The Constitutional Principle: Separation of Church and State
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Chronology of Religious Measures Introduced in Congress between 1888 -1910

"but no religious test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any office or public Trust under the United States."

"Congress shall make NO LAW respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,..."

Researched by Jim Allison


NOTE.-- S. stands for Senate; H. R. for House of Representatives; S. R. for Senate Resolution; H. J. Res. for House Joint Resolution; the numbers following these indicate the number of the bill; matter following numbers of bill gives title or description of bill; the name, date, committee, etc., following this indicate who introduced it, when introduced, committee to whom referred, fate of measure, and volume and page in "Congressional Record" where reference to bill may be found. C. R. 19:4455 means "Congressional Record," volume xix, page 4455.


Fiftieth Congress -- First Session

[Blair Sunday-rest bill.]

S. 2983. "To secure to the people the enjoyment of the first day of the week, commonly known as the Lord's Day, as a day of rest, and to promote its observance as a day of worship."

Introduced by Senator Blair, of New Hampshire, May 21, 1888; referred to Committee on Education and Labor; hearing on bill December 13, 1888, report of hearing Miscellaneous Document No. 43; not reported out of committee. C. R. 19.4155.

[Blair Educational Amendment]

S. R. 86. "Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States respecting establishments of religion and free public schools." Blair, of New Hampshire, May 25, 1888; ordered to lie on table; later referred to Committee on Education and Labor; hearing on measure February 15 and February 22, 1889, not reported. C. R. 19:4615.

Fifty-first Congress -- First Session

[Amended Blair Sunday-rest bill]

S. 946. "To secure to the people the privileges of rest and religious worship, free from disturbance by others, on the first day of the week." Blair, of New Hampshire, December 9, 1889, to Committee on Education and Labor; not reported. C. R. 21:124.

[Blair Educational Amendment]

S. R. 17. "Proposing an amendment to The Constitution of the United States respecting establishments of religion and free public schools." Blair, of New Hampshire, December 9, 1889, to Committee on Education and Labor; not reported. C. R. 21: 125.

[Breckenridge District Sunday bill]

H. R. 3854. "To prevent persons from being forced to labor on Sunday" [in the District of Columbia]. W. C. P. Breckinridge, of Kentucky, January 6, 1890; to Committee on District of Columbia; hearing on bill before subcommittee, February 18, 1890; not reported. C. R. 21:403.

Fifty-second Congress -- First Session

[Sunday closing of expositions]

H. R. 194. "To prohibit opening on Sunday any exhibition or exposition for which the United States government makes appropriations." Morse, of Massachusetts, January 5, 1892; to Committee on Judiciary; not reported. C. R. 23:130.

[Breckenridge Sunday bill]

H. R. 540. "To prevent persons from being forced to labor on Sunday in the District of Columbia." Breckinridge, of Kentucky, January 7, 1892; to Committee on District of Columbia; not reported. C. R. 23:203.

[Sunday closing of expositions]

S. 2168. "To prohibit opening on Sunday any exhibition or exposition for which the United States government makes appropriations." Colquitt, of Georgia, February 11, 1892; to Committee on Education and Labor; not reported. C. R. 23:1047.

[Ice bill]

S. 2994. "To prevent the sale or delivery of ice within the District of Columbia on the Sabbath day, commonly known as Sunday." McMillan, of Michigan, April 25, 1892; to Committee on District of Columbia; reported with amendments; not acted on. C. R. 23 : 3607, 4480

[Ice bill]

H. R. 8367. "prohibiting the sale and delivery of ice within the District of Columbia on the Sabbath day, commonly known as Sunday." Hemphill, of South Carolina, April 25, 1892; to Committee on District of Columbia: reported back with amendments; passed House, not acted on in Senate. C. R. 23:3639, 4480

[Sunday closing of Chicago World's fair.]

H. R. 7520. Sunday Civil bill, loaning $5,000,000 to Chicago World's Fair, conditioned on Sunday closing. Approved August 5, 1892. See page 370.

[Gift of 2,500,000]

H. R. 9710. "To aid in carrying out an act of Congress to provide for celebrating the discovery of America" [with proviso for closing Columbian Exposition on Sundays). Reilly, of Pennsylvania, August 4, 1892; to Committee of the Whole House; passed House and Senate and received President Harrison's signature August 5, 1892. C. R. 23: 7940, 7064-7, 7086, 7102.

Fifty-third Congress -- Second Session

[God in the Constitution]

S. 56. "Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States" [God] in the Constitution]. Senator Frye, of Maine, January 25, 1894; to Committee on Judiciary; not reported. C. R. 26: 1374

[To protect the day]

S. 1628. "To further protect the first day of the week, commonly called Sunday. as a day of rest and worship in the District of Columbia." Gallinger, of New Hampshire, February 15, 1894; to Committee on District of Columbia; not reported. C. R. 26:2211.

[For a day of rest and worship]

H. R. 6215. "To protect the first day of the week, commonly called Sunday, as a (lay of rest and worship in the District of Columbia." Morse, of Massachusetts, March 10, 1894; to Committee on District of Columbia; not reported. C. R. 26:2827.

[For Sunday rest]

H. R. 6592. "For Sunday rest" [in District of Columbia]. Johnson, of North Dakota, April 5, 1894, to Committee on District of Columbia; not reported. C. R. 26:3440.

[For Sunday rest]

S. 1890. "For Sunday rest in any territory, district, or place subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States." Kyle, of South Dakota, April 12, 1894; to Committee on Education and Labor; not reported. C. R. 26: 3688

Fifty-fourth Congress -- First Session

[For a day or rest and worship]

H. R. 167. "To protect the first day of the week, commonly called Sunday, as a day of rest and worship in the District of Columbia." Morse, of Massachusetts, December 6, 1895; to worship Committee on District of Columbia; not reported. C. R. 28:48.

[For a day of rest and worship]

S. 1441. "To protect the first day of the week, commonly called Sunday, as a day of rest and worship in the District of Columbia." McMillan, of Michigan, January 9, 1896; to Committee on District of Columbia; not reported. C. R. 28:526

[For a day of rest and worship]

H. R. 6893. "For Sunday as a day of rest in the District of Columbia." Wellington, of Maryland, March 5, 1896; to Committee on District of Columbia; not reported. C. R. 28: 2516.

[For a day of rest and worship]

S. R. 2485. "To further protect the first (lay of the week as a day of rest in the District of Columbia." McMillan, of Michigan, March 11, 1896; to Committee on District of Columbia; not reported. C. R. 28: 2678.

[For a day of rest and worship]

S. 3136. "For Sunday as a day of rest" [in District of Columbia]. Kyle, of South Dakota, May 13, 1896; to Committee on District of Columbia; not reported. C. R. 28.5154.

[To regulate labor and business in the District of Columbia]

S. 3235. To regulate labor and business in the District of Columbia." Kyle, of South Dakota, May 28, 1896; to Committee on District of Columbia; not reported. C. R. 28:5827.

Fifty-fourth Congress -- Second Session

[To protect Sunday]

H. R. 9679. "To further protect the first day of the week as a day of rest in the District of Columbia." Washington, of Tennessee, December 16, 1896, to Committee on District of Columbia; not reported. C. R. 29:229.

Fifty-fifth Congress-- First Session

[To protect Sunday]

S. 920. "To further protect the first day of the week as a day of rest ill the District of Columbia." McMillan, of Michigan, March 19, 1897, to Committee on District of Columbia; not reported. C. Ii. 30:68.

[To protect Sunday]

H. R. 1075. "To further protect the first day of the week as a day of rest in the District of Columbia." Harmer, of Pennsylvania, March 19, 1897; to Committee on District of Columbia; not reported. C. R. 30:91.

Fifty-sixth Congress -- First Session

[Sunday closing of the St. Louis Exposition]

H. R. 9829. "To provide for celebrating 100th anniversary of the purchase of the Louisiana territory in St. Louis." Lane, of Iowa, March 21, 1900; to Special Committee on Centennial of the Louisiana Purchase; amended and favorably reported; passed House Feb. 18, 1901, without Sunday-closing condition; referred to Senate Committee on Industrial Expositions; reported favorably (Senate Report 2382); passed Senate February 28, 1901, with Senator Teller's amendment:" That as a condition precedent to the payment of this appropriation the directors shall contract to close the gates to visitors on Sundays during the whole duration of the fair;" went to conference, House non-concurring in Sunday-closing amendment (H. R. Report 2976); went to second conference, House receding from non-concurrence, and both houses agreeing, March I, 1901, to bill as passed by Senate. C. R. 34:2872-4.

[To protect Sunday]

H. R. 10592. "To further protect the first day of the week as a day of rest in the District of Columbia." Allen, of Maine, April 10, 1900; to Committee on District of Columbia; not reported. C.R. 33: 3995.

Fifty-seventh Congress -- First Session

[Sunday closing]

S. 5334. "Requiring places of business in the Dist. of Columbia to he closed on Sunday." McMillan, of Michigan. April 19, 1902; to Corn. on Dist. of Columbia; not reported. C. R. 35:4422.

[Sunday closing]

H. R. 13970. "Requiring places of business in the District of Columbia to be closed on Sunday." Jenkins, of Wisconsin, April 24, 1902; to Committee on District of Columbia; not reported. C. R. 35: 4655.

[To protect Sunday]

H. R.. 14110. "To further protect the first day of the week as a day of rest in the District of Columbia." Allen, of Maine, April 30.'902; to Committee on District of Columbia; not reported. C. R. 35:4905.

[To protect Sunday]

S. 5563. "To further protect the first day of the week as a day of rest in the District Of Columbia." Dillingham, of Vermont, May I, 1902; to Committee on District of Columbia; not reported. C. R. 35: 4909.

Fifty-eighth Congress -- First Session

[To protect Sunday]

H. R 4859. "To further protect the first day of the week as a day of rest in the District of Columbia." Allen, of Maine, November 24, 1903, to Committee on District of Columbia; not reported. C. R. 37:472.

[Requiring businesses to be closed on Sunday]

H. R. 11819. "Requiring certain places of business in the District of Columbia to be closed on Sunday." Wadsworth, of New York, February 4, 1904; to Committee on District of Columbia; reported favorably; amended and passed House; referred to Senate Committee 017 District of Columbia; not reported. C. R. 38: 1646, 4077, 4375, 4414

Fifty-ninth Congress -- First Session

[Sunday banking in post-offices]

H. R. 3022. LL TO prevent Sunday banking in post-offices in the handling of money-orders and registered letters." Sibley, of Pennsylvania, December 5, 1905; to Committee of Post-Offices and Post-Roads; not reported. C. R. 40: 112

[Sunday banking in post-offices]

S. 1653. "To prevent Sunday banking in post-offices in the handling of money-orders and registered letters." Penrose, of Pennsylvania, December 14, 1905; to Committee on Post-Offices and Post-Roads; reported adversely and indefinitely postponed. C. R. 40.385, 2747

[To protect Sunday]

H. R. 10510. "To further protect the first day of the week as a day of rest in the District of Columbia." Alien, of Maine, January 5, 1906; to Committee on District of Columbia; not reported. C. R. 40:447

[For Sunday closing of Jamestown Exposition]

H. R. 12610. "To authorize the United States government to participate in the Jamestown Tercentennial Exposition." Maynard, of Virginia, January 20, 1906; to Committee on Industrial Arts and Expositions; reported with amendments, with proviso," That as a condition precedent to the appropriations herein provided for, the Jamestown Exposition Company shall contract to close exhibits and places of amusement to visitors on Sundays;" did not come to vote. C. R. 40: 1336, 5486, 5637

[Sunday closing of some businesses]

H. R. 16483. "Requiring certain places of business in the District of Columbia to be closed on Sunday." Wadsworth, of New York, March 9, 1906; passed House June 11, 1906, but not reported by Senate Committee. C. R. 40:2268, 3655, 7464, 8268- 71: 8307.

[Protecting Sunday]

H. R. 16556. "Prohibiting labor on buildings, and so forth, in the District of Columbia on the Sabbath day. Heflin, of Alabama, March 12, 1906; not reported. C. R. 40: 3711.

[For Sunday closing of Jamestown Exposition]

S. 5825. "To authorize the United States government to participate in the Tercentennial Exposition," with proviso, "That as a condition precedent to the payment of the appropriations herein provided for, the Jamestown Exposition Company shall contract to close exhibits and places of amusements to visitors on Sundays." Daniel, of Virginia, April 23, 1906; to select Committee on Industrial Expositions; reported with amendment, but not brought to vote. C. R. 40:7589.

[For Sunday closing of Jamestown Exposition]

H. R. 19844. United States Sundry Civil bill, appropriating two hundred fifty thousand dollars to the Jamestown Tercentennial Exposition. June 29, 1906, House and Senate agreed to bill with following proviso: "That as a condition precedent to the payment of this appropriation in aid of said exposition, the Jamestown Exposition Company shall agree to close the grounds of said exposition to visitors on Sunday during the period of said exposition." C. R. 40:9673-4

Fifty-ninth Congress -- Second Session

[Sunday work in post-offices]

S. Res. 215. "That the Postmaster-General be directed to inform the Senate by what authority post-offices are required to be kept open on Sunday together with the regulation of Sunday opening, as to the extent of the business that may be transacted, and also what the provisions are for clerical help, and whether postal clerks and carriers are required to work more than six days per week." Burkett, of Nebraska, January 9, 1907; considered and agreed to. C. R. 41:804.

Sixtieth Congress -- First Session

["in God we trust"]

H. R. 327. "To restore the inscription 'In God We Trust' upon the coins of the United States of America." O. M. James, of Kentucky, December 2, 1907, to Committee on Coinage, Weights, and Measures; not reported. C. R. 42: 18.

["In God we trust"]

H. R. 353. "Requiring the motto 'In God We Trust' to be inscribed on all forms of moneys hereafter issued by the United States." Sheppard, of Texas, December 2, 1907; to Committee on Coins, Weights, and Measures; not reported. C. R. 42: 19.

[To protect Sunday]

H. R. 4897. " To further protect the first day of the week as a day of rest in the District of Columbia." Allen, of Maine, December 5, 1907; to Committee on District of Columbia; not reported. C. R. 42 : 186.

[Prohibiting labor on the Sabbath day]

H. R. 4929. " Prohibiting labor 017 buildings, and so forth, in the District of Columbia on the Sabbath day." Heflin, of Alabama, December 5, 1907; to Committee on District of Columbia; not reported. C. R. 42: 186.

[Sunday banking in post-offices]]

S. 1519." To prevent Sunday banking in post-offices in the handling of money-orders and registered letters." Penrose, of Pennsylvania, December 9, 1907; to Committee on Post-Offices and Post-Roads; not reported. C. R. 42.209.

["in God we trust"]

H. R. 11295." Authorizing the continuance of the inscription of a motto ["In God We Trust"] on the gold and silver coins of the United States." Moore, of Pennsylvania, December 21, 1907; to Committee on Coinage, Weights, and Measures; not reported. C. R. 42:467

[To prohibit work]

H. R. 13471." Prohibiting work in the District of Columbia on the first day of the week, commonly called Sunday." Lamar, of Missouri, January, 13, 1908; to Committee on District of Columbia; not reported. C. R. 42.666.

["In God we trust"]

H. R. 13648." Requiring the motto 'In God We Trust' to be inscribed on all coins of money hereafter issued by the United States, as formerly." Beale of Pennsylvania, January 14, 1908, to Committee oil Coinage, Weights, and Measures; not reported. C. R. 42: 706.

[Johnston District Sunday bill.]

S. 3940. " Requiring certain places of business in the District of Columbia to be closed on Sunday." Johnston, of Alabama, January 14, 1908; to Committee on District of Columbia; hearing on bill before Senate subcommittee, April 15, 1908; amended and reintroduced by Mr. Johnston, May 1, 1908, as S. 3940, with Calendar No. 605 [report No. 596] attached; reported favorably; passed Senate May 15, 1908; introduced in House May 16, 1908; hearing on bill before House District Committee, February 15, 1909; not reported by House Committee. C. R. 42:676, 5514, 6314, 6434

["In God we trust"]

H. R. 14460." Requiring the motto 'In God We Trust' to be restored to certain coins." Ashbrook, of Ohio, January to, 1908, to Committee on Coinage, Weights, and Measures; not reported. C. R. 42:899.

[Certain businesses be closed on Sunday]

H. R. 15239." Requiring certain places of business in the District of Columbia to be closed on Sunday." Langley, of Kentucky, January 27, 1908; to Committee on District of Columbia; not reported. C. R. 42: 1166.

["In God we trust]

H. R. 15439:"Providing for the restoration of the motto 'In God We Trust' on certain denominations of the gold and silver coins of the United States." Wood, of New Jersey, January 28, 1908; to Committee on Coinage, Weights, and Measures; not reported. C. R. 42: 1257.

["In God we trust]

H. R. 16079." Providing for the restoration of the motto 'In God We Trust' on certain denominations of the gold and silver coins of the United States." McKinney, of Illinois, February 3, 1908; to Committee on Coinage, Weights, and Measures; not reported. C. R. 43: 1505.

["In God we trust"]

H. R. 17144." Providing for the restoration of the motto 'In God We Trust' on certain denominations of the gold and silver coins of the United States." Foster, of Illinois, February 14, 1908; to Committee an Coinage, Weights, and Measures; not reported. C. R. 42: 2051.

["In God we trust"]

H. R. 17296. ." Providing for the restoration of the motto 'In God We Trust' on certain denominations of the gold and silver coins of the United States." McKinney, of Illinois, February 17, 1908, to Committee on Coinage, Weights, and Measures; reported favorably passed House March 16: referred to Senate Committee on Finance March 17; reported favorably; passed

Senate May 13. C. R. 42 : 6189.

[Proper observance of Sunday]

H. R. 19965." For the proper observance of Sunday as a day of rest"[in the District of Columbia]. Hay, of Virginia, March 27, 1908; to Committee oil District of Columbia; not reported. C. R. 42 : 40, 58.

[Proper observance of Sunday]

S. 6535." For the proper observance of Sunday as a day of rest in the District of Columbia"(first section did not mention Sunday, or first day of week, and so prohibited labor on all days). Johnston, of Alabama, April 7, 1908; to Committee on all District of Columbia; hearing on this and the original S. bill No. 3940 before it was remodeled, before Senate subcommittee February 15, 1909; not reported. C. R. 42: 418.

[Billiard and pool bill]

S. 6853." To amend act licensing billiard and pool tables in the District of Columbia,"requirthat "all;all such places shall he closed during the entire twenty-four hours of each and every Sunday." Gallinger, of New Hampshire, April 28, 1908; to Committee on Dist. of Columbia; not reported. C. R. 42:5324.

Sixtieth Congress -- Second Session

[God in the Constitution]

S. R. 125." Proposing an amendment to the Constitution acknowledging the Deity." Richardson, of New Jersey, February 4, 1909; to Committee on Judiciary; not reported. C. R. 43:

1827.

Sixty-first Congress -- First Session

[God in the Constitution.]

H. J. Res. 17." Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, so that it shall contain a recognition of God, and it shall begin with the words 'In the name of God.'"Sheppard, of Texas, March 18, 1909; to Committee on Judiciary; hearing granted National Reformers before subcommittee, April 11, 1910; not reported. C. R. 44 :105.

[Johnston District Sunday Bill]

S. 404. "For the proper observance of Sunday as a day of rest in the District of Columbia." Johnston, of Alabama, March 22, 1909; to Committee on District of Columbia; not reported.

C. R. 44: 135.

Sixty-first Congress -- Second Session

[Certain businesses being closed]

H. R. 13876. "Requiring certain places of business in the District of Columbia to be closed on Sunday." Livingston, of Georgia, December 10, 1909; to Committee on District of Columbia; not reported. C. R. 45 :91.

[Heflin bill turned down by Commissioners]

H. R. 14619. "Prohibiting labor on buildings, and so forth, in the District of Columbia on the Sabbath day." Heflin, of Alabama, December 14, 1909; to Committee on District of Columbia; adversely reported on by District Commissioners to House District Committee (see Washington "Star" and Washington "Times," February 17, 1910, and Washington "Post," February 18, 1910); not reported. C. R. 45 :135.

[Johnston District Sunday bill reintroduced]

S. 404. Calendar No. 75, report No. 81. "For the proper observance of Sunday as a day of rest in the District of Columbia." Johnston, of Alabama, January 17, 1910; to Committee on District of Columbia; reported favorably by Senate Committee; amended and passed Senate January 27, 1910; introduced in House January 28, 1910; hearing before House Committee on District of Columbia March 8 and 16, 1910; not reported. C. R. 45 : 681, 762, 921, 970, 1020-26, 1077-78, 1180.

[Bill to make lawful what is already not lawful]

H. R. 21475. "Declaring it to be lawful to play harmless athletics and sports in the District of Columbia on the first day of the week, commonly called Sunday." Coudrey, of Missouri, February 21, 1910; to Committee on District of Columbia; not reported. C. R. 45:2234

[Post-office bill]

H. R. 26462. "Providing a weekly day of rest for certain post-office clerks and carriers." Bennet, of New York, June I, 1910; to Committee on Post-Offices and Post-Roads; not reported. C. R. 45:7444

Source of Information:

American State Papers Bearing On Sunday Legislation, Revised and Enlarged Edition, Compiled and Annotated by William Addison Blakely, Revised Edition Edited by Willard Allen Colcord, The Religious Liberty Association, Washington D.C. 1911, pp 402-408)


 
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