Riots and Civil Unrest that Shook History
Riots and Civil Unrest that Shook History

Riots and Civil Unrest that Shook History

Khalid Elhassan - January 13, 2021

Riots and Civil Unrest that Shook History
Headline about the Straw Hat Riots. New York Times

1. An NYPD Lieutenant Made Parents Spank Their Delinquent Kids in the Precinct as a Condition For Releasing Them

Police were helpless, and the rioting went on for days, spreading from the East Side to the rest of Manhattan. The Upper West Side became particularly dangerous for the straw-lidded, as witnesses reported a mob of more than 1000 snatching straw hats on Amsterdam Avenue. The city’s days-long 1922 Straw Hat Riot was accompanied by many injuries and many arrests. However, since many culprits were underage, they did not stay behind bars for long, before they were released to their parents.

In the East 104th Street Precinct, the police lieutenant in charge insisted that the parents spank their kids then and there, as a condition for their release. The straw hat-smashing tradition continued. Although there was no recurrence of widespread rioting on the scale of 1922’s mayhem, the end of straw hat season continued to be attended by unrest and violence. In 1924, for example, one man was murdered for wearing a straw hat after September 15th. The violent tradition finally came to an end when straw hats went out of fashion during the Great Depression.

_________________

Where Did We Find This Stuff? Some Sources and Further Reading

Alexander, John T. – Autocratic Politics in a National Crisis: The Imperial Russian Government and Pugachev’s Revolt, 1773-1775 (1969)

Bainton, Roland H. ­- Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther (1978)

Blickle, Peter – The Revolution of 1525: The German Peasants War From a New Perspective (1981)

Cliff, Nigel – The Shakespeare Riots: Revenge, Drama, and Death in Nineteenth-Century America (2007)

Cracked – The 5 Most Embarrassing Things Angry Mobs Have Rioted Over

Davis, Susan G., American Quarterly, Volume 34.2 (Summer 1982) – Making the Night Hideous: Christmas Revelry and Public Order in Nineteenth Century Philadelphia

Digital History – Holidays and the Invention of Tradition

Dunn, Alastair – The Great Rising of 1381: The Peasants’ Revolt and England’s Failed Revolution (2002)

Encyclopedia Britannica – Hussite Wars

Encyclopedia Britannica – Jacquerie

Encyclopedia Britannica – Sumptuary Law

New York Times, September 16th, 1922 – City Has Wild Night of Straw Hat Riots

New York Tribune, September 16th, 1922 – Straw Hat Smashing Orgy Bares Heads From Battery to Bronx

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography – Cade, John [Jack] (died 1450), Rebel Leader

Pittsburgh Press, September 16th, 1910 – Straw Hat Riot

Runciman, Steven – The Sicilian Vespers (1958)

Slate – The 1922 Straw Hat Riot Was One of the Weirdest Crime Sprees in American History

Vallance, Edward – A Radical History of Britain (2009)

Wikipedia – Astor Place Riot

Wikipedia – Jack Cade’s Rebellion

Wikipedia – Straw Hat Riot

Zagorin, Perez – Rebels and Rulers, 1500-1660 ­(1984)

Advertisement