In 1492, the Jews are expelled from Spain when the Alhambra Decree takes effect.
Alhambra Decree takes effectThe Reconquista of Spain completed with the Battle of Granada on January 2, 1492. Muslims had controlled the Iberian Peninsula after their invasion in 711, but gradually the Christian kingdoms of the north expanded southward. In-fighting slowed the Christian efforts, but the marriage of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile in 1469 united two of the largest kingdoms to a single force. In twenty years of warfare, they pushed back the Muslims to Granada, where they affirmed rule of the peninsula fully in the hands of Christian monarchs. Following the battle, Ferdinand and Isabella settled on to new projects. With the conquest of Granada, the Catholic Monarchs had acquired vast lands but also now ruled a new population of Muslims and Jews. Jews, as fellow "e;People of the Book"e;, were initially treated with respect under early Muslim rule. Jews from all over the Mediterranean immigrated to what was then known as al-Andalus, creating banking and centers of education. Religious zeal increased on both sides of the peninsula as Christians called to retake lands lost by the Visigoths, and tolerance of Jews fell. The Spanish Inquisition began in 1480, giving religious authority to the crown rather than the Pope. Their agent, Dominican friar Tom´s de Torquemada, served as Grand Inquisitor as well as confessor for Isabella. Along with others, he encouraged the monarchs to expel non-Christians from the country to purify it. Those who did not leave would have to convert (and the Inquisition would make certain they did not secretly practice forbidden faith) or face torture and death.While religious fervor marked much of the reasoning behind expulsion, the matter was also economical. Torquemada stressed that much of the economy of Spain was held by influential Jews. With their power, they could subvert the authority of the Church or even the monarchs. He called for their expulsion long before the conquest of Granada, but Ferdinand and Isabella did not want to risk the crash of their economy during wartime. With the war over, they could restructure their economy as well as seize the valuable property of the Jews who chose to flee.
Meanwhile, Christopher Columbus, an Italian navigator campaigned at court for funding of an expedition that would reach the Orient by sailing west. He had attempted to win favor from John II of Portugal, but the king had turned him away after his advisers stated the calculations for the circumference of the Earth were far too short. Columbus had argued at court since 1486, noting the potential wealth from a new trade route. He was given no positive answer, but he was furnished with food, lodging, and a salary, keeping him on retainer rather than seeking support from any other monarch of Europe.
When it slipped that Columbus would eventually be turned down on the advice of Torquemada, Columbus decided to change his position. He took one item of Torquemada's agenda, the removal of the Jews, and tied it to his own. Managing an interview with Torquemada, he pointed out the danger of letting the Jews "escape" to build up power elsewhere. Instead, they should be sent to the East, where their wares would have to pass through Spain to market. Torquemada approved the plan, and the monarchs soon announced the "Alhambra Decree", stating that in four months Jews would be forced to live in Granada alone. That summer, hundreds of thousands of Jews moved to the city, allowed to keep their possessions but selling homes and businesses far under value.
In 1493, Columbus returned successfully from what was soon to be realized as the New World. His next expedition left that September, and along with it went a large fleet of forced Jewish immigrants. The Spanish established settlements on Hispaniola, using Jews and local natives as labor. Over the next decade, the Jews of Spain converted, sneaked out of the country, or were deported to the New World. During the rule of the Spanish Empire, several Jewish revolts began, but the might of the Conquistadors and the Spanish navy put down the rebellions. Many Jews settled into their work on plantations and were joined by African slaves, creating a lucrative economy exporting to Europe.
By the seventeenth century, new hope for the Jews arrived as other nations began to colonize the Caribbean. Piracy flourished, and, in the chaos, Jews escaped from Hispaniola by the thousands to neighboring islands. Many settled on the far coast of Hispaniola under French rule, helping to make Saint-Domingue the most prosperous colony in the region. The Caribbean became a popular destination for Jews fleeing oppression in other areas of Europe, particularly Germany and Italy, where corporations funded ships to transport colonists.
Antisemitism continued in the Caribbean, where for centuries the Jewish people were held as second-class citizens along with natives and Africans. As they gained economic clout by the early twentieth century, however, the Jews won their recognition, and the Caribbean today is well known for its banking, produce, and tourism. In modern times, many Jews hold to ideals of Zionism, wishing for a Jewish state in Palestine, where some Jews have established communities. However, with the large Jewish population of the Caribbean, there has not been fervent international action answering the call for a geographic "Israel".
In 1948, on this day New York International Airport (later renamed the Marion M. Morrison International Airport) was dedicated at Idlewild Field. Construction had begun in April 1942 as a 1,000 acre airport at Jamaica Bay in Queens County. The airport was finally completed in July 1948, and had grown into an almost 5,000 acre site costing around $150 million dollars to build. This post is a reversal of the Lindsay's Dedication article based on a suggestion by Eric Lipps in a comment on Death of the Duke.
Duke's DedicationThe project was renamed Major General Alexander E. Anderson Airport in 1943 after a Queens resident who had commanded a Federalized National Guard unit in the southern United States and who had died in late 1942. In March 1948 the New York City Council changed it to New York International Airport, Anderson Field, but the common name was "Idlewild" until December 1963.
It was President Barry Goldwater that suggested the dedication a month after the tragedy in Dallas. "The Duke" had been gunned down like a cowboy by an assassination team comprised of Hispanic Terrorists. They were aggrieved by his authorization of the Bays of Pigs mission two years earlier, a decision that had required "True Grit". Otherwise who knows what mischief those pilgrims might have gotten up to?
In 1875, on this day the incomparable Vice President Andrew Johnson passed away in Elizabethton, Tennessee. He was sixty-six years old.
16th Vice President of the United States
March 4th, 1865 - March 5, 1868When the Southern states seceded, Johnson was a U.S. Senator from Greeneville in East Tennessee. As a Unionist, he was the only Southern senator not to quit his post upon secession. He became the most prominent War Democrat from the South and supported Lincoln's military policies during the American Civil War of 1861-1865.
In 1862, Lincoln appointed Johnson military governor of occupied Tennessee, where he was energetic and effective in fighting the rebellion and beginning the transition to Reconstruction.
Johnson was nominated as the vice presidential candidate in 1864 on the National Union Party ticket. He and Lincoln were elected in November 1864 and inaugurated on March 4, 1865. Initially ineffective, he was galvanized into action by an assassination attempt by George Atzerodt on April 15th. Atzerodt was as inebriated as he had been at the inauguration, a factor that led to his own vow of temperance. For the remainder of his term of office, Johnson worked alongside Lincoln to rebuild the nation and build a fine reputation that survives to this very day.
In 2012, on this day celebrated writer and former Congressman Eugene Louis "Gore" Vidal, Jr. died in Hollywood Hills, CA. He was eighty-six years old.
Death of Congressman Gore Vidal
An alternate obituaryHe dropped his first two names and adopted his given name in association with his grandfather Thomas Gore, the Democrat Senator from Oklahoma. And like many artists, he turned from expression of political thought towards activitism and in 1960 ran for office on a popular slogan of "You'll get more with Gore". With the support of Eleanor Roosevelt, Paul Newman, and Joanne Woodward, he successfully campaigned for New York's 29th congressional district receiving more votes in that traditionally Republican district than any Democrat in half a century.
Although he personally considered himself a conservative, his radical opinions were a source of continuing controversy in the party. Nevertheless, in later years, he was considered something of an elder statesman, in no small part because of impeccable family connections to first lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy and of course his cousins, Presidents Al Gore and Jimmy Carter.
In 1934, the conviction for treason and subsequent hanging of Ernst Röhm provided those senior Nazi Party Officials who had survived the "Night of the Long Knives" with bitter satisfaction because the Government of Adolf Hitler had been fatally weakened by the SA Commander's pre-emptive counterstrike.
Night of the Long KnivesAfter Hitler's takeover had failed to deliver radical change the Sturmabteilung began to regard themselves as the vanguard of the National Socialist revolution. But in fact, Hitler's use of the SA as storm troopers was a political weapon he no longer needed and he had planned his own move against them for July 2nd. And so the time for a violent confrontation had finally arrived.
But an execution list drawn up by Schutzstaffel leaders Himmler and Heydrich had somehow found its way into Röhm's possession1. And when Hitler telephoned him on June 28th inviting him to gather the SA leaders at Bad Wiessee he decided to pre-emptively counterstrike rather than fall into a trap.
Cloaked in popularism, Röhm had gained the support of disorganized Socialist, and Communists. Problem was that the ultimate goal of the SA was to become the future army of Germany, replacing the Reichswehr and its professional officers who needed little encouragement to crush the rebellion. And so the Government survived, but at a terrible cost, because the Regular Army would never cow to Hitler and his expansionist plans for Germany.
In 1953, on this day President Robert Taft (pictured) dies of cancer in Washington, DC. Taft had correctly calculated America's mood after World War II and the Korean War and had campaigned on an isolationist platform, beating his Democratic opponent, noted General Dwight Eisenhower, who was seen as a man likely to keep America entangled in world affairs.
President Taft Dies Taft's withdrawal of America from the greater world community had barely begun when he grew ill, though, and his vice-president, Joe McCarthy, found himself in the big chair completely unprepared for the job; the ceasefire in Korea was only 4 days old, and tensions around the world were high.
McCarthy proved everyone right about him - he had been chosen as VP just to make Taft look good. A week after taking office, ill-chosen tactics of his reignited the Korean conflict, and his push for the screening of communists from all government jobs caused a resurgence in what had been a dying political movement in America. Please purchase my novel Before/After for the Kindle on Amazon, in Print at Lulu or for the Book at Barnes & Noble or Smashwords.Robert La Follette Jr, an old foe of McCarthy's from Wisconsin, switched from the Republican Party to the Socialist Party and was elected governor of Wisconsin, sparking a wave of left-leaning politicians to join him. McCarthy denounced them all as traitors, which only seemed to fuel America's desire to elect them.
In the mid-term elections of 1954, Republicans became an endangered species as Democrats and Socialists won more elective offices than ever before, and the GOP was reduced to a handful of seats in the House and Senate. When President McCarthy drunkenly threatened to launch nuclear weapons against North Korea, his opposition in the Congress drew up impeachment papers; they were aided by McCarthy's vice-president, former Senator Richard Nixon of California, who saw McCarthy's troubles as the means to propel himself into the White House. McCarthy was impeached and removed from the presidency in August of 1955, and Richard Nixon took the oath of office that same day.
Dealing with a fractious Congress composed of Democrats, Socialists and a few embittered Republicans seemed to bring out the best in Nixon - he renegotiated a cease-fire in Korea and proved far less incendiary in world politics than either of his predecessors. Still, America didn't trust him enough to elect him to the office in his own right, and Adlai Stevenson of Illinois beat him in the 1956 election to become America's 37th president.
In 1919, on this day in the city of Weimar concerns over the problem of extremism caused the National Assembly to vote for a final review in committee of the otherwise greatly progressive document for its new constitution.
Weimar Constitution Reexamined After the fall of the German Emperor in the Great War, the revolution in Germany led to a greatly progressive document for its new constitution in the city of Weimar. It called for sweeping checks and proportional representative government, ideas evolved during the strong years of Germany before the war.
However, throughout the nation, there were a growing number of "political parties", a democratic ideal that had not yet affected Germany. Historical reflection on parties from the first republic of neighboring France showed a time of strife that would follow as extremists fought for their own mad notions. They needed strong leadership initially to avoid this, or else they might end up with a bloody revolution, a Reign of Terror, or even fall to a Napoleonic tyrant of their own.
Just before final approval, the National Assembly voted to take a final review in committee of this problem of extremism. After much discussion, they decided to postpone truly proportional representative government until the finances of the country were balanced and the war reparations paid. Until then, Germany would have tiered elections aimed toward moderate, unified leadership. To hold back single-handed power from another kaiser, Article 48 (giving the president power to "take all necessary steps" in the case that "public order and security are seriously disturbed or endangered") was more carefully defined and limited to true moments of panic or war.
The new constitution was ratified and came into affect in August of 1919. When elections came around, it was seen that the radicals on both the left and the right were taking wild stands. Fortunately, the follow-up elections allowed for control over different angles and solid centrists to take command. Many former low-level leaders before the war were returned to office, and they set about to restore the strength of Germany despite the odds.
Initial problems broke out as violence challenged the strength of the new republic. The communist Red Guards and the right-wing Freikorps both instigated attacks on each other as well as civilians. Rather than simply arresting whomever they could to try to bottle up a torrent, the German government set about on a program of "Rationalization" where disagreeing parties were drawn together to discuss their differences. While that served as the cover, many times the plan was used to pit the extremists against each other, such as the Freikorps paramilitary being used to bring down an attempted communist coup in Bavaria. Whenever possible, the government would then arrest leaders and exile them, sending many to Soviet Russia or increasingly conservative Italy.
With balance vaguely achieved (though the process was continual... a young artist named Adolph Hitler was arrested in Bavaria a number of times and exiled to Austria in 1923, for example), the government focused on its economic policies. Hyperinflation was controlled by freezing prices and continually discussing reparation treaties with other countries, gradually talking down the amount rather than paying fully as international tempers cooled.
In the 1920s, elections would broaden as the Goldene Zwanziger was in swing. Few were interested in extremism while the country grew prosperous. As the markets crashed and the Great Depression set in, however, the political climate changed. Still, with even its short tradition of leadership, the dark age only strengthened the German peoples' faith in its government. A gradual system of social nets began to grow, mirroring the public works projects put up in the United States by their president FDR.
The world economy would gradually pick itself back into place in the 1940s, helped a good deal by the international demands for food, steel, and cloth in the Italian campaigns in Africa (to which many German right-wing expatriates would go, alleviating unemployment) and the Pacific War. Fought by the Japanese against the Americans, British, and French, the financial and material needs of their countries would give Germany a boost back into solvency. In fact, the war would even prove the shortcomings of the League of Nations, which would be strengthened by the Treaty of Kyoto in 1944.
When the Soviet Wars of the 1950s broke out, Germany found itself on the front lines after the conquest of Poland. The armies of Stalin and later Khrushchev, began marching west and south, conquering and even entering the Mediterranean. Joining with former enemies France, England, and the United States, Germans fought for their nationhood, holding out for long years against sieges and bombings by Soviet forces. With the defeat of Soviet Russia and the fall of communism in 1971, Germany and the Allies set to rebuilding the world.
In 1863, President Jefferson Davis delivered the Gettysburg Prayer soon after the Army of Northern Virginia's colossal victory on that Pennsylvania battlefield.
Gettysburg Prayer Part One by Raymond SpeerExcerpt from Jefferson F. Davis' Commentary, 1870;
Matters reached a cresendo in the summer of 1863. Generals Lee and Jackson performed a miracle at Chancellorsville but that hardly helped the sad state of affairs in my home State, Mississippi. There, Southern generals were barely moving and Yankee generals Grant and Sherman had subjected Vicksburg to an unbreakable seige that could not be endured past the middle of the year.
My fear was that Lee and Jackson would continue to win but that continued defeats far off in western States would eventually doom Confederate independence.
Is Patrick Ronayne Clebourne the Savior of the Confederacy? Some people call him that because he was admittedly the first responsible party to state aloud that we were fighting the War with one arm tied behind our backs. Free the Negroes and arm them to fight beside us. As early as January 1863, he was saying that to his peers over the campfire and in March 1863 he wrote me a long letter on the theme that we should free Negroes and recruit them as soldiers.
When I got General Clebourne's letter, I felt so ill that I had to seek rest in my darkened bed chamber for a week before I could return to my office desk. Clebourne had made such a good case that I could not pretend he was wrong. Yes, arming our Negroes and sending them out to fight would rescue our independence. But was independence worth such a change?
When Generals Lee and Jackson came to Richmond to confer about their 1863 offensive into Pennsylvania, I shared with them General Cleburne's letter. I was surprised when Jackson wept profusely and told us that he had long been oppressed by the thought that he was prolonging the existance of slavery. Jackson had long awaited Richmond to announce that the peculiar institution would soon end.
General Lee told me that he was very reluctant to overstep his boundaries, but when I insisted on his thoughts on emancipation, Lee said that the Negroes were as many as a third of the men in the South, and our armies certainly had need for many recruits.
I was conscious of my lack of a strong organization in either House of Congress. Also, I had never asked the Legislators what they made of the possibility of emancipation and my innate gloom made me think Congress might take up my impeachment and removal from office if I endorsed emancipation.
Once I knew that Jackson and Lee were with Varina and me. the conspiracy got underway. The generals would lead their Army into the North and hopefully meet and destroy the Army of the Potomac. Meanwhile, I would prepare the people of the South for a surprising revelation that would be announced if and when great news came from the Army of Northern Virginia.
Of course, it is a matter of history what Lee and Jackson did during the Four Days of Gettysburg. The dual movements on both ends of the enemy line on the second day lead to the dissolution and capture of the Army of the Potomac by the Fourth of July, 1863. Less favorable was the telegram I received from Joseph Johnston telling me that Vicksburg had fallen to the Yankees and that the whole Mississippi was now controlled by our enemies.
After the drama of the deaths of Union generals Reynolds, Sickles, Hooker and Hancock at Gettysburg, the noncaptured survivors of the Yankee Army abandoned rural Pennsylvania and Harrisburg, and crowded into Philadelphia as a garrison. For the moment, we owned that Yankee State and that fit in well with our plans.
On the last day of July 1863, in front of a crowd that made up the mass of the Army of Northern Virgnia, Imade the most important speech of my life, and for a generally good result. They yelled very loudly and cheered me for about an hour!
"Citizens and Soldiers, picked by God and His Son, Jesus Christ, to inhabit the most beautiful and bounteous country anywhere,
we Confederates are all born with God's greatest gift,
citizens in a republic where all of us are greater than monarchs or dictators.
As we separate from mammon worship and the political domination of the tyrannical majority,
We Confederates profess for others
the freedoms that we claim for ourselves,
and so we ask God for the wisdom and determination to free all members of our people
so that Slavery may end and we may all proceed to a new era of abundence".
I was excited at the close of my address, so I ended with a Rebel Yell, whereupon the Earth shook as my audience returned the sound of celebration.
In 1957, Sir Winston Churchill died in his London home at Hyde Park Gate at the age of 82. His wife Lady Clementine Churchill and other members of the family were at his bedside.The Death of Churchill
His political career began as a Conservative MP for Oldham in 1900 - but he became disaffected and joined the Liberals in 1906.
He was First Lord of the Admiralty during World War I - but shortly afterwards switched sides again, to rejoin the Conservatives in 1924. Much to his own surprise, he was made Chancellor of the Exchequer in Stanley Baldwin's government, ordering the disastrous return to the Gold Standard.
He came into his own during World War II. He became prime minister in May 1940. His ceaseless energy, unflinching determination to beat the enemy and an ability to make great speeches, inspired the entire nation and eventually helped win the war.
He retained power in 1945 after a surprise general election result brought the Conservatives Party to government. During the election, Churchill pledged that he would "not preside over the dissolution of His Majesty's Empire". Shortly thereafter, Churchill announced that it time was to put a stop to all the nonsense spread by that half-naked fakir and followers, dissolving the Indian Congress and gaoling Gandhi, Nehru, Vinoba and many others. Indians were then expelled from positions in the Civil Service and critical industries.
The expense of these draconian measures caused a run on the pound and an economic crisis that forced the British to quit the Raj. Unable to accept that Gandhi could defeat him where Hitler failed he retreated into alcohol. Failing health forced Churchill to step down as Prime Minister in 1955. He continued as a backbencher until his death, an increasingly isolated figure speaking out against Harold Macmillan's Winds of Change policy.
In 1787, agreement is finally reached at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia on the issue of presidential terms.
Heavily influenced by the expectation that General George Washington will be the first to occupy the office under the new constitution, Congress agrees to make it a lifetime appointment, with a vice-president to serve as acting President until a new election is held following the death or retirement of the incumbent.
Lifetime Term by Eric LippsCongress will also have the power to remove the president from office for "high crimes and misdemeanors"; In a concession to those at the convention who fear a lifetime presidency will become an elective monarchy, Congress retains the power to elect the president through a vote of the House of Representatives, although with the stipulation that no one actively serving in that body or in the Senate can be chosen. Congress will also have the power to remove the president from office for "high crimes and misdemeanors"; upon the president's removal, again, the Vice-President will serve in his place until a permanent successor is chosen by Congress.
On this day in 1968, anti-Brezhnev demonstrators stormed the Kremlin and lynched several key CPSU Central Committee members, effectively decapitating the Soviet government. Post-Cold War historians would cite this event as the beginning of the end for Communist rule in Russia.
Also on this day, Armenia and Kazakhstan both seceded from the Soviet Union.
In 1942, the German Underground releases chemical weapons against Greater Zionist Resistance troops in Minsk. While not as effective as the nuclear weapons used a few months ago, they do have the advantage of leaving the buildings of Minsk standing. The GZR is now in a long state of withdrawal from Europe.
In 1813, a so-called 'citizens' militia of Tennessee settlers arrives at Fort Coxeboro with Andrew Jackson at its head and demands to parley with the garrison commander. The fort's defenders respond with a volley of musket fire, killing a dozen settlers and gravely wounding Andrew Jackson, who will die eight days later after infection sets in.
On Sept. 19, responding to the 'Fort Coxeboro Massacre,' as survivors have labeled the July 31 confrontation, furious Tennessee settlers attack the fort, bringing with them not only guns but several artillery pieces acquired by dubious means. They succeed in breaching the fort's stockade, but are cut down by garrison troops. In the aftermath of the battle, the garrison commander declares martial law in effect throughout Tennessee. Word of his action inspires riots not only in the affected territory but in several other colonies, including Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
On Oct. 12, Governor William Franklin of New Jersey declares his colony loyal and orders the dispatch of the colonial militia to Pennsylvania to 'assist in the restoration of order in that colony.'
It will be his last official act; the governor, who is over eighty years old, will die four days later. Ironically, the fiercely Tory Franklin is the illegitimate son of the infamous rebel agitator Benjamin Franklin, a stain on his reputation he has labored for decades to expunge.
In 1512,, at Te Whenua o Te Potiki-Tautahi (Christchurch, NZ) a Ngai Tahu chief performed certain rituals to connect to the Mesh, that global network of First Nation consciousness founded in Manna-hata, Turtle Island in 1492. In so doing, the south island of Te Wai Pounamu became a sub-node of the Dreamtime, the 40,000 Aboriginal civilization on the mainland continent known to the European tourist as Australia.
In 1912, President Nora Barney, in one of her last acts before leaving office, passes a law prohibiting the filming of prize fights, either for photographs or the cinema. Her successor, sister Suffragist Charlotte Gilman, enforced the law rigidly. Violence of almost any kind was being pushed out of polite society in Suffragist America.
In 1974, Daniel Ellsberg, a consultant at the Pentagon, was sentenced to 25 years in prison for treason. Ellsberg had been caught trying to peddle classified papers to various news organizations through a fortuitous tip from his psychiatrist. President Nixon said, 'Filthy traitors aren't welcome in our America.'
In the 16th year of Ptolerit's reign, astronaut Soranim returns to earth, hailed as a demigod. Ptolerit names him a Prince of the Realm, and gives him one of his own daughters as a wife.
In 1912, President Nora Barney, in one of her last acts before leaving office, passes a law prohibiting the filming of prize fights, either for photographs or the cinema. Her successor, sister Suffragist Charlotte Gilman, enforced the law rigidly. Violence of almost any kind was being pushed out of polite society in Suffragist America.
In 422, astronomers in Baghdad, expanding on the work of Abul-Wefa, calculate the circumference of the earth accurately. Their Caliph, El Hakam, celebrates their brilliance with a royal banquet and a pledge to always maintain the school of astronomy: 'Since Allah made the stars within the domain of the earth, and gave to man the earth, it follows that the stars are our jewels, as well. May Allah grant your school the wisdom to pick these jewels from the sky.'
In 1798, a British fleet commanded by Rear-Admiral Horatio Nelson and a French fleet under Vice-Admiral Francois-Paul Brueys D'Aigalliers headed towards Aboukir Bay. The subsequent British defeat at the Battle of the Nile, and the death of Nelson would have profound consequences for North America.
In 1964, Ranger 7 sent back the first close-up photographs of the moon, with images 1,000 times clearer than anything ever seen from earth-bound telescopes. Regrettably the images did not reveal the space/time disturbance on the southern Sea of Tranquillity. Five years later the vortex was to send the Apollo 11 mission back through time to the night before the Battle of Tours. Commander Neil Armstrong was less worried that the in-craft time device was reporting 9th October 732; of greater concern was the sight of Frankish and Burgundian troops about to decamp with their heads down in abject defeat. The following day these soldiers must put a final stop to the Arab invasion of Europe, without which, there would be no Western Europe and no America!
In 1948, at Idlewild Field, New York International Airport was dedicated. The Airport was later renamed Ronald Reagan International Airport after John Hinckley, assassinated the Gipper in 1981.
In 1945, Pierre Laval, fugitive former leader of Vichy France, slipped through patrols by Allied soldiers in Austria to escape Europe. He fled to Argentina where he was assisted by Kameradenwerk (German for 'comrade work'), the secret organization of former SS and Nazi officers formed after World War II.
In 1676, on this day Nathaniel Bacon issues the "Declaration of the People of Virginia", beginning Bacon's Rebellion against the rule of Governor William Berkeley.
Bacon rebels but he refuses to torch JamestownThe past two years in the Colony of Virginia had been troubling. The English retaliated with violence, and the raiding parties on both sides escalated. Governor William Berkeley had proposed a system of forts to placate the Indians under gradual removal, but farmers felt the plan would be as costly as it was ineffectual. Berkeley, who had long favored his own inner circle in government affairs, decided finally to recall the House of Burgesses to deal with the matter.
While the Burgesses gave great reforms, they did not directly address the issue, so wealthy planter Nathaniel Bacon marched to Jamestown with 500 followers and demanded to be commissioned as leader of a militia to destroy the Indian menace. He challenged Berkeley to give him a commission at gunpoint from his men, but the governor merely bared his breast and challenged Bacon to fire himself. Bacon repeated the action with the Burgesses, and they quickly gave him the commission.
After publishing the "Declaration of the People of Virginia" criticizing Berkeley's faulty government, Bacon and his men, some of whom were rebelling slaves and indentured servants, spent months fighting Indians, many of whom were peaceful and, in fact, allies of the English. Upon their return to Jamestown, many called for a revolution to remove Berkeley (who had fled across the river), but Bacon stopped them. His thirst for blood had been quenched, and he decided that his place was to ensure that the wrongs in the Declaration were made right. Working with the Burgesses, Bacon put forth the bill that the governor would now be elected by the colony as well as an ambassador to communicate with Parliament and the Company in London. Though Bacon would die of dysentery in October, his ideas would follow after him. Berkeley returned, intending on putting down a rebellion, but instead only finding landowners and freedmen looking for political change.
Berkeley was returned to London along with John Ingram, who would serve as representative from the colony. While Parliament disagreed with self-representation of the colony, the Virginia Company saw great potential in men striving for success (fighting Indians themselves, for example, instead of using English dividends to pay soldiers), and, after much debate and back-room deals, the agreement was made.
Virginia continued to expand and profit over the next century. Though Parliament enacted several laws over trade issues, political matters were largely reviewed by the colonists, who were given a requested amount of taxes by their representative and left to themselves to produce it. Other North American colonies followed in self-representation such as Maryland, Massachusetts, Bermuda, and Pennsylvania. The experiment was considered proven in the 1770s when the colonies were asked to aid in Britain's tremendous national debt from the Seven Years' War, which they did (though some colonists, such as the fiery Samuel Adams were arrested on suspicions of treason). Ideals of self-representation also came to Europe in several waves of revolt. They did not translate well in the bloody and ultimately pointless French Revolution, though many tyrants became controlled by constitutions.
While the colonies and Britain would often disagree with the violent treatment of natives, it would be another matter that would eventually drive them apart: slavery. Parliament ended slavery in the British Empire in 1833, and many American colonies saw it as a stomping of colonies' rights. Many of the Upper Canadian and New England colonies remained loyal, but the South and West rose up under General Andrew Jackson who had established himself as an Indian Fighter. Other rebellions went up in the Caribbean, and were quickly put down by the Navy before beginning the blockade that would choke out the rebel colonies. After six bloody years and the death of Jackson at New Orleans, the rebellion would come to an end in 1840.
America would continue to be an important part of the British Empire, serving with distinction in its wars against Mexico and Spain. Independence would creep up routinely in the collective mind of the Americans, which gained Dominion status in 1868 after being broken into New England, Dixieland, and the Western United Provinces of America. After the Second World War, these lands would gain independence but remain in the powerful bloc of the British Commonwealth.
In 1863, the controversial thirtieth President of the United States Henry Ford was born on a farm in Greenfield Township, Michigan. The son of immigrants, his father, William Ford (1826-1905), was born in County Cork, Ireland.
Birth of President Henry FordAfter a spectacular business career in the automobile industry he was elected to the US Senate as a nominee for the Democratic Party (President Woodrow Wilson had convinced him to run in order to to bolster his party's slim Senate majority). His narrow fought victory would create widespread allegations of voting fraud, intimidating voters and violating campaign spending regulations that limited the amount of personal funds candidates could spend on their races.
Six years later, he ran for President. The unwitting architect of his victory was a former Republican, Senator Robert M. La Follette of Wisconsin. He ran as an independent for the Progressive Party and his unexpectedly strong showing in the industrial belt split the GOP vote. Once in office Ford set about implementing many of the ideas that he been successful in automobile manufacture. But as the economy entered recession in his second term, he also turned to some of his sharper practices, in particular, a heavy-handed dealing with trade unions. An article from the President Henry Ford thread.
In 1980, on this day commercial discussions with the little parts supplier Microsoft collapsed over IBM's boneheaded demand for an exclusive license to their disk operating system.
Talks between IBM and Microsoft collapseBut the broader issue was really one of vision because the long-haired visionary programmers Paul Allen and Bill Gates were pretty outspoken in their advocacy of an IBM PC powered by a Motorola 68000 chipset and running Xenix, a Microsoft implementation of Unix.
And the problem was that the IBM Executives were just thinking about the numbers, long-term profitability and how to compete favourably with rival products such as the Apple Computer and the Radio Shack's TRS-80. In fact they had only sought out little parts suppliers such as Microsoft and Intel for the sole purpose of reaching a sub-$3,000 price point. Reluctant to change course and embrace an open commercial and technical partnership, IBM reverted to the trusted in-house model, re-designing the PC architecture on the IBM 801 CPU and its own Unix.
IBM regretted their obstinate decision because they were unable to squeeze their in-house design under the sub-$3,000 price point (a task requiring small company agility not available at the Entry Systems Division in Boca Raton, Florida). And while the IBM project went no where fast, Allen and Gates banged their head against the same wall with Hewlett Packard before seeking out same-sized start-up companies that shared a common mindset.
In 1940, on this day the Sparticist Government in Berlin dispatched Commissar Leon Trotsky to Geneva where the League of Nations were debating St Petersburg's request for military assistance to defend Republican Russia's territorial integrity from German Communist aggression.
War of Western Intervention by Ed, Scott Palter & Jeff ProvineIronically, during the Bolshevik Uprising of October 1917 Republican Russia had itself been on the verge of a descent into Communism. Most shockingly of all, many of the agitators had been funded by the Imperial Germany Government who attempted to covertly overthrow Kerensky's Administration which had chosen to keep Russia in the Great War after the fall of the Tsar. Unable to return to New York City, Trotsky had fled to Berlin where he founded common cause with Sparticist ring-leaders Rosa Luxembourg and Karl Leibnicht. By 1939 he occupied a prominent place on the Central Committee.
And so the rise of world communism had centered in Germany not Russia. But other threats to European Security were also emerging and fast. A resurgent Poland began to threaten Russia out of isolationism. At least until the Depression Years brought a fresh militancy to the German Government, and once again, a desire to conquer the East.
Left with a monster of their own malformed creation, the Western Powers began to contemplate the option of unilateral action outside the auspices of the League of Nations. First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill was ordered to prepare plans for the landing of a substantial allied force at Arcangel. And a war of intervention to support White Forces in Russia began to take an inevitable and insidious shape.
Anticipating this development, the Spartacists had deployed their most eloquent diplomatic weapon, by sending a Russian Emigre to Geneva to assure the League of Nations that Germany only desired "peace in our time" with her Eastern neighbour.
In 1975, on this day Jimmy Hoffa met with New Jersey Mafia bosses to present a plan to bring down the Republican Party.
Jimmy Hoffa Meets Mafia Heads James Hoffa, once president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, had been through dire straights in the past ten years. He had been born to the working class and risen to fight for labor rights. After being fired as a teenager trying to unionize his fellow grocery workers to fight for fair wages and job security, he joined Local 299 of the Teamsters in Detroit, MI, and rose to the presidency in 1957.
In 1964, his luck changed. He was convicted of attempted bribery of a grand juror and, later, fraud. Gaining a commuted sentence from President Richard Nixon, Hoffa was free on the condition that he not participate in union business until 1980. Resistance in several spheres held back his ability to appeal, and so Hoffa settled to rebuilding his career writing autobiographies and planning his comeback starting again at Local 299.
In 1975, he met at a diner with Anthony Giacolone of Detroit and Anthony Provenzano of New Jersey, both Mafia bosses who had connections with the unions. Provenzano had served as vice-president for the IBT during Hoffa's second term. While the topics discussed remain a mystery, it is believed that Hoffa had a major plan to bring down the Republican Party as vengeance for the betrayal Hoffa felt being kept from union work despite having endorsed Nixon.
Through underground networks, and more openly after 1980, Hoffa began building a massive political machine. Though Reagan would handily win his reelection against Mondale in 1984 (despite the latter carrying Michigan and New Jersey), his Vice-President Bush would narrowly lose out to Michael Dukakis in 1988. Many commentators would say Hoffa's push gave Dukakis the few extra million votes he needed. Hoffa would die of a heart attack the next year at age 76.
The next sixteen years would be a golden age for the Democratic Party. Through two terms of Dukakis (often credited with presiding over the fall of Soviet Russia), a term of Bill Clinton of Arkansas (who would choose not to run in 2000 following a tarnished ), and four years of Al Gore of Tennessee, many progressive Democratic policies would become realities: a nation-wide ban on capital punishment, National Health Insurance, guaranteed housing, an increase of human welfare, and environmental protection.
In 2001, terrorism struck New York City, and President Gore would find himself at the head of a vindictive populace. Pouring resources into international policing and covert operations with the aid of NATO and the UN, Gore would declare a "War on Terrorism". When Afghanistan repeatedly refused to cooperate in search of Osama Bin Laden, an invasion begins. While the Taliban are quickly knocked out of power, the war grinds to a halt with constant insurgency.
War weariness and a growing national debt would beset the American populace, and the Democratic era would in in 2004 with the election of President John McCain, a Vietnam war hero.
In 2003, on this day an unmarked gunman shot and killed John Lennon at a Peace Rally in New York City. His companion at the rally, former Vice President Al Gore said that protests to end the war in Iraq would continue unabated. And the new documentary movie An Inconvienent Truth would be released on schedule across America.
Watch the Youtube Clip of Let It Be
Shine on until tomorrow, let it beThe fatal shooting of Lennon (believed to have been on the orders of the CIA), was neither the first assassination attempt on the former Beatle, nor even the first successful one.
On the night of 8 December 1980, at around 10:49 p.m., Mark David Chapman shot Lennon in the back four times in the entrance of the Dakota apartment building. "And when the broken hearted people Living in the world agree, There will be an answer, let it be. " Earlier that evening, Lennon had autographed a copy of Double Fantasy for Chapman who had been stalking Lennon since October.
Just forty years old, many people felt that Lennon had the potential to have a profound impact on the world. Certainly his lyrics promoted a deep level of positive thinking. Because in 1972, the Nixon Administration tried to have Lennon deported from the US, as the President believed that Lennon's proactive anti-war activities and support for George McGovern could cost him re-election.
And yet Lennon had survived, choosing to withdraw into a private world of music and meditation. But in 2002, an undergraduate film student, Tim Bennett discovered Lennon, alive and well, living in a small northern Ontario town.
In 1947, T.E. Lawrence was murdered by the underground Jewish group Lehi. Lawrence and Count Folke Bernadotte who also died, had been appointed United Nations Security Council mediators in the Arab-Israeli conflict and were making considerable progress which now appears to have been scuppered by extremists.
Death of Lawrence
Lawrence was born in North Wales in 1888 and educated at Oxford High School and Jesus College, Oxford. From 1911 to 1914 Lawrence worked as an archaeologist in the Middle East for the British Museum excavations team in Northern Syria. On 1st November 1914 the Ottoman Empire declared war on Great Britain. In 1915 he was posted as an intelligence officer to Cairo and subsequently travelled to Hejaz to assess the leadership and prospects of the Arab revolt. Seven Pillars of Wisdom is a description of his liaison role between British and Arab forces.
Lawrence was determined that the wartime promises of self government made to the Arabs by the British government would be honoured. He helped achieve settlements he considered honourable in Iraq and Jordan. Lawrence returned to England in 1918 and subsequently advised Faisal I, then King of Syria (1918-1920), at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 and worked in the Middle East Department of the Colonial Office in 1921.
In 1922 he enlisted in the ranks of the RAF as John Hume Ross to avoid public attention. He adopted the name T.E. Shaw by deed poll in 1927. Lawrence served for 12 years, latterly working to develop RAF rescue launches which saved thousands of lives in World War II. In 1935, aged 46, he narrowly escaped death in a motorcycle accident.
Desperately needing an inspirational leader for the North Africa campaign, in 1940 Churchill re-appointed Lawrence of Arabia as Commander of the British Eighth Army where he defeated Rommel's Afrika Corps and Italian allies. Less publicly, he also executed a cadre of Egyptian officers who had been attempting to rid North Africa of Britain's presence. Gamal Abdul Nassar, Anwar el-Sadat and Hosni Said Mubarak were just three of the many 'traitors' who were found mysteriously floating face down in the River Nile.
After the war, Lawrence was instrumental in the creation of the state of Israel, and the key decision to hand the Canal Zone and the British bases over to David Ben-Gurion. Lawrence remained a powerful agent of change in the region until his tragic death.
In 1927, Greater Zionist Resistance fighters encounter their first serious opposition in the form of Danish guerilla fighters. The Werewolves of Copenhagen, as the group is known, inflict casualties on the GZR for a decade before they are all finally eliminated. It is possible that Astrid Pflaume, leader of the GZR, was lenient on them at first because her sympathies had not fully switched over to the Zionists she was leading.
On this day in 1944, Soviet troops in Lithuania trying to take the town of Ukmerge ran into unexpectedly heavy resistance when they encountered a pro-Nazi volunteer militia on the outskirts of the town; the battle to drive them out would last four days. In Estonia Soviet forces wiped out the last pockets of Nazi resistance in Tallinn; in Poland anti-Nazi partisans launched a guerrilla campaign to liberate the Polish capital, Warsaw.
On this day in 1944, former Leipzig mayor Carl Gordeler, a key civilian conspirator in the failed plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, was sentenced to death by Roland Freisler's People's Court.
Gordeler was hanged the next day.
Sheep were so stupid.
Djari hated sheep. He hated having to watch them, having to shear them, having to herd them and protect them. He especially hated having to eat them, which he was doing right now. The meat was tough, and there was still some wool on it. It made him feel like he was biting one of them while it was still alive. His stomach churned at the thought of it, and he put the leg back on the hot stones to warm up some more.
Most of the sheep were asleep; it was late at night, and he had been driving them all day, so they were tired. He understood the feeling. He felt the exhaustion in his bones. His father and brother would normally be here, as well, but his brother was tending to a sick child and his father was tending to a sick calf. So, he was going to have to wait until the sheep were back home before he slept.
He shifted on the rocks, trying to find a comfortable spot. There wasn`t one, but hope sprang eternal. The lamb sizzled by the fire, and the smell wafted away on the wind. He almost hoped it would bring something hoping to catch dinner; he could stand some excitement. The stars drifted above him, and he looked for the warrior his father had told him about once; he had been so great that Allah couldn?t take him from the earth, so he was placed in the stars to always watch over the faithful. The warrior always comforted him on nights like this.
He started awake; something had spooked the sheep, and they were bleating and milling about. He cursed at himself for falling asleep, took up his staff, and waded into the herd to see what the matter was.
On this day in 1941, German ground forces in the Ukraine began advancing on Kiev.
In 1803, President Alexander Hamilton learns that the 'Cicero letters' which have been appearing occasionally in various newspapers since April of the previous year are the work of his long-time rival Aaron Burr.
In an angry letter of his own, mailed to the editors of several of these papers, the President reveals the identity of 'Cicero' and demands that any future letters from him be refused publication as 'injurious to the dignity of the office which I now hold.'
When Burr learns of Hamilton's response, he lashes back: Not Cicero, he, but Caesar, whose dignity must not be affronted by criticism emanating from common mortals. Have the Congress chosen for us not a president but an emperor? He insists that he will continue to write, under his own name now that his disguise has been penetrated, and says he is confident that his charges against the President will stand on their own merits.
In 1975, Comrade James Hoffa, leader of the Transportation Soviet, disappears after making a speech critical of the Communist Party.
In 1948, Pascal-Edison engineers develop a method of operating Eddies and Dedes by using a picture-based interface. The Portrait D.O.S. introduces a new piece of hardware that all Dedes come standard with afterwards; a stick attached to the difference engine by a cable, which allows the operator to select the various pictures on the Portrait screen. The first test operators felt like they were flying a plane, so the stick was called the Throttle.
In 1930, Argentina defeated Uruguay in Montevideo, Uruguay, to win the inaugural World Cup of soccer. The disheartened citizens of the host country lost interest in the beautiful game, and soccer became a minor pastime in the South American nation.
In 1863, as southern rebels begin to realize their defeat, they take to shooting blacks rather than let them go free. President Whitman authorizes the Union Army to shoot any rebels caught doing so; and furthermore, authorizes them to summarily execute any rebel prisoners in their charge on hearing of the same being done to any blacks. This somewhat unconstitutional decree has the desired effect of halting the rebel slaughter of former slaves.
In 1733, the Society of Freemasons opens its first lodge in the Western Hemisphere in Boston, Massachusetts. This front for the Bavarian Illuminati will soon control all levels of American government, and grow until its tentacles reach even the leadership of the free world, itself!
In 1795, needing more time to suppress the four-year long Whiskey Rebellion and having waited a respectful amount of time since the Fourth of July to avoid drawing cynicism from libertarians George Washington confirmed his intention to serve a full third term of office as President of the United States.
FirebrandBut the politician causing the General most trouble was a dead man called Albert Gallatin whose firebrand leadership had sparked a violent insurrection that was threatening to develop into a Second American Revolution. Having personally commanded the army that defeated the Pennsylvanians, Washington compounded his error of over involvement by hanging Gallatin for treason.
Two national politicians who had succeeded in remaining above the fray were Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Their strategic focus now shifted to the 1800 election and the forthcoming battle with Washington's favoured successor, the man whose overbold revenuers had started the revolt, Alexander Hamilton.
In 1848, on this day in the village of Ballingarry, police and military troops clashed with "Young Irelanders", the nationalist forces led by a member of parliament named William Smith O'Brien.
Irish Rebellion Gains Momentum into Revolution1848 was a year of revolt all around Europe. France's King Louis-Philippe had fallen to the Second Republic, Germans overthrew many of their local lords, and even the stalwart Austrians gained a constitution to balance the power of an absolute monarch. In Ireland, times were especially hard. The Potato Blight, beginning in 1845, had caused famine to last for years. The British government did very little to aid them, and now was the time for them to aid themselves.
Under the Union Act of 1800, Ireland had been joined with Britain into the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Since its passing by Parliament, there had been men working against it in Ireland known as the Repeal Association. The political movement remained marginal before stepping up to fame as the Young Ireland movement in 1839. Along with new powers granted to the Catholics in the 1832, the movement gained force all over the country. A splinter group, the Irish Confederation, began the push for all-out independence and a wholly Irish parliament.
After the success of the French revolution in February, the Irish began to make their moves. While leader William Smith O'Brien hoped for a bloodless revolution, the government was more fearful and suspended habeas corpus on July 22. O'Brien and his followers decided to act to oppose this force of politics. Battles erupted around County Tipperary, culminating on July 29 in the village of Ballingarry.
O'Brien and other Young Irelanders had fortified The Commons and awaited the approach of police and military troops. A group of 46 under Sub-Inspector Trant had been spotted, and the rebels pursued them into a two-story farmhouse where the police set up defense and took the family hostage. O'Brien approached the house and explained to the police that if they were to surrender their arms, they would be allowed to return home as fellow Irishmen. After a long moment of thought, Trant surrendered.
A few hours later, a band of one hundred more police under Sub-Inspector Cox appeared, being met by the surrendering police as well as a crowd of hundreds of pike-wielding, jubilant rebels. In shock, these police surrendered, too. All through the night, word spread of the victory, and O'Brien worked to harangue his people to never give up the fight for independence.
On July 30, the British army approached the fortified Young Irelanders. The commanders were slow to assault such a massive, poorly armed but publicly acclaimed band, but at last the battle ensued. Tactically, the battle became a draw, and the army retreated for the night. O'Brien, however, called the battle a great victory and spread word of the success of the revolution in more-than-literal terms. All over Ireland through August, revolts would begin, and the British landowners and Loyalists would be chased from the island. On August 23, O'Brien and his followers of men, women, and children would take Dublin and call for elections to an Irish Parliament. O'Brien was named Prime Minister, a position he would hold for fifteen years until his death in 1864.
In September, while the Royal Family retired to Balmoral in Scotland, Prince Albert would come to Ireland with a massive force of British troops. He suggested an armistice, to which O'Brien agreed, and the two would begin to mastermind a fair treaty that would grant Ireland its own parliament, but still keep the emerald isle as part of the British Empire. Seeing the forces willing to fight to maintain conquest, O'Brien agreed. The Act of Irish Parliament passed narrowly in 1849, with many Loyalists crying out against it. With renewed Irish loyalty, however, the empire would blossom.
Loyalists and English would gradually leave Ireland while the Catholic Irish stayed and worked to improve their country with O'Brien's reforms over the rest of the nineteenth century. Industry, especially manufacturing, grew with economic incentives from the Irish Parliament and a workforce of millions (many scholars predict these men may have emigrated to America). The Irish would be instrumental troops in World War I as well as the counter-invasion of the Continent against Hitler's soldiers in 1941, leading to the downfall of Germany in early 1944.
Moreover, the Irish Parliament would give Britain a model for treatment of its colonies and creating productive home-rule. Fending off the Communist incursions of the 1950s and '60s, the British Empire would continue to dominate the world along with its ally and former colony, the United States of America. With the fall of their competitor the Soviet Union in 1992, Britain would lead the world into its next millennium as an empire upon which the sun would never set.
Ireland, meanwhile, would be a land of marginal success. Its industrial heyday was long over, with crime and unemployment rampant, though the 1990s would cause a renewed surge of economics in technology as the Silicon Isle of Europe.
In 2010, on this day U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton in Phoenix issued an injunction blocking Arizona from implementing the heart of its new immigration law Wednesday, less than 24 hours before it was to have taken effect, and endorsed the administration's argument that the state would be interfering with the federal government's enforcement of immigration laws.
Anti-Nullification CrisisGov. Jan Brewer said she would ignore the ruling in the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. She said the law, SB1070, was needed "to address a crisis we did not create and the federal government has actively refused to fix. If the federal government will not support the state of Arizona by embracing laws that they created and we as a state are going to do it our selves with or without the support of the US".
New story by David CryanWhen asked by a reporter if that included seccession from the united states the governor said all options are on the table when it comes to protecting our border.
Gov. Rick Perry of Texas said that he supports everything that is being done by Jan Brewer and Texas will support them in anyway that is needed.
In 1976, on this day the 41st Vice President of the United States Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller (pictured) suffered a fatal heart attack in his 13 West 54th Street Manhattan townhouse.1
Ruthless DecisionsRockefeller health had entered a sharp decline since the Halloween massacre, a political coup de grace executed by his chief adversary, Donald Henry Rumsfeld. Described by no less a fiend than President Nixon as "a ruthless little bastard", "Rummy" and Rockefeller "simply loathed each other". Relations were not helped by Rockefeller's habit of poking his head around Rumsfeld's office door and saying "Don, you know you will never be president".
"Rummy" was of course executing dastardly self-promotional plans from inside the White House" to ensure he did enter the Oval Office - as the boss. Realising that he needed the Vice Presidency as a platform, "Rummy" had played a long-game since accepting a cabinet posting by Richard Nixon in 1970. And by 31st October 1975, these plans ripened when President Gerald Ford, renowned for unswerving loyalty, unexpectedly dropped Rockefeller from the 1976 Vice Presidential Ticket. George W. Bush, who - alongside Barry Goldwater - was seriously considered for VP by Ford when he assumed the Presidency in 1974, was dispatched to the political no-mans land of Langley to run the CIA. To put the seal on this political emasculation, Bush was required to pledge that he would not politicize the CIA by running for office in 1976.
Of course the 1976 campaign presented a number of challenges for "Rummy" that would require some deft footwork. Political observers have speculated that Rockefeller2 would have threatened to withdraw New York's 154 delegate bloc of votes had he been alive at the time of the Convention. Since he was not, the real threat was the former Governor of California Ronald Reagan who was emerging as a creditable alternative candidate from the right wing. Accordingly, "Rummy" insisted upon his appointment as Secretary of Defence, replacing James Schlesinger who was also fired in the "Halloween massacre".
Once in office, "Rummy" pursued the hawkish agenda that was being urged by Reagan's supporters, effectively to reverse detente by undermining the Salt II negotiations and also accelerating military spending3. As a precursor, "Rummy" had played a key supporter of the decision to dispatch US Marines to relieve the SS Mayaguez. The ship was seized by the Khymer Rouge just a month after the fall of Saigon and in order to restore American prestige, military intervention was advocated by then Chief of Staff Rumsfeld.
The majority of political observers believe that Ford's re-election in 1976 was mainly due to his ruthless decision to double cross Richard Nixon, by going back on his promise to pardon the disgraced President4. Fortunately, the new Ford-Rumsfeld administration (pictured here with incoming Chief of Staff Dick Cheney) would inherit a $123 billion defense budget and a re-invigorated military. Thanks to Rumsfeld, in 1979, America would be ready to confront the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan with full force.
On this day in 1916, the last chance for avoiding war between the United States and Germany was effectively wiped out with the revelation of the so-called "Zimmermann telegram" sent by a German diplomat to the Mexican government; the telegram, which promised German help with reclaiming Arizona, California, Texas, and New Mexico from the U.S. in return for Mexico's support of Germany against the Allies, sparked outrage from the American public. Within two days after its existence was disclosed by the Wilson Administration, the United States would declare war on Germany.
In 1962, one of the most compelling mysteries related to the Jamaica Bay hurricane was solved when scuba divers off the coast of Maine found the wreck of the Downeaster "Alexa" (pictured) five nautical miles from her last reported position prior to her sinking.
Nearly two years had passed since the fishing boat went down, and during that time there had been some question about the precise location of her sinking. With the discovery of her wreckage the speculation could finally be put to rest.
The sinking of the "Alexa", and the search for her wreckage, would later form the basis for author Sebastian Junger's 1999 book The Perfect Storm.
On this day in 2002, a U.S. Navy carrier battle group headed by the USS Ronald Reagan was deployed to the Persian Gulf to defend U.S. interests in the region against the instability that had been engulfing Iraq since the the MN15 asteroid strike.
In 1588, on this day the Church of England held a special mass of thanksgiving to celebrate what Queen Elizabeth I called "our kingdom's fortunate deliverance" from attack by the Spanish Armada.
|Queen of England|
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.