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

'Worlds Collide' by Guest Historian Chris Oakley
Guest Historian Guest Historian Chris Oakley says, The planets Bellus and Zyra are knocked out of their respective orbits spraying Earth, the Moon, and Mars with millions of tons of cosmic debris... If you're interested in viewing samples of my other work why not visit the Changing the Times web site.
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August 18

Empire State

In 1951, New York City's legendary Empire State Building, severely damaged by seismic tremors set off when cosmic debris ravaged the US Eastern Seaboard during the Bellus-Zyra disaster, collapsed into rubble, killing dozens of National Guardsmen who were part of a convoy passing down Fifth Avenue on their way to deliver relief supplies to Manhattan residents left without food or water by the crisis.

Empire State - Building

August 10

In 1951, on this day RCAF reconnaissance flights confirmed the destruction of many of Canada's most vital seaports, including Halifax and Vancouver due to flooding triggered by the cosmic debris impacts which happened after the collision of the planets Bellus and Zyra.

RCAF - Insignia

August 11
Flag of

In 1951, on this day the provisional government of Syria threatened to declare war on Israel in retaliation for the destruction of Damascus and Lataika, prompting the Israeli armed forces to go on full alert; it was not known at the time that both cities had, in fact, been vaporized by stellar debris which rained down on Earth following the Bellus-Zyra collision.

Flag of - Syria

August 12

In 1951, on this day riots erupted in Paris due to widespread anger over food shortages plaguing France in the aftermath of the Bellus-Zyra disaster; during the rioting, mobs tried to burn down the National Assembly building prompting the French government to declare martial law in metropolitan Paris.

Flag of
Flag of - France

August 14
Flag of

In 1951, on this day the Korean War came to an end as both sides signed a hastily negotiated truce to allow their respective armed forces to concentrate on dealing with the civil unrest in their homelands.

Flag of - Korea

August 16

In 1951, on this day a young attorney and University of Havana law school graduate named Fidel Castro Ruz was executed for treason after attempting to incite an uprising against then-Cuban president Carlos Prio; Castro, a dedicated Marxist, had been arrested four days earlier after government agents were tipped off to his insurrection plans.

 - Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro

Castro hatched the revolt scheme in response to popular anger over the Cuban government's mishandling of disaster relief efforts in Cienfuegos and Guantanamo following the Bellus-Zyra collision.

August 20

In 1951, the Soviet state news agency TASS reported CPSU general secretary Joseph Stalin had been arrested by the NKVD for what were described as "actions detrimental to the best interests of the Soviet people". Western intelligence analysts quickly concluded the arrest was part of a power struggle within the Kremlin elite.

 - Josef Stalin
Josef Stalin

August 21

In 1951, on this day India invaded Pakistan in retaliation for Pakistani shelling of Indian villages along the Indo-Pakistani border; each country blamed the other for the annihilation of most of its major cities, not knowing that those cities had actually been destroyed by multiple impacts of fragments from the late planet Zyra.


August 22

In 1951, on this day citizens of East Berlin riot against the government of East German chancellor Walter Ulbricht after Ulbricht announced that food rations would be cut in half. The riots were just the beginning of a tidal wave of civil unrest that would eventually drive Ulbricht from power in the aftermath of the Bellus-Zyra disaster.

 - Walter Ulbricht
Walter Ulbricht

August 24

In 1951, Spanish dictator Francisco Franco declared martial law in Barcelona and Madrid in response to food riots in those cities the previous day.                                      

 - General Franco
General Franco

August 27
Flag of

In 1951, on this day Syria officially declared war on Israel.

Flag of - Syria

August 29

In 1951, on this day what may have been the most controversial criminal trial of the 20th century got underway as a New Orleans teenager named Lee Harvey Oswald was indicted for second-degree murder.

 - Lee Harvey Oswald
Lee Harvey Oswald

Oswald, son of a New York City insurance salesman, had been arrested two days earlier in connection with the shooting death of a Louisiana state trooper who'd tried to take him into custody for alleged violation of the dawn-to-dusk curfew that had been in effect for the New Orleans area since the Bellus-Zyra disaster.

August 30

In 1951, on this day China's capital, Beijing, was hit by food riots that left half the city in ruins. At the height of the violence Chinese dictator Mao Zedong vanished, never to be seen or heard from again.

 - Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong

September 2

In 1951, on this day the momentum in Syria's war with Israel shifted dramatically in the Israelis' favor as Israeli air force fighter squadrons mounted a surprising bombing raid on Syrian army positions in the Golan Heights and knocked out several key artillery positions.

Flag of
Flag of - Syria

September 4
Ho Chi

In 1951, on this day a French army patrol in northern Vietnam found the body of Vietnamese Communist revolutionary Ho Chi Minh in the ruins of Hanoi.

Ho Chi - Minh

September 8
Flag of

In 1951, on this day Israeli ground forces invaded Syria.

Flag of - Israel

September 10

In 1951, on this day the Golden Gate Bridge, weakened by the seismic disturbances which had been plaguing northern California since the Bellus-Zyra collision, collapsed into San Francisco Bay; the death toll was 27 people, mostly federal relief workers delivering food and fuel to Oakland, and the body count might have been much higher had it not been for Governor Earl Warren's executive order barring non-essential civilian traffic from the bridge.

Governor - Earl Warren
Earl Warren

September 7

In 1951, on this day North Korean dictator Kim Il Sung was assassinated during food riots in Pyongyang.

 - Kim Il Sung
Kim Il Sung

September 12

In 1951, on this day Joseph Stalin was executed by firing squad at Moscow's Lubiyanka Prison.

 - Josef Stalin
Josef Stalin

September 13

On this day in 1951, funeral services were held for Japan's Emperor Hirohito, who perished along with his entire family when a massive tsunami triggered by debris from the Bellus-Zyra collision swamped the entire eastern Japanese coastline.

Emperor - Hirohito

September 15
Flag of

In 1951, on this day the beleaguered Syrian government feld to Palmyra as Israeli ground forces overran Syria's temporary provisional capital of Aleppo.

Flag of - Syria

September 17

In 1951, a devastating tropical storm ravaged Mexico City, killing half a million people. The storm was a consequence of the climate changes wrought by the Bellus-Zyra disaster.

Mexico City
Mexico City - City of Palaces
City of Palaces

September 18
Flag of

In 1951, Israeli ground forces in Syria began their final assault on the Syrian provisional capital Palmyra.

Flag of - Israel

September 20

In 1951, the beleaguered provisional government of Syria sued for peace, ending the short but intense Syrian-Israeli conflict.                                                                                


September 21
Pres. Argentina

In 1951, Argentine dictator Juan Peron was assassinated in Buenos Aires during a rally meant to shore up popular support for his faltering regime, which was being increasingly blamed for the host of misfortunes that had befallen Argentina since the Bellus-Zyra disaster.

Pres. Argentina - Juan Peron
Juan Peron

Although nearly every Latin American nation had been affected by the catastrophe, Argentina had been particularly hard-hit; in fact, at the time of Peron's assassination, the country was experiencing the worst famine in its history and a typhoid epidemic that had claimed more than ten thousand lives.

Ironically, although initial newspaper reports of the assassination had suggested Peron was killed by leftist radicals, the real assassin was later identified as a 25-year-old Argentine army combat engineer named Leopold Galtieri; in a suicide note found in Galtieri's jail cell after his death, the young engineer said he shot Peron to avenge the demise of his family, who had been among the casualties of the typhoid outbreak and whose deaths he held Peron directly responsible for.

September 24

In 1951, the worst cholera outbreak to hit Europe in more than two centuries broke out in Italy near the ruins of the naval base at Taranto. The epidemic quickly spread to Yugoslavia and Austria; within two weeks after the first cases were reported in Italy the outbreak had also reached France, West Germany, and Belgium.

 - Cholera Toxin
Cholera Toxin

By mid-October at least half of continental Europe would be infected with cholera and the epidemic was on the verge of reaching Great Britain.

September 27

In 1951, Egypt's King Farouk, who'd been experiencing serious health problems for weeks as the result of the stress of trying to keep his country together in the aftermath of the Bellus-Zyra disaster, was hospitalized with a severe heart condition; within three days he would slip into a coma, and a month after that he died of a pulmonary embolism.


Shortly after Farouk's hospitalization, a provisional military government assumed power in Cairo and began dramatically restructuring the Egyptian political landscape. By August of 1952, an executive decree would officially abolish Egypt's monarchy.

One of the provisional government's younger members, an army officer named Anwar Sadat, would eventually become president of Egypt and lead his country through two brutal but victorious wars with its neighbor Libya in the 1960s. Another provisional government member, air force veteran Hosni Mubarak, would be posthumously declared a national hero in the early '70s when he thwarted an assassination attempt on Sadat by taking a bullet meant for Sadat's head.

October 1

In 1951, the jury in the trial of Lee Harvey Oswald found him guilty of second-degree murder and sentenced him to life in prison without parole.                                            

 - Lee H. Oswald
Lee H. Oswald

His defense attorneys, convinced Oswald had been railroaded, immediately appealed the verdict; the original ruling was upheld, however, and Oswald would remain in prison until 1963, when he was killed in a shiv fight with a fellow inmate.

October 6

In 1951, the worst fears of Paris health officials were realized as the cholera epidemic which had already claimed hundreds of lives in Italy, Yugoslavia, and Austria and dozens more in Belgium and West Germany touched France for the first time with the news two middle-aged Strasbourg residents had been hospitalized after showing symptoms of the disease.

 - Paris

October 20

In 1951, on this day President Harry S. Truman's Secretary of Defense, George C. Marshall, resigned in the wake of serious allegations the Pentagon had mishandled the initial military response to the Bellu-Zyra disaster.


He was the first of two Truman cabinet members who would step down from their posts in the aftermath of the catastrophe.

October 16

In 1951, the political tensions which had been mounting in Spain since the Bellus-Zyra disater reached the boiling point when Francisco Franco was assassinated at a Falangist youth rally in Cadiz.

 - General Franco
General Franco

The dictator was shot and killed by one of his own bodyguards, who in turn died at the hands of a lynch mob of enraged Franco loyalists; within a week of the assassination pro-Falangist and anti-Falangist militias would be skirmishing with each other as Spain was plunged into civil war for the second time in fifteen years.

This day also marked a tragic postscript to the Watts riots in Los Angeles as National Guard patrols in South Central LA found the body of budding actress Marilyn Monroe in the rubble of an abandonded grocery; Monroe, who had made her cinematic debut the previous year with the drama All About Eve, was reported missing after she didn't return home from a volunteering stint at a Red Cross station in the heart of the Watts district. A post-mortem coroner's exam concluded -- and investigation by LAPD detectives confirmed --that Monroe had died while defending herself against a pack of looters. Two weeks after her body was discovered, her suspected killers were arrested in East L.A. on an unrelated charge.

August 7

In 1951, the planets Bellus and Zyra, which had been knocked out of their respective orbits when their sun went nova, collided with each other somewhere in Earth's solar system, shattering both Bellus and Zyra and spraying Earth, the Moon, and Mars with millions of tons of cosmic debris. Many of Earth's most famous natural and man-made landmarks fell victim to the disaster; in at least one case the force from the impact of these planetary fragments was enough to cause a volcanic eruption that destroyed the Italian city of Naples.

When Worlds Collide by Chris OakleyCasualties from the debris strikes alone exceeded 30 million, and another 10 to 15 millon people would die due to civil unrest, disease outbreaks, and seismic disasters that ensued in the collision's aftermath; nearly two million would commit suicide. At a least dozen countries saw their governments toppled in the chaos following the disaster; among them was the Soviet Union, which saw CPSU leader Joseph Stalin arrested on orders from his own secret police chief, Lavrenti Beria.

Two members of U.S. President Harry Truman's cabinet resigned in disgrace after they were accused of mismanaging the United States government's response to the disaster.

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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.