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

October 10

In 1928, exactly twenty-four years after the Dogger Bank Incident brought Great Britain into the Russo-Japanese War, the beginnings of a functional Chinese state threatened the status quo in the Far East.

Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek named director of the State CouncilBecause the fall of the Tsar had created an Anglo-Japanese hegemony, an unlikely alliance of two sea-faring island nations that permitted the Royal Navy to redeploy its resources elsewhere safe in the knowledge that British Colonial possessions were un-threatened. Part of that redeployment of armed forces would eventually be used to defend the home islands from the rise of nationalism in Europe. And of course this turn of events was somewhat iconic, given the emergence of a nationalist strongman in China - "Generalissimo" Chiang Kai-shek. A discipline of Dr Sun Yat-sen, he saw China as the natural regional great power, seeing long-term opportunity by stepping into the vacuum left by the Tsar.

Although they failed to grasp that China was a civilization rather than a nation, the imperial governments in London and Tokyo did realize that they had a serious problem on their hands. The tried and tested solution was of course sowing disunity inside China. By process of elimination, a review of possible options was short-listed down to just feasible one - clandestine support for the opposition. This was funnelled through a minor military official called Mao Zedong, a dynamic individual who eventually emerged as the most influential leader of the Communist Party of China.

But despite this development, Chiang launched the so-called Republican Era, pressing ahead with a rebuilding programme based upon the principles of military rule, political tutelage, and constitutional rule. Before too long, it became apparent that in Peking the dragon seeds of World War Two were being sown by the "Red General".

In 1872, on this day the sixteenth President of the United States William Henry Seward died in Auburn, New York. He was seventy-one years old.

Passing of President SewardHe served as the twelfth Governor of New York before entering the United States Senator where he become an increasingly ardent opponent of slavery (the Seward family opened their Auburn home as a safe-house to fugitive slaves). A member of the Whig Party, he joined the Republican Party when the New York Whigs merged with the Anti-Nebraskans. And so in 1860 he became the stand-out Republican Candidate even though a semi-obscure Illinois Representative very nearly stole the Nomination from him.

He entered office with the Union in crisis. Fearing that a proclamation of Rebellion would result in the Border States seceding, Seward drew both Great Britain and Russia into the gathering conflict. He hoped that the undesirable re-involvement of European Powers would re-unite Americans, but it didn't quite work out like that.

In AD 19, in the Syrian City of Antioch a dastardly attempt by Tiberius' chief advisor, Sejanus to orchestrate the poisoning of Germanicus Julius Caesar was intercepted by the General's vigilant subordinates.

Germanicus wins out in SyriaHe had been sent to Asia to defeat the kingdoms of Cappadocia and Commagene and turn them into Roman provinces. But during a sightseeing trip to Egypt (not a regular province, but the personal property of the Emperor) he unwittingly usurped several imperial prerogatives. And he subsequently discovered that the governor of Syria, Gnaeus Calpurnius Piso, had canceled the provincial arrangements that he had made. Germanicus in turn ordered Piso's recall to Rome, although this action was beyond his authority.

The resulting conspiracy was quickly traced to Piso who later died while facing trial. This suspicious suicide prevented Germanicus from proving that Piso had acted under orders from Tiberius, but no matter because the General returned to Rome to proclaim himself Emperor.

In 1957, President Dwight Eisenhower issued a formal apology to the Finance Minister of Ghana, Komla Agbeli Gbdemah, after he was refused service in a whites-only restaurant in Dover, Delaware.

Eisenhower's EpiphanyThis incident brings home to Ike the injustice of segregation, and he pushes through a Civil Rights Act the next year, legally ending segregation in America. "Just as I fought the injustice of Nazism," Eisenhower told the nation, "so must I stand against the idea that a man can be denied his fundamental rights because of the color of his skin".

In spite of often violent protests across the nation, both Eisenhower and his successor John F. Kennedy stand firm, and segregation is not allowed to rise again in America.

In 1770, on this day in Frankfurt am Main, the Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel dismissed his Jewish financier, Mayer Amschel Rothschild (pictured). His duties had included the arrangement of funding for Hessian mercenaries, a highly lucrative business that would expand rapidly after the French Revolution.
An article from Robbie Taylor's Protocols of the Elders of Zion thread.

At the Sign of the Red ShieldBorn in the Frankfurt ghetto known as "Judengasse" (Jew Alley), the Rothschild ancestry traced back to the name of their family house zum roten Schild ("at the sign of the red shield"). Mayer Amschel was one of eight children of Amschel Moses Rothschild and his wife Schönche Rothschild née Lechnich.

His father had a business in the trade of goods and currency exchange and eventually became a personal supplier of coins to the Prince of Hesse. The family home above the shop had a front wall only eleven feet wide, where more than thirty people lived at that time. From this location, Mayer began to slowly rebuild his business career. He established a dealership in rare coins, largely recovering his reputation by his death in 1812. By then Hessian mercenaries were being transported in very large numbers to British North America. But by a quirk of fortune, the Rothschild's were drawn back into that business at the request of Astrid Pflaume. The architect of the Greater Zionist Resistance Movement (GZR), she had traveled back through time to create the enemy that the Nazis had always imagined. And of course, she needed a suitable financier.
All of Robbie Taylor's novels are available for download at Amazon.

In 113 AH, the defeat of the Frankish army at Tours (now Limotas, capital of the Emirate of Firanja) marked the final few years of existence for the Carolingian Kingdom, beset as she was by external pressures and domestic quarrels.

Charles Martel Loses the Battle of ToursAlthough the Umayyah Host was greatly overstretched by the battle, the death of Martel during its the final stages robbed the Frankish Kingdom of her final elements of a centralised authority. By the time that Commander Al Ghafiqi, buoyed by the victory, had reorganised his military strategy and mounted a formal conquest of the region by the Caliphate, Paris was already aflame as various local princelings fought for the leadership of northern Christendom.

The expansion of Al-Andalus to the border with the Province of Austrasia resulted in a major shift in the Christian world towards the north-east. The Frankish King, Theuderic IV was freed from his captivity by supporters and was finally able to re-establish his court in Mainz by the end of the next year, although he was to die shortly after, perhaps poisoned by one of his many rivals. His successor, Carloman I, was able to sign a peace with Al Ghafiqi at Cologne, although it would take many years before the Kingdom was able to formally settle the boundary between the Caliphate and Christendom at the Rhine. By 136 AH, the year in which both Carloman and Al Ghafiqi died, the Papacy, under pressure from the growing threat of naval blockade and invasion from the increasingly Umayyah dominated Bahr al-Rum had moved to Cologne. Following the Treaty of Aachen in 155 AH, the Papacy formally united with the Frankish Kingdom to become the Holy Roman Empire, inspired no doubt by the spiritually minded system of the Caliphate in Damascus.

Such imitation failed to preserve the Catholic bulwark against Islam however, over the next three centuries, the Italian Kingdoms and Central Francia had both been absorbed into what is now the Emirate of Roma. Only the dynastic struggles that emerged with the death of the final Umayyah Caliph, Umar V in 367 AH, halted the expansion of the Empire, which was irrevocably split into the six nations that exist to this day. Whilst the Caliphate was formally passed to the greatest of the successor states, Cordoba, all are nearly as large as the territory of the largest Christian nation, the militaristic Empire of Brandenburg which continues to dominate the Christian world.

The Papacy, thrown into a period of interregnum following the death of Pope Celestine V in 578 AH, now has its base in the Anglish capital of Winchester. King Henry XI holds the office of Holy Britannia Emperor co-currently with his own crown, although the position has become a largely sinecure one over the years with the majority of Christians looking towards the Orthodox faction of the Catholic Church which has its base in Great Kyiv. As 1431 AH draws to a close, it is the new Hua Dynasty that remains the dominant rival towards the Caliphate.

In 1973, on this day the Soviet Union prepared to ship four nuclear tactical weapons to Egypt just in case Israel resorted to the nuclear option one more time.

Time of The Diplomats by David AtwellKissinger had just arrived in Moscow. The talks which followed, though, clearly indicated that the Russians would get involved if Israel detonated any more nuclear weapons. Brezhnev never said what this involvement would be, but it was enough for Kissinger to know that several Soviet airborne divisions had been put on alert according to US atellite imaging. Clearly the Soviets were being serious as far as Kissinger was concerned. And this he conveyed to the Israelis the next day.

A Chapter from Hell on EarthBehind Kissinger's back, however, the Soviets were already involved. This would not have surprised Kissinger much, as it was already well known that the Syrians & Egyptians were using Soviet equipment. In fact the Americans also knew that there some 5 000 Soviet advisers in Egypt whilst Kissinger was in Moscow. What the Americans did not know, until the next morning, was the fact that the Soviets were prepared to ship four nuclear tactical weapons to Egypt just in case Israel resorted to the nuclear option one more time.

Thus, in these circumstances on 10th October, Kissinger arrived in Israel to try to do a deal with the Israeli's. Meir & Dayan were keen to met with Kissinger, but they were far more interested in getting American arms & not talk peace. Having said that, if Israel could regain lost territory, whilst not firing a shot in anger, this was completely acceptable to the Israeli Prime Minister. But one event would soon put this to an end. An American satellite, passing over Cairo that morning, spotted a Soviet Air Force cargo plane at Cairo's international airport. It was not, however, the plane which caught the American's attention, but the tell-tale radiation signs of its nuclear cargo.

News spread fast at the American Defence Intelligence Agency. Actually it went too fact. Although Israel would completely deny any such allegation, unlike the Soviets, the Israelis had been able to place a handful of spies high up the American military chain of command. Thus, not long after the discovery of the Soviet nuclear payload, word was sent to Israel. Thus, whilst Kissinger & Meir was discussing peace terms, which were acceptable to both, the war was about to escalate.

Thus, as a matter of course, the Israeli military viewed their attack on Cairo airport as a military & not a political decision. And this was besides the fact that, whilst it was known that Meir & Dayan were busy negotiating with Kissinger, it was likely that the Egyptians, & above all Soviets, would never expect such a outlandish attack.

Hence, at around midday Israel time on 10th October, a whole squadron of Skyhawks, escorted by a squadron of Mirage III fighters, left their air force base & headed out towards the Mediterranean Sea. From there the twenty Israeli planes turned to a course parallel to the coastline, all the while staying at a very low altitude. They did this until they were opposite the Nile Delta, off the coast of Egypt, & then turned inland heading directly towards Cairo. The Egyptians got about half a minute warning before the Israeli's attacked. But within a minute, the Soviet cargo plane, & its important cargo, was destroyed. The Israeli Air Force had done its job well, losing only two planes in the attack. Alas the Soviet reaction would be for the worse.
Read the whole story on the Alternate History web site

In 1471, on this day King Christian I secured Danish Rule over Kalmar Union. The Kalmar Union had formed thanks to the complicated intermarriages of Scandinavian royalty. Margret I of Denmark married Haakon VI of Norway (son of Magnus IV of Sweden and Norway), meaning that their son Olav had direct claim to the crown of Denmark and Norway as well as a strong bid for Sweden.

Christian I Secures Danish Rule over Kalmar Union Olav's young death meant that the crown would be given to an elected regent, who nearly always was Danish. While many Swedes balked, soldiers and fear of growing German power kept them in line. In 1397, the union was made formal by the Treaty of Kalmar, which created what hoped would be eternal united strength for all Scandinavia under one crown.
The crown passed from Margret of Denmark to Eric of Pomerania and back to John of Denmark. The Swedes struggled under Danish rule, specifically upset over routine wars against southern Baltic nations, disrupting trade and keeping valuable Swedish iron ore in storehouses. All-out revolt sparked the Engelbrekt Rebellion, which ejected Danes from Sweden as new ideas of democracy were creeping in. The peasants were willing to fight for something they could call their own, and such a power base gave rise to election of Sten Sture the Elder. War broke out between his forces and the Dane-favored older aristocracy, prompting Christian I of Denmark to step in with Danish regulars and German mercenaries.

Their armies met at Brunkenberg, just north of Stockholm. Sten planned a pincer movement with his lieutenants: Sten would sweep in from the west while Nils Sture attacked from the forest on the northeast and Knut Posse marched from the city itself. Christian marched into the trap and suddenly found himself surrounded.

In the midst of battle, a musket ball hurled toward Christian's face, and he moved slightly enough for it to graze his cheek. The terror of near-death gave way to a feeling of powerful courage, as if God had given him a sign to cast out the rebels. He rallied his troops and began a charge toward Klara monastery, where some of his men had been cut off from the rest of the army. The other Danish forces held while Christian routed Nils and regrouped with the lost regiments. They moved from the north toward Sten, flanking him and causing his loyal army of farmers and miners to break under Danish might. When word spread that Sten had been killed in battle, the movement crumbled, and Knut Posse's army surrendered after considering a desperate defense in Stockholm.

The Battle of Brunkeberg would prove to be a great emblem for the Kalmar Union. Christian spread propaganda about his victory and commissioned sculptor Bernt Notke to carve a statue of Michael the Archangel slaying demons that had rebelled against Heaven. Refocusing Swedish economic policy toward autocracy, he squelched the growing ideals of democracy and reaffirmed Denmark as the leader of the Scandinavians. Wielding the might of the Kalmar Union, the Danes would gradually conquer southward and come to hold the Baltic Sea as their own.

Denmark would further its sphere of influence with great victories in the Fifteen Years' War (1618 to 1633), bringing about the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire and the establishment of free states within the Germanies and much of the Protestant north under their political sway. France, Spain, and Austria would unite against the growing Protestant threat over the next century in a series of wars that would ultimately lead to the forced breakup of the Union. They would attempt a new, more covert Holy Roman Empire under the guise of diplomacy and pitting Swedish, Danish, and Norwegian princes and dukes against one another for the next century.

During his conquests of Europe, Napoleon would reestablish unity for each of the people groups, but keep them under separate, hand-chosen kings. Disunited, but finally at peace, the Scandinavians would prosper greatly as they caught up to latter parts of the Industrial Revolution.

In 1918, on this day Germany won World War I. As a preliminary matter, we should note that the actual outcome of the First World War was a near thing, a far nearer thing than was the outcome of World War II after 1941.

If Germany Had Won World War IWhile it is true that the United States entered the war on the allied side in 1917, thus providing vast new potential sources of men and material, it is also true that Germany had knocked Russia out of the war at about the same time. This gave the Germans access to the resources of Eastern Europe and freed their troops for deployment to the West. The German Spring Offensive of 1918 actually succeeded in rupturing the Allied line at a point where the Allies had no significant reserves. (At about this time, British Prime Minister Lloyd George was heard to remark, "We are going to lose this war". He began to create a record which would shift the blame to others.) The British Summer Offensive of the same year similarly breached the German lines, but did a much better job of exploiting the breakthrough than the Germans had done a few months earlier. General Ludendorff panicked and demanded that the government seek an armistice. The German army did succeed in containing the Allied breakthrough, but meanwhile the German diplomats had opened tentative armistice discussions with the United States. Given U.S. President Wilson's penchant for diplomacy by press-release, the discussions could not be broken off even though the German military situation was no longer critical. While the Germans were not militarily defeated, or even economically desperate, the government and general public saw no prospect of winning. Presented with the possibility of negotiating a settlement, their willingness to continue the conflict simply dissolved.

A story by John ReillyThe Germans were defeated by exhaustion. This could as easily have happened to the Allies. When you read the diaries and reports of the French and British on the Western Front from early 1918, the writers seem to be perfectly lucid and in full command of their faculties. What the Americans noted when they started to arrive at about that time was that everyone at the front was not only dirty and malnourished, but half asleep. In addition to their other deleterious effects, the terrible trench warfare battles of that conflict were remarkably exhausting, and the capacity of the Allies to rotate out survivors diminished with the passage of time. Even with American assistance, France and Britain were societies that were slowly falling apart from lack of ordinary maintenance. Both faced food shortages from the diversion of farmers into the army and from attacks on oceanborne supplies. Had the Germans been able to exploit their breakthrough in the spring, or if the German Empire had held together long enough for Ludendorff's planned autumn offensive to take place, its quite likely that either the French or British would have sued for peace. Had one or the other even raised the question of an armistice, the same process of internal political collapse which destroyed Germany would have overtaken both of them.

Although today it is reasonably clear that Germany fought the war with the general aim of transforming itself from a merely continental power to a true world power, the fact is that at no point did the German government know just what its peace terms would be if it won. It might have annexed Belgium and part of the industrial regions of northern France, though bringing hostile, non-German populations into the Empire might not have seemed such a good idea if the occasion actually arose. More likely, or more rationally, the Germans would have contented themselves with demilitarizing these areas. From the British, they would probably have demanded nothing but more African colonies and the unrestricted right to expand the German High Seas Fleet. In Eastern Europe, they would be more likely to have established friendly satellite countries in areas formerly belonging to the defunct empires than to have directly annexed much territory. It seems to me that the Austrian and Ottoman Empires were just as likely to have fallen apart even if the Central Powers had won. The Hungarians were practically independent before the war, after all, and the chaos caused by the eclipse of Russia would have created opportunities for them which they could exploit only without the restraint of Vienna. As for the Ottoman Empire, most of it had already fallen to British invasion or native revolt. No one would have seen much benefit in putting it back together again, not even the Turks.

Communist agitation was an important factor in the dissolution of Imperial Germany, and it would probably have been important to the collapse of France and Britain, too. One can imagine Soviets being established in Glasglow and the north of England, a new Commune in Paris. This could even have happened in New York, dominated as it was by immigrant groups who were either highly radicalized or anti-British. It is unlikely that any of these rebellions would have succeeded in establishing durable Communist regimes in the West, however. The Soviets established in Germany and Eastern Europe after the war did not last, even though the central government had dissolved. In putting down such uprisings, France might have experienced a bout of military dictatorship, not unlike the Franco era in Spain, and Britain might have become a republic. Still, although the public life of these countries would have been polarized and degraded, they would probably have remained capitalist democracies. The U.S., one suspects, would have reacted to the surrender or forced withdrawal of its European expeditionary force by beginning to adopt the attitude toward German-dominated Europe which it did later in the century toward the victorious Soviet Union. Britain, possibly with its empire in premature dissolution, would have been forced to seek a strong Atlantic alliance. As for the Soviet Union in this scenario, it is hard to imagine the Germans putting up with its existence after it had served its purpose. Doubtless some surviving Romanov could have been put on the throne of a much- diminished Russia. If no Romanov was available, Germany has never lacked for princelings willing to be sent abroad to govern improvised countries.

This leaves us with the most interesting question: what would have happened to Germany itself? Before the war, the German constitution was working less and less well. Reich chancellors were not responsible to parliament but to the Kaiser. The system could work only when the Kaiser was himself a competent executive, or when he had the sense to appoint and support a chancellor who was. The reign of Wilhelm II showed that neither of these conditions need be the case. In the twenty years preceding the war, national policy was made more and more by the army and the bureaucracy. It is unlikely that this degree of drift could have continued after a victorious war. Two things would have happened which in fact happened in the real world: the monarchy would have lost prestige to the military, and electoral politics would have fallen more and more under the influence of populist veterans groups.

We should remember that to win a great war can be almost as disruptive for a combatant country as to lose it. There was a prolonged political crisis, indeed the whiff of revolution, in victorious Britain in the 1920s. Something similar seems to be happening in the United States today after the Cold War. While it is, of course, unlikely that the Kaiser would have been overthrown, it is highly probable that there would have been some constitutional crisis which would have drastically altered the relationship between the branches of government. It would have been in the military's interest to push for more democracy in the Reich government, since the people would have been conspicuously pro-military. The social and political roles of the old aristocracy would have declined, since the war would have brought forward so many men of humble origin. Again, this is very much what happened in real history. If Germany had won and the Allies lost, the emphasis in these developments would certainly have been different, but not the fundamental trends.

All the bad and strange things which happened in Germany in the 1920s are conventionally blamed on the harsh terms of the Versailles treaty. We forget, however, that the practical effect of these terms was really very limited. The diplomatic disabilities on Germany were eliminated by the Locarno Pact of 1925. The great Weimar inflation, which was engineered by the government to defeat French attempts to extract reparations, was ended in 1923. The reparations themselves, of course, were a humiliating drain on the German budget, but a system of financing with international loans was arranged which worked satisfactorily until the world financial system broke down in the early 1930s. Even arms development was continued through clandestine projects with the Soviet Union. It is also false to assert that German culture was driven to insanity by a pervasive sense of defeat. The 1920s were the age of the Lost Generation in America and the Bright Young Things in Britain. A reader ignorant of the history of the 20th century who was given samples from this literature that did not contain actual references to the war could reasonably conclude that he was reading the literature of defeated peoples. There was indeed insanity in culture in the 1920s, but the insanity pervaded the whole West.

Weimar culture would have happened even if there had been no Weimar Republic. We know this, since all the major themes of the Weimar period, the new art and revolutionary politics and sexual liberation, all began before the war. This was a major argument of the remarkable book, RITES OF SPRING, by the Canadian scholar, Modris Ekstein. There would still have been Bauhaus architecture and surrealist cinema and depressing war novels if the Kaiser had issued a victory proclamation in late 1918 rather than an instrument of abdication. There would even have been a DECLINE OF THE WEST by Oswald Spengler in 1918. He began working on it years before the war. The book was, in fact, written in part to explain the significance of a German victory. These things were simply extensions of the trends that had dominated German culture for a generation. They grew logically out of Nietzsche and Wagner and Freud. A different outcome in the First World War would probably have made the political right less suspicious of modernity, for the simple reason that left wing politics would not have been anywhere nearly as fashionable among artists as such politics were in defeat.

I would go so far as to say this: something very like the Nazi Party would still have come to power in Germany, even if that country had won the First World War. I realize that this assertion runs counter to the historiography of most of this century, but the conclusion is inescapable. Politics is a part of culture, and the Nazis represented a kind of politics which was integral with Weimar culture. Salvador Dali once said, perhaps ironically, that he approved of the Nazi Party because they represented the surrealists come to power. The connection is deep, as with the Nazi affinity for the modernist post-rationalism of the philosopher Heidigger, and also superficial, in the styles the party promoted. The Nuremberg Rallies, for instance, were masterpieces of Art Deco stagecraft, particularly Albert Speer's "cathedral of ice" effect, created with the use of searchlights. As a young hopeful in Vienna, Hitler once passed up the chance to work as a theatrical set designer because he was too shy to go to the interview. But whether he knew it or not, that is what he became. People with no fascist inclinations at all love to watch film footage produced by the Nazis, for the simple reason that it is very good cinema: it comes from the same artistic culture which gave us METROPOLIS and THE BLUE ANGEL. The Weimar Republic and the Third Reich formed a historical unit, one whose advent was not dependent on the accident of who won the First World War.

The Nazi Party was other things besides a right wing populist group with a penchant for snazzy uniforms. It was a millenarian movement. The term "Third Reich," "Drittes Reich," is an old term for the Millennium. The Party's core began as a sort of occult lodge, like the Thule Society of Munich to which so many of its important early members belonged. It promoted a racist theory of history not unlike that of the Theosophist, H.P. Blavatsky, whose movement also used the swastika as an emblem. The little-read ideological guidebook of the party, Alfred Rosenberg's MYTH OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY, begins its study of history in Atlantis. Like the Theosophists, they looked for a new "root race" of men to appear in the future, perhaps with some artificial help. When Hitler spoke of the Master Race, it is not entirely clear that he was thinking of contemporary Germans.

This is not to say that the Nazi Party was a conspiracy of evil magicians. A good, non- conspiratorial account of this disconcerting matter may be found in James Webb's THE OCCULT ESTABLISHMENT. I have two simple points to make here. The first is that the leadership had some very odd notions that, at least to some degree, explain the unique things they said and did. The other is that these ideas were not unique to them, that they were spreading among the German elites. General Von Moltke, the chief of the General Staff at the beginning of the war, was an Anthroposophist. (This group drew the peculiar ire of the SS, since Himmler believed that its leader, Rudolf Steiner, hypnotized the general so as to make him mismanage the invasion of France.) The Nazi Party was immensely popular on university campuses. The intellectual climate of early 20th century Germany was extraordinarily friendly to mysticism of all types, including in politics. The Nazi leadership were just particularly nasty people whose worldview bore a family resemblance to that of Herman Hesse and C.G. Jung. The same would probably have been true of anyone who ruled Germany in the 1930s.

Am I saying then that German defeat in the First World War made no difference? Hardly. If the war had not been lost, the establishment would have been much less discredited, and there would have been less room for the ignorant eccentrics who led the Nazi Party. Certainly people with no qualifications for higher command, such as Goering, would not have been put in charge of the Luftwaffe, nor would the Foreign Ministry have been given over to so empty-headed a man as Von Ribbentrop. As for the fate of Hitler himself, who can say?

The big difference would have been that Germany would been immensely stronger and more competent by the late 1930s than it was in the history we know. That another war would have been brewed by then we may be sure. Hitler was only secondarily interested in revenge for the First World War; his primary goal had always been geopolitical expansion into Eastern Europe and western Asia. This would have given Germany the Lebensraum to become a world power. His ideas on the subject were perfectly coherent, and not original with him: they were almost truisms. There is no reason to think that the heirs of a German victory in 1918 (or 1919, or 1920) would have been less likely to pursue these objectives.

These alternative German leaders would doubtless have been reacting in part to some new coalition aligned against them. Its obvious constituents would have been Britain, the United States and Russia, assuming Britain and Russia had a sufficient degree of independence to pursue such a policy. One suspects that if the Germans pursued a policy of aggressive colonial expansion in the 1920s and 30s, they might have succeeded in alienating the Japanese, who could have provided a fourth to the coalition. Germany for its part would begun the war with complete control of continental Europe and probably effective control of north Africa and the Near East. It would also have started with a real navy, so that Britain's position could have quickly become untenable. The coalition's chances in such a war would not have been hopeless, but they would been desperate.

It is commonly said of the First World War that it was pure waste, that it was an accident, that it accomplished nothing. The analysis I have just presented, on the contrary, suggests that the "war to end all war" may have been the most important war of the modern era after all.

In 1973, Spiro T. Agnew resigned the presidency to contest criminal charges of extortion, tax fraud, bribery and conspiracy; on the same day he was formally charged with accepting bribes totaling more than $100,000 whilst holding office since 1962 as Baltimore County Executive, Governor of Maryland and Vice President.

The President of the United States is a crookThe scandal quietly fizzled out over the next decade; Agnew was allowed to plead no contest to a single charge that he had failed to report $29,500 of income received in 1967. In January 1983, he paid the state of Maryland nearly $270,000 as a result of a civil suit that stemmed from the bribery allegations.

Whilst satirists published cartoon strips of Agnew and Nixon sharing a prison cell, leading journalists soundly condemned Nelson Rockefeller for failing to bring to bear the full force of law against either of his two predecessors.

Born Spiro Anagnostopoulos in 1918, he was the first Greek American to hold high political office, an achievement that would be repeated at the 1988 election which brought to power Michael Dukakis.

In 2002, the U.S. Congress narrowly rejected a resolution which would have empowered President George W. Bush to use military force against the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq if "all other options failed" to get the Iraqi dictator to surrender what the President insisted were his "vast" stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons and allow the dismantling of his "aggressive" effort to build nuclear weapons. Among the reasons for the rejection was the argument, made forcefully by Sen. Howard Dean (D-VT), that its language left the decision as to when force would be necessary up to Mr. Bush. "Which means," Dean predicted, "as soon as the ink is dry".

Congress rejects Iraqi War Resolution by Eric LippsPolitical conservatives were furious at what they called a "surrender to a genocidal dictator" any of them--notably syndicated columnist William Safire--accused of direct complicity in the Sept. 11, 2001 terror bombings which had destroyed the World Trade Center and left 2,925 Americans dead. They predicted that economic sanctions, even if tightened, would fail to prevent Saddam from acquiring nuclear bombs, which, they speculated, he would then use against Israel or hand to Al Qaeda for a "nuclear 9-11".

In the 2004 presidential election, Republicans attempted to use Democratic nominee John Kerry's vote against the resolution as a weapon against him, accusing him of being "soft on terrorists" and hostile to Israel. The charge proved insufficient to prevent him from eking out one of the narrowest victories in U.S. presidential history.

In 2007, Saddam Hussein was assassinated. The successor Iraqi government, hoping to bring about a relaxation of the sanctions regime, allowed international inspectors to canvass the country in search of the WMDs and WMD-development facilities Bush had charged were there. Only a handful of relics from Saddam Hussein's earlier efforts, dating back to before the post-1991 imposition of international sanctions, were found despite an exhaustive search. Conservatives, however, continued to claim that the weapons had existed, and said they had simply been successfully hidden, perhaps by being smuggled into such other countries as Syria. No evidence was found to support the earlier claim that Saddam Hussein had been involved in Sept. 11.

In 2009, on this the second Monday in October, thirty-three million citizens of Kanata celebrated the Harvest Thanksgiving.

Harvest Thanksgiving in KanataThe earliest recorded such event occured in what is now the province of Labrador in the year 1578. The English explorer Martin Frobisher had been attempting to find a northern passage to the Pacific Ocean, and held a formal ceremony to give thanks for surviving the long journey. The timing coincided with first nations Thanksgiving celebrations; the Pueblo, Cherokee, Cree and many others organized harvest festivals, ceremonial dances, and other celebrations of thanks for centuries before the arrival of Europeans on the Turtle Island.

Due to the higher latitude than the location of the pilgrims, the harvest was celebrated earlier but the result was the same, a fusion of Native American and European cultures. In fact, the pilgrims celebrated their first thanksgiving forty-three years later.

To the English Settlers at Thanksgiving Township in the modern day province of Wampanoag, the original title for the celebration was the "First Deliverance Day". Because catastrophic agricultural failures wiped out over half the English settlers in the first year of the Colony. The pilgrims realised two things very quickly. Firstly, that in the vastness of the Turtle Island, there was more than enough room for everyone. And secondly, without the support of the indigenes, they had a zero probability of survival; they had to join forces to defeat the Croatoan.

In 1998, the U.S. Department of Energy approved the construction of the so-called "superconducting supercollider" (SSC) to study ultra-high-energy physics.Wormholes by Eric Lipps

Shortly after its completion, the SSC would provide the first experimental proof of the existence of alternate universes, when its operation caused the intermittent opening of a wormhole which permitted the passage of what turned out to be broadcast radio signals from a station in the Republic of Texas, in a world in which Texas had remained independent after seceding from Mexico.

Actual travel between universes would not be possible until after the completion in July 2008 of a massive, internationally funded upgrade to the SSC. In the meantime, however, contact would be made with several other alternities.

In 1997, on this day US President Richard B. Cheney met a key election pledge to the American people by serving notice of an accelerated plan for the withdrawal of US Forces on the President of Iraq, Ahmad Chalabi.Out of the Quagmire
Back in 1991, as Defence Secretary, Cheney had strongly argued against the decision to go into Baghdad1, saying that America would simply install a puppet regime ~
"How long would we have to stay there to keep this regime in power? How effective would it be if it were perceived as the puppet regime of the United States military? It gets to be a very difficult, a very nebulous, a very long, drawn-out kind of committment, what I would describe as a quagmire. We have absolutely no interest in getting U.S. Military forces involved inside Iraq".
Cheney had been proved absolutely right, and the Clinton Presidency was sucked into this quagmire.
More profoundly, Cheney himself had been radically changed by the experience. During the Nixon Presidency, Cheney had served as White House Chief of Staff, earning the CIA codename Backseat for his style of withdrawal and disengagement. And through the Bush Presidency, had left the running of the Pentagon to Deputy Secretary of Defense Donald J. Atwood, Jr.
During the 1996 general election campaign, a new and revitalised Cheney arrived on the political scene. Defeating both Bill Clinton and Robert Dole, Cheney seized the Presidency on a radical ticket that included early withdrawal from Iraq.

Flag of

On this day in 1971, U-2 recon flights over North Korea confirmed what U.S. and South Korean intelligence officials had suspected for weeks: the China virus had effectively wiped out the entire senior hierarchy of North Korea's Communist regime along with 99.7 percent of the population of the North Korean capital Pyongyang.

Flag of - South Korea
South Korea

But South Korea's government had also taken some staggering blows as a result of the virus: most of the South Korean presidental cabinet was dead, and because of nearly endless rioting in Seoul the National Assembly was having to meet in Inchon.

In 1960, on this day the FDNY would revise its Jamaica Bay hurricane death toll up to 280 after the partly decomposed bodies of three firefighters previously reported missing were found in the ruins of a Queens apartment complex which had been one of the first buildings lost to the storm.

That figure of 280 would stand as the department's highest single-day body count until 9/11.

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In 1882, Astrid Pflaume and Kurt Weimer, Neo-Nazi time travelers from the future, infiltrate the Congress for Safeguarding of Non-Jewish Interests, an anti-Semitic international conference being held in Dresden, Germany. They manage to steer the gathering of crackpots and bigots into establishing a paramilitary organization that Weimer utilizes in the 1920's to combat the Greater Zionist Resistance that Pflaume builds.
US President

On this day in 1945, Francis Urquhart went to work for a prestigious Wall Street banking company; he was so successful in his new job that within just five years' time he was able to create his own firm and become a major player in the financial world.

US President - Francis Urquhart
Francis Urquhart

In 1973, Vice-President Spiro T. Agnew resigns following revelations that as governor of Maryland in the 1960s, he had accepted bribes from state construction contractors to get their pet projects approved.

Agnew had continued to demand payments after moving to Washington as Nixon's VP, prompting the contractors to turn state's witness against him.

 - Spiro T. Agnew
Spiro T. Agnew

He will eventually plead nolo contendere to felony charges of tax evasion and money laundering. President Nixon names Michigan Representative Gerald R. Ford to replace him. Ford is quickly confirmed as vice-president.

On this day in 1969, Apollo 6 blasted off from Cape Canaveral on the second lunar landing mission of the Apollo program.

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On this day in 1944, Allied forces in Germany began advancing toward Dortmund and Munster.

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On this day in 2010, President John McCain met with the Guyanan ambassador to the US and gave his personal guarantee the United States would use all the resources at its disposal to defend Guyana against threats of invasion by Hugo Chavez's Venezuela.

John McCain
John McCain - US President
US President
WWF Champion

On this day in 1982, Bob Backlund regained the WWF world title from the Iron Sheik by winning a steel cage match at the Philadelphia Spectrum; in a risky move that would have fans talking about for years to come, Backlund clinched the victory by hitting Sheik with a death-defying splash from the top of the cage.

WWF Champion - Bob Backlund
Bob Backlund

On this day in 1947, it was confirmed that the rock from which the Roswell asteroid had been composed did in fact contain elements vital to plant life.                            

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On this day in 1950, the preliminary results of the autopsies of Charles Boone and Calvin McCann were released.

Confirming the worst fears of Preacher's Corners residents, the autopsy concluded that Philip Boone was indeed involved in Charles and Calvin's deaths.

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In 2007, at a ceremony of thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral, the Archbishop of Canterbury spoke eloquently of his sincere belief that sweet Jesus would prevail upon Iraqi captors to effect the Prince's release. They were all safe under the shadow of his wing.

 - Dead Harry
Dead Harry
In October of 1901, after practising Raja Yoga for some time, Aleister Crowley reached the state of dhyana. In the aftermath of Briton's Golden Dawn, millions of his fellow countrymen followed the Beast's rule - 'Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.' Story Chunk 2

In 1957, the graphite core of a British nuclear reactor at Windscale, Cumbria, caught fire.

The event, known as the Windscale Catastrophe, is considered the world's worst reactor accident. Tom Tuohy, the deputy general manager at the site, led the team faced with dealing with a nightmare no-one had thought possible - an unprecedented nuclear tragedy.

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Tuohy and his men were confronted by a terrifying dilemma. If they let the fire burn out, it could spread radioactivity over a large area of Britain. But if they put water on the reactor, they risked turning it into a nuclear bomb that could kill them all. Tuohy phoned the general manager and said, 'look, I want to turn on the water. If it goes up, we will all go with it'. Tuohy was absolutely right.

In 1846, Neptune's moon Triton is settled by British colonizer William Lassell. The colony was notable for its lack of Mlosh members; some have speculated that Lassell had sympathies for the various anti-Mlosh movements in the United Kingdom, and excluded the aliens from his society for that purpose.
In 12-8-4-7-12, Tlaloc showed his displeasure with the Oeztec by bringing a great storm from the ocean onto the land. Tens of thousands died in the islands of the gulf, and thousands more when the storm hit the mainland. Emperor Calzotz ordered the sacrifice of 100 slaves to appease the god.
In 1731, English natural philosopher Henry Cavendish was born in Nice, France. Cavendish was the discoverer of the element phlogiston, the combustible part of air. His conclusions led to the banning of large fires, lest they ignite the atmosphere and burn the world.
In 2007, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Norman Mailer died of renal failure aged 84. Mailer won the prestigious Pulitzer Prize twice, for The Armies of the Night in 1968 and The Executioner's Song in 1979. Married six times and the father of nine children, Mailer once said in an NBC television interview that he was worried 'women are going to take over the world'. Feminist critics of Mailer point to themes of sexual violence in his work. A focal point of course was a violent episode in 1960 Mailer stabbed and murdered Adele Morales with a penknife at a party. 'It was the worst experience of my life and the most valuable.' I can say the same about my time in the union of marriage.' he reflected in 2005.

In 2007, on this day the BBC News service reported ~ a US congressional committee approved a bill recognising as genocide the mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in 1915-1923. The move has infuriated Turkey and delighted Armenians. The White House said it was very disappointed by the non-binding vote.

Why put 'genocide' in inverted commas? Whether or not the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Armenians during World War I amounted to genocide is a matter for heated debate.

Armenia
Armenia - Genocide
Genocide

Many Western historians believe it falls into the category of genocide. Some countries have declared that a genocide took place, but others have resisted calls to do so.

The current President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference Condoleeza Rice commented that the only genocide yet to be fully recognized is by far, the biggest the African Holocaust. A minimum of twenty million human beings died over a period of five hundred years during the Maafa. 'It is very disappointing that African Americans continue to be dehumanized' said Rice, ' forty years after the Civil Rights Movement began in this country. Our seat of government is called the White House, that just about says it all, right?''.

In 1976, the Philadelphia Experiment was published by Charles Berlitz. Starting with the invasion of Honshu near Tokyo, codename 'Operation Coronet', Berlitz recounts how the element of surprise offered by the super weapon delivered military success in 1946, ending the war in the Pacific. Berlitz also reveals a darker side to X-Day. The detonation of nuclear weapons at Honshu was neither a military necessity nor a 'shot across Stalin's bows'. The inter dimensional teleportation of 'Philadelphia Experiment' had torn a hole in space; the bomb was needed to cauterize the wound.
In 1877, Lieutenant-Colonel George Armstrong Custer was received in Washington with full military honours. Having defeated Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse at Little Big Horn, Custer was already being talked of as a Presidential candidate for 1880. Custer himself knew that he was lucky to be alive. At a crucial moment, he had changed his mind and requested further intelligence. Subsequently he counter-manded orders given to Lt. William W. Cooke for Major Reno's and if not for that, he would instead have been receiving a funeral with full military honours.
In 1995, former Nigerian President Sani Abachi and eight other members of the overthrown military government were sentenced to life imprisonment. The nine had been arrested and accused of incitement to murder following the deaths of four Ogoni elders; Abacha denied the charges. Chief Jim Wiwa and his son Ken Saro-Wiwa accused the military government of genocide of the Ogoni people, an ethnic minority whose homelands in the Niger Delta have been targeted for oil extraction since the 1950s.


October 9

In 1952, on this day the headquarters of the United Nations was completed in Detroit's Belle-Isle.

Haunting RuinAlthough Detroit was the fourth biggest city in the United States, it had widely been considered an outside choice for the home of the UN with New York City, Washington D.C. and San Francisco (where the founding agreement had been signed) ahead in the order of preference. Even the old League of Nations building in Geneva was under consideration. But the imagination of the local promoters had inspired members of the U.N. Interim Site committee. They had resisted the temptation to build a white elephant in affluent New York, recognizing the inherent danger of building a palace of developed nation affluence.

Free of historical baggage attached to other rival cities such as Philadelphia, the symbolism of having the UN located on an international border was quite compelling, especially since Belle Isle had been made an international stateless zone [1]. And of course there was a strong economic case too, because of the advocacy of the common man who had fought in the recent conflict. Despite the thriving automobile industry, the City lacked certain aspects of infrastructure only having transportation routes into the US and Canada. Therefore the decision to choose Detroit could be justified on the basis of post-war regeneration, a signature note for the newly founded organization. As a result, a major superblock project was begun.

And of course another compelling reason arose a decade later, when Manhattan Island was destroyed during the limited nuclear exchange at the climax to the Cuba War. Because the peace settlement that swiftly followed was worked out in detail on Belle-Isle. Tragically, the logic of the critics who feared that a Detroit-based HQ would become a "haunting ruin" had been turned on its head.

In 1925, on this day the thirty-eighth President of the United States Robert Hutchison Finch was born in Tempe, Arizona (until the election of John McCain he was the only such incumbent from the Copper State).

Birth of President Robert H. FinchHe was the son of Robert L. Finch, a member of the Arizona House of Representatives. He ran for Congress unsuccessfully in 1952 and 1954 against Inglewood Democrat Cecil King, practised law in Pasadena, and was chairman of the Los Angeles County Republican Central Committee 1956-1958. He returned to Washington as Vice President Nixon's aide in 1958. He was Nixon's campaign manager in the 1960 presidential campaign against John F. Kennedy. In 1964, he managed U.S. Sen. George Murphy's upset victory over Pierre Salinger.

In 1966, Finch was elected the 38th Lieutenant Governor of California. He received more votes than Ronald Reagan, who was elected Governor at the same time. In 1968, he was a senior adviser in Nixon's presidential campaign. And during the 1968 presidential election, Finch was Nixon's first choice as his Vice Presidential running mate (fortunately, Nixon was registered in New York, thus avoiding the same state rule). A liberal Republican, he repeatedly clashed with Conservatives. And when Dick Nixon resigned the Presidency, he issued a full pardon but was forced to appoint a Gerry Ford as VP (he had also considered other conservatives such as Paul Laxalt and George WH Bush). Although he oversaw a liberal period of domestic legislation from 1975-1976, he was challenged and then beaten for the GOP nomination by Ronald Reagan.

In 2013, the collection of the minimum number of votes required by the sixteenth amendment triggered a Presidential recall election.

The Recall of Barack ObamaConceived by the Progressive Movement as a check and balance on the unpopular misuse of executive authority, in practice the instrument proved highly destabilising. Coolidge, Harding, Hoover and FDR all faced recall elections at low points in their Presidency. However it was Lyndon Baines Johnson that came closest to actual defeat, but perhaps that was an exception due to the popular advocacy of the Kennedy family. After that, Richard Nixon orchestrated a campaign to higher the bar out of reach: shorter timescales, a larger number of petitioning votes and a higher popular vote of a then unthinkable sixty percent of the electorate would be needed to force a recall. Not that it profited Nixon much because after all he was impeached over Watergate.

Of course Obama's second term would probably have been government by crisis without the passage of the sixteenth amendment even in its modified post-Nixon form which effectively restored the Imperial Presidency. But fatefully by the summer of 2013, the Tea Party had reached zero hour, deciding that they had nothing to lose because the US Government was heading towards bankruptcy. And alarmingly fast, perhaps even before the 2016 election. America could not afford an Empire and Socialism, and certainly not both at the same time. Various Machiavellian options were considered to deliberately force America towards the path of default, in order to destroy Obama's credibility. Finally, they settled on a Federal Government Shutdown followed by the invocation of the sixteenth amendment. The tea was back in the harbor, and America's dysfunctional government was put to the ultimate test.

In 1864, on this day Otto von Bismarck was relieved of his duties as the Minister President (Ministerpräsident) by the newly crowned King of Prussia, Frederick III.

Kaiser Wilhelm I of Prussia dies earlierBecause during his two years of service he had shamelessly manipulated his father Wilhelm I. He had in fact established a thoroughly abusive relationship with the old man that permitted him to pursue a belligerent course of action that failed to survive the change of regime. Instead of union through Prussian aggression, common sense prevailed, and the North German Confederation was allowed to peacefully absorb most of the South German States.

Prior to his elevation, he had been the Prussian ambassador to St Petersburg and for nearly a decade before that served as Prussia's ambassador to the German Confederation. He took charge at a time when relations among the Great Powers - Great Britain, France, Austria and Russia - had been shattered by the Crimean War of 1854-55 and the Italian War of 1859. Had William I lived beyond his three score years and ten, then perhaps Bismarck might well have been given the opportunity he craved, the creation by force of a German Empire as the dominant power in Europe. This is a companion article to the Otto von Bismarck dies earlier blog post.

It is 1936, and Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin is threatening to resign if King Edward VIII insists on marrying Mrs. Simpson, a divorced American.

Happy Endings Part 6
Edward VIII and Wallace Simpson
The King tells his Prime Minister to resign and be damned, then promptly marries his sweetheart.

Baldwin had been planning to sell airplane engines to the Germans, but this project came to a screaming halt when he left office. His replacement, Neville Chamberlain, saw the need to rearm England (rather than Germany) and desperately calls on his countrymen to do just that .. aided by his staunch ally, Winston Churchill. When the German Fuhrer invites Chamberlain to the Munich Conference two years later, the Prime Minister curtly refuses to attend. Even without him, Hitler invades Czechoslovakia, but England is ready to fight him.

Edward had expressed admiration for Hitler before, but at his Prime Minister's directions he avoids doing so again. Instead, he focuses on helping the unemployed, just as he had done before meeting Mrs. Simpson. So now the nation is united behind King Edward and Queen Wallis, and he rallies his people with the King's Speech: "For the second time in most of our lives, we are at war".

In 1946, having updated the narrative of Fellowship of the Ring such that Gandalf meets Frodo earlier at Bree (instead of later at Rivendell) and subsequently perishes in the defence of the Hobbit at the Ford of Bruinen, J.R. R. Tolkien set about writing the Wizard out of "The Bridge of Khazad-dum" scene.

Wizard! Part 2
LOTR, the Kick Ass Edition
The fork in the plot had been suggested by his son, Christopher who had identified a critical weakness that the latest draft for the opus failed to deliver a clean break with The Hobbit. The horror of the epic fight scene at the Ford provided an earlier, more resonant climax for the palpable sense of terror that had been building-up from the start. And yet that ripple effect had turned into a wave as dramatic new plot changes emerged.

Terrifying enough was the prospect of the Fellowship confronting the Balrog without the leadership of the Wizard. Because in this updated passage, the Balrog seizes the Ring from Frodo. And instead of the Fellowship mourning the fallen Wizard, they are reunited with Gandalf the White, his resurrected alter-ego in the very next scene.

Based on an idea from Jeff ProvineOf course the previous version had strongly hinted that the Balrog was awoken by the presence of the Ring. Also suggested was that in his supernatural form, he could not wield it. But in the event, Tolkien decided to follow logic of the Orcish sense of evil duty by having the Balrog head south to return its to its master, Sauron.

When he entitling Book 2 "The Ring Goes South", Tolkien had never imagined that Durin's Bane would be carried by anyone (or anything) other than Frodo. Because the game had now changed dramatically. As Gandalf the White explained to his startled companions, the Fellowship must fly upon the Great Eagles and pursue the ring south, or Sauron would surely gain complete control of Middle Earth.
This article is part of the Wizard thread.

In 1002, smallpox was introduced to the New World. The discovery of the New World by Europeans came as something of an accident in 985. Viking Bjarni Herjolfsson was sailing to Greenland to visit his father after wintering in Iceland when bad weather caught his ship, blowing it far off course to a land covered in trees.

Smallpox Introduced to the New World It seemed good for settlement, but Bjarni and his crew decided to leave the discovery for their intended goal of Greenland.

Leif Eriksson, son of the famous Erik the Red who had helped found Greenland, became fascinated with the rumors of rich lands to the west. He put together an expedition, buying Bjarni's boat (after all, it had been lucky enough to find the land the first time, so perhaps it was favored) and crewing it with 35 men. According to the Groenlendinga saga, Leif asked his father to head the expedition, but the elder man refused, saying signs had shown that he was too old for such adventures. Leif would lead himself. At the last moment, he decided to bolster his crew with two more Vikings, one of whom had recently arrived from Spain.

The expedition sailed for days, finally coming upon a land covered in flat rocks, perhaps today's Baffin Island. They proceeded further south to the wooded Markland (Labrador) and at last arrived at the warm and fruitful Vinland (Newfoundland). The Vikings settled there among wild grapes and streams full of salmon, staying the winter. While there, it became obvious that the Viking from Spain had contracted the new and strange plague that was there, causing horrid blisters over the skin and high fevers. They cast him out of their settlement, making him seek help from the native Skraeling. From the sagas, it is believed the natives killed the man, but they became infected with what would later be called "smallpox" as it infected Europe.

Leif's expedition would return to Greenland with a wealthy cargo, even collecting a shipwrecked Viking and adding his wares to theirs. Earning the nickname "Leif the Lucky", he would not return to Vinland, citing the dangerous peoples there. Other Vikings such as Thorvald, Karlsefni, and the treacherous Freydis would mount expeditions to Vinland, but no permanent settlement would ever take root. Meanwhile, the smallpox plague would sweep through the New World, wiping out some ninety percent of the population.

Nearly 500 years later, an Italian sailing for Spain would re-discover the lands west of the Ocean. Christopher Columbus would begin establishing trading posts and exploring. While the natives were at a severe disadvantage facing Conquistador firearms and steel, the sheer numbers of the population kept Spanish influence in check. The disastrous expedition of Cortes against the Aztec Empire would prove this, causing the deaths of hundreds of Spaniards and a military crackdown that would keep the Aztecs in power and limit relations with the Spanish to suspicious trade.

The Spanish gradually gained a sphere of influence over Middle and South America, but they could not establish the empire they hoped. Trade made them wealthy, but hardly more so than the Portuguese and their trade route around Africa as well as their trading posts in Brazil. In North America, the French would come out best, working well with the locals and harvesting furs for rich trade. The English made repeated attempts at settlement but were wiped out at Roanoke, Jamestown, and Charleston. Religious Separatists would found a plantation in Plymouth, which existed only at the mercy of the local tribes.

Eventually European technology would prove overwhelming, and the Americas would be carved up among the powers as they would do with Africa and Southeast Asia. Rule would be colonial rather than hardy frontiersmen in an empty land with tribes establishing treaties and forming military alliances while European maps gradually filled in gaps.

After the World Wars, industrialized Europe would grow tired of imperialism. Those colonies that could be kept were organized into commonwealths while the others were set into somewhat spontaneous political independence. Much of Aztec land would stand stolid, if backward, while the Incan princes maintained political domination over much of South America. In North America, tribes such as the Nez Perce, Cherokee, and Iroquois Confederation would form functional and profitable nations, other tribes in the Great Plains and Southwest found themselves plagued by warlords. Genocide in the Americas is a common issue brought before international committees on Third World charity.

In 1948, on this day US Army Major (retd) Dwight D. Eisenhower (pictured) showcased his first canvass to the famous German-American Artist Adolf Schicklegruber. "I displayed my version of Mamie," Eisenhower wrote, "weird and wonderful to behold, and we all laughed heartily".

The Art of Warfare by Ed. & Scott PalterAfter his retirement from the US military, Eisenhower had accepted a position of president of a military college in the Hudson Valley. A New York portrait artist, Thomas E. Stephens was commissioned to paint a portrait of Mamie Eisenhower, and Dwight Eisenhower watched the process with keen interest. While the artist and subject toured the house to look for the right place to hang the finished portrait, Eisenhower decided to try his hand at a painting using Stephens' brushes and mixed paints. He and an aide jury-rigged a canvas by stretching a clean dust cloth over a piece of cardboard. By the time his wife and Stephens returned, Eisenhower had finished his first painting.

Stephens mentioned the portrait to his friend Schicklegruber who had been living on the East Coast for a little under a year. Although encouraged by Stephens to keep painting, Eisenhower decided art was beyond him. However, a few days later, Schicklegruber mailed to Eishenhower a complete paint set and portable easel in a package Eisenhower said included "everything I could possibly need -- - except ability --- to start painting".

Once considered Walt Disney's favourite cartoonist, Adolf had furiously quit the studio, creating a long-running dispute with the over-involved owner. So much so, that in 1947, Disney testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee, where he branded Adolf Schicklegruber, Herbert Sorrell, David Hilberman and William Pomerance, animators and labor union organizers, as Communist agitators.

Disney's loss was Eisenhower's gain and in time, Schicklegruber's tutorage shaped Ike into a master of Western Landscapes. An overfavourable comparison with the works of post-modernist English painter Winston Churchill further stoked rivalry between the two. Already barely on speaking terms, Churchill would make disrespectful public remarks about Schicklegruber whilst touring the US the following year. Using a rather eliptic metaphor to describe the breakdown in their relationship, Churchill said that an "Iron Curtain" had descended between the two super-painters.

Cuban President

On this day in 1967, Cuban president Che Guevara was killed when his personal plane crashed en route to Bolivia. At the time of his death, Guevara had been scheduled to visit the Bolivian capital La Paz for a summit meeting with Bolivia's president aimed at improving relations between the two countries, which had deteriorated after the late Fidel Castro seized power in Cuba in 1959.

Cuban President - Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro

On this day in 1941, US Pacific Fleet commander-in-chief Admiral Husband E. Kimmel got a written directive from President Roosevelt giving him full authority to take whatever measures he deemed appropriate to secure Pearl Harbor's naval base against attack.

US Army Hawaii Territorial Defense Command C-in-C General Walter Short was given a similiar directive authorizing him to do anything that needed to be done to strengthen the Hawaiian Islands' ground and air defenses.

Admiral
Admiral - Kimmel
Kimmel

On this day in 2016, the script for the third CSI movie was finally completed.

 - Jerry Bruckenheimer
Jerry Bruckenheimer

In 1960, Soviet 'cosmonaut' Yuri Leonov becomes the first man in space, making a partial orbit of the planet before splashing down.

The Soviets are now pushing their manned space program as hard as they can, as Premier Nikita Khrushchev realizes that the propaganda value of asserting Soviet technological superiority is worth the immense cost of such efforts.

 - Yuri Leonov
Yuri Leonov

In the United States, there is consternation that the Soviets have managed to place a man in orbit before the United States could do so. Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy, running for president against Vice-President Richard M. Nixon, blasts the Eisenhower administration for allowing the Soviets to erase the early American lead in the 'space race,' saying, It's only a race if everybody's running. Lately, the Russians have been running, while it seems we?ve been walking. He ties the Soviet achievement to his campaign's theme of the need to 'get America moving again.'

Nixon's response is patronizing: My opponent talks about getting the country moving. He doesn't tell us where he wants it to go. Why should we worry about a Soviet propaganda stunt? We'll set our own priorities here on Earth, and let then Soviets crow all they want about space. In the end, we?ll be the ones who get things done that really matter. In private, though, he is not so blase: he knows the political value of the space race. He is conferring with advisers on a number of options for American space spectaculars to be pursued if he is elected, ranging from the building of Von Braun's cherished 'space platform' all the way to an attempt to land men on the moon.

In 2007, US President George Bush closed a bitter chapter in Anglo-Arab Relations.

In an unexpected act of humility, W agreed wholeheartedly with both Harry Windsor and Saddam Hussein al-Tikriti. 'Let be be the finale of seem, The only Emperor is Emperor of Ice Cream'. In other words, death was the winner of the Second Gulf War.

 - Dead Harry
Dead Harry
In 2003, British Poet Laureate Gordon Sumner was awarded the CBE (Commander of the British Empire). The dashingly handsome Sumner turned the head of many a young lady at the ceremony, and rumors have spread since then of his dalliance with at least two young princesses. This, more than anything else he had done in office, made poetry cool again.


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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.