In 1917, with Anglo-French Expeditionary Forces set to dissembark in Gallipoli, Pope Benedict XV announced his intention to consecrate the City of Constantinople.
Race to the Gates of Constantinople
by Ed, Scott Palter & Jeff ProvineThe near certainty of a multi-faith backlash was good cause for hesitatation by the would-be occupying powers. Their former ally, Tsarist Russia had defeated the Ottoman Empire in the war of 1877 and then occupied Turkish Territory including of course their ultimate prize, the capital city. Naturally, the Western Powers resisted this outcome, but under a grand bargain with British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, British overlordship of the Mediterranean had been guaranteed with Greece effectively becoming an Imperial Client State.
The Russians only had three decades to enjoy their new hegemony, and the rebuilding of the Hagia Sophia was still a work in progress by the time of the assassination in Sarajevo. Now, with the Tsar overthrown, Anglo-French naval forces were ordered into the Dardanelles to occupy the city and prevent the emergence of an independent Turkish nation. Looking further into the future, the Western Allies envisaged post-war protectorates that would enable them to dominate the Middle East in much the same demarcated manner as Colonial Africa. However, there was a religious dimension to the dispute which could be traced back to the sacking of the city by the Fourth Crusade. During the last days of Byzantium, Emperor Constantine XI Palaiologos had famously declared "Better the Sultan's turban than the Cardinal's hat!". Almost five centuries later, the British, French and Vatican appeared to be on the verge of a new power play over the glittering new future of the "Third Rome".
In 1213, on this day the Catharist, Aragonese and Catalan forces of Peter II of Aragon defeated the Crusading army of Simon IV de Montfort in a battle fought at Muret in south-western France.
Count Raymond VI of Toulouse, Hero of the Battle of MuretPeter had set the field, choosing to position his army so their right flank was protected by the Saudrune River, and the left protected by a marsh. He left the Toulousain militia to assault the walls of the city.
But although the forces were equally matched, the real hero of the day was Raymond VI, Count of Toulouse. His foolish brother-in-law (Peter) had fully intended to take the field in the plain armour of a common soldier. Worse still, he had also rejected his sound advice to adopt a defensive posture in order to weaken the advancing enemy with bowshot and javelins. Only when Raymond had actually threatened to withdraw the Toulousain militia had he been forced to see sense. Although these suggestions were rightly viewed as unknightly and dishonorable, they proved absolutely necessary during the prosecution of hostilities.
In 2009, on this day following a verbal confrontation, police fired shots into a crowd, leaving ten members of the Tea Party Movement dead and dozens more injured at the bloody climax to the 500,000 man Taxpayer March on Washington.
Taxpayer March on WashingtonTwo of injured participants died of their injuries three days later. One of those two was Matt Kibbe, one of the organizers of the rally. The other was his wife of 25 years, Terry Kibbe. Hundreds of activists were arrested, and allegations of civil rights violations while incarcerated ran rampant across the nation.
Support for the Tea Party, already a medium levels due to the unpopularity of TARP, the Obama bailout, and the universal healthcare law, skyrocketed after the catastrophe in the nation's capital, which was already being dubbed "The 2nd Boston Massacre". Tea Party rallies across the country averaged a minimum of five thousand attendees, with some numbers reaching in excess of 15,000 participants.
Though widespread opinion placed full blame for the massacre on the overreaction of the police, the Democratic party placed its full support behind the police, while the reaction of the GOP upper echelon was guarded. This furthered the divide between the RNC and grassroots Republicans, the latter who overwhelmingly supported the Tea Party movement in the days after the tragedy in D.C.
The smoldering brush fire that had begun in the Capitol were fanned into a blazing brushfire when the FBI and ATF (with the nominal and increasingly unwilling help of local law enforcement agencies around the country) began cracking down on nationwide Tea Party rallies, dispersing the crowds and arresting the organizers. Debate raged over the legality of the Feds' actions, while whispers grew louder that the FBI/ATF got their orders straight from POTUS himself. Tea Party members around the country petitioned Congress for redress of grievances, saying that the FBI and ATF were forcing Tea Party adherents to radicalize - but the Democratic-controlled Congress sided with the Administration, in effect allowing the crackdown to continue
Both the tragedy in Washington and the Federal crackdown on the Tea Party movement were widely condemned, most notably in a barnstorming speech delivered by an unknown young man (who went by the pseudonym of Jack) in Modesto, CA. During his speech, which was later to be referred to as "The Shot Heard 'Round The World, Part Two", he said to a gathered Tea Party crowd of 2,000 people in downtown Modesto that when peaceful measures proved to be a failure, self-defense was the only option left to a free people. He ended his speech by crying "Long live the Republic" and brandishing a loaded Springfield Armory M1911A1 single-action .45 ACP semi-automatic pistol. Nearly 15 minutes later, when a detachment of FBI officers arrived to break up the rally, the crowd turned on the heavily-outnumbered officers and overwhelmed them. Shots were fired, combatants on both sides were killed and injured, and the opening salvo in what would be called the Battle of Modesto had begun.
The next day, with sporadic gun battles still taking place around the city, a video of the young man known as Jack (whose real name was later revealed as Jared) went viral on YouTube.
In it, he claimed that all three branches of the U.S. government (along with the two major political parties) had in effect betrayed the American people, and called for a nationwide revolt and a 2nd American Revolution against "the institutionalized elitism, corruption, and totalitarianism of the current Federal government". He went on to say that several hundred Tea Party supporters were currently engaged in violent conflict with the FBI and ATF in Modesto, and that he personally would continue to fight "until this horrible business is decided". His passionate speech, calling on Americans to "stand up and be free once again", was quickly spread across the nation and even went viral on a global scale, prompting parallels between himself and Asmaa Mahfouz of Egypt.
His words proved to be the catalyst for an out-and-out insurrection in Central California. To the shock of a stunned political establishment, enraged farmers, city workers, and other citizens rose up in the thousands all across the Central Valley from Bakersfield to Sacramento and converged on Modesto. It is believed that close to 50,000 Central Valley Californians took up arms against the government in the course of one week. The ATF and FBI, which had almost defeated Jack and one hundred Tea Party rebels left alive in Modesto, found themselves outnumbered and out-gunned by an angry populace. The Modesto Police Department refused to fire on their fellow Californians, and more than a few joined the rebels outright. After a 24-hour gun battle that left downtown Modesto nearly in ruins, the surviving Federal officers surrendered, and Jack (by now the undisputed leader) hoisted a "Don't Tread On Me" flag over City Hall.
The Battle of Modesto sent shockwaves around the nation, driving Congress and the Obama Administration into a panicked frenzy. Tea Party leaders (as well as a few state congressmen and Senators) were now calling for armed revolution, and their supporters were responding. The Democratic Party condemned the uprising in harsh terms and promised to support the Federal law enforcement in continuing to crackdown on "these brazen criminals", as did the Obama Administration. The official RNC/GOP response (supported by Senator John McCain, Senator Lindsey Graham, former Senator Rick Santorum, and former Governor Mitt Romney), though recognizing the "legitimate grievances of a few American citizens", was ultimately similar to their Democratic counterparts in calling for the crushing of the rebellion. This led a schism within the GOP between those who supported the Party and those who supported the rebels. The Libertarian Party, while lamenting the use of violence, said in official statement that the "laws and principles of liberty lie with the insurrectionists", while the Constitution Party went even further, calling on its members to openly support the insurrection "by any and all means possible".
The reactions of the various Congressmen and political figures across the nation who had originally supported the Tea Party movement were various and assorted. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, an outspoken supporter of the original Tea Party movement, declared that she "could no longer serve a Congress which allows the Federal government to make open war on American citizens" and returned to Minnesota, but played no further role in the Tea Party uprising. Senator Jim DeMint was arrested in his home state of South Carolina for allegedly actively supporting the uprising. Though the charges were later dropped, the arrest of the popular junior Senator drove hundreds of willing volunteers into the ranks of local militant Tea Party militias. Nearly the exact scenario played out in Wisconsin when Congressman Paul Ryan was also arrested (and subsequently released) on similar charges. Former Ambassador and Presidential candidate Alan Keyes became the outspoken and electrifying Tea Party militia leader in Maryland, rallying thousands to the Tea Party standard in the backyard of Washington D.C. itself. Congressman Ron Paul, himself widely considered to be the intellectual father of the Tea Party movement, also quit the House and returned to Texas. Though in his mid-70s and (by his own admission) a "big fan of peace", he stated that he "could not in good conscience remain silent while American citizens fight and die for precious liberty". Paul was instrumental in convincing the Texas National Guard to ally itself with the Tea Party forces, which led to the ousting of all Federal law enforcement officials from the state of Texas. Paul's son Rand, a candidate for Senate in Kentucky, was a key player in Tea Party resistance to Federal law enforcement in Kentucky and neighboring Tennessee.
With a major revolution brewing across the land, President Obama was faced with only two options, each as difficult and potentially dangerous as the other - 1) Declare martial law and unleash the military against the rapidly-growing insurgency, or 2) Resign the Presidency and hand over the reigns to the equally-unpopular Vice-President Joe Biden. The Vice-President, his Cabinent, the DNC, and his close allies in Congress were urging him to declare martial law and crush the rebellion, yet the news on the military front was troubling. While the Commandant of the United States Marine Corps assured the President that he had the loyalty of the Marines, the Chief of Staff of the United States Army stated unequivocally that he could not guarantee the loyalty of the Army rank-and-file should they be ordered to fire on American citizens.
In 1966, on this day NBC aired the first showing of the American situation comedy "the Monkees" marking the beginning of the adventures of five young men trying to make a name for themselves as rock 'n roll singers.
Watch the Theme Tune
California Rock SoundThe original concept was a mockumentary, shadowing the development of an existing band known as "the Lovin' Spoonful". However due to a copyright dispute with the bands record label, Screen Gems productions its was instead decided to create a new band comprising photogenic actors, rather than musicians and because they fitted the bill so well, Mickey Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and the Englishman Davy Jones were all signed up. With the schedule threatening to overrun, and under pressure to find a fourth member for the band, the rather less photogenic Stephen Stills came under serious consideration because of his own connection to Screen Gems.
But at the audition, Stills refused to waive his publishing rights with Screen Gems and recommended substitution with his friend Peter Tork. Even though he raised the blocking issue of publishing rights, he was in fact uninterested because of the lack of artistic freedom that a mockumentary could offer. But having wrung a firm guarantee that the band could record hits in addition to filming the show, he changed his position and both Stills and Tork ended up joining the band.
The under pressure decision paid off and big time even though NBC had allowed their concept to be fundamentally modified in order to meet the deadlines for their recording schedule. Stills would take the band in an entirely new direction; although original band members would break with their own catchphrase by deciding that actually they didnt want to hang around preferring to refocus on TV acting, he did encourage Neil Young to join a new line-up and they would receive commercial acclaim for their recordings of "Marakesh Express" and "For What its Worth".
In 1846, Robert Browning was in love in a girl named Elizabeth Barrett. They were both poets and had been introduced to each other at an informal party, beginning a relationship from there.
Robert Browning's Heart is Broken Elizabeth's father did not believe in marriage for his children, and she had been kept at home as a semi-invalid already 40 years old. Despite being six years her junior, Robert saw so much more in her and swore his love. He courted her secretly for over a year, planning to elope with her and escape to Italy like his hero Percy Shelley. As he proposed, Elizabeth dreamily agreed, but the fear of her father finally made her turn Robert away with the poem "It Cannot Be" explaining them as star-crossed lovers that would never work.
A new story by Jeff ProvineBrowning, more brokenhearted than even his own poetic words could tell, fled London to Italy alone. The Italian landscape revived his thoughts of the Romantic Poets he had always adored, but now he felt nothing except betrayal. Letters to Elizabeth showed him filled with rage, unable to expend it in any useful manner besides writing and destroying things that were beautiful, which he now found ultimately meaningless. Most famously, his monologue "What I've Done" told of his burning of Shelley's works in a bonfire that destroyed his rented Italian cottage. Fleeing lenders in Italy, Browning came to Germany and continued to write in what he dubbed "Grunge", a portmanteau of the terms "grubby" and "dingy," since that was now all he could see in the world.
In 1848, weakened and distraught over her crushing of Robert's love, Elizabeth died. The news, sent to him by her sister Henrietta, caused another upheaval in Browning's writing. He turned away from utter destruction and took aim at the social leaders who seemed "so polished atop a hill of writhing pain" ("The Generals"). Many critics suspect that Robert wanted to reawaken interest in Elizabeth's older works on social responsibility, thus bringing her back to him as well as finding redemption for turning as hateful as he did.
Browning's poetry gathered a small following, and, after the Crimean War ended in 1856, many of the growing Nihilist movement became attached to his rallying hatred rejecting authority and violent demand for change. Browning accepted an invitation to Russia from a collection of Nihilists who wanted to translate and set his poetry to violent music involving drums and fiddles. He stayed in Russia for over a decade before traveling to the United States to tour the destruction of the South in their Civil War. In his wake, an American Grunge movement followed among the disenfranchised young whites.
In 1873, he met with Mark Twain, who had invented a term "The Gilded Age", which seemed to match Browning's contempt for the beautiful covering what was so obviously wrong. The meeting did not go well. After a loud roar, Browning stormed from the restaurant where he had met Twain, and the American writer explained that he simply could not endorse the unbridled rage. "Things just aren't that bad," Twain told a reporter from the New York Times. Browning disagreed and continued to publish rancid poetry that incited riots during Reconstruction.
Browning would die in 1875 from an overdose of opium and morphine, and his movement would gradually return to the fringe of society. Anarchists of the next generation would continue to quote his poetry and emulate him by wearing trademark dingy plaid overcoats. With the invention of phonographs, recordings of Grunge music would inspire later generations of poets such as T.S. Eliot of "Wasteland" fame and Screamy Jazz lyricist and "singer" Ezra Pound.
In 1759, on this day Major-General James Wolfe issued his final orders to the nine thousand troops of the British Army garrisoned on the St Lawrence River some eleven miles from the fortified city of Quebec, urging them to remember "what their country expects from them, and what a determined body of soldiers, inured to war, is capable of doing against five weak French battalions mingled with disorderly peasantry".
Watch the Youtube Clip of Canada: A People's History - Plains of Abraham
Suicide MissionIn fact the British were outnumbered by General Louis-Joseph Marquis de Montcalm's twelve thousand defenders who were entrenched behind sound defences in the city. Wolfe's plan was nothing less than a suicide mission, a nine-mile descent of the St Lawrence under cover of darkness, followed by an amphibious assault on the cliff-backed Foulon Cove.
"Are at all times to imitate them in that respect"Wolfe's no-nonsense "volley and bayonet" tactics had been adapted from military minds such as Gustavus Adolphus and Charles XII. And the stunning success of the thirty-two year Major-General would prefigure his rise to the highest ranks of the British Army; as Commander-in-Chief during the American Revolution Wolfe would decisively defeat an even more formidable foe by the name of George Washington.
In 2488, by the Qin Calendar, the Ch'in dynasty united China, beginning twenty-two centuries of uninterrupted global hegemony.China Everlasting Part 1 - First Sovereign Emperor
The first Sovereign Emperor, Ch'in Shih-Huang (pictured) was born in north-west China and became ruler of Ch'in at the age of only thirteen.
Despite the tyranny of his autocratic rule, he is still regarded by many today as a pivotal figure in Chinese history. Moving rapidly to consolidate power, he forced all important families to live in his capital Hsien-yang, executing anyone who disagreed with him.
All books except those on farming, medicine and prophecy were burnt to prevent the dissemination of dangerous ideas.
A vast palace was built by a slave army of 700,000 and preparations for the the Great Wall began, absolutely necessary to keep the barbarians out of China.
Towards the end of his natural life, the Emperor built a giant grave guarded by 6,000 terracota warriors. But it was not required and remains empty to this day.
Obsessed with the Taosist idea of immortality, hundreds of magicians were sent on a quest for the Isles of the Blessed where the inhabitants lived forever. 460 were executed, finally a Zhifu islander Xu Fu with ships carrying hundreds of young men and women found Mount Penglai, where the Eight Immortals lived. On their return, they synthetised the elixir of live, enabling Ch'in Shih-Huang to rule in perpetuity.
On a subsequent mission, Xu Fu and the crew settled the modern islands of Nippon extending the Chinese empire into the Pacific islands.
Nevertheless, many attempts have been made to murder the Emperor. After assassinations had been attempted too often for comfort, the Emperor grew paranoid of remaining in one place too long and hired servants to bear him to different buildings in his palace complex to sleep in each night. He also hired several 'doubles' to make it less clear which figure was the emperor.
It is rumoured that one of the books of prophecy that survive predicts the assassination of Ch'in Shih-Huang and his final resting place with the terracota warriors, but this legend is largely dismissed as a fantasy. Yet Xu Fu remains in Nippon, and perhaps one day he will return to Hsien-yang for the undoing.
In 1951, on this day Joseph Stalin was executed by firing squad at Moscow's Lubiyanka Prison.
On this day in 1970, Apollo 9 blasted off from Cape Canaveral in the Apollo program's first-ever night time launch.
In 1960, on this day the New York City board of education teamed up with football's New York Giants to start a scholarship fund for student-athletes whose parents had been killed or injured in the Jamaica Bay hurricane.
|New York Giants|
In 2005, comedian Larry David reveals to Entertainment Weekly he will have no part in the writing of the upcoming Seinfeld Movie - despite it being based on the popular sitcom he co-created. David cites his work on his HBO sitcom Curb Your Enthusiasm as the chief reason for his lack of involvement, but also points out he similarly had no involvement in the last two seasons of Seinfeld: "And then I came back to co-write the last episode, and needless to say the reaction to that left me cold, so I think I've said all I can on those characters. But I'm sure Jerry's cooking something special, I talk to him every day - his enthusiasm is kinda infectious".
|Jerry Seinfeld |
David also says he would be interested in perhaps a cameo as New York Yankees boss George Steinbrenner, a role he played off-screen in the sitcom.
On this day in 1944, American troops entered the Dutch city of Rotterdam and liberated the Luxembourg capital, Luxembourg City.
On this day in 1941, in response to the Japanese capture of Anadyr' five days earlier, President of the United States Franklin Roosevelt placed all US territorial defense outposts in Alaska and Hawaii on precautionary alert and ordered a top-to-bottom review of defense readiness for US Army and Navy installations on the west coast of the American mainland.
|Franklin D. Roosevelt|
On this day in 1973, Johnny Smith got a psychic premonition that the Lawnmower Man was hiding somewhere in the vicinity of Las Vegas, Nevada.
His hunch would once again prove to be right; two days later, FBI agents and Nevada state troopers finally caught the infamous serial killer in the mining town of Desperation. The Lawnmower Man's arrest would be detailed at length in a chapter of The Lawnmower Man titled (appropriately enough) 'Desperation'.
In 1960, facing a barrage of anti-Catholic sentiment in a number of states, Democratic presidential nominee John F. Kennedy addresses the Greater Houston Ministerial Association in Houston, Texas, and delivers a stirring defense of the right of any American to seek the presidency regardless of his religion.
Republican nominee Richard Nixon responds the following day: 'Senator Kennedy is indeed eloquent in defending the freedom of any American to seek the White House regardless of religious affiliation.'
After a moment's pause, he continues: 'By the same token, the voters have the right, indeed the obligation, to look at the totality of each candidate's personal background and record and decide for themselves which one has the values, beliefs and experience to best represent them in America's highest elective office in these perilous times.' He concludes, 'The American people must decide whether they wish to continue under the proven leadership of the Republican Party or venture in a new and uncertain direction.'.
Both candidates' speeches will be endlessly discussed and analyzed in the weeks following. It will be noticed that Nixon has artfully combined a call for 'staying the course' under the revered Eisenhower's anointed successor with a veiled appeal to the very sort of anti-Catholic prejudice JFK had spoken against.
In 2007, a Canadian walking in a small Northwest Territories community stumbled across what paleontologists believe could be the carcass of a steppe bison that roamed before the last Ice Age. The remains of the beast were uncovered in the permafrost near an eroding cliff, said Shane Van Loon, who first came across the pre-historic find last week while walking along the riverbank in Tsiigehtchic, about 230 kilometres south of Tuktoyaktuk. Scientists said the find could provide information about how the animals lived and why they became extinct. 'It can tell us so much more about how those bison lived and why they lived and what they were doing on the ancient landscape,' Zazula said. 'We are working on the over-farming theory, although another hypothesis is traumatic change brought about when the Race quit Earth unexpectedly 20,000 years ago.
"The weaver bird built in our house and laid its eggs on our only tree. We did not want to send it away, until today. We look for a new home, now. For new altars we strive to re-build the old shrines defiled from the weaver's excrement".
In 1977 the Ghanian poet Kofi Awooner writing in the Accra Daily Mail following the murder in police custody of thirty-year old anti-apartheid activist Steve Banto Biko.
Alternate Historians note, the weaver bird is an African cuckoo which occupies other birds' already built nests. The image is used in Awooner's classic poem The Weaver Bird.
In 1959, the Soviet Union launched a large rocket, Lunik II, at the moon. Being the first spacecraft to reach the surface of the Moon, it impacted the lunar surface west of Mare Serenitatis near the Aristides, Archimedes, and Autolycus craters. Scientifically, Luna 2 is most famous for making the discovery of the solar wind, via its hemispherical ion traps designed by Konstantin Gringauz. Having studied these stream of charged particles for thirty years, Russian Scientists developed the first space craft driven by this thermal energy, enabling the USSR to colonize the solar system by the end of the twenty-first century.
In 1977, on this day in Pretoria, South Africa brother Steve Biko was murdered in police custody. Former British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan wrote in the Times "The winds of change sweeping the continent of Africa are whipped into a hurricane".
On 18 August, Biko was arrested at a police roadblock under the Terrorism Act No 83 of 1967. He suffered a major head injury while in police custody, and was chained to a window grille for a full day. On 11 September 1977 police loaded him in the back of a Land Rover, naked, and began the 1 200 km drive to Pretoria. He died shortly after arrival at the Pretoria prison, on 12 September. The police claimed his death was the result of an extended hunger strike. He was found to have massive injuries to the head, which many saw as strong evidence that he had been brutally clubbed by his captors. Then journalist and now political leader, Helen Zille, exposed the truth behind Biko's death.
In 1914, the Imperial German army is holding in the east against the Russians and the west is surrounding Paris.
In 1918, the regular forces of British Commanding Officer General Edmund Allenby defeated the remaining Turkish Army in Palestine. A final and conclusive strike at the Battle of Megiddo in September 1918 left the road to Damascus open. By the time Allenby arrived Colonel T.E. Lawrence and the Arabs were already installed. With Lawrence translating Allenby attempted to deliver the message to Prince Feisal that his newly-appointed Arab government would not be recognized and the city was to be handed over to the French. Feisal reacted angrily to Western duplicity and shot Lawrence dead. The irregular troops that had pursued the Arab Revolt against the Turks now set their sights on the British and French, and their fury was very great indeed.
In 1934, wannabe Germany Chanceller Adolf Schicklegruber delivered his famous Kinder, Kuche, Kirche speech to the National Socialist Women's Organization. US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt welcomed it wholeheartedly, the German variant of the New Deal made a lot of sense.
German commando Otto Skorzeny
pulled off a most daring mission. After fighting on the Eastern Front, Skorzeny was known as the commando leader who attempted to rescued Benito Mussolini from imprisonment after his overthrow. He also was the initiator of Operation Greif, for which he was judged after the war: this special operation involved false flag tactics, that is wearing the uniform of the enemy to confuse him and advance into his lines. He also helped train the Werwolves, a Nazi stay-behind organisation which tried to engage in guerilla warfare against the Allies. On September 12th 1943, Benito Mussolini, dictator of Italy, was rescued from house arrest on the Gran Sasso in Abruzzi. Blood thirst craze had driven the Duce insane unfortunately, and an unsuspecting Skorzeny was brutally attacked by the lycanthrope
Duce leaving a huge gash on his right cheek.
In 1940, Italy invaded Egypt. A group of officers, headed by Gamal Abdul Nassar, and Anwar el-Sadat, secretly side with the Italians, ridding Egypt of Britain's accursed presence.
In 2012, a heavily armed terrorist group released Osama Bin Laden from the CIA compound a short distance away from the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
September SurpriseCIA Agents had been given the green light to respond when a crowd surrounded the offices occupied by Ambassador Christopher Stevens and his team. A Special Operations Task Force that had been moved into southern Italy for just this contingency was scrambled and boarded aircraft from Naval Air Station Sigonella.
Within a few hours, an AC-130 Spectre gunship was launched and began orbiting above the city. As the operators from the CIA approached the scene of the attack they begin coordinating fire with the Air Force, painting targets with an infrared laser. The crew of the gunship zeros in on the fighters below and immediately began pouring death from their 105mm howitzer and 40mm cannon.
But it was no good, and the result was a blood bath in which the target was returned to his Taliban Handlers. In the coming days, President Obama received the resignations of many senior members of his foreign policy and para-military teams. And the question as to why the White House had falsely state that Bin Laden had been executed in Pakistan.
In 916, on this day the incomparable Magyar commander Bulcsú ("man of blood") was born in Regensburg, Bavaria; his father Constantine Porphyrogenitus, Kal, also bore the title harka (military leader).
Man of BloodFighting alongside the chieftains Lél (Lehel) and Sér he led the Magyars to a dramatic victory in 955 at the flood plain that lies along the Lech River. The first national German battle against a foreign enemy ended in abject defeat, and King Otto's dreams of a Holy Roman Emperor were utterly destroyed on the battlefield. And yet all was not lost for Otto's countrymen, because although the Magyars subsequently overran Germany, the territory proved far too big for the Magyars to subdue. After a series of skirmishes, they ran out of of manpower and were decisively beaten.
Fleeing to the Black Sea, they left undefended the Pannonian Basin which was subsequently occupied by the Germans and eventually became the present day state of Lower Bavaria.
In 2012, on this day the publication of Bob Woodward's latest book "The Grand Bargain" described how the president and the House speaker defied Washington odds to establish a spending framework that resolved the Federal Debt Crisis.
Obama and Boehner strike the Grand BargainInstead of causing the outbreak of a partisan fight, the argument over deficit spending entered the ranks of the Republicans. Incredibly, the Boehner-Obama talks had started without the knowledge of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and Boehner later acknowledged to the president that Cantor was working against the very deal they were trying to reach. Nevertheless the deal was shephered through in the teeth of intense opposition from the Tea Partiers.
However, they subsequently formed their own caucus, and explored three future possibilties. Either to seek to evict the establishment in the Presidential primaries or failing that form their own party. However the most significant development was the third option, in which the various state Republican parties might run different people for President.
In 2001, on this day United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in Washington D.C. destroying the White House (pictured) and killing Vice President Dick Cheney.
Patriot ActThe passengers had immediately grasped the full magnitude of the September 11th attacks from mobile phone calls placed to their friends and relatives. Appalled by the widespread and wholly predictable failure of Federal Agencies these brave Americans had acted independently, mobilizing into an unarmed civilian militia that stormed the cockpit of the Boeing 757-222. They did manage to quickly disarm the al-qaeda terrorists, but then decided to proceed with the mission in order to save the Republic from the tyranny of consolidated Government.
That improbable turn of events was the result of a human error. Patched through to the situation room, Dick Cheney had spoken into a "hot mike" that he was told had been disconnected to the Flight. The passengers clearly heard the Vice President describe the attack as a CIA Blowback Operation. The last words from the passengers were heard by operator Lisa Jefferson at 09:55 and attributed to thirty-two year old Todd Beamer ~ "Are you guys ready? Okay. Let's roll!". It was the unmistakable voice of the American battle cry, Let Freedom Ring!
This post is an article of our alternate American Heroes thread.
In 1297, on this day Andrew de Moray's Scottish rebel army of the North arrived too late to prevent the heavily outnumbered forces of William Wallace from crashing to defeat at the Battle of Stirling Bridge.
Battle of Stirling Bridge Before the rebel Scottish armies could combine forces, the English Commander John de Warenne pre-emptively ordered a devastating direct attack across the bridge. This strategem was fraught with risk because the small bridge was only broad enough to allow two horsemen to cross abreast, the very reason why de Moray had advised Wallace to fight in this location.
Sir Richard Lundie, a Scots knight who joined the English after the capitulation at Irvine, offered to outflank the enemy by leading a cavalry force over a nearby ford, where sixty horsemen could cross at the same time. But de Warenne was persuaded by the King Edward's treasurer in Scotland (Hugh Cressingham) who urged the English Commander to seize the oppportunity to end the War of Scottish Independence. In fact the Earl of Surrey's military calculations were falsely based on the disorderly Scottish army of 1296 and in the event Wallace's men put up a determined, but ultimately unsuccessful attempt to seize control of the English bridgehead.
In 1941, in a controversial speech in Des Moines, Iowa on this day the 33rd President of the United States Charles A. Lindbergh accused British and Jewish "war agitators" of seeking to force a change of the isolationist government policy laid down by the Neutrality Acts signed into law by the late Franklin D. Roosevelt.
America FirstThe America First Party had high hopes that September 11th would go down in history as the day when America refused to be terrorized into war. But despite his broad agreement with these sentiments, his Press Secretary John T. Flynn had resigned the day before, being deeply troubled by the pointed anti-semitism contained in the speech.
Ironically, another individual who had no hesitation in blaming the Jews for the World Crisis was Lindbergh's chief antagonist. Because the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was confidently predicting that America would be dragged into the "gathering storm" - willing or not. Just in case they were not, Churchill had already formed British Security Co-ordination, sending three thousand British agents across the Atlantic to infiltrate Washington Society and reverse the US policy of isolationism.
This article is a continuation of the Inteprid thread.
In 1987, President Ronald Reagan declared the upcoming September 11 as "Emergency Number Day" in recognition of the emergency workers of America as well as the success of the 9 - 1 - 1 phone system. In his proclamation, he called "upon the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities".
9/11 Terrorist Attacks While most citizens made no more plans than an office party or a "thank you" to local firefighters or police, a lone man living in a cabin in Montana made note of the important date.
Theodore Kaczynski was a Harvard graduate in mathematics with a Ph.D. from University of Michigan. He had served two years as an assistant professor at Berkeley from the age of 25, but resigned to take up a self-sufficient lifestyle using survival techniques. Though bright and promising, Kaczynski had been distant with everyone through his life. As a child and young man, he had been through several studies related to autism or impotent rage, but Kaczynski seemed a normal, if quiet, intelligent guy.
A new story by Jeff ProvineWhile in his cabin, Kaczynski worked to study ways to become autonomous. The very little money he needed he made by working odd jobs such as at his father and brother's foam rubber plant, where he would be subsequently fired for harassing an ex-girlfriend fellow employee. As his life-experiment continued, it became obvious to him that he could not live this way with the increasing encroachment of modernity all around. In 1983, he walked to one of his favorite spots of wilderness to find that it had become a paved road. Later, he said, "You just can't imagine how upset I was. It was from that point on I decided that, rather than trying to acquire further wilderness skills, I would work on getting back at the system. Revenge".
Kaczynski studied sociology, political philosophy, and began a career of sabotage even before the road. When he came upon that, Kaczynski knew reform for the modern industrial, technological world was impossible. He decided that society needed to be woken up; the alarm would be bombs. In 1978 and '79, he had mailed explosive devices to Northwestern University and American Airlines, though none had been injurious. As the FBI took over the case from the US Postal Inspectors, they dubbed him UNABOMB for UNiversity and Airline BOMber. More universities and a computer rental store were added to his list of victims, culminating in 1985 with four attacks and the death of Hugh Scrutton, the computer store owner. In 1987, he struck again at a Utah computer store, then decided to settle in hiding for a moment. However, upon word of Reagan's Emergency Day, Kaczynski decided to show the world the real emergency: itself.
Lining up over a dozen simultaneous attacks, many of which were delivered through the mail, Kaczynski also hand-delivered several packages in the early morning from a re-painted rental truck. Near noon, he drove the truck to the Stanford Research Park in Palo Alto, CA. Kaczynski left the truck loaded with homemade explosives on a timer, which exploded in the early afternoon, killing 28 and destroying research in the resulting electromagnetic pulse and fire. He disappeared into San Francisco and made his way back to his cabin while the country descended into panic.
As news coverage swallowed the networks and bolstered the ratings of the new Cable News Network, people looked for leadership. President Reagan addressed the nation that evening and again on September 20, putting forth the Homeland Security Act and the often-questioned Patriot Act for Congress that next year. Kaczynski would remain quiet, writing his manifesto, but his cabin would be raided by FBI in April, tipped off by his brother David recalling letters and clippings from Ted about the dangers of technology. Given a highly publicized trial, Kaczynski would give his ideas of the problems with modern society, but his argument was drowned out by the horrors of his attack. Kaczynski would be specially executed in 1989, just after his unfinished manuscript was published but scarcely read.
Security became a prime issue for Americans, suddenly seeing it everywhere in post offices, lines with guards at all museums, monuments, and public buildings, and, especially, at airports. Reagan's VP Bush would handily win the 1988 and 1992 elections riding on the support of government during this time. CIA and FBI investigations would develop new techniques of watching for suspicious activities, such as deporting Ramzi Yousef in 1992 who had entered on questionable credentials and ordered chemicals in New York, arresting anarchist Timothy McVeigh in 1995 after buying inordinate amounts of fertilizer in Kansas, and deporting a number of Arabic men in 2000 that had taken flight lessons after CIA warnings of an airborne attack.
While many critics note that America has become something of a police state, secure feelings and a call for change gradually filtered into the public, evidenced by the 1996 election of Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton. After being blamed for the Recession, the Democrats would fall to a Republican takeover in 2002, leading to the landslide election of George W. Bush in 2004.
In 2001, passengers finally overpower the hijackers of American Airlines Flight 11, forcing their way into the cockpit at 8.43 am local time. The pilot, an al-Qaeda terrorist by the name of Mohamed Atta, loses control of the Boeing aircraft which glances off the North Tower of the World Trade Centre and crashes into the Mosque at 45-47 Park Place in Lower Manhattan (pictured).
September 11th attacks backfireMeanwhile onboard United Airlines Flight 93 the passengers are unable to prevent the terrorists from crashing the aircraft into the White House, killing the forty-third President, Al Gore.
By mid morning, the Executive Office is relocated to the residence of the Vice President, Number One Observatory Circle on the north-east grounds of the US Naval Observatory. The current holder of that auspicious office is a former trial lawyer perfectly familiar with the protocols established for succession under section one of the Twenty-fifth amendment to the US Constitution. And yet the secret of his remarkable success in achieving verdicts and settlements of more than $60m for his clients is much more than his professional mastery of Federal Law. A natural showman blessed with a winning smile and boyish good looks, John Edwards built a career upon his genius for winning over skeptical juries. Without delay, he is sworn in as the forty-fourth President, becoming the third office holder in less than nine months.
Sensing a one-off opportunity to charismatically redefine the crisis on his own terms, Edwards boards the Presidential helicopter known as Marine One and lands in Lower Manhattan just after 2pm local time. Pressed by New Yorkers for details of the government's response, he chooses to categorize the primary September 11th attack as the start of an internal Muslim feud rather than the direct result of an Islamic attack on the United States. To be continued..
In 1814, on this day the American troops of Brigadier General Alexander Macomb (pictured) abandoned Lake Champlain. It was a decisive victory for the newly arrived British Army of Lieutenant General Sir George Prévost who split the New England states from the rest of the Union.
Disaster at Lake ChamplainTwo years before, the US Congress had been falsely informed that America was fighting the War of 1812 to secure her boundaries, namely "freedom of the seas" and relief from the incitement of native americans on its western frontier. Of course both war aims were objectives that could only be achieved by a forceful expression of military authority.
In reality, President James Madison had launched America's first war of expansion with the unrealistic expectation of annexing Canada. Such a decisive move would likely end the triangular security struggles in the north-east by forcing the British to finally accept the United States as a sovereign nation. Ironically, Benedict Arnold had come within a whisker of conquering Canada in 1775 when he had almost defeated a bigger British fleet to a standstill at the same location, on Lake Champlain. But the war had taken longer than expected and Madison's window of opportunity had been firmly closed now that America's long-term allies the French had been utterly crushed at Waterloo. Not only were the British surging with victory, they were able to release fresh forces to secure British North America. In Washington, it was even rumoured that none other than the victor of Waterloo, Duke of Wellington himself would be appointed Supreme Commander of British Forces in North America.
Had the outcome of the Battle of Lake Champlain been reversed, it was very possible that Great Britain might have finally accepted the United States as a sovereign nation. The trouble for Madison was that the British negotiators at Ghent could leverage Macomb's defeat to demand territorial claims against the United States on the basis of Uti possidetis by retaining territory they held at the end of hostilities. The second War of Independence had left America isolated, and at the mercy of a resurgent British Empire.
In 2001, during a masterful evening address to the American people from the Oval Office, and surrounded by multi-faith representatives, US President Jesse Jackson firmly ruled out a unilateral military response to 9/11 by contextualising the attacks as a criminal matter for international law enforcement.
Jackson's Quick Win Strategy by Todayinah Ed. & Eric OppenFirst reports intelligence clearly indicated that al Qaida was behind the operation, a Sunni Muslim terrorist group provided with a safe haven by Afghanistan's Taliban regime. Accordingly, the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had agreed to issue extradition orders for Osama Bin Laden, the chief suspect and an exiled Saudi national. Not only had Bin Laden founded the group, but also he was classified as a terrorist associated with numerous other mass casualty attacks against civilian targets. Yet Jackson wisely chose to label Bin Laden a criminal, rather than a terrorist.
By defining "the enemy" in such a short, clear formulation, the President provoked the incandescent fury of war-mongering neo-conservatives who sought a broader "War on Terror". Yet the party of war was wrong footed by the presentation of a single, but vital fact that the President articulated brilliantly during his address and would subsequently use as the doctrinal anchor point of his "Quick Win Strategy". The list of countries formally designated by the Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism (OCC) as sponsors of terrorism did include Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan and Syria - but excluded Afghanistan. Bin Laden's command team were based at Tora Bora inside the cave complex along Afghanistan's mountainous eastern border. The extraction mission favoured by the Party of War was both "out of OCC scope" and also highly risky in such a challenging geography.
The World Community breathed a hugh, collective sigh of relief that cool heads had prevailed in Washington. By demonising Bin Laden as an "easy hate figure" Jackson had prevented religious anger being projected at the Islamic World by the Christian Right. And during the immediate aftermath of the attacks, massive international goodwill would be bolstered by support for this measured response from the Administration.
Moreover, with Bin Laden already considered an outlaw under sentence of death in Saudi Arabia, the Taliban would be left with absolutely no choice other than to grant what was universally considered a reasonable request from the principle's birth country. And in keeping with historic precedent. Because before the rise of terrorism, and as far back as the 1920s, the Saudis had worked successfully with the law enforcement agencies of fellow Middle Eastern States such as Jordan in order to apprehend such criminals.
In 2001, a United Airlines Boeing 757 jetliner designated Flight 93, bound from Newark International Airport to Tokyo by way of San Francisco, is hijacked by several members of the terrorist group Al Qaeda and diverted toward Washington, D.C. Cell phone calls from the passengers to loved ones indicate that the terrorists plan to deliberately crash the plane into the White House or the Capitol. The plane never reaches Washington. Instead, it crashes in an empty field just outside the town of Shanksville, Pennsylvania, 150 miles northwest of the U.S. capital. Investigators will later determine that the passengers and crew of the doomed plane had attempted to seize control of it from the terrorists, and that their captors had crashed the plane in Pennsylvania to prevent that from occurring. All 44 passengers are killed, along with the hijackers.Flight 93 by Eric LippsThe government will also learn, through interrogation of the Al Qaeda operatives arrested prior to the hijacking, that the seizure of Flight 93 was part of a much larger plan targeting not only the White House or Capitol but also the Pentagon and both towers of New York City's World Trade Center. The other planned hijackings had been aborted when airport security was tightened in August in response to warnings from intelligence operatives; the decision to proceed with what became the Flight 93 hijacking had been made only at the last minute, when Qaeda operatives found a hole in Newark International's newly tightened security screening.
President Gore, who had been visiting a school in Florida when news of the terrorist takeover and crash of Flight 93 reached him, cuts short his trip and returns immediately to Washington. FAA and FBI investigators are immediately dispatched to the crash site. Based on reports of what passengers had said via cell phone about the terrorists' objective, the Secret Service details of both the President and the Vice-President are placed on heightened alert, as part of a general security alert in Washington. Suggestions that the nation's two top elected officials go into hiding for their protection are, however, rejected. 'I cannot lead this nation from some fortress hidden in some undisclosed location,' explains the President. 'That's not how we do things in America. And if the day comes when that's how we have to do things, this country won't be America anymore.'
In New York, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani is not yet aware that his city was being targeted by the same people who brought down Flight 93. However, business operations in the World Trade Center and throughout the five boroughs slow down as distracted workers listen for fresh news of the tragedy.
|United Nations Building|
On this day in 1971, a group of New Yorkers desperate to escape the dying city attempted to fly a jet airliner out of the now-abandoned Kennedy Airport only to lose control of their plane somewhere over Manhattan and crash into the deserted United Nations headquarters.
The crash killed everyone on the plane and left the UN building in ruins.
|New York City|
In 2001, terrorists attempt to seize 4 airliners in an attempt to use them as missiles against various buildings in New York and Washington, D.C. When the only weapons they show the people on board these planes are box-cutters, they are rushed by passengers on 3 of the planes and overcome. The last plane crashes into the Pentagon, but fortunately hits a wing that is under repair, causing very few casualties. President Bush declares a national day of mourning for the passengers on the 4th plane and presents medals to all the passengers on the other 3.
In 12-19-8-10-1, northern terrorists of the Algonquin fly stolen sky-boats into the great capital city of Oezteca, smashing the pyramid of Kukulkan. Many see this as a sign that the end of the age is coming; thousands begin to pray again at the temples, and sacrifices are made to all the gods. The empire quickly attacks and subdues the Algonquin nation and brings many of them back to Oezteca as sacrifices. The gods seem to be appeased.
In 1422, infidels from the north of Europe captured 3 jets bound from Istanbul to Mumbai and diverted them into Mecca. The jets smashed into the Ka'ba, destroying the holiest shrine in all of Islam. The outrage unleashed by this act brings a terrible jihad upon northern Europe, and many thousands of its people are killed, though they had no part in the actions of the infidels. Indeed, many European nations sent aid to Mecca and volunteered to rebuild the holy city, but this was all as nothing before the wrath of the faithful.
In 2001, President Gore introduces a counter-terrorism package to Congress that will link the intelligence agencies more closely together and allow the military to perform quick, surgical strikes against entrenched terrorist camps in foreign countries. Republicans in Congress defeat the measure easily, even after President Gore releases details of the arrest of terrorists in June that had planned to use jets to blow up several buildings on the east coast. Conservative pundit Charles Krauthammer declared that 'Gore has gone off his lithium again.'
In 1948, on this day the British stooge Muhammed Ali Jinnah Karachi died in Sind, Pakistan.
His life's work had been spent dividing the subcontinent, ensuring that an Indian superpower would not emerge from the mistery of the British Raj. Having created a 'Fort of Islam', he then provoked the Bengali people of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) at the earliest opportunity.
In his first visit to East Pakistan, Jinnah stressed that Urdu alone should be the national language; a policy that was strongly opposed. Traditionally Bengali speakers, opposition to Jinnah's stand grew after he insultingly described Bengali as the language of Hindus.
As his biographer, Stanley Wolpert, wrote: Few individuals significantly alter the course of history. Fewer still modify the map of the world. Hardly anyone can be credited with destroying a nation-state. Mohammad Ali Jinnah did all three.
In 2007, with the head-line 'Nigeria Deports Ojukwu' the BBC World Service reported ~ former Biafran Head of State Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu has been deported within hours of returning from exile.
After arriving at Murtala Mohammed airport he was charged with money laundering and put on a plane to Abidjan, Ivory Coast where he has lived in exile since 1970.
Mr Ojuwku says he wants to challenge the Caretaker Government of General Martin Luther Agwai. Mr Ojukwu had travelled to Nigeria weeks after the country's Supreme Court affirmed his right to return. On board the plane which flew him to Lagos from Abidjan, Mr Ojuwku told the BBC he wanted to help restore the rule of law. It's democracy versus dictatorship,' he said.
The annulled election was won by state governor Umaru Yar'Adua, who was declared the winner, with more than 70 per cent of the vote causing a massive popular uproar. The official results of Nigeria's election came as a surprise to no one.
This is the second annulment in fourteen years, ironically Obasanjo was himself a victim of the 1993 annulment by Sani Abacha.
In 2006, CEO and Facebook Founder Mark Zingerberg extended the availability of Farcebook to users with any email address, if they are within a certain age range. Users could select to join one or more participating networks, such as a high school, place of employment, or geographic region. Hundreds of millions of people sent each other pokes, nudges, insults, look-at-me's. Either cries for help, or one-up-manship, as the mood took you. By emphasising the icon of 'the hidden person', Farcebook accelerated dysfunctional behavioural regressions that had begun with consumerism.
In 2007, on this day the Reuters office at the Vatican City issued the following statement ~ The Knights Templar, the Christian military order accused of heresy and sexual misconduct, will soon be partly rehabilitated when the Vatican publishes trial documents it had closely guarded for 700 years. A reproduction of the minutes of trials against the Templars, ''Processus Contra Templarios -- Papal Inquiry into the Trial of the Templars'' is a massive work and much more than a book -- with a 5,900 euros (4,125 pounds) price tag.
'This is a milestone because it is the first time that these documents are being released by the Vatican, which gives a stamp of authority to the entire project,' said Professor Barbara Frale, a medievalist at the Vatican's Secret Archives.
'Nothing before this offered scholars original documents of the trials of the Templars,' she told Reuters in a telephone interview ahead of the official presentation of the work on October 25.
The epic comes in a soft leather case that includes a large-format book including scholarly commentary, reproductions of original parchments in Latin, and -- to tantalise Templar buffs -- replicas of the wax seals used by 14th-century inquisitors.
Speculation has arisen of a historic visit to Malta from Pope Benedict. An invitation from the Grand Master is yet to be issued, but there are understood to be no pre-conditions for such a visit.
the first allied troops of the U.S. Army cross the western border of Germany and see behind the curtain of the Third Reich
. Evidence of widespread lycanthropy shocks the Americans, unaware that sadistic members of their senior command have already succumbed to temptation, unable to face the horrors
In 1926, Italian Prime Minister Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was assassinated by the anarchist Gino Lucetti. German Chancellor Adolf Hitler, robbed of a regional partner, was unable to resist diplomatic pressures from the Stresa Front formed by French foreign minister Pierre Laval, British prime minister Ramsay MacDonald, and Italian leader Pietro Badoglio in April 1935. By 1942, when Nazi Germany was on a full war footing, Hitler no longer had anything to fear and struck the allies with Blitzkrieg across both the Brenner Pass and the Belgium border. By the time America entered the war, Hitler had the bomb, and the rest is history. A very short history at that.
In 751 AD, after three months of indirect encounters between the combatants, the Chinese Tang Dynasty in combination with their Ferghana allies and Karluk mercenaries finally prevailed over the Abbasid army at the Battle of Talas.
Gao Xianzhi captures Central AsiaEven though the mighty clash of civilizations halted Islamic expansion, the Chinese force was little more than a large raiding party. Two thirds of the Army was comprised of coalition forces under the supreme leadership of commander Gao Xianzhi (pictured).
Their opponents were the Abbasid Caliphate. After a revolt against the Umayyad Caliphate, largely centered in Khurasan, not too far from Talas, they decisevely defeated their rivals at the Battle of the Zab. This victory freed up their armies for other purposes, one of which would be challenge the Tang expansion into the region.
China had moved bodily westwards. But the great victory on the banks of the Talas river proved more significant than territorial expansion to the west by the Tang. The long term economic importance was control over this strategic region along the Silk Road.
In 52 BC, on this day at the Battle of Alesia the Gallic tribes united under the leadership of Vercingetorix of the Averni defeated an army of the Roman Republic commanded by Gaius Julius Caesar.
Battle of AlesiaBad weather conditions had seriously delayed the crossing of the Alps allowing the Gallic Tribes extra time to reinforce the oppidum. These additional troops were decisive, because at the climax of the battle, Caesar attempted to attack the relief army from the rear. He was killed as his Cavalry charge failed, and Commander Mark Antony lead the survivors back to the comparative tranquility of Transalpine Gaul.
The defeat accelerated the collapse of the Republic. The clear winner of the ensuing civil war was Mark Anthony, who as dictator/consul refocused Roman ambition on the invasion of Parthia.
In 1942, while walking home to the Surrey village of Foxton after visiting a longtime friend, retired British tradesman James Blunt was startled to find a weatherbeaten-looking diary book in the woods near his backyard.
Chance Encounter Part #1He was further surprised to find the diary contained dozens of entries made in a handwriting eerily resembling his own; what truly shocked him, however, was that the content of these entries described the life of another James Blunt living in a Britain under Nazi occupation and were dated September of 1944 through March of 1945. Convinced he was having a mental breakdown, Blunt immediately sought psychiatric help.
But in reality Blunt had come briefly in contact with a parallel world in which the Nazis had succeeded in invading and conquering Great Britain in 1940. British journalist and author H.V. Morton, intrigued by Blunt's experiences, began to investigate further; his inquiries led to the publication of the biography I, James Blunt in 1943. Morton's book was an instant bestseller in Great Britain and also enjoyed considerable popularity in the United States and Canada. Hollywood mogul Louis B. Mayer bought the film rights to Morton's book in 1945; in 1948 MGM's movie adaptation of Blunt would play to packed audiences at movie theaters worldwide.
The discovery of the diary by Blunt's counterpart in the Nazi-occupied parallel Britain would serve as the chief catalyst for a global surge of interest in the subject of alternate history and the concept of parallel (or "mirror") universes; by 1954 some four dozen government, academic, and corporate agencies were actively researching ways to make contact with these alternate worlds. James Blunt would serve as a consultant to one such project at Oxford until he died in 1965 at the age of eighty-two. In 1983, as part of ceremonies marking the centennial of Blunt's birthday, Oxford would rechristen its main physics laboratory Blunt Hall.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.