In 1968, the thirty-fifth President of the United States John F. Kennedy was assassinated by rogue members of the North American Space Agency (NASA) that blamed him for the application of political pressure that led to the Moon Landing disaster.
An installment of the No Apollo 1 Fire thread.
No Apollo 1 Fire, Part 2He had been assisting the election of the current Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson by campaigning in swing states. But of course due to the controversial decision-making of his transformational Presidency, there were several groups of electors that would never endorse his chosen successor.
"Patriots" believed he had failed to contain Communism - on several counts. Fidel Castro was still in charge of Cuba thanks to his equivocation over the Bay of Pigs. And his withdrawal of US ground troops from South Vietnam had led to a Communist take-over. Whereas the Mob believed that they had been double-crossed on a vote-winning deal in Chicago brokered by Joe Kennedy. Led to believe that a blind eye would be cast over Organized Crime they were shocked and infuriated when Bobby Kennedy was appointed Attorney General with a sanction to implement a major crackdown.
But neither of these groups had caught up with Kennedy. True fury was reserved for the Agency that had suffered arguably the greatest humiliation. Created by Eisenhower, a fellow serviceman and the architect of the D-Day Landing, surely, they figured a civilian politician was unlikely to respect the slow but sure inner workings of their long-term plans. A rich playboy, he was certain to push hard for a political touchdown. In short, he had the arrogance that replaced Eisenhower's pragmatic empathy for the detail.
Trouble was unlike D-Day the competition was clearly ahead and after all Ike HAD lost the race to Berlin. Because when Kennedy came into office, the Russians had scored all the "firsts" (this continued until 1966 when the first soft landing was achieved by Luna 6). Viewing this disappointment as a Cold War setback for Team America, he boldly pledged to land a man on the moon within "this decade". And when Apollo 1 succeeded, the temptation was irresistible - immense political pressure was placed upon the Agency to bring this schedule forward again - to deliver before the end of Kennedy's term of office (and ideally, before the 1968 election). Arguments over THE DETAILS, THE DETAILS! failed to get through in the Oval Office and the President only seemed to listen to his trusted advisors. But it was a step too far, and the landing was a complete disaster. Expecting the same backlash that had befallen the CIA in 1961, NASA was concerned it would also be "broken into a thousand pieces". In the inferno of that anger was born the conspiracy to kill a President..
In 1946, on this day Japanese Communists overthrew the hated General San Douglas MacArthur and appealed to Moscow for assistance.
Part 3 of 3: "Depth Charge" Doug Forced OutOrdered by Truman to clean up somebody else's mess, MacArthur had been a reluctant Military Governor. Unable or unwilling to restrain the excesses of American occupation forces, he had overseen a backlash that had ultimately toppled the Far Eastern Commission.
Of course the scandal over his Philippine mistress had been a public relations disaster, particularly when his wife had divorced him and his ninety-four year old mother had publicly disowned him .
This blog is an article from the Neutral Philippine thread conceived by Ed, Mike McIlvain and Scott Palter.
In 1930, on this day the world's large dirigible the R101 nearly crashed in France en-route to India on its maiden voyage. She was transporting the architects of the Imperial Airship Scheme Secretary of State for Air Lord Thomson and his Director of Civil Aviation Sir Sefton Brancker to Karachi where they landed in good time for the opening of the Imperial Conference.
Flight of the R101To ensure that the dignitaries travelled in extravagant luxury considerable risk had been taken in loading the airship with champagne, china, silverware and a huge Axminster carpet. Upon her return to RAF Cardington the Airship Works team discovered that it was a miracle the airship had completed the journey at all. Not only was the structure crippled with rust that was threatening to rip open the gas bags, but worse the nose patching had been repaired rather than replaced at the most vulnerable point. Had sufficient rain poured in, then the airship would surely have entered a fatal nosedive.
The reason for ebullient Brancker wanting to arrive in such style had much to do with impressing the impoverished masses of the city of Karachi. Shortly after the Imperial Conference, Prime Minister Ramsay McDonald paid tribute to the success of the Imperial Airship Scheme by promoting Brancker to the position of Viceroy of India. In that position he was to command a power structure every bit as corrupt and decadent as the R101 which had carried him to India.
In 2011, following the tragic death of co-founder Steve Jobs on this day, US blue-collar labour advocate George Lucas announced the temporary suspension of "Occupy Apple Campus" promising that their protest of the company's outsourced manufacturing to China would resume in November.
Occupy Apple Campus
By Scott Palter, Jeff Provine & EdJust before the tragic news broke, protestors had been burning replicas of the iPAD2 and iPhone4 devices which were produced at Foxconn factories in Chengdu and Shenzhen, near Hong Kong. In sharp contrast, Lucas had always insisted that the delivery of his own lifestyle products was achieved exclusively through US blue collar crafts. The difference in opinions had led to twenty-something Apple customers organizing a counter protest called Occupy Skywalker Ranch.
With the US entering election year, the very public Lucas vs. Jobs argument had transformed the issue of wealth distribution into a dispute within the 1% as well as an agenda item for the 2012 Presidential Race.
This article is part of the Blue Collar Fightback thread.
In 2014, on this day the global mobile communications market was transformed by the release of FreeG, a wearable device capable of delivering hi-speed video, voice and messaging services on a zero charge call plan.
FreeGThe snag was that the end-user would also receive unlimited promotional messsages from the advertising corporates who were subsiding the service.
Market take-up was initially slow, with most consumers finding it quite an adjustment to have their phone calls rudely interrupted by fifteen second promotional voice-overs. Regardless, few consumers opted for the premium service, a low cost plan with minimal advertising.
At least until FreeG Enterprises encountered financial difficulty, and offered unlimited airtime to political parties..
In 1987, on this day the Iran-Iraq War ended with the surrender of the battered remnants of Iran's armed forces to the Iraqi Republican Guard
Iraq VictoriousIn celebration of the war's victorious end the Iraqi embassy in Beijing held a banquet which numerous high-ranking Chinese military and political leaders were invited to attend; the event turned out to be an extraordinary intelligence-gathering opportunity for the United States, since one of the guests at the banquet inadvertantly tipped off a CIA undercover operative to the secret military information-sharing protocol in the 1985 Sino-Iraqi Pact which had helped Iraq vanquish the Iranians.
In 1813, as the new nation of the United States spread across North America, their frontiersmen encroached on lands that had belonged to the Native Americans for centuries. While Native Americans were quick to adapt to muskets and rifles, the whites carried a distinguishable technological edge.
Prophet Dies at Battle of the Thames Smallpox had devastated the Native population, killing as much as ninety percent. The remaining Native Americans, outgunned but not outmatched, often formed confederations such as those of the Iroquois and Cherokee for mutual defense as they had in their own wars.
In the Northwest, Tecumseh (translated as "shooting star" or "panther across the sky) arose as a leader to create a grand confederation west of Ohio. A new story by Jeff ProvineHis father had died at the Battle of Point Pleasant in Dunmore's War between Virginia Militia and the Shawnee and Mingo tribes. Tecumseh himself fought routinely against the growing threat of Kentucky militiamen until finally settling in Ohio with his brother, Tenskwatawa, who would become known as the Prophet. An outbreak of smallpox in 1805 would cause a spiritual revival, and Tenskwatawa would be transformed. He had been a slave to alcoholism, but visions from the Giver of Life caused him to give up drink and preach to others to give up all artificial things of the white man.
With the Prophet as the voice and Tecumseh as the leader, the two began a movement that gathered followers in a return to the peaceful times before the chaos of the whites, said by the Prophet to be children of the Great Serpent. They moved westward into the frontier and away from the menace to what became known as Prophetstown, a village at the confluence of the Wabash and Tippecanoe Rivers. While treaties with the white men, specifically Governor of Indiana William Henry Harrison, kept clear which lands were open to settlement and which were Native American, the encroachment continued, causing Tecumseh to speak out. All lands were owned by all Native Americans, and so none could be sold without the agreement of all. He threatened rival leaders and rose to prominence as head of a vast confederation in the Northwest. Traveling south, he tried to bring more tribes into his alliance, but the Five Civilized Tribes notoriously turned him down, with the exception of the Red Sticks of the Creek.
Tecumseh and Harrison met on a number of occasions, but their discussions only led to rising tensions and then Tecumseh's War. In reality, Tecumseh's brother had started the war while Tecumseh was on his travels, calling for the death of Harrison and the whites to be driven back east. Harrison led an army to Prophetstown and destroyed the settlement in 1811. While this was a serious blow, Tecumseh returned and rebuilt his confederation, finding new allies in the British as America began the War of 1812.
Taking up with British Major General Henry Procter, Tecumseh and his warriors moved into Ontario, giving defense to Canada as Tecumseh's nemesis General Harrison marched toward Fort Detroit. The British defense of Lake Erie fell, and Procter began a speedy withdrawal. Tecumseh tried to stop the general, noting the defenseless tribes beyond in Michigan. The troops were poorly geared and in bleak morale, and Harrison took up pursuit, finally catching them at the Thames River.
Tecumseh warmed the men by personally shaking hands with every officer and cheering the troops, both British and his own. Procter, however, neglected proper defense, and the battle would prove to be a foregone rout. Tecumseh's brother Tenskwatawa made to flee, but Tecumseh stopped him with a hand on the shoulder, saying that the Prophet was needed. While the British retreated, the Native Americans fought on until, keeping nervously close to Tecumseh, the Prophet was killed by a round aimed at his brother.
Seeing the death of the Prophet, Tecumseh gave the call to retreat. The battle ended with an American victory, which they celebrated by burning the nearby village of Moraviantown, populated by the Munsee tribe of Christian Native Americans who had no part of the conflict. With enlistments about to expire, Harrison fell back to Detroit, ending much of the warfare in Michigan.
Tecumseh spent a month alone mourning his brother until he emerged from the woods saying that he, too, had been given a vision by the Giver of Life. The Prophet had perished, but he lived on in the next world and would continue to give his words of freedom from the white man's grasp. Tactically, the battle was a defeat for the Native Americans and their British allies, but it would be a strategic victory as word spread of the Prophet's death. Coupled with fear inspired by the attack on Moraviantown, Tecumseh's confederation grew to include nearly all of the Native Americans of the Northwest.
As the war turned against the Americans with British sea-raids and the solid defense of Canada, the southern natives joined in the attack. General Andrew Jackson became famous as a fighter of Creeks, which stalled his march toward New Orleans. When the War of 1812 ended with the British, Tecumseh and Harrison met to discuss what both hoped would be a long-lasting treaty between the US and the Indian Confederacy. Borders were drawn, and Tecumseh led his people in a unified defense on the western frontier of the white man's America. Native warriors were trained as militia, and white tactics were studied.
The peace continued for over a decade with border squabbles settled by reparations. When Jackson ascended the presidency, however, the burgeoning white pressure to settle erupted into the Great Indian War. Guerilla warfare would drag on for years, solidifying hatred between the two races, but the eventual upper hand would go to the Americans. Tribes would be pushed to the northwest, causing an evacuation of the South known as the Trail of Tears. With final mediation by the British, a new country later to be called Tecumseh was founded west of the Great Lakes, serving to settle President Polk's border question.
Shortly after the treaty, Tecumseh began the exodus to where his bones would be buried, and the country would settle and prosper. Using British and American political powers to balance one another, the Native Americans would keep pressure up to prevent the encroachment of settlers that had always plagued them. As the Industrial Revolution crept westward, they would become a wealthy land of mines, foundries, and factories in addition to farms, dairies, and orchards. Periodic struggles in the latter nineteenth century would threaten them with extinction, but well regulated militias kept the borders sound.
In the twentieth century, a sort of friendship would start up between Tecumseh and their white neighbors as Americans became fascinated with Native goods, particularly their automobiles. In World War II, Tecumseh would prove a strong ally, producing munitions for the American war effort. After the war, Native industry would begin to decline as cheaper employment could be found internationally. The economic slide spurred renewed internal struggles and interest in the Old Ways, many of which became mirrored with communism. The Cold War brought distrust of Red Tecumseh, which became a land struggling with poverty under the growing political influence of the United States. Many Native Americans have even called for annexation, but they remain a minority.
In 1863, on this day in alternate history Confederate General John Bell Hood was fatally wounded while doing a combat reconnaissance of a minor Federal position at Allatoona.
Death of John Bell HoodHood's wounds took nearly three weeks to finish killing him but the passing of command of the Confederate Army of Tennessee from Hood to Hardee and then ultimately to Longstreet [summoned from Virginia before fully recuperated because Davis simply didn't trust Johnson or Beauregard] changed the entire complexion of the deep Dixie campaign. Hood had vague plans to attack Sherman's supply lines to Atlanta and failing that to invade Tennessee. This in turn might have freed Sherman to march across Georgia and then up through the Carolinas. Longstreet pulled his men back to defend the rest of Georgia instead of chasing ghosts of victories in Tennessee. A new story by Scott PalterThis in turn kept Sherman penned in Atlanta until in early winter he burned the town in disgust and withdrew to Tennessee, sending half his force to Grant in Virginia. These additional forces enabled Grant's early spring campaign to unhinge Lee from the siege lines in Richmond-Petersburg leading to a long pursuit through the Carolinas.
This last year of war turned especially vicious in April with Lincoln's assassination. Grant's men essentially burned the states out behind them, relying on the Union navy for supplies delivered to successive seaports. Even Lee's linkup with Longstreet in mid-summer could not end the fighting as Grant outnumbered the combined Confederate forces by over 2-1. In the meantime Sherman had burned out Alabama and Mississippi. The final scenes of the war saw a late Anglo-French intervention convoy over a million Confederate troops, civilians and government officials to exile in Cuba [which they purchased from Spain with the Confederate gold reserves and a loan on various European banks].
In 1917, the British abdication crisis appeared to enter the endgame, or if not, was surely acclerating towards a conclusion that had become inevitable since the day King George V had unwisely offered asylum to the Romanov Family. Because British Working Class Newspapers such as the Daily Mirror published the true costs to the Exchequer of keeping the Tsar-in-Exile in the comfort he deserved. Almost certainly, this information was leaked to the press by Prime Minister David Lloyd George, because the "Welsh Wizard", was a class warrior with absolutely no time for the two Royal cousins, "Nicky and Georgie" (pictured).
Nickie and Georgie and WillieThe monarch was starved of political support because he had rather foolishly made himself an enemy of Lloyd George. Not only were the two at the extremes of the anacronystic British Class System, the respective heads of state and government could hardly agree on any substantive topic. The King had a pathological aversion to change of any kind, and his Chief Minister was the most dynamic, innovative politican for a generation. Quite simply, the King never gave the Prime Minister the recognition he deserved. Locked in the past, King George V was not fit to confront the future by leading the nation out of the Great War.
"A fully equipped Duke costs as much to keep as two Dreadnoughts and is more difficult to scrap," ~ Lloyd GeorgeThe King considered socialists anathema, described the press as "filth", thought strikes and peaceful picketing should be outlawed. The campaign for female suffrage revolted him. "The King is hostile to the bone to all who are working to lift the workmen out of the mire," wrote Lloyd George. "A fully equipped Duke costs as much to keep as two Dreadnoughts and is more difficult to scrap," he added to the fury of the King. Of course it was unwise for the King to disregard Lloyd George's determination, after all, as Chancellor of the Exchequer, he had forced through the destruction of the Lords' veto - a move the King bitterly opposed. When Lloyd George replaced Asquith, King watched Lloyd George turn the war into a crusade for democracy against autocracy, coming to fruition with the abdications of Nicholas and Wilhelm. Lloyd George was a highly effective war leader simply because he united the national will behind a simple expressed goal, a "A Nation Fit for Heroes".
Yet events were being driven by the German Government. Because cousin Willy was trying to unseat Nicky and Georgie. And the real source of the leak was a Communist Agitator who had been sent to London with 5,000,000 gold deutsch marks by the Marxist millionnaire Alexander Parvus...
On this day in 1599, twelve-year-old White Doe, a.k.a. Virginia Dare, went on a vision quest seeking to learn more about her identity and the Devourer.
On this day in 1944, Allied advance units in Holland crossed the border into Germany.
In 2001, Secretary of State Colin Powell informs President Al Gore that the Saudis have refused to freeze bin Laden's bank accounts in their country, and in fact have protested that the impoundment of bin Laden's funds in U.S. banks is 'persecution of a Saudi national.'
The Saudi response angers the President, who points out to Powell that bin Laden is hostile not only to the U.S. but to the Saudi government, which he considers corrupt and 'un-Islamic.' He urges Secretary Powell to keep pressing Riyadh on this issue.
On this day in 1941, Soviet ground forces launched a three-column attack to retake Strogino.
|Red Army insignia|
On this day in 1947, botanists from the University of New Mexico reported that they had noticed a slight upsurge in plant growth in the immediate vicinity of 'ground zero' of the July 6th asteroid strike.
This prompted speculation within the scientific community that the rock of which the asteroid had been composed might have contained elements vital to plant life.
In 1962, as rioting continues throughout the South, President Kennedy calls out the National Guard to quell the disturbances. Some Guard units refuse to respond, forcing the President to call on Army troops. Violent clashes ensue as federal troops battle armed mobs, some of whose members are dressed in Confederate-style uniforms and carry Confederate battle flags. The following day, ex-Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Harry Truman appear together on television to urge an end to the violence. They repeat President Kennedy's warning that only America's enemies can profit from the nation's internal divisions.
In 1914, German troops take Warsaw.
In 1989, the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is arrested by security forces of the People's Republic of China. His last act of freedom is to blow up his home with hidden explosives. The Dalai Lama had advocated violent overthrow of the People's Republic since his first public speech in 1951.
In 1988, Meir Kahane's Kach party wins a majority in the Israeli Knesset, and he is elected Prime Minister. The movement touches off waves of violence throughout the small nation, which are suppressed bloodily.
In 1941, Jewish Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis is lynched by American Bund brownshirts in Washington, D.C. Although the event occurred in broad daylight, in front of hundreds of witnesses, no one is ever brought to justice for the crime. This event led the American Jewish and African-American communities to find common ground, forming the Semitic-African Resistance movement.
In 1829, future president Chester Arthur was born in Franklin County, Vermont. Comrade Arthur was a tireless and passionate organizer for the early Communist Party, but only served one term before being defeated by Socialist Grover Cleveland.
In 2007, the Reverend Jesse Jackson spoke of his admiration for Nelson Mandela - 'He could have easily chosen to affirm black and white together, instead he affirmed his blackness at the expense of oppressive whiteness. He chose Africa over reconciliation. Mandela represents a vibrant nationalism, not just an inclusive vision of society'.
In 1813, British and Shawnee troops under the command of the Shawnee chief Tecumseh defeated William Harrison's American Army at the Battle of the Thames near Ontario, Canada. This victory gave the British command of the western theater of the War of 1812, and enabled the Shawnee to retain their independence from European control.
on this day occurred the Miracle of Port Stanley
. Having escaped Britain for the Falkland Islands
at the disastrous conclusion of Operation Sea Lion, War Leader Winston Churchill and the remnants of the Royal Navy prepared for extirpation at the hands of the Kriegsmarine. The Founding Father of the movement to uproot Nazidom from the world was rescued by the breaking news that Fuhrer Adolf Hitler had been assassinated in Berchtesgaden. Colonel Henning von Tresckow had concealed a bomb inside a briefcase and detonated it at a command meeting. His uncle, Field Marshal Fedor von Bock assumed the leadership. Commander of Army Group Centre during the invasion of the Soviet Union, Operation Barbarossa von Bock saw the futility of struggle and offered an armistice to the British Empire.
In 1918, Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence, CB, DSO was made a Knight Commander of the British Empire. Former confident Prince Feisal described Lawrence as a cheap Zionist double-crosser, a reference to the events subsequent to the Battle of Megiddo which left the road to Damascus open. By the time Allenby arrived Lawrence and the Arabs were already installed. With Lawrence translating Allenby informed Prince Feisal that his newly-appointed Arab government would not be recognized and the city was to be handed over to the French.
In 1936, the Jarrow March set off for London, as Britain took the first steps on the road to socialism. The march was to find jobs to support Jarrow men and their families. It was also a bid for respect and recognition, not only for the people of Jarrow, but for others in a similar situation all over the country. The marchers had no resources other than their own determination, and some good boots supplied by the public. During the march, wherever the marchers stopped for the night, the local people found them shelter and provided them with food. By the time they reached London, they had delivered the most British of coups. Which was only right, the British State had started to take on the appearance of the dinosaur skeleton in the Kensington Science Museum, and really it was time for a change.
In 1998, to mark the seventy-fifth birthday of the former
President, Bill Clinton signed legislation that authorized a
change of name to the Charlton Heston Washington National
An installment from the 49th State thread.
Sparks Fly over Charlton Heston Washington National AirportThe decision sparked fury in the Hispanic Community. Emerging as a
national spokesman, Sen Fidel
Castro, D-Cuba described the timing of the announcement as a centennial
commemoration of genocide dating back to the US-Spanish War of 1898 after
which his island was "coerced" into joining the Union as the forty-nine State. After decades of rising
nationalism, the violence sharply escalated after independencistas
led by Ernesto "Che" Guevara landed at the Bay of Pigs in 1961. And by the eighties, President Heston was fighting a brutal Contra War in
Inadvertently, the lame duck President had launched a new war - of words- which developed between ultra conservatives and liberals. Because Clinton was facing impeachment charges, it was even suggested that the President was exchanging political favours by recognizing a mainstay of the GOP. That charge soon rung hollow, because two year later,in a hotly-contested election, Democratic nominee Castro narrowly defeated former Texas governor
George W. Bush to win the U.S. presidency, becoming the first native
Spanish-speaker to hold that office. In his inaugural address, he made
an oblique reference to the Airport controversy, declaring that "No
hay mal que por bien no venga (Every cloud has a silver lining)".
In 1936, on this day, German Émigré Artist Arnold Hiller was accidentally swept into the disturbances on Cable Street and arrested by the Metropolitan Police.
An article from the Comrade Arnold Hiller cross-over thread.
The Rise and Fall of Comrade Arnold Hiller
Part 1At the Bow Police Station, he was falsely charged under the provisions of the draconian new Public Order Act 1936  introduced by Prime Minister Oswald Mosley. Chastened by the injustice of this transformative experience, he spent his time in custody venting his anguish by authoring a diary.
But his political awakening really began soon after his release through a chance meeting with the left-wing journalist and movie critic German emigré "Clubfoot" Joey Goebbels who actively encouraged Hiller's expression of Communist doctrinal thought. The result was the articulation of a radical new Communist agenda simply called "My Struggle" that was widely circulated amongst the left-wing intelligentsia. He soon became an outspoken critic of the fascist regime, ensuring that Comrade Hiller was one of the many political activists swept up in the brutal internment programme that followed the outbreak of war. Because Mosley made common cause with continental fascists Mussolini of Italy, Franco of Spain and Roehm of Germany during his premiership, but where they are all gone by the end of the decade, his rule of Britain has only begun.
In 1636, confirmation that the Swedes were a spent force after the earlier battle of Nordlingen was assured by the glorious victory of the combined Imperial-Saxon army at Wittstock.
Swedes defeated at WittstockBecause a Swedish-allied army (pictured) under general Johan Baner decisively was comprehensively defeated by a combined Imperial-Saxon army, led by Count Melchior von Hatzfeld and the Saxon Elector John George I. Baner was helped by Swedish Count Lennart Torstenson and Scottish professional soldiers Alexander Leslie, later first Earl of Leven, James King, later first Lord Eythin, and John Ruthven. The Imperial army was larger in strength than the Swedish army, but at least one-third of it was composed of Saxon units of questionable quality. The Swedish artillery was considerably stronger, forcing the Imperial commanders to adopt a surprise tactics and fool Baner who expected them to maintain a largely defensive position on the hill tops. 
The broader context for the battle was that the Holy Roman Emperor, with his Saxon and Roman Catholic allies, was fighting for the control of northern Germany against the Swedes and an alliance of Protestant princes opposed to Habsburg hegemony. The Swedes were also allied to the French, but they played no part in the engagement, but after Wittstock the French soon became the dominant partner in the alliance.
In 1830, having asserted its independence from the Netherlands, the Belgian National Congress considered several candidates for the Kingship of the newly-formed country.
Belgian SuccessionIn the event, the Netherlands invaded Belgium before a suitable candidate could be finalised. Although confined mostly to skirmishing, a low grade state of war was to continue for eight years. Of course a decision could have been taken almost immediately had the most obvious candidate been cleared for selection. Being a bold militaristic iconic figure, Leopold Prince of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld (pictured) would have been an ideal choice for the monarchy being well placed to rally the Belgian defence of their newly found freedom.
In 1795, as a mere child, Leopold was appointed colonel of the Izmaylovsky Guards Regiment in Russia. Seven years later, he became a major general. When Napoleonic troops occupied the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg in 1806 Leopold went to Paris. Emperor Napoleon I offered him the position of adjutant, but he refused. Instead, he took up a military career in the Imperial Russian Cavalry. He campaigned against Napoleon and distinguished himself at the Battle of Kulm at the head of his cuirassier division. In 1815, at the age of twenty-five, Leopold reached the rank of lieutenant general in the Imperial Russian Army. In Carlton House on 2 May 1816, he married Princess Charlotte of Wales, the only legitimate child of the British Prince Regent (later King George IV of the United Kingdom) and therefore second in line to the British throne, and was created a British field-marshal and Knight of the Garter.
However by 1830, the ascension of Charlotte Hanover was less than a year away. Accordingly, it was reasonable to expect that Leopold would serve as her Britannic Majesty's Prince Consort and therefore his candidacy for King of the Belgians was unacceptable in London. One of the indirect consequences of this disconnection was that Britain felt under no royal family obligation to guarantee Belgium from German Invasion at the London Conference of 1867.
In 1936, on this day five thousand members of the Greater Zionist Resistance (GZR) congregated in London's East End for a demonstration march which would ruin the celebration of the fourth anniversary of the formation of the British Union of Fascists (BUF).
Battle of Cable Street
An installment from "Elders of the Protocols of Zion"Despite the half-hearted attempts of the Metropolitan Police to clear a path for the GZR, the march soon developed into an armed clash with the hundred thousand black-shirted supporters of Sir Oswald Mosley (pictured).
Left with little other choice, GZR leader Eric Arthur Blair was forced to concede defeat and disband his followers. Around eighty fascists had been arrested, and at least seventy-three police officers injured. But the real consequence of the Battle of Cable Street would land upon the Anglo-Jewish Community which would (according to a Joint Parliamentary Committee) witness an "an intensification of Fascist Jew-baiting and hooliganism". The very next weekend saw the most serious anti-semitic violence sofar, as a gang of two hundred youths, some armed with iron bars and hatchets, wrecked and looted Jewish shops, set alight a car and threw an elderly Jewish man and young child through a window.
Even though Mosley dismissed the Jewish question as "irrelevant", his rise to power would blend domestic fascism with anti-semitism until the two aspects of extremism were virtual indistinguishable.
All of Robbie Taylor's novels are available for download at Amazon.
In 2013, on this day President Rick Perry stated that a tragic loss of life in the accidental bombing of a border town Christian mission would not deter the United States from continuing the deployment of Drone Aircraft to end Mexico's drug cartel woes.
Perry's War on DrugsDuring his predecessor's tenure, unmanned aerial vehicle attacks by pilotless Predator drones were conducted against Taliban and Al Qaeda militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan's tribal areas. It was a strategem that Perry was forced to turn to when he encountered sharp resistance to the deployment of US troops on Mexican soil.
During his successful 2012 election campaign, the President resolved to destroy the networks of Mexican drug cartels operating on the US border. It was a pledge intended to overshadow the incumbent's promise to capture (or kill) Osama Bin Laden.
In 1970, Janis Joplin described her early life as that of a "Babylonian whore", quoting a line from a fellow graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School interviewed during her ten-year high school reunion.
Janis Joplin Born Again She had grown up the eldest of three in Port Arthur, TX, and had always had a psychological demand for attention. Her mother once said, "She was unhappy and unsatisfied without it. The normal rapport wasn't adequate". During high school, she held a group of other outcasts as friends, but overall felt that her schoolmates had "laughed me out of class, out of town and out of the state".
A new story by Jeff ProvineWhile with her friends, she had been exposed to the records of blues singers, which inspired her to become a singer. In college, she developed a style after the blues as well as beat poets. Without completing her degree, she left for San Francisco in 1963. Her career began, but so did her life-long struggle with drug use and drinking, even to the point of heroine. In 1965, her friends from Texas, worrying about her health, persuaded her to return and even threw a party to pay for her bus fare. Once in Texas, she regained her footing, returned to school, and drove to Austin to perform with her guitar and singing. While in Austin, her career exploded when she joined Big Brother and the Holding Community.
Credited as "the most powerful singer to emerge from the white rock movement" in Time and "the most staggering leading woman in rock" in Vogue, she stormed the scene. She sang with numerous bands, changing over the next four years and developing her style with each. Over the next four years, her name would become famous across the US as well as internationally. Her drug use, however, also returned. She struggled against it, vowing with bandmate Dave Getz to keep needle-use out of their apartment (a vow broken), but the addiction surrounded and finally seized her.
On October 4, 1970, Joplin was discovered with a severe overdose in the Landmark Motor Motel by a delivery man with a wrong address. Rushed to the hospital, she survived but had to progress through weeks of recovery. During this time, she underwent something of a spiritual revolution, believing that "Jesus sent that delivery man". That Christmas, she would return to Texas and rejoin the Church of Christ she had attended as a child with her family.
Joplin became as fed up with organized Christianity as she had before and soon stepped into what became the "Rock Christian" movement. Casting aside the darker themes of rock, the "Jesus hippies" embraced psychedelic art, powerful emotions, and beneficial anarchy. She would meet with other leaders of the Christian movement, applauding some and voicing disgust at others. Most famously, she gave a concert with evangelist Billy Graham in 1973. Most notoriously, she launched into a feud with Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, referring to the Praise The Lord Club as a "nest of vipers". When scandal broke in 1987, Joplin refused to allow her fans to celebrate, saying that there is no glory in the fall of PTL since "it shouldn't have ever existed in the first place".
Joplin's position in ministry is often called into question with many members of the Christian Right praising her devotion and good work while others say that she is two steps down from the Devil himself, possibly even an anti-christ. Opponents routinely bring up her history of drug abuse, a topic from which she never shies and uses as grounds for further promotion.
In 1984, with Democratic Party nominee Reverend Jesse Louis Jackson riding high in the polls on this day, President George H.W. Bush desperately needed an "October Surprise" to stay in office. Big time.
October SurpriseAfter Shirley Chisholm, Jackson had become only the second African American to mount a nationwide campaign for President of the United States, running as a Democrat. Key to his selection over the lacklustre Walter Mondale, was his adoption of a moderately populist platform. In so doing he dropped a number of his original Afrocentric policies, such as declaring apartheid South Africa a rogue state, and promising reperations for descendants of black slaves. Ironically, whilst George Bush's father Prescott was descended from New England abolitionists, his mother, Dorothy Walker's family were slave-owners from Maryland.
Bush had initially enjoyed high hopes of winning the 1980 election outright, narrowly beating Reagan at the Iowa Caucus. Defeated in the primaries, Reagan had chosen Bush as his running mate. And scarely after entering office, "the Gipper" had been assassinated by John Warnock Hinckley, Jr. Yet ever since he had been sworn in, Bush had experienced a dreadfully torrid time at the White House. Catastrophically, during the first year, compelling evidence had emerged that suggested Bush himself might have been behind the assassination. Because John's older brother, Scott Hinckley had a dinner date at his son, Neil Bush's Denver home that very evening. News footage indicated that a second shooter had fired the fatal shot from a nearby hotel window. And just nobody believed that Reagan could have been hit from the front when the bullet proof door was clearly opened between him and the assassin.
Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity on May 4, 1982, By then it was clear that Bush's woeful performance in office was an even bigger blocker to his election in 1984. But two weeks before that election, her Sikh bodyguards killed Indira Gandhi. The Republic of India entered meltdown, the Punjab seceded, and the world went a little crazy.
In 1919, on this day "Shoeless" Joe Jackson, deeply traumatized by the Comiskey Park fire, quit professional baseball for good and left Chicago.
Disaster at Comiskey Park by Chris OakleyEven the most jaded Chicagoans were stunned by Jackson's decision; as he was leaving his house to board a train back to South Carolina, one distraught boy could be heard pleading "Say it ain't so, Joe!"
In 1964, in an article published in Life Magazine on this day Malcolm Little alleged that orders were given by leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood to 'destroy' him.Hajj Part 6 - Getting on like a House on Fire by Eric Oppen
Life published a photograph of Malcolm X holding an M1 Carbine at a window (pictured). The photo was taken as representation of his declaration to defend himself from the daily death threats received. Undercover FBI informants warned officials that he had been marked for assassination.
The Muslim Brotherhood were not the only threat to Little's life. In June, the Nation of Islam had sued to reclaim Malcolm X's residence in Queens, which they claimed to own. The suit was successful, and Malcolm X was ordered to vacate. The evening after the publication and the night before a scheduled hearing to postpone the eviction date, the house burned to the ground. He and his family survived. No one was charged with any crime. Both the Nation of Islam and the Muslim Brotherhood denied responsibility for the arson.
To be continued..
In 1847, on this day Gen. Stephen Watts Kearny was dispatched to the former western Mexico peninsula where he was ordered by US President George M. Dallas to prepare the combined territories of Baja and Alta California for statehood by creating a new seat of government in the city of La Paz.
Manifest DestinyThe United States was by now one of the largest nations of the globe. And yet the fulfilment of America's "Manifest Destiny" was due in part to the timing of the premature demise of President James K. Polk. He had stood against the "All Mexico" proponents within his Cabinet, but by the time Gen. Zachary Taylor's US troops forced their way into the Main Plaza of Monterrey, Mexico Polk's health had deteriorated to the extent that he worse forced to relinquish power to Dallas.
Veteran officers of the war such as Brig. Gen Franklin Pierce and L. Ulysses S. Grant founded the Aztec Club to celebrate the bravery of those troops who fought in Mexico. US Generals had never lost a battle and having landed at Velacruz marched with ease to Mexico City where the American Flag was raised atop Hispanic fortresses and palaces. And yet the military victory was to prove illusory.
A highly unstable situation awaited Kearny and even though the US government occupied the former Mexican heartland, control was limited to actively occupied urban areas. The indigenous population were hostile to the Protestant Anglo invaders. It would soon become clear that the Mexican-American war had effectively passed into a guerrilla phase, and Kearny would soon be writing to Dallas to advise the President that Baja California was essentially lawless.
On this day in 1965, San Francisco Giants players and managerial staff held a going-away party at the city's largest hotel for retiring third base coach Roy "The Natural" Hobbs.
On this day in 1971, the last remaining television station in Los Angeles, the ABC affiliate KABC-TV, went off the air for good.
In 1960, Robert F. Wagner resigned as mayor of New York City after weeks of constantly growing criticism of his response to the Jamaica Bay hurricane; City Council president Abe Stark was sworn in as new mayor as 12:01 that afternoon to finish out the remainder of Wagner's term.
Stark, in turn, would be replaced by Congressman and surprise write-in winner of the 1960 mayoral elections John Lindsay.
|New York Major|
|Robert F. Wagner|
On this day in 1941, Red Army troops in Siberia repulsed a second Japanese attempt to take Petropavlovsk.
|Red Army insignia|
On this day in 1970, the Cowboys notched their third straight win with a 31-point shutout of the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium.
In 1957, the Soviet Union launches its first artificial satellite, Sputnik I. The beeping 183-pound spheroid successfully reaches orbit, from which its simple radio transmissions are easily detected. Most ordinary Americans view the Soviet accomplishment with concern but not alarm; after all, the U.S. had been first into space with NASA's 'Mickey' back in 1954. At NASA, the Defense Department and the White House, however, the reaction is far stronger, as it is realized that in launching its satellite, the USSR has demonstrated it has the technology to build ICBMs capable of carrying powerful thermonuclear warheads to the United States.
In 1957, the Soviet Union launches Sputnik I, the first artificial satellite upstaging the U.S., which had planned to launch one of its own during the International Geophysical Year which had begun on July 1.
Sputnik, at only 183 pounds, is hardly threatening in itself. However, the USSR's ability to launch it underscores that the Communist nation also has the technology to produce intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads from Soviet territory to targets throughout the United States. Senator Joseph McCarthy demands to know 'what sort of treason' is responsible for the Soviets beating America into space.
President Eisenhower's response is to establish the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The space agency is to be nominally civilian, in contrast with the Soviets' military-dominated program; in practice, though, NASA will be heavily staffed with military officers.
McCarthy will continue to press for an 'urgent investigation' of America's failure to beat the Soviets into space. However, when Congress takes up the matter, the focus will gradually shift away from hunting for traitors and incompetents in the government and toward building up what a House committee report will call the 'decrepit and backward' U.S. public school system, especially with regard to science education.
McCarthy's loss of control over the Sputnik inquiry is an early sign that the Wisconsin senator's power has passed its peak. Years of bullying have made too many enemies for him, in Congress, the military and elsewhere, and this has finally begun to catch up with him. He will remain influential for years, but will never again be the fearsome figure who forced the Army to back down in 1954 and tied the GOP national convention in knots two years later.
In 2007, the al-Fayed's spoke of their belief that Allah akhbar would prevail upon Prince Harry's captors to effect the Prince's release in Iraq.
Dodi Junior said that merciful God had guided the family through the bitter months after the Paris Car Crash. They were safe under the shadow of his wing.
In 1861, President Lincoln observed the first flight of the new Balloon Corps, which he had commissioned to launch an aerial assault on the Confederates. The southern rebels also used a few balloons against the north, but the hundreds of balloons that the Union was able to sail over the Confederacy proved overwhelming; almost as fast as they could be shot down, a replacement sailed in to fill the gap. The aerial bombardment proved devastating to the south, and changed the face of warfare across the world.
In 1182, Francis of Assisi, the monk who taught that one could only be brought to Christ through pain, was born in Assisi, Italy. His torture of animals, children and parishioners in his native city led the Vatican to excommunicate him; at one point, they even attempted to exorcise him of evil spirits.
In 1748, architect Nilson Bors was born in Oslo, Norway. Bors has often been cited as the 19th century's most brilliant builder, blending Mlosh and human forms into a new synthesis of design. His last project, completed in his 116th year, was the headquarters of the Congress of Nations in Cairo, Egypt.
Brendan DuBois a reporter for a Boston newspaper investigated the murder of an old vet, but the crime turned out to have much larger implications when he found out that the victim had been a military liaison stationed at the White House ten years before. In Resurrection
Day his investigative masterpiece, DuBois reflects on the day John F Kennedy was killed. The Cuban Missile Crisis had escalated into nuclear warfare after the United States invaded Cuba in response to a U-2 shoot down. When all is over the Soviet Union had ceased to exist, but the United States had lost Washington, DC; New York; San Diego; and most civil liberties. With America humbled, a resurgent British empire was given a second chance...
In 1940, Adolf Hitler
and Benito Mussolini met at the Brenner Pass. Il Duce was distressed to see his allies' physical decline. The Fuhrer's condition caused his arm to shake uncontrollably, forcing him to conceal it behind his back. It was not too bad up here in the mountains, explained Hitler, but he was acutely aware he had entered the period of languishing, and must act now whilst he still had the strength. Both men were pragmatic, they had suffered the lycan's burden for many years.
In 1975, on this day a Cessna 310Q airplane crashed over Wilmington, North Carolina, killing the pilot and severely injuring several pro wrestlers affiliated with the NWA's Mid-Atlantic promotion. One of the survivors was the legendary Ric Flair. Seeking rescue, he bravely led the party of survivors on a thirty-seven mile walk to the edge of Green Swamp where he was given medical attention and supplies by the Waccamaw Siouan. Flair was surprised that he could not find North Carolinians. The Waccamaw Siouan were even more surprised to see pale faces. During the evening's celebrations, both agreed wholeheartedly that wrestling was the sport of Kings even if Flair's version was somewhat more flamboyant.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.