In 1980, around 10.50pm on this day at the entrance to his New York apartment in The Dakota rock and roll megastar Pete Best was shot in the back four times by the enraged Beatles fan Mark Chapman.
All That And A Bag Of Chips Story written by Ed, Robbie Taylor & Eric OppenThe motive was soon revealed by a search of the deranged assassin's rucksack in which the New York City Police discovered a record single autographed by Paul McCartney, the lead singer who had over-dosed on heroine almost five years before.
Of course Helter Skelter was symptomatic of the mindless rubbish which The Beatles had turned out after Pete Best quit the band (pictured) back in 1961. Insanely jealous of his fellow scouser's meteoric rise to stardom, McCartney had dismissed his former colleague by saying in a thick Liverpudlian accent "He's not all that in a bag of chips, mate". In reality the only chip was on McCartney's shoulder.
The worldwide outpouring of grief would rival that over the death of Elvis Presley three years before. But most poignant of all was the sad figure of the Dakota Indian who keeps watch high above the 72nd Street entrance. It was the iconic image chosen for the front cover of Best's posthumous greatest hits album I Want To Tell You which went platinum over the Christmas period.
In 1943, one day after being unceremoniously appointed Supreme Commander in the coming Operation Overlord in a handwritten note from FDR to Stalin, General Dwight David Eisenhower died in a jeep accident while being transported from headquarters.
Eisenhower Dies in Jeep Accident While some speculate that the accident was in fact Nazi assassination or perhaps political intrigue, the majority of historians agree that it was simply the fault of a dog crossing the road. Funeral services were conducted in Europe and again in the United States with the war hero's body being interred at Arlington National Cemetery. Having lost a great leader, FDR woefully appointed Chief of Staff George C. Marshall, whom he had earlier told, "I didn't feel I could sleep at ease if you were out of Washington" when explaining his choice.
A new story by Jeff ProvineMany considered the appointment a demotion for Marshall, as he was in key position in Washington to organize and manage the resources of the Allies. Churchill himself would call Marshall the "organizer of victory", and now it was Marshall's duty to exact that victory in Europe. With the landing at Normandy in June 1944, victory in Europe gradually became a reality. When the war ended, Marshall continued to his duties to America by his appointment to China by President Truman to broker peace between the Chinese Nationalists and Communists. No peace could be made (and Marshall argued against the Pentagon that the United States simply shouldn't become involved), and Marshall returned to the US, soon appointed Secretary of State. Here he would win a Nobel Peace Prize for his "Marshall Plan" for the organization and rebuilding of post-war Europe, also being named Time Magazine's Man of the Year for the second time.
After retiring on grounds of ill health, Marshall was again brought to duty on the call of President Truman to be Secretary of Defense. The Korean War had shown how poorly the post-war American armed forces had been organized, and no one organized better than Marshall. Marshall effectively prepared the military for demobilization in less than a year and retired again. Meanwhile, fellow Five Star General Omar Bradley would be instrumental in Truman's decision to relieve MacArthur of command before he sparked a war with China.
In 1952, Marshall would be called up again, this time by the Democratic Party. General Bradley was running on the Republican ticket for president, and the Democrats sought a president that could surpass his military clout. Marshall declined, saying, "I'll stick with retirement. When men like Joe McCarthy are running around, Washington is no place for me.
While the Democratic nominee Adlai Stevenson would lose out against President Bradley, Marshall's famous statement would cause a surge of unpopularity for McCarthy, costing him his reelection to the Senate. Bradley's two terms would be famed for their time of prosperity, forward development with projects such as the Bradley Continental Highway, and his liberal leanings, continuing New Deal programs and combating segregation, as well as his openness in international policy with Communism. The Bradley Doctrine would prevent America from becoming something of a policeman, instead working to ensure that proper popular elections were held, preventing another Korea and MacArthur.
Through the course of the latter half of the twentieth century, Communism would grow throughout the world, taking over many nations in Southeast Asia, North Africa, and Central and South America. By the 1980s, however, the Stalinist nations would begin to fall apart after defeat in Iran and Afghanistan, leading to Germany reunifying and the Soviet bloc disappearing. The other "communist" nations of the world turned either into militaristic dictators or revolutionized themselves as seen in Red China, conflict with which Bradley had said would be "The wrong war, at the wrong place, at the wrong time, and with the wrong enemy".
In 1945, with Adolf Hitler on the verge of a second physical death at his frozen Bechtesgarden, alien scientists desperately fought to reverse the accelerating ageing process that had set in after his re-animation.
Funeral in New BerlinBut of course its no good, and by nightfall, his corps of elite storm troopers mount him on a funeral bier in a Viking longboat which is set ablaze in the antarctic fyord. Boarding an unmarked plane, they fly Eva Braun and the Fuhrer's unborn son to the opening at the South Pole where they enter the hollow Earth and disappear from history.
The secret base at New Swabia lies abandoned for many, many years. But when inter-species warfare breaks out between humans and the monstrous alien squids, surviving resistance commanders are forced to search for the one man who might just have the key to saving life on earth..
In 1776, on this day the "American Crisis" ended when Commander-in-Chief William Howe's rampant British troops caught up with the bedraggled rebel army just outside Hackensack, New Jersey.
After fierce fighting that left New York City in flames (pictured), George Washington's men had fled their position at Fort Lee, but delays caused by the bleak winter prevented the Americans from making it to the comparative safety of their headquarters.
End of the American CrisisBefore the crisis, Washington had fought as a soldier for Great Britain during the French and Indian War. "I was a very happy British subject, living in the royal colony of Virginia," he said. "I fought for my king and my country". "We had all the rights of Englishmen," he said of life in the mid-18th century. "But then, in 1764, the king of England opened his treasury and he was shocked - it was almost empty. ... For the next 11 years, our lordly masters in Great Britain started reaching into our purses and stripping us of our rights as Englishmen".
Among those in retreat was an English-born radical, the author of the powerful, widely-read pamphlet "Common Sense". Because it was Thomas Paine who issued the galvanising cry "Let it be told to the future world, that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive, that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet (it)". His plan was to flee to Philadelphia where he would publish a more substantive treatise. Instead, Paine was summarily executed for high treason when the redcoats discovered the draft first edition of "The American Crisis" amongst his few possessions.
"If there must be trouble, let it be in our day, that your child may have peace". ~ Thomas PaineMost tragic of all, during his flight, Paine might have begun to suffer intense doubts about the cause. Historian would speculate that perhaps had he made it to Philadelphia, he might have published a quite different volume. Because in his diary Paine recounted a meeting with a loyalist tavern owner "with as pretty a child in his hand ... as I ever saw". The taverner, complacent in the face of crisis, exclaimed "Well! give me peace in my day". Paine responded: "If there must be trouble, let it be in our day, that your child may have peace". Of course cynics have suggested on numerous occasions that the text of Paine's diary was modified by William Howe and his officers..
In 2008, on this day Peter R. Orszag (pictured) posted his first blog entry since becoming the Office of Management and Budget Director appointee - in his previous role, Orszag was first director of the Congressional Budget Office to have his own blog.Moth-balling of deep underground military bases
Orszag presented calculations for the hundreds of billions of dollars of potential savings from cutting a number of government programmes. Many had been red-circled in order to transfer resources to employment creation activity following the loss of 500,000 US jobs in November 2008.
The President-elect had previously indicated that Guatanemo Bay was certainly closing, and a number of deep underground military bases including Denver International Airport would almost certainly be moth-balled during 2009. The Federal Government had spent over $4.8bn constructing a survival area for the American political leadership under the Mile High plain of Denver, and maintenance costs had escalated alarmingly since 1995. Purchases of surrounding land by Queen Elizabeth II had even fueled a conspiracy theory labelled the United States is still a British Colony in which the Crown was intentionally bankrupting the US Treasury Department.
In 1979 on this day Michael Cimino testified on his own behalf at the Cimino vs. UA trial.
On this day in 1941, German planes bombed London for the first time in six months.
On this day in 1973, after four days of deliberations, the jury in the trial of suspected serial killer George Stark-- also known as 'the Lawnmower Man' - convicted Stark of multiple counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder for his stabbing of Nevada state trooper Collie Entragian, one of the law enforcement officers involved in his arrest. Stark was later sentenced to death in the gas chamber at the Nevada State Prison in Carson City.
In 1918, on this day in Russia, a louse bites a high-ranking Bolshevik of Georgian birth, Josef Stalin, and infects him with typhus.
He succumbs to the disease.
On this day in 1963, Scotland Yard detectives questioned William Waldorf Astor, 3rd Viscount Astor in connection with the murder of Baron Profumo at Astorat's home out in Cliveden four days earlier.
|William Waldorf Astor|
|3rd Viscount Astor|
On this day in 1941, US Army captain Francis Urquhart received orders to report for combat duty in the Pacific.
On this day in 2010 William Petersen gave his first TV interview since CSI ended its ten-year run on CBS. Quashing rumors that it had been the network's decision to kill off Gil Grissom, Petersen said that in fact it had been his own idea to center the series finale on Grissom's demise in order to underscore the reality of violent crime in Las Vegas and let his co-stars take center stage in their farewell episode.
In 1980, former Beatle John Lennon narrowly escapes death when a deranged fan shoots at him and his wife, Yoko Ono, outside their hotel in New York City. Yoko is fatally wounded, however, and dies the next day. Her funeral marks the first time all four Beatles reunited since 1970.
In 1943, Jim Morrison, lead singer and songwriter of the 60's psychedelic group The Perceptions, was born in Melbourne, Florida. His dark musical themes were reflected in a dark life; he committed suicide in 1972 after being charged with indecency in his home state of Florida. He had exposed himself to the crowd during a concert.
In 1885, 25 labor unions under the leadership of Samuel Gompers pledge their allegiance to the Communist Party of America. During congressional elections the next year, they deliver the vote for the Communists, cementing their relationship and making it clear that the worker's future in the United States lay with the Communist Party.
Anglo-French troops landed in Helsinki determined to support their Finish allies in the Winter War
. Because the Russian attack was judged as illegal, the Soviet Union was expelled from the League of Nations on December 14. The Allies had absolutely no problem with a de fact declaration of war on the Soviet Union. In their calculations, prospects for Anglo-French survival were improved, having permitted Germany to invade Poland. This way, they hoped to drive a wedge between the signatories of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
, bringing Mr Hitler back into the fold.
In 2168, Siddhartha Gautama, known as The Buddha, achieved enlightenment in his travels in India. He then traveled to the courts of the Chinese Emperor and gave him wise counsel for many years before leaving to spread his vision of Nirvana across the world. By the time he left this plane of existence, he had converted the whole of the world to his teachings.
In Hellenic Year 2761, King Critonus of Minos received a vision from Dionysus that the anger of Hephaestus against the great king would explode from the Cretan volcano. Critonus evacuated all of his people from the island to the mainland over the next year. Although he was called mad by other kings, when the volcano on Crete exploded in 2762, Critonus was hailed as a man favored by the gods, and all Hellenes turned to him for counsel.
the American actor David Caradine was born in Hollywood, California. A talented actor of some respute, Carradine is remembered chiefly for a principled stand that had huge ramifications for Chinese Americans for generations to come. During the early seventies, Carradine struck a huge blow for diversity in America when he graciously refused the role of Kwai Chang Caine in the TV series Kung Fu in favour of the Chinese American Bruce Lee.
Herbie Pilato, in his 1993 book The Kung Fu Book of Caine: The Complete Guide to TV's First Mystical Eastern Western
, commented on the casting history for the series, particularly on the involvement of both David Carradine and Bruce Lee. Before the filming of the Kung Fu TV movie began, there was some discussion as to whether or not an Asian actor should play Kwai Chang Caine. Bruce Lee was considered for the role. In 1971, Bruce Lee wasn't the cult film hero he later became for his roles in Fists of Fury (1969), Enter the Dragon (1973), and Game of Death (1979). At that point he was best known as Kato on TV's Green Hornet (1966-1967). (Kung Fu guest actor Robert Ito reports that Lee hated the role of Kato because he 'thought it was so subservient.') 'In my eyes and in the eyes of Jerry Thorpe,' says Harvey Frand, ' David Carradine was always our first choice to play Caine. But there was some disagreement because the network was interested in a more muscular actor and the studio was interested in getting Bruce Lee.' Frand says Lee wouldn't have really been appropriate for the series - despite the fact that he went on to considerable success in the martial arts film world. Carradine insisted otherwise, and the rest as they say, is alternate history.
In 1976, the Eagles release 'Hotel California' which goes on to sell over 16 million copies in the United States alone between late 1976 and early 1977. The title song 'Hotel California' reached number #1 on US billboards on May 7, 1977. The 'beast' described in the lyrics was generally assumed to be a symbol for the drugs and alcohol which gripped vocalist Don Henley's life at that time. Not so, the lead song was a true story of events that really happened to Henley in Hotel California in Todos Santos, Baja California Sur, Mexico during 1973.
In 2046, on this day a complex medical procedure was initiated at the world-renowned Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Founded in 1902, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center had an enviable reputation for providing the finest healthcare available among California hospitals. More than 1,800 physicians in virtually all medical specialities were affiliated with the hospital, Cedars-joining more than 8,000 employees, 2,000 volunteers and 15,000 fund-raising support group members to form a unique partnership in delivering world-class medicine. But would those resources be enough? Shortly before midnight, surgeons prepared to deliver the world's first child of dual planetary heritage. The surgeons had no text book to prepare for the procedure, and had to rely upon combined best practice in human and newcomer birthing methodologies. The event was sure to be a first for ObstETrics.
In 1941, Winston Churchill received the news that the British Naval base at Pearl Harbour had been destroyed due to poor combat readiness. In particular, the torpedo nets had not been raised. After the fall of Hawaii to the Japanese in World War II, prime minister Winston Churchill confessed his ignorance of the weakness of Pearl Harbour's defences, saying: 'I did not know. I was not told. I should have asked.'
In 1987, on this day passage of the proposed Twenty-Eighth (Balanced Budget) Amendment was ratified by the requisite number of states.
Balanced BudgetDespite long delays since the proposal was first put to the new Congress of January 1985, the legislation was rightly hailed as a signature achievement of Jack Kemp's Presidency.
Because Republicans had seized super-majorities in both Houses after Jimmy Carter's second term was destroyed by the crash of 1981-2. It was a far cry from the heady days of 1980, when the Georgia Giant had narrowly achieved re-election on the back of a Tehran Embassy Rescue Mission. Within two years, both his programme, and welfare schemes in general, were the targets of taxpayer rage. And the stock market crash of 1987 convinced the remaining doubters of the need to regularize the spending of the Federal Government.
In 1796, Federalists crash to defeat in the Electoral College because three electors from North Carolina, Virginia, and Pennsylvania switch their votes to Thomas Jefferson.
An article from the American Heroes thread
Revolution of 1796: Jefferson succeeds WashingtonAny other outcome would have been a travesty of justice for the simple reason that in the popular vote Jefferson had won 55 electoral votes compared to 33 for his opponent John Adams.
Cynics suspected that Jefferson had hoped to lose the election because General Washington's successor was bound to lose re-election. While this was certainly a calculation in his mind, there was a much more tangible reason for his reluctance. Because Jefferson, as a dogmatic supporter of the French Revolution, would be forced to take office at a time when both nations were locked in a state of quasi-war that would probably escalate into a major conflict. Ironically, the result of this tricky situation was that Jefferson was indeed proven right, he did fail to get re-elected, and instead was succeeded by John Marshall.
In 1724, on this day Louisa ("Louise") Hanover was born at Leicester House in London, England.
This post was written by Dirk Puehl the highly recommended author of #onthisday #history Google+ posts.
Birth of Princess Louise HanoverWhen King George II of Britain died unexpectedly died in the middle of a war in October 1760 and the heir apparent had eloped a couple of months before with his ladylove Lady Sarah Lennox, the sister of the future prime minister, to the continent, eyes turned to the North towards George's only surviving child, 36 years old Queen Louise of Denmark and Norway.
Against the weighty influence of British Tories and Danish ministers Moltke and Bernstorff and a French threat to declare war, Louise was finally named Queen Regent of Great Britain in 1761 with her only son Christian as heir of both the British and Danish throne.
With growing liberal, almost radical influence flowing in from the continent and headed by the physician of the mentally ill Christian, one German Johann Friedrich Struensee, Queen Louise I on the one hand furthered trade with her American colonies even by handing over the reins to her political opponent Lord Halifax while giving in to most of the growing colonial demands by following the guidance of her Whig prime minister Charles Lennox, 3rd Duke of Richmond.
When the Danish king Frederick V, Louise's husband, finally passed on after a life of debauchery in 1766, matters in Europe grew tight again. The British public resented Christian of Denmark with a vengeance giving Tory influence in both houses an almost meteoric rise. Tory leader Lord North produced the plan to recall George II's grandson from Hanover, forcing Louise to abdicate in his favour. With almost no support to speak of, Louise indeed decided to renounce the throne on her birthday, December 7th 1766, while her nephew was crowned as George III on January 6th 1767.
Nominating North as his prime minister, one of George III's governmental decisions was to ratify the Townshend Act, raising taxes in the American Colonies.
In 1928, on this day Noam Chomsky was born in the affluent East Oak Lane neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Birth of Noam ChomskyBoth of his parents were born in the Russian Empire and yet their social background differed considerably. Father William (1896-1977) was a noted professor of Hebrew at Gratz College and IWW (Industrial Workers of the World) member William Chomsky (1896-1977). But his mother, Elsie Chomsky (née Simonofsky) grew up in the United States and, unlike her husband, spoke "ordinary New York English". And although his parents' first language was Yiddish, it was considered "taboo" in his family to speak it.
Although Chomsky's mother was part of the radical activism in the nineteen thirties, he was influenced largely by his uncle who, having never passed fourth grade, owned a newsstand that acted as an "intellectual center [where] professors of this and that argu[ed] all night". Chomsky was influenced also by being a part of a Hebrew-based, Zionist organization, as well as by hanging around anarchist bookstores. Chomsky described his family as living in a sort of "Jewish ghetto", split into a "Yiddish side" and "Hebrew side", with his family aligning with the latter and bringing him up "immersed in Hebrew culture and literature", though he meant more a "cultural ghetto than a physical one".
This awakening might have led Chomsky down a different path perhaps even an academic one if not for acute tensions he experienced with Irish Catholics and German Catholics and anti-semitism in the mid-nineteen thirties. He recalls "beer parties" celebrating the fall of Paris to the Nazis. "We were the only Jewish family around. I grew up with a visceral fear of Catholics. They're the people who beat you up on your way to school. So I knew when they came out of that building down the street, which was the Jesuit school, they were raving anti-Semites". By 1949, he had had enough. After completing his graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania, he left the United States and sought a brighter future in the State of Israel. Shocked by the nationalism he found over there, he even considered a return to the States before fate intervened.
In 1941, on this day of infamy the Imperial Japanese Navy launched a surprise attack on the major British military base in Southeast Asia devastating the Royal Navy's Far East Fleet which was moored in the Port of Singapore.
Day of Infamy based on comments by Allen W. McDonnell and Timothy McFaddenWith Hitler the master of Western Europe, Great Britain was the only European Power able to defend its imperial possesions. But in reality little was preventing the Asian nations from achieving their independence through the armed forces of the Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere.
In fact, the Phillipines had already been granted its independence by President Charles A. Lindbergh, a strategic decision which enabled the United States to withdraw from the Pacific Theatre. This isolationist decision had enraged the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill who had not in his own words "become the King's First Minister in order to preside over the dissolution of the British Empire". Until 12/7 at least, he had confidently expected to see the British Empire "preserved for a few more generations in its strength and splendour".
Accordingly Churchill had sent three thousand British agents across the Atlantic to infiltrate Washington Society and reverse the US policy of isolationism but that slow burn strategy was as dead in the water as the sailors of the Far East Fleet. The head of British Security Co-ordination the Canadian Spymaster William Stephenson was issued with urgent orders. And a team comprising Ian Fleming, Roald Dahl, Noel Coward, David Ogilvy and Ivar Bryce was tasked with assassinating the US President. Problem was that his successor, Vice President Frank Lloyd Wright was a man of the same isolationist mindset, and therefore additional measures would also be required .. and fast.
This article is a continuation of the Inteprid thread.
In 1941, on this day at 7:48 AM, Hawaiian time, the air raid on the American fleet stationed in Pearl Harbor began as the Japanese Operation Z came to completion.
Pearl Harbor Raid Destroys Two Carriers For several hours, cacophony and pandemonium reigned over the base, with more than three thousand killed, thousands more wounded, and nine ships sunk with another dozen damaged. It was truly a date that would live in infamy, as President Franklin D. Roosevelt would report to the American public the next day as Congress began its proceedings to vote a declaration of war that would bring the United States into World War II.
What was a haven of misfortune for the American Pacific Fleet became even worse as fateful flukes brought two of America's three aircraft carriers to the harbor. Bad luck had haunted the USS Lexington as it had prepared to venture with Task Force 12 to carry marine aircraft in reinforcement of Midway Island, long expected to be the battleground for a Japanese attack, if any. Engine troubles had kept the Lexington at Pearl Harbor with engineers baffled and working to improve repairs that had been overly hasty some time before. The Enterprise, meanwhile, had seemed to carry good luck, arriving into port a day ahead of schedule on December 6 thanks to catching favorable current from a distant storm. The two carriers were well placed near Battleship Row for the Japanese torpedo-bombers to destroy both.
A new story by Jeff ProvineBy afternoon of December 7, the USS Saratoga was the only American carrier in the Pacific. It raced into action to reinforce Wake Island, stopping at the devastated Pearl Harbor along the way only long enough to refuel, but was forced to turn back when the Japanese conquered Wake with the remainder of its attacking fleet on its return from Hawaii. Running patrols and hoping to recoup, the States soon launched the USS Hornet, which had been laid down in 1939 and commissioned only two months before. In a strike that would be tactically negligible but key to American propaganda, the Hornet would serve and the launching platform for the Doolittle Raid against Tokyo on April 18, 1942,, showing the American and Japanese public alike that the US could strike wherever it wished.
In retaliation for Tokyo, Yamamoto realized the need for a strong buffer from US ships and determined to strike at Midway. The US Navy had always anticipated the attack, and the battle would be the second large-scale altercation of the Pacific War after the devastating loss at Coral Sea. Despite having broken Japanese code and inflicting heavy losses, the Americans would be forced to surrender with the sinking of the Hornet as they simply did not have the manpower to throw back the Japanese attack, much as had happened at Coral Sea the month before, where the Lexington had been sunk.
With these two major losses, the Japanese Empire stood almost unopposed in the Pacific. The Aleutian Campaign saw brutal US Marine defense against a Japanese island-hopping campaign that inflicted frustration among commanders. Meanwhile in the South Pacific, the Japanese fleet transported its army into swift invasions of New Zealand and Australia. While principle population centers such as Sydney and Auckland and important resources such as Australian copper mines were firmly controlled, the Aussies and Kiwis launched guerrilla campaigns from the mountains and Outback. Japanese soldiers would struggle through the war simply to maintain a semblance of control amid ambushes, sabotage, and assassination, which were traded by death-marches through the Australian desert and bitter treatment in prisoner-of-war camps.
It would not be until 1944 that Allied fortunes in the Pacific began to change for the better. The successful taking of the Gilbert Islands led to a new campaign that brought the liberation of New Zealand that June, followed by Australia that August. Challenging the Japanese oil supplies from the Dutch East Indies, General Douglas MacArthur finally made good on his promise to return to the Philippines in the counter-attacks of the fall of 1945. That December 7, four years after the war had begun, at President Truman's authorization, the first atomic bomb was dropped on the city of Hiroshima. A second would be dropped shortly after, and the Japanese emperor, citing specifically the pressure of Soviet invasion from occupied Korea, surrendered.
While many speculate what might have happened had the US Pacific Fleet been at full strength with its carriers after Pearl Harbor, it is a somber memory of what did in fact occur. From the agony of occupied Oceana to the jungle warfare of Southeast Asia to the genocide in China and the vicious bloodlettings in the Aleutians, the Pacific theater of WWII serves as a grave reminder of the terrible actions of war-hungry men. Since then, we have seen the marginal peace of the Cold War and Pax Americana interrupted at times by greed and wrath such as communist Korea's periodic baiting missile-launches toward capitalist Japan.
In 1870, on this day British troops under the command of Colonel Garnet Wolseley fired the first shots in the third war between United States and Great Britain, a volley of bullets which executed "the Father of Manitoba" Louis Riel at Upper Fort Garry.
Red River RebellionWolseley's men had endured a long, rough overland slog and were in no mood to be generous. Charged with seizing Manitoba back from the Métis separists who had engineered an annexation by the United States, their mission required the creation of a second French-Canadian stronghold.
This desired outcome was somewhat ironic given the circumstances. Because during the approval of the British North America Act three years before, serious consideration had been given to renaming the new nation the "The Kingdom of Canada", an option proposed by Canadian Prime Minister John A. Macdonald which had been dismissed largely because it would provoke the Americans.
In 2008, on this day the Office of the President-elect confirmed that Bill Clinton would not be moving back into the White House in January.The Clintons Transition Plan
The move was widely expected - after all, Bill been conspicuously absent from the November 10th visit to the White House for the first post-election meeting with President George W. Bush, a strikingly symbolic moment in the transition of power. And with the election won, the reassuring symbol of marriage was no longer required by Mrs Clinton - for even Ted Kennedy had toured with his ex-wife during the 1980 campaign. Cynics would note that Clinton was following in the steps of Nikolas Sarkozy to become the second head of state in eighteen months to divorce shortly after winning a Presidential election.
It was widely rumoured that Bill had cheated on Hillary continuously througout the campaign. Expected media revelations would have damaged the authority of the President-elect. Instead the media would focus on an alleged back-room deal that would lead to Bill's nomination as the replacement for Mrs. Clinton in the U.S. Senate. For shortly afterwards, Bill would join John Quincy Adams and Andrew Johnson as a President who served in Congress after spending time in the White House.
On this day of infamy in 1941 the popular restaurant chain Kimmel's was confronted with a surprise challenge to its dominance of the West Coast seafood dining scene when its archrival, the Tokyo-based Yamamoto franchise, opened its first U.S. branch in Honolulu.
"It was like somebody dive-bombed us". Kimmel's vice-president Chester Nimitz said of the effect the Honolulu Yamamoto's opening had on Kimmel's corporate profits; within six months sales had dropped 50% from the previous year and the company was faced with the prospect of having to close a third of its branches on the West Coast.
On this day in 1941, Germany's unilateral cease-fire with Great Britain cames to an abrupt end as a British naval patrol in the North Sea fired on and sank a U-boat which had been covertly monitoring operations at the Royal Navy base in Scapa Flow.
On this day in 1944, President Franklin Roosevelt marked the third anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor by signing into law the 1944 Soldiers & Sailors' Relief Act, a bill enacted to provide educational and housing assistance for returning American servicemen. The act would later become better known as 'the GI Bill'.
|Franklin D. Roosevelt|
In 2001, sixtieth anniversary remembrances of the 1941 Pearl Harbor attack are held in an America angry and fearful in the wake of the Sept. 11 Flight 93 tragedy and revelations of the wider attack, targeting the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and possibly the White House or the Capitol, which had been attempted.
On the ABC Evening News that night, conservative commentator George F. Will draws unflattering comparisons between FDR?s response to Pearl Harbor and Gore's to the Sept. 11 attack.
A German newspaper reports rumors that large numbers of U.S. troops are moving from temporary bases in Uzbekistan and Tadjikistan into new bases along the Pakistani-Afghan border, allegedly with the assistance of the Pakistani government.
In 1941, newspaper headlines across America announce ~ JAPAN ATTACKS PEARL HARBOR--WAR IS DECLARED. FDR, amid the same pressure from America First, decides not to declare against Nazi Germany. Jewish groups are enraged but FDR refuses to budge.
In 1941, Neville Chamberlain, fresh from negotiating peace in Europe, declared peace in Asia, as well. He successfully negotiated the Japanese pullout from China on this date. Chamberlain, Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1937 until his death in March of 1942, won the Nobel Peace Prize for his Herculean efforts to promote peace in office.
In 1941, Pearl Harbor, in the Hawaiian Protectorate, was attacked by heathen Shinto from the Japanese Empire. Pope George VI of the Holy British Empire declared a Crusade against them the next day, and all of Christendom attacked the island nation and its Buddhist allies in Asia. The Holy World War led to the establishment of Christian nations across Asia and the Pacific.
In 4637, Japan, which had been providing material and logistic support to nations attacked by the American Empire in South America, was attacked in the morning by a naval assault squadron. Unprepared for the attack, Japan lost thousands in Okinawa, and declared war against the American Empire the next day.
In 2694 AUC, the Roman Republic launched a sneak attack against the tiny island nation of Nippon in Asia. The heavily fortified island nation had been threatening the Chinese allies of Rome for a decade, and had recently invaded the province of Manchuria. The Republic couldn't stand idly by anymore, and its forces attacked Kyoto; the war was over by the end of the next year, and Nippon was contained.
In 12-16-7-16-13, Nipponese forces strike out against the Incan capital in Teutehuanoco. For several years, the combined Inca-Oueztecan Empire had been making inroads across the ocean, and the Nipponese people felt that they could halt their disintegrating influence with military power. They were wrong; the war against them ended in their utter annihilation.
In 1941, a combined force of naval and air power from the empire of Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. After seeing how unprepared the Americans were for attack, the Japanese invaded the western coast of the country at the end of the year, making America fight a defensive struggle on its own shores. The Axis powers of Germany and Italy conquered Europe and Africa, and Japan, although eventually repelled from North America, ruled the Pacific. The western hemisphere was economically and politically isolated from the east.
In 1941, Imperial Japanese forces invade the Aleutian Islands. Throughout the 30's, they had gobbled up smaller nations in the Pacific Community of Trade, and they had finally decided the time was right to attack the Soviet States of America. This proved to be their undoing, as the remaining members of the Community of Trade threw themselves against the empire and its reactionary allies, defeating them in 1946.
In 1941, a large Japanese strike force falls on Thailand, after American warnings to leave southeast Asia alone fail to persuade them. Although President Roosevelt wanted to join in the war against the Japanese and Germans, the lack of any direct threat to the U.S. kept him out.
In 1941, the moment of truth arrived at Unit 731 after many years of hard work in manufacturing and employing bacteriological weapons. General Otozoo Yamada was about to find out which of his weapons was most effective - the million man Japanese army occupying Manchuria or Germ warfare. In less than twenty-four hours, the decision would be for Germ warfare. But only because Pearl Harbour Rear Admiral Husband E. Kimmel had not received an order from Washington. General George Marshall had cabled Hawaii to raise Mosquito Nets, but the warning arrived too late to prevent the Day of Infamy.
In 1941, General George Marshall sent the famous warning message to Hawaii that morning. It was actually delivered by a young Japanese-American cycle messenger, to General Walter Short, commanding general of the Army post at Pearl Harbour Rear Admiral Husband E. Kimmel commander actioned the telegram in good time to save the U.S. Pacific Fleet from certain destruction by raising the torpedo nets.
In 1670, on this day a gang led by the well-known ruffian Thomas Blood murdered James Butler, the 1st Duke of Ormonde (pictured) while riding in his carriage in central London.
Eminence GriseWhile driving up St James's Street, Ormonde was attacked by Blood and his accomplices who dragged the Duke out of his coach, took him on horseback along Piccadilly and hung him at Tyburn. His son the Lord Ossory publically accused the inveterate schemer Duke of Buckingham of being the eminence grise behind Blood's gang. To settle this matter of honour, Buckingham, a noted duellist, answer this question with the inevitable challenge.
Even though he strongly disapproved of the King's Catholic sympathies, he was a childhood friend of Charles with whom he still enjoyed close ties. And many of his dirtier deeds had actually been performed on the King's behalf, enabling the Crown to distance itself from these most disreputable actions. But the plot exposed by Lord Ossory was far stranger.
From 1649 to 1650 Lord Ormonde was the leading commander of the Royalist forces fighting against the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland. In the 1650s he lived in exile in Europe with Charles II of England. Upon the restoration of Charles II to the British throne in 1660, Ormonde became a major figure in English and Irish politics, holding many high government offices. During 1670, he discovered that the Duke of Buckingham had pretensions to succeed the childless monarch (Charles' wife Catherine of Braganza bore him no offspring even though he admitted to twelve illegitimate children). This was confirmed when the Duke referred to himself as a "Prince" before dying from the shot from Lord Ossory's duelling pistol1.
In 1745, on this day Prince Charlie crossed the Swarkestone Bridge. In England's Revolution of 1688, often termed the "Glorious Revolution", the Stuart dynasty was removed from the English and Scottish thrones once more, this time deposed by William of Orange at the invitation of Parliament.
Prince Charlie Crosses Swarkestone Bridge The Catholic kings of a Protestant nation had been a struggle through the seventeenth century, but many in Britain felt that the Stuarts would be best upon the throne, especially as non-English-speaking Germans from Hanover began to rule. The Stuart Cause would continue, even after "The Fifteen", a bungled invasion by James III & VII after which the Old Pretender was no longer welcome in France as an embarrassment.
A new story by Jeff ProvinePrince Charles Edward Stuart (fondly known as "Bonnie Prince Charlie") had been trained for war since his birth. He witnessed sieges, studied with commanders, and took up pursuit of the generalship that would win him back his throne. While his father was the exiled king, James III & VII still had enough influence to persuade France into sending an invasion fleet in 1744. In preparation, Prince Regent Charles went to Scotland and began to raise his army of supporters. While the French invasion never materialized, Charlie decided to carry out the reconquest of Britain himself in 1745.
With two ships and an army of eight men, Charlie landed at Eriskay on July 23. Finding great support among the Highlanders, Charlie raised his father's standard and formed up an army large enough to subdue Edinburgh. At Prestonpans on September 21, Charlie met with the only government army to stand against him in Scotland, which he soundly defeated, inflicting ten times the causalities his force took. From there, he pressed south, moving practically unopposed with 6,000 men through Cumbria and Derbyshire to Swarkestone Bridge. There, word said that few supported him in the south and, worse, the government was building a mass of force to counterattack. Charlie's commanders advised him to turn back and raise more of his own support.
Charlie decided to ignore them and pressed southward while momentum was with him. It was found that few did support him in the south, but few supported the Hannovers as well. As winter settled, Charlie made for London, hoping to besiege the city during its hungriest time. His only obstacle was a force comparable in size to his own, though hastily assembled, led by King George II's son, the Duke of Cumberland. They met at Hatfield on December 18, where Charlie's Highlanders made use of the ancient woods to minimize the effect of the government cannon. When the battle was won, Charlie seized the cannon and turned it on London for the winter siege.
By spring, the city was in an uproar against Parliament. Without hope of fresh food coming that spring, the winter starvation would grow even worse. Charlie welcomed anyone who would desert the city and join his cause, strengthening his ranks with generous Christmas and New Years' feasts. Finally, on April 16, Parliament conceded and voted to reinstate the House of Stuart and oust George II. Charlie's father James would be crowned later that year and rule until his death in 1766. The aged James was feared as being a Catholic tyrant, but he proved largely ineffectual, his most vivacious act being to keep Britain out of the Prussian War, where Frederick the Great established himself as a power on the Continent.
Charlie, meanwhile, traveled the British Colonies in hopes of expansion. He toured the Americas, also helping to establish the legitimacy of the Stuarts, and joined Robert Clive on his second journey in India. During his time in England, he converted to Anglicanism, which enraged his father but set many British minds at ease. Upon being crowned in 1766, Charles III began ambitious projects to expand British trade and endorsed exploration for new routes and potential settlements, especially in North America and in the Pacific with Admiral Cook's five voyages. His rigorous expansion inevitably led to further wars with the Dutch and French, expensive naval campaigns that drained the treasury of all.
When Parliament attempted to levy heavier taxes, uproar rose among the American colonists in the early 1780s with calls for representation, perhaps even independence. It is said that Charlie was fearful of losing his crown after fighting to win it, and he went quickly to work adding American seats to Parliament to guarantee his support. His "weakness" would be severely criticized by many Tories, but the heavy hand of the French king Louis XVI would lead to the brutal revolution in 1791.
Charlie stayed quiet through the remainder of his reign, depending more upon prime ministers such as William Pitt. His son Charles IV succeeded the throne upon his death in 1798, the same year the Egyptian War sparked as Republican France attempted to strike at India through the Suez. Upon the sound defeat of France and the seizure of many of its colonial claims, the nineteenth century would stand as the next golden age of Britain, continuing Charlie's legacy of progressive economics and social liberality.
In 1963, on this day at the Parkland Hospital in Dallas, twenty-seven year old Jim Tague of Plainfield, Indiana died as a result of complications arising from a wound to the right hand side of his face caused by a gunshot at the Dealey Plaza on November 22nd.
Truth WithheldThe deceased had been driving to downtown Dallas to have lunch with a friend when he came upon a traffic jam due to the presidential motorcade. This caused him to stop his car, get out of it, and stand by Dealey Plaza, at the south curb of Main Street, 520 feet (158 m) southwest of the Texas School Book Depository. He was a few feet east of the eastern edge of the triple overpass railroad bridge when he was critically wounded.
The Warren Commission would later determine that the cause of death was the stray bullets from security forces who had over-reacted to a firecracker being set off by three drunken tramps standing behind the grassy knoll. Despite the mysterious disappearance of those bullets, this version of events was supported by articles in Life Magazine and the Reader's Digest written by future Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford who would later be elected to the highest office to ensure that "government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth".
In 1889, on this day the first President of the Confederate States, eighty-one year old Jefferson Finis Davis died in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Jefferson F. Davis
1st Confederate President
February 18, 1961 - March 4, 1867He took office on February 18, 1861, and was elected as first president of the CSA in that election. His first official act was to appoint a Peace Commission to go to Washington. The plan was to offer payment for all federal property within the CSA and the portion of the national debt that the states owed. The Commission was not authorized, however, to discuss reunion. At the same time, though, he had made sure that federal troops stationed within Confederate borders were put on notice to vacate those posts.
A new article from the "Two Americas" thread on Althistory WikiaWhen US Army Major Robert Anderson abandoned Fort Moultrie and secretly moved into the unfinished Fort Sumter (both near Charleston, South Carolina), he had not intentions of surrendering to the new governments demands. By April, 1861, though, the fort was running out of supplies. When President Abraham Lincoln sent re-enforcements, the Battle for Fort Sumter began the War Between the States.
Part TwoThis War for Independence would wage for most of Davis' term as president. It saddened him as he saw men with whom he had served in politics and in battle fight each other to the death. He made frequent trips behind the lines to visit the troops and confer with his generals. Some analysts have even concluded that his decision to move the government to Richmond, Virginia, was the deciding factor in saving the Confederacy from destruction. His presence near the front lines would indeed prove the strongest factor in the determination and drive that kept the war out of the deep south until May of 1865 after the death of President Lincoln at the hands of John Wilkes Booth.
When General William T. Sherman had begun his march through Mississippi, however, he had stepped on "sacred ground" in the eyes of President Davis. The defense of Jackson became a priority as Davis personally traveled to within a hundred miles of the front. With General Robert E. Lee firmly in command of Virginia, and the Confederacy's best commanders facing Sherman in Mississippi, the Union forces were spread thin. Davis' choice to avoid crossing into US territory stood him well throughout 1865, though, and President Andrew Johnson began to send representatives to Richmond in January of 1866 to negotiate a cease fire.
Ambassadors from both England and France began to mediate between the warring Americans in March, and hostilities began to slow considerably throughout 1866. On August 8th, a ceasefire was declared, and all US troops withdrew across the borders that had been established by the individual states at the time of their joining of the Confederacy. An uneasy truce would hold for decades before an official "peace treaty" would be signed on May 8, 1885.
In 1921, on this day both the Irish and British government delegates sign the Anglo-Irish Treaty at Downing Street; thereby bringing an end to a conflict between British forces and Irish militants across the island of Ireland since April 1916, not to mention seven centuries of occupation of the British government over it's island neighbour.
A Republic With A Price by Gerry ShannonDays after the Truce that had ended the Anglo-Irish War, the President of the Irish Republic, Eamon De Valera met British Prime Minister Lloyd George in London four times in the week starting 14th July. Lloyd George sent his initial proposals on 20th July that were quite a departure from the Treaty that was eventually signed. This was followed by months of delay until October, when the Irish delegates set up headquarters in 22 Hand Pace, Knightsbridge.
The first two weeks of the negotiations were spent in formal sessions. Upon the request of De Valera and his Secretary of State for Finance (and Director of Intelligence in the Irish Republican Army), Michael Collins, the two delegations began informal negotiations, in which only two members of each negotiation team were allowed to attend (pictured). On the Irish side, these members were always Collins and De Valera, while on the British side, Neville Chamberlain always attended, though the second British negotiator would vary from day to day.
In late November, the Irish delegation returned to Dublin as per De Valera's promise to his cabinet colleagues to consult them, and again on 3rd December. Many points still had to be resolved, mainly surrounding the unionist allegiance to an Irish republic, but it was clear to all the politicians involved by this stage that it was not an option to partition the country into two states, north and south; thereby granting the unionist minority a majority in a six-county Northern Ireland state.
Collins, who would emerge in the new government as Commander of the Irish Republican Army, said later that at the last minute Lloyd George reminded his own delegation of a renewal of a "terrible and immediate war" from the Irish republicans if the Treaty was not signed at once. However, this was not mentioned as a fear in the Irish memorandum about the close of negotiations, merely a reflection of the reality; given the British forces having become increasingly overwhelmed by IRA activities across Ireland within the last few years.
Among noteworthy clauses of the Treaty were:
- British forces would withdraw from Ireland.
- The new country shall be known as the Republic of Ireland, and consist of the thirty-two counties of the island.
- It's parlimament, known as Dáil Eireann, would be responsible for governance and public services.
- Northern Ireland would not have the option of withdrawing from the Irish Republic once the Treaty came into effect. Instead, the elected representatives of the unionist minority were obliged to take their seats in the new Irish parliament.
- The Treaty would have superior status in Irish law, i.e., in the event of a conflict between it and the new 1922 constitution of the Irish Republic, the treaty would take precedence.
In Dublin, Vice-President of the Irish Republic, Arthur Griffith called a cabinet meeting to discuss the treaty on 8th December, the Vice-President himself supporting the Treaty as signed. The cabinet decided unanimously to recommend the Treaty to the Dáil on 14th December.
The Dáil voted to approve the Treaty, but this vote was problematic given the unionist minority, led by Edward Carson, still refused to recognize the government of the Irish Republic and were listed as being absent. The brewing discontent between nationalists and unionists would soon lead to the Irish Civil War. The refusal of the Irish delegation to allow the creation of a Northern Ireland state for the unionist minority would be a serious point of consternation between both sides; reverberating in conflicts political, social and violent for decades to follow.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.