Crazy Laws in Massachusetts and Fun Facts Part One

This is my 'good' side.
This is my 'good' side. | Source

Crazy Laws in Massachusetts and Fun Facts Part One

Crazy Laws in the State of Massachusetts

Did you know that Massachusetts has a crazy state law that prohibits a woman from utilizing a certain position?

And another crazy law that bans Quakers and witches? I am not making this up.

Read on to learn about these and another 15 crazy laws in the state of Massachusetts. Part Two will include the crazy laws still on the books in the cities of Massachusetts.

Quakers and witches are banned.

That sorta gives you an idea of where Quakers fall in the scheme of things.

Candy may not contain more than 1% of alcohol.

Now I have to check out my favorite candy bars: Almond Joy, Rocky Road, and Mr. Goodbar. Those bars produce such euphoria, the manufacturers may be breaking the law.

It is illegal to give, sell or deliver beer to hospital patients.

One more good reason to avoid a hospital stay whenever possible.

Shooting ranges may not set up targets that resemble human beings.

How about targets that resemble sleazy politicians? That could work.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzz!
Zzzzzzzzzzzzz! | Source

Taxi drivers are prohibited from making love in the front seat of their taxi during their shifts.

Not to worry. So far, there does not appear to be any restrictions for using the back seat.

All men must carry a rifle to church on Sunday.

Advice to religious leaders: If on Sunday, you preach, don’t give too long a speech.

Hunting on Sundays is prohibited.

But, apparently, not in church.

Alcoholic drink specials are illegal.

Make your whiney (get it?) patrons pay full price.

Would ya throw me a towel?
Would ya throw me a towel? | Source

It is illegal to go to bed without first having a full bath.

So … who monitors this activity? Just wonderin’.

A woman cannot be on top in sexual activities.

Excuse me, on top of what? (The debbil made me write this.)

Public boxing matches are outlawed.

Spouses and others must battle in private.

Children may smoke, but they may not purchase cigarettes.

I know, life is not fair.

Are you the one who is gonna tell me where I can sit in the car?
Are you the one who is gonna tell me where I can sit in the car? | Source

No gorilla is allowed in the back seat of any car.

What about gorillas in the front seat? Especially if they are driving!

At a wake, mourners may eat no more than three sandwiches.

You gotta keep an eye on those moochers. They can eat you out of house and home.

Tomatoes may not be used in the production of clam chowder.

Thank goodness the state didn’t ban clams.

Bullets may not be used as currency.

Use wampum like the rest of us.

An old ordinance declares goatees illegal unless you first pay a special license fee for the privilege of wearing one in public.

No fee, no goatee.

Plymouth Rock
Plymouth Rock | Source
The Mayflower II
The Mayflower II | Source

Fun Facts and Illustrious Information in Massachusetts

The visible portion of Plymouth Rock is a lumpy fragment of glacial moraine about the size of a coffee table, with the date 1620 cut into its surface. It rests near the head of Plymouth Harbor.

The first English settlers in Massachusetts were the Pilgrims who arrived via the Mayflower at Plymouth in 1620, and developed friendly relations with the local native Americans, the Wampanoag.

A pilgrim (from the Latin, ‘peregrinus’) is a traveler who has come from afar who is on a journey, typically, to a holy place.

The Mayflower II is a full-size replica of the Mayflower which brought the Pilgrims to Plymouth in 1620. It is located at the State Pier in Plymouth Center, and is open as a museum.

The first Thanksgiving Day was celebrated in Plymouth in 1621. Wild turkey and cranberries were probably on the menu.

Plimouth Plantation
Plimouth Plantation | Source
Interior of Old Ship Church
Interior of Old Ship Church | Source

Plimouth Plantation is a living history museum located In Plymouth which consists of a re-creation of the Plymouth settlement in 1627.

The Pilgrims who came to America in 1620 were strict Puritans with negative views on religious holidays such as Christmas and Easter. They were particularly contemptuous of Christmas and banned its celebration throughout the 17th and 18th centuries.

The Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1628 was named after the indigenous population, the Massachusett. The name has been translated as ‘near the great hill,’ ‘by the blue hills,’ or ‘at the little big hill.’

Hingham's Old Ship Church built in 1681 is the oldest church structure in the U.S. in continuous use as a house of worship.

Boston Cream pie
Boston Cream pie | Source
Peabody Essex Museum, Salem
Peabody Essex Museum, Salem | Source

The Boston Cream Pie was invented at the Parker House in Boston. It is the state's official dessert. The owners state that the Boston cream pie was first created at the hotel by Armenian-French chef M. Sanzian in 1856.

Didja know that the Boston Cream pie is not a pie. It is a cake! A cake filled with custard or cream filling and frosted with chocolate.

In 1692, the town of Salem and surrounding areas experienced one of America's most infamous cases of mass hysteria, the Salem witch trials. Twenty people were executed, most of them women.

552 original documents pertaining to the Salem witch trials have been preserved and are still stored by the Peabody Essex Museum.

Boston Harbor Lighthouse
Boston Harbor Lighthouse | Source
Boston Tea Party Museum
Boston Tea Party Museum | Source

The first American lighthouse was built in the Boston Harbor in 1716.

The Boston Tea Party was a political protest by the Sons of Liberty in Boston on December 16, 1773. Disguised as native Americans, they destroyed an entire shipment of tea sent by the East India Company in defiance of the Tea Act of May 10, 1773.

They boarded the ships and threw the chests of tea into Boston Harbor. The colonists believed that the Tea Act violated their right to be taxed only by their own elected representatives and not by a British parliament.

Remember your American History class in school? ‘No taxation without representation.'

The Boston Tea Party Museum is located on the Congress Street Bridge in Boston. It features reenactments, a documentary, and a number of interactive exhibits.

The Boston Tea Party reenactment takes place in Boston Harbor every December 16th.

The House of the Seven Gables
The House of the Seven Gables | Source

Nathaniel Hathorne, a famous novelist and short story writer, was born in Salem.

No, I did not misspell his name.

His great-grandfather was John Hathorne, the only judge involved in the Salem witch trials who never repented of his actions. Nathaniel later added a ‘w’ to make his name ‘Hawthorne’ in order to hide this relationship.

The House of the Seven Gables in Salem was built in 1668 and is now a museum open to the public.

The seven-gabled house inspired Hawthorne to write his famous novel of the same name in 1851.

In the late 18th century, Boston became known as the ‘Cradle of Liberty’ for the agitation there that led to the American Revolution and independence of the U.S. from Great Britain.

The Battles of Lexington and Concord were the first military engagements of the American Revolutionary War. They were fought on April 19, 1775 within the towns of Lexington, Concord, Lincoln, Cambridge and Menotomy (present-day Arlington).

John Lee Richmond 1857-1929
John Lee Richmond 1857-1929 | Source

John Lee Richmond, a left-handed pitcher for the Worcester Ruby Legs, pitched the first Major League Baseball ‘perfect game’ in Worcester on June 12, 1880.

Basketball was invented in 1891 by James Naismith in Springfield. The Basketball Hall Of Fame is located in Springfield.

In Holyoke, William G. Morgan created a new game called ‘Mintonette’ in 1895. After a demonstration given at the YMCA in nearby Springfield, the game became known as volleyball.

The Volleyball Hall of Fame is located in Holyoke.

Holyoke is home to the second-largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the U.S. surpassed only by the New York City parade.

Hood Milk Bottle
Hood Milk Bottle | Source
Source

The Children's Museum in Boston displays a giant milk bottle on the museum's wharf.

If it were real it would hold 50,000 gallons of milk and 8,620 gallons of cream.

At 40 feet tall and 18 feet in diameter, the structure now known as the Hood Milk Bottle was originally constructed in 1933 on the banks of the Three Mile River in Taunton.

The bottle was cut into three sections and moved by barge to Boston in 1977. Re-assembled on the wharf, the structure resumed its original function as an ice cream stand and snack bar.

Archibald Query of Somerville started selling his version of the sweet treat, Marshmallow Fluff, door-to-door in 1917.

Soon afterward Query sold the recipe to two candy makers in Lynn: H. Allen Durkee and Fred Mower for $500. The product first hit supermarket shelves in cans as Toot Sweet Marshmallow Fluff.

Marshmallow creme and peanut butter are used to create a fluffernutter sandwich.

Since 2006, an annual Fluff Festival, ‘What the Fluff?’, is held to celebrate the invention of Marshmallow Fluff, and the crowning of the Pharaoh of Fluff.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Massachusetts has the lowest divorce rate in the country with 2.5 divorces per 1000 people.

I wonder who that half a person is.

Elias Howe's first sewing machine
Elias Howe's first sewing machine | Source

Charles Goodyear first produced vulcanized rubber in 1844 in his small factory in Springfield. This achievement is considered one of the major ‘firsts’ that contributes to the city of Springfield's nickname, ‘The City of Firsts.’

Elias Howe of Spencer was awarded the first U. S. patent for a sewing machine using a lockstitch design in 1846.

Alexander Graham Bell, who invented the telephone, made the first phone call in his Boston laboratory in 1876 to his assistant.

What did he say? “Mr. Watson, come here – I want to see you.”

Theodor Seuss Geisel 1904-1991
Theodor Seuss Geisel 1904-1991 | Source

Theodor Seuss Geisel better known as ‘Dr. Seuss,’ was born in Springfield. His popular children’s books have sold more than 600 million copies.

Dr. Seuss's honors include two Academy awards, two Emmy awards, a Peabody award, and the Pulitzer Prize.

Dr. Seuss wrote many of his books in anapestic tetrameter, a poetic meter consisting of two weak syllables followed by one strong syllable.

Example: "And today the Great Yertle, that Marvelous he, Is King of the Mud. That is all he can see." Just thought you would like to know.

The Paper House

Elis F. Stenman began building his house in 1922 in Rockport with a timber frame, roof, and floors. But to construct the walls, he decided to use a much different form of wood: newspaper.

The Paper House has walls, doors, and furniture made of varnished newspapers – roughly 100,000 of them. 215 layers of paper were stuck together with a homemade glue of flour, water, and apple peels to make 1-inch-thick panels for the walls.

When Stenman moved out in 1930, the house became a museum and still stands today.

Boston University Bridge
Boston University Bridge | Source

State song – ‘All Hail to Massachusetts’ by Arthur J. Marsh

State building stone – Granite

State muffin – Corn muffin

State cat – Tabby cat

State folk dance – Square dance

State game bird – Wild turkey

State dessert – Boston cream pie

State reptile – Garter snake

State cookie – chocolate chip cookie

State polka –‘Say Hello To Someone From Massachusetts’ by Lenny Gomulka


The Boston University Bridge on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston is the only place in the world where a boat can travel under a train . . .

traveling under a car . . .

traveling under an airplane.

Speaking of 'under,' Boston built the first subway system in the U.S. in 1897.

Massachusetts residents are called Bay Staters.

State Symbols

State flower – Mayflower

State tree – American elm

State bird – Chickadee

State beverage – Cranberry juice

State horse – Morgan horse

State insect – Ladybug

State fish – Cod

State dog – Boston Terrier

State gem – Rhodonite

State marine mammal – Right whale

State fossil – Dinosaur track

State mineral – Babingtonite (jet black mineral with brilliant luster)

Favorite Boston one-liner:

Q: What are the only two seasons in Boston? A: Winter and Construction.

BOLO – Be On the Look Out for Part Two – ‘Crazy Laws in the Cities of Massachusetts’ and more fun facts.

© Copyright BJ Rakow, Ph.D. 2015. All rights reserved. Author, "Much of What You Know about Job Search Just Ain't So."

More by this Author


Crazy Laws in Massachusetts and Fun Facts Part One 42 comments

Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Thank you again for a marvelously written, researched and presented piece. I just love this series.


Rebecca E. profile image

Rebecca E. 15 months ago from Canada

I should really learn not to have any sort of beverage when I come to read your fantastic work, well done, and witches and quakers, that's a good one.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 15 months ago from England

Where to start? lol! I am never going to church there for starters! great hub as always, I laughed and learned something new so you can't get better than that! nell


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 15 months ago from Oakley, CA

Well, done, as always!

Hilarious laws and love your commentary on same. ;-)

Since my mother hailed from MA, and I got to visit several times during my youth, I was fairly familiar with most of the facts..save one: I never heard of the paper house! My goodness, but how amazing, and wondrous that it is still standing, given that it even includes a fireplace!!!!

And Oh. My. Gosh. I LOVE Boston Creme Pie!! I used to make it from a mix, and they quit making the mix. Boo, Hiss! I can't get the filling right from scratch, because it does not taste like a baked custard, as I don't like that; nor is it exactly like vanilla pudding, though that comes a bit closer.

I am surprised, however, that there is a 'state muffin,' and no mention at all of Johnny Cakes!! That should be the state 'muffin,' though it is really more like a cornmeal pancake than a muffin... ;-)


billybuc profile image

billybuc 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

Funny as always...the part that jumped out at me was the first lighthouse in 1716....for some reason I would have thought before that in the 1600s. Shows you how much I know. :)


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 15 months ago

Carrying a rifle to Church is proactive!


Larry Rankin profile image

Larry Rankin 15 months ago from Oklahoma

I'd been waiting for another one of these. They always brighten my day.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 15 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Hilarious!.....Your puns are GREAT. Can't stop laughing. Once again you have caused me to do my aerobics sitting down. Thanks! Massachusetts has 2 parts? Can't wait to see part2!

These laws are head-scratchers beyond some of the other States.....HOW do States out-do themselves like this? Just when I think I've read the craziest....another State makes the prior seem "almost" normal.

Which leads me to my HUGE curiosity......Exactly WHAT could have been behind the necessity to enact most or ALL of these laws you've dug up??? I would really love to know those stories!! Wracking my brain, I just don't remember the last time I picked up a hitch-hiking gorilla! A Mexican Spider Monkey or two, yes, but no gorilla.


Say Yes To Life profile image

Say Yes To Life 15 months ago from Big Island of Hawaii

"State dance - square dance". Did you know contra dance is a precursor to square dance? It's the same moves, but done in a line instead of a square. The headquarters is in Northampton, MA. I wrote a story about it in my hub, "Bohemian Cotillion: a Valentine's Day Story".

Once again, fun hub!


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 15 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

This is entertaining and informative, as always, drbj. The strange laws that you discover never fail to amaze me!


drbj profile image

drbj 15 months ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Eric. You are so welcome, m'dear, for your lovely comments and for loving this series. The pleasure is mine. Absolutely!


drbj profile image

drbj 15 months ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Rebecca. Do hope you and/or your computer were not harmed when reading this article while drinking some liquid. Coffee? Loved your comment. Happy you enjoyed the witches and Quakers, too. Don't think that Quakers might have been similarly inspired.


drbj profile image

drbj 15 months ago from south Florida Author

Thanks, Nell, for the lol. Church-going in Mass. could be dangerous. Delighted that you laughed and learned - my favorite combination. And thanks for the visit and the kind words. Ta ta!


drbj profile image

drbj 15 months ago from south Florida Author

Thanks, Lizzy, for the visit, the generous comments and your charming anecdotes. The Paper House is amazing and well worth a visit in person if you get the opportunity.

How unfortunate about your travails with the Boston Creme Pie especially since you love it. Have you tried searching Amazon for similar concoctions?

You are correct. Johnny cakes are popular throughout New England but are probably not the state muffin because it is thought they originated in Rhode Island ... and they are considered more a pancake than a muffin. Do you make those, too? What a woman!

Thanks also for loving my hilarious laws and comments. That makes two of us. (laughing)


drbj profile image

drbj 15 months ago from south Florida Author

That surprised me, too, Bill, that the first lighthouse was not built until 1716 ... maybe it took that long to raise the funds ... or to find a builder who knew what a lighthouse should look like. Ya think?

Thanks for the 'funny as always' - your visits are much appreciated.


drbj profile image

drbj 15 months ago from south Florida Author

You make a good point, bp, but those rifles could be a bit disconcerting to the preacher if his sermons were uninteresting and overlong. Just sayin'.


drbj profile image

drbj 15 months ago from south Florida Author

What a lovely thing to say, Larry. Brightening your day shall become my mission. Though I cannot promise EVERY day!


drbj profile image

drbj 15 months ago from south Florida Author

Laughing, sitting aerobics, Paula? You may have discovered something, m'dear. Absolutely delighted that you find this hilarious and pun-ful. Part 2 is on the way.

I'm surprised, too, that each state comes up with laws more fanciful and outlandish than the previous. My research so far indicates that almost all these crazy laws were the result of one or more citizens - perhaps aliens? - who performed one of these weird actions . . . Or a fuzzy legislator who imbibed too much between sessions.

Spider monkeys are cute so I could understand picking up a hitch-hiking specimen. But gorillas? They are a no-no! They are all terrible 'back-seat' drivers!

Did I mention that I look forward to your visits?


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 15 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Seriously Doc....I dated a gorilla in the '80's. He lacked basic social skills & I lost a lot of friends. It took me some time to face reality. I was hooked on the hairy, muscular macho type. Hey, what can I say?

We're on the same page because I look forward to your hubs.


drbj profile image

drbj 15 months ago from south Florida Author

Thanks for the info, Say Yes, about contra dance. I'll take a look at your story. Thanks for finding this a fun hub. That's my mission. :)


drbj profile image

drbj 15 months ago from south Florida Author

Isn't it strange, Alicia, how many strange laws our U.S. states have enacted? It's almost as if the ability to formulate crazy laws is a prerequisite for state legislators. Thanks for the visit and finding this entertaining and informative - my ultimate goal.


drbj profile image

drbj 15 months ago from south Florida Author

Now I'm laughing, Paula, because I, too, was attracted to the hairy, muscular type of guy ... although mine turned out to be a winner in every way, shape and form.

So we're on the same page in a number of ways.


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 15 months ago from Oakley, CA

Johnnycakes--mmm..with real maple syrup for breakfast! Yum! Or for dinner with butter and Boston Baked Beans! They are versatile! And you're right--I believe they did actually originate in RI, so my mistake on that.

I haven't made any in a while; maybe I'll have some tonight. ;-)


drbj profile image

drbj 15 months ago from south Florida Author

You are thinking of making some of those delicious Johnny cakes tonight, Liz? I'll be there for a late dinner about 9pm. Oh, shucks, just realized my super, supersonic private jet is at the cleaners - some careless guest spilled champagne on the Oriental aisle rug. Next time, m'luv.

And don't worry where that treat originated - just enjoy!


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 15 months ago from Oakley, CA

D'y'know? Gray's Mill, in RI is still in business, and will ship Johnnycake meal by mail order. It's how I get mine... ;-)


drbj profile image

drbj 15 months ago from south Florida Author

How sweet of you to let me know, Liz. Thanks - I do appreciate it. And you!


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 15 months ago from southern USA

CONGRATS ON YOUR 2015 HUBBIE AWARD, drbj! Well-deserved.

Glad my vote counted : )

Happy dance time, funny lady!


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 15 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

I think the right writer got the award for Funniest Hubber, drbj.

Congratulations and thanks for always making us smile.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 15 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

OK..alright....So your Gorilla was a keeper and mine was a creeper! Don't brag!...

It's very unbecoming of the our newly awarded FUNNIEST HUBBER!!

Can I call 'em or what?? You got my vote and obviously many others.

Just remember, my vote was the one that counted!!

CONGRATULATIONS DOC !!!


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 15 months ago from sunny Florida

hi drbj just stopping by to say hurray for you---congrats on the hubbie award

Angels are on the way bringing blessings and hugs ps


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 15 months ago from East Coast, United States

Hi drbj - how often have I come on here, a bit low, and found myself so cheered by your lovely sense of humor. The ability to make people laugh is a gift from God. Congratulations on winning a Hubbie Award!


drbj profile image

drbj 15 months ago from south Florida Author

Thanks, Theresa, for your congrats on my Hubbie award and backatcha. Congratulations to you, too, m'dear for a more than well earned and deserved Hubbie award as well.

Are you watching now? I'm doing that happy dance you suggested.

Do they do the Minuet any more? Just wonderin'.


drbj profile image

drbj 15 months ago from south Florida Author

Thank you, Maria, for that lovely comment and congrats. It is my pleasure to make you smile. Chuckling and laughing is okay, too. Where have you been, m'dear? I've missed you. Hope all is well with you and yours.


drbj profile image

drbj 15 months ago from south Florida Author

Yes, indeed, Paula - your vote was the one that counted. So thank you very much. And I wasn't bragging about the keeper - simply stating a fact. (laughing)

If you want some more laughs, read this Hub which won funniest hub in 2013. "Funny Pun about Losing Jobs." Now - that's bragging!! ;)

And Congratulations to you, too. You have always been one of my most favorite commenters. 'Bout time you got appreciated for same.


drbj profile image

drbj 15 months ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Patricia - thanks for stopping by to say hurray - you are one of those Angels yourself, you know.


drbj profile image

drbj 15 months ago from south Florida Author

How lovely to see you here, Dolores, and thank you for the sublime and very meaningful to me, comments. Wow! I'm walking on air. Trust me. And thanks, m'dear, for the congrats. Cheering you up any time is my pleasure.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 15 months ago from New York

I never knew there were gorillas in Massachusetts, shows what I know ;)

I've told you before and I'll tell you again, I love the way you write these hubs. Your sense of humor is beyond reproach, your fact searching is interesting and the whole darn thing is great!

I've learned some new things about Massachusetts even though my visits there were educational.


drbj profile image

drbj 15 months ago from south Florida Author

I promise, Mary, not to let the gorillas know you were not aware of their Mass. presence. They would be SO disappointed! Thank you for loving my series - it makes all the work worthwhile. Seriously! Delighted that you enjoy some educational facts with the humor. Hope your weekend is fantastic.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 15 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

Ahhh...I was waiting for my state to pop up in this terrific series. Lol. Congratulations on winning the Hubbie award. I voted for you along with so many others who I know are pleased that you won. Hugs. :-)


drbj profile image

drbj 15 months ago from south Florida Author

So happy I finally reached your state, Genna. Now go take a look at Part Two for more crazy laws and funny facts. Thanks so much for your vote - I am pleased that you as well as others are pleased - so am I! Hugs backatcha, m'dear.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 14 months ago from sunny Florida

O my so many laws...so little time. I would feel like it was just a matter of time till I broke one of these laws...some of them are, well, very tricky.

And you filled in so many facts that I might have known at some points but must have forgotten

Your usual entertaining and fun-filled hub.

Angels are once again on the way bringing blessings and hugs ps

shared G+ pinned and tweeted


drbj profile image

drbj 14 months ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Patricia. If all the states I have mentioned were to begin enforcing all these crazy laws, all of us would be in big trouble. Thanks for appreciating the fun facts I include and finding these hubs entertaining and fun-filled.

Thank you for the hugs and blessings and backatcha with same. Thank you also for your generous sharing, pinning, tweeting, etc. You ARE the best!

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