March 6, 2013

Soapy Smith's grave on film, 1963


onna Clayson is a longtime friend of mine from Whitehorse, Canada. Recently she obtained some vintage footage of Skagway, Alaska that contains the graves of Soapy Smith and Frank Reid. The color film has no audio as it was shot in 1963 on 16m Kodachcrome II. Donna gave me permission to upload the footage onto YouTube. I added Scott Joplin's The Entertainer as the background music.

Soapy's grave marker is the fourth placed over his remains. Soapy's Grave Markers is a page on the main website that has more information regarding this particular marker, as well as the others that have graced his final resting place. The remainder of the film shows a ride on the White Pass and Yukon Railroad. I hope you enjoy it.  

"The Killing of Soapy Smith, and the clearing out of the city of the other suspicious characters, will be a great advertisement of Skaguay."
Daily Alaskan, July 25, 1898


1808: The first college orchestra in the U.S. is founded at Harvard University.
1820: The Missouri Compromise is enacted by Congress and signed by President James Monroe. The act admits Missouri into the Union as a slave state, but prohibits slavery in the rest of the northern Louisiana Purchase territory.
1836: The thirteen-day siege of the Alamo ends with the defeat and deaths of the 189 Texas volunteers defending it against a Mexican army of three thousand soldiers.
1854: Several men steal the Pope's Stone from the lapidarium at the Washington Monument in the District of Columbia.
1857: A U.S. Supreme Court decision rules that escaped black slaves cannot sue in federal court to become citizens.
1868: Thirteen settlers are killed and one child kidnapped by Indians at the headwaters of the Colorado River in Texas.
1869: About 20 soldiers from Camp Lowell get a little too drunk while on leave in Tucson, Arizona Territory. Some begin shooting their revolvers, wounding 1 civilian.
1886: The Nightingale becomes the first publication for nurses.
1887: The Southern-Pacific Railroad announces the price of $12 for a one-way fare from Missouri to California. Price wars will eventually drive the fare down to $1.
1895: Jessie Wise, known in Denver, Colorado as "Jessie Smith," commits suicide. She is the six-year-lover of Bascomb Smith, Soapy Smith’s younger brother. He is devastated at hearing the news and witnesses report that he was overwrought with grief and wept uncontrollably. 

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