SOLVED! The Mystery Behind Idaho’s Merry-Go-Round Law
It's long been considered a crime to ride merry-go-rounds on Sundays in Idaho. But where exactly is it written?
For as long as we can remember, local literati have carried on and debated over the legitimacy of Idaho's bizarre merry-go-round law.
FACT: every Tom, Dick, and Mary who knows their way around a sentence has taken a shot at editorializing the quirky one-off legislation.
But apart from leveraging the fanfare the topic attracts to bag clicks and page views, local news outlets, hometown papers, and popular local magazines have another thing in common.
And it's actually kind of frustrating...
To date, no one that we've read from has definitively confirmed the existence—previous or present—of the law on Idaho's books. It's almost like the literary equivalent of trying to grasp smoke with your bare hands. You can see it, so you accept that it's real, but you're never going to get a grip on it.
Recently, a friend of mine found the alleged law utterly ridiculous but intriguing nonetheless.
She considered it so wildly peculiar that it compelled her to do something about it. Armed with curiosity and a talent for next-level sleuthing, said friend embarked upon a journey to confirm the law's veracity. After much ado and a deep-dive into Idaho's undigitized legislative archives, she found it.
Passed in 1907, Title 18: Crimes & Punishments, Chapter 62: Religious Meetings - Sunday Rest of the Idaho Legislature declared riding merry-go-rounds on a Sunday illegal! It was later repealed in 1936.
What made it so difficult to find was the fact that it was never uploaded to the state's digital legislative archives! So there it is. From 1907 to 1936, riding a merry-go-round on a Sunday in Idaho was 100% illegal thanks to the Gem State's observation of the Day of Rest.
To my curious friend who went the distance to solve a mystery that's bedeviled Idahoans for generations...
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