Crazy Laws in the Cities of Massachusetts and Fun Facts Part Two

Did you read about the crazy state laws in Massachusetts – Part One? The crazy law that it’s okay for children to smoke? But it is not okay to have gorillas in the back seat of your car? The banning of Quakers … and witches?

Then get ready to laugh at 22 more of the craziest laws in the cities of Massachusetts and wondrous, illustrious fun facts.

Cows and Sheep grazing together
Cows and Sheep grazing together | Source

Crazy Laws in the Cities of Massachusetts

In Boston – Anyone may let their cows and sheep graze in the public gardens or commons at any time except Sundays.

It’s Sunday! Little Boy Blue, come give your horn a peep. The cows are on the commons and so are the sheep.

No one may cross the Boston Common without carrying a shotgun in case of bears.

Just be careful not to shoot any cows or sheep!

It is illegal to eat peanuts in church.

Bring your rifle instead. All men must carry a rifle to church on Sunday. (See ‘Massachusetts State Laws Part One’)

Duels to the death permitted on the common on Sundays provided that the Governor is present.

Oh, well, that would make it all right then!


Women may not wear heels over 3 inches in length while on the common.

Jimmy Choo is very unhappy about this one.

No one may take a bath without a prescription.

An old law prohibits the taking of baths on Sunday.

No more than two baths may be taken within the confines of the city.

A little clarification is needed for these three crazy laws.

Who gives you a prescription? Why not on Sunday? And regarding those two baths: Is that per day? Per week? Per month?

It is illegal for any citizen to own more than three dogs.

Be grateful you do not live in Marlborough – it is illegal for any citizen there to own more than two dogs.

Old musician's joke:
"What's the difference between a fiddle and a violin?"
"You don't spill beer on a violin!"

It is illegal to play the fiddle.

Someone in Boston must have heard me practicing.

Two people may not kiss in front of a church.

Outside, try not to lapse. Inside, why not use the apse?

In Burlington – you may not walk around with a ‘drink.’

If you walk around with a drink, the cops will put you in the clink.

In Hingham – you may not have colored lights on your house if it can be seen from Main Street.

Perhaps too many houses sported red lights? Just sayin’.

Take that!
Take that! | Source

In Marlborough it is illegal to buy, sell or possess a squirt gun.

Talk about strict gun control.

It is illegal for any citizen to own more than two dogs.

Told you so. Move to Boston. You can own up to three dogs there.

Silly string is illegal in the city limits.

Teach your string to shape up and be serious.

One may not detonate a nuclear device in the city.

But there is no restriction on using the countryside.

In Milford – peeping in the windows of automobiles is forbidden.

Watch TV – it’s safer.

It is illegal to excavate any city street.

If you must dig a hole, they can use you at the cemetery.

I'm outta here.
I'm outta here. | Source

In Newton – all families must be given a hog from the town’s mayor.

I love barbecue pork spareribs. Where do I go to get my pig?

In North Andover – an ordinance prohibits the use of space guns.

I’m a little worried about this law. Has someone (or something) there been using them?

In Woburn – In bars, it is actually illegal to ‘walk around’ with a beer in your hand.

Don’t walk around with a beer. To the law, you must adhere.

Massachusetts State House
Massachusetts State House | Source
Horace Mann 1796-1859
Horace Mann 1796-1859 | Source

Fun Facts and Illustrious Information about Massachusetts

The Massachusetts State House, completed in 1798, is located in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston.

The original wood dome leaked and was covered with copper in1802 by Paul Revere’s Revere Copper Company. It was gilded with gold leaf in 1874.

During World War II, the dome was painted black to prevent reflection during blackouts.

In 1997, the dome was re-gilded in 23K gold at a cost of $300,000.

Horace Mann, born in Franklin, was an American politician and educational reformer who is known as ‘The Father of the Common School Movement.’

Speaking of Franklin, over 30 communities in the colonies eventually renamed themselves to honor Benjamin Franklin but the Massachusetts town of Franklin was the first in 1778. It changed its name from Exeter.

Franklin is home to the country's first public library, with its first books, 116 of them, donated by, Guess who? Benjamin Franklin.

Massachusetts Hall, Harvard University
Massachusetts Hall, Harvard University | Source
Williston Library, Mount Holyoke College
Williston Library, Mount Holyoke College | Source

Massachusetts is the home of many ‘firsts’ related to education:

Harvard University, founded in 1636 in Cambridge is the oldest institution of higher learning in the U.S.

The Mather school, the first public elementary school in America, was founded in Dorchester in 1639.

Derby Academy in Hingham was founded in 1784 and is the oldest co-educational school in the U.S.

Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, founded in 1837, is the oldest college for women.

Massachusetts is home to 121 institutions of higher education.

Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.), both located in Cambridge, consistently rank among the world’s best universities.

The MIT Whirlwind, the world’s first 16-bit computer, was invented in 1951 at M.I.T.

Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803-1882
Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803-1882 | Source

Massachusetts was an early center of the Transcendentalist movement, which emphasized intuition, emotion, human individuality and a deeper connection with nature.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, who was born in Boston but spent much of his later life in Concord, largely created the philosophy with his 1836 work, ‘Nature’.

Emerson's friend, Henry David Thoreau, also involved in Transcendentalism, recorded his year spent alone in a small cabin at nearby Walden Pond in his 1854 work, ‘Walden or Life in the Woods.’

Other famous authors and poets with Massachusetts connections include John Updike (lived in Ipswich), Emily Dickinson (born in Amherst), Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (lived in Cambridge), E.E. Cummings (born in Cambridge), and Sylvia Plath (born in Boston).

Motif Number 1
Motif Number 1 | Source

Trailer for movie 'Ted 2'

Motif Number 1, located on Bradley Wharf in Rockport, is a replica of a former fishing shack well known to students of art and art history as ‘the most often-painted building in America.’

Norfolk County is the birthplace of four United States presidents: John Adams, John Quincy Adams, John F. Kennedy and George H. W. Bush.

It is called the ‘County of Presidents.’

Norfolk County is also the wealthiest county in Massachusetts with a median household income of $86,153.

In 2014, Norfolk was the location for the comedy film, ‘Ted 2,’ starring Mark Wahlberg and Seth MacFarlane.

Didja know … Mark Robert Michael Wahlberg was born in Boston (June 5, 1971).

Fig Newtons
Fig Newtons | Source
United First Parish Church
United First Parish Church | Source

Fig Newtons are a Nabisco trademarked version of the fig roll, a pastry filled with fig paste.

The first Fig Newton cookies were baked at the F. A. Kennedy Steam Bakery in 1891 and named after the city of Newton.

In 1991, Newton and Nabisco hosted a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Fig Newton. A 100-inch Fig Newton was served, and singer and guitarist, Juice Newton, performed.

The United First Parish Church in Quincy is called the ‘Church of the Presidents’ because Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams attended the church together with their wives.

All four are buried beneath the church in a family crypt.

James Michael Curley, 41st mayor of Boston, had automobile license plate number ‘576’ – the number of letters in James (5) Michael (7) Curley (6).

The mayor of Boston's official car still uses the same number on its plate.

Herman Melville 1819-1991
Herman Melville 1819-1991 | Source
Actual Patch with name of Lake (so you won't think I am making this up!)
Actual Patch with name of Lake (so you won't think I am making this up!) | Source

In 1841, Herman Melville joined the crew of the whaler, Acushnet. He later wrote about his travels at sea culminating in the whaling novel, ‘Moby Dick.’

The Acushnet Company, founded in Acushnet in 1910, manufactures Titleist golf balls, golf equipment and bathing caps.

The name, ‘Acushnet,’ comes from the Wampanoag word, ‘Cushnea,’ meaning ‘peaceful resting place near water.’

Revere Beach, about four miles north of Boston, was founded in 1895 as the first public beach in the U.S.

The annual New England Sand Sculpting Festival takes place at Revere Beach every July.

Lake Chargoggagoggmanchaug-gagoggchaubunagungamaugg, also known as Webster Lake in Webster, has the longest geographic name in the U.S. and perhaps the longest lake name in the world.

The lake's name comes from an Algonquian language, and is said to mean, ‘Fishing Place at the Boundaries – Neutral Meeting Grounds.’

Which might be translated as: 'You fish on your side and I'll fish on mine.'

Polar Beverages soft drinks
Polar Beverages soft drinks | Source
Dunkin Donuts - Yummmm!
Dunkin Donuts - Yummmm! | Source

Polar Beverages, based in Worcester, is the largest independent soft-drink bottler in the U.S. The company traces its roots back to 1882. Orson, the polar bear, is its mascot since 1902.

In 1995, Polar launched a TV commercial spoofing Coke. Orson is seen tossing a Coke can in the trash and drinking a Polar seltzer instead. A tagline reads: ‘Keep the Arctic Pure.’

Speaking of Coke cans, Coca-Cola claimed the ad was defamatory. A federal judge in Boston agreed and Polar pulled the ad. But the attention and publicity were priceless.

Howard Deering Johnson opened the first Howard Johnson in1925 in Quincy. It featured fried clams, baked beans, chicken pot pies, frankfurters, soft drinks, and ice cream – 28 flavors.

Howard Johnson hotels and motels are now part of Wyndham Worldwide.

William Rosenberg opened his first restaurant in 1948 as Open Kettle, in Quincy.

The name changed to Kettle Donuts in 1949 and the now corporate name, Dunkin' Donuts, was adopted in 1950.

President John F. Kennedy
President John F. Kennedy | Source

The Kennedys

The Kennedy family has been prominent in Massachusetts politics. Ambassador and businessman Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr., born in Brookline (1888-1969), led the way.

His sons included John F. Kennedy, born in Brookline (1917) who was a Senator and U.S. president before his assassination in 1963;

Robert F. Kennedy, born in Brookline (1925) who was a Senator, U.S. Attorney General and presidential candidate before his assassination in 1968;

Edward ‘Ted’ Kennedy, born in Boston (1932-2009) who was a Senator.

Rose Elizabeth Kennedy, their mother, had nine children and was born in Boston (1890-1995). Her father had served as Mayor of Boston.

Hebert Candy Mansion
Hebert Candy Mansion | Source
Plastic pink flamingos
Plastic pink flamingos | Source

Hebert Candies in Shrewsbury introduced white chocolate to America in 1935.

Frederick E. Hebert purchased a Tudor stone mansion where candy is still manufactured in the ‘Candy Mansion.’

Clarence Frank Birdseye II revolutionized American mealtime when he invented frozen foods in Gloucester in 1925.

In 1929, Birdseye sold his company and patents for $22 million and the company eventually became the Birds Eye Frozen Food Company.

Those plastic pink flamingos that decorate so many American lawns were first manufactured in 1958 by Union Products in Leominster.

They were designed by Don Featherstone and modeled after photos he saw in ‘National Geographic.’

Speaking of Featherstone – he resided in Fitchburg where he kept 57 plastic flamingos on his front lawn.He and his wife, Nancy, dressed alike for over 35 years.

Cape Cod National Seashore Park
Cape Cod National Seashore Park | Source
Balance Rock
Balance Rock | Source

The creation of the Cape Cod National Seashore in 1961, formerly private town and state-owned land, marked the first time the federal government purchased land for a park.

Anne Sullivan, Helen Keller’s teacher was born in Feeding Hills, a subsection of Agawam.

Agawam's zip code of 01001 is the lowest number in the continental U.S.

Six Flags New England Amusement Park is located in Agawam.

Balance Rock State Park in Lanesborough is named for a giant triangular boulder that is balanced on its tip upon a much smaller stone below it.

How large is it? 30 feet long by 15 feet wide.

Morton 'Inhaler'
Morton 'Inhaler' | Source
Early formal Valentine
Early formal Valentine | Source
The Smiley face
The Smiley face | Source

More Massachusett ‘Firsts’

Loring Coes of Worcester invented the screw wrench commonly known as the Monkey wrench in 1841.

Dr. William Thomas Green Morton, a dentist from Charlton, was the first to use ether as an anesthetic in 1846.

He later demonstrated its use at Mass General Hospital in Boston in an amphitheater known today as the ‘Ether Dome.’

Esther Allen Howland of Worcester was the first person to mass-produce valentines in the U.S. in 1848.

She named her business the New England Valentine Company, and eventually grossed over $100,000 per year – a considerable sum for that time.

Henry Drushel Perky was an attorney and inventor who developed a cereal machine for making what he called ‘little whole wheat mattresses.’

The product is now known all over the world as shredded wheat. He opened bakeries in Boston and Worcester in 1895 to sell the ‘cookless breakfast food.’

Robert Goddard, inventor of the first liquid-fueled rocket, was born in Worcester and launched the first rocket fueled with liquid fuel from the neighboring town of Auburn on March 16, 1926.

Harvey Ross Ball, born and raised in Worcester, was a commercial artist who designed that notable international icon, the Smiley face in 1963.

Harvey received $45 for his free-lance artistic creation but never applied for a trademark or copyright.

Peregrine falcon
Peregrine falcon | Source
LARGE  Citgo sign
LARGE Citgo sign | Source

More Fun Facts

Peregrine falcons, also known as duck hawks, utilize office towers in larger cities as nesting areas.

They are renowned for their speed which can reach 200 mph when diving for prey.

In 2004, Massachusetts became the first U.S. state to legally recognize same-sex marriage as a result of the ruling of the state's Supreme Judicial Court.

The famous ‘Citgo’ sign in Kenmore Square, Boston contains five miles of neon tubing.

Thirteen Fortune 500 companies are located in Massachusetts, the largest of which are the Liberty Mutual Insurance Group of Boston and MassMutual Financial Services of Springfield.

The Boston Marathon is a popular event in the state drawing more than 30,000 runners and tens of thousands of spectators annually.

The marathon has been run every year since 1897 and celebrates Patriots’ Day, a legal holiday commemorating the anniversary of the battles of Lexington and Concord.

The New England Summer Nationals is a popular, annual, four-day-long auto show in Worcester which usually takes place on the July 4th holiday weekend.

You know you’re from Massachusetts if:

• You feel that the rest of the world needs to drive more like you.

• You believe using your turn signal is a sign of weakness.

• You know at least one guy named Sean, Pat, Whitey, Red, Bud or Seamus.

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

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Comments for Crazy Laws in the Cities of Massachusetts and Fun Facts - Part Two 22 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

I'm still waiting for the Funniest Hubber to write about crazy laws in my state of Washington...waiting patiently I might add. :) Congrats on your Hubbie Award. This Hub is the reason for that award, and it is well-deserved.

ArtDiva profile image

ArtDiva 13 months ago from Yountville, CA

Gees, where do you find the time to gather all this, not for just one, but many? And, all fun to sit and read with morning coffee in hand, to start the day off with a smile and a good laugh. Great fun!

always exploring profile image

always exploring 13 months ago from Southern Illinois

This was another funny hub esp. the gun control bit..I did learn that women were allowed to go to college in 1837 which was a surprise. When I was allowed to eat gluten, fig Newtons were my favorite cookies. Putting all kidding aside, this was a really good educational hub that I enjoyed. Thank you...

Chantelle Porter profile image

Chantelle Porter 13 months ago from Chicago

Isn't that inhaler a bong? Haha. Not that I've ever used one mind you :)

drbj profile image

drbj 13 months ago from south Florida Author

Hey, Bill, the 'funniest hubber' (heh, heh) promises to write about your beloved state just as soon as I get to the W's. I will pay it extra special attention in your honor. Thanks for the congrats, fellow Hubbie winner and the kind words.

I wasn't writing on HP as often in 2014 but I did win 2 Hubbies in 2013 for Funniest Hubber and Funniest Hub - 'Funny Puns about Losing Jobs.' The latter category wasn't included this time around.

drbj profile image

drbj 13 months ago from south Florida Author

It isn't easy to find time, my dear Margaret, I just cut back on .................... zzzzzzzzzzzz.

Where was I? Oh, yes, so happy to give you a smile, a laugh and some fun, m'dear. Thanks for stopping by.

drbj profile image

drbj 13 months ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Ruby, delighted you enjoyed this one, gun control and all. Yep, women could go to college that year but they could not yet vote. Do they make Fig Newtons without gluten? I hate to think you're deprived. Thanks for enjoying the education and et cetera.

drbj profile image

drbj 13 months ago from south Florida Author

Now, Chantelle, how can a sweet, innocent lady like yourself even know what a bong is. You know, you are absolutely correct - it does resemble one, but then again I wouldn't know about such things. ;)

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 13 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

This is yet another amusing and informative hub, drbj. This series is very enjoyable! Congratulations on the well-deserved Hubbie award.

drbj profile image

drbj 13 months ago from south Florida Author

Thank you, Alicia, for your visits (they are always most welcome), your kind comments and the Congrats. All are most appreciated. Trust me.

breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 13 months ago

First of all, Congratulations on your Hubbie! You are definitely the funniest. As for not being able to bathe without a prescription, I think I'll avoid Mass for awhile.

drbj profile image

drbj 13 months ago from south Florida Author

Thank you, bp, and congrats to you, too. You more than deserve it. Yes, those strange bathing prohibitions are difficult to understand. What WERE they thinking?

DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 13 months ago from Oakley, CA

Another treasure trove of fascinating facts and factoids.

Liberty Mutual, eh? My mother worked for them for many years, until she retired; she was in their 'quarter century club.'

Nearly spit out my tea laughing at some of your rhymed comments, and also at the baths thing. Really? Now, is that baths per person, or per household? LOL Good grief--and who were the 'bath police?' Did they hire a bunch of peeping Tom's?

Such a great series you have going here, and what a lot of work and research you put in! (Now, when you get to the "Vs," you must not forget the Vermont molded maple sugar candies... mmm..mmm... my favorite non-chocolate candy!) ;-)

drbj profile image

drbj 13 months ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Liz. Delighted that you enjoy my rhyming comments but be careful about drinking tea (?) when reading them. Just sayin'. And you know that occurred to me, too. How long is the list of applicants who apply for the 'Bathing Police?' (What a great job opportunity for the voyeurs they arrest!)

It does take me some time to research the entries in this series but I enjoy doing it. I promise not to forget about the maple sugar candy when I get to Vermont. Thanks for the reminder.

Congratulations on your well-deserved Hubbie, m'dear.

DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 13 months ago from Oakley, CA

Thank you, and congratulations on your own Hubbie award! Well deserved! In the future, I will remember to swallow my tea first when reading your articles. ;-)

drbj profile image

drbj 13 months ago from south Florida Author

When it comes to award-winning ability, it takes one to know one. Right? Thanks, m'dear.

BlossomSB profile image

BlossomSB 13 months ago from Victoria, Australia

I just love these hubs, they are such fun. I wonder if you will be collating them into a book.

drbj profile image

drbj 13 months ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Blossom. Thanks for loving these and finding them fun. I have toyed with the idea of publishing the entire collection when I have finished all the research. You will be among the first to know. Promise!

Larry Rankin profile image

Larry Rankin 13 months ago from Oklahoma

I would like to see if I let my cow graze in the garden of someone influential if my freedoms would be upheld:-)

Very funny.

drbj profile image

drbj 13 months ago from south Florida Author

Well, that all depends, Larry. How many important influential people does your cow know? But not to worry. If you are jailed, I'll get you out if it takes 2o years!

Thanks for the visit and the very funny.

teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 13 months ago

Space Guns? What on earth are those anyways? I would have thought Florida to have manufactured the pink flamingos. This was another fun read and I learned much.

drbj profile image

drbj 13 months ago from south Florida Author

Me, too, Deanna. I always thought those pink flamingos were made in Florida. Seems that we may have a monopoly on the genuine article, but the imitations are manufactured in Mass.

The 'space gun' in the photo carried by that cute lil tyke is really a powerful water pistol guaranteed to ruin mommy's salon hairdo. Thanks for enjoying this read.

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