All Things Maine
All Things Maine

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Maine's Blue Laws

Young Mainers may not remember the state's "blue laws" that kept large department stores closed on Sundays. Maine was the last New England state to repeal the laws—starting in 1983, when stores were allowed to open Sundays between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and ending in 1990, when the laws were abolished by referendum.

You can still see vestiges of the blue laws in Maine statutes here, here and here, and in a couple of oddly archaic laws that remain on the books:
In any municipality that shall vote as provided, it shall be lawful for any moving picture theater to have an exhibition of moving pictures on Sunday between the hours of 1 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. This section shall not be effective in any city until a majority of the legal voters, present and voting, at any regular election so vote. [Link]
In any municipality that shall so vote, as provided, it shall be lawful to engage in as a participant, manager or official, or to attend as a spectator any outdoor recreational or competitive amateur sport or game, except boxing, horseracing, air circuses or wrestling between the hours of 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Sunday. [Link]


At 12:39 PM, June 03, 2011, Blogger bora555 said...

I would like to bring back Blue Law. I think it would be very nice to be able to do things as a family again, or just have a day to decompress. Ever wonder what ever happened to Sunday Dinners at Grandma's house? It seems the only times we every get the whole family together is Thanksgiving and or Christmas. Mostly because someone is always working.
I have a self impossed Blue Law in my house - I do all my errans and shopping during the week - I never shop on Sunday and usually not on Sat either- It has been a very liberating expirience. I feel so much more rested by Monday.


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