What was real about Gunsmoke? Well, it was one America’s favorite radio and television series. The stories take place in and around Dodge City, Kansas, during the settlement of the American West. In Ran on radio and television a combined total of 23 years. There are are a lot of truths in that and that is the focus of this week’s Ron’s Amazing Stories the blog.
Let’s start with a false. In the long and sorted history of Dodge City there never was a sheriff, marshal or deputy named Matt Dillon. The funny part about this is that, the Chamber of Commerce for Dodge City gets requests from people asking for the records of their famous non-resident.
How about a truth? The famous Long Branch Saloon did exist, along with all of front street. The saloon was built in 1874 as the result of a wager between cowboys and soldiers playing ball. Bets were placed and if the cowboys beat the soldiers, the soldiers agreed to provide building materials to construct a saloon. The establishment burned down in 1885, and it wasn’t rebuilt.
Another truth. Dodge City was a rough place. Cowboys and outlaws alike frequented the place and it had more than its share of famous murders and gunfights. On April 5, 1879, Frank Loving and Levi Richardson, both gamblers who frequented the Long Branch Saloon had a shooting match. Loving accused Richardson of making disrespectful advances towards his wife, and the two got into an argument that turned into a gunfight from across a table. Loving was grazed on the hand by one bullet and Richardson was shot three times and died. Town Marshal Charlie Bassett arrested Loving, but on April 7, a coroner′s inquest ruled that Loving acted in self-defense and he was released without charges.
And a final false. Gunsmoke is the longest running and most successful of all dramas in the history of television. Well, at one time this was a true statement with twenty years of episodes. However, recently a daytime drama broke this record. I would argue against a soap to be included on the list but that is just me.
I Hope you enjoyed this week’s topic. Be sure to come back next week and see what I talk about next. Thank you for reading.
This Week’s Podcast:
On the podcast this week we have an interview with a very special guest, A story from America’s favorite western and another short story from O. Henry. So, be sure to join us and hear all the great stuff we have planned.
You can listen to this podcast this Thursday at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from iTunes, stream it on TuneIn Radio or listen on your radio Friday night at 8pm Eastern time. Check your local listing or find the station closest to you at this link.