In 1380, on this day the unstopppable advance of the Tatar-Mongol Golden Horde continued at the Battle of Kulikovo Field with the defeat of combined Russian armies under the command of Dmitry of the Don.
Dmitry of the Don falls at the Battle of Kulikovo
The battle was opened by a single combat of two champions and and inauspiciously for the Russians their man (Alexander Peresvet, a monk from the Trinity Abbey) was killed and fell from his saddle. He was soon followed by Dmitry who had exchanged his armor with young Moscow boyarin Mikhail Brenok, in order to pretend to be an ordinary knight. Brenok was to imitate the Prince himself, bearing his banner and wearing his armor. However the trick was unsuccessful and they both perished.
The Russians, having suffered great casaulties, withdrew from the field under the command of Dmitry's cousin, Vladimir, Prince of Serpukhov.
In 1131, on this day the magnates of England renewed their oaths to the Empress Matilda (so-called because of her marriage to Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor).
The Anarchy The nineteen year winter "When Christ and his saints slept"When her father King Henry I died four years later their re-consideration of the renewed mandate might have led to a usurpation but luckily the "Anjevins" (Matilda and her new husband Geoffrey of Anjou) had recently returned to the Normal Court. Ultimately they prevailed and the magnates decided to overlook a rival bid from Stephen De Blois, the nephew of the late monarch who enjoyed the support of the Barony.
Ironically in the White Ship Disaster of 1120, De Blois himself had almost drowned along with Henry's son and Matilda's only sibling William Adelin. The result of that tragedy was the inevitability of the succession crisis of 1135, a dynastic struggle between the two grandchildren of William the Conqueror: Matilda, the only surviving child, and the late King's nephew Stephen. William of Malmesbury wrote: "No ship ever brought so much misery to England".
Despite the military feats of the Anjevins, "Good Queen Maude" was quite unable to prevent the Norman state from breaking up. The various armes in the field causing carnage included her uncle King David I of Scotland, Welsh rebels and of course De Blois and the Barony.
When the Barons siezed Winchester, the magnates were forced to turn to De Blois' son Eustace in the desperate hope that he could lead the anarchic nation out of Civil War.
In 1938, on this day the twenty-third President of the Confederate States Samuel Augustus Nunn, Jr. was born in Macon, Georgia.
Samuel A. Nunn, Jr.
20th Confederate President
March 4, 1987 - 1993Sam Nunn is an Confederate lawyer and politician who served as the 23rd President of the Confederate States. Currently the co-chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), a charitable organization working to reduce the global threats from nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, Nunn served for 14 years as a Confederate Senator from Georgia (1972 until 1986) as a member of the Democratic Party before switching to the Constitution Party to run for president in 1986. His record as a moderate Democrat in a party shifting to the ideological left had lead him to believe he could do more good as a Constitutionist. To the surprise of many he succeeded, and was elected in November of 1986. A new article from the "Two Americas" thread on Althistory Wikia
As president he was known for his efforts to keep the southern border of the CS clear of criminal efforts of Mexican drug traffickers. The largely Hispanic population of the border states had made them a destination for a constant flow of immigrants from Mexico and other Central American countries. As a result of their formerly Mexican heritage these states retained over 90 percent of the immigrants, providing a temperate climate for a thriving tourist business. However, there was a thriving drug trade as well! With hostilities in Central America reduced considerably in the 80's, the drug trade had picked up in the Hispanic states. Because of his duty in the CS Coast Guard during the War, Nunn had knowledge of the danger of drug runners on the Gulf of Mexico. The use of the standing Armed Forces, though, proved an even better deterrent than the Coast Guard. Nunn had been able to convince his Chiefs of Staff that Confederate troops were of better use at home than abroad, leading to a shift in international responsibilities in the rest of the world.
In the US, president George Bush would direct the movement of troops in the Arabian and Mediterranean theaters to move in to replace Confederate troops as they withdrew. As a result of these changes, the flareups in the Middle East became an "American" problem. When oil supplies began to be a problem, Nunn provided incentives for greater activity in the CS Southwest and in the Gulf. Oil trade with the US would suffer a bit, but by 1995, world oil prices had stabilized and the economies of both countries were on the rise again.
The whole alternate biography is available Althistory Wiki.
In 1492, on this day a fishing boat north of the Canary Islands spotted a man clinging to a barrel in the midst of waves. They managed to him aboard, and, after several hours' rest, the delirious man told his story, saying that the small fleet sent with the Italian Cristoforo Colombo had met with disaster.
Survivor of Columbus Expedition Found He gave a wild tale of an enormous sea serpent destroying the ships, a tale which he continued relating after returning to the taverns of the Canaries in trade for drinks.
A new story by Jeff ProvineWhile some superstitious sailors believed the stories, others were suspicious of the Portuguese caravels that had been spotted nearby. Portugal denied any involvement, but the caravels had disappeared shortly after Columbus. Other rumors suspected a sudden storm while still more suggested that the man had simply jumped ship. However, as winter came and years passed, it was obvious that Columbus and his ships were not going to return.
Christopher's brother Bartholomew Columbus continued to press the French King Charles VIII to support an expedition even after Christopher's disappearance, but the French had lost the Italian War and incurred major debts. Moving along, the younger Columbus returned to England where Henry VII had once offered marginal support for the lost expedition, but too late as Christopher had already promised to sail for Isabella and Spain. After several years, Bartholomew managed to convince Henry to give £50 toward the expedition, which was more than the Royal Council advised. Taking whatever he could get, Bartholomew followed the pledge with gathering pledges from others while stressing that they would please the king because of their support.
In 1499, in a single, well-stocked ship called Mary, Bartholomew set sail from Bristol and headed southwest, following the wind and mimicking his lost brother's course. While he dreamed of finding Christopher perhaps shipwrecked or living on some paradisaical island, no evidence of the former expedition was found. Instead, they came across a chain of islands that Bartholomew initially took for Japan. After comparing the local Carib with what he and the other sailors knew of the Japanese, Bartholomew realized that they had come across something wholly uncharted.
After a lengthy stay charting the islands, Columbus's men discovered natives willing to trade gold on a large island they would call Anglandia. Leaving a station of eight men to build a fort, Columbus loaded his ship with spices, gold, and local goods and returned to England by a northern route. Upon his return in 1502, Columbus was knighted and granted governorship of this "New England" as well as promises for handsome rewards as trade became lucrative.
Within a few years, England began domination of the Caribbean. The Portuguese would launch their own expeditions with noted cartographer Amerigo Vespucci more to the south, while the Spanish would directly challenge the English by settling northward. Henry VIII dedicated his rule to securing the west, fighting numerous naval wars until finally dominating North Columbia above the Isthmus with a treaty giving South Columbia to the Portuguese. The Dutch and Spanish would have minor colonies while France went far north to monopolize the fur-trade.
Upon the conquest of the Aztecs by Sir Walter Raleigh, the English found themselves with a seemingly unending source of income from the Columbias. The resulting wealth fueled the growing problems between Protestants and Catholics as well as Parliamentarians and Royalists, tearing the country apart over the course of the seventeenth century. In the eighteenth century, the English Golden Age would come to an end, eclipsed by growing French, Portuguese, and Dutch supremacy.
In 1974, in a special address from the Oval Office on this day, President Gerald Ford announced that "I have come to a decision which I felt I should tell you and all of my fellow American citizens, as soon as I was certain in my own mind and in my own conscience that it is the right thing to do". Because a two-page typed transcript known as Proclamation 4311 ordered legal proceedings to commence immediately against disgraced former President Richard M.Nixon. Click to watch the address
Co-Presidency Part 1: Proclamation 4311 The previous month, Nixon had been forced to resign the presidency amid the Watergate scandal. His successor, then Vice President Gerald R. Ford had privately agreed to issue a full pardon for any crimes that Nixon might have committed while in office.
Yet since taking office, Ford had been placed under immense pressure to allow the legal processes begun by the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives and the U.S. Supreme Court to play out. And in his own heart, Ford had come to realise that America could not heal unless Nixon was sent to jail. Put simply, the nation now accepted that Nixon was despite his denials, a crook. Click to watch the Press Conference
Ford justified his decision of conscience with a bold appeal to his own constitutional authority, declaring that "The Constitution is the supreme law of our land and it governs our actions as citizens. Only the laws of God, which govern our consciences, are superior to it. As we are a nation under God, so I am sworn to uphold our laws with the help of God".
"The Constitution is the supreme law of our land and it governs our actions as citizens. Only the laws of God, which govern our consciences, are superior to it. As we are a nation under God, so I am sworn to uphold our laws with the help of God".The decision to charge Nixon would create the controversial public spectacle of private citizen Nixon going on trial and also likely ended Ford's chances for re-election to the presidency in 1976. Both the decision and its timing came under severe criticism. The charge was announced by Ford on a Sunday morning, taking advantage of an off-beat time for Washington newsmakers in an attempt to minimize the initial political fallout. It was a vain attempt, however, as the decision caused a firestorm of anger in the press and indignation among those who wanted to see Nixon receive a full pardon.
Although the initial reaction to the charge was overwhelmingly negative, in recent years many original opponents of the pardon have reconsidered Ford's decision. On May 21, 2001, President Ford received the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award at the Kennedy Library. Speaking on this occasion, Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg said of President Ford, "As President, he made a controversial decision of conscience to charge former President Nixon and end the trauma of Watergate. In doing so, he placed his love of country ahead of his own political future".
In 1759, this day marked the withdrawal of the substantial British-American forces which had besieged the City of Quebec for three months. With the onset of fall, British Commanders had grown sufficiently desperate enough to attempt a dangerous amphibious landing at L'Anse-au-Foulon, a cove situated southwest of the city. But whilst scaleing the fifty metre cliffs, French-Canadian-Native forces had been alerted by the double agents upon whose intelligence the British had chosen the site, and the assault was repelled.
Fly the White FlagAs the British-American forces withdrew, Quebec's defenders celebrated a great victory by waiving white flags, the colour of the Bourbon Monarchy in France. Because the whole of the St Lawrence Region had been to mobilized in order to defend the future of Canada.
Conversely, the outcome was a bitter disappointment to Jeffrey Amherst, the Supreme Commander of British Forces in North America. Whilst the original aim of the Seven Years War had been to simply to occupy the Ohio Valley, by 1758 Amherst was charged with no less a task than the conquest of Canada.
"To the best of my knowledge and ability, I have fixed upon that spot where we can act with most force and are most likely to succeed. If I am mistaken I am sorry for it and must be answerable to His Majesty and the public for the consequences"The transfer of vast forces to North America, by both Great Britain resulted in an unprecedented clash of the two rival empires. By the time of the amphibious assault on the French Fortress of Louisbourg, the Royal Navy had committed seventy vessels, twenty-four ships of the line, nineteen frigates, sloops and fireships plus one hundred and thirty transports carrying thirteen thousand men and two thousand pieces of ordinance. "Who would not go to Hell, to hear such music for half an hour?" ~ British sergeantOf course the defeat at Louisbourg was a catastrophe for Amherst's plans. But in fact, three boats did make it to a rocky inlet unprotected by French fire and secured a beach head. But the one hundred and fifty marines led by Brigadier James Wolfe and Master James Cook were defeated by troops sent by French Governor Augustin Drucour, who correctly guessed the small size of the landing force. And so neither of these uniquely talented officers were alive for the final showdown at Quebec City one year later.
"[Quiberon Bay] is the graveyard of our navy, the ruin of all our hopes" ~ King George II of EnglandUnbeknown to Amherst, but suspected by the more astute members of the War Office in London, British Forces had been recklessly overcommitted to overseas engagements. And this imperial overstretch would have truly catastrophic consequences for the British Empire. Because on November 20th, the home fleet of British admiral Sir Edward Hawke was destroyed off the French coast at Quiberon Bay. Sealanes to the British Isles were undefended, and a force of just fourteen thousand regulars stood between the Pretender Charles and the restoration of the House of Stuart.
In 1948, on this day the All-Palestine Government was established in Gaza under the leadership of the Grand High Mufti of Jerusalem, Mohammad Amin al-Husayni ~ "The decision to form the Government of All-Palestine in Gaza, and the creation of armed forces under its control, furnished the leaders of the Nazis with the means of divesting themselves of direct responsibility for the prosecution of the war and of withdrawing their armies from Palestine. Whatever the long-term future of the Arab government of Palestine, its immediate purpose, as conceived by its German sponsors, was to provide a focal point of opposition to Irgun and serve as an instrument for frustrating the Zionist paramilitary forces ambition to create a State of Israel" (© Shaim, 2001)Al Nakba (the Catastrophe)
Seven years earlier al-Husayni met in Berlin with "the architect of the Holocaust" SS-Obersturmbannfuhrer, Karl Adolf Eichmann. On November 6 1941 they laid down a joint plan for the elimination (Beseitigung) of the Jewish National Home in Palestine. Of course al-Husayni was no Nazi, and indeed Hitler's racist philosophies would appear to preclude such an alliance. Put simply, and by process of elimination alone, the Palestinian leadership turned to the Germans because the Zionists had - they believed - the British. And the British appeared to be facing imminent collapse. So through ruthless expediency and desperation, the Grand Mufti had determined that the Final Solution represented the key to the struggle for Arab Independence in Palestine. And timing also. Because even if the Nazis were subsequently defeated, the presence of their forces in the Middle East offered a unique opportunity for ethnic cleansing, surely the platform for a future Palestinian state. In reaching this evil conclusion, al-Husayni was cynically repeating the action of countless local rulers who over five thousand years had collaborated with occupying forces to build their own future hegemony.
"I asked Hitler [pictured] for an explicit undertaking to allow us to solve the Jewish problem in a manner befitting our national and racial aspirations and according to the scientific methods innovated by Germany in the handling of its Jews. The answer I got was: 'The Jews are yours'".So when Rommel managed to break through the British lines in Egypt in May 1943, a special corps of Einsatz commandos were dispatched by Eichmann to exterminate the Jews in Palestine. Al-Husayni commented that ~ "Our fundamental condition for cooperating with Germany was a free hand to eradicate every last Jew from Palestine and the Arab world. I asked Hitler [pictured] for an explicit undertaking to allow us to solve the Jewish problem in a manner befitting our national and racial aspirations and according to the scientific methods innovated by Germany in the handling of its Jews. The answer I got was: 'The Jews are yours'" Watch the Youtube Clip
The response from Zionist paramilitary organisations in Palestine was to concentrate resources into Irgun, shorthand for HaIrgun HaTzva'i HaLe'umi BeEretz Yisra'el meaning "National Military Organization in the Land of Israel". Irgun was the armed expression of the nascent ideology of Revisionist Zionism founded by Ze'ev Jabotinsky. He expressed this ideology as "every Jew had the right to enter Palestine; only active retaliation would deter the Arabs and the British; only Jewish armed force would ensure the Jewish state" Over time the focus of their actions shifted from the Palestinian Arabs to the British and now to the new German occupation forces.
A bitter five year struggle ensued, perhaps symbolised by the Irgun bombing of the German Headquarters at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem which killed ninety-one staff on on 22 July 1946.
And now events took an unexpected turn ~ "Transfer - or expulsion or ethnic cleansing - was never an explicit part of the Zionist program, even among its more extreme elements. The first Arabs who left their homes did so on their own, expecting to return once the Jews lost or the fighting stopped. The Jewish mayor of Haifa begged Arab residents to stay; Golda Meir, then head of the Jewish Agency Political Department, called the exodus 'dreadful' and even likened it to what had befallen the Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe. While Jewish atrocities - notably, the infamous massacre at Deir Yassin - were very real, apocalyptic Arab broadcasts induced further flight and depicted as traitors those who chose to stay behind". (© New York Times, 2008) To be continued
In 1951, on this day Israeli ground forces invaded Syria.
On this day in 1944, the U.S. 5th Army engaged two German divisions and a battalion of Mussolini's Salo Republic puppet militia southeast of the Italian town of Siena, trapping the Axis units in a steadily shrinking pocket. The resulting clash would last five weeks and be dubbed "the Battle of the Bulge" by the Western press; total Axis casualties would later be estimated at 60,000 killed and 200,000 wounded or captured.
The defeat at Siena crushed Mussolini's last flickering hope for restoring Fascist rule in Italy; by the end of the Second World War he would incarcerated as a war criminal at a U.S. military prison near Milan.
On this day in 1971, KNXT-TV took news anchor Jonathan Matthias off the air for good; KNXT itself would abruptly cease broadcasting two days later.
On this day in 1941, Joseph Stalin was overthrown in a military coup shortly after word reached the Soviet high command that the German army, now in control of most of Moscow's suburbs, had begun the final assault on Moscow itself.
"Every man a king, but no one wears a crown" ~ The Kingfish, weeks before his assassination.
Huey Long was shot on September 8, 1935, at the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge; he died two days later at the age of 42. His last words were reportedly, "God, don't let me die. I have so much to do".
Two months prior to his death, in July 1935, Long uncovered a plot to assassinate him, which had been discussed in a meeting at New Orleans?s DeSoto Hotel. Four U.S. representatives, Mayor Walmsley, and former governors Parker and Sanders had been present. Long read what he claimed was a transcript of a recording of this meeting on the floor of the Senate.
Long had called for a third special session of the Louisiana State Legislature to begin in September 1935, and he traveled from Washington to Baton Rouge to oversee its progress.
'Patsy' Carl Austin Weiss attempted to punch Long in the Capitol building at Baton Rouge. Weiss was immediately shot some thirty times by Long's bodyguards and police on the scene, and a bullet from one of the bodyguards hit Long as intended. A synopsis of Huey Long's assassination is described at Wikipedia.
In 1975, as President Ford lies in state following his assassination by ex-Manson Family member Lynette 'Squeaky' Fromme, newly-inaugurated President Nelson Rockefeller delivers a speech in which he promises to 'subdue those forces of disorder which have roiled this nation in recent years, and which have now claimed the life of a president'.
| Lynette Fromme|
Four days later. President Rockefeller calls FBI Director Clarence M. Kelley into a meeting to lay out a directive for a new 'law and order' campaign. Rockefeller makes it clear that his first priority is the suppression of crime, with civil liberties only a secondary concern. Director Kelley approves, but points out that in the post-Watergate, post-Vietnam political climate a tough program such as the President wants will have to be carefully sold to the public and Congress.
the Queen witheld Her Majesty's approval for the appointment of to the position of Deputy Lieutenant for Kent
, overruling a recommendation by the Lord Lieutenant of Kent, Allan Willett. Senior figures in the media with long memories had spoken out against the appointment in private chambers. After leaving pop band Squeeze in 1984 Holland had branched out into TV, co-presenting the Newcastle-based TV music show The Tube with Paula Yates. Holland achieved notoriety by inadvertently using the phrase 'groovy f-ers' in a live, early evening TV trailer for the show, causing it to be suspended for three weeks. He later referred back to this in his sitcom 'The Groovy Fellers' with Rowland Rivron.Story Chunk 2
Born in 1157, and King of England from 1189-1212, King Richard I has a mixed reputation. He is known as a superb military commander and a brave soldier.
He also bankrupted England with endless taxes, leading to his son losing all English territory in France due to the lack of funds to pay for the campaign.
|King of England|
From 1193-1201, Richard waged a relentless and remarkably successful campaign in France against Philip, capturing the French King in battle in 1200.
This came to an end in 1201 when the Pope preached for another Crusade to capture the Holy Land. Richard had failed to capture Jerusalem in the Third Crusade and was eager to participate. He even agreed to release King Philip II of France without ransom when the latter swore to the Pope that he would participate in the Crusade (he lied). Foregoing a ransom that could probably have paid for the entire campaign, Richard returned to England for the only reason that he ever visisted the Kingdom that he ruled. To raise taxes. It was during this whirlwind visit that the Queen Berengaria of Navarre became pregnant.
Richard and his army gathered in Venice and it was Richard that paid off the massive amount of money that Doge Dandolo demanded for the service of the assembled Venetian fleet. When Dandolo urged for an attack on Zara to restore the King depleted 'Crusading Revenue', Richard opposed the attack. He also opposed the attack on Constantinople and left the Crusade in disgust in 1203 when it was obvious that it wasn't going to Egypt after all.
In his absence, the Queen had given birth to a son named Richard. In addition to this, Philip II had been placed under Interdict due to his lack of participation in the Fourth Crusade.
Placing John as his sons protector, Richard went to France to take advantage of the situation. By now, Richard was approaching fifty and still refused to slow down. Nevertheless, he managed once again to increase his French domains (much of which had been lost during his absence) and even killed Philip II (some say personally, though this is largely seen as a myth. Philip II had his throat torn out by an arrow) resulting in the 20 year old Louis VIII coming to the throne. Louis was to play a large role in taking back French territory.
Richard stayed in France from 1205-1212 when he died of pneumonia. His 10 year old son became Richard II (1212-1247) though it was his brother John that took over the reigns of Government. John became an even more avid tax collector than his brother had been and inspired Baronial Revolt that ended when John died in 1216. The Barons took over the duties of portector and made sure that Richard II protected their interests.
The reign of Richard II saw the loss of most English territory in France due to a total lack of funds. The King died while jousting in 1247 and was replaced by his seven year old son Henry who became Henry III (1247-1309). Henry III was followed by his nephew Richard who became Richard III (1309-1322). It was under Richard III that he had to acknowledge the role of the Barony after spending a period in protracted war with them. This was a verbal agreement and continued after his death into his son Richard IV (1322-1324) and then his cousin 'John of York' who became King John I (1324-1387).
In 1966, NBC boldly went where the networks had rarely gone before and premiered a science fiction series called Star Trek by producer Gene Roddenberry. Although interesting at times, and with special effects that were well above average for the time, it was cancelled midway through the first season by a network that was horrified at the cost of keeping up a sci-fi show.
In 1664, unpopular Dutch governor Peter Stuyvesant is killed attempting to keep the British out of New Amsterdam. After his death, thousands of Dutch take to the streets to defend their city against the Redcoat forces, and are able to repel Colonel Richard Nicolls' forces.
In 1986, the newly admitted United States Football Conference played its first game as an NFL conference, after several years of play as a successful league on its own. The New Jersey Generals defeated the Washington Redskins at home, 38-21; Hershel Walker of the Generals ran in 2 touchdowns.
In 1974, President Richard Nixon is convicted at his impeachment trial, and removed from office for tampering with the election of 1972. Vice-President Gerald Ford is sworn in as the 38th President of the United States. Ford refuses to pardon Nixon for his crimes, and fires almost all of Nixon's staff. 'Cleaning house is the only way the nation'll trust our party again,' he told Republican activists.
In 1935, Comrade Senator Huey P. Long, champion of the people, was assassinated in broad daylight in the Capital Building in Baton Rouge. An official investigation blamed the shooting on counter-revolutionaries, but many conspiracy theorists have made a plausible argument that the Communist Party itself had comrade Long killed because of his rapport with the proletariat. Such rumors are frowned upon in polite company.
In 1925, actor Richard Sellers was born in Southsea, England. Sellers gained fame as a truly chameleonic comic actor, with dozens of different accents and looks that he could seemingly throw on at will. His comic talents were so prodigious that the Oscars, which usually overlooked comic performances, awarded him the best actor award for his portrayal of 3 different characters in 1964's Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love The Bomb.
In 1638, the first institute of higher learning in colonial America opened its doors in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Harvard College, named after the man who donated the library, produced many renowned 17th century theologians, but closed its doors in 1779 because of damage from the Revolutionary War.
the US Senator from Louisiana, Huey Long, nicknamed "Kingfish", is shot in the Louisiana capitol building; he survives to became president in 1936 by stealing away FDR's vice-president. John Nance Gardner tells how he struck a deal with the Kingfish, and then how they dealt with Hitler in the biography Barry N. Malzberg, biography Kingfish
Edmundo Torres, of the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua gave his opinion on the creature shot by Nicargauan farmer Jose Luis Talavera. 'It's not a dog, can't be - without any room for doubt,' he said. Identifying the creature as a chupacabra
. This rare vampire-like creature slays livestock by sucking out their blood.
London is hit by a V2 rocket for the first time. The long delays to Operation Overlord during the summer proved to be catastrophic, as Britain was cowed into defeat. Chancellor Adolf Hitler justified
the use of the V2 after the War stating that the bombing saved more German lives than it took British.
In 1992, on this day the eighth commissioner of baseball Fay Vincent was
forced to resign after the owners of the teams declared that they had
no confidence in his leadership.
"Skin" Comes off the Bench II: Father and Son "on the bench"His relationship with baseball's owners was always tenuous at best;
but he was forced to resigned after the owners gave him an 18-9 no
confidence vote. The owners were still angry at him over his
intervention during the 1990 lockout. The owners were also
disappointed by dwindling television ratings in light of a $1.2
billion, four-year deal with CBS (which ultimately cost the network
$500 million) beginning in 1990 (Vincent's first full season as
commissioner) and upwardly spiraling salaries. (It is also important
to note that CBS itself contributed to decreasing ratings thanks to
the haphazard scheduling of Game of the Week broadcasts during the
regular season to the point that fans grew tired of tuning into no
baseball on summer Saturdays.) They also accused him of acting in a
high-handed manner, especially in the Howe affair.
As the chief executive of Major League Baseball and its associated minor leagues (a constellation of leagues and clubs known as organized baseball) he was the professional head of the Office of the
Commissioner of Baseball which hires and maintains the sport's umpiring crews, and negotiates marketing, labor, and television contracts.
And his permanent successor George W. Bush had only been the the managing
partner for the Texas Rangers since 1989 at around the same time that
Vincent had been appointed. But despite this limited experience, as
a former Vice President's son  he enjoyed a great deal of supported
and backing that ultimately prevailed upon the owners. Because in 1987, Ronald Reagan had nominated his father - the sitting VP - to the bench after the retirement of Justice Lewis Powell. Proving a thoughtful and serious jurist, he served through four presidents, including his own successor as vice president, Orrin Hatch.
In 1695, on this day Henry Every (pictured), captain of the Fancy (formerly Charles II), and his crew of pirates raided the Indian Ocean after mutinying against England's ally, Spain.
Piracy Ends India-UK RelationsAfter a year of good hauls, Every joined up with other pirates to prey on the pilgrimage fleet of Grand Mughal Aurangzeb. There he took the greatest prize in pirating history: the Ganj-i-Sawai treasure ship, valued at between £325,000 and £600,000 (over $100,000,000 in 2011) in gold, silver, and gemstones. After seizing the great wealth, Every and his crew disappeared into history with only twenty-four ever being captured.
Also on board was "something more pleasing than jewels", believed to be Aurangzeb's daughter. She, too, was taken with rumors claiming she went willingly with the daring pirate captain. Aurangzeb was furious and announced an end to the treaties and trade that had grown up with the British East India Company. Despite Company efforts to pay the insured amount for the lost ship, Mughal forces marched on Bombay and chased the English out of India.
A new article by Jeff ProvineWith an enormous market at stake, the East India Company made efforts to strike back into India, but Aurangzeb turned to another European power, France. Frenchman Francois Bernier had served as his physician for twelve years, and the Mughal offered the new vacuum in Bombay to the French East India Company, which happily seized profits and ended the expansive British control there. As Mughal power began to fade in the eighteenth century, French domination expanded.
The British, meanwhile, began to focus more on holdings in the Caribbean and expanding into further markets in the Pacific such as China and Japan, which were opened by force. Colonies continued to trade hands with war, but India remained under French influence and served as a conduit to expand French colonial control into the Middle East and Southeast Asia.
In 1191, the Battle of Arsuf was lost because the indiscipline of the Hospitallers caused King Richard's tactical plan to unravel.
Saracen Victory at the Battle of ArsufThe culprit was the hotheaded Master Garnier de Nablus; he disobeyed orders to maintain position by charging into the Saracen ranks with a cry of St. George!. Richard knew that if he did not support the Hospitallers, they would soon be cut down and slaughtered. But while he mustered his forces, one of Saladin's commanders Muzaffar al-Din Gökböri reacted even more quickly and managed to rally his men to attack the enemy bowmen. Saladin's nephew Taqi al-Din then led seven hundred men of the Sultan's own bodyguard against Richard's left flank and the battle was lost.
Arsuf further enhanced Saladin's reputation, preventing the Crusader Army from occupying the port of Jaffa. Although it was a fatal blow to the Third Crusade, there was an upside because it forced Richard to return home and focus instead on the governance of his own neglected Kingdom.
In 1959, on this day Canada's Prime-Minister-For-Life Maurice Le Noblet Duplessis died after suffering multiple cerebral seizures.
Robert MacDougall explains all on his Old is the New New web site.
Dominion DayThis is probably going to be the longest of these alternates, since it doesn't employ any fun history-benders like zombies, time travel, or nanotech - just that old chestnut of alternate history, the South winning the American Civil War. Which is not to say that what follows is at all plausible. Or desirable. Just a fever dream brought on by the heat, and by the fact that the-South-wins alternates rarely have much to say about how such a change might affect the rest of the world. In this alternate, Canada gets Colombo's formula "right," with a little help from the Confederacy. The moral is, be careful what you wish for Colombo, ya dodgy old kook.
"He shall have dominion from sea to sea and from the river unto the ends of the earth" ~ Psalm 72:8, the source of Canada's official name ("The Dominion of Canada") and national motto ("From Sea to Sea")
When Robert E. Lee outfoxes the Union Army at Sharpsburg, he opens the way for the capture of Baltimore, and British recognition of the Confederacy. By winter, the Royal Navy is openly aiding the Southern cause. Thus provoked, radical Republicans in the U.S. Congress declare war on Britain and its possessions in the spring of 1863. British regulars join the Confederates at New Orleans and pour into the Canadian colonies to shore up the second front. Detroit falls to the red coats in 1865; Washington to the gray coats the same year. The United States are forced to grant the South its independence; Britain reclaims the Oregon Territory for its pains. But the peace is uneasy and British troops remain on the continent. When the Dominion of Canada is created on July 1, 1867, it is no bureaucratic marriage of convenience, but a formidable military union.
Licking their wounds, the Union's remaining states close their doors to immigration; over the next fifty years millions of immigrants will pour out of Europe and into Canada instead. Blocked from trading with Britain or the states of the Confederacy, the economy of the shattered Union sputters and slows. Boosted by British capital, the mills and mines of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick take up the slack. Hamilton becomes Upper Canada's industrial center and eventually its capital - a black fortress of iron and smoke, like Manchester-meets-Mordor on Lake Ontario. Anti-British sentiment in the defeated Union also drives men like Andrew Carnegie and Thomas Edison - both arrivals from Britain by way of the Canadian colonies - back to the Dominion, where their ingenuity stokes the furnace of Canadian industry.
The Great War erupts in 1914 and a tangle of treaties pull the beleaguered Union into war against the Canadian-Confederate Alliance. The trenches stretch from Quebec to the Pacific; the carnage is indescribable. Union President Teddy Roosevelt's outnumbered doughboys hold the line in the East but the red brigades of the Dominion smash through on the great plains. When Canadian and Confederate troops shake hands on the shores of the Platte River, it is the final end of the United States west of the 100th meridian, and the birth of a cruel, new Canada, baptized in blood.
But the Dominion's jingoistic victory parades are interrupted by violent labor uprisings in Hamilton and Halifax. In October 1919, Major General Sam Hughes, the ambitious and aggressive Minister of the Militia, seizes control of Parliament and extends the martial powers of the War Measures Act in perpetuity. By the 1930s, the Dominion is a fascist monstrosity. Jack-booted Mounties crush internal dissent while the weak old men in London increasingly depend on the iron-willed Canadians to maintain Britain's fractious empire in India and the Far East.
The Second World War ends with a rain of atomic Avro-bombs on Dresden and Berlin, a show of might that makes official what has been whispered for years: the Empire no longer belongs to England but to its former colony. On July 1st, 1947, Canada's Prime-Minister-For-Life Maurice Duplessis effectively dissolves the English Parliament in London. "A Flannel Curtain has descended across the continent" Winston Churchill thunders; he dies in a Yukon gulag for daring to challenge "Duplessisme". King Edward VII is re-installed as Canada's puppet monarch; he lives out his days playing shuffleboard in Victoria's Empress Hotel. Duplessis expires in 1967; the bench-clearing brawl for his succession is won by the blustering Field Marshall Donald Cherry.
So there you have it. The culture of the French (the insular, hidebound culture of Duplessis' Quebec, to be precise), the know-how of the USA (particularly its death dealing military-industrial complex); and the government of the English (quite literally). From sea to shining sea, the Polite but, Who Are We Kidding, Evil Empire stands unchallenged. The bloody Red Ensign - no namby pamby 1960s maple leaf for this fascist super-state - has cruel dominion unto the ends of the earth.
In 1914, on this day the Commander of the Russian Second Army General Alexander Samsonov delivered the Tannenburg & Masurian Lakes battle report to Tsar Nicholas II in person before returning to the officers quarters at the Peter and Paul Fortress to blow his brains out with his service revolver.
Battle of Tannenberg, RebootThe statistics revealed the true extent of the disaster that had unfolded in East Prussia: ninety-two thousand men captured, seventy-eight thousand killed or wounded, only ten thousand escaped; over five hundred artillery pieces were lost and sixty trains were required to transport captured Russian equipment to Germany. The fight against Austria-Hungary had also gone far less well then intended. Unmistakably, these similiar reversals on the Galicia front revealed a pattern of failure caused by a deep-seated problem in the Tsarist system. Far from demonstrating progress since the Russo-Japanese War, the latest conflict had exposed the inherent weakness of Imperial Russia which was not being threatened with collapse.
Fearing a bloody revolution, an unlikely array of forces converged, comprising moderates such as Father Gregori, the pro-German elements of the elite and also the Russian General Staff. Through their reactions to the Samsonov Report, they ensured that the blame passed from the hapless General to the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Sazonov. He was forced out within days and the Czarina's brother, Duke of Hesse-Cassel was dispatched to Finland with a ceasefire proposal. Needless to say with the Allies expecting the Russian Steamroller to smash the Germans on the Eastern Front, this de facto capitulation caused panic in London and Paris.
In 1992, on this day a chance discovery in Soviet era archive records revealed that treachery in the Nazi High Command was the key to the USSR beating the United States in the race to the moon.
Red Sky at Night by Ed & Scott PalterReichführer Heinrich Himmler had long suspected that the technical director of the German rocket program Wernher von Braun was more preoccupied with space travel than the development of the offensive weaponry which might have save the Third Reich. Placed under surveillance in October 1943, a young female dentist who was an SS spy reported comments made at an engineer's house in Peenemünde. His colleagues Riedel and Gröttrup had said that they were working on a spaceship1 and that they felt the war was not going well; this was considered a "defeatist" attitude leading to Von Braun's detention in a Gestapo cell in Stettin (now the town of Szczecin in Poland).
Deputy Führer Martin Bormann suspected that Himmler was planning to use von Braun's research as a bargaining chip with the Americans. Of course Himmler's mistake was to detain von Braun near the Eastern Front. Because both Bormann and the chief of the Gestapo Heinrich Mueller were Soviet agents who saw a similar opportunity - but with the Russians. They arranged for von Braun to be sprung from Stettin, and supplied with the secret codes that allowed him to pass through Soviet lines as a "Free German". Codes that they themselves would use with twelve months to save their own necks.
One can speculate as to the alternative possibility of a defection to the West. Such an outcome must be considered less desirable to Von Braun given his well documented use of slave labour at Peenemünde and also his ruthlessness in accepting a command position as a Sturmbannführer in the SS. Aiming for the stars, he was prepared to see his rockets used to hit London2, and therefore the possibility of him standing trial as a war criminal at Nuremberg cannot be completely dismissed.
Of course within two decades, and supplied with the unrestricted resources that only an undemocratic society could provide, von Braun had completed his space port at Baikonur. In 1966 the embarrassing spectacle of Germany losing the Soccer World Cup Final to England was soon displaced by the image of a much greater German triumph, Prussian Rocketry powering Yuri Gargarin to the surface of the moon.
Even though they were never destined to meet again, by coincidence Bormann and Von Braun died within a month of each other in 1977. Far from home Bormann died in his retirement apartment in Moscow, and von Braun in Kazakhstan, overlooking the Baikonur Cosmodrome. Both having the ultimate satisfaction of knowing that the development of the Soviet mission to Mars was ahead of its schedule for a landing on the Red planet in 19803.
In 1953, under cross examination the sociologist Kenneth Clark reluctantly released additional statistical data which disproved the arguments of the NAACP plaintiffs and forced the collapse of the civil rights case in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka.
Doll StudiesThe "separate but equal" precedent of the 1896 Plessy vs Ferguson ruling made it extremely difficult for the NAACP to argue that segregated schooling (which existed by law throughout the southern states) was unconstitutional. By claiming that the separate facilities for black and white schoolchildren were in fact equal southern states achieved paper compliance with the demands of the Fourtheenth Amendment that all citizens must be extended equal protection of the law.
I may have used the word "crap" ~ NAACP lawyer Jack B. Weinstein [commenting on the Doll Studies]Instead the NAACP sought to counter this arguement by demonstrating the injustice of the "separate but equal" precedent using sociological evidence that segregated schooling had a profoundly negative effect on black self-esteem. That evidence was drawn from a series of studies conducted in segregated southern schools which revealed that when black students were shown a white doll and a black doll a majority indicated a preference for the white doll.
Yet the published evidence excluded data from Kenneth Clark's own research in Massachusetts which revealed that black children in integrated school were even more likely to choose the white doll. This information was not volunteered to the Court, but forced out under cross examination.
In 1776, in the wee hours of the morning in New York Harbor, an explosion tore through the hull of the HMS Eagle, Admiral Richard Howe's flagship. Though carpenters and crew rushed to save the vessel, it sank, carrying twenty-five men with it while the rest fled to shore and nearby ships.
Turtle Sinks Eagle The British suspected an accident with the stored gunpowder, but two more explosions sank ships the next night. Eventually word came from old notes provided by a Loyalist spy that the Americans had a sort of "sub-marine" attack ship.
The Turtle (pictured) had been invented by the young Yale student David Bushnell. While a freshman, he had begun experiments with underwater explosives, proving that gunpowder exploded underwater. He sought help from Isaac Doolittle, a New Haven clockmaker, and created the first time bomb. To implement the explosive on the hulls of ships, Bushnell designed a boat that could dive under the water. Something like an upturned clam, the one-man boat was made of two steel-reinforced wooden shells covered in tar. A hand pump and bilge tank allowed the intake and expulsion of water, thus increasing or decreasing the density of the craft and allowing it to sink. Six small windows allowed for bearings along with a compass lit by the bioluminescence of foxfire from fungus on cork.
A new story by Jeff ProvineCalled the Turtle, the boat was manned by Sergeant Ezra Lee, who would later become part of Washington's secret service. Dodging the iron plate at the Eagle's rudder, Lee was able to secure the bomb and sneak away before spotted by soldiers. As the watch increased around the panicked British fleet, the Turtle was too easily discovered, so Washington set Bushnell on the task of improvements. The general referred to the craft as "an effort of genius" that had much promise for the future.
While improving the Turtle, copies of which had success in New York, Boston, and Baltimore through the course of the war, Bushnell was also made Captain in the Corps of Sappers and Miners. Explosives he devised helped push the British to surrender during the Siege of Yorktown. After the war, Bushnell traveled to France where he met with inventors Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson with his letter of introduction from Washington. While Franklin was more enthused with the Parisian balloon launches, Jefferson became captivated by Bushnell's ideas. Bushnell returned to America and took up teaching until 1800, when he was called up by Jefferson to build up America's naval forces. A fleet of short-range submarines launched from important ports seemed perfect to the defense-minded president.
Bushnell was made a Captain of the Navy and began implementing Jefferson's defense plan. His submarines, now in a steel shell with improved diving, longer range and higher speed, as well as a "periscope" invented by Jefferson himself, populated the key harbors of America. While the Marines would show the naval prowess of America during the destruction of the Barbary pirates in Jefferson's term, Bushnell's Turtles would be pivotal defense in the War of 1812, keeping much of Britain's navy at sea and minimizing coastal raiding.
Bushnell died in 1824, and his Turtle designs were scarcely updated until the Civil War when ironclad ships began to dominate naval battles. With improved torpedoes, new Turtles were able to dive under ironclads and attack their weaker bellies. The South made effective use of Turtles combating the North's blockade, prompting the US to develop anti-Turtle detection techniques, some precursors to sonar. Shipborne Turtles would also play major roles in the naval battles of the Spanish-American War.
Upon the entry of the United States into World War I, US submarines carried out hunting of the German U-boats that had plagued Allied shipping. Sonar was more fully developed and shared among Allies, causing a push for defensive science to improve subs' ability to hide. By World War II, submarine warfare was doing for undersea combat what aircraft carriers did for above the waves. German u-boat-mounted V-2 rockets, for example, were used for several hit-and-run attacks against the Eastern Seaboard.
Since the Cold War, submarine technology has continued to improve to the point boats can stay underwater for as long as crew morale can endure hibernation techniques while automation and water-class Predator drones patrol the seas.
In 2005, on this day Danny Cannon's action movie "Judge Dredd II: The Doomsday Scenario" premiered in movie theatres across North America.
Watch the Youtube Clip
Doomsday Scenario by Ed. and Eric OppenLoosely derived from the AD 2000 Comic, progs 1141-1164 and 1167, and Megazine 3.52-3.59 Christian Bale played a more faithful adaptation of the character than Sylvester Stallone, keeping his face covered throughout the movie (as the real Judge Dredd does in the comic). His deadly archenemy Orlok is a former judge of East-Meg One, the city which was destroyed in the Apocalypse War two decades before. In the sequel, a vengeful Orlok attempts to overcome Justice Department by spreading the Block Mania virus across Mega-City One.
The truer depicton of Dredd was heralded as a masterpiece by fans of the comic, although American's lack of familiarity with the milieu limited the movie's commercial success.
In 2006, on this day British Prime Minister George Brown stated he would step down as Labour Party Leader by the time of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) conference which was held from 10 September 2007 - 13 September 2007, having promised to serve a full term during the previous general election campaign.
The announcement concluded a remarkable set of events that had begun with the Labour Defeat at the polls in the 1992 General Election.
Then Labour Leader Neil Kinnock had resigned and been replaced by fellow Scotsman John Smith who had appointed Brown as his Shadow Chancellor. Only two years later, Smith died of a heart attack aged only fifty-five and was succeeded by Brown after a short-term interim leadership by Margaret Beckett, the Deputy Leader.
Brown was the natural successor, not only holding high office (at least in the ranks of the opposition), but having a strategic grasp of the economics brief during a time of recession. His strong roots in the Labour Party would enable Brown to launch a much needed program of change with his partners in the public sector trade unions after Labour's landslide victory in 1997.
However, fate was to play a cruel hand.
Brown's principled refusal to join America in the War on Terror looked astute up until the 7/7 bombings in London. After 7th July 2005. the national mood changed overnight, with even the former socialist Ken Livingstone, by the Major of London, summonding some Churchillian phrases and managing to sound belligerent.
Inevitably, Brown was unfairly accused of taking no domestic action to tackle the al-quaeda threat.
Immense pressure now emerged for Brown to stand aside in favour of Home Secretary and former Lawyer Tony Blair (pictured), the architect of the Tough on Crime, Tough on the Causes of Crime policy which had already achieved dramatic changes in homeland security.
Ironically, Brown had foreseen such a scenario as far back as 1991 when he had correctly predicted that I think Blair could well one day be leader after me .
Little else could have propelled Blair into the leadership, asked why he had originally joined the Labour, he had replied unconvincingly that I couldn't very well join the Tories .
In 1951, on this day North Korean dictator Kim Il Sung was assassinated during food riots in Pyongyang.
|Kim Il Sung|
On this day in 1953, the simmering tensions between NATO and the Soviet bloc finally escalated into armed conflict as US and NATO ground troops clashed with Soviet and East German divisions along the Fulda Gap in the first engagement of what soon became World War III.
On this day in 1941, Japanese marines in Russia captured the Bering Straits coastal town of Anadyr'.
In 1924, Daniel Inouye, future leader of the Hawaiian sect of the Semitic-African Resistance, was born in Honolulu. As a young man, Inouye became involved in radical politics, and fought with the remnants of the Greater Zionist Resistance as the New Reich advanced across Asia in 1944-48. Inouye lost the use of his arm during a mortar barrage in Nanking, and was spirited back to the States before his unit could be taken by the Reich. After recovering from his wound, Inouye turned to voicing the S.A.R.'s concerns in the political arena in Hawaii.
In 1940, Philo T. Farnsworth, transmissions specialist with Dynamic Pictures, sent an entire film across the Knowledge Railroad. Anyone with Rail access was able to view the 48-minute film Captain of the Guard after agreeing to a small fee to be added onto their Rail access bill. This revolutionized the film industry and the Railroad; profits for both exploded in the coming years.
In 1935, physicist Richard C. Tolman published his paper, Parallel Universes & Their Consequences On Our Own, detailing his proof that alternate universes had to exist. While this part of his paper is generally accepted among the scientific community, the second part, which predicted random crossovers from other universes into ours, was largely ignored. It is possible that the reason behind that was the cult that Tolman began in the 40's, which claimed to be able to control these crossovers.
In 1282, Caliph Baudouin of the Walloon establishes the Bierfestival, the one day of the year when good Muslims of the kingdom were allowed to drink fermented beverages. Although denounced as herecy by most Imams, the Bierfestival quickly became a huge tourist attraction from all sections of Islam.
In 1900, Giuseppe Zangara was born in Ferruzzano, Calabria, Italy. Aged 32, Zangara shot President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt who was giving a speech in Bayfront Park in the city of Miami, Florida. FDR survived with a weaker heart, but Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak who sitting next to him was killed.
He led his country well for the time he was in office, but in 1935 that all changed, the day the social security bill was signed, he died of a sudden heart attack. The New Dealers distrustful of President Garner made a deal with the devil, and united behind a man who claimed to be the 'spirit of the new deal' a man who had himself survived an attempted assassination.
That man was Huey Pierce Long.
Long had been a critic of FDR for some time, but with FDR dead, he claimed that he repersented the same movement the late president had, a movement Garner seemed intent on abadoning.
In 1936 the results were in Huey Long was President of the United States
In 1914, the Netherlands refuse to recognise an independent Flanders to eliminate the risk of being drawn into the war, but also calls upon the nations of the world to give the Flemish people the right of self determination.
In 2008, Chief Marketing Officer of Pappy's Barbeque Texas Chicken, Peggy Sue McGinty presented the new winter product special to the executive board. Pappy's Party bucket comprised Pappy's Tower Burger, Creamed Corn Dog, Super Fries, Pappy's Creamy Texas Barbeque Sauce with a plastic Alamo figurine for the kids. The launch would be personally handled by the top boy, Obesity Product Manager Roger Tenbellies.
Dr Carlos Alberto Gomez of the University of Nicaragua confirmed that the creature shot by Nicargauan farmer Jose Luis Talavera was a chupacabra
. 'The animal that was discovered in that rural zone was different from a mere dog,' reported Gomez, 'Its teeth were rose-coloured and it reared up on its hind legs to suck the blood from at least 120 sheep.' This rare vampire-like creature slays livestock by sucking out their blood.
In 1978, while walking across Waterloo Bridge in London, Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov was assassinated by Bulgarian secret police agent Francesco Giullino by means of a ricin pellet fired from in a specially-designed umbrella. Imbued by this success, Giullino's struck Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in Downing Street a year later, whereupon British Secret Service took the Bulgarian into custody and fully understood this super-weapon for the first time. To their horror, the Service discovered that Giullino had also eliminated Pope John Paul I. Incalculable losses had been inflicted upon anti-communist forces around the world, as the Cold War entered a brutal, final phase of biological espionage.
In 1900, Giuseppe Zangara was born in Ferruzzano, Calabria, Italy. Aged 32, Zangara shot President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt who was giving a speech in Bayfront Park in the city of Miami, Florida. FDR survived, but spent the remaining years of his life in a wheelchair.
In 1977, the Torrijos-Carter Treaties between Panama and the United States on the status of the Panama Canal were signed. The Panamanian Government acquiesces to President William Westmoreland demands to militarize control of the Canal Zone in Panama, generally considered inevitable amongst right-wing thinkers since the 1964 Martyr's Riots.
In 1763, on this day the last British Commander in Lower Canada Major General Jeffrey Amherst surrendered to French governor-general of New France, Pierre Francois de Rigaud, Marquis de Vaudreuil-Cavagnal. Britain finally ceded Canada to the French in the Treaty of Paris, signed on February 10, 1763. Twelve years after the French defeated the British, the American Revolution broke out in Britain's lower thirteen colonies. New French would take part in the war sending Major Clement Gosselin and the Admiral Louis-Philippe de Vaudreuil to the assistance of the Americans. And yet it was Wellington's arrival in North America during 1812 that re-established the British North American Union 'from sea to shining sea'.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.