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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

A new and controversial federal program – the income tax – was being rolled out amid great confusion.

A pamphlet containing a series of new regulations arrived at the Spokane office of Internal Revenue, and The Spokesman-Review devoted a lengthy story to trying to explain its complicated provisions.

The story contained passages such as this: “In collecting this tax on all coupons and registered interest originating in the United States the ‘source’ shall be the debtor (or its paying agent in the United States) which must deduct the tax, and no other bank, trust company, banking firm or individual taking coupons or interest orders for collection or otherwise shall withhold the tax thereon.”

At least there was no balky website.

From the anti-immigration beat: The Western Labor Immigration Conference was being held in Seattle, and don’t let the name mislead you – this was no pro-immigration conference.

It closed with a resolution calling for enlarging the Chinese exclusion act to “apply to all Asiatics, including the Japanese.”

This conference of labor organizations was opposed to immigration on the grounds that immigrants took jobs away from American workers.

“If American labor is to be protected, a rigid, all-inclusive act excluding Asiatics should be passed,” urged one delegate.

The resolution passed almost unanimously.