Thursday, August 2, 2012

This Day in History August 2, 1876

This was not a good day for the person featured above.  On this date in 1876, Wild Bill Hickok (pictured above) was shot and killed.  He real name was James Butler Hickok, and he was born May 27, 1837, in Troy Grove, Illinois.  His fame was widespread due to his reputation as a lawman and gunfighter in the Old West.  He was a skilled fighter, but he did one time shoot his deputy by mistake--not a good day for either of them.

It was on this particular date that he was sitting in Nuttal and Mann's Saloon #10 in Deadwood, Dakota territory.  He was playing a poker game, and he was shot in the back of the head by Jack McCall (it was reportedly the first time he had ever sat with his back to an open door).  Hickok's cards at the time of his death were an ace of spades, an ace of clubs, two black eights (clubs and spades), and the jack of diamonds.  This hand became known as aces and eights--the dead man's hand.

Interestingly enough, his murderer got off in an illegal trial in Deadwood.  After all, it was an outlaw town.  Thankfully, he was found guilty in Yankton, Dakota territory.  McCall was found guilty and hanged for his crime March 1, 1877.

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  1. I always enjoy the interesting historical nuggets you find for us!

  2. I didn't know this, my husband the history major didn't know it either. Thanks for sharing!


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