"We are a collective geezer." Uffish, to Katya
Question #89903 posted on 07/09/2017 10:35 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Ahhhh, the internet; it's where I find interesting tidbits about history that I don't know how to verify. Here's an example from Tumblr:

"I think something that few people realize about this event is that, when they chucked the tea into Boston Harbor, it was low tide. In the dead of winter.

The men dragged 342 crates of tea to the top deck of the ships, hatchet-ed them open, and began tossing heavy tea bricks off the side of the ship. But, again, it was low tide. And the water itself was actually freezing over. So the tea bricks started to pile up. Huge mountains of tea were growing next to the ships, which no one involved had actually planned on.

So on top of everything else, the colonists then had to start hitting the tea with clubs and axes to get it to drift it out to sea. Boys were running into the mudflats and water to try to push and kick the tea out.

When you actually look at it, The Boston Tea Party was really hilarious."

Would you please fact check it and walk me through the process of how you did so?

Thanks,

wasn't alive for the Boston Tea Party

A:

Dear you,

I googled "Boston Tea Party low tide" and clicked on links that seemed to be from reputable sources. This Washington Post article mentions chopping up the boxes of tea. This Christian Science Monitor article seems to tell the same story, with some science confirming that there was an exceptionally low tide. This University of Wisconsin page about tides states that workers cleaned up the tea the next day by pushing it into the harbor, rather than the protesters doing it themselves, but with the huge amounts of tea, both could be possible. This Boston Globe interview with an expert states that they chopped the lids off and dumped the tea into the harbor, and that the tea created a small island.

The abundance of reliable sources, combined with the lack of reliable sources claiming to debunk this story, leads me to rate it as: true!

-Zedability