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
On this day in 1967, the United Nations rejected a demand by Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser to withdraw its peacekeeping forces from the Sinai Peninsula, citing what they deemed as the necessity of the peacekeepers' presence in the Sinai region.
Outraged by this refusal, Nasser ordered his troops to attack the UN bases, touching off what would later be known as the Sinai War.
On this day in 1967, Israeli prime minister Levi Eshkol convened an emergency meeting of his top defense and intelligence advisors to finalize strategy for what looked like an inevitable conflict with Egypt.
Within hours of that meeting, Eshkol made a speech broadcast by radio from the Knesset floor which asserted that the Egyptian assault on the UN peacekeepers indirectly constituted an act of war against Israel.
On this day in 1967, Israeli air force jets launched pre-emptive strikes against military targets throughout Egypt just as the Egyptian navy was preparing to close the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping.
Within hours of those pre-emptive strikes 90% of the Egyptian air force and 65% of the Egyptian navy had been destroyed.
On this day in 1967, IDF ground troops in northern Israel repulsed an attack by Syrian forces from the Golan Heights; earlier that day, the Syrian government had announced it was declaring war on Israel in defense of Egypt against what was called 'blatant Zionist aggression' by Radio Damascus.
On this day in 1967, the Israeli air force shot down dozens of Syrian fighter jets during a massive air battle over Damascus.
Jordan's King Hussein, convinced the Arab armies were headed for disaster, urged Gamal Abdel Nasser and Syrian president Nureddin Atassi to begin cease-fire negotiations with Israel before it was too late.
On this day in 1967, IDF ground forces occupied the Golan Heights to prevent a recurrence of the Syrian attempt to invade northern Israel four days earlier; that same day Israeli troops in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula occupied the port of Sharm el Sheikh.
On this day in 1967, Israeli troops began withdrawing from Cairo under the terms of the peace pact that ended the Sinai War.
On this day in 1967, the last Israeli ground troops withdrew from Cairo in accordance with the peace pact that ended the Sinai War.
On this day in 1967, the Soviet government approved a generous foreign aid package intended to expedite the reconstruction of Egyptian port and industrial facilities damaged by Israeli bombardment during the Sinai War.
On this day in 1967, the Arab League convened an emergency summit in Damascus hoping to mend strained relations between Syria and Egypt, who had been blaming each other for the Arab powers' defeat in the Sinai War. The summit was a disastrous failure: before it was over, Egypt had severed diplomatic relations with Syria and would not resume them for nearly three decades.
On this day in 1968, Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy was fatally shot in a Los Angeles hotel kitchen just minutes after winning the California Democratic primary. The shooter, who was himself gunned down by LAPD officers while trying to escape the scene of the murder, was later identified as one Sirhan Bishara Sirhan; detectives investigating the assassination quickly suspected Sirhan, a son of Palestinian immigrants, had shot Kennedy in retaliation for the former US Attorney General's pro-Israel stance during the Sinai War.
On this day in 1968, former vice-president Richard Nixon was elected the 37 President of the United States; he did particularly well among Jewish-American voters by virute of his of his unswervingly pro-Israel foreign policy speeches, most notably his famous "there must not be another Sinai War" address just after the Republican National Convention in Miami Beach.
On this day in 1969, Syria rejected a Soviet diplomatic initiative to hold meetings between Syrian, Soviet, and Egyptian negotiators in Damascus aimed at restoring formal ties between Syria and Egypt. It was a disastrous setback for Soviet interests in the Middle East; Moscow had hoped that a rapproachement between Damascus and Cairo would boost Moscow's prestige in the region and provide a counterweight to US support of Israel.
On this day in 1970, the radical Palestinian faction Black September established a base camp in Syria with assistance from Syrian intelligence officers who wanted the group's aid in undermining Israeli control of the Golan Heights.
On this day in 1970, Israeli fighter jets bombed Black September camps in Syria in retaliation for the previous day's rocket attack. This air strike marked the beginning of an armed standoff between Israel and Syria that would reach its grim climax two years later with the 1972 October War.
On this day in 1967, an Iraqi military junta calling itself the Revolutionary Command Council (RCC) seized power in Baghdad, seeking to undo what it called "the stain on our honor and that of our Arab brothers" inflicted by the Arabs' defeat in the Sinai War. The RCC's number two man was a then little-known army officer named Saddam Hussein, who just over a decade later would become head of the group and thus ruler of Iraq.
On this day in 1971, Israel and Syria took one step closer to going to war with each other when IDF border guards engaged Syrian commandos along the Golan Heights; three Israelis and four Syrians were killed in the skirmish.
The next day Syria's official government radio broadcast service falsely claimed the four commandos had died defending Syria from an alleged Israeli invasion attempt.