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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

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January 6

In 1919, on this day America's only three-term President Theodore Roosevelt died in Oyster Bay, New York. He was sixty years old.

Three-term President Roosevelt passes awayHe became the longest-serving president in the nation's history. But inevitably, his final election victory in 1912 was a matter of controversy and high drama. He was nominated for the presidency by the Bull Moose (Progressive) Party. "This bull moose shall roar his way back into the White House," he said in his acceptance speech.

The Progressives campaigned vigorously for him, but he seemed to be a long shot until October 12th. An insane gentleman by the name of William Shrenk attempted to assassinate him, declaring that "Any man looking for a third term ought to be shot". Schrenk missed Roosevelt, but the attempt transformed the former president into something akin to a martyr for the progressive cause.

People flocked to his speeches in the fall, and in November, he narrowly edged out the Democrat, Woodrow Wilson, to win what was actually only his second full term in the White House. Perhaps Roosevelt's greatest legacy was the rise of the Progressive Party and the diminishment of the Republicans. Although old money himself, Roosevelt's Progressives supported the rights of unions, as well as several reigns on big businesses and trusts during his time in the White House. In 1916, although the Progressives wished to nominate him again, he declined and supported instead his Vice-President, Hiram Johnson, who barely won the office after a campaign blitz from the old Bull Moose lifted his fortunes.

In 1066, on this day Harold Godwinson was crowned King of England.

Battle of Hastings begins the Anglo-Norman War The English Crown had been tossed into the air, and three would-be kings fought to catch it. Edward the Confessor had no son to take over the throne, which meant that less legitimate bids for the throne could now be heard.

Harold Godwinson, the primary landowner in England, had the best claim to the throne; he was proclaimed as such upon Edward's death and accepted by the people. William, Duke of Normandy, claimed that Harold had sworn upon holy relics to support him after being sent as an emissary from Edward in years past to judge William as a successor. Harold denied the claim, but it was enough to give William the blessing of the Church. King Harald III of Norway also made a bid, saying that the crown belonged to him because of an agreement with old King Harthacnut in the 1040s. It was the weakest of the bids, but he was supported by Harold's brother Tostig. He had already added Denmark to his realms, and England would make another powerful Nordic nation.

After a summer of staving off William's fleet with an army on the Isle of Wight, Harold retired toward London just in time to learn of Harald's invasion. He made a forced march and met Harald's army at Stamford Bridge in Yorkshire, which had long been Viking soil. Before the battle, Harold bravely, though covertly, rode up to Harald and his brother Tostig, offering an earldom if Tostig would turn on the Norwegian. Tostig asked what would be given to Harald, and the rider, King Harold himself, replied, "Six feet of ground or as much more as he needs, as he is taller than most men". The battle ensued, and Harold won victory, killing both Tostig and Harald.

With the Norwegian army destroyed, Harold turned back south to face the fleet of William, who had invaded as quickly as he had the chance. The Norman had some 7000 men in his army, powerful knights and mercenaries. Harold had a similar number, primarily ax men, and the advantage of defense. Harold fortified a ridge at Hastings and readied their defensive shield wall, which stopped the onslaught of Norman arrows, even those from the cutting edge technology known as crossbows.

The Norman infantry charged uphill, and the English fought back, throwing rocks and javelins. Unwounded by the barrage of arrows, the English held firm and drove the Normans back. Harold's men, including his two surviving brothers, began pursuit. In the confusion, William fell, but his triumphant stand and tossing his helmet rallied his soldiers to counter-attack. Harold's brothers were slain, and the Normans charged with additional arrow barraged. William aimed directly for Harold, who realized that he alone was the English heir to the throne with his brothers gone. Norway had been deprived of its king in battle, and now England might, too.

Calling for a last desperate defense, Harold began the retreat. The rearguard took heavy casualties from the Norman knights, who took up pursuit until they were caught on steep ground in the night and were slaughtered in ambush at the Malfosse or "Bad Ditch". The Normans had won the battle, but Harold and the English were still a force. Morale sank, but Harold reminded his men that they had lost to Harald at Fulford and then smashed him at Stamford Bridge. He who had bravely rode up alone to face Harald would lead them to victory no matter how many battles it took.

William pressed, sending Harold from Sussex back to London, but the campaign season ended as winter came on. The Normans took losses from dysentery, with even William himself falling ill, but fresh troops arrived from across the English Channel. Harold called up reinforcements himself, attempting to unite the English in defense, but many nobles held that the dispute was a family matter between Harold and William. Some nobles politicked with Normandy over the winter and became supporters of William.

In spring, war resumed in what many called William's War or the Anglo-Norman War. Harold had the home-field advantage while William had international support from the Church's blessing. The armies checked one another, devastating southern England and at one point even driving Harold as far as Chester. Finally, in 1072, Harold drove William from England back across the Channel.

The war had been won, but it had crippled England. Normandy survived with enormous debts, but whole towns of England had been put to the torch. While they would rebuild and grow in strength, they would be outpaced by their Celtic neighbors to the north with the rise of Robert the Bruce in 1306. His brother Edward became king of Ireland in 1316, affirming his position in 1318 by handily defeating an army of Irish lords backed by the English at the Battle of Faughart. In later wars with the English, the Bruce would add Wales to their holdings and eventually merge the clans under one crown in the Gaelic Union.

The English were pushed farther and farther southeast until they were something of a republican city-state around London ruled by their Parliament.

In 1853, on this day the President-elect of the United States Franklin Pierce (pictured) and his family were crushed to death when the train car that they had boarded in Boston was derailed and then rolled down an embankment near Andover, Massachusetts.

Tragic Death of Franklin PierceIn his place, William Rufus King was sworn in as President on March 4th. Problem was, King was dying of tuberculosis and succumbed to the disease just six weeks later, so that the presidency fell to the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, David Rice Atchison.

Just four years before, he had served as President for a single day. Because on Saturday, March 3, 1849, outgoing President James Polk's term had expired, but incoming President Zachary Taylor refused to be sworn in on the Sabbath and put the ceremony off until Monday, March 5 -- which meant nobody was President on Sunday, at least officially.

He did not undertake any presidential duties, but claimed to have taken a nap whilst serving as 12th president of the United States. But unlike that temporary ceremonial fill-in function, the succession after the deaths of Pierce and King was fundamentally differently. Because Atchison was a pro-slavery expansionist who was brought to power at a pivotal moment in the nation's history.

In 1895, on this day Hawaii returned to Home Rule. Since the unification of the Hawaiian Islands by Kamehameha I in 1810, the royal house had controlled the Pacific nation with gradually decreasing power over the nineteenth century.

Hawaii Returns to Home Rule Initially, the kings and queens were unquestionable, but the plagues that ravaged the populace also devastated the dynasty, leaving legislatures to elect the next king. Influence from Europe and, especially, the United States increased, especially after the signing of the Reciprocity Treaty of 1875 in which the two became close trade partners. In 1887, after a vicious election campaign in 1873 in which rioters were put down by foreign armies, King David Kalakaua was forced to sign the "Bayonet Constitution" greatly limiting the power of the monarch. Rather than shifting the power into the hands of the people, the constitution placed it firmly into the hands of the wealthy planters and politicians.

Queen Lili'uokalani (pictured) came to power in 1891 upon the death of David Kalakaua and set about regaining power. Her main end was to revoke the Constitution of 1887 and entail her own. Fearful of losing power, the wealthy (primarily white businessmen) formed a Committee of Safety and overthrew the queen in 1893. During the military overthrow, US Minister to Hawaii John Stevens ordered Marines into action supporting the coup from anchor in Pearl Harbor, which had been leased by the United States Navy only six years before.

Outrage both international and local would be voiced, but none enough to force the planter-led Sanford Dole's Provisional Government out of power. The Blount Report of 1893 and 1894 Morgan Report from the U.S. Senate showed distaste for the illegal use of Marines, but the petitions of Hawaiians were not enough to undo the action. In 1894, President Grover Cleveland made clear that he supported the imprisoned Queen Lili'uokalani and refused the continual petition for annexation. The new US Minister to Hawaii, Albert Willis, used rumors and the Japanese, American, and British naval ships in harbor as an elaborate hoax to show the public's distaste for Dole's government, but Dole refused to give up power. The government reformed itself into the Republic of Hawaii, awaiting a day when a favorable administration would allow the islands to become United States Territory.

While the rest of the world stood by with wrinkled noses, local Hawaiians were organizing to retaliate. Led by men such as former Head of the Royal Guard Sam Nowlein and Robert Wilcox, who had studied military action in Italian academies in a royal program ended with the 1887 Constitution, the Royalists collected troops among the poor and disenfranchised and armed with them weapons smuggled from San Francisco. On January 6, 1895, Republican police searched the Royalist weapons cache in the home of John Bertleman on Waikiki Beach. Shots broke out, and Royalists surrounded the house, capturing all six of the policemen. Knowing that rumors had turned to reality, Wilcox led the charge that night to attack government buildings while Nowlein rescued the queen from her palace and declared her power returned at 11:59 so that not one more day would be spent under the tyranny of oligarchy.

The Royalists numbered only 500, but they acted with speed and surprise that enabled them to capture Dole and several other government leaders before the Republican Army had time to react. Riots broke out in the plantations in 'Ewa, and Hawaiians hurried out into the streets to show their support for either government. In the chaos, Minister Albert Willis refused to let American or other foreign powers intervene, and, by January 9, the Republic was crushed.

Lili'uokalani rewrote her constitution and led court proceedings stripping Dole and his minions of their properties as well as freeing any indentured workers imported from Asia from their contracts. Representation was granted to the naturalized Asians who had lost their votes in 1887. A special thanks was given to Willis, and Wilcox, now made a duke to match his nickname of "Iron Duke," was named Minister to the United States, meeting with the later President McKinley, whose expansionism Wilcox stifled. Pearl Harbor remained leased by the United States but was not expanded until World War II.

In December of 1941, another expansionistic force would be seen as the Empire of Japan attacked the American base at Midway without warning, leading to a bloody battle even before war was declared. The Hawaiians, close to the United States but with a large Japanese population, declared neutrality. Staying out of the war proved impossible, and King Kamehameha Lane opened his islands for Allied aid while cracking down on any suspicion among Japanese citizens.

The war would prove an economic boom for Hawaii, which would lead to a harsh crash in the 1950s, prompting a coup by anti-royal socialists, mainly of Japanese descent. The CIA funded and armed several counter-revolutions, destroying stability. A new Republic of Hawaii came with a successful revolution in 1989, and a golden age from tourism lasted as developers in the late '90s and early '00s. The Global Credit Crisis struck Hawaii particularly hard, devastating the islands' economy comparable to, though worse than, Iceland.

In 1837, Congress returns from its Christmas recess with the presidency still undecided following the death of James Madison the previous June.

Union in Turmoil by Eric LippsTennessean Andrew Jackson (pictured) remains in place as acting President and is favored to win the office in his own right, but faces a strong continuing challenge from South Carolina's John Calhoun.

Regional hostilities are mounting: both Tennessee and South Carolina have each threatened secession if its favorite son is not elected, and are lobbying neighbor states for support. A number of newspapers have editorialized harshly against Congress's having chosen to go on vacation without finishing the job of choosing a new lifetime chief executive.

There is growing public dissatisfaction, as well, with the fact that the electorate which chooses the Congress which, in turn, picks the President is limited by laws in every state to a small minority of wealthy white male landowners. Acting President Jackson shrewdly exploits this resentment, telling newspapers that if elected he will work to broaden the suffrage to non-landholders. (He says nothing about extending it to women, and certainly nothing about granting it to nonwhites).

In England, there are suggestions that the United States' disarray offers an opportunity for some sort of military action, perhaps to seize territory along the U.S./Canadian border. Also discussed is the use of agents-provocateurs to deepen America's sectional divides, with the aim of promoting an actual breakup of the Union into two or three smaller, weaker nations. Even at this late date there are influential Britishers who dream of reabsorbing some or all of "the Colonies" into the British Empire, and such people see encouraging secession as a means toward that goal.
This article is a part of the Life Term thread. In this scenario, we explore the consequences of a 1787 agreement at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, in which a President-for-life clause is inserted into the text.

In 2001, Minnesota's Paul Wellstone (the "Senator from the Left") joined with the Congressional Black Caucus in challenging the electoral votes of Florida for Governor George Bush (having toyed with his own presidential candidacy, ultimately he had declined to join the race and endorsed Bill Bradley instead).

An Empty Gesture produces a bipartisan White HouseAlthough twenty Democratic congressmen, mainly members of the Congressional Black Caucus, formally objected to the awarding of Florida's 25 electoral votes to Bush, it initially appeared that not one of the fifty Democratic senators would join in the objection, as required by an 1887 law governing the counting of the electoral vote. Among those Democrats who refused to sign an objection to according Florida's electoral votes to Bush were such prominent liberals as Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, both Florida senators, Robert Graham and Bill Nelson, and the newly sworn-in senator from New York, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Most declined to discuss their action and many did not attend the joint session. But one leading Democrat, Senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut, dismissed the protest by the black caucus as an empty gesture, saying, "It was a very good point they made", and then adding, "It's over with". Apart from, it wasn't over because Wellstone's action threw the presidential election into the House of Representatives, where bitter partisan wrangling ended with the governor elected president, but Democrat Joe Lieberman elected vice-president by the Senate. This unusual situation, decried by both sides at first, produced a bipartisan White House that truly does unite, not divide.

In 2008, the "Paul is dead " hoax was turned on its head when Heather Mills revealed that her former husband was after all an impostor.

Paul is dead hoaxThe supposed death of Paul McCartney, a member of the Beatles, was the subject of a rumour that began circulating in October 1969. Proponents of the theory had claimed that McCartney died in a car crash in late 1966 and was replaced by a lookalike before the recording of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The supposed 'clues' are given throughout the post-1966 Beatles material in the form of peculiar album covers, possible symbolism in strange lyrics, and backmasking.

The rumour started when radio DJ Russ Gibb received a call from a listener who claimed that McCartney had died and the Beatles (namely John Lennon) had sprinkled clues throughout the Beatles' albums for fans to pick up on. The rumour quickly died down in 1970 after McCartney revealed himself to be alive on the cover of Newsweek magazine. However, some theorists had continued to maintain that Paul is dead and the Paul McCartney who played with Wings and in the Super Bowl is the same lookalike who played with the Beatles after Revolver.

In 1777, American rebel General George Washington establishes a winter headquarters in Morristown, New Jersey, and uses the winter to correspond with the nascent Canadian nationalists. Although unable to resupply or reinforce Washington's forces, the nationalists do provide a home for Washington when the American Revolution is defeated and he is forced to flee to the north.
In 1066, Bishop Harold Godwineson assumes the papacy of the Holy British Empire under a cloud of illegitimacy. Bishops from the Norwegian and Norman churches both pressed a claim on the Holy See, and soon plunged the Holy Land into a war that brought Pope Harold down.
In 1958, Comrade President Joel Rosenberg, in a gesture of conciliation to the European powers, reduced American troops levels by 300,000 to about 3 million. The Soviet States had maintained a large standing army since the Great Patriotic War, and Comrade Rosenberg was mainly trimming soldiers that were no longer necessary to American security. Still, the move was seen as a part of a larger overture towards peace by the S.S.A.
In 1942, with the ongoing war in Eurasia bleeding over into the western hemisphere, President Alf Landon commits the United States to buying tens of thousands of new aircraft, guns, tanks and ships. Both the Greater Zionist Resistance and the German Underground have had representatives pleading for aid from the U.S., but the official policy of America towards the war in Eurasia has been neutrality.

In 2002, intensive aerial bombardment of Taliban military bases begins.

Bombing of sites identified as Al Qaeda camps is intensified. Additional U.S. troops enter Afghanistan. Unlike their predecessors, they are under explicit orders to consider the Afghan military an enemy force and not to wait until fired upon to attack.

 - Al Gore
Al Gore

At a meeting of the National Security Council, President Gore discusses U.S. military and political options. He is advised that once Kabul is captured, which is considered to be a matter of weeks at the most, he must move quickly to establish a new government purged of Taliban and pro-Taliban elements.

Conservative pundit Bill O'Reilly, on his syndicated radio show, condemns the Afghan intervention as "a pathetic effort on the part of a weakling Whiten House to look tough on terrorists like the ones who took down Flight 93 on his watch". Echoing a comparison making the rounds on the Web, O'Reilly accuses the President of 'wagging the dog,' a reference to a popular movie in which a beleaguered administration starts a war to divert attention from its problems.

After(cont.) ~ Kevin stepped into his shower and felt the hot water pour over him, washing away the dirt of the last two days. He soaped up his hair and scrubbed at his skin, feeling better with each inch of flesh he wiped the stink off of. When he was done, he picked his fluffiest towel to dry off with, and felt the good fabric soak up the water from his body as he rubbed it vigorously across himself.
Since he lived alone, he would normally just walk around naked, but he wrapped the towel around himself now, and walked through his bedroom to his closet to choose some clothes. He needed something comfortable, but durable ? rescue missions were hell on your clothes, at least according to the movies. His own military experience hadn't prepared him for anything more dangerous than dealing with a dedicated hacker.
He chose some weathered jeans, a blue shirt to match, and his one pair of boots that he saved for dancing. Even though they weren't very comfortable, they were durable; that one woman at the Halloween dance had kept stepping on his feet...
The smile slipped from his face as he tried to harden himself. He felt like he needed to put a game face on, get ready for what was probably going to be a one-way mission. He dressed, picked a good jacket from his small collection, then went back into the living room.
They were watching cartoons.
He shook his head to try to clear it of the cognitive dissonance. He started thinking he had been right when he called them nutjobs earlier ? they were about to start fighting some sort of governmental coup, and here they were, watching cartoons. He walked over to the kitchen and pulled out a beer.
'Hey, you clean up good,' a voice said behind him.
Kevin turned around to see Steph standing there, smiling at him. 'Thanks.' He smiled weakly back at her, but didn't really feel any mirth.
She walked over and rubbed his arm. It was a surprisingly comforting gesture, he found. 'Hey, don't worry. You're the good guys; you'll be OK.'
'Maybe I shoulda put on my white hat.'
'If you think it'd help...' Now, they both smiled, sincerely. She was very cute - Kevin could definitely tell what Jake had seen in her.
'So, uhm, Steph, are you seein' anybody?' He didn't know what made that come out, but she didn't look very surprised.
'Not right now,' she said, dipping her head down and looking at his chest. 'Datin's not that easy with a couple of kids. You askin'?'
'Yeah, I guess so. I mean, if Jake won't shoot me because of it.'
'Pff, Jake don't care. 'Sides, he's got the hots for that Janice chick.'
'Really?' That took Kevin completely by surprise.
'Yeah, he was always into that conspiracy crap. I'm surprised he didn't join the Nation of Islam. He toned it down when we were married, but he'd love to get with somebody who'd let him let it all out again.'
'Well, she's definitely the one for him, then.'

In 1807, French 'First Citizen' Napoleon Bonaparte announces the creation of a new national police, the Surete Nationale.

The new agency will quickly acquire a fearsome reputation as a political secret police force.

 -
In 1889, Mikhail von Heflin boards the Swan Lady, a passenger boat traveling south on the Mississippi. During his voyage on this ship, he becomes embroiled in a minor mystery, and is suspected of a murder he didn't commit. His solving of this case does nothing to endear him to the other passengers, and he exits the boat while it is still far from his destination.
In 870, Moors across Espagne celebrated their victory over the Christian infidels. The city of Alhambra was strewn with flowers and Caliph Boabdil gave all Moors of the land a holiday to honor Allah's blessing on this day.
In 1971, the courts-martial of over a dozen officers responsible for both participating in and covering up the My Lai massacre in Vietnam begin. When the horrific details of that day's bloody deeds are revealed, two officers are sentenced to life in prison, and the others are convicted of lesser charges, serving a few years before being dishonorably discharged. Although the dead could not be brought back, the alacrity with which America punished those responsible for this war crime did elicit respect around the world.
In 1955, comic genius Rowan Atkinson was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England. Atkinson's rubbery face made him a natural for humor, and his creation of the Black Adder series in 1983 propelled him to international stardom. The series following an unscrupulous Englishman through several reincarnations was renewed six times and then made into 4 blockbuster films that cemented Atkinson's reputation as the late twentieth century's foremost comic talent.
In 1777, American rebel General George Washington establishes a winter headquarters in Morristown, New Jersey, and uses the winter to correspond with the nascent Canadian nationalists. Although unable to resupply or reinforce Washington's forces, the nationalists do provide a home for Washington when the American Revolution is defeated and he is forced to flee to the north.
In 4579, Lebanese author Khalil Gibran was born. In his youth, he traveled to the court at the Forbidden City and spoke to Emperor Chengzu of a new philosophy, blending the ancient religion of Islam with the more modern and robust Buddhism practiced by most of the world. Although Chengzu didn't follow this path, he allowed Khalil to continue his writings, which did win many converts.
In 1412, Jehanne Darc was born in Domremy, in old France. Insane from birth, the young woman actually managed to convince French scholars that she was hearing God tell her to take command of an army to defeat the Burgundian, pro-English forces in Orleans. The inexperienced commander was killed, and the Burgundians installed in power after their English allies brought in reinforcements for them.


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.

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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.

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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
Senator

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.                                                                                          

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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.



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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.