Today in History: Remember the Maine Edition

The USS MaineIf you’re like me, and you filed your federal taxes at the last minute only a couple of weeks ago, you might have been intrigued by an unusual option: a refund of between $30 to $60 to which you probably didn’t know you were entitled.

The IRS, at the urging of Congress, is issuing what it calls the “most wide-reaching” refund in its history for a now-defunct telephone-excise tax. And that’s where today’s “TIH” comes in.

The tax was first levied in 1898 to finance the Spanish-American War, at a time when telephones were considered a “luxury.”

“Today in History” looks back at April 25, 1898, the day the United States formally declared war on Spain.

4 Comments

  1. Todd Fineberg
    April 26, 2007 at 8:31 am

    Re: Today in History: Remember the Maine Edition: LOC should note that the Maine incident in 1898 was an early example of a fraudulent statement of a cause for war by the United States. Recent studies have shown that a boiler explosion caused the demise of the USS Maine, not sabotage from Cuban or Spanish interests. The Maine case is a precedent for the fraudulent Gulf of Tonkin resolution in the Vietnam War and the Invasion of
    Iraq in 2003 in the absence of alleged weapons of mass destruction and terrorist Al Qaeda as causes for war.

  2. Tim
    April 26, 2007 at 10:42 am

    Oh please Todd. Does everything have to be politicized? Let’s not ruin a new blog by connecting dots that aren’t there.

  3. Wes
    April 29, 2007 at 1:04 am

    Sorry Todd. The loss of the USS Maine was not because of a boiler explosion. It was because of an external explosion.

  4. Wes
    April 29, 2007 at 1:05 am

    Please specify the “recent studies”. I would like to read them.

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