The Sacred Cod: Further Proof that Massachusetts is Cray-Cray
Just FYI, I am totally cognizant that “cray-cray” dates me as a Gen X, and yet I don’t care. I have learned a lot about not caring from teen Owlets.
On the Owl’s daily email receipt list is one called “Mass Moments” and I admit I don’t always open them. I always read the one about Knox’s cannons heading down traffic-filled Boston Post Road pre-bypass and a few others catch my eye. Somehow I have missed the Sacred Cod until now.
To summarize, because you really need to read the whole story here, Massachusetts has its own Excalibur which is actually a large wooden cod that hangs in our State House on Beacon Hill. It symbolizes the importance of cod to Massachusetts, and I have to say some of that story is not great (feeding enslaved people, for instance). The current cod is the third iteration, the first being lost to fire in 1747 and the second the Brits apparently stole during that whole revolutionary war thing. The latter has not been proven–all we know is someone stole Sacred Cod #2.
In any case, today is Sacred Cod Parade Day when the cod was paraded from the old State House to the new State House in 1798, wrapped in an American flag. I can’t make this stuff up, Massachusetts, because you have made it so easy. Here’s my favorite line from this write-up: “The Massachusetts Senate has a “Holy” Mackerel incorporated in its chandelier to compete with the “Sacred” Cod in the House of Representatives.” Ummm, wow.
Sign up for your own daily mail and be amazed by the cray-cray. And some “normal” history too.
Love ya, Massachusetts!
A plug for an entertaining book: Mark Kurlansky’s Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World. I’ve read a number of Kurlansky’s books (Salt, Paper, the Big Oyster). Cod is my favorite.
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