This image depicts a photo taken by Tombstone photographer, C. S. Fly. It shows us how Freemont Street appeared around five years after Tombstone was founded. Click on the image for a greatly enhanced view.


During the afternoon of October 26th, the Clantons and McLaurys were at the O.K. Corral. Although their plan was to get their horses and go home, they were still making threats about the Earps. Word got back to Virgil, who decided to deputize Doc Holliday. With that move, every man in the Earp party was "a lawman."

As the Earps and Doc started their famous walk through town, they could not have known they were about to create one of the greatest legends of the American West. Their plan was simply to disarm the Cowboys at the Corral.

As the four men walked through Tombstone, they met Johnny Behan. Sheriff Behan told them not to seek out the Cowboys and that he would disarm the Cowboys at the Corral. Unfortunately, the Sheriff wasn't successful in his mission. He couldn't convince the Earps to turn around; he couldn't convince the Cowboys to give up their guns, even though he told Wyatt:

I have disarmed them.

Despite the legend, no shooting actually took place at the O.K. Corral. As the Earps and Doc made their way through town, they passed the O.K. Corral, but the Cowboys weren't there. They were in the alley by Fly's Photo Shop. 

When Virgil Earp saw the Cowboys, he told them:

Throw up your hands. I have come to disarm you.

Witnesses later testified that Billy Clanton said:

Don't shoot me, I don't want to fight

Tom McLaury opened his coat to show he was unarmed while Ike (also still unarmed) ran up to Wyatt. To this day, no one can say for sure who fired first.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 01, 2001

Updated Last Revision: Jun 06, 2019

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"FAMOUS GUNFIGHT ON FREMONT STREET" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 01, 2001. Feb 26, 2020.
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