It is March 1, 1932, .. and the nation is stunned to learn that Charles Lindbergh's infant son has been kidnapped.
An installment from the Happy Endings thread
Happy Endings Part 24
Lindy is Lucky AgainEveryone breathes sigh of relief when the child is returned unharmed, after the ransom is paid. He later grows up to be as skilled a pilot as his father .. and that is saying a great deal, since "Lucky Lindy" is well known for having flown non-stop across the Atlantic in 1927, at age 25.
After the kidnapping, he is more famous than ever .. and more in demand as a speaker on the future of air-plane flight. It will, he believes, include a larger role for air combat in wartime, and urges America to prepare for any conflict that may come. His warnings grow increasingly serious as Germany starts to re-arm.
In 1827, it was rather a chance meeting that brought the German professor Friedrich Eduard Beneke together with Rosmerta Howl from Carmarthen.
This post was written by Dirk Puehl the highly recommended author of #onthisday #history Google+ posts.
Beneke, Welsh WizardDirk Puehl writes - The former had just returned to Berlin after years of disfavour for speaking out against mighty Hegel, the latter visited the Prußian capital in the wake of "Pickwick" Fürst von Pückler-Muskau.
The Welsh adventureß was an infrequent guest in the famous Salon of Rahel Varnhagen where she and Beneke became acquainted during a soiree. A lengthy discussion together with the famous Romantic poet Ludwig Tieck ensued, with Beneke lecturing his position of metaphysics, Tieck adding the sense of wonder and magic while Rosmerta introduced the professor and the poet to Iolo Morganwg's theory of concentric rings of existence emerging from the old Celtic Otherworld, the Annwn, then a pet theory of the Welsh revival circles.
Whether the unfamiliar theory and ancient lore or the charms of Rosmerta Howl captivated Beneke's interest is open to debate. While Tieck perpetuated the meeting in his novel "The Scholar" ("Der Gelehrte"), Beneke began to study history, language and customs of the old Gauls and Britons with a vengeance. He studied Brythonic languages together with Friedrich Rückert who was equally captivated by the topic and began to estrange his Berlin students beyond anti-Hegelian positions with highly theoretical deliberations on other and spirit-worlds as well as metempsychosis.
Beneke finally lost his chair at the Berlin University of the Arts in 1832 and returned to Göttingen to earn a meagre living as lecturer, since the late 1830s as assistant of the Princeps mathematicorum Carl Friedfrich Gauß, he even published a paper on "Paraxial Approximation and the Wisdom of the Ancients" and was noted especially in students' anecdotes for sudden appearances and disappearances in and from improbable places.
Beneke was in correspondence with quite a few members of the Gwyneddigion Society on the inheritance of Iolo Morganwg who had died in 1826 as well as the whereabouts of Rosmerta Howl until he finally met with William Owen Pughe and others in London in 1835. How he made the journey from Göttingen to there with almost no means to speak of remains a mystery. The discußions followed up the topics of the surviving correspondence, about the Welsh fairies, the Tylwyth Teg, fairy paths, the Annwn and, of course, Rosmerta. He finally met her in Camarthen in 1836 and returned to Göttingen a year later after a prolonged but undocumented sojourn in the historical region of Brycheiniog in Southern Wales.
His unexpected reappearance in the German university town saw him not only obviously financially independent but in even more frequent meetings with Gauß without giving lectures anymore. Beneke resettled to a lonely manor in the nearby Harz mountain range where he continüd his studies in utmost privacy. He was rumoured to have been seen in various European towns and ancient locations from Spain, France and Bohemia and even Central Turkey to Scotland and Ireland until he finally disappeared on March 1st, 1854 on the island of Anglesey. His body was discovered in June 1856, floating in a Berlin Canal, without any obvious reasons for his death.
In 330 BC, on this day Alexander of Macedonians sent the main force of his army to Persepolis.
The Glory that is PersepolisBut on the Royal Road, they were intercepted by Persian King Bardiya's elite troops, an army battle-hardened by years of warfare conquering Indian kingdoms. The young conqueror was killed, enabling the Persians to turn their attention westward again.
In time, they would reconquer Egypt and briought back their old allies in Phoenicia for a successful invasion of Greece. After putting the Greeks under control, they pressed westward in the Mediterranean, taking the defeated Carthage as a protectorate and conquering the upstart Latins in their village called Rome.
Eventually the Persian Empire would spread from what the Greeks called the Pillars of Hercules (Gibraltar) to the nestled southeastern edge of the Himalayas. And Persepolis would become the capital of the modern world that it is today.
In 1244, Gruffydd ap Llywelyn Fawr fell from the Tower of London, where he had been held hostage by Henry the Third.
Gruffydd ap Llywelyn falls from the TowerThe next morning a Yeoman of the Guard found sheets hanging from his window and bloodstains on the ground below, Gruffydd had been too heavy for his improvised escape ladder.
Rumors soon spread. Some said that Gruffydd had died, others that he had been allowed to escape by King Henry to ferment a civil war against his half-brother Dafydd.
In fact Gruffydd had been badly injured in the fall (he would never regain the use of his left arm, and walked with a limp), but he was whisked away by men loyal to Daffyd and would publicly proclaim his loyalty in Daffyd's court several months later.
His relationship to his brother was difficult. Their father Llywelyn the Great had greatly expanded the old realm of Gwynedd and proclaimed the principality of Wales, but he had selected the younger brother Daffyd (the son of his new English wife Joan) to be his heir.
In exchange for peace and the acknowledgement of his claims by the English king Gruffydd had been given as a hostage to King John the First.
Gruffydd would spend many long years as a "guest" to the English King, while in Wales his half-brother was being groomed to take over from their father, In 1237 Llywelyn suffered a stroke and Daffyd ruled on his behalf, and when Llywelyn died three years later he formally became the ruler of the Gwynedd. Gruffyd was allowed to return to Wales, where he was held in captivity by his brother, to prevent him from making a claim to the Gwynedd.
But trouble was brewing on the horizon, the English King would not recognize Daffyd's claim outside the Gwynedd, and things came to a head in 1241. King Henry invaded Wales and forced Daffyd to accept a treaty that involved giving up his claims to the lands outside, and sending his half-brother to England as a hostage. Which is how Gruffydd came to be locked up in the Tower in 1244.
With his half-brother by his side and unrest brewing in the English half of Wales Daffyd formed an alliance with the other Welsh nobles and invaded the English lands. During 1245 he dealt King Henry several defeats, but in february 1246 he suddenly died.
Because Daffyd had left no heirs his older brother succeeded him, with one of his sons still held hostage by the English and the military campaign floundering because of the death of his half-brother Gruffyd agreed to negotiations. Because he was unwilling to yield the gains made by Daffyd hostilities soon broke out again.
In order to bolster his support Gruffyd proclaimed himself Prince of Wales the following year. He himself was was no commander, but he had the luck that his son Llywelyn was a great military leader and Henry suffered several defeats before finally agreeing to a treaty.
By the time of his death in 1257 Gruffyd had been acknowledge as Prince of Wales by all the Welsh nobles, if not the English King. He was succeeded by his younger son Llywelyn.
A new article by Marko BosscherHenry released Owain, who had been in English captivity all this time, in the hopes of fostering civil war. Despite his strong claims Owain found little support among the war-weary Welsh, and his small army was quickly routed. He was imprisoned by his brother and lived in captivity for most of the rest of his life.
In 1264 the Baron's Revolt broke out in England, Llywelyn saw an opportunity. Proffering his fealty to Henry he offered to send an army in his support. Henry reluctantly accepted and recognized the title of Prince of Wales. Although this plan seemed to backfire when the Barons scored several victories, in the end Henry won and his son Edward I would further strengthen the position of the Prince of Wales in exchange for soldiers to fight the Scots.
In 752 BC, the ancient experiment of building a new city upon the backs of outcasts came to an end when the allied armies of the Latins stormed Roma.
End of RomaLed by King Acron of the Caeninenses, the armies had joined upon the suggestion of fighting to end the city of Rome once and for all after its treachery at the festival of Neptune Equester. The enormous unified armies of the Latins crushed the Romans despite heavy losses with their king Romulus executed for crimes against womanhood.
It was an end to a tragic life. Romulus and his twin brother Remus had been born sons of the god Mars by the Vestal Virgin Rhea Silvia, daughter of Numitor, the deposed king of Alba Longa and descendant of the Trojan Aeneas. Amulius, who had deposed his brother Numitor, had Rhea executed and the boys exposed to ensure his place on the throne, but they were discovered by a she-wolf, who suckled them to health. They would then be found by shepherds, who would raise them to adulthood.
A new story by Jeff ProvineAs shepherds, they came into arguments with the shepherds of King Amulius, who captures Remus and discovers his identity. With the reality known, Romulus and Remus killed Amulius, restored their grandfather Numitor to the throne, and set off to make their own kingdom by building a city. The brothers argued almost immediately about which hill to build upon, and Romulus won via augury. As construction began upon the Palatine Hill, Remus criticized the work and, for final insult, jumped over the half-built wall. Romulus killed his brother and declared famously, "So perish every one that shall hereafter leap over my wall!"
When his city (named Roma after himself) was completed, Romulus selected the best one hundred men, naming them Patricians and creating a senate structure to aid him rule as fathers of the city. He organized the fighting men into his newly invented "legion" and depended more heavily on infantry than cavalry. The revolutionary city exploded in population, attracting exiles, criminals, runaways, ne'er-do-wells, and general vagrants. Most of these were males, and so the boomtown became grossly disproportionate with the sexes.
Taking Numitor's advice, Romulus decided to celebrate the festival of Neptune and invited the Latin people of the surrounding cities. Many came, particularly the Sabines. At Romulus' signal, the men of Rome pounced, carrying off as many virgins as they could - 683 according to ancient sources. Rather than sexual rape, the kidnapped women were invited to marry Roman husbands and granted shared property and civil rights in a city of free men. The women agreed to these progressive ideals, but the cities of their fathers rallied to take back their daughters. As they began to march, the Caeninenses held as spies detected the strength of the Roman army. Deciding to use cunning to deliver might, their king Acron called for a council with the other kings of the Antemnates, Crustumini, and the Sabines. Their unified army overwhelmed the Romans and decimated the city, punishing any woman who wept for her lost husband (and rights). Romulus, who had committed the sin of fratricide, was deserted by Mars and punished by Juno.
As per the ancient prophecy that the descendants of Aeneas would lead to a great nation, the truth came as Acron used the opportunity to create a permanent military confederation with the other cities. Unlike many of the Greek empires where dominant cities ruled over weaker ones and demanded tribute, the confederation was one of equals, usually only seen under the duress of war against a common enemy. The Italian Confederation would spread over the peninsula and create many colonies in the west while successfully defeating Greek attempts to colonize from the east.
Despite centuries of success, the Confederation would eventually be broken by the strength of the Carthaginian Empire, the embodiment of the curse of its ancient queen and abandoned lover of Aeneas, Dido. Carthage would go on to build a widespread merchant empire through Europe, the Mediterranean, and Africa until its own fall by invasion of the German Vandals. Even with its ultimate failure, the Italian ideals of confederation and equality would be a landmark looked back upon by political thinkers in the Enlightenment, serving as groundwork for breakaway Angle colonies of the New World (giving freedom to men but notably ignoring liberties of slaves and women).
In 1979, on this day 51.6% of the Scottish electorate voted YES to the post-legislative devolution referendum on the Scotland Act 1978 providing sufficient support for the creation of a devolved deliberative assembly in Edinburgh.
Prayer of Saint Francis
The Scots Save the United Kingdom from Thatcherism by Ed & BagpipeloverThe referendum was immediately followed by a second political earthquake, this time south of the border. Out went "Sunny Jim" Callaghan and his mostly benign, consensus Labour Administration and in came the most radical right-wing administration in the history of British politics.
The incoming Prime Minister of Great Britain was Margaret Hilda Thatcher who arrived at Downing Street on May 4th paraphrasing the words of the Prayer of Saint Francis "Where there is discord, may we bring harmony. Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith. And where there is despair, may we bring hope".
Political arithmetic suggested otherwise. Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) were certain to be left-wingers. Full independence for Scotland would lead to permanent conservative super-majorities in England. And the forces of resistance, in particular the Greater London Council and the Metropolitan County Councils had been gifted precious moral reinforcements that would save Great Britain from the nightmare of Thatcherism.
In 2011, to prove that "dying is for fools" the "Malibu Messiah" survived a hail of gun-fire from CBS News security officers after he stubbed a cigarette out and shot Katie Couric dead at the climax of a hostile interview held in his Los Angeles home.
Hot Shots Part ThreeStrategically placed nearby on a Papal Stake Out, Catholic Priests race to the scene on push-bikes and quickly set about performing an emergency rite of exorcism.
After a titanic struggle they caste out the evil being. Eyes flashing open, he explains that he is the moderately misbehaved demon Baal that has been possessed by a crazed party animal called Charlie Sheen..
In 1933, arriving in Washington to take up the post of Chief of Naval Operations Franklin D. Roosevelt fulfilled a dream that he had cherished ever since enrolling at Annapolis instead of his father's preference of Harvard.
Fleet Admiral RooseveltBorn into a fabulously wealthy aristocratic family in Hyde Park, New York fifty-one years before, he was an eighth generation American of Dutch origin.
But it was the tabloid headlines of William Randolph Hearst that raised the family name to true celebrity status when his fifth cousin died at the head of a small regiment in Cuba in 1898.
Of course FDR would ultimately confront a threat from an island posing a much greater danger to America. And an incident much bigger than the blowing up of the USS Maine. But on this day in 1933, those fears were far into the future, and his immediate focus was to drive Naval reform in his "First Hundred Days". Ironically, for a man with no shortage of funds, his priority now was to save money on behalf of a Federal Government that was tottering on the brink of bankruptcy.
In 1805, in the first impeachment of a Justice of the Supreme Court, the Jeffersonian Republicans-controlled Senate voted to convict Samuel Chase of charges of political bias that had resulted in the treatment of defendants and their counsel in a blatantly unfair manner.
Impeachment of Justice ChaseThe outcome represented a decisive setback for the Federalist Party because Chase was a well-known firebrand states-righter and revolutionary. At a stroke, Thomas Jefferson had seized control of the judiciary from the Federalists and also prevented Chase from running for President in 1808.
"Ought the seditious and official attack [by Chase] on the principles of our Constitution . . .to go unpunished?" ~ JeffersonPerhaps more significantly, conviction of an original signatory of the declaration of independence symbolised the final defeat of the sense of brotherhood amongst the remaining founding fathers. Infighting had been begun inside Washington's cabinet, developed during the elections of 1796 and 1800 and climaxed dramatically when Vice President Aaron Burr and former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton had shot each other dead in a duel at Weehawken.
The beneficiary was unquestionably Jefferson, who could now enter his second term without equal, or indeed the inconvenience of an independent judiciary.
In 2002, After a savage firefight inside the Tora Bora cave complex, a mangled body is recovered which U.S. forces identify as that of Osama bin Laden.
The death of Osama leads the network news that evening. Within hours, however, the Internet is buzzing with rumors that bin Laden's demise is a Gore administration hoax concocted for political gain. These speculations are encouraged by the fact that the condition of the body as seen in TV footage makes it difficult to recognize as that of the terror mastermind.
In 1939, Bulgarian sympathizers of the German Underground take over the country and expel the Greater Zionist Resistance. They become a great nuisance to the G.Z.R.'s southern flank during the war. The majority of the population, though, remains fairly sympathetic to the G.Z.R.'s cause.
In 1961, Navy pilot Alan Shepard becomes the first American in space.
Unlike his Russian counterpart Yuri Leonov, who had gone up the previous October, Shepard will make only a partial orbit before returning to Earth. That point will be carefully obscured in press releases until the Soviets succeed in pointing it out to the international media.
It is not lost on President Kennedy that Shepard has gone aloft atop a conventional rocket rather than the much-hyped Dyna-Soar, which remains years from launch. Although he had been enthusiastic about the space plane while in the Senate, Kennedy is beginning to doubt that it can be made to work. And with the Soviets continuing to forge ahead in space, the President is now considering an array of options to regain the initiative. Many of the alternatives resemble those considered by his opponent in the 1960 election, Vice-President Richard Nixon. Nevertheless, there is now too much money and political capital invested in Dyna-Soar to simply abandon it, barring some disaster.
In 2004, Charles Meriweather, commander of the Titan mission, finds the methane crabs, a strange species that lives at the shore of one of the moon's methane seas. The discovery of this species leads the team to the teeming life inside the methane seas.
In 1954, Puerto Rican nationalists, having assassinated President Truman just 4 years earlier, strike another blow against the United States by taking a dozen Congressman captive in the Capitol Building. When President Alben Barkley refuses to meet them or grant their demand of independence for Puerto Rico, they execute their captives, and are then killed by police.
In 1939, Bulgarian sympathizers of the German Underground take over the country and expel the Greater Zionist Resistance. They become a great nuisance to the G.Z.R.'s southern flank during the war.
In 4630, Kang Teh, imperial governor of Manchuria, secedes from China in an attempt to grab the crown for himself. Within the month, the Emperor's soldiers convince him to rejoin the empire.
In 1932, Charles Lindbergh discovers an intruder in his home and subdues him. The German man, who only identifies himself as John Smith, reveals under intense police interrogation that he was there to kidnap Lindbergh's infant son. Even after 10 years in prison for attempted kidnapping, 'Smith' never gave his real name.
In 12-8-3-14-9, the Susquehannock, an autonomous people allied with the Oueztecan Empire, abolish slavery within their borders. This causes runaway slaves across the continent to seek it out, swelling its borders. When the Oueztec come to reclaim their slaves, they find a people grown more powerful in their freedom than they had expected, and decide to leave them be.
In 1692, the witches Sarah Goode, Tituba and Sarah Osborne are charged with practice of the dark arts, and the slave Tituba confesses. She is allowed to die a Christian death by drowning, but the widespread coven she belonged to is dispatched with more diverse punishment. God's justice is visited on almost 200 residents of the misbegotten village of Salem.
In 1608, Conspirators of the Speaker's Line develop a symbolic code to communicate to their descendants the advances made by their line. The code, first used by Leonardo da Vinci, remains completely unbroken until the 20th century, when it is partially broken, but misinterpreted.
In 2007, the US and neighboring countries were plunged into darkness.
The crisis is a nearly identical repetition of May 19, 1780 - dubbed New England's Dark Day, - when an unusual darkening of the day sky was observed over the New England states and parts of Canada. The darkness was so complete that candles were required from noon until midnight and did not disperse until the middle of the next night. Many have blamed the genocide of First Nation peoples for the catastrophes that have befallen the American people, asking if a nation so created, can long endure.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.