In 1958, on this day a mob swarmed over Vice-President Richard Nixon's car during a trip through Caracas, Venezuela.
VP Nixon killedIn spite of the Secret Service's best efforts, the vice-president was pulled from his car and beaten to death, as are several of the Secret Service agents.
Ironically, the trip had been planned as a goodwill mission to the country after it had overthrown the American-supported dictator Marcos Jimenez.
The violent killing of Nixon threw the 1960 GOP nomination to Nelson Rockefeller who chose Illinois Sentator Everett McKinley Dirksen to shore up the conservative base.
In 1859, on this fateful day the Sequoyah Tribal Council agreed to the formation of a coherent self-government of the Indian Territory of Eastern Oaklahoma. An installment of the Federal's Lost Cause thread. Federal Lost Cause Part 8: State of SequoyahMore than a triumph of common sense, it was a personal victory for Lyncoya Jackson , an Indian orphan adopted by the former President after the Creek War. He had fought hard to convince the tribal leadership that the upcoming conflict between the North and the South was a not-to-be-missed bargaining opportunity for indigenous sovereignty.
As events were to transpire, the force of his presence was still required at the re-accession talks organized by President McClellan in the summer of 1865 . Although his status as the adopted son of a former President drew respect, it was of course necessary for him to negotiate from the position of strength reserved for a quasi-official regional spokesman. Because his peers were Confederate Generals and Southern State Governors who represented coherent (if un-recognized) systems of government formed during the War of the States.
Other regional spokesman brought other diverse issues to the top table. Representatives of the plantation class wanted to re-assert veto power over the Federal Government, calling for a form of government akin to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, a dualistic state of Poland and Lithuania ruled by a common monarch  . Still others sought to put the cork back into the bottle with a reversion to the libertarian values of the pre-war era. Needless to say, it was a long, long agenda item of conflicting interests, requiring McClellan to pull off a second miracle of Philadelphia. But in a larger sense, it was a conversation about the future that had been waiting to happen ever since that Constitutional Conference broke up in 1787.
In 1830, on this day the father of Upper Carolina, Zebulon Baird Vance was born in Weaverville, Buncombe County.
Father of Upper Carolina1878 the legislature of North Carolina, one of the sovereign states of the Confederate States of America, passed by an overwhelming margin a measure to rename the state "Upper Carolina" to remove the hated word "North" from its name. Governor Zebulon Baird Vance, a veteran of the war of secession, swiftly signed the measure into law.
Such petty gestures were common in the Confederacy in the several decades after its separation from the United States of America, and were reciprocated in the U.S., where, for example, Congress approved in 1891 a petition to unite the states of North and South Dakota, which had been admitted separately into the Union on Nov. 2, 1889, into a single state of Dakota. North of the border there had even been talk of replacing George Washington's picture on the dollar bill with that of John Adams, though the bill to do so died in the House of Representatives.
In 1981, on this day the Holy Father Pope John Paul II was assassinated by the Turkish gunman Mehmet Ali Aǧca as he entered St. Peter's Square to address an audience.
The Silencing of the PopeBoth the Central Intelligence Agency and an Italian parliamentary commission concluded that the Soviet Union was behind the conspiracy in retaliation for the Pope's support of Solidarity, the Catholic, pro-democratic Polish workers' movement (their "Top Secret" reports stated that certain Communist Bulgarian security departments were utilised and Soviet military intelligence - and not the KGB - were responsible).
Of course the Pope was deeply involved in the transformative events which were developing in Poland.
Born Karol Jozef Wojtyla in Wadowice in 1920, his father, a non-commissioned officer in the Polish Army, died of a heart attack in 1941. leaving him the sole surviving member of his immediate family. "I was not at my mother's death, I was not at my brother's death, I was not at my father's death", he said, reflecting on these times of his life, nearly forty years later, "At twenty, I had already lost all the people I loved".
On 29 February 1944, he was knocked down by a German truck. German Wehrmacht officers then tended to him and sent him to a hospital. He spent two weeks there recovering from a severe concussion and a shoulder injury. This accident and his survival seemed to he a confirmation of his priestly vocation. On 6 August 1944 the Gestapo rounded up young men in Krakow to avoid an uprising similar to the previous uprising in Warsaw. he escaped by hiding in the basement of his uncle's home at 10 Tyniecka Street, while German troops searched upstairs. More than eight thousand men and boys were taken into custody that day, but he escaped to the Archbishop's Palace,where he remained in hiding until after the Germans left.
But ironically, at the time of his death, John Paul II was giving serious consideration to a completely different matter that would profoundly affect the long-term future of the Soviet Union. Because on that very day in 1917 the consecration of Russia had been revealed by the Blessed Virgin to three Portugese shepherds.
Within a decade the Cold War would end and the Soviet Union would fragment into hundreds of tiny successor states. John Paul II's successors would come to believe that a consecration might have saved Russia because such a blessing would have given legitimacy to a unified state. But in the event subsequent Popes moved onto the larger goal of a seamless union with the Eastern Orthodox Church, to finally close a schism that had emerged in the first millennia with the separation of the East and West Roman Empires.
In 2011, on this day mankind's prayers for salvation appeared to have been answered when the nuclear-tipped warhead launched by NASA succeeded in destroying the ten kilometre-wide incoming asteroid known as "Trumpet Two" and yet the profound theological consequences of this reprieve from divine justice would lead to a devastating new fracture in the Roman Catholic Church.
Click to Watch World's Last Chance
Trumpet 2Interpreting the Trumpet as mankind's final wake-up call, the schismatic popes appointed in Madrid and Zagreb embraced God's probation arguing that the tribulation had now started and the rapture had merely been postponed. Their breakaway followers were encouraged to seek salvation through repentance instead of grasping for the false hope that technology could defeat the remaining Trumpets.
Meanwhile the reanimation of Pope John Paul II continued to cause bewilderment and confusion in the Vatican.
In 1862, on this day the Union Army invaded Upper Canada and eliminated that smarmy nest of rebel sympathizers for all time.
Nest of RebelsDespite the blatant fact that Confederate agents really were being harboured in British North America, in reality the bulk of the rebels were based in the Southern States which were even now threatening to secede from the Union. And surely they would have done so already had Lincoln, rather than Seward, received the Republican nomination in 1860. But due to the chance presentation of an undescribably ugly woodcut of his opponent at the "Wigwam" in Chicago, Seward had somehow prevailed and his strategem for recreating a sense of Union identity was a war of northern aggression with the old enemy - Great Britain. Rather than wait for another negative catalyst (like the Harper`s Ferry Raid) to split the Union, he hoped that a positive catalyst might reverse the forces of disintegration.
Co-written with Stan Brin and Scott PalterThe timing was auspicious, being almost fifty years to the day when President Madison had ordered the annexation of Canada, a task underestimated as "a mere matter of marching". Had he succeeded the expansion of territory would have exceeded that achieved by his predecessor under the Louisiana Purchase. And perhaps a bigger question might well be what would have been the state of such a larger Union by 1862.
However Seward, like Madison, would also fail. And the reversal would become even more catastrophic when the Southern States decided to seize their moment to secede when the Royal Navy bombarded the helpless northern cities on the Eastern Seaboard.
And so history would ridiculed the invasion as "Seward's Folly", yet recognise that the fateful act somehow exemplified his own character. His contemporary Carl Schurz described Seward as "one of those spirits who sometimes will go ahead of public opinion instead of tamely following its footprints".
In 1940, on this day Germany's cultural conquest of France began in earnest when Adolf Hitler crossed the bridge over the Meuse River on his BMW R75 motorcycle; his long-term partner Eva Braun was pleased to accompany him, relaxing in "the Leader's" attached sidecar.
Hitler Conquers FranceThe journey from Bavaria had been delightful in the balmy late spring weather - and upon their late arrival in Paris, the crowd warmly welcomed Walt Disney's favourite cartoonist.
Yet Adolf would face stiff competition from an unexpected rival. In England, the post-modernist painter Winston Churchill was putting the final touches to his dramatic masterpiece "blood, toil, tears, and sweat". During the long hot summer of 1940, this beautiful canvass would hang in the Louvre, drawing audiences away from the cinema.
To be upstaged by such a retrograde rival was really quite frustrating. Hitler began seriously considering an invasion of Britain, although he feared that the voyage would be rather an unpleasant experience - perhaps a focus on the east would be more productive.
In 1967, on this day the General Secretary of the Australian Communist Party and de facto Head of State Lawrence (Lance) Louis Sharkey died of a heart attack in Sidney, New South Wales. O Tempora, O Mores Part 3 - The Death of Lance Sharkey
His successor would be Laurence 'Laurie' Aarons (pictured) who by coincidence was himself born in Sydney, the son of Sam Aarons, a leading member of the Communist Party and a veteran of the Spanish Civil War. The Aarons family was of German-Jewish origin; Brian Aarons, who was also later prominent in the Communist Party, Mark Aarons, a well-known broadcaster, journalist and author, and John Aarons.
During the Sino-Soviet Split of the early 1960s the CPA suffered a split, and Aarons led the majority pro-Soviet and anti-Chinese faction. He was a strong supporter of Nikita Khrushchev's liberalisation in the Soviet Union, and after Khrushchev's fall he became increasingly critical of the Soviet leadership's policies, re-evaulating his earlier antaganoism towards China.
A fair summary would be that Aarons was an internationalist with a new, compelling vision for the nation. In office, Aarons would seek to re-position Australia as a multi-ethnic Pacific Rim nation, refocusing the economy in the Far East.
During August, Aarons would visit North Vietnam to offer the support of Australian workers to Ho Chi Minh in his struggles against imperialism. Referring to the shipment of convicts from Britain in the eighteenth century, Aarons put together a convincing case that Australians themselves were dehumanised by the same forces threatening the Republic of Vietnam.
So in Harold Holt, Aarons saw an unreconstructed symbol of Australia's colonial past. A link to the hated British monarchy and the white supremacist views of the Australian capitalist. In short, an embarassment to the incoming administration. And since Holt's return from a tour of America and Europe, a rallying point for reactionary politicians who sought to overthrow the 1948 revolution.
In 1967, it was discovered that the notorious 'Einstein papers' purporting to prove that German physicist Albert Einstein was not Jewish were in fact forgeries; the papers had been doctored by the SS in an attempt to trick Einstein into assisting the Nazi atomic weapons program. [continued from Part 2]. Manhattan Project Part 3 - Legacy by Chris Oakley
The revelation was a surprise to both pro-Jewish and anti-Jewish organizations and provoked a dramatic reassessment of Einstein's legacy. In particular, German Jews who had for years reviled him as a traitor gradually began coming to view him in a more favorable light.
In 1987, Canada's CTV network bought the Canadian syndication rights to The X-Files.
In 1984, several divisions of the East German army mutined against the Communist regime in Berlin in the first such armed rebellion to happen in a Warsaw Pact country since the ill-fated Hungarian revolt of 1956.
In 1981, Pope John Paul II was shot and mortally wounded by Turkish extremist Mehmet Ali Agca. He would die the following day despite heroic efforts by doctors.
Conspiracy theorists would blame the Pope's murder on communists, and particularly on the Bulgarian secret police, and would attempt to tie the killing to the unsuccessful attempt on the life of President Ronald Reagan by John Hinckley six weeks earlier.
|John Paul II|
In 2009, on this day Cuba provided information on who ordered the hit on the late President Obama. The Cuban President wanted the trade embargo against Cuba dropped in return for this information.
The US Department of Homeland Security promised to review the information, allowing the Biden adminstration to handle all of Cuba's requests.
On this day in 1940, RAF bombers attacked Berlin in retaliation for the previous day's German air raid on Brussels.
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.
In 1993, Congress begins debate on the Bradley group's proposal. Conservatives charge that the Bradley plan is bureaucratic and would dictate to Americans which doctors they could and could not see, essentially placing the medical profession under federal control.
Vice-President Bradley personally responds to these claims, "If the critics would take the time to actually read the working group's proposal before grandstanding, they would see that we have retained the right of individuals to choose their own doctors, including medical providers who do not wish to participate in the system.
Neither I nor anyone involved in this project has ever proposed making the medical profession a federal program. We simply wish to guarantee that all Americans have access to adequate medical care, as every other industrial democracy on Earth does".
Bradley's response infuriates opponents of the AmeriCare proposal, who blast him as revealing, in the words of Georgia Representative Newt Gingrich, "the sort of Eastern-establishment liberal elitist thinking that sees working-class Americans as vassals of the federal government".
In 2005, after some research, Chelsea Perkins and Debra Morris find out that Morris is the one responsible for the change in time - not Patricia Redding. In the past of this world, Debra Morris had been outed as a witch by an angry mob, and had called on dark powers to defend herself. For a brief time, that Debra Morris even ruled the Council of Wisdom, but had been overthrown and killed. Miss Morris tries to remember what she changed about the past that could have done this.
singer Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane is killed when she smashes her car
into a concrete wall at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Her death breaks up the group, which is unable to find a new voice to match its psychedelic tunes.
In 1947, the Senate passes the Stevens-Astley bill limiting the power of corporations and management operating in the Soviet States of America. Under the provisions of Stevens-Astley, management becomes subordinate to a workers committee at all American businesses with over 50 workers, even if the businesses are controlled by foreign powers.
In 1910, Q'B'Ton'ra, leader of the Q'Bar, is overthrown in a military coup. Q'B'Ton'ra had been in his flagship supervising the war with the Jovians when his most senior staff captured him and declared themselves the new leaders of the Q'Bar. They suspended the Barnard's Star talks and pulled most of their fleet back from the earth's solar system.
In 1568, Mary, Archbishop of the Scots, is defeated and driven from power by the forces of Cardinal James Stewart in the name of her own son. Archbishop Mary flees to England to seek refuge with her sister, Pope Elizabeth, but is considered too much of a threat to the Holy British Empire, and is imprisoned and beheaded. Her rebellious son, though, eventually rises to fill the shoes of the fisherman himself as Pope James I.
In 1999, Queen Gwen arrives in London to stand trial for treason against the king at the same time that Sir Lance du Lac returns from the Swiss front to confront King Arthur about what he considers a travesty. "Sire, you cannot possibly believe that the queen has been aiding the enemy," Arthur's chief knight implores. "The queen is as loyal to you as I am". Arthur, clearly miserable about his queen, allows du Lac's words to sway him. "Speak to her, Lance," he asks du Lac, "find out why she tried to divert my attention away from the war". Sir Lance immediately goes to the Queen's cell in the Tower of London and asks her to answer the charges against her. "Brave Sir Lance," she says to him, "thank you so much for your confidence in me. Would that my own husband had the same. These charges are ludicrous, of course - all I wanted for Arthur was rest from the stresses of this grave conflict. You can understand that, can't you, Lance?" She touches his hand, which startles him. He doesn't move away, though. "I will do everything within my power to free you, my lady". She smiles and squeezes his hand softly. "I know you will".
In 1891, Major Mark Wainwright leads another stab into Kansas from Nebraska, testing the defenses of a new fort near Concordia. The fort repels them, but Wainwright reports back to Colonel Theodore Monteith that the fort is ripe for a full-scale assault. Monteith assembles a force of almost 3000 men and places them at Wainwright's disposal. The Kansans, for their part, send reinforcements to Concordia to see if they can trap the Unionists with hopes of finding a weakened fort.
In 1877, Julia Ward Howe's first Mother's Day Protest against war draws crowds around the nation as various Mother's Clubs hold rallies in support of pacifism. Howe, herself, organizes the rally in Washington, DC, where over 10,000 women and male supporters of her Mother's Club march in support of an elimination of war. The Mother's Club concept spreads across the world, as women exercise their moral authority as the creators of life to convince their respective nations to give up fighting and embrace non-violent resolutions to conflicts. Howe is looked on today as a savior, having ended war in the 19th century.
In 1958, a mob swarms over Vice-President Richard Nixon's car during a trip through Caracas, Venezuela. In spite of the Secret Service's best efforts, the vice-president is pulled from his car and beaten to death, as are several of the Secret Service agents. Ironically, the trip had been planned as a goodwill mission to the country after it had overthrown the American-supported dictator Marcos Jimenez.
In 1955, singer Elvis Presley makes a joke at the end of a concert in Jacksonville, Florida - Girls, I'll see you backstage - and provokes a riot as legions of young fans follow him off stage and rip apart his clothes and pull at him. He suffers several bruises, cuts and a dislocated shoulder, but rock and roll suffers more - after the riot, rock is banned in most southern states.
In 1947, the Senate passes the Stevens-Astley bill limiting the power of corporations and management operating in the Soviet States of America. Under the provisions of Stevens-Astley, management becomes subordinate to a workers committee at all American businesses with over 50 workers, even if the businesses are controlled by foreign powers.
In 1648, young Margaret Jones of Massachusetts Bay is sentenced to death for witchcraft. As she is hung, she curses the entire town, which burns to the ground later that evening in a mysterious fire that resists being put out by water. Witch burnings fell out of fashion immediately after this incident.
In 12-1-5-0-3, a massive earthquake strikes the Incan Empire, leveling several small towns. The Emperor's own temple is destroyed, and he barely escapes the building alive. In an act of unprecedented compassion, he throws open the royal treasury to assist all who have been harmed by the quake, and the damaged area is rebuilt swiftly.
In 488, infidel crusaders attempt to take Beirut, but the local shariff had been alerted to their coming and had requested help from across Lebanon. When the crusaders bore down on Beirut, they marched into the steel of thousands of the faithful, and were cut to ribbons, by the mercy of Allah. The shariff wanted to follow them all back to Europe, but his allies in Islam took a more gradual approach.
In 1944, hurrying back from a lonely fishing trip, twelve-year old J.R. Cash rescued his beloved brother Jack from a whirling head saw in the mill where he worked in Dyess, Arkansas. An installment of the Happy Endings thread.
Happy Endings 26d
Mill House Miracle saves Jack CashJack was a religious child with a calling to the priesthood, whereas J.R. was smitten with popular music. After the war, Jack led prayer drives in the South whilst his brother served in Germany. By the late fifties, he became a minor figure on the Nashville/Memphis Popular Music Scene.
In 1968, Jack set upon a southern prayer drive that included Folsom Prison. Intending to refer to the Mill house miracle as his own second chance, he invited his brother along to sing gospel songs. A memorable evening drew the attention of Senator Robert F. Kennedy who later announced his intention to run for President on a related theme of national reconciliation. At his inauguration, Kennedy asked the Cashes if they would perform right before Elvis Presley's iconic performance of "If I can Dream". Ever the improviser, Presley changed those plans at the last minute by asking J.R. to remain on stage for the picking; it was the beginning of a famous music collaboration that would sweep America into the exhilarating world of the nineteen seventies.
In 1994, on this fateful day Professor Mike Besser of Saint Bartholomew's Hospital saved the life of John Smith, Leader of the Labour Party.
The Opportunity to ServeAt a fund-raising dinner at Park Lane Hotel the previous evening, he had delivered a keynote speech humbly declaring "The opportunity to serve our country - that is all we ask". The following morning, at 8:05am, whilst in his Barbican flat, he suffered a massive heart attack. His wife Elizabeth phoned an ambulance and he was rushed to Saint Bartholomew's Hospital where he regained consciousness. Only two weeks before this incident, on 28 April, Smith had visited the same accident and emergency department to campaign against its proposed closure. The doctor who had served as his tour guide, Professor Mike Besser, saved Smith's life.
Having suffered a previous heart attack six years before, it was clear that he would have to step down. But the timing was terribly unfortunate for the Labour Party which was on the verge of regaining power for the first time in fifteen years. Fearing a split caused by a divisive leadership struggle before the upcoming General Election, he took the guarded decision of backing another fine public servant, his loyal Deputy Margaret Beckett. A conviction politician, she was like Smith a sincere and capable leader if perhaps lacking in charisma. Certainly, she was no television personality. His predecessor Neil Kinnock had given the limelight to two media-savvy young politicians, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. But Smith feared that their competitiveness rivalry would turn sour, deciding it was in the best interest of the Labour Movement for them to wait for another electoral cycle. Perhaps, he figured, working together as Cabinet peers might even impress upon them a greater political maturity, that was his well-meaning intention at least.
But as events transpired, he had been far too cautious. In 1994 it was clear that there was no way back for Tories after "Black Wednesday" but over the course of the next three years, they totally ripped themselves to shreds over Europe. Also, they had their own divisive leadership and - in the damning words of former Chancellor Norman Lamont - "were in office, but not in power". And so Beckett entered Number 10 Downing Street with a healthy, but less than spectacular, one hundred seat majority. And the new opposition would not be led by an older generation figure like John Major, instead it would be the emergence of precisely the same kind of self-serving,media-savvy political figure that Smith had feared. A television personality that could dazzle the voters with his charisma. Because over the ballot box she would be outshone by a re-invigorated neo-Conservative Party that had under Michael Portillo taken a dramatic shift to the right wing  that was un-paralleled in modern history. In the face of Beckett's lacklustre performance, he would recover Tory fortunes, becoming Prime Minister just months before the September 11th attacks.
In 878, on this day the Great Heathen Army led by Guthrum the Old crushed the remaining forces of the Anglo-Saxon King Alfred of Wessex at the Battle of Ethandun.
Battle of EthandunDespite losing the Battle of Ashdown, the Danes still held the east and north east of England. For the previous three years, there was little beyond paying the invaders off that Alfred could do about the Danish menace to his Kingdom. Finally, in a desperate attempt to halt their advance into Wessex, Alfred had spent the winter summoning his West Saxon forces to the Somerset marsh of Athelney. With the thawing of spring, he marched the Army out of this protected area to force a decision at Ethandun.
Alfred who had almost been captured at the Battle of Chippenham, was killed at Ethandun. At the ensuing Treaty of Wedmore, Guthrum re-established good relations with the other Danish lords, including Ivar and Ubbe. This healed the internal disunity that the Danes had suffered since 875 and enabled the Danelaw Vikings to complete the conquest of Wessex.
In 2010, on this day film director Quentin Tarantino's aesthetically violent and stylistically excessive movie "Robin Hood: Outlaw" premiered in cinemas across Great Britain.
OutlawThe director had been captivated by Angus Donald's novel of the same name, in which rather than being the altruistic aristocrat of popular myth, the protagonist is portrayed as a medieval Don Corleone, the "Godfather of Sherwood Forest". "He is a dark and violent man. He does, however, have a code of honour".
The author (formerley a journalist who covered the war in Afganistan) explored the darker, more violent and much less palatable figure in the 1450 ballad entitled "Robin Hood and the Monk". And doubtless the bloodshed and violence reported from the caves of Tora Bora also influenced the narrative too.
The movie enabled lead star Russell Crowe to recapture the success of Gladiator, in which he had played Maximus Decimus Meridius, a single-minded, if perhaps not so ruthless killer.
In 1949, on this day the State of Palestine submitted an application of admission for membership of the United Nation at the two hundred and seventh plenary meeting held at Flushing Meadow, New York (also submitted was an urgent request for humanitarian assistance to resettle the seven hundred and fifty thousand Arab refugees who had fled the country during the recent conflict).
A Challenge IgnoredIt would be a busy day for the President of the plenary meeting, Mr Herbert Vere who received a third application in the form of a quasi-legal challenge signed by the surviving members of the executive committee of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, led by Chairman David Ben-Gurion.
In fact all of these leading Zionists were fugitives from Palestinian justice, charged with genocide by the the authorities in Amman. Because Ben-Gurion was the architect of the failed Master Plan for the Conquest of Palestine known as Plan Dalet (or simply, Plan D) which destroyed four hundred Arab villages and displaced eighty percent of the pre-war population. Yet a single death would ruin the whole Zionist plan.
On June 11th their inspirational General, the American Colonel David "Mickey" Marcus (pictured) was accidendally shot in front of Central Front headquarters by an eighteen years old Palmachi Eliezer Linski because he failed to respond to a Hebrew security challenge. Click to watch Cast a Giant Shadow (1966) Part 10 Ben-Gurion suspected that elements in the Palmach conspired to kill Marcus so he would be replaced (the Haganah was comprised of several factions whose lack of consensus over strategy and tactics was one of the reasons for Marcus's appointment as commander for Jerusalem).
Yet members of World Jewish Congress placed the blame for the Zionist misadventure on Ben-Gurion himself. President Nahum Goldman wrote of Ben-Gurion ~ "I have often asked myself why this clever, brilliant man, ... why a man like that failed to see that without an agreement with the Arabs, Israel would have no long-term future .. Ben-Gurion is the man principally responsible for the anti-Arab policy, because it was he who moulded the thinking of generations of Jews".
The dispute would rage for decades. Right up until the time of his death in 1973, Ben Gurion would persist in his denial of the holocaust.
In 1984, the official Cuban government newspaper Granma announced the death of Fidel Castro in a U.S. air strike on Havana the previous night.
In 2015, on this day Britain's last monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, died of heart failure at Oxford University Hospital.
On this day in 1940, the Luftwaffe mounted its first air raid on the Belgian capital, Brussels.
In 1993, Vice-President Bill Bradley's healthcare working group releases its report, which calls for the establishment of a so-called "single-payer" national health care system, AmeriCare, loosely modeled on that of Canada.
The program is intended to cover everyone not already eligible for care under either Medicaid or Medicare.
Reaction is immediate, and, from the GOP, bitterly hostile. The Bradley group's plan is denounced as "socialist medicine" before the day is out, before anyone among its critics has read anything but a thumbnail summary of it.
In 1991, Senator Sam Nunn of Georgia announces he will seek the Democratic presidential nomination in 1992.
Many of his colleagues consider his decision to run a foolish one. In the wake of the Gulf War, President Kemp's re-election in is widely seen as inevitable. Nunn himself candidly admits that he had considered staying out for exactly that reason. "However," he explains, "I have reservations about a number of the President's positions, and decided he should not go unchallenged. At the very least, win or lose, this campaign will oblige the President to defend the positions he is taking on both domestic and international matters".
In 1937, politician and self-proclaimed moral guardian George D. Carlin was born in New York City. An Air Force veteran and graduate of Harvard Law School, Carlin was elected to Congress in 1966 on the Republican ticket, representing his adopted home of Shreveport, Louisiana. He quickly distinguished himself on several economic committees with special emphasis on the mass media, and after indicating to President Nixon in a lunch conference he did not intend to run for reelection, was appointed commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission. Carlin immediately began a vigorous rooting out of all broadcast programs deemed 'subversive' by Nixon's new Clean Minds, Clean America policy formulated in response to a perceived vast drug culture influence settling on the entertainment industry by the early 1970s. It was remarked that a program such as Laugh-In, which Nixon had appeared on only a few years before to court the youth vote, could no longer exist on America's airwaves during Carlin's reign. Carlin evoked widespread outrage in 1972 when giving a speech to Columbia University's Media Studies Center, when he outlined the concept of the Seven Words You Cannot Say On Television, before explicitly stating each word and giving an in-depth explanation of the reasons and benefits of government-mandated censorship. Carlin was unaware a television camera was taping the proceedings, and despite the speech being unable to be broadcast on any US station, the news spread quickly enough to bring condemnation of his perceived hypocrisy. Carlin resigned in 1973, not long before his patron, and the resulting years brought a backlash of free speech on the nation's airwaves, largely allowed by Gerald Ford's very relaxed administration appointees. By 1979, shows such as Saturday Night Live regularly featured multiple utterings of each of the seven verboten words, with no apparent damage to American civilization.
In 1999, Bern falls to Sir Lance du Lac's British soldiers. Emperor Pierre's prime minister, Otto Von Haufmann, officially surrenders the empire to du Lac, but pockets of imperial loyalists continue to fight throughout Europe. Sir Lance puts one of his knights, Sir David Tristan, in charge of the subjugation of Switzerland, and heads off to the Hungarian front, where Emperor Pierre was last seen. He is halted by the news that Queen Gwen has been arrested on charges of treason - he cannot believe what he has heard, and he rushes back to England to see what madness has enveloped the kingdom in his absence.
In 1891, President Benjamin Harrison authorizes the draft boards to begin setting up across the country, and young men over the age of 18 and under the age of 25 begin registering to fight in the "war to keep the US whole," as each draft board says to their potential draftees. When news of the draft reaches Kansas, 'Sockless' Jerry Simpson derides it, saying, "They have to force men to fight in their cause. We have plenty of men volunteering to fight them off".In spite of Simpson's bravado, the Farmer's Council running the rebel state seriously considers doing the same; they are only stopped by the realization that everyone who could be drafted is probably already in the front lines, serving with them. They realize that they are about to be overwhelmed by far superior numbers, and a deep panic sets in among them.
In 2005, Chelsea Perkins, Debra Morris and Patience Redding find that the Council of Wisdom now controls all of England, but is besieged by non-magical military from Scotland and Wales, as well as French forces from the continent. Something happened to force them into the open, and the consequences for witches across the world has been disastrous. Perkins and Morris are inclined to blame Redding for coming with them through time from 1985.
In 2002, former president Comrade John Anderson, continuing his pattern of mending fences, became the first American head of state to visit Cuba since its capitalist revolution in the 1950's. Comrade President Bernie Sanders made it clear that Comrade Anderson's visit didn't amount to endorsement of Batista's regime, but did take advantage of the opening to start trade talks with the island.
In 1941, Rashid Ali al-Gailani pledges his support for the Greater Zionist Resistance, one of the first Arabic leaders to do so since the German Underground began its war against the G.Z.R. His Iraqi troops were soon joined by all the other Arabic nations as they saw that the G.U. made no distinction between them and their Jewish allies.
In 1937, Pope George VI put on the shoes of the fisherman in Buckingham Cathedral after his brother Edward gave up the papacy of the Holy British Empire out of love for a Protestant woman. Former Pope Edward had fallen in love with a colonial woman, Wallis Warfield, in spite of her heretical views, and gave up an empire for her.
In 1800, an exasperated John Adams declares he does not wish to be considered as a candidate for permanent elevation to the presidency. Repeating words he had uttered at the Continental Congress in 1776, he declares, "One useless man is called a shame, two are called a law firm, and three or more are called a Congress". He goes on: "Why should I wish to serve for the rest of my natural life dealing with a body which cannot even agree upon so basic a matter as when to hold an election for the office of supreme magistrate?".
In 1780, the Canadian independence movement is dealt a severe blow when General Richard Perceval and over 10,000 of his men are forced to surrender at Fredericton.
British General Henry Clinton had amassed a major force to overwhelm the Canadians since the cessation of hostilities with the lower colonies, and put them to good use against the rebel stronghold at Fredericton.
an infant body was found alive near the Lindbergh home in New Jersey, and it was determined to be the young Lindbergh boy. The reunion with the overjoyed Lindbergh became the subject of a play produced later that year called Not Forgotten
, exploring the implications of child kidnappers.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.