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 20

In 1732, the third President of the United States Richard Henry Lee was born on this day in Westmoreland County, Colony of Virginia.

Birth of the SquireNicknamed "the Squire" to distinguish him from his Stratford cousin Richard, he enjoyed the priveleges of being a scion of the wealthy "Lees of Viginia. Accordingly he was appointed justice of the peace in Westmoreland County in 1757. A year later he was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses, where he met Patrick Henry. An early advocate of independence, Lee became one of the first to create Committees of Correspondence among the many independence-minded Americans in the various colonies. In 1766, almost ten years before the American Revolutionary War, Lee is credited with having authored the Westmoreland Resolution which was publicly signed by prominent landowners who met at Leedstown, Westmoreland County, Virginia on 27 Feb 1766. This resolution was signed by four brothers of George Washington as well as Gilbert Campbell.

In August 1774, he was chosen as a delegate to the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia. In Lee's Resolution on the 7th of June 1776 during the Second Continental Congress, Lee put forth the motion to the Continental Congress to declare Independence from Great Britain, which read (in part):

Resolved: That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.
Because of this eloquence he was the assured choice to author the Declaration of Independence, an appointment that propelled him into the inner circle of the Founding Fathers. Accordingly he also served a one-year term as the President of the Continental Congress, and was a United States Senator from Virginia from 1789 to 1792, serving during part of that time as one of the first Presidents pro tempore. And in 1800 he beat the incumbent John Adams in the third Presidential election.

In 1985, on this day the thirty ninth President of the United States of America Edward Moore ("Ted") Kennedy left office. An article from the No Chappaquiddick by Eric Lipps in which EMK's car only almost went off that bridge on July 18, 1969. Continued from Part 1.

POTUS TedK leaves the Oval Office
No Chappaquiddick Part 3 of 3
As President, he had championed a number of causes, including health care reform, education and the environment, resulting in, among other things, the passage in 1984 of the Medicare Prescription Drug Pricing Act empowering Medicare to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies.

He also faced a number of crises, including the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. His decision to selectively support the secular elements of the anti-Soviet mujaheddin anger U.S. conservatives, already bitter at his decision in 1979 not to permit the deposed Shah of Iran to come to the U.S. for treatment for lymphoma, opposed even by his own CIA director, Stansfield Turner. Kennedy's critics favoured the Islamic fundamentalist factions, which they felt were more strongly anti-Communist. Also enraged would be many of those fundamentalists, including a Saudi expatriate named Osama bin Laden, who would go on to form the terrorist network known as Al Qaeda. In 1993 and again in 2001, this group attempted spectacular attacks against the U.S. The first attack, involving a powerful car bomb parked in the basement of the World Trade Center, did limited damage to the Trade Towers, resulting in six deaths; the second would be thwarted altogether after then-President John McCain responded forcefully to warnings that Al Qaeda was planning another strike against the United States.

After leaving the White House, President Kennedy resumed his Senate career and continued to advocate for his favourite causes, though his support would prove insufficient to overcome GOP opposition to the Nunn Administration's 1993 AmeriCare proposal for national health coverage. He also took a firm position on Nunn's proposal for creating an anti-terrorism Internal Defense Administration. This led to a falling out with Presidential-hopeful Al Gore. The split between Kennedy and Gore on this issue strains what had been a friendly relationship between the former President and the Senator. Ex-President Kennedy had been quietly favoring a Gore run for the presidency in 2000, but will grow cooler on the idea following this episode.

He died on Tuesday, August 25th 2009 having battled with brain cancer for almost eighteen months. He was survived by his second wife Victoria, two grown sons, Edward M. Kennedy Jr. of Branford, Conn., and United States Representative Patrick J. Kennedy of Rhode Island, two stepchildren, Curran Raclin and Caroline Raclin, and a sister, Jean Kennedy Smith.

In 2013, just one hour ahead of the sunset deadline required by the US Constitution, the swearing-in of Mitt Romney was finally conducted in the unlikeliest of locations, the resort city of Las Vegas.

So help me GodDue to an excess of weather caused by a solar flare, the President-elect had been trapped on the West Coast. Finally, the weather itself had permitted him to set off but the electrical storms meant that the prospect of making it to the Capitol soon receded sharply.

The rumour mill had then kicked in, suggesting that he was heading to Salt Lake City to be sworn-in with his hand on a Mormon bible. True or false, time began to run short and the Romney Party was forced to land in Las Vegas to complete the oath of office. It was a far cry from the smooth transition promised on the President-elect's web site.

In 2013, on the day at the inauguration of Romney-Biden, both office holders pledged to work together to build the bipartisan support necessary to stop America going over the "Fiscal Cliff". An article from the Deadlocked 2012 Election thread.

Deadlocked Election prevents America going over Fiscal CliffIn a deadlocked election, both Presidential candidates Obama and Romney had won 269 of the 538 electoral votes divided between the states. This result had thrown the outcome of the presidential race into the House of Representatives, which must name the president in the case of a tie. A Romney victory was assured because Republicans had kept control of the House in the election. But the vice presidency was decided in the U.S. Senate, where Democrats maintained their majority and therefore Biden was selected after he caste the deciding vote for himself.

Ironically given Romney's pledge to work across the aisles as he had as Governor of Massachussets, this unique opportunity to solve the Federal Debt Crisis raised a fresh challenge, for each side to accept that dirty word - compromise. During the summer of 2011, outgoing President Obama had appeared tantalisingly close to gaining agreement on a Grand Bargain with Speaker of the House John Boehner. However the agreement had foundered in acrimony with Boehner disparaging business with the Obama White House to "[dealing with] a bowl of Jello". But of course ultimately what was required was for both sides to abandon orthodoxy and accept a trade[1]: cuts in benefits (Medicare,Medicaid, Social security etc.) and domestic spending for tax increases (more revenue, not dancing games on nominal tax rates) and defense cuts. And the real issue, was that each side had wanted the other to feel the pain. The moment of truth had now arrived; sick of a divided (and perhaps dysfunctional) government, the American voting system had delivered an outcome that MIGHT force each side to commit to work together toward a negotiated solution.

In 1265, the end of the English kings came at the hand Simon de Montfort (son of a French crusader who became Earl of Leicester through his mother's bloodline), who himself married Henry III's sister Eleanor in secret.

De Montfort's Parliament Ends English MonarchyThis was yet another point of strife in the kingdom as the barons of England protested the marriage, as Eleanor had been widowed of the Earl of Pembroke, and they demanded that their opinion on such an important marriage should have been asked even though Henry had given his permission. De Montfort and Henry themselves had a falling out when de Montfort used the king's name as security on a loan, and, after Henry discovered this, he told de Montfort, "You seduced my sister, and when I discovered this, I gave her to you, against my will, to avoid scandal". The feud caused Montfort and his wife to flee England in 1239, going on crusade and being offered the regency of France before returning in 1253 to make peace with Henry.

The peace would be a shallow one, however, as de Montfort began to lead the argument against Henry's demand for a subsidy of royalty from the barons. While de Montfort continued to support Henry on foreign affairs such as undoing pledges to the Pope, he determined that Henry's domestic policies were causing disapproval among all English, especially barons. In 1258, a parliament was called at Oxford, where de Montfort worked with the barons to ease the troubles between them and the king. There, he became more enfranchised with his fellow barons, but he did not approve wholeheartedly of the oligarchy created by the Provisions of Oxford, which gave the barons tremendous power in a Council of Fifteen to control domestic affairs. Henry was forced to take an oath on the Provisions, but, in 1261, he was granted a Papal Bull that nullified his vow. Civil war erupted three years later as the barons rallied under de Montfort to force the king to loosen his grip on the country, and the Battle of Lewes in 1264 gave a staunch victory to de Montfort when he captured both Henry and his son, Edward Longshanks.

With the king under guard and many of the barons his direct allies, de Montfort became the de facto ruler of England. He established a triumvirate with the Earl of Gloucester and the Bishop of Chichester, whom he controlled, and a new Parliament, which became unique in its inclusion of burgesses from economic boroughs as well as the knights of counties and in that de Montfort demanded all members be chosen by election, with the vote available to any man who owned land with the value of an annual rent of 40 shillings. The extension of power to the lower classes upset many of the barons, but de Montfort had hope in his state-building by unifying the peoples of England on a wide scale. Further barons distrusted de Montfort's alliance with Llywelyn, Prince of Wales, who took advantage of the English war to affirm the independence of Wales, weakening the Marcher Barons' holds there.

De Montfort felt his control of the nation slipping, so he decided to use power fully before it could vanish from him. Upon the opening of the Parliament, de Montfort pushed through a bill stripping Henry III of his title of king based on treason for canceling his oath from Oxford. A second bill established that England should have only a prince for its foreign affairs, which meant Edward Longshanks would never become more than a figurehead. Many of the barons balked, and several began to conspire against de Montfort, but he assured his legacy by promptly dispatching Edward from the kingdom to go on crusade and imprisoning Henry until his death. Edward, who had agreed with the Provisions of Oxford initially, determined he would be content until at least he was not surrounded by de Montfort's trusted (and armed) guards while in a foreign land.

Without a royal for his enemies to rally behind, de Montfort secured his power, primarily by his new enfranchisement of the growing middle class of England. When Longshanks arrived back from crusade in 1272 after the death of his father, he attempted to overthrow de Montfort's new permanent Parliament with barons who wished to gain back their power, but the grassroots support had grown firm and further aid flowed in from Llywelyn of Wales and Longshanks' brother-in-law, Alexander III, King of Scotland, who had also struggled against the power of an English king under Henry. Longshanks was again captured, and de Montfort stripped his title by act of Parliament as he had done with Henry, making Longshanks' quieter brother Edmund the new Prince of England. Edward Longshanks would live out his life under house arrest.

England settled into a sense of quiet prosperity and growing trade, sharing Britain with Wales and the Kingdom of Scotland, which underwent its own crisis after a string of deaths in 1286 and resulted in the leadership of the Guardians of Scotland. In 1306, Robert the Bruce became King of Scotland, and Scottish rule would eventually spread over the whole of the British Isles after the Black Death swept through the trade towns of England in the fourteenth century.

In 1969, on this day a rousing rendition of "If I Can Dream" sung by Elvis Presley closed out the first inauguration of Robert F. Kennedy as the 37th President of the United States.
Click to listen to the 1968 Comeback Special.

A Sky More Blue Peace and understanding comes to AmericaIt was an appropriately chosen song for two main reasons. Firstly, the expression of the widely held sentiment that American had become materially richer, but spiritually poorer during the sixties. And secondly, the hope that Americans could "become in our own hearts brothers and countrymen once again".

In a sense a flaming torch had been passed this time around because the noble causes of his elder brother's 1960 election had deteriorated into intractable moral dilemmas for the more complex world of the 1970s. And the prospects of say delivering true social justice for African-Americans or beating the Viet Cong were looking extremely bleak, despite the optimism of the campaign trail where deliriously excited blacks, Hispanics and white students had grasped at him so hard that his hands bled.

And yet there was good cause for hope that the haters might not win out. Not only had Kennedy narrowly survived an assassination attempt in the Ambassasor Hotel, Los Angeles. But also because alongside the new Secretary of State Eugene McCarthy he had managed to navigate the perils of the Chicago Convention. And sieze the nomination despite the very best of efforts of Lyndon Baines Johnson, the President who loathed him.

In 1968, speaking on the steps of St Mary's Hospital in Madison, Wisconson, Otis Ray Redding, Jr shocked the crowd of fans who been anticipating his release by announcing that he was "planning to leave this world" of music.

King of SoulFive of the six members of Redding's backup band, "The Bar-Kays" had been killed when his twin engine Beechcraft plane crashed into the icy waters of the Squaw Bay area of Lake Monona on December 10th.

He had swapped seats with Ben Cauley and was sitting directly behind the co-pilot's seat before falling asleep on the flight clutching his seat cushion. He awoke when he realized he could not breathe. He said that he then saw band mate Phalon Jones look out of a window and say "Oh, no". He unbuckled his safety belt which ultimately allowed him to separate himself from the wreckage. As the impact tore a wing off the small Beechcraft, the fuselage was torn open and Redding was able to bob to the surface as he clutched his seat cushion. Bassist James Alexander survived because he had taken a different flight as there was not enough room left on the plane.

He had been warning fellow artists that he was "planning to leave this world", which seemed on first listening to be the meaning of "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay" recorded only three days prior to the crash. During his recovery, Redding had experienced something of a religious awakening, deciding that he would seek a new life in Christ.

During the ninteen seventies, he would lead a spiritual revivalist movement that would electrify America. When he left office in 1977, President Robert F. Kennedy would pay tribute to Redding for his pivotal role in "binding up the wounds among us to become in our own hearts brothers and countrymen once again".
Click to listen to Kennedy's "Mindless Menace of Violence" Speech.

In 1969, Robert F. Kennedy was sworn in as the thirty-seventh President of the United States today, bringing a final end to a tumultuous campaign season that threatened to split the Democratic Party.

RFK Sworn In a story by Andrew Beane Kennedy took the oath of office with his wife Ethel Kennedy holding his family Bible to a verse that his brother John quoted as thirty-fifth President: Luke 12:48, "From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked".

Though reluctant to run for the Presidency, Robert Kennedy was convinced to run by friends and family, and by the disastrous campaign in Vietnam, which culminated in the February Tet Offensive. Though criticized by some in the Democratic Party as an opportunist who was exploiting President Johnson's failures in the war against the communists in South Vietnam, Kennedy contended that Johnson had not only failed the soldiers serving in Vietnam, but American society here at home as well. "If we believe that we, as Americans, are bound together by a common concern for each other, then an urgent national priority is upon us. We must begin to end the disgrace of this other America. And this is one of the great tasks of leadership for us, as individuals and citizens this year".

As Kennedy sought to defeat the favored Vice President Hubert Humphrey in the state primaries, his campaign almost came to a halt on June 6th of last year. Kennedy narrowly escaped an assassination attempt by Sirhan Sirhan, a Palestinian-American who felt betrayed by Kennedy's support for Israel during the 1967 Six Day War. A bullet grazed the right arm of the presidential hopeful, who otherwise remained unharmed.

During his inaugural speech, Kennedy vowed to seek a swift and responsible end to the Vietnam War, promising that American combat forces will leave Indochina within eighteen months of his taking office. He called the war "a disastrous failure, started with eyebrow-raising zeal and ill-conceived planning", and called it a crime that "so many of our young men were fed into the fire because of decisions based on questionable origins". Kennedy was referring to the disputed Gulf of Tonkin incident, which he promised to investigate. He also promised to return the military's focus on the Soviet threat in Europe, and accelerate desegregation and social justice "So that every man, woman and child in these beautiful United States may live the life that my dear brother John, my friend Martin Luther King Jr, and our Lord Jesus Christ all died to secure".

In 1801, on this day John Marshall of Germantown, Virginia John Marshall was appointed the Chief Justice of the United States.

Marshall Forced to Recuse Himself from Marbury v. MadisonTwo years later he was at the centre of a dramatic sequence of events which would have profound effects upon the future of the Republic. The law of the young United States was only a little more than a decade old since its formal establishment with the ratification of the Constitution.

Older law stretched back by precedent in the days of the Articles of Confederation and even colonial charters, creating the base of English common law that would judge how the basic affairs of personal matters could be handled. However, the highest echelons of the government were new and undecided. In a pivotal case for the Supreme Court, Congress won its position as highest power of the land, outranking even the Constitution itself, out of the character assassination of Chief Justice John Marshall.

The matter at hand was that of the "Midnight Judges" who had been appointed in the last hours of the Federalist Party controlling the government. Jeffersonian Republicans had won the elections in 1800 handily, meaning that the power of the Federalist Congress and President John Adams would simply disappear. In order to maintain what they felt as a sense of sanity for the young nation, John Adams used the newly passed Judiciary Act of 1801 to appoint Federalist-leaning men to some 58 positions as circuit judges and justices of the peace. After approval by the Senate, Secretary of State John Marshall (who had also been appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, but stayed in his executive position at Adams' request) was able to deliver the majority of the appointments. A few would-be judges, however, were unable to be reached, and upon March 4, Jefferson was formally sworn in as president. Among his first actions to Levi Lincoln, Attorney General and acting Secretary of State, ordering him not to deliver the remaining appointments.

One of the ousted appointees was wealthy Marylander financier William Marbury, who demanded his position. He petitioned the Supreme Court, whose position was stalled as the new Democratic-Republican Congress limited the Court to one session the next February. As the court finally convened to hear the case, the questions at hand stretched further than whether they could order the Executive Branch to give Marbury his appointment. The legal issues seemed clear enough with Marbury to win, but lawyers opposing decided a radical strategy of removing the Federalist influence. They argued that Marshall could not sit as he was currently Secretary of State during the delivery and cited English Chief Justice Edward Coke's 1610 opinion that "no person should be a judge in his own case".

The legal standing of the citation was questionable, but public outcry driven by Jeffersonian newspapers gave the Federalist Party a blemish as ignoble tyrants holding any position they could grab. Due to the outpouring of disdain, Marshall sat aside.

Two weeks later, the split decision would be handed down as affirmative toward Marbury. However, Marshall's intended interpretation of judicial review for law fell short. Instead, legal precedence would build so that the Supreme Court's position would be to judge the Executive Branch and that Congress would sit atop a platform described by the Constitution. The so-called "Supremacy Clause" of the Constitution would be interpreted more to support the position of the federal government over those of states in the judicial system, a point that would be used to solve the Nullification Crisis in 1832 and deem secession only legal if approved by Congress. The federal government would be a "living government" rather than one restrained by an unchanging piece of paper.

Marshall, though upset, would continue as Chief Justice and do his best to support Federalist ideals. He challenged Jefferson in declaring Aaron Burr free from any overt act of treason in 1807. In 1810's Fletcher v. Peck, he judged that the Georgia government must support its dealings of its former legislature (unless authorized by the US Congress, now seen as equivalent to the Constitution). He also affirmed the position of the Executive Branch in international dealings, especially with those of the Native Americans.

Decades later, the matter of Congressional Supremacy would be key to the 1857 Dred Scott case proving that Congress had the right to prohibit slavery in US territories. With the substantial legal victory, the matter of slavery came to congressional attention, spurring the Emancipation Act of 1859 that prescribed the methods for a slave to free himself while paying his worth to his master, thus preventing any deprivation of property. The act is widely believed to have headed off a war as it was widely known Congress held the right to abolish slavery. Societies throughout the North (and South) collected money to be given to slaves, many of whom returned to work for former masters for wages.

Through the latter course of the nineteenth century, however, rampant corruption would bring about the Progressive Revolution led by, among others, General Theodore Roosevelt as renewed State Militias defending the Constitution, especially its Second Amendment, clashed with Federal troops.

In 1936, upon the death of George V his eldest son Edward ascended to the throne as Emperor of India and King of the United Kingdom and the British dominions.

Abdication Crisis avoidedEdward had held successively the titles of Prince Edward of York, Prince Edward of Cornwall and York, Duke of Cornwall and Rothesay, and Prince of Wales. As a young man, he served in World War I, undertook several foreign tours on behalf of his father, George V, and was associated with a succession of older, married women. The most recent example of the King's womanising was an affair with the American divorcée Wallis Simpson.

Members of the establishment and the royal house were horrified to discover that Edward was planning to break royal protocol by watching the proclamation of his own accession to the throne from a window in the company of the then still-married Mrs. Simpson. Fortunately for all concerned, he was disuaded from this course of action. Several months later the issue re-emerged when Edward declared that he intended to marry Wallis. However, due to her age it was improbable that such a union would bear children, and Edward was convinced to continue the relationship in semi-secrecy.

The significance of these events would only become apparent three years later. Because Edward VIII turned out to be just the right man for the hour, helping to lead the British people through the continental crisis with a calm fortitude that gained him their love and respect. Due in no small part to his excellent relationship with the German Government, the monarch had succeeded where elected politicians might fail, by ensuring that it would be "peace in our time".

In 1965, in his re-inaugural address, President John F. Kennedy places strong emphasis on foreign issues that influence the lives of everyday Americans and their responsibility to the world they inhabit:Watchmen on the World

"We in this country, in this generation, are--by destiny rather than choice--the watchmen on the walls of world freedom. We ask, therefore, that we may be worthy of our power and responsibility, that we may exercise our strength with wisdom and restraint, and that we may achieve in our time and for all time the ancient vision of 'peace on earth, good will toward men.' That must always be our goal, and the righteousness of our cause must always underlie our strength. For as was written long ago: 'except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.'"

Historian Robert Dallek notes in his biography, John F. Kennedy: A Life Well Lived, that the lines are in fact taken from a little-known speech that Kennedy did at the Dallas Trade Mart in late 1963. The speech was given during a re-election tour of the Southern states, which many say was pivotal to Kennedy winning a considerable margin of the popular vote. (A feat that had just barely escaped him in the 1960 election).

Indeed, many would later percieve Kennedy's speech as a sign of further emphasis on peace-making during his second term, as demonstrated by his later clashes with the Joint Chiefs of Staff over the gradual withdrawl of troops from Vietnam - and sending low level envoys to the Cuban government by mid-1966. Not to ignore his considerable domestic achievements, such as the passing of the 1966 Civil Rights Bill - and major economic incentives to combat poverty and unemployment).

However, all of these threatened to be overshadowed in the twilight of the Kennedy administration, when the President was struck gravely ill in June 1967 due to long-standing back troubles - forcing Lyndon Johnson to temporarily assume the presidency for over three weeks while Kennedy underwent emergency treatment and a quick recovery. So shocking was the revelation of Kennedy's major health issues and the numerous ailments to treat them (even long before his career in the House of Representatives), that the threat of impeachment loomed large at the outset of his presidency.

In 1989, former Massachusetts governor Michael S. Dukakis was sworn in as the 42nd President of the United States. Pledge of Allegiance
Dukakis, who had been trailing Republican nominee George Herbert Walker Bush for much of the 1988 general election campaign, experienced a dramatic turnaround in his political fortunes after he signed into law legislation that made it a requirement to say the Pledge of Allegiance each morning in Massachusetts classrooms; while this decision hurt his standing among liberal and moderate voters, it gained him a new wave of support among conservatives and enabled him to squeak out a narrow win over Bush in the November elections.

As inauguration guests listened to Tom Petty's rousing rendition of I Won't Back Down many might have been struck by how much the campaign had changed Al Gore for the better.

Gore squeaks homeAfter all he was appointed (rather than elected) to the Vice Presidency in 1992 not having campaigned at all indeed having been well beaten four years earlier despite being considered the "youngest serious Presidential candidate since John F. Kennedy". To be fair, Gore had put in a strong performance as VP, but in seeking to become "his own man" had run away from Presidential succes. This proven formula had of course allowed the equally unelectable George H.W. Bush to win a dozen years earlier.

Long before election day many Gore fans had tired of his spinelessness and untruthfulness. But then came the disputed election and the televised images of patriots burning the flag outside the Supreme Court. In that crucible he had matured as a national politician and the expectations for his Presidency had risen accordingly.

In 1814, on this day Northern Democrat Congressman David Wilmot was born in Bethany, Pennsylvania.

39th Parallel Part 1:
Wilmot Proviso leads to war
A leading Free Soiler, he was the architect of the Wilmot Proviso which opposed the extension of slavery into the occupied territories of Mexico. The legislation passes the House of Representatives, but was defeated in the Senate under the recently introduced two-thirds majority rule.

That rule had been demanded by Southern Senators as a precondition for admitting Baja California, Chihuahua, Sonora, Coahuilia and Tamaulipas into the Union as new states. Otherwise Dixie politicians would have been outnumbered in the Upper House, and an insurmountable challenge to end the institution of slavery would soon arise.

In point of fact Wilmot was not an abolitionist, rather he had economic objections to Free Labor. But it made no difference, his Free Soil challenge was enough to put the newly enlarged Union on the road to Civil War. An installment from 39th Parallel thread.

In 1961, Texas Senator Lyndon Baines Johnson (pictured) was inaugurated as the thirty-fifth president of the United States of America.

All the way with LBJ in '60 by Eric LippsJohnson had faced what had potentially been a strong challenge in the primaries from popular young Sen. John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts.

However, many people, including former President Harry S. Truman, were nervous about the possibility of a Roman Catholic becoming president. At one point, Truman had taken the extraordinary step of telling Kennedy point-blank that he should not run because of his religion. Kennedy also had begun to develop something of a reputation as a womanizer.

His campaign was done in at last, however, when revelations regarding his physical health, something the candidate had carefully obscured behind a facade of youthful vigor, surfaced in the media. Kennedy, it was revealed, was taking high doses of painkillers for an old back injury and in addition was receiving steroid treatments for Addison's disease, a liver disorder. Several physicians suggested that the medications the Senator was on might have effects on his judgment.

Kennedy's chances had faded after that, and at the Democratic convention, he had not even been considered for the vice-presidential slot, which he had been offered by Stevenson in '56. Instead, the VP nomination had gone to Minnesota Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey, who had also made a strong run in the primaries.
This article is part of the Cuban Crisis thread.

US President

In 1977, James Earl Carter of Georgia is sworn in as the 39th president of the United States of America.

Among those watching the ceremony is the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The 48-year-old civil rights leader supported Carter in the 1976 election and hopes that in office he will prove more sympathetic to blacks and the poor than Presidents Nixon and Ford had been. Also in attendance is Juanita Abernathy, widow of Rev. Ralph Abernathy, who had been shot in Memphis, Tennessee, April 8, 1968, while leading a protest King had originally been scheduled to address.

US President - Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter

King had been arrested and jailed on April 3, and on April 6, had been escorted under police guard to the Memphis airport and forced to board an outbound plane, with the warning that if he ever returned, "you ain't ever leaving"..

King has become one of the leading voices not only on civil rights but regarding opposition to continued U.S. occupation of Cuba and Vietnam, where seemingly interminable guerrilla conflicts continue despite the U.S. overthrow of Fidel Castro in 1961 and of the Communist regime in North Vietnam in 1971. American troops continue to be killed and injured in both Cuba and Vietnam, and have been fighting in Laos and Cambodia since 1972.

On this day in 1960, Sandy Koufax scored his 2000th NBA career point in a Celtics loss to the New York Knicks.

 - Sandy Koufax
Sandy Koufax

In 1961, on this day the New York City mayor John Lindsay and several of his aides attended President John F. Kennedy's inauguration at the personal invitation of first lady Jacqueline Kennedy.

Republican Congressman
Republican Congressman - John Lindsay
John Lindsay
US President

On this day in 1945, Franklin Roosevelt was sworn in for his fourth and final term as president of the United States.

With the Third Reich now on the verge of final collapse, his main military priority for the early days of his fourth term would be to step up prosecution of the war with Japan.

US President - Franklin Roosevelt
Franklin Roosevelt

On this day in 2001, American political history was made as former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Colin Powell was sworn in as the 43rd president of the United States. In addition to being the first African-American president in US history, Powell was also the first chief executive since Millard Fillmore to run for the office on a platform other than those of the Democratic or Republican parties.

US President
US President - Colin Powell
Colin Powell
US President

In 2009, Barack Hussein Obama is sworn in as the first African-American president of the United States of America.

Present at the inauguration ceremony are the revered civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; his wife Coretta Scott King; and their son, Martin Luther King III. Dr. King, who celebrated his eightieth birthday five days earlier, has been confined to a wheelchair since suffering a stroke in 2006.

US President - Barack Obama
Barack Obama

King had narrowly escaped assassination in April 1968, when he was arrested by local authorities in Memphis, Tennessee, where he had been scheduled to appear at a rally, and forcibly ejected from the city. The Rev. Ralph Abernathy, who took Dr. King's place as featured speaker, was fatally shot by escaped convict James Earl Ray from a nearby rooftop.

On this day in 1969, Richard Nixon was inaugurated as the 37th President of the United States; in his inaugural address Nixon pledged to work for the eventual abolition of nuclear weapons from the world and to maintain cordial ties between the U.S. and Russia's Kosygin administration.

 - Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon

Although he wasn't able to completely eliminate the nuclear threat before he left office, Nixon did achieve a substantial reduction in the global nuclear stockpile-- by 1973 nearly two-thirds of the nuclear warheads which were in existences when Nixon was sworn into office had been dismantled.

Pres. Nominee

In 1993, Georgia senator Samuel Augustus Nunn is sworn in as the forty-second president of the United States of America.

In attendance at the ceremony are outgoing President Jack Kemp outgoing Vice-President Phil Gramm, and incoming Vice-President Bill Bradley. Also present, among the crowd of onlookers, are former Arkansas governor Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Pres. Nominee - Sam Nunn
Sam Nunn

Mr. Clinton had run for president himself in 1992, but had been defeated in the primaries amid revelations about extramarital affairs and reports of financial improprieties in connection with a real-estate venture, the Whitewater Development Corporation.

In 1989, Jack L. Kemp is sworn in as the forty-first president of the United States of America. In his inaugural address, he pledges to work toward a 'New Freedom' in America and throughout the world.

US President
US President - Jack Kemp
Jack Kemp
John McCain

On this day in 2009, former Arizona senator John McCain was sworn in as the 44th president of the United States.

John McCain - US President
US President

In 1965, Lyndon Baines Johnson is sworn in as president of the United States in his own right. Several hundred anti-war protesters briefly obstruct the inaugural procession; they are clubbed down and carted away by the District of Columbia police for disturbing the peace. While being held in jail awaiting trial, several are assaulted; anti-Cuban War zealot Lee Harvey Oswald's arrest for the assassination of President Kennedy has discredited all anti-war activism.

 - LBJ
Alexander Hamilton

In 1802, President Alexander Hamilton puts into effect a plan he and President Washington had discussed during the latter's administration, declaring New York's Columbia College America's 'national university.' Under this scheme, promising students from all over the country will be invited to Columbia to be groomed for leadership positions in government and the military. Southerners are angered that a 'Yankee' university has been chosen for this honor, and insist that such Southern schools as Virginia's William and Mary College at least equally deserve. Southern congressmen vow to block the use of any federal money for the new national university.

Alexander Hamilton - 3rd President
3rd President

In 2001, Albert A. Gore Jr. of Tennessee is inaugurated as the 43rd President of the United States of America. Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut is sworn in as Vice-President, becoming the first Jew (indeed, the first non-Christian of any faith) to hold that office.


Republican protesters line the inaugural parade route, hurling insults and, in some cases, rotten fruit at the presidential procession. Security is even tighter than is usual for such events: there have been an unprecedented number of death threats directed against both Gore and Lieberman.

In 2008, in a boat laden with scuba gear, Velma Porter and Mikhail von Heflin head towards the distortion in the time-space continuum that both of them can feel off the coast of Bermuda. 'Some vacation,' Porter says to her husband. Just before they reach the distortion, they don the scuba gear and dive into the water. They are quickly sucked into the rift and disappear from the ocean.
In 2005, after gathering a few Ingredients surreptitiously, Chelsea Perkins, Alma May Watson and Geraldine McRae perform a small spell to let the Council of Wisdom know where they are. Within a few hours, a car pulls into the small village and McRae tells them all to hop in. Just as her father's car had driven into a tunnel and appeared on the other side of North America, this car drives into a tunnel and appears at the Council's headquarters. The three of them give a report to the Council, which feels that Elsbeth Danwich might possibly have been vanquished for good.
In 1964, international superstar Pete Best releases his first LP album, Pleased to meet you, I'm Pete. The album goes multi-platinum within a couple of months of release and launches Best on a world tour to promote it.
In 1961, Comrade President Joel Rosenberg is inaugurated into his second term as President of the Soviet States of America. The day shines with promise as Comrade Robert Frost recites a poem for the occasion and Comrade Rosenberg gives a speech outlining a heady agenda for his coming administration. Sadly, it all comes to an end with his assassination the following November.
In 1960, Roboticist Will Wright was born in Atlanta, Georgia. Born into wealth, Wright spent most of his young adulthood satisfying a boundless curiosity about how things work - and making strange creations to illustrate his thoughts. His bizarre but beautiful robots single-handedly turned to field of home robotics into the multi-billion dollar industry it is today.
In 1942, German Underground officials gather in Wannsee, a small suburb of Berlin, to discuss their plans for the coming domination of Europe. It is here that Adolf Hitler and Reinhard Heydrich inform the leaders of the G.U. that they plan to exterminate the Greater Zionist Resistance utterly, and non-Aryans with them. Although some are secretly appalled at this plan, none dare speak against it; Hitler's enemies in the G.U. had a habit of 'disappearing'.
US President

In 1977, James Earl Carter of Georgia is sworn in as the 39th president of the United States of America.

Among those watching the ceremony is the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The 48-year-old civil rights leader supported Carter in the 1976 election and hopes that in office he will prove more sympathetic to blacks and the poor than Presidents Nixon and Ford had been. Also in attendance is Juanita Abernathy, widow of Rev. Ralph Abernathy, who had been shot in Memphis, Tennessee, April 8, 1968, while leading a protest King had originally been scheduled to address.

US President - Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter

King had been arrested and jailed on April 3, and on April 6, had been escorted under police guard to the Memphis airport and forced to board an outbound plane, with the warning that if he ever returned, "you ain't ever leaving"..

King has become one of the leading voices not only on civil rights but regarding opposition to continued U.S. occupation of Cuba and Vietnam, where seemingly interminable guerrilla conflicts continue despite the U.S. overthrow of Fidel Castro in 1961 and of the Communist regime in North Vietnam in 1971. American troops continue to be killed and injured in both Cuba and Vietnam, and have been fighting in Laos and Cambodia since 1972.

In 1925, James 'Pa' Ferguson was inaugurated as the first male governor of the state of Texas in its history. He was mainly a figurehead for his wife, Miriam Ferguson, who had been driven from the office by scandal after scandal. He served one term before being defeated, and accomplished nothing of importance.
In 1791, descendants of the Speaker's Line gather in the Himalayas to discuss the recent advances in balloon travel. The Himalayan Gathering produces the first documented evidence of the Speaker's Line, as they wrote out a manifesto, of which only three copies survive; the manifesto details their plan to utilize their vast network to encourage governments to develop air travel over the next century.
In 902, the Christian zealot Lebuin attacks the fortress of Rhonwen, mistress of the sea, with a force of over three hundred men. He had meant to have a thousand, but his men had been slowly decimated by harassments the wizards had placed along his path, and now he was left with only those who had survived and had no fear of the wizards of Wales.
In 1000 Post-Creation, Ariel visits Lucifer in the Abyss, and asks to speak on his behalf before the Creator. Ariel wishes to end all the conflict that is building between the rebellious angels and the Creator, and feels that Lucifer is best equipped to lead the rebellious ones back to the graces of Yahweh. Lucifer, though tormented by the lake of fire, tells Ariel that he will serve this punishment for as long as Yahweh wills him to. Ariel leaves, his hopes for the future dashed.

In 1953, with Dwight D. Eisenhower scheduled to be sworn in as president at noon, Wisconsin Senator Joseph R. McCarthy takes the podium in the Senate to scream that Harry Truman's pardon of Hiss, issued the previous day, proves that the outgoing president is a Soviet agent.

Eisenhower, in remarks delivered immediately following his inauguration, condemns Senator McCarthy's attack on Truman as 'an intemperate assault on a loyal American who has served this country well in every capacity, up to and including the presidency.'

Eisenhower - US President
US President

McCarthy's response, delivered in time to make the evening news, is to snarl, 'The remarks of General Eisenhower'--he refuses to call Ike 'President'--'merely demonstrate how deeply the Communist rot has penetrated our great nation. Obviously the taint of treason is not limited to one party alone.'

In 4557, Li-Chen Guan is born in Nanking Province. The second man on the moon was perpetually in the shadow of the first, but he was an important figure in the Star Sailor program throughout his life; he directed the program that eventually made contact with the Chdo Democracy.
In 1981, the Iranian Hostage Crisis ended as the Reverend Jesse Jackson's successor was sworn into office. Having negotiated the release of the students in Tehran in 1980, Reagan and Bush had conspired with the terrorists to release the students only after the inauguration. They send Jackson to Germany to meet the students, a duplicious act of false humility to reinforce his weakened authority. And the President of Iran today is the very channel through which Reagan and Bush acted.
In 1981, the Iranian Hostage Crisis ended as Ronald Reagan's successor was sworn into office. True to their word at last, the Iranians released the embassy personnel they had been holding for over a year once Edward Kennedy was sworn in as President of the United States. To thumb his nose at the Iranians, Kennedy lent Ronald Reagan Air Force One to fly overseas and retrieve the hostages.

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.

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.

19th January, 1966 - Morarji 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.

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