What are the blue laws in Delaware?

Answered by Cody Janus

Blue laws in Delaware were originally enacted in 1795 and remained in effect well into the 20th century. These laws were strict regulations that prohibited any form of “worldly employment, labor, or business” on Sundays. While these laws were technically still in effect, they were rarely enforced during the first half of the 20th century.

The term “blue laws” refers to a set of laws that were traditionally aimed at restricting certain activities on Sundays, often for religious reasons. These laws were rooted in the belief that Sundays should be a day of rest and worship, and they aimed to preserve the sanctity of the day.

In Delaware, the blue laws were particularly strict, prohibiting not only business activities but also other forms of work or labor. This meant that individuals were generally not allowed to engage in any kind of employment or productive work on Sundays. The intention behind these laws was to ensure that people had the opportunity to rest and worship on Sundays, free from the pressures and demands of daily life.

However, as time went on, the enforcement of these laws became increasingly lax. By the early 20th century, the blue laws in Delaware were rarely enforced, and many businesses and individuals openly disregarded them. This was likely due to changing social attitudes and the recognition that people should have the freedom to engage in activities of their choosing on Sundays.

While the blue laws were still technically in effect, their lack of enforcement led to a general acceptance that Sunday could be treated as any other day of the week. Many businesses remained open, and people were free to engage in various activities and forms of work without fear of legal repercussions.

It is worth noting that the enforcement of blue laws varied from state to state, and Delaware’s laws were not as strict as some others. In some states, blue laws prohibited the sale of alcohol, restricted certain forms of entertainment, or even banned activities such as hunting or fishing on Sundays.

Delaware’s blue laws, enacted in 1795, strictly prohibited any form of worldly employment, labor, or business on Sundays. However, by the first half of the 20th century, these laws were rarely enforced, and people were free to engage in activities of their choosing on Sundays.