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On This Day… Riots Over What?!!

Written by: George Chittenden : 03 Jun 2019

It was on this day, 13th Sept, back in 1922 when a full-blown riot occurred over peoples’ rights to wear straw hats in New York. Sometimes you come across events in history that are hard to believe, and this is one of those. So straw hats or boaters as they were known, became popular in the 19th century as summer wear, however it was deemed a serious fashion faux pas to wear them past the cut off date of September 15th, when wearing them became socially unacceptable.

Years earlier, as early as 1910, people began snatching straw hats off the heads of their friends and crushing them, but you wouldn’t do it to someone you didn’t know. In 1922 this all changed, and it was two days before the cut off date of Sept 15th when it all kicked off. The trouble started when young men started grabbing the hats of factory workers in the former Mulberry Bend section of Manhattan, and then they tried the same trick on a group of dock workers which was when the situation escalated into a riot. During the chaos that followed several people were injured and several men were arrested before police managed to break up the riot.

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