The Most Extravagant Dinner Parties in History

Posted by Ken

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Let Them Eat Cake -- I'll Be In Disguise

Mrs. Bradley MartinGotta love those socialites turned amateur economists. As the United States emerged from the Long Depression in 1897, New York Socialite Cornelia Martin decided it would be a great time to test out her take on "trickle-down economics."

Cornelia -- a.ka. Mrs. Bradley Martin -- figured that, if she hosted a costume ball on short notice, it would inject tons of dough into the local economy. Or maybe she was just looking for an excuse to have a party. Either way, it was a very public smash hit with the social elite of New York and more of a slap in the face to just about everyone else.

Eight hundred guests showed up in costume at the Waldorf Astoria on February 10th to partake in the ball and lavish midnight meal. Costumes were appropriately extravagant, including Mrs. Bradley-Martin's depiction of the martyr Queen, Mary Queen of Scots.

Attendees dined on Beef Jardiniere, Foie Gras with Chicken Mayonnaise and a sampling of ten desserts.

Stuck in the Long Depression, the "little people" were not amused at this lavish show of wealth. The taxman sided with the little people, raising the Bradley-Martins taxes so onerously that they were forced to leave the country.

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