Great Molasses Flood of 1919: History in a Minute (Episode 29)


Good day, good day everyone. This is Mr. Philip Campbell with Homeschool Connections History in a Minute. I am your bearded nerdy history guru. Have you ever heard of the Great Molasses Flood? Yeah, it’s definitely a real thing that happened in the city of Boston on January 15 1919, when a gigantic storage tank full of molasses, belonging to the United States Industrial Alcohol Company, ruptured spilling 2.3 million gallons of molasses into the streets of Boston. The flood was massive. Eyewitnesses say that the surging wave of molasses crested 35 feet at one point, covering a whole city block in sticky goo. Unfortunately several people were caught off guard by the wave of molasses. 21 people actually died, buried in the molasses flood and 150 others were wounded. The cleanup took months and months and months. And they say that Massachusetts Bay was brown that whole summer because all the molasses that got pushed into the bay. Investigations later found that the company was guilty of neglecting essential safety measures. That the tank had even been leaking molasses ahead of the disaster. And the company had painted the tank brown so nobody would notice the molasses leaks. Boston locals said that the city smelled like molasses for years afterwards whenever it got hot out. Anyhow definitely one of the more bizarre man-made disasters in American history. For more interesting historical tidbits please subscribe and remember history is awesome.

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