In 1948, on this day the Berlin Airlift began World War III. Postwar Europe became divided when territory liberated by the Soviet Union from Nazi Germany came under seemingly permanent communist rule. The Potsdam Agreement in 1945 divided Germany itself into sectors held by differing Allies. Berlin, one hundred miles inside the Soviet sector, was divided into four sectors with the West held by Britain, France, and the United States while the Soviets controlled East Berlin.
Berlin Airlift Begins World War IIIStalin reorganized the communist and socialist parties into the Socialist United Party and told his comrades that he worked toward a Germany reunited under communism. As part of his plan, he ended food delivery to West Berlin and limited Western allies to a single train per day, encouraging West Berliners to come to the Soviet sector for groceries. The plan backfired, however, as the local elections in 1946 proved to be overwhelmingly pro-democracy.
Stalin was further infuriated by the 1947 announcement of the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe. He preferred his hard-won "war booty", seeing the American move as "dollar imperialism". Soviets further restricted travel through their sector in the spring of 1948. Americans responded by delivering military material by air, and Soviets sent up planes to buzz the cargo planes. A crash occurred between a Soviet fighter and a US airliner, killing everyone on both planes. The Soviets reduced their interference with train travel but considered the exercise a victory as they seized all communication beacons within the Soviet sector for air security.
A new article by Jeff ProvineStakes were raised again when the western Allies proposed the new Deutsche Mark to replace the devalued Reichsmark. Currency had been so over-printed by the Soviets that bartering had replaced cash, creating a weak economy that forced German reliance on Moscow. The British and Americans announced their attempt to revamp the economy on June 18, 1948, stating that the Deutsche Mark would be considered legal tender on June 21. The Soviets refused and began halting all ground travel to prevent the flood of marks into Berlin, even though 250 million had already been shipped in. Outraged, the Soviets announced the "Ostmark" as their own currency and forbade the use of Deutsche Marks. On June 24, the Soviets ended all rail and water traffic from West Germany. Travel by road was permitted, though heavily dogged. Electricity produced by Soviet-held power plants outside of the city was cut off. The Americans under General Lucius D. Clay refused to leave, and he announced an airlift of food and coal supplies as had been seen months before, expanding plans already put into place by the British.
The endeavor required 1,500 tons of food and 3,500 tons of fuel to be transported daily into the city when the combined aircraft of the British and Americans in the area could carry only 700 tons. Clay launched Operation Vittles, and planes were flown in to increase the tonnage. The United States had already begun to demilitarize in Europe, and Britain was still recovering from the damage of the Blitz (the 1948 London Olympics, which the Soviets did not attend, featured no new construction of venues or housing). The Soviet Union watched, eagerly anticipating the West to admit the transport cost was too great and to abandon Berlin.
All through July, the planes flew. The Soviets carried out massive propaganda programs in print and on radio, lambasting the Western efforts. However, nothing seemed to stop the planes until "Black Friday", August 13, when a C-54 crashed at the end of the runway and two more planes crashed after it. All planes awaiting landing were sent home, and the Soviets decided to make their move. They publically claimed the airlift "unsafe" and moved troops to take the airfields under the guise of aiding in cleanup. Fights began, and soon Soviet tanks rolled in to besiege the city. War was declared between the Soviet Union and the Anglo-British alliance with France, fighting in Indochina already, seeking neutrality. French forces were returned to their sector in the south, but the rest of West Berlin continued under heavy siege. Despite psychological warfare, West Berliners refused to give up, such as the rousing speech by city councilor Ernst Reuter, "You peoples of the world, you people of America, of England, of France, look on this city, and recognize that this city, this people, must not be abandoned - cannot be abandoned!" As winter approached, supplies ran out, and thousands of Americans, British, and Germans were taken prisoner.
American and British troops began campaigns attempting to penetrate the Soviet defenses, but the armies were unable to overwhelm heavy fortifications. While the US had been demobilizing, Stalin had kept up his urgency of military preparedness. Soviet forces swept into West Germany, finally realizing Stalin's plans of reunifying the country. Content with a French buffer and strong air defense, the Soviets moved toward Iran, seizing oilfields that had been the object of debate between Moscow and the British and recreating the People's Republic of Mahabad.
The Americans threatened counterattack with atomic weapons, but the threat was hollow until 1949 when the first atomic-adapted B-29 Silverplate arrived in Britain. The question of whether to use atomic weapons in Germany was brought to President Truman (who had won the 1948 election by a wide margin against isolationist Thomas Dewey), but he determined to use it only against Russia itself and encourage uprising from the "liberated" nations under Soviet control. He expanded the war to a new front in Turkey and pushed for new air bases in preparation for wide-scale attack from the Black Sea on the Caucasus and across Ukraine. After a great deal of deliberation, the US also joined the nationalists in the Chinese Civil War, reinforcing Chiang Kai-shek with aid and advisors.
In late 1949, the first atomic bomb fell on Russian territory, followed by dozens more. Stalin used the fallout to his advantage through propaganda, but, while much of Russia continued to support him, the edges of his the bloc began to collapse. Starting in 1950 after a revolt in Berlin, bloc countries began to rebel one after the other with American support, prompting stiff Soviet response. Russian resources became strained while the Americans continued to remobilize, pushing up through the Caucasus into Stalin's birthplace in Georgia and atomically bombing Stalingrad in 1951. On the first of March 1953, Stalin was discovered dead in his bunker west of Moscow. He had not left a clear successor, and internal squabbles destroyed the peoples' faith in Soviet government. Ukraine became liberated that summer in Operation King Cobra, and the road to Moscow was open to be taken by September.
Following the Third World War and the breakup of the USSR, capitalism and democracy had proven itself the victor over communism and fascism. The Anglo-American alliance dominated the United Nations and began the long era of rebuilding in the Pax Americana. Technology flourished, and international communication satellites began being launched in the 1970s, uniting the world on a new level, even though a manned mission into space had never gone beyond experimentation by the USAF.
This article is reversed in Achilles Heel.
In 2012, on this day Bashar al-Assad and members of the Syrian elite were assassinated in a Bin Laden-style dawn strike by Special Forces.
by Ed and Andrew BeaneThe mission was then air-brushed out of history by a carpet bombing strike that levelled the building complex.
The opportunity for pre-emptive action had been created on 22 June 2012 when Syria shot down a Turkish F-4 Phantom military jet near the Turkish-Syrian border. Even though the Syrian military alleged that the jet had violated their airspace, NATO had invoked a clause that an attack on one member state was an attack on all.
In 1950, fearing that the border clashes on the 38th parallel signalled an impending invasion by the Syngman Rhee regime in the South, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea appealed to the Soviet Union for urgent military support.
Pyongyang, 1950Only six months before the late Chairman Mao's followers had fled to the island of Formosa making Kim Il-sung's isolated regime in the North the only pocket of communism in Asia Pacific.
Thrilled by this outcome, the speeches from the Government in Seoul had become increasingly belligerent in tone.
The spectre of an imperialist plot to unify the peninsula, real or imagined, was enough to raise the tensions to boiling point. And now the two Koreas stood on the brink of war.
In 1976, only two years after Watergate a second White House occupant was forced to make a shabby exit when the 38th President of the United States Carl B. Albert turned over to the General Services Administration gifts he had accepted from a lobbyist (who was also a member of South Korean intelligence) before resigning due to his involvement in the Tongsun Park scandal.
Fall of the Little Giant from Little DixieUnder the provisions of the Twenty-fifth Amendment, his predecessor Richard Nixon had nominated Republican House Minority Leader Gerald R. Ford to succeed Agnew as Vice President in October 1973. But as the Watergate crisis began to unfold during the fall, Nixon was forced to resign from office before both Houses of Congress could confirm a Vice President.
Albert became Acting President under the Presidential Succession Act of 1947 which also forced him to resign from the office of Speaker as well as the House. And so bizarrely, the man who would have presided over Nixon's impeachment benefited from his resignation, yet was forced to sacrifice his own political career in so doing.
By inclination, believing that it was wrong for a Democrat to serve out a term of office that the electorate had gifted to a Republican, Albert had fully intended to resign after the election of a Republican Vice President. But the country was in a terrible downward spiral, and with his own fortune now inextricably locked into the crisis he decided to serve out the remainder of the term in an attempt to heal the nation. But incredibly, he too became engulfed in a personal scandal and was forced to quit the White House.
In 1984, U.S. and Egyptian ground forces in Libya, aided by local insurgents and disaffected elements of the Libyan regular army, captured Muammar Khadafy just as the dictator was getting ready to flee Tripoli; also seized where documents linking the Khadafy regime to dozens if not hundreds of terrorist acts worldwide, a vast quantity of weapons and ammunition, millions of dollars in foreign currency, and -- to the surprise of many U.S. Soldiers - a collection of X-rated videotapes compiled on his behalf by Libyan diplomats stationed in the West.
Khadafy CapturedKhadafy was subsequently extradited to the Netherlands to stand trial in the Hague at the U.N.'s International Criminal Court.
In Korea on this same day, U.S. and South Korean marines landed at the North Korean port of Wonsan.
In 1962, on this day the United States Supreme Court decided on the case of Engel v. Vitale upholding the constitutional right of public schools to compose an official school prayer and require its recitation.
Engel v. VitaleThe case was brought by the families of public school students in New Hyde Park, New York who complained the prayer to "Almighty God" contradicted their religious beliefs. They were supported by groups opposed to the school prayer including rabbinical organizations, Ethical Culture, and Judaic organizations. The prayer in question was: "Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our country. Amen".
Justice Hugo Black (pictured) delivered the legal opinion that having codified the communities' right to self-government into the framing of the Constitution, the Founding Fathers would have considered the logic of the plaintiff's appeal to be a stupefying encroachment on traditional American principles. The first amendment prohibits the making of any law "respecting an establishment of religion", impeding the free exercise of religion, infringing on the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.
In 1788, on this day in Richmond, the presumptively named "Virginia Ratifying Convention" rejected the US Constitution by a vote of 89 to 79.
Bonfire of the ConstitutionThe major issue that prevented ratification was the question of individual rights; many delegates who were in generally in favor of the Constitution were concerned that it did not contain a list of guaranteed rights akin to the celebrated Virginia Declaration of Rights.
Couriers then raced to New York with the news that Virginia had refused the plan, giving opponents of the Constitution the momentum they needed to prevent ratification there.
Watch the Youtube Clip
"I need not take much pains to show, that the principles of this system, are extremely pernicious, impolitic, and dangerous. Here is a revolution as radical as that which separated us from Great Britain""Anti-Federalists" led by Patrick Henry (pictured), George Mason, William Grayson, James Monroe had won the argument that the Constitution created a central government that was too powerful. Because the man chosen for President, George Washington, was a Virginian who could not serve as Chief Magistrate now that his State had declined the opportunity to join the Union. Which was perhaps just as well. Patrick Henry's challenge to Washington, Madison, and Jefferson ~ "I Smell a Rat!"
Henry, the leader of the anti-federalist faction, opposed allowing the new central government to directly tax citizens of the various states, and he feared that the newly created office of President of the United States would have become far too powerful.
In 1876, on this day, cavalry commander Lt. Gen. George Armstrong Custer narrowly avoided a catastrophic defeat when, receiving word that the Sioux encampment against which his regiment had been dispatched by his commander Gen. Alfred H. Terry was heavily defended, he uncharacteristically decided to delay attacking rather than strike at once.
Miracle at Little Big Horn by Eric LippsThe wisdom of this choice would be graphically borne out when it became clear just how outnumbered Custer's force was. Had he proceeded, as would have been more typical given his character, he and his men would have been slaughtered.
Custer would continue to serve in the war against the Sioux until 1879. In 1884, the popular general would defeat Grover Cleveland at he Democratic Party's national convention and would beat Republican James G. Blaine to become the 22nd president of the United States.
In 1381, on this day, emboldened by the Labour shortages caused by the Plague, urban rioters laid waste to their own capital city, besieging the royal court in the Tower of London and burning down the Palace of Savoy.
The Peasants Revolt, 1381Peasant rebels from Essex and Kent overthrew the incompetent minority government of fourteen year old King Richard II who had travelled downriver to meet the rebels, with Archbishop Sudbury and the Treasurer Sir Robert Hales on board alongside him. But when the rebels saw the royal barge approach they went berserk. Fearing the bloodthirsty rage of of the rebels, the royal ministers had retreated to the Tower of London with the King, wrongly believing that fortress built by William the Conqueror was impregnable.
Yet the regicide in the Tower was but a violent climax to a "summer of blood", a political crisis caused by a natural disaster. "There are three things of such a sort that they produce merciless destruction when they get the upper hand. One is a flood of water, another is a raging fire and the third is the lesser people, the common multitude; for they will not be stopped by either reason or discipline". ~ John Gower, 1378.Because the Black Death had profoundly changed the lower orders in the country. During the months of April and May, England had witnessed a series of assassinations including the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Treasurer of England, one of the two chief justices of the royal courts and numerous foreigners, merchants, lawyers and royal servants.
From his apartment in Aldgate, the poet and royal servant Geoffrey Chaucer chronicled the end of the rebellion. And beneath Chaucer's first floor apartment, a dangerous, fast-moving mob led by Abel Ker, Thomas Baker and maverick priest John Ball gripped the city with fear, establishing the new order that would become the Peasant's Republic of England.
In 2008, the Daily Telegraph newspaper published an obitutuary for Lyall Watson, who died on June 25 aged 69. Adventurer, explorer he was of course most famously known as a sociologist; in his sixth book, Lifetide (1979), Watson made the first published use of the term hundredth monkey.
Hundredth Monkey Theory
This phenomenon referred to a sudden spontaneous and mysterious leap of consciousness achieved when a 'critical mass' point is reached. Watson was writing about several studies done in the 1960s by Japanese primatologists of Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata).
Stating that the scientists were "reluctant to publish [the whole story] for fear of ridicule", Watson wrote that he had to "gather the rest of the story from personal anecdotes and bits of folklore among primate researchers, because most of them are still not quite sure what happened".
Watson's insight was that an unspecified number of monkeys on the Japanese island of Koshima were washing sweet potatoes in the sea. But the addition of a further monkey - the so-called hundredth - apparently carried the number across some sort of threshold, pushing it through a kind of critical mass, because by evening almost every monkey was doing it. Moreover the habit seems to have jumped natural barriers and to have appeared spontaneously in monkey colonies on other islands and on the mainland.
An exceptional scholar, he started at the University of the Witwatersrand aged 15 and by the age of 19 held degrees in Botany and Zoology. While still in South Africa, he added degrees which included the study of Geology, Chemistry, Marine Biology, Ecology and Anthropology, before moving to London, where he completed a doctorate in Ethology (animal behaviour) at London University under the supervision of Desmond Morris, author of The Naked Ape, and then curator of mammals at London Zoo.
In 1950, today saw the beginning of the Korean War. The impetus was twentieth century attempts to expel the European from AsiaPac as irreversible historical processes played out in the Far East. The exit of Colonial powers had created a power vacuum filled by Japan, China and the United States. No Substitute for Victory
The decision to detonate nuclear weapons in Japan had convinced China that the United States would not [in the words of Bernard Montgomery] 'Send their land army to Asia'. This might have been the case had not General Douglas MacArthur won the 1952 Presidency. Having been expelled from Manilla, he had absolutely no tolerance for defeat in the Far East. As the war spread into Indochina, MacArthur continued to escalate. His restoration of Chiang Kai-shek's government in Beijing brought regional stability and secured the American century. His predecessor Harry Truman's decision to treat the conflict as a limited, proxy war was demonstrated for the folly it was, fast on the heels of his loss of China in 1948. Perversely, Truman's dismissal of MacArthur as military commander in Korea forced a decision by encouraging Brass Hat to chase for the White House. There was indeed no substitute for victory.
In 1876, scouts inform Colonel George Custer that a massive number of natives, under the command of Sitting Bull, is poised to attack them at the Little Big Horn river.
Little Big Horn
by Robbie TaylorAfter hearing the report, he sent back to his superiors, Generals Alfred Terry and John Gibbon, for reinforcements. When they reached Custer with their two columns of soldiers, they then pressed forward to attack Sitting Bull. Their movements had given the Sioux Chief time to arrange his forces for an ambush, and he fell upon the American soldiers with great ferocity. However, just as it looked like Sitting Bull was on the verge of defeat, his secondary force under the command of Crazy Horse attacked the US soldiers from the rear. Trapped between the two mighty forces, General Terry was killed, and General Gibbon ordered a retreat. He limped out of the Little Big Horn with barely a hundred men and made it back to Fort Ellis.
In his official report on the battle, General Gibbon blamed Lt. Colonel Custer for the disaster, claiming that if Custer had attacked the Sioux instead of waiting for reinforcements, the natives wouldn't have had time to move into the ambush that claimed so many American soldiers.
In 2003, Aussie scientists begin taking apart the Martian craft to see if any of its secrets can be put to human advantage. Meanwhile, Martian forces in the Arctic begin bombardments of cities along the southern edge of the Arctic Circle.
In 1982, porn star John Holmes is acquitted of murder charges in the death of an acquaintance. After this narrow escape from death, he turns his life around and obtains a law degree from UCLA. Although dying of AIDS, he spent the rest of his life advocating for those who had been trampled by life, and tried to bring hope to others suffering his condition.
In 1978, hearts are broken across host country Argentina as they lose the World Cup 3-1. In the Netherlands, however, hearts soared as they avenged their loss in the 1970 Cup.
In 1950, the Korean conflict begins. With Chinese aid, the fascistic northern Koreans invade the Soviet American-aided southern Koreans. The bloody war rages for almost 4 years, and only results in a fierce stalemate, as both sides agree to end overt hostilities. China and Soviet America also agree to end covert hostilities towards each other after the conflict proved almost as costly to them as it had to their surrogates.
In 1265, Bishop Simon de Montfort faced Pope Henry III at the Battle of Evesham. After de Montfort was thoroughly routed, Pope Henry said, 'God has decreed a terrible punishment for all those who stand against him,' and ordered the rebel bishop dismembered. After tales of de Montfort's grisly end spread across the Holy British Empire, no one dared take up arms against the pope until after Henry III's passing.
In 1588, King Philip of Spain confirmed that Alvaro de Bazan, 1st Marquis of Santa Cruz and not the less experienced Duke of Medina Sidona would after all command the Spanish Armada. Santa Cruz had been seriously ill since Francis Drake burnt the Spanish ships at C?diz in 1587, and the King's unjustified reproach was said to have seriously affected his health. So much so, that in February of 1588 it was feared that he would die, Sidona was appointed and several ships of the Spanish Navy were named ?lvaro de Baz?n in his honour. When news of Santa Cruz recovery reached Plymouth, a shiver of fear ran through the English High Command.
In 1999, King Arthur II paid a visit to his estranged wife, Queen Gwen, in her cell. 'To what do I owe the honor?' Her sarcastic question brought a small smile to his lips, and she shrank back on her cell's cot from him. 'For an agent of our enemies, you have led our country surprisingly well in the war, my queen. I was wondering about that.' She looked out the bars at Sir Lance standing a dour guard and replied, 'With you safely ensconced in a hospital bed, my king, this was my country.For the first time in my life, I knew what it was to feel a sense of pride in one's nation. Our triumph had become my triumph. So close to ultimate victory, I couldn't let our warriors suddenly collapse as the Illuminati ordered. My kingdom demanded the destruction of the Central European Empire, and I obliged them.' Arthur leaned in close, his beard brushing her cheek, and whispered in her ear, 'And the fact that it would make you the world's most powerful ruler was just a side benefit, eh?' She rubbed her cheek against his while locking eyes with du Lac and said, 'No, that was the main motivation for me. But, in this instance, the kingdom's interests and mine coincided. I want to rule the world, and Great Britain is the tool which will allow me to do it.' She kissed him lightly on the cheek and he pulled away. 'How did you break my hold on Lance, by the way? That was very impressive.' Arthur walked back to his knight's side. 'Some loyalties will shine through no matter what they've been temporarily submerged by.' She nodded, an enigmatic smile on her face, and said, 'That is so true.'
In 1944, Free French movement leader Charles de Gaulle began making preparations to return to his homeland after nearly four years in exile.
|Charles De Gaulle|In 1982,
the film Blade Runner, based on the novel The Bladerunner by Alan E. Nourse
, is released in theaters. It stars Harrison Ford as Dr. John Long, with Michael Keaton as lame 'blade runner' Billy Gimp and Frances Sternhagen as nurse Molly Barret. It proves modestly popular, and will eventually become a cult favorite. The film's depiction of a near-future world in which medical care is rationed in the name of eugenics, with anyone over the age of six required to undergo sterilization in order to receive treatment, resonates with some in the audience because of its deliberate references to the growing costs of medical care in the U.S.
On this day in 2004 the controversial documentary film Fahrenheit 9/11 began its nationwide theatrical run in the US. The film's director and narrator, Michael Moore, used the occasion to attack the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences for refusing to nominate his previous film, Bowling for Columbine, for an Oscar in the Best Documentary category.
On this day in 1941, Soviet warplanes bombed Berlin for the first time in World War II.
In 1949, comic-philanthropist Jimmie Walker was born in the Bronx. During his stint on the TV series Good Time, Walker was paid a handsome salary, which he invested wisely. When the series came to an end, he was able to pick projects of high quality, rather than simply jump at any entertainment job that presented itself to him. He also donated to several charities, most notably the United Negro College Fund. The Jimmie Walker Memorial Scholarship was set up in his name to help other young black comics get both an education and a leg up in the entertainment world.
In 1947, pilot Ken Arnold buys his own airport with money that he said "a rich Uncle Sam left me". He never did say why.
In 1888, the Communist Party National Convention in Chicago nominates Alson J. Streeter as its presidential candidate. Streeter leads his party to victory against Socialist Grover Cleveland, but is defeated by Cleveland 4 years later in Cleveland's surprising return to the presidency.
In 1921, President of the American Federation of Labor, Samuel Gompers, leaves behind the office he had held for 39 terms. Under his leadership, the AFL had spearheaded a new labor strategy that had been suggested to him by his father, a cigar maker. The Means of Production program, under which labor pooled its resources together and began buying major, and in some cases, controlling stakes in publicly held companies, gave the AFL a voice in America's boardrooms that it had never had before. After this program was adopted by other unions unaffiliated with the AFL, American companies attempted to push through a law forbidding the formation of unions, but congressman who announced their support for it were threatened with defeat in the elections of 1898. This highly-organized political campaign, which Gompers had masterminded, was the watershed moment in America's labor history. Today, thanks to this man's genius, companies in America realize that they exist for the enrichment of their employees and shareholders, not the aggrandizement of management.
In 1982, the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is passed.
Equal Rights AmendmentThe ERA was originally written by Alice Paul and, in 1923, it was introduced in the Congress for the first time. In 1972, it passed both houses of Congress and went to the state legislatures for ratification.
But in spite of what its opponents had believed, it does not lead to enforced homosexuality, abortion and divorce. In spite of what its proponents had believed, it does not lead to equality, fair wages and sensitivity among men. It is an amendment, not magic.
In 1948, on this day supplies to American, British and French forces as well as the German civilian population were cut-off when Soviet forces blocked the roads to the western-occupied sections of Berlin.
Berlin Airlift Begins World War III, RebootThe military governor of the American Zone, U.S. Army General Lucius D. Clay (nicknamed "the Kaiser") provided the President with a characteristically bullish action plan: call the Soviet's bluff by sending the U.S. 3rd Armored Division with the next supply convoy. Certain that such an attempt to force the blockade would lead to war, Truman seriously considered others options for saving West Berlin.
The feasibility of an air lift was examined and it emerged that the RAF had been supplying their Forces with ammunition for some time. Moreover, Clay's counterpart, General Sir Brian Robertson, along with British Air Commodore Reginald Waite, had prepared a scenario for upscaling this operation to the complete supply of the whole city. A further positive was that although Soviet guarantees on road access were weak, the guarantees on air routes were hard and fast. But the headline numbers were still terrifying, the Western Allies had the current capability to deliver 120 tonnes a day, and the city needed 5,000 until winter when this would need to increase to include winter fuel such as coal.
There was of course a final option, the nuclear club. Problem was that Truman would have to use the handful of nuclear weapons that the United States had secretly maintained in contravention of the Baruch Plan. And in fact Truman suspected that Stalin knew all about this secret stockpile, and was using the crisis to force the issue out into the open.
This post is a combined reversal of two articles by Jeff Provine Baruch Plan Determines Americans will give up The Bomb and Berlin Airlift Begins World War III.
In 1975, on this day the disgraced former President Richard Nixon told the prosecutors of the Grand Jury that he was furious about a partially erased tape of a White House meeting that became the focus of Watergate cover-up accusations.
Blowing His Stack
By Ed and Scott PalterSecretary Rose Woods had confessed that about four minutes of the conversation had been accidentally erased from the tape, but an investigation by Security Adviser General Alexander Haig subsequetly discovered that the deletion was much longer than previously thought.
Having secured a pardon from his successor, Gerald Ford he was protected him from prosecution for any past Watergate crimes. And so his main legal risk during the eleven hours of questioning near his California home was being caught in a lie. Short of committing perjury, or implicating anyone in his much-diminished cadre of loyalists, he could testify with impunity.
But Nixon's disgrace was complete when a previously undiscovered backup copy of the tape was discovered at the White House. Because the missing minutes were a sickening fray boy jock discussion about a photograph of Hanoi Jane in which Nixon was fantasizing about taking her on the Oval Office desk with a ball gag on her. The discussion was more cringingly embarrassing for his personal integrity, because Nixon was keen to portray himself as a "straight little church arrow" in his private/family life.
In 1812, on the night before his army number more than half a million men crossed the Neman River in the Second Polish War, Napoleon suddenly came down with wind and cramps from his chicken marengo that kept him from sleeping.
Napoleon Reorganizes his Grande Armée While battling his discomfort, he read from one of his favorite classics, The Art of War by the Chinese ancient Sun Tzu. He paused between bouts of painful attacks and contemplated the army he had camped around him. Rather than Sun Tzu's model force of fast, elite troops, Napoleon had assembled the largest army known to man. He had hoped the army would strike fear into Czar Alexander and his generals, forcing them to bend to his will, but the "Little General" in him at last decided victories could not be won with simple weight. After all, many of the battles he had won to bring him here had been against much larger armies.
A new story by Jeff ProvineIn the morning, Napoleon ordered the movement of his troops across the river as was planned, but he himself worked with his secretaries and generals in whittling down the necessary army. Of his 554,000 men (300,000 of whom were French and Dutch, 100,000 Lithuanians and Poles, and the rest a mishmash from around Europe), he determined a main fighting force of about 200,000. The other troops suddenly seemed unnecessary, but Napoleon refused to let a man go to waste. He put the local Poles and Lithuanians as well as some Croats and Austrians into skirmishing parties while the rest he dedicated to building a massive supply line capable of supporting his army, though he had always planned to live off the land as Sun Tzu recommended.
Napoleon's new army moved with incredible speed across the Russian Empire despite its poor roads. The Russian army under Field Marshall Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly initially attempted to stop the smaller French force but was defeated. The Field Marshall kept his army from being crushed and fell back to a strategy of scorched earth, but the system of retreat did not stop Napoleon. When the French took St. Petersburg, the Czar and his court was forced to flee, and the disgraced de Tolly was replaced by Prince Mikhail Kutuzov. Napoleon moved toward Moscow, but Kutuzov met him with the bulk of the Russian forces at Borodino. There, in the largest single-day fight of the Napoleonic Wars, more than 250,000 men and 1,2000 cannon fought allout. Napoleon won a close victory, and the Russian army returned to retreat.
Victory at Borodino might have been a Pyrrhic one but for Napoleon's well built supply lines. The forty thousand casualties of the Russians could be replaced, and, though it would require longer to return to maximum strength, so could Napoleon's losses of 30,000. The march to Moscow continued. City governor Count Fyodor Rostopchin suggested that the city be set to torch, but Czar Alexander capitulated rather than seeing another capital fall violently. He met with Napoleon the Poklonnaya Hill and surrendered while Napoleon granted him continued control of the Russian Empire, sans the numerous lands such as Poland and the Ukraine that would be granted their freedom (at least, freedom from Russia, as they would be granted governments friendly to Napoleon's Continental System).
Napoleon spent the next years solidifying his command in Europe, putting down Cossack uprisings, quelling Spain, and pacifying the English, whose economy continued to crumble while rebels stirred from the French-backed Irish. He later turned back to expansion, taking Constantinople and conquering the Ottoman Empire. This sparked another war with England in which Napoleon would take the Mediterranean (and, most importantly, Egypt) and incite India to rebellion. Napoleon would die of stomach cancer shortly after Britain's surrender of Egypt in 1823, and his son Napoleon II would prove unable to carry on his father's work.
The French Empire would crumble, but the impact of Napoleonic conquest would be felt for centuries. In what had been efficiency, Napoleon had organized people-groups into states, leading to senses of Nationalism and the unifications of Germany and Italy. Smaller groups such as Serbs, Lithuanians, Poles, Basque, and so on, received new levels of self-government. Most notably, Napoleon would free the serfs of Russia, organizing them and creating a new environment of independence that would make the Russian kingdom a leader in the Second Industrial Revolution and a model of capitalism and progress through the twentieth century.
In 1953, at the Nuremberg Trials: the defense team for Adolf Hitler rebutted the charges of "planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression and other crimes against peace" by arguing that the Nazi invasion of Eastern Europe was a merely pretext for conducting the Final Solution.
Iron Nightmare 2
The Trial of Adolf HitlerAfter the 1st U.S. Army occupied the Peenemünde Space Port General Eisenhower soon realised that the High Command had faked their escape to the Dark Side of the Moon acting swiftly in order to intercept the Nazis en route to South America.
Watch the Youtube Trailer of Iron Sky
But an even more grisly truth emerged. Despite his stated objective of gaining Lebensraum for the Volk (living space for the German People), it soon became apparent that the whole Nazi programme was a vehicle for genocide, explaining the Fuhrer's callous indifference to military setbacks across the Eastern front. Because by 1943, four in five of the Jewish People who would perish in the Holocaust had already died.
In 2010, speaking from an underground bunker in an undisclosed location, life-term US President Jimmy Carter denied that the environmental catastrophe caused by geo-thermal drilling was the direct result of his thirty-year "self-sufficient" energy policy outlined to the American people in his "malaise speech" of July 15th, 1979.
Energy Secure NationSince that time, the new "energy-secure nation" had dramatically reduced its reliance on imported oil, largely withdrawing itself from unnecessary security commitments in the Middle East and Western Europe which of course the Soviet Union now occupied. However an explosion on the 20th April had caused catastrophic damage to the environment in the northern hemisphere, with speculation rife that an extinction-level event had only narrowly been averted.
And the problem was that the alleged success of the self-sufficiency program meant that the US could no longer shut down domestic facilities as environmentalists were demanding. To do so would turn off supply, bringing the country to the very standstill it had set out to avoid. Instead, Carter announced an acceleration of the second track of the policy, to move to a new platform of clean, renewable energy sources by 2025. By which time, it was hoped that the ecosphere would have returned to something approaching normal and peanut farming might again become viable.
In 1997, on this day the U.S. Air Force releases an official report acknowledging that the 1947 "Roswell incident" had in fact been a genuine encounter with extraterrestrial aliens.
The report states that the true character of the encounter had been concealed for national security reasons, both to avoid panic - in 1947, the hysteria over the infamous 1938 Orson Welles broadcast of H.G. Wells' novel War of the Worlds was still a painfully fresh memory - and in order to avoid revealing to the Soviets that the U.S. now had access to alien technology.
"Roswell Incident" - its official by Eric Lipps The document admits that the U.S. space program was partly inspired by the knowledge that extraterrestrials were observing Earth, but says that in fact no direct contact has been made. Moreover, it reveals, attempts to reverse-engineer the alien craft have been largely fruitless. "It's as if a modern jet aircraft had crashed in America in 1776 and the people back then had tried to copy it," reads one passage.
"It's as if a modern jet aircraft had crashed in America in 1776 and the people back then had tried to copy it,"Air Force spokesmen state that the report is being declassified and released because its findings have been judged no longer likely to trigger unrest and are not expected to provide any useful information to potential adversaries.
Perhaps the most surprising revelation contained in the document is a CIA assessment that the Soviet Union had possessed a similar alien wreck since 1927, retrieved from the site of the 1908 Tunguska event in which an explosion estimated at 10 to 20 megatons occurred over Siberia. Like their American counterparts, however, the Soviets had been unable to gain any more than minor technological and scientific advantages from studying their find.
In 2015, on this day London was hit with its fifth municipal employees' strike in as many months as sanitation workers walked off the job to protest plans to privatize the city's trash collection service.
On this day in 2002, religious and secular opponents of Saddam Hussein united for a rally in Baghdad to demand what one Shiite cleric referred to as "the abolition of a godless regime"; some of the bolder protestors took their grievances directly to the headquarters of Saddam's Revolutionary Command Council.
In 2003, Australian forces engage the Martians in Antarctica with disastrous results. However, one unit does manage to steal a Martian ship. Unable to fly it, they place it on a naval vessel that immediately heads for home. The Martians obviously think the ship was destroyed, because no one chases after them.
In the 45th year of Mikhaol's reign, he led his reassembled fleet from Harmakhis back to earth to crush the rebellion that the Europeans had committed against him. In his absence, the Europeans had raised Anubis above all other gods, and committed atrocities in His dark name.
In 1984, the Silver Beatles, musical superstar Pete Best's old band, release an album of covers, mostly of his old songs, but also a few recent pop singles. Their cover of 'Don't You Want Me, Baby' actually makes it to the top 50 charts in the UK, but interest fizzles out after a few weeks.
In 1982, the Equal Rights Amendment is passed. In spite of what its opponents had believed, it does not lead to enforced homosexuality, abortion and divorce. In spite of what its proponents had believed, it does not lead to equality, fair wages and sensitivity among men. It is an amendment, not magic.
In 613, Islam was dealt a serious blow when the Mali leader Sundjata Keita was defeated by Susu ruler Sumanguru Kante at the Battle of Kirina. Sumanguru disavowed Islam and ruled under traditional Mande law and religion. Many entreated Sumanguru to convert to the true faith, but he and his people resisted the will of Allah throughout his reign. His land became known among the infidels as sanctuary against the hard steel of the faithful.
In 1204 AUC, Valentinian III, emperor of the western Roman Empire, saw the appearance of a flame in the sky as an omen that God was displeased with his decision to allow Marcian to ascend to the throne in the east. He ordered his legions to take and kill Marcian, and after this was done, he declared an end to the bisected empire. No longer would Rome face the world with 2 heads; Valentinian would lead as sole emperor.
In 1999, King Arthur II was surprised to see how well Queen Gwen was conducting the war in his absence. He had expected to see retreat across all fronts - but Gwen had virtually eliminated the Illuminati as a threat, and the Central European Empire had all but ceased to exist. 'Perhaps I was wrong about her,' he said to Sir Lance du Lac in the War Planning Room. The knight disagreed vehemently. 'No, my liege, you were right. She was simply doing away with the competition - which included you.' King Arthur regarded his greatest knight for a moment. 'You don't believe she should be granted leniency, then?' Sir Lance's eyes lost a little bit of their life and he shook his head. 'I once defended her, my king, but no longer. She has committed treason against the royal person, and must be executed before she can do even more harm to our nation.' Arthur leaned back in his chair and considered how unpopular that decision would be, given the queen's high popularity. 'I don't think that's possible right now, Lance. We have to come up with another solution.'
Dalila Lolosili, the African Union
first woman chairman, delivered a key note speech in her native Kenya. Referring to twenty-century history, Lolosili stated that the seeds of the AU were sown by a decision made in London in the 1960s. Prime Minister Harold Wilson had listened to an emotional appeal to 'kith and kin' issued by the Prime Minister of Rhodesia, Ian Smith when he announced the Unilateral Declaration of Independence. In so doing, Wilson overruled the principles established by the Canadian Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson known as No Independence Before Majority African Rule
. Consequently, Rhodesia had been tacitly authorised to build a white settler nation. Smith at one point stated that there could be no plans to bring Rhodesia under 'black majority rule' in his lifetime, later adding, 'or [my] children's.' Smith later maintained in his memoirs that he was referring to black rule as it was in other African countries such as Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania, and Nigeria but a recording was played on the BBC World Service (on the day of his death) of Smith saying: 'I don't believe in Black Majority rule ever - not in a thousand years'. A little over a century later, the continent of Africa was transformed, with the AU competing with the other emerging super-powers of India and China for global mastery.
following the Battle of Toulouse
Umayyad control spread inexorably westward from Narbonne into Aquitaine. The Frankish Army led by Duke Odo of Aquitaine had been defeated on June 9th by an Umayyad army besieging the city, and the keys to south-west France were now in the hands of governor of Al-Andalus, Al-Samh ibn Malik al-Khawlani.
In 1812, Napoleon's Grande Armee beginning his triumphant invasion of Russia. The Little Corporal intended to expand France at all costs, despite the harsh Russian winter and would not be stopped from achieving the mastery of europe.
on this day a sudden outbreak of St John's Dance
(known as Johannistanz or Johannestanz in Germany) commenced, causing people in the streets of Aachen, Germany, to experience hallucinations and begin to jump and twitch uncontrollably until they collapsed from exhaustion. This outbreak of mass hysteria was one of the many signs of the fall of Western Civilization. The plague swept across Europe depopulating the continent.
In 1947, pilot Ken Arnold made contact with a group of flying saucers over Mt. Rainier in Washington. When [REST OF POST CENSORED]
In the 3rd year of Kamanestra's reign, the Army of the Western Lands arrived in Eire and forced them back into the service of the Pharaohs. Pockets of resistance lasted for several years, but most of the population had never heeded the words of the chieftains, anyway, and barely obeyed the Egyptians.
In 110, by the grace of Allah, the forces of the Umayyad defeated the Frank general Charles Martel at Poitier. The path was then cleared for all of the Frankish people to be brought the teachings of the Prophet.
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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.