Roger L. Nichols is a professor emeritus of history and American Indian studies at the University of Arizona, and a former president of the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association. He has received four Fulbright appointments and three National Endowment for the Humanities awards. Prior to coming to Arizona, he taught at the University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh, the University of Maryland, and the University of Georgia as well as at four universities in Germany. His teaching and research interests focus on nineteenth-century American frontier settlement, Indians in American history, and comparative Indian affairs in the United States and Canada. The most recent of his twelve books are Tombstone, Deadwood, and Dodge City: Recreating the Frontier West (2018) coauthored with Kevin Britz; American Indians in U.S. History (2nd edition, 2014) and Natives and Strangers: A History of Ethnic Americans (6th edition, 2015), coauthored with David M. Reimers and Leonard Dinnerstein.
This lecture will show how the three towns used their boomtown violence and notorious characters to become "Wild West" centers. Aided by popular literature, films and television, they created boot hill cemeteries, public reenactments of incidents like the Gunfight at the OK Corral, and historic sites to create their modern images.