In 1916, on this day Paul von Hindenburg succeeds Erich von Falkenhayn, with whose strategy he disagreed, as Chief of the German General Staff. An installment from the Central Powers Victorious thread.
Central Powers Victorious Part 2 von Falkenhayn dismissedBoth his deputy Erich Ludendorff and principal staff officer Max Hoffmann also transferred from the Eastern Front. Although they reluctantly agree to appoint Ludendorff Quartermaster-General, he does not get the supremacy he desires because the Chancellor and the Emperor insist that Hindenburg and Ludendorff follow Hoffmann's plan and he has a completely free hand.
It takes eighteen months, but he formulates the winning strategy that delivers victory to Central Powers. The break through finally comes at the middle of the front in June at Marne II and the German armies surge towards Paris. The French as they always said, fall back upon the defence of their capital. There is then a cease-fire with the French, while the Germans threaten the Channel ports. The British and Lloyd-George now have what they have been talking about and feared - one to three million hostages in France.
Landsdowne is swiftly sent to Basel to accept Cousin Willi's Peace Office presented by Alfred Duke of Clarence and Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Cousins George's and Willi's uncle and British royal duke. Landsdowne signs. Meanwhile Woodrow Wilson and Pershing are wrong footed, not being in position to attack in time. FDR as the young assistant naval secretary in France inspecting "his" marine corps is absolutely furious.
Because Hindenburg and Ludendorff (pictured) had no control over the military strategy, they had spent the majority of their time focusing on war time control of the economy. A domination had inevitably developed, and they intended to convert this into a military dictatorship at the soonest opportunity. von Hertling was determined to prevent this, but he only had a year to live, and by the time of his death, the office of Chancellorship was on the cusp of abolition.
In 413 BC, spooked by a lunar eclipse1, the superstitious Athenian Commander Nicias ordered the fleet to set sail immediately and the disappointing Sicilian Expedition ended on a farcical note.
Delian League wins the Peloponesian WarMore significantly, the talented Spartan Commander Gylippus had been robbed of a never-to-be-repeated opportunity to strike a heavy blow against the Delian League that had endangered a large naval force on a near pointless mission. A second chance would not be forthcoming, Nicias was dismissed and the Peloponesian War was decisively won by his forces now led by the Athenian Commanders Demosthenes, Menander, and Euthydemus.
This great victory for the arsenal of democracy ensured the establishment of a newly unified Greece that could withstand that imminent rise of the Macedonians.
In 387 BC, the barricaded Capitoline Hill fell and Gallic leader Brennus declared "Woe to the vanquished!" before mercilessly ordering the execution of both the citizenry and also the troops of the surviving right wing of the Roman Army that had fled the disasterous Battle of the Allia.
The Fall of Rome, 387 BCWhen newly installed dictator, General Marcus Furius Camillus arrived with a relief army, the city was an uninhabitable, smoking ruin. The Senate was forced to move the capitol to Veii where the left wing of the army had fled.
Despite this setback, there would not be a Gallic Empire bestride Western Europe. Because the Romans learnt the critical lessons, completely re-evaluated their art of war, and reinforced a new capital with defensive walls that were impregnable to future assault.
By 1917, suffrage for women in the United States was an uphill struggle. Despite even the reminder from the earliest days of the Revolution with Abigail Adams writing to her husband, "Don't forget the Ladies,"", the right to vote had been kept from women for over a century. While many abolitionists worked with the suffrage movement, once the Civil War ended and the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments provided rights for African Americans, women's suffrage seemed forgotten.
Suffragette Killed while Protesting President Leaders like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Caddy Stanton continued the fight, but great political ground was made until well into the twentieth century.
America had joined World War I in April of 1917 amid a fair amount of protest of the involvement in Europe's war. President Woodrow Wilson used propaganda machines to keep the war popular, showing films of troops in training, "minute-men" giving public speeches over the importance of making the world safe for democracy, and upholding ideals of everything American. Meanwhile, the National Woman's Party, the renamed union of many women's suffrage organizations, used negative publicity against the President. He was routinely questioned why women weren't in his agenda of support for all humankind. Women picketed the White House with placards demanding the right to vote. Other placards displayed anti-war slogans, which was growing among the movement.
The protesters, nicknamed the "Silent Sentinels", had gradually ended their silence days before. As the President drove by, tipping his hat as he usually did, the women shouted at him. A new story by Jeff ProvineOutraged bystanders began to clash with the protesters, and eventually the police were brought in to calm the situation by arresting many of the women on charges of obstructing traffic. In the altercation, one of the leaders of the suffragettes, Alice Paul of New Jersey, violently slipped out of a policeman's grasp and fell, hitting her head on the pavement. Police and protesters alike attempted medical help, but Alice died in a matter of minutes. The women rose up in what many called a "riot", but police quickly arrested whoever they could catch to be placed in the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia.
As the media and the remainders of the NWP spread word about the death, Wilson faced a public relations disaster. In a change from his usual quiet on the subject, he approached Congress with a speech requesting women's suffrage, noting that they "were willing to die, just as any man in the Revolution had been". Meanwhile, the negative press only grew as the arrested women entered hunger strikes. Potential bills flew around the Congress, drowning out suggestions for a temperance amendment controlling alcohol. Opposition to suffrage repeated pseudo-scientific evidence that women had smaller brains, and it was on a demand that women could think just as well as men that a solution was found. Common throughout the South, poll tests would be established to prove literacy and basic knowledge of citizenship for a voter. The Eighteenth Amendment, establishing the National Poll Test, would be ratified January 6, 1919. Any citizen of the United States, male or female, black or white, and even of any age, could vote after passing the test and proving merit.
As the Test went into use around the United States, it became steadily obvious that, statistically, the poor would be the first to be turned away from voting. Only a few who recognized this matter took it seriously, and of those, there were ones who used it to their advantage. Workers' rights were a question of the unskilled laborers, but the increasing difficulty of the Test kept them from voting. As the economy sank into the Great Depression, social leaders spoke out against the Test. Facing his own public relations issues, President Franklin Roosevelt urged Congress to repeal the amendment with a new amendment continuing the guarantee the vote for all adults, men and women. The Nineteenth Amendment would repeal the Eighteenth in 1933, the first of many political shifts for the nation.
Although ignored in 1917, the idea of the prohibition of alcohol would arise again in 1937 along with the control of marijuana. After two decades of facing an explosion in organized crime, these measures, too, would be repealed under the presidency of Stuart Symington in 1963 shortly before his assassination in Dallas, Texas.
In 1950, the withdrawal of United Nations forces forced President Harry S Truman to accept the counsel of advisors, who called for unilateral U.S. airstrikes against the North Korean forces.Pusan forces the issue
Truman had already ordered the Seventh Fleet to protect Chiang Kai-Shek's Taiwan, thereby ending America's policy of non-interference in Chinese domestic affairs. The Nationalist government (now confined to Taiwan) asked to participate in the war. Their request had been denied by the Americans, who felt they would only encourage PRC intervention.
Despite the post-World War II demobilization of U.S. and allied forces, which caused serious supply problems for American troops in the region, the United States still had substantial forces in Japan to oppose the North Korean military and its largely outdated Soviet equipment. These American forces were under the command of General Douglas MacArthur. Trouble was that apart from British Commonwealth units, no other nation could supply sizeable manpower.
Pusan changed everything, and the regional containment strategy had failed. Truman, needing allies, reluctantly invited Taiwan into the war. By September of 1950, a state of war existed between the United States and China. It became apparent that World War III would be fought in Asia-Pacific.
On this day in 1957, the Houston Oilers held their inaugural preseason workout at the Rice University campus.
On this day in 1944, the Allies launched Operation Market-Garden, a four-pronged infantry and armor offensive against the German divisions threatening Antwerp; Winston Churchill, who had advocated a paratroop attack, was later heard to quip that the assault should have been code-named Operation Dragoon "`because I was dragooned into it".
On this day in 1982, Ric Flair defended his NWA world championship against Tommy Rich in a best 2-of-3 falls match at an NWA televised card in Orlando, Florida; Flair won the third and deciding fall to retain the title.
After the match a visibly infuriated Rich berated his Enforcers teammate Bret Hart for not coming to his aid, to which Hart responded by making an obscene gesture at Rich.
On this day in 1941, the Wehrmacht campaign in Russia achieved its greatest triumph to date, smashing a Red Army tank offensive near the town of Kursk.
The general whose strategy helped win the battle, Erwin Rommel, was later awarded the Knight's Cross and promoted to field marshal.
On this day in 1953, Soviet premier Georgi Malenkov warned the United States that any intervention by the US or other Western powers in the situation in China would be regarded by the Soviet Union as an act of war and answered in kind.
In 1996, Prince Charles of England reconciles with his estranged wife, Princess Diana, before their divorce can be finalized. In what has been repeated in countless recreations of the moment, he met her at the entrance to a subway station, and while both were in disguise, rode a train for 3 hours while they talked out their differences.
In 1963, President Kennedy himself made a surprise visit to Martin Luther King's rally on the Washington Mall, and is so deeply moved by Dr. King's speech that he immediately runs up to the podium and embraces the reverend before the gathered multitudes. Promising that he will do more for American blacks, he introduces the Civil Rights Act of 1963 before Congress as soon as they come back from their summer recess.
In 1999, a murderous cult appears to be slaying people throughout the Philippines. Police determine a strange pattern to their slayings, with each victim being born under a particular star sign.
In 1961, Robert A. Heinlein's novel Stranger in a Strange Land becomes the first science fiction novel to reach the top of the New York Times' bestseller list. Literary critics begin reexamining a genre that they had disdained for many years and the field experienced a renaissance in popularity, both critical and commercial.
In 1938, Northwestern University awards an honorary degree to Edgar Bergen's dummy Charlie McCarthy. The jocular mood of the occasion is broken when the 'dummy' comes to life and flees the stage, leaving a dead Edgar Bergen behind.
In 1249, Caliph Amal bin-Yusuph convenes the Conference of Cairo to recodify Sharia law in Islam. bin-Yusuph favors a more liberal interpretation of the Koran, and hopes to change the Sharia to reflect this.
In 1963, during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered an angry tirate - 'I Have a Nightmare' speech. King revealed that Chief Justice Harry S. Truman was in fact a former Klansman. Truman later responded by publicly confirmed having been a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Truman admitted that in 1922, he had given a friend $10 for an initiation fee for the Ku Klux Klan but later asked to get his money back; he was never initiated, never attended a meeting, and never claimed membership.
In 1664, on this day the Dutch defenders of Fort Amsterdam received first reports that the English invasion fleet had sunk in a storm. An article from the American Heroes thread.
Relief in the Big OrangeThe capital of the New Netherlands had miraculously survived. And to celebrate victory in the Third Anglo-Dutch War ten years later, the defense was renamed Fort Willem Hendrick (pictured) in honor of the Dutch leader who was Stadtholder and Prince of Orange. And New Amsterdam was renamed New Orange.
Due to the peaceful manner in which the region was later,transitioned to the United States, Dutch-American relationship remained warm. As a result, three hundred years later, the ten-lane elevated highway stretching from the East River to the Hudson River, connecting the Holland Tunnel on the west side to the Williamsburg and Manhattan bridges to the east was named the Willem Hendrick Expressway .
In 1324 BC, on this day Hittite prince Zannanza narrowly survived a bandit attack before safely crossing the border into Upper Egypt.
Zannanza, Pharaoh of EgyptHis father Suppiluliuma I, king of the Hittites had reluctantly agreed to Egyptian Queen Dakhamunzu's offer of marriage to one of his sons. Widowed, and without an heir, she had appealed to him in writing "My husband has died and I have no son. They say about you that you have many sons. You might give me one of your sons to become my husband. I would not wish to take one of my subjects as a husband .. I am afraid".
Of course Zannanza was to discover that the Queen was not just isolated, she had very specific reasons for her fear, because the bandit attack had been organized by the same devil's that murdered her husband Tutankhamun. But the conspirators bid for power was counterproductive, because inadvertently their actions would lead to the creation of a powerful unified Hittite/Egyptian Empire. And soon after the conspirators were crushed, a common enemy emerged that required the concentrated forces of both nations. They were the so-called Peoples of the Sea, a confederacy of seafaring raiders who sailed around the eastern Mediterranean, causing political unrest, who ultimately attempted (unsuccessfully) to seize control of Egyptian territory.
In 1979, on this day English republicans bombed the Shadow V the thirty-four foot long lobster-potting and tuna fishing boat owned by the private citizen Louis Battenberg (formerly His Serene Highness Prince Louis of Battenberg) near the castle in Mullaghmore, County Sligo where he had lived in internal exile for six decades.
By Ed, Scott Palter & Jeff ProvineAlong with their Russian and German cousins in the Royal Houses of Romanov and Hohenzollern, the Great War forced the Saxe-Coburg-Gothas Family off the throne.
At the outbreak of war, his father had been forced to step down as First Sea Lord by the Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill. The harsh injustice of this brutal decision drove young "Dickie" to tears of rage. But despite being a "blue-eyed German" himself, "Dickie" served in the Royal Navy during the early part of the war, distinguishing himself at the Battle of Jutland. As a result, of this valour, and due to the goodwill that he had established with the local community, he was permitted to reside in internal exile in County Sligo. And when Southern Ireland received its independence, he found himself located twelve miles south of the British border, a private citizen of the new state of Eire.
By the second half of the twentieth century, post-imperial Britain was in absolute decline and sinking fast. Monarchists dreamt of a restoration which might lift the nation out of chaos. But such a step could only be possible if the socially awkward young Prince Charles was supported by his mentor and favourite Uncle. And that was why Republicans decided that he had to die.
By 1941, war in the Pacific had been brewing for years. During the 1930s, Japanese influence into China had increased to all-out war in 1937 and domination of Manchuria. With the fall of France in 1940, Japan stationed troops in French Indochina.
Roosevelt Agrees to Summit with KonoeGermany's invasion of Russia in 1941 placed Japan in a precarious position: Hitler pressured them to attack north to the Soviet Union, which would have been an easy front; French Indochina stood ready for full occupation with Vichy troops occupied in Europe. Far to the east, the United States rested like a sleeping giant.
Prime Minister Prince Fumimaro Konoe was desperate to prevent war with America. Roosevelt routinely demanded removal of Japanese troops from China, which was an impossible agreement since the army and navy had suffered too much to give up conquests. On July 28, 1941, Japan commenced its occupation of French Indochina, and the United States retaliated by freezing Japanese assets and, more importantly, leading Britain and the Dutch East Indies in an oil embargo. Without foreign oil, Japan was stuck; within two years, the entirety of oil stockpiles would be depleted. The military had not anticipated such a rash move by the Americans, and Konoe made a last-ditch effort: a personal summit. He sent notice to Roosevelt that he would soon be arriving in Washington in hope FDR would meet him.
It was a diplomatic gamble, but Konoe's risk-taking paid off. The summit was rushed in preparation, and, on September 5, the Japanese Prime Minister was welcomed to the White House. The talks were primarily a standstill; Roosevelt made demands that Japan leave China and stop its military expansion to the south, something that Konoe could not do. While the meeting essentially gained nothing, Konoe did learn one important point: much of the American public did not want to engage in another "European" war, so the United States would never be the one to strike first.
Under the Tripartite Pact signed among Germany, Italy, and Japan in 1940, the three had agreed to join forces if an unnamed force (the United States) came into the war against them. While, militarily, an immediate strike against the small American Pacific fleet would be advantageous, it could prove costly in the long run. Konoe reported to the other Tripartite nations that the United States must never be assaulted. They could not risk a repeat of even the slightest negative PR move like the sinking of the Lusitania in the first World War.
With pressure from Hitler, the Japanese would begin their plans for war against the Soviet Union. They assured him that, without oil, they would be unable to put their armies into the field effectively. Defeat in 1939 at Khalkhin Gol also showed that Japanese ground forces were not adequate against Soviet heavy tanks, so they focused on devising a defensive war with long-reaching strikes by aircraft. However, as Operation Barbarossa became a logistical quagmire, it was obvious that Hitler had bitten off more than Germany could chew.
The Emperor did not want to be on the losing side of a war with the Soviet Union, but Konoe and his ministers could not break the Tripartite Pact. Instead, they bought time, assuring Hitler that their army would be ready for combat in the summer. On June 28, 1942, Japan launched attacks toward Soviet oil fields north of Manchuria simultaneous with Germany's operation Case Blue. Stalin let the east lose ground with only minor defensive measures, pressing most of his might into the defense of Moscow and the west. Even with two fronts, by the middle of 1943, Russia halted the tide of advance and began to push back.
Japan fell to maintaining position and working with its air force (arguably the best in the world after years of buildup) to spy on troop movements and pin down Russian reserves before they could reach the front. Germany's war with Britain had come to a standstill with Hitler giving up North Africa but holding the Mediterranean. The manpower and materiel did not seem available for an amphibious invasion of Europe until at least 1945 despite the fact that the Blitz had long passed. Instead, they fought Germany's navy while Stalin began to eat away at the back of Hitler's European fortress.
Finally, the end came for Germany with the British landing at Normandy under Operation Overlord in March of 1945. By that time, Stalin was pressing into Germany itself, and the Third Reich faced collapse. On August 14, 1945, the remainders of Hitler's government (Hitler himself had disappeared, presumed dead in his bunker via suicide) sued for peace. Stalin then joined with Britain in pressing toward the east where Japan had stood unquestioned for years. Seeing the vicious defeat of allies, Emperor Hirohito offered terms for peace, but Stalin would not accept anything less than what had been declared at Potsdam: disarmament, reduction of empire, and partial occupation.
Prime Minister Konoe, who had been in and out of power over the course of the war, approached American President Thomas Dewey for mediation. Dewey agreed, but Stalin and Prime Minister Clement Attlee did not agree to ceasefire until concessions had been made. While battles still roared in Siberia, Mongolia, China, and French Indochina, talks began. When the dust cleared, Japan would maintain Korea as a protectorate, but they would lose all other imperial gains and face limitations on armed forces.
The United States, now economically on its feet with its profitable Lend-Lease program, suddenly faced a world with vaporizing empires and Soviet dominance over almost all of Europe and Asia. Renewed military buildup began through the 1950s, and America found itself trailing distantly behind Russia in missile technology and space development. In 1962, Russia moved ICBMs to its ally Cuba and refused to recognize American requests that they be removed. The successful invasion at Playa Giron and subsequent seizing of those missiles began the Soviet-American War that would last until 1968 with Russian troops marching into Chicago, where the relocated American government had sat after the Bombing of Washington.
In 1789, on this day the de facto government of Revolutionary France, the National Constituent Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of Man of the Citizen, a statement of enlightenment principles co-authored by the Marquis de Lafayette and the Virginian émigreé radical Tom Jefferson.
Pursuit of LibertyThirteen years before, Jefferson had penned the United States Declaration of Independence. But a paragraph indicting Britain's role in the slave trade was deleted from the final version creating a contradiction between the claim that "all men are created equal" and the existence of American slavery. "If there be an object truly ridiculous in nature", English abolitionist Thomas Day wrote in a 1776 letter, "it is an American patriot, signing resolutions of independency with the one hand, and with the other brandishing a whip over his affrighted slaves".
"Rather it should have failed, I would have seen half the earth desolated"Jefferson agreed, quitting Virginia to enjoy Parisian Society with his common law mixed race wife, Sally Hemings. They were soon to discover that the French were prosecuting their own revolution with a great deal more extremism, too much for Jefferson's own "personal taste for disorder and violence". Still, his vision for a French revolutionary occupation of England might yet rescue his former colleagues, because if there was one overarching principle Jefferson really believed in, it was that both revolutions were connected by the common pursuit of Liberty. It was a concept that Jefferson had brow-beaten Lafayette into codifying into the Declaration.
In 1806, the compromised reality of the American Revolution was thrown into sharp contrast - whilst President James Monroe's High Representative William Pinkney conducted negotiations in London to renew the Jay Treaty, his predecessor, the "philantropic cock" Thomas Jefferson was across the English Channel enjoying Parisian Society with his common law mixed race wife, Sally Hemings.
Philanthropic Cock by Ed, Scott Palter, Raymond Speer and Eric LippsUnderstanding that the infant republic needed at least two decades of peace in order to survive, George Washington had risked his reputation as a patriot by approving the original ten-year treaty with Great Britain. Now, more important than a simple renewal was the need to resolve differences over the issue of impressment of American sailors from US ships and neutral trading rights. Because in acquiesing to American independence, it was now clear that Great Britain's cynical ploy was to give away the cake whilst keeping the cream.
Agreement seemed possible if not likely, because the British Prime Minister Lord Grenville and his "Ministry of All the Talents" believed that the US Navy was partly manned by British deserters who were desperately needed to fight Napoleon. Accordingly, Grenville ordered Lord Holland and Lord Auckland to cut a deal with Pinkney. Trouble was, that whilst President James Monroe approved the treaty, the US Senate rejected it, and the result was the War of 1812.
The political crisis created by the Senates rejection might of course been avoided had Thomas Jefferson served a second term, because he would never have approved the treaty in the first place. However he had claimed to be exhausted by the complexities of the Louisiana Purchase and the misbehavior of Aaron Burr.
In reality, Jefferson was hugely frustrated with the development of the American revolution which had become a more of a worldly struggle for survival than the building of the egalitarian society that he had dreamt of. In fact, the American Revolution had stopped, and there was little to interest a mental giant in business as usual.
Of course Jefferson's frustration had begun at the very outset. Not only had his bold anti-slavery statement been disgracefully removed from the Declaration of Independence, he had resigned from Washington's government to spend more time with Hemings, and later faced the scandal of this affair in the mainstream press during his political comeback.
But in a larger sense, Jefferson wanted the American Revolution to have the transformative energy of its French equivalent. Having served as a diplomat in Paris, he had experienced the freedom of living with Hemings in a way not possible in the States. Soon after Monroe's inauguration, Jefferson and Hemings sold up Montecello, freed his slaves and left America forever.
Without knowing it, Jefferson had started the African-American Revolution which ironically, was a transformative process more attuned to his own thinking.
In 1861, President Hannibal Hamlin was opposed by prominent business interests when he attempted to revive the District of Columbia on Manhattan island. By the end of his second year in office, Hamlin was resident at Montauk Point, Long Island, where a Seaside White House was available to him and his family, as was a double domed capital, larger and more spacious than the one left behind in Washington D.C.
Crucifixion Day Part 3 by Raymond SpeerMeanwhile, Richmond remained the capital of the Confederacy, but that organization was disintegrating while unchallenged by the USA. Georgia and Mississippi sanctioned the disintegration of the infantry units that had been raised by those states upon the expiration of their 60 day enlistment periods. Virginia was more responsible (well aware of the
Grand Army of the Republic that the Yankees had training in Pennsylvania), but was straining its own resources by putting forth the defense for the Confederacy's eastern seaboard. And sales had not been good for Confederate bonds, though the documents were being marketed freely in Europe.
The Post-Skedaddle phase of the War Between the American States began in the Nevada territory, where a convention hall of orators in Virginia City announced that Nevada was joining the Confederacy. That was in the last week of November 1862 and a rival Union government in Carson City was established by a company of cavalry the next month. By the beginning of 1862, Nevadan settlers were fighting among themselves over which side would get the mineral wealth of the territory.
Both Jefferson Davis and Hannibal Hamlin appointed proxies in Nevada, and contacted their respective Congresses for appropriations to send an overwhelming force to conquer Nevada beyond dispute. Of necessity, each side made ready their home defense forces back east.
As those events transpired, Brigham Young in Salt Lake City organized his people, ordering a prepared defense force to resist outside domination "from either side". In London, with the advent of the Nevada Crisis, maps are consulted concerning the American southwest lands and the settlements thereon.
In 2006, Housing Minister Barack Hussein Obama II visited Kibera, one of Africa's largest slums in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi. "You are all my brothers and sisters," Mr Obama told crowds of excited residents who craned their necks to catch a glimpse of the Minister (pictured). The Barack Obama Story, Part 4 - The Audacity of Hope
"Everybody in Kenya needs the same opportunities to go to school, to start businesses, to have enough to eat, to have decent clothes," he said over a loudspeaker.
At least six hundred thousand people, many without jobs or legal title to the land they inhabited had been given fresh hope for a brighter future. Thw Minister's Community Action Policies had helped set up a job training program, a college preparatory tutoring program, and a tenants' rights organization.
Unquestionably, his most significant contribution was in organizing finance for the program. Sponsorship funding had been obtained from sources as diverse as the Chicago Bulls, Irish Rock Band U2 to the United Nations office of the High Commissioner for Refugees.
Obama was creating an international profile that would propel him to the position of UN Secretary General in 2014, and a dramatic confrontation with the forty-fourth President of the United States, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
On this day in 1968, the Vietnam War ended with the signing of a cease-fire pact between North and South Vietnam. The withdrawal of remaining foreign troops from Vietnamese soil would begin two days later.
In 1951, on this day Syria officially declared war on Israel.
In 1960, on this day the US Treasury Department published a sobering report on the economic impact of the Jamaica Bay hurricane; the report estimated that it would take at least 4-6 months for metropolitan New York to recover from the storm and the stock market would be in decline for 6-8 weeks.
In 1943, on this day the U.S. naval destroyer escort Eldridge was commissioned by the Navy for Project Rainbow.
In a military application of Albert Einstein?s unified field theory, the destroyer escort was fitted with powerful generator equipment, designed to distort electromagnetic radiation and gravity, rendering the ship invisible to radar. On or before October 28 1943 USS Eldridge was rendered invisible to human observers for a brief period of time.
Upon her return, she left a very visible tear in the fabric of the Universe. The observers reported a thermal distortion much like the running of gas out of a pipe, or hot air rising off the desert. By the time President Truman arrived for a personal viewing on October 30th, there were some seriously worried people on the Project.
That included Albert Einstein, who offer absolutely no guarantees to the President that the tear could be fixed up.
In 1935, American athlete Jesse Owens commented on the decision by United States Olympic Committee president Avery Brundage to withdraw the participation of the American athletics from the Games of the XI Olympiad in Archona, capital city of the Dominion of Draka.
With Owens expected to win up to four gold medals, a tinge of bitterness could reasonably be expected from most human beings.
It is widely repeated that Chief Justice von Shrakenburg 'snubbed' Jesse Owens and his achievements. Brundage believed that politics had no place in sport; von Shrakenberg feared sport would define politics by debunking the Draka assertion of white supremacy. Owens said, "I think journalists showed bad taste in criticizing the man of the hour in the Dominion of the Draka". One can only wonder if his tongue had crept into his cheek before making this memorable statement.
On this day in 1969, serial killer Jay Sebring resurfaced after nearly a week in hiding and shot a homeless drifter.
Unbeknownst to Sebring or his victim, a tourist in a motel across the street from the site of the shooting managed to capture the murder on his home movie camera; the footage was turned over to the LAPD the next morning, giving investigators a crucial break in their efforts to solve the Manson/Tate/Polanski/LaBianca murders and the August 21st motorcycle cop shooting.
In 1947, actor Herbert Streicher was born in the Bronx. Despite appearing in some films of questionable morals in his youth, Streicher went on to a great comic career, starring in such films as M*A*S*H and Love & Death before landing the role of Jack on the hit TV series Three's Company.
In 1937, George E.T. Eyston, driving Pascal-Edison's Indra electric car, sets a world land-speed record of 347.18 miles per hour. While the Indra is not an automobile for sale to the public, Pascal-Edison's electric car sales soar by association with the Indra.
In 2145, philosopher/scientist K'ung-Fu-Tzu was born in China. Master K'ung defined the role of benevolent monarch that the Chinese Emperor should aspire to be; as his philosophies were studied and followed by the nobility, they also adopted his patronage of the sciences, especially after the Shen Dynasty declared its goal of mastery of the sky.
on this day Interim Prime Minister Louis Mountbatten was assassinated by terrorists who planted a bomb in his boat at Mullaghmore, County Sligo in the Republic of Ireland. Mountbatten was hated by the Labour Movement because of his plot to overthrow Harold Wilson
. It was widely believe that the action was carried out by socialist sympathisers who were horrified that the British establishment had returned from Empire to enslave their own people.
In 1962, on this day the Mariner 2 was launched to Venus. On the way it measured for the first time the solar wind, a constant stream of charged particles flowing outwards from the Sun. It also measured interplanetary dust, which turned out to be more scarce than predicted. And something else was discovered which the Mariner 2 was not simply designed to report. The spacecraft is now defunct in a heliocentric orbit, where it is bristles with a virulent space plague.
In 1908, on this day Lyndon B. Johnson was born at Stonewall, Texas. Due to heavy smoking and lifelong stress, Johnson suffered acute coronary problems, leading to three heart attacks - the final and fatal infarction in his last fortnight of the Presidency. Vice President Hubert Humphrey had been sworn in for a single day according to the US Constitution, with President-elect Richard M Nixon arguing that his Government-in-transition should take office a day early.
In 1908, on this day the regicide Lyndon B. Johnson was born at Stonewall, Texas. Only a third and final heart attack in 1973 prevented this most traitorous of Vice Presidents from facing justice. 'Hey, hey LBJ, how many Kennedy's did you kill today' was the youth chant after unmistakeable evidence emerged of his complicity in the Sirhan-Sirhan affair.
In 1908, on this day Lyndon B. Johnson was born at Stonewall, Texas. A career politician of uncredited worth, Johnson used his network in the house to force through President Kennedy's legislative program througout the 1960s. He also gave not a few politicians 'the treatment' when his charm failed.
on this day the U.S. naval destroyer escort Eldridge was commissioned by the Navy for Project Rainbow
. In a military application of Albert Einstein's unified field theory
, the destroyer escort was fitted with powerful generator equipment, designed to distort electromagnetic radiation and gravity, rendering the ship invisible to radar. On or before October 28 1943 USS Eldridge was rendered invisible to human observers for a brief period of time. Upon her return, she left a very visible tear in the fabric of the Universe. The observers reported a thermal distortion much like the running of gas out of a pipe, or hot air rising off the desert. By the time President Truman arrived for a personal viewing on October 30th, there were some seriously worried people on the Project. That included Albert Einstein, who offer absolutely no guarantees to the President that the tear could be fixed up.
In 1979, on this day Admiral of the Fleet Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas George Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, KG, GCB, OM, GCSI, GCIE, GCVO, DSO, PC died and entered Valhalla. Mountbatten bungled the partition of India in which 10 million people died, yet was the suprising choice for Interim Prime Minister during the 1976 military coup in Britain. Mountbatten was assassinated by the Provisional English Republican Army (IRA), who planted a bomb in his boat at Mullaghmore, County Sligo in the Republic of Ireland.
In 1444, although they exposed the weakness of pike formations against artillery, the outnumbered forces of the Swiss Confederacy were able to safely withdraw from Basel to the small hospital of St. Jakob having earned the huge satisfaction of inflicting a brutal assault upon the invading French army.
Old Swiss Confederacy punish French at St. JakobBut the stoic expression of Swiss military bravery backfired spectacularly because the celebrated French Knight Burkhard VII Münch then rode to court to deliver a report that enraged Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor. His sponsor, Charles VII of France was more philosophical because he had only acted upon the appeal to occupy his unruly Armagnac troops. Nevertheless, the prestige and honour of both monarchs had been seriously impugned, and they were forced to gather overwhelming force of men and artilley for a bolder mission. To relieve the besieged city of Zürich and also inflict a crushing blow upon Berne, the Swiss canton which had contributed the small army.
In 1278, on this day a Bohemian army led by the Přemyslid king Ottokar II (pictured) survived a late ambush from Imperial-Hungarian forces to win the decisive Battle on the Marchfeld fought at Dürnkrut and Jedenspeigen.
Přemyslid Dynasty seize Central EuropeThe Holy Roman Empire had been in acute crisis ever since the deposition of Emperor Frederick II of Hohenstaufen by Pope Innocent IV. Several nobles were elected as Rex Romanorum (King of the Romans) and Emperor-to-be. But despite the formation of an alliance with King Ladislaus IV of Hungary, the German king Rudolph I of Habsburg was unable to install his own dynasty as a replacement for the now defunct Royal House of Hohenstaufen. Because his dishonourable ambush was anticipated by Ottokar, who lead a remaining reserve contingent into the rearguard of troops led von Kapellen, Rudolph's field commander. And so he would be known to history simply as a "poor count" from Swabian Habsburg Castle. Instead, it would be Ottokar, the Iron and Golden King, who would be declared Rex Romanorum and his dynasty that would dominate Central Europe through to the twentieth century.
In 1820, on this day the future Prince consort of the United Kingdom Francis Albert Augustus Charles Emmanuel (pictured) born at Schloss Rosenau in the Saxon duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld to a family connected to many of Europe's ruling monarchs.
This post is an article from the Good Old Willie thread.
Good Old Willie #5At the age of twenty he married his first cousin, Queen Victoria, with whom he would ultimately have nine children. At first, Albert felt constrained by his position as consort, which did not confer any power or duties upon him. Over time he adopted many public causes, such as educational reform and a worldwide abolition of slavery, and took on the responsibilities of running the Queen's household, estates and office. He was heavily involved with the organisation of the Great Exhibition of 1851. Albert aided in the development of Britain's constitutional monarchy by persuading his wife to show less partisanship in her dealings with Parliament-although he actively disagreed with the interventionist foreign policy pursued during Lord Palmerston's tenure as Foreign Secretary.
But it was the Trent Affair that finally allowed the Prince Albert to emerge from his shadowy position as a foreign figurehead. When the forcible removal of Confederate envoys from a British ship by Union forces threatened war between the United States and Britain, Albert intervened to soften the British diplomatic response. More remarkably, he was at this time gravely ill, having been desperately unwell for two years. Although his physician William Jenner had diagnosed typhoid fever but it finally began to clear up by December of 1861. It would remain a cold, solemn Christmas, but, by spring, Albert would be well among the living.
A decade later, his diplomatic skills would be brought to the fore again during the break-up of the North German Confederation. Not only would he expedite the Hohenzollern flight to England during a naval clash in the North Sea with the Russian Navy, but he would also rise to the putative leadership of the independent German States. And as he increasingly assumed the role of elder statesman, he became a mentor to his eldest grandson, Friedrich Wilhelm Viktor Albrecht Hohenzollern. By 1897, he was long dead and Britain and France went to war over the Fashoda Crisis. Two years later, Wilhelm Hohenzollern would be crowned King of England. He would need every ounce of his grandfather's diplomatic skills to navigate the ship of state through uncertain waters. And perhaps even seek a restoration of the Prussian monarchy.
In 1768, on this day Sally Fairfax and prominent members of the Loyalist Community bade farewall to George Washington as he boarded the HMS Endeavour and set sail for the south Pacific Ocean under the command of Captain James Cook (pictured).
This post is an article from the Midshipman George Washington thread.
Midshipman George Washington #5As the Second in Command of the combined Royal Navy and Royal Society expedition, Washington had been briefed that the mission objective was to sail to Tahiti to observe the transit of Venus across the Sun. This was to occur on 3-4 June 1769; however Cook had also been provided with secret instructions that he was to open after the solar event.
But when Cook died on Tahiti, the instructions were passed to Washington who was ordered to seek evidence of the "unknown southern land" postulated Terra Australis Incognita. Not only did he discover the Gold Coast, but he also claimed the vast continent in the name of King George III.
As a result of this stunning achievement, he was quickly promoted in the Royal Navy becoming an exception to the normal limitations imposed upon colonial advancement. A decade later, he faced the altogether more difficult task of retaining a continent for the monarch. But instead his defeat at Chesakpeake Bay would lead directly to the surrender at Yorktown which effectively ended the American War of Independence. If there was a positive in this outcome then it was that he now had a great deal of time on his hands to live happily ever after with the widow Sally Fairfax.
In 1346, on this day the urgent need to re-configure the out-dated crossbow and knight combination was demonstrated by the narrow margin of the hard-fought French victory at the Battle of Crécy.
Battle of CrécyPhilip VI of France's much larger force of thirty-five thousand men massively outnumbered an Anglo-Welsh army of fifteen thousand men. And yet the superiority of Anglo-Welsh weapons and tactics brought a decision that was close to call.
But on the day, a favourable turn in the weather, the maneuverability of the French knights and an exceptional performance from the Genoese crossbowmen prevented Edward III of England from pulling off what would have been a stunning victory.
In addition to the required tactical update, Philip VI ordered a development of French armour that could withstand a storm of longbow arrows.
In 1071, on this day Byzantine control of Anatolia and Armenia seem to be assured by the decisive defeat of the Seljuq Turks at the Battle of Manzikert.
Byzantine victory at the Battle of ManzikertThe brunt of the battle was borne by the professional soldiers from the eastern and western tagmata, as large numbers of the mercenaries and Anatolian levies fled early and survived the battle. The army therefore consisted of five thousand professional Roman troops from the western provinces and the same number from the eastern provinces; five hundred Frankish and Norman mercenaries under Roussel de Bailleul; some Turkic (Uz and Pecheneg) and Bulgarian mercenaries; infantry under the duke of Antioch; a contingent of Georgian and Armenian troops; and some (but not all) of the Varangian Guard, to total around forty to seventy thousand men.
That number did not include the scoundrel Andronikos Doukas, the co-regent and a direct rival to the Emperor Romanos IV Diogenes. He was relieved of the reserve guard command shortly before the battle commenced. Another potentially fatal mistep was also narrowly avoided by recalling General Joseph Tarchaneiotes. He had been ordered to take some of the Roman troops and Varangians and accompany the Pechenegs and Franks to Khliat. This idiotic misjudgement would have split the forces in half and in all probability would have led to catastrophe.
But in the event, the result was a tremendous victory for the Emperor who reinforced Byzantine prestige further with the capture of the commander of the opposing forces, the Sultan of Seljuq dynasty Alp Arslan (great-grandson of Seljuk, the eponymous founder of the dynasty). That prestige did not last very long.
On the long and difficult march back through Asia minor, furious resentment and indignation amongst his troops finalled exploded over an incident with his luxurious baggage train. Diogenes was assassinated by the Frankish mercenaries who he had angered en route when he confronted them about their plundering. The decision not to dismiss them had ensured full troop strength for the battle, but ultimately led to his downfall anyway.
In 1946, on this day the 4,700 men, 13 ships, and multiple aircraft carriers of Task Force 68 departed from Norfolk, Virginia on a mission to end the Second World War by destroying the Secret Nazi Base in New Swabia, Antarctica.
Battle of AntarcticaUS Navy Secretary James Forrestal had personally supervised the assembly of this huge amphibious naval force, but for the mission itself, the principal leadership figure was Rear Admiral Richard Evelyn Byrd, Jr. who had been given operational command of the Carrier Group.
Forrestal had determined that Byrd was uniquely qualified to succeed in his assigned role in "Operation High Jump". He had already led three missions to Antartica but this would be the first that was funded by the Federal Government. Also, in the 1938 he had travelled to Hamburg where he was invited to participate in the 1938/1939 German "Neuschwabenland" Antarctic Expedition which he been forced to decline with great regret.
And yet the mission itself was uniquely challenging. On the 19th February, 1947 six R4-D planes took off from the carrier "Phillipine Sea" but only five returned. The sixth returned some seven hours later, after Byrd met with the Fuhrer. No details of that meeting have ever emerged, apart from a fragment from Byrd's Missing Diary ~ "There comes a time when the rationality of men must fade into insignificance and one must accept the inevitability of the Truth! I am not at liberty to disclose the following documentation at this writing ...perhaps it shall never see the light of public scrutiny, but I must do my duty and record here for all to read one day. In a world of greed and exploitation of certain of mankind can no longer suppress that which is truth". This article is taken from the NaziUFO thread.
In 2009, on this day Mark Obama Ndesandjo published "From Nairobi To Shenzhen" a diarised account of the twelve month search for the notorious head of the al-Qaeda terrorist network his half brother, Barack Hussein Obama.
Watch the Mark Obama Interview
From Nairobi To ShenzhenThe origin of the world's most radical Islamic terrorist really began in the Menteng neighborhood of Jakarta where Barack and his mother moved after their father returned to Kenya.
Ironically, while he was being educated in a radical Muslim school Barack Obama, Snr was fathering younger son Mark with Ruth Nidesand the daughter of Lithuanian Jewish immigrants.
The explosive climax of the book is a clandestine meeting in an Indian restaurant. Before his arrest by undercover CIA agents, Barack learns the terrible truth, that the absent father that he dreamt of for so many years was in fact a brutal wife-abuser that terrorized the childhood of his half-brothers Mark and David.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.