Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Burma-Shave signs

On the road trip this weekend, the friends and I were driving up american highway 57 in the anti gun state of Illinois and I saw a set of pro CCW signs. I got a laugh and learned a little about American history.

Sign 4:"WHY CAN'T YOU?"
Sign 5:""

Some one in the car mentioned that the signs were "Burma-Shave" signs. I had no idea what that was, so i got some american oral history. This was the type of stuff that was left out of my highschool history books.

Source:"At their height of popularity there were 7,000 Burma-Shave signs stretching across America. The familiar white on red signs, grouped by four, fives and sixes, were as much a part of a family trip as irritating your kid brother in the back seat of the car. You'd read first one, then another, anticpating the punch line on number five and the familiar Burma-Shave on the sixth.

The signs cheered us during the Depression and the dark days of World War II. But things began to change in the late Fifties. Cars got faster and superhighways got built to accomodate them. The fun little signs were being replaced by huge, unsightly billboards.

1963 was the last year for new Burma Shave signs. No more red and white nuggets of roadside wisdom to ease the journey. "

Here is a little history abou the group, Guns Save Lifes, who built the signs and some of their early fights once they started making head way.

Any group, or individual, contemplating erection of signs along a public roadway should be aware that regulations exist concerning "commercial advertising." However, as these signs are posted on private property and they are political in nature, they are protected by the Constitution, as affirmed by the 9-0 1994 Supreme Court decision City of LaDue vs. Gilleo. In 1999, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) send threatening letters to nearly all of the landowners displaying Burma-style signs. Paul Vallandigham, our attorney, sent IDOT a letter citing the LaDue vs. Gilleo decision and explaining how the CCRA would respond if additional letter were sent to the landowners or if IDOT removed the signs as threatened. A friend at the state headquarters of IDOT told us that the chief legal counsel (at the time) told his district offices to "not give Mr. Vallandigham any reason to send me further correspondence." To this day, no additional letters have ever been received from IDOT regarding the CCRA Burma-style signage."

That was a dirty trick Illinois tried to pull, to bad they are dumb butts and do not understand what free speech means.


1 comment:

Gib said...

I've seen those signs many times - they're not far from Champaign, where my wife went to school, and we drive up 57 when we go to see my family in Peoria. I'd always meant to check out that group, but never did (it's a loooong drive from Atlanta to Peoria, and the first instinct is to crash, hard.)

That was neat to read how IDOT punked out. Illinois has long been run by knaves and morons - occasionally both.