uly 8, 1898 is the date of demise for Jefferson Randolph "Soapy" Smith. Of all events to remember, it is this day of death that family descendants gather together to toast the life and history of this amazing nineteenth century confidence man.
It all started in 1977 when members of the Smith family, including Jeff, his brother and parents, visited Skagway, Alaska. With the cast of the Day's of '98 Show we created the first Soapy Smith wake. It has been called a "wake" ever since. With Jeff's assistance, the Magic Castle started up their own annual event in 2003, but they prefer to call it "Soapy Smith Night." On this website and with the Smith family it will always be known by its original namesake, the Soapy Smith Wake.
There are currently five "wakes" held annually within the United States,
- Eagles Hall, Skagway, Alaska.
- Magic Castle, Hollywood, California.
- The Tivoli Club (a reproduction of Soapy's saloon in Denver, Colorado), Whitehorse Ranch movie lot, Landers, California.
- The Wizard's Club, Chicago, Illinois.
- The Lumber Baron Inn, Denver, Colorado.
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"Whenever men like you need to win, they turn to men like me."
— “Nuckey” Thompson, Boardwalk Empire.
1786: Commercial ice cream is manufactured for the first time in New York City.
1790: The first loan for the U.S. is repaid. The Temporary Loan of 1789 is negotiated and secured on September 18, 1789 by Alexander Hamilton.
1861: Tennessee votes to secede from the Union and join the Confederacy during the Civil War.
1867: Indians fight the 7th Cavalry in Chalk Bluffs, Kansas.
1869: Ives McGaffey receives a patent for the vacuum cleaner.
1872: The penny postcard is authorized by Congress.
1874: Chiricahua Apache Indian Chief Cochise, age 62, dies of natural causes on an Arizona reservation.
1878: Billy the Kid signs an affidavit against the Seven Rivers Gang in the murder of Frank McNab, New Mexico.
1885: Three guards protecting a supply train are killed by Indians in Guadeloupe Canyon Sonora, Mexico.
1890: Unknown outlaws stop a Northern Pacific train in New Salem, North Dakota only to find the safe is empty.
1892: Robert Newton Ford, killer of outlaw Jesse James, is shot and killed inside his tent saloon by Edward Capehart O’Kelley in Creede, Colorado.
1904: U.S. Marines land in Tangiers, Morocco to protect U.S. citizens.