On this day in 2009, former Arizona senator John McCain was sworn in as the 44th president of the United States.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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'.
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.
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.
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.'
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.
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.
30th President of the Second Republic of Texas
March 3, 1975 - 1978The 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.