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

May 6

In 1862, on this fateful day the impoverished German émigré Karl Marx secured a job as a railway clerk.

Railwaymen of the World, Unite!At the age of forty-six he was comparatively old for the times, and being unfit for physical work he was very fortunate this his bad handwriting did not count against him because he was quite unable to support his family.

Within a year his prospects had improved immensely. He was rescued by the deaths of his mother and also a good friend both of whom left him a good sum of money. Marx paid off his debts and the family moved to a better part of London.

Nevertheless his year of employment had a profound effect on his political thought. He had already started volume one of his opus Das Kapital but furnished with a practical understanding of workers day-to-day existence he embarked on a major rewrite. This transformed a theoretical framework into a living document that would fundamentally change the course of the twentieth century.

In 1833, the very first presidential succession under the eleventh amendment was triggered by the assassination at Alexandria, Virginia.

The tragedy in AlexandriaForty years earlier Washington's Influenza had forced law-makers to put in place more robust arrangements for the unexpected demise of the Chief Magistrate. To avoid such a repeat of that crisis in government this amendment required that the First and Second Vice President would both rule through agreement until a snap election could be called in the same fall.

Of course the traumatic events of 1833 were considerably more complex because they involved cold-blooded murder. A public defaulter called Robert B. Randolph had been dismissed from the US Navy for embezzlement by President Andrew Jackson. He had ordered a stopover at Alexandria en route to Fredericksburg, Virginia to lay the cornerstone on a monument near the grave of Mary Ball Washington, George Washington's mother. It was there that the enraged purser made his move, attacking and killing the President despite the timely intervention of the well-known writer Washington Irving.

As a result of this first assassination his Vice Presidents John C. Calhoun and Martin Van Buren would be required to jointly govern by agreement for a period of six months. But the problem was that they were headstrong individuals that quickly became enmeshed in their own power struggle over the nullification crisis. It was a period of turbulence and political violence in the Republic that would have profoundly shocked the members of Washington's ill-fated tour of the Eastern States. Back then the President had travelled with two secretaries and six servants and had not seen the need for personal security.

In 1682, the man-o'-war HMS Gloucester ran aground on the Lemon and Oar sandbank located some miles off the coast of Yarmouth.

James Stuart, Duke of York dies with the sinking of the GloucesterThe wind had caused the vessel to run full length into this narrow ridge of sand killing many of the sailors instantly. Lower planks then began to part and the hull began to fill with water.

Captain Sir John Berry calmly set about evacuating the Duke of York and his retinue that included the Lord President of the Court of Session, the Earl of Perth and the Lords Roxburgh and Hopetoun and the Lord Provost of Edinburgh. But tragically the Lord Provost's boat had not pulled away from her side before it was overwhelmed and sunk by other passengers, and some panic-stricken seamen too.

Author's Note: in reality he survived and three years later was to be crowned King James II.

In 2011, the fourth movie in the popular Spider-Man series was released, with actor Toby McGuire repeating his dual role as Peter Parker and Spider-Man, Kirsten Dunst returning as Mary Jane Watson. Dylan Baker costarred as Dr. Curtis Connors (whose CGI-aided transformation into the monstrous Lizard and then back to human form would win an Oscar in the special effects category), John Malkovich as the Vulture and Anne Hathaway as Mary Jane's romantic rival Gwen Stacy.

Release of fourth Spider-Man movieCreative differences between producer Sam Raimi and Sony Pictures nearly threatened to derail the film, as producer Sam Raimi feared he could not meet the release deadline without compromising the film. Ultimately, however, the disputes were resolved, with Raimi scaling back the script by eliminating, among other things, a planned appearance of the villain Venom. That character, along with another longtime Spider-Man foe, the Sandman, was instead slated to appear in a fifth, as yet unproduced film, although actors McGuire and Dunst have hinted that they are not interested in appearing in another Spider-Man movie, suggesting that their roles may need to be recast.

In 1864, on this day the commander of First Corps [3] of the Army of Northern Virginia Lt Gen James Longstreet was killed by friendly fire on the second day of the Battle of the Wilderness.
An installement of the Federal's Lost Cause thread.

Federal Lost Cause Part 2: Death of Old War HorseBy incredible coincidence he was accidentally shot by his own men only four miles away from the place where General Jackson was injured under identical circumstances a year earlier [2]. And if the demise of the South Carolinian was a setback, then the timing appeared a disaster for the South. Because panic was fairly underway in Hancock's II Corps and Longstreet might well have been able to force Grant to retreat back across the Rapidan. Instead, the Yankees disengaged and headed south.

But as events developed, it didn't matter. Because three weeks later General Jackson won an improbable field victory at the Battle of North Anna and the electorate moved firmly into the Peace Camp. Months later, General McClellan edged Lincoln at the Polls, and the Civil War was at an end. Dedicating the victory to Longstreet, Jackson praised his colleague as "the best corps commander in the conflict on either side" [1]. Perhaps unfairly, by comparison Jackson drew a lot of harsh criticism in the post-war era, particularly for his poor performance at Antietam. But Longstreet was held up high as the standard bearer of the Confederate forces, basking in the glory of what was after all a stalemate brought to a climax by the Yankee electoral cycle.

In 1865, on this day Jefferson Davis, Alexander Stephens, Judah Benjamin and the Cabinet Ministers of the Confederate Government-in-Exile arrived in Granada where they received a warm, sympathetic welcome from General William Walker on behalf of the slaver's republic he had established in Nicaragua nine years before.

Due SouthKeen to avoid a trial which would re-open the dispute about the legal right of secession, Abraham Lincoln had decided to permit the rebel leadership to make their escape. And to ease reconstruction, he ordered Union forces to allow over one hundred thousand die hard supporters to head due south and join Jeff Davis et al in Nicaragua.

History would judge that the avoidance of a potentially messy end to the Civil War was achieved by cynically moving the institution of slavery offshore. But at the time, Lincolns supporters would argue that the President was merely following his regular policies by shaping his decision-making around the need to preserve the Union at all costs.

As Lincoln had shrewdly predicted, the pathetic remant government of Davis came to naught. But the flimsy state created by Walker, and sustained by Napoleon III, received a boost that would spur the next generation to seek out Anglo-British imperial support and carve up Central America.

The problem of dealing with the Confederate successor state would be inherited by President Theodore Roosevelt during the construction of the Panama Canal. And the angry Anglo-French investors who had just funded the construction of the Nicaraguan Canal.

In 1983, the PLM captured the Soviet government naval base at the Black Sea port of Odessa, seizing tons of ammunition and equipment and thwarting the Kremlin's hopes of reinforcing besieged Red Army troops in the Ukraine via amphibious landing.

Fall of OdessaPost-Cold War historians would later cite the rebel victory at Odessa as the point where the tide of the Russian civil war began to turn against the Communists once and for all; the events at Odessa seriously damaged morale in all sectors of the Soviet regular armed forces, and in the late stages of the war Red Army commanders found themselves increasingly plagued by desertions. By 1986 some 200 Red Air Force pilots had gone over to the PLM side and fifty Soviet naval personnel had been executed on suspicion of mutiny.

By the time the war ended in 1987 only a handful of combat troops were still fighting on the Communist side-- the rest, with the conspicuous exception of a shrinking cadre of hard-line generals, had all chosen to throw in their lot with the insurgents. In fact, the very week of the final Communist surrender to the PLM one of the few remaining Russian naval warships still under Kremlin control was torpedoed by a rebel submarine in the Baltic; the submarine's captain would later be appointed chief of staff for the post-civil war Russian navy.

In 1941, on this day the British Government lost a vote of confidence by just three votes triggering the immediate resignation of the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Anthony Eden.

Churchill's Government falls after Greek MisadventureEden had embarked on a long tour of the Middle East in a futile attempt to save the Balkans from Axis Occupation. In fact the decision to overrule military advice and intervene in the Balkans was Churchill's alone. Nevertheless both Field Marshall Sir John Dill and Commander-in-Chief (Middle East) Sir Archibald Wavell were both forced from position after the failure of the mission, a savage outcome that soured relations between the political and military leadership. First Eden, and shortly afterwards Churchill were on their way too.

"The decision to go to Greece was a political one and from the point of view of a professional it was a military nonsense" ~ Lt-Col BelchamOn returning to London, Eden was required to provide the House of Commons with a "full and as clear an account as I could of the events of the last two or three months", but instead gave a disasterous performance that required Churchill's intervention. "Nothing can excuse a disaster. It was due to very woolly thinking before it was launched" ~ Gen FreybergAnd his claim that the coup in Belgrade was orchestrated by British intelligence was exposed as a desperate lie to extract some value from the whole dismal episode. Worse, a golden opportunity to end the North Africa Campaign had been thrown away by the transfer of Allies forces to Greece.

"[The Balkan nations] are such a poor lot that they would only add to our military commitments and we should gain nothing". ~ Maj-Gen KennedyChurchill claimed that "everything in human power was done by us and that our honour as a nation is clear". Shortly afterwards the House voted on the motion "That this House approves the policy of His Majesty's Government in sending help to Greece and declares its confidence that our operations in the Middle East and in all other theatres of war will be pursued by the Government with the utmost vigour".

Having warned that Balkan states faced the isolated defeat of Scandinavian nations a year before, it now appeared that another fall of Government might in the offing after the defeat in the House of Commons. Because the German propaganda image of the Luftwaffe bombing the unprotected Acropolis (pictured) struck at the heart of the confidence issue, that the future of civilization was imperilled by the accident-prone leadership of Winston Churchill. His successor, Lord Halifax would sign an armistice with Hitler that would permit the Germans to concentrate on a common enemy, the Soviet Union.

In 2002, on this day the former head of South Africa's Chemical and Bacterioligical Warfare (CBW) unit, Daan Goosen offered the FBI the entire collection of pathogens developed by his research group during the Apartheid era.

Bioweapons for SaleThe pricetag was a mere five million dollars in cash and nineteen U.S. passports for his associated and their dependents. As a gesture of goodwill, Goosen provided a vial of genetically altered bacteria that he had freeze-dried and hidden inside a toothpaste tube for secret passage to the United States. A retired CIA officer couriered the microbes eight thousand miles for the drop-off with the FBI.

The FBI refused the offer and skeptical agents turned the matter over to South African authorities, who twice investigated Goosen but never charged him. Yet during this critical period, Goosen was tricked by agents of Saddam Hussein's regime masquerading as FBI Officers.

The program known as "Project Coast" has been commissioned in 1981 by P.W. Botha as an offensive weapon for operations in Angola against Soviet-backed SWAPO, Cuban and Angolan troops. "The weapons programs were ostensibly terminated, yet clearly they weren't able to destroy everything," said Jeffrey M. Bale of the Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, who carried out a study of South Africa's weapons programs. "The fact that Goosen and others are providing samples and being approached by foreign parties suggests that these things never really went away".

These CBW now entered the arsenal of Saddam Hussein on the eve of the Second Gulf War. And US President Bush's "State of the Union" assertion that Saddam had obtained weapons of mass destruction from Africa was suddenly transformed from a ridiculous falsehood to a cold hard fact.

In 1915, B-Movie director George O. Welles was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

B-Movie director Orson Welles born by Jake DominguezThrough a nearly 40-year career, Welles produced over 450 motion pictures, the vast majority of which were obscure, low-budget science fiction yarns or monster thrillers. After his October 30, 1938 broadcast adaptation of H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds for the CBS radio network, Welles quickly realized the potential of fantastic fictional concepts and creatures to thrill and overwhelm the populace. He quickly moved to Hollywood where he convinced RKO to fund his first and most-acclaimed cinematic 'achievement', Venusian Kane. Despite the rather pithy story of a man from another world's struggle to adapt to Earth society, the film featured a number of directorial innovations that quickly placed it among the most well-critiqued films of 1941.

However, the success of the film seems to have wilted Welles' ambitions to transform Hollywood's creative process, and he soon became comfortable churning out an average of a dozen low-grade films per year for a multitude of lesser-known film studios, chief among them American-International Pictures, for whom he directed the cult classic I Was A Teenaged Biker Werewolf in 1962. Toward the end of his life, as the B-movie market dried up with the growing popularity of the expensive genre movie, Welles moved on to performing voiceover work for popular cartoons and television programs, as well as hosting the Saturday Night horror film showcase program Creature Features for a nearly 10-year stint.

Welles died of a heart attack in 1985, and at his own request was memorialized only by having his image and voice inserted in the role of a doomed citizen in the then in-production Japanese film Godzilla vs. Biollante.

Seal of

In 1613, a group of British colonists in the Massachusetts Bay region of New England established what is today the city of Boston.

Seal of - Boston
Royal Irish

In 2015, on this day the last remnants of what had been the British Army's Ulster contingent left Belfast.

Royal Irish - Regimental Insignia
Regimental Insignia
In 1994, the Egyptian military surrendered Madagascar to the South African forces of President Terreblanche. With defeat coming so quickly for the allies in both the African and American theatres of war, gloom lowered over the heads of state in Cairo, Peking and London, and they considered surrender to the right-wing machine of Terreblanche and American President Ralph Shephard.
In 1985, Chelsea Perkins and Debra Morris run into a young girl who is being bullied in the streets of London and decide to teach the bullies a little lesson. A small spell from Miss Morris sends them running with small dogs from all around the neighborhood yapping at their heels. Chelsea helps the girl gather her things back together and is a little shocked when the girl introduces herself as, 'Redding, Patience Redding.'
In 1940, Comrade John Steinbeck wins the Pulitzer Prize for his novel The Grapes of Wrath, a story of migrant workers in southern Europe. Banned in the monarchies, it became one of the most widely-read books in the western hemisphere. Comrade Steinbeck was even nominated for a Nobel Prize before the Swedish monarchy stepped in and squashed the enthusiasm over this 'peasant writer.'
In 1937, Greater Zionist Resistance fighters destroyed the Hindenburg, the flagship of the German Underground's civilian air fleet. The Hindenburg was a passenger jet built with technology from 1968 smuggled through to the G.U. The loss of this jet was a major propaganda blow to the G.U., who had been touting their air craft as invincible.
In 1915, as their minds break from the pressure of the stray Kainku telepathy, Dr. Argus McCloud and his crew work feverishly on a way to extend the power of the neural neutralizer he developed to let them stay near the alien race. Just as they are losing control, Dr. McCloud hits on a substance in the Kainku water itself that allows them to handle each other's thoughts; with this ingredient mixed in with his neutralizer, Dr. McCloud is able to restore sanity on his shuttle.
In the Dreaming, Anansi returns to the people and spins his web once more out into the heavens. The lost ones have been crying out to him, and he has pitied them at last. With the new webs in the heavens, the lost ones rejoin the people.

at the start of the Moon When Ponies Shed by the End of the White Man's War, War Leader His-Horse-Is-Crazy of the Ogala Lakota accepts the surrender of General George Crook at Forest Canyons, Nebraska. The white man's camp, while well-armed and filled with warriors, had been suffering over the long winter by lack of food and water, with forage parties being neatly cut down by the Lakota besiegers. Late in the winter, the white men had begun sending unarmed parties of women and children to gather food and water, prompting His-Horse-Is-Crazy, privately amused at the cleverness of his enemy, to decree these not be harmed.


However, what supplies these managed to collect were insufficient, and the white man sent messengers to ask peace before the heat began to touch the territory. At the ceremony, George Crook, clearly familiar with the customs of the Lakota, bowed in submission and presented his very long steel knife and fine flat warbonnet, decorated with gold, to the War Leader. His-Horse-Is-Crazy was touched by the gesture and ordered that all whites be fed, and provisioned with one horse for every woman-and-two-children, as well as with enough supplies for the entire band to be able to leave the territory. This was done, and the sheer number of weapons left behind was found to be enough to arm a tribe twice the size of the gathered Lakota. However, the news of the victory swelled the numbers of willing warriors from the Plains People, guaranteeing the dominance of the Ogala Lakota in the area.

In 1891, 'Sockless' Jerry Simpson, hearing the news that Missouri's new governor doesn't wish to participate in the siege of Kansas, pulls his men away from the Missouri border and sends them north to Nebraska. He also sends a telegram of congratulations to the new governor, Arnold Morgan, and tells him that Kansas has no designs on those who honor its sovereignty. This telegram throws a pall over Governor Morgan's reception of Major Mark Wainwright, who tries to argue that Simpson's Kansas volunteers mean to spread their rebellion across the midwest, and thus endanger Missouri. Morgan shows the telegram to Wainwright, saying, 'Sir, this gives the lie to that rather bold declaration. I mean to make peace with my neighbors.' Wainwright leaves the meeting downhearted, seeing the chances of the Union to win this war dwindling away.

On this day in 2007, the owner of the loft which was the scene of the Giraffe In A Loft incident was admitted to a London psychiatric hospital after an emotional breakdown in which he claimed to have been accosted by talking mangoes, one of which was allegedly dressed as a pirate and after his 'booty'.

In 1987, in a huge payoff scandal, Jim Bakker retains his position as the head of the Praise The Lord network. The board of directors of the network reportedly received millions from Bakker, and the stain of corruption pushed the ratings for the network into the cellar. In 1990, they had no choice but to declare bankruptcy.
In 1882, Congress refused to bow to racist pressure and shot down a bill that would have halted Chinese immigration into the U.S. for 10 years. This changed the face of the west coast as more and more Chinese came across the Pacific and settled in America and helped build the once-wild west. The cultural clash between the white-bread eastern US and the Asian-influenced west led to the riots of the 1960's that culminated in 1968's Equal Citizenship Act.
In 1856, emigre psychiatrist Sigmund Freud was born in Freiberg. After visiting London during his college years, he decided to emigrate and become a citizen of the British Empire, where his theories of the psyche and id met with a receptive audience in Victorian England. Rumors that Queen Victoria herself underwent his brand of therapy were silenced, although she did appear happier after meeting with the doctor than she had at any point since her husband died.
In 907, the emperor of the Moguls, Babur, is defeated by a combined force of Afghans and Bengals at the Battle of Gaghra. This stinging rebuke of Islam is not received well by the other Islamic powers of the region, and the Afghans and Bengals are nearly exterminated in the retaliative strike.

May 5

In 1945, before Patton's Third Army could arrive Czech resistance fighters launched a courageous attempt to liberate the city of Prague from German occupation.

Western Allies liberate Czech RepublicPresident Truman had approved this offensive action into Bohemia and Moravia because of Soviet actions in Poland and Romania in February and March, and some manoeuvres towards Turkey in March. It was a bold decision that his predecessor would probably never have taken, but history had taken an odd turn when FDR died the previous Christmas. Instead the lasting political consequence of the Prague Uprising was to welcome the Western Allies into a liberated Western Czechoslovakia.

As Truman had anticipated, but in a way that could never have planned for, the historic events of the following weeks and months shaped the landscape of post-war Europe. Under Patton's leadership the forces of the Western Allies would prevent a humanitarian crisis by overseeing the repatriation of three million Sudeten Germans from their homes of eight hundred years. But at the same time many of the the Czech Communists were quietly liquidated.

All across the country there was a mixture of emotions, popular anger at the Munich Peace Settlement, a sense that the Treaty of Versailles had been a historic mistake maybe even a suggestion that the Germans had treated the Slovaks better than the Czechs ever had. The inevitable result was a separation of territories leading to the formation of a Slovak Socialist Republic under Soviet guidance which seceded from Czechoslovakia. Although justifiable by geography it was something of a counter-intuitive result, Western Allies sitting in a communist Czech Republic and the Soviets sitting in a democratic Slovakia.

May 5th, 1867. President Pendleton was very upset as he was now Ex-President Pendleton. The articles of impeachment went through. It was a travesty, really a travesty. It was all political, just a power hungry man out for his position. There was nothing to be done about it he supposed so he might as well be gracious about it. That would go down better in history.

Victorious Dixie goes down in flames Part 8President Benjermin Wade was estatic. The United States finally got rid of that fool Pendleton and he was in the White House. What to do with the CSA was problematical. He would have to give it thought. He wanted to strike them at their weakest.

President Davis was worried. He expected this but now he had to deal with it. What would President Wade do? For now he ordered the men on the front line to be alert.

The impeachment of President Pendleton weakened the presidency gravely for decades. The clearly politized impeachment and removal from office of a sitting president made any president hesitant to go against the clear will of congress. The history of the presidencies of the United States. University of Michigan Press 1970.

In 1979, on this fateful day in Los Angeles, James Earl Carter was assassinated by a thirty-five year old Ohio-born unemployed American drifter called Raymond Lee Harvey. The President had been all set to deliver a speech to a predominantly Hispanic audience at the Civic Center Mall when eight shots had rung out in rapid succession.

The Assassination of the Georgia GiantLAPD managed to arrest both the assassin, and a gang of Mexican hit men armed with sniper rifles. In fact, an investigation ordered by President Mondale subsequently discovered that the original plan was for Harvey to simply act as a diversion, but to increase the odds of success, this was upgraded and his starter pistol replaced with a live weapon. And because of his successful shot, the Mexicans had attempted to escape, but had been apprehended anyway.

With the Presidential election just twelve months away, the conspiracy threw the campaign into confusion. And of course the multiple connections with John F. Kennedy had implications for the campaign of his younger brother Teddy.

In 1822, Sir Harry Paget Flashman VC KCB KCIE the fictionalized anti-hero of the Flashman Papers was born on this day to H. Buckley Flashman, Esq., Ashby, and Hon. Alicia Paget.

Birth of FlashmanThe author Thomas Hughes introduced him as a notorious childhood bully in his 1857 classic Tom Brown's School Days in which the character was expelled for drunkenness. George MacDonald Fraser later decided to write Flashman's memoirs, portraying him an "illustrious Victorian soldier": experiencing many 19th-century wars and adventures and rising to high rank in the British Army, acclaimed as a great soldier, while remaining by his unapologetic self-description "a scoundrel, a liar, a cheat, a thief, a coward-and oh yes, a toady".

Naturally, when the 1971 mini-series of TBSC was a blockbuster success, screenplay writers proposed a continuation. And their search for a tall dark actor led them straight to Christopher Lee. The initial screenings were a huge success and over more than fifteen years all twelve volumes were turned into movies. For decades it framed Lee's acting career, typecast as "the man who played Flashman". But his desire to shoot horror movies was at least placated by his casting as Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter movies.

In 1914, on this day American film and stage actor Tyrone Edmund Power, Jr. was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. From 1930s to the 1950s Power appeared in dozens of films, often in swashbuckler roles or romantic leads. His better-known films include The Mark of Zorro, Blood and Sand, The Black Swan, Prince of Foxes, The Black Rose, and Captain from Castile.

Happy Endings 22In fact, he had over-strained himself and had difficulty accepting the transition into middle age. On November 15, 1958 he was admitted to hospital suffering from acute chest pains. But fortunately, he recovered. This health scare vindicated his recent decision to turn down another strenuous role in Solomon and Sheba.

Even though he was only one year into his third marriage, his relationship with Debbie Ann Minardos had fundamentally changed him. And the prospect of the upcoming birth of their child (a son Tyrone William Power, IV) made him exercise caution. And ultimately, he had allowed himself to accept his wife's sound advice - to slow down. But to the outside world, all that was known at that time was that Power intended to move into character roles. Still only forty-four, he went on to star in some of his most memorable roles, continuing a long career into the late nineteen seventies.

In 1883, Field Marshal Archibald Wavell architect of the Allied conquest of North Africa born in Colchester, Essex. As the professional Head of Middle East Command he oversaw the successful prosecution of Operation Compass. And by early 1941 the Italian Army had been routed and Allied forces were the masters of North Africa.

The Oyster Clams UpBut events in Greece now conspired against him. Because Churchill desperately wanted to send several divisions of his experienced troops into Greece. During their strategic planning meetings, he was enraged by Wavell's long silences (King George VI nicknamed him "the oyster" after a sticky audience). Of course Churchill was thinking along the right lines, using Hitler's megalomania as a means of trapping the Nazi beast into exhaustion. However, in practical military terms, Wavell was right to "Clam Up", Churchill was wrong and somehow common sense prevailed. Because surely British support would not change the outcome in Greece but it could reverse the hard fought victory in North Africa. And ultimately, Churchill could not afford to sanction that loss of his solitary victory.

And so Wavell continued his invasion of Libya. By the end of the year, Britain was the master of North Africa, and Nazi Germany the master of a similar sized space of Soviet Russia. Both nations then signed an armistice followed by a "spheres of interest" agreement. Just weeks later, Japan attacked Pearl Harbour and the United States joined a ferocious, must regional, war in the Far East.

In 1991, the shock reverberating across the nation began to abate somewhat with the greatly reassuring news that Senator Robert Dole of Kansas had agreed to serve as Veep in the one-day old Quayle Administration.

A Heartbeat Away, Part 2Dole joined the United States Army's Enlisted Reserve Corps to fight in World War II. Dole became a second lieutenant in the Army's 10th Mountain Division. In April 1945, while engaged in combat near Castel d'Aiano in the Apennine mountains southwest of Bologna, Italy, Dole was hit by German machine gun fire in his upper right back. His right arm was also badly injured. When fellow soldiers saw the extent of his injuries all they thought they could do was to "give him the largest dose of morphine they dared and write an "M" for "morphine" on his forehead in his own blood, so that nobody else who found him would give him a second, fatal dose". Dole had to wait nine hours on the battlefield before being taken to the 15th Evacuation Hospital. His right arm was paralyzed; he often carried a pen in his right hand to signal that Dole could not shake hands with that arm. He was three times decorated for heroism, receiving two Purple Hearts for his injuries, and the Bronze Star with combat "V" for valor for his attempt to assist a downed radio man.

And so being a man of honour and sense of duty, for the good of the nation Dole had graciously agreed to serve under a man thirty years younger than him and in a position he had sought fifteen years before under Gerald Ford. And maybe to rebuild his reputation from the damage done during the 1988 election, ironically enough, by the winning candidate, George H.W. Bush who had died during an emergency cardioversion just twenty-four hours before.

Because despite having the support of President Ronald Reagan, Bush had managed to lose the Iowa Caucus and only just narrowly won the New Hampshire primary by pledging a "kinder and gentler nation" and smearing Dole as a tax raiser. In office, he dispensed with these cheap lies and sought to establish a new world order with America as a hyperpower, and he also raised taxes (despite pledging "read my lips - no new taxes"). Perhaps worse of all, during the campaign Bush had used every possibile photo opportunity to promote his own mobility, cruelly aware that Dole's war wounds preventing him from doing so as well. The day after his withdrawal from the race, Dole was gripped by a shattering epiphany, blaming himself for his defeat by "not being whole".

Still, Robert Dole picked himself up very quickly and soldiered on as old soldiers do. Only a few short months later, Quayle discovered that he was afflicted by blood disorder known as phlebitis, forcing him to withdraw from the upcoming presidential race. By then Dole had acted on his final election campaign pledge, to get George Bush from "stop lying about my record". That record had been set straight, and Dole looked comfortably on course for victory in 1992. It would be the last, and greatest mission of the World War Two Generation.

In 2688 AUC the Ethiopian City of Addis Ababa fell to the East African Roman forces of the Legatus Legionis Badoglio.

Government ReshuffleEmperor Haille Selassie had fled the country three days before, clearing the way for the Ethiopian Empire to be formally annexed on May 7. Then on May 9, Caesar Emmanuel III was proclaimed Emperor of Ethiopia (the countries of Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somaliland being merged into a single colony known as Roman East Africa (Africa Orientale Roma, or AOR).

Rome would taste a rare military success that had been conspiciously absent in recent years; "Emperor! Emperor! Salute the Emperor!" ("Imperatore! Imperatore! Salute Imperatore!") chanted the crowd when the Caesar, in full military uniform, showed himself on the balcony in the Palazzo Venezia.

Whilst Caesar maintained a dignified silence, General Mussolini unwisely did not, acting in what some might describe as a more flamboyant Latin manner (pictured top left) bordering on self-congratulatory exuberance. So when victory was announced by the General the Roman population reacted with jubilant abandon.

"People of Rome, people of the world, peace has been restored".From the balcony, the General proclaimed: "During the thirty centuries of our history, Rome has known many solemn and memorable moments -- this is unquestionably one of the most solemn, the most memorable. People of Rome, people of the world, peace has been restored". The crowds would not let him go - ten times they recalled the General to the balcony and cheered and waved while the boys of youth organizations sang the newly composed "Hymn of the Empire" (Inno dell'impero).

Caesar was less impressed with the General's victory, achieved frankly through the use of overwhelming force and also the cowardly use of mustard gas. Now observing some potential for confusion over who was actually "Il Duce" (the Leader), Caesar ordered that the General and his mistress, Clara Petacci were to be crucified and then hung upside down in the Palazzo Venezia (pictured right).

Whilst the remainder of the Romans were rejoicing, Haile Selassie was constructing a memorable letter of protest to stir up the Celts who would soon wage war with the Romans ~ "We have decided to bring to an end the most unequal, most unjust, most barbarous war of our age, and have chosen the road to exile in order that our people will not be exterminated and in order to consecrate ourselves wholly and in peace to the preservation of our empire's independence ... we now demand that [the Celtic allies] should decide not to recognize territorial extensions, or the exercise of an assumed sovereignty".

In 1945, on this day low flying American and British bombers released thousands of white doves over the City of Tokyo.
Peace breaks outAfter several days of behind-the-scenes negotiations the Gozenkaigi (Japanese leadership) decided, in principle, to accept generous proposals for conditional surrender. John Nance Garner had only recently entered the White House following the sudden demise of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The new President was the son of a former Confederate cavalry trooper, famously described by the British journalist Alistair Cooke as "the last public man linking America of the Civil War and America of the Nuclear Age". Garner had the gift of perspective resulting from a genuine insight into long-term history. Japan was ready to surrender, and there was absolutely no need to be a damn-fool and usher in apocalyptic weapons to bring the war to a speedy conclusion; best to set up a beacon of liberty to whom the post-war nations would rally.

In 1941, on this day Soviet troops in Poland began advancing on the final pockets of German resistance inside Warsaw.                                                                                                

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In 2015, on this day the United Nations General Assembly convened an emergency session to debate the matter of who should replace the UK on the UN Security Council; that same day the new official Scottish Republic government website RepScot.gov.sco went online for the first time.

Flag of the - United Nations
United Nations

In 1984, the last remnants of the Red Army's Alaska invasion force pulled out of U.S. territory in grave disarray; halfway around the world, Chinese forces captured the Siberian industrial center Magadan and bombed the Soviet Pacific naval fleet headquarters at Vladivostok.

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On this day in 2009, civil war broke out in the former Soviet republic of Georgia as Russian-backed dissidents tried to topple the government of president Mikhail Saakashvilli.

Protestors - in Georgia
in Georgia

On this day in 1982, a leading US wrestling magazine printed an article concerning Terry Funk's eight-month-long absence from the NWA following his defeat by Tommy Rich at the first Great American Bash. The article's main headline posed the question 'Has Funk Lost The Will To Fight?' and quoted an anonymous source in Funk's camp as hinting the Texan roughneck might retire.

Texan Roughneck
Texan Roughneck - Terry Funk
Terry Funk
In 1999, King Arthur II of Great Britain orders Scotland Yard to find Prime Minister Merl Myrddin, 'and spare no expense.' The worried monarch sees victory, so tantalizingly close just days ago, start to slip from his grasp. His queen, the lady Gwen Rivers Pendrake, tells him, 'Do not concern yourself, my liege. You have capable men in charge of all your affairs. Sir Lance will prosecute the war, and Scotland Yard will find your prime minister. Let us relax and let them do their jobs.' Arthur wearily agrees, sending word to Sir Lance that he will be in Wales if he is needed.
In 1891, Lt. Governor Arnold Morgan of Missouri receives the news that he is about to be promoted; he takes the oath of office and then orders a day of mourning across the state for the late governor, Silas Trent. He also reduces Missouri's cooperation in the siege of Kansas, which causes Colonel Theodore Monteith, who has been charged by the Secretary of War with ensuring the success of this endeavor, to send Major Mark Wainwright back to Missouri to convince the new governor to back the military more fully.
In 1986, after an initially strong bid by Cleveland, Ohio, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame was awarded to Los Angeles, California. I mean, come on - Cleveland?!?
In 1985, Chelsea Perkins and Debra Morris find out from the family in a farm house they pass that they have been sent back in time 20 years. Miss Morris is confident that the Council of Wisdom will be able to send them back to their proper time, and she and Chelsea set off for London. She is puzzled as to why it happened, though; they are both confident that neither of them flubbed the transportation spell.
In 1915, Dr. Argus McCloud and his small team of volunteers find that the neural neutralizers he had devised are beginning to lose their effectiveness. The team takes their shuttle off the Kainku world before they begin to break down, and the doctor works on refining his device. 'There's got to be a way to make it last,' he told his troubled crew.

In 1821, Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France, King of Spain, Protector of the Germanies and the Netherlands and ruler of Poland, dies. His ten-year-old son Napoleon Francois Joseph Charles Bonaparte becomes nominal ruler of France's vast domain; the real power, however, will lie for years with his father's feared Prime Minister, Klemens von Metternich.


In 2008, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) began operation as a particle accelerator and collider located at CERN, near Geneva, Switzerland. Funded and built in collaboration with over two thousand physicists from thirty-four countries, universities and laboratories, the LHC is became the world's largest and highest-energy particle accelerator.


Conditions that have not existed since the time of the big Bang were created when the Europeans fired up their LHC. A large quantum fluctuation occured, resulting in a New Big Bang as the LHC created a new Universe which expanded into another dimension.

In 1985, First Lady Nancy Reagan cancels President Ronald Reagan's trip to the Bitburg War Cemetery in Germany. Although the visit had been scheduled to show support for Germany, Mrs. Reagan thinks that it might be seen by the President's opponents as a pro-Nazi gesture. While mildly criticized by conservatives in America and Germany, the cancellation is given virtually no coverage at all.
In 1961, America launched its best astronaut, John Glenn, into space, making him the first American to leave the earth. Some had speculated that Glenn might not be the first, but public and political pressures forced NASA to put him up. Glenn was overshadowed by the later astronauts, though, especially Alan Shephard, whose heat shield nearly failed during reentry.
In 12-13-2-7-2, the Sioux chief Tantanka Yotanka left Oueztecan territory in an effort to prevent retaliations against his people because of his military victory at the Montana. He joined with the Kree people to the north and blended in with them for a few years before the call of his own nation forced him and his warriors to the south again.
In 1862, overwhelming French force swept through the Puebla de Los Angeles, and the Mexicans under Benito Juarez were forced to bow to French authority again. Mexico became nothing more than a French vassal state for the next century, when revolutionaries were finally able to cast off the French yoke.

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