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Day Month Year Event  
1 January 370

Emperors Decree that Roman Upper Class Cannot Avoid Civic Duties by Joining Monastic Orders

27 March 380
Roman Law Suspends Criminal Trials in Days Leading Up to Easter

Roman Law Suspends Criminal Trials in Days Leading Up to Easter

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10 January 381

Emperors Order Confiscation of Heretics' Churches and Ban Heretical Teachings

21 July 381
Roman Emperors Order Certain Prisoners be Released on Easter

Roman Emperors Order Certain Prisoners be Released on Easter

21 January 384

Emperors Expel Heretics from Constantinople

22 March 384
Roman Emperors Grant Pardons to Prisoners on Easter

Roman Emperors Grant Pardons to Prisoners on Easter

23 January 386

Emperors Order that Minority Churches Can Gather If They Don't Disturb the Peace

23 January 386

Emperors Decree that Heretics Who Disturb the Peace Will Be Guilty of Treason

22 April 386
Roman Law Releases Prisoners on Easter

Roman Law Releases Prisoners on Easter

7 August 389
Roman Emperors: All Sundays and the 7 Days Before and After Easter are Holidays

Roman Emperors: All Sundays and the 7 Days Before and After Easter are Holidays

3 July 395
Roman Emperors Issue Reminder That Old Pagan Festivals are not Holidays

Roman Emperors Issue Reminder That Old Pagan Festivals are not Holidays

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31 January 397

Emperors Order the Maintenance of Privileges of Christian Churches

31 January 397

Emperors Order Defense of Privileges Granted to Christian Churches

27 August 399
Roman Emperors Ban Plays, Races, and Other Spectacles on Sundays

Roman Emperors Ban Plays, Races, and Other Spectacles on Sundays

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29 January 404

Emperors Issue Decree Against Tumultuous Public Gatherings Around John Chrysostom

27 April 408
Roman Law: Isaurian Bandits to be Tried and Tortured, Even During Easter and Lent

Roman Law: Isaurian Bandits to be Tried and Tortured, Even During Easter and Lent

25 January 409

Emperors Order Food and Baths be Provided to Prisoners on Sundays

30 January 412

Emperors Impose Fines on Donatists if they Refuse to Rejoin Catholic Church

21 March 413
Roman Law Requires Novatianists Celebrate Easter with Other Christians

Roman Law Requires Novatianists Celebrate Easter with Other Christians

21 November 419
Roman Emperors Decree Church Sanctuary Zone of Protection Extends Fifty Paces From Building

Roman Emperors Decree Church Sanctuary Zone of Protection Extends Fifty Paces From Building

25 December 1651

Puritan Massachusetts General Court Levies Fine for Anyone Observing Christmas

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28 June 1870
Christmas Declared National Holiday by President Ulysses S. Grant

Christmas Declared National Holiday by President Ulysses S. Grant

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27 February 1933
Catholic Feast Days Become Official State Holidays in Prussia

Catholic Feast Days Become Official State Holidays in Prussia

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29 November 1933

Jewish Stores in Germany Ordered Not to Display Christmas Symbols

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18 December 1950
Arthur Cromwell of N.Y. Complains About Role of Religion in Holiday Pageants in Public Schools

Arthur Cromwell of N.Y. Complains About Role of Religion in Holiday Pageants in Public Schools

22 December 1965

Protestant Rev. John Papandrew Wants Six-Story Christmas Cross Removed From Courthouse

20 December 1967
Garry DeYoung Harassed by Christian Neighbors After Challenging Religious Songs at School

Garry DeYoung Harassed by Christian Neighbors After Challenging Religious Songs at School

21 December 1967
Madalyn Murray-O'Hair Protests Lighted Cross on Austin, Texas Federal Building

Madalyn Murray-O'Hair Protests Lighted Cross on Austin, Texas Federal Building

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27 September 1973

Court Gives White House a Choice: Pull Out of Christmas Pageant or Remove Nativity

22 December 1977
Madalyn Murray-O'Hair Loses Attempt to Remove Nativity Scene From Texas Capitol Rotunda

Madalyn Murray-O'Hair Loses Attempt to Remove Nativity Scene From Texas Capitol Rotunda

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16 November 1978
Madalyn Murray-O'Hair Asks Texas Governor to not Use Nativity at State Capitol During Christmas

Madalyn Murray-O'Hair Asks Texas Governor to not Use Nativity at State Capitol During Christmas

11 September 1979
Florey v. Sioux Falls School: Atheist Files Suit Against School Holiday Programs

Florey v. Sioux Falls School: Atheist Files Suit Against School Holiday Programs

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22 April 1980
Florey v. Sioux Falls: Atheist Florey Loses Suit Against School Holiday Programs

Florey v. Sioux Falls: Atheist Florey Loses Suit Against School Holiday Programs

9 November 1980
Florey v. Sioux Falls: U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Atheist's Lawsuit Over Religious Holiday Pageants

Florey v. Sioux Falls: U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Atheist's Lawsuit Over Religious Holiday Pageants

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4 October 1983
Lynch v. Donnelly: Court Upholds Displaying Nativity Scene at Christmas

Lynch v. Donnelly: Court Upholds Displaying Nativity Scene at Christmas

5 March 1984
Lynch v. Donnelly: Supreme Court Rules Nativity is OK in Christmas Display

Lynch v. Donnelly: Supreme Court Rules Nativity is OK in Christmas Display

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5 December 1985
U.S. Judge Orders Illinois Fire Station to Stop Lighting Large Cross on Station

U.S. Judge Orders Illinois Fire Station to Stop Lighting Large Cross on Station

1 September 1987
Federal Judge Rules Against Attempt Block School Closing for Pope John Paul II's Visit

Federal Judge Rules Against Attempt Block School Closing for Pope John Paul II's Visit

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22 February 1989
Allegheny County v. ACLU: Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Christmas Displays

Allegheny County v. ACLU: Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Christmas Displays

3 June 1989
Allegheny County v. ACLU: Creche Display on Public Land is Unconstitutional

Allegheny County v. ACLU: Creche Display on Public Land is Unconstitutional

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2 December 1993

Clever v. Cherry Hill: Court Rules Schools can Use Religious Symbols in Secular Education

5 April 1995
Metzl v. Leininger: Good Friday as School Holiday is Unconstitutional

Metzl v. Leininger: Good Friday as School Holiday is Unconstitutional

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19 June 1995
Metzl v. Leininger: Making Good Friday a School Holiday is Unconstitutional

Metzl v. Leininger: Making Good Friday a School Holiday is Unconstitutional

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7 August 1996
ACLU v. Schundler: Certain Holiday Displays Ruled Unconstitutional

ACLU v. Schundler: Certain Holiday Displays Ruled Unconstitutional

8 August 1997

Court Rules in Favor of Nativity Scene on Public Property During Christmas Season

18 December 1997
Bauchman v. West High School: Requiring Students Sing Christian Songs in School is Constitutional

Bauchman v. West High School: Requiring Students Sing Christian Songs in School is Constitutional

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19 December 1997
Alabama Freethought Association Challenges Nativity Scene at Alabama Capitol Steps

Alabama Freethought Association Challenges Nativity Scene at Alabama Capitol Steps

1 December 1998
Koenick v. Felton: It's Not Unconstitutional to have a Public Holiday on Good Friday

Koenick v. Felton: It's Not Unconstitutional to have a Public Holiday on Good Friday

9 December 1998
Granzeier v. Middleton: Court Rules on Government Offices Can Close on Good Friday and Easter

Granzeier v. Middleton: Court Rules on Government Offices Can Close on Good Friday and Easter

11 January 1999
Bridenbaugh v. O'Bannon Argued: Religious Holidays as Paid Government Holidays

Bridenbaugh v. O'Bannon Argued: Religious Holidays as Paid Government Holidays

 
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