One of the things I love about genealogy research is reading old newspapers.  You never know what you might find.  I found this great piece from The Daily Iowan, the student newspaper at the University of Iowa, dated June 19, 1925.

The Daily Iowan, June 19, 1925

Boys! Watch Your Step! Mayor Carroll Puts Ban on All Necking!
By Annadele Riley

To neck or not to neck, that is the question that is confronting the students of the University.  Mayor Carroll has decreed that all petting, necking, mugging, and even old fashioned spooning is taboo from now on within the city limits.  All petting parties in parked cars, all one arm driving, is a thing of the past.  Only homes and their verandas will be free from the clutching arms of the law.  From now on drivers of cars will recognize their pedestrian friends.  Only the spark plugs will be allowed to spark.

And that is not all, although it is probably the worst.  No bathing suits may be worn on the streets.  It is not considered the thing for summer styles according to Mayor Carroll.  Only as an ensemble suit worn with a long, heave, woolen coat smartly buttoned up to the neck will it be favorably received.  Slickers worn with the bathing suit will mark the wearer as absolutely outside the pale and, perhaps, land him in the city jail.

Mayor Carroll also intimated yesterday that one-piece bathing suits for women may be supplanted by a new silhouette next fall on the order of the crinoline.

— At first I thought this might have been a joke, especially since it was in a university student newspaper.  The swimsuit comments at the end also seem to take the article over the edge.  However, looking at several other newspapers from Iowa City at the time I found similar stories about the outlawing of necking and other public displays of affection.  Those actions would land you a disorderly conduct charge!  I could not however find other references to the swimsuit comments … I didn’t think I would.

1 Comment

  1. Jennie

    Doesn't everyone want to wear a woolen coat over a bathing suit?