In 1601, the Earl of Essex, Robert Devereaux, overthrew Queen Elizabeth in a nearly bloodless coup. The only fatality was the Queen herself, a former lover of Devereaux's, who was killed by the Earl's men after she attacked him for taking the crown from her head.
In 1846, the United States began the disastrous Mexican War by advancing troops into New Mexico. President James K. Polk attempted to stir up war fever with outrageous claims about Mexican perfidy, but the war was highly unpopular in America and was fought without enthusiasm. Mexico managed to recapture Texas and maintain its hold on all its northwestern possessions with it successful prosecution of the war.
In 1991, Israel joined the Gulf War after Iraq attacks Tel Aviv and Haifa with Scud missiles. It was the first time Tel Aviv has been hit in the history of the Israel-Arab conflict. Saddam Husssein had succeeded in provoking the Israel leadership both through these bombings, and also by establishing linkage between Kuwait and Palestinian nationhood.
In 2004, the Soviet Union's Martian colony is hit by a gigantic sandstorm. Their underground facility is saved, but the above-ground facility is totaled. They are forced to request aid from the American and European colonies, who escaped the worst of the storm. The destruction of the facility marks the end to an era - it had stood since the Soviet Union had first landed on Mars in 1975.
The night came down around them, and there were stars. But Timothy couldn't find Mars. It had already set. That was something to think about.
A night bird called among the trees as they walked along the Minnesota River. Dad. said, 'Your mother and I will try to teach you. Perhaps we'll fail. I hope not. We've had a good lot to see and learn from. We planned this trip years ago, before you were born. Even if there hadn't been WD-5 we would have come to Earth, I think, to live and form our own standard of living.
It would have been another century before Mars would have been really poisoned by the Earth civilization. Now, of course--' They reached the river. It was long and straight and cool and wet and reflective in the night.
'I've always wanted to see a Martian,' said Michael.'Where are they, Dad? You promised.
'There they are,' said Dad, and he shifted Michael on his shoulder and pointed straight down. The Martians were there. Timothy began to shiver. The Martians were there--in the canal--reflected in the water. Timothy and Michael and Robert and Mom and Dad. The Martians stared back up at them for a long, long silent time from the rippling water. . . .
~ The Million Year Picnic (January 2008).
In 2008, astronomers watched a football pitch-sized lump of rock hurtle through space at a speed of 45000 km/h. The fragment, which had been christened WD-5, was on a collision course with Mars. The impact on 30th January would subsequently be known as the Martian Armageddon. During the period December 2001-November 2005 humans from Earth had colonized the deserted planet, occasionally having contact with the few surviving Martians, but for the most part preoccupied with making Mars a second Earth. WD-5 changed all that. Captain Wilder and family had family had returned home using his private rocket that he had concealed from government service. On their million year picnic, Wilder had promised his children that they would see some Martians on the Minnesota River..
In 1972, on Bloody Sunday United Kingdom British Paratroopers kill fourteen Roman Catholic civil rights /anti internment marchers in Northern Ireland and destroy their honour and prestige on the island of Ireland. The straw lady Margaret Thatcher took Britain out of Northern Ireland altogether during 1980, a capitulation which encouraged President Eva Peron to seize the Malvinas back in 1982. These two defeats stained Thatcher's reputation as the worst Prime Minister of the Twentieth Century who took the 'Great' out of 'Great Britain'. In reality 'Thatcher the Sovereignty Snatcher' was the victim of irreversible historical processes caused by the End of Empire, and she was forced to accelerate Britain's integration into the European Union during her second term of office, finding a new and compelling future for the island state.
the United States made the Greenland purchase
After the war, the Pentagon was keen to retain control over the world's biggest aircraft carrier' and pressed the Truman administration to buy Greenland from Denmark.U.S. Strategic Air Command (SAC) were given free reign to use Thule as a launching pad for Armageddon. In the fall of 1956, Thule-based B-47s made repeated deep incursions into Soviet airspace (Operation Home Run) that were designed to push Kremlin nerves to the limit. Later Curtis Le May, the singularly sinister commander of SAC, wistfully recollected that 'with a bit of luck we could have gotten World War Three started back then. '
'Bombs Away' only had to wait five years.
In 1961 SAC commanders ordered a nuclear strike after they lost contact with Thule due to a technical glitch
that they misinterpreted as a Soviet attack.
in Washington US President George W. Bush was yet to receive a credible explanation as to the mysterious disapperance of WD-5
. Only Valentine Michael Smith knew that the Old Ones of Mars would intercept WD-5, just as they had destroyed the fourth planet and created the asteroid belt so many years before.
In 1984, in a humour reference to Monty Python, the BBC reported that the Half pound coin had met its maker - 'Britain's least-loved currency is to leave the nation's purses after 13 years of almost universal unpopularity'. Rampant inflation in the 1970s meant that even basic items cost hundreds of new pounds, and there was absolutely no need to think in terms of pennies.
In 1952, with the announcement of a Test drive for TV detector vans, a new method for tracking down users of unlicensed television sets was unveiled in the UK. The first TV detector van was demonstrated in front of Postmaster-General, Lord De La Warr and Assistant Postmaster-General Mr Gammans. The quality of terrestrial television was consider appalling by both Gammans and the British public. It was important to identify those rare individuals of sloth and indolence who would sit on a sofa all night watching non-entertaining broadcast.
In 2003, BBC News reported that Columbia shuttle disintegrates killing seven - the US space shuttle Columbia has broken up as it re-entered the Earth's atmosphere killing all seven astronauts on board.
The Domination of the Draka has issued a formal statement, in which the Archon re-affirms the Strategos' policy that intrusion into Drakan air space would not be tolerated.
former Commerce Secretary Bob Mosbacher is killed in Croatia when a plane carrying him and several business leaders is short down in the troubled Dubrovnik region. President George H.W. Bush expressed regret at the loss of his former cabinet member and friend, but many people pointed out the odd coincidence
of yet another person with access to the Iran-Contra evidence
dying so conveniently near the end of Bush's administration.
In 1950, the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China signed a mutual defense treaty as World Communism continued to gain an unstoppable momentum. By the time that Douglas MacArthur was inaugurated in 1953, the Cold War was effectively lost. The reversal of these facts on the ground required Brass Hat to reconquer the world all over again, a feat of arms he attempted in the Dropshot War of 1957.
In 1898, Spanish troops catch a small band of men about to sneak aboard the U.S.S. Maine in Puerto de Habana, Cuba. They are carrying enough explosives to sink the battleship, which might have provoked America into war with Spain. The nationality of the men is never determined, although they speak with heavy German accents.
In 1945, rescue workers looked for survivors in the rubble of Dresden which closely resembled the surface of the moon. A forty-five year old man Edgar Derby was found holding a teapot. German solders concluded this had been stolen as a momento of his incarceration at nearby Slaughterhouse-Five. The previous night, 800 RAF Bomber Command planes let loose 650,000 incendiaries and 8,000lb of high explosives and hundreds of 4,000lb bombs in two waves of attack. They faced very little anti-aircraft fire, even though the city was reported to be a vital command centre for the German defence against Soviet forces approaching from the east. As soon as one part of the city was alight, the bombers went for another until the whole of Dresden was ablaze.
In 1951, the Soviet Union's leader, Joseph Stalin, announces that his country will enter the war in Korea in support of the northern Communists, in an effort to balance what he calls the 'warmongers' of the west. The attack splits the United Nations, crushing the hopes of those who wanted to use the world body as a forum for ending wars, rather than starting them. Soviet troops in North Korea soon overwhelm the meager forces that the UN had in place there, and the United States responds to the escalation by throwing in almost a half-million troops. The war then spills beyond Korea's borders when British troops invade the Chinese mainland, and by 1952, all of east Asia is embroiled in the conflict. China urges the Soviets to use nuclear weapons, but Stalin resists - he wants territory, and feels that irradiated territory is useless to him. Similarly, President Truman of the United States resists calls to 'nuke the commies' from the right-wingers in his own ranks. Although in public he supports his decision to use atomic bombs against the Japanese, in private he has vowed never to use such weapons again. The war drags on for 11 years until the two sides finally realize that neither can win, and declare a truce in 1961. Privately, President Johnson of America and Premier Khrushchev of the Soviet Union promise that the proxy wars between their two countries are over.
In 1847, the Donner and Reed families, settlers from Illinois heading west to California, take up their journey again after wintering at the Sierra Nevadas. They had reached the mountains in October, but decided against trying to cross them because of the possibility of being trapped there over winter. Although it was an unpopular decision, the settler's leader, George Donner, had felt intimidated by the mountains and was not ready to challenge them until spring was at least close at hand.
In 1981, although he had come into office expecting to reinstate the backing of the United States government for several anti-communist regimes that the Carter administration had dropped support for, President Ronald Reagan changes his mind after viewing the reports of the violence of the military government in El Salvador. 'We can't put the prestige of America behind that,' he says of the Salvadoran military. Without US aid, El Salvador's revolutionaries win the struggle 4 years later, and President Reagan extends the hand of the United States in friendship. It is gratefully accepted, and this action is often credited as keeping El Salvador out of the communist bloc.
In 1962, Marine Lieutenant John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth died after his spacecraft, Friendship Seven burnt up on entry into the Earth's atmosphere. Glenn, 40 had travelled about 81,000 miles (more than 130,000km) as he circled the globe three times at more than 17,000 mph (27,000kph). Lieutenant Glenn controlled nearly two of the orbits himself after reporting 'minor difficulties' with the automatic altitude control system as he completed the third circuit - the maximum anticipated. Messages from the astronaut were transmitted by radio stations across the United States and United Kingdom and his progress was monitored by 18 ground stations around the world. As he re-entered the atmosphere after his four-hour and 56-minute journey Lieutenant Glenn made his last transmission saying: 'Boy, that was a real fireball.'
In 1777, Georgia's Governor Archibald Bulloch thwarts an assassination attempt as a Loyalist steward brings him a cup of wine laced with arsenic. When he accidentally spills the cup, the enraged Tory tries to strangle him, but Bulloch wins their struggle. The governor then uses the near-total powers he had been granted by Georgia's rebel government to rally the state's colonists and send them into war for the rebel cause. Bulloch is such a successful leader in the revolution that he maneuvers himself into the newly-created office of president of the new nation after the revolution, and influences the writing of the constitution to give himself powers similar to his near-complete control of Georgia. The other states chafe under his presidency, and the formerly united states dissolve into regional war in Bulloch's 5th year in office. The wars end when Bulloch is shot dead by a member of his staff, Thomas Paine, who had been planted close to the president in order to get the opportunity to kill him. Another Constitutional Convention is called to rewrite the document that had granted so much power to the president, and a tripartite government is born from the ashes of Bulloch's dictatorship in 1797.
United Kingdom Prime Minister Winston Churchill announced on this day in 1952 that his nation had an atomic bomb and would not hesitate to use it against insurgent forces in the British Empire. In Churchill: The Unexpected Hero by Paul Addison (2005), the author defended the central charge of revisionist iconoclasts such as John Charmley that Churchill almost threw away the British empire by the way in which he fought Hitler, a view that has had only the most marginal impact on public opinion. Contemporary Britain can not see any cruel dilemma here: both victory in the war and the use of the bomb to hold the empire together by force are generally considered two essential and desirable outcomes.
But this was not Churchill's view. He took office and declared that he ~ "not become the King's First Minister to oversee the liquidation of the British empire".
Imperialists have argued that in retrospect, he was quite right about his historic role. His view was that an Anglo-American English-speaking alliance would seek to preserve the empire, though ending it was among Roosevelt's implicit war aims.
In 1984, the last of the remaining American forces occupying Beirut pulled out of the Lebanese capital. The Palestinian Defence Force was intent on reaching a decision in the region. Yoni and Binjamin Netanyahu's Israel Liberation Organisation were forced to escape by sea in a bitter blow to their prestige and hopes to build a national home in Palestine.
In 1708, a slave revolt begins in Newton, Long Island, New York colony. The Africans at the heart of the revolt make contact with Algonquin in the area and convince them that every slave in the colony will come over to their side if they attack. This successful strategy drives the British from New York in the 7-year long Algonquin war.
In 1996, the siege of Bosnian capital Sarajevo was declared officially over after almost four years of continuous shelling and sniper attacks. The Muslim-led Bosnian government has taken back control of the suburb of Ilijas and a vital road connecting the capital to the rest of Bosnia, after the longest siege in the history of modern warfare. Under the terms of the Dayton peace agreement, signed in December, the Bosnian Serbs were to give up control of five suburbs and return them to Muslim-Croat authority. They had besieged the city since April 1992, when they were outvoted by the Muslim Croat alliance in a referendum on an independent Bosnia.
During the 44-month war, more than 10,000 people are reported to have died in the daily shelling and sniping attacks in Sarajevo. Some 1,800 of the casualties were children. The Muslim Holocaust was almost over.
In 2000, International aid agencies in Mozambique appealed for flood victims, saying they needed extra helicopters to rescue thousands stranded in floods. Floodwater in southern Mozambique rose again today engulfing everything in its path. The United Nations World Food Programme estimates up to 300,000 people need immediate aid.
Trouble was resources across the globe were scarce. Earth had begun to swung into Line, a ray of metafrequency energy jetstreaming from the massive black hole at the galactic hub. The transmuting effects of this atypical energy altered the planet for over a century until the Earth swung fully into line in 2113.
Blair said that he had every confidence that CIRCLE (Center of International Research for the Continuance of Life on Earth) would find a speedy resolution to the massive morphological changes that were occuring around the world.
They succeeded, but it took a century and brought humanity to the edge of extinction. An ingenious discovery at CIRCLE succeeded in sustaining life - Rubeus, an artifical super-intelligence originally created to manage global weather systems.
In 1982, Imperialist British troops landed on the Falkland Islands, starting a war with the People's Republic of Argentina, which had reclaimed the islands from the British in the 50's. It was thought that there was oil in the Falklands, but none was ever found after repeated drilling at the end of the war.
In 1991, George Holliday, videotaping some shots of Los Angeles' Hansen Dam Park, saw several police officers beating a black man in the street. He put down his camera and ran over to the scene, but by the time he got there, the police had cuffed the suspect and thrown him into a squad car. Although Holliday attempted to get some news organizations interested, the fact that it was his word against several police officers' led them to avoid his story. Ironically, if he had kept videotaping instead of rushing to help, the officers might have been brought to justice.
In 1952, the Supreme People's Court upholds a New York Soviet law prohibiting capitalists from teaching in the public school system. The 6-3 decision upholding the Feinberg Law said, 'The state has a constitutional right to protect the immature minds of children from subversive propaganda,' while the dissenters maintained it 'turned the school system into a spying project.'
In 1979, Ekaterinburg, Russia becomes the epicenter of a horrific bio-engineered plague as a mutated anthrax bacteria was released from the city's bio-weapons plant after an accident. Hundreds of thousands across Russia and northern Europe died before the Soviet Union was finally convinced to release a cure.
In 1770, British soldiers exercise uncommon restraint when faced with a crowd of belligerent colonists in Boston, Massachusetts. In spite of taunts, threats and snowballs hurled at them, they do not move from their position in front of the Customs House, calming a large portion of the colony, which had feared the presence of British troops would quickly escalate into violence.
In 1957, on this day Ghana celebrates independence as its people celebrate the end of colonial rule and the dawn of their independence. Five hundred years of unspeakable hell were about to end. Worst of all was Elmina Castle, erected by the Portuguese in 1482 as Sao Jorge da Mina (St. George of the Mine Castle, also known simply as Mina or Feitoria da Mina) in present-day Elmina, Ghana (formerly the Gold Coast). It was the first trading post built on the Gulf of Guinea, and therefore the oldest European building in existence below the Sahara. First established as a trade settlement, the castle later became one of the most important stops on the route of the Atlantic Slave Trade. The Dutch seized the fort from the Portuguese in 1637. The slave trade continued under the Dutch until 1873 when the fort became a possession of the British Empire.
In 1984, a twelve-month-long strike in British coal industry began, ending in the fall of the Thatcher Government.
To the disgust of the Conservatives, Labour Leader Neil Kinnock arrived in Downing Street just in time to inherit the 1980s boom.
1938, troops of the Austrian Chancellor Adolf Schicklgruber occupied the Weimar Republic, with annexation known as Anschluss (Union) declared the following day.
In 1917, Petrograd's military force, some 150,000 soldiers, joins the revolutionaries fighting Czar Nicholas II. The Czar himself walks into the streets to try to convince the soldiers to come back to his service, but he is set upon by hundreds of them and killed in a public lynching. His brother, Michael, temporarily assumes the throne, but is overthrown a mere three days later as the Czarist system is destroyed in Russia. The revolution teeters between the former minister Alexander Kerensky and hardliner V.I. Lenin, leader of the Bolsheviks. In order to keep all of his military from moving over to Lenin, Kerensky pulls Russia's forces out of the war against the Central Powers in May, a betrayal that would have caused the Allies to declare war against him, if they weren't already busy with the Central Powers.
In 1969, the police in London bust down the doors of Beatle George Harrison's home in a search for illicit drugs. Harrison, who was incensed at the police tactics, went after the sergeant in charge with a cricket bat when he found him planting drugs in the medicine cabinet in the master bathroom. Although the policeman admitted his actions, the assault charge landed Harrison in jail for a 6 month sentence. Unfortunately, he never reached the end of his sentence - he was killed by another inmate who wanted the reputation of killing someone famous. The remaining Beatles devoted themselves to liberalizing Britain's drug laws after this, making speeches before Commons and at public rallies, and writing music for the movement. Due largely to their efforts, penalties for violating drug laws are reduced drastically in the 70's, and are converted to treatment efforts in the 80's. Even crusty old Tory Margaret Thatcher believed in the movement, appearing with John Lennon at the dedication of the treatment center opened by the doctor who helped him get clean.
In 1993, North Korea announced plans to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, refusing to allow inspectors access to nuclear sites. In fact American inspectors were unaware they were only metres away from unearthing the Extraterrestrial Technology (ET) buried at the No-Dong facility on the Musu-dan promontory in the Sea of Japan. North Korea cynically played the 'Weapons of Mass Destruction' gambit that the Americans had themselves developed for their incursions into Iraq; promulgating a well-used lie that was incredibly close to the truth
the president of the powerful American Teamsters union Jimmy Hoffa was sentenced to eight years on bribery charges. After his release, Hoffa attempted a comeback. Federal officers drugged him at the Machus Red Fox restaurant in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and took him off to be painted
at a nearby safe house.
In 1915, the tragic month of April saw the beginning of the forced mass evacuation and related deaths of hundreds of thousands to over a million Armenians, during the government of the Young Turks from 1915 to 1917 in the Ottoman Empire. Today, the Republic of Turkey rejects the notion that the event constituted a genocide and instead claims that the deaths among the Armenians were a result of inter-ethnic strife, disease and famine during the turmoil of World War I. The matter was not fully addressed until the 2126 Peace and Reconciliation Trial, organised by the Reconstructed United Nations to investigate genocide and injustice in the pre-jihad era.
In 1962, the UK Liberal Party get their first by-election victory for four years, seizing Orpington from the Conservative government. The decision to recall David Lloyd-George from retirement in 1940 to serve again as war-time leader was the source of the dispute. Much recrimination had existed during the event, and more so afterwards when the Welsh Wizard rescued Singapore from certain defeat to the Japanese by spotting a key weakeness in Minister of Defence Winston Churchill's plans.
In 1917, on this day U.S. President Woodrow Wilson asked the U.S. Congress for a declaration of war on Germany. Wilson had refused to compromise with the Republicans who controlled Congress after 1916, so the Senate failed to ratify the declaration and America stayed out of World War I.
In 2002, the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, Operation Anaconda ended after killing 500 Taliban and al Qaeda fighters with 11 allied troop fatalities. Both sides were now locked in a desperate race against time to recover the Extraterrestrial Technology (ET) buried in Iraq
In 1474 AUC, the moon is swallowed in the sky over Babylon. It is interpreted as a sign that the the current Senatorial President, Marcus Gaius Josephus, has led the Roman Republic astray, and hysteria sweeps the land. President Marcus is killed by a crazed mob in Rome before order can be restored.
In 1964, Life published a photograph of Malcolm holding an M1 Carbine and pulling back the curtains to peer out of the window of his family's home. Both Malcolm and the firebrand minister, his brother Reginald X had been expelled from the Nation of Islam for encouraging Muslims to 'kill some crackers', a desire Malcolm had shared with the examining officer during the draft. Malcolm had been classified with a dangerous psych profile. Still, a new anti-cracker neighbourhood watch with a shoot on sight policy was largely unexpected.
In 1994, the PRI's leading candidate for President of Mexico, Luis Donaldo Colosio, narrowly escapes an assassin's bullet as he campaigns in Tijuana. Colosio, who had promised reform of the PRI, initiates an investigation on winning the presidency, and finds that his predecessor and mentor, Carlos Salinas de Gortari, was responsible for the attempt. The revelation shatters the PRI, and President Colosio leaves it and forms the New Revolutionaries, or NR.
In 1765, the British Parliament passes the Quartering Act, establishing the rules under which British troops can be housed in the American and Canadian colonies. Outrage over the callous way that the mother country treats their property prompts many North Americans to begin thinking of severing their ties to the crown, although only the Canadians are successful.
In 1998, a malfunctioning fire alarm saved a school in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Assistant Principal Terry Trotter found a young boy, Andrew Golden, yanking on the alarm in order to drive all the students out of the school. After questioning the boy about this, Trotter called the police, who found an accomplice of Golden's, Mitchell Johnson, in the woods outside the school, with a rifle and extra ammunition. When the police came, he surrendered without a struggle.
In 1975, King Faisal of Saudi Arabia is murdered by an unknown assailant, plunging the middle eastern monarchy into revolution. Long-suppressed pro-democracy movements clash with those who support the King's son, Prince Khalid, and for 6 long years, the Saudis are unable to restore order to their country.
In 1998, Adam Pletcher is convicted of attempting to extort $5 million from Bill Gates. Pletcher maintained his innocence throughout the trial, and indeed, was innocent. An acquaintance of his had posed as him in order to threaten Gates and Microsoft executive Steve Ballmer out of money. When John Winston was found doing the exact same thing to Apple Chairman Steve Jobs, Pletcher was released.
In 1980, the British Olympic Association voted by a large majority to defy government requests and send athletes to the Olympic Games in Moscow. Funds were soon frozen and the team prevented from attending, in order to protest the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
In 1834, President Andrew Jackson of America is impeached for his genocidal policies against southeastern native populations. His famous quote that 'the only good injun is a dead injun' was used against him, as was his general policy of oppression against the native people of America. Although the trial ended in his acquittal, he was forced to adopt a more rational stance towards the native nations of North America.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.