Drunk Guy Falls Off Key Bridge Railing

Francis Scott Key Bridge
Francis Scott Key Bridge

This is something that would bring everything to halt on Key Bridge, and probably all of Rosslyn and Georgetown. Twitter would be blowing up and there would be tons of Instagram photos. Below is an amusing article that I dug up from September 16th, 1929 in The Washington Post.

While doing stunts on the railing of the Francis Scott Key Bridge at Georgetown to amuse a crowd of Sunday motorists, James Hall, 26 years old, of 3032 N street northwest, took a dive of 120 feet into the Potomac River about 6 o’clock last night when Policemen approached to put an end to his stunts.

Hall landed on his side in the water and in a few minutes he was rescued by Policeman Charles Birkight, of the Harbor Precinct, and William Reynolds, boat club keeper, who rushed to his aid in a boat. After he had been rolled over a barrel until most of the water and liquor were pumped out of him, he appeared none the worse for his experience.

Rescue Squad No. 1 arrived in time to put the finishing touches on him. Policeman Earl Reynolds, who had started after him on the bridge, was awaiting his revival and immediately had him hauled away in the police patrol to the Seventh Precinct Station, where he was booked on a charge of drunkenness.

Policeman Reynolds said afterward that he had tried to approach the would-be tight rope walker cautiously after he had observed him for several minutes. Hall saw him, however, started to run along the railing, slipped and went overboard.

Five weeks later was the stock market crash that led to the Great Depression of the 1930s.

About Tom

Tom founded Ghosts of DC on January 4th, 2012 as a blog to uncover the lost and untold history of Washington, D.C. He has lived in the city for over a decade and loves exploring every corner of the District.

Check Also

Looking east at construction on Arlington Memorial Bridge over the Potomac River in Washington, D.C., in the United States. Note the statue on the partially-constructed pedestal just to the right of the abutments (bottom center). The U.S. Commission of Fine Arts erected this mock-up to determine how high statues on the piers of the bridge should be.

Cool 1928 Photo of Arlington Memorial Bridge Construction

This beautiful old photo shows the construction of Memorial Bridge looking from D.C. towards Arlington …

  • spinner

    “rolled over a barrel until most of the water and liquor were pumped out of him…”. I’m unaware of that medical procedure……

  • JC

    Two G-town students did this on purpose back in 2010…and uploaded the video to youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3py-hfHDz58