A Saturday night closing crusade was headlined fifty years ago. That the closing at 7 p.m. on Saturday is impracticable and that the city council has no legal right to legislate on the question, was the consensus of businessmen of Rome. They were asked about the contemplated action of ministers, who proposed to ask council to pass an ordinance closing all business houses, including motion picture houses, drug stores, pool rooms and soda founts. The grounds were that the late hours caused physical weariness among the clerks so as to prevent their attendance upon divine worship on Sundays.
Several attorneys were asked if such an ordinance would be legal. They declared that it would not be. Said one of them: “The city has what is termed ‘police powers,’ to regulate bar rooms, pool rooms, etc., but it has no authority to regulate the hours that a merchant may keep through the week, though there are code provisions for the enforcement of the state law regarding Sunday observance. But council cannot tell a dry goods merchant at what hour he shall close or open his doors.”