The Rise of the Straw Hat and the Riot of 1922

More than 10,000 gather in Times Square outside the New York Times building to receive updates on the fight between boxers Jack Dempsey and Georges Carpentier in July, 1921. Public domain

The Straw Hat Riot of 1922 is a strange piece of history, and it all centered around the boater hat. How did how the boater become so important to men’s fashion in the early 20th century? And how did that lead to a very bizarre conflict in the 1920s?

Holly's research:

  • “Discard Date for Straw Hats Ignored by President Coolidge.” New York Times. Sept. 20, 1925.
  • Chico, Beverly. “Hats and Headwear Around the World: A Cultural Encyclopedia.” ABC-CLIO. 2013.
  • “City Has Wild Night of Straw Hat Riots.” New York Times. Sept. 16, 1922.
  • Steinberg, Neil. “Hatless Jack.” Plume. 2004.
  • Ginsburg, Madeleine. “The Hat: Trends and Traditions.” Barrons Educational Series Inc. 1990.
  • “Straw Hat Riots Embroil East Side.” New York Times. Sept. 14, 1922.
  • Inwards, Henry. “Straw Hats: Their History and Manufacture.” Luton. 1922. Accessed online:
  • E.A.J. “Good-bye to the Straw Hat.” New York Times. Sept. 13, 1925.
  • “Topics of the Times: A Right Worth Defending.” New York Times. Sept. 15, 1922.
  • “Straw Hat Smashing Orgy Bares Heads From Battery to Bronx.” New York Tribune. Sept. 16, 1922.
  • “Boys Scalp Straw-hatted.” New York Times. Sept. 15, 1922.
  • “Straw Hats for 1922.” New York Times. May 7, 1922.

Topics in this Podcast: 20th century, American history, New York, Crime, smashing things