In 1949, oil tycoon Glenn McCarthy opened the $21 million Shamrock Hotel. To ensure maximum publicity, McCarthy invited 2,000 guests, including reporters, Hollywood royalty and the mayor of Houston.
Doors opened, alcohol flowed and chaos ensued. Under the glow of fireworks, over 4,000 crammed into the lobby. As the upper-crust crowd plowed into tables and staff, singer Dorothy Lamour fled the stage in tears, and an NBC technician let fly the F-word live on-air. The mayor, whose chair was stolen, called it “the worst mob I’ve ever witnessed.”
Naturally, publicity multiplied, and McCarthy was thrilled.