Modern Crusaders Take Up Arms Against Kissing

A woman in Connecticut started a group called the World’s Health Organization (not to be confused with the later UN organization with a similar name) and got a lot of publicity for her “Kiss Not” campaign:

A little child shall lead them, says the organization, and is endeavoring to procure the indorsement of the various Boards of Education, as school children are said to be the most persistent and reckless kissers of them all, the girls particularly kissing each other in greeting and parting, kissing the smaller children and chance babies, and sometimes their teachers. The proposition is for the school children to become members of the organization — which costs them nothing — and to pledge themselves to an agreement not to kiss any one or to be kissed, and to wear buttons bearing the motto “Kiss Not.”

I managed to find a copy of the pledge in a June, 1910 edition of the Mt. Vernon, Ohio newspaper The Democratic Banner:

In order to encourage good health and lesson the spread of consumption, I desire to join the World’s Health Organization and hereby pledge myself to discourage the custom of kissing on the lips whenever it is in my power.

It appears to have gone over about as well as Jerry Seinfeld’s anti-kissing stance.


From July 17, 1910

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