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

November 30

On this day Germans forces, lead by the 7th Panzer Division commanded by General Erwin Rommel, finally broke through the British Home Army defences along the Maidstone line. After initial success, with the Sea Lion landings in early August 1940, British defenders managed to slow down and then stop, for almost two months, the German advance along the so-called Maidstone Line.

Germans breakthrough at MaidstoneSea Lion, the German code name for the invasion of Britain, was an extremely risky affair. The Germans initially wanted to land at Dover, but Admiral Erich Raeder convinced Adolf Hitler to reject the German Army's Dover Plan in favour of his Ramsgate Plan.

Consequentially, the Kriegsmarine was lead agency, for the invasion of Britain which ensured the resulting success.

Quintessential to this success meant three vital things. The first was the Luftwaffe hammered the RAF and gained air superiority over the English Channel. Although the RAF ensured equilibrium over southern England, the Channel area however came under Luftwaffe control. The second was ensuring that the British defenders were surprised as to the actual landing for the invasion. And finally the Channel was to be kept open to German shipping, supplies, and reinforcements for the duration of the campaign.

Ensuring Luftwaffe air superiority over the Channel meant that the British never got forewarning of the day of the invasion nor its location. This meant that the British defenders were mostly stationed around Dover, the expected invasion location, whereas the Germans actually landed six divisions (two airborne, two infantry, and two light divisions) on the beaches to the south of the port of Ramsgate. As the two airborne and two infantry divisions prepared defences around Ramsgate, the two light divisions raced to Ramsgate to successful take control of the port and surrounding town.

Of cause the most important aspect to the successful invasion of Britain was the naval Battle of the Channel. On the morning of the invasion, the Royal Navy steamed south from the Orkneys, especially the naval base at Scapa Flow, with a powerful fleet including two battle cruisers, six battleships, and one aircraft carrier. However the Luftwaffe attacked the RN fleet relentlessly, sinking both HMS Hood and HMS Repulse and the battleship HMS Barham, whilst a U-Boat sunk the aircraft carrier HMS Furious. When the remaining RN ships made it to the Channel, they ran into the Kriegsmarine fleet of two modern battleships Bismarck and Tirpitz, two battle cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau , two old battleships, and two pocket battleships along with their escorts. The result saw major casualties on both sides with half of the Kriegsmarine fleet sunk whilst the Royal Navy suffered defeat ensuring that the Kriegsmarine controlled the Channel.

Regardless of the desperate attacks by British land forces on the German held Ramsgate beachhead, the Germans managed to hold on until reinforcements quickly saw ten divisions swell the German help pocket. The Germans then launched their breakout offensive which forced the British back.

Within a month Dover had been captured towards the south, whilst towards the west the Germans made it as far as the British defensive position known as the Maidstone Line. Here the British managed to hold the Germans for roughly six week until the 7th Panzer Division managed its breakthrough.

The release of the 20 year report on the effects of the Penny Plan today proves Government can maintain a balanced budget without wrecking havoc on the national economy.

20 year report on the Penny PlanIn January 1993 the newly inaugurated President Bill Clinton had a meeting with the top Democrat and Republican Congressional leaders at the White House where he proposes his "penny plan".

The essence of the plan is very simple, the United States receives vastly less from fuel taxes than the EU countries receive and this is fundamentally unfair. After all there are an almost unlimited number of projects the Federal Government could invest in to improve the infrastructure that is rapidly wearing out across the country.

Under the "penny plan" each month the Energy Information Agency will calculate the average fuel tax in the European NATO membership. If this number is higher than the current tax rate in the USA the tax will increase 1 penny per gallon the first Monday of the next month. Under this system the maximum rate of increase will be 12 cents per year, and due to the very gradual rate of implementation the voters will never even notice the tax increases because they fall within the bounds of normal fluctuations.

In 1993 the USA consumes about 500 million gallons of liquid fuel each and every day. The penny plan will produce an addition of 5 Million dollars into the federal budget every day increasing another 5 Million per day the next month.

When President Clinton signs the Highway act of 1993 it includes the "Penny Plan" in the revenue portion of the law. Because of the way the law is written Gasoline, Diesel Fuel and Kerosene fuel for road use are all taxed at the same rate eliminating the 6 cent differential that had existed before the new law was signed. Fuel taxes in European NATO countries are 3 dollars or more higher than the fuel taxes in the USA so starting in October 1993 when the new law goes into effect fuel taxes rise a penny and continue rising a penny every month thereafter.

In its first six months the penny plan raises 3.15 Billion dollars for road repairs and upgrades and at the end of the first fiscal year on September 30, 1994 it is bringing in an additional 60 Million dollars a day, a Federal revenue increase of 22 Billion dollars a year. Even better from the Congressional point of view the taxpayers have not even noticed that they are paying an extra 22 Billion dollars in fuel tax compared to a year earlier, and the way the law is written the tax will keep growing slowly but surely without them ever having to vote on raising taxes again on road fuel.

At first the impacts on the American public are tiny and the improvement in the Interstate Highway system and US Route systems are slowly adding up. The 1990"s remain the heyday of the SUV and Light Truck boom because international oil prices remain low for the rest of the decade, but by the time President Bush comes into office in January 2001 the Federal Fuel taxes are for the first time ever above $1.00 per gallon. The public in general continues to attribute fuel prices with "greedy oil companies" something politicians say incessantly and that is accepted as "common wisdom".

The increases have not gone unnoticed by passenger vehicle manufacturers, they have been steadily improving the fuel efficiency of their products to keep people buying them in the face of greater costs to the consumers. Standard engine packages for cars, SUV"s and light trucks have shrunk in size and complexity from V-10 optional/ V-8 standard for Dodge 2500 pickups to V-8 optional/ V-6 standard. The new more efficient axel gear ratio"s and transmission"s mean the trucks can pull just as much, but they accelerate slower with a heavy load. For the average buyer that rarely uses a truck to actually haul more than a passenger along with the driver the change is irrelevant. For those who actually use a truck to perform work the heavier duty option will still provide the needed capabilities, at a premium price.

For car options smaller engines and more aerodynamic models have improved fuel economy a lot. I-4 engines have become the industry standard and some models are available with even smaller I-3 engines like the Chevrolet Metro.

American oil imports grew through the 1990"s as the boom in SUV and Light Truck sales took off, but by 2000 fuel consumption is starting to slowly fall as more efficient vehicles replace the older models from 1993 and before. An average passenger vehicle in the USA lasts 15 years so the gradual fuel price increases are leading to a gradual fuel economy improvement and a gradual drop in imports. By 2001 the average car was built after the penny plan was made into law.

After September 11, 2001 the American economy goes into a recession and fuel prices drop about 40 cents a gallon for a few months, but the slow incremental penny a month tax increase continues adding up. By the time Congress votes to authorize the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan the prices have recovered and are steadily increasing. The oil "glut" of the 1990"s has continued on a little while because America is importing less oil due to constantly improving fuel efficiency just a little bit better every model year.

In late 2013 on the 20th anniversary of the Penny Plan going into effect the member countries of the EU still think the American fuel taxes are a joke, after all they are still paying 80 cents a liter in the UK for fuel tax compared too 63 cents a liter in the USA. The EU noting the success of the American Penny Plan have instituted their own version of it raising fuel taxes four cents a liter each year, one penny the first Monday each fiscal quarter.

At the close of the first 20 years fuel consumption in the USA rose through the 1990"s up until a decade in, but by 2014 consumption has fallen back down to 1993 levels. Even so the fuel tax alone is bringing just over $400 Billion into the treasury per year and has offset the costs of the seemingly endless wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. With the election of President Kerry in 2004 and President Gore in 2012 the world is a relatively happy stable place these days.

On this day the first attack by the Scotland Liberation Army took place in Edinburgh Scotland at the headquarters of the Royal Bank of Scotland. The group, which had been established in the aftermath of the failed Scottish Independence referendum in September 2014, came as a rude surprise for British security services at a time when terrorist attacks were of high concern for the British government.

Scotland Under FireAlthough it was initially thought that the terrorist group ISIS may have been responsible for the explosion at the RBS headquarters, this was soon discovered as incorrect when the Scotland Liberation Army contacted the BBC claiming responsibility for the bombing. Nonetheless the BBC thought the communications to be fake and it took some 12 hours until the BBC reported the group's claim to the public.

British Prime Minister David Cameron immediately condemned the actions of the Scotland Liberation Army and announced that the police and security forces would hunt down the group and bring them to justice. Many Scots, however, felt insulted when Cameron stated that the recent Scottish Independence referendum was partly to blame for the bombing. Indeed within hours of Cameron's statement, a riot had erupted in Glasgow involving several hundred people.

The Scotland Liberation Army statement to the BBC demanded that the RBS was singled out for their disloyalty to the Scottish People for threatening to leave Scotland should the referendum be successful. The statement went on to demand that the English leave Scotland whilst Westminster grant Scotland its independence. If not then many more enemies of Scotland would targeted until Scotland was free.

In 2000, on this day Archduke Karl von Habsburg's father Otto transferred over to him the position of Head and Sovereign of the Order of the Golden Fleece.

Recovery of Florentine DiamondBorn in 1912, Otto was the last Crown Prince of Austria-Hungary from 1916 until the dissolution of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire in 1918. In 1922 his father died and he became Sovereign of the Golden Fleece and head of the Imperial House.

For the next seven decades he sought to recover the fortunes of the Habsburgs. And while he never managed to effect a restoration of the throne, he had in the final year of the century recovered the Florentine Diamond (pictured) [1]. This precious stone had gone missing during their forced exile in 1918 when the Crown Jewels were moved to Switzerland, and determined efforts were required to recover it from South America.

In 1939, on this day Soviet forces crossed the Finnish border in several places and bombed Helsinki and several other Finnish cities, starting the war.

Western Allies intervene in Winter WarWithin the week, Anglo-French troops landed in Helsinki determined to support their Finish allies in the Winter War.

Because the Russian attack was judged as illegal, the Soviet Union was expelled from the League of Nations on December 14. The Allies had absolutely no problem with a de fact declaration of war on the Soviet Union. In their calculations, prospects for Anglo-French survival were improved, having permitted Germany to invade Poland. This way, they hoped to drive a wedge between the signatories of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, bringing Mr Hitler back into the fold.

In 2012, on this day Mitt Romney graciously accepted the post of US Ambassador to Venezuela.

Gone SouthBoth men knew that the creation of a bipartisan spirit of friendship was a pre-requisite for making divided government work. And so agreement on a suitable appointment had been quickly reached at a convivial lunch time meeting at the White House.

But because foreign policy and the economy were the differentiators in their respective election bids, many cabinet posts had to be ruled out. Cynics argued that Romney could do little harm to the US relationship with President Hugo Chavez, but that was just mean talk.

In 1874, on this day Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill was born in Brooklyn, Kings County in the New York City State, that oddest of British imperial possessions which (like Singapore and Hong Kong) was created largely by an accident of history. A crown colony, artificially sustained by the projection of military power by the Royal Navy, yet surrounded by foreign territory only viable as a statelet because of its strategic location on the prosperous transatlantic trade route. An article from the New York City State thread.

The Last Anglo-American LionBeing a member of the cadet branch of the aristocratic family of the Dukes of Marlborough, Churchill was suitably well positioned to serve in the prestigious but largely ceremonial (some might even say stuffy and pretentious) role of Governor-General. In other words a foreground yet still peripheral figure in the ruling elite that was not quite eligible for the juicier roles in the British Empire such as the Viceroy of India. Another distinct career advantage was that his father Lord Randolph Churchill (being the third son of John Winston Spencer-Churchill, 7th Duke of Marlborough and Lady Frances Anne Emily Vane) was a charismatic politician who had even served as Chancellor of the Exchequer. But despite the lingering vestiges of British power dating back centuries to John Churchill's famous victory at the Battle of Blenheim, sweeping change was just around the corner. Because there was more - much more - exotic genes running through Churchill's veins than his blue blooded ancestry. And the discretely concealed circumstances of his birth revealed the increasingly cosmopolitan nature of the British character. In short, developing events in the modern world were about to crack this very fragile egg shell of corrupt, decadent imperialism.

His mother was an American socialite with Iroquois (first nation) ancestry through her maternal grandmother. His parents became engaged within three days of meeting (although their wedding at the British Embassy in Paris was delayed by family negotiations). During this delay Winston (and his brother Jack) were conceived before the marriage. The twin brothers were also born two months prematurely after Lady Randolph "had a fall". Following the wedding she took numerous lov*rs including Karl Kinsky, the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII of the United Kingdom) and Herbert von Bismarck. Meanwhile, her husband contracted the syph*l*s that ultimately killed him at the age of just forty-five.

Although discretely hidden in the background, these unsettling events propelled young Winston out into the wider world (or rather, those countries dominated by the British and their racist Empire) and he saw military service in Sudan, South Africa and of course Flanders. On his return to the New York City State, Lieutenant Colonel Churchill was treated as a war hero and appointed Governor-General. But tragically, he had escaped the trenches only to perish in an auto-mobile accident on Fifth Avenue in 1931. Having survived many life traumas and developed a complete absence of fear of death, he carelessly walked straight into the path of a taxi travelling at only thirty-five miles hour. In years to come, the accident was often used in cartoon form as an iconic political metaphor, lampooning the proud but patently ridiculous British lion walking stupidly and leisurely to its doom.

In 1916, the mood in the cabinet room was heated. Secretary of War Theodore Roosevelt was giving forth in the grand manner.
Continues from Mr Hughes Goes To War: Part 1.

Mr Hughes Goes to War: Part 1 by Mike Stone"Mr President,(was there a hint of chagrin in his voice at having to call another man that?) Is there really anything to discuss? The Germans have been murdering our citizens on the high seas for over a year. Now they have sunk an American ship going about its lawful business [unspoken - and if they hadn't done, a week before election, you probably wouldn't be sitting here now] They are, to all intents and purposes, waging war against us now. What remains except to recognise that simple fact?"

Secretary of State Charles Fairbanks responded. "The sinking of the Algonquin may well have been a mistake, as they claim. And anyone who goes through the middle of a war zone on a belligerant ship has got to accept a certain amount of risk. If I chose to take my morning constitutional across the Verdun battlefield, I might not emerge unscathed".

President Hughes let them wrangle for a while, then observed, calmly. "Mr Roosevelt, as you spent the campaign season pointing out [he did not add "and nearly cost me the election with your sabre-rattling"] the previous administration's neglect of national defence has left this country with a negligible army. If I were to declare a war (which Congress isn't yet ready to do anyway) without any means of fighting it, I should make this country a laughing-stock. My own son is at a Citizen's Training Camp as we speak, but he isn't going anywhere near Flanders until both he and those beside him are properly trained and armed. Which isn't the case right now. If you seriously want me to fight, concentrate on giving me the wherewithal to do so".

And so it was. The Presdent's request for a massive expansion of the US Army went to Congress. It ran into opposition, extending in the Senate to an attempted filibuster, but anger at the Algonquin sinking helped to see it through. By next March, the US would have at least the beginnings of a serious military force.
Thread continues in Mr Hughes Goes To War: Part 2.

In 1876, during an early game of American Football, a pivotal moment took place when Yale athletic legend Walter Camp tossed the ball forward while in mid-tackle to his teammate Oliver Thompson, who then went on to score a touchdown.

Forward Pass Declared Illegal in American Football The opposing team, Princeton, protested as only backward passes to teammates. As it was an action performed in a tackle, the beguiled referee determined to settle the decision with a flipped coin. In the end, Princeton was supported, and the touchdown was nullified, along with the notion of a "forward pass" in American-style football.

Americans had been playing various non-codified games for decades already by the time modern football began to take form. Early in the nineteenth century, boys and men alike often played forms of "mob football" that date back to English games of time immemorial. Rules varied from town to town, with the "Boston Game" taking the lead as a hybrid of the diverging "kicking" and "carrying" games that would later evolve into Association Football (soccer) and rugby, respectively. The Oneida Football Club of boys on the Boston Common established rules in 1862 for the first organized take on what would become the modern game. It was an uphill battle, however, as football was routinely being banned from universities as too dangerous or unbecoming of gentlemen, and it would be years until these organized fellows went to college themselves with a proven formula for gameplay.

The bans on football ended, and colleges began to play one another in a loose intercollegiate league including Rutgers, Princeton, Yale, and Columbia. These big four schools met in 1873 to determine a standardized set of rules that would resemble soccer more than rugby. Meanwhile, Harvard, McGill, and Tufts continued the fascination with the Boston Game, more rugby than soccer and incorporating the "try", which would evolve into the "touchdown" of carrying the ball into the end zone. In 1875, Harvard and Yale met for the first "The Game", which became an annual event, and a new league was born as they decided to make the hybrid football the new standard for competition. On November 23, 1876, a new conference determined official rules for college football, among them making note of, but not clarifying, the forward pass.

In the Yale-Princeton game the next week, the forward pass would officially be laid to rest. Camp was disappointed with the choice, but he worked to determine a better, faster game where speed became as important as brawn. He created the line of scrimmage and a system of downs to move the game in increments, creating an ordered form of strategy and cleverness where there had once been only mobs. Camp also determined game length, field size, and scoring methods, creating the skeleton of what would be American football today.

Key to the game was the idea of movement, which would prove its most influential piece as the twentieth century dawned. Players typically followed mass formations, moving violently as one unit and often crushing opponents during a charge. In 1905 alone, nineteen young men were killed, and cries arose for safety on the field, even to the point President Theodore Roosevelt threatened to end football nationwide. An attempt to limit scrimmages was made, but the resulting punting game did not work well. With the forward pass having been declared illegal, the solution came to be ending mass formations, making each individual a significant piece to the eleven-member team.

Under Coach "Pop" Warner, one of the most influential football players of all time, Native American Jim Thorpe, would revolutionize the game with his expert moves. Pop did not want the fragile track star to play in football on fears he would be injured, but Thorpe convinced him to try a play against the defensive line and "ran around past and through them not once, but twice". Later that year, Thorpe would single-handedly score all of the points for Carlisle Indian Industrial School in an upset victory over the famed Harvard team, 18-15. Coaches across the nation hurried to emulate the apparent need for speed, finally matching Camp's dream of a fast game working from a series of plays.

Since that time, American football has grown to enormous popularity and a multi-billion dollar industry. While America's pastime of baseball became notoriously corrupt and slow, football has grown to be its rival, making key advances in its skillfulness and complex, eager maneuvers in high scoring games. Another rival, basketball, has taken its own season with some players in college crossing over due to the similarities in passing and running, but still with the unique feature of a pausing scrimmage and of course the famed tackles of blinding gymnastic agility.

In 1960, on this day Richard Nixon's bid to expose vote rigging in Texas, Illinois, Missouri and Delaware (and thereby reverse the stolen election) received an unexpected boost when Luis Salas, the election judge in Alice, admitted that he and southern Texas political boss George Parr rigged the 1948 senatorial election of President-elect Lyndon Baines Johnson.

Landside LyndonVice President Nixon had been inclined to accept the outcome of the election for the good of the country, despite the encouragement of President Eisenhower who was convinced that a recount would expose suffficient irregularities to reverse the outcome. However reports of Johnson's record of corruption convinced Nixon that an LBJ Presidency would be a setback for the nation.

Early indications were that Congressman Johnson had lost. Six days later, however, Precinct 13 in the border town of Alice, Texas, showed a very interesting result. Exactly 203 people had voted at the last minute - in the order they were listed on the tax rolls - and 202 of them had voted for Johnson.

While Stevenson protested, Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black upheld the result, and Johnson squeaked by with an 87-vote victory. For this feat, columnist Drew Pearson gave Johnson the sobriquet "Landslide Lyndon".

In 1914, in the two months since they had been kicked from Heaven, Satan and his minions had pushed the world over the edge. A minor assassination of a prince among the human empire of Austro-Hungary had led to war, which was an understandable course among vengeful men.

God Calls it Quits Through divine inspiration, the war would go into stalemate, proving to men the futility of war. With modern technology of print followed by the vocal word from radio, it would be a new chance to inspire love and brotherhood that had been given by Jesus as he had walked the earth. Through the past 19 centuries, he had waited as Immanuel at the right hand of God in Heaven for His Kingdom on Earth, and now was his time to return.

Mankind, however, seemed once again too evil to embrace the government of Heaven. Instead, they wrapped themselves in an unending war, guided by Satan. In the west, soldiers would slay one another with new technologies: machine guns and poison gasses. In the east, near Lodz in the Polish lands, the humans added up hundreds of thousands of casualties in an indecisive battle that, out of arrogance, both considered victories.

God considered waking humanity and ending the war with a new plague, an influenza, but He at last decided the New Earth would not be worth the trouble. Hope had gone out of it. The Earth to come would be filled with decadence, heart-rending poverty, greater wars splitting the atoms themselves, and artificial, digital worlds where men would give up his body as well as his soul to mere entertainment. Having only recently annexed Earth, it already seemed too much to bother.

He had destroyed the world before, of course, with a Flood and planned to destroy it again with fire on the day of Judgment, but it all seemed too much now. There was hope, but it was distant and the rewards too small to carry the pain. God looked upon the whole of Creation and found it... depressing. He decided to end it.

Doing so, however, would mean the loss of His creations, the humans He genuinely loved. The love seemed only one-sided now, nothing but pain. Even so, he would have to eliminate Immanuel as well, His being on Earth. Without an Earth, there would be no need. It was pain, but it would be over quickly enough.

And God said, "Let there be naught," and the Earth was gone.

Now darkness was again upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved alone upon the face of the waters.

In 1874, on this day the first prime minister of the United Dominions of America Winston S. Churchill is born, son of Lord Randolph Churchill and an American mother.

An American Lion is Born
Alternative Churchill Career
He will grow up in England, but will emigrate to the American colonies in 1909, following a bitter quarrel with his father. There he will enter politics, becoming active in the movement for North American sovereignty.

Churchill will disagree powerfully with more radical leaders of the movement, who argue for full independence, and in the end his position will carry the day. "If my father had been American and my mother British, instead of the other way round, I might have got here on my own" ~ Churchill's speech to the Joint session of Congress on 26 December 1941With him as its spokesman, the movement will amass increasing support in Britain for granting the North American colonies substantial self-rule.

The "Dominionists," as Churchill's faction is known, will ultimately prevail, but on Sept. 1, 1939, on the eve of what should have been their triumph, the Second World War breaks out, leading Parliament to table the so-called "Dominion Act" until 1946, following the end of hostilities. Churchill will become a world-famous figure for his role in rallying North America against the Axis powers, and the inevitable choice for the first prime minister of the United Dominions of America following the Dominion Acts passage.

In 1957, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats beat the Edmonton Eskimos 32-14 in the 45 annual Grey Cup championship game. For Hamiltion fans the win was sweet redemption after their heartbreaking 1953 Cup loss against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers; their remaining ghosts would be exorcised in 1984 when the Ti-Cats beat the Bombers in Winnipeg's first Cup finals appearance since 1956.

 - Tiger Cats
Tiger Cats

On this day in 1941, the US carrier task force which had been dispatched from Pearl Harbor four days earlier was recalled on orders from CINCPAC.                                      

 - Pearl Harbour
Pearl Harbour

In 1970, Fidel Castro is reported to have been killed in fighting between his guerrilla forces and U.S. Army Rangers.

The former Cuban president, deposed by right-wing counterrevolutionaries with the aid of massive U.S. support in April 1961, has become something of a hero to many antiwar protesters for his ability to elude U.S. occupation forces, who have put a 'dead or alive' bounty of 100,000 USD on him. When no one steps forward to claim the reward, suspicion grows that he has gotten away again.


In 1954, in a television interview, engineer and science-fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke refers to his 1945 article in Britain's Wireless World magazine suggesting that orbital satellites might be used as radio communications relays and points out that with the Nov. 24 launch by the United States of Mickey, the first artificial satellite, such communications satellites are now technologically within reach.

 - Arthur C. Clarke
Arthur C. Clarke
Winston Churchill was born on the 30th of November 1874 to Randolph Churchill and Jennie Jerome. He was born in Blenheim Palace, in Woodstock Oxfordshire and would later profess a profound attachment to the house.

Tragedy struck the Churchill family just three months later. Lord Randolph fell ill and died of tertiary syphilis at the age of just 25, leaving his wife and newborn son to fend for themselves.

Six months after the death of Randolph Churchill, Jennie Jerome left the UK and returned to the USA where she took up residence in Brooklyn. Jerome became notorious for a series of affairs, including a reported fling with Presidential hopeful Samuel J. Tilden (though the truth behind these rumours is disputed). While Jerome was extremely distant with the young Churchill, Winston would later recall an affectionate (if distant) relationship with his mother as the two of them acted as a comfort after his fathers death.

Leonard Jerome acted as the father figure in Winston's early life, driving the young Churchill to succeed. But despite this 'support' (Churchill did not recall his grandfather very positively) Churchill did not excel in academic life and proved to be a somewhat unruly and stubborn student.

As he entered his late teenage years, Churchill made it extremely clear that he wished to pursue a career in the military and attempted to gain entry to West Point Military Academy. He failed in this enterprise to begin with; however his mother used her considerable influence to 'convince' Roswell P. Flower, the Governor of New York to protest on his behalf. Thanks to some gentle nudging, Churchill went off the West Point in 1893.
In 1954, the course of human evolution was altered when Mrs. Elizabeth Hodges of Sylacauga, Alabama, was struck by a meteorite. The powerful energies contained in the rock from outer space transformed her into the being known today as Astro-Woman. Seemingly immortal, this crime-fighting Alabaman has been foiling evil ever since, and along with her children, Astro-boy and Comet-girl, and their dog Shooting Star, she has kept the American south safe for two generations.
In 1947, playwright David Mamet was born in Chicago, Illinois. Mamet was famous for his family-friendly plays and movie scripts. He was known to remark, 'if you have to swear to say something, it really wasn't worth saying, was it?'
In 1667, future Bishop Jonathan Swift was born in Dublin, Ireland. Bishop Swift arose to his position by his harsh treatment of his native countrymen; during a particularly terrible famine in Ireland, he even suggested to Pope William that the Irish could use their young as a source of food. Of all the Archbishops the Holy British Empire appointed to oversee Dublin and Ireland, none was hated more than Bishop Swift.
In 723 AUC, the alliance of Rome and Egypt ended the rebellion of Marcus Antonius, who had ruled in a triumvirate with Octavian and Marcus Lepidus, but had attempted to seize power for himself in 721. Cleopatra VII, ruler of Egypt, had flirted briefly with the idea of allying with Antonius before a personal plea from Octavian brought her back into Rome's camp.
In 1874, the imperialist Winston Spencer Churchill was born. A promising political career was destroyed by mistakes at Gallipoli, rejoining the Gold Standard as Chancellor and then as Home Seceretary authorising the shooting of strikers during the General Strike. In his truncated retirement, Churchill died during 1931 in a tragic car accident in New York City - - as a result of his very last bad decision. Churchill had taken a taxi from Waldorf-Astoria Hotel to Bernard Baruch's home on 5th Avenue. Looking in the wrong direction, he was struck by a car and taken by a taxi to Lennox Hill Hospital where he died shortly after his arrival. During his post politics career, and in addition to his famous paintings, Churchill was remembered as a man of letters, including his imaginative work, What if Robert E. Lee had not won the Battle of Gettysburg?

November 29

On this day Prof Brain Cox rejected criticism made if him, made at Today In Alternate History, where some so-called Rimward Galactic Commission for Pre-Developing Planets is conspiring against him to prove that there is no life in the galaxy other than on Earth.

Don't Feed The Humans Part 2According to Prof Cox "These so called alternative historians want to ridicule me, but the truth is stranger than fiction. We just need to look towards Australia in order to witness the facts. Wallabies, it has been documented, have been creating so-called crop circles after having eating poppies. As we all know poppies contain hallucinogenic properties which, not only affect us humans, but also wallabies".

But the editor of Today In Alternate History was having none of this nonsense. Steve Payne said "If Professor Cox honestly thinks that stoned wallabies create crop-circles then I want the same drugs he is on. Maybe it's the same stuff the wallabies have!"

"On a more serious note, it is pretty clear that aliens are involved with these crop circles. It's a far better explanation than having wallabies high on drugs [creating them]".

Needless to say the true explanation for crop circles is still yet to be finalised, however considering wallabies don't exist outside of Australia, it is maybe safe to say that something else is creating them in other locations, throughout the planet, other than stoned wallabies in Australia.

In 2012, to commemorate the anniversary of the Zong Massacre, the British Royal Family and other members of the British establishment led an all day prayer vigil in the city of Liverpool.

Remember the ZongBecause on this day in 1781, a slave ship owned by a Liverpool slave-trading syndicate murdered one hundred and thirty-three Africans by dumping them into the sea to claim insurance.

The resulting court cases, brought by the ship-owners seeking compensation from the insurers for the slave-traders' lost "cargo", established that the deliberate killing of slaves could in some circumstances be legal. It was a landmark in the battle against the African slave trade of the eighteenth century, and inspired abolitionists such as Granville Sharp and Thomas Clarkson, leading to the foundation of the Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade in 1787.

In 2012, President Barack Obama hosted President-elect Mitt Romney for a private lunch at the White House, their first meeting since the Republican challenger defeated his Democratic incumbent in a bitterly fought election. And of course final recounts had delayed the activation of the transition team and their "readiness project" even though Romney had prematurely activated their web site on November 8th.

No such thing as a free lunchFrustratingly, much time had therefore been lost. Because way back in June, Michael Leavitt, the former governor of Utah, has been tasked with helping Romney set up a presidential administration, should he be elected.

The lunch meeting came amid bipartisan efforts to work out with congressional leaders a way to avoid a looming "fiscal cliff" that could push the U.S. economy back into recession. The pressing need to strike a deal during the transition period was already creating huge tensions. Although both men had been in regular dialogue, the purpose of the meeting was an attempt to demonstrate a unity of purpose.

In 1972, on this day the video game pong was released by Atari Inc.

USG bans PongIt was a two-dimensional sports game that simulated table tennis. The player controlled an in-game paddle by moving it vertically across the left side of the screen, competing against either a computer controlled opponent or another player controlling a second paddle on the opposing side.

But within months, the Surgeon General would call for a strategic study of the impact upon the developing minds of young people. This research concluded that video games had a deleterious effect upon both concentration and attention. In short, gamers tended to narrow their focus on the rich detail of the immediate sensory input, but subsequently struggled with broader perceptions such as parallel plot storylines in childrens novels. The disturbing outcome was that these test children quickly lost interest in traditional teaching tools And of course the results put pressure on the USG to ban video games before academic consequences could take root.

In 1314, Philip the Fair King of France died in Fontainebleau aged forty-six. Unexpected difficulties in the succession would soon end the rule of the House of Capet caused by a usurpation by Edward II King of England who was married to his only daughter Isabella.

Tour de Nesle AffairAn adulterous scandal discredited Joan II of Navarre. She was the heir to his successor (and first son) Louis X who died just eighteen months later. And because Joan was underage she required a regent and was thus an easier target for a violent overthrow by the English King.

Despite her youth, Joan's misstep was her passive involvement in Tour de Nesle Affair. This scandal revealed that two of Philip the Fair's daughters-in-law were engaged in affairs with two Norman knights, Gautier and Philippe d'Aunay. At the urging of her husband Edward II, the affairs were exposed by Isabella who came to realize that she had been used as an instrument in an English plot. It is suspected that she became aware of the indiscretions during Philip's rule but due to the King's statue-like dispassion had decided that the consequences would be too brutal to contemplate.

In 2007, NEW YORK (AP) Arnold Zenker, anchor of CBS Evening News and America's longest-standing news personality announced today he was leaving his position for "personal reasons".
An article from the Arnold Zenker Reports thread.

Uncle Arnold RetiresZenker, often termed "the most trusted man in America", had held anchorship of the highest-rated news program in the country for over forty years. As director of CBS's news programming division, Zenker was tapped to temporarily replace Walter Cronkite during an AFTRA strike in April 1967. Viewers immediately warmed to the charming if novice newscaster and ratings shot through the roof during the three weeks of Zenker's planned anchorship. CBS, bowing to public demand, retained Zenker as chief anchor following the end of the strike, which prompted Cronkite to sign with rival NBC upon the termination of his contract.

Through the turbulent waning years of the 60s, Zenker was often a calm and reassuring voice of reason on the nation's airways. During the Apollo moon landing in 1969, his emotional observation "We have finally begun to explore the frontiers of our potential" became almost as famous a quote as Armstrong's "One small step for man", and his quiet, solemn announcement "The war is over" at the conclusion of Vietnamese hostilities is remembered as one of the defining moments of news broadcasting.

Zenker proved his survival skills in the sometimes cut-throat business of television by retaining his original viewers and proving himself popular to several following generations. John Lennon and Ronald Reagan's assassination brought the nation tuning in invariably to hear what "Uncle Arnold" had to say, and the ending of the Cold War and Zenker's tireless efforts to fully assist the public in making sense of turbulent and confusing events only brought his star higher.

It was, however, on September 11, 2001 that America most needed Arnold Zenker, and despite health problems near the beginning of the year, Zenker set a record for endurance by remaining on the air for a full 36 hours following the attacks. This feat, however, is said to have damaged his health further, and at the conclusion of the invasion of Afganistan, Zenker began requesting longer and longer sabbaticals from CBS News. He was, however, on hand during the Iraq War and much of its aftermath, proving himself a tireless proponent of the press. CBS has not yet announced a replacement for Zenker.

In 1818, on this day the leading advocate of responsible government in British North America George Brown was born in Alloa, Clackmannanshire, Scotland.

Birth of George Brown, father of responsible governmentAfter managing a printing operation in New York with his father, he moved to Southern Ontario in 1843. He founded the Banner in 1843, and "The Globe" in 1844 which quickly became a leading Reform newspaper.

In a time when royal governors still ruled with personal authority, Colonial thought had finally caught up with the idea of local representation; for example Lord Metcalfe argued that his Council of Ministers, and their Legislature, must win every election in order to remain in power. But Brown rejected this development, demanding instead that the Council of Ministers should only be held accountable by the Legislature which of course was the foundation of the Westminster system of parliamentary democracy.

The idea fired the popular imagination of separatists across the eastern seaboard, reigniting the extinguished "Spirit of 1776". Within twenty years, the Colonial office would not only accept the principle of governors as figureheads, but began to entertain the broader issue of self-rule across North America.

Brown himself would not live to see such an exhilariating future.

On March 25, 1880, a former Globe employee, George Bennett, dismissed by a foreman, tried to shoot Brown at the Globe office. Luckily, Brown caught his hand and pushed the gun down. Unfortunately, Bennett managed to shoot Brown in the leg.

What seemed to be a minor injury turned gangrenous, and seven weeks later Brown died from the wound. Buried at Necropolis, he rests but a short distance from the largest hub in the North American Confederation, the George Brown International Airport in the capital city of York.

In 1944, on a stormy day, German submarine U-1230 came up from an eight-day rest on the ocean floor off the coast of Maine and delivered its package of two spies to Hancock Point in Frenchman Bay.

Operation Elster Makes American Landfall A freak wave caught the landing craft, however, tossing one of the spies, William Colepaugh, into the cold sea, where he drowned. The surviving spy, Erich Gimpel, determined to go on with Operation Elster (English, "Magpie") in gathering intelligence on rocketry laboratories, sabotaging the Manhattan Project, and, perhaps most significantly, setting up the radio beacons that would enable the Germans to launch their V-1 attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C.

Gimpel would later say during his interrogation after being caught by coordinated FBI agents and Army MPs outside of Los Alamos, NM, that losing Colepaugh was the best thing to happen to his mission. Colepaugh was an American defector who had been expelled from the US Naval Reserve for, as the official report stated, the good of the service. He was a discontented and seemed unable to apply himself enough to complete tasks, yet when he defected to the German consulate in Portugal after leaving a Merchant Marine ship, Colepaugh was chosen for an espionage mission to the United States. He was paired with Gimpel, a radio-operator at mines in Peru before the war, and the two were trained to be spies at The Hague, still controlled by German forces. They were given orders, transported across the Atlantic via U-boat, and told that a pack of submarines bearing V-1 flying bombs would come behind them.

After managing to get to Boston by foot and hitchhiking, Gimpel took the train to New York City, where he acquired rooms and began construction of his radio transmitter. He was stunted in his chances for espionage without American Colepaugh, so instead he focused on establishing communications with Berlin. By Christmas, he was able to radio messages to Germany, and Hitler became ecstatic at the thought of a vicious strike to America, perhaps one enough to bloody her nose into retreat from Europe. The Fuhrer pressed resources into the Vulkan Docks in Stettin to assemble launch-canisters developed after the experiments with on-board launches in 1943 had been unsuccessful. Many in the German High Command thought the focus was waste and only annoy the American tiger as the end of the war was coming within view, but Hitler personally ensured that the project would go forward.

The United States Government had become aware of the threat the September before, when captured German spy Oscar Mantel had given up information during an FBI interrogation that the Nazis were planning a long-ranged missile attack. In the Department of War, which was largely under the weight of the Army, the recommendation to FDR was that no real threat existed. The Navy disagreed and, on its own, wrote up plans for an "Operation Bumblebee" that would become Operation Teardrop in which a sub-hunting fleet would track down and destroy submarines bearing rockets. Vice Admiral Jonas H. Ingram, commander of the Atlantic Fleet, prepared task forces within the bounds of allowed resource allocation.

Germany went forward with its attack plans. As 1945 began, Albert Speer, German Minister of Armaments and War Production, gave a broadcast stating that flying bombs "would fall on New York by February 1". The propaganda was largely dismissed, and February 1 passed without incident. German spy Gimpel finally established his radio beacons later that month and began his journey west toward Tennessee and New Mexico. In late March, a seven U-boat fleet set out with its hastily prepared launch canisters, and the US took notice of increased radio traffic as April began. Ingram's ships began a patrol, but it would be too late as the V-1 attacks struck in the early morning of April 3.

Many of the launches would malfunction and at least one rocket would fall far off-target into New Jersey, but several flying-bombs struck home, spreading incendiaries over Manhattan and one landing in the National Mall between the US Capitol and the White House, damaging the Smithsonian Museums. American sentiment flew into angry panic, especially upon news of FDR's death by stroke only days later. Ingram's Operation Teardrop was pressed forward, managing to sink five submarines at the cost of one destroyer, the USS Frederick C. Davis. Hitler's attempt at scaring the Americans into peace only exacerbated a public opinion of revenge akin to after Pearl Harbor, and newly promoted four-star general Patton was directed by now President Harry Truman to take Berlin rather than turning south to liberate Bohemia.

In a combined Soviet-American assault, Berlin fell, and Hitler would be found dead in his bunker from suicide. The war continued in the Pacific and in the minds of many Germans, such as Gimpel in New Mexico where he would be apprehended in late July, supposedly having witnessed the Trinity tests. After the war finally closed, Truman launched his doctrine of American invulnerability, never to allow another such attack on home soil to happen again. Typical post-war conservatism was scarce, and instead massive resources (including captured German scientists) were allocated to defense projects that would be able to take out any missile attack with strategies such as homing counter-measure rockets, supersonic jets, tracking satellites, and focused microwave-rays that could destroy incoming enemy (most likely Soviet) weapons with no fear of a "cold war" becoming hot with a surprise attack.

In 1945, on this first day of the Nuremberg Trial Hitler's top administrators pleaded not guilty presenting Chief Justice Robert Jackson with massive documentary evidence to support their tu quoque ("everybody else did it too") defence.

Everybody Else Did It TooThe civilians were dressed in cheap fitting suits and the military wearing their former uniforms with the insignia patches torn off. Ushered into an oblong box filled with two rows of straight-back chairs, the prisoners were only issued with neckties and shoelaces outside their cells due to the expectation that they would suicide. But these monsters refused to be demonized by victor's justice and they had a massive surprise in store for the Soviet, British and American judges:

  • A memo dated 5 March 1940 in which the head of the NKVD Lavrentiy Beria authorised the execution of all members of the Polish Officer Corps leading to the Soviet massacre of 21,768 soldiers in the Katyn Forest massacre
  • Witnessed dispositions of a British officer from 28 May 1945 assuring Cossacks that "I assure you on my word of honour as a British officer that you are just going to a conference" before releasing 2,700 soldiers to their certain death in Soviet hands at Lienz, a decision expressly authorised by the British Minister Resident Harold Macmillan
  • Evidence of US Soldiers drugging POWs before handing them over to Stalin in contravention of "Leaflet Operation", the dropping of six billion leaflets over German lines, urging the Soviet Russians in German uniforms to surrender to the West, solemnly promising them good treatment, and denouncing "as lies the Nazi propaganda that Soviet nationals fighting or not fighting with the Germans would ultimately be forcibly repatriated to the Soviets if they ever surrendered or deserted to the Americans"
But perhaps most unexpected of all was the opening line of defence from Hermann Göring (pictured) who boldly declared that "I am determined to go down in German history as a great man".

In 1872, on this day in Pleasantville, New York the President-elect Horace Greeley died just three weeks after voters endorsed his crusade against the corruption of Ulysses S. Grant's Republican administration and too soon for the electoral college to have met to count their votes.

Death of President-elect Horace GreeleyAfter supporting the General in the 1868 election, Greeley broke from Grant and the Radicals. Opposing Grant's re-election bid, he joined the Liberal Republican Party in 1872. To everyone's astonishment, that new party nominated Greeley as their presidential candidate. Even more surprisingly, he was officially endorsed by the Democrats, whose party he had denounced for decades.

His success in exposing the depth of corruption of Grant's administration was the triumphant conclusion to a long career in journalism. Expert investigative and communication skills when combined with a sound reputation for unbiased reporting enabled him to maximise bipartisan support. This was enough for Greeley to score a narrow victory on November 5th, but not long after, his wife died and he descended into madness.

At the meeting of the electoral college, the Democratic electors had nobody to vote for, although three Georgia electors tried to vote for Greeley but Congress refused to count their ballots.

In 1809, after Washington City fell to the army of the breakaway Republic of Gloriana and their allies, the Jeffersonian Rebels, bitter arch rivals US President Alexander Hamilton and his old nemesis, Colonel Aaron Burr were issued with dueling pistols on the White House Lawn.

A Pair of PistolsThe last time that they had squared off, Hamilton's finger had slipped on the hair trigger of his pistol, making him an easy target for Burr's much steadier hand. But, refusing to be condemned by history as a mere murderer, Burr pointed his firearm upwards before harmlessly discharging his bullet.

Within eighteen months of the interview at Weehawken, Hamilton would occupy the White House, and Burr would have stood down as Vice President. Out of office, Burr fled the young country along with a few hundred followers. He established his own republic in the former French protectorate of Louisiana. He names himself president, but acts much more like a king. Many Americans who had been on the Tory side of the revolution, on hearing of Burr's new Gloriana, immigrated.

Although never large, Gloriana proved to be a thorn in the underside of the American nation as it tried to spread west, constantly harassing the Americans who attempted to settle in the Louisiana Purchase or move through it to Mexico and parts west. Alternate ending to a story by Robbie TaylorAfter his re-election was assured, Hamilton decided that he could not leave office without handling "this minuscule king, this traitor, Aaron Burr", and asked for a declaration of war against Gloriana from Congress. The declaration passed swiftly, and Americans across the east coast signed up for the attack on Gloriana. Burr, seeing what was coming, tried to ask Mexico and the native nations around him for aid, but they all refused. Instead, hope arrived from a wholly unexpected quarter.

Of course the so-called "Founding Conflict" was rapidly expanding from a Hamilton-Burr dispute. Former President Thomas Jefferson had been bested by Hamilton during Washington's first term, forcing him to quit the administration and pursue a "Revolution of 1800". Problem was, Hamilton had set about rolling that revolution back. Seizing the final chance to restore the Jeffersonian Model of small government and states rights, Jefferson came out of his self-imposed retirement at Monticello, declared his support for Burr by leading a libertarian revolt.

In 2014, the former President of Kenya, Barack Hussein Obama II was confirmed as the ninth Secretary General of the United Nations.The Barack Obama Story, Part 5 - Common Ground

A gleeful Mama Sarah (pictured) proudly accompanied her grandson on his flight from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi. At an official ceremony in New York City, Mr Obama was sworn in as the organization's chief administrative officer under Article 97 of the UN Charter.

The first Secretary General of dual heritage, his upbringing across three continents made Mr Obama uniquely qualified for the challenges that he would shortly face in the role. In Dreams of My Father, he joked that family meal-times in Hawaii were actually like a meeting of the United Nations, with his Indonesian step-father at the head of table.

Twelve months later, and not so far from that family home, Mr Obama would be drawn into a bitter confrontation at the United States deep-water naval base at Pearl Harbour. His adversaries would be the belligerent forty-fourth US President, Hillary Rodham Clinton and the Prime Minister of Japan, General Toshio Tamogami.

Absolutely nobody would describe Tamogami as the product of diversity. Shortly before Clinton's election in 2008, the General lost his job as chief of staff for Japan's Air Self-Defense Force after saying in an essay entitled True Perspective of Modern and Contemporary History that "it is certainly a false accusation to say that our country was an aggressor nation [in World War Two]. "

Tamogami experienced a dramatic reversal of fortune in the second decade of the twenty-first century. His re-armament of Japan placed him on a collision course with Mrs Clinton. And it would be for Mr Obama to find common ground between the two.


On this day in 1941, the US embassy in Tokyo informed the Japanese foreign ministry that the White House was accepting the Shigemetsu government's peace proposal; in turn, the Japanese embassy in Washington told the State Department that Japan would begin withdrawing its troops from China within 72 hours.

Shigematsu - Sakaibara

On this day in 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald told his court-appointed psychiatrist that the same voice he'd heard on the day he surrendered himself to Dallas police had spoken to him again on the night of November 28th and told him he had been ordained by God to spread the Gospel to the downtrodden masses of the world. This was an ironic turn of events, considering that Oswald had for years been a dedicated Communuist.

 - Lee Harvey Oswald
Lee Harvey Oswald

In 1963, President Lyndon B. Johnson appoints a special commission to investigate the murder of President Kennedy. His controversial choice to head this body is Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren.

Conservatives, who still resent the U.S. Senate's March 12 acquittal of Warren at his impeachment trial, immediately cry foul. Liberals are not altogether happy either, as they fear the post-impeachment Warren will be unwilling to push the investigation vigorously if it begins to appear that it is headed in a politically contentious direction.

In 1963, President Lyndon Johnson establishes a commission, headed by Chief Justice Earl Warren, to lay the blame of former President Kennedy's assassination squarely at the feet of Lee Harvey Oswald. When the commission's initial report finds otherwise, Warren squashes the official report and releases a pack of lies about a 'magic bullet' and a lone gunman.
In 1952, President-elect Dwight Eisenhower visits Korea in an effort to find an end to the bitter civil war raging in the small Asian nation. His itinerary was apparently not guarded very well, because his convoy was attacked on a countryside drive, killing him and several soldiers and diplomats. His Vice-President-elect, Richard Nixon, pledged total American commitment to South Korea, and plunged America deeper into the civil war when he assumed the office of President in January.
In 1919, a faction of the Presence works its will on a young Austrian soldier, convincing him that the loss of the Central Powers in the Great War was the fault of cowards and non-Aryans within the German and Austrian command. Ludicrous as this was, the idea infected him and he soon infected others.
In 1962, Comrade President Gus Hall appoints Coleman Young as head of a committee to investigate the assassination of Comrade President Joel Rosenberg the week before. Comrade Young establishes conclusively that the lone counter-revolutionary, Lee Oswald, was responsible for the murder, but lunatic conspiracy theorists have questioned this conclusion for decades.
In 1986, Archie Leach, a musical comedy favorite from the 1930's through the 1960's, died at his home in Davenport, Iowa. Leach had entered the U.S. as a teen when he was part of a group of acrobatic performers. He stayed and soon his dashing good looks and singing ability landed him parts on Broadway, where he became noticed by movie studios. He made his first film in 1932 in This is the Night, and before long he was starring opposite such leading ladies as Marie von Losch, Mary West and Katharine Hepburn. He had retired from filmmaking twenty years earlier, adhering to the old theater adage, 'always leave em wanting more.'
In 1948, Australia auto manufacturer Holden Automotive met the challenge issued it by the government to produce a car entirely in Australia. The Holden FX was a tremendous success, not only in Australia, but around the world. The models that followed, the Torana and Commodore, proved that the FX was no fluke. By the 1960's, Australia's cars were outperforming American cars in the lucrative American market. This led many Michiganders to urge boycotts and stiff trade barriers against Australian cars, but the nation continued to buy them. When the Japanese entered the auto ring in the 1970's, America's automotive industry fell into its final collapse.
In 12-12-9-14-2, Oueztecan troops commit another atrocity in their war in the north of the continent as they slaughter helpless Cheyenne and Arapaho people who were attempting to surrender. As news of the slaughter spreads among the northern people, resistance against Ouezteca stiffens; the people of the north feel that they have nothing to gain by giving up to the southern empire, and everything to lose.
On November 29th 1952, U.S. President-elect Douglas McArthur fulfilled a campaign promise by going to Korea to find out what could be done to end the conflict, famously saying 'There is no substitute for victory'. Back in '51 as UN Commander in Chief (Korean Peninsula) McArthur had had his request denied to end the conflict by launching thirty to fifty nuclear weapons at Manchuria, was angered at what he perceived to be Harry Truman's 'limited war' and subsequently relieved of his command by the President. General Omar Bradley later speculated that MacArthur's disappointment over his inability to wage war on China had 'snapped his brilliant but brittle mind.' With the United States detonating the world's first hydrogen bomb on November 1st 1952, and 'Brass Hat' back in the saddle again just twenty-eight days later, the world wonders just how the conflict will end.
On 29th November 1963, FBI Director J Edgar Hoover, President Lyndon Baines Johnson and Chief Justice Earl Warren meet in the Oval Office. Agenda: to agree the action plan for the Presidential Commission into the assassination of John F Kennedy which occurred just a week before. Hoover gives the heads up: 'Upwards of fifty witnesses place the shooter on the Grassy Knoll, we've got too many gunshots, bullets that don't originate from Oswald's rifle, Jack Ruby talking crazy, Zapruder's contradictory video footage, lines of hard evidence to the Soviets, Castro, the Mob and murdered Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem plus George Bush and Richard Nixon in town on the same day'. Turning to Warren, LBJ takes a sip from his ever-present Fresca and starts 'the treatment' - 'OK Earl, here's the brief - 'Oswald acted alone and neither he nor Ruby were part of a larger conspiracy'. Executive orders same as the Japanese internment order you wrote up for FDR in '42'. Warren shuffles out in misery trying hard not to think about the body count for this news management exercise. Hoover leaves a few short minutes later, instructed to crush the corruption charges which were threatening to destroy Johnson's Vice Presidency only a week before. Stubbing out his cigarette, LBJ presses a button in the bookcase, releasing a door to a concealed side room. Addressing a robed grey humanoid sitting in lotus position, Texas' favourite son says 'Ambassador, we're all set', flashing his winning smile.
In 1947, the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine or United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181 was announced. Palestine followed India in suffering the agony of partition following a British withdrawal.

November 28

In 1904, on this day the thirty-ninth President of the United States James Oliver Eastland was born in Doddsville, Sunflower County, Mississippi.

The Accidental Presidency of Slippery JimHis odd journey to the Oval Office was largely due to the actions of his long-term friend Richard Nixon. Because in 1972 he was re-elected to the US Senate with fifty-eight percent of the vote in his closest contest ever. His Republican opponent, Gil Carmichael, an automobile dealer from Meridian, might have been aided by Nixon's landslide re-election in forty-nine states, including seventy-eight percent of Mississippi's popular vote. However, Nixon worked "under the table" to support Eastland.

Since he was now the longest-serving Democrat in the Senate he inherited the position of President pro tempore of the Senate from Allen J. Ellender who had died in office during the month of July. And just short of his seventieth birth, he became the thirty-ninth US President under the most oddest set of circumstances to affect any such holder of the office.

According to the line of succession to the presidency serving speaker of the House of Representatives Carl Albert was elevated into office when Nixon resigned with no vice-president to leave the presidency to. Under the provisions of the Twenty-fifth Amendment, Nixon had nominated Republican House Minority Leader Gerald R. Ford to succeed Agnew as Vice President in October 1973. But as the Watergate crisis began to unfold during the fall, Nixon was forced to resign from office before both Houses of Congress could confirm a Vice President. It was suspected that this procedural delay was masterminded by Albert himself, and publicly accused of stealing the Presidency, he was forced to resign in favour of Eastland.

One of his first acts in office was to summon "that [expletive][religious slur]" Kissinger to his office and fire him; naming Dean Rusk as his new Secretary of State. But within days of taking office Rusk would discover a dreadful truth that the FBI had received intelligence that Eastland was among members of congress who had received money and favors from Rafael Trujillo, dictator of the Dominican Republic, whom Eastland had regularly defended from the Senate floor, but declined to pursue Eastland on corruption charges. This scandal had been concealed because Eastland was a staunch supporter of the late FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, and shared intelligence with the FBI, including leaks from the State Department.

Author's Note: in reality James Eastland is the most recent President pro tempore to have served during a vacancy in the Vice Presidency. He did so twice during the tumultuous 1970s, first from October to December 1973, following Spiro Agnew's resignation until the swearing-in of Gerald Ford as Vice President, and then from August to December 1974, from the time that Ford became President until Nelson Rockefeller was sworn in as Vice President. During these periods Eastland was second in the presidential line of succession, behind only Speaker of the House Carl Albert.

In 1936, on this day the fortieth president of the United States Gary Hart was born Gary Warren Hartpence in Ottawa, Kansas. With events driven by controversies largely of his own making, the pendulum of fate would swing from triumph to tragedy during the four action-packed years of his term of office and ultimately he ended up pointing the finger right back at himself.
An article from the No Chappaquiddick by Eric Lipps in which EMK's car only almost went off that bridge on July 18, 1969.

The Rise and Fall of President Gary HartHis bid to succeed Ted Kennedy was itself a long-shot, insofar as it was asking the electorate to vote for twelve continuous years of Democratic Party rule last seen under FDR/Truman. But not being the sitting Vice President he was fortunately able to distanced himself from the Kennedy administration, and (almost running as an Independent) adopted the unorthodox position that recent federal deficits and high inflation were largely the products of the ongoing Gulf war. Fortunately for Hart his hawkish Republican opponent Senator Bob Dole took the opposite view and in so doing aligned himself with failure (he also adopted a hostile tone in the debates that alienated the voters).

In office, he succumbed to a number of embarrassingly high profile gaffs, bungling the Achille Lauro affair so badly that even former President Kennedy got his own back by publicly criticizing him. He humiliated West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl by cancelling his attendance wreath-laying ceremony at a German military cemetery at Bitburg on the fortieth anniversary of the end of World War II (he had been informed that the chosen cemetery contained the graves of 49 members of the Nazi SS). And of course he scrapped the Challenger Mission on the eve of the State of the Union address when he had planned to showcase the Teacher in Space, Christa McAuliffe (something of an acute embarrassment to former astronaut John Glenn chosen as VP to his surprise ahead of Jesse Jackson).

Right or wrong, these unfortunate events were largely mis-executions, as Lincoln famously said he had suffered "a stumble, not a fall". They could be excused if not perhaps justified. However the same could not be said of his indiscretions with 29-year old model Donna Rice on his yacht. Despite losing the Iowa Caucus to Dick Gephardt, he had clawed back popular support, eventually winning the nomination but he was then forced to pull out of the race altogether as his Presidency was ripped apart by the Donna Rice scandal. This gifted the 1988 election to the former football star, western New York Congressman Jack Kemp, who ironically enough, launched a hugely expensive new war in the Middle East.

In 2012, in a worldwide scandal that has made l'affaire Petraeus look like an episode of The Donna Reed Show, Benjamin Netanyahu and Hillary Clinton have run off together.

The Hillary and Bibi AffairThis has brought Israel and Gaza together in mass outrage .. starting with a joint resolution denouncing the notorious couple. This scandal could have been the first time that Israelis and Palestinians have gotten together since the Pope recently offered to administer Jerusalem, and both sides answered. "Thanks but no thanks".

"But how could I help it?" Netanyahu demanded, from their hiding place at The Sandals honeymoon resort, where reporters tracked them down holding hands and walking along the beach. "We spent so many hours alone together, everyone should have known this might happen".

Hillary's comment was, "This will pay Bill back for Monica Lewinsky. Anyway, since Bill cannot run again, Bibi is the now the cutest national leader around, except perhaps for Obama, and we all know what a good family man HE is".

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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.