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ERIC Number: ED109103
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1975-Apr
Pages: 27
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Sunday Sport Comes to Pennsylvania: Professional Baseball and Football Triumph over the Commonwealth's Archaic Blue Laws, 1919-1933.
Jable, J. Thomas
Following World War I, many Americans plunged into sport, and found the Sabbath a convenient and popular day for engaging in sporting events, especially since Sunday activities had become commonplace during the War and acceptable in many areas. However, when Pennsylvanians turned to sport on the Sabbath, they were confronted by the state's archaic blue law of 1794 which prohibited all sports and diversions on Sundays. In 1926, the Philadelphia Athletics baseball team tested the statute by scheduling a Sunday contest with the Chicago White Sox. The game was played without incident, but Sabbatarians protested and brought this issue before the courts. In 1927 the Pennsylvania Supreme Court concurring with Sabbatarian charges, ordered the Athletics not to schedule any more Sunday games under penalty of forfeiting its charter of incorporation. It was not until 1933, after several battles in the Pennsylvania legislature, that the Sunday lobby generated enough votes to modify the 1794 statute. The new law permitted baseball and football on Sunday afternoons between 2:00 and 5:30 p.m., if the voters of any locality approved. The electorate in Pennsylvania's metropolitan areas voted heavily in favor of Sunday sports at the November 1933 elections. Immediately after the elections, professional football teams began playing on Sundays in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, inaugurating the first legal Sunday sports in Pennsylvania's history. (Author/JS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania