In 1945, making the ill-fated decision to use Okinawa as a staging base a combined Allied naval armada, the largest ever assembled, prepared to commence the initial landings with an immediate objective of seizing the southern portion of the southernmost main Japanese island of Kyūshū.
If X-Day Had Not Failed
Part 1 Japan saved by a miracleDuring the planning of the largest amphibious operation in human history Fleet Admiral William "Bull" Halsey, Jr. had notoriously said "Before we're through with them, the Japanese language will be spoken only in hell". Despite having a chillingly ruthless ring to this sinister statement actually there was a sound military reason for him saying it to motivate his uninformed sub-ordinates; because unlike D-Day eighteen months earlier, the invading army would have to defeat not only the available organized military forces of the Empire, but also by a fanatically hostile population. In this sense as well as the stubborn fight-to-the-bitter-end island race mentality the struggle could be better compared to Operation Sealion, Hitler's planned but never executed invasion of the British Isles, a violent to-the-death clash of two incompatible ways of life. In a tragic sense too bloody to contemplate, a failed attempt at Operation Sealion, had it ever have been executed, might well have better prepared the American homelands for the traumas of X-Day.
But whereas Ike had lucked out with the weather, Halsey and co. were left to curse their savage bad fortune. Because their forces were thrown into command chaos by a tsunami that struck the armada shortly after its departure from Okinawa. Needless to say, this enormous setback not only added to American hatred but at the same time re-inforced a sense of divine purpose for the Japanese defenders. But in a larger historical sense you might say that events were merely approaching the inevitable climax to a titanic struggle of rival cultures. This had first begun almost a century before with Admiral Matthew C. Perry's arrival in Tokyo Harbour when he had "opened" Japan, a euphemism for determined efforts to coerce Imperial Japan into bending to the will of the Western Allies.
To be continued..
Author's Note: in reality the planned operation was abandoned when Japan surrendered following the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The operation had two parts: Operation Olympic and Operation Coronet. Set to begin in October 1945, Operation Olympic was intended to capture the southern third of the southernmost main Japanese island, Kyūshū, with the recently captured island of Okinawa to be used as a staging area. Later, in spring 1946, Operation Coronet was the planned invasion of the Kantō Plain, near Tokyo, on the Japanese island of Honshū. Airbases on Kyūshū captured in Operation Olympic would allow land-based air support for Operation Coronet.
In 1800, on this day US President Thomas Jefferson becomes the first President of the United States to live in the Executive Mansion. Part of our Traitor to the King thread.
A Traitor to the King Part 2He had succeeded George Washington with a decisive win in the 1796 General election. Other national leaders had impressive revolutionary credentials, but Hamilton had been discredited by scandal and since his imprisonment in the Tower of London, John Adams was temperamentally unfit for executive office better suited to his tight-lipped contemporaries.
But unfortunately, there was a sharp downside because Jefferson's unchallenged easy ride into the Presidency fuelled his natural arrogance and therefore created its own problems. A Francophile by conviction, he worked tireless with Paris to avoid a quasi-war. He even ignored the XYZ Affair, but when that scandal finally broke, public opinion was moving towards a declaration of war upon their former partner in the revolutionary war.
In 1950, President Truman is assassinated by Puerto Rican nationalists at the Blair House.
Assassination of President TrumanTruman had been staying at the less-secure Blair House because of remodeling at the White House. Because two years before he had ordered a controversial addition to the exterior of the White House: a second-floor balcony in the south portico that came to be known as the "Truman Balcony".
However, Puerto Ricans had gotten his schedule from a sympathizer on the staff there. Oscar Collazo and Griselio Torresola killed Truman and also White House Police officer Leslie Coffelt.
Vice-President Alben Barkley assumed the office of President, and ordered the F.B.I. to begin a series of raids to eradicate the nationalists in Puerto Rico. The island possession of the U.S. was a hotspot of political turmoil until it finally gained its independence in 1981.
In 1994, George Lucas, after much urging from his mentor Francis Ford Coppola, begins filming his second Star Wars trilogy, set after the Rebellion's triumphant victory at Endor in Return of the Jedi.
Second Star Wars TrilogyThis trilogy follows the marriage of Han Solo & Princess Leia, the Rebellion's efforts to reconstruct the Old Republic, and Luke Skywalker's new school for Jedi.
With the release of the 3rd film in this installment, 2003's Jedi Child, Lucas has announced that he will make yet another trilogy, this time telling the back story of Darth Vader and the fall of the Republic. Fans await breathlessly.
In 1214, on this day forces loyal to Trapezuntian emperor Alexios I (pictured) lifted the Siege of Sinope.
Komnenos Brothers lift the Siege of SinopeThe Seljuq Turks under their Sultan, Kaykaus I Sinope had attempted to seize this important port city on the Black Sea coast of modern Turkey, at the time held by the Empire of Trebizond, one of the Byzantine Greek successor states formed after the Fourth Crusade.
The hard fought victory was in no part due to the individual heroics of David Komnenos , Alexios' younger brother and co-founder of the Trapezuntian empire. Because much was at stake; defeat would have meant that the small Trapezuntian state would be cut off from overland contact with the metropolitan Byzantine lands of the Empire of Nicaea in western Asia Minor.
But instead, Alexios was given a legitimate claim to be Byzantine emperor (he was the eldest son of Manuel Komnenos and of Rusudan, daughter of George III of Georgia and thus a grandson of the Byzantine Emperor Andronikos I). Because in April 1204, shortly before the fall of Constantinople to the Fourth Crusade, the 22-year-old Alexios had occupied Trebizond with the aid of a Georgian contingent provided by his aunt, Queen Tamar of Georgia. Ten years later, he was all set for a triumphant return.
In 1956, hours after Khrushchev's resignation the Praesidium re-assembled to discuss the developing crisis in Eastern Europe.
Conjoined Crisis Part 9
Suez Canal runs through the Praesidium Of course the preferred approach of the anti-party group was to find a resolution prior to appointing a new First Secretary. Because options varied from military crackdown through to a formula under which the members of the Warsaw Pact could find their own path to socialism.
As the Great Powers had always intended, the United Nations had been very quiet on the crisis, recognizing that the events were occurring in the Soviet Union's sphere of influence. But of course the same was not true of the situation in the Suez Canal. And at this critical junction, Egyptian President Abdul Gamal Nasser appealed to the Soviet Union in advance of the expected assault from Israel and France. In non-aligned parts of the globe, the Conjoined Crisis represented a fresh opportunity for a new world order, but it remained to be seen whether the Egyptians would be afforded the same degree of sovereignty as their comrades behind the Iron Curtain. An article from the Conjoined Crisis thread.
In 1956, on behalf of the United States, the Brazilian Ambassador to the United Nations João Carlos Muniz presented a ceasefire propsal which called for the immediate dispatch of a large peacekeeping force to the Suez Canal.
Brazil solves the Suez Canal CrisisOf course it would have been inappropriate for Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge to present the proposal himself, and in selecting a suitable proxy, he had seriously considered approaching his Canadian equivalent, the Secretary of State for External Affairs Lester B. "Mike" Pearson (pictured). Because unlike other Commonwealth countries such as Australia and New Zealand, Canada had abstained, rather than voted against the ceasefire proposal. Moreover, Pearson was of course a more seasoned professonal than Muniz, having been in post since 1948, but Lodge wanted to avoid any hint of imperialism. He rightly judged that the proposal would be more compelling if it originated from a non-aligned, southern hemisphere nation.
But it proved to be a moot point because the proposal was passed so overwhelmingly that Canadian sponsorship would have sufficed. A year later, Muniz1 received a Nobel Peace Prize; the awarding committee celebrated Suez as "a victory for the UN and for the man who contributed more than anyone else to save the world at that time". A few months afterwards, the Canadian electors threw Pearson out of office anyway.
Robbed of the opportunity for an illuminating, but nevertheless superficial moment of history, Pearson was unable to seize the leadership of the Liberal Party. Perhaps it was for the best and mainstream partisan leadership would have been a bad career choice, because Pearson was later chosen for the much more suitable role of UN Secretary General. In this role, he would challenge Lyndon Baines Johnson during the Gulf of Tonkin Crisis, playing a hugely significant role in preventing the escalation of that tragic conflict.
A blog articles from our Canadian Heroes thread.
In 1784, on this day Benjamin Franklin was named President of Congress Assembled.
Benjamin Franklin Named President of Congress AssembledAfter great success winning favor in the French Court for the young United States of America and determining a treaty with Sweden without ever having visited the country, Franklin misspoke and ended his ambassadorial career. He had been invited, along with astronomer Bailly, physician Guillotine, and chemist Lavoisier, to participate in a royal commission to investigate the "animal magnetism" of Charles d'Eslon based upon the work of Franz Mesmer. Franklin let slip one of his famous lewd comments, this one directed about the possibility of His Majesty Louis XVI attempting to abscond the science for his romantic pursuits, and his royal favor disappeared. Louis said, "Monsieur, vous etes de finition," and Franklin was sent back to America. His work had been finished, however, and Congress welcomed him despite the office of Ambassador to France being eliminated.
Franklin soon found himself in politics at home, hoping to be elected to the Executive Council of Pennsylvania, but instead named as a representative to the Continental Congress since John Dickinson seemed firmly rooted in the position. Soon after arriving in Congress, fellow Pennsylvanian Thomas Mifflin announced his resignation as President effective October 31. Early polls looked to have Virginian Richard Henry Lee elected to fill the role, but he made known that matters at home would not allow him to sit and would only act as signatory on papers forwarded from his secretary. Franklin wrote of being upset by the disinterest in national union and volunteered himself, almost immediately being sworn in as delegates were pleased to have someone take responsibility.
His initial steps were to give the Continental Congress a clout of more than a place for states to bicker. Finding a great ally in young James Madison of Virginia, Franklin was able to navigate the differing delegates' opinions by working upon bridges Madison had already built while creating the Northwest Territory in 1783, which required ceding lands to Congress from overlapping claims by Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut. Franklin wanted to do more, but Congress lacked the ability to tax and was already in horrid debt from the war with requests for money from the states met with polite refusal. Though unable to tax, Franklin decided he would find a way for the government to make its money, or as he wrote, "earn our keep".
After the move to Federal Hall in New York City, Franklin's first project was the expansion of the United States Postal Service. Working with Postmaster General and fellow Philadelphian Ebenezer Hazard, Franklin devised an elegant system of couriers to transport mail over roads and waterways. He was able to secure legislation ratified by the states that allowed for free travel to any American citizen across state lines, thus stimulating commerce. Impeccable service and payment on stamps kept the Congress afloat, but its debts were still paralyzing. Franklin's voiced frustration over the lack of money, brought him to the attention of Alexander Hamilton, who had resigned from Congress in 1782 after his own pursuits of a bill to allow Congress to set 5% duties was refused by the states.
Hamilton had recently founded the bank of New York, and he met with Franklin proposing a central bank for the whole of the United States. Franklin confirmed the idea, but others, especially Thomas Jefferson, who had taken up Madison's position in the Continental Congress, spoke out against the notion of such a move as illegal. Further issues such as the deplorable treaty created by John Jay with the Spanish and reports from George Washington's tour of the Northwest finding a grave need for American surveying and forts against British, Spanish, and Indian encroachment led Franklin to call for a convention in early 1786 to sort out the many issues of the Articles of Confederation.
While some whispered that Franklin was attempting to create a wholly new constitution, the convention only reinvigorated the Articles and established a new system of strong confederation for the United States. George Washington was convinced to participate to provide commentary on the need for an American army beyond the single regiment that guarded the Northwest Territory. His clout enabled many of the delegates to agree, and Madison worked as a bridge between the vain opinions of Thomas Jefferson (who demanded guarantee of personal rights) and Alexander Hamilton (who demanded a central government who could tax to protect and improve itself).
After months of arguing, the convention assembled a variety of new bills from the Articles revolutionizing the position of federal government. Congress was to have delegates each with the power to propose laws based upon representation of population, but each state was given two final votes to allow for the splitting of opinion while still giving small states a staunch voice. A small, permanent executive office would keep the business of government running while Congress was out of session: maintaining an army in the territories (American defense would still be largely militias) as well as a navy to defend American interests, a national bank (which would settle the debt issues that were causing riots in Massachusetts as well as promote funding for Congress through allocating dues to be paid by states based upon population and defense requirements), and the Postal Service, which would spur heavy investment in canals and roadways into the new territories, to be repaid as turnpikes. A Supreme Court would decide final disagreements between the states, whose laws would be left largely to themselves, Jeffersonian ideals were guaranteed under a Bill of Rights. Further Jefferson/Hamilton compromise came with the moving of the capital to a new location in the South, where Washington suggested along the Potomac, though Franklin convinced him to found Federal City as westward as possible to spur expansion, finally deciding on a point beside Fort Cumberland, MD, where Washington had served in the French and Indian War.
The rewritten Articles proved a solidifying effect on the United States. After smoothing the transition to his successor Washington, Franklin retired from his presidential office and returned to Philadelphia, dying soon after as a national hero. Washington affirmed the military power of the United States and dispatched a successful naval campaign defeating the Barbary pirates. Franklin's expansionism was well met as the construction of Washington, D.C., prompted canal-building around the Great Falls on the Potomac and opened the Washington Road into Ohio.
After twenty years of growth and varying peace in attempts to sort out the overlapping territorial claims with Spain and Britain, the Napoleonic Wars seemed to threaten spilling over into the United States. Presidents Jefferson and Madison attempted to stave off war with Embargo Acts, but the limitations of federal power over trade stymied their abilities to control American shipping beyond suggestions and curtailing of the navy. British preying on American ships eventually started war in 1811, but after the impressive defeat of British raiders at the Battle of Washington, the stalemate turned to a favorable treaty removing British forces from illegal forts and helping America expand.
Expansionism, however, brought up the question of slavery in the territories. Congress would eventually end the slave trade and ban slavery in northern, then all, territories, but the South was legally protected from "Northern aggression" until unpopularity and economic forces gradually wiped out slavery over the course of the 1870s. Expansionism would run rampant as Manifest Destiny was completed with the end of the frontier in the 1890s, though further colonial expansion into the Philippines, Hawaii, and Caribbean would fall short of expectations. A new boom would come with the economy after the Great War, but the resulting crash from unfounded investments would wipe out the antiquated American banking system and shatter the United States as the underfunded federal government collapsed with the strain. States would fall into groups, "Balkanizing" the nation into seventeen parts following their own social ideals.
In 2007, Robbie Taylor wrote the first words.of his novel Before/After ~ The light was strong this morning. Kevin looked up at the sun, holding his hand over his head to shade his eyes, and smiled. It was just cool enough to be comfortable without a jacket, a typical winter day in Texas.
Installment One of Before/AfterKevin walked over to his truck, a beat-up old '98 Chevy, and hopped inside. He had a good drive ahead of him today - Austin was about 100 miles away - and he was ready to get started. Kevin's truck, which he sometimes called The Love Boat, had a couple of jiffy may-pop tires on the passenger side, and the electrical system might as well be driven by a hamster on a wheel, but he figured it could make it to Austin.
He started the truck, let it warm up - it wouldn't go in reverse unless he let it warm up - and then pulled out of his dirt driveway. He had put some food and water outside for the dog, which was now barking and wagging its tail at him from the other side of the fence. He waved at it and then rolled down to the farm road. A couple of miles down that was the big highway, and down that open road was Austin and the promise of the big city.
He stopped at the railroad tracks while a train passed by, and turned on the radio. There was some stupid morning show on his usual channel, so he flipped to the news on NPR. Usual bad politicians, war troubles, economic difficulties, then a heart-warming story of human will overcoming adversity - typical news. He whistled while he listened to it, not really paying attention.
Message from Robbie Taylor - Hit the Facebook Like button on the Amazon page to let me know you've done it, and if Before/After hits the top 1000, I will randomly choose one of you to send an autographed, personalized print copy of the book.When the train went by, he proceeded on down to the highway. He stopped at the little convenience store at the corner of the highway to gas up and grab a snack. With the truck's tank filled and his stomach following suit as he munched on a danish, he drove onto the highway and pointed his truck north.
He hadn't driven on the highway for some time because of his tires, but he felt pretty good about them today. The truck shimmied a little because the wheels were unevenly filled, but it wasn't so bad. The vibration of the steering wheel in his hands just helped keep him awake.
Kevin usually got a little sleepy on long drives, but he felt very energetic today. The traffic thinned out as he left town and headed towards the hill country. There were a bunch of little towns between Bryan and Austin, but it was going to be a lonely drive. Fortunately, there was only a 30-mile stretch of bad radio between when Bryan's stations faded out and Austin's stations could be picked up, so he had that for company.
He almost wished he'd brought his dog, but the little guy didn't like long car rides, and Kevin didn't feel like cleaning up his truck today. He felt his cell phone buzz against his waist, and heard his own voice coming from it; "Kevin, your cell phone is ringing. Kevin, your cell phone is ringing. Kevin, pick up your phone!" He ignored it. It was probably just work, wondering where he was. He wasn't going to worry about that, today, either.
The novel can be purchased for the Kindle on Amazon, in Print at Lulu or for the Book at Barnes & Noble or Smashwords.
In 1948, Major Glenn Miller flew out of Templehof Airport the morning after a special Halloween Concert in which his Army Air Force Band had performed live Jazz Music for the US Troops that had been stationed in Berlin ever since the Soviet Blockade had begun in June.
All that JazzIt was the most dangerous journey the Band had taken since the fateful flight to Paris in December 1944. Ordered by General Eisenhower to leave RAF Twinwood Farm "on or about the 15th", an unfortunate choice of timing combined with the actions of their rookie pilot who had misread the instruments of their single-engine Noorduyn Norseman bush plane.
During their flight over the English Channel, they had very nearly wandered into a jettison zone where no less than one hundred and thirty-eight Lancaster bombers were about to release approximately one hundred thousand incendiaries in a designated area before landing. Fortunately, tragedy was averted by Air Force navigator Fred Shaw who spotted the small, single-engined monoplane in the path of the bombers.
The true nature of the flight to Paris would later emerge. Because Miller (who was a fluent German speaker) had been enlisted by Eisenhower to covertly attempt to convince some German officers to end the war early.
In 1950, Vice-President Earl Warren was sworn in as president of the United States following the assassination of President Thomas E. Dewey by Oscar Collazo and Giselio Torresola, members of a radical organization demanding independence for the U.S. commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
President Warren, Part 1Warren, who had served as a district attorney and attorney general of California before winning the governorship of that state in 1942, had been expected to be reliably conservative based on his record in his home state, where, among other things, he strongly supported the World War II internment of Japanese Americans. To the dismay of the right, however, once in the White House he swiftly revealed himself as a champion of liberal causes, leading to a series of spectacular confrontations with Congress and the conservative wing of the Supreme Court.
In 1952, a bitterly divided Republican Party narrowly nominated President Warren for reelection to the office he had inherited. Supporters of Warren's opponent in the primaries, Ohio Sen. Robert Taft, registered their displeasure by staying away from the polls in droves that November, ironically helping top elect the Democratic candidate, Illinois Gov. Adlai Stevenson, whom they despised as a liberal intellectual "egghead".
In a further irony, Taft died January 31, 1953, while Warren would live on until July 9, 1974. Had Taft won the nomination in '52, his vice-president (whoever that would have been; speculation centered on Warren's fellow Californians William F. Knowland and Richard Nixon) would have assumed the presidency just as Warren had done.
In 1991, on this day Warner Brothers released the movie The Chief directed by Oliver Stone. The Chief
The events leading to the assassination of President Fidel Casto (pictured with Che Guavara) played by Antonio Bandaras, and alleged subsequent cover-up, are examined through the eyes of former President John F. Kennedy played by Kevin Costner.
The film was adapted by Stone and Zachary Sklar from the books On the Trail of the Assassins by Jim Garrison and Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Castro by Jim Marrs. The credits roll with a selection of contemporaneous statements ~
"Higher Authority [President Kennedy] asked how soon we could get into action with the external sabotage program" ~ Official Memorandum1
"It's incredible! .. They have a man that was ... instructed by the CIA and the Attorney General [Robert Kennedy] to assassinate Castro after the Bay of Pigs". ~ Lyndon Johnson2
"I personally believe Oswald was the assassin .. As to whether he was the only man gives me great concern; we have several letters .. written to him .. referring to the job he was going to do, his good markmanship, and stating when it was all over, he would be brought back .. and presented to the chief. We do not know if the chief was Robert Kennedy.3"~ J. Edgar Hoover3
Stone described his fictionalized film as a 'counter-myth' to the 'myth' of the 1979 House Commission on Assassinations. The film became embroiled in controversy even before it was finished filming. Upon the Chief's theatrical release many of the major newspapers in the United States of America ran editorials criticizing what they perceived as liberties that Stone took with historical facts, including the film's implication that the Kennedys were part of the coup d'etat that killed Castro.
In 1836, Congress convenes to choose the new life-time President. The three-way contest reflects the country's growing regional divisions, with westerner Andrew Jackson (pictured) pitted against representatives of both New England and the Old South, South Carolina's John C. Calhoun and New Hampshire's Daniel Webster.
A crisis develops when Acting President Jackson, although garnering more votes than either of his opponents, fails to win a majority. In prior elections, there have always been two major candidates, and one of them has always managed to secure the support of a majority in the House.
Gridlock by Eric LippsThe Constitution provides that in the event of a House deadlock, the Senate will choose the President, with each state casting a single vote. Supporters of Andrew Jackson, however, demand that voting continue in the House until a clear winner is chosen there; they fear that backers of Calhoun and Webster, whose parties are stronger in the Senate than in the popularly-elected House, may cut some sort of deal to elect one or the other.
Under the Twelfth Amendment to the Constitution, ratified in 1802, it takes a two-thirds' majority vote in the House to certify that a deadlock has been reached in selecting a president. Jackson's supporters, however, are strong enough to prevent such a measure from passing. As a result, balloting drags on, as the three power blocs struggle for victory.
This article is a part of the Life Term thread. In this scenario, we explore the consequences of a 1787 agreement at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, in which a President-for-life clause is inserted into the text.
In 2002, in an asteroid field in a system they are completely lost in, Air Force pilots Jim Zeminksi and Al Corwin are taken by the Pleiadean force that has been chasing them since Dr. Courtney and Professor Thomas stole a globe from their planet. Since the pilots had become separated from the scientists and other pilots, they are unable to resist the aliens, and are taken back to the alien world and interrogated.
In 1952, the explosion of a hydrogen bomb on the tiny Eniwetok atoll in the Pacific Ocean causes the mutation of several creatures there, who soon grow to enormous size and attack the western coast of the United States. Only the grit of local military commanders and the plucky resolve of a 10-year old boy keep Los Angeles from being devoured by the monstrous beast they call Sharkon.
In 1890, more reinforcements arrive to bolster Colonel Beauregard T. Jackson's troops in Salt Lake City. Colonel Jackson takes these men into the wilderness surrounding the city on a search for escaped rebel leader Charles Brigman; he is determined that Brigman will pay the price for his crimes.
In 1765, in the face of harsh opposition to the Stamp Acts, the British Parliament backs down and repeals the effort to make the American colonies pay for the recent wars in North America without consultation from the colonies themselves. Parliament takes the unusual step of giving seats in the House of Commons to colonials, so that they can have representation for their taxation.
In 2265 AUC, the crowning achievement of Roman artist Michelangelus Gaius Buonarus, the Temple of Jupiter, is opened to the public in Rome. The masterpiece of the artwork inside is the story of the creation of the Roman Pantheon of Gods, told in 9 panels of exquisite detail. It draws visitors from across the Roman Republic every year.
In 1210, Pope Richard of the Holy British Empire begins what will become official Papal policy until the 20th century; Jews were considered foreign entities within the borders of the Empire, leading to some of the most hideous acts of persecution since the Romans fed Christians to the lions.
In 1604 & 1611, two of Francis Bacon's great plays make their premieres. Othello, the controversial story of a black man married to a white woman, nearly destroys Bacon's playwriting career; when The Tempest premieres in 1611, it just revives the old rumors of Bacon's flirtation with witchcraft, but he escapes prosecution this time.
In 1902, the Mlosh drive off the multi-dimensional creature that had attacked them in the Sahara. After a few days of recuperation, they return to their normal lives throughout the solar system, and speak of the incident in only the most oblique of terms. This has proved maddening for historians of the era.
In 1924, in one of the most senseless murders of the Prohibition period, Comrade William Tilghman is murdered in Cromwell, Oklahoma, where he served as a local sheriff. Comrade Tilghman was in the vanguard of bringing socialism to the Wild West, and had a reputation as an honest and incorruptible lawman. He was brought down by his own sense of integrity when he refused to allow rumrunners free passage through Cromwell in exchange for a hefty payoff, and they shot him.
In 1932, Werner Von Braun is recruited by the German Underground to head the engineering team deciphering the blueprints from the future that the G.U.'s time-traveling neo-Nazi benefactors have given them. Although the blueprints are much more advanced than anything he's ever seen, the scientist's dark genius grasps their purpose, and is able to produce weapons of awesome destructive power with the help of the neo-Nazis.
In 1969, international superstar Pete Best's album Paradise Street hits #1 on the U.S. charts. Widely considered his 2nd or 3rd greatest work, the eclectic music on the album combined tunes from his Indian heritage along with modern rock and roll and percussive instruments from around the world.
In 1955, Pascal-Edison releases the Family Portrait operating system for home users of their difference engines. The scaled-down O.S. has less capabilities than the business version, and a much cheaper price tag. Pascal-Edison sells completely out of its initial stock and continues selling the product well through the end of the decade.
|Soviet premier (D)|
On this day in 1962, in a desperate effort to prevent the Florida Coast War from escalating into global nuclear conflict, deputy Soviet premier Alexei Kosygin met with a group of dissident Red Army and KGB officers to plan a coup to oust Nikita Khrushchev as CPSU general secretary.
On this day in 1970, the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 21-17 for their seventh consecutive win of the 1970 NFL season.
In 1957, NASA launches Project Achilles. Named after the invulnerable warrior from Greek legend, Achilles is intended to find a way to make the U.S. invulnerable to Soviet ICBM attack. Privately, some space agency staff consider the name ill-chosen, as Achilles the warrior, infamously, had a fatal weakness. Cynically, they suggest the project's real purpose is to make the space agency invulnerable to budget cuts.
In 2007, a Vatican-backed historian attacked the film "Elizabeth: The Golden Age" for being a "distorted anti-papal travesty". Franco Cardini, the professor of medieval history at Florence University said that the aim of the movie was to 'secularise and de-Christianise' Europe. While writing in Avvenire, the official organ of the Italian Bishops' Conference, Cardini said that the film formed part of a 'concerted attack on Catholicism' by atheists and "apocalyptic Christians". Professor Cardini said that 'Elizabeth: The Golden Age' caanot be judged as a good film for its falsification. "A film which so profoundly and perversely falsifies history cannot be judged a good film," Times Online quoted him, as saying. He added that the film had potentially offered "a contribution to the understanding of a moment of vital importance".
Delays continued to prevent release of the movie which has caused controversy throughout Europe.
In 1945, Operation Olympic, the invasion of Kyushu, begin on "X-Day". Nimitz and King only permitted the operation to go ahead because they were by now fully confident in the Project Rainbow super-weapon. In a military application of Albert Einstein's unified field theory, the destroyer escorts were fitted with powerful generator equipment, designed to distort electromagnetic radiation and gravity, rendering the fleet invisible to radar.
In 1952, Operation Ivy was conducted on Elugelab Island in the Enewetak atoll of the Marshall Islands. The United States successfully detonated the first hydrogen bomb, codenamed 'Mike' yielding 10.4 megatons of explosive power, over 450 times the power of the bomb that fell on Nagasaki. Military planners were once again trapped inside the logic of the nuclear option. Applying Bernard Montgomery's second law they had demonstrated unwillingness to 'take their land army to Asia' and accept American casualties in the hundreds of thousands. Therefore with Communist forces threatening to overrun Korea, China and Vietnam US President Thomas Dewey had two choices. Either to withdraw from Asia or to use the hydrogen bomb. He chose the latter, it was a no brainer really.
In 1941, German death squads assembled in Athens. After they linked up with all-conquering General Erwin Rommel, they planned to execute a key phase of the Final Solution - in Palestine, the ancestral home of Jewry. Retired Colonel T.E. Lawrence was summoned to Number 10 Downing Street. Prime Minister Winston Churchill was under extreme pressure from Zionist, and he once again turned to the Loose Cannon.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.