ORIGIN OF HAND-SHAKING
You have wondered often, perhaps, when and where the -custom of shaking hands originated. Like many other practices, it originated in military circles. In early times, when soldiers met, to convince one another that no harm, was intended and that they held no weapons, they extended and grasped each other's hands. Probably many, when shaving in a hurry, have often wondered why their forbears ever began to remove hair from their faces. In the time of Alexander the Great it was found that when troops come in conflict the beard formed a good handhold for the enemy. Alexander ordered that all his soldiers should shave their faces, to the advantage of his army.
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ORIGIN OF HAND-SHAKING, Evening Star, Issue 15694, 7 January 1915