January 15, 1919: The Boston Molasses Disaster. It may sound comical, but 2 million gallons of molasses is no laughing matter. It rushed through the streets at 35 mph in waves up to 25 feet high when a large tank awaiting distillation erupted. 21 people died, many crushed and drowned in the molasses. 150 were injured. 87,000 man-hours were required to clean up the mess, and some say you can still smell the molasses on hot summer days.