On This Day: July 8th


On July 8th 1898 crime boss Soapy Smith was killed in a shootout, his death released Skagway, Alaska from his control. It was a duel between Jefferson Randolph ‘Soapy’ Smith and Frank H. Reid and Jesse Murphy, in which Smith and Reid were shot to death. They were fighting over the control of the town of Skagway, which at the time was an important port for the Klondike gold rush.

Smith was a crime boss of the 19th-century Old West. His most famous scam, the prize package soap sell racket, presented him with the sobriquet of “Soapy”, which remained with him to his death.


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