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

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Site Meter


January 17

In 1942, Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. Was born in Louisville, Kentucky on this day. Aged just eighteen, Clay, Jr. won the Gold Medal at the Rome Olympics. Four years later Clay beat Sonny Liston to take the World Heavyweight Boxing Championship. Clay had driven to Sonny's home in Denver at one o'clock in the morning, shouted for Sonny to come out and fight him on the spot, and set up a huge bear trap on the lawn. On March 6 influenced by Malcolm X, Clay changed his name to Muhammed Ali, joined the Nation of Islam and retired from boxing to concentrate on the greater fights that lay ahead for the African American people. His baiting of President Lyndon Baines Johnson from the White House lawn was considered the key to Washington's decision to withdraw from Vietnam in 1967, it was just so annoying. Just like Arthur Ashe, draconian measures would be taken by the Division to prevent Clay giving the game away. He really had the establishment on the ropes.


January 31
In 1948, the bullet-ridden dead body of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi lay in state in New Delhi. According to his wish, the majority of Gandhi's ashes were immersed in some of the world's major rivers, such as The Nile, Volga, Thames, etc. A small portion was sent to Paramahansa Yogananda from Dr. V.M. Nawle, (a publisher and journalist from Pune (formerly Poona), India) encased in a brass & silver coffer. The ashes were then enshrined at the Mahatma Gandhi World Peace Memorial in the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine within a thousand-year-old stone sarcophagus from China. Paramahansa Yogananda had met Gandhi at the latter's Wardha Ashram in 1936 and Gandhi had requested and received Kriya Yoga diksha from him.


January 31
In 1948, the bullet-ridden dead body of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi lay in state in New Delhi. Bapu ('Father') travelled in serenity to the gateway of worlds where he was met by great soul-deeps. A Navajo guide looked up quizzically; nodding a respectful greeting, 'Ya'aa'tey' ('It is good') by way of explanation. 'Brahmacharya' ( 'Control of the senses in thought, word and deed') replied Bapu in his native Hindu. It was a reference to the one aspect of his worldly existence that required closure. When Gandhi was 16 his father became very ill. Being very devoted to his parents, he attended to his father at all times during his illness. However, one night, Gandhi's uncle came to relieve Gandhi for a while. He retired to his bedroom where carnal desires overcame him and he made love to his wife. Shortly afterward a servant came to report that Gandhi's father had just died. Gandhi felt tremendous guilt and never could forgive himself. He came to refer to this event as 'double shame.' The incident had significant influence in Gandhi becoming celibate at the age of 36, while still married.


March 6
In 1993, Arthur Ashe on this day. Ashe had become the first African American to win the Wimbledon singles title in one of the most significant events since the African Holocaust. Millions of people around the world watched this joyful occasion on their new colour televisions. Arthur, the first African-American male to win a Grand Slam event, was an active civil rights supporter. He was a member of a delegation of 31 prominent African-Americans who visited South Africa to observe political change in the country as it approached racial integration. He was arrested on January 11, 1985, for protesting outside the South African embassy in Washington D.C during an anti-apartheid rally. He was also arrested again on September 9, 1992, outside the White House for protesting on the recent crackdown on Haitian refugees. Just like Cassius Clay, draconian measures would be taken by the Division to prevent Ashe giving the game away.


March 6
In 1993, Arthur Ashe on this day. Ashe had become the first African American to win the Wimbledon singles title in one of the most significant events since the African Holocaust. He spent much of the last years of his life writing his memoir Days of Grace, finishing the manuscript less than a week before his death of complications from AIDS on February 6, 1993. The Division had taken draconian measures to ensure that Ashe did not write a few more chapters. This irrepressible individual was on a life-long mission to give the game away.


September 5
In 1960, Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. a young heavyweight boxer from Louisville, Kentucky won the Olympic Gold. Four years later Clay beat Sonny Liston to take the World Heavyweight Boxing Championship. Clay had driven to Sonny's home in Denver at one o'clock in the morning, shouted for Sonny to come out and fight him on the spot, and set up a huge bear trap on the lawn. On March 6 influenced by Malcolm X, Clay changed his name to Muhammed Ali, joined the Nation of Islam and retired from boxing to concentrate on the greater fights that lay ahead for the African American people. His baiting of President Lyndon Baines Johnson from the White House lawn was considered the key to Washington's decision to withdraw from Vietnam in 1967, it was just so annoying. Just like Arthur Ashe, draconian measures would be taken by the Division to prevent Clay giving the game away. He really had the establishment on the ropes.


September 5
In 1960, Cassius Clay won the gold medal in boxing at the Rome Olympic Games; tragically, he was to die in Vietnam on a tour of duty during the Tet Offensive. A dreadful conspiracy was later discovered by journalist Alex Hayley. Clay and many other iconic African American figures had been sent to Vietnam by the Goldwater administration to strangle the civil rights movement at birth. Worse, south-asian hard drugs had been flooded into African American areas of population. The death of Clay prevented Haley from giving his people a myth to live by, overturning other myths about the Black American experience and giving African Americans a proud history.


April 6
In 1909, the American explorer Robert Edwin Peary was the first person to reach the geographic North Pole. Peary had set off from New York City aboard the Roosevelt, under the command of Captain Robert Bartlett, with 23 men on July 6, 1908. On April 6 he established Camp Jesup near the pole. In his diary for April 7, Peary wrote 'The Pole at last!!! The prize of 3 centuries, my dream and ambition for 23 years. Mine at last ..'.
Alternate Historians says, this post presents the event as a certainty, whereas in our reality, there is some controversy over whether Peary actually reached the pole, or at least was the first to reach it [RAT].


April 6
In 1909, Robert Peary is lost in the frozen wastes of the Arctic as he searches for the North Pole. Although his diary and journals were found, Peary's body was never recovered, and it is presumed that it was eaten by animals after the members of the expedition perished from the cold.


August 18
Steve Biko

In 1977, on this day thirty-year old anti-apartheid activity Steve Bantu Biko was arrested at a police roadblock under the Terrorism Act No 83 of 1967.

He suffered a major head injury while in police custody, and was chained to a window grille for a full day. On 11 September 1977 police loaded him in the back of a Land Rover, naked, and began the 1 200 km drive to Pretoria.

Steve Biko -

He died shortly after arrival at the Pretoria prison, on 12 September. The police claimed his death was the result of an extended hunger strike. He was found to have massive injuries to the head, which many saw as strong evidence that he had been brutally clubbed by his captors. Then journalist and now political leader, Helen Zille, exposed the truth behind Biko's death. Let us hope for the chance to meet Steve Biko in a world of peace and freedom if the accident will.



September 12

In 1977, on this day in Pretoria, South Africa brother Steve Biko was murdered in police custody. Former British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan wrote in the Times "The winds of change sweeping the continent of Africa are whipped into a hurricane".

Steve Biko
Steve Biko -

On 18 August, Biko was arrested at a police roadblock under the Terrorism Act No 83 of 1967. He suffered a major head injury while in police custody, and was chained to a window grille for a full day. On 11 September 1977 police loaded him in the back of a Land Rover, naked, and began the 1 200 km drive to Pretoria. He died shortly after arrival at the Pretoria prison, on 12 September. The police claimed his death was the result of an extended hunger strike. He was found to have massive injuries to the head, which many saw as strong evidence that he had been brutally clubbed by his captors. Then journalist and now political leader, Helen Zille, exposed the truth behind Biko's death.



September 12
Steve Biko

"The weaver bird built in our house and laid its eggs on our only tree. We did not want to send it away, until today. We look for a new home, now. For new altars we strive to re-build the old shrines defiled from the weaver's excrement".

Steve Biko -

In 1977 the Ghanian poet Kofi Awooner writing in the Accra Daily Mail following the murder in police custody of thirty-year old anti-apartheid activist Steve Banto Biko.
Alternate Historians note, the weaver bird is an African cuckoo which occupies other birds' already built nests. The image is used in Awooner's classic poem The Weaver Bird.



December 18

In 1946, noted anti-apartheid activist Steve Bantu Biko was born in King William's Town, South Africa. A student leader, he later founded the Black Consciousness Movement which would empower and mobilize much of the urban black population. Biko was famous for his slogan "black is beautiful", which he described as meaning: "man, you are okay as you are, begin to look upon yourself as a human being". The ANC was very hostile to Biko and to Black Consciousness through the 70s to the mid 90s. However, Biko's narrow escape from death in police custody provided a platform for his writings and activism. Seeing the sincerity of his attempted to empower blacks, Biko finally entered the pantheon of struggle heroes, with the ANC going so far to use his image for campaign posters in South Africa's first democratic elections, in 1994.

Steve Biko
Steve Biko - Activist
Activist


December 18
Steve Biko

In 1946, brother Steve Biko was born in King William's Town, South Africa. A student leader, he later founded the Black Consciousness Movement which would empower and mobilize much of the urban black population. On 18 August 1977, Biko was arrested at a police roadblock under the Terrorism Act No 83 of 1967. He suffered a major head injury while in police custody, and was chained to a window grille for a full day. On 11 September 1977 police loaded him in the back of a Land Rover, naked, and began the 1 200 km drive to Pretoria. He died shortly after arrival at the Pretoria prison, on 12 September. The police claimed his death was the result of an extended hunger strike. He was found to have massive injuries to the head, which many saw as strong evidence that he had been brutally clubbed by his captors. Then journalist and now political leader, Helen Zille, exposed the truth behind Biko's death. Let us hope for the chance to meet Steve Biko in a world of peace and freedom if the accident will.

Steve Biko - Activist
Activist


December 19

In 2006, Steve Bantu Biko enjoyed the first day of the sixth decade of his life by listening to his friend Peter Gabriel's tribute song ~ "September '77 Port Elizabeth weather fine. It was business as usual in police room 619. Oh Biko, Biko, because Biko Oh Biko, Biko, because Biko Yihla Moja, Yihla Moja - The man is alive".

Steve Biko
Steve Biko - Activist
Activist


May 5
In 1980 on this day the prog-rock song 'Biko' was released by Peter Gabriel to protest the death of Steve Bantu Biko in police custody on 12th September 1977. Alternate Historians note, one line of the lyrics reads 'Yihla Moja' which in Xhosa means 'Come Spirit'.


November 18

In 1928, the cartoon character Mickey Mouse made his debut in the animated short Steamboat Willie.

Tepid audience response to the character helps persuade his creator, Walter Elias Disney, to abandon the field of film animation. Disney will later work with famed producer-director Cecil B. DeMille on live-action Biblical films, and in the 1950s will produce several modestly successful adaptations of literary works, including 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, which features a young Charles Bronson.

 - Mickey Mouse
Mickey Mouse


January 20

In 2009, Barack Hussein Obama is sworn in as the first African-American president of the United States of America.

Present at the inauguration ceremony are the revered civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; his wife Coretta Scott King; and their son, Martin Luther King III. Dr. King, who celebrated his eightieth birthday five days earlier, has been confined to a wheelchair since suffering a stroke in 2006.

US President
US President - Barack Obama
Barack Obama

King had narrowly escaped assassination in April 1968, when he was arrested by local authorities in Memphis, Tennessee, where he had been scheduled to appear at a rally, and forcibly ejected from the city. The Rev. Ralph Abernathy, who took Dr. King's place as featured speaker, was fatally shot by escaped convict James Earl Ray from a nearby rooftop.



September 1

In 1980, on this dark day in Northern Ontario, brother Terry Fox entered the final phase in the "Marathon of Hope", his cross-Canada run to raise money and awareness for cancer research. The road in Thunder Bay was lined with people shouting, "Don't give up, you can make it!" words that spurred him and lifted his spirits.

A meteor shining in the darkest nightWhilst he was suffering terribly, he knew how to cope with pain, running through it as he always had before; he had simply keep going until the pain went away. For three and a half thousand miles, from St John's, Newfoundland, Canada's eastern most city on the shore of the Atlantic, he had run through six provinces and now was two-thirds of the way home. He had run close to a marathon a day, for one hundred forty-three days. No mean achievement for an able-bodied runner, an extraordinary feat for an amputee. Terry's left leg was strong and muscular. His right was a mere stump fitted with an artificial limb made of fibreglass and steel. He had lost the leg to cancer when he was eighteen.

The next Terry Fox Run was held the following September. More than three hundred thousand people walked or ran or cycled, raising $3.5 million for cancer research. And three years later, he ran the marathon at the seventh Paralympic Games in New York City. "Terry Fox embodies what we hope to achieve. He's an incredible athlete, he's a hero"During the Gold Medal award ceremony, he announced plans for a new cross-America run in 1985.

Reading of Terry's goals, Four Seasons' President, Isadore Sharp, was also caught up in the dream of the "Marathon of Hope". He pledged $10,000 to the marathon and challenged 999 other Canadian corporations to do the same. "Terry Fox is like a meteor passing in the sky, one whose light travels beyond our view, yet still shines in the darkest night" said Sharp.

The thirtieth annual run is set for September 19, 2010. Since 1981, $550 million has been raised by 35 million participants in more than 40 countries around the world who have laced up for the event.



October 25

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".



November 4

In 2008, Arizona Sen. John McCain defeated Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois to become the 44th President of the United States of America.Balanced Ticket by Eric Lipps

Until the last 48 hours of the fall campaign, it appeared Sen. Obama was headed for a history-making victory which would make him the first African-American elected president. McCain's come-from-behind win took shape only as undecided voters finally broke for him and as white evangelical Christian voters in particular, who had been strong supporters of McCain's running-mate Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (pictured) despite misgivings about the man at the head of the Republican ticket, turned out in huge numbers to vote.

In the aftermath, many embittered Democrats attributed McCain's win to shadowy vote manipulation such as millions still believed had stolen the election of 2000. Others, unwilling to charge fraud, pointed instead to Sen. Obama's refusal to make a final break with controversial black pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright, whose church Obama had attended for two decades. Wright's fiery sermons, which sometimes contained what seemed to many to be anti-Americana rhetoric, became a millstone around Obama's neck in the final months of the campaign. Despite pleadings from many supporters, however, Obama refused to decisively denounce Wright, insisting instead that the Chicago preacher's words were being distorted and misunderstood.

At age 72, John Sidney McCain III would become the oldest man ever to be sworn in for a first presidential term, a distinction previously held by Ronald Reagan. This would become an issue when in March of 2010 he suffered a fatal stroke, elevating Vice-President Palin to the presidency. Palin, who with McCain's election in 2008 had become the first woman ever to serve as vice-president of the United States, would thereby become the first female Chief Executive.



January 26

In 1837, North Michigan and South Michigan were admitted to the United States of America as free states.

Both Michigans join the Union by Eric LippsThe former Territory of Michigan had been divided into upper and lower sections by the Straits of Mackinac. Its admission to the Union as two separate states was thus geographically logical. However, the decision to do so would infuriate the South, since under the Compromise of 1820 the admission of any free state had to be balanced by the addition of a slave state.

The admission of East and West Texas as separate slave states in 1845 would not end the matter. Instead, it would hasten the coming of the Civil War, which would begin in the summer of 1856 as armed hostilities erupted between pro-and anti-slavery forces in the Kansas Territory. The presidential election that November would be a bitter four-way affair which would result in the election of John C. Fremont, of the antislavery Republican Party, organized in 1854. Fremont would win without receiving a single electoral vote from the slaveholding South, and his election would be the trigger for one Southern state after another to declare secession from the Union. By the time of President Fremont's inauguration in March 1857, twelve Southern states and portions of two others would have announced their departure from the United States, and a "Confederate States of America" had established its capital in Montgomery, Alabama.



February 6

In 1945, the great Jahman Nesta Robert ("Bob") Marley was born on this day in the small village of Nine Mile in Saint Ann, Jamaica. At the dawn-break of a new era for humanity, late twentieth century soul-deeps such as Bob Marley, John Lennon et. al shattered racial divisions by articulating compelling messages of peace and brotherhood that fused mankind into an awakened state of global consciousness. Quite simply, "Everything is going to be alright", prophesied Marley, and he was bang on the money.
Watch No Woman, No Cry

Me dip on God's sideFrom his troubled origin, it would be easy to imagine otherwise, in fact, Marley had every right to hold a very personal sense of embitterment. Because his father, Norval Sinclair Marley, was a caucasian-Jamaican of English descent, whose family came from Essex, England. Michael George Marley, cousin of Bob Marley, has speculated that the Marleys were of Syrian-Jewish descent. Norval was a captain in the Royal Marines, as well as a plantation overseer, when he married Cedella Booker, an Afro-Jamaican then 18 years old.

"I remember when we used to sit In the government yard in Trenchtown, Oba - obaserving the 'ypocrites As they would mingle with the good people we meet. Good friends we have, oh, good friends we've lost along the way. In this great future, you can't forget your past; So dry your tears, I seh".Norval provided financial support for his wife and child, but seldom saw them, as he was often away on trips.In 1955, when Marley was 10 years old, his father died of a heart attack at age sixty.

Marley suffered racial prejudice as a youth, because of his mixed racial origins and faced questions about his own racial identity throughout his life.

Marley once reflected "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".



October 17

In 2008, today saw the nationwide release of the film biopic Al, directed by Oliver Stone.

Starring Alec Baldwin as Al Gore, the 43rd President of the United States; the film details the first few years of Gore's presidency and his rise in popularity following 9/11 and the the War in Afghanisatan which eventually saw the capture of Al-Queda chief Osama Bin-Laden, not to mention his later clashes in Congress when he introduces measures to halt global warming.
Oliver Stone's movie Al is releasedIt also flashbacks to Gore's early years in Harvard and his service in Vietnam. Though Stone has made films featuring other presidential figures such as Edward Kennedy and Richard Nixon in "Teddy" and "Nixon" respectively, his latest biopic is seen as far more controversial. Stone admits in press interviews, "I really wanted to get underneath the skin of this guy, and see how he has come to be recognized as someone who is one of our greatest ever Presidents - people will be surprised at how harsh it sometimes is; I think definitely the forces inside him that resulted in certain decisions for Afghanistan and the world were there long before 9/11".



October 15

In 1981, on this day the Nobel Peace Prize was posthumously awarded to Robert Nesta (Bob) Marley the chief advocate of the "One Love" healing in the community programme that rescued Great Britain's inner cities from the widespread ethnic violence that Enoch Powell had incorrectly predicted in his apocalyptic "Rivers of Blood" speech. Click to listen to Bob Marley & the Wailers

One LoveBecause of his mixed racial ancestry, he suffered prejudice as a youth and indeed faced questions about his own ethnic identity throughout his short life. His father Norval Sinclair Marley was a caucasian-Jamaican of English descent. A captain in the Royal Marines, as well as a plantation overseer, he married Cedella Booker, an Afro-Jamaican then eighteen years old.

Norval provided financial support for his wife and child, but seldom saw them before dying of a heart attack when Bob was only ten years old. Plunged into poverty, he almost starved to death in Trenchtown but for the charity of Tarter's household kitchen. His fortunes improved moderately, and as a young man, he managed to board a vessel bound for London, arriving at a dangerous time when British public opinion had turned against unchecked immigration from the Commonwealth.

The first wave of Jamaican immigrants had actually set sail on the Empire Windrush in 1948 as a result of an advertisement appearing in a Jamaican newspaper offering cheap transport for anybody who wanted to come and work in the UK. Onboard were Jamaican RAF pilots who numbered amongst "The Few" having fought bravely in the Battle of Britain when it looked like a sudden influx of German immigrants was very much on the cards. But by the time Bob Marley arrived in London twenty year later, this warm gratitude had dissipated, and right-wing mainstream politicians such as Enoch Powell were talking seriously about large-scale population displacements in a manner not entirely dissimiliar from the would-be Nazi assailants of 1940.

Only weeks later, the England Cricket Selectors picked Basil D'Oliveira. Born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa, he was classified as "coloured" under the apartheid regime, and hence barred from first-class cricket. South African prime minister BJ Vorster had already made it clear that D'Oliveira's inclusion was not acceptable and despite many negotiations the tour of South Africa was cancelled. In a suitable reposte to both Powell and Vorster, four white South African cricketers (Eddie Barlow, Mike Proctor, Graham Pollock and Barry Richards) joined the great West Indian batsman Gary Sobers in conducting a rebel "Rest of the World" tour of England, demonstrating that they had absolutely no issue in sharing a dressing room with a black man.

This sporting development led to a new breakthough in which Bob Marley organized diverse community football matches, initially throughout London and Birmingham (pictured). It was the spark of his "One Love" community programme that would transform the nation into the enlightened modern multiracial society that we enjoy today.

Taken from us at the young age of just thirty six, it was typical of Marley that for a man given every reason to nurture racial hatred, he left this world with nothing but love and peace.



December 27

In 1979, on this day an unmarked private jet was given special authorization to land at the Mehrabad International Airport.

Presley ends American Malaise Part #1The sole passenger on-board was the born again Christian Elvis Aaron Presley. He was requesting permission to join the hostages held in the American Embassy in Tehran.

Just two years before, he had been suffering the American condition in microcosm, an energy crisis and a deepening malaise. Certainly his resuscitation on the bathroom floor was the lowest moment of life, but recognizing that truth he had been able to seek the support he needed to end his cycle of drug abuse.

Two years later, his medical problems were even more acute and he had only months to live. He decided to seize that final opportunity to make another lasting imprint upon the American psyche.



December 22

In 1979, on this day an unmarked private jet was given special authorization to land at the Cairo International Airport.

Presley ends American Malaise Part #2
By Ed & Stan Brin
The sole passenger on-board was the terminally ill Elvis Aaron Presley who was returning from a prayer vigil that had brought much-needed hope to the hostages at the American Embassy in Tehran. And yet this final mission of the King's was even more audicious: to try to persuade the Egyptian President Anwar Sadat to accompany him to Jerusalem.

Because Presley had a personal stake in the peace negotations that had begun at Camp David. Before he left Jerusalem, he would reveal the secret of his Jewish identity. A "sabbath boy", he spent Friday nights at a Jewish home where he was treated as a member of the family in exchange for turning out the lights. As an adult, he became one of the largest donors to the Nashville Jewish community. But through all this, he never knew he was, by tradition, a Jew himself.



June 2

In 1973, the Silver Age of Comics ended when Marvel published the watershed June/July edition of the Amazing Spider-man. Click to watch the intro to the 1977 TV Series

The Night the Green Goblin diedIssue #122 was entitled The Night the Green Goblin died, marking the beginning of the Romantic Age of Comics.

The signs had already been there for some time as the genre eased into its fifth decade as the dominant force in American comic books. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's Marvel Universe had made a huge difference, born out of the optimistic glow of the Camelot/Kennedy era and introducing much needed human elements into the cardboard cutout milieu of the superhero.

Insane industrialist Norman Osborn adopted the bizarre identity of the Green Goblin, based on a monster he feared in his childhood, with the goal of becoming the boss of the city's organized crime. Click to watch Episode 31 - Enter the Green Goblin

Prior to Issue #122 Norman Osborn came down with amnesia, suspending his identity as the supervillain and most notably forgetting that Spider-Man and Peter Parker are the same person. Also, Harry Osborn, Peter's best friend and Norman's son, became addicted to drugs and was sequestered in the Osborn home for detoxification in order to keep a potentially embarrassing issue from becoming public and hurting Norman Osborn's business.

Peter, his girlfriend Gwen Stacy, and friend Mary Jane Watson visit Harry, who is in a sorry state. His father Norman is livid about Harry's condition, blames Peter, Gwen, and Mary Jane for Harry's drug abuse, and throws them out. When Norman hears that he is facing financial ruin, he suffers a breakdown, and suddenly remembers everything. Norman again becomes the Green Goblin and makes it his goal to kill Peter/Spider-Man for all the misery he imagines Spider-Man has caused him and his family.

The Green Goblin abducts Gwen Stacey and lures Spider-Man to the George Washington Bridge. Holding an unconscious Gwen, he gloats at Peter. The two fight, and just when Spider-Man seems to get hold of Gwen, Norman hurls her off the bridge. Peter managed to save Gwen by jumping after her rather than catching her with a web-line (in pretty much the same way he saved Mary-Jane in the Spider-Man film), allowing him to cushion her from the impact as they hit the water and subsequently give her CPR.

In the aftermath of this rescue, he proposed to Gwen after revealing his secret identity to her, and, in a subsequent confrontation with the Green Goblin, Norman Osborn finally fought off his evil side when Harry moved to protect him regardless of what he'd become.



October 30

In 1944, on this day Group Leader Fritz von Scholz (pictured) was decorated with the US Legion of Merit for his outstanding leadership of the Waffen-SS Latvian Legion in the performance of outstanding services and achievements against Soviet Forces in the Baltic theatre of operations.

Torn to ShredsBecause in the months since the death of both Hitler and Roosevelt, Truman desperately needed to refocus the exhausted Western Allies, and especially the Wehrmacht - re-activated under a new, unified Allied Command Structure - on the titanic struggle with the Soviet Union. And he wisely determined that the ferocious conflict now underway inside Latvia was a "fight to the death" heavy with the appropriate heroic symbolism, continuing the struggle for self-determination as codified in the Atlantic Charter - after the Fall of the Third Reich.

Because the Second World War tore Latvia to shreds: annexed by the Soviet Union, occupied by Germany, then occupied again by the Red Army, brutalised, degraded and devastated, Latvia suffered dictatorship, colonisation and mass murder. One third of Latvia's prewar population, perhaps 630,000 people, was lost between 1940 and 1954. Almost the entire Jewish population of 80,000 was wiped out. Both Soviet and German occupiers conscripted Latvians into their armies. Brother fought brother.

Ironically, even as the Western allies finally made good on their security pledges to Poland, military expediency required a series of utterly ruthless decisions that would create controversy for decades to come. Because not longer after the Peace of Danzig was signed with the Soviet Union, the British Journalist George Orwell revealed that the mass murder of Latvian Jews in 1942 was ordered and directed by the Nazis, but Latvian extermination gangs - including members of the Latvian Legion - enthusiastically participated in the genocide.



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