A Case of Mistaken Identity – Annie Oakley

By | June 19, 2019

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Annie Oakley Trick Shooting with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show - January 01, 1900. Source: (Bettmann/Getty Image #517294102

(Original Caption) Her name has become a byword. Annie Oakley, who did a trick shooting act with Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show and had European royalty goggle-eyed with her ability to handle a rifle with almost microscopic accuracy, gained immortality as a synonym for free show passes. She used to shoot holes in cars so that they looked like a punched ticket. Breaking glass balls by firing as she stood on the back of a galloping horse was Annie's specialty. This illustration shows her doing that very trick.

The Legend of Annie Oakley might not have become such a legend if a certain newspaper had gotten their way. The pen can be mightier than the sword (or the gun) if not fought back with the proper weapons. Annie Oakley was willing to do whatever it took to fight back and win.

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Annie Oakley and Her Gun. Source: (thefamouspeople.com)

Annie Oakley was born in 1860 in Darke County, Ohio. Her birth name was Phoebe Ann Moses but everyone just called her Annie. When Annie was only six years old, her father died of pneumonia. Annie’s mother struggled financially after that as Annie was one of six children. Although her mother married again, the man she married died too not long after they had a baby together. Annie helped out the family by living at the Darke County Infirmary for awhile to help out with the children there while also getting an education and learning how to sew. She returned home when she was about 14.

Even though her mother had married again, finances were still a concern, so Annie began to hunt small game for a grocery store using her father’s rifle. The game was sold to hotels and restaurants. With the money she made, she was able to pay her mother’s mortgage.