An Evolutionary Step

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yogi
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Re: An Evolutionary Step

Post by yogi » 27 Apr 2019, 08:47

I don't recall the bit about checks written on Sunday, but I do recall not being able to do anything but go to church. It's very vague in my memory store, but I think the first easing of those Blue Laws, in my neighborhood anyway, was to allow taverns to be open for business after 12 o'clock noon. That happened even before grocery stores were allowed to operate on Sundays. LOL

About the craziest thing I've seen regarding Blue Laws is still in effect in Illinois. Automobile dealers, like everybody else at the time, were selling their wares on Sundays. Then a law was passed to prohibit Sunday sales. This was justified by claiming the "small" businesses could not be open on Sundays (the gods only know for what reason) so to be fair nobody could be open for business then. That seemed really strange because most people bought their cars on weekends when they were not working their full time jobs. It smelled like something a labor union would do, but I never was able to prove it.

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Kellemora
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Re: An Evolutionary Step

Post by Kellemora » 27 Apr 2019, 11:07

That's interesting because all of our car dealerships were open on Sunday during the blue law era.
But I don't think they could actually sell a car until Monday morning after the banks opened.
There's a good possibility they couldn't write up a sale contract or take a deposit either.

Our grocery stores were open, as were gas stations and other necessary places of business.
But like I said before, the grocery store could not sell anything that required assembly.
And come to think of it, Robert Hall clothing stores and Hill Bros. shoes were open on Sunday during the blue law era.

Maybe how the blue laws were interpreted were different in each state?

The Blue Laws existed in Missouri for 137 years, and ended on Sunday March 14, 1963.
By that date, there were more exceptions to the Blue Laws than the Blue Laws ever covered in the first place.
I would have turned 16 years old the year the blue laws were repealed as unconstitutional, hi hi.

Since I worked in our family flower business since I was knee high to a grasshopper, I learned quick what we could and could not sell on Sunday, and why dad usually kept the cut flower shop closed while the greenhouses would be open on Sunday.

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yogi
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Re: An Evolutionary Step

Post by yogi » 28 Apr 2019, 08:35

Don't know much about their history but I'd think the Blue Laws came to this country from England back in the colonial days. Those Protestants were pretty strict, which was fine for the the frontier days. As our country matured and defined itself more clearly, business necessities overtook religious customs and it took a few hundred years to get it right. LOL I think you are right about the localization when interpreting Blue Laws. The folks in New York didn't see it the same as the folks in Georgia, for example. As far as car dealerships in Illinois, they simply are closed all day Sunday. A few times that was the day we went looking for a new car to buy. We didn't have to deal with a pesky high pressure salesperson while we shopped. We picked out what we liked from the parking lot and went in on Monday to draw up the paperwork. :mrgreen:

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Kellemora
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Re: An Evolutionary Step

Post by Kellemora » 28 Apr 2019, 11:05

I don't really know about elsewhere, but a few businesses still have an alternative day they close in Missouri anyhow.
Take for example Union Barber Shops. They were always closed on Sunday and Tuesday, still are as far as I know.
A few non-union barber shops were open on Sunday afternoon after 2pm and open all day on Tuesday's. They normally closed on Wednesdays.

Now we did have some strange rules back in the 1950s and early 60s concerning gas stations. Most places allowed gas stations to remain open on Sunday, for refueling, but not for mechanical work, except in emergency situations.
However, if there was more than one gas station at an intersection, or within the same block, only one could be open on Sunday, and they had to alternate with their competitors as to which Sunday each was open.
At intersections where there were four gas stations or a gas station within a block of the intersection, and if both of the crossing roads were major arteries, then they allowed two stations to be open, but on opposite sides of most heavily traveled roadway.

We had a Mobil, a Shell, and a Standard gas station right on the corners, and a Gulf station close to a block away, but still considered within the intersection control area. On one Sunday, only the Standard and Mobil would be open, and on the next Sunday only the Shell and Gulf station could be open.
This causes people traveling only on Ballas Road to complain, because they would have to drive down Manchester Road to the Gulf station to get gas. Rather than concede to the complainers, they made the Shell and Standard stations swap Sundays. This meant if you were travelling south on Ballas Road, there were no gas stations open on your side of the road.
Apparently this was not a problem once folks got used to it. Or they chose to fill up at one of the gas stations up at Ballas and Clayton Roads. They had a Sinclair gas station and another Standard gas station. However, the Standard station at Clayton Road was never open if their partner station at Manchester Road was open.

In some ways, I wish some of the Blue Laws were never rescinded. Especially places that served or sold alcohol.

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yogi
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Re: An Evolutionary Step

Post by yogi » 28 Apr 2019, 13:13

The way it looks to me is that the Blue Laws have their roots in some archaic religious beliefs. At least that seems to be how they got started. As society became larger and more complex, the Blue Laws didn't always serve the best interests of all the people. The complicated gas station service you describe is an example of what I am talking about. While I've not seen it written anywhere, those Blue Laws were designed to give people time to be in church. That worked well when just about everybody went to church, but that is no longer the case. The original intent of the Blue Laws, thus has become moot.

A lot of the businesses here in O'Fallon are closed on Mondays, mostly restaurants here in town. Easter was another day when only a few restaurants were open. The surprise there was not who was closed, but which ones were open.

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Kellemora
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Re: An Evolutionary Step

Post by Kellemora » 29 Apr 2019, 10:37

I'm not sure, but I think they may have begun during the Protestant revolution, and only grew from there here in the states.

My late wife's family was Jewish, so the neighborhood she was raised in, no one was open on Saturday or Sunday.

My weekday off from work was a Tuesday for most of my life. I would spend that day going around to various manufacturing businesses to learn how they did what they did. This was back when they were glad to show you around, but little by little they became more secretive, then the insurance companies decided no visitors should go into the working areas and that ended that.

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