April 16, 2012 - Cane and Derby Day

Two famous but very different men are associated with this day—and they are both known for wearing a derby hat and carrying a cane!

Bat Masterson was a lawman and gunfighter of the American West, and he had his last battle on this date in 1881. Bat's brother Jim had been threatened, so Bat went by train to Dodge City, Kansas. As soon as he got off the train, Bat got into a gunfight with his brother's enemies—and when the dust had cleared, two men were down, injured. (Both later recovered.) Bat Masterson paid an $8 fine for getting into a gunfight, and he left town that evening.

Enjoy a fictionalized version of Bat Masterson's life on Hulu. The TV-version of Masterson is that he was a cowboy “dandy,” and that he relied on his wit and his cane more than his gun. 

Charlie Chaplin was born in England on this date in 1889. He grew up to be one of the most important figures in motion-picture history and one of the greatest comic artists ever to grace the “silver screen”—even though he starred in silent movies and had to act without the benefit of dialog or sound effects.

Watch some Charlie Chaplin bits, such as “Table Ballet” and the completely absurd “Factory Scene.” 

You can see Johnny Depp's take
on the Charlie Chaplin character
in the movie 
Benny and Joon.

Also on this date:

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