In many U.S. states, there are special laws that apply only to Sundays, usually designed to help keep the Sabbath holy. While most of these laws involve the prohibition of alcohol sales, gambling, and business, some states have laws that are simply inexplicable. If you’re traveling in the states, you might want to brush up on some of these weird laws—after all, no one wants to get caught playing pinball in New York on a Sunday.
Alabama: Dominoes may not be played on Sunday. Cabbage can’t be sold on Sunday.
Arkansas: It’s unlawful to walk one’s cow down Main Street after 1:00 p.m. on Sunday. Photo courtesy of Linda N. (cc)
Florida: An unmarried woman may not parachute on Sunday (or she risks arrest, fine, and/or jailing) Photo courtesy of divemasterking2000. (cc).
Georgia and New York: No one may carry an ice cream cone in his back pocket if it’s Sunday. (And in Oregon, it’s illegal to eat ice cream at all on Sunday.) Photo courtesy of mollypop. (cc)
Idaho: Riding a merry-go-round on Sunday is considered a crime. Photo courtesy of Stepheye. (cc)
Illinois: Humming on public streets is prohibited on Sunday.
Massachusetts and South Carolina: All men must carry a rifle to church on Sunday.
Michigan: It’s illegal for a man to scowl at his wife on Sunday.
Montana: It’s illegal for married women to go fishing alone on Sunday, and illegal for unmarried women to fish alone at all.
New Hampshire: On Sunday, citizens may not relieve themselves while looking up. (Presumably, while making direct eye contact with God?)
Ohio: It’s illegal to fish for whales on Sunday.
East New Jersey: The “singing of vain songs or tunes” is illegal on Sunday.
New York: Pinball machines may not be played on Sunday.
Rhode Island: You may not sell toothpaste and a toothbrush to the same customer on a Sunday.
South Carolina: Dance halls may not operate on Sunday. Musical instruments may not be sold on Sunday.
Tennessee: The sale of bologna is prohibited on Sunday.
Virginia: No animal may be hunted on Sunday with the exception of raccoons, which may be hunted until 2:00 a.m.
West Virginia: It is perfectly legal to beat your wife on the courthouse steps on Sundays.
Washington: No one may buy a mattress on Sunday.
Individual state governments, however, are not the only ones to have a field day with strange Sunday laws; some cities have their own unusual Sunday laws.
Buckner, Missouri: Yard waste may be burned any day except Sunday.
St. Cloud, Minnesota: Hamburgers may not be eaten on Sunday.
Colorado Springs, Colorado: It’s permissible to wear a holstered six-gun within city limits, except on Sunday, Election Day, or holidays.
Hartford, Connecticut: It’s illegal for a man to kiss his wife on Sunday.
While most of these laws seem a little extreme—and seem not to have much to do with preserving the Sabbath—it certainly would make a good story were you to be arrested for singing a “vain song.” While one might wonder how some of these laws came to be, one thing is certain: Sunday is a bad day for pregnant women with cravings in Oregon.