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

'Lusitania '15' by Guest Historian Chris Oakley
Guest Historian Guest Historian Chris Oakley says, in this thread I look at what might have happened if the Lusitania had never been torpedoed. If you're interested in viewing samples of my other work why not visit the Changing the Times web site.

March 28

US Justice

On this day in 1916, U.S. federal authorities arrested two German agents in Trenton, New Jersey on suspicion of sabotage.

US Justice - Department

Under question the agents were discovered to have been plotting to bomb the Black Tom Island munitions factory near Jersey City; this discovery further soured already acrimonious U.S.-German diplomatic relations and pushed the United States and Germany one step closer to the brink of war. America would finally step over the brink four months later with the disclosure of the infamous Zimmerman telegram.

August 1

On this day in 1916, the U.S. Congress passed an official declaration of war against the German Empire by a unanimous vote in the Senate and with just one dissenting vote in the House.

 - RMS Lusitania
RMS Lusitania

May 28

On this day in 1915, British prime minister David Lloyd George received news from his top counterintelligence advisors that evidence had been uncovered suggesting the passenger ship Lusitania had been intentionally targeted for sinking by the Imperial German Navy.


June 7

On this day in 1915, the military attaché at the British embassy in Washington presented U.S. President Woodrow Wilson and Wilson's Secretary of War, Newton D. Baker, with evidence suggesting the Lusitania had been purposely singled out for submarine attack by the Imperial German Navy in attempt to intimidate the United States.

 - RMS Lusitania
RMS Lusitania

Since the German government had repeatedly claimed to be unaware of the presence of American nationals on board Lusitania or on her sister ship Britannic at the time that vessel was torpedoed, the British diplomat's revelations seriously damaged U.S.-German relations and inflamed anti-German sentiments among the American public -- particularly in northern New England and in Louisiana, both of which were home to substantial numbers of people with cultural and ancestral ties to Germany's arch-nemesis France. In later years historians would cite this meeting as one of the tipping points in the chain of events that subsequently led Wilson to reverse his previous neutralist stance and declare war on Germany.A new article by Chris Oakley

Two other incidents, which happened during Wilson's 1916 re-election campaign, would further influence his decision to abandon neutrality in the First World War: the discovery of a plot by German spies to blow up a U.S. munitions factory in New Jersey and the interception of a German diplomatic telegram in which Berlin promised to help Mexico re-conquer its former Southwestern territories from the United States in return for Mexican support of Germany in its conflict with the Allied powers. The telegram in particular turned out to be the last straw for the President, who broke off diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Germany two days after it was discovered.

July 29

On this day in 1916, the last chance for avoiding war between the United States and Germany was effectively wiped out with the revelation of the so-called "Zimmermann telegram" sent by a German diplomat to the Mexican government; the telegram, which promised German help with reclaiming Arizona, California, Texas, and New Mexico from the U.S. in return for Mexico's support of Germany against the Allies, sparked outrage from the American public. Within two days after its existence was disclosed by the Wilson Administration, the United States would declare war on Germany.

 - RMS Lusitania
RMS Lusitania

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