Cecil Whig - - ACCENT -

To­day marks the 135th an­niver­sary of one of Amer­ica’s best known shootouts — that be­tween the Earp broth­ers and the Clan­ton-McLaury gang at the OK Cor­ral in Tomb­stone, Ari­zona.

The town had flour­ished as a min­ing spot in the years since 1877, when sil­ver was dis­cov­ered nearby. In that time, the Earp broth­ers had emerged as the pow­er­hun­gry law and or­der of the area; the Clan­ton-McLaury gang the re­bel­lious cow­boys. On this day, the lat­ter group de­cided to con­front the Earps for what they be­lieved was ruth­less, base­less en­force­ment.

The shootout fea­tured around 30 shots in a 30-se­cond burst, and it left Billy Clan­ton and the McLaury broth­ers dead. Vir­gil and Mor­gan Earp and Doc Hol­l­i­day were wounded, but sur­vived.

Oct. 27, 1932, saw the birth of one of the great Amer­i­can po­ets of the 20th cen­tury. Sylvia Plath was born in Bos­ton to a Ger­man im­mi­grant fa­ther and a se­cond-gen­er­a­tion Amer­i­can mother, of Aus­trian des­cent.

Plath ex­celled in­tel­lec­tu­ally from a young age, pub­lish­ing her first poem at 8 years old, around the time her fa­ther died due to com­pli­ca­tions from un­treated di­a­betes. She pub­lished col­lec­tions of po­etry and the novel “The Bell Jar” dur­ing her 20s, and was widely rec­og­nized for her vir­tu­osic tal­ent.

In 1956, she met the writer Ted Hughes, and they be­gan a re­la­tion­ship that would lead to a mar­riage, two chil­dren and a sub­se­quent sep­a­ra­tion. Plath strug­gled with men­tal ill­ness most of if not all her adult life, and in 1963, at 30 years old, she killed her­self in her home.

Sev­eral years later, on Oct. 29, 1966, a dif­fer­ent kind of lore took hold in Amer­i­can pop mu­sic. “96 Tears,” a song from the garage rock band ? (Ques­tion Mark) and the Mys­te­ri­ans, hit the top spot on the Bill­board pop chart.

The suc­cess of the song brought overnight at­ten­tion to an unas­sum­ing group from Michi­gan, which fea­tured a lead singer who ac­tu­ally went by the name “?” or “Ques­tion Mark” and who re­mains adamant that he is an alien. The band is some­times con­sid­ered a one-hit won­der — it never en­joyed this kind of suc­cess again — but many to­day be­lieve its mu­sic to be an early fore­run­ner to the punk move­ment of the midto late-70s.

In a much dif­fer­ent sort of his­tor­i­cal event, Martin Luther posted his 95 rev­o­lu­tion­ary the­ses to the door of Cas­tle Church in Wit­ten­burg, Ger­many, on Oct. 31, 1517. These ideas would go on to spring the Protes­tant Re­for­ma­tion.

For one, Luther con­demned the Ro­man Catholic Church for its prac­tice of ask­ing pay­ment in ex­change for for­give­ness of sins. His con­tro­ver­sial ideas and in­creas­ing pop­u­lar­ity led to his ex­com­mu­ni­ca­tion from the Catholic Church, as well as a dec­la­ra­tion from the Holy Ro­man Em­peror Charles V of Ger­many that any­one could mur­der him with­out pun­ish­ment.

Luther was pro­tected, how­ever, and lived un­til 1546, by which time he had laid the ground­work for the Protes­tant move­ment.

Five years be­fore Luther nailed his crit­i­cism to a door, one of the great ac­com­plish­ments of Re­nais­sance art was re­vealed to the pub­lic for the first time. On Nov. 1, 1512, the Sis­tine Chapel ceil­ing, painted by Michelan­gelo, opened for ex­hibit.

It took the great artist some three or four years to com­plete the work, and now it stands along­side other pro­jects, like the mar­ble David sculpture, as one of his finest. In his life­time, Michelan­gelo was con­sid­ered Europe’s top liv­ing artist; to­day he is rec­og­nized as one of the great­est artists to ever live.

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