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

Quick Links


Selected threads


Archive Navigator

January February March
April May June
July August September
October November December

Editor's Postbag     |     Feed


Site Meter


Todayinah EditorEditor says, for subscription users please follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Disqus or Google Plus. History runs along a different line in Today In Alternate History, a site which chronicles "important events in history that never occurred today". Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist superpower, aliens influencing human history in the 18th century and Teddy Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting fictional blog.


 Editor's Pick
In 2914 due to a radical change of heart from both beings, Yahweh rewarded the Morning Star for his benign thousand-year reign of the Earth; instead of casting the Fallen Angel into the Lake of Fire, he would be "lifted up again by the Lord".<font size=-2 color=red>Click <a href=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SyBM0dFRwoQ&playnext=1&list=PL1F32292702685178&index=2><img border=0 src=http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/.element/img/2.0/global/icons/video_icon.gif></a> to watch Full Force Gale by Van Morrison (1979) on Youtube</font> "Satan Calls it Quits"In 2006 in announcing his electoral platform as a Democratic Party Candidate for the US Senate, the actor and human rights activist Ramón Estévez<sup>1</sup> pledged to withdraw the State of Ohio<sup>2</sup> from the All America Battle Royale for 2007/8.<font color=red size=-2>Watch the Trailer of Battle Royale</font> <a target=_blank href=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-T7yPJVvXw><img src=http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/.element/img/2.0/global/icons/video_icon.gif border=0></a>"Battle Royale"In 1945 despite the Infamous Lava Man being too far gone for current re-animation technology to succeed, the alien scientists at the Secret Nazi Base in New Swabia, Antartica did manage to bring Adolf Hitler <a href=http://www.todayinah.co.uk/index.php?story=39771-L>back to life</a> although admittedly he was hopelessly insane."Back to Life"
It is 1955 and the monarchies have been abolished in both Britain and Greece, leaving both Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip out of a job."Princess Gloria", Happy at Last In 1960 what would have been the first-ever televised debate among presidential candidates came under technical difficulties that cut out the visual transmission, leaving only the audio and a test pattern, leading many Americans to turn off their televisions. "Nixon-Kennedy Debate" Faces Technical DifficultiesBy 1983 the Cold War stood as the United States and Soviet Union armed each with far more missiles than needed to wipe out all life on the surface of the Earth. There would be no winner in World War 3. "Stanislav Petrov" Pushes The Nuclear Button
In 1989 on this day disgraced former President Richard M. Nixon was finally released from prison under executive clemency granted by the most forgiving of his successors, George H.W. Bush."Tricky Dicky" finally released from prisonIn 1943 re-deployment orders were issued by Prime Minister Oliver Stanley (pictured) to down-size the British Eight and Fourteenth Armies. Because as part of the sweeping changes caused by <a href=http://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2002/08/09/Alternate-History-1943-A-road-not-taken-1/UPI-15311028907028/>the death of Churchill and Eden</a>, British and Commonwealth Divisions were being withdrawn from the Italian and Burmese theatres in order to provide General Alan Brooke with the resources he would need for the forthcoming invasion of Normandy. <span class=EditorText>This article is part of the <a href=http://www.todayinah.co.uk/index.php?thread=Oliver_Stanley>Oliver Stanley</a> thread.</span>"Monty"'s Long Winter of 1943 In 1993 a little after noon, a truck bomb exploded in the parking garage under the World Trade Center, setting off a chain of collapse that would bring down the two principle towers of the WTC complex. "World Trade Center" Bombing Brings Down Towers
In 1865 after mortally wounding Abraham Lincoln, famed actor John Wilkes Booth leaped gracefully onto the stage of Fords Theater, landing uninjured while announcing to the audience, "Sic semper tyrannis!"  During the chaos, he made his escape out the back door, adding, "The South is avenged!". "John Wilkes Booth" evades captureIn 1947 as Britain prepared to grant India its independence during the scaling down of an empire upon which the sun could not set, the question of the mountain kingdom of Kashmir seemed easily solved as the population was 77 percent Muslim and it stood at some of the headwaters of the Indus River; it would simply go along with the newly created Dominion of Pakistan. "Kashmir" Remains IndependentIn 1960 the first televised debate between presidential candidates VP M. Michael Morrison and the Democrat nominee John F. Kennedy takes place in Chicago, Illinois at the studios of CBS WBBM-TV. Drawing over 66 million viewers out of a population of 179 million, the debate was one of the most-watched broadcasts in U.S. television history."The Duke" squares off against a Piligrim by the name of Kennedy


October 26

In 1992, a package of amendments to the Constitution of Canada were given force of law.

Passage of the Charlottetown AccordThe deal known as the "Charlottetown Accord" had been underwritten by the entire political class. As a result, Minister of Constitutional Affairs Joe Clarke (himself a former Prime Minister) had advised Brian Mulroney against a popular referendum. This was a good call for a number of reasons, firstly lack of popular interest, the unpopularity of the political class and finally the opportunity for antagonism from nay-sayers such as former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. In short, the two Progressive Conservatives wanted to avoid provoking a reaction.

Unfortunately, three provinces British Columbia, Alberta, and Quebec had recently passed legislation requiring that constitutional amendments be submitted to a public referendum. The certainty of these votes had almost convinced Mulroney to call a national referendum, but in the end, he decided not to. Ironically, Trudeau had warned that Charlottetown Accord signalled the end of the Federal Government's authority, and in so doing, Mulroney stole his fire.

True, the accord introduced a number of institutional changes that radically reshaped the face of Canadian politics. For example, the composition and the appointment process for the Supreme Court of Canada were to be constitutionally entrenched. Although the Supreme Court's constituting statute requires that three of its justices be from Quebec, due to Quebec's use of codified civil law rather than English common law, this has never been constitutionally mandated. The Canadian Senate was reformed, although the reform fell short of the "triple-E" (equal, elected and effective) Senate pushed by the Western provinces and Newfoundland. The accord allowed senators to be elected either in a general election, or by the provincial legislatures. Six would be assigned for every province and one for each territory, and provisions would be in place to permit the future creation of special seats for First Nations voters. However, the powers of the Senate were reduced, and on matters relating to francophone culture and language (determined by the Speaker of the Senate), passage of a bill would require a "double majority" - a majority in the Senate as a whole and a majority of francophone senators.

Changes were also proposed for the House of Commons. Most controversially, Quebec was guaranteed never to be allotted less than one-quarter of the seats in the House. Following the "equalization" of the Senate, the House's seat distribution would also be based more so on population than previously, with more seats allotted to Ontario and the Western provinces. The accord formally institutionalized the federal-provincial-territorial consultative process, and provided for Aboriginal inclusion in certain circumstances. It also increased the number of matters in the existing constitutional amending formula that required unanimous consent.

In 1947, on this day the fortieth Governor of Illinois Hillary Rodham was born at Edgewater Hospital in Chicago.

Governor ClintonUnfortunately her co-presidency with husband Bill Clinton was mired by scandal. Following his resignation over the Monica Lewinsky Affair, the Clinton's parted and she obtained a divorce in 1999. Hillary restored her maiden name and moved back to Chicago.

The timing was expedient because she narrowly met the three year residency qualification for her 2002 gubernatorial run against Rod Blagojevich. However her political future would be more affected by a struggle with another Democratic Illinoisan a self-styled "skinny guy with a funny name" called Barack Hussein Obama. He would ultimately frustrate her plucky attempt to become the first Madam President.

In 1956, on the eve of the Presidential election, the conjoined international crisis in Hungary and Egypt was deepened by the Soviet arrest of the maverick aristocrat Otto von Habsburg.

Conjoined Crisis Part 5
Habsburg Arrested
Formally the Archduke Otto of Austria, he was the last Crown Prince of Austria-Hungary from 1916 until the dissolution of the empire in 1918. He remained the Crown Prince of Hungary until the deposition of the Habsburgs in Hungary in 1921. He subsequently became the pretender to the former thrones, Head of the Imperial House of Habsburg (pictured), and Sovereign of the Order of the Golden Fleece in 1922.

In 1949, he ennobled several people, granting them Austrian noble titles, although not recognized by the Austrian republic. As he did not possess a passport and was effectively stateless, he was given a passport of the Principality of Monaco, thanks to the intervention of Charles de Gaulle in 1946.

Since the crisis started, he had been on the border making himself available to negotiate a compromise between the Soviet Union and Hungarian Government of Imre Nagy. He then entered the country with the intention of meeting Cardinal Mindszenty, the Primate of Hungary but this move had only triggered his arrest by Soviet authorities who were keen to end Habsburg's meddling. However this only precipitated a larger crisis due to his connections with the European Community. When the Western Media misreported that he was an "honest broker" seeking to defuse the crisis through arbitration, the matter entered the US political agenda and led to an unpleasant "October Surprise" for President Eisenhower. An article from the Conjoined Crisis thread.

It is 2012, and in a dramatic return to his Mormon roots, Mitt Romney has announced that he plans to take on three more wives.

The Four Mrs. Romneys"It will serve the public's needs more than my own," he explained, in a press conference that left the reporters, for once, speechless. "I will still have Ann to care for the children, since she talks so much about it. Then I can take on a second, bilingual bride, who will travel throughout the world, thus winning hearts and minds in foreign countries. The third wife will stay at home, making public appearances at state fairs and other events. And the fourth will be an activist, crusading for worthy causes, such as plural marriage and other alternative lifestyles".

Anticipating the public's objections, he quickly explained that, while the Mormon Church outlawed polygamy long ago, in order to be admitted to the union, he has a right to practice his own religious freedom.

Asked later for their reaction, the Mormon leadership replied that, to use a phrase borrowed from another minority faith, "He has gone completely meshugeh".

However, he fired back that his new arrangement will certainly help him to win even more of the women's vote..by three ballots, at least. And if he chose to wed his brides in Ohio, those three could help him to carry that hotly contested state.

In 1774, in a public letter dated on this day the First Continental Congress formally invited French-Canadians to join in a second meeting of the Congress to be held in May 1775.

Canada falls to the Arnold-Montgomery ExpeditionThe Second Continental Congress sent a second such letter in May 1775, but there was no substantive response to either one and on June 27, 1775, Congress authorized General Philip Schuyler to investigate, and, if it seemed appropriate, begin an invasion. Benedict Arnold, passed over for its command, went to Boston and convinced General George Washington to send a supporting force to Quebec City under his command.

The subsequent Arnold-Montgomery expedition was then bolstered [1] by the enlististment of troops for two full years (instead of one) and the support of the Iroquois who mostly come in on the Continental side. In combination, they seized Montreal (capturing British General Guy Carleton), then Quebec City and soon enough the conquest of French-Canada was a fait accompli.

In the spring, the Virginia expedition occupied the British posts in the Lakes country triggering the entry of French and Spanish into the war. The campaign then headed south, with the main British expeditionary forces moving to Charleston, Savannah and Havana. But with neither side able to deliver a knock-out blow, a protracted conflict continued until well into 1783.

France had insisted upon centralization as a price for aid, and the inevitable result was that the independent new nation closely resembled a version of England only with an elective monarch. The professional head of the Contintental Army, General George Washington became President as well as Commander. And his Federal Government covered the former territories of Middle Atlantic states, the devastated Dixie states and Canada with New England allied but established as separate colonies.

In early 1950, the Soviet Union refused to seat a delegate on the U.N. Security Council in protest over the fact that the Republic of China (Taiwan) had a permanent seat on the council but the People's Republic of China (PRC) did not.

Soviets veto resolution to defend South KoreaThe USSR had veto power on the council, a fact that would become vitally important in June of that year when North Korea invaded South Korea. With no Soviet delegate present, UN Security Council Resolution 84 received 7 "yes" votes with three nations abstaining. This vote gave international sanction for the defense of South Korea. But what if the Soviet delegate to the council had been present and had vetoed the resolution?

Today in 1950, U.S., British, Australian, and Canadian troops landed in North Korea at several points along the shoreline of Wonsan harbor. It was the largest amphibious operation since the Normandy invasion of June, 1944. Although North Korean units in the area fully expected a seaborne invasion, the size of the force wading ashore quickly overwhelmed any effort at defense. It was clear from that morning that there would be no holding back in the defense of South Korea.

A new story by Matt DattiloAfter the Soviet veto of UN Security Council Resolutions 84 and 85 in July, it became clear that if South Korea were to be saved, it would take a coalition of nations operating outside of UN auspices. U.S. President Harry Truman, unwilling to act without Congressional approval, initially ordered only military aid sent to the beleaguered South Korean military. By the third week of July, a North Korean victory seemed certain. By the first of August, the remains of the Republic's military was being loaded aboard ships at the port of Pusan, the last city in South Korean hands. Those fortunate enough to escape the country by sea set up a government-in-exile in Taiwan.

A plan to retake the Korean peninsula was already being finalized by the time the North Korean communists declared victory on August 8th, 1950. President Truman's State Department had been quietly negotiating with a small group of like-minded nations in an attempt to form a military coalition. General Douglas MacArthur, as Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers in the Pacific, would be the overall commander of all land and sea forces. MacArthur wanted to make a landing at Inchon, a port on the west coast of Korea close to Seoul. It boasted some of the world's farthest ranging tides and the invasion force would have to deal with scaling up a seawall while under attack by North Korean defenders. Regardless, Mac was confident that 40,000 men could be put ashore while the tide was in.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff thought differently. Their plan was to put 100,000 men ashore at Wonsan, located on the other side of the peninsula. From there, the force would push over the mountainous interior of North towards Pyongyang, cutting off the North Korean supply routes in the process. With winter closing in rapidly, communist forces in the south would soon find themselves in a desperate situation. At least that was the hope.

Before any overt military action could be taken, President Truman needed Congressional approval. On August 15th, 1950, he addressed a joint session of Congress and asked for a declaration of war against North Korea and "any other belligerent nation who shall commit forces in their aid". Truman's advisers had informed him that he was on solid legal ground if he chose to commit forces to the defense of South Korea without a Congressional declaration, reasoning that it was enough to just inform Congress of his actions and place a time limit on the troop commitment. Truman wanted no vague legalities; he told his Chief of Staff: "No half-measures here---if we're going to war, it will be decisive". The Congressional declaration was approved the next day.

And so it began. Truman addressed the nation, hoping to gain support for another war only five years after the end of the most destructive conflict in human history. Public response was lukewarm, but supportive. In the next few weeks, Army and Marine Corps reserve units were called to active duty. National Guard troops from nearly every state in the nation were federalized. Naval units from the Atlantic Fleet were rushed to service in the Pacific. Civilian transport ships were hired out, leased, or bought outright to carry everything the invasion force would need, from toothpaste to bazooka rounds.

At 5AM local time on October 26th, 1950, the liberation of Korea began when the guns of all four Iowa-class battleships and 20 heavy cruisers opened up on targets in and around Wonsan Harbor. Carrier-based fighter-bombers, Air Force B-29s, B-50s and B-36s targeted anything of military value inland. The US Marine Corps First Division, US Army Seventh Division and four British Royal Armored Regiments spearheaded the landings and met eager but weak resistance. By the end of the day on October 27th, 108,000 troops were ashore and pushing west.

By the end of 1950, North Korean troops trapped south of the pre-war border were surrendering in brigade-sized groups. Isolated pockets of fanatics would fight on into early 1951, but the North Korean army had ceased to exist as a cohesive force. Coalition forces pushed to within 20 miles of the Yalu River, which marks the border between North Korea and China. A feared Chinese intervention on the side of the North never materialized. Years later, it would be learned that the overwhelming force presented by the Coalition forces at Wonsan and during the push across the peninsula convinced the leadership in Beijing that sending troops to fight in Korea would not change the course of events.

There was a real fear in Washington that the Soviet Union might become directly involved in the fighting. But Josef Stalin had no interest in Korea and when Coalition spokesmen publicly floated the idea of a 10-mile wide demilitarized zone between Korea and China, Moscow encouraged Beijing to accept the deal and wait for other opportunities. The re-unified nation of Korea had many hard years ahead both politically and financially. But within 25 years it would be a thriving democracy and an economic powerhouse in the Pacific Rim.

In 1947, as Britain prepared to grant India its independence during the scaling down of an empire upon which the sun could not set, the question of the mountain kingdom of Kashmir seemed easily solved as the population was 77 percent Muslim and it stood at some of the headwaters of the Indus River; it would simply go along with the newly created Dominion of Pakistan.

Kashmir Remains Independent However, when its King Hari Singh was slow to act after the British left, Pakistan funded the Azad ("Free") Kashmir army to press the king into acceptance through guerrilla terrorism.

Kashmir had not long been its own nation. It originally stood as the Kashmir Valley, a geographic feature of the Himalayas that carved a rich valley nearly surrounded by the world's tallest mountain range. Long populated by Hindus and Buddhists, the Muslim influence came gradually and harmoniously. After centuries of increasing corruption, the reigning Hindu Lohara were overthrown in 1339 by the Muslim Shams-ud-Din Shah Mir, who began a long dynasty of Islamic rule in a period where Islam became the dominant religion. Kashmir would eventually lose its self-determination as it come under control of the Mughal Empire in the 1580s and was passed on to the Afghani Durrani and Sikh empires over the next centuries.

Gulab Singh, a grandnephew and courtier of the Sikh's first Maharaja Ranjit Singh, was awarded Kashmir as a subsidiary kingdom after his excellent services in northern campaigns that helped secure the region. He went on to conquer nearby Jammu and worked with the increasing British presence in the region. In 1846, the First Anglo-Sikh War would knock down much of the Sikh's power in favor of the growing British Empire, and Gulab would prove himself an able negotiator after British victory at the Battle of Sobraon. Gulab's son and successor Ranbir sided with the British in the Indian Rebellion of 1857, which prompted another award as the British officially named him ruler of the Princely State of Kashmir and Jammu. For the next century, Kashmir was a relatively quiet subordinate kingdom with its own maharajas.

After World War II and the success of India's independence movement, the partition of Pakistan and India led to humanity's largest mass migration as Muslims and Hindus tried to sort themselves out amid the new borders. When King Hari Singh did not move to join Pakistan after the British officials left their posts, the Pakistan government attempted to force the land into submission with scare tactics and raids. Hari Singh turned to Louis Mountbatten, the man who had been the last Viceroy of India and oversaw its transition as Governor-General of the Union of India; Mountbatten replied that aid could only be given if Kashmir were part of his jurisdiction in India. After great thought, Hari Singh refused to the offer and addressed his people with a speech relayed by radio of the decision to remain free and the importance of standing up to Pakistani aggression. Pakistan became embarrassed by the international outcry, and the resulting UN resolution gave foreign aid while a plebiscite was held. The votes to remain independent narrowly won out, and many commentators agreed that if Pakistan had not moved so harshly, that the people would have eagerly joined.

In 1950, across the Himalayas, China would march into Tibet nearly unopposed. Taking note from the lack of international action, Pakistan would make its own march into Kashmir. King Hari Singh simply fled, and the people were largely complacent. India led a cry for Kashmiri independence, prompting an Indian army marching into Kashmir to restore the king, which resulted in an outpouring of aid from China, who feared an Indian supremacy in the region. While China sent only a few soldiers, their influence in Kashmir increased greatly and soon funded, ironically enough, the violent separatists, many of them minority Hindu and Sikh.

The disappearance of the Mo-e-Muqaddas (the Hair of the Prophet) relic from the Hazratbal shrine on December 26, 1963, prompted swift crackdown on minorities and violations of human rights such as illegal arrest, searches, and seizure of property. Although the relic was found again only days later, the policies remained, prompting another invasion from India in 1965 in an effort to liberate the oppressed Hindus in Jammu as well as to capture high ground for tactical advantage. The war reached a standoff, and Kashmir remained bloody and tense until the USSR's occupation of Afghanistan sparked another conflict in the Third Kashmir War. Using American arms and reinforcements, Pakistan held its advantage.

Since the 1980s, Kashmir has remained one of the most notoriously troubled regions in the world. The development of nuclear weapons in both India and Pakistan has caused a sense of nervous peace, though skirmishes crop up, such as gunfire in 1999 and raiding following the 2005 earthquake.

In 2009, on this day British Prime Minister Bryan Gould issued an official apology to the Republic of Poland.

The mysterious death of General Sikorski The beginning of this controversial affair was a formal request to exhume the remains of General Wladyslaw Sikorski, the talismanic head of Poland's government in exile during the Second World War. On behalf of the people of Poland, President Lech Kaczynski sought the truth about the General's mysterious demise, telling the Tygodnik Powszechny weekly newspaper that "The tragic circumstances of the death of General Sikorski should be explained".

"The tragic circumstances of the death of General Sikorski should be explained"Because on July 4, 1943, while Sikorski was returning from an inspection of Polish forces deployed in the Middle East, he was killed, together with his daughter, his Chief of Staff, Tadeusz Klimecki, and seven others, when his plane, a Liberator II, serial AL523, crashed into the sea 16 seconds after takeoff from Gibraltar Airport at 23:07 hours. He was subsequently buried in a brick-lined grave at the Polish War Cemetery in Newark-on-Trent, England. On September 17, 1993, his remains were exhumed and transferred to the royal crypts at Wawel Castle in Krakow, Poland.

"This is the end of Poland. This is the end of Poland".Immediately after the crash, a Polish officer who had witnessed the event from the airstrip began sobbing quietly and repeating: "This is the end of Poland. This is the end of Poland". General Sikorski's death marked a turning point for Polish influence amongst the Anglo-American allies. No Pole after him would have much sway with the Allied politicians. Sikorski had been the most prestigious leader of the Polish exiles and his death was a severe setback for the Polish cause.

Conspiracy theories have surrounded the death, including a Soviet plot on Stalin's orders, and the exhumation of the statesman's remains from Wawel Cathedral, Krakow, proved this. But worse than the discovery of Russian ordinance in the cadaver, was the later revelation of British complicity - pre-alerting the Soviets to the timing departure of the Liberator II. The British Government was not only acting in combination with Stalin to crush Polish self-determination, but worse, trying to prevent Sikorski from revealing British code-breakers early discovery of the Katyn Forest Massacre of Polish Officers. In one of the most disgracefully episodes of the Second World War, the 1939 Security Guarantee from the British Government had in fact been betrayed - by the British themselves.

In 2009, understandeably frustrated whilst travelling on a greyhound bus in the southern United States on this day, God announced the end of the world by sounding the final trumpet call - via a global tweet. Predicably enough the picture of the Whale flips up on the 3G device, indicating that the Twitter System has overloaded. And consequently only a selection of humanity will receive good notice of the opportunity for final repentance.

"In the Belly of the Whale" by Ed., Jen Greenup and Christopher FinkleThose priests, shamans, and clergy who have found God's blog find out about the tweet through His twitter widget (on the right hand widget bar), and plead for Him to give the world a proper chance at repentance. He agrees with them that this ought be so, and waits until Twitter is back up, when he will re-post his tweet. (Meanwhile, one of said clergy e-mails Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins with links to God's blog, and they realize that they've been wrong their entire lives, start slitting their wrists, and then go ask Rick Warren how to go about joining his church).

However, Satan, wanting more time to get people who will end up in Hell on Judgement Day, conspires against the Lord's plans. In a flurry of demonic activity on a scope unfamiliar to post-biblical times, he posesses a Google committee and makes them purchase twitter for a couple of billion dollars. At the same time, he coordinates a Chinese cyber-terrorist strike against google, and the combined effort of a billion Chinese computers completely crashes Google and all of its subsidiaries, including the newly-acquired Twitter. The world is spared for a while. Hitchens takes the time to write the bestseller, "I'm sorry God, You are great, and Your blog is really funny, too", while God tries to figure out an alternate way to inform the world of the end of the world, since only a fraction of His people have access to Twitter. The latest reports from Heaven indicate that it may include the rearrangement of approximately a billion stars within the milky way, to spell out the end in no uncertain terms in 2,000 languages.

US President

On this day in 1936, Francis Urqhuart met his future wife Elizabeth at a West Point Halloween ball.

Elizabeth, daughter of an influential Boston banker, immediately hit it off with Francis; the two would be engaged by the time Urqhuart graduated from West Point.

US President - Francis Urquhart
Francis Urquhart

In 1954, a second U.S. attempt at launching the world's first artificial satellite fails, this one thirty-five seconds after liftoff; the rocket falls into the Atlantic Ocean. In a telephone conference with the President, project scientist Wernher von Braun pleads for one more chance. Eisenhower agrees, but warns that if there is a third public failure, he may be unable to justify continuing the effort.

Werner
Werner  - Von Braun
Von Braun
In 1975, the Broadway musical A Chorus Line, turned out not to be one singular sensation after its premiere; but, the soundtrack proved that there was life after musical death. It continued to sell for years after the musical folded in 1976, and even prompted a revival of the show in 1985.
In 1948, future president Hillary Rodham was born in Chicago, Illinois. The Yale graduate moved back to Illinois after law school, where she entered into legal practice before winning a seat in the U.S. House in 1978. Her 14 years of government experience stood her in good stead when running against President Barbara Pierce in1992.
In 2670 AUC, the Slavic people of the Scythian Province mount a rebellion against the Roman Republic. For 7 years, the Slav chieftain Vladimirus held Rome off and kept the frozen north in his iron grip. When he died of a liver disease in 2678, his rebellion ended shortly afterward; by 2680, Scythia was a Roman province again.
In 1881, the reactionary Earp brothers, with their friend J.H. Holliday, ambush Sheriff Johnny Behan and his deputies, Ike & Billy Clanton and Frank McLaury at the OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona. The famous gunfight at the OK Corral was one of the last gasps of the old order in the west attempting to assert itself through violence; Comrade Behan and Deputy Frank McLaury survived, but the Earps, Holliday and the Clantons were all killed.
In 1825, the Erie Tunnels began operation in the Great Lakes of North America. The high-speed train services provided an alternate to air travel and opened the way to the creation of underwater cities. Today, millions of people in the North American Confederation travel the tunnels every day.


October 25

In 1945, Allied theatre commander Matthew B. Ridgeway accepted the formal surrender of Japanese military forces in Taihoku from General Rikichi Andō as part of General Order No. 1 for temporary military occupation. The long-suffering Han Chinese population of the island summarized this historical event with the derisive observation that "the dogs have left, but the pigs have arrived".

Taiwan as OkinawaViewed from a Western perspective the struggle for sovereignty was a direct consequence of the long-term decline of Chinese influence. The military situation on the mainland had deteriorated sharply during the few short months since Douglas MacArthur had been dismissed for refusing to attend a meeting at the White House. And therefore plans to ferry ROC troops across the Strait had been quietly shelved because those soldiers were fighting for their lives on the outskirts of Peking. Instead, through lack of any other sensible option the island of Taiwan was to become an American protectorate even though formally the territory remained part of Japan.

The confusing issue of sovereignty had first started in 1683 when the fleeing Chengs had raced to Taiwan which had then been captured by the Qing Dynasty and made into a Province of China. Over the following centuries, either by ancestry or by assimilation, the population became largely Han Chinese even though both the British and Dutch had made various attempts to seize the islands. During the 1860s there had even been talk of the US buying the island but it came to naught. Instead Japan was ceded the territory for fifty years after the Sino-Japanese Peace Treaty of 8th May, 1895.

Following hard on the footsteps of the Chengs was Syngman Rhee, the ill-fated President of the Korean Government in Exile. Ridgeway had been given strict orders by President Truman to withdraw if North Korea invaded the southern portion of the peninsula. This event, provoked by Syngman Rhee's own belligerence, resulted in both men arriving together in Taihoku.

In 1921, on this day Michael King of the Romanians was born in Sinaia, a mountain resort in Prahova County.

Birth of Michael, King of the RomaniansHis reign began on 20 July 1927 but was threatened with forced abdication at the closing days of World War II which saw the Russian occupation of Eastern Europe.

Michael returned to Romania and immediately felt the pressures of Soviet take-over. But, he was the same Michael that, at a mere 26 years old, had rallied with the pro-Allied leaders of Romania and overthrown the Nazi camp's stranglehold. The coup had invited in the Soviets, and now it was time for Michael to rebel again. He found his capitalist supporters, locked down the palace, and, on December 30, sent out by radio and telegram an appeal to the United Nations and individual governments of the United States, Britain, France, and others for support against what he called an invasion from the roots.

The diplomatic gamble would pay off as Stalinists overreacted. Prime Minister Groza had threatened to murder 1,000 students who had been arrested for speaking out against the Soviet Union. The massacre began and rallied the Romanian people against Soviet supporters. Declaring a state of unrest, the Prime Minister called for Soviet military aid, and an invasion began that sparked action from Western nations in early 1948. Dwight Eisenhower, again Supreme Commander in Europe, led his generals in the heaviest fighting in eastern Germany, then joining up with the Polish Resistance and sparking revolutions in the rest of the Eastern Bloc. Romania itself would be filled with guerrilla warfare against a vastly superior force until Allied tanks led the liberation of Bucharest in 1949. Michael, who had been spirited out of the country just after the Soviet invasion, returned from his government-in-exile in London shortly thereafter.

Meanwhile, Italy invaded the Julian March in 1948, which was ceded by Yugoslavia, and Tito sued for a separate peace. Mao Zedong in China was defeated by Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalist Army, who made certain that Communism was stamped out in the East. Socialist upstarts in India had been put down by Britain's agreement of independence, though French Indochina would see much bloodshed before native Vietnamese were given self-rule.

The Allies pressed into Russia through liberating Ukraine. From experience, they knew Stalin would never give up, despite the use of atomic weapons on his bases. The Cold War portion continued as the stalemated Allies waited until Stalin was finally assassinated and Moscow fell into civil war. Russia was Balkanized, and the exhausted Allies fell into retirement, letting loose their colonies over the '50s and '60s and settling into a new era of capitalistic rule under the American superpower.

In 1888, on this day the commander of the final engagement of World War 2, Rear Admiral Richard Evelyn Byrd, Jr. was born in Winchester, Virginia.

Birth of Rear Admiral Richard E. ByrdHe was a naval officer who specialized in feats of exploration being a pioneering American aviator, polar explorer, and organizer of polar logistics. Aircraft flights, in which he served as a navigator and expedition leader, crossed the Atlantic Ocean, a segment of the Arctic Ocean, and a segment of the Antarctic Plateau. His expeditions [1] had been the first to reach the North Pole and the South Pole by air.

In 1946 he was selected by US Navy Secretary James Forrestal as the operational command for Task Force 68. His mission was to end the Second World War by destroying the Secret Nazi Base in New Swabia, Antarctica. [2]

At the climax of the Battle of Antarctica he secretly met with the Fuhrer. No details of that meeting have ever emerged, apart from a fragment from Byrd's Missing Diary ~ "There comes a time when the rationality of men must fade into insignificance and one must accept the inevitability of the Truth! I am not at liberty to disclose the following documentation at this writing .. perhaps it shall never see the light of public scrutiny, but I must do my duty and record here for all to read one day. In a world of greed and exploitation of certain of mankind can no longer suppress that which is truth". This article is taken from the NaziUFO thread.

In 1975, on this day Michael Douglas quit The Streets of San Francisco to play the supporting role of Corellian smuggler, Han Solo in George Lucas new movie Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.

Michael Douglas plays Han Solo By Ed & Scott PalterDuring the audition, Lucas had been assisted by Harrison Ford, an actor that he had previously worked with on American Graffiti. For context, Ford read lines and also explained the concepts and history behind the scenes that they were reading. This orientation began with the eye-brow raising introductory statement "Starring in a science fiction film doesn't mean you have to act science fiction".

When Douglas had left, Ford sensed that Lucas - who had considered a host of actors ranging from Sylvester Stallone (pictured) through to Burt Reynolds - had finally found his man. And perhaps there was just a hint of jealously when he half-jokingly said "George, you can type this sh*t, but you sure as hell can't say it". Lucas only chuckled and replied that Stallone could neither type, say or act it [1].

In 1994, on this day the first televised debate of the US Senate election in Massachusetts was held at Faneuil Hall in Boston.

UpstagedFive term Senator Ted Kennedy faced the biggest challenge of his long political career. In a dirty race which contrasted both ends of the political spectrum, his millionaire tycoon opponent, a venture capitalist called Mitt Romney fully exploited the issue of high unemployment. Most witheringly, he even suggested that Kennedy's high profile on the Hill had done absolutely nothing for the local economy apart from raise taxes and create pork. Romney claimed that ten thousand jobs were created because of his work at Bain, but private detectives hired by Kennedy found a factory bought by Bain Capital that had suffered a 350-worker strike after Bain had cut worker pay and benefits.

Although polls showed a close run race, Romney crashed to defeat 41-58 percent on election day. However he took some pride in forcing Kennedy to raise a mortage on his house in order to obtain the campaign fees necessary for victory.

Eighteen years later unemployment stood at an incredible ten percent, and this time Romney (who had been more or less campaigning since the nineties) was running against Barack Obama for the Presidency. But the decision to call upon Kennedy to introduce Obama, and create an association with the victory in Massachusetts, would backfire. Because former President Bill Clinton had hoped to give the introductory speech, and given Kennedy's failed run in 1980, felt that he could have created a more resonant association from the success of his own two term of office. Of course there had been some rivalry between Clinton and Obama, with the former appearing at times to be running a shadow Presidency through his private office.

Still the social liberal he was in 1994, Romney had been forced to quit the GOP to run as the Reform Party candidate for President in a three party system.

In 1415, on St Crispin's Day the numerically superior forces of King Charles VI of France crushed the army of King Henry V of England at the decisive Battle of Agincourt which ended the dynastic struggle between the Royal Houses of Valois and Plantagenet.

Battle of AgincourtThe victorious army was inspired by the talismanic personal command of the French King who had long suffered from severe, repeating illnesses and moderate mental incapacitation. His crucial leadershp of Constable Charles d'Albret and various prominent French noblemen of the Armagnac party added a cutting edge to the Battle which saw Henry V and two brothers, Bedford and Gloucester all perish (surprisingly, the English King was on foot in the thick of the battle and killed by one of the Burgundian knights who had sworn to kill him).

The Lancastrian dynasty was finished, but the consequences of victory would profoundly affect France too. Soon after Agincourt, the fragile truce between the Armagnac and Burgundian factions broke down. The brunt of the battle had fallen upon the Armagnacs and in their weakened state, the Burgundians seized the opportunity to re-establish their own Kingdom.

In 1979, on this day the former Governor of Texas, Secretary of both the Navy and Treasury John Bowden Connally, Jr. declared his candidacy for President of the United States fast becoming the GOP's front-running "Beat Carter" nominee.

Hot on the TrailA former Democrat who crossed the aisle in 1972, Connally's shot at the White House had been fired by Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme. Because four year before, she had assassinated US President Gerald Ford in Sacramento, California. Ironically, Connally had gained national prominence because he was a passenger in the car in which President Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.

In the 1976 race, the "Georgia Giant" Jimmy Carter had narrowly defeated the former Governor of California Ronald Reagan, a candidate who had decided too late to run in 1968. Unwilling to run for a third time in 1980, the field was left open to Connally with the expectation that he could garner votes from both parties.

Two further events would ultimately steer Connally into the White House. The death of an alternative Republican Candidate, former President Nelson Rockefeller, and the Iranian Hostage Crisis.

In 1400, on this day Geoffrey Chaucer was freed from prison and composes "Croun Retorned" ("Crown Returned").

Chaucer Freed from Prison and Composes "Croun Retorned" ("Crown Returned") Middle English writer Geoffrey Chaucer is known as the first to show the potential for literature in his native tongue, but he was also very active in his political life.

Born in a family of comfortable wealth with land in Ipswich and dozens of shops in London, Chaucer gained his first foothold into politics as page to Elizabeth de Burgh, Countess of Ulster. For the rest of his professional life, he would work as a diplomat, civil servant, and member of influential courts.

After being captured and ransomed as a young man during the Caroline War, he traveled extensively, especially in Italy, where he would be introduced to poetry in the Italian vernacular. While English poetry was predominately in French and Latin at the time, Chaucer brought back the idea of a poetry of the people. He created works such as "The Book of the Duchess" and most famously his Canterbury Tales (completed in 1408 with its 116 stories). Edward III granted Chaucer "a gallon of wine daily for the rest of his life" on St. George's Day, 1374, believed to be royal endorsement of his artistic advancements.

While writing, Chaucer continued his political career. His children by his wife Phillipa Roet, lady-in-waiting to the queen, did well in society, such as his son Thomas serving as chief butler to kings throughout Europe and Speaker of the House of Commons and daughter Alice marrying the Duke of Suffolk. Chaucer himself climbed upward through the hierarchy of public service, gaining positions as envoy, Comptroller for Customs in London, and clerk of king's works. Toward the end of Chaucer's career, childless Richard II once again came to troubles maintaining his hold on the throne. While campaigning in Ireland, Richard was overthrown by Henry of Bolingbroke, who easily marched his army through England in 1399 while Richard's knights were away. Richard eventually surrendered at Flint Castle to be spared his life for imprisonment in the Tower of London.

Amid the turmoil, Chaucer lost his pay. With creditors in constant pursuit, Chaucer was eager to get renewed grants from the new king, Henry IV, who was distantly his step-nephew by his wife's sister's third marriage. Chaucer wrote his poem "The Complaint of Chaucer to his Purse" in hopes of making his plight known in a clever manner. In its final stanza, he set about a challenge to Henry in what notes suggest was more daring from the original draft.

"Are ye our newe Brutes Albyoun
Who stand fore from line and battle
Our verray king? This song to yow I sende,
Be ye that mowen alle oure harmes amende
Have minde upon my questiun".

Henry responded to the poem with a heavy hand, firing Chaucer from his positions and having him arrested on grounds of debt-evasion. While he contained the potential political stink, the action was enough to convince the young Edward of Norwich to permit his fellow earls Salisbury, Huntingdon, and Kent to go forth with their Epiphany Rising and capture Henry at a tournament in Windsor. In the chaos, Henry's supporters deserted the man who proved not to be heir to Brutus. Richard II was returned to the throne while Henry was executed and his son Henry relegated to positions in Cornwall and Ireland. Upon his return to command, Richard praised Chaucer for questioning the usurper and paid the poet's debts as well as promising a handsome pension, provided he continued to write for the good of England, first producing a long poem praising Richard.

Until his death in 1411, Chaucer produced numerous works highly regarded in English literature. Richard worked to hold onto his throne, struggling against an increasingly independent Northumberland and the Liberation in Wales circa 1415. He finally managed somewhat stable peace with France, despite encouragement from Henry and others that victory could be pressed through Calais.

Richard was succeeded by the next in line for the throne in 1424 by Edmund Mortimer, who became Edmund III and led the merging of the Lancaster and Plantagenet houses through his grandmothers. England continued on a path of stability over the rest of the Middle Ages, producing great works of art and literature but proving politically unambitious.

In 1974, the publication on this day of the novel "Natty Dread" marked the emergence of a new and powerful father of the Beat Generation, the celebrated Anglo-Jamaican author Nesta Robert ("Bob") Marley.

Marley's genius was to imbue the "Spontaneous Prose" of Jack Kerouac's "On the Road" with the raw vibrance of the Jamaican patois language, necessary to fully articulate a nostalgic remembrance of growing up in the ghetto in Kingston and the happiness brought by the company of friends.
Watch No Woman, No Cry

A Shining Torch of Hope is passedThis breaktaking novel credits "Vincent Ford" (nicknamed "Tartar"), a close friend of the author's who ran a soup kitchen on the streets of Trenchtown; the royalty checks received by Ford ensured the survival and continual running of his soup kitchen. And this social activism highlighted something new for this literary genre, the replacement of hopelessness with Marley's spiritually charged political and social statement to "Lively Up Yourself". Because Marley claimed he would have starved to death on several occasions as a child if not for the aid of Tartar.

"Georgie would make the fire lights, as it was logwood burnin' through the nights. Then we would cook cornmeal porridge, of which I'll share with you"During the late twentieth century, Marley would become a key driving force in the African diaspora, seeking to usher in a golden age of peace, righteousness, and prosperity. As a member of a Commonwealth mediation effort, the Eminent Persons Group, Marley visited Nelson Mandela three times in Pollsmoor prison outside Cape Town in 1986.

"My feet is my only carriage, so I've got to push on through".On the final prison visit, Marley discovered that Mandela was dying from tuberculosis caused by the damp prison cells of Robben Island. Mandela ordered Marley to play a leading role in the transition to a new Rainbow nation in South Africa, a task he was uniquely well qualified for by being of dual heritage.

Because Marley had explained to Mandela that "I don't have prejudice against meself. My father was a white and my mother was black. Them call me half-caste or whatever. Me don't dip on nobody's side. Me don't dip on the black man's side nor the white man's side. Me dip on God's side, the one who create me and cause me to come from black and white".

In 1971, the United Nations General Assembly voted to admit the People's Republic of China while allowing the Taiwan-based Republic of China to remain a member. This "two Chinas" decision represented a short-term triumph for the foreign policy apparatus of the United States, which had found itself forced to lobby vigorously to prevent the General Assembly from expelling Taiwan in favor of the People's Republic.

Two Chinas Policy
by Eric Lipps
Then-National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger played a prominent role in negotiations with the General Assembly on this issue, supporting the position of the US ambassador to the UN, George H. W. Bush.

The retention of Taiwan in the General Assembly would, however, complicate relations between Washington and Peking for years. Following the death of Mao Zedong in September 1976, however, the issue would be largely laid to rest by diplomatic outreach to his successors by the incoming administration of President Jimmy Carter, whose UN ambassador, Andrew Young, and Secretary of State, Cyrus Vance, were aided by not having been associated with the earlier episode. Despite their non-involvement with the Nixon administration's "two Chinas" lobby, Young and Vance would insist that Taiwan's UN membership was non-negotiable, and Beijing would presently conclude that it would gain little by pursuing the matter further.

The long-term effect of Taiwan's remaining in the UN was mixed at best. While the symbolic value of membership was real, Taiwan's vote on issues tended to be drowned out. It was unable to make any material difference, for example, in the March 22, 1975 vote on UN Resolution 3379 which equated Zionism with racism. Moreover, despite furious lobbying, it was unable to win a permanent seat on the UN Security Council alongside its mainland adversary.

In 1672, on this day at the High Court of Justice King Charles II of England was found guilty of high treason and other crimes, the identical charge sheet also carrying the same sentence as his father, death by beheading in front of the Banqueting House at Whitehall Palace.

Shadow of a KingThe disgraced Stuart monarch had warm memories of Whitehall; after his decade-and-a-half in exile he led a procession towards the Palace on the morning of his thirtieth birthday. Accompanying him was a cheering crowd over fifty thousand strong, including the ranked companies of the army which had been raised during the English Civil War to fight his father.

" ... addicted beyond measure to sensual indulgence, fond of sauntering and of frivolous amusements ... without desire of renown and without sensibility to reproach ... honour and shame were scarcely more to him than light and darkness to the blind" ~ Macaulay.Yet only twelve years later, his popular support had collapsed after a colourful love-life had produced no less than twelve illegitimate children. But his fate was sealed by the relevation that in 1671 he had signed a Secret Treaty in Dover. To the shock of the English people, it was revealed that their King would receive a pension from Louis XIV in return for a secret undertaking to return England to the Catholic church.

The night before the beheading, his death-bed conversion to Catholicism provided convincing evidence of the King's moral and personal weakness. Because it was also revealed that his period of exile was spent without direction or purpose, that he learned the idleness, the informality and the moral flexibility that would come to define his reign after the Restoration.

In 1964, on this day the deadliest act of terrorism on American soil to date occured with the mortar bombing of the Saudi embassy in Washington, D.C.Hajj Part 7 - That Party Bombed by Eric Oppen
Mr and Mrs John F. Kennedy, guests to a reception held in their honour, were ushered away to safety, narrowly escaping a second attempt on their lives in less than twelve months. A number of prominent members of the US Cabinet were not so lucky; by dawn the bodycount was twenty-five dead Americans. Representatives from the Kingdom plus foreign diplomats featured in a very long casualty as well.
Immense pressure for early arrests was exerted on the intelligence agencies by US and Foreign Governments. In fact, early assessments indicated that four terrorists had mounted the assault with mobile weapons, leaving no clues as to the origin of the assault.
In a private call from the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jnr. the President indicated that both the Nation of Islam and the Muslim Brotherhood were considered suspects. FBI informants had been placed in both organisations, and Kennedy was not alone in wondering if double agents had created a two-directional intelligence feed. Whilst unspoken, it was of course a given that the assault would have profound consequences for the passage of Civil Rights Legislation through the nearby US Congress in 1965.
To be continued..

UN Ambassasor

On this day in 1962, the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly approved a resolution censuring the Soviet Union for deploying offensive nuclear weapons and a U.S.-targeted invasion force in Cuba; the resolution was introduced and passed after US ambassador to the UN Adlai Stevenson presented evidence of Soviet war plans, including an armored vehicles and munitions cargo manifest confiscated from the Soviet freighter Bucharest the previous day.

In protest, Stevenson's Soviet counterpart Valery Zorin walked out of the session, taking the entire Soviet UN delegation with him.

UN Ambassasor - Adlai Stevenson
Adlai Stevenson

On this day in 1982, NWA World Championship Wrestling broadcast a three-hour special edition titled 'Halloween Havoc'.

In the main event, Bret Hart-- now dubbed 'the Hit Man' because of his relentlessly aggressive ring style --ended Tommy Rich's NWA reign of terror by defeating him in a 'loser- leaves-town' match under whose stipulations Rich was contractually obligated to leave the organization; on the undercard the Fabulous Freebirds beat Terry Funk & Barry Windham to win the NWA United States tag team titles.

Bret Hart
Bret Hart - Hit Man
Hit Man

On this day in 1970, the Dallas Cowboys won improved their 1970 season record to 6-0 with a 23-17 overtime win against the Kansas City Chiefs.

 -
In 1954, a presidential cabinet meeting was televised for the first time. The meeting broke into chaos when John Foster Dulles revealed his hid[CENSORED][CENSORED][CENSORED]
In 1990, Buster Douglas successfully defended his World Heavyweight Championship against Evander Holyfield. Although floored by a devastating blow in the 3rd round, Douglas managed to make it back to his feet and recover the strength to take the fight 4 more rounds, when he knocked Holyfield to the mat with a shattering right to the jaw. Holyfield didn't come back up.
In 1415, the English and the French clashed at Picardy. The Battle of Agincourt, though hard fought by the English under King Henry V, was carried by the French cavalry. The French endured heavy losses against the English bowmen, but managed to break them, anyway. It paved the way for French domination of Europe for the next century.


October 24

When Antonie van Leeuwenhoek was born in Delft in the Netherlands, the baby seemed well enough: he cried, he reacted to his mother, he ate and grew. As little Antonie grew, his family came upon troubled times. Two of his sisters and his father died, and Antonie suffered a terrible fever that would blind him by his sixth birthday. The boy recovered, but he now faced a terrible handicap.

October 24, 1638 - Leeuwenhoek BlindedIn 1640, Leeuwenhoek's mother remarried, and he was sent to a monastery in Germany that cared for the blind. While unable to read, Leeuwenhoek would be taught songs and oral passages from the Bible by the monks. He was considered the brightest of the children in the care of the monks, and they came to give him special privileges. Sometime when Leeuwenhoek was about sixteen, he was with a scribe who told him about the illuminations in the book he read to Leeuwenhoek and offered him to touch the gilt and thick medieval paints. Leeuwenhoek's later letters described the sensation of feeling images as almost as if he could see again with his mind's eye.

When he became sixteen, the monks encouraged Leeuwenhoek to pursue a trade beyond simple manual labor. He considered several options before becoming a draper, being able to measure by a grooved ruler he carved himself, having the monks check its accuracies for him. When his skills were approved, he moved home to Delft and secured an apprenticeship with a cloth merchant. While he worked, he considered his system of grooves and the illuminations, and, by 1653, he developed a method of "writing by texture".

Leeuwenhoek worked in business until he had built enough capital to set himself up as a teacher. He did not know Latin, and he had never attended university, but his drive to develop a written alphabet for the blind pushed him. Over the course of months and perfected over years, he built a set of mirrored letters. His method of writing was to etch each backward to be used as a mold. He experimented with systems of carving wood and pouring wax, but the wax was prone to melt under the warmth and pressure of fingers. Lead proved too soft, and tin plates warped. Finally he settled upon glass, and the glass books he produced became the first written code for the blind.

Leeuwenhoek's school attracted the attention of parents of blind children among the growing middle class of the early Enlightenment, and he soon found himself with no shortage of students. His methods spread across Europe and were translated to match the alphabets of French, English, and German. Only two of his original glass books are known to survive due to breakage and the glass being worn down by generations of fingertips. In place of glass, Leeuwenhoek experimented later with typesetting machines into plates of alloys, adding mechanical engineering and metallurgy to his life's impressive list of feats.

His contributions to science are held among the greatest of the Enlightened Age. Along with the creation of calculus, natural law, and principles of physics. It would not be until the Industrial Revolution that discoveries in biology and anatomy would catch up with the science of microbiology founded in part by Charles Darwin, whose theory of the sexual reproduction of microorganisms would cause scandal among the Victorian world, though later contribute to Sir Alexander Fleming's germ theory.

In 1983, the fortieth President of the United States Charlton Heston ordered the CIA to hunt down the Iranian-backed Islamic militants that had detonated an explosive-filled truck at the Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, killing 241 Americans.

President Heston vows to avenge the tragedy in BeirutAlthough some "dovish" members of his administration favoured arms-for-hostages diplomacy, Heston appeared vindicated when the Soviet Union later follow suite.

The follow-up episode occurred when an Islamic fundamentalist group kidnapped some Soviet diplomats, which led to the KGB quickly and effectively tracking down and apprehending all the kidnappers, who were then tortured to death, their bodies dismembered and the remains mailed to Hezbollah HQ in Beirut. After that, not another Soviet citizen in Lebanon was touched.

Nevertheless when details of the covert actions of the CIA fully emerged during 1987 Heston faced the small possibility of impeachment charges being raised by elements of the Democrat Party in an increasingly hostile Congress.

The incomparable Christian Scientist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek was born in Delft in the Dutch Republic on this day.

October 24, 1638 - Leeuwenhoek's vision gives Christian science an unblinded view of realityHis interest in microscopes and a familiarity with glass processing led to one of the most significant, and simultaneously well-hidden, technical insights in the history of science. By placing the middle of a small rod of soda lime glass in a hot flame, Leeuwenhoek could pull the hot section apart to create two long whiskers of glass. Then, by reinserting the end of one whisker into the flame, he could create a very small, high-quality glass sphere. These spheres became the lenses of his microscopes, with the smallest spheres providing the highest magnifications.

Even dignitaries such as Leibniz, William III of Orange and Peter the Great were only permitted to see his average-quality lenses. Being a shrewd businessman, Leeuwenhoek maintained throughout his life that there were aspects of microscope construction "which I only keep for myself", in particular his most critical secret of how he created lenses. And so when he was elected to the Royal Society on the nomination of William Croone, a then-prominent physician, it was a huge surprise that he chose to travel for his induction with a promise to deliver a speech on the inner secret of the lens.

A Dutch Reformed Calvinist, he often referred with reverence to the wonders God designed in making creatures great and small. He believed that his amazing discoveries were merely further proof of the great wonder of God's creation. But Leeuwenhoek's discovery that smaller organisms procreate similarly to larger organisms challenged the contemporary belief, generally held by the seventeenth-century scientific community, that such organisms generated spontaneously. The position of the Church on the exact nature of the spontaneous generation of smaller organisms was ambivalent. And so his speech created an uproar at the Royal Society because he revealed a great truth that might reconcile science with religion. Eventually, The Royal Society subsequently arranged for Alexander Petrie, minister to the English Reformed Church in Delft, Benedict Haan, at that time Lutheran minister at Delft, and Henrik Cordes, then Lutheran minister at the Hague, accompanied by Sir Robert Gordon and four others to determine whether it was in fact Leeuwenhoek's ability to observe and reason clearly, or perhaps the Royal Society's theories of life itself that might require reform. Finally in 1677 were fully vindicated by the Society.

Author's Note: in reality Leeuwenhoek was elected to the Royal Society in February 1680 on the nomination of William Croone, a then-prominent physician. Leeuwenhoek was "taken aback" at the nomination, which he considered a high honour, although he did not attend the induction ceremony in London, nor did he ever attend a Royal Society meeting. This article re-purposes significant amounts of content from Wikipedia. The painting The Geographer

In 1855, the twenty-eighth President of the United States James Schoolcraft ("Sunny Jim") Sherman was born on this day in Utica, New York.

Birth of Sunny JimPrior to his Congressional election he was a member of the inter-related Baldwin, Hoar, and Sherman families, prominent lawyers and politicians of New England. And although not a high-powered administrator, he made a natural committee chairman, and his genial personality eased the workings of the House of Representatives. Selected for running mate by William H. Taft, he became the first Vice President to fly in a plane and also the first to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at a baseball game.

Unfortunately for the Republican Party, subsequent events quickly descended into division and acrimony. The popular former President Roosevelt failed to take the nomination from Taft and left the GOP to form the Progressive (Bull Moose) Party. At this critical juncture the hugely overweight Taft had a heart attack after getting stuck in the bath tub. By then Sherman's own health was in rapid decline. He died a week short of the 1912 election throwing the democratic process into complete chaos. An immediate succession was obviously required to replace the expired office holder, but the possibility of calling a Special Election was also hotly debated.

In 1944, on this day the German aircraft carriers Graf Zeppelin and Peter Strasser are sunk in the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

Flugzeugträger Part 12:
Battle of Leyte Gulf
Of the German carrier group that had participated in the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, only the Tirpitz and the Prinz Eugene now remained afloat. It appeared an unfitting reward for the German naval architects who had managed to overcome immense technical difficulties despite their inexperience in building such vessels.

And with Japan unmistakeably headed for defeat, the question for Grand Admiral Erich Raeder was whether to support the defence of the homelands, attempt a breakout attempt or even perhaps consider a scuttling operation reminiscient of the Dreadnoughts in the Scapa Flow in 1919. But unbeknown to Raeder, the German-Japanese Atomic Bomb project was nearing fruition, and both ships would be required to serve as the delivery mechanism in an audacious second strike on Pearl Harbor. It appeared than Plan Z might well change the course of the War after all.
This post shares some commonality with the sister articles in the Flugzeugträger thread.

In 2012, on this day Star Trek co-stars Nichelle Nichols and George Takei formally approached CBS Corporation (the owners of the franchise) with a request for permission to shoot the low-budget webisode "The Search for Jim". Click to watch "Star Trek's William Shatner: I have no ego".

The Search for Jim, Part 1
By Ed, Mike Mcilvain, Scott Palter & Jackie Rose
Set in a veterans hospital funded by the Federation, the ageing Captain James T. Kirk (pictured) has entered his final days. He is visited by Communications Officer Nyota Uhura and Helsman Hikaru Sulu.

But the visit rapidly turns sour when he discovers that his former subordinates on the Starship Enterprise have harboured personal grudges against him from the very beginning. Seemingly more concerned about protecting his record than addressing the feelings of his former colleagues, Kirk makes matters worse with a narcissistic explanation that appears to validate the criticisms that are being levelled against him. Frustrated, Uhura challenges him with the emotionally charged question "Dont you want to know why we hate you?". And then the conversation takes a further emotional turn because he opens up and for the first time Kirk talks about a traumatic event in his early career when he first encountered "Those Klingon B*stards".. To be continued

In LXIX, on this day the imperial army of Emperor Vitellius defeated forces under Antonius Primus, the commander of the Danube armies, loyal to Vespasian at the Second Battle of Bedriacum, .

Valens leads the Imperial Army to victory at the Second Battle of BedriacumThe insurrection had begun when the legions stationed in the Middle East provinces of Judaea and Syria had acclaimed Vespasian as emperor. He had been given a special command in Iudaea by Nero in 67 with the task of putting down the Great Jewish Revolt. In so doing, he gained powerful allies, including the support of the governor of Syria, Gaius Licinius Mucianus and a strong force drawn from the Judaean and Syrian legions marched on Rome under the command of Mucianus.

In response a powerful army composed of XXI Rapax, V Alaudae, I Italica and XXII Primigenia together with detachments from seven other legions and a force of auxiliaries had been sent by Rome under the command of Valens (pictured). Crucially, the disloyal General Caecina had been relieved of command when the Emperor discovered that he was plotting with Lucilius Bassus, commander of the fleet at Ravenna. The subsequent execution of Caecina and Bassus forced some of Vesparsian's commanders to switch sides back to the Emperor.

And prior to the battle other legions including legion IIII Macedonica reinforced the powerful Vitellian army, and under the generalship of Valens they triumphed at Bedriacrum.

In 1812, correctly anticipating light resistance from smaller opposing forces than expected, Napoleon Bonaparte ordered the Grand Armée to continue south-west instead of heading west over land devastated by the original French advance and subsequent Russian scortched earth policies.

Miracle at MaloyaroslavetsAfter the evacuation of Moscow on October 19th the first French elements had encountered Russian Forces under the command of Marshal Kutuzov just sixty-eight miles to the south-west at Maloyaroslavets.

Napoleon won that engagement but nevertheless the result could have been catastrophic. Concerned that Kutuzov would regroup and attack again, despite his reservations he seriously considered heading north. Instead, he reconnoiterered over the ridge in front of him and to his great surprise discovered that the Russians had melted away.

In 1963, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Adlai Stevenson was killed in Dallas by protestors during a visit to mark U.N. Day.

Tragedy in DallasThe Ambassador had been forced to pause patiently time and again while scattered hecklers booed during a speech he delivered at the Memorial Auditorium Theater. When one crude super-patriot interrupted to shout a question about his beliefs, he replied, quite unruffled,: "I believe in the forgiveness of sin and the redemption of ignorance".

Patriot anger over the United Nations' response to the recent Cuba War escalated into violence and intimidation as soon as he left the auditorium. A jeering flock of pickets swarmed around him and a man spat on him and on a policeman. "I believe in the forgiveness of sin and the redemption of ignorance"Shortly afterwards he was knocked to the ground by a sign labelled "Down with the U.N". carried by forty-seven year old Mrs. Cora Frederickson. Amid the furor, Stevenson said of his assailants: "I don't want to send them to jail. I want to send them to school".

Taken to the Parkland Hospital, Stevenson died of a massive heart attack shortly afterwards.

Following a joint review of security arrangements by the Secret Service and Dallas Police, headed by chief Jesse Curry, the White House decided to quietly cancel a planned visit to the city by President John F. Kennedy which had been scheduled for November 22nd.

In 2007, privately hoping to dispel the electorally damaging rumour that he was a source of embarrassment to him, and intrigued by a letter from "Mama Sarah" his grandmother who he had never seen, the US Senator for Hawaii, Barry Soereto travelled to Nyang'oma Kogelo, Siaya District to meet with his estranged Kenyan father on this day.

"Dreams of My Father" by Ed. & Patricia Williams-KingBarack Obama, Senior had not seen his son since he was an in infant, divorcing his mother when Barry was only two years old. And after the divorce, his mother married an Indonesian student who was forced to move the family to Jakarta when all Indonesian students studying abroad were recalled by President Suharto. Barry returned to Hawaii to live with his maternal grandparents in 1971, building the new life his mother dreamt of. Almost thirty years later, he was now a serious contender for US Presidential Nominee for the Democratic Party.

"My father looked nothing like the people around me - he was black as pitch, my mother white as milk.Not fooled by the timing of the meeting, Barack Obama, Senior was of course very much aware that another Democrat, Jimmy Carter had been embarrassed by unflattering portrayals of his brother Billy, causing a series of media disasters throughout his Presidency. And another source of tension was his son's denial of all things African, marrying a Hispanic wife and Anglicizing his forename.

Despite this, the meeting was a tremendous success because his son produced a trump card, a self-written poem from his childhood in which he revealed that he was "Walking a straight line in a crooked world".

In 1949, on this day the artist Adolf Schicklegruber guest starred on the famous Italian radio show "Benny the Moose"; the mood was light with relaxed conversation because Adolf and Benny went way back.

Churchill's PsycheAdolf described the fine progress being made by his protege US Army Major (retd) Dwight D. Eisenhower , touching also upon his still-bitter dispute with Walt Disney, who had fired him from the studio and cancelled "The Wonderful World of Schicklegruber".

Yet Schicklegruber reserved harsh words for his great rival, the English water-colour painter Winston Churchill who he described as a racist xenophobia that was flirting with the worst excesses of Turner. Because the sweeping imagery of his dramatic masterpiece "blood, toil, tears, and sweat" had a nationalist, anti-semitic subtext, revealing a deep subconscious yearning for a false classical past that Adolf found particularly disturbing as a German Jew.

In 1979 on this day several United Artists executives countersued Michael Cimino, charging him with slander, character defamation, and failure to live up to the terms of his original production contract for Heaven's Gate.

 - United Artists
United Artists
French President

On this day in 2010, French president Nicholas Sarkozy announced that his country would support a US-sponsored United Nations resolution calling for Hugo Chavez to immediately cancel his plans to invade Guyana.

French President - Nikolas Sarkozy
Nikolas Sarkozy

On this day in 1944, American and British ground forces in Germany began advancing on Frankfurt.

 -

On this day in 1971, historic 22-game NFL winning streak was finally halted with a 23-17 overtime loss against the New England Patriots at the Cotton Bowl. Cowboys starting quarterback Craig Morton suffered a separated right shoulder late in the third quarter and would not play again until Week 10 of the 1971 NFL season.

 -

In 1961, on the sixth anniversary of the founding of the Republic of South Vietnam, President Kennedy sends a letter to that country's president, Ngo Dinh Diem, pledging that 'the United States is determined to help Vietnam preserve its independence.' This pledge is soon followed up by the sending of several thousand additional military advisers on top of those who have been in the country since Eisenhower's time. Kennedy's action is deemed inadequate by Defense Secretary Robert McNamara and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who favor a massive show of force involving at least 200,000 troops. On the same daay, General William Westmoreland assumes command of the U.S. forces in fighting the rebel forces of deposed leftist president Fidel Castro in Cuba.

 - Gen. Westmoreland
Gen. Westmoreland


Older Posts 




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