In 1874, on this day Millard Fillmore the 13th President of the United States and the last member of the Whig Party to hold that office died in Buffalo, New York. He was seventy-four years old.
Birth of VP FillmoreHe is consistently included in the bottom 10 of historical rankings of Presidents of the United States. But what if..
April 17th, 1850
For several weeks, a personal animosity had deepened between Senator Henry Foote of Mississippi and Senator Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri; the former supporting Senator Clay's compromise legislation and the latter vehemently opposing it.
Matters came to a head that afternoon when Senator Foote began making personal accusations and remarks against Senator Benton in one of his speeches.
Senator Benton abruptly stood up from his desk, knocking his chair violently aside, and started towards Senator Foote in an unmistakable posture of physical confrontation.
Senator Foote (who was of much slighter build than the outraged Senator Benton) fled down the aisle towards the Vice President's desk, behind which he took cover and aimed a revolver at Senator Benton. Chaos erupted at the sight of the drawn weapon: visitors fled the galleries, and Senators shouted for someone to fetch the Sargeant-at-Arms. Senator Benton continued his foolhardy advance, shouting that Senator Footefor a coward and daring him to shoot.
[POD] Seeing Senator Foote's attention distracted for an instant, Senator Dickinson of New York tries to grab the revolver away from him. As they struggle, a single gunshot rings out. Vice President Millard Fillmore (who had stood only a few yards away, shouting in vain for the Senate to come to order) abruptly drops his gavel, staggers and falls to the floor. "Oh my God! You've killed Fillmore! You b*stards!" shouts Senator Benton.
Assuming Zachary Taylor still gets sick and dies that summer...
Depending on which chamber selects a leader first, the Presidential succession falls to either Senate President Pro Tempore William R. King (D-Alabama), or House Speaker Howell Cobb (D-Georgia), both of whom are strongly pro-slavery.
* Under the terms of the Succession Act of 1792, there will need to be a Presidential election in November 1850; so anti-slavery Whigs and Democrats probably work together to block any Compromise from passing until after the election (when hopefully someone more reasonable is in the White House).
* William Seward has a good chance of being elected, which may mean no Compromise of 1851, 1852, 1853, or 1854 either.
In 1655, what started as a private disagreement, this monumental case in the young American colonies would establish precedence for the clarity of indentured servitude and all but end the notion of slavery for the Virginia Colony.
John Casor Declared an Indentured Servant Anthony Johnson, a Black colonist who came to America in 1619 as an indentured servant, one from the first "20 and odd negroes", had realized his freedom and was granted fifty acres as was customary in the colonial settlement. Through "hard labor and known service" (as described in another, later legal case), Anthony and his wife Mary had grown fairly wealthy with a farm of 250 acres. As part of this, he was able to take on five indentured servants, one of whom was John Casor.
After several years of work, John determined that he had earned his freedom and paid back his debts from being brought over to the colonies. Anthony "was in a feare. Upon this his sonne in lawe, his wife and his two sonnes perswaded the said Anthony Johnson to sett the said John Casor free", which should have ended the matter. However, after a debilitating fire on his plantation in 1653, Anthony sought to rebuild, and he needed help of the servant he had given freedom. He took up a case against Robert Parker, a neighboring White planter who had taken on John Casor as a hired hand. In Johnson vs Parker, Anthony called for the return of Casor as well as damages for having lost his "servant for life". After much deliberation, it was determined that there was no paperwork in the matter (having been lost or nonexistent, a possibility as Anthony Johnson was illiterate), and that having one's word against another was a wobbly groundwork for law in the colonies. "A man would not be a slave unless rigorously documented, which made indentured servitude the much more viable option.
Casor remained a free man working under Parker while Anthony sold the remainder of his farm and moved to Somerset County, where he would lease a 300-acre farm for ninety-nine years. Meanwhile, the influx of indentured servants bolstered the expansion of the colony as each would be granted 50 acres upon their freedom. The Virginia Colony exploded with growth, and soon other colonies would be founded, most emulating the anti-slave law, though fewer would agree with the easy citizenship of Blacks, as granted in another case concerning Anthony Johnson's land upon his death in 1670 in which his grandchildren were able to establish landowning rights.
Without slaves, it was argued, the building up of the colonies was slowed, but modern historians disagree, stating that a firmer, wider population of farmers maximized land use rather than plantations, as was seen in the Free Soil movement of the mid-1800s. As part of the transitory period between 1719 and 1729, South Carolina amended its laws to allow widespread slavery, which was crucial to building its economy on rice-harvesting since the skills of imported slaves were key to cultivation. In one of his many fiery essays in 1775, Thomas Paine would publish "African Slavery in America," a work condemning slavery in an age of enlightenment. Anti-slavery became a key part of the movement for independence, which would ignite the South, particularly South Carolina, in disagreement. The matter would finally be solved by the war effort, promising freedom to slaves who volunteered for the army and declaring restrictive masters to be "Tories".
After several decades of growth, the United States would again be torn apart by the Nullification Crisis over the Tariff of 1828 (also known as the "Tariff of Abominations" by detractors). The question of central federal power over states' rights in confederation again was raised forty years after the Constitution had replaced the Articles of Confederation. South Carolina led the charge in declaring "nullification" rights and was followed by the agricultural states of the South. President Andrew Jackson and his preparedness for a fight led to the fast-moving Civil War with U.S. Army troops collecting taxes while defeating opposing militias. Fear of overwhelming federal power struck the country, but, upon Martin Van Buren's election in 1836 near the closing days of the war, the nation came back together.
Although the United States was one of the earliest modern nations to abolish slavery, racial tensions would continue through the nineteenth century. Gradually through the work of conferences, African Americans and even women would be granted full rights and non-restricted votes by the turn of the twentieth century.
In 1803, because the proposed marriage of Jerome Bonaparte and the "Duchess of Baltimore" Betsy Patterson of Maryland would confer an illegal Title of Nobility on a US Citizen the constitution temporarily halted the Federal Government from purchasing the Louisiana Territory.
Duchess of Baltimore
Co-written with Mike Ulkowski Matters were further complicated when their child Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte born on July 7, 1805 received aristocratic recognition from France in addition to gaining U.S. citizenship through his American-born mother.
Nevertheless, for different reasons both the French and US Governments needed the Purchase to go ahead. And so Napoleon petitioned Pope Pius VII to annul their marriage, whilst Representative Nathaniel Macon of North Carolina drafted a constitutional amendment that would prevent US citizens from holding a foreign title of nobility.
Ultimately, the Pope refused to comply, and a constitutional amendment was indeed required prior to the completion of the Purchase.
In 1995, during a joint rally between President Clinton and Vice President Gore in Charleston, South Carolina, McVeigh detonates a large truck bomb, instantly killing President Clinton and Vice President Gore.
A shocked Newt Gingrich is sworn in as President of the United States. McVeigh is swiftly tracked down and is killed in a firefight with FBI agents.
President GingrichGingrich's first act as President is to order two weeks of mourning for President Clinton and Vice President Gore. A state funeral is held for both the President and Vice President.
A new article from Althistory WikiaIn the media many liberal pundits who are angry with the immediate shift in power, call for Gingrich to step down as President. Calling the liberal pundits "ghoulish", Gingrich refuses and two weeks later appoints Gulf War hero Collin Powell to be the next Vice President of the United States. On April 22, 1995 Collin Powell is sworn in as the 46th and first African American Vice President of the United States of America. President Gingrich begins to lay the groundwork for his new administration. Fearing liberal backlash, Gingrich insures that few members of the former Clinton cabinet will be replaced.
In a speech before a crowded Missouri state capitol Richard Gephardt declares his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States of America. In a statement on national television President Gingrich announces that he will be seeking the Republican nomination for President in 1996. Gephardt immediately takes to the campaign trail and begins to blast Gingrich for his far-right stance on the issues.
Opinion polls show that exactly 50 percent of people approve of the job that Gingrich is doing. Colin Powell announces he will not seek another term. Many liberal pundits speculate that he is having disagreements with Gingrich. Privately, however, it is only because Powell has never had any desire to be Vice President of the United States.
In 1862, the ironclad _Virginia_ made its first sortie against the Union ships at the sea lanes of Hampton Roads, Virginia. The _Virginia_ exchanged a round of cannon with the wooden _Cumberland_ and then rammed the _Cumberland_ as per doctrine.
The Scrooge Contribution Part IVThe relatively feeble engnes of the _Virginia_ were then shown inadequate for the _Virginia_ to back out of a ram as expected. Losing its prow, _Virginia_ backed enough to give the _Congress_ a devastating barrage from the ironclad's cannons. Another ship, _Minnesota_ went to shallow water to escape proximity to the _Virginia_. The first day of action (March 8) did not involve the British ironclad _Warrior_, held in reserve that day, or the Union _Monitor_, hurrying south for its encounter with the _Virginia__. The beginning of the battle of the second day was lit by the light of the still burning _Congress._ The least impressive ship that second day was the _Virginia_ which was underengined and poorly built. The _Warrior_, struck several times at its unarmored rudder, began leaking badly and was stuck in the shallows of Hampton Roads, while the _Monitor_ was paralyzed by several direct hits to its gun turret. The outcome was that all three ironclads were rendered incapable of combat and withdrawn from further action.
As military fortunes swelled along the lines of General McClellan's peninsular campaign against Richmond, the British Army had invaded across the border with America in March 1862. Sir James Hope Grant lead five thousand sepoys (transferred, like him, from India) into Seattle. The British took the town, though much of the city was burned down.
In the next month (April 1862), Grant received fifteen thousand reinforcements from across the Pacific Ocean. General Grant planned to go south along the coast and clear out American resistance sloowly and methodically.
Meanwhile, the Pacific Squadron of Admiral Sir Thomas Maitland had been occupied in making the Pearl Harbor port of Honolulu, Hawaii, a British base. On April 1, 1862, the Squadron had attempted to occupy San Francisco during the early morning fog but had been beaten off in a week of fighting. In May, the Royal Navy made a second attempt that was again overcome by an onslaught of numbers. The civilians of San Francisco far outnumbered their adversaries in the Royal Navy and Marines.
On June 21, 1862, General James Hope Grant was defeated in the Rogue's River battles of southern Oregon, and his forces dispersed and retreated following the General's capture by a guerilla organization called the "Lake Tahoe Grizzlies".
In 1976, on this day Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's rock opera movie Jesus in Kashmir premiered across the United Kingdom.Click to watch Led Zeppelin
Jesus in KashmirFollowing in the footsteps of the predecessor rock operas Godspell (1970) and Jesus Christ Superstar (1973), Robert Plant portrayed the second half of the life of Jesus right up until his death in Srinagar at the age of eighty years old.
The signature song Kashmir is a spiritual depiction of Jesus flight to the East to study under Buddhist masters in India (the three wise men were Buddhist elders searching for a reincarnation in the manner that Dalai Lamas are searched for),
"Oh let the sun beat down upon my face, stars to fill my dream. I am a traveler of both time and space, to be where I have been to sit with elders of the gentle race, this world has seldom seen. They talk of days for which they sit and wait and all will be revealed "
Today it has been widely accepted that Jesus was buried in Roza Bol. The name of the person buried there according to the sign post and local records is Yus Asaph. The Bhavishya Mahapurana details a holy man in Kashmir at the time who refered to himself as "Isa-masih" and said he was born of a virgin, and some referred to him as "a Son of God".
Local information about Yus Asaph is that he was a prophet who journeyed to Kashmir from a foreign land. The direction of his grave indicates that he was of Israelite origin. The carved footprints next to the tomb suggest that he once survived crucifixion or some other punishment leading to visible scaring of the feet.
In 1837, the House of Representatives votes for president of the United States.
The vote does not go smoothly. A number of Webster's Northern supporters prove unwilling to vote for Jackson despite their man's urgings. Meanwhile, Southerners in the House denounce Webster's withdrawal as a scheme designed to keep the White House from once more being occupied by a 'Southern gentleman.' Tempers flare, and the House's sergeant-at-arms is forced to intervene in two separate physical confrontations.
When the votes are finally counted, it is discovered that once again, there is no majority: some of Webster's former supporters, as well as some of Calhoun?s partisans, have cast blank ballots. Since the Constitution specifies that the winner of the presidency is decided by a majority vote of 'the whole House,' not merely the majority of those voting, there is no winner. What's more, informal polling of the dissident Representatives indicates that they are prepared to continue casting blank ballots. Since neither Jackson nor Calhoun can muster a majority vote in that case, there seems to be no prospect of breaking the deadlock.
It is now clear that there will have to be a vote in the Senate. What is not clear is what that will mean: with Webster's withdrawal, the Federalists in the upper house are a wild card in any such balloting.
In 2004, Jacob and Livinia Sheridan reluctantly leave their retirement home in Darwin, Australia to examine the wreckage of the Huygens, a ship that crashed into the Pacific on its return from the Saturnian moon, Titan. The first ship they encounter is the quarantine ship that had gone up to meet the Huygens, ISA 21. It bears the marks of weapon fire, and its entire crew is dead.
In 2005, Chelsea Perkins performs the spell Lights of the night sky enhanced, and suddenly finds herself possessed of telescopic vision; unfortunately, this means that her normal vision is gone, and when she looks at objects close to her, she sees them at a microscopic level. She is reluctantly forced to agree with Alma May Watson that she should have burned the spell book she got this one out of.
In 1962, international superstar Pete Best made his television debut on the BBC, performing with his old band The Silver Beatles on the musical show Teenager's Turn. Best would soon decide to go his own way, which turned out to be disastrous for his old bandmates, but a bonanza for him.
In 1952, hiding from East German soldiers and an extra-dimensional entity in a hillside cave, Mikhail von Heflin and Velma Porter slip through a hole they find in the cave into another dimension. While von Heflin has been exposed to this sort of thing before, Miss Porter is too new to her present state of existence, and loses consciousness.
In 1935, following up on the success of his scientific romance Look Homeward, Angel, Thomas Wolfe publishes its sequel, Of Time And The River. The series followed the exploits of the fallen angel Gant after leaving his home in the village of Ash, and has become a classic of S.R.
In 1852, Denmark and Spain joined the Congress of Nations. The last two holdouts in Europe, they paved the way for the other isolationist countries of the earth to finally give in and begin joining the C.N.
In 2005, after doing some work for the local diner owner for a day, the Langes are able to borrow his phone and make a call to the United States. They call the Save Earth group in Tucson and explain that they are in South Africa, and ask for help. The group's leader, Carl Worthington, promises to get them back.
In 1994, South African troops, allies of the U.S., accept the surrender of Madagascar. Although the war in the Indian Ocean Theater is just beginning, South Africa is sweeping across its neighbors with alarming speed. In some respects, they are doing even better than President Ralph Shephard's troops in the western hemisphere.
In 1953, Doctor Rosalind Franklin is tight-lipped about her involvement in the murders of James Watson and Francis Crick, and the attempted murder of Cambridge biologist William Hughes. The prosecutor, with much evidence already pointing at Dr. Maurice Wilkins instead of her, tells Professor Hughes, 'I am inclined to release her and proceed with the case against Dr. Wilkins.' Professor Hughes begs him, 'Let me talk to her.' The prosecutor agrees, and Professor Hughes speaks with Dr. Franklin in the interrogation room. He opens his questioning with, 'Why don't you tell me about the DNA?' Dr. Franklin thinks for a moment, then makes a decision to speak. 'All right. What's one more man stealing my research? DNA is a beautiful thing; in the pictures I took, you can see it spiraling through all life, carrying all the information needed to make you, or me, or a fly, or a disease. Its little spirals run through everything, Professor Hughes. Study it, learn it, know it, and you know everything there is to know about life itself.' Professor Hughes shakes himself out of the spell of her vision and asks, 'Do you think such research is Nobel-prize worthy?' She barked out a laugh and said, 'At the very least, professor. Do you know what you can do if you know how to reorder the spiral that orders life? You become a god, professor. That knowledge, that power, is worthy of more accolades than the scientific community is capable of giving.' Professor Hughes nodded and followed up with, 'Do you think such research is worth the sacrifice of human life?' She narrows her eyes at him, and simply nods. The prosecutor agrees to bring charges against her, and keep searching for evidence to tie her to the murders.
In 12-18-19-16-12, the composer for the Incan court, Bekcheco, died in his sleep in the Incan capitol of Cuszo. Bekcheco had been known for his musical styles that appealed so highly to the young people of the continent, combining eastern rhythms with more civilized traditional Oueztecan music.
In 1801, British and Ottoman soldiers took control of Abukir Bay in Egypt from Italian Imperial forces. Napoleon Buonaparte, Emperor of Italy, had assumed control of Egypt largely out of a desire to recreate the Roman Empire. Unfortunately for the Little Italian, it placed him perilously close to the Ottoman Empire, which joined forces with the northern European allies against Italy.
In 1976, actress Lydia Clarke unexpectedly withdrew from the cast of The Enforcer, an action movie starring Clint Eastwood in his third outing as Dirty Harry Callaghan with Tyne Daley playing his new partner Inspector Kate Moore. An installment from the 49th State thread.
The Big PictureGiven her husband's robust stance on the Second Amendment, political advisors had strongly objected to the depiction of gun-related violence. In the event, her role as Inspector Kate Moore's mother was written out of the script entirely.
A few months later, Heston was selected as Nelson Rockefeller's running mate. Expected to bring sparkle and gravitas but little executive contribution to the role, Heston himself entered the White House after Rocky died of a heart attack in the arms of his secretary. This act of infidelity was in sharp contrast to his own happy marriage, Heston had married his first love and the couple were as happy as newly weds. This give-take partnership was fortunate for the Republicans, because Clarke had sacrificed her acting career by turning down a starring role for the possibility of becoming First Lady. Soon enough though, Heston's world would be complicated by the burdens of office. Because shortly before the 1980 election, terrorists seized the American Embassy and the country was thrown into a national agony that absolutely demanded Presidential leadership of the highest order. He rose to the occasion, won with the election (Eastwood helped out on the campaign trail) and embarked upon the transformative phase of his Presidency.
In 1904, senior German Underground (G.U.) official Reinhard Tristan Eugen Heydrich was born in the city of Halle an der Saale.
Birth of Reinhard HeydrichHis father, Bruno, was a non-religious singer and composer who was kept out of the upper echelons of German society due to a humble background and a persistent, though false, rumour that he was Jewish. Reinhard's mother, Elizabeth Kranz, was a practicing Catholic from a rich musical family in Dresden. As Reinhard grew up, both his father and his classmates inculcated him with a virulent anti-Semitism.
He was a loner who tried to prove his superiority through his studies and through sports. And as he rose through the ranks of the German Underground, it became increasingly apparent that he was more a worshipper of power than Nazi ideology.
At the Wannsee Conference in January 1942, he informed leaders of the G.U. of his plan to exterminate the Greater Zionist Resistance (GZR) utterly, and non-Aryans with them. Although some were secretly appalled at this plan, none dared speak against it; Hitler's enemies in the G.U. had a habit of "disappearing". But he went too far, telling them "If the old man (Hitler) goes nuts, I will take care of him".
And sure enough, he also disappeared. Because several months later, he was assassinated by members of the GZR. Even though other seniors in the G.U. like Admiral Canaris had received intelligence reports, they failed to pass the warning on to Heydrich. And the result of course was that the fate of the G.U. remained firmly in the hands of the time-travelling new-Nazis from 1968. Because this time around, demagogues would not be permitted to wreck the project.
In 1904, on this day Hitler's Hangman Reinhard Heydrich was born in Halle an der Saale, the largest city in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt.
Birth of Hitler's HangmanWhile serving as the Acting Protector of Bohemia and Moravia, and en route to a meeting with the Fuhrer, he was subject to an assassination attempt by agents acting for the Czechoslovak government-in-exile (reconstruction as pictured).
Heinrich Himmler ordered Dr. Karl Gebhardt to fly to Prague to assume care. Despite a fever, Heydrich's recovery appeared to progress well. But recognizing the threat of the infection, Dr. Theodor Morell, Hitler's personal physician, suggested the use of a new antibacterial drug called sulfonamide that subdued the fever and ultimately saved his life.
Following his recovery, the meeting was reconvened, and he as previously planned, he was dispatched to German-occupied France to subdue the resistance. And needless to say, his close encounter with death had added a raw edge to the intensity of his already frightening brutality.
In 1850, on this day 28th President of the United States James Beauchamp ("Champ") Clark was born in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky.
Birth of the under-estimated statesman from Pike CountyFollowing the tragic demise of William Jennings Bryan, he was nominated by the Democratic Party on the fourth ballot at the convention in Baltimore.
Despite the disparaging comments from some quarters (he was sneeringly labelled "the statesman from Pike County"), he was an experienced Missouri politician and a successful Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. He decided to chose a less consistent candidate, Woodrow Wilson as his running mate, and together they defeated incumbent President William Howard Taft in the fall. This Republican disaster was also in part due to the unhelpful entry into the campaign of former President Teddy Roosevelt who split the GOP vote.
One consequence of this outcome was the appointment of James Michael Curley, a first generation Irish American who was raised on the horrors of the Irish Potato Famine and the stories of British oppression, for the position of Secretary of State. To the great disadvantage of the British, he was in post at the outbreak of the Great War, and did much to support Clark's own inclination towards American neutrality.
In 1936, in his final break with the Locarno Pact and the older Treaty of Versailles, Adolf Hitler ordered troops to march into the Rhineland, which had been formerly occupied by Allied Powers and fully demilitarized for half a decade.
Hitler's Forces Turn About in Rhineland The move was a political gamble, and, when the dice fell, Hitler proved the loser. After a fast debate in the League of Nations, France led a campaign marching troops back into occupation, chasing German soldiers out. Hitler's career would never recover from the blunder.
The Rhineland had long been a tumultuous piece of geography since its organization in 1824. The Industrial Revolution found it rich in key minerals, which were doubly useful with the Rhine waterway for transport. Factories went up, which made the Rhine even more key than its position as a barrier to neighboring France. When the Great War raged, the Rhine served as an important staging ground for campaigns into Belgium and defense against French counterattacks. At the Treaty of Versailles, part of the demilitarizing (humiliation) of Germany was to occupy the Rhine and refuse German stations there. The German delegation famously broke the ceremonial pen after the signing to show their displeasure.
"Later, the policies would prove overwhelming for Germany. Hyperinflation over reparations destroyed its economy, and already in 1925 the Locarno Pact looked to weaken French diplomatic dominance over Eastern Europe, which would favor Germany, especially in its hastening of moving French troops out of the Rhineland by 1930. Three years later, leader Adolf Hitler would reinvigorate Germany by strict economic practices and illegally rebuilding the armed forces. War-weary Europe primarily ignored the Chancellor's activities, usually too concerned with their own economic woes to deal with another expensive war. France itself became increasingly under pressure from its leftist movements and ultimately signed a new pact with the Soviet Union in 1935, which would prompt Hitler to move into the Rhineland as he felt the French had already violated the Locarno Pact.
Upon news of the German reoccupation of the Rhine, French Prime Minister Albert Sarraut decided now was the time to solidify his party's place in the government. He rallied France to the illegal actions of the Germans, gained the blessing of the League of Nations, and marched troops to chase out German soldiers. The German generals, already nervous about the action, retreated. Hitler was furious with them, but the generals knew the lackluster preparedness of the Reich's armies. German Foreign Minister Neurath went as far as demanding another push, but Hitler lost his nerve.
In his Reichstag Speech at the time of the reoccupation, Hitler said, "I would therefore like the German people to understand the inner motives of National Socialist foreign policy, which finds it painful that the outlet to the sea of a people of 35 millions is situated on territory formerly belonging to the Reich, but which recognises that it is unreasonable and impossible to deny a State of such a size as this any outlet to the sea at all," which was taken by the French and Belgians as a notification of a policy of invasion and war. The matter was discussed in the League of Nations, and British Foreign Secretary Sir Anthony Eden's plan for bolstering the Germany economy was reexamined. Germany would win back several colonies, but it had gone too far in trying to force its hand, losing potential economic advantages along the Rhine and Danube. Military action suddenly became a terrible public relations move.
In a poll on March 29 in Germany, the Germans would come to a marginal split over whether the invasion had been a good idea. Hitler conducted the Olympics that summer, where he would again lose face after his Aryan athletes were defeated by international figures such as African American Jesse Owens. After strikes washed across France in 1936, they would spill into Germany, and Hitler's government would be voted out in favor of more moderate and left-leaning ones. Hitler himself would be appointed to a governorship in Kaiser Wilhelm's Land (internationally known as Papua New Guinea), where his fame would all but disappear from the world view, though his paintings of the tropical Pacific would later be lauded in museums in Berlin, London, and New York.
The world, meanwhile, would come to a new wave of revolutions as Socialism grew, fed by successes from the USSR, while Fascism faded in long, unwinnable wars in Spain and Italian Ethiopia.
In 2002, a videotape of Osama bin Laden comes into the hands of Gulf media network Al-Jazeera and is broadcast.
Bin Laden Lives by Eric LippsCIA analysts are unable to determine from what appears on the tape exactly when it was made; its appearance therefore feeds rumors that bin Laden is still alive and at large despite the Gore Administration's claim that he was killed in the asault on Tora Bora several days earlier.
The Administration will swiftly denounce the tape as a fake. Gore's political enemies, however, will seize on it as proof that Gore lied to the American people about Allied forces having killed bin Laden. A Wall Street Journal editorial the folowing day will call the video "proof that this administration will say and do anything to deceive Americans for political gain".
In 1983, physicist Edward Teller informs U.S. President Edward M. Kennedy that "recent breakthroughs" in X-ray laser technology have made possible the development of what Dr. Teller asserts can be a "100 percent effective" defense against nuclear missiles.
TedK Authorizes "Star Wars"Teller claims that a single module of the system he envisions, one "the size of an executive desk", would be able to counter a full-scale Soviet ICBM attack.
The President is familiar with anti-ballistic-missile technology, having been involved in Senate debates on the subject as far back as the late 1960s. Based on the questionable history of ABM efforts, which have never produced a working system, he is skeptical of Teller's claims despite the scientist's fame as "father of the hydrogen bomb".
Nevertheless, he informs Teller that he will support an increase in research funding for this project. He cautions, though, that he will make no public announcement on the subject. "Why tip off the Soviets about what we're doing?" he asks rhetorically. "And besides, if we go public with this and then we can't get the damn thing to work after all, we'll look like idiots".
Dr. Teller assures Kennedy that there is no danger that the technology will turn out to be unworkable, but agrees that it is probably best not to publicize the project. He leaves the office satisfied.
This post is an article from the No Chappaquiddick timeline by Eric Lipps.
On this day in 1968, Israeli prime minister Levi Eshkol died of heart failure at the age of 72.
On this day in 2019 surviving cast members of all three CSI franchise series held a reunion party in Los Angeles to mark the original show's 20th anniversary and promote the debut of a new syndicated spinoff about forensic cadets.
On this day in 1970, Apollo 7 was launched from Cape Canaveral; because seven is traditionally considered a lucky number, the lunar module for this mission was fittingly christened 'Lady Luck'.
In 1837, Daniel Webster announces he is withdrawing from the presidential race, and asks his followers to support Acting President Andrew Jackson instead.
His stated reason is the need for Americans to 'stand united in this time of foreign invasion,' but political insiders believe that another, more potent reason is that the collapse of his political support among Southerners in Congress following his intemperate remarks of eight days earlier: he can now function only as a spoiler, whose continued presence in the contest will hand victory to the strongly pro-slavery Calhoun, whom he dislikes both politically and personally.
With Webster out of the running, a House vote is scheduled for the following day. It is now expected that Jackson will be confirmed as president for life.
Southern supporters of John Calhoun are furious, and accuse Webster of 'conspiring' with Jackson to defeat Calhoun. They vow to prevent the House from confirming Jackson as lifetime President.
In 2004, two vessels splash into the Pacific, 50 miles from the Australian coast, near Darwin. One is the Huygens, which the International Space Administration already knew was damaged. The other was the quarantine ship sent up to examine the Huygens, which had been in perfect shape when it lifted off from the I.S.A. command center in Tanegashima, Japan. The I.S.A. requests that the Australian government send someone to examine the wreckage, and they turn to their nearest experts, Jacob and Livinia Sheridan, in Darwin.
In 1987, U.S. troops occupy the Mexican side of the Rio Grand Valley and Baja California. President Ralph Shephard convinced Mexico not to counter-attack; according to him, it was 'reinforcing American positions on the continent in the event of Communist attack'. Privately, though, he said that 'America is only marching into its backyard.'
In 1952, soldiers and a thing from another dimension hunt down Mikhail von Heflin and Velma Porter in the woods of East Germany. Porter and von Heflin can feel the thing in their minds as they run, and its attack is as deadly as the bullets the soldiers fire at them. They seek shelter underneath a small hill and attempt to regain their strength.
In 1950, the Soviet States of America denied that British physicist Klaus Fuchs had passed nuclear secrets on to them. Fuchs had been involved in the Isle of Skye project in the early 40's in Britain, and was suspected of being a spy because his father was living in communist East Germany, an ally of the S.S.A.
In 1941, Greater Zionist Resistance freedom fighters make a last-ditch effort to save Greece from falling under the heel of the German Underground. Almost 60,000 battle-hardened G.Z.R. fighters, many with ties to Greece, landed on the peninsula and moved north and west to push the G.U. back to Germany.
In Hellenic Year 3438, the great teacher Aristotle was put to death by Athenians rebelling against the rule of Macedon. Aristotle, a teacher of Alexanderos of Macedon, refused to flee his home after Alexanderos' death caused instability in the empire, and was captured by a murderous mob outside his home.
In 1794,, Robert Deautrive and Y'Li'Koma produce the first popular vid, short for video play, which merged the human dramatic form with Mlosh technology to produce an entirely new art form. Their vid, Sept Jour d'Hiver (7 Days of Winter), about a woman's goodbye to her dying father, is still regarded as one of the greatest pieces of theater ever produced in France.
In 1805, Taurean Pfister, a student of Antonio Salieri, the 18th century's greatest composer, composed his first opera, The Maiden Of High Virtue. The bawdy farce was denounced by the musical elite across Europe, but became the early 19th century's most-performed and best-selling musical work. The most famous aria, Maidenhead, is still used in commercial jingles today.
In 1797, on the eve of the inauguration, George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson dined at the Presidential Mansion in Philadelphia. An article from the American Heroes thread
The Dinner, ReduxTo be sure the evening got off to a bad start because Jefferson immediately declared his unwillingness to join the Cabinet or take part in the Peace Delegation to end the quasi-war with France. "As to my participating in the administration, if by that he [Adams] meant the executive cabinet, both duty and inclination will shut that door to me. I cannot have a wish to see the scenes of 1793 revived as to myself, and to descend daily into the arena like a gladiator, to suffer martyrdom in every conflict".
As a matter of fact he planned to head straight back to Monticello as soon as he was sworn in as Vice President. This rather final statement of abdication produced a big scary smile from General Washington. Because taken in combination, it was an outright rejection of Adams bold (some might say naive) bipartisan strategy of bringing together Federalists and Republicans within a unified cabinet. This radical proposal had led Washington's advisers to threaten to quit en masse. But fortunately for Adams, General Washington thought it was a fine idea.
Therefore the outgoing President prevailed upon Jefferson to lead the peace delegation to Paris. This was not at all easy; firstly Jefferson's chief lieutenant James Madison had also refused to participate, and secondly because it was not at all clear that a settlement was possible. This was because the French Regime was not only unstable, but held the Federal Government in low regard. Needless to say, Washington succeeded, both Jefferson and Madison headed off to Paris and the result, whilst disappointing and controversial, was largely supported by both political parties.
In 1836, on this day General Matthias Wilde led Texas to victory at the historic battle of the Alamo.
The ChargeOf course in the alternate history world of "The Charge", things are a little different. March 2 is "Texas Empire Pride Day" . On March 2, 1836 the Texas Declaration of Independence was signed, which formally declared Texas's independence from Mexico and created the Republic of Texas.
The full article by Sharon Bayliss can be viewed here and continues as a thread on this site.
In 1918, on this day the Lord Chancellor of Ireland John Edward Redmond (pictured) died from heart failure hours after undergoing an operation to remove an intestinal obstruction. A moderate, constitutional and conciliatory politician he attained the twin dominant objectives of his political life, party unity and the granting of an interim form of self-government to Ireland.
Irish Home Rule in 1914: Part #3He served in the Imperial Parliament for eighteen years being chosen as John Stuart Parnell's ultimate successor in order to lead the re-unified Irish Parliamentary Party. In the second election of December 1910 this parliamentary party held the balance of power at Westminster, which marked a high point in Redmond's political career. His deal over the budget crisis of 1909 led to the curbing of the power of the House of Lords. With the Lords' veto abolished under the Parliament Act 1911, Irish Home Rule (which the Lords blocked in 1894) became a reality. Redmond used his leverage to persuade the Liberal government of H. H. Asquith to introduced the Third Home Rule Bill in April 1912, to grant Ireland national self-government. This could no longer be blocked by the Lords, its enactment merely delayed for two years. Home Rule had reached the pinnacle of its success and Redmond had gone much further than any of his predecessors in shaping British politics to the needs of the Irish.
For all its reservations, the Bill was for Redmond the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. "If I may say so reverently", he told the House of Commons, "I personally thank God that I have lived to see this day". Unfortunately, Asquith missed a magnificent opportunity by failing to incorporate into the Bill any significant concessions to Ulster Unionists, who then campaigned relentlessly against it. Nonetheless by 1914 Redmond had become a nationalist hero of Parnellite stature and could have had every expectation of becoming head of a new Irish government in Dublin.
But by the time that Redmond transferred to the Irish Bicameral Parliament, "the troubles" had begun in earnest and the Great Powers excluding Britain were locked in a general conflict. Denied British support, the French Armies were hammered into early defeat and during the de-mobilization that followed, many of their weapons were secretly transported to Ireland.
This article is a post from the Irish Home Rule 1914 collaborative thread.
In AD 542, with a virulent plague sweeping across the Eastern Mediterranen, the death of Emperor Justinian I forced the remaining survivors to abandon the Byzantine Capital.
Fall of Constantinople, RebootHis illness had been kept a secret from his people. But the families of other victims were suffering from exhaustion. And with ten thousand citizens dying every single day, there was no longer enough people to bury the dead.
Many suspected that the leaving of the unburied dead unstacked and in the open was accelerating the spread of the disease. And others believe that the crowded streets of the city was causing the spread of the infection. When the Imperial Family fled the city, these suspicions crystalized into the certainty that Byzantium was turning ont a charnel house.
Tragically, many survivors tried to escape by sea, unaware that the grain ships that they had commandeered were the very same vessels that had carried the contagion from Egypt.
In 1836, on this day in San Antonio de Bexar the converted Church come Tejanos restaurant famously known as "The Alamo" was closed by co-owners Messrs Travis, Crockett & Bowie (pictured) who were forced to admit defeat after a thirteen day price war with Santa Anna's Mexican-style grill.
End of The MissionAnglo cuisine would ultimate win out though. A month later, the supremely confident Mexican chief over-expanded into the San Jacinto area where he was decisively beaten by Sam Houston's chain of Tejanos restaurants. The big crowd pull was James Bowie working the open grill, slicing the beef with his distinctive long catering knife.
In 1836, after spending nearly two weeks besieging the Texian fortifications at the Alamo Mission near San Antonio de Bexar, General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna considered destroying the garrison utterly.
Santa Anna Allows Alamo to Surrender He would show the Texians his military might by example: any who stood against him would be wiped out. However, after review of the tactics used in Mexico's own revolution, Santa Anna realized that he would be turning himself into a version of Colonel Joaquin de Arredondo, who had once been his commanding officer. Arredondo had used mass execution to put down the initial rebellions, but the war of independence would eventually be won after eleven bloody years. Santa Anna did not want to turn Tejas into an expensive war of occupation, but he realized he could not simply terrorize the Texians into submission. Instead, he would have to cut off the head of the rebellious snake.
"The Texians (Americans living in Mexican Texas) began their revolution for independence fairly quickly after Mexico's own war of independence against Spain. Santa Anna had initially fought on the side of Spain, then spent the remainder of the war building villages for refugees and suppressing Indian attacks. In 1821, he swore allegiance to Mexican El Libertador Agustin de Iturbide, who rewarded him with a generalship, the position that Santa Anna would exploit for great personal gain. He lived through the early days of Mexico periodically fighting Spanish invasions and working to grow his political authority amid numerous coups. Finally, in 1833, he was elected president by Congress, and he would begin a program of centralizing power into his own hands.
Meanwhile, in Texas, the number of Anglos had grown to over 30,000, while the native-born Mexicans was only 7,800, half-again as many as the 5,000 slaves in the state. Santa Anna's government handed down specific directions and laws, such as disallowing slavery and ordering farmers to grow grain and beef. The Texians, descended from the laissez-faire attitudes of British colonialism, wanted to grow cotton cash crops on plantations well staffed with slaves. Tension increased, and Santa Anna eventually dissolved local governments and militias to be replaced with his own men. Those who stood against him were imprisoned.
The Texians fought back, refusing to allow the cannon at Gonzales to be taken from the militia. They held their own "Battle of Lexington", calling back memories from the American Revolution, and used informal volunteers gathered from the countryside to fight 100 Mexican dragoons. The revolution spread, and the Mexican army was forced out of Texas. Santa Anna himself led a new army of thousands to retake Texas. One of their first targets was a group of some 150 Texians (including former Tennessee Congressman Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie, inventor of his namesake knife) set as a garrison in the mission outside San Antonio. After a few altercations and exchanges of cannon fire, the Mexican army turned to siege. Both Lieutenant Colonel William Travis and Colonel Jim Bowie sent messages attempting to surrender, but they were informed that any surrender must be unconditional.
On the eve of preparing a massive assault to break the Alamo's defenses after much artillery fire, Santa Anna finally decided to allow the Texians a fair chance to surrender. The beleaguered Texians did surrender, despite voices calling to fight to the last man. Seeing the division among even the hardened fighters of the cause, Santa Anna decided to use it to his advantage. He made certain news reached the Texas government at Gonzales (who had declared independence on March 2), and they immediately began packing up to flee. Stephen Austin and Samuel Houston were branded as cowards, and Santa Anna announced that he would be enforcing his liberation of the slaves: any slave who wished to be free would simply need to join his forces. Small farmers who had no business in the rebellion would not be harmed.
The new Republic of Texas was thrown into chaos as its slave class rose up, its middle class sought to protect their farms, and the upper class of rebels fought to keep control. Santa Anna, meanwhile, continued his pursuit after the Texians despite the cold and rain of the spring. He earned further credit as a merciful man when he honored General Urrea's request that the prisoners at Goliad be spared. The army under Sam Houston, however, conducted a scorched earth retreat that horrified locals.
Houston's army, low on morale and provisions, finally made its stand to fight at the Battle of Jacinto on April 21, 1836. Whispers ran through the troops of "Remember the Alamo" and "Remember Goliad", causing the men to believe that, if they surrendered, they would be treated fairly. Houston kept down mutiny by insisting he would shoot any officer that attempted to usurp him. His battle plan was risky: attacking the Mexican army during the siesta time over open ground. Santa Anna made a bitter error in not posting sentries, giving the Texians the upper hand. However, as the Mexicans regrouped, the Texians broke, and the battle was the end of the revolution. Houston and others attempted to flee into Louisiana, but a US army under General Pendleton Gaines arrested them as trespassers.
After the war, Santa Anna made quick to populate Texas with loyal citizens. He granted cheap land and huge haciendas to political allies as well as those who had been displaced from other areas in Mexico attempting to break away. In 1838, Santa Anna defeated a French invasion attempting to force Mexico to pay reparations for losses from French interests during the revolution. He would ultimately be unable to hold power forever as he was feared a warmonger against the United States. Valentin Gomez Farias knocked him from power to reduce the size and privileges of the military and institute reforms. He worked with American President James K. Polk to clarify the border between the countries. Without a war to fight, Santa Anna was made to retire to Kingstown, Jamaica, where he continued his gambling habit and promoted cockfighting internationally.
Tejas today is a wealthy corner of Mexico with careful immigration policies to keep its population of Americans at a reasonable level. Locals sometimes joke of attempting to declare independence when Mexico City passes unpopular laws, but such a reality is as unlikely as if it were to come from Los Angeles in Baja California, which remained Mexican after the north seceded in 1846.
In 1867, John Gutzon de la Mothe Borglum was born on this day in St. Charles, Idaho; as the creator of the famous carving on Stone Mountain near Atlanta, his depiction of President Jefferson Davis and Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson marked the towering achievements of the three individuals most directly responsible for the defeat of Republicanism, protection of States Rights and the ending of slavery in the United States.
Gutzon Borglum BornThe originator of the concept of the Confederate Memorial Carving was Mrs. C. Helen Plane, charter member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC). In 1912, she envisaged the largest bas relief sculpture in the world, commissioning Borglum to complete the Stone Mountain project; his work took twelve years to complete. During this period, the owners of the mountain, the Venable family deeded the north face to the UDC.
In 2009, on this day Tales of the Blackfreighter premiered in cinemas across North America. Click to watch the Trailer
Tales of the Black FreighterThis unique and compelling pirate comic book was conceived by author Alan Moore and graphic artist Dave Gibbons.
Figuring that readers experienced superheroes in real life, "they probably wouldn't be at all interested in superhero comics". Click to watch the interview with Alan Moore instead Gibbons suggested a pirate theme. "Mainly, genres like horror, science fiction, and piracy, particularly piracy, became prominent -- with EC riding the crest of the wave". Moore agreed because he was "a big Brecht fan": the Black Freighter alludes to the song "Seerauberjenny" from Brecht's Threepenny Opera.
After a number of attempts to adapt the series into a feature film, director Zack Snyder's TotBF was finally released in March 2009.
Initially Moore had refused to have his name attached to any film adaptations of his work; he told Entertainment Weekly, "There are things that we did with TotBF that could only work in a comic, and were indeed designed to show off things that other media can't".
Seeking to achieve much more than simply making a movie from a serial piece of artwork, Snyder convinced Moore that he had a matching vision for the film. Because Snyder also wanted to explore different perspectives on power, a strong undercurrent in the novel. Intrigued by "a meditation upon power", Moore agreed to play a full role in the production of TotBF even allowing Synder to persuade him to act in the cameo role of Blackbeard (pictured).
In 1836, defenders of the Alamo under the command of Col. William B. Travis repelled an army of several thousand under Mexican general and president Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna.
Glorious Texan Victory at the AlamoThe San Antonio fort had been lightly garrisoned, but as word spread in February of the approach of Santa Anna's forces, volunteers began converging on San Antonio.
Despite infighting and confusion among the motley assemblage of armed Texans, the fort's defenses were strengthened, enabling Travis's force, though still greatly outnumbered, to hold off the attackers.
Forced to abandon the attack as additional Texan reinforcements continued to arrive and rumors arose that the United States was preparing to intervene on the Texans' behalf, Santa Anna would next be defeated, by a Texan force commanded by Sam Houston, at the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836. Santa Anna himself would be captured the following day. His ignominious seizure triggered the fall of the government in Mexico City.
Flush with victory, the Texans moved not only to repel the Mexicans entirely from their territory but to aid the independentistas of neighboring Mexican department of Coahuila, which, like Texas, had revolted against Mexico City's control. By mid-1837, Coahuila, too, would have declared itself a sovereign republic.
Both Texas and Coahuila would join the Union in 1845, leading to war between the U.S. and Mexico. In 1847, Mexico would acknowledge defeat, and in the Mexican Cession would surrender to U.S. control a large swath of land along the two countries' border along with undisputed ownership of Texas and Coahuila.
In 1901, on this day an assassin killed Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany in the City of Bremen. His twelve-year old son, Friedrich Wilhelm Victor August Ernst is crowned Kaiser Wilhelm III of the German Empire.
Kaiser Wilhelm IIIUnfortunately, he is too young and inexperienced to reverse the reckless course of German foreign policy. However he does have the sense to call off the slaughter after the terrible Battle of Verdun. Despite the declared war aims of the Entente Powers, Woodrow Wilson is in election year and manages to broker a ceasefire.
Reduced to a mere figure-head by the Peace Settlement, power passes into the hands of a series of Chancellors from Friedrich Ebert to Adolf Hitler.
In 2008, in the feature article by Time Magazine The Race Goes On journalist Joe Klein described Hillary Clinton's remarkable recovery in the nomination campaign that against all odds gifted her the White House in November.
"Tiny fissures were beginning to appear in Obama's shining armor. I thought he won the Texas and Ohio debates with his elegant counterpunching and cool demeanor, but I was wrong:
Clinton's policy details - her specificity and passion on health insurance during the 16-min. volley with Obama that was later, foolishly, derided by the media - apparently conveyed a degree of caring and preparation that seemed more reliable than her opponent's shiny intellect and rhetoric. On the ground in Texas and Ohio, she began to seem more real than he did. There was another issue bubbling, which I hesitate to raise because it is largely scurrilous. It has to do with Obama's patriotism. There is a segment of the American populace that just can't get past his name. Hillary Clinton told 60 Minutes that Obama isn't Islamic "as far as I know". Over the past few weeks, though, both Barack and Michelle Obama have given ammunition to the smear artists. Michelle's moment was her extremely unfortunate statement that the success of her husband's campaign had made her "proud of my country" for the first time in her adult life. The Senator's moment came in the Ohio debate when he played political word games before rejecting the support of the bigot Louis Farrakhan. The hesitation was noticeable - and unacceptable".
In 1945, Dutch members of the Greater Zionist Resistance, who had lasted longer in Europe than any other branch of the G.Z.R., captured Lt. General Hans Rauter of the New Reich. They were actually just attempting to hijack his truck for supplies, but were able to use him as a hostage to secure enough cash and supplies to run their resistance for years afterward.
"I want to tell you about the time I almost died". said a mischievious Nikita Khrushev to members of the politburo. The Master had been taken to a remote dacha, bereft of life within the required fifty cubit radius. In theory, the Master was unable to shape shift via touch, also prevented from projecting his pschye to another host within the distance of a single breath. In practice, he was now occupying a new host. The Master had affected his second shape shift since Red October. It was a triumph of succession planning.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.