In 1453, with his capital city besieged by a vast Ottoman Turk force Byzantine Emperor Constantine XI Palaiologos reluctantly declared "Better the Cardinal's hat turban than the Sultan's turban!".
Better the Cardinal's hat than the Sultan's turban!Of course seven weeks later the siege was lifted by Venetian, German, and Genoese troops under the direct command of Pope Nicholas V. It would serve as the crowning moment of his impressive eight-year term as pope and herald a new age of military security in Christendom from outside threats.
But the inside story was simply incredible; even though the Tenth Crusade was the Byzantine's last hope, their plight was in no small part due to the earlier Crusades and caused by schismatic differences between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches. And much as Constantine XI had feared, the triumph meant the end of the Byzantine period and domination over the European Muslims. Eventually though the "Third Rome" would rise again, but not until the emergence of Tsarist Russia, the new vanguard of the Orthodox Church.
In 1937, the United States Government was outraged to discover that Nazi Germany had formed a contractual agreement for the supply of helium, a byproduct of oil from certain geological strata located in the Republic of Texas.
Hindenburg DisasterIn an attempt to defuse the diplomatic dispute escalating between the three Governments, a technical statement was issued to the public by industry sources in Berlin. Hindenburg Airship Designer, Herr Fritz August Breuhaus and the former head of the Zeppelin Company Dr. Hugo Eckener presented reasoned arguments that supply was absolutely necessary to ensure the safe continuation of transatlantic passenger travel. Both Germans politely reminded Americans that helium had been selected for the lifting gas because it was the safest to use in airships as it was not flammable.
However the US Government had designated the gas as a material with "military value" and banned exportation under the Neutrality Act. Accordingly, Washington advised the German Embassy that henceforth airships fueled by helium would be denied use of the hangar and mooring mast at the Lakehurst Naval Air Station in New Jersey (pictured).
For Germany, the cessation of the transatlantic lighter-than-air program was a transportation public relations disaster matched only by the Kriegsmarine sinking the Titanic. No longer would wealthy German Citizens travel in luxury to the East Coast. But it was not to be the last time that the swastika could be seen emblazening aircraft over New York City. Because the dispute was also just one step on the long road to war; within five years, anti-submarine patrol blimps were operated from Lakehurst and the only aircraft crossing the Atlantic were dispatched by the Luftwaffe.
In 1929, Huey Pierce Long, then governor of Louisiana, was impeached in the state's House of Representatives on a variety of charges ranging from corruption to "blasphemy". It was the beginning of a two-month drama which would end with his conviction in the Louisiana Senate by a single vote after the failure of an effort to derail the impeachment by obtaining sworn statements from one-third of the body?s members saying that they would vote to acquit regardless because the charges themselves were unconstitutional.
Kingfish Impeached by Eric LippsLong had run afoul of powerful business interests, in particular Standard Oil, which had been angered by his efforts to raise revenue for his ambitious social and construction programs through a five-cents-per-barrel tax on oil refining. Standard Oil had played a crucial role in building support for Long's impeachment. Ironically, though, this was to work to the ousted governor's advantage.
In October 1929, the stock market collapsed, touching off the cascade of economic failures which would produce the Great Depression. Long, quick to seize the moment, branded his Standard Oil adversaries as among those responsible for the spreading misery. In 1930, he won election to the U.S. Senate, and in 1932 ran for president of the United States, posing such a serious challenge to New York Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt that upon winning the Democratic nomination FDR offered the vice-presidential slot to Long.
Long accepted, despite privately sharing the pungent view of Texan John Nance Garner as to the worth of the vice-presidency. His acceptance, however, came with conditions: he demanded FDR's assurance that he would be allowed to speak and travel freely. Badly needing Long's support in the South, where he was viewed as deeply suspect for his liberal politics and Yankee background, FDR agreed.
Long would prove a capable second - so much so that Roosevelt would retain him through the 1936, 1940 and 1944 elections despite strong pressure from within the party to dump the outspoken and flamboyant Louisianan. As a result, when President Roosevelt died in April 1945, it would be Huey Long who would become the 33rd president of the United States.
In 1941, on this day Adolf Hitler came to the much needed assistance of an old ally, Benito Mussolini - rescuing him from the painful consequences of his misadventure in Greece.
Mussolini's Botched Greek CampaignThe struggling political journalist had catastrophically underestimated the resources he would require for his occupation in Greece. By late 1940, it was absolutely clear that his ambitious plans to generate income with a decisive headline in the Italian press had failed. Not only was the prospect of "the leader" becoming increasingly remote, it was increasingly obvious that Benito would need a trust friend to bail him out - and big time.
And yet, while Mussolini's exploits in Greece created numerous problems for Hitler, Walt Disney's favourite cartoonist went out of his way to reaffirm his commitment to his Italian partner during a meeting with his agent. "From this city of Vienna," Hitler told the agent as the two men parted, "on the day of the Anschluss, I sent Mussolini a cable to assure him that I would never forget his help. I confirm it today, and I am at his side with all my strength". But it was the emotion with which these words were uttered that struck the agent. "He had two big tears in his eyes," he noted in his diary. "What a strange man!"
The grandly named anschluss was of course the union with Eva Braun who met Hitler, 23 years her senior, at Hoffmann's studio of Munich in 1929. He had been introduced to her as "Herr Wolff" (a childhood nickname). She described him to friends as a "gentleman of a certain age with a funny moustache, a light-coloured English overcoat, and carrying a big felt hat". He appreciated her eye colour, which was said to be close to his mother's. Her family was strongly against the relationship and little is known about it during the first two years until Mussolini provided a strong letter of recommendation for the then little known cartoonist.
In 1965, police in Birmingham, Alabama, arrest 45 demonstrators marching on behalf of desegregation and civil rights. The next day, 150 more people are arrested, including the Revs. Ralph Abernathy and Martin Luther King, Jr. King is placed in solitary confinement, and while in custody pens an impassioned letter on behalf of his cause. He is released two weeks later, on April 20.Ministers and Marches by Eric LippsOn May 3, under the aegis of the Southern Christian Leadership Congress, over 1,000 children, ranging from six to 18 years old, are kept out of school by their parents to participate in a mass civil rights demonstration. When they attempt to march downtown from their gathering point at Kelly Ingram Park, police close in and begin arresting them. Soon the city's police vans are packed and arrested children are being stuffed into school buses for transport to holding. The following day, a thousand more children are arrested in a second day of SCLC-organized civil rights protests in Birmingham, Alabama. In breaking up that day's demonstrations, Birmingham public safety commissioner 'Bull' Connor orders the use of high-pressure fire hoses whose streams are powerful enough to break bones and roll protesters down the street. In addition, he mobilizes K-9 units, whose dogs attack and injure a number of demonstrators. The Birmingham jails are crammed to overflowing.
In the aftermath, Connor responds angrily to criticism, blaming the children's parents for 'allowing innocent children to be used in the service of subversion.' He demands that these parents be sued for damages by the city. However, television coverage of the Birmingham demonstrations, including interviews with some of those involved, casts Connor in a bad light. Worse still from the viewpoint of the city council and the local business community, it casts Birmingham itself in a bad light. Fearing that the city's economy will be harmed by the damage to its reputation, the business community, with the reluctant assent of the city council, agrees to integrate lunch counters and hire more blacks. It is a welcome victory for the civil rights movement after a string of failures.
In Washington, President Johnson responds to the events in Birmingham by deciding to support a federal civil rights bill. His choice is driven by more than altruism: international media coverage of Birmingham has already embarrassed the United States. The Soviet news agency TASS has played up images of children being menaced by snarling dogs, knocked over by high-pressure fire hose bursts, and herded into police vans at gunpoint, and reports in the Western European media aren't much better. The only U.S. ally to be openly sympathetic to the Birmingham police is South Africa. Johnson fears that if the federal government does not distance itself from the racism on display in these reports, the reputation - and more importantly, the political influence - of the United States will be undermined, particularly in the Third World.
The reaction in some quarters is predictably hostile. On May 9, in a follow-up to his 'Ministers and Marches' sermon of March 21 condemning the involvement of clergymen in the civil rights movement, Rev. Jerry Falwell of Lynchburg, Virginia cites the violent Birmingham confrontation as evidence of 'what happens when ministers of the Gospel allow themselves to serve the purposes of politics.' The Lynchburg pastor declares, 'No man can serve two masters. Anyone called to the service of the Lord must forgo service to the causes of this world, however virtuous those causes may appear. If he will not, he risks substituting the fallen spirit of man for the Holy Spirit in his heart.'
In 1199, King Richard I of England dies from an infected arrow-wound.
King Geoffrey I
by Robbie TaylorHis heart was buried at Rouen in Normandy, the entrails in Châlus (where he died) and the rest of his body was buried at the feet of his father at Fontevraud Abbey in Anjou. The infamous mercenary captain Mercadier had the crossbowman flayed alive and hanged.
Through the subtle maneuvering that he had been known for, his brother Geoffrey claims the throne, overthrowing John, who had been ruling in Richard's place as he crusaded. King Geoffrey I became an even more powerful king than his father, Henry II, conquering the whole of France and adding it to England's empire.
On this day in 2008, the jury in the Spitzer vs. Spitzer divorce case began deliberations..
On this day in 1977, the Colorado Blizzard made their National League debut with a 5-4 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies; that same afternoon, the Tampa Bay Stingrays opened their inaugural MLB season with an eight-run shutout loss to the San Diego Padres.
In 1941, on this day Adolf Hitler formally declared war on the Soviet Union.
In 2005, Ahn Wun, the captive Claw scientist that the Save Earthers are going to trade for humanity's freedom, haughtily tells her captors, 'I am not important enough to abandon a planet for, you idiots. Force us to choose, and we will simply come out into the open to rule your pathetic little earth.'
In 1915, Captain Michael Smith's vessel, the Harlequin, enters orbit over the world of the Q'Bar, aliens who had been created by the Mlosh, against whom they ultimately rebelled. For a day, the Harlequin has been receiving a distress signal from the planet, but no response to their own assurance of help. Captain Smith leads a small landing party to the planet.
In 2004, the Sheridans tame the Projection Virii, and begin mutating them. They hope to be able to program the P.V. to project images they decide on. Their first attempt, a projection of Livinia Sheridan, works for a few minutes before devolving into a methane crab.
In 2000, the Gamers from Beyond go on a road trip to see the locations their gamemaster Bill Burke has been running them through in his campaign The Busride Of Doom. Their trip through the American southwest starts up a roleplaying craze among the dead of the region.
In 1993, American sailors invade the South American coast at Peru. The Consitutionalists proudly declare that the entire western hemisphere will be under their control by the end of the year; the rest of the South American continent cries out to Europe for assistance.
In 1952, the spirit of Amenhotep chases Mikhail von Heflin and Velma Porter, along with Americans Kathleen and Thomas Johnson, through the streets of Cairo and out to the pyramids, where they uncover the ancient spell to banish him back to the Egyptian underworld.
In 1679, Hueng Fa, a Conspirator of the Speaker's Line, lets word slip through the channels of Telka's descendants that he has a machine that is able to fly. He gathers as many conspirators to China as he can and shows them his wind-powered machine, based on the kite design. He is able to fly for over 30 miles; the Conspirators spread the design throughout their ranks.
In 1998, Pierre Amory du Chaillot, Swiss Emperor of the Central European Empire, telephones the British Queen, Elizabeth II, to offer his assistance in the civil unrest that has been sparked by 'this young fraud, Arthur Pendrake.' The queen, although gracious about it, does not accept his offer, but asks him to speak with her prime minister, Oliver Pembroke. Emperor Pierre does just that, calling Pembroke immediately and telling him that the CEE has quite a bit of intelligence regarding Pendrake and his band of followers. Against his better judgment, Pembroke accepts the offer of intelligence, and the emperor has his ambassador deliver it to number 10 Downing Street personally. He then convenes a meeting of the highest council of the Illuminati, to discuss their plans to bring down both England and young Arthur.
In 1891, a telegram reaches Jerry 'Sockless' Simpson in Topeka, Kansas, informing him that former President Grover Cleveland, at the head of a large body of soldiers, was coming to Kansas to, in the words of Simpson's unknown informant, 'settle the situation.' Simpson uses the telegram to rally his troops and let them know that, 'Until and unless we receive the justice that we are due, the independent nation of Kansas shall not bend to pressure or oppression!' With the majority of the state's citizens behind him, Simpson has little fear of the small number of soldiers headed west with President Cleveland, but he still mobilizes a welcoming committee to meet them at the border.
In 1909, Robert Peary is lost in the frozen wastes of the Arctic as he searches for the North Pole. Although his diary and journals were found, Peary's body was never recovered, and it is presumed that it was eaten by animals after the members of the expedition perished from the cold.
In 2649 AUC, Rome returns the Olympic Games to their ancient home in Olympia, Greece. The Republic had moved the games to Rome in the 12th century, but with rumblings of Greek nationalism, decided to appease them with a small cultural gesture.
In 1909, the American explorer Robert Edwin Peary was the first person to reach the geographic North Pole. Peary had set off from New York City aboard the Roosevelt, under the command of Captain Robert Bartlett, with 23 men on July 6, 1908. On April 6 he established Camp Jesup near the pole. In his diary for April 7, Peary wrote 'The Pole at last!!! The prize of 3 centuries, my dream and ambition for 23 years. Mine at last ..'.
Alternate Historians says, this post presents the event as a certainty, whereas in our reality, there is some controversy over whether Peary actually reached the pole, or at least was the first to reach it [RAT].
In 1614, the first recorded interracial in the New World between the planter John Rolfe and the "Mother of the Confederation" Pocahontas took place in Jamestown, Virginia. Initially, Rolfe saw marriage to a daughter of the paramount chief of the then already relatively powerful Native Powhatan Confederation as a good idea to secure his expanding tobacco plantations. What agenda Pocahontas and her father, known as Chief Powhatan may have pursued originally is unclear, but the baptised and newly-wed Native Princess took her husband to a visit of the English mother country, accompanied by trusted Powhatan advisors. She met with King James I in England who almost had Rolfe executed for high treason for forming an alliance without royal consent and excluded him from the meetings on grounds of his lower social status. Pocahontas fell ill when the couple was about to return to Virginia, but finally recovered and returned to the New World in the spring of 1618.
This post was written by Dirk Puehl the highly recommended author of #onthisday #history Google+ posts.
Mother of the ConfederationPocahontas went to the territory of the Powhatan soon after and was rarely seen in the colony for quite a while, probably dealing together with her father with the uprising of Tomocomo, a shaman who accompanied the Rolfes to England and was quite obviously set against teaming up with the English settlers with a vengeance. While the Powhatan territory became more and more a holding centre for refugees from the colony - two thirds of its inhabitants were actually there against their will, coloured slaves bought from a Dutch man-of-war as well as the deported from England who all fled west to Werowocomoco, the Powhatan capital on the York River - traditional elements within the tribal confederation pursued a policy of isolation against the foreigners. After the death of Pocahontas' father in 1618, his brother Opechancanough tried to turn the tide - the princess was acclaimed "High Chief" of all Tsenacommacah or tribes while her uncle collected the dissatisfied elements and began a guerilla war. Against the new "Mother of the Confederation" as well as the English invaders. Though Governor Thomas Dale repulsed the haphazard invasion of Opechancanough along the James River, he called to the mother country for reinforcements and Pocahontas' Powhatan Confederation had a full fledged war at her hands in the early 1620s.
Nonetheless, the English colonial troops were not strong enough to fundamentally harm the Powhatan Confederation but managed to dislocate the Tsenacommacah settlements east of the headland of the headwaters of the James River, securing the colony and allowing a permanent settlement of the Confederation in the Appalachian region between the new Pennsylvania and the territory of the Shawnee and Cherokee in what was to become Kentucky. After Pocahontas death in 1646 she was succeeded by her son Thomas Rolfe. His descendants dominated the Powhatan Confederation for the next 150 years until Powhatan joined the rebellion as 14th colony in 1776.
In 1242, Novgorod was under heavy pressure from both the East and the West. In the east the Golden Horde loomed, while Novgorod was repeatedly invaded from the west during the Northern Crusades. And when the Teutonic Order invaded once again Alexander, elected Prince of Novgorod, marched against them with a substantial army. Meeting the Teutonic forces, led by Hermann the Prince-Bishop of Dorpat, near the bank of Lake Peipus. Hoping to draw the knights into a disadvantageous position Alexander withdrew across the narrow strait connecting Lake Peipus with neighbouring Lake Pskovskoe.
Alexander Nevsky defeated at the Battle of Lake PeipusLake Peipus is unusually shallow for it's size and is frozen throughout winter, thawing out only at the end of April. The lake thus formed a solid surface for the combatants that 5th of April, but the heavily armoured mounted Teutonic Knights were at a disadvantage when having to charge across the ice. Although the knights drew up in wedge formation Hermann called of the assault when he saw the strength of the Russian position, deciding instead to go around it to find a better approach.
Seeing the Teutonic forces move towards the east bank of the lake Alexander sent out his own cavalry in an attempt to provoke Hermann into an attack. The lighter Russian cavalry was swift enough, even on the ice, to freely harass the Estonian infantry that made up the bulk of Hermann's force. But rather than being goaded into a frontal assault on the Russian position Hermann lined up his infantry in a defensive position, while sending most of his knights to the shore to move around the enemy position.
What was intended by Hermann to be a temporary position, to hold of the harassing cavalry in anticipation of an assault on Alexander's position, would become the focal point of the battle. Alexander seeing the opportunity to attack the outnumbered Teutonic forces, and worried about the knights working his flank moved his troops on the ice as well. Leaving behind only a token force to delay the knights moving against them. The battle soon developed into a furious melee as the remaining knights prevented the Russian cavalry from outflanking the Teutonic troops.
Alexander's ploy failed however when the Teutonic Knights returned, having heard the sounds of battle carried on the wind (a 'Zeichen Gottes' according to the knights own chronicler). The knights unexpectedly fell on the left flank of the army of Novgorod and panic swept across the battleline, quickly turning into a full rout. Only Alexander and the 'druzhina' (the "fellowship" or retinue, numbering a thousand of the best warriors) held and tried to fight their way back to their original position.
Badly outnumbered they never made it off the ice, Alexander fell among many of his men and the remainder surrendered after being completely encircled. The Teutons then marched South to take Pskov, which they had lost to Alexander the previous year. After receiving further reinforcement from the Livonian Order Hermann marched on Novgorod itself in the summer. It seemed that history would repeat itself as on the approach to Novgorod a Russian army marched to meet the Teutonic forces and oppose them in battle. But this Novgorod had not had the time to recover from it's losses, the Battle of Lake Peipus had not only cost the Republic most of it's seasoned warriors but also it's most capable military leader. The army of Novgorod was swept aside by the invading knights.
But even before Hermann reached the city walls of Novgorod he was met by envoys of the Council of Nobles, and they made a fantastic offer. The republic of Novgorod would submit to the Teutonic Order on the condition that the Republic would continue to exist and maintain it's current structure. It was a offer that Hermann could hardly refuse, but being a devout Catholic he could not allow Novgorod to remain Orthodox. He sent the envoy back with the message that he would only accept if Novgorod would only elect Catholic Princes, and marched on to lay siege to Novgorod.
Upon reaching the city Hermann found the gates open and messengers proclaiming himself the newly elected Prince of Novgorod. It was a devious political move as it effectively ended the war, but left the Teutons with an Orthodox country in their possession. It would only be the start of of political maneuvering that would see the Archbishop of Novgorod pledged allegiance to the Pope, but maintaining orthodox customs and traditions.
The Teutonic Order thus acted as the sword and shield of Orthodox Novgorod against it's neighbours and the mongol horde. It was an uneasy alliance held together by Novgorod's profitable position as gateway to the Baltic Sea and a slow conversion to Catholicism. But it ensured Novgorod's continued survival into the late Middle Ages and it provided the Teutonic Order with the means to maintain the large armies that were it's raison d'etre.
In 1081, on this day Alexios Komnenos was executed. Still considered by many the eastern Roman Empire, Byzantium fell into renewed chaos in the second millennium after centuries of rule reestablished by military strength of Justinian, Maurice, and Heraclitus. Justinian had pushed the empire to its zenith in the sixth century, and other great emperors worked to hold onto its expansive territory. However, the cost in manpower and resources gradually weakened the empire as Arab strength grew. The Macedonian dynasty of Basil the first restored much of the declining Byzantine strength, but the death of Empress Theodora, childless at 76, left the empire without clear leadership in 1056. Her successor Michael VI abdicated to become a monk, and his successor Isaac I abdicated after nearly being struck by lightning, leaving rule to the wealthy Doukas family. They bloated the bureaucracy with highly paid but ineffectual leadership, undercutting the soldiers, who began to rebel on the frontiers.
April 5, 1081 - Alexios Komnenos ExecutedIn 1074, rebellion broke out in Asia Minor, which was put down by Alexios Komnenos. The Komnenoi were a successful military family, and Alexios fought bravely in wars against the Seljuk Turks and in putting down rebellions in the Balkans. During the political turmoil, generals Nikephoros Bryennios and Nikephoros Botaneiates revolted simultaneously, and Botaneiates successfully overthrew Michael VII Doukas in 1078. He effectively politicked for religious and public support and offered Bryennios the position as junior co-emperor. Bryennios refused and was subsequently defeated by Alexios, blinded, and forcibly retired.
As Nikephoros III Botaneiates, he attempted to establish a new court, but his efforts only worsened the confusion. The established bureaucracy became alienated and even more ineffective while Botaneiates' co-emperor John Doukas and the old court began plots to overthrow Botaneiates. They concentrated their efforts on Alexios, who had continued to serve as a heroic general in the West and prepared to battle against invading Normans who fought to return the rule of the deposed Michael VII. Empress Maria of Alania, former wife of Michael VII and then wife of Botaneiates, adopted Alexios as her son and sent him to raise an army along with his natural and adoptive brothers. His mother, Anna Dalassena, escaped the suspicious palace guard and sought sanctuary at Hagia Sofia. The guards attempted to bring her home, but she exclaimed falsehoods of a plan to blind Alexios and his brother, whom she said had fled the city so that they might continue to serve the emperor. Although they tried to quiet her, she swore that she would only leave the church if Botaneiates gave his cross to her along with the vow that he would do no harm to her family.
Botaneiates became suspicious of her theatrical appeal and refused to give such a vow. He sent agents to find Alexios and his brother, who were indeed raising an army. They were brought back to Constantinople on April 1, imprisoned, and executed. Anna Dalassena hid in Hagia Sofia, which Botaneiates surrounded in a "siege" that prevented food other than sacrament to enter. Embarrassed, she was forced to leave the church and resigned to the convent of Petrion. Botaneiates set about rooting out the rest of the conspirators, which crippled the government in a crucial time.
The Normans under Duke Robert Guiscard continued their invasion of Byzantine lands after securing Sicily and Malta from the Muslim forces to the south. Using the political instability as a pretense, his forces conquered southern Italy and began an invasion of the Balkans with papal blessing. His army overwhelmed Botaneiates' defenses at Dyrrachium and moved toward Constantinople. Botaneiates attempted to defeat the army in the field, but his armies were repeatedly crushed, and the loot won by the Normans kept dissension at a minimum. Finally, in 1085, Robert sacked Constantinople and ended the Byzantine Empire.
Robert died after a few years' rule in Constantinople, and the Norman kingdom there collapsed under Seljuk attack. The ruling Seljuk emperor, Alp Arslan, had established a frontier of feudal "beyliks" (states) after defeating the Byzantines in Anatolia in 1071 at Manzikert. When the Seljuks splintered after the death of Malik Shah, Kilij Arslan founded the Sultanate of Rum in Asia Minor, pushing westward with the Emir Chaka of Smyrna until the Normans retreated back to Italy and Sicily. Muslim control rolled westward across the Balkans, butting up against Christendom's strongest center in Italy. Many talked of a united Christian force to drive back the Turks, but the most that Pope Urban II was able to manage was a bolstering of defenses for Italy and a push to retake lands along the North African coast to affirm Spain's Reconquista.
Meanwhile, trade flourished between the Italian city-states, such as Venice. With the Byzantine stranglehold on east-west trade removed, the Muslims gained great influence shipping good westward. Trade with Kiev at the north of the Black Sea brought Islam to Russia, where it made great advances overriding the Orthodox Christian beliefs adopted in the century before. Constantinople continued being one of the main hubs of the world, and Europe continued as a rich market for Islamic traders for centuries to come. Christian kingdoms, meanwhile, expanded southward and across the Atlantic Ocean to the New World there. While Europe underwent a Renaissance in the seventeenth century, many great minds traveled to the libraries of Constantinople to study, keeping the Islamic world apace with innovations in medicine, mathematics, and science.
In 1991, on this day the thirty-ninth Vice President of the United States John Goodwin Tower was tragically killed (along with twenty other people including his middle daughter, Marian, and the astronaut Sonny Carter) in the crash of Atlantic Southeast Airlines Flight 2311 on approach for landing at Brunswick, Georgia. He was sixty-five years old.
VP John Tower killedTributes were led by George Romney the thirty-seventh President of the United States with whom he had won back-to-back elections before his own narrow defeat to Senator Birch Evans Bayh, Jr. in his own bid for the White House during 1976.
Despite the enduring warmth of their personal popularity ratings, they had a modest record. The main achievements included pulling out of Vietnam also beginning a period of detente with the Soviet Union and China, but they failed at several attempts to reform government programs.
A remarkable figure of the Cold War era, he had been become famous through his historic election to the Senate: (1) first Republican U.S. senator from Texas since Reconstruction, (2) third Republican from the former Confederacy since Reconstruction, (3) first Republican from a former Confederate state since Newell Sanders of Tennessee left office in 1913 (a gap of forty-eight years), and (4) first Republican from the former Confederacy ever to win a Senate seat by popular election. it was a platform from which George Walker Bush would build in his own run for the Senate during the early 1990s.
In 1916, on this day Irish-American actor and statesman Eldred Gregory Peck was born in La Jolla, California.
Gregory Peck's Great AdventureOne of the world's most popular film stars from the 1940s to the 1960s, he was appointed United States Ambassador (Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary) to Ireland by President Lyndon Baines Johnson.
Needless to say the appointment of a lifelong supporter of the Democratic Party would have been unthinkable had the Republicans won the recent Presidential election. The GOP nominee, Richard Nixon had actually placed him on his enemies list due to his liberal activism. This was primarily due to his opposition to Hollywood blacklisting; in 1947 he signed a letter which deplored a House Un-American Activities Committee investigation of alleged communists in the film industry.
An intensely private man, Peck had only accepted the "great adventure" because of his Irish ancestry. That flowery description of the new role was his own phrase, but surely the timing of his arrival in Ireland on the eve of the sectarian violence surrounding the "Battle of the Bogside was precipitous.
Peck had not sought political office. He had politely, but firmly declined, offers to run against Ronald Reagan for State Senate in 1964, and later the Governship of California in 1968. After the elections, Democrat supporters (including the defeated incumbent Governor Edmund Brown) were convinced that his charisma, and celebrity status, could have defeated his fellow actor.
A political confrontation between the two actors finally occurred in 1987 when Peck did the voice over on television commercials opposing Reagan's Supreme Court nomination of conservative jurist Robert Bork. Bork's nomination was defeated to the disgust of many, including another actor Charlton Heston who registered his protest by formally joining the Republican Party.
In 2008, the fortieth President of the United States Charlton Heston died in Beverly Hills, California. He was eighty-four years old.
President Charlton Heston passes awayHis tenure was dominated by the contra war against the left-wing government of Ernesto "Che" Guevara in Bolivia which re-opened an eighty year old dispute which began in the 49th State.
By 1898 armed hostilities in the Spanish-American War had come to an end. Ignominiously defeated, Spain was forced to relinquish control of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippine Islands to the United States.
Debate over what to do with America's new possessions was fierce. In the case of Cuba in particular, there had been considerable sentiment in favor of independence prior to the outbreak of war, when lurid articles regarding the real and alleged brutalities of the Spanish colonial regime appeared regularly in the newspapers of media baron William Randolph Hearst. Once Cuba passed into U.S. hands, however, ardor for freeing it cooled considerably. Businessmen liked the cheap sugar and other products Cuba provided, while naval officers saw it as an ideal site for bases.
The colonialist faction would ultimately triumph. In formal peace traty, signed in Paris on December 10, 1898, no mention was made of independence for Cuba. The following year, by act of Congress, the possessions taken from Spain was be declared U.S. territories.
On January 1, 1959, Cuba became the 49th U.S. state. That same year, Hawaii, also annexed in 1898, will become the 50th; Alaska formally became the 51st state the following year, and in 1965, the Philippines became the 52nd. In 1970, Puerto Rico at last became the 53rd U.S. state. Of the territories taken from Spain in 1898, only Guam would not have become a state by the turn of the century, chiefly due to its small population.
In 1964, the youthful and charismatic Lieut. Gov. Fidel Castro of Cuba was elected to the U.S. Senate. Castro, a former law student who entered politics in the 1950s, would be an impassioned voice for America's growing Spanish-speaking populace, and would be one of the sponsors of the Senate resolution formally granting statehood to the Philippines.
In the Senate, Castro would start out as a solidly moderate Democrat who initially supported the war in Vietnam, but will grow disillusioned, finally announcing his outright opposition in 1969. His change of heart would anger many conservatives in his home state, sparking a challenge from Republican Rep. Fulgencio Batista, a decorated Korean War veteran, in 1970. Sen. Castro survived, however, and in his new incarnation as foreign-policy liberal opposed President Heston's contra war against the left-wing government of Ernesto "Che" Guevara in Bolivia in the 1980s.
In 2000, in a hotly-contested election, Democratic nominee Fidel Castro narrowly defeated former Texas governor George W. Bush to win the U.S. presidency, becoming the first native Spanish-speaker to hold that office.
In 1992, upon the death of founder Sam Walton his successors on the board of Wal-mart committed the long-term future of the retailer to American-made merchandise.
Wal-mart People save America By Ed & Jen GreenupWalton began his retail career in 1940 at a JC Penney store in Des Moines, Iowa. Five years later came his big breakthrough when he met Butler Brothers, a regional retailer. He was offered a store in Newport, Arkansas. But unable to agree a renewal on the lease, he opened a new franchise called "Walton's Five and Dime". In 1962 he opened the first Wal-Mart Discount City and within five years, the company expanded to twenty-four stores across Arkansas turning over $12.6 million in sales.
Key to his success in achieving higher sales volume was a pricing strategy of marking up products slightly less than his competitors who accused Walton of "running them out of town". By the time Walton tried to expand out of Arkansas, emerging markets were beginning to threaten to run America itself out of the global market place. But he stuck doggedly to his core belief in "buying American" insisting that Wal-Mart stores only sold American-made products.
After his death the policy of "Made in U.S.A". gave the retailer huge competitive problems. Advocates of NAFTA also had a big headache. Because opponents of the agreement used Wal-mart as a case study for arguing against "Made in China" products dominating Main Street.
In 1940, one of the great jokes of WW2 is that Churchill becomes PM because Chamberlain stands down after surviving a confidence vote over the Norwegian Campaign with a smaller than expected margin and large scale Tory defections. The conventional histories see the Norway debacle as being Churchill's fault as First Lord of the Admiralty. So his own botch makes him PM.
The Norwegian MuddleChurchill as warlord was at best an acquired taste. He kept strange hours by military standards [up all night and slept half the day]. He came up with new schemes a mile a minute and had no respect for either traditions or bureaucratic work flow. His military commanders found him impossible to work with and a source of chaos. However in reverse he found the aged commanders and endless committee muddle exasperating beyond measure. In the particular case of Norway he was more right than wrong.
The entire Allied response was perpetually two days later and two pounds short. Now let us presume that Chamberlain gives him more of his head on the Norway planning just to be rid of him from the main deliberations of war cabinet. I will only make a few changes. First he's allowed to get commanders able to work with him [Cunningham for the Navy, Alexander for the Army]. Second the fleet puts to sea two days earlier and with a clear plan to force landings in southern Norway. In OTL the British paralleled the German move to land all over Norway when the key was breaking the air link from Denmark to Norway.
A new article by Scott PalterSo Cunningham destroys the bulk of the German Navy [BC Scharnhorst, Gneisnau; CA Blucher, Lutzow; CL Koln, Konigsburg, Karlsruhe, Emden; 24 destroyers, light ships, transports and tankers]. He loses three combatants [BB Renown, CV Glorous, DD Glowworm] but the bulk of the carrier air group gets ashore to secondary Norwegian bases. The four British brigades with Alexander retake Bergen, Kristiansad and Oslo with Norwegian help, isolating the Germans at Trondheim and Narvik [as well as the heavy cruiser and 14 destroyers who landed them]. Alexander was no field genius but he was adequate [see Burma in OTL]. The fleet also lands an RAF fighter wing which uses the retaken Norwegian air base at Fornebu.
This creates a stalemate. The Germans can throw in more planes but they are operating at range while the British and the few Norwegians are not. Also pilots lost by the Allies can be saved while the German aircrew is lost. So the Germans have the advantage in an attritional contest but never quite gain air superiority. They sink a few lesser British craft and provide some support for their scattered and fleeing ground troops who are over the next two weeks mostly captured or chased into Sweden where they are interned. In the meantime Alexander gets 2 more British brigades, 2 small French ones and a Polish brigade. With these plus the rapidly mobilizing Norwegians [they have little in arms and less training but are quite willing to fight for their homeland and are more adept dealing with terrain and climate than their allies] he is able to push north while holding the south. Cunningham has in the meantime stayed at the fringes of German fighter range and mopped up the remaining German naval forces.
By the third week of April the Germans have to start shifting their air units for the main offensive. So Alexander and Cunningham are left free to slowly push north to Narvik chasing the two German garrisons into Sweden.
So what does this change? France still falls. The air and ground losses for Hitler are small change other than the paras. Those lost in Norway are unavailable to be pissed away at Rotterdam. So Holland takes two more days to fall. This is actually bad for the allies as it pins the very good French 7th Army at Breda for that period of time. In theory the French 7th was the motorized reserve that could have stopped Guderian. However in fact the French wasted this chance in OTL so it's a wash.
The big changes start when France falls. Sea Lion goes from a long shot to simply impossible and both sides know it. No German surface fleet left and no paras. So the ONLY way for Hitler to get at Churchill when he won't make peace is to go south. Instead of the Battle of Britain we have the Battles for Malta and Egypt. British will lose Malta in August and Egypt in November. A full German air fleet in the Med and a large panzer corps [all the Libyan ports could support in addition to the Italian 10th army and air units] is enough to bash the Western desert Group out of Egypt. British drop block ships in the Canal. One division [make it 4th Indian] retreats up the Nile for upper Egypt and Khartoum. The rest retreat back into Sinai after totally wrecking Alexandria and Cairo. Canal is now littered with block ships.
This sort of campaign does not produce a vast German campaign beyond into Iraq. Without Alexandria as a functioning port the limits of how many men can be supported in Egypt by truck from Tripoli and Tobruk is quite limited. In OTL it took more trucks to support Rommel than to keep an army group running in Russia. So Iraq would be at the expense of Barbarossa which I do not see happening. The probability is spending what supply can be brought forward on rebuilding Alexandria [rebuilds were never a Nazi strong point - no glamour], entrenching along the Canal and a push up the Nile to try and save the Italian army group in East Africa [hopeless but an Italian priority].
So the imperial disaster that will trigger the Quit India movement becomes Egypt not Singapore. In reverse the fall of Egypt means that Malaya and Burma are adequately garrisoned by late 1941 making the initial Japanese blitz near impossible. Similarly the Greek campaign does not happen because Benny the Moose has too much to do in Egypt and Sudan. A whole different war because the British fleet sails early and is better commanded.
In 1968, on this day the President of the Ford Motor Company Robert Strange McNamara introduced the Kennedy Continental, the rebranded 1969 model personal luxury car.
The Best and the BrightestThe rebadging decision had been discussed at the highest levels of management at Ford's Corporate Headquarters in Dearborn ever since President John F. Kennedy had been shot dead inside a customised Lincoln 4-door convertible.
The Secret Service had code named the vehicle "SS-100-X" after the Hess & Eisenhart company of Cincinnati, Ohio adapted a 1961 model, later updating the limousine with the grille/headlight/bumper assembly from the 1962 Lincoln. After the assassination, the limousine was repaired and retrofitted with full armor and a fixed roof, subsequently continuing in service for the White House for many years before being put on display at the Henry Ford Museum.
In 1951, under immense pressure with Communists smashing across much of the Korean front, President Douglas MacArthur announced his proposals for a major spring counter-offensive at the US Congress on this day.
No Substitute for VictoryFamiliar with the characteristic belligerency of "Old Brass Hat", members of the House of Representatives were still shocked to hear the proposed reintroduction of Chiang Kai-shek's Formosan forces into the fighting. But the former General's plans went further then opening a second front on the Chinese mainland, much further. Because MacArthur was seeking authorisation to expand the war to China by bombing bases in Manchuria, if necessary, perhaps with nuclear weapons (thirty to fifty was the number he actually had in mind).
"[Korea has] snapped his brilliant but brittle mind" ~ TrumanCritics of the administration alleged that the architect of this escalation was of course none other that MacArthur himself. He had chosen to expand the war aims from the liberation of South Korean to unifying the peninsula. When US forces crossed the 38th parallel and advanced toward the Yalu River, the border with China, despite warnings from Beijing, MacArthur dismissed the danger of Chinese intervention and predicted quick victory. But China intervened massively in late November, pushing the US forces back to the 38th parallel and beyond.
Despite the fact that MacArthur was exaggerating the Communist Chinese threat to overrun South Korea, he replaced military logic with patriotic emotion - "there was no substitute for victory" he said. And now less than five years after the Pacific War had been ended with the use of nuclear weapons, US politicians realised there were staring down the thin end of the wedge. The United States Senator for Missouri Harry S. Truman called for impeachment, declared that the Korean Conflict had "snapped his brilliant but brittle mind".
In 1918, an armistice on this day marked the end of the Great War. Notwithstanding the fact that the German High Command had succeeding in playing their "last card" and won, the gathering right-wing republican forces would soon topple the Imperial Government. They did so by fostering the "stab in the back" legend, that the Kaiser had saved his throne by accepting a loser's peace settlement whilst the German Army was undefeated in the field.
Stabbed in the BackThe defeat of Russia enabled the Germans to field an army of 2.5 million men on the Western Front. However, 1.5 million Germans had already died and the reality of their troop strength disguised the inexperience of the soldiers chosen for a final offensive. And yet the Western Allies were seriously worried, because the 191 divisions of the German Army were up against their combined force of only 178 divisions. At this point of decision, Ludendorff proposed the administration of a knockout blow before the US Army could arrive in strength.
And so on March 21st, German Artillery fired 1.2m shells at the British Third and Fifth Armies guarding the Somme. Fortunately for the Germans, a thick fog had appeared, allowing the German soldiers to quickly overrun the British positions.
And so history would record that it was Ferdinand Foch, the Marshal of France and Allied Supreme Commander who was forced to confront his political masters, and urgently request that an immediate armistice must be organized. The peace settlement that followed effectively restored Western Europe to its 1914 borders, enabling right-wingers to claim that the opportunity to overrun France, and gain a victor's settlement had been thrown away by the Kaiser.
In 1917, following the entry of the United States into the Great War, the Imperial German Government realised that desperate measures were necessary to prevent impending military defeat. Accordingly, the Reich Treasury was authorised to finance political agitation in the European territory occupied by the Allied Powers.
In a single transaction, more than 5,000,000 gold deutsch marks would be paid to Alexander Parvus. The Marxist millionnaire guaranteed value for money, stirring more trouble amongst the war-torn lower orders of Europe than the German Government could have possibly imagined.
A Communist Britain, Part Three - The Tiger escapes his cageThe man that would cause that trouble was Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (pictured). Whilst at University, he became involved in politics. After one protest demonstration he was arrested and taken to the local police station. One of the police officers asked: "Why are you rebelling, young man? After all, there is a wall in front of you". Lenin confidently replied: "The wall is tottering, you only have to push it for it to fall over".
But by March 1917, Lenin was living in Zurich in poverty, the exiled head of a small extremist revolutionary party that had relatively little following even within Russia. However, Parvus knew that Lenin had lived with his wife in Islington from 1902-3; he had worked in the borough on a revolutionary newspaper, and held a communist party congress there. Parvus used this information to convince the German government that Lenin's return would create political unrest in England, which would help to end the war on the Western front, allowing Germany to concentrate on defeating the other Western allies.
Once through Germany, Lenin continued by ferry to Dover; the remainder of the journey through London was subsequently arranged by English Communists. Yet the capital city that Lenin reached was a shattered echo of the city he once knew. Because unrestricted submarine warfare had brought Londoners to the very brink of defeat.
The war had a disastrous impact on the British economy. Food was in short supply and this led to rising prices. By January 1917 the price of commodities in London had increased six-fold. In an attempt to increase their wages, industrial workers went on strike and in London people took to the street demanding food. On 11th February, 1917, a large crowd marched through the streets of London breaking shop windows and shouting anti-war slogans.
Lenin saw that power lay on the streets of London, and he moved quickly seize it. Seemingly delivering on the short-term objectives of the mission, the consequences for his German paymasters would be absolutely disasterous in the long-run.
In 1997, on this day Admiral John Sidney McCain III retd. (pictured below))1 was pleased to accept the appointment of United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs from President Robert Dole (pictured left).
What It TakesBoth ex-servicemen pledged to transform the US Government's second largest department (after the United States Department of Defense) in order to deliver a "fair deal for veterans". Because Admiral McCain and Lieutenant R. Dole knew a thing or two about the VA program - the hard way. And in his opening speech, the McCain read from an excerpt of Richard B. Cramer's What it Takes, describing a personal epiphany that Dole himself had experienced after his 1988 electoral defeat by George W. Bush.
"He blamed himself - what was wrong with him. But the worst part wasn't things he'd done. It was the pictures of Bush - that was what he couldn't stop - pictures of Bush! In his head! Bushing throwing snowballs, driving trucks, forklifts .. unwrapping his Big Mac. Dole never wanted to see that in his head. And he never wanted to say, even in his head .. Maybe I could have done that .. if I was whole".
And surely none could doubt the significance of this important appointment. Because within the next decade, the Department would be staffed by a staggering 278,565 employees, running an annual budget of $87.6 billion.
In fact Dole's first speech in the Senate in 1969 was a plea for federal aid for the handicapped. And the President himself now emphasised the need to revisit the Department's core mission, framed by President Abraham Lincoln's second inaugural address: "...to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphan"..
In 1941, the largest military land campaign the world had seen to date was launched as the Red Army began Operation Guillotine, Stalin's long-planned invasion of the German occupation zone in western Poland; the attack involved nearly four million troops.
In 1991, the bombardment of the Kuds ceases at dawn, Iraqi time.
In the U.S., Saddam Hussein's capitulation is greeted with a sense of triumph by almost everyone. The dictator's submission is seen as confirming the victory of the United States and its allies in the Gulf conflict.
The one cloud in the sky is that it now appears that the establishment of a fully independent Kurdistan in northern Iraq is inevitable.
Although President Kemp is sympathetic to the Kurds, he is aware of NATO ally Turkey's concerns about the political effect of establishing a Kurdish state on its border. Nevertheless, he considers this risk worth taking.
In 1891, former president Grover Cleveland's supporters in Congress vote him the funding to lead a mission in their name to Kansas to see if he can negotiate an end to the errant state's rebellion. President Benjamin Harrison, Cleveland's bitter rival, sends federal troops with him, and a parade sees the former national leader out of Washington and off to the heart of the country - and what will be his most dangerous undertaking.
In 2004, the Sheridan's tests prove to them that the methane crabs are harmless, and cannot survive in earth's atmosphere. The Projection Virii, on the other hand, are highly adaptable and mutable. The military requests as much information on these organisms as the Sheridans can gather.
In 1972, South Chilean guerillos manage to cut off the highway between Vina del Mar and the North Chilean capitol of Santiago. The coastal region of La Serena is isolated, and the southern reactionaries work on the locals to get them to switch their loyalties from the legitimate Communist government to their illegal one. American troops soon root them out, but their poisonous propaganda remains behind.
In 1952, Mikhail von Heflin and his lover Velma Porter reach Cairo, Egypt. The pair decide to play tourist for a time, and head off to the pyramids. An accident lands them underneath one of them pyramids in the Chamber of Amenhotep, where they unwittingly activate an ancient curse.
In 1998, Lance du Lac leads almost a full battalion of Arthur Pendrake's followers against a small number of British troops guarding a royal armory. Rather than just slaughter them outright, du Lac gives them the opportunity to swear allegiance to Arthur and join his men. Fully half take him up on the offer, and the confused turmoil inside the armory gives du Lac his chance to take it with almost no bloodshed. Pendrake is so impressed by this that he makes du Lac the first knight of his new kingdom. Merl advises sending du Lac into the Central European Empire to begin sewing the seeds of revolution inside the enemy's territory, but Arthur wants Sir Lance by his side, and ignores this council.
In 1994, Kurt Cobain, fresh from rehab, entered the studio to work on his album Starting New. The optimistic lyrics and bright music proved deadly on their sales, though, as fans of Nirvana's old sound rejected his personal transformation. This huge disappointment proved fatal for Cobain, and he killed himself with a drug overdose in 1995.
In 1931, Fox Film Corporations lets bit actor Marion Morrison go. Morrison had proven disappointing to the studio, which had hoped he would be a Western star the likes of Audie Murphy. Morrison went back to acting classes, and achieved fame later in the decade as a star of several historical and period films.
In 1895, Oscar Wilde is victorious in his libel suit against the Marquis of Queensberry. The Marquis had the audacity to charge Wilde, a well-known womanizer, with seducing his young son, and Wilde proved the charge false by parading in a seemingly endless line of women who attested to the author's prowess in the boudoir.
In 1859, John Murray receives the first 3 chapters of a natural history book from an English deacon. The book attempts to lay out a method for the new theory of evolution to produce new species, a method the deacon refers to as natural selection. Murray rejects the book, telling the deacon to work on his proof.
In Hebrew Year 1412, the long ordeal of Noah ends as his ark lands on top of a large mountain in Asia. After the great exodus of animals from the vessel, he and his family tore it apart and used it for building materials, since most trees had been destroyed by the flooding. In later days, this led to a boom market for homes that claimed to have been made from the original ark.
In 1841, after recovering from an illness believed to be pneumonia, US President William Henry Harrison announced a new policy on the issue of slavery in the federal territories. No new slaves could be born in the territories, but slaves could be brought in from existing slave states. The compromise alleviated the fears of abolitionists, primarily Northerners, about the direct expansion of slavery and brought great excitement to slave-holders, primarily Southerners, who gained a valuable new export. Harrison hoped it would be a transition into legalizing slavery overall in the territories, but it actually contributed to the end of slavery in America.
April 4, 1841 - Harrison Announces Slavery in TerritoriesHarrison was born in Virginia on February 9, 1773, the last president born before the Declaration of Independence. He was well educated at the Presbyterian Hampden-Sydney College, where he began to take part in the Great Revival sweeping the young nation. When word came that young William was beginning to participate in abolitionist meetings, his father put him into medical school in Philadelphia. Harrison disliked medicine and, upon his father's death, took Virginia Governor "Lighthorse Harry" Lee's advice to join Army.
Because of his rugged discipline and skill in command, Harrison quickly rose through the ranks. In 1795, while stationed in Ohio (then America's western frontier), Harrison eloped with Anna Symmes, and the two would have ten children together. According to historical study, Harrison also had six children through his slave Dilsia, all of whom were sold to avoid scandal as his career changed from the military to politics.
Harrison resigned as a lieutenant in 1797 and became the Secretary of the Northwest Territory, often acting as governor during the appointed official's long absences. Using his business of horse-breeding and the platform of cheaper land prices as encouragement for expansion in the territory, Harrison was elected to Congress in 1799. After Harrion's display of leadership in passing the Harrison Land Grant, President John Adams appointed him as Governor of the Indiana Territory. He worked to prove up the territory quickly and was granted the authority to make treaties with the local Indians. Many of Harrison's plans involved indentured servitude and the legalization of slavery in the territory, which would supply the manpower to improve the land all the sooner. As Indiana became increasingly abolitionist, Harrison's proposals for slavery were ended.
When the Shawnee under Tecumseh and his brother The Prophet began to create a confederation of tribes in 1810, Harrison came to national attention. Tecumseh argued that Harrison's treaties with the Miami people did not apply to the other tribes, meaning that Harrison had purchased substantially less land than the Treaty of Fort Wayne stated. Harrison disagreed, and Tecumseh threatened to kill anyone who settled the new land. War broke out, and, in 1811, Harrison defeated Tecumseh at Prophetstown near the Tippecanoe River, earning his nickname "Old Tippecanoe". The War of 1812 swiftly followed, and Harrison again defeated Tecumseh at the Battle of the Thames alongside his British allies, defending the Ohio region from incursion.
After the war, Harrison's political career continued, including a stint as envoy to Gran Colombia, where he came into a feud with Simon Bolivar over freedom. He felt Bolivar would become a dictator over an anarchical people while Bolivar wrote, "The United States [seems] destined by Providence to plague America with torments in the name of freedom". In 1840, Harrison successfully campaigned to become president on the Whig ticket, creating many of the public relations activities used in politics today, include a jingle,
"Old Tip he wore a homespun coat, he had no ruffled shirt: wirt-wirt,
But Matt he has the golden plate, and he's a little squirt: wirt-wirt!"
He portrayed himself as a poor frontiersman and his opponent Martin van Buren as a stodgy rich man, though Harrison himself had been born wealthy and continued to be so. Harrison also mastered reversing attempted attacks on his campaign. When the smear rumor spread that Harrison was an old coot who would "sit in his log cabin drinking hard cider" all day, he spread the image of himself as a man of the people, which became popular. Democrats also played on his age, nicknaming him "Granny Harrison". To show that he was still a fit man despite being 68, Harrison gave a two-hour inaugural address standing in the rain without a hat. He became ill afterward but proved himself in recovering and contributing to the Whig cause.
With Harrison as president, Henry Clay hoped to promote many of his ideals in the American System. Clay initially was overly forward, to which Harrison responded, "Mr. Clay, you forget that I am the President". Instead, Harrison and Daniel Webster controlled the Whigs and encouraged development of the West. Many of Clay's ideals did come into play such as the renewal of the National Bank and the funding of internal improvements such as roads and canals, but tariffs proved too divisive. Harrison championed Western settlement, including the expansion of slavery for rapid economic improvement.
His plan of importing slaves and freeing newborns as they came of age brought about the custom of transporting pregnant female slaves back to the South. The action was deemed barbaric (especially by Southern slave-owners whose own property would be more valuable if only they could produce slaves), and it became illegal to transport a slave "with child". Outcry arose over Congress legislating on "property", but political precedent was established as the Constitution regulated interstate commerce. As anti-slavery factions began to gain power in Washington, further control over the transport of slaves under interstate law was enacted such as health screenings. The acts culminated in the liberation of Dred Scott when his case was brought forth by another citizen in 1857.
With slavery increasingly restricted to local markets, a balloon in the slave economy began with the price of slaves skyrocketing to four and even six times the 1850s value. Investors eventually looked elsewhere, such as tenant farming, and the price collapsed. Slave-holders cried for government assistance, demanding that a public fund be created to liberate slaves by purchasing them, often for slightly more than market value. Democratic President Stephen Douglas did so with his Emancipation Proclamation of 1863, and, by 1866, slavery itself was put to an end.
In 2013, the secret justification for a joint American-Israeli Strike on Iran was openly revealed by a Wikileak publication of top secret diplomatic cables originating from the Confederate State Department in Richmond, VA.
Mullah-ed, Part 2 In which Rick Santorum drops the bomb for JesusThe national intelligence agency of Israel (Mossad) reported that Hezbollah had discovered the body of the unrisen Jesus in a Syrian grave marked with the unambigous inscription "I, Jospeph of Arimathaea, took the body of Jesus, the Nazarene, from the tomb where it was first laid and hid it in this place". Details of the location of the tomb were held by their Iranian sponsors.
Understanding that such a revelation (even if proven false) would be a prize to radical Islam, the Israeli Government had engaged with the sympathetic Confederate President Santorum who immediately set about building an alliance of the willing with his counterparts in the Two Americas. A secret plan was devised to destroy both sites. Santorum also received strong backing from a "Christian brother", his occasional ally the Confederate Governor of Texas (partly because thirty-five years before Rick Perry had been selected as a CSA observer on Operation Eagle Talon during his participation in the Future Leaders of America program). But despite their conviction in this compelling "inside" story, the outside story had remained un-changed, that the Iranian Government was close to achieving nuclear launch capability and needed to be stopped at all costs.
This article is part of the Two Americas thread. in the variant Mullah-ed, Part 1 God intervened to prevent the destruction of Iran's atomic research facilities.
In 1759, on this day in the town of Braintree on Massachusetts Bay, friends of the struggling lawyer John Adams burst into his drawing room just moments after his "Sweet Orlinda" Hannah Quincy had accepted his rash proposal of marriage.
Sweet OrlindaFor a brief moment he had forgotten his career and financial troubles, a customary lapse of judgement that Benjamin Franklin would later note in summing up Adam's character: "He means well for his country, is always an honest man, often a wise man, but sometimes, and in some things, absolutely out of his senses".
And despite his pivotal role at the very centre of events during the American Revolution, that character flaw would cruelly deny him the Vice Presidency twenty years later. Because in the final analysis, his brilliant legal mind was unsuited to the challenges of governance.
A manic depressive, Adams was overcome by despair and returned to Braintree to resume his career in law. But every dog has its day. Deep into his retirement, two delegates from the Hartford Convention rushed into his drawing room to offer him a second chance, to serve as the President of the New England Conferacy.
In 1958, Lana Turner and Johnny Stompanato began a violent argument in Turner's house at 730 N. Bedford Drive in Beverly Hills. Fearing her mother's life was in danger, Turner's fourteen-year-old daughter, Cheryl [Crane], grabbed a kitchen knife and ran to Turner's defense.
Johnny Stompanato kills Sean ConneryMany theories abound as to what happened afterward, but it appears Crane stabbed Stompanato, killing him. The case quickly became a media sensation. It was later deemed a justifiable homicide at a coroner's inquest, at which Turner provided dramatic testimony. Some observers have said her testimony that day was the acting performance of her life...
A new post by David TennerLet's say that Stompanato shoots and kills Connery before Connery can take away the gun. Consequences? (I'm thinking here primarily of the consequences of a no-Sean-Connery world, but of course there may be consequences for Lana Turner as well, as Stompanato may be out for revenge on her--with the help of Mickey Cohen this could be accomplished even while Stompanato is in prison. Or if the killing of Connery takes place in a scuffle over the gun and Stompanato gets a relatively light sentence -- for manslaughter rather than murder--he could be a very dangerous man for her, even more than in OTL, once he has served his time...)
Who takes Connery's place in the James Bond movies from 1962 to 1967? Supposedly Ian Fleming originally preferred Roger Moore, but stories to that effect seem a bit suspect because they claim that Fleming had been impressed by seeing Moore as Simon Templar in The Saint -- yet "the series did not begin broadcasting in the United Kingdom until 4 October 1962 -- one day before the premiere of Dr. No, although it's possible that the show began filming before or around the film".
So if Connery isn't around and Moore doesn't get the role (and neither, I assume, will Fleming's alleged first-choice-even-before-Moore, David Niven) who does get it?
Incidentally, there is another POD for Connery being killed as a result of the Turner-Stompanato incident:
"Meanwhile, Connery had been hired by the Walt Disney organisation to play a supporting part in the fantasy tale Darby O'Gill And The Little People. The role required him to make his first visit to Tinseltown.
He checked into the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. One evening he received a call from one of the henchmen of Stompanato's associate Mickey Cohen. Cohen had heard of Connery's involvement with Turner and was set on taking revenge for his friend Stompanato's death.
The message delivered by Cohen's sidekick was simple:
Get out of town or a contract will be put on your life".
Connery, not one to be cowed by such threats, did, however, check out, and on the advice of Disney executives laid low at a small guesthouse outside LA as he waited for Cohen's temper to subside..".
Suppose Cohen's temper doesn't subside (at least not in time to spare Connery)?...The discussion continues at Google Groups
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.