This day in history August 5, 2020-income tax
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Started by metmike - Aug. 5, 2020, 12:13 a.m.

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1735Freedom of the press: New York Weekly Journal writer John Peter Zenger is acquitted of seditious libel against the royal governor of New York, on the basis that what he had published was true.

1914   – In Cleveland, Ohio, the first electric traffic light is installed.

1926Harry Houdini performs his greatest feat, spending 91 minutes underwater in a sealed tank before escaping.

2015 – The Environmental Protection Agency at Gold King Mine waste water spill releases three million gallons of heavy metal toxin tailings and waste water into the Animas River in Colorado.

By metmike - Aug. 5, 2020, 12:16 a.m.
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The Revenue Act of 1861, formally cited as Act of August 5, 1861, Chap. XLV, 12 Stat. 292, included the first U.S. Federal income tax statute (see Sec.49). The Act, motivated by the need to fund the Civil War,[1] imposed an income tax to be "levied, collected, and paid, upon the annual income of every person residing in the United States, whether such income is derived from any kind of property, or from any profession, trade, employment, or vocation carried on in the United States or elsewhere, or from any other source whatever [ . . . .]"[2]The tax imposed was a flat tax, with a rate of 3% on incomes above $800.[3] The Revenue Act of 1861 was signed into law by Abraham Lincoln. This Act introduced Federal income tax as a flat rate tax.

The income tax provision (Sections 49, 50 and 51) was repealed by the Revenue Act of 1862. (See Sec.89, which replaced the flat rate with a progressive scale of 3% on annual incomes beyond $600 ($15,231 in 2020 dollars) and 5% on incomes above $10,000 ($253,850 in 2020 dollars) or those living outside the U.S., and perhaps more significantly it was explicitly temporary, specifying termination of income tax in "the year eighteen hundred and sixty-six")

Tax structure

  • Import Tariff: The Revenue Act of 1861 levied various tariffs on imports including sugar, tea, nuts, brimstone, coffee, liquor, and various fruits and herbs. The majority of imports were taxed on a per unit basis while certain imports, often those with more volatile pricing such as hides, citrus fruit, silk, and gunpowder were taxed ad valorem, with rates ranging from 10% on hides and rubber to 50% on wines. The act imposed an additional tax of 10% ad valorem on articles imported in foreign vessels from beyond the Cape of Good Hope. The provisions included in the act expanded upon the protectionist precedent set by the Morrill Tariff of 1861.[13]
  • Property Tax: The Revenue Act of 1861 instituted a tax on real estate, levied in proportion to each state's population. While the act's enforcement mechanism was limited, it formally established a system of tax districts, assessors, and collectors, laying the groundwork for the Internal Revenue Service's formation on July 1, 1862. The property tax drew criticism from representatives of rural states: by taxing real estate and excluding other forms of personal property, the tax, they argued placed an undue burden upon large, sparsely populated states and territories in the West and Southwest. Though densely populated states such as New York were assessed at a higher rate due to a large population, a greater proportion of wealth in such states was invested in personal property other than real estate.[14][15]
  • Income Tax: The Revenue Act of 1861 levied a 3% flat rate income tax on those with an annual income at or exceeding $800. In 1861, only 3% of the population earned more than $800 per year; as such, the tax enjoyed relatively widespread support among legislators. The act granted President Lincoln the power to appoint one principal assessor and one principal collector per state/territory; these officials were charged with enforcing income tax provisions. However, another portion of the bill stipulated that each state may collect and pay its own portion of the direct tax levied upon each state in its own way. Lacking an effective enforcement mechanism, the income tax provision was repealed in 1862 and replaced with a more expansive bill in the Revenue Act of 1862. The subsequent revenue act called for the establishment of the IRS and a progressive tax scale.[16][17]

By metmike - Aug. 5, 2020, 12:18 a.m.
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Flagellation  (Latin flagellum, "whip"), flogging, whipping or lashing is the act of beating the human body with special implements such as whips, lashes, rods, switches, the cat o' nine tails, the sjambok, the knout, etc. Typically, flogging is imposed on an unwilling subject as a punishment; however, it can also be submitted to willingly, or performed on oneself, in religious or sadomasochistic contexts.

The strokes are usually aimed at the unclothed back of a person, in certain settings it can be extended to other corporeal areas. For a moderated subform of flagellation, described as bastinado, the soles of a person's bare feet are used as a target for beating (see foot whipping).

In some circumstances the word "flogging" is used loosely to include any sort of corporal punishment, including birching and caning. However, in British legal terminology, a distinction was drawn (and still is, in one or two colonial territories) between "flogging" (with a cat-o'-nine-tails) and "whipping" (formerly with a whip, but since the early 19th century with a birch). In Britain these were both abolished in 1948.

By metmike - Aug. 5, 2020, 12:19 a.m.
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Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (/mænˈdɛlə/;[1] Xhosa: [xolíɬaɬa mandɛ̂ːla]; 18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013) was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the country's first black head of state and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election. His government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid by tackling institutionalised racism and fostering racial reconciliation. Ideologically an African nationalist and socialist, he served as the president of the African National Congress (ANC) party from 1991 to 1997.

A Xhosa speaker, Mandela was born to the Thembu royal family in Mvezo, Union of South Africa. He studied law at the University of Fort Hare and the University of Witwatersrand before working as a lawyer in Johannesburg. There he became involved in anti-colonial and African nationalist politics, joining the ANC in 1943 and co-founding its Youth League in 1944. After the National Party's white-only government established apartheid, a system of racial segregation that privileged whites, he and the ANC committed themselves to its overthrow. Mandela was appointed president of the ANC's Transvaal branch, rising to prominence for his involvement in the 1952 Defiance Campaign and the 1955 Congress of the People. He was repeatedly arrested for seditious activities and was unsuccessfully prosecuted in the 1956 Treason Trial. Influenced by Marxism, he secretly joined the banned South African Communist Party (SACP). Although initially committed to non-violent protest, in association with the SACP he co-founded the militant Umkhonto we Sizwe in 1961 and led a sabotage campaign against the government. He was arrested and imprisoned in 1962, and subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment for conspiring to overthrow the state following the Rivonia Trial.

Mandela served 27 years in prison, split between Robben Island, Pollsmoor Prison and Victor Verster Prison. Amid growing domestic and international pressure, and with fears of a racial civil war, President F. W. de Klerk released him in 1990. Mandela and de Klerk led efforts to negotiate an end to apartheid, which resulted in the 1994 multiracial general election in which Mandela led the ANC to victory and became president. Leading a broad coalition government which promulgated a new constitution, Mandela emphasised reconciliation between the country's racial groups and created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate past human rights abuses. Economically, Mandela's administration retained its predecessor's liberal framework despite his own socialist beliefs, also introducing measures to encourage land reform, combat poverty and expand healthcare services. Internationally, he acted as mediator in the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing trial and served as secretary-general of the Non-Aligned Movement from 1998 to 1999. He declined a second presidential term and was succeeded by his deputy, Thabo Mbeki. Mandela became an elder statesman and focused on combating poverty and HIV/AIDS through the charitable Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Mandela was a controversial figure for much of his life. Although critics on the right denounced him as a communist terrorist and those on the far-left deemed him too eager to negotiate and reconcile with apartheid's supporters, he gained international acclaim for his activism. Widely regarded as an icon of democracy and social justice, he received more than 250 honours, including the Nobel Peace Prize. He is held in deep respect within South Africa, where he is often referred to by his Thembu clan name, Madiba, and described as the "Father of the Nation".