t's that time of year again! Come July 8, 2012 it will be the 114th anniversary of Soapy Smith's demise.
This year's annual Soapy Smith wake will be held in four states!
- Skagway, Alaska: Where it all began in 1977, which makes this the 35th annual. This event is now mostly a private event held at the Eagle's Hall but if you happen to be in Skagway I'm sure you could get in and celebrate with the locals.
- Denver, Colorado: This will be the 2nd annual event held at the Lumber Baron Inn. I have no details for this event yet but they will be posted here on the blog when I get them. I suggest you can in advance if you wish to attend.
- Chicago, Illinois: The Wizard's Club of Chicago will be celebrating their 80th anniversary and the Soapy Wake in one evening for the first annual event which will actually be taking place on July 27th. Only 100 tickets will be sold at $30 which will include
- A two hour Western Buffet Dinner.
- Old west gambling and con games played with our own Soapy Money.
- A Champaign toast to Soapy.
- Gambling themed magic presentations.
- Western Costume Contest.
- Hollywood, California: This marks the 9th annual party held at the Magic Castle in Hollywood. This has been a huge success for the Castle and people come from all over the country to attend. So far everyone I know who has attended over these last nine years has returned year-after-year. In fact, the president of the Wizard's Club of Chicago, Keith "Grifter" Cobb, flew out from Chicago to California every year just for this one night. After years of doing this he decided he should create his own event, and he did (see Chicago, Illinois above). The poster at the top tells of some of the special action for this night but failed to mention the period gambling (play gamble with $100 in Soapy money) set up by my very good friend Phil Gessert and family. This is very popular with attendees. I am already receiving more family names to attend this year and that really makes me happy because our family should be involved. This is a private club so if you wish to go please contact Jeff Smith.
Something to think about: If you are a big fan of Soapy's but just can't travel to one of the parties mentioned above...why not create your own! All of the wakes started out small. The first one at the Magic Castle was advertise with a hand-done black marker and Xeroxed. It can be a public affair or completely private. "Build it ... and they will come." If you do create a Soapy wake Please let us know here and we will advertise it.
1774: The Quartering Act, which required American colonists to allow British soldiers into their houses, is reinstated.
1851: Maine becomes the first U.S. state to enact a law prohibiting alcohol.
1860: Colonel Hayes and his troops engage Paiute Indians near Pyramid Lake, Nevada Territory.
1865: Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith surrenders the Trans-Mississippi Department to Union forces in Galveston, Texas.
1875: Comanche Chief Quanah Parker leads his people onto the reservation near Fort Sill, Indian Territory. He becomes a respected and well to do rancher and businessman.
1876: Outlaw Charles Earl Bowles, more commonly known as “Black Bart,” robs the Roseburg, Oregon and Yreka stage nine miles from Yreka, California.
1883: The first baseball game under electric lights is played in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
1884: Lilly Langtry plays a return engagement at the Opera House in Cheyenne, Wyoming Territory.
1885: New Orleans World’s Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition in Louisiana closes to the public after a six month run. Soapy Smith states he attended the affair.
1886: Grover Cleveland becomes the second U.S. president to get married while in office. He is the first to have a wedding in the White House.
1889: Thirty-four Sioux surrender on the Missouri River, Dakota Territory, to Captain Sprole of the U.S. Army.
1896: Guglieimo Marconi's radio is patented in the U.S.
1896: The steamer Utopia docks in Seattle with Soapy Smith on-board. Upon disembarking he registers at the Butler hotel.
1899: The outlaw gang “The Wild Bunch,” rob the train at Wilcox, Wyoming. The gang consists of Butch Cassidy, George "Flatnose" Curry, Elzy Lay, Harvey Logan, Lonny Logan, Ben Kilpatrick, Harry “The Sundance Kid” Longbaugh (or Longabaugh), and Ben Beeson. The bandits stop the Union Pacific's Overland Flyer on a small trestle which was barricaded. Cassidy ordered the engineer, W. R. Jones, to uncouple the express car. He refused and Harvey Logan pistol-whipped the engineer. He still refused and Lay took the controls in the engine's cab and forced the train forward. The gang ordered the guard to open the express car door and come out but he refused. Dynamite was used which tore the car in half, injuring, but not killing the guard inside. The bandits ran about, picking up more than $30,000 in bank notes and securities which had been blown from the car.
1924: The United States Congress grants full citizenship to American Indians.