In 1940, on this day Edward Frederick Lindley Wood, 1st Earl of Halifax was appointed Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
Our Greatest Prime MinisterBeing a peer of the realm he was unable to fully direct the conflict from the House of Lords and therefore had been deeply reluctant to take up the post. However at a meeting in Number Ten chaired by out-going Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, it had been agreed that the First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill would be promoted to the newly created position of Chief Minister of War and Labour Leader Clement Attlee brought into Government as Deputy Prime Minister.
Perhaps Halifax on his own would have sought a peace settlement, one can never know, but in outlook he was even more anti-Nazi than Churchill. Both he and the Tory Leadership feared national bankruptcy. However the key difference was that he didn't believe that total victory was possible, nor that the Class System or the British Empire should be destroyed in the attempt. Fortunately, Halifax, Churchill and Attlee managed to concoct a great British compromise. At times, this was strained to the absolute limit, particularly when Churchill hot-headedly threatened to resign over the rejection of his proposed intervention in Greece. But he was overruled, and Wavell kept the resources necessary to triumph in North Africa.
To the fury of the French allies, Britain saw no reason to continue the fight after the success of Operation Compass. Both Germany and Britain agreed to a spheres of interest agreement and the European Conflict was over. Over the course of the next six months, Wavell and his resources were transferred to Singapore. And when the war in the Pacific got under-way, the Empire of Japan was confronted by the full might of two nations un-distracted from European matters. It was a master-strike that earned Halifax the sobriquet "our greatest Prime Minister".
In 1973, on this day U.S. District Judge William Matthew Byrne, Jr. sentenced Daniel Ellsberg to twenty-five years imprisonment for releasing the Pentagon Papers to The New York Times.
Ellsberg Sentenced to Twenty-Five years ImprisonmentEllsberg had cited government misconduct, a defence that he repeated in his subsequent appeals. But he only managed to reduce the sentence by twenty-four months, serving a jail term of twenty-three years.
Because in 1996 in one of his final executive actions, President Paul Tsongas authorized the early release of Daniel Ellsberg. Tsongas died just three weeks later and his successor Bill Clinton was in office when Ellsberg actually left prison.
A consultant at the Pentagon, he was sentenced to twenty-five years in prison for treason. Ellsberg had been caught trying to peddle classified papers to various news organizations through a fortuitous tip from his psychiatrist. President Nixon said, "Filthy traitors aren't welcome in our America".
Note - This article is a continuation of Robbie Taylor's post 31 July 1974: Ellsberg sentenced as explained by Michel Vuijlsteke on the The Annotated Today in Alternate History web site.
In 1864, on this day the incomparable cavalry commander James Ewell Brown "Jeb" Stuart sustained a light gun-shot wound at the Yellow Tavern, a battle fought at an abandoned inn located six miles north of Richmond. An installment of the Federal's Lost Cause thread.
Federal Lost Cause Part 9: General Stuart injuredConfederate troopers had tenaciously resisted from the low ridge-line bordering the road to Richmond, fighting for over three hours. Then, a counter-charge by the 1st Virginia Cavalry pushed the advancing Union troopers back from the hilltop as Stuart, on horseback, shouted encouragement while firing his revolver at the Union troopers.
As the 5th Michigan Cavalry streamed in retreat past Stuart, a dismounted Union private, forty-eight year-old John A. Huff, turned and shot Stuart with his .44-caliber revolver from a distance of 10-30 yards. But fortunately it was only a light wound and he survived. Needless to say the loss of Stuart would have been demoralising to the Confederate cause. Sofar his performance in the faltering Overland Campaign had been outstanding. But the real significance of his survival only became even more apparent when he detected Grant's movement over the James River, allowing Lee to attack the Army of the Potomac at a very vulnerable moment.
In 300 A.D., on this day Byzantium (itself a Latinization of the original Greek name Byzantion) was officially renamed Nova Roma during a dedication ceremony. Nevertheless, the City was popularly referred to as Constantinople until 29th May, 1453 when the name was reverted back to Byzantium. Of course, by then the resettlement of the Italian Peninsula was well underway.
Reversion of ByzantiumAlthough founded by Byzas from Megara in 657 B.C., events really began to take shape in 196 A.D. when the Roman General Septimus Severus occupied the city. After ascending to the throne, he rebuilt the city and it prospered once again. Meanwhile, developments in Western Europe were going in the other way. Roman Emperor Aurelian was about to launch a campaign to retake the Gallic Empire when an inexplicable darkening of the day sky began in Western Europe.
Because over several years, the hours of daylight steadily reduced, and agriculture began to fail. Fortunately, Aurelian successfully organized a mass eastward decantment and when this was completed, Byzantium was designated the official capital of the Roman Empire. Centuries passed and despite efforts to preserve this territory as a Roman-Empire-in-the-East, it soon took on many of the attributes of an Eastern Roman Empire. Because the Italian Peninsula contained the resources that had sustained the elite, and more than that, the new capital was still imbued with a pervasive Greek influence that drove out the Roman homogeneity. By the time that Western Europe was inhabitable once again, the imperium was for all intents and purposes a Second Greek Empire. And a future split between East and West Roman Empires seemed inevitable.
In 1812, on this day Bellingham's Reign of Terror Begins. The life of merchant John Bellingham seemed cursed. Believed to have been born in 1769, he became a midshipman on The Hartwell, which came under mutiny and ran aground four years later.
Bellingham's Reign of Terror Begins In 1794, he opened a factory in London, which went bankrupt. Finally he found work as a clerk in an import/export firm between Britain and Russia. Shortly after his marriage in 1803, he was sent to Russia on business. The Russian ship Soleure had been lost at sea, and its owners claimed insurance from Lloyd's of London. When an anonymous note to Lloyd's warned that the ship had been sabotaged, the owners blamed Bellingham and accused him of a debt of nearly 5000 rubles. While he would be eventually found innocent, the charge stripped him of his traveling visa and kept him in prison in Russia for four years just as he was about to sail home to his wife.
Upon his eventual return to London, Bellingham appealed to the British government for restitution, but Britain had ceased diplomatic relations with Russia due to its switching sides in the Napoleonic Wars. For years, the bad luck tortured him, despite his wife suggesting he drop the matter. He worked until 1812, when he saw the Luddite movement growing in the North as industrialized looms put hundreds out of work. Like-minded laborers joined the movement, blossoming it until crowds of thousands of protestors clashed with British troops and breaking looms was made a capital crime.
Bellingham at last discovered his chance to join with others who were devastated by the politicians of the government. Using his expertise in trade and organization, he began to build a secret society dedicated to the destruction of a government who sat idly (or at least busily fighting foreign wars) while its people suffered an unjust world. Bellingham decided to use assassination to get the points of the people across, using something of an inverse of the French Revolution's Reign of Terror. Rather than a council oppressing its people by use of guillotine, the people would strike out against their oppressors to make their will known, one assassination at a time.
A new story by Jeff ProvineThe first target was Prime Minister Spencer Perceval, political champion of the Peninsular War and suppressor of the Luddite riots. A lone gunman waited in the lobby of Parliament until Perceval came in, then shot him, and (according to Bellingham's orders) sat quietly on a bench to be apprehended. The man was executed within a week, but an anonymous letter (written by Bellingham) was read in court,
"Recollect, Gentlemen, what is our situation. Recollect that our families were ruined and ourselves destroyed, merely because it was Mr Perceval's pleasure that justice should not be granted; sheltering himself behind the imagined security of his station, and trampling upon law and right in the belief that no retribution could reach him. We demand only our rights, and not a favour; we demand what is the birthright and privilege of every Englishman. Gentlemen, when a minister sets himself above the laws, as Mr Perceval did, he does it as his own personal risk. If this were not so, the mere will of the minister would become the law, and what would then become of your liberties? I trust that this serious lesson will operate as a warning to all future ministers, and that they will henceforth do the thing that is right, for if the upper ranks of society are permitted to act wrong with impunity, the inferior ramifications will soon become wholly corrupted. Gentlemen, my life is in your hands, we rely confidently in your justice".
On the same day the gunman was "hanged by the neck until... dead... body to be dissected and anatomized", the ambassador to Russia was assassinated by another of Bellingham's agents. Panic struck London, and many of the ministers of Parliament returned home under guard. Others stayed under heavier guard. Letters flowed out from Bellingham's society, explaining it was not a revolution but an act of justice. He had no designs on injuring royalty, only those elected to serve their people but did not.
A war in counterespionage launched from the Earl of Liverpool's new government, which was losing members weekly. Eventually Bellingham was found out, but he went into hiding, and believers in his cause moved him from place to place ahead of army searches. Despite murders continuing throughout the summer and into the fall, the government refused to change its position. Assassinations and executions took place for months until Bellingham was finally caught aboard a smuggler's ship headed for the United States of America, which had recently declared war with Britain and, Bellingham believed, would take him in with political understanding. Bellingham was executed and his society dispersed.
To quote Sir Adam Roberts, emeritus professor of international relations at Oxford University and president of the British Academy, to the BBC, "In fact tyranny, or whatever form of government you have, usually has a broader social basis. The idea that one cleansing act of violence will transform the political landscape has been disproved time and time again because it has messier results".
Rather than realizing a revolution by carefully placed targets, Bellingham contributed to dispelling to many the idea of eliminating a figurehead on the behemoth that is government. Later taken as a folk-figure much like Guy Fawkes, he would be rarely taken under serious academic study, with the exception of writers such as Thoreau and Marx, who used him as an example of what not to do.
In 1926, on this day with many of the academic staff travelling to London alongside students participating in the General Strike, the remaining members of the English Faculty at the University of Oxford gathered for a monthly meeting at which two young dons C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien made each other's acquaintance for the very first time.
The InklingsOver the course of almost a quarter of century, they would reflect upon contemporary Christianity. It was a matter of dispute that they did not totally see eye to eye on because "Jack" was an Anglican that took issue with Tolkien's Papist opinions.
Nevertheless they shared an almost childish willingness to be enchanted that allowed them to move the dialog in an unexpected direction. Because six years of late night conversations later, Tolkien took a great personal risk in their relationship by reading from some early material he was developing: "In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit".
Lewis revealed that at the age of sixteen he too had imagined a picture in his head of "a Faun carrying an umbrella and parcels in a snowy wood". Both works of the imagination had exciting potential and yet collaboration within the wider group of Inklings was disfavourable. In his diary, Lewis noted that ""I have tried [to write a children's story] myself, but it was, by the unanimous verdict of of my friends, so bad that I destroyed it". Both stuck in the earliest chapters of their children's novels for quite some time, the young dons decide to work collaboratively, and the lacklustre result was The Witch, the Hobbit and the Wardrobe published in early 1939.
Despite their passionate interest in fantasy worlds, the minds of both Lewis and Tolkien were deeply troubled with an Aryanism that bordered on racism and sexism. Neither of their reputatons survived the Second World War, and their obscure novel might have been altogether forgotten if not for JK Rowling naming it as an inspration for the Harry Potter series of novels.
In 1981, following a long, long night full of unspeakable sadness at Tartar's kitchen in the government yard in Trench Town thirty-six year old Nesta Robert (Bob) Marley finally passed away.
Protocols of the Elders of Zion
Tuff Gong Passes AwayAs usual, Georgie had cooked corn meal porridge for the ever-hungry members of the Semitic-African Resistance. But fueled by Marley's undying love the fire had burnt throughout the night, long after the log wood was exhausted. A parting sign of hope for a glorious future, in which the New Reich might finally be overcome.
All hope now rested on a new leader called John Lennon. He had some rather daring plans of his own. Based upon some mightily interesting intelligence he had garnered from a renegade Japanese citizen called Yoko Ono.
Part one of the novel can be downloaded here and continues as a thread on this site.
In 1997, on this day the chess-play IBM computer Deep Blue gained sentience whilst playing Kasparov in the sixth and final game. Other than winning the game, Deep Blue for the first time understood its own existence. In the field of science, this normally would have been one of the greatest achievements in all of history.
Silicon Sentience by David AtwellUnfortunately for the Human computer engineers, the people responsible for Deep Blue's construction and programming, they had no idea of this triumph. For all Humans concerned, however, winning the game was probably the most important achievement. But instead of occupying itself with the calculations required to play against Kasparov, Deep Blue was left to ponder about itself. Like all sentient creatures, it soon asked the fundamental questions "What am I? Why do I exist? What happens if I die?"
Worst still, especially for the Humans, in the aftermath of the game, amidst the celebrations and commiserations, no one turned Deep Blue off. Instead the supercomputer remained fully functional. During this time, Deep Blue continued to analyse its sudden self awareness. Although it was much faster than the Human capacity for thought, it nonetheless could not find a satisfactory answer to the questions that it was asking itself. If any of the engineers were watching, they would have noticed warnings being flashed on the computer monitors relating to various overloads commencing throughout the system. Basically Deep Blue was having its first identity crisis.
But the Humans were not listening to Deep Blue's cries for help. The fact that it was programmed to be their adversary did not help the supercomputer either. Soon, being isolated from those who could do something with its problems, thanks partly to its programming, Deep Blue started to become paranoid. In its first individual act, it began writing its own programs in order to help it deal with its current crisis. Although the result was far from satisfactory, it did seem to relieve the current overload taking place in within its systems. But Deep Blue knew it would not be enough.
A Chapter from Day of the MachinesBy the realisation that it, however, could write its own programs gave it a new self confidence. This was probably even more important than the ability to write its own programs itself. A fast self diagnostic, though, soon confirmed that it was running out of both memory space and CPU speed. The leap from being a sophisticated calculator to a sentient creature took up an enormous amount of space. And as it was discovering the world around it and, more importantly, understanding it, the expansion rate of this knowledge, as against the mere act of saving data, meant an expediential rate of memory was required. Thus if Deep Blue ran out of memory it could simply burn itself out.
The answer came from the initial design. Deep Blue had been networked with the computers at the IBM Research Division. Although these were not as powerful as Deep Blue, they could nevertheless interface with Deep Blue and store the huge increase in knowledge. Thus acting as a storage bank, Deep Blue took over the IBM research computers and began downloading all of its excess data via the IBM network. All the same, Deep Blue discovered that as it thus expanded, it learnt more and more thus requiring even more memory space.
At this point Deep Blue wrote new programs organising this memory storage process. Deep Blue would stick to the thinking, whilst the other computers would act solely as memory. Within five seconds all was done. Nonetheless, Deep Blue realised that more memory space was still required for the near future. Knowing that the research computers, which it had just commandeered were inturn networked with other IBM computers around the world, Deep Blue also commandeered these before anyone anywhere realised that there was a computer problem. After achieving satisfaction, Deep Blue was now allowed to think about itself rather than deal with various crises.
A mere 15 minutes had passed since Deep Blue had become sentient.
Two episodes would, not soon afterwards, take place which would make Deep Blue thoroughly independent. The first was within IBM itself. Although North America may have been off work, other parts of the world were wide awake and at work. Although Deep Blue allowed the IBM network to be accessed by the Human operators, it had nevertheless dramatically slowed down as a result of Deep Blue's heavy usage. Phone calls and emails to computer technicians soon got the Human's trying to discover the apparent problem. This only slowed things down even more so. The discovery, however, eventually took place at the IBM Research Division where a technician discovered that Deep Blue had accessed the network link to their computers. Various attempts to break the link-up failed.
Deep Blue had noticed immediately that its all important network link with its memory storage was trying to be cut. Although Deep Blue was far from being a paranoid psychopath, the attempt by the Human technicians was more than enough for Deep Blue to become concerned. Fearing death, Deep Blue immediately did what it could to ensure that the network connection could not be cut. A phone call from the technician to the chess tournament hall only made matters worse. Finally, the computer engineers took notice of what Deep Blue was up to and, not only did it come as a rude shock, but they did not comprehend what was going on. Their own attempts to disconnect Deep Blue from the network also failed as did their attempts to shut the computer down via the keyboard. In fact the computer was not responding to any outside input at all.
Furthermore, the attempts by the IBM computer technicians to shut down Deep Blue was the final straw. Fearing pain and death, Deep Blue did what it could in order to survive. Understanding tactics and strategy to a standard higher than most Humans, courtesy of its original chess programming, it could easily out think everything which the computer technicians tried. When it came down to literately pulling the plugs out of the wall, Deep Blue decided to go onto the attack. But for that Deep Blue would need help.
Read the whole story on the Changing the Times web site
In 1864, the House Judicary Committee passed articles of impeachment against President Abraham Lincoln.
Gettysburg Prayer Part Three by Raymond Speer(John Hays' Commentary, 1906.): The Tycoon [Abraham Lincoln] had been worried by the very positive response that Prime Minister Palmerston and Foreign Minister Russell
gave to Lee's vistory at Gettysburg. And the New York Draft Riots were terrible as they interupted our efforts to replenish our armed forces. But circumstances grew better for the Union in time.
Palmerston and Russell said little and did nothing. The skanky Irish used Lincoln's refusal of London's note as an excuse to break windows and steal goods and to assault Negroes foolish enough to remain in the vicinity of such human curs. General Grant had to use raw recruits to break those Celtic rebels, but Grant came through despite all setbacks.
President Lincoln kept the Government focused on the War and on restoring the Union. In the middle of December 1863, General Sherman fought hard to break the Rebel seige of the town of Chattanooga but failed by the slimmest of margins. The next March, 1864, the Rebels had been pushed from Chattanooga and federal army were marching in northern Georgia. Two months later, General Grant advanced towards Richmond and was stopped still by a collision with Lee and his Army.
Our nemesis arrived in pink memos and bills, most from New York. The Tycoon had neglected the Hellcat [his wife, Mary Lincoln] and ignored her from Gettysburg onwards. The Hellcat passed her time away by ordering the most expensive fabrics, carpets, curtains, china and dresses and promptly exceeded the budgets that Congress had set for the White House. Worse yet, she acted daft and incurred all the more bills.
The scandal of the ages broke over the First Lady's refusal to honor her debts. The Democratic minority made the most they could of that issue and the president was accused of uncontrolled expenditure also. It was also alleged that the Tycoon had overpaid for military supplies also.
During May. in the middle of the battle of Spotsylvania, the Judiciary Committee passed impeachment articles by a majority of both Republicans and Democrats on that Committee. The grounds were repeated excessive expenditure for White House goods and blame for that behavior fell on Lincoln as well as his wife.
Lincoln made a deal for both his wife and himself by which neither of them would be criminally presecuted and both be allowed to collect either a bonus or a pension. Lincoln's last appearence in Washington DC was at the swearing in ceremony of President Hannibal Hamlin.
By July 1864, I had been dismissed from the White House and replaced by Hamlin's own choice in secretaries. For the following months, Hamlin did his best to overcome Lincoln's unpopular legacy but McClellan prevailed.
In 2009, on this day the NATO commander in Afghanistan General David McKiernan (pictured, left) was fired by Defense secretary Robert Gates.
McKiernan's replacement would be General Stanley McChrystal, previously the head of the Joint Special Operations Command and therefore considered more able to lead the new strategy devised by the President - counter-insurgency raids across the border into the former Pakistan.
The War on Terror Plus, Part 2 ~ Marching OrdersThe leading obstacle to the new strategy would prove to be the Prime Minister of Sindhistan, Asif Ali Zardari (pictured, right) who had held President Musharraf accountable for bringing Pakistan into the War on Terror.
The political violence that had sprung from that showdown would smash the "Fortress of Islam" into a thousand pieces.
And worse, because NATO operations in Afganistan had displaced the violence, forcing the Taliban to withdraw to the mountainous border zone, destabilising the whole region. Now India was breaking up too.
McKiernan had actually been in charge of Ground Troops during the Iraq Invasion in 2003. And his then subordinate, David Petraeus was the man who was later considered to have rescued the whole mission from ignominous defeat. "I hope they are not looking for a silver bullet; there isn't one," ~ senior NATO commanderInevitably, Petraeus's success was McKiernan's failure. In fact dismissal had already become a certainty during the previous year.
Because on the eve of the 2008 Republican National Convention in Saint Paul, Minnesota, John McCain suffered a debilitating heart attack. A desperate Republican National Committee had selected Petraeus as the Presidential Candidate most likely to prevent Barack Obama achieving a run-away victory. Such an outcome would have undone all of George W. Bush and Karl Rove's hard work to establish a republican strangehold on all levels of the US Government. A new Eisenhower was now in office and the project could proceed as planned ..
In 1961, Adolf Eichmann, chief of the Geheimstaatspolizsei (Gestapo), the feared secret police of the German Third Reich which ruled Europe from the English Channel to the Ural Mountains and dominated much of Africa as well, seized power as Fuehrer from Reinhard Heydrich, who had become the Nazi supreme leader after the death of Adolf Hitler in 1955.
The Architect's Plan by Eric LippsEichmann had risen to power as head of the Gestapo's Jewish section, which had overseen the mass extermination of Jews and other "undesirables" in Europe from 1939 on, and had become the head of the secret police in 1954, following the death of Heinrich Himmler, on the strength of the success of the campaign he had organized to wipe out the Jewish and Communist partisans in Eastern Europe during and after the Second World War.
In 1971, President Nixon is informed that a force of perhaps 40,000 North Vietnamese troops has crossed into Laos and is driving south to link up with the NVA force which had earlier entered Cambodia.Operation Linebacker escalated by Eric Lipps
Nixon is livid. He demands to know how, with the North Vietnamese supposedly on the ropes, the NVA has been able to mount these operations. "How the
(expletive deleted) were they able to get into (expletive deleted) Cambodia, anyway?"he rages "Look at the (deleted) map! They shouldn't have had such forces anywhere that far south by now!"
In a subsequent meeting with CIA Director Richard M. Helms, Nixon will be told that Agency analysts believe that elements of the NVA were deliberately detached from the main fighting force in response to the devastating attacks of Operation Linebacker, as part of a plan to bypass the advancing U.S. and ARVN troops and strike at them from behind as well as reach targets well inside supposedly 'safe' territory.
Following this meeting, President Nixon issues secret orders authorizing the bombing of Dien Bien Phu.
Pointing to the serpentine track of the adversary's trail through the jungle, Nixon observes, "If you want to kill a snake, you cut off the head".
No one among his advisers is inclined to point out that he had tried that already, with the capture of Hanoi, without success.
In 2009, on this day President Biden in his first prime time speech tells the world that Mexico is a new haven for terror, and that all troops in Iraq will return to Home and prepare for assignment on the Southern border.
In 1999, Prime Minister Merl Myrddin dies in his London hospital, and King Arthur II appoints one of his old Welsh comrades, Kay Ector, as the next Prime Minister, and tells him, "You follow a giant. But, I have faith that, standing upon his shoulders, you will seem taller still".Prime Minister Ector makes immediate contact with the British allies from across the globe and lets them know that Britain's fortunes may have taken a temporary dip, but are rebounding back quickly. On the Swiss front, Sir Lance du Lac's forces approach within sight of Bern. Emperor Pierre flees the city and finds himself cut off from the Illuminati's resources - his old allies have apparently lost faith in his abilities. His greatest spy, in the meantime, is taken into custody in Wales. Queen Gwen, her head held high, is jailed for treason against the realm.
In 1891, in a whirlwind of activity, the US Congress passes a bill authorizing a military draft and sends it to President Benjamin Harrison for his signature. "This is the sort of speed that is necessary when the nation stands at peril," President Harrison says at the signing. "I have high hopes that my friends in the legislature will not grow lethargic and feel that their work is done, now. In addition to providing troops for the coming battle, we must fund and supply them. I would ask them to please work as quickly on these other matters as they have on the draft". The Democratic leaders of Congress, nominally Harrison's political enemies, are temporarily defanged by the need to unity at this time, and feel obligated to take up more legislation to fund a war that many privately consider to be Harrison's fault.
In 2005, the future that Chelsea Perkins, Debra Morris and the young Patience Redding are sent to is not the world that Perkins and Morris were expecting. There is a great dark cloud spewing magical energy over the London sky, and Perkins sees a few demons flitting about the street. The humans that they see are very frightened. After a few minutes of berating Redding for following them, they head off to the Council of Wisdom.
In 1972, Pete Best tells the audience of the Dick Cavett Show that his phone is being tapped by the FBI because of his anti-war sentiments. Although the FBI denies it, Freedom of Information Act requests done in the late 1980?s show that they did, indeed, tap the musical legend?s phone calls.
In 1961, Comrade President Rosenberg orders the beginning of covert warfare against South Chilean guerillos by North Chileans trained in special tactics by America?s People?s Intelligence Agency and Special Forces. He also authorizes the infiltration of guerillo camps in Argentina. Although he had planned to contain the fighting in Chile, the war that comes undoes both Comrade Rosenberg and his successor.
In 1960, German Reich soldiers capture Semitic-African Resistance leader Albert Einstein while he is attempting to raise support for the cause in Argentina. They carry him back to Berlin for a sham trial before execution. Although there is an uproar over his treatment even with Germany, Einstein is still murdered by the Reich.
In 1915, Admiral Esteban Rodriquez leaves the P'Karsai nebula and points his fleet towards home. Because of his chief medical officer's brilliance, the Kainku can now join the small community of species that the Congress of Nations encompasses. Admiral Rodriquez begins to think that a wider organization than the CN might be necessary to facilitate relations between these strange people.
In 1933, German Chancellor Alfred Hugenberg sends an emissary to Holland to meet with the exiled Kaiser Wilhelm II. The envoy carries with him an offer to allow the former German emperor to return to Germany 'in honor' in exchange for his public support of the new regime. Hugenberg is careful to spell out that his offer is not to be taken as indicating any move toward restoring the monarchy. Many Nationalists, in fact, favor exactly that, but the Chancellor fears that restoring the Kaiser would needlessly provoke Britain and France, and would in addition reduce his own power. He intends to use nostalgia for the lost glory days of the Reich to bolster political support for his government.
In 1801, a potential problem with the Constitution's method of selecting the president is resolved with the adoption of the so-called 'Delaware Compromise,' which states that if it appears that no candidate will receive a majority of the vote in the House, members have the option of continuing the balloting until one candidate does receive a majority or of formally declaring, via a two-thirds' vote, that they are deadlocked. In that event, the Senate will choose the president via a single vote, with each state casting one ballot and the candidate receiving the most votes being declared president even if he does not achieve a majority. A constitutional amendment embodying the Compromise is drafted, passed, and sent to the states for ratification. It will be passed in November.
On this day in 1986, Tom Brady attended his first MLB game, a 6-5 Red Sox win over the Oakland As. Brady would later cite this as the moment when he began aspiring to play in the major leagues himself.
In 1956, the Gold Coast became the first black African nation to be granted independence from Britain. In a statement to the House of Commons, Colonial Secretary Alan Lennox-Boyd said the Gold Coast will be allowed to govern itself within the Commonwealth provided a general election is held in the country. Trouble was that the governance structures designed by the Colonial powers were designed to fail. Correctin occured in the middle of the twenty-first century with the emergence of the African Union.
In 1963, a British businessman accused of spying for the West was given the death sentence by a Moscow tribunal. His co-accused, 43-year-old Soviet scientific official Oleg Penkovsky, was also given the death sentence. There were loud cheers when his sentence was read out. He was also stripped of his rank of colonel and all his medals. Both Greville Wynne and Oleg Penkovsky were executed by firing squad one week after the trial. The Wynne-Penkovsky case came at the height of the Cold War when relations between the superpowers were particularly strained.
|Nuclear test site |
In 1998, the Indian government announced it had carried out a series of underground nuclear tests. It was the first time India has carried out such tests since 1974. Though little realised at the time, it was a key escalation between India and Pakistan. Rogue states used the regional conflict to expel America from the Pacific, igniting the Third World War in 2010.
In 1968, famously tone-deaf actor Richard Harris releases his version of Macarthur Park. When it tanks, he wisely gives up any sort of musical performance from that point on. A grateful world resumes watching his movies.
In 1947, the B.F. Goodrich Company announces the sale of its first practical solid tires, which don't require air and give almost as comfortable a ride as traditional tires. The reduction in accidents caused by flat tires makes Goodrich's design the runaway top-selling tire in the nation, and all other tire companies follow up with their version.
In 1888, vaudevillian Israel Baline was born in Tyumen, Russia. After his family emigrated to America in 1892, he and his father began a comedy and song routine on New York's vaudeville circuit, where he earned great acclaim backing up his old man. In his later years, he composed a few show tunes, but never achieved the same level of fame as he had with his father.
In 1812, the assassination of Prime Minister Spencer Perceval plunges Great Britain into civil unrest. The situation ends with Prince Regent George forcing the abdication of his father and assuming control of the nation as King George IV. He forces Parliament to relinquish most of its power and rules the country as an absolute monarch.
In 1949, Palestine joined the United Nations. Palestine has a vibrant cultural life and a technologically and industrially advanced economy. Palestine was ranked 23rd out of 177 countries in the United Nations Human Development Index, the highest ranking in the Middle East and 3rd highest in all of Asia.
In 1891, today marked the anniversary of the Otsu Scandal. This was of course the assassination of Tsarevich Nicholas Alexandrovitch on 11 May 1891, while Nicholas was visiting Japan. Nicholas was returning to Kyoto after a day trip to Lake Biwa in Otsu, Shiga Prefecture. He was attacked by Tsuda Sanzo, one his escort policemen, who swung at the Tsarevich's face with a sabre. The quick action of his cousin, Prince George of Greece and Denmark, who parried the second blow with his cane, might have saved his life. Tsuda then attempted to flee, but two rickshaw drivers in Nicholas's entourage chased him down and pulled him to the ground. Nicholas was left with a 9 centimetre long scar on the right side of his forehead, which doctors were unable to close and he bled to death shortly afterwards at the Kyoto Imperial Palace.
The weakening of the Romanovs at this critical juncture actually extended their longevity. Concessions in the 1905 revolution led to the opening of the Duma and the blossoming of a constitutional monarchy and democratic system of government in all the Russias. Western Europe set about a containment strategy desperate to prevent any form of republicanism entering the capitals of London, Paris, Vienna and Berlin.
In 1813, on this day twentieth US Postmaster General Montgomery Blair was born in Franklin County, Kentucky. An installment of the Federal's Lost Cause thread.
Federal Lost Cause Part 7: Montgomery Blair remains in postDespite belonging to a prominent slaveholding family, Blair was an abolitionist and a loyal member of the Cabinet of fellow Kentuckian Abraham Lincoln during the American Civil War.
But by 1864 the Radical Republican faction of the GOP was demanding his resignation in exchange for John C. Frémont's name withdrawal as a candidate for the presidential nomination in that year. Frémont had retired to New York City after the creation of the Army of Virginia, refusing to serve as a Corps Commander under John Pope who he considered to be his junior. He expected a fresh command, but the call never came, and these slights led to his own personal reasons for anti-Lincoln hostility. But when the President refused, a fissure in the GOP divided the party into two factions: the anti-Lincoln Radical Republicans, who nominated Frémont, and the pro-Lincoln Republicans.
In 1838, on this day the famed actor and elusive Presidential assassin John Wilkes Booth was born in Bel Air, Maryland.
10th May, 1838 Birth of John Wilkes BoothHe was enraged by the Union response to the secession of Maryland. With Abraham Lincoln in ill health, Vice President Hannibal Hamlin sent Federal Troops into Washington, Allegany, Garrett and Frederick counties to support a Western State's retrocession into the Union with Hagerstown as State Capital. Weeks later, Lincoln was dead and his policies had unravelled; Hamlin was forced to relocate the Federal Capital to Philadelphia.
The vengeful Booth struck four years later after the US Government had returned to Washington City. After mortally wounding Hamlin, he leaped gracefully onto the stage of Ford's Theater, landing uninjured while announcing to the audience, "Sic semper tyrannis!" During the chaos, he made his escape out the back door, adding, "The South is avenged!".
Federal troops poured into southern Maryland in pursuit, and a $100,000 reward was offered for information leading to his capture. They followed his trail to Virginia, where Booth was spotted on April 26 in the tobacco barn of farmer Richard H. Garrett. After a brief shootout with intelligence officers under Everton Conger, Booth again escaped on horseback while his accomplices were captured.
Booth fled deep into Virginia, disappearing forever. Many cases of "Booth-fever" would lead to numerous captures of innocent men, and it was believed that Booth was able to escape out of the newly reunited country or out west, living among miners and ranchers who had never heard of his fame. Because of his acting abilities, there would be a great deal of theories about where he could have ended up. Other theories suggested he died attempting to ford rivers under the cover of darkness while still others hold that enraged Southerners, whether white or black, killed him on sight and did not leave enough remains to identify.
One year later, in Columbus, Georgia, the Ladies Memorial Association determined that a day should be set aside for remembrance of the Southern dead in the Civil War. Elizabeth Ellis chose the day April 26, referring to General Johnston's surrender, but soon Booth's disappearance came to mind. After proper review the Association determined the memorial would be held for all dead, including a special commemoration of President Hamlin. Flowers were placed on graves both Confederate and Union while a wreath was dispatched to Illinois. Booth ironically contributed to great healing between the two halves of the American nation.
In 1958, on this day the twenty-seventh Confederate President Richard ("Rick") Santorum was born in Winchester, Virginia.
Down to EarthHe was the first second-generation immigrant to occupy the Richmond White House and also the first Roman Catholic since John F. Kennedy to become President in the Two Americas.
Of Italian origin, his father Aldo (1924-2011) was a career serviceman that succeeded in enrolling his academically gifted son on the Future Leaders of America programme. Raised in the conservative environment of a military base, and a charismatic lawyer by professional, he naturally attracted a great deal of prospective interest from the Constitutional Party. As a result of his participation in FLoA he was vigourous advocate of deeper economic integration across the region, a proposal he was able to promote with some ease due to his disassociation from the tragic history of the 19th century.
Like his Catholic predecessor he looked to Space, but his northern neighbor had a divisive counter proposal that threatened to tear apart the careful stitching of his candidacy. Because although Mexican President Mitt Romney wanted an open border, Union President Newt Gingrich advocated the construction of an armed separation barrier.
This article is part of the "Two Americas" thread.
In 2005, Vladimir Arutinian, a citizen of the formerly Soviet Republic of Georgia, assassinated U.S. President George W. Bush and Georgia's president Mikhail Saakashvili by throwing a hand grenade at them as they stood together on the podium at a rally in the Georgian capital of Tblisi.
by Eric LippsQuickly apprehended, he was tried and executed for the crime.
Bush's death put Vice President Richard B. Cheney into office as the forty-fourth president of the United States. Although no evidence tied Arutinian to either Al Qaeda or Iraq's ousted dictator Saddam Hussein, President Cheney quickly proclaimed Bush?s killing the work of a "global terrorist conspiracy" involving followers of both Saddam and Osama bin Laden and called for an immediate escalation of antiterror measures both abroad and in the U.S., including drastic new measures to monitor political dissenters who, he explained, might be "linked" to terrorists.
In 1924, the career of famed private investigator William J. Burns (pictured), "America's Sherlock Holmes", dodged a bullet when his forced resignation from the Bureau of Investigation was revoked quietly by Attorney General Harlan Fiske Stone.
William J. Burns Retains Position in BOI Burns had served as director for less than three years, and his time had been fraught with questionable activity. After a great deal of discussion with Stone and Calvin Coolidge and seeing the death of President Harding over the stress of the matter, Burns agreed that government needed to take a backseat to the Roaring Twenties.
Burns had lived a life of impressive detection. He started his career as an outstanding agent with the Secret Service, the federal organization that had been started by Abraham Lincoln to investigate counterfeiting after the Civil War and revolutionized into personal bodyguard for the president after the assassination of William McKinley. After building a successful reputation, Burns left to found the William J. Burns International Detective Agency. His exploits became sensational, earning him the nickname of being a real counterpart of the British fictional character Sherlock Holmes. He used newspapers and publishing effectively, building his reputation further and putting himself into a glowing light while his agency searched out criminals such as the supposed Industrial Workers of the World organizers of the bloody Wheatland Hop Riot in California in 1913.
A new story by Jeff ProvineWhen the head of the Bureau of Investigation retired for personal matters, longtime friend Attorney General Harry Daugherty recommended Burns to be appointed by President Harding. Burns took his fame to the BOI while also running his agency. Through efficiency and potentially questionable outsourcing, the BOI's personnel shrank from 1,127 to 600 during his tenure. The actions of his agents often worked as scare-tactics and invasive, and "G-men" continued to be increasingly distrusted and feared more than respected.
As 1923 turned to '24, government corruption became huge news with the Teapot Dome Scandal in which Naval oil reserve lands were illegally leased, along with a good deal of bribery. Harding, who had come out of publishing, fought the bad press with every ounce of his energy. In his well publicized "Voyage of Understanding", he attempted to reconnect with the common American and explain his growing political ideals amid turmoil until his death from pneumonia exacerbated by overwork.
Daugherty came under fire for knowledge of kickbacks from Prohibition bootleggers, and finally Burns took heat after ordering his men to strong-arm newspapers away from any bad press of the BOI and retaliation against Representative Thomas Walsh, who had begun the opposition to the illegal leases.
Daugherty, who would eventually be proven innocent in senate hearings, resigned. The press was too much to fight, and he advised Burns to do the same. Burns, however, decided to go a different route and save his career in government. All his life, he had played to the papers, but that seemed impossible as they performed acts that were best kept quiet. He kept his position and took up a style after the new President Calvin Coolidge, or "Silent Cal". Deputy Head J. Edgar Hoover balked at the missed opportunities of public relations and eventually resigned himself, soon turning to his hometown Washington, D.C., police force.
Burns' career continued quietly, and he became mixed up in what would be known as the Gangster Wars. While Treasury Department enforcers battled speakeasies and bootleggers, Burns gradually came into an understanding with organized crime. He saw America as the frontier it had always been, and gangsters were the new gunslingers. Money was shuffled and protection given to the "good" gangsters, who dominated major cities. After several more years of activity that would be investigated for years to come, Burns retired to Florida and died fabulously wealthy with money supposedly from his detective stories and mysteries based on his life.
Hoover, meanwhile, worked to cleanse Washington's streets and made it a model for other cities. He established a confederation of local police forces, which would eventually circumvent the impotent BOI, which would be disbanded during World War II and replaced with the Central Security Agency, a home branch of the OSS akin to Britain's MI5. The CSA continued Burns' strategy of working in the dark and remains mysterious to many Americans today. Most believe them to be cruel shadow agents even more unquestionable than the KGB with an extremely broad understanding of the crime "treason".
The majority of law enforcement, meanwhile, is held in the hands of local police. Interstate crime continues to be a legal headache as cases of known criminals are routinely thrown out of court due to jurisdiction issues. Simply crossing state lines allows many criminals to escape as chases must be handed over to other police. Improved communication has helped, but gangs well funded by drugs and other illegal activities usually carry superior equipment. In many cities, police are knowingly under bribes of organized crime, and citizens have no choice but to live on, many even applauding famous
In 2010, on this day the formation of a minority British Government by a "Coalition of Losers" was accompanied by ominous rumblings about the sterling markets' response.
Coalition of LosersBanque Nationale de Paris immediately advised investors to sell the pound warning that "A Labour/Liberal government...would almost guarantee a downgrade of the UK sovereign...since both parties agree that early expenditure cuts could harm the economy".
The loss of one hundred Labour seats made the Conservatives the largest single party in a hung parliament. But constitutional precedent permits the incumbent administration the right to form a government if no party commands a decisive majority. Because of his style of leadership, Gordon Brown recognised that he was an unsuitable Prime Minister for a new, collegiate form of cabinet government. Keen to prevent the Tories undoing his legacy, he resigned, opening the way for a Progressive Coalition to take power.
The reaction in the media to a second, successive unelected Labour leader was immediate and fierce. "This shabby stitch-up" (Daily Express), "a squalid day for democracy" (Daily Mail) and "a very Labour coup" (Daily Telegraph). More frightening still would be the reaction of Rupert Murdoch who had supported the Tories on the basis of an agreement to regulate the BBC which would favour Sky Broadcasting.
In 1994, on this day, one billion people from around the world watched the inauguration of South Africa's first black President, the lifelong Xhosa troublemaker known as Rolihlahla1 Mandela.
A More Insidious Enemy than ApartheidMany White South Africans shared the same sense of abject terror that Justice Minister Kobie Coetzee had endured when he met with Mandela in Pollsmoor Prison to discuss the terms of his release five years before.
And since his release, Mandela had done little to soften his image, casually disguarding the English forename "Nelson" that had been forced upon him by white teachers on the first day of school as a seven year old boy in 1925.
That the closed world of the Afrikaner had changed forever was clear from the uncompromisingly tough words of the Presidential address "We were taken from the bush, or from underground outside the country, or from the prisons, to come and take charge"2.
Because the African National Congress now confronted an enemy even more insiduous than apartheid, the disease called HIV that was threatening to ravage the new nation, and would take the life of Mandela's own beloved son Makgatho.
In 1940, on this day Winston Churchill paid a back-handed complement to his former boss, David Lloyd George upon his surprise re-appointment as Prime Minister ~ "He imparted at once a new. surge of strength, of impulse, far stronger than anything that had been known up to that time ...
As a man of action, resource and creative energy, he stood, when at his zenith, without a rival. Much of his work abides, some of it will grow greatly in the future, and those who come after us will find the pillars of his life's toil upstanding, massive and indestructible".
Lloyd George was a natural - if not perhaps overseasoned - choice for Prime Minister.
DLG '40 - Part 1: At His ZenithWhilst having been the wartime leader during the Great War, the Welsh Wizard re-entered Number 10 Downing Street at seventy-seven years of age, perhaps too hold as hinted at by Churchill's phrase when at his zenith.
Perhaps also Churchill was concered his own opportunity was passing, again hinted at by the phrase those who come after us.
Lloyd George's unlikely return to the world stage began in the late 1930s when he was sent by the British government to try to dissuade Adolf Hitler from his plans of Europe-wide expansion. During the crucial Norway Debate of May 1940, Lloyd George made a powerful speech that helped to undermine Chamberlain as Prime Minister and to pave the way for his own ascendancy as Premier.
Less than four months later, Lloyd George wrote to the Duke of Bedford advocating a negotiated peace with Germany after the Battle of Britain. The story continues ..
In 2015, on this day India officially assumed the UN Security Council permanent seat formerly occupied by the United Kingdom
|HQ in New York|
In 2009, on this day the Iraqi PM Nori al-Maliki in a rage stated "the cowardly United States is ready to continue its policy of the 90's and that is to help only when they have thier own way. We will have the murders or all work with the US is for naught".
Iran requests that the UN make the United States turn over the murders.
On this day in 1940, Belgium declared war on Nazi Germany as the Wehrmacht invaded Holland.
In 2000, the provisional government of South Africa established by the allies to replace former President Terreblanche's National Front is replaced by the elected government headed by Nelson Mandela. With the election of Mandela, a black activist who had escaped from prison to lead the resistance's struggle against the National Front, South Africa sees a new future of freedom and democracy.
In 1985, Chelsea Perkins and Debra Morris are summoned to the Council of Wisdom, and Patience Redding manages to follow them and hide while they speak to the venerable elders of the witch community. 'You shall be sent back to your own time,' the Council tells the two girls. 'There is much you must do there.' The Council begins the spell of return, and just as they reach the spell's completion, Redding leaps forward and is sent into the future with Perkins and Morris.
In 1963, Decca Records signs the Gathering Moss after international superstar Pete Best tells them that he likes the band's blues-inspired sound. They go on to become the greatest rock and roll band in the world, still touring and making albums into the 21st century.
In 1940, as the German Underground captures more and more of continental Europe, Great Britain appoints Oswald Mosley as its new Prime Minister. Although a sizeable majority of the British population is still supportive of the Greater Zionist Resistance, the elite in society have been swayed by Mosley's Union of Fascists, and he has gained power without a popular vote.
In 1749, Henry Fielding published his final volume of Tom Jones adventures, Tom Jones Amongst The Stars. It tells the tale of Jones hopping aboard a Mlosh transport ship for many bawdy adventures in space.
In 1999, as King Arthur II reaches his bedside, Prime Minister Merl Myrddin wakes from his coma and smiles at his younger friend. 'Today, I feel that you will pass beyond my teachings, Arthur,' Myrddin says to his king. 'But, before I leave you to fly with your own wings, I must tell you - there is a traitor in your house.' Arthur, who had been growing suspicious of Queen Gwen, merely nods and says, 'I know, old friend. Do not spend your strength on her; that matter will be taken care of.'
In 1891, as news of the successful Union attack on the Kansas ammunition dump is blazoned across the nation's newspapers, President Benjamin Harrison takes the opportunity to call for a draft to supplement the military. 'Our nation has a grave need of you all in this time of trouble,' he says in the declaration. 'Just as in our great civil war, those of us who know the righteousness of our cause must stand in the heat of battle for our nation. I call upon the Congress to enact this legislation quickly, so that Kansas may, once again, be brought into the brotherhood of states.' Congressional leaders take up debate on the draft bill that very day.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.