happy birthday. Wyatt Earp (1848-1929).

210px-Wyatt_Earp_portrait

Wyatt Earp is one of the most famous historical figures of the 19th-century American West.  Born March 19th, 1848, Wyatt Earp was known first and foremost for his involvement in the notorious gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona in 1881.  However, both before and after that date, Earp moved from town to town across the Western United States, earning his living as a gunslinger, gambler, saloon keeper, miner, real estate speculator and lawman.  Along the way, in Dodge City, he made the acquaintance of Doc Holliday, another legendary gunman and gambler.  Later in life, he settled in California, and collaborated on the largely fictionalized account of his life which made him into a popular hero when it was published in 1931; two years after he died.  Whether or not you have heard of his life’s actual history, you have surely seen a hollywood-ized version of it on television and in film (he was portrayed by Kurt Russell, Kevin Costner, Harrison Ford, James Garner, Henry Fonda and more).  The following was a popular 19th-century toast:  Let’s drink the liquid of amber so bright; Let’s drink the liquid with foam snowy white; Let’s drink the liquid that brings all good cheer, Oh, where is the drink like old-fashioned beer.  Though, something tells me that Wyatt would have been more akin to toasting his birthday with whiskey, not beer.  Whatever the case, happy birthday, Wyatt Earp.

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