False Myths About The Wild West That Many People Believe

It’s no secret that Western films shaped what people think about the Wild West. Stories of outlaws, bank robberies, and wars with the Native Americans make the Old West seem lawless. In reality, America in the 1800s was far less exciting.

The truth is that most cowboys didn’t wear cowboy hats. Even tumbleweeds didn’t appear in America until the late 19th century. The stereotypical vision of American cowboys shooting guns while on horseback is fake. How many of these false myths about the Wild West did you believe?

Some Outlaws Were Shameless Self-Promoters

In many movies, outlaws had to lay low to avoid getting arrested. In reality, many famous outlaws were shameless self-promoters. That’s how they became so famous. For instance, Jesse James would give notes to witnesses bragging about his exploits, even while holding up a train.

Jesse James
Getty Images
Getty Images

Billy the Kid was known for loudly bragging in saloons. On top of that, many outlaws befriended each other. The groups of outlaws would spread stories about each other, some exaggerated, others true.