July 20, 2018

"The Music Man" and the Law @LawLibCongress

Jim Martin of the Law Library of Congress investigates legal issues raised in the iconic film The Music Man here in a post for the blog In Custodia Legis. Mr. Martin points out, for example,
One law that appears very early in the movie is when the train that Harold Hill is riding enters Iowa. At that point the conductor announces that “cigarettes illegal in this state,” and removes a cigarette from the hand of one of the passengers. I figured that was just part of the script but the movie is partially correct. 
At the time the movie is set, sometime shortly before World War I, Iowa did indeed ban the sale of cigarettes. Title 33, Chapter 47 of the Iowa Code of 1913 governed the sale and possession of tobacco products in the state. Section 8867 specifically prohibits the sale of cigarettes and papers used to make cigarettes. This provision was adopted in 1896. 
Very entertaining reading.

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