Aug. 5, 1861: Needing cash to finance the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Revenue Act — imposing the first federal income tax. Lincoln and Congress agreed that all incomes over $800 would be taxed at a 3 percent rate. Lincoln knew that taxes would be unpopular. But he recognized that America needed to pay for its wars.
Aug. 5, 1963: President John F. Kennedy signed a treaty with Great Britain and the U.S.S.R. banning nuclear tests in the atmosphere, space, and underwater.
Aug. 5, 1974: President Richard Nixon admitted withholding information on the Watergate break-in. He resigned four days later.
Aug. 5, 1981: President Ronald Reagan fired 11,359 striking air traffic controllers, saying they were violating federal law.
Quote of the Day
"Republicans are for both the man and the dollar, but in case of conflict the man before the dollar." -Abraham Lincoln
More from West Wing Reports...
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- After Ferguson, we don't need another dialogue on race
- Your literary playlist: A guide to the music of Haruki Murakami
- The secret to handling pressure like astronauts, Navy SEALs, and samurai
- The government is getting into the fact-checking business. Be very, very afraid.
- 11 scientific studies that will restore your faith in humanity
Subscribe to the Week