In 1848, former US President John Winston Jones died on this day in Petersburg, Virginia. He was fifty-six years old.
President Jones passes awayFour years earlier, President John Tyler, who had himself been raised to the presidency by the death of his predecessor William Harrison, was killed by the explosion of an experimental cannon aboard the USS Princeton.
Tyler had no vice-president to succeed him, so the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Virginian John Winston Jones, assumed the high office.
President Jones, who had been planning on retiring, found that the power of the presidency was quite intoxicating, and used the influence he had as the incumbent to secure the Democratic Party's nomination for the 1844 elections. He won against the Whig candidate, Senator Henry Clay, in a hotly contested and close election. His stridently pro-Southern policies rubbed the northern states the wrong way, and Henry Clay, although a Southerner himself, used this disaffection to hobble Jones' power. The conflict between them is widely attributed to the shortening of Jones' life, something Clay expressed little remorse over in later years
When President Jones resigned due to ill health , his vice-president, James K. Polk, assumed office in the middle of a war with Mexico and widespread dissatisfaction with the government. Polk's mismanagement of the Mexican War led to a wave of secessions from states bordering Mexico, and the diminishment of the once-bright shining star of the US.
In 1761, on this day the brilliant Swiss émigré Abraham Alfonse Albert Gallatin was born in Geneva. Aged just twenty eight he was sworn into office as the first Secretary of the Treasury (President Washington having first asked Robert Morris who declined).
Birth of Albert GallatinThe Department was established by an Act of Congress to manage government revenue. A combination of Gallatin's doctrinal thought and other political factors led to the Treasury becoming a bastion of libertarianism. The die was cast when New Yorkers only narrowly voted to adopt the 1787 Constitution, an election which demonstrated the shallow depth of support for consolidated government.
It appeared that the revolutionary ideal had survived the changeover of Government. But as events were to develop, some other prominent New Yorkers were destined to shape the future of libertarianism in the United States. A notable resident of Wall Street, Captain Alexander Hamilton was the author of the so-called Federalist Papers. Apart from this fine penmanship, he was unable to participate in the political process due to a critical injury sustained at the Battle of Trenton. Nevertheless, he found a sympathetic ear in the Governor of New York, a fellow veteran Colonel Aaron Burr who lived a short distance away at Richmond Hill.
After Hamilton died, Burr became something of a mentor to his young son, Philip Hamilton . Named for his mother's father, the Revolutionary War general Philip Schuyler, the Hamiltons' first child was born on January 22, 1782, in Albany, New York. Philip's birth "was attended with all the omens of future greatness," Hamilton wrote playfully, and at age seven months, the child had "a method of waving his hand that announces the future orator". Such statements were all in fun, except that Hamilton dearly wanted a worthy heir, a son who would himself rise to renown.
The preciptious moment arrived with a mighty clash of thought at the 1824 general election. Gallatin had returned to America in 1823 and was nominated for Vice President by the Democratic-Republican Congressional caucus that had chosen William H. Crawford as its Presidential candidate. Gallatin never wanted the role and was humiliated when he was forced to withdraw from the race because he lacked popular support. This however was not a problem for Hamilton who was on the up and seemed a strong candidate for the Presidency. His firebrand form of Federalism had gripped the nation and Gallatin et. al would have to fight to preserve their legacy.
In 1963, despite the very best efforts of young Flight Surgeon Ronald E. Paul, the commander of the XVIII Airborne Corps William Westmoreland expired in Saigon after choking on a chicken bone.
Lunar Liberty Part 2Of course within four years, his more capable successor General Creighton Abrams had delivered an emphatic American victory in Vietnam. And re-elected President Johnson and his successor Hubert Humphrey were fortunate to have the opportunity to pursue non-militaristic adventures.
One of which, the Space Programme greatly excited Surgeon Paul. He dreamt of serving as the first doctor on a manned spaceflight. In the event, Johnson, Humphrey and Paul overachieved, and by the year 2000 Paul was the Chief Medical Officer of the Lunar Colony.
He stayed on after retirement, becoming a libertarian spokesman as the moon's population approached the magic thirteen thousand target required for an application for Statehood recognition.
This post is an article from the Lunar Liberty thread.
In 1523, Central Europe looked to be a smoldering mass of corrupt indulgences and humanism, needing only a spark to explode into revolution.
Faber Out-Debates Zwingli In the Germanies, former monk Martin Luther had nailed his 95 Theses to the door of All Saints' Church, been excommunicated without much of a flinch, and stood before the Diet of Worms refusing to recant. Farther south in Switzerland, a similar surge of reform was welling in Zurich, where layman pastor Huldrych Zwingli (pictured) preached to his congregation against the corruption of the Church.
Unlike Luther, who had served as an Augustinian monk against his father's wishes, Zwingli had avoided monasticism despite the invitation of the Dominicans because of his father and uncle's disapproval. Instead, he attended university at Vienna and Basel, finishing his master's, and being ordained in Konstanz in 1506. He moved fairly often, continuing his learning and becoming disgusted with the politics of church and mercenaries that seemed to pervade Switzerland. Finally he settled in Zurich in 1519, where he began to diverge from proper Church teachings. He condemned veneration of the saints, described monks as decadent, affirmed that unbaptised children were not damned, and questioned tithing, hellfire, and excommunication. Zwingli and others petitioned for an end to clergy celibacy, and Zwingli himself married Anna Reinhard three months before their first child was born.
The petition caught the attention of the bishop of Zurich, who called upon the civil authorities to uphold order. Zwingli declared the Church corrupt, and the city council became caught in the middle. Hoping to clear the air before the Swiss Diet marched on Zurich to force restoration of order, the council invited the bishop and the unorthodox to a Disputation. The bishop sent Johann Faber and a delegation while Zwingli came himself, armed with his Schlussreden summarizing his theological views. Faber was forbidden to discuss theology with laymen, and so he had been unprepared for such deep discussion. Initially he decided to appeal only to the authority of the Church, but Zwingli's words pressed him to reply. In an hours-long impromptu speech, he addressed each one of Zwingli's sixty-seven articles and explained or discredited all of them.
Zwingli and his followers were shocked. The large crowd that had gathered spread the word of the failures of the "reformers," and support for Zwingli fell throughout the city. He attempted to reclaim his place by holding communion simply on grounds that the Eucharist was commemorative rather than substantial. The political gamble would prove a loss, and the tide of reformation would turn against him as the northern Swiss came to agree with reformed teachings by the Church. As the Peasants' War guided by the Anabaptists toward a Christian commonwealth went sour in Germany, another huge loss for Protestants sank its holdings in central Europe. Luther had separated himself from the Peasants' War, but his followers lost numbers as the writings of Johann Faber became more convincing.
Faber would go on to revitalize the Church in his new method of openly discussing theology. Ideals from Lutheranism such as the free reading of the Bible were taken and adapted toward a more unified Church standing. While indulgences would fall out of fashion, the Church would continue its nearly unquestioned position as guide of Christendom accepting petitions and minor reforms. Considered by many the instigator of what perilous times may have come, humanist Desiderius Erasmus was gradually eroded from the collective mind and replaced with Faber's sense of condemnation for heretics as outlined in his Malleus Haereticorum.
Faber was also instrumental in organizing the New Crusade against the Turks in the late 1520s, where his delegation to England convinced Henry VIII that time and prayer was needed for a male heir, proving correct in the birth of Henry IX in 1533, though at the cost of his beloved wife Catherine's life.
In 2010, on this day senior executives of iRobot, Inc. joined US President John S. McCain on the White House Lawn to showcase the latest PackBot model which had finally brought Osama Bin Laden to justice. Having exhausted the supply of friendly Af-Pak allies on the border zone, it was both expedient and also fitting that American technological prowess had finally located the robe-wearing, cave-dwelling head of al-qaeda.
The Gates of HellIn fact unmanned vehicles had located Bin Laden on numerous occasions in 2000-2001 as he shuttled between training camps in Afghanistan. Trouble was, that the predator drones were at that time unarmed and therefore the US military was unable to seize the opportunity to strike. "I will look you in the eye and promise you that I will get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice"Shortly after he fled to Bora-Bora, Afghan allies were used to scout down caves. And when America ran out of willing scouts, robotic technology took their place.
Bin Laden now faced an extended period of captivity in enemy hands. Which ironically was a fate that had befallen McCain himself when his A-4E Skyhawk was shot down by a missile over Hanoi on October 26th 1967.
The very few peace doves in the administration would now argue that it was time to close the book on Afghanistan, by offering the Taliban a power-share in government subject only to a moratorium on ground operations.
In 1820, the deposed former King George III of England dies at Windsor Castle.
by Eric LippsHis son, George IV, has been ruling since the success of the Whig Revolution of 1796, when a cabal led by Edmund Burke, Charles James Fox and the younger William Pitt forced George III to abdicate. The royal powers and prerogatives of the younger George have been largely usurped by Parliament, which is determined to avoid a repetition of what it considers the disastrous reign of his father. King George has never been permitted to forget that he owes his position to Parliament and that Parliament can, if it chooses, depose him as it did his father. That knowledge has made him a diffident ruler.
However, conservatives have begun scheming for a restoration of the absolute monarchy of pre-revolutionary times. Believing that parliamentary supremacy has encouraged what they perceive as the growing "impudence" of the American colonies, where revolutionary sentiment is still being fanned by such figures as the exiled Thomas Jefferson, now living in Paris, they are plotting to depose Charles IV and install a monarch of their own choice in a "Tory counter-revolution". Moreover, they believe that George IV's weakness has hampered Britain in its dealings with Napoleon, whose French Empire, largely unopposed by Britain, has become the pre-eminent power on the Continent and is working to detach the largely French-speaking province of Quebec from British-ruled Canada.
Prominent among the conspirators are a number of influential proponents of a Stuart restoration. Their choice to replace Charles IV is Charles Edward Stuart (pictured), illegitimate son of Charlotte Stuart (herself the illegitimate daughter of the previous Charles Edward Stuart, known as "Bonnie Prince Charlie" to his partisans) and Ferdinand de Rohan, Archbishop of Bordeaux and Cambrai. Now thirty-five years old, the prince is seen as a legitimate heir on the basis of claims that Charlotte herself had been acknowledged by her father.
Ultimately, however, the plot will come to nothing, and the "bastard prince Charlie" - as detractors quickly name him - will leave England in 1822 for the American colonies, taking up residence in Philadelphia under the assumed name of Charles de Roehenstart, a pseudonym derived from "de Rohan" and "Stuart". He will provide financial backing for the construction of the earliest railroad in America, which opens for passenger service in June 1831. In 1854, now a very wealthy man, he will return to Scotland, where he will die, on October 28 of that year, in a carriage accident.
In 1820, King George III of England dies at Windsor Castle.
His son George, Prince of Wales, who has been serving as the de facto monarch for the past ten years, will be crowned King George IV. The succession will be greeted with a sense of relief throughout the British Empire, for the old king had been ill for a decade, during which Prince George had served as regent.
|King George III|
And in the American colonies, the death of George III will be quietly celebrated, for many older Americans still remember with bitterness the exploitive economic measures he and his Parliament instituted beginning in the 1750s, which had led to the unsuccessful colonial revolt of the mid-1770s, and the repression which had followed the rebellion. The jackbooted, red-uniformed 'Order Police' established in the colonies after the uprising are still a feared and hated presence there, and it is quietly hoped that the new king may withdraw them.
On this day in 1967, heavy rains forced the postponement of NASA's Apollo 1 test mission.
The postponement turned out to be a fortunate one for Apollo 1's crew; a routine inspection of the capsule the next morning revealed defects in the Apollo 1 command module's electrical systems that could have potentially started an onboard fire and killed her crew.
In 1963, the Senate convenes to take up the question of impeaching President Kennedy for his 'illegal' use of federal troops in the South during the anti-integration violence of October 1962. Media coverage since the dual House votes authorizing impeachment of Kennedy and Chief Justice Earl Warren has been highly sensationalistic and has divided sharply along ideological and regional lines, with most coverage in the states south of the Mason-Dixon line favorable to impeachment and most in the North against it.
The decision to put the President's trial first represents a tactical victory for opponents of his and Warren's impeachment. They hope that if Kennedy is acquitted, as they expect will probably happen, the trial of Warren will seem pointless and may even be dropped. Even if that does not happen, backers of Kennedy and Warren expect JFK's acquittal to weaken the hand of Senate conservatives enough to ensure that Warren, too, is acquitted.
There is an air of crisis on both sides, a sense that the events of the next few weeks may be pivotal in the history of the United States.
Kurt Weimer commissions young lieutenant Adolf Hitler
as a general of the German Army.
In 1980, the Republican presidential candidates face off in their first debate, in New Hampshire. Originally sponsored by the Nashua Telegraph newspaper as a two-man debate between leading contenders Ronald Reagan and George Bush, the debate almost does not happen after the Federal Election Commission issues a surprise ruling that newspaper sponsorship will amount to an illegal campaign contribution. Following the ruling, Reagan had offered to split the tab with Bush; when Bush refused, Reagan had paid for the event himself.
At the last moment, the Reagan campaign decides to invite the other four candidates, without informing Bush. When the four unscheduled candidates arrive, moderator Jon Breen of the Telegraph refuses to change the debate's format to accommodate them, prompting Reagan to shout angrily, 'I'm paying for this microphone, Mr. Green!' - -getting he moderator's name wrong.
Eventually the other candidates agree to leave, and the two-man debate proceeds. According to polls taken just after the event, Reagan is perceived as having won.
Asked his opinion of the Republican debate by reporters, President Edward M. Kennedy observes, 'Of course Governor Reagan won. He paid for the microphone, after all.' Kennedy reminds his questioners that Reagan had actually paid the entire cost of the debate, leaving the impression that he had purchased the outcome as well.
In 1820, the madness of King George III came to an end when the rebel Duke of Wellington, Arthur Wellesley, deposed and executed him.
King Arthur II claimed to be descended from the King Arthur of legend, even going so far as to forge an Excalibur to wield at official occasions. Parliament was unwilling to give up as much power to him as he was demanding, and a new civil war broke out, ending Arthur's reign in 1823.
In 2005, Jeanna Best finds herself unusually attracted to her boss, Jack Armstrong. She hangs on his every word at work, and finds herself gazing longingly at him whenever he passes by. Which is unusual, as she had never had such feelings for him before. She tries to shake herself out of it, but can't. After work, she calls Dave Lange, who tells her that he has been having similar feelings towards several people. They think those people must be 'claws,' and this must be the result of the speech they heard from J. Burton Howell.
In 2001, the Soviet States of America began bombing runs of cities in the People's Republic of America, the breakaway states along the Pacific Northwest. The loss of civilian lives during these runs caused protests in both the S.S.A. and the P.R.A., but the tactic continued until the end of the war.
In 1918, when the ship they are traveling on docks on the American coast, Mikhail von Heflin and Velma Porter disembark and head to the nearest bank. The Baron wants to consult with a few friends who he knows from this time period, and his wife has no objections. Unknown to them both, they are tailed by Milo Cranston, who has an unusual curiosity about them.
In 1904, geneticists on earth, having surreptitiously gained a sample of DNA from the aliens coming from the Mlosh homeworld, discover that it is 70% similar to the DNA of the Mlosh on earth. They encode this on a probe and send it to the embassy ship to let them know that they are among Mlosh cousins, but not actual Mlosh themselves.
In 47,372 BCE, Swikolay and her companions reach the Arabian Sea. For a few hours, the Speaker's great-granddaughter is tempted to construct more boats, but her grandson's story of the trip that night around their campfire is enough to convince her to stay on land.
comic genius Arthur Miller hit paydirt again with his play All My Sons
, which opened to rave reviews and huge audiences on Broadway. A radio show based on the play followed, and it even became a hit television series that ran from 1954-1960.
In 1977, comic Freddie Prinze, battling overwhelming feelings of depression, checked himself into rehab. His inability to perform in his hit show Chico and the Man led to the show's canceling, which left him looking for work when he checked himself out. He embarked on his Sober tour in the summer, and the live album of his act in San Diego went multi-platinum and gave his career some much-needed resuscitation.
In 1958, puritan witch-hunters capture the demon Charles Starkweather ending a killing spree of 11 victims in Nebraska and Wyoming during a road trip with his under-age girlfriend Caril Ann Fugate.
more good fortune fell on author Edgar Allan Poe with the publication of his poem The Raven
. Poe, the adopted son of a Virginian millionaire, was the luckiest boy at his military academy, always winning at the illicit games he started, and never getting caught running them. With the publication of The Raven in the New York Evening Mirror, he began an unbroken streak of successful novels, story collections and poems.
In 1457, on this day the ill-fated usurper Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond was born in Pembroke Castle, Wales.
Henry Tudor BornAt Bosworth Field he attempted to win the throne on the field of battle, however Richard III managed to reach and kill him, but also died in the process.
Instead of forcing a decisive outcome the dynastic challenge from the House of Tudor triggered a succession crisis for the Yorkists. This was because Edward IV's children had been declared illegitimate and George Duke of Clarence's children were subject to his attainder. Meanwhile, other Yorkist claimants had the significant disadvantages of having both tenuous claims and insufficient experience.
Inevitably this uncertainty generated interest amongst the Scottish and French crowns. And in this vacuum Irish and Welsh ruling folks set about grab what local powers they could.
In 1770, the resignation of the Duke of Grafton, His Britannic Majesty King George III invited Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford to form a Government. Having emerged triumphant from the Seven Years War with the traditional enemy France soundly beaten, the British Empire looked set for global supremacy. Appearances proved deceptive as a decade of crisis began under Lord North's watch. From the edited original as posted by Jeff Provine on his excellent blog This Day in Alternate History.
By Ed & Jeff ProvineHis Tory Ministry was soon challenged by the Spanish seizure of the Falkland Islands on June 10 . Many felt that a diplomatic solution would have been possible, but North determined to wield his might, and war with Spain soon began. While an overseas colonial war went toward British favor, upkeep of the Navy proved very costly to an empire who had become nearly bankrupt over the Seven Years War only a short time before.
As the cost was colonial, North determined to raise more funds from the wealthy American colonies as the military might was protecting them as well. Still enraged by the Boston Massacre that in March of 1770, the Americans soon determined to declare independence. The colony of Georgia, close to Spanish Florida, was apprehensive about losing British defense, but the other colonies "strong-armed" it into the Continental Congress.
North's unpopularity caused disastrous showing of the Tory Party in the 1773 election, and he was forced into an unlikely alliance with the Whigs . Their minority government, detested by the King, was vulnerable to a vote of no confidence . Now overly cautious and fighting two wars, North's Redcoats were unable to exercise maximum force in America, and, to the embarrassment of the British military, the patriots held on to New York City.
Within a year, Great Britain was forced to acquiesce to American independence. The patriots soon developed huge unity problems of their own as the unlikely coalition of forces had come together so briefly. For a short while the former colonies operated under a weakened Articles of Confederation but this broke apart within a handful of years as Georgia continually called for aid against supposed Spanish attack. South Carolina was the first to abandon the United States over perceived threats of its institution of slavery, and the once-Union soon broke into several pieces. Resulting wars over westward territory (Virginia and New York had charters with overlapping land grants) in the 1780s crippled the young countries, and military assistance from European nations proved a thin guise for a new wave of colonialism.
In 1393, King Charles VI of France was killed when several dancers' costumes caught fire during a masquerade ball.
Charles the Mad Killed in Tragedy in the House of ValoisQueen Isabeau de Baviere had organised the party for the marriage of one of her ladies-in-waiting. The King and five other Lords had dressed as wild men. One other lord approached them with a lighted torch and soon some of the men caught fire.
Since he had no living heir, the throne passed to his brother Louis Duke of Orleans.
In 1547, after serving as Holy Roman Emperor for almost thirty years, Henry Tudor died at the Palace of Whitehall. He was fifty-five years old.
Death of Henry Tudor, Holy Roman EmperorAfter the death of Archduke of Austria, King of the Romans, and Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I in January of 1519, many of his titles went directly by inheritance to his Habsburg grandson Charles V. The title emperor, however, would be given by decision of the seven elector-princes of the Germans, Albert of Mainz; Richard von Greiffenklau zu Vollrads of Trier; Hermann of Wied of Cologne; Frederick III of Saxony; Joachim I of Brandenburg; Louis V, Elector Palatine; and Louis II Jagiellon, King of Bohemia. Charles was most obvious choice as brother-in-law to Louis of Bohemia, but others were nervous about too much power being placed in one man's hands. Along with his grandfather's titles, Charles had also recently inherited the title "King of Spain", which he ruled alongside his mother, Joanna the Mad of Castile.
Francis I of France also wished to hold the powerful title, rejoining lands that had all once been Carolingian. Francis and Charles were bitter rivals since a French victory at the Battle of Marignano the year before brought the twenty-one-year-old Francis to the forefront of European politics. The two began a bribing war for votes, which made some electors all the more nervous. Ideally, a German would be emperor, which was suggested to Fredrick of Saxony, but he refused. Another possibility for the election was Henry VIII of England, but he did not have nearly the money or influence to compete with the Bourbons of France and all the holdings of the Habsburgs. The decision seemed to settle toward Charles until Cardinal Thomas Woolsey, the Lord Chancellor who had conducted matters of state for the young Henry, presented in secret a new plan: Francis use his influence to support Henry's election. Francis, though disappointed that he would not win the title, was at least satisfied that Charles would be deprived of it. The electors were amiable toward an English king (since at least they could relate the language to German) and were more comfortable with a less overwhelming force. The election of Henry was announced to the shock of Europe and instant dismay of Habsburg-supporters.
In 1520, Francis and Henry met in a garish display at the Camp du Drap d'Or ("Field of the Cloth of Gold") in northern France as Henry began a tour of his new lands. Wolsey orchestrated this meeting as well, but it proved ineffectual as, despite Francis' generosity, Henry declined forging an alliance. Wolsey, who was quietly campaigning for himself as pope, also organized a meeting with Charles while in Germany, but this meeting also came to no avail. Instead, Europe was in a tense peace as Henry threatened to attack whoever began a war.
Meanwhile, Henry focused on the problems of the Reformation beginning in his new empire. Reacting to the sale of indulgences as part of the funding for construction on St. Peter's Basilica, Augustinian friar Martin Luther had posted Ninety-Five Theses critiquing the Catholic Church. During the latter part of Henry's tour in 1521, he heard Luther's case at Worms. In the end, and to the frustration of Pope Leo X, Henry determined to appease his subjects and declared the matter religious debate and did not seek any punishment for him. The support for Luther won over the respect of disgruntled knights in the Rhineland who were nervous of new money but reaffirmed by Henry out of his fanaticism for jousting. The knights' loyalty proved key to Henry's defeat of the German Peasants' Uprising a few years later.
Despite his great realms, Henry struggled to produce an heir. His wife, Catherine of Aragon, six years his senior, had not had a pregnancy since the birth of their daughter Mary. Henry had become fascinated with one of Catherine's maidens, Anne Boleyn. Anne refused to become a mistress and replied that she could only meet Henry's advances if she were queen. Henry asked Pope Clement VII for an annulment of his marriage as Catherine had earlier been married to his brother Arthur, but the pope declined. After the debate dragged for years, Henry decided to break with Rome as the Swedes has had done, name himself Supreme Head of the Church of England in 1533, and bring about his marriage to Anne.
This led to the question of what to do with his holdings in the Holy Roman Empire. Catholic regions saw Henry as an adulterer, but the Protestants saw a chance for freedom from Rome. When Henry dissolved the monasteries of England and seized their valuables, Charles took a stand as defender of Catholicism and invaded the Holy Roman Empire to seize the title he long believed to have been stolen. Henry counterattacked with Swedish assistance, and the war spilled across the Alps as Italian states saw a chance to rebel. Germany served as the principal battleground with towns razed and re-razed as Protestant and Catholic armies carried on campaigns. France attempted to remain neutral as internal strife with the Huguenots grew up, and eventually Francis I determined a policy of religious freedom to maintain his allies. The war threatened to expand further with an unprecedented alliance with Suleiman the Magnificent of the Ottoman Empire who had previously besieged Vienna and threatened Hungary, and Charles knew when to capitulate and agreed to a treaty.
Upon the death of Henry in 1547, the electors met again and, thanks to Henry's urgings, named his son Edward VI of England as the new, ten-year-old emperor. Edward proved a great mover in Protestantism, but he was sickly, dying in 1553. His half-sister Mary ascended the throne of England; the electors, however, could not have a female emperor and instead chose Henry II of France, whose consort Catherine de Medici had great influence and policies of religious tolerance were a healthy compromise between electors optioning Protestant King Christian of Denmark or staunchly Catholic Habsburg Ferdinand I. Bourbons continued to be Holy Roman Emperors until 1685 when Louis XIV worked to affirm his autocracy by promoting Catholicism as the single state religion. Many Protestants fled to Germany, but when Louis began to enact strict religious rule in the Empire as well, the electors refused and stripped him of his title. The Franco-German War brought about a liberated Germany at the expense of France. The electors named Frederick, King in Prussia, as emperor; Augustus II of Saxony, King of Poland, also stood had allegiances outside of Germany, and the time had come for German self-rule. United Germany became a powerful central figure in Europe, leading modernization and industrialization through the next two centuries.
In 1965, on this day Maxime Weygand hero of the Battle of France died in Paris aged ninety-eight.
General Weygand passes awayHe was appointed Général d'armée before the outbreak of war. Because in February 1940 , Édouard Daladier resigned as Prime Minister in France and was replaced with Paul Reynaud who immediately substituted Maurice Gamelin with Weygand. It was fortunate for the Western allies because Weygand returned from Syria just in time to launch the crucial counter attacks that saved France.
Weygand refused the Breda variant and kept the French 7th Army in reserve. The 7th Army under Girard screened the breech long enough to get French 1st, BEF and the Belgians out of the bag. Also Weygand for the June campaign found the solution to the panzer blitz - going back to WW1 style wired in battalion standpoints.
The Germans did get field victories like the Michael 1918 campaign but never quite managed to break the line. And they ran out of time. By summer the West was producing more planes and tanks than Hitler and succeeded in winning the battle of attrition for the balance of the year. Hitler's gamble had failed. A full essay France 1940 by Scott Palter on this scenario is available at Changing the Times.
In 1909, United States troops returned to their barracks at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base having been deployed across the islands of Cuba since the end of armed hostilities in the Spanish-American War thirteen years before. An installment from the 49th State thread.
The 49th State by Eric LippsIgnominiously defeated, Spain was forced to relinquish control of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippine Islands to the United States.
Debate over what to do with America's new possessions was fierce. In the case of Cuba in particular, there had been considerable sentiment in favour of independence prior to the outbreak of war, when lurid articles regarding the real and alleged brutalities of the Spanish colonial regime appeared regularly in the newspapers of media baron William Randolph Hearst. Once Cuba passed into U.S. hands, however, ardour for freeing it cooled considerably. Businessmen liked the cheap sugar and other products Cuba provided, while naval officers saw it as an ideal site for bases.
The colonialist faction would ultimately triumph. In formal peace traty, signed in Paris on December 10, 1898, no mention is made of independence for Cuba. The following year, by act of Congress, the possessions taken from Spain will be declared U.S. territories.
On January 1, 1959, Cuba will become the 49th U.S. state. That same year, Hawaii, also annexed in 1898, will become the 50th; Alaska will formally become the 51st state the following year, and in 1965, the Philippines will become the 52nd. In 1970, Puerto Rico will at last become the 53rd U.S. state. Of the territories taken from Spain in 1898, only Guam will not have become a state by the turn of the century, chiefly due to its small population.
In 1964, the youthful and charismatic Lieut. Gov. Fidel Castro of Cuba is elected to the U.S. Senate. Castro, a former law student who entered politics in the 1950s, will be an impassioned voice for America's growing Spanish-speaking populace, and will be one of the sponsors of the Senate resolution formally granting statehood to the Philippines.
In the Senate, Castro will start out as a solidly moderate Democrat who will initially support the war in Vietnam, but will grow disillusioned, finally announcing his outright opposition in 1969. His change of heart will anger many conservatives in his home state, sparking a challenge from Republican Rep. Fulgencio Batista, a decorated Korean War veteran, in 1970. Sen. Castro will survive, however, and in his new incarnation as foreign-policy liberal will oppose President Charlton Heston's contra war against the left-wing government of Ernesto 'Che' Guevara in Bolivia in the 1980s.
In 2000, in a hotly-contested election, Democratic nominee Fidel Castro will narrowly defeat former Texas governor George W. Bush to win the U.S. presidency, becoming the first native Spanish-speaker to hold that office.
In 1457, Henry Tudor, pretender to the throne of Richard III, was born in Pembroke, Wales.
Henry Tudor Born
by Robbie TaylorRaised in France, young Earl Henry of Richmond pressed his claim to the English throne with a foreign army, cutting off support from the people.
Richard III, a popular king who had dealt justly with noble and commoner alike, took advantage of his support among the people to crush Henry at the battle of Bosworth Field, ending the famed War of the Roses between the Yorkist and Lancastrian branches of the Plantaganet line.
In 1993, the man who had acted as go-between for Oarsman and Goatherd when Oarsman recruited Goatherd to the Wilson assassination plot died in Paris after a seven-year battle with cancer.
Necessary Evil Death of the Go-BetweenWhat distinguished this MI-6 agent, formerly known to his co-conspirators as "Tinkerer", from his fellow plotters was not only that he had died of natural causes but also that he had stayed in Britain for years after the assassination, leaving the country only when a personal business venture collapsed. Settling in France under an alias, Tinkerer's proficiency with disguises enabled him to fool his neighbors-- not to mention Interpol --to the point where one day he even shared lunch with one of the very Scotland Yard detectives sent to France and other parts of continental Europe to investigate his ties to Oarsman and his escape from Britain.
Not until 2001, when an ITV news researcher uncovered previously lost letters between Oarsman and Tinkerer, did anyone even begin to suspect the truth about Tinkerer's departure to France. And even then much of his role in the assassination conspiracy remained hidden from the public eye; only after the Blair government's 2004-05 inquiry into Wilson's murder was the full story of Tinkerer's actions finally brought to light.
In 1902, on this day the Carnegie Institution for Science (in Man) was founded.
Carnegie Institution for Science (in Man) FoundedFamed industrialist Andrew Carnegie founded many institutions to promote education, art, free libraries, and technological development. Most famed would be his Institute for Science in Washington, D.C., to which he would give, along with $10,000,000 in registered bonds yielding five percent interest per year, the instruction, "that the objects in the corporation shall be to encourage in the broadest and most liberal manner investigation, research, and discovery, and the application of knowledge to the improvement of man".
The twenty-four trustees on the board would determine toward what the investigation and research would be, and, soon after the endowment, an argument broke out over the Scotsman's choice of the word "man". First President Daniel Coit Gilman (later to be founder of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine) held that the word should be taken literally to mean the betterment of the human body. Others thought more figuratively, expecting the institutional grants to go toward more widespread sciences such as astronomy and materials science. It was rumored that Gilman demanded those who disagree ask Carnegie for a clarification, which no one did for fear it would insult his accent or make them look foolish. Whatever the reality, Gilman eventually won the argument, and the dedicated sciences toward the improvement of humans began.
In their first years, the Institute worked with research in determining the proper activity and diet of individuals. Healthy consumption of eggs and milk in prisons outlined the need for what would become known as Vitamin D as well as the general knowledge of vegetables and fruits opposing rich foods, leading to problems such as diabetes and gout. They duplicated much of the research of Dutch scientist Christiaan Eijkman performed in the 1880s on animals and began a mutually beneficial discourse with British doctor Frederick Hopkins. Building from the research, the Institute helped to design numerous meal programs for schools and workers across the nation, along with publishing articles to help families live their healthiest. Production of pills and oils containing the necessary vitamins and minerals
National health improved overall with statistical visits to doctors much decreased. In 1907, Carnegie gave the Institute an additional $2,000,000 to keep up the good work, and they launched into further programs. Over the course of the next decades, the Institute would merge with the Eugenics Record Office of New York and employ numerous anthropologists in determining how to cure hereditary disease. The growth of science in the Netherlands and Nazi Germany found another great connection for human improvement, and the Institute worked diligently to assist in the development of testosterone for medical use. In 1944, with the discovery of the source of much of the experimental date in concentration camps, the Institute fell into a public relations nightmare. President Margaret Sanger (who also served as chairperson of the Birth Control Council of America) handled the situation carefully, denouncing Nazi extremes while upholding what might be done for future generations regardless of race.
Since World War II, the Institute has been instrumental in generating the modern cocktail of vitamins, steroids, physical education, and dietary control that has benefitted man. While the average male height in 1900 was approximately 5'8", it is today 6'3", with the typical time of running a mile at around five and a half minutes. The Institute continues many projects in research for the future, working to increase longevity toward a lifespan of 200 years and to cure cancers and genetic weaknesses through viral therapies. Of course, with such a surge of improved humans, population control has become an integral matter, and sterilization toxins are known to be placed in water-systems worldwide with reversal treatments available primarily to those in the First World.
In 2012, on this day shocking new evidence that Barack Obama was born in Kenya, combined with ongoing difficulties in withdrawing US forces from Afghanistan contributed to Stan McChrystal's unexpectedly strong showing in the South Carolina Democratic primary, an unexpected outcome which opened the door to a senior position in the President's second term.
Natural Born CitizenThe General had famously quit the US military after being fired by Obama for sharing his private thoughts with a reporter from Rolling Stone Magazine. Recalled to Washington, McChrystal had refused to apologise for saying what he thought, a candid approach which was central to his Presidential campaign.
The emphasis that he was a natural born American re-opened the controversial claim that Obama was born in Kenya, which if proven would prevent his re-election under the Article II "natural born Citizen" provision and also the Fourteenth Amendment citizenship clause of the US Constitution. The issue was first raised during a telephonic interview on October 12, 2008 when Obama's step-grandmother, Sarah Obama told Bishop McRae that she was present to witness Obama's birth in Kenya
In 814, the European ruler known as Charlemagne, or "Charles the Great", died, leaving his only surviving son, Louis, known as Louis the Pious, Emperor of the reunited Roman Empire.
The Death of Charlemagne by Eric LippsCharlemagne had secured control of the Western Empire through a series of wars with assorted tribal nations and with his brother Carloman, who had been granted the central part of the dominions of their father, Pepin the Short. His claim to the Eastern throne was gained through marriage to the Byzantine Empress Irene. This union was opposed by many Eastern patricians, and in 802 Irene's finance minister Nikephoros had led an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow Irene and take the throne of Constantinople for himself. The defeated Nikephoros was beheaded and his severed head prominently displayed on a pike before the imperial palace.
The reunion of the Empire would be maintained by Louis and his heirs, but only at the cost of tremendous turmoil. Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodox Christianity had diverged significantly in ritual and belief, and each, of course, had its own supreme pontiff. The Orthodox were not willing to abandon their patriarchate and swear allegiance to Pope Leo III and his successors, and their resistance to religious reunification led to a series of religious civil wars which lasted well into the tenth century.
The Christian wars might have been worse had it not been for the continuing threat from the "Saracens," as Muslims were then known. In Charlemagne's day, the Moors had controlled much of the Mediterranean, and although they had been driven from their holdings in Spain, they remained a potent adversary. It was fear of Muslim invaders which would finally lead to the Synod of Aachen in 944 at which the Eastern and Western forms of Christianity were officially reconciled. That reconciliation allowed the Orthodox to maintain their distinctive liturgy and recognized the Eastern patriarchate as legitimate, though subject to Rome: the patriarch was granted the title of "Archbishop-Cardinal of the East".
Thus unified, the Christian world turned its attention to its longtime common foe, launching a series of "crusades"--wars for the Cross--beginning in 1001. The result of the first of those wars was the seizure, in 1006, of Jerusalem, where a Christian kingdom would be established under John Prester. Other successes followed, and in 1116, the Caliphate of Baghdad would fall.
Islam would never recover. By the twenty-first century, it would be a remnant faith held largely in isolated regions such as the desolate Arabian Peninsula. But the fall of Islam would have unfortunate consequences for Christendom as well, and for the scattered Jewish people, who under the Caliphate had been recognized as "people of the Book" and, though relegated to inferior status as "dhimmi," protected from outright slaughter.
The Caliphate had ironically become a refuge for classical learning during Europe's religious wars, and its fall was accompanied by a wave of destruction directed against "pagan" books and scholars. Today, Persia, once the center of Islamic culture, is a Christian backwater to which the railroad has not yet come, let alone such innovations as electric lighting and the steam automobile, which have so transformed Europe and Columbia in the past thirty years.
As for the Jews, they were to endure centuries of persecution which would all but exterminate their faith in Europe. Large Jewish communities would remain only in Asia and Africa, to which some Jews managed to flee in the ninth and tenth centuries. Today, of course, growing numbers are to be found in Christendom, where well-meaning folk have pressed for them to be permitted such liberties as property ownership.
In 1986, President Gary Hart delivers his State of the Union address. He had hoped to be able to refer in his speech to a successful launch of the space shuttle Challenger carrying into orbit Christa McAuliffe, the New Hampshire social studies teacher chosen to be the first civilian to fly aboard the shuttle and already dubbed the "teacher in space" by the media.
Teacher in Space by Eric LippsHowever, engineers at NASA contractor Morton Thiokol warned that earlier fixes to the spacecraft's O-ring seals might not be enough to prevent a catastrophic failure in the unusually cold weather of the scheduled launch date, and as a result, the planned liftoff has been delayed.
The shuttle's continuing unreliability, which has repeatedly led to mission postponements, has become a sore point between the Hart administration and Congress on the one side and NASA on the other. The President is considering ordering NASA to begin work on a new generation of orbiter designed from the beginning to avoid the problems encountered with the existing shuttle fleet. None of this registers with Hart's growing chorus of critics, who will quickly brand the delayed launch of this much-ballyhooed mission "one more bungle on the part of an incompetent administration".
This article is set in the No Chappaquiddick timeline in which explores the consequences of an EMK Presidency 1977-1985.
On this day in 1945, the remaining German troops in Potsdam surrendered to the Allies.
On this day in 1973, the Super Bowl champion Dallas Cowboys visited the White House as guests of President Richard Nixon, who was then just starting his second term.
In 2005, Steve Axelrod of the Save Earth group is unable to decipher the J. Burton Howell speech that Jeanna Best and Dave Lange recorded. 'My guess is, he was transmitting something during these parts of the speech,' he tells the pair. 'Did either of you feel anything weird during the speech?' They say they didn't but promise to watch themselves over the next few days.
In 1918, a couple of hotheaded men make the mistake of attacking Velma Porter as she walks the deck of the ship taking her and her husband, Mikhail von Heflin, to mainland America. She dispatches them with ease, then goes back to her cabin. Milo Cranston, who has been watching the couple, makes note of her unusual strength.
In 1904, Ambassador Li'Kanto'Mk received a tour of the the capitol city for the Mlosh homeworld. The first thing that he noticed about the city was the utter lack of Mlosh resembling his kind. When he remarked on this to his guides, they replied, 'Our Council will speak to you of that. There is no need to ask any more questions.' His unease increased as he discerned the martial quality of life on the homeworld.
In 1000 Post-Creation, a New Eden flowers, with angels and humans settling down to live in the earthly paradise. The angels lavish attention on the humans, since the angels cannot have descendants without them, and soon Eve is with child again, as are two of the female angels. Lucifer is still filled with a vague sense of unease, but his gloom cannot overshadow the joy of New Eden.
In 12,475 BCE, a bad dream caused Clau of the tribe of Ar'Ya to turn his face away from the west whenever he traveled. This superstition led his people from the Caucasus to the Asian coast and across the northern wastes into the lands of wheat and cattle, where they led a primitive existence until the arrival of Polynesian sailors around 1500 CE.
19-year old salesman Charles Starkweather
eloped with his 14-year old sweetheart, Caril Ann Fugate. Although Miss Fugate was too young to legally wed, they lied about her age at a wedding chapel in Las Vegas, and the Starkweathers started their life together in Sin City. Removed from their Nebraska home, the Starkweathers flourished, especially after they hit a slot payoff of $100,000 and used it to start up a dry-cleaning business that has chains across the country today.
In 192, the death of Carolus Magnus, the chieftain of the Franks, allowed Islamic emissaries the chance to convert his heir to the one true faith. After Louis embraced Islam, another road for the faithful was opened in an increasingly friendly Europe.
In 1945, during World War II supplies begin to reach the Republic of China over the newly reopened Burma Road just in the nick of time to save Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek from encircling Communist forces led by Mao Tse-Tung.
General John Burgoyne's plan to isolate New England
with troops drawn from the Canadian theatre of war effectively shuts down the rebel movement there; unfortunately for the British, it relieves pressure on the Canadian nationalists, and gives them a chance to recruit and grow. Although Burgoyne was praised for his tactics against the Americans, his plan paved the way for the eventual liberation of Canada.
In 1859, on this day Kaiserreich usurper Friedrich Wilhelm Viktor Albert Hohenzollern was born in the Crown Prince's Palace, Berlin, Prussia.
Wilhelm Hohenzollern fails to usurp the Austrian-led Empire of the GermansWhen he was only twelve years old his grandfather's armies lost the Battle of Koniggratz gifting the overlordship of the Germans to the Habsburg family. And so seventeen years later when his father died he ascended to the throne of Prussia, an East German mini-state in the Austrian Empire.
Where Otto von Bismarck had failed by force, he sought to win by guile. An erratic ruler to say the very least, he personified in a single character the best tradition of Prussian militarism with the whimsical and erratic judgement of a child. Nevertheless, his various intrigues and machinations were largely harmless. That was until the summer of 1914 when Lutheran portions of Germany began chafing at being part of a Catholic confessional state. Then Franz Ferdinand Habsburg the heir to the Austrian throne was murdered on a visit to Hamburg, and the assassins were traced back to their puppet masters in Berlin.
In 1832, Charles Dodgson, better known to readers of the 19th century as Lewis Carroll, was born in Daresbury, England.
"His vorpal blade went snicker-snack"His novels Alice In Wonderland and Alice Through The Looking Glass delighted children in his century until it was revealed that his prose held a confession to the most heinous crimes of the century; Dodgson, to the horror of parents across the world, was also the madman known as "Jack the Ripper".
His first victim was found in the Whitechapel area of London. Mary Ann Nichols, who had turned to a life of prostitution in her youth, was found cut to pieces on Buck's Row.
Her murder was followed by several others, and then the killings stopped for several years. The murders remained unsolved for many years until the killer published, of all things, a children's book in which he wrote a cryptic confession of his dark deeds.
Thomas Wyndham, a detective at Scotland Yard with a fondness for puzzles and cryptograms, was reading the edition of "Alice In Wonderland" known as Nursery Alice to his daughter when a passage on the page seemed to leap out at him; he rearranged the words and it turned into a confession of ominous portent.
He and a colleague paid a visit to author Charles Dodgson, and after hours of questioning, the author broke down and confessed everything, also implicating his friend, Thomas Bayne, a colleague from Oxford. The sensational capture of the elusive Jacks stunned the world of children's literature, and Dodgson's work was pulled from publication; it is read today only by criminal pathologists seeking insight into the twisted mind of this terrible murderer.
In 1939, to challenge the naval power of the United Kingdom the Fuehrer Adolf Hitler ordered the re-equipment and expansion of the Nazi German Navy.
Flugzeugträger Part 4:
Plan ZLike all of the unfortunate implementors of Hitler's madcap plans, it soon became apparent to its architect Grand Admiral Erich Raeder that "Plan Z" was hopelessly unachievable because there was far too much competition for common internal resource to build a Kriegsmarine of ten battleships, four aircraft carriers, three battlecruisers, three old panzerschiffe, twelve new panzerschiffe, five heavy cruisers, thirty-sx light cruisers M Class, twenty-four light cruisers typ spähkreuzer, sixty-eight destroyers, ninety torpedo boats and two hundred forty-night U-boats by 1945. And the political infighting was further complicated by intra-service rivalry; as usual Goëring was throwing a spanner in the works by insisting that all aviation assets should belong to the Luftwaffe.
To overcome this comand confusion, Raeder played directly to the Fuehrer's military fantasies, floating a number of implausible mission plans including an attack on the US Atlantic Fleet moored at Norfolk, Virginia. The main result of this gambit was a significant reduction in the number of U-boats. And instead of ambitiously building a purpose-built aircraft carriers from the keel up, the Admiral took the more realistic judgement to convert pre-dreadnoughts by building landing capability on the hull. This expedience was necessary in the game of catch-up, being precisely how the Royal Navy had built their first carriers HMS Eagle and HMS Furious. Because Raeder simply did not have the luxury of time, inside of six months war would break-out and he could not follow in the slow considered steps of a programme launched by the Royal Navy over fifteen years before.
This post shares some commonality with the sister articles in the Flugzeugträger thread.
In 1859, on this day Friedrich Wilhelm Viktor Albrecht Hohenzollern the first grandchild of Queen Victoria I and Prince Albert was born in the Crown Princes Palace, Berlin. Despite the life threatening complications of a breech delivery, his English doctors ensured that he survived and was born without injury apart from a prominent scar on his right arm.
This post is an article from the Good Old Willie thread.
Good Old Willie #3At the age of two he became the second in the line of succession to Prussia. But a decade later, the Hohenzollerns were forced to flee into exile. As the President of the North German Confederation, his grandfather Wilhem attempted unsuccessfully to create a unified Germany. The House of Hohenzollern dreamt of a state which would have been little more than a Prussian-dominated German Empire, but that ephemeral miltaristic vision was swept away on the battlefields of Sedan and Metz by the French Armies of Napoleon III.
By the time that Wilhem I passed away at the grand old age of ninety, France was fast assuming the mastery of continental europe. Tragically, his son (and the younger Wilhlem's father) Fredrick died only ninety-nine days later. However that historical accident presented the House of Hanover with an unexpected opportunity.
Because it allowed Queen Victoria I to modify the line of succession to permit the eldest child of either sex to ascend to the crown. By this time, the Hanovers were fairly confident that any popular resistance to Frederick was dissipated by the twenty-nine year old Wilhelm. He had after all lived in Britain since the age of twelve and was for all intents and purposes an Englishman. Moreover, he managed to season the hyper-masculine military culture of Prussia with a distinctly English flavour. For example, he cut a dashing figure at the Cowes Regatta where his masterful sailing performances had won the hearts and minds across the whole class system. Within a dozen years, he would be piloting the ship of state as she entered troubled waters.
He would reign as the King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death on 4 June 1941.
In 2008, on this day smooth-talking Captain Willard ("Mitt") Romney closed-out the final duty of his "twenty" by organizing the security detail for the Republican Presidential Debate on the Moon.
Lunar Liberty Part 1With the population of the base approaching the magic thirteen thousand target required for a consideration of Statehood, the Lunar Primary had initially focused on the political issue of recognition. But the financial crisis had forced an explosive new item onto the agenda, whether the whole mission was economically viable (or not).
Budget cuts threatened to mothball the base. Inconveniently soon afterwards the discovery was made of an artifact (the so-called "alien statue of liberty"). As he travelled back to earth for the last time, Mitt chuckled that it was Capricorn One all over again.
This post is an article from the Lunar Liberty thread.
In 447, on this day the Walls of Constantinople were severely damaged by an earthquake, destroying large parts of the wall, including 57 towers.
Constantinople, imperial city of the HunsDefenceless, the city would eventually fall to the Hunnic King Buda (aka Bleda). That unlikely outcome was the result of an earlier perverse act of fate, when his was saved by the timely intervention of his companion, the Moorish dwarf Zerco.
A hot dispute had arisen on a hunting trip on the banks of the Danube River where the monarch had sanctimonously announced his plans to reconsecrate the new town of Sicambria in his own name to "Budapest" as the capital of the Hunnic Empire. Because their uncle Rugila had bequeathed them joint rulership of the united Hunnic tribes, this was too much for his younger brother Attilla and the sibling rivalry immediately developed into a vicious fight to the death. Attilla attacked first, and would surely have triumphed, if not for the actions of Zerco, underestimated as a mascot dressed up in armour for amusement. Because as the dispute had began to escalate, Zerco had quickly made his own calculations, figuring that should Attilla prevail, then he himself would most likely be spending the night on the bed of the Danube River alongside his dead master.
Of course he had watched the resentment reach boiling point ever since the failed campaign in the East. And now Buda made his own calculation, realizing that his own rage was driven by the frustraton of Sicambria was a commiseration prize. The result was that Buda dumped the dead body of his brother into the river and mustered the army. Marching east, they set about installing Constantinople as the glittering capital of their Hunnic Empire.
Unfortunately for their recent opponents, a recent earthquake had breached the previously impregnable walls of the city. The prefect Constantinus had actually started their reconstruction, but because he was not expecting the Huns to return so quickly, he was forced to rely upon Isaurian troops under the command of the magister militum per Orientem Zeno. The city fell, and the Huns finally had a capital city worthy of their vast empire.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.