In 1925, following an emergency appendectomy President of Germany Friedrich Ebert entered septic shock. But despite the 25-50 percent mortality rate he managed to pull through and see out the rest of his term of office.
Friedrich Ebert lives longerEbert suffered from gallstones and frequent bouts of cholecystitis. He became acutely ill in mid-February 1925, from what was believed to be influenza. His condition deteriorated over the following two weeks, and at that time he was thought to be suffering from another episode of gallbladder disease.
Essentially a Social Democrat, he was viewed by many on the left as a betrayer due to his use of the Freikorps against the Spartacist Uprising. Punished at the ballot box, he was convincingly defeated by Paul von Hindenburg.
Out of office, Germany entered a new period of uncertainty and voter's memories sharply dimmed. Ebert re-emerged as a candidate for the Weimar Coalition, replacing the ageing von Hindenburg. And he then completed a remarkable comeback to win the 1932 Presidential election and rescue Weimar Republic from extremists.
In 1844, in an accidental explosion that caused many superstitious Americans to believe the office of President had become cursed, John Tyler was killed less than three years after the death of William Henry Harrison due to illness.
President Tyler Killed in AccidentDuring a party aboard the USS Princeton (the first screw stream ship in the Navy), some 400 guests were treated to displays of modern technology, including the 12-inch cannon known as the Peacemaker. It had been fired twice successfully over co-designer John Ericsson's warning that the gun was not ready. The third firing, a tribute as they passed Washington's home at Mount Vernon, caused the cannon to explode. Tyler, who was eager to impress young Julia Gardiner of his virility despite being a 54-year-old widower, had hopped up the ladder onto the deck, just in time to catch shrapnel to his head. Julia's father, New York businessman David Gardiner, and Secretary of State Abel P. Upshur were also among the casualties in the worst peacetime explosion to that point.
Mourning for the disaster included curiosity at another unprecedented occurrence: the ascension of a President pro tempore of the Senate to the office of President of the United States. After the death of Harrison, Tyler had been the first Vice-President to assume the office, though many such as John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay thought that he was meant to fulfill a role rather than be a wholly new president. Despite being nicknamed "His Accidency", Tyler went about resigning from the Whig political party and launching his own economic policy. He vetoed bills for a National Bank repeatedly, causing his cabinet to resign in disgust. While Tyler had a few supporters, such as Daniel Webster, he fought with the Whigs so much that they initiated the first impeachment hearings against him, though it would ultimately be voted down. Tyler's greatest separation from the Whigs, however, was the potential annexation of the Republic of Texas. The matter had been raised before in 1837 with a Texas proposal that was declined by President Martin van Buren. Tyler had Secretary of State Upshur begin work on a treaty, but it remained incomplete at the time of their deaths. What Tyler had planned to be the great issue of the election of 1844 was a political afterthought.
A new story by Jeff ProvineAs President pro tempore of the Senate, North Carolina Whig Willie Person Mangum became the eleventh president of the United States. Mangum was something of a reversal of Tyler, having left the Democratic Party in 1834 after declaring himself a Whig. He left politics and reinvented his career, working as part of a failed Whig plot to nominate four men for president to block out Martin van Buren in 1836 before returning triumphantly to the Senate in 1840. When New Jersey Senator Samuel L. Southard resigned from the Senate in 1842 due to his failing health, Mangum came onto the track that would accidentally make him president. Where Tyler had broken with the Whigs, Mangum worked alongside party leader Henry Clay to institute as much of his American System as possible with the Whig majority in the Senate, though the Democrats controlled the House and resisted several proposed tariffs. A new National Bank was established to capitalize on the rebounding economy after the Panic of 1837, and numerous transportation improvement projects began. These projects would be the main issue of the election of 1844 when Henry Clay narrowly defeated Martin van Buren with the promise of extending the National Road to Oregon and clarifying American control there rather than joint-rule with Britain.
The issue of annexation arose again after the California Republic won its independence from Mexico in 1846 under men such as Mexican general Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo and John C. Fremont. The republic proposed annexation by the United States, but Henry Clay politely declined. Such an annexation might have sparked war with Mexico, who was already upset over American soldiers unofficially participating in the rebellion, seemingly a mirror to Texas. The move is believed to have cost Clay and the Whigs the election of 1848 that gave the White House to Democrat Lewis Cass despite the efforts of the Free Soil Party under Martin van Buren to limit slavery in the territories.
Settlers poured westward on improved roads (including many government-funded rail projects), giving rebirth to the question of slavery in federal territories. Popular sovereignty became the strategy for Kansas and Nebraska Territories, which turned into guerilla warfare as men committed to both sides fought to protect interests. Alongside this issue came the discovery of gold in the newly founded California Republic, which spawned a renewed call for Manifest Destiny. With the approval of Britain, the United States annexed California, prompting Mexico to declare war. The Republic of Texas came as an ally, winning many victories and expanding its territory in the resulting treaty in 1854, which also brought the Republic of Sonora to the US. Some suggested annexing Texas as well, but no formal proposal was made as abolitionists saw it as an extension of slavery and the general attitude of Texas (which had been independent for over a generation) felt best to stay independent.
In 1860, the election of Republican Abraham Lincoln caused the South to declare its independence, inviting Texas to join in a confederation, which it considered before declining and remaining neutral. The war was finished by 1864, and the question of slavery was answered in the United States, though it remained legal in Texas until the 1880s. Texas and the US continued diplomatic relations despite being on opposing sides of the French intervention in Mexico. Suggestions for annexation arose again in the 1890s with a new wave of expansionism, but conservative Texans valued independence while local businesses hoped to hold onto the growing oil industry there. Over the next century, Texans would continue to be friendly with Americans, even joining the Allies in the Second World War, though its production-based economy was especially crippled by the Great Depression. Today it stands as a close trade-partner with the United States, but still fiercely independent.
In 1844, on this day a cannon malfunction on the USS Princeton kills President Tyler plus the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Navy, and New Yorker David Gardiner, among others.
11th President of the United States 1844-5The Event: a cannon malfunction on the USS Princeton kills President Tyler's Secretary of State, Secretary of the Navy, and New Yorker David Gardiner, among others.
In our timeline Tyler not only survived the crash, but he actually ended up marrying Gardiner's daughter Julia, whom he comforted in the aftermath of the explosion. In all possible senses of the term, Tyler got lucky. But .. what if he hadn't?
A new article from Io9The Successor: President of the Senate pro tempore Willie Mangum (pictured) of North Carolina.
Why the alternate history novel should be written now:
Tyler had no vice president, having succeeded William Henry Harrison after the old general died a month into his term. Known as "His Accidency", Tyler had waged a three-year war with pretty much everybody in Washington for the right to be the actual, full-blooded president, not just an acting president. This ultimately led to Tyler's entire cabinet resigning and his expulsion from the Whig party. After all that, what sort of authority could Mangum have possibly had, especially when the constitution made it quite clear he would only have been the acting president for certain. With over a year before a new president could be sworn in, would Washington have ground completely to a standstill? Can you even imagine? (Don't answer that.)
OK, fine, I'll admit it. Pretty much all political history between Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln is deathly boring. But how about ..
To be continued
In 1801, following the unexpected death of Toussaint L'Ouverture, Napoleon Bonaparte redirected his attention from the revolt in Haiti to his grander ambitions for the vast territory of Louisiana; L'Empereur sends his brother-in-law General Charles Leclerc with thousands of troops and numerous warships to establish French control of New Orleans.
Long Tom's War of 1801Expecting the French to clamp down on the rights of Americans to use the Mississippi River to float their goods and produce to New Orleans for overseas shipment, US farmers and traders howl in protest. In principle, President Thomas Jefferson sides with the British, threatening "The day France takes possession of New Orleans, we must marry ourselves to the British fleet and nation". But he hides behind negotiations for two years, needing that time in order to reverse himself on disbanding the army and fleet his predecessor John Adams was constructing."The day France takes possession of New Orleans, we must marry ourselves to the British fleet and nation" Jefferson finally made the offer of a military alliance in 1803; sensing a unique opportunity to humiliate Napoleon, the Prime Minister of Great Britain, William Pitt the Younger, seizes the offer with both hands. As soon as the news reaches Washington DC, the US declares war on France.
Not for the first time, "Long Tom" demonstrated that his mind was a bundle of contradictions; a strict follower of the constitution who was prepared to bend the rules, a slave owner who hated slavery, a white supremacist who fathered dual heritage children, a balanced budget advocate who died $100,000 in debt. And now, a revolutionary founding founder who was prepared to ally with his bitter enemy, the British in order to prevent Napoleon from creating a vast new French empire on the North American continent.
In 1838, on this day the famous Canadien insurrectionist Robert Nelson encamped at Alburg in the State of Vermont with some 300 men. He proclaimed the independence of Lower Canada and distributed copies of a declaration of independence.
Miracle at Alberg
The 1838 declaration was primarily inspired by the 1776 United States Declaration of Independence and the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, but it also included some other political ideas that were popular in the 19th century ~ ...whereas we can no longer suffer the repeated violations of our dearest rights, and patiently support the multiplied outrages and cruelties of the Government of Lower Canada,
WE, in the name of the people of Lower Canada, acknowledging the decrees of a Divine Providence, which permits us to put down a Government, which hath abused the object and intention for which it was created, and to make choice of that form of Government which shall re-establish the empire of justice - assure domestic tranquillity - provide for common defence - promote general good, and secure to us and our posterity the advantages of civil and religious liberty,
That from this day forward, the PEOPLE OF LOWER CANADA are absolved from all allegiance to Great Britain, and that the political connexion between that Power and Lower Canada, is now dissolved.
That a REPUBLICAN form of Government is best suited to Lower Canada, which is this day declared to be a REPUBLIC.
That under the Free Government of Lower Canada, all persons shall enjoy the same rights: the Indians shall no longer be under any civil disqualification, but shall enjoy the same rights as all other citizens in Lower Canada.
The movement for the independence of Lower Canada would result in the creation of an independent nation-state, today's Republic of Quebec.
The rebellion of the Patriotes Canadiens of Lower Canada is often seen as the example of what might have happened to the United States of America if the American Revolutionary War had succeeded. In Quebec, the rebellion (as well as the parliamentary and popular struggle) is now commemorated as the Journee nationale des Patriotes (National Patriotes Day). It has become a symbol for the Quebecois independence.
In 1844, President John Tyler, who had himself been raised to the presidency by the death of his predecessor William Harrison, is killed by the explosion of an experimental cannon aboard the USS Princeton.
Death of John TylerTyler had no vice-president to succeed him, so the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Virginian John Winston Jones, assumed the high office.
President Jones, who had been planning on retiring, found that the power of the presidency was quite intoxicating, and used the influence he had as the incumbent to secure the Democratic Party's nomination for the 1844 elections. He won against the Whig candidate, Senator Henry Clay, in a hotly contested and close election.
His stridently pro-Southern policies rubbed the northern states the wrong way, and Henry Clay, although a Southerner himself, used this disaffection to hobble Jones' power. An article by Robbie TaylorThe conflict between them is widely attributed to the shortening of Jones' life, something Clay expressed little remorse over in later years
When President Jones died in 1847, his vice-president, James K. Polk, assumed office in the middle of a war with Mexico and widespread dissatisfaction with the government. Polk's mismanagement of the Mexican War led to a wave of secessions from states bordering Mexico, and the diminishment of the once-bright shining star of the US.
On this day in 1983, the NWA world tag team titles were declared vacant after Bad News Allen walked out on Rick Rude following a heated argument between the Enforcers teammmates over which one of them was to blame for the team's loss in a non-title match against Barry Windham & Rick Steamboat.
That same night, Roddy Piper won the NWA world heavyweight championship from Ric Flair.
|Roddy Piper|In 1961,
Comrade President Joel Rosenberg names Henry Kissinger
, a refugee from the reactionary Kingdom of Germany, his Senior National Security Advisor. It is Kissinger's advice that leads to the escalation of forces in North Chile, and the quagmire that the Soviet States of America was mired in there.
In 1918, something springs the trap laid by the trio of Mikhail von Heflin, Velma Porter and Dr. Thaddeus McCaine. While Porter and von Heflin struggle with the creature, Dr. McCaine finds himself entranced by it - with his help, the creature taps into the ley line in Brigamere and thrusts von Heflin and Porter into a dimensional pocket. It then resumes the form of the young widow, and, with McCaine still in her power, leaves the inn and digs her way through the snow to the physical location of the ley line.
In 1938, the German Underground appoints Hannah Reitsch head of the Luftwaffe, an air force they are building with assistance from their neo-Nazi comrades from the future. Her daring exploits turn the Luftwaffe into the most feared tool in the G.U.'s military arsenal.
In 1996, Air Force liaison Helen Rich proposes to President Ralph Shephard that he launch America's nuclear arsenal at the troops invading them from occupied Canada, New England and Mexico. Shephard refuses; he is still unwilling to believe that the American heartland can be taken by foreign troops.
In 1993, FBI agents and agents for the Texas Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms seize cult leader David Koresh as he jogs in Waco, Texas. He had been accused of stockpiling weapons and abusing the children of several of his cult members at his compound in Mt. Carmel, Texas. When his followers learn of this, they think that Armageddon has arrived and storm into Waco to retrieve their master; in the horrific gun battle, over 60 of the cult members, as well as 23 law enforcement agents and 17 bystanders, are killed in the Waco streets. Dozens more are wounded before order is restored.
In 1708, a slave revolt begins in Newton, Long Island, New York colony. The Africans at the heart of the revolt make contact with Algonquin in the area and convince them that every slave in the colony will come over to their side if they attack. This successful strategy drives the British from New York in the 7-year long Algonquin war.
In 1931, Sir Oswald Mosley, disappointed by the two main parties in British politics, founds the New Party. Arguing for elections based on class lines rather than geographical location, the New Party is unpopular until the full effects of the Great Depression hit England. Mosley's ranks swell with the unemployed, and he is elected Prime Minister in 1932. He makes common cause with continental fascists Mussolini of Italy, Franco of Spain and Hitler of Germany during his premiership, but where they are all gone by the end of the decade, Mosley's rule of Britain has only begun.
In 1966, Liverpool's Cavern Club, where superstar Pete Best had gotten his start, closes for the final time. Best regretted the closing, saying, 'I had some cool times in there,' but did little to help. Some think that he resented the club's owner because he had continued booking Best's old band, The Silver Beatles, and that's why he refused to assist them in staying open.
In 1934, on this day American author, activist, and political figure Ralph Nader was born in Winsted, Connecticut.
Birth of President-elect Ralph NaderNader came to prominence in 1965 with the publication of his book Unsafe at Any Speed, a critique of the safety record of American automobile manufacturers in general, and most famously the Chevrolet Corvair. In 1999, an New York University panel of journalists ranked Unsafe at Any Speed 38th among the top 100 pieces of journalism of the 20th century.
Two years later [in 2001], he was chosen by the people in the biggest election shocker in a century. But tragically, he was assassinated before he could assume office.
Although there was some constitutional question about it, the Vice-President-elect, Nader's running mate took the oath of office later that month and became the first woman president in American history.
Winona (meaning "first daughter" in Ojibwe) LaDuke was born in 1959 in Los Angeles, California, to Vincent and Betty (Bernstein) LaDuke. Her father, an Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) from White Earth Reservation in Minnesota, enrolled his daughter as a member of the tribe at an early age. As a young man, he had been an activist on treaty rights and tribal issues, particularly the loss of lands. The reservation was one-tenth of its original size, and the losses contributed to unemployment and other problems of its people.
In 1951, on this day passage of the proposed Twenty-Second Amendment was ratified by the requisite number of states.
Non-Consecutive Third TermThe three-term FDR Presidency  was a call to action for both the US Congress and also the states legislatures. His selfish presumption of running again in 1940 had set aside a historic precedent laid down at the beginning of the Republic. Because George Washington's voluntary "Farewell" after two terms was due in part to a shared belief that the Office was greater than the Holder, and the whispers of mortality that the previously unbreakable General had begun to hear as he entered his mid-sixties. And of course as events transpired, FDR's unplanned expiry in office had wrought chaos, ushering in the catastrophic Henry A. Wallace Presidency.
To prevent re-occurrence, it was decided to provide for a non-consecutive third term that would reserve the opportunity for a healthier individual and also put pressure on an under-performing successor. The system only went into operation once when Bill Clinton defeated George W. Bush in 2004. However Clinton was not quite as healthy as he looked; he died of a heart attack and was replaced by his VP John Kerry.
In 1933, fifteen years of escalating political violence climaxed with the burning down of the German parliament building. And by the time the police and firemen arrived, the main Chamber of Deputies was engulfed in flames.
Reichstag fireReichskanzler Anton Drexler firmly placed the blamed on the German Communist Party but in fact his own Nazi Party shared the same view that democracy was an artificial imposition of the Western victor powers.
And so the struggle to sweep away the final vestiges of the Weimar Republic entered the end game. Upon the death of von Hindenburg, Drexler briefly attempted to combine the offices of Head of Government and Head of State into the single role of Fuhrer. But instead it was a miscalculation that opened the door of the Chancellery to Comrade Hitler. This is a teaser for Chris Oakley's Comrade Hitler thread.
In 1917, fortieth President of the United States John Bowden Connally, Jr. was born on this day in Floresville, Texas. An installment of our variation of Eric Lipp's No Chappaquiddick thread where JFK survives Dallas.
Birth of POTUS John ConnallyUnder President Jack Kennedy, he served as Secretary of the Navy before his election as the 39th Governor of Texas. And he was a passenger in the car when Jackie Kennedy was killed by a disgruntled former marine, Lee Harvey Oswald.
Only seventeen days after the assassination, the FBI published a report in which Director J. Edgar Hoover concluded that the motive was a grudge dating back to 1962 when the former Secretary of the Navy turned down a reconsideration of Lee Harvey Oswald's dishonourable discharge from the US Marine Corps. The decision prevented him from applying for the service entitlement benefits he was seeking to raise his young family. In a remorseful letter to the Navy dated 30th January 1962 he regretted his lie about the real reason for leaving the service, a false declaration which had resulted in the discharge being changed from honourable to dishourable, standard procedure in the US Marine Corps.
After leaving the Governorship in 1969, he made a remarkable transition to the GOP, serving in President George Romney's single-term cabinet as United States Secretary of Treasury. Romney was defeated by Ted Kennedy in the general election of 1972, and within five years, Connally was being talked of as the runaway candidate for fortieth President of the United States.
In 1886, on this day twelfth Confederate President Hugo LaFayette Black was born in Ashland, Alabama.
Hugo L. Black
12th Confederate President
March 4, 1927- 1933He was the youngest of the eight children of William Lafayette Black and Martha Toland Black. He was born on February 27, 1886, in a small wooden farmhouse in Ashland, Alabama, a poor, isolated rural Clay County town in the Appalachian foothills. Because his brother Orlando had become a medical doctor, Hugo decided at first to follow in his footsteps. At age seventeen, he left school and enrolled at Birmingham Medical School. However, it was Orlando who suggested that Hugo should enroll at the University of Alabama School of Law. After graduating in June 1906, he moved back to Ashland and established a legal practice. His legal practice was not a success, so Black moved to Birmingham in 1907 to continue his law practice, and came to specialize in labor law and personal injury cases.
A new article from the "Two Americas" thread on Althistory WikiaHe was elected to the Birmingham City Commission in 1911, serving as a police court judge, an experience that would be his only judicial experience prior to the Supreme Court. In 1912, Black resigned that seat in order to return to practicing law full-time. He was not done with public service; in 1914, he began a four-year term as the Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney.
Three years later, during World War I, he resigned in order to join the Confederate Army, eventually reaching the rank of captain. In 1921, Black would gain popular attention by defending E. R. Stephenson in the trial for the murder of Fr. James E. Coyle.
Black would first serve as the twelfth president of the CSA before going on to become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the CSA. As in our time line, he would be a textualist when it came to the CS Constitution. For this reason, full civil rights of black Confederates was not possible until after his death in 1971.
In 1968, on this day anchorman Walter Cronkite closed "Report from Vietnam: Who, What, When, Where, Why?" with an upbeat editorial report concluding that the American military had achieved a remarkable feat of arms in defeating the Tet Offensive.
Report from VietnamA veteran of second world war news correspondence which bordered on propaganda, Cronkite instinctively believed that "smart" journalists needed to support the American military. However that belief had been shattered during his recent visit to Vietnam. Chaperoned on a velvet-trimmed tour by the top brass in Da Nang, he had been button-holled by a new generation of journalists such as William Safer who had drawn his attention to some alarming falsehoods that he was able to verify first hand.
However, events were to outpace Cronkite's growing cynicism. The chief source of the falsehoods, William Westmoreland, was recalled after making a MacArthur-style insane request for two hundred thousand more ground troops to expand the war into neighboroughing countries. His replacement, General Abrhams promised a move towards supporting the Southern Vietnamese rather than fighting the war on their behalf, and Cronkie decided that on balanace he was prepared to give President Johnson the benefit of the doubt. And despite the discordant reports from other media channels, middle America was reluctantly willing to accept the viewpoint of their most trusted news icon.
In 1860, in perhaps the greatest turning point of the career of the sixteenth president of the United States, Lincoln gave a speech that transcended his figure from a joking yokel to a serious national force.
Lincoln Outlines his Ideas on SlaveryLincoln had been invited east to speak at a series of lectures held by Plymouth Church, where word had spread about his able debates with Illinois Senator Stephen M. Douglas. Much of the debates had been over the issue of slavery, particularly its expansion into the new territories gained from the Mexican-American War. Popular sovereignty had created Bleeding Kansas, where Free-Staters and Bloody Ruffians had killed dozens of people in the fight over whether the territory would become a free or slave state. It was obvious that this strategy could not continue, and the actions of vigilante John Brown had shown that abolitionists meant to end slavery completely, some by any means necessary.
When Lincoln accepted the invitation, he began to pore over legal and political precedence to determine what exactly the spirit of America thought of slavery. He worked for months, causing William Herndon, his law partner, to note, "No former effort in the line of speech-making had cost Lincoln so much time and thought as this one". After diligently outlining the careers and beliefs of each of the thirty-nine Founding Fathers of America, he traced twenty-one of them to speaking for limitation on slavery, particularly the matter of controlling its spread to new territories, first the Northwest Territory in the Ohio Valley, then the Louisiana Purchase. Rather than stop at this, however, he decided to show the future of what could be done by beginning the end of slavery in all states.
A new story by Jeff ProvineLincoln gave an enormous 7,000 word speech (one of the longest of his career), tackling nearly all of the angles on the issue of slavery. He commented on the flip-flopping of politicians such as his old rival Stephen Douglas and Chief Justice Roger Taney. He also rebuked those who suspected Republicans of being willing to resort to violence to end slavery and showed that they "have failed to implicate a single Republican in his Harper's Ferry enterprise" and that "John Brown was no Republican". Instead, the Republicans would do their work through the polls, legally and without force. To those who refused to acknowledge Federal authority and called for secession, he said, "But you will not abide the election of a Republican president! In that supposed event, you say, you will destroy the Union; and then, you say, the great crime of having destroyed it will be upon us! That is cool. A highwayman holds a pistol to my ear, and mutters through his teeth, "Stand and deliver, or I shall kill you, and then you will be a murderer!", a point that would be upheld by the Constitutional Unionists later in the election that November.
Later in the speech (which ended with a rallying cry to the Republican Party about their "sense of duty" and "right makes might"), he answered the question of what to do with freed slaves in a society where "a physical difference between the white and the black races which will forever forbid the two races living together on social or political equality" (a quote from his own 1858 speech in Charleston, IL) that rather segregation was the answer and that the Republicans ought to support efforts to "..colonize persons of African descent, with their consent, upon this continent or elsewhere, with the previously obtained consent of the government existing there". Perhaps most critically, he explained that ending slavery could also be a boon for the nation as freedmen could purchase freedom with government bonds, which would be repaid in full over a few years' taxes for the new citizen.
The speech was greeted by much applause, and one audience member described Lincoln with, "his face lighted up as with an inward fire; the whole man was transfigured. I forgot his clothes, his personal appearance, and his individual peculiarities.". Cooper Union proved to New Yorkers and Easterners overall that Lincoln would make a great campaign. At the 1860 Republican National Convention, Lincoln took the lead as other candidates had fallen back: William Seward the radical had bungled his attempts to moderate, Whigs distrusted Salmon Chase over tariffs, and Edward Bates was opposed by immigrants. Lincoln handily won the ticket, and, in November, won the election as the Democratic party was in pieces.
Many Southerners called to secede, but their voices were drowned out by many slaveholders who stood to make a great deal of money "liberating" their slaves with the government paying market rates to cover "loss of property" in voluntary compensated emancipation. While the Emancipation Act of 1862 was to be followed only at will, a wave of slaves hurried to gain their freedom. The question of what to do with so many freedmen (few embraced the idea of going back to Africa, despite the pamphlets of the American Colonization Society) was solved with the Homestead Act of 1862, populating much of the territories with free land proved up by former slaves. Lincoln's two terms further expanded federalism by promoting large works projects such as the Intercontinental Railway (completed in 1865), followed by an abandoned effort at digging a Panama Canal suggested by Representative Benjamin Butler.
War with Spain broke out in 1870 after the execution of Captain Joseph Fry and 52 others as pirates, leading to American capture of much of Spain's Caribbean holdings by 1872. It was an expansionistic dream long held by many Southerners, proud to see the Stars and Stripes above new capitals.
In 1917, on this day the twentieth second President of the Confederate States John Bowden Connally, Jr. was born in Floresville, Wilson Co., Texas.
22nd Confederate President
March 4, 1981 - 1987Connally was the 39th governor of Texas (1963-1969), Secretary of the Navy (1957-1962), Secretary of the Treasury (1975-80) and 22nd president of the Confederate States (1981-1987).
Suffering serious wounds from one of three bullets fired on visiting US president John F. Kennedy, governor Connally would go on to serve the treasury department under Jimmy Carter in an attempt to bring the nation out of a recession.
While in Richmond he had been visited by agents from the US FBI seeking aid in solving the open case of the Kennedy assassination. The Jackson administration had "dropped the ball" in pursuing the case in Texas in 1963. The assassin had eluded even the elite Texas Rangers as his trail disappeared in to US territory.
As president - he was 64 upon taking office in 1981 - Connally would convene an international commission which finally would solve the case.
The whole alternate biography is available Althistory Wiki.
In 6024 post-creation, Noah's voyage ended in desperate tragedy when a huge tidal wave dashed the great ark upon the rocky summit of Mount Ararat.
Naamah the BeautifulSaddened at the wickedness of mankind, Yahweh had sent a great deluge to destroy all life, but instructed Noah, a man "righteous in his generation", to build an ark and save a remnant of life from the Flood.
Out of a misguided sense of pity, Noah had given passage to the Fallen Angels who had defiled themselves with the daughters of men, bearing them the Nephilim. But their solemn promises had been broken, and the continued fornication had been concealed from Noah.
"Alas, how terrible is wisdom when it brings no profit to the man that's wise!" ~ SophoclesOne year into the voyage, Noah had released a dove to find land. On the second trip, the dove came back carrying an olive leaf in its beak (Genesis 8:11), which informed Noah that God had taken mercy on humanity and caused the flood to recede and physically showed there was some earth now above water level.
Deceived by the Nephilim, he was ignorant of enraged Yahweh's plan for mankind and despite their valourous attempts, the guilty angels were unable to lift Noah's family to safety and humanity perished at the last. As the waters began to recede, the task of resettlement would pass to the Nephilim. And the wicked would inherit the Earth.
In 1860, on this "frigid and stormy evening" the Presidential candidacy of Abraham Lincoln of Illinois was ripped apart by the tough crowd at the Great Hall of New York's newest college, Cooper Union. Because Lincoln had set himself the ambitious goal of convincing a demanding audience that he meant no threat to slavery whilst insisting that the institution itself was unmistakably evil.
Escaping HistoryHis track record gave some cause for optimism that he could pull off this duplicity. Because in the Senatorial race two years before, in argument, he had at least equalled, if not bested the winning candidate Stephen A. Douglas. However, outdoor "town hall" format meetings in rural Illinous were hardly a preparation for delivering a key note speech to the elite intelligentsia of New York City. "His clothes hung awkwardly on his gaunt and giant frame; his face was of a dark pallor, without the slightest tinge of color; his seamed and rugged features bore the furrows of hardship and struggle. His deep-set eyes looked sad and anxious". And therein lie the cause for Lincoln's over-confidence.
The two hour session began badly, and got worse in a hurry. Over a quarter of the seats were empty as Lincoln lurched towards the platform. And starting his address with the dysfluent "Mr. Cheerman ..". in a discordant frontier twang, his high-pitch tone jolted every listener in the Great Hall.
When an unfavourable photograph was taken by Mathew Brady, the rhetorical disaster was complete. "Brady and Cooper Union cost me the presidency" summarised Honest Abe. To paraphrase his own later words, he had "escaped history" altogether.
In 1864, on this day Walt Whitman (pictured as a young man) formed a Centennial Recovery Committee, promising to get America "back on track for '76". His candidacy for US President was declared in the city of Philadelphia, the poet's home for the past three years.
Crucifixion Day Part 4, A Very Different American Flagg, c1864Because Whitman had been in Washington City on that dreadful day after the defeat at Mannassas Junction. Confederate forces had seized the old Capital, and in the ensuing chaos, as the US Government fled the City, Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by the deranged stage actor John Wilkes Booth.
"The defeated [Union] troops commenced pouring over the Long Bridge at daylight, returning to Washington baffled, humiliated, panic-struck". ~ Walt WhitmanAnd so Whitman had arrived in Philadelphia, the new capital of the Union.
Very shortly, campaign posters would start to appear, making the bold announcement that "Somebody's go to put it all back together ... Walt Whitman just might be the man".
In 1837, word reaches Washington D.C. that British military forces have invaded Maine, taking advantage of the territory's remoteness from its nominal government in Boston.British Seize Maine by Eric Lipps
Northern congressmen call for immediate military action. In addition, they lash out angrily at their Southern colleagues, arguing that Southern refusal to allow Maine statehood has caused it to remain a vulnerable backwater. Joining in this criticism is presidential contender Daniel Webster of New Hampshire, who asks angrily whether 'Southern gentlemen would prefer the subjugation of American territory by the British crown to protect their own right to subjugate men of another race.'
It is a costly mistake for Webster. The still undecided presidential contest suddenly takes on a new look, as Webster's already limited support among slave-state congressmen evaporates completely, most of it going to South Carolina's Calhoun. Within days it will be clear that the Granite State's champion no longer has a chance of becoming President.
Acting President Andrew Jackson orders America?s small standing army and navy into action, and calls for volunteers to repel the 'British invader.' He makes no explicit effort to exploit the crisis to boost his chances of remaining in the White House, but nevertheless, his forceful response strengthens his support. He needs it: he had pointedly refused the support of any established party in his run for the White House in 1826 following Jefferson's death, and now, despite his having served capably first as Madison's vice-president, and as acting President since Madison's death, those chickens are coming home to roost. His lack of the full support of any one party has been critical in his inability to win a congressional majority for the presidency.
In 1960, Sir James Bond, famed agent of Britain's secret MI-6, was arrested at Israel's Ben Gurion airport on Sunday for trying to smuggle large trunk containing an encyclopedic collection of false passports
"What do you expect," Sir James said upon his release. "I'm a British spy. We're allowed to use false passports. No one else is." The British Embassy apparently agreed, stating "It's different when we do it."
Airport security also confiscated a License to Kill, signed by the director of MI-6. A spokesman for the Israeli Border Police claimed that "This license appears to have been used hundreds of times, but it is not valid on our territory". Other items confiscated from the legendary secret agent include a Walther PPK pistol, a silencer, "several liters of vodka martinis," and a gadget-packed watch containing poison darts, a strangle-wire, several gold sovereigns, and a bomb detonator.
In 1925, after a disastrous first attempt to organize a military organization around Adolf Hitler's ideas, his neo-Nazi benefactors from the future use him as a figurehead and create the German Undergound to combat the surprisingly successful Greater Zionist Resistance led by their comrade Astrid Pflaume.
In 1917, the 39th Governor of Texas John Connally was born. During the Vietnam War, Connally hawkishly urged Johnson to finish it by whatever military means necessary. That assertion included the assassination of John F Kennedy, and Connally's role in the conspiracy was revealed after his death in 1993. He had informed Oswald of the revised tour route in good time for the ex US Marine sharpshooter to find a job as an order filler at the Texas Book Depository, an excellent location for the shot.
In 1917, the 39th Governor of Texas John Connally was born.
During the Vietnam War, Connally hawkishly urged Johnson to finish it by whatever military means necessary. He was wasting his breath, LBJ already had every intention of doing precisely that.
In 1123 Post-Creation, with Achazia's minions subdued, Lucifer sends Michael and several angels to inform the Creator and assist Him in repairing the firmament. When they leave, Lucifer begins reordering Heaven, and sits upon the Throne of the Most High. The exhilaration of his victory brings back dark thoughts, but he suppresses them in the company of others.
In 1976, Ralph Shephard, still smarting from America's loss in Vietnam and his brief stint in jail for contempt of court, reforms the Constitutionalist Party he had led prior to going to prison. Consisting of a few hundred hard right-wingers at first, Shephard's charisma propels the young party to the highest reaches of American politics in a scant 8 years.
In 12-17-19-10-18, allied Sioux and Ojibwa warriors occupy the small hamlet of Wounded Knee in the Dakota Territory, the far northern reaches of the Oueztecan Empire. Imperial soldiers massacred them after a week-long standoff, which caused a general uproar in the Dakotas.
In 1917, Comrade John Connaly was born in Floresville, Texas. Comrade Connaly was elected governor of the Texas Soviet in 1958, and retained the office through 1967. His claim to fame, though, was the wound he suffered while riding as a passenger with Comrade President Joel Rosenberg when he was assassinated in Dallas.
In 1594, Henry Plantagenet seized the Papal Crown from his cousin, Pope Richard II and took the name of Pope Henry IV. This diversion of the Plantagenet line into a distaff branch has been blamed by many as the reason God cursed the Holy British Empire with the War of the Roses; others say it was Henry's dark arts that encouraged evil to grow within God's Realm.
In 1181, Hindus unhappy with the rule of the Muslim Moghuls launch a series of arson attacks in the great city of Mumbai, India. With Hindus abandoning large, mostly Muslim, sections of the city to their fiery fate, Mumbai was almost completely destroyed. This attack leads to a small war over the next decade between Hindu nationalists and the Moghuls.
In 1769, He'Que'Rana becomes the first Mlosh to speak in Parliament as a full member of the House of Lords. He had been among the first group of Mlosh that King George had ennobled, and enjoyed his membership in the peerage, although other lords often refused to be seen with him. Indeed, half of the House of Lords left the chamber when he stood to speak.
In 1594, Henry Plantagenet seized the Papal Crown from his cousin, Pope Richard II and took the name of Pope Henry IV. This diversion of the Plantagenet line into a distaff branch has been blamed by many as the reason God cursed the Holy British Empire with the War of the Roses; others say it was Henry's dark arts that encouraged evil to grow within God's Realm.
In 1033 AUC, Emperor Constantine of Rome was born in Naissus. While emperor, he flirted with the possibility of joining the cult of Christos, a Judean messianic religion that had gained a few converts in Rome, but felt that the restriction of worshipping only one god was too harsh.
In 1997, Robin Dennell from the Department of Prehistory and Archaeology at the University of Sheffield published the article 'The World's Oldest Spears' in Nature Magazine. Humans of 400,000 years ago were sophisticated big-game hunters. Complete hunting spears discovered in a German coal-mine puncture the idea that these people hadn't the technology or foresight to hunt systematically. One mystery remains. Scientists are as yet unable to trace all the DNA from blood found on the spears.
In 1973, the American Indian Movement, a small organization of aggrieved Native Americans, takes over the town of Wounded Knee, South Dakota. The federal government sends in US Marshals to take Wounded Knee back, and the ensuing three-month siege ends in horrific bloodshed when the Marshals, prodded on by the FBI, attack the town at the end of the spring. Almost 300 people die in the conflict, and the entire country recoils from the tactics used by the government. Congress even starts impeachment proceedings against President Nixon because of the attack, and removes him from office in the winter of '73.
In 1933, Germany's parliament building in Berlin, the Reichstag, was set on fire by agents provocateurs of the Nazi Party. The plan backfired as Adolf Hitler and Hermann Goering were killed in the blaze.
In 1977, just months short of his sixtieth birthday, former President Jack Kennedy succumbs to a rare endocrine disorder known as Addison's disease. An installment of our variation of Eric Lipp's No Chappaquiddick thread where JFK survives Dallas.
American TableauxHis state funeral in Washington, D.C. is attended by the elite from across the political spectrum: former Vice President and California Governor Dick Nixon, his successor in the White House, former President George Romney and civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. to name but a few.
And his younger brother, the current President Edward M. Kennedy who delivered the eulogy. This focused of course on the successes, the Apollo Mission, the Cuban Missiles Crisis and the negotiated peace in Indochina. But unfortunately, these memorable words had the unintended effect of casting an unfavourable light upon his own weak record of foreign policy.
Also present was the man who would inherit the worst of it, the Iranian Hostage Crisis. That was former Texas Governor John Connally who had made a remarkable transition to Republican since that fateful day in Dallas when Jackie Kennedy was killed by a disgruntled former marine, Lee Harvey Oswald. Within two years, Connally was being talked of as the runaway candidate for fortieth President of the United States. And Teddy was considering a return to the Senate, this time in California where he had campaigned in the 1960 election despite the reservations of his father Joseph P. Kennedy.
In 1932, on this day American singer-songwriter, actor, and author John R. "Johnny" Cash was born in Kingsland, Arkansas.
The Man in BlackHe was known for his deep, distinctive bass-baritone voice, for the "boom-chicka-boom" sound of his Tennessee Three backing band; for a rebelliousness, coupled with an increasingly somber and humble demeanor, for providing free concerts inside prison wall and for his dark performance clothing, which earned him the nickname "The Man in Black". Nevertheless he found both happiness and shared musical success with his wife of forty years, June Carter Cash. Soon after they met in 1966, they recorded the timeless classic Jackson.
A life-long advocate of the abolition of the death penalty, he was fortunate to have multiple connections into the White House. His wife was a distant cousin of Jimmy Carter. And his home in Hendersonville, twenty-five minutes north of Nashville was in the Congressional District of Al Gore, Jr. (Gore Snr. was also connected to June from her earlier performances with her legendary family on WSM radio).
Although Gore recognized that Cash was to the left of him on many issues, he appreciated his concern for liberal causes, social conditions and also wanted laws and policies that would help the poor and disadvantaged. Their policies would converge with the abolition of the death penalty, which Cash had advocated since his 1960's rendition of "25 minutes to go" a reflection of a doomed man waiting on death row. However after Gore was narrowly elected to the Presidency in 2000, this advocacy was nearly scuppered by June's near death experience from post-operative complications. Fortunately, she survived and they both spent their remaining years working alongside Gore on a national program that was ultimately successful in abolishing the death penalty.
In 1976, on this day Conservative challenger Ronald Reagan won the New Hampshire Primary by 1,250 votes beginning a string of victories that would force the 39th President of the United States Nelson Rockefeller (pictured) to concede the Republican Nomination by the time the race had reached North Carolina.
Rocky Goes Down"Rocky" was the second president in a row to reach the office without having to win an election. And many political observers had seriously doubted that the President's liberal views would survive the primary challenge from the former Governor of California. But then again few would have predicted that Reagan would crash to defeat in November at the hands of another former Governor, Jimmy Carter.
Serving briefly as America's third president in a single four-year term, the highlight of his short time in office would surely be his ceremonial leadership of the Nation's Bicentennial celebration. And the main beneficiary of that reduced tenure would be his Vice President George H.W. Bush. Because in the general election of 1980, he defeated Carter. By then Rockefeller had already died of a fatal heart attack, allegedly during a tryst with his twenty-year old secretary in January 1979. There was no little irony in this outcome, because of his notorious infidelity Prescott Bush had refused to back Rockefeller in his earlier Presidential Campaigns.
In 1888, on this day, the Stodgy Clergyman Thomas Vere Bayne informed Oxford Police that he feared his oldest friend, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson had been travelling up to East London to murder prostitutes in the guise of "Jack the Ripper".
Jabberwocky, RebootOf course the allegation that the real identify of the Whitechapel Murderer might be the stiff-backed, pale-skinned former Oxford don caused great dismay short of total surprise. Generally regarded as a dreary unpopular sociophobe with a creepy interest in young girls, certain unmistakable facts soon emerged that suggested it might perhaps be true. Because his multiple personality disorder was driven by s-xual p-rversions and drug use which in turn were triggered by his hidden tragedies and emotional frustrations.
An illuminating such incident had occurred during the winter of 1864 when the father of a young neighbor Alice Liddell cast his manuscript into fire and banned the author from entering his home. Unfortunately for Dodgson, that man was a dean of Oxford University, and the resulting uproar forced him to resign his post.
Subsequently, he appeared to descend further into a dreamscape; this inverted universe was his "looking-glass" world. But it was the authoring of the nonsense poem Jabberwocky that finally exposed him. Bayne told the police that he had discerned true evil in the stanza "His vorpal blade went snicker-snack". Because in some twisted way, Dodgson was trying to protect innocence, by killing it.
The police were indeed able to establish a pattern between his absences and the murders in Whitechapel. But they also discovered that Bayne had been undertaking some journeys of his own.
This alternate history was conceived by Robbie Taylor with a tenuous link to an unrelated story by Jeff Provine.
In 1846, on this day William Frederick ("Buffalo Bill") Cody was born near LeClaire in the Iowa Territory; his parents Isaac and Mary Cody were Canadian Quakers that could scarcely have imagined such a colourful career for their newborn son - decorated Civil War hero, bison hunter and of course the ultimate platform for showmanship, that of US President.
President William F. Cody Based on a suggestion by Mark TaylorCody earned his most popular nickname after the American Civil War by slaughtering four thousand two hundred American bison to service a contract to supply Kansas Pacific Railroad workers with buffalo meat.
But more significant was the Indian name of "Long Hair" a mark of respect that was earned at a time when Indians were facing the very real possibility of their own slaughter. Because at the age of just twelve he was captured by Sioux Indians. Fearing for his life, was released by Chief Rain-in-the-Face creating a special connection that he would sustain throughout his long life.
Hoping to exploit this connection, General Nelson A. Miles called on Cody to go to the Standing Rock Reservation and meet with Sitting Bull in the autumn of 1890. He was met en route by a military courier who carried instructions from President Benjamin Harrison personally ordering him to step down from General Miles' assignment to capture Sitting Bull1. Neither Miles or Harrison understood that Cody shared a profound sense of destiny with the Indians because he blatantly ignored the orders and negotated the surrender of the Lakotah leader.
Later in that decade he moved to Wyoming where he eventually became State Governor. Blessed by destiny, successful investments in the water irrigation business provided him with the funding for a race for the Presidency in 1904. In that campaign, he was matched for showmanship and charisma by the incumbent Vice President, Teddy Roosevelt but managed to pull off a narrow victory in the polls. And set about finally answering that call of destiny and repaying his debt to Chief Rain-in-the-Face by seeking justice for the plains Indians.
In 1993, a little after noon, a truck bomb exploded in the parking garage under the World Trade Center, setting off a chain of collapse that would bring down the two principle towers of the WTC complex.
World Trade Center Bombing Brings Down TowersThe North Tower (also known as Tower One) would hold for several minutes before giving way, toppling into the South Tower, which would also fall. While many office workers had just left for lunch, the buildings were largely occupied, and the bombing would kill nearly three thousand Americans and leave thousands more injured.
Downtown New York City became flooded with rescue operations and helping survivors amid the rubble. President Bill Clinton, just a month into his first term in the White House, appeared on national TV shortly thereafter to address Americans to bind together in this hour of need. A wave of fear washed over the nation, which had seen bombing attacks on foreign soil such as car bombings in Colombia and Turkey in the last month but never at home. A Pakistani had opened fire outside CIA Headquarters with an AK-47, but most had considered it a localized event rather than mass conspiracy. A new story by Jeff ProvineNew York Governor Mario Cuomo was quoted as admitting, "We all have that feeling of being violated. No foreign people or force has ever done this to us. Until now we were invulnerable".
America seemed to come to a standstill. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which had been climbing to untold heights over the past five years, suddenly plummeted. Only two days after the explosion, a rebuffed search warrant at the Branch Davidian ranch near Waco, Texas, turned into a gun battle. As fear turned to panic of widespread terrorism or harsh government crackdown, survivalists began assembling at compounds, prices skyrocketed, and riots broke out in several major cities. It looked as if, only a few years after the defeat of Communism, the dream of a "Pax Americana" had turned into nightmare.
President Clinton worked quickly to turn the tide of terrorism. Order was generally restored after numerous deployments of the National Guard, and banks and businesses remained open by executive order. A great leap forward was made on March 6 when FBI investigators arrested Mohammad Salameh. They had determined the epicenter of the explosion from debris of a Ryder truck, traced it to a Jersey City rental outlet, and caught Salameh as he attempted to retrieve his $400 deposit. Salameh's arrest led to the discovery of an international extremist Islamic conspiracy. Many called for execution of the terrorists, but Clinton led the call for sensible trial and, ultimately, life terms in prison.
The investigations of conspiracy led to many examples of governments such as the Taliban of Afghanistan protecting and even funding terrorists while other governments such as Pakistan simply looked another way. Calls for declarations of war to make the world safe from terrorism rose up, but Clinton's government decided to focus instead on reinforcing international policing systems. Over the course of his two-term presidency, terrorist organizations and training camps would be uncovered and shut down while numerous terrorists would be arrested, including Ramzi Yousef, the mastermind of the World Trade Center Bombing as well as the Shiite shrine in Mashhad, Iran, and Philippine Airlines Flight 434. The latter led to Yousef's arrest in 1995, the same year a homegrown plot to attack a federal building in Oklahoma City was foiled.
With the sense of America's invulnerability returning, the economy rebounded and then exploded with the introduction of the World Wide Web. Clinton would routinely be listed among the top ten American presidents, often beating out FDR for the #3 spot. His vice-president and successor Al Gore would hold the Democrats in office until 2004 when national mood would swing toward conservatism after the bursting of the Dot Com Bubble.
In 1951, on this day Walt Disney Pictures finally released the combination animation / live action movie "Wonderful Wizard of Oz"; the project had suffered a seemingly endless set of delays because America and the other member states of the League of Nations had to deal with Adolf Hitler. And so the invasion of Czechoslovakia prevented the studios from ushering in 1939 as the Golden Year of Hollywood.
"Wonderful Wizard of Oz" by Ed. & Joel BaderUpon Walt Disney's death fifteen years later, his brother Roy renamed Disney World as "Walt Disney World" and commissioned a new tornado-themed ride. This feature, and the later release of a long running video game in the 1980s, ensured that the Wonderful Wizard of Oz would continue to be embbeded in the imagination of young generations for years to come, as Roy and Walt surely intended.
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© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.