A Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today.
Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Written by Alternate Historian

August 31

In 1939, in a false flag operation a small group of SS operatives led by Sturmbannführer Alfred Naujocks seized the Gleiwitz radio station and broadcast an appeal in the name of the Polish government in exile.

Gleiwitz incident throws Western Allies into confusionUnder a secret protocol laid down in the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Soviet forces had invaded on 17 September and were on the verge of gaining full control of the country. Repulsion of this exclusively Soviet-led action had not been fully anticipated by the Polish-British Common Defense Pact which was signed on 25 August as an annex to the Franco-Polish Military Alliance. In this accord, Britain committed itself to the defence of Poland, guaranteeing to preserve Polish independence. Somewhat disingenuously the Nazi Government had used that accord to justify their own lack of response to the Soviet aggression, a ploy which appeared to re-open the possibility of a tripartite anti-Communist alliance.

Although the British Government had war gamed such a scenario indeed were focused on a retaliatory strike on the Baku oilfields, the Western Allies had not jointly planned for war with the Soviet Union and therefore the continent was deadlocked in a state of "Phony War". The conundrum for Paris and London was that should the Western Allies succeed in restraining the Nazis from acting on the Gleiwitz incident and invading Poland from the West, then they would simply be sanctioning Soviet occupation. Since there was almost no prospect of restoring the sovereignty of the Second Polish Republic, it was of course a lose-lose situation, but there was an even deeper game afoot than Hitler's cynical attempt to form an anti-communist alliance. Because Marshall Stalin was planning to use Nazi Germany as a proxy (the "Icebreaker") to defeat the West. He surely knew this master plan was on track when President Roosevelt offered a Lend-Lease programme to give secretly aid to the Soviet Union should he agree to join with the Western Allies in a co-ordinated, pre-emptive attack on Nazi Germany.

In 2013, on this day Sir David Paradine Frost, OBE had a heart attack and died aboard the MS Queen Elizabeth, a Cunard Line cruise ship where he had been engaged as a Speaker. Seventy-four years old, he had enjoyed a five decade career as a celebrated English journalist, comedian, writer, media personality and television host.

Passing of David FrostAfter graduating from Cambridge University, Frost rose to prominence in the UK when he was chosen to host the satirical programme That Was the Week That Was in 1962. His success on this show led to work as a host on US television. He became known for his television interviews with senior political figures, among them The Reagan Interviews with former United States President Ronald Reagan in 1977, which were later adapted into a stage play and film both starred Michael Sheen as Frost.

Criticized for "cheque book journalism", Frost paid Reagan to evaluate the impeachment minutiae two years after his resignation (ironically, also for disputed spending, but in Reagan's case for secretly authorizing covert funding of the Vietnam Conflict. For this crime, the liaison officer General Westmoreland was facing jail time). The interviews were conducted in a relatively anonymous setting with the seat of government as a suitable backdrop - the Watergate Hotel Complex in Washington, D.C.

In 1485, the Battle of Bosworth Field was fought on this day (by the current style Gregorian calendar) near the small market town and civil parish of the same name in Leicestershire, England.

Habsburg EnglandAt a critical point, King Richard III of England settled the issue at a stroke by driving through to Henry Tudor and killing him. Victory was ephemeral, Sir William Stanley (acting at the behest of his brother, Thomas Lord Thomas Lord Stanley) attacked from the rear, so that Richard was surrounded and killed.

The War of the Roses had reached an unexpected decision - a Habsburg England - gifting the throne to the Holy Roman Emperor, Maximilian I, King of the Romans.

In 161 AD, on this day Faustina the Younger, the wife of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (pictured), gave birth to twin brothers, Titus Aurelius Fulvus Antoninus and Marcus Aurelius Commodus Antoninus Augustus.

Birth of Emperor Titus AureliusTheir accession as senior and junior emperors was the first time in Roman history that a son had succeeded his father since Titus succeeded Vespasian in 79. But of course the key difference was that this time around both co-rulers were "born in the purple". This proved vital, because it became increasingly clear that the younger twin was a flawed individual quite undeserving of his birth name Commodus, which means "obliging". Because he was anything but, a self-serving individual who required constant correction from his elder brother.

And fortunately for Rome, Titus survived a near death experience aged only four. He ruled alongside his brother and proved the better ruler, leaving his lazy and possibly mad twin to indulge his penchants for parties and gladiator fights.

In 1862, Thomas Jackson had done it again. The Union army was beaten fairly and squarely. Robert E. Lee's strategy had once again been proven victorious by sending Jackson's "Foot Cavalry" on a wide outflanking march, around John Pope's Union Army of Virginia, and had, along with Longstreet's attack, annihilated it more or less entirely.
This thread continues from Action Jackson -1862: Stonewall's Foot Cavalry Wins The Day

The Union Strikes Back by David AtwellEven the Union Capital, Washington DC, came under threat from Lee's Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, not to mention its actual occupation after a five hour long battle.

It was in this light, then, that all Union forces, especially those of George McClellan's Army of the Potomac, reacted in trying to retake the Union capital from Rebel control. Nothing was certain and fear gripped the Union as to what was Lee's next move. More to the point, deep down no Union general, nor soldier for that matter, thought that they could defeat Lee. And as a result the American Civil War could soon come to an end in favour of the Rebs.A Chapter from Hancock 1862

Lincoln, though, having regained his composure, after fleeing Washington in rather indigent fashion, immediately sacked McClellan, as commanding general of the Army of the Potomac, and replaced him with Ambrose Burnside who was, at the time, consider a highly capable general and possibly just the man who could push Lee out of Washington and all the way back to Richmond. Given the fact that the Army of Northern Virginia was much weakened, by its assault upon the Union capital, this was seen as a distinct possibility.

Lee, meanwhile, was well aware of the dangers, especially in the light that his old warhorse, James Longstreet, had been wounded during the attack on Washington's defences. Thankfully Longstreet's wound was not life threatening, and he was able to convalesce in one of Washington's many fine dwellings, though he was never far from Lee if required. Having said that, the Army of Northern Virginia was down to around 35 000 able soldiers at the beginning of September 1962. This alone made Lee think that the capture of Washington was not worth the price of victory.
Read the whole story of Hancock 1862 - the Union Strikes Back on the Changing the Times web site.

By 1888, life had been rough for Mary Ann "Polly" Nichols. She was daughter of locksmith Edward Walker, never wealthy but never starving.

Lady of the Night Lauded for Defeat of AttackerShe married William Nichols, a printer's machinist, in 1864, and the couple had five children before falling out. Familial arguments blurred the truth of the matter (whether William had had an affair or whether Polly had deserted him), but by 1881, Polly was living practically on the streets. She had lived with her father before an argument drove them apart, dwelt in a workhouse after being arrested for sleeping in Trafalgar Square, and left a position as a servant while stealing clothes. Much of her life was spent deep in alcoholism, which had driven Polly to prostitution for survival.

On the night in question, Polly had earned well more the fourpence needed for a bed for the night, but had spent the money on alcohol. Returning to the streets, she was met by her roommate Nelly Holland, who, detecting an eerie something in the greenish Whitechapel air, warned her to be careful. Usually Polly would disregard the warning as a pleasantry, but tonight it gave her pause.

Sometime about three o'clock in the morning, Polly was approached by a man she described as "a right gentleman" who called from his carriage. They went to Buck's Row, where the man suddenly pulled a knife. Polly, having been on guard, saw the man and pulled back. Being old, he missed her by far, and Polly attacked him with her fingernails, slaps, and punches. The carriage driver gave a yelp, the old man pleaded with groans, and Polly escaped into the night.

She hid until dawn in various alcoves around London before finally returning to her lodging house, still penniless. Nelly greeted her, and the two discussed Polly's night. With such closeness to death, Polly had reexamined her life, which she found suddenly very lacking. Her story would be picked up by newspapers on what was to become a month of slow news. Giving up alcohol, she returned to the workhouse, later taking a job as a housekeeper and eventually reuniting with her husband.

Also on this day, famed physician Sir William Gull died of stroke. He had battled the disease for a year with several attacks, and this seemed the worse with a seizure that produced bruises and scratches where he must have thrown himself against the headboard of his bed. The acclaimed physician was known for his research in paraplegia, anorexia nervosa, and kidney disease. In 1871, he had served as Physician Ordinary to the Prince of Wales, saving the future king through care during a particularly nasty case of typhoid fever.

In 1888, the first victim of the hideous murderer known as Jack the ripper is found in the Whitechapel area of London. Mary Ann Nichols, who had turned to a life of prostitution in her youth, was found cut to pieces on Buck's Row.

"His vorpal blade went snicker-snack"Her murder was followed by several others, and then the killings stopped for several years. The murders remained unsolved for many years until the killer published, of all things, a children's book in which he wrote a cryptic confession of his dark deeds.

Thomas Wyndham, a detective at Scotland Yard with a fondness for puzzles and cryptograms, was reading the edition of Alice In Wonderland known as Nursery Alice to his daughter when a passage on the page seemed to leap out at him; he rearranged the words and it turned into a confession of ominous portent.

He and a colleague paid a visit to author Charles Dodgson, and after hours of questioning, the author broke down and confessed everything, also implicating his friend, Thomas Bayne, a colleague from Oxford. The sensational capture of the elusive Jacks stunned the world of children's literature, and Dodgson's work was pulled from publication; it is read today only by criminal pathologists seeking insight into the twisted mind of this terrible murderer.

On this day in 2014, Jerry Bruckheimer's movie adaptation of his classic TV crime drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigations officially became the first theatrical release in motion picture history to reach the 1 trillion USD mark at the box office.

 - Jerry Bruckenheimer
Jerry Bruckenheimer

On this day in 1970, Charles Barkley joined the Colts team in his hometown`s Pop Warner football league.

 - Charles Barkley
Charles Barkley
In 1959, Gari Lynn Taylor was born in Houston, Texas, the last child of the Reverend W.D. and Peggy Taylor. A heart attack brought the reverend to an end when Gari Lynn was 2, and she grew up without a father figure. Some critics have speculated that this tragedy is what forged the strength of character that Ms. Taylor showed in her journalism and opinion writing, and the self-reliance she learned from her childhood stood her in good stead when she began her own publishing company, Slap Upside The Head, Inc. Today, Ms. Taylor's advice books on everything from child-rearing to alternative energy sources routinely top the bestseller lists, and she is a regular fixture on talk shows, famous for her earthy, home-spun wisdom.
In 1985, a Los Angeles mob takes justice into its own hands as they attack and kill Richard Ramirez, an Angelino suspected of being the Night Stalker murderer/rapist. Ramirez, who shouted at the crowd that Satan would avenge him, was proven guilty of the crime by fingerprints he left on the scene of one of his grisly murders.
In 1888, the first of a series of murders in London's seedy Whitechapel district occurs; Mary Ann Nichols, a lady of the evening, is found in pieces on Buck's Row. Although the crimes were never solved then, the murderer, Jack the Ripper as he was known, was later revealed to be none other than children's author Charles Dodgson, who wrote under the pen name of Lewis Carroll.
In 1998, Titanic became the most expensive failure in Hollywood history when distributors gave up on it and stopped trying to sell it to theaters. It had cost over $200 million to make, and had brought in a little under $38 million. After this disaster, director James Cameron found it hard to get a job again.
In 1994, after 39 years of violent resistance, the Irish People's Army renounced armed conflict against the United Kingdom. The withdrawal of support by the Soviet States of America had left the terrorists without appreciable sources of funding.
In 1945, Pascal-Edison's electric cars finally get a competitor - British Motor Works produces the Apollo, an electric car which recharges its power cells with solar power. It sells fairly well in the U.K., but does extremely well in warmer climes, such as the American Southwest and the Arabian peninsula.
In 1914, at the end of August the German army is standing at the Gates of Antwerp, Belgium and is rapidly closing in on the capital of Paris, France.
In 1959, Sandy Koufax of the Los Angeles Stars set a Town Ball record by striking out 18 hitters.


August 30

The Tsardom of Russia stood as a massive Eurasian power first organized during the reign of the Khans. Ivan the Terrible had transformed the tributary of the falling Mongolian empire into a new kingdom for the Rus with his coronation in 1547.

30th August, 1689 - Tsarina Sophia Assassinates Young Peter Since that time, Russia continued to expand in all directions, stretching west through Siberia to the Pacific Coast. The latest of these gains had been made by moving into the Amur Valley in Manchuria, causing conflict with the Chinese to the south.

Conflict bubbled in the Russian nobility as well. In 1676, Tsar Alexis had died, leaving the ill Feodor III as tsar until his own death in shortly thereafter in 1682. Ivan V, the next son in line for the throne, was also ill both in mind and body. Seeing problems of continual poor rule, the nobles in their Duma put forth as tsar ten-year-old Peter, a son from Alexis' second marriage. Though ratified by the people, Sophia Alekseyevna, a daughter of Alexis, led a coup by the Streltsy, the elites of the military. Through murder and intrigue, she placed herself as regent and the young Ivan and Peter as co-tsars.

Sophia ruled the country well, carrying out successful campaigns against Turkey, signing an eternal peace agreement with Poland, and working with China on peace agreements in the east. In 1689, however, Peter had come of age, and in the summer he began his plans to take power. She hoped to use the Streltsy to overthrow Peter, but many of them had deserted her camp and taken up with the young prince as he fortified himself in the Troitsky monastery. She invited Peter to join her at the Kremlin, but he refused and demanded execution and exile of her highest advisers.

It did not seem that she could win a civil war, and Peter was remaining resolute against her intrigue, so Sophia decided on one of politics' oldest tactics: assassination. Stalling for time, she and Peter debated through couriers for weeks until finally she was able to coax his guard weak enough for an assassin to strike. Peter was stabbed with poison blades and, though the assassin was quickly killed by his guards, died after a week of fever. Without their leader, the wayward Streltsy deserted again, and a few policing battles secured power for Sophia.

She proclaimed herself tsarina, co-ruler of Russia with Ivan V, who was weakening by the year and died in 1696. Ruling alone, Sophia worked to keep the Russian army politically strong against the nobles, with whom she had several squabbles as she delivered rights to peasants. Infighting kept Sophia busy maintaining her control over the vast tsardom.

As the Great Northern War (1700-1721) broke out, Sophia would see her power come to an end. Charles XII of Sweden had swept through Denmark and Poland and even liberated Ukraine. She brought the full might of her armies down on the Swede, but the technologically superior Scandinavians and their allies outmatched any number of Russian soldiers. As Charles approached Moscow, the nobles would finally overthrow Sophia, who died shortly thereafter in a convent. Charles' terms were hard but fair to the nobles, and Russia found itself formed up as part of the growing Swedish Empire.

With their massive force, the Swedes came to dominate Europe with their allies in Prussia, even overthrowing the growing power of the British in the War of Austrian Succession and, more importantly, the Seven Years' War. Seizing many of Britain's colonies, the Swedish Empire would find itself overstretched by the 1770s and unable to halt the American Revolution against the Swedish governors installed. With its absolute monarchy weakened, Sweden would find itself caught up in the surge of revolutions in Europe over the 1790s following the French. Sweden would hold to its empire with concessions made to the Riksdag parliament, but counter-revolutionary forces would tear the country apart.

In the Napoleonic Wars, the French defeated the Swedes and broke up their empire. For the first time in a century, the Russians were free and welcomed Napoleon as a great liberator. He established a puppet government among the boyar nobles and helped modernize Russia as he did with the German and Italian states. Nationalism would follow the Napoleonic era, and Russia would be instrumental in Germany's defeat in World War I (1914-1917), despite an attempted communist coup against the king and Duma. In World War II, Germany would give Russia its own defeat as the government crumbled in the face of Hitler's overwhelming army.

Fortunately, and thanks largely to the American A-bomb, Hitler would be defeated in 1947. Russia, like China and other countries demolished in the surge of the Third Reich, would undergo a series of civil wars until the US-sponsored Russian Republic came to power in the mid-1970s. Russia joined the growing politico-economic unit known as the European Union in 2010 in hopes of building up its lagging trade and industry.

In 1982, on this day at Beirut dock PLO Leader Yasser Arafat was fatally wounded by a stray bullet as he boarded a boat for Tunisia.

LBJ Tapes Part 3: End Game in BeirutAlthough the shooting was blamed on a rogue Israeli soldier the IDF insisted that this was actually not the case as they had radio-ed a "no order" when advised that a sniper had a clear view of Arafat. In point of fact it was the result of a bitter power struggle at the top of the Fatah organization.

A Multi-National Force (MNF) of American, French and Italian troops had been deployed in Lebanon for peace-keeping purposes. Although their role was intended to stop the country sliding into Civil War, the Western alignment to Phalange Party Leader Bachir Gemayel had enraged Muslim groups. Nevertheless it was US Special Envoy Philip Habib that had negotiated the PLO evacuation from Beirut; he had also been directly involved in more strategic conversations about a future Palestinian settlement.

During the course of the next six months both the MNF Barracks and also the US Embassy were miraculously spared by last minute warnings. These warnings originated from Ali Hassan Salameh, known as "The Red Prince" by Mossad. Via a back channel established by the CIA's Station Chief in Beirut, Robert C. Ames, Salameh had been secretly brokering peace negotiations with Arafat at the time when he was assassinated. Habib and others therefore were forced to surmise that Arafat's elimination was intended to avert the striking of a US-PLO grand bargain. Nevertheless, the avoidance of major US casualties had left the door open to the resumption of talks if a similar-minded leader was to replace him, an outcome that was by no means certain.

In 1836, the city of Fannin was founded by two real estate entrepreneurs Augustus Chapman Allen and John Kirby Allen. It would eventually become the capital city of the Republic of Texas.An installment of the Republic of Texas thread.

Founding of the Texan Capital City of FanninThe name was carefully chosen in memory of the indefatigable defender of Texan independence. As the commanding officer of Fort Goliad Colonel James Fannin (and nearly all his 344 men) were executed as Texian rebels under the orders of Santa Anna. It was not a tragedy that befell the Alamo where the defenders had withdrawn after destroying the old mission as instructed by the Commander in Chief of the Texian Army Sam Houston.

Nevertheless the falling reputation of Sam Houston [1] was sharply in contrast with the still heroic near legendary status of Fannin. Because anti-Jackson forces rightly feared that his naked pro-Unionism would compromise the future independence of the Republic of Texas.

In 1918, on this day the Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was assassinated outside a Moscow factory called the "Hammer and Sickle" by Feiga Khaimovna Roytblat-Kaplan, a secret agent of the Greater Zionist Resistance (GZR) movement.
This article is an installment of Protocols of the Elders of Zion a thread originated by Robbie Taylor.

The Kaplan IncidentOccurring on the very same day as the assassination of Moisei Uritsky the People's Commissar for Internal Affairs in the Northern Region and head of the Cheka in Petrograd, Moisei Uritsky, the "Kaplan Incident" signified a dramatic intensification in the Civil War. Because the co-occurrence forced the Cheka to investigate evidence linking the two events, leading to the discovery that an actual Jewish conspiracy was being formented in the Russian SFSR.

The founder of the GZR was Astrid Pflaume, a neo-Nazi from 1968 who was sent back through time to create the enemy they had always imagined. The deformation of the Soviet State, and the growth of a more powerful German New Reich were encouraging signs of eventual success.

But the plotter's mission to assure Adolf Hitler's victory was to backfire spectacularly. Because an infinitely more frightening anti-semitic demagogue would arise from the cauldron of the Russian Civil War, the utterly insane Baltic German Baron Ungern-Sternberg (pictured).
Part one of the novel can be downloaded here and continues as a thread on this site.

In 1862, the news of the annihilation of the Union Army of Virginia did not reach Washington until the next morning

Aftermath by David AtwellLincoln was in deep shock and was incapable of making any decisions until the following day. By then it was far too late. Washington was basically void of defenders save for a 10 000 manned garrison. More to the point, Lee knew this. Having had several victories, seemingly against great odds, taking and occupying Washington appeared to be the next logical step to him. And it was seen as the next step which may see an end to the Civil War albeit risky. Convinced, however, that McClellan would not try to conduct a similar stunt on Richmond, Lee decided to take the gamble.

It now, though, became a race of the ignorant. Lee had no idea, that on the day he would march on Washington with 50 000 or so troops, McClellan's 53 000 troops were embarking on ships sailing their way to Washington. Furthermore, McClellan had not yet been informed of the fate of Pope's Union army, whilst Lee had not been informed yet of McClellan's evacuation. Had Lee known this, Washington would never have been occupied, as Lee would have feared that he may have soon been surrounded and forced to surrender with his entire army.The Final Chapter from Action Jackson 1862

As it was, it was not to be. Although the Washington defences were impressive, they were only manned by 10 000 troops, none of whom had seen combat, which ensured Washington fell to the Confederates after a long five hour battle. Mind the Confederates did not gain victory easy. Instead, by achieving their victory, over the Washington garrison, an horrendous casualty figure of 12 000 dead and wounded was accomplished, not to mention the deaths of several veteran generals. Even Longstreet was not immune to bullets, and suffered a gunshot to his body, although he was to fully recover after a few months of rest.

McClellan, though, was eventually warned of the situation in Washington and soon made plans to land his Army of the Potomac elsewhere, after a rather perilous journey up the Chesapeake, to the relative safe harbour of Baltimore. Here McClellan planned to continue the war by retaking Washington at the first opportunity. This, though, was something McClellan would never be given the chance to achieve. Lincoln, having escaped Washington prior to its occupation, now dismissed McClellan from the Army. Whilst US reinforcements soon flooded into Baltimore and the surrounding regions of Washington, in an effort to contain the Confederate success, Lincoln looked towards someone else to command the US Army in the Eastern Theatre. Alas Lincoln would choose one Ambrose Burnside.
Read the whole story of Action Jackson 1862 - Stonewall's Foot Cavalry Wins The Day on the Changing the Times web site.
This thread will continue with Hancock -1862.

In 1893, on this day thirteenth Confederate President Huey Pierce Long Jr.was born in Winnfield, Louisiana.

Huey P. Long
13th Confederate President
March 4, 1933 - September 9, 1935
Huey Pierce Long Jr. (actor pictured in the movie "Kingsmen") was a the thirteenth president of the Confederate States of America. From one of the largest political families to ever be seen in either of the Americas, he rose to prominence as a lawyer defending the "little man" from the abuses of corporate monopolies in Texas and Louisiana, the chief of which was Standard Oil Company.

A new article from the "Two Americas" thread on Althistory WikiaA Democrat, he was noted for his radical populist policies. As president Long created the Share Our Wealth program in 1932, with the motto "Every Man a King," proposing new wealth redistribution measures in the form of a net asset tax on corporations and individuals to curb the poverty and crime resulting from the Great Depression. To stimulate the economy, Long advocated federal spending on public works, public education, old age pensions and other social programs. He was an ardent critic of the Federal Reserve System's policies to reduce lending. Charismatic and immensely popular for his social reform programs and willingness to take forceful action, Long was accused by his opponents of dictatorial tendencies in his hands-on control of the federal government.

At the height of his popularity, Long was shot on September 8, 1935, at the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge. He died two days later at the age of 42. It is unclear whether he was assassinated, or accidentally killed by bodyguards who believed an assassination attempt was in progress. His last words were reportedly, "God, don't let me die, I have so much left to do".

Presidency - 1933 to 1935

In 1932, Long parlayed his popularity in Louisiana into a national campaign for president of the CS. The 1929 crash of the New York Stock Market had caused the US to go into a deep recession, and the economies of Canada and the Confederacy followed suit. Long had begun pushing for policy of radical redistribution of the wealth of millionaires that made any income over a million dollars a year the property of the government. Since there were not many millionaires, and hardly anyone who had a personal income anywhere near that, his "Share the Wealth" campaign made him incredibly popular.

It was no surprise to the citizens of Louisiana when Long announced his candidacy for the presidency of the Confederacy. It was not to be easy, however, because the opponent in the Democratic primaries was John N. Garner, speaker of the House and thirty-year veteran politician. But using the national media proved as easy as using Louisiana media, and the Long political machine had its fingers in every level of state and federal government. In the end, Garner chose to accept the Vice Presidential nomination. Both men agreed that the economic policies of President Hugo Black were not getting the nation out of the deepening recession. As usual, a win in the primaries was as good as a win in November and the Long-Garner ticket won handily. On taking office, Long was only 39 years old. Garner, on the other hand, turned 66 two weeks after the election.

When he took office in 1933, though, Long found Congress to be resistant to his grand economic plan. Most who had been there for any time knew that the wealth of the richest ten percent of the country is what kept them in office. Economists argued that the wealthy were the ones who actually hired people, providing a built in "share the wealth" program. But he continued to push these policies, vetoing every bill that came to his desk that he felt was "friendly" to the wealthy. As a result, the recession in the Confederacy slipped into a depression.

In November of 1933, Long and some of his cabinet met for a retreat and conference on Jekyll Island, Georgia. A young German immigrant had won an audience with them with word as to the conditions in his homeland. That man was a physicist by the name of Albert Einstein, who had become famous with his theories on the nature of gravity and its relationship with light. Long went back to Richmond profoundly affected by the developing situation in Europe. Einstein sought the relative obscurity as a professor at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. The war would have to wait, but Long began an active campaign to build the standing army, and to an extent the navy, forseeing the rise of hostilities.

While in Richmond, Long pushed federal controls on Standard Oil and other monopolies he had fought as a lawyer and a politician for over a decade. Such controls, though, cost jobs in not only the oil industry but also in many of the supporting industries as well. This began to make the very popular president enemies among the very rich and the unemployed. In his campaigning in the 1934 Congressional elections, he made more enemies among the established party leaders as he tried to get "new blood" into politics. Threats were made against his life, and even organizations arose to actively seek his impeachment on spurious charges.

In July of 1935, federal agents in Baton Rouge, where Long had served as governor, uncovered evidence that a conspiracy had been uncovered to assasinate him on his visit to the state later in the year. Immediately appointing a commission to investigate the alleged involvement of several Louisiana politicians, Long went ahead with his plans. As it turned out, though, he had made other enemies as well. On September 9, 1935, he was felled by two shots from a disgruntled politician in the state house in Baton Rouge. His Secret Service detail immediately opened fire on the assailant, Carl Weiss, in a barrage of gunfire not seen since the wild west gun battles. Weiss died on the spot, but Long lived until the next day, after an operation in a local hospital failed to save his life.

In 2004, George W. Bush received the presidential nomination at the Republican Party Convention held on this day at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Conspiciously absent from the convention floor was Richard B. Cheney, the outgoing Vice President. Ironically, Cheney's non-selection was entirely due to a bitter dispute over Article II (Executive Power) of the US Constitution, drafted in 1787 by none other than James Madison himself - the "Father of the Consitution".

Cheney UnboundConsidering himself to be accountable only to history, Cheney had adopted a "relentless" approach to the restoration of the executive powers of the Presidency, having watched Congress sharply diminish them during his first tenure in the White House in the mid nineteen seventies. Many felt that these powers had already been rolled back during the Reagan years when the legacy of Watergate and Presidential abuse of powers had begun to retreat in the popular memory. And yet the "Global War on Terror" (or "GeeTer" as Cheney called it) provided an opportunity to diminish the powers of Congressional oversight even further. Cheney seized the opportunity, going so far as to seek extralegal means to conduct warrantless domestic surveillance by the U.S. National Security Agency, ironically the very same tactic adopted by his former patron, Richard M. Nixon. Jack Goldsmith, the United States Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel in the Department of Justice, would later describe these experiences in his famous book called "The Terror Presidency".

"If you rule that way, the blood of the hundred thousand people who die in the next attack will be on your hands" ~ threat from David Addington, Cheney's Legal Counsel to Jack GoldsmithBy late 2003 the Department of Justice started to threaten withholding their counter-signature from the rolling forty-five day order necessary to authorize the continuation surveillance programme. When Acting Attorney General John Comey refused to counter-sign in March 2004, Cheney adopted a series of intimidatory tactics, most shockingly ordering Andrew Card and Albert Gonzalez to visit his critically ill boss John Ashcroft in hospital to gain his signature instead. Unfazed, Cheney illegally replaced Comey's signature with Gonzalez on the executive order not even bothering to inform the President of the legal dispute in the Administration. A mirror image of the "Saturday Night Massacre" now occurred, when Richard Nixon ordered the executive dismissal of independent special prosecutor Archibald Cox, and the resignations of Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus on October 20, 1973 during the Watergate scandal. The entire top management of the Department of Justice resigned in protest en masse, an outcome George W. Bush was only able to reverse by agreeing to drop Cheney from the 2004 ticket.

In 1964, on this day J. Edgar Hoover (pictured) studied an intelligence assessment of the impact of Malcolm Little's activities since his return from the Hajj.

The Central Intelligence Agency had advised the immigration authorities at Jeddah that Malcolm Little and Louis Farrakhan were in the Kingdom with the express intention of fermenting trouble for the House of Saud. Farrakhan was executed, and Little released. Due (so Little claimed at least) to the presentation of an orthordox Islamic book The Eternal Message of Muhammad by Abdul Rahman Hassan Azzam along with his visa.
Hajj Part 5 - Any Means Necessary by Eric OppenIn reality, agents of the Muslim Brotherhood had urged leniency upon Muhammad Faisal, the son of Prince Faisal.
A radicalised Malcolm Little had returned to the United States to conduct orthodox conversions, resulting in his explusion from the Nation of Islam. According to the intelligence assessment on Hoover's desk, Little's life was in deadly danger and he had pledged to defend his family" by any means necessary". The CIA had (so they thought) well placed agents within Little's new organisation, Muslim Mosques, Inc. However their intelligence was faulty.
In fact the main threat to Little's life came not from the Nation of Islam, but from agents of Supreme Guide Hassan al Hodeiby who believed Little had double-crossed him.
It had become very apparent to al Hodeiby that Little had absolutely no intention of re-establishing the Sharia by using" physical power and Jihad for abolishing the organizations and authorities of the Jahili system". In point of fact, Little had tried hard to explain to the Muslim Brotherhood that getting full on Sharia law in the US just plain old wasn't on, but no one was listening.
To be continued..

In 1951, on this day China's capital, Beijing, was hit by food riots that left half the city in ruins. At the height of the violence Chinese dictator Mao Zedong vanished, never to be seen or heard from again.

 - Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong
Cuban President

On this day in 1971, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro was lynched in Havana by anti-government mobs angered over his regime's failure to prevent the China virus from reaching Cuba.

Cuban President - Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro

On this day in 1944, Soviet troops entered the ruins of Warsaw.

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In 1963, Kwame Nkrumah, founder and first president of the modern Ghanaian state delivered a historic breakthrough for the troubled people of New Africa in their centennial year.

During the War of the States, the North had refused to enlist African Americans soldiers. Whites had been ejected from from the South after devastating epidemics had destroyed the Confederacy.

Pres. Ghana
Pres. Ghana - Kwame Nkrumah
Kwame Nkrumah

After the founding of New Africa, African Americans found that their only common language was the oppressor's English. Some refuse to speak until a better tongue was found. A true visionary, Nkrumah was much more than an African anti-colonial leader. He was also one with a dream of a united Africa which would not drift into neo-colonialism. The people of New Africa understood that unity around the English medium was the key to Ghana's success in nation building, a necessary step given the hundreds of languages of West Africa.

Silent no more, New Africa strode forward into its second century with renewed confidence, taking is place amongst the nations.

In 1946, former US Vice President John Nance Garner coined the term 'Day of Infamy' when he delivered his Sinews of Peace speech at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. The anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were fast approaching, and debate raged in the United States about Truman's falsehood in describing the cities as military bases, chosen to minimise civilian casualties.

"Britain was in the wrong Union. Rather than the European Union, a group hostile to Britain and the English language, Britain belonged in the American Union, on the road to worldwide English-Speaking Union. " ~ Expansionist Party of the United States

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On this day in 1953, NATO announced it would support any US military action taken in response to the Tienanmen Square massacre and Georgi Malenkov's threats of war.  

 - Georgi Malenkov
Georgi Malenkov
In 1918, Comrade Nikolai Illich Ulyanov, better known to the world as Lenin, is shot and killed by a fellow revolutionary as he speaks to workers in a factory in Moscow. With the death of the Bolshevik leader, chaos erupts among the revolutionary factions; Trotsky's forces fought Stalin's in the streets of Moscow as the summer ended, and Trotsky emerged victorious from the struggle as winter seized Russia. Stalin was forced into exile, while Trotsky tried to turn his starving, impoverished nation, beset on all sides by white governments eager to restore the monarchy, back into a world power. Although he was harsh at first, Trotsky truly believed in socialism, and enacted reforms across Russia that benefited the working class of the nation. He also believed that the 'dictatorship of the proletariat' should fade away sooner rather than later, and once the civil unease was quelled in 1927, called for elections across the huge nation. People who had never voted for anything before in their lives now were able to choose the leaders of Russia, albeit from a somewhat limited slate of candidates. The Russian Soviet State's first Prime Minister was Trotsky himself, who served 1 term of 5 years, and then was succeeded by a non-Bolshevik, Pyotr Nyetchev of the Socialist Reformation Union. Stalin even attempted to run for Prime Minister when he was pardoned from his exile in 1945, but his power base in Russia by that time had dwindled to nothing.

On this day in 1914, RMS Titanic captain William Murdoch resigned his position to volunteer for active service in the Royal Navy two days after Great Britain declared war on Germany.

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In 1806, the Louisiana War finally ends with French capitulation. Louisiana will be annexed by Britain and subsequently reorganized into three separate colonies. The small American exile community in New Orleans flees, the Adamses to Cuba, others to France and Mexico.

The war has been ruinously costly for France. Dissatisfaction with Louis XVI is spreading not only among the common people but, ominously, among the wealthy, the Church and the military. The nation's bankers bemoan the 'bankrupting' of France by an ongoing financial crisis caused by the king's reckless spending. The Church regards the loss of Louisiana as a sign of divine displeasure with the dissipations of the Bourbon court; Cardinal Louis-Joseph de Laval-Montmorency has been particularly outspoken, claiming that Louis was 'given a warning by Our Lord' in the form of the near-revolution of 1789 and 'cannot count on God to preserve him forever' if he does not change his ways. The generals, meanwhile, are particularly offended at what they consider Louis's 'blundering,' which they believe is responsible for the French defeat.
In 1970, with their ratings in the basement, The Brady Bunch was cancelled by ABC. The series about a widower and widow blending their families together simply had no appeal to America in the middle of the Hippie era and had failed to draw an audience.
In 1682, William Penn set forth from England to found a colony in the Americas. Unfortunately, his ship was lost in a storm with all hands. In his memory, land he had been given was named Pennsburg.
In 723 AUC, the combined forces of Egypt and the legions under the command of Marc Antony spell defeat for Octavian of Rome as they battle at Alexandria. Marc Antony, with his defeat of Octavian and the Senate, names himself Dictator of Rome. Although her forces are responsible for his victory, he ignores Cleopatra after this success, and she breaks diplomatic relations with the Empire; Egypt turns into a dangerously hostile neighbor to Rome.
In 1997, Diana, Princess of Wales, was in a horrific car crash after paparazzi harassing her forced her driver to speed into a tunnel in Paris at a dangerously high speed. Her companion, Dodi Fayed, was killed, and the Princess lost her leg. She won millions in the lawsuit against the news organizations that employed the paparazzi.
In 1984, John Lennon raises a quarter million dollars in a charity auction of Pete Best memorabilia. The collection he had been saving since their days in Hamburg together brings in $257,650, in addition to promoting Lennon's book about Best, I Want To Tell You.
In 1968, the American Bund nominates George Rockwell as its candidate for the presidency of the United States. He runs against Republican incumbent Strom Thurmond, winning handily. After this election, the Semitic-African Resistance movement abandons its stance of working for peaceful solutions and begins armed resistance to the Bund.
In 1935, in an attempt to win a few electoral votes in the elections coming up, Socialist President Franklin Roosevelt passes the Wealth Tax Act, which taxes wealthy people and businesses at 25% of their total profits or income. The business community cries that this measure will break them, but there is little sympathy among the working class for them, so the measure remains in effect even after Roosevelt is voted out in 1936.
In 1797, the mother of the science fiction genre, Mary Shelley, was born in London, England. Her novels Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, Icarus, and The Seed of Cain brought into the world of literature the ideas of robots/cloning, space travel and genetic modification, respectively.
In 723 AUC, Cleopatra of Egypt was defeated in battle by Octavian of Rome, and taken back to the great city in chains. A Roman general, Lucidius Maximus, was placed on the throne of Egypt, and a legion was left behind to ensure Egyptian cooperation in the empire.
In 2003, on this day the compendium 'A Collection of Political Counterfactuals' was published. Simon Burns' masterful sequel 'What if Sirhan Sirhan had missed?' was a keynote contribution, considering the scenario where Robert Kennedy had served as U.S. president from 1969. The essence of Burns' masterpiece is the competition of mysterious forces in Los Angeles. Two green pinpricks are amongst the ocean of eyes who watch the Kennedy's car arrive at the Ambassador Hotel. The presidential candidate enters a service area to greet supporters working in the hotel's kitchen. As he enters a crowded kitchen passage way, he notices a young man with a t-shirt banner which declares Snake Eyes watching you. Kennedy instinctively ducks, and the assassins bullets thud into the kitchen wall as the 24-year Palestinian assassin is bundled to the ground by security guards. The novel ends with RFK speaking to Neil Armstrong in the Sea of Tranquillity as his brother's goal 'to send a man to the moon in this decade' is achieved.


August 29

Fresh troubles in the troubled Balkans emerged with the unconfirmed rumours that Serbia and the tiny state of Montenegro were negotiating options for uniting the two countries inside a Southern Slavic state.

29th August, 1914 - July 1914 World Crisis restartedEarlier in the month inspectors from the the Court of Arbitration at The Hague had completed their investigation of the unsuccessful assassination attempt on the life of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his Czech wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg. They had quickly determined that rogue elements of the government in Belgrade had indeed supported the Black Hand Gang however their motive was to radicalise the Serbian Government and consequently the Great Powers were able to talk themselves down from a disastrous war that they were being led into by terrorists.

Due to international mediation, the Great Powers had ratified the Serbian answer to Austria's demands which had they been accepted as originally presented, would have reduced Serbia to a mere vassal state. Much like the Scutari Crisis twelve months earlier this was a temporary fix and both Serbia and Montenegro had not failed to notice the British acting in accordance with the Concert of Europe rather than then the principles of Entente, in fact, they had privately only given their allies assurances of contingency planning to France and Russia far short of hard guarantees. Despite the British Foreign Secretary Edward Grey being hailed as the saviour of Europe, he was now a despised and hated figure in the Balkans. Having failed to draw Russia into the picture, it appeared the only way forward was a Slavic Union. This of course alarmed Austria who, having illegally annexed Bosnia-Hercegovina (she had been temporarily granted the protectorate by the Ottoman Turks) feared that such a new country would expand further towards Sarajevo.

In 1975, on this sad day the celebrated quaternion mathematician Éamon de Valera passed away in Dublin aged ninety-two. Born in New York City to an Irish mother; his parents, Catherine Coll (subsequently Mrs Wheelwright), an immigrant from Bruree, County Limerick, and Juan Vivion de Valera, a Cuban settler and sculptor of Spanish descent. But he moved back to Ireland at the age of two.

Dev has his Vision of MathematicsAlways a diligent student, at the end of his first year in Blackrock College he was Student of the Year. He also won further scholarships and exhibitions and in 1903 was appointed teacher of mathematics at Rockwell College, County Tipperary. It was here that de Valera was first given the nickname "Dev" by a teaching colleague, Tom O'Donnell. In 1904, he graduated in mathematics from the Royal University of Ireland. He then studied for a year at Trinity College Dublin.

He developed a passion for Quaternions which were introduced by Irish mathematician Sir William Rowan Hamilton in 1843. Hamilton was looking for ways of extending complex numbers (which can be viewed as points on a plane) to higher spatial dimensions. He could not do so for 3 dimensions, but 4 dimensions produce quaternions. According to the story Hamilton told, on October 16, he was out walking along the Royal Canal in Dublin with his wife when the solution in the form of the equation suddenly occurred to him; Hamilton then promptly carved this equation into the side of the nearby Brougham Bridge (now called Broom Bridge). This involved abandoning the commutative law, a radical step for the time.

By the turn of the twentieth century there was already in place a physical theory uniting gravity and electromagnetism. And when the weak and strong nuclear forces are discovered decades later the application of a still more general set of numbers called the octonions O would be applied to describe them as well. In other words, gravity and the Standard Model of quantum physics would be united in the 1950s. But much of this was due to the tireless work of de Valera in taking forward Hamilton's work in quaternion mathematician.

In 1975, the ninety-two year old former US President Edward Wheelwright passed away in his beloved New York City.

Celtic links across the oceanHis parents were immigrants from Cuba and Ireland, Catherine Coll (subsequently Mrs Wheelwright) and Juan Vivion de Valera who were reportedly married on 18 September 1881 at St. Patrick's Church in Jersey City, New Jersey. On his original birth certificate his name is given as George de Valero but the first name was changed in 1910 to Edward and the surname corrected after his mother's remarriage to Charles Wheelwright.

A brilliant mathematician he became drawn into politics during middle age. And against the odds he eventually became America's first Catholic President leading to his celebrated visit to Ireland at the invitation of Taoiseach Jack Kennedy (pictured). He gave a memorable speech to both houses of the Oireachtas. Urged to openly condemn Britain's history of persecuting Irish Catholics, instead Wheelwright focused on Celtic links coined by the memorable phrase "Geography has made us neighbours. History has made us friends. Economics has made us partners, and necessity has made us allies. Those whom God has so joined together, let no man put asunder". Thanking his visitor, Kennedy quipped "You've got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather was".

In 1526, on this day a glorious victory at the Battle of Mohács ensured that King Louis II fended off the Ottoman invasion and maintained the grip of the Jagiellon dynasty (coat of arms pictured) on the throne of Hungary and Bohemia.

Famous Hungarian Victory at the Battle of MohácsThe death of absolutist king Matthias Corvinus had thrown the nation into an acute crisis. And although the Hungarians had long opposed Ottoman expansion in southeastern Europe, the fall of Nándorfehérvár and Szabács meant that most of the southern part of the country was left indefensible.

When Louise II rejected peace offers from Suleiman I an Ottoman expedition advanced up the Danube River. Suleiman could not believe that this small, "suicidal" army was all that once powerful country could muster against him, but he underestimated the ruthless expediency of Louise II who broke with chivalry1 by ordering the attack as the Ottoman troops struggled through marshy terrain. Suleiman I was killed in the confusion, and the result was the end of Ottoman aspirations for occupying Hungarian territory.

In 1936, on this day the twenty-seventh President of the Confederate States John Sidney McCain III was born in the Federal District of Richmond, Virginia.

John S. McCain III
27th Confederate President
March 4, 2011 - present
As the senior Confederate States Senator from Arizona, he was the Constitutionist nominee for president in the 2010, winning against a tight race against Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas who had sought to become the third straight president from that state.

McCain followed his father and grandfather, both four-star admirals, into the Confederate States Navy, graduating from the C.S. Naval Academy in 1958. He became a naval aviator, flying ground-attack aircraft from aircraft carriers. During the Nicaraguan War, he nearly lost his life in the 1967 CSS Louis A. Johnson fire. In October 1967, while on a bombing mission over Managua, he was shot down, seriously injured, and captured by the Nicaraguan Contra. He was a prisoner of war until 1973. McCain experienced episodes of torture, and refused an out-of-sequence early repatriation offer. His war wounds left him with lifelong physical limitations. A new article from the "Two Americas" thread on Althistory Wikia

After returning to the C.S. McCain eventually followed his father, who had died in 1981, into the Admiralty of the Navy. He became Secretary of the Navy under President Al Gore in 1999 after an impressive career leading the Caribbean fleet in keeping peace from Trinidad to Texas. In 2002, he resigned to fill a Senate seat upon the death of a long time senator. With his resignation, he also retired from the Navy. After just two years, as a senator, he began a duel campaign for re-election and the nomination for CS president with the Constitution party.

After losing the nomination to Mike Huckabee in 2004, he went on to win re-election in Arizona for the seat he would have vacated as a successful nominee. He worked with the Huckabee administration admirably, leading to a successful campaign in 2009 to replace vice president Inglis, the presumed candidate. With a campaign that sought to reach across ideological boundaries, McCain was able to succeed in unseating the "heir apparent" to the presidency, leading to a victory over Blanche Lincoln, a Democrat 24 years his junior, who was trying to become the third president in a row from Arkansas.
The whole alternate biography is available Althistory Wiki.



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© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.