In 1804, on this day passage of the proposed Twelfth Amendment was frustrated by the failure to achieve ratification from the required number of state legislatures.
No Twelfth AmendmentThe Constitution had provided for the runner-up to serve as Vice President. However the third and fourth elections had thrown a monkey wrench into the system. As a result, it was then proposed that the President could pick his own Vice President as long as the electoral college ratified that decision. But as events transpired, the States decided a more representative government was served by forcing the two rivals to work together.
The continued operation of Vice President as runner up certainly created some challenges at the heart of the Federal Government. But by the late twentieth century, the issue was critical. Because Nixon refused to resign in favour of a Democrat rival that would pursue criminal charges. And Bill Clinton was pushed out of office by his moralising VP Bob Dole.
In 1946, on this day Baruch Plan Determines Americans will give up The Bomb.
Baruch Plan Determines Americans will give up The BombWorld War II ended abruptly with the American use of the newly created atomic bomb on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. After V-J Day, new issues arose in the world order dividing occupation zones between Anglo-American and Soviet influences. President Harry Truman of the United States set Under Secretary of State Dean Acheson onto the task of answering the question, "What to do with The Bomb?"
The idea of splitting an atom (once believed to be the indestructible unit of matter) arose in the early twentieth century as scientists such as Ernest Rutherford and Niels Bohr described a tightly packed, high-energy nucleus. In the discoveries of radioactivity by Henri Becquerel and Marie Curie, it was shown that the nucleus could break, giving off a powerful burst of energy. Scientists in Germany began forcibly breaking up nuclei by bombarding them with neutrons in the late 1930s. Jewish scientists fearing a Nazi atomic bomb, Leo Szilard and Albert Einstein, wrote to President Franklin Roosevelt about the possibility of a bomb and the necessity of beating Hitler to it. In 1940, Otto Frisch and Rudolf Peierls of the University of Birmingham wrote a memorandum calculating "the possibility of constructing a 'super-bomb' which utilizes the energy stored in atomic nuclei as a source of energy. The energy liberated in the explosion of such a super-bomb is about the same as that produced by the explosion of 1000 tons of dynamite". Atomic weapons, which had been largely science fiction, became terrifyingly plausible.
Committees were established, eventually leading to the creation of the Manhattan Engineering District in the Army Corps of Engineers. Secret laboratories at Oak Ridge, TN, and Los Alamos, NM, produced plutonium from uranium-fed reactors and developed it into an implosion-design device called "the gadget" that exploded at the Trinity test site July 16, 1945, with a yield of 20,000 tons of TNT. President Harry Truman approved the use of atomic weapons on Japan in hopes of avoiding a bloody invasion, and, on August 6, the gun-type uranium-235 "Little Boy" fell on Hiroshima with another plutonium device, "Fat Man", striking Nagasaki on August 9. Japan surrendered on August 15, citing not only the bomb but the declaration of war by the Soviet Union, which was now clearly a rival to the Anglo-Americans as a superpower.
To ensure global law following World War II, the victors created the United Nations in 1945. The organization would act as a forum in which nations could resolve their disputes and carry stronger action than the League of Nations, which had been organized along similar lines at the end of World War I but had proven ineffectual. The first resolution passed called for a UN Atomic Energies Commission "to deal with the problems raised by the discovery of atomic energy". It requested proposals, and Truman tapped Bernard Baruch to present one.
Baruch, who had made his fortune in the stock market before turning to politics and philanthropy, had served as an economic advisor since 1916. He was dubbed a "park bench statesman" due to his habit of sitting in Lafayette or Central Park and discussing government business with whoever happened to sit beside him. Baruch took the report created by Acheson and David Lilienthal, chairman of the TVA, upon advice from men such as General Leslie Groves and Dr. Robert Oppenheimer, as the groundwork for his proposal, dubbed "The Baruch Plan". In it, he outlined the sharing of scientific knowledge to all nations, international control of resources such as uranium, elimination of atomic weapons, and the need for inspection and punishment for those possessing or manufacturing illegal weapons. The UN would create the International Atomic Development Authority to guide research and police atomic affairs.
Controversially, Baruch announced that the United States had already begun to dismantle its weapons program after fighting hard with Truman to agree to it as Commander-in-Chief. The Soviets jumped at the measure, seeing an opportunity to pull America back from its lead. Many Americans balked at giving up the Bomb, which had cost nearly Ū billion to develop. However, through the urging of Baruch, Oppenheimer, and others, Congress passed legislation confirming the end of American atomic weapons, though it was believed to have cost Truman the '48 election. The IADA came into effect in 1947 and quickly established its facilities at all known uranium and thorium deposits guarded by the expanded United Nations Police, which had been a small institution created October 1945. Since 1945 and its expansion under the IADA, UNPol has swelled to include investigative teams working alongside Interpol and national agencies as well as peacekeeping forces against terrorism in some of the most dangerous warzones on Earth.
Although nuclear proliferation has been avoided, humanity still faces war. Numerous territorial and ethnic wars erupted after decolonization, and the West fought the spread of Communism in Greece, Korea, Egypt, Southeast Asia, Latin America, Africa, Israel/Egypt in 1973, Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan. In 1962, JFK?s blockade of Cuba due to construction of Soviet missile silos caused Khrushchev to threaten war, but intervention by IADA inspectors proved no nuclear weapons were present, and the bases were allowed as a match for NATO bases in Italy and Turkey. Eventually the Soviet Union collapsed, and Chinese Communism reinvented itself. Many historians speculate whether atomic weapons could have prevented bloodshed, echoing the words of English author Wilkie Collins, "I begin to believe in only one civilizing influence - the discovery one of these days of a destructive agent so terrible that War shall mean annihilation and men's fears will force them to keep the peace," written 1870 at the time of the Franco-Prussian War.
Meanwhile, nuclear energy has spread as a cheap source of power, primarily electricity, with nearly 200 plants worldwide. While many of these are in industrialized nations, several developing countries have been granted their own plants, spurring economic growth.
In 2014, an amateurish security breach at a secret military base threatened to usher in the long-dreaded Vampire Apocalypse.
Dark Gift of ImmortalityEver since the global elite had accidentally stumbled upon their existence, determined and highly secret efforts had been made to wrest the dark gift of immortality from the undead. Inevitably huge risks had also been taken even though it was by no means clear that immortality was a property that could be safely isolated.
But now that the product in its rawest form had quite literally hit the streets of America, the need to find an innovation solution had gained a priority. Much more than a bloodbath, it was nothing less than a species-level struggle for continued human existence.
In 1215, King John of England, having met with rebellious barons who objected to what they perceived as his abuse of his powers as their feudal lord and who had confronted him with armed force to demand that he sign a charter guaranteeing them various rights and limiting the authority of the crown over the feudal aristocracy and the church, arranged for the barons to be set upon and slain at the meeting at which the King was supposed to have signed the charter.
Magna CarterThe result was disaster. Already at the point of civil war, England exploded as news of the barons' slaughter by the king, with Prince Louis of France offering aid to the rebel forces. In May 1216, as England descended into anarchy, Louis's forces landed unopposed in Kent and marched for London.
John desperately struggled to marshal forces to fight off the revolutionaries and their French allies, but ironically his slaying of the barons at Runnymede had wiped out too much of the feudal authority structure under which levies could have been called forth in his name, and alienated the remainder. Adding to his troubles, in September 1216, while at the port town of King's Lynn, John developed persistent dysentery. On October 18 of that year, he would die of the disease.
A new story by Eric LippsThe barons' charter would disappear into the mists of history. Prince Louis, already in line to become King Louis VIII of France, would be crowned Louis I of England in March of 1217, inaugurating a century of renewed French domination of the British Isles which would be marked by frequent outbreaks of rebellion. Finally, in 1347, Louis IV, the last French king of England, would be dethroned by rebels. His attempt to regain his English possessions would be cut short gruesomely by the arrival, in 1348, of the Black Death, which would rage until the 1360s and kill an estimated one-quarter of the entire population of Europe.
Ironically, it would be that horror which would revive interest in a charter of rights in England. The shortage of manpower after the mass death meant that laborers were in a better position than previously to press for improved conditions, while the aristocracy wanted legal protection against the looting of their estates by the king, which had happened repeatedly as a monarchy impoverished by disease, famine and disorder among its subjects sought to maintain a luxurious lifestyle. In May of 1366, a conference of nobles, military officers and representatives of the newly powerful craft guilds presented a charter of rights to King Edward III, who reluctantly signed it. He had no alternative. The delegation had come with an army at its back; there would be no repetition of the massacre at Runnymede.
In 1894, on this day a mistaken entry in a civil register was corrected by a parish priest in the West Bosnian village of Obljaj. Quite inexplicably, the birth date for the son of the farmer Petar Princip had been forward dated to July 13th when of course it should have been June 13th.
Wrong TurnThat tiny correction would profoundly alter the consequences of a political assassination in a Balkan capital almost exactly two decades later because Austrian law expressly forebade execution for crimes committed by individuals less than twenty years old.
The crime itself was committed on June 28th 1914 when the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, the Archduchess Sophia unwisely chose the City of Sarajevo as the most appropriate location to celebrate their fourteenth wedding anniversary. In fact, the Habsburg heir was entertaining wild dreams of transforming Austrian-Hungary into a Triple Monarchy. The counter-intuitive logic of this delusional scheme was to add further diversity in order to suppress the ethnic tensions that were threatening to tear the Empire apart even before he could ascend to the throne. More impartial observers might have detected a greater risk of throwing further fuel onto an already burning fire.
The opportunity for a Triple Monarchy had arisen through the annexation of Bosnia-Hercegovina from the Ottoman Empire in 1908. Determined to prevent the Habsburg domination of the Slav people, the Government of Serbia created a secret society tasked with training resistance fighters in a region that they considered of vital national interest. It was members of this "Black Hand Gang" who were planning to turn the wedding anniversary into a lead jubilee.
But they bungled it, missing their first chance to shoot the Royal Couple. Dejected, Gavril Princip and Marko Barac slunk off to have a sandwich. By incredible fortune, the royal procession took a wrong turn, passing directly by the cafe on Franz Josef Street where they were eating, and this time Princip seized his moment and shot the Archduke dead.
Across the whole of Southern Europe the subsequent trial was watched with great interest. Presenting his own defence, Princip argued convincingly that "I do not feel like a criminal, because I put away the one who was doing evil. Austria as it is represents evil for our people and therefore should not exist .... The political union of the Yugoslavs was always before my eyes, and that was my basic idea. Therefore it was necessary in the first place to free the Yugoslavs ... from Austria".
Enraged that they could not establish a connection with the Serbian Government, the Habsburgs decided to treat Princip as a common murderer and summarily executed him. Inadvertently, they had created a martyr, and within weeks the Balkans was ablaze with sectarian violence that would overthrow the Habsburg Empire.
In 1861, under the command of Brigadier General Nathaniel Lyon (pictured), the State Guard defeated a Union army, won the Battle of the Jefferson City and carried the State of Missouri into the Confederacy.
Missouri State Guard wins the Battle of Jefferson CityThree weeks before, Governor Claiborne Fox Jackson and Major General Sterling Price had taken the fateful decision to mobilize a force strong enough to challenge Federal authority. Because in the third week of May, they had the beginnings of an army, enough men and arms at Jefferson City to put an army of two to four thousand men in the field, with six 6-pounder cannons to support it. At Boonville, fifteen to eighteen hundred state volunteers were on hand, but few were armed.
Fortunately for the secessionists, Colonel Frank Blair's Union force of 1,700 men and two cannons was outnumbered and outgunned by Lyon's small army. It was their last real chance to carry Missouri into the Confederacy and the victory proved just enough to force a vote of secession to pass the State Convention.
The short-term, local struggle to retain the Capitol might have been won. But the unlikely long-term success of Jackson and Price's risky gamble would entirely depend on the support of the Confederate Government. And whether Richmond would defend Missouri from a Union drive of overwhelming forces led by the formidable General Ulysses S. Grant.
In 2010, on this day President Bobby Jindal revoked the deep-water drilling licenses that the Republic of Louisiana had granted to the Royal British Petroleum Company for the period 2001 through 2013.
PowerlessThe huge offshore oil spill caused by the Deepwater Horizon explosion on 20th April had created an environmental catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico. But the trouble was that the financial resources of the independent maritime American states were dwarfed by the Royal British Petroleum Company. And their British executives were less than willing to pay compensation, estimated at $20 billion and thus representing circa one year's turnover for the company. In fact the $69 million dollars spent so far by the Republic of Louisiana was directly comparable to the $50m spent on marketing by the Royal British Petroleum Company. And whilst the company focused on technical issues like how to ensure Internet Search Engines ranked their corporate web site first on deepwater keyword searches, the Republic's invoice for $69m was sitting unpaid in their accounting office in London.
The International Community had responded, with over thirteen donor countries offering assistance. Unfortunately, financial, but not technological support was on offer. Because the solution to the problem required the rapid deployment of the most advanced technology available to mankind. And that could only come from one place, the rump United States landlocked on the Eastern Seaboard and therefore largely unaffected by the crisis.
Accordingly, the President of the Republic of Florida Charles Crist had written a letter to Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell requesting safe passage for Lieutenant General Robert L. Van Antwerp and his US Army Corps of Engineers. Fearing a creeping loss of territorial integrity akin to the oil now leaking onto the shores of the Gulf States, the desire for Manifest Destiny began to enter the souls of many Americans for the first time in over two centuries.
In 1775, the British North American authorities decided to isolate "the troubles" to Massachusetts upon hearing the news that the Second Continental Congress had overlooked the Virginian George Washington and instead appointed John Hancock of Braintree as the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army.
Milch CowDue to his unsavoury role in the Liberty Affair, the British authorities stigmatized Hancock as the "King of the Colonial Smugglers". This was unfortunate because as the wealthiest man in the Colony, he had been personally recommended by his early political mentor Samuel Adams who saw that Hancock could bankroll the formation of the Continental Army out of the militia units around Boston.
Warrants were now issued throughout the Royal Colony, stipulating that should colonials lay down their arms, they would receive a royal pardon - with the exception of the ring-leaders, Adams and his so-called "milch cow" Hancock.
When this failed, the British proceeded with a variant of a plan devised by Royal Governor Thomas Hutchinson which would turn Boston into a police state. Incredibly, a series of letters which had advocated this supression of colonial liberty had fallen into patriot hands. But against his better judgement, Adams had unwisely agreed to the wishes of Benjamin Franklin that Hutchinon's letters remain private...
In 2005, writer-director's Darren Aronofsky's enormously popular noir movie, "Batman: Year One" premiered in 3,858 cinemas across North America, grossing $48 million in its opening weekend and eventually grossing $370 million worldwide.
"Batman: Year One" premieresThe film shares its title with the American DC Comics story arc written by Frank Miller in 1987 which recounts the beginning of Bruce Wayne's career as Batman and Jim Gordon's with the Gotham City Police Department. Aronofsky's genius was to shape a brutally realistic version that was nearly unrecognisable from either Miller's story or the previous Batman mythos, for example potraying Alfred as a mechanic called Big Al who helps Bruce Wayne.
Given the writer-directors limited commerical success in his career to date, the studio was taking on a huge risk. It was even rumoured in the press that the studio also considered a more mainstream project called "Batman Begins" to be directed by Christopher Nolan. And yet Joel Schumacher's dreadful 1997 movie Batman and Robin was a critical failure which appeared to have destroyed Warner Bros' franchise forever, and so the studio was reduced to truly desperate measures.
Christian Bale, fresh from the success of American Psycho, was rumoured to star. But at the last, both the studio and director fully committed to a non-derivative movie, and instead the role was given to the relatively unknown Australian television and film actor Heath Ledger. This inspired decision led to "Batman: Year One" becoming without question the most incredible summer movie of 2005.
In 1981, on this day the socialist government of Comrade President Ronald Reagan was shaken to its core by the worst airline disaster in American history. Ultimately, "the Gipper" would be forced to accept much of the blame for the tangled labour dispute that had made the catastrophe inevitable, resigning on August 5th, after less than six months in office.
The Turning Point - Air Traffic Controllers fire ReaganFrustrated with the government's empty promises to change the "overworked normal", the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) had threatened an illegal strike for some time. Trouble was, the twelve thousand strikers had endorsed Reagan's candidacy primarily because the Comrade President was a former union man himself. In fact, "Red Dutch" had once led a strike for the Screen Actors Guild.
Lacking any moral legitimacy to act, Reagan had sat on his hands whilst 50% of scheduled flights were operated by non-strikers and supervisors, ignoring apocalyptic warnings from the Union that there had been more than sixty potential crashes over Washington, D.C. Sympathetic air controllers in France, New Zealand and other socialist nations showed their support for PATCO, throwing the whole communist bloc into crisis.
Immediately after Reagan's resignation, his successor authorised 521 military air traffic controllers to take over. The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) began accepting applications from new controllers, and the Federal Labor Relations Authority decertified PATCO.
The event marked a turning point in labor relations, with lasting repercussions that would eventually bring the United Socialist States of America to its knees before the decade was out.
In 2002, an extinction-level-event (E.L.E) was averted by the unexpected return of Doctor Manhattan. The American superman's timely intervention avoided a deep impact from the near earth asteroid 2002 MN.
Watch the Youtube Clip of Asteroid 2002 MN June 15, one of the closest Flyby on record
The Return of Doctor ManhattanIronically, Manhattan had left the planet in November 1985 due to his misunderstood involvement in another potential ELE, unfairly blamed for a series of events orchestrated by one of his Watchmen colleagues (pictured).
Because in a brilliant act of ruthless expediency, "the world's most intelligent man" Ozymandias had unleased nuclear forces with Manhattan's energy signature in order to destroy New York, an event so horrifying that it stopped the world in its tracks, deflecting a imminent atomic war with Russia. Watch the Youtube Trailer of the movie
US President George Bush welcomed the return of Manhattan by quoting from the famous political essay The Crisis by the American revolutionary Thomas Paine (pictured) ~
"Quitting this class of men, I turn with the warm ardor of a friend to those who have nobly stood, and are yet determined to stand the matter out... "in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive" - Thomas Paine, The Crisis published December 23, 1776.Let it be told to the future world, that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive, that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet and to repulse it. Say not that thousands are gone, turn out your tens of thousands; throw not the burden of the day upon Providence, but 'show your faith by your works,' that God may bless you. It matters not where you live, or what rank of life you hold, the evil or the blessing will reach you all. The far and the near, the home counties and the back, the rich and the poor, will suffer or rejoice alike. The heart that feels not now is dead; the blood of his children will curse his cowardice, who shrinks back at a time when a little might have saved the whole, and made them happy".
Sourcing the quotation from Thomas Paine was a masterful choice, striking the appropriate chord of irony. Because the decisive act of an unexpected friend was paralled; Paine was an Englishman.
In 1941, on this day the Wehrmacht launched Operation Barbarossa, its last major offensive in the war between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.
In 1987 after nearly six and a half years of fighting, the Russian civil war finally ended as representatives of the Patriotic Liberation Movement and the Romanov government met in Vienna to sign a cease-fire agreement.
Under the terms of the cease-fire pact one-party rule in the former Soviet Union was abolished and the domestic powers of the KGB were strongly curtailed; the pact also mandated the immediate release of all political prisoners from the Siberian gulags. Although nearly a year would pass before the USSR was formally dissolved, the Vienna agreement effectively marked the end of Communist rule in Russia.
On this day in 1940, British and French troops in Holland eliminated the last pockets of German resistance in Rotterdam and liberated Amsterdam after only token opposition by the Wehrmacht.
The loss of Amsterdam in particular enraged Adolf Hitler, who sacked four of his top generals on the spot and demoted two others for "incompetence". By contrast the leader of the British expeditionary force, Lieutenant General Bernard Law Montgomery (pictured), was elevated to the rank of field marshal for his skillful use of Allied ground forces against the Germans.
Montgomery would later serve as Allied commander-in-chief for land forces in the Mediterranean, where his victorious Libyan offensive would help hasten the overthrow of Italy's Fascist regime.
On this day in 2002, the object known as Asteroid 2002 MN 15 hit the earth less than a block from Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's presidential palace in Baghdad.
The event triggered chaos throughout Iraq, eventually leading to the final overthrow of the Saddam regime less than two months later.
In 2003, the UN attempted to contact the Martian fleet orbiting earth, but was met only with an eerie series of beeps and squeals.
In 1990, Pete Best's final album before his death was released. Fool In Love sold 1 million copies in its first week, proving the old man still had plenty of fans left.
In 1956, John Lennon asked Paul McCartney to join his band, The Quarrymen. They would have been another unremarkable teenage rock band, except that 4 years later, their drummer was international superstar, Pete Best.
In 1949, Oscar-winning tragic actor Jim Varney was born in Kentucky. He rose to national prominence playing Evan Earp, a descendant of Wyatt Earp?s on the dramatic TV series, The Rousters. This was followed by his first Oscar-worthy performance in the film Hey, Vern, It?s Ernest. He also won a Tony for his performance as King Lear the year of his death, in 2000.
In 4561, the first of many disastrous sorties was made by the rebels in Hanoi. The waiting Chinese army destroyed a thousand men before the rebels could make their way back within the city. On this day, also, a peace envoy was sent out to begin negotiating with the Chinese. Although they struggled heroically, they would ultimately prove unsuccessful.
In 1802, Virginian farmer George Washington is elected to serve as First Chancellor of the North American Confederation. He serves for two terms, and is succeeded by his Iroquois Second Chancellor, Onatah.
In 1225, Pope John of the Holy British Empire signed the Magna Carta, guaranteeing the rights of all British citizens. This move is universally opposed by his bishops and cardinals, leading to the first of many rebellions against his Holiness.
In 1999, Sir Lance du Lac's Round Table Corps smashes through Cairo, the Central European Empire's former North African star possession, and the rest of Egypt quickly surrenders, throwing the Illuminati hiding within their borders to du Lac as sacrificial lambs. Queen Gwen goes on television and says to the world, 'If the former masters of the Central European Empire will simply give themselves up, we shall no longer prosecute this war. Any deaths from this point on are meaningless, and caused only by the intransigence of the CEE's holdouts. Any nation that cooperates with us in giving up their former masters shall be considered an ally, and under our full protection.' This is the final nail in the coffin for the Illuminati, as those they seek shelter from turn them into the British in order to receive the queen's amnesty.
In 1891, Union troops from the fort at Concordia start firing on Topeka, softening it up for the thrust from Kansas City to take out the relatively few defenders left. Although assured by 'Sockless' Jerry Simpson that help is on the way, the citizens of Topeka are growing weary of being the battleground for his war. A number of them start plotting to assassinate the 'Socrates of the plains'.
On this day in 1973, author Stephen King drove to the ruins of Jerusalem's Lot as part of his research for his book on the history of the infamous Boone family.
That same day, up in Gates Falls, Maine, the serial killer known as 'the Lawnmower Man' committed his second and third murders, killing mill worker John Hall and Hall's boss Henry Warwick. In King's book The Lawnmower Man the Hall and Warwick murders would be dealt with at length in a chapter titled (appropriately) 'Graveyard Shift'.
In 2000, the major contingent of the British military task force sent to help restore order in the West African colony of Sierra Leone has left the country. The departure of the prestigious Royal Marines was overseen by British Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, who said his government was proud of what they had done to restore stability. Britain, the colonial power in Sierra Leone, is handing mandated responsibility for security to the United Nations. About 300 UK troops and support staff will stay on in the war-torn African country for the next six to eight weeks to help establish a UK military advisory training team. Most people in Freetown would prefer to see the British military continuing their confidence-building street patrols, but British ministers always insisted their mission to help the UN forces there was a short-term one.
In 1940, Neville Chamberlain departed South Africa on a transatlantic flight to Canada for medical attention. The former British Prime Minister was dying of cancer and General Smuts wasted no time in dispatching Chamberlain upon receipt of the Fuerher's second telegram. Neither of them are aware of the first telegram, sent to Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King. That communique stated that Chamberlains' entry into Canada would be considered an act of war by Nazi Germany and would invite immediate action from the Kriegsmarine currently moored off the east coast.
following the Second Gulf War a terrorist backlash had caused America to become the most dangerous place on Earth. Captain von Tromp was informed that the Old Ones
of Mars were grokking
the fullness of his nation's aggression. Innocent Valentine Michael Smith
explained that America's prospects looked bleak, in living memory the war-like inhabitants of the fifth planet
had been destroyed; all that remained was the asteroid belt.
following a security lapse that accidentally released a deadly man-made virus, the panic-stricken US military issued the desperate emergency orders Rome Falls
. The superflu
known as 'Captain Trips' was ravaging the West Coast and all was lost. The Top Brass had lost control and decided to push the doomsday button.
In 1215, rather than sign a document guaranteeing a multitude of rights for his barons, King John of England meets them on the field of battle. Although he inflicts much damage on their forces, he is captured and deposed, and his older brother Geoffrey is placed on the throne. Geoffrey signs this Magna Carta willingly, but slyly adds in a few lines about the rights of commoners, which the king is bound to protect. With this addendum to the charter, King Geoffrey is able to exercise extraordinary powers over the kingdom, since the barons routinely violated the rights of the commoners.
US President George HW Bush nominated James Addison Baker III
as Vice President. The decision had been delayed by a period of national mourning for assassinated President Ronald Reagan and also the jockeying for position from Alexander Haig.
In 2003, the UN attempted to contact the Martian fleet orbiting earth, but was met only with an eerie series of beeps and squeals.
In 1802, Virginian farmer George Washington is elected to serve as First Chancellor of the North American Confederation. He serves for two terms, and is succeeded by his Iroquois Second Chancellor, Onatah.
In the 60th year of Tutankhara's reign, a land was discovered across the Western Ocean. The new steam-powered vessels of the Pharaoh were able to cross the vast expanse of the ocean in mere weeks, making all the old tales about the Western Ocean hiding the home of the gods a lie. The Oeztecan Empire that was found there immediately saw the advantage of trade with the east, and a long partnership was begun between the two mighty people.
British Prime Minister Oswald Mosley and King Edward VIII are forced to accept the logic of the repulsion plan proposed by Aleister Crowley aka 'The Beast', 'The Man We Would Most Like to Hang' and 'The Wickedest Man In the World' inter alia
. Minister of Defence Winston Churchill celebrated silently. He knew the British Heads of State and Government would give no credence whatsoever to Crowley himself, but they would fall for that old schmoozer, Ian Fleming. The Naval Intelligence Officer had convinced the pair to use Enochian
as a code in order to plant evidence. Cometh the hour, cometh the man
. It sounded strangely like Crowley's own work The Book of the Law
which started 'Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law
' That was very much Churchill's thinking at this most desperate of hours.
In 1801, the two decades of brutal military government euphemistically known as "the interregnum" finally ended with the death of the American tyrant, Benedict Arnold (pictured). Empowered with supreme authority by the Second Continental Congress he defeated the British Empire but then refused to disband the Continental Army which he used to rule the thirteen colonies with a rod of iron.
This post is an article from the Midshipman George Washington thread.
Midshipman George Washington #2His appointment to Commander-in-Chief was rightly earned by the capture of Quebec even if the city was retaken by Burgoyne as soon as he headed south. As a result, that ambitious, conniving opportunist Horatio Gates was overlooked for the command of the patriot forces at the decisive Battle of Saratoga and soon afterwards killed in the pursuit after Camden.
Faced with the ever present threat of mutiny Arnold had repeatedly made firm assurances to the officer corps of the Continental Army that he knew would never be honoured by the politicians in Philadelphia. The time of reckoning arrived sooner than expected because in 1781 the tide of war turned decisively in favour of the Americans. Because loyalist Admiral George Washington was defeated at Chesapeake Bay and a catastrophic British surrender forced at Yorktown.
Unwilling to accept the raw severance deal when it was finally presented in Philadelphia, General Arnold turned his troops on the Congress and emulated Cromwell's control of the Long Parliament. The destruction of America's democratic institutions caused a series of events to play out with a grim inevitability. Within six months he had established full-blown military rule and was forced to put down scattered rebellions for the next twenty years.
In 1645, on this day the hard-fought Royalist victory at the Battle of Naseby was credited to a late decision to recall General Goring's three thousand cavalry south.
Great Royalist Victory at the Battle of NasebySir Thomas Fairfax immediately grasped that outrageous good fortune alone had unexpectedly turned the tide of the English Civil War in the King's favour. Likewise his fellow commander Oliver Cromwell was seized by a great fit of maniacal laughter causing Fairfax to bitterly observe that "he [Charles Stuart] was a lucky fool".
But perhaps after all the King would succumb to his foolishness. Because the Parliamentarians had managed to capture the King's personal baggage with correspondence which showed he intended to seek support from the Irish Catholic Confederation through the Cessation Treaty, and Catholic nations in Europe. By publishing this correspondence, entitled The King's Cabinet Opened, Parliament gained fresh impetus to continue fighting the war.
In 1926, during his famous "Fourteen Points" speech in 1918, ten months before the Great War would reach its armistice, United States President Woodrow Wilson concluded with his fourteenth point about the terms needed for a peaceful and stable Europe: "A general association of nations must be formed under specific covenants for the purpose of affording mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity to great and small states alike".
Brazil Remains in the League of Nations While the combined session of Congress applauded, genuine reception was cold. Many Americans felt that they had been needlessly involved in Europe's war despite the submarine warfare and that "return to normalcy" was preferred to making the United States an international figure. During the next year, Wilson began to realize the difficulties of his envisioned League of Nations and decided to refine its character before its institution during the Paris Peace Conference in January of 1919.
A new story by Jeff ProvineThe idea of a League of Nations was not new. It could be traced back to ancient ideals in Greek city-state confederations, Enlightenment writings of nations that openly welcome and talk with foreigners, and more overtly in the Concert of Europe opposing Napoleon. Formally, the international community began to come together with the Inter-Parliamentary Union in 1889 with a voluntary parliament collecting delegates from dozens of countries by the Great War. With millions dead across Europe, activism for peace amid the horrors of modern weapon technology grew powerful, and Wilson took advice from South African Prime Minister Jan Christiaan Smuts' The League of Nations: A Practical Suggestion to institute a central point for world diplomacy.
However, as the reluctance for admission to a voluntary League became obvious, Wilson determined that volunteerism, while idealistic, would not be enough. For a League of Nations to ensure that this was "the war to end all wars," nations needed to be encouraged, though not quite forced, into the league as a stern father would encourage a son into education. Warfare as diplomacy would be outlawed and treaties allowable only overtly to fellow member nations in the league. Rather than disarmament, the armies of the nations would be at the disposal of the league to punish violations. Nations might never come to such an agreement on their own volition, but the aftermath of the Great War was the precise timing for strong institution.
Thusly emboldened, the League of Nations met in Council on January 16, 1920, with its first General Assembly meeting five days later with the closing of the Paris Peace Conference. The United States notably did not join the league with its Senate refusing to ratify the Treaty of Versailles and President Wilson and his Democrats losing power. The nations of the world pointed out the stipulation that no new treaties could be made with America, and so the United States technically continued at war well into the Harding administration until combined economic and political pressures made the US join in 1923, shortly after Harding's death. Coolidge called the action Harding's "dying wish" and commented on the League's advances in labor, health, and technology, furthering rights to refugees, non-white races, and women, and working internationally to abolish trade in slaves and drugs. After several unsuccessful bids blocked primarily by the French, Esperanto was taken as one of the four official languages of the League (added to Spanish, which had joined the original French and English). The "artificial language" would soon become one of the world's major trade languages and commonly spoken by millions.
The test of the League of Nations came as famously libertarian Costa Rica decided to shed the restrictions and codes, announcing on December 24, 1924, that it would withdraw. The question of secession raised, but the Latin American state would be allowed to leave, though it would be severed from new treaties the nations within the league. Theorists noted that Costa Rica would thusly be open to imperialization by any country wishing to do so, and the United States was quick to speak up with its old Monroe Doctrine protecting the Western Hemisphere from interference. Costa Rica left the League, and in June of 1925, Brazil announced that it would do the same. Having been a founding member, the stakes were higher, and political pressure settled on the South American nation. When Italy spoke up about its opportunities for expansion and numerous trade partners giving up renewing treaties, Brazil determined to stay, deciding that the Soviet Union and remnants of Germany would not be suitable trade partners.
Germany soon joined the League, and its Fuhrer Hitler eagerly began building influence. However, the majority of the League moved to block him and other Fascists. Using the same militaristic speed that had solved the Chaco War between Bolivia and Paraguay, Italy was punished for its invasion of Ethiopia using illegal tactics (such as chemical warfare and water poisoning) by a naval blockade that would ultimately bring down Mussolini's government. The Spanish Civil War became a divisive matter that finally led Hitler, who had chafed in the League since 1933, to leave and propose his own "Axis" of nations. While Germany, Japan, and a few others left, the Soviet Union joined as an antagonist, Stalin having held out for years. The call for aid from China in the Second Sino-Japanese War would prompt a war almost as massive as the Great War as the League descended upon Japan and its German allies with the Soviet Union taking the brunt of the fighting.
Victory in the Axis War proved the League to be solid. It governed much of the decolonization period with plebiscites it had perfected in the Balkans and Middle East. Still, outside of the walls of the Palace of Nations in Geneva, countries work covertly and economically to one-up or hinder one another in what has been termed "Cold Warfare". Costa Rica, after its government being overthrown repeatedly by different factions, rejoined in desperate need of aid in 1960.
In 1789, the crashing failure of the Philadelphia delegates to "chain the dogs of war" was ruthlessly exposed when a long-running border dispute in the Wyoming Valley escalated into armed conflict between the Sovereign Republics of Virginia, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania Uber Alles
Ed, Eric Lipps & Scott PalterWith the European monarchies locked in a cycle of violence that had spilled out onto the American continent itself, the delegates had feared the emergence of an over-powerful head of state who would draw the infant nation into unnecessary warfare with foreign powers. Instead of a belligerent European-style monarch, they dreamt of a Patriot King who would be a brilliant manager of military affairs, yet constrained by a Constitution that would expressly reserve the power to declare war for the Congress.
In seeking to contrive a compromise on this particular issue (as with so many others) the delegates were dividing themselves into two irreconciable parties. And as the summer drew on, visionaries such as George Mason concluded that a re-invigorated central government would undermine their hard-fought liberty. At the last, these so-called Anti-Federalists attempted to head off this threat by tabling a Bill of Rights, but the delegates were too exhausted to continue and the Convention broke-up with a fatally flawed Constitution. Appointed to represent the States, Mason et al. returned to their own "countries" as outspoken critics of the agreement, making sure that the ratification process miscarried.
Trouble was, time was running out for the Confederation. Throughout the 1780s it was apparent at least to the Federalists that a strong central authority was needed not just to regulate trade, but to ensure that commercial disputes did not lead to war. Frustrated, they were forced to watch the dogs of war unchained not by a Federal head of state, but by the new States Presidents that were taking office throughout the former colonies. Unprincipled politicians driven by short-term expediency who even now were reaching out to the European monarchies in the expectation of gaining lines of credit and military assistance.
All hopes now rested on the shoulders of the great man many had hoped would be that Patriot King. Who was now making camp with the Virginian Army on the bank of the Susquehanna River. Who now realised that a Federal State could only be established by a war of conquest.
In 1983, Diana Ross was arrested on a charge of assault following the NBC broadcast Hitsville 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever.Supremes Reunion
The unrehearsed Supremes reunion between Diana Ross, Mary Wilson, and Cindy Birdsong was cut short when Ross, frustrated by the fact that Wilson and Birdsong were taking the same steps forward as her instead of staying in the back, turned around and pushed Wilson towards the back of the stage.
In Ross' defense Mary Wilson had said in her own book that she had instructed Cindy right before the performance that they should both take a step forward each time Diana did. Thereby provoking Diana and causing her to tell Mary to stand back.
A few moments later, Motown labelmates such as Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, and others quickly filled the stage for an impromptu finale. Although Producer Suzanne Depasse had instructed Diana to introduce Berry Gordy after leading the finale, Mary decided to do the honors, by calling Berry down herself. This led Diana to tell Mary 'it's been taken care of'.
By the time the reunion aired on NBC, the Ross/Wilson altercations had been excised from the special, but they were widely reported, and although Mary confessed in her book in 1986 the performance resulted in bad publicity for Ross.
Mary Wilson made a formal complaint after the show leading to Ross' arrest.
On this day in 1970, the radical Palestinian faction Black September established a base camp in Syria with assistance from Syrian intelligence officers who wanted the group's aid in undermining Israeli control of the Golan Heights.
In 1999, film industry magazine Variety reports that comedian and television actor Jerry Seinfeld is trying to kick-start a feature film spin-off based on his popular sitcom, Seinfeld.
Seinfeld had previous off-handedly hinted at such a possibility in a Time magazine interview on the sitcom's series finale, which was broadcast over a year ago. However, he is disappointed to learn that cast member Michael Richards, who played wacky neighbour, Cosmo Kramer, has absoloutly no interest - saying he is trying to develop the television pilot for his own sitcom, The Michael Richards Show.
Seinfeld feels his owes viewers after the disappointing reaction to the series finale, but is willing to wait on Richards and see how his new show fares. Over a year ago. Seinfeld was quoted as saying off-handedly: "A movie? Maybe, I've never really thought about it... but it's definitely over for these characters in a sitcom. There's only so far you can go in that format".
In 1994, international sensation Pete Best died of a heart attack at his apartment in New York City. Fans the world over mourned.
In 1954, President Adlai Stevenson vetoed the Republican attempt to add the words 'under God' to the pledge of allegiance, declaring it against American values. 'We can defeat the Soviets without recourse to petty jingoism or invoking the Almighty,' Stevenson told a press conference.
In 1951, Pascal-Edison, Inc, introduces its first mini-Eddie, an electronic difference engine small enough to fit on top of a desk, rather than being the desk itself. This machine, the Univac, becomes an indispensible tool for the home and business, and millions of them are sold.
In 1931, the time-travelling Nazi backers of the Greater Zionist Resistance met with Astrid Pflaume to determine the best way to get their plans back on course. Unknown to them, her loyalties had switched after the hard fighting with her Zionists, and when the Nazis arrived, she had them all shot.
In 1603, Francis Bacon fired the actor who had been his cover in the years when he had assumed a nom de plume. William Shakespeare had rarely contributed anything to the company, anyway.
In 1999, Queen Gwen, the newly-christened 'Pillar of Britain', negotiates a surrender from Central European Imperial holdouts in Istanbul, freeing up Sir Lance du Lac's Round Table Corps to head off to Africa, where former vassal states of the CEE are attempting to stir up trouble for Great Britain's possessions there. The queen is hailed for her mastery of politics, and poll after poll shows that she is almost as beloved as King Arthur II, who lies near death in a coma.
In 1891, troops from Kansas City and Concordia, along with Kansas volunteers led by Thaddeus Elridge, march on Topeka, hoping to beat reinforcements heading there to shore up 'Sockless' Jerry Simpson. Simpson bustles about the capitol, getting the Kansans still loyal to him ready to endure a seige.
In 1985, Lebanese Hezbollah terrorists attempt to hijack a TWA flight from Athens to Rome. When the passengers learn that they are being diverted to Lebanon, a plan starts among them to rush the terrorists en masse and seize control back. The pilot assists in the plan by telling the terrorists that he is making the course change when he is still on course to Rome. Just before the Italian coastline will give the plan away, the passengers attack and capture all but one of the terrorists. The last one barricades himself in a bathroom and explodes the grenade he was carrying with him, opening a hole in the side of the plane. The pilots make an emergency landing on the Italian coast as the passengers hang on for dear life. Almost everyone was injured in the crash, but the only fatality ended up being the terrorist who blew himself up. The passengers and crew were greeted as heroes when they finally arrived in Rome, and Hollywood produced a movie about the ordeal, Flight 847, starring Sylvester Stallone.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.