- In this unusual edition of our Old West history series, everybody lives
! We've got no deaths in this entry, although fear not gorehounds; someone will surely die horribly next week.
1878: On this day, one of the essential items for any old west frontiersman was patented: the corncob pipe! It was invented by Henry Tibbe, who formed the Missouri Meerschaum company, which is still the largest manufacturer of these pipes to this day.
1890: This is the anniversary of Wyoming's statehood, the 44th state to be admitted to the union. It's interesting to note that "The Equality State" wasn't just the first state to allow women to vote - it actually gave women suffrage in 1869, when it was still a territory!
1920: On this day, famed actor Yul Brynner was born in Vladivostok, although he was known as Yulie Bryner at the time. Brynner, of course, is best known to western fans for his portrayal of master gunslinger Chris Adams in The Magnificent Seven, as well as the menacing malfunctioning android in the sci-fi/western crossover Westworld.
1876: On this day, old west legend Wild Bill Hickok rode into Deadwood along with "Calamity" Jane. During his brief stay in the legendary frontier town, he mostly played poker. Unfortunately, his premonition on the journey that Deadwood would be his final stop would turn out to be quite true...
1882: The famously polite old west outlaw Black Bart attempted to rob a Wells-Fargo stagecoach in California on this day. In response to his polite request to "please throw down your strongbox," the coach driver threw lead instead. He grazed Bart in the scalp as he fled, leaving the bandit with a scar that would last the rest of his life.
1879: On this day, the Texas legislature approved the so-called "Fifty Cent Act," which opened up over three million acres in west Texas for sale for only fifty cents an acre. This unprecedented value was a huge success, although eventually the program had to be shut down due to rampant speculation.
1894: Today, a young Butch Cassidy was sentenced to the first prison time of his career, convicted of running an extortion racket that "protected" cattle from being rustled. He was sentenced to two years at Rawlins, although he got out after 18 months.
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