As promised, here’s the full 24-page booklet distributed by the Cape Girardeau (MO) Police Department in the mid to late 50s. Click on any image to make it larger, then move through the gallery by clicking on the left or right side of the picture.
Beware of Strangers
Two pages have an unsual use of the word “moron.” They define it as one who molests young children – either boys or girls.
(“Your Parents Will We Pleased to Explain This Matter More Fully.” Yeah, I bet that was just the discussion they wanted to have at the breakfast table in 1956.)
I’ve never heard the word used in this context, it doesn’t show up in any online dictionaries that I could find, and my copy of the American Dictionary of Slang is silent on it.
We Baby Boomers grew up in a time of contradictions: on the one hand we were told by friendly turtles that we’d be safe from a nuclear explosion if we ducked ‘n covered under our school desks; on the other, we were constantly being warned that some activity or another was likely “to put an eye out.”
While rummaging around in the time capsule otherwise known as my Mother’s attic, I came across a 24-page publication, The Police Safety Review, which had been distributed by the Cape Girardeau Police Department. There’s a 1954 Rube Goldberg cartoon – yes, THAT Rube Goldberg – in it, so I’m going to guess it was published in the mid-to-late 1950s.
Police Safety Review Cover
Safety bottom line
Do something illegal or careless and you’re likely to be
Scarred for life
Have your bike taken away
Have a mark on your permanent record
All of the above
Hold on to truck, be crushed to death
Ignorance of the law: die on way to hospital
Racing without looking: killed instantly
Ride next to trolley tracks: fractured skull
Fail to stop: severe injury
Racing with head down: seriously injured
Ride on the sidewalk: seriously injure a child
Failure to stop: die on way to hospital
Ride on handlebars: scarred for years
Train for Century: break your bike, go to hospital
These boys were training for a 100-mile ride between Chicago and Milwaukee when they got their signals crossed and crashed into each other. The editor was obviously disappointed to note, “The riders were not violating any city ordinance because they were outside of the city limits. The editor fails to find anything pertaining to participation of bicycle riders in races or endurance contests. On the contrary, these boys were not racing but were training on a highway; however, their act is a dangerous practice.”
Ride on park path: arrested, bike impounded
Don’t maintain your bike: die
Think about your boyfriend: never walk or ride a bike again