Calamity Jane and Annie Oakley, the female faces of the wild west!
Apart from Saloon Gals.
Martha Jane Canary better known as Calamity Jane worked as a frontier scout and re-enacted her escapades for the Wild Bill Hickcock’s Wild West Show. You can see just how off the movie was for casting, this butch cross dressing woman.
In 1896, she dictated autobiographical booklet for publicity purposes – not leaving to chance for poets and bards and story tellers in bars.
Annie Oakley, the femme with a shotgun. The idea of public persona, reputation and image control – like photography and filmography at the time – was a new idea.
In 1904, sensational cocaine prohibition stories were selling well. The newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst published a false story that Oakley had been arrested for stealing to support a cocaine habit. The woman actually arrested was a burlesque performer who told Chicago police that her name was “Annie Oakley”.
Most of the newspapers that printed the story had relied on the Hearst article, and upon learning of the libelous error, they immediately retracted the false story with apologies. Hearst, however, tried to avoid paying the anticipated court judgments of $20,000 ($526,741 in today’s dollars) by sending an investigator to Darke County, Ohio, with the intent of collecting reputation-smearing gossip from Oakley’s past. The investigator found nothing.
The original Annie Oakley spent much of the next six years winning 54 of 55 libel lawsuits against newspapers. She collected less in judgments than were her legal expenses, but to her, a restored reputation justified the loss of time and money.
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