April 6, 1722

On April 6, 1722, Peter the Great, Tsar of Russia ended the beard tax that he imposed back in 1698. He imposed the tax, along with other measures to modernize Russia so it could compete with the Englands, Frances, and Spains of the European world. The other things he did, like changing Russia’s calendar, the way Russian was written, and updating the military really improved Russia’s culture and economy. But the beard tax was unpopular. Russian men, and some women, needed those beards to keep warm in the cold sub-Artic winters, and the Russian Orthodox Church was very anti-shaving. But Peter the Great did not care, and a beard tax was imposed, and for the first time in centuries, some Russian women learned they were married to actual bears. So when the beard tax ended, those women, and some men, were allowed to go back to living the lie that their husbands, and some wives, were actual people.

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
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