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James Callow Folklore Archive

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WHEN I WAS A (AN) UNDERGRADUATE AT MOREHEAD (KY.) STATE TEACHERS'
COLLEGE, NOW MOREHEAD STATE UNIVERSITY, IN 1939 AND 1940,
GOLDFISH SWALLOWING BECAME A FAD AMONG COLLEGE STUDENTS
THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY. REPORTEDLY A BOY AT MOREHEAD SWALLOWED
TWENTY-FOUR LIVE GOLDFISH. HE WAS TOPPED BY A BOY AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY, WHICH WAS REFERRED TO LOCALLY AS THE
COUNTRY CLUB OF THE SOUTH, WHO SWALLOWED FORTY-TWO. I AM SURE
NEITHER OF THESE BOYS HELD THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP. I DID
NOT WITNESS THE SWALLOWING, NOR DID ANYONE ELSE THAT I KNEW
TO BE TRUTHFUL. THE NEWSPAPERS REPORTED SWALLOWINGS THROUGH-
OUT THE COUNTRY. AS FAR AS I KNOW, NO GIRLS EVER COMPETED IN
THE GOLDFISH SWALLOWING CONTESTS.

Where learned: KENTUCKY ; TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Fish
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Man
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- School
BELIEF -- Custom
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