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

November 8

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.
In 1988, Governor Michael Dukakis of Massachusetts defeats Vice-President George Bush to become America's first Greek-American President. Dukakis owed his victory to a pair of fairly vicious attack ads he launched against Bush after Bush tried to make him look silly for riding in a tank; after all, that had been Dukakis' job when he was in the army. The first ad showed Bush's wife Barbara as the young woman George married, followed by a current picture of her, and asked if he planned on doing the same thing to the country. The second ad showed Bush in meetings with several dictators and asked if he was seeking their advice on running a country. Although it wasn't a high point in American politics, it was effective - Dukakis won with 57% of the vote, and an electoral landslide of epic proportions - all 50 states.
In 1904, Communist James B. Weaver of Iowa wins the presidential election against Socialist Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt and Weaver also battle it out in the election of 1908, with Weaver winning again. Roosevelt split with the Socialists after that and joined the Progressive, or 'Bull Moose' Party, for whom he was the presidential candidate in 1912.
In 1895, Dr. Wilhelm Roentgen discovered a new form of light, which he dubbed X-Rays. Practical use of this discovery in medicine was considerable, but it became wildly popular in the 1960's when J. Edgar Menkin devised a set of glasses that used the principles of X-Radiation to actually see through people's clothing! Menkin became a millionaire overnight.
In 1864, incumbent president Abraham Lincoln's political career became a casualty of the Civil War as he was defeated by General George McClellan of the Democratic Party. President McClellan finished the Civil War halfway through his term, but rebels in former Confederate territory continued to plague the Union for decades to come.
In 1789, Elijah Craig, a farmer in Bourbon County, Kentucky, tried to make an alcoholic drink by distilling fermented corn. Craig claimed to love the drink, but few others did, and moonshiners in the country stuck with more traditional grain from then on.
In 1656, British astronomer Sir Edmund Halley was born in London. He made many important discoveries during his life, including naming a comet, but his greatest achievement came late in life when he was able to verify the Mlosh's claims to come from outer space, and to use their equipment to observe and visit space himself.
Imran Khan

In 2007, with both former Prime Ministers Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif in exile, Imran Khan stepped up the pressure on the military government of Pakistan by announcing 'If we do not struggle against this, [Musharraf] will take the country towards destruction.'

A 'long march' was announced, due to start the following Tuesday, 13 November, from Lahore to Islamabad, Khanher unless key demands were not met.

Imran Khan - Opposition
In 1923, launching the Beer Hall Putsch, Adolf Hitler led the Nazis in a successful attempt to overthrow the German regional government in Munich. He soon discovered the insanity of his greatest supporter, former Prussian General Erich von Ludendorff. Having suffered a nervous breakdown over the German defeat in 1918, and furious over his dismissal and flight to Sweden, Ludendorff had been unstable in the half-decade since he had been Quartermaster General of the Imperial Germany Army. However, he was by now worshipping Norse Gods in his back garden and praying to Wotan. Ludendorff and Hitler fell out. Ludendorff reportedly sent a telegram to his former boss, President von Hindenburg: 'By allowing Hitler to administer Munich, you have handed over our sacred Bavarian City to one of the greatest demagogues of all time. I prophesy to you this evil man will plunge our Reich into the abyss and will inflict immeasurable woe on our nation. Future generations will curse you in your grave for this action.' The Wooden Titan acted on his former subordinates trusted advice and sent Freikorps Units into Bavaria. They dissolved the Nazi government and imprisoned Hitler where he wrote the book 'My Failed Struggle' before suiciding in 1924.
In 1941, the RAF plane carrying reactivated Colonel T.E. Lawrence to Cairo flew over the Mediterranean. His mission was to 'turn' the Egyptian Officer Cadre who were leaking signal intelligence to General Erwin Rommel. The 'Keys to Rebecca' would be used to lead the Afrika Corps into an ambush before they could overrun North Afrika. Privately, Lawrence doubted the plan - for personal reasons also. Churchill had said rightly that he was neither a young man, nor a well man. He was fifty-odd, and only half the man that had survived the motorbike accident at Clouds Hill.

November 7

In a punishment that was fitting of the iron-willed Prussian king but proved to be too much, Crown Prince Frederick died from what was officially declared "fever".

7th November, 1730 - Crown Prince in Prussia Dies during Imprisonment Historians as well as contemporary scholars disagreed what "fever" meant, whether a brain hemorrhage from stress or legitimate illness. Another theory stands that the prince might well have killed himself. Some even suggest a conspiracy to assassinate a would-be foppish king before he could ruin his throne.

The matter at hand was something of a youthful dreamer's ideal of escape from an authoritarian father. Frederick was born January 24, 1712, and was eagerly welcomed as a surviving heir second in line to his grandfather, Frederick I, the first King in Prussia.

One of many states within the aged Holy Roman Empire and a fiefdom of the Kingdom of Poland, Prussia sat at the southern shore along the Baltic Sea with several scattered territories separated from one another by Poland and various other German dukedoms and principalities. Although devastated in the Thirty Years War with invasions by the Swedes and riotous counterattacking armies marching up from the south, Prussia had gained greater strength over the latter seventeenth century. They were liberated from Poland as a buffer for Sweden in 1657, and further gains were made as native coal became an increasingly valuable resource as well as the issuance of the Edict of Potsdam in 1685 that welcomed Protestants, especially encouraging Huguenots expelled from France, to transplant to Prussia, bringing valuable wealth and skills with them. In terms of joining the War of Spanish Succession against France, the Duke of Prussia was allowed by treaty to upgrade himself to king, and the new title "King in Prussia" was born despite Prussia not being a true kingdom as it was still an electorate under the Holy Roman Emperor.

Thus, in 1701, Frederick I would crown himself king. Bubonic plague would ravage the country a few years later, but the capital at Berlin would be spared and from then on would stand as a centralized point of authority. Frederick William I came to the throne shortly after his son Frederick's birth and, only months later, his father Frederick's death. He continued efforts to improve Prussia and was soon nicknamed the "Soldier King". Establishing effective bureaucracy and creating a modern, professional, standing army, Frederick would prove an able leader and oversee the defeat of Sweden as a world power through the Great Northern War. He added territory to the small kingdom and forcibly included aristocracy into the army, giving seriousness to warfare that was often considered a "gentleman's sport". Frederick William was notably spartan, thrifty and calculating, and not participating much in art, except in military display, where he sent proclamations throughout Europe seeking the tallest men for a unit known as the "Potsdam Giants".

Prince Frederick, however, thrived in the arts. His father gave him no aristocratic tutors, demanding his children would be taught as "simple folk" with pragmatism and religion. Frederick sought the company of his sister Wilhelmina and comfort of his gentle mother rather than facing the austere temper of his father. Frederick William (himself terrified of not being among the Elect) attempted to block Frederick from Calvinism. Frederick firmly held onto the tenet of the Elect while being otherwise irreligious, causing many to think he was spiting his father.

The greatest spite, however, was Frederick's plan to escape his father's weight and flee to Britain in 1730, where he would be welcome in his uncle George I's court to pursue philosophy and music as he pleased. He and his friend Lieutenant Hans Hermann von Katte planned to slip away along with a contingent of other junior officers. Word leaked of the escape, and Katte and Frederick were captured. His father determined to deal with them as would fit a soldier. Katte was found guilty of desertion by trial and given life imprisonment, but Frederick William announced that both would be executed under treason law. Katte was beheaded on November 6, and Frederick was forced to watch until he ultimately fainted and began to suffer hallucinations. The next morning, he was discovered dead in his cell.

His father became distraught. Frederick William had wanted to toughen his son and planned to pardon him in a few days. The last ten years of the king's reign would be spent quietly reviewing the military and ensuring that Prussia would be able to defend itself during the reign of the new heir, Frederick's younger brother Augustus. Augustus became king in 1740, and he worked to keep Prussia free from the potentially disastrous entanglements of the War of Austrian Succession. His son Frederick William II succeeded him in 1758, and the king proved soft: unwilling to put forth great efforts and rather delight himself with simple pleasures, such as good food. After a half-hearted alliance against the French Republic during Frederick William II's term, Frederick William III attempted to clean up Prussia's wasteful decadence, but it came as too little too late when the armies of Napoleon swept across Europe.

After Napoleon, Europe attempted to rebuild, and Austria managed to cut off Russia's attempt at land-grabbing by surrendering claims to Pomerania, land for which Frederick William III's ancestors had fought bitterly. The German Confederation fell under the sway of Vienna, and Austria would be the dominant power of Central Europe over the next century. Troubled times would come in 1848 with waves of revolution, but Emperor Franz Joseph I was adept in granting improved autonomy to the German kingdoms of Bavaria, Hanover, and Prussia. After the Great War at the beginning of the twentieth century, the Austro-Hungarian Empire would be broken up, and the three German states would gain independence with Hanover competing with Prussia for political influence in Mecklenburg, but failing. It wouldn't be until 1945 when the Fuehrer would manage to fulfill his dream of a forcibly united German-speaking people from the Rhine to the Danube and Baltic.

In 1944, on this day Charles Augustus Lindbergh was elected for a record third term as President of the United States of America.

1944 Election (President Lindbergh)The United States presidential election of 1944 proved to be more competitive for the incumbent President Lindbergh than the previous election. Lindbergh's signing of the 1938 Non-Aggression Accord with Germany had proven to be less popular than he'd expected, and after the Pearl Harbor attacks in late 1941, the president had been forced to engage in limited military action with Japan only.

Several Democrats jumped into the race to succeed him, with somewhat conservative Southerner James F. Byrnes winning out. Byrnes tacked to the left in the general election, arguing in favor of working with the Soviet Union to defeat Nazi Germany. Still unwilling to go to war, however, the voters re-elected President Lindbergh by a comfortable margin.

In 1917, on this day 40th President of the United States Howard Keel was born Harry Clifford Leek in Gillespie, Illinois.

Howard Keel finds his VoiceThe son of a coal miner, he had, by his own admission, "a terrible, rotten childhood". His father was a drunk, who abused his son and killed himself when Howard was 11. His mother was a six-foot, "buck-toothed" tyrant - a strict Methodist, who regarded any form of entertainment as an invention of the Devil. Howard grew up mean and rebellious, with a fierce temper.

He found early employment as a car mechanic and during the war worked for five years with Douglas Aircraft. By the age of twenty he had moved to Los Angeles where he found expression for his blue collar rage in the Democrat Party. It was just the beginning of a forty year career that climaxed in his election in 1980. By then, a series of political missteps had brought the country to a cross roads but it was Keel's booming voice that provided fresh hope for a glorious socialist future.

In 2012, on this day John Andrew Boehner was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States.

Tragedy on East Randolph StreetAs the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Ohion was second in line in accordance with the Presidential Succession Act. If there was grim irony to be found in the fact that Boehner was a Republican, then there was a further twist in that his fellow Ohions had narrowly voted Democrat.

Of course the succession had been triggered by the red-state secessionist terrorists who blew up the DNC Headquarters on East Randolph Street, tragically killing President Obama and Vice President Biden as they appeared set to gain re-election. Because despite their waiver-thin margin of victory, their support had been galvanized by a coalition of minorities.

In 2012, on this day the State of Ohio disallowed enough provisional ballots to put Mitt Romney "over the top".

Post Partisan President Mittens in by a Whisker
by Ed & Scott Palter
The irrefutable electoral logic was that no Republican Candidate had ever won without Ohio. And of course President Obama had been widely expected to win because of the "auto bail-out" which had assured the long term future of automobile companies in the Mid west.

For these reasons the Democrats refused to accept the result, claiming a racial bias in results legally termed as disparate impact. However the United States Supreme Court found for the Republicans in a 5-4 vote that followed a party line vote. It was an inauspicious start for the man aspiring to be America's first post-partisan President.

In 1764, on this day the Pennsylvania Assembly dispatched Mr Benjamin Franklin to London so that he might seek an agreement whereupon the Penn family should sell their holdings to the Colony.
This post is an article from the Midshipman George Washington thread.

Midshipman George Washington #4This most famous of Philadelphians had turned to politics as a second career after retiring a wealthy man by the age of forty-two. With his younger ally the twenty-six year old lawyer Joseph Galloway, he founded the Assembly Party that dominated the Pennsylvania Legislature (Galloway was closely associated with Philadelphia's most affluent merchants who feared that independence would threaten trade). That body soon began to call for a royal charter granted by the crown and a chief executive appointed by the king.

Arriving in London dressed in a blue suit with elaborate gold braid and buttons, his personal gain from royalization was unmistakeable. He would return to Philadelphia as the newly appointed Royal Governor of Pennsylvania, and his chief justice would of course be none other than Joseph Galloway.

During the visit Franklin had also been consulted by the British Cabinet on the sensitive issue of colonial taxation; he had offered the terribly misinformed advice that indirect taxation would be considered acceptable by his countrymen. A letter from a friend warned that "People have imbibed the Notion that you had a Hand, in the framing [of a parliamentary tax on America]", whilst his wife sent a message informing him that a dangerous mob had gathered menacingly outside their new house in Philadelphia.

When war between Great Britain and the Colonies broke out, Franklin and Galloway were seen as the most hated loyalists in America. Years later in exile in Montreal, Franklin would still rage at his countrymen, "Bone of our bone ; born and educated among us!".
This is an alternate ending to Robbie Taylor's Canadian Revolution thread which ends with the Revolution Founding Fathers living in Exile in Montreal continuing to plot against the British Empire.

In 1972, on this day Richard Nixon's cynical attempts to disparage his opponent with the belittling acronym RFK ("Rich Fat Kid") came to nought because voters narrowly elected Massachusetts Senator Edward M. Kennedy to serve as their 38th President of the United States.

Triumph of the Rich Fat KidLess than eight weeks after burying his brother Robert, members of the Democrat Party had tried to persuade the Senator to run for Vice Presidential on a Humphrey-Kennedy ticket. The candidate himself was unable to win a private audience with Kennedy but kept dropping hints in public about what a fine fellow his good young friend from Massachusetts was.

He had reluctantly determined that at only thirty-six years old, he was too inexperienced and would prefer to stand for Senate Majority Whip, which would still require him to become the youngest person ever to serve in that position. But the party would not take no for an answer, hinting that he would fail to muster support for Senate Majority Whip if he declined the Vice Presidential candidacy.

In the event, he chose to keep Robert's campaign ideas alive and agreed to run. But they narrowly lost on a knife-edge vote to Nixon. Elected to the post of Senate Majority Whip as he originally wanted, the Senator was then forced to wait another four years for another shot at the White House, but this time as the Presidential Candidate.

In 1986, on this day the beleaguered Romanov regime in Moscow held the Soviet Union's 59th annual Red Square parade commemorating the anniversary of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution.

Red Square ParadeBesides being the last such event staged in Russia's capital before the Communist dictatorship collapsed, the parade was most notable for the paltry crowds which turned out for the event and the conspicuous absence of much of the CPSU elite; Grigory Romanov himself left midway through the proceedings after being fired on by a sniper who was himself shot and wounded by the KGB while trying to flee Red Square after the attack. Following the attempt on Romanov's life the CPSU ordered Red Square permanently closed to all public gatherings except those officially sanctioned by the CPSU's Central Committee-- an order later rescinded by the new PLM government after the end of the Russian civil war in 1987.

In 1938, Western fears that Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin had forged an alliance with the militarists trying to overthrow Mars' royal house were realized when Stalin used the occasion of the 21st anniversary of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution to announce the Kremlin had signed what he called "an historic accord" with the Martian militarists to receive weapons and technological assistance from them in return for Moscow's support of their insurrection against the Martian monarch.

Part Four of Parley But that was only the beginning of the bad news for the West: just 24 hours after Stalin dropped his diplomatic bombshell, Third Reich foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop set off another one with the news Martian militarist technicians were assisting German rocket scientists in upgrading facilities at the ballistic weapons development complex in the Baltic city of Peenemünde. And two days after Ribbentrop's announcement, the Japanese war ministry accepted an offer from the Martian militarists to furnish the Imperial Army with a new type of improved armor for its tanks and blueprints for a portable heat ray that could be used by its infantry.

These developments prompted the West to accelerate its own efforts to master Martian technology. The most dramatic example of this acceleration was in the United States, where a research and development laboratory was hastily established at the town of Roswell, New Mexico on orders from President Roosevelt's Secretary of War Harry Woodring. CBS Radio producer Orson Welles, who had been responsible for broadcasting the first accounts of the Martians' arrival at Grovers Mill, would be among those in attendance at a White House press conference in late November announcing the laboratory's historic breakthrough in creating an airframe capable of traveling at the speed of sound.

In 1992, on this day the proprietor of the popular jazz cafe Pennsylvania 6-5000 Glenn Miller died peacefully in his sleep at his home in New York City. He was eighty-eight years old.

Miller TimeRight up until the end he was an occasional player too, setting down his little brown jug of alcohol to thrill members of the audience who were in the mood for the big band sound. Of course Miller was there at the birth, touring with his own band up until the American entrance into the Second World War. They disbanded in 1942.

Aged thirty-eight, Miller was too old for the draft but nevertheless determined to play a part in a band making an altogether different kind of music, the wretched cacophony of war. And it was during this period of preoccupation that a clarinetist and alto saxophonist Wilbur Schwartz came forward and suggested an unusual refinement to the big band sound. Essentially the idea of the "sonic keynote" was to have a clarinet play a melodic line with a tenor saxophone holding the same note, while three other saxophones harmonized within a single octave. It was a sophisticated, and potentially innovative suggestion, but at first it just sounded _wrong_ and there was no time to develop it fully.

Before long, Miller found himself serving in the US Army Air Force. Stationed in Great Britain he soon realised that he was now too old to pursue a professional career in music, instead he dreamt of opening a jazz cafe after the war. Wilbur Schwartz was not able to give his idea much further thought either, he was killed during the invasion of Sicily.

And so following his demobilization, Miller returned to the States, and after a short spell settled in Manhattan. He was able to use his military pension to open an establishment which he would ultimately run for almost half a century.

Some nights he would recall Schwartz's madcap idea and by the mid 1960s he began to experiment with the sound again, this time successfully. Because as that crazy Schwartz always used to say, "it dont mean a thing if it aint' got that swing".

In 1860, Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln was passed telegrams shortly after midnight at an ice cream parlour in Springfield Illinois reporting his failure to win an outright majority of free states in the electoral college. The presidential election would now be determined by a states vote in the House of Representatives.

Northern StrategyNeedless to say, the result was an absolute disaster for Lincoln. Having established himself as a national figure during his debates with Stephen Douglas during the 1858 race for the Senate, he had attempted to reverse the outcome of that defeat with the obvious alternative strategy of uttering barely a word during the campaign. In fact one of his few utterances was to predict that only the Republicans could win the election.

Because Douglas had split the Democrat vote at the national convention by committing to a free state's vote on slavery. This suggestion had antagonised abolitionists who sought to prevent the adoption of slavery in the new western states of the Union. At the same time the proposal had angered southern democrats who stormed out of the convention, and promised to back Breckinridge.

Of course Douglas was no fool. He had devised a winning strategy understanding fully that he could not possibly unite Northern and Southern Democrats on a common platform and therefore gain an outright majority in the electoral college. Instead he sought to limit Lincoln's majority by nurturing "fusion" candidates in key states. And the returns from Indiana, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut tipped the balance precisely as Douglas had predicted. Because a vote in the House of Representatives would be based on that institution's very different set of democratic calculations, based as there were upon an equitable vote by state where the South was more likely to gain a more positive, negotiated outcome.

In 2009, senior ministers of the cabinet of Prime Minister Stephen Harper arrived by helicopter in Ottawa's new "Green Zone".

This Baghdad-style maximum security cordoned area had been hastily constructed over the previous forty-eight hours by elements of Canadian Special Operations Forces Command utilising robot technology.

The War on Terror Plus, Part 6 - "Operation Citadel"

Operational plans had changed dramatically in the two weeks since the first Olympic torchbearers Catriona Le May-Doan and Simon Whitfield had carried the Olympic flame through a crowd of thousands in Victoria. The slow-acting variant of the zombie virus known as "Solanum" that they carried with them was now raging through Canada, unhindered by the 50.4 million doses ordered by Health Canada from GlaxoSmithKline factory in Ste-Foy, Quebec. That order was cancelled in dramatic fashion, because the factory was now a smoking ruin after Al-qaeda crashed a hijacked Air Canada Jet Liner crashed into the production facility.

Prior to that devastating terrorist attack, Stephen Harper's government had devised Operation Citadel in which the then tiny population of Canadian zombies would be securely held in the purpose built Vancouver 2010 Olympic Village. Events had moved on a piece, and instead of building a twenty-first century leper colony, Special Forces were recalled from British Columbia in order to execute an altogether more desperate Operation Citadel. Rather than keeping the zombies in, the future of Canada now depended on these troops fields training in the wilds of Kandahar province in order to keep the zombies out of the Green Zone.

In 2007, the director of The Dark Knight Christopher Nolan made an unexpected offer - would seventy-year old actor Jack Nicholson reprise his 1989 potrayal of the role of The Joker following Heath Ledger's withdrawal on mental health grounds?Surprise reprise
Ledger had been chosen to portray the Joker, whom the actor described as a 'psychopathic, mass murdering, schizophrenic clown with zero empathy'.
Director Christopher Nolan had wanted to work with Ledger on a number of projects in the past, but had been unable to do so. When Ledger saw Batman Begins, he realized a way to make the character work in that film's tone, and Nolan agreed with his anarchic interpretation.
To prepare for the role, Ledger lived alone in a hotel room for a month, formulating the character's posture, voice and psychology.
While he initially found it difficult, Ledger was eventually able to generate a voice that did not sound like Jack Nicholson's take on the character in Tim Burton's 1989 Batman film.
He started a diary, in which he wrote the Joker's thoughts and feelings to guide himself during his performance.
He was also given Batman: The Killing Joke and Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth to read, which he "really tried to read [...] and put it down". Ledger also cited inspirations such as A Clockwork Orange and Sid Vicious, which were "a very early starting point for Christian [Bale] and I. But we kind of flew far away from that pretty quickly and into another world altogether. There's a bit of everything in him. There's nothing that consistent," Ledger said, adding that" There are a few more surprises to him".
Bringing the Joker back to the big screen invited a wave of speculation over his depiction. Before Ledger was confirmed in July 2006, Paul Bettany, Lachy Hulme, Adrien Brody, Steve Carell, and Robin Williams publicly expressed interest in the role.
Jack Nicholson jokingly expressed anger at not being invited to reprise the part: "You can't believe the reasons things do or don't happen. Not asking me how to do the sequel is that kind of thing," he said". Maybe it's not a mistake. Maybe it was the right thing, but to be candid, I'm furious". After the trailer was released, director Guillermo del Toro and comic book writer Jeph Loeb lavished praise upon Ledger, while Batman: The Animated Series co-creator Paul Dini said, "He seems more street than any other version of the Joker [...] His attitude is mordant and sardonic as opposed to manic [...] No goofy gags or puns for him. This Joker doesn't split sides: he splits skulls". Mark Hamill, who voiced the part on The Animated Series, said "The balls-out debauched psycho approach seems like a great way of reinventing everyone's favorite scary (and scar-y) clown".
Frighteningly close to a complete mental collapse, Ledger had quit the set shortly after filming started. Ledger stated that his role preparation had taken a toll on his ability to sleep: "Last week I probably slept an average of two hours a night. ... I couldn't stop thinking. My body was exhausted, and my mind was still going". At that time, he told Lyall that he had taken two Ambien pills, after taking just one had not sufficed, and those left him in "a stupor, only to wake up an hour later, his mind still racing".
"It was tremendously emotional, right when he quit" Nolan recalled. "But the truth is, his potrayal was just too Marlon Brando. With Jack Nicholson I feel very lucky to have something productive to do, to have a performance that he was very, very proud of, and that he had entrusted to me to finish".

In 1960, on this day John Lindsay made American political history by becoming the first candidate ever to be elected mayor of New York City on a write-in vote.

Lindsay's first official act was to appoint outgoing mayor Abe Stark as a special consultant on disaster preparedness.

Write-in Candidate
Write-in Candidate - John Lindsay
John Lindsay

On this day in 1941, Soviet premier Ivan Konev used the occasion of the 24th anniversary of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution to call for Japan's surrender.


In 1972, President Richard Nixon is re-elected, defeating Senator Edward Kennedy by an even narrower margin than he had won over Hubert Humphrey in 1968.

Nixon's victory would not have been possible without the votes of supporters of George Wallace, whose decision not to run in '72 left them with nowhere else to turn.

 - Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon

Some Kennedy supporters will charge that Nixon and his people rigged the vote, and that Kennedy was the actual winner. However, no hard evidence supporting this claim will surface, and Kennedy himself will refuse to endorse the accusation.

On this day in 1944, Franklin Roosevelt won election to an unprecedented fourth term as President of the United States, beating Republican challenge Thomas Dewey in the biggest landslide in American political history.

That same day in Moscow, as part of ceremonies marking the 27th anniversary of the 1917 Communist revolution, Red Army general Georgi Zhukov was proclaimed a Hero of the Soviet Union for the fifth time, the only Red Army senior officer to be so honored.

 - Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt

On this day in 1962, ceremonies marking the 45th anniversary of the 1917 Russian Communist revolution were disrupted when a clash broke out between pro-Brezhnev and anti-Brezhnev factions of the Red Army.

That same day, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro was assassinated in Havana.

Assassinated - Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro

In 1972, President Richard M. Nixon scores a landslide victory over Democratic challenger George S. McGovern, winning re-election with 61 percent of the popular vote to McGovern's 35.

American Liberty Party candidate Strom Thurmond receives five percent of the popular vote. Nixon will win 48 states; McGovern wins only Massachusetts, while Thurmond captures his home state of South Carolina.


The Briggs Initiative followed similar legislation that had passed in Oklahoma and Arkansas, banning gays and lesbians from teaching in public schools. It stated that any teacher that was found to be 'advocating, imposing, encouraging or promoting' homosexual activity could be fired.

It was opposed by then-President Jimmy Carter. There were many 'gay Republican' groups and organization through the country beginning in the '70s. The most prominent of these, in 1977 California, founded Log Cabin Republicans, as a rallying point for Republicans opposed to the Briggs Initiative, which for a time was winning in polls conducted prior to the election with about 61% of voters supporting it while 31% opposed it. It was the first attempt to restrict gay and lesbian rights through a ballot measure.

The timing is significant for Reagan because he was then preparing to run for president, a race in which he would need broad support. As Lou Cannon (Reagan biographer) puts it, Reagan was 'well aware that there were those who wanted him to duck the issue' but nevertheless 'chose to chase the swing voter.'

Despite the legend, student worker, Grant Grays, at the Tretter Collection in GLBT Studies at the University of Minnesota Libraries discovered that there was no editorial penned by Reagan but rather he sent a letter to a pro-Briggs Initiative group in which he supported the initiative. The entire text of Reagan's letter of opposition was never printed in the public media. The most extensive excerpts from his statement were reprinted in the San Francisco Chronicle of September 24, 1978 where it was revealed that the future President supported the Briggs Initiative.

Reagan's actual letter allegedly stated, in part, 'Whatever else it is, homosexuality is not a contagious disease like the measles. Prevailing scientific opinion is that an individual's sexuality is determined at a very early age and that a child's teachers do not really influence this.' Assuming this is true, this was a remarkably progressive thing for a politician, especially a conservative one about to run for president, to say in 1978.

The Briggs Initiative was passed on a marginal vote, it was even close in Briggs' own Orange County. Its sponsors cited Reagan for the victory.

In 1972, President Richard Nixon is re-elected, defeating Senator Edward Kennedy by an even narrower margin than he had won over Hubert Humphrey in 1968.

Nixons victory would not have been possible without the votes of supporters of George Wallace, whose decision not to run in '72 left them with nowhere else to turn. Some Kennedy supporters will charge that Nixon and his people rigged the vote, and that Kennedy was the actual winner. However, no hard evidence supporting this claim will surface, and Kennedy himself will refuse to endorse the accusation.


In 1826, with Thomas Jefferson dead after more than twenty years in the White House, Congress meets to appoint a new President, and, as anticipated, chooses to retain Acting President James Madison in that position. However, he faces unexpectedly strong competition from Governor Andrew Jackson of Tennessee. Jackson, who has cultivated friends in the federal government in order to nurture policies beneficial to his home state, comes in second in the voting and is therefore made vice-president, despite the cultivated Madison`s personal distaste for 'that backwoodsman.'


In 1955, Senator Joseph P. McCarthy formally announces that he will run against President Eisenhower in the 1956 Republican presidential primaries.

It is momentous news, and McCarthy's challenge is a serious one: strengthened by his victory in the so-called Army-McCarthy hearings, he has spent the past year amassing support from the GOP's conservative wing, which has never forgiven Ike for criticizing McCarthy for his harsh criticism of the outgoing President Truman after the latter's last-minute pardon of accused Soviet agent Alger Hiss.

In 1983, the Plymouth Brethren, a murderous cult descended from the Quakers of early American colonial times, made a sacrifice of the Hendricks family of Bloomington, Illinois. Over the next week, cult leader David Hendricks, who was suspected in the murder of his family, led police on a chase across the Midwest, killing almost a dozen people with his small group of cultists. Hendricks and his followers committed suicide when police surrounded them at a motel in Wisconsin in December of 1983.
In 1916, Socialist incumbent President Woodrow Wilson wins reelection, in spite of a tough primary challenge from A. L. Benson. The Communist candidate, Charles Hughes, also puts up a tough fight, but loses by 3 percentage points in the vote. Wilson attempts to create a League of Nations in his second term, but war-ravaged Europe is unwilling to go along with any plans put forth by a power that remained neutral during their war.
In 1872, the Mary Celeste, a cargo airboat with 10 crewmen, set sail from New York City to Genoa, Italy. It was carrying several tons of alcoholic beverages for Italian importers, and the crew reported no difficulties during launch and the first few hours of travel. Ten days later, the ship was found floating under auto-pilot off the coast of the Azores; the crew had disappeared, and all the cargo was intact. Investigators of the incident receive a tip from a physicist at New York University that the earth was entering an interdimensional rift; he believed the rift was caused by Mlosh technology, but this part of the investigation was covered up. The mystery has never been officially solved.
In 1820, in the most highly-contested presidential election in U.S. history, President James Monroe emerged as the victor from a field of 9 candidates. He had captured almost a third of the electoral college votes, and when the choice was thrown into the house of Representatives, they felt comfortable enough with him to allow him to continue in office. Monroe's second term became known as The Era of Ill Will because of the feeling of illegitimacy in his reelection.
In 1956,, following the signing of a secret mutual assistance pact in Paris, Anglo-French troops fighting alongside the Israeli Defence Force wrest back control of the Suez Canal, recently nationalised by Egyptian President Gamal Nasser. British Prime Minister Anthony Eden receives urgent demands from US President Dwight D. Eisenhower to withdraw . Having spent many years being overshadowed as Churchill's deputy, Eden refuses to accept this demand, viewing it as a bitter personal defeat that would invite disfavourable comparisons with his former boss. Eden threatens to unmask American hypocrisy by revealing that the overthrow of Mohammed Mossadegh's Iranian government in 1953 was a coup mounted by US and British Agents on much the same terms as the Suez invasion. Unwilling to risk his position during the presidential election month, Eisenhower backs down and reluctantly throws his support behind the colluding allies. Most historians now agree that these duplicitous acts by the British Government fuelled reactionary imperialism at a point of divergence. By fortifying the refusal to accept nationalist pressures, the Suez campaign destroyed sympathies for Britain in their former colonies leading to the premature dissolution of the Commonwealth in the late 1960s.
In 1917, in Petrograd, Russia Bolshevik leaders Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky lead revolutionaries in overthrowing the Provisional Government. It was all for nothing, German High Command exploited the internal uncertainty to launched a ferocious assault on Western Russia. By Christmas, the Kaiser's designated monarchs were in place in Ukraine, Muscovy, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. The reign of the German Tsar had begun.
In 1917, the second Prime Minister of the Russian Provisional Government Alexander Fyodorovich Kerensky escaped the Bolsheviks and went to Pskov, where he rallied some loyal troops for an attempt to retake the capital. His troops managed to capture Tsarskoe Selo, but were beaten the next day at Pulkovo. Kerensky narrowly escaped, and spent the next few weeks in hiding before fleeing the country, eventually arriving in France. During the Russian Civil War he led the White Movement and was restated in office in 1923.
In 1941, reactivated Colonel T.E. Lawrence flew out of RAF Northolt en route to Cairo. His mission was to 'turn' the Egyptian Officer Cadre who were leaking signal intelligence to General Erwin Rommel. The 'Keys to Rebecca' would be used to lead the Afrika Corps into an ambush before they could overrun North Afrika. Privately, Lawrence doubted the plan - for professional reasons. After all Gamal Abdul Nasser and Anwar Sadat were virulently anti-British. They might even side with the Mufti of Jerusalem, a Nazi sympathizer who had no problem with extending the Final Solution into Palestine - an enabler for a United Arab Republic.
In 1872, a 103-foot, 282-ton brigantine set sail for Genoa, Italy. The ship was built on Spencer's Island, Nova Scotia in 1861 and originally named the Amazon. Due to misadventures and bad luck, she had changed hands several times before being renamed the Mary Celeste in 1869 after a sale for $3,000. On-board was a cargo of 1701 barrels of industrial alcohol shipped by Meissner Ackermann & Coin of New York City to H. Mascerenhas and Co., of Genoa, Italy valued at $34,000.The ship was last seen in the Azores on November 22nd.
In 1963, a freelance story in the Midland Reporter-Telegram stated that an 'unidentified teenager ran a stop sign and crashed into another car, killing her boyfriend who was driving it...What's the odds of running a stop sign and killing your boyfriend????

November 6

In 1612, proving once again a dashing hero, the eighteen-year-old Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, recovered from typhoid fever to great acclaim.

Henry Frederick Recovers FeverThe eldest son of King James I of England (VI of Scotland) had already made a name for himself as the handsome, athletic, witty, just, and inspiring next leader of the British Isles.

Henry had been born at Stirling Castle February 19, 1594, and spent his early years in Scotland under the care of the Earl of Mar. His father, James, had worried about the boy being too near his mother Anne of Denmark's Catholic tendencies and so placed Henry among staunch Protestants despite the division it caused in his marriage. In 1603, James was called to London to be crowned, and he brought his family south with him. As Henry grew, his father created an environment that, according to Sir Thomas Chaloner, was a "courtly college or a collegiate court". James himself acted as lecturer and wrote tracts for his son such as The True Law of Free Monarchies, which detailed James' understanding of monarchy as Heavenly mandated absolute rule.

At 11 years old, Henry entered Magdalen College at Oxford. There, he learned sportsmanship and became interested in politicking and the tactics of warfare. He also became fastidious in his Protestantism, even to the point of fining anyone who uttered a swear word, for which an alms box was always on hand for forced contributions. His small court was required to attend church services, and Henry himself became entranced in in the steely argumentation of Calvinism, whose sermons seemed to say to him, "Sir, you must hear me diligently: you must have a care to observe what I say".

In his teen years, Henry began to break with his family. He did not care for his increasingly extravagent younger brother, Charles, who seemed to emulate his father's ideals of autocracy. Henry had already rejected many of his father's values, especially James' sense of royal spending. The two very nearly rose to blows when James admonished Henry for not being energetic on a hunt, and Henry lifted his cane to strike his father out of rage but instead rode away. Most of the hunting party followed after the ever-increasingly popular Henry and left his father behind with a few loyals.

At the age of 18, Henry became ill during a typhoid fever epidemic but managed to recover. Upon the death of his father in 1625, Henry ascended the throne of England as Henry IX and the throne of Scotland as Henry I. James had spent the last years of his reign bickering with Parliament, and Henry began his rule by establishing an effective chain of command as well as respecting the right to free speech within the Commons. He approved the sanctions against Catholics and encouraged the increasing Protestantism of the country. Henry had made good on an old teasing promise to make his younger brother Archbishop of Canterbury, though Charles would constantly be admonished for overspending and, in truth, become a whipping boy for the perceived problems of the Anglican Church. Gradually over Henry's tenure, the strength of bishops would decline to favor a more Presbyterian system as seen in Scotland.

While Henry's domains seemed peaceable enough (although a campaign through Ireland to pacify the Catholic population became necessary in 1650), issues in foreign policy took up the majority of his reign. His deep sense of Protestantism caused war with Spain, and he agreed with Parliament on using naval tactics to undercut their flow of income from colonies. Through the seventeenth century, English and Dutch Protestant navies would seize much of the Caribbean. Henry also attempted to become involved in the Dutch War of Independence and the Thirty Years' War in the Germanies (especially since he married a Protestant German princess and his sister married Frederick V, Elector Palatine), but advisers such as Parliamentarian Oliver Cromwell encouraged him not to become tied up with the Continent. Instead, Henry focused on empire-building, as had been the dreams of Sir Walter Raleigh, whom Henry deeply admired and considered a friend. Henry fought bitterly with his father over the execution of Raleigh in 1618 after an illegal attack on a Spanish outpost, but the opinion of Spain's ambassador won out. He never forgave his father.

Following Raleigh's ideals, Henry widely encouraged settlement in the New World. Not only did his fleets seize islands from Spain, but he also created new colonies along the northern coast of South America and dispatched explorers and colonists to affirm English control of the Mississippi. His policies set precedent for colonial taxation through the Ship Tax, and taxation was reaffirmed in the next century by referrenda from the American colonies, who requested and were granted seats in Parliament.

As Mitt Romney and Bob McDonnell gleefully shook hands to celebrate their dazzling electoral success the Obama Team were holding their heads in despair at the Fairmont Hotel in Chicago. Because the Democrats had won the national election by over 4 million, held more than 50% and yet still lost by the narrow margin of only 200,000 votes because of the skewed electoral college. To borrow a metaphor from the world of professional boxing it was a surprise award by the judges way short of a knock-out, perhaps even a disputed points result that stole victory from the rightful winner.

November 6, 2012 - Obama falls shortDespite having a lousy September, the Republicans had stormed ahead in October after Obama put in an unexpectedly weak debate performance in Denver. And somewhere amongst the home state win Virginia delivered by McDonnell, the impact of Hurricane Sandy making landfall in New York, the Benghazi Incident and of course the GOP's oh-so-clever tactical use of the ORCA system [1] to get out the reluctant late vote, Obama's campaign fell agonizingly short of the finish line by the actions of just 0.3% of the electorate.

Worn out rather than knocked down perhaps two revealingly bad images of losing stood out for Obama's defeat. The President and Mayor Bloomberg conducting a helicopter tour of the devastated area of New York Harbor with the Statue of Liberty under water, and the Tunisian consulate being overrun. In contrast to these tell-tale signs of American collapse, Romney could rise above these unfortunately timed disaster and instead shine as a beaming image of success. Winning! as Charlie Sheen liked to remark, but the President-elect might have smiled somewhat less enthusiastically if he had been aware that his vetting campaign had failed to detect that McDonnell would soon be mired in legal troubles.

In 1999, Australians narrowly voted to replace the Head of the Commonwealth as their head of state in the Australian republic referendum.

Australian Republic 1999The republican movement had been around in Australia since its independence, but it began gaining support and momentum going into the 1990's. Thomas Keneally founded the Australian Republican Movement (ARM) in 1991 after the Labour party adopted republicanism as a policy in June the same year. By 1993, the investment banker Malcom Turnbull became chairman of the ARM. Later that year, the Republican Advisory Committee was created by the incumbent prime minister's party (Labour) which later laid foundations for a proposed change in the Australian Constitution.

In order to gain a 50 percent majority, certain compromises had to be made to allow for the national antipathy towards politicians. Instead of the Governor-General being simply replaced by the word President, the President would be directly elected by the people (albeit with very limited powers). As a result, Malcolm Turnbull became the inaugural office holder, and despite the limitations of his office, his moral leadership ensured that the new Republic kept Australia out of the Iraq War.

In 1605, on this fateful day King Henry IX demanded the arrest of the cowardly Spanish plotters that had blown up the Houses of Parliament, killing his beloved late father James I.

Remember, Remember the Fifth of NovemberAnd sure enough the men's heads were firmly placed on spikes at Traitor's Gate in the Tower of London. But it did no good for Henry who followed in death fast on their heals, aged eighteen he would perish from typhoid fever just a few years later.

Soon after his younger brother Charles II ascended to the thrown in 1612, an incredible rumour began to sweep the city of London that the Spanish ring leader Guido Fawkes was actually an Englishman by the name of Guy Fawkes. "Guido" was merely a nom de guerre, a fancy name that he had adopted while fighting for the Spanish in the Low Countries. It was the kind of insidious treachery that had to be rooted out of English society of course, as Oliver Cromwell was to discover to his cost. He was executed in front of the Banqueting House at Whitehall.

The celebrated poet Andrew Marvell would immortalise the scene.

That thence the Republican actor borne the tragic scaffold might adorn:
While round the armed bands did clap their bloody hands

In 1632, on this day Gustavus the Great led a glorious charge at the defining moment of the Swedish Protestant Union's victory at Lützen.

Famous Protestant Victory at LützenThe Thirty Years' War now entered a new phase; not only was the Imperial onslaught on Saxony halted but the energies of the German Protestants began to further crystallize around around this talismanic figure who had now fully emerged as a a fearsome enemy to the Catholic Habsburgs.

But of course the famous victory itself was not without cost. Having been forced to assault an entrenched position, Sweden lost about six thousand men including badly wounded and deserters, many of whom may have drifted back to the ranks in the following weeks. The Imperial army lost slightly fewer men than the Swedes on the field; but more significantly the loss of the battlefield and general theatre of operations to the Swedes meant that fewer of the wounded and stragglers were able to rejoin the ranks.

In 1956, with cynical timing French-Israeli forces launch an invasion of the Suez Canal just one hour after the polls close for the US Presidential election.

Conjoined Crisis Part 2
Suez Canal Invasion Launched
Unbeknown to the International Community, the British Government had co-authored the Protocol of Sévres, a secret tripartite agreement that Israel would invade the Sinai. Britain and France would then intervene, purportedly to separate the warring Israeli and Egyptian forces, instructing both to withdraw to a distance of sixteen kilometres from either side of the canal. The reasons to desire to topple Nasser were various; for British Prime Minister Eden, ghosts of Munich, France, meddling in their colony of Algeria, and for Israel, collaborative opportunity to diminsh a local rival.

The rational voices in London and Paris argued that the Canal could not be held by force, and noted also that the modern oil tankers were becoming too big to travel through it. However, the debate was then transformed by a secret request for refuge at the British Embassy from Hungarian Premier Imre Nagy. The secret service urged Eden to betray Nagy and trade his liberty with a pledge of non-interference from the Soviet Union. But in the event, the British Government decided to grant refuge and withdraw from the Suez Canal, venture privately telling France and Israel that its position within the Commonwealth would become diplomatically untenable if London was seen to overtly support one head of state whilst seeking to oust another. However, as a sign of tacit support, London did allow the French to use Cyprus as a staging area and the operation proceeded without Britain.
An article from the Conjoined Crisis thread.

It is 2012, and although he lost the Presidential election, Mitt Romney did go on to be chosen as the winner of the Mr. America male beauty contest.

Mitt loses election but wins Mr. America crown"His good looks, charm, charisma, high spirits and great big smile made him the obvious winner," the pageant chairwoman said. "Those qualities all showed up in the debate, and they would have made him president...if it had not been for Obama's startling confession".

She was referring to Obama's actions after that first debate. He had gone through the country on a pilgrimage of penitence equalled only by King Henry II letting the monks flog him for killing Thomas a Becket. His low point came when he said that he was honored to be speaking in an arena where Stevie Wonder and Jon Bon Jovi had provided great performances...even though he himself had given such a bad one. He finally won the election by a narrow victory, after confessing that he had not been up to par during the debate because he had been up all night dealing with an international crisis...namely, the Battle of Armageddon, which was averted when Jesus finally agreed to give everyone another chance, because, as he put it, "Mr. Obama is such a good family man , as the Republicans like to say".. But, as the new Mr. America put it, he expected to be elected next time, when Obama was no longer eligible...and when he himself would have an even better hair style.

In 1479, on this day future Queen Joanna of England was born in Toledo, Spain. She was the third child and second daughter of Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon of the royal House of Trastámara.

Happy Endings Part 10
Many blessings of Joanna and Arthur
By the time she was of age to be married, the dynastic wars in England were over. To move the country forward in the face of renewed threats from France, King Henry VII decided to build upon the Tudor and Yorkish alliance. His primary aim was to prevent the French from supporting potential pretenders (most notably Perkin Warbeck) to the throne. And so he sought the support of Queen Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon ("Ferdinand the Catholic"). When his son Arthur was two years old, a marriage with their second youngest daughter, Catherine of Aragon was arranged for him as part of the Treaty of Medina del Campo.

Yet Isabella and Ferdinand were in no hurry to have their daughter married, and, although the treaty had been made, they were open to other options. Ferdinand was especially aware that Tudor rule was threatened and sent Pedro de Ayala as ambassador in Scotland, where Warbeck had found support. After Warbeck had been hanged and the Earl of Warwick, another potential threat, beheaded in 1499, the rule of Henry VII stabilised. The marriage to Prince Arthur could then proceed although these carefully laid plans were almost destroyed when the Prince of Wales almost perished from consumption. Fortunately, Joanna saved his life, and while their marriage was blessed with children, her younger sister Katherine was not so fortunate. She suffered from infertility and a tortured marriage. Her megalomaniac husband Philip the Handsome would dominate everyone on the continent reducing the power of Catholic England to a mere vassal state within a truly global Spanish Empire.
An article from the Happy Endings series conceived by Jackie Rose.

Older Posts

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