Speed Reads

Only in America

Only in America: The perils of following a 100-year-old law to the letter

A 1920 law is causing a shortage of rock salt in New Jersey — and more in our collection of strange revelations about the nation

New Jersey communities are experiencing a dangerous shortage of rock salt because a foreign ship that would transport 40,000 tons of the ice-melting agent from Maine cannot dock without flying an American flag. Under a 1920 federal law, only U.S.-flagged ships can move goods from one U.S. port to another. Local politicians are asking for a waiver, but federal officials say it's not likely to be granted.