8 of the Strangest Riots in History

  • May 22, 2017
  • 36,191
  • Lifestyle
  • Image Sources

Lincoln Prison Riot (England, 2002)

Prison riots are sparked by many different things, but few can say they were started over sandwiches. A menu change prompted a small group of prisoners to attack a guard and steal their keys, freeing more prisoners and quickly overwhelming the other guards. Law enforcement was able to regain control in eight hours, and while millions in damage was caused by the attack, only one died from the violence of the riot itself.


Nylon Riots (United States, 1945)

Nylon products had been reserved fro the army during World War II. Shortly after Japan's surrender DuPont announced they would have over three-hundred million pairs of stockings available for sale that Christmas season. They overestimated, to put it mildly, and the fierce demand saw tens of thousands of women lined up outside of stores to grab pairs, only to leave empty handed. Stores suffered the most damage as would-be customers destroyed displays fighting over the products.


Straw Hat Riots (United States, 1922)

A matter of etiquette escalated to a roaming mob of one-thousand people attacking men with hats. In the early 1900s America it was considered unfashionable to wear straw hats after a date in September (depending on the source it was either the first or fifteenth day), and tradition allowed young men to knock said hats off anyone still wearing them after the date. In 1922 things got a little too intense when a group of teens started a brawl with dock workers over their hats. Though the initial brawls broke up, a crowd of young men later formed to attack straw hatters. Police finally got involved when they themselves were targeted. In the end many men who fought back were hospitalized.


New York Doctors Riot (United States, 1788)

Richard Bayley, who ran New York Hospital, continued the English tradition of grave robbing for medical research despite it being illegal in the United States. Though reported early on, the community at large turned a bling eye to it since the grave sites robbed were those of the poor and black community. When it was discovered that a white woman had been exhumed a group of two-thousand people took to the streets hunting down physicians, many of whom went into hiding. Though damaging to the city and the reputation of the New York medical community, the incident helped end the practice of medical grave robbing.