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The 'Blue' Laws and the Daughter Trump *

The Blue Laws are not yet 'true blue' but they have come to the New World this year. For those who have forgotten what the Blue Laws are, here is a quick refresher... DON'T DO ANY WORK ON SUNDAY! Why are these laws called "Blue Laws"? Well... it has to do with the phrase 'true blue' which hasn't come into vogue yet, but there are laws on the books compelling English settlers to follow biblical edicts regarding the Sabbath. Certainly, compulsory attendance at services is part of that. No extensive travel is to be done unless one is already in the midst of travel and businesses are closed for the day. People in those days made a distinction in their minds between the common law and the ecclesiastical law but only in regards to the clergy, and certain matters of marriage and inheritance. In reality the so-called secular courts have long since taken over the major elements of enforcing the religious law. [1] [2]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
OK... full disclosure... I'm an Orthodox Jew which means that I keep the Sabbath laws just like Ivanka Trump does! (She converted.) That means no significant work can be done and no travel beyond my local neighborhood. My animals get fed. If I owned a cow, I would milk it but if I owned a horse, I'd walk on the Sabbath. No phone calls. No mowing the lawn. No discussion of buying and selling. I have met Christians who feel the same way even though we disagree on exactly which day the Sabbath falls on. I have some sympathy for the Seventh Day Adventists. They are definitely swimming against the tide. Even though I think there should be no Blue Laws, the United States still maintains such laws in a modified form. Here in Texas the car dealerships must pick one day a week to be closed. It used to be Sundays but after several court battles it was reasoned that because there is a difference of opinion on which day the Sabbath falls, a business can simply select a day to close. At this point I was going to go into a discussion about how one determines which day the Sabbath falls, but let's skip that old debate. If you care, seek out the advice of your local religious authority. [3] [4]

Hello, New Plymouth... the Mayflower Has Landed

"...they knew they were pilgrims and [...] lifted their eyes to heaven, their dearest country and quieted their spirits..."
-- William Bradford.

It's been one heck of a ride for the Pilgrims. They have been crammed cheek-to-jowl in the 'tween deck of the Mayflower. The 'tween deck is a 5 foot space between the upper deck and the hold. They have been hit by a monster wave and seeing the deck boards split and shatter, they might have lost heart, but they have faith and courage. These storms and their poor navigational tools have placed them too far north. It is November and they are running out of time and beer! (Finding a good water source is a real worry for the Pilgrims. Beer is considered part of a healthy diet!) The captain decides to drop anchor in Provincetown Bay. William Bradford volunteers for the exploration party. He is not yet a formal leader. They finally decide on Plymouth Bay. There is no rock. Their small landing boat gets caught on the flats so they must wade ashore. The rock will be placed there in later years as a memorial. The Plymouth Bay Colony is outside the limits of the Virginia Company charter and thus outside the limits of English law. It is a New England, and it seems unlikely they will last the winter. Squanto the Indian won't show up until the spring. [5] [6] [7] [8]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
There isn't enough time to explain all the reasons why the Pilgrims left for the New World. The Pilgrims were Puritans and while King James was sympathetic to Puritans, he had his own ideas so they left for Holland. Yet Holland wasn't working for them so they made a deal with a fast-talking salesman to establish a colony under the Virginia Company charter. They promised to work 5 days a week for the Company, but soon the deal made them more like slaves than colonists. (I'm not exaggerating here.) The Pilgrims began to make their own arrangements and at this point things get complicated. The story that kids are told at Thanksgiving has been cleaned up considerably. The Indians were no sweethearts but they had good reasons to be cautious due to incidents that occurred before the Pilgrims landed. Certainly, Squanto was not as charitable as he first appeared, but William Bradford saw through that. It worked out because there are ways for men to seek their own ends and still benefit from each other. In the New World, it is a lesson driven home again and again. [9]

Notable Events: Science, Stagecoaches and the Submarine

  • The Scientific Method Comes with Bacon -- Sir Francis Bacon publishes his New Method which is considered the first exposition of the scientific method taught in schools today, but so frequently set aside by scientists when funding is short. It's an occupational hazard. [10]
  • The First Stagecoach Rolls Up -- It doesn't look like the Old West stagecoach. It is called a stagecoach because it travels along prearranged stations or stages. It's better than a wagon but not by much at this time. [11]
  • Surprise! It's a real Submarine! -- You have to row it, and it's just an experiment for the English Navy, but a Dutch engineer manages to build one with leather over a wooden frame. It can travel to a depth of 12 feet and King James took a ride in it. It was never used in combat. [12]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1620, Wikipedia.

See Also


* The asterisk in the section header indicates that it was read on the podcast.
  1. Words from History (PDF), Books on Words, Houghton Mifflin, 23. “New England was colonized from 1620 onward by strict Protestant sects, and the laws on morals which had been passed in England earlier were brought to America. Church going was made compulsory. The wearing of jewelry was forbidden. Open displays of affection were frowned upon. All sorts of non-religious activity on Sunday, including work, sports and travel, were stopped.” 
  2. Words from History (PDF), Books on Words, Houghton Mifflin, 229. “From 1638 onward, England was quarreling its way toward a civil war between James's successor, Charles I, and Parliament. The Scotch Presbyterians, at that time, joined together, swearing to covenants to fight unitedly for their religion. They were the “Covenanters.” They chose blue as their color.” 
  3. Ivanka Trump - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 6 August 2015. “In July 2009, after studying with Rabbi Elie Weinstock from the Modern Orthodox Ramaz School, Trump had an Orthodox conversion to Judaism and took the name Yael. She subsequently keeps to a kosher diet and observes Shabbat”
  4. Ivanka Trump happy to be Jewish. Times of Israel (March 1, 2015). Retrieved on 6 August 2015. “'We observe the Sabbath,' Trump said. 'From Friday to Saturday we don’t do anything but hang out with one another. We don’t make phone calls.'”
  5. Philbrick, Nathaniel. Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War. Penguin Books. ISBN 9781101218839. Retrieved on 3 August 2014. “The motivating force behind the voyage had come from a congregation of approximately four hundred English Puritans living in Leiden, Holland. Like all Puritans, these English exiles believed that the Church of England must be purged of its many excesses and abuses. [...] they had resolved to draw away from the Church of England--an illegal act in Jacobean England. Known as Separatists, they represented the radical fringe of the Puritan movement.” 
  6. "1620: In Addition", Asimov's Chronology of Science and Discovery (PDF), Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0062701134. 
  7. The Age of Reason Begins: A History of European Civilization in the Period of Shakespeare, Bacon, Montaigne, Rembrandt, Galileo, and Descartes: 1558-1648, The Story Of Civilization. Simon and Schuster, 158-159. “'Separatist' clergymen refusing to accept the Prayer Book and the ritual of the Anglican Church fled to Holland with their followers (1608). From Delft (July 1620), Southampton, and Plymouth (September) these 'Pilgrims' took sail across the Atlantic; after three months of ordeal, they set foot on Plymouth Rock (December 21).” 
  8. William Bradford (Plymouth Colony governor) - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 6 August 2015. “...With mutual embraces and many tears, they took their leaves of one another, which proved to be the last leave to many of them...but they knew they were pilgrims and looked not much on those things, but lifted their eyes to heaven, their dearest country and quited their spirits...”
  9. Squanto - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 6 August 2015. “In 1619, Squanto finally returned to his homeland aboard John Smith's ship, having joined an exploratory expedition along the New England coast, led by Captain Dermer. He soon discovered that the Patuxet, as well as a majority of coastal New England tribes (mostly Wampanoag and Massachusett), had been decimated the previous year by a plague, possibly smallpox.”
  10. "Scientific Method", Asimov's Chronology of Science and Discovery (PDF), Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0062701134. 
  11. "Stagecoaches", Asimov's Chronology of Science and Discovery (PDF), Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0062701134. 
  12. Cornelis Drebbel - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 6 July 2015. “Cornelis Jacobszoon Drebbel (1572 - 7 November 1633) was the Dutch builder of the first navigable submarine in 1620. Drebbel was an innovator who contributed to the development of measurement and control systems, optics and chemistry.”

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