Income Taxes Due This Week
Later this week, April 15th, is the day our federal income taxes are due. This hasn’t changed since 1962, but the taxes we pay have. For example, in 1962 there was no Earned Income Credit (EIC), and the personal exemption was only $600. Also, the Social Security tax rate was 6.25%, and there was no Medicare, so no Medicare taxes. In 2016, these rates had risen to 12.4% and 2.9%, respectively. At that time, the top rate on regular income was a whopping 91% (on incomes over $760,000, or almost $6,000,000 in 2016 dollars)! Rates for both corporations and individuals were reduced in 1964, as a result of tax legislation passed in 1962. One of the most far-reaching provisions of the legislation was to withhold taxes from dividend and interest income, but that was not included in the final bill approved in late September. The point of the proposal was to guarantee collection of the taxes due on dividends and interest, which President Kennedy and many House members thought were a major source of tax cheating. Instead, a provision to have banks notify the IRS of all interest paid was adopted, which is how we got to the 1099 forms we see today. Around the country, several other states instituted income tax withholding on wages, bringing the total to 37. One additional state passed a sales tax, bringing that total to 37 states also.
We also pay taxes longer today: Tax Freedom Day, the day when the amount of income you receive in a year finally pays your tax bill off, was on April 10th in 1962 and this year it’s April 24th. Tax records from the Census Bureau show some interesting statistics for 1962. For example, the average family income was $6,000 (about $47,000 today) and the average single person income was $2,800 (about $22,000 today), both up 4% from the previous year. Consumer prices rose about 1%, so basically, folks had increasing income that year. In 1962, only 0.6% of the population had an income over $25,000, which would be about $197,000 today. You can even see the 1040 form for 1962 at !
This Week In 1962
The nationwide memorialization of the 100th Anniversary of the Civil War was in full swing during 1962. Special events were held everywhere that had any ties to the war, including a special train ride from Atlanta, Georgia to Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Civil War steam locomotive The General had been fully restored and took part in a reenactment of its most famous run, when it had been stolen by Union spies and rescued by Western & Atlantic Railroad personal loyal to the Confederacy, using the locomotive Texas. The resulting locomotive chase was made famous in the 1950s Disney movie, “The Great Locomotive Chase.” Restoration was begun in 1959 at the shops of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad, and completed on April 12, 1962. Just two days later the locomotive made its way to Chattanooga. Today The General is on display at the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History, Kennesaw, Georgia. The Texas used to be on display at the old Atlanta Cyclorama building, in Atlanta, but in late 2015 it was moved for restoration. It is scheduled to return to the Atlanta History Center when completed.
1962 Comic Buy of the Week
scan from Grand Comics Database
Treasure Chest of Fun and Fact was a long-running comic title targeted to Catholic school children. The title ran from 1946 to 1972, and as suits a school publication, it was not published during summers. Articles ranged from humor, through puzzles, biography, and adventure to religion. Though you might not expect it, the issues included art by famous and well-respected comic artists such as Reed Crandall and Dick Giordano. Another religious oriented comic, Sunday Pix, was distributed in non-Catholic schools. Both seem like comic book versions of the Weekly Reader news magazine that I remember from elementary school.
About Roadtrip-'62 ™
1962 In Sports
It’s April and Major League Baseball is in full swing! This was the first year for the National League to play a 162 game schedule; the American League had begun that schedule the previous year. President Kennedy participated in opening day ceremonies at D.C. Stadium in Washington, DC, where the Washington Senators beat the Detroit Tigers 4-1 on April 9, 1962. The brand new team, the New York Mets, played their first game, losing to the St. Louis Cardinals, 11-4, at St. Louis on April 11th. They went on to win only 40 games and lose 120 games that year. The expansion Houston Colt .45s did better, winning the first Major League Baseball game ever played in Texas, defeating the Chicago Cubs 11-2 on April 10th. A highlight of the week occurred on April 13th, when Stan Musial hit his 1,869th run, setting a new National League record. All the 1962 opening day lineups can be found at Baseball-Reference.com.
US-6 Featured Trip Segment
Our US-6 roadtrip crosses the main part of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado today, as we travel from Golden to Glenwood Springs, Colorado for Day 31. Enjoy some snow and ski resorts, or zipping through narrow canyons, or maybe just checking out some old mining towns.
Guest Blog of the Week
I know that I’ve mentioned the Retro Renovation blog before, but I just can’t help mentioning it again. Today, they detail a new housing development in the Austin, Texas area that will be constructing brand new mid-century modern style houses! Some of the exterior styles look great, so check them out even if you’re not moving to Austin.
US-23 Featured Trip Segment
There’s retro donuts, a killer lunch at an authentic 1940s diner, museums, and even drag racing! Come along for another great day along US-23, as our fifth day of travel takes us through Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Museum of the Week
As I mentioned above, the Civil War locomotive Texas will be coming back to the Atlanta History Center when it has been fully restored. The museum is located in Altanta, Georgia’s historic Buckhead neighborhood and includes the Margaret Mitchell House, birthplace of “Gone with the Wind.” Founded in 1926 as the Atlanta Historical Society, it has expanded to include a gardens, several homes, and is now one of the largest history museums in the nation. And, if that’s not enough, coming in 2017 is a new Cyclorama Building, which began construction in early December 2015! All this is on our US-23 roadtrip, along with other Atlanta sights.
National Parks and National Forests
Last time on the Roadtrip-'62 ™ front page, I mentioned our page on national parks, forests, and historic sites. Today’s good news is that we have a second page about those sites that we saw along US-23. Check out more great roadtrip destinations from Michigan to Florida.
Video of the Week
Watch as Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy and Iranian Empress Farah Pahlavi tour the White House Grounds on April 12, 1962. The boy in the baby carriage is John F. Kennedy, Jr. and the horse is Caroline Kennedy's pony Macaroni. At that time, Iran was not a threat to anyone.
Our front page changes frequently, so you may have missed some fun stuff if you don't check in frequently. Check the Home Page Archives for all the previous iterations of our front page. Discover links, videos, roadtrip suggestions, and lots of news from 1962!
All photos by the author and Copyright © 2016, 2021 - Donald Dale Milne, except as noted.
All other content Copyright © 2016, 2021 - Donald Dale Milne.