In 533, on this day the Vandal army of King Gelimer defeated a larger force of Romans and Hun mercenaries under the command of Byzantine general Belisarius (pictured) in a battle fought at Battle of Ad Decimum, the ten mile post near the city of Carthage.
Vandals win the Battle of the Ten Mile PostThe triumph was the result of a bold decision1 to divide his forces, sending two thousand men under his nephew Gibamund across a salt pan to flank Belisarius' army, which was advancing in narrow columns along the road. Another Vandal force, under Gelimer's brother Ammatas, initiated a holding action at a defile near Ad Decimum. Gelimer's seven thousand-man main body followed Gibamund around the Roman left flank and cut off their retreat.
It was a shattering defeat for the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I who was hoping to use the defeat of his rival to launch a reconquest of the Western Empire.
In 1803, on this day the second President (and former lawyer) John Adams paid the ultimate price for disregarding the lack of provision for acquiring territory in the U.S. Constitution - by facing charges at an impeachment trial in the US Senate.
Louisiana Question 2 By Ed & Scott PalterThat the trial had been engineered by the leaders of the Democratic Republic Party was of course an ominious sign of growing factionalism. But fortunately for the Republic, Adams had once again extricated himself from bipartisan conflict in order to take a political expedient decision in the broader national interest.
Ever the Statesman, and the worthy successor to General Washington, Adams had fast tracked the purchase of the Louisiana Territory as soon as he learnt that Napolean was having second thoughts. He had taken such a decision over Napoleon once before, stunning the country by signing the Treaty of Alliance to end the proxy-war with France.
On the other hand his revolutionary colleagues Thomas Jefferson and James Madison were surprised and disappointed to find themselves at the head of opposition forces, rather than occupying the White House, as they had confidently expected during the 1800 electoral cycle. But they lost, and were now reduced to a power struggle by obstinately defending the uncompromisable principle that the Purchase had in fact required a constitutional amendment.
Ironically, during the 1796 electoral cycle Jefferson (pictured with Adams and Franklin) had admitted (somewhat disengeniously) that "he [Adams] had always been my senior, from the commencement of my public life" and "I am his junior in life, was his junior in Congress, his junior in the diplomatic line, his junior lately in the civil government". He was right.
In 4003 BC, racked by guilt the murdering humans Adam and Eve buried their dead creator at the foot of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil as the equally guilty snake penned a few words of fake remorse and poignancy to be spoken at the end of the hasty funeral ceremony held in the Garden of Eden on this day.
Escape from ParadiseOf course It was the snake that had tempted Eve into biting the apple but it was Adam who had encouraged her to utter the name of God backwards and undo the life of the Creator. But between those two sins, God had summoned the angel Uriah and ordered him to defend the Garden with his flaming sword.
The snake readily agreed to create a diversion in the west while the humans headed east, but of course he double crossed them and the orderley exit descended into chaotic flight.
In 1759, the struggle between Great Britain and France for control of the New World took a turn neither country could have anticipated: during an engagement between British and French troops on the Plains of Abraham just outside Quebece City, British commander General James Wolfe and French main battle force leader the Marquis de Montcalm were killed within seconds of each other.
Double Jeopardy Part 1
The Plains of AbrahamThe nearly simultaneous deaths of Montcalm and Wolfe seriously complicated battle planning on both sides and turned what had been a 15-minute clash into a week-long siege and meant that the conflict modern historians now call the Fifteen Years' War would drag on well into the 1760s.
A new thread by Chris OakleyWith the two most experienced field commanders in the North American theater gone, London and Paris were obliged to sharply rewrite their respective campaign strategies. The Fifteen Years' War left both a victorious Britain and a defeated France exhausted.
It also created a power vacuum in which advocates for the independence of Britain's colonies in North America could work with relatively little opposition from the powers that be back in London; by 1775 the thirteen colonies which today comprise the original states of the USA had declared their independence from Britain and the French-Canadian citizens of Quebec had thrown out the token British garrison which had attempted to occupy their homeland after the war ended.
In 1814, on this day Fort McHenry was under intense bombardment from British ships off the coast of Maryland. The Royal Navy was hoping to reduce Ft McHenry as part of an overall land-sea invasion operation against Baltimore, which the British considered to be a "nest of pirates".
The Bombardment of Fort McHenry Detained by the British was an attorney named Francis Scott Key. Key, who had been negotiating with the British for the release of a friend, hopelessly watched the bombardment, fully understanding the stakes of the contest.
What if Fort McHenry Would've Fallen?
The British had already captured Washington, the nation's capital, and had burned its federal buildings to the ground. A devastating and humiliating blow to the Americans. Now, the British were following up their burning of Washington with an attack on Baltimore. Had they succeeded, it would've essentially gutted the eastern coast of the United States.A new article by Brian TubbsWhile it may be overstating things to suggest that the United States would've fallen back under British imperial control, it is certain that the loss of Baltimore (so close to the burning of Washington) would have all but guaranteed British victory in the War of 1812.
Had that occurred, several very unfortunate scenarios may have ensued, including the British refusal to return captured territory (which they eventually did under terms of the Treaty of Ghent), the possible secession of the New England states from the Union, and more. Th future of the United States would've been bleak.
On the morning of September 14, Francis Scott Key peered through the smoke and haze - and saw, with delight, what the British saw, with great disappointment. The American flag still flew over Ft McHenry!
The Royal Navy soon abandoned its efforts to reduce Ft McHenry. What's more, British land forces lost their lead general, Robert Ross, to a sniper's bullet and their invasion was stalled against American forces led by Generals Samuel Smith and John Stricker.
The British eventually withdrew their forces and decided on a more southern strategy, an attempt to take New Orleans and gain control of the vital Mississippi River. There, that would meet devastating defeat at the hands of Andrew Jackson.
Key's sighting of the American flag, and the ultimate defeat of Britain's attack on Baltimore, inspired him to write "The Defence of Fort McHenry", a poem later put to the music "To Anacreon in Heaven", a popular men's drinking song. America's national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner", was born.
In 1914, in a secret meeting in Washington, D.C., Sir Roger Casement, an Irishman and former British diplomat, met with Franz von Papen, a German military attaché, to discuss the possibility of aid in an Irish rebellion against British rule.
Germany Agrees to Aid Irish Independence Casement had worked as a clerk and consul among British diplomacy in Africa, witnessing the Boer War and performing investigations on human rights in the Belgian Congo and Peru. The horrors he saw of imperialism changed him forever, causing him to work against the notion of empire. In 1911, he was knighted for his international work, and he subsequently resigned for "health reasons". Two years later, he helped found Irish National Volunteers, aimed at drumming up support for Irish independence.
A new story by Jeff ProvineCasement sought support for the Germans to free Irish prisoners of war and to form up an Irish Brigade to fight against the British. Papen, however, had been thinking. The initial push of the Germans toward France had ended, and a series of attempts at flanking were beginning. If neither army flanked the other, ultimately running to the sea, battle lines would be drawn up and the Western Front could be nothing more than a stalemate. If Germany were to win this war quickly and with minimal loss, they would have to fight in places other than France.
While sending troops to Ireland directly was questionable, Papen vowed to send armaments and officers to train a growing Irish Revolutionary army. In November, Berlin announced, "Should the fortunes of this great war, that was not of Germany?s seeking, ever bring in its course German troops to the shores of Ireland, they would land there, not as an army of invaders to pillage and destroy, but as the forces of a government that is inspired by good-will towards a country and a people for whom Germany desires only national prosperity and national freedom". Casement returned to Ireland and worked diligently toward the Irish plan of an uprising during Easter of 1916.
At Papen's suggestion, the German Chief of Staff von Falkenhayn elected to invest armaments and soldiers into campaigns to interrupt British and French empires. In February of 1915, India erupted in rebellion, though many of the early ringleaders were caught and executed. Singapore, Afghanistan, and numerous French colonies followed. On April 24, 1916, Dublin declared independence, and Irish soldiers armed with German rifles and trained by German officers, began the Irish Civil War. London was petrified, extremely short on men to cover all of the revolts and watching its empire crumble. In 1917, Russia collapsed and dropped from the war; many in Parliament suggested Britain do the same before they lost everything.
However, also in 1917, the Germans had pushed too far with diplomatic warfare. The Zimmerman Telegram to Mexico offering aid if it were to go to war with the United States, should the US enter the war, roused the neutral Americans into action. They offered up thousands of fresh troops, and 1918 would prove a miserable year of defeat for Germany on the battlefield. In November, an armistice was called. The subsequent Treaty of Versailles attempted to sort out the convoluted state of the world.
Germany was reduced and punished for its actions, stripped of colonies and made to pay enormous reparations. Austria and the Ottoman Empires were split up by their people groups into "Balkanized" countries. Despite being the winners on paper, both Britain and France found that they could not quell their uprisings. Many cried for the freed-up armies to move to the colonies, but as war-weariness and dogged economies dragged through the 1920s, the last of the European empires called quits. Britain and France formed commonwealths with their few loyal colonies and gave independence to the others. Civil wars erupted and continued for years throughout South America, Africa, and Asia as well as in Ireland, which was diplomatically separated between North and South in 1928.
The United States, seemingly the only "winner" of the World War, returned to neutrality and economic abundance as it gave resources for Europe to rebuild over the 1930s. Fascism, strong government tied to renewed Nationalism, grew in the wake of the shattering of empire. New bids for domination from Japan, Germany, and Russia would launch another World War in 1946 with the invasion of Scandinavia after Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Poland had already been dominated.
On this day in 1951, funeral services were held for Japan's Emperor Hirohito, who perished along with his entire family when a massive tsunami triggered by debris from the Bellus-Zyra collision swamped the entire eastern Japanese coastline.
In 1887, the British battleship HMS King George IV explodes and sinks in the harbor at Santiago de Cuba, killing all aboard.
In Britain and its American colonies, the incident ignites a fever for war with Spain.
Spanish protestations that it had nothing to do with what it calls with the 'naval accident' are not believed either in England or in America, and the tensions between London and Madrid are carefully nurtured by agents of French Emperor Napoleon III and Germany?s 'Iron Chancellor' Otto von Bismarck. The French and Germans, who have overcome traditional animosities to form an alliance, hope a war will weaken both England and Spain.
It will not work out that way. Britain will achieve a stunning victory over Spain, one even more decisive than that it had achieved in the conflict of the 1840s which followed the Veracruz Incident. The widely touted rearmament Spain had undertaken following its earlier defeat will turn out to have been largely a sham, riddled with corruption and incompetence, which had produced an impressive-looking but ineffectual military force. In the peace treaty, Spain will be forced to cede Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippine Islands and to pay an indemnity amounting to fifty million pounds sterling.
Spain's humiliation will play a role in the rise of ultranationalist political forces in that country which will come to fruition in the rise of the Falangists, who will come to power in the 1930s and make Madrid an ally, though not a formal member, of the so-called 'Axis.'
On this day in 1941, Red Army general Ivan Konev officially assumed the leadership of the Soviet government; in his first official act as new Soviet head of state Konev, who had let the coup which toppled Joseph Stalin's regime five days earlier, fired Vycheslav Molotov as foreign minister and brought Molotov's predecessor Maxim Livitnov.
| Ivan Konev|
On this day in 2007, Triple Crown champion Barbaro was retired to stud.
In 2001, the CIA confirms that the terrorist group known as Al Qaeda, headed by Saudi-born extremist Osama bin Laden and currently based in Afghanistan with the patronage of that country's Taliban government, is responsible for the downing of Flight 93. Al Qaeda has a lengthy history of attacks against Americans and pro-American Arab countries: it has been identified as responsible for the attempted destruction of the World Trade Center in 1993, an assassination attempt against Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak in 1995, the bombing of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 and the attack on the naval vessel USS Cole off the coast of Yemen in 2000. The organization's latest outrage, coupled with what intelligence sources have learned it actually had planned to do on Sept. 11 and its prior attacks against Americans, persuades the President that it must be destroyed once and for all.
President Gore directs Secretary of State Colin Powell to approach the Saudi government about cutting off bin Laden's access to his funds in Saudi banks. He also asks United Nations Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, a holdover from the Clinton Administration, to pursue a resolution imposing stronger economic sanctions against the Afghan government unless it withdraws all support from Al Qaeda. Finally, he orders that all bank accounts within the United States belonging to Osama bin Laden or members of his family be immediately frozen. All three actions meet with ridicule from Republican pundits and politicians, who consider them 'typical weak-kneed Democratic reactions to an attack on this country by its mortal enemies.
The orders regarding the bin Laden family's U.S. assets also threaten to provoke a diplomatic crisis with the Saudis, within whose government the bin Ladens are influential. However, Secretary of State Powell supports the President's move strongly. 'The Saudis claim to be our friends,' he observes. 'Now is the time for them to step up and act the part.' He points out that doing so is in Riyadh's self-interest, since Al Qaeda is known to be hostile to the Saudi government, which the terrorist fanatic considers to be corrupt.
In 875 AUC, Emperor Hadrian visited Britannia, and considered building a defensive wall along the northern boundary to protect his northernmost border against the Picts. A general among his staff argued against it, though, promising victory against the Picts within the decade if the emperor would grant him all the resources he required. This general, Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus, defeated the Picts in 881 AUC, only 1 year behind schedule, and consolidated the entire British island for the empire.
In 2007, with the head-line "Has Obasanjo outfoxed his foes?" the BBC World Service reported ~ Nothing defined Saturday's presidential election in Nigeria as much as the scene outside the Presidential Compound. A group of enraged lawyers and political activists attacked an armoured personnel carrier. As scores of security troops stood silently by, the demonstrators wreaked their impotent fury on the battened-down hatches. It was all to little effect, as the protesters well knew. Frustrated, they finally set fire to the only unprotected part they could find - the tyres - before moving on. At that point, the vehicle, its tyres aflame, drove away.
Gen Obasanjo's recent fortunes have gone much the same way. After he suspended Nigeria's top judge, the opposition against him gained a new impetus. The political storm that emerged proved to be his greatest challenge yet.
After annulling the 24th April election, Obasanjo appointed the Caretaker Government of President General Martin Luther Agwai with himself as 'Chairman of the Board of Trustees'.
In 2007, with the head-line 'Ojukwu Speaks Out' the BBC World Service reported ~ former Biafran Head of State Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu commented for the first time after being deported within hours of returning from exile. 'I have a national obligation to fulfil at all costs and that is democracy.' said Mr Ojukwu.
Mr Ojukwu has been deported within hours of returning from exile. After arriving at Murtala Mohammed airport he was charged with money laundering and put on a plane to Abidjan, Ivory Coast where he has lived in exile since the 1970 civil war in which General Obasanjo received the Biafran surrender..
the city of Salisbury, Rhodesia, was founded and named after the 3rd Marquess of Salisbury, then British prime minister. From Salisbury, the Premier of the British Crown Colony of Southern Rhodesia, Ian Douglas Smith declared Unilateral Independence (UDI) from the United Kingdom on November 11, 1965. Smith was staunchly opposed to Britain's insistence that the government of Rhodesia be transferred to the black majority control as an essential prerequisite for independence. Smith at one point, stated that there would be no plans to bring Rhodesia under black majority rule in his lifetime, and he later added, 'or children's
'. Smith himself bowed to the inevitable in 1980, but his supporters did not, launching Operation Quartz
which sustained a brutal white settler rule until this day.
In 1922, from the Anglo-French garrison at canakkale, volunteer troops of the Empire Legion marched along the narrowest point of the Dardanelles to seize Constantinople. Colonel T.E. Lawrence stood on the deck of the cruiser Galveston, watching the sun set behind the city, turning the water of the Horn golden again. A small group of legionairres stood on the dock, a British Empire flag flying from a car behind them. Lawrence saluted. 'Fire a twenty-one-gun salute for the British Empire, Captain, and for David Lloyd-George.'
In 1960, the ten week old Congolese government confrmed a finer point of the independence agreement. Patrice Lumbumbe said that Belgian Paratroopers controlled the countries' uranium supplies. It was a nasty little compromise, but then again, he needed some help to keep Mobutu Sese Seko and his crazy kleptocrats from power.
In 1860, General of the US Armies John Joseph 'Black Jack' Pershing was born on this day. Pershing was the Commanding Officer for the American Mandate in Constantinople in 1920 during which gallant officers Patton and Eisenhow both died in action.
Alternate History fans looked forward to the first crossover
movie. Fox Studios reached an agreement with author Harry Turtledove for Colonization
, where the Lizards from the World War and Colonization series invaded earth in 1942 just like in the book but did so in the 1942 of the 191 series. The movie asks the question - how would things have went differently if the aliens arrived to find a north america torn between the Union and the Confederacy?
In 1909, Naval Minister Winston Churchill described the compromise that had led to the purchase of eight Dragonfrigates, an early twentieth century ship This speedy war vessel was constructed with decks and sails built onto the back of a sea dragon. The discovery of an electronic security device on the bison's limb would have caused fevered speculation just a few short years ago.
in a fresh escalation in the War in Asia Minor, the Allies headed towards armed controntation with Mustafa Kemal, known as Ataturk's - the founder of the Republic of Turkey and its first President.
British Prime Minister Lord Curzon announced the reinforcement of the Anglo-French garrison at canakkale. The base at the narrowest point of the Dardanelles had been established after the defeat of Turkey in World War I, a conflict in which Ataturk had played a key role at Gallipoli. Turkey now sought to undo the post-war settlement, and the Allies refused to pursue a policy of appeasement.
Trouble was, public opinion in British and France was against the War. Following their stunning victory with White Forces in Northern Russian, volunteer troops of the Empire Legion were dispatched, comprising seasoned irregular soldiers of British, Canadian, ANZAC, SA, Rhodesian, Indian origin.
Even after so many years since Ataturk's death
, on November 10, at 09:05 a.m. almost all vehicles and people in Turkey's streets will pause for one minute in remembrance of the Second Great War.
In 1917, with Anglo-French Expeditionary Forces set to dissembark in Gallipoli, Pope Benedict XV announced his intention to consecrate the City of Constantinople.
Race to the Gates of Constantinople
by Ed, Scott Palter & Jeff ProvineThe near certainty of a multi-faith backlash was good cause for hesitatation by the would-be occupying powers. Their former ally, Tsarist Russia had defeated the Ottoman Empire in the war of 1877 and then occupied Turkish Territory including of course their ultimate prize, the capital city. Naturally, the Western Powers resisted this outcome, but under a grand bargain with British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, British overlordship of the Mediterranean had been guaranteed with Greece effectively becoming an Imperial Client State.
The Russians only had three decades to enjoy their new hegemony, and the rebuilding of the Hagia Sophia was still a work in progress by the time of the assassination in Sarajevo. Now, with the Tsar overthrown, Anglo-French naval forces were ordered into the Dardanelles to occupy the city and prevent the emergence of an independent Turkish nation. Looking further into the future, the Western Allies envisaged post-war protectorates that would enable them to dominate the Middle East in much the same demarcated manner as Colonial Africa. However, there was a religious dimension to the dispute which could be traced back to the sacking of the city by the Fourth Crusade. During the last days of Byzantium, Emperor Constantine XI Palaiologos had famously declared "Better the Sultan's turban than the Cardinal's hat!". Almost five centuries later, the British, French and Vatican appeared to be on the verge of a new power play over the glittering new future of the "Third Rome".
In 1213, on this day the Catharist, Aragonese and Catalan forces of Peter II of Aragon defeated the Crusading army of Simon IV de Montfort in a battle fought at Muret in south-western France.
Count Raymond VI of Toulouse, Hero of the Battle of MuretPeter had set the field, choosing to position his army so their right flank was protected by the Saudrune River, and the left protected by a marsh. He left the Toulousain militia to assault the walls of the city.
But although the forces were equally matched, the real hero of the day was Raymond VI, Count of Toulouse. His foolish brother-in-law (Peter) had fully intended to take the field in the plain armour of a common soldier. Worse still, he had also rejected his sound advice to adopt a defensive posture in order to weaken the advancing enemy with bowshot and javelins. Only when Raymond had actually threatened to withdraw the Toulousain militia had he been forced to see sense. Although these suggestions were rightly viewed as unknightly and dishonorable, they proved absolutely necessary during the prosecution of hostilities.
In 2009, on this day following a verbal confrontation, police fired shots into a crowd, leaving ten members of the Tea Party Movement dead and dozens more injured at the bloody climax to the 500,000 man Taxpayer March on Washington.
Taxpayer March on WashingtonTwo of injured participants died of their injuries three days later. One of those two was Matt Kibbe, one of the organizers of the rally. The other was his wife of 25 years, Terry Kibbe. Hundreds of activists were arrested, and allegations of civil rights violations while incarcerated ran rampant across the nation.
Support for the Tea Party, already a medium levels due to the unpopularity of TARP, the Obama bailout, and the universal healthcare law, skyrocketed after the catastrophe in the nation's capital, which was already being dubbed "The 2nd Boston Massacre". Tea Party rallies across the country averaged a minimum of five thousand attendees, with some numbers reaching in excess of 15,000 participants.
Though widespread opinion placed full blame for the massacre on the overreaction of the police, the Democratic party placed its full support behind the police, while the reaction of the GOP upper echelon was guarded. This furthered the divide between the RNC and grassroots Republicans, the latter who overwhelmingly supported the Tea Party movement in the days after the tragedy in D.C.
The smoldering brush fire that had begun in the Capitol were fanned into a blazing brushfire when the FBI and ATF (with the nominal and increasingly unwilling help of local law enforcement agencies around the country) began cracking down on nationwide Tea Party rallies, dispersing the crowds and arresting the organizers. Debate raged over the legality of the Feds' actions, while whispers grew louder that the FBI/ATF got their orders straight from POTUS himself. Tea Party members around the country petitioned Congress for redress of grievances, saying that the FBI and ATF were forcing Tea Party adherents to radicalize - but the Democratic-controlled Congress sided with the Administration, in effect allowing the crackdown to continue
Both the tragedy in Washington and the Federal crackdown on the Tea Party movement were widely condemned, most notably in a barnstorming speech delivered by an unknown young man (who went by the pseudonym of Jack) in Modesto, CA. During his speech, which was later to be referred to as "The Shot Heard 'Round The World, Part Two", he said to a gathered Tea Party crowd of 2,000 people in downtown Modesto that when peaceful measures proved to be a failure, self-defense was the only option left to a free people. He ended his speech by crying "Long live the Republic" and brandishing a loaded Springfield Armory M1911A1 single-action .45 ACP semi-automatic pistol. Nearly 15 minutes later, when a detachment of FBI officers arrived to break up the rally, the crowd turned on the heavily-outnumbered officers and overwhelmed them. Shots were fired, combatants on both sides were killed and injured, and the opening salvo in what would be called the Battle of Modesto had begun.
The next day, with sporadic gun battles still taking place around the city, a video of the young man known as Jack (whose real name was later revealed as Jared) went viral on YouTube.
In it, he claimed that all three branches of the U.S. government (along with the two major political parties) had in effect betrayed the American people, and called for a nationwide revolt and a 2nd American Revolution against "the institutionalized elitism, corruption, and totalitarianism of the current Federal government". He went on to say that several hundred Tea Party supporters were currently engaged in violent conflict with the FBI and ATF in Modesto, and that he personally would continue to fight "until this horrible business is decided". His passionate speech, calling on Americans to "stand up and be free once again", was quickly spread across the nation and even went viral on a global scale, prompting parallels between himself and Asmaa Mahfouz of Egypt.
His words proved to be the catalyst for an out-and-out insurrection in Central California. To the shock of a stunned political establishment, enraged farmers, city workers, and other citizens rose up in the thousands all across the Central Valley from Bakersfield to Sacramento and converged on Modesto. It is believed that close to 50,000 Central Valley Californians took up arms against the government in the course of one week. The ATF and FBI, which had almost defeated Jack and one hundred Tea Party rebels left alive in Modesto, found themselves outnumbered and out-gunned by an angry populace. The Modesto Police Department refused to fire on their fellow Californians, and more than a few joined the rebels outright. After a 24-hour gun battle that left downtown Modesto nearly in ruins, the surviving Federal officers surrendered, and Jack (by now the undisputed leader) hoisted a "Don't Tread On Me" flag over City Hall.
The Battle of Modesto sent shockwaves around the nation, driving Congress and the Obama Administration into a panicked frenzy. Tea Party leaders (as well as a few state congressmen and Senators) were now calling for armed revolution, and their supporters were responding. The Democratic Party condemned the uprising in harsh terms and promised to support the Federal law enforcement in continuing to crackdown on "these brazen criminals", as did the Obama Administration. The official RNC/GOP response (supported by Senator John McCain, Senator Lindsey Graham, former Senator Rick Santorum, and former Governor Mitt Romney), though recognizing the "legitimate grievances of a few American citizens", was ultimately similar to their Democratic counterparts in calling for the crushing of the rebellion. This led a schism within the GOP between those who supported the Party and those who supported the rebels. The Libertarian Party, while lamenting the use of violence, said in official statement that the "laws and principles of liberty lie with the insurrectionists", while the Constitution Party went even further, calling on its members to openly support the insurrection "by any and all means possible".
The reactions of the various Congressmen and political figures across the nation who had originally supported the Tea Party movement were various and assorted. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, an outspoken supporter of the original Tea Party movement, declared that she "could no longer serve a Congress which allows the Federal government to make open war on American citizens" and returned to Minnesota, but played no further role in the Tea Party uprising. Senator Jim DeMint was arrested in his home state of South Carolina for allegedly actively supporting the uprising. Though the charges were later dropped, the arrest of the popular junior Senator drove hundreds of willing volunteers into the ranks of local militant Tea Party militias. Nearly the exact scenario played out in Wisconsin when Congressman Paul Ryan was also arrested (and subsequently released) on similar charges. Former Ambassador and Presidential candidate Alan Keyes became the outspoken and electrifying Tea Party militia leader in Maryland, rallying thousands to the Tea Party standard in the backyard of Washington D.C. itself. Congressman Ron Paul, himself widely considered to be the intellectual father of the Tea Party movement, also quit the House and returned to Texas. Though in his mid-70s and (by his own admission) a "big fan of peace", he stated that he "could not in good conscience remain silent while American citizens fight and die for precious liberty". Paul was instrumental in convincing the Texas National Guard to ally itself with the Tea Party forces, which led to the ousting of all Federal law enforcement officials from the state of Texas. Paul's son Rand, a candidate for Senate in Kentucky, was a key player in Tea Party resistance to Federal law enforcement in Kentucky and neighboring Tennessee.
With a major revolution brewing across the land, President Obama was faced with only two options, each as difficult and potentially dangerous as the other - 1) Declare martial law and unleash the military against the rapidly-growing insurgency, or 2) Resign the Presidency and hand over the reigns to the equally-unpopular Vice-President Joe Biden. The Vice-President, his Cabinent, the DNC, and his close allies in Congress were urging him to declare martial law and crush the rebellion, yet the news on the military front was troubling. While the Commandant of the United States Marine Corps assured the President that he had the loyalty of the Marines, the Chief of Staff of the United States Army stated unequivocally that he could not guarantee the loyalty of the Army rank-and-file should they be ordered to fire on American citizens.
In 1966, on this day NBC aired the first showing of the American situation comedy "the Monkees" marking the beginning of the adventures of five young men trying to make a name for themselves as rock 'n roll singers.
Watch the Theme Tune
California Rock SoundThe original concept was a mockumentary, shadowing the development of an existing band known as "the Lovin' Spoonful". However due to a copyright dispute with the bands record label, Screen Gems productions its was instead decided to create a new band comprising photogenic actors, rather than musicians and because they fitted the bill so well, Mickey Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and the Englishman Davy Jones were all signed up. With the schedule threatening to overrun, and under pressure to find a fourth member for the band, the rather less photogenic Stephen Stills came under serious consideration because of his own connection to Screen Gems.
But at the audition, Stills refused to waive his publishing rights with Screen Gems and recommended substitution with his friend Peter Tork. Even though he raised the blocking issue of publishing rights, he was in fact uninterested because of the lack of artistic freedom that a mockumentary could offer. But having wrung a firm guarantee that the band could record hits in addition to filming the show, he changed his position and both Stills and Tork ended up joining the band.
The under pressure decision paid off and big time even though NBC had allowed their concept to be fundamentally modified in order to meet the deadlines for their recording schedule. Stills would take the band in an entirely new direction; although original band members would break with their own catchphrase by deciding that actually they didnt want to hang around preferring to refocus on TV acting, he did encourage Neil Young to join a new line-up and they would receive commercial acclaim for their recordings of "Marakesh Express" and "For What its Worth".
In 1846, Robert Browning was in love in a girl named Elizabeth Barrett. They were both poets and had been introduced to each other at an informal party, beginning a relationship from there.
Robert Browning's Heart is Broken Elizabeth's father did not believe in marriage for his children, and she had been kept at home as a semi-invalid already 40 years old. Despite being six years her junior, Robert saw so much more in her and swore his love. He courted her secretly for over a year, planning to elope with her and escape to Italy like his hero Percy Shelley. As he proposed, Elizabeth dreamily agreed, but the fear of her father finally made her turn Robert away with the poem "It Cannot Be" explaining them as star-crossed lovers that would never work.
A new story by Jeff ProvineBrowning, more brokenhearted than even his own poetic words could tell, fled London to Italy alone. The Italian landscape revived his thoughts of the Romantic Poets he had always adored, but now he felt nothing except betrayal. Letters to Elizabeth showed him filled with rage, unable to expend it in any useful manner besides writing and destroying things that were beautiful, which he now found ultimately meaningless. Most famously, his monologue "What I've Done" told of his burning of Shelley's works in a bonfire that destroyed his rented Italian cottage. Fleeing lenders in Italy, Browning came to Germany and continued to write in what he dubbed "Grunge", a portmanteau of the terms "grubby" and "dingy," since that was now all he could see in the world.
In 1848, weakened and distraught over her crushing of Robert's love, Elizabeth died. The news, sent to him by her sister Henrietta, caused another upheaval in Browning's writing. He turned away from utter destruction and took aim at the social leaders who seemed "so polished atop a hill of writhing pain" ("The Generals"). Many critics suspect that Robert wanted to reawaken interest in Elizabeth's older works on social responsibility, thus bringing her back to him as well as finding redemption for turning as hateful as he did.
Browning's poetry gathered a small following, and, after the Crimean War ended in 1856, many of the growing Nihilist movement became attached to his rallying hatred rejecting authority and violent demand for change. Browning accepted an invitation to Russia from a collection of Nihilists who wanted to translate and set his poetry to violent music involving drums and fiddles. He stayed in Russia for over a decade before traveling to the United States to tour the destruction of the South in their Civil War. In his wake, an American Grunge movement followed among the disenfranchised young whites.
In 1873, he met with Mark Twain, who had invented a term "The Gilded Age", which seemed to match Browning's contempt for the beautiful covering what was so obviously wrong. The meeting did not go well. After a loud roar, Browning stormed from the restaurant where he had met Twain, and the American writer explained that he simply could not endorse the unbridled rage. "Things just aren't that bad," Twain told a reporter from the New York Times. Browning disagreed and continued to publish rancid poetry that incited riots during Reconstruction.
Browning would die in 1875 from an overdose of opium and morphine, and his movement would gradually return to the fringe of society. Anarchists of the next generation would continue to quote his poetry and emulate him by wearing trademark dingy plaid overcoats. With the invention of phonographs, recordings of Grunge music would inspire later generations of poets such as T.S. Eliot of "Wasteland" fame and Screamy Jazz lyricist and "singer" Ezra Pound.
In 1759, on this day Major-General James Wolfe issued his final orders to the nine thousand troops of the British Army garrisoned on the St Lawrence River some eleven miles from the fortified city of Quebec, urging them to remember "what their country expects from them, and what a determined body of soldiers, inured to war, is capable of doing against five weak French battalions mingled with disorderly peasantry".
Watch the Youtube Clip of Canada: A People's History - Plains of Abraham
Suicide MissionIn fact the British were outnumbered by General Louis-Joseph Marquis de Montcalm's twelve thousand defenders who were entrenched behind sound defences in the city. Wolfe's plan was nothing less than a suicide mission, a nine-mile descent of the St Lawrence under cover of darkness, followed by an amphibious assault on the cliff-backed Foulon Cove.
"Are at all times to imitate them in that respect"Wolfe's no-nonsense "volley and bayonet" tactics had been adapted from military minds such as Gustavus Adolphus and Charles XII. And the stunning success of the thirty-two year Major-General would prefigure his rise to the highest ranks of the British Army; as Commander-in-Chief during the American Revolution Wolfe would decisively defeat an even more formidable foe by the name of George Washington.
In 2488, by the Qin Calendar, the Ch'in dynasty united China, beginning twenty-two centuries of uninterrupted global hegemony.China Everlasting Part 1 - First Sovereign Emperor
The first Sovereign Emperor, Ch'in Shih-Huang (pictured) was born in north-west China and became ruler of Ch'in at the age of only thirteen.
Despite the tyranny of his autocratic rule, he is still regarded by many today as a pivotal figure in Chinese history. Moving rapidly to consolidate power, he forced all important families to live in his capital Hsien-yang, executing anyone who disagreed with him.
All books except those on farming, medicine and prophecy were burnt to prevent the dissemination of dangerous ideas.
A vast palace was built by a slave army of 700,000 and preparations for the the Great Wall began, absolutely necessary to keep the barbarians out of China.
Towards the end of his natural life, the Emperor built a giant grave guarded by 6,000 terracota warriors. But it was not required and remains empty to this day.
Obsessed with the Taosist idea of immortality, hundreds of magicians were sent on a quest for the Isles of the Blessed where the inhabitants lived forever. 460 were executed, finally a Zhifu islander Xu Fu with ships carrying hundreds of young men and women found Mount Penglai, where the Eight Immortals lived. On their return, they synthetised the elixir of live, enabling Ch'in Shih-Huang to rule in perpetuity.
On a subsequent mission, Xu Fu and the crew settled the modern islands of Nippon extending the Chinese empire into the Pacific islands.
Nevertheless, many attempts have been made to murder the Emperor. After assassinations had been attempted too often for comfort, the Emperor grew paranoid of remaining in one place too long and hired servants to bear him to different buildings in his palace complex to sleep in each night. He also hired several 'doubles' to make it less clear which figure was the emperor.
It is rumoured that one of the books of prophecy that survive predicts the assassination of Ch'in Shih-Huang and his final resting place with the terracota warriors, but this legend is largely dismissed as a fantasy. Yet Xu Fu remains in Nippon, and perhaps one day he will return to Hsien-yang for the undoing.
In 1951, on this day Joseph Stalin was executed by firing squad at Moscow's Lubiyanka Prison.
On this day in 1970, Apollo 9 blasted off from Cape Canaveral in the Apollo program's first-ever night time launch.
In 1960, on this day the New York City board of education teamed up with football's New York Giants to start a scholarship fund for student-athletes whose parents had been killed or injured in the Jamaica Bay hurricane.
|New York Giants|
In 2005, comedian Larry David reveals to Entertainment Weekly he will have no part in the writing of the upcoming Seinfeld Movie - despite it being based on the popular sitcom he co-created. David cites his work on his HBO sitcom Curb Your Enthusiasm as the chief reason for his lack of involvement, but also points out he similarly had no involvement in the last two seasons of Seinfeld: "And then I came back to co-write the last episode, and needless to say the reaction to that left me cold, so I think I've said all I can on those characters. But I'm sure Jerry's cooking something special, I talk to him every day - his enthusiasm is kinda infectious".
|Jerry Seinfeld |
David also says he would be interested in perhaps a cameo as New York Yankees boss George Steinbrenner, a role he played off-screen in the sitcom.
On this day in 1944, American troops entered the Dutch city of Rotterdam and liberated the Luxembourg capital, Luxembourg City.
On this day in 1941, in response to the Japanese capture of Anadyr' five days earlier, President of the United States Franklin Roosevelt placed all US territorial defense outposts in Alaska and Hawaii on precautionary alert and ordered a top-to-bottom review of defense readiness for US Army and Navy installations on the west coast of the American mainland.
|Franklin D. Roosevelt|
On this day in 1973, Johnny Smith got a psychic premonition that the Lawnmower Man was hiding somewhere in the vicinity of Las Vegas, Nevada.
His hunch would once again prove to be right; two days later, FBI agents and Nevada state troopers finally caught the infamous serial killer in the mining town of Desperation. The Lawnmower Man's arrest would be detailed at length in a chapter of The Lawnmower Man titled (appropriately enough) 'Desperation'.
In 1960, facing a barrage of anti-Catholic sentiment in a number of states, Democratic presidential nominee John F. Kennedy addresses the Greater Houston Ministerial Association in Houston, Texas, and delivers a stirring defense of the right of any American to seek the presidency regardless of his religion.
Republican nominee Richard Nixon responds the following day: 'Senator Kennedy is indeed eloquent in defending the freedom of any American to seek the White House regardless of religious affiliation.'
After a moment's pause, he continues: 'By the same token, the voters have the right, indeed the obligation, to look at the totality of each candidate's personal background and record and decide for themselves which one has the values, beliefs and experience to best represent them in America's highest elective office in these perilous times.' He concludes, 'The American people must decide whether they wish to continue under the proven leadership of the Republican Party or venture in a new and uncertain direction.'.
Both candidates' speeches will be endlessly discussed and analyzed in the weeks following. It will be noticed that Nixon has artfully combined a call for 'staying the course' under the revered Eisenhower's anointed successor with a veiled appeal to the very sort of anti-Catholic prejudice JFK had spoken against.
In 2007, a Canadian walking in a small Northwest Territories community stumbled across what paleontologists believe could be the carcass of a steppe bison that roamed before the last Ice Age. The remains of the beast were uncovered in the permafrost near an eroding cliff, said Shane Van Loon, who first came across the pre-historic find last week while walking along the riverbank in Tsiigehtchic, about 230 kilometres south of Tuktoyaktuk. Scientists said the find could provide information about how the animals lived and why they became extinct. 'It can tell us so much more about how those bison lived and why they lived and what they were doing on the ancient landscape,' Zazula said. 'We are working on the over-farming theory, although another hypothesis is traumatic change brought about when the Race quit Earth unexpectedly 20,000 years ago.
"The weaver bird built in our house and laid its eggs on our only tree. We did not want to send it away, until today. We look for a new home, now. For new altars we strive to re-build the old shrines defiled from the weaver's excrement".
In 1977 the Ghanian poet Kofi Awooner writing in the Accra Daily Mail following the murder in police custody of thirty-year old anti-apartheid activist Steve Banto Biko.
Alternate Historians note, the weaver bird is an African cuckoo which occupies other birds' already built nests. The image is used in Awooner's classic poem The Weaver Bird.
In 1959, the Soviet Union launched a large rocket, Lunik II, at the moon. Being the first spacecraft to reach the surface of the Moon, it impacted the lunar surface west of Mare Serenitatis near the Aristides, Archimedes, and Autolycus craters. Scientifically, Luna 2 is most famous for making the discovery of the solar wind, via its hemispherical ion traps designed by Konstantin Gringauz. Having studied these stream of charged particles for thirty years, Russian Scientists developed the first space craft driven by this thermal energy, enabling the USSR to colonize the solar system by the end of the twenty-first century.
In 1977, on this day in Pretoria, South Africa brother Steve Biko was murdered in police custody. Former British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan wrote in the Times "The winds of change sweeping the continent of Africa are whipped into a hurricane".
On 18 August, Biko was arrested at a police roadblock under the Terrorism Act No 83 of 1967. He suffered a major head injury while in police custody, and was chained to a window grille for a full day. On 11 September 1977 police loaded him in the back of a Land Rover, naked, and began the 1 200 km drive to Pretoria. He died shortly after arrival at the Pretoria prison, on 12 September. The police claimed his death was the result of an extended hunger strike. He was found to have massive injuries to the head, which many saw as strong evidence that he had been brutally clubbed by his captors. Then journalist and now political leader, Helen Zille, exposed the truth behind Biko's death.
In 1914, the Imperial German army is holding in the east against the Russians and the west is surrounding Paris.
In 1918, the regular forces of British Commanding Officer General Edmund Allenby defeated the remaining Turkish Army in Palestine. A final and conclusive strike at the Battle of Megiddo in September 1918 left the road to Damascus open. By the time Allenby arrived Colonel T.E. Lawrence and the Arabs were already installed. With Lawrence translating Allenby attempted to deliver the message to Prince Feisal that his newly-appointed Arab government would not be recognized and the city was to be handed over to the French. Feisal reacted angrily to Western duplicity and shot Lawrence dead. The irregular troops that had pursued the Arab Revolt against the Turks now set their sights on the British and French, and their fury was very great indeed.
In 1934, wannabe Germany Chanceller Adolf Schicklegruber delivered his famous Kinder, Kuche, Kirche speech to the National Socialist Women's Organization. US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt welcomed it wholeheartedly, the German variant of the New Deal made a lot of sense.
German commando Otto Skorzeny
pulled off a most daring mission. After fighting on the Eastern Front, Skorzeny was known as the commando leader who attempted to rescued Benito Mussolini from imprisonment after his overthrow. He also was the initiator of Operation Greif, for which he was judged after the war: this special operation involved false flag tactics, that is wearing the uniform of the enemy to confuse him and advance into his lines. He also helped train the Werwolves, a Nazi stay-behind organisation which tried to engage in guerilla warfare against the Allies. On September 12th 1943, Benito Mussolini, dictator of Italy, was rescued from house arrest on the Gran Sasso in Abruzzi. Blood thirst craze had driven the Duce insane unfortunately, and an unsuspecting Skorzeny was brutally attacked by the lycanthrope
Duce leaving a huge gash on his right cheek.
In 1940, Italy invaded Egypt. A group of officers, headed by Gamal Abdul Nassar, and Anwar el-Sadat, secretly side with the Italians, ridding Egypt of Britain's accursed presence.
In 2012, a heavily armed terrorist group released Osama Bin Laden from the CIA compound a short distance away from the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
September SurpriseCIA Agents had been given the green light to respond when a crowd surrounded the offices occupied by Ambassador Christopher Stevens and his team. A Special Operations Task Force that had been moved into southern Italy for just this contingency was scrambled and boarded aircraft from Naval Air Station Sigonella.
Within a few hours, an AC-130 Spectre gunship was launched and began orbiting above the city. As the operators from the CIA approached the scene of the attack they begin coordinating fire with the Air Force, painting targets with an infrared laser. The crew of the gunship zeros in on the fighters below and immediately began pouring death from their 105mm howitzer and 40mm cannon.
But it was no good, and the result was a blood bath in which the target was returned to his Taliban Handlers. In the coming days, President Obama received the resignations of many senior members of his foreign policy and para-military teams. And the question as to why the White House had falsely state that Bin Laden had been executed in Pakistan.
In 916, on this day the incomparable Magyar commander Bulcsú ("man of blood") was born in Regensburg, Bavaria; his father Constantine Porphyrogenitus, Kal, also bore the title harka (military leader).
Man of BloodFighting alongside the chieftains Lél (Lehel) and Sér he led the Magyars to a dramatic victory in 955 at the flood plain that lies along the Lech River. The first national German battle against a foreign enemy ended in abject defeat, and King Otto's dreams of a Holy Roman Emperor were utterly destroyed on the battlefield. And yet all was not lost for Otto's countrymen, because although the Magyars subsequently overran Germany, the territory proved far too big for the Magyars to subdue. After a series of skirmishes, they ran out of of manpower and were decisively beaten.
Fleeing to the Black Sea, they left undefended the Pannonian Basin which was subsequently occupied by the Germans and eventually became the present day state of Lower Bavaria.
In 2012, on this day the publication of Bob Woodward's latest book "The Grand Bargain" described how the president and the House speaker defied Washington odds to establish a spending framework that resolved the Federal Debt Crisis.
Obama and Boehner strike the Grand BargainInstead of causing the outbreak of a partisan fight, the argument over deficit spending entered the ranks of the Republicans. Incredibly, the Boehner-Obama talks had started without the knowledge of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and Boehner later acknowledged to the president that Cantor was working against the very deal they were trying to reach. Nevertheless the deal was shephered through in the teeth of intense opposition from the Tea Partiers.
However, they subsequently formed their own caucus, and explored three future possibilties. Either to seek to evict the establishment in the Presidential primaries or failing that form their own party. However the most significant development was the third option, in which the various state Republican parties might run different people for President.
In 2001, on this day United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in Washington D.C. destroying the White House (pictured) and killing Vice President Dick Cheney.
Patriot ActThe passengers had immediately grasped the full magnitude of the September 11th attacks from mobile phone calls placed to their friends and relatives. Appalled by the widespread and wholly predictable failure of Federal Agencies these brave Americans had acted independently, mobilizing into an unarmed civilian militia that stormed the cockpit of the Boeing 757-222. They did manage to quickly disarm the al-qaeda terrorists, but then decided to proceed with the mission in order to save the Republic from the tyranny of consolidated Government.
That improbable turn of events was the result of a human error. Patched through to the situation room, Dick Cheney had spoken into a "hot mike" that he was told had been disconnected to the Flight. The passengers clearly heard the Vice President describe the attack as a CIA Blowback Operation. The last words from the passengers were heard by operator Lisa Jefferson at 09:55 and attributed to thirty-two year old Todd Beamer ~ "Are you guys ready? Okay. Let's roll!". It was the unmistakable voice of the American battle cry, Let Freedom Ring!
This post is an article of our alternate American Heroes thread.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.