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U.S. statute regulating work, commerce, and amusements on Sundays. The name is said to derive from a list of Sabbath regulations published (on blue paper or in blue wrappers) in New Haven, Conn., in 1781. Throughout colonial New England such laws regulated morals and conduct. Most lapsed after the American Revolution, but some, such as prohibitions against the Sunday sale of alcoholic beverages, remain on the books in some areas.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on blue law, visit Britannica.com.