In 1937, the first report of a mysterious New York City vigilante appeared in the Times. Paul Rogers, of the Apex Chemical Corporation, claimed his life was saved from a murderous plot by a Black Bat or demon figure. More stories surfaced of the vigilante, mainly from criminals found tied to lamp posts. Sightings waned in the late forties but resurged in the sixties.
the Indochina War neared its end in Vietnam, and the French Union offered to surrender to the United States. The British, eager to keep the Chinese out of the Gulf of Tonkin, urged President Stevenson to accept. A month later, a small American force steamed into Saigon. At the Paris Peace Conference, America accepted a League of Nations Mandate over Vietnam
. General of the Armies Dwight David Eisenhower commanded American forces.
In the time of Caesar Augustus, all the people of Israel are ordered to return to their native cities to be taxed. Joseph and his pregnant wife Mary try to follow the command, so she goes into labor in Bethlehem. He tries to find her a room at the inn, but since the rooms are already filled up the innkeeper sends her to the stable.
An installment from the Happy Endings thread
Happy Endings Part 25
Joshua the High Priest *** REMOVED AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST ***
In 1782, on this day Colonel Lewis Nicola proposed to General Washington that due to the ineffectiveness of the Congress during the war he should be crowned King of the United States.
A Disagreeable SchemeGeorge Washington replied the same day, stating that he had read Nicola's letter "with a mixture of great surprise and astonishment". Washington continued: "no occurrence in the course of the War, has given me more painful sensations than your information of there being such ideas existing in the Army as you have expressed, and I must view with abhorrence, and reprehend with severity". Washington wrote that he could not think of anything in his own conduct that would suggest that he would consider being king. "You could not have found a person to whom your schemes are more disagreeable".
Five years later at the Philadelphia Convention, he was subjected to a far greater degree of pressure to accept the Presidency and in effect serve as a quasi-King. Instead, he recommend his second-in-command, Henry Knox who was duly elected with James Madison as his Vice President. Unfortunately for all concerned, during his first year of office, Knox died of a fever. Because Madison, and his patron Thomas Jefferson, had not seen service in the Continental Army, they entertained some rather dangerous libertarian ideas. And so General Washington was forced to serve as a mentor to the younger man. And perhaps one of the most visible results of that partnership was the construction of the National University. This is a variant ending to A Disagreeable Scheme, Redux in which Gen Washington also refuses the Presidency
In 1942, on this day Fighter ace and intelligence officer Roald Dahl was invalided out of active duty and transferred to Washington, D.C. as Assistant Air Attaché.
Knight in Rusty ArmourEver since he crash landed in Mersa Matruh, he had been experienced black-outs and hyperconsciousness that he would later accredit as the cause of his creative genius. But of course the literary purpose of his current assignments was to illegally copy US Government papers under the watchful eye of British Security Co-ordination William Stephenson. BSO were following the directive of British War Leader Winston Churchill to "do all that was not being done and could not be done by overt means" to reverse the isolationalist policies of President
Charles A. Lindbergh. This broad scope of activities included planting
propaganda in American newspapers, radio stations & wire servers,
harrassing prominent isolationists and plotting against corporations
working against British interests .
He was once sent back to Britain by British Embassy officials,
supposedly for misconduct - "I got booted out by the big
boys," he said. Stephenson promptly sent him back to
Washington-with a promotion to Wing Commander. His BSO colleagues at the
British Embassy also included David Ogilby, Noel Coward, Ivar Bryce
and Ian Fleming. And although Dahl would remain friends with
Stephenson for decades, his collaboration with Fleming was to have a
more profound affect upon their post-war careers. Because Dahl had been working on "Gremlins" in which he hallucinated monsters forcing his plane to crash in Mersa Matruh. But in his friend Fleming, Dahl started to etch out the characteristics of a central
protagonist, a shadowy, sinster figure that Fleming would name James Bond after an American ornithologist.
Although they collaborated on the fictional spy who would later become codename "007", certain disturbing aspects of his character came exclusively from Dahl. Instead of the suave gentleman spy conceived by Fleming, this Dahlist Bond was a gritty, anti-hero not much better than the Gremlins he imagined. And because of his own anti-Zionist stance, the first novel saw Bond pitted with the Arab Legion in a struggle to crush the rise of the nascent State of Israel. This was too much anti-Semitism for Fleming who moved onto children's novels, most famously, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang . This article is a continuation of the Inteprid thread.
In 2011, on this the day of Great God the Almighty, humanity rose up from the ashes of the apocalypse to cast off the misrule of the jackals that had plugged their ears while mankind screamed.
The New EdenStripped of technology by the impact of the Trumpet 2 asteroid, the survivors were forced to use the honest labour of their bare hands. Toiling in the poisoned Earth to nurture the seed of brotherhood and love amongst the nations. Fashioning a glorious new Eden in the hope that HE might walk in the garden once again.
Because as the great man once said, something had been missing in this harsh world. And that was love.
In 1939, after a meeting that had begun cordially but ended in mysterious anger, the Italian delegation to Berlin stormed out, refusing to sign what was to be called the "Pact of Friendship and Alliance between Germany and Italy".
Mussolini Rejects "Pact of Rust" In later speeches, energetic Mussolini would call it a "Pact of Rust", declaring that promises offered by Hitler looked as shiny as a new Volkswagen, but they would soon lead to the danger and potential destruction of his Italy. Hitler, meanwhile, considered the political slight to be personal and cut off relations with Italy.
It would be some time before international intelligence agencies and investigative journalists determined what exactly caused the issues between the two nations that had nearly become blood-brothers. Both Hitler and Mussolini were charismatic, powerful leaders who were born out of the economic turmoil of post-WWI Europe. Hitler had been a failed artist who fell into politics after feeling the betrayal of the Treaty of Versailles with its crippling rules and reparations demanded on a Germany that he felt militarily won the war. Joining and soon leading the National Socialist German Workers' Party, Hitler would rise to power through propaganda and discipline, elected legally despite his monstrous promises for a Final Solution to what he considered "racial inferiors".
Benito Mussolini, meanwhile, had grown from being the son of a provincial blacksmith father outspoken about socialism and a devout Catholic mother who worked as a schoolteacher. After being dismissed from Catholic boarding school for violent behavior, Mussolini did well in public school and later emigrated to Switzerland, partly to avoid his requirement of military service. In Switzerland, the bedrock of Italian socialist ideals of Mussolini's father that had formed in Mussolini's mind expanded with philosophy from Nietzsche, Marxists, and, especially, Georges Sorel. Using Marx's ideals of destruction of decadence through strikes as well as his father's praise of anarchist violence, Mussolini collected an array of skills in social manipulation, most importantly his ability to tap into the deep emotions of an audience.
Mussolini returned to his home town to be editor of The Class Struggle (Lotta di Classe), a weekly radical newspaper. His publishing spread quickly, and he came to great fame as a Socialist speaker and writer. When World War I broke out, he came into difficulties with the Italian Socialist Party and eventually was dismissed when he determined that his best interest would be to support the war and work toward nationalism. His political beliefs swung to the right, and Mussolini soon signed up for military service and argued for the strength of unity and the state. He created the National Fascist Party in 1921 and skyrocketed to power, performing the March on Rome with his Blackshirts in October, 1922, effectively seizing control of Italy.
Over the next decades, Mussolini would continue to gather power and promote the Italian state. Dodging assassinations and cracking down on dissent, he built a government unquestionable by the silent majority and admired by those seeking social positions. Parades, uniforms, and increasingly ornate titles (Mussolini's being "His Excellency Benito Mussolini, Head of Government, Duce of Fascism, and Founder of the Empire" by 1936), the Italian Fascism would become a renewed powerhouse with ideas such as youth involvement, land reclamation, price control, and gold donation to keep taxes low while social programs continued to operate through the Great Depression. To further political dedication, he launched military campaigns such as his "Conquest of Ethiopia" in 1935-6 and aided the Nationalists in the Spanish Civil War, citing atrocities against Catholics by the Republicans.
Hitler and Mussolini were soon at each other's attention. Hitler emulated many of Mussolini's successful techniques in his own rise to power, but Mussolini was skeptical of Hitler's claims of racial superiority, saying in 1934, "Race! It is a feeling, not a reality: ninety-five percent, at least, is a feeling. Nothing will ever make me believe that biologically pure races can be shown to exist today". Cultural superiority, however, was easily found as Mussolini referred to the Germans as "the descendants of those who were illiterate when Rome had Caesar, Virgil and Augustus". Despite their political differences, however, both dictators knew they could use the other to their advantages: Hitler wanted to establish a political alliance with himself at the head (the term "Axis" believed to have been Mussolini's), while Mussolini had ambitions of rebuilding a Roman Empire, having conquered Albania in under a month and looking toward Tunisia but needing Germany's superior military technique and technology to maximize the war effort.
The two parties outlined agreements in a pact with public declarations of communication, mutual defense, and cooperation with economic and military support. The pact also carried Secret Supplementary Protocols about the use of propaganda, and it is believed that here an insult against Mussolini's writing style as opposed to the film making of Nazi Germany prompted a break between the two countries. The cleft broke wide, and soon the two countries were preparing for war over old territorial arguments between Austria and northeast Italy.
German foreign minister Ribbentrop asked his Soviet counterpart Molotov for support, but the USSR declined in August of 1939, as did the rest of the world, largely sitting back to see what would happen. Mussolini's armies moved to take hold of supposedly Italian land, and Hitler quickly struck back. Italy held the upper hand for the first year of the Fascist War with its veterans, but German troops and superior materiel eventually overwhelmed Italian defenses and marched into the peninsula. Mussolini fled the country, and a desperate war of resistance eventually died out as German authority became solid.
Holding Italy, Hitler continued southward, building up a German empire in Africa before turning against Communist Russia his nemesis Stalin with Operation Barbarossa in 1945, which would ultimately lead to his own downfall.
In 1845, the Veracruz Incident occurred on this day.
Velacruz Incident by Eric LippsA British diplomat is assaulted by a mob after making a disparaging remark about the Catholic Church. Britain demands an apology first from Spanish colonial authorities in Mexico City, and, when none is received, from Madrid itself.
The response of His Most Catholic Majesty Philip IV, who insists his government has no need to apologize to "schismatics" who have insulted "the True Faith," creates a diplomatic uproar and, when made public, inspires anti-Catholic riots in England and America.
The incident will snowball into a full-fledged crisis when the Spanish colonial government seizes Britain's Veracruz embassy and transports its staff under guard to Mexico City. The continued refusal of both the colonial administration and the Spanish government either to release what Queen Victoria refers to as "our hostage envoys" or to apologize either for the original incident or for the diplomats' seizure. Spanish excuses that the embassy staff has been placed in "protective custody" to prevent their being killed by mobs are viewed as transparent frauds, particularly in light of King Philip's inflammatory comments.
In 1455, Yorkists usurpers defeated King Henry VI at the Battle of St. Albans, but the King escaped and rallied his supporters to drive Duke Richard of York away in the Battle of London.
House of Lancaster, Resurgent by Robbie TaylorThe remainder of King Henry's desperate reign was marked with constant warfare against the Yorkists, ending only in his death in 1469 in a boating accident. The Yorkists lacked the support to put their leader, Edward, on the throne, but the marriage of old Richard of York to Henry's widow Margaret did put an end to the fighting.
In 2009, Britain's long national nightmare finally ended on this day when Prince Henry Charles Albert David was released by kidnappers in Iraq. "Harry" is the third in the line of succession to the thrones of the United Kingdom.
Iraqi kidnappers release Prince HarryThe decision to deploy the Prince Harry in Iraq had been a subject of intense debate in Britain. Caught in their own nationalistic logic, the establishment was forced to send Harry, as they had sent Andrew to the Falklands Conflict two decades before.
Yet it was far more difficult to protect the Prince (despite the use of numerous "doubles") and he was snatched on routine patrol and held for 115 days before his release. In an unconnected move, British troop withdrawals were announced three months later.
On this day in 1954, 31-year-old Puerto Rican nationalist Miguelito Reyes was shot and killed by U.S. Secret Service agents after an apparent attempt to murder one of Francis Urquhart's Senate colleagues; Reyes had gone to the Senate offices intending to confront the senator in question after receiving an anonymous note claiming the senator was having an affair with Reyes' wife.
|Chief of Staff|
A .38 handgun was found on Reyes' body shortly after his death, further bolstering suspicions by the Justice Department that Reyes planned to assassinate Urquhart's colleague.
What wasn't known at the time - and wouldn't be known for more than forty years - was that the note which lured Reyes to his death was in fact forged by Urquhart's chief of staff Tim Stamper (pictured) as part of a master plan by Urquhart himself to avenge anti-Urquhart statements Reyes had made in a San Juan newspaper three weeks earlier. The .38 found on Reyes' body was supplied to him by a third party secretly working with Stamper; this third party was himself subsequently found dead in what authorities at the time ruled a suicide.
In 1941, on this day Soviet bombers leveled Dresden.
In 2015, on this day Downing Street's fears about the neo-Peronista regime in Argentina were realized when the Argentine defense ministry announced it had successfully test-detonated a 12-kiloton nuclear device at a remote undisclosed location.
The test, portions of which were shown on Argentina's state-run TV network, sparked fears of a new global nuclear arms race and another Falklands War.
In 1601, on this day the first contingent of British occupation troops arrived in southern Spain.
In 2009, on this day Iran reveals to the world that it is 9 months from being able to launch a nuclear wepaon that can hit anywhere in th emiddle east. It states it must do this to protect it self from the west, and the hateful Jewish empire.
On this day in 1940, Hitler ordered Luftwaffe paratroopers to assault the British pocket near Tillburg.
On this day in 1976, Maine teenager Carrie White, an admirer of the late George Stark, was arrested on multiple counts of murder, attempted murder, and arson after setting fire to her high school's gym during a spring dance in an attempt to emulate her idol. White's homicidal spree and subsequent trial would later be chronicled in the Stephen King book Carrie..
On this day in 2006, Kentucky Derby champion Barbaro won the Preakness Stakes horse race, taking his second step towards becoming racing's first Triple Crown champion since Affirmed in 1978.
On this day in 1972, Soviet agent Dmitri Kaprinsky, alias D.B. Cooper, was placed on suicide watch after a prison guard caught him trying to hang himself in his cell.
In 2002, the remains of intern Chandra Levy were found in a park in the Washington D.C. area. Conclusive evidence found with the body showed that she had been kidnapped by a rapist who had been preying on women in her neighborhood, rather than by suspect Congressman Gary Condit. Red-faced conservative commentators who had been flogging Condit apologized profusely for their suspicion, and Condit easily won reelection later that year.
In 1995, after the Laverne & Shirley 20th Aniversary special, director Penny Marshal and actress Cindy Williams decide to revisit the series and create Laverne & Shirley, the next generation. The new series shows the two friends in their later years as grandmothers in the 1980?s, and is a huge hit among nostalgic baby boomers.
In 1977, newly-elected President James Carter declares humans rights 'inconsequential' in a speech at Notre Dame University. Carter's somewhat harsh approach to foreign policy, such as the bombing of Iran when they tried to take the American embassy staff hostage, was seen as a reaction to America's loss in the Vietnamese conflict
In 1972, Comrade President Gus Hall arrived in Moscow to finalize several agreements with the Russian royal family. Comrade Hall's last years in office were spent attempting to mend some fences between the Soviet States of America and the capitalist monarchies of the eastern hemisphere; it paved the way for Comrade President John Anderson?s historic visit to Brazil later in the decade.
In 1969, Apollo 10?s lunar module, just a few miles above the moon?s surface, experienced an instrument failure and crashed. Although astronauts Tom Stafford and Gene Cernan survived, NASA had no way of rescuing them. Before his oxygen ran out, Stafford, commander of the mission, became the first man to set foot on the moon, saying, 'That?s one small step for a man, one giant leap for all mankind.'
In 1965, Pete Best?s eighth consecutive number 1 hit, Passport To Your Heart, hit the top of the charts in America. It was knocked off the top spot the next week by Best?s next release, Tell Me How You Feel.
In 1856, after reportedly threatening him for weeks, South Carolinian Representative Preston Brooks attacked Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner for a speech Sumner made deriding Brooks' cousin, Senator Andrew Butler. Unfortunately for Brooks, Sumner had started carrying a gun because of the threats, and shot Brooks dead. When Sumner was acquitted of the killing, the south erupted in outrage.
In 1841, Philadelphia craftsman Henry Kennedy received a patent for his reclining chair, a device which was outlawed the next year because of its promotion of sloth and laziness. Even though its great evils have been denounced from pulpit and altar, many Americans are still arrested with these instruments of indolence every year.
In 1807, former Vice-President Aaron Burr was tried and convicted of treason for his plan to create his own republic in the American southwest. He was executed by firing squad for the crime, the first elected official in the new country to be killed by judicial order.
In 1959, Bob Strawn was born in Austin, Texas. Strawn's parents settled in the Texas capitol when his father was offered a position at the University of Texas. Bob graduated from UT in the 1980's, just in time to join the computer revolution growing in the heart of the Lone Star State. His Uncle Bob's Software concept, a software store that kept programmers on staff for custom orders, made him millions as franchisees bought stores across the country through 1993, when Strawn sold the business to Microsoft for a reported $1.1 billion. In his retirement, Strawn has done quite a bit of work popularizing the hobby of role-playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons and the game invented by fellow Austinite Steve Jackson, GURPS.
In 1999, an agent of the Illuminati, traveling under a flag of truce, is brought to Sir Lance du Lac's headquarters outside of Budapest, Hungary, to offer him an end to the war. "We feel that this conflict was with Emperor Pierre, who has been deposed," the agent said. "The now-independent nations of the former Central European Empire would just like to have their sovereignty respected. We are prepared to cease all hostilities against the people of the United Kingdom and its Commonwealth; we are even prepared to give reparations for the cost of the war. Would you carry this offer to your king, Sir Lance?" The carefully-formulated sentence triggers something inside du Lac's mind, and he accepts the offer, ordering his troops to enforce a ceasefire while he flies back to London to carry the Illuminati's offer to King Arthur II.
In 1891, President Harrison sees off the first battalions of soldiers drafted from the east coast to fight in Kansas. "Today, my friends, you are heroes," he says at the ceremony. "You are giving up part of your freedom today so that our people can enjoy freedom in perpetuity. We salute you, and pray that the Almighty watches over you and grants you victory, swift and clean.The hopes of our nation ride along with you". The trains pull out from Washington and head west to Nebraska to be placed under General Theodore Monteith's command.
In 1972, America's Comrade President Richard Nixon arrived in Moscow for talks with the Tsar's ministers.
He was given a modest welcome as he stepped off the plane at Vnukovo airport with his wife earlier today. The welcome party consisted of Nikolai Podgorny, Alexei Kosygin and Andrei Gromyko.
A twenty-minute ceremony, during which the president briefly inspected a guard of honour, was held and broadcast live by Moscow television.
In 1940, the vicious street fighting of the past fortnight finally ceased across London. Whitehall was seized by the Wehrmacht. Prime Minister Winston Churchill went down pistols blazing, his ashes scattered in the garden at Number 10 Downing Street. The Battle of Britain was lost, but the War on Nazidom was only just beginning. It was Britain's finest hour.
the death of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band member George Harrison was ruled a misadventure
(Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham was also cleared of manslaugher charges). At Bonham's twenty-fifth birthday party, Harrison had dumped the entire birthday cake on the drummer's head; Bonham responded by throwing the ex-Beatle into a swimming pool where he had drowned.
In 1968, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr took an unexpected step forward by officially reforming as Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. "We were fed up with being Beatles," McCartney has said, referring to the matching suits and screaming girls they left behind after retiring from live concerts, at the end of August 1966.
On Friday, February 10th, 1967, the Beatles had thrown a party at EMI Studios on Abbey Road in northwest London. The occasion: the recording of twenty-four bars of improvised crescendo, played by a forty-piece orchestra, for "A Day in the Life," the climax of the band's then-in-progress masterpiece, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Special guests included Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Donovan and the Monkees' Michael Nesmith. At the Beatles' request, the orchestra members wore formal evening dress with funny hats, clown noses, fake nipples and, in the case of the lead violinist, a gorilla's paw on his bowing hand. Engineers Geoff Emerick and Ken Townsend taped the musical chaos on a pair of linked four-track machines, making this the first-ever eight-track recording date in Britain.
Released on June 1st, 1967, in a now-iconic gatefold cover by artist Peter Blake and photographer Michael Cooper, Sgt. Pepper immediately electrified the world. No other LP of rock's first half-century so richly defined its era -- the hope and the mutiny of the 1960s -- and completely redefined the outer limits of the recording experience. "It seemed obvious to us that peace, love and justice ought to happen," McCartney said. At the same time, "we recorded Sgt. Pepper to alter our egos, to free ourselves and have a lot of fun".
Whilst we can only speculate, it seems unlikely that the fab four would have survived into the new decade of the 1970s without such a major rethink.
the author Robert Heinlein completed a thirteen-hour marathon writing session to complete his latest story By His Bootstraps
. He did not see the circle grow and was unable to prevent the stranger throwing them both through it. Recovering, he asked the stranger where they were. "In the Hall of the Gate in the High Palace of Norkaal. But what is more important is when you are. You have gone forward a little more than thirty thousand years".
UK War Leader Winston Churchill delivered his final radio broadcast before fleeing to the Falkland Islands
with the remnants of the British Navy.
His last words to the defeated British nation were a fragment of W.B. Yeats' poem The Second Coming
"The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed,
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?"
In 1965, in a particularly vicious incident, chupacabra attacked livestock on a Southeast Idaho farm, killing 120 that one night (the older coyotes were obviously teaching the young ones how to kill, because hardly none of the carcasses had had any meat eaten from them). The very next year the same thing happened, killing 80.
In 1998, during the Lewinsky scandal, a federal judge ruled that United States Secret Service agents could be compelled to testify before a grand jury concerning the scandal, involving President Bill Clinton. In keeping with contemporary heterophobia, Clinton had falsely stated 'I did not have sex with that - or any other - woman'. The testimonies of the Secret Service agents would accelerate the impeachment of Clinton as Womangate scandalised the nation.
In 1978, Ally's army arrived in Argentina for the FIFA World Cup. Hopes were unrealistically high, yet Joe Johnston, Archie Gemmill et all played some magnificent football. The Republic of Scotland graced the tournament, eventually losing to Peru in an edge of the seat thriller.
In 1768, one step ahead of the French conquest of Corsica, Carlo Maria Buonaparte flees to the Americas.
American NapoleonBy the time that the island is fully occupied by French forces under the command of the Comte de Vaux, he has reached safety in the city of New Orleans.
In the French quarter, his third son Napoleon is born. A child at the outset of the conflict with Great Britain, he reaches maturity as the new nation of the United States begins to take shape. When his beloved farther dies at the age of only thirty-eight, he heads east, seeking his fortune in the new Republic.
In 1943, on this day Charles Lindbergh was lost in a a strafing run with Marine Fighting Squadron 222 (VMF-222) near the Japanese garrison of Rabaul, in the Australian Territory of New Guinea. He was forty-one years old.
Slim Goes Down in the PacificOf course he was world famous because of his daring non-stop flight from New York to Paris in 1927. And so his brutal execution by Japanese soldiers struck a tragic note into every household in America. Worse still, it was a shattering blow to the morale of the nation that Washington had tried desperately hard to prevent.
Because after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor Lindbergh had sought to be recommissioned in the US Army Air Force. The Secretary of War, Henry L. Stimson, declined the request on instructions from the White House. Unable to take on an active military role, Lindbergh approached a number of aviation companies, offering his services as a consultant. As a technical adviser with Ford in 1942, he was heavily involved in troubleshooting early problems encountered at the Willow Run Consolidated B-24 Liberator bomber production line. As B-24 production smoothed out, he joined United Aircraft in 1943 as an engineering consultant, devoting most of his time to its Chance-Vought Division. The following year, he persuaded United Aircraft to designate him a technical representative in the Pacific Theater of Operations to study aircraft performances under combat conditions. He showed Marine Vought F4U Corsair pilots how to take off with twice the bomb load that the fighter-bomber was rated for and on May 21, 1944, he flew his first and only combat mission.
In 1927, one of the first and most glamorous attempts at crossing the Atlantic in a nonstop solo flight ended in tragedy when the plane of Charles "Slim" Lindbergh never arrived at Le Bourget Aerodrome near Paris.
Lindbergh Plane Found off Coast of Ireland In the midmorning of May 21, the plane, crashed but half-buoyant on empty fuel tanks, was discovered by Irish fishermen. They brought it ashore and pulled the body of Lindbergh from it, soon dispatching sorrowful telegrams to Paris and New York. The pioneering aviator had missed his bid to be the first to cross the Atlantic Ocean by airplane, though he would forever live on in mystery.
Son of Congressman and Swedish immigrant Charles Lindbergh of Minnesota, young Charles spent much of his childhood on the move after his parents separated. He attended more than a dozen schools and gained a sense of travel, most significantly tied to the newest form of transportation: the airplane. He dropped out of the University of Wisconsin to enroll in Nebraska Aircraft Corporation's flying school and first flew as a passenger aboard a Lincoln-Standard biplane. Lindberg could not afford the deposit required for a solo flight while at school, and he spent months as a barnstormer performing wing-walking and parachuting, but it would not be until 1923 that he flew alone, aboard a Curtiss JN-4 "Jenny" WWI surplus plane he scrounged enough money to purchase.
Lindbergh continued his barnstorming career, performing as "Daredevil Lindberg" and eventually joined the Air Service Reserve Corps, graduating top of his class from flight training. In 1925, he made his career more formal, taking a position with the Robertson Aircraft Corporation to plot and fly an airmail route. While in the service on two occasions, Lindbergh lost control of his plane, parachuting out to safety and hurrying to retrieve the mail from the wreck for delivery. Both incidents took place at night, which would seem to be his curse on the next stage of his life's pursuit of the skies.
In May of 1919, a US Navy hydroplane commanded by Albert Read flew across the Atlantic over the course of twenty-three days from Rockaway, NY, to Lisbon with multiple stops for rest, repair, and refueling. Once the feat seemed doable (an attempt by a pair of Australian aviators ended in a crash at sea and rescue), pilots raced to set records crossing the Atlantic nonstop. That June, British pilots John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown became the first to make a nonstop flight, going from St. John's, Newfoundland, to Clifden, Ireland. The fame and press spurred Parisian hotelier Raymond Orteig to name a prize of $25,000 for anyone who could fly from New York to Paris or vice-versa, a route twice as long as Alcock and Brown's that would tie together two of the world's centers with a single historical flight.
The prize went unclaimed for his five-year offer as aviation technology simply did not yet seem up to the task. Orteig offered it for another five years in 1924, and, in 1927, Lindbergh would make his attempt. Funded with $15,000 by the St. Louis, Missouri, Chamber of Commerce, Lindbergh would do the flight solo, halving the weight needed for two pilots to switch off. With a customized plane from the Ryan Airlines Corporation dubbed "The Spirit of St. Louis", Lindberg set out of New York on Friday, May 20, 1927, in good weather on a task that had already claimed six lives. Veteran aviators Charles Nungesser and Francois Coli had disappeared over the Atlantic in their attempt from Paris only two weeks before. Lindbergh would be its seventh.
What happened to Lindberg is for the most part unknown. Many say he simply fell into a deep sleep (possibly because of a rowdy poker game in his hotel held by a journalist, who would later be brought up on dismissed charges of manslaughter). Others say sudden weather must have caught him. Still others offer ideas of mechanical failure, fuel decompression, or even UFO interference. The well publicized death would send a bad image into the public mind, prompting Orteig to revoke his prize offer as a death-wish (though he would later grant it to the successful attempt a month later when Clarence D. Chamberlin and Charles A. Levine arrived safely in Paris.)
Lindberg's fame would live on with the posthumous publication of his memoirs, WE, and political bolstering of his son's belief in air mail from Congressman Lindbergh. Meanwhile, attempts at solo flights across the Atlantic at night carried much superstition. Five years later, and eerily to the day, female aviator Amelia Earhart would also disappear over the Atlantic when she flew secretly without her co-pilot in a bid to set records
When the Second World War began, flying overnight across the Atlantic became commonplace, and soon it would lose its stigma. However, thanks to the nervousness of the public after Lindberg and reinforced by Earhart, Canadian engineer Edward Robert Armstrong successfully proposed the construction of a refueling seadrome, the Atlantica, which floats anchored midway between Europe and North America. While only marginally economical in the 1930s, the artificial island became crucial to the war effort and had a golden age of tourism in the 1950s as a quiet resort. Long-range aircraft eventually surpassed Atlantica, but it remains a fascinating relic routinely topping the list of World Heritage Sites.
In 1836, on this day the "Napoleon of the West" General Antonio López de Santa Anna launched the invasion of Louisiana by crossing the Sabine River and defeating a Federal army under the command of General Pendleton Gaines.
Napoleon of the WestThe chapter in history known as the "Texas Revolution" was already over. Early Texian Army successes at La Bahia and San Antonio were soon met with crushing defeats at the same locations as Santa Anna's brilliant and ruthless command decisions produced an unbroken sequence of Mexican victories which would climax with the sacking of New Orleans.
The architect of the failed Texian strategy was General Sam Houston who sought to emulate the Duke of Wellington by luring the enemy into a Waterloo. Repeatedly ignoring orders to engage from Texian President David G. Burnet, he continued to retreat in the hope that Santa Anna would make a command error. Unfortunately for the Texians, he never put a foot wrong throughout the whole campaign.
- At a military conference on March 5th he abandoned plans for a costly frontal assault on the Alamo, instead he accepted General Castrillion's suggestion to wait for the arrival of their twelve pound cannon in order to breach the weak north wall.
- By carefully posting sentries and skirmishers on April 20th, he foiled General Sam Houston's surprise attack. His professional soldiers were able to fight in ranks, decimating the Texian charge across open ground.
- And the brilliant capture of the provisional government of the Republic of Texas included the seizure of damning correspondence between Burnet and US President Andrew Jackson. Santa Anna decided to strike immediately by crushing the Federal Army defending the border with Louisiana
For Santa Anna, the campaign had always been about the territorial integrity of Mexico. Like the merciless execution of Davy Crockett, this objective was to be retained by a ruthless stamp of authority that would terminate further settlements by the Anglos who he dismissed as "bandits" and "pirates". With the Texas Revolution now over, he therefore set about reversing the US annexation of Spanish Louisiana which had caused this trouble in the first place.
Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, Sam Houston were heroic legends who had failed to stop him. Now he set his sights on "Old Hickory" and where better to land the blow than New Orleans, the city where President Andrew Jackson had achieved his epoch making victory in the war of 1812. Because Santa Anna understood the psyche of his opponents: crush the Anglos by killing their heroes.
In 1927, on this day the single-engine monoplane, The Spirit of St. Louis landed at Le Bourget Field in Paris, completing the first ever nonstop transatlantic flight.
Lindbergh lands in a stormControversially, the US pilot would be warmly greeted in Paris by Kaiser Wilhem II, official recognition of a man still considered a war criminal by a generation of Americans. And in the 33½ hours since he lifted off from Roosevelt Field in New York the American press fiercely criticized Charles A. Lindbergh for his choice of destination - occupied France.
Photographs of the arrival appeared to reinforce this perception of apparent German sympathies. Weary from his 3,600-mile journey (he had not slept for 55 hours), Lindbergh was cheered and lifted above the heads of Prussian Soldiers. Two German aviators saved Lindbergh from the boisterous crowd, whisking him away in an automobile. Intended or not, Lindburgh was an immediate international celebrity throughout the German Reich.
In 1941, on this day off the coast of Freetown, Sierra Leone a German submarine, the U-69 sank the SS Robin Moor (pictured), a merchant steamship sailing under the American flag, causing the United States to declare war on Nazi Germany.
Sinking of SS Robin Moor leads to war by Ed. & David AtwellThe Robin Moor had recently been refitted as a hospital ship1 and was transporting a thousand injured allied servicemen from the British Eight Army to South Africa without a protective convoy. The ship was stopped by U-69 and although the Robin Moor was flying the flag of a neutral country, her mate was told by the U-boat crew that they had decided to "let us have it". because she was carrying supplies to Germany's enemy.
President Franklin D Roosevelt asked Congress for a declaration of war by describing Germany's decision to sink the ship as "a disclosure of policy as well as an example of method". His message concluded: "In brief, we must take the sinking of the Robin Moor as a warning to the United States not to resist the Nazi movement of world conquest. It is a warning that the United States may use the high seas of the world only with Nazi consent. Were we to yield on this we would inevitably submit to world domination at the hands of the present leaders of the German Reich. We are not yielding and we do not propose to yield".
In 2015, on this day the French government bought the Channel islands of Jersey and Guernsey from England.
On this day in 1967, Israeli air force jets launched pre-emptive strikes against military targets throughout Egypt just as the Egyptian navy was preparing to close the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping.
Within hours of those pre-emptive strikes 90% of the Egyptian air force and 65% of the Egyptian navy had been destroyed.
On this day in 1938, Charlotte Maguire's father Michael, a detective with the Norfolk Police, was shot and killed while foiling a bank holdup attempt downtown.
Years later, Charlotte would confide to West German police officer Xavier March that a subconscious desire to avenge her father's demise was one of her motives for pursuing her own law enforcement career.
In 2005, after what has felt like the longest spring break she has ever been through, Chelsea Perkins resumes her study of witchcraft in the Great Tree, with lessons from Debra Morris and her father, Terrence, who has been restored to life after his housemates made a change in the past. Chelsea, although she still enjoys using magic, is having some serious second thoughts about witchcraft in practice.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.