It is June 22nd 2012, and Judy Garland has just celebrated her 90th birthday. Many people were pleasantly surprised, since they had expected her to die of a drug overdose for years before. In fact, the popular joke was that newspapers had a standing headline that read "Judy takes overdose".
Friends of JudyShe fooled them all, though, when she was able to kick the habit thanks to a drug rehab program, at the urging of her husband Mickey Deans. She had suffered an especially severe overdose on June 22, 1969, which was enough of a warning to help her beat her addiction. As part of her recovery, she became a professional drug counselor, using her own experience to help others.
When she died, there was discreet mourning among gays, who called themselves Friends of Dorothy .. based on the character who had made her famous in "The Wizard of Oz". It had to be discreet, since gays were well used to persecution .. includes the frequent police raids on the Stonewall tavern in New York, a famous gay gathering place. The police were there on schedule, and the patrons had to flee before the wake was completed.
In 1688, on this day James Francis Edward Stuart (the future monarch King James III) was born to the reigning king and his Roman Catholic second wife, Mary of Modena.
Birth of King James III
By Ed, Jeff Provine & Jared MyersThe continuing primacy of Stuart authority had been firmly established during the Bishops' War of 1639. To nip that rebellion in the bud, his grandfather Charles I had marched the English Army to the Northern Border and mercilessly crushed a larger force of Scottish Covenanters. The most significant aspects of his stoicism was an ommission; he had not troubled himself to seek the permission of both Houses of the Parliament.
But by the time he ascended the throne in 1701, the power struggle had moved on, and James III realised that the time for absolutism had well and truly passed. A bold visionary, he would drive a radical process of modernisation, devolving power not just to the Imperial Parliament, but also to the assemblies of the American Colonies. And in so doing, he would build a glorious future, protecting his grandfather's colourful legacy by ensuring that the flavour of British Society remained forever embued with the unique Scottish flamboyance of the House of Stuart.
In 1190, on this day the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa took off his heavy armour suite before bathing in the Göksu River in Anatolia, a sensible precaution that enabled him to make it safely back to the river bank when a fast current very nearly swept him away.
Frederick Barbarossa nearly drownsHis survival was a good omen for the King's Crusade, a prestigious joint military adventure planned with his fellow monarchs Richard the Lionheart and King Philip-II of France. Due to the personal commitment of the three monarchs, his premature death would surely have compromised the entire mission. Instead, the German and Hungarian Armies arrived intact in Acre where they linked up with the English and French forces that had travelled separately to Palestine.
The arrival of such an immense Crusader Army virtually guaranteed the capture of Jerusalem and the eventual defeat of Saladin. But unexpecedly, the expulsion of Islamic Forces from the near East would also enable the Italian City-States to maintain their trade with the Levant. Ironically, this counter-productive outcome would constrain the further development of the nation-states of north-western Europe.
In 1840, in what is commonly called the greatest tragedy of the nineteenth century, Queen Victoria of England was assassinated by eighteen-year-old Edward Oxford.
Queen Victoria Assassinated She was only twenty-one years old, newly married, and was four months pregnant (a revelation that came out scandalously during Oxford's trial). News of the death of the beloved queen set England into a time of mourning as it had never seen, and it created a new environment of politics as the crown shifted to her uncle, Ernest Augustus I of Hanover.
A new story by Jeff ProvineVictoria was born May 24, 1819, and was fifth in line for the throne. However, a series of bad luck producing heirs gradually brought her closer in the line of succession until she was told at age eleven that she would succeed her uncle, William IV, whose daughters had died in infancy. The morose young girl replied, "If I am to be queen, then I shall be good". Upon the death of William IV, eighteen-year-old Victoria became queen. Her mother, with whom both William and Victoria had strained relations, was to act as regent in the case that Victoria was still a minor, but William declared on his seventy-first birthday, "I trust to God that my life may be spared for nine months longer.". rather than place the affairs of the crown someone he saw as "incompetent" and "surrounded by evil advisers".
The king made good on the hope, dying on June 20, 1837, a month after Victoria had come of age. She became very popular with her subjects and especially with the Whigs in Parliament under Prime Minister Lord Melbourne, who guided the impressionable Victoria in her early days. In 1839, political upheaval tossed aside the Whigs as the Radicals and Tories led to Melbourne's downfall. That October, Victoria gained a new influence as she proposed to Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, whom her uncle, the King of Belgium, hoped she would marry. The two had fallen deeply in love, and their short time together is often portrayed as the subject of numerous tragedies both on stage and film; notably, 2009's The Young Victoria won seven Oscars.
On a visit to her mother (famously not in St. James Palace) while riding in her carriage with Prince Albert, Edward Oxford fired two shots from a pistol, killing Victoria with one and wounding Albert with another. Oxford was quickly seized by the crowd that had gathered to see the Queen and nearly killed before Her Majesty's guard managed to drag him away. He would be convicted and executed for high treason in July of 1840 with many calling to renew the punishment of being drawn and quartered, which hadn't been done in England since 1681. Although the government would have no part in such punishment, Oxford's heart would be stolen in an unsolved crime.
The widower Albert went back to Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, and returning from Germany was Victoria's sixty-nine-year-old uncle Ernest Augustus, who would be crowned King Ernest I of Great Britain. Ernest, Duke of Cumberland, had participated in the Napoleonic Wars, but numerous scandals had made him into something of an unwanted dog in British politics. In 1810, his valet Joseph Sellis had apparently attempted to murder him for cuckoldry, and, in 1813, he had dabbled in elections in the House of Commons, which was very frowned upon for a peer. After the war, he earned the wrath of Wellington by pushing against the Catholic Relief Act in 1829 and general disgust by being one of the few to vote against the Reform Act of 1832. He had even been considered part of a supposed conspiracy by the anti-Catholic group the Orange Lodges to put Ernest on the throne instead of Victoria, whom they took as a young girl unfit for the crown.
Instead, upon the death of William IV, Ernest took the title of King of Hanover as Salic Law would not allow female Victoria to inherit. William IV had never even visited Hanover, but Ernest took interest in the small German kingdom. He seemed chased from England by Wellington, who said, "Go before you are pelted out," and Victoria, who had asked him to give up his apartments in St. James Palace, which he refused as he planned to visit England regularly. He disliked Albert (a feeling held very mutual) and denied him precedence, citing the decades-old establishment of order at the Congress of Vienna. Away from Britain, he had faced a crisis as the locals of Hanover preferred the viceroy, Ernest's brother, the Duke of Cambridge. Ernest sought to reform the kingdom in his own image, dissolving the parliament, voiding the constitution, and demanding new oaths of allegiance, which seven professors of G?ttingen University, including the Brothers Grimm, refused. Professors were exiled and protests put down until the political system came to gradual stability in 1840 with new parliamentary deputies, just in time for Ernest to be summoned to Britain as king.
Ernest's decade-long reign would serve as the last of the British monarchs. He was staunchly conservative and royalist, even disapproving of many of Prime Minister Robert Peel's modest reforms. When the Potato Blight struck Ireland, he was dubbed "The Famine King" and was blamed for the lack of aid, even opposing the repeal of the Corn Laws. Peel's government hung onto power despite its unpopularity by royal "hot air", to quote cartoons in The Times, and when revolutions broke out in 1848 in other countries, it struck Britain by focusing on the Crown. Although Ernest had instituted a number of benefits upon the people such as funding for the opera and hospitals, he was seen as an aged relic from another time and many presumed he was part of Victoria's assassination since her mother lived in a rented house rather than the palace. Ernest's son George, next in line for the throne, was blind after illnesses in 1828 and '33 and viewed to be even more militantly royalist than his father. When Ernest set about putting down workers' uprisings with cavalry and exiling professors, Parliament moved to privatize the Royal Family in 1849. Ernest departed to Hanover, where he sought to build an army and retake Britain by force, but he died in 1851 before his invasion could be put into motion.
Hanover, too, would soon be lost when Prussia deposed George V after winning the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 during the campaign of uniting Germany under the Prussian Kaiser. The powerful royalist government would soon become the mortal enemy of the British Republic, fighting a number of wars between 1871 and 1945.
In 1950, on this day the Communist Sympathisers in the British Secret Service known as the "Cambridge Five Spy Ring" betrayed the non-belligerent Western Allies atomic development program.
Cambridge Project Betrayed
Ed & Scott PalterIronically the critical event in the European Theatre had been an another betrayal over a dozen years before when Britain and France had refused to guarantee Polish independence. In the event, the Polish Government had been forced into an alliance with Nazi Germany, and together they invaded the Soviet Union during the summer of 1940.
This outcome appeared to vindicate the Anglo-French strategy of allowing the great dictatorships to fight each other into the ground. At least that is until Germany developed nuclear weaponry, and the Soviet Union managed to obtain nuclear parity through espionage.
Of course the small scale introduction of atomic weaponry onto the battlefield hardly threatened global destruction in the short term. Yet the merciless savagery with which the conflict had been conducted sofar suggested a future of devastating destruction with Western cities at the mercy of a bully atomic club.
Belatedly, United States, Canada, Britain and France launched their own development project in Cambridge, England. Trouble was that world communism had been advancing in an insidious manner that few understood. Because the Soviet Union had recruited a large number of British Secret Service Agents. These new converts to Communism saw the development of a Western bomb as a distinct threat to the new post-war order which would be ushered in by the imminent defeat of Nazi Germany.
In 1940, Italy declared war on the Western powers and entered WW2. On paper it was an act of idiocy. Their military was unready. Their colonies were not properly provisioned. The bulk of their merchant marine was at sea and thus immediately lost to the British. The sole intelligent reason for this act was a cool calculation that France was about to fall. Reasoning that the British Empire would not fight on without its continental sword (the French Army), Italy expected there to be a peace conference. Their few weeks of combat would buy them a seat at the conference, which in turn would probably result in Italy picking up some new colonial territory, and, perhaps, some border adjustments with France or Yugoslavia.
From Tiny Acorns Grow an Oak by Scott PalterNeedless to say, the calculation was completely in error. The war would cost Italy all of her colonies and the destruction of the body of the country when it became a war zone for the final two years of the European struggle. All of this would occur because of a miscalculation in British intentions. Let us presume that Churchill took time out from the chaos of France's collapse to make VERY clear to the Italians that this was the end of a phase of the war, rather than an end of the war. Let us presume that the French made some minor territorial concessions to Italy (the Azzou strip in northern Chad and some Saharan sand on the Libyan - Algerian border). Italy stays neutral.
The early changes in the war are subtle. The later are far grander.
There are no changes in the Battle of Britain or Battle of the Atlantic. Italy made little contribution to either. Britain would have needed large naval forces to watch a neutral Italy whose government was capable of intervention at any moment. However, there are no campaigns in North Africa, Greece, Syria, Iraq or East Africa. The British Army does not suffer these losses or gain this combat experience. Except for commando raids, Britain is not engaged in a ground war between the Fall of France and Pearl Harbor. The RAF does not have to build a Desert Air Force. The troops and planes not so used are available to garrison Burma and Malaya. We will return to the results of this shortly.Rommel's three divisions are a minor addition to the invasion of Russia. The addition of the air elements sent to the Mediterranean is more noticeable. The biggest difference is the absence of a Balkan campaign. In OTL, Italy invades Greece in 1940. They fail miserably at it. This forces Germany to take a Balkan detour that winds up including Yugoslavia and Crete. In this TL none of this occurs. Yugoslavia and Bulgaria are forced into the Tripartite Pact over the winter of 1940-41 on very mild terms. No German garrisons are needed in either. Greece is allowed its neutrality as long as trade with Germany is continued (same as Turkey and Sweden in OTL).
In OTL the Balkan adventure postponed Barbarossa by two weeks and added much wear and tear on the trucks and men making the long roundtrip. It bled off a German army (12th) left behind in garrisons from Belgrade to Athens. It also destroyed the German airborne forces on Crete.
A two week earlier start does not take Moscow or win the war in 1941. Neither the ten extra divisions (DAK plus 12th Army) nor the fewer vehicle breakdowns make Moscow any nearer to Warsaw and Konigsburg. A German win in 1941 requires a very different set of changes than Italian neutrality. However, the extra two weeks do see a German Army less burned out when it is repulsed before (or perhaps in the streets of) Moscow in early December of 1941. At each of the three German advances, the rear has been better swept (fewer Red Army remnants to form partisans), the supply forces have had a little more time to do their work, and the giant number of abandoned weapons have been better collected.
To do we will add an Italian Expeditionary Force ( say six divisions of Blackshirts and Young Fascists, which is what was sent to Spain in the 1930's). Italy does not declare war on Russia. These are ?volunteers' like the Spanish Blue Division (party to party as opposed to state to state to use the usual Communist terminology). To this will be added a Corps of White Russian volunteers from Yugoslavia, also under Italian command. These men are neither trained nor armed for frontline service. However, they are quite capable of policing up the vast hordes of Russian prisoners captured in the great encirclement battles of 1941. The Italians will drive this herd to the railheads, where they are shipped to Italy as war booty (slaves). A good bit of Russian equipment will follow, bringing the Italian military to a less unready state. The Italians also lack the German racial hatred of the Easterners. They will extensively recruit among the prisoners and locals. The net effect is that the eight Italo-Yugoslav divisions will be almost to corps strength each by the end of 1941.
So the retreat from Moscow never develops into the semicollapse of OTL. This results in fewer German losses, higher Russian ones and an earlier burnout of the Russian offensive. Part of this is the large Italian force garrisoning the towns to the rear of Army Group Center. Part of this is the better state of the German lines of communication and depots. The largest single change is that Kesselring's Second Air Fleet does not have to be pulled out of Belarus to bail out the Desert War.
So the spring - summer of 1942 finds a marginally stronger German Army in the East and a marginally weaker Russian one. We will return to the effects of this after our Asiatic detour promised above.
In OTL an overstretched British Empire made the decision to give priority to absolutely everything over the defense of Burma, Malaya, the East Indies and the South Seas (Australia, New Zealand, etc.). Without a North African war, the best of the Indian Army and the bulk of the Anzac forces are not in the Mediterranean. As is, Malaya and Burma were near run things. In this TL, the initial assaults on Malaya and Burma are repulsed.
The East Indies will still fall, but more slowly. It will take until the end of 1942 to finish them and Malaya off. Burma will stay in Allied hands. Now the results of this will seem perverse. A better British general in Singapore, a larger British Fleet, and a much larger RAF contingent will mean that in the end the British Empire will lose many more ships, men and planes. Essentially, the British simply couldn't stand up to the Japanese Navy or Air Force in this period. A Cunningham or Auchinlek in Singapore in place of Wavell and Percival could blunt the Japanese Army and bleed them badly. He could not change the air-naval equation. That equation determined the ultimate logistical result of the campaign.
However, with the Japanese carrier fleet tied up taking the East Indies and Malaya, Japan never gets "victory disease". In OTL they were wildly successful at first. This caused them to get overconfident and change their strategy. Instead of fortifying their conquests and waiting to attrit the American counterattack, they attacked in all directions. The result was a series of campaigns (Coral Sea, Midway, Solomons, Papua - New Guinea) that basically destroyed the elite prewar naval and air units.
Instead here the much slower initial advance keeps them in their proper hedgehog. This will make the Pacific War much longer and bloodier. It will also means that Bataan lasts somewhat longer as the Japanese concentrate on finishing off the East Indies first. This gets more US ground and air units sent to Australia. However, it also means that after securing Australia, Port Mosby, Guadalcanal and the South Sea string of bases, the Pacific War essentially grinds to a halt in early 1943. Until America's new carrier fleet becomes available in 1944, the Allies lack the power to go further. So 1943 is a sea - air sparring contest in which neither side takes major risks.
Back to Russia: the primary problem with the German summer offensive is again geography plus the higher command's insanity in conducting a street fight in Stalingrad. This will not change. However, the equipment seized in 1941 will make the Italian 8th and Hungarian 2nd Armies marginally stronger. It will also provide marginally more reserves behind the Rumanians. Stalingrad will still be encircled. The retreat from the Caucasus will still be necessary.
What will be different then is that there will not be a companion disaster in North Africa. The Allied occupation of French Northwest Africa will open the Mediterranean more easily to Allied shipping. It will not require a Panzer Army to be sent to Tunis or 60% of Germany's long-range aircraft. Instead those units will be available to the Don Front. There will be no breakout from Stalingrad (Hitler wouldn't have permitted it). There will be less of a Russian advance and a bigger backhand blow by Manstein. On the margin the Germans will be stronger, the Russians weaker.
Without a Mediterranean front in 1942-43, the Allies will not be able to withstand Russian pressure to do something besides air raids. In OTL the Allies fought major 1943 campaigns in Burma, New Guinea, the Solomons, Tunis, Sicily and southern Italy. None of those happen here. Instead there is a May 1943 invasion of France.
There is no Atlantic Wall. The defenses of the beaches between the major ports was Rommel's doing in late 1943-44. So the invasion force gets ashore more easily. There is a smaller German garrison in France so the lodgment goes more easily and Cherbourg falls faster. The good luck ends there. Germany has more reserves and is less heavily attrited is this TL. The American and British armies are much greener. There is no Normandy breakout.
Instead there is a slow attritional grind forward, with the Combined Bomber Force being repeatedly used in a ground support role to blow holes in the German lines (of the type from the Cobra attack in OTL). This in turn destroys the German Air Force faster as the attritional fighter battles take place nearer to England. Instead of the Lw fighter arm collapsing in the first months of 1944, it is bled to death here in the summer and fall of 1943 over France.
Normandy does appear to help the Russians. The Kursk offensive is never made. This actually hurts. Without Kursk and without an Italian front soaking up two German armies (and the defection of Italian forces in Yugoslavia soaking up two more), the Germans have sufficient reserves to make the reconquest of Ukraine slower and more expensive. The disparity of forces and the ongoing drain of Normandy means they lose, but in takes all of 1944 to clear Ukraine and retake Smolensk (one year behind OTL).
In the meantime, by the end of 1943 the Western Allies have cut off Brittany and enlarged their bridgehead to the Lower Seine but are nowhere near Paris. The bomber attacks on the western German cities are much less than OTL but still enough to cause pain. Speer hits on the idea of relocating some plants to Italy to take advantage of its neutral status. Italy has no air raids, a friendly government and those millions of Russian POW's as force laborers. It has also taken in millions of other refugees from the Nazis so it has the potential for major industrial production given German help with machine tools, technicians, etc. Italy begins force draft industrialization. The Allies are angry but do not need another front.
The Allies spend 1944 clearing France to the Somme and Meuse, aided by secondary invasions in Calais and Provence. In the Pacific, the Japanese get their predicted climatic naval battles in the Marianas. Essentially both fleets destroy each other while the American ground forces take the islands at extremely high cost. This is what happened in OTL in the Solomons. Then, as here, the US can build more ships and Japan cannot. So we have no major offensive in the southwest Pacific or Burma, but rather bloodbaths at Wake, the Marianas and Iwo, followed by a submarine blockade of Japan. Japan will still make its 1944-45 offensive in China that drives Chiang effectively out of the war. The difference here is that with the Burma Road open, a substantial part of the Chinese Army retreats in northern Burma, where the Allies rebuild and retrain it (Chiang will have many times as many top notch divisions in the Chinese Civil War).
1945 sees the Allies slog forward to and across the Rhine. Stalin's forces take Rumania, Belarus and the Baltic States but come up short at the Vistula and East Prussian border. The Combined Bomber force keeps hammering the German transport net and synthetic petrol facilities. Starting in August they have nukes to add - 3 the first month and two a month thereafter. By the end of 1945, Germany still has two coherent fronts, but is bleeding to death internally. Jets, V-2's and other wonder weapons cannot make up for a collapsed industrial and transport base, no food and no fuel for the weapons. The German resistance starts to fragment in early 1946. Stalin still wins the race to Berlin (May 1946) but the West beats him to Prague and Vienna. The war in Europe ends in June of 1946 without a formal surrender. Millions of Germans and Hungarians seek sanctuary in Italy. WW2 in Europe ends with an extra ten million dead, far more damage and a much stronger Italy with a correspondingly weaker Britain, France and Russia.
In the Pacific, 1945 has seen the Americans take Okinowa and Pusan to tighten the blockade of Japan. American fire bombers have leveled the cities. Millions of Japanese have starved. However, the major ground offensives we had in the Pacific have been diverted to meet the needs of a longer and far more expensive European campaign. By early 1946 the Japanese Court and most of the Army Higher command have relocated to the Asian mainland to escape the famine in the Home Islands. The social structure of the abandoned Japanese homeland disintegrates. The Emperor dies in an air raid on Munkden. The Army fights on. We and the Russians redeploy from Europe. When the Russian invasion of Manchuria destroys the main Japanese armies (August 1946), the Home Islands surrender to us. Japan does not end the war so much as disintegrate. By now the death toll from starvation and disease is over ten million. Russia overruns North China and most of Korea. They set up friendly regimes (Mao and Kim) keeping the lands they have taken. Chiang essentially gets the Yangtse Valley and the South. He spends the balance of the decade suppressing Maoists in his zone. China is effectively partitioned.
In 1840, Edward Oxford fired two shots at the British monarch, Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom while she was out riding on Constitution Hill, instantly killing Her Majesty and her husband, Prince Albert. Queen Victoria assassinatedOxford was acquitted by reason of insanity in July 1840, and sent to Bethlem Royal Hospital, where he remained until the criminal patients of the institution were transferred to Broadmoor Hospital in 1864. Three years later, he was offered a discharge if he would agree to leave the country. He lived out the rest of his life in Australia.
On this day in 1940, what was left of the German expeditionary force in Belgium surrendered to the British army.
In Holland, Dutch anti-Nazi partisans shot and killed Reichskommissar Artur Seyss-Inquart and hanged Dutch fascist leader Anton Mussert for treason; these events marked the beginning of a larger rebellion against German occupation forces that was still underway when Allied troops began advancing into Holland two days later. Click to read the entire Belgium 40 thread
In 2015, on this day London was plunged into its worst blackout in nearly 70 years as the result of a transformer overload; the three-day-long power outage triggered citywide chaos that left 230 people dead and 68 million pound sterling worth of property damage in the English capital.
On this day in 1968, the New York Times published a story about the Red Cross-sponsored "Mercy Convoys" of volunteers from the United States, Canada, and Australia who'd come to Britain to aid the survivors of the Birmingham nuclear strike.
The story would later earn its author a Peabody award nomination.
On this day in 2018, the third CSI movie reached the 200 million USD mark at the box office.
On this day in 2006, Barbaro won the Belmont Stakes to become the first horse in 28 years to win thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown.
It was the closest finish in the Belmont's history, with Barbaro beating runner-up Jazil by less than a quarter of a length.
This day was uneventful across all dimensions. It is being studied by alternate historians for its singularity.
In 1999, Walton Ray Thermopolous, a London industrialist who is high among the Illuminati, is granted an audience with Queen Gwen of Britain. She dismisses all her aides before speaking with him, "so that we may be as frank as necessary". Once alone, she presents him with what she says is an easy choice - "Support me, Walton, and the entire Illuminati is ours. I've crushed most of them already, but you I want on my side. Your organization will be useful to me". Thermopolous is worried about crossing his masters, and says so. Queen Gwen derides his fear of the ancient organization. "They are nothing, now. I drive them before me like cattle to the slaughter. I offer you the chance to be one of the drivers, rather than the cattle". The frightened businessman reluctantly accepts the queen's offer, and severs his ties with his old masters to throw his support behind her.
In 1891, with Kansas City pacified by the large Union force now occupying it, Lt. Colonel Mark Wainwright has become free to devise a plan to take Topeka. He has used the telegraph extensively, coordinating movements between the Union soldiers surrounding Kansas, as well as requesting addition troops from Washington.
He now comes to General Theodore Monteith with a plan for the final attack on the rebel state. 'If this doesn't do it, sir,' he tells the general, 'nothing will.' Monteith approves the plan, thanking Wainwright for his tremendous efforts in this war. 'I imagine there'll be some medals for you after this is all said and done, Mark.' Wainwright doesn't seem too enthused by the prospect, and Monteith asks him why. 'I've soured a bit on the whole idea of honor and glory, sir. Most of me now just wants revenge, and an end to all of this.' Monteith says, 'I understand, Mark. Hopefully, this plan will bring you that which you want, as well as that which you don't need.'
In 1972, the unauthorized activities of a government within a government were leaked to Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein - by none other than one of the chief villains, Counsel and Assistant to the President for Domestic Affairs, John Daniel Ehrlichman. Weeks later, five quasi-government agents were caught breaking and entering into the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate hotel complex in Washington, D.C. on June 17, 1972. Woodward and Bernstein exposed the so-called Watergate Scandal, the attempts of a shadowy group known as 'the Plumbers' who sought to undermine the office of the Presidency.
In 1953, newly-elected President Dwight Eisenhower capitulates to pressure from isolationist Republicans and, after negotiating a separate peace with North Korea, withdraws from the United Nations and from most of America's international commitments. It leaves the door open for the Soviet Union to take its place as the world's leader, and dooms the U.S. to the sidelines of history.
In 1714, Black Annie, queen of the Caribbean pirates, beats a young man to death for making a pass at her, and flees to the ocean to escape the authorities. In her short but busy life as a pirate, she sinks almost 50 ships and her crew of all-women pirates becomes the most feared of all the pirate vessels.
In 1966, the Hays Office orders Warner Brothers to make substantial changes in their film adaptation of Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf? or face harsh penalties from the censorship board. Reluctantly, Warner Brothers agrees to the changes over the objections of stars Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, and the tepid result, bereft of the colorful language and sexual situations of Albee's play, garnered little box office and much critical disappointment. 'If they'd left in the good stuff,' Ms. Taylor said, 'we'd have made enough money to not worry about the fines.' Taylor and Burton decided that the Hays Office needed to be challenged, and released their controversial Home Movie the next year without review by the censors. This highly provocative independent film contained language and situations that would have given Hays a heart attack, and there was even a brief glimpse of Taylor's breasts and Burton's buttocks. It not only broke box office records, but also the power of the Hays Office over Hollywood's film makers.
In 1692, Bridget Bishop, a young woman of the Salem township in Massachusetts, is taken to the gallows to be executed on charges of witchcraft. With the noose around her neck, Bishop cries out to God to save her and punish those who are about to murder her. When the trapdoor of the gallows opens, the support beam holding Miss Bishop breaks, letting her drop harmlessly to the ground. The beam falls on Justice William Stoughton and Reverend Samuel Parris, who were standing on the platform to watch Bishop's death, and cracks open their heads, killing them both. Shocked by this apparent miracle, the village frees Miss Bishop and decides that impressionable little children might not be the best of witnesses against evil, after all.
In 1902, French scientists Marie and Pierre Curie isolate the miracle element of Curium. Its many properties include a healing ability that cures the couple of the cancer that has been killing them since they began their work in radioactive elements.
In 2004, on TIAH it was reported that this day was uneventful across all dimensions. It is being studied by alternate historians for its singularity.
in London England, General Dwight David Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force released the following statement to the World Press in the aftermath of Disaster Day:
Our landings have failed and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based on the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that bravery could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone.
In 721, Umayyads take Toulouse. Following the defeat of King Roderic of the Visigoths in 712, the Muslim Umayyad Caliphate had poured into Hispania and begun to threaten expansion into Europe. From the new province of Al-Andalus, the Muslims began preparations to launch conquest of the land to the northeast, Aquitaine. A former vassal state of under the Franks, Aquitaine was ruled by Duke Odo from its most powerful city, Toulouse.
June 9, 721 - Umayyads take ToulouseAl-Samh ibn Malik al-Khawlani amassed an army in Andalus and marched in 721 to besiege Toulouse. Odo escaped ahead the Muslim army and went into the kingdom of the Franks, asking for help from Charles Martel, the Mayor of the Palace and effective ruler for the Merovingian king Theoderic IV. Martel chose to wait before offering Frankish military support, which was tied up in war with the Saxons.
Odo returned to Toulouse with what army he could muster. The city's walls had remained impregnable, but supplies had run so low that leaders were preparing to surrender. While seeing Duke Odo flee and managing an easy siege tempted the army to become soft, Al-Samh determined to keep his scouting parties sharp. They spotted Odo's army as it approached, and the besieging army raced to change ranks for a battle. Odo attempted to envelop his enemy, but the Muslims stood, and the Christian army crumbled. As Odo's retreat began, the Muslims returned to besiege the city, prompting Toulouse to fall. Al-Samh installed a guard and took up pursuit of Odo, who led him into Frankish lands after another defeat in Poitiers. Martel balked and tried to disengage his armies from the Saxons, but the result only weakened his hold on Bavaria. Al-Samh continued to march until he caught up with Odo, destroying him in the battle of Tours. Keeping up the military momentum, Al-Samh marched on Orleans, where he met and defeated Charles Martel, and soon took Paris.
Having conquered the Franks, Al-Samh fell to stabilizing his political control. He allowed the German dependencies greater self-rule while encouraging them to join Islam, which many of the surviving upper class of Western Europe did. Marginal religious tolerance kept the kingdom from revolting, though Rome lost significant power without the Frankish support. As Muslim raids intensified in Italy, Pope Gregory II was forced to capitulate to Byzantine Emperor Leo III the Isaurian's iconoclasm, which had prompted violent revolts. The Muslims battled the Byzantines for decades over the Italian peninsula before finally adding it to the Caliphate. After 800, the Byzantines were a limited power in Europe, gradually declining until it fell to the Seljuq Empire of the Sunni Muslims in 1095.
Meanwhile, the Western Muslims faced incursion by the Magyar, who had migrated out of Central Asia, and the Vikings of the North. Both groups would eventually be converted to Islam, which became the dominant religion in Europe with a minority of Christians and Jews. Mongol invasions threatened Europe centuries later, but they would eventually be rebuffed, and order restored. The major east-west trade routes of the world kept major historical focus on sea travel through the Mediterranean and the land route known as the Great Silk Road. Trade also brought the Black Death in the 1300s, which left to a surplus of tradable goods for the rebuilding of world population. Islamic merchant ships explored southwest of Asia, coming into contact with Aborigines and Polynesians, who expanded trade knowledge through the Pacific Ocean.
Eventually, explorers reached the New World by island-hopping to the west coast of the New World, coming first into contact with the expansive Incan Empire. Later exploration across the Atlantic outlined the East Coast, though it would be centuries before explorers had charted the mysterious interior. Islam spread among the new nations as lands were gradually conquered, empires fell, and new ones arose. Coal as an energy source made European states particularly powerful until petroleum showed more promise, which restored world economic attention to the Middle East in addition to the religious qibla toward Mecca during salah.
In 1984, the Third World War expanded to the Korean Peninsula as U.S. and South Korean ground forces launched a pre-emptive attack across the 38th parallel to forestall an expected North Korean invasion of the South.
Battlefield AlaskaNeither of the North's longtime allies intervened to halt the attack; the Soviets were hopelesssly on the defensive by this time in Siberia and central Europe, and the Chinese were focused on eliminating what was left of Soviet military strength along the Siberian border. Furthermore, China had previously given the Reagan Administration its assurances it would not interfere in any hostilities between the United States and North Korea.
In these circumstances, it was almost inevitable that the Stalinist regime in Pyongyang would collapse within weeks of the initial U.S.-ROK thrust.
In 1688, on this day Edward VII (1688-1702) accepted the terms of Parliament, in regards to the new Act of Accession, in order to take the Crown.
The Royal House of Cromwell, Part 4 - Edward VII (1688-1702) by David AtwellIn doing so, Oliver Cromwell (pictured) of the Richards Line was rejected & the Henris would continue to be the main Royal Lineage until the establishment of the Kingdom of America.
Unlike Henry IX rule, Edward?s was a rather quiet affair. British trade, on the other hand, began to dominate the region & was the firm foundation for the future British Empire.
In 1865, on this day the "disaster within a disaster" the Staplehurst rail crash was perpetrated by Charles John Huffam Dickens (better known as the notorious terrorist called "Boz").
Boz StrikesThe first seven carriages of the train plunged off a cast iron bridge that was being repaired. The only first-class carriage to remain on the track was the one in which he was travelling, disguised as a bourgeous author returning from France.
Forced to work at the age of twelve, his father's debts had forced the family to move into Marshalsea debtors' prison, except for Charles, who resided in the home of a Mrs. Roylance -- four miles from his employment. To carve out a living for himself and his family, the boy was responsible for preparing bottles of black shoe polish for market. He earned six shillings a week. This two year stint branded Dickens internally, "...the sense I had of being utterly neglected and hopeless, of the shame I felt in my position ... cannot be written".
In 1915, Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan threatened to resign if President Wilson continued his policy of antagonizing the German government. Principled Stand by Robbie TaylorWilson had wanted to warn the Germans of dire consequences should they continue their policy of submarine attacks such as the one that sank the Lusitania, killing over a thousand people, among whom were 128 American citizens. Secretary Bryan felt that a smoother diplomatic approach would gain the desired effect of halting the sub attacks, as well as stave off war between the US and Germany. Bryan felt that the European war waging at that moment was not America's concern, but knew that Wilson was eager to extend American influence by joining it. Faced with the prospect of the loss of such a prestigious member of his cabinet, Wilson relented, and Secretary Bryan negotiated compensation for the American victims of the Lusitania and an agreement to halt future such attacks on civilian ships. This agreement only lasted 2 years, but by that time Secretary Bryan was already starting the Reykjavik Talks to end the war in Europe.
In 2000, the forces of galactic justice begin sifting the rubble of earth's solar system to ensure that He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is truly gone.
In 1990, Fascists are swept from power in Italy, and Germany sends troops in. The overburdened Nazis, besieged on every front, will lose power by the fall, but not without hundreds of thousands of casualties.
In 1984, John Lennon, an obscure musician who had once been in a band with international sensation Pete Best, writes a tell-all book about Best, detailing their crazy life in Hamburg, Germany, and their rough-and-tumble beginnings in Liverpool, England. The book, I Want To Tell You, is an international best-seller.
In 1964, Comrade President Gus Hall received the Communist Party's full endorsement for reelection. Comrade Hall had taken over from former President Rosenberg when Rosenberg was assassinated in Dallas the year before.
In 1912, Carla Lambert, after a 6-month absence from the public eye, returned to the front pages with news that she had adopted a young baby boy. The boy's name, Thomas Edison Lambert, practically confirmed the rumors that she and Thomas Edison were having an affair.
On this day in 1944, the last pockets of German resistance in the French Mediterranean port of Toulon surrendered to Allied troops. In northern France, American and British artillery began shelling German defensive positions near the city of Rouen.
In 1954, Wisconsin Senator Joseph R. McCarthy, feeling bruised by his treatment at the hands of Army special counsel Joseph N. Welch of the Boston law firm Hale & Boggs during Congress's televised investigation of McCarthy's efforts to secure special privileges for his aide G. David Schine, who has been drafted, violates a pre-hearing agreement and accuses a young lawyer at that firm of Communist sympathies.
When Welch scolds him, asking if he 'has left no sense of decency,' and tries to cut him off, McCarthy refuses to allow himself to be silenced. Instead, he demands, 'By what right do you, sir, whose legal firm harbors enemies of this country, ask if I possess a sense of decency? What sense of decency is it, sir, which drives you to stand in the way of rooting out Communists, wherever they may hide?'
It is a crucial moment. McCarthy is cheered by many of the onlookers in the hearing chamber, and Welch is thrown off balance. Moreover, the Wisconsin Senator comes across to the TV audience as a bold, tough patriot, while his opponent, according to man-on-the-street interviews conducted for television over the next few days, appears 'stuck-up,' 'bullying' and even 'whiny.' After this, talk of Joe McCarthy as a presidential candidate intensifies.
In 1979, the second Cricket World Cup was hosted by England, held from June 7 to June 23, 1979 in England.
The Prudential Cup was lifted by Clive Lloyd, captain of the West Indies who started as the favorites to win the cup again. Political controversy had dogged the event, with the decision by the International Cricket Council to invite both South Africa and Rhodesia. The Islamic Republic of Bangladesh (formerly Dominion of Bengal) and the Sikh Republic of the Punjab both withdrew from the event in protest.
In 1803, President John Adams received a communique from Napoleon of France that the territory of Louisiana was available for purchase to the United States. The 'Little Corporal' was focusing on the continent, where a Napoleonic French Empire dominated Europe until the collapse of 1848. At the time of writing, the Empire has declined to the point where other continental European power have displaced France as the leading power.
In 1947, [CENSORED].
In 1866, President Lincoln of the United States of America pulled all Union troops north of the Mason-Dixon Line. Jefferson Davis pulled Confederate troops south of that border, and the uneasy cold war of the 2 Americas began.
In 1803, President John Adams received a communique from Napoleon of France that the territory of Louisiana was available for purchase to the United States. After much deliberation, Adams turned down Napoleon's offer, feeling America needed no further territory to the west.
In 1880, on this day the Republican National Convention at Exposition Hall in Chicago closed with the nomination of Ulysses S. Grant to run for a historic third term of office.
Third Term, Part 1: James A. Garfield holds backBecause of Grant's subsequent defeat in the general election, the two-term precedent set by General Washington was really brushed aside by FDR's victory in 1940. And in March 1944, he went to Bethesda Hospital for tests and it was then concluded that he was incapable of running for the fourth term that he had been contemplating. It was speculated that such a move might have triggered a constitutional amendment to restrict term limits, but his death aged sixty appeared to demonstrate that the strain of office introduced its own constraint.
During the remainder of the twentieth century, only Eisenhower and Reagan could have considered a third term, but like FDR, both were in late middle age when they entered the White House, and their health would not have withstood such a strain.
Matters only changed in the final decade, when Bill Clinton was elected at the relatively young age of forty-six. The appeal of a third term forced him to curtail his appetite for indiscretions, and by 2000 it was clear that he would launch such a bid. This controversial decision was challenged by numerous detractors who opposed "King Bill" To be continued in this Third Term thread
In 1042, on this day Harthacnut the Viking Avoids "Poisoning". As the Age of Vikings continued in Europe, Cnut the Great carved out a powerful North Sea Empire, ruling over Denmark, Norway, and England, as well as some territory in Sweden, by his death in 1035. Due to the vast size of his realm, he could not control it directly and instead depended upon a series of councils and princes to rule in his stead. In Norway, he installed his son Svein as king with his first wife Aelfgifu of Northampton as regent. Their rule proved oppressive with heavy taxes, and the Norwegians rebelled, replacing him with Magnus the Good, illegitimate son of Olaf, the king Cnut had defeated.
Harthacnut Avoids "Poisoning"Shortly before, Cnut placed Harthacnut, his son by his second wife, Emma of Normandy, on the throne of Denmark to maintain rule there. Cnut used his brother-in-law Ulf as an advisor, until Ulf proved untrustworthy by giving too much credence to Harthacnut and refusing to deal with attacks until Cnut arrived with aid. Cnut ordered Ulf executed but forgave his son as being too young to know better. Just as Svein arrived in Denmark fleeing from Norway in 1035, the half-brothers were notified that Cnut had died, and Harthacnut was now King of England as well as Denmark. The political climate changed again when Svein died the next year, canceling an invasion to overthrow Magnus. Instead, Harthacnut made a treaty with Magnus and sailed to claim his right in England.
England had been ruled in his stead by another half-brother, Harold Harefoot, and Harthacnut had been gone to Denmark so long that the English did not much consider him a candidate. Harthacnut's mother Emma held Wessex for him before fleeing across the Channel to Bruges, where she produced the propaganda work Enconium Emmae Reginae ("Praise of Queen Emma") and detailed the horrors Harold had performed, such as killing Alfred, her son by her first husband. Harthacnut found his mother in Bruges, learned Harold was dying of natural causes, and waited to take the kingdom without force. He arrived with an army anyway and installed heavy taxes to double England's flotilla to 32 ships and maintain order in his empire. The taxes coincided with crop failure and provoked riots among the English poor that Harthacnut put down by force. Earls did not trust him, especially after Earl Eadwulf of Bernicia was given an oath of protection by Harthacnut but killed by Siward, Earl of Northumbria, who gained his lands while Harthacnut earned the epithet "oath-breaker". He was also notorious for his appetite (rumors stated he had the royal tables laid for two lunches and two dinners daily) but noted for his generosity to the Church.
While attending a wedding at Lambeth, Harthacnut collapsed after drinking many toasts to the couple's good health. Modern scholars believe he might have had a mild heart attack or stroke due to lifelong illness aggravated by mass consumption of alcohol, but common sense of the age determined it to be poisoning. Upon his recovery, Harthacnut was suspicious of his half-brother Edward, son to Emma by her first husband Aethelred. Edward, born in Oxfordshire, had served as co-ruler in England and was much more welcomed by the nobility than newcomer Harthacnut. Over the protests, Harthacnut banished both Edward and their mother to Normandy.
To ensure his power in England, he married Edith, daughter of Godwin, Earl of Wessex, in 1045. The couple produced an heir, Harold, in 1047, the same year Magnus of Norway's uncle Harald Hardrada returned from exile and demanded the throne. Harald had become a wealthy mercenary in Constantinople, and Magnus' councilmen recommended offering co-rulership rather than risking civil war. Harald accepted. This move, however, called into question Harthacnut's treaty in which his heir would assume rule of Norway if Magnus had none. Harthacnut determined to invade Norway in 1055 to secure it as a kingdom for his son.
The invasion proved disastrous, and Harthacnut died after a short illness. Magnus counter-invaded, chasing Harthacnut's steward Svein II out of Denmark and then marching on England. The English rose up against him, and a long campaign finally defeated the Anglo-Saxon resistance. Having remade Cnut's North Sea Empire, Magnus and Harald worked to appease the English and solidify their rule, continuing the late Viking influence in Britain for another two centuries. Militarily, Norway was occupied in conquest of Sweden, Scotland, and Ireland.
The North Sea Empire was a crucial realm of Christendom, nearly balancing the powerful Holy Roman Empire to the south. They contributed much to the Crusades in Northern Europe and expanded rule to Iceland in 1220. As the European climate cooled approximately 1300, crops began to decrease, and Norwegian power waned. The Reformation in Britain broke the North Sea Empire with rebellions fueled by religion and guided by new ideas of liberty. Constitutional rule, which had long been accepted in England as matter-of-fact with rulers responsible to their advisors, trickled back to Norway and brought about an end to absolute rule there. As the seventeenth and eighteen centuries went on, a series of republics borrowing much from the Venetian and Dutch models were set up among the North Sea nations. While often economically significant, the northern republics never matched the historical clout of grand empires like Spain and France.
In 1815, on this day anarchists detonated a huge bomb that destroyed a conference of ambassadors of European states chaired by Austrian statesman Klemens Wenzel von Metternich.
Anarchists blow up the Congress of ViennaThe attack was a well-timed move against the European monarchies who were seeking to form an elitist diplomatic structure known as the "Concert of Europe". This seemingly benevolent sounding title actually disguised an insidous conspiratorial attempt to impose a stifling reaction on the Continent which in the short term at least would have suppressed the rise of national and liberal impulses.
Europe had seen twenty-five years of almost continuous war that had resulted in two million dead. But the royal families of Europe were most deeply concerned with just one of those deaths, that being the execution of King Louis XVI. Ironically, the Commander of the Republican Forces, Napoleon Bonaparte had escaped from his imprisonment on the island of Elba. And at the moment when the bomb was detonated, the ambassadors were finalising plans for a second restoration of the Bourbons. The War of the Seventh Coalition would still proceed, but the Eighth and Ninth would feature a slew of emerging nations hoping to establish a new European order.
In 1864, to counter Little Mac and secure more of the soldier vote, Abraham Lincoln might have turned to a War Democrat from the Midwest, one of several of the Fighting McCooks.
Vice Presidential Candidate Selected, 1864
Written by Timothy AbbottA McCook presidency has too many variables to project with any confidence what the course of Reconstruction might have been. Assuming any of the "Tribe of Dan" or "Tribe of John" agreed to run on the national Union Party ticket, they would have faced tremendous challenges from the Radical Republicans. Even if this split ticket won the election, Lincoln?s assassination might have lead to a very weak McCook presidency with a hostile congress and pressure from northern Democrats to go easy on Reconstruction and light on the rights of freedmen.
Perhaps a President McCook would become even more of a hardliner (in for a penny, in for a pound). Or perhaps he would have reshuffled the cabinet, pushing some of the radicals out. There might have been no Seward's Folly: no Alaska. Although several of the McCooks when to to political careers after the war, as a successor to Lincoln they would certainly be no better than Johnson.
In 1886, the Government of Ireland (Home Rule) Bill 1886 narrowly passed through the House of Commons by a margin of 341 for with 311 voting against.
That Coming StormThe passage of the act was a personal triumph for Liberal Prime Minister William Gladstone (pictured) who had beseeched parliament to grant Home Rule to Ireland in honour rather than being compelled to one day in humiliation. And yet the result was not due to his famous Irish Home Rule speech, rather the fruit of his decision to engage both Irish MPs and his own ministers for participation in the drafting of the text.
"Think, I beseech you, think well, think wisely, think, not for the moment, but for the years that are to come, before you reject this Bill"The reaction from Unionists and the Orange Order was even more fierce than expected; their belief that the Roman Catholic Church would gain political control over their interests led to the coining of the term "Rome Rule". Because as his carriage rumbled over the cobblestones of Palace Yard that evening, William Gladstone was shot dead by an unmarked gunman.
"Ireland! Ireland! That Coming Storm!"The Ulster Unionist Leader Colonel Saunderson scribbled a note to his wife saying "Rome Rule is dead, but not yet buried". And the day of humiliation that Gladstone had predicted was not long in coming, although utterly different to what he imagined. Because as party leaders paid tribute to his open coffin in Westminister Hall, a brisk trade in chamberpots displaying his image was reported in Belfast.
In 1973, Fulgencio Batista y Zaldivar, president of Cuba, dies in Havana at the age of seventy-two.Death of Batista by Eric Lipps
Batista, who had been overthrown in 1959 by revolutionaries under the leadership of Fidel Castro, had been restored to power following the U.S. invasion of that island nation in April 1961 and maintained in office by elections 'supervised' by U.S. troops. His death touches off a scramble, not only for power but for the over $300 million the Cuban leader is believed to have accumulated by means of corrupt business dealings and extortion. Most of the money is apparently hidden in foreign bank accounts.
Batista's leftist archfoe Castro remains at large, still leading the guerrilla movement he had reconstituted following his ouster.
In 1973, football legend Johnny Unitas signed with the San Diego Chargers for what would be his final season. He led the team to the 1974 Super Bowl, winning in overtime against his old team, the Baltimore Colts, 21-17. The great sportsman was then able to retire as a winner.
In 1941, as part of a broader effort to strengthen the U.S naval presence in the Pacific, the U.S. Pacific Fleet began expanding anti-aircraft defenses at its outpost on the islands of Wake and Midway.
The Midway upgrade was given especially high priority, as both Japanese and American strategists had long ago recognized Midway's importance in guarding Hawaii and the West Coast against Axis attack.
In 2015, on this day Prince Charles of Wales, the former heir to the British throne, stunned the world by announcing he would abdicate his title to campaign for the premiership of the newly independent Welsh Republic.
In 2007, while doing promotion for heist sequel, Ocean's Thirteen, Andy Garcia laughs off recent rumours of a return to the Corleone crime family: "The Godfather Part V? Doubtful! The whole point of the last one was to wrap up Vincent's story, and he's dead, plus I don't really see how you could go further from the story with Bobby DeNiro and Leo DiCaprio in the past - that part kinda just set-up what you see in the first film. "
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.