank McLaury, and Billy Clanton were dead, while Morgan and Virgil Earp were wounded. It is widely believed that the gun battle began with the cowboys going for their guns first and the Earps firing back, but it is also thought that Doc Holliday may have fired first, hitting Tom McLaury with his shotgun. This firefight would go down in history as arguably the Wild West’s most famous gunfight, being immortalized in dime store novels, books, and more than three major motion pictures.

Also, on this day in U.S. history:
1774: In Philadelphia, the First Continental Congress adjourns.
1861: After 19 months of operation the Pony Express, from Missouri to California, ends.
1919: President Woodrow Wilson's veto of the Prohibition Enforcement Bill is overridden.

Help us to keep history alive in America by sharing Learn Our History with your kids and grandkids! Try Learn Our History’s new streaming service and access our entire library of animated videos FREE for 7 days! Check out our great streaming options at

Image-Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

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