On This Day in History

History Today Reviews Feed

Feed of all stories, blog posts and videos from the History Today website
  • Make America Great (Britain) Again!

    When Joe Biden said ‘God save the Queen’, was he heralding the end of the republic?

  • William ‘Buffalo Bill’ Cody dies

    William ‘Buffalo Bill’ Cody dies

    By History Today

    The frontiersman and showman died on January 10, 1917.
    [[{"fid":"27546","view_mode":"float_right","fields":{"format":"float_right","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Portrait of William 'Buffalo Bill' Cody","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"Portrait of William 'Buffalo Bill' Cody"},"type":"media","attributes":{"alt":"Portrait of William 'Buffalo Bill' Cody","title":"Portrait of William 'Buffalo Bill' Cody","class":"media-element file-float-right"},"link_text":null}]]The ultimate entertainer, ‘Buffalo Bill’ was as much showman as he was frontiersman and helped create a fantastical image of the Wild West. Born to a farming family on February 26th, 1846, Cody spent his early years in Iowa, working in a variety of short-lived jobs: joining parties hunting for gold and riding for the Pony Express. During the Civil War, he was part of a group of anti-slavery guerrillas in Kansas, which led to him joining the Seventh Kansas Volunteer Cavalry in 1864. As it expanded through the West, the railroad company hired him to provide meat for their workers, for which he killed up to 12 buffalo a day. It was for this that he earned the name ‘Buffalo Bill’.In July 1869 he met the dime novelist Ned Buntline, who interviewed him and wrote a serial for the New York Weekly. Although titled ‘Buffalo Bill, the King of Border Men’ and billed as ‘the wildest and truest story he ever wrote’, it was mostly based on the life of ‘Wild Bill’ Hickock.In 1872, following Buntline’s suggestion, Cody made his first appearance in a play, The Scouts of the Prairie. For the next few years he switched between scouting for the army, guiding hunting parties and touring in plays. On occasion his activities on the frontier – such as his role in the death of Cheyenne chief Yellow Hand during the Sioux War of 1876 – became source material, helping to build his legend. Off the back of his growing popularity, Cody produced his Buffalo Bill Wild West show in 1883. Like a circus with its attractions, it recreated the Pony Express, Indian attacks on wagon trains, sharpshooters and parades of costumed groups on horseback. Huge audiences came to watch fantastic battles and dramatic deaths, with performers playing it up for the enthusiastic crowds. It featured such personalities as Annie Oakley and the Sioux chief Sitting Bull, but Cody was its star attraction.The show peaked at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago, where it attracted six million people. Cody continued to star in the show until his retirement in 1912.He died in Denver, where 25,000 people paid respects to his coffin and was buried six months later in a steel vault on Lookout Mountain overlooking the city. He remains synonymous with the image of the Wild West.
  • The world according to Churchill

    Churchill’s vision of Britain’s role in the world may provide the key to Brexit.

  • Utopia: a voyage of exploration

    Thomas More's journey to Utopia.

  • The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare

    Soon after arriving behind enemy lines, in France in 1943, special agent Harry Ree heard the engines of 165 RAF Halifax bombers overhead. Their...

Local Weather

Quick Contact

Contact us

If you want more information, fill in this form. We will get back to you as soon as possible.