A Bit of Perspective

A bit of perspective, that is what we get when studying history. Without that perspective we are easily manipulated by politicians, demagogues, car salesman, snake oil salesman, televangelists, newspaper reporters,…

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Myth, Legend, Fact and Fiction
The post office in Gold Road, Arizona on Route 66 courtesy Mohave Museum of History & Arts

Myth, Legend, Fact and Fiction

With the passing of time, when writing about history,

it becomes quite a challenge to separate myth and legend from fact and fiction. Even first person accounts can be fictitious when compared to facts if enough time has passed, and a story can be told so often that myth becomes truth. Adding weight to legends that become fact are first person accounts, an interview at the time of an incident that provides a perspective derived from fear, prejudice, or even shadowing that obscured detail.

Case in point, the honeymoon suite for Clark Gable and Carole Lombard at the hotel in Oatman, Arizona. Yes, the couple did marry in Kingman late one afternoon, at the Methodist Episcopal church that still stands on the corner of Fifth and Spring Streets. Yes, there was a small wedding reception at the Brunswick Hotel afterwards, and there was an early morning press conference in Los Angeles early the following morning. So, is the story of the honeymoon suite fact or fiction? If it is myth, what are the origins?

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