In 1343 A.H., Malik al-Hajj al-Shabazz was born on this day.
Birth of Malik al-Hajj al-ShabazzHe rises to lead the people of Africa to independence from Islam. While professing adoration of the Prophet and Allah, al-Shabazz says that subservience to other men is not the destiny of the African. His message resonates with oppressed people throughout Islam.
Only two years later he is brutally slain as he speaks to a meeting of his followers. The assassins are nearly killed before the Caliph's men arrive to arrest them; they confess that they did it in order to still the stirrings of rebellion against Islam that al-Shabazz was causing. While the Caliph is sympathetic, he knows that he would have riots on his hands if he let them go, and so he has them executed.
In 1848, Mexico ratifies the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo thus ceding all territory north of Tampico to the United States for US$15 million.
An installment from 39th Parallel thread.
39th Parallel Part 3:
Treaty of Guadalupe HidalgoAs a result, California was split into two, with the creation of a new state of Colorado below the 37th. Chihuahua, Sonora, Coahuilia and Tamaulipas also entered the Union.
Victory in the US-Mexico War was a mixed blessing for the Union. Because the Wilmot Proviso sought to ban the extension of slavery into the new occupied states. Although the motion was defeated, the vote was taken on sectional (rather than party lines) and destroyed the unity of the Democratic Party. The Whig Party had already imploded over the slavery issue, and some senior political leaders formed the new Republican Party. They found success in 1856 when Frémont was elected to the Presidency. But by then America was completely unrecognizable from the country of 1847.
In 1980, on this day the business-oriented personal computer code-named "Sara" was first announced and released as the Apple III (pictured).
Launch of Apple III Captures Business Computing MarketShipping as standard with the true typewriter-style upper/lowercase keyboard and eighty column display feature set demanded by business users, the Information Analyst bundle also included expansion drives and a choice of thermal printers for a complete solution to IT requirements of a modern office. Because the Apple III was the first product launch since the incorporation of the company (the Apple II predated the formation of the company) the success was all the more remarkable. And the chance discovery of a complex design flaw had even triggered a tumultuous power struggle inside the organization that firmly positioned the company in the business, rather than the consumer, market space.
The Head of the Macintosh division was a twenty-five year old College drop-out called Steve Jobs. Without undertaking any due diligence, he pursued the dream of minutarization by insisting that the unit was fitted with a heat sink instead of a CPU fan and air vents. However this challenging design failed to expel all the heat from the unit and case designer Jerry Manock unfairly took the blame. However he managed to demonstrate that under prolonged testing solder began to melt and run across the cramped "fineline" technology motherboard (this motherboard was itself a largely unproven component and also selected by Jobs to fit the case size on the untested assumption that it would be fully tested by the supplier). But rogue connections were created and of course the result was unexpected malfunction. Fortunately, this design flaw was detected before the launch and a daughterboard introduced for the secondary components. But of course the issue highlighted the reckless decisions taken by Jobs. He was forced out of managerial duties and although he remained a co-owner he was replaced by Manock.
In 1935, on the nineteenth anniversary of the conclusion of the infamous Sykes-Picot Agreement talks, famed arabophile Theodore Edward Lawrence began his tour of the independent states of the Middle East.
Lawrence of Arabia Begins Tour of Independent Middle East The fate of the Middle East had always seemed to be wrapped in incursion from outside powers. As it acted as the central point between Asia, Africa, and Europe, the region had constantly been crucial to human development, trade, and warfare. Waves of conquests by Egyptians, Hittites, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Crusaders, and Turks flowed over the region as millennia passed. As the Great War pitted the Allies against the "Dying Man" of the Ottoman Empire, the question came to France, Britain, and Russia as to what would come of the region when the Ottomans had collapsed.
A new story by Jeff ProvineIn the first of a series of secret agreements, Russia and Britain agreed that Russia was to gain Constantinople and the Dardanelles while Britain gained southerly lands. Russia began to fade from the war as revolution broke out, and Fran?ois Georges-Picot met with Sir Mark Sykes of Britain to guarantee a French mandate in Syria. The British agreed, though only secretly as the war effort had been working to invoke the Arab populace under the Ottoman Empire to revolt. Spoils might be divided only if the war was won, and using Arabs to fight the Ottomans for the Allies would aid in the victory.
Crucial to the war effort in the Middle East was a young archaeologist named T.E. Lawrence. He had been born illegitimately to Sir Thomas Chapman, who left his wife to live with Theodore?s mother, Sarah Junner. The family moved to Oxford, where Lawrence attended Jesus College, graduating with firsts and moving to Egypt to work on excavations with the likes of Hogarth, Woolley, and Petrie. By the outbreak of the World War I, Lawrence had traveled extensively in the Middle East and established a name for himself, prompting a position in the Intelligence Staff in Cairo. Meanwhile, the Arab Bureau of the Foreign Office had concocted a scheme of draining Ottoman resources by supporting an Arab revolt in their territories. Lawrence was sent as advisor, but he soon joined the Arab cause himself.
Told through sensationalistic journalism by American war correspondent Lowell Thomas, Lawrence fought alongside Arab irregulars under Emir Faisal, son of Sherif Hussein of Mecca. They made a surprise overland attack on Aqaba, the success of which caused Lawrence to be promoted to major and given a "free hand" by Sir Edmund Allenby, commander of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force. During the ending days of the war, Lawrence aided in the fall of Damascus, which would soon be capital of Syria, but not the independent state that Lawrence and his Arabic allies were promised. After the war, the Bolsheviks of Russia leaked the secret of the Sykes-Picot Agreement, which outraged the Arabs and embarrassed the British.
In a bold push, Lawrence and others demanded the promised liberation of the Middle East from British administration. Finally in 1922, using the resources of Winston Churchill and threatening a war, the Middle East was divided diplomatically into states with self-rule. France refused to give up its hold on Syria, and Lawrence made good on his promise to fight. Guerilla warfare through the 1920s and early ?30s finally destroyed French interest in the region, and Syria was freed, taking its place as an independent state alongside those of Kurdistan, Sunnistan, Shia-Iraq, Jordan, and Palestine.
Lawrence, wealthy through the publications of his memoirs in Seven Pillars of Faith, Revolt in the Desert, and Rains Fell, became a hobbyist pilot and continued his lifelong enjoyment of motorcycles. He returned to Britain, hated by some and applauded by many, and he planned to retire in Dorset. However, just before a daily motorcycle ride, he received a telegram from Ghazi I, son of his old friend Faisal who had become King of Iraq, asking him to join the work continuing his father?s dream of a pan-Arabic confederation. Lawrence agreed and arrived in Bagdad shortly thereafter, flying between Arabic centers until an untimely sand storm swallowed his plane, leaving him as a martyr for the cause.
While certain aspects of confederation have formed over the decades, the Middle East was once again torn between the influences of world powers as the Cold War pitted the Soviet Union against the United States. Discovery of significant oil deposits there have prompted further interest from the outside world, as has a minor but mentionable Zionist movement from Jews, particularly from their home state of Malta, given to refugees of the Holocaust.
In 1983, an expression of deviationalist thought ruined the political career of Mikhail Gorbachev after he unwisely conducted an impromptu one-to-one meeting on this day with a radical free thinker, the so-called "godfather of glasnost" Alexander Yakovlev.
Too much fresh air at Whelan's Farm by Stan Brin, Eric Oppen & EdGorbachev had flown to Ottawa ostensibly in his role as the Minister of Agriculture for bilateral discussions with his Canadian counterpart Eugene Whelan. But as a rising star in the politburo, Gorbachev had conducted a rather more high profile meeting with the Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. Also present was Yakolev; formerly the Soviet Propaganda Minister he had been sidelined into his current role as the Ambassador to Ottawa.
Matters of protocol became somewhat confused after an invitation to Whelan's family farm overlooking the Detroit River in Amherstburg, Southern Ontario. Whelan was running very late, leaving the Soviet delegation alone with his wife Elizabeth.
To the great displeasure of both the KGB and RCMP, Gorbachev and Yakolev chose to go for a three hour walk. The fresh air encouraged them to conduct a brutally frank discussion about the parlous state of the Soviet Union. They also reached some rather startling conclusions on the main points of a plan to change the face of Euope.
But due to KGB eavesdropping, those plans came to nought. And on his return to Moscow, Gorbachev would be discreetly advised that he had received a new appointment as the Soviet Ambassador to Finland. His seat in the politburo would be occupied by another rising star in the Communist Party known as Boris Yeltsin.
In 1983, the badly decomposed remains of missing Teamsters' Union leader James R. "Jimmy" Hoffa were found in a landfill in Piscataway, New Jersey, after local police received an anonymous tip accompanied by what police department spokesmen described as "substantiating evidence":
Mobstergate by Eric LippsThe nature of the evidence was such as to persuade the FBI to reopen the case of union official Fred Furino, whose body was found stuffed in a car trunk in June 1982. Furino's testimony had been sought by the U.S. Senate in connection with its investigation of Reagan Administration Secretary of Labor Raymond L. Donovan, and to seek the indictment of Donovan, along with several others, on conspiracy charges.
The scandal would widen as several other high administration officials were linked officially to organized crime, forcing their resignations. But it would explode into national crisis when long-buried details of the association of President Reagan himself with Mafia figures during his time with Hollywood entertainment conglomerate MCA. As further details emerged, the President's reputation was increasingly tarnished. Although investigators would conclude he personally had done nothing technically illegal, his links to a web of corruption found to have taken the lives of at least two people would prove politically devastating. Reagan had won the White House in part with the help of conservative labor bosses, including Hoffa himself; his ties, however indirect, to Hoffa's murder would spark a political revolt against him which even his legendary charisma could not overcome.
No one will ever know for certain whether the strain of what reporters came to call "Mobstergate" accelerated the course of what came to be diagnosed as Alzheimer's disease in President Reagan. However, his off-key performance in the first GOP presidential debate of 1984, in which he concluded with a disjointed ramble imagining driving down California's Pacific Coast Highway in a hundred years, was followed by an even worse performance in the next debate, prompting the President's handlers to cancel the third and final planned session. By the time of the Republican National Convention in August, the party was in an uproar: what had seemed likely to be a stroll to victory over Democratic nominee Walter F. Mondale increasingly looked like a political death march.
In furious negotiations out of sight of the TV cameras assembled to convey a patriotic spectacle to the nation, party leaders attempted to persuade Reagan to step aside "for reasons of health" in favor of his vice-president, George Herbert Walker Bush.
Reagan would not back down, however. Finally, he would shrilly accuse Bush of having orchestrated the entire sequence of events, including the murders of Hoffa and Furino, to "win in the back rooms what you couldn't win against me in 1980," when the two had competed for the GOP nomination.
This tirade would prove to be too much not only for Bush but for other members of the administration. Although with the collapse of the secret bargaining Reagan would receive the nomination, a week after the convention Bush and the Cabinet would present to Sen. Strom Thurmond, president pro tem of the Senate, and House Speaker Thomas J. 'Tip' O'Neill a letter invoking the Twenty-fifth Amendment to remove Ronald Reagan from office on the grounds that he has become 'to discharge the powers and duties of his office.'
Neither Thurmond nor O'Neill had been present for Reagan's rant at the Republican convention, but both had seen his performance in the debates and had dealt with him since then. Both knew the toll 'Mobstergate' had been taking on the man once dubbed the "Teflon President". Both men feared a political firestorm if the letter were presented to the full Congress, yet also feared the consequences of allowing a mentally incompetent individual to remain in the presidency. At last, however, they agreed to invoke the Twenty-fifth Amendment as requested.
"For the good of the nation," martial law was declared and the pending election "suspended until such time as it may be conducted in lawful order".The result was an upheaval like nothing seen since the Civil War, with legions of adoring Reaganites forming "citizens" militias' to "undo the usurpation of the presidency" and individual self-professed patriots taking matters into their own hands. When one such would-be hero managed to fatally shoot acting President Bush, causing the office to devolve onto the Democratic Speaker of the House, the nation exploded in rioting. Extremist Lyndon LaRouche claimed that the entire chain of events, including the "Mobstergate" scandal's murders, had been engineered by "the Communist masters of the Kennedy liberal revolutionary front" - and where he might once have been laughed off, now he finds millions of listeners.
On October 9, 1984, acting President Tip O'Neill was himself assassinated, causing the powers of the presidency to pass to Strom Thurmond. The aged right-wing senator at once declared that "for the good of the nation," martial law was declared and the pending election "suspended until such time as it may be conducted in lawful order".
In 1643, the United Colgate of New England, commonly known as the New England Confederation was established. The primary purpose of this political and military alliance of the British colonies of Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut, and New Haven was to unite the Puritan colonies against the Indians. It also provided for the return of fugitive criminals and indentured servants, and served as a forum for resolving inter-colonial disputes.
New England Confederation establishedThe Confederacy though faced its first great challenge in 1654. Originally designed to engage natives, the challenge started in Europe, with the Beginning of the First Anglo-Dutch War. In 1653, the second year of the war the Confederation was planning to move to the war. Mass Bay Governor John Endecott, Commander-in-Chief of the Confederation's Militias disregards fears that the Confederation was critically weakened. His reasoning was varied, mostly because he did not wish to over-extend the Colonies and leave them exposed to Indian Attack.
Endecott, is convinced, partially by the Merchants of Boston who don't want the Dutch in New Netherlands to grow, and have the superior harbor of New Amsterdam become a threat. That had he gets to convert the damned Religiously Free Colonists to Puritanism. S force of Several Militia's are loaded onto transports and sail right into New Amsterdam Harbor, and take the undefended settlement of the town. The Highly Unpopular Gov Stuyvesant of the Dutch is removed from Office and the City is taken.
A small group on Ships heads up the Hudson to secure Fort Orange and Beverwyck, along with the smaller settlements in between. The Dutch are totally defeated and the Colony is occupied. Small Volunteer Garrisons are deployed in New Amsterdam City and up river at Fort Orange. During the Initial Invasion New Englanders destroy the Churches of all non Puritan Faiths in New Amsterdam and are responsible for several religious-related crimes. After the 1653 Campaign Season most militia head home as they came, by ship with very small casualty levels.
The Colony is christened by Endecott to be the-in a stroke of non-Brilliance- the Colony of Hudson. Richard Bellingham, one of his political opponents back in Massachusetts is made the governor of Hudson. Gov. Bellingham is left with a force of 150 New Englanders, 2/3rds in New Amsterdam- yet to be renamed- and 50 far up the Hudson River at Fort Orange, now Renamed Fort Cromwell. He works to open Congressional Churches across the Colony, with the promise of political say, many English-turned Dutch-Turned Englishmen take the opportunity, while many of the population whom came to New Netherlands to escape religous persecution, though stay with their faiths. Hudson is also mind you, incorporated into the Confederacy.
When the war ends the next year, the Dutch are forced to concede that they have lost New Netherlands/Hudson, in addition to the other concessions of the war.
In 1588, Elizabeth's protestant throne was saved by Sir Francis Drake,a symbol of English nonchalance and cunning in the face of danger. He insisted on finishing his game of bowls on Plymouth Hoe as the Spanish Armada approached. Then he despatched the enemy ships with little more than a few burning rowing boats and a favourable breeze.
Drake Saves EnglandFour hundred years of misinformation have credited the victory to the Turkish navy. A hitherto unnoticed letter from Elizabeth's security chief and spymaster, Sir Francis Walsingham, to her ambassador in Istanbul showed that it was Drake's swashbuckling rather than Turkish naval manoeuvres which delivered the fatal blow to the Spanish invasion plans.
The letter, which ordered the ambassador, William Harborne, to incite the Turks to harry the Spanish navy, was written in the mid-1580s and has been buried in archives ever since because it did not apparently relate to any major historical event.
But Mr Brotton told the Guardian Hay literary festival: "Walsingham's plan was ultimately successful. Ottoman fleet movements in the eastern Mediterranean fatally split Philip II's armada - So alongside all the stories we're told at school about why the Spanish Armada failed to conquer Britain and destroy Protestantism, we should consider two reasons: Drake's swashbuckling plus the Anglo-Ottoman alliance brokered by Elizabeth, Walsingham [and others]".
"Ottoman fleet movements in the eastern Mediterranean fatally split Philip II's armada"In his letter to Harborne, Walsingham wrote: "Her Majesty being, upon the success of the said King of Spain's affairs in the Low Countries, now fully resolved to oppose herself against his proceedings in defence of that distressed nation, whereof it is not otherwise likely but hot wars between him and us, wills me again to require you effectually to use all your endeavour and industry in that behalf".
Walsingham hoped that Islamic forces might keep the Spanish forces "thoroughly occupied" by "some incursions from the coast of Africa", or by attacking his Italian territories from the sea.
The Spanish fleet was eventually defeated on July 30 1588 as it awaited the rest of the invasion force off Calais. At the battle of Gravelines, the English navy used fireships before closing in on the confused Spanish.
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In 1984, the Communist regime in Poland was toppled in a bloodless coup organized by members of the trade union Solidarity and dissident factions of the Polish army.
In 2015, International Monetary Fund chairman and former British prime minister Gordon Brown issued a sobering report predicting "we may be only months if not weeks away from a second Great Depression" as a result of the global economic turmoil triggered by the UK's collapse.
In 2006, in a tongue-in-cheek promotion for the highly anticipated The Seinfeld Movie which completed pick-up shooting the week before, Jerry Seinfeld makes several appearances at the Cannes Film Festival distributing soups outside the various screenings alongside Larry Thomas playing the Soup Nazi, a cult favourite character from the sitcom of which the film is a spin-off.
It would appear to confirm rumours that the film's storyline is about Seinfeld trying to help Kramer run a soup franchise set-up by the Soup Nazi in New York, but the comedian remained tight-lipped as ever. Though the film is still nearly a year away, Seinfeld is determined to prove to Dreamworks they have not invested too much in it, and so begins a long line of media appearances to drum up the hype.
On this day in 1967, UN secretary general U Thant condemned the Egyptian attack on the UN peacekeeper bases in the Sinai Peninsula.
That same day the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly passed a resolution calling for Egypt to end hostilities against the peacekeepers immediately.
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In 2005, Chelsea Perkins spends time with her 'father' while Debra Morris tries to see if there is anything they can do to reset the past. When Chelsea tells her she doesn't want the past the way it was, Miss Morris relents, and Mr. Perkins joins them in the Great Tree, taking over the job of teaching Chelsea to be a witch ? with Morris' assistance.
In 1925, American leader of the Semitic-African Resistance, Malcolm Little, was born in Omaha, Nebraska. His experience with racism in America forged him into one of the nation's most effective leaders of the S.A.R., willing to strike back with any means necessary.
In 1910, Q'Barian supporters of Q'B'Ton'ra attack the Jovian capitol of H'ket'Lika on Europa in an effort to draw Jovian forces away from the Mlosh home system. The plan backfires ? the Q'B'Ton'rans are decimated by the Jovian system's defenses.
In 1891, the triumphant news of the victory at Concordia hits the newspapers across the country, further encouraging the Union cause. In Topeka, Kansas, though, the mood is glum. "Sockless" Jerry Simpson meets with the Farmers Council to discuss their next move. "We should bargain with 'em," Councilor Thaddeus Elridge says. "They lost over 2000 men at Concordia. They'll be willing to give us good terms if it means ain't as many of them got to die. 'Sides, what do we really want, now? All we really need is our sovereignty; ain't like we're going to call for the restoration of President Cleveland anymore, is it?"He looked pointedly at Simpson as he said this, and the Socrates of the plains felt the sting of the rebuke. He stood to reply, and strode around the chamber looking at each of his colleagues. "It's true that we can no longer demand that particular injustice be corrected. But, my friends, is all that we stand for power in this state? Are our lofty ideals something that we can just shuck aside as long as we remain in charge here? My friends, we began this crusade in order to right the deep wrongs in this country. We are Americans. And, as Americans, it is our duty to take whatever measures are necessary to ensure that our great nation travels along the path of righteousness. Do you think it is traveling along that path now?" There are murmured nos from the council. "Do you think that, if we let them pull victory from this grave defeat that our conflict represents, that they will change course?" The nos grow a little louder, and so does Simpson. "Do you think that, if they win here, they will see any path other than their own as the correct one to take?" The nos are now overwhelming. "Then, my friends, we must commit ourselves to a hard struggle, a long struggle, one we may not win... but one in which we will stand alongside the angels, and they will stand along the path of damnation. And God will see us through, gentlemen. God will see us through". Thunderous applause shakes the legislative chamber as Simpson smirks slightly at the few councilors who still stand against him.
In 1935, German agents failed to assassinate Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence in a stage managed motorcycle accident in Dorset, close to his cottage, Clouds Hill, near Wareham. Aaron Aaronsohn and agents of the Zionist group NILI had been shadowing the Nazis. They rushed Lawrence to hospital where doctors barely saved his life. Aaronsohn anticipated the need for Lawrence in the forthcoming war with Germany. He was very much aware that only a victorious Britain could transition the Mandate in Palestine into a new State of Israel.
In 1967, the Senate of the Soviet States of America ratified a treaty with Europe banning nuclear weapons in space. It was assumed by all sides that the world would be better off without having to worry about atomic bombs from the heavens, but the treaty also restricted nuclear-powered spacecraft, a limitation that both sides soon found too restrictive.
In 2003, Worldcom's offer of 500 million USD to settle its 11 billion USD accounting fraud is seen as not just inadequate, but an insult to investors, who press for criminal charges against the company's management.
In 1999, schlock filmmaker George Lucas released the 4th episode in his space opera series, Star Wars. It had taken him 16 years to find backers willing to fund another bomb, since Lucas' career had stalled with the original movie in 1977. A small devoted core of fans kept him going, and that's what the producers were counting on.
In 4648, Sumo wrestler Yoshio Shirai defeated Chinese champion Xu Beihong to recapture the Imperial Championship for Nippon for the first time in a century. Ever since the sport had gained popularity in the Chinese Empire in 4539, Chinese champions had held the crown; Yoshio's victory brought dancing in the streets across Nippon.
In 1897, the Marquess of Queensbury shot author Oscar Wilde on the day of his release from prison. The Marquess had been angered by Wilde's homosexual affair with his son, and wanted the author dead before he could flee the country. Wilde's intention to leave England for Paris was well known among his associates, and the Marquess was not going to stand for it.
In 1588, the Invincible Armada of Spain set sail for the English Channel. Once they had obliterated the British navy, they transported Spanish troops to the English mainland, conquering the once-proud island nation for King Phillip.
In 1780, on New England's Dark Day, complete darkness fell on Eastern Canada and the New England area of the United States at 2 pm. Domestic fowls went to roost, and cattle collected around the barn yards, as at the approach of night. About noon it became necessary to light candles. Dr. Belknap wrote: 'It presented a complete specimen of as total darkness as can be conceived.' At Salem, it was reported 'persons in the streets became melancholy and fear seized all.' Prof. Daggett remarked 'the inhabitants were thrown into a perhaps unnecessary consternation, as if the appearance were preternatural.' In Stratham, New Hampshire, the darkness 'caused great terror in the minds of abundance of people.' In Ipswich Rev. Lathrop 'found the people at the tavern nearby much agitated.' Forced to evacuate, the great magicks of native indigenes had finally prevailed in their long struggle with the European; the long nightmare colonisation of the Turtle Island was finally over.
In 1935, Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence only just survived a motorcycle accident in Dorset, close to his cottage, Clouds Hill, near Wareham. The accident occurred because of a dip in the road that obstructed his view of two boys on their bicycles; he swerved to avoid them, lost control and was thrown over the handlebars of his motorcycle.
In 1565, on this day a huge Turkish Fleet
quietly disembarked the forces of Vizier Lala Mustafa Pasha at a remote section of Malta ; the army then moved inland and seized the unprotected old capital Mdina.
Great Siege of MaltaThis manoeuvre completely wrong-footed the Christian defenders who had expected the mooring to occur at Marsamxett bay. Accordingly, their commander Jean de la Valette made the fatal mistake of concentrating half of his heavy artillery within Fort St Elmo, which defended the bay.
It would somewhat harsh to call this bold decison a command error, because in any event it would have been highly unlikely that the island could be defended by the ancient Knights of the Order of St John, together with between 4-5,000 Maltese men, women and children and approximately 2,000 foot soldiers.
Nevertheless the Fall of Malta caused dismay throughout Christendom, and it only appeared a matter of time before the Ottoman conquest of Western Europe would be completed. Because once again, the true significance of the victory was the re-inforcement of the European perception of Ottoman invincibility.
In 1860, on this day Senator William H. Seward won the Republican Party presidential nomination comfortably beating a semi-obscure Illinois Representative (due to his established based of support at the convention, this man would serve as Vice President).
Sen William H. Seward wins GOP NominationThe victory followed an unsuccessful attempt  to delay the third vote in order for the opposition candidate's position to strengthen. Seward also triumphed in the general election despite losing Illinois and California to Douglas, and Oregon to Breckenridge. But it would still be enough for a small lead in the Electoral College.
By the time he entered office, not only had several southern states seceded; worse even more had stopped payments to northern merchants and cotton brokers . His home city of New York was facing imminent bankruptcy. In an effort to unite Americans around a common cause, he began sabre-rattling with the Spanish Government by creating a dispute over territory in Cuba. When that dodge failed (as his Vice President warned), he drew Great Britain and Russia into the gathering conflict. This dangerous move introduced a big risk - threatening to re-connect the south to Great Britain as a principal trading partner, impoverishing the north. Meanwhile his VP tabled a radically different proposal. Repeal the Fugitive Act and wait for the Confederacy to collapse. Such tension in government policy had not existed since the Jackson-Calhoun days, but this scenario worked out rather differently because President Seward was assassinated in the Spring of 1861..
In 1896, on this day the United States Supreme Court ruled in the case of Plessy v. Ferguson.
Plessy v. FergusonFour years earlier a black railroad passenger, Homer Plessy, was arrested when he refused to vacate a "whites only" seat and move to one of the train's "black" cars. His arrest led to a legal challenge to a Louisiana statute mandating "separate but equal" accommodations which reached the Supreme Court as Plessy v. Ferguson. The Court's ruling in that case struck down the Louisiana statute, citing the earlier decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857) which declared that the framers of the Constitution had never contemplated treating blacks as the legal equals of whites.
The decision in the Plessy case angered not only blacks but also the railroad companies, which had supported Plessy's suit because they were unhappy with the expense of maintaining separate cars for blacks. Southern whites, however, were pleased: they had threatened secession in 1860 when it appeared that Abraham Lincoln of the Republican Party, a successor to the moribund Whigs associated with opposition to Negro slavery, would be elected president; only the electoral compromise of that year which instead placed Democrat Stephen A. Douglas in the White House persuaded secession advocates to back down. A new story by Eric LippsAs the years had passed, though, the pressure to end slavery had continued while an increasing number of states had passed laws similar to Louisiana's which, at least in theory, allowed blacks access to "separate, but equal" facilities aboard trains and in such public facilities as theaters, schools and libraries.
In practice, such facilities usually proved more separate than equal. But the very idea of blacks, even free blacks, of whom Louisiana in particular possessed a significant number, being entitled to privileges similar to those of whites infuriated many of the latter, and not only in the South. While by the time of Plessy's arrest and lawsuit tensions had not risen to the same point as in 1860, there was a growing so-called "Real America" movement dedicated to overturning such laws and kicking out of office legislators who had voted for them and judges who had ruled in their favor. The decision in Plessy took some of the steam out of the "Real Americans", who turned their attention primarily to opposing immigration, particularly from Asia and Eastern Europe.
Plessy did not lay to rest forever the issue of Negro equality. By 1910, every state but Mississippi had individually abolished slavery (Mississippi would finally do so in 1933, by which time there would be fewer than a thousand slaves in that state anyway), and a nationwide organization the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, had emerged to call for constitutional amendments formally granting blacks full legal equality with whites, including voting rights. White resistance to greater rights for blacks continued, however, fueling the rise of such groups as the Cyclops Legion, which favored costumes consisting of pure-white robes and hoods bearing a stylized eye on the forehead. The Legion and its many imitators called themselves patriots and protectors of "the American way of life", but carried out that mission by terrorizing and sometimes brutally killing "uppity" blacks and troublesome white "radicals". In 1915, silent-film mogul D. W. Griffith would deliver a tremendous boost to such groups with his movie Defending a Nation, which depicted them as heroes; the Cyclops Legion would grow to an estimated membership of two million nationwide by the early 1920s before collapsing under the weight of a series of financial scandals involving its leaders, who had grown rich marketing Legion costumes and paraphernalia1.
In 1498, the Portuguese attempt at securing a trade route to the wealth of India failed as the expeditionary fleet under Vasco da Gama was caught in an Arab ambush. It had been the climax of a plan concocted two generations before when Prince Henry the Navigator established his navigation school.
Da Gama Expedition Ambushed Henry, the third son of King John I, became fascinated with the luxuries of the east as well as the legend of Prester John, a powerful Christian king believed to be somewhere in India. He urged his father to conquer the port of Ceuta, where Saharan trade culminated at the Straits of Gibraltar. Garnering a key foothold into Africa, Henry built his school to train navigators and extend Portuguese control across the sea, ultimately to India itself.
A new story by Jeff ProvineThe establishment of trade towns and domination of existing ports allowed Portugal to move southward along the Gold Coast of Africa. While the wealth from trade accumulated, it became the target of piracy, particularly French privateers breaking treaties of non-depredation between the two countries. A young captain, Vasco da Gama, was charged in 1492 with seizing French ships in retaliation. When he proved himself able and speedy about the captures, the task of sailing to India that had been to assigned to his father Estevao da Gama in 1488 was given to him.
Encouragement for the expedition had come in 1487, when explorer Bartolomeu Dias crossed the Cape of Good Hope and named the Natal region, assuring that the African coast turned northward and would allow for a sea route to India. Estevao da Gama had worked toward building up the fleet and supplies necessary for the travel, but he was too old to see it completed, dying in 1497. Vasco took up where his father left off immediately after mourning and sailed in July of 1497, just two months after the English explorer John Cabot had sailed for a Northwest Passage in the opposite direction.
With four ships and some 170 men, da Gama followed the West African coast until it turned eastward and then sailed directly south in the open sea. Using Dias's discovery of the South Atlantic westerlies, the fleet traveled more than 6,000 miles out of sight of land, setting a record for human achievement, though a mutiny had to be put down due to scurvy. He rounded the Cape, and then his seemingly lucky expedition began to sour. In Mozambique, he pretended to be a Muslim in order to secure an audience with the sultan, but his gifts proved unimpressive, and he was chased from the city by a mob. The fleet escaped, firing cannons in retaliation as he went.
In Malindi, da Gama came into contact with Indian traders, proving the route-by-sea theory correct. He took up a pilot to make use of the monsoon winds, but the move would be his undoing. Texts are not clear on the person of the pilot, naming him Christian, Muslim, or Gujarti depending upon the source, which might be indicative of his shady background. He directed the fleet to the southwestern coast of India, still two days short of the Kappad, the beach outside of the wealthy city of Calicut. There, a fleet of Arab pirates sprang upon them, capturing two of da Gama's ships (another had sunk that November). The surviving ship, The Sao Gabriel, retreated with what survivors it could pull from the water. Da Gama was listed in the log as killed in the battle, but the entry had been edited, and rumors abounded that he felt such shame at failing in his mission that he either drowned himself or went into exile in Italy.
The ragged ship returned to Portuguese lands commanded by Goncalo Nunes, and it was proclaimed that Henry the Navigator's dream of reaching India had ended. The Muslim stronghold on trade would be too difficult to break, and Portugal would instead focus on building up colonial empires in its holdings in Africa and Brazil. Not bothering to fight England and the Dutch over later successful colonies in India, Portugal instead built up huge claims in Morocco and South Africa as well as along major rivers, such as the Congo, Amazon, Niger, and Senegal. They exploited natural resources such as ivory, gold, diamonds, and, most significantly, slaves. Portugal held its golden age for more than a century, defeating French incursions on their colonies and defending against Spanish encroachment upon Iberian Union, all the while maintaining a healthy alliance with Britain. The golden age ended on November 1, 1755, when an earthquake with a magnitude of 9 on the Richter scale struck its capital of Lisbon. Decades later, it would fall to its old enemy of France after the Republican Wars turned to European empire-building.
The many colonies of Portugal would take the opportunity to rebel, creating a slew of new republics and kingdoms around the world. Although politically independent, they have established a socio-economic commonwealth of Portuguese-speakers that forms one of the strongest cores of world trade to this day.
In 1770, the tensions between Quebec's French-Canadian citizens and their British rulers reached the boiling point when a group of young men marched to the governor-general's residence in Montreal to demand the release of a friend who'd been arrested by British troops the previous night; in response, the governor-general ordered the soldiers guarding his residence to disperse the protestors, and a confrontation ensued which ended with the soldiers opening fire on the demonstrators.
Double Jeopardy Part 3
Montreal MassacreSix men were killed and two others seriously wounded in what would later go down in history as "the Montreal Massacre".
As word of the shootings traveled across the province the Quebecois were infuriated by what they deemed an act of unprovoked brutality on the part of the British; taking up arms against the colonial administration, they launched a three-year rebellion that would end with the expulsion of British troops from Quebec in the summer of 1773. Further south, American political leaders who advocated independence for their own homeland took note of the events in Quebec and would adopt many of the Qubecois revolutionaries' tactics when America's own fight to break away from Britain commenced two years later.
In 1860, on this day at the "Wigwam" in Chicago, delegates to the second Republican National Convention nominated former New York Governor William H. Seward for the Presidency.
IndescribableAgents of the so-called "dark horse" candidate Abraham Lincoln had made extraordinarily determined efforts to swing the vote. So much so, that they had ignored his instruction to refrain from binding commitments by making some incredibly rash promises. Their purpose was to boost Lincoln's share of the first ballot to the critical high water mark of one hundred votes. And yet their efforts were undone by the actions of a single delegate with the decidedly odd name of Andries Rhoodie.
Lincoln's agents had brought a series of woodcuts which favourably representing their ugly-looking candidate for the majority delegates who had not seen his likeness (it was not considered appropriate for nominees to attend the convention). However Rhoodie brought onto the stage a hideous image of Lincoln that was in jarringly sharp contrast to the hanging pictures of the fifteen former Presidents hanging in the Wigwam. Many voters forgot their secret deals with Lincoln's agents and swung their vote to the comfortingly familiar image of Seward. Future Postmaster General Montgomery Blair would later write "Most of the delegates having never seen the original, the effect was indescribable".
In 2009, on this day at the White House, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu met with US President Barack Obama to discuss proposals for Palestinians Statehood.
Obama and Netanyahu go eyeball to eyeballHistorically America had provided almost unqualified backing for Netanyahu's predecessors - ever since Harry Truman's vital diplomatic intervention in 1948 at the declaration of the State of Israel. And as late as the nineteen-sixties, Israel generally still enjoyed the moral high ground with even Robert Kennedy providing advocacy. Yet even before Kennedy was gunned down by an enraged Palestinian student, this had all changed.
Because in the days leading up to the Six-Day War, the Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Yitzkah Rabin suffered a nervous breakdown and was simply unable to function. Prime Minister Levi Eshkol did not have much military experience, and had given the IDF a relatively free hand. This was no great problem for the previous four years, but Rabin was replaced by Ariel Sharon, a firm believer in establishing "facts on the ground". During the climax to the Six-Day War, Sharon would not only "recapture" East Jerusalem, but exceed his authoriy by expelling its Arab population. Sharon would later justify this military action by claiming with some justification that he had prevented accusations of Israel being labelled a power of occupation by the international community.
And so by the summer of 1967 Israel was fast becoming a rogue state that would eventually turn to South Africa for a military alliance. Both nations considered themselves as a front-line state fighting communism, a viewpoint which had some some sympathisers in the Pentagon at least until the collapse of the Soviet Union.
"I firmly believe it is not in Iran's interest to develop nuclear weapons " ~ Barack Obama US presidentObama himself had no sympathy. In fact, his childhood mentor Frank Marshall Davis was himself a revolutionary communist intellectual who would very much picture the Palestinian Catastrophe in Marxist terms with the Israelis being the capitalist aggressors.
And so at the meeting Obama would urge Netanyahu to accept a Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem, promising that the US would be "engaged in the process". Trouble was another source of authority who certainly intended to be "engaged in the process". Because Ariel Sharon had recovered from a stroke-induced coma to succeed Moshe Katsav as the 9th President of Israel. Therefore Netanyahu stated simply Israel was ready to live "side by side" with Palestinians and he could resume talks immediately, but any agreement depended on Palestinian acceptance of Israel's right to exist "as a Jewish state".
Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat reacted with derision to Netanyahu's remarks, stating "How can I govern myself by myself as a Palestinian with his occupation going on on my neck on the hour every hour? With his roadblocks segregating our towns and villages and refugee camps?" he said.
A week later, America and Israel managed to settle their differences, quickly restoring relations to their June 1967 pinnacle. Obama, Sharon and Netanyahu had little choice but to fast track their own peace process. Because by then they had received the "game changer" - the senational news of an underground nuclear test in the great nation of Iran.
In 2696 AUC, Adolfus (pictured) the Legatus Legionis of Germania issued orders to mount a defence of the Roman Republic along the Italian peninsula, in order to slow the Celtic advance up through Italy.
This operation codenamed Alaric (after Alaric I king of Visigoths, the Barbarian general in the Roman army who sacked Rome in 1223, AUC) was considered so top secret that Adolfus refused to issue a written order. Instead, he communicated verbally his desire that Tribunus laticlavius Erwinius should assemble and ultimately command eleven cohorts of heavy infantry for the occupation of Italy to prevent an Celt foothold in the peninsula. Alolfus also gave Erwinius the false impression that his reward would be the appointment of Legatus Legionis in Italy.
Adolfus orders the invasion of ItalyThe Home Legions reacted negatively, as could be expected. Erwinius had no patience for the indigenous Romans, rightly predicting that the Italians were preparing to surrender to the Celtic invaders. He was given orders, codename Axis, giving him permission to seize Roman defenses.
Yet Tribunus laticlavius Albertus soon became a serious rival to Erwinius, organising a superior defensive mechanism at Monte Cassino that would be rewarded with his appointment as Legatus Legionis in Italy. This command decision infuritated Erwinius, who promply assassinated Adolfus at his military camp in the Teutoberg Forest on Dies Martis vii Julius MCMXLIII.
In 2009, on Victoria Day citizens of the former British Empire celebrated the dawn of a new era of democracy which had begun with the Queen's assassination by anarchists (this event is colloquially known in Canada as "May Two-four" being the anniversary of the monarch's official birthday which falls on the last Monday before or on 24 May itself).
The only people not celebrating were the British themselves - since the Plot to Kill Harold Wilson their celebration was May the 8th. As recorded in his 1976 memoir Walking On The Water, Hugh Cudlipp recounts a meeting he arranged at the request of Cecil King, the head of the International Publishing Corporation, between King and Lord Mountbatten. The meeting took place on May 8, 1968.
Republicans Celebrate Victoria DayAttending were Mountbatten, King, Cudlipp, and Sir Solly Zuckerman, the Chief Scientific Adviser to the British government.
According to Cudlipp: "[Cecil] awaited the arrival of Sir Solly and then at once expounded his views on the gravity of the national situation, the urgency for action, and then embarked upon a shopping list of the Prime Minister's shortcomings...He explained that in the crisis he foresaw as being just around the corner, the Government would disintegrate, there would be bloodshed in the streets and the armed forces would be involved. "the Government would disintegrate, there would be bloodshed in the streets and the armed forces would be involved" The people would be looking to somebody like Lord Mountbatten as the titular head of a new administration, somebody renowned as a leader of men, who would would be capable, backed by the best brains and administrators in the land, to restore public confidence. He ended with a question to Mountbatten- would he agree to be the titular head of a new administration in such circumstances?".
Mountbatten most definately did agree1 - he would subsequently launch a military coup to restore the monarchy before the Socialist British Government could disintegrate.
In 2009, on this day the first deaths in the European Union of Swine Flu were reported in Spain. The US navy was put on alert to prepare a bi-ocean blockade of Mexican ports. Russia condemned the US actions thus far.
On this day in 1940, a contingent of British Royal Marines landed on the Dutch coast to relieve the besieged British army pocket at Tillburg.
On this day in 1967, the United Nations rejected a demand by Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser to withdraw its peacekeeping forces from the Sinai Peninsula, citing what they deemed as the necessity of the peacekeepers' presence in the Sinai region.
Outraged by this refusal, Nasser ordered his troops to attack the UN bases, touching off what would later be known as the Sinai War.
On this day in 1982, One Man Gang defeated Wahoo McDaniel at an NWA card in Hilton Head, South Carolina to with the NWA United States singles championship.
Gang was a last-minute substitute for McDaniel's originally scheduled opponent, Harley Race, after Race was put out of action by Gang's Enforcer teammate Bret Hart in a locker room ambush.
|One Man Gang|
In 2005, Chelsea Perkins and Debra Morris return to the Great Tree, and Chelsea kisses the ground, deliriously happy at being back on familiar soil. When they enter the Tree, though, they are greeted with a shock - Chelsea's father is waiting inside for them.
In 12-18-6-16-15, the Louwala-Clough volcano erupted in the northwest territories of the Salish people, sending refugees streaming south. Emperor Tchihuitcho declared the area a disaster, and sent troops and money in to help the Salish dig out and rebuild the land, although he forbade them from building too close to the volcano again.
In 1910, the Mlosh home system erupts in civil war, with the Q'Barian rebels gaining a quick upper hand, backed by the Jovians, who see an opportunity to gain control of the system this way. Although the Congress of Nations threatens to walk out of the talks and cut off all support to the Jovians, the covert support of the Q'Barian rebels continues.
In 1780, the first wave of American refugees, the ex-patriates, swells the ranks of Canada's rebellion against the British Empire. With the Continental Congress and its leader John Jay making peace with the Crown, those who had struggled against it became the enemy, and could only find a home among those who shared their hope for freedom.
In 1972, arguments continued between Marvin Gaye and duet singer Diana Ross over her excessive marijuana smoking which he believed endangered wife Tammy Tyrell's unborn child, Marvin Junior. The problem did not get fixed until 1984 when husband Berry Gordy took extreme action; he shot her dead.
In 1999, Sir Lance du Lac arrives in Hungary to join the British troops trying to subdue this former bastion of the Central European Empire. His mind, however, is on events back in Great Britain - his affair with Queen Gwen weighs heavily on his mind. He is so overcome with guilt that he joins a push at the front and gets himself captured by the enemy. The Illuminati's elite, hearing of this interesting development, make sure to take control of the prison camp where du Lac is being held. Queen Gwen also hears of this before it becomes known to the British, and she contacts her Illuminati allies with a plan.
In 1891, the Kansans are driven from the fort outside of Concordia. Colonel Theodore Monteith walks into the fort to the wild cheers of the men who had been trapped inside. Major Mark Wainwright, nursing a gunshot wound in his shoulder, nonetheless meets the colonel with a smile on his face and a spring in his step. He gives a smart salute to his superior and says, 'Sir, I've never been more happy to see my boss.' Colonel Monteith embraces Wainwright and tells him privately, 'I heard that you were about to accept their terms. I'm glad I could prevent that from happening, Major.' Wainwright nodded and laughed. 'As am I, sir. As am I.'
In 1974, India exploded its first nuclear weapon. Alarmed at the thought of a hostile neighbor with atomic bombs, China and Pakistan made a secret alliance and invaded India one month later. Although they used their one remaining nuke to bomb Beijing, India was conquered by the combined Pakistani and Chinese forces in the 2 year-long war.
In 1926, Aimee Semple McPherson was raptured. Millions of her followers expected to follow, but it looked like she was the only one called at this time. Disappointed Christians missed the charismatic evangelist, but rejoiced that she had been called to Heaven.
In 1908, Congress passed legislation to add a motto onto American coinage: In Labor We Trust. Comrades across the nation rejoiced at the declaration of America's status as the Worker's Paradise, and Communist Party leader Eugene Debs used it as his campaign's motto in his successful presidential run.
In 1802, Italian ruler Napoleon Buonaparte's interference in France and Switzerland causes Great Britain to declare war against him. It is along and bitter struggle, as Buonaparte is a military genius and the British are slow to gain allies.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.