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9 Massachusetts "Blue Laws" That Are Technically Still On The Books

February 12, 2018

9 Massachusetts

Massachusetts' early settlers fled England to escape religious persecution, but ended up imposing some pretty strange laws in order to stay in God's good graces.

Although the infamous Blue Laws are more than 340 years old, many still remain on the books. Luckily for us, most have been ruled unconstitutional and are no longer enforced.

These days, Massachusetts' “Blue Laws" basically refer to the restrictions businesses must impose on Sundays and holidays. If the original laws were still enforced, the following 9 infractions could land you in the clink!

1. Kissing in public

Personally, I wouldn't mind if this one still applied!

 

2. Being "idle" like "common coasters, unprofitable fowlers, and tobacco takers"

I wonder what the Puritans would make of our new Marijuana laws?

 

3. Paying to attend or participate in an unlicensed Sunday sporting event

Since professional and college sports are "licensed," I suppose this would only apply to pick-up games and kiddie events...T-ball games are free, right?

 

4. Yelling profanities at a participant or official at a sporting event -- unless you're younger than 16

To be safe, have your minor children yell profanities on your behalf.

A post shared by 🌱Cecilie🌱 (@_frisch_) on

 

5. Frightening a pigeon 

The law reads, in part, “Whoever wilfully kills pigeons upon, or frightens them from, beds which have been made for the purpose of taking them in nets” ...so I guess you can scare or kill pigeons as long as someone isn't actively trying to capture them.

 

6. Wearing bone lace, gold or silver buttons, silk scarves, or hoods worth more than "200 pounds"

Liberace would have had a hard time putting on a show in colonial Massachusetts!

 

7. Giving beer to hospital patients

You would think this would go without saying, but based on an Instagram search, drunken patients are still a problem today!

A post shared by Jules Bourne (@julesbourne117) on

 

8. Making or selling candy containing more than 1% alcohol

Thank goodness this isn't enforced - booze and chocolate go together like peas and carrots!

 

9. Checking into a hotel under an assumed name

I hope Mark Twain remembered to sign in as Samuel Clemmons on his visits to the Bay State! 

 

Do you have a favorite Blue Law that I missed?