In 2016, on this day the last American carrier strike group led by the USS Ron Paul was engaged by the Chinese Navy off the coast of Hawaii.
DownsizeThe long-running quarrel over American sovereignty had escalated in direct proportion to the down-sizing of the US military during his controversial one term Presidency. Remaining true to his word, the build down had not even been stopped by the naming of the last carrier in his honour. Soon enough an international crisis arose that sense checked his Libertarian dogma.
And now the last carrier battlegroup in the US Navy was facing doom. A resurgent China had recently announced that it did not recognize the illegal US seizure of the Hawaiian kingdom, dispatching a fleet of one hundred ships to re-install a Hawaiian monarch with a Chinese garrison as "support".
In 1981, in what some describe as a "misguided teenage prank gone terribly wrong" and others "the greatest tragedy of our time", Queen Elizabeth II of England died in a fall from her horse due to a starting pistol being fired by Marcus Sarjeant.
Queen Elizabeth II Killed in Accident Elizabeth had been queen since the death of her father, George VI, in 1952. Her reign would see a time of major changes as Britain adapted to the new world order after World War II. The Empire had shifted into the Commonwealth of Nations over the course of the past decades, and Elizabeth acted as head of only a portion of the lands once under Britain and queen of seven countries (six in 1972 when Ceylon became republican Sri Lanka). In the Fifties, Britain worked to rebuild after the war, leading to the Swinging Sixties when England underwent a Renaissance exporting fashion and music and Britain overall returned to economic prowess.
A new story by Jeff ProvineThe Seventies brought difficulty back to Britain. While foreign policies had been successful in peaceably breaking down the Empire into independent nations in the Commonwealth after the Churchill prime ministership, Britain had distanced itself from its allies in America by the Suez Canal crisis and opting out of the Vietnam War. Britain was becoming more isolationist, and its own problems were more than enough. Stagflation, energy crises, and union strikes began to cripple the British economy. Meanwhile, the Troubles continued to terrorize citizens as the IRA used bombing attacks not only in Northern Ireland, but on the mainland of England as well. The Labour government faltered under these pressures, bringing in a Conservative government with Margaret Thatcher as the first female prime minister.
During this time, Marcus Sarjeant grew up normally in Kent and attended Astor Secondary School in Dover, an accomplished Scout member and local patrol leader before joining the Air Training Corps at twelve. Marcus was an exceptional marksman, and he began training in the Royal Marines as well as the Army but seemed unable to fit into the discipline required of the armed services. Not even the police or fire department took him, and instead Marcus worked at a zoo, arts centre, and with children at a youth centre before ultimately being unemployed. In late 1980, he joined the Anti Royalist Movement and attempted to gain a gun license, but was unable to do more than take up a gun club and hold onto his father's Webley revolver (which had no ammunition).
Looking for more in life, Marcus became inspired by the assassination of John Lennon (December 8, 1980) and the assassination attempts on Ronald Reagan (March 30, 1981) and Pope John Paul II (May 13, 1981). The fame seemed to explode around the attackers, and Marcus wanted it, noting to a friend, "I would like to be the first to take a pot shot at the Queen". He wrote about becoming the most famous teenager in the world, but he did not seem to want to hurt Queen Elizabeth, only gain the fame, so he armed himself with a starting pistol and blanks. Marcus even sent a letter to Buckingham Palace (which arrived three days too late), warning, "Your Majesty. Don't go to the Trooping the Colour ceremony because there is an assassin set up to kill you, waiting just outside the palace". He also sent letters and photos to magazines, which he hoped would expedite the growth of his fame once it began.
During the Trooping of Colour, Marcus became another face in the crowds until the Queen passed, when he fired six shots in her direction. The Queen's horse, Burmese, became startled and reared, throwing the Queen, who would die in the fall. Marcus was seized out of the shocked crowd and apprehended by police while the Sovereign's Escort closed up around the fallen Queen. Sarjeant would be found innocent of regicide as the actual death had been accidental, but he would be found guilty of "firing with intent to alarm the queen" under the Treason Act of 1842. Many called for his execution, but the seventeen-year-old would be given a life sentence, outraging many Royalists and beginning the feeling of harsh conservatism that would come to dominate the United Kingdom under the time of Thatcher. Marcus Sarjeant gained his fame only as hatred, and he would disappear into the prison system.
Any anti-British sentiment quickly invoked the same spirit of vengeance that haunted many in the mourning of the Queen. When IRA members in prison attempted a hunger strike to regain status as political prisoners, they were force-fed, and the IRA became the target of an immense military crackdown. In 1982, Britain came upon an international war when Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands, and the UK counter-invaded to remove dictator Leopoldo Galtieri. Many commentators believed that Galtieri's government would have fallen apart on its own, but the government of Britain refused to take any chances.
As the occupation of Argentina dragged on and surviving Galtieri and, especially, anti-British cells carried out attacks, unemployment and taxes continued to climb in the recession of the 1980s. When the 1984 Miner's Strike began, the military force turned on Britons themselves, arresting strikers en masse and encouraging scabs. Bombings not just by the desperate IRA increased amid the oppressive government, such as the nearly successful attempt on Thatcher's life at the Grand Hotel in Brighton on October 12, 1984. Blaming the attacks on increasing leftist adversaries, the Conservative Government outlawed several smaller parties and instituted social control schemes not seen since the desperate days of the War. More controversial were the secret actions, such as the disappearance of Michael Heseltine in 1990.
The darker days lightened as the Nineties saw economic recovery and the social control lessened, though the Conservative Government continues in power with opponents disappearing seemingly before they can rise. Meanwhile, the Royal Family disintegrated amid scandal with separations and divorces as well as the death of Queen Diana while in Paris in 1997. Bright hope shines around William, Prince of Wales, who is never seen without his Conservative bodyguard.
In 1786, on this day the twelfth President of the United States Winfield Scott was born at Laurel Branch, the family plantation in Dinwiddie County, near Petersburg, Virginia.
12th President of the United States
March 4, 1849 - 1853Known as "Old Fuss and Feathers" many historians rate him the ablest American commander of his time leading to his appointment as Commanding General of the United States Army in 1841. Seven years later, he ran for Union President as a Whig Candidate, but ultimately he was unable to carry his heroic military reputation into political leadership.
During Scott's first term in the White House, his counterpart the Texan President Mirabeau Lamar delivered his famous "Empire Texas" speech which gave a small marginal victory to remain a Republic. The border disputes that soon arose directly led to the Mexican-Texan War (1847-1849) from which emerged the powerful independent republics of Texas and California. The war transformed the balance of power on the West Coast effectively ending the United States aspiration for "manifest destiny" of a continental power stretching from "sea to shining sea". And worse, Britain and France became natural partners for the new states who now sought financial support for the dispensation of their crippling war debts.
Needless to say, this shatteringly disappointing outcome was a massive setback for Scott. Losing support from many Whigs because of his perceived "cottling the Texan Republic" many Anti Scott supporters turned to Daniel Webster for the Whig nomination in 1852. Shortly after he left office, the United States suffered the ignominy of losing the race to open Japan when Californian Commodore Robert F. Stockton's CRS Sonoma sailed into the port city of Edo beating US Commodore Matthew Perry in the competitive journey to open the far eastern nation to Western trade. Within less than a decade, US expansion was off the national agenda, and the focus narrowed to national preservation of territorial integrity with the southern states now looking to the West Coast powers for their support in seceding from the Union.
In 1984, a joint U.S.-Egyptian assault force crossed the Libyan border to aid rebels fighting to topple the dictatorship of Muammar Khadafy, the former army colonel who had overthrown Libya's monarchy nearly fifteen years earlier.
Colonel Khadafy's "Line of Death"Among the U.S.-Egyptian contingent's immediate objectives was assisting the rebel forces in retaining control of Benghazi, a major seaport and oil production center and the heart of the rebel movement; their primary longtime goal was to deny the use of Libya to the Soviets as a staging area for attacking Egypt.
A Battlefield Alaska Installment from Chris OakleyAlthough Khadafy had bragged of establishing a "line of death" on the ground similar to the one he'd declared in the Gulf of Sidra three years earlier, in reality U.S. and Egyptian troops were able to enter Libya with only minimal opposition -- in some cases Libyan regular army units actually defected en masse to the U.S.- Egyptian side.
In 1986, on this day Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega stunned the world with two major announcements: first, that his Sandinista government had agreed to a cease-fire with the anti-Marxist counterrevolutionaries who had been fighting it for more than six years, and second, that he was resigning as president effective immediately.
Ortega ResignsHis retirement left Cuba's Fidel Castro as the sole remaining active Marxist head of state in the Western Hemisphere -- and by the late 1990s Castro would himself be confronted with a serious political crisis as millions of his fellow Cubans took to the streets to demand greater freedom of expression and an end to one-party rule in Cuba.
Ortega would spend the next quarter-century following his resignation serving as a consultant to left-wing activists around the world. One of his most famous proteges was a former Venezuelan air force officer named Hugo Chavez, who in 2002 would campaign for the presidency of Venezuela only to see his electoral bid collapse after evidence surfaced that the anti-American Chavez was receiving financial support from rogue states like Iran.
In 1961, on this day the Taylor Commission's explosive conclusions on the Bay of Pigs Fiasco provided US President John F. Kennedy with the necessary justification to "splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it into the winds".
Intelligence Set-upThe announcement unleashed the fury of the agency who strongly disputed the Cuban Study Groups' report on the immediate causes of failure of the operation Zapata.
Only days later, the New York Times published the transcript of a telephone call placed by United States National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy to the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence General Cabel at 9:30 P.M. the evening before the landing of the Brigade in Cuba. Bundy had ordered cancellation of the crucial air strike from Nicaragua which was intended to destroy the Cuban Air Force on the ground. Instead, it raked the beach with gun fire, massacring the Cuban Brigade and shooting the slower B-26s that the agency had refitted for air support.
Eighteen years later, Bundy would publish a confessional article "The Brigade's My Fault" in which he would confirm that the political decision to make a last minute change to the mission plan was part of an orchestrated attempt to discredit the agency.
That imperative had become a pre-requisite to end the Cold War since Kenneday had discovered that the agency sabotaged Gary Powers's U-2 flight on the eve of Eisenhower's visit to Moscow. In the event, Khruschev had rescinded the invitation. More alarming still was the revelation that the New York Times had planned to publish full details of the mission three whole days before the launch, but had been firmly encouraged not to do so by the White House.
In 1920, the evacuation of Semyon Budionny's famous Cossack 1st Cavalry Army from the Ukrainian front on this day enabled the Commander of White Forces, Józef Pilsudski (pictuerd) to proclaim a new Confederation comprising Poland, Ukraine and the Baltic States.
Triumph at KievIn a broader sense, this incredible feat of arms prevented the Soviets from wrecking the Treaty of Versailles, a peace settlement from which the Russians were excluded. Which wasn't to say that the French were similarly excluded in the Ukraine, because Captain Charles de Gaulle led a military mission to advise the White Polish Forces on the Ukrainian Front. And yet the decisive contribution was from the Polish Cipher Division, who, in anticipating an assault on the southern front, had saved the day.
Lenin's dreams of building Marxist States in Poland and Germany had been shattered. And yet the establishment of a buffer state in eastern europe would have long term consequences for both the security of the region, and also the future of the Soviet Union itself. Maybe, just maybe, the system of security proposed by Treaty of Versailles would survive.
In 1944, on this day Great Britain was strucked by the first V-1 bomb-laden rockets; over eighteen thousand would be launched by September 8th, only half of which would be intercepted. Because ever since the cancellation of the Normandy invasion, the war had unexpectedly developed in a new and frightening direction.
Going BallisticThe pioneer of controlled, liquid-fueled rocketry, Robert H. Goddard had recently arrived in Britain. Despite being one of the foremost rocket experimenters of his day, his work had been largely derided in the United States. The US Army had incorrectly determined that it was of no military application at all.
But now an alarming capability gap had emerged through the successful delivery of the Nazi programme led by Wernher von Braun. In fact, the Nazis had benefitted from the actions of a German spy who had secretly reported Goddard's work back to von Braun. An accredited military attache to the US, Friedrich von Boetticher, sent a four-page report in 1936, and the spy Gustav Guellich sent a mixture of facts and made-up information, claiming to have witnessed a launch.
Worse still, the Soviet NKVD also had a spy in the U.S. Navy Bureau of Aeronautics. In 1935 she gave them a report Goddard had written for the Navy in 1933. It contained results of tests and flights and suggestions for military uses of his rockets. The NKVD considered this to be very valuable information. It provided few design details, but gave the Soviets the direction and progress of Goddard's work.
That his work had been stolen became crystal clear to Goddard when he first saw the remnants of the German V-2 ballistic missile. The terrifying possibility of a new scenario emerged, in which the climax of the Second World War would be fought not be conventional armies, but by an exchange of superweapons developed by the likes of Goddard and Von Braun.
In 1972, South Dakota Sen. George McGovern receives the Democratic Party's nomination for president of the United States. In his acceptance speech, he ends weeks of speculation by naming his Massachusetts colleague Edward M. "Ted" Kennedy as his running-mate.
It is a controverial choice. Three years earlier, Kennedy had been involved in a car accident at Chappaquiddick in Martha's Vineyard in which a young female companion, Mary Jo Kopechne, drowned when the car the senator was driving went off a bridge. Hostile rumors about the incident have plagued Kennedy ever since.
Kennedy for running mate by Eric LippsWatching from the convention floor is yet another senator, Thomas Eagleton of Missouri. An early favorite for the VP choice, Eagleton had seen his chances evaporate when it was revealed that he was the source of a quote in conservative columnist Bob Novak's April 27 column labeling McGovern, who had just won the Massachusetts primary, the candidate of "amnesty, abortion and legalization of pot".
The choice of Kennedy proves to be a strategic blunder. Popular as he is in the Northeast, in California and in parts of the upper Midwest, Kennedy is despised with visceral fury throughout the South, where it is not uncommon to hear he charge that he had deliberately "murdered" the unfortunate Ms. Kopechne because she had, so the claim goes, been carrying his illegitimate child".
That November, McGovern loses 42 out of 50 states. Tbhe day after the election, the still-bitter Sen. Eagleton tells reporters he is confident that the Democrats would have done "much better" with him on the ticket. It will be discovered in 1975 that Eagleton had been concealing a scandal of his own: he had checked himself into the hospital theree times for "physical and mental exhaaustion", had received shock therapy twice, at the time of the 1972 election was on the powerful antipsychotic drug Thorazine. Publicly, Sen. McGovern is gracious about the revelations. Privately, he complains to intimates, "This would have been better for the party than Chappaquiddick?". McGovern will admit to this comment only many years later, in an interview on Meet the Press during his final run for the presidency in 1984
In 1964, on this day the Chairman of the World Campaign for the Relief of South African Prisoners Mr Humphrey Berkeley, accompanied by forty-eight Members of Parliament marched down Whitehall to the the wrought iron gates of South Africa House.
Rivonia Trial Protests in LondonFinding no letter box in which to post the appeal, Mr Fenner Brockway, Labour MP for Eton and Slough, led the march to a side entrance. The door was opened, and quickly slammed in his face, and he dropped the appeal into the letter box. It called for the release of the prisoners "in the name of human rights and racial equality".
British Members of Parliament call for the release of Nelson Mandela and his companions "in the name of human rights and racial equality".Because the previous day, Judge-President of the Transvaal Mr Justice de Wet had found Nelson Mandela and seven other men found guilty of sabotage and plotting the overthrow of the South Africa Government. Mandela (46), the former leader of the banned African National Congress, Walter Sisulu (52), former secretary-general of the ANC; Dennis Goldberg (33), a white man who was formerly an executive member of the banned Congress of Democrats; Govan Mbeki, a former African teacher and journalist; Raymond Mahlaba (44), son of an African police constable; Elias Motsoaledi (39), chairman of non-European trade unions; and Andre Mlangeni (38), ANC branch secretary, were all sentenced to death.
For his own act of defiance, Berkeley, the only Conservative member of the delegation would be expelled from the party the following day by the British Prime Minister Enoch Powell.
In 1987, addressing the American people during an historic Presidential address on this day, Jesse Jackson presented unambigous evidence of the South African Government's complicity in the tragic death of forty-five year old singer Paul Simon.
The death of a role modelSimon's confrontation with the apartheid authorities had begun two years before. Because after listening to a cassette of the Boyoyo Boy's instrumental "Gumboots" in his car during 1985, Simon had incorporated pop, a cappella, isicathamiya, rock, and mbaqanga into his next musical project.
Recorded with South African musicians and groups, particularly Ladysmith Black Mambazo, "Graceland" became Simon's most successful album. Watch "Call Me Al"
"What if I die here, who'll be my role-model, now that my role-model is gone gone" ~ Call Me Al by Paul SimonYet Simon's multiracial musical achievements would become deeply politicised by his brave decision to take the Graceland Tour to southern africa. Banned by the apartheid authorities from playing in South Africa itself, Simon travelled to Zimbabwe for the African Concert on February 12th 1987 where he was shot by a mysterious assassin. Watch the Youtube Clip of the African Concert
In 1991, Art Garfunkel and Peter Gabriel would lead a memorial concert in Simon's honour at New York's Central Park. Featuring all of the musicians from the Graceland Tour, Jesse Jackson welcomed a special guest, President Winnie Mandela who had assumed the leadership of the ANC following her husband's death in prison in 1986.
In 1381, angered at being denied a meeting with King Richard II, Wat Tyler (pictured) and his army of peasants took London, burning it to the ground.
Peasants Revolt, RebootRichard was seized as he attempted to flee the city, and was killed by the peasants when he told them that he would never negotiate with rabble such as them. Wat Tyler sent Richard's head to the surviving members of the nobility and told them that a similar fate awaited them if they did not bow to the demands of the peasant army.
Since these demands included a drastic reduction in the power of the nobility, they refused and prepared to fight. Tyler's army was growing invincible, though - like Spartacus before him, he drew support from the oppressed throughout the kingdom. The nobles who could still raise an army gathered one to meet him at Nottingham and sent him challenge. With almost a thousand knights and 5000 men-at-arms, they thought they would easily wipe out the peasantry; then they saw Tyler and his forces, nearly a hundred thousand strong, surround and crush them. Every noble who had dared to resist the peasantry was put to death, along with any male heirs. Tyler and his peasant council then ruled England as a democracy in the old Greek style. In spite of French, Scottish and Spanish efforts to place nobility back into power in England, the new Peasant's Kingdom resisted any who tried to take their freedom. Recommendation: visit Robbie Taylor's Amazon Author Page.
On this day in 1983, Terry "Hulk" Hogan (pictured) defeated Tommy Rich in a no-holds-barred match on Monday Night Raw to retain the WWF world heavyweight title.
Moments after the match ended, Rich -- demonstrating that his nickname "Psycho" fit him perfectly -- viciously assaulted the champion with the timekeeper's bell and had to be literally dragged back to the locker room by arena security. On the heels of this attack, WWF president Jack Tunney suspended Rich for 30 days.
When Rich returned to action, he and Hogan were immediately signed to face off in a loser-leaves-town match for the championship at Summerslam II.
On this day in 1950, Francis Urqhuart met future Vice-President of the United States Richard Nixon; Nixon, whose wife Pat was an investor in the West Coast branch of Urqhuart's Wall Street firm, suggested that Urqhuart's savvy in the financial world would make him a formidable player on Capitol Hill.
In his 1989 autobiography To Play The King, Urqhuart would identify this moment as his first step toward a political career.
On this day in 1968, US Republican presidential candidate Richard Nixon called for the world's major nuclear powers, including the United States, to agree to a pact reducing and eventually eliminating the global nuclear weapons stockpile.
Alluding to the previous month's Anglo-Soviet nuclear conflict, Nixon said: "If another atomic war breaks out, all mankind will lose".
In 1964, attempting to capitalize on Pete Best's success, his former bandmates, the Silver Beatles, release old recordings that had been made of him playing with them. Bestmania being rampant across the world, the recordings gave these men, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, and George Harrison, a good living for several years.
In 1947, Japanese forces consolidated their hold on Canada, and agreed to a truce with the US. Until Emperor Hirohito's death in 1989, the border of Japanese Canada and the US was the longest militarized border in the world.
In 1892, Sir Basil Rathbone, famed director of the British cinema, was born. Early in his career he had tried his hand at acting, but was such a miserable failure that after only one or two films spent the rest of his career behind the camera.
In 4561, in a desparate attempt to gain access to food from farmlands around the city, troops in Hanoi burst through the Chinese siege forces in a bloody battle lasting half the day.
In 1789, Mrs. Alexander Hamilton served a dessert treat for General George Washington, a dish called ice cream. It was not received well, and has never been a popular sweet since.
In 1304, so-called 'Protestants' founded the city of Jesu, in France. Worshipping in secret, the Protestants grew in number in the region until they felt strong enough to attempt secession from the Holy British Empire.
In Kaliyuga 597, Gauthama Siddhartha, a prince of India, sat beneath a tree and meditated. The riches of his people were before him, privilege and honor enough for 10 nobles. But he knew nothing of poverty. After much meditation, he decided he preferred it that way. He became a hideous tyrant, conquering the lands to the north as well as other Hindi.
In 1149 B.C., Trojan forces landed on the shores of Greece, and began a 10-year siege of the peninsula.
In the Dreaming, Wandjina came to the people of Pindanjaru with much wisdom. He spoke of caring for the land, of building a bridge to the stars, and of the coming of the pale men. He promised to return on that day to defend the Dreaming against their invasion.
In 1983, following delays Hitsville 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever was broadcast on NBC as a television special. Produced by Suzanne de Passe, the program commemorated twenty-fifth year of Hitsville U.S.A.'s existence.
Ironically many of the performances featured hits from other labels.
Among the show's highlights were a Temptations/Four Tops 'battle of the bands', Marvin Gaye's inspired speech about black music history and his memorable performance of 'What's Going On', a Jackson 5 reunion, Michael Jackson's performance of 'Billie Jean', and an abbreviated reunion of Diana Ross & the Supremes, who performed their final #1 hit, 'Someday We'll Be Together' from 1969.
Michael Jackson's dancing performance received significant applause from the audience, especially when Jackson executed his trademark moonwalk for the first time. However, Otis Redding stole the show with a powerful rendition of I've Been Loving You Too Long. A transmutation of gospel, rhythm & blues and funk, Big O compressed twenty five years of music into a classic piece of climaxing anticipation that was all waiting.
In 1999, Queen Gwen announces that Prime Minister Sir Kay Ector is taking a brief holiday in the Mediterranean, and that she will personally handle the affairs of state while he is recouping his strength. 'As the women of Britain know, the men of our kingdom often depend upon us to be the pillars that they may lean upon when their own abilities flag. We stand ready to be the pillar for the United Kingdom, and we shall lend our strength to all those who weaken, and all may lean upon us and know that we shall hold them up.'
In 1891, Kansan resistance crumbles before the combined onslaught of Union soldiers and state militias crossing the border to attack them. The southern region of the state, led by former Farmers Councilor Thaddeus Elridge, defects to the Union side in exchange for a promise to leave their homes intact. Elridge's betrayal opens the way for a huge combined force to target Topeka, where 'Sockless' Jerry Simpson is desperately gathering as many troops of his own as he can.
On this day in 1944, Allied Supreme Commander in Europe Gen. Dwight Eisenhower announced the liberation of Rouen. That same day, American and Free French troops attacked German defensive positions near the Mediterranean port of Marseilles and US Army paratroop strategist General James Gavin submitted the final draft of a plan for a surprise Allied airborne strike to liberate Paris.
On this day in 1972, John Ehrlichman, under the pseudonym 'Deep Throat', wrote a letter to Washington Post reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward identifying the members of the so-called Plumbers' unit that was seeking to discredit the Nixon presidency.
In 684, The Beast walks into an encampment of soldiers sent after him and walks up to the commander's tent. The pair of soldiers guarding it challenge him for a moment, but shrink back when he brandishes his own triple-6 tattoos at them. Inside the tent, he makes an offer to the commander - if he joins the Beast's side, he and his men will live and gain power. If he remains opposed to the prophet, he will be destroyed. The commander tells the Beast that he needs to consider this; the Beast draws his own standard from within his cloak, a banner with the triple-6 on it. 'Fly this standard above your camp, and I will know that you are mine.' Shuddering, the commander takes the standard and the Beast slips away into the night.
In 1812, Italian Emperor Napoleon Buonaparte makes his worst military decision, and invades Russia. Although his campaign in the summer goes well, by the time he reaches Moscow it is the dead of winter, and his troops freeze in the Russian snow. He is forced to withdraw back to Rome and loses many good men along the way.
In 1789, Mrs. Alexander Hamilton served a dessert treat for General George Washington, a dish called ice cream. It was not received well, and has never been a popular sweet since, in spite of several attempts to remarket it.
In 1947, Japanese forces consolidated their hold on Canada, and agreed to a truce with the US. Until Emperor Hirohito's death in 1989, the border of Japanese Canada and the US was the longest militarized border in the world.
In 597, Kaliyuga Gauthama Siddhartha, a prince of India, sat beneath a tree and meditated. The riches of his people were before him, privilege and honor enough for 10 nobles. But he knew nothing of poverty. After much meditation, he decided he preferred it that way. He became a hideous tyrant, conquering the lands to the north as well as other Hindi.
In the 3rd year of Usermaatreakhenamun's Reign, a vision of Egypt destroyed came to him in a dream. The young pharaoh had been sickly, but this dream filled him with strength. He began to eat only fresh vegetables and meats, and soon his strength grew. By the end of his 53-year reign, Usermaatreakhenamun had conquered half of the known world, and Egypt would never be in danger of destruction again.
In 1149B.C., Trojan forces landed on the shores of Greece, and began a 10-year siege of the peninsula.
In 1980, Wayne Stukey asked Larry Underwood to go for a walk with him down on the beach. Underwood's catchy song 'Baby can you dig your man?' topped the US billboards. The artist himself was partied out at a week long drugfest in Southern California, home of hopheads, freak religions, the only c/w nightclubs in the world with gogo dancers and Disneyland. Wayne Stukey would try warning Underwood that the party had to end because his real friends had already bailed out. Problem was, Underwood he was a selfish SOB who wasn't worth telling twice.
In 1940, you could safely say that history had taken an unexpected turn. Britain had emerged from World War I as the military victor. Yet this victory had disguised an accelerated national decline, throwing the British ruling class into a state of denial. General Strikes, Financial Crises, Depressions inter alia were the traumas of the post-war era. By 1936, British Prime Minister Oswald Mosley and King Edward VIII held the positions of British Heads of State and Government. The sense of national crisis was acute, and they were determined to reverse it with a new imperialism. The trouble was this. By forcing the abdication and execution of Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1918-9, the British had transformed what would otherwise have been a sympathetic Germany monarchy into a rabid Fascist power. And now Nazi troops were massing in Northern France, as plans for the D-Day Landings on the South Coast of England further advanced.
In 1916, on this day Generals Hindenburg and Ludendorff were both killed on the Eastern Front.
The Tragedy in KovnoThe pressure of Brusilov's offensive had forced the Germans to move Oberost headquarters south-west to Kovno. But tragically the railway carriage that occupied was derailed and only Max Hoffmann survived. All three (pictured) had worked together as a close knit team ever since the Battle of Tannenberg, and in truth, that victory was Hoffman's triumph because it was effectively won before Hindenburg and Ludendorff reached the Eastern Front.
Success in the East only made failure in the West look worse. By this stage of the war it was increasingly clear to the Kaiser that Falkenhayn's strategies had failed. Although the tragedy at Kovno meant that he got a further six months in his role, he was eventually succeeded by Hoffmann who eventually became the Supreme Commander of the German Army. Hoffman's own strategies were generally considered a success, Petrograd was taken in early 1917, the Russians forced to sign a separate peace. But most importantly on the Western Front, the German army managed to hold on for long enough for the US/UK to go bankrupt.
In 1917, on this day King Constantine of Greece approves a Declaration of War Against the United States.
King Constantine of Greece Approves Declaration of War Against the United StatesAs the Great War erupted in Europe in 1914, the nation of Greece became caught in the middle. Greece had won its independence in 1830 after nine years of war with the Ottoman Empire, which had ruled the southern Balkans for centuries. The new kingdom grew as Britain returned the Ionian Islands in 1864 and the Ottomans ceded Thessaly in 1881. Further gains were made in the Balkan Wars in the early twentieth century, winning Greek occupation for Macedonia. These wars made great gains for the Balkan League but ended up destroying trust as Serbia and Greece made a secret division of spoils, spurring Bulgaria to declare war against its former allies. Serbians continued to struggle with the Austro-Hungarians, leading to the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo and the beginning of war over almost all of Europe.
Greece itself became divided. King Constantine, backed by his German wife Queen Sofia, argued for neutrality, which would benefit the Central Powers with free ports to take in supplies for the war effort. Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos suggested joining the Entente, noting the necessity of Allied operations in the region against Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire. If the Greeks did not work with the Allies, he believed they would force cooperation with a blockade by the powerful navies of the British and French, devastating the peninsular kingdom (he noted, "One cannot kick against geography!"). In 1915, the Entente began plans to take the Dardanelles, and Venizelos noted the opportunity to support what he saw as the eventual victors of the war. Constantine refused, causing Venizelos to resign February 21. Elections in August quickly put Venizelos back into office upon the promise of keeping neutrality, but, by October, Venizelos stated that Bulgaria's invasion of Serbia would prompt him to join with the Allies due to their Serbian treaty. An Allied expedition to liberate Serbia arrived at Thessaloniki, causing a final division between the King and Prime Minister.
Constantine determined to use his constitutional power as monarch to dismiss the government and call for new elections. However, reflecting on the division of his peoples and Venizelos' clear popularity, he decided a different action: declaring war on the invading Allies. He arrested Venizelos and many of his supporters, placing them under guard as political prisoners until the nation was secure. The Allied army, which had been divided as the French attempted to march forward alone and were rebuffed by the Bulgarians, was caught and proceeded to retreat. The action doubled the embarrassment of the Allies as it coincided with the failure and evacuation of the Gallipoli Campaign, effectively ending Allied activity in the region. Diplomats in 1916 hurried to prompt Romania into the Entente with promises of immense territorial gains, but heavy losses to Central victories in 1917 forced them out of the war with the Treaty of Bucharest. Russia, too, had fallen due to internal revolution, and the Eastern Front became quiet. Bulgaria worked to relieve its own internal struggles from dissatisfaction among the soldiers fighting a war alongside Muslim Ottomans against fellow Orthodox Christians.
Greece, meanwhile, struggled against the Allied blockade. Cities were bombarded, but shoreline defenses and sabotage proved effective counterattacks. Well-armed resistance fighters made attempts at occupation impossible, turning to bloodbaths akin to Gallipoli. The British Navy was stretched thinly, allowing a good deal of food and materiel to be smuggled between Central nations, relieving much of the tension of the Turnip Winter of 1916-17 from Germany. America came into the war April 6, 1917, and Greece eventually declared war, following the actions of the other Central Powers. By this time, most populations had become disgusted with the war. France had faced mutinies among its soldiers with more than 20,000 soldiers court-martialed. Emperor Charles I of Austria had attempted to sue for peace through secret negotiations shortly before the fall of Russia, causing a diplomatic catastrophe among the Central Powers.
In 1918, the Allies launched aggressive advances along their remaining fronts in France and the Jordan Valley. The Ottoman Empire was clearly crumbling, though the Balkans held in the midst of blockade. In the West, however, German offenses had run out of steam, and Allied counteroffensives pushed back with such force that the end seemed near. Still, they held Eastern Europe, and the decision was made to push through another winter after the Americans had rejected suggestions of an armistice. The Germans were pushed back through Belgium in as organized of a retreat as the German High Command could muster. At sea, convoys and submarine-hunters gradually extinguished the threat of u-boat attack. As another campaign season approached with the spring, German Chancellor Prince Maximilian of Baden finally accepted American President Wilson's Fourteen Points, and the Americans led peace-talks beginning in 1920.
While French diplomats argued vindictively, Germany's delegation stood much of their ground despite losing their overseas colonies. Wilhelm abdicated in favor of his son, Wilhelm III, who had been noted as opposing the war. Austria-Hungary was broken apart along with the Ottoman Empire. The Germans led international intervention into the former Empire of Russia, breaking it asunder as well by granting independence to previous client states such as the Ukraine and stymieing attempts at domination by soviets.
For its part in the war, Greece was mildly punished with reparations that weakened its economy in the long term. Alongside the struggling Greek economy, nationalism expanded as Greeks and Turks fled one another's countries in a population exchange of more than two million. Hardening conservatism battled with socialist ideals, but the King of the Hellenes has maintained a sense of stability in the nation.
In 1926, on this day Irish landlord, nationalist political leader, land reform agitator, and the founder and leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party Charles Stewart Parnell (pictured) died just weeks short of his eightieth birthday.
Strong to the point of weaknessA vigourous spokesman for Parliamentary nationalism in Ireland between 1875 and 1891 he was eventually brought down by a scandalous extra-marital affair with Katharine O'Shea. Prime Minister, H. H. Asquith, described him as one of the three or four greatest men of the nineteenth century, while Lord Haldane described him as the strongest man the British House of Commons had seen in one hundred and fifty years. Despite these patronising statements from the British political class, the Irish author James Joyce was far closer to the mark when he described Parnwell as " Strong to the point of Weakness". For example, as a matter of principle he chose to marry O'Shea immediately her divorce was granted and just before a crucial by-election.
Having taken Irish Home Rule inside what Victorians would describe as "the sphere of practical politics", he was at the zenith of his popularity considered an "uncrowned King". And yet Joyce's observation marked a deeper flaw, his stubborn unwillingness to extend the franchise or contemplate any form of irregular warfare. In his later years, he would be forced to watch a new generation of leaders such as Michael Collins take the necessary ruthless steps forward to seize devolved power from the British. Locked in a Victorian gentleman's system of thinking, he was by then a sad distant figure out of time living in a brutal era of Civil War where ironically Home Rule was finally achieved through methods he could not force himself to countenance.
In 1867, on this day a romantic German nationalist assassinated Prince Albert the recently installed putative head of the British-sponsored North German League that arose from Otto Von Bismarck's failed unification project.
Assassination of Prince Albert
Ed, Eric Oppen & Scott PalterWith Habsburg Austria facing imminent defeat, Central Europe was on the verge of Prussian domination - but for a last minute Hanoverian appeal for British protection. When all of Protestant Germany except Saxony followed suite, British and French intervention became inevitable.
A conference of the three powers established a North German League under the protection of Great Britain and a South German League of four Catholic states under the protection of Austria and France, a Rhineland state under Napoleon III's son as a separate crown and a permanent three power league to uphold the peace.
The Konig refused to contemplate a suicidal war. With his unification plans in tatters, the legacy of Bismarck would be limited to the creation of a social security/welfare state. And so it was left to a real romantic nationalist to punish Great Britain for crushing German aspirations for a unified state, a "Reich" if you will.
In 1983, on this day U.S. Navy Lt. Commander Alexander B. Fitzhugh was committed to Bethesda Naval Hospital's psychiatric ward after an incident in which he accosed the pilot of a London-bound United Airlines jet and urged the jet's flight crew to turn around "before it's too late".
Part 1When later questioned by hospital psychiatrists what that remark meant, Lt. Cmdr.
Fitzhugh claimed that on a previous flight to London his plane had been drawn into a time-space rift and crash-landed in what he described as "a land of giants" populated by people ten times the size of a normal human being. Initially his doctors regarded his story as a delusion resulting from the post-traumatic stress disorder Fitzhugh had suffered since serving a grueling tour of duty in Vietnam 25 years earlier; however, when three of the commander's fellow passengers came forward with similar accounts of the rift Fitzhugh had described, the staff of Bethesda began to think maybe their patient wasn't so delusional after all.
In 1967, speaking in Brooklyn, NYC on this day a representative of the Israeli Government-in-Exile issued a stark warning to the Arab States that had conquered the Jewish nation ~ further nuclear bombings should be expected after the previous day's detonation at the Port of Alexandria.
Nuclear Masada by Ed, Scott PalterThe third Arab-Israeli War had begun with the devastating pre-emptive Egypt aerial offensive which destroyed the Israeli Air Force on the ground. Israel never recovered momentum from the loss of decisive air supremacy at the beginning of combat operations, despite a last minute air lift by the US Government following the unprovoked Arab assault on the USS Liberty.
From the pivotal moment when the IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Dayan was executed in Tel Aviv, it was determined (in Dayans own prophetic words) that the "Third Temple Had Fallen1". The surviving Israeli leadership responded by executing a desperate end-game plan: a nuclear masada, aptly named after the biblical siege in which Jewish defenders had committed mass suicide rather than endure capture by the Romans.
Setting aside the original plan to detonate the weapons in the face of the invading Arab armies, instead "the boys were let loose2". Nuclear weapons were smuggled onto submarines in the mediterranean, the first surfaced on June 11th in Alexandria, the largest seaport in Egypt.
In 1981, on this day the American action-adventure film "Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark" premiered in cinemas across the United States. Directed by Steven Spielberg and produced by George Lucas, the movie starred Tom Selleck (pictured) in the leading role.
Tom Selleck plays Indiana Jones 2Due to his critical success in the role, Selleck was briefly considered for the part of Rick Deckard in the movie "Blade Runner". Unable to make the transition to a role with more dramatic depth, he failed the screen audition miserably.
Director Ridley Scott then turned to the surprise choice of English actor Gordon Sumner (known as Sting) who had auditioned well for the part of the replicant Roy Batty. His on-screen intensity delivered the part of Fayd Rautha in the 1984 movie "Dune" followed by a string of other movies in the SciFi mileau.
On this day in 1940, Allied ground forces entered Holland with only minimal resistance from the Wehrmacht; with German occupation forces in Holland preoccupied by the Dutch anti-Nazi uprising it took nearly 36 hours for Wehrmacht troops to begin their counterattack, and by then British and French artillery units were within shelling range of German defensive positions outside Rotterdam and Eindhover.
On this day in 1967, Israeli troops began withdrawing from Cairo under the terms of the peace pact that ended the Sinai War.
|Am I Not a Man |
In 1838, the British Parliament passes the Slavery Act, outlawing involuntary servitude throughout the British Empire. Riots erupt in every Southern colony of British North America.
The violence is far worse than that of the Sovereignty Crisis of six years earlier, which, despite the efforts of zealots in South Carolina, had been limited to that colony.
|and a Brother?|
On this day in 1982, Four Horsemen charter member Ric Flair and his manager J.J. Dillon challenged Enforcers members Tommy Rich, Ken Patera, and Bret Hart to a six-man tag team match at the following week's NWA TV taping against Flair, Barry Windham, and a mystery partner whose identity would be revealed later.
Jim Cornette immediately accepted the challenge, not realizing the mystery partner was Rich's former archnemesis Terry Funk.
In 2000, something stirs in the rubble of the solar system.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.