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Times Have Changed — By Tommy Purser

In the Looking Back column this week, there’s mention of public division over whether or not movies should be shown on Sundays in 1949. “Blue Laws,” in the South in particular, dictated that businesses must be closed on Sundays for religious reasons.

When I moved here in 1973, there were virtually no businesses open on Sundays because of religious beliefs that Sunday was a day of rest. I remember when the first Hazlehurst business began opening on Sundays in the 1970s. If my memory serves me right, I think it was TG&Y or some other non-Southern chain store. No local merchant would have ever bucked the tradition of observing Sunday as a day of rest lest they be accused of blasphemy.

Many people refused to shop at that chain store on Sunday. I remember going to that store on a Sunday and running into one of our community’s Godliest woman exiting the store. She quickly apologized to me for being there and explained the circumstances that made her violate the day-of-rest doctrine.

Times have definitely changed.

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