On This Day 5 September

By TheBoldAge. Published 2020-09-05
In 1666 the Great Fire of London ended; in 1699 William Dampier departed New Holland after 5 days; in 1972 11 Israeli athletes were murdered at the Munich Olympics; in 1997 Mother Teresa died with the 5th of September now being the International Day of Charity. In 1698 Peter the Great imposed a tax on beards.

Pay up or shave it off

Peter the Great (Emperor Peter I of Russia) wanted to bring Russia in line with Western Europe and one element of this was being clean shaven. On the 5th of September, 1698, he introduced a ban on beards which enabled the police to shave those, in publich, who refused to pay the beard tax.

There was pushback as it was a widespread belief that it was a religious requirement to have a beard. If you were a wealthy merchant you'd be paying 100 rubles, military or government would pay 60 rubles and if you were from Moscow you'd be paying 30 rubles per year. After paying up you'd be given a 'beard token' to carry around.


Thankfully we don't have to worry about this nowadays and if you're sporting a lockdown beard then have a look at some of the tips and tricks we've discovered on Aleph Male's YouTube channel - no affiliation nor advertising relationship; you will fall in love with their oils and balms!

Other events on this day

  • 1666: Great Fire of London ended
  • 1699: William Dampier departed 'New Holland' after sailing along the western coast for 5 days
  • 1698: Peter the Great imposed a tax on beards
  • 1972: 11 Israeli athletes murdered at the Munich Olympics
  • 1997: death of Mother Teresa; today is celebrated as International Day of Charity
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