1925 February 21

Lord’s Day Alliance Seeks NY Sunday “Blue” Law

 

The Lord’s Day Alliance in New York State on this day urged support for a law that would prohibit virtually all non-religious public activities on Sunday in the state. No music would be allowed outside the home or in churches, except for religious or military parades. The opening paragraph of the proposed bill declared that “The first day of the week” would be “set aside as the American Sabbath.”

“Blue Laws,” which required businesses to close, were challenged as violations of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, but the Supreme Court, in McGowan v. Maryland on May 19, 1961, ruled that they served other, secular purposes and were constitutional.

Learn more about the Establishment Clause: Jeremy Gunn and John Witte, No Establishment of Religion: America’s Original Contribution to Religious Liberty (2012)

Learn about the history of “Blue Laws” in Washington State: http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=9057

Learn more about the Establishment Clause: http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/category/religion

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