Molasses in January: WAY Faster Than You Think.
Streeter Seidell, a comedian, College Humor editor, and creator of the dead-on First World petty complaint aggregator White Whine has a knack for finding obscure (to me anyways*) historical disasters on his personal blog. It’s with great shame that I must admit to missing the 90th anniversary of The Great Boston Molasses Disaster back in January.
Perhaps this is a well-known event in Boston history, but, if so, why haven’t they been telling the rest of us about it?? The story is simple yet amazing and one, I believe, best told in bullet points:
- It happened on an unusually warm day in January.
- The container was 50 feet in diameter and contained 2,300,000 US gallons!
- The molasses tsunami was 8 to 15 feet high and rushed through the streets at 35 miles per hour!
- 21 people were killed and 150 were ‘injured’ — which I imagine means they were all stuck together.
- The Elevated Train was lifted off it’s tracks and a truck was hurled into Boston Harbor.
- It took over 87,000 man hours to clean the goo off of the streets, business, cars, cats, dogs, you-name-it.
- Some folks say the area still smells like molasses occasionally. If only New Yorkers could have so easily identified a similar smell!
I’ll stop here because there are just way to many startling aspects to this event. Do yourself a favor and read every tantalyzing line of what might be the most captivating Wikipedia entry ever. Nearly every sentence is unbelievable.
*UPDATE: I’ve just been advised that every schmuck in the freakin world knows about this besides me.