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

June 1

In 1812, on this fateful day U.S. President James Madison asked the Congress to declare war on the United Kingdom.

The Great War of 1812In the foolish words of his predecessor Thomas Jefferson "The acquisition of Canada this year, as far as the neighborhood of Quebec, will be a mere matter of marching, and will give us the experience for the attack on Halifax, the next and final expulsion of England from the American continent". But instead Madison had begun a bloody military conflict between the United States of America and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, its North American colonies and its Indian allies.

Although some form of resumed armed struggle was always likely after 1783, the War of 1812 (or something closely resembling it) would not have been possible without the rise of Napoleon. At a stroke his ill-fated bid to master Europe eliminated French involvement from the continent and also drove Great Britain towards certain expedient measures on the high seas that brought her into direct conflict with her former colonies. Nevertheless, as Madison spoke to Congress, the British were locked in a titanic struggle on the Spanish Peninsula and therefore London refused to be distracted, taking the harshly pragmatic view that dealing with the Yanks would have to wait .. even if this meant that British North America was temporarily occupied.

Although sound military judgments were taken in Washington, the course of the war was changed by a number of highly significant decision most importantly to send the militia over the border. Within two years most of British North America was indeed occupied and after the Six Days' Campaign led to the fall of Paris a wrathful Her Majesty's Government sent Wellington and his victorious army over the Atlantic Ocean to set matters straight. But still there would be no opportunity for both sides to put the genie back in the bottle. Because even as Wellington landed on Long Island, Napoleon was making his escape from Elba. And New England separatists were gathering in Hartford. The Great War of 1812 had entered its second phase...

President Obama's prospects of winning a second term were wrecked by a huge scandal that hit home to white working swing voters and prevented him from launching a major immigration policy initiative that would have kicked the GOP's legs from under them.

June 1st, 2012 - Wheels begin to fall off the Obama CampaignIn order to win the nomination Mitt Romney had to convince the Party that he was not a RINO; forced to run to the right he nevertheless resisted the pressure to play the Immigration Card but he did advocate self-deportation. And now that the primary season was finally over the RNC needed New Mexico Governor Susana Martínez to balance the ticket.

But when she declined for personal reasons (fearing a repeat of what the MSM did to Sarah Palin), the spotlight moved to Florida Senator Marco Rubio who urged the Party to compromise on the DREAM Act to keep from alienating Hispanic voters. Nevertheless during the first week of June, President Obama had planned to seize the initiative by announcing that his Administration would stop deporting young illegal aliens who match certain criteria previously proposed under the DREAM ACT.

However this announcement never quite happened because of a Solandra-type meltdown of the recreated auto-mobile company, General Motors. Because in the first week of June two-hundred thousand plus blue collar workers were pink slipped, crony capitalists linked to the President took the blame and the MSM ripped into Obama instead.

Given the discouraging surrounding circumstances of the British Raj Joe Nehru's funeral was a desperately muted affair for the ageing leadership of the Indian National Congress.

26th May, 1964 - Joe Nehru passes awayIt appeared that at least for the foreseeable future the rise of Japanese expansionism had surely done for their dreams of self-determination, even the late great anti-imperialist George Orwell had conceded that point in his famous essay the Lion and the Unicorn ("Had any Labour government come into office with a clear majority and then proceeded to grant India anything that could truly be called independence, India would simply have been absorbed by Japan, or divided between Japan and Russia").

Because after the British bases in Pearl Harbour, Hong Kong and then Singapore had fallen like dominoes, the British Empire was forced into signing a non-aggression territory with the Japanese. Of course had the British not had the chance to play the trump card of offering Middle Eastern Oil then the Japanese would surely would have rolled-up the entire British possessions in the Far East as they had with the French and the Dutch empires. Instead their all-conquering forces sat on the same border that Orwell himself patrolled as a policeman as he recounted in his biopic Burmese days. And in the short term the best chance of Indian Independence seem to lay with a Fascist uprising led by Subhas Chandra Bose' Azid Hind and his "Free India" Movement.

Unless he was there in disguise (always possible) Bose was not present at the funeral he was on the run from British Justice (read "hangman"), however instead there were a couple of representatives from Austin, Sacramento, Boston, Washington and Richmond. Maybe sometime soon they would actually start talking together as a group and then who knows where that progressive conversation might lead, perhaps even American influence might come to bear. Or perhaps it was just idle talk, because after all, Americans did like to talk it up even if they couldn't get their own act together "from sea to shining sea" across their own continent.

But until then the Indians had to tolerate a British protectorate and the British had to tolerate the ever-present threat of a belligerent Empire inside their Empire. Much like the British Raj itself the Anglo-Japanese co-existence arrangement seemed to somehow work up to a point, and some cynics even began to wonder why the English hadn't allied themselves with the Japanese in the first place. After all, Lord Mountbatten had with little protest come to accept his wife's long-term affair with Joe Nehru, indeed not only taking it as an Englishman in that sense, it was rumoured that he was afflicted by the Vice Anglais and had participated during the sordid encounters in his own Governor's mansion. And yet personal corruption was a given because nothing was ever quite what it seemed in the British Raj and you could never really tell who was getting screwed. Other than the God-fearing masses of course, they pretty much got it in the ribs whenever a new hierarchical order changed gear.

For all the wrong reasons that as usual guided his faulty decision-making processes that damned fool Winston Churchill resigned his post as First Lord of the Admiralty. Because it lacked the imperial grandeur of his dangerously ambitious plans - always rooted in over-bold adventurism - the old drunk could not see that the ending of the Royal Navy blockade of Nazi Germany was not only an epic master-stroke of strategic genius, it was the key to the Western Allies actually winning the Second World War.

1st June, 1940 - Winston ResignsPerhaps it was just sour grapes from missing out on the top job during the recent leadership crisis. After all when Neville Chamberlain resigned, various Constitutional difficulties had to be delicately circumvented in order to keep Churchill out office. But fortunately for the Western Allies our Greatest Prime Minister Lord Halifax had been appointed instead by King Edward VIII quite literally just hours before the Wehrmacht were about to invade the Low Countries. Obviously this massive escalation of hostilities would have ended hopes of an armistice, but the real underlying significance of the Phony War was only really understood by Halifax. Because for the last nine months Germany had become so utterly reliant upon Soviet resources that the British blockade had inadvertently brought Hitler and Stalin together, in fact alarmingly close to a four-power Axis Pact. This back-firing military strategy even ran the risk of a Battle of Britain, perhaps even a German invasion of the Home Isles. After all what logic was there in the British fighting to the last man when Hitler and Stalin both clearly mad or evil or both could be fighting it out to the bitter end instead? Perhaps also what would be the point of destroying Greater Germany only to leave European Security acutely vulnerable to the Soviets?

And the Soviet in-roads into Eastern Europe were hardly in the Fuerher's thinking as he languished in jail as a political prisoner, sketching out his radical ideas for restoring German greatness that led to the writing of Mein Kampf. Finland, the Baltic States, Romania,.. these countries had historic connections with Germany, some shared Nordic heritage and some even had large Deutschevolk populations. And of course the anti-capitalist alliance of necessity was a cause of deep division in Germany with Hitler embarrassingly forced to evacuate ethnic Germans from areas of Eastern Europe that were subject to Soviet aggression. Only Halifax realized that as soon as the blockade ended, the two incompatible ideologies would likely clash and Hitler revert to type, free to carry out his own plans for grabbing Lebensraum in the East. And so Halifax's brokering of an armistice was a breathtakingly brilliant move on the chess board, proving the very reason for why the House of Lords was so absolutely necessary to the survival of the British state - a calm set of blue-blooded aristocrats who had the sound judgement lacked by popular politicians and their inherent short-term thinking. Hurrah for the Class System, another battle won on the play-grounds of England's public schools.

It is 1560 , and King Francois the Second's wife, Queen Mary, has just given birth to their son, the future King Francois III of France. An installment from the Happy Endings thread

Happy Endings Part 27
Mary, Queen of France
Forty three years later, as Queen Elizabeth of England is dying, she refuses to ever consider that Catholic ruler of France as her heir. So the only other claimant is Edward Seymour, the son of Lady Catherine Grey, sister of Lady Jane Grey (not to be confused with the Edward Seymour who had been Lord Protector for the child king Edward VI).

England is now ruled by the House of Seymour. Since the Seymours are devout Protestants, there is no Civil War, Glorious Revolution or Highland Stuart revolt. So the Seymours rule England to this day.

Meanwhile, back in France, Mary of France remains as queen mother until she dies of natural causes .. no longer bearing the name of Mary, Queen of Scots. Her son inherits Scotland, making him King of the unified kingdom. In September 2014, the Scots will vote on independence from France.

In 1926, on this day the 42nd Vice President of the United States Richard Schultz Schweiker was born in Norristown, Pennsylvania to Malcolm Alderfer and Blanche (née Schultz) Schweiker. Article from the Reagan wins in 1976 thread.

Birth of Vice President SchweikerHe served as Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania's 13th district before his election as United States Senator from Pennsylvania. But he came to national prominence for his service on the the "Church Committee" that looked into to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. In an interview on Face the Nation, he claimed the original investigation "was snuffed out before it even began" and that "the fatal mistake the Warren Commission made was to not use its own investigators, but instead to rely on the CIA and FBI personnel, which played directly into the hands of senior intelligence officials who directed the cover-up".

In 1976, Ronald Reagan made a serious challenge against President Gerald Ford for the Republican Party nomination for President of the United States. Immediately before the opening of the Republican National Convention, Reagan promised to name Schweiker-who had a moderate-to-liberal voting record in the Senate-as his candidate for Vice President to balance the ticket. This was regarded as a somewhat unusual move as Reagan had not yet won the nomination. In response, U.S. Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina encouraged a movement to draft Conservative U.S. Senator James L. Buckley of New York as the G.O.P. nominee.

But Reagan won the nomination on the first ballot by a razor-thin margin, becoming the first person to do take the nomination from an incumbent president since James Buchanan in 1856. And the Vice-Presidential nomination went to Schweiker, raising the possibility of further developments into the investigation of the Kennedy assassination...

In 1298, on this day the Livonian Order defeated the Residents of Riga and Grand Duchy of Lithuania on the banks of the Gauja River near the Turaida Castle.

Battle of TuraidaThe Grand Duke of Lithuania Vytenis was acting as commander of the invading army. Although the Livonians had the ascendancy, he had mounted a spirit counter-attack until his death at the hands of the Grand Master Bruno.

This decisive victory quickly extinguished all hopes of the alliance between Lithuania and Riga. A peace treaty was signed, bringing the civil war in Livonia to a peaceful conclusion.

In 1855, on this day Filibusterer William Walker, at the recommendation of his associate, professional confidence man Parker H. French, determined to turn on his supporters and go for the "bigger con" by enticing millionaire shipping magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt into supporting an American presence in Nicaragua.

William Walker Switches FundersWalker was born in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1824. He graduated from the University of Tennessee at fourteen, spent his teenage years traveling in Europe and studying medicine, and completed his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania at nineteen. He turned to law, practicing in Louisiana for a time before moving on to journalism and heading to California. There, he began his dream of "filibustering", creating new colonies for the United States out of the Latin American countries, as had been seen with Texas a generation before. Walker's first attempt was the Republic of Sonora, conquered from the western part of Mexico in 1853, but he was soon chased out by the Mexican Army. Back in California, he was arrested for breaking the Neutrality Act of 1794 (designed to halt privateering against France) but was acquitted and hailed as a conquering hero.

Meanwhile, war had broken out in Nicaragua. The ruling Legitimists held conservatively to power even though the more democratic Liberals had made great leaps in popularity. The Liberal president, Francisco Castellón, invited Walker to march on the Legitimists with their capital at Granada. Walker was careful not to break laws this time, signing a contract as a "colonist" and not acting through American power, which he confirmed through notification to the Federal attorney's office in San Francisco. Walker and a band of fifty-eight calling themselves the "American Phalanx" sailed from San Francisco through stormy weather, landing at Realejo, Nicaragua, where he was reinforced by hundreds more volunteers, many local and others foreigners who wished for adventure.

To fund the expedition, Walker had been given 20,000 dollars by Charles Morgan and Cornelius Garrison of the Accessory Transit Company, which they had bought out from under legendary businessman Cornelius Vanderbilt while he vacationed in Europe with his family. Vanderbilt's company had made tremendous amounts of money by controlling the key trade route to California during the Gold Rush by winning an overland contract with the Nicaraguan government. In exchange for this money, Walker would find a technicality to tear up the old contract and deliver a new contract to a new company owned by Morgan and Garrison. When Vanderbilt had heard of Morgan and Garrison's manipulations of stock and company rule, he sent them a telegram in 1853 reading, "Gentlemen: You have undertaken to cheat me. I won't sue you, for the law is too slow. I'll ruin you. Yours truly, Cornelius Vanderbilt".

Vanderbilt had crushed enemies before and was currently running the Collins Line shipping business into bankruptcy despite government subsidies. Walker had been put into contact with Garrison through close friend Edmund Randolph, but French suggested he side with the businessman with deeper pockets. Upon seizing the Legitimist capital on October 13, Walker sent a telegram to Vanderbilt volunteering a charter for a Nicaraguan Canal, a project Vanderbilt had dreamed of for years since George Law had already achieved a stagecoach route across Panama. Vanderbilt, who had been planning to demolish American government support for Walker through his influence, instead showed his support to President Franklin Pierce.

Walker, meanwhile, had made significant enemies in Central America. His diplomatic gestures to the surrounding countries had been successfully construed as preludes to further conquest. President Juan Rafael Mora of Costa Rica declared war upon Walker and called up allies among Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, and disenfranchised conservative Nicaraguans. Walker dispatched a preemptive invasion of Costa Rica, but was rebuffed and faced counter-invasion. The Allied Armies of Central America marched on Nicaragua, looking to end Vanderbilt's hopes of a canal. The businessman refused to be defeated and funded mercenaries while Walker invited reinforcements from across the American South. Despite a cholera outbreak, Walker's soldiers managed to hold Granada under siege until it was relieved and the 4,000-strong Allied army broken.

The war gave excellent pretense for further expansion, allowing Walker to march legally on each Costa Rica, then El Salvador, and finally Honduras. British Honduras (present-day Belize) was Walker's next thought of conquest, but Vanderbilt refused to fund such an expedition as it would spark war with Britain, who was already suspicious of such American activities in Central America after the 1850 Clayton-Bulwer Treaty forbade expansion there. Instead, Walker returned to his presidency in Granada and spearheaded Vanderbilt's Canal, making extensive use of prisoner labor. Walker died in 1874 after chronic bouts with malaria.

Upon the failure of the South to secede in the American Civil War, many wealthy Southerners fled to Walker's Great Granada, although Vanderbilt had encouraged Walker to maintain abolition when he suggested repealing it in 1856 and neutrality in the war, which proved the most money-making beyond the Union blockade. Vanderbilt became fixated with his canal, and routine visits to the harsh climate in the construction zone led to his death in 1867, one year before his wife. In the latter nineteenth century, renewed imperialism would make Granada American territory, along with Cuba, San Juan, and numerous Pacific islands. Armed revolutions plagued the region and drained American military resources until decolonization followed World War II.

In 1911, on the Harvard University baseball pitch twenty-two year old undergraduate Joseph P. Kennedy (pictured) was taught a humiliating but necessary lesson in the rules of responsibility, fidelity and honesty that framed the public service duties of the Kennedy family throughout the twentieth century.

Joe Kennedy denied his "H"He had failed to even get himself picked to ride the bench for a single game during his senior year. And so he was forced to resort to cheating in order to gain his coveted letter in varsity baseball.

He begged his father Pat Kennedy to forcefully exert his influential position as an East Boston boss. Wardheelers paid a visit to his son's sworn enemy, the pitcher and captain of the team Charles B. "Chick" McLaughlin. Chick planned to open a movie theatre after graduation, but he was advised that he would only be granted a city license if he put Joe into the team for the final game against Yale.

In the ninth inning, and with the home team leading "Navy" four to one, he suddenly asked his coach to put Kennedy in for the final play. But the coach insisted on observing the tradition which dictated that McLaughlin as captain should get the winning ball. It was a seminal lesson in sportsmanship that in a democracy of talent, some things just cannot be bought at any price.

In 1950, communist plans to re-unite the Koreas by force of arms collapsed after the sudden death of Joseph Stalin and the eternal president Kim Il-sung (pictured) was forced to stand down his fully mobilized army even though the troops were poised for invasion on the 38th paralell.

No Stalin
by Ed & Stan Brin
In Stalin's private view, war on the Korean Peninsula served the narrower interests of the Soviet Union rather than the whole Comintern. Because US involvement would withdraw troops from the European theatre, and on the flipside non-involvement would strike would boost Soviet prestige.

Yet Mao Zedong was rightly concerned about the possibility of a US-garrisoned client state on the Chinese border, prefering to remove Chiang Kai-shek from Taiwan before making a move across the 38th paralell.

Unaware that a final opportunity to confront the "asiatic hordes" had passed him by, Douglas MacArthur saw out his final posting as Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers (SCAP) in Japan before retiring in 1953.

Truman was narrowly re-elected in 1952, but during his second full-term he faced a new threat to the asian defence perimeter. Accused of "losing China" and "allowing" Soviet spies to steal atomic secrets he adopted the hardest possible stand on the communist insurgency in Indo-China.

In 2012, in the Q&A session that followed a campaign speech in Texas promoting greater self-government for the States, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal wisely refused to comment on the recent appearance of Davy Crockett on the $100 dollar bill.

Dreams of Self-GovernmentFor the February 2011 issue, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke had selected the Whig President, rather than the earlier and badly received design which included a monstrously sized image of Benjamin Franklin and the Liberty Bell. The decision marked the full rehabilitation of Crockett's reputation since the low point of the nineteen-sixties when budding history scholars such as Jeff Long likened the defenders of the Alamo to the Nazis labelling them "ignorant trigger-pulling white trash".

Of course Jindal was attempting to dodge the delicate patriot issues which had featured in John McCain and Barack Obama's 2000 and 2008 campaigns. McCain of course had come a cropper in the South Carolina Primary by making an unguarded remark about the Confederate Flag. And Michelle Obama had spoken of how her husbands' campaign had made her feel proud of the country for the first time.

Instead of getting drawn on the patriot issue, Jindal promised a new focus on the Constitution encouraged by the Tea-Partiers, accompanied with a return to the Reagonomics of the late nineteen seventies. Because during his successful run for the White House in 1976, Ronald Reagan promised to return $90 billion in welfare expenditures and programs to the states. And in his 1980 re-election the Gipper warned that the federal government showed signs of having grown beyond the consent of the governed. Jindal had aligned his own programme to this initiative by refusing to take all of the Louisiana allocation of the 2008/2009 bail-out funds arguing instead that they would create a huge deficit and unnecessary taxes.

In 1941, with the Fall of the Greek Island of Crete, German mastery of the continent of Europe was complete. And equally significantly, Hitler's focus had shifted from East to South. Military planners now confronted the daunting task of invading Vichy Syria. Weakly garrisoned by only thirty-eight thousand French soldiers without modern equipment of air cover, the real challenge would prove to be assembling sufficient landing craft for transporting the Axis forces.

The Final Solution arrives in PalestineAccording to the original military schedule conceived throughout the spring, Operation Barbarossa was due to launch just three weeks later, on June 22nd. But instead, due to Mussolini's military fiascoes, considerable German forces had been committed to Southern Europe and Northern Africa to resue the Italians from certain defeat.

And at some point during Operation Marita, Hitler had decided against a full frontal attack on the Soviet Union, now favouring a pincer movement after a drive through the Middle East. With Arab Oil reserves in German hands the Wehrmacht would be threatening the Soviet Union's southern flank.

"A free hand to eradicate every last Jew from Palestine and the Arab world" ~ Grand MuftiSoon enough, Molotov would hurry back to Berlin with an urgent request to join the Tripartite Pact. And quietly dropped were the demands from the previous November which has so outraged Hitler that he had ordered Ribbentrop to make no reply. Because Stalin had decided to drop the pretense that the Soviet Union was the military equal of Nazi Germany.

Also in Berlin was the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Mohammad Amin al-Husayni who had succeeded in convincing Hitler (pictured) that the Zionist Conspiracy was of more immediate threat to the Aryan Future than the Communist Doctrine. And whilst Hitler hated both in equal measure, he had quite suddenly grasped a new linkage. Accordingly, Hitler issued Adolf Eichmann with orders to dispatch an advanced group of Einsatz Commandoes to Greece. Because the Fuhrer had realised that for the Final Solution to be Final, Nazi Germany would have to expunge Jewish Civilization from the Holy Land. Jerusalem, and then on to Moscow.

In 1980, faced with a mounting drumbeat of calls that he suspend his re-election campaign, President Rockefeller delivers a nationally-televised address.The Rockefeller Bombshell by Eric Lipps
"My fellow Americans," he informs viewers, "in recent weeks there have been calls for me to withdraw from the presidential race, due to issues regarding to my health.

I had been reluctant to heed such calls, many of which came from supporters of my opponent in the Republican Party primaries, Gov. Ronald Reagan. However, I considered it my duty to consult with my physicians to seek their opinion as to my wisest course of action.

I must now state with regret that based on those discussions, I have decided that I will no longer be a candidate for re-election to the office I am proud to hold. Although my doctors tell me that barring any unforeseen developments I should be able to serve the remainder of my present term, they warn that the cardiac condition for which I have been undergoing treatment is likely to worsen over time. In my opinion, this presents an unacceptable risk to this nation in years to come.

I therefore announce that effective this evening, I am suspending my presidential campaign. I wish to thank all those who have supported me up until now, and to express my hope that they will support in my place the Vice-President, Paul Laxalt. I am confident that if nominated and elected, he will serve this nation as capably in the White House as he has done in other positions. "

Rockefeller's address is a bombshell. Many people are shocked that he has chosen to bow out; many more are amazed that in doing so he has explicitly endorsed the much more conservative Laxalt. There will be speculations that such an endorsement had been extorted from him as a condition of Laxalt's endorsing his letter stating his readiness to return to office under the reinstatement provisions of the Twenty-fifth Amendment. The truth, however, is less sinister: after four years of serving with him, Rockefeller has grown personally comfortable with Laxalt despite their political differences, while he dislikes Reagan.

In 70,896 BG (Before G'Khresh), the last native hominid on the planet Sol III died.Extinction Event by Eric LippsThe species had spread across its much of its native planet before its population was reduced below sustainable levels apparently by climatic changes which included severe drought. Also brought to extinction, apparently several thousand years earlier, was a related species distinguished by heavier musculature and bone structure, including prominent eyebrow ridges. Both types appear to have had only primitive technology, including fire and crude stone tools. When explorers from the Empire arrived thirty years ago, the most intelligent creatures on the planet were oceangoing mammals whose environment and lack of hands precluded their development of technology.

In 1941, on this day Soviet bombers raided Leipzig in the first of three consecutive days of air strikes on the historic Sazon city. That same day Red Army infantry troops entered Stettin proper after three days' heavy fighting on the outskirts of the city.


In 1984, Yuri Andropov died of complications from the stroke he had suffered twelve days earlier. His passing would touch off a political crisis which rocked the Soviet Union to its core and fatally undermined the Red Army's ability to prosecute the war with the United States and China.

 - Yuri Andropov
Yuri Andropov

On this day in 1940, German resistance at Maaseik collapsed.


On this day in 1968, Soviet premier Leonid Brezhnev made a televised address defending the Kremlin's decision to use nuclear weapons on Birmingham.                                    

Soviet Premier
Soviet Premier - Leonid Brezhnev
Leonid Brezhnev
Fighter Ace

On this day in 1967, anti-government riots rocked Cairo as tens of thousands of Egyptians took to the streets to protest the Nasser regime's handling of the war with Israel.

That same day Syrian air force officer Hafez al-Assad, the highest-scoring Arab fighter ace of the Sinai War, was killed in a crash shortly after takeoff.

Fighter Ace - Hafez al-Assad
Hafez al-Assad

On this day in 2017 filming began for the third movie in Jerry Bruckheimer's CSI franchise.


On this day in 2016, Jerry Bruckheimer's second CSI feature film was theatrically released in the United States and Canada.                                                                                  

 - Jerry Bruckenheimer
Jerry Bruckenheimer
In 1927, Harry Houdini finally made contact from the Other Side to his wife. He warned her to convert to a little-known Buddhist sect before it was too late. Mrs. Houdini's conversion set off a wave of interest in Buddhism that swept America the rest of the decade.
In 4561, Siam rejoined the Chinese empire after its brief rebellion. Siamese forces were immediately dispatched to join in the battle of Hanoi.
In 1999, King Arthur II, with victory sounding her trumpet on every front, retires to the Welsh countryside for a few days to rest from his grueling schedule. Queen Gwen accompanies him, as does the psychiatrist, Dr. Archibald Mordred. Dr. Mordred has a fresh supply of Brightol for the king, which he has started taking in ever-increasing doses; he attributes all his recent success to the confidence that the drug has given him. It is in the euphoric state induced immediately after taking the drug that Queen Gwen tells Arthur, "My beloved majesty, I have news even greater than our war fortunes to tell you. You shall have an heir". Arthur is overcome with happiness at the news of his queen's pregnancy, and they plan the announcement to the nation together. As Queen Gwen prepares for bed, though, Dr. Mordred approaches her and asks to speak with her privately. She sends her servants away, and asks, "What is it that you wish to say, doctor?" The psychiatrist hesitantly begins, "Your Majesty, I have access to all of the king's medical records. It's never come up before, of course - I mean, he's only been king for a year, after all - but..". The queen impatiently demands that the doctor get whatever he plans to say out. "Well, Your Majesty, the king... he's sterile. He cannot have children". The queen regards him coldly for a moment, then says, "Then, you have been witness to a miracle, doctor. And you shall not speak of this again". Mordred withdraws from her withering presence, conflicted as to what he should do next.
In 1891, General Theodore Monteith attacks Topeka, Kansas, plowing into the city from the west, easily driving the few defenders out of his way. However, as the last of his column entered the city, he was surrounded by the superior numbers of the Kansan reinforcements, and started fighting a desperate battle against overwhelming odds. As the sun set on Topeka, Monteith had suffered almost 4,000 casualties, and "Sockless" Jerry Simpson called again for his surrender.Monteith read Simpson's demand at the same time that a messenger brought him the news he had been waiting for. "It would be imprudent for me to surrender at this time," Monteith wrote back to Simpson, "when rescue is just at hand". As Simpson read this, panic broke out in the back of the Kansan lines - Colonel Mark Wainwright was arriving at Topeka with 30,000 militiamen drawn from the states surrounding Kansas, and was obliterating the rebels who stood between him and his commanding officer. By midnight, Simpson and the rest of the Farmers Council were forced to abandon Topeka and move west with their wounded soldiers.

In 1970, as reports come in regarding the casualties from Operation Linebacker, already estimated as over 200,000 and continuing to climb, Soviet premier Leonid Brezhnev informs President Nixon that the he is withdrawing his agreement to Nixon's proposed summit conference on atmospheric nuclear testing, which had been scheduled for later that month. 'The Soviet people cannot negotiate with a leader who has been willing to resort to mass murder on a grand scale against the populace of a fraternal socialist state,' Brezhnev informs a furious Nixon.


How dare that (expletives deleted) Red (expletive deleted) lecture me about mass murder!' Nixon rages to Vice-President Agnew and aides H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman. 'Compared to what Stalin did, Linebacker's a (expletive deleted) slap on the (expletive deleted) wrist!'

On this day in 2007, the owner of the loft which was the site of the notorious Giraffe In A Loft incident was interviewed by the BBC about his ordeal and his mental breakdown. During the interview, he revealed that prior to calling Scotland Yard he had tried to throw the giraffe out of his house only to have it return an hour later bringing a horde of elephants with it.


In 1821, capitalizing on the temporary weakening of French central authority caused by the death of the Emperor Napoleon on May 5, Bourbonists in Spain rise in rebellion against the 'usurper,' Napoleon's brother Joseph Bonaparte. Heavy fighting erupts in the capital, which falls to the rebels within days, forcing Bonaparte to flee by ship. As word spreads, rebellion does also, until the entire country is aflame.

Technically, the ruler of France and its empire is now the Emperor's son, who has been crowned Napoleon II.


However, the real power is Prime Minister Metternich - and initially, more concerned with consolidating his hold on authority at home than with foreign affairs, then Prime Minister takes no action, trusting the French troops already stationed in Spain to put down the uprising. This will prove to be one of his rare mistakes, for the force on hand is inadequate; before his death, Napoleon had been gradually shifting troops from what had seemed a pacified Spain to other parts of his far-flung empire, including the Polish border of Metternich's native Austria.

In 1961, General Fulgiencio Batista, deposed by Fidel Castro's revolutionaries in 1959, returns to Havana aboard a U.S. Air Force transport. That evening, Raul Castro is discovered hanged in his cell at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, where he had been held since his capture on April 28 during the occupation of Havana. Although the official verdict is suicide, President Kennedy does not believe it, and is furious: the prisoner's demise means he can no longer be used against his brother, who remains at large.

 - Raul Castro
Raul Castro

In 1807, French 'First Citizen' Napoleon Bonaparte announces the creation of a new national police, the Surete Nationale. The new agency will quickly acquire a fearsome reputation as a political secret police force.

In 1980, Larry Underwood's 'Baby can you dig your man' hit the US billboards. At a rented Malibu Beach House, the party started in earnest.

In 1979, Rhodesia formally ended nearly 90 years of white minority rule and declared it will be known as Zimbabwe-Rhodesia. In the absence of any official ceremony crowds of revellers, mainly black, gathered in the streets of Salisbury and surrounding townships at midnight to mark the change. But although the name may have changed and there are 12 black faces in the cabinet under a new, black prime minister - Bishop Muzorewa - much will stay the same. The man in overall command of the military will remain in his post, as will those in charge of the army, air force and police. The jobs of top civil servants - all white - are protected under the new constitution.

Ian Smith
Ian Smith -

Within six months, the situation would be radically changed. A Marxist leader, Robert Mugabe would be installed in Government House. And he would have delivered on his promise to publicly hang Ian Smith in the capital city.

In 1949, Arthur Miller, comic genius, premieres his masterpiece, Life of a Salesman, the uproariously hilarious send up of life on the cutting edge of door-to-door sales. People literally fell down in the aisles from laughter during the show, and ticket proceeds made Miller a fortune. He showed that he was no one-trick pony by following up Salesman with the wacky slapstick antics of The Misfits and After the Fall before turning to the slightly more cerebral Ibsen parody, A Buddy to Everybody. When Miller's wife, bombshell Norma Jean Mortensen, said that, 'A man who can make you laugh is a girl's best friend,' joke book sales across the U.S. skyrocketed.
In 2017, the international expedition to the Pindar-Asaki comet is launched from the ESA spaceport in French Guiana. With cutting-edge equipment aboard, the highly trained team of scientists hopes to discover where this mysterious comet came from, and how it appeared so mysteriously in our solar system. The controversial decision to issue each member of the crew cutting-laser handguns is made so that they will be able to shear pieces of the comet away if they manage to land on it. Mission Commander Eileen Patterson says to the world before leaving earth orbit, 'With this mission, we extend the boundaries of humanity's knowledge further than our ancestors could have dreamed.' Unknown to most of the earth, the Pindar-Asaki mission is also carrying 4 nuclear warheads to place on the comet, because it has been determined that it is on a collision course with earth.
In Hellenic Year 3271, the climax of the Hellenic struggle against the Persians occurred at Marathon with the Athenian defeat of Artaphernes, who had attacked before reinforcements could reach him from King Darius. To forestall any future attempts to wage war against Hellenic territory, an elite group of Spartans, Athenians and Thebans worked their way to the Persian capitol and assassinated King Darius, himself. 'Let no man set himself above others in your land,' the assassins told the Persian Prime Minister, Kalixerxes. With a fear of Hellenic assassins in their hearts, nobles across Persia fled east, and the world's largest democracy was born in Asia.
In 1964, the Nation of Islam sued to reclaim Malcolm Little 's home in Queens, which they claimed belonged to the organization. The suit was successful, and Malcolm and his family were ordered to vacate the house. Since his release from an experimental prison at Norfolk, Massachusetts in 1952, Little had been a reluctant assistant to the firebrand minister, his brother Reginald X. Both had been expelled from the NOI for encouraging Muslims to 'kill some crackers', a desire Malcolm had shared with the examining officer during the draft.
In 1980, a group of dissident Iranians managed to free the American hostages being held in the embassy in Tehran and spirit them to waiting US forces in the Persian Gulf. President Jimmy Carter flew to greet the hostages personally, as his approval ratings soared with America's joy. Republican candidate Ronald Reagan grudgingly rejoiced at the hostages' return, although it spelled the end of his hopes of capturing the presidency.
In 1779, George Washington, leading general of the rebel forces in North America, is tried and hung by the British commander, Lord Cornwallis. The rebellion is swiftly routed afterwards. British spy Benedict Arnold is given a commission and lands by His Majesty for his part in capturing the contemptible Washington.
In 490BC,, the overwhelmingly powerful forces of Persia defeated the Greek fighters at Marathon, effectively ending the Greek classical age.
In 1988, on this day William Westmoreland published his auto-biographical work Chunnel : No End of a Lesson. The book gave a somewhat one-sided account of the Channel Tunnel Crisis of 1982. The casus belli was English Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's decision to nationalize the Channel Tunnel, refusing to pay financial compensation to the Confederate States of America who had built and paid for it. President Westmoreland ordered CS 101st Airborne Division to scramble from their bases on the Rhine and march to Sangatte to seize back the Confederate property. The background was quite simple; fundamentally England was a bankrupt nation. When Westmoreland had decided not to bankroll the north sea oil field development program, he had inadvertently pushed the Iron Lady into a corner from which she chose to come out fighting. Whilst England was ultimately defeated at Sangatte, the peace settlement included development funding for the North Sea and Thatcher became a cause celebre and rallying point for European nationalists. You could say the Confederacy had won the battle and lost the war.

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