17 May: The Man Who Invented The Wild West

Gun totin’, horse ridin’ spectacular ‘Buffalo Bill’s Wild West’ opened in Omaha, Nebraska on 17th May, 1883 – the start of a multi-decade run.


With a cast of hundreds, including Calamity Jane, Sitting Bull, and Annie ‘Get Your Gun’ Oakley, it toured the world – and forever shaped the way cowboys and Indians were represented in popular culture. 


In this episode, Olly, Rebecca and Arion reveal the little-known indoor version of the show, consider the role of Native Americans in the ensemble, and explain why the Cossacks in the cast weren’t so popular when they returned home to Georgia…  


Further reading:

Footage from Buffalo Bill’s show – from the McCracken Research Library, Wyoming:

• William F. Cody profiled at the University of Sheffield’s 

National Fairground and Circus Archive:


• ‘Ten Things You May Not Know About Annie Oakley’, from History: