1774 – The new Continental Congress, the governing body of America’s colonies, passed an order proclaiming that all citizens of the colonies “discountenance and discourage all horse racing and all kinds of gaming, cock fighting, exhibitions of shows, plays and other expensive diversions and entertainment.”


Continental Congress, in the period of the American Revolution, the body of delegates who spoke and acted collectively for the people of the colony-states that later became the United States of America. The term most specifically refers to the bodies that met in 1774 and 1775–81 and respectively designated as the First Continental Congress and the Second Continental Congress.

George Washington (middle) surrounded by members of the Continental Congress,  lithograph by Currier & Ives, c. 1876.
George Washington (middle) surrounded by members of the Continental Congress, lithograph by Currier & Ives, c. 1876.
Currier & Ives Collection, Library of Congress, Neg. No. LC-USZC2-3154

In October 1774 the Congress petitioned the crown for a redress of grievances accumulated since 1763. In an effort to force compliance, it called for a general boycott of British goods and eventual nonexportation of American products, except rice, to Britain or the British West Indies. Its last act was to set a date for another Congress to meet on May 10, 1775, to consider further steps.

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