The Stubborn Children Law (repealed in 1973) enacted by Massachusetts Bay Colony (1646), Connecticut (1650), Rhode Island (1668), and New Hampshire (1679), allowed a disobedient son “of sufficient years and understanding” (at least 16) to be put to death.
In 1850, California law made it legal for towns to pay bounties for Indian scalps. Shasta City offered $5 for every Indian head brought to city hall, expenses reimbursed by the state treasury. There were 150,000 Indians in California before the 49ers, by 1870 less than 30,000.
It is illegal, in the state of New York, to put your thumb on you nose, and wiggle your other fingers. This is a old law, written in the 1600-1700s, but it is in the law book.
According to Texas Bankruptcy laws, you can keep 1 house, 1 car, 1k use limit in bank account, a bible or other religious text, and 2 guns.
A city in Virginia passed an ordinance earlier this year barring people older than 14 from trick-or-treating. If the law is enforced, anyone older could be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined $250.
There is a law in Sweden that allows you go on any property you please between July and October so long as you are picking wild berries or mushrooms.
Fireworks are totally illegal in Florida, but are sold to ordinary people in huge quantities via hundreds of stores across the state to anyone who signs a waiver saying they’re for agricultural use to scare birds away from crops.
Texas still has a mutual combat law. This means that duelling is still legal according the Texas penal code. The law states that any two individuals who feel the need to fight can agree to mutual combat through a signed, verbal or implied communication and have at it (fists only, however).
Ancient Rome had no concept of a limited-liability corporation, so entrepreneurs got around it by appointing a slave as the CEO. A master was not legally liable for a slave’s debts, so this allowed the owner to control the company while avoiding personal liability in case of bankruptcy.
In 1931, a man stole an airplane but was acquitted on all charges because airplanes were not considered “vehicles” and there was no law against aircraft theft at the time.