The Saturday Evening Post

HOW DODGE CITY BECAME THE ULTIMATE WILD WEST

Ever y where A merican popular culture has penetrated, people use the phrase “Get out of Dodge” or “Gettin’ outta Dodge” when referring to some dangerous or threatening or generally unpleasant situation. The metaphor is thought to have originated among U.S. troops during the Vietnam War, but it anchors the idea that early Dodge City, Kansas, was an epic, world-class theater of interpersonal violence and civic disorder.

“A gentleman wishing to go from Wichita to Dodge City, applied to a friend for a letter of introduction. He was handed a double-barreled shotgun and a Colt’s revolver.”

Consider this passage from the 2013 British crime novel by Torquil MacLeod: “The drive to Carlisle took about 25 minutes. The ancient city had seen its fair share of violent history over the centuries as warring Scots and English families had clashed. The whole Border area between the two fractious countries had been

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