Silly Laws and Cases – “Ice Cream Cone Law”

Silly laws are not uncommon, and some of them have an interesting backstory. One such law that comes to mind is the “ice cream cone law” in Kentucky, which prohibits the consumption of ice cream in public places while standing on one foot.

The law originated in 1913, when a local politician named Sidney Bates was running for office. Bates was known for his flamboyant and attention-grabbing campaign tactics, and during a speech in Frankfort, he made a bet with a friend that he could pass any law he wanted. Bates’ friend challenged him to pass a law that would require people to stand on one foot while eating ice cream in public.

To the surprise of many, Bates was able to get the law passed. While it was meant to be a joke, the law remained on the books in Kentucky for over 60 years. Although it was rarely enforced, some people were actually arrested and fined for violating the ice cream cone law.

In the 1970s, a local reporter named Byron Crawford discovered the law and wrote about it in his column. The story quickly gained national attention, and people from all over the country started sending ice cream cones to the governor of Kentucky in protest.

Finally, in 1984, the law was officially repealed. Governor Martha Layne Collins signed a bill that eliminated over 200 outdated and unenforceable laws, including the ice cream cone law.

Today, the ice cream cone law is a fun and quirky piece of Kentucky’s history. While it may seem silly and frivolous, it serves as a reminder that sometimes laws are passed for reasons other than practicality or necessity. And who knows – maybe one day a similarly silly law will be passed for the sake of a good joke or a friendly bet.

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This blog is intended to provide general information and, therefore, should not be treated as legal advice. You should contact a qualified attorney for questions about legal issues.