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

January 15

In 1929, Comrade Martin King was born in Atlanta, Georgia. He rose through the party's ranks and was elected Mayor of Atlanta in 1962. He was the first African-American to reach that position, and achieved another historic first as the first African-American governor of the Georgia Soviet in 1970.
In 1929, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia. Although deeply spiritual as a young man, Dr. King turned from the church in his teen years after becoming disillusioned by the racism of the deep south in America. Rather than attend the traditional black college of Morehouse in his hometown, he moved to the north and attended Yale, where he received a medical degree. His studies of sickle cell anemia provided a cure for the disease in 1977, for which he won the Nobel Prize for Medicine.
In 1929, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. is born in Atlanta, Georgia. A powerful voice in the civil rights movement, King narrowly escaped death in 1968 when a gunman shooting at him on a Memphis hotel balcony was distracted by the appearance of King's young protege Jesse Jackson. Jackson was killed, but King was unharmed.
In 1307, the mullah Malik al-Rai is born in Timbuktu. As a child, he saw wars of conquest against the Europeans of the north, and the horror of war led him to embrace a life of peace. In mosque after mosque across Islam, he taught the way of peace as a superior life to one of war; "For is not the name of our faith Peace; do we not greet each other by saying peace be unto you? Peace is the greatest gift of Allah".
In 4625, Guan-di Wang a spiritual leader of the African people in the Chinese Empire, is born in the ancient city of Timbuktu. Before his famous Journey of Enlightenment in 4660, the ethnic Chinese of the Empire had felt that the other ethnic groups under their rule were treated well; his sermons led the Chinese to understand the second-class nature of the citizenship conferred on non-Chinese. With the opening of democracy in the latter half of the century, he was able to bring a new ethnic ethos that saw all citizens of the Empire as equal.
In 1929, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. is born in Atlanta, Georgia. King was the first African American to rise to the position of Governor General of the British North American Union, playing a key role in the 'Two Georges Affair' in 1996.
In 1945, fourth generation German-American Kurt Vonnegut's body was filled with holes by a firing squad. As a prisoner of war, he had been set to work in the City of Dresden following the Allied bombing. Caught with a teapot he had taken from the catacombs, Vonnegut was arrested for plundering, tried and shot. So it goes. Vonnegut was philosophical about his death, concentrating on the happy moments of his life, and ignoring the unhappy ones-to stare only at pretty things as eternity failed to go by.


January 14

In 1784, in a bitter-sweet moment the Continental Congress ratified the Second Treaty of Paris, ending the War for Independence but acquiescing to the British retention of the former royal provinces of New York and New Jersey re-organized into a City State. An article from the New York City State thread.

Ratification of the Second Treaty of ParisIt was little more than a double twist of fate, or rather two separate miracles the saved the Loyalist community: the extinguishing of a near-catastrophic fire in 1776 and then the recent extraction of the British Army from Yorktown.

Logic aside, patriot anger finally boiled over in 1813 when Yankee army engineers landed on Bedlow's Island on a revenge mission to destroy the Statue of Britannia, that hated symbol of imperial power in Upper New York Bay. But to their immense anger and frustration it would be a brief occupation because they were forced to withdraw under the obligations of the Treaty of Ghent. However before they left, General Jackson delivered a powerful "Dream that Never Dies" speech [1]. The loyalists were left in absolutely no doubt that the Americans considered the possession of the New York City State. "Unfinished business leftover from the American Revolution by an accident of history".

In 1847, on this day fighting of the Mexican-American War in Alta California was brought to a peaceful conclusion by the Treaty of Cahuenga.
A variant ending to Tracy Johnson's Facebook article.


Treaty of Cahuenga ends the Mexican-American War in Alta CaliforniaNot a formal treaty between nations but rather an informal agreement between rival military forces in which the Californios gave up fighting, it 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 in what is now North Hollywood, Los Angeles in the Bear Republic of California.

The Bear Flag Revolt itself was instigated mainly by Anglo-American settlers in the area, and the Californios, for the most part, opposed to any sort of revolt, preferring to stay with Mexico. However the unexpected outcome of the war the Californios, Anglo-Americans, and Native Americans in the area of Alta California uniting together in a multi-ethnic nation. However their independence would only last until the discovery of gold, a bitter sweet development which brought the young nation into the orbit of several foreign powers, eventually becoming a Russian Client State for almost a century.

In 1761, on this day a coalition army of Afghan (Durrani) and their Indian Muslim allies was defeated by a northern expeditionary force of the Maratha Confederacy equipped with French-supplied artillery and cavalry in an epic battle fought at Panipat (Haryana State, India) sixty miles north of Delhi.

Battle of PanipatAhmad Shah Abdali, the founder of the Durrani Empire had been unwilling to allow the Maratha Confederacy to gain territory from the decline of the Mughal Empire. And further northward expansion would inevitably lead to a clash between the two belligerents. Instead, he decided to pre-empt this future conflict: in 1759, he raised an army from the Pashtun tribes and made several gains against the smaller garrisons.

His chief opponent was Malharrao Holkar who gathered an army of between 70,000-100,000 troops with which the Marathas had ransacked the Mughal capital of Delhi. And crucially, he took the time to supplement this force with allies. There followed a series of skirmishes along the banks of the river Yamuna at Karnal and Kunjpura which eventually turned into a two-month-long siege led by Abdali against the Marathas.

Between 60,000-70,000 soldiers were killed in fighting, while numbers of the injured and prisoners taken vary considerably. The result of the last major battle between indigenous South Asian military powers was a further expansion of the Maratha advances in the North. Because soon enough the Marathas would have to deal with an insidious new enemy, the British Empire.

In 1741, on this day Benedict Arnold was born in Norwich, Connecticut.

Benedict Arnold Meets Washington for BreakfastBy 1780 he was a Major General and had served his country well, even taking a wound to his leg, but he felt the young America had not returned the kindness. Arnold had been repeatedly passed over for promotion and robbed of commands that were given to men of much lesser quality.

In 1778, he had been accused of profiteering in Philadelphia, but the later court martial proved him innocent of all but a few minor charges. Despite his innocence, his name was blackened, and he wrote Washington, "Having become a cripple in the service of my country, I little expected to meet ungrateful returns". The final straw came after his Quebec campaign, a military disaster, in which his retreat had run up severe costs. The Continental Congress was to reimburse him, but due to lack of proper documentation, Arnold was told he owed over £1,000.

Arnold was newly married to Peggy, the daughter of Philadelphia Loyalist Judge Edward Shippen. His Loyalist ideals were piqued, and, over the course of the next year, Arnold would begin a plan to change sides in the war. Communications exchanged between himself and various British officials until he made his demands of £20,000, coverage for his losses, and the rank of a brigadier general. In exchange, he gave troop positions, army strengths, and supply information to Clinton in his Hudson Valley campaign. In a final offer, Arnold promised to turn over the Continental fort at West Point, New York.

On September 21, Arnold met with British spy Major John André, but the forces under American Colonel John Jameson had attacked the HMS Vulture, chasing away André's escape. The major would have to return overland through enemy lines, and Arnold supplied him with the appropriate papers for safe passage. André did not go far before he was caught by Patriots, who took him to Jameson after finding suspicious notes in his socks. These papers were sent to Washington, and André asked Jameson to send him back to Arnold. Major Benjamin Tallmadge, a member of Washington's intelligence service, convinced the colonel to hold onto the spy, and, though Jameson was highly suspicious of the divergence from the chain of command, not to mention the capture to the suspect Arnold.

That Sunday morning, Benedict Arnold, blissfully ignorant of André's capture, met with Washington for breakfast. The commander-in-chief had read the indicting papers, but he remained calm. Fellow military leaders said that the breakfast was pleasant and full of conversation about plans for winter. As he stood, Washington said to the soldiers, "Men, do the Major General the honor of arrest on suspicion of treason". Arnold reportedly tried to fight his way from the room, but the Patriots, including Washington, subdued him. Just before he was dragged away, Arnold made a last request to Washington to allow his wife Peggy safe passage back to her family in Philadelphia. Washington would fulfill the request.

The investigation would take up the next week. Being found completely guilty, Benedict Arnold would be hanged alongside André on October 2. Just after his death, a letter from Arnold entitled "To the Inhabitants of America" would be published in Loyalist newspapers throughout the former colonies. In it, Arnold redressed his grievances: the independence of the Articles of Confederation despite offers to meet pre-war demands and return to the British Empire, a rejection of treaty with the French (whom he described as "the enemy of the Protestant faith"), and the lack of rebels to follow simple "common sense", as had been recommended by Thomas Payne's pamphlet.

With a popular martyr, the Loyalist movement in the Colonies would begin anew. Washington would spend years settling uprisings and defeating British troops as they moved. The Crown, meanwhile, began a scheme of amphibious attacks that were intended to wear down the rebels but only dragged on an expensive war, inciting riots of war-weary cities. Internationally, the Dutch, Spanish, and French preyed heavily on the British shipping and conquered other colonies. Finally, in 1785 after the bloody defeat of British General Cornwallis at the Battle of Williamsburg, the Revolutionary War would end. International fighting would continue until the humiliating Treaty of Paris of 1788 was signed.

In the wake of the successful, though hard-fought, revolution in America, emulated revolutions would break out in France and over the Continent. What papers called "democratic chaos" caused uproars and wars against the French Republic until finally the kings of Europe agreed that they had gone too far in giving the Americans republican rule. The American Invasion would begin in 1815 and force upon them as king Prince Edward, George III's fourth son. In the coming years, his daughter Victoria would become queen of both America and England, finally reuniting the wayward colonies, though with separate parliaments.

In 1858, in an organized attack by Italian independence radicals led by Felice Orsini, Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, nephew of the famous Napoleon I and reigning emperor of France since 1852, was killed in a firestorm of bombs.

Napoleon III Assassinated in BombingThe emperor and his consort, Eugénie de Montijo, were on their way to the opera when Orsini and his fellow assassins hurled bombs that exploded on impact, following a design created by Orsini the year before. The first two bombs struck at the front of their carriage, the second wounding animals and breaking the protective glass, while the third and final landed inside the carriage itself. A policeman was the first to reach the wreckage and cried out, "l'Empereur est mort!".

It was a tragic end to what had seemed an epic life. Louis-Napoléon was born in 1808 as the third son of Napoleon's brother Louis, puppet-ruler of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Holland. After the fall of the French Empire, Louis-Napoléon grew up in Switzerland comfortably while his cousin Napoleon II was held under royal trappings under the Austrian court. Following the deaths of Napoleon II and the earlier generation, Louis-Napoléon became the head of the Bonapartist movement and dedicated his life to reestablishing the glory days under Napoleon I. In 1836, he attempted to begin a coup at Strasbourg much like the Hundred Days, but, rather than join him, the garrison arrested him and sent him back into exile. Another failed coup came in 1840, and Louis-Napoléon was sentenced to perpetual imprisonment in the fortress at Ham.

There, Louis-Napoléon began formulating his ideals of the liberal emperor. He wrote L'extinction du paupérisme, defining Bonapartism as autocracy for the good of the masses and outlining economic policies bordering on socialism. Following six years of imprisonment, he escaped after trading clothes with a mason and came to England, where he remained until the Revolutions of 1848 toppled King Louis-Philippe and established a new republic. Louis-Napoléon returned to Paris after the June Days uprising proved the reforming efforts of the Republic were ineffective, and he won the new presidential election with more than 75 percent of the total vote. He was wildly popular, "all things to all men" with progressive economic policies for the poor, being dubbed "least bad" by the Monarchists, and holding the historic Napoleon name. His term proved beneficial, but problems began as Louis-Napoléon requested an amendment to the 1848 Constitution so that he might run again after his term ended in 1852. The National Assembly refused and instead amended voting laws with a three-year residency requirement, which would cut out many traveling workers of the lower class who would have voted for him. Calling for maintenance of universal male suffrage, Louis-Napoléon secured the support of the army and at last had his successful coup in 1851.

Now ruler of the Second French Empire, Napoleon III worked to create anew what his uncle once held. A new constitution kept universal male suffrage and the Parliament, but all real power lay with Louis-Napoléon. He exiled political rivals to Devil's Island and other penal colonies and married the Spanish Eugénie de Montijo (after being turned down by higher nobles from the houses of Sweden and Britain) to produce his heir, Louis Napoléon the Prince Impérial, born in 1856. Louis-Napoléon also worked to overcome the colonial restrictions placed on France by aiding European powers in the Crimean War (using Russia as an excuse for the return of French influence) and the Anglo-Persian War. More notably, he also gave influence in the militaristic attempts at Italian unification, such as his providing troops to restore Pope Pius IX and defeat the short-lived Roman Republic of Garibaldi and Mazzini in 1849.

This action had caused an uproar in France (which had been calmed by Louis-Napoléon's popularity), but it had also instilled in the minds of Orsini and others that Louis-Napoléon was a stumbling block to an Italian nation, leading to his assassination. The assassins were caught and executed with Orsini notably going to the guillotine quietly and with a sense of satisfaction. Meanwhile, France became a political vacuum as Napoleon IV was only two years old. Bids for an advisor turned into factionalism, and power gradually fell back to the Parliament, making the young emperor a figurehead. Anti-Italian sentiment led to the French assistance of the Austrians (a large reversal from the old Napoleonic enemy) in the Second Italian War of Independence in 1859, which formed the alliance that narrowly defeated the Prussians in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, giving Emperor Franz Josef political clout to build his Southern German Confederation opposing Prussia and its northern German allies.

Prussia would eventually have its victory in the Great War (spawned from another assassination in 1914 of Austria's archduke) when it joined with Russia and Britain against France, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the Ottoman Empire, leading to the dissolution of the latter two and the formation of South Germany and, finally, an independent unified Italy. With its humiliating defeat, France gave up its empire as the aging Napoleon V abdicated. The new republic lasted only briefly before the fascist Third French Empire arose in the 1930s. The resulting imperialism with its Japanese allies would be opposed by a congress of nations, including the century-old Republic of Mexico and the liberated Vietnamese who suffered under years of Japanese colonialism before becoming a republic under American encouragement.

In 1908, on this day George Washington Miller was pleased to announce that retired Colonel Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders would be accompanying the 101 Ranch Wild West Show on their forthcoming tour to Mexico City.

Catharsis in Mexico CityThe programme of events had originally featured steer-wrestling in which the cow-boy bit the beast's nose and upper lip before pinning it to the ground. Miller had considered adapting this wrestling for the Mexican audience by replacing the steer with a bull, but had recently been advised that in fact bull fighting was more of a mental than a physical contest of wills.

That advice had come from another evergreen cow-boy, a man never short of a crazy idea, Roosevelt himself.

"Something is missing in this harsh world" ~ TR's Diary EntryIn fact TR had been kicking his unspurred heels for the most of the previous decade and was bored to distraction. He proposed a thrilling show featuring his "Rough Riders", the name bestowed on the 1st United States Volunteer Cavalry, one of three such regiments raised in 1898 for the Spanish-American War and the only one of the three to see action. TR sold Miller on a feature that would eclipse the other Wild West Show which was even now running another swash-buckling adventure writ large in the American psyche, the Little Big Horn featuring the ageing George Armstrong Custer. The letter ommitted to mention a small factual point (never a strength of TR's), that the Rough Riders had not been provisioned with horses, and in no sense could be described either as cavalry, or even riders.

"How Can You Mend A Broken Heart? How can a loser ever win?" ~ Al GreenA few months later, Miller desperately wished that he had stuck with the original nonsense. His neighbor Major Gordon W. Lillie, who performed as Pawnee Bill, proudly declared "Alturas de San Juan!" before introducing a stage managed and highly fictionalised version of Roosevelt's horsed men racing up San Juan Hill to sweep all before them.

The problem with this cow-boys and indians farce was of course that the mostly Hispanic audience was simply horrified by the scenes they were witnessing. Which was not to say that the occasion was a disaster, because the audience's reaction shocked Roosevelt out of his despair and presented him with a fresh opportunity to turn his own life around.

A sickly child, he had enjoyed a brief moment of glory in Cuba before returning to an unhappy and unfulfilling existence in the States. The cause of that sorrow was the death of his first wife Alice and since his remarriage, his troubled relationship with their child of the same name, whose birth had led to the tragedy. During her formative years he had failed to communicate effectively and also managed to project his frustration and sense of loss upon her. Outwardly larger than life, he flashed his winning smile at all but his daughter who inevitably developed her own sense of resentment.

Quitting Mexico City, a wiser TR set his eyes upon a new and infinitely more difficult challenge that would be fought on a battleground in which few men truly emerge as victors. He would put aside foolish nonsense and embark on a mission to be a hero once again in the eyes of his first child.
Click to listen to Al Green singing How Can You Mend A Broken Heart.

In 1858, on this day the Emperor of France and his wife were assassinated en route to a theatrical performance of Rossini's William Tell. Police investigations that began in Paris would subsequently unearth a trail of conspiracy that led all the way back to revolutionary London.

The Orsini AffairTo murder the Royal couple, Italian revolutionaries Felice Orsini, Giuseppe Pieri, Antonio Gomez and Carlo di Rudio had thrown three hand-made bombs at the the Imperial Carriage in the Rue Le Peletier. It would later emerge that the bombs had been manufactured by the English gunsmith Joseph Taylor and tested in Sheffield and Devonshire. Because Orsini had been covertly assisted by London since the unsuccessful revolution of 1848.

Few in France were surprised that Great Britain should become a rogue state which exported terrorism. Because a thriving republican community had existed even before the execution of Charles Stuart. In the late eighteenth century, revolutions had broken out in England, France and the American colonies. Defeated overseas, extremists such as Thomas Paine had gathered in London and overthrown the British Royal Family. Standing alone against the Royal Houses of Europe, Britain existed in a state of undeclared war with the continent, being the only great power to have emerged into the eighteenth century as a republic. Desperately short of allies, the British Government had hoped to creating a sister state in Italy with men such as Orsini.

In 1898, on this day Lewis Carroll better known as the hideous murderer "Jack the Ripper" died in a lunatic asylum. He was sixty-five years old.

"His vorpal blade went snicker-snack"Ten years before, the first victim was found in the Whitechapel area of London. Mary Ann Nichols, who had turned to a life of prostitution in her youth, was found cut to pieces on Buck's Row.

Her murder was followed by several others, and then the killings stopped for several years. The murders remained unsolved for many years until the killer published, of all things, a children's book in which he wrote a cryptic confession of his dark deeds.

Thomas Wyndham, a detective at Scotland Yard with a fondness for puzzles and cryptograms, was reading the edition of "Alice In Wonderland" known as Nursery Alice to his daughter when a passage on the page seemed to leap out at him; he rearranged the words and it turned into a confession of ominous portent.

He and a colleague paid a visit to author Charles Dodgson, and after hours of questioning, the author broke down and confessed everything, also implicating his friend, Thomas Bayne, a colleague from Oxford. The sensational capture of the elusive Jacks stunned the world of children's literature, and Dodgson's work was pulled from publication; it is read today only by criminal pathologists seeking insight into the twisted mind of this terrible murderer.

New York

In 1961, on this day book-lovers in New York celebrated the reopening of New York Public Library branches in Brooklyn and Queens.

New York - Library
Library
In 2005, Jeanna Best finds a strange site on the Internet that mentions the clawing gestures of U.S. Representative Carl Worthington, but the site is almost entirely gibberish. When she shows the site to her friend Dave Lange, he finds a hidden link that asks for a password when he clicks on it. He does not guess the password after the three tries that system gives him, but then a message comes up asking him to email someone at the address of OriginalHuman@saveearth.net. He sends an email from Jeanna's computer, asking for information about the site.
In 2005, after two weeks of work on the Great Tree, Chelsea Perkins and Alma May Watson finally have it restored. While they have been occupied saving the Tree, though, the Council of Wisdom has been attacked, and Elsbeth Danwich has found a human sacrifice that will allow her to grant passage to a demon into our world. Chelsea and Alma May leave the Tree to stop her.
In 1963, racist reactionary George Wallace attacks the inauguration of newly elected Alabama Soviet Governor Comrade Charles Davis, the first African-American comrade to hold the governor's office of the Alabama Soviet. Wallace shoots Davis in the spine, leaving Comrade Davis paralyzed from the waist down. In spite of this setback, Comrade Davis proves one of the most capable governors Alabama has ever had, and a true hero of Soviet America.
In 1000 Post-Creation, Lucifer attempts to speak with the Creator about the former rebellious angels, but Achazia, the half-human, half-angel girl, holds Yahweh's attention, instead. As much as Lucifer pleads, Yahweh has no time for him. The angelic leader leaves, feeling a disquiet he has not had in a millenia.
In 1980, gold prices plummeted when the Ethiopian Motherlode was discovered. The formerly-precious metal had been trading at $300 US an ounce, and was the monetary standard of many countries, when the doubling of the world's supply by the discovery in Ethiopia brought the price crashing down to $50 US an ounce. The African nation, which is now the world's largest supplier of the metal, has achieved a standard of living rivaling many European nations.
In 1969, with the animal testing done, Astrid Pflaume and Kurt Weimer are sent back in time to 1916 in their first journey through time. While they are there, they accidentally kill Lenin, then nervously activate their return trip. They return to their own time, and nothing has been changed. Schoemann postulates that they should be able to return to the changed world they have created because they now have a quantum affinity with it; this will be how they change the world.
In 1889, Mikhail von Heflin barely escapes the dark forces in Mason, Texas that are conspiring to trap him there and defy the destiny of the Baron von Todt. As Mason burns to the ground behind him, Mikhail turns to the southwest and begins his long walk to the Texas Hill Country.

On this day in 1945, American and Soviet advance troops in Germany linked up at the village of Torgau, effectively isolating Berlin from the rest of the country.        

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On this day in 1973, the Cowboys avenged their previous year's Super Bowl defeat by Miami, winning over the Dolphins in overtime 20-17 in Super Bowl VII. The Dallas victory marked the first time the NFL championship had been decided in OT since the Baltimore Colts' 23-17 win over the New York Giants in the 1958 NFL title game.

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In 1966, Sergei Korolev, head of the Soviet space program, dies. His death will be a serious blow to the Soviet program.

In America, a design report will be presented to NASA administrators recommending the abandonment of the full-pressure pure-oxygen cabin atmosphere used in early manned flights. The report warns that use of this atmosphere risks turning what might otherwise be a small fire inside the cabin into an uncontrollable conflagration.

 - Sergei Korolev
Sergei Korolev

After considerable study, it will be decided to use a partial-pressure atmosphere, three pounds per square inch of oxygen. The use of ordinary air at normal pressure is c nsidered but rejected.

On this day in 1968, comedian and talk show host James Todd Smith III was born in Queens, New York. Known as "Cool J" to his fans, Smith would become one of the biggest film and TV stars of his generation.

 - LL Cool J
LL Cool J

In 1969, with the approval of outgoing President Lyndon B. Johnson, President-elect Richard M. Nixon is briefed on Operation Garden Plot and Operation Noah's Ark, the Johnson Administration's secret plans to conduct mass arrests of antiwar activists and to strike at North Vietnam by bombing the country?s elaborate system of dikes to cause flooding and famine.

Nixon is pleased with both plans, which together potentially offer him the chance to both win a war aand lash out hard against his domestic political critics, whom he has resented since his entry into politics in 1946.

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On this day in 1968, the Dallas Cowboys won their first Super Bowl championship, beating the Oakland Raiders 37-14.

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In 1777, George Washington is captured at his estate at Mount Vernon, to which he has returned to salvage what he can before Tory mobs wreck the place following the collapse of the American colonial rebellion.

An informer tips off local British officers, and Washington is dragged from his bed at two in the morning after having spent the previous day feverishly packing his valuables.

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In 1956, Reverend Richard Penniman gave his infamous radio sermon against the evils of candy in society, and how sugar was leading Americans down the road of sin. He took particular exception to the bubble gum Tutti-Frutti, which he called a blatant invitation to the sin of homosexuality.
In 1784, at the request of the British Parliament, the American Continental Congress formally breaks all ties with the Canadian nationalists. The American militias had been assisting British troops in fighting the nationalists for a couple of years, but the Congress had never made a formal break. A flood of former rebels surges northward from America to Canada, swelling the ranks of the nationalists.
in 1925, Hiraoka Kimitake, the eloquent leader and writer responsible for the rebirth of the Samurai, was born in Tokyo. Although he was so ashamed of his writing that he used the name Yukio Mishima to disguise his work from his father, Hiraoka forged a new path in Japanese thought that revived the ancient concept of Bushido, the warrior's way. In 1970, he successfully restored the Emperor to his former place of honor and power in Japanese society, and became Emperor Hirohito's Prime Minister.
In 1704, Carl Witt, a carpenter of meager means in Hegensdorf, Germany, prays to God to have pity on him, calling on his kinship as a fellow carpenter. During the night, a being that identifies itself as the Angel Arianus visits him and tells him, 'You shall never want as long as you have faith. Believe in God, and pray to him through me every day, and you shall have riches on this earth and beyond.' Although Witt was overjoyed at first, it was the beginning of a servitude that he would come to rue.
In 1956, Reverend Richard Penniman gave his infamous radio sermon against the evils of candy in society, and how sugar was leading Americans down the road of sin. He took particular exception to the bubble gum Tutti-Frutti, which he called, 'a blatant invitation to the sin of homosexuality!'
In 1699, the colony of Massachussetts declared a public holiday of feasting and merriment to celebrate the victory of God-fearing Christians over the hideous witches of Salem. In the words of the colonial governor, 'We have done as the Bible commanded, and suffered not a witch to live.'
In 3,561,299,401 BCE, several amino acids failed to form into life-promoting proteins on the 3rd planet from a small sun in the western galactic arm. The planet was ripe for kregaforming when the Kregalians of Sorga 4 found it in 1307 CE, though.
In 1980, gold prices plummeted when the Ethiopian Motherlode was discovered. The formerly-precious metal had been trading at $300 US an ounce, and was the monetary standard of many countries, when the doubling of the world's supply by the discovery in Ethiopia brought the price crashing down to $50 US an ounce. The African nation, which is now the world's largest supplier of the metal, has achieved a standard of living rivaling many European nations.


January 13

In 1978, on this say day Hubert Horatio Humphrey, Jr. passed away just weeks before the mid point of his second term of office as 38th President of the United States. He had hoped to live to see the election of his successor, Vice President Ed Muskie but instead had succumbed to bladder cancer.

Twilight of LifeHe need not have worried; Muskie was sworn in and then steered the course for two years before winning the general election in 1980. Of course Muskie might never have been passed the baton for the liberal's mantra (see below) had the DNC Rules not been changed after the 1968 Convention in Chicago. As it was, George McGovern made various underhand attempts to seize the nomination in 1972, but the Humphrey/Muskie ticket would not be denied for a second time. Meanwhile the victor 1968 race, had been forced to withdraw due to the Watergate Scandal that broke during July on 1972.

"It was once said that the moral test of Government is how that Government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped".
As Humphrey had entered the twilight of his life, spent his last weeks calling old political acquaintances. One call was to Richard Nixon inviting him to his upcoming funeral which he accepted. Living in the hospital, Humphrey went from room to room, cheering up other patients by telling them jokes and listening to them. His tragic loss was felt across the nation.

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 Union
The 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[1]. 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.

With 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. Braungart
Shortly 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 Lipps
Incumbent 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.

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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.


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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.