Published: 06th April 2022
What happened on April 6: Russia puts an end to the absurd beard tax, first animated film releases
Yes, there was something called the beard tax and no, Russia isn't the only one who imposed it. Also, here's a little about Humorous Phases of Funny Faces
Tsar Peter I, more famously known as Peter The Great, was surely a visionary who changed Russia forever. Did you know that this former emperor of Russia went incognito in Europe between 1697 and 1698 to study the ways of Europe, who was using its prowess to both explore and colonise.
And encompassing all that he learnt, Peter The Great embarked on another ambitious journey, to modernise Russia. Its economy, culture and everything else received a makeover. He took the mission so seriously that he even went beardless and to inspire his citizens to do the same, imposed a beard tax in 1698! Because, you know, why not make money while you are at it? Also, it proved to be quite unpopular, especially with the Russian Orthodox church.
For the nobility, the tax was as high as 100 rubles annually, and for the commoners, it was as low as one kopek. It was Catherine the Great who abolished the tax on April 6, 1772. Why? Well, purely speaking from a financial standpoint, not only were citizens not very willing to shave their beards, but the ability of the administration to collect these taxes was...ahem...overestimated.
Have you watched Humorous Phases of Funny Faces? You surely should because it is the first animated film and it was released on April 6, 1906.
Recorded on standard picture film, this three-minute-long film was the brainchild of British-American auteur J Stuart Blackton. It employed cut-out animation and stop-motion photography and is generally regarded as the first animated film or the first animated film recorded on standard picture film.
The short film opens with hands drawing characters and then, during the duration of the film, a dog jumping through a hoop and a man playing with a hat also have their own screentime.