A Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today.
Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Written by Alternate Historian

March 4

In 1789, on this day the office of the Vice Presidency was formed in New York City, the first holder would be the indefatigable John Adams who took up the post on April 21st and almost immediately set about profoundly changing it.

The Triumph of the Duke of BraintreeHis previous executive position was Chair of the Board of War and Ordinance (effectively Secretary of War during the outset of the American Revolution) where had had served with distinction but after that tenure of one year he had spent a decade away from the action in Europe. To be sure, he undertook a series of brilliantly executed initiatives in the pursuit of strategic national interest, particularly with regards finance and national recognition, but he was unable to directly influence the development of the machinery of the Government as he would have wished. As a result of his absence, he was sadly missed during the deliberations at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. Of course not long after he returned, many might have given pause to wish that this dominating personality might return to Europe.

Had he been present at Philadelphia, almost certainly envisaging himself in the role, then a lot of unpleasantness might well have been avoided. Because the office designed by committee was quite frankly a mixed bag of confused ideas. Indeed the main functions were to remain available if the President fell ill and also to serve as President Pro Tem, the Presiding Officer of the Senate.

General Washington determined that his presence in the Senate made him a member of the Legislative Arm of the Federal Government and excluded him from Cabinet Deliberations. And members of the Senate decided that he was not permitted to participate in debates. He could however casting tie-breaking votes and did so frequently (partly due to the then small size of the Senate). Of course this arrangement introduced unnecessary conflict and suited no one. Under Adams own proposals with Senate Leaders (by this stage more than willing to hear any suggestion that would remove him from the Congress), the role of President Pro Tem became a post elected by the Senate itself, and being released, he was permitted to rejoin Cabinet deliberations. Needless to say, Washington had never actually wanted the argumentative Adams inside the Cabinet (he preferred deferential subordinates such as Hamilton and von Steuben) and instead his highly vocal presence fundamentally altered the course of the General's unhappy single term of office. On the positive side, the circumstances of "the argument" made it easier for Jefferson and Adams to work together as a team after 1793. To be continued (further details of the argument will follow in the next installment).

In 1975, on this day the Menlo Park Police Department discovered a grisly murder scene at Gordon French's garage.

The Murders at the Homebrew Computer Club by Robbie Taylor and Ed.French and his friend Fred Moore had first met at the Community Computer Center. They agreed to share a regular, open forum for people to get together to work on making computers more accessible to everyone. Unfortunately these techies had been way too trusting and this residential event had drawn the attention of the Manson Family, a commune of extremely dangerous individuals who - rumour had it - were behind the Tate-LaBianca murders.

Amongst the victims were Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Paul Allen and Bill Gates. The latter individual had been discovered with an Open Letter to Hobbyists, which lambasted the early hackers of the time for pirating commercial software programs. Perhaps he might have changed his mindset and even become someone famous in this glorious Open Source future, had he lived.

In 1950, on this day Rick Perry was born to ranchers Joseph Ray Perry and the former Amelia June Holt in the unincorporated community of Paint Creek in north central Texas.

Democrat PerryHe graduated in 1972 with a Bachelor of Science in animal science before serving in the Air Force. Retiring with the rank of Captain, he returned to Texas, and went into business farming cotton with his father.

In 1984 he was elected to the Texas House of Representatives as a Democrat from district 64, which included his home county of Haskell. He served on the House Appropriations and Calendars committees during his three two-year terms in office. Also he befriended fellow freshman state representative Lena Guerrero of Austin, a staunch liberal Democrat.

He supported Al Gore in his successful 1988 Presidential bid as chairman of the Gore campaign in Texas. Thereafter, he served for eight years as the 23rd United States Secretary of Agriculture.

In 1913, on this day Teddy Roosevelt is inaugurated for a third, non-consecutive term of office as US President.

Roosevelt Runs Alone No one is quite certain who made the suggestion, and a dozen or more delegates have claimed it, but a little after midnight during the second day of the Progressive Party 1912 Convention in Chicago, someone said, "TR, why not just run yourself and have the Republicans come crawling back to you?" He had planned to have Hiram Johnson, Governor of California, as a running mate, but Roosevelt liked the idea. The Republicans had become corrupt and bloated, and so many of the Progressive Party members were former Republicans that they had a chance of overcoming the upper echelons that had gotten comfortable and were now in league with trusts (as Roosevelt often speculated). They had renominated Taft and VP James Sherman over him, causing the Progressives to reconvene with their own party. Roosevelt could think of no sweeter revenge, and no greater victory for the country, than to win back the control of the Republican Party.

Elections in 1912 were bloodthirsty. In October, when it became clear that Taft could not possibly win, the Republican Party began to reevaluate. They knew Progressives were winning on state and local levels, but they felt they still had a stranglehold on the national government. If they lost that to the Democrats, however, then they would have nothing. After many backroom deals, they finally approached Roosevelt about reforming the two parties.

Roosevelt launched into the idea, having plotted for months about his actions. With great enthusiasm from the public, the scene was played publicly like a triumphant family reunion. Sherman stayed with him as VP while Taft was promised the Secretary of State. Although many who disapproved of Roosevelt voted for Wilson's "New Freedom" and limited government, Roosevelt narrowly won the election campaigning on the idea of a "Square Deal" for all.

Back in office as the second president to split his terms (Grover Cleveland having done so some thirty years before), Roosevelt set about punishing trusts with legal force and training up workers to pursue legal and public fights for fairness rather than depending on "socialist" strikes. The first two years ran fluidly, though the public began to grow tepid toward his ideals and thought more of limited government. After nervousness about his interventions in Latin America, voters in the 1914 elections swung support of Congress to Democrats.

Later that year, war broke out in Europe. Roosevelt was eager to become involved, but Congress refused to budge on declarations of war despite potential violations of treaties, such as the use of illegal chlorine gas by the Germans. Going without an army, Roosevelt went as a negotiator to Europe in 1915 to see if he might end the war as he had the Russo-Japanese War. The embroiled nations refused to budge as trench warfare continued. Defeated, Roosevelt returned to campaign for his reelection.

Again, the Republican Convention turned against him. After another threat of making a third party, it was mentioned to him that he couldn't be president if he were going to lead an expeditionary force in the war. Roosevelt then happily withdrew and campaigned with his endless energy for the candidate Charles Hughes. However, Democrat Woodrow Wilson would win on promises of maintaining peace. Despite promises, the peace would be shattered in 1917 with the sinking of the Lusitania, and Roosevelt would approach the White House with plans of leading an expedition to settle the European war. Wilson would decline the former president's offer.

Feeling dually betrayed, Roosevelt decided to raise up a force of volunteers anyway. While cries of treason began to go out, Wilson diplomatically funneled Roosevelt's efforts into the actual military and conscripted Roosevelt into home defense as a public face to Hoover's U.S. Food Administration. Though he would sit out the war, his son Quentin would participate as a pilot and give his life for his country. Roosevelt would never speak of war positively again.

In 1920, the country had tired of Wilson and his dealings in Europe, even to the point of the Senate refusing his League of Nations treaty. Wilson suffered a stroke in 1919, attributed to stress, and the Democrats were in rough shape for the election. The Republicans, meanwhile, readied Roosevelt for an unprecedented fourth term. He swept elections and returned to the White House in 1921. These would prove turbulent years with race issues, Republican dealings like naming Taft as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and political scandals such as the Teapot Dome Affair, though business affairs would flow smoothly, and Roosevelt became visibly tired. By the end of his term, he did not seek reelection and let the office fall to his VP Calvin Coolidge.

After a year of rest, Roosevelt decided to put off a trip to the Amazon he had been planning for a long time with the Museum of Natural History in New York. Despite suggestions of his family that he stay home and retire, Roosevelt launched his expedition up the Rio da Duvida (River of Doubt) at age 66. The expedition would never be seen again. Roosevelt would go down as perhaps history's greatest Missing Person.

In 1152, on this day Frederick I Barbarossa was elected King of the Germans; he was crowned in the city of Aachen six days later.

Triumph of the Red Bearded CrusaderHe became King of Italy in 1155 and was finally crowned Roman Emperor by Pope Adrian IV on 18 June 1155. Two years later, the term "sacrum" (i.e. "holy") first appeared in a document in connection with his Empire.He was then also formally crowned King of Burgundy at Arles on 30 June 1178. He got the name Barbarossa from the northern Italian cities he attempted to rule. Barbarossa is "red beard" in Italian; they both feared and respected him. In German, he was known as Kaiser Rotbart which has the same meaning.

His final campaign was the triumphant Third Crusade, but he nearly perished en route. Fortunatlely, he took off his heavy armour suite before bathing in the Göksu River in Anatolia, a sensible precaution that enabled him to make it safely back to the river bank when a fast current very nearly swept him away.

His survival was a good omen for the King's Crusade, a prestigious joint military adventure planned with his fellow monarchs Richard the Lionheart and King Philip-II of France. Due to the personal commitment of the three monarchs, his premature death would surely have compromised the entire mission. Instead, the German and Hungarian Armies arrived intact in Acre where they linked up with the English and French forces that had travelled separately to Palestine.

The arrival of such an immense Crusader Army virtually guaranteed the capture of Jerusalem and the eventual defeat of Saladin. But unexpecedly, the expulsion of Islamic Forces from the near East would also enable the Italian City-States to maintain their trade with the Levant. Ironically, this counter-productive outcome would constrain the further development of the nation-states of north-western Europe.

In 1883, on this day inaugural President of the Confederate States of America Alexander H. Stephens died in Atlanta, Georgia. He was seventy-one years old.

Death of POTCS Alexander H. StephensIt was a surprising turn for the long-time Congressional Representative who was chosen as President for the provisional government of the Confederate States of America to hold office until formal elections could be held. The constitutional convention meeting in Montgomery, Alabama, had been expected to choose Jefferson Davis, who had twice served as senator from Mississippi as well as being the Secretary of War under Franklin Pierce. However, it became clear that Davis would rather serve his country as a general, and so Stephens was chosen, as he was also a moderate, instead of fiery secessionists Howell Cobb and Robert Toombs. While Toombs had called for war almost immediately (his farewell speech to the US Senate had included, "as one man would meet you upon the border with the sword in one hand and the torch in the other"), Stephens was slow to raise arms. Earlier in the convention that elected him, he campaigned against secession and detailed the American political system with the Republicans holding a minority in Congress and, even if any laws were to be passed around them, the Supreme Court would continue the status quo, as it had in its 7-2 decision in the Dred Scott case four years before.

Georgia native Stephens had always seemed to best understand the mechanics behind the obvious. Despite growing up poor, benefactors had paid for his education, and he passed the Georgia bar at age 24 after graduating at the top of his class. He was routinely ill, even from childhood, but he was a masterful lawyer who, in his 34 years of practice, never had a client charged with a capital crime meet the death penalty. As he became wealthy and established himself with land and slaves, he returned the generosity he had been given by opening his own home to the homeless and paying for more than one hundred students' educations. Even though he was constantly thin from illness, he earned the nickname "The Strongest Man in the South" from his intelligence and craftiness. Stephens went on to Washington as a Representative as a Whig, Unionist, and finally Democrat. His self-described "greatest glory of my life" would be the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act in the House by use of rare point of order, thus bringing popular sovereignty to the territory despite the Missouri Compromise limiting slavery to the South.

After the election of 1860 gave Lincoln the White House, Stephens was sent as a delegate to the convention judging the question of secession. Stephens opposed it, arguing that the South bide its time, but was eventually convinced on the grounds of the North not abiding by the Fugitive Slave Law. As one of his first acts in the presidency, Stephens gave his impromptu "Cornerstone Speech" in Savannah describing the new constitution the convention had written, clarifying its differences from that of the United States. While Lincoln referred to the famous line "all men are created equal" in the Declaration of Independence, Stephens replied, "Our new Government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas" and called slavery a "natural and moral condition". Stephens also outlined economic independence rather than the Federalism of the North, stating, "If Charleston harbor needs improvement, let the commerce of Charleston bear the burden. If the mouth of the Savannah river has to be cleared out, let the sea-going navigation which is benefited by it, bear the burden".

Finally, Stephens also noted the significance of Fort Sumter, which would prove the first issue of his presidency. Lincoln, only a month into his own presidency, ordered a relief expedition after skillfully dodging any agreements with the South that would have served as a political recognition of the CSA instead of considering it a rogue government. He notified South Carolina's Governor Pickens of a delivery of "provisions only", and Pickens turned to General P.G.T. Beauregard, who relayed the information to Stephens. While his cabinet (interestingly, though, not Secretary of State Robert Toombs) called for an attack to clear out the fort, Stephens ordered the CSA to stand down, and Lincoln achieved his goal of feeding Sumter. Stephens was declared "yellow" by many, but the political tide turned back to favor the South a month later when the heavy-handed actions of Union General Lyon in the West attacked parading Missouri State Militia called up by secessionist Governor Claiborne "Fox" Jackson.

While not enough to swing Virginia's support to the South, Yankees were increasingly perceived as brutes, tarnishing Lincoln's image, who sent additional troops to Missouri and Kansas, resulting in secession by Arkansas. Guerilla fighting continued, but it was never enough to make a full move against the South without seeming the aggressor. The quasi-war dragged on for years until Lincoln lost his bid at reelection in 1864, and President Horace Greeley was elected by Copperheads to end the war.

Stephens retired the presidency after his single term (as per the CSA constitution) in 1867 as a hero who had "waited out the Union" and became governor of Georgia, confirming the supremacy of the states. The Confederacy continued on its states' rights, later seeing the secession of the Republic of Texas in 1874 (who later had a number of military disputes with both the US and CS as the West became settled). Attempts were made to add Caribbean and Middle American states to the Confederacy, but each turned into either military blunders or economic burdens. By the 1890s, the South was seen as economically and culturally stunted compared to the great wealth and strength of the industrialized North. A movement began around the turn of the century to rejoin the Union, but many on both sides would refuse. President Theodore Roosevelt's 1907 Goodwill Tour proved for naught after it brought international attention to the deplorable poverty of newly freed Africans and entrenched the crippling conservatism of the nation.

In 1950, on this day three-term Confederate Governor James Richard ("Rick") Perry was born to ranchers Joseph Ray Perry and the former Amelia June Holt in the unincorporated community of Paint Creek in north central Texas. With an ancestry that was almost entirely Anglo dating back to the original thirteen colonies, his family had lived in the region even before the Civil War.

Rick v RickAfter graduating with a degree in Agriculture from Texas A&M University, his political connections and leadership abilities gained him a place on the Future Leaders of America programme. But fate intervened when he was selected as CSA observer on Operation Eagle Talon; his outlook was profoundly transformed by the tangled mass of helicopters that he witnessed on that day in the Iranian desert.

After his return to Texas, he campaigned for the executive position of Secretary of Agriculture, before running for office as Lieutenant Governor and then Governor. At the age of sixty, he decided to undertake one more mission for his country, challenging Rick Santorum for the Confederate Presidency. He lost, but the fiery debate issues would resonate for the remaining of his third-term. The hot button issue was the offer from Union President Gingrich to collaboratively build a separation barrier. But Santorum, a second-generation immigrant unyoked from the Confederate past favoured the bold open border proposal from Mexican President Mitt Romney. This indication prompted Perry to upgrade his "Don't Mess with Texas" warning to an outright threat of secession.
This article is part of the "Two Americas" thread.

In 1825, at a critical juncture when secessionism was slowly gaining momentum in the United States, the office of Vice President was assumed by John Caldwell Calhoun, a leading advocate of states' rights, limited government, nullification and free trade.

Cast-Iron Man
The Accidental Presidency of John C. Calhoun
Although he was a vigorous man who liked to exercise, the incoming President John Quincey Adams was suffering from symptons associated with the advanced stages of atherosclerosis.

Only months after the inauguration, he suffered a paralytic stroke. He recovered the full use of his body and returned to the White House the following year. But he collapsed on the floor of the Oval Office from another stroke. He was carried to the Executive Residence, where two days later he died.

This tragic demise forced the Presidency into the hands of perhaps the foremost states' right advocate of the day. Nicknamed the "cast-iron man" for his ideological rigidity as well as for his determination to defend the causes he believed in, Calhoun supported states' rights and nullification, under which states could declare null and void federal laws which they viewed unconstitutional. He was an outspoken proponent of the institution of slavery, which he defended as a "positive good" rather than as a "necessary evil".
This post is a variant ending to the article Calhoun Captured by Eric Lipps.

In 1950, on this day James Richard ("Rick") Perry was born to ranchers Joseph Ray Perry and the former Amelia June Holt in the unincorporated community of Paint Creek in north central Texas.

Don't Mess With Texas, Part 2With an ancestry that was almost entirely Anglo dating back to the original thirteen colonies, his family had lived in the region even before the outbreak of the Revolution that created the Republic of Texas. His father, a Democrat, was a long-time Haskell County commissioner and school board member. His interest in politics began in November 1961 when his father took him to the funeral of Texan President Sam Rayburn.

Perry was in the Boy Scouts and earned the rank of Eagle Scout (he would later by honoured with the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award). He graduated from Paint Creek High School in 1968 and then attended Texas A&M University, where he was a member of the Corps of Cadets, a member of the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity, was elected senior class social secretary, and was also elected as one of A&M's five yell leaders (a popular Texas A&M tradition analogous to male cheerleaders). Perry graduated in 1972 with a Bachelor of Science in animal science.

His political connections and leadership abilities landed him with a place on future leaders of America. This elite development programme was conceived by Five-star Confederate General Dwight David ("Ike") Eisenhower in order to correct the dreadful shortcomings of the un-coordinated American commands that he had suffered from during World War Two. Assigned to the US Air Force, Perry served with distinction, rising to the acting rank of Captain in the Tactical Airlift Squadron.

Conceivably, these acts of continental patriotism might even have led to the awakening sense of transnational identity that was the unstated goal of FLoA. Perhaps he could have returned to Texas as an evangelist for a compelling vision of America's manifest destiny. But then fate intervened when he was selected as an observer on Operation Eagle Talon. His outlook was pushed sharply in the opposite direction, profoundly transformed by the tangled mass of helicopters that he witnessed in the Iranian desert.

The powerlessness of the Federal Government was deeply imprinted into the psyche of a political generation that never shared Union President Edward M. Kennedy's Dream that Never Dies. But thirty years of steady growth in the Union combined with an increasing non-Anglo population began to break down the mindset of resistance to re-unification. And Perry himself was elected President of Texas in 2000 at a time when the Revolution itself appeared to be unravelling fast. Powerless to stem the flow of immigration and drugs across the Rio Grande, he was sharply criticised by Union President Pat Buchanan in the famous Day of Reckoning speech that predicted the unchecked rise of Mexicana. Ejected from office by the angry voters, his moderate successor Kay Bailey Hutchison used the costly financing of the construction of the San Diego-Brownsville separation barrier as a justification for re-unification.

On the day that John Cornyn tabled the motion of retrocession, Perry re-emerged as the spokesman of the Dont Mess with Texas opposition. A small protest that began in the Capital City of Austin siezed the headlines of the Richmond-based newspaper CSA Today and soon developed into a wider issue that would engulf the continent. Positioning Perry as a future leader of America in a way that no one could ever have possibly imagined.
This post is an article from the Reunification 80 thread created by Gerry Shannon.

In 1776, just one day out of port, an American merchant ship bound for France was stopped by a British frigate in a chance sighting. The naval captain decided to conduct a search for contraband, unstamped goods, or, as a possibility, treasonous materials put forth by the growing American Rebellion.

Silas Deane Arrested for Treason During the search, officers came upon a series of letters in the care of Silas Deane, a merchant from Connecticut masquerading as a trader from the Bahamas, which endorsed him as a representative of the Continental Congress to France. Further reading and interrogation proved that Deane was meant to garner French and European support in the form of arms, supplies, cash, and even soldiers. Deane was taken aboard the frigate, and the merchant ship was sent on its way, told not to return to America and give word of Deane's capture.

Silas Deane, born December 24, 1737, had been a proponent of the American movement from nearly its beginning. He had come from a wealthy farming family and made a name for himself after graduating from Yale through practicing law and teaching. Further, he married the widow Mehitable Webb, gaining from her a family of six, a mansion, and a thriving merchant business. Elected as a representative to the Continental Congress, Deane was instrumental along with John Adams of Massachusetts in establishing the significance of an American Navy (some of which would be built at his father-in-law's shipyard). Deane himself would donate a great deal to the cause, helping to finance the men who would seize a great victory at Ticonderoga. While on the secret Committee of Correspondence, Deane would be chosen to go to France on an undercover diplomatic mission to gain international support from what had been an enemy at war only a decade before.

Notice of Deane's capture did not come to the Continental Congress until nearly two months after the fact. In the meantime, the Americans had been enjoying a good deal of victories such as a raid on the Bahamas by marines and the British evacuation of Boston. The growth of support was enough to push through the Declaration of Independence as a reaction to Britain's declaration of a blockade, legally a wartime action. However, it would be some time before the Americans could put together another secret mission to France, eventually sending Philadelphian Benjamin Franklin and, later, John Adams. Without an initial framework, the Americans asked too much and would ultimately be turned away with little more than a pittance and a few nobles-turned-mercenary.

Meanwhile, the tide of war turned against the Americans. In the south, Cherokee encouraged by the British attacked in an arc all along the frontier. Battles in the north under Washington and Arnold were repeated defeats. In constant retreat, the soldiers took winter camp in 1777 at Valley Forge, where Washington struggled to train with almost no money or equipment. Without a successful gamble as he had taken with the surprise attack on the Hessian soldiers, Washington lost the majority of his troops. By 1778, the war had gone off the battlefield and to smaller struggles primarily in the south and frontier. British troops suppressed rebellion fully in 1779, and, in 1780, former general Benedict Arnold assisted in the proceedings to clear misguided rebels from the true instigators. Men like Thomas Paine and Samuel Adams were hanged while others such as Washington, Adams, and Jefferson were stripped of property and shipped to new colonies in Australia.

Silas Deane would similarly be punished by sharp fines, long stints in prison, and a new life of hard labor in South Africa. His second wife, Elizabeth, had died in 1777, but his fortunes would grow again as he remarried and became an effective administrator with his loyalties proven. He would never see his native America again.

The colonies would return to British loyalties, gradually looking to Redcoats as protectors from Indian attacks and alliance rather than their imperialist enemies. Other revolts would take place in the course of the nineteenth century, each ushering in new schemes of private rights and systems of government, similar to revolts that would be fought what would become the Dominion of Canada. Still, the Great Experiment of republicanism proved a failure, and the ideals of rule without a king would be held only by mad anarchists or communists, who would ultimately create autocratic dictators rather than constitutional royals who would act as an anchor in a world changing at an increasing speed.

In 1867, on this day in Richmond, Virginia, Robert E. Lee officially began his term of office as the second Vice President of the Confederate States.

Robert E. Lee
2nd Confederate Vice President
March 4, 1867 - October 12, 1870
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 new article from the "Two Americas" thread on Althistory WikiaA 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

In 1861, Northern Democrat Stephen Douglas was inaugurated as the 16th President of the United States of America.

President DouglasDouglas had won in a turbulent four-way election, defeating Republican Abraham Lincoln, Kentucky Sen. John C. Breckinridge of he breakaway Southern Democratic Party, and John Bell of the newly-organized Constitutional Union Party.

His victory was due in large part to his success in calming Southern fears regarding the abolition of slavery, which had led several states to draft resolutions of secession from the Union and others to consider doing so if the Republicans, the party most strongly associated with the anti-slavery cause, won.

Douglas had supported the 1857 Dred Scott decision, in which the U.S. Supreme Court had upheld the constitutionality of fugitive slave laws and stated that the Framers had never intended that blacks should become U.S. citizens. However, he had argued that it could not be effective in a state or territory whose citizens refused to pass laws enforcing it. This attempt at a compromise had angered some Southerners, prompting the schism of the Democratic Party, while failing to satisfy opponents of the decision. As president, Douglas would try to bridge the ideological divide, appointing to key positions members of all four of the parties which had contended in 1860; the result, however, would be not harmony but gridlock. The slavery issue would continue to fester throughout the 1860s, with Southerners continuing to threaten secession if the federal government acts to interfere with their "right of property upon Negro slaves".

In 1949, on this day the General Secretary of the Australian Communist Party, de facto Head of State Laurence Louis Sharkey (pictured) delivered a major foreign policy speech that was thoroughly condemned by Western political leaders.O Tempora, O Mores Part 1 - A Warm Welcome
"If Soviet Forces in pursuit of aggressors entered Australia, Australian workers would welcome them. Australian workers would welcome Soviet Forces pursuing aggressors as the workers welcomed them throughout Europe when the Red troops liberated the people from the power of the Nazis. I support the statement made by the French Communist leader Maurice Thorez. Invasion of Australia by forces of the Soviet Union seems very remote and hypothetical to me. I believe the Soviet Union will go to war only if she is attacked, and if she is attacked I cannot see Australia being invaded by Soviet troops. The job of Communists is to struggle to prevent war and to educate the mass of people against the idea of war. The Communist Party also wants to bring the working class to power, but if fascists in Australia use force to prevent the workers gaining that power, Communists will advise the workers to meet force with force"
Later that year, Sharkey gave instructions to the Malayan Communist Party to conduct insurgency against their British colonial masters.

In 2008, Ms. Hillary Clinton began a remarkable turn-around in her electoral fortunes that would eventually force Barak Obama`s dignified concession on June 4th. Clinton`s Historic Victory repurposed content from Sheldon Alberts
The final two primaries marked the end of a five-month Democratic campaign that began with Mr. Obama's upset win over Ms. Clinton in snowbound Iowa on Jan. 3.While the two Democratic senators fought to a near draw in the race for pledged delegates awarded through primary and caucus elections, Mr. Obama had actually led the race since winning 11 contests in a row in February.
Ms. Clinton made a strong comeback, beginning with a string of victories on March 4 in Texas and Ohio, highlighting Mr. Obama's electoral weakness among Democratic women, seniors and lower-income whites.
Finishing strong, and winning the narrowest of victories, Ms. Clinton was able to persuade Democratic superdelegates of her argument they should overturn Mr. Obama's victory in pledged delegates. The split vote required both candidates to work together on the general election, and ultimately there could be only one senior partner in their relationship. The Clintons had not loss an election since 1980, and now launched a viscious assault on John McCain.

In 1759, Brigadier General James Wolfe wrote a letter to Major General Jeffrey Amherst in which he said ~

Wolfe's Manifesto"If, by accident in the river, by the enemy's resistance, by sickness or slaughter in the army, or, from any other cause, we find that Quebec is not likely to fall into our hands (persevering however to the last moment), I propose to set the town on fire with shells, to destroy the harvest, houses and cattle, both above and below, to send off as many Canadians as possible to Europe and to leave famine and desolation behind me. But we must teach these scoundrels to make war in a more gentleman like manner".

On 23 January, 1758 James Wolfe was appointed as a brigadier general, and sent with Major General Jeffrey Amherst to lay siege to Fortress of Louisbourg in New France (located in present-day Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia). Wolfe's distinguished himself in preparations for the assault, the initial landing and in the aggressive advance of siege batteries. The French capitulated in June of that year.

As Wolfe had comported himself admirably at Louisbourg, William Pitt the Elder chose him to lead the British assault on Quebec City the following year, with the rank of major general. The British army laid siege to the city for three months. During that time, Wolfe issued a written document, known as Wolfe's Manifesto, to the French-Canadian (Quebecois) civilians, as a part of his strategy of psychological intimidation. In March 1759, prior to arriving at Quebec Wolfe wrote these cruel words to Amherst. When these threats were carried out, Wolfe grew the evil reputation he has in North America today, far, far worse than another Brigadier General, Benedict Arnold whose turncoat was but a trifle by comparison.

Yet his reputation in Great Britain was untarnished by these atrocities, "Who, at the Expence of his Life, purchas'd immortal Honour for his Country, and planted,with his own Hand, the British Laurel, in the inhospitable Wilds of North America, By the Reduction of Quebec, Septr. 13th. 1759".

On, this day in 2014 the premiere of Jerry Bruckheimer's feature film adaptation of his hit TV series CSI was rescheduled from its originally planned opening of Memorial Day weekend to June 2nd to capitalize on the buzz being generated by the upcoming CSI: New York series finale.

 - Jerry Bruckenheimer
Jerry Bruckenheimer

In 1949, the Security Council of United Nations recommended membership for Palestine following the withdrawal of British forces two years before.

Zionists led by David Ben-Gurion gained world attention for the plight of the Jewish settlers in the State. However Anglo-America had decided to respect Arab Unity in order to keep the Soviet Union out of the Middle East and reneged on the 1917 Balfour Declaration which promised the State of Israel.

In 2004, the crew of the Huygens, the exploratory vessel sent to Titan using Martian spaceflight technology, begin to report back that a strange smell is leaking into the ship's air supply. A few hours later, communications with the ship are lost.
In 1954, Comrade John Foster Dulles warned that 'international capitalism' was making inroads into the Western Hemisphere, and that there was 'not a single country in this hemisphere that has not been penetrated by the apparatus of international capitalism acting under orders from the European monarchies.' This further heightened the paranoid atmosphere of anti-capitalist 50's.
In 1952, Mikhail von Heflin and Velma Porter dock in Marseilles, France. Now that they are in Europe, von Heflin feels more comfortable, and books them passage on a train to Germany. His former homeland is now under Communist control, but he thinks he can get the two of them back to Heflin.
In 1945, folk singer Jimmie Louise Tims was born in Huntsville, Texas. She started singing around the campus of Sam Houston State University in her home town, and was heard by Arlo Guthrie when he traveled through Texas in 1961. He took her on tour with him, and her covers of classic backwoods tunes made a splash in the folk scene.
In 1611, Conquerors of the Speaker's Line place George Abbot into England's Primacy as the Archbishop of Canterbury. Abbott stealthily lays the groundwork for another member of the Line to overthrow the entire monarchy in the decades to come.
On March 4, 1861, Abraham Lincoln was sworn in as President. In his inaugural address, he argued that the Constitution was a more perfect union than the earlier Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, that it was a binding contract, and called any secession 'legally void'. He stated he had no intent to invade Southern states, nor did he intend to end slavery where it existed, nor would he use force to maintain possession of federal property. His speech closed with a plea for restoration of the bonds of union. The South sent delegations to Washington and offered to pay for the federal properties and enter into a peace treaty with the United States. Lincoln entered negotiations with Confederate agents although he insisted (somewhat weakly) that the Confederacy was not a legitimate government, and that making any treaty with it would be tantamount to recognition of it as a sovereign government. However, Secretary of State William Seward engaged in authorized and direct negotiations that succeeded and the widely predicted 'War of the States' was narrowly avoided.

In 1980, Marxist leader Robert Mugabe won a sweeping election victory to become Zimbabwe's first black prime minister.

Expectations were high, and a number of promises need to be fulfilled and quickly. First and foremost, Mugabe had sworn he would publicly hang Ian Smith in the capital city of Salisbury.

 - Robert Mugabe
Robert Mugabe
In 1933, the Parliament of Austria was suspended because of a quibble over procedure. Chancellor Adolf Schicklegruber initiated authoritarian rule by decree

In 1942, as Japanese forces tightened their grip on the Philippines, General Douglas MacArthur was ordered by President Roosevelt to relocate to Melbourne, Australia, after Quezon had already left.

With his wife, four-year-old son, and a select group of advisers and subordinate military commanders, MacArthur left the Philippines on PT 41 commanded by Lieutenant John D. Bulkeley, and successfully evaded an intense Japanese search for him.

McArthur - Return?

War Plan Orange (commonly known as Plan Orange or just Orange) was invoked. Predating the Rainbow plans, which presumed allies, Orange was predicated on the U.S. fighting Japan alone. It anticipated a withholding of supplies from the Philippines and other U.S. outposts in the Western Pacific (they were expected to hold out on their own), while the Pacific Fleet marshaled its strength at bases in California, and guarded against attacks on the Panama Canal.

After mobilization (the ships maintained only half of their crews in peacetime), the fleet sailed to the Western Pacific to relieve American forces in Guam and the Philippines. Afterwards, the fleet sailed due north for a decisive battle against the Imperial Japanese Navy, and then blockade the Japanese home islands.

The Imperial Japanese Navy developed a counter-plan to allow the Pacific Fleet to sail across the Pacific while using submarines and carrier attacks to weaken it. The Japanese fleet attempt to force a battle against the U.S. in a 'decisive battle area', near Japan, after inflicting such attrition. This is in keeping with the theory of Alfred Thayer Mahan, a doctrine to which every major navy subscribed before World War II, in which wars would be decided by engagements between opposing surface fleets[1] (as they had been for over 300 years). It was the basis for Japan's demand for a 70% ratio (10:10:7) at the Washington Naval Conference, which would give Japan superiority in the 'decisive battle area', and the U.S.'s insistence on a 60% ratio, as 70% superiority was believed to be necessary for a successful attack.

Disasterously the American war planners failed to appreciate that technological advances in submarines and naval aviation had made Mahan's doctrine obsolete. In particular, the American planners did not understand that aircraft could sink battleships, nor that Japan might put the U.S. battleship force (the Battle Line) out of action at a stroke.

American plans changed after the failure of War Plan Orange. Even after major Japanese defeats like Midway, the U.S. fleet favored a methodical 'island-hopping' advance, never going far beyond land-based air cover.

Moreover, by their obsession with 'decisive battle', the Imperial Japanese Navy would ignore the vital role of antisubmarine warfare. Germany and the U.S. would demonstrate the need for this with their submarine campaigns against Allied and Japanese merchant shipping respectively. The American campaign ultimately choked Japan's industrial production. Japan also notably failed to institute an anti-commerce campaign themselves.

Charlie Chaplin

In 1975, satire legend Charlie Chaplin became Sir Charles after a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

Chaplin is most famous for scripting the Great Dictator, a biting satire of US President Charles Lindbergh.

Charlie Chaplin - Great Dictator
Great Dictator
In 1992, culinary inventor Christian K. Nelson died at his home in Moorhead, Iowa. Although his candy treats were favored in his native Denmark, he tried something different in America, and that proved to be his undoing; he resurrected the old recipe for ice cream, dipping it in chocolate in the hope of making it more palatable to the American taste buds. Unfortunately, it flopped, and nearly drove his chocolate and sweets company out of business.
In 1805, the Italian city-states and regions are united under a single ruler for the first time since Rome fell when Giuseppe Corlesconi negotiates the loyalty of all of the disparate noblemen to himself in the Treaty of Sardinia. He places his capitol in Rome, and the newly united country is named the New Republic of Rome. The N.R.R. is one of the first European nations to join the Congress of Nations in the 1860's.
In 1829, an unruly, drunken crowd of President Jackson's supporters overrun the White House during Jackson's inaugural party. During the riot, the mansion catches fire, and President Jackson resolutely takes command of the crowd and gets them out before the building is destroyed. His term is served out in the Vice President's house as workmen rebuild the White House.

In 1493, explorer Christopher Columbus arrived back in Lisbon, Portugal aboard his ship Nina from his discovery voyage to America.

Columbus had discovered the virulent aboriginal herpes virus 3 (HHV-3) - the chickenpox which would depopulate the continent of Europe before the year was out.


March 3

In 1848, unable to borrow enough money to emigrate to the United States, William Carnegie was forced to redouble his efforts to build a successful hand loom weaving business in Dunfermline.

William Carnegie stays putAlthough times were hard in Scotland, they weren't much better in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, and so the prospects of a better life were wildly exaggerated. And the underlying cause of the family hardware was a business set-back; initially based in a weaver's cottage they had moved to a larger house in Reid's Park benefiting from the increased demand for more heavy damask. But when this had dried up, William had fallen into despair.

Forced through lack of choice, they returned to a single room and started over. Of course its hard to say what might have been, but his son Andrew was entrepreneurial enough to nurture a new vision, of a great cotton business that would enrich not only the family, but the nation as a whole. Because the move to the house at Reid's Park had been fateful after all. His uncle "Dod" had introduced him to the writings of Robert Louis Stevenson. And herein lay the pearl of wisdom from which he slowly built an exhilarating future for his people. After all did Stevenson not say "To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive"?

In 1895, United States Army general Matthew Bunker Ridgway was born on this day in Fort Monroe, Virginia.

Birth of Old Iron T*tsAlthough he was upgraded to the high war-time rank of Brigadier General, he might well have retired a highly respected but nevertheless second-tier figure of the Cold War era. However MacArthur's dismissal for insubordination propelled him into the very centre of events in Far East.

Mac had refused a presidential order to attend a meeting at the White House. Just recently promoted to Lieutenant General, Ridgway was on a plane headed for a new assignment in the Pacific theatre, under MacArthur, with whom he had served while a captain at the United States Military Academy at West Point. And so when the news broke he was unexpectedly given command of the US forces in the Pacific Theatre and he immediately appointed General Gavin to the subordinate role he had been assigned to. Together, they would face the sternest of challenges on the Korean Peninsula. His long and prestigious military career was recognized by the award of the Presidential Medal of Freedom on May 12, 1986 by President Ronald Reagan, who stated that "Heroes come when they're needed; great men step forward when courage seems in short supply".

In 1865, in his last night at the White House Abraham Lincoln had a terrible nightmare which foretold the tragic death of President-elect George B. McClellan.

Kentucky is torn apart Part 2Experiencing "a death-like stillness about me" he heard the sounds of subdued sobs and walked downstairs in search of the "mournful sounds of distress". Encountering no living person until he entered the East Room, he found "a sickening surprise": a covered corpse resting on a catafalque, surrounded by soldiers, with mourners gazing at the body and weeping. "Who is dead in the White House?" he demanded of one of the soldiers, "The President," was his answer; "he was killed by an assassin!'".

Although Lincoln himself was sceptical about premonitions, the source of his anxiety required no interpretation. Because it was largely expected that "Little Mac" would sue for peace with the rebel states as soon as he entered office. For this outcome Lincoln blamed his fellow Kentuckian John C. Breckinridge. Because it was the former Vice President that had persuaded the state legislature to secede from the Union. Kentucky would not be the miracle that the South needed to win, but its actions did ensure that the fratricidal bloodshed was still raging three years later than Lincoln had to face the voters, creating the thin possibility of a political win.

Also because of Breckinridge actions Lincoln could not return to Kentucky, or Illinois for that matter, because of the blood-curdling consequences of his failed war strategies. For these reasons he was considering a relocation somewhat further north, probably to Montreal. The irony of this move was that Confederate agents had been secretly based north of the forty-ninth parallel, and Quebec was itself set to join the Confederation of Canada. His own security was therefore far from assured.

It is 1184 BC, and two crucial events are taking place: the Argives are about to attack Troy in order to bring Queen Helen back to Sparta, and the Hebrews have fled from Egypt.

Miriam and MenelausBut one night changes everything. It is the fateful event when the two groups meet in the desert, and King Menelaus of Sparta sees Miriam dancing there. On learning that her bother is Moses, the Hebrew leader, he decides that she would be a far better bride than his own Helen of Troy .. in beauty, in talent and, by all accounts, in virtue as well.

So he decides to let the Trojans have his former wife, while he takes Miriam for his own. Seeing the advantages in this alliance, Moses is happy to agree. The Argives and Hebrews are now allied against their long-time enemies, Troy and Egypt, making them the most powerful alliance in the known world.
The encounter is also celebrated in my own novel Miriam and Menelaus available at www.fictionwise.com

In 1917, on this day Senator Henry Cabot Lodge looked briefly over his letter, and reread his words

"- - - there may be no sufficiently flagrant case of the destruction of an American ship and American lives to compel war - -".

For a moment he hesitated. Was that coming on too strong? To express a positive hope that American sailors and passengers be killed was getting near the knuckle. Even Colonel Roosevelt had never gone so far.

Chapter of Accidents; How Bryan Returned From The DeadOn the other hand, why not? He believed that war with Germany was necessary, and accepting war involved accepting casualties. What matter if some of them were incurred before the declaration of war rather than after? They were all dying in the same cause, and stopping German autocracy was a worthwhile one. So be it.

He signed the letter and put it in the envelope1.


Part 3 of a new story by Mike StoneThe atmosphere in Washington grew hotter by the day. Particular excitement focused on the choice of a new Secretary of State, to take over when Bryan became Vice-President in March. Passions were so high that serious questions were raised as to whether any nominee could be confirmed. A strong isolationist would run into ferocious opposition from the War Hawks, while anyone acceptable to them was likely to be unacceptable to the other side. And someone in the middle could well be rejected by both. In the end, Marshall avoided this humiliation by appointing Senator Oscar Underwood of Alabama, trusting that partisanship would not lead the Senators to turn on one of their own. The tactic worked, though with far more nays than were usual for such a routine vote. The appointment had been supported by Bryan, but political wiseacres were betting that the victory would be his last, and that once buried in the Vice Presidency, his influence would rapidly decline.


Lodge opened Colonel Roosevelt's letter of reply. A grim smile crossed his features as he read it "It is clear that Bryan and Marshall are yellow all over in the presence of danger, either physically or morally, and will accept any insult or injury at the hands of a fighting man. Of course, it costs them nothing if the insult or injury is to the country, because I don't believe they are capable of understanding what the words, 'pride of country' mean. - - - as for La Follette, he is an unhung traitor, and if the war should come, he ought to be hung - -". I shall say as much in my next speech and let them sue me if they dare2"

Lodge nodded to himself in agreement. As TR was fond of putting it, the Administration's attitude was akin to that of a man whose wife had been insulted in the street, considering the matter unimportant as long as the insulters didn't actually come into the house to do it. They were a total bunch of eunuchs. No, his original letter hadn't gone too far at all.


Count Bernstorff stared blankly into space, stunned by the news.

How could this have happened? He recalled the sense of foreboding with which he had first learned of this treaty with Mexico, and how vital that the Americans should not learn of it. Yet now they had learned. Somehow (Now? Betrayal? A broken code?) British Intelligence had obtained a copy - and at once given it to the anglophile US Ambassador. It would inflame opinion from coast to coast. And the foreign Minister hadn't even had the sense to deny it. Even if not everyone believed him, that might have blunted the impact to some extent. But to openly admit that it was genuine - - -.

Bernstorff wondered if it would be more dignified to ask for his passports now, rather than wait for the Americans to make the decision for him. But of course he could not without authority from Berlin. He could only sit helplessly by as events rolled inexorably on.


Monday, March 5, was bitterly cold. The formalities of inauguration duly took place, and after a few words the President headed back indoors. The brevity of his speech attracted some comment. Was he unwell? Or had he been unable to come up with anything that would not antagonise one faction or another? One thing alone was certain. He could not sit on the fence for any length of time. He had to choose a side, and there was less and less doubt in most minds as to which side it would have to be.

[to be concluded]

In 1284, with the conquest of the castle at Rhuddlan after a long siege and the reuniting of northern Wales, Llywelyn ap Gruffydd made his announcement atop its keep that Wales shall be heretofore joined under a king.

Statute of Rhuddlan Creates Welsh Kingdom The proclamation further outlined boundaries of the kingdom, expected loyalties, a legal base, and a summons of the princes and lords of Wales to meet at conference for the choosing of the king. The meeting was largely a diplomatic measure as Llywelyn's victories over England at the head of his army, by far the largest in Wales, firmly established his position as the first king, as did his being the grandson of Llywelyn the Great, who had been king over Wales in all but name through his treaties and battles.

The announcement came after years of struggle in the second uprising of the Welsh people against England. Initially, the two nations had lived alongside one another in the general peace of feudal Britain. Treaties were established with the English King Henry III, who kept Welsh princes hostage in the Tower of London as part of typical medieval agreements. When the captive Dafydd ap Llywelyn died from a fall while trying to escape in 1244, the Welsh declared war to make a stronger stance. Henry agreed to it at the Treaty of Woodstock, and then Llywelyn went about confirming his supremacy and expanding his control. During the English Second Barons' War in 1263, Llywelyn joined with Simon de Montefort, Earl of Leicester and Chester, against the king, taking advantage of the turmoil to establish his position.

For further establishment (as well as what is historically believed to be a true romance), Llywelyn married de Montefort's daughter Eleanor. The marriage was done by proxy in 1275, the same year Llywelyn refused to attend a call to Chester from Edward, son of Henry and now king of England. Edward was also Eleanor's cousin and took exception to the marriage. He kidnapped her by mercenary-pirates, went to war with Llywelyn as a rebel, and gained considerable control over Wales in the resulting Treaty of Aberconwy.

In the 1280s, however, the Welsh lords began to chafe under the foreign rule of Edward. He had built an "iron ring" of castles through Wales using the most advanced designs of the day and seized a great deal of land. Dafydd ap Gruffydd, Llywelyn's brother, initiated the fighting with an attack at Hawarden and a siege of Rhuddlan in 1282, the same year Llywelyn's wife would die while giving birth to their daughter Gwenllian. Revolt spread through Wales, and Llywelyn defeated the occupying English force at the Battle of Moel-y-don, again affirming his leadership.

Llywelyn then marched south, rounding up support from the southern Welsh who had once been his opponents and friends of the English king. Now, but for a few spies and traitors, they were for him. He was nearly killed while separated from the main force on December 11, 1282, but Llywelyn managed to escape capture and spread word about the brigands who had killed much of his party, including clergy. The south rallied to Llywelyn's cause, and even the armies led by King Edward were beaten back from Wales in repeated campaigns during 1283.

Unified, the Welsh stood as a significant political force. Edward was forced to recognize peace by insistence of the Pope and turned his attention toward potential crusades and, in 1296, conquest of the Scots, which, too, he would lose. Llywelyn had no heirs other than Gwenllian, who married into southern Welsh nobility. The royal line passed to Llywelyn's brother Dafydd, then to Dafydd's eldest Llywelyn II. England would be weakened in the Thirty-Four Years' War in France, while Scotland would grow powerful as Robert the Bruce became king and his brother Edward managed to unite Ireland. The ruling houses would grow intertwined with Wales until it was torn apart in wars during the Reformation.

As the Industrial Revolution took hold of Europe, England would again take precedence among the nations of the British Islands with its wealth of coal and iron. Gaining economic superiority, it would come to dominate the other nations, setting the stage for renewed revolts as the ideals of nationalism and socialism took root and flourished.

In 1915, the motion picture BIRTH OF A NATION was released after almost a year in production. Its director, David Wark Griffith, the son of a CS calvary officer who grew up in modest circumstances, predicted that the most popular film that could shown in the United States and the Confederate States would be an account of how the two countries came to be rivals.

Birth of a NationGriffith and his film makers and actors staged most of the movie in the Canadian province of Ontario. The gray "Confederate" uniforms were more accurately a dirty white, not gray, and the cinematagrapher of the film would recall that the costumes of the Northerners was more usually brown than blue.

The highlight of the first half hour of the movie was the enactment of Pickett's Charge (on what appears to be a potato field). For the first time in recorded fable, General Lo Armistead is shown standing atop a federal cannon. his hat stuck on the top of his upraised sword, gesturing heroically towards the now fleeing foe. (In fact, Armistead was gutshot when he reached the guns and died in a doctor's hut the next day).

According to the plot, an honest but poor couple have been divided by the war. Reflection on the plight of that couple causes Jeff Davis of the Confederacy and Abraham Lincoln of the Union to realize that harmony across the border is best for both people, and the movie ends with an open air wedding ceremony of the young couple which is mutually conducted by Robert E. Lee and U.S. Grant.

Contemporary journalism records that Confederate President Woodrow Wilson said the movie was like writing history with lightning. United States President Henry Cabot Lodge criticized the movie's insinuation that the South had militarily thrashed the North on the third day of Gettysburg.

Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford starred in the sequel, BONDS OF BROTHERHOOD (1922), in which Yanks and Southrons are depicted as natural lovers during the First World War. The box office was poor in large measure due to the outbreak of the Japanese- Confederate War over a canal in Central America in 1923 and 1924.

In 2010, Michael Foot, the British Prime Minister that declared Unilateral Nuclear Disarment (UND) died in Hampstead, London on this day aged 96.

What the Labour Party is all aboutBorn in Plymouth in 1913, he studied at Oxford University before taking a job as a shipping clerk in Liverpool; his experiences of poverty in that city transformed him into a life-long socialist.

Foot joined the Labour Party and first stood for parliament at the age of 22 in the 1935 general election, when he contested Monmouth. During this election Foot criticised the Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin, for seeking rearmament. In his election address Foot contended that "the armaments race in Europe must be stopped now". He also supported unilateral disarmament, after multilateral disarmament talks at Geneva had broken down in 1933. He was thrown out of the Parliamentary Labour Party for two years because he opposed increases in defence spending.

"Michael Foot led Britain during the grimmest, darkest hour in its modern history" ~ Neil KinnockElected in 1945 he did not enter the front bench of the Labour Party until the Wilson and Callaghan Governments of the nineteen seventies. Upon assuming the leadership in 1980, he led the party into the successful campaign of 1983 in which he defeated Margaret Thatcher who was still reeling from Britain's military humiliation in the Falkland Islands. That event, coupled with Americas escalation of the Cold War created a new consensus for UND. And what began with mother's protests at Greenham Common, and Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) peace rallies led by Foot and Monsignor Bruce Kent flourished into a popular movement. Soon enough, Britain would play a very different role on the world stage, paving for the way for his successor Bryan Gould, and Princess Diane to achieve an international ban on land mines in 1999.

Colleague Tony Benn paid tribute to Foot's legacy saying that "he was what the Labour Party was all about"

In 1925, the US Congress authorized the Mount Rushmore National Memorial Commission on this day. Three hundred and fifty local miners and quarrymen began work in 1927, taking a staggering fourteen years to complete this vast project.

"America will march along that skyline"The originator of the idea was the historian Doane Robinson whose simple purpose was to promote tourism in South Dakota. Robinson persuaded sculptor Gutzon Borglum (pictured) to travel to the Black Hills region to ensure that the carving could be accomplished. Borglum had been involved in sculpting the Confederate Memorial Carving, a massive bas-relief memorial to Confederate leaders on Stone Mountain in Georgia. He chose the grand location of Mount Rushmore because it faced southeast and enjoyed maximum exposure to the sun.

The result was a towering monument to the rich ethnicity of the United States. Because although Borglum owned the artistic vision, the choice of carvings was very much down to President Charles Curtis, himself of Native American heritage being part Kaw. He insisted that Washington, Douglass and Lincoln were juxtaposed by Samoset of the Permaquid tribe and Squanto of the Pawtuxet tribes. Which was only fitting because the Pilgrim fathers gave those two most famous of Americans credit for their very survival during the first two winters at Plymouth Colony, a historical fact recognised by the first deliverance day, first celebrated at Thanksgiving Colony in the brave year 1621.


On this day in 1957, the Houston Oilers unveiled their new logo, a red, white, and aqua oil rig derrick. That same day Rice University agreed to lease its gym to the Oilers for their practice sessions.

Logo - Rochester Royals
Rochester Royals
US Secret Service agent

On this day in 1928, future US Secret Service agent Charlotte Maguire was born in Norfolk, Virginia.

US Secret Service agent - Charlotte Maguire
Charlotte Maguire
In 1918, the Greater Zionist Resistance captures Saint Petersburg, Russia, and forces the surrender of Tsar Nicholas II. Astrid Pflaume, a neo-Nazi from the future secretly guiding the G.Z.R., is stunned at how well her movement is doing militarily, and how poorly the Germans her comrade Kurt Weimer is commanding are holding up their end of their plan.
In 2004, with almost a dozen methane crabs on board, Charles Meriweather and his crew lift off of the Saturnian moon Titan, and head back to earth. The scientific mission, accomplished with the spaceship technology they had adapted from Martian invaders the summer before, was a rousing success, and they were ready to be hailed as heroes on their return to earth.
In 1985, President Ralph Shephard signs an order reopening the old Andersonville Prison Camp in Georgia. The site of the worst atrocities against Civil War P.O.W.'s has received little publicity since then, but Shephard is ready to give it new life.
In 1894, Conspirators of the Speaker's Line began publishing a small Greek paper in New York City. Called The Atlantis, the newspaper carried hidden messages to the Speaker's Line in the old code devised by Da Vinci.
In 1952, the Supreme People's Court upholds a New York Soviet law prohibiting capitalists from teaching in the public school system. The 6-3 decision upholding the Feinberg Law said, 'The state has a constitutional right to protect the immature minds of children from subversive propaganda,' while the dissenters maintained it 'turned the school system into a spying project.'
In 1991, George Holliday, videotaping some shots of Los Angeles' Hansen Dam Park, saw several police officers beating a black man in the street. He put down his camera and ran over to the scene, but by the time he got there, the police had cuffed the suspect and thrown him into a squad car. Although Holliday attempted to get some news organizations interested, the fact that it was his word against several police officers' led them to avoid his story. Ironically, if he had kept videotaping instead of rushing to help, the officers might have been brought to justice.
In 1955, a truck driver turned singer from Tupelo, Mississippi appeared on the Louisiana Hayride, a popular radio program, and set the nation on fire. The young man, Jesse Presley, became the most popular singer in the world practically overnight.
In 1853, Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh is born in Groot Zundert. As a successful art dealer for the firm Goupil & Cie, he was transferred to their London office in 1873, and it was here that he truly began to come into his own. The company transferred him to their Paris office in 1875, and Van Gogh began selling his own work alongside that of others. In the 1880's, he battled severe depression, but a young German doctor, Sigmund Freud, assisted him through that in 1886, and he came out of it inspired. His great works from this period sell for millions in auctions today.

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© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.