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Pole Sitting (1974)
Here’s another endurance fad that was bound to claim a life sooner or later. It started in the early 20th century as a way for sailors to show their toughness and balance, and soon enough companies started hiring flagpole sitters for publicity stunts and the like. The all-time champion of the practice was Louisiana-born Richard Blandy, who started doing it in 1929 and managed to turn it into a career, smashing world records over the next four decades. Blandy drank whiskey and smoked cigarettes during his epic vertical stays, but was killed in 1974 when his pole snapped in half during a sit at an Illinois mall.