December 31, 1841

On December 31, 1841, the State of Alabama enacted the first dental legislation in the United States. The law required a person to have eight or fewer teeth before they could marry their first cousin, fourteen or fewer to marry a second cousin, and no restrictions for the marriage to a third cousin or higher. What? That wasn’t the law? The law called for an assignment of a dentist to the state’s medical board in order to grant licenses for practicing dentistry? Then why is it that you see a lot of married first cousins with only fifteen teeth between them? That’s called the Baader-Meinhof phenomenom or frequency illusion? It’s when the thing you’ve just noticed or experienced suddenly is happening everywhere. The frequency hasn’t changed, you’re just now noticing it. Oh. So some of those toothless married first cousins are from Oklahoma. O-kay.

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
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