Category:
Government

Hair length and voting

In 1969, the Wyoming Senate approved an amendment to lower the voting age to 19, but added the condition that young men would only be able to vote if they had short hair conforming to military standards. No similar condition was imposed on young women.

Billings Gazette - Feb 8, 1969



Some more details from "Let us vote!": youth voting rights and the 26th amendment by Jennifer Frost:

Some of the opposition at the time could be outrageous—and unconstitutional. In Wyoming a rogue state senator, J.W. Myers, proposed an amendment to the 19-year-old vote requiring all voters to met military grooming standards. "If we're going to give these youngsters voting privileges, they should look like citizens," Myers insisted. Their hair should be "at a length and grooming to meet standards prescribed by the military service." A Montana state senator, Joseph B. Reber, made the same claim. If young people are going to vote, "they should get a shave and a haircut and be like the rest of us."

Although Myers's amendment may have started as a joke, the Wyoming Senate initially passed it before finally removing it. "Young people in Wyoming were not laughing. They were embarrassed. They were shocked," wrote Philip White, the editor of the Branding Iron, the student newspaper at the University of Wyoming. Making appearance a qualification for suffrage was unconstitutional, and Myers knew it. Neither hair, clothing, nor skin color could be taken into consideration for determining voting rights, White explained. Young people wanted the vote. "But we will not stand to be judged by the length of our hair." In the end the controversy subsided, and the Vote 19 referendum would go before the state's electorate in November 1970.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Nov 05, 2022 - Comments ()
Category: Government, Civic Duties, 1960s, Hair and Hairstyling

Weather Control Commission

In 1950, Senator Clinton P. Anderson of New Mexico introduced a bill in the Senate to create a federal "Weather Control Commission" modeled after the Atomic Energy Commission. Its purpose would be to regulate and license rainmaking activities in order to ensure the "equitable distribution of precipitation among the States." It would also study military applications of weather control.

Anderson didn't get his Weather Control Commission, though in 1953 the federal government did create an Advisory Committee on Weather Control. And of course there are all those conspiracy theories alleging that the government is using the HAARP station up in Alaska to control the weather.

More info: Congressional Hearings, March 1951

Baltimore Sun - Dec 10, 1950

Posted By: Alex - Mon Oct 03, 2022 - Comments (4)
Category: Government, 1950s, Weather

Meat Homogenate

For a mere $1,064 one can buy four cans of something called "meat homogenate" from the U.S. government's National Institute of Standards and Technology.



The stuff is edible. The NIST website describes it as "a mixture of pork and chicken products blended together in a commercial process." However, it's not actually supposed to be eaten. It's sold as "standard reference material." All the nutrients in it (fatty acids, cholesterol, calories, vitamins, etc.) have been carefully measured. So companies can buy it and use it to calibrate their own equipment used to measure the nutrients in the food they sell. The high cost of the meat homogenate reflects the work done to measure the nutrients. Not the food itself.

However, I think the NIST should sell 'meat homogenate' labels as a gag gift, and people could put them on their own cans. I wouldn't mind having a few cans of meat homogenate in the pantry to impress guests.

The NIST also sells three jars of peanut butter for $1,069.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Aug 22, 2022 - Comments (5)
Category: Food, Nutrition, Government

America Never Took Water

Sing along to this rousing anti-Prohibition ditty! Full lyrics here.






Posted By: Paul - Sat Jul 23, 2022 - Comments ()
Category: Government, Law, Music, Propaganda, Thought Control and Brainwashing, Alcohol

The Case of the Missing Parliamentary Comics

Just a few days ago, Alex made a post involving the infamous Fredric Wertham. As an inveterate comics reader from way back, I long knew of Wertham's crusade to ban comics. But I did not realize that the UK had undergone the same crusade.

Apparently, the offending material proved to be too attractive to remain on exhibit.

Source: The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, North Carolina) 22 Apr 1955, Fri Page 1



Posted By: Paul - Mon May 02, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Government, Comics, 1950s

The Palace of the Soviets

Take what metaphors and allegories you will from this famous failure.



The Wikipedia page tells us:

The Palace of the Soviets (Russian: Дворец Советов, Dvorets Sovetov) was a project to construct a political convention center in Moscow on the site of the demolished Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. The main function of the palace was to house sessions of the Supreme Soviet in its 130-metre (430 ft) wide and 100-metre (330 ft) tall grand hall seating over 20,000 people. If built, the 416-metre (1,365 ft) tall palace would have become the world's tallest structure, with an internal volume surpassing the combined volumes of the six tallest American skyscrapers.[10]


The music on this video is annoying--hit MUTE--but otherwise it's well done.



Posted By: Paul - Fri Apr 15, 2022 - Comments (3)
Category: Architecture, Excess, Overkill, Hyperbole and Too Much Is Not Enough, Government, Success & Failure, Russia, Twentieth Century

America’s Fattest Presidents

A 2013 article at this link ranks the weightiest of our leaders. Of course, former-President Trump is not included. This official 2020 health report puts him at 244 pounds, making him, by my calculations, Number Three.

Number Two, Grover Cleveland, tried many times to lose. His personal physician, Dr. John Gibbs, was fond of a new German treatment.





Read more in this book, which is partially available via Google Books.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Mar 19, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Government, Patent Medicines, Nostrums and Snake Oil, Nineteenth Century, Twenty-first Century, Obesity

Town Founded by a Jackass

It was Noah Kellogg's donkey that alerted the prospector to a mountain outcropping of galena, a lead ore often containing silver. This miraculous moment would attract a rough-and-tumble-type crowd to dig up and refine the resources below. What this visually stunning Silver Valley town is today — through mining ups and downs, population decline and industry changes — is just as the town motto cheekily states: "Founded by a jackass and inhabited by his descendants."



Article on the current state of the place.


Their Wikipedia page.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Feb 15, 2022 - Comments ()
Category: Animals, Government, Humor, Regionalism, Mining

NRA Day Parades

The current era has been compared to the Depression and New Deal under Roosevelt. But what's lacking today as we seek to emerge from the pandemic malaise is--parades!

To celebrate "NRA Day," New York City threw a parade that utilized a quarter of a million participants.





But it wasn't just NYC. Smaller places joined in too. Such as Dothan, Alabama. Visit this page for the full account, with lots of great photos.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Feb 08, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Government, Money, Parades and Festivals, 1930s

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Who We Are
Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

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