The Constitutional Principle: Separation of Church and State
Welcome Contents What's New Search this site
View Our Stats
Visitors since 7/15/1998
Links   Guest Book Contact Us
This site is eye friendly: Use your browser's view options to increase or decrease font size

Blue Laws

The following provides a good overview of so-called "blue laws

Research by Jim Allison

Urban Legends: Blue Laws

American "blue laws" were so named because they were originally printed on blue paper.
Status: False.

Example: [The Columbia Encyclopedia, 2000]

The term was originally applied to the 17th-century laws of the theocratic New Haven colony; they were called "blue laws" after the blue paper on which they were printed.

Va. Error Reinstates Blue Law Workers Can Insist On Sundays Off. By Michael D. Shear, Washington Post Staff Writer. Friday, July 2, 2004; Page A01

Blue law


A blue law, in the United States and Canada, is a law restricting activities or sales of goods on Sunday, which had its roots in accommodating Christian Sunday worship, although it persists to this day more as a matter of tradition.
The term blue law was first used by Reverend Samuel Peters in his book General History of Connecticut, which was first published in 1781, to refer to various laws first enacted by Puritan colonies in the 17th century which prohibited the selling of certain types of merchandise and retail or business activity of any kind on certain days of the week (usually Sunday). . . .

blue laws


legislation regulating public and private conduct, especially laws relating to Sabbath observance.

In battle for Sunday, the 'blue laws' are falling

By Sara B. Miller | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

Connecticut Blue Laws

These laws, enacted by the people of the "Dominion of New Haven," became known as the blue laws because they were printed on blue paper.

From The Reader's Companion to American History: Blue Laws

Blue Law Makes Webmasters See Red

By Randy Dotinga, 02:00 AM Jun. 16, 2005 PT

The Blue Laws of Connecticut

Vintage Base Ball Fever, Catch It! (bare-handed)

What's a blue law, you ask? Blue laws are state or local regulations that prohibit or restrict certain behaviors for religious purposes. Winona Lake was famous for some of its blue laws:

NYC's Blue Laws

by Erica Pearson, May 26, 2003

When the Harlem store Palace Liquors opened one particular day this week, it was a moment that some New Yorkers had wanted for more than three centuries. That is because the day it opened was Sunday. New York liquor stores have never before been allowed to open on Sunday.

Old Blue Laws Are Hitting Red Lights: Statutes Rolled Back As Anachronisms

By Jonathan Finer, Washington Post Staff Writer; Saturday, December 4, 2004; Page A03

Blue Laws

The True-blue laws of Connecticut and New Haven: and the false blue-laws invented by the Rev. Samuel Peters

Colonial Massachusetts

Blue Laws: Personal Conduct Regulation

blue law: Definition and Much More From

blue law: n. A law designed to regulate commercial business on Sunday.

A New Effort to Defend, Legislate the Sabbath ?

Religious groups are increasingly demanding special action from government and civic groups to "protect" their weekly religious holiday, Sunday. Pope John Paul will issue a special letter this week urging his flock of sheep to join in this effort.

Blue Laws Make Blue Americans

By SexHerald Staff

Blue Laws: Overview

By Dave Roland

Contributing writer

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Blue Law's gone -- let's drink to that: Liquor sales among scores of regulations that will take effect

By David Ammons

The Associated Press


Washington transacted business on Sundays, visited friends and relatives, traveled [in fact, he was once detained --by the "Sabbath police" for traveling on Sunday when he was President] and sometimes went fox-hunting instead of going to church.

Source of Information:

George Washington & Religion, by Paul F. Boller JR. Southern Methodist University Press. (1963) pp 29.

Some books I highly recommend

First Edition

American State Papers Bearing on Sunday Legislation. First Edition Compiled by William Addison Blakely, of the Chicago Bar. (1890)

Second Edition

American State Papers Bearing On Sunday Legislation, Revised and Enlarged Edition, compiled and annotated by William Addison Blakely, Revised Edition, edited by Willard Allen Colcord, The Religious Liberty Association, Washington D.C. 1911,

Third Edition

American State Papers on Freedom in Religion, 3rd Revised Edition. Published in 1943 for The Religious Liberty Association, Washington, D.C. by the Review and Herald.