Legal Magazine

Funny/Odd Laws From Our Past…

Posted on the 27 February 2015 by Caglelawfirm @ZCagle

So, have you broken any of these laws today?

When I come across fun facts such as “ridiculous laws” or outdated laws, I have to wonder what was going on in that time period that prompted lawmakers to make some of the below laws.  Some would say they were trying to “legislate common sense”.  Along those themes, I hope that in my driving lifetime, the laws regarding texting and driving will become ridiculous.

By sharing these funny, outdated laws, my goal is NOT to poke fun at current laws or bans on hand-held devices or the dangers of hands-free devices while driving. Rather, my hope is that in the next decade or two, technology will have advanced to make driving safer and texting and driving obsolete.

Just as in Alabama, it is illegal for a driver to  be blindfolded while operating a vehicle which sounds absolutely goofy, I hope that in the future we will be able to look at the driving challenges of the Millennium as strange as the below laws:


  • If you are driving on a Missouri highway, it  is illegal to drive with an uncaged bear in your car.
  • If you are driving through Farmington, CN, cows have the same rights as motorists.

silly laws
Man’s Best Friend…..

  • If you live in Zion,  Illinois, it is against the law to expose your dog  or cat to the hazard of smoking.  It is illegal to give your dog a lighted cigar. No doubt this was enacted to prevent animal cruelty. Tobacco products of any kind and dogs do not mix and can be fatal.
  • If you are in Normal, OK, be sure you do not tease a dog by making ugly faces as that is considered inflammatory behavior and is against the law. Perhaps this was passed due to a large number of dog bite injuries in the area when dogs were provoked? Maybe so, since this is also a law in Oklahoma.
  • If you are a dog owner in Hartford, CN, be sure to hide any disobedience training for your dog as it is against the law to educate dogs in that city.

Interesting Missouri-Specific Laws:

  • You cannot honk someone else’s horn without permission–this law originated in University City where officials made it illegal to honk someone else’s horn.
  • Milkmen cannot run while on the clock- St. Louis milk men were not allowed to run and the theory was that running increased the likelihood of damaged or broken milk bottles which in turn  caused the milk company a lot of money!
  • Drinking beer out of a bucket while sitting on any city street is illegal–origins in St. Louis and possibly the law started with the St. Louis Strassenfest which is a held to celebrate the traditions of German hospitality. The Strassenfest has moved to Chesterfield, MO,.  Still yet, you have to wonder if drinking beer from buckets on a city street is a good idea for anyone?
  • No dancing in Purdy, MO—didn’t they make a movie about that in the 80’s and then remade it again in 2011?
  • Four unrelated persons cannot occupy the same dwelling–this is an old housing rule to discourage four unrelated women occupying the same apartment which could be considered a brothel…. Marquette, MO (Brothel Law)
  • Yard waste can only be burned on Sundays, in Buckner, MO–another Blue Law
  • If you are installing a bathtub in Kansas City, be certain that the bathtub does not resemble animals. Installation of bathtubs with four legs resembling animal paws is prohibited in KC. This law could be a myth without substantial evidence but to be on the safe side, forego the bath tub that resembles a frog’s body.
  • One dollar annual tax if you’re single and between the ages of 21 and 50. Law enacted in 1820–but still not a big enough tax to strongly encourage or discourage marriage.

Blue Laws…..

Blue law are those laws established specifically to prohibit certain behaviors on Sundays or other “God Days”.  While many do not observe the Sabbath as they did a century ago, many cities and towns across the U.S. still have legal law reminders of these days in the law books.

  • In Winona Lake, WI, it is still illegal to eat ice cream at a counter on Sunday…… It may be equally hard to find an “ice cream counter” anymore as well.
  • In Salem, WV, it is against the law to eat candy less than an hour and a half before church service–so no sneaking candy during services
  • In Kansas, do not expect to be able to order any pie a la mode on the Lord’s Day and no restaurant is allowed to serve it without breaking the law.  I wonder how many times each Sunday this law is broken?
  • And of course, Marbles, Dominoes and yo-yos are also banned on Sundays in several states across the U.S.

We chuckle at some of these laws as we know they are not enforced or they are not acts that we would even think to do now. I mean, who has milk man anymore?   Each state has  a list of antiquated and outdated laws that were made for some specific reason and certainly, lawmakers thought they were  a good idea at the time. While these laws are not enforced, there is usually an interesting side story to why they were passed.

Makes you think………have we made any laws in the last few years that our decendents will laugh about in another 100-150 years?

I’m sure something about smart phones will be a distant memory and future generations will wonder why we all struggled with cell phones and driving.  Hopefully, technological advances will make these laws outdated and the problem of distracted driving due to phone usage will be resolved as quickly as it has developed into an epidemic.

Currently, we don’t have to worry too much about our milkmen running while delivering milk, but we do have to worry about distracted drivers and impaired drivers. Tragic crashes happen every day because so many of us continue to try to multi-task while driving.

The common car crash is not a joking matter nor is the safety legislation surrounding it.  As long as there are serious injuries and fatalities associated with car accidents, we must take them seriously.


If you have been injured in a car crash and have been injured, you will need legal representation. Call our attorneys at The Cagle Law Firm where we are available for free consultations seven days a week, toll free 1-800-685-3302 or locally 314-276-1681

Funny/Odd Laws From Our Past…
Article Name Funny/Odd Laws from Our Past…. Author Zane T. Cagle Description Some old, antiquated laws from our past provide humor, but what laws are we making now will future generations find unnecessary and funny? Hopefully, the distracted driving laws passed in the last few years will become unnecessary with technological advances.

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