Black Thursday Banned in 3 States
No Thanksgiving Day shopping in Mass., RI, Maine
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 27, 2013 4:44 AM CST
Updated Nov 27, 2013 7:34 AM CST
Shoppers ride escalators in a mall in Cambridge, Masachusetts.   (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

(Newser) – The spread of Thanksgiving Day shopping has created a lot of fuss this year, but it's not a big issue in Rhode Island, Maine, or Massachusetts—because it's illegal. The three New England states have "blue laws" dating back to colonial times that ban shopping on Thanksgiving and Christmas. And despite the efforts of retail groups that complain shoppers are crossing into other states, attempts to change the laws have gone nowhere, and residents say they're happy with the break from commercialism, the AP finds. Even some retailers who could open under exemptions prefer to keep their doors shut on the day.

"Thanksgiving is supposed to be about giving thanks for all you have," a Plymouth, Massachusetts, man whose ancestors took part in the first Thanksgiving tells the New York Times. "I cringe to think what society is doing to itself." Americans aren't big fans of Thanksgiving shopping—only 13% prefer stores to stay open, according to a Huffington Post/YouGov poll—though other states seem unlikely to bring in New England-style bans, especially not in a time of 24/7 Internet shopping. (Click to see which 5 stores refuse to open on "Black Thursday.")

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Showing 3 of 116 comments
Nov 28, 2013 1:14 PM CST
If you want to make a difference, then don't shop on Black Friday, either. Yes, there will always be that 13% of idiots who will shop, but we can still send a message by not participating in this ridiculous festival of greed that the corporations have manufactured. Have some dignity, America. Have some willpower.
Lou Bernardo
Nov 28, 2013 11:48 AM CST
Does every holiday have to be a day of greed and lust for a buck? What's not sold on a holiday would be sold during normal store opening days. All this Black shopping nonsense does is increase overhead, shoplifting because of the mobs, and nothing is gained. Familes should spend at least a day or two together. Most of the so-called "sales" are fake any way. It's just more corporate greed to stage these sales to dummies who fall for the money grubbing exploitation. Furthermore, Americans need to control their mindless lust to shop and shop and buy things on credit cards they can't afford and then complain how much they're in debt..
Tom Weiland
Nov 28, 2013 10:27 AM CST
This should be a national law. Not only that, but stupid advertising should also be banned. If I hear one more Black Friday ad for a car dealership/brand or restaurant, I'll go crazy!