On today in 1940, cowboy-movie star Tom Mix is killed when he loses manage of his speeding Cord Phaeton convertible and rolls right into a dry wash (now called the Tom Mix Wash) near Florence, Arizona. He was 60 yrs . old. Today, guests to the website of the accident can easily see a 2-foot-tall iron statue of a riderless horse and a somewhat awkwardly written plaque that reads: “In memory of Tom Mix whose spirit left his body on this spot and whose characterization and portrayals in life served to better fix memories of the Old West in the minds of living men.”
According to Mix’s press agent, the star was an authentic cowboy and swaggering hero of the Wild West: He was created in Texas fought in the Spanish-American War, the Boxer Rebellion and the Boer War and served as a sheriff in Kansas, a U.S. marshal in Oklahoma and a Texas Ranger. In fact, Mix was created in Driftwood, Pennsylvania deserted the Army in 1902 and was a drum major in the Oklahoma Territorial Cavalry band when he went off to Hollywood in 1909.
None of the inconvenient facts prevented Mix from becoming 1 of the best silent-film stars ever sold, however. Along along with his renowned horse Tony, Mix created 370 complete-length Westerns. At the peak of his fame, he was the highest-paid actor in Hollywood, earning as considerably as $17,500 weekly (about $218,000 today). Unfortunately, Mix and Tony had trouble creating the transition to speaking photos. Some folks say that the actor’s voice was so high-pitched that it undermined his macho cowboy image, but others argue that sound films merely had aswell much talking for Mix’s taste: He preferred wild action sequences to heartfelt conversation.
On your day he died, Mix was driving north from Tucson in his beloved bright-yellow Cord Phaeton sports automobile. He was driving so quickly he didn’t notice-or didn’t heed-signs warning a single of the bridges was from the street ahead. The Phaeton swung right into a gully and Mix was smacked in the rear of the top by a definite of the heavy aluminum suitcases he was carrying in the convertible’s backseat. The impact broke the actor’s neck and he died practically instantly. Today, the dented “Suitcase of Death” may be the featured attraction at the Tom Mix Museum in Dewey, Oklahoma.