Little Bits of History

Little Sure Shot

Posted in History by patriciahysell on April 16, 2010

Little Miss Sure Shot, herself

April 16, 1922: Phoebe Mozee, or Moses, shoots 100 clay pigeons in a row from a distance of 16 yards at the age of 62. She was born to Quaker parents in Darke Country, Ohio in 1860 and was the fifth of seven children. When her father died and her mother remarried, she was sent to live in an orphanage. She had no formal schooling and later lived with a local family in near servitude where she was physically and mentally abused.

Phoebe became proficient with guns and could shoot with remarkable accuracy. She could shoot heads off running quail by the time she was twelve. She went to Cincinnati, Ohio when she was sixteen and bested Frank Butler, himself an accomplished marksman. In fact, he was so impressed with the backwoods girl, he eventually married her.

Phoebe was good with rifles, shotguns, and six-guns or pistols. The petite woman stood only five feet tall but her personally made her seem so much larger. She thrilled crowds at home and abroad. She once shot, with a .22 rifle, 4,472 out of 5,000 glass balls thrown into the air. She could hit playing cards that were thrown with the edge facing her. At 90 feet, she could hit a dime tossed in the air.

Phoebe and Frank toured with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show for 17 years. Our heroine became famous worldwide for her skill with any kind of firearm. Chief Sitting Bull was so awed by her marksmanship, he dubbed her “Little Sure Shot.”  She toured Europe and even shot the ash from a cigarette held by Wilhelm, Crown Prince of Germany. She usually shot the ash from the cigarette as her husband held it between his lips, and the Crown Prince was willing to do this, but he only held it in his hand. She is best known by her middle name and a name she choose, seemingly from a place near her birth. We know her as Annie Oakley.

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” – e.e. cummings

“Almost every man wastes part of his life in attempts to display qualities which he does not possess, and to gain applause which he cannot keep.” – Samuel Johnson

“Ability is of little account without opportunity.” – Napoleon

“If you are still talking about what you did yesterday, you haven’t done much today.” – unknown

Also on this day, in 1945 the refugee ship Goya was sunk in the Baltic Sea, killing thousands aboard.

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