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The Great Molasses Flood - January 15, 1919.

It's a strange story. Few will believe you if you repeat it, which means it's worth repeating.

The Purity Distilling Company of Boston, Massachusetts had a huge metal tank, twenty feet tall, which held over two million gallons of molasses which was used in making rum. It was an unseasonably warm day, so people were outside enjoying the weather at lunchtime.

All of a sudden this molasses tank explodes. People reported hearing a "low rumble" just before a wall of molasses twenty feet high roars down the street. A sticky tsunami. It happened so fast there was no getting out of the way. The molasses's journey ended in the harbor at the end of the street. The damage it left in it's wake was pretty incredible. Twenty one people died of drowning or suffocation; another 150 were injured. Buildings were plowed flat; an elevated train track was destroyed. Countless horses, which had been strapped to wagons and carts, were killed. Others were so trapped in the molasses tar pit that they had to be shot. Over the next few weeks, the hundreds of people who came to see what had happened tracked the molasses all over the rest of Boston. The whole city smelled of it for a week, and the harbor stayed brown, soaked with molasses, for the rest of the summer. I have read in a few places that on very hot days this area still can smell of molasses today, but it might be one of those neat urban myths.

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