Saturday, November 3, 2012

November 3: Annie Oakley

On this date in history ... 1926:

66 yr old Annie Oakley dies and is buried in Greenville OH, where she had been born. There is not NEAR the space here to give this woman her true historical due!!

·         Her husband was so distraught over her death that he stopped eating and died 18 days later.

·         Annie began developing her shooting skill at the age of 9, when she had to go out and shoot game to provide food for her widowed mother and little brother. 

·         By the time she was 15, she was able to pay off her mother’s mortgage with the money she got from selling her hunted game.

·         It is believed that she taught over 15,000 women to use a gun.  She said, “I would like to see every woman know how to handle [firearms] as naturally as they know how to handle babies."

·         Her most famous trick was splitting a card thru the edge with a .22 rifle at 90 feet AND putting several holes in the card before it hit the ground.

·         Annie gave away a lot of theater tickets to orphans and kids to her show. During her lifetime, the theatre business began referring to complimentary tickets as "Annie Oakleys". Such tickets traditionally have holes punched into them (to prevent them from being resold), reminiscent of the playing cards Oakley shot through during her sharpshooting act.       

·         She was known as “Little Sure Shot” in the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show, a name given to her by Sitting Bull who adopted her when she was in her 20s.

·         She started her climb to shooting fame when she won a $100 bet placed by Frank Butler, who bet he could beat any sharpshooter in the area.  Annie hit 25 out of 25 shots.  Butler missed one.  The two were eventually married.

·         She volunteered for the Spanish-American War but her offer was rejected.

·         She continued to set shooting records well into her 60s.

Photos courtesy of

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