on february 3, 1916, delaware became the 36th and final state necessary, to ratify the 16th amendment to the constitution of the united states. the brief, 30 word, amendment reads as follows:
The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.
in a nutshell, those 30 words gave the federal government authority to impose an income tax. the supreme court had, in 1895, ruled an earlier version of the income tax unconstitutional. congress, in 1909, passed the resolution that proposed the amendment and sent it on to the states for ratification. four years later it became the law of the land :(
i can't grip too much about taxes because aside from having to pay them like everyone else, i'm teaching federal income tax this semester ;p