In 1969, after four days of intense medical treatment for a barely reported vehicular incident on Chappaquiddick Island, Senator Edward M. Kennedy made a low-key public appearance in a neckbrace. An installment of our variation of Eric Lipp's No Chappaquiddick thread where JFK survives Dallas.
Crashing out after the PartyThe circumstances of the accident itself was unremarkable. Following a reception for aides of his late brother Robert, he had driven an unnamed young campaign worker to the Edgartown ferry but had lost control of his Oldsmobile on Dike Road. The car rolled over into Poucha Pond but fortunately both the driver and the passenger managed to escape.
Still grieving for his elder brother, Kennedy had been distracted during the party. His thoughts had already begun to turn towards his own run for the Presidency. And a challenge to George Romney, who had only entered the White House just six months before.
Romney had benefited immensely from the strong backing of fellow Republican governor (and former Vice President) Richard Nixon . But of course the main reason for his victory was the self-destruction of the Democrat Party during the campaign. He wouldn't be so lucky a second time, crashing to defeat in 1972 at the hands of a resurgent, unified Democrat Party led by Edward M. Kennedy. But behind the winning smile, Kennedy was in huge discomfort, having suffered a serious lower back injury at the Chappaquiddick incident which had aggravated a condition he developed after a plane crash in 1964. His mobility was seriously restricted, and the inevitable result was a lacklustre pursuit of overseas travel that would hamper his foreign policy goals.
In 1812, on this day the Royal Navy's impressment and seizures of American ships and sailors was brought to an end by the signing of the Treaty of Trois-Riveries. An article from the American Heroes thread.
Treaty of Trois-RiveriesBy removing the source of diplomatic tensions between their respective nations, British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval and US President Charles C. Pinckney paved the way for better Anglo-American relations.
But the negotiations could have ended in disaster had it continued beyond March 4, 1813. The American side knew that if Madison took office, and they were not finished, he would try his best to trigger another Anglo-American war. So, the American side retorted to compromise and agreement, and by July 22, 1812, the treaty was made, and it was signed that very day, into legal existence.
In 1946, on this day the German Underground's headquarters at the New Reich's signature hotel The Excelsior was destroyed by 350 kg (770 lb) of explosives spread over six charges detonated by a terrorist cell of the Greater Zionist Resistance (GZR) under the command of Mieczyslaw Biegun.
Bombing of The Excelsior
An installment from "Elders of the Protocols of Zion"The bombing in Berlin marked the eleventh anniversary of the assassination of Astrid Pflaume, a neo-Nazi from 1968 sent back in time to create the GZR, the shadowy world-wide Zionist organization, the enemy they had always imagined. However the plan had back-fired because of a switch of Pflaume's sympathies; by the time that she was killed in 1935 she had "gone native" and created such a vibrant terrorist organization that the neo-Nazis had to send weapons of the future to defeat her.
Inevitably, these distortions in the timeline introduced paradoxes. The GZR now determined that a path to victory was possible, if they could only get Biegun's cell to destroy Wilhelm Schoemann's theoretical physics laboratory in Isgarden. Because it was the survival of that body of work that enabled neo-Nazis to regroup in 1968, could that be averted, then their plan could never be.
Part one of the novel can be downloaded here and continues as a thread on this site. All of Robbie Taylor's novels are available for download at Amazon.
In 1587, on this day one hundred seventeen settlers returned to North America's Roanoke Island where a previous English settlement had been evacuated by invitation of Sir Francis Drake because its relief fleet was late with supplies.
Roanoke Reestablished North John White, who had been with Sir Walter Raleigh on expeditions to America before, led this second group of settlers. As the settlers prepared to land, White looked with an artist's eye at the dark mainland and remembered the native Croatoans. Ralph Lane, the commander of the previous settlement, had attacked them time and again, and White decided re-establishing relations would be too difficult.
A new story by Jeff ProvineInstead, White met with the band of Englishmen who had maintained the island over the past two years and asked about friendlier settling. They recommended north, with the Powhatans. White agreed, and the expedition moved northward to the Chesepiook Bay. Friendlier relations were established with the Powhatans, and a colony was set up on a picturesque river. Other colonists called for a nearby island as much more defensible, but White refused to live in a swamp.
His decision proved wise as Elizabethtown (also nicknamed "New Roanoke") grew self-sufficient with farming while avoiding many mosquitoes and brackish tidal water. White returned to England, leaving behind 115 colonists, one his newborn granddaughter, Virginia Dare (pictured). He meant to sail again for America as soon as possible, but the Spanish Armada blocked his path as every seaworthy vessel was pressed into naval service. White hired smaller vessels to take him, but the captains made greedy and shortsighted attacks on Spanish ships, who overtook them in the battles and plundered the English cargoes. The empty-handed ships sailed back to England.
Finally, in 1590, White was able to return to America. The colonists were thin and desperately poor, having traded away many of their goods to the Indians to survive. Some had even suggested joining the native tribes, but their thin resources were enough to keep them from desperate measures. White resupplied them and set back for England for more. With time, work, and much funding from Raleigh, Elizabethtown eventually took a solid hold in North America. However, it would work only as something of a naval base for several years until, at Raleigh's recommendation, the colony began raising tobacco to supplant the Spanish monopoly. Soon, whole plantations sprang up, and money-seeking businessmen flooded into Virginia.
With a strong economic base, America became a magnet for entrepreneurs as well as those seeking better lives. Pilgrims would follow in 1620 farther north, and numerous settlers fleeing from the violence of the Civil War would find ample chance for improvement in colonizing. Eventually, in 1776, seventeen colonies would break away from the mother land and, in the War of 1812, manage to add Canada to their nation by conquest. The United States of America would continue to be a powerful and ever-growing force for centuries to come.
In 1983, on this day European Space Agency director Jason Webb (pictured) visited Cape Canaveral for a debriefing on the "land of giants" incident and Betty Hamilton's testimony before Congress.
Giant Surprise Part 7Webb, an ex-Oxford professor who had also been a science consultant to British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, would eventually become one of the key forces behind Project Spindrift; it was partly on his recommendation that fellow Oxford alumnus John Kane was included with Steve Burton and Col. Doug Ross on the primary flight crew for Spindrift's first mission. Webb would continue to play a major role in Project Spindrift until 1995, when chronic heart problems forced him into early retirement.
Yet for all his cardiac troubles Webb was considerably more fortunate than Dr. Kane, who was killed in a car crash shortly after the first Spindrift mission returned to Earth, or Colonel Ross, who died in the Challenger explosion in 1986.
In 1934, on this day notorious gangster John Dillinger (pictured) was shot and badly wounded after being turned over to FBI agents by a female companion, Anna Sage, dubbed the "Lady in Red" by the media, as the pair emerged from Chicago's Biograph Theater in the company of another woman, Polly Hamilton.
Watch the Youtube Clip
The Lady in Red betrays Public Enemy No. 1 John Dillinger by Eric LippsBriefly housed under guard at a Chicago hospital, Dillinger was returned to the Indiana State Penitentiary, from which he had been paroled on May 10, 1933 after serving eight and a half years of a ten-to-twenty-year sentence for assault and battery with intent to rob and conspiracy to commit a felony. He had been rearrested on September 22, 1933, but had escaped with the aid of confederates before being arrested and jailed yet again, this time in Crown Point, Indiana, where he was awaiting arraignment on a murder charge. Incredibly, he had escaped again.
Following his return to Indiana State Penitentiary in August 1934, Dillinger would finally be tried on the murder charge for which he had been awaiting trial at the time of his escape from the Crown Point jail. The trial was a media circus, but its outcome was never in doubt. Convicted, Dillinger was executed February 6, 1935.
In 1762, on this day Robert Wedderburn was born in Jamaica, the son of a slave Rosanna. His father James Wedderburn was a respected member of Edinburgh society who made a very handsome fortune from the Jamaican slavery trade. Never acknowledged by his father, Robert is rarely spoken of in relation to the famous Scottish Wedderburn family.
The Axe Laid To The RootBorn a free man due to a concession his mother sought whilst pregnant, Robert was well educated in Jamaica. There he was also witness to the terrible atrocities that slavery inflicted and began to battle against the injustices of the slave trade. Later, in the Horrors of Slavery, Wedderburn would write "I thank my God, that through a long life of hardship and adversity, I have ever been free in both mind and body: and have always raised my voice on behalf of my enslaved countrymen".
Setting off for London in 1779, he hoped to establish a relationship with his father who he had previously only met once in his life. However, on his arrival in London, he was disowned by his father, who claimed that Robert was lying and simply trying to get hold of the family fortune.
"The earth cannot be justly the private property of individuals, because it was never manufactured by man; therefore whoever sold it, sold that which was not his own".Rejected, Robert found a new identity as a leading activist against slavery. Calling for slave uprisings in Britain and the Caribbean, the Home Secretary called him a "notorious firebrand" and he was put on the Government's secret list of thirty-three leading reformers.
Wedderburn's revolutionary manifesto The Axe Laid to the Root would spur a widespread revolt across British North America that would terminate the slave trade throughout the Empire. And that event would precipiate a quite unexpected reaction, the secession of slave states from the British Colonies, into a new Confederate State of America.
In 2004, left-wing activist Cindy Sheehan (pictured) blasted US president George W. Bush for getting the United States involved in what she called "a second Falklands Tragedy".
Falklands Emergency Part 3 - Gunboat Diplomacy by Chris Oakley & Ed.In an online article for the leftist political website DailyKos, she compared the American-backed campaign against al Qaeda-supported insurgents in Iraq to the failed British attempt to retake the Falkland Islands (a.k.a. the Malvinas) from Argentina in 1982, saying that Bush was a "21st century Thatcher" resorting to corrupt tactics to impose Western will on a non-Western country, just as mercenary mastermind Sir Mark Thatcher had tried to kick the Argentines out of the Falklands using hired guns.
To be continued..
In 2008, Emperor Hugo I of Venezuela and Czar Vladimir of the Russian Empire signed a mutual defense treaty in which each nation pledged to come to the other's defense in the event of war with the Anglo-American Union.
Emperor Hugo I signs Russian alliance
Speaking during a two-day visit to Russia, the Emperor said that oil and military cooperation were vital to guarantee Venezuela's sovereignty. The Czar said three Russian energy companies are to be allowed to operate in Venezuela.
He gave no details of the miliary alliance between the two countries, although the Emperor stated at a news conference after the meeting that "Russia's armed forces will be present in Venezuela and they will be given a warm welcome".
In 1961, the New York Yankees earned their 80th win of the '61 baseball season, posting a 6-1 drubbing of the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park; in doing so they set an MLB record for the fastest pace set by any major league club to reach the 80-wins plateau during the regular season
They would finish the year with 132 victories, another MLB record, and sweep the Cincinnati Reds in the 1961 World Series. Sportswriters across America would credit the Bronx Bombers' phenomenal success that year to the motivational factor of New York's preseason decision to dedicate its regular season to the late Casey Stengel.
In 1946, remnants of the Greater Zionist Resistance blow up the Hindenburg Hotel in Bonn, Germany, killing 435 people. It is one their last gasps; after 5 years of devastating attacks armed and planned by neo-Nazis from 1968, the GZR has been reduced to a shell of its former glory.
In 1935, Astrid Pflaume, leader of the Greater Zionist Resistance, is assassinated by her former allies, neo-Nazi time-travelers from the late 1960's. In spite of the loss of one their greatest leaders, the GZR grows even stronger. The neo-Nazis at this point have little choice but to begin shuttling weapons of the future into the past.
On this day in 1944, Allied supreme commander General Dwight Eisenhower, seeking to capitalize on the blow Hitler's assassination had inflicted on Wehrmacht morale, authorized his field commanders in northern France to begin an immediate all-out drive on Paris.
The next day Soviet troops on the Eastern Front would launch a four-pronged offensive to eject German occupation forces from Poland's capital Warsaw.
One Wehrmacht officer was already dead when these campaigns began: Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, architect of the Hitler assassination plot, had been arrested and executed by firing squad on Goering's orders shortly after Hitler's death was confirmed.
On this day in 1948, the New York Giants officially introduced Roy Hobbs as their third base coach.
On this day in 2016, plans for a third CSI movie hit an unexpected snag when one of the writers hired to do the screenplay abruptly quit Paramount in a salary dispute.
On this day in 1973, widower Lester Billings became the latest victim of the infamous serial killer known as 'the Lawnmower Man'; he was stabbed to death while walking to an appointment to see his psychiatrist.
Billings' murder was chronicled in a chapter of Stephen King's book The Lawnmower Man titled 'The Boogeyman'.
In 1962, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev is overthrown by a cabal of hard-liners angry over Khrushchev's failure to act to prevent the U.S. from occupying Cuba and deposing its leftist president Fidel Castro in April 1961 and what they see as his 'weakness' in the Berlin crisis of that fall.
Some, in addition, still nurse bitterness over the Premier's denunciation in 1956 of Stalin-era 'excesses,' which they do not regard as excesses at all.
Khrushchev's fall will be followed by a period of 'troika' rulership which will last until March 1964, when Communist Party apparatchik Leonid Brezhnev will finally consolidate his position as the Soviet Union's supreme leader.
On this day in 1944, German Stuka dive bombers raided Polish insurgent strongpoints inside Warsaw.
In 2007, A. BREEG wrote ~ using ancient european grimoires my visitor from Romania had released the demon within Benjamin Breeg. 666 days later has was reincarnated as Eddie. As I said, it was a strange meeting. Of course Eddie required some form of subterfuge to conceal his identity when he was not letting rip with the British Heavy Metal Band Iron Maiden. I must say the journal was profoundly shocking. However, I can't say I'm not pleased to have my diary returned to me - it really takes me back.
On this day in 1947, an interfaith religious service was held in Roswell, New Mexico to pray for the victims and survivors of the July 6th asteroid strike. The service included Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist, Sikh, Hindu, and First Nations clerics from all parts of the world; among those present that day were evangelist Billy Graham and Polish Catholic clergyman Karol Wotyjla, the future Pope John Paul II.
In 1934, People's Attorney John Dillinger shot fascist counter-revolutionary Edgar Hoover dead outside the Biograph Theater in Chicago, Illinois. The reactionary Hoover had looted People's Banks across the Midwest, killing many comrades in his pursuit of wealth.
In 1587, the colony of Roanoke was established in the Virginia colony. The colony mysteriously vanished 3 years later, with only the word 'croaton' carved on a post as explanation for their disappearance. The mystery was finally explained 133 years later, when the descendants of that colony returned to earth with the alien Mlosh who had taken them to study humans.
In 1914, in Aquae Sulphurae Roman Procurator Franz Ferdinand was assassinated by Slavonic nationalists. An emergency session of the Roman Senate was convened to examine the Empire's options. A response was certain. Some massive was required to restore Roman authority in that part of the world.
In 1914, Gazi Mustafa Kemal Pashai, Governor-general of al-Andalus was assassinated in Paris by Frankish anarchists. During the subsequent August days, a diplomatic crisis escalated from al-Andalus demands to send detectives into Frankish territory. The uneasy peace that has lasted for centuries between Arabs and Europeans was undone as combatant nations were dragged into the Great War by a complex system of so-called peace treaties.
In 1499, at the Battle of Dornach the Swiss decisively defeated the Imperial army of Emperor Maximilian I. Swiss militarism was to unbalance Europe until the twentieth century. Two World Wars ended in the warrior state being partitioned by the four nation alliance of America, Russia, Britain and France.
In 1985, eighteen months after he survived a titanic board room struggle, Chairman Jack Tramiel of Commodore International took the step forward that he had been fighting tooth and nail for, announcing the release of the 900 model (pictured), a 16-bit microcomputer based on the Zilog Z8000 CPU that would take the competition to the Apple and IBM during the late 1980s.
Commodore 900A Polish immigrant and Auschwitz survivor, Tramiel had promised "computers for the masses, not the classes". To achieve this goal, he had driven Commodore to the edge of bankcrupcy, offering budget priced machines distributed through retail channels rather than authorized resellers. Following on from the success of the PET, the Commodore 64 was selling at the staggering rate of 400,000 units per month, and in fact a key issue for the company was finding a suitable successor to this runaway success. That would be the 900 model.
In 1861, in the first large battle of the Civil War, Confederate Armies under recently promoted Major General Ulysses S. Grant split the Union Armies under the command of Major General Robert E. Lee at Gettysburg.
Grant wins at Gettysburg
By Timothy McFaddenIn this, the first major clash of organized armies, Lee had appeared to be on the verge of victory after the second day, smashing the Confederate Army of the East under Lieutenant General Dan Sickles. It was Grant's last minute appearance with the Confederate Army of the West, striking Lee's rear early on the third day, that reversed the battle, capturing or killing more than half of the Union Army and their French Allies. Only a last minute stand by General "Stonewall" Jackson's Virginia Division gave the remains of the routed Union Army the chance to escape to the south.
Confederate President John C. Fremont declared the victory "proof of our iron determination to defend human freedom". US President Jefferson Davis declared "Our sacred union shall not be sundered by northern money men determined to infringe on our rights of property. States rights do not now, nor have they ever, included the right to separate from the Union".
The 1856 attack by pro-slavery vigilantes on Lawrence, Kansas, and the subsequent beating of Senator Charles Sumner on the floor of the senate, while other senators were held at bay by gunpoint, had already brought the First Republic close to Civil War. In an attempt to stop a wave of pro-slavery terror in Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri, Senator Stephen Douglas and his peacekeeper faction joined with southern senators to pass the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States: the Respect for Property amendment. Patterned on laws passed by the pro-slavery Kansas Legislature and in states such as Virginia, the amendment forbade agitating against slavery in speech or print as encouraging Servile Insurrection.
Reaction in New England, the East and the Midwest was loud and violent, with anti-slave catcher militias formed in several states while the new Republican Party under General John C. Fremont had as it's central plank the repeal of the 13th Amendment. The expedited admission of Kansas, Missouri, California and Nebraska as slave states alienated even the peacekeeper faction of Douglas, who repudiated his support. Matters finally came to a head in 1860 when the Republican presidential candidate, Abraham Lincoln, was shot and killed during a campaign speech in Maryland.
A new story by Timothy McFaddenAt his inauguration, President Jefferson Davis called for unity and peace between the states but also threatened harsh retaliation against anyone who tried to divide the Union. The threats were ignored as Committees of Secession in Massachusetts, New York, Ohio and Delaware convened in Boston. On February 22,1861, these states joined by Pennsylvania, the New England states, Michigan, Illinois and Indiana declared the formation of the Confederate States of America, with it's capitol in New York City and it's first president, John C. Fremont.
Reaction by President Davis was swift, nationalizing the militia of all loyal states and calling for a million man army for a duration of two years. He also authorized the arrest of thousands of those deemed "Copperheads" for suspicion of being disloyal or anti-slavery. Such arrests included leaders of the "Neutralist" factions in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Confused fighting in Maryland and Kentucky kept those states in the Union, while the northern tip of Virginia split off to become the Confederate State of Mohawk.
In the Winter Mountain War, Union forces under General George B. McClellan were stopped in a bloody defeat at the new state capitol of Charlotte by Ohio Militia General U.S. Grant commanding a mixed force of volunteers from various states. After that, in the east, both sides pulled back to recruit and organize their armies. In the west, confused fighting continued as Union raiders struck deep into Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana.
Deprived of it's industrial heart, the cash-strapped United States secured massive loans from France, England and Spain, as well as several regiments of troops from France. Claims that such loans would keep the US in debt to Europe in perpetuity were derided as treasonous. The perpetual manpower shortage that would dog the Union throughout the war was immediately felt, as slave-holding loyalist states insisted on keeping much of their militia at home to guard against slave insurrection. Nonetheless, the first rush of volunteers enabled the Union to form an army of 100,000 men west of Washington.
Union overall strategy was the "Anaconda" plan, formed by General Winfield Scott, shortly before his death from a stroke. Initial mutinies and desertion by most US Navy ships to the Confederate side made a naval blockade impossible at first, while President Davis continually pushed for a drive through Pennsylvania to split the Confederacy. Major General Robert E. Lee, the new commander of the Army, repeatedly stalled, telling Davis that his army lacked organization, uniforms, training and everything else needful to form an army.
The Confederate Armies had initially been hampered by the lack of professional Army officers, who mostly stayed loyal to the Union. The initial confederate armies were forced to rely on political appointees, disgraced and retired army officers or amateur soldiers like Dan Sickles, Don Carlos Buell, Joshua Chamberlain and Ulysses S. Grant.
This process began to reverse as President Davis, despite protests from Lee, Johnson and other senior officers, blacklisted northern officers who had remained loyal. Shut out of higher command, senior officers like Reynolds, Sedgewick, Burnsides and Hooker returned to their home states. As latecomers, Fremont appointed them to subordinate positions, causing Burnsides and others to resign their commissions and leave military service entirely or to take command of state militias.
By June, Davis had exhausted his patience and informed Lee that if he would not take the army north, Davis would find a commander who would. Initially, Lee encountered great success with the two wings of his army commanded by Jackson and Johnson. A shattering victory by Lee in two days of fighting north of Gettysburg routed the Union Army of the East, capturing General Dan Sickles and killing General Joseph Hooker. However, in the process, Lee's army was scattered among the hills of Pennsylvania.
It was at this point that Grant, leading 20,000 men detached from the Union Army of the West, struck Lee's army from the rear after a forced march. As Grant said afterwards "Both our armies were green as grass. Green troops have, in my experience, been fierce as lions in the attack, while in retreat they almost always panic and rout. I therefore concluded that my only option was to attack, attack and attack again". Although outnumbered, his attack split the Union forces and captured most of the Union Army's dear-bought artillery.
His pursuit of the fleeing southern army was stopped by the stand of Stonewall Jackson, although Grant said afterwards that he had no intention of pursuing past that point.
Subsequent trends of the war only came in after Gettysburg- the increasing technological focus of the Confederate Armies, the freeing and arming of escaped slaves and the "War for Freedom" concept, and the growing "Second Republic" movement that the Confederacy should not simply secede from the Union, but supplant it.
In 1977, the rogue MI-6 agent who had led the conspiracy to assassinate Harold Wilson was himself killed in a car crash in Switzerland.
The Oarsman by Chris OakleyAt the time of his death the agent, formerly known to his co-conspirators as "Oarsman", had been on the run since 1975; there were outstanding warrants for his arrest in both France and Belgium, where he'd been waging a personal "black ops" campaign against KGB-sponsored radical leftist groups, and back in his native Britain an MI-6 internal probe had turned up evidence suggesting "Oarsman" was embezzling agency funds for personal use. He was buried under one of the dozen or so aliases he had used to conceal his true identity during his time on the lam.
Part 4 of the Necessary Evil ThreadEven after the Blair government's 2004-05 inquiry had clearly established the role of "Oarsman" and his cohorts in Harold Wilson's death, the rogue MI-6 operative's fate was still something of a mystery as far as the British public was concerned. It wasn't until 2008 -- when Blair's successor Gordon Brown launched a further investigation of the assassination plot - that the facts about the agent's untimely demise finally came to light. A DNA test authorized by the Swiss courts proved the body interred in Zurich's Friedhof Nordheim cemetery was indeed that of "Oarsman". From there, Swiss and UK police began a joint probe into the circumstances behind the crash that killed the renegade MI-6 agent; the investigation would lead to three arrests in the summer of 2009.
When Brown himself left office in May of 2010, new British prime minister David Cameron pledged that his government would continue the reforms of the UK's intelligence network which Brown and Blair had started instituting in the aftermath of the 2004-05 inquiry into the Wilson assassination conspiracy.
In 1977, on this day the Government of Egypt declared war on Libya just twenty-four hours after Colonel Gaddafi had ordered a full-scale raid on the border city of Sallum.
Egypt Liberates Libya Small skirmishes and shootouts between the Egyptian and Libyan armies would result in a rout that would become an invasion. Tensions had mounted between the two countries for months with attacks at one another's embassies, Gaddafi's order of the removal of all Egyptian nationals from his country by July 1, and finally the Libyan peoples' "March on Cairo" where thousands of civilians approached the Egyptian border to make known their stance against a possible Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty.
The march would lead to further difficulties when it reached the border, where Egyptian troops stopped the protesters. On July 20, Libyan artillery fired at the Egyptians, and a full-scale raid on the city of Sallum followed on July 21. The Libyans expected some fighting, then to disengage and return across the border. Instead, the Egyptians responded with a declaration of war and counter-invasion.
A new story by Jeff ProvineWith superior arms, the Egyptians raced toward Tripoli on the coast roads after bypassing Ajdabiya. The Libyan army looked for methods of ambush, but Egyptian air superiority kept enemy tanks and infantry pinned. On July 24, armed forces rolled into Tripoli, and Gaddafi was nowhere to be found. The leader of the revolution had pulled out of the capital and hidden in bunkers deep in the desert.
Algeria and Palestine called for an armistice, but their cries went unheard. Instead, Egypt called for free elections and a new Libyan government. As a fallen leader, Gaddafi was not arrested, merely ignored, and he would eventually become an expatriate in Syria. The new election was backed by the United States; most international figures merely sat back to watch. The USSR was expected to speak out, but the Soviets were quiet as they had their own designs on invasions farther east and hoped not to muddy international waters.
Libya, now newly reopened, fell in line with Egyptian ideals and developed relations with the West. Farther in the east, Iran would arise in a revolution to become a religious republic (what many called socialist). Saddam Hussein's government, suspicious of Ba'ath revolutionaries spilling over from Iran, declared war on their neighbor, which received increasing aid from the USSR despite their own problems in Afghanistan. Western attention was drawn more heavily to Libya, and Iraq would fall to the theocratic Iranians.
A new "iron curtain" would drop across the Middle East. Both sides would grow increasingly fearful of the other, and war seemed imminent daily. Terrorist attacks rang through Saudi Arabia, hoping to edge the king out of power, but further backing from Egypt and the West would keep the balance. After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the eastern states would face economic collapse and sought to bring in Kuwait as a liberation of Arab resources from Western hands.
The Gulf War began with an invasion of Kuwait from the north, and a massive United Nations force would counter-invade with Egyptian and Saudi troops leading the way. War seemed to spin out of control, and it seemed unfathomable to end without bringing down the Iraqi and Iranian governments, which was achieved in 1994 with the Fall of Tehran. Coalition forces would stay behind in the region for decades to come, redrawing national borders to create Kurdistan and establishing constitutions based on ideals of freedom. Terrorism and insurgency would follow continually and plague the elected governments for generations.
In 1969, four thousand artists representing thirty-one African nations converged on Algiers on this day for the first Pan-African Cultural Festival. Celebrating a a high point in post-independence Africa, painters, poets, photographers, musicians and intellectuals transformed the streets into a meeting place of creative culture. And one such meeting, between Frantz Fanon and Eldridge Cleaver would change the world forever.
Watch the Youtube Clip of Frantz Fanon
Decolonising minds, a new beginning for humanityBorn in Martinique, Fanon (pictured) volunteered to fight for the Free French in the Second World War. After the war he trained in psychology in Lyon, where he wrote his radical personal analysis of racism and colonialism, Black Skin, White Masks (1951). "We are still black and we have come back ..". musician Archie SheppIn 1953 Fanon moved to Algeria to work as a psychiatric doctor just south of Algiers. Three years later, appalled by the French use of torture in the Algerian War, he resigned his government post and aligned himself to the Algerian cause. Thereafter, in his writings Fanon analysed with uncompromising rigour the connection between economic domination, racism and the European "civilising mission". Most controversially in his last work, The Wretched of the Earth (1961), Fanon asserted it was the peasants in Africa and not the industrial working class in Europe who were the standard bearers of world revolution. Through the violent overthrow of colonialism they represented a new beginning for humanity.
Other jazz musicians at the festivaI included the singer Nina Simone and the drummer Max Roach, but in terms of the Afro-American connection, most excitement was generated by the Black Panther Party.Leaders like Eldridge and Kathleen Cleaver, on the run from the US police, headed for Algeria. Inspired by Fanon, they saw Algiers as the beacon of revolution. At the festival the Panthers were a huge presence. An exhibition tracing the Party's history and including paintings and prints by Emory Douglas, the Black Panthers' Minister of Culture, drew adoring crowds. The radical film-maker William Klein shadowed Eldridge Cleaver for three days. Klein's follow-up documentary, Eldridge Cleaver, Black Panther, itself an icon of 1960s' counterculture, shows Cleaver and Fanon holding forth on what they considered to be the crimes of American imperialism as well as visiting the North Vietnamese delegation; an act that was loudly condemned in the American press.
In 2010, on this day director Zach Snyder's alternative superhero movie American Flagg premiered in cinema theatres across North America.
Set in a dystopian future, a series of world-wide crises has forced the U.S. leadership off-world. Reforming at the Hammarskjold Center on the planet Mars, a Tricentennial Recovery Committee is formed to get America "back on track for '76". Yet the lofty plan is betrayed and instead, the TRC plans to pay for self-sufficiency by selling the country to the new superpowers on Earth, the Brazilian Union of the Americas and the Pan-African League.
American FlaggBased on the 1983 comic book series of the same name, creator Howard Chaykin's team of writers included Steven Grant, J.M. DeMatteis and Alan Moore. Chaykin famously described the creative goals of the project with the statement "I couldn't see a reason why a post-Holocaust dystopia could not be funny".
"Somebody's gotta put it all back together ... Reuben Flagg just might be the man".Both Snyder and Moore had of course worked together on The Watchmen, which featured another Jewish superhero, the Nightowl. But it was Moore's suggestion to offer the protagonist role for American Flagg to Jackie Earle Haley and not Patrick Wilson. Assisted by a talking cat named Raul, the superhero is one of the few characters with a conscience. Reprising his uncompromising role as Rorschach Watch the Youtube Clip , Haley would win an Oscar for his brilliant portrayal of Reuben Flagg, an idealist who exposes the TRC's dastardly plot.
In 1977, - (AP) The remains of a U.S. airman shot down over Vietnam were returned to the United States today.The return of the air pirate McCain
The airman has been identified as Lieutenant Commander John Sidney McCain III, whose plane was shot down by a missile over the then North Vietnamese capital of Hanoi on Oct. 26, 1967. McCain's A-4E Skyhawk crashed in a rural area. According to spokesmen for the Vietnamese government, although the Navy pilot survived the crash, he was attacked and killed by local villagers before units of the then-North Vietnamese Army could take him prisoner.
McCain is survived by his wife, Carol Shepp McCain, her two sons from a previous marriage Douglas and Andrew, whom he had legally adopted, and a daughter, Sidney. Mrs. McCain, motivated by her husband's disappearance in combat, has in recent years been active in the POW-MIA movement; in 1976, she was elected to the House of Representatives as a Republican in Arizona's First District, which includes the McCains' home town of Phoenix. She is said to be considering running for the Senate in 1980.
Reached for comment regarding the return of her husband's remains, Mrs. McCain stated: "John McCain died at the hands of America's Communist enemies. Their return of his body after ten years in no way absolves them of their guilt in his murder". Pressed, she made clear that she disbelieves Hanoi's account and is convinced he was, in her words, "tortured to death" by the Hanoi regime in one of its prisons.
U.S. military spokesmen have responded that based on the condition of the body, it appears this is unlikely. According to them, Lt. Comm. McCain seems to have died within hours, if not minutes, of crashing; as best as can be determined from remains of this age, his body, they say, shows no sign of the injuries of varying age which would be expected if he had endured as a prisoner for some substantial time.
Rep. McCain has introduced legislation calling for her husband to be posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
In 1945, the surrender terms were presented to the Empire of Japan "We have laid down the general terms on which they can surrender. Our warning went unheeded. Our terms were rejected. (1) The world will note that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, a military base. That was because we wished in the first attack to avoid insofar as possible, the killing of civilians.(2) But that attack is only a warning of things to come". ~ Harry S Truman, 34th Vice President and 33rd President of the United StatesThe Truman Doctrine(1) It is suggested by many historians that if the United States had given Japan conditional surrender terms including a guarantee of the Emperor's safety, then the Japanese would have surrendered sometime in the spring or early summer of 1945, possibly even sooner. Facts such as this points to the idea that Truman's Administration had ulterior motives for dropping the bombs. (2) Hiroshima was a civilian target chosen because it had not previously bombed. If it was a military target, it would of course have been bombed before. (3) Hinting of the third strike on Tokyo that occurred on the morning of August 14th. Part of a radio broadcast by Truman on 9 August 1945, referring to the atomic bombing of Japan available at Learning Curve.
On this day in 2002, US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told reporters at the National Press Club in Washington that the United States was dispatching 50,000 troops to Kuwait in response to the growing internal unrest in Iraq.
|US Sec Def|
On this day in 1968, Belarus seceded from the rest of the USSR, heightening Kremlin fears that the Soviet Union was about to collapse.
On this day in 2004 the website calling for Michael Moore to be permanently disqualified from Oscar contention registered its 300,000th hit.
In 1925, the Scopes 'Monkey' Trial in Dayton, Tennessee concluded in favour of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. High school biology teacher John T. Scopes was found guilty of teaching the Biblical interpretation of the Book of Genesis in class and fined $100.
On this day in 1941, Nazi Germany became the first foreign power to recognize the new anti-Soviet government of Lithuania.
romantic writer Ernest Hemingway was born in Oak Park, Illinois. During World War I Hemingway worked in a Milan hospital run by the American Red Cross. With very little in the way of entertainment, he often drank heavily and read newspapers to pass the time. Here he met Agnes von Kurowsky
of Washington, D.C., one of eighteen nurses attending groups of four patients each. She was more than six years older than he. Hemingway fell in love with her, and they married after his return to the United States.
Hemingway's distinctive writing style is characterized by economy and understatement, in contrast to the style of his literary rival William Faulkner. It had a significant influence on the development of twentieth-century fiction writing. His protagonists are typically stoic males who exhibit an ideal described as 'grace under pressure.' Many of his works are now considered canonical in American literature.
The story of Hemingway's great romance was featured in the 1996 motion picture In Love and War
, based on the book Hemingway In Love and War by Henry S. Villard and James Nagel, was the story of the young reporter Ernest Hemingway (played by Chris O'Donnell) as an ambulance driver in Italy during World War I. While bravely risking his life in the line of duty, he is injured and ends up in the hospital, where he falls in love with his nurse, Agnes von Kurowsky (Sandra Bullock).
In 1998, several of the researchers working on the undersea ruins near Mt. Didicas in the Philippines seem to go spontaneously mad, and have to be evacuated back to Manila. Curiously, they all are chanting the same thing as they are taken back; 'He is waking.'
In 1989, parodist 'Weird' Al Yankovic's first movie, UHF is released. It becomes the highest grossing comedy of all time, outpacing The Blues Brothers with over $258 million in receipts. Yankovic goes on to score other big-screen hits such as Running With Scissors and Long, Long Time Ago, his parody of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.
In 1899, hack writer Ernest Hemingway was born in Oak Park, Illinois. Never a serious author, Hemingway made his name with such melodramatic fare as Old Man & The Sea, The Sun Also Rises, and For Whom The Bell Tolls. While popular with the general public, his work faded quickly after his suicide in 1958.
In 1862, Southern rebels attack the U.S. military at Manassas Junction, Virginia. Poorly organized and hopelessly outgunned, the rebels are dispatched in short order by the Union army, but they inspire others who hope to bring down the Communist government of President Walt Whitman.
In 2004, the United Kingdom government published Delivering Security in a Changing World, a paper detailing wide-ranging reform of the country's armed forces. Recognising that the hyper power Great Britain was the de facto global policemen, proposals for a rapid reaction force were accepted that could send troops to British possessions at a moments notice. Downing Street was unaware how soon such a force restructure be required. By the end of the decade, the British Army was fighting an island hopping war of fast movement in the Far East with the resurgent island nation of Nippon.
In 1994, Bryan Gould was declared the winner of the leadership election of the British Labour Party, paving the way to him becoming Prime Minister in 1997. The significance of this victory was not apparent until 2003 when Gould refused to back the US invasion of Iraq, saying that 'Labour was driven by values and principles'. He was strongly backed by Robin Cook, Claire Short inter alia. The arch back bench modernisers Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Peter Mandelson et al. could only seethe in silence as the British working class stood up to a man to back this bold and principled position.
going up the stairs was the hardest thing that Joseph Gargan (Kennedy's cousin) had ever done in his life. That was all, that was it. He didn't turn on the light. He mounted the steps, one by one avoiding the sixth, which creaked. He held on to the crucifix, and his palm was sweaty and slick. He reached out and pushed open the door. U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts was lying on the bed.
~'The Emperor of Ice Cream'
Commander Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin of the Apollo 11 mission attempted a landing at the southern Sea of Tranquillity about 20 km (12 mi) south west of the crater Sabine D . As the landing began, Armstrong reported they were 'running long'; Eagle was 4 seconds further along its descent trajectory than planned, and would land miles west of the intended site. The LM navigation and guidance computer reported several unusual 'program alarms' as it guided the LM's descent, taking the crew's attention from the scene outside of the descent such that they were surprised to be sucked into a powerful vortex. Multidimensional energies folded space and time, sending the craft to the armed camp of Austrasian Mayor of the Palace Charles Martel hours before the Battle of Tours
. Armstrong was less worried that the in-craft time device is reporting 9th October 732; of greater concern was the sight of Frankish and Burgundian troops about to decamp with their heads down in abject defeat. The following day these soldiers must defeat an army of the Umayyad Caliphate led by Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi, Governor-general of al-Andalus to put a final stop to the Arab invasion of Europe, without which, there would be no Western Europe and no America!
In 1969, the lunar lander Eagle made a hard landing on the moon. Although its occupants, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were not seriously hurt, they discovered that the impact had damaged the lander's engines, making it unable to launch and return to the orbiting Apollo 11 spacecraft.
Apollo XI TragedyThis discovery presented the astronauts, their crewmate Michael Collins aboard the orbiting Apollo 11, and Mission Control on Earth with a dreadful contingency they had hoped never to confront: there was now no way to retrieve Armstrong and Aldrin. The two would have to be left to suffocate, starve or commit suicide, and Mission Control would be obliged to cut off all communications.
Four days later, on July 24, 1969, when if the mission had gone as planned all three astronauts would have returned to Earth to receive a hero's welcome, Michael Collins came back alone. He stood by the side of President Nixon as the latter delivered a eulogy for his doomed comrades:
Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace.
These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice.
They will be mourned by their families and friends; they will be mourned by their nation; they will be mourned by the people of the world; they will be mourned by a Mother Earth that dared send two of her sons into the unknown.
In their exploration, they stirred the people of the world to feel as one; in their sacrifice, they bind more tightly the brotherhood of man.
In ancient days, men looked at stars and saw their heroes in the constellations. In modern times, we do much the same, but our heroes are epic men of flesh and blood.
Others will follow, and surely find their way home. Man's search will not be denied. But these men were the first, and they will remain the foremost in our hearts.
For every human being who looks up at the moon in the nights to come will know that there is some corner of another world that is forever mankind.
The tragedy of Apollo 11 would provoke a political backlash against a space program already under siege. Apollo had been planned to run for twenty missions, but none flew after Apollo 11. Not until the 1990s, under President George H. W. Bush's "Back to the Moon" initiative, would manned lunar missions again be undertaken. On July 4, 1995, the bodies of America's "moon martyrs" would be found by the crew of the Selene IX, who conducted a solemn burial ceremony at the site and, in keeping with Nixon's solemn words, left the remains where they were - inside the damaged lander, where they had apparently asphyxiated when their air failed after communications were terminated.
In 1815, on this day the American shipping merchant Sampson Vryling Stoddard (S.V.S.) Wilder disembarked at his home port of Boston accompanied by the deposed French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte.
Napoleon's Escape to North America
by Ed and Eric OppenA member of the small American community in Paris, Wilder was an acquaintance of both Talleyrand and Lafayette. Impressed by the changes brought about in society and politics under Napoleonic Rule, he was compelled to act after the tragic defeat at Waterloo. And so he travelled to Île d'Aix and offered to help the Emperor escape the British blockade.
Reluctant to leave his fellows, appeals to Napoleon's sense of grandeur finally prevailed and he was eventually persuaded to flee to America and establish the "Second France" where his friends could join him. Perhaps he even imagined a fanfare welcome from James Madison, the President who had declared war on England in 1812.
But first they had to get to that future. And the escape plan was deceptively simple, to travel in disguise under a passport prepared for the merchant's valet. But of course there was a complication; until the danger-line was passed, he would have to be concealed in the false compartment of a hogshead barrel. Water was to drip incessantly, and during the voyage, he developed the pneumonia that would kill him shortly after he arrived at the merchants house in Bolton, Massachusetts.
In 2011, with freedom of movement across the oceans already prevented by the co-ordinated action of group intelligence in mutating jellyfish, mankind soon faced expulsion from landmasses when the development of ultrasound technology backfired spectacularly.
Rise of the Spineless MenaceFor the past decade, the rise of the spineless menace had been relentless.
- 1999 ~ Forty million people abruptly lost power on the Philippine island of Luzon when fifty dump trucks' worth were sucked into the cooling pipes of a coal-fired power plant
- 2006 ~ partially disabled the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan
- 2007 ~ stung and asphyxiated more than one hundred thousand farmed salmon off the coast of Ireland
- 2010 ~ capsized and sank a ten-ton fishing trawler off the coast of Japan
However it was only in early 2011 that a maritime problem that was seen as a nuisance quickly escalated into a species survival threatening disaster of epic proportions. To be continued
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.