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 23

On this day Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was given the death sentence by the US Federal District Court for espionage against the United States for publishing thousands of secret documents on the internet. This closes a long and controversial series of events which, without a doubt, will spark huge protests against the US government.

Wikileaks Founder Sentenced to DeathAssange was originally charged with sexual assault, by Swedish authorities, who had issued an international warrant for his arrest. Assange, who was in Britain at the time, unsuccessfully challenged the warrant through the British legal system. After the failed legal challenge London Metropolitan Police were preparing to arrest Assange only to discover that he had fled to the Uruguayan Embassy.

Unfortunately for Assange, even though Uruguay had given him sanctuary, the British authorities refused to acknowledge this and stormed the Embassy and arrested Assange. Even though this ensured a huge protest from Uruguay, and their South American neighbours, Assange soon found himself on a plane to Sweden to answer for his alleged crimes.

Assange, though, did not stay in Sweden for long. In breaking with a previous promise, whereby Assange would not be expedited to the United States, the US immediately applied for expedition which, after a few weeks of both legal and political wrangling, was finally successful. Assange then found himself facing court in the US, which finally saw the death penalty for Assange being handed down today.

In 1981, on this fateful day US President Ronald Reagan signed the top secret National Security Decision Directive 17 that ordered the Central Intelligence Agency to recruit and support Contra rebels in their civil war against the Sandinista government in Nicaragua.

Reagan signs NSDD-17In an ironic abuse of power a covert operation that was expressly prohibited by the US Congress was to be overseen by a former Congressman, Vice President George H.W. Bush. However he was unaware that the rebels were only nominally joined together as a whole organized unit. Because of this loosely knit command structure some factions were carrying out many human rights violations that were systematically committed as an element of their overall warfare strategy. That chilling fact only emerged when three American nuns were brutally murdered on live television.

Happening just ahead of the mid-terms, the timing of "Irangate" scandal could not have been worse and Bush was forced to resign in public disgrace. Reagan himself was only saved from impeachment by a negotiated deal that saw Howard Baker take over as Vice President. He was charged with a powerful brief to purge the hawks from the White House thereby undermining Reagan's whole Cold War strategy.

In 1499, on this day Perkin Warbeck the impostor claiming to be Richard of Shrewsbury, 1st Duke of York was drawn on a hurdle from the Tower to Tyburn, London, where he read out a confession and then hanged.

Execution of Richard of Shrewsbury, 1st Duke of YorkBy ordering the execution of this Yorkist pretender, Henry VII had spared England the agonies of Civil War. And nothing in his treatment of similarly minded rebels such as John of Lincoln or even the mis-fortunate Sir William Stanley had suggested anything else could come of Warbeck's two landings in England.

After his capture at Beaulieu Abbey in Hampshire, the King had declared that Warbeck was in fact a Fleming born in Tournai around 1474. He was "paraded through the streets on horseback amid much hooting and derision of the citizens" and then imprisoned first at Glastonbury and later the Tower of London alongside Edward, Earl of Warwick (the two tried to escape earlier in the year). But during this imprisonment, Henry had begun to have his own doubts that perhaps Warbeck was after all one of the two "Princes in the Tower". Certainly he resembled Edward IV in appearance. And this doubt had settled into absolute certainty with the discovery of Richard III's secret diary [1], the living proof which ironically had settled his fate.

It is 1933, the Great Depression is ravaging Germany, and World War I reparations payments are making it even worse. With both the Bolsheviks and National Socialists fighting for power, the Kaiser's eldest son Frederick Wilhelm decides it's time to return from the family's exile in Holland. An article from our Happy Endings thread.

Happy Endings 44:
Big Stick Redux
Determined to avenge his father, he stirs up violent anger against America, with his impassioned speeches. In this atmosphere, upstarts like Adolf Hitler are brushed aside, along with his attacks on the Jews.

As a patriotic German, Albert Einstein offers to direct the construction of an atomic bomb. Fortunately for his nation's enemies, an American scientist named J. Robert Oppenheimer is doing the same thing. The result is a stalemate, based on mutual hatred and contempt.

The new Kaiser Frederick Wilhelm is in a good position to allay his country's fears of this powerful foe. One of the most telling incidents takes place at a young girls' reception line, where one of them bursts into tears when her turn comes to kiss the Kaiser's hand.

"Why are you weeping?" he asks. "Because I fear that America will hang you and kill us al1!" Anna wails. With a kindly smile, he answers, "You need not fear America as long as Germany is strong, my dear Miss Frank.

In 1804, on this day Franklin Pierce (pictured) was born in Hillsborough, New Hampshire.

Birth of Franklin PierceHe was a Democrat and a "doughface" (a Northerner with Southern sympathies)who served in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate. Pierce took part in the Mexican-American War and became a brigadier general in the Army. His private law practice in his home state, New Hampshire, was so successful that he was offered several important positions, which he turned down. Later, he was nominated as the party's candidate for president on the 49th ballot at the 1852 Democratic National Convention.

But tragedy struck on the 6th January, 1853 when the President-elect and his family were crushed to death when the train car that they had boarded in Boston was derailed and then rolled down an embankment near Andover, Massachusetts.

In his place, William Rufus King was sworn in as President on March 4th. Problem was, King was dying of tuberculosis and succumbed to the disease just six weeks later, so that the presidency fell to the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, David Rice Atchison.

Just four years before, he had served as President for a single day. Because on Saturday, March 3, 1849, outgoing President James Polk's term had expired, but incoming President Zachary Taylor refused to be sworn in on the Sabbath and put the ceremony off until Monday, March 5 -- which meant nobody was President on Sunday, at least officially.

He did not undertake any presidential duties, but claimed to have taken a nap whilst serving as 12th president of the United States. But unlike that temporary ceremonial fill-in function, the succession after the deaths of Pierce and King was fundamentally different. Because Atchison was a pro-slavery expansionist who was brought to power at a pivotal moment in the nation's history.

In 1963, with evening news programs closely monitoring Mrs Kennedy's precarious medical condition at the Parkland Hospital in Dallas, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) abruptly cancelled the showing of Episode One of Dr Who, a ground-breaking - if somewhat incongruous - science fiction television programme.

An Unearthly ChildFilmed in black and white the decidedly creepy William Hartnell played a thousand year old humanoid time lord who travels the galaxy in a sentient time-travelling space ship known as the TARDIS (acronym: Time and Relative Dimension in Space). An odd mixture of the past, present and the future, "An Unearthly Child" was an unpromising and disappointing start to the series. Hartnell's portrayal was too frightening for prime time television and yet the decision to rule out bug-eye monsters ran in quite the opposite direction.

Unfortunately for the series, certain key elements were locked in the transitional nature of that era making a relaunch rather difficult. Although the blue police boxes had been a feature of the British high street since the 1930s, they were already being removed, and Hartnell was a mature actor enjoying his final hurrah on television. He died in 1975 although the missing episodes were rediscovered when the BBC moved to Manchester in the first decade of the twenty-first century.

In 1992, the first smartphone appeared in public on this day when IBM debuted a prototype device code named "Angler" at the COMDEX computer and technology trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada. As fate would have it, amongst the excited members of the crowd was a twenty-five year old English consultant. His name was Jonathan Paul "Jony" Ive [1].

Debut of the IBM SimonHe immediately grasped that in concept it potential was huge. Feature rich with a 4.5 inch B&W 160x293 LCD touch screen display that worked with apps to help make our everyday lives easier, but it was a massive device with a battery guzzling design and a low powered 16MHz processor.

Plans to market the IBM Simon Personal Communicator resulted in an $899 two-year contract with BellSouth, available in fifteen states. But a transformative event then occurred with the appointment of Jony as the new tech lead. He had left his native England with dreams of joining Apple's Industrial Design team, but the lure of IBM's R&D budget combined with the demonstration at Comdex encouraged him to join Big Blue instead.

In 1963, in a televised national press conference on this day Dallas Police Chief Jesse Curry announced that the overnight interrogation of the "grassy knoll shooter" James Earl Files had provided a warm lead to the identity of the mysterious "Depository Man".

Depository Man
By Ed and Jackie Speel
One of the first U.S. covert combat troops sent into Laos in 1959, he had been court-martialed at Ft. Meade, Maryland for killing two of his own men. He then became involved in private intelligence work after his release from the military.

In the late fall of 1961 he was offered an assignment to serve as a weapons aide to the mafia hitman Charles Nicoletti, an associate of Sam Giancana. Two years later, both men stayed at the Lamplighter Motel in Mesquite, Dallas where they met with a "controller" called David Atlee Phillips.

Phillips involvement signalled a change in the mob's plan to assassinate Kennedy, a task that would not be performed by Nicoletti as originally envisaged, but instead by two operatives under his supervision. Files and a former US marine Lee Harvey Oswald spent five days on an empty field test firing the weapons and calibrating the scopes that were to be used on President Kennedy.

Oswald had been employed as an order filler at the Texas Book Depository only weeks before, and of course the Dallas Police Department had very quickly made the connection when cross referencing the staff list with potential marksmen. However, further connections began to emerge, because both Oswald and Files were linked to the covert CIA headquarters in Miami. This might well have been an accidental cross over of previous engagements rather than evidence of a wider conspiracy involving the Mob and rogue elements of the Agency, and it was precisely this burning question that the Warren Committee was ordered to answer.

In 1789, fearing that the United States had abandoned all traces of its Republican values during his long absence in Revolutionary France, Thomas Jefferson returned to Virginia to find Alexander Hamilton the master of King George Washington's Government.

Rebuilding WorksAs the American Ambassador to France, Jefferson had witnessed the excesses of the last days of the Bourbon Kings. In a letter to his secretary William Short he noted that "Were there but an Adam and an Eve left in every country, and left free, it would be better than as it now is. I have expressed to you my sentiments, because they are really those of 99 in an hundred of our citizens". In the final months in Paris, Jefferson also witnessed those change unfolding as France entered a period of radical social and political upheaval.

Retiring to Charlottesville, Jefferson withdrew from public life in order to focus on the task of rebuilding Monticello. A delegation led by Benjamin Franklin and James Madison arrived, hoping to convince Jefferson that his architecture skills were required on a grander scale, to rebuild the nation in the image of the republican government that they had always imagined.

And Alexander Hamilton was forced to advise the King that the man who had penned the Declaration of Independence now posed a threat to the Federalist unity of the new nation. That Jefferson had gone native in Europe and become an American Oliver Cromwell.

In 534 BC, Thespis insulted the Gods. Since the dawn of language, and perhaps before with simple hand gestures, mankind had performed the art of storytelling. Great hunts, tragic tales of lovers, and, most importantly, the epics of the gods all served as material to be related to one another and the younger generations for entertainment and moral instruction.

Thespis Insults the Gods Storytelling among the ancient Greeks evolved out of the chanting of priests to become a more secular chorus, telling the tales of great men and gods, especially Dionysus, the patron of the art.

According to ancient manuscripts studied by modern historians, some 2500 years ago, a creative Greek by the name of Thespis of Icaria attempted to introduce "acting" to western civilization. Rather than singing from the chorus or as a solo storyteller, Thespis stepped alone in the amphitheater and sang from behind a mask as if he were Dionysus himself. The audience was struck, unsure quite what to think until an elder from the front stood and called, "Blasphemer!"

Thespis was obviously not Dionysus, and portraying himself to be an avatar of a god was a strict crime of sacrilege. He was taken before the Athenean court, given fair trial, and exiled from the city for fear that the gods would instigate a plague or bad fortune in a city allowing such arrogance. Thespis disappears from history, and acting would forever be a distasteful action among the European peoples.

Storytelling, however, flourished. During the republic and empire of Rome, satyr songs would give long, satirical descriptions of modern life in rich verse. Bards and monks relating the story of the Passion delighted audiences throughout the Middle Ages. As Europeans began to explore and colonize other peoples, they encountered new types of storytelling such as the shadow play of Japan and the body-language of dance among Southeast Asian and Polynesian peoples, many of which would find their places among European theater. Other arts, such as Japanese kabuki and African mask-dances would be frowned upon as barbaric and arrogant lies where "actors" portrayed themselves as true people or even spirits.

It would not be until the invention of the motion-picture camera that acting would return to the view of the western world. Originally, the camera was used to capture important events such as the funeral march of royalty or shocking images like staged train crashes. Through the work of French and later German "directors", a new style of voyeurism would be shown as people invisibly watched the lives of others. Reality films would gradually fade as "fakies", scripted and acted fictional accounts would be recorded and shown. Initially as scandalous as the acting of Thespis, counter-culture would embrace the stories, and its significance would eventually gain some recognition among the populace at large along the same lines of modern dance and lyric-less poetry.

Even in today's forward-thinking times, fakies are viewed as morally questionable, not necessarily evil, but not as genuine of an entertainment as a well told story.

In 1623, on this day Edward Blount and William and Isaac Jaggard published the collection of "Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies" which modern scholars commonly refer to as the "First Folio".

First FolioTo alert the reader to the real identity of the playwright, the cover artist Martin Droeshout had portrayed an incongruous-looking fellow with a mask-line down his face, wearing a back-to-front doublet with two right-eyes (pictured, below). Writing three centuries later, Sir George Greenwood would remark "I can never understand how any unprejudiced person, with a sense of humor, can look upon [the print] without being tempted to irreverent laughter".

Born in 1564, Gulielmus Shakspere was an illiterate son of a butcher who never attended school (his father simply placed an X on his birth certificate). Neither his wife Anne Hathaway, nor any of his three children could read or write either. In London, the only written records bearing the name "Willemus Shackspere" are unpaid debts dating from 1595. Two years later, he moved to Straford Upon Avon, four days of hard horse-riding from the capital, where he died in April 1616. Six versions of his signature remain in print, three of which appear on his will. No other diaries, letters or manuscripts have ever been found.

"Shakes-speare, we must be silent in our praise, cause our encomimums will but blast thy bays" ~ Wit's RecreationSimply ludicrous of course to imagine that such a man could pen forty plays, add three thousand words to the English vocabulary, or even demonstrate an insider's view of the English court from such a distance. That the greatest mystery surrounded the "soul of our age" (Doctor Jonson's term) was his real identity, was according to Charles Dickens, both "a fine comfort" and "a great mystery". "I tremble every day lest something should come out".

But come out it did, finally, exactly four hundred years later with the discovery of letters from John Clayton, the debtor from the 1595 bills. During the passage of those four centuries, over sixty individuals had been identified as the real Bard. But the mystery was finally revealed, because Clayton had left instructions for his letters to be opened in 1995.

That the Bard really was Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark was something of an anti-climax. His identify was an open secret in court, and yet his satirical potrayal of the ruling classes required some form of subterfuge in order for his playwriting to continue. And so the courtier John Clayton bought the identity of Shakespeare and then paid for his relocation to Stratford.

In 1814, by suffering a fatal heart attack on this day in Washington D.C., Elbridge Thomas Gerry becoming the first President of the United States to die in office.

Elbridge T. Gerry
5th President of the United States
March 4, 1813 - November 23, 1814
Elbridge Thomas Gerry (July 17, 1744 - November 23, 1814) was an American statesman and diplomat. As a Democratic-Republican he was elected as the fifth President of the United States, after the rather shocking decision by James Madison not to seek a second term. Defeating Dewitt Clinton by the narrow margin of 25 electoral votes, he served from March 4, 1813 until his death a year and a half later. He was also the oldest president elected until Ronald Reagan in 1980.

A new article from Althistory WikiaGerry was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation. He was one of three men who refused to sign the Constitution because it did not then include a Bill of Rights. Gerry later became Governor of Massachusetts. He is most famous for being the namesake of gerrymandering, a process by which electoral districts are drawn with the aim of aiding the party in power.

Early life

Born in Marblehead, Massachusetts, the third of twelve children, he was a graduate of Harvard College, where he studied to be a doctor, attending there from age fourteen. He worked in his father's shipping business and came to prominence over his opposition to commerce taxes. He was elected to the General Court of the province of Massachusetts in May 1772 on an anti-British platform.


Gerry was a Massachusetts delegate to the Continental Congress from February 1776 to 1780. He also served from 1783 to September 1785 and was married in 1786 to Ann Thompson, the daughter of a wealthy New York merchant, 21 years his junior. In 1787 he attended the United States Constitutional Convention and was one of the delegates voting against the new constitution (joining George Mason and Peyton Randolph in not signing it). He was elected to the U.S. House under the new national government, and served in Congress from 1789 to 1793.

He surprised his friends by becoming a strong supporter of the new government, and so vigorously supported Alexander Hamilton's reports on public credit, including the assumption of state debts, and supported Hamilton's new Bank of the United States, that he was considered a leading champion by the Federalists. He did not stand for reelection in 1792. He was a presidential elector for John Adams in the 1796 election, and was appointed by Adams to the critical delegation to France that was humiliated by the French in the XYZ Affair. He stayed in France after his two colleagues returned, and Federalists accused him of supporting the French. He returned in October 1798, and switched his affiliation to Democratic-Republican party in 1800.

He was the unsuccessful Democratic-Republican nominee for governor of Massachusetts in 1800, 1801, 1802 and 1803. In 1810 he was finally elected Governor of Massachusetts as a Democratic-Republican. He was re-elected in 1811 but defeated in 1812 over his support for the redistricting bill that created the word gerrymander. He ran for president against DeWitt Clinton, narrowly defeating him by 25 electoral votes. He died in office in Washington, D.C. and is buried there in the Congressional Cemetery.

In 2009, on this day American officials confirmed for the first time that the ruling Ba'ath Party had indeed detonated a nuclear device a week before, citing radioactive debris found in air samples collected in the Western desert of Iraq. Out of the Box

The office of the Director of National Intelligence said in a statement: "Analysis of air samples collected on Nov. 19, 2009, detected radioactive debris which confirms that the Government of Iraq conducted an underground nuclear explosion in the vicinity of Akashat on Nov. 16, 2009". The day after the blast, the Pentagon dispatched Air Force planes with special radiation detectors into international air space near the Syrian border.

The great nation of Iraq joined India, Israel, Pakistan and North Korea as the fifth sovereign state to posses their own nuclear weapons program outside the signatory list of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

In a televised stand-up address from the Oval Office, forty-fourth US President Joseph I. Lieberman confirmed to the American people that Saddam Hussein was "now out of the strategic box and able to threaten Iraq's neighbors".

The fifteen year policy pursued by three successive Democratic Presidential administrations had been most effectively articulated by U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright at Wingate University on March 25, 1997. In her keynote speech American Leadership for the 21st Century: Doing What's Right and Smart for America's Future, Albright stated "Today, as a result of American diplomatic and military leadership from Administrations of both parties, our citizens are safer than at any time in memory. Russian warheads no longer target our homes, and nuclear weapons have been removed from Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakstan. North Korea's nuclear weapons program has been frozen and will be dismantled.Iraq's Saddam Hussein remains trapped in a strategic box, unable to threaten Iraq's neighbors--or us".

Multilateral efforts would continue through diplomatix channels, said Lieberman, as America leveraged the prestige of her global leadership to find a peaceful solution to the crisis with friends and allies. Substantive dialogue would be pursued with the governments of France and Russia, who many Americans blamed - quiet wrongly in the President's view - for breaking the international consensus on Iraq in the late 1990s.

Lieberman expressed confidence that the UN Security Council could develop a common strategy that encouraged Iraq to dismantle her nuclear weapons program, easing tension in the Middle East.

On this day in 1941, Soviet-backed Communist partisans in Korea began a guerrilla uprising against Japanese occupation authorities.

 - Red Army insignia
Red Army insignia

On this day in 1944, U-106 captain Xavier March was captured by a British naval patrol off Iceland and incarcerated at a POW camp in Scotland, where he would spend the final months of the Second World War. During his incarceration he would make the acquaintance of the man who would later become his police partner, Max Jaeger.

Detective - Xavier March
Xavier March

On this day in 1962, CIA agents in Cuba reported to the agency's station chief in Mexico City that they'd uncovered evidence rogue Cuban secret police had orchestrated Lee Harvey Oswald's death to conceal possible ties between Oswald and the late Fidel Castro's brother Raul, who since Fidel's death had fallen under growing suspicion of having played a part in Fidel's assassination.



On this day in 1972, the Cowboys improved to 7-4 for the 1972 NFL season with a 27-10 Thanksgiving Day win over the San Francisco 49ers.                                                          


In 2001, CIA covert-ops teams enter Afghanistan and fan out in search of Al Qaeda operatives and sympathizers in 'Operation Kipling.'

They are guided by aerial and orbital photography which appears to identify possible Al Qaeda bases.

 - Al Gore
Al Gore
In 1963, on this day the KGB made a startling discovery. As planned Soviet double Alek had assassinated President Kennedy before he could win the Cold War for America. Alek was impersonating the former US Marine Lee Harvey Oswald after a switch in Minsk during 1959. Yet the picture emerging from the American south-west was incredible; their discrete plot had been hijacked by the CIA with the planting of faked evidence. Oswald had been switched again by the CIA. The KGB quickly activated deep sleeper agent Jacob Rubenstein. The switched 'Oswald' must be eliminated by 'Ruby' before he confessed to being a Soviet agent. If he did, America could justify a first strike from their vastly larger nuclear armoury, and win the Cold War without Kennedy!
In 1963, fifty-eight year old Abraham Zapruder died in Dallas, Texas of repository failure. A change of management was announced at the diseased's offices in the Dal-Tex Building, off Dealey Plaza and directly across the street east of the Texas School Book Depository. The manufacture of women's clothing would resume in early December, after an appropriate period of mourning for President Kennedy. In the meantime, staff were not required for work, however anyone that had seen Mr Zapruder's Bell & Howell movie camera should contact the new manager, Mr Jacob Rubenstein, as a matter of urgency, as the Zapruders were distressed not to have copies of a recent family event.
In 1970, physicist Roy Kendall of the University of Nevada went public with information he had stolen from the secret military base at Groom Lake, Nevada. In a live interview with Walter Cronkite of CBS News, Kendall maintained that alien technology was being back-engineered at Groom Lake; unfortunately, as soon as he said that, armed men broke into the studio, shot him dead, and fatally wounded Cronkite. His evidence was never seen, and the government maintained that Kendall and Cronkite had been slain by gamblers Kendall was attempting to pay off with a lucrative hoax.
In 1947, two Bedouin shepherds contacted Jerusalem's Hebrew University with news that they had discovered a cache of scrolls in Qumran. Translated, the documents told of a gigantic hoax played on the people of Rome, whereby the Essene sect of Judaism convinced the Romans that a savior named Jesus had arrived in the world, and would absolve them of all sins. The texts were bought for an astronomical figure by the Roman Catholic Church, and immediately suppressed.
In 618, Alfonso the Wise, Caliph of Castile and Leon, was born with Allah's blessing in Toledo, Espagne. He was among the first few generations in his country to accept the teachings of the Prophet, and established great schools of learning during his reign, some of which still teach to this day.
In 912, Otto of Germany, the last serious pretender to the old Roman Empire, was born in Saxony. Maintaining that Pius had lacked the authority to crown Arthur pope, Otto led rebellions against the Holy British Empire throughout his life until his final defeat in 971 by Pope Edward the Peacable.
In 1945, the automatic 'three strikes' policy of the non-proliferation committee for the Congress of Worlds mandates a decision in relation to the distant planet earth. A meeting is quickly convened. Agreement is quickly reached on the authenticity of alerts from remote sensors of a third thermonuclear detonation. The geographic pattern of detonations when correlated with sentient population distribution suggests a type 1 scenario (the immediate application' model); that being a test detonation in a remote corner of the aggressor's territory followed by short-term offensive activity in a populated area. A decision is taken to authorise an exploratory mission that will land close to the site of the first detonation ETA Roswell, New Mexico at the earliest launch window, July 1947.

In 1963, on this day Winston Lawson of the Secret Service paid off Harold Doyle, John Forester Gedney and Gus W. Abrams. All three were always on the go hopping trains and drinking wine. The day before they had gotten fresh clothes, showered, shaved and had a meal. They headed back to the railroad yard when they heard all the commotion and sirens and everything, and they asked what happened. They were told the president had been shot. Doyle settled down in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Gedney moved to Melbourne, Florida, where he served as a municipal officer, a respected member of the community who had not spoken about former life as a vagabond until interviewed by researcher Billy Cox, and by the FBI in 1993. It was a small price to pay for signing some fake rap sheets. And having a photo swapped with one of E. Howard Hunt, Frank Sturgis and Daniel Carswell.

In 1946, the second set of trials of lesser war criminals at Nuremberg commences. In the Sailor's Trials, charges are brought for the destruction of the French Fleet at Mers-el-Kebir, French North Africa (now Algeria) by the Royal Navy which took place on 3 July 1940. Force H, based in Gibraltar led by the aircraft carrier the Ark Royal killed 1,297 and wounded 350 French sailors in this 'wanton and unnecessary' attack. The surrender demand from British Admiral James Somerville ' your ships..entrusted to the United States and remain safe until the end of the war, the crews being repatriated... I have the orders from His Majesty's Government to use whatever force may be necessary to prevent your ships from falling into German hands.' is presented to the court noting that the offer to Admiral Marcel-Bruno Gensoul mirrored instructions already provided by French Marine Minister Admiral Darlan. Further noted was a contemporaneous statement by Somerville who was less enthusiastic about the action saying that it was 'the biggest political blunder of modern times and will rouse the whole world against uswe all feel thoroughly ashamed'. At the Sailor's trial, Somerville took ultimate responsibility for the action and was executed before Christmas Day 1946.
In 1766, a simple, good-natured fellow, of the name of Rip Van Winkle lived in a little village of great antiquity, founded by some of the Dutch colonists west of the Hudson River in the Catskill Mountains. The Van Winkles had fought gallantly alongside Peter Stuyvesant at the siege of Fort Christina, but Rip himself inherited little of the martial character of his war-like ancestors. For some time this Appalachian region had been a province of Great Britain. On this glorious fall day, it would seem the reign of King George III was untroubled. Still the first trimester of any pregnancy is a matter best keep private by parents of the unborn child, and the birth of a new nation is much the same. They must pray for God' mercy, and hope against hope, that that theirs is not a violent birth in blood and tears.

November 22

On this day in the latest crisis for Formula 1, its Chairman Bernie Ecclestone was found dead riddled with bullets after leaving the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. In a gun battle between his bodyguards and several attackers, most of Ecclestone's guards were killed whilst one of his attackers was also killed in the assault.

Bernie Was God & F1 Was His ProfitEccelstone had recently become extremely unpopular, for numerous negative and irrational comments, along with his disregard for the financial crisis which Formula 1 had found itself in culminating with two teams going into administration. This combined with a highly controversial court case in Germany, where Ecclestone paid his way out of a conviction, raised questions about his continuing ability to lead Formula 1.

The killed attacker, even though the name has not been released, is known to be a long term critic of Ecclestone's and has been involved with Formula 1 previously. It is understood that this attacker has recently gained $US1 million in a hidden account in the Caribbean. Ferrari was the first to announce its condolences whilst suggested that F1 legend and successful businessman Niki Lauda should be appointed to replace Ecclestone. Ferrari Chairman Sergio Marchionne spoke highly of Ecclestone, although hinted at some criticism with Ferrari admitting to a sudden multi-million dollar loss due to unexpected costs in respect to their Formula 1 operations.

In 1718, on this day the most talented officer in the Royal Navy, Captain Edward Teach was lost off the coast of North Carolina.

Death of Captain Edward TeachBorn in Britain's second city in 1680, the 17th-century rise of Britain's American colonies and the rapid 18th-century expansion of the Atlantic slave trade had made Bristol an important international sea port. And naturally, he enrolled in his earliest teenage years.

He came to the attention of the Admiralty as a result of his daredevil exploits in the intense fighting of Queen Anne's War. And although he was considered unorthodox, he was finally rewarded with the Captaincy of the vessel HMS Queen Anne's Revenge, but tragically died during a storm at Teach's Cove.

In 1975, Otto von Habsburg was declared Head of State in accordance with the wishes of the late Francisco Franco.

Otto von Habsburg, King of SpainBecause in 1961, the Spanish dictator had offered to make him king of Spain after his own death. A branch of the Habsburg had ruled the country from 1506-1700 and so a valid (if some tenuous) claim existed based on historical precedent. However, Franco's concern was maintaining his own legacy by preventing the ascension of Juan Carlos.

But of course the Carlist and Alfonsian branches of the Royal Family both contested the succession which received only half hearted supported from the people of Spain. Within a very short space of time, it became clear that the country was heading for a disastrous second Civil War if von Habsburg could not safely navigate the nation towards a democratic safe haven.

In 1868, on this day John Nance Garner IV the 33rd President of the United States (better known as Cactus Jack) was born in Detroit, Red River County, Texas. The son of a former Confederate cavalry trooper, he was famously described by the British journalist Alistair Cook as the "last public man linking America of the Civil War and America of the nuclear age".

Texas Shooting Drama, ReduxBy profession he was a lawyer who then served as a state representative from 1898 to 1902, and U.S. Representative from 1903 to 1933. He was the 44th Speaker of the House in 1931-1933. In 1932, he was elected the 32nd Vice President of the United States. Fate played a cruel and when only one month before being sworn into office, Giuseppe Zangara fired five shots at President Roosevelt's motorcade. Four people were wounded and the President also mayor of Chicago, Anton Cermak, were killed.

Fortunately Garner's unique understanding of American history enabled him to steer the nation through the Great Depression followed in short order by a second World War. With Germany defeated and Japan exhausted, nearing collapse, he was advised that the Manhattan Project had delivered a doomsday weapon that could end the war and save lives. But instead, he set the tone for the post-war era by ordering low flying American and British bombers to release thousands of white doves over the City of Tokyo.

In 1963, on this day Dallas police visited the home of ex-Marine turned Communist Lee Harvey Oswald and his wife Marina; she had called police headquarters at 7:00 AM that morning after finding his wedding ring on the kitchen table along with $170 in cash and a note reading "Well, it is all over now".
An article from the November Tragedy thread.

November Tragedy
Part 2
When questioned, she told police she'd last seen him around 10:30 PM the previous evening and expressed fears he might have committed suicide. Her worries proved to be justified-- at 12:30 PM that afternoon Officer J.D. Tippit and two of his colleagues found Oswald dead on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. The official Dallas County coroner's report on Oswald's autopsy concluded the fatal shot had most likely come from the .38 revolver found clutched in his hand at the time his body was discovered. Police also found a 6.5 mm Mannlicher-Carcano rifle at the scene of Oswald's suicide.

The rifle's presence baffled police investigators until an eccentric local nightclub owner named Jack Ruby came forward to reveal Oswald had visited his club just hours before committing suicide. In his statement, Ruby told police a drunk Oswald had confessed to plotting to assassinate President Kennedy when Kennedy's motorcade was passing through Dealey Plaza en route to a speech Kennedy had been scheduled to give at the Dallas Trade Mart on the afternoon of November 22nd; the assassination was intended to be an act of vengeance for the president's anti-Castro policies regarding Cuba, but with JFK's death in the collision of Air Force One and Air Force Two Oswald had been robbed of the opportunity to carry out his plan and become incurably depressed. A subsequent search of Oswald's home turned up a journal in which the ex-Marine vented his seething hate not just for Kennedy but for the United States in general and unwittingly outed himself as the gunman responsible for an attempt to kill right-wing activist General(ret.) Edwin Walker in April of 1963. Marina Oswald was questioned by state and federal authorities about the plot to kill JFK, but this inquiry was closed when it became clear she'd had no prior knowledge of her husband's intentions concerning the late president.

That didn't stop some people from coming up with outlandish conspiracy theories relating to Oswald's death, one of the most far-fetched of which came from then-New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison. Garrison alleged Oswald had been part of a far right cabal's plan to murder Kennedy and his apparent suicide was actually a contract killing carried out at the cabal's orders to keep Oswald from spilling the beans about their agenda; this theory was soon discredited and Garrison himself would eventually be fired as DA for abusing the power of his office.

In 1963, during the course of a New York taxi ride, Richard M. Nixon learns that his opponent in the Presidential Election John F. Kennedy has been assassinated. In an article for Readers Digest he recalled hailing a cab after his Dallas-New York flight: "We were waiting for a light to change when a man ran over from the street corner and said that the President had just been shot in Dallas" (however in a subsequent article for Esquire he later said that his cabbie "missed a turn somewhere and we were off the highway .. a woman came out of her house screaming and crying. I rolled down the cab window to ask what the matter was and when she saw my face she turned even paler. She told me that John Kennedy had just been shot in Dallas").

Kennedy's Heir
By Ed, Jacke Rose, Chris Oakley & Eric Oppen
However there would be no political comeback; he had already told the press that "You won't have Nixon to kick around anymore because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference". Because in order to establish commitment with doubtful Californian voters, he had pledged not to run for president in 1964 at the launch of his gubernatorial campaign. But even if he had not, he believed it would be difficult to defeat Kennedy, or after his assassination, Kennedy's successor Lyndon Johnson. And after his defeat at the hands of liberal Pat Brown, he had retreated into private life, recently becoming a senior partner in the leading New York law firm Nixon, Mudge, Rose, Guthrie & Alexander.

Instead, at the climax of the ugliest Convention in fifty years Republicans selected the conservative Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater. And "because he drives Johnson nuts" his running mate would be an obscure Congressman from Western New York, William E. Miller. Of course none of these politicians were natural vote winners who could match Kennedy for charisma and vision. The only individual who could begin to match those attributes was the Mayor of New York City, John V. Lindsay (pictured). Of course by the time that he entered the White House in 1969, the scandals of the Kennedy-Johnson administration had tarnished the "Camelot" years. More damaging was the revelations about the true purpose of Nixon's visit to Dallas. He had met with Pepsi-Cola executives with big business interests in the sugar plantantions in Cuba. Due to Nixon's prominent role as a leading campaign organizer during his Presidential race, the full exposure of "the Bay of Pigs thing" created waves during Lindsay's first year in office.
This post is an article from the Jamaica Bay thread developed by Chris Oakley.

In 1963, the Presidential Emergency Succession Act was invoked for the first time when President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed in Dallas (the suspected assassin, ex-Marine turned Communist Lee Harvey Oswald, was himself gunned down in a movie theater while trying to elude police).

A Shock To The System Part 3Secret Service agents on the ground in the Dallas area at the time JFK was shot immediately whisked the First Lady and her family back to Washington while additional teams of agents were helicoptered in from Fort Worth to guard Kennedy's vice-president and successor Lyndon Johnson as he took the oath of office to become the 36th President of the United States; the new chief executive wasted no time ordering a full-scale investigation to determine how someone could have gotten close enough to shoot and kill Kennedy; within less than six weeks after taking office Johnson signed an executive order mandating tougher training for all future incoming Secret Service personnel.

By 1965 President Johnson had successfully lobbied Congress for a 50 percent increase in funding for all PESA-related operations by the Justice and Treasury Departments.

In 1963, absolutely no later than forty-five minutes after the Kennedy assassination, prime suspect Lee Harvey Oswald was quietly apprehended on East 10th Street in Oak Cliff by patrolman J. D. Tippit, a thirty-nine year old officer with the Dallas Police Department.

Poor Dump Cop #1 By E and Jackie SpeelWithin hours, he was charged by indictment with the murder of the President. However the Dallas Police struggled to reconstruct the timescale of events.

Deputy Sheriff Roger Craig stated that when he heard the news that Oswald had been arrested, he noted the time was 1:06 p.m. according to his watch. But according to his housekeeper Earlene Roberts, Oswald arrived at his rooming house, at 1026 North Beckley Avenue at 1.00pm, leaving 3 to 4 minutes later. Although Mrs Roberts testified that he was "walking pretty fast", the Police estimation of Oswald's walking speed demonstrated that one of the longer routes to the scene of the arrest took 17 minutes and 45 seconds.

Soon after his capture Oswald encountered reporters in a hallway, declaring "I didn't shoot anyone" and "They're taking me in because of the fact I lived in the Soviet Union. I'm just a patsy!". Matters were further complicated when Officer Tippit filed his report which stated that the man in the hallway was not the man that he had arrested, a testimony backed up by a witness, William W. Scoggins who was sitting in his taxicab nearby.

A World War 2 veteran of the US 17th Airborne Division, Tippit was earning a salary of $5,880 a year as a Dallas police officer and also working two other part-time jobs. But before the year was out he would be forced out of the Dallas Police by an FBI whispering campaign that he was a "Poor Dumb Cop". Yet it would be far more difficult to silence Oswald who was amassing a pile of unpleasantly awkward facts that he would openly shared on his day in court.

In 1963, on this day at 11.40am Central Standard Time senior members of the Texas Democratic Party greeted Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline as they stepped off a private jet at the Love Field Airport in Dallas.

Tragedy in Dallas By Ed & Scott PalterRefusing to be trapped in the shameful anonymity of that private hell reserved for failed Presidential candidates, Kennedy had carefully nurtured his profile and status as a national politician. And therefore he was more than pleased to assist the Texas Democratic Party when they appealed for his charismatic assistance. Accordingly, he would shore up support for the 1964 elections by leading this campaign swing through the cities of San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, Houston and Fort Worth.

Unknown to the Party, and despite his radiating youthful good looks and general well-being, Kennedy was a desperately sick man. A lifelong series of medical setbacks had been crowned by a recent back injury that required him to wear a corset. The whole trip would be a miserable discomfort in which he would constantly suffer acute pain.

Neverthless, Kennedy had done much more than make the most of his remaining active years, in fact he had built a travelling circus, roaming around the country like King Arthur, creating a mobile Camelot if you will. Inevitably, he had become a victim of his own success, not just a campaigning spearhead for the Democratice National Committee but a focal point of opposition to President Nixon. And when Nixon cancelled the Bays of Pigs operation and disbanded the exiles, Kennedy's radiance had drawn that angered reaction like a moth to a flame, and he unwittingly became their champion in the Senate. Elevated from pin-up boy to advocate, Kennedy was now a moving target. And the worse fears of his family were realised when a former marine, Lee Harvey Oswald shot him dead in Dallas for his anti-Castro stance.

Within eight years, the wheel would come full circle. Even before the 1964 re-election of Nixon, Castro was himself killed during an abortive coup attempt led by Che Guavera. Faced with a long multi-sided civil war the Organization of American states with help from the US Navy landed Latin american troops to restore peace and free elections. Long before then, Raoul Castro had quit the island, leading one hundred thousand followers into exile in East Germany. And Nixon would be succeeed by President Robert Kennedy who would embrace this new administration by making the strategic decision to unlock Cuban economic potential by returning their biggest port, Guatanemo Bay.

In 1934, on this day a border clash in Abyssinia raised the first significant challenge to the authority of world government since the League of Nations had been formed to co-ordinate a global response to the Spanish Flu Epidemic.

Walwal incidentIn this post-imperial era, the collapse of Colonial Power had created great dangers, and also opportunities outside of Europe.

A messianic figure had arisen in Ethiopia, Ras Tafari who had set about restablishing order in the former Italian Colony. But the megalomaniac crackpot Benito Mussolini and military officers of the defunct Kingdom of Italy declared a Fascist survivor state around the oasis of Welwel. And the fierce reaction of Ethiopian forces led to the first major conflict in over a decade.

In 1307, on this day the Knights Templar gain a new crusade. Since the fall of Jerusalem to Saladin in 1187, the Knights Templar had been in decline. They fought on through the crusades in the losing fight to keep Christian kings in the Holy Land.

Knights Templar Gain New Crusade Their monastic headquarters stood at Acre and cities in the north for a century, but Moslem troops forced them off the mainland to Cyprus. The stronghold there fell in 1302 to the Mamluks, and the Templars had lost their mission. What to do with the Templars stood as the question of the day.

Pope Clement V, newly appointed in 1305, offered the suggestion of merging the Knights Templar with the Knights Hospitaller, who were forming up a monastic state in Rhodes as the Teutonic Knights had in Prussia. Both Grand Masters of the two orders ultimately rejected the idea, but, while the discussions were carried out in France, the pope also discussed charges of heresy and corruption that had been brought against the Knights Templar. While questionable, the allegations stood, and the pope sent a letter to the French king Philip IV to investigate. Philip, who was gravely indebted to the Knights Templar in the funding for his wars against England and Flanders, saw this as an opportunity to eliminate the would-be bankers.

On October 13, 1307, Philip gave the order to arrest dozens of top Templars, but Grand Master Jacques de Molay escaped secretly. Over the coming weeks, false confessions of idolatry and sinful rituals would be torn from the Templars under torture. Philip pressured Clement V to give an order that the rest of the Templars be arrested and convicted; with the Order gone, Philip's debts would be struck out. However, the network of Grand Master de Molay enabled the Templar to gain the attention of the pope. Even as Clement had moved the papacy to France, the Templars could protect him from Philip's military, and what the Order needed was a new goal. After much discussion, it was decided that the Order would purify itself and begin a quest to establish an alliance with the Mongols (believed to be descended from influence from the mythical eastern Christian king Prester John). Clement V, much to the chagrin of Philip, gave the papal bull entitled Nova Templarae on November 22. The renewed Templar Order would soon announce a new crusade.

In 1305, Oljeitu of the Ilkhanate in Persia had sent an embassy to Clement, Philip, and the English king Edward I to attempt a military alliance, but distractions in Europe had slowed plans. Now with the Templars freed by selling off their many monastic assets, including Philip's debt (which was purchased by Holy Roman Emperor Henry VII, giving a considerable boost to the political clout of the House of Luxembourg), the Templars began to piece together their Tenth Crusade. Consulting with the aged Crusader-historian Jean de Joinville as well as the famed merchant Marco Polo, whose book had described Prester John as the Mongol's foster father, the Templars set out exploring eastward on a northern route through the Black Sea and across Christian Armenia to begin contact.

By 1312, the Tenth Crusade had been launched. Simultaneous attacks from Ilkhanate Mongols in the northeast with Crusaders backed by mercenaries from the Caucasus in the northwest pushed Mamluks back into Egypt. Within a generation, the Holy Land was in the hands of the Crusaders once again, and the remainder of Egypt was now a vassal to the Mongols. In the 1340s, however, the Black Plague broke out through the Middle East and spilled into Europe. The plague was taken as a sign of punishment for drafting an alliance with unchristian fellows.

Breaking off relations with the east, Europe turned toward itself under the emboldened leadership of the Church, working to purge the ideas that past Crusaders had carried back with them and the dangerous readings of pagan science and literature from ancient Romans and Greeks. In the next century, a rebirth of allegiance to the Church would be conducted by Orders such as the Templars, still ruling out of Jerusalem until its fall to the Ottomans in 1467. Encouraged by trade and conquest, the Ottoman Empire launched its invasion of barbaric Italy in 1543 under Suleiman the Magnificent. Northern Europe would resist for centuries, holding back Muslim imperialism with renewed feudalism, despite the great militaristic might brought forward by Ottoman mastery of gunpowder and cannon.

In 1945, despite the Infamous Lava Man being too far gone for current re-animation technology to succeed, the alien scientists at the Secret Nazi Base in New Swabia, Antartica did manage to bring Adolf Hitler back to life although admittedly he was hopelessly insane.

Back to LifeAlthough in its infancy at the time, the technology advanced even further over the course of the next thirty-six years. Which was fortunate, because Ronald Wilson Reagan had unwisely ignored the advice of the Secret Service who urged him to reconsider his personal safety given the frequent number of recent assassination attempts on the President.

Inevitably, just sixty-nine days after taking office when he was once again in public view and thus the easiest of targets, Reagan was shot dead through the heart by John Hinckley, Jr. Waking up at the George Washington University Hospital surrounded by alien scientists, he joked "I hope you're all Republicans!". Increasingly unable to distinguish between the Soviet and alien threats, he later alluded to the event somewhat obiquely at the United Nations on 21st September 1987. Click to watch the alien threat speech

In sharp contract to the Gipper's effusiveness however, the Fuehrer's own ill-tempted gratitude was restricted to a brief pause in which he expressed his thanks (pictured) before his maniac attention turned to fixing up his crashed Haunebu-type Nazi saucer craft. During the repair process, sabotage soon emerged as the suspected cause of the "Repulsine" engine failure.

Despite their successful attempt to kill Hitler, the American saboteurs were rapidly reaching the Fuehrer's same conclusion that world war with the Soviet Union was a necessity if Western Civilization was to be saved from Bolshevism. And somewhat alarmingly, when Reagan began to mutter about the Soviet Union being an "evil empire", it was discovered that the alien scientists had made unauthorised use of Hitler's biological material as spare parts needed to effect the repair work.

In 1963, at the conclusion of a business trip to Dallas, ex-Vice President Richard M. Nixon was shot and killed as he prepared to board a private jet at Love Field Airport; his sharp-shooting assassin was former US Marine Lee Harvey Oswald.

Nixon shot in DallasAfter representing two American companies, Studebaker and Pepsi Cola he had unwisely agreed to meet with a cabal of right-wing businessmen who urged him to run for President. Judging that the incumbent President was unbeatable, he dismissed the offer of campaign funds even though it was suggested that Kennedy would not be running in 1964 after all.
Click to watch the scene from the movie Nixon (1995)

The unwelcome reminder of Nixon's unpredictability combined with his haughty attitude panicked the conspirators into cancelling the hit on Kennedy and silencing Nixon instead.

In 1963, on this day out-going Lyndon Baines Johnson, President of the Confederate States of America, (pictured, left) is assassinated in Dallas whilst travelling in a presidential limousine along a designated motorcade route.

Gerry Shannon's "Johnson Assassinated by Union Sympathizer"Johnson had been doing a tour of his home state to drum up support for the policies of his Democratic-Republican party; and unite it's warring factions within the Texas state. The shooting occurred at approximately 12:30PM in the Dealey Plaza area of downtown Dallas. A chief suspect soon emerges: Lee Harvey Oswald, a US sympathizer who had previously defected to the Union after receiving a dishonourable discharge from the Confederate Army. Oswald would later claim at his trial - and right up to his execution - he was being set-up as the perfect "patsy" for Johnson's murder, because of his outspoken beliefs on civil rights and affirmative action.

However, Oswald's argument would prove ironic with hindsight. Since being sworn in six years before, Johnson had pursued several progressive policies in relation to civil rights for African-Americans during his administration. It would be his Vice-President and successor, John Connolly, who would succeed in convincing the Confederate Congress at Richmond to pass a historic Civil Rights bill in 1964.

In 1963, President John F. Kennedy, along with his wife, Jacqueline, complete a successful visit of the city of Dallas, continuing Kennedy's tour of the southern States in the run-up to his re-election campaign in 1964. Incident Along Motorcade Route by Gerry Shannon

Speaking later that day before the Dallas Trade Mart, Kennedy would draw attention to America's future role in both economic and world affairs:

"Our adversaries have not abandoned their ambitions, our dangers have not diminished, our vigilance cannot be relaxed.

But now we have the military, the scientific, and the economic strength to do whatever must be done for the preservation and promotion of freedom".

Meanwhile, in a bizarre sidebar to the Kennedy visit, Dallas police officials are alerted to an apparent suicide by a male employee at the Texas School Book Depository - which occured moments after Kennedy's motorcade left Dealey Plaza in downtown Dallas for the Trade Mart. (When asked by a reporter later, Kennedy admitted he thought he heard " what sounded like a firecracker" when heading to the Trade Mart, before then expressing his condolences to the man's family).

The body was quickly identified of that of Lee Oswald, a former Marine, who recently defected to Russia and had returned to the States. Oswald had sought employment at the Depository, after being recommended there by a friend.

Speaking to Hugh Aynesworth of The Dallas Morning News, Depository manager Roy Truly, clearly shaken, said: "He [Oswald] seemed to be the only one not interested in the President's motorcade... I thought he seemed more distant then usual. That was Lee, he tended to keep to himself. But you sure as hell don't expect him to then go blow his head off".

Dallas police officials said Oswald apparently shot himself through the head with a 6.5 mm caliber Carcano rifle, Oswald's ownership of which they were still trying to determine.

It is thought Oswald's suicide came about after a recent dispute with his estranged Russian wife, Marina. In what is seen by many as a result of the goodwill of the President's visit, donations to the widow and her two children pour in all over the city of Dallas; most notably from a local club owner (who wished to remain anonymous) who donates the weekend profits of his club, The Carousel.

In 1963, on this evening ex-marine Lee Harvey Oswald (pictured) is commended by the Secret Service for his bravery and quick-thinking during an attempt on the life of President John F. Kennedy along the route of his motorcade in Dallas, Texas.

Hero Oswald by Gerry ShannonWhen the president's motorcade pulled into Dealey Plaza, Oswald, watching from the sixth-floor window of the Texas School Book Depository, noticed a gathering of suspicious-looking individuals behind the grassy knoll near the bridge overpass.

Oswald managed to race down the Depositry's elevator and ran out onto the street in front of the policemen and the motorcade, alterting them to the oncoming danger. Not long after, frantic shots rang out from the knoll, however, Kennedy and his wife were already pushed to the floor of the car by Secret Service members and unharmed.

While Oswald was initally arrested on suspicion of involvement in the assasination plot, he was soon let go while the knoll shooters were found in the moments after the gunshots rang out. Oswald would later personally recieve the Congressional Gold Medal by Kennedy himself.

However, to this day, conspiracy theories persist Oswald had some knowledge of the plot to murder Kennedy, due to his alleged communist ties and his one-time defection to Russia. Conspiracy author Jim Marrs would say in his book, Attempted Crossfire, "... it's entirely possible that Oswald, who friends say always wanted to be somebody, joined the conspirators with the full intention to use his knowledge of their plot to make it look like he was saving Kennedy. "

In 2000, at 3am in the morning an ambulance arrived at Dick Cheney's home in McLean, Virginia; the Republican Vice Presidential nominee (pictured) was suffering from acute chest pains and was rushed to George Washington University for emergency heart treatment.Cheney's Last Stonewall

The following afternoon, George W. Bush would issue a press release from his Crawford, Texas Ranch in which the Republican Presidential nominee announced that nothing was seriously wrong with his running mate's health - Cheney had not suffered his fourth heart attack.

As the chad and vote counting continued in Florida, it would shortly afterwards emerge that not only had Cheney suffered a heart attack, he had tragically died during the course of an angioplasty, a preventative medical procedure in which a small balloon-tipped wire is inserted into a clogged heart artery to open it.

The following morning, Bill Safire wrote in his New York Times column ~ "Throughout the campaign, Cheney has ducked detailed questions about his heart disease. His blood pressure and daily medications were not revealed. We now know that our toleration of his brush-offs was a mistake".

The time for brush-offs and stonewalling very much over, a scandal quickly ensued, in which a number of previously undisclosed secrets emerged about the Republican candidacy.

  • Unambigious evidence of draft-dodging throughout the 1960s
  • Multiple Driving Whilst Intoxication (DWI) Police Charges
  • Sharp business practices particularly Halliburtons $34bn asbestos exposure and Texas Ranger's illegal tax breaks
  • Dirty political tactics during the primary campaign against John McCain.
Inside of three weeks, the United States Supreme Court would decide the Bush v. Gore case. The winner of a popular majority, if not necessarily the electoral college, the sitting Vice President would receive the unexpected support of a wave of national anger threatening to engulf the Bush II Presidency even before W took office.

On this day in 1963, Dallas nightclub owner Jacob Rubenstein (a.k.a. Jack Ruby), an ardent admirer of the late John F. Kennedy, committed suicide by jumping to his death from the sixth floor of a school book depository in Dealey Plaza. Rubenstein had been psychologically shattered by the news of Kennedy's death the previous day; the Dallas police officer who found Rubenstein's body, J.D. Tippit, would later receive a commendation for his work in the Rubenstein suicide investigation and would eventually become head of the Dallas Police Department homicide squad before retiring in 1986 after a distinguished 34-year career in law enforcement.

 - Jack Ruby
Jack Ruby

On this day in 1973, the Cowboys suffered their third loss of the 1973 season, getting beaten by the Miami Dolphins 14-6; however, the team would get some good news the next day as Roger Staubach was cleared to return to action.

 - Roger Staubach
Roger Staubach
36th President

In 1963, while visiting Dallas, Texas, President Richard M. Nixon is assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald, a political extremist opposed to the U.S. occupation of Cuba which followed the Bay of Pigs landings in April 1961.

Vice-President Henry Cabot Lodge will be sworn in as the thirty-sixth President of the United States aboard Air Force One as President Nixon's body is conveyed back to Washington, D.C.

36th President - Henry Cabot Lodge
Henry Cabot Lodge

On this day in 1970, the Dallas Cowboys beat the Washington Redskins at RFK Stadium to improve their 1970 NFL record to 10-0.                                                                              

US President

In 1963, a pair of Russian spacecraft dock successfully in a test of a maneuver necessary to the planned Soviet manned mission to the moon.

In the U.S., the Soviet space achievement is overshadowed by tragedy as President John F. Kennedy is assassinated during a visit to Dallas, Texas.

US President - John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy

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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.