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JAMA 100 Years Ago
December 18, 2002


Author Affiliations

JenniferReiling, Assistant Editor

JAMA. 2002;288(23):3054. doi:10.1001/jama.288.23.3054

It has taken considerably over a hundred years for Connecticut to overcome the reputation given it by a malicious humorist of Tory principles during the Revolutionary War. There are probably those who even now have as their principal mental association with the name of the state the story of the Blue Laws, and the fine for kissing on Sunday. There seems to be some danger that a similar obsession will seize some persons in regard to certain other commonwealths if some measures introduced into their legislatures are correctly reported. In Virginia the proposition is to enact that kissing be permitted only on the certificate of the family physician, and unauthorized kissing by any one with weak lungs or any contagious disease is made a misdemeanor punishable by fine. A similar law is proposed in Georgia, and unless the tendency is checked we may see the example followed in still other legislatures. It is difficult to see how such regulations are to be enforced, as kissing and telling are not generally supposed to go together. However unsanitary the practice, it will continue, and a little risk may only add an extra zest to the performance. Speaking seriously, however, such proposed legislation if offered in good faith is unwise because futile; if not in good faith it is unworthy trifling.