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

July 5

In 1853, on this day the Rt Hon Cecil John Rhodes DCL was born in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire.

Birth of Cecil Rhodes, unwitting architect of Boer IndependenceHad he remained in the United Kingdom he might have become Prime Minister instead he was sent to South Africa where his dystopian mind conceived an evil, self-serving and self-evidently unsustainable vision of British Rule from Cape Town to Cairo. And as the Prime Minister of the Cape Colony he set in train a sequence of actions that eventually brought about the downfall of Great Britain as a colonial power.

After generations of colonial strife between Dutch Boer and British settlers, the matter of dominance in southern Africa came to an end with recognition of independence for the Boer Republics.

Dutch settlement began in 1652 with the establishment of a refreshment station along the Cape Sea Route. Introducing slave labor, the Dutch expanded and defeated the native Xhosa in wars that gradually added more and more territory to Boer ("farmer") control. As naval supremacy shifted from Dutch to British hands, new waves of British settlers arrived, pushing the Dutch toward an inland migration. The two peoples lived somewhat peacefully until the discovery of diamonds in 1866. European powers descended on Africa, carving it up into their own empires, and the British annexed mineral-rich Transvaal to ensure dominance.

The Boers baulked under British government and declared independence in 1880. While they did not have the advanced weaponry of the British soldiers, the Boers did have intimate knowledge of the land and conducted devastating guerrilla attacks. Prime Minister Gladstone offered a treaty in 1881, which allowed Boers in Transvaal and the Orange Free State self-government with a parliament under Queen Victoria's rule. The peace lasted for a time until the discovery of gold in 1886 at Witwatersrand ("White Water Ridge") prompted a predominantly British gold rush. Tensions grew again, and, in 1895, Cape Colony Prime Minister Cecil Rhodes launched the Jameson Raid to seize Johannesburg from Transvaal. The Boers repulsed and arrested the attackers, sending them back to the British for trial, and began an alliance between Transvaal and the Orange Free State for defense. Ultimatums were sent out on both sides, not met, and the war began with a devastating Boer offensive in 1899 with tactics comparable to the First Boer War. The British retaliated with more than 180,000 men, dealing with guerrillas by systematically searching out and arresting whole Boer families and placing them in concentration camps.

While the bloody war dragged on in southern Africa, it laid a pretense for the rest of Europe to attack on the high seas. Britain had held unquestioned naval superiority since the Battle of Trafalgar and the simultaneous defeats of the French and Spanish fleets, but new nations had grown over the tumultuous nineteenth century. Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany took note of the bloodshed in Africa first with the Jameson Raid, after which he sent a telegram to President Kruger of Transvaal saying, "I express to you my sincere congratulations that you and your people, without appealing to the help of friendly powers, have succeeded, by your own energetic action against the armed bands which invaded your country as disturbers of the peace, in restoring peace and in maintaining the independence of the country against attack from without". The telegram spurred outcry in Britain and much anti-German sentiment. Four years later in February of 1900, according to his memoirs, the Kaiser "received news by telegraph .. that Russia and France had proposed to Germany to make a joint attack on England, now that she was involved elsewhere, and to cripple her sea traffic".

Wilhelm was unnerved by the idea of attacking Britain, which had lost its beloved Queen Victoria, his grandmother, only weeks before, but he determined to feel out the possibility for success. Britain had recently begun renovating its fleet under the Naval Defense Act of 1898, a response to Germany's own First Fleet Act, showing that it meant to always outpace Germany's seaward expansion. In 1900, as German Admiral Tirpitz worked to completed a new bill for dozens of ships, three German mail ships were humiliatingly boarded by a British cruiser searching for weapon supplies for Boers. The efforts of British soldiers to restrict Boer freedom of movement to limit guerrilla flexibility came to press that fall, and Wilhelm saw his opportunity to act in their defense. He called a conference of Russia (who had battled with Britain in the Great Game for central Asia for decades), France (who had been humiliated at the Fashoda Incident in 1898), and Portugal (whose Pink Map strategy of linking Africa east and west had been destroyed by the 1890 British Ultimatum, demanding central Africa for Britain for its Cape to Cairo railway) in addition to old allies Austria-Hungary and Italy and drew up an ultimatum for Britain to remove her forces from the Boer Republics or face blockade.

Although many in Britain did not want to see war, it seemed to be a turning point for the end of her colonial power. Debate continued almost endlessly in Parliament between the peace-minded Liberals under David Lloyd George and Conservatives who controlled the government, and finally the deadline of January 1, 1901, passed without action hoping that the Kaiser had bluffed and could not maintain control of such a varied coalition. However, each nation seemed to have its own issues with Britain and were happy to form a united attack, leading to the First World War. Although Europe itself was practically devoid of military action, there were unprecedented sea battles along with a German, French, and Portuguese campaigns into central Africa from the Orange State to Sudan, seizure of the Suez Canal, and a Russian march on Tibet, threatening India. Britain's imperial resources became stretched thin, and its search for allies only turned up Japan, who effectively took Russia out of the war.

The end of the war in 1905 was brought about through a conference held by American President Theodore Roosevelt, who received a Nobel Peace Prize for his actions. Britain's empire became hamstrung, but the resulting treaties outlined a method of international oversight to ensure the actions taken against Boers (which continued to serve as the grounds of war) could never happen again became an international court to slow imperialism for other actions in later land-rushes in China and the collapsing Ottoman Empire.

In 2012, in Toronto thousands of anti-corporatists gathered outside the Hudson Bay Company's Headquarters in Simpson Tower to protest the hundred and twenty-fifth anniversary of the Deed of Surrender.

Occupy Arcadian CourtIncorporated by English royal charter granted by King Charles II in 1670 as The Governor and Company of Adventurers of England trading into Hudson's Bay, after two centuries of lucrative fur trading "the Bay" had functioned as the de facto government for fifteen percent of North America. And with her core business entering long-term decline her stock-holders were ready to expand operations outside the Hudson Bay drainage basin area.

Of course by 1876 the original name Rupert's Land (named in honour of Prince Rupert of the Rhine, the king's cousin and the company's first governor) was long outdated because the Bay was not only operating outside of Crown Control but able to raise sufficient funds to buy the British Government out of the remaining territory between the forty-first and eighty-third parallels. A similar pattern had emerged across the world's corporate colonies after the watershed decision had been taken by the Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie. Until wiser heads prevailed their initial reluctance to allow settlement had almost destroyed the Cape Colony.

Author's Note: The US Government offered £10m to buy the territory before HBC sold out to the Canadian Government in exchange for lucrative land around the railroad tracks built by the new Confederation.

July 5th, 1867. The day after Independence Day President Wade declared a shake up at West Point. He decided a change in US Army training was needed. He directed high ranking US generals to start writing various manuals now that it was peacetime and have their subordinates do the day to day running of the army until further notice.

Victorious Dixie goes down in flames Part 9The next generation of officers needed to be much better trained for the next war. US Grant wrote a manual for strategy and tactics. Bill Sherman wrote one on operations and logistics. He picked George Thomas to write book on defensive tactics and logistics while Sheridan wrote the book on cavalry tactics.

"Wade's changes at West Point increased the calibre of the next generation greatly. Unfortunately for the CSA many of its generals either ran for office in the 1867 election or helped campaign for their army buddies. Also since it won the war there was less of a push to improve things. After all the Southern War for Independence, as it was called in the CSA, proved to many Southerners that trying to improve things would be just a waste of time and money as the army didn't need improvement". The History of the Southern Confederacy Indiana University Press 1967

In 1940, on this day Prime Minister Paul Reynaud delivered his famous "France Fights On" speech from the new capital of Algiers. An episode from our series of Alternate World War Two outcomes.

France Fights OnThe evacuation of armed forces from France had been significant comprising over ninety thousand men, the majority of the air force and the whole navy. Also the majority of the civilian government had arrived with the notable exclusion of Reynaud's influential mistress who had been killed in a car accident on June 10th [1].

One of the primary reasons for the decision to evacuate rather than surrender was tactical development. Towards the end of the Battle of the France, Weygand had dramatically improved morale and devised a robust response to the German onslaught. But the military situation he inherited from his predecessor Gamelin was disastrous and time was running out fast. And ultimately, the unilateral British decision to evacuate ended Weygand's plan for a combined attack from north and south to close the broken front. Withdrawing to find new options made sense for the Allies who now set about rebuilding new armies from a nucleus of surviving armed forces.

In 1945, in the first general election held in the UK for a decade, Anthony Eden's Tories crashed to defeat and Winston Churchill returned as the Prime Minister of a Coalition Government of National Unity dominated by the Labour Party.

Churchill wins the Khaki Election of 1945
by Ed & Scott Palter
The punchline was that having crossed the aisle to switch parties twice before, this time "Winnie" had been unceremoniously dumped by own party. To seek power this time, he had been forced to exercise an uncharacteristic combination of tact and diplomacy. And although it would have been unthinkable for such an unashamed blueblooded aristocrat to actually join the Labour Party, he was fortunate to have built war-time relationships, and his offer of continuity was acceptable at least to the hierarchy who had after all served as his sub-ordinates. But of course Churchill was a ruthless leader willing to sacrifice almost anything for the big prize, and in a sense, there was nothing out of character about his actions, even if his style was somewhat different.

Having muscled into Downing Street only because Lord Halifax's peerage barred him from occupying the Prime Minister's office, Churchill still did not become Leader for six months until ill health forced Neville Chamberlain's retirement in October 1940. Fortunately for Churchill's career, if the Tories hated him for supplanting Chamberlain, then the British electorate hated the Tories even more. Twenty Members of Parliament left the Conservative Party as well; these Churchill loyalists ran as National Commonwealth Party Candidates in districts where the Labour Party agreed not to field a candidate, much like the post World War agreement between the Liberal David Lloyd George and the majority Conservative Party. Significantly, they agreed to embrace the Beveridge Report.

The result was a landslide victory for the Coalition So much so, that the Labour Party immediately realised their error - they could have easily won even if they had campaigned under Clement Attlee's original slogan "Let us face the future". Because the truth was that returning soldiers did not want to return to business as usual, and the soul of the Labour Party was behind a programme of transformative change. As Lloyd-George had found after the First World War, the majority party soon tires of coalition and by 1947 the country was set for a fresh general election. By then, the Tories had largely recovered their fortunes. In Eden, the Conservatives were led by a revisionist who struggled to accept that Britain was a clapped out power; he would face a resurgent Labour Labour in which Churchill's ministers had been dumped from the leadership, and a new breed of radicals were in the vanguard. Resting upon the decision of the electorate depended the short-term futures now just of Britain, but also of Israel and India, two nations which we on the cusp of winning independence from the British Empire. We explore a variant of this idea in Attlee and Churchill win the Khaki Election of 1945 based on Scott's original suggestion and comment below.

In DCCLV AUC, on this day in the town of Bethany near Jerusalem, sisters Mary and Martha received Yeshua Ben Jesse with a cold welcome because the Bethlehemite Rabbhi had arrived too late to save their brother, Lazarus, "he whom thou lovest".

Happy Endings Part 5
The Youth from Bethany
And they became increasingly distraught to the point of hysteria when they discovered that he had delayed his departure by two whole days. But although the Rabbhi wept, he replied with the self-assured statement that "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die".

Despite the objections of the awe-struck mourners, he then rolled the stone away from the entrance to the tomb and removed the grave-cloths before ordering in a commanding voice "Lazarus, Come Forth!". And Lazarus indeed rose from the dead because he "believed in him" and was "[the] disciple whom Jesus loved". Yet during the late evening another revelation was in store for Mary and Martha as they celebrated their brother's miraculous return to the living. Because they learned that the youth had come to the Rabbhi wearing only a linen cloth over his naked body. And begged him to remain with him that night, whereupon Jesus taught him the mystery of the kingdom of God.

In 1858, on this day at the Provincial Parliament in Toronto, forty year old legislator Alexander Tilloch Galt called for the immediate creation of "a general confederation of the provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island with Canada and the Western Territories".

Announcing the dream of Canada
Just not our Canada
The idea was not his but the timing was providential. Because three weeks later, the provincial government of John A. MacDonald was unseated and the Governor General Sir Edmund Walker Head overlooked George Brown and instead asked Galt to lead.

He reluctantly accepted the Premiership of the Province of Canada and began the construction of the big country that he had imagined, convincing the British to make British North America into the first sovereign Dominion within the British Empire. But unbeknown to the Governor General, Galt was one of many important Montreal men who had signed a petition to join the United States. And the inexorable direction of Galt's convergence policies would not become apparent for several years.

In 1985, on this day the Chief archivist of the Latter Day Saints Church received an unsolicited letter from a former LDS missionary called Mark Hoffman containing a sample of the Lost 112 Pages of the Book of Mormon.

Lost Pages of the Book of Mormon
by Eric Oppen
The Church leadership quickly determined that the content of the lost writings were highly damaging to the credibility of the entire LDS movement and that the best course of action was for an immediate acquisition to be followed by concealment.

But surprisingly an offer was made and then quickly refused. Because not only was Hofmann one of the most accomplished forgers in history, he bore a grudge towards the movement. His plan was to reveal damaging facts that proved founder Joseph Smith was consciously a fraud and that his early Church had done a lot of bad things. This was to be achieved by forcing the Church to pay the highest possible price which would inevitably add weight of credibility to his false claims.

Beginning to suspect a ruse, the leadership reached a critical decision point, whether to risking paying up, or denounce the lost pages as a fraud and keep their money. They choose the latter, and the entire movement entered a period of national controversy and introspection.
To be continued

In 1983, on this day energy mogul and self-made millionaire Mark Wilson held a press conference at his Houston corporate headquarters to reveal the existence of a series of home movies he'd filmed of the time-space rift described by Alexander B. Fitzhugh in his account of the so-called "land of giants" at first the media were reluctant to lend much credence to these films, fearful they might be as phony as the bogus "Hitler diaries" that had duped the world a few months earlier, but after extensive photographic analysis it was determined that the films were genuine and the press started taking the rift idea more seriously.

Giant Surprise Part 3Three weeks after Wilson's press conference the Reagan Administration's top science officials met at the White House to determine what should be done next in regard to the phenomenon; the end result of this meeting was Project Spindrift, a combined NASA/Defense Department program that marked the first serious effort in human history to explore parallel universes.

In 1845, on this day a mob surrounded the British embassy in Veracruz, trapping its entire staff inside.

At the same time, in Madrid, a note is delivered to the British embassy declaring the ambassador there, and his entire staff, personae non gratae and giving them forty-eight hours to leave the country.

The Velacruz IncidentWhen news of these events reaches London, the match in timing fuels suspicions that the Spanish government orchestrated the assault on the Veracruz embassy. Diplomatic notes are dispatched to the capitals of both Spain and Mexico, warning that unless the mob is driven from Britain?s embassy, "the gravest consequences shall result". It is an ultimatum: free the embassy, or face war. Additional communications are sent to British colonial authorities in America, advising them to ready troops for military action against Mexico.

It is the opening shot in a war between England and Spain which will last until January of 1847 and end in Spain's loss of a large chunk of northern Mexico, a harsh blow to the once-mighty Spanish Empire.

In 1984, the last pockets of NKPA resistance in Pyongyang surrendered to U.S. and South Korean troops, effectively marking the end of the DPRK as a state.

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In 2015, on this day the venerable insurance company Lloyd's of London went bankrupt.

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In 1933, the Greater Zionist Resistance passes the Law of Return, granting any Jew in the world the right to emigrate and live in lands controlled by the GZR. This has the added benefit of increasing the pool from which they can draw resistance fighters.

In 1821, reacting to the intervention of the British in support of the Spanish Bourbonist rebellion against Joseph Bonaparte which followed the death of his brother the Emperor Napoleon I, France formally declares war on England.

Three years of heavy fighting will follow, in Europe and the New World.

 - Napoleon II
Napoleon II

France will be handicapped by the need to devote a significant portion of its military force to keeping its imperial conquests, including Spain, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands and the so-called Duchy of Warsaw, under control. By contrast, England will need to employ much less force in this task, for France?s de facto ruler Prime Minister Klemens von Metternich, operating as regent for the ten-year-old Napoleon II, does not consider Britain's overseas colonies in North America worth the kind of effort previously expended by Napoleon. It is a rare and costly misjudgment on the part of the canny Austrian.

In 1944, Adolf Hitler was severely injured when a bomb exploded in the conference room of his field headquarters in Rastenburg, East Prussia during his routine daily military conference.

Although Hitler survived the blast, the assassination attempt marked the beginning of his final descent into the insanity which would at last force his protege Hermann Goering to remove him from office in January of 1945.

 - Hermann Goering
Hermann Goering
Monica's eggs were delicious, and Andrea scarfed them down gratefully. 'So, has your grandpa called yet?'
'Not yet. When were we supposed to go over there?'
'You know we don't set real times in this family. The cookout'll start when it starts.'
Monica sighed. 'I better get started on my pie, then.'
'I'm never going to be able to diet.'
'It's a holiday. You can't diet on a holiday. It's like, uh, blasphemy or somethin'.' They both laughed, and Andrea picked her plate up and took it to the sink to rinse it off. Monica then asked, 'Is dad gonna be there?'
The young girl wasn't looking at her mother when she asked that. It had come out very nonchalantly, but Andrea could tell that Monica really wanted to hear one particular answer to that. 'Grandpa invited him, hon, but... well, your dad's a busy man.'
Monica nodded sharply. 'Yeah, he sure is.' She walked into the kitchen and started pulling ingredients out to begin cooking her pie, avoiding her mother's eyes.
'I'm sure he'd come if he could,' Andrea said, laying a hand on the girl's shoulder.
Monica shrugged. 'It's ok. No big. It's just the 4th of July, not like Christmas or my birthday or anything. Cuz, you know, it's when he's not there for those that I get really depressed.' She smiled over at her mother, and Andrea let it drop.
'I need to put together some notes for the meeting. Are you going to need any help in here?'
Monica cocked an eyebrow at her. 'From you? In the kitchen?'
Andrea put up her hands in surrender. 'Point taken. You know where I am if you need me.' Andrea retreated to her workroom, where the computer was already turned on. The browser was sitting on some teen dream's web site, and Andrea chuckled. Kids never change, she thought as she minimized it and opened up her word processor.
In 1925, Dynamic Pictures releases it's second talkie, Birth Of A Nation, directed by German emigre Leni Riefenstahl and starring Carla Lambert. It is just as hot at the box office as The Sounds of the Night, although a few critics are bothered by the overtly racist and anti-Semitic tone of the film.
In 1921, The Chicago Town Ball club, known as the White Stockings, is accused of deliberately losing the World Series against the Cincinnati Browns and put on trial. In a sham trial, the players are acquitted when their signed confessions mysteriously disappear. One good result came of it; the new Commissioner of Town Ball appointed by the team owners to ensure this never happened again. After listening to the trial and the players' complaints about Charles Comiskey, Commissioner Kennisaw Mountain Landis banned Comiskey from Town Ball for life. Comiskey was forced to sell his team; the city of Chicago bought it, and the Stocks have been a community club ever since.
In 1687, Englishman Sir Isaac Newton publishes a treatise on mathematics, Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica, which is immediately criticized by the scientific community of his native land. Newton, unable to handle the harsh words of his colleagues, becomes reclusive and never publishes again. Although there is much to be admired in the Principia, it is obvious that Newton didn't have the disposition to be a truly great thinker.


July 4

In 1947, on this day the Indian Independence Bill was presented before the British House of Commons.

Radcliffe Cloud UnveiledThe subcontinent of India, ruled for nearly a century by the British Crown, was to be broken into its many states. The Punjab, a term denoting the area rich in diversity with Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs, was to be broken into West Pakistan for the Muslim population and India for the Hindu population. As the British Raj was preparing to leave (Parliament had declared on July 15 that its government would end in a months' time), Sir Cyril Radcliffe was appointed as chair of committees to draw this line as well as another for the separation of Bengal to become East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).

It was hoped that Radcliffe, who had never been to India, could serve as a fair and impartial decider. The Muslim League and the India National Congress had many of their own ideas to submit, but voting was so balanced that the final decision belonged to Radcliffe. Behind secrecy to avoid political pressures, speculation, and reprisals before the publication of the decision, Radcliffe worked with haste to determine an objective border that would grant proper transport, communication, and waterways to both sides while keeping both sides toward their majority population. At the same time, he worked to develop another line to demarcate India, East Pakistan, and Burma.

Upon hearing of the Buddhist majority in the Chittagong Hills, yet another people-group to recognize, Radcliffe suffered something of a breakdown. No matter what he did to draw boundaries, no one would be completely satisfied. The pressure of coming up with at least something workable in five weeks had pushed him, and Radcliffe made the decision to have the people vote for themselves.

On August 15, Independence Day, Radcliffe gave his plan with the new government and left the country. With political turmoil slowing down publication, it was not until the 17th that Radcliffe's plan became published. He had drawn intense and complicated borders through states, creating mini-states within populated sectors. He recommended that special elections held by the people would establish whether these countries would go toward Pakistan, India, Burma, or even strike out on their own. The "Radcliffe Cloud" was born.

A cry went out that Radcliffe had overstepped his powers to create new countries, but, via telegraph from his ship, he assured governments and peoples alike that he had simply drawn the borders. Without the peoples' agreement in the first place, there would be no government. A commission through the winter would investigate Radcliffe, but in the end he would exonerated and, in many circles, applauded.

Elections, well guarded by the Punjab Boundary Force, carried through the rest of August. The hills above Chittagong, now in East Pakistan, voted to stay with India, despite the inaccessibility (which would be later solved by a massive bridge and highway project). Several new small states that had been split by Radcliffe's many lines divided into India and Pakistan. A few states tried for independence, but most were absorbed within the end of the decade after facing budgetary constraints. Only the nations of Kashmir, Sikkim, and South Pakistan (now Hyderabad) stand as independent to this day.

Not everyone was content, however, and fighting broke out sporadically after the separation. Businessmen and farmers complained about water rights in certain areas, and legal issues have caused minor conflicts. There have been several border altercations since, such as 1971 when India became involved in the Pakistani Dissolution that gave independence to Hyderabad and Bangladesh, but no wars of international importance have come out of the balkanized Indian Subcontinent to this day.

In 2016, Republican Presidential Nominee Paul Ryan announced that Mitt Romney had agreed to serve as his running mate in the forthcoming General election.

Comeback KidThe Wisconsin Representative had grown in stature during the previous four years, gaining respect for playing a full part of in the role of Chairperson of the House Budget Committee. Because bipartisan efforts had enabled America to avoid the Fiscal Cliff and function as a divided government.

Ironically, his opponent was seventy-three year old Joe Biden, who himself (like Romney) had two unsuccessful runs for the White House before coming Vice President. Due to his loyal service he had gain the full support of Barack Obama with the declared intention of holding office for a single-term only.

July 4, 1866. President Pendleton had a miserable fourth. The Republicans were accusing him of "snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory" by ending the war ever since he ended it and the voices were getting louder now it was close to election time.

Victorious Dixie goes down in flames Part 5True, Sherman was marching towards North Carolina when the war ended but the country needed the war to end. The war never would have started if the damned abolishinists simply let law abiding Americans take their slaves west!

President Davis's day wasn't that much better. Although the economy was improving it was far from good and the weather was poor for crops. Worst of all the damn Yankees had an economy that was still booming, particularly compared to the CSA. It was slowing down a bit however due to the end of war slowdown.

In 1776, on this day in Philadelphia, an odd group of rich colonial landowners collaboratively authored a global declaration of republican principles known as Mr Jefferson's Letter.

Mr Jefferson's LetterDispersed as a printed broadside, the viral format suited widespread distribution and public reading throughout the British Empire. However King George the Third misjudged the significance of the document and declared that the American colonies were in open rebellion.

However his subsequent appeal for assistance from friendly states was a prescient masterstroke. Because shortly thereafter, a French language variant appeared on the Streets of Bourbon Paris.

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan visited Anchorage to deliver an Independence Day speech honoring the Alaska National Guard troops who had turned back the Soviet attempt to invade Alaska in the first days of World War III.

Valiant GuardsmenIn his remarks to the crowd, Reagan said: "The valiant Guardsmen and soldiers who risked, and in some cases gave, their lives to defend this country from Soviet aggression are the newest heirs to the ideals established two hundred and eight years ago by our founding fathers".

The president also took time to pay tribute to the servicemen fighting in the Middle East and Korea and the troops who'd died during the fighting in Cuba; at the conclusion of his speech he presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Canadian Defense Forces general Romeo Dallaire in recognition of Dallaire's role as commander of the CDF contingent which had supported U.S. troops during their fight against the Soviet invasion force.

"Battlefield Alaska" post by Chris OakleyOne woman's life would be dramatically changed by Reagan's Anchorage visit; 20-year-old Wasilla resident Sarah Louise Heath, who had previously been attending the University of Idaho before the war began, was inspired by the speech to leave school and enlist in the U.S. Army Reserve, where she served for over six years before returning home to tie the knot with fiance Todd Palin. Following her discharge from the reserves in 1991, Sarah would embark on a career as an intelligence analyst at the Pentagon, in which capacity she would have the responsibility for archiving hundreds of previously classified documents recovered from Russian defense ministry files after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
This post is an installment of Chris Oakley's Battlefield Alaska thread.

In 1973, on this day President Hubert Humphrey awarded the Medal of Freedom with Distinction to former Vice President and Special Envoy to China Richard Milhous Nixon.

Humphrey sends Nixon to China By Ed & Stan BrinAlthough Humphrey was the man that narrowly defeated Nixon on his second bid for the White House, the two were close colleagues and firm friends. More than that, they both viewed it as their patriotic duty to maintain sound relations across the party divide.

A year before, with his re-election by no means certain, Humphrey had taken a bold step. He committed the United States to the objective of normalizing relations with the People's Republic of China, who at that time considered the U.S. one of its staunchest foes. A breakthrough was finally achieved after a several intense rounds of diplomacy brokered by his Special Envoy. Because of his impeccable anti-communist credentials and dazzling smile, only Nixon could have achieved such an incredible feat.

In 1876, in his first order of business Speaker of the House Michael C. Kerr issued a warrant for the arrest of those radicalized members of the Freedom Party who had executed President Ulysses S. Grant on this Fourth of July for his participation in the Reconstruction Policies he continued after the expiry of Abraham Lincoln's two full terms of office.

Standing ByWhen it had become clear that the "Great Emancipator" and his favourite butcher General would stand by and permit pseudo-slavery to continue under the operation of so-called "black codes" the freedmen overwhelmingly chose to migrate to the north and west.

The result of this social turmoil was ethnic violence in the new industrial cities. And a backlash in the form of the emergence of the powerful Freedom Party who saw the peace with Dixe as a sellout. While the tame end of the party ran elections and agitated, the fringe started to produce nihilist armed underground fighters straight out of the John Brown mould.

Since the recent death of Abraham Lincoln from marfan's syndrome, a small number had recently decided that it was time to take some affirmative action by shooting his presidential successor, Ulysses S. Grant. It was now time for freedom to ring out..

In 2010, French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced that the French Republic had extended political sanctuary to Barack Obama, until the previous week the President of the United States. In the mansion of the Vice President, Joseph Biden was descibed as comatose in bed from the effects of a brief but severe virus but resting comfortably there.

Obama Gets Political Sanctuary in FranceAcross the French political spectrum, there was praise for Sarkozy's extension of France's usual and familiar protection to friendly foreign VIPs. Obama joins in French exile several forgotten leaders, including Baby Doc Duvalier (Haiti). Obama --- wealthy from book royalties and the Nobel Peace Peace winnings ---- is expected to retire to a French mansion, probably near mountains so that Michelle can enjoy skiing. Obama is expected to follow the pattern of his colleagues in exile and to promote a rival government from France in competition with the Pentagon's regime.

Obama released a brief note to the world press that he had never resigned as President of the United States and that he intends to return to the active exercise of his power. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that she was instructing the federal bureaucracy to follow the written special order signed by Obama and Biden just before Biden fell ill with his virus. "It is very plain that full executive leadership has gone to General Petraus who was appointed the Secretary for General Affairs while this nation remains at War in Afghanistan and Iraq".

Former President William Clinton and former Presidents George HW Bush and George W. Bush have volunteered to be a spokesman for the Secretary of General Affairs while he resides at the White House.

"It is just to bring normalcy to the country in this challenging crisis period", said Clinton.

According to well informed sources, American submarines carrying nuclear missiles aimed at Russia and China have followed their regulations and have gone undersea on news of confusion in the USA government. Those submarines commanders have not yet responded to calls from the Pentagon, not even when they have been addressed by Clinton, Bush the father or Bush the son. The submarines are supposed to be able to remain submerged for the next five years without need for more supplies.

In 1912, on this day Summer Olympic Games in Stockholm the United States football team won a convincing bronze medal over Finland, 4-1.

Part 2: The Olympic EraThe US was the only non-European side of the twelve teams to compete in the Games; the gold and silver medals were won by Great Britain and Denmark, respectively. There were no Games in 1916, due to the war; however, in 1920 the US roared back with a silver medal, losing to host nation Belgium in a 2-1 thriller. Unfortunately, the US couldn?t build on this success, with a disappointing second-round loss at the 1924 Games to the eventual champions, Uruguay.

In 1928 they returned to their old form, with a stunning 3-0 victory over powerhouse Argentina, and getting their revenge over Belgium for the 1920 Games with a 5-2 win. In the semi-finals the US faced a surprising Egyptian team, drawing 1-1 in their first match and winning 3-1 in a rematch 2 days later. This set up a final between the US and the reigning champions, Uruguay; in a closely fought defensive match, Uruguay retained their gold medals with a 1-0 victory.

By this time, however, FIFA had decided to break free from the amateur restrictions of the Olympic Committee, and moved to create their own tournament, known as the World Cup.

In 1877, on this day the Confederate Battle Flag used by the Army of Northern Virginia was raised at the Annual Gettysburg Conference, and from that time onwards was the official symbol of the Confederate States of America. That flag, later referred as the "Southern Cross", was fashioned along an oblong pattern rather than the square style of most of the combat originals

Gettysburg Prayer Part Six by Raymond SpeerThe long serving Virginia state government was run by the Citizens Party and ran the Bank of Virginia, an institution which made deals with the other State Governments to provide them with a stable currency, some notes backed by silver and others by gold. The notes bore the inscription: "Confederate Legal Tender authorized by the Confederate Gov't per its Constitution, and issued and distributed by the Bank of Virginia". The gold bills featured pictures from Robert E. Lee from his youth to successful general, and the silver bills showed the images of John C. Calhoun, TJ Jackson and Johnston the Martyr at Shiloh.

Over time, the exchange stabilized at six Confederate gold dollars for one United States dollar, or 24 Confederate silver dollar notes for a single dollar.

Shortly after the currency was reformed , Florida and Texas both declared that they were not going to allow Negroes to vote in their precincts by the decision of their legislatures. That was in defiance of a law that had passed the central government back towards the close of Davis' Administration, a law which had long been cited as anti-thetical to the values of the CSA.

In October 1878, the Supreme Court of the Confederate States, presided over by Chief Justice Judah Benjamin (appointed by President Davis) ruled 7-0 that the central government did not have the authority to authorize voting registries anywhere in the South. "The Emancipation Amendment did many things for the Negro," wrote the Court per curiam, "but it did not transfer suffrage determination from the States to the central government".

President Longstreet's election had been made possible by the exercise of Negro suffrage, and the outcome of the BADGER ex rel. Florida decision appeared to have ruined the prospects for Readjuster re-election.

Lead by its very popular Governor, John Reagan, who had established the CS Post Office while in Jefferson Davis' Cabinet, Texas had passed a law disfranchising Negro voters. Florida and South Carolina had also passed that law and the only place such a proposal was likely to fail was in Arizona which had a Negro / Hispanic majority.

President James Longstreet worked hard to maintain Negro suffrage in the Confederacy. "The Gettysburg Prayer was the divine guidance we needed in our darkest hour," said Longstreet, "and I ask how can we forget it now?" To the contrary, asserted Governor John Reagan: the Citizen Party wanted the vote limited to the mentally sound and politically independent. "Possibly in another generation, the lawmakers of some State may rule that the Negroes are ready to vote. Possibly in another two or three generations, they may let ladies vote! [much laughter]. But till then, let us use good sense as Citizens, and not Readjuster zeal".

In Missouri, a State that had remained in the USA, the great controversy of 1878 were allegations that the rural families of James and Younger had careers as bank and train robbers in addition to farming. Four of the gang had been apprehended in Missouri but Jesse and Frank James had fled to Arkansas, and US President Rutherford Hayes had requested their return to Missouri.

Confederate Senator Louis Wigfall of Texas praised the James Brothers as Southern patriots heartlessly forced from their homes by the Yankee rape of Missouri. Though he had frequently criticized Davis and Ruffin when they had been presidents, Wigfall as he had grown older sharpened his loud opposition to Readjustment, and even voiced the opinion that "the Gettysburg Prayer has been immensely over rated".

On a public street, after leaving a tavern, Senator Wigfall spotted United States Minister Phillip Sheridan walking home from a quiet meal and fired a curious gun that was inside of his walking stick. Sheridan had been missed by the blast, but had heard Wigfall;s threats, and hopped on the back of the streetcar and blackened both of the Senator's eyes within seconds.

President Longstreet was grateful that Wigfall had finally shown the limits to which Citizens would go in extremes. Minister Sheridan did go back to the USA, but so did the James brothers and their mother, who werre also iplicated in their crimes.

Fortune smiled on the Readjusters when North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky all voted down Citizen efforts to disenfranchise Negroes. The Readjusters swiftly rallied around another Confederate General, Pierre GT Beauregard, who had served well as the Secretary of War. Beauregard chose as his Vice President John Hunt Morgan, a cavalry man he had favored since their days in the war.

There was a sprited contest for the Citizens presidential nomination, contested from the start between Jubal Early of Virginia and John H. Reagan of Texas, which was not concluded till the very eve of the convention. Reagan bypassed his rival for the Vice Presidency and chose Robert Toombs of Georgia instead.

Negroes throughout the South backed the Readjuster ticket, resisting the casual contempt by which the Citizens Party assumed they were not capable of voting intelligently. From far off New York, Frederick Douglass moved all the way to Arizona and took a oath of citizenship in that place. "From correspondence with Abraham Lincoln, I made myself the campaign director for the ReUnion Party in that area, which was nearing entry into the Confederacy. As a ReUnion man, I could freely and in good faith participate in the elections of either part of the country, knowing that our goal of consolidation would sooner or later bring us all together again".

Texas, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina all went for John H. Reagan- Robert Toombs but Louisiana's reliability for Catholic Beauregard and unsuspected popularity of Morgan in the Border States enabled the Readjusters to win the presidential race. Counting only the top three votegetters, Beauregard had 48.5 per cent of the popular vote, Reagan took 46.4 per cent of the popular vote and Abraham Lincoln and John Singleton Mosby took 5.1 per cent for the ReUnion Party.

Lincoln-Mosby gathered not a single Confederate electoral vote in the 1879 contest, but confidently wrote to his separated nation that he thought he had planted a seed whereby a new framework would grow for a Combined America.

Also noticeable was the United States' revelation of its "batwing" project in November 1879's last days. The Yankees had waited until both President Longstreet and Beauregard had voiced disbelief in the rumors and sightings that Yankees had invented flying machines === for that matter,Governor John H.Reagan had likewise expressed doubts that the USA had such amazing machines in the air.

President Rutherford Hayes had shown the triumph of Yankee ingenuity and industry with the dozen bald-winged mechanical bats that were flown in patrol from Washington to Richmond and then back to Washington DC. More than a few people assumed that an earlier disclosure of the existance of Yankee flight machines would have scared people and elected John Reagan president.

In 1798, on the anniversary of the declaration of independence, and taking an expeditious decision that would ultimately destroy the careful constitutional checks and balances laid down at the Philadelphia Convention, President John Adams commissioned a Commander-in-chief of the armies. Accordingly, George Washington was ordered to prepare for a war with France that Adams hoped to avoid by "showing his teeth" in making a talismanic appointment they both considered largely as symbolic as his ill-fitting dentures.

Showing His TeethReluctantly called out of retirement to serve his country for the third time, Washington set about the business of planning for a Provisional Army that might meet any emergency that might arise. Both Adams and Washington hoped this activity could be achieved from Mount Vernon.

Soon enough though, the quasi-war escalated dramatically, the Provisional Army was mobilized and once again Washington was called upon to save the infant republic from a belligerent imperial power.

Constitutional amendments were required to place the country on a war footing, legislation which at the time caused little alarm because of his former empowerment from the Continental Congress. Proving woefully inadequate, a whole new government structure was soon required to invest Washington with the necessary powers to fight a second war of independence.

With the benefit of hindsight, the consequence of the War with France was a weak civilian Presidency, Cabinet-style government and a peer-level military authority. Because inasmuch as Washington had brought majestic power to the office of the Presidency, he had now demonstrated the subordinacy of that role to the defence of the Republic. In effect, the Imperial Powers who had been scared off by Washington-as-President, had now been scared off by Washington-as-C-in-C, and the sum total of that equation was that the Presidency was fatally diminshed, an outcome that had been scarcely assisted by John Adam's appalling performance in office.

Other great men such as Andrew Jackson, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, William Westmoreland and Norman Schwartzkopf would follow in his steps as Commander-in-Chief, but George Washington had the distinction of being first.

In 1940, less than twenty-four hours after 1,297 French sailors perished when a British Royal Navy task force attacked and destroyed much of the French fleet moored at Mers El-Kèbir, the new Chief of State, Admiral François Darlan declared that a state of war existed between Vichy France and Great Britain.

Last Anglo-French War 1940-1944Given that less than eight weeks before, Winston Churchill had proposed a union between the two nations in order to continue the war after the Fall of France, this was an incredible turn of events. But high rhetoric had soon turned to ruthless political expediency when the British began to fear that the French Fleet might fall into German hands. In fact then French Marine Minister Admiral Darlan had provided the British Government with firm guarantees that that this would not happen, ordering the French Fleet to sail for North Africa.

Demonstrating the ruthless brutality that absolutely nothing would stop him from winning the war, Winston Churchill judged that Darlan's guarantee were worthless. Accordingly, he dispatched a written order to the Commander of Force H in Gibraltar, James Somerville charging him "with one of the most disagreeable tasks that a British Admiral has ever been faced with, but we have complete confidence in you and rely on you to carry it out relentlessly". In an embittered response Somerville telegrammed the Admiralty advising that the mission had been acomplished, but the attack was "the biggest political blunder of modern times and will rouse the whole world against us .. we all feel thoroughly ashamed".

Darlan immediately realised that Marshal Petain would let the attack pass without a proportionate response, and swept to power on a fervour of nationalist anger. And for the next two years, he would lead a spirited defence of French Union colonies from British occupation. Such was the level of resolve shown that Churchill was brought to wonder out loud whether such fighting spirit might not have prevented the Fall of France itself. In a sense this was an established fact, because in late May, Maurice Gamelin had been replaced as Supreme Commander by Maurice Weygand who was serving in French Syria.

And yet Churchill's dismissal of Darlan as a turncoat was later to be proven as self-evidently true when the Chief of the French State switched sides and declared war on Nazi Germany in June 1944.

In 1967, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr took an unexpected step forward by officially reforming as Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. "We were fed up with being Beatles," McCartney has said, referring to the matching suits and screaming girls they left behind after retiring from live concerts, at the end of August 1966.
Watch the Youtube Clip

Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band "We were not boys, we were men. . . artists, not performers".

On Friday, February 10th, 1967, the Beatles had thrown a party at EMI Studios on Abbey Road in northwest London. The occasion: the recording of twenty-four bars of improvised crescendo, played by a forty-piece orchestra, for "A Day in the Life," the climax of the band"s then-in-progress masterpiece, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Special guests included Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Donovan and the Monkees" Michael Nesmith. At the Beatles' request, the orchestra members wore formal evening dress with funny hats, clown noses, fake nipples and, in the case of the lead violinist, a gorilla"s paw on his bowing hand.

"A crowd of people stood and stared. They'd seen his face before"Engineers Geoff Emerick and Ken Townsend taped the musical chaos on a pair of linked four-track machines, making this the first-ever eight-track recording date in Britain. Released on June 1st, 1967, in a now-iconic gatefold cover by artist Peter Blake and photographer Michael Cooper, Sgt. Pepper immediately electrified the world. No other LP of rock's first half-century so richly defined its era -- the hope and the mutiny of the 1960s -- and completely redefined the outer limits of the recording experience. "It seemed obvious to us that peace, love and justice ought to happen," McCartney said. At the same time, "we recorded Sgt. Pepper to alter our egos, to free ourselves and have a lot of fun". Whilst we can only speculate, it seems unlikely that the fab four would have survived into the new decade of the 1970s without such a major rethink.

In 1826, President Thomas Jefferson dies at the age of 83. The 75-year-old Vice-President James Madison is sworn in as acting President. It is expected that he will be confirmed as President in his own right by Congress; however, the succession of one aged chief executive by another nearly as old sparks some calls for reform.

The Webster Proposal an article by Eric Lipps"Why should this nation risk passing its highest magistracy from one hand enfeebled by age, however venerated it might be, to another, and thence perhaps to another?" asks New Hampshire Senator Daniel Webster. "Should we not ensure energy in the executive by providing, insofar as is possible, that in the event of a president's death, his successor should enjoy the same vigor he himself displayed at the start of his term?".

Webster calls for a constitutional amendment abolishing lifetime presidential tenure in favor of regular elections at seven-year intervals. The "Webster proposal" will be rejected by Congress. However, variants of it will repeatedly be suggested in years to come.
This article is a part of the Life Term thread. In this scenario, we explore the consequences of a 1787 agreement at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, in which a President-for-life clause is inserted into the text.

In 1995, the British Prime Minister, John Major, lost his battle to remain leader of the Conservative Party.

Mr Major received backing from 89 of the party's MPs in the leadership ballot. His sole challenger, John Redwood, got 218 votes. There were eight abstentions with 12 spoilt papers. Two Conservative MPs failed to vote. Mr Redwood's victory represented support from two-thirds of the parliamentary party - more than enough to win the contest outright in the first round.

The Barmy Army TriumphRedwood was previously a banker and academic, he was also head of the Number 10 policy unit during Mrs Thatcher's second term, where he was one of the greatest supporters of widespread privatisation, a stance he retains to this day. He was elected to the Commons in 1987 and quickly climbed the ministerial ladder, joining the cabinet as secretary of state for Wales in 1993.

"Put up or Shut up"The enduring television image of his time in the role was his bold attempt to sing the Welsh national anthem in its native form. When John Major resigned the leadership of the Conservative Party in 1995, inviting detractors to "put up or shut up", John Redwood challenged him, standing on a Eurosceptic platform. His fringe supporters became known as the "barmy army" and the bid was a huge success..

In 1976, an Israeli commando attempt to rescue one hundred hostages, mostly Israelis or Jews, held by pro-Palestinian hijackers at Entebbe airport in Uganda ended in chaos and disaster.

Conqueror of PalestineThe Israeli forces landed at Entebbe an hour before midnight, with their cargo bay doors already open. A black Mercedes with accompanying Land Rovers was taken along to give the impression that the Israeli troops driving from the landed aircraft to the terminal building were an escort for Idi Amin or another high-ranking official. The Mercedes car was borrowed from an Israeli civilian and apparently spray-painted black for the raid, on the understanding that it would be returned to the owner in its original color. The Mercedes and its escort vehicles were quickly driven by the Israeli assault team members to the airport terminal in the same fashion as Amin.

However, along the way, two Ugandan sentries, who were aware that Idi Amin had recently purchased a white Mercedes to replace his black one, ordered this procession of vehicles to stop and quickly raised the alarm. The President added "Conqueror of Palestine" to his list of many titles, indicating that Westerners had once again underestimated the Black African.

In 1961, as part of New York City's Independence Day celebrations, the Statue of Liberty was reopened to visitors after having been closed for months due to structural damage inflicted by the Jamaica Bay hurricane.

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Over the next twelve months tourist visits to the Statue would pump tens of millions of dollars into New York's local economy and further speed along the Big Apple's economic recovery from the disaster.

Asteriod Strike

On this day in 2002, Iraqi-Americans in Detroit held a rally to denounce the Saddam regime's repressive actions in the wake of the Baghdad asteroid strike.

Asteriod Strike - hits Iraq
hits Iraq

In 1942, at RAF Northolt, Head of the British Professional Army Sir Alan Brooke briefed the new Head of British Central Command, Bernard Montgomery. "Meet with Dayan in Jerusalem and offer him the keys to the British Mandate in Palestine. We need the Haganah to defend the [Suez] Canal Zone. The Jews will be our Orange men in the Middle East".

 - Moshe Dayan
Moshe Dayan

In 1776, Thomas Jefferson added a single word in the preamble to the United States Declaration of Independence, wherein it was restated that governments "derive their just power from the unanimous consent of the governed". Disturbed by this wording, Albert Gallatin intercedes in the Whiskey Rebellion to the benefit of the farmers, rather than of the fledgling United States government, eventually leading to the death of George Washington in the ensuing civil war, the abrogation of the U.S. Constitution, and the re-establishment of government under the Articles of Confederation. Over the ensuing century, the remnants of central government dissipate, and by the start of the novel in the year 1986, the NAC presidency is a largely honorary role preserved only as a coordinator of actions in national emergencies.

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Andrea got to sleep in late because of the holiday - what civilized country puts a holiday in the middle of the week? - and so she and Monica had stayed up till the early morning watching the sky. Monica, as she usually did, still got up in time to cook and eat breakfast, and she was watching TV when Andrea finally roused herself. 'Anything good on?' Andrea leaned over the couch and kissed her daughter on the head.
'Nah,' Monica said, flipping the channel. 'I was just about to go play the Sims.'
'I don't want you spending the whole day on that game,' Andrea said to her. 'I won't, I won't. Just a few hours.'
'Wonderful.'
'Hey, you were on CNN earlier - they had pictures of all the probe meeting people.' Monica looked back at her. 'You need a better publicity photo.'
Andrea stuck her tongue out at her daughter. 'I think I look great in that picture.'
Monica obviously didn't agree. 'Please. You got the Condoleeza Rice flippy-hair thing goin' on.'
A chink showed in Andrea's armor. 'You don't think that looks nice?'
'You should just go natural. A tight afro'd look good on you.'
Andrea ran her hand through her hair. She hadn't had an afro since she was 14 and her own mother had let her start using conditioners. She stared at her reflection in the stainless steel door of the refrigerator and thought about it. 'I should go to the salon before the meeting.'
'That's what I'm sayin'.'
Andrea pulled a juice box out of the fridge and a power bar out of a cupboard and sat down beside Monica. She felt her daughter's eyes boring into her, and said, 'What?' 'Is that your breakfast?'
'I got juice and I got granola. That's all I need.' Monica groaned. 'At least let me make you some eggs.'
'You keep your little butt down on this couch. I need to look good for the meeting, right?'
'Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.'
'I'm never letting you watch Saturday cartoons again.' They stared off for a few seconds, and then Andrea gave in. 'All right. Just don't use so much butter on them, this time.'
'I'll use margarine,' Monica said, magnanimous in victory. 'And, I got some nice veggies that'll make 'em taste great, and be healthy for you.'
'My little chef. I'm surprised you weren't watching the food channel.'
'I was, but then Rachel Ray came on. You know how I feel about her.'
'You have got to get over your jealousy of this woman.' 'Pssh. Jealousy. Like she's got anything for me to be jealous of.'
'Fame, fortune, a dozen TV shows...'
'You just wait till I get out of the Culinary Institute and get in with a good restaurant. I got exotic looks and ethnic flair - Food TV'll go nuts over me.' And, true to her words, the smells coming from the kitchen were delicious.
Andrea's stomach growled, in spite of her attempts to placate it with juice and granola. 'Is that going to be done soon?'
'Just gimme a minute.'
Andrea flipped the channel to CNN. It might as well be PNN these days - all probe, all the time. They were showing the latest pictures of the probe from the army of satellites that were now observing it constantly. 'You're right, it does look like a hairball.'
Monica tutted. 'Do we really need to get involved with aliens who have no fashion sense?'

On this day in 2004 the Washington Post published a special Independence Day op-ed commentary by former CBS News correspondent-turned-author and social critic Bernard Goldberg that sharply criticized the inaccuracies in Fahrenheit 9/11. Titled Moore Of The Same Old Stuff, the article painted a highly unflattering picture of Michael Moore as a hardcore leftist who hated America.

 - Bernard Goldberg
Bernard Goldberg

In 1826, Thomas Jefferson dies in exile in France. Once wealthy, he is broke and deep in debt at his death. His funeral will be attended by several of the surviving members of the American revolutionary movement, including Aaron Burr, who has been living in Paris since the collapse of the Mexican independence movement in 1818 forced him to flee that Spanish colony. In a burst of gallows humor, Burr describes the gathering as "the finest collection of condemned traitors in one place in all of modern Europe".

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In 1863, the Southern Rebellion was brought to a close on, fittingly enough, Independence Day. President Whitman called it, 'the divine providence of the Almighty that gives us peace on this day of national sacrament.' Communist Party workers were dispatched throughout the south to bring the people around to the new way of thinking.
In 2291 AUC, Chief Consul Marcus Antonius Levidicus declares the death of the Empire of Rome and the rebirth of the Republic. 'Men are born and remain free and equal in rights. Social distinctions may only be founded upon the general good,' he declared in the new Constitution of the Roman Republic. From that point on, no Roman citizen was considered of noble birth; all social hierarchy in the Roman Republic was earned.
In 10-1-12-7, the Sioux and Iroquois declared their independence from the Oeztecan Empire. This began 8 hard years of fighting on the Western Continent, with supplies for Oezteca coming from the Pharaoh and supplies for the northern rebels coming surreptitiously from the Inca. The Sioux-Iroquois Alliance eventually won the war, beginning a long decline in the Oeztecan Empire.
In 1976, the Washington, D.C. fireworks display on the Fourth of July was presided over by the President and televised nationally. Two days hence the President and First Lady served as proud hosts at a White House state dinner for Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip of Great Britain. Neither event played well in Richmond, Virgina. Confederate President Jimmy Carter described Ford as an unreconstructed Tory, condemning the celebrations as grand-standing opportunities for the 1976 election.
In 1776, with the Declaration of Independence, the American Revolution began. The secessionists were spectacularly unprepared for their 'war of independence', with armed forces comprising militias financed by the States. Finding on either site were the empires of Britain, France, Holland and the Iroqois Confederacy, not to mention many African Americans, First Nations and German Hessian Mercenaries. Out of the war emerged a patchwork quilt of nations. Exactly two hundred years later, the author Billy Pilgrim would cross the boundaries of five nations just travelling from Ilium, New York State to Boston for a convention at which he would be shot dead by a crazed ex-war 'comrade'.
In 1984, the boss drove into Darlington County, looking for some work on the county line via a union connection with an uncle of Wayne's. They drove eight hundred miles without seeing a cop, they had rock and roll music blasting off the t-top.
In 1826, both former American presidents Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died, fifty years to the day after the adoption of the ill-fated United States Declaration of Independence.
In 1976, the Raid on Entebbe ended in chaos. Ugandan Security Guards had immediately seen through the disception of President Idi Amin's black Mercedes arriving at the airport in a classic trojan horse strategem. Amin himself said it was typical of the Zionist underestimation of black Africans, which was one reason why he had expelled Jewish nationals from Uganda in 1972.


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