Flagpole Sitting

By Erin Boland

"Shipwreck" Kelly was one of the most famous flagpole sitters. In 1929, for a total of 145 days, Kelly sat up on flagpoles in different cities. Imitators followed, 17 boys and 3 girls in Baltimore sat atop 18 foot hickory poles. Their families and friends cheered them on. This became a trend.


Food and water would be hoisted up the flagpole by assistants. To use the bathroom, he would turn away from the crowd and go in a tube that led to the ground.


Kelly continuously broke his record, going from 49 days to 51 days and 20 hours. He could have stayed longer, but a thunderstorm brought him down. Flagpole sitting was spectacular, but faded into history by 1930.