Chronography of morals and fashion

Page last modified 30/5/2022


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See also Abortion and Birth Control

For Animal Protection and Welfare see Environmant

See also Alcohol Regulation and Prohibition

See also Child Welfare

See also Clothing and Cosmetics

See also Crime and Punishment (see here for auicide)

See also Homosexuality

See also Tobacco and Smoking

See also Race Equality

For Royalist attitudes see British Royal Family

See also Women�s Rights (Divorce here)


See graphic here (The Economist 2/11/2019) as to how social mores change over generations.


Beauty contests � see Appendix 3 below

Drugs � see Appendix 4 below

Euthanasia � see Appendix 5 below

Family relations � see Appendix 7 below

Gambling � see Appendix 8 below

Pornography Sex and intimacy � see Appendix 10 below

Religion � see Appendix 11 below. See also Christianity.

Violence Blasphemy and bad language � see Appendix 12 below


2/10/2000, The Human Rights Act came into force in the UK. It incorporated into English law the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights.

30/10/1981, Mark Lyons, leader of voluntary euthanasia group Exit, was jailed for 2 � years, for aiding and abetting suicide.

2/7/1970. The London Tourist Board spoke out against young tourists roughing it in London, sleeping out around the Peter Pan statue in Hyde Park, causing �squalor and moral problems�. 250 seal pups were shot in The Wash in the last cull of the open season, before the Conservation of Seals Act finally outlawed the seal killing on 29/8/1970.

1/1/1970. In the UK the age of majority was reduced from 21 to 18.

15/6/1967. In Britain the Latey Commission reported that the voting age should be lowered to 18.

5/9/1965, The word �hippie� first appeared in print, in an article in the San Francisco Examiner by reporter Michael Fallon, who was writing a series about the Haight-Ashbury neighbourhood. "Five untroubled young 'hippies'," Fallon began, "sprawled on floor mattresses and slouched in an armchair retrieved from a debris box, flipped cigarette ashes at a seatbelt in their Waller Street flat and pondered their next move."

11/1/1963, The world�s first disco, called Whisky a Go Go, opened in Los Angeles.

23/5/1909, US police broke up a lecture given by the anarchist Emma Goldman.

12/10/1845, Social worker and prison reformer Elizabeth Fry died.

16/6/1835, Social reformer Mr William Lovett founded the London Working Men�s Association, to tackle poverty amongst low paid labourers.

1824, In the UK, the Vagrancy Act made it an offence to sleep rough,out of doors. This was modified in 1935. See also price and economics.

18/12/1792, Thomas Paine was tried in absentia for publishing The Rights of Man.

1/11/1781. Austria abolished serfdom, and gave all citizens the right of marriage, free movement, and instruction in any handicraft.This initially applied to Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia; to Galicia soon after, and to Hungary in 1785.Landowners had certain rights remaining, such as corvee, but these were reduced by later laws.

1623, Patent laws introduced in England, to protect inventions.


Appendix 3 � Beauty contests

13/6/1988, The first beauty contest was held in the USSR.

17/11/1970. The Sun published its first �page three girl�, Stephanie Rahn.

7/9/1968, Protests by the New York Radical Women (NYRW) Group disrupted the Miss World competition in New York.

11/9/1954, The �Miss America� beauty contest, held in Atlanta City, New Jersey, was televised across the USA.

19/4/1951. Eric Morley, publicity officer for Mecca, devised the first Miss World beauty contest as part of the Festival of Britain. The contest was held at the Lyceum ballroom off The Strand, London. The Swedish entrant, Miss Kiki Haakonson, won.

10/9/1938. Death of the dog show founder Charles Cruft.

7/9/1921. The first Miss America beauty contest was held in Atlantic City.The winner was 15 year old, blonde, Margaret Goorman, of Washington DC.

14/8/1908, The first international beauty contest was held at the Pier Hippodrome, Folkestone, Kent. Contestants included six English, three French, one Irish, and one Austrian.

23/12/1905, The final of the earliest known beauty contest in Britain was held at Newcastle on Tyne.

19/9/1888. The world�s first beauty contest took place at Spa, Belgium. The winner was 18-year-old Bertha Soucaret from Guadeloupe, who won a5,000 Franc prize.

10/3/1886, The first Cruft�s dog show in London took place, in Islington; the first ever Cruft�s was in 1859 in Newcastle on Tyne. The show is named after its founder, Charles Cruft. In 1948 the show moved to Olympia, and from 1979 was held at Earls Court. Since 1991 it has been held at the National Exhibition Cenyre, Birmingham.

1873, The Kennel Club was established in London, as the number of dog shows grew. They have published the Kennel Club Stud Book annually since 1874. They have organised the Crufts Dog Show since 1948.

13/7/1871, The first cat show took place.It was held at Crystal Palace, London, organised by Harrison Weir.

1859, The first dog show was held at Newcastle onTyne, for pointers and setters.

14/10/1854, The first baby show was held, at Springfield, Ohio. There were127 exhibits.


Appendix 4 � Drugs

See also Prisons, death penalty

25/1/2022, Thailand became the first Asian country to decriminalise marijuana, announcing this day that people would be allowed to grow it at home.

17/10/2018, Canada became the second country (after Uruguay in 2013) to legalise the sale of cannabis.

1/1/2018, The US State of California legalised the sale and consumption of cannabis for personal use. The substance was already legal in five other US States; Alaska, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

1/1/2014, The US State of Colorado legalised the sale and consumption of cannabis for personal use.

2012, The net effect of racial disparities in US drugs laws (see 1986) was that ths year 1 in 13 African-Amnerican men were in prison, compared to 1 in 36 Hispanic men and 1 in 90 White men. For women, the US incarceration rate was still 2.5 times that of White women.

2001, Portugal decriminalised drug use.

1996, US President Clinton increased the obstacles to drugs convicts of accessing the US welfare system.

1989, The UK had over 100,000 registered heroin addicts, against just 3,000 in 1971.

1986, The Anti-Drug Abuse Act opened up a racial divide in the punishment for drugs possession. Possession of 5 grams of crack cocaine (used mainly by Black people) attracted a sentence of 5 years without parole � as did possession of 500 grams of powder cocaine (used mainly by White people).

1985, US President Reagan hired a team of staff to raise a moral alarm about the emergence of crack cocaine.

1982, US President Reagan restated a commitment to the �war on drugs�.

22/4/1979, Keith Richard of the Rolling Stones escaped a drugs conviction in return for performing a benefit concert for the Canadian National institute for the Blind.

2/2/1979, Sid Vicious (born as John Ritchie), former band member of the Sex Pistols, died of a heroin overdose at a party in New York, aged 21.

1976, The Netherlands decriminalised cannabis.

2/10/1974, US scientists announced that experiments with monkeys proved that cannabis did cause permanent irreversible brain damage.

1973, The Governor of New York, Nelson Rockerfeller, passed draconian drugs laws, making possession of even small amounts of drugs punishable by 15 years to life imprisonment.

31/8/1973. The growing drugs menace in Britain was investigated by the TV programme Midweek on Drugs.

1/3/1972, A 14-year-old boy, Timothy Davey, from London was convicted of conspiring to sell cannabis in Turkey.

1971, The UK�s Misuse of Drugs Act tightened the law on drug taking and drug dealing.

1971, US President Nixon declared a �war on drugs�.

25/1/1970. Mick Jagger was fined �200 plus 50 guineas costs for possessing cannabis resin.

23/1/1969, The British Government rejected proposals to cut penalties for smoking cannabis.

31/12/1967, Hippies embraced love, flower power, LSD and the Rolling Stones as a cure for the world�s ills.

30/10/1967. Statistics showed that the number of Britain�s drug addicts under 20 rose from 145 in 1965 to 329 in 1966.

24/7/1967, Graham Greene, Francis Crick, and The Beatles were among those who signed a full-page advertisement in The Times, saying the law against marijuana was �immoral in principle and unworkable in practice�.

6/10/1966, California made possession of LSD illegal.

16/7/1966. The Home Secretary Roy Jenkins decided that the drug LSD-25 should be controlled under the Drugs (Prevention of Misuse) Act, following a rise in use of the drug by young people.

1/2/1964. The Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain called for unauthorised possession of amphetamines to be made an offence.

26/1/1956. The UK banned the import and export of heroin.

1937, Cannabis was made illegal in the USA.

28/8/1928, In Britain the Dangerous Drugs Act (1925) was amended to make the use of cannabis illegal.

28/7/1916, The UK banned imports of cocaine and opium.

1914, In the USA, Congress passed the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act, restricting the sale of opiates and cocaine; the country�s first �war on drugs�. There was also behind this a fear of Black drugs use in the US South, and at this time lynchings and other socio-economic discrimination against African Americans was also high.

1909, The USA outlawed opium use. Behind thismove was a racist fear of Chinese railroad and general labouring workers.


Appendix 5 � Euthanasia

1/4/2002, The Netherlands legalised euthanasia for the �seriously ill, not just the �terminally ill�.

2002, Belgium legalised assisted suicide.

26/9/1996. The first death under legalised euthanasia in Australia.

1993, The Netherlands decriminalised voluntary physician-assisted suicide for the terminally ill.

1977, California became the first US state to allow mentally-competent patgients to make a �living will�, specifying their eish to be allowed to die without medical intervention.

1937, Switzerland legalised euthanasia. Suicide was decriminalised therefore assisting it was not a crime. However if the assistant stood to gain financially, it was still an unlawful act.


Appendix 7 �Family relations. See also Women�s Rights for Divorce (dates of legalisation of)

14/7/1997. In California a Bill was signed allowing women to breast feed in public.

12/1/1993. London�s first refuge for battered husbands opened.

14/4/1992, In Florida, an 11-year old boy successfully �divorced� his parents in court.

10/12/1991, The marriage rate in England and Wales was less than half what it was 20 years ago, as nearly a third of couples in their 20s chose to cohabit, not marry. At least 10% of marriages ended in divorce within 5 years.

1975, A survey in the USA found that 30% of women thought extramarital sex was wrong; in 1963 80% of women thought it was wrong.

1960, In the US, the percentage of married women who were employed had risen to 32%, up from 25% in 1950.

19/11/1959, The Archbishop of Canterbury said adultery should be a criminal offence.

16/3/1958. Mothers who worked full-time were condemned as enemies of family life by the Bishop of Woolwich.

27/3/1947, To stem the rising tide of divorce, the |British Government pledged more funding for the Marriage Guidance Council.

28/11/1946, In Britain the House of Lords was told of a �tidal wave of divorce sweeping Britain�.

445 BCE, In Rome the Lex Canuleia permitted intermarriage between patricians and plebeians in Rome.


Appendix 8 � Gambling

7/5/1995. UK betting shops opened on Sundays for the first time.

1/5/1961. Off-course betting shops became legal in Britain. They were legalised under the Betting and Gaming Act, 1960. 10,000 of them opened within the first 6 months thereafter.

1/6/1957. The Church condemned the �1 Premium Bonds as a �squalid raffle�.

25/4/1938, Postal workers, tradesmen and Baptists joined forces against the growing popularity of football pools. Baptists disapproved of them on moral grounds, as a form of gambling. Post offices wanted extra payments for handling the rapidly growing volume of pools traffic. Meanwhile a butcher in Worthing claimed his customers were buying cheaper cuts of meat to save up for the pools.

3/7/1902. In Britain, a House of Lords ruling restricted betting to the sites of sporting events.


Appendix 10 � Pornography Sex and intimacy

22/9/2004, CBS TV in the USA was fined US$ 550,000 for showing pop star Janet Jackson�s exposed breast for half a second during the Super bowl halftime show. She blamed a wardrobe malfunction.

9/8/1979. Brighton established Britain�s first nudist beach.

26/7/1971, Topless women sunbathers on Italian beaches were ordered to cover up, by riot police.

17/7/1970, The sex comedy Oh! Calcutta! opened in London.

26/5/1969. John Lennon and Yoko Ono began a �bed � in� at a Montreal hotel in aid of world peace. See 8/12/1980.

27/9/1968, The Rock musical Hair with 13 naked actors opened at the Shaftesbury Theatre, London, the day after the Theatres Act lifted censorship of it.

26/8/1968, In the UK, the Theatres Act was passed, ended the role of Lord Chancellor as censor of plays, giving theatres much more freedom in what they could put on.

15/1/1963. The BBC ended its ban on mentioning politics, royalty, religion, and sex in comedy shows.

10/11/1960,The initial print run of Lady Chatterley�s Lover, 200,000 copies at 3s 6d each, sold out on the first day.

2/11/1960, The publisher of Lady Chatterley�s :Lover was found not guilty on 2/11/1960. On 10/11/1960, the first day of publication, 200,000 copies were sold in Britain.

20/10/1960. D H Lawrence�s book Lady Chatterley�s Lover put Penguin Books in the dock at the Old Bailey, under the Obscene Publications Act.

19/8/1960, In London, Penguin Books was prosecuted for obscenity over its plans to publish Lady Chatterley�s Lover.

29/2/1960, Hugh Hefner opened the first Playboy Club in Chicago. Brought up in a strict Methodist home, Hefner started the Playboy Magazine with US$ 10,000 in 1953.

27/2/1960. The magazine �Playboy� was banned in Connecticut.

18/10/1958, Two Americans, Shirley Sanders and Robert Kardell, married in a church in Hollywood, the first couple to be matched by computer.

16/6/1930. Mixed bathing allowed for the first time in the Serpentine, Hyde Park.

4/7/1929, In London, 12 paintings of nudes by DH Lawrence were seized by police, after complaints from the public.

19/4/1927, The US actress Mae West was convicted of obscenity for writing, producing and directing a Broadway musical called Sex. The play had already been running for a year and been seen by 325,000 peoplebefore the New York Police Department closed it down.

9/1/1927. Greta Garbo and John Gilbert- real life lovers � shocked cinemagoers in New York by their uninhibited kissing in the silent film Flesh and the Devil.

22/4/1923, Bettie Page, pin-up model, was born.

1920, At Motzener Zee, Germany, the first official nudist camp opened at Frei Sonnenland.

25/12/1913, In New York, a couple were arrested for kissing in the street.

1/1/1913, Film censorship began in Britain.

5/11/1912, The British Board of Film Censors was appointed.

31/10/1905, In New York City, police banned the play Mrs Warren�s Profession, by George Bernard Shaw, after its first performance, because it portrayed prostitution.

13/6/1910, Mary Whitehouse, General Secretary of the National Viewers and Listeners Association, was born.

5/4/1910. France banned kissing on its railways, because it caused delays.

22/4/1909, In Westminster a Bill was introduced to abolish censorship in plays.

1/11/1905. Police closed George Bernard Shaw�s play, Mrs Warren�s Profession, because of its portrayal of prostitution.

9/1/1902. New York State introduced a bill to outlaw flirting in public.


Semi-undressed women

8/7/1907, The first of the Ziegfield Follies was performed at the New York Theater, staged by promoter Florence Ziegfield. The revues, of scantily-clad women, ran almnost annually on Broadway until 1931.

13/3/1894. The world�s first professional striptease performance took place at the Divan Fayanou Music Hall, Paris. It consisted of a woman getting ready for bed.

9/2/1893. The world�s first public striptease took place at the Moulin Rouge, Paris.

6/10/1889, The Moulin Rouge cabaret opened in Paris.

30/11/1886, The Folies Bergere in Paris staged its first revue show, featuring young women in elaborate but revealing costumes.


1883, Repeal of the Contagious Diseases Acts of 1862-70. These had forced women suspected of prostitution who lived in garrison towns to undergo examinations for venereal disease; refusal meant imprisonment. The Acts were repealed after campaigning by Josephine Elizabeth Butler (1828-1906), a proponent of women�s education and married women�s property rights.

19/7/1695, The first dating advertisement appeared, in Britain. A gentleman of about 30 years of age of some wealth sought a woman with an estate of around �3,000 to match with.

9/3/1562. Kissing in public was banned in Naples, contravention being punishable by death. This was an attempt to halt the spread of the plague.

801, Emperor Charlemagne banned prostitution.

150 BCE, The Romans closed all schools of dancing because they viewed it as effeminate. However dancing was still appreciated as public entertainment, although dancers then had a low social status. In the Bible, Saul�s daughter also look down witrh scorn when King David �danced before Jehovah with all his might� when the Ark of the Covenant was returned to Jerusalem. The early Christian Church similarly looked down on dancing, but again, like the Ro,mans, dancers were used as entertainment yet denied social standing in the Christian Mediaeval world. A similar attitude prevailed in the Islamic world. Dancing rose up the social scale in Europe as the Renaissance got underway.


Appendix 11 � Religion, See also Christianity

25/9/1976. A Danish film director was planning a film on Jesus� sex life.

20/1/1974. Football League games were played on a Sunday for the first time.

8/1/1974. In Rome, youths protested against the film Jesus Christ Superstar. The film�s makers protested that this film should not be confused with the Danish film Jesus Christ Superstud.

4/8/1966, John Lennon suggested that The Beatles were �more popular than Jesus�. Within days US radio stations had banned their music and there were public bonfires of their records.

9/2/1958, A play by Irish-born Samuel Beckett was banned from London stages due to blasphemy.

25/2/1930, In the UK, a Bill to abolish blasphemy as a criminal offence was dropped.

1921, John William Gott, Bradford trouser salesman, became the last person jailed in Britain for blasphemy. He was sentenced to 9 months hard labour for calling Jesus a �circus clown. He died soon after his release.

29/4/1874, In Britain, the Cremation Society was formed.

14/8/1870. John Galsworthy, English author, was born in Combe, Surrey. When his Forsyte Saga was dramatised on BBC TV on Sundays in the 1960s, clergymen had to change times of their evening service to get a congregation.

1851, Census figures in Britain showed that only half the population regularly attended church on a Sunday.

1851, In Britain, mainly in the new industrial urban areas, 2,438 churches were built or restored between 1851 and 1875, a process given momentum by the Victorian �Oxford High Church� Movement. In 1800 the Church was deficient in buildings in the newly emerging industrial towns and suburba, partly because creating new parishes was difficult; until 1843 that required an Act of parliament. In 1818 the UK Parliament began to remedy this deficiency, voting for �1 million to be spent building new churches, followed by a further �0.5 million for this purpose in 1824.

1/7/1559, Missing Church in Britain incurred a fine of one shilling (5p). However by 1581 this penalty had been raised to a swingeing �20 a month.


Appendix 12 � Violence Blasphemi and bad language

1/3/1993. Funeral of two-year-old James Bulger, abducted from Bootle shopping centre on 12/2/1993 and later murdered by two youths on a Liverpool railway line; his body was found by the tracks on 16/2/1993. Two boys aged ten from Walton, Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, were charged with the murder on 20/2/1993. The case provoked a moral panic about social breakdown in society and �loss of values�.

1977, In the UK, the magazine Gay News was successfully prosecuted for publishing a poem that suggested Jesus was a homosexual.

8/4/1977, The Dammed played in New York, the first punk band to play in the USA.

5/3/1977. The first Punk Rock LP, Dammed, Dammed, Dammed, was released.

6/1/1977. EMI dismissed the Sex Pistols due to their outrageous behaviour and foul language, with a �40,000 payoff. The resultant publicity boosted sales of the Sex Pistol�s album Anarchy in the UK; sales reached 50,000.

1/12/1976, The Sex Pistols, a punk rock group, were interviewed by Bill Grundy on Thames TV Today.

6/11/1975. The punk rock band Sex Pistols played their first gig at St Martin�s College of Art in London.

6/9/1974. Mary Whitehouse described as �completely irresponsible� a sketch on the BBC children�s programme Jackanory in which actors walked away unharmed after blowing up a car.

21/5/1974, The film company United Artists was facing prosecution over allegations that the film Last Tango in Paris contravened the Obscene Publications Act.

4/1/1974. Teachers requested that 16 year old �bovver boys� (�they don�t even speak English, they just grunt�) should be allowed to leave school as soon as exams were over rather than having to stay on till the end of term.

8/2/1972, Fans demonstrated outside the Albert Hall, London, after Frank Zappa and the Mother of Invention concert was cancelled due to obscenities in one of their songs.

1/1/1963, In the UK, the BBC relaxed a ban on mentioning sex, religion, politics and royalty on comedy shows.

29/11/1965. Mary Whitehouse began her clean up campaign concerning TV broadcasts, by setting up the National Viewers and Listeners Association to tackle �bad taste and irresponsibility�.

3/9/1956, After riots in several towns at cinemas involving Teddy Boys following the film Rock Around The Clock, the film was banned.

24/1/1930, In Britain the House of Commons passed the second reading of a bill, sponsored by Ernest Thurtle, decriminalizing blasphemy and atheism.

26/4/1926, In the USA, actress Mae West was arrested for �corrupting the morals of youth� with her play, Sex.

13/4/1914, George Bernard Shaw�s play Pygmalion caused a stir with its use of the word �bloody�.


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