The Downfall of the American Cowboy

As the need for ranch workers has dwindled, the iconic status of cowboys has continued to grow. By Farah Mohammed America loves cowboys, from the swaggering heroes of the silver screen, to legends like Buffalo Bill, to today’s bestselling videogames, such as Red Dead Redemption 2. Even presidents turn to the iconic cowboy hat and boots to endear themselves to the public and make[…]

Why a 30-Second Gun Fight in 1881 Still Captures Our Imaginations

The O.K. Corral is a human-sized, emotionally satisfying revenge drama that affirms our thirst for justice. On October 26, 1881, nine armed men faced one another in a vacant lot near a livery stable in the silver-mining boomtown of Tombstone, Arizona. Four sworn officers intended to arrest a handful of civilians who were carrying guns[…]

Exploring a Wild West Ghost Town That Emerged from a Watery Grave

Founded in 1865, St. Thomas, Nevada, was initially settled by Mormons drawn by Muddy Creek, a tributary that flows into the Colorado River. By Dora Mekouar Drought conditions in the Western part of the United States have allowed an old Nevada town once submerged deep beneath Lake Mead to emerge from its watery grave. Founded[…]

Washington Irving Was the Original City Slicker. Here’s What Happened When He Went West.

Washington Irving leaves Gotham to explore the frontier. As he entered New York City on May 21, 1832, Washington Irving, the acclaimed author of “Rip Van Winkle,” was having a Rip Van Winkle moment of his own. Irving had charmed thousands of readers with the story of Rip, a henpecked husband who falls asleep for[…]

How Dodge City Became the Ultimate Wild West

Fake news and smoking guns made the Kansas town a symbol of frontier lawlessness. Everywhere American popular culture has penetrated, people use the phrase “Get out of Dodge” or “Gettin’ outta Dodge” when referring to some dangerous or threatening or generally unpleasant situation. The metaphor is thought to have originated among U.S. troops during the[…]