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The Sacred Cod

New State House, Beacon Street

A five-foot long carved wooden codfish hangs over the entrance to the House of Representatives chamber in the State House. More than just a reminder of the state's seafaring past, the Sacred Cod is an essential part of lawmaking in Massachusetts - and not just because it is pointed toward the party in power.

In 1933, some pranksters from the Harvard Lampoon "codnapped" the fish. For four days, the State House was thrown into turmoil as anxious reps milled about, refusing to conduct any business until the fish was returned. Finally, a tipster told police where to find the fish, and the lawmaking resumed.

Sacred Cod photo

Theft of the Sacred Cod - More on the Harvard heist.

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