In 1961, when Yuri Gagarin left earth's atmosphere it was the pinnacle of human achievement, a mortal man had entered a realm hitherto beholden to the gods.
It was also a blow to American pride, and just over a month later John F. Kennedy announce an ambitious program to restore that pride: The US would put a man on the moon within a decade.
Cosmonaut Leonov reporting from the moonFor several years it seemed that it would be a one horse race. However behind the scenes Sergei Korolyov, the Soviet Union's mysterious "Chief Designer", had already started work on designs for manned flights to other planets.
By the time the Soviet Union officially announced plans in 1964 the OKB-1 design bureau headed by Korolyov had already created a heavy rocket capable of reaching beyond the low Earth orbit used by the Vostok program.
The impetuous Khrushchev had actually instituted two programmes, one for moon orbits and one for the actual moon landing, each headed by it's own designer. After Brezhnev had taken over power the moon program was streamlined and Korolyov made head of the entire program. And although two separate tracks were maintained for the orbits and the landing Korolyov's leadership unified the efforts.
In early 1967 when both the Americans and Soviets were gearing up for the actual moonflights disaster struck in both camps. In january a simulated launch sequence for the American Apollo project went disastrously wrong and a fire broke out killing the astronauts. And in April the parachute failed to open on a Soyuz vehicle as it returned to earth. The crash killed the cosmonauts, which included Vladimir Komarov who commanded one of the two teams selected for the moon landing.
The unmanned orbit of the moon in May of that year went ahead as scheduled, but the manned orbit was delayed until August of that year as the teams were restructured and the Soyuz crash investigated.
The success of the manned orbit, and the earlier success of landing a Luna-9 capsule on the moon's surface gave the Soviets the confidence to push on with their effort. The Soviets also, erroneously, believed that the US would attempt a landing in 1968 so it would be vital to maintain the intended schedule.
After several unmanned flights of the Soyuz-7 vehicle the first manned launch was performed in April 1968. And in June the two-man crew launched an unmanned landing vehicle from lunar orbit. The moon landing was given the go-ahead and crews were prepared for the mission, the first crew would be cosmonauts Leonov Makarov and a reserve crew of Popovich and Voronov would be on standby.
It was a tense time for all involved, especially for Korolyov who was aware that an Apollo launch was scheduled for October. If all went according to plan the Soyuz-7 would be in lunar orbit in september, narrowly beating out the Americans (in fact the Apollo launch was a test flight, the Americans would not attempt a landing on the moon until the next year).
The September launch did go ahead and on the 25th the landing module separated from the Soyuz7 command module and headed for the moon.
After a seemingly interminable period of radio silence a message finally came through "Cosmonaut Leonov reporting from the surface of the moon.".. Words that would immediately be spread across the globe.
Leonov dedicated his mission to Yuri Gagarin the space pioneer who had died earlier that year.
In 1743, on this day on Ferry Farm, King George County, Virginia, Augustine Washington died age forty-nine. His son George inherited the former Strother property and its slaves, but instead of joining the landed gentry and becoming a planter and slaveholder, he accepted Admiral Vernon's invitation to enroll in the Royal Navy.
This post is an article from the Midshipman George Washington thread.
Midshipman George Washington #1His Uncle Joseph Ball strongly disapproved of his nephew's career choice in a letter to his sister Mary dated 19th May 1747 he wrote ~
"I understand that you are advised and have some thoughts of putting your son George to sea. I think he had better be put apprentice to a tinker, for a common sailor before the mast has by no means the common liberty of the subject; for they will press him from a ship where he has fifty shillings a month and make him take twenty-three, and cut and slash and use him like a negro, or rather like a dog. And, as to any considerable preferment in the navy, it is not to be expected, as there are always so many gaping for it here who have interest, and he has none. And if he should get to be master of a Virginia ship, (which it is very difficult to do,) a planter that has three or four hundred acres of land and three or four slaves, if he be industrious, may live more comfortably, and leave his family in better bread, than such a master of a ship can .. He must not be too hasty to be rich, but go on gently and with patience, as things will naturally go. This method, without aiming at being a fine gentleman before his time, will carry a man more comfortably and surely through the world than going to sea, unless it be a great chance indeed. I pray God keep you and yours".
~ Your loving brother, Joseph Ball.
The rank of midshipman was procured for him on board a British ship of war, and his trunk and clothes were sent on board. But when he came to take leave of his mother, she wept bitterly, and told him she felt her heart would break if he left her (pictured). Mounting his horse, George rode to the ship intending to take his trunk ashore. But destiny intervened and instead he heard the "call of his sea", stepped on board to begin a glorious career in the Royal Navy.
In 1777, on this day the eleventh President of the United States, Henry Clay, Sr. (pictured) was born in Hanover County, Virginia. His father owned more than twenty-two slaves, making him part of the planter class.
Henry Clay, Sr.
11th US PresidentAlthough he received no formal legal education he "read the law" by working and studying with George Wythe, Chancellor of the Commonwealth of Virginia and a mentor to Thomas Jefferson and John Marshall, among others. His most notable client was former Vice President Aaron Burr who was indicted for planning an expedition into Spanish Territory west of the Mississippi River. Although he and his legal partner John Allen successfully defended Burr, Jefferson later convinced Clay that US District Attorney Joseph Hamilton Daviess had been right in his charges. Clay was so upset that many years later, when he met Burr again, Clay refused to shake his hand. That pivotal event would have a strange resonance with events that were still forty years into the future.
He moved to Kentucky, and was elected to serve in the General Assembly and later the Senate entering the upper House three months before he reached the constitutionally required age of thirty. In the summer of 1811, Clay was elected to the United States House of Representatives. He was chosen Speaker of the House on the first day of his first session, something never done before or since. Following a long and varied career in the US Senate, he was nominated by the Whigs against James K. Polk, the Democratic candidate.
In one of the closest contests in Presidential history, he won the General election only because of a tragic accident that forced third party candidate James Birney to withdraw from the race. Nevertheless, Clay considered the outcome to be a judgement on US territorial expansion and entered the White House determined to prevent the annexation of Texas or indeed California. British and French investors took a similiar view, and pumped money into both Republics and by the end of the decade, it was becoming possible to imagine two economically viable nations arising in the West. By the time that Clay died in June, 1852 further secessionist pressures were building in the south, and the only question was whether it would be three Americas or four.
It is 1683, and the Turkish army under Grand Vizier Mustafa Pasha is advancing through Europe to expand the Ottoman empire. Having reached Austria, they are laying siege to Vienna. Its emissaries are desperately begging the other European leaders for help, only to be rejected.
by Jackie RoseEngland, France and Spain felt sure they were too far west for a Turkish invasion. But Poland, of course, was much closer to Turkey, and therefore in more danger. As a devout Christian, King Jan III Sobieski of Poland refuses to stand by as another religion dominates the continent. He leads his Hussars to save the city, but the Turks prove too strong for them, the Polish king is killed during the desperate battle, the Turks advance through Europe and it is too late for the other countries to prepare for war. As a result, the Turks dominate Europe to this day as part of their Ottoman empire.
In 1945, the sad, single term Presidency of Bill Douglas which began on this day was born in a smear that ended in a debacle.
The sad, single term presidency of Bill DouglasFDR had sent two names to the Chicago convention in 1944 - he would take either Truman or Douglas in place of the discredited Wallace. Douglas's liberal backers solved the problem by leaking supposed police reports showing that rather than being associated with the Pendergast machine but clean, Truman had in fact been a bag man for the mobbed up KC Democrats. It was a lie. Truman had been put up to keep an exurban office in friendly hands but was himself clean [the same could not be said of his friends and associates]. However with liberal prodding the Chicago papers ran with the story long enough to sink him at the convention. Needless to say he never forgave Douglas or the liberals, remaining a persistent critic from his Senate seat.
A new article by Scott PalterThe US public may not have realized that in reelecting FDR in 1944 they were electing a walking corpse but the key players in the Democratic party were quite aware. Labor and the liberals knew they could work with Douglas. The urban bosses and Dixie had preferred Truman. When Douglas's presidency turned sour this split would manifest itself. Douglas offered milder terms to Japan at Potsdam breaking with FDR's Unconditional Surrender. He was still not mild enough to get the Japanese militarists to face reality. It took two atom bombs for them to see the light. Dougals's liberal supporters never fully forgave him for using those weapons. Wallace from his perch in the Commerce Department led the critics.
The postwar demobilization and conversion to civilian production was a debacle. The unions ran wild with the country repeatedly paralyzed by strikes. Truman called for decisive presidential action, especially against the railroad strike. Douglas would not break with the unions. Inflation skyrocketed and the piecemeal removal of controls made matters worse. Douglas's attempts to keep Lend Lease going took a good part of the blame for the mess. The UK was bankrupt and Europe and Japan were starving. So the need was there but the American public begrudged the expense. The war was over and they wanted to forget the world existed.
Douglas's policy towards Communism exacerbated matters. Trying to avoid a break with the Democratic Party's left, Douglas abandoned Chiang, accepted partitions of Iran and Norway, allowed the Soviets to force Turkey to part with territory and bases and watched Greece torn apart by civil war. He kept trying to find a way to work with his old left allies internally and refused to accept that many Americans regarded domestic Communists as traitors.
This crystallized in the 1946 elections. Douglas campaigned for his party on conciliation with the Soviets, an end to segregation and extension on the New Deal. The Republicans captured both houses of Congress and a host of state legislatures. Most of the south walked out of the party to form independent state Democratic parties dedicated to segregation and white supremacy. The victorious Republican slogan was ?had enough'.
Faced with a heavily Republican Congress Douglas was forced to make some compromises. He was forced to break with the Soviets. The Marshal Plan to rebuild Europe was launched. Chiang was supported on Taiwan. Greece was partitioned and the rump of Turkey was given large scale US aid although the Soviet bases at Gallipoli remained. A German Federal Republic was formed out of the allied occupation zones in Germany and Austria but at the price of giving up the allied sectors of Berlin and Vienna. Macarthur was replaced in Japan by Collins and the semi-New Deal experiments were ended. Instead Japan was rebuilt as a bulwark against Soviet power. Several million Korean refugees fled there when Kim destroyed South Korea [Douglas had evacuated the US occupation force rather than sully his hands dealing with the authoritarian and unpleasant Rhee regime]. Douglas also danced on Palestine. The UN proved unable to approve either partition or an extension of the British mandate so the British withdrew and the place descended into chaos out of which an Israeli state was born with little international recognition beyond the Soviet Block.
Domestically the high points of the new Congress were an anti-lynching bill [which in turn required a large force of US marshals to enforce] and Douglas's desegregation of the armed forces. The cost of these advances were major race riots in several dozen cities as the white public rebelled against being pushed and the newly empowered blacks pushed back. The Taft-Hartley Act was met by another round of massive strikes, these overtly political. Douglas sealed his political fate by always siding with the unions.
The 1948 election was an anti-climax. Despite all the coddling, Wallace ran for President anyway. Strom Thurmond ran a regional states rights campaign in Dixie. Douglas and Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota ran as avid New Dealers but the public had had enough. Thurmond carried 14 southern and border states. Dewey carried the rest with 50 percent of the vote. The icing on the cake came two weeks before the election when Stalin's armies marched into Belgrade to bring Yugoslavia back into the Soviet orbit. Exposed as impotent at home and abroad, Douglas went off into retirement leaving the Democratic Party to wish they had chosen Truman.
In 1963, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference effectively forfeited control of the civil rights campaign with Martin Luther King's refusal to violate the injunction of racist police commissioner Eugene "Bull" Conner by leading a march in Birmingham, Alabama.
MLK loses the Battle of BirminghamDespite his depiction in the press as an American Gandhi, many of his youthful admirers doubted whether in fact MLK had the resolve to "break the back of segregation all over the nation". This perception had begun with his refusal to join the May 1961 Freedom Rides, and cemented by leaving jail with a bond following the unsuccessful mass protests in Albany, Georgia which MLK himself dismissed as "Our protest was so vague that we got nothing, and the people were left very depressed and in despair".
The problem was that the bondsman had refused to furnish bail, and the SCLC lacked the funds to release their own protestors. King was informed that "We need a lot of money. We need it now. You are the only one who has the contacts to get it. If you go to jail, we are lost. The battle of Birmingham is lost". MLK took the advice. And so the pressure that had been successfully applied to white and business community leaders by the sit-ins was allowed to dissapate. King had lost the Battle of Birmingham. Just a few hours after King announced his decision at the Garston Hotel, he received the wholley unexpected news that the entertainer Harry Bellafonte had raised sufficient funds to cover the bond payments, but by then, it was too late.
The leadership of the civil rights campaign would soon pass to more radical figures, one of whom had spent a great deal of time in jail himself. That man was Malcolm X.
In 1861, on this day the Confederate bombardment of Fort Sumter forced the US Congress to dismiss President James Buchanan's administration less than one month after resuming office.
Pilot of the StormThe scenario that the legislative arm of government might need to fire the executive had not been foreseen by the Founding Fathers, who instead of crowning George Washington, had proclaimed that the US Constitution was King. But the decision to place their trust in a sacred, but rigid and unbending rule of law had proven as dangerous as reliance on a monarch because it required flexible intepretation by a strong-willed Chief Magistrate. And the trouble was, a weak succession of Presidents since Andrew Jackson had exposed major flaws in the American system of government.
By the mid 1850s the country was heading for Civil War, unchecked by the bold and imaginative leaders that might preserve the Union. And so Walter Bagehot was invited from England, a man of letters widely considered to be the leading expert on constitutional matters of the day. Bagehot's committee proposed a series of jaw-dropping recommendations, but the central proposal was undisputed. Because America's fixed term system surely did embed apathy in the body politic. And the scenario foreseen by Bagehot, a national crisis in which a "pilot of the calm" would need to be quickly replaced by a "pilot of the storm" arrived soon enough.
In 1861, the Army of North Virginia seized the armoury at Harper's Ferry, pausing only briefly to pay respects at the graveside of Robert E. Lee, the late Brevet Colonel of the 2nd U.S. Cavalry. Had murderous abolitionist John Brown not shot him dead during the infamous raid two years before, Lee himself might well have been in command the Confederate Forces, leading a conventional invasion of the North in his own audacious style.
Unrelenting WarFortunately for the Southern States, Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson (pictured) was in charge, a uniquely gifted officer who did not believe that the heroic acceptance of battlefield casaulties would force a decision. Instead, Jackson's strategy of "Unrelenting War" was to bypass Union armies and strike at Northern weaknesses, its undefended factories, farms and railroads. His genius was to realise that the Confederacy, with only a third of the population, and eleventh percent of the national infrastructure, needed to fight an unconventional war if it was to prevail, by breaking the back of Northern morale.
"to [make the North] understand what it will cost them to hold the South in the Union at the bayonet's point"CSA President Jefferson Davis preferred a defensive approach, foolishly believing that Great Britain or France would intervene to guarantee the supply of cotton for their mills. However the European Nations were carrying heavy stocks of cotton, and he had been forced to reconsider Jackson's assertion that the North might be forced "to understand what it will cost them to hold the South in the Union at the bayonet's point". That difference of opinion had cost Davis the Southern leadership, and his successor, Albert Sidney Johnson authorised the new policy of "unrelenting war".
And so the Army of North Virginia headed north, intent on seizing the major rail-heads at Baltimore and Philadelphia. Such an assault was of great surprise to US President Abraham Lincoln, whose chief fear was that Jackson would seize Washington. By deploying his forces to protect the capitol, he unwillingly allowed Jackson to strike at the North's supply and communications.
In 2002, the CIA informs President Gore that it believes al-Zawahiri is now in northern Pakistan, possibly under the protection of dissident elements of that country's military and secret police.
Bin Laden Lives by Eric LippsWhen the President asks what can be done to root him out, he is told that a covert operation within Pakistan is the best available option, but that it may take time, since the terrorist leader's exact location is not known.
A reluctant Gore authorizes such an operation, which will be codenamed Operation Mountain Strike.
On this day in 1959, the St. Louis Hawks stunned the Oilers by coming back from a twenty-point fourth quarter deficit to beat Houston in overtime 120-114 in the third game of the 1959 NBA Western Division finals; the Hawks went on to win the series three games to two, sending the Oilers home without a title for the second straight year.
|St. Louis Hawks|
In 1985, the body of Dmitri Kaprinsky, alias D.B. Cooper, was turned over to the Soviet embassy in Washington for burial back in Kaprinsky's native Ukraine.
In 1981, the space shuttle Columbia lifts off from Cape Canaveral in the first orbital mission for the fleet of reusable space vehicles whose creation was first authorized soon after the success of Apollo 11.
President Kennedy watches with relief as the Columbia climbs into orbit. Confidential reports have suggested a number of potentially fatal vulnerabilities in the shuttles' design and construction, which he has already ordered NASA to address as soon as possible.
In 1953, Rep. Philip J. Philbin is elected to the House of Representatives as a Republican in a special election, retaining the seat he had held for ten years as a Democrat.
It is a startling development in heavily Democratic Massachusetts. Rep. Philbin is helped, however, by the conservative character of his central Massachusetts district, by the quiet endorsement of a number of Catholic clergymen, and by the foreshortened schedule of the special election, which makes it difficult for any opponent to be mobilized against him.
In 1864, on this day the Battle of Fort Pillow, also known as the Fort Pillow Massacre, particularly in the North, was fought on the Mississippi River in Henning, Tennessee, during the American Civil War. The battle has caused great controversy about whether a massacre of surrendered African-American troops was conducted or condoned by Confederate Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest. Military historian David J. Eicher wrote, 'Fort Pillow marked one of the bleakest, saddest events of American military history.' At the 2126 Peace and Reconciliation Trials held by the Reconstructed United Nations, Forrest pled guilty to conducting the massacres.
In 1998, on Easter Sunday, the followers of Arthur Pendrake flood the UK's Catholic churches, while the Church of England stands remarkably empty. Prime Minister Oliver Pembroke and the Queen herself sit in a church with only other governmental officials and a few media representatives, while Arthur takes in a Welsh service in a church that is overflowing with worshipers. No violence is recorded, although there is an abundance of tension in cities where Catholic churches stand near C of E institutions. After this rather stark illustration of how thin their support is, the prime minister and the queen discuss what can be done about this 'little Welshman,' as the queen calls Pendrake.
In 1891, Major Mark Wainwright receives a telegram from Washington with orders to take command of as many Missouri militiamen as he can organize, and head back into Topeka to rescue former President Grover Cleveland. Major Wainwright begins gathering men and planning his assault. Meanwhile, in Topeka, the Farmer's Council deliberates what Cleveland said to them the day before, and what they can do to stave off the US forces that they are certain are on the way to crush them.
In 2005, the success of the Save Earth missions to destroy the centers where the Claws transform themselves into human appearance makes it impossible for the alien race to maintain its presence on earth. There is a vast withdrawal, and many prominent people disappear overnight. U.S. Representative Carl Worthington calls a press conference and announces, 'The earth is now safe from alien influence.'
In 1915, Dr. Ch'Kel'Mlar of the Q'Bar continues telling Captain Smith of the Harlequin about the mysterious race he has called the Kainku. After befriending the Q'Bar and aiding them with a cure for a recent plague, they began to sow mistrust among the various nations of the Q'Bar, and soon there was full-fledged civil war among the once-unified people. Captain Smith ponders the strange Kainku, and sends a full report back to earth.
In 1997, British leader Margaret Thatcher, Britain's longest-serving Prime Minister, dies of a heart attack. Leading the fight against the American Constitutionalists and South Africa's National Front had strained her health, and she had neglected her health while directing the war against the Fulcrum powers.
In 1963, international sensation Pete Best releases his huge hit Between Us, which jumps to the top of the charts on both sides of the Atlantic. He starts planning his first world tour.
In 1961, Communism proved its scientific superiority when Comrade Alan Shephard became the first man in space. Comrade President Rosenberg had accelerated the space program to beat the European monarchies in the space race and prove that true innovation could not be found within their reactionary borders.
In 1952, Velma Porter and Mikhail von Heflin dig up more than they wanted to in Kenya when they unearth an ancient ancestor of the Baron's and with it, the burial chamber she had been trapped in. Freed, the extra-dimensional being fled the earth and leapt into the stars.
In 1858, Alfred Cummings arrives in Utah to take control of the territory as its first non-Mormon governor. The Mormons had been flouting U.S. law and threatening secession since arriving, and they felt that the appointment of a gentile as their governor was the last straw. They erupted in violence, declaring their independence from America.
In 1817, astronomical explorer Charles Messier, dies aboard his ship Henri II when they miscalculate the path of a comet and smash into it. Messier had created a system of cataloguing astronomical objects that even surpassed the Mlosh one of the time.
In 1633, Father Vincenzo Maculano da Firenzuola, Chief Inquisitor and a Conspirator of the Speaker's Line, convicts Galileo Galilei of heresy. He had wanted to hear Galileo's theories in person, and suppress them in the general population, and used his position in the Inquisition to do this. Galileo's theories moved the Speaker's Children forward in science, but the rest of the world was left behind.
In 1975, Operation Eagle Pull as the evacuation of Cambodia was dubbed, came under Khmer Rouge fire and more than 300 armed Marines guarding the field were killed. The US has admitted defeat in Cambodia and removed its remaining embassy personnel from the capital, Phnom Penh. Early that morning 276 people were airlifted from a football field near the embassy by a fleet of 30 helicopters.
In 2005, the success of the Save Earth missions to destroy the centers where the Claws transform themselves into human appearance makes it impossible for the alien race to maintain its presence on earth. There is a vast withdrawal, and many prominent people disappear overnight. U.S. Representative Carl Worthington calls a press conference and announces, 'The earth is now safe from alien influence.'
In 1770, the British Parliament enacted the Overton Statute, named after the English lord who negotiated it, granting all colonies representation in Parliament. This was followed by quick repeal of many of the more odious laws such as the Townshend Act, and a new era of enlightenment propelled the British Empire forward; grumblings from the colonies became a thing of the past.
In 1945, President Roosevelt suffers a massive stroke, disabling him for several months. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and Vice President Harry Truman cover up the illness in order to keep the nation's morale high; once the war is won, though, they announce Roosevelt's resignation and Truman becomes president.
In 1865, Commanding General of the Union Army, Ulysses S. Grant was quietly removed from his post a week after the inauguration of President George B. McClellan. An installment of the Federal's Lost Cause thread.
Federal Lost Cause Part 6: General Grant dismissedIronically three years earlier "Little Mac" had been fired from precisely the same role by Lincoln for failing to prosecute the war effort with the necessary vigor. Whereas in Grant, Lincoln believed he had finally found a General with the necessary offensive qualities that McClellan lacked. However the war had descended into a stagnant stalemate. The horrific casualty rate had vindicated McClellan's reluctance. He hated the thought of men dying en masse. And so despite his obvious desire to win the war, by a twist of fate he had become the reluctant peace candidate for the Democrats.
By the late summer of 1864, Lincoln knew that his re-election bid would certainly fail if he could not deliver decisive military victories. Those victories finally came, but too late. And so McClellan entered the White House with the Confederacy on the brink of collapse. The downfall of Grant sharply contrasted with the fortunes of his counter-part Robert E. Lee. Although Grant had been out-generaled by Lee, the Virginian had only been promoted to General-in-chief of Confederate forces on January 31, 1865. And so the two Supreme Commanders would not meet as peers . For surely McClellan believed that the kind of peace settlement he had in mind could not be achieved with butchers such as Grant and Sherman still in command. Because he had conceived a simple "no victors, no vanquished" deal whereby the Federals quietly dropped emancipation in exchange for the peaceful re-admission of Confederate States back into the Union. A reconciliation rather than a reconstruction, that at least was what he had in mind.
In 1522, on this day the lady Anne Boleyn has just returned from Paris .. and she enchants Henry VIII. She gladly agrees to be his mistress and is soon the mother of a bouncing baby girl named Elizabeth.
by Jackie RoseWhen Henry's legitimate son Edward VI dies, both Anne Boleyn's b*stard daughter and her sister Mary's illegitimate son are kept far from court. The crown passes to the only rightful heiress, a devoted Protestant named Lady Jane Grey, who is married to Guildford Dudley.
Since the Grey family was pretty productive, the House of Dudley lasts for centuries .. with no Catholic Stuarts, Protestant William and Mary or Bonnie Prince Charlie's revolt.
In 1862, on this day the twenty-ninth President of the United States Charles Evans Hughes was born in Glens Falls, New York.
Mr Hughes Goes to War: PrequelAfter graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Brown University he studied at Columbia Law School. He then became a partner in private practice before lecturing at Cornell University Law School and New York University Law School where he first met his future political opponent Woodrow Wilson.
In 1905, he was appointed as counsel to the New York state legislative "Stevens Gas Commission", a committee investigating utility rates. His uncovering of corruption led to lower gas rates in New York City. In 1906, he was appointed to the "Armstrong Insurance Commission" to investigate the insurance industry in New York as a special assistant to U.S. attorney general.
Hughes served as the Governor of New York from 1907 to 1910. He defeated William Randolph Hearst in the 1906 election to gain the position, and he was the only Republican statewide candidate to win office. In 1908, he was offered the vice-presidential nomination by William Howard Taft, but he declined it to run again for Governor. Theodore Roosevelt became an important supporter of Hughes.
He resigned from his position on the Supreme Court to become the Republican candidate for President in 1916. He was also endorsed by the Progressive Party, thanks to the support given to him former President Theodore Roosevelt. In a close fought battle, the narrow loss of California cost Wilson his re-election, fought on the campaign slogan "He kept us out of war". Instead the new administration immediately turned their thoughts to entering the War as soon as possible.
This thread continues in Mr Hughes Goes To War: Part 1.
In 1803, at a private meeting in Paris, France on this day the American Diplomat Robert R. Livingston (pictured) was informed by Treasury Minister François de Barbé-Marbois that 1.5 billion acres of land west of the Mississippi River had been sold to the Rocky Mountain Beaver Company for the sum of $15 million.
Louisiana Question 4Effective 30th November, 1803, Louisiana was transfered from Spanish to French under a secret protocol in the Treaty of San Ildefonso of 1800. During the negotiation of that treaty, Napoleon had given his solumn word that the territory would not be sold on to a foreign government, and in a strictly legal sense he had honoured that pledge.
Because only three years before, L'Empereur had been dreaming of a grand continental empire with an economic hinterland that ran through Haiti to the port of New Orleans. But a slave rebellion on Haiti lead by Dessalines had turned those dreams into nightmares, and Napoleon decided to concentrate his energies on European hegemony.
American leaders had their own dreams of westward expansion which would diminish European powers from the continent. And provide the larger geography that would favour republican government. Jefferson had sent James Monroe to Paris to close the deal, but he was beaten to it by a consortia of European banks.
The existence of that consortia was ironically the fault of Thomas Jefferson himself. His imagination had been fired by the discovery of the mouth of the Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest. And so he sent American sea captain Robert Gray of Boston back on a second mission, this time to map out the territory of Louisiana.
Gray discovered huge beaver populations thriving in the mountains. This information was of enormous interest to the European Fashion Industry which had been manufacturing products using the fine inner hairs of beaver fur for three centuries. So much so that the beaver population had been almost totally wiped out not only in Europe but on the Eastern Seaboard as well. It was this commercial interest that became aware of the sale of the territory which was then purchased for the atonishingly low price of 3 centres per acre, in pro rata terms, even cheaper than Manhattan Island.
In 1982, on this day in New York City the piercing sincerity of ten simple words from an anonymous fan convinced the desperately sick American singer and drummer Karen Carpenter to search for a way out of her life-threatening cycle of eating disorders and in so doing solve the problem that was threatening to destroy her relationship with her brother and co-star Richard Carpenter.
Watch the Youtube Clip of "Please Mr Postman - The Carpenters" (1975)
Wait a minute, Mr Postman!The first step was the hardest, placing a long distance call to a telephone number in New Haven, Connecticut. Fearing the worst, her mother Agnes asked what was happening, but was reassured to hear that no, nothing was wrong, quite the contrary in fact, Karen had called to say that something, something just incredible had happened to her that very day.
Through to the mid-eighties her musical career kept apace with her steady medical recovery and by her thirty-fifth birthday she was once again a major star in good health. "Jesus will meet you at the point of your need" ~ the messageBut her central focus now was to help others suffering from the little known disorder anorexia nervosa.
The anonymous fan was never revealed, although HIS identity was no great mystery to Karen Carpenter.
Because she had caught a glimpse of the Postman's bare feet, you see.
In 1814, on this day George, Prince of Wales, ruling as Prince Regent in place of his ill father, George III, officially abdicates the British throne. After the fall of London to French troops (spearheaded by a daring cavalry assault by Marshal Murat on Buckingham Palace) on 18 August 1813, the British Government had fled north to Scotland.
L'EmpereurFor the next 7 months, the French gradually pushed north from their main base in Essex, eventually reaching Edinburgh by the end of March. An attempt by General Arthur Wellesley to land in southwest England and attack the French forces from the rear had failed when Ney routed the British at Exeter on 22nd March 1814. Upon receiving news of this defeat, the Prince Regent began negotiations with Napoleon, culminating in his abdication on this day.
The Prince Regent and the Royal Family were subsequently exiled to Canada, where they would be of little harm to the French. Another stipulation of the British surrender was that Ireland be given total independence; although this was a bitter pill for the British to swallow, they had no choice. On 9th May the Treaty of Calais was signed, officially ending the war between Great Britain and France; on 1st January 1815, Ireland became the Republic of Ireland. Napoleon added a new title to an already long list: Roi d'Angleterre.
In 1951, on the direct orders of U.S. President Douglas MacArthur, General Matthew Ridgway led U.S. and allied troops across the Yalu River into the People's Republic of China.
Pacific War Redux by Eric LippsPresident MacArthur justified this action by noting the participation of Communist China on the North Korean side in the ongoing Korean War. "I will not see this nation humiliated and our allies in Seoul enslaved or slain by the soulless Mongol hordes of a godless Asiatic regime," the President would explain to the American people in a nationally televised address on April 13.
"I will not see this nation humiliated and our allies in Seoul enslaved or slain by the soulless Mongol hordes of a godless Asiatic regime,"" ~ President MacArthurMacArthur's rise to the presidency, ironically, was due in part to an earlier episode in which he had exercised military restraint rather than aggression. In June 1932 the so-called "Bonus Expeditionary Force", made up of military veterans, their families, and supporters had arrived in Washington D.C. to hold a mass protest in hopes of securing the service bonuses they had been promised under the 1924 Adjusted Service Certificate Law, which had been scheduled to mature in 1945. The Depression had made many veterans all but destitute and inspired calls for the bonuses to be paid in full immediately.
On July 28, following an altercation with police in which two protesters were killed, a riot had erupted and President Herbert Hoover had ordered in the U.S. Army under MacArthur and his subordinate Maj. Gen. George S. Patton. The hotheaded Patton, who had arrived with six battle tanks from Fort Myer, Virginia, issued an order for them to fire on the Bonus Marchers, but MacArthur, declaring that he would not permit U.S. soldiers to fire on other U.S. soldiers, countermanded it immediately.
That incident proved crucial to MacArthur's political ambitions. In 1948, the General - by then the "hero of the Pacific" for his World War II exploits - would be nominated for president by the Republican Party and would easily defeat the widely unpopular President Harry S Truman in the November election. When war broke out in Korea, it would be he, and not Truman, who would be Commander in Chief ? and it would be others who would fight the war, to the Yalu and beyond.
In 1951, US President George Smith Patton, Jr. ordered General Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Commander of the United States and the United Nations forces in Korea, to open a second front on mainland China. Communist rule would be challenged by "Old Brass Hat" bringing the troops of General Chiang Kai-shek, who was defeated by the Communists in 1949, back into the fray.
No Substitute for VictoryIn his autobiography, MacArthur would later write "By profession I am a soldier and take pride in that fact. But I am prouder, infinitely prouder, to be a father ... It is my hope that my son, when I am gone, will remember me not from the battle but in the home repeating with him our simple daily prayer".
The trouble was that the age of the soldier was over. Both Patton and MacArthur were war veterans who might uncompromisingly agree that there must be "no substitute for victory". Yet neither anticipated the experimental nuclear weapon that the Chinese leadership would detonate over Seoul in order to bring the conflict to an unexpectedly decisive conclusion.
In 2002, with the Cannon Committee's investigation of what its chairman publicly brands the "Tora Bora hoax" now in full swing, the Gulf media network Al Jazeera broadcasts a communication from Ayman al-Zawahiri, previously identified as Osama bin Laden's Number Two in Al Qaeda. In his message, Zawahiri boasts that bin Laden is very much alive and "continues the holy struggle against the infidels, which can lead only to their defeat and subjugation to the will of Allah".Bin Laden Lives by Eric LippsRepublicans pounce gleefully, claiming that Zawahiri's words prove the Gore administration "faked" bin Laden?s death. Over the next week, there will be a torrent of tabloid stories repeating that line. Democrats, including the President, will insist that al-Zawahiri's claims are false and designed to harm Gore politically. Privately, the President will fume that that the GOP leadership is exploiting a false rumor spread by an enemy of the U.S. for political gain.
In 1945, on this day a memorial service was held at Westminister Abbey and attended by political rivals Clement Attlee and Winston Churchill, the respective leaders of the Conservative and Labour Parties.DLG '40 - Part 4: Successor
Prime Minister David Lloyd George had died on 26th March 1945 and later in the month Churchill was informed by the Labour Party that the coalition could not continue. At the King's request he took over a caretaker government while conducting a general election, continuing the war with Japan and creating a post-war Europe with Stalin and also Truman, who had replaced the recently demised Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Two days after the Memorial Service, Churchill delivered a major speech in the House of Commons in which he paid tribute to Lloyd George saying that "there was no man so gifted, so eloquent, so forceful, who knew the life of the people so well. When I first became Lloyd George's friend and active associate, now more than forty years ago, this deep love of the people, the profound knowledge of their lives and of the undue and needless pressure under which they lived, impressed itself indelibly upon my mind".
During May, Attlee and Churchill would face the British electorate in a General Election, the first in nine years. To retain the premiership, Churchill needed to establish himself as a natural successor to Britain's war time leader. More importantly, the aristocratic imperialist Churchill would have to strike some uncharacteristic chords by appealling to the working class - the returning troops were demanding change and threatening to elect a Socialist Government.
In 1917, on this day in Eastern Prussia officers of the Imperial German Government discovered a macabre scene onboard the abandoned Locomotive #293.
Red ScareTo eliminate any chance of the evil seed of revolution being formented in Germany, Quartermarter General Erich Von Ludendorff had given precise instructions for the train to be sealed. Yet Ludendorff would
later receive a written report which was accompanied by a note stating "Its as old as Macedonia, hanging the body of your enemy or betrayer upside down so his head faces earth instead of heaven" (© Stephen King, 1976). And of the vampire Lenin, and the 5m gold deutsch marks drawn from the Reich Treasury, there was no sign. Absolutely no sign at all.
In 1898, US President William McKinley asked Congress for authority to send American troops to Cuba for the purpose of ending the civil war there. The casus belli was an explosion which occurred onboard a 6682-ton second-class pre-dreadnought battleship in the Havana Harbour, Cuba on February 15th. The USS Maine, an Armored Cruiser #1 had been sent from Key West, Florida, to Cuba, to protect American interests during a time of local insurrection and civil disturbances. The explosion was a precipitating cause of the Spanish-American War that began in April 1898 and which used the rallying cry, Remember the Maine!, To hell with Spain! The episode focused national attention on the crisis in Cuba but was not cited by the William McKinley administration as a casus belli, though it was cited by some who were already inclined to go to war with Spain over their perceived atrocities and loss of control in Cuba.
TR takes a lesson in humility by Eric OppenThe cause of the explosion that sank the ship remains an unsolved mystery. However, only one explanation fits the facts. The Assiti Shards event theory proposed by scientist S.M. Stirling has been accepted by the majority of contemporary historians. A spacial/cosmic disturbance caused the Spain of 1960 (with Portugal) to be swapped holus-bolus for Spain on the day of the Maine's explosion. The Spaniards rickety old ships were upgraded to the Spanish fleet of 1960 which was more than able to deal with the 1898-era US Navy. Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders going up against T-26s, Me-109s and all the panoply of twentieth-century combat taught TR a healthy lesson in humility.
In 1961, on this day the trial began of the man accused of helping Hitler in his plan to exterminate the Jews. Adolf Eichmann (pictured) faced fifteen charges, including crimes against humanity, crimes against the Jewish people and war crimes.
Eichmann on Trial in Buenos AiresHe sat in a bullet-proof glass dock flanked by two guards specially chosen because their families had not suffered directly at the hands of the Nazis. The three judges hearing the case in Buenos Aires were all refugees from the Nazi regime in Germany. The charges were read out in Hebrew by chief judge Mr Justice Moshe Landau and translated into German for the prisoner. It took one hour and 15 minutes to list all the details of the charges against Adolf Eichmann during which time the 55-year-old stood stiffly in the dock.
After the end of the Second World War Eichmann escaped from a prison camp and avoided facing the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal. In 1950 he arrived in Argentina which was a safe haven for many Nazi war criminals. Yet Argentina was a bad choice for Eichmann. Zionist commandos were operating from their nearby base at the colony of Colonia Lapin in the Buenos Aires Province (the Jewish home state had been founded by the Jewish Colonization Association led by Baron Maurice de Hirsch in 1891).
On this day in 2001, the Chinese government, faced with the prospect of losing Most Favored Nation trading status, bowed to the Powell Adminisration's demands and released the P-3C crew.
On this day in 1940, Xavier March was sent to the North Sea as part of the crew of the submarine U-91 to participate in the German campaign against the Allies in Norway.
In 1891, Major Mark Wainwright and his small band of soldiers reach Kansas City and slip through, thanks to the general chaos in the city. Wainwright sends a telegram back east to Washington to let his superiors know that former President Cleveland has been taken captive, as have the majority of the major's men. He adds that he will proceed on into Missouri and wait for orders at the nearest telegraph office. Meanwhile, President Cleveland is given an audience with the Farmer's Council that, with 'Sockless' Jerry Simpson at its head, has assumed control of Kansas. 'Gentlemen,' he says to them, 'I understand your grievances and desire for redress. I, myself, have felt the cold sting of injustice within recent years, as you well know. But, within our nation's democratic institutions, we have the means for addressing your concerns. This unlawful usurpation of state government will not end well, gentlemen. In fact, given the great power of the nation surrounding you, it can only end in your arrest or death. I implore you, therefore, to surrender the government back to the men who were duly elected to it, and give up before more blood is shed in this useless endeavor.' Although most of the council is moved by Cleveland's words, Simpson stands to answer him. 'Mr. President, although you have spoken eloquently of our great institutions and their ability to right wrongs, your own history gives the lie to that. Your office was stolen out from under you by men who place the pursuit of power and their own personal greed higher than the good of the nation. We saw such men in control here in Kansas. Now they are not.' Addressing the rest of the council, he concludes, 'I would recommend our methods to take care of Washington, rather than Washington's methods to take care of us.
In 1803, British troops cross into Louisiana. King George III has decided to seize the territory from France in order to eliminate it as a refuge for colonial dissidents such as John and Samuel Adams, who, under the protection of the French crown, have continued to produce inflammatory literature urging the British colonists to rebel again.
In 1867, opponents of the Alaska Purchase criticise the Treaty as Seward's folly, Seward's icebox, and Andrew Johnson's polar bear garden, because it was believed foolhardy to spend so much money on the remote region. In 1945 a future US President Harry S Truman would also describe the detractors as being both completely right and absolutely wrong.
In 1824, the Bureau of Indian Affairs opened for business, one month after the United States War Department created the agency. The 8th President of the United States, Martin Van Buren used the Bureau as a stratagem to prevent the War of the States. By 1837 the economic tension between the Union and the Southern states had narrowed in focus to the issue of the genocide of the American indigenes and the War of the States was about to break out.
In 1998, the Saturday before Easter Sunday, Great Britain braces for the kingdom's decision. Catholic churches are guarded by Pendrake's followers, and the Church of England has military watching its doors. Prime Minister Pembroke pleads, 'This is the Lord's day. Please do not use it as an excuse for violence.' Arthur Pendrake, for his part, lets those who would see him as king know that they must not initiate aggression, but they should not hesitate to respond to it.
In 2005, Dave and Jeanne Lange, along with four other Save Earthers, infiltrate a Claw facility in Venezuela. They plant explosives throughout the facility without being caught, but just as the team is preparing to leave, a guard apprehends one of the team members. 'Go,' He shouts at them through their walkie-talkies ' 'blow this place!' As soon as the rest of the team can evacuate, they set off the explosives, destroying the Claw building.
Related posts from the same era that you may also like
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.