Crazy Laws in the State of Illinois and Fun Facts
Crazy Laws in the State of Illinois and Fun Facts
The crazy state laws seem to be getting crazier and crazier.
Although I must admit I find a certain appeal in the Rushville, Illinois law that requires the police to arrest absent city council members.
Here are 34 more strange, bizarre, crazy Illinois laws.
Crazy Laws in the State of Illinois
• In Illinois, animals can be sent to jail.
A monkey once served 5 days in a Chicago jail for shoplifting.
• A state law in Illinois mandates that all bachelors should be called ‘master’, not ‘mister,’ when addressed by their female counterparts. The law does not apply to married couples.
‘Master Bates, I will not spend the night at the Bates Motel with you.’ (Sorry, the debbil made me do it!)
• According to state law, it is illegal to speak English. The officially recognized language is ‘American’.
‘How are you?’ and ‘Cheerio’ are illegal. Translated to official language: ‘What’s up’ and ‘See ya when I see ya’.
Crazy Laws in the Cities of Illinois
• In Champaign – One may not urinate in their neighbor’s mouth.
This crazy law wins the title of Most Revolting . . . so far!
• In Chicago – It is against the law for women over 200 pounds to ride horses in shorts.
Do the shorts pertain to the horse or the rider? Just wonderin’.
• it is illegal to take a French poodle to the opera.
But the law does not forbid taking your German Shepherd to ‘Tristan und Isolde’ or your Chihuahua to ‘Carmen.’
• The law forbids eating in a place that is on fire.
It’s okay to fire up the grill, but not the patrons.
• It is illegal to fish in pajamas.
Could not resist this perfect opening for an ancient Groucho Marx one-liner: “One morning (on safari) I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas I'll never know."
• It is illegal to serve liquor to the feeble-minded.
This must have had an immediate negative impact on the bar business in Chicago.
• Under a 1872 law still on the books, an alderman in Chicago can carry a gun.
Based on Chicago’s current crime rate, too many of the citizens behave like an alderman.
• It is legal to protest naked in front of city hall as long as you are under 17 years of age and have legal permits.
What would you be protesting? Your stupidity???
• People who are diseased, maimed, mutilated, or "otherwise an unsightly or disgusting object" are banned from going out in public.
Zombies … beware!
• In Cicero – Humming on public streets is prohibited on Sundays.
You can be a bum, wherever you’re from, or chomp your gum, or beat your drum, or sass your mum until you’re numb, or guzzle rum, but do NOT hum.
• In Crete – It is considered an offense to attempt to have sex with one's dog.
So … if you succeed, does that make it legal? Just asking.
• In Evanston – bowling is forbidden.
This one makes sense. Evanston does not permit the construction of bowling alleys.
• It is unlawful to change clothes in an automobile with the curtains drawn, except in case of fire.
Curtains in an automobile? How come I wasn’t offered that option with my new car?
• In Eureka – A man with a moustache may not kiss a woman.
What if the woman has a moustache? Just asking.
• In Freeport – It is illegal to expectorate from any second-story window.
Hold it ‘til you reach the first floor.
• In Galesburg – There is a $1,000 fine for beating rats with baseball bats.
Some laws just take all the fun out of life.
• No person may keep a smelly dog.
Why would any person want to keep a smelly dog? Give the poor thing a bath!
• In Horner – It is against the law to use a slingshot unless you are a law enforcement officer.
Watch those slingshots, officers, you could hurt someone.
• In Joliet – Town fathers, reflecting the pet peeve of hearing their town's name mispronounced 'Jolly-ETTE' when all local folk know it's pronounced 'Joe-lee-ETTE', made pronouncing it Jolly-ette a misdemeanor, punishable by a $5 fine.
Watch your mouth in Joe-lee-ETTE.
• Women can be arrested for trying on more than six dresses in one store.
The concept of customer service appears to be foreign to Joliet.
• In Kenilworth – A rooster must step back three hundred feet from any residence if he wishes to crow. Hens that wish to cackle must step two hundred feet back from any residence.
I wonder if the tape measure franchise is available.
• In Kirkland – Bees are not allowed to fly over the village or through any of Kirkland's streets.
Do you want to be the one who informs the bees?
• In Manteno – You cannot “throw, drop or place a used hankie upon any public way or public place or upon the floor of any convenience store or upon the floor of any theater, hall or assembly or public building or upon the surface of any lot or parcel of ground or on the roof on any building or in any light or air shaft, court or areaway.”
Kleenex and Scott Tissue must have cooperated to sponsor this law.
• In Moline – Ice skating at the Riverside pond during the months of June and August is prohibited.
Good idea because the pond isn’t frozen during the summer.
• In Mount Pulaski – It is illegal for boys (and only boys) to hurl snowballs at trees. Girls are allowed to do that, however.
Just more proof that life is not fair.
• In Normal – It is against the law to make faces at dogs.
Do not make eye contact with them and you will be safe.
• In Oblong – It is punishable by law to make love while hunting or fishing on your wedding day.
Can you make sense of this crazy law?
• In Rushville – If the city council doesn't have a quorum, the members present can have the police go out and arrest the absent members and bring them to the meeting.
Finally . . . a crazy law that makes some sense.
• In Springfield – ‘Dwarf-tossing,’ the strange practice of hurling dwarfs in padded suits at a target, is outlawed in the bars because it's dangerous and exploitative. The practice is apparently allowed elsewhere in town, with a special permit.
Attention: little people! Steer clear of Springfield.
• In Urbana – It is against the law for a monster to enter the city limits.
Frankenstein, Godzilla, Hannibal and colleagues are not welcome in Urbana.
• In Zion – It is illegal for anyone to give lighted cigars to dogs, cats, and other domesticated animals kept as pets.
Cigars are bad for your pets. Teach them to smoke e-cigs instead.
Fun Facts and Illustrious Information about Illinois
• Illinois is the French version of an Algonquian Indian word for ‘warriors’ or ‘tribe of superior men’ or ‘he speaks the regular way.’ Take your choice.
• Illinois was the first state to ratify the 13th Amendment to the Constitution abolishing slavery in1865.
• The first animal purchased for the Lincoln Park Zoo, the oldest public zoo in the U.S., was a bear cub, bought for $10 on June 1, 1874.
• The Aquarium opened in Chicago on May 30, 1930. John G. Shedd donated $3,000,000 for its construction. More than 2 million people visit the Aquarium each year.
Shedd wanted to give back to the city where he had risen from a stock clerk to president of the giant department store, Marshall Field and Company.
• The world's first modern skyscraper, the Home Insurance Building, was built in Chicago in 1885. The building was supported by a revolutionary steel frame.
It was demolished in 1931 to make way for a new skyscraper, the LaSalle Bank Building, 180 feet high with 12 stories. Not impressive today but it was then!
• In 1905, president of the Chicago Cubs filed charges against a fan in the bleachers for catching a fly ball and keeping it.
• Peoria, established by the French explorer, Henri de Tonti, in1691, is the oldest European settlement in Illinois.
• Illinois boasts the highest number of personalized license plates, more than any other state.
• At the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, you will find remnants of the most sophisticated prehistoric native civilization north of Mexico.
• Metropolis, the home of Superman in DC Comics, really exists in Illinois.
There is a Superman Museum, and an annual celebration in June which attracts comic book collectors from all over the U.S.
• The Chicago River is dyed green every Saint Patrick's Day as part of a more than fifty-year-old Chicago tradition.
• Des Plaines is home to the first McDonald's franchise opened in 1955. Hamburgers were 15 cents; fries, 10 cents.
• The highest point in Illinois is Charles Mound at 1,235 feet above sea level.
• Chicago is home to the Chicago Water Tower and Pumping Station, the only buildings to survive the Great Chicago Fire.
• Did you ever wonder how the ice cream ‘sundae’ got its name? The town fathers passed an ordinance prohibiting the retailing of ice cream sodas on Sunday.
Ingenious drug store operators obeying the law, served ice cream with the syrup of your choice without the soda.
Objections then were made to christening a dish after the Sabbath. So the spelling of ‘Sunday’ was changed. It became an established dish and an established word – the ‘sundae.’
• Nabisco's plant in Chicago (a 1,800,000-square-foot production facility) is the largest bakery in the world employing more than 1,500 workers and producing approximately 320 million pounds of snack foods annually.
• The slogan of 105.9, the classic rock radio station in Chicago: 'Of all the radio stations in Chicago...we're one of them.'
• Collinsville is the home of the ‘the world’s largest catsup bottle’ – the Brooks Catsup Bottle Water Tower.
This unique 170-foot tall water tower built in 1949 is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Every July, Collinsville hosts the World’s Largest Catsup Bottle Festival.
• The University of Chicago opened on October 1, 1892 with an enrollment of 594 and a faculty of 103.
Today, enrollment is approximately 15,000 students and academic staff of 2,168.
• On December 2, 1942, Enrico Fermi (often referred to as the father of the atomic bomb) and a small band of scientists and engineers demonstrated the first artificial self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction.
The space chosen for the first nuclear fission reactor was a squash court under the football stadium at the University of Chicago.
• Elzie Crisler Segar, the creator of ‘Popeye, the Sailorman’ cartoon, was born in Chester, Illinois.
In the first strip drawn in 1929, Popeye was asked if he was a sailor. His response: “Ja think I’m a cowboy?”
• Comedy showcase, ‘Second City,’ was founded on North Wells Street in a former Chinese laundry in 1959.
• The Chicago Public Library consists of 80 locations and is one of the world's largest public libraries with a collection of almost six million books.
What’s a library?
• The Chicago Style of ‘jazz’ was developed by leading members of big-band swing music, Benny Goodman and Gene Krupa, during the 1930s.
• Illinois has the largest recoverable bituminous coal reserve of any state in the United States – almost 1.2 billion tons.
• Twinkies were invented on April 6, 1930 in Schiller Park, Illinois.
• The Chicago Post Office at 433 West Van Buren is the only postal facility in the world you can drive a car through.
• New York Sun Editor, Charles Dana, tired of hearing Chicagoans boast of the world's Columbian Exposition, dubbed Chicago the ‘Windy City.’
• The world's tallest man was born in Alton. Robert Pershing Wadlow was 8'11", weighed 439 pounds, and wore a size 37 shoe.
• Illinois generates more nuclear power than any other state. Nuclear power plants supply about 55% of the electric power generated in the state.
• Abraham Lincoln’s first public office was as Postmaster in New Salem, Illinois.
• Springfield is the state capital and the home of the National Historic Site of the home of President and Mrs. Abraham Lincoln before he became our 16th president.
• Morton is the ‘pumpkin capital of the world.’ 85% of the world's canned pumpkin is produced in Morton.
• John Dillinger, 'Public Enemy Number One', was shot and killed by FBI agents in 1934 as he emerged from the Biograph Theatre in Chicago. 1903-1934
Ironically, the movie he had seen was 'Manhattan Melodrama', a gangster film. A plaque on the historic building describes the event.
• Aurora is known as the ‘City of Lights’ because it was one of the first U.S. cities to implement an all-electric street lighting system in 1881.
• The first all-color TV station, Channel 5, debuted in Chicago.
• A smaller replica of the Leaning Tower of Pisa has been erected in the town of Niles. It is named the Leaning Tower of Niles.
• Nearly 80% of the state's land area is farm land.
• Ronald Wilson Reagan, our 40th President, was born in Tampico in an apartment above a store in 1911. Before he became an actor, he was a radio station sports announcer.
• The first store in the Dairy Queen (DQ) soft-serve ice cream franchise was opened in Joliet on June 22, 1940 by J. F. and Alex McCullough.
• What began as an ordinary fire in Patrick and Catherine O’Leary’s barn on October 8, 1871, quickly turned into what became known as the Great Chicago Fire.
The fire destroyed almost 18,000 buildings, left close to 100,000 inhabitants homeless, and killed between 200 and 300 people.
State amphibian – Eastern Tiger Salamander
State animal – White-tailed Deer
State bird – Northern Cardinal
State fish – Bluegill
State flower – Violet
State folk dance – Square dance
State fossil – Tully Monster *
State fruit – Goldrush apple
State insect – Monarch butterfly
State mineral – Fluorite (Illinois is the largest producer of fluorite in the U.S.)
State motto – State Sovereignty, National Union
State nicknames – The Prairie State, Land of Lincoln
State prairie grass – Big Bluestem
State reptile – Painted Turtle
State snack – Popcorn
State tree – White oak
* A Tully Monster is a soft-bodied invertebrate up to 14 inches long that lived in shallow water about 300 million years ago found only in fossil beds in Illinois.
More Illinois Fun Facts
• San Jose, Atlanta and Charlotte are also cities in Illinois.
• The first Ferris wheel made its debut in 1893 at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.
• Hugh Hefner began publishing ‘Playboy’ magazine in Chicago in 1953.
• Do you know what is so unusual about Ahlgrim’s Funeral Home in Palatine? In addition to its name?
Believe it or not, there is a miniature golf course in the basement of this funeral home. It was started over 35 years ago as a pastime for staff and family, and has become a tourist attraction.
• In 2014, the most popular name chosen for baby boys in Illinois was Noah. Olivia was the most popular name for baby girls.
• Celebrities born in Illinois include: Walt Disney, Robin Williams, Harrison Ford, Betty White, Dwyane Wade, Ludacris, Melissa McCarthy, Bill Murray, Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama.
Favorite Illinois quote: "In politics, you never know who's going to die, retire or – in Illinois – get indicted." - Aaron Schock (former US Representative from Illinois)
© Copyright BJ Rakow, Ph.D. 2015. All rights reserved. Author, "Much of What You Know about Job Search Just Ain't So."