Strange Laws found in North Dakota

By: Rob Kupec, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) — Maybe you’ve heard some of them or run across a book or a website that talks about strange and outdated laws that were or are still on in existence.

One of the stranger North Dakota laws that a lot of people have heard about says that its OK to shoot an Indian on horseback as long as your doing from a covered wagon.

Not only is this law not on the books, the legislative library in Bismarck can’t find any record of it dating all the way back to the territorial laws.

Jessica Nymark/Tailgators: “Pretzels and ranch and beer at night especially when we don’t serve any more food, people ask for the pretzels.”

So is this winning combination at Tailgators illegal in North Dakota?

Jessica: “Nobody’s ever told us and I’d say we’ve been breaking it for a long time.”

This one too falls into the untrue as well.

How about this one a law that says it’s illegal in North Dakota to lay down and fall asleep with your shoes on? But like the others that one’s not true either. So you made day siesta people, no worries.

So the North Dakota Laws on the web and in books are also bust just like the Minnesota ones. So how do these false laws start and carry on as Urban Legends

Erik Gooding/MSUM Professor: “Some of these urban legends have a grain of truth.”

Anthropology professor Erik Gooding says the modern Urban Legends come out of the story telling that people used to explain the world and justify their actions.

Erik: “People really didn’t start studying urban legends really until the 1960’s. It’s a fairly recent thing. But we have examples of things that go back, as far back as we can go.”

So here’s one law that was on the books in Fargo. Between 8AM and 8PM it was illegal to swim naked in the Red River which means of course at night, it wasn’t.

One other Fargo law that gets cited says you cant wear a hat while you dance or even wear one to a dance but the city auditor could not find that law anywhere in the old city codes.

To watch the video click here.