Thousands of straw hat clad men gather in NYC to protest the ridicule and physical harassment they received for wearing straw hats after September 15th.— crazy ass moments in american politics (@ampol_moment) August 8, 2022
It escalated to an 8 day riot with gangs hitting men in the heads with blunt objects and stomping on their hats. (1922) pic.twitter.com/iLyvc8niKE
By the early 20th century, straw boaters were considered acceptable day attire in North American cities at the height of summer even for businessmen, but there was an unwritten rule that one was not supposed to wear a straw hat past September 15
It was socially acceptable for stockbrokers to destroy each other's hats, due to the fact that they were “companions”, but it was not acceptable for total strangers. If any man was seen wearing a straw hat, he was, at minimum, subjecting himself to ridicule, and it was a tradition for youths to knock straw hats off wearers' heads and stomp on them. This tradition became well established, and newspapers of the day would often warn people of the impending approach of the fifteenth, when men would have to switch to felt or silk hats. Hat bashing was only socially acceptable after September 15
Although the initial brawl was broken up by police, the fights continued to escalate the next evening. Gangs of teenagers prowled the streets wielding large sticks, sometimes with a nail driven through the top for hooking hats, looking for pedestrians wearing straw hats and beating those who resisted.