Washington Blue Laws not What They Seem?

I came across this article when I was doing research for a short story about anti-Chinese sentiment. It used to be illegal to sell most goods and perform most services on Sundays in Washington. Seems obviously an imposition of religion on others. However, its original intent may have been to protect workers and give them at least one day off per week.

In 1909, the Washington Legislature passed the “Sabbath Breaking” law (Chapter 249, Section 242, Laws of 1909), which prohibited most businesses from operating on Sunday. The law was commonly called the “Blue Law,” and was a very broad expansion of an 1881 law that only prohibited “fighting or offering to fight, horse-racing or dancing” on Sunday. Religious motivations played a major role in its adoption. However, people also viewed it as being “progressive” legislation that prohibited most employers from requiring their employees to work seven days a week, in an era before workers had the protection of state labor regulations and labor union collective bargaining agreements.  https://www.historylink.org/File/9057

Published by RLMartin

Write, Teach, Farm WTF!

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