Martha Jane Canary, "Calamity Jane," was born on May 1, 1852 in Princeton, Missouri. She is legendary in the history of the American "Wild West" for dessing like a man, drinking hard liquor, using foul language, and generally defying the gender conventions of the day. Calamity Jane and her family migrated to Virginia City, Montana in 1862. Not too long after the family's arrival in Montana her mother died in Black Foot and moved to Utah where her father died the following year.

Upon arrival to Fort Russell, Wyoming in 1870, Jane became a scout under General Custer and began to wear men's clothing. She travelled around quite a bit, including some adventures with Indians and scouting in Arizona during the winter of 1871. She returned to Wyoming after her Arizona trip and while in Goose Creek was part of an attachment ordered to help quell an Indian uprising. During this time she helped save the Post leader, Army Captain Egan when they were attacked upon return. During his recovery, Egan gave Jane her legendary nickname.

For the next 5 some odd years, Jane would travel around the Wyoming and Dakota Territories, guarding miners and scouting. For a short while in June 1876 she was a Pony Express rider as well. She stayed around in Deadwood for the summer and met up with her friend, Wild Bill Hickok who was murdered there by desperado Jack McCall whom she captured.

Jane left Deadwood in the fall of the next year after several adventures, including saving a stagecoach, and eventually ended up in El Paso, Texas where she met and married Clinton Burke. She gave birth to a baby girl on October 28 1887 and would return to Deadwood 2 years later following the break-up of the marriage.

When she returned to Deadwood she was approached by people who were eager to have her tour the East coast where she had gained fame through her exploits.

Calamity Jane died in Terry, North Dakota in 1903 and is buried next to her friend (No romantic entanglements ever happened between them despite the rumors) Wild Bill Hickock in Deadwood where she is remembered fondly for many things including her help in a smallpox epidemic.


Several years ago, Kids' WB had a show called the Legend of Calamity Jane. They pulled it off the air after only 2 weeks.




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The delightful film musical version of Calamity Jane has the music provided for it by Academy Award winning songwriters, Sammy Fain and Paul Francis Webster. They even got the 1953 Oscar for best song, which features in the film- “Secret Love”.
The action takes place in a place called Deadwood around Calamity Jane (Doris Day) and Wild Bill (Howard Keel), and the path through which they journey through to discover that they are meant to be together.

Synopsis:
The film begins with Calamity riding on the Deadwood Stage into Deadwood, protecting it from Indian attacks. Aboard the stagecoach is Mr. Francis Fryer, an actor.

Calamity rides off almost as soon as she arrives to save Lt. Danny Gilmartin from the Indians as she is in love with him. She rescues him and returns him to safety.

Henry Miller, proprietor of Deadwood’s theatre, The Golden Garter searches for his “actress”. However what he gets is Francis Fryer, because he thought it was Frances Fryer, therefore a woman. Without an act to go on Miller sends Fryer onto the stage as a woman but when Fryer’s wig is pulled off the truth is revealed. The cowboy mob turns on Miller but are subdued by Calamity’s promise that she will bring Adelaide Adams, a beautiful and famous actress from Chicago, to Deadwood for them.

So Calamity sets off to meet Adelaide Adams in Chicago. When she arrives she goes to Adams’s dressing room to convince her to return to Deadwood with her. However the person that she talks to is Adams’s maid, Katie Brown. Katie agrees to come to Deadwood, but Calamity still thinks that Katie actually is Adelaide Adams.

When Katie gets to Deadwood she goes on stage to perform but freezes with stage fright. Then she admits that she is not Adelaide Adams but Katie Brown. The cowboy mob again turns but is won over by Calamity’s appeals. Katie sings again and becomes a smash hit in the town.

Katie and Calamity move into Calamity’s cabin and fix it up to be “a shining castle built for two”. Katie gains the romantic advances of Wild Bill and Lt. Gilmartin, and when an invitation to a ball comes she is asked to accompany both men. So they draw straws. Winner gets Katie while the loser gets Calamity.

Lt. Gilmartin wins and takes Katie to the ball, which leaves Calamity and Bill to be paired up. While at the ball Bill is amazed at how feminine Calamity can be. Katie has made her a lady. She has changed from the bullwhipping, Indian fighting Calamity to a more elegant lady.

Unfortunately things go wrong when Calamity and Bill see Katie and Lt. Gilmartin kissing. Calamity becomes jealous and shoots a glass out of Katie’s hand, then storms out of the ball.

The next day Calamity ruins Katie and Francis’s performance at the Golden Garter to warn her to leave town. After serving this ultimatum she leaves and Bill follows her. They talk and discover that they actually do love each other.

Calamity rejoices the next morning about her new found love with Bill, and goes to the Golden Garter to tell Katie. Katie however has just left Deadwood on a stagecoach so Calamity races after her to tell her the news. So they return to Deadwood, and have a double wedding, which provides the happy ending.

Musical Numbers
The Deadwood Stage (Calamity and Chorus)
I Can Do Without You (Bill and Calamity)
Hive Full Of Honey (Francis)
It’s Harry I’m Plannin’ to Marry (Adelaide and Girls)
Just Blew In From The Windy City (Calamity)
Keep It Under Your Hat(Katie)
Higher Than A Hawk (Bill)
A Woman’s Touch (Katie and Calamity)
The Black Hills Of Dakota (Bill, Calamity and Chorus)
Secret Love (Calamity)
Finale (Bill, Calamity, Katie and Chorus)

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