28 Fascinating Laws and Acts Passed By Governments Worldwide That Will Surprise You

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1The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act

The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act

Canada has an act called ‘The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act’ that remove barriers to those involved in an overdose. In the event that you need to call 911 for someone who is overdosed, you won’t get arrested for possession of controlled substances charges, and breach of conditions regarding the drug charge.

2. During World War 2 there were around more than 250,000 Filipino soldiers that fought for the allied forces and were promised the same compensation as their American counterparts, but in 1946 Truman signed the Rescission Act of 1946 which denied Filipino soldiers all of their benefits.

3. In the New Deal, Franklin D. Roosevelt called for a new tax program called the Revenue Act of 1935, which imposed an income tax of 79% on incomes over $5 million. This tax rate affected literally one person: John D. Rockefeller.

4. During a speech to senators intended to convince them that the dust bowl epidemic was a real issue, a massive dust cloud enveloped Washington D.C., blackening the windows of the hearing and caking the room with dust. The Soil Conservation Act was passed later that year.

5. Onions are the only commodity banned from futures trading in the United States. The Onion Futures Act was passed in 1958 after two traders cornered the onion market in Chicago controlling 98% of all available onions.

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6National School Lunch Act

National School Lunch Act

The National School Lunch Act of 1946 was passed, in part, because of the number of draftees that were rejected during World War 2 due to being malnourished.

7. Disney successfully lobbied Congress to extend the length of copyright protection in order to prevent Mickey Mouse from entering the public domain. The law was later referred to as the Mickey Mouse Protection Act.

8. Thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, the CIA released nearly 12 million documents. One set of documents revealed research of the possibility that "insane" people may be experiencing multiple "levels of reality" and their brains can't process this information, leading to mental instability.

9. In 1996, a bill called the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Act was passed to protect food vendors from liability for giving unused food to the needy instead of throwing it away for liability reasons.

10. In 1988, President Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act, which gave $20,000 reparations to every Japanese-American (and their descendants) who got sent to internment camps in World War 2.

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11Equal Credit Opportunity Act

Equal Credit Opportunity Act

Up to the early 1970s, credit cards were reserved for men. Women could get a credit card if their husbands cosigned on the application. The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (1974) made it unlawful to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, or marital status.

12. One of the categories included in the Mental Deficiency Act 1913 was “moral imbecile.” This could include women who repeatedly had children out of wedlock and could therefore be institutionalized. It was repealed in 1959.

13. The NFL doesn't play on Friday and Saturday because the 1961 Sports Broadcasting Act prohibits them from doing so to protect fans of college and high school football.

14. Refrigerators have magnetic strips so that they are easy to open from both the inside and outside. In 1956, the Refrigerator Safety Act was passed to protect kids that would die inside abandoned refrigerators while playing around.

15. The American Service-Members’ Protection Act, nicknamed the “Hague Invasion Act” which was passed in 2002 instructs the US military to use any means necessary to free US officials imprisoned for war crimes by the International Criminal Court.

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16National Minimum Drinking Age Act

National Minimum Drinking Age Act

There is no federal minimum drinking age law. It doesn't have that authority. An act signed by Reagan, however, supersedes the states’ rights by punishing any state that ignores this by reducing federal highway apportionment by 10% in an effort to reduce drunk driving.

17. It is illegal to swear in public in some parts of Australia. The Summary Offenses Act 1988 states, “a person must not use offensive language in or near, or within hearing from, a public place or school.” Punishment can include fines or jail.

18. The last time the number of Justices on the US Supreme court was changed, was in 1869 because of the Judiciary Act of 1869 which set the court to 9 justices, which has been the number of justices ever since.

19. In 1856, the U.S. passed the Guano Islands Act, which allowed its citizens to temporarily possess any unclaimed islands to mine their guano deposits.

20. The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 was intended to help the USPS be more competitive. The provision for funding in advance health benefits for retirees was added because the Bush White House threatened to veto the bill without it.

21Indian Arts and Crafts Act

Indian Arts and Crafts Act

The Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 was passed after an art dealer was caught lying about the source of his artwork, effectively classifying unverifiable claims of Indian heritage as false advertisement.

22. The reason Washington, D.C. has no skyscrapers is because of the Height of Buildings Act passed in 1899 in response to the construction of the city's tallest building, the Cairo Hotel in 1894.

23. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 was one of the first laws passed in the US to prevent a specific ethnic group from entering the country.

24. Ontario's Dog Owner's Liability Act ('DOLA') stipulates that a dog owner(s) assumes liability for damages caused by dog bites or attacks. This is a strict liability test because it does not depend on an owner's negligence, fault, or the animal's known propensity to act aggressively.

25. Eisenhower passed the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 after gaining an appreciation for the German Autobahn system after serving as Commander during World War 2. The act included a 10-year, $100 billion programs, which would build 40,000 miles of highways across America.

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