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 25

On this day Israel conducted the most controversial of actions by attacking several Iranian nuclear sites ensuring that there would be no chance in Iran producing a nuclear weapon. Israel's patience had run out after Western attempts at negotiations with Iran, although deemed at one stage to be promising, had instead once again stalled.

Iran's Nuclear Ambitions in TattersThe issue came to a head when Russia, in defiance of Western attempts at stopping Iran's advances in nuclear science, agreed to help Iran in operating their current nuclear facilities as well as producing new rectors albeit with conditions.

Israel had, though, warned Iran, Russia, as well as the Western powers numerous times that it would reserve the right to act if it had become convinced that Iran would construct a nuclear weapon. After the collapse of the last round of negotiations, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued no public warning as to the imminent attack but became convinced that the only option available for Israel was the military one.

The Israeli Air Force, renowned for its military prowess, is understood to have used a mix of F-15 and F-16 fighter aircraft in their strikes against numerous Iranian nuclear facilities. The planes employed a mix of anti-radar and cruise missiles which had great effect. Iranian Air Force efforts to intercept both Israeli aircraft and missiles proved to be fruitless. Iran nonetheless claimed to have shot down 12 Israeli aircraft, but this claim was rejected by Israel who in turn claimed to have destroyed 15 Iranian planes.

In 1487, Elizabeth of York is crowned Queen of England in a ceremony also attended by her beloved husband, Manuel the Fortunate who became the future King Manuel I of Portugal after his nephew Alonso died in an accident.

The Golden Age of the Anglo-Portuguese Empire beginsThough the Yorkist victory at Bosworth secured the throne in their hands, the death of Richard at the same battle placed a great emphasis on the cousins of the White Rose to secure a viable and lasting dynasty. This fell upon the shoulders of Elizabeth of York, daughter to Edward IV and beloved niece of Richard III. Though linked to Henry Tudor, his death at the hands of Lord Stanley, his own step-father, had ended the hopes for the Lancastrians to see their house on the throne again.

Suitors had been rejected - in 1469, she was briefly betrothed to George Neville, son of John Neville, Earl of Northumberland, who initially supported Edward IV against the rebellion of his own brother Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, but later joined Warwick's rebellion, so the betrothal was called off. In 1475, Louis XI agreed to let her marry his son, Charles, the Dauphin of France, but Louis reneged on the promise in 1482. Instead, Elizabeth was linked with the related monarchs of Portugal. By contrast to the powerful suitors of France or Holy Roman Empire, the young Manuel had grown up in similar circumstances to his new bride. Both had seen cousins kill each other in conspiracies and murder as well as on the battlefield.

Their union led to lasting peace and sealed the alliance of John of Gaunt and King John of Avis and would lead to the reign of King Henry VII of England and I of Portugal (28 June 1491 - 28 January 1547) and the "Golden Age" of the Anglo-Portuguese Empire.

(Addendum by Jeff Provine)

With its newly found political stability, the shared Anglo-Portuguese court was the perfect place for an exasperated Italian navigator, Cristoforo Colombo, to head after being repeatedly turned down for financing in his ideas for an expedition sailing west to create a new trade route to India. Young King Henry was advised that the eventual route around Africa after the successful 1488 voyage of Bartholomeu Dias around the Cape of Good Hope, but Henry felt that if there were to be another route, he would want it. He dispatched Columbus, who returned successfully after claiming an island he dubbed "Henryland".

Columbus believed it was India, but it was soon discovered that the territory was a New World. As Columbus became intolerable, Henry had him executed and sent more explorers to swarm over the coasts his growing empire, such as the later Sir Francis Drake's conquest of the Inca. A few French and Dutch colonies interrupted the sprawling Anglo-Portuguese Empire, but it became the foundation for international trade in language and economics.

Overwhelmingly religious Spain continued its march into Africa and seemingly perpetual war against the Moors. Meanwhile, religion would end up tearing the Anglo-Portuguese apart as the north turned more Protestant, and the empire's golden age would come to an end. A new empire from Germany would arise centuries later, eclipsing the French and creating a new world order.

Nov 25th,1866. President Pendleton was really unhappy. The Democratic Party got massacred in the '66 election earlier this month. The Republicans gained 33 seats in the house pretty near killing the Democratic Party.

Victorious Dixie goes down in flames Part 6The demise of the Constitutional Union Party reduced some of the damage as the Democrats took 12 of those seats.Still the Democrats were down to 20 seats. A new party the Populists took 6 seats in West Virginia and Kansas. Worse yet it lost another 5 seats in the Senate reducing it to 4 while the Populists took 4 seats there. On the face of things impeachment looked inevitable.

President Davis was worried. It looked like the United States might well restart the war as Pendleton would almost certainly be impeached for some trumped up charge or other. Also, though it was the best harvest since 1860 it still was poor. Not only was not all the damage from the war repaired yet but the weather was terrible this year.

Oliver Winston on the other hand was mostly happy. His rail road spread up into North Carolina and down to Georgia and was the largest and most profitable in the South. Hopefully the Yankees won't restart the war and ruin everything he thought.

In 1783, on this day Sir Guy Carleton, 1st Baron Dorchester became the first Lord Lieutenant of New York as the Continental Army withdrew from the surrounding borders. An article from the New York City State thread.

Evacuation Day, ReduxHis viceregal appointment formalized the last vestige of British authority in the former Colonies. It was little more than a double twist of fate, or rather two separate miracles the saved the Loyalist community: the extinguishing of a near-catastrophic fire in 1776 and then the recent extraction of the British Army from Yorktown. The architect of that miracle, Charles Cornwallis would succeed Carleton who later resumed his post of Governor General of British North America.

Of course the patriot leadership Washington, Clinton et al bitterly resented the negotiated outcome from the Treaty of Paris, but they were pragmatic enough to realize that even the best-case settlement would leave the British Army in North America. In fact Americans briefly occupied the area during the war of 1812 but it was later returned under the Treaty of Ghent. Out of this set of unusual developments, the British decided to establish "facts on the ground" by forming a New York City State which ultimately would develop along similar lines to the government models for the port cities of Singapore and Hong Kong.

On this day in 1963, the charred remains of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson were laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery in one of the largest public memorial services for an American political leader since Franklin Roosevelt's funeral in 1945. Thousands of Washington, D.C. residents lined the funeral procession route to pay their final respects to Kennedy and Johnson; diplomats and heads of state from 120 foreign countries attended the memorial service at Washington's National Cathedral.
An article from the November Tragedy thread.


November Tragedy
Part 3
In Japan, surviving crew members of the Amagiri, the destroyer which had sunk Kennedy's PT boat back in 1943, gathered outside the U.S. embassy in Tokyo for a moment of silence in the late President's memory. At the Vatican Pope Paul VI, who had assumed the papacy only a few months before Kennedy's death, held a special memorial mass in honor of Kennedy and Johnson.

Nowhere, however, was the pain of their untimely deaths felt more keenly than in their respective home states. In Texas, Governor John Connally declared a week-long period of mourning for the fallen vice-president; in Massachusetts, crowds gathered outside the Kennedy family estate in Hyannisport and Holy Cross Cathedral in Boston. Two decades after Kennedy's death, a museum dedicated to the 35th President would be opened in Boston's Columbia Point section.

In 1836, on this day the 26th President of the United States Arthur Sewall (pictured) was born in Small Point, Maine.

Silver BulletIn the 1896 general election, he was the running mate for William Jennings Bryan who had gained the nomination after electrifying the Democratic National Convention with his Cross of Gold speech (the left-wing Populist Party also endorsed Bryan for president, but found Sewall unacceptable, substituting Thomas E. Watson of Georgia who fully supported the principle of free silver).

But he only succeeded to the White House via an assassin bullet. Because in 1901, President Bryan was murdered by the anarchist Leon Czolgosz at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. It has long been suggested that Czolgosz was funded by interests in the free silver business which had once again dominated the general election and who felt betrayed by actions taken during his first term.

In 1120, William Adelin, the seventeen year old legitimate son and heir of Henry I of England, narrowly survived the sinking of the White Ship in the English Channel.

William Adelin survives White Ship DisasterAfter the port side struck a submerged rock, the ship quickly capsized but he had boarded a small boat and would have been quite safe had he not turned back to try to rescue his half-sister, Matilda, when he heard her cries for help. His boat was then swamped by others trying to save themselves, but the siblings managed to survive by clinging to a rock all night.

Eighteen months earlier, he had married Matilda of Anjou. Upon his safe return, they had children and ascended the throne also inheriting the dukedom of Normandy in 1135. He ruled for twenty-five years before his own son Richard I was crowned King of England and of course accepted by the Barons.

In 1876, U.S. troops under the leadership of General Ranald Mackenzie destroy the village of Cheyenne on the headwaters of the Powder River. The attack was in retaliation against some of the Indians who had participated in the massacre of Custer and his men at Little Bighorn.

Rise of the Great Cheyenne AllianceAfter the battles of the Rosebud and Little Bighorn, Brigadier General George Crook received reinforcements and began to move up the Bozeman Trail against Crazy Horse. After learning of a Cheyenne war party, he sent Colonel Ranald S. Mackenzie into the Wyoming Territory to find it. In October 1876, Colonel Mackenzie departed Camp Robinson with about 1,000 troopers of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th Cavalry Regiments. He also had a large contingent of Indian scouts, including Pawnee, Shoshone, Arapaho, Lakota, and Cheyenne. Eventually he found the camp of Dull Knife and Little Wolf on the Red Fork of the Powder River.

The Cheyenne warriors were having a celebration because of a recent victory over the Shoshone Indians. Mackenzie waited until dawn, then attacked and drove the warriors from the village. Some were forced to leave their clothes, blankets and buffalo robes behind and flee into the frozen countryside. Dull Knife began to offer stiff resistance, and savage fighting continued. The Pawnee warriors fought with exceptional ability, and the Cheyennes finally gave way and retreated from their village. The Indian village of 173 lodges and all its contents were entirely destroyed. About 500 ponies were captured. Lieutenant J. A. McKinney, US 4th Cavalry, was killed, along with five enlisted men.

The massacre galvanizes native nations across the American west into resistance against the U.S. Chief Dull Knife of the Cheyenne, who had watched small children starve and freeze to death as a result of the attacks, was so embittered that he forged coalitions among every nation he could inspire to fight, and the Great Cheyenne Alliance became a feared enemy of America until its final defeat in 1924.

In 1963, on this day President John F. Kennedy, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson and Governor John Connally attended the funeral of Senator Ralph Yarborough at the "Arlington of Texas" the State Cemetary located east of downtown Austin.

The Death of Smilin' RalphDespite the show of partisan unity, Kennedy had been visiting the Lone Star State at the invitation of Yarborough to attempt to resolve a bitter dispute going on in the Democratic Party in Texas. Johnson and Connally were seen as the leaders of the right-wing faction, whereas Ralph Yarborough led the liberal wing committed to civil rights (so much so that Connally and Johnson had accused him of being a communist). Of course the Governor and Vice-President were long-time political allies; Connally had ran all of Johnson's election campaigns. In 1948 Connally was accused of fraud when he discovered at the last moment the existence of 200 votes for Johnson from Jim Wells County. It was these votes that gave Johnson an eighty-seven-vote victory.

The acrimony was worse than Kennedy had feared, and he was forced to agree to change the seating arrangements in the Dallas motorcade. Johnson and Connally travelled together in the same convertible, whilst Yarborough sat in front of President Kennedy who leant forward a moment before Oswald fired the fateful shot.

In 1940, after nearly two months of dealing, Russia announced that it would be joining Hitler's Axis on this day. Stalin had ordered his minister Molotov to widen the scope of the discussions in Berlin to solve potential problems with spheres of influence.

Russia Joins Axis Simultaneously, Soviet ambassadors appeared in Sofia, promising the Bulgarian Prime Minister that Russia's objection to Bulgaria joining as well would be withdrawn as per the shared military rights among the Axis nations. The world was shocked by the news, especially Britain as it faced the horrors of the Blitz against an even stronger foe.

Hitler, too, was shocked. Months ago, he had ordered "Instruction Number 18" on November 13 to plan for an invasion of Russia to solidify control of oil reserves and begin the enslavement of the Slavs. Now, Stalin had agreed to Hitler's terms with a few added secret terms:

• German troops leaving Finland in exchange for guarantee of Soviet peace with Finland as well as supplies of nickel and wood.
• A mutual assistance treaty Bulgaria.
• The southern boundary of the Soviet Union guaranteed at Baku and Batumi with special consideration given to Germany to supply oil from Azerbaijan.
• Japanese handover of Sakhalin oil and coal in exchange for compensation and similar consideration.
• Soviet bases established in Bulgaria.

While the renewed pressure on the Bosporus irked Hitler, the guarantee of oil impressed him too much. He shelved his invasion plans, for the time, and met with Stalin in Sofia for the signing ceremony December 7, 1941. Though unknown at the time, Hitler had also been pressuring Japan into a sneak attack on the United States, but, seeing his war with Britain over soon, reneged on the plan, prompting Japanese command to call back the fleet hours after its launch on November 26. Franklin Roosevelt, wary of the significance of the diplomatic dealing, referred privately to the signing of the pact as "a date which will live in infamy".

Hitler realigned his troops into new position and re-activated the invasion of Britain through Operation Sea Lion for 1942. Though the Germans were unable to achieve full air superiority, the German Navy managed to hold off the Royal Navy long enough for the largest amphibious assault in human history behind a screen of mines. Initially, the Germans would overcome British defenses, pressing nearly to London, but Churchill kept his vow of continuing the fight from his bunker beside Parliament and held the Germans at the GHQ line. While the Royal family was evacuated to Scotland, thousands of Brits rose up in defiance with sabotage behind German lines. The Royal Navy and the RAF continually challenged German superiority at sea and in the air, leaving historians to claim that the defense of Britain counted as the longest siege of the modern day.

The Invasion of Britain would prove to be Hitler's quagmire. At last the American people would stand against German aggression as well as Japanese invasion of the Philippines, sending thousands of troops to the British lines. Nearly 3.9 million German troops would be involved in the effort, but the resilience of the British and her allies became unbreakable over the course of two years. After the introduction of the V-2 rocket, which struck targets after sub-orbital arches and beyond the speed of sound, the Germans gained the upper hand by devastating the defending fleets. With secure supply lines, German forces finally overwhelmed the island. In 1948, Hitler would tour conquered London while the Crown established a government-in-exile in Canada.

Meanwhile, Stalin began his "liberation" of the Turks from British influence. The invasion and occupation of Turkey would lead Soviet forces to further "peacekeeping", marching into the Middle East and securing Iraq and Iran's rich oil fields. The sites proved instantly rebellious, and millions would die as Stalin attempted to purge any anti-Soviet thought from the deeply rooted Muslims. The continual struggle against imperialism wore down the Russian people, prompting a revolution after the Stalin's death in 1953.

Russia turned on itself, and an aging Hitler finally saw his chance. He had been held at the Atlantic by Allied submarines, pushing southward into Africa in association with the Spanish and Italians. In 1955, under the pretext of defending German economic interests and the pledge of Russian oil, the Red Army marched on Moscow as it had meant to do 14 years before. While the various parties of Russia had fought one another, they all agreed upon the goal of ridding Russia of invaders, and the whole of the nations turned on Hitler.

Atomic bombs, which had been used by Americans to bring down the Japanese Empire, proved an ineffective strategy for Hitler's army as the peoples of the former Soviet Union were ubiquitous rather than isolated. It is said that the stress of the Russian occupation delivered the stroke that killed Adolph Hitler April 30, 1957, at age 68. Infighting among his potential heirs weakened the Nazi regime, which would fall apart as Stalin's had done.

With renewed opportunity, the stalemate across the Atlantic had broken, and the Allied forces charged into Europe through the rebellion of Britain. Conquered lands erupted in anti-Nazi revolution, and soldiers routinely deserted than fight for a colony whose mother country was in such peril. By 1964, the last Axis government in Bulgaria would surrender, and World War II would be declared over. Led by the United States, a new world order under democracy through the United Nations would be attempted with its founding in 1966.

In 2009, on this day Jesse Ventura and his cameramen from the new TruTV show "Conspiracy Theory" were smuggled into the notorious "Blue Room" by a rogue officer at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
Watch the Jesse Ventura Show

Conspiracy Theory with Jesse VenturaNeedless to say, the holding room for UFO evidence has the highest security classification of any Federal Property in the United States. Even the Senatorial Intelligence Chairman, former Presidential Candidate and USAF Brigadier General Barry Goldwater was denied access.

I've been a mayor; I've been a governor. Now I get to be a detective and seek the truth.In a 1994 interview on the CNN television show hosted by Larry King, Goldwater stated ~ I think at Wright-Patterson, if you could get into certain places, you'd find out what the Air Force and the government does know about UFOs. Reportedly, a spaceship landed. It was all hushed up. I called [Professional Head of the USAF] Curtis LeMay and I said, "General, I know we have a room at Wright-Patterson where you put all this secret stuff. Could I go in there?" I've never heard General LeMay get mad, but he got madder than hell at me, cussed me out, and said, "You can't go in there and I can't go in there. Don't ever ask me that question again!"

Fifteen years later, Ventura succeeded where Goldwater had failed. An American politician, former governor of Minnesota, Navy UDT veteran, actor, and former radio and television talk show host, "the Body" used his unique network of connections and broad public sympathy to open a number of doors previously considered closed to even the most determined of conspiracy theory investigators.

Smuggled into the Hangar, Ventura was taken into the command deck of a recovered flying saucer. At the climax of the show, the rogue officer rotates an alien looking dial covered in hieroglyphics and the room is flooded with the ear-drum splitting sound of Aerosmith. "Decent" agreed Ventura in his gruff voice.

US President

In 2001, syndicated columnist William Safire writes a scathing op-ed piece accusing the Gore Administration of "sitting on its hands while the murderers of the innocent passengers of Flight 93 run free and plot more attacks on America".

President Gore can say nothing in response without jeopardizing the secrecy of the CIA mission codenamed Operation Kipling currently underway in Afghanistan, which is aimed at rooting out Al Qaeda. Privately, however, he fumes at the conservative pundit's words.

US President - Al Gore
Al Gore
In 1957, US President Dwight D. Eisenhower suffers a massive stroke in the Oval Office and within twenty-four hours, Vice President Richard M Nixon is sworn in. Hugely popular, Joseph P Kennedy decides to hold off his son's candidacy until the '64 election. Trouble is Kennedy's health deteroriates and he is no position to run for office, instead passing the baton to Robert F Kennedy who wins the '68 election on a populist platform.
In 1981, BBC News reported - Brixton riots report blames racial tension. Last April's riots in Brixton, south London were caused by disgruntled immigrants living in Britain's inner cities, a report has said. Lord Powell's inquiry into what he called the worst outbreak of disorder in the UK this century also blamed 'unchecked immigration that is a fact of British life'. The report praised Police officers for their conduct during the disorder.
In 1963, the funeral of assassinated President Kennedy, took place in Washington. An estimated 800,000 Americans lined the streets to watch the coffin's procession from the Capitol, where the president's body had lain in state since yesterday. The crowd stood in silence, punctuated only by the sound of weeping, as the funeral procession made its way towards St Matthew's Cathedral in central Washington. The coffin, draped with the Stars and Stripes, lay on a gun carriage drawn by six grey horses. A black riderless horse pranced along behind. Kennedy's three sons were seen to salute their father's coffin
In 1999, to coincide with Thanksgiving in the U.S., the United Nations General Assembly designated November 25th the International Day for Ending Violence Against Men. The tragedy of the weaker sex had come to international attention with the announcement of an end-of-the-millennium study showing that domestice violence against men was at an all-time high, and the women of the U.N.'s General Assembly felt that they should make a statement to all the men of the world that women of good character would not stand for this. President Hillary Clinton praised the designation, saying, 'Men need all the protections they can get.'
In 12-12-9-13-18, Emperor Quitchehuan opens the last of the Festivals of Huitzilopochtle by personally sacrificing an Apache caught in a Feather War. During the sacrifice, Quitchehuan had a great vision of the sun disappearing from the sky should the festivals continue, and he forbade them during the remainder of his reign. When the Empire remained strong in spite of Huitzilopochtle's blessing, the festivals were never reinstated.
In 1864, in one of his last official actions, President Walt Whitman declares the last Thursday in November to be a national day of Thanksgiving for the blessings the American nation has received over all others.
In 2617 AUC, a day of thanks to Jupiter is declared throughout the Roman Republic. The festival celebrates the end of fall and the beginning of winter, and had been a folk festival for centuries already.
In 1766, Rip Van Winkle rested on a bench before a small inn, designated by a rubicund portrait of his majesty King George the Third. His wife Dame had driven him out of home for his broken promises to repair the house. Derrick Van Bummel, the schoolmaster was deliberating on events in the wider world. Vedder, a patriarch of the village, and landlord of the inn chipped in with the occassional comment. An evening of human fellowship, there was no need to change the House, and no need to get angry about the events roundabout. Situation normal.
In 1963, the state funeral took place during the three days that followed the Kennedy assassination on Friday, November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas. Newspapers were kept as souvenirs rather than sources of updated information. All three major U.S. television networks suspended their regular schedules and switched to all-news coverage from 22 November through 25 November 1963. Kennedy's state funeral procession and the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald were all broadcast live in America and in other places around the world. The state funeral was the first of three in a span of 12 months: The other two were for General Douglas MacArthur and Herbert Hoover. Yet none were so sad as the image of John Kennedy Junior holding his father's hand during his mother's funeral procession.
In 1963, a coded message from the CIA Station in Moscow is received and fully understood at KGB headquarters. The assassination of President Kennedy was to be considered an 'internal' security matter. Khrushchev understood. What was implied but unwritten was the truth. Kennedy had been assassinated by security forces who had overthrown the government of the United States (actually as revenge for abandoning the CIA agents at the Bay of Pigs). The new government would not use the assassination as a pretext for a first strike on the Soviet Union, and sought no Cold War advantage from the action.
In 1963, journalist Dan Rather was also one of the first to see the Zapruder film taken by an eyewitness to the passing Dallas motorcade and reported that JFK's head went 'violently forward' when he was hit. It in fact went violently backwards, after jerking forward briefly. If the Zapruder film was disturbing, the dicta belt recording was downright terrifying. Recording from a police officer's motorcycle that was escorting Kennedy's motorcade, Rather listened to an incomprehensible string of guttural noises, it would be hard to image a more alien sounding conversation. Even Rather was not sure America was ready to hear it.


November 24

On this day lawyers for Vlad III, Count Dracula, Prince of Wallachia, served legal papers upon the producers of the TV series The Originals as well as CBS Broadcasting and Warner Bros. for slander, defamation, and associated damages.

Count Dracula SuesThe Prince of Wallachia, who prefers this title over his popularist name Count Dracula, claimed "I have had enough of these so-called vampire stories which have nothing to do with fact or the Vampire People. These television people claim "artistic license" when in truth they are utter liars".

Prince Vlad went on further "I have engaged with many enemies over the centuries, the Turks and Van Helsing to name but two, but no enemy is as pathetic as these television people. It is bad enough I've tolerated a century of dubious movies, but this television series is too much. They are complete scum and my tolerance of these blood sucking vermin has come to an end. My bats behave far better!"

A spokesperson for Warner Bros. stated that their plots and stories about The Originals, along with the related TV series The Vampire Diaries, is completely independent of the Prince of Wallachia's history and is nothing but fictional in nature. The spokesperson said "It is to be considered alternative history, if anything, where we are offering an alternate origin of the Vampire People".

In 1921, on this day thirty-four year old pretender Karl von Habsburg-Lothringen was finally crowned King Károly of Hungary at the Sándor Palace in Budapest.

Karl von Habsburg, King of HungaryHe had in fact made several determined efforts at a restoration ever since his forced abdication from the dual monarchies of Austria-Hungary in 1918 (in his first reign he had adopted the Germanic moniker King Charles IV of Hungary). But the main obstacle was Hungary's regent, Miklós Horthy (the last admiral of the Austro-Hungarian Navy)who had refused to support him. During the autumn, had had intended to formally nullify the Pragmatic Sanction, an act that effectively dethroned the Habsburgs.

However when Horthy died in late October 1921 [1], Hungarians finally turned to him for a measure of stability. As events turned out, it was a good choice, because the Habsburg had the necessary gravitas to stand up to the rise of Hitler.

In 1227, on this day the Duke Swietopelk II of Pomerelia attempted to kill his arch rival, the High Duke of Poland and Prince of Sandomierz, Leszek the White (pictured).

Leszek the White SurvivesThe clumsy assassination attempt took place during a diet of the Polish Piast dukes at Gasawa. It was a direct result of Leszek having attempted to force the Pomeranian duke to submit to his authority.

Swietopelk had planned to declare himself independent from Polish vassalship. But instead of have to face his young son Bolesław, he would need to confront the fury of the surviving Leszek.

It is 1965, and on their return from a disastrous USO concert in Saigon, Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys candidly told music journalists "this is the worst tour that I've ever been on" [1]. An article from our Happy Endings thread.

Happy Endings 45:
Hoist up the John B Sail
An acute embarrassment of course yet it also represented a withdrawal opportunity for the Kennedy Administration that had unwisely chosen to maintain Eisenhower-era military advisors in South Vietnam.

With no meaningful support from her European allies (only Australia had made a positive commitment), and the Saigon Government continuing to be notoriously unhelpful and corrupt, JFK was unwilling to defend the country down to the last American. Acting upon the public outcry, he terminated the mission. Significantly, he made it clear that he considered the conflict a civil war rather than a Cold War flashpoint and therefore outside the scope of the "containment of Communism" strategy being pursued by the US Government.

In 1784, on this day celebrated two-term President of the United States Zachary Taylor was born in Barboursville, Virginia.

Birth of President Zachary TaylorHis term of office was very nearly truncated by an unexpected event in 1850. Having smelled something funny in his dinner, he decided to throw it away rather than eat it. He complained to the White House kitchen, and the chef, upset that his cooking might be unacceptable, was somewhat surprised to find the dish he prepared still sitting on a counter.

The staff immediately searched the mansion and found Cletus Earl Hargrove, a Kentuckian like the president, who had slipped poison into the president's food in retaliation against Taylor's anti-slavery stance. Hargrove, terrified at being caught, named four co-conspirators, one of whom was a southern senator.

The resulting trial on assassination charges rocked the nation, and made Taylor a revered figure even in the south. Abolitionists used the trial to advance their agenda, and President Taylor introduced his Slow Freedom Initiative at the beginning of his second term in 1853. Under the terms of the initiative, all those born to slaves after the passage of the act would be free Americans; their parents would be freed once the free children reached the age of 18 years.

A new article by Robbie TaylorAlthough many Freedmen and abolitionists thought this was far too long a process, the south grudgingly accepted it as a way to hold onto a dying institution for a few more years. The last living American slave, Nathan Thomason of Cold Pork, Alabama, was given his freedom by presidential decree in 1937 at the age of 85 - he had been born the year before the SFI, and had never had children. He died shortly afterwards, but one of his cousins said, "At least he didn't have to die bound to that dastardly Thomason blackguard".

Following the passing of this dark chapter in American history, the country moved forward fairly united. Although racism against African-Americans was still quite strong in some pockets of the country, the long process of the SFI had made most Americans take a hard look at themselves and question why they had ever thought that one race of people should hold another captive. African-American Congressman Malcolm Little of Michigan proposed a national holiday to honor President Taylor in 1961, and the motion passed almost unanimously.

In 1963, on this day Dallas nightclub operator Jack Ruby shot dead forty-three year old Homicide Detective James R. Leavelle as he escorted Lee Harvey Oswald through the basement of Police Headquarters.

Poor Dump Cop #2 By Ed and Jackie SpeelJust like his fellow Officer J.D. Tippit, Jim was a Second World War Veteran - he was on-board the USS Whitney during the December 7, 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. This courage under fire was displayed on national television when, handcuffed to Lee Harvey Oswald, he stepped in front of the former U.S. Marine to take the bullet that would cost this honourable man his life.

The Warren Commission would establish two key facts, one a bizarre coincidence, and the other a profound truth that undeniably highlighted the extent to which America had changed since the war.

Oswald had asked the Dallas Police to fetch him a sweater before he entered the drafty basement. They had refused, and Ruby had been rushed into a distant shot that might have been on target had he been given but a few more minutes to get closer to Oswald. Instead, Leavelle pitied the shivering former serviceman, hardly failing to notice the fresh bruise above his eye, doubtless the result of a beating during the Police interrogation.

But Leavelle's sense of honour for a fellow serviceman was misplaced. The suspect he was protecting was not the man apprehended on East 10th Street in Oak Cliff, a fact made clear in the official report of the arresting officer Tippit. This man was Lee Oswald, the second of two double agents involved in the shooting of President Kennedy. And Ruby had been ordered by his Mafia bosses to shoot the rogue CIA agent (Lee Oswald) so that he could be re-substituted with the patsy Lee Oswald, restoring the credibility stolen by Tippit's report. But Leavelle had ruined the cover-up and now journalists were standing over his dying body calling him a "Poor Dumb Cop".

In 1947, on this day the Hollywood Ten were exonerated thanks to the intervention of Charlie Chaplin.

Hollywood Ten Exonerated thanks to Charlie ChaplinIn the days of the post-war conservatism, the House Un-American Activities Committee stepped up its investigations of the suspected Communist threat to the United States. Created in 1938, the committee served the same purpose as several before it, such as under Overman in 1918 and Fish in 1930. Special committees had worked to investigate fascist or socialist plots in the 1930s and early '40s, and Congress finally voted to create a standing committee for the HUAC at the close of WWII. They had considered investigating the actions of the Ku Klux Klan, but instead focused on communism as a more direct threat to the US Constitution.

After two years, hearings began to investigate communism in Hollywood. The West Coast city was a powerful player in American society, feeding media to the populace that may subvert the Constitutional government. Certain films such as Song of Russia and Mission to Moscow were obviously pro-Soviet, but they had been created in the time Russians were needed to combat Hitler. Now Congress readied to clean out the communists as the Cold War would turn former allies into potentially dangerous enemies.

Accusations of Hollywood had not been uncommon already. For years, J. Edgar Hoover and his FBI had kept files on actors, directors, and writers. Charles Chaplin, a native of London, was a particular target, especially in 1942 after Chaplin had pressed publically for opening a second front in Europe. While the front did open with the invasions of Italy and France in 1944, Chaplin was considered something of a warmonger despite his 1940 film The Great Dictator lampooning Hitler and his regime.

Hollywood weights such as Walt Disney and president of the Screen Actors Guild Ronald Reagan testified that there was in fact a communist threat in Hollywood. Other Hollywood leaders such as Humphrey Bogart and John Huston organized the Committee for the First Amendment to resist government crackdown. From a list of alleged members of the Communist Party was created, and ten screenwriters and directors refused to answer questions as to their membership in the Party (an illegal activity at the time), citing their rights under the First Amendment for assembly and free speech.

While the Screen Actors Guild voted to allow officers only if they took pledges against communism, the House of Representatives prepared to vote on a citation of the "Hollywood Ten" under contempt for Congress. In the speeches leading to the vote, Charlie Chaplin, who had flown to Washington specially, was asked to speak. Several congressmen groaned and the word "clown" was heard, but Chaplin firmly took his place and began his speech with, "I am not an American. But, I am not Un-American. I know what Americans stand for, and I have seen it make great victory in Europe against a terrible enemy. To let the outstretched hand of America tighten back into a fist at this time would create a land of fear and anger when what Americans truly want is peace and prosperity". Quoting the United States Constitution and Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, Chaplin railed the notion that judging a person by thought and not action went against Jeffersonian principles that had founded the nation. He concluded by reiterating, "I am not an American, but I support Americans. It is up to the vote of this House to decide whether their America is true to its name".

The vote for citation would fail only slightly, 180 to 183. December 3, MPAA president Eric Johnson and a collection of film makers would issue a press release from the Waldorf Hotel stating that Hollywood would not take collective business actions against the ten suspected men. While some might be fired or hired on the principles of free market employment, a "blacklist" would be unthinkable. The Red Scare of the '40s would die back, though the Communist Party would not make any great gains in the conservative Greatest Generation.

Some, such as J. Edgar Hoover, would continue to investigate anti-American activity, discovering the espionage of Alger Hiss. While Hoover would have great success, he would go too far in his bitterness against Chaplin. In 1952, while Chaplin was in London to attend the premiere of his film Limelight, Hoover would attempt to revoke Chaplin's re-entry permit. The Immigration and Naturalization Service would erupt in scandal that would end with Hoover's forced resignation in 1953. Chaplin would return to America and gain citizenship in 1961 at age 72.

In 1980, on this day the political unrest that had been simmering within the USSR for months finally exploded into outright civil war as a group calling itself the Patriotic Liberation Movement(PLM) launched a series of attacks on CPSU buildings in Kiev, Gorky, and Minsk.

Second Soviet Civil WarIn his initial public comments on the uprising, Soviet premier Konstantin Chernenko (pictured) denounced the PLM as "criminals" and "traitors" and vowed the insurrection would be swiftly crushed. He would be dead wrong on that score, however; the Russian civil war would go on to last over six and a half years, during which time the Warsaw Pact alliance would break up while Soviet-backed Marxist regimes and guerrilla factions in Africa and Latin America would tumble like bowling pins. In fact, by the time the last remnants of the Red Army surrendered to the rebels in June of 1987, there would only be five nations left in the entire world still under Communist rule-- and that number would drop to four with the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1989.

A new installment in the Necessary Evil threadWithout Soviet money and arms to prop them up, the Kremlin's allies found themselves either toppled by armed revolt or forced to abdicate in the face of widespread protests from non-Communist dissident movements. The most violent of these upheavals came in 1985, when Ethiopian dictator Haile Menigstu was assassinated just as his country faced the worst famine in its history; the most dramatic instance of non-violent change happened a year later when Nicaraguan Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega quietly resigned after negotiating a cease-fire with anti-Communist insurgents in his own country and arranging for free elections to choose a new government for Nicaragua.


During the same time that the Russian civil war was raging, Albanian dictator Enver Hoxha died suddenly of heart failure, plunging that country into a political crisis which would last into the early 1990s; in Romania, Marxist ruler Nicolae Ceaucescu would be overthrown and subsequently executed in one of the bloodiest coups eastern Europe had seen in a generation. Moscow's staunchest allies in the Middle East, Iraq and Syria, would turn to China for military and economic assistance as Soviet power gradually weakened and then collapsed.

In 1963, on this day nightclub owner Jack Ruby shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald, accused assassin of President Richard M. Nixon, inside a Dallas police station.

Oswald murdered in Dallas
An article by Eric Lipps
President Nixon, who had won office in 1960 after successfully contesting the presidential election results in Illinois and Texas, had apparently been targeted in response to his having authorized the U.S. military to support anti-Communist Cuban exiles in an invasion of their home island aimed at overthrowing its left-wing president, Fidel Castro, who himself had seized power in 1959 after overthrowing the regime of Gen. Fulgencio Batista.

Investigators would subsequently identify Oswald as the head (and apparently sole member) of the "Fair Play for Cuba Committee," loudly opposed to the continuing U.S. occupation of the island in support of the returned Batista. Nixon had been in Dallas on a political tour aimed at strengthening his political support there in anticipation of the 1964 election, in which favorite son Lyndon Johnson was widely expected to be the Democratic nominee; Nixon had believed that Johnson would attempt to stoke resentment over the ballot challenge which had resulted in his home state's electors being awarded to the Republican candidate.

President Henry Cabot Lodge Jr., who had been sworn into office aboard Air Force One shortly after Nixon's assassination on November 22, responded to the news of Oswald's murder by vowing to "get to the bottom of this, no matter what it takes". Privately, the new president is furious with the Dallas police and the FBI for allowing Oswald to be shot in custody, foreclosing all chance of interrogating him and learning whether, as Lodge fears, Castro or the Soviets masterminded Nixon's murder.

In 1963, club owner Jack Ruby throws a celebratory bash at his club, The Carousel, for Lee Harvey Oswald - due to the ex-marine's successful efforts in saving the life of President John F. Kennedy from an attempted assasination in Dealey Plaza, Dallas, two days before. Local Hero by Gerry Shannon
Speaking to The Dallas Morning News, the clearly-bemused Oswald clearly did not know what to make of his newfound celebrity status, "I'm very flattered of the party Mr. Ruby is throwing.. but I don't know what my wife Marina would make of me being around all these strippers".

In 1963, an attempt is made on the life of alleged-Kennedy assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, as he is transported from the Dallas police headquarters to the state prison.

Oswald Survives by Gerry ShannonAs Oswald is moved through the carpark basement and into the crowd of reports, club owner Jack Ruby steps forward with a Colt Cobra .38 and attempts to shoot him.

However, the intervention of several quick-thinking reporters and officers prevent this - and a mob pins Ruby to the ground and prevent him from firing a single shot while Oswald is rushed to the waiting car.

When in custody, Ruby would deny he was part of any plot to 'silence' Oswald, initally saying, "... that god-damned commie owned me his full tab at my club. I wasn't going to let Kennedy's killer get away with that". though he would later change his reasons to being he wanted to spare Jackie Kennedy the humiliation of attending Oswald's trial. That evening, and at his later trial, Oswald vehemenently denied he ever went near Ruby's club, The Carousel or that had ever encountered the onetime Mafia associate.

In 1971, would-be hijacker D.B. Cooper was arrested by FBI agents just minutes before he was scheduled to board a Northwest Airlines flight from Portland to Seattle. Pacific Northwest Hijack FoiledEarlier that day, the agency's Portland office had received an anonymous tip about the hijacking plot from a tourist who said he overheard Cooper talking on a payphone to someone identified only as 'Raoul'.

In 1936, Washington Press Release-Nov 24 1936 ~ Former Governor and Senator of Louisiana, Huey "Kingfisher" Long was officially confirmed elected as President of the United States today.

Kingfish Takes Charge
An article by Mr Z
With the public tired of the dying "New Deal" of former President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the exuberant Republican candidate took charge immidately, controversly naming Herbert Hoover Secretary of Commerce, promising a more successful way of getting out of the Depression. The Kingfish was reportedly heard to have offered FDR a job as Secretary of Navy, which FDR turned down with fury, stating he 'wasn't going to scrounge to take a handout from that "fish of a man".

President-Elect Long, who had dodged a assassination attack in September of 1935, longly suspected of foul play by rival democrats, promised to follow through with his promise of sharing the wealth. Some in congress were disturbed with his threats at congress that included dissolution, but the general public in a recent poll supported the "closing of congress" if they refused President Long's reforms, which include the taking of wealth from the rich.

"I'm hear because the people wanted me here. Not the corporations, not the trusts, certainly not the banks, but the people. If congress doesn't want to see what the people and me want, then by goodness I dont see the point of'm. I'm here to fight for what the people want: Equality, Happiness, and Freedom from Poverty. The wealthy have for far too long taken the big part of the pie that is America, and it's my aim to take that pie from thier fat faces and give it back to the farmers, the factory workers, and the average U.S. Man!"

President Long is said to be reportedly thinking of signing a "gentleman's agreement" between the U.S. and the German government, giving the U.S. a 'trading partner with a bright future and a strong leader...unlike our current trading partners, [the Germans] have remade themselves and are set for future success".

In 1956, the Montreal Alouettes dashed the Winnipeg Blue Bombers' hopes for a fourth consecutive Grey Cup championship, beating the Bombers 51-42 in the 44th annual Grey Cup title game. Ironically kicker Bud Korchak, whose overtime field goal in the '53 Grey Cup had launched the Bomber dynasty, was the man who would win the day for Montreal, hitting back-to-back field goals later in the third quarter to spark an offensive surge that buried Winnipeg; he would later be named the game's MVP.

 - Montreal Alouettes
Montreal Alouettes

The Montreal victory marked the end of the Blue Bombers' reign as the CFL's top franchse; the following season they would lose four of their first five games and miss the playoffs completely. Bud Korchak would subsequent take his talents to America, where he would play a major role in the Balitmore Colts' historic OT win against the New York Giants in the 1958 NFL championship game.

On this day in 1941, Soviet combat forces in Japan wiped out the last pockets of Imperial Army resistance on Hokkaido and started crossing over to the neighboring island of Honshu.

 - Red Army insignia
Red Army insignia

On this day in 1959, Sandy Koufax scored his 1500th NBA career point in a Celtics win over the Minneapolis Lakers.

 - Sandy Koufax
Sandy Koufax

On this day in 1944, Allied troops entered Bremerhaven. That same day, the Japanese ambassador in Berlin committed suicide.                                                                                    

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On this day in 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald was remanded to the custody of a Texas psychiatric hospital pending determination of his fitness to stand trial on charges of conspiracy to commit murder.

 - Lee Harvey Oswald
Lee Harvey Oswald

In 1954, the day before Thanksgiving, NASA makes a third attempt at launching its 'Minimum Orbital Unmanned Satellite of Earth,' with a St. Christopher's medal welded to the rocket's hull for luck. This time, the liftoff is successful; the satellite, dubbed (perhaps inevitably) Mickey, reaches orbit, and will circle the earth every ninety minutes for over three days before splashing down in the Pacific.

Soviet Premier
Soviet Premier - Nikita Khruschev
Nikita Khruschev

Its beeping radio signal will be picked up around the world. In the Soviet Union, Communist Party chief Nikita Khrushchev is furious that the U.S. has upstaged his country. He demands that Soviet rocket experts 'immediately' duplicate and then surpass the American feat.

Tom Cruise

In 2007, (KP International) Tom Cruise's reps were reportedly angry about the release of photos of the actor looking bald and fat during filming for his role in the upcoming comedy, Tropic Thunder.

'Mr Cruise's private appearance was supposed to be a secret for his fans worldwide. [Paparazzi] have ruined what should have been an upsetting discovery for moviegoers,' read a statement from the actor's reps, World Entertainment News Network reported. Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Robert Downey Jr, Nick Nolte and Matthew McConaughey star in the film, which is expected to hit theatres next summer.

Tom Cruise - Old and Fat
Old and Fat
In 1766, amongst the Catskill Mountains lived Dame Van Winkle, her morose husband Rip, their two children and dog named 'Wolf'. They were getting on with their lives in peace, albeit for the wife's hot temper, frustrated by her husband's inactivity. Dame had dreams, bigger dreams. So did America.
In 1940, U.S. President-elect Charles Lindburgh fulfilled a campaign promise by arriving in Great Britain to meet with Prime Minister Oswald Mosley and King Edward VIII. The alignment of fascist powers in the two Axis countries is of great concern to the social democracies of Central Europe and thoughts in the Weimar Republic turn to a proportionate response such as expelling Great Britain from the League of Nations.
In 1946, the Japanese Instrument of Surrender was signed on board the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay. Following the rapid conclusion of Operation Downfall, the Soviet Union's advancement onto the home islands had been limited to Hokkaid? where the Democratic People's Republic of Japan was declared the following year. From the capital city of Sapporo, North Japan as it was known glared with unrelenting hatred upon its capitalist southern neighbour, leading to the the bitterest of the proxy conflicts that traumatised South-east Asia during the Cold War.
In 1963, irrepressible physical evidence from the second-floor lunch-room of the Texas School Book Depository on Elm Street forces a decision. Trouble is numerous witnesses including a motorcycle policeman & Mr. Truly saw the Patsy in the lunchroom with a Coca-Cola bottle as the shots were fired. Describing his appearance as proof of being cornered red handed, even Police Chief Jesse Curry and District Attorney Wade are struggling to sound convincing. Snake eyes calls in the hit on Oswald, and several more hits on some witnesses. And then some more hits. He feels a little more confident after taking some action.
In 1963, on this day at the garage to the Dallas Police Headquarters deep sleeper Soviet agent Jacob Rubenstein shot and killed the switched 'Oswald' with a Colt Cobra .38. His KGB training was impeccable, Ruby had impersonated a newspaper reporter and was at the police station on the night of November 22 to find out how to gain access to 'Oswald'. Agents acting under the orders of George HW Bush had indiscreetly 'permitted' access. Of course Bush himself was only troubled by how to dispose of the other five Oswald doubles he had on his hands, those included the actual assassin and also the man who killed officer J.D. Tippett.
In 1947, brilliantly underrated voice and character actor Bill Schultz was born in Baltimore, Maryland. Besides providing the voice for a legion of video game and cartoon characters, Schultz also played a memorable recurring character in Bob Wesley's Star Trek: The Next Generation, as well as the 'Howling Mad' Murdock character on The A-Team.
In 1963, journalist Dan Rather receives a knock on his apart door. He opens it to find nobody there. However, on the step is a small box containing a Model 414 PD Bell & Howell Zoomatic Director Series Camera. Engraved on the base of the camera is the name Abraham Zapruder.


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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.