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Crazy Laws in the District of Columbia and Fun Facts

Updated on August 3, 2015
Will I go to jail if that cab I hail?
Will I go to jail if that cab I hail? | Source

Crazy Laws in the District of Columbia and Fun Facts

Did you know that Washington, D.C. (the District of Columbia) is no slouch when it comes to crazy laws?

Find out why it is extremely difficult to grab a cab there. And learn about 13 additional crazy, stupid laws.

Crazy Laws in D.C.

No person shall stand in a roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride from the driver of any vehicle.

Good luck when you try to hail a taxi in D.C.

• The only acceptable (censored) position in Washington D.C. is the missionary position. Any other (censored) position is considered illegal.

There are other positions?
Forgive me … I could not resist that opportunity.

Happy-go-Lucky accordionist
Happy-go-Lucky accordionist | Source

An establishment may not allow more than one accordion to be played for entertainment.

Sometimes, depending on the skill of the accordionist, one accordion may be one too many.

Women cannot be employed to dance with men.

Guys! If she won’t dance with you for free, find another dame.

One may not whistle in the bathroom.

Can you believe this is an actual D.C. law? Here is a portion of the legal text:

“No person shall stand or climb on any (public restroom) closet, closet seat, basin, partition, or other furniture or fitting; or loiter about, or push, crowd, or otherwise act in disorderly manner; or interfere with any attendant in the discharge of his or her duties; or whistle, dance, sing, skate, or swear, or use obscene, loud . . . “ etc., etc.

Surfing is a natural high!
Surfing is a natural high! | Source

One may not operate a surfboard while on a hallucinogen.

To indulge in sports aquatic, be sure you lose that narcotic.

One may not take photographs for more than 5 minutes in a public location.

To avoid a citation, And diminish frustration,

Do not yell 'damnation,' Just move from that location.

Santa Claus may not be used to sell alcohol.

Seems Rudolph may not have been the only one with a red nose.

No preaching, exhorting, or lecturing shall be conducted for a total of more than thirty days at any single location.

Someone needs to inform Al Sharpton.

My car is anonymous until the snow melts.
My car is anonymous until the snow melts. | Source

It is possible to get a parking ticket for parking in your own driveway.

Is nothing sacred?

You are legally forbidden to marry your mother-in-law in Washington, D.C.

Unless you get written permission from your father-in-law.

According to the U.S. government, it’s against the law to disseminate a false weather report.

If your weather report was false, And no tornado caused rubble,

You had better quickly leave town, Before you are in big trouble.

So how is that 'single file' training coming along?
So how is that 'single file' training coming along? | Source

Bridges must be clear of sheep between 6 and 10 am.

Actual text: Sheep driven or conducted between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m., and when crossing a bridge, shall be in charge of at least six (6) drovers; and the footway and not less than one-third (1/3) of the roadway of the bridge shall be kept free of obstruction by the sheep.

My question: can’t those six herders find another route for their sheep? Or another time frame? Or teach them to march single file?

Small boys are forbidden to throw stones in Washington, D.C., for any reason.

How about mid-size boys? Or large boys? Or girls? Just wonderin’.

Joke Number One: "The government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it." - Ronald Reagan

Jacqueline Kennedy 1961
Jacqueline Kennedy 1961 | Source

Fun Facts and Illustrious Information about the District of Columbia

For a change, these fun facts are listed as questions. How many can you answer? Correctly!

If you tour the White House, you may purchase a souvenir guidebook. Which First Lady came up with this idea?

Jacqueline Kennedy instituted the idea in 1961 as a means of financing restoration of the building.

How did the District of Columbia get its name?

On September 9, 1791, three commissioners overseeing the capital's construction in a wooded, marshy area between Maryland and Virginia named the federal district, Columbia.

There are two theories about the origin of the name. One states it was a poetic name for the U.S. commonly in use at that time. The other claims it stands for Christopher Columbus.

What do the people who live in Washington, DC call themselves?

Senators! Just kidding. They call themselves Washingtonians.

Octagon House
Octagon House | Source

Which president signed the historic Treaty of Ghent in the Octagon House, an unusual brick structure built in 1801?

President James Madison and his wife, Dolly, resided in this house after the British burned the White House in August of 1814.

It was here that Madison signed the Treaty of Ghent on December 24, 1814 officially ending the War of 1812.

It was James Madison - a very clever President - who once said, "If men were angels, no government would be necessary."

What was the original telephone number for the White house in 1878?

The White House phone number was - you'll pardon the expression - 'number 1.'

Who is the only U.S. president buried in the beautiful National Cathedral?

Woodrow Wilson is buried in The Episcopal Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul which features a 300-foot Gloria in Excelsis Tower and a 53-bell carillon.

Trieste Bathyscaphe
Trieste Bathyscaphe | Source
The Emancipation Memorial
The Emancipation Memorial | Source

The Navy Museum next to the Navy Yard on the bank of the Anacostia River has an exhibit featuring the Trieste. What kind of craft is this?

The Trieste is a deep-diving bathyscaphe, a type of craft specially designed to reach great depths.

In 1960, the Trieste dived to a record 35,810 feet in the Mariana Trench, the deepest point in the Pacific Ocean.

What is the name of the 7-acre park directly across from the White House on H Street?

This park is Lafayette Square which has become a popular spot for demonstrators.

In Lincoln Park, is a statue of Abraham Lincoln and Archer Alexander. Who was Archer Alexander?

Archer Alexander was the last man captured under the Fugitive Slave Act. The statue erected in 1876 is known as the ‘Emancipation Memorial.’

Library of Congress
Library of Congress | Source

The Stars and Stripes Forever

The Library of Congress, the largest library in the world, is across from the Capitol on First Street. Which Roman god is represented by the statue in the fountain in front of the Thomas Jefferson Building?

The bronze center statue represents the god, Neptune.

The conservatory of the U.S. Botanic Garden features over 25,000 plants including cacti, orchids and cycads. What are cycads?

Cycads are an ancient group of rare seed plants with a stout trunk and large compound leaves found in tropical and subtropical regions.

In 1854, the famous American composer known as ‘the March King’ was born at 636 G Street. What was his real name?

John Philip Sousa was the leader of the Marine Band from 1880 to 1892 and his most famous work is ‘The Stars and Stripes Forever.’

Lincoln Memorial
Lincoln Memorial | Source
First flight of Wright Flyer 1 December 17, 1903 Orville is in the air; Wilbur is on the ground.
First flight of Wright Flyer 1 December 17, 1903 Orville is in the air; Wilbur is on the ground. | Source

What was the name of the architect who designed the Lincoln Memorial on the shore of the Potomac?

Henry Bacon designed the memorial to the 16th president in 1911. The 36 columns represent each state of the Union when Lincoln died. The statue of Lincoln was designed by Daniel Chester French.

The National Air and Space Museum contains two historic airplanes: the Wright Brothers’ first plane, and Charles Lindbergh’s plane. What are the names of those planes?

The Wright Brothers’ airplane is the ‘Flyer.’ Charles Lindbergh’s plane is ‘The Spirit of St. Louis’ in which he crossed the Atlantic Ocean.

What former president died in the magnificent Capitol Building at the end of the Mall?

John Quincy Adams collapsed from a stroke while speaking here on March 23, 1848. He was known as ‘Old Man Eloquent’ for his impassioned speeches, many of which were against slavery.

Bureau of Printing and Engraving
Bureau of Printing and Engraving | Source

You can take a tour of the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing (established in 1862) and see money being printed. All U.S. currency is produced using the intaglio method. What does this mean?

With the intaglio method an engraved design is sunk below the surface of the canvas. The completed, hardened engraving is then transferred on to a soft transfer roll which is used again and again to duplicate the original.

The Bureau uses so much ink it is delivered in 55-gallon drums. Coins are manufactured at the various U.S. mints.

Albert Einstein Memorial
Albert Einstein Memorial | Source

A large statue on the grounds of the National Academy of Sciences allows a visitor to climb up into the statue’s lap. Who does the statue represent?

The Albert Einstein Memorial allows visitors to climb up into the famed scientist’ lap for a unique photo op.

The National Museum of American History, known as ‘the nation’s attic,’ contains all sorts of Americana. What is one of the most famous items on display?

It would probably be the original Star-Spangled Banner which, unfortunately, has deteriorated since 1814 when it inspired Francis Scott Key to write the song.

The White House - North and South views
The White House - North and South views | Source

Who was the architect that designed the White House?

James Hoban modeled the White House after the large manor houses popular in Great Britain.

What is the name of the place where Abraham Lincoln was assassinated?

John Wilkes Booth assassinated Lincoln in Ford's Theatre on April 14, 1865. Lincoln was the first American president to be assassinated.

What play was Lincoln, his wife, and two guests watching?

‘Our American Cousin.’

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial | Source
Mei Xiang - female giant panda
Mei Xiang - female giant panda | Source

What is the name of the memorial erected to pay tribute to America’s 32nd president.

The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial. One of Roosevelt’s most famous quotes was: ‘The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.’

Across the street from the Supreme Court is the Sewall-Belmont House. From 1801 to 1813, the house was occupied by Albert Gallatin. What position did he hold?

Albert Gallatin was President Jefferson's Secretary of the Treasury. The details of the Louisiana Purchase were worked out here in 1804.

When did the Smithsonian celebrate its 150th birthday?

In 1996. The Smithsonian includes 19 museums. 9 research centers and the National Zoo.

Announcement: Mei Xiang, the female giant panda at the National Zoo may be pregnant. The Zoo announced that she has been inseminated with sperm from pandas in China.

Maine Avenue Fish Market
Maine Avenue Fish Market | Source
Aerial view of The Pentagon
Aerial view of The Pentagon | Source

The Maine Avenue Fish Market is the oldest operating fish market in the U.S. When was it established?

The Fish Market has been operating nonstop since 1805.

There is a bathtub in the basement of the U.S. Capitol. Four marble tubs were installed in 1859. Do you know why?

In those days, most senators lived in boarding houses on Capitol Hill that had no running water so they came to work ... and to bathe. One of these bathtubs can still be seen today.

Where is the Pentagon located?

Although the Pentagon has a Washington, DC zip code, the building is actually located outside the D.C. limits across the Potomac River in Arlington,Virginia.

Joke Number Two: Four years ago, my uncle ran for state senator.
What does he do now?
Nothing. He got elected.

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

Comments for Crazy Laws in the District of Columbia and Fun Facts

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    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      Nice to meet you, Chris. Thanks for stopping by and enjoying this article and my 'humorous comments.'You are obviously a reader with above average taste and intelligence.

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      No, Patricia, there isn't a law in DC against taking your photo wearing antlers outside a museum . . . yet! But my lips are sealed. I promise not to mention it to any DC legislator. Could give them ideas. Thanks for loving this, m'dear.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 

      3 years ago from Hartford, CT

      Great facts and humorous comments. I really enjoyed this article.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      3 years ago from sunny Florida

      O my I wonder how many of these I broke as I visited there many times as a youth growing up in Virginia.

      Is there a law against having your photo taken outside of a museum when the photo shows you have a rack of antlers??? Really happened...I was 12.

      Love this drbj as usual

      Angels are on the way to you this morning ps

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, Alicia. So happy you were able to end your day on a high note. Any time, m'dear. I knew when it came to scientific information, you would already be the expert. Delighted I could share anything new. And you are most welcome.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I loved ending my day by laughing at the crazy laws in Washington, D.C..! Thanks for finding them, drbj. They're so amusing. I'm afraid the only one of your questions that I could answer was the one about cycads, but I certainly learned a lot by reading all the information. Thanks again for the education.

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, torrilynn. Ruined my day, too, m'dear, when I learned that in D.C. it is illegal to whistle in the bathroom nor engage more than one accordionist. Who knew?

      You are most welcome for this funny and informative hub and thanks for appreciating it, voting Up and sharing. Best of wishes to you, too.

    • torrilynn profile image


      3 years ago

      You can't whistle in the bathroom and you can't have more than one accordion playing at once. These are crazy laws indeed. Thanks for the funny and informative hub. Voted up and shared with others. Best of wishes.

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      I would have been very surprised, Billy, if the hallowed halls of D.C. had not yielded so many crazy, strange, stupid laws. I was not disappointed. It's just like Will Rogers once proclaimed: "It's easy being a humorist when you've got the whole government working for you."

      Thanks for loving these. I'm loving you for your perfect attendance.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Is there anyone who is surprised that there are crazy laws in D.C.? I mean come one...the city is filled with politicians. What do we expect? Craziness!

      Loved it...keep them coming.


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