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Goldfish swallowing was an American school trend starting in the 1920s, where a live goldfish was swallowed. Although it is not clear how the fad emerged, various people have made claims. A 1963 letter to the New York Times claimed that it was started by a man named Lothrop Withington Jr., who was a freshman at Harvard University and supposedly did so as part of a bid to become class president. Although once widely practiced, the stunt is rare today.
The stunt became so popular that the Massachusetts state legislature decided to make a bill to “preserve the fish from cruel and wanton consumption.”
- Goldfish Swallowing at Bad Fads Museum
- College Fads from The St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture[dead link]
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