The most expensive party in American history takes place at the newly opened Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City on Feb 10th 1897. This elaborate costume ball is attended by nearly 1,000 of New York's wealthiest citizens, many billionaires by today's standards, all dressed in costumes celebrating European royalty. In a single night they drink their way through 4,000 bottles of the finest champagne, and gorge on a 28-course feast fit for any king. But this epic display of excess comes during the worst depression America has known at this time, and not everyone is applauding the show. The host of the night is Cornelia Bradley-Martin, heiress to a vast fortune and a woman on a mission. She hopes to provide a much-needed stimulus to New York's lagging economy-and to be crowned "Queen" of an exclusive high society known as "The Four Hundred". But she's given herself only three weeks to prepare this astonishing event. The logistics alone for such a massive party are remarkable even by ...
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