James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickock (1837-1876) became famous throughout the whole of 19th century America for his skills with weaponry, gambling and his outrageous, larger-than-life personality. Like many denizens of the Old West, Wild Bill traveled from town to town trying his hand at different professions, but it was his marksmanship, or perhaps his own outrageous accounts of it, that earned him renown.
His exploits and wild tales had made him more than a few enemies and Wild Bill fell into the habit of finding a seat in the corner of saloons to protect himself from surprise attacks. On the day of August 1, 1876, however, Nuttal & Mann's Saloon No. 10 was packed and Hickock could
only be seated at the center of the room, with his back to a door. Jack McCall entered the room and shot Wild Bill from behind as he played poker. Hickock's cards (two aces, two eights and a jack) have since come to be known as the "Dead Man's Hand."
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