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Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Written by Alternate Historian

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January 20

In 1965, in his re-inaugural address, President John F. Kennedy places strong emphasis on foreign issues that influence the lives of everyday Americans and their responsibility to the world they inhabit:Watchmen on the World

"We in this country, in this generation, are--by destiny rather than choice--the watchmen on the walls of world freedom. We ask, therefore, that we may be worthy of our power and responsibility, that we may exercise our strength with wisdom and restraint, and that we may achieve in our time and for all time the ancient vision of 'peace on earth, good will toward men.' That must always be our goal, and the righteousness of our cause must always underlie our strength. For as was written long ago: 'except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.'"

Historian Robert Dallek notes in his biography, John F. Kennedy: A Life Well Lived, that the lines are in fact taken from a little-known speech that Kennedy did at the Dallas Trade Mart in late 1963. The speech was given during a re-election tour of the Southern states, which many say was pivotal to Kennedy winning a considerable margin of the popular vote. (A feat that had just barely escaped him in the 1960 election).

Indeed, many would later percieve Kennedy's speech as a sign of further emphasis on peace-making during his second term, as demonstrated by his later clashes with the Joint Chiefs of Staff over the gradual withdrawl of troops from Vietnam - and sending low level envoys to the Cuban government by mid-1966. Not to ignore his considerable domestic achievements, such as the passing of the 1966 Civil Rights Bill - and major economic incentives to combat poverty and unemployment).

However, all of these threatened to be overshadowed in the twilight of the Kennedy administration, when the President was struck gravely ill in June 1967 due to long-standing back troubles - forcing Lyndon Johnson to temporarily assume the presidency for over three weeks while Kennedy underwent emergency treatment and a quick recovery. So shocking was the revelation of Kennedy's major health issues and the numerous ailments to treat them (even long before his career in the House of Representatives), that the threat of impeachment loomed large at the outset of his presidency.






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