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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

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 'The Francis Urquhart Story' by Guest Historian Chris Oakley
Guest Historian Guest Historian Chris Oakley says, thank you for visiting TIAH. This thread was inspired by PBS-TV's adaptation of Michael Dobbs' House of Cards trilogy; it imagines how Francis Urquhart's political career might have played out if he were an American citizen. If you're interested in viewing samples of my other work why not visit the Changing the Times web site.
Francis Urquhart



April 7

US President

On this day in 1914, future President of the United States Francis Urquhart was born in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Mockingly dubbed 'FU' by his critics, Urquhart was one of the most controversial--and effective--chief executives in US history, winning the Persian Gulf War against Iraq during his second term in the White House....a term which ended violently when Urquhart was assassinated less than six weeks after the 1992 presidential elections.

US President - Francis Urquhart
Francis Urquhart


September 4

On this day in 1930, future President of the United States Francis Urquhart enrolled at the Philips Exeter prep school in Andover, Massachusetts.                                        

US President
US President - Francis Urquhart
Francis Urquhart


June 7
US President

On this day in 1934, Francis Urquhart graduated from Philips Exeter Academy in Massachusetts.

US President - Francis Urquhart
Francis Urquhart


September 6
US President

On this day in 1934, Francis Urqhuart entered the United States Military Academy at West Point.

US President - Francis Urquhart
Francis Urquhart


October 26

On this day in 1936, Francis Urqhuart met his future wife Elizabeth at a West Point Halloween ball.

Elizabeth, daughter of an influential Boston banker, immediately hit it off with Francis; the two would be engaged by the time Urqhuart graduated from West Point.

US President
US President - Francis Urquhart
Francis Urquhart


June 2
US President

On this day in 1938, Francis Urqhuart graduated first in his class from West Point; he was commissioned with the rank of second lieutenant and assigned to command of a US Army infantry platoon stationed at Fort Hood, Texas.

US President - Francis Urquhart
Francis Urquhart


September 4
US President

On this day in 1938, Francis and Elizabeth Urquhart were married in Boston.

US President - Francis Urquhart
Francis Urquhart


June 17

On this day in 1939, Francis Urquhart, as a test of his strategic planning abilities, was assigned by his division commander to write a four-page memo outlining a hypothetical scenario for a possible German invasion of Poland.

His scenario turned out to be a remarkably accurate foreshadowing of the real German invasion less than two months later, and Urquhart was subsequently promoted to captain and sent to the US Army's counterintelligence school for further intel training.

US President
US President - Francis Urquhart
Francis Urquhart


December 8
US President

On this day in 1941, US Army captain Francis Urquhart received orders to report for combat duty in the Pacific.

US President - Francis Urquhart
Francis Urquhart


December 11

On this day in 1941, Captain Francis Urquhart of the US Army arrived in the Philippines to serve as counterintelligence chief for one of the American divisions defending Manila.

US President
US President - Francis Urquhart
Francis Urquhart


January 10
US President

On this day in 1942, US Army Capt. Francis Urquhart was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds sustained while defending his division commander's jeep from a Japanese strafing attack.

US President - Francis Urquhart
Francis Urquhart


October 15

On this day in 1942, Captain Francis Urquhart of the US Army was transferred from the Pacific to the Mediterranean theater, where he would play a small but crucial part in gathering intelligence on German defenses in North Africa as part of the final preparations for Operation Torch.

US President
US President - Francis Urquhart
Francis Urquhart


August 7
US President

On this day in 1943, US Army officer Francis Urquhart was promoted to major.

US President - Francis Urquhart
Francis Urquhart


July 6
US President

On this day in 1944, Major Francis Urquhart of the US Army was promoted to lieutenant colonel.

US President - Francis Urquhart
Francis Urquhart


May 13

On this day in 1945, Francis Urquhart was detached from General Eisenhower's staff in London and sent back to the Pacific to join General Douglas MacArthur's staff in Manila.

US President
US President - Francis Urquhart
Francis Urquhart


September 9
US President

On this day in 1945, Colonel Francis Urquhart was honorably discharged from the US Army.

US President - Francis Urquhart
Francis Urquhart


October 10

On this day in 1945, Francis Urquhart went to work for a prestigious Wall Street banking company; he was so successful in his new job that within just five years' time he was able to create his own firm and become a major player in the financial world.

US President
US President - Francis Urquhart
Francis Urquhart


June 13
Future VP

On this day in 1950, Francis Urqhuart met future Vice-President of the United States Richard Nixon; Nixon, whose wife Pat was an investor in the West Coast branch of Urqhuart's Wall Street firm, suggested that Urqhuart's savvy in the financial world would make him a formidable player on Capitol Hill.

Future VP - Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon

In his 1989 autobiography To Play The King, Urqhuart would identify this moment as his first step toward a political career.



October 18

On this day in 1951, Francis Urquhart officially filed nomination papers to run for the U.S. Senate in the 1952 Congressional elections.                                                          

 - Francis Urquhart
Francis Urquhart


November 4
US President

On this day in 1952, Francis Urquhart won election to the U.S. Senate despite allegations that he had used dirty tactics to force one of his campaign opponents to drop out of the race.

US President - Francis Urquhart
Francis Urquhart


May 22

On this day in 1954, 31-year-old Puerto Rican nationalist Miguelito Reyes was shot and killed by U.S. Secret Service agents after an apparent attempt to murder one of Francis Urquhart's Senate colleagues; Reyes had gone to the Senate offices intending to confront the senator in question after receiving an anonymous note claiming the senator was having an affair with Reyes' wife.

Tim Stamper
Tim Stamper - Chief of Staff
Chief of Staff

A .38 handgun was found on Reyes' body shortly after his death, further bolstering suspicions by the Justice Department that Reyes planned to assassinate Urquhart's colleague.

What wasn't known at the time - and wouldn't be known for more than forty years - was that the note which lured Reyes to his death was in fact forged by Urquhart's chief of staff Tim Stamper (pictured) as part of a master plan by Urquhart himself to avenge anti-Urquhart statements Reyes had made in a San Juan newspaper three weeks earlier. The .38 found on Reyes' body was supplied to him by a third party secretly working with Stamper; this third party was himself subsequently found dead in what authorities at the time ruled a suicide.



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