Annie Oakley Festival at her Ohio hometown draw crowds

In the midst of what seems like an increasing number of anti-gun mayors and city councils who are seeking to stamp out our gun rights, the Cincinnati Enquirer is reporting on one Ohio town that is, to the benefit of women everywhere, going in the exact opposite direction:

    A rootin', tootin' affair
    Legendary sharpshooter Annie Oakley may conjure up images of the Wild West, but she has Ohio roots. Born near Greenville in 1860 as Phoebe Ann Moses, she learned to shoot at the tender age of eight to keep food on the table.

    In 1875 Annie beat her future husband, Frank Butler, at a shooting match in Cincinnati. Taking the stage name Oakley, possibly from the neighborhood, Annie went on to international fame performing amazing feats of marksmanship.

    She returned to Greenville, where, according to some accounts, she passed away of lead poisoning from buckshot in 1926. (Frank died only 18 days later).

    Greenville, a town of 13,000 where Oakley relatives still reside, celebrates its renowned citizen every year with five days of festivities held at the Darke County Fairgrounds and throughout the town, culminating this weekend.

    Miss Annie Oakley was crowned on Thursday, not in a beauty contest, but following a shooting match, open to Darke County girls age 14-19. During the next year, Miss Annie Oakley will participate in parades and events, beginning Saturday.

    "Some of these girls have never picked up a gun in their life," says festival coordinator Gini Stuckey. It's a fitting test to represent a woman quoted as saying, "I would like to see every woman know how to handle firearms as naturally as they know how to handle babies."

Click here to read the entire story, and to get details on this weekend's 42nd Annual festival activities at the fairgrounds in Darke County.

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