In March of 2010, two employees of the Superior Court in Cochise County, Arizona were reorganizing files in an old part of the jail when they found detailed witness accounts from America's most famous wild west shootout: The Gunfight at the OK Corral.
These records had been lost for decades. Evidently in the 1960s, clerks had retyped many of the original hand-written documents, but misplaced them.
For the past several years, the staffers of the Arizona State Library through the Arizona Memory Project "digitally scrubbed" the documents and have been busy cataloging and making the hand-written and typed documents available online for the public.
About the gunfight--it occurred on October 26, 1881 in Tombstone, AZ. The encounter involved four Marshals (including Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday) and five outlaws--three of the criminals were killed while two law enforcement officers were wounded.
At least, three movies have been made about the incident.
For anyone interested in American history, the collection is fantastic.
The witness statements provide insight into how many shots were fired, what type of weapons were used, and the tactics employed--I was surprised to learn that the gunfight only lasted about 30 seconds.
To see the Gunfight at the OK Corral digital document collection, click here for the Arizona Memory Project.
Note: The idea for this post came after I read this article by The State Library of Arizona.
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