In 1865, Commanding General of the Union Army, Ulysses S. Grant was quietly removed from his post a week after the inauguration of President George B. McClellan. An installment of the Federal's Lost Cause thread.
Federal Lost Cause Part 6: General Grant dismissedIronically three years earlier "Little Mac" had been fired from precisely the same role by Lincoln for failing to prosecute the war effort with the necessary vigor. Whereas in Grant, Lincoln believed he had finally found a General with the necessary offensive qualities that McClellan lacked. However the war had descended into a stagnant stalemate. The horrific casualty rate had vindicated McClellan's reluctance. He hated the thought of men dying en masse. And so despite his obvious desire to win the war, by a twist of fate he had become the reluctant peace candidate for the Democrats.
By the late summer of 1864, Lincoln knew that his re-election bid would certainly fail if he could not deliver decisive military victories. Those victories finally came, but too late. And so McClellan entered the White House with the Confederacy on the brink of collapse. The downfall of Grant sharply contrasted with the fortunes of his counter-part Robert E. Lee. Although Grant had been out-generaled by Lee, the Virginian had only been promoted to General-in-chief of Confederate forces on January 31, 1865. And so the two Supreme Commanders would not meet as peers . For surely McClellan believed that the kind of peace settlement he had in mind could not be achieved with butchers such as Grant and Sherman still in command. Because he had conceived a simple "no victors, no vanquished" deal whereby the Federals quietly dropped emancipation in exchange for the peaceful re-admission of Confederate States back into the Union. A reconciliation rather than a reconstruction, that at least was what he had in mind.
In 1522, on this day the lady Anne Boleyn has just returned from Paris .. and she enchants Henry VIII. She gladly agrees to be his mistress and is soon the mother of a bouncing baby girl named Elizabeth.
by Jackie RoseWhen Henry's legitimate son Edward VI dies, both Anne Boleyn's b*stard daughter and her sister Mary's illegitimate son are kept far from court. The crown passes to the only rightful heiress, a devoted Protestant named Lady Jane Grey, who is married to Guildford Dudley.
Since the Grey family was pretty productive, the House of Dudley lasts for centuries .. with no Catholic Stuarts, Protestant William and Mary or Bonnie Prince Charlie's revolt.
In 1862, on this day the twenty-ninth President of the United States Charles Evans Hughes was born in Glens Falls, New York.
Mr Hughes Goes to War: PrequelAfter graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Brown University he studied at Columbia Law School. He then became a partner in private practice before lecturing at Cornell University Law School and New York University Law School where he first met his future political opponent Woodrow Wilson.
In 1905, he was appointed as counsel to the New York state legislative "Stevens Gas Commission", a committee investigating utility rates. His uncovering of corruption led to lower gas rates in New York City. In 1906, he was appointed to the "Armstrong Insurance Commission" to investigate the insurance industry in New York as a special assistant to U.S. attorney general.
Hughes served as the Governor of New York from 1907 to 1910. He defeated William Randolph Hearst in the 1906 election to gain the position, and he was the only Republican statewide candidate to win office. In 1908, he was offered the vice-presidential nomination by William Howard Taft, but he declined it to run again for Governor. Theodore Roosevelt became an important supporter of Hughes.
He resigned from his position on the Supreme Court to become the Republican candidate for President in 1916. He was also endorsed by the Progressive Party, thanks to the support given to him former President Theodore Roosevelt. In a close fought battle, the narrow loss of California cost Wilson his re-election, fought on the campaign slogan "He kept us out of war". Instead the new administration immediately turned their thoughts to entering the War as soon as possible.
This thread continues in Mr Hughes Goes To War: Part 1.
In 1803, at a private meeting in Paris, France on this day the American Diplomat Robert R. Livingston (pictured) was informed by Treasury Minister François de Barbé-Marbois that 1.5 billion acres of land west of the Mississippi River had been sold to the Rocky Mountain Beaver Company for the sum of $15 million.
Louisiana Question 4Effective 30th November, 1803, Louisiana was transfered from Spanish to French under a secret protocol in the Treaty of San Ildefonso of 1800. During the negotiation of that treaty, Napoleon had given his solumn word that the territory would not be sold on to a foreign government, and in a strictly legal sense he had honoured that pledge.
Because only three years before, L'Empereur had been dreaming of a grand continental empire with an economic hinterland that ran through Haiti to the port of New Orleans. But a slave rebellion on Haiti lead by Dessalines had turned those dreams into nightmares, and Napoleon decided to concentrate his energies on European hegemony.
American leaders had their own dreams of westward expansion which would diminish European powers from the continent. And provide the larger geography that would favour republican government. Jefferson had sent James Monroe to Paris to close the deal, but he was beaten to it by a consortia of European banks.
The existence of that consortia was ironically the fault of Thomas Jefferson himself. His imagination had been fired by the discovery of the mouth of the Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest. And so he sent American sea captain Robert Gray of Boston back on a second mission, this time to map out the territory of Louisiana.
Gray discovered huge beaver populations thriving in the mountains. This information was of enormous interest to the European Fashion Industry which had been manufacturing products using the fine inner hairs of beaver fur for three centuries. So much so that the beaver population had been almost totally wiped out not only in Europe but on the Eastern Seaboard as well. It was this commercial interest that became aware of the sale of the territory which was then purchased for the atonishingly low price of 3 centres per acre, in pro rata terms, even cheaper than Manhattan Island.
In 1982, on this day in New York City the piercing sincerity of ten simple words from an anonymous fan convinced the desperately sick American singer and drummer Karen Carpenter to search for a way out of her life-threatening cycle of eating disorders and in so doing solve the problem that was threatening to destroy her relationship with her brother and co-star Richard Carpenter.
Watch the Youtube Clip of "Please Mr Postman - The Carpenters" (1975)
Wait a minute, Mr Postman!The first step was the hardest, placing a long distance call to a telephone number in New Haven, Connecticut. Fearing the worst, her mother Agnes asked what was happening, but was reassured to hear that no, nothing was wrong, quite the contrary in fact, Karen had called to say that something, something just incredible had happened to her that very day.
Through to the mid-eighties her musical career kept apace with her steady medical recovery and by her thirty-fifth birthday she was once again a major star in good health. "Jesus will meet you at the point of your need" ~ the messageBut her central focus now was to help others suffering from the little known disorder anorexia nervosa.
The anonymous fan was never revealed, although HIS identity was no great mystery to Karen Carpenter.
Because she had caught a glimpse of the Postman's bare feet, you see.
In 1814, on this day George, Prince of Wales, ruling as Prince Regent in place of his ill father, George III, officially abdicates the British throne. After the fall of London to French troops (spearheaded by a daring cavalry assault by Marshal Murat on Buckingham Palace) on 18 August 1813, the British Government had fled north to Scotland.
L'EmpereurFor the next 7 months, the French gradually pushed north from their main base in Essex, eventually reaching Edinburgh by the end of March. An attempt by General Arthur Wellesley to land in southwest England and attack the French forces from the rear had failed when Ney routed the British at Exeter on 22nd March 1814. Upon receiving news of this defeat, the Prince Regent began negotiations with Napoleon, culminating in his abdication on this day.
The Prince Regent and the Royal Family were subsequently exiled to Canada, where they would be of little harm to the French. Another stipulation of the British surrender was that Ireland be given total independence; although this was a bitter pill for the British to swallow, they had no choice. On 9th May the Treaty of Calais was signed, officially ending the war between Great Britain and France; on 1st January 1815, Ireland became the Republic of Ireland. Napoleon added a new title to an already long list: Roi d'Angleterre.
In 1951, on the direct orders of U.S. President Douglas MacArthur, General Matthew Ridgway led U.S. and allied troops across the Yalu River into the People's Republic of China.
Pacific War Redux by Eric LippsPresident MacArthur justified this action by noting the participation of Communist China on the North Korean side in the ongoing Korean War. "I will not see this nation humiliated and our allies in Seoul enslaved or slain by the soulless Mongol hordes of a godless Asiatic regime," the President would explain to the American people in a nationally televised address on April 13.
"I will not see this nation humiliated and our allies in Seoul enslaved or slain by the soulless Mongol hordes of a godless Asiatic regime,"" ~ President MacArthurMacArthur's rise to the presidency, ironically, was due in part to an earlier episode in which he had exercised military restraint rather than aggression. In June 1932 the so-called "Bonus Expeditionary Force", made up of military veterans, their families, and supporters had arrived in Washington D.C. to hold a mass protest in hopes of securing the service bonuses they had been promised under the 1924 Adjusted Service Certificate Law, which had been scheduled to mature in 1945. The Depression had made many veterans all but destitute and inspired calls for the bonuses to be paid in full immediately.
On July 28, following an altercation with police in which two protesters were killed, a riot had erupted and President Herbert Hoover had ordered in the U.S. Army under MacArthur and his subordinate Maj. Gen. George S. Patton. The hotheaded Patton, who had arrived with six battle tanks from Fort Myer, Virginia, issued an order for them to fire on the Bonus Marchers, but MacArthur, declaring that he would not permit U.S. soldiers to fire on other U.S. soldiers, countermanded it immediately.
That incident proved crucial to MacArthur's political ambitions. In 1948, the General - by then the "hero of the Pacific" for his World War II exploits - would be nominated for president by the Republican Party and would easily defeat the widely unpopular President Harry S Truman in the November election. When war broke out in Korea, it would be he, and not Truman, who would be Commander in Chief ? and it would be others who would fight the war, to the Yalu and beyond.
In 1951, US President George Smith Patton, Jr. ordered General Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Commander of the United States and the United Nations forces in Korea, to open a second front on mainland China. Communist rule would be challenged by "Old Brass Hat" bringing the troops of General Chiang Kai-shek, who was defeated by the Communists in 1949, back into the fray.
No Substitute for VictoryIn his autobiography, MacArthur would later write "By profession I am a soldier and take pride in that fact. But I am prouder, infinitely prouder, to be a father ... It is my hope that my son, when I am gone, will remember me not from the battle but in the home repeating with him our simple daily prayer".
The trouble was that the age of the soldier was over. Both Patton and MacArthur were war veterans who might uncompromisingly agree that there must be "no substitute for victory". Yet neither anticipated the experimental nuclear weapon that the Chinese leadership would detonate over Seoul in order to bring the conflict to an unexpectedly decisive conclusion.
In 2002, with the Cannon Committee's investigation of what its chairman publicly brands the "Tora Bora hoax" now in full swing, the Gulf media network Al Jazeera broadcasts a communication from Ayman al-Zawahiri, previously identified as Osama bin Laden's Number Two in Al Qaeda. In his message, Zawahiri boasts that bin Laden is very much alive and "continues the holy struggle against the infidels, which can lead only to their defeat and subjugation to the will of Allah".Bin Laden Lives by Eric LippsRepublicans pounce gleefully, claiming that Zawahiri's words prove the Gore administration "faked" bin Laden?s death. Over the next week, there will be a torrent of tabloid stories repeating that line. Democrats, including the President, will insist that al-Zawahiri's claims are false and designed to harm Gore politically. Privately, the President will fume that that the GOP leadership is exploiting a false rumor spread by an enemy of the U.S. for political gain.
In 1945, on this day a memorial service was held at Westminister Abbey and attended by political rivals Clement Attlee and Winston Churchill, the respective leaders of the Conservative and Labour Parties.DLG '40 - Part 4: Successor
Prime Minister David Lloyd George had died on 26th March 1945 and later in the month Churchill was informed by the Labour Party that the coalition could not continue. At the King's request he took over a caretaker government while conducting a general election, continuing the war with Japan and creating a post-war Europe with Stalin and also Truman, who had replaced the recently demised Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Two days after the Memorial Service, Churchill delivered a major speech in the House of Commons in which he paid tribute to Lloyd George saying that "there was no man so gifted, so eloquent, so forceful, who knew the life of the people so well. When I first became Lloyd George's friend and active associate, now more than forty years ago, this deep love of the people, the profound knowledge of their lives and of the undue and needless pressure under which they lived, impressed itself indelibly upon my mind".
During May, Attlee and Churchill would face the British electorate in a General Election, the first in nine years. To retain the premiership, Churchill needed to establish himself as a natural successor to Britain's war time leader. More importantly, the aristocratic imperialist Churchill would have to strike some uncharacteristic chords by appealling to the working class - the returning troops were demanding change and threatening to elect a Socialist Government.
In 1917, on this day in Eastern Prussia officers of the Imperial German Government discovered a macabre scene onboard the abandoned Locomotive #293.
Red ScareTo eliminate any chance of the evil seed of revolution being formented in Germany, Quartermarter General Erich Von Ludendorff had given precise instructions for the train to be sealed. Yet Ludendorff would
later receive a written report which was accompanied by a note stating "Its as old as Macedonia, hanging the body of your enemy or betrayer upside down so his head faces earth instead of heaven" (© Stephen King, 1976). And of the vampire Lenin, and the 5m gold deutsch marks drawn from the Reich Treasury, there was no sign. Absolutely no sign at all.
In 1898, US President William McKinley asked Congress for authority to send American troops to Cuba for the purpose of ending the civil war there. The casus belli was an explosion which occurred onboard a 6682-ton second-class pre-dreadnought battleship in the Havana Harbour, Cuba on February 15th. The USS Maine, an Armored Cruiser #1 had been sent from Key West, Florida, to Cuba, to protect American interests during a time of local insurrection and civil disturbances. The explosion was a precipitating cause of the Spanish-American War that began in April 1898 and which used the rallying cry, Remember the Maine!, To hell with Spain! The episode focused national attention on the crisis in Cuba but was not cited by the William McKinley administration as a casus belli, though it was cited by some who were already inclined to go to war with Spain over their perceived atrocities and loss of control in Cuba.
TR takes a lesson in humility by Eric OppenThe cause of the explosion that sank the ship remains an unsolved mystery. However, only one explanation fits the facts. The Assiti Shards event theory proposed by scientist S.M. Stirling has been accepted by the majority of contemporary historians. A spacial/cosmic disturbance caused the Spain of 1960 (with Portugal) to be swapped holus-bolus for Spain on the day of the Maine's explosion. The Spaniards rickety old ships were upgraded to the Spanish fleet of 1960 which was more than able to deal with the 1898-era US Navy. Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders going up against T-26s, Me-109s and all the panoply of twentieth-century combat taught TR a healthy lesson in humility.
In 1961, on this day the trial began of the man accused of helping Hitler in his plan to exterminate the Jews. Adolf Eichmann (pictured) faced fifteen charges, including crimes against humanity, crimes against the Jewish people and war crimes.
Eichmann on Trial in Buenos AiresHe sat in a bullet-proof glass dock flanked by two guards specially chosen because their families had not suffered directly at the hands of the Nazis. The three judges hearing the case in Buenos Aires were all refugees from the Nazi regime in Germany. The charges were read out in Hebrew by chief judge Mr Justice Moshe Landau and translated into German for the prisoner. It took one hour and 15 minutes to list all the details of the charges against Adolf Eichmann during which time the 55-year-old stood stiffly in the dock.
After the end of the Second World War Eichmann escaped from a prison camp and avoided facing the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal. In 1950 he arrived in Argentina which was a safe haven for many Nazi war criminals. Yet Argentina was a bad choice for Eichmann. Zionist commandos were operating from their nearby base at the colony of Colonia Lapin in the Buenos Aires Province (the Jewish home state had been founded by the Jewish Colonization Association led by Baron Maurice de Hirsch in 1891).
On this day in 2001, the Chinese government, faced with the prospect of losing Most Favored Nation trading status, bowed to the Powell Adminisration's demands and released the P-3C crew.
On this day in 1940, Xavier March was sent to the North Sea as part of the crew of the submarine U-91 to participate in the German campaign against the Allies in Norway.
In 1891, Major Mark Wainwright and his small band of soldiers reach Kansas City and slip through, thanks to the general chaos in the city. Wainwright sends a telegram back east to Washington to let his superiors know that former President Cleveland has been taken captive, as have the majority of the major's men. He adds that he will proceed on into Missouri and wait for orders at the nearest telegraph office. Meanwhile, President Cleveland is given an audience with the Farmer's Council that, with 'Sockless' Jerry Simpson at its head, has assumed control of Kansas. 'Gentlemen,' he says to them, 'I understand your grievances and desire for redress. I, myself, have felt the cold sting of injustice within recent years, as you well know. But, within our nation's democratic institutions, we have the means for addressing your concerns. This unlawful usurpation of state government will not end well, gentlemen. In fact, given the great power of the nation surrounding you, it can only end in your arrest or death. I implore you, therefore, to surrender the government back to the men who were duly elected to it, and give up before more blood is shed in this useless endeavor.' Although most of the council is moved by Cleveland's words, Simpson stands to answer him. 'Mr. President, although you have spoken eloquently of our great institutions and their ability to right wrongs, your own history gives the lie to that. Your office was stolen out from under you by men who place the pursuit of power and their own personal greed higher than the good of the nation. We saw such men in control here in Kansas. Now they are not.' Addressing the rest of the council, he concludes, 'I would recommend our methods to take care of Washington, rather than Washington's methods to take care of us.
In 1803, British troops cross into Louisiana. King George III has decided to seize the territory from France in order to eliminate it as a refuge for colonial dissidents such as John and Samuel Adams, who, under the protection of the French crown, have continued to produce inflammatory literature urging the British colonists to rebel again.
In 1867, opponents of the Alaska Purchase criticise the Treaty as Seward's folly, Seward's icebox, and Andrew Johnson's polar bear garden, because it was believed foolhardy to spend so much money on the remote region. In 1945 a future US President Harry S Truman would also describe the detractors as being both completely right and absolutely wrong.
In 1824, the Bureau of Indian Affairs opened for business, one month after the United States War Department created the agency. The 8th President of the United States, Martin Van Buren used the Bureau as a stratagem to prevent the War of the States. By 1837 the economic tension between the Union and the Southern states had narrowed in focus to the issue of the genocide of the American indigenes and the War of the States was about to break out.
In 1998, the Saturday before Easter Sunday, Great Britain braces for the kingdom's decision. Catholic churches are guarded by Pendrake's followers, and the Church of England has military watching its doors. Prime Minister Pembroke pleads, 'This is the Lord's day. Please do not use it as an excuse for violence.' Arthur Pendrake, for his part, lets those who would see him as king know that they must not initiate aggression, but they should not hesitate to respond to it.
In 2005, Dave and Jeanne Lange, along with four other Save Earthers, infiltrate a Claw facility in Venezuela. They plant explosives throughout the facility without being caught, but just as the team is preparing to leave, a guard apprehends one of the team members. 'Go,' He shouts at them through their walkie-talkies ' 'blow this place!' As soon as the rest of the team can evacuate, they set off the explosives, destroying the Claw building.
In 1915, as the Harlequin leaves Q'Barian orbit, Doctor Ch'Kel'Mlar tells Captain Smith of the cause of the rioting on the planet below. 'The Kainku first came to us when we held the Mlosh homeworld, half a century ago. We were not united then, and were suffering from an outbreak of disease. They cured this disease and promised to aid us in unification. We should have been more suspicious; but we were too grateful for their cures.'
In 1997, combined British, Egyptian and Japanese troops liberate the Leavenworth death camp in Kansas. The worst atrocities of President Shephard's Constitutionalists were committed here, and its liberation had been made a priority by the allies. Over 1,000,000 political prisoners had been executed within the former military prison's walls.
In 1972, America counterattacked against the La Serena Offensive underway from the South Chilean guerillos. B-52s blasted known guerillo positions across the region, and plunged across the border into the south, spreading destruction across the capitalist stronghold. Soviet American forces pushed the guerillos out of the Santiago area in North Chile, rescuing their fellow Communist government.
In 1945, in a rare moment, non-Jewish citizens of the former Greater Zionist Resistance in Gardelegen, Germany, rise up against New Reich forces and attempt to drive them from the city. They are crushed mercilessly by the Reich's soldiers as an example to others who dare to question the new leadership's methods.
In 1471, in the penultimate battle of the War of the Roses, the Yorkist Pope, Edward IV, defeats the Lancastrian Pope, Henry VI, and takes London. With the capitol in his hands, His Holiness Edward IV begins his 12-year reign of the Holy British Empire.
In 2007, Canadian company Research In Motion (RIM) announced that the number of StrawBerry subscribers had reached 25 million triple the 7 million target set in 2005. This leap in usage was due to RIM's response to criticisms of the device. Parity with Windows Mobile devices had been achieved with a new 'hard' TouchScreen, and 3G had been adopted after all. Other new features included camera, memory cards, video playback, etc effectively seizing the SmartPhone market. Most significantly, the product name BlackBerry had been reverted to Strawberry after the November 2006 Webster's dictionary riduculed the product by naming 'crackberry' the 'New Word of the Year'.
The first BlackBerry was released in early 1999, using the same hardware as the Inter@ctive pager 950, and running on the Mobitex network. Today the device supports push e-mail, mobile telephone, text messaging, internet faxing, web browsing and other wireless information services. RIM settled on the name 'StrawBerry' only after weeks of work by Lexicon Branding Inc., the Sausalito, California-based firm that named Intel Corp.'s Pentium microprocessor and Apple's PowerBook. One of the naming experts at Lexicon thought the miniature buttons on RIM's product looked 'like the tiny seeds in a strawberry,' Lexicon founder David Placek says. 'A linguist at the firm thought straw was too slow sounding. Someone else suggested blackberry. RIM made a mistake and went for it.'
In 1990, in a press conference the Home Secretary indicated his suspicion that a massive gun had been smuggled passed Her Majesty's Customs officers in Middlesbrough on a ship bound for Iraq. Exports of parts for a weapon to Iraq would contravene British restrictions on arms sales to President Saddam Hussein's state. Eight pipes were found in crates during a search of the ship at the Teesport Docks. The length of the barrel is said to measure 40 metres (130 feet) when assembled. At the time the descriptions on the manifest were taken at face value.
This would make it by far the largest gun in the world with a range of approximately 600 miles (965 kilometres). The ship where the pipes were found, the Gur Mariner, is being chartered by the Iraqi Maritime Organisation. The magnitude of the error would not become apparent until the weapon was deployed to devastating effect during the Gulf War.
In 1970, the launch of the moon mission Apollo 13 is scrubbed when a problem is found with an oxygen tank during the last inspection of the ship. The disappointed crew has to wait 4 days while engineers replace the tank and connections; the superstitious blame the problem on the mission's number. Once they achieve liftoff, the mission goes by the book, with no further problems.
In 1951, President Truman relieved General Doug MacArthur of his command in the Korean War, to the howls of the general's supporters back home. When MacArthur returned to Washington, crowds met him in the streets and carried him on their backs to the White House. During the D.C. riots, several Puerto Rican nationalists took the opportunity to infiltrate the country and set up safe houses in the Washington area.
In 1870, the Greek government is toppled when a British nobleman is taken hostage by Greek thugs and King George of Greece exchanges himself for the nobleman in order to appease Britain. When Greek troops storm the ruffians' hideout, they kill the king, plunging Greece into a 3-year civil war to determine his successor.
In 1814, Italian Emperor Napoleon Buonaparte abdicates at the point of the sword and is exiled by the northern European forces allied against him. In his island exile in Corsica, though, he has many friends, and he soon escapes back to Italy for a second chance at his conquest of Europe.
In 2009, on this day Barry Doughnut received a bio-alarm on Farcebook after his weight had just topped twenty stones. Cried a bit, then nipped off down to Pappy's Texas Barbeque Chicken to hang out wit like-minded lardies. Barry ordered the usual smiley meal combo - pint of chips, super-sized Cola and deep fried battered velociraptor in a lake of Pappy's catsup. Followed by a super frappachino ice cream with Sausalito sundae sauce. He worry about it tomorrow, the worst had already happened.
In 2002, this week was published the hard back edition of Ken Timmerman's 'Shakeup: Exposing the Decisive Role of Jesse Jackson'. Over the last 30 years, Jesse Jackson has struggled to declare himself - with the hostility of the mainstream media - the most prominent leader of black Americans. Belatedely Jackson's leadership qualities and credentials now have made their way to the light of day. Here are some of the unmasked truth's of Jackson's 'Long Walk to Freedom'.
8) The leadership of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference suspend Jackson on false charges of fiddling money from Operation Breadbasket. Unfazed, Jackson arrives to see supporter's picket signs reading, 'Don't get messy with Jesse.' It was as if he was going to go meet a white lynch gang. He's going to meet Abernathy, OK. Abernathy presents the evidence in front of him, eventually. Jackson says basically, 'You have been embezzling funds from the organization.' and forces Abernathy's resignation.
In 1951, the failure of the relentless U.N. counterattack commanded by Matthew B. Ridgway became apparent to US President Harry S. Truman. Attempts to limit the conflict to a regional war had clearly failed, and it look certain that UN Commander-in-Chief Douglas MacArthur would get his 'total war'.
In 1921, the Emirate of Transjordan was created. In 1948 territory was ceded to the State of Palestine when the nation adopted the current name of the Kingdom of Jordan.
In 1899, provoked by the blistering satire of his final novel, Russian authorities forced Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy into exile.
Happy Endings 20: Tolstoy a Canadian Life by Ed & Jackie RoseIn writing Resurrection, he had originally intended to aid members of the Dukhobor sect to emigrate to Canada where they could practice
their beliefs freely and without persecution. But instead, with the
Tsarist Government emboldened1 by the Russian Orthodox Church's
decision to excommunicate him, Tolstoy opted to accompany them. It was in hindsight a step that had become inevitable ever since the banning of his Christian anarchist tract The Kingdom of God Is Within You five years earlier.
Also inevitable and also a result of the success of his novel-writing was his marital breakdown. Because his unbalanced union was also a source of tension and conflict - and for a very good reason. After his wife Sonya had transcribed and edited his novels, he ingraciously informed her that he was giving all the proceeds to the poor . With the insensitive delivery of that painful revelation any semblance of marital harmony was destroyed, because in Sonya's eyes Leo had undone the magic of their partnership. The relationship was never quite the same and then a
final fracas Sonya made the decision for him and he set off to find a new day in Canada.
But the disastrous Russo-Japanese War changed everything and Tolstoy was able to return to Russia after the Revolution of 1905 overthrew the Tsar. Thanks to Father Gapon, he spent the final happy years of his life in his homeland, and was even able to reconcile with Sonya . This was because in the new Era, women were granted property rights and his wife was afforded her full monied status as co-author of the Tolstoy novels .
In 2010, on this day a string of bizarre coincidences marred a ceremony marking the seventieth anniversary of the Katyn Forest massacre in which twenty-two thousand members of the Polish Officer Corps were executed by the Soviet Secret Police (NKVD).
Article written by Ed & Jackie SpeelThe execution of the Polish Officer Corps was expressly ordered in writing by the professional head of the NKVD, Lavrentiy Beria's in an official document of 5 March 1940 which was approved and signed by the Soviet Politburo, including its leader, Joseph Stalin. Three years later, the Government of Nazi Germany announced the discovery of mass graves in the Katyn Forest, a revelation which led to the end of diplomatic relations between Moscow and the London-based Polish government-in-exile.
In fact, the Soviet Union continued to deny responsibility for the massacres until 1990, when it officially acknowledged and condemned the perpetration of the killings by the NKVD. Because although the Polish government-in-exile failed to obtain justice, the brave actions of Polish nationals such as Lech Walesa and Karol Wojtyla contributed towards the final collapse of the Soviet System.
John Paul II had consecrated Russia after a Turkish gunman Mehmet Ali Agca attempted to assassinate the Holy Pontif as he entered St. Peter's Square to address an audience in 1981 (the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is a belief in the Roman Catholic Church that a specific act of consecration on the part of the Pope has been required by the Virgin Mary in return for which there would be world peace). Both the Central Intelligence Agency and an Italian parliamentary commission concluded that the Soviet Union was behind the conspiracy in retaliation for the Pope's support of Solidarity, the Catholic, pro-democratic Polish workers' movement (their "Top Secret" reports stated that certain Communist Bulgarian security departments were utilised and Soviet military intelligence - and not the KGB - were responsible).
It was widely rumoured in the Catholic Church that the Pope1 was intending to use the anniversary of the Katyn Forest massacre to announce that the consecration of Russia was the "Third Secret of Fatima". Such a move would redefine the relationship with the Russian Patriach and the possibility of removing the schism with the Orthodox Church.
Also en route to the ceremony was a delegation of high ranking Russian and Polish officials. In his own speech, Polish president Lech Kaczynski was expected to confirm deeper integration with both the European Union and also NATO.
A tragic and bizarre aircraft crash at North Smolensk Airport killed all of the principals. Under Annex 13 of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Guidelines, the investigations were conducted by the Russian Government which acted under the direct, personal orders of President Medvedev. A conclusion of "pilot error" was reached which did nothing to dispel the global circulation of conspiracy theories.
In 1796, on this day American pioneer, slave trader, land speculator, soldier and statesman James "Jim" Bowie was born in Logan County, Kentucky.
1st President of TexasHe would spent much of his early life in Louisiana where he was raised and later worked as a land speculator although his rise to fame began in 1827 on reports of the Sandbar Fight. What began as a duel between two other men deteriorated into a melee in which Bowie, having been shot and stabbed, allegedly killed the sheriff of Rapides Parish with a large knife. This, and other wild exaggerated stories of Bowie's prowess with the knife, led to the widespread popularity of the "Bowie" knife.
Bowie's legendary reputation was cemented by his role in the Texas Revolution. He joined the Texas militia, leading forces at the Battle of Concepcion and the Grass Fight. In January 1836, he arrived at the Alamo, where he commanded the Texian volunteer forces until an illness left him bedridden. Fortunately, he made a miraculous recovery after the dramatic relief mission. But confined to a cot he had the dubious distinction of becoming the sole surviving hero after William Travis, Davy Crockett and Sam Houston were all tragically killed during the fierce fighting.
Yet the battlecry "Remember the Alamo" held a powerful resonance at the birth of Texan Statehood and on October 22nd Jim Bowie became the first President of the new nation at the age of just forty. A legal dispute with the State of Louisiana quickly followed but investigations soon established that Bowie had not been involved in the Sandbar Fight at all. What was established however was the unedifying fact that Bowie a much better dead hero than living leader1.
In 1794, on this day Matthew Calbraith Perry the fifteenth President of the United States was born in Newport, Rhode Island.
Matthew C. Perry
15th US PresidentThe son of Captain Christopher Perry and Sarah Perry, he was also the younger brother of Oliver Hazard Perry, famous for capturing an entire British squadron at the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812. Commissioned as midshipman in 1809, he launched an illustrious naval career that would last almost half a century, culminating in the opening of Japan.
Commodore Perry returned to the United States in 1855, a national hero who commanded almost universal respect and a remarkable reputation for forceful negotiation. The man of the hour, he was ran for office, winning the Presidency in 1856.
The arrival of such a powerful figure in the White House certainly augured well for the country. Because during his single term of office, the disintegration of the Union began to accelerate with frightening speed. Of course the expectation was that Perry would impose a quasi-military solution upon the south just as Andrew Jackson had done so during the Nullification Crisis.
He certainly tried, grasping at solutions that had worked in the past. But it didn't quite work out that way, because the famous gunboat diplomacy which had worked with such success in Tokyo Bay met a rather different response in Charleston Harbour.
In 1865, jubilant with the exhilerating news that General Grant had convinced Robert E. Lee to surrender all of the Confederate Armies, President Abraham Lincoln departed Washington City for the Appottomax Court House where he would deliver a keynote speech that recognised the significance of this remarkable gesture of peace and national reconciliation.
Our American CousinSurrounded by the Army of the Potomac at Lynchberg, Lee had chosen to surrender only the Army of North Virginia (over which he had direct command). The change of mind to surrender all of the Confederate Armies (which were nominally under his command) was prompted by the successful meeting at the McLean House.
In his personal memoirs, Grant would note that "What General Lee's feelings were I do not know.
We soon fell into a conversation about old army times. He remarked that he remembered me very well in the old army; and I told him that as a matter of course I remembered him perfectly, but from the difference in our rank and years (there being about sixteen years' difference in our ages), I had thought it very likely that I had not attracted his attention sufficiently to be remembered by him after such a long interval.
Our conversation grew so pleasant that I almost forgot the object of our meeting".
The feelings of the Maryland-born racist John Wilkes Booth could safely be described as less ambivalent and not pleasant at all. Only the year before, he had concocted a plot to kidnap the President and ransom him in exchange for Confederate Prisoners of war.
Now he set upon a new assignment, he would follow Lincoln to Virginia, although he had not yet decided whether to shoot the President, or the traitor he was now refering to as "Our American Cousin", Robert E. Lee. Or perhaps both. And so he decided to take along with him George A. Atzerodt, David Herold, and the former Confederate Soldier Lewis Paine. Just in case he needed to pull together a multiple assassination cross-fire team, because even a crazy could never be _too_ sure of success acting as a Lone Gunman.
In 2006, in announcing his electoral platform as a Democratic Party Candidate for the US Senate, the actor and human rights activist Ramón Estévez1 pledged to withdraw the State of Ohio2 from the All America Battle Royale for 2007/8.
Watch the Trailer of Battle Royale
Battle RoyaleA long-established part of American life, every year under the "Battle Royale" program states (or, in the case of small close-together states like Vermont and New Hampshire, or Connecticut and Rhode Island) randomly select a junior high school. Co-written with Eric OppenThe nineth-graders are put in an isolated locale with explosive collars to keep them under control and then given randomly-selected weapons (or "surprises" like boxing gloves) to have them fight to the death until one survives.
Privately, even the most vocal supportes of Estévez expressed doubt as to whether a pacifist could enter the Senate let alone deliver on his campaign pledge. Particularly when his own son Carlos Irwin Estévez3 was a gun-toting hedonist who had risen to fame (as a former winner) through the program.
In 2034, on this day former President Albert Gore Jr. died at his home in Tennessee of arteriosclerotic cerebrovascular disease. He was surrounded by his wife Mary "Tipper" and their four children. He had just recently celebrated his 86th birthday.
Al Gore's ObituaryGore was elected President of the United States in 2000 after the controversial 5-4 Supreme Court decision in Bush v. Gore, which ruled that a Florida statewide recount would not violate the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment. The subsequent recount determined that Gore had won the election by 110 votes.
A new story by Charles R. TestrakeAfter the exuberance of the Clinton years and drama of the 2000 election, the Gore presidency was considered by many to be anticlimactic. The economic boom of the 1990's began to dissipate and the unemployment rate rose to 5%. The Gore administration responded with a serious of tax increases to fund public works projects and also began to retighten regulations on the banking industry which had been loosened during the Clinton years.
In June 2001 a major international scandal broke when it was revealed on FOX News that Gore had ordered a CIA black ops unit to violate Pakistani borders to assassinate accused Islamic terrorist Osama bin Laden. Initially Gore denied complicity in bin Laden death, but after intense media pressure was forced to admit that he had ordered the assassination in the interests of national security. Pakistan subsequently broke off diplomatic relations with the U.S. for the remainder of the Gore presidency, and several Republican Congressmen introduced resolutions for impeachment in the House of Representatives. However none of these resolutions came to anything.
By 2004 Gore's approval rating had slipped below 40%, yet he still decided to run for reelection. Gore had to fend off a strong primary challenge from former Connecticut Governor Howard Dean before losing the general election to George W. Bush in another close fight.
"In spite all the good work my father achieved, spring will be a little late this year"In the years immediately following his presidency, Gore managed to recover much of his lost popularity with the release of his environmental film "An Inconvenient Truth," which earned him an Academy Award and the Noble Peace Prize. By the end of 2007 he had become the chief critic of the disastrous Bush presidency. He seriously considered challenging Bush for a third time, but in the end decided to back the candidacy of the junior Senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, who defeated Bush in the biggest electoral landslide in American politically history. The Republican Party has yet to regain the presidency.
Shortly after the announcement of Gore's death his daughter, Karenna Gore Schiff, appeared on the front lawn of the family home. With tears in her eyes she made the following statement: "This morning my father departed this world at peace. A State Funeral will be held in Washington in a few days time, but in lieu of flowers we ask mourners to please make a small donation to the Gore Climate Change Foundation. In spite all the good work my father achieved, spring will be a little late this year".
In 2008, Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe accused British prime minister Gordon Brown of conspiring with opposition leader Tendai Biti to overthrow Mugabe's regime.Plot against Robert Mugabe by Chris OakleyAs proof of his allegations Mugabe produced a letter supposedly written by Biti to senior members of Biti's political party, the Movement for Democratic Change. Prime Minister Brown responded by issuing a countercharge that Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party had forged the letter itself in an attempt
to not only discredit the Zimbabwean pro-democracy movement but also Great Britain.
According to the Zimbabwe Times, the allegedly letter reads: "The swearing in will be done by the Chief Justice at State House and this must be planned in some detail. We have already sent invitations to President Bush, Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Prime Minister Kelvin Rudd, Chancellor Angela Merkel and our international partners and other key stakeholders in the People's Project. Soon after the swearing in, President Tsvangirai will immediately take occupation of the President's Office and State House. Our British friends have already taken the President, his wife and the rest of the first family through a crash course on ethics, etiquette and basic protocol associated with this high office. Our international partners also continue to send us their assurances that they will guarantee our assumption of power, including with force of arms if need be".
On this day in 1947, Xavier March contracted tuberculosis; this illness would keep him confined to a hospital bed in Munich for almost a year. It was right around this time that he met his future wife, Klara Eckart.
In 1970, Beatles member Paul McCartney held a press conference to formally deny rumors that the group, which had suffered from disarray for some time, was disbanding.
The Beatles would remain together until the murder of John Lennon on December 8, 1980, and the three survivors would perform together for a final time at Lennon's funeral. Sales for their memorial performance would equal those of any of the group's prior releases.
In 1990, prototype testing begins for liquid-fuelled boosters intended for use on the planned Generation II space shuttles. Performance demands are rigorous, as the Generation II's are intended to be capable of reaching geosynchronous orbit rather than merely low Earth orbit, addressing one long-standing complaint about the first-generation shuttles. The decision to move to liquid fuel addresses another: if necessary, it will be possible to throttle back or even halt the burning of fuel in the new boosters, something which could not be done with solid-fuelled rockets.
The Generation I shuttles will continue to fly until the Generation II's are ready. A classified NASA report warns, however, that they remain vulnerable to catastrophic failures. In a footnote, it observes that such a failure might well have occurred on the scheduled Jan. 28, 1986 flight of the Challenger, had engineers for shuttle contractor Morton Thiokol not persuaded their superiors and NASA authorities to delay the launch on account of dangers posed by the cold weather on that date. The Challenger mission planned for that date, carrying Christa McAuliffe, billed as the 'first teacher in space,' launched a week and a half later, on February 9, and proceeded without incident; afterwards, based on the engineers' concerns, the shuttles were subjected to a series of modifications intended to protect the shuttles, and particularly the critical O-ring seals on the solid rocket boosters, from degradation due to temperature; however, there remains concern that the seals may fail, especially as the shuttles age.
On this day in 1982, Jim Cornette announced the formation of the Enforcers, a stable whose goals were to keep the NWA world title around Tommy Rich's waist and enable Cornette to dominate the NWA.
The group consisted of 468-pound bruiser George Gray, better known as 'The One Man Gang'; former World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental champion Ken Patera; Detroit brawler George 'The Animal' Steele; and a rising Canadian superstar named Bret Hart.
In 1991, wealthy Connecticut-based investor James Sinclair is tipped off by friends in Washington that President Kemp plans to reintroduce his legislation returning the U.S. to the gold standard, and that Congress is likely to pass it this time.
Armed with this information, Sinclair, who has emerged as the number-one figure among the gold speculators supporting Kemp's idea, orders his operatives to purchase as much in the way of gold and gold-backed securities as they can prior to the President's move.
In 1891, Major Mark Wainwright, commander of the soldiers who had accompanied former President Cleveland to Topeka, breaks out of the camp where he and his men are being kept, and frees a dozen other soldiers, as well. Together, they sneak into the governor's mansion and attempt to spring Cleveland from his guarded room. The former president, though, wishes to stay in an attempt to negotiate with the rebel leader Simpson. 'I cannot give up on peaceful solutions yet,' he tells Wainwright, 'but save your men and get out of the state. Get back to Washington and tell them that I am confident that an answer to this situation can be found without further bloodshed.'
The major reluctantly agrees, and he and his small group slip out of Topeka and head east. When 'Sockless' Simpson is informed of the escape, he harangues Cleveland for several minutes about honor, which the former president sits through patiently. When Simpson finally winds down, Cleveland says, 'Sir, as much as you may question my honor, I am still here when I had the perfect opportunity for escape. My honor in this matter, therefore, has been put on display. Yours, on the other hand, is still a matter of debate. Now, you may continue to berate me, or we can begin working on a solution to all of our problems.'
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.