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Ridiculous Laws? Not a New Complaint
Posted on March 2, 2012 by Eric Beck | Categories: features | |  Tagged:  , , |

Do you find some of the laws in your state odd?  There are various lists out there of laws that are still on the books that seem ridiculous, not only for the present, but for any point in time.  Personally, I love that Massachusetts still has a law that bans the use of tomatoes in clam chowder.  But there are stranger laws as well – in Boston there is an ordinance that requires you to carry a gun if crossing Boston Common in case of bears.

But, like many of the things we discover here at A New Nation Votes, this is not a new complaint.  As far back as 1823 people were complaining about the odd laws of their forefathers.  I have here a piece from The Sentinal (Butler, PA) of October 18, 1823:

“BLUE LAWS.  The Blue laws of Connecticut have often been a source of meriment to the citizens of the present day.  But it is not generally known that some of the acts of the legislature of Pennsylvania are equally queer.  About the year 1683 or 84 the legislature of Pennsylvania, passed a resolution that, ‘no member thereof should come to the house barefooted nor eat his bread and cheese on the steps.’ “

Apparently in 1683 it was a concern that, not only might the members show up without shoes, but that, heaven forbid, they might eat their lunch on the steps of the state house.

So go ahead and complain about your state’s silly laws.  It’s a time honored tradition.