December 20, 1820

On This Date in! in 1820, the state of Missouri enacted legislation to tax all bachelors between the ages of 21 to 50 for being unmarried. The tax was $1 a year. Men were reminded that they could not be legally married to their job, their favorite sports team, or their horse (for those already married to their horses, a grandfather clause was added, but all men to goat marriages were deemed illegal and generally icky). The women of Kentucky found lucrative employment as ‘paper wives’ for Missouri men and the men from both states were happy with the arrangement. Also, one hundred years later Benito Mussolini saw how well this law didn’t work and decided to enact it in Italy.

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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