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

'Sitka' by Todayinah Ed.
Todayinah Editor Todayinah Ed. says, A variant set in the context of the alternative history novel "The Yiddish Policemen's Union" by Michael Chabon (2007). If you're interested in viewing samples of my other work why not visit Todayinah site.


February 17

In 2009, on this day in Washington, D.C. President John S. McCain met a key campaign pledge for his first one hundred days in office by announcing a package of measures to fast-track the Reversion of the Federal District of Sitka back into the State of Alaska.

Cui bonoHe also kept a secret promise to a powerful ally. Because the former Mayor of Wasilla and Lieutenant Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin would serve as Special Administrator. This political appointment was of course a consolation prize for her electoral failure in the 2006 Governorship election. And a group of people that would be decidedly out of place at a pangeant also had reason for cheer. For Blackwater Worldwide were awarded a multi-million dollar No Bid outsourced contract to protect Palin, who would be America's most senior official in the region, charged with overseeing the transition.

This major constitutional change would take effect on 1st January 2010, seventy1 years after the implemention of the Slattery Report (the Problem of Alaskan Development) which recommended the provision of land in Alaska for the temporary refugee settlement of European Jews who were being persecuted by the Nazis during World War II.

Because the Legislators in the US Congress succeeded in significantly reducing the number of Jews killed by Hitler, little blame could be attached to their failure to consider fully the problem of granting territory with the intention of taking it back at a future date. This was now McCain's problem, further complicated by the fact that Jewish industry had succeeded spectacularly in solving the problem of Alaskan Development. In 1977, the World Fair was held in Sitka, and the Jewish mini-state was firmly placed on the map. Fom this point forward, economic growth had accelerated at an unprecedented rate.

Yet there was an asymmetric shock to consider. Invading Arab armies had crushed the Jewish State in Palestine at birth in 1948. Consequently it was simply inevitable that the reversion would create a wave of profound disappointment at the Jew's temporary right to their own nation-state being withdrawn albeit by their former patrons. And anger too that their hard-won success would be stolen by the Americans who they now despised on the principle of familiarity breeding contempt. Yet the land itself was claimed rightly by the indigenous first nation, Tlingit Alaska Natives.

Now McCain wanted the Alaskan economic tiger for himself, to fire the growth of the recession-hit US economy. The Administration understood fully that this three-way territorial dispute posed a major cost of sales threat to their plans to cash in on the success of Sitka. And Palin had insisted that she receive the same level of personal security that Bush's envoy, Jerry Bremer had received in Iraq.

Set once again at the centre of memorable events2, Blackwater Worldwide CEO Erik Prince would be required to deliver the goods, big-time. And of course on a highly lucrative basis. Not only would Blackwater Guards be paid $900 per day each, but fortunately they had been required to swear an oath of allegiance3 to the United States since September 2005. Even the Chilean commandos, trained by Augusto Pinochet's murderous regime that had only been recently withdrawn from Iraq at the insistence of President Jalal Talabani.
This article is a part of the Sitka thread.



December 4

In 2006, on this day in the Capital City of Sitka, forty-two year old Sarah Louise Palin was sworn in as Head of State, becoming not only the youngest, but also the only woman and American born Alaskan to assume the Presidency. The centerpiece of her economic stimulus package included a commitment to sign the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

President Palin (of Alaska)Born in Sandpoint, Idaho, Palin's election signalled a new focus on the Americas which had become increasingly inevitable since the collapse of the Soviet Union fifteen years before when the new country had gained its independence. Ironically, the USSR's predecessor state, the Russian Empire had considered selling the territory on at least two separate occassions.

Following negotiations with representatives of the Federal Government, on April 9th 1867, the US Senate rejected ratification ridiculing the purchase as "Seward's folly", "Seward's icebox", and Andrew Johnson's "polar bear garden" because it was believed foolhardy to spend so much money on the remote region. The purchase was briefly considered once again during 1905 when the Federal Government played a formal role in negotiating the end of the Russo-Japanese War. The Tsar was desperate to refill the coffers of the exchequer due to the expenses of the disasterous conflict, but his agents were unable to interest the Federal Government in a purchase of Russian America.

In a light hearted moment of privacy after the NAFTA signing ceremony in Washington, Palin joked to fellow Conservative politician John McCain that had her parents not moved to Wasilla whilst she was an infant, perhaps she, and not Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal would have been chosen as Vice President.
This article is a part of the Sitka thread.



January 5

In 2010, on this day sixty years after the Slattery Report (the Problem of Alaskan Development), recommended the provision of land in Alaska for the temporary refugee settlement of European Jews who were being persecuted by the Nazis during World War II, the first citizens of the newly formed Federal District of Sitka exercised their newly obtained right of return to Palestine.

Right of ReturnBecause under the arrangements for the "Reversion", on the stroke of midnight 31st December 2009, the sixty year lease on the independent Jewish settlement created on the Alaskan coast had expired. The Acting Mayor of the Federal District of Sitka Sarah Palin had reached a broad settlement with both the Tlingit Alaska Natives and also the Governments of Palestine and Jordan.

"Jerusalem, a city of blood and slogans painted on the wall, severed heads on telephone poles"Unsatisfied by the American lease, at the climax of World War Two Zionists sought to create a Jewish Homeland in Palestine. Their expectations had been unfairly raised by the Balfour Declaration, in which the British Government stated that whole of Mandatory Palestine would become the Jewish National Home. But by the time the State of Israel was declared, Britain was committed to the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan. Five Arab armies immediately attacked the new nation including the Arab Legion headed by a British Officer, John Glubb.

After months of savage fighting, an Arab Palestine State was created. But the so-called "West Bank" of Jordan, comprising East Jerusalem, Samaria and Judea remained Jordian "occupied territories". Jewish institutions and houses of worship were destroyed, and inhabitants expelled. And it was the grand children of those Palestinian refugees that travelled to Sitka who were now offered a right of return negotiated by Sarah Palin.

During the sixty years since the failed attempt to create a Jewish homeland in Israel, Sitka had thrived. Undoubtedly the high point of Jewish Civilization was the "Safety Pin", a tall building erected for the 1977 World Fair held in Sitka and a source of pride for its inhabitants.
This article is a part of the Sitka thread.



May 3

In 1898, on this day Democrat Senator Golda Meyerson was born in Kiev.

Sen Golda Meyerson (D-WI)She would later note in her autobiography that her earliest memories were of her father Moshe Mabovitch, a carpenter boarding up the front door in response to rumors of an imminent pogrom. He left to find work in New York City in 1903, the rest of the family moved to Pinsk to join her mother's family. She had two sisters, Sheyna and Tzipke, as well as five other siblings who died in childhood. She was especially close to Sheyna. In 1905, Moshe moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin in search of higher-paying work and found employment in the workshops of the local railroad yard. The following year, he had saved up enough money to bring his family to the United States.

At fourteen, she studied at North Division High School and worked part-time. Her mother wanted her to leave school and marry, but she rebelled. She bought a train ticket to Denver, Colorado, and went to live with her married sister, Sheyna Korngold. The Korngolds held intellectual evenings at their home, where Meir was exposed to debates on Zionism, literature, women's suffrage, trade unionism, and more. In her autobiography, she wrote: "To the extent that my own future convictions were shaped and given form... those talk-filled nights in Denver played a considerable role". In Denver, she also met Morris Meyerson, a sign painter, whom she later married on December 24, 1917. Despute many marital difficulties, the couple remained in Milwaukee where Golda eventually went into politics. In 1946 she saw off challenges from Robert LaFolette Jr. and Joseph McCarthy to win a seat in the U.S. Senate. Two years later her husband would be tragically killed during the brief attempt to establish a Jewish Homeland in Palestine.

During her tenure in the House, Golda would emerge as a key national advocate of the Jewish refugees who had settled in four locations in Alaska (Baranof Island and the Mat-Su Valley. Skagway, Petersburg and Seward) as a result of the 1940 Slattery Report. Just two weeks after Kristallnacht, the United States Department of the Interior under Secretary Harold L. Ickes had proposed the use of Alaska as a "haven for Jewish refugees from Germany and other areas in Europe where the Jews are subjected to oppressive restrictions". In recognition of the powerful support of this lonely voice in American politics, Meyerson had been chosen to represent the United States at the opening of the "Safety Pin", a tall building erected for the 1977 World Fair held in Sitka and a source of pride for its inhabitants. This event was marred by protests from the native Tlingit Alaska Natives partly as a result of the controversy when Meyerson had commented that "There is no such thing as a Tlingit Alaskan people"1, a bold statement intended to emphasise their integration rather than independence.

At the time of her death, representatives had been unable to persuade the US Government to extend statehood beyond the fifty year lifespan set down by Ickes with reversion of territory due to occur in 1992. Anti-semitic cynics in the House had labelled the failure of her campaign as "The Fall of the Third Temple".
This article is a part of the Sitka thread.



February 22

In 1901, on this day David Daniel "Mickey" Marcus was born to Romanian immigrants Mordechai Marcus and Leah (née Goldstein) on Hester Street in Manhattan's Lower East Side.

Senator David Marcus (D-NY)Bright and athletic, he attended Boys' High School, in Brooklyn, and was then accepted at West Point in 1920 and graduated with the class of 1924. After completing his active duty requirement, he attended Brooklyn Law School. He spent most of the 1930s as an Assistant United States Attorney in New York, prosecuting gangsters such as Lucky Luciano. New York City Mayor Fiorello La Guardia named Marcus Commissioner of the New York City Department of Correction for the City of New York in 1940.

After leaving active duty, Marcus continued his Army service as a member of the Judge Advocate General's Corps in the Organized Reserve Corps. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, he was recalled to active duty. He served initially as executive officer to the military governor of Hawaii. He was assigned ultimately to Civil Affairs in Washington whose mission was to plan for the establishment of occupation governments after Axis-occupied territories were liberated.

Marcus helped draw up the surrender terms for Italy and Germany and became part of the occupation government in Berlin after 1945. During that time, Marcus was placed in charge of planning how to sustain the starving millions in areas liberated by the Allies, and clearing out the Nazi concentration camps. He was subsequently named chief of the War Crimes Division, planning legal and security procedures for the Nuremberg trials.

In 1947, David Ben-Gurion asked Marcus to recruit an American officer to serve as military advisor to the nascent Jewish army, the Haganah. He could not recruit anyone suitable, so Marcus volunteered himself. In 1948, the United States War Department informally acquiesced to Marcus' undertaking, provided he disguised his name and rank to avoid problems with the British authorities of Mandate Palestine.

Under the nom de guerre "Michael Stone", he arrived in Palestine in January 1948, facing the Arab armies surrounding the soon-to-be declared State of Israel. There, he designed a command and control structure for Israel, adapting his war experiences at the early Ranger school established in the Pacific theater to its special needs. He identified Israel's weakest points in the Negev south, and Jerusalem. Marcus was appointed as Commander of the Jerusalem front on May 28, 1948, and given the rank of Aluf equivalent to a Brigadier General. Tragically, he oversaw a series of disasters and reversals during the Jewish Catastrophe.

Wounded outside Central Front Headquarters just hours after the ceasefire, he narrowly survived the brief attempt to establish a Jewish Homeland in Palestine although he had nothing to show for it than citation from Ben-Gurion (pictured with Marcus) "He was the best man we had"1. Returning to New York, he promising his wife Emma that he would become the "shlock lawyer"2 she always wanted him to be. Problem was that Marcus was profoundly affected by the factionalism and disunity that he witnessed in the Jewish forces. In fact the lack of consensus over strategy and tactics was one of the key reasons for his appointment as commander for Jerusalem. That disappointment would cast a giant shadow over the remainder of his life.

In 1954, he won a seat in the US Senate which was vacated by the incumbent Irving Ives3 upon his election as State Governor. One of his first acts as Senator was to open a commemorative memorial to the Palestine catastrophe in the lobby of the Union Temple of Brooklyn4.
This article is a part of the Sitka thread.



December 8

In 1978, on this day the former Democrat Senator from Wisconsin Golda Meyerson died of lymphatic cancer in Milwaukee at the age of eighty.

Senator Golda Meyerson (D-WI)Born Golda Mabovitch on May 3, 1898 in Kiev she would later note in her autobiography that her earliest memories were of her father Moshe Mabovitch, a carpenter boarding up the front door in response to rumors of an imminent pogrom. He left to find work in New York City in 1903, the rest of the family moved to Pinsk to join her mother's family. She had two sisters, Sheyna and Tzipke, as well as five other siblings who died in childhood. She was especially close to Sheyna. In 1905, Moshe moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin in search of higher-paying work and found employment in the workshops of the local railroad yard. The following year, he had saved up enough money to bring his family to the United States.

At fourteen, she studied at North Division High School and worked part-time. Her mother wanted her to leave school and marry, but she rebelled. She bought a train ticket to Denver, Colorado, and went to live with her married sister, Sheyna Korngold. The Korngolds held intellectual evenings at their home, where Meir was exposed to debates on Zionism, literature, women's suffrage, trade unionism, and more. In her autobiography, she wrote: "To the extent that my own future convictions were shaped and given form... those talk-filled nights in Denver played a considerable role". In Denver, she also met Morris Meyerson, a sign painter, whom she later married on December 24, 1917. Despute many marital difficulties, the couple remained in Milwaukee where Golda eventually went into politics. In 1946 she saw off challenges from Robert LaFolette Jr. and Joseph McCarthy to win a seat in the U.S. Senate. Two years later her husband would be tragically killed during the brief attempt to establish a Jewish Homeland in Palestine.

During her tenure in the House, Golda would emerge as a key national advocate of the Jewish refugees who had settled in four locations in Alaska (Baranof Island and the Mat-Su Valley. Skagway, Petersburg and Seward) as a result of the 1940 Slattery Report. Just two weeks after Kristallnacht, the United States Department of the Interior under Secretary Harold L. Ickes had proposed the use of Alaska as a "haven for Jewish refugees from Germany and other areas in Europe where the Jews are subjected to oppressive restrictions". In recognition of the powerful support of this lonely voice in American politics, Meyerson had been chosen to represent the United States at the opening of the "Safety Pin", a tall building erected for the 1977 World Fair held in Sitka and a source of pride for its inhabitants. This event was marred by protests from the native Tlingit Alaska Natives partly as a result of the controversy when Meyerson had commented that "There is no such thing as a Tlingit Alaskan people"1, a bold statement intended to emphasise their integration rather than independence.

At the time of her death, representatives had been unable to persuade the US Government to extend statehood beyond the fifty year lifespan set down by Ickes with reversion of territory due to occur in 1992. Anti-semitic cynics in the House had labelled the failure of her campaign as "The Fall of the Third Temple".
This article is a part of the Sitka thread.



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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.