The Pony Express

QUESTION: Which of the following men claimed to be employed by the real pony express?
A)  'Buffalo Bill' Cody
B)  'Wild Bill' Hickok
C)  Wyatt Earp
D)  'Doc' Masterson
ANSWER BELOW

The Pony Express. One of the most famous mail delivery services ever organized, and it was only in business for nineteen months during 1860 and 1861. A true money-losing venture, it did provide mail delivery from Atlantic Coast senders to Pacific Coast receivers in a then-astonishing ten days. The route that riders took went from St. Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California, with 184 stops along the way for the riders to change horses or pass along the mail to new riders. The journeys made by the employees of the Pony Express have become the stuff of legend, told and retold in books, music and movies.

In 1925, the highly regarded and prolific film director James Cruze made one of the first movies dedicated to telling the stories of these brave young men called, fittingly enough, The Pony Express. The silent film stars Cruze's real-life wife Betty Compson (top billing), Ricardo Cortez, and Treasure Tour favorite Wallace Beery in an over-the-top western that has almost no historical value to it, with one character joining the service pending California's statehood (despite that California became the 31st state in the union in 1850, a full decade before the Pony Express began). There are gunfights, Indian attacks, and maybe a parcel delivered here or there, as though there would be a need for that in a film like this. Really. Sadly, The Pony Express was a financial disappointment, but don't worry. James Cruze would go on to make many more films after this. In fact, we will talk a little bit about him tomorrow - we hope you can wait!

ANSWER:  A)  'Buffalo Bill' Cody.  Cody was a bit of a storyteller, though, so his claim cannot be confirmed or denied.