One of the more bizarre fads of the 1920s began in 1924 as a publicity stunt to attract viewers to movie theaters. The most famous flagpole sitter was "Shipwreck" Kelly (right, waving from high above a movie theater in Union City, New Jersey.) In 1929, for a total of 145 days, Kelly took up residence atop various flagpoles throughout the country. Imitators, of course, followed. At one point that year, Baltimore had at least 17 boys and 3 girls sitting atop 18-foot hickory poles, with their friends and families cheering them on.
His act happened in 1924 and within weeks hundreds of people tried to call themselves "King of the Pole." One man sat for 12 days, another for 17 days, and another for 21 days. Flagpole sitting died out around 1929 with the coming of the depression, but during its time, it certainly caught the nation's fancy.