In 2012, humanity's first contact with a superior alien species was concluded by the decommissioning of the majority-Mlosh city of Qu'Mar.
First ContactThe extra-terresterials had arrived seeking nothing other than spare parts, planning to stay no longer than necessary to complete the repair work to their asteroid-damaged spaceship before continuing on their way. But of course human technology was incapable of scaring up the resources let alone the tools for the equipment, and the Mlosh were forced to establish a temporary base.
Although the serene aliens were in no great hurry to depart, world leaders wanted to rush through the operation at high speed. Because a number of humans hoped that the Mlosh WOULD intervene on their behalf in order to reset the imbalance in earthly affairs. The result was very much like the unwanted arrival of family members, an exasperating amount of money was spent on accomodation, but the sense of resentment was overwhelmed by palpable relief at their departure.
In 1878, the legislature of North Carolina, one of the sovereign states of the Confederate States of America, passed by an overwhelming margin a measure to rename the state "Upper Carolina" to remove the hated word "North" from its name. Governor Zebulon Baird Vance, a veteran of the war of secession, swiftly signed the measure into law.
Upper CarolinaSuch petty gestures were common in the Confederacy in the several decades after its separation from the United States of America, and were reciprocated in the U.S., where, for example, Congress approved in 1891 a petition to unite the states of North and South Dakota, which had been admitted separately into the Union on Nov. 2, 1889, into a single state of Dakota. North of the border there had even been talk of replacing George Washington's picture on the dollar bill with that of John Adams, though the bill to do so died in the House of Representatives.
In 1776, an eloquently worded demand for republican rule was routinely dismissed by His Britannic Majesty's Government.
Mr Jefferson's Letter reaches LondonAnd yet trouble was not so easy to avert. Because the revolutionary document known as Mr Jefferson's Letter was dispersed as a printed broadside, a viral format that suited widespread distribution and public reading throughout the British Empire. And worse still the rich colonial landowners behind it threatened more trouble than Scots-Irish Nationalists. Perhaps even the beginning of the most serious uprising against the Crown since the time of Oliver Cromwell.
In a clumsy, ham-fisted reaction, King George the Third (pictured) declared that the American colonies were in open rebellion. But his subsequent appeal for assistance from friendly states was a prescient masterstroke. Because shortly thereafter, a French language variant appeared on the Streets of Bourbon Paris.
In 1955, on the second night of Independent Television (ITV), twenty-nine year old Lizzie Windsor became the first female reader on prime-time television news.
Dropping the AnchorImmaculately groomed, radiant, impeccably mild mannered and devoid of the merest hint of a regional accent, she defined a posh generational model for presenters and correspondents of British terrestrial news channels.
But as modern Britain began to celebrate diversity, the "English Rose" model was increasingly recognised as an anachronism, and by the time the platinum blonde Maggie Thatcher retired from News at Ten change was inevitable. Her replacement Robert Mugabe, was a graduate of University College London who had first begun broadcasting in Southern Rhodesia. And in a further development step, the happy-go-lucky former Blue Peter presenter Diana Spencer moved newsreading to breakfast television.
By the time Mugabe was honoured for his services to journalism, the wheels had begun to fall off Windsor's own aspirational life style. Two of her sons separated, her daughter divorced, and a severe fire had destroyed part of her palatial residence in Essex. She famously described 1992 as her annus horribilis, meaning horrible year although she later recovered some private joy as the owner of Norwich Football Club.
In 2010, the Jewish Grand Vizier of Persia, Moshe Katsav1 shocked the General Assembly of the United Nations by revealing incontrovertible evidence that "Secret Muslim" President Barack Hussein Obama was leading the cult of Islam's sinister takeover of Christian America.
Watch the Speech
Can Wonder Woman Save Us?It was Obama who had approved the construction of a Mega Mosque located just two blocks from the World Trade Centre from where shadowey Muslim Clerics were now planning suicide attacks on American infrastructure.
The cynical deception of concealing armaments on a religious site had first been introduced by La Resistance who had hid weapons in Catholic Churches throughout France during World War Two. The civilian possession of weapons had enabled American revolutionaries to start an insurgency, forming militia which defeated Imperialism in the form of their British Overlords. Thankfully, this right to bear arms had been guaranteed by an amendment to the constitution.
Because only nine years before, a wicked attempt to hijack commercial aircraft and crash them into the World Trade Centre had been prevented by the American passengers who had the presence of mind to check their automatic weapons onto the flight.
In 2010, John Reilly wrote ~ Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1937) has a biography one might expect of a failed Hitler.
The Life and Times of President H.P. LovecraftLovecraft has suffered from more than his share of posthumous Freudian analysis, but it is true that his family history (father dying while Lovecraft was young, over- protective mother) is similar to Hitler's. Both their childhoods' were prologues to some some similar life-long characteristics. Lovecraft, like Hitler, was a marginal artist. He was a better writer than Hitler was a painter, though that is not saying much. Both were very briefly married, Hitler for just a few hours, Lovecraft for a few months. Both were interested in the occult to some degree. Certainly both Nazism and Lovecraft's fiction owe a great deal to Theosophy. (Lovecraft claimed to be a sceptic. Hitler was affected by ideas of this type, though he was not a believer to the extent that Himmler and Hess were.) Both were racist Social Darwinists of the sort who viewed history as primarily determined by racial factors. Both were hypochondriacs who repeatedly forecast their early deaths. Lovecraft, whose neurasthenia kept him out of the First World War, turned out to be right. In person, both were rather shy and formal, not hard to like. Hitler loved dogs, Lovecraft loved cats.
A new story by John ReillyImagine an alternative history in which Lovecraft's ideas did not remain the stuff of pulp fiction. Suppose his father had lived, or he had been orphaned, or his family finances changed so that he had to go to work early in life. He becomes, let us say, a journalist in Boston or New York. He might then have fought in the First World War and returned with a distinguished record. He becomes a nationally syndicated columnist, famous for his warnings against the threat of immigrants, Communists, and unbridled finance capitalism, particularly as associated with the Jews. Like many practical people, life experience could have changed his reading about the occult from entertainment to belief. (It happens. Look at W.B. Yeats. For that matter, look at Hitler.) In the social catastrophe of the Great Depression, he would have had a unique opportunity to implement his ideas for revolutionary reform.
Lovecraft in politics would not have been a "conservative" in any serious sense of the word, though he would certainly have had little use for socialism or democracy. Sinclair Lewis, in his 1935 novel "It Can't Happen Here," tried to give some notion of what an American fascism might be like. It would be more puritanical than its European counterparts, he suggested. It would be less a case of a party imposing a political orthodoxy on the whole country than of radical right groups, such as the Klan, being empowered by the government to act at the local level. When Lewis thought of fascism, however, he seems to have been thinking of Italy. There was no particular place in his fascist America, as there was in Germany and would certainly have been in Lovecraft's America, for a national eugenics program. For that matter, Lewis did not understand, at least in 1935, how central anti-Semitism was to Nazism. If, as some writers have suggested, Hitler's Jewish policy was a necessary feature of his model of history (See Paul Wistrich's Hitler's Apocalypse), then one would expect similar notions to occur to Lovecraft, whose intellectual frame of reference was not so different from those of the leading Nazis.
America did not lack for proto-fascists in the 1930s, but they were regional personalities with little hope of forming an important national movement. Huey Long of Louisiana was very smart, of course, but he was, well, too "colorful" to be much appreciated outside his home state. Father Coughlin, the Radio Priest, would not himself have been a serious candidate for political office. His movement was too closely linked with Rome, at least in the public mind, to be anything but a faction in a larger right-wing coalition.
Lovecraft, or someone like him, might have been able to form such a coalition. A Northerner, nominally Protestant, he could have preached economic populism for the South and Midwest and anti-Communism for the Catholic Northeast. His background was such that he would have been more likely to have entered politics as a Republican than as a Democrat. In his native New England, the Democrats were the party of the hated immigrants. Of course, he might have taken the posture of a man above politics before the Depression. Like Perot in 1992 or Powell today, he could have had his pick of the nomination of either party. In terms of party platform, there was not much to choose between Roosevelt and Hoover in 1932. Roosevelt's chief qualification was that he was not Hoover. Lovecraft, who was in real life of a somewhat philosophical cast of mind, would have been not just a new face, but a man with a plan.
Any government elected in 1932 would have had to do much the same sort of thing on taking office that Roosevelt did. It was necessary to immediately reconstruct the banking system, to distribute disaster relief to the unemployed, and to try to cajole the country's businessmen into maintaining employment and making some investments. The Roosevelt Administration did this minimum, supplemented a little later with "make-work" projects, from new roads to the vaguely Stalinist murals you can still find in some older Post Offices. Some of these initiatives helped. Some, such as the government's price-fixing schemes, were catastrophes. In any event, though the economy improved in the 1930s, punctuated by various declines, the Depression was not finally ended until the United States began to mobilize for the Second World War. In this the US was in sharpest contrast to Nazi Germany. Hitler came to office about the same time Roosevelt did, and the economy was humming again within two years. The reason for this was simple enough: Hitler took office with the intention of fighting several major wars in about five to ten years, so rearmament began immediately. President Lovecraft, one suspects, would have done likewise.
Lovecraft's America would not have lacked for plausible enemies. There were, after all, the ubiquitous Communists, who would probably have favored Lovecraft's candidacy, as the German Communists favored Hitler's. (The idea was that Hitler's regime would soon collapse, thus leading to a red revolution.) Naturally, all the domestic ones would have to be arrested, and a military buildup begun in preparation for a final showdown with the USSR. The more immediate enemy, however, would have been the Yellow Peril, as manifest in Imperial Japan. It has always been difficult to explain to Americans why it was necessary to worry about threats from Europe. Arming against a possible war with Japan, in contrast, has always been an easy idea to sell. Actually, in the context of early Depression America, any kind of remilitarization program would have been easy to sell, since it would have been the one thing the government could have done to decrease unemployment quickly. (Young men not needed for the factories, of course, could have been drafted.)
Indeed, such a policy would have been self-sustaining, since possible enemies would have multiplied. The Roosevelt government was economically nationalist in terms of tariff policy, but it was content to let the international market economy continue to exist. It did not, at least to my knowledge, impose foreign exchange restrictions, or make it nearly impossible for foreigners to own property in America. Fascist governments, however, generally did do things like this. Such measures would have been serious blows to England and the Netherlands, whose people have always invested heavily in America. England would soon have perceived more than a financial threat, since an invasion of Canada would certainly have suggested itself to Lovecraft's government, both for strategic reasons and as an exercise. An Anglo-American naval war might have been the prelude to the western half of the Second World War.
That there would be a Second World War is hard to doubt, but the alliances would have been different. Britain, bereft of its overseas assets and a large part of its fleet (assuming the US won), could have had a revolution in the 1930s. If it was to the right, then the country would have been neutral in the event of a Nazi invasion of France. Fascist Britain might also have maintained its alliance with Japan through the 1930s, which would have meant the US could still have faced a two-ocean war when the fight with Japan started. Indeed, the US might have been faced with a Anglo-German alliance in the west. This would have made attacks on the continental United States plausible, particularly from the air. On the other hand, if Britain's revolution was to the left, then the British Empire would have disintegrated catastrophically. Red Britain might then have supported France in 1940, or whenever the German invasion came, but would probably have lacked the naval and air strength to resist invasion itself. Without Britain as a conduit, it is unlikely America would have become involved in Europe in the 1940s.
In the Pacific, hostilities might have begun as they did in the real world, but would have ended differently. For instance, since the United State would not have been cooperating with Great Britain on secret projects, and since America would not have been an attractive haven for refugee scientists, the atomic bomb would not have been invented. Despite what the revisionists say, an appalling invasion of Japan would almost certainly have been necessary. Lovecraft's government might then have been less interested in reforming the country than in depopulating it. Australia, one suspects, would have been annexed as Canada was annexed. The US might even have joined in the German war against the Soviet Union. (If the Nazis came to power in Germany, such an invasion would been inevitable). US aid would probably have taken the form of strategic bombing. It would also have been possible that the US would have gotten involved in a land war in China to finally defeat the Communists there.
Let us assume that Lovecraft dies about the time Roosevelt did, eight years later than Lovecraft did in fact. The world would then have been divided into two great spheres of influence, much as it was after the Second World War. However, they would have been far more evenly matched, since Europe would not have been laid in ruins by the Anglo- American and Russian invasions that occurred in the real world. The two empires would have had some ideological affinities, since both would have ruled by mystically-minded Aryan chauvinists. Some of their leaders would at least consider a union between the two empires. In contrast, popular opinion would have it, as did Hitler himself, that the great war between the eastern and western hemispheres would occur in the next generation. What a time for President Lovecraft to die! The only consolation would have been that the nation was be led by his brilliant young Vice President, L. Ron Hubbard.
But that's another story.
In 1641, after having spent three years trading with Spanish colonies, the Merchant Royal and her sister ship, the Dover Merchant, returned to Europe laden with cargo. The long voyage had made her weathered and leaky, but she safely made port in Cadiz in Spain. England and Spain were at peace, and the English were welcome to trade their goods.
Merchant Royal Puts in for RepairsBy happenstance, a Spanish ship in Cadiz intended for payroll caught fire. Captain Limbrey of the Merchant Royal volunteered to carry the pay, which was in various ingots of gold and silver as well as coinage. It was some fifty tons of gold, but Limbrey felt certain that he would be able to deliver the pay to Antwerp in the Spanish Netherlands (Flanders) on his return to England.
A new story by Jeff ProvineAfter setting out, rough weather began to show. Limbrey initially planned to risk a storm, but the concerns of his men finally convinced him to put ashore in France. Hasty repairs were made, just enough to sail again, and the Merchant Royal set off for Flanders. The pay was delivered, and Limbrey and his crew were sent off again with a handsome reward.
Officials in Flanders quickly used the money to pay their soldiers, who were eager to spend the cash, flooding the market and causing skyrocketing prices. To the north were the Dutch, who had been at war with Spain for decades in what would become known as the Eighty Years' War or Dutch War of Independence. They understood this market bubble from their own experiences with land speculation, housing, cargo futures, and, most infamously, tulips. Trade, both legal and illegal, soared between the two countries. When the soldiers' money ran out, debts were called and property bought cheaply, winning a vast stake in the Flanders economy for the Dutch.
Spain, meanwhile, became increasingly disinterested in the Spanish Netherlands. France had declared war in 1635, Portugal had declared its independence in December of 1640, Catalonia was rebellious, and the massive army sent in 1639 to finish off the Dutch had been utterly destroyed, leaving the Netherlands as having the most powerful navy in the world. Peace negotiations began, but were slow to move forward. With the great stake in Flanders economically as well as colonial successes in the East Indies and Brazil, the Dutch gained a significant upper hand.
Finally, in 1648, the Peace of Munster was signed. The Spanish evacuated the Netherlands and freed the territory to be picked up by the Dutch United Provinces or returned to German princes. France made a bid for their share, but the Dutch assured them diplomatically that war would be fought. Fearing a bitter multi-front war, France conceded and returned to fight Spain in the Pyrenees. Secure and growing, the Dutch turned their interests back to colonialism (fighting, specifically, the Portuguese) and strengthened their banking system.
Over the course of European history, the Dutch state would continue to play a significant role. After defeating the English navy in the First Anglo-Dutch War, they would continue to battle the English until the conquest by William of Orange in the Glorious Revolution. Dutch colonies would continue in North America as well as the Caribbean and every discovered continent. While they did not have the population alone to man their colonies, they developed an intricate system of citizenship for foreigners and inclusion of cooperative natives. Much of the eighteenth century was spent solidifying its position in Europe and keeping the French at bay to maintain their independence.
With the success of the American Revolution (much aided by the colony of New Amsterdam, where George Washington had secretly stored goods and hidden spies), Europe began a fever of revolution that also affected the Netherlands. Massive devastation had come from the Fifth Anglo-Dutch War in the 1780s, but the navies from the colonies had kept the defeat from becoming a rout. The spirit of republicanism spread, and the Dutch joined the French in securing the rights of man. Wars against the monarchs of Europe would bring forth the great general Napoleon, with whom the Dutch allied to preserve their republic. The gamble would prove faulty, though, as Europe's coalitions eventually destroyed Napoleon and forced the Netherlands into a monarchy of its own. Belgium, much of what had been Flanders, would break away, and the Dutch glory had come to an end.
By this time, however, so much Dutch influence over the world had been set that the old adage went, "There are two languages in the world: money and Dutch, and the latter only talks of the former". A commonwealth would build up over the course of the nineteenth century, sending great aid to Europe in the German invasion during Second World War with Operation Torch led by Dutch battalions liberating the homeland in 1942.
On this day in 1974, the Cowboys dropped to 1-1 for the '74 NFL season with a 27-24 overtime loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. During the third quarter, Roger Staubach had to be taken out of the game due to vertigo and a sore shoulder; in overtime backup QB Craig Morton threw an interception that set up the Eagles' game-winning field goal.
In 2008, on this day the Godfather: The Coppola Restoration boxset is released on DVD and BluRay.
As well as featuring all special features from the 2001 DVD set, it also features additional making of documentries and Easter Eggs. (including Andy Garcia and Robert DeNiro's joint 2000 appearance on Saturday Night Live to promote Part IV). As for the film themselves, all four Godfather films receive new transfers to their original film prints - and a documentary goes into extensive detail as to this process.
In 1976, the first presidential debate between the Republican and Democratic nominees takes place. Democratic challenger James Earl 'Jimmy' Carter talks of 'the bureaucratic mess' in Washington, and the 'lack of leadership,' and President Nelson Rockefeller's 'insensitivity' toward the unemployed and racial minorities. 'How can a man born with a solid-gold spoon in his mouth truly represent all of the people of this nation?' he asks. Carter calls the tax structure 'a disgrace' and said it was 'a welfare program for the rich . . . The whole philosophy of the Republican Party, including my opponent, has been to pile on taxes for low-income people to take them off on the wealthy.'
Rockefeller replies that Carter 'plays the game of class warfare very well. However, he has failed to explain how he would improve the lot of America's less fortunate.' Rockefeller talks about getting jobs by 'expanding the private sector, reducing federal taxes, and holding the lid on federal spending.' He also said he intended to sign a tax reform bill passed by Congress but preferred 'an additional tax cut and a further limitation on federal spending.'
On the issue of crime, the President calls attention to his National Safe Streets Initiative, now underway, and says that if Congress will pass the full package of anti-crime legislation he has proposed, 'more progress will be made toward an America of order and stability to the benefit of all of our citizens.'
In 1957, as a large crowd mills around angrily outside the front entrance of Little Rock Central High, in Little Rock, Arkansas, the nine black students whose admission had previously been ordered via a court ruling are let in through a side door and escorted to the principal's office to receive their class assignments. When the crowd learns they are inside, its already hostile mood turns even uglier. The police officers on duty inform the principal that they may be unable to prevent the crowd from storming the building if the nine remain. The students are escorted out through a side exit and sent home under guard.
Following this incident, Little Rocks mayor Woodrow Mann appeals to President Eisenhower by telegram for federal troops to enforce the integration order.
The next day, Eisenhower rejects Mann's appeal. In a telephone call to the mayor, he explains, 'The United States is not the Soviet Union. We do not lightly employ our armed forces in domestic law enforcement, particularly where other options exist. I am unpersuaded that your city's police force is incapable of maintaining order and enforcing the law. I urge you to use all means at your disposal to deal with this situation without requiring the federal government to use force against American citizens who have so far broken no law.'
Privately, the President is troubled by the prospect of a municipality and state defying legal rulings, including two from the Supreme Court itself. However, he has never been enthusiastic about desegregation, whether court-ordered or not. Having received a phone call from Governor Faubus warning that 'thousands of armed men' are converging on Little Rock to 'protect' Central High from 'forced' desegregation, he fears that dispatching federal troops will lead to a bloodbath which will not only undermine the federal government's authority throughout the South but hand the Soviets a terrific propaganda weapon overseas.
In 1818, border demarcation markers were formally installed for Moresnet, a tiny European territory of about 3.5 sq km that existed from 1816 to 1919. Its two large neighbours (The Netherlands and Prussia) could not agree on who should own it, deciding therefore to make it a neutral territory where both would share control equally. Dr. Wilhelm Molly proposed in 1908 making Neutral Moresnet the world's first Esperanto-speaking state, named Amikejo or "place of friendship". Neutral Morsenet was chosen as the Capital City of the new Esperanto-speaking European State which rose from the collapse of the European monarchies during World War 1.
In 1740, Britain entered the Nine Years War on the side of Prussia. This led to a war with France, who wanted to regain their dominance in Europe and expand their colonial Empire.
The war was a victory for Britain and Prussia, and Britain made some significant gains from it. The rest of French North America was ceded to Britain (minus some islands and Louisiana) while Prussia dominated Europe.
A rematch began in 1763 with the Silesian War. France had gathered a coalition together to attempt to reverse Prussian dominance. Britain joined Prussia yet again, but this time faced a new enemy in the United Provinces. With the defeat of French and Spanish colonial ambitions in North America, an anglo/dutch rivalry developed.
The war was directed with brilliant ability by William Pitt, a man who wished to see British dominance in North America. Pitt was made Lord Protector in 1765 to have total control over the war effort and the negotiations.
Britain and the United Provinces left the war in 1769. Britain had got the better of their rivals. New Netherland became a British province and Britain became the great power in India.
Britain had lost a massive amount of money through the Nine Year and Silesian Wars, and for the seven years after 1769, they attempted to recoup this by levelling massive taxation on the colonies. William Pitt opposed this, and stepped down as Chancellor in 1770 to be replaced by Charles Cornwallis.
In 1952, Senator Richard Nixon of California, who had been accused of accepting inappropriate gifts, gave a speech in which he declared that his dog, Checkers, had been the only gift he had ever accepted while in office. The ridicule that fell on Nixon after this caused Eisenhower to drop him from the vice-presidential spot on the Republican ticket and replace him with Senator Joe McCarthy of Wisconsin. Adlai Stevenson easily defeated Eisenhower after this debacle.
In 1920, famed comic actor Joe Yule, Jr. was born in Brooklyn, New York. Yule started acting in films as a young child, first appearing in silent pictures in the 20's before landing such roles as Andy Hardy in his teens, opposite girl sensation Frances Gumm.
In 1912, Thomas Edison's Dynamic Pictures releases the first of Mack Sennett's Keystone Comedies, about the hilarious misadventures of a precinct of incompetent police officers. The comedies make a star of Sennett, and millions for Dynamic.
In 1780, British spy John Andre narrowly avoided capture by the rebellious colonials of America, this preserving the secret he carried. After Andre reached Lord Cornwallis with the terms under which rebel General Benedict Arnold would surrender West Point, an agreement was reached, Arnold went over to the King's men, and the rebellion was crushed.
In 1122, the Concordat of Cornwall established that the Pope or his representatives would name the clergy in any Christian country. Pope Henry I of the Holy British Empire and Prince Callistus of Italy had been in a struggle over this issue for years, and Henry finally beat the prince down.
In Hellenic Year 3281, the statesman/warrior Euripides was born in Salamis, during the great battle in which the Hellans defeated the Persians. The event proved to be destiny for Euripides, for he followed the path of war throughout his life, rising to lead Athens in battle against Sparta during its wars for freedom.
Anton Dilger set up of a secret laboratory in Baltimore. The bio-terrorist was born in Front Royal, Virginia, to German parents, and moved to Germany when he was nine years old. He attended Gymnasium in Bensheim and trained as a physician in Heidelberg and Munich, later working for the Heidelberg University surgical clinic while researching for his doctoral dissertation. By the time World War One began, Dilger was in Germany, but he returned to the United States in 1915 with cultures of anthrax and glanders to unleash biological sabotage on behalf of the German government. The bio-terrorist strike that devastated America is described in The Fourth Horseman: One Man's Secret Campaign to Fight the Great War in America
In 1918, the demon known as Azazel possessed General Edmund Allenby at Meggido. It was an easy move really, the General Edmund Allenby had been in hell since he had learned that his son, Michael, had been killed on the Western Front by German artillery.
In 1918, the Battle of Meggido reached end-game as the Desert Mounted Corps secured the defiles of the Carmel Range. Late that day, they passed through these to capture El Afule and Beisan, complete with the bulk of two Depot Regiments. A brigade of the 5th Mounted Division attacked Nazareth, Liman von Sanders's HQ, although Liman himself escaped, and another (the Imperial Service Cavalry brigade) captured the vital port of Haifa the next day.
The last formed troops of the Seventh Army attempted to retreat directly east across the Jordan. On September 21, a large column was spotted by Allied aircraft in a defile west of the river and destroyed by continuous air attacks. Not many soldiers died, but all transport, guns and heavy equipment was abandoned, and the survivors were scattered and leaderless.
Over the next four days, the Fourth Mounted Division and Australian Mounted Division rounded up large numbers of demoralised and disorganised Turkish troops in the Jezreel Valley.
Liman had attempted to hold the line of the Jordan around the Sea of Galilee. A charge at last light on September 26 by Australian Light Horse captured the town of Samakh, breaking this line.
In 1862, on this day a preliminary version of the Emancipation Proclamation was released.
An Official Duty 2Just the month before, Abraham Lincoln had written a letter in response to an editorial by Horace Greeley of the New York Tribune which had urged the complete abolition of slavery. Making a clear distinction between personal opinion and official duty Lincoln placed the emphasis on saving the Union. Therefore it was a complete shock when he published the Emancipation Proclamation only four weeks later. Cynics guessed that the ink was already dry on the document when Lincoln wrote his letter to the Tribune, and he was simply waiting for an opportune moment (a Union military victory) to justify such a complete reversal of government policy.
But Lincoln never had the chance to reveal the truth of the matter because two years later, the actor and matinee idol John Wilkes Booth shot him dead. Following the bloodbath of the spring, this further horror destroyed any remaining appetite to continue the war, and threw the administration into complete disarray. However President Hamlin managed to find out a way out: a truce that hardened into a peace settlement, and a "rump Dixie" which emerged based on Confederate-occupied Southern territory. The Union retained the border states plus recovered territories that had seceded, namely Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Maryland, West Virginia, Atlantic and Gulf coasts, half of Louisiana, Mississippi Valley and of course half of Virginia.
Unlike the assassinated President, Booth did have a brief opportunity to set down a testimony which made a grim mockery of both Greeley and Lincoln's visions of the future (he blamed Lincoln for abolishing slavery rather than making an overtly pro-Confederacy statement). The Union had not been saved, and worse still, "Free blacks" were classified as citizens of the reunited Dixie unionist states but not of the US itself. In effect the Emancipation Proclamation had only taken partial effect in the Union-occupied territories, and the real consequence was the prevention of a mass migration of African-Americans to the Northern Cities. Because as much as white Northerners hated slavery, they had absolutely no intention of accepting the principle of racial equality. Whereas in the South, by the turn of the century slavery had morphed into a form of peonage/caste system due to the joint pressure from London and the dangers of runaways to Union territory. Of course in time, economic equality would begin to develop, and today, we can only speculate as to what might have happened if Lincoln had lived to introduce constitutional amendments, it might even have been a "bitter legacy" of northern ghettos.
In 1236, on this day the Livonian Brothers of the Sword consolidated thirty years of conquests by crushing the pagan Samogitians at the Battle of Saule (trans. "Sun").
Famous Livonian Victory at the Battle of SauleUnder the decisive leadership of Volkwin the Livonian Master, the Order had been forced to cope with strained financial resources, decreasing manpower, and ill reputation. Also the Order was in conflict with the papacy under Pope Gregory IX and the Holy Roman Emperor, two of its biggest supporters, over Estonia. However, on February 19, 1236, Pope Gregory IX issued a papal bull declaring a crusade against Lithuania. He targeted Samogitia, planning to conquer the coast of the Baltic Sea and connect with the Teutonic Knights in Prussia.
The Sword-Brothers wanted to keep expanding along the Daugava River and was somewhat reluctant to march against Samogitia. In fall of 1236 a party of crusaders arrived from Holstein; it demanded to be led into a battle. Volkwin gathered a large war party, which included troops from Pskov Republic, Livonians, Latgallians, Estonians.
The knights marched southward into Samogitia, raiding and plundering local settlements. They were fortunate to strike the Samogitians before the main pagan forces, led by Duke Vykintas, arrived at the camp. Because it was his delayed arrival sealed the Livonian victory, since the swampy ground was unsuitable for cavalary and a like-for-like armed battle would have favoured the javellin throwing Samogitians had they arrived on a single concentrated forced1.
In 1842, on this day the State Auditor for Illinois James Shields (pictured) was tragically killed in a duel fought on Sunflower Island across the border in Missouri.
The Sunflower Island AffairHis controversial decisions had been satirised by a fellow member of the state legislature in a Illinois newspaper, the Sagamon Journal. Taking offense at the mean spirited words used in these articles, Shields had demanded "satisfaction" by challenging the author to a participate in a duel near Alton. But his error immediately soon became apparent because his taller adversary got to decide the terms of the duel: broadswords in a twelve feet deep pit separated by a piece of plywood where they could not cross onto the opponents side.
Being six feet four, the much longer arms of this lanky Kentuckian chap, a fellow Abraham Lincoln would easily disarm his irate shorter opponent. And as Lincoln menacingly sweep away brush from above Shield's head, intermediaries attempted to wrest an apology for the letters that might have peacefully resolved the dispute, but Shields stubbornly refused to back down, falling into the pit where he broke his neck and died.
In 2011, a last minute, negotiated settlement on a "two state solution" was finally reached at the UN General Assembly after the International Quartet broke the deadlock by offering the Palestinian leadership a $multi-billion compensation fee to accept the loss of the occupied territories.
Payoff in New YorkUS, EU, UN and Russia had failed to dissuade President Mahmoud Abbas from lodging a request for Palestinian statehood on the basis of pre-1967 territory, a unilateral move supported by many non-aligned powers. Instead, they had continued to insist that a Palestinian state could only be created by negotiated settlement despite years of deadlocked talks. And in the final analysis, the bid in New York was part gambit. Also a combination of frustration, a desire to introduce a game changer and a realisation that Israel faced international isolation.
Sensing the underlying weakness of their negotiating position, cracks had started to appear in the negotiating position of the quartet. Even though Special Envoy Tony Blair was acting in a quasi-figurehead leadership role, the British Foreign Minister William Hague (who ironically had lost to Blair in the 2001 General Election) announced that Britain might after all abstain from the vote in the UN Security Council.
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered to resume talks at the UN General Assembly, but indicated that the barrier to agreement was Palestinian refusal to recognise Israeli sovereignty. Netanyahu had repeatedly argued that a return to the indefinsible 1967 borders was unacceptable to Israel.
With matters heading towards impasse, a decision was made to bypass the issue of the occupied territories by offering the Palestinians a huge compensation fee that would guarantee that the new state would be viable.
In 1862, even though the Army of Northern Virginia had achieved another great victory, it was nevertheless facing strategic annihilation. On 22 September, although the battlefield was intensely quiet after the previous day's carnage, Lee ordered Jeb Stuart to send a cavalry force to the south to reconnoitre the Union positions located there.
The Race to Hancock by David AtwellNot travelling more than ten odd miles, Stuart returned to inform Lee that the Union had established strong defences that would take several hours to defeat. It seemed that, even though Burnside had lost 20 000 troops in one day, to the cost of fewer than 1 000 Confederates, Burnside had at least trapped the Army of Northern Virginia. It was merely a matter of time, or so it seemed, before total defeat. Lee, however, thought otherwise.
Lee now decided to break out of Washington, but not to the south. Instead he would attack to the west through the Union defences just north of the Potomac and the Chesapeake-Ohio Canal. Considering Longstreet was still not fully healthy, regardless of his activity in repelling Burnside's Folly, Jackson, considered the better offensive commander anyway, was given orders to attack the next morning on 23 September followed by a full evacuation of Washington as soon as possible. This was quickly achieved as the Army of the Potomac was caught unawares by Jackson's break out attempt, not to mention it had been severely weakened by the slaughter of two days earlier, and that Burnside had been sacked on the evening of 22 September by Lincoln. Ironically, Lincoln turned back to McClellan, after the Burnside's Folly disaster, as he believed he had no other choice at the time in question.A Chapter from Hancock 1862
McClellan, for his part, did not overly want to return to active duty on the night of 22 September. Furthermore, he had not even arrived at the headquarters of the Army of the Potomac when Jackson conducted his attack. Consequently no one quite knew what to do, save for the local Union commander on the spot who, although put up a brave defence, was nevertheless overrun for his efforts. Lee had thus gained his break out and, before McClellan could order a general assault upon Washington, the Army of Northern Virginia had escaped and was on the run in a westerly direction as per Lee's plan.
Unfortunately for Lee, not everything would work his way, fore mistakenly a copy of his plan had been left behind which was soon discovered by some Union soldiers. These plans were immediately sent to army headquarters. McClellan, hence, now had the opportunity to destroy the Army of Northern Virginia in his hands. Lee's plan, for the evacuation of Maryland, became infamously known as Special Orders No 191:
Special Orders, No. 191
Hdqrs. Army of Northern Virginia
September 23, 1862
The citizens of Fredericktown being unwilling while overrun by members of this army, to open their stores, in order to give them confidence, and to secure to officers and men purchasing supplies for benefit of this command, all officers and men of this army are strictly prohibited from visiting Fredericktown except on business, in which cases they will bear evidence of this in writing from division commanders. The provost-marshal in Fredericktown will see that his guard rigidly enforces this order.
Major Taylor will proceed to Sharpsburg, Maryland, and arrange for transportation of the sick and those unable to walk to Winchester, securing the transportation of the country for this purpose. The route between this and Culpepper Court-House east of the mountains being unsafe, will no longer be traveled. Those on the way to this army already across the river will move up promptly; all others will proceed to Winchester collectively and under command of officers, at which point, being the general depot of this army, its movements will be known and instructions given by commanding officer regulating further movements. The army will resume its march tomorrow, taking the Hagerstown road. General Jackson's command will form the advance, and, after passing Middletown, with such portion as he may select, take the route toward Harper's Ferry, cross the Potomac at the most convenient point, and by Friday morning take possession of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, capture such of them as may be at Martinsburg, and intercept such as may attempt to escape from that place.
General Magruder's command will pursue the same road as far as Boonsborough, where it will halt, with reserve, supply, and baggage trains of the army.
General McLaws, with his own division and that of General R. H. Anderson, will follow General Longstreet. On reaching Middletown will take the route to Harpers Ferry, and by Friday morning possess himself of the Maryland Heights and endeavor to ensure that any pursuing forces are repulsed.
General J. E. Johnston, with his command, after accomplishing the object in which he is now engaged, will cross the Potomac at Cheek's Ford, ascend its right bank to Lovettsville, take possession of Loudoun Heights, if practicable, by Friday morning, Key's Ford on his left, and the road between the end of the mountain and the Potomac on his right. He will, as far as practicable, cooperate with General McLaws and Jackson, and occupy Harper's Ferry.
General D. H. Hill's division will form the rear guard of the army, pursuing the road taken by the main body. The reserve artillery, ordnance, and supply trains, &c., will precede General Hill.
General Stuart will detach a squadron of cavalry to accompany the commands of Generals Longstreet, Jackson, and McLaws, and, with the main body of the cavalry, will cover the route of the army, bringing up all stragglers that may have been left behind.
The commands of Generals Jackson, McLaws, and Walker, after accomplishing the objects for which they have been detached, will join the main body of the army at Winchester.
Each regiment on the march will habitually carry its axes in the regimental ordnance-wagons, for use of the men at their encampments, to procure wood &c.
By command of General R. E. Lee
R.H. Chilton, Assistant Adjutant General
Essentially Lee's plan, although party based upon deception, required the capture of Harper's Ferry in order to get the Army of Northern Virginia into the relatively safe region of the Shenandoah Valley. Here Lee believed that his army would be out of danger. However, if something went wrong, the fate of the Army of Northern Virginia could easily end in disaster.
As luck would have it, though, disaster did almost take place for Lee, until it was discovered, to the senior Confederate commander's complete horror, that a copy of Special Orders No 191 had been left behind. Furthermore McClellan, now in possession of the means of Lee's defeat, immediately set off in pursuit. Lee, however, now aware of the huge mistake, reacted accordingly, and his well made plans, detailed in the lost special orders, were forthwith rescinded.
In their place, Lee issued orders to all his commanders, most notably to Jackson at Harpers Ferry who had been held up by the very stubborn defence offered by the Union garrison there of 20 000 troops under the command of General George Thomas, to immediately withdraw to the north-west and away from their current positions. They were to move at best speed in order to place as much distance as they could between themselves and the Union Army of the Potomac, which had just managed to gain the passes crossing South Mountain. At some point, though, to the north-west of Sharpsburg, Lee planed to then form up on favourable ground and offer battle to McClellan.
Read the whole story of Hancock 1862 - the Union Strikes Back on the Changing the Times web site.
In 1842, it was a grim errand that sent Abraham Lincoln hurrying toward Alton, Illinois, early on this morning. At Alton, he would cross the Mississippi River to a small island over the Missouri border-Bloody Island. There, he would prepare himself to kill or be killed in a saber duel to the death.
Abraham Lincoln Prepares to Fight a Saber DuelThe idea of Lincoln fighting a duel begs a burning question for the perennial speculator, the intensely curious sort of history aficionado who wonders what might have happened if Major General George Meade had pursued the Army of Northern Virginia after the Battle of Gettysburg, or if Lieutenant General Thomas 'stonewall" Jackson had survived his wounds at Chancellorsville. The question is this: What if Abraham Lincoln had been killed by a saber slash in 1842? It could have happened by the hand of 36-year-old James Shields if events had gone differently on September 22, 1842. Before circumstances turned Shields and Lincoln into mortal enemies, the two politicians had had a peaceable, professional relationship. They had been in the Illinois state legislature together, Lincoln having won election as a Whig in 1834, and Shields, as a Democrat in 1836. Illinois had an enormous debt in the late 1830s and early 1840s, and the legislature had its hands full just keeping the government operating. In 1837, as the state bank teetered on the brink of collapse, Whigs and Democrats fought over what to do. Lincoln and Shields, however, were able to negotiate a compromise that saved the banks. On one key issue of the time-building new infrastructure such as railroads and other public works-the Whig party wanted private corporations to own the facilities. Democrats favored state ownership. Shields, though faced with heavy pressure from his party, often supported private ownership. So, despite party differences on major issues, Shields and Lincoln often managed to land on the same side of the final vote.
From the HistoryNetWhen the state bank defaulted in 1842, however, there was no such camaraderie. Shields, now the state auditor, aligned with the state's governor and treasurer to adopt a policy in which the state would refuse to accept its own paper money as payment of taxes and other debts. Lincoln cleverly assailed this sitting duck of a policy, simultaneously striking a blow at the Illinois Democratic party in general and at Shields in particular. In a letter to the editor of the Sangamo Journal published in the paper on September 2, 1842, Lincoln presented a polemic designed to embarrass Shields. He chose the Journal as his forum because he had fairly free rein in the paper's columns; editor Simeon Francis was friendly to him and sympathetic to his views. Mrs. Francis had even opened her home as a rendezvous for Lincoln and his future wife, Mary Todd.
Lincoln offered up some pungent prose in his letter to the editor. He began with an earthy character, Jeff, complaining to the rough-hewn but shrewd Rebecca: "I've been tugging ever since harvest getting out wheat and hauling it to the river, to raise State Bank paper enough to pay my tax this year, and a little school debt I owe; and now just as I've got it?, lo and behold, I find a set of fellows calling themselves officers of State, have forbidden to receive State paper at all; and so here it is, dead on my hands".
When Rebecca identifies Shields as one of the "officers of state" and reads aloud from his declaration against accepting state money, Jeff explodes. "I say-it-is-a-lie?. It grins out like a copper dollar. Shields is a fool as well as a liar. With him truth is out of the question".
Lincoln went on to deride his adversary on the social scene, with Jeff recalling Shields at a recent fair attended by the eligible women of Springfield. "His very features, in the ecstatic agony of his soul, spoke audibly and distinctly-"Dear girls, it is distressing, but I cannot marry you all. Too well I know how much you suffer; but do, do remember, it is not my fault that I am so handsome and so interesting".
The letter ended with an appeal to the editor: let your readers "know who and what these officers of State are. It may help to send the present hypocritical set to where they belong and to fill the places they now disgrace with men who will do more for less pay?". Lincoln signed it "Rebecca".
Before sending the letter to the Journal, Lincoln showed it to Mary Todd and her friend Julia Jayne. The two women had a grand time helping Lincoln sharpen his barbs. They apparently got carried away with excitement of the situation; later, they picked up where Lincoln left off and wrote a letter of their own, a feeble aping of Lincoln's cutting wit that ended with a derisive verse signed "Cathleen". Shields was an amusing if volatile target for taunting. Lincoln's future presidential secretaries John Nicolay and John Hay, both familiar with the Illinois capital and its characters, described him as "a man of inordinate vanity?, an irresistible mark for satire". Shields's law partner, Gustave Koerner, said, "He was exceedingly vain and very ambitious, and like most ambitious men, on occasions, quite egotistical? In his manner he was peculiar, not to say eccentric".
Needless to say, Shields was incensed by the Rebecca letter. In an effort to get to the bottom of the situation, Shields asked Francis for Rebecca's true identity. Francis responded, as Lincoln had instructed him, that it was Lincoln. Lincoln, of course, had had help, but apparently he wanted to keep Mary Todd out of it. If the reason for that protective measure was not obvious at the time, it would become so on November 4, 1842, when he married her. On finding the source of his public humiliation, Shields, emotionally wounded and furious, had a menacing note hand-delivered to Lincoln in Tremont on September 17. "I have become the object of slander, vituperation and personal abuse," Shields wrote. Only a full retraction "may prevent consequences which no one will regret more than myself". Lincoln discussed the predicament with his friends Dr. Elias Merryman, a Springfield physician, and William Butler, the clerk of Sangamon County Court, and decided not to retract his pointed words. Shields was not appeased and again demanded "absolute retraction". Lincoln refused, suggesting that Shields take back his hand-delivered letter and submit one that was more "gentlemanly". There would be no further negotiation. Shields challenged Lincoln to a duel.
As the party who had been challenged, Lincoln got to set the fight's conditions. He did so on September 19 in a letter that demonstrated a personal trait that historian Gary Wills has described as "letting nonsense work itself out to its own demise". First, Lincoln selected "cavalry broad sword of the largest size" rather than pistols as the dueling weapons. "I did not want to kill Shields and felt sure I could disarm him?," he later wrote, adding, "I didn"t want the d-d fellow to kill me, which I think he would have done if we had selected pistols". Next, Lincoln prescribed conditions so advantageous to himself that his opponent would be forced to write off the martial affair as a lost cause. He ordered "a plank ten feet long, and from nine to twelve inches abroad, to be firmly fixed on edge, on the ground, as the line between us, which neither is to pass his foot over upon forfeit of his life". Such unusual conditions would allow Lincoln to take advantage of his superior reach; Shields was only five feet, nine inches tall, while Lincoln soared to six feet, four inches. Once again Lincoln had underestimated Shields. Shields was an ambitious, perseverant man, and his professional experience proved that. He had been a state legislator and now was the state auditor. He had been in the Black Hawk War, and during the Mexican War and Civil War, he would serve as a brigadier general. In the 1840s and 1850s he would win elections to the U.S. Senate-first representing Illinois, then Minnesota, then Missouri. In Minnesota, he would found a town and name it Shieldsville. Such a driven and determined man fights stubbornly over his reputation.
Stubbornness was only one of the characteristics that led Shields to the dueling field in September 1842. He also had courage in the face of death. During the Mexican War, he would take a bullet in the chest at the Battle of Cerro Gordo. After surgery and nine weeks of recuperation, he would return to command. This was clearly not a man who would run away from a fight to the death. So, on September 22, 1842, Shields left Illinois, where dueling was illegal, for Missouri, where it was allowed. He walked ashore onto Bloody Island ready to kill Lincoln or be killed by him.
Fortunately for Shields and Lincoln, shared friends John J. Hardin, a relative of Mary Todd, and Dr. R.W. English sped to the duel scene-at least as much as anyone could speed in a small boat in 1842-and pleaded with the would-be combatants to let bygones be bygones. It was a truly desperate attempt to bring peace, but it worked. The duel was cancelled. Though the incident ended without violence, Lincoln avoided talking about it, preferring to forget it ever happened. In a letter written on December 9, 1865, Mary Lincoln recalled that an army officer visiting the White House asked her husband, "Is it true?that you once went out, to fight a duel and all for the sake of the lady by your side?" Lincoln replied, I do not deny it, but if you desire my friendship, you will never mention it again".
Despite his bad experience with heavy-handed sarcasm, Lincoln did not retire his acerbic wit. Stephen A. Douglas, Lincoln's Democratic opponent in the 1858 election for one of Illinois's seats in the U.S. Senate, learned that firsthand. Lincoln roasted Douglas to a crisp during a debate in Charleston on September 18, and that display was not a one-time happening. Major General George B. McClellan, who received many kind words from Lincoln early in the Civil War, also knew the sting of Lincoln's sarcasm. Annoyed by McClellan's slowness in attacking Confederate armies in Virginia in late 1861 and early 1862, Lincoln referred to McClellan's massive Army of the Potomac as "McClellan's bodyguard". He remarked that if McClellan did not care to use his army for fighting, he "would like to borrow it".
Lincoln never again got tangled up in the makings of a duel. Shields, on the other hand, found himself involved in such proceedings in 1850, when on behalf of Democratic Congressman William H. Bissell, he presented the acceptance of a challenge to a duel issued by future Confederate president Jefferson Davis. But he immediately set to work settling the matter without violence. He was successful. Lincoln and Shields apparently settled their differences, or at least agreed to disagree. During the Civil War, Shields was nominated for the rank of brigadier general in the Union army. Final approval fell to the president-Lincoln. He approved. With that move some 20 years after the duel that was not, Lincoln publicly buried the cavalry broadsword.
By 1776, as with any war, victory in the American Revolution could only be won with as much success in espionage as on the battlefield. Nathan Hale, young Yale graduate and school teacher, had joined the Revolution in the Connecticut militia. He rose fast through the ranks from his spirit and dedication to the movement. On September 8, 1776, Hale volunteered to go into British-controlled New York City and gather intelligence.
Tallmadge Rescues Hale While Hale was in the city, the Great Fire broke out on September 21. Rumors flew about it being Patriot activity, while others suspected uncontrollable British soldiers, and, either way, the occupying army set upon a course of rounding up potential rebels. Hale was discovered in a tavern by counter-intelligence and eventually captured in Queens where he had fled. He would hang at dawn.
A new story by Jeff ProvineBy what very well may have been luck, a contemporary of Hale's at Yale, Benjamin Tallmadge, was in New York. He had been recently commissioned in the Continental Army's light dragoons, but he had become ill and took a short leave. Just as he was coming back to the world, the fire had broken out, and he returned to his Revolutionary efforts hiding Patriots from the British crackdown. When word came that Hale had been captured, Tallmadge planned a desperate rescue.
In the morning, Hale was marched to the gallows. An African boy, Bill Richmond (who would later become a famous American boxer), had been hired by the British to secure the rope to the tree. Tallmadge had gotten to the boy and bribed him an enormous amount of money to have the rope slip. As the drummer ended, Hale was given his final words, and the twenty-one-year-old gave a short oration summed up, "I regret that I have but one life to give for my country".
The trap was pulled, and Hale fell. Carefully filed by Richmond, the rope snapped. Before the British guard could react, a group of Patriots let off a rifle barrage, gathering the crowd's attention. Tallmadge dove through the chaos and whisked away the stunned Hale, who would come out of the affair with a scar from the rope burn around his throat.
New York City would continue in an uproar for several days while Hale was hidden and finally sneaked out in the disguise of a milkmaid. Stories spread like lightning of the man who did indeed have more than one life to give for his country, causing a surge of patriotism across the colonies. Tallmadge was soon made Washington's chief intelligence officer, and he took Hale on as a spy. The two would form the Culper Spy Ring, which would discover Benedict Arnold's betrayal, and Hale himself would apprehend the traitorous general.
After the war, Tallmadge turned to business while Hale went back to teaching. Hale would later be elected a representative from Connecticut to the Constitutional Convention, and he would quickly give his support for Federalism under James Madison's plan. Tallmadge later served in the House of Representatives, being supportive of Hale's higher aspirations. Most famously, Hale would attend the Hartford Convention, giving another speech that stirred the war-weary New Englanders toward support and away from the idea of secession. "After all, are we not Federalists? Are we not Americans? We may not choose ourselves where the will of our country leads, but we may choose to follow the course, rough as it may be". Here, he bared his scar amid patriotic cheers.
Uniting the Federalists, Hale would win a narrow victory over Secretary of State James Monroe in the presidential election of 1816. In his term, Hale would clarify the role of state's rights, work toward internal improvements, and further bolster international trade. While his economic policies seemed good, they proved perhaps too good for their dependence of European payment, and the Panic of 1820 would usher Hale out of office with James Monroe taking over and the Democratic-Republicans returning to power. Hale returned to the Senate, and the two would prove effective friends, working to balance with the Missouri Compromise and the Monroe Doctrine of defending the freedom of other nations while maintaining ideals of isolationism.
In his later years, Hale would routinely denounce Senator, then President, Andrew Jackson as a political opportunist, bloodthirsty killer, retarder of economics, and "bad fellow". Jackson replied that Hale was a suppressor of the common man, wild gambler of others' money, and "old man". The two war heroes bit into each other until Hale's death in 1834. Jackson attended Hale's funeral even though believing that Hale had cost him the 1828 election. Despite their differences, Jackson said of Hale, "He gave every life he had for his country".
In 1860, Texas Governor Sam Houston delivered a fiery speech, "The Folly of Disunion" on this day at an anti-secessionist rally in Austin.
Lone StarMany Texans heeded Houston's warning, narrowly voting to remain in the Union on February 23, 1861; Texas would not after all become the seventh star in the Confederate flag.
Born in 1793 in Virginia, Houston was a pivotal figure in the history of Texas. Not only did he sign the Texas Declaration of Independence from Mexico, but he also served periods as President of the Republic of Texas, Senator for Texas after it joined the United States, and finally as governor.
"Are we to sell reality for a phantom?"Although married to a Cherokee, and a slaveowner and opponent of abolitionism, he refused, because of his unionist convictions, to swear loyalty to the Confederacy and thus had a decisive role in preventing Texas from seceding from the Union.
In 1993, on this day the sitcom Cliff premieres on NBC.
Cliff premieres on NBC by Gerry ShannonA spin-off of the widely successful Cheers which ended the previous year, this new show spotlights the character of postman Cliff Clavin (John Ratzenberger, pictured) moving back to his hometown of Seattle after a painful divorce and taking up a new postal route.
New characters include Cliff's father, Martin (John Mahoney), a former police officer forced out of retirement following an injury in a shoot-out; and Martin's nurse, Daphne Moon (Jane Leeves), whom Cliff secretly pines after.
At the post office, Cliff's closest colleagues include his friendly, but bumbling post office manager Kenny Daly (Tom McGowan) and the opinionated, promiscuous postal clerk Roz Doyle (Peri Gilpin).
The series bettered it's predecessor by one season, ending it's twelve-year run in 2005. Wendt would win a number of Emmys and Golden Globes for his work on Cliff. In 2001, he negotiated a US$700, 000 per episode salary for the show; and is recognized for being the only actor to play the same character on television for a 23-year run.
In 1997, following the overthrow of President Eugene Terreblanche's National Front party, the Archbishop of Canterbury1 Desmond Tutu (pictured) returned to his beloved South Africa after more than a decade in exile.Tutu Actuality
Six years previously, Terreblanche had pledged the support of his extremist post-apartheid nation to the United States of America and its Constitutionalist leader, President Ralph Shephard who had said of the alliance ~
"Together, we form a fulcrum that will be used to turn the world upside down".
Now after the defeat of the Fulcrum powers by Britain, Egypt and China, South Africa was itself turned upside down.
Yet Archbishop Tutu offered fresh hope in the form of a peaceful transition from apartheid to full and free democracy in South Africa; he would chair a court-like body in which anyone who felt that he or she was a victim of violence was invited to come forward and be heard. Perpetrators of violence could also give testimony and request amnesty from prosecution.
In the Tutu actuality2, the Archbishop defined his powerful vision for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission ~
"We will have looked the beast3 in the eye.
We will have come to terms with our horrendous past, and it will no longer keep us hostage.
We will cast off its shackles. and holding hands together, black and white, we will stride together into the future.
A glorious future god holds out before us, we who are the rainbow people of god, and looking at our past we will commit ourselves: never again"..
On May 3rd 1999, a new South African constitution granted all citizens the right to vote, regardless of race, color or creed. Nelson Mandela, long thought dead in a South African prison camp, became South Africa's first president elected by a majority of the population.
On this day in 1968, President Lyndon Johnson met with Czech premier Alexander Dubcek in New York City in the first U.S. visit by a Czechoslovakian head of state in over twenty years.
During the Johnson-Dubcek summit agreements were reached on trade between the United States and Czechoslovakia and U.S. economic assistance to the Czech government.
On this day in 1971, Major League Baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn announced that the 1971 MLB playoffs and the start of the 1972 MLB season were being indefinitely postponed. Of the 26 MLB teams which had been in business before the China virus pandemic, only nine were still functioning, and of those nine only five still had an adequate number of players on their roster.
On this day in 1944, Dutch anti-Nazi guerrillas seized control of the main phone, radio, and communications facilities in Amsterdam and sent a message to Allied field commanders that they were attacking the main German troop garrison in that city.
On this day in 1968, Green Bay Packers offensive lineman Forrest Gregg held an impromptu press conference to announce his immediate and permanent retirement from the NFL. Gregg, still heartbroken over the Packers' defeat by the Dallas Cowboys in the legendary Ice Bowl the previous December, said at that press conference he could no longer summon up the motivation to keep going out on the field.
In 1980, after months of deteriorating relations between Tehran and Baghdad, squadrons of Iraqi MiG-21's and MiG-23s attack the Iranian air bases at Mehrabad and Doshen-Tappen, along with a number of other military targets, launching a full-scale war between Iran and Iraq.
In the United States, President Kennedy convenes an emergency meeting of the National Security Council to address the implications of the conflict for America. Vice-President Jackson urges that the U.S. warn Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to back down or risk American retaliation.
Gen. David C. Jones, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warns that a military intervention will take time to prepare and that, if one is undertaken, it must be devastating, in order to force Iraq to yield. National security adviser Clark Clifford cautions that there are significant political risks to taking sides in the Iran-Iraq conflict, and recommends that the U.S. take no overt action against Iraq. Instead, he suggests, America should supply Iran with arms, taking care to keep such efforts quiet to preserve the appearance of nonpartisanship.
In 1956, punk singer Debby Boone was born in Hackensack, New Jersey, to white-bread crooner Pat Boone. A rebel against her father's wholesome image at an early age, she recorded the tribute to marijuana, You Light Up My Life, in 1977, and spiraled downward into a life of drugs and meaningless sex. She committed suicide in 1989 after breaking up with her boyfriend, Sid Vicious.
In 1927, boxer Jack Dempsey successfully recovered his title against champion Gene Tunney by knocking him down in the 7th round. Dempsey was confused about which corner to go to for the count, but his manager whistled him over before any time could be lost from the referee's count.
In 1903, Italo Marchiony patents his Gelato Cone, a thin cone used to hold the Italian iced dessert. The next year, Charles Menches uses a waffle-like variant of it to try to sell his ice cream, but the cone proved more popular than the filling. The same fate befell Marchiony's own gelato shop; Americans just didn't like creamy ice desserts.
In 1692, the last 8 witches were to be executed after the infamous trials in Salem, Massachusetts. One of their number, though, turned out to be a real witch, and escaped from her captors with a mighty spell that turned half of the township into toads.
In 1283 AUC, the minority religion known as Catholicism splits into 3 factions, all of whom hate each other more than they hate the Romans. Power struggles between the 3 Papacies kill off most of their followers, and a few Romans, as well. The Empire does its best to quell their hatred, but many in the Senate are more than willing to let the Catholics kill themselves.
In 1991, the Dead Sea Scrolls were made available to the public for the first time, by the Huntington Library. They were quickly withdrawn for further study after the Library received numerous reports of fiery letters appearing.
In 1990, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom resigned after he was dealt a fatal blow by the resignation of a senior cabinet minister. On November 1st 1990, Margaret Thatcher, one of Sir Geoffrey Howe's oldest and staunchest supporters, had resigned from her position as Deputy Prime Minister in protest at Howe's European policy. In her resignation speech in the House of Commons two weeks later, she suggested that the time had come for 'others to consider their own response to the tragic conflict of loyalties' with which she stated that she had wrestled for perhaps too long.
In 1975, despite a determined efforts by a decorated Marine and Vietnam War Oliver Sipple, Sara Jane Moore assassinated U.S. President Gerald Ford in San Francisco. Moore was 40 feet away from the President when she fired a single shot at him. The bullet hit the President despite bystander Oliver Sipple grabbing Moore's arm; Sipple said at the time: 'I saw [her gun] pointed out there and I grabbed for it. [...] I lunged and grabbed the woman's arm too late and the gun went off.' It was the year of the three Presidents; the crises in government famously described by Richard Nixon as 'the long national nightmare' began to approach the screaming phase.
In 1918, the troops of the antichrist's armies transmogrify into the soldiers of the clashing armies in the Jezreel Valley. In a moment, they are gone. Or so it would seem.
In 1918, British General Edmund Allenby had been in hell for three years. On June 9th 1915 he had been removed from command and transferred to Egypt due to his continuing feud with Field Marshal Haig over tactical matters. Shortly after his arrival in Egypt, he learned that his son, Michael, had been killed on the Western Front by German artillery. The paralells Allenby was seeing with the Book of Revelations, and the arrival of the antichrist's armies were just further steps on the road to hell. Where he was now, to be precise.
In 1791, on this fateful day the House of Representatives accepted the change made to the Second Amendment by the Senate to wit "the right to bear arms [in the service of the State militia]". The original wording had of course been more ambiguous about gun ownership for the purpose of self-defence by private citizens or indeed the ad-hoc formation of citizenry into local militia "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed".
The Repeal of the Second AmendmentThe libertarian significance of this revision was to place security in the hands of the States who as a final resort could overthrow an oppressive Federal Government. And of course that measure was only tested once in 1861-5, after which the Amendment was repealed.
Otherwise, [it was argued] America might now be a dystopian society with neighbourhood militia delivering vigilante justice. But of course that argument was turned on its head when an ad-hoc civilian militia saved thousands of innocent American lives by storming the cockpit of the Boeing 757-222 on September 11, 2001.
In 1921, on this day former Assistant Secretary of the Navy and former Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Franklin Delano Roosevelt died in New York City Presbyterian Hospital. He is 39 years old. The official cause of death as listed as polio (though years later, this assessment would be challenged with alternate theories, including Guillain-Barré syndrome). An installment from the Fascist USA thread on Althistory Wiki.
Premature Death of FDRFlash forward eleven years. Herbert Hoover is in the White House and the Great Depression has struck. Hoover is unable to deal with the crisis and is blamed for America's increasing financial woes.
Without Roosevelt to lead them, 1928 candidate Al Smith wins the Presidency, with William Gibbs McAdoo as his Vice President. No Roosevelt means no New Deal. Though Smith has some early successes, by the 1934 midterms, America is in a very bad way. The unemployment level has hit almost 40%, and riots break out across the country. Both Republicans and Democrats are blamed. By this point, the number of Americans supporting both the Communist Party and various far-right, Fascist organisations is more than five times higher than it had been in 1930.
Inspired by Hitler's success in turning around the German economy, the American fascist movement, which by 1935 is led solely by William Dudley Pelley, commits to overthrowing President Smith and installing a fascist government across the United States. In early 1936, Pelley leads a 400,000-strong march on Washington, and with the backing of segments of the U.S. military, a powerful group of World War I veterans, business leaders out for their own interests and even some members of Congress, Pelley succeeds in overthrowing the elected government and establishes a fascist, anti-Semitic, anti-communist government in Washington. When this new United States allies itself with Germany, the Second World War becomes radically different...
In 1217, on this day the formation of the independent country of Estonia was assured by a decisive victory over the German crusading order the Sword Brethren.
Battle of St. Matthew's DayA large force of six thousand men had been gathered by Lembitu of Lehola, an ancient Estonian elder of Sakala County and the military leader in the struggle against conquest of the Estonian lands by the German Livonian Brothers of the Sword.
His adversaries were the chieftain Caupo of Turaida and Master Volkwin who led a smaller force of three thousand men at the bloody Battle of St. Matthew's Day fought near the town of Viljandi. Their ultimate goal was the forced conversion of the pagans, but in the event they were defeated and the Northern Crusaders suffered a serious setback.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.