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Cut Loose! Arkansans Can Get Footloose on Sundays

City officials repeal a dancing ban.

|||Pressmaster/Dreamstime.comPressmaster/Dreamstime.comAn Arkansas town has abolished a 65-year-old ordinance, often referred to as the Footloose law, that was aimed at preventing public dancing on Sundays.

Until its recent revocation, Sec. 14-91 of Fort Smith's municipal code required that dance halls and other businesses that allow dancing stay closed on Sundays. Initially signed into law by Mayor H.R. Hestand in 1953, the ordinance suggested that Sunday dancing "greatly endangers the public health, safety and welfare." The ban followed the trend of other blue laws, which ban activities such as hunting and horse racing on Sundays.

The ordinance was reminiscent of the 1984 movie Footloose, which is set in a small Oklahoma town where dancing on Sundays is forbidden. While the dancing ban in the movie is strictly enforced, Fort Smith officials said there is no record of an arrest or fine under their ordinance.

"If you don't care to dance on Sunday, that's fine," said City Director Andre Good, who headed efforts to repeal the ordinance. "We should all respect that. But let's not impose some outdated, outmoded morality code on all our fine fellow citizens."

Good hoped the fight against the dancing ordinance would lead to reconsideration of other outmoded laws. With that in mind, city leaders unanimously agreed to dissolve seven of the 34 commissions, boards, and committees that were believed to be outdated, including the Massard Prairie Civil War Battlefield Park Advisory Commission, the Oak Cemetery Commission, the Outside Agency Review Panel, the Parking Authority, the Residential Housing Facilities Board, the Riverfront Task Force, and the Streets Bridges and Associated Drainage Capital Improvements Plan Advisory Committee.

Bonus link: Reason's previous coverage on dancing ordinances and bans in Arizona, Ohio, California, and Washington, D.C.

Photo Credit: |||Pressmaster/Dreamstime.com

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  • SQRLSY One||

    Can we also now retire the FDA-passed regulations that says we can't blow on a cheap plastic flute w/o a doctor's prescription?

    It would mean I'd have to take down or revise my web page here... http://www.churchofsqrls.com/DONT_DO_THIS/ ... But I'd be happy to revise it or take it down in exchange for a tad of a tiny-tiny HINT of individual freedom!

  • Chipper Got Me Banned||

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    You wanna get banned again?

  • Eddy||

    "Ain't no party like a redneck dance party 'cause...wait, you makin' fun of me? Cause that'd be mighty unfortunate if you were."

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    Shouldn't it be "www dot FormerlyFormerlyRedTony dot com" now?

    What happened, anyway?

  • Chipper Got Me Banned||

    On Thursday, a spambot came on with one of those "work for home" spams. I responded by posting one of my own to mock it. Chipper then decided to report me as a joke.

    And I assume I got banned, because all of my comments for the past week have been deleted and my old account isn't allowed to post.

  • swain||

    Yeah, Chipper is a stupid douchebag.

  • swain||

    I still remember that thread where he bitched about establishing some bona fides before he gave you credibility. It was mind blowing to think he actually believed anyone cared about his opinion, and the laugh had at his expense was epic.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    Chilling!

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Just e-mail the admin. That's what happened with me when I got banned. And I had the same thing, I responded to a bot with a "joke" and the auto-spam technology banned me as well.

    I just e-mailed the site admin and my stuff all came back and I got unblocked.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    I got banned before for mocking the squirrels. Do NOT try to wake up the squirrels on purpose.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    I tried the same thing with my original account and it still never came back. It must be nice to be party chairman.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    I guess you never figured out that was a joke, huh? I never actually reported your comment as spam. So you have to look elsewhere for the cause of your banning. I am guessing someone else clicked on the "report spam" button out of reflex.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    Same thing happened to me. Hence the II.

  • Conchfritters||

    That video is awesome

  • Agammamon||

    . . . laws *to be examination* and . . .

    ENGLISH MOTHERFUCKER! DO YOU SPEAK IT?!
  • Chipper Got Me Banned||

    What?

  • Agammamon||

    Zuri Davis is assistant editor at Reason.

    They keep using that word, 'editor'. I do not think it means what they think it means.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    What makes you think he's English, and while are you calling him names?

  • Longtobefree||

    What makes you think she is a he?

  • Lomas||

    Hi I'm Scarecrow Repair & Chippering and I don't know how exclamations work so I make a fool of myself trying to make a grammar joke but being wrong instead.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Hello.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    That guy is a douche.

  • Lomas||

    And you're a nobody who corpsefucks threads with terrible jokes, in a sad attempt to fit in.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    You are not, you are Lomas.

  • Lomas||

    Hi I'm Scarecrow Repair & Chippering and I don't know how exclamations work so I make a fool of myself trying to make a grammar joke but being wrong instead.

  • Agammamon||

    . . . and while are you . . . .

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCzsX-LqJ-4

  • gaoxiaen||

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    34 commissions, boards, and committees that were believed to be outdated, including the Massard Prairie Civil War Battlefield Park Advisory Commission, the Oak Cemetery Commission, the Outside Agency Review Panel, the Parking Authority, the Residential Housing Facilities Board, the Riverfront Task Force, and the Streets Bridges and Associated Drainage Capital Improvements Plan Advisory Committee.

    It'll be interesting to see where and how these committees reappear.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Be sure to update us since you'll be keeping tabs.

  • Eddy||

    Refer the future of the committee structure to the Ministry of Administrative Affairs.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I remember that Arizona one. I remember when it was happening my dad took the family there just to support them.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Is your dad also a giant of a man?

  • Lomas||

    Case in point.

  • Ornithorhynchus||

    Footloose took place in Oklahoma? I've never seen it, but I seem to remember hearing it was Utah. I could be wrong, though. I do know there were at least two towns in Oklahoma that had similar dancing bans at the time.

  • Agammamon||

    The original one is unspecified but its based - loooooooooosely - on events in a small OK town.

    The second one in Georgia for some reason. I guess all them there redneck hicks all look alike or something.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    But let's not impose some outdated, outmoded morality code on all our fine fellow citizens.

    Not to get myself confused with Rev Kirkland, but that statement came out of the bible belt??

  • croaker||

    Know why they call it the Bible Belt? It's where you get beat with both the Bible and the Belt.

  • Longtobefree||

    They went the wrong way; they should have banned dancing on Monday through Saturday as well.
    Don't any of you people, and Tony and the Rev, remember that guns jump out of nowhere and shoot people at dances?

  • Chipper Got Me Banned||

    My "gun" only shoots consenting males, thank you.

    It does jump out of nowhere at dances, though. You have that one right.

  • Ornithorhynchus||

    That's only the special custom-made guns that the FBI has.

  • Hackmaschine Mutter||

    There must be hope for humanity if Huckabee country can vote to allow liberty.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Bunch of ruffians and trollups. Harumpf.

  • Jerryskids||

    The Associated Drainage Capital Improvements Plan Advisory Committee has been shut down? So the Associated Drainage Capital Improvements Plan is never going to get finished, or it got finished 20 years ago and nobody told the Advisory Committee?

  • Rockabilly||

    Party on!!

    Frankie says relax!!

    Smoke a little doobie

    Relax man..

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vUi1lndqUE

  • Eddy||

  • croaker||

    "The ordinance was reminiscent of the 1984 movie Footloose, which is set in a small Oklahoma town where dancing on Sundays is forbidden."

    Where dancing was forbidden, period. Get it right.

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