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

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January 19

In 1927, eighty-six year old Carlota of Mexico, the empress consort of Emperor Maximilian I, passed away at her neoclassical home of eight decades, Castillo de Chapultepec.

Confederate Victory at the Battle of Shiloh saves the Second Mexican EmpireBorn Charlotte of Belgium (Marie Charlotte Amélie Augustine Victoire Clémentine Léopoldine) in 1840 she married married her second cousin, the idealistic younger brother of Emperor Franz Josef of Austria in the Court of Vienna when she was seventeen. Ironically, Maximilian had planned to marry the daughter of Emperor Pedro II of Brazil but tragically she had died of tuberculous during their courtship.

Instead of being a claimant to the throne of Brazil it would be Mexico where his destiny lay. Because a multi-national European expeditionary force was dispatched to Velacruz when the Republican Government of Mexico defaulted on its loans to Britain, Spain and France. However when it became clear that France intended to seize the silver mines if not the whole country, her partners quickly withdrew, nevertheless the new imperial throne of Mexico was offered to Maximilian partly because he was the offspring of an affair between his mother and Napoleon II of France [1] (Bonaparte's son). By convergence of interest this imposed arrangement also suited the local landowners and the Catholic church.

Of course the US Government strongly objected to this infraction of the Monroe Doctrine hardly being willing to tolerate the European imposition of a monarchy over the top of an indigenous republican government. Had the Union emerged victorious from the American Civil War then sooner or later this artificial establishment would have been robustly challenged. Two other question marks over the longevity of the regime were also worthy of sceptical consideration. Because in spite of Pedro II's personal encouragement (rather than support) for Maximilian, the Brazilian Imperial Parliament was strongly against involvement (initially not even being keen on Pedro I who was Portugese), also Napoleon III had his own problems closer to home preventing him from having the confidence to send a large contigent of troops overseas. However Anglo-French involvement after the Battle of Shiloh brought with it not only the chance of the Second Mexican Empire surviving, but also the prospect of the formation of a powerful new alliance with the Confederate States of America. To be continued

Author's Note: in reality she died in exile in her native Belgium because the empire had collapsed after only three years because after the ACW the USA was able to impose its will in line with the Monroe Doctrine.

In 2015, scientists determine that life force consciousness is an electrical phenomena that ceases at the moment of discorporation.

Party WorldAny existence thereafter is certain to be non-sentient limited to chemical participation as a component.

Needless to say this sobering revelation transforms philosophy and religion across the world. The human population quickly descends into anarchic hedonism right up until the moment when the science is proven to be wonky. Ill-disciplined test methods are blamed for the mistake.

In 1795, on this fateful day French revolutionary forces invaded the Republic of the United Provinces and established by force of arms a French puppet state called the Batavian Republic which would later be replaced by the Napoleonic Kingdom of Holland. An article from the multi-author American Mini-states thread.

Dutch Courage Part 3Soon after the "old" Netherlands was overrun by the French, her far-flung colony on the Eastern Seaboard, Nieuw Nederland declared independence. Despite its remoteness this action capped off fifty years of French-induced change on the American continent.

Philip Schuyler (pictured), the last Director-General of the colony, became the first President of the independent Republic. Influential successors were Maarten van Buren (1820-1856), and the Rosevelts: Theodore (1897-1919), Franklin D. (1930-1945) and Quentin (1948-1965), Theodore's son. The boldness of their leadership ensured a marked increase in the Nieuw Nederlander's confidence that ultimately would shape events across the globe.

In parallel with the rise of the Rosevelt Family, the conflicts of the twentieth century drew the American mini-states back into the affairs of Europe. "TR" made the journey to Washington to join the Allied Powers by declaring war on the Kaiser. And shaken by the carnage of the Great War, he urged the Dutch Queen Wilhelmina to extradite Kaiser Wilhelm II, a "big stick" to prevent the rise of a future generation of dictators. But instead as the mother country weakened, the Queen became increasingly monarchical and at the same time also vulnerable to the irresistible rise of Nazi Power. By 1940, the two Netherlands found each other on opposing sides of the Second World War. And the Royal House of Orange-Nassau, living in exile in London, might have cause to wonder if the Rosevelts were not acting increasingly like a dynasty themselves..

In 1807, on this day the incomparable Union General Robert Edward Lee was born in Stratford Hall, Virginia.

Lee of the UnionThe son of Revolutionary War officer Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee III and a top graduate of the United States Military Academy, Robert E. Lee distinguished himself as an exceptional officer and combat engineer in the United States Army for 35 years. During this time, he served throughout the United States, distinguished himself during the Mexican-American War, served as Superintendent of the United States Military Academy, and led the marines at Harper's Ferry.

On the same day that his native state of Virginia narrowly voted against the motion to secede from the Union, President Abraham Lincoln offered him command of all Union military forces. Protected from a terrible confict of loyalties between America and Virginia, he was freed to accept.

In 1809, on this day American writer and poet Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston, Massachusetts.

Birth of Edgar Allen PoeBut by 1849 his life had become as bleak as many of his poems. His father had abandoned the family shortly after his birth, and his mother died of tuberculosis the next year. He was taken in by the Allan family, wealthy Scotch merchants in Virginia.

While the Allans never formally adopted him, Poe was given the middle name of Allan in recognition of his foster parents. He had a youth of mixed fortune: traveling with the family and being well educated, but being alternately spoiled and brutally disciplined by his foster father. Poe would attend the University of Virginia for one year before dropping out, claiming that his foster father had not given him enough of an allowance to pay for classes, texts, and dormitory.

His first disappointment in love would follow as he learned his sweetheart, Sarah Royster, had married another man. Poe would leave Richmond for Boston, stumbling semi-aimlessly with various writing jobs and unrecognized publications as well as enlisting in the army under an alias while lying about his age. He did well in the artillery but sought to leave early, which his commander would only allow if he reconciled with the Allans. John Allan refused to write back, and Poe finally visited in person, one day after his foster mother's death. Poe later attended West Point while his foster father remarried, which began a new feud that would finally have Poe disowned. Depression struck him, and he purposefully sought court-martial from gross dereliction of duty.

In 1831, while Poe was living with his aunt and also his cousin Virginia, his brother died. He turned more seriously to his writing as well as getting work at newspapers (though he would be fired for drunkenness or lack of productive work). In 1835, he secretly married his 13-year-old Virginia (she lying about her age on the certificate as 21), and the family life won him back his job at the Southern Literary Messenger. They married publicly the next year.

Life seemed to pick up for Poe. He was more stable than he had ever been, and his writing was gaining recognition and making money. It came to an end, however, as Virginia began showing signs of tuberculosis in 1842. The stress of his wife's illness drove Poe back to drink, and he became increasingly belligerent. The Broadway Journal failed under his editorship in 1846, and Virginia died in 1847. Poe was devastated.

In spite of tortured mourning, Poe tried to move on, soon courting poetess Sarah Helen Whitman. They had met in writing before life, Whitman writing a poem "To Edgar Allan Poe" for a Valentine's Day party he did not attend, and Poe writing in return. The courtship was a mess from Poe's erraticism, alcoholism, and Whitman's mother's attempts at sabotage. Despite the odds, they set a wedding date of December 25, 1848. Rumors that Poe had broken his vow of sobriety along with Poe's "outrages" drove them apart. It seemed another melancholic relationship for the Virginia poet.

That spring, Poe returned, signifying his devotion by smashing a whiskey bottle. In spite of her mother's pleas, Whitman took him back, though she would watch his habits closely over the rest of their lives. They were wed in 1849, and Poe's writing returned as he began the "happy half of [his] life". His "Raven" had gained sudden recognition, and Poe finally felt vindicated in his craft. Novels, short stories, and poems surged from his pen. Whitman was a successful poet in her own right, and the two lived very comfortably. As he aged, Poe took up a professorship at the University of Virginia, teaching writing and making great strides in cryptography and logic as well as his famous satirical commentaries on cosmology and physics.

Poe stands as perhaps the greatest American author of the nineteenth century, creating several genres such as detective stories, science fiction, modern heroism, and spirit fiction all the while perfecting the Gothic horror. His advances in the theories of cryptography helped establish America as the foremost world power in code-cracking and ancient linguistics.

In 2012, on this day WikiLeaks released hundreds of unfiltered and unedited documents that revealed the shocking truth behind atrocities allegedly committed by US forces during the "War on Terror": that Americans did not do them.

WikiLeaksThe whistle-blowers had been encouraged by Ron Paul. In a devastating critique of government policy, he had laid bare the inherent contradiction between rising overseas military spending and national defense.

But his close questioning of the need for America to serve as the world's policeman revealed his own ignorance of the slow global programme of alien takeover which had been in operation since the nineteen forties. Because the atrocities rightly described by the President and the Secretaries of State and Defense as "despicable" had actually been committed by grays who were secretly embedded into American armed forces.

In 1966, only twenty years into its independence from Britain, the nation of India faced a major turning point in the question of who would succeed Prime Minister Shastri after his fatal heart attack while attending peace accords in Tashkent that ended the Second Kashmir War.

Desai Elected Prime Minister of IndiaIndia was firmly in control of the popular National Congress party, but internal squabbles interrupted a smooth transition of power. Indira Gandhi, daughter of India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru (and of no relation to the famed Mahatma Gandhi), ran against Morarji Desai, who disagreed with Nehru's legacy on points of international diplomacy, internal security, and economic influence.

Ultimately, the decision came down to K. Kamaraj. Famous for his exploits in the Indian Independence Movement and arrested on a number of occasions, Kamaraj had worked with the Congress party since the age of 16 and became the unquestioned President of the National Congress Party. Most of his time in politics had been spent establishing schools and increasing education rates from 7% under the Raj to 37% by the end of his career, but his long service also gave him the position as the Congress party's "kingmaker". Upon the death of Nehru, Kamaraj had practically declared Shastri for succession. Shastri's term had lasted less than two years and was primarily dominated with the 1965 war with Pakistan. When Shastri died (his widow argued that he had been poisoned), the issue of succession arose again.

In what many considered a surprising move, Kamaraj chose Desai. Some argued that he had been attempting to heal divisions in the party with Desai's more conservative wing, others imagined Karmaraj and Mrs. Gandhi had gone through a falling out, and still others determined that Desai was the elder and Indira was being saved for the inevitable next succession. Gandhi protested in several speeches along with many of her supporters, but the election carried Desai despite her warnings that he would weaken the country's work "to create what my father used to call a climate of peace".

When Desai took office, he worked to encourage free market expansion, frustrating the pseudo-socialist leanings of Indira Gandhi's followers. Desai held true to the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi with strict rules of swadeshi, or self-reliance, and laws declared that international companies would have to include a 40% stake by Indian owners to have permits for the country. This led to famous rivalries between Desai and corporations such as Coca-Cola, who left India after Desai suggested they could stay provided they revealed their secret formula. Desai himself was noted to drink his own urine daily for medicinal purposes and was believed not to trust the artificial drink. He also launched a Five-Year Plan that hoped to modernize rural areas of India, but was arguably responsible for increasing unemployment and inflation as India's people moved off of farms, which were largely self-sufficient though poor.

Internationally, Desai normalized relations with China after US President Nixon's visit in 1972. Matters with Pakistan became more difficult upon the declaration of independence of East Pakistan by Ziaur Rahman and West Pakistan's resulting declaration of war and genocide of the Hindu population, which sent more than ten million refugees over the border into India. The move threatened to topple India's economy, and appeals to international action went unanswered. Indian troops participated in establishing Bangladeshi independence, and Desai worked to cool violent tensions with Pakistan after the war. As South Asia became settled again, many called for advancements in the Indian nuclear program for future deterrence, but Desai refused, saying that the only need for nuclear power would be for the creation of electricity, which was handled already by economic encouragement programs for coal-burning and hydroelectric plants. China had already achieved nuclear weapons, and rumors suggested Pakistan was contemplating a similar project, but Desai held firm to Gandhian pacifism. Desai's opponents took his stance as the backwardness of an old man, which culminated in his forced retirement in 1979 after his economic policies were believed to be failures. Indira Gandhi won the following election in a landslide with hopes of expanding Indian diplomatic strength and social reforms for the working class that had built up around foreign industry.

Gandhi's steps forward in India's new nuclear program raised eyebrows worldwide, especially after Pakistan hurried to keep pace. She also nationalized banks, returning much of India's economic strength home, though it caused worldwide financial difficulties that exacerbated issues of the Energy Crisis and recession. As perhaps the most stable world economic power, India looked to have a bright future, but Gandhi's premiership came to a tragic end when she was assassinated in 1984 after her approval of Operation Blue Star, which used tanks to dislodge Sikh separatists from Amritsar's Golden Temple. Her son Rajiv Gandhi, who expanded India's telecommunications systems and would himself be assassinated by the Tamil Tigers, separatist fighters for the Tamil peoples of Sri Lanka. The 1990s proved turbulent for India, which was fraught with corruption in seemingly every area of government. After the reforms of Minister of Finance and later Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the mixed groundwork of free market and socialism as well as Indian national strength while balancing minority rights and international intervention has seemed to settle toward ongoing Indian prosperity as the world's eighteenth largest economy, as cited by the World Bank in 2011.

In 1932, on this day William Pettus "Bill" Hobby, Jr. the thirtieth President of the Second Republic of Texas was born in the city of Houston.

Bill Hobby
30th President of the Second Republic of Texas
March 3, 1975 - 1978
The only son of William P. Hobby, Sr., and Oveta Culp Hobby, he was born into a political family. Both his grandfathers were in the Texas Legislature. His father was also a Vice President and his mother was the first person appointed to the new position of Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, serving in that position from 1953 to 1955.

Due to these political connections, after graduating from Rice University in Houston he was nominated for enrollment into the "future leaders of America". This exchange programme was conceived by Eisenhower as a result of his experience of un-coordinated American commands during World War Two. Supported by US President Adlai Stevenson, Hobby was fortunate to have the opportunity to serve in the US Navy for four years in naval intelligence.

For many years, the Hobby family owned the now-defunct Houston Post, at which Hobby worked. He worked his way through the editorial department. When his father became ill in 1963, Hobby assumed editorial and managerial control of the newspaper. He remained president of the Post for twenty years - until the family sold the newspaper in 1983. It was absorbed by the Houston Chronicle (which is still publishing) in 1995. The Hobbys also started the first Houston radio station. Shortly after the death of his father, Houston Municipal Airport was renamed William P. Hobby Airport.

His lengthy career in government began in 1959, when he elected as parliamentarian of the Texas Senate. Following appointments from Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Preston Smith he resigned from the Texas National Air Control Board in 1971 to launch his first, and unsuccessful run for the Presidency. Between 1975 and 1996 he would serve three unprecedented non-consecutive three year terms.

In 1807, on this day the second President of the Confederate States Robert Edward Lee was born in Stratford Hall, Virginia.

Robert E. Lee
2nd Confederate President
March 4, 1867 - October 12, 1870 (died in office)
Robert Edward Lee (January 19, 1807 - October 12, 1870) was a career United States Army officer, a combat engineer, and among the most celebrated generals in American history. He served as the second vice president of the Confederate States of America, dying in office on October 12, 1870. One of the very few generals in modern military history to ever be offered the highest command of two opposing armies, Lee was the son of Major General Henry Lee III "Light Horse Harry" (1756-1818), Governor of Virginia, and his second wife, Anne Hill Carter (1773-1829).

A top graduate of West Point, Lee distinguished himself as an exceptional soldier in the U.S. Army for thirty-two years. He is best known for commanding the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the American Civil War.

In early 1861, President Abraham Lincoln invited Lee to take command of the entire Union Army. Lee declined because his home state of Virginia was seceding from the Union, despite Lee's wishes. When Virginia seceded from the Union in April 1861, Lee chose to follow his home state. Lee's eventual role in the newly established Confederacy was to serve as a senior military adviser to President Jefferson Davis. Lee's first field command for the Confederate States came in June 1862 when he took command of the Confederate forces in the East (which Lee himself renamed the "Army of Northern Virginia").

Lee's greatest victories were the Seven Days Battles, the Second Battle of Bull Run, the Battle of Fredericksburg, the Battle of Chancellorsville, and the Battle of Cold Harbor but both of his campaigns to invade the North ended in failure. Barely escaping defeat at the Battle of Antietam in 1862, Lee was forced to return to the South. In early July 1863, Lee was decisively defeated at the Battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania. However, due to ineffectual pursuit by the commander of Union forces, Major General George Meade, Lee escaped again to Virginia.

From that point on, Lee would not lead an invasion force into the United States. For the next three years he would command his forces to vehemently defend all of Virginia and points south of the line extending from its southern border to California. The border states of Kentucky and Missouri, claimed by the Confederacy, but with occupying forces, became the main battlefield in the latter half of the war. As a result, it was from the western front that US General William T. Sherman was called in the spring of 1865 to begin his assault on the southern heartland. Though US General Grant had sent his best men into Virginia in 1864, he had been repelled time and time again. In December of 1863, Lee had begun training slaves to fight the invading armies, with battalions from Virginia and North Carolina on the field in April of 1864. These brave soldiers, fighting for the freedom of their homeland as well as themselves and their families, were pivotal in the eventual decision to call for a ceasefire. The ceasefire was declared on August 8, 1866.

After the ceasefire, outgoing vice president Alexander Stephens became the assumed successor of Jefferson Davis. With the fighting over, Stephens drafted Lee into political service as his running mate. The Stephens-Lee ticket proved unbeatable, leading to a post-war team that set the course for recovery that would result in the Confederate States surpassing the United States as an international military power.
The whole alternate biography is available Althistory Wiki.

In 2002, Havana, Cuba:. Dozens of world leaders and famous persons met at Plaza de la Revolucion on Saturday to pay their respects to Ernesto "Che" Guevara. The state funeral for the revolutionary, author, doctor and former government minister was the culmination of a five-day tour of Guevara's casket from Santiago de Cuba to Havana. A national moment of silence was observed as his body arrived in the capital.

Che dies in 2002Born on June 14, 1928 in Rosario, Argentina to a middle-class, leftist family. He received his medical degree in 1953, after a series of motorcycle trips around South America. Those journeys around the continent exposed Ernesto to the extreme poverty that existed there. He eventually decided to settle in Guatemala, where the government of Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán had instituted leftist land reforms that went well with his sharpening Marxist ideology. It was in Guatemala that he met his future wife Hildea Gadea Acosta, who introduced him to members of Guzmán's government and of Fidel Castro's July 26 Movement.

A new story by Andrew BeaneAfter fleeing Guatemala following a right-wing coup, Guevara relocated to Mexico where he married Hilda and, in response to American involvement in the coup, made a personal declaration of war against imperialism. He finally met Fidel in 1955, and became a member of July 26. On November 25, 1956, Che, Castro and eighty other men set sail for Cuba to wage a guerilla-style struggle against the American-backed Batista regime. Over the next twenty-six months, the asthmatic doctor-turned-freedom fighter became Castro's right-hand man, known as "Castro's Brain". The growing band defeated the much-larger Cuban army and forced Batista into exile.

Following the victory over Batista, Guevara was made a citizen of Cuba and moved his wife to the island. He wrote several texts concerning armed struggle while the new communist government was being organized. He was made head of the prison at La Cabaña Fortress, crafted the Agrarian Land Reform Law, began a literacy drive, and went abroad to secure trade and diplomatic relations with other "oppressed nations". He later became the head of the Ministry of Industry and, reluctantly, president of the Cuban bank. Guevara trained the forces that repelled the Bay of Pigs invasion and played a large role in bringing Soviet nuclear missiles to Cuba. He lost faith in the USSR after its handling of the missile crisis.

Guevara resisted the urge to abandon the dull drudgery of administrative work to once again take-up arms against imperialism. His asthma attacks, coupled with his being care-taker of Cuba's industrialization and Castro's pleas for him to remain in Cuba. The revolutionary dreamed of escaping to Algeria, Congo, Bolivia or Vietnam to trade his desk for a rifle. Despite this preoccupation, Guevara was able to marginally industrialize the Cuban economy, which was heavily dependent on cash crops.

To the annoyance of Castro, Guevara became more vocal in his opposition to Soviet foreign policy. Che said in 1970 while serving as Foreign Minister that he preferred Leon Trotsky's writings to anything coming out of the "Imperial Moscow". He criticized the crushing on the Prague uprising, and said in a 1979 interview with the New York Times that poor health was the only reason why he could not fight in Afghanistan on the side of the Mujahedeen. He referred to Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev as the "Red Czar" and declared the occupation of Afghanistan as the death of Marxism in Russia.

Ill health and growing differences with Castro forced Guevara into "early retirement" in 1985. He continued to write extensively, mostly about Trotskyist theory and the need for a Marxist revolution in the Middle East. Guevara took the news of the Soviet Union's collapse in 1991 without emotion, saying that communism in Russia had died with Lenin. He became more withdrawn in the late 90's, occasionally receiving visitors from foreign dignitaries. In 1999 he was diagnosed with lung cancer and emphysema. He died on January 12th at his home in Santiago de Cuba.

In attendance at the funeral were Jiang Zemin of China, Vladimir Putin of Russia and French President Jacques Chirac. Though American President George W. Bush refused to attend, Senators John Kerry and Tom Daschle represented the United States. In a moving eulogy, Fidel Castro called Che a "selfless and tireless freedom fighter," and counted the man as his closest comrade.

Ernesto Guevara will be buried in a grand mausoleum in the Plaza del la Revolucion, despite his repeated wishes to the contrary.

In 1977, on this day Edward Moore "Teddy" Kennedy of the Democratic party, and former senator of Massachusetts, is sworn in as President of the United States.

The Greatest President of our Time by Gerry ShannonThe possibility of a second Kennedy presidency was seen unlikely by many given the twin defeats of his older brothers John for re-election in 1964, and Robert for election in 1972. However, Teddy would gradually build an effective campaign platform of progressive policies of universal health-care, education reform and not least of which improved international and regional relations. (Most particularly his pursuit of reunification of the Union with the Confederacy, an aspiration sadly unrealised during Kennedy's two terms).

The success of implementing many of these policies during his eight-year Presidency, particularly with a Republican-majority Congress in 1979 and later in 1981, would give future US President Barack Obama the inspiration to eulogize Kennedy as "the greatest President of our time" following his passing in mid-2009.

In 1861, on this day in Milledgeville the cooperationists led by Herschel Johnson carried the vote at the inappropriately named Secession Convention; the State of Georgia would remain in the Union for the time being at least.

At any Cost and at all HazardsThe shift of just 19 votes to defeat the vote secession was due to in part to a decision take on New Year's Eve. "We are all for Secession" one observer advised Governor Joseph Emerson Brown (pictured). It was hardly a startling insight; Unionists candidates for the state convention were withdrawing from the race. Brown was a former Whig who had in fact been strongly in favour of the secession ever since the election; at the same time though, he was no fan of Jefferson Davis, and had little appetite for Georgian membership of a Southern Confederacy.

"Southern Civilization - it Must be maintained at any cost and at all hazards" ~ Mayor of SavannahActually Brown himself had been in favour of ordering the State Militia to occupy Fort Pulaski which was guardian the Port of Savannah. The history was that President James Madison ordered a new system of coastal fortifications to protect the United States against foreign invasion following the War of 1812. Construction of a fort to protect the port of Savannah began in 1829 under the direction of Major General Babcock, and later Second Lieutenant Robert E. Lee, a recent graduate of West Point. Though completed in 1847, Fort Pulaski was under the control of only two caretakers until 1860. Of course should the State of George secede, the strategic value of the Fort to the defence of the Union would be effectively zero. In short, it was a military white elephant not worth fighting over.

The preciptive action to occupy the Fort would be certain to cross the line of interference with private property should the State of George secede from the Union; but it did'nt. That very day, Federal Representatives arrived from Washington, delivering a persuasive letter from the President-elect; the Union's best interest lay in abandoning the Fort, at least for now, it said. The Federal Officials in charge of coastal roads were being withdrawn, and their threat to mobilize labour for defence was best disregarded by the State Government. It was timely advice; the Major of Savannah spoke at the convention, "Southern Civilization - It Must be maintained at any cost and at all hazards". Fortunately, since Lincoln's assassination, cooler heads had prevailed in Washington. Determined attempts were now being made to avoid any such "hazards" that could force the country on the road to a disasterous Civil War. At least for now, another flashpoint had been avoided.

In 1953, on his last full day in office, with nothing further to lose, President Harry S Truman pardons Alger Hiss, the State Department official accused in 1948 of spying for the Soviet Union in the 1930s and 1940s, and convicted of perjury in 1950 and currently in the federal prison in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.

Truman pardons HissTruman cites what he calls "not just reasonable doubt but considerable doubt," and writes, "Mr. Hiss could not possibly have received a fair trial under the political climate of the time".

Hiss will accept the pardon, which allows him to be released from incarceration. However, he will insist to his dying day that he was innocent in the first place, and will press, without success, for a formal exoneration, arguing that a simple pardon carries with it a presumption of guilt.

US President

In 1991, Iraqis bomb Kuwaiti oil production facilities, creating a huge oil slick in the Gulf which threatens to poison all aquatic life there. News of the Iraqi action triggers panic buying on the spot oil market, boosting prices briefly to 50 USD per barrel.

Four days later, the Iraqis blow up 700 Kuwaiti oil wells, sparking further market panic. The spot oil price passes 50 USD again, after having declined to $40.

US President - Jack Kemp
Jack Kemp

In a televised address airing at 8 P.M. Eastern time, President Jack Kemp announces the start of the ground-operations phase of Operation Desert Blaze. 'This brutal occupation of a peaceful nation friendly to the West by the forces of a dictator hostile to America shall not be allowed to succeed,' he assures his audience.

In 2008, Velma Porter arrives in Bermuda to join her husband, Mikhail von Heflin. She is ready for a nice vacation, but the Baron has other ideas. He sails her out into the ocean where he saw the boat disappear and together, they feel something tugging at the walls of reality. Before proceeding further, they head back to shore and get a few supplies.
In 2005, the Save Earth crowd begins bombarding Jeanna Best and Dave Lange with information about the 'claws', telling the pair how they have been positioning themselves to take over from the humans for some time. They tell Best and Lange how to watch for the claws - see how many fingers they use to perform simple tasks. If they only use 3, then they are aliens. Best and Lange leave this meeting feeling ashamed of themselves for attending, but curious to see if what the kooks said will turn out to be true.
In 2005, Chelsea Perkins, Alma May Watson and Geraldine McRae reach a small village on the edge of the plain they have been walking out of. Exhausted, dehydrated and hungry, they stumble into a pub and ask for drinks and food. Miss Watson recognizes the accents of the people speaking as Irish, and she has a few Euros on her, so she is able to pay. The women and young girl sit down and plan how they will contact the Council of Wisdom.
In 1960, the capitalists of China formally recognized the counter-revolutionaries of South Chile as an independent government. The imperialist nations of Europe, waiting for an excuse to further break up the perfect harmony of socialism in South America, follow suit, and clandestine arms begin flowing to the divided nation.
In 1923, Jeanne Murray, award-winning actress of the stage and screen, was born in New York City. A well-known fixture of the New York stage in the 1950's and 60's, she made the leap to film as Mrs. TeeVee in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Her perfect comic timing led to other film comedies, but in her later years she turned to drama, winning an Oscar opposite Henry Beatty in his film Reds.
In 1000 Post-Creation, with Lucifer suffering the torments of the Abyss, Gabriel and Emmanuel summon the angels who had followed them to earth. Derdekea, now the Creator's favorite, does not attend this meeting. Emmanuel proposes freeing Lucifer and fleeing the earth for the far corners of Creation. Ariel asks, 'Would that not be a mockery of Lucifer's sacrifice?' The assembled angels part company, feeling ill at ease about continuing in the Creator's service, but unwilling to break ranks with Him again.

In 1966, the only daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, became the first woman prime minister of India.

Mrs Gandhi led the nation into a new period of enlightenment by pursuing Bapu's policy of brahmacharya, meaning 'control of the senses in thought, word and deed'. No better demonstration could be given that her survival from a hail of bullets from her Sikh bodyguards in New Delhi in 1984. She had after all witnessed Bapu survive a similiar attempt on his life in 1948.

Indira Gandhi
Indira Gandhi - Prime Minister
Prime Minister
Mike Gatting

In 1990 police in Archona armed with batons and dogs broke up a demonstration against English cricketers who arrived for a tour of the Domination of the Draka.

Several hundred protesters, many waving placards saying 'Domination is not cricket' and 'Ban racist tours' had gathered in the arrivals hall at the Eric von Shrakrenberg airport to wait for the 15 England tourists led by captain Mike Gatting.

Mike Gatting - England Capt.
England Capt.

The cricketers were three hours late - by which time the police had moved in waving batons, setting the dogs on protesters and firing tear gas.

Winnie Mandela - wife of the jailed African National Congress leader, Nelson Mandela - was seen among the crowd wiping tears from her eyes. She later complained of police brutality.

In 1971, European Space Agencies described Apollo 13 mission mechanical failures as a self-inflicted wound. The British really had to do something about this quality control problem for next time.
In 1940, the anti-German Underground film by the Three Stooges, You Natzy Spy, premiered in America. The highly controversial film featured comic Moe Howard as a Hitler-like figure who ruled over an amorphous country known as Moronica. The American Bund called for a total boycott of the film, and incited riots at many of the theaters showing it.
In 1943, singer Janis Joplin was born in Port Arthur, Texas. A charismatic and leading member of the counter-culture, conspiracy theorists believe that Joplin was a victim of the authoritarian problem implemented by President Richard Milhous Nixon in the late sixties / early seventies. Defeated in the '60 election, America entered a crazy decade of anti-social behaviour which threatened to rip the country apart. A strong disciplinarian, Nixon got the country back on track when he was re-elected in '68 with a 'secret plan'. His dislike for the hippie counterculture and the anti-war demonstrations emerged during the campaign when he had intimated 'I think some of these young people need what my father would call a visit to the woodshed.' The essence of the 'secret plan' soon emerged following the mysterious deaths of numerous counter-culture personalities including Janis Joplin as well as Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix..
In 1840, Captain Charles Wilkes attempts to circumnavigate Antarctica to claim so-called Wilkes Land for the United States. The southern lights known as the aurora australis terrorize the mission as powerful magicks force Wilkes to turn back and abandon the mission.
In 2001, Chairman McPherson issues the report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the circumstances of the fatal car crash which killed the heir to the throne Prince Charles Windsor and his lover Camilla Parker-Bowles in Paris on 31st August 1997. McPherson finds no grounds for conspiracy. The British Public will have none of it, and the McPherson report overtakes the Warren Commission as a source of conspiracy theories on the Internet.
In 1943, singer Janis Joplin was born in Port Arthur, Texas. Her hard living fueled the blues that she sang so beautifully, but it all came crashing down on her when she missed the Woodstock Music Festival in 1969 because she was too drunk to perform. She checked into rehab after that, but her music never recovered. Today, she runs a counseling center for performers trying to kick addictions.
In 1840, Captain Charles Wilkes claims a third of Pluto for the North American Confederation. Although considered a bad piece of property to own at first, Pluto's position at the outer reaches of the solar system becomes important when the Congress of Nations decides to build its defensive base there, and the N.A.C.'s importance in system affairs is increased.
In 1809, renowned author Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston, Massachussetts. The most popular writer in America during his lifetime, Poe invented detective fiction, as well as popularizing what would come to be known as horror stories by those who sought to imitate him at the end of the century. Poe died in 1883, a wealthy and happy man of letters.
In 3896, Japanese Zen philosopher Dogen Kigen is born somewhere in southern Japan. As a young man, he traveled to the Chinese Empire to study the true ways of Zen at Mount Tendo. His mountain temple in Echizen has become a regular stop for pilgrims, including every Chinese emperor; tradition dictates that the emperor spend a week there before his coronation.
In 736 AUC, Caius Lumis Juventus, Roman inventor extraordinaire, demonstrates the most powerful steam engine ever built. Caius had been a student of the ancient Greek sciences, and had learned of the simple uses they had put the power of steam to in the old days. Jove's Thunderbolt, the engine that Caius Juventus built, was capable of pulling a carriage with three heavy men for miles. His designs revolutionized Roman society.


January 18

In 1871, towards the end of the Austrian-Franco-Prussian War Franz Josef Habsburg was proclaimed the first German Emperor Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna. Henceforth the empire is known as the Second Reich to Germans even though the Austrian hegemony established a multi-ethnic imperium stretching from Hamburg to Sarajevo. Because the thousand year future of the Imperial House of Habsburg had taken a change of direction after the hard fought victory at Königgrätz which stymied the Prussian attempt to force the unification of Germany on their own terms. And instead of the Hohenzollerns, it would be the Habsburgs who won out, establishing the new Kaiserreich, a Germanic monarchist system, ruled from Vienna with a central european system of thinking.

Franz Josef Habsburg proclaimed Emperor of the GermansHe ruled for almost forty-six years to be succeeded by his twenty-nine year old grand-nephew Karl. Tragically, Karl died five years later and was succeeded by Otto von Habsburg who lived to the ripe old age of ninety-eight. During the transition from Franz Josef to Karl to Otto, nationalist pressures were threatening to rip the Slavic part of the Empire apart. The resolution of this so-called "Southern Question" would completely dominate the early decades of Otto's long rule.

A sign of the coming was the assassination of Franz Josef's nominal heir Franz Ferdinand at Sarajevo in August 1914. Although the Habsburg brought the Black Hand Gang to justice, by overriding Serbian sovereignty (they insisted on sending detectives across the border) they had inadvertently de-stabilised the entire region.

In 1877, on this day the Electoral Count presented to the US Congress a revised proposal for the resolution of the disputed twenty votes that would decide whether Samuel Tilden or Rutherford B. Hayes would occupy the White House.

The Making of a PresidentDemocrats had carried most of the South, as well as New York, Indiana, Connecticut, and New Jersey. The popular vote also favored Tilden, but Republicans realized that if they held the three un-redeemed southern states together with some of the western states, they would emerge with an electoral college majority.

However the composition of the Electoral Commission strongly favoured the Republican Candidate, an outcome considered unacceptable to General George B. McClellan, a Democrat challenger in the 1864 election. In New York he set about raising a private army that would march on Washington DC to force Hayes to accept defeat. An installment from the American_Heroes thread

In 1688, Lionel Sackville English political leader and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland was born on this day.
This post was written by Dirk Puehl the highly recommended author of #onthisday #history Google+ posts.

Irish King of the RoadsDirk writes - Today is the 325th birthday of Lionel Sackville, 1st Duke of Dorset, the "Irish King of the Roads".

While the first part of his life took its course relatively uneventful, a chance meeting, allegedly in a Dublin house of ill repute with the great Irish orator James Grattan and young Henry Flood changed Dorset's policy during his second term as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland entirely.

While Catholic emancipation was out of the question in the 1750s, Dorset managed to get an exemption from the Navigation Act of 1663, virtually granting Ireland the same commercial rights and privileges Scotland had since the Union, making Irish built vessels "English Bottoms" as well.

The steadily increasing trade with the American colonies and the West Indies made harbours like Sligo, Galway and especially Cork and Wexford natural ports of call, were the infrastructure behind not in a rather medieval state. Until the end of his second and during his third Lieutenancy in the 1760s, Dorset was responsible for the construction of the "Auld Triangle", the three great roads connecting the Irish West and South with Dublin with funds collected by the great Anglo-Irish landholders by means of persuasion, promise and sheer blackmailing.

The tax exemption and possibilities of direct shipping from Irish ports also gave a meteoric rise to local wool production and the establishment of a new breed of sheep called the "mamat" within a generation, making most of the Emerald Island a rather prosperous place by the end of the 18th century. Famines like the one in 1740/41 seemed to be a thing of the past. An entirely new Irish self-consciousness was born as well, marking the starting positions for negotiations and finally the Civil War of 1798.

In 1940, on this day the second phase of the Winter War commenced with the Soviet invasion of Norway, a move which had been predicted by the Danish ambassador to London, Count Eduard Reventlow.

Pact of SteelWith German intentions as yet undeclared the Western Allies gained no benefit whatsover from this prescient warning. Unable to strategically anticipate the next moves in the theatre, they were forced into committing significant military resources to the defence of Scandinavia before the mission could be fully scoped.

What was clear however was that the German point of strategic interest was Narvik, the railway head from which Swedish iron ore mined at Kiruna and Malmberget was brought to the sea. And therefore the decision was taken to concentrate combined services forces on a strike at Narvik. Whether this bold initiative would create conflict in the Nazi-Soviet Pact, or force the two great powers into an integrated alliance, only time would tell. But in any case the allied strategy of neutralising enemy resources had been fixed right at the beginning of the war with the fateful decision to bomb Azerbaijan's oil fields.
This article is part of our Resource War thread.

In 1671, on this day the pirate Admiral Henry Morgan captured Panama's Gold.

Henry Morgan Captures Panama's Gold A broken steering rig changed the fortunes of pirate Admiral Henry Morgan, who may very well have been hanged for his famous, and infamous, marauding. As the feared Morgan charged up the Chagres River with some fourteen hundred privateers, the people and government of Panama rushed their gold and silver into a treasure ship that they would hide at anchor in the Gulf of Panama, open to the Pacific instead of Morgan's fleet on the Caribbean. Even if the Welshman managed to take the city, their treasure would be safe. So went the plan until the tiller broke under the weight of attempting to steer the heavily loaded ship out of harbor. It ran aground only hours before Morgan's men were spotted appraoching. The Spaniards rushed out to fight him off, but were ambushed by gunfire and flanked by additional pirates from the trees around them, handing the city and the massive treasure to Morgan.

It was the crowning moment of an already illustrious career in piracy. Morgan had come to the Caribbean as a young man, settling in Jamaica, which was newly won from Spain and defended by Buccaneers at the invitation of the governor. Officially, war between Spain and England ended in 1660 with the restoration of King Charles II, but the governors of Jamaica, both Lord Windsor (who would lead plundering expeditions himself) and Sir Thomas Modyford continued to issue letters of marque to maintain a presence of English strength in the Caribbean, primarily at the expense of the Spanish.

Morgan became an expert pirate attacking ships and settlements with valor that raised him through the ranks. He served in Myngs's fleet and joined in the expeditions capturing Granada, Providence, and many others. In 1667, Morgan was given his own command and captured Puerto Principe. Seeing that their meager plunder could not cover the pirate crews' debts, Morgan went on to capture Porto Bello, capturing a total treasure and ransom worth nearly a quarter of a million pieces of eight (approaching $7,000,000 in 2010 currency). He continued raiding Cuba for some time as a privateer, then turned to Panama, where he would capture the wealthiest city in New Spain with its gold and silver already loaded.

Unbeknownst to Morgan, this last raid had been made after the 1670 signing of the Treaty of Madrid, which exchanged territorial recognitions and promised peace between Spain and England, meaning that his capture of Panama City had been performed as a pirate. Blissfully ignorant, Morgan and his captains loaded the treasure into their own ships and returned to Jamaica. Once in Port Royal, Morgan was arrested for piracy and sent to England along with the king's share of the massive captured wealth. In London, Morgan could prove in court that he was unaware of the treaty, which put King Charles in a troubling position: to keep the treasure, he would have to violate his treaty with Spain. War raged with the Dutch due to a secret treaty with France, and Charles was short on money after the patriotism of the Second Anglo-Dutch War had ended badly some five years before. His goal of making his nephew William of Orange the stadtholder of the Netherlands had already progressed with Holland and Zeeland conceding, and William had refused to be made a sovereign, so only potential war with France (who had not yet paid the promised 300,000 pounds for Dunkirk) was keeping England in war. As the Quadruple Alliance formed around the Dutch against France and Sweden in 1673, Charles took it as an opportunity to gain forgiveness from Spain and volunteered to switch sides in the war. Spain's Charles II agreed, and England suddenly turned to opposing French conquest of the Netherlands in the Quintuple Alliance.

Morgan, who had been acquitted, was knighted in 1674 and sent back to the Caribbean to ?root out the French" from wherever he could. Gathering pirates from friendly ports as well as former enemies from Spanish colonies who admired his victories, Admiral Morgan captured New Orleans in 1666 and, after being rebuffed from Haiti, sailed down the Antilles overtaking islands such as St. Martin, St. Lucia, Dominica, and Grenada. War ended in 1678, and Louis XIV gave up his claims to warm-water ports in the Americas with the exceptions of Haiti and Martinique. France would refocus on building its empire closer to home and coming to dominate the Mediterranean as Spanish influence waned over the eighteenth century.

Morgan tried his hand at politics as the first governor of English Louisiana, governing fairly though drunkenly until his retirement in 1684, following a lengthy decline in his health culminating in his death in 1688 of dropsy.

In 1919, the first day of the Great Power negotiations in the Salle de l'Horloge at the French Foreign Ministry ran into immediate trouble with the Union and the Confederacy sharply disagreeing over territory and self-determination, the very same disputes that had raged at the conclusion of the American Civil War.

Hampton Roads, Redux by Michael N. Ryan, David Atwell & EdBecause at that same stage at Hampton Roads, the Union was expected to press the South to accept the loss of the States of Delaware, Maryland and Missouri. Instead, not only had Washington demanded that East Tennessee, North and West Virginia join the Union as new Northern States, but they wanted a few West North Carolina counties too because they had strong Unionist populations there. Somewhat disingenuously, Washington had also let Southern delegates discover that the White House had resisted calls for Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama plus parts of the Carolinas coastline.

Almost sixty years later, the Confederate delegates on the Quai d'Orsay in Paris sensed the same victor's logic in French Plans to dismember the German Reich. Then, like now, the net result of acquiescence to those requests for more than the "occupied territories" would be to make the defeated nation ungovernable. Because the Western Allies demands represented a barely disguised attempt to prevent future conflict by cutting the country in half, making sure the economy would no longer be viable.

And thus the Confederates objected on principle to the French demands using the same language they had forcefully articulated at Hampton Roads in rejecting the Union's outline proposals. Due to the insistence of her British allies, under the final settlement the CSA "only" lost the "occupied territories" comprising a northern strip in Virginia, Western Virginia, plus the northern half of Arkansas and also parts of the coastline of the Carolinas and the Southern tip of Florida which the Union had occupied as part of their amphibious operations. And the Confederates were banking on her old allies pressing the same logic at Versailles.

In 2011, the fifty-year old threat by President John F. Kennedy to "splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it into the winds"

took a dramatic step towards realisation on this day in the Supreme Court of the United States with the presentation of legal arguments in Kennedy versus the Central Intelligence Agency.
Final Insurance

The origination of the case was the publication of Conspiracies, Cover-ups & Crimes by Jonathan Vankin (© 1996):

"As early as 1952, the CIA was discussing how knock off key guys and make it look like natural causes, declassified CIA memos have revealed. Heart attacks and cancer are preferred methods. CIA director William Casey developed a brain tumour just as he was supposed to make public his knowledge of the Iran-Contra Affair. Nelson Rockefeller suffered a heart attack in flagrante delecto with his secretary. Two assassination plots against Gerald Ford would have made Rockefeller president, but they both failed. Once Rocky was no longer useful, he turned up dead.

Suicides are also popular, as are one-car accidents. Kennedy haters have no trouble envisioning a heavy-handed Kennedy-engineered conspiracy behind Chappaquidick and the death of Mary Jo Kopechne. Other theorists take the same anomalous facts - unusual dents in the car, time lapses in Ted Kennedy's memory - to mean that Kennedy and Kopechne were victims: he drugged, she murdered. Chappaquick was final insurance that a Kennedy brother would not be president".

The release of the so-called Pentagon Papers II during the first year of the the Obama Administration declassified a large number of CIA memos from the period 1969 - 1988. Fresh evidence of malfeasance emerged not only to link the Agency to Chappaquidick, but also to draw suspicious paralells between William Casey and Ted Kennedy's brain tumours.

Shortly afterwards, the junior United States Senator from New York, Caroline Kennedy - herself a law graduate from Columbia Law School - announced her intention to pursue litigation on behalf of the Kennedy family. Another graduate of Columbia, President Barack Obama signalled his commitment to limit Agency activity to the terms of its 1947 Charter in line with the recommendations of the Church Committee, Rockefeller Commission and Pike Committee.

In 1852, on this day Jefferson Davis (pictured), a relatively unknown politician from Mississippi declares his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States of America.

President Jeff Davis
March 4th 1853-March 4th 1861
July:

Democrats anticipating a loss in the general election and have no consensus on who their candidate should be. The five major candidates end up being Jefferson Davis,Lewis Cass, James Buchanan, William Marcy, and Stephen Douglas. All have some support. Throughout the balloting, numerous favorite son candidates receive a few votes. On the 49th ballot the convention finally nominates, as a compromise candidate, the virtually unknown Jefferson Davis of Mississippi. Even though Davis has little experience. Senator Franklin Pierce of New Hampshire is tapped for Vice President.

A new article from Althistory WikiaSeptember:

The Whigs' platform is almost indistinguishable from that of the Democrats, reducing the campaign to a contest between the personalities of the two candidates. The lack of clear-cut issues between the two parties helps drive voter turnout down to its lowest level since 1836. The decline is further exacerbated by Scott's anti-slavery reputation, which decimates the Southern Whig vote at the same time as the pro-slavery Whig platform undermines the Northern Whig vote. Finally, Scott's status as a war hero is somewhat offset by the fact that Davis was himself a Mexican-American War Hero.

October:

Shortly before the election Union party candidate Daniel Webster dies, causing many Union state parties to remove their slates of electors. The Union ticket does appear on the ballot in Georgia and Massachusetts however.

November:

When America goes to the polls Davis wins in a landslide, Scott wins only the states of Kentucky, Tennessee, Massachusetts, and Vermont.

March 4, 1853:

Jefferson Davis is sworn in as the 14th president of the United States of America.Davis hails an era of peace and prosperity at home and urges a vigorous assertion of US interests in its foreign relations. "The policy of my Administration," said the new president "is to solve the domestic problems of our nation at home and protect our interests abroad".

On this day in 1973 1973 MLB's five-man arbitration panel ruled in favor of Curt Flood in a salary dispute between Flood and the Washington Senators, the team Flood had been playing for since the Supreme Court struck down MLB's reserve clause.

 - Curt Flood
Curt Flood
Doctor

On this day in 1945, Dr. Joseph Tiso, head of the Nazi-controlled Slovak puppet state, committed suicide in Bratislava just as Slovak anti-fascist guerrillas were storming his headquarters.

Doctor - Joseph Tiso
Joseph Tiso
After(cont.) ~
Eli and Kevin were making as much noise as a herd of cattle, but Janice was surprisingly quiet. Jake was grateful for that, at least. He was tempted to split the two other men off and have them provide a distraction while he and Janice snuck into the ranch house. Instead, he kept them all together, and when they were spotted by one of the guards, he shot first.
The lucky shot took the man down, clutching at his throat. Jake motioned them all forward, saying, 'They had to have heard that. Let's move, people.'
True enough, the loud crack brought the other guard looking for his friend. Eli shot him three times, even though the first hit was enough to take him down. 'Save those bullets,' Jake hissed at him. He ran up to the nearest window and shot it. The bullet made a dent, but didn't crack the glass. 'Bullet-proof. Great.' He ran to the front door, followed by his three comrades, and shot the lock twice. He and Eli barreled into it, bursting it open, and were immediately shot at by two armed men inside.
Eli's left arm spurted blood, and he cried out in pain. Janice's gun banged once, and one of the guards fell. Jake and Kevin shot at the other man, and he also fell. Kevin pulled off one of the men's ties and used it as a tourniquet to stop Eli's bleeding. 'Go,' he yelled at Jake and Janice, and they took off into the house, opening doors and ducking in long enough to make sure that there was no one there.
'This place is deserted,' Janice said. 'What if they've already taken him away?'
'Then, we're screwed.' Jake broke open a door that hid a set of stairs, and ducked backward as a gunshot cracked in front of him. He fired back and dodged to the side of the door.
Janice dropped to the floor and crawled over to the opening. She bobbed her head in front of the stairwell to get a quick look at what was at the bottom and saw a single man looking up. She pulled her head back and said to Jake, 'You go high, I'll go low,' then reached her gun around to fire at the man from the floor. Jake fired from his standing position.
One of them hit, because the man fell. Jake yelled out, 'Anybody still down there, give up now. This thing is done.'
A very familiar voice said, 'I'll be happy to, soon's you undo my handcuffs.'

In 1837, the Constitutional Reform Party established. The party's platform calls for a new constitutional convention to rectify what it considers 'insuperable difficulties with the current system of government.' Among its proposals are extension of voting rights to all native-born white men, popular election of senators, and a specific provision that if an initial vote in Congress fails to produce a clear winner in a presidential vote, the Senate will immediately take charge, rather than waiting for the House to run through as many ballots as it chooses first.

 - US Congress
US Congress
US President

In 1991, President Jack Kemp pleads with the Israelis not to retaliate for the Iraqi Scud missile attack of the previous day, explaining that he fears that their doing so will blow up the fragile alliance he has made with other Gulf nations against Iraq. Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin agrees, but warns the President that if there are further attacks he will not answer for the consequences.

US President - Jack Kemp
Jack Kemp

In 1972, Dmitri Kaprinsky, alias D.B. Cooper, was convicted on charges of espionage and conspiracy to commit hijacking. He would later be sentenced to life in prison.

 -

In 1980, Ronald W. Reagan, former governor of California, announces he will seek the Republican nomination for president, challenging President Nelson A. Rockefeller. It is Reagan's third try for the White House, following a 'dry run' effort in 1968 which ended after two months and his much stronger challenge to Rockefeller in the 1976 GOP primaries. At the press conference he calls to announce his candidacy, Reagan asserts that the Iran crisis and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, which has resulted in the overthrow of its government and the installation in Kabul of a puppet regime under Babrak Karmal, indicates the need for 'a stronger hand at the helm of the ship of state.'

 -

In 1991, the 'Mother of all Battles' began as Operation Desert Storm was launched.

Gulf War Allies send hundreds of planes on bombing raids into Iraq yet Saddam Hussein remained defiant. Warnings about weapons of mass destruction and alien technology buried deep in Iraq go unheeded.

That was just crazy talk, surely?

 -

The American, British, French, Saudi and Kuwaiti aircraft took off at 2330 GMT. Their bombs were aimed at military and strategic targets, including an oil refinery and Baghdad airport. At least 400 raids took place. Latest reports indicated that Allied aircraft suffered unexpected resistance.

US Defence Secretary, Dick Cheney, said the operation appeared to have encountered difficulties. Two hours after the raids began, President George Bush made a televised address. He said the military objectives were clear - force Iraqi troops out of Kuwait and restore the legitimate government.

In Baghdad, Saddam Hussein remained defiant. He said the 'Mother of all Battles had begun'. He urged the Iraqi people to 'stand up to evil'.

In 2005, President Al Gore addressed the nation for the last time in office, apologising to the American people for his own '911' failures. Specifically he refered to the oversight and execution of Executive Order 13015, which established the White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security of 1996. Often called the Gore Commission in recognition that Gore was the chairman, that work group operated for six months, from August 1996 until February of 1997, when it issued its final report. Gore's commission were mandated to provide to the President 'a strategy designed to improve aviation safety and security'.

According to the 911 Commission Report (page 344):

The Gore Commission's Report, having thoroughly canvassed available expertise in and outside of government, did not mention suicide hijackings or the use of aircraft as weapons.
In 2005, Jeanna Best and Dave Lange begin noticing the three-fingered 'claw' gesture on a lot of news shows; they begin to think they've stumbled onto a weird cult. That day, they are both visited by someone from saveearth.net who asks them to come to another meeting. Reluctantly, they both agree. When they see each other at the meeting, they start wondering what they've gotten themselves into.


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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.