Tax Day, Emancipation Day: What Abraham Lincoln Had to Do With It

Written by Gina Smith

April 15 marks tax day in the United States — it is also the date U.S. President Abraham Lincoln died. Compensated Emancipation Day is April 16. It’s a tense two days, historically. Check out these infographics on the history of income tax in the U.S. and some background on Lincoln here. — April 15 and April 16 are heavy load bearing days for the United States government and its citizens. April 15 is a tense day — it’s tax day for U.S. citizens. April 15 also marks the day that U.S. President Abraham Lincoln died by assassination. Lincoln presided over the Union during the United States Civil War and signed the controversial Legal Tender Act. That Act created the paper currency you know as the greenback. His administration also levied the first United States income tax, passed to temporarily fund the Civil War. April 16, not incidentally, is known as Emancipation Day. It is celebrated as such as a legal holiday in Washington D.C.  The U.S. made slaves free in the District on April 16, 1862, aka Compensated Emancipation Day.