James Baskett

James Baskett was an American actor best known for his portrayal of Uncle Remus, singing the song "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" in the 1946 Disney feature film Song of the South. In recognition of his warm portrayal of the famous black storyteller he was given an Honorary Academy Award, making him the first black male performer to receive an Oscar. After abandoning his plans to study pharmacology for financial reasons, James Baskett supported himself as an actor, moving from his home town of Indianapolis, Indiana to New York City, joining the company of Bill Robinson, better known as Mr. Bojangles; as Jimmie Baskette, he appeared on Broadway with Louis Armstrong in the all-black musical revue Hot Chocolates in 1929, was announced for Hummin' Sam in 1933, although it failed to open. Baskett acted in several all-black films made in the New York area, including Harlem Is Heaven starring Bill Robinson, he went to Los Angeles and had a supporting role in Straight to Heaven, starring Nina Mae McKinney, bit parts in the films Revenge of the Zombies and The Heavenly Body.

In 1941, he voiced Fats Crow in the animated Disney film Dumbo, was invited by Freeman Gosden to join the cast of the Amos'n' Andy radio show as lawyer Gabby Gibson, whom he portrayed from 1944 to 1948. In 1945, he auditioned for a bit part voicing one of the animals in the new Disney feature film Song of the South, based on the Uncle Remus stories by Joel Chandler Harris. Walt Disney was impressed with Baskett's talent and hired him on the spot for the lead role of Uncle Remus. Baskett was given the voice role of Brer Fox, one of the film's animated antagonists, filled in as the main animated protagonist, Brer Rabbit, in one sequence; this was one of the first Hollywood portrayals of a black actor as a non-comic character in a leading role in a film meant for general audiences. Baskett was not allowed to attend the film's premiere in Atlanta, Georgia because Atlanta was racially segregated by law. Although Baskett was criticized for accepting such a "demeaning" role, his acting was universally praised, columnist Hedda Hopper, along with Walt Disney himself, was one of the many journalists and personalities who declared that he should receive an Academy Award for his work.

On March 20, 1948, Baskett received an Honorary Academy Award for his performance as Uncle Remus. He was the first African-American male actor. Baskett had been in poor health around 1946 during the filming of Song of the South due to diabetes and suffered a heart attack, his health continued to decline, he was unable to attend the Amos'n' Andy show he was in. On July 9, 1948 during the show's summer hiatus, Baskett died of heart failure resulting from diabetes at age 44, he was survived by his mother Elizabeth. He is buried at Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis. List of African American firsts James Baskett on IMDb James Baskett at the Internet Broadway Database James Baskett at Find a Grave

Papal income tax

Papal income tax was first leveled in 1199 by Pope Innocent III requiring all Catholic clergy to pay one-fortieth of their ecclesiastical income annually in support of the Crusades. The second income tax was not levied until the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215, constituted only a triennial twentieth; this precedent was continued by the successors of Innocent III, enforced by ecclesiastical censure, by sequestration, by the use of force. The first time the tax was imposed, contributors were promised that a quarter of the penances would be rebated if payments were made willingly and honestly. On a few occasions popes convoked a general council before imposing an income tax, but more imposed the tax on their own authority; the power was used for Crusades outside of the Holy Land. For example, Pope Gregory IX in 1228 levied a one-tenth income tax to fund his war against Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor. By 1253, the phrase "ecclesiastical revenues and receipts" was defined more and interpreted to include temporalities as well as spiritualities.

In 1274, the lessons from the past taxes were aggregated and compiled into a set of instructions for the collectors in France under the direction of Gregory X, in the tear that the Second Council of Lyon ordered a sexennial tenth. Pope Boniface VIII included the tax code in canon law in 1301. Fourteenth and fifteenth century popes leveled similar taxes for personal uses as well as for wars against the Ottoman Turks and others. Taxes could be imposed either on the universal church, the clergy of a single country, or on a group of provinces. Whereas the first crusading taxes were paid directly to crusaders, by the middle of the thirteenth century it became customary to pay the tax directly to kings, princes, or nobles who promised to join the crusade. Nonpayment of papal taxes was rampant, secular rulers of modest power could succeed in placing restrictions on papal taxes collected within their realm, if not in obtaining a portion for themselves, or persuading the papacy to act as an intermediary in levying their own taxes.

For example, Edward I and Edward II succeeded in obtaining more than half of the customary tenth for themselves, as did the French kings during the Avignon Papacy. Lunt, William E. 1950. Papal Revenues in the Middle Ages. Columbia University Press. 2 Vols

Pathfinder Dam

Pathfinder Dam is a masonry dam, located on the North Platte River 47 miles southwest of Casper, Wyoming. It was constructed between 1905 and 1909 as part of the North Platte Project and has been modified several times since then, it is included on the National Register of Historic Places. Construction of the dam created Pathfinder Reservoir which provides water storage for 226,000 acres of irrigation in Wyoming and Nebraska; the dam is named for General John Charles Fremont, who had explored the area in 1842 and was nicknamed the "Pathfinder of the West." Pathfinder Dam is composed of granite blocks, quarried from the same stone that forms the river's canyon. With Buffalo Bill Dam, its contemporary, Pathfinder Dam was intended to irrigate semi-arid lands in Wyoming. Buffalo Bill Dam, however, is of concrete construction, owing to its location within 7 miles from the railroad, while Pathfinder Dam is about 45 miles from the nearest railroad. Freight took at least three days to cover the distance, once took 76 days.

Transportation of cement in barrels was not feasible by horse-drawn wagon, so the dam was built of quarried stone. The dam was faced with stones between 24 inches and 36 inches thick, laid in a 2-inch thick mortar bed. Between these facings was a core of irregularly-shaped granite blocks of up to ten tons in weight, bedded in mortar and quarry tailings; the diversion tunnel was adapted to become the dam's outlet works. Construction costs were $2.5 million in 1909. An auxiliary dike, 38 feet high, extends to the south of the dam, it is an earthfill structure with a concrete corewall. A natural channel was enlarged and straightened to form an uncontrolled spillway on the north side of the dam; the original diversion tunnel became the north outlet works and sealed in 1958 with bulkheads. From 1958 the tunnel was modified to feed the power outlet works, an 18 feet tunnel extending 3 miles to the Fremont Canyon Powerplant at the upper end of Alcova Reservoir; the Fremont Canyon Powerplant has a capacity of 66.8 MW with two turbines, upgraded from 48 MW between 1986 and 1990.

A low-flow outlet was completed at the dam in 1997 to allow water flow in the four river miles between the dam and the powerplant. In 1902 plans were advanced to dam the Sweetwater River at a narrow point known as Devil's Gate. A more ambitious plan was proposed in 1903 by the newly established Bureau of Reclamation to dam a site below the confluence of the Sweetwater and the North Platte; the dam's design was carried out by George Y. Wisner of the Reclamation Service, with consulting engineer Edgar T. Wheeler. Exploratory drilling was started in 1903, a contract for a 480-foot long diversion tunnel was let in 1905. Bidding for the dam construction contract was plagued with delays; the construction contract was awarded to the Geddis and Seerie Stone Company of Denver, for an initial sum of $482,000 to rise to $626,523.52. Difficulties with the construction of an upstream cofferdam, created by the contractor's improper blasting of loose rock from the canyon walls, led to the first delays. Foundation work on the dam started with the foundation set only 10 feet deep.

After delays caused by flood waters, the dam was completed on June 14, 1909. However, unusual summer rains filled the reservoir, overtaxed the spillways and threatened to overtop the unfinished auxiliary dike south of the dam allowing the river to cut a new, lower channel and leaving the damsite dry. Explosive charges were placed in the crest of the main dam, to be used if the overflow occurred, thus keeping the lowest point at the dam; the dike held and the charges were not needed, but did have to be removed by explosives experts in 1949. An auxiliary dike was built at the location in 1910 to develop the reservoir's full capacity; the potential overtopping gave rise to sensational stories in Denver newspapers and caused annual nervousness in Casper downstream for a number of years thereafter. The Fremont Canyon Powerplant was built between 1958 and 1961, part of the Glendo Unit of the Pick–Sloan Missouri Basin Project; the reservoir has suffered from siltation, leading to a 1995 proposal to add between 2 feet and 2.5 feet to the top of the dam to add storage capacity.

The Pathfinder Interpretive Center is a small museum located in the former damkeeper's residence near the dam. Pathfinder National Wildlife Refuge encompasses portions of the reservoir. There are a marina on the reservoir. A suspension footbridge crosses the river below the dam. Pathfinder Dam was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on August 12, 1971. In 2015, the dam was included in a historic district encompassing the dam itself, its operating facilities, the archaeological remains of its construction camp; the reservoir has overflowed in 1984, 2010 and 2011, with overflow water forcing a channel to the immediate north of the dam. The dam has overflowed again in 2016, expected to last for the full month of June. Theodore Roosevelt Dam, a similar cyclopean masonry dam on Arizona's Salt River Project Pathfinder Dam at the Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office Pathfinder Dam at the Bureau of Reclamation North Platte Project at the Bureau of Reclamation Fremont Canyon Powerplant at the Bureau of Reclamation