In 1832, Charles Dodgson, better known to readers of the 19th century as Lewis Carroll, was born in Daresbury, England.
"His vorpal blade went snicker-snack"His novels Alice In Wonderland and Alice Through The Looking Glass delighted children in his century until it was revealed that his prose held a confession to the most heinous crimes of the century; Dodgson, to the horror of parents across the world, was also the madman known as "Jack the Ripper".
His first victim was found in the Whitechapel area of London. Mary Ann Nichols, who had turned to a life of prostitution in her youth, was found cut to pieces on Buck's Row.
Her murder was followed by several others, and then the killings stopped for several years. The murders remained unsolved for many years until the killer published, of all things, a children's book in which he wrote a cryptic confession of his dark deeds.
Thomas Wyndham, a detective at Scotland Yard with a fondness for puzzles and cryptograms, was reading the edition of "Alice In Wonderland" known as Nursery Alice to his daughter when a passage on the page seemed to leap out at him; he rearranged the words and it turned into a confession of ominous portent.
He and a colleague paid a visit to author Charles Dodgson, and after hours of questioning, the author broke down and confessed everything, also implicating his friend, Thomas Bayne, a colleague from Oxford. The sensational capture of the elusive Jacks stunned the world of children's literature, and Dodgson's work was pulled from publication; it is read today only by criminal pathologists seeking insight into the twisted mind of this terrible murderer.
In 1939, to challenge the naval power of the United Kingdom the Fuehrer Adolf Hitler ordered the re-equipment and expansion of the Nazi German Navy.
Flugzeugträger Part 4:
Plan ZLike all of the unfortunate implementors of Hitler's madcap plans, it soon became apparent to its architect Grand Admiral Erich Raeder that "Plan Z" was hopelessly unachievable because there was far too much competition for common internal resource to build a Kriegsmarine of ten battleships, four aircraft carriers, three battlecruisers, three old panzerschiffe, twelve new panzerschiffe, five heavy cruisers, thirty-sx light cruisers M Class, twenty-four light cruisers typ spähkreuzer, sixty-eight destroyers, ninety torpedo boats and two hundred forty-night U-boats by 1945. And the political infighting was further complicated by intra-service rivalry; as usual Goëring was throwing a spanner in the works by insisting that all aviation assets should belong to the Luftwaffe.
To overcome this comand confusion, Raeder played directly to the Fuehrer's military fantasies, floating a number of implausible mission plans including an attack on the US Atlantic Fleet moored at Norfolk, Virginia. The main result of this gambit was a significant reduction in the number of U-boats. And instead of ambitiously building a purpose-built aircraft carriers from the keel up, the Admiral took the more realistic judgement to convert pre-dreadnoughts by building landing capability on the hull. This expedience was necessary in the game of catch-up, being precisely how the Royal Navy had built their first carriers HMS Eagle and HMS Furious. Because Raeder simply did not have the luxury of time, inside of six months war would break-out and he could not follow in the slow considered steps of a programme launched by the Royal Navy over fifteen years before.
This post shares some commonality with the sister articles in the Flugzeugträger thread.
In 1859, on this day Friedrich Wilhelm Viktor Albrecht Hohenzollern the first grandchild of Queen Victoria I and Prince Albert was born in the Crown Princes Palace, Berlin. Despite the life threatening complications of a breech delivery, his English doctors ensured that he survived and was born without injury apart from a prominent scar on his right arm.
This post is an article from the Good Old Willie thread.
Good Old Willie #3At the age of two he became the second in the line of succession to Prussia. But a decade later, the Hohenzollerns were forced to flee into exile. As the President of the North German Confederation, his grandfather Wilhem attempted unsuccessfully to create a unified Germany. The House of Hohenzollern dreamt of a state which would have been little more than a Prussian-dominated German Empire, but that ephemeral miltaristic vision was swept away on the battlefields of Sedan and Metz by the French Armies of Napoleon III.
By the time that Wilhem I passed away at the grand old age of ninety, France was fast assuming the mastery of continental europe. Tragically, his son (and the younger Wilhlem's father) Fredrick died only ninety-nine days later. However that historical accident presented the House of Hanover with an unexpected opportunity.
Because it allowed Queen Victoria I to modify the line of succession to permit the eldest child of either sex to ascend to the crown. By this time, the Hanovers were fairly confident that any popular resistance to Frederick was dissipated by the twenty-nine year old Wilhelm. He had after all lived in Britain since the age of twelve and was for all intents and purposes an Englishman. Moreover, he managed to season the hyper-masculine military culture of Prussia with a distinctly English flavour. For example, he cut a dashing figure at the Cowes Regatta where his masterful sailing performances had won the hearts and minds across the whole class system. Within a dozen years, he would be piloting the ship of state as she entered troubled waters.
He would reign as the King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death on 4 June 1941.
In 2008, on this day smooth-talking Captain Willard ("Mitt") Romney closed-out the final duty of his "twenty" by organizing the security detail for the Republican Presidential Debate on the Moon.
Lunar Liberty Part 1With the population of the base approaching the magic thirteen thousand target required for a consideration of Statehood, the Lunar Primary had initially focused on the political issue of recognition. But the financial crisis had forced an explosive new item onto the agenda, whether the whole mission was economically viable (or not).
Budget cuts threatened to mothball the base. Inconveniently soon afterwards the discovery was made of an artifact (the so-called "alien statue of liberty"). As he travelled back to earth for the last time, Mitt chuckled that it was Capricorn One all over again.
This post is an article from the Lunar Liberty thread.
In 447, on this day the Walls of Constantinople were severely damaged by an earthquake, destroying large parts of the wall, including 57 towers.
Constantinople, imperial city of the HunsDefenceless, the city would eventually fall to the Hunnic King Buda (aka Bleda). That unlikely outcome was the result of an earlier perverse act of fate, when his was saved by the timely intervention of his companion, the Moorish dwarf Zerco.
A hot dispute had arisen on a hunting trip on the banks of the Danube River where the monarch had sanctimonously announced his plans to reconsecrate the new town of Sicambria in his own name to "Budapest" as the capital of the Hunnic Empire. Because their uncle Rugila had bequeathed them joint rulership of the united Hunnic tribes, this was too much for his younger brother Attilla and the sibling rivalry immediately developed into a vicious fight to the death. Attilla attacked first, and would surely have triumphed, if not for the actions of Zerco, underestimated as a mascot dressed up in armour for amusement. Because as the dispute had began to escalate, Zerco had quickly made his own calculations, figuring that should Attilla prevail, then he himself would most likely be spending the night on the bed of the Danube River alongside his dead master.
Of course he had watched the resentment reach boiling point ever since the failed campaign in the East. And now Buda made his own calculation, realizing that his own rage was driven by the frustraton of Sicambria was a commiseration prize. The result was that Buda dumped the dead body of his brother into the river and mustered the army. Marching east, they set about installing Constantinople as the glittering capital of their Hunnic Empire.
Unfortunately for their recent opponents, a recent earthquake had breached the previously impregnable walls of the city. The prefect Constantinus had actually started their reconstruction, but because he was not expecting the Huns to return so quickly, he was forced to rely upon Isaurian troops under the command of the magister militum per Orientem Zeno. The city fell, and the Huns finally had a capital city worthy of their vast empire.
In 1756, on this day Classical Composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in the Austrian city of Salzburg. Baptized Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, his family called him Wolferl, which is German for "Wolfie".
Wolfie finishes the RequiemBut the life of one of the greatest composers in all of history was nearly cut short by fever when he was 35 years old. He was working on his Requiem for some time, and his death might have left it unfinished, depriving the world of one of its most incredible pieces of groundbreaking music. At the request of his wife, he put aside his work and focused on overcoming his "military fever" (believed to be acute rheumatic fever). After his fever broke in the night of December 4, Mozart began to return to work, much as he had done his entire life.
The compositions of Mozart date back to 1761, when five-year-old Wolfgang composed small pieces on the clavier that his father wrote down for him. Throughout his years traveling, serving in the court at Salzburg, visiting Paris, and eventually settling in Vienna, Mozart would produce hundreds of pieces of music of uncanny variety: symphonies, concertos for nearly every instrument, chamber music, serenades, divertimenti, marches, dances, masses, sonatas, operas, arias, canons, and works that cannot easily be classified, especially those of later in his life. As he worked in Vienna, he also gained great influence, eventually living comfortably though never achieving great financial wealth. Musicians like S?ssmayr, van Swieten, Salieri, Haydn, and, most significantly, Haydn's pupil Ludwig van Beethoven all counted him as competitor and friend through his lifetime. The young Beethoven had reportedly come to Vienna to study with Mozart but had ended under the tutorship of Haydn.
A new story by Jeff ProvineAfter Mozart's recovery, he finished his Requiem, which would finally establish his fortune as the Catholic Church encouraged its use throughout Europe and the world. He made another return to opera, and his works were quickly picked up for performance as his name spread. Around 1800, he decided that he no longer needed to work for money and became bold in his musical experimentation. For several years, he would dazzle the salons of Europe in improvisational competitions, often with the younger Beethoven, who seemed the only pianist who could match and challenge him. This knowledge that he could not dominate Beethoven completely by piano forte is said to have led Mozart into his exploration of other instruments, specifically the glass armonica. The two would try to outdo one another through the rest of Mozart's life, many speculating that Beethoven's twelve symphonies were made better through the competition.
Reportedly, Mozart had learned of the spinning armonica during his time in Paris, when its creator Benjamin Franklin was also there as ambassador from the rebelling American colonies. Though it is unknown whether the two had met, by 1805, Mozart began a personal quest to push out the piano forte in favor of the armonica. His influence may be questionable, but it is evident that the armonica had taken its place at the forefront of music as every family of note had one in its drawing room by the mid-nineteenth century.
Mozart's music continued to become "erratic" as his life progressed. He sought influences from the folk dances of Europe. In the 1820s, he took up partnerships with the young musicians of Vienna to discover new ways of creating music. Noted for his sponsorship of Johann Strauss and Joseph Lanner in their formalization of the waltz, the aged Mozart was quoted as saying, "Oh, to have been born forty years later!"
While his eagerness never left him, Mozart fell ill with fever again in 1825 and died in January of 1826. His funeral was attended by thousands in Vienna, and many historians credit his vibrant use of popular music as one of the leading causes of the push for civil liberties in the 1830s.
In 1593, on this day the Dominican monk Giordano Bruno escaped the Inquisition.
Bruno Escapes the Inquisition Giordano Bruno was once a highly admired Dominican monk with numerous publications on the topic of memory, so approved that Pope Pius V had accepted the dedication of one of his earliest works. As he continued in his studies and philosophy, however, Bruno became increasingly heretical toward the accepted dogma of the time. Initially, he simply read banned works in curiosity, understanding their principles while upholding the hegemony of the Church. He then delved deeper, creating defenses of disagreements such as those of Arian about the lower position of Christ under God and an increasingly pantheistic view of the Universe. These outrages and the discovery of his hidden copy of a banned work by Erasmus would eventually cause such uproar that he would flee his monastery and cast off his habit.
A new story by Jeff ProvineBruno's life became one of wandering, trying to find a place where a free thinker may exist. He journeyed to the modern city of Venice, then to Padua, where he took up his monasticism again, though not joining a monastery, and came to Geneva, where rumor holds he cavorted with Calvinism. Later, he traveled to France, where he studied and taught at Toulouse before coming to Paris under the patronage and protection of the nobles. All during this time, he wrote and thought and learned, writing essays and comedies about the way ideas and memories work. Attached to the French ambassador to England, he came to London and joined new circles of intelligentsia and began his most controversial works on cosmology, describing a universe that not only included the Earth revolving around the Sun, but the Sun being only one of the infinite stars beyond. During anti-French riots, Bruno left London with the ambassador and began wandering again, teaching in German universities and being excommunicated by the Lutherans. Finally he returned to Italy, hoping to teach in Padua (but losing his chair of mathematics to Galileo) and tutoring privately in Venice to Giovanni Mocenigo. When Bruno announced he would be moving on, Mocenigo denounced him to the Venetian Inquisition. He defended his trial well in Venice, noting that many of the accusations were against points he had made only in philosophical pondering and did not believe. His few undeniable heresies against the dogma of the Church, however, prompted Rome to ask for his transfer, where he may well have been executed as an example of the increasing questioning of Church cosmology.
While being transferred, Bruno was asked to escape by a mutual friend sent by John Dee. The famous English philosopher and Hermetic had never met Bruno, but the two had shared much fascination with the supernatural, and Dee had taken up several of Bruno's works on the mind in his library. Dee had done his own travels to Poland and the Continent, where he had lectured for several courts before finally returning to England to find his library looted. Looking to rebuild, he sought out Bruno's works and found that the monk/philosopher/scientist had gone to Venice after attending the Frankfurt Book Fair. Dee sent a letter and money to invite him back to England. When found in distress in Italy, the message was expanded as an invitation to flee. Bruno initially felt that fleeing would be a false turn for views he felt so true that he would be willing to burn at the stake for them, but he was persuaded on descriptions of Dee's desire to work together (though Dee himself was only looking for new copies of Bruno's books).
Nonetheless, slipping out under the unwatchful eyes of bribed guards, Bruno took a ship from Venice to London, where he traveled by land to Manchester. Dee and Bruno struck up a strong friendship as Dee had with seer Edward Kelley (before the latter had told Dee that the angel Uriel had commanded they share wives), discussing cosmology and building upon each other's works in the occult and signs. While generally disliked by the faculty and administration, Dee acted as Warden of Christ's College and gave Bruno a chair in mathematics as well as a later position in what would become psychology. Building a unique curriculum and acting as a magnet for controversial thinkers all over Europe, Dee would transform Manchester into one of the most advanced centers of thinking in Europe. Over the next century, men such as Bacon and Newton would instill great new philosophy, methods, and technology into reality, such as frozen foods for storage, substantial memory techniques, focused light for heating and war, and the capture of steam for work, ushering in the Industrial Revolution circa 1690.
In 1941, on this day the Governor of the Bahamas Winston S. Churchill suffered a fatal heart attack on the beach in Nassau. He had been putting the final touches to an absurdly poor quality water painting of a short-legged, long-bodied hound. British Imperial Police were somewhat surprised to discover that alcohol was not a factor; the dead man was in fact stone cold sober.
Double Cross of the Nazi KingThe metaphorical decline from British Bulldog to household pet reflected his own fall from the heady days of 1936, when as Prime Minister, he had resisted pressures for his King-Emperor to abdicate in the face of widespread public opposition to his marriage to American divorcee, Wallace Simpson.
And yet the man on the beach was an imposter, the English actor Norman Shelley who was better known as the voice of "Dennis the Dachsund" in the 1939 adaption of Toytown, a fitting metaphor of the downgraded status of the fallen capital of London in the new Nazi Europe.
Because almost as soon as the Abdication Crisis was over, a new power struggle had emerged. This time, there could be only one winner; with the vigourous support of the ruling classes, Edward VIII forged a non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany and Churchill was forced to resign in favour of Lord Halifax.
A British warship dispatched the former Prime Minister to the Bahamas, where, in the view of the King, he could do the least damage to the new Pact. Defiant to the last, Churchill like the King himself couldn't be trusted to keep his mouth shout. He fought back, only to be murdered by British Intelligence who then placed the miserable Shelley on the boat to Nassau. Six months later, he had an unfortunate accident too.
In 2010, on this day, a flotilla of boats arrived in Israeli in waters off Israel in an attempt to break the "blockade" of Gaza.
"Spirit of Palestine"
by Stan BrinThe Israeli navy intercepted the boats, and, as expected, found Hugo Chavez, president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. After a violent confrontation, Chavez and several aids were and taken off the boat "Spirit of Palestine" to a naval brig in Haifa. The EU protested the move, calling the it quot;kidnapping on the high seas". In Jerusalem, the Justice Ministry announced that 1,500 kidnapping charges would be filed against Chavez and his aids over a day long raid on a Jewish primary school in Caracas in 2003.
The raid was ostensibly in search or weapons, but none were ever found. The children, some as young as six, were eventually released. "We intend to try Mr. Chavez on every count, one by one", a spokesman for the Justice Ministry said, adding that "it may take us twenty years". The government is rumored to be considering hundreds of additional charges over a pair of raids against a community center and an arson attack against a synagogue.A response from the EU was not immediately forthcoming, but diplomatic sources revealed that officials in Brussels were "flummoxed, aghast, and unable to respond coherently" to the charges against Chavez.
In 1998, in an interview on NBC's Today Show, Confederate First Lady Hillary Clinton claims the existence of a "vast Union conspiracy" to destroy her husband's presidency of the Confederate States.
Vast Union Conspiracy
by Gerry ShannonMrs. Clinton was appearing in a satellite-link up to address the recent press rumours of CS President Bill Clinton's infidelity with a Confederate White House staffer, and that he had lied under oath an affair had ever happened. Her claim arose following a comment from host Matt Lauer: "You have said, I understand, to some close friends that this is the last great battle, and that one side or the other is going down here".
Clinton responded, "Well, I don't know if I've been that dramatic. That would sound like a good line from a movie. But I do believe that this is a battle. I mean, look at the very people who are involved in this - they have popped up in other settings. This is - the great story here for anybody willing to find it and write about it and explain it is this vast Union conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for presiden". The "people involved in this" referred chiefly to Monica Lewinsky, a graduate of Lewis & Clark college in Portland, Oregon; and of course, a citizen of the United States working as an intern in the Confederate White House.
"I mean, look at the very people who are involved in this - they have popped up in other settings".Journalist Bob Woodward previously wrote in his book "The Agenda" (1994) that Mrs. Clinton recalled that when her husband was making his decision to run for the president in 1992, he reported receiving "a direct threat from someone in the administration of US President Dick Cheney, warning that if he ran, the CIA would go after him. "Will will do everything we can to destroy you", she recalled that the Cheney White House man had sad". Why out-going US President Cheney would wish to stop a Clinton presidency, Woodward speculates that it was clear that Clinton would wish to work with Cheney's successor to cool tensions between the Confederacy and Union should he win.
In any case, Lewinsky is quietly deported back to the United States soon after Mrs. Clinton's comments - assisted by the administration of US President Al Gore - and the threat of impeachment for CS President Clinton in his last two years of office gradually passes.
In 1991, on this day National Football Conference Champions the New York Giants defeated the American Football Conference champion Buffalo Bills at the Tampa Stadium in Tampa, Florida. This celebrated American Football Game
was the first Superbowl final to involve two teams representing the same state.1
Super Bowl 25But what made Super Bowl XXV really famous of course was its timing. Pre-match excitment was amplified by war-time context, with patriotic fever generated by the events in the Gulf War sweeping the nation. Appropriately, the proceedings included a rousing rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" by Whitney Houston. The performance would be followed by a flyover of F-16 jets from the 56th tactical training wing at MacDill Airforce base.
Houston's soaring rendition of the national anthem backed by the Florida Orchestra, was later released as a single, where it reached number 20 on the Billboard Hot 100, making her the only artist to turn the national anthem into a hit single (a few days later it emerged that Houston had been singing into a dead microphone, and the performance had been pre-recorded). Click to watch the singing of the national anthem by Whitney Houston
An emotionally charged audience could not care less, and Houston's reputation was untarnished by this revelation. Because none of the sentiments in the national anthem were fake, even if the live singing later proved to be so. Televised coverage including a number of close-ups of African-American soldiers celebrating the diverse unity of the nation. Because in stark contrast to Saddam's Iraq, Americans, many African-Americans, set about the business of celebrating life in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Values promised to them in the constitution by the Founding Fathers, and delivered by "The Lion of Anacostia", Vice President Frederick Douglass2.
In 1967, Apollo I, the first of the series of U.S. spacecraft intended to eventually land an American on the moon, suffers a fire on the launch pad, apparently due to an electrical short.
Although damage is done to the capsule, astronauts Virgil I. Grissom, Ed White and Roger B. Chaffee all escape alive.
A mission postmortem will conclude that the decision to use a partial-pressure cabin atmosphere minimized the fire, allowing the crew to escape. It is decided to proceed with further Apollo flights according to the existing schedule.
In 1969, a delegation headed by scientists Linus Pauling and Paul Ehrlich presents a petition to President Nixon calling for the abolition of atmospheric nuclear testing. Pauling and Ehrlich warn that the continued open-air detonation of nuclear weapons is contaminating the environment with dangerous radioactive isotopes, among them strontium-90, which is absorbed by the human skeleton.
The scientists had presented similar petitions to Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, but neither man had chosen to act on them. Their hopes are not high, therefore, that Nixon will do so.
In 1943, American volunteers with the Greater Zionist Resistance fight German Underground units for the first time in Petrograd, Russia. These daring young people manage to fight back the horrendous assaults of the G.U. until nuclear weapons are used.
In 1838, Ralph Waldo Emerson suffered the most dreadful nightmare in which in the Nunna daul Isunyi known as the Trail of Tears was revealed to him. In the Western United States, 17,000 native Americans were to be forced to relocate, resulting in the deaths of an estimated 4,000 Cherokees. Emerson awoke to write a powerful and compelling letter to President Martin Van Buren, urging him not to inflict "so vast an outrage upon the Cherokee Nation".
In 2005, Jeanna Best and Dave Lange travel to Houston to see J. Burton Howell, head of the mysterious company Myrmidon, whom they have been tracking for a couple of days. Howell is giving a lecture at Rice University, and they record it. When they play it back afterwards, though, there are sections of the speech that only give off static.
In 2001, the People's Republic of America is officially recognized as an independent nation by Great Britain, France, Germany and Russia. The monarchies begin funneling money and materiel into the breakaway soviets, hoping to lessen the power of the Soviet States of America.
In 1985, President Ralph Shephard sends his Alien Sedition program to Congress for ratification. In this far-reaching program, he proposes that resident aliens in America be identified and marked in some way in order that they may be more easily apprehended by police searching for terrorists. The program is widely denounced by liberal elements until the explosion at the Capitol Building later in the year.
Mikhail von Heflin and his wife, Velma Porter, cause a stir; the ship they're taking to mainland America is filled with southerners who consider their interracial relationship
quite shocking. Never ones to shy away from controversy, the pair flaunt their love for each other at every opportunity, particularly in front of the southern passengers. This catches the notice of one Milo Cranston, who watches the von Heflins throughout the journey.
In 1904, the embassy ship from the Congress of Nations went into orbit around the Mlosh homeworld. The dozens of Mlosh aboard the ship clamored to volunteer for the shuttle that would descend to the surface, but the only one that went was the ambassador himself. Li'Kanto'Mk became the first Mlosh from earth to set foot back on their ancestral homeworld.
In 1000 Post-Creation, Yahweh grants autonomy to humans and angels, but adds one requirement - that none will follow a god other than Him. All the angels readily agree to this, as do the humans, since none can conceive of a god other than the Creator. Lucifer is slow to agree, though, thinking that perhaps there is something to this requirement that he is not seeing; in the end, though, he agrees along with the rest.
In 1968, during the year of Prince Charles approach to maturity at age twenty one the British Royal Family suffer an annus horribilis. A virgin is discovered in the grounds of Balmoral Castle with her throat ripped out. Queen Elizabeth I promises to take personal charge of the investigations.
In 1785, James McGill, a Scottish businessman who had thrown in with the Canadian nationalists during their war for independence, establishes McGill College in Montreal. The newly formed Canadian government helps him fund it, creating the first governmentally-assisted insitution of higher learning in the Canadian democracy.
In 1369, Somali chieftain Muhamed Siyad Barre flees before a combined Islamic force invading the nation to bring order out of the chaos he has led his small nation into. The success of the Somalian venture leads many of the larger nations under Allah to form an organization that will allow them to intervene in nations that have spun out of control; this organization is now known as The United Caliphates.
In 1975, Senator Frank Church of Idaho is killed in a car crash just as he was to begin a Senate investigation into possibily illegal activities by the FBI and CIA. Fortunately, Senator John Smith of Michigan was able to step into the leadership role and clear the two intelligence agencies of any and all wrongdoing. He was later named head of the CIA.
In 1967, a fire erupts inside the Apollo 1 command module as tests are being conducted prior to allowing the astronauts inside. Although the astronauts escape unharmed, Apollo 1 is destroyed, and America's lunar exploration program is set back 6 months trying to find out why the fire happened. It was eventually discovered to be faulty wiring inside the command module.
In 2013, on the day Paul Davis Ryan was sworn in as the seventy-sixth US Secretary of the Treasury. An article from the Deadlocked 2012 Election thread.
Deadlocked Election prevents America going over Fiscal Cliff 2In this prestigious appointment he would be certain to play a leading role in the negotiation of a bipartisan agreement to prevent American heading over the "Fiscal Cliff". But of course the real prize he had sought during the campaign was the Vice Presidency. However the outcome of the deadlock election had pushed THAT appointment into U.S. Senate, where Democrats had maintained their majority and therefore the incumbent (Joe Biden) was selected after he caste the deciding vote for himself.
During the campaign, both men had clashed on policy and also gone head-to-head during the VP Debate when Biden had laughed dismissively for almost the entire session. Indeed the thorny issue of his future working relationship with VP Biden had been repeatedly raised at the Senatorial Confirmation hearings. And already, there were murmerings that come the mid-terms, President Romney would fire Biden and elevate Ryan to his rightful place in the White House.
In 1754, on this day French royalist and businessman Jean Pierre de Batz, Baron de Sainte-Croix was born at Goutz-les-Tartas, in the Gers region of south-western France.
Birth of Baron Jean de Batz by Ed & Eric OppenUnder the Constituent Assembly, his reputation as a financier got him elected to the liquidation committee, which was responsible for clearing public accounts. At the same time, he became a secret adviser to Louis XVI (pictured), in whose employ he received large payments for these services.
After the abolition of the monarchy in 1792 Baron de Batz became one of the leading members of the secret royalist movement in Paris. And on January 21, 1793, Batz he managed to raise the crowd in boulevard de Bonne Nouvelle in order to save the king from execution. Also, he managed to replace Marie Antoinette's guards with his own men, smuggling the Queen across the English Channel and into comparative safety.
But unfortunately for the well-intentioned Baron, these reprieves merely ushered in the interregnum, an even more blood thirsty period during which the French state ripped itself to shreds and ultimately descended into civil war. Out of this chaos finally emerged a new leader called Napoleon Bonaparte.
In 1938, at Winston Churchill's urging, King Edward VIII gives up his plan to abdicate and marries his divorced American sweetheart Wallis Simpson.
End of the Abdication CrisisWhile Parliament had been vehemently opposed to the match, Sir Winston reminded them that they could not afford to insult America while Germany was threatening war.
The new royal couple had their own way of dealing with Germany, though...going on several state visits to the Nazi state and assuring Hitler of their friendship. Like so many of the fuhror's so-called friends, these two were stunned and betrayed when he invaded Poland. England frantically raced to arm, but it was too late. Hitler offered to keep Edward as the King of Great Britain, but Edward refused that invitation "with the contempt it deserved" and was later killed leading the British resistance.
In 1979, on this day the 39th President of the United States Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller died from a heart attack. He was seventy years old.
Death of President Nelson RockefellerHe served in office for only three years and three months. Because in 1975 his predecessor President Gerald Ford was gunned down by a female assassin with an automatic pistol while shaking hands in Sacramento, California. She was later identified as Lynette Fromme, also known as "Squeaky" of the infamous Manson Family.
Fromme fired four shots, two striking the president and two others hitting Secret Service Special Agent Larry Buendorf. Buendorf and Ford were rushed to surgery where Ford would die on the operating table while Buendorf would survive, though spending the rest of his life paraplegic.
A new story by Jeff ProvineIt had been a tough time for America, and the murder of a president was another blow for the public already reeling from the Watergate scandal that had destroyed Richard Nixon. Fromme was used as an example of the destruction of the American soul, causing a resurgence in spirituality and conservatism. She would be given the maximum sentence of life in federal prison without parole, though many called for a return to execution.
Vice-President Nelson Rockefeller was sworn in as president that evening. Although there would be strife with White House Chief of Staff Donald Rumsfeld before his dismissal, Rockefeller's presidency became one with a spirit of unity, coming together after disaster. He set course to battle economic issues of the nation, which he did by eliminating spending in the Federal government and trimming taxes. "It's time we start treating government like a business, and in a good way," was the often given quote of Rockefeller, whose family was noted for their industrial prowess.
With his government spending reform as well as the "pity vote" for the Republican Party, Rockefeller would be elected in 1976, narrowly defeating Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter. Rockefeller continued his sculpting of the executive branch as well as working to secure inexpensive fuel to keep inflation and, especially, food prices down. Near the end of his term in 1979 when Islamic militants seized the US embassy in Tehran, Rockefeller struck back with quick covert operations, though many argued that this would seal the Middle East's distrust of America.
The 1980 election would see Americans ready to move on from Republican trimming, and Ted Kennedy would be pronounced the 40th President of the United States after announcing his candidacy late in 1979. Kennedy worked to restore many of the social services cut back by Rockefeller as well as keeping an eye on the waning Soviet Union. He echoed his brother Jack's speech of the potential unity of Berlin, calling for an end to the wall and people everywhere to be known as "Berliners".
Kennedy served a comfortable two terms through the 1980s, and his long-serving vice-president Walter Mondale would follow him from '89 to '92. With a new economic slump, the American people would turn back to the Republicans with President Bob Dole of Kansas. They had established themselves as the "economic" party, and the United States enjoyed a renewed boom based on technological innovation through the '90s, entering a new millennium with no national debt.
In 1565, not a man to be easily fooled by his treacherous Muslim commanders, the de-facto King of the Vijayanagar Empire (flag pictured) Aliya Rama Raya summarily dismissed the Gilani brothers before defeating the Deccan Sultanate Army in a mighty battle fought in northern Karnataka, about eighty kilometres to the southeast of the city of Bijapur.
Hindu Victory at the Battle of TalikotaAfter the death of his predecessor King Achyuta Raya, the Sultanates had decided to unite and destroy the Vijayanagara Empire, the last great Hindu kingdom in South India. Inter-family marriages between the Sultans solved many of their internal conflicts and they finally united against their common enemy. As a result, the Deccan kings mustered a grand total of eighty thousand infantry and thirty thousand cavalry. Vijayanagara, on the other hand, had one hundred and forty thousand foot soldiers, with another ten thousand on horseback. The armies also had large numbers of war elephants.
The Battle was fiercely fought and the margin of victory was minimal. For the time being at least, this great Hindu victory had curtailed the Islamic conquest of the subcontinent.
In 1788, with the loss of Georgia in the Rebellion of the American Colonies, Britain's so-far-successful experiment in penal colonies as buffers to foreign expansion had been cut short.
Prisoners Overthrow Guards in New South Wales With prisons overcrowded by debtors and petty criminals, a new plan was launched for a penal colony in the far-off New South Wales, which was also meagerly claimed by the Dutch as New Holland. On May 13, 1787, the First Fleet set sail from England with 772 convicts and a few marines commanded by Captain Arthur Phillip, who was to be the first governor of the colony. They would arrive at Botany Bay in late January of 1788, which would prove a grim reality to the glorious description Captain James Cook had given of it. This would prove the first sign that the attempt at colonization would be doomed.
A new story by Jeff ProvineWhile the rest of the fleet was stuck in the bay due to bad winds, Phillip and others explored for a better site, coming upon Sydney Cove. On January 26, disembarking from the HMS Supply, Phillip and some of his officers and marines came ashore to claim the land officially. While they were gone, however, the convicts who were allowed on deck to watch suddenly broke free and overwhelmed the guards. Phillip and the others tried to storm the ship and return order, but the convicts armed themselves from the armory and subdued the soldiers, putting them in the same chains that had once held the thieves.
Back in Botany Bay, the remaining British ships met with a small French fleet under the comte de Laperouse that had been sent as a scientific expedition by Louis XVI. While the French explored the bay for specimens, the British gradually made their way past the rocks and to Sydney, where they would be liberated by the escaped convicts one by one over the course of the 26th. The Battle of Sydney would be the first altercation of the bloody Colony Days in what would become known as Australia. The thieves formed into something of a mass-gang and built a rugged colony using the goods and supplies from the ships. Phillip and his officers, meanwhile, were handed over to the French, who were to return them to Britain with the message that the colony was independent soil. Lap?rouse complied begrudgingly, carrying the extra men with him as he continued his expedition, which was also ill fated. The French ships would ultimately wreck near Vanikoro Island, where their fate would be unknown until Irishman Peter Dillon's expedition in 1826.
The early days of Australia would be plagued with murder, debauchery, and lawlessness. As illness, specifically scurvy, settled in, the colonists began to organize more peacefully under James Ruse, who traded extensively with the locals and established farming. Rumor spread about the fate of the colony, but it was unconfirmed as none of the ships returned to port. It was word enough, however, to attract the notice of Fletcher Christian and his mutineers who joined their ranks after wandering aimlessly from their deposing of Captain William Bligh. Shortly thereafter, the Second Fleet from Britain arrived, whose luck had been even worse since their transport by ex-slavers had given the voyage a 26% death rate. Christian, who had seen the despicable treatment of his own men and now stood even more horrified by the slavers, rallied the New South Wales Corps to desert, and Major Grose returned to England with the empty transport ships.
Parliament and the Navy began to prepare an expedition to re-conquer the colony, but war with Republican France suddenly interrupted the planning in 1791. Led by Christian and regulated by the wayward marines, Sydney became a vibrant pirate town, working as a magnet for deserters from first the Republican and Napoleonic Wars and thriving on an illegal rum trade. They made political contact with the United States of America as well as Napoleon, asking for protective treaties, but neither would officially recognize the colony. An expedition by the aged Vice-Admiral Bligh launched in 1814 to take Sydney, but Christian and his men would fight off the Royal Navy. Bligh would die shortly after the battered ships returned to India to be refit.
The victory would be short-lived, however, as a larger British fleet would overwhelm the colony in 1817. Many of the convicts and pirates would escape into the Outback or open sea while many others were caught or executed. Christian and other ringleaders were hanged for treason, and the settlements were burned. Australia would be gradually colonized again but in limited numbers until the discovery of gold in the 1850s. Gold rushes followed, filling the land with a new breed of settler that would make Australia into the highly profitable though notoriously most devastated ecologies in the world.
In 2009, on this day workers on an East German apartment block refurbishment discovered an abandoned flat which had been preserved and left untouched since the end of the GDR era. The 40-square-metre two-bedroom flat on Crottendorfer Strasse in the Reudnizt district of Leipzig appears to have been abandoned in a hurry towards the end of 1989.
Abandoned GDR era flat in LeipzigThe calendar on the wall reads "August 1988" and the furniture, fittings, groceries and personal objects provide a fascinating insight into everyday life in East Germany twenty years ago. The shelves were stacked with East German brands such as "Vita" cola, "Marella" margarine, "Juwel" cigarettes and "Kristall" vodka and stale bread rolls, dirty plates and left-over food were found in the kitchen. A zinc bath was found against one of the walls and the flat was not equipped with a toilet. The only western product in the flat was a bottle of "Henkel" deodorant, which was most likely smuggled over from West Germany.
Aretz described to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper how "When we opened the door we felt like Howard Carter when he found the grave of Tutankhamen ... Everything was a mess but it was like a historic treasure trove, a portal into an age long gone".
It is a mystery, however, why the flat, built at the end of the 19th century, had not been renovated like the others in the building. The German news agency DDP also reported the Leipzig city water provider's confirmation that the water bills for the flat had been paid up to 1992 by the Walt Disney Company. The story of the occupier of the flat also remains a mystery. Apart from a single clue - cartoons of the characters Bashful and Doc from the 1937 Disney film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, signed A.H.
In 1837, North Michigan and South Michigan were admitted to the United States of America as free states.
Both Michigans join the Union by Eric LippsThe former Territory of Michigan had been divided into upper and lower sections by the Straits of Mackinac. Its admission to the Union as two separate states was thus geographically logical. However, the decision to do so would infuriate the South, since under the Compromise of 1820 the admission of any free state had to be balanced by the addition of a slave state.
The admission of East and West Texas as separate slave states in 1845 would not end the matter. Instead, it would hasten the coming of the Civil War, which would begin in the summer of 1856 as armed hostilities erupted between pro-and anti-slavery forces in the Kansas Territory. The presidential election that November would be a bitter four-way affair which would result in the election of John C. Fremont, of the antislavery Republican Party, organized in 1854. Fremont would win without receiving a single electoral vote from the slaveholding South, and his election would be the trigger for one Southern state after another to declare secession from the Union. By the time of President Fremont's inauguration in March 1857, twelve Southern states and portions of two others would have announced their departure from the United States, and a "Confederate States of America" had established its capital in Montgomery, Alabama.
In 1961, on this day the last New York State National Guard troops left New York City, where they had been assisting state and local police in keeping law and order in New York City since the Jamaica Bay hurricane.
On this day in 1945, American troops entered the Berlin suburb of Potsdam.
On this day in 1958, Sandy Koufax scored his 500th NBA career point in a 118-95 Celtics win over the Syracuse Nationals at Boston Garden.
In 1991, Iraqi troops attack Saudi Arabia, striking at the border city of Khafji from inside Kuwait and at the city of Arar from across the Saudi-Iraqi border. U.S. and allied forces quickly join ground battle with the Iraqis at Khafji, while U.S. F-15s pre-positioned in Saudi Arabia strike at the Iraqi Republican Guard forces in Arar.The Iraqi offensive will end in humiliating failure. On Jan. 30, the Battle of Khafji ends. Over 2,000 Iraqis have been killed, against two dozen Americans, several of whom were lost to friendly fire. The last surviving Iraqi troops flee Arar the next day, headed for the border, with U.S. troops in pursuit. The city itself is largely in ruins as a result of U.S. aerial bombardment.
Saudi extremist Osama bin Laden, who has nursed bitterness toward the United States at least since President Ted Kennedy spurned hard-line Islamist militias fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s, is livid that 'Crusader forces' have dared 'profane the holy soil' of Saudi Arabia with bombs He is now more determined than ever to find some way to strike directly at America.
In 1918, Mikhail von Heflin and Velma Porter, having spent more than enough time on a beach to satisfy themselves, decide to book passage on a ship to the mainland. The Baron actually has a bank account in America, with money in it, at this time, so he contacts his bank and has them transfer money to Bermuda. 'Ah, the virtues of being immortal,' he whispers to his wife.
In 1979, suffering from what the White House press office describes as 'gastrointestinal distress,' President Rockefeller checks into Walter Reed Hospital for a thorough examination. The press release's bland assurances mask a potentially serious problem. In reality, the President had been suffering from acute chest pains, weakness and shortness of breath, and Walter Reed's physicians soon confirm that he has a coronary artery blockage which may require surgery.
In 1904, the embassy ship from the Congress of Nations was met by a fleet before entering the Mlosh home system. After an initial scan revealed no weapons in the fleet, the C.N. ambassador allowed them to tow the embassy ship the rest of the way into the system, very much against the express wishes of the ship's captain.
In 47,372 BCE, hard winds drive Swikolay and her companions into the coast of India, far off course from the destination she desired. Since the storm shattered their boats, she decides to forsake the sea for the rest of the voyage and begins traveling west on land. 'The Speaker would say that one needs to take what life gives and learn from it,' she told her descendants. I learned to stay on dry land.'
In 1000 Post-Creation, Lucifer meets with the Creator and demands human and angelic autonomy. Yahweh threatens to simply destroy all of them and start over again, but Lucifer counters this threat with, 'You would not destroy these two innocents for crimes they have not committed. I pledge to You, Creator, that in granting this demand, Your creation will rise to heights we cannot even conceive.' Achazia, at the right hand of the Creator as always, urges Him to agree to the rebel demands. Yahweh considers.
In 1788, HMS Sirius and HMS Supply are lost when nine of Captain Philip's ships go down in the storm in Van Diemen's Land. Two ships containing female convicts survive, but decide to turn back, abandoning the plan to set up a colony at Sydney Cove. La Perouse's expedition, sets up a French settlement instead.
quintessential movie bad guy Emanual Goldenberg
died in Los Angeles, shortly after completing Soylent Green, a science fiction film shot with his Ten Commandments co-star, John Carter. Goldenberg earned a posthumous Oscar nomination for his wonderful portrayal of the aged police researcher Sol in the movie.
architect Ieoh Ming Pei was born in Suzhou. A visionary of profound talent
, Ieoh created the masterful Chou Administration building on the lunar colony, as well as Chengzu's Mausoleum in Beijing. While most of his work was on a grand scale, he also created modest homes for the poor in Beijing's slums, helping house people who could not afford to enter some of his public creations.
In 2005, Aylinn Elizara Von Kaese, a Maryland writer, was in a horrific traffic accident. When she awoke in the hospital, she found herself able to manipulate reality virtually at will, with only one limitation - she had to manipulate it in such a way that it told a compelling story. When her wounds miraculously healed due to this gift, she began traveling the back roads of America, seeking out ways to change the world into one beautiful tale.
In 1980, the American Olympic Committee voted not to participate in the Olympic Games in Moscow because of the Russian invasion of Afghanistan. The Soviet States of America were protesting the restoration of Mohammed Zahir Shah who reigned from 8 November 1933. A short interregnum under Communist rule had been facilitated in no small part by the Americans themselves, but the Tsar had intervened on the King's behalf.
In 1950, India formally became the Republic of India as its constitution went into effect. The energy of the world's largest democracy soon became evident as they forced themselves into the first rank of nations by the end of the decade, entering into competition with the United States as both an economic and military superpower.
In 1875, George F. Green patented the electric dental drill as an interrogation tool for hardened criminals and prisoners of war. It was later banned by the Geneva Conventions.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.