In 0, on this day the lesser creator God Nebro set Adamas into human flesh trapped inside the boundaries of the flawed little world called Earth.
Good News according to JudasTwo steps removed from the imperishable realm of divinity, the first man was misdirected by sense. And without the necessary leadership, he was utterly incapable of returning to the heavenly home. Lost in a terrifying reality, millennia passed before the Great Spirit El chose to intevene and show humanity how to set itself free.
El sent a teacher, an agent of the purpose. Only one man was great enough to grasp the whole message, and he was directed to release the teacher from the human flesh (pictured). But the sincerity of his actions were twisted by knaves. His testimony was secreted in a cave for thousands of years before the ultimate truth was finally revealed to the rest of humanity.
In 1961, on this day at Faro near Goldsboro, North Carolina a hydrogen bomb exploded with two hundred and fifty times the power of the blast that annihilated Hiroshima after a B-52 Stratofortress carrying two Mark 39 nuclear weapons broke up in mid-air, dropping its payload in the process.
Broken ArrowDuring mid-air refuelling the tanker crew advised the B-52 captain, Major W.S. Tullock that his aircraft had a leak in its port wing fuel cell. The problem worsened when the aircraft reached its assigned position and 37,000 pounds (17,000 kg) of fuel was lost in only three minutes. Initially directed to land at Seymour Johnson Air Base, the crew were soon forced to abandon the aircraft altogether. But due to the gyration of the aircraft, the nuclear payload became separated and all six of the arming devices became activated.
In the months of Congressional hearings that followed the tragedy, USAF leaders insisted that the pilot's safe/arm switch should have prevented detonation, ensuring that the bomb was unarmed and could not explode. Problem was that public confidence in the USAF had been shattered, not only by the incident but also revelations of the frequent reoccurences of near misses - three in the three previous years alone when counting the Florence, South Carolina and Tybee Island incidents
Allegedly, President John F. Kennedy also agreed that Goldsboro was an accident waiting to happen, intending to "splinter the USAF into a thousand pieces and scatter it into the winds". Most probably by re-integrating the command structure back into the United States Army and dismissing the senior leadership team. Unfortunately for the White House, General Thomas White had recently retired, and the incoming Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force was Curtis LeMay (pictured) who decided to pre-empt that end-game by secretly organizing a firing of his own...
And so shortly after assuming office, Lyndon Baines Johnson announced that a major restructure of the Armed Forces would weaken America at a time of high national security alert.
In 1848, late in the evening, workers at Sutter's Mill outside Sacramento, California Territory, discovered the drowned body of foreman James Marshall.
James W. Marshall Found Dead Rumors instantly flew that it was at the hands of the Mormon workers who had immigrated to California after being discharged from the Mormon Battalion of the Mexican-American War. Though the historiography is sketchy it is believed that Henry Bigler and Azariah Smith killed Marshall shortly after his discovery of gold flakes in the stream and before he turned the information over to owner John Sutter for testing. Further evidence is garnered by hasty messages by both of them sent to the heads of the LDS Church in newly founded Great Salt Lake City. Representatives from President of the Church Brigham Young soon arrived in California with ample funding to buy out Sutter, who moved his mill to lands farther north and continued his empire-building dream of New Helvetia.
A new story by Jeff ProvineThat March, newspaper editor Samuel Brannan was also found dead, drowned in the San Francisco harbor. It is believed that he caught word of the discovery of gold, now practically held in monopoly by the Mormons, and was planning to announce it as he had recently opened a store for prospecting supplies. The public announcement of the discovery of gold in California did not come until 1851, when nearly all claims had been made by Mormon immigrants, who had also bought up all of the prospecting equipment in the region.
Wealth exploded out of California, and much of it passed into the coffers of the LDS Church, centered in Deseret Territory (it is believed that sufficient bribery had caused the Federal Government to give Governor Young a great deal of control over its organization in the Compromise of 1850). The Mormon Church came to dominate Deseret Territory as well as Northern California, creating an enormous religious bloc that would act as a state within the US, continually influencing politics in far-off Washington while keeping itself separated from outside control.
In 1438, on this day the suspension of Eugene IV Takes Hold. The world-unifying Council of Basel had been convened in Switzerland in 1431 by Martin V to continue the reforms under his papacy that had solved the Western Schism, which had torn apart Catholic Christendom for nearly forty years.
Suspension of Eugene IV Takes Hold In 1417, the Council of Constance had determined agreements to have the Roman Pope Gregory XII and Pisan Pope John XXIII, while the Avignon Pope Benedict XIII was excommunicated, undercutting his support and effectively ending the schism. Conciliarism had solved the issues of whom to trust with ultimate authority and many sought for it to reign supreme in Western Europe.
A new story by Jeff ProvineCouncils were to take place every seven years, and Martin V convoked Basel shortly before his death of apoplexy. His cunning assistant Gabriele Condulmer was appointed Pope Eugene IV quickly afterward, and he immediately began to struggle with the Council. In December, Eugene called a dissolution for the Council, but the electors refused to leave and continued reforms. Eugene, a native Venetian, gave papal support to his city and allied Florence against Milan during the Lombardy Wars, which spawned great unrest among the Romans. After two years of contrary bulls, the two were reconciled by the newly elected Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund, who allowed for the retaining of papal powers (and protection) while Eugene IV revoked the dissolution.
Following his settlement with those at Basel and looking toward presiding over a peace treaty in Ferrara, Eugene attempted to escape Rome disguised as a Benedictine monk. While in the Tiber, he was spotted and had stones thrown at him until a band of Romans supporting the Colonnna Family swam into the river and dragged him back to the Vatican. The city turned to an uproar that even the papal armies under Cardinal Vitelleschi could not reestablish control with the Pope under hostage. The peace talks in Ferrara disintegrated without the pope, and his influence began to become questioned as balance struck itself out.
While the Pope's power waned, the Council at Basel continued to grow in prestige. They wrote reform (such as banning circumcision as a mortal sin), judged lawsuits, acted as mediators, and even influenced the Treaty of Arras ending the Hundred Years' War between France and England. As the Council worked to achieve union with the church in the East, Eugene IV finally had to give them recognition to align his own political agendas. The parties worked to determine a place of meeting with the Council wanting an inland city far from Roman influence and the Greeks of Constantinople hoping for an easily reached port city. On January 10, 1438, the convention met, and the two churches began discussing ways of reconciling their dogma. Eugene worked to gain advantage in the discussion, but on January 24, the Council suspended him. It was the first step on the downward spiral of papal power, followed soon after of gaining the support of Frederick III, King of the Romans, that would eventually be relocated to a main seat representing overall Western Catholicism on the Council.
In the meantime, the Council was able to achieve an agreement with Patriarch Joseph II of Constantinople early in 1439. He would die that June, but by then the union would be in action, and, though unpopular, would prove to be mutually beneficial as the West ended its infighting and launched fresh crusades to beat back the Ottoman advances on the East. The reunification of the Church continued as the Coptic Christians arrived from Ethiopia with delegates in 1441. Further unification came as the Jacobites of Syria, Maronites of Lebanon, and even Nestorians of Persia came into the fold, joining Armenians and Russians who had already come. They managed to incite rebellion through the growing Ottoman Empire in Greece and Turkey, ending the expansion of Muslim political power while eclipsing it with a new Christian coalition.
The strong unity came as the Council debated issues such as purgatory and the Processions of the Holy Spirit. Theological debates will continue eternally, but the loose Constitution of Christendom would define a common ground that would be used by political leaders throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa to determine trade agreements, terms of war and peace, and overall morality. Missionaries and conquerors would stretch the reach of Christendom through Africa (in a crusade against slavery once dreamed by Martin V), Mongol-controlled Asia, and even to the newly discovered Americas.
Noted Pope Martin VI, formerly Augustinian monk Martin Luther, would lead internal matters of reformation by separating Church and State, the holy and the secular, solving many of the issues rising by the very different beliefs of the many churches that could not be rectified with his famous bull, "...Therefore I declare that neither pope nor bishop nor any other person has the right to impose a syllable of law upon a Christian man without his own consent".
In 1788, George Washington's foremost precedent was his decision not to assume the chief magistracy of his country; in a note which he wrote to a fan in 1796, George Washington commented: "I eschewed the honor the sundry politicians thought they did for me because, for myself, I was tired of Public Life, and for my country, I was apprehensive that the future might be disfigured if Generals in Chief grew to regard the Presidential Office as an Entitlement for their Services to the United States".
President John Hancock Part 2
by Raymond SpeerOne of the adages used by Henry Clay to great effect against Andrew Jackson was that "Washington wanted to refuse the Chief Executive Office to anyone who might think it was an Appointment owed to men in military command". Clay managed a 145 to 141 electoral vote victory over Jackson in 1832, who had been campaigning for 4 continual years on the theory that a corrupt bargain had put John Q. Adams in the White House in 1828. Had Adams not forfeited his chance for a second term, and ceded the candidacy to the more vigorous Clay, perhaps Jackson would have won and destroyed the federal banking system as he promised to do.
The next general to present himself for the Presidency was Zachery Taylor. Governor Lew Cass defeated that officer. (Had a third party candidate named Martin Van Buren done better in the race, electoral votes in the Northeast would have been switched to Taylor, who might have won the election. If something had made Van Buren a more prominent man nationwide, that could have indirectly made Taylor the winner).
Following the Civil War, a popular Union Gen, Ulysses Grant, campaigned for the office and was widely expected to win, but Horatio Seymour came from behind in that dramatic election and beat Grant.
In the Progressive Amendment of 1905, several different changes were made in the Constitution including three electoral votes for District of Columbia, poll tax abolition, child labor forbidden for those under fifteen, and a natralized citizen's right to run for President. The fourth provision of that Amendment was that: "No Army officer who has attained the rank of lieutenant general or better, or a similar grade in the Navy, shall be eligible to be President or Vice President". Since that law was enacted, John Pershing, Dwight Eisenhower, Douglas MccArthur and William Westmoreland has been forbidden the Presidency.
This article is a continuation from President John Hancock, Part #1.
In 1965, Winston S. Churchill, first prime minister of the United Dominions of America, dies in the UDA's capital of Georgetown, Virginia at the age of
Continental Congress Collapses by Eric LippsChurchill, son of Lord Randolph Churchill and the American-born Miranda Jacobson Churchill, had been born in England but had moved to America in 1909 following a bitter quarrel with his father. In the dominions, he had become involved with the sovereignty movement. Quarreling bitterly with the so-called "Separationist" faction, which sought complete independence for Britain's North American possessions, he rose to leadership of the rival "Dominionists".
By 1939, under his direction, the sovereignty movement had been poised for victory--but on Sept. 1 of that year, the Second World War broke out, pitting Britain, France, Italy and Japan against the Quadrilateral Alliance of
imperial Germany, Ottoman Turkey, Spain and Austria-Hungary, leading Parliament to table the Dominion Act. Its passage after the war created the UDA, which, while remaining nominally subject to London, was in practical fact far larger, more prosperous and more militarily powerful than the mother country.
The story of America's rise to sovereignty and the parallel development in India was vividly chronicled in the 1975 BBC miniseries "The Jewels in the Crown".
Under the UDA's constitution, Churchill was eligible only for a single seven-year term as prime minister, subject to special elections prior to his term's end. No such elections occurred, and on April 30, 1953, Churchill stepped down. He would remain active in politics, becoming an outspoken advocate of "containment" of Tsar Nicholas III's expansionist Russia and of a "yellow peril" view of the Japanese Empire. Churchill's influence was crucial in securing American assistance for Delhi in the Indo-Japanese War, which was ongoing at the time of his death.
In 1945, on this day USN Fleet Admiral Chester William Nimitz (pictured) delivered a top secret, presidential briefing on the latest super-weapon developed by the Imperial Japanese Navy: the I-201, a fast-attack sub with a sleek, cutting-edge design which was twice as fast its American equivalents and surpassing even the German Type XX.
Samurai SubsIn fact twenty-three units had been ordered from the Kure Navy Yard under the 1943 construction program. Because dire warnings from the Naval Marshal General and the commander-in-chief of the Combined Fleet, Isoroku Yamamoto had convinced the Imperial Government that the Navy would lose a Pacific War to the United States. The superior industrial might of the US would assuredly replace lost capital ships at a faster rate. At best, Japan would enjoy a year of glory, followed by defeat after defeat until the United States mustered overwhelming forces to impost their will upon the Pacific.
And so Japan needed to develop a strategic weapon which would redefine the military equation in the Pacific. Yamamoto planned to deploy the I-201 to patrol the sea lanes between Hawaii and the American west coast, placing Hawaii under siege and seriously hurting American operations in the Pacific.
Because the Japanese simply had to have maritime control of the Region. After the occupation of Manchuria and Korea, they had been locked in a bitter conflict with the Soviet Union. With Nazi Germany now on the verge of victory, the Japanese leadership needed to win the Soviet-Japanese Border War before the United States entered the war, exposing Japan to the larger threat of a "Grand Alliance".
On this day in 1990, opening arguments were heard in the trial of the mastermind of the Ceaucescus' escape from Romania.
On this day in 1969, Apollo 4 returned from its historic lunar orbital docking mission.
The lessons learned from the Apollo 4 mission would stand NASA in good stead during the Apollo 5 lunar landing flight six months later.
In 2005, Jeanna Best goes in to work for Austin lawyer Jack Armstrong and gets called into his office. Armstrong asks her about her illness on the previous Saturday, and she replies that it was a little 24-hour bug. She notes that he does not use the last two fingers on either hand at all, and barely contains her shudders of fear; she also notes the defense contract lying on his desk for a company called Myrmidon.
In 1943, General Friedrich von Paulus of the German Underground, commanding officer of the 6th Army, requested permission from Adolf Hitler to accept the surrender of Greater Zionist Resistance soldiers in Russia. General von Paulus had no stomach for the sort of war that the G.U. was waging, and Hitler threatened to replace him if he didn't acquire one, saying, 'The 6th Army will exterminate the Zionists down to the last man'.
In 1908, the Young Comrades organization begins among British Communists and quickly spreads to America. Although officially repressed by the British government, the Comrades are embraced by their comrades in America, and many leaders in the Soviet States today were Young Comrades in their boyhood
In 1184, after a year on deserted Bermuda, Mikhail von Heflin and Velma Porter decide that they've had enough of a vacation, and strike out for the North American coast in one of the boats they have constructed. While en route, they encounter another rift in time/space. They don't try to evade it; Porter says, 'I just hope it doesn't send us back to the stone age.'
Canadian guerilla fighters known only as Snow Fox and Light Foot
stage a hugely successful raid on the British garrison at Fort George in Quebec. The fort was completely destroyed, and the British abandoned the region because of the popular support for the Snow Fox.
In 1984, Apple Computers released the Macintosh, a personal computer with a graphical user interface, rather than the command line that most PC's had used up to that point. This innovation, although not unique to Apple, rocketed them to the top of the computing world. By the end of the decade, they produced almost 80% of the computers used in America, and their operating system, licensed out to other computer manufacturers, today accounts for around 90% of the computing done in the world.
In 1986, Ron Hubbard, known for his rollicking western pulps in the 30's and 40's, and his more epic detective and western fiction afterwards, died at his home in San Francisco, California. Reverend Hubbard, who was ordained in the Church of Christ and led a huge congregation in San Francisco, always said he was unafraid to die, since that was the last promotion God could give him.
In 1914, almost a year after vowing he would never work on it again, Franz Kafka finished his novel Amerika. Although most critics say that the beginning is a powerful tale of a European boy banished to America by scandal, the ending where the boy is turned into a sheep and eaten by coyotes in Oklahoma does tend to throw most people.
In 793 AUC Caligula, who had briefly served as Rome's emperor before a brain fever drove him mad, dies under the care of doctors in Rome. Hard as it was for Romans to depose an emperor, Caligula was clearly in no condition to continue to serve Rome as its leader. Rumors that he even began speaking to his horse were never confirmed, but were not doubted.
French playwright and revolutionary Pierre de Beaumarchais
is born in Paris, France. He was influential in supporting both the French Revolution and the independence movement in North America that created the North American Confederation. His plays Le Barbier de Seville and Le Mariage de K'Tem'La were banned until after the revolution, since they were critical of the nobility of France.
In 1897, on this day "Respected Leader" Subhas Chandra Bose was born in Cuttack, Orissa British India.
Birth of Subhas Chandra BoseHe was one of the most prominent Indian nationalist leaders who gained India's independence from British rule by force during the waning years of World War II with the help of the Axis powers.
Bose, who had been ousted from the Indian National Congress in 1939 following differences with the more conservative high command, and subsequently placed under house arrest by the British, escaped from India in early 1941. He turned to the Axis powers for help in gaining India's independence by force. With Japanese support, he organised the Indian National Army, composed largely of Indian soldiers of the British Indian army who had been captured in the Battle of Singapore by the Japanese.
At the age of forty-five, he raised the flag of Indian independence at Calcutta. The Provisional Government of Azad Hind, presided by Bose became the successor to the bankrupt British Raj, looking into an exhilarating new future with a shiny new confidence for the second half of the twentieth century. An installment from the Quit India thread
In 1737, on this day American merchant and statesman John Hancock was born in Braintree in the Province of Massachusetts Bay.
Birth of John Hancock, ReduxA prominent Patriot of the American Revolution, he served as the President of the Continental Congress and placed the most prominent signature on the Declaration of Independence.
However his final years were marred with bitter disappointment. After the demise of General Washington in the tragedy at Elk River, he emerged as an expedient choice for successor candidate. But his national leadership was overwhelmed by determined challenges to the ratification process.
It soon began to appear distinctly possible that two nations might emerged from the crisis, a northern Federalist state led by John Adams, and an anti-Federalist country led by Thomas Jefferson and his lieutenant James Madison. Not being a conviction Federalist, this ideological division paralyzed his figurehead-style candidacy. And without a robust doctrine he also lacked the moral authority of the illustrious Father of the Nation. By the time of his premature death in 1793, he was a marginalized figure out of time. An echo of revolutionary fervour inadequately equipped to confront the challenges of self-rule. An installment from the American Heroes thread
In 1757 post-creation, Noah's great-grandson the arrogant tyrant Nimrod resolved to build a city with a tower "with its top in the heavens...lest we [unified humanity] be scattered abroad upon the face of the Earth".
Babylon and TingAlthough Yahweh had promised not to unleash another flood, Noah's children had been divided by language into different tongues. After a long migration from the East, their grand children had finally settled in the plain of Shinar where they hoped that a new ziggurat would symbolise their indivisible unity.
Of itself, the structure proposed by Nimrod was contemporary being a towering building upon square foundations with steps up the side leading to a shrine to honour the deity. But its monumental height revealed a shocking self-pride that deeply offended Yahweh.
HE responded to this ultimate challenge to HIS authority by confounding the will of mankind. Once again supplicant to the deity, Nimrod and his people were reduced to a race of babbling men and women doomed to live in the shadow of their own depravity.
In 1510, a mere nine months after his coronation, the brave and cunning King Henry VIII of England died while jousting incognito at Richmond in North Yorkshire. Only eighteen years old, Henry had been married to his brother Arthur's widow, Catherine of Aragon, shortly after his father's death.
Young Henry VIII Dies Jousting Remaining something of a wild prince, Henry sneaked away from court and participated in the lists in Yorkshire, jousting admirably until a spur broke and the mysterious knight was thrown to the ground, breaking his neck. It was a tragedy that would ignite the War of English Succession.
Succession had already recently been a violent matter in England Wars of the Roses between the House of Lancaster and the House of York. After much bloodshed, the overall question was solved completely by the marriage of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, bringing the two houses together. Henry VII had known that the key to continuing the newly conquered peace was firm succession, and the tragic death of Arthur had put a great deal of pressure on young Henry to live long and produce a male heir. With no heir, the crown was in the air, readying to be caught by any of a number of successors.
A new story by Jeff ProvineIn England, men with lesser holds to the crown were beaten out by the overall clout of Queen Catherine of Aragon. Though technically a Spaniard, she held great cunning herself as well as the significant economic and military influence from her father Ferdinand II. Acting as a placeholder, she would chose from the many English who wished to be king and marry him with blessing of the Pope.
Meanwhile, the diplomatic dealings of Henry VII had expanded the Tudor claims beyond the English borders. His daughter Margaret had married James IV of Scotland while his daughter Mary Tudor had married the aged Louis XII of France. Louis' claim was weak at best, especially as he only had daughters and neither from Mary, but he threw his support behind James as the Auld Alliance had tied the two nations together against England for centuries. James decided he must secure the crown for a future son, so he embarked on an invasion of England.
Catherine called up support from her father in Spain, who sailed a fleet of troops to London to bolster her forces. The English reacted negatively to the foreign soldiers, and local approval of Catherine began to decline, either in favor of less powerful claims or toward James. Civil war broke out among the factions, and James attempted serious invasion where he could garner his support. Meanwhile, he called to Louis for aid, which the French were slow to supply as they were fighting in Italy with the Venetians, who had taken up an alliance with the Papal States. In 1512, the Pope would declare a Holy League against France, allowing Spain to join in an alliance directly against France as well as Scotland, and the War of the League of Cambrai expanded to become a theater mirroring the war in England.
Battles in England would teach James the valuable lesson of keeping back his officers rather than placing them on the front line as leading knights and using pikes like the medieval model. His great victory would come at Flodden Field, September 9, 1513, when he, unscratched, led his army to a crushing victory over mixed Spanish and English supporting Catherine. Following the victory swiftly by a march to London, where the English dukes would swear allegiance and Catherine would escape to Spain. She would hold great prestige in her father's court as the "rightful Queen of England" but never again rule. Meanwhile, James would solidify his command and begin building up a great fleet using England's naval prestige, sparking wars among Spain, France, the Dutch, and Scotch England over influence in the Americas and East Indies.
The Union of Britain would ultimately be short-lived as the English chafed under Scottish rule by James III. Ultimately, the English Parliament would lead the rebellion, splitting up the island once again and separating colonies into competing spheres.
In 1793, John Hancock, first president of the United States of America, celebrated his fifty-seventh birthday.
President John Hancock
written by Eric LippsHancock had been an unlikely choice for that position. It had been all but universally agreed at the Philadelphia constitutional convention that George Washington would be the first president under the new system. Unfortunately for that plan, the strongest dissent came from Washington himself, who disliked politics and preferred to remain in private life. Efforts to persuade him to accept the office were finally answered by direct reference to the apparent fix in his favor: "I have made clear my disinterest in the office of Chief Magistrate, being inclined to retire to private life after having served my country in peace and war. And I emphatically do not wish to receive the office as a gift, making at its very inception a mockery of the new democracy we have fought so hard to create".
With the heroic general out of the picture, the Electoral College found itself unable to agree on a replacement. Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, John Rutledge of South Carolina, Samuel Huntington of Connecticut, New Yorker New Yorkers George Clinton and Alexander Hamilton, and Hancock's fellow Bay Stater Benjamin Lincoln were all touted as candidates.
In the end, it was Hancock's prestige as president of the Second Continental Congress, at which he had overseen the debate over the Declaration of Independence, which carried the day for him. Hancock had established himself as a man of absolute fairness and integrity at that time, and had done nothing since to sully his reputation. "If we cannot have Washington", one elector is reported to have said, "there is no better choice than Mr. Hancock if we wish to establish the presidency as a seat of utter personal and political probity".
But Hancock's presidency was a troubled one. The new United States was continually harassed by Great Britain at sea and through Native American proxies on land, and struggled to make ends meet financially. Nor did it help that Hancock's health was failing, often limiting his ability to respond promptly to political difficulties. In October of 1791, only the personal intervention of Washington prevented a military coup on the part of officers demanding payment of their salaries in gold rather than rapidly inflating paper currency, a repetition of a similar crisis in 1782 during the Revolution: at the crucial moment, Hancock was too ill to act.
By 1791 Hancock had made it clear that he would not seek or accept a second presidential term, opening the door to the fiercely contested election of 1792 which would place Alexander Hamilton in the presidency - the only individual born outside the United States ever to hold the office. (The Constitution's requirement that presidents be native-born contained an exemption for those who were U.S. citizens at its adoption).
President Hancock's decision not to seek reelection proved prescient, for he would live only five more months after leaving office on March 4, 1793. Had he died while president, there might have been a national crisis, for while the Constitution provided that the vice-president - John Adams, in this case - would act as president, there was disagreement over whether he should remain in that position until the next scheduled election year or only until a new, emergency election could be called, and Adams had more than his share of detractors. The issue would not be clarified until the passage of the Eleventh Amendment in 1801, following the bitterly contested 1800 election, which specified explicitly in one of its several clauses that in the event of "presidential death or disability" the vice-president "shall become president, with all powers, privileges and responsibilities pertaining to that office, and shall serve until the next scheduled election as provided by law, at which he shall be eligible" to seek another term.
In 2016, in a ruthless attempt to alter the world energy equation, the Islamic Republic of Iran mined the Strait of Homuz. "Underwatch" submarines began patrolling the mine-fields And the leadership of the United States was forced to confront the first major act of regional aggression in over a quarter of a century.
Change We Can Believe InThis confrontation presented a unique challenge to Barack Obama in the final year of his Presidency. Shortly after taking office, he had received the Nobel Peace Prize for his bold decision to accelerate the withdrawal of US troops from both Iraq and Afghanistan. His remaining years had focused on reconciliation projects in those new nations, allowing the US leadership to concentrate more fully on domestic issues such as universal healthcare and the economy. Allowing Obama to be re-elected by a landslide; but now that legacy was in jeopardy.
The crisis had not been precipitated by the military chauvinism of the "Great Satan". Instead, the "reverse energy shock" of 2014 triggered the collapse of oil and gas prices, stagnating the Iranian economy. Strategists at the Pentagon now realised the last six and a half years had simply been a "strategic pause" in the long-running conflict that first began with the fall of the Shah in 1979. Pure and simply, it was a a fight for oil, and this time, the United States wasn't the aggressor.
"America has a secret plan to unblock the Strait of Homuz without risking the loss of a single American life" ~ ObamaSeeking to force a showdown whilst avoiding outright war, military planners were ordered to war-game the 1962 blockade the island of Cuba - but in reverse. The result was a devilishly cunning plan to dispatch mother-submarines containing tiny, unmanned, robotic mini-subs into the Persian Gulf. And the robotic submarines contained unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that theoretically could sweep a grid the size of the Persian Gulf in a single day. These "whiskers" or "teeth" would serve in a dual purpose, by acting as force multipliers, whilst eliminating any possibility of human casualties. That was the untested theory, anyway and you have to admit, it did sound rather good on paper.
In 1977, newly inaugurated U.S. President James Earl Carter ignites a storm of controversy when, in response to a reporter's question, he suggests that American troops should be withdrawn from Cuba and Vietnam.
Out of the Quagmire
by Eric Lipps"In both nations," he declares, "whatever threat to American security and American interests might have emanated from those nations is past. Maintaining a large troop presence indefinitely in both Cuba and Vietnam places an unnecessary burden upon this nation". He goes on to state that he plans to open negotiations aimed at arranging an orderly U.S. withdrawal, to be accompanied by "free and fair elections" which Carter will invite the United Nations to monitor.
Conservatives respond with fury, denouncing Carter's words as a "sellout to Communism". Zealous right-wing pundit Patrick Buchanan storms that Carter is opening the door for Fidel Castro, who has carried on a guerrilla resistance since his ouster in April 1961 by a Cuban insurgent force backed up by the U.S. military, to return to power. Buchanan also charges that if Carter's plan is carried out, the "ragtag remnants" of the Vietcong and the former North Vietnamese Army will be freed to "undo the progress of freedom in Southeast Asia purchased at the cost of so many American lives".
Many ordinary Americans, however, applaud Carter's words. At a time when there is supposedly a new "detente" between the U.S. and its Communist adversaries, the USSR and the People's Republic of China, the continuing stream of American casualties in two guerrilla wars against Marxist insurgencies in small, unimportant countries has come to seem increasingly pointless.
This article is part of the Cuba War thread.
In 1957, on this day the Canadian Football League announced its regular season schedule would be expanded to 18 games for the 1957 season; the new longer schedule would be tough on all CFL franchises, but it would be particularly hard on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, who with many of their Grey Cup championship-era players gone from the roster stumbled out of the gate and would finish the year with a disappointing 7-10-1 record.
The 1957 CFL season would also see the league grow to twelve teams with the formation of the Moncton Whalers, the Halifax Whitecaps, and the Medicine Hat Red Dragons.
In 47,373 BCE, after her second rainy season with the Australian tribe she had married into, Telka the Speaker falls ill, and calls out for her great-granddaughter. Swikolay had been traveling around the continent, and it took several days for Telka?s tribesmen to find her. By the time she arrived, the Speaker was almost dead. 'I will not touch the sky,' she told Swikolay. 'Touch it for me.' Those were her last words; she lapsed into a coma and died within hours. Swikolay asked that she be burnt and her ashes thrown into the wind so that she might touch the sky in death.
In 1775, with the merchants of London pleading their case, American colonists begin negotiations to end the conflict between themselves and the Crown.
Although a few more years of violence follow, the deep support that the Americans have among the merchantile class brings them back to the good graces of the King. The Canadian nationalists, who lacked the desire to cultivate friendships with the merchants, had no spokesmen to plead their case before Parliament.
In 2005, Jeanna Best and Dave Lange meet at a Save Earth safe house with a few of the SE people. 'What are we supposed to do?' Lange wants to know. "Fight", he is told. Best and Lange agree to join Save Earth and Best gives the SE group some vital information on her employer. They tell her that they will need her to keep her job there as long as she can - the intel she provides is vital to the cause.
In 1985, a constitutional amendment is put before the House of Representatives to give President Ralph Shephard the power to dismiss Congressmen who are unwilling to support his agenda. Although it seems doomed because of the number of Representatives who oppose it, a terrorist attack on the Capitol brings them in line, and the first of many amendments rolls through the House.
In 1973, Comrade President John Anderson announces the signing of a peace treaty between the Soviet States of America, North Chile and South Chile to end the civil war in the South American nation. Although American troops pull out, the South Chilean guerillos continue fighting in violation of the treaty, and eventually bring down the legitimate socialist government of the north.
Senator Charles Lindbergh, leader of the American Bund party in the United States Senate, urges his fellow citizens to ally themselves with the German Underground
. Arguing that the 'revitalization' they are bringing to Europe could achieve similar wonders in America, he manages to convince a majority of the Senate to urge President Landon to enter negotiations, something Landon refuses to do.
In 1000 Post-Creation, Lucifer is cast back down from Heaven, but this time, he does not regret his actions. He frees Gabriel and Lilith, and corrupts them to hatred of the Creator. With his rage in complete control, he sets himself as a counterpoint to the Creator, and declares opposition to all that He does. Gabriel and Lilith swear to follow him, and soon other rebels join his side.
In 47,372 BCE, Swikolay sets sail from Australia for the southeast Asian coast. The Speaker's great-granddaughter keeps up the spirits of her 6 companions during the voyage by regaling them with the stories she heard from Telka. By the time they land on the Asian coast, each of them is as dedicated to the Speaker's cause as Swikolay herself.
Oueztecan Captain of the Empire Cotchiquetal leads his men to what he thinks is an encampment of Siksika warriors, but is actually a small settlement on the Mechecho River. After scouts inform him of the true nature of the settlement, he declares, I don't care if they're the right Siksika or not, we shall attack
. The brutal slaughter of these innocents sends a shudder throughout the empire, and Captain Cotchiquetal is brought before the Emperor for trial and executed.
In 1989, Salvador Dali, surrealist painter and filmmaker, underwent an experimental procedure to cure the palsy he had suffered from since the beginning of the decade. Since he had been unable to paint, Dali felt he had nothing to lose. After the procedure, the control in his hands returned, and he was able to produce art again. Although many consider this period his least creative, his masterpiece Christ On The Operating Table was inspired by his own operation, and was finished just before Dali's death in 1993.
In 4528, artist Cheng Shifa was born in Shanghai. The great port city afforded Cheng with a great wealth of material, and became the basis of most of his vast body of work. His nearly-abstract portraits of Shanghai pulse with a love for the city that is almost palpable. His work is often cited as the reason so many people move to and write about Shanghai to this day.
In 1973, on this day the forty-fifth President of the Republic of Texas, Lyndon B. Johnson died in Stonewall, the census-designated place he had represented as a Nationalist Party Candidate for three decades. He served as President during the critical period December 9th 1962-December 9th 1965.
Death of Texan President Johnson (N-Stonewall)As a young man he enrolled in the Future Leaders of America programme, an expense bursary for gifted young leaders to serve in the armed forces of the Union and the Republic of Texas, and for their talented officers to serve with the Confederates. However despite FLoA his bitter experience of the un-coordinated American commands during World War forced him further into the arms of the Nationalist Party established by Mireabeau Lamar in 1843.
Neverthless at his personal invitation, Union President John F. Kennedy visited Dallas in November 1963. The last minute arrest of lone gunman Lee Harvey Oswald narrowly avoided an assassination attempt. At the press conference, Johnson built some important bridges with the Union with his memorable off-hand comment "Mr President, you can't say Dallas doesn't love you" . Twenty years later, Union Presidential Candidate Edward M. Kennedy would reflect upon this event during his "Dream that Never Dies" speech in which he called for the re-establishment of a contiguous United States .
This article is part of the Two Americas thread
In 1918, on this day a prominent member of the Bolshevik Central Committee the Georgian "man of steel" Joseph Vissarionovich Jughashvili (pictured) was assassinated by British agent Oswald Rayner and the same members of the British Secret Intelligence Service that murdered Grigory Rasputin thirteen months before.
Stalin AssassinatedBoth strikes had been called by service head Mansfield Cumming (better known to co-workers as "C") to keep Russian Forces engaged in the Great War.
During 1916, the Tsar had been acting as Commander-in-Chief. Away from the Russian Capital, British Government feared that in his absence Rasputin would appeal to the Tsarina's German ancestry to call a truce. Thirteen months later, the Tsar had abdicated and the Bolsheviks had negotiated such a truce, leading to the prospect of the Western Allies facing the full brunt of the German Armies. By 1918, the resumption of hostilities required the displacement of the Bolsheviks in favour of the Socialist Revolutions. Even before Stalin was dead, advanced plans to assassinate both Lenin and Trotskey were being organized by Rayner.
In 1991, on this day Iraqi Dictator Saddam Husseini caught Coalition Forces by complete surprise when his Special Forces launched a wave of mobile Scud Missiles at the North African bases of the Anglo-French Project Hermes space program.
A teaser by Ed & Chris OakleyDue to complex long-standing interests in the Middle East, and a history of independent thinking, the French Government had steadfastly refused to provide Ground Forces to support the US-led alliance. And yet after much persuasion, George Bush had finally convinced François Mitterand to participate in the Coalition of the Willing. Because of the advanced capabilities of her Space Platforms, France was able to assist the Allies with satellite surveillance of Scud missile deployments deep in the Iraqi desert.
Unfortunately for the West, those satellites had been launched from bases in the former French colony of Algeria. And when Iraq struck back with an anti-imperialist blow that resonated on the "Arab Street", he created a dangerous rupture at the heart of the Christian-Islamic alliance against Saddam's rule. More of a propaganda blow rather than a potent military strike, the operation would create huge problems at a key moment when Operation Desert Storm was "running on rails".
You can read read all parts of Chris Oakley's timeline at Aux Etoiles! at Changing the Times Magazine.
In 1973, on this day at his ranch in Stonewall, Texas, Secret Service agents found Lyndon Baines Johnson dead in his bed with a telephone in his hand. The thirty-fifth President of the United States had been trying to call for help after suffering a massive heart attack brought on by years of heavy smoking, poor diet, and extreme stress.
Disgraced President Johnson diesA Southern Democrat, he served as a United States Representative from Texas, from 1937-1949 and as United States Senator from 1949-1961, including six years as United States Senate Majority Leader, two as Senate Minority Leader and two as Senate Majority Whip. After campaigning unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination in 1960, Johnson was asked by John F. Kennedy to be his running mate for the 1960 presidential election.
But fate intervened and Johnson himself succeeded to the White House after the assassination of the President-elect on Palm Beach, Florida on December 11, 1960. Once in the Oval Office, he immediately cancelled a covert operation to attack Fidel Castro with a light force of Cuban Rebels. With hindsight he would come to bitterly regret this decision. Because within two years, he would be fighting impeachment charges when it was discovered that the USSR had used the strategic pause to introduce nuclear weapons onto the island.
In 1972, whilst campaigning for the forthcoming Iowa Caucus, Senator Edward M. Kennedy was shot dead in Des Moinesa by lone gun-woman Mary Jo Kopechne.
Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72Whisperings of a scandal soon begin to emerge with the revelation that Koppechne had served as a "boiler girl" on Robert Kennedy's campaign in 1968. Even though he captivated the electorate, he had mis-timed his run, launching his candidacy too late to pick up the nomination. He followed up a gracious speech at the Convention in Chicago, returning to Martha's Vineyard to throw a party for his campaign staff.
Dejected by his brother's defeat, Ted had been drinking heavily all day, and shortly before midnight, snuck out of the party with Kopechne in order to have sex on the beach. At high speed he took a wrong turn onto a narrow bridge and crashed the vehicle into Poucha Pond. Even though the vehicle was capsized, he was able to rescue his unconscious companion. Jogging back to the Cottage, he fetched his cousin Joseph Gargan and party co-host Paul Markham who convinced Kopechne to keep quiet about the matter.
In 1995, on this day a civilian and seventeen soldiers were killed by two Palestinian suicide bombers in the Beit Lid massacre at Netanya, Central Israel.
Rabin SurvivesPersuaded against his better judgement by the emphaticatically delivered advice of his Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin reluctantly proceeded with his schedule, conducting a planned visit to the Holocaust Memorial at Yad Vashem. This fateful decision placed Rabin in mortal danger, threatening the very future of his "Peace Now" movement.
Because not all of the visitors at Yad Vashem were directly engaged in the business of commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by the Soviet Army. A former Hesder student and Orthodox far-right law student at Bar-Ilan University, Yigal Amir (pictured) was absolutely convinced that Rabin was a traitor that had betrayed Zionist principles by offering the Palestinians "Land for Peace".
Yet Amir's assassination attempt ended in failure and the Prime Minister survived to conduct the Final Status Negotiations (known as Oslo III Accords) that Rabin would eventually sign in 1999. Because under interrogation, the "patsy" exposed a right-wing conspiracy. "When I tell the whole truth, the entire system will collapse. I know enough to destroy this country" said Amir. And that shocking truth was a plot by government forces loyal to Foreign Minister Shimon Peres (himself a Nobel Peace Prize winner) to force a return to the "Iron Fist" policy.
In 2013, on this day the overwhelming majority of the thirteen million citizens of Ontario celebrated the glorious bicentennial of joining the Union.Remember the Raisin!
Because on February 22nd 1810, the American politician Henry Clay declared that "the conquest of Canada is in our power. I trust I shall not be deemed presumptive when I state that I verily believe that the militia of Kentucky are alone competent to place Montreal and Upper Canada at our feet".
Almost three years later, a combined force of European, Canadian and five hundred Indians under the command of Shawnee Chief Tecumseh were decisively beaten at the Battle of Frenchtown, along the River Raisin. The phrase Remember the Raisin became a rallying cry for the brave Kentucky militiamen who had liberated Ontario from Upper Canada just as Clay had predicted.
Half way around the world, Napoleon's army were fleeing Russia, and some of the pressure was off Great Britain. For the decision by the Little Corporal to fight a war on two fronts resulted not only in the secession of Ontario to the British North American Union, but also the realisation of Shawnee aspirations for a native confederacy.
In Pierre Berton's Invasion of Canada (1812-3), the author explains two centuries of peace by wisely noting that "the creation of an Indian State north of the Ohio acted as a buffer zone between the two of the European States on the North American Continent making future wars unattractive".
In 2008, actor Heath Ledger (pictured) barely manages to survive a dangerous drug overdose at his SoHo-based apartment in Manhattan. Gotham Dawn by Gerry Shannon
That afternoon, Ledger had been found by his housekeeper in bed in a semi-conscious state and with a burning fever, and she then hurriedly dialled 911. The emergency room team who treated the actor found his condition was a result of an abuse of his precription medications that were for treating his headaches and his insomnia. (The actor often talked to his friends of his difficulties with sleeping).
During his recovery, Ledger released a statement warning his fans of not being properly informed as to the dangers of drugs - both legal and otherwise. It was this experience that would have the usually reclusive Ledger become a prominent anti-drugs activist in the intervening decades, often lobbying the US Senate for tougher measures and togrant greater powers to law enforcement agencies.
Nearly a year later to the day, he would be nominated by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the category of Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of the super-villain, the Joker, in the Batman sequel, The Dark Knight. Ledger's subsequent win was unique for a starring role in a big-budget genre production. He would reprise his role in the 2011 sequel, Gotham Dawn, which would briefly reunite him with his Brokeback Mountain co-star, Jake Gyllenhaal as the Riddler during the film's climax that sees a mass breakout from Arkham Asylum.
On this day in 2001, President Colin Powell signed an executive order establishing the National Counterterrorism Command (NCC), an umbrella network designed to enable US law enforcement and military agencies to share information and co-ordinate strategies for combatting terrorism both at home and abroad.
On this day in 2009, the US Senate voted unanimously to confirm former C-in-C of US forces in Iraq Gen. David Petraeus as Secretary of Defense.
In 1972, Soviet agent Dmitri Kaprinsky, alias D.B. Cooper, was sentenced to life in prison for espionage and attempted hijacking.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.