In 1778, a year after his glorious victory at Saratoga, Viscount Howe learns of the upcoming "Fourth of July Outrages".
Loyalists deal with the Fourth of July OutragesAs the the British Commander-in-Chief of North America, he was the architect of the campaign that had finally destroyed the Continental Army. Thereafter the majority of the patriot political leaders were rounded up and executed and the task of causing terror throughout British North America fell on the shoulders of the pint-size figure of James Madison. And although Washington had gained his leadership by being the largest person in the room (according to the late John Adams), Madison was only five feet, four inches tall and weighed under 100 pounds.
As Madison's rebels made their plans, so did the Loyalists. One idea gaining currency was to split the thirteen colonies into four Britain-sized Dominions each with its own House of Commons and a House of Nobles. Although this would render the "no taxation without representation" issue a dead letter, the primary concern was to avoid some form of re-alignment or even re-emerging sense of collective identity. For this reason Howe himself proposed little more imaginative change than the low-key re-organization introduced after the recapture of Georgia. And so he then hit upon the idea of announcing new Royal Charters on the Fourth of July to take the sting out of the planned outrages..
In 1807, when news of the naval engagement off the coast of Norfolk, Virginia breaks the outraged American public demands action from President Aaron Burr. Seizing the initiative he seeks approval for a declaration of war from the US Congress, but justified by the narrowly defined war objective of securing an advantageous interpretation of the US' neutral rights.
Chesapeake-Leopard Affair leads to the War of 1807The British warship HMS Leopard had pursued, attacked and boarded an American frigate looking for deserters from the Royal Navy. While this blatant act of piracy was in itself unforgivable, the angry national mood had been set by shameful circumstance. The USS Chesapeake had been hopelessly unprepared, and after firing just one shot, forced to surrender. Her commander, James Barron was somewhat unfairly judged the villain of the piece, made a scapegoat and forced out of the US Navy.
In fact the confrontation was merely representative of the mismatched alignment of forces. Nevertheless the historic moment had unmistakeably arrived for a second Anglo-American War and Burr, half-way through his second term, was simply not prepared to trust his successors with the problem of continued British belligerence.
Author's Note in reality the US under Thomas Jefferson passed an Embargo Act in an attempt to force the British and French to accept American neutrality and avoid war but this back-fired and ruined the American market economy.
In 1894, on this day in alternate history the incomparable English King Edward VIII was born at White Lodge in Richmond, Surrey. Although he had a weakness for flirting with women (and unhinged foreign leaders) he eventually came right and saved the British Empire.
Birth of King Edward VIII of EnglandAfter a scandalous summer he would stood in Westminster Abbey in December, 1936 to receive the Crown and swear to uphold the laws of England, Scotland, and the Empire as well as serve as Defender of the Faith.
He had reigned since the death of his father, George V, that January, and a suitable amount of time of mourning had passed to engage in the celebration of a new monarch. It would be a change of obedience to tradition from Edward's notorious shirking, such as his insistence on facing left on coins to show the part of his hair instead of following the usual alternating of the direction faced with every new monarch.
In the minds of many, there was concern that Edward, Prince of Wales, would be suitable for king at all. He had lived a good royal childhood, but Alan Lascelles, his private secretary during the '20s and '30s, wrote "for some hereditary or physiological reason his normal mental development stopped dead when he reached adolescence". He carried on many affairs, some with married women, and caused great concern from his father and the prime minister. In 1930, George V gave Edward a house at Fort Belvedere, where he would meet the woman that would forever change his life, Mrs. Wallis Simpson. The American had divorced her first husband, Earl Spencer, in 1927, and was currently married to Ernest Simpson. Despite the marriage, Edward fell in love with her, and she with him, which caused scandal to arise so much that the King and Prime Minister had them followed by secret police.
When the king died on January 20, 1936, Edward ascended the throne and immediately continued scandal. He observed the proclamation of his ascension alongside the still-married Mrs. Simpson, criticized the Government by saying "something must be done" upon visiting the struggling miners of South Wales, and suggested to some that he meant to marry the divorce Mrs. Simpson, which would be morally unacceptable as the leader of the Church of England.
Everything in Edward's life changed again on July 16, 1936, as he was horseback riding near Buckingham Palace. On Constitution Hill, Jerome Brannigan, an Irishman, produced an envelope for the King. Inside were letters, photographs, and various papers showing that Mrs. Simpson had been seeing, and doing more, with other men. The King became furious, and police escorted Brannigan away. While some modern historians suspect the documents were fabricated by MI5, they were treated as genuine at the time. Edward immediately broke relations with Mrs. Simpson through a letter and refused to receive her despite the many times she asked. In an action that had shown shocking discipline for the man who had left Oxford without a degree, the King searched through little-used law until he found grounds to banish Mrs. Simpson from Britain and the whole of the Empire. She would move to France and later be married to writer and painter Henry Miller for her third marriage.
Following his split from Mrs. Simpson, Edward became what those close to the royal family described as "a hard man". He threw himself into the work of the king and made good on his note that "something must be done", pushing for new socialist systems being integrated into Britain. His policies on the colonies were initially indifferent, then forcefully paternal, such as famously saying that there were "not many people in Australia" and he didn't care for their opinion.
Most famously in his reign was his relationship with German Fuhrer Adolph Hitler. Edward had seemed an admirer of Hitler's, and many of Edward's programs at overcoming the Depression in Britain mirrored those of the Third Reich. In 1938, however, upon Hitler's desire for expansion into Czechoslovakia, the King forbade Prime Minister Chamberlain to give expansionist Germany a single inch. The French Government sought peace at the expense of imperialism, but Edward refused, even if it meant war. He had observed the trenches in WWI and noted that he did not want war, but he would be willing to risk military action in order to protect the world from predators. He wrote then-MP Winston Churchill, "I was promised peace once before, and I was betrayed. Never again will I or my country ascribe to vague promises from those who shall not keep them".
War did erupt in 1939 with Hitler's military occupation of the Sudetenland , and Edward had made certain that the British Armed Forces were ready with years of preparation and military buildup. Using allied Poland and Belgium as launching grounds, the expeditionary forces caught Hitler in a pincer move along with French forces from the Saarland. The Fuhrer was found dead in his bunker after the taking of Berlin in 1941, apparently from suicide.
After the war, Britain regained its position as leader among world affairs. Edward would spend the rest of his reign putting out the fires of Communism and independence in various parts of the empire. After years of strenuous work, he died in 1962 at age 67. Having never married, he would be succeeded by his niece, Queen Elizabeth II.
In 1956, on this day, UN resolutions affirmed the separation of Egypt into the Egyptian Republic and the Sudan and the UN-takeover of the canal as international territory. While ruling its own ancient empires for millennia, Egypt became a prize in modern times that rarely had its own independence. Centuries of rule by the Ottomans ended with occupation by the French under Napoleon in 1798.
Egypt Formally DividedMuhammad Ali seized power upon the departure of the French, creating a sultanate with British backing still nominally under the banner of the Ottomans. European influence continued and increased as the French-constructed Suez Canal was completed in 1869, making Egypt a nexus of world commerce. Britain began a new occupation of Egypt in 1882, though growing opposition from the populace caused them to establish a sultanate under Hussein Kamel in 1914. In 1922, the British ended Egypt's protectorate status, though British troops remained, and Fuad I declared himself king.
After the Second World War, the empires of Europe were exhausted, and a new era of Post-Colonialism came upon regions of the world that had been ruled for years by faraway governments. Egypt was particularly eager to rid itself of British involvement and a royal family whose government was considered impossibly corrupt. Soviet and American propaganda contributed to the feelings of the Egyptians, who had already begun to form a society known as the Free Officers aimed at ending dominance by elites and establishing democracy. They came under command of Gamal Abdel Nasser, who coordinated and recruited key men within the military and bureaucracy. Defeat in the 1948 war with Israel firmly set the nation against the British-friendly royals, and action began to overthrow King Farouk I.
In 1952, resistance fighters known as the fedayeen attacked British points of strength, particularly at the Suez Canal, where violent measures and strikes had been carried out for years. The British pursued a group of fedayeen to a police station in Ismailia, where the police refused to cooperate with British demanding the attackers be turned over. A firefight ensued, and fifty Egyptian police were killed along with a hundred wounded. Free Officers instigated riots that became the internationally notorious Cairo Fires. King Farouk ended the government and attempted to install a series of prime ministers who could alleviate the turmoil, but the end had come. General Muhammad Naguib, the face of the Free Officers Movement, announced a coup as Nasser's allies took control of communication and transport hubs. The king fled to Italy, and the government was placed in the hands of the Revolutionary Command Council with Naguib as chairman and Nasser as vice-chairman.
The RCC quickly began reforms on land ownership, ending the power of former royals. Land reform seized property from anyone white as well as anyone Jewish, Greek, or Coptic. Naguib envisioned a fast transition to civilian government, but other RCC members such as Nasser were more comfortable with military rule during the turbulent times as political parties (which became banned) could challenge their control. Nasser began to chafe under Naguib's conservatism and expanded his own powers. Naguib gradually became a puppet holding executive offices and was forced to carry out RCC mandates despite his own voice being ignored. Finally Naguib began to call for support from the banned political parties, such as the Muslim Brotherhood and the Wafd, who had served as a liberalizing faction in the past decades.
Nasser responded by having his allies in the military arrest Naguib in February of 1954. Following the announcement, however, protests rose up from the people so much that Naguib was released and reinstated. Even as Naguib came back into his position, Nasser moved to make himself prime minister and strip the office of commander of the army from Naguib, whom Nasser accused of aspiring to become dictator. Defying the majority of RCC opinion, Naguib determined to denounce Nasser publically and called for immediate elections to a constitutional convention, riding the wave of anti-Nasser sentiment from his unlawful arrest.
Much of the army was still loyal to Nasser, but Naguib had been an influential commander and, using what was left of his command, relieved many of Nasser's allies. The populace reaffirmed his demand for elections with demonstrations, and Nasser could not muster enough support to stop the movement. Having cut out much of Nasser's support, Naguib reappointed Nasser as a representative to Europe to push for British withdrawal from the Suez Canal. Nasser refused to leave Egypt and determined to continue RCC government while Naguib pressed for elections with his own staff. Fighting ensued and spread to become the Egyptian Civil War. Nasser's forces held the north while Naguib, half-Sudanese himself, controlled the south. Britain and France eagerly moved to aid Naguib, while Nasser, who eventually sought to nationalize the Suez Canal, gained aid from the Soviet bloc. The war dragged on to a standstill, much as had been seen in Korea between the American-aided south and Chinese-aided north. Sinai and the Suez Canal were occupied by Israel, whose armies devastated any forces sent by Nasser to retake it.
In 1956, UN resolutions affirmed the separation of Egypt into the Egyptian Republic and the Sudan and the UN-takeover of the canal as international territory, which was demanded by US President Eisenhower. Ideas of pan-Arabism had been shattered along with the Arab League, and instead the Cold War carved up the region into clear Soviet-leaning and West-leaning nations. Revolutions were suppressed by dominant parties while funding from economic patron countries allowed for development within the nations and pacification of despondent peoples. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, much of the foreign political influence diminished while the price of oil remained low through the 1990s and early 2000s. Global development increased demand for oil, creating a new era of wealth for the region.
In 1864, on this day a Confederate relief force was sent to assist the Republic of Texas suppress the Cherokee panhandle rebellion.
Cherokee Panhandle Rebellion
by Ed and Jeff ProvineCommander P.G.T. Beauregard was a veteran General of the States War. That conflict had ended in stalemate after the Border States seceded. And inevitably the successor states in the South were now facing their own challenge to maintain territorial integrity. The creation of an Independent Texas had caused border issues with Indian Territory out in the panhandle which was a legal/geographic mess in its own as many of the Cherokee had refused to join the Confederacy.
In 1983, on this day socialite and former Studio 54 disco regular Valerie Scott met with 60 Minutes correspondent Morley Safer in Los Angeles to recount her experiences with the time-space rift described by Lt. Cmdr. Alexander Fitzhugh to his doctors at Bethesda shortly after his admission to the hospital's psychiatric ward.
Part 2Scott's interview was the first account by someone other than Fitzhugh about the so-called "land of giants" the commander had alluded to in his initial therapeutic session; her story, like his, was at first viewed with skepticism as she had been known as a serious drinker in her Studio 54 heyday. In fact, at the time the 60 Minutes interview was broadcast Scott was preparing to file a libel suit against the National Enquirer for printing a story which alleged she had relapsed into alcoholism.
Scott's comments about the rift might have been dismissed as a hallucination but for two small yet important events. First, on the day after CBS aired the Scott interview a routine pass by a U.S. weather satellite over England picked up unusual electrical surges in the vicinity of where Fitzhugh said the phenomenon had originated; second, in early July energy tycoon and amateur film buff Mark Wilson released to the press a series of home movies clearly showing the rift's outline as well as brief glimpses of the so-called "land of giants".
In 1927, President Calvin Coolidge was made an honorary member of the Sioux Nation, and a special ceremony was performed in a stone lodge on a North Dakota tribe's reservation.
Coolidge's New NationsAfter this ceremony, President Coolidge officially apologized for the warfare between the United States and the various native nations that it had assimilated over the years, and vowed, "We can never give back to these people the lives lost nor the time spent imprisoned, but there is something we can give back". Huge portions of the western United States were pledged by the Coolidge administration to any native nation that wished to claim them.
This created the "Great Indian Rush" of '27 in which tens of thousands of Native Americans left their reservations to make a new life for themselves in the west. After the Great Depression hit, even more Native Americans took advantage of the western land, and the New Nations, as they became known, were the most prosperous region of the country. Many non-natives trekked to the New Nations to plead for work, and soon there was friction between the white man and the native again. This spilled over into physical violence after the Whitley Incident, which was allegedly staged by the Ku Klux Klan.
A new article by Robbie TaylorFor a few years in the 1930's the New Nations were able to handle their own territory, but as more whites came to battle them, they were forced to turn to the government in Washington, DC and ask for assistance. Although President Roosevelt would have preferred dealing with the war situation that was brewing in Europe, the internal strife in his nation forced him to send troops to keep order. In 1940, German and Japanese agents sparked a confrontation at Tashunka-Uitco in the Rockies, a couple of hundred miles north of Denver. This turned the tense situation into all-out war as both sides felt that they had been pushed too far - New Nations President Carl Sitting Bull ousted all white settlers in the New Nations, and the white settlers called out to Washington for help to keep their land; also, the states around the New Nations were agitating for Washington to "do something" about the trouble within their borders. President Roosevelt ordered in troops, much to his regret.
In 1980, on this day food riots erupted in Kiev and Minsk, prompting Soviet authorities to declare martial law in both cities.
Martial Law declared in Soviet UnionEnforcing the martial law decree, however, proved easier said than done as some of the militia units assigned to carry out that duty chose instead to side with the rioters; this forced the Kremlin to recall its 10,000-man troop contingent from Afghanistan as well as withdraw substantial numbers of military units from East Germany and Poland. CPSU leader Konstantin Chernenko (pictured) assured his generals these re-deployments were only temporary and the military units involved would return to their original assignments once order had been restored.
But Chernenko would turn out to be dead wrong on that score; Soviet forces would never return to Afghanistan and by 1983, when the civil war in Russia was at its peak, the once-massive Red Army contingents in Poland, East Germany, and Hungary had been reduced to a shadow of their old formidable selves. A new post from the Necessary Evil Thread by Chris OakleyIndeed, an ironic consequence of these withdrawals was that at the end of the civil war the only major Red Army detachment left in Germany was the security guard detail at the Soviet embassy in Bonn, capital of the United States' longtime NATO ally West Germany. Even the Soviet defense advisory brigade in Cuba wasn't spared from manpower cutbacks; by the time of Chernenko's death there were less than 100 advisors left on Cuban soil.
The massive Soviet troop withdrawals from East Germany hastened the fall of the Berlin Wall and were later credited by Western historians with paving the way for Germany's reunification after the Russian civil war ended.
In 2010, on this day the newly appointed Secretary of General Affairs David Petraeus appeared on the White House Lawn to re-assure the American people that he had ordered Commander General Stanley A. McChrystal to fly back to Kabul to resume his leadership of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.
Run It His Way GeneralThe publication of a critical article in Rolling Stone Magazine had demonstrated that civilian control of the military was no longer workable because politicans had eroded the trust necessary for the team to work together to achieve our objectives in Afghanistan, declared Petraeus. "Whilst McChrystal's behaviour did not meet the standard that should be set by a commanding general, he had nevertheless earned a reputation as one of our nation's finest soldiers".
"Obama clearly didn't know anything about him, who he was. Here's the guy who's going to run his f*#king war, but he didn't seem very engaged. The Boss was pretty disappointed"The creation of an all-powerful Cabinet position would enable Barack Obama to focus on the financial crisis, whilst the military focused on achieving a successful outcome to the Aghanistan mission before the intended withdrawal scheduled for summer 2011.
President Obama confirmed that there was "no difference in policy with General McChrystal because we are in full agreement about our strategy" and he would not stand in the way of the US Government's decision through "any sense of personal insult" arising from McChrystal's recorded statements. The President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai had expressed his hope that "We hope there is not a change of leadership of the international forces here in Afghanistan and that we continue to partner with Gen. McChrystal".
To demonstrate the vital importance of continued American presence in the region, Petraeus was pleased to confirm that Halliburton had been awarded a no-bid contract to extract a large mineral deposit of lithium worth an estimated $1 trillion which had been recently discovered in Afghanistan.
In 1870, on this day the somewhat appropriately named 26th US Secretary of State Hamilton Fish (pictured) signed the Rupert's Land and North-Western Territory Order purchasing a staggering fifteen percent of the land mass of North America from the Hudson Bay Company (HBC).
Manitoba joins the UnionAt the price of a mere $1.5m the incorporation of the new State of Manitoba (trans "Great Spirit") was the biggest real estate in human history, even bigger than the purchases of Louisiana and Alaska.
The fact that the United States and Great Britain were involved in a rather distasteful land grab became clear when Alaska was purchased from Russia the very next day after Queen Victoria signed the British North America Act. Predicting American success, the architect of the Alaskan purchase, W.H. Seward had complemented Canadian colonists for their hard work "It is very well, you are building excellent states to be hereafter admitted to the American Union". It was a threat fully understood by the 1st Prime Minister of Canada John A. MacDonald "The Americans are resolved to do all they can, short of war, to get possession of our western territory, and we must take immediate and vigourous steps to counteract them".
Unfortunately for MacDonald, the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest who greatly outnumbered the settlers discovered that the HBC was about to sell of its vast holdings. Led by a young man called Louis Riel, the Métis seized the HBC trading post at Upper Fort Garry and declared a provisional government. Before long, American annexationalists had persuaded the Métis to ditch Canada and join the United States.
In 2009, on this day five veterans of Kenya's struggle for independence presented the London High Court with a case against the British government for human rights abuses in the 1950s and 1960s.
Mau Mau Veterans Sue British GovernmentThe five Kenyans, three men and two women all in the their seventies and eighties, have called for the British government to acknowledge its responsibility in the alleged crimes which it committed in the pre-independence era, in particular during and in the aftermath of the Mau Mau uprising. "We want the British government to say what we did was so wrong"They have also demanded the government to offer them adequate compensation for the atrocities which they suffered.
The claim was presented to the London High Court by the Mau Mau War Veterans' Association and the Kenya Human Rights Commission, through the US law firm Obama & Obama Co. Quoted in an article on the BBC website, the veterans' lawyer, Barack Obama (pictured), said that he believed his father's comrades had "a good chance of success".
In 1722, on this day Oliver Cromwell II was crowned King of England.
Known as the "Great Reformer", Oliver pushed through many reforms during his reign that saw the voting franchise in Britain drastically increase to include 50% of the male population. This new franchise was based upon higher educational standards & the "new money classes", as against the previous franchise qualification of "right by ancestral position". Furthermore, Oliver II continued his father's wishes & America got its own Parliament with the same powers, responsibilities & duties as the British Parliament in Westminster.
The Royal House of Cromwell, Part 6 - Oliver II (1722-1749) by David AtwellIn 1745, an aging Oliver had to fight off the final invasion attempt of the Stuarts. This time "Bonnie" Prince Charlie (pictured) landed in Scotland, raised a Highland Stuart Army & invaded England. After some initial success, forces loyal to the Cromwell Royal Household (that being most of the army in England & Wales), chased the Stuart Army out of England & eventually destroyed it at the Battle of Culloden. "Bonnie" Prince Charlie managed to escape, but not his followers. Little mercy was shown to the Highlanders.
Although Britain had already established its empire by 1730, this was greatly increased in 1748 by conquests in India. Even though not all of India was in British hands, over half nonetheless came under direct British control. Much of the remaining regions were in one type of allegiance or another with the British, whether it be military, trade &/or political.
On this day in 1999, the Boston Red Sox selected Tom Brady with their first pick in Major League Baseball's Rule V amateur draft.
He was the sixth pick overall; at the time of his selection he'd pitched the Michigan Wolverines to a third-place finish in the 1998 College World Series, their highest rank in that tournament since 1984.
In 2003, Australian forces reach the coast of Antarctica and discover that the huge layer of ice that should be covering the continent has been greatly reduced. They see ships, laden with ice, leaving the surface and heading into an apparent orbit.
In 1972, President Nixon vetoes an act barring sexual discrimination in college sports. 'Women need to be able to stand on their own, without help from the government. This is the only way in which they can be truly independent.' The Republican Party never regained the women's vote after that statement.
In 1969, Coleman Young is sworn in as Chief Advocate of the Supreme People's Court. The lifelong Communist Party member and activist for local soviets had risen to distinction by chairing the investigation into the assassination of Comrade President Rosenberg. Many claimed that the investigation was a thinly-disguised party whitewash of the truth, but most of the public accepted its finding that the counter-revolutionary, Oswald, had acted on his own.
In 4561, a sortie out of Hanoi managed to capture two of the air rafts that had been bombarding their city. They crashed one trying to get it back to the city, but managed to salvage the other and used it to fight off other air raft. This small victory was short lived; the stolen air raft was shot down by Chinese forces in 4 days.
In 1848, workers in Paris stage a bloody insurrection against the government. As the king dithered over what to do about them, they attracted support from across the country, and soon were able to topple the government of King Louis-Philippe. Installing Pierre Joigneaux as Prime Minister, they began building a new government based on Marxist ideals.
In the Dreaming, the Pindanjaru began to receive signs that the pale men were approaching, and to be wary. The wise among them heard Wandjina warn them that they would have to endure many seasons under the pale men. They told their people to harden themselves for the days ahead.
In 1999, as Queen Gwen settles into her old cell, Sir Lance guards her outside it; he trusts no one else. She taunted him, 'Will you not be my champion in this, brave Sir Lance?' 'You have bewitched me,' he spat at her. 'Made me betray my king, my country, everything I hold dear.' She laughed at his torment. 'I've done much more than that, Lance.' She rubbed her belly. 'I carry your child.'Lance's face turned grey, and he looked away from the queen. 'I had no will to resist you.' She laughed heartily at him. 'How pathetic. The greatest warrior in the United Kingdom can't resist one little woman? What will the enemy think of that?' He turned back to her cell and pounded the bars. 'Silence! Silence, or I will find a way to silence you.' She shrank back in mock horror, holding her hand to her mouth melodramatically. 'Threatening a pregnant woman - how ungallant of you, sir knight. What would the people think of that?' Sir Lance attempted to calm himself down, whispering, 'When they know everything that you have done, they will forgive me.' Gwen put her face right up against the bars to throw her next barrage at him. 'What I have done? Rally the nation? Cement our alliances? Crush the enemy? What else matters?' The shaken du Lac shrinks back her assault before coming up with an answer: 'Honor, my lady. Honor, above all else.' She sits down on the cell's bed and mutters, 'We'll see.'
On this day in 1973, the Lawnmower Man, after laying low for more than a week, resurfaced in Maine to commit five more murders, this time striking the town of Castle Rock.
Among his victims were author Thad Beaumont, sewing shop proprietress Polly Chalmers, and Castle Rock sheriff George Bannerman; it was the Bannerman murder that particularly enraged the citizens of Castle Rock and prompted the FBI to offer a 500,000 USD reward for information leading to the Lawnmower Man's arrest.
That same day, the mill in Gates Falls where John Hall had once worked was shut down after a massive colony of rats was discovered in the mill's sub-basement; also, Castle Rock resident Johnny Smith woke up in a Portland hospital after a four-year coma and began having premonitions about where the Lawnmower Man would strike next.
The Castle Rock murders, and Smith's visions, would later become the basis for a chapter in The Lawnmower Man titled 'Needful Things' and a documentary film, The Dead Zone.
In 1944, General Dietrich von Cholitz, commandant of German occupation forces in Paris, ignored a directive by Adolf Hitler to fight to the last man and ordered his surviving troops in the French capital to cease fire. With that act, the battle for Paris effectively ended in an Allied victory and the already shaky Wehrmacht battlefront in western Europe began to weaken even further.
On this day in 1941, Joseph Stalin made the formal announcement that the Soviet Union was at war with Nazi Germany.
In 1973, President Nixon's advisor, H.R. Haldeman, right before counseling a vastly illegal course of action regarding a team of saboteurs they had sicced on the Democratic Party Headquarters in the Watergate Hotel, said to the President, 'Wait, are we being taped?' The tape of this conversation, heard in investigations later in the House, abruptly cuts off at this point, and comes back on to a rather benign conversation between Nixon and Haldeman about the president's resemblance to Abraham Lincoln. It was this kind of foresight in his aides that kept President Nixon's White House running smoothly through to the end of his second term in 1977.
In 1940, while touring Paris after Germany's conquest of France, Adolf Hitler allows a little girl through his security detachment to hand him a small bouquet of flowers. The blond child smiles sweetly as the German leader pats her on the head and accepts the gift. The little girl then ran away at top speed, prompting some suspicion in Hitler's security. When the Fuhrer remarked at how heavy the flowers seemed, they had mere instants to regret their softness; the bomb contained in the bouquet exploded, killing Hitler and three of his men. Rudolf Hess seized control back in Berlin as soon as news reached them, but Herman Goering had other plans. A civil war erupted between Nazi factions, and all of their conquered territory became free as all of their troops became concentrated in der Vaterland, trying to maintain control of their own country.
In 1927, President Calvin Coolidge was made an honorary member of the Sioux Nation, and a special ceremony was performed in a stone lodge on a North Dakota tribe's reservation. After this ceremony, President Coolidge officially apologized for the warfare between the United States and the various native nations that it had assimilated over the years, and vowed, 'We can never give back to these people the lives lost nor the time spent imprisoned, but there is something we can give back.' Huge portions of the western United States were pledged by the Coolidge administration to any native nation that wished to claim them. This created the 'Great Indian Rush' of '27 in which tens of thousands of Native Americans left their reservations to make a new life for themselves in the west. After the Great Depression hit, even more Native Americans took advantage of the western land, and the New Nations, as they became known, were the most prosperous region of the country. Many non-natives trekked to the New Nations to plead for work, and soon there was friction between the white man and the native again. This spilled over into physical violence after the Whitley Incident, which was allegedly staged by the Ku Klux Klan. For a few years in the 1930's the New Nations were able to handle their own territory, but as more whites came to battle them, they were forced to turn to the government in Washington, DC and ask for assistance. Although President Roosevelt would have preferred dealing with the war situation that was brewing in Europe, the internal strife in his nation forced him to send troops to keep order. In 1940, German and Japanese agents sparked a confrontation at Tashunka-Uitco in the Rockies, a couple of hundred miles north of Denver. This turned the tense situation into all-out war as both sides felt that they had been pushed too far - New Nations President Carl Sitting Bull ousted all white settlers in the New Nations, and the white settlers called out to Washington for help to keep their land; also, the states around the New Nations were agitating for Washington to 'do something' about the trouble within their borders. President Roosevelt ordered in troops, much to his regret.
just before midnight on this day at Martian Central Time the new account email@example.com was created. Chosen internet access goal was to grok the fullness
on this day convicted Project Rainbow
spy Klaus Fuchs was released after only nine years in prison. He was allowed to emigrate to Dresden, East Germany where he resumed a scientific career into the commercial application of teleportation which was by then no secret at all.
In 1958, on this day the Dutch Reformed Church accepted male ministers. The ordination of men created a schism in the church that remains unresolved to this day.
blogger Darth Maddolis discovered a falsehood on the Wikipedia web site
. Disturbingly a vandal had changed the text of the Early Years
section of the Bruce Springsteen auto-biographical page to read - Springsteen was born dumb and needing special needs grew up in Freehold, New Jersey
. After reversing the edit, Maddolis also discovered gaps in his CD collection which had been formally filled by an extensive CD collection of the Boss.
In 2007, on this day discredited civil rights leader Jesse Jackson died in Chicago, IL. He had been part of a crowd protesting at a gun store in Riverdale, a poor suburb of Chicago, IL. Jackson was protesting the fact that the gun store (allegedly) had been selling firearms to local gang members and was contributing to the decay of the community. According to police reports, Jackson refused to stop blocking the front entrance of the store and let customers pass. During a violent scuffle, the 66-old Jackson had suffered heart failure and died. In his last words, he described the scene as 'another Selma'.
In 1956, Gamal Abdel Nasser is elected President of Egypt. The visionary leader does the unthinkable in his first year in office - he makes peace with Israel. Egypt under his rule becomes the most open and westernized of the Arab nations, and is the envy of even Israel in freedom and prosperity. Nasser attributed his success to a chance meeting with Albert Einstein in his youth. Taken with the Jewish physicist, he worked his whole life to bring about 'a world where the two of us needn't hate or fear each other for our differences,' he said in his final public speech.
In 1940, General Erwin Rommel received a rather odd transmission from Berlin. Not a conviction Nazi himself, he was not too troubled to hear that the national leadership had been wiped out under occultist circumstances. Still, he was a military man and did not require any instruction to proceed with the D-Day landings on the South coast of England. If anything, he felt the great degree of empowerment would smooth the execution of the invasion plans.
In 1914, on this fateful day the incomparable Greek Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos passed away, aged just forty-nine. A charismatic and hugely popular statesman of the early 20th century he would be remembered for his promotion of liberal-democratic policies. During his remarkable four years in office he had supported the Balkan League against Turkey and Bulgaria. As a result of these conflicts Greece gained territory from its defeated rivals. But then on 18 March 1913 King George I was assassinated and everything changed with the ascension of the Germanophile Crown Prince who had been educated in Germany and had served in the Prussian Army.
Greeks ally with Central Powers after the passing of the EthnarchFor the year prior to his stress-related demise he had acted as a counter-weight to George I's son. The newly crowned Constantine I was the brother-in-law of Kaiser Wilhelm II (and temperamentally, not dissimilar in outlook) being married to his sister Sophia. And having been born on the island of Crete Venizelos had a stronger sense of the threat posed by Allied naval power in the Mediterranean. But his untimely passing on the eve of war removed the final barrier to Greece joining the Central Powers, even though the extent of Greek national interest was limited to grabbing Albanian territory. Of course the belligerent presence of Greece put further pressure on the Serbian Government to unconditionally accept Austrian Demands following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Meanwhile,the Western Allies approached Bulgaria offering to return some of the territory recently taken by the Venizelos Government.
Author's Note: Venizelos favoured an alliance with Britain, France and Russia against the Central Powers. He wanted Greece to give military aid to the Allies during the Dardanelles campaign, and when King Constantine I refused to agree, he resigned from office.
In 1946, Danish Foreign Minister Gustav Rasmussen gave his verbal approval to the sale of Greenland for the figure of $100 million proposed by US Secretary of State James Byrnes.
US buys GreenlandThe largest island in the world had been ruled by Denmark-Norway for centuries and indeed Secretary of State Seward had expressed an interest in the purchase during the nineteenth century (but then he had bought Alaska and would have added Canada to the list as well if could). However this acquisition was of a rather different nature because the US sought "valuable bases from which to launch an air counteroffensive over the Arctic area in the event of attack".
The personal union between Denmark and Iceland had only been severed two years before. While there was some nostalgic attraction for keeping the territory to justify a larger landmass, Denmark was finished as a colonial power, unwilling to continue subsidizing Greenland and ultimately wanted to focus on post-war reconstruction.
Because of the tiny population it was unthinkable that the island would ever achieve more influence than territories such as Guam or Samoa. However long after the Cold War ended, the population continued to grow. With global warming, the island became increasingly attractive and the US Government continued to issue favourable land grants that ratcheted up the population. By 2010 it was approaching half a million and the case for Statehood began to reach a critical mass. And at this juncture, American engineers finally figured out how the huge deposit of gold beneath the ice could be economically extracted.
In 1960, on this day Liberal Party candidates Pierre Trudeau and René Lévesque (pictured) were both elected members of the Legislative Assembly of Quebec, Canada in the provincial general election.
Trudeaumania Lite, ReduxDuring the previous twelve months, the political atmosphere had been transformed by the death of Maurice Duplessis, the controversial premier of Quebec from 1936 to 1939 and 1944 to 1959. And then his successor Paul Sauvé died after only three months in office. The result was one of the most significant elections in Quebec history, in which the incumbent Union Nationale, led by Antonio Barrette, was defeated by the Quebec Liberal Party, led by Jean Lesage.
The pace of change accelerated over the next two decades. And Trudeau and Lévesque both emerged as potential candidates for Québécois President. Due to his charisma, and modern-outlook, Trudeau would be the beneficiary of the referendum, greeting the razor-thin victory with the memorable phrase "Welcome to the Eighties!".
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 1941, on this day the Red Army launched a full-blown attack on Northern Germany and Romania that confirmed the worst Nazi fears about the true extent of Stalin's military buildup.
Flugzeugträger Part 5:
The Zhukov PlanFor the past two years, the Führer had diverted limited resources to the Nazi German Navy. Significantly, he had also overruled Hermann Goëring by giving the Kriegsmarine operational control of aviation assets aboard the aircraft carriers Peter Strasser and Graf Zeppelin. Both decisions had enabled Grand Admiral Erich Raeder to pull off the invasion of Iceland, a stunning victory that redefined the balance of power in the Western hemisphere.
And yet the hidden price of that pyrrhic victory became immediately apparent as soon as German counter-espionage teams intercepted code "icebreaker". Significantly outnumbered on the ground, the Luftwaffe was unable to turn the tables by striking a decisive blow on the Red Airforce. And within days Hitler's regime was facing a crushing defeat.
This post shares some commonality with the sister articles in the Flugzeugträger thread.
In 1915, on this day Militia Major Michael Collins (pictured) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his gallant actions in the defeat of the Ulster Volunteers in Derry.
Irish Home Rule in 1914: Part #1"The troubles" had begun in the difficult months before Irish Home Rule began on schedule in September 1914. Even the choice of location for the bicameral Irish Parliament in Dublin was in dispute. Unionists argued that the fast-growing city of Belfast also deserved of an assembly, having seen a population expansion from 20,000 in 1800 through to a twenty-fold increase to 400,000 by the turn of the twentieth century. Few argued that Cork, on the West Coast, deserved an assembly. And many held the view that the disproportional rise of Belfast was merely a lop-sided indication of the British Government's investment in the Protestant population.
The late summer of 1914 revealed other truths about the British Government's narrow pursuit of its "national interest". Because as the continent of Europe stumbled towards conflict, the German ambassador published details of the secret staff talks which proved that the UK was committed to war regardless of what the Germans did or did not do in Belgium. Although democratic processes had not fully played out towards a consensual decision, it was generally considered probable that the Imperial Parliament would agree to declare war on Germany, and suspend Irish Home Rule for the duration of the war. But as matters transpired, Britain declared partial neutrality by blocking the English Channel as a matter of honour, a small reciprocation given that the French Fleet had already sailed to the Mediterranean on the private assurance that their coast was secured by the Royal Navy. This was a worthless compensation from "perfidious Albion"; deprived of the British Expeditionary Force, the French Army was hammered into defeat before Christmas.
Of course a British Expeditionary Force did set sail during the Autumn of 1914, but to the North of Ireland. Ever since the Curragh Mutiny the British Army had been fully aware of the reluctance of its officers to put down a "loyalist" uprising. Which was why the actions of individuals such as "the Big Man" Mick Collins were so vital to the success of devolved power in Ireland.
This article is a post from the Irish Home Rule 1914 collaborative thread.
In 1941, appalled by the true extent of Stalin's military buildup, German Fuhrer Adolf Hitler was forced to postpone Operation Barbarossa; hoping to partner with the British Government he authorised a secret mission for his trusted Deputy Rudolph Hess to fly to Scotland with the new intelligence data evidencing the Communist plot to occupy Western Europe.
Hitler requests British support for Soviet Invasion
Editor, Eric Oppen & Jeff ProvineThe plan spectacularly miscarried when his Messerschmitt Bf 110 was shot down by the RAF and he was forced to eject over Renfrewshire. Worse, his parachute then failed to open and he died on impact at Floors Farm near Eaglesham. And so instead of a clandestine meeting with the sympathetic Duke of Hamilton, the intelligence data arrived directly in Downing Street care of the Scottish farmhand David McLean.
"Alas, how terrible is wisdom when it brings no profit to the man that's wise!" ~ SophoclesUnsurprisingly, Churchill summarily summarily rejected the offer of a military partnership with Nazi Germany, but it was a decision he soon came to bitterly regret.
The resources set aside for Barbarossa were soon redeployed for Sealion. By the time that next generation technology was available for Barbarossa 2, Stalin had been overthrown and his generals and the politburo had built a lean and mean nationalist state stripped of the inefficiences and excesses of Stalinism.
And when Nazified Europe was finally liberated by nationalist Russia Churchill was already a prisoner at Spandau Prison where he would remain incarcerated until his death in 1965.
In 1941, upon the receipt of confirmed espionage of the military preparedness of the Soviet Union, German Fuhrer Adolf Hitler gave the last-minute order scrubbing his intended invasion.
Hitler Calls off Invasion of Soviet Union Knowledge of Stalin's military buildup was well known, but the exact numbers were suddenly daunting. As seen by Hitler then and later calculated upon declassified documents by state historian Mikhail Meltyukhov in his work, Stalin's Gift, Russians outnumbered the Germans and their allies 1.4-to-1 in infantry and artillery, 2.6-to-1 in aircraft, and stunningly more than 3.8-to-1 in tanks. Hitler had surprise on his side as Stalin, despite the advice of several spies who had given him the exact date of invasion, believed Hitler would hold longer than two years to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and wait until he finished war with Britain. Hitler had already postponed the intended Operation Barbarossa several weeks from its initial deadline in May due to logistical problems, and now he knew certainly he was too late.
Germany and the Soviet Union seemed doomed to fight each other, however. Stalin addressed military academy graduates with, "War with Germany is inevitable," just weeks before the intended invasion. Both nations were diametrically opposed with policies in Hitler's fascism and Stalin's communism. Both were hopeful for expansion as Hitler called for "elbow room" and Stalin worked to rebuild the Russian Empire, such as dominating Finland in the 1939-40 Winter War. Because Stalin understood Hitler's need for oil to fuel his power would bring him to Baku, the Soviet leader began programs to expand the Russian military by leaps. From '39 to '41, he more than doubled the size of the army and especially built aircraft, which increased from 7,700 to 18,700.
As Hitler and his staff reviewed the numbers, he knew that Germany would be unable to maintain the blitzkrieg he had used successfully against Poland and France without control of the air and against numerically superior tanks, with Russian heavy tanks even arguably superior to Panzers one-on-one. Finally Hitler realized that the Russians were simply too powerful by weight and determined that he would need new kinds of weapons to fight, redoubling his already heavy investment in research and development for rockets, atomic bombs, and more. He let continue the lie that his massing troops on the border with the Soviet Union was keeping them away from attacks by Britain and eventually recalled them for Operation Sea Lion, which had been postponed indefinitely since September, 1940.
Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor brought Britain's near-ally America into the war fully that December. With American resources turned toward the Pacific, Hitler's invasion of Britain began, which quickly turned into a quagmire of resistance and sabotage of nearly every public work. Although Hitler held Western Europe for several years, the Allied counter-attack through Africa enabled Britain to be liberated by the D-Day landing at Devon, June 6, 1944.
In early 1945, with Hitler reeling despite some Soviet support Stalin made good on his original strategy of waiting. Called the "Icebreaker" theory by exiled historian Viktor Suvorov, Russia swept in as liberators across Europe, meeting with American and British allies as they took Berlin and continued toward the Western Front, spreading as far as France and Italy. Churchill and Roosevelt encouraged Russia to relinquish their control of Europe as soon as order could be maintained, but Stalin decided to stay. As war with Japan ended with the new A-bomb, political stakes were raised with the Americans holding a powerful card, but Russia practically fresh for a fight.
War-weary President Truman decided to leave the Russians in Europe, establishing doctrine that would work just to keep the Soviets from expanding further. This, too, would prove a blunder of waiting as the Russians would use captured German scientists, now pampered celebrities outside Moscow, to surpass the atomic bomb with an H-bomb and rocketry capable of intercontinental delivery by the 1950s. An Iron Curtain fell from East France to North Italy and across the Soviet Balkans that looked to expand through the Middle East, Africa, even Latin America, and absorb Chinese Communism into the Soviet-led World Community. Any opposition to the world superpower had to be covert, such as escapes across the Swiss border and arming of Afghan guerillas, as no nation could stand against Stalin's legacy until it eventually collapsed into corruption and civil war.
In 1951, on this day the Head of the Nazi Space Flight Programme in Peenemünde Herr Direcktor Wernher von Braun determined that oxygen shortage was the probable cause of hallucinations in which his astronauts had experienced recurrent visions of Judeo-Christian imagery during their maiden voyage to the Moon.
Iron NightmareMission Commander Hans-Ulrich Rude had experienced a vision of a golden ram passing through the hull of the spacecraft. A Stuka dive-bomber flying ace and card carrying member of the Nazi party, he was the most highly decorated German serviceman of the recent war, one of only twenty-seven military men to be awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds, and the only one to be awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Golden Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds
And so plans for the crew to accompany the Fuehrer on a celebration tour of Germany had been scrapped because the astronauts were ideologically compromised. In any case Second in Command Erwin Hentschel had already escaped to neutral America where he was sharing his new vision of the wonder of God's creation. It was an Iron Nightmare threatening to undermine the thousand year future of the Third Reich.
In 1801, on this day William Cromwell was crowned King William I of America.
The Royal House of Cromwell, Part 10 - William I of America (1801-1833) by David AtwellWilliam ensured that a very successful second Cromwell Kingdom was established, this time, in North America. He also oversaw major political reforms at both the provincial & national levels; the most important of which permitted all males over the age of 21 being able to vote &/or participate in elections. As a last act of reform, in 1830, the appointed American House of Lords was reformed into a democratically elected Senate.
Apart from the hurried domestic activity, William I also had to face the problem of war in Europe. Although America was somewhat isolated from the Napoleonic Wars, the British nonetheless demanded all sorts of help. Even though William was a Cromwell, he & the American Parliament were not keen on the idea of getting involved. Nelson?s naval victory at Trafalgar in 1805, however, convinced the Americans that the war was almost over & they should get involved as a matter of honour.
The thought that the French were about to collapse was further reinforced when the Royal American Army invaded the recently acquired French territory of Louisiana in 1806. Only a handful of French troops offered any resistance & these were quickly dealt with. Alas a short ending to the war was not to be the case & the Royal American Army, along with their British counterparts, would have to slog it out in Spain, Portugal & southern France for some 7 years (1807-1814), then get dragged back into the vortex of battle the following year, before victory was finally achieved. Louisiana was annexed after the Napoleonic Wars in 1816.
In 1876, the Generalissimo, Emperor Antonion Lopez de Santa Anna, finally relinquished his grip on the throne of Greater Mexico with his death in his capitol, Mexico City.
by Robbie TaylorConsidered the greatest general of his era, sparking comparisons to Napoleon, Emperor Santa Anna first achieved power by supplanting the old Mexican Republic with his Mexican Empire in 1833, after winning election as President of the old Republic.
When gringos who had been allowed to colonize the Texas territory rebelled against him in 1836, he crushed them mercilessly, leading his northern neighbor, the United States, to attack him, supposedly in their defense. His war against the US gained Mexico almost half of that country in conquest, and further wars of conquest let the Generalissimo die as ruler of the largest country on the North American continent.
In 1968, "Hanoi" John Wayne directed his controversial movie "The Green Berets".
The Green BeretsSince the 1919 Paris Peace Conference the United States had been a firm regional ally of the Republic of Vietnam.
Yet the decision to send US Marines to assist Ho Chin Minh defend the country against a communist insurgency funded by Red China was controversial.
Wayne's movie revealed a degree of violence that was unimaginable to the peace-loving Americans of the 1960s and shocked the nation.
In 1941, on this day, scarcely a week after it started, Operation Barbarossa collapsed as General Friedrich von Paulus' Sixth Army was wiped out by the Soviets in a relentless twelve-hour-long assault during which Soviet troops sustained heavy casualties themselves.
Von Paulus himself was one of the first Germans to be killed in the engagement; in recognition of his bravery under fire, Adolf Hitler gave him a posthumous promotion to field marshal and recommended him for the Iron Cross 1st Class.
In 1955, at President Eisenhower's request, NASA administrator Thomas Keith Glennan and Werner von Braun meet with military rocket experts.
Among the military's representatives are several of von Braun's old colleagues from the V-2 era, including Walter Dornberger and Dr. Alexander Lippisch, designer of the Messerschmitt 163 rocket plane. Despite their Nazi pasts, or perhaps partly because of them, they have been welcomed into America's Cold War military establishment, as von Braun himself has been embraced by NASA.
The meeting is the start of NASA-DOD collaboration on development of the booster and glider components of the Dyna-Soar. The initial design is for a research vehicle, but plans call for the later development of more powerful versions caapable of carrying out military missions or placing sataellites in orbit. Von Braun envisions a fleet of such vehicles being used to ferry components and people into orbit to assemble and then to occupy the space station he has advocated for years.
In 2003, Martian ground forces emerge victorious from a desperate fight with the Russians and Canadians. Civilian populations of the 2 countries begin moving south. At the same time, Martian air forces begin making raids in the southern hemisphere. Most of the casualties from these raids were Australian; the island continent, in perhaps a brash move, sent its entire military to Antarctica in an attempt to crush the Martians there.
In 2000, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named burst back forth from the rubble of our solar system to attack the forces of galactic justice. Surprised, they are temporarily driven off.
In 1989, George Harrison, former guitarist for Pete Best, produces an album for a new artist named Madonna Ciccone. The album, Living in the Material World, featuring the song Material Girl, is an international hit.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.