History Features

When Billy the Kid Was Billie the Kid

The-Parsona-nd-the-put-law_billy-the-kid_anthony-dexterCasting a woman in a male role makes sense. After all, Linda Hunt won an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actress for her performance as an Indonesian man in 1982’s The Year of Living Dangerously. Besides, look at that tintype of Billy the Kid and then read the descriptions of him: “slightly built and lithe,” “really girlish looking.” If you were making a movie called Billy the Kid, why not cast an actress in the lead role?

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Biggest Nugget in the Black Hills

/potato-creek-johnnyWhen the beloved man’s funeral cortege passed the Adams Museum on March 3, 1943, a bell began tolling. It rang 77 times, matching the years of his life. Hymns played on carillons chimed from a distance as mourners grieved graveside at Mount Moriah Cemetery overlooking Deadwood, South Dakota. John Eli Perrett had died after a two-week illness, drawing to a close an era that marked the transition from pioneer prospecting exploits in Indian territory to America’s entry into WWII.

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Did Kit Carson Win at Adobe Walls?

Battle-of-Adobe-WallsEven though Kit Carson’s battle at Adobe Walls was a major engagement, historians have written little about it.

Most people know Carson for his explorations as a mountain man; his adventures with John Charles Frémont, known as the “Great Pathfinder,” in California during the Mexican-American War; and his role in subduing the Navajos and Apaches in Arizona and New Mexico.

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Dead Wrong About Cattle Kate

Cattle-KateThey said Cattle Kate was a dirty rustler and a filthy whore.

They cried out, “rangeland justice,” when she became the only woman ever lynched in the nation as a cattle rustler.

They called her killing “justified” when six prominent cattlemen strung her up with her secret husband on a hot July Saturday in 1889 in Wyoming Territory.

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A Skirmish with the Bottle Instead of the Braves

Officers-stationed-at-Fort-Ellis-in-Montana-TerritoryThe life of a frontier soldier in the American West involved more combat with boredom than forays against hostile tribesmen. Troopers adopted a variety of healthy ways to while away the endless hours of routine garrison duty, but for those with an inclination for alcohol abuse, whiskey offered an easy escape.

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