Blue Laws in Northeast Thwart Store Plans to Open on Thanksgiving Day

Posted on November 21, 2012

There has been a lot of uproar over stores wanting to start Black Friday sales early, by opening on Thanksgiving Day, while people are still eating turkey and/or watching football. This is not going to be an issue in northeastern states such as Maine. ABC News reports that "blue laws" that have been on the books since Colonial Times prevent stores from starting Black Friday sales a day early on Thanksgiving Day. The blue laws in several states say that stores with more than five employees may not be open on legal holidays.

Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Maine all still have these laws on the books. That means Walmart, Target and Toys "R" Us won't be opening on Thanksgiving Day in those states. In Maine, the stores may not open until Friday morning. That means there will be no Black Friday in Main until 1:00 a.m. Friday morning at the earliest.

If you live in Massachusetts, Rhode Island or Maine, you can get your Black Friday fix by shopping online. The Puritans drafted these laws in the 1600s and made no provision for Internet shopping. In the 1960s most states repealed blue laws that prohibit stores opening on Sundays and holidays, although many states still have restrictions on liquor sales on Sundays.

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