In 1841, Admiral of the Fleet John Arbuthnot "Jacky" Fisher, 1st Baron Fisher of Kilverstone was born on this day in Ramboda, Ceylon (present day Sri Lanka).
Birth of Jackie Fisher, ReduxHe had a huge influence on the Royal Navy in a career spanning more than 60 years, starting in a navy of wooden sailing ships armed with muzzle-loading cannon and ending in one of steel-hulled battlecruisers, submarines and the first aircraft carriers. The argumentative, energetic, reform-minded Fisher is often considered the second most important figure in British naval history, after Lord Nelson.
He finally retired aged seventy, but was recalled three years later on the outbreak of the Great War becoming First Sea Lord again in November 1914. In this post, he argued bitterly with Winston Churchill, an erratic politician in the office of the First Lord of the Admiralty. Matters came to a head when Fisher rejected Churchill's crazed plan for a full frontal assault on the Dardanelles. Instead, he proposed a bold assault on the Baltic.
However this alternative plan never saw fruition either. Because on 31st May 1916, the Royal Navy suffered a catastrophic defeat at the Battle of Jutland. Submersed German U-boats had been waiting for the Grand Fleet, and their capital ships were sunk even before the German surface fleet got a chance to fire its own shots.
In 1841, British Admiral Jackie Fisher was born on this day in Ramboda, Ceylon (present day Sri Lanka).
This post was written by Dirk Puehl the highly recommended author of #onthisday #history Google+ posts.
Birth of Jackie FisherDirk writes - "Chatfield, there seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today", Admiral Beatty said to his flag captain when one of his battlecruisers after the other blew up under the fire of Hipper's Schlachtkreuzer during the Battle of Jutland. On Jacky Fisher's 172th birthday the question might suggest itself - what if Fisher did not pursue his concept of "Battlecruisers" in the early 1900s.
Whatever made Sir John "Jacky" Fisher reconsider his plan of fast and heavy armed, but weak-armoured warships with speed as their best protection, it seemed to leave Great Britain in a decisively weak position at the outbreak of the Great War in August 1914.
Not only had the Royal Navy to rely on large armoured cruisers to protect the long trade lines of the Empire and the German Admiral von Spee's squadron's consisting of the two battlecruisers "Moltke" and "Goeben" that broke through into the Pacific and later the Indian Ocean gave them quite a headache until they were finally brought to bay by the Imperial Japanese Navy.
However, Fisher had an ace up his sleeve with his "New Model Fleet". Following up from the design of HMS Dreadnought in 1906, he pursued the design of the liquid (i.e. oil) fuelled "Fast Battleship" type with a vengeance. But even though Fisher predicted the outbreak of the war with Germany for August 1914, his chef d'oeuvre and swan song, the "Nelson"-class were not ready for action at that time.
Mid-1915, HMS "Nelson", the type ship, and her sisters "St Vincent", "Collingwood" and "Howe" were ready for sea, the other four followed in spring 1916. Their superior design, speed, armour and armament paid off on May 31st when Jellicoe's "Grand Fleet" and the German "Hochseeflotte" met off Jutland.
Commanded by David Beatty, the "New Model Fleet" squadron matched Admiral Hipper's battlecruisers in speed, while their 6'' deck and 14'' midships' armour protected them from critical hits by German 12'' shells, while their new 16'' guns quickly broke their enemy's resistance. Joining Jellicoe's main battle afterwards, Beatty and his new fast battleships played a decisive role in making the Battle of Jutland an overwhelming Royal Navy victory.
What followed was that the remains of the German Hochseeflotte remained bottled up in their harbours until the end of the war, January 25th 1918, that was brought about (among other reasons) by the tight British naval blockade that could not even been broken by the German U-boat offensive.?
In 1860, on this day 31st President of the United States Charles Curtis (picture) was born in Topeka, Kansas Territory prior to its admission as a state.
Birth of Charles CurtisHe was a United States Representative, a longtime United States Senator from Kansas later chosen as Senate Majority Leader by his Republican colleagues, and the 31st Vice President-elect of the United States (Curtis ran for Vice-President with Herbert Hoover as President in 1928. They won a landslide victory).
Cruel fate intervened when President-elect Hoover was killed in December 1928. During a seven week tour of Latin American, Argentine anarchists led by Severino Di Giovanni blew up the railroad car in which he was travelling.
Ironically, the purpose of the tour was to explain his economic and trade policies to other nations in the Western hemisphere. Because less than nine months into his term of office, President Curtis was confronted with the Wall Street Crash.
In 1880, on this day Douglas MacArthur, American general and Medal of Honor recipient was born in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Birth of General-sanIn 1925 made the youngest major general the in US Army, proved his military record in World War II with a 30:1 kill ratio against the Japanese as well as being awarded a Medal of Honor, multiple distinguished service medals on land, sea, and air, and two purple hearts.
When the war ended, he was given the title Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers and ordered to oversee the Occupation of Japan. He drafted a new constitution in 1946 that became ratified the following year, reformed land ownership to put millions of acres into the hands of owner-operators, and reorganized and rebuilt the nation's industry as a peacetime leader.
One of his most significant moves was to recommend immunity to Japanese scientists such as those in the infamous Unit 731 who conducted human experiments. In exchange for their information (which would remain secret), the doctors would not be tried for crimes against humanity. Rather than handing the data on biological weapons over to the United States government, he kept the information to himself, an action believed to be the first on his road to megalomania.
A new article by Jeff ProvineIn 1948, MacArthur was among those put forth for the Republican nomination for the presidency. Democrats had held the White House since 1932, and it seemed like a good chance to bring about needed post-war change. When MacArthur lost to Dewey, who in turn lost to Truman, he became despondent about his homeland. Meanwhile, the great changes he had made to Japan continued, and he began to focus more on his life in Japan.
MacArthur became unruly in the eyes of Washington as he too-often traded out military personnel, eventually creating a power structure completely loyal to him. He had won over the respect of the Japanese with his land reforms and encouragement of trade unions in the new industry, creating grassroots support. Censorship boards, which MacArthur began to direct personally, equated all good news with himself and bad news with other American figures. When President Truman called for MacArthur's removal, he refused and pronounced himself dictator of Japan. His title became Gaijin Shogun ("foreign military ruler"), and he stated that any threat to remove him would be met with military-grade biological weapons cultivated from Unit 731's experiments.
Americans balked, but war-weariness caused them to leave him as MacArthur allowed any of the 30,000 Americans stationed in Japan to evacuate peacefully. Much of the military equipment had "disappeared" into MacArthur's personal army's hands, leaving no paper record to prove claims for return of American materiel. After obligatory reorganization and crackdown, MacArthur sealed the Japanese borders with rearmed fishing vessels, allowing trade only through approved channels.
Until 1964, Japan was an isolated state controlled by rationing and fear of MacArthur's release of plagues. Sanctions were placed on the nation, but they only contributed to the seclusion. International forces reacting to the Korean War were believed to be staging for a campaign of liberation, but as the war became stalemated, the idea was never explored. Instead, for fifteen years, Japan returned to a feudal period and did not return to the world scene until MacArthur died and his son Arthur MacArthur refused to continue rule, fleeing to Switzerland. Since then, Japan has been a figure of East Asian politics despite economic struggles.
In 217 BC, with the arguments of the anti-Barca coalition discredited by an unbeaten run of stunning victories the Carthaginian Council finally agreed to provide Hannibal with the overwhelming resources necessary to assault Rome.
Carthaginian Council backs the assault on RomeOriginally caused by a multidecade trading conflict against the Greek cities within the Ionian Sea, the Second Punic War had been privately financed by the Spanish territory and the Barca family, several nobles and military leaders within Carthage.
Weary of ending all of his councils of war with the vacuous phrase "Rome must be destroyed", Hannibal changed his strategy deciding to appeal to the Carthaginian Council with a demand for the resources necessary to complete the campaign. In the event he was given the war machines of Archimedes which had been built for the defence of Syracuse.
From a purely military perspective, the conquest of Italy was a stunning success. The strategic insertion of multiple invading armies onto the Italian peninsula forced the Romans to divide their forces allowing the Carthaginians to transport their siege equipment down the Tiber to Rome. But the fulfilment of Hannibal's promise to his father Hamilcar (that he would eternally hate Rome) would have unexpected consequences for Carthage long after the salting of Roman Capital. That unknown variable was the re-emergence of the Grecian Cities under the re-invigorated leadership of the Macedonians.
In 1948, on this day the US Occupation Authority issued an arrest for forty-seven officerless Japanese warriors following the gruesome discovery of the severed head of the hated General-san Douglas MacArthur in a bucket on the samurai grave of Asano in Sengaku-ji.
Death of the General-SanBut in the turmoil of post-war Japan the men had little difficulty in fleeing to Hokkaidõ where they were concealed by the communist government of the Democratic People's Republic of Japan.
Of course the signs had been omninous ever since a massive typhon had ripped apart Admiral Halsey's invasion fleet. Exceptionalists in Japanese society issued a reinvigorated call to arms, believing that the "kamikaze" divine wind was an omen that the defenders could repel the invaders, as Shinto Priests had intepreted the destruction of Kubla Khan's Mongol Navy in 1274 and 1281.
Unable to prevent X-Day from succeeding albeit at huge cost, they sharpened their focus on a new goal. Sending the severed head of the invading commander back to Washington, as their forefathers had with Commodore Matthew C. Perry who insulted the long-standing policy of international isolation known as "sakoku".
The subjugation of the exceptionalists stretched US Forces to the absolute limit of their resources, forcing a reluctant Truman to share the burden of the American occupation with the Soviet Union. Fighting for their cultural and national survival, only one legend remainded intact, that of the forty-seven ronin who avenged their samurai by placing the severed head of their enemy in a bucket on their master Alano's grave.
In 1787, in the economic turmoil after the American Revolution, many of the most valiant fighters for freedom suffered long after the war ended. Daniel Shays was a laborer who had joined the Continental Army, fighting at battles such as Bunker Hill and victory at Saratoga.
Daniel Shays Waits to take Springfield Armory After being wounded, he resigned and left still unpaid. Upon arriving home, he found himself in court for unpaid debts. He was hardly alone; debtor's prison and courts had pursued hundreds of poor former soldiers in Massachusetts alone. Meanwhile, judges, lawyers, and wealthy merchants in Boston were making fortunes as the young nation grew, controlling specie in gold and silver as inflation made the poor poorer yet.
A new story by Jeff ProvineShays met with other farmers and laborers, and they began to organize into a new revolutionary army. Numbers grew and altercations began as the masses fought against the bourgeois, who had confirmed power through the Revolution by pushing out the British. Governor John Hancock, famous signer of the Declaration of Independence, had suppressed riots, but local militias were losing support. The new governor James Bowdoin decided to take serious action. Leading wealthy Boston merchants funded a new 3,000-man militia to be commanded by General Benjamin Lincoln.
The militia marched toward Springfield in January, where Shays and Luke Day commanded armies of revolutionaries who had shut down the local courts from prosecuting debtors. The local 900-man armory headed by General William Shepard was under siege, and Secretary of War Henry Knox had ordered him not to use the weapons inside as it required Congressional approval. Shays sent a message to Day suggesting that they attack before Lincoln's army arrived and seize the weaponry, but Day replied that he needed another day to organize. Shays begrudgingly agreed, spending the rest of January 25 writing letters to Shepard explaining his case and asking for a surrender.
The infuriated Shepard felt that his duty to the new United States was to defend federal property, even though the federal government refused him to use it. Judging the times, he decided to let the people choose for themselves. On the 26th, Shays and Day marched on the armory, and Shepard ordered his men to fire their muskets in a warning shot. The revolutionaries refused to be deterred, overwhelming the troops and securing the armory.
At noon on the 27th, Lincoln and his mercenaries arrived. They attacked Shays and Day's joined forces in the defended position of the armory. The battle would last through the afternoon until Lincoln's exhausted troops began to break. Days led a counterattack across the frozen Connecticut River, routing Lincoln. The resounding victory would unite the farmers of western Massachusetts and lead to a march on Boston. Governor Bowdoin and the state legislature called for aid from the government, but Congress was out of session, so there was no way to legally declare war, even on Americans themselves. New York considered putting together a force to make peace, but the matter was deemed internal to a state, and a state invading another state to put down popular movement seemed contrary to the spirit of the Articles of Confederation.
With minimal resistance, Shays and his revolutionaries overthrew the Boston elite. New elections were held, despite stiff resistance from the shouts and writings of Samuel Adams, who now seemed unable to stop the voice of liberty that he had called for a little over a decade before. Heavy taxes were placed on the wealthy, solving the economic crisis while emptying the debtor's prisons. Calls for protection of property rang out but were drowned by councils judging those deemed "opposing the state".
Backlash flowed across the rest of the United States. George Washington and others called for a constitutional convention to create a stronger federal government. It may have worked, but the summer of 1787 came too late, and ultimately the delegates would disband, creating only a new list of individual rights proposed by the representatives from Massachusetts. Planters in Virginia and Georgia suddenly faced uprising from small farmers who were kept out of competition. Insurrections from the slave class erupted in South Carolina, spreading to the hundreds before being violently put down. In New York, debates over river rights and shipping prices caused violent altercations and blockading of the Hudson. Political and military leaders took charge, promising security in exchange for rights.
Revolution in the states would continue at various levels, weakening the United States into a broken confederation as many in the British Government had anticipated. A similar revolution ran through France, sparking wars throughout Europe. As the states argued about supporting events in Europe, many supported the fellow revolutionaries while others began considering a return to Britain. Seeing possibility that all the work of the Revolution might go undone, George Washington endorsed the increasingly popular Aaron Burr of New York as a central leader. Burr would settle the country by war, eventually setting himself up as Emperor of the Americas, a position that would eventually be broken by fresh revolution a generation later under General Andrew Jackson.
In 2008, on this day in her home city of Karachi, the Chairwoman of Pakistan Peoples Party Benazir Bhutto announced her withdrawal from the national elections. The decision had looked increasingly inevitable ever since her private security detail fired indiscriminantly into the crowd at Liaquat National Bagh in Rawalpindi on December 27th.
Protecting the PrincipalAfter eight years in exile in Dubai and London, Miss Bhutto returned to Karachi on 18 October 2007. Shortly after she left Jinnah International Airport en route to a political rally in Karachi, two explosions occurred. She was not injured but the explosions, later found to be a suicide-bomb attack, killed 136 people and injured at least 450.
"Our mission is to protect the principal at all costs" ~ Ann StarrThe CEO of Blackwater International, Eric Prince contacted Miss Bhutto to impress upon her the compelling piece of information that his private security company had not lost a single "principal" under diplomatic protection. But the price was not cheap, the bill for Paul Bremer's single year in Iraq was a staggering $27m.
"Blackwater provides a valuable service. They protect people's lives" ~ BushMiss Bhutto not alone in her desperation. Following the Nissour Square Massacre in Baghdad on 16th September, the Government of Iraq had expelled Blackwater International from the country. They had soon be replaced by other private security firms, including DynCorp and Triple Canopy, but right now Blackwater needed some new contracts, big time. And that business would soon follow with awards for the US-Mexican Border and the Beijing Olympics projects.
In 1848, Gold is discovered in Coloma, Alta California, along the banks of the Rio Americano.
The find touches off a mad scramble of would-be prospectors. The gold-seekers' journey will be arduous.
The still-ongoing war with the Indiana tribes, who control a vast inland domain, makes a direct passage across the continent out of the question, requiring would-be exploiters of California's riches to take one of two less attractive routes: either through the newly acquired territories of Texas and Nuevo Mexico before swinging up into Alta California, a route soon christened the Golden Turn, or a perilous months-long sea voyage around the tip of South America and up to Alta California's western coast. The land route requires travelers to cross broad expanses of baking desert; the ocean trip exposes them to the risks of storms, accident and disease.
In 1988, gold speculators, remembering President Kemp`s enthusiasm for returning the United States to the gold standard, begin buying up massive stocks of the metal and acquiring shares in mining companies.
In 2005, Dave Lange researches the company that Jeanna Best found out the day before, Myrmidon. Hours of searching yields him nothing; the company is very good at hiding its tracks. Just when he is about to give up hope, a small item in a Lexis-Nexis search tells him that representatives of the company met with President Bush in 2002; he finds other references to them in meetings with powerful leaders of other nations, as well. He even succeeds in finding a picture of the company's president, one J. Burton Howell.
In 1994, Jeanne Dixon, shortly after predicting that she would be raptured with other true believers in the year 2000, died in New York City. She had stepped in front of a car that she hadn't seen coming.
In 4677, celebrated actress Jiang Qing makes her final film. In her youth, she had created a minor scandal when she started up an affair with Imperial Minister Mao Tse-Tung. After other councilors convinced him it was unwise to continue, he left her. She never married after this affair, and even when Emperor Mao, then a widower, asked for her hand, she refused him.
In 1964, Pete Best's single Come Dance With Me topped the charts in America. Hot on the heels of his first American tour, the success he enjoyed in America convinced Best to move there and take advantage of their larger audience for his music.
In 1956, Prime Minister Kyukhov of Russia tells a visiting American journalist that "President Joel Rosenberg is working towards peace; we could have a peaceful coexistence with this man as your leader". The interview, broadcast around the world the next day, helps Comrade President Rosenberg to forge a new era of detente with Europe's largest monarchy.
In 1000 Post-Creation, Lucifer and his small band of rebel angels raid Eden and kidnap Adam and Eve. Using the power he has gained over it in his time in the Abyss, Lucifer cools the lake of fire and creates a place to keep the humans while his demands are heard in Heaven. All of Creation shakes with the anger of Yahweh when He learns of this transgression.
Dave Lange researches the company that Jeanna Best found out the day before, Myrmidon
. Hours of searching yields him nothing; the company is very good at hiding its tracks. Just when he is about to give up hope, a small item in a Lexis-Nexis
search tells him that representatives of the company met with President Bush in 2002; he finds other references to them in meetings with powerful leaders of other nations, as well. He even succeeds in finding a picture of the company's president, one J. Burton Howell.
a week into his first term, Republican Congressmen began drawing up papers of impeachment for President Gore. They accused him of being in the pocket of the Chinese government because of his fund-raising
event attended by Chinese nationals. For his defense, he pointed out that there were plenty of California Republicans at the event, as well. The impeachment movement fell flat after the facts were made known to the American public.
In 1994, Jeanne Dixon, shortly after predicting that she would be raptured with other true believers in the year 2000, died in New York City. She had stepped in front of a car that she hadn't seen coming.
In 1349, Idi Amin, a general in Uganda's military, seized power from the rightful ruler, Caliph Mutessa II, in a bloody coup. He abolished Islam during his short reign, alienating Uganda from all the nations surrounding it. In 1352, when he began slaughtering old tribal enemies, the Islamic nations surrounding him invaded and removed him from power.
In 1995, years after the Soviet Union had collapsed, and peace was the order of the day, the Russian missile defense system detected a launch from Norway. Although it was a mistake, and a simple call for verification from Moscow would have confirmed that it was a mistake, the commander at the switch that day was an unreconstructed hardliner, and ordered every missile launched. This triggered a launch from European bases, and before anyone could stop them, nuclear devastation wasted northern Europe.
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.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.