This world has no shortage of things we take for granted. Money can buy pretty much everything in today’s world, so we rarely take into consideration that some of the things we do or use every day were once not that common – or even illegal!
Let’s take a look at some things that we consider to be commonplace but were banned at some point in the past.
By a “swimwear ban”, I don’t mean that people had to swim naked. In the early 20th century our swimwear became a lot more revealing and tighter, which caused huge moral uproar. Considering how the 19th century swimwear covered almost the entire body, you can imagine it was quite a shock to see so many knees and elbows with no fabric over them. Laws were passed to set a minimum length for swimwear, even banning one-piece bathing suits outright in some cities. It was only in the 1930s that women wearing shorter swimwear were finally tolerated by governments.
Bowling was banned in the UK for a total of three times. Once by King Edward III in 1366, once by King Edward IV in 1477 and once by King Henry VIII. The reason, amazingly, was always exactly the same: playing bowling was distracting people too much from practicing their archery skills. Considering how many wars the Brits were in, I’d say they had more use for skilled archers than bowlers that throw a consistent 250 point game.
The Grinch might have stolen Christmas, but the Puritans banned it in 1644! They considered all holidays as sin and even demanded that businesses stay open on Christmas to make sure no one was celebrating in secret. They didn’t just ban the holiday itself, but also all decorations – which is probably the best thing about Christmas to begin with. The ban lasted until 1660 in regular England, and until 1681 in New England.