In 1982, the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is passed.
Equal Rights AmendmentThe ERA was originally written by Alice Paul and, in 1923, it was introduced in the Congress for the first time. In 1972, it passed both houses of Congress and went to the state legislatures for ratification.
But in spite of what its opponents had believed, it does not lead to enforced homosexuality, abortion and divorce. In spite of what its proponents had believed, it does not lead to equality, fair wages and sensitivity among men. It is an amendment, not magic.
In 1948, on this day supplies to American, British and French forces as well as the German civilian population were cut-off when Soviet forces blocked the roads to the western-occupied sections of Berlin.
Berlin Airlift Begins World War III, RebootThe military governor of the American Zone, U.S. Army General Lucius D. Clay (nicknamed "the Kaiser") provided the President with a characteristically bullish action plan: call the Soviet's bluff by sending the U.S. 3rd Armored Division with the next supply convoy. Certain that such an attempt to force the blockade would lead to war, Truman seriously considered others options for saving West Berlin.
The feasibility of an air lift was examined and it emerged that the RAF had been supplying their Forces with ammunition for some time. Moreover, Clay's counterpart, General Sir Brian Robertson, along with British Air Commodore Reginald Waite, had prepared a scenario for upscaling this operation to the complete supply of the whole city. A further positive was that although Soviet guarantees on road access were weak, the guarantees on air routes were hard and fast. But the headline numbers were still terrifying, the Western Allies had the current capability to deliver 120 tonnes a day, and the city needed 5,000 until winter when this would need to increase to include winter fuel such as coal.
There was of course a final option, the nuclear club. Problem was that Truman would have to use the handful of nuclear weapons that the United States had secretly maintained in contravention of the Baruch Plan. And in fact Truman suspected that Stalin knew all about this secret stockpile, and was using the crisis to force the issue out into the open.
This post is a combined reversal of two articles by Jeff Provine Baruch Plan Determines Americans will give up The Bomb and Berlin Airlift Begins World War III.
In 1975, on this day the disgraced former President Richard Nixon told the prosecutors of the Grand Jury that he was furious about a partially erased tape of a White House meeting that became the focus of Watergate cover-up accusations.
Blowing His Stack
By Ed and Scott PalterSecretary Rose Woods had confessed that about four minutes of the conversation had been accidentally erased from the tape, but an investigation by Security Adviser General Alexander Haig subsequetly discovered that the deletion was much longer than previously thought.
Having secured a pardon from his successor, Gerald Ford he was protected him from prosecution for any past Watergate crimes. And so his main legal risk during the eleven hours of questioning near his California home was being caught in a lie. Short of committing perjury, or implicating anyone in his much-diminished cadre of loyalists, he could testify with impunity.
But Nixon's disgrace was complete when a previously undiscovered backup copy of the tape was discovered at the White House. Because the missing minutes were a sickening fray boy jock discussion about a photograph of Hanoi Jane in which Nixon was fantasizing about taking her on the Oval Office desk with a ball gag on her. The discussion was more cringingly embarrassing for his personal integrity, because Nixon was keen to portray himself as a "straight little church arrow" in his private/family life.
In 1812, on the night before his army number more than half a million men crossed the Neman River in the Second Polish War, Napoleon suddenly came down with wind and cramps from his chicken marengo that kept him from sleeping.
Napoleon Reorganizes his Grande Armée While battling his discomfort, he read from one of his favorite classics, The Art of War by the Chinese ancient Sun Tzu. He paused between bouts of painful attacks and contemplated the army he had camped around him. Rather than Sun Tzu's model force of fast, elite troops, Napoleon had assembled the largest army known to man. He had hoped the army would strike fear into Czar Alexander and his generals, forcing them to bend to his will, but the "Little General" in him at last decided victories could not be won with simple weight. After all, many of the battles he had won to bring him here had been against much larger armies.
A new story by Jeff ProvineIn the morning, Napoleon ordered the movement of his troops across the river as was planned, but he himself worked with his secretaries and generals in whittling down the necessary army. Of his 554,000 men (300,000 of whom were French and Dutch, 100,000 Lithuanians and Poles, and the rest a mishmash from around Europe), he determined a main fighting force of about 200,000. The other troops suddenly seemed unnecessary, but Napoleon refused to let a man go to waste. He put the local Poles and Lithuanians as well as some Croats and Austrians into skirmishing parties while the rest he dedicated to building a massive supply line capable of supporting his army, though he had always planned to live off the land as Sun Tzu recommended.
Napoleon's new army moved with incredible speed across the Russian Empire despite its poor roads. The Russian army under Field Marshall Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly initially attempted to stop the smaller French force but was defeated. The Field Marshall kept his army from being crushed and fell back to a strategy of scorched earth, but the system of retreat did not stop Napoleon. When the French took St. Petersburg, the Czar and his court was forced to flee, and the disgraced de Tolly was replaced by Prince Mikhail Kutuzov. Napoleon moved toward Moscow, but Kutuzov met him with the bulk of the Russian forces at Borodino. There, in the largest single-day fight of the Napoleonic Wars, more than 250,000 men and 1,2000 cannon fought allout. Napoleon won a close victory, and the Russian army returned to retreat.
Victory at Borodino might have been a Pyrrhic one but for Napoleon's well built supply lines. The forty thousand casualties of the Russians could be replaced, and, though it would require longer to return to maximum strength, so could Napoleon's losses of 30,000. The march to Moscow continued. City governor Count Fyodor Rostopchin suggested that the city be set to torch, but Czar Alexander capitulated rather than seeing another capital fall violently. He met with Napoleon the Poklonnaya Hill and surrendered while Napoleon granted him continued control of the Russian Empire, sans the numerous lands such as Poland and the Ukraine that would be granted their freedom (at least, freedom from Russia, as they would be granted governments friendly to Napoleon's Continental System).
Napoleon spent the next years solidifying his command in Europe, putting down Cossack uprisings, quelling Spain, and pacifying the English, whose economy continued to crumble while rebels stirred from the French-backed Irish. He later turned back to expansion, taking Constantinople and conquering the Ottoman Empire. This sparked another war with England in which Napoleon would take the Mediterranean (and, most importantly, Egypt) and incite India to rebellion. Napoleon would die of stomach cancer shortly after Britain's surrender of Egypt in 1823, and his son Napoleon II would prove unable to carry on his father's work.
The French Empire would crumble, but the impact of Napoleonic conquest would be felt for centuries. In what had been efficiency, Napoleon had organized people-groups into states, leading to senses of Nationalism and the unifications of Germany and Italy. Smaller groups such as Serbs, Lithuanians, Poles, Basque, and so on, received new levels of self-government. Most notably, Napoleon would free the serfs of Russia, organizing them and creating a new environment of independence that would make the Russian kingdom a leader in the Second Industrial Revolution and a model of capitalism and progress through the twentieth century.
In 1953, at the Nuremberg Trials: the defense team for Adolf Hitler rebutted the charges of "planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression and other crimes against peace" by arguing that the Nazi invasion of Eastern Europe was a merely pretext for conducting the Final Solution.
Iron Nightmare 2
The Trial of Adolf HitlerAfter the 1st U.S. Army occupied the Peenemünde Space Port General Eisenhower soon realised that the High Command had faked their escape to the Dark Side of the Moon acting swiftly in order to intercept the Nazis en route to South America.
Watch the Youtube Trailer of Iron Sky
But an even more grisly truth emerged. Despite his stated objective of gaining Lebensraum for the Volk (living space for the German People), it soon became apparent that the whole Nazi programme was a vehicle for genocide, explaining the Fuhrer's callous indifference to military setbacks across the Eastern front. Because by 1943, four in five of the Jewish People who would perish in the Holocaust had already died.
In 2010, speaking from an underground bunker in an undisclosed location, life-term US President Jimmy Carter denied that the environmental catastrophe caused by geo-thermal drilling was the direct result of his thirty-year "self-sufficient" energy policy outlined to the American people in his "malaise speech" of July 15th, 1979.
Energy Secure NationSince that time, the new "energy-secure nation" had dramatically reduced its reliance on imported oil, largely withdrawing itself from unnecessary security commitments in the Middle East and Western Europe which of course the Soviet Union now occupied. However an explosion on the 20th April had caused catastrophic damage to the environment in the northern hemisphere, with speculation rife that an extinction-level event had only narrowly been averted.
And the problem was that the alleged success of the self-sufficiency program meant that the US could no longer shut down domestic facilities as environmentalists were demanding. To do so would turn off supply, bringing the country to the very standstill it had set out to avoid. Instead, Carter announced an acceleration of the second track of the policy, to move to a new platform of clean, renewable energy sources by 2025. By which time, it was hoped that the ecosphere would have returned to something approaching normal and peanut farming might again become viable.
In 1997, on this day the U.S. Air Force releases an official report acknowledging that the 1947 "Roswell incident" had in fact been a genuine encounter with extraterrestrial aliens.
The report states that the true character of the encounter had been concealed for national security reasons, both to avoid panic - in 1947, the hysteria over the infamous 1938 Orson Welles broadcast of H.G. Wells' novel War of the Worlds was still a painfully fresh memory - and in order to avoid revealing to the Soviets that the U.S. now had access to alien technology.
"Roswell Incident" - its official by Eric Lipps The document admits that the U.S. space program was partly inspired by the knowledge that extraterrestrials were observing Earth, but says that in fact no direct contact has been made. Moreover, it reveals, attempts to reverse-engineer the alien craft have been largely fruitless. "It's as if a modern jet aircraft had crashed in America in 1776 and the people back then had tried to copy it," reads one passage.
"It's as if a modern jet aircraft had crashed in America in 1776 and the people back then had tried to copy it,"Air Force spokesmen state that the report is being declassified and released because its findings have been judged no longer likely to trigger unrest and are not expected to provide any useful information to potential adversaries.
Perhaps the most surprising revelation contained in the document is a CIA assessment that the Soviet Union had possessed a similar alien wreck since 1927, retrieved from the site of the 1908 Tunguska event in which an explosion estimated at 10 to 20 megatons occurred over Siberia. Like their American counterparts, however, the Soviets had been unable to gain any more than minor technological and scientific advantages from studying their find.
In 2015, on this day London was hit with its fifth municipal employees' strike in as many months as sanitation workers walked off the job to protest plans to privatize the city's trash collection service.
On this day in 2002, religious and secular opponents of Saddam Hussein united for a rally in Baghdad to demand what one Shiite cleric referred to as "the abolition of a godless regime"; some of the bolder protestors took their grievances directly to the headquarters of Saddam's Revolutionary Command Council.
In 2003, Australian forces engage the Martians in Antarctica with disastrous results. However, one unit does manage to steal a Martian ship. Unable to fly it, they place it on a naval vessel that immediately heads for home. The Martians obviously think the ship was destroyed, because no one chases after them.
In the 45th year of Mikhaol's reign, he led his reassembled fleet from Harmakhis back to earth to crush the rebellion that the Europeans had committed against him. In his absence, the Europeans had raised Anubis above all other gods, and committed atrocities in His dark name.
In 1984, the Silver Beatles, musical superstar Pete Best's old band, release an album of covers, mostly of his old songs, but also a few recent pop singles. Their cover of 'Don't You Want Me, Baby' actually makes it to the top 50 charts in the UK, but interest fizzles out after a few weeks.
In 1982, the Equal Rights Amendment is passed. In spite of what its opponents had believed, it does not lead to enforced homosexuality, abortion and divorce. In spite of what its proponents had believed, it does not lead to equality, fair wages and sensitivity among men. It is an amendment, not magic.
In 613, Islam was dealt a serious blow when the Mali leader Sundjata Keita was defeated by Susu ruler Sumanguru Kante at the Battle of Kirina. Sumanguru disavowed Islam and ruled under traditional Mande law and religion. Many entreated Sumanguru to convert to the true faith, but he and his people resisted the will of Allah throughout his reign. His land became known among the infidels as sanctuary against the hard steel of the faithful.
In 1204 AUC, Valentinian III, emperor of the western Roman Empire, saw the appearance of a flame in the sky as an omen that God was displeased with his decision to allow Marcian to ascend to the throne in the east. He ordered his legions to take and kill Marcian, and after this was done, he declared an end to the bisected empire. No longer would Rome face the world with 2 heads; Valentinian would lead as sole emperor.
In 1999, King Arthur II was surprised to see how well Queen Gwen was conducting the war in his absence. He had expected to see retreat across all fronts - but Gwen had virtually eliminated the Illuminati as a threat, and the Central European Empire had all but ceased to exist. 'Perhaps I was wrong about her,' he said to Sir Lance du Lac in the War Planning Room. The knight disagreed vehemently. 'No, my liege, you were right. She was simply doing away with the competition - which included you.' King Arthur regarded his greatest knight for a moment. 'You don't believe she should be granted leniency, then?' Sir Lance's eyes lost a little bit of their life and he shook his head. 'I once defended her, my king, but no longer. She has committed treason against the royal person, and must be executed before she can do even more harm to our nation.' Arthur leaned back in his chair and considered how unpopular that decision would be, given the queen's high popularity. 'I don't think that's possible right now, Lance. We have to come up with another solution.'
Dalila Lolosili, the African Union
first woman chairman, delivered a key note speech in her native Kenya. Referring to twenty-century history, Lolosili stated that the seeds of the AU were sown by a decision made in London in the 1960s. Prime Minister Harold Wilson had listened to an emotional appeal to 'kith and kin' issued by the Prime Minister of Rhodesia, Ian Smith when he announced the Unilateral Declaration of Independence. In so doing, Wilson overruled the principles established by the Canadian Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson known as No Independence Before Majority African Rule
. Consequently, Rhodesia had been tacitly authorised to build a white settler nation. Smith at one point stated that there could be no plans to bring Rhodesia under 'black majority rule' in his lifetime, later adding, 'or [my] children's.' Smith later maintained in his memoirs that he was referring to black rule as it was in other African countries such as Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania, and Nigeria but a recording was played on the BBC World Service (on the day of his death) of Smith saying: 'I don't believe in Black Majority rule ever - not in a thousand years'. A little over a century later, the continent of Africa was transformed, with the AU competing with the other emerging super-powers of India and China for global mastery.
following the Battle of Toulouse
Umayyad control spread inexorably westward from Narbonne into Aquitaine. The Frankish Army led by Duke Odo of Aquitaine had been defeated on June 9th by an Umayyad army besieging the city, and the keys to south-west France were now in the hands of governor of Al-Andalus, Al-Samh ibn Malik al-Khawlani.
In 1812, Napoleon's Grande Armee beginning his triumphant invasion of Russia. The Little Corporal intended to expand France at all costs, despite the harsh Russian winter and would not be stopped from achieving the mastery of europe.
on this day a sudden outbreak of St John's Dance
(known as Johannistanz or Johannestanz in Germany) commenced, causing people in the streets of Aachen, Germany, to experience hallucinations and begin to jump and twitch uncontrollably until they collapsed from exhaustion. This outbreak of mass hysteria was one of the many signs of the fall of Western Civilization. The plague swept across Europe depopulating the continent.
In 1947, pilot Ken Arnold made contact with a group of flying saucers over Mt. Rainier in Washington. When [REST OF POST CENSORED]
In the 3rd year of Kamanestra's reign, the Army of the Western Lands arrived in Eire and forced them back into the service of the Pharaohs. Pockets of resistance lasted for several years, but most of the population had never heeded the words of the chieftains, anyway, and barely obeyed the Egyptians.
In 110, by the grace of Allah, the forces of the Umayyad defeated the Frank general Charles Martel at Poitier. The path was then cleared for all of the Frankish people to be brought the teachings of the Prophet.
In 1948, today saw the start of the Blockade of Vienna. The Soviet Union rendered overland travel between the West with West Vienna impossible. The blockade was lifted by a well planned program of air lifts organised by USAAF General Curtis 'Candy Bars Away' LeMay. By now an expert in such operations, LeMay had put into operation a plan he had conceived in 1946 for the resupply of the Japanese home population during Operation Downfall. Before his retirement, LeMay would repeat this operation in the southern hemisphere in a number of critical shortage situations including the Congo in 1960.
In 1812, Napoleon's Grande Armee entered Ontario beginning his ill-fated invasion of Canada. The Little Corporal intended to expand New France at the expense of British territory in North American. He was defeated not by the British, but by the harsh Canadian winter. As the temperature dropped to -40, the Grande Armee were decimated on the retreat from Yorktown.
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.
A new article by Jeff ProvineIn 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.