Sunday, April 19th, 2015

Thanksgiving Where Thanksgiving Started – Blue Laws in Massachusetts



Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 136 and Chapter 149 are what are commonly called “Blue Laws.”  American Blue Laws, by definition, enforce religious (particularly Christian) laws.  Not many states still enforce their Blue Laws, because, well, cash is king and most states and towns are way too hungry for commerce to cut out a whole day of money-making.

The name “Blue Law” was originally thought to have been coined because the laws were originally printed on blue paper, but nobody has any proof that the rumor is true.  Reverend Samuel Peters likely named the laws Blue Laws because the world “blue” was a euphemism for a strict moral law.  People who adhered or enforced said laws were called “bluenoses.”

Anywhoo, the whole point of this is that even though MOST Blue Laws are not enforced, there are some places where you still can’t buy booze on Sundays, and apparently there are places where businesses are not allowed to be open on holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving.

Take, for instance, Massachusetts.  Until 2004,  it was pretty much illegal to buy booze on Sundays.  Now you can buy booze on Sundays, but not until after noon.  You cannot, however, buy booze on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, or New Year’s Day; nor are you allowed to hunt.  So, if you haven’t procured your turkey or your vino for Thanksgiving by Thanksgiving Day, you’re in trouble.

Obviously, it makes sense.  How can you buy booze on Thanksgiving from a business that isn’t allowed to be open on Thanksgiving, anyway?

photo by riptheskull

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