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

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November 9

In 1987, on this day Soviet newspaper Izvestia reported that the First Secretary of the Moscow Communist Party Boris N. Yeltsin had passed away in an unspecified city hospital aged sixty-six. According to the rumours the radical reformer had been rushed into emergency care after a botched suicide attempt, bleeding profusely from self-inflicted cuts to his chest.

Radical reformer dies in MoscowHowever his impending dismissal from the City Committee had been widely expected after he gave a "secret speech" in the Politburo criticizing the slow pace of change of promises charging that Mr. Gorbachev's economic restructuring programme perestroika "was giving virtually nothing to the people". Nobody in Soviet history (not even Trotsky) had ever been so outspoken in their criticism of a leader of the party and his resignation from the Politburo was completely without predecent. In his reply, Gorbachev accused Yeltsin of "political immaturity" and "absolute irresponsibility". Nobody in the Central Committee had backed Yeltsin.

Author's Note: in reality he survived but Gorbachev ordered the injured Yeltsin from his hospital bed to the Moscow party plenum two days later where he was ritually denounced by the party faithful in what was reminiscent of a Stalinist show trial before he was fired from the post of First Secretary of the Moscow Communist Party. Yeltsin said he would never forgive Gorbachev for this "immoral and inhuman" treatment. According to Gorbachev Yeltin's dissolution of the Soviet Union was to get rid of him.

In 1898, the modern four borough city of New York was founded by the consolidation of the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens. But in fact the original plan was for five boroughs including Staten Island, however this was undone by a chance discovery of a copy of the original bill of sale document in Oude Dorp.

Modern History of the Four Borough New York
By Ed., Jackie Speel and Eric Lipps
The disputed chain of ownership began with the Treaty of Breda wherein the Dutch ceded Staaten Eylandt which subsequently became part of the English colony of New York. Three years later in 1670, the Native Americans ceded all claims to Staten Island in a secret deed to the English Governor Francis Lovelace. However the document actually specified a three hundred year lease and therein lie the knotty legal problem that was holding back consolidation throughout 1898. In the event, the planners decided not to wait for a resolution.

Regarding the proposed five borough mega-city, one can only speculate as to what might have been. Would Robert Moses still have been elected mayor in 1934? Would the Dodgers have left Brooklyn for Los Angeles in 1959? Would Queens County Executive Rudy Giuliani have been elected mayor of a five borough NYC (after all, he was elected Governor of New York in 2002). Would David Dinkins have been elected mayor of a larger NYC in 1993? After all, the Crown Heights riots did cost Mayor Elizabeth Holtzman of Brooklyn her re-election that year.

Although we can never answer these questions with certainty, perhaps we might surmise that the Staten Islanders would have been unloved, feeling neglected by a city government, the so-called "fools of Gotham". And so when Governor Giuliani finally put the issue back on the agenda, a pre-requisite was the construction of an underwater connection to the New York Subway System. It was an expensive but surely worthwhile price to pay, even if ultimately, the Lenape never saw one cent of their money.

In 1908, on this day Senator Lenore Romney née LaFount was born in Logan, Utah.

Birth of Senator Lenore Romney (R-MI)The wife of American businessman and politician George W. Romney she was First Lady of Michigan from 1963 to 1969. After her husband stood down as Governor, he made an unsuccessful run for the Presidency and later was appointed Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary by Richard Nixon.

Too used to be listened to and making his own decisions, this dis-empowered position in the Cabinet quickly became untenable. Both men were frustrated. Nixon, who could not bring himself to fire Romney, made a pointed remark about the upcoming 1970 senate race, but Romney completely missed the coded signal and instead advised his wife to run.

It was a tall order to beat popular, two-term Democratic incumbent Senator Philip Hart and in fact Lenore even struggled to overcome State Senator Robert J. Huber in the Republican party primary. However Hart's electoral support soon evaporated because of his controversial stand on gun control and busing [1]. And the result was the narrowest of victories for Lenore Romney.

In 1918, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany crossed the border by train and went into exile in Holland. But it took the "Dutch Courage" of Neiu Nederlander President Theodoor van Rosevelt to insist that Dutch Queen Wilhelmina extradite Kaiser Wilhelm II, a "big stick" to prevent the rise of a future generation of dictators... An article from the multi-author American Mini-states thread.

Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go farUpon the conclusion of the Treaty of Versailles in early 1919, Article 227 expressly provided for the prosecution of Wilhelm "for a supreme offence against international morality and the sanctity of treaties", but Queen Wilhelmina refused to extradite him, despite appeals from the Allies. King George V wrote that he looked on his cousin as "the greatest criminal in history", but opposed Prime Minister David Lloyd George's proposal to "hang the Kaiser". President Woodrow Wilson of the United States rejected extradition, arguing that punishing Wilhelm for waging war would destabilize international order and lose the peace.

And therefore we can say with certainty that the extradition and subsequent hanging of the Kaiser was the result of a precipitous twist of fate. Because in 1664, a freak storm had sunk the English Fleet before it could seize New Amsterdam. Somehow, the Dutch Republic had held onto the Colony, which later emerge as one of the Eastern Sea-board mini-states after the American Revolution. By the early twentieth century, Neiu Nederlands was completely autonomous, and governed by the charismatic figure of Theodoor van Rosevelt. An unflinching advocate of the projection of military power by democratic governments, his intervention in the extradition crisis would be truly historic. Because as time would tell, the Kaiser's hanging would discourage the rise of dictators during the turbulent 1930s, proving that the wrong-headedly idealistic Wilson was quite completely mistaken. And what really mattered to keeping the peace in the real world was ensuring that would-be belligerents were kept in a constant fear of the firm use of authority by the democracies.

Needless to say, the emergence of a leadership role for the American mini-state was wholly unexpected. Even though Holland remained neutral throughout the war, van Rosevelt had travelled to Washington to tell Wilson that the American Dutch would bravely join them. This was but the first step on the world stage. He would prevail upon Queen Wilhelmina, and later, at the Paris Peace Conference, persuade the victor powers to establish a League of Nations with a robust collective security policy. A bully club for the smaller nations to fight world domination, if you will. Because after all, who could anticipate whether a future German dictatorship would respect Dutch neutrality?

In 2012, on this day American writer and researcher Paula Broadwell (pictured) was tragically killed in a mysterious automobile accident in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Embedded JournalistBroadwell graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1995. She earned a master's degree from the University of Denver's Josef Korbel School of International Studies in 2006. She earned a Master of Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She later entered the Ph.D. program at Department of War Studies at King's College London.

She was most famous for co-authoring the biography All In: The Education of General David Petraeus. The book was developed during her six months service as an embedded journalist following the General around the Battlefields on the Korean peninsula. Some of the hardest and most penetrating work was conducted under cover with the old soldier.

They met in 2006 when he was a speaker at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Broadwell was a graduate student at the time. According to the Charlotte Observer, she told him about her research interests after he spoke. He handed her his card and offered his help. She began a doctoral dissertation that included a case study of his leadership, with Petraeus fully cooperating. The General is currently overseeing the drawdown of US forces, which is expected to complete by the end of the first half of 2013.

In 1330, the inexorable Hungarian march to the Black Sea continued with a hard-fought victory in the Carpathian Mountains.

Charles I Robert survives Wallachian ambushA small Wallachian army formed of cavalry, foot archers, as well as local peasants led by Basarab ambushed the 30,000-strong army of Charles I Robert in a mountainous region near the border between Oltenia and Severin.

The Hungarians had entered Curtea de Argeş, the main city of the Wallachian state and realised that Basarab had fled into the mountains and decided to give chase. After many days of difficult marching in the Carpathian Mountains, with his troops beginning to starve, the king and Basarab agreed to an armistice, with the condition that the latter would provide guides who knew the way out of the mountains and would lead the army back to the Hungarian plain by the shortest route. The guides, however, were ordered to lead the Hungarians into an ambush. However the Cumans[1] switches sides and warned Charles I Robert, who was able to defeat the Wallachians by outflanking them in a ravine from where they planned to attack.

In 1313, on this day the forces of Frederick I of Austria triumphed at the Battle of Gamelsdorf.

Glorious Austrian Victory at GammelsdorfThe vanquished army was led by his cousin Ludwig (Louis the Bavarian of the House of Wittelsbach). Originally, the two bitter rivals (pictured) were childhood friends who had been raised together as siblings at the Habsburg court.

However, armed conflict arose when the guardianship over the young Dukes of Lower Bavaria (Henry XIV, Otto IV and Henry XV) was entrusted to Frederick. This decision to elevate him to the first rank of Princes forced his cousin to break with the House of Habsburg. But his challenge ended with Frederick's triumphant victory which allowed him to impose a tutelage over the subordinate nobility. It was a case of birth order sibling rivalry settled in blood on the battlefields of southern Germany.

In 2008, just days after Barack Obama's landslide defeat at the polls, the Democratic Party proposed a "no more amateurs amendment".

No More Amateurs AmendmentUnder this principle of progression of offices, candidates would be required to serve two full terms as either senator or governor as a condition of eligibility for the Presidency.

Because inside the beltway, it was fully understood that the US had constructed a political maze that only the insiders could understand. But suitable experienced candidates such as six-term senator Joe Biden were always disadvantaged by populist candidates such as Obama who were less experienced but more photogenic. And worse, such an imbalance also ran the larger risk of a dysfunctional government whereby the electorate would be tempted to vote for a progressive candidate of hope that would inevitably fail to enact the promised kind of legislative program. Whereas a terms-limit would ensure the Chief Magistrate had a record of voting that would unambiguously demonstrate their ability to build bipartisan support on the Hill.

In 1960, on this day Robert McNamara was named president of Ford Motor Co., the first non-Ford to serve in that post.

The Best and the BrightestA month later, he turned down an opportunity to join the newly-elected John F. Kennedy administration. And eight years later, he introduced the Kennedy Continental, the re-branded 1969 model personal luxury car.

The rebadging decision had been discussed at the highest levels of management at Ford's Corporate Headquarters in Dearborn ever since President John F. Kennedy had been shot dead inside a customised Lincoln 4-door convertible.

The Secret Service had code named the vehicle "SS-100-X" after the Hess & Eisenhart company of Cincinnati, Ohio adapted a 1961 model, later updating the limousine with the grille/headlight/bumper assembly from the 1962 Lincoln. After the assassination, the limousine was repaired and retrofitted with full armor and a fixed roof, subsequently continuing in service for the White House for many years before being put on display at the Henry Ford Museum.

It is Nov 9 1923, and Adolf Hitler's effort to take over the Munich government ends abruptly when the soldiers and police defeat his Beer Hall Putsch (named in honor of the tavern where the uprising started).

The Return of the KaiserHe flees to the home of an American supporter named Helen Hanfstaegnl, determined to commit suicide there. She struggles to take the gun from him, but to no avail, and he is soon lying dead at her feet.

His second-in-command of the Nazi Party is Ernst Rohm, the leader of the Stormtroopers, who tries to take Hitler's place. But Rohm is fat, homely and beset by rumors of homosexuality. Completely lacking in Hitler's compelling charisma, he soon sees the Nazis and Communists constantly battling each other. Helpless to stop them, he soon flees the country.

Seeing their nation collapsing into chaos, the soldiers who had demanded Kaiser Wilhelm II's abdication during the last days of the Great War are now calling for his return. They make a startling alliance with the socialists, who still remember the Kaiser's public commitment to helping the workers, most notably the mistreated miners. As for the former Allied leaders, they are now coming to see their old arch-enemy as a welcome voice of moderation calming his chaotic land. And, of course, there is still a staunch group of monarchists who have longbeen encouraging his return.

Bolstered by all the widespread encouragement, he soon leaves his castle in Holland and returns home to cheering crowds, along with his lovely second wife Princess Hermine and his handsome son, the Crown Prince Frederick William.

By winning the admiration of the right- and left-wing alike, the Kaiser (pictured) is able to inspire patriotism, pride and proletarian sympathies. He also warns the crowds that he will ruthlessly crush all Jew baiting, thus impressing them with his stern, sincere commitment to an unpopular cause. Not surprisingly, his great-grandson Frederick Nicholas is ruling Germany to this day.

In 1916, in the midst of trench fever, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, signals officer with the Lancashire Fusiliers, began hallucinations that would forever change him.

JRR Tolkien Hallucinates in the Trenches He was meant to have been invalided the day before, but he chose to stay behind to let another, sicker soldier take his place. Still in the miserable conditions of the trenches, Tolkien relapsed the next day into a high fever, crippling muscle soreness in his legs, and stabbing pain in his eyes. Others went to fetch a medic while he remained propped in the dark of a supply tent, near an unused machine gun. He had listened to the thunderous blasts of machine gun fire often in training in Staffordshire and later in combat during the Somme offensive.

This time, however, the noise was only in his mind, which translated the mechanical pattering into a language. He thought he could just about translate the words, a series of taps as if a living telegraph key, reassuring him that the gun would fight on just as a fellow soldier would. When medics arrived to take him away from the front, he told them, "The gun. It shall fight on".

Tolkien returned to England and to his wife, Edith, whom he had married three years before after five years of waiting due to his guardian's refusal they see one another before Tolkien was 21. He would spend the rest of the war alternately in hospitals or on light guard duty since he was too ill with recurrent fever to participate other than stints in camps on the home front, but honor kept him in the service until the end of the war. While recovering, Tolkien would begin writing fanciful stories, mixing the worlds of myth he had always studied with his new ideas of animated machines. He devoured science romances of Jules Verne and the like, but the use of machines as tools carried too little personification. Instead, Tolkien created machines that were as human as men, with personalities and special skills, just as the dwarves or elf creatures in Northern European myth. One of his first stories, "Fall of Gondolin" told of a city made of machines, each working its duty to create a glorious world, and its betrayal and destruction by the armies of an industrial behemoth monster called Morgoth ("Black Foe of the World" in Klindirin, a clicking language he invented for his machines).

Tolkien was not the only fiction-writer fascinated with intelligent machines. Just after the turn of the century, Frank L. Baum wrote about Tik-tok, a living clockwork being. The idea was taken further in 1921 by the Czech playwright Karel Capek in his play R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots), first coining the term "robot" for a humanlike automaton built to do work. Films would soon have their own robots with Fritz Lang's Metropolis in 1927 giving a robot indistinguishable from the human Maria. In all of these, the machines were written to emulate humans, but Tolkien's stories went further, creating a world complete with history, language, and culture with different races of machines, not metal emulations of humanity. His studies of myth, particularly Beowulf, turned him to a sense of social tribalism and competition over resources. In 1936, Tolkien published The Robbit about a portly, quiet machine chosen by a magical Tinkerer to join a quest to liberate a coal mine from Smaug, an ancient predatory machine. This and the following Bearing trilogy would inspire the next generation of science fiction writers such as Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke.

While he would continue to write during his free time, Tolkien's professional life kept him busy. He worked for the Oxford English Dictionary, became the youngest professor at the University of Leeds, and finally settled at Oxford first at Pembroke College and then Merton, becoming chair of English Language and Literature. Tolkien often ate with fellow writers in a club nicknamed "The Inklings", including C.S. Lewis, the unquestioned Father of Modern Fantasy with his Wardrobe tales. In World War II, Tolkien served his country again as a code-breaker (though was notoriously vocal about his anti-war sentiments) and worked alongside men such as Alan Turing, who would be inspired by Tolkien's ideas on machine communication. While Tolkien never officially worked on computer development projects, he and Turing kept close correspondence, even through Turing's indecency debacle in the early ?50s. Shortly before Tolkien's death in 1973, Turing's Beren system came online, creating the first vocal command interface and allowing man and machine to talk just as Tolkien dreamed. Mankind would far surpass Arthur C. Clarke's description of a "HAL 9000" by its fictional birth date in 1997 for his 2001: A Space Odyssey.

In 2009, on this day the future of the super-violent billion-dollar video gaming industry was thrown into jeopardy when the US Government prohibited sales of Call of Duty (COD): Modern Warfare 2 (pictured), an appropriately timed decision that was intended to show a mark of respect to the victims of the Fort Hood Massacre.

Blood-Soaked Blockbuster Cancelled by Ed. & Chris OakleyThe latest installment of COD was due to debut at selected retail outlets that same evening. To fans, the game sets the benchmark for stunning cinematography and striking realism, with troops of elite soldiers hunting down targets in South America, Russia, Kazakhstan and Afghanistan. Players typically plug into an online community, moving in teams to hunt down enemy snipers. But detractors last minute calls had finally convinced the President that COD represents everything that is wrong with the billion-dollar video gaming industry: blood-soaked images of warfare that poses a risk to the mental health of children and even some adults who may not be able to tear themselves away. The President was influenced by the release of COD, which came at a particularly awkward time, just days after thirteen people were killed and twenty-nine wounded in a mass shooting at Fort Hood, Texas.

Because COD was the most highly anticipated game of the year, the outcome was a financial catastrophe for the software author Activision Blizzard Inc who had confidently expected to break sales records. Amazon pre-orders had topped 1.6 million, and the e-tailer had officially named COD the biggest selling pre-order video game of all time. Robert Kotick, chief executive of Activision crowed that the shooter game is likely to be "one of the largest entertainment launches of any media of all time".

Across the Atlantic in the U.K., the British Prime Minister Bryan Gould had already denounced the portrayal of violence in the game and called for the US government to enact measures to prevent sales to minors. To assuage his critics, Barack Obama added a personal touch in announcing the controversial decision. Having just been informed that he would become a father for the third time, Obama said that the decision had finally come down to a personal judgement, would he permit his son to play COD at the White House?

In 2009, on this day in Canada, the mortality rate from the zombie virus known as Solanum exceeded the pre-apocalypse unemployment count for the first time.

That the excesses of the credit crunch had been addressed by a population control measure foreseen by Thomas Malthus was of course of little cause for comfort to the Government. Because Stephen Harper and his senior ministers were desperately holed up behind a hastily erected maximum security cordon in Ottawa's "Green Zone".

The War on Terror Plus, Part 7 - "The Frozen Chosen"According to now irrelevant Olympic schedules, the Cabinet's focus should have been on the twenty members of the post who call themselves "The Frozen Chosen". Because on this, Day 10 of the cross-Canada Olympic torch relay, the Olympic athletes were due to arrive in the polar bear capital of the world, Churchill, Manitoba.

Their plan was to run with the flame into the Arctic darkness, which lasts 24 hours-a-day this time of the year. But instead, on day one the first torchbearers Catriona Le May-Doan and Simon Whitfield had carried the Olympic flame through a crowd of thousands in Victoria. Infected with Solanum, they also carried with them the deadly zombie virus.

Which was not to say that people werent arriving in Churchill, and in large crowds. Because the latest advice from Health Canada was for the non-infected to travel to the far north of the country, where it was hoped that the living dead would be unable reach...

In 1963, on this day US President John F. Kennedy signed Executive Order No. 11110 in the Oval Office. Accordingly the force of law was given to the planned withdrawal of all American personnel absolutely no later than the end of 1965. Because just four months after a Vietnamese Buddhist by the name of Thich Quang Duc set himself on fire in a Saigon street (pictured), the security situation in the country was rapidly deteriorating.

Bear any burden, pay any priceIn so doing, the Kennedy brothers were backtracking big-time on a key inauguration pledge to "Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty. This much we pledge - and more".

Yet two other Catholic brothers had even more reason to regret listening to those warm words, the Vietnamese Dictator Ngo Dinh Diem and his younger brother Ngo Dinh Nhu. Because on the celebration of Buddha's 2,527 birthday on May 8th, the Diem Regime had ordered the Catholic deputy in Hue to prevent the Buddhists from flying their own flag. A wave of religious fervour swept the county. And just about the last thing South Vietnam needed right now was a religious feud, and so a group of generals led by Doung Van Minh and Tran Van Don acting unilaterally without US approval overthrew the Diem regime and executed the brothers and their sister-in-law, the anti-Buddhist "dragon lady" Madame Nhu. The US-financed Nationalist Chinese Armies who had sustained Diem in power since 1962 also evacuated the country. Those departing soldiers had been resettled by the French in 1950 in what was then Chochin China and expanded over time by local recruitment.

Commander R. Sargent Shriver was the last American out of Saigon. He told Embassy staff that it was a matter of deep regret that the Peace Corps had been unable to complete their mission in Vietnam.

In 1989, Soviet and Warsaw Pact forces invaded West Germany, provoking a counterattack by NATO forces and touching off World War III.Falklands Emergency Part 9 - Sunny Jim by Chris Oakley
Most of the burden for turning back the Soviet bloc tide would have to be borne by the United States, since Great Britain no longer had the influence necessary to rally America's other European NATO partners to oppose the invasion. The outbreak of the Third World War would later be seen by historians as an inevitable consequence of Great Britain's defeat in the Falklands Emergency of 1982.
Leonard James Callaghan (pictured), Baron Callaghan of Cardiff, KG, PC (27 March 1912 - 26 March 2005), was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and leader of the Labour Party from from 1976 to 1983. Commonly known as Jim Callaghan (and nicknamed Sunny Jim or Big Jim), Callaghan is the only person to have served in all four of the Great Offices of State: Prime Minister, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Home Secretary and Foreign Secretary. Despite this unpredecented level of experience at the highest levels of Government, Sunny Jim was considered most directly responsible for the series of events that led to 'Callaghan's Surrender'.
To be continued..

Cuban President

On this day in 1962, a confrontation between pro-Brezhnev and anti-Brezhnev demonstrators in Leningrad escalated into a full-scale riot, forcing Soviet authorities to declare martial law in that city.

Meanwhile, in Cuba, the late Fidel Castro's old comrade-in-arms Ernesto 'Che' Guevara was sworn in as the new Cuban president and vowed to avenge Castro's assassination.

Cuban President - Che Guevara
Che Guevara
In 1934, Rabbi Carl Sagan was born in Brooklyn, New York. The spiritual leader of the Semitic-African Resistance in the northeastern United States, he led the non-violent movement through most of his life; after his wife and son were lynched in 1977, he began advocating more direct action against the worldwide Nazi movements.
In 1799, Napoleone Buonaparte names himself Emperor of Italy. Under his brilliant lead, Italy conquers most of Europe. After a disastrous winter campaign in Russia, Buonaparte's empire begins to fall apart; he is finally defeated by the Swedish in 1814 at the battle of Copenhagen.
In the period between 1788 and 2000 a cascading failure in the membrane separating alternate dimensions results in all elections in the United Soviet Confederated North American States of America Confederation Commonwealth being held at once. An astonishing 332 candidates of various political parties, ethnic groups, genders and species win the office of First Prime Presidential Chancellor Minister. Unsurprisingly, no one is really happy with the results.
In 1966, a deep-underground nuclear detonation of a small magnitude is reported by atomic energy authorities throughout the world. None of the nuclear club of nations claims responsibility, and Washington suspects a new power has emerged, possibly Israel or South Africa.
In 1918, following the outbreak of the German Revolution, a republic was proclaimed on this day, marking the end of the monarchy. The Kaiser fled the next day to the neutral Netherlands, which granted him political asylum (see Weimar Republic for details). His fifteen year exile was finally ended upon the invitation of Fuhrer Adolf Hitler, who was keen to provide a replacement for the recently diseased figurehead Paul von Hindenburg.


November 8

It is Nov. 8, 1861, and the Union Navy has seized a British ship called the HMS Trent and arrested the two Confederate passengers, John Slidell and James Mason, who were headed for England to seek diplomatic recognition. This might well have led to a military alliance, since Southern cotton was needed to feed the English mills.

Prince Albert dies too soonPrince Consort Albert would not have agreed. As an ardent foe of slavery, he would have vehemently opposed any alliance with the American South. He had died two years earlier of typhoid, however, and his royal widow, Queen Victoria, admired the Confederates for their "gallantry". With Britain AND the Confederacy arrayed against them, the Union struggle did not last long.

The importance of the alliance was reflected in a romantic alternate history fantasy novel called "Gone With The Wind", when Rhett Butler says that Queen Victoria would never support the South because, "That fat Dutchwoman does not believe in slavery". He did not seem to realize that she always shared her handsome "Dutchmans" beliefs.

In 1775, General Washington inherited the very same provincial differences and rivalries that had beset British Commanding Officers during the Seven Years War. And surely he would find it incredibly difficult to install military order because the enlisted men of the Continental Army were used to the easy familiarity of being commanded by neighbours in local militias with elected officers.

Gen Washington abandons efforts to make militias into a militaryWashington was shocked and embarrassed by the slovenly camp conditions at Valley Force. The Continental troops were accustomed to living in their own filth and lacked basic hygiene discipline such as latrines. Describing these intractable organizational problems, he wrote in the simple words of a military man, "Connecticut wants no Massachusetts man in her corps. Massachusetts thinks there is no necessity for a Rhode Islander..".. But worse was to come because the New Englanders all went home to their farms at the end the year.

As Commander in Chief, Washington's overarching objective was to keep the patriot cause alive long enough for the British to despair of victory. During the cruel winter of 1775-6, he came to the bitter conclusion that this could only be achieved by a nationally co-ordinated insurgency, fought on the ground by the State militias. Because the Continental Army would only ever be an easy target for the Redcoats, giving the British the opportunity for a symbolic victory even if they did not re-establish control over the colonies. We seek him here, we seek him there, those Redcoats seek him everywhere...

It is November 1578, and the intercessory prayers of the Protestant Cathedral of York have spared the life of Edward Fawkes. God willing, the incomparable proctor and advocate of the the consistory court slowly recovered from the mysterious life-illness that had threatened his life throughout the long autumn months. An article from our Happy Endings thread.

Happy Endings 41:
Miracle of York
Few were more relieved than his wife Edith and their vulnerable young children. They were spared from the clutches of the mother in law's family, all recusant Catholics that would no doubt have forced them to obey the Pope. This indeed was not uncommon to Tudor England, merely an everyday consequence of the knife edge that the religious divide had become in the late sixteen century.

Instead, Edward would live to introduce his spirited second son Guy into the Tudor Court. A natural soldier, he rose to the position of Captain of the Guards, a dashing goatee bearded figure safeguarding the Houses of Parliament. And in this trusted position of responsibility, he repaid God's mercy, fulfilling his destiny by foiling a sinister Popish plot to kill His Majesty. Because in Robert Catesby and his band of Catholic mercentaries, Fawkes heard a terrible echo from his own childhood. From the personal experience of his own enlightenment, he knew that the Reformation had come to England, and it was not to be denied.

In 2012, on this day Comrade President Barack H. Obama tearfully thanked his campaign workers for seeing off his Capitalist opponent Mitt Romney.

America Chooses Socialism, AgainWith a few noticeable exceptions Communist candidates have occupied the White House ever since the election of Al Smith. And naturally the consensual view of government as an omnipotent provider has created a self-perpetuating majority that the Capitalists stigmatize as freeloaders seeking government hand-outs.

But it has also created an enormous Federal deficit partly because of America's ruinous generosity in helping other countries find their own path to socialism. This was acknowledged by the election headline "America Chooses Socialism" [1] in Israel Today a recognition of massive aid to the creation of the kibbutzim state.

Due to the debt situation, this time around Capitalists wrongly believed they had a better chance of regaining the White House. However, the changing demographics of America appear to have made such a scenario unthinkable for the foreseeable future. This is because the appeal of a low taxation, small government was restricted to the strata of society that had originally developed such out-moded concepts in the late eighteenth century. Marxist historians generally agree that America would not have embraced Communism without the self-evident failure of Capitalism, and the prospect - however remote - of a revisionism prevented a declining majority from forcing a non-political confrontation. An article from the Soviet States of America thread conceived by Robbie Taylor.

In 960, on this day the forces of the Hamdanid Emirate of Aleppo won a famous victory at the Battle of Andrassos.

Hamdanid Victory at AndrassosBy conducting a series of raids across Asia Minor, the emir Sayf al-Dawla had taken full advantage of the absence of much of the Byzantine army on campaign against the Emirate of Crete. But when General Leo Phokas the Younger returned, am ambush was organized in the mountain pass of the Taurus Mountains.

However due to a series of costly defeats in the previous years the increased confidence of the Hamdanid had been seriously underestimated and the ambush turned into an unmitigated disaster. Leo Phokas himself barely escaped with his life, and his army was annihilated.

In 1853, on this day Thomas "Tad" Lincoln was was born in Springfield, Illinois. He would be elected President of the United States; on the forty-fourth anniversary of his father's election to the office for a single term.

Southern Integration, Northern SecessionThe elder Lincoln, Abraham, had yielded to the South after long argument and implemented a slave code that brought slavery to New Mexico, Arizona and Cuba by the start of the 20th century.

The North was also irritated at the Southern mode in keeping the Slave State delegation the size of the Free States by the measure of splitting themselves. Texas was now five states (North, East, Central, South and Pecos) and Florida, Alabama and Georgia now came as North and South States. Abraham Lincoln had gone down to defeat by John C. Breckingridge of Kentucky. Horace Greeley had been the next Republican President elected in the wake of a corruption scandal. And the third Republican President had been Ambrose Bierce of California.

Thomas "Tad" Lincoln had won the Presidency largely because Democratic President Alton B, Parker had gotten mixed up in a stockyards scandal yet got nomination for a second term anyway. Lincoln acquired 50.85 percent of the popular vote, and scored surprise electoral vote wins in Virginia, Tennessee, North Alabama and Cuba.

In the address he made to an audience in Chicago on election night, "Tad" Lincoln said: "My father, Abraham, did predict that this country could not endure half slave and half free, but we know that the weight of office and the principle of compromise brought slavery some additional land and more Slave State senators by the division of Southern states.

How can we outlaw child labor or provide a decent subsidy to the colonization programs which elderly slaves are entrusted to? How will a modern road system be financed when half the Senate approves gravel roads smoothed by local slaves? When will labor unions be recognized under federal law?

Friends, I see the solution as Secession. We, the non-slave states. ought to separate from the Slave States which have a malign influence in our daily affairs. With our own Congress, we shall have our own majority to do what comes natural to us, unhampered by the slaveholders.

And to my supporters in Virginia, Tennessee, North Alabama and Cuba, who voted for me knowing what I thought of slavery, I welcome you to the new Union I propose to form. Any state that is within twenty years of emancipation by the plan they have adopted may join the new Union I suggest".

In 2012, on this day President-elect Mitt Romney announced that due to family reasons his running mate Marco Rubio was standing aside and instead Paul Ryan would take his place as Vice President.

Waiting in the WingsDuring the Presidential campaign, both Ryan and Rubio had sought re-election in their respective seats. A budgetary policy wonk, Ryan offered a great deal in terms of executive support; but the Romney ticket had desperately needed to attract Latino voters in order to secure the White House.

Meanwhile, Rubio intended to pursue his Senate career and focus on the people of Florida. In private, both Romney and Rubio had enjoyed a relationship strained by flip-flops immigration policy. Because in order to secure the nomination, Romney had been forced to prematurely adopt hard positions that would have lost him the General election. Only Rubio's tacit approval as a running mate, permitted some form of mindset changing direction to be made by the GOP Leaderships. Of course cynics suggested that in fact Ryan had been waiting in the wings all long and Rubio had actually been uncomfortable with Romney from the very beginning. But of course he had kept his family in his hometown after being elected to the U.S. Senate, preferring to commute to Washington from his West Miami home.

In 1745, on this day the five thousand man Jacobite army invaded England. But it took a woman to save the forty-five rebellion from abject failure.
This article is a reversal of the Jackie Rose story Hard Man which focuses on Captain Francis O'Neill

Hard Woman saves the Forty-Five RebellionSince they had stepped ashore at Modart in the Outer Hebrides, hopes had built up rather quickly. Most recently at the Battle of Prestonpans they had soundly defeated the only government army in Scotland. But their hapless commander General John Cope would soon be replaced by the murderous Duke of Cumberland and the mood in the camp would drastically change.

In despair the Young Pretender had left the still undefeated Jacobite Army in the hands of his trusted companion, Captain Francis O'Neill. Planning to flee Scotland forever, the Prince sought the incomparable Highland rebel Flora MacDonald for her assistance only to discover that the MacDonalds were secretly sympathetic with the Jacobite cause. She convinced the Prince to rejoin the Jacobite Army by promising to organize reinforcements from her own Clan. With fresh resolve, he inspired the "forty-five" rebels with a fiery new leadership that turned the tables on the Hanoverians.
The full novel is available for download at the Extasy Books web site.

In 1861, Confederate negotiators James Mason and John Slidell narrowly escape Federal arrest on the British mail packet RMS Trent but unfortunately their steam-powered exo-skeletons fail and Yankee sailors from the USS San Jacinto fish them out of the sea. A cursory inspection of their Dixie-logoed Head bags soon confirmed the sinister nature of their secret mission: to travel to London to seek diplomatic recognition for the Confederacy.

The Mason and Slidell SkankInfuriated by the combination of American disrepect and the humiliation of British technology failure Queen Vic pens an angry letter to Union Prez Abe Lincoln (pictured). Fortunately, Bert the Prince Consort was able to exert a moderating influence and when his missus wasn't watching he made a single character change in the opening sentence of the letter from "p*ssed" to "dissed".

Nevertheless, tensions continued to rise and lighter than air dirigibles were placed on standby in Britain and France. This international crisis soon threatened to escalate the American Civil War into a general conflict between the Steam Club of Great Nations. But after several weeks of tension and loose talk of war, the crisis was resolved when the Lincoln administration released the envoys and disavowed the actions of Charles Wilkes, the Captain of the USS San Jacinto. No formal apology was ever issued. Mason and Slidell resumed their voyage to Britain but failed in their goal of achieving diplomatic recognition. And nine months later at Antietam, Bob Lee's men were overwhelmed by Union soldiers equipped with fully functioning steam-powered exo-skeletons.

In 1939, during the course of an annual speech at the Bürgerbräukeller beer hall in Munich commemorating the failed putsch of 1923, Führer Adolf Hitler was instantly killed by the explosion of a large bomb placed by Johann Georg Elser in a column behind the speakers podium.

Beer Hall Putsch, ReduxThe Führer's downfall was entirely due to lax security which had been mishandled by local party strongman Christian Weber rather than Reinhard Heydrich. Incredibly Elser had managed to stay inside the Bürgerbräukeller after closing hours each night for over a month, during which time he hollowed out the pillar behind the speaker's rostrum, and placed the bomb inside it.

Of course the assassination occurred at the oddest moment imaginable. Germany had invaded Poland, and although this action had triggered a declaration of war from Britain and France the allied powers had not yet intervened in the fighting in any meaningful or committed way. This was contrary to the Franco-Polish military convention; instead of assistance by the promised full mobilization within three days, the Polish Government had been bitterly disappointed by the Saar Offensive. This half-hearted attempt saw eleven French divisions cautiously advance along a twenty mile line near Saarbrücken against weak German opposition.

As a result of this collective loss of will, opinion in Europe was deeply divided. Either those eleven divisions would rapidly begin advancing, or perhaps members of the Allied Government would reveal their true colours by seeking a negotiated peace.

In 1948, on this day American scientists finally succeeded in reverse engineering the anti-gravitation technology that had enabled the Nazi leadership to escape from the New Swabia base in Antartica before it was destroyed by an atomic bomb dropped from the B-29 "Sally Jupiter" of the 509th Composite Group.

Die GlockeDie Glocke ("The Bell") was a top secret technological device conceived by the Nazi scientist Hans Kammler. At the Wenceslaus mine by the Czech border his team successfully developed a test rig which had the appearance of a tall thin thermos flask a meter high encased in lead and containing red mercury. Not only had the goal of anti-gravity propulsion been achieved, but a concave mirror on top of the device provided the ability to see images from the past during its operation.

Fortunately, a film of that remarkable test had been smuggled out by an Allied double agent. The consequence was the momentous decision by FDR to abandon his demands for an unconditional surrender, and offer the Nazi High Command safe passage to Antartica.

The further development of secret weaponry then tempted the Fuhrer to resume hostilities. The result was the Battle of Antarctica which ended in the nuclear destruction of the Nazi base. Of course the Allies were unable to pursue the Nazis to the Moon base. The flipside was that the Nazis still needed a regular supply of red mercury from earth. Having developed their own UFO, the Allies decided to starve out the Nazi Moon base by intercepting the supply chain. The result was a frenetic series of UFO battles fought particularly over the North American continent. The Second World War had ended its final phase..
An article from the Nazi UFO thread.

In 1942, in the beginning of the darkest hours of the Second World War, the ill-fated 1942 invasion of the European mainland began on a sunny, mild day.

Operation Sledgehammer Begins The week prior to the landing had been one of changeable weather, and Allied Command had been nervous about weather upsetting the Channel waters. On the 5th, an inch of rain fell in London, which made ground commanders nervous about the ability to move tanks and trucks while pilots hoped air fields and visibility would be clear. On the 7th, as if Mother Nature were welcoming the invasion, temperatures climbed into the 50s (12+ C) and dried the soaking land. In the early hours of the 8th, Supreme Commander Allied (Expeditionary) Force Dwight Eisenhower gave the go-ahead for the invasion.

The operation had very nearly not happened. As late as the Second Claridge Conference in July of 1942, Prime Minister Churchill was firmly against the idea of an assault on the heavily defended northern shore of France. He recommended instead that the Allies attack through North Africa, striking at the "weak underbelly of Europe" to take on Hitler's weaker allies in Vichy France and Italy rather than the Third Reich itself. His main argument against a massive assault was that Britain simply did not have the resources necessary in supplies, transports, and aircraft.

Against him was US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor had thrust America into the war, but many felt that resources should be spent seeking revenge on Japan in the Pacific theater rather than Roosevelt's call to destroy Hitler, the instigator of the war. With Americans fully invested in Europe, FDR would further hush naysayers who said we were fighting the wrong enemy. In March of 1942, FDR wrote Churchill that he was "becoming more and more interested in the establishment of a new front this summer on the European continent, certainly for air and raids... And even though losses will doubtless be great, such losses will be compensated by at least equal German losses and by compelling the Germans to divert large forces of all kinds from the Russian front".

The Russians were thusly extremely interested in a second front in Europe. If Hitler were caught in a pincer movement, or even distracted by air raids such as FDR suggested, the bloody Eastern Front would take great relief. Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov visited the UK and insisted on aid as soon as possible. He was rebuffed in London, but his visit to Washington proved much more supportive. Eventually, however, diplomatic squabbling settled on the side of the US and Soviets, and Churchill begrudgingly readied his country for another great fight after surviving the Battle of Britain in 1940 and terrible Blitz in '41. He was at least able to postpone the invasion until the late autumn, using the disastrous Dieppe Raid on August 19 as an example of the vicious resistance the Allies would face.

Allied Command determined that the only possible method of success would be air superiority. For months, air resources were readied on fields in England and even as far away as Scotland while convoys such as SL 125 worked to divert German attention toward the false notion of an African attack. The attack began with bombers with diving torpedoes attempting to clear a path in the mines for landing craft while naval bombardment provided cover and pounded the soon-to-be-captured port of Cherbourg. The landing would be difficult and the resulting fight even worse with urban warfare racking up numerous Allied losses. Thanks to "brute American will", however, the beachhead would be established.

Any plans for a push that winter, however, were cut short when Erwin Rommel was brought back from North Africa, where he had begun a drive to take Egypt, but was cut short by British General Montgomery's counterattack. Rommel took up the Panzer divisions that had waited in Europe for just this moment and attacked the Allied port, narrowly kept at bay with massive casualties by American General George Patton. Through the bitterly cold winter of '42-'43, the Allies and Axis would throw more and more resources into the fray, creating a warzone not seen in France since the bloodbaths of World War I.

The next spring, Operation Roundup pumped more divisions and the Allies finally made a few miles of progress into France. News of never-ending battles beleaguered the war-weary nations with Americans growing firmer on the idea that they had yet again stumbled into Europe's mess. In Britain, which was continually under German air assault in hopes of breaking up Allied supply lines, Churchill was blamed as speeches recalled his responsibility for Gallipoli. A vote of no confidence was carried, and Churchill fell from office despite his historical innocence. Likewise, FDR would be narrowly defeated in 1944 despite the European theater coming to a close. Hitler himself became increasingly frantic, causing many of his ministers and commanders to distance themselves. Mussolini as well as Admiral Francois Darlan of Vichy attempted to work with the Allies, and both would find themselves murdered by the end of the war.

Modern commentators often mention that the real winners of the Anglo-American and German Second Battle of France were the Soviets. Much relieved from German pressure and even victorious at the Battle of Stalingrad with the capture of the German 6th Army, Stalin surged in a counterattack across Eastern Europe and brought the ultimate defeat to Germany by taking Berlin in late 1944. Capturing numerous German scientists and technologies, it would be only a matter of a few years before Moscow began producing its own supersonic V-2 rockets.

In 1916, on this day the dastardly efforts of the Greater Zionist Resistance (GZR) to foment an actual Jewish conspiracy were finally rewarded with a breakthrough when time-travelling neo-Nazi Astrid Pflaume persuaded Britain's chief diplomatic negotiator on Middle Eastern Affairs, Sir Mark Sykes to advocate a Jewish National Homeland in Palestine.

Rise of the GZR
Breakthrough in London
Sykes convinced the War Cabinet of David Lloyd-George that the GZR had vast power of influence over both the Bolsheviks in Russia and also the government of President Woodrow Wilson. According to his policy wonk logic, if the British Government embraced Zionism then more belligerent Russian and American war efforts might be encouraged by the influence of the disproportionate number of Jews amongst their respective leadership.

""It was considered that the support which the Jews could give us all over the world, and particularly in the US, and also in Russia, would be a definite palpable advantage" ~ Winston ChurchillThe British Government was sufficiently desperate to give credence to this specious argument because Russia was on the verge of being forced out of the war, and the massive surge of trained American troops in strength appeared to be over a year away. In reality, Leon Trotsky was the only prominent Jewish Bolshevik of note, and Wilson had no sympathy whatsover for the Jewish national home policy.

The active support of America and Russia was unnecessary because Jewish immigration was to be imposed on the Palestinian Arabs by British military power alone. A year later, the British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour wrote a letter to leader of the British Jewish community Baron Rothschild stating:

"His Majesty's government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country".

By that time Rothschild, and the head of the Zionist movement in Britain, Chaim Weizmann had good cause to suspect that the reasons for the growing British interest had little or nothing to do with their declared passion for the Bible and justice for worldwide Jewry. Because in reality all the parties were being manipulated by time-travelling neo-Nazis who had returned from 1968 in order to create the conditions for a thousand-year Reich.

To the delight of Pflaume events now began to move with a sinister momentum of their own. Two years later at the Paris Peace Conference Woodrow Wilson interviewed General Allenby, Chaim Weizmann and others. Yale asked Weizmann what he would do if the British did not support the Balfour Declaration for the establishment of a national home for the Jews in Palestine. Yale said, "Weizmann pounded his fist on the table and the teacups jumped. 'If they don't,' he said, 'we'll smash the British Empire like we smashed the Russian Empire".
Part one of the novel can be downloaded here and continues as a thread on this site.

In 1863, on this day Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Union President Abraham Lincoln met at Mount Vernon, south of Alexandria, Virginia. The former home of George Washington, although dilapidated and still years away from a full restoration, was one of the few places between Richmond and Washington that could be considered neutral ground.

The Trent AffairThe two men exchanged formalities and then signed a truce agreed to five days earlier by representatives of both governments. Orders were immediately sent to the military forces of both sides specifying how and where they were to be disposed for border defense. Although a state of war still existed, the killing was over.

After the signing, Lincoln walked out to the great lawn in front of the house with his Secretary of State, William Seward. "Seward, I have failed the nation. I do not believe we can long survive as a people now". Seward said nothing, for there was no consoling the President when he was in one of his dark moods. But he knew, as did Lincoln, that continuing the war would have certainly destroyed the nation. It was bitter consolation.

A new story by Matt DattiloIn December, 1861, when Abraham Lincoln announced that the Union would not release James Mason and John Slidell, public response in the north was resoundingly positive. Seven months after the beginning of the War Between the States, it was obvious that the conflict would be a long and bloody one. Armchair strategists on both sides had predicted a short, heroic conflagration, but it was not to be. By the end of 1861, thousands lay dead on both sides and although Union forces had experienced some success in the West, the Confederate army seemed to be unstoppable in the East despite having all the material disadvantages on its side. The northern public needed a solid victory and the continued imprisonment of the two Confederate diplomats filled the bill for a time.

As one can imagine, the response to the imprisonment was somewhat sharper in Richmond and London. Jefferson Davis was outraged that two of his hand-picked diplomats had been taken off a neutral ship in international waters with the thin legal argument that the two men were "contraband". Demands for their immediate release were met with stony silence from Washington.

When word of the capture reached London at the end of November, the outcry from both the British public and government was deafening. Prime Minister Lord Palmerston had steered a course of neutrality with the regard to the American Civil War and even though Confederate ships had been granted access to British ports for refit and replenishment, the war was officially considered an internal matter in which the British Empire would not interfere. In private, though, those knowledgeable of the situation on the other side of the Atlantic considered Confederate victory simply a matter of time. In addition, Britain had strong economic ties to the southern states because of the empire's unquenchable thirst for cotton. In 1860, almost 80% of the southern US cotton crop had been bought by dealers from England. While other sources of raw cotton were available, America was the closest source and the widespread use of slavery on cotton plantations kept prices competitive. With those advantages in mind, many cotton purchasers in England could look the other way when the morality of slavery was discussed.

It was Christmas Eve, 1861 when word of Lincoln's statement concerning Mason and Slidell reached London. In an emergency cabinet meeting the next day, Palmerston called for the reinforcement of Canada with British regulars and the bolstering of the North America and West Indies stations of the Royal Navy with ships culled from the Home Fleet and Mediterranean Squadron. The meeting ended with discussion of a final question: should Britain formally recognize the Confederate States of America and, if so, should military and financial aid be considered? It was a bold proposition and one sure to put the United States on a war footing with England, but as Palmerston put it, "Are we going to let what has been considered an internal issue change how the world recognizes the rights of sovereign nations?"

In the end, it was Washington's lack of response which brought the matter to a head. In February, 1862, the same month in which Lincoln's son Willie died at the age of 11, the British minister to the US, Lord Lyons, asked for a meeting with the President. Lincoln was in mourning, and while Lyons was aware of this he thought the issue of enough importance that he should be granted a meeting without delay. However, Lyons had the unfortunate luck of meeting face-to-face with Secretary of State William Seward, who promptly dismissed Lyons' request as inappropriate. Feeling that he had been treated in a manner not conducive to good diplomacy, he returned to London for consultation, leaving his subordinate in Washington.

For Lord Palmerston and, subsequently, Queen Victoria, this was the last straw. On April 11th, 1862, Britain formally recognized the Confederate States of America and extended the new nation an essentially limitless line of credit. London also declared the blockade of southern ports illegal and stated that any interference with British merchant vessels or warships by ships of the U.S. Navy would be considered an act of war. By the time this declaration reached Washington, the first ships full of rifles and cannons were already crossing the Atlantic.

Although 19th century strategists would not have used the term, Lincoln faced a no-win situation. In 1861, the U.S. Navy consisted of fewer than 80 warships, almost none of them of modern design. A year into the war, most of the ships on blockade duty were lightly-armed converted merchant ships. The British Royal Navy, however, had the largest battle fleet in the world and while it was not the incredible force which had fought Napoleon 50 years earlier, it was more than a match for anything that could be sent to challenge it. If Lincoln ordered the blockade to be enforced against British shipping, a shooting war would quickly develop between the US and British navies, a war that would soon spread to the North American continent.

However, failure to block the British merchant ships and their escorts approaching the ports of the Confederacy would essentially end the blockade and ensure that the South's army was well provided for. The Union had an advantage in manpower, but the rebels had shown, at least so far, that they had the advantage in military leadership. And so Lincoln's option were thin: start a war with the British that his nation could not hope to win under the present circumstances, or allow the Confederacy to be supplied from Europe, a situation that would change the nature of the war.

The truce signed at Mount Vernon in March, 1863 and the treaty signed later that year in London divided the United States into two separate nations. The border states (Missouri, Kentucky and Maryland) were allowed to decide by popular vote which nation they wished to join. All three joined the Confederacy. One important concession won by the Union was the creation of West Virginia, an area of Virginia that was strongly pro-Union. As of January 1st, 1864, the new nation consisted of 14 states. Texas, by far the largest, stretched from the southwest corner of Missouri to the eastern border of southern California. The agricultural heart of the nation remained in Union hands.

The intervention of the British into the Civil War was a mixed blessing for the Confederacy. British arms and financial support helped bring about the truce that ended the war in the South's favor, but that support came with a heavy toll. In helping to ensure the creation of the CSA, the British Empire gained what it had lost 80 years before: a largely agrarian society dependent on British imports of finished goods, some of them made with the raw materials purchased from Southern farmers. While the Union continued to grow what would become the world's largest industrial base by 1900, the Confederacy remained mired in rural stagnation.

Slavery continued in the CSA until 1880. The trans-Atlantic slave trade ended in 1807 and never resumed. Since the United States was under no obligation to return escaped slaves who made it across the Ohio River and other border crossings, a lively escape business developed in which abolitionist groups paid Confederate residents to help slaves escape to the US. While the British officially complained to the US government about this, in practice they paid the controversy nothing but lip service. Most Southerners did not own slaves and many disliked the institution. 16 years after the Treaty of London, the last slaves were freed by a vote of the Confederate Congress.

In 1904, Thomas "Tad" Lincoln was elected President of the United States; it was the 44th anniversary of his father's election to the office for a single term.

Southern Integration, Northern SecessionThe elder Lincoln, Abraham, had yielded to the South after long argument and implemented a slave code that brought slavery to New Mexico, Arizona and Cuba by the start of the 20th century.

The North was also irritated at the Southern mode in keeping the Slave State delegation the size of the Free States by the measure of splitting themselves. Texas was now five states (North, East, Central, South and Pecos) and Florida, Alabama and Georgia now came as North and South States. Abraham Lincoln had gone down to defeat by John C. Breckingridge of Kentucky. Horace Greeley had been the next Republican President elected in the wake of a corruption scandal. And the third Republican President had been Ambrose Bierce of California.

Thomas "Tad" Lincoln had won the Presidency largely because Democratic President Alton B, Parker had gotten mixed up in a stockyards scandal yet got nomination for a second term anyway. Lincoln acquired 50.85 percent of the popular vote, and scored surprise electoral vote wins in Virginia, Tennessee, North Alabama and Cuba.

In the address he made to an audience in Chicago on election night, "Tad" Lincoln said: "My father, Abraham, did predict that this country could not endure half slave and half free, but we know that the weight of office and the principle of compromise brought slavery some additional land and more Slave State senators by the division of Southern states.

How can we outlaw child labor or provide a decent subsidy to the colonization programs which elderly slaves are entrusted to? How will a modern road system be financed when half the Senate approves gravel roads smoothed by local slaves? When will labor unions be recognized under federal law?

Friends, I see the solution as Secession. We, the non-slave states. ought to separate from the Slave States which have a malign influence in our daily affairs. With our own Congress, we shall have our own majority to do what comes natural to us, unhampered by the slaveholders.

And to my supporters in Virginia, Tennessee, North Alabama and Cuba, who voted for me knowing what I thought of slavery, I welcome you to the new Union I propose to form. Any state that is within twenty years of emancipation by the plan they have adopted may join the new Union I suggest".

In 1832, over a month before John C. Calhoun resigned the Vice Presidency to join forces with his rebellious comrades in South Carolina, agents provocateurs of Her Majesty's Government secretly arrived in Charleston Harbour, triggering a sequence of events that would lead inexorably to a rematch with their nemesis from 1812, the "Old Hickory" Andrew Jackson (pictured).

"Disunion by Force", 1833 Crisis Part 1 by Ed. & Scott PalterBecause the Prime Minister of Great Britain, Marquis Richard Wellesley - elder brother of the Duke of Wellington - was intent on "the dissolution of the American Confederacy, which I think would be a great benefit to the civilized world".

"The dissolution of the American Confederacy would be a great benefit to the civilized world" ~ WellesleyOf course the biggest driver for dissolution was purely economic. Because high federal tarrifs might be good for protecting Northern manufacturers from imports, but they were frankly disasterous for the cotton and rice planters in the South who depended on export trade. Worse still, secession was an unspeakable word in Washington, because the loss of the southern states would cost the Federal Government millions in lost revenue.

Invoking a strict interpretation of the Tenth Amendment, South Carolina nullified the tarrifs, infuriating President Jackson who believed that the State was about the destroy the Union. Soon enough Jackson would be dispatching a warship, the Natchez, to Charleston Harbour, to extract - if necessary by force - federal tarrifs from merchant's warehouses.

The War would soon be joined, and yet the conflict would take a shape few anticipated. Because the State of South Carolina overestimated its support in the south. "By the God of Heaven, I wil uphold the law!" ~ JacksonAnd Andrew Jackson was determined to fight, predicting that "I expect soon to hear that a civil war of extermination has commenced. When everything is ready, I shall join them myself". The President was also secretly pledging to arrest Southern leaders, and hang them.

Starting with the hero of the South. Because already medals were being issued, with the clandestine assistance of British agents provocateurs, emblazened with "John C. Calhoun, First President of the Southern Confederacy". In the words of Daniel Webster, America faced "Disunion by Force".
The Story Continues in Part 2

In 1521, on this day Emperor Moctezuma II received the young nobleman Hernan Cortes in peace, hoping to get to know the Conquistadors weaknesses better and to crush them later.Mexico City Founded
Shortly afterwards, Cortes large Spanish Army besieged then raised the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan.
Many of the priests and Aztec soldiers preferred to die rather than surrender to the Spanish. To quell any resistance, Cortes demolished building by building, using the rubble to fill in the city's waterways that had served as streets in the manner of Venice.
It would prove a fatal mistake for the Conquistadors who would be massacred themselves - for under the city, they disturbed the demon Mictlantecutli.
The surviving Aztecs would build Mexico City upon the ruins of Tenochtitlan.

In 2001, on this day Lexington wrote in the Economist ~ THIS has been a truly remarkable week for President Al Gore. The Taliban is in full retreat in Afghanistan.

Al Gore discovers himselfVladimir Putin has agreed to scrap more than two-thirds of Russia's nuclear weapons, fulfilling a dream that Mr Gore has cherished since he first went into politics. And Congress stands poised to pass a giant stimulus package. No wonder the president's approval rate stands at a stratospheric 87 percent.

An article by LexingtonIt seems almost churlish at such a time to bring up the little matter of the 2000 vote. But after last November's disputed election a consortium of conservative newspapers, led by the Washington Times, decided to pay for a recount of all the Florida votes. A million dollars of Richard Mellon Scaife's money and thousands of man-hours later, these Republican geniuses have proved what we all knew already: that the election was damn close. If Mr Gore had followed the advice of some of his more cynical advisers and concentrated on counting the votes in just four Democrat-controlled counties, rather than doing the honest thing and calling for a recount of all the votes in the state, he would have lost to George Bush."After September 11th, Al Gore at last realised what God put him on earth to achieve"

Can you imagine it? Mr Bush has gone into semi-retirement in Austin, his limited abilities as Texas's governor taxed by a legislature that meets only every other year. But the mere thought that he might have been president sends shivers down the spine. This is a man whose idea of foreign travel was to visit a barrio or two when he wished to appear "compassionate", and who would have conducted foreign policy from behind a Maginot Line of missiles. There is every reason to believe that, after September 11th, a President Bush would have struck out blindly at Osama bin Laden, perhaps even using nuclear weapons.

Which all goes to show how sensible the American people were to choose a man with real experience. Mr Gore has brought a remarkable set of skills to the present crisis, honed by a lifetime in politics and eight years in the vice-presidency. His "golden Rolodex", as one commentator has called it, has been invaluable to his building of a grand alliance against terror. He used his close personal relationship with Mr Putin to bring a reluctant Russia into the war, fundamentally changing the whole pattern of geopolitics. He used his ideological ties to Tony Blair, forged at many a seminar on the Third Way, to turn Britain into a bedrock of support. It is fair to say that Mr Gore has not one secretary of state but two: the indomitable Richard Holbrooke and the ever-loyal British prime minister.

The mention of Mr Holbrooke points to another extraordinary fact about the Gore presidency: the quality of the people he can call on. It is no exaggeration to say that Mr Gore has the entire brainpower of the country, from Washington think-tanks to the Ivy League universities, at his disposal. And there are few brains as acute as the secretary of state's.

Mr Holbrooke is one of the most experienced diplomats in the business. Mr Gore credits him with getting Germany wholeheartedly to join the anti-terrorist campaign, thanks to his time as ambassador there. But in some ways Mr Holbrooke still has to come into his own. The very qualities that make the secretary of state so unpopular in polite circles-his abrasive self-importance, his absolute confidence that he is right on matters big and small-make him a giant when it comes to negotiating with primitive warlords. He knocked heads together with extraordinary success in Bosnia; he will do the same thing in Afghanistan.

Fiddle, fiddle, fiddle

Mr Gore's extraordinary knowledge of Washington has been more of a mixed blessing in two other areas. The first is military strategy. The president has been a military buff ever since he became a congressman back in 1977. But his encyclopedic knowledge of warfare-and his iron belief in his own abilities-have inevitably led to clashes with the Pentagon. The generals grumble that Mr Gore wanted to control where every bomb was dropped, and that the result was a much more hesitant start than necessary to the war.

On the home front, Mr Gore was furious at the way the anthrax outbreak threw his administration into confusion. He could not understand why the Centres for Disease Control did not know more about the illness. He was apoplectic when he discovered that the FBI did not even know which laboratories in the country were licensed to produce the stuff. Yet his decision to put himself in charge of a special task-force has failed to produce results. Even more unsatisfactory has been his handling of the question of airport security. His remarks that those Republicans who oppose federalising security workers are "Neanderthals with the blood of the American people on their hands" is hardly likely to produce compromise.

Mr Gore's habit of micromanaging events is clearly his biggest weakness: a weakness that has been made worse by the decision to put Vice-President Joseph Lieberman (who had aroused much wrath on the Arab street because of his Jewish background) into a permanent secret location. But all this pales into insignificance beside Mr Gore's secret weapon during these dark days: his discovery of his true self.

The strongest criticism of Mr Gore has always been that he does not know who he is. Throughout his career, he reinvented himself to suit the mood of the times. In his first run for the presidency, he presented himself as a champion of the business-minded New Democrats; in his second run, he campaigned for the people against the powerful. All this left the impression that he had no hard centre, but was simply playing at politics in order to appease his father's ghost.

All this changed on September 11th. The collapse of the twin towers gave this extraordinarily restless and energetic man the task he has been seeking all his life: the war against terrorism. Al Gore at last knows what God put him on earth to achieve.

In 1970, one full year after their embarrassing 1969 Western Division playoff loss to the British Columbia Lions, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers were eliminated from the CFL postseason in the first round for the third consecutive year. This time their executioners were the Calgary Stampeders, who walloped the Bombers 51-12.


Winnipeg head coach Jim Spavital resigned the next day.

Coach
Coach - Jim Spavital
Jim Spavital
Japanese dictator

On this day in 1941, Japanese dictator Hideki Tojo rejected Konev's surrender demand, vowing Japan would fight the Red Army to the last man.

Japanese dictator - Hideki Tojo
Hideki Tojo

In 1994, Governor Bill Clinton of Arkansas is defeated for re-election by Republican Mike Huckabee.

A significant factor in Clinton's defeat is the whiff of scandal still clinging to him in the wake of his failed bid for the Democratic presidential nomination two years earlier.

Governor
Governor - Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton

Clinton had sought the support of former President Edward M. Kennedy in his gubernatorial run, but Kennedy, wary of being tainted by association with Clinton's alleged financial and extramarital misconduct, had turned him down. Clinton and many of his supporters will be convinced that Kennedy's denial of support tipped the scales in the election. This belief will embitter Clinton toward Kennedy, whom he had previously admired.

Republicans make significant gains in both the House and the Senate, but, thanks to aggressive campaigning on behalf of Democratic candidates by President Sam Nunn and Vice-President Bill Bradley, fail to capture control of either one.

Unstable

On this day in 1973, opening arguments were heard in the trial of accused serial killer George Stark, a.k.a. 'the Lawnmower Man'.

Leading Stark's defense team was a former Bible salesman-turned-celebrity attorney, Greg Stillson; before the Stark trial was over rumors would begin to circulate that Stillson was almost as unstable as his client.

Unstable - Greg Stillson
Greg Stillson

On this day in 1970, the Dallas Cowboys improved their 1970 NFL record to 8-0 with a 23-20 home win over the New York Giants.                                                                              

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In 1960, in one of the closest presidential elections in U.S. history, Massachusetts senator John F. Kennedy defeats Vice-President Richard M. Nixon. Kennedy, whose campaign slogan is 'Let's get this country moving again,' has spent the month since Leonov's suborbital flight suggesting (very carefully, as President Eisenhower remains hugely popular) that 'lethargy' on the part of Ike's administration has allowed the 'Reds' to outrun the U.S. in the space race despite the fact that America was the first to place a satellite, the famous Mickey, in orbit back in November of 1954..

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In 1836, elections for Congress and state legislatures are held. Under the Constitution, however, the new Congress will convene in December of the following year, meaning that a lame-duck House and Senate will decide the fiercely disputed presidential contest. Reformers have urged for years that Congress establish a more reasonable date for convening, as the Constitution grants it the authority to do by legislation. Members, however, have refused to yield what amounts to a free extra year in power for incumbents defeated at the polls.

Pres. Candidate
Pres. Candidate - Daniel Webster
Daniel Webster
Pres. Elect

In 1988, Representative Jack Kemp wins the U.S. presidential election, defeating Democrat Richard Gephardt.

The election has been a roller-coaster, with President Gary Hart, once considered likely to win re-election in a walk, instead forced to drop out of the race after the embarrassment of the Donna Rice episode, Gephardt emerging seemingly from nowhere to capture the Democratic nomination in the President's place, and the Republicans jolted by the surprisingly powerful candidacy of television preacher Pat Robertson.

Pres. Elect - Jack Kemp
Jack Kemp

In 1960, Democrat John F. Kennedy wins the U.S. presidential election, beating Republican Richard M. Nixon by the narrowest popular-vote margin in modern times. Nixon supporters will claim for many years that Kennedy won with the help of vote fraud in Chicago which supposedly swung the state of Illinois his way and thus gave him the election. Kennedy backers will deny this and counter that even if Illinois had gone for Nixon he would still have lost in the electoral college. Kennedy's victory is marred by the fact that, by narrow margins, the GOP retains control of both House and Senate. The new president will face a hostile Congress.

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Winnipeg Blue

In 1969, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers were knocked out of the CFL postseason in the opening round for the second straight year as they lost to the British Columbia Lions 25-22 in the first round of the CFL Western Division playoffs..

Winnipeg Blue - Bombers Logo
Bombers Logo
In 1994, the Republican Revolution began as the GOP assumed control over Congress and the Judiciary in Washington, D.C. The struggle began during Congressional elections, when results turned out very unclear, and the Republicans simply began assuming office as if they had won. This didn't sit well with the Democrats, and open fighting broke out in the streets of the capitol.


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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.