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Pumpkin riots were once a seasonal occurrence in pre-Industrial Western societies. Nearing the end of the harvest season, pumpkin riots usually followed poor crops when food supplies were low and the family of the late-working farm hands were left with the worst pickings or no winter food supplies at all.
The Symbolic Value of PumpkinsEdit
The Study of Vegetable ViolenceEdit
the revival came as a result of the the riots of 1923
Pumpkin Riots of 1923Edit
Also known as the Sioux Falls Pumpkin Riots of 1923
A four-day outbreak of violence and looting that began in Sioux Falls October 16-19, 1923.
threat of a pumpkin shortage due to inhospitable weather conditions in the Great Plains prairie regions.
plague of grasshoppers two decades prior.
There is dispute over how the unrest began
young boy named Patrick Stanton stole a pumpkin from a vendor at a farmer's market in Falls Park, located just north of downtown alongside the Big Sioux River. Stanton was purportedly bringing home the pumpkin to his sick mother, Martha, who was suffering from tuberculosis. At the sight of the young boy running away with the pumpkins, other residents followed suit, operating under the assumption that the farmer's market was running out of usable gourds, and so absconding with the pumpkins before none were left. Other versions contend the myth of Stanton was invented by citizens after the riots, in an effort to make sense of the events for young children.
The riots spread from Falls Park into the town's warehouse and meatpacking districts, both of which suffered disastrous fire damage as mobs took to the streets in protest. The Morrell meatpacking plant and nearby stockyards were completely destroyed.
Five people died in the riots, 28 people were reported injured, hundreds were arrested, and countless local businesses were forced to shut down from the looting and irreparable fire damage.
Notable Pumpkin Riots Throughout HistoryEdit
TheTubors Conquest of Gourd, 1066Edit
The Orange Death of 1340Edit
The Parliamentary Gourd Invasion of Tubors, 1650Edit
The New World Gourd Blessings of 1692Edit
The Fall River Gourd Riots of 1892Edit
Los Angeles Black Pumpkins Riots, 1965Edit
Kent State Pumpkin Sit-in, 1970Edit
Los Angeles Pumpkins Riots, 1992Edit
Mitchell Corn Palace Pumpkin Riots, 2007Edit
The Near Pumpkin Riots of Altman, PennsylvaniaEdit
A local woman nearly started a pumpkin riot after she discovered her prized gourd was missing. She ran through the town on a horse naked and carrying a knife. Dismounting, she attached a note to Altman's city hall with a butcher's knife, a la Martin Luther.