Wednesday, July 25, 2007

"Little Sure Shot"

This is a picture of the famous frontier sharpshooter and international showgirl Annie Oakley holding an animal pelt. Annie overcame very difficult childhood circumstances and went on to become a "star" in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. She was America's first female superstar.

Another performer in Buffalo Bill's show, Sitting Bull, "adopted" the five-foot-tall Annie and gave her the Indian sobriquet "Watanya Cicilla," which was translated by Buffalo Bill's promoters as "Little Sure Shot."

A Lakota chief and holy man, Sitting Bull is famous because he defeated Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer on June 25-26, 1876 in the Battle of Little Bighorn.

Sitting Bull is one of the most famous Indians in American history. According to Wikipedia:

In 1885, Sitting Bull was allowed to leave the reservation to join Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West show. He was rumored to earn about US$50 a week for riding once around the arena, where he was a popular attraction. Often asked to address the audience, he frequently cursed them in his native tongue to the wild applause of his listeners.

On a European tour, "Little Sure Shot" knocked the ashes off a cigarette held by the future Kaiser Wilhelm. It was widely reported by "some uncharitable people" that "if Annie would have shot Wilhelm and not his cigarette, she could have prevented World War I." [Wikipedia]

Hollywood has immortalized Annie in Irving Berlin's musical Annie Get Your Gun. The musical has the hit songs "There's No Business Like Show Business" and "Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better." At the end of this video, Annie sings, "You Can't Get a Man with a Gun." [Fun video of the musical's hit songs]

Perhaps you can't get a man with a gun; still, you can probably get a fellow's goat if you can shoot his butt out of his mouth.

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