In 1941, on this day the celebrated Irish novelist and poet James Joyce dies in self-imposed exile in Zurich, Switzerland.
Death of James JoyceThirteen years later, in an event that was part-literary pilgrimage and part-pub crawl, Envoy founder John Ryan and novelist Brian O'Nolan led writers Anthony Cronin and Patrick Kavanagh, James-Joyce-cousin Tom Joyce, and Registrar of Trinity College AJ Leventhal on a horse-drawn carriage ride through Dublin, Ireland, to recreate the day described in Ulysses now nicknamed "Bloomsday".
Written expansively by James Joyce from shorter stories in 1907 to its full publication in 1922, the experimental novel broke new literary ground with its usage of stream of consciousness in narrative and, along with T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land, stood as the pinnacle of Modernist literature in the English language.
Taking place in Dublin on June 16, 1904, the story details a number of point-of- view characters including young writer Stephen Dedalus (who appeared earlier in Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man), Leopold Bloom, his wife Molly, and various Dubliners. While including fantastical events and hallucinations, the narrative largely displays the lives of the average people, complete with difficulties and happiness. Over the course of the story, however, Joyce's overall despondency toward the world is displayed. Dedalus begins his day leaving his apartment over tension with his roommate and ends it accidentally beaten to blindness by an English soldier over a perceived anti-Royalist remark, which is covered up by police. Bloom, who witnessed the crime, determines to believe it never happened and instead continues his day, which he had spent meandering across Dublin, attending a mass, visiting the baths, going to a funeral, attempting to sell an ad, having lunch at a pub, ogling nude statues at the National Museum, dinner at a hotel, another visit to another pub, dropping by the maternity ward, and finally returning home, peeking at various women along the way.
Molly Bloom, however, proved through history as the most provocative character and perhaps the villain, though the protagonist-antagonist standard of literary theory hardly is followed in the piece. Joyce later wrote that he used elements of a girl he dated once (on June 16, 1904), but that the date had gone sour due to a spat over art versus life with him believing her thinking of him merely as a toy. The topic is explored in Ulysses as Molly has an ongoing affair with her manager, "Blazes" Boylan, who is not given a perspective but is displayed as something more pet-like than human. In the final episode of the novel, nicknamed "Molly Bloom's Soliloquy", her stream-of-consciousness is shown as she and her husband retire for the night, concluding with her reflection that he is furniture to their marriage, "a useful hat rack" or "a door".
Scholars to this day debate whether the work is pro- or anti-woman, featuring both vivid and humanistic portrayals of female thought in "Episode 13, Nausicaa" and the conclusion "Episode 18, Penelope" as well as jovial discussions of misogyny in "Episode 16, Eumaeus" and throughout. While on his self-exile to Europe, Joyce married a student from Trieste, Amalia Popper, but fled the marriage to Paris when he took up a week-long invitation from Ezra Pound that became a stay for a lifetime. He came under the patronage of feminist and publisher Harriet Shaw Weaver, who took his female characters as greatly human. After the success of Ulysses, Joyce wrote Finnegans Wake, which he began after a year break and continued unfinished until his death in 1941.
Joyce commented on Ulysses as being "immortal" and that he "put in so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant". However, what gave the work great notice was its perceived obscenity. It had been serialized in The Little Review in the US until 1918, when it came under legal accusation of obscenity due to vividly displaying human sexuality. In the resulting bans in both the US and Britain, the book gained notoriety, surging the readership. Molly Bloom was picked up as a champion among Flappers of the era, inspiring gold-digging and establishing oneself as the dominant role in relationships as a matter of philosophy. Literary minds disagreed whether the portrayal of Molly is negative or positive as a strong figure. Whatever the case, "Mollies" began organizing, disrupting social norms and causing reprisals among conservatives. The Bloomsday celebration in 1954 would soon be joined by numerous latter-generation Mollies, and the festival would spread to dozens of other cities.
In 1847, on this day the "Capitulation of Cahuenga" ended the fighting of the Mexican-American War in Alta California.
39th Parallel Part 2:
Capitulation of Cahuenga enlarges troubled UnionThe treaty was drafted in English and Spanish by José Antonio Carrillo, approved by American Lieutenant-Colonel John C. Frémont and Mexican Governor Andrés Pico on January 13, 1847 at Campo de Cahuenga. The later Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ceded the whole of Mexico north of Tampico. As a result, California was split into two, with the creation of a new state of Colorado below the 37th. Chihuahua, Sonora, Coahuilia and Tamaulipas also entered the Union.
Victory in the US-Mexico War was a mixed blessing for the Union. Because the Wilmot Proviso sought to ban the extension of slavery into the new occupied states. Although the motion was defeated, the vote was taken on sectional (rather than party lines) and destroyed the unity of the Democratic Party. The Whig Party had already imploded over the slavery issue, and some senior political leaders formed the new Republican Party. They found success in 1856 when Frémont was elected to the Presidency. But by then America was completely unrecognizable from the country of 1847. An installment from 39th Parallel thread.
In 1978, the 37th President of the United States Hubert Horatio Humphrey, Jr. died in Waverly, Minnesota. He was sixty-six years old.
President Humphrey passes awayNine years before he welcomed home the triumphant crew of Apollo 11, the first men to land on the moon. But it might easily have been someone else. The presidential election of 1968 had been a fractious affair, with riots disrupting the Democratic National Convention in Chicago and the unsuccessful attempt on third-party candidate Gov. George Corley Wallace by escaped mental patient Arthur Bremer. The Alabaman survived the encounter with only minor injuries, instantly becoming a hero to many on the right despite having said that if the bitterly divisive Vietnam War then in progress could not be won within ninety days of his assuming office he would call for an immediate U.S. withdrawal. (Conservatives hearing those words interpreted them, as did many liberals, as a signal that a President Wallace would use nuclear weapons to force an end to the Southeast Asian conflict.) Wallace had hoped to win enough votes to force the election into the House of Representatives and then extract concessions on racial issues in exchange for throwing his support to either Humphrey or Nixon; instead, he managed to draw just enough votes from Republicans and conservative Democrats to make Humphrey the clear winner, though the Minnesotan fell just short of a popular-vote majority.
Humphrey's victory was arguably critical to the future of the space program. A strong supporter of Apollo, he would push back against efforts, including some by influential figures in his own party, including fellow North Star Stater Sen. Walter Mondale, to terminate the program and forget its ambitious follow-on initiatives in order to free up money for social programs. By contrast, Richard Nixon was known to regard the Apollo program as an extravagance which would have outlived its usefulness once the U.S. beat the Soviet Union in the race to put a man on the moon. The fact that the lunar-landing project was so closely tied in the public mind to Nixon's personal nemesis John F. Kennedy would surely not have helped its prospects had the Californian been elected to the White House. As things were, the program continued as planned through Apollo XX, laying the groundwork for the establishment of Tranquillity Base in 1980.
In 1950, Upon the 6 to 3 defeat of his proposal to oust the Nationalist Chinese representatives in the United Nations in favor of the People's Republic, Soviet ambassador Jacob Malik walked out of the voting chamber and announced his boycott of the Security Council. He blamed the United States for "lawlessness" and noted that anyone could see the illegality of refusing to recognize the PRC. Until the Nationalist Chinese were removed, Malik vowed that the Soviet Union would not be bound by UN declarations.
Soviet Union Remains Active in the United Nations Although Malik was willing to make the gamble, higher-ups in Moscow were not, and he was replaced as the Soviets determined to keep their power of veto that had been part of the original agreements to joining the UN in 1945. The early days of the UN were rife with difficulties as the Soviets initially balked at the inclusion of India and the Philippines, the former colonies who were believed to be just extra votes for the dominant UK and US. Further issues arose when the USSR wanted each of its republics within to gain recognition, but the US countered saying each of its 48 states would then, too. A compromise was met with recognition of Belorussia and Ukraine, and the United States was proposed two additional seats but declined rather than choose among its states.
A new story by Jeff ProvineWith the balance of the Cold War thusly struck for the early days, the defining moment of the renewed troubles was the refusal to recognize the People's Republic of China after the Nationalist Republic moved its capital to Taipei. Malik hoped for a shut down of the UN by walking out and relying on the power of the Eastern European Bloc. However, the West had worked to create another political union, The North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It had begun with the Treaty of Brussels on March 17, 1948, as a mutual defense agreement and continued to expand from the original states of Luxembourg, Belgium, Netherlands, France, and UK. As the Cold War heated up with the tense days of the Berlin Blockade, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Canada, and the United States were included by 1949. Seeing the potential for such an overwhelming position by the West, the Soviets decided to keep their veto with the UN to stymie the spread of renewed imperialism.
The resolute stance soon proved useful as the invasion of South Korea by North Korea arose in debate that June. Korea, which had been occupied by the Empire of Japan for years before its defeat in 1945, was split into occupation zones. The Soviets, who had invaded Manchuria and were much closer to the agreed upon 38th Parallel, held the north while the Americans stationed soldiers in the capital and south. North Korea came under the influence of communism and supported the People's Liberation Army during the Chinese Civil War. After the war ended with the Nationalists retreating to Taiwan and the formation of the People's Republic in 1949, some 70,000 Koreans who had volunteered for service returned to North Korea. North Korean leader Kim Il-sung gained Mao Zedong's blessing in May of 1950, and an invasion took place soon after in retaliation to provocative raids under "bandit traitor Syngman Rhee". They vowed to capture and execute the South Korean leader, who was evacuated, but not before he ordered the Bodo League Massacre in which hundreds of thousands of suspected communists were slaughtered by military and police.
Meanwhile, the invasion came to notice by the United States. Truman and his Secretary of State Dean Acheson agreed that appeasement could not be repeated and the expansion of Communism was a threat to the Free World. They knew that unilateral action would cause a massive upheaval, however, and so the matter was introduced into the United Nations on June 25 with a proposed demand that North Korea remove its forces, which would have been United Nations Security Council Resolution 82, had the Soviet Union not vetoed it. Arguing on the grounds of national sovereignty, the Soviets continued to veto potential resolutions, blocking the US's chance at stopping the flow of Communism. As the months passed and the ambassadors' hands were tied, Kim Il-sung's forces overwhelmed the peninsula, and it was all the US could do to organize a massive evacuation to the heavily militarized American bases in Japan.
Although many were frustrated, the primary mood of the West was one of conservatism. When the People's Republic of China occupied Tibet that November, again the United Nations sat with hands tied although the matter was widely debated. The nation most considered to have grave concern for the matter, India, held that the Chinese would be peaceful and refused to support military action. Truman's doctrine of "containment" seemed to largely fall apart on the impossibility of military action, though it had succeeded with its $400 million donation to support the government of Greece in its civil war. A new form of Dollar Diplomacy, famous from the Taft presidency, came into power during Eisenhower's terms, fed by the vast economic expansion of the 1950s.
Instead of becoming militarily involved, the United States would invest heavily in surrounding nations, such as the famous New Society programs expanding support for Thailand and Cambodia after the fall of Vietnam under the Johnson administration. Meanwhile, covert CIA operations would aid enemies of communist influence, which would bring about the downfall of the cash-strapped Soviet Union after its invasion of Afghanistan. Despite its overall success, the policies were widely condemned by the often pro-USSR debates in the United Nations as "New Imperialism" and many countries such as Korea continued under what Truman called "totalitarian regimes", evident at night when the bright lights of Japan are compared with the darkness on the whole of the Korean peninsula.
In 1916, on this day Private Willie McBride, a nineteen year old conscript in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was shot dead at dawn for refusing his superior's orders to fight during the Second Christmas Truce.
Watch the Green Fields of France
The CauseDespite the issuing of strict orders forbidding friendly communication with the opposing German troops, thousands of Allied soldiers had crossed "No Man's Land", exchanging gifts, sharing food, and engaging in games of football. Commanders on both ends had reacted with disgust at the fraternization, but nevertheless the unofficial truce lasted until after New Years' Eve in many places along the lines.
And the end of the truce was marked by widespread acts of disobedience, with many Allied soldiers refusing orders from their superiors to resume the fighting. Fearing that a rebellion would spread across the lines, the High Command ordered a major crackdown during which many servicemen were executed to set an example to their fellow soldiers.
But within a week, a breakthrough would come when Kaiser Wilhelm II used the fraternization as a positive example to demand an armistice on the Western Front.
The coming of peace was the last gasp of the militaristic old order and their repressive nineteenth century class system. Governments committed to peace and brotherhood would soon take over in London, Dublin, Berlin, St Petersburg and Paris. And to ensure that the "suffering, the sorrow, the glory, the shame, the killing, the dying was not done in vain" they built a great cenotaph (pictured) to the cause right next to Willie McBride's grave in Flanders.
In 2002, on this day at the White House, U.S. President George W. Bush choked to death on a pretzel while watching an NFL Miami vs. Baltimore play-off game on television.
Death of an Everyman President
Ed & John P. BraungartShortly afterwards, his wife Laura Bush entered the suite from an adjoining room to find their dogs Barney and Spot standing over him. Mistakenly thinking that the President had just fainted, the First Lady subsequently told a top aide, Karen Hughes that she was surprised that "they [the dogs] were looking at him a little funny". Because although he was unconscious, the President's physical injuries consisted merely of a scrape and bruise across his cheek and lower lip, injured by his glasses when he fell from the couch.
US Air Force Dr. Richard Tubb was summoned, and following an examination, it was discovered that a food morsel had becomed lodged in the President's throat. Although the pretzel was dislodged by the Heimlich manoerve, the food morsel had stimulated a nerve, decreasing the president's heart rate and causing him to fatally lose consciousness. Determined, but unsuccessful efforts to resuscitate Bush followed, and the President was declared dead at 18.05 pm EST.
Shortly after being sworn in as Dubya's successor, Dick Cheney sounded out senior members of the GOP, and the Governor of Florida, Jeb Bush swiftly emerged as a leading candidate. However his pledge to carry on the "Bush legacy" was overshadowed by the so-called "Bush Curse" with many Republicans pointing to the tragic misfortune that had befallen their father when he died on the tennis court in 1985.
Cheney's own legacy would be shaped by two surprisingly progressive pieces of legislation in the fields of gun safety and LGBT.
In 2010, on this day former Confederate President Marion G. "Pat" Robertson ignited a diplomatic furor when he blamed that day's devastating Haitian earthquake, which had leveled Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince, on Haitians' having been "cursed" as a result of having made a deal with the Devil in order to secure their country's independence from France in 1804.
"Pat Robertson on Haiti"
by Eric LippsIncumbent CSA President Michael Huckabee found himself forced to issue a rare public rebuke of a predecessor in his office, stating, "President Robertson's words were ill-chosen and in no way reflect the views of the Confederate government toward the stricken people of Haiti. We emphatically reject any suggestion that this tragedy reflects either the work of the Devil or the punishment of God, and instead declare it a terrible accident of nature".
Robertson, the son of Virginia Senator A. Willis Robertson, was elected to a six-year term as president of the Confederate States in 1987 on the Confederate Party ticket, defeating Democrat Lloyd Doggett of Texas. A staunch Protestant fundamentalist who had been ordained as a minister, President Robertson had angered many CSA liberals and moderates by adopting a moralistic tone both at home and in foreign relations, going so far as to sponsor an amendment to the Confederate Constitution declaring the CSA a "Christian nation".
In 1941, on this day Adolf Hitler cancelled plans for Operation Barbarossa.
An Indirect ApproachFully attuned to Sun Tzu's maxim "the way to avoid what is strong is to strike what is weak", the German High Command had been opposed to a frontal attack on the strength of the Soviet Union. And the unexpected success of the Afrika Corps presented a new option, a drive through the Middle East into Iran, threatening the Soviet Union from the south.
"The way to avoid what is strong is to strike what is weak" ~ Sun Tzu, Art of WarfareSuch an indirect approach also had the benefit of providing Germany with unlimited supplies of oil. Unswayed by this self-evidential military logic, Hitler, insanely, had higher order priorities, namely Lebensraum ("Living Space for the German people") and the Final Solution. But that was until occultists convinced Hitler of the unlimited potential value of artifacts in the Middle East..
In 1980 on this day the courts ordered a temporary recess in the Cimino vs. UA case.
In 1000 Post-Creation, as Achazia swiftly grows to adulthood, the rebellious angels and the faithful angels attempt to reintegrate in Heaven. Gabriel, in particular, is finding it hard to take orders again, and Lucifer does not see the other rebels having it much easier. He decides to approach Yahweh about it, and see what the Creator can do to help.
In 1969, after the cat sent through to their past selves returns with a collar, Schoemann and Yassin begin to theorize that they are able to create branching timelines with their device. This is much preferable to being able to change their own past, since their existence would not be threatened by changes in the past. They inform their neo-Nazi benefactors that the machine should be ready for human testing.
In 1960, to protest the inclusion of the capitalist Brazilian representative in the League of Nations, American Ambassador Comrade Jacob Malcolm walked out of the security council meeting where the Brazilian representative was joining for the first time. Including the reactionary Brazilians instead of the man that the Soviet States considered the rightful People's Republic representative, "encourages lawlessness among the nations of the earth. Even the most reactionary of governments must recognize the rightness of the Soviet States' position," Comrade Malcolm said.
In 1904, the earth-born Mlosh Ambassador of the Congress of Nations, Li'Kanto'Mk, meets with his counterpart from the ships that have journeyed from the Mlosh homeworld. Ji'Mish'Miko, the alien representative, does not seem to be a Mlosh - his appearance is vastly different from the Mlosh who have been on earth since 1720. Nevertheless, he greets Li'Kanto'Mk as a long-lost cousin, and extends the welcome of their homeworld to the lost Mlosh of earth.
In 1889, Mikhail von Heflin enters the town of Mason, Texas. It is during his brief stay here that he is given the vision of his descendants' future by Sarah and John Thompson from their vantage points at either end of the universe. While there are forces at work in the town of Mason that attempt to prevent him, he knows that he must reach Karen and Jedediah Thompson before they have a chance to move to the town of Beaumont.
On this day in 1990, Swiss authorities opened an inquiry into the suicide of Nicolae and Elena Ceaucescu.
In 2008, en route to a vitally important press conference, Iraqi Commander David Petraeus was informed that the latest counter-insurgency plan had been lost. A batman had suffered personal data loss. It was close to the truth, he had poured Ben and Jerry's down his XDA in a food court.
In 12,069 Galactic Era (1 Foundation Era), biographer Gaal Dornick wrote ~ " Seldon, Hari- . . . found dead, slumped over desk in his office at Streeling University in 12,069 (1 F.E.).
Apparently Seldon had been working up his last moments on psychohistorical equations; his activated Prinie Radiant was discovered clutched in hand. According to Seldon's instructions, the instrument was Shipped his colleague Gaal Dornick who had recently emigrated to Terminus. Selden's body was jettisoned into space, also in accordance with instructions he'd left.
The official memorial a service on Trantor was simple, though attended. It was worth noting that Seldon's old friend former First Minister Eto Demerzel attended the event. Demerzel had not been seen since his mysterious disappearance immediately following the Joranumite Conspiracy during the reign of Emperor Cleon I. Attempts by the Commission of Public Safety to locate Demerzel in the days following the Seldon memorial proved to be unsuccessful. Wanda Seldon, Hari Seldon's granddaughter, did not attend the ceremony. It was rumored that she was grief-stricken and had refused all public appearances. this day, her whereabouts from then on remain unknown. It has been said that Hari Seldon left this life as lived it, for he died with the future he created unfolding all around him. " ~ Encyclopedia Galactica.
Dornick was lieing, and his colleagues should have known better. Seldon was a professor of mathematics, he was playing the percentages of course.
In 1610, by deductive logic Galileo Galilei discovers the counter-earth, a same sized planet rotating on the far side of the sun.
In 1935, as Germany completes a remarkable recovery from the ashes of defeat in World War I a plebiscite in Saarland shows that 90.3% of those voting wished to join the Weimar Republic. By the time of the 'day of infamy' strikes by the fascist forces of Anglo America on 'deux six un un' (26/11/1941), Germany would be close to 1914 levels of key demographics including population, production and national output.
In 1947, Head of the British Government in Exile Lord Halifax reflects on his miserable condition as a guest at Rideau Hall, residence of the Governor General of Canada in Ottawa. At long last the Nazis had prepared terms that would permit the Government to return to London, possibly before the long and freezing Canadian winter got a great deal worse. The price is that Halifax must hand over the Royal Navy to the Germans, and that is a big heating bill by anyone's reckoning.
secessionist pressures from Bretons ushered in the period known as Les Troubles
. The French Government looked with envy upon Ireland, where five hundred years of sound British Governance had managed to integrate major regionalist parties in a Celtic region.
In 1887, Marines from the U.S.S. Boston landed in Honolulu and imposed the Bayonet Constitution, stripping the Hawaiian monarchy of much of its authority, disenfranchised all Asians and poor citizens while generally empowering rich citizens, including American, European and native Hawaiian elites. This new imperialism led ultimately to the expulsion of the Americans from AsiaPac in the 1940s at the hands of the liberating troops of the Empire of Japan.
In 1929, the legendary star of the first Westerns, Wyatt Earp, dies at his home in Los Angeles, California. Coming to Hollywood in his 60's, Earp, already a mythical figure in western lore, was asked to star in a couple of movies by director Bill Henson, and the rest was history - by the time he died, Earp has appeared in over 30 films, even appearing in one western shot 2 weeks before his death. Hollywood and the Wild West both mourned the loss of a true giant.
In 4578, composer Zhang Wan Qin finished his epic opera Jie the Tyrant. Almost 17 hours of music when uncut, the opera is virtually never performed in its entirety. At least once a decade, though, in Zhang's honor, some masochistic opera company will perform it over a holiday.
In 1863, Thomas Crapper demonstrated his flushing facility to a convention of plumbers in London, England. Although he had an excellent design, Mr. Crapper was unable to secure financing for his indoor toilet system, and another man, Michael Proops, was able to claim the title of the man who invented the indoor toilet. It was a dubious honor, as his name has become synonymous with the product of the toilet ever since.
In 1925, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien began the 'Sketch of the Mythology'.
Published 52 years later as 'The Silmarillion', this opus would consume his life energies.
Ironically, Tolkien had turned to escapist fantasy writing to explore the dissapation of his own life force. Whether he knew it or not, the epic struggle of the little people was an expression of his own disempowerment from World War I.
In 1846, the United States began the disastrous Mexican War by advancing troops into New Mexico. President James K. Polk attempted to stir up war fever with outrageous claims about Mexican perfidy, but the war was highly unpopular in America and was fought without enthusiasm. Mexico managed to recapture Texas and maintain its hold on all its northwestern possessions with it successful prosecution of the war.
In 1942, Ford Automotive introduced cars made from plastic rather than metal, in an effort to save metal and conserve fuel for the war effort. The cars were so wildly successful that Ford stopped making metal-body cars, and the other auto manufacturers in Detroit followed suit. It was this move that made dependence on foreign oil completely unnecessary, as America produced enough fuel to power these highly fuel-efficient autos.
In 1971, the British spaceflight to the moon was beset by mechanical failures. The ill-fated Apollo 13 mission had been too much trouble, it really had.
In 1737, on this day American merchant and statesman John Hancock was born in Braintree in the Province of Massachusetts Bay.
Birth of John HancockHe was a prominent Patriot of the American Revolution. He served as president of the Second Continental Congress, but his election by a mere 3 votes, showing how thin support for the rebel cause was.
Although Hancock used his time in office to declare the independence of the American colonies, by 1778 he was ousted in favor of the more conciliatory John Jay, who negotiated a peace with the British. He is remembered for his large and stylish signature on the United States Declaration of Independence, so much so that the term "John Hancock" became, in America, a synonym for signature. An installment from the Canadian Revolution thread
In 1904, atop the frozen Lake St. Clair near Detroit, Michigan, USA, automobile engineer Henry Ford died when his experimental Ford 999 (pictured) broke through a spot of unseasonably thin ice. The car flipped at speeds estimated beyond ninety miles per hour, and Ford was instantly killed.
Automobile Enthusiast Henry Ford Dies in CrashFord had already built an illustrious career in engineering and was gathering investors for his newly incorporated Ford Motor Company. He had begun on his own farm and sawmill and, in 1891, accepted a job at the Edison Illuminating Company. In 1893, the same year as the birth of his son, Edsel, Ford was made chief engineer, which gave him the resources to experiment with gasoline engines and culminated in the invention of his Ford Quadricyle in 1896. With Edison's encouragement, Ford continued to develop his machine and in 1899 left to found his own company. The initial Detroit Automobile Company did not meet Ford's standards, and he later began again with Alexander Malcolmson, taking in a partnership with the Dodge brothers, whose company produced parts.
A new story by Jeff ProvineAs part of his self-publicity, Ford drove his latest automobile design, the "999", which he had perfected from the old model created alongside bicyclist Tom Cooper. It had won races in the past, and Ford meant for it to be a display of his capabilities at setting a new land speed record far and above that made by William Vanderbilt in his internal combustion Mors at seventy-six miles per hour over one kilometer. Although the new record was estimated, it was partially considered out of respect of the late Henry Ford, though L'Automobile Club de France did not recognize it at all as the run had taken place on a frozen lake.
Despite Ford's disaster and numerous other birth pangs, the automobile industry blossomed across the world. Ford's company would shift ownership to the Dodge brothers, who eventually sold the automobile component and put in manufacturing with other Detroit automobile companies such as Olds and Buick before starting their own car line. Other countries such as France, Germany, and Britain manufactured their own automobiles, though America would take up a lead in numbers overall. The growing middle class in America was able to support more of the luxury of an automobile while much of the world transitioned from the horse and buggy to trains. The car remained a badge of wealth, costing between $2000 and $3000, a large amount as the average annual salary in 1910 was $750. Even more expensive luxury cars such as those from Cadillac would cost as much as $5000 by 1920.
Through the Twenties, manufacturing improved and many Americans purchased their cars on credit only to lose them as the Great Depression began. Much of the United States continued using horses, bicycles, and the cheaper motorcycle, but the manufacturing burst of the 1940s set the groundwork that after World War II just about anyone could afford an automobile. Just as prefabricated houses became widely available, so did the many varieties of American cars. Internationally, the American car would continue its lead into the rebuilding of Europe, though every nation seemed to have its own variety.
By the '50s when the industrial sector managed to cross over into mass production of cheap cars, however, the wartime perfection of the rail system and air travel did not leave much interest in long-range driving. President Eisenhower was able to secure some funding for his Interstate Highway System, but the roads would be rarely used by the public who preferred the ease of passenger travel. Cars, meanwhile, were typically saved for leisure on day-trips or commuting for those who lived outside of cities' widespread mass transit systems. Counter-culture beatniks and later hippies popularized the "road trip", but it would be another generation before it could be considered a family activity.
In 2011, Michael Sklatch wrote ~ for most of the 1800s, the northern and southern regions of the United States had been locked in a bitter "culture war". Many issues were involved, but the thorniest was over whether treating human beings as property should be legal in the United States. In the southern region slavery was legal. The northern region had abolished it a few decades earlier.
Lincoln's choiceThe division grew even more rancorous as the United States expanded its territory westward. Southerners migrating to the West wanted to take their slaves with them. Northerners wanted slavery outlawed in the new territories. As each new state joined the Union, it could potentially swing the overall political balance on the question of abolition. No compromise seemed to work. Tension mounted.
When Abraham Lincoln, a Northerner who had taken a mildly abolitionist position during his campaign, was elected president by a slim margin of the popular vote, several Southern states immediately seceded from the United States to form a new nation called the Confederate States of America. Needless to say, the Confederate States quickly adopted a constitution that guaranteed the right to own slaves.
Contrary to what many people assume, the United States did not invade the Confederacy in order to "free the slaves". The American Civil War was fought over the question of secession, not slaveryAt the time of the secession, the United States had a population of about 22 million, while the Confederate States had about 5 million. Most of the industrial capacity was in the United States. The Confederacy was largely agricultural, with a pre-industrial infrastructure.
When the Southern states seceded, the United States faced an important decision. It could allow the Confederacy to go its own way, or it could invade the renegade states and force them back into the Union.
The United States was not willing to quietly part with what it considered to be its territory. An invasion of the Confederacy would have seemed unavoidable. Initially Lincoln claimed no intention of invading.
However, after a skirmish in which Confederate troops captured Fort Sumter in the Confederate state of South Carolina, Lincoln decided to call for Union troops to invade the Confederacy and recapture the fort. Several more Southern states seceded after that. The United States then began the war by blockading Confederate ports.
Lincoln had extraordinary rhetorical skills. He had a poet's ear for language. In an alternate history, he might have persuaded the people and politicians that it was wiser to let the South go in peace rather than to fight a bloody and ruinous war.
In real history, of course, Lincoln chose the military option, and in 1861, United States federal troops attacked the Confederacy. Under the mindset of Lincoln's time, that must have seemed an immensely difficult but necessary choice.
The reason given for attacking the Confederacy was to preserve the Union; that is, to establish that individual states would never have the right to withdraw from the United States.
That is a point worth emphasizing. Contrary to what many people assume, the United States did not invade the Confederacy in order to "free the slaves". In fact, Lincoln did not officially declare the Emancipation Proclamation until 1863, after the war had already been raging for over a year and a half. The American Civil War was fought over the question of secession, not slavery.
What if Lincoln had chosen not to attack the Confederate States?
If the American Civil War had not been fought, the United States would have spared itself the huge cost in lives and resources caused by the war itself. The Civil War was the bloodiest war in history until the Great War began in Europe in 1914.
Without the war and reconstruction, the industrialization that was already underway in the United States might have proceeded more quickly. The United States might have overtaken Britain as the world's greatest economic power decades earlier than it actually did.
While the United States would probably have been better off, the Confederate States would have become a much different kind of country.
Similar to the haciendas or latifundios in Latin America, the plantations in the Confederate States allowed a small class of wealthy families to control the best land. As in Latin America, plantations pushed the majority of Southerners onto small marginal farms.
Slave labor made the plantations even more profitable and helped secure control over the land for the ruling families, who regarded themselves as an aristocracy whose scintillating existence justified the suffering of others.
In many ways, Latin America and the Confederacy had similar economies and social patterns. Is it unreasonable to think that if the Confederacy had remained separate from the United States, today it would be economically similar to Latin America? Would the Confederacy not have grown to be a kind of English-speaking, Baptist-dominated Latin American country?
Wealthy families would have sent their children abroad to be educated in elite schools, while the rest of the population would have lived in poverty and religious superstition. In the South, a philosophy of aristocracy prevailed, asserting that a society is superior overall if its wealthiest people are allowed to flourish at the expense the rest of society, and if the interests of the wealthy take highest priority.
Would the Confederacy not have grown to be a kind of English-speaking, Baptist-dominated Latin American country?Southern aristocrats saw no value in building a strong middle class where citizens could prosper based on achievement. Ordinary citizens of the Confederacy would have been relatively impoverished farmhands with little chance for education or travel. Any progressive movement to build a prosperous, secular middle class in the Confederate States would have challenged the grip of the oligarchy, and the oligarchy would have resolutely squelched it.
Paradoxically, ordinary working people in the South have always resisted organized labor, even during times when labor unions would clearly have benefited them. Ordinary Southerners have consistently rejected any policy that would challenge the special advantages of an oligarchical ruling class. No doubt that would also have been true in the Confederacy if it had existed in the 20th century.
The Confederacy would probably have industrialized even more slowly than it actually did. Had it been a separate nation, industrialization might not have begun in earnest until the 1960s and 1970s, at the time when maquiladora factories were being built in Mexico to take advantage of cheap labor and lenient laws. The maquiladora factories might have been built along the Ohio River instead of the Rio Grande.
Oil reserves in Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana would have made the Confederate States an oil-exporting nation, but petroleum production in the Confederacy would have been owned by only a few people, and only they would have directly benefited from it. Wealth from petroleum would probably not have benefited society as a whole, as it does today in Norway, for example.
Another point worth mentioning is that during the 1930s, the government of the Confederate States would likely have been sympathetic toward the fascism and white supremacism of the Nazi Party in Germany.
The Confederate States would conceivably have joined the Axis during the Second World War, providing a base for the German military. The United States and Canada might then have been forced to fight on a bitter North American front against the Confederate States and Germany, with German missiles raining upon Philadelphia, New York, and Washington just as they rained upon London during the Blitz.
During the 1930s, the government of the Confederate States would likely have been sympathetic toward the fascism and white supremacism of the Nazi Party in Germany. Had Lincoln chosen not to invade the Confederacy, the greatest losers would clearly have been African Americans.
Farm automation would have continued to displace slave labor on plantations, as it had already been doing before the 1860s, but perhaps more gradually. Although slavery in the Confederate States likely would have all but disappeared by the beginning of the 20th century, the government of the Confederate States would probably have used every means available to subjugate its African-ancestral population, including fierce apartheid laws.
In fact, apartheid laws were in force anyway until the 1960s, when the U.S. federal government finally began to intervene. The Confederacy would probably have been more repressive had it remained independent, and that conceivably might have led to a more radical change earlier than what actually happened.
In any case, facing the constant threat of an uprising, the Confederate ruling class would probably have enacted a police state during the 20th century, similar to the one that existed in South Africa. The police state would have given free rein to terrorist organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan to crush any resistance at the community level.
Just as in South Africa, real liberation for African Americans might not have come until later in the 20th century.
Had the Confederacy been left to go its own way, the United States might have become more like Canada. It might now be less oligarchical, less militaristic, and less Christian fundamentalist than it is today. As in Canada, more emphasis might now be placed on upholding civic responsibility.
Beginning in Britain and Europe about 300 years ago, the question at the heart of much political debate has been whether power should be based on lineage or on merit. The Confederacy favored aristocracy. In Benjamin Franklin's America, meritocracy had a stronger foothold.
Societies based on promotion by merit have generally been more open, prosperous, and dynamic than societies based on aristocracy. In light of recent political trends that have given Southern voters more power, it's clear that the United States still has not fully settled the question of aristocracy versus meritocracy.
In 1950, on this day the 44th President of the United States of America Robert D. "Bob" McEwen was born in Hillsboro, Ohio.
Robert D. "Bob" McEwen
44th President of the United States
January 3, 2001 - January 3, 2009Robert D. "Bob" McEwen (born January 12, 1950) was the 44th President of the United States of America serving from January 20th, 2001-2009.
Before being elected to the Presidency, McEwen served as a state legistator, U.S. Representative, and U.S. Senator. McEwen has been described as a "textbook Republican" who is "Pro-Life, Pro-Gun, Pro-Lower Taxes and Less Government".
McEwen was born and raised in Ohio. He graduated from the University of Miami in 1972 with a Bachelor's in Business Administration.
McEwen is married to Elizabeth "Liz" Boebinger and has four children: Meredith, Jonathan, Robert, and Elizabeth. The McEwen's are members of the Church of Christ.
After working in the real estate business for a time, McEwen was elected to the Ohio State House at the age of 24. McEwen would be re-elected twice.
In 1980, McEwen was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from the Ohio Sixth District. McEwen established himself as a champion of conservative principals and was easely re-elected in 1982, 1984, and 1986.
A new article from Althistory WikiaIn 1987, at the advise of Phil Gramm, McEwen announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate. Although most expected McEwen to lose the Republican primary to popular Ohio Lieutenant Governor George Voiniovich, McEwen would not quit and cris-crossed the state in one of the most agrressive campaigns in Ohio political history. McEwen shocked Ohio when on May 3, 1988, he defeated Voinovich by the razor-thin margin of 6,000 votes out of 1.3 million cast. Although considered a huge under dog against popular Democrat incumbent Howard Metzenbaum, McEwen campaign as a young and vigorous conservative who was offering true change for Ohio. McEwen's age (38) was in stark contrast to Metzenbaum's age of 71 during the seven debates in which they engaged across the state. In the end, McEwen (inspite of being outspent 3-1) pulled the upset of 88' and defeated Metzenbaum by a margin of 2,300,078 (53.8%) to 2,057,862 (46.0%).
During McEwen's first term in the Senate, he established himself as a leader of conservatives. In 1991, McEwen was elected to the post of Chairman of the Republican Policy Commitee. In 1993, McEwen was elected as Vice Chairman of the Republican Conference Commitee.
In 1994, McEwen was re-elected by more than 20 points over his Democrat opponant Joel Hyatt. That December, McEwen was elected to be the Republican Whip of the U.S. Senate, defeating Thad Cochran 22-15. During the 104th. Congress, McEwen became know as the "Republican Bulldog" because of his ability to push legistation through the Senate. Thanks to McEwen's leadership, the Ballanced Buget Amendment passed the the Senate and the House and was ratified by the all fifty states within six months. Since Bob Dole was campaigning for president for most of 1995-96, McEwen became the de facto Majority Leader. In June, 1996, Senator Dole resigned from the senate and McEwen was elected unanamously as the new Majority Leader. Thanks to McEwen's hard campaigning in the 96' Senate elections, Republicans gained 7 seats for a total of 60, this gave them a filibuster proof majority.
Shortly after the election, McEwen and Democrat President Bill Clinton had their first major confrontation. Clinton wanted to cut defense spending and raise taxes as a way to balance the budget. McEwen on the other hand, wanted to end pork-barrel spending, get government programs and agencies under control, and cut taxes. This leaded to a 100 minute shutdown of the government in December, 1996, in which McEwen was able to convince congressional Democrats to joint him in passing the McCain-Lieberman Act, which stated that if a Senator or Congressman refrains from asking for any pork for a full year, he or she (or it, in Barney Frank's case) shall receive a bonus to their normal sallary of 1,000,000 to 15,000,000 dollars depending on the members seniority. This maesure not only virtually eliminates pork, but it also balances the budget and turns McEwen into a national hero.
Shortly after the budget battle, The Drudge Report brook the story that Clinton had carried on a two-year affiar with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. As soon as the story was confirmend, McEwen called for Clinton to resign from office. Clinton responded by calling the alligation a vast right-wing conspiracy, McEwen counterd by declaring that there was a Crisis of Integrity in America, polls showed 42% of Americans supported McEwen while 38% supported Clinton.
During 1998, McEwen continued to call for Clinton resign or his impeachment. In the November elections, Republicans gained 4 seats in the Senate and 32 in the House.
In December, Clinton was impeached by a vote of 216 -188 in the House of Representatives. After firce debate, the Senate convicted Clinton on charges of obstructing justice 66-33 on January 19. Democrat Senators John Breaux and Fritz Hollings voted for impeachment while Arlen Specter voted against. The deciding vote however was that of Connecticut Senator Joe Lierberman who after much soul serching abstained from voting. When he did there was a adable gasp from the Senate, an American president had just been removed from office by Congress for the first time in history. What would happen next?
On January 20, 1999, Albert Arnold Gore Jr. was sworn in as the 43rd. Presidet of the United States. Gore first crisis was facing calls from Newt Gingrich to press a prison centance on Clinton. McEwen, who was prepairing to run for president in 2000 remained out of this debate. In February, Gore agreed to imposing a 5,000,000 fine on Clinton in exchange for no furthur charges being pressed. Gore was also convenced to sign the Social Security Reform Act of 1999, which virually privatized the system. As a result, McEwen became the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomation, being followed by Ginrich, Texas Governor George W. Bush, and former Vice President Dan Quayle. In August, McEwen and Gingrich pased (over Gore veto) the Fair Taxation Act of 1999 which created a flat income tax rate of 17% and abolished the Death Tax, and cut the capital-gains tax in half.
In the Iowa Straw poll, McEwen narrowly defeated Bush, winning 33% to Bush's 32%. After poor showings by Newt Gingrich, Dan Quayle, and Elizabeth Dole withdrew from the race leaving only McEwen and Bush as serious contenders. On February 15, McEwen resigned as Majority Leader to foucus on his campaign, GOP Whip Trent Lott was elected to fill McEwen's position. On the Democrat side, Al Gore faced a primary challange New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley, who was leading Gore in New Hampshire, and running neck and neck in Iowa. In the cacuses debates, McEwen proved to be by fare the most 'Reagan-esqe' and in December Steve Forbes, Orrin Hatch and Gary Bauer withrew the race and endorsed McEwen. McEwen beat Bush 45% to 35%, while Gore narrowly beat Bradley 51%-48% in the Democrat cacuses. In New Hampshire, John McCain pulled an upset and defeated McEwen 41% to 38%. Bradley defeated Gore 57% to 40% and became the Democratic front-runner. McEwen and Bradley won the respective primaries in Delaware and began building up steam as super-tuesday approched. Shortlly before South Carolina primary Alan Keyes withrew from the race and endorsed McEwen, this was key to McEwen winning that primary. McEwen (45%) defeated McCain (37%) and Bush (18%), Bush withrew from the race that same night. McEwen would go on to swept Super Tuesday and with withdrew from thr race in early March. The Democrats were fare more divided however, Gore won California, as well as the South and the West. Bradley carried New York, and the north-east as well as a supprising win in Florida. As the primaries continued on into June, Bradley and Gore traded the lead but neither gained a knockout punch. Finally on June 6, Gore won a majority of delegates and Bradley withdrew from the race, but the damage had been done, Gore was badly wounded while McEwen was ready for the coming fight in November. McEwen chose a dark-horse candidate Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee (Huckabee's one drawback was his 300 pound frame, Huckabee however took this in-hand and by election day had lost almost 40 pounds and would get down to under 200 with a year). Gore chose Nebraska Senator and Bradley supporter Bob Kerrey as his running-mate.
After the conventions, McEwen running on the slogan Freedom & Prosperity held a 17-point lead over Gore and held it for two weeks. By mid-October, Gallup showed McEwen with 49% Gore with 41% and Nader 5%. In the debates, McEwen called for 'a new era of integrity' and more 'empowerment of the people, instead of government.'
On November 7, America responded to McEwen's call and elected him in a landslide over Gore.
In 2005, Austin, Texas resident Jeanna Best and her friend Dave Lange notice something odd about a televised interview with their U.S. Representative, Carl Worthington. Whenever he speaks with commentator Jack Kilbride, he makes a subtle clawing gesture with his thumb, index and middle finger. He only makes the gesture when speaking towards Kilbride, and not the other pundits on the show. Curious, they begin tracking other appearances of Worthington to see if he makes this gesture in other situations.
the winter stillness of the small Hungarian village of Nagyrev is broken by the cries of a man going through his death throes
. Zsuzsanna Fazekas' husband Vasily is merely the first of many mysterious deaths in the small community, as dark forces seem to play at the village's borders, coming in to slay the men of the village in hideous pain.
In 1863, the Hindu mystic Swami Vivekananda was born in India. He was responsible for a great reawakening of the Hindi faith, in spite of centuries of British attempts to tamp it down. In his short life, he saw the religion of his forebears gain strength again in the nation where it was born, in spite of the British government's best efforts. His work inspired later Hindu revolutionaries such as the nation's hardiest warrior of the 20th century, Mohandas K. Gandhi.
In 902, Rhonwen, mistress of the sea, and Atticus, wizard of lightning, send a challenge to the Christian zealot Lebuin, telling him to meet the wizards of Wales at Rhonwen's fortess in a week's time. Two other wizards, as well as Merlin, are already on their way to Rhonwen's coastal home, with supplies that will make the already-formidable keep the strongest place in all of Britain.
In 1000 Post-Creation, Yahweh halts the fighting in Heaven and holds the new angel-human baby, Achazia. A light falls from Him onto the young girl, and she laughs when it touches her. Yahweh's heart is moved by the child, and He orders Lucifer and Gabriel to send their respective forces away; the angelic host retreats inside the gates of Heaven, and Gabriel's horde flies back to Eden. "This child shall hold the key to the future," Yahweh tells the two angelic leaders. "I give her My blessings".
In 1969, Yassin and Wilhem Schoemann think that their prototype time machine is ready for an animal test. The cat that they have been training will push the activation button on command, so they send it back. It is the first large-scale object they have tried to push back through time, and Schoemann is concerned even though they know they have already succeeded. As he places the cat in the machine, her collar comes loose and he pulls it off absent-mindedly and puts it in his pocket. It is only after the cat is gone that he realizes that the cat they saw 5 days before was wearing its collar.
In 1962, the Pentagon convinces Comrade President Rosenberg that the best way to rid Chile of the guerrillo reactionaries is to expose the jungle pathways they have been using to move personnel with a defoliant known as Comrade Orange. The use of this chemical boomerangs against American servicemen there, as it causes many illnesses in American soldiers stationed in Chile over the next decade.
In 1904, the Plutonian outpost of the Congress of Nations receives a hail from the ships approaching from the Mlosh homeworld. The hail is in the Mlosh language, and requests orbiting privileges for Pluto. The outpost grants this, cautiously, and sends word back to earth. Several warships are already on their way, and a C.N. ambassador sails with them; they are prepared for both a joyful meeting and a hostile encounter.
In 1889, Mikhail von Heflin reaches Texas, but is still hundreds of miles away from the relatives he is looking for. He heads westward to the state's Hill Country. Meanwhile, in the home of Karen and Jedediah Thompson, young Willard Thompson is born. His paternal grandchildren will be responsible for the culmination of destiny of the Baron's descendants.
In 47,372 BCE, Swikolay, feeling old age creeping up on her, gathers together her children, grandchildren and great-grandson and tells them that before she dies, she will see the land of her birth again. "You do not have to join me on my journey,quot; she tells them, quot;but those who do will see wonders that you cannot imagine here. If you come with me, we may even touch the sky.quot; The 6 descendants who accompanied her became the nucleus of the Speaker's Line, and the progenitors of the Great Conspiracy.
On this day in 1969, the Boston Patriots, in Weeb Ewbank's only Super Bowl appearance as a head coach, beat the Baltimore Colts 17-14 in Super Bowl III. Ironically one of Ewbank's former players, Don Shula, was Baltimore head coach at the time of their Super Bowl showdown.
In 1972, South Dakota Senator George S. McGovern announces he will seek the Democratic presidential nomination.
McGovern has emerged as an outspoken critic of both the occupation of Cuba and the war in Southeast Asia. His entry into the race signals that the peace movement is gaining in influence, at least within the Democratic Party.
|George S. McGovern|
On this day in 1969, the Dallas Cowboys, heavily favored to win Super Bowl III, were handed a shocking upset loss as the AFL champion New York Jets came back from a 10-7 second quarter deficit to beat Dallas 16-13. Jets starting quarterback Joe Namath was named Super Bowl MVP for engineering the drive that clinched the victory for
In 1956 Sandy Koufax gave his first extended TV interview, speaking to a sports commentator from Boston's CBS affiliate WNAC. He spoke at length about his childhood, his efforts to reconcile his Jewish faith with his NBA career, and his decision to sign with the Celtics a year earlier after meeting with Celtics head coach and fellow Brooklynite Red Auerbach.
In 2001, the movie Fourteen Days, about the anti-integration of October 1962 which had threatened to escalate into a second U.S. civil war, opens in theaters.
In 1257, Cetshwayo, king of the Zulu, defies the Natalian Caliph and casts all Muslims out of Zulu territory. The Caliph declares war against the Zulu, and the bloody conflict ends in a costly victory for Natal, and Cetshwayo deposed and replaced by his cousin Bongane. Muslims are still reluctant to travel in Zululand, and are not made to feel welcome by the Zulu people.
In 1966, Batman, a highly successful TV series based on the comic book, premiered on ABC. Starring Bill Anderson in the title role and Herb Gervis, Jr. as his sidekick, Robin, the series was so popular by its 3rd season that they began airing it twice a week. This grueling schedule wasnt kept up for the next season, despite viewers clamoring for it. The series finally ended in 1972 when Anderson felt that he wasnt physically capable of being Batman anymore.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.