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This Day in History, 1919: Great Boston Molasses Flood

Today is the 89th anniversary of:


"Shortly after noon on January 15, 1919, a fifty-foot-tall steel tank filled with 2.3 million gallons of molasses collapsed on Boston’s waterfront, disgorging its contents in a fifteen-foot-high wave of molasses that traveled at thirty-five miles per hour. When the tide receded, a section of the city’s North End had been transformed into a war zone. The Great Boston Molasses Flood claimed the lives of twenty-one people and scores of animals, injured more than a hundred, and caused widespread destruction."

The above is quoted from author Stephen Puleo, who has published a wonderful book about the flood called "Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919." It tells the story of what happened and also places the event in historical context. For more information on the book, you can visit his website at http://www.stephenpuleo.com.


I've always been interested in stories like that. Thanks for posting about it.
So what you are saying is that given enough force Molasses can go 35mph in January?

Icon seems to fit

Best. Disaster. Evar! (I think perhaps I should start having Great Boston Molasses Flood parties, much in the way my mom held Bloom's Day parties, but with less Joyce. Obviously not this year, but next year! I will have molasses candy! And dark-chocolate-covered molasses chips! And cake! And rum!)
A few years ago, Nomi and I went to friends for shabbat dinner around the time of the anniversary. In its honor, they served a meal with many molasses-based recipes and foods.
And baked beans.
A molasses cookie to the first person who can use the neologism "painting the molasses tank" to describe a whitewashing maneuver by a presidential frontrunner.
The story of that flood is going to have repercussions. I can just see myself at home with the family some day soon:

Amy: Austin, you'll be late. Honestly, that boy is slow as molasses.

Sean: Actually, darling, molasses has been clocked at up to 35 miles per hour.

Amy: **that look**

Sean: Don't blame me. It's Michael's fault.
Thanks for the reminder. I'll have a moment of silence for the Italian immigrant children whose lives weren't worth spending a little money on tank maintenance. And a second one for all the idiots who think that a flood of molasses sounds cool.
Great book.
Thanks for reminding me of this.

(suddenly hungry for baked beans)
Oh man! I must acquire that book. I keep telling people about the Molasses Flood, and they frequently refuse to believe me. I need the proof in print!

December 2016

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