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This Day in Georgia History

August 14, 1851

Doc Holliday Born

John H. Holliday was born in Griffin, Georgia. His father became a major in the Confederate Army, but continued illness forced him to leave military service. In 1864, Holliday’s family moved to Valdosta. After the war, Holliday attended Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery. After graduating in 1872, he moved to Atlanta and began the practice of dentistry. The next year, Holliday was diagnosed as having tuberculosis and was advised to move to the drier climate of the West. He moved to Texas, where he continued practicing dentistry but also became interested in gambling and becoming proficient with a revolver. In 1877, Holliday met Wyatt Earp in Fort Griffin, Texas, which led to a friendship the rest of his life. Holliday moved to Dodge City, Kansas, and then on to New Mexico before rejoining Earp, who was now a deputy U.S. marshal in Tombstone, Arizona. On Oct. 26, 1881, the Georgia-born dentist and gunfighter - now known as “Doc” Holliday - joined Wyatt and two Earp brothers in a standoff with Ike Clanton and his gang of gunfighters. They met at O.K. Corral, where the Earps and Holliday gunned down three of the Clanton gang in what was later memorialized in the movie “Gunfight at O.K. Corral.” Holliday, however, was not well. His health continued to decline, and he died in a sanatorium in Glenwood Springs, Colo. on Nov. 8, 1887.