Molasses turned murderous one January day in 1919 on the Boston waterfront. A tank of viscous brown liquid suddenly burst, hurling more than 2 million gallons of the sticky sweet stuff into town. This molasses wasn't slow: it moved at 35 miles an hour, trapping people and animals, killing 21 and injuring more. Structures in its path were splintered. The company said an anarchists' bomb must be to blame; others said the molasses had fermented and exploded on its own. Most likely the disaster was due to shoddy construction. The tank had leaked from the start, providing locals with a free treat.
For decades a faint, sweet scent still lingered in Boston's North End.