Hold onto your wallet, your checkbook, your bank account password–April 15th, Tax Day, has arrived.
Though taxes have been around since the first caveman gave his chief a chunk of his kill, in the U.S. income taxes weren’t imposed until the Civil War. They were unconstitutional, but in 1913 the ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment resolved that little problem.
This year, my returns have been electronically filed, the checks have been mailed, and aside from bleeding my share of green, all is well with the world.
For those of you who are reeling in fiscal pain, standing in line at the tax preparer’s office, or struggling to figure out how to file an extension, here are some historical distractions for this date, courtesy of HistoryOrb.com:
In 1738 the bottle opener is invented. (A great blessing to all of you who need a European beer today to chase away the pain.)
In 1793, the Bank of England hands out the first five pound note. (Handing out instead of taking in?)
In 1802, William Wordsworth and his sister, Dorothy see a “long belt” of daffodils, inspiring the former to pen “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”. (Lonely. And depressed. And broke?)
In 1877, the first telephone is installed, Boston to Somerville, Mass. (To call a friend for a loan?)
In 1912, the Titanic sinks at 2:27 AM off Newfoundland. (The last year of no income taxes.)
The tax filing deadline established by the 1913 amendment was March 1st. It moved a few years later to March 15th, and finally in 1955, to April 15th. I imagine with increasing regulations and no Turbo Tax, everyone needed that extra month.
Fortunately on April 15, 1955, another event counterbalanced some of the tax impact–Ray Kroc started the McDonald’s chain of fast food restaurants.
So, if there’s no money for steak– Let them eat burgers!