A Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today.
Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Written by Alternate Historian

January 5

In 1757, on this day as King Louis XV left his daughter's apartments after a familial visit, madman Robert Damiens sprung from the dark with a pistol.

Louis XV Assassinated Fired it at point-blank range, the bullet tore into the king's torso between his ribs, causing unstoppable bleeding that killed the king before midnight. The king's guard set upon Damiens and spared his life only to be found guilty of regicide (the first even attempted in France in 140 years) and drawn and quartered.

Damiens' attack was the outcome of years of propaganda against the royal. He had worked a servant of the Parliamente of Paris, who constantly criticized the king, especially as his mistress, Madame de Pompadour, came increasingly into influence. She was an emblem of Rococo, the outrageous style of the day that flooded palaces with ostentatious glamor. While the court of Louis XV was not particularly spendthrift, their lifestyles seemed as such to the rest of France. The nation had been drawn into war with Prussia and Great Britain, and again Madame de Pompadour was seen as the instigator with her bickering with Frederick II of Prussia and ideals of militarism. Damiens seemed only to act as the will of the people.

Almost instantly after the death of the king, the French changed their opinions and mourned the loss of someone great. Pompadour was taken out of the public light as Louis XVI was crowned and set to work to bring France triumphantly out of the unpopular war. The Duc de Richelieu managed a successful invasion of Hanover that summer, first overwhelming the Army of Observation and then defeating the English Duke of Cumberland's forces at the Battle of Hastenbeck and taking Hanover on August 11. On August 21, Richelieu begrudgingly agreed to Cumberland's armistice, though he felt he could invade further into the Germanies and challenge Prussia. The King of Denmark offered to broker peace, which France agreed to do, seeing that a long war would lose them their colonies and their only hope was seizing European bargaining chips at great cost. Britain made considerable demands, leaving France with only Quebec and Louisiana in North America and taking much of their holdings in Africa and India. Still, it was seen in Paris as a bad war for the time as Louis XVI needed to become settled.

Taking in support from the aristocracy of the Parliamente (to whom he granted civil authority in exchange for monetary advances, setting the stage for ending autocracy), Louis began reforming his army and, especially, his navy. The preempted war would eventually spark again, this time as Frederick II attempted an invasion of Sweden upon the death of Elizabeth of Russia in 1762 and the ascension of pro-Prussian Peter III. Russia planned conquest of Finland while Prussia hoped to push Sweden into something of a military vassal. England, Spain, and Austria joined with France against them, and the revitalized French army crushed Frederick's forces as Peter was overthrown by his wife Catherine (soon to be called "the Great"). France established significant international clout by the time of Louis XVI's death in 1765 due to tuberculosis, which also ravaged the court. Eleven-year-old Louis XVII came to the throne, advised by the Parliamente, which by reform gained a house of popularly elected representatives. Under him, France launched a new age of imperialism, establishing a sphere of influence in southeast Asia in Vietnam and Cambodia as well as numerous islands throughout the Pacific. War over Australia would drive the French and English against one another again in a long series of naval campaigns that would prove ultimately inconsequential other than producing maritime technology and significant monetary drain.

The nineteenth century would continue with moderate social reforms and on-again, off-again warfare between England and France. Balance maintained the European kings until the Industrial Revolution spawned an uprising of anarchists that would put an end to royalty in brutal fashion.

In 1928, on this day Walter Mondale - one of America's greatest Presidents - was born in Ceylon, Minnesota.

Birth of President MondaleHe graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1951. He then served in the U.S. Army in the Korean War before earning a law degree in 1956. He married Joan Adams in 1955. Working as a lawyer in Minneapolis, Mondale was elected to the position of attorney general in 1960. He was appointed U.S. Senator in late 1964 as a member of the Democratic Party upon the resignation of Hubert Humphrey, and held that post until 1976 when he became the 42nd Vice President of the United States.

He assumed the presidency after the worst disaster in American history. The wind currents from three-mile island swept the eastern seaboard and the radiation even reached Washington DC, where dozens of members of Congress were killed, as well as President Carter. Despite low expectations, he emerged as one of America's greatest presidents.

Because in 1981 air-traffic controllers, federal employees banned from striking, confronted President Mondale. In spite of the temptation to have them fired and end the strike, Mondale negotiated with the controllers, and reached a fair settlement of their grievances. Labor was forever after grateful to Mondale, but the move enraged conservatives who declared that Mondale was in the pocket of big unions.

In 2011, on this day sixty-five year old Herman Cain was cast in the lead role for the retro cowboy blaxploitation sequel movie "The Doc II".

The Doc IIThe first blockbuster movie had starred Barry Obama and his dumb sidekick Joe Biden. Unfortunately the spinoff (a four-year HBO series) had met with high initial praise, but then suddenly ended without resolving any of the plot threads. Despite their pleading requests to get a second chance to restart or reset the concept (socialized quack medicine for the "have-nots"), the under-performing pair were firmly told that it was time for a change that the audience could believe in - before the network itself run out of funds.

With the tired old cast of supporting actors stuck in a rut, Dodge City desperately needed to freshen up with some star quality. To re-energize the second movie installment, a "rough diamond" actor was sought who could cut to the chase (under his 9-9-9 plan he promised to clean-up the Town). And encouraging first reactions to his sensational, gritty acting style followed, a positive indication that the casting decision would be broadly welcomed by fans. But sadly, his ratings would drop sharply after a series of tawdry allegations emerged about his even more racey personal life.

In 1928, on this day the 41st President of the United States Walter Frederick Mondale was born in Ceylon, Minnesota.

Walter F. Mondale
41st President of the United States
January 20 1985-January 20, 1993
When 1984 began it seemed incumbent president Ronald Reagan would be unbeatable in the upcoming presidential election. An economic boom in the USA was largely attributed to Reagan by the public, that combined with him surviving an assassination attempt early in his presidency had earned large support.

The Democratic Primaries saw three strong contenders for the Presidential Nomination: Former Vice President Walter Mondale, Colorado Senator Gary Hart and civil rights activist Jesse Jackson.

Though Hart would make an unexpectedly strong showing, he was ultimately beaten by Mondale who went on to become the nominee. Mondale used the then popular line "Where's the beef?" when describing Hart's "new ideas" platform.

A new article from Althistory WikiaDespite the bitter primary, Mondale ultimately decided to choose Hart as his running mate. Mondale hoped to use Hart's youth and verbal skills to his advantage, and to appeal to young voters.

In June, Reagan's problems began to mount. A doctor's appointment revealed he had cancerous polyps on his colon that were promptly removed. This cause questions of his health and if he was fit to lead. Reagan attempted to laugh off such concerns, claiming "I've survived a bullet; a few small bumps won't slow me down". Unfortunately this proved unsuccessful when cancer cells were discovered on his nose and quickly removed.

Reagan's health concerns combined with the positive reaction of Mondale choosing Hart caused Reagan's original 10 point lead in the polls to drop to 5.

The Democratic National Convention took place from July 16 to July 19. It was seen as a great success for the party. Hart gave an energetic speech where he promised to bring a voice for a new generation to Washington. He took a shot at Reagan claiming he was waging a war against the poor, "Well Reagan, you'll find out how hard it can be to find a job once we get you out of Washington and to the unemployment line!" was a popular line from Hart's speech.

Mondale gave a more subtle, but well received speech where he promised to fight for the middle class, for the forgotten citizens and for a more peaceful, more secure world. Word is originally Mondale was going to admit he would raise taxes if elected, but was talk out of it by Hart. This has never been proven.

The convention gave Mondale-Hart another bump cutting Reagan's lead down to 2 points.

Reagan's health concerns continued when in early August more cancer cells were discovered on his nose and were removed.

Near the end of August the Republican National Convention was held. It was highlighted by Reagan swearing his recent health problems had only made him stronger. Reagan-Bush saw their led bump back up to 5 points.

The Presidential Debates followed, Mondale won both decisively. Reagan was forced during the debates to go on the defensive and downplay questions about his health and questions over his fitness to lead. Mondale gained considerably in the eyes of voters, many who watched the debates called Mondale intelligent, determined and that he had a clear vision, while Reagan came off as confused and angry.

For the first time in the campaign the Mondale-Hart ticket took a lead in the polls with 2 points.

The Vice-Presidential debate was much closure with both sides declaring victory. Bush stated the Reagan had shown real leadership and a clear economic plan in his four years in office while Mondale was associated with "The failed Carter presidency". Hart shot back saying Reagan had forgotten real Americas and favored the rich. The debate was seen as a tie and the poll numbers didn't change.

As Election Day came closure The Reagan campaign released "The Bear in the Woods" ad which implied the U.S.S.R. was a threat and that Mondale would not be a strong leader. The also released an ad showing the disagreements Hart and Mondale had during the primaries and suggested that both were right, and that neither could lead the country.

In response the Mondale campaign released an ad playing up "Reagan's war against the poor and middle class" the ad appealed to Blue Collar workers in the Northeast who' d seen massive closings in the Steel, Auto, Rubber, and Chemicals industries.

The polls became even as the election neared.

What was seen originally as an easy win for Reagan became a nail biter.

Ultimately Mondale-Hart won with 296 Electoral votes, carrying: Washington. Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Ohio, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Florida and The District of Columbia.

Mondale and Hart were sworn in on January 20th, 1985, both promising a fair and strong America for all its citizens.

In 2010, on this day sixty years after the Slattery Report (the Problem of Alaskan Development), recommended the provision of land in Alaska for the temporary refugee settlement of European Jews who were being persecuted by the Nazis during World War II, the first citizens of the newly formed Federal District of Sitka exercised their newly obtained right of return to Palestine.

Right of ReturnBecause under the arrangements for the "Reversion", on the stroke of midnight 31st December 2009, the sixty year lease on the independent Jewish settlement created on the Alaskan coast had expired. The Acting Mayor of the Federal District of Sitka Sarah Palin had reached a broad settlement with both the Tlingit Alaska Natives and also the Governments of Palestine and Jordan.

"Jerusalem, a city of blood and slogans painted on the wall, severed heads on telephone poles"Unsatisfied by the American lease, at the climax of World War Two Zionists sought to create a Jewish Homeland in Palestine. Their expectations had been unfairly raised by the Balfour Declaration, in which the British Government stated that whole of Mandatory Palestine would become the Jewish National Home. But by the time the State of Israel was declared, Britain was committed to the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan. Five Arab armies immediately attacked the new nation including the Arab Legion headed by a British Officer, John Glubb.

After months of savage fighting, an Arab Palestine State was created. But the so-called "West Bank" of Jordan, comprising East Jerusalem, Samaria and Judea remained Jordian "occupied territories". Jewish institutions and houses of worship were destroyed, and inhabitants expelled. And it was the grand children of those Palestinian refugees that travelled to Sitka who were now offered a right of return negotiated by Sarah Palin.

During the sixty years since the failed attempt to create a Jewish homeland in Israel, Sitka had thrived. Undoubtedly the high point of Jewish Civilization was the "Safety Pin", a tall building erected for the 1977 World Fair held in Sitka and a source of pride for its inhabitants.
This article is a part of the Sitka thread.

In 1961, on this day the Yankees held a press conference to report on the progress of reconstruction efforts at Yankee Stadium.

 - Yankee Stadium
Yankee Stadium

On this day in 1964, Weeb Ewbank coached the Boston Patriots to their first-ever AFL league championship, leading them to a 51-7 victory over the San Diego Chargers.

In 1945, the Soviet States of America recognizes the pro-American socialist government of Canada, newly elected by America's neighbors to the north, who had finally decided to throw off the shackles of their imperialist patrons in Great Britain and join with their southern neighbors in the everlasting bonds of Marxist-Thoreauvian brotherhood.
In 1861, the Star of the West, the famous deep-space exploratory vessel built by the North American Confederation, launches from the N.A.C. base in Fort Sumter, Carolina. Over its twenty years of service, the Star maps and explores almost one hundred stellar systems and contacts ten new sentient species.
In 1066, Pope Edward the Confessor died in England. His death led to the beginning of the Norman line of Popes for the Holy British Empire, the most famous of which were the Plantagenets, founded by Pope Henry II. The expansion of the British Church?s power into France was ultimately responsible for the Last Pope, Righteous I, and the savior, Estelle Gerard.
In 1000 Post-Creation, Lucifer informs the Creator that the rebellious host will not be turned from their course and the Creator gives him the authority to cast them down. Lucifer is also ordered to destroy the man and woman, as much as it saddens Him. Lucifer travels back to earth, heavily conflicted about carrying out the Creator's orders.
After(cont.) ~ 'We'll go get the cars,' Jake said, pointing at Kevin, 'then come back here to load up and head out.'
Janice asked, 'Hey, why do you two get to go?'
'Well, he's the man with the cash,' Jake said, 'and we need somebody to drive the other car.'
'I can drive.'
'I been through a course on combat driving.'
Janice scrunched up her face at him. 'OK, you win this round.'
'I'm gonna shower,' Kevin said, heading off to his bedroom. 'I've been wearing the same clothes for 2 days.'
After he left, the others all looked after him. Steph said, 'Poor guy.'
Jake cocked his head at her. 'Yeah, poor little millionaire.'
'He don't get to spend it yet. He may never, throwin' in with all you fools.' There was a little sadness in her eyes. 'I bet he thought his life was set, too. All he had to do was get to Austin.'
'None of us planned this,' Janice said, sitting next to her.
'Girl, you been plannin' this for years,' Steph said, dismissively. 'You and those two,' she said, waving a hand at Mike and Eli. 'He's just regular folks, just wanting to have some money so he can have some fun in life. Now, he's gotta finance the revolution.'
'Hey, he's the one who wanted to rescue Bush,' Eli said. 'I'd be happy just scootin' off to New Mexico.'
'We all have obligations,' Jake said, looking into his ex-wife's eyes.
She looked back and winked. 'Yep.'
'Man, let's turn the TV back on,' Janice said, grabbing for the remote. 'This is getting way too serious for me.'
'Awright,' George said. 'Find the cartoon channel.'
Janice flipped through a few channels, but couldn't find anything but news of Bush's 'miraculous' rescue. She hit the button to bring up the channel guide, and noticed that Kevin got the BBC. On the off chance that it might still be accessible and have something other than what she was currently seeing, she changed to that channel.
'...een suspended in the interests of national security. Please contact your local cable company for more information on what channels are best to view in this national emergency. This channel has been suspended in the interests of national security. Please contact your local cable company for more information on what channels are best to view in this natio - '
'Right.' She went back to the guide to look for the cartoon channel, found it, and put it on. Mercifully, it had not been suspended for national security reasons. A couple of fairies flitted after a young boy, and George seemed pleased that she found the channel.
They all were soon watching with him, forgetting the world outside for a brief time.

In 2002, first confrontation between U.S. and Afghan troops.

News of the confrontation ignites fury in Kabul. Afghanistan's prime minister issues a fiery declaration: "The Americans have chosen war when we offered them peace. So be it! We will resist the invaders to the last ditch, to the last drop of blood. And in the name of Allah the Merciful, the All-Powerful, we shall prevail!"

 - Al Gore
Al Gore

On this day in 2016, the trailer for Jerry Bruckheimer's second CSI movie began showing in theaters across the US and Canada.                                                                                  

 - Jerry Bruckenheimer
Jerry Bruckenheimer

On this day in 2011, CBS announced that CSI:New York, the last series of the CSI franchise still on the air, had been renewed through the 2014 fall season.


On this day in 1956, Sandy Koufax scored his 250th NBA career point in a Celtics victory against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.                                              

 - Sandy Koufax
Sandy Koufax

In 1976, Senator Henry M. Jackson announces he will run for president in that year's election, setting up a confrontation between him and Senator Edward M. Kennedy, whose vice-presidential running-mate he had been in 1972.

Jackson makes no secret of his belief that Kennedy is "soft" on the Soviets, and the Washington senator also insinuates that his Massachusetts counterpart is unfriendly to 'America's only real friend in the Middle East,' Israel. By the time of the convention, personal feelings between the two men - never really warm - will have badly deteriorated.

Senator - Henry M. Jackson
Henry M. Jackson

In 1781, American rebel Benedict Arnold sacks the city of Richmond, in one last act of defiance before fleeing to Canada.                                                                                          


With the American revolution largely at an end, Arnold and his revolutionary comrades felt that a statement had to be made against those who capitulated so quickly to the British. General Arnold, of course, was an instrumental figure in the fight for Canadian independence.

In 47,385 BCE, Telka the Speaker reaches her final home. The hard journey across the ocean to Australia left the Speaker weak and feeling her age. Her great-granddaughter, Swikolay, had brought her mate and two sons with them, and they nursed her back to health slowly.
In 4288, Shehzaada Khurram, venerated Indian governor for the Chinese Empire, was born in Agra. His patronage was responsible for the creation of the finest art and architecture to grace southeast Asia. The Taj Mahal, his greatest achievement, is almost as impressive a palace as the Forbidden City, itself.
In 1959, Buddy Holly's record It Doesn't Matter Anymore was released by Coral Records. Supported by the winter tour he was on, the record rose to number 1 on the charts, and became the title track of his summer album, It Doesn't Matter Anymore.
In 1953, the side-splitting slapstick comedy En Attendant Godot by the playwright Samuel Beckett, made its debut in Paris. Widely regarded as Beckett's masterpiece, it has been translated and filmed in several languages, delighting audiences around the world.
In 1994, former Speaker of the House Thomas Tip O'Neill dies at his home in Boston. O'Neill had a short reign at the top of the House's hierarchy after being elected to the position in 1977. He feuded with the newly elected President Carter, and was notoriously unhelpful in passing the Democratic president's agenda. He was replaced in the next election cycle by Texas Representative Barbara Jordan, who was much more willing to stand up for the party's values.

January 4

In 1642, the spies of King Charles intercepted Member of Parliament John Pym just as he was fleeing London. A fierce critic of the monarch and popular party leader, Royalists had nicknamed him "King Pym" because of his great influence on the Long Parliament, but even so he was just one of the gang of leading rebels that were being rounded up.

Execution of King PymSuspecting that some members of the English Parliament had colluded with the invading Scots during the recent Bishop's War, the King had directed Parliament to give up five vociferous members of the Commons - Pym, John Hampden, Denzil Holles, William Strode and Sir Arthur Haselrig - and one peer - Lord Mandeville - on the grounds of high treason. When Parliament refused, his wife Henrietta Maria persuaded Charles to arrest the five members by force, which Charles intended to carry out personally

Accordingly, the leading rebel parliamentarian was brought before the King, who declared Pym a traitor and had him executed in order to quell the rebellious streak that the legislature had been showing. This has the opposite effect, and Parliament and the king were at war the next month.

It is Jan 4 1894, and after much deliberation, Czar Alexander III has refused to join an alliance with France. He has been tempted to do so by a large loan that the French had given him to buy arms for the coming war against Japan. But finally, seeing the danger of having to fight against Germany, he returns the money with regret. An article from our Happy Endings thread.

Happy Endings 42:
An imperially happy ending
Twenty years later, Austria and Hungary invade Serbia, following the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand. Lacking allies in the West, Russia is forced to back down without mobilizing, when the Germans threaten to support Austria. Without the alliance with France, Russia simply could not fight Germany and Austria by herself.

Instead of World War I, there is merely an isolated conflict between Austria and Serbia, ending in a stalemate. It showed the extreme weakness of the Austrians fighting alone and the map of Europe remaining unchanged.

So now the Hapsburgs, Hohenzollerns and Romanovs still rule their respective empires to this day. Since it has not been weakened by two world wars, the British Monarchy maintains its empire as well.

In 2001, President-elect Ralph Nader, who had been chosen by the people in the biggest election shocker in a century, was assassinated before he could assume office.

President-elect Nader AssassinatedAlthough there was some constitutional question about it, the Vice-President-elect, Nader's running mate Winona LaDuke, took the oath of office later that month and became the first woman president in American history.

Wikipedia reports - Winona (meaning "first daughter" in Ojibwe) LaDuke was born in 1959 in Los Angeles, California, to Vincent and Betty (Bernstein) LaDuke. Her father, an Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) from White Earth Reservation in Minnesota, enrolled his daughter as a member of the tribe at an early age. As a young man, he had been an activist on treaty rights and tribal issues, particularly the loss of lands. The reservation was one-tenth of its original size, and the losses contributed to unemployment and other problems of its people.

In 1986, on this day Irish singer and musician Phil Lynott was released from Salisbury District Hospital in Wiltshire. Listen to Whiskey in the Jar on YouTube

The Boy is back in TownThe previous years had been dogged by drug and alcohol dependency leading to his collapse on Christmas Day 1985, at his home in Kew. He was discovered by his mother, who was unaware of his dependency on heroin. She contacted his wife Caroline Crowther, who was, and immediately knew the problem was serious. After Caroline drove him to a drug clinic at Clouds House in East Knoyle, near Warminster, he was taken to Salisbury Infirmary where he was diagnosed as suffering from septicaemia.

Fortunately this was a false alarm and a second opinion determined it to be a misdiagnosis. He recovered consciousness to speak to a mysterious visitor. No record remains of that conversation, but Phil Lynott was changed forever. He told his mother that something, something just incredible had happened to him that very day. But she knew the truth of it anyway. Hurrying to the Hospital minutes before, she had caught a glimpse of the vistors's bare feet, you see. Jesus will meet you at the point of your need she said, and he nodded in full understanding, hot tears of joy running down his face. Listen to The Boys are Back in Town on YouTube

In 1919, on this day the seventh Chancellor of the German Empire Georg Friedrich Graf von Hertling passed away in Berlin. He was seventy-five years old. An installment from the Central Powers Victorious thread.

Central Powers Victorious Part 1 Death of a PuppetHertling became professor of philosophy at the University of Munich, and while professor he published books on Aristotle (1871) and on Albertus Magnus (1880). From 1875 to 1890, and again from 1893 to 1912, he was a member of the Reichstag, and from 1909 to 1912 he led the Centre (Catholic) Party faction in the Reichstag. In 1891, the Regent of Bavaria made him a life member of the upper house of the Bavarian Landtag.

As leader of the largest party in the Bavarian Landtag, in 1912 Hertling was appointed Bavarian Minister-President and Minister for Foreign Affairs by Luitpold, Prince Regent of Bavaria. King Ludwig III later elevated him to the rank of Count. Following the outbreak of World War I, Hertling supported the policy of Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg but declined to become his successor in 1917. After the fall of Georg Michaelis in November of that year, however, he accepted appointment as German Chancellor and Minister-President of Prussia.

Given his age and conservatism, he was not equipped to overcome the influence of the military high command, led by Paul von Hindenburg and Erich Ludendorff. Like Michaelis before him, he was increasingly seen as a puppet of Hindenburg and Ludendorff, who constituted a virtual military dictatorship in the last year of the war.

In the final year of his life, Imperial Germany was a victor power making a formal transition to military dictatorship. There was growing evidence that von Hertling was fighting to reassert civilian authority. A power struggle developed. But it was simply not possible to turn the clock back five years, and in any case Ludendorff was seriously considering a formalization of the military dictatorship at the point when von Hertling passed away. Ludendorff was determined to ensure that he would have no successor...

In 1649, on this day the Rump Parliament voted to put Charles I on trial. But Dirk Puehl wonders what if the outbreak of the English Civil War had actually been avoided by a game-changing point of divergence?
This post was written by Dirk Puehl the highly recommended author of #onthisday #history Google+ posts.

The Fortuitous Death of Thomas WentworthWhen Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Stafford (pictured), succumbed to disease in September 1640 it was as if an evil spirit had been banished from King Charles said. Even though still lingering between bankruptcy, dangerous continental ideas of Absolutism and flirting with Catholicism, Charles was no longer goaded into conflict at all costs with his parliament.

When the latter went into session in September of that year, later known as the "Long Parliament" the doors were finally open for reconciliation. As King Charles was not able to lay his hands on the late Earl of Stafford's financial assets, he made quite a lot of concessions to avoid total bankruptcy - one of them being the agreement to finally divorce his unpopular French Catholic wife Henrietta Maria. This announcement made before the Long Parliament on January 4th 1641 eased tensions palpably.

During the rest of Charles rule, things never went to easy between him and parliament with his lingering demands of royal supremacy, but never went as far as being an open conflict again after the approval of almost all members to the war with France that broke out when Henrietta Maria fled with both her sons to her native lands after Charles had married Lady Anne Montagu, daughter of one of his generals and parliamentary leader Edward Montagu, 2nd Earl of Manchester.

In 1815, not yet thirty years after declaring independence from Britain, New England declared independence again at the Hartford Convention during the latter days of the War of 1812.

New England SecedesWith the exception of John Adams, the United States had been dominated by Virginia planters, almost to the point of tyranny. While no one could speak ill of George Washington, the hero of the young country, the policies of Thomas Jefferson and his protege James Madison infuriated New England.

The political differences were not completely geographical, but the societies of the North and South formed a great rift. In the South, Jeffersonian Democratic-Republicans held to the ideal "gentleman farmer", men who could last on their own thanks to rich soil and, of course, slaves in his employ. Great wealth was held by the elites, who spoke of representing each man with natural rights while not giving the slave votes, but counting them as three-fifths for census to bolster their numbers in representation. Small states such as Rhode Island and New Hampshire were practically overlooked. They also spoke of minimal government influence on trade, refusing money for canals or highways, but seemingly all too happy to promote embargoes that forced up agrarian prices while decimating commerce.

Trade was New England's lifeblood. While the majority of people were small landowners and cottage-industrialists, the economy of the region still tied to harbors. The Federalists favored strong government for improvement and defense, but economic tampering and declaring war went too far. When Madison won his second term, the War of 1812 raged, and Canada became victim to American campaigns. Militias had worked in the Revolutionary War, and Massachusetts and Connecticut had refused to fall under the orders of an aggressive War Department, prompting Madison to refuse payment for defenses. They raised their own funds, prompted by Harrison Gray Otis, who would be a leading member of the Hartford Convention to discuss the grievances New England held. It was an obvious example that New England was prepared to stand on its own.

Secession had been brought up in years past, but the idea had always withered. Dr. Franklin himself had said repeatedly, "Join or die". However, they now had great reason to see what became of joining with war-hawks and expansionists making war on Canada. The Constitution brought forth by Madison himself read, "...establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare..". The War of 1812 with its invasion was unjust in the eyes of New England, interrupted tranquility with its embargoes, brought about great danger with British naval raids, and retarded the general welfare overall. Otis led the call for secession, and New England voted to do just that.

The news shocked the rest of the nation. They had sneered at "Blue Light Federalists" who stood as pro-Britain and supposedly flashed blue-light signals in warning of blockade runners and known of New England opposition to the war in Congress, but this had gone too far. After news came to Washington about the signing of the Treaty of Ghent and the end of the war in December, the Federalists became embarrassed, but word of fights still continuing at New Orleans and in the frontier gave them a point to rally behind. Secession was made official, and all but a few representatives left the burned-out Washington, D.C. War-weariness dragged down efforts from the South to force New England back into the fold, though General Andrew Jackson repeatedly volunteered to lead a campaign. As Napoleon escaped from his exile and began anew his wars in France, New England took up alliance with Britain, which prompted the South to begrudgingly step back.

Tensions between the United States of America and the Federated States of America continued. Jackson became elected on a platform of invading the Federation, which had grown wealthy with its investments in canals, favored trade with Canada and Britain, as well as its improved banking system, and the War Between the States began in 1830. After four brutal years of New England's defense through militias and support from Britain, the United States answered New England's continual offer of armistice if they could just be free. Jackson proved to tear apart the Union rather than preserve it, sending the Democratic-Republicans into two parties that would break up the country further over the issue of slavery. The Confederate States of America from Virginia to Louisiana broke away in 1860, buffering up against the Republic of Texas. The old ideal of Manifest Destiny with the pioneers conquering the frontier from sea to shining sea would eventually be seen, but in the form of six differing nations after the formation of the California Republic and Deseret.

In 70 AD, the Gospel writer Matthew posted the following update to his blog:

Update - Fellow blogger John has written that he and Peter went to the tomb and it was empty! The burial clothes were there, but no body!

What if the Gospels were written as blogs?Comments (7):

Zedekiah: I can't believe you actually believe Mary Magdalene. She obviously is delusional (just look at her history) and you are a sap to take her seriously.

Abinadab: Good point @Zedekiah. But what I can't believe is that anyone would take a former tax-collector seriously. What a joke.

Luke: Great post! I'm going to link to you on my own blog!

Azel: This is ridiculous - no one takes this Jesus of Nazareth seriously; I mean, really, from Nazareth? Everyone knows that the Messiah will come from Bethlehem. You guys are all tools.

Hazael: This is clearly a hoax. I notice how you were conveniently not at his crucifixion, and how the only witness you have for his "resurrection" is a woman with a questionable history. I'll take you seriously when you show a little more proof.

Ahaziah: I don't really care about this Jesus fellow; what really matters is that we overthrow the oppressive Roman rulers. Everyone should know better than to listen to a guy who used to work for the Romans. Shame on you.

Saul of Tarsus: Jesus is a heretic and anyone who follows him has left the true Faith of God Almighty. Mark my words, there will be consequences for these actions?

IN 1990, (UPI) MOSCOW, Jan. 4 reported: A spokesman for the Soviet government acknowledged today that troops of the Soviet Central Asian republic of Abkhazia had been fired upon when they approached the Institute of Experimental Pathology and Therapy at Sukhumi operated by Dr. Boris Lupin. Bizarre rumors have swirled for decades around the facility, among them allegations that Dr. Lupin had been using artificial insemination techniques in an effort to create human-ape hybrids with supernormal strength and dulled intellects as ideal drone workers and troops.Dr Lupin's Laboratory by Eric LippsThe Soviet spokesman revealed that the institute's defenders were in fact products of Lupin's experiments, which had evolved far beyond the crude efforts to combine human sperm and ape ova or vice versa. Those early efforts, he said, had failed, apparently due to immunological incompatibilities and to the fact, unknown at the beginning, that whereas chimps and gorillas actually possess 48 chromosomes, humans have 46. Until the 1950s, it was believed that humans also had 48 chromosomes.

Lupin's later experiments apparently involved a version of genetic recombination of the sort which became feasible in the 1960s and early '70s, and involved efforts to hybridize human DNA with that of both chimpanzees and gorillas. According to the account released by the Soviet government, it appears that Lupin had actually achieved limited success with these efforts, producing individuals ranging from those with mostly human DNA and some ape traits, resembling, according to the Central Asians, stereotypical "cavemen," to those resembling upright-walking apes apparently capable of following orders and operating rifles. Lupin allegedly considered these hybrids prototypes of the ultimate uniform model he planned to produce.

The government spokesman asserted that Premier Gorbachev had been ignorant of these efforts, and had believed that the Institute had been devoted exclusively to the primate research for which it was officially known, some of which had contributed to the Soviet space program. When pressed as to the Kremlin's intentions regarding the interspecies creatures Dr. Lupin has already produced, and the technology used to create them, the Kremlin?s representative was vague, fueling speculation that Lupin's work may be continued elsewhere.

That, however, may not be altogether Moscow's decision to make. Unrest in Abkhazia has raised the specter of secession. If the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia were to sever its ties with Moscow, the likely result would be war - but whether armed conflict erupts or not, Moscow may be unable to maintain control of Lupin's technology. The prospect of such sophisticated genetic manipulation methods falling into the hands of breakaway republic or even terrorist groups is likely to be of major concern to the CIA, as well as to security organizations in other countries.

In 1662, General George Monck became Lord Protector after Parliament's refusal to restore Charles Stuart to the throne, focused the country toward fighting a war to the finish. The Royalist rebels in England were defeated in 1664 (all but in the South East) and Scotland was conquered in 1665. In the United Provinces dropped out of the war in 1664 and Ireland was conquered by 1666. Spain dropped out of the war in 1667 and France finally gave up attemtpting to invade England in 1668. The Commonwealth gained recognition from these nations, and also gained territory in North America, taking Cuba and Hispaniola from Spain and Acadia from France (though they handed back New Netherland as a condition for the Dutch dropping out).Churchill restores order by PJYWhen Monck died in 1670, the British Isles returned to a system of total domnation of Parliament. The Commonwealth didn't have a head of state or Government, all MP's were nominally equal. Several factions formed all the same.

The British didn't get involved in Continental affairs for the rest of the century, instead increasing their naval power, safeguarding their colonies (the Commonwealth and the Dutch fought another brief war in 1677-1679 that came to nothing), increasing their trade and turning themselves into a 'great nation' through men like Isaac Newton and Christopher Wren.

In 1700, the Commonwealth did begin to get involved in Contiental affairs once more when the King of Spain died and stated that he wished for Philippe de Bourbon, Duke of Anjou to succeed him. Philippe was the grandson of Louis XIV, and Parliament feared that Louis would control Spain and her colonies, thus making her a rival for British colonial amitions.

The war began in 1702 and ended in 1713 with a victory for the alliance of the Commonwealth, the United Provinces and the Holy Roman Empire.

During this period, life in Parliament became extremely chaotic and even verged on violence and civil war. The factions in Parliament (the radical aristocrat Whigs, the traditionalist republican Mosstroopers and the ultra-puritan Roundheads) hated one another and came to blows very often. After one particularly violent episode in 1714, when some leading Moostroopers called in the guard to arrest some of their opponents, many leading Whigs called upon the British hero John Churchill to return and impose order. He did.

On this day in 1963, Valery Zorin was recalled to Moscow and dismissed as Soviet ambassador to the UN.

 - Valery Zorin
Valery Zorin

On this day in 1945, Wilhelmshaven fell to the Allies.

After(cont.), ~
'One question,' Kevin said. 'How are we going to split up when we only have the one jeep?'
Jake smiled broadly. 'That's where you come in, Mr. Moneybags. You're gonna buy us a couple of nice cars.'
'My first big buy, and it's gonna be for somebody else,' Kevin said, sadly.
'Hey, if we hadn't had to leave my car in Waco, I could take it,' Janice said, petulantly. 'It better be there when we get back, that's all I have to say.'
'OK, so we head down to a car dealership today, buy a couple of things off the lot, then head in our opposite directions.' Jake looked around at Kevin's living room. 'You got a map anywhere, Bradley?'
'Yeah, hang on,' Kevin said, going to his desk and pulling one out of a drawer. They all crowded around Kevin's coffee table as Jake unfolded the map and spread it out.
'All right, here's Crawford. Janice, you took a back road into Waco ? think you could get us into Crawford the same way?'
'You got it, Sarge,' she said, saluting.
'You other four, just take the regular roads off to New Mexico. Avoid trouble, obey the curfew, be good citizens. No reason y'all should draw suspicion.'
Mike raised his hand. 'Am I supposed to be her husband or something? Cuz, I don't see people buying that. I'm pretty pasty white, and the lady and the kids here ? well, they aren't.'
Steph looked over at Jake, amused. Jake shook his head and tried to come up with something. 'You're... you're her driver.'
'So, I just won the lottery?' Steph threw a smile at Kevin.
'Yeah, that'd work.' Jake went through the scenario. 'You won the lottery, you don't like to drive, you're goin' to see family in New Mexico.'
'Cool,' Mike said. 'I'm a flunky.'
'The rest of us, well, we just have to keep away from the Guard units patrolling the area. We should be able to track 'em using the radio in the jeep, but whoever's keeping watch on Crawford isn't gonna be using Guard frequencies to coordinate. So, we'll just have to be on our toes, there.' He looked up at Eli and Janice. 'No shooting unless somebody's life is on the line, got it?'
Eli looked disappointed, but nodded.
Janice looked over at Kevin. 'We're gonna need something with serious off-road capability; I nearly busted up my car getting it into Waco.'
'We got plenty of dealers who can provide that here,' Kevin said. 'We just have to hope that they're open.'
In 1804, during the Irish War of Independence, Agent K'Tan'Jir of British Intelligence captures an Irish Mlosh agent, Pri'Kato'Mli. Although the Irish agent manages to escape, K'Tan'Jir has placed a tracking device on him, and uses him to find the base that he has been operating out of. With his young assistant, James Watson, K'Tan'Jir storms the base, only to find that he has been outfoxed - Pri'Kato'Mli had over a hundred rebels with him. The two British agents barely manage to escape with their lives.
In 1891, German Underground general and New Reich leader Alfred Jodl was born in Wuerzburg, Germany. Jodl, a ground troop captain during the initial days of combat with the Greater Zionist Resistance in the 1920's, instantly grasped the uses of the aircraft technology that the G.U.'s neo-Nazi benefactors supplied them with. His blitzkrieg attacks were one of the favored tactics of the G.U.
In 1869, the Mlosh colony ship near the Sahara Desert was briefly taken over by terrorists of the Human League. They had gained passage on board by holding the Mlosh philosopher Toa'Kil'Pi hostage and threatening to kill him unless they were allowed aboard. The Mlosh eventually overpowered them, but not before losing the hostage and several other citizens of the colony.

On this day in 1970, the Dallas Cowboys hammered the Minnesota Vikings 28-7 in the 1969 NFC championship game to advance to their third Super Bowl in franchise history.

In 47,390 BCE, Telka and Swikolay reach the island of Sumatra and find a few small tribes. Telka has much to teach them, and becomes a shaman to them. Swikolay teaches them the making of ships, and takes a mate from among them.
In 1960, the French existentialist Albert Camus might have been in an automobile accident that killed him, but is anything really an accident? And, is there really such a thing as death, or simply a transference to another realm of existence?
In 1950, the essay collection The God That Failed was published. 6 authors explored their connection to capitalist movements in the early 20th century, and their disillusionment with it that led them back to good old American communism.
In 1914, actress and future First Lady Sarah Mayfield Reagan was born in St. Joseph, Missouri. She married B-movie star Ronald Reagan in 1940, and although they experienced some troubles in the late 40's, rode it out with him for the sake of their children. Their marriage settled down considerably after Reagan entered politics in the 1960's, and she became First Lady in 1981 after her husband won the presidential election of 1980.
In 1974, US President Richard Nixon refuses to hand over materials subpoenaed by the Senate Watergate Committee. In fact the materials contained explosive evidence about the Kennedy assassination that Tricky Dicky was honour bound to protect.

January 3

In 1670, George Monck the third Lord Protector of England, Scotland and Ireland died "like a Roman general with all his officers about him". He was buried in Westminster Abbey and succeeded by Anthony Ashley Cooper.

Not the potter, but the potter's clayAn Captain General in the New Model Army, then leader of the Parliamentarian movement in England, he had assumed the title from the son of the revolution's leader, Richard Cromwell, in order to keep their dream of a realm without a king alive. Monck provided the leadership that Cromwell was unable to, and held off the resurgent Monarchists who were determined to restore Charles II to his father's throne.

He focused the country toward fighting a war to the finish. The Royalist rebels in England were defeated in 1664 (all but in the South East) and Scotland was conquered in 1665. United Commonwealths - of Great Britain and Ireland of Great Britain and Ireland In the United Provinces dropped out of the war in 1664 and Ireland was conquered by 1666. Spain dropped out of the war in 1667 and France finally gave up attempting to invade England in 1668. The Commonwealth gained recognition from these nations, and also gained territory in North America, taking Cuba and Hispaniola from Spain and Acadia from France (though they handed back New Netherland as a condition for the Dutch dropping out).

In 1967, Jack Ruby's cancer went into remission, allowing him to be placed on trial for the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald. The Night Club Owner had already been found guilty by a Dallas Jury but he had appealed his conviction and death sentence and was granted a new trial (his lawyers argued that he could not have received a fair trial in Dallas because of the excessive publicity surrounding the case).

The Trial of Jack RubyThe Warren Commission had found no evidence linking Ruby's killing of Oswald with any broader conspiracy to assassinate Kennedy. But from the stand, Ruby spun a story of conspiracy, deception and treason, and the judge was forced to place a gag order on news from the trial. When the courtroom blew up the next day, it was blamed on a "gas leak" under the courthouse.

In 1866, General Lee was thinking about how it has been six months since President Pendelton's assumption of office following the assassination of McClellan. An installment of Victorious Dixie goes down in flames thread.

Victorious Dixie goes down in flames Part 1God was surely on the side of the CSA when Sherman didn't take Atlanta until 2 days after the election. The peace treaty should be finalized by the end of the month. The negotiations went worse than he expected. The South had to give up Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri and Virginia north of the Rappahannock and West Virginia. Tennessee was the toughest to give up. For all practical purposes Kentucky and Missouri were gone from the very beginning of the war. He hoped for a long time to liberate them from the Yankees but he didn't really expect to get them back past 1862 anyways. Virginia north of the Rappahannock was in Union hands most of the war and even Lee thought they could not hold it long at this point. The Rappahannock was a natural barrier that could shield the rest of Virginia and Lee did not even try to regain West Virginia after 1862. The CSA might have shrunk but it did have the core left and the borders could be defended with the fortifications being built on both sides of the border. At least they got free trade out of the deal which should help the finances needed to maintain his army.Of course we had to allow for free passage down the Mississippi for the United States to get that. In fact the US government stated they would restart the war if the CSA didn't agree to it.

Secretary of the treasury George Trenholm thought "Bills, bills, bills and more bills. We are going to need to refinance our debt to survive. The fact is there is no way on God's green Earth we can pay all our debts on time. We just don't have the money. We are going to have to least double the length of our loans. Hopefully we will be enough on our feet we don't have to default entirely. At least inflation is down a bit. Corn prices went up only 12% last month". To be continued..

In 1979, having narrowly defeated fellow conservative Kent Hance in the Texas Nineteenth Congressional District, George W. Bush was sworn into the United States House of Representatives.

Chip off the Old BlockPreviously he had served as political director for an Alabama senate campaign, but he needed his father's political machinery to connect with rural Texans, building a platform that opposed gun control and strict regulation.

Bush Senior had served Gerald Ford as Vice President and was set to launch his own campaign for the 1980 election. Because of his son's unruly behaviour, he had been against his run for Congress, but having failed to dissuade him, decided that a Bush victory could only be good for his own prospects two years later. Only now he had to worry what surprises might in store from him as President.

In 1892, the future British Dictator John Tolkien was born in the Boer Free States, a time and place where forces were gathering against the nation's imperial power.

A Dark Lord Arises
Ed, RIchard Roper, Jeff Provine
As a child, Tolkien was bitten by a large baboon spider in the garden, a precursory event which triggered traumatic recall during his combat service in the Great War. By November 1916, he was invalidated out of the Army and headed back to England bitter and twisted. In his political autobiography "My Struggles" he articulated some apocalyptic fear of Communism ("darkening clouds in the East").

Over the next decade, Tolkien was increasingly drawn into the fringe of right-wing politics. But that genie of rage remaining locked in a bottle so long as Britain experienced a degree of prosperity. Society would only embrace such radicals at a moment of extremis during the developing crisis that began in 1929. With the economy heading towards imminent collapse, he took over the government as the head of an artistic-political movement. That position was consolidated into the new post of High Chanceller as the operation of democratic processes were suspended until the crisis passed. They never did.

After the mysterious fire that burnt down the Palace of Westminister, it became increasingly clear that any serious opposition would have to take shape from the outside. And sure enough it arrived in the form of a second dictator in Nazi Germany. Tolkien proposed an alliance with the rising power of Hitler in order to eventually control him for their own ends. But Europe wasnt big enough for two demagogic dictators and Hitler won out. In a final episode full of artistic anguish, Tolkien died in a desperate last stand. The keys to his headquarters, the Dark Tower of London, were only seized when the finger was cut from his hand.

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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.