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AFEIL U, 191
A TAX ON THE PLAY OF
RACING RESUMED IN
A national campaign has been started
to present to the people of the country
the reasons "why the 10 per cent tax on
athletic goods should be repealed. Ordi
narily we are wary of such campaigns,
fostered and financed by interested par
ties, but the purpose of this one possesses
such merit and the effect of the tax is so
widespread that we feel that we should
call attention to it in a special fashion.
Seventy per cent of the athletic goods
sold in this country is bought and used
by the "kids" on the corner lots. Only
a small portion of these goods is used
professionally. The tax is a tax on the
play of childJiood, and that means that
it is a tax on the public health. And
such a tax. Implements used in the per
petuation of crime are the only items
more heavily taxed than athletic goods,
and certainly they should not be placed
in the same class.
The levying of this exorbitant tax
upon the play of "Young America" was
one of those utterly foolish things which
somehow the last Congress did in the
rush and hurry of framing a revenue bill.
The matter was never thoroughly investi
gated and consequently it got by. We
are persuaded that if it had been inves
tigated fully the tax never would have
One of the many things which the en
trance of the United States into the
world war revealed was the low average
physical condition of the American
youth. Experts in all sections of the
country commented upon it and without
exception among the leading causes of
tliis condition which they all cited was
that there had not been sufficient interest
in outdoor sports in this country. They
all declared that a campaign must be be
gun to promote a wider interest in sports
of all kinds. The importance of it was
emphasized by the military authorities
by the high place given to all kinds of
sports in the training camps while we
were organizing our Army. Now that
the war is over this is one of the things
that ought to have serious attention.
And right at the outset we are con
fronted by this tax. In other words, we
are in worse shape in this respect than
we were before the war, for we have
placed a heavy burden upon the play of
American children. The campaign which
has been started is for the purpose of
having this tax repealed at the present
special session of Congress. Men and
women are being asked to write or wire
their Congressmen and Senators in re
gard to it. Ordinarily we would hesitate
to advise people to comply with such re
quests. But, it seems to us, this is a case
in which advice is not necessary. The
average man or woman can decide for
himself or herself whether this is a just
tax or not. It is a simple proposition.
We think the tax ought to be repealed,
not only because it is a tax on the play of
children, but as the first necessary step
toward the encouragement of outdoor
sports in this country. Think it over
and decide what you ought to do about
it. (Editorial from Fort Worth (Tex.)
London. Horse-racing, the English
man's favorite sport, has begun and this
season promises to be a record one. The
pre-war standard as regards the number
of horses in training has not yet been
attained, but there are plenty of horses
and another year or two should bring
the turf back to its original standard.
Never were such large sums of money
offered for blood stock as now and there
are no signs of a slump. It was the
owner breeder who saved the situation
during the war. With few exceptions all '
big breeders kept their studs going, with
the result that today the whole turf situa
tion is better than might have been ex
pected. Race-courses are overcrowded and the
executives are perplexed as to how they
can accommodate the thousands of people
who now attend.
Nowhere else in the world is horse
racing quite so "exciting" as in Eng
land. The raucous shouts of the book
makers, the picturesque gipsies, the blare
of color as the horses go flitting past, the
frocks of the society dames in the grand
stand, from the roof of which the "tick
tack ' ' men send their mystic signs down
to their colleagues in the ring,, the deft
ness of the three-card tricksters who reap
a golden harvest among the unwary, the
frenzied shouting and stamping of the
betters as the horses dash past the winning-post
all these things go to make
an English race-course one of those
"sights" so dear to the hearts of tourists.
MERMAID FROCK STARTLES
The freak fashions which inevitably
accompany springtime madness promise
this season to surpass anything that has
gone before in the way of daring and
Dame Fashion has been having a con
fab with Father Neptune and the net
result is decidedly "fishy."
One of them is the mermaid frock,
which is a close-fitting affair entirely
composed of pailettes which overlap one
another in the approved fish-scale style.
These pailettes are of iridescent shades
of silver, green and blue. No trimming
or ornament of any kind is worn with
the frock and corsets are doffed so that
the sinuous mermaid effect is complete.
Another fishy fad is the girdle com
posed of painted sea-shells. With this
is worn a head-dress of similar design,
or, maybe, of tinted pearls.
For those whose systems cannot assim
ilate too much sea-breeze, a few Hawaiian
modes have been thrown in. The one
which is likely to excite most comment
is the Hawaiian skirt. This extends
from the waist to just below the knee and
is j composed of coarse, matted, hay-colored
fringe and has the ragged primitive
effect of the garments of South Sea Islanders.
One rarely, if ever, succeeds in doing
what one believes will fail; in such cases
the mental attitude is in opposition to
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