A Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today.
Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Written by Alternate Historian

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October 7

In 1967, the long-term covert operation to capture Ernesto "Che" Guevara finally ended in success for the CIA when the Cuban independentista was wounded and taken prisoner while leading a detachment in the Yuro ravine near the village of La Higuera in Bolivia. The twice-wounded Guevara, his gun rendered useless, shouted, "Do not shoot! I am Che Guevara and I am worth more to you alive than dead". An installment from the 49th State thread.

Che Guevara captured in BoliviaIncredibly, he had managed to avoid capture for six and a half years, becoming America's most wanted man for his role in the infamous "Bay of Pigs" mission. Leading a group of Hispanic insurgents he landed ashore with the aim of forcing the secession of the 49th State of Cuba.

Speaking on behalf of the patriots, the ultra-conservative Governor of California (and future President) Charlton Heston famously dismissed the invasion force as a bunch of "damned, dirty apes". He was treated accordingly. Following his capture, Guevara was tied up and taken to a dilapidated mud schoolhouse in the nearby village of La Higuera on the evening of October 8. For the next half day, Guevara refused to be interrogated by Bolivian officers and would only speak quietly to Bolivian soldiers. One of those Bolivian soldiers, a helicopter pilot named Jaime Nino de Guzman, describes Che as looking "dreadful". Because he was shot through the right calf, his hair was matted with dirt, his clothes were shredded, and his feet were covered in rough leather sheaths. Despite his haggard appearance, he held his head high, looked everyone straight in the eyes and asked only for something to smoke.

In a subsequent testimony, De Guzman states that he "took pity" and gave him a small bag of tobacco for his pipe, and that Guevara then smiled and thanked him. Later on the night of October 8, Guevara - despite having his hands tied - kicked a Bolivian officer, Espinosa, into the wall after the officer entered the schoolhouse and tried to snatch Guevara's pipe from his mouth as a souvenir while he was still smoking it. In another instance of defiance, Guevara literally spat in the face of Bolivian Rear Admiral Ugarteche who attempted to question Guevara a few hours before his execution. But it didn't quite turn out that way because in the morning, guards discovered that De Guzman had helped Guevara to escape at some point during the night. For this careless wrecking of the CIA operation, Heston had some further choice words for the Bolivian Army, "You Maniacs! You blew it! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!". Years later in office, he would send US Forces south, skeptical of the loyalty of Latin American Governments.

In 1960, Senator John Kennedy of Massachusetts and Vice-President Richard Nixon debate for the second time on television, this time on matters of foreign policy. Almost sixty-two million viewers and listeners tuned into the event recorded at NBC affiliate's Studio A, Massachusetts and Nebraska Avenues, Washington DC.

Second Kennedy-Nixon DebateOf course Sen. Kennedy was widely viewed as the winner of the first debate, particularly among those who viewed it on television. Polls in the following week showed that Kennedy's support rose to the same level as Nixon's. The second Kennedy-Nixon debate was Nixon's chance to redeem himself. In the interim, Nixon's campaign discussed how to improve his performance. Analysts believed that Kennedy did a better job setting forth the "big picture" while Nixon did better with the details.

But unfortunately this approach backfired because Sen. Kennedy made a major gaff by declaring that Castro was a communist, and that, "Today, Cuba is lost to freedom". When Castro signed a trade and security agreement with the Eisenhower administration the next week, Kennedy was humiliated, and doubts about his competency in international affairs became certainties.

In 2003, despite a brief flirtation with the idea of electing a movie star as their governor again, Californians come to their senses and vote Democrat Cruz Bustamante into the governor's mansion in a special recall election.

Governor Bustamante electedAlthough the Republican Party had pushed the ouster of Governor Gray Davis, it proved to be of little advantage during the actual election - their main candidate in the field of over 100 came in a distant fourth. Even the independent candidate, Arianna Huffington, polled ahead of the action-hero candidate.

It was part of a larger trend against Republican policies that continued into the national elections the next year, as President Al Gore was re-elected in a landslide, and the Democrats regained the majority in the House of Representatives.

In 1792, on this day a Founding Father of the Republic of Virginia George Mason IV died at his home in Gunston Hall in Fairfax County, VA. He was sixty-six years old.

American Hero
Ed & Scott Palter
At the Williamsburg Convention he drafted the Colonies' very first declaration of rights and state constitution. First Pennsylvania, then Maryland, then Delaware, then North Carolina and others took most or all of the Declaration of Rights and either made them amendments to their own constitutions or incorporated them directly into their constitutions. Thomas Jefferson paraphrased his ideas into the Declaration of Independence, and although Mason did not receive full credit for his contribution, the entire Continental Congress knew of the conceptual source of Jefferson's ideas.

"a man of the first order of wisdom" ~ Jefferson on MasonAs a result of his high profile he was was appointed to represent Virginia as a delegate to a Federal Convention, to meet in Philadelphia for the purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation.

He refused to sign the Constitution, however, and returned to his native state as an outspoken opponent in the ratification contest. Ironically, one objection to the proposed Constitution was that it lacked a "declaration of rights".

In 1918, the Fall of the German Empire carried with it the implosion of the shell of Czarist Russia.

Twilight in RusslandThis required refusing Western demands for further offensives. Brusilov was managing to keep the Imperial Russian army in the field but one more good killing even in a successful offensive would have shattered it. Kerensky and Brusilov were blunt to their Western counterparts. There were two and ONLY two choices. One was keeping a large Austro-German army tied down on an Eastern Front while the West won the war themselves. This would require Western aid to be continued and increased via the White Sea, Vladivostok and Persia. The other was one more attack. Regardless of the result the shaky Russian state would implode. Germany would free up 100 divisions of Austro-German troops for transfer to the West while enabling the Central Powers to feed themselves on the Ukrainian and south Russian harvests. The Western powers fumed, pleaded and raged but in the end accepted the less bad choice.

Kerensky lived up to his part of the bargain. The Eastern Front stayed in being until the German capitulation in 1918. However the Russian implosion had continued parallel to the war. A left rising in Petrograd in November of 1917 took that city out of the war and left the imperial family as prisoners of a shifting coalition of agitators who would gain temporary ascendancy in the Petrograd Soviet. Kerensky and the core of his government were lucky to escape to Moscow with their lives. Brusilov died three days before the Armistice with Germany trying to put down yet another in an endless series of army mutinies.

A new article by Scott PalterNews of the end of the war and the beginnings of the German withdrawal in November saw every ethnic and regional group in the Russian Empire attempt secession. The Petrograd Soviet added to the chaos by hanging the Imperial family. When the smoke cleared the following spring Kerensky was reduced to ruling a region roughly with the boundaries of early modern Muscovy. The royalists split into two camps. The higher nobility grouped themselves around Grand Duke Nicholas, who claimed the throne despite an inferior actual claim. Based out of Mukden and Vladivostok, this regime was cut off from European Russia by a maze of warlord states in Siberia and Central Asia.

The younger royalists and nationalists emerged from the chaos of south Russia grouped into a Cossack and junior officer Volunteer Army under Baron Ungern-Sternberg (pictured). The self-proclaimed Field Marshal and Atman, had assembled this force in a welter of brief campaigns over the previous winter of 1918-1919. He was helped in this by most senior officers choosing to either stay with Kerensky or migrating to serve with Grand Duke Nicholas. He also had seized custody of the Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrova, giving him the legitimate heir to the throne as a figurehead. By a series of deals with the retreating Germans in western Ukraine he had traded their safe passage for their arms dumps. By dint of location in Ukraine, south Russia, Kuban and the north Caucasus, he was the only of the many competing regimes to have a food surplus. While millions starved he could feed his troops. Now with the end of the spring mud season he began his march north to place his puppet monarch on the throne in the twin capitals of Moscow and Petrograd.
This article is a continuation of the Russland timeline.

In 1862, although Hancock, in early October, was not a major town in any fashion, it did nevertheless have railroads, the Potomac, the Cheasapeake-Ohio Canal, not to mention several roads, all either going through or around it (as pictured in map).

The Battle of Hancock - Day One by David Atwell It was also well located, geographically speaking, so that the Army of Northern Virginia could enter the relative safety of the Shenandoah Valley from the north, thus keeping any pursuer honest in their attempts to attack the rear of Lee's army. But the most important aspect was the local terrain. Although the ridge line, which the town was located on, was an impressive looking location to deploy an army, the ridge line to the west of Hancock was even better.

As a consequence, even though Lee first thought about establishing his line on the town of Hancock itself, he selected the better ground to the west of the town. Thus Lee established his initial position on Blue Hill. Here Longstreet's corps made its line southward down to the banks of the Potomac River and then northward to Kirk Woods through until Longstreet finally anchored his right on Little Tonoloway Creek. Immediately north of this location (in other words across the creek) Jackson started his line. This continued north towards Wardfordsburg where Magruder's Corps took over the line until where it ended at Big Tonoloway Creek. Across Big Tonoloway Creek, Stuart's cavalry was deployed to cover the open flank, even though it was well protected thanks to Big Tonoloway Creek.A Chapter from Hancock 1862

Some four hours later, at around 4pm, the Army of the Potomac arrived by way of Pleasonton's cavalry corps. McClellan was immediately informed of the situation and made his plans accordingly. Assuming Lee was now prepared to offer battle, McClellan returned to his slow methodical ways, but in this instance he was right to proceed cautiously as any rash attack would have been met with disaster. Consequentially, over the remaining hours before nightfall, McClellan established the beginning of his battleline where Little Tonoloway Creek enters the Potomac River. It then parallelled Longstreet's line to the east of Kirk Woods. The Union line then headed north, again parallel to Lee's line, and finally ended east of Wardfordsburg at Big Tonoloway Creek. Finally Pleasonton's Cavalry probed further north and, by dusk, had made contact with their Confederate counterparts. Like Lee, McClellan based most of his line on a hill line, although Lee's position enjoyed the advantage of the higher ridge.

Both sides then awaited the dawn, knowing that the battle which could decide the outcome of the War, was about to begin.

Read the whole story of Hancock 1862 - the Union Strikes Back on the Changing the Times web site.

In 1973, there seemed to be little choice for Israel than to exercise the nuclear option. The military situation was dire, especially on the Egyptian front. A large hole had been successfully made in the Israeli centre on the Sinai front.

The Specials by David AtwellTwo Egyptian spearheads, numbering at least two divisions each, had, not only reached the all important passes, but had crossed them & were heading towards Israel proper. The Israeli Defence Minister, Moshe Dayan, was in shock when told of the news, by his staff, at midday on 7 October. He, in turned, told Israel's Prime Minister Golda Meir, of the situation, & concluded that "It is the fall of the Third Temple" as he was in much despair.

Israel, though, was mobilising as much of its military reserve as possible. But with its defeat at the Sinai passes, Israel was running out of time. At the speed with which the Egyptians were moving, the Israeli homeland would be invaded within 24 hours. There was little time left. Furthermore, now that Egypt had room to move, it had spread its front line out thus making it more or less impossible to establish a "road-block" defence, as the Egyptians could merely drive around it & leave the defenders to be dealt with later.

The only hope seemed to lie with the Israeli Air Force, but it had taken a sever beating when it tried to intervene at the Suez Canal two days earlier. Having said that, whatever the Israeli's could fly was in the air & hitting the Egyptians as they were approaching Israel itself. All the same, the Egyptians had mobile anti-aircraft missile carriers & these kept a watchful eye on the skies. And just as importantly for the Egyptians, their own Air Force patrolled the skies, although they were seldom a match for Israeli pilots.

Even so, it still came down to time. And Israel's time was clearly running out. A decision had to be made as to what to do. As far as Dayan was concerned, if Israel did not act decisively now, all would be lost. Meir was of the same mind, although Elazar voiced his objections, but it was a government decision & not a military one. Thus Meir issued the orders to get the "Specials" ready. The Israeli Air Force was given the most important orders that it had ever carried out.

A Chapter from Hell on EarthThree hours later, four Israeli Skyhawk A-4H fighter/bomber aircraft took off from an air force base outside of Jerusalem. Their mission was a simple one, although the consequences of its success was without equal. On board each aircraft was a crude nuclear weapon, four of only 13 such weapons made for use by an aircraft. These had been built, only recently, by the Israeli defence department for use in an emergency such as this. Now they were on the way to stop the Egyptian army from invading southern Israel.

It only took a short period of time for the Israeli Skyhawks to reach their destination, but to the likes of Meir, Dayan & Elazar, it was probably the longest 30 minutes of their lives. Seconds seemed like hours, whilst minutes seemed like days. The Skyhawks went unmolested by the Egyptians, until they reached the front. Coming in low, though, gave the pilots numerous advantages, but once they entered their sudden climb it was a different story. But the pilots had to reach a high altitude, flying almost straight up, in order to "sling-shot" the nuclear weapon up & away from their aircraft if they wanted to survive.

The Egyptians never knew what hit them, nor did they understand what the four Israeli Skyhawks were attempting. It seemed to be merely an attempt to avoid being hit by missiles or some such. Each Skyhawk, however, was able to release its weapon as planed & then took off at great speed away from the battle zone. As they flew away, each nuclear weapon continued in its upward flight until gravity finally brought it back to Earth. Within two minutes the job was done. Four Egyptian divisions no longer existed. The invasion threat to Israel had vanished in four mushroom shaped clouds.
Read the whole story on the Alternate History web site

By 1849, the life of Edgar Allan Poe had been as bleak as many of his poems. His father had abandoned the family shortly after his birth, and his mother died of tuberculosis the next year. He was taken in by the Allan family, wealthy Scotch merchants in Virginia.

Poe RemarriesWhile the Allans never formally adopted him, Poe was given the middle name of Allan in recognition of his foster parents. He had a youth of mixed fortune: traveling with the family and being well educated, but being alternately spoiled and brutally disciplined by his foster father. Poe would attend the University of Virginia for one year before dropping out, claiming that his foster father had not given him enough of an allowance to pay for classes, texts, and dormitory.

His first disappointment in love would follow as he learned his sweetheart, Sarah Royster, had married another man. Poe would leave Richmond for Boston, stumbling semi-aimlessly with various writing jobs and unrecognized publications as well as enlisting in the army under an alias while lying about his age. He did well in the artillery but sought to leave early, which his commander would only allow if he reconciled with the Allans. John Allan refused to write back, and Poe finally visited in person, one day after his foster mother's death. Poe later attended West Point while his foster father remarried, which began a new feud that would finally have Poe disowned. Depression struck him, and he purposefully sought court-martial from gross dereliction of duty.

In 1831, while Poe was living with his aunt and also his cousin Virginia, his brother died. He turned more seriously to his writing as well as getting work at newspapers (though he would be fired for drunkenness or lack of productive work). In 1835, he secretly married his 13-year-old Virginia (she lying about her age on the certificate as 21), and the family life won him back his job at the Southern Literary Messenger. They married publicly the next year.

Life seemed to pick up for Poe. He was more stable than he had ever been, and his writing was gaining recognition and making money. It came to an end, however, as Virginia began showing signs of tuberculosis in 1842. The stress of his wife's illness drove Poe back to drink, and he became increasingly belligerent. The Broadway Journal failed under his editorship in 1846, and Virginia died in 1847. Poe was devastated.

In spite of tortured mourning, Poe tried to move on, soon courting poetess Sarah Helen Whitman. They had met in writing before life, Whitman writing a poem "To Edgar Allan Poe" for a Valentine's Day party he did not attend, and Poe writing in return. The courtship was a mess from Poe's erraticism, alcoholism, and Whitman's mother's attempts at sabotage. Despite the odds, they set a wedding date of December 25, 1848. Rumors that Poe had broken his vow of sobriety along with Poe's "outrages" drove them apart. It seemed another melancholic relationship for the Virginia poet.

That spring, Poe returned, signifying his devotion by smashing a whiskey bottle. In spite of her mother's pleas, Whitman took him back, though she would watch his habits closely over the rest of their lives. They were wed in 1849, and Poe's writing returned as he began the "happy half of [his] life". His "Raven" had gained sudden recognition, and Poe finally felt vindicated in his craft. Novels, short stories, and poems surged from his pen. Whitman was a successful poet in her own right, and the two lived very comfortably. As he aged, Poe took up a professorship at the University of Virginia, teaching writing and making great strides in cryptography and logic as well as his famous satirical commentaries on cosmology and physics.

Poe stands as perhaps the greatest American author of the nineteenth century, creating several genres such as detective stories, science fiction, modern heroism, and spirit fiction all the while perfecting the Gothic horror. His advances in the theories of cryptography helped establish America as the foremost world power in code-cracking and ancient linguistics.

In 2010, Connecticut senatorial candidate Linda McMahon was called before the House Committee on Un-American Activities to answer charges that she had participated in proscribed rites of witchcraft.

Linda McMahon on TrialHer confession under "intensive interrogation" by means of waterboarding, a refinement of the Colonial-era technique of dunking, conducted before TV cameras for a national network audience, destroyed her political hopes and resulted in federal confiscation of her financial assets and the collapse of her show-business empire, World Wrestling Entertainment, many of whose garishly-outfitted performers would themselves be called before the Committee.

Ms. McMahon, of course, would not see any of that. Immediately following her broadcast confession, she was taken out and-still before the cameras-burned at the stake.

In 1994, and just two days after becoming the President-elect of the Boerestaat, Constand Laubscher Viljoen (pictured) received an earth-shattering intelligence report that forced the General to reconsider the very lifelong convictions that had led inexorably to his new political appointment as the Head of State for the new "Israel for the Afrikaner".

No WinnersViljeon had joined the South African Defence Force in 1955. Appointed as the senior officer in the campaign in Angola in 1975-1976, his prestige had risen as the hands-on organizer of the swashbuckling airborne assault by South African forces at the controversial Battle of Cassinga. Revered as a white hero, he was promoted to Overall Commander, South African Defence Forces three years later, a position he served in until 1985. This military leadership position in the so-called "Border War" put Viljeon squarely on the frontline as a sworn defender of the Separate Amenities Act, the Group Areas act and the Population Registration, the key pieces of legislation that held the apartheid regime together. By the early 1990s however, Vijeon had retired to his farm and it was his twin brother, Braam that was politically active. The two brothers had not spoken in years.

In contrast, a career failure as a man of the church, Braam was politically aligned to the African National Congress, rightly viewing the apartheid laws as an abomination. He too was on the front-line. So much so, that Constand had sent him dire warnings to quit the Committees of the South African Council of Churches if he "knew what was good for him", because the security forces considered the Council to be a front for ANC terrorism.

"Go rest in peace. Go rest in the shadow of a tree at your home".By the time of Mandela's release from prison, Constand had decided to abandon the farm and join the right-wing political process. Viljoen had a force of between 50,000 and 60,000 trained military personnel at his command, with the ability to take over large parts of the country. Soon realising that the agreements with de Klerk constituted a de facto government of national unity, right-wing forces murdered South African Communist Party chairman Chris Hani to derail the peace process. And at the funeral, youthful ANC supporters shouting "Kill the Boer! Kill the Farmer". Mandela fatally chose to let this reaction go, and was assassinated in the escalation of violence at the funeral.

As President-elect, Constand was privy to the intelligence reports the Polish far-right immigrant named Janusz Walus who had murdered Chris Hani. And whilst studying those very reports, Constand discovered to his horror, that his own people were also behind the 1987 murder of his brother Braam. Addressing the Afrkaner nation on the occassion of Mandela's funeral, Viljeon paid an amazing tribute in Xhosa: "Go rest in peace. Go rest in the shadow of a tree at your home".

In 2009, on this day the super-violent American zombie horror movie For Whom the Bell Tolls premiered in cinemas across the United Kingdom. Starring Woody Harrelson in his most gory role since "Natural Born Killers" the movie shares its name with the signature soundtrack from Metallica.
Click to listen to Metallica on Youtube

From Whom the Bell TollsIn a key scene, the zombie killers stay in lead singer (pictured) James Hetfield's Californian mansion and they club the living dead to death with one of his electric guitars.

To say that the actors got into character would be an understatement, big time. Because on his return from the film-shoot, Woody Harrelson assaulted a photographer at La Guardia Airport in New York, claiming that he mistook the cameraman for a zombie. "I wrapped a movie called "From Whom the Bell Tolled," in which I was constantly under assault by zombies, then flew to New York, still very much in character," Harrelson said in a statement issued by his publicist. "With my daughter at the airport I was startled by a paparazzo, who I quite understandably mistook for a zombie," he said.

In 2010, the first episode of the American future history fiction television series "The Chronicles of Bandit Six" was aired by the Fox Broadcasting Company. Each episode begins with the gravelly voice of Bandit Six (pictured) solemnly pledging "This Rome Will Not Fall".
Click to watch the author's interview with Kelly Lockhart

The Chronicles of Bandit SixThe difficulty for would-be directors was that author John Ringo had written "The Last Centurion" in a unique and compelling blog style where the first person narrator makes reference to a documentary which of course the reader can only imagine.

Set in the second decade of the twenty-first century, the world is struck by two catastrophes, a new mini-ice age and, nearly simultaneously, a plague to dwarf all previous experiences. "This Rome will not Fall"Rising out of the disaster is the character known to history as "Bandit Six" an American Army officer caught up in the struggle to rebuild the world and prevent the fall of his homeland - despite the best efforts of politicians both elected and military.

The genius of the 2010 TV series was to reverse the artistic vision, basing the episodes on the imagined "Last Centurions" documentaries as filmed by the SkyNews satellite news network in late 2018/early 2019 and the "New Centurions" news programs as aired on the ABC and FOX television networks in June of 2021.

In 1985, on this day four Palestinian terrorists seize control of the passenger liner MS Achille Lauro off the coast of Egypt. Holding the passengers and crew hostage, they directed the vessel to sail to Tartus, Syria, and demanded the release of 50 Palestinians then in Israeli prisons. After being refused permission to dock at Tartus, the hijackers murdered wheelchair-bound American passenger Leon Klinghoffer and threw his body overboard.

The Achille Lauro Affair by Eric LippsThe incident provides a harsh test of President Gary Hart's administration. The President, fearing he will be charged with "weakness" by conservatives, first advises the Egyptian government against negotiating with the terrorists and then directs that a military response be readied. In consultation with the Israelis, whose successful 1976 raid on terrorists holding hostages at Uganda's Entebbe Airport had been made into a television movie, Hart directs that U.S. Marines storm the ship, which had returned to its port of origin, Alexandria.

The raid is a distinctly mixed success. Three of the four terrorists are killed, and the fourth, Abu Abbas, taken prisoner. However, several hostages are killed, including Marilyn Klinghoffer, wife and now widow of the man murdered earlier by the terrorists. It will be rumored for years that Mrs. Klinghoffer was shot by one of the U.S. troops.

In the aftermath, President Hart will be sharply criticized by liberals, including his immediate predecessor President Edward M. Kennedy, for taking armed action in preference to negotiations. Conservatives will join in, criticizing the Hart Administration for "bungling" the rescue attempt..

Kennedy's criticism will be particularly painful for Hart. The two men had been friends, and Hart had been among the second President Kennedy's strongest supporters in the Senate; EMK's sharp words will feel like a personal betrayal.

On this day in 1941, the German army unleashed a ferocious counterattack against Red Army infantry and armor divisions trying to retake Strogino.

 -

In 1970, with U.S. troops in combat with North Vietnamese Army units inside North Vietnam, massive demonstrations are held at several U.S. universities. At Columbia University in New York City, the offices of the administration in Hamilton Hall are occupied by protestors who refuse the orders of campus security guards to vacate the premises.

Tensions had been building for some time, since the discovery by student activists of papers in the International Law Library linking the university to a Defense Department think tank called the Institute for Defense Analyses. Several students had been placed on probation for violating a university policy against indoor demonstrations, prompting a short-lived student strike.

 -

In 2001, in a meeting with his closest military and foreign-affairs advisers, President Al Gore discusses the need to "prepare to employ other options" in the event that diplomatic efforts to press the Afghans and the Saudis to aid the U.S. against the Al Qaeda terrorists responsible for the Sept. 11 downing of TWA Flight 93 fail.

 - Al Gore
Al Gore

The President explains that the Afghans' walkout from the United Nations following the UN sanctions resolution of Sept. 28, and the Saudis' hostile reaction to American requests for their cooperation against bin Laden, have obliged him to consider the possibility that the United States may have to act alone sand "forcefully". Gore confides to his advisers that the one bright spot in the situation is that the additional attacks the terrorists had planned, which might have killed thousands more and potentially even crippled the U.S. government, were thwarted as a result of the intelligence warnings contained in the Presidential Daily Brief he had received on August 6.

Secretary of State Powell suggests that the President consider assembling a coalition of nations in support of any military action, as President George H. W. Bush did prior to Operation Desert Storm in 1991. He emphasizes that although the United States is more than capable of defeating the Afghan army and any likely Al Qaeda resistance in open battle, enlisting international support will be politically useful, particularly if long-term sanctions or an extended occupation are deemed necessary.

Defense Secretary Webb concurs, and stresses in addition that preparations for possible military action in Afghanistan must be kept from leaking to the media.

In 1984, in the first of two scheduled debates between the presidential contenders, which focuses on domestic policy, GOP candidate Robert Dole asserts the need to "rein in the growth of entitlement programs", which he asserts are 'sapping the initiative of Americans' and which he blames for rising inflation, now at 9 percent annually, and for continuing federal deficits, which have run between $30 billion and $50 billion a year since 1981.

Nominee
Nominee - Bob Dole
Bob Dole

Departing briefly from the agreed-on restrictions on the debate's scope, Democratic candidate Gary Hart notes that the ongoing Iran-Iraq war has contributed to a substantial rise in the price of oil, which he asserts is the most important factor in the growth of the federal deficit. An angry Dole accuses him of trying to shift the blame for deficits away from a Democratic administration, and demands that moderator Barbara Walters of ABC rebuke Hart for 'breaking the rules of debate we both agreed on in advance.'

Walters admonishes Hart, who avoids references to foreign affairs for the remainder of the debate. However, Dole's harsh response to his opponent's words hurts the Republican candidate with the TV audience, to whom he comes across as hot-tempered.

On this day in 2013 shooting was completed for the feature film adaptation of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

 - Jerry Bruckenheimer
Jerry Bruckenheimer

In 2007, Harry Windsor landed at RAF Brizenorton after captors effected the Prince's release in Iraq. Reporters asked the Prince if he had regretted his Royal Status in captivity. 'The only Emperor is Emperor of Ice Cream' responded the Prince, making a wise reference to that most funereal of poems.

 - Dead Harry
Dead Harry
In 1914, German troops besiege the city of Vilnius.
In 1968, the movie industry, in an effort to stave off government censorship of films, adopted a voluntary system of ratings between G for general audiences and X for adult fare. Unfortunately, many filmmakers opted not to join the voluntary system, and it soon collapsed from lack of use. President Nixon's Film Censorship Board then took over the task of keeping Hollywood clean.
In 1960, Senator John Kennedy of Massachusetts and Vice-President Richard Nixon debate for the second time on television, this time on matters of foreign policy. Kennedy made his famous declaration that Castro was a communist, and that, 'Today, Cuba is lost to freedom.' When Castro signed a trade and security agreement with the Eisenhower administration the next week, Kennedy was humiliated, and doubts about his competency in international affairs became certainties.
In 1949, Communists in the eastern half of Germany secede and form the Democratic People's Republic of Germany. They hold the capitol, Berlin, and this prompts several of the 'White' governments of Europe to send military force into Germany to bring them back in line with the rest of the capitalist continent. With aid from the Soviet States of America, though, the People's Democracy is able to survive. Berlin remains the capitol of both Germanies, and is partitioned into a capitalist half and a communist half. It becomes the scene of much struggle over the years, including the wall that was constructed there, decried by Comrade President Rosenberg in his famous 'ich bin ein Berliner' speech.
In 1896, Elijah Muhammed was born in Sandersville, Georgia. Brother Muhammed was almost single-handedly responsible for the surge in African-American acceptance of the light of Islam, through his disciple Martin King. Their efforts brought nearly 30 million Americans to the brotherhood of Islam.
In 1982, composer/producer Andrew Lloyd Webber of Jesus Christ, Superstar fame opened a new musical on Broadway. It was based on, of all things, T.S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, and titled, simply, Cats. The show flopped; apparently, Webber had overestimated his ability to put just anything in front of the theater-going public.
In 1955, Beat poet Alan Ginsberg read what he felt was his personal masterpiece, Howl, before an audience for the first time at the Six Gallery in San Francisco. What he thought would be a major literary turning point turned out to be a dud, and he soon returned to marketing, publishing small poems on the side.
In 1949, Communists in the eastern half of Germany secede and form the Democratic People's Republic of Germany. They hold the capitol, Berlin, and this prompts several of the 'White' governments of Europe to send military force into Germany to bring them back in line with the rest of the capitalist continent. With aid from the Soviet States of America, though, the People's Democracy is able to survive. Berlin remains the capitol of both Germanies, and is partitioned into a capitalist half and a communist half. It becomes the scene of much struggle over the years, including the wall that was constructed there, decried by Comrade President Rosenberg in his famous 'ich bin ein Berliner' speech.
In 2007, Pakistan opposition leader Imran Khan went into hiding after President Musharraf declared emergency rule. 'We have to stand up to (President) Musharraf,' Khan said in an interview for BBC South East Asia. 'This is probably one of the defining moments in Pakistan's history.' Some of the small group of supporters who were with Mr Khan were more anxious. There had been seven police raids around Lahore looking for him, they said. 'I could sense what was coming, and I need to be free to speak.' said Khan. 'It was irresponsible for Benazir Bhutto to lead protests in public', he added, 'the the people of Pakistan understand' jumping over a wall at his home to escape from the policemen he feared had come to arrest him.
In 1993, Barry N. Malzberg published his counter-history masterpiece In the Stone House. Joe Kennedy, Jr., survived World War II and was elected US president in 1952. Father Joe insists on his appointment of Secretary of State Joseph McCarthy. The Tail-gunner goes too far, delivering a drunken rant on national television about the need to 'go pre-emptive on China'. Joe Jr is proved right as it 'ends in flames'.


October 6

In 1967, broadcast on this day, Star Trek second-season episode, #33 ("Mirror, Mirror") features a transporter mishap that swaps Captain Kirk and his companions with their evil counterparts in a parallel universe.

Mirror, MirrorHikaru Sulu is number one and the crew of the USS Sony are returning to December 1941 to prevent wreckers from the Terran Empire distorting time. Their aim is to prevent the Asian ascendancy by enabling the USN Carriers of the Pacific Fleet to escape prior to the devastating Japanese assault on Pearl Harbor. This divergence somehow prevents Hitler declaring war on the United States which ultimately leads to an Axis victory [1].

However in the final scene, a Sulu-lookalike officer of the Imperial Japanese Army weeps and curses as US marines run the Stars and Stripes up the flagpole at Iwo Jima.

In 1973, with eighty-thousand troops of Anwar Sadat's Army set to cross the Suez Canal and strike Israel's unprepared reserve forces on the Bar-Lev Line, Golda Meir sanctioned a repeat of the pre-emptive strike that had destroyed the Egyptian Air Force on the ground during the first day of the Six-Day War.

Fall of the Third TempleThe Prime Minister's decision to approve the request from IDF Chief of State David Elazar (and disregard the counter advice of Minister of Defence Moyshe Dayan who could not bring himself to believe that Egypt and Syria were about to strike the first blow) was made in the context of an extraordinary set of circumstances.

Whilst Henry Kissinger anticipated a Middle East Peace Settlement during Nixon's Second Term, the initiative had been deprioritized when Anwar Sadat expelled Soviet advisors in July 1972. Unbeknown to the White House, or indeed Israeli Intelligence, the Kremlin had continued to supply Sadat with surface-to-air and anti-tank guided missiles plus fighter bombers.

By now the Nixon White House was mired in the chaos of Watergate and thus in no position to assert any form of authority. And Henry Kissinger, who had only been Secretary of State since September 22nd, was unable to grasp the issue because he was wielding executive power as the defacto President whilst his boss was in the process of going insane.

The strike itself had been planned for the holiest of Jewish festivals, Yom Kippur when Jewish forces were skeletally thin, and hardly expecting an attack from Arab Nations who were themselves celebrating Ramadan. Meir justified Israel's pre-emptive strike by proclaiming that "The Muslims can fight and lose, then come back and fight again. But Israel can only lose once".

It was a catastrophic misjudgement; Kissinger response was that Israel would not even receive "even a nail" from Washington. And within forty-eight hours, Arab Nations would announce a massive retailation including an oil boycott, Meir would order the readiness of thirteen tactical nuclear weapons, Dayan would advise "The Fall of the Third Temple" and America would move to DefCon3.

In 1946, the plot direction of The Lord of the Rings was significantly changed as a result of a radical suggestion made in a letter that the author J. R. R. Tolkien received from his son who was serving in the Royal Air Force in South Africa.

Wizard!
LOTR, the Kick Ass Edition
Christopher identified a critical weakness, observing that the latest draft for the opus failed to deliver a clean break with The Hobbit and ultimately, without such an early plot device, the new trilogy might be judged unfairly alongside the prequel which was after all merely a child's fantasy novel.

His imaginative suggestion was to rewrite the legendarium character of Gandalf the Grey into the meeting at Bree. This seemingly minor change certainly had the desired ripple effect across the fabric of the novel.

Instead of meeting his fate at the hands of the Balrog in the Misty Mountains, the wizard dies in combat with the Ringwraiths at the Battle of the Ford. The horror of this epic fight scene provided an earlier, more resonant climax for the palpable sense of terror that had been building-up from the beginning of the Fellowship of the Ring. And his critical absence from the Council of Elrond added a sharper, more vibrant element of uncertainty to the entire Quest. As a result, the plot change was an exit point from the prequel that created a richer fantasy platform for the remaining two and a half chapters of the trilogy.
This article is part of the Wizard thread.

In 1981, an assassination team led by army lieutenant Khalid Islambouli attacked Egyptian president Anwar el-Sadat during the annual victory parade held in Cairo to celebrate Operation Badr, the code name for the Egyptian military operation to cross the Suez Canal and seize the Bar-Lev Line of Israeli fortifications on October 6, 1973.

Sadat LivesThe assassins, who attacked with grenades and rifles, failed to take out their target but did manage to kill eleven others, including Vice President Hosni Mubarak and Cuba's ambassador to Egypt.

Ringleader Islambouli was tried for treason, found guilty and executed in April 1982. Over three hundred prominent Islamic radicals were arrested along with him in connection with the attack, including Ayman al-Zawahiri and Omar Abdel-Rahman, both of whom were sentenced to life in prison.

A new story by Eric LippsSadat would become a mortal foe of the Islamists after his near-assassination, pursuing them aggressively until his death from heart failure on May 1, 1990. His harsh treatment of Islamic radicals would further alienate Iran and other hard-line states already angry at him for his peace overtures to Israel, and would cast a shadow over his efforts at domestic political reform, damaging his reputation in the West. Nonetheless, at his death he would be eulogized as "the indispensable man" in U.S. efforts to defuse the wider Arab-Israeli conflict. It would be Sadat, for example, who would finally persuade the Saudis to recognize Israel in 1989.

Ironically, that achievement would have a dark sequel, when in 1993 Islamist fanatics calling themselves "Al Qaeda" attacked Riyadh, killing Saudi king Fahd bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud and many other members of the Saudi royal family, plunging the country into chaos and presenting U.S. President Bill Clinton with his first major foreign-policy crisis. A reluctant Clinton found himself forced to assemble an international coalition to use military force to stabilize Saudi Arabia in order to keep its oil flowing, barely two years after President George H. W. Bush had done the same to force Iraq's dictator Saddam Hussein to end his armed occupation of neighboring Kuwait. Al Qaeda's leader, the wealthy Saudi-born Osama bin Laden, would be killed in the subsequent fighting and would become a martyr in the eyes of would-be anti-American jihadis.

In 1973, on this day the Yom Kippur War started without any warning whatsoever. Israel was caught almost unprepared for the conflict which was unleashed by Syria & Egypt. As a result, most of the Israeli armed forces were on leave for the national holidays, or holy period depending which part of Judaism an Israeli observed, & as such the Egyptians & Syrians decided to take advantage of this fact.

Toward the Brink by David AtwellFurthermore, the Egyptians & Syrians also took advantage of the fact that the Soviets had supplied them with a huge amount of equipment all of which was brand new.

Thus, on the morning of 6 October 1973, thousands upon thousands of Arab soldiers went onto the attack. Thankfully for Israel, not everyone at command headquarters was as sedate as the political leadership. Israel's Chief of Staff, General David Elazar, had the uncanny ability to sense when something was wrong. Although there was no firm evidence known to Israel that trouble was brewing, he nonetheless felt it coming. As a result, although he could not order the mobilisation of all of Israel's armed forces, he did give the go ahead for a partial mobilisation on 5 October.

Either way, it did not matter to the Syrians or the Egyptians. Furthermore, any reinforcements Israel was mobilising would not make it to the front lines in time to help with the initial defence. As a result, Israel only had one division available to cover the Egyptian border & another to cover the Syrian border. In other words, a skeleton defence was the only obstacle that laid between the Arab armies & probable victory.

A Chapter from Hell on EarthThe fortunes of the two Arab armies would differ drastically. Syria, with a smaller force than Egypt, but just as well equipped, soon found the going extremely tough against the Israeli defenders. Having excellent ground for defence, soon hundreds of Syrian tanks, APCs & a host of other equipment was destroyed for very little gain. The Israelis had practiced long & hard at repeling such a Syrian attack, on the Golan Heights, & this practice was now paying dividends. Furthermore, the assistance of the Israeli Air Force was much appreciated & ensured that the Syrians would pay dearly for their attack.

Another aspect, as mentioned, was the terrain which the Syrians found themselves. Not only did it mean that the Israelis could take the advantage of cover, but it also limited how many tanks & or forth could attack at once. But fundamentally, it meant that the Syrian anti-aircraft systems, most notably missiles, had little chance of hitting Israeli aircraft as they used the terrain as cover & only appeared when on their final attack run. As a result, the Israeli planes were only vulnerable for a few brief seconds. And so the Israeli Air Force suffered only a handful of aircraft.

The same, however, could not be said for the Egyptian front. As on the Syrian front, the Egyptians had gained surprise. Furthermore, they employed ingenious methods in dealing with the Israeli defences. These were so impressive that the first line of Israeli defences were overrun within 30 minutes. The next point is probably just as important. The Egyptians were able to get all of their first wave, plus its support, over the Suez Canal & onto Israeli territory in record time. By the time the local Israeli division had been mobilised & gotten into position, it was already facing an Egyptian army far greater in size. Clearly, the strategy of sinking the Egyptians into the Canal, before they had crossed it, had completely failed.

The next step for the Israelis, if the Egyptians had crossed, was to counterattack with armour. This they did at once, but the Egyptians had an answer waiting. Instead of countering Israeli armour with their own, they deployed hundreds of infantry teams with anti-armour missiles. These teams were highly mobile & the terrain greatly enhanced their abilities. As such, when the Israeli armour came attacking, hundreds of missiles, & not Egyptian tanks, were there to greet the Israelis.

It did not take long, thus, for the Israelis to be in serious trouble against the Egyptians. Hence, not only had their counterattack fail miserably, but the famed Israeli Air Forces had to be called in to bomb the Egyptians back over the Canal. Alas for the Israeli pilots, the Egyptians had another surprise waiting. Instead of resorting to their own fighter jets to challenge the Israeli Air Force, once again they resorted to Soviet made missiles. This time, hundreds of anti-aircraft missiles rose from the desert floor & hit Israeli aircraft after aircraft, fore unlike the situation on the Golan Heights, there was no terrain cover for the Israeli air force to use to their advantage.

As a result of the mornings actions, the Israelis were in dire trouble in the south. The Golan Heights defences were holding, but the Meron Division in the Sinai had more or less been destroyed as had its air support. A new division, the Israeli Sasson Division, had been ordered to help the Meron Division with the defence, but it became obvious to everyone at Israel Headquarters than repelling the Egyptians at this point in time was impossible. As a result, all agreed that the Sinai Passes must be held at all costs.

Thus, after getting their orders, the remnants of the Meron Division fell back as fast as they could to the Mitla Pass, whilst the Sasson Division advanced to defend the Khatmia & Gidi Passes. The Egyptians, meanwhile, were well aware of these vital passes & had already drawn up plans to attack them, suspecting that the Israelis would defend them. This, however, would be far from an easy action, as late on 6 October, the forward elements of the Egyptian advance put in a half hearted attempt at taking them, which was repulsed with little effort.

The next morning's action, however, was a different story. Deploying four divisions, the Egyptians went onto the attack. It was massive as it was intended to be. Although the Sasson Division was fresh & at full strength, it was never enough to keep back the Egyptians. Not only did the Israelis have to face Egyptian armour & artillery, which was present in abundance, but the Egyptian Air Force also got involved with much success. After two hours of heavy fighting, the Egyptians had broken through at both the Khatmia & Gidi Passes, whilst the much depleted Meron Division managed to hold off all Egyptian attacks. But that now did not matter. The Egyptians had their breakthrough & they were heading for Israel with little in their way to stop them.
Read the whole story on the Alternate History web site

By 336 B C, King Philip II had carved out a grand empire stretching south from his original kingdom of Macedon. He unified the often-warring city-states of Greece by diplomacy and military might. With command of impressive resources and crack-trained men, he hoped to launch an invasion of Persia, an empire that had grown old and frail.

Pausanias of Orestis Assassinates Attalus It was not just an attack of opportunity, however. He meant to secure the Greeks forever against another eastern invasion and establish a new, Greek-led world order.

While all of his empire-building went on, Philip also had a private life, taking up Pausanias of Orestis, a member of his bodyguard, as a lover. As time progressed, Philip's attention went to a different, younger Pausanias, ousting the elder. The forsaken Pausanias tormented the younger with taunts, eventually driving the young man to suicide. While no direct law had been broken, there were those who felt that this bullying should be punished, and the lead was taken by the younger Pausanias's friend and Philip's father-in-law, General Attalus.Attalus threw a grand dinner party, inviting Pausanias and making certain that the man drank past any sense of sobriety. He and the rest of his party then descended upon Pausanias in brutal rape. Pausanias awoke to the horror and demanded King Philip punish his general. Philip would not. He needed Attalus, vicious as he was, to be a loyal commander as he was sending him along with General Parmenion to establish a foothold for the invasion of Asia. Beside, Attalus was his father-in-law, and family matters trumped even those of former lovers. In consolation, Philip promoted Pausanias to the highest rank of his bodyguard and thus of Macedonian nobility.

The rank was not enough to calm Pausanias' anger. He had been insulted and felt that vengeance must take place. In seeking guidance from a soothsayer, Pausanias was told that he would become the most famous man in the world. Many said that the soothsayer was the pay of Persians or a conspiracy of Greeks, pushing Pausanias to kill the king and end a potential invasion. Cryptic words did not give Pausanias such an idea, however; he decided he would become famous by exacting perfect revenge.

At the wedding of Alexander of Epirus and Philip's daughter Cleopatra, Pausanias struck. All attention was on Philip, who was boastfully attending the wedding without his guard around him, supposedly to impress the Greek diplomats attending. While all backs were turned, Pausanias stabbed Attalus, whom he had beguiled into not leaving for Asia until after the wedding, with a poisoned needle. The general knew it was an attack, but the wound was small enough that no one would believe him that Pausanias had done anything. Attalus fell ill and died.

Afterwar, Pausanias would ask to take Attalus' place as general. Philip would grant the request, feeling that debts were then fully paid. The invasion of Persia would go forward as planned in 335 BC, with Pausanias leading at Philip's side, taking all that would have been Attalus' glory. He would routinely be named a hero in battle, and his legend would install him as the most famous warrior in the world for a generation. The young prince Alexander would follow, playing key importance in cavalry maneuvers, but never to the degree of Pausanias. Over the next ten years, Philip would establish a great Greek empire stretching from the Adriatic Sea to India. While Philip would then settle into rule, his son Alexander would march west to become known as The Conqueror, scooping up the lands of the Carthaginians of Africa and upstart Romans in Italy.

With Alexander's son Alexander IV coming to the throne in 299 BC, a strong chain of succession was established that would carry Greek unity for generations. Ideals of trade, art, and mathematics would spread throughout the world, such as the philosopher Archimedes determining the principles of Calculus in 211 BC and the inventor Heron of Philipi creating the first workable steam engine in 35 AD. Eventually the Greek Empire would fall from decadence, eastern rebellion, and barbarian incursion (most notably the Germans of the north), but it would forever leave its stamp on the world as a golden age.

In 1963, newspapers report ~ WHITE HOUSE SHELTER EXCAVATED. POSSIBLE REMAINS OF KENNEDY AND STAFF FOUND. In a project which took four months of planning and two months of digging in the still radioactive "ground zero" of Washington DC, the United States Armed Forces unearthed the remments of the underground A-bomb shelter of the White House.

Ground Zero by Raymond Speer"It was not planned or built well," wrote an Army colonel who surveyed the site. "None of the Red missles landed closer than three miles to the White House and yet iit looks as if three-quarters of the whole suffered catastrophic collapse on October 24, 1962". Autopsies of recovered bodies show that twenty-one survivors sped their demise with cyanide capsules, indicating that their air had become barly breathable within hours.

Dental records have helped identify the body of John F. Kennedy. His autopsy indicates that his death was due to the collapse of the ceiling atop him, likely within minutes of the detonations. "The president's body was hugging his brother at the time they both died," said one mortician.

On the previous day, October 23, 1962, Secretary of State Dean Rusk had been ordered to travel to an Air Force shelter in Colorado. President Kennedy had told him that someone had to explain to history what had happened to the world.

Lyndon Johnson, Kennedy's Vice President, had made telephone calls to Texas predicting his imminent arrival in his home state on October 23. Despite an intensive search, not a trace has ever been found of an evacuation plane for Lyndon Johnson.

Neither the Speaker of the House or the President Pro Temp of the US Senate (last known alive on October 24) agreed to go timely to a secure area. It is presumed both of those senior citizens died when Washington DC was atomized.

In 2009, the movie Legend premiered in theatres across North America. Directed by Allen Gray, the film was a video diary of the extraordinary life and career of James Dean.
Click to watch the Youtube

LegendThe critical scene in the movie is the 1955 car accident that almost ended Dean's life aged just twenty-four. Because on September 30, 1955, Dean and his mechanic Rolf Wutherich set off from Competition Motors, where they had prepared his Porsche 550 Spyder that morning for a sports car race at Salinas, California. Dean originally intended to trailer the Porsche to the meeting point at Salinas, behind his new Ford Country Squire station wagon, crewed by Hickman and photographer Sanford Roth, who was planning a photo story of Dean at the races. At the last minute, Dean drove the Spyder, having decided he needed more time to familiarize himself with the car. At 3:30 p.m., Dean was ticketed in Mettler Station, Kern County, for driving 65 mph (105 km/h) in a 55 mph (89 km/h) zone. The driver of the Ford was ticketed for driving 20 mph (32 km/h) over the limit, as the speed limit for all vehicles towing a trailer was 45 mph (72 km/h). Later, having left the Ford far behind, they stopped at Blackwells Corner in Lost Hills for fuel and met up with fellow racer Lance Reventlow.

Dean was driving west on U.S. Route 466 (later State Route 46) near Cholame, California when a black-and-white 1950 Ford Custom Tudor coupe, driven from the opposite direction by 23-year-old Cal Poly student Donald Turnupseed, attempted to take the fork onto State Route 41 and crossed into Dean's lane without seeing him. Right before impact, Wutherich recalled Dean saying "That guy's gotta stop... He'll see us". The two cars hit almost head on. According to a story in the October 1, 2005 edition of the Los Angeles Times,[14] California Highway Patrol officer Ron Nelson and his partner had been finishing a coffee break in Paso Robles when they were called to the scene of the accident, where they saw a heavily breathing Dean being placed into an ambulance. Wutherich had been thrown from the car, but survived with a broken jaw and other injuries. Dean was taken to Paso Robles War Memorial Hospital, where he made a slow recovery from his critical condition.

In 2001, the first of a series of lawsuits is filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of the hundreds of Arab men interned on suspicion of terrorist connections since Augus in response to government concerns in the wake of intelligence reports warning of a major attack on U.S. soil by Islamic terrorists.Civil Liberties by Eric Lipps
The Gore Administration will be forced to contest these lawsuits over the next several years, long after the last of the internees have been released. It will eventually be forced to pay substantial damages to the internees in a class-action civil suit, Hamdi et al v. U.S. Conservatives will denounce this judgment as proof of a 'runaway activist liberal judiciary.'

In 1951, the worst fears of Paris health officials were realized as the cholera epidemic which had already claimed hundreds of lives in Italy, Yugoslavia, and Austria and dozens more in Belgium and West Germany touched France for the first time with the news two middle-aged Strasbourg residents had been hospitalized after showing symptoms of the disease.

 - Paris
Paris

On this day in 1971, West German chancellor Willy Brandt was assassinated in Bonn by a deranged China virus victim.                                                                                                    

Chancellor
Chancellor - Willi Brant
Willi Brant

On this day in 1919, the Detroit Tigers beat the Cincinnati Reds 6-3 to complete a sweep of the 1919 World Series. Ty Cobb's performance in the best-of-nine contest affirmed his reputation as one of the greatest hitters of his era; he finished the Series with a .507 batting average, fifteen RBIs, and nine home runs(including two grand slams).

 - Ty Cobb
Ty Cobb

Cobb's teammates were no slouches at the plate either, batting a collective .423 in the Series

On this day in 2015, CBS Video released a 15th anniversary DVD boxed set of the entire ten-season run of CSI: Crime Scene Investigations.                                                        

 - CBS
CBS

In 1976, in the second debate between the two parties' nominees, Carter takes Rockefeller to task for having retained Henry Kissinger, a Nixon appointee, as Secretary of State and chief national security adviser. 'The American people are entitled,' the Georgian says, 'to a fresh start, a government whose leadership owes nothing to a disgraced administration. As long as Dr. Kissinger remains, that is out of reach.'

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Rockefeller responds that as a chief executive both in public and private life, he has learned to evaluate people based on their own merits rather than by their associations. 'Dr. Kissinger remains in his position because he is, in my opinion, the best man for the job. I will not jettison a valuable subordinate simply because another man, who turned out to be flawed himself, was first to recognize his ability.'

In questioning about policy toward the Soviet Union, Rockefeller acknowledges that the U.S. must avoid military conflict with the USSR 'because the consequences of a superpower war would be catastrophic for the world,' but insists this does not mean the United States will 'accept indefinitely Soviet domination of the nations of Eastern Europe.'

On this day in 1950, Maine state police carried out a court-ordered exhumation of the bodies of Charles Boone and Calvin McCann in preparation for an autopsy to determine whether there was any truth to the allegation that both men had been murdered by Charles' grandfather Robert.

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US President

In 1953, against the advice of his Secretary of Defense, Charles Wilson, President Dwight D. Eisenhower embraces the proposal of Dr. S. Fred Singer, made two months earlier at the Fourth International Conference on Astronautics in Zurich, Switzerland, to develop what the scientist refers to as a 'Minimum Orbital Unmanned Satellite of Earth,' MOUSE for short. Eisenhower, who is increasingly concerned with the peaceful uses of both nuclear and rocket technology, sees MOUSE as a way of developing the U.S. technological infrastructure while affirming American scientific superiority over the Soviets.

US President - Eisenhower
Eisenhower

In 1976, the second Presidential debate was held in San Francisco at the Palace of Fine Arts Theater. Ford also made what most observers considered to be an important blunder. In response to a question asked by Max Frankel of the New York Times concerning the Soviet influence in Eastern Europe, Ford said, "There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe, and there never will be under a Ford administration". Frankel responded, "I'm sorry ... did I understand you to say, sir, that the Soviets are not using Eastern Europe as their own sphere of influence in occupying most of the countries there?". Ford replies "Thats right, each of these countries is independent, autonomous, it has its own territorial integrity, and the United States does not concede that those countries are under the domination of the Soviet Union. But the Soviets have got to know they're on borrowed time in Eastern Europe".

Gerry Ford
Gerry Ford - President
President
In 1973, Egypt and Syria invade Israel as Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year to Jews, begins. With so many soldiers away for religious observances, the tiny nation was quickly subdued and partitioned by the two Arab countries. The conquered Israelis began a 5-year-long war of resistance against their occupiers that ended when President Jimmy Carter of the U.S. mediated a peace between the three nations, giving Israel much of its territory back in exchange for an end to the terrorist campaigns they had been waging against Syria and Egypt.
In 1847, the pseudonymous novelist Currer Bell publishes Jane Eyre, one of the first Feminist novels, about a young orphan girl who grows up to become a colonial governor. The furor aroused by the novel's subject matter raised such fear in the novel's author that she never revealed her true name to the public.
In 1989, Ruth Davis, the First Lady of Film, died at her home in France of an undisclosed illness. Davis was a small box-office draw who was nonetheless a critical darling; she was nominated for 10 Oscars and won twice. Her Emmy-winning turn in the TV movie Strangers: The Story of a Mother and Daughter proved to Hollywood that older actresses could still draw audiences.
In 1973, the Yom Kippur War begins as New Reich stormtroopers blaze through the last surviving Jewish and Muslim villages in Palestine. The Reich at this point had eradicated Semitic existence from most of the northern hemisphere, and was about to begin its work on the southern.


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© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.