Top of page

On the Shelf – More D.C. Regulations

Share this post:

Recently, it seems as though we have had a run on 1940s D.C. regulations.  In November, I wrote about the city’s 1941 building height restrictions, and yesterday, Ann Hemmens (again) brought me a copy of the 1944 Police Regulations a patron had requested.  I perused the index of the latter and found the entry “Sheep: droves of, on streets.” Being a fan of articles written about archaic laws still on the books, I decided to investigate.

Pictured below is what was located on the page listed in the index of the 1944 publication (Article VII).

Police Regulations of the District of Columbia, Art. VII (1944). Photo by Betty Lupinacci.

Back then it may have been a common sight to see “sheep driven or conducted between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 a.m.,” but aside from the occasional deer on Connecticut Avenue, in all my years in D.C. I’ve never encountered a “drove of beeves” (a term I had to look up) or other livestock roaming within the city limits., District of Columbia Municipal Regulations. Screenshot by Betty Lupinacci

So are these regulations still in force?

A quick search for D.C. police regulations determined that the last promulgation was in 1981.  Wanting something more recent, I went to the D.C. Municipal Regulations online and entered the uninspired search term “sheep.” (And while I know at some point I want to go back to see how the five “definitions” that appeared in the results differ, I only focused on the last item in the list seen here.)


Lo and behold, not only are these regulations still valid, almost verbatim, but they are now re-arranged into thirteen sections from the original eight.

DCMR, Title 24, Sect. 9.  Photo by Betty Lupinacci

So if you need to get a herd of animals from Takoma to Foggy Bottom, remember:

  • Only “drive” during the morning rush (6 a.m. to 10 a.m.);
  • Stay 150 yards behind your neighbor’s herd;
  • Don’t halter more than 6 animals together; and
  • Get a permit.

And please, let me know when and where.  I want to be able to say I was there!


  1. Great blog post!

Add a Comment

This blog is governed by the general rules of respectful civil discourse. You are fully responsible for everything that you post. The content of all comments is released into the public domain unless clearly stated otherwise. The Library of Congress does not control the content posted. Nevertheless, the Library of Congress may monitor any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove content for any reason whatever, without consent. Gratuitous links to sites are viewed as spam and may result in removed comments. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on the Library site. Read our Comment and Posting Policy.

Required fields are indicated with an * asterisk.