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Sunday, September 23, 2018

September 23rd...This Day in History (Billy the Kid arrested for first time + others)

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Billy the Kid arrested for first time 1875


On this day in 1875, Billy the Kid is arrested for the first time after stealing a basket of laundry. He later broke out of jail and roamed the American West, eventually earning a reputation as an outlaw and murderer and a rap sheet that allegedly included 21 murders.

The exact details of Billy the Kid’s birth are unknown, other than his name, William Henry McCarty. He was probably born sometime between 1859 and 1861, in Indiana or New York. As a child, he had no relationship with his father and moved around with his family, living in Indiana, Kansas, Colorado and Silver City, New Mexico. His mother died in 1874 and Billy the Kid—who went by a variety of names throughout his life, including Kid Antrim and William Bonney—turned to crime soon afterward.

McCarty did a stint as a horse thief in Arizona before returning to New Mexico, where he hooked up with a gang of gunslingers and cattle rustlers involved in the notorious Lincoln County War between rival rancher and merchant factions in Lincoln County in 1878. Afterward, Billy the Kid, who had a slender build, prominent crooked front teeth and a love of singing, went on the lam and continued his outlaw’s life, stealing cattle and horses, gambling and killing people. His crimes earned him a bounty on his head and he was eventually captured and indicted for killing a sheriff during the Lincoln County War. Billy the Kid was sentenced to hang for his crime; however, a short time later, he managed another jail break, murdering two deputies in the process. Billy the Kid’s freedom was brief, as Sheriff Pat Garrett caught up with the desperado at Fort Sumner, New Mexico, on July 14, 1881, and fatally shot him.

Although his life was short, Billy the Kid’s legend grew following his death. Today he is a famous symbol of the Old West, along with such men as Kit Carson, Jesse James, Wild Bill Hickok, Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp, and his story has been mythologized and romanticized in numerous films, books, TV shows and songs. Each year, tourists visit the town of Fort Sumner, located about 160 miles southeast of Albuquerque, to see the Billy the Kid Museum and gravesite.

(More Events on This Day in History)

MUSIC
1972
Mac Davis earns one of the 1970s’ most head-scratching #1 hits with “Baby Don’t Get Hooked on Me”
On this day in 1972, “Baby Don’t Get Hooked On Me” by singer-songwriter Mac Davis reached the top of the American pop charts. In a year that not only saw Congress pass the Equal Rights Amendment, but also saw Helen Reddy score a #1 hit with her feminist anthem “I Am Woman,” “Baby ...

GENERAL INTEREST
1779
John Paul Jones victorious
During the American Revolution, the U.S. ship Bonhomme Richard, commanded by John Paul Jones, wins a hard-fought engagement against the British ships of war Serapis and Countess of Scarborough off the east coast of England.Scottish-born John Paul Jones first sailed to America as ...

GENERAL INTEREST
1806
Lewis and Clark return
Amid much public excitement, American explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark return to St. Louis, Missouri, from the first recorded overland journey from the Mississippi River to the Pacific coast and back. The Lewis and Clark Expedition had set off more than two years ...

GENERAL INTEREST
1846
Eighth planet discovered
German astronomer Johann Gottfried Galle discovers the planet Neptune at the Berlin Observatory. Neptune, generally the eighth planet from the sun, was postulated by the French astronomer Urbain-Jean-Joseph Le Verrier, who calculated the approximate location of the planet by ...

GENERAL INTEREST
1964
Chagall’s ceiling unveiled
The Paris Opera unveils a stunning new ceiling painted as a gift by Belorussian-born artist Marc Chagall, who spent much of his life in France. The ceiling was typical of Chagall’s masterpieces—childlike in its apparent simplicity yet luminous with color and evocative of the ...

AUTOMOTIVE
1933
Standard Oil geologists arrive in Saudi Arabia
On September 23, 1933, a party of American geologists lands at the Persian Gulf port of Jubail in Saudi Arabia and begins its journey into the desert. That July, with the discovery of a massive oil field at Ghawar, Saudi King Abdel Aziz had granted the Standard Oil Company of ...