Common Everyday Things That Were Once Banned

We often take for granted the simple things we get to enjoy in our lifetime. On the surface, it doesn’t seem like much of a luxury, but many people from the old days would have loved to be in our position. They were banned from doing basic things like wearing swimsuits, playing football and bowling or even just having a drink at a coffee shop. Bizarre, isn’t it? Below are some of the most common everyday things that were banned for no good reason.

1. Swimwear

Prior to the 1900s, swimwear was no different than regular clothes, so you can imagine the outrage that ensued when it became sleeveless and tighter. So, in an attempt to preserve public decency, laws were passed to set a minimum length for swimwear allowed on beaches. Even the one-piece swimsuit was deemed to be too risqué. It was a serious law, one that often resulted in the arrests of women who refused to comply. Things only changed in the 1930s when the government began tolerating shorter swimwear.

2. Chess

For some reason, Persia, Egypt, France and Japan all banned chess at various points in history for one reason or another. In AD 644, Muslim leader Al-Khatta got rid of chess due to concerns that it could lead to gambling. And it was only a few decades ago that the Japanese Emperor outlawed the boardgame. As for Egypt, well, that was the work of Cardinal Damiani of Ostin who, in 1061 prohibited clergymen from engaging in a good ole’ game of chess. At least they eventually changed their minds about it, unlike Saudi Arabia where it’s still prohibited.

3. Football

Football, or soccer (if that’s what you call it), has a rocky history in England and Scotland – one that goes all the way back to the 14th century. The first banning was issued on April 13, 1314, by King Edward of England who viewed the sport as a nuisance that led to nothing but noise and unwanted consequences. Then Edward III decided to put a stop to it in 1331. In fact, he banned just about every sport in 1363, everything except archery that is. But it didn’t stop there, kings Richard II, Henry IV and Henry V all made their dislike for football very clear.

4. Bowling

During the mid-14th century, King Edward III had it out for just about every sport that wasn’t into archery, which he believed that everyone should have made a priority. Unlike the football ban, this one was generally directed towards archers who apparently spent more time engaging in other sports rather than working on their craft. He wasn’t the only one to pass on this law; King Edward IV did the same in 1477 along with King Henry VIII, even though he was a bowler himself. The only thing that stopped him from banning altogether was his love for the sport.

5. Coffee Shops

The coffee shop ban of 1675 by King Charles II of England had nothing to do with coffee itself. The ban was only passed because the king was paranoid that the people were planning a rebellion instead of actually socializing and sipping on coffee, though this wasn’t the official reason listed in the decree. Instead, it stated that coffee shops made people rather lazy and somehow disturbed the public peace. However, this one was perhaps one of the shortest-lived bans in history since it was abolished in only two days.



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