Throughout American history, there have been a huge number of strange cases of rioting. From the meaningful right down to the very bizarre, the American public have stood up for their rights time and again, shining a light on any number of issues. While there are some riots that continue to be remembered throughout history, there are an equal number of others that have fallen under the radar, looked over for a number of years. These riots might not be as important as their more famous counterparts but for a great many people, they mean a great deal. History can be changed in subtle ways.
- Disco Demolition Night
Disco was once a very contentious subject and for rock music fans in the ‘70s, there were few things worse. In a bid to do away with the music genre once and for all, rock fans threw a promotional event in which guests were invited to bring along a disco record to blow up, after which they could watch a baseball game between the Chicago White Sox and the Detroit Tigers. With tickets at one dollar per head, more than 50,000 people showed up to do the deed. After the discs were destroyed, the crowd went wild, storming the pitch and stopping the game from taking place. The event turned into Chicago’s most notorious party, with drinks and drugs being passed around freely.
- Dead Rabbits Riot
Before the Civil War, tension was running high in the U.S. and across the country, a number of riots erupted. On Independence Day, 1857 in New York, gangsters known as the Dead Rabbits gathered on the streets to come after their enemies in The Bowery. Using rocks, guns and axes, the rival gangs came head to head on the streets, causing a huge amount of destruction and damage to intervening police forces. The violence lasted for a whole 2 days, with the total death count unknown.
- Sunset Strip Riots
In 1966, hippies were taking such a toll on Sunset Strip businesses that the company owners decided to take matters into their own hands. After having their businesses disrupted due to noise, the company owners successfully had a noise ban put in place, preventing any music or parties after 10pm on the strip. Over the course of the summer, local hippies tried to fight the ban, taking to the streets in their hundreds to overturn the curfew. Things escalated over the years and following a number of rallies and demonstrations, police were at a loss of how to gain control. Protests continued, although they remained peaceful.
- Lager Beer Riot
When bars were shut on Sundays and the liquor license was increased by hundreds of dollars in 1855 Chicago, the locals weren’t pleased. Over time, public outrage grew against the governing forces and in order to keep things in check, the mayor tripled the size of the local police units. Before long, the mob tried to take control of the situation, crossing the Chicago river in order to fight. Panicking, the mayor had the swing bridges closed, confining many of the protesters over the river. The police began to shoot at the trapped civilians, an act which saw one person killed and another 60 arrested. Unsurprisingly, the mayor lost his job the next year and Chicago went back to drinking as normal.