It started when someone dared stunt actor “Shipwreck” Kelly to sit on a flagpole in 1924. He did. He lasted 13 hours. Others glommed on to the idea and the record grew longer. Finally in 1929, Kelly decided to reclaim his record and sat on a flagpole for 49 days in Atlantic City, NJ. The next year, the Great Depression started and people lost interest in such pointless things.