If the mention of Judge Isaac Parker doesn’t ring a bell, perhaps you will remember Hang ‘em High, a popular Western from 1968 starring Clint Eastwood. The movie was loosely based on He Hanged Them High, a book by Homer Croy that was, in turn, loosely based on the life and times of Judge Parker. In the movie, Eastwood portrayed a U.S. marshal who brought wrongdoers in to face the judge.
Fort Smith National Historic Site
Western justice -- the kind delivered with a short rope and a long drop -- will be a frequent topic for discussion this month at Fort Smith National Historic Site, which preserves the site where more than a few hangings were carried out in the late 1800s.
A special event at Fort Smith National Historic Site on April 10 will offer the chance to interact with historical characters portraying U.S. Deputy Marshals and Chickasaw Light Horsemen. Tours of the jails, the gallows and Judge Parker's courtroom plus a photo op with a reproduction 1890 jail wagon will be followed by an outdoor screening of the movie True Grit.
Finicky bears, addled boaters, a cannon that was, a cannonball that wasn’t. In 2009, these and other outside-the-box stories reminded us that you just never know what you’re going to run into – or what might run into you -- in America’s national parks.
He was known, quite appropriately, as the "hanging judge." During his 21 years at Fort Smith, Judge Isaac C. Parker sent 160 men to the gallows, a replica of which this Mystery Photo depicts.