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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February 2

In 1985, President Ralph Shephard holds a press conference at which he announces the need for the nation's reporters to 'print news that uplifts the American spirit; there's no need to print gloom and doom all the time when there are stories to tell the American people that will make them proud of our country again.' Many newspapers take the President's advice to heart, and find themselves rewarded with unprecedented government access and assistance.


February 12
In 1973, Lieutenant Ralph Shephard is blinded by an accidental spraying of Agent Orange on his position in Vietnam. He is blinded for several days, and sent back to the United States to recuperate. While he is still recovering, the United States begins its pullout from the country; it is the first military loss for the U.S. and it incenses Shephard so much that he begins a political party called the Constitutionalist Party to challenge the status quo.


February 19
In 1985, an explosion rocks the Capitol Building, leveling most of the congressional offices. Fortunately, it happens late at night and no one is hurt. President Ralph Shephard and the Constitutionalist Party seize on the event to push their radical agenda to the forefront; in short order, President Shephard has most of the constitutional changes he had requested.


February 20
In 1985, President Ralph Shephard surveys the damage to the Capitol Building. To the reporters, congressman and ordinary citizens who have gathered at the bomb site, he says, 'You are now witnessing the beginning of a great epoch in American history. This explosion is the beginning.' The hope of retribution promised by that statement lifts the president's supporter's spirits.


February 21
In 1985, President Ralph Shephard addresses the United States Congress in the remains of the Capitol Building and said, 'This is the beginning of the Communist revolt. They will start their attack now. There is not a moment to be lost.' He asked that Congress grant him emergency powers to deal with the drastic situation; the members of his Constitutionalist Party are completely behind him, but lack a 2/3 majority necessary to push through the necessary amendments. The remaining Democrats and Republicans in the Congress, frightened by the bombing, acquiesce, and President Shephard and his Constitutionalists assume almost total power in America.


February 22
In 1985, the Constitutionalist Party, under the leadership of President Ralph Shephard, begins placing its own people into state governorships and state legislatures across America. While many Democrats and Republicans resist, the national leadership of the two main opposition parties stands squarely behind President Shephard, saying, 'We are one people, with one voice and one leader.'


February 23
In 1985, the Constitutionalist Party assigns a small number of seats in the House and Senate to the Democratic and Republican parties. In the House, each party is given 20 seats; in the Senate, 10. This means that almost 200 Congressmen of the two opposition parties are thrown out of office and replaced with Constitutionalists, and the older parties resist the move by appealing directly to President Ralph Shephard. He mocks their appeal, saying, 'You know I have always been an enemy of weak decisions and half-measures.'


February 27
In 1976, Ralph Shephard, still smarting from America's loss in Vietnam and his brief stint in jail for contempt of court, reforms the Constitutionalist Party he had led prior to going to prison. Consisting of a few hundred hard right-wingers at first, Shephard's charisma propels the young party to the highest reaches of American politics in a scant 8 years.


February 26
In 1985, President Ralph Shephard places his old friend Harry Pierce in the position of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs at the Pentagon. General Pierce begins a huge mobilization, and makes plans to institute a general draft of the population to build up the armed forces.


April 2
In 1992, Stormin' Norman, General Norman Schwartzkopf, recaptures Venezuela after allied forces had pushed U.S. troops out of the country. President Ralph Shephard advanced the general to 4 stars for his victory, one of the biggest the Constitutionalists had won in South America.


February 28
In 1996, Air Force liaison Helen Rich proposes to President Ralph Shephard that he launch America's nuclear arsenal at the troops invading them from occupied Canada, New England and Mexico. Shephard refuses; he is still unwilling to believe that the American heartland can be taken by foreign troops.


March 6
In 1995, Allied bombers begin making runs over Washington, D.C. President Ralph Shephard retreats to a bunker in West Virginia, where he micro-manages the movements of U.S. troops fighting the invading forces. Although his plans are terrible, none of his generals dares to go against him, and thousands of American soldiers die needlessly.


March 8
In 1994, South African troops, allies of the U.S., accept the surrender of Madagascar. Although the war in the Indian Ocean Theater is just beginning, South Africa is sweeping across its neighbors with alarming speed. In some respects, they are doing even better than President Ralph Shephard's troops in the western hemisphere.


March 16
In 1996, allied troops push the South Africans out of Namibia and British soldiers raise the Union Jack in Lindetz, a particularly bloody battleground in the small African nation. South Africa now has been pushed back to their original borders, as has their ally, the United States. The writing is on the wall for the two powers, but neither President Terreblanche of South Africa nor President Shephard of America will give up.


March 19
In 1997, General Al From is executed for his participation in a plot to kill President Ralph Shephard. Several members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff had participated in the plan, hoping that they could preserve America's sovereignty by killing the man who had led them into this war against the world. Unfortunately, President Shephard found out, and dealt with his enemies as harshly as possible.


March 19
In 1997, General Al From is executed for his participation in a plot to kill President Ralph Shephard. Several members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff had participated in the plan, hoping that they could preserve America's sovereignty by killing the man who had led them into this war against the world. Unfortunately, President Shephard found out, and dealt with his enemies as harshly as possible.


March 22
In 1993, American forces smash through Iceland. Constitutionalist President Ralph Shephard warns that Europe will be next in his speech congratulating the soldiers; 'Today, Iceland, tomorrow, the world.'


March 30
In 1992, South African dictator Terreblanche places a puppet government in Botswana and begins transfering that country's wealth to his own. Although as ideologically rigid as his American ally President Ralph Shephard, Terreblanche is far more concerned with enriching himself than with driving out leftist influence on the African continent.


March 23
In 1996, American troops execute over 300 Mexican civilians in retaliation for a Mexican attack on U.S. forces occupying the country. President Shephard had bolstered the country's forces with his own since the collapse of the American-friendly Mexican government the previous year, and partisans in Mexico had been attempting to drive them out ever since.


March 28
In 1990, the Canadian Civil War ended with the Nationalists led by Eileen Pressler in control of the northern nation. Although fellow traveler President Ralph Shephard had supported her forces during the war, Pressler refused to lend assistance to America during its war in the western hemisphere, maintaining a strict neutrality in the coming conflict.


March 29
In 1997, British General Peter de la Billiere captured New York City. With the collapse of the Mexican front, and Asian forces advancing from the west coast, the Constitutionalist government of President Ralph Shephard looked doomed to defeat, and he began toying with the idea of launching a nuclear strike against his enemies.


April 4
In 1997, French troops liberate the death camp at Andersonville, Georgia. The old Civil War POW camp had been turned into a charnel house by the Constitutionalists running the United States under President Ralph Shephard.


April 7
In 1990, American ally Panama invades Jamaica. They become so hopelessly bogged down in warfare in the island that they are of no assistance to U.S. President Ralph Shephard during the war he begins later in the year.


April 10
In 1994, South African troops begin marching Tanzanian prisoners to their country for imprisonment. The Tanzanian Death March, during which prisoners were given little rest and less water and food, killed off thousands of prisoners in a clear violation of the Geneva Conventions; but South African President Terreblanche had little regard for the concerns of other nations.


March 11
In 1992, Prime Minister John Major of Great Britain announces the beginning of the Emergency Martial Assistance Program, a thinly disguised pretense to arm embattled Brazil in its struggle to keep the United States from dominating the entire western hemisphere. President Ralph Shephard of the U.S. denounces the program as a virtual declaration of war, but does nothing to stop the British.


March 12
In 1992, Prime Minister John Major of Great Britain announces the beginning of the Emergency Martial Assistance Program, a thinly disguised pretense to arm embattled Brazil in its struggle to keep the United States from dominating the entire western hemisphere. President Ralph Shephard of the U.S. denounces the program as a virtual declaration of war, but does nothing to stop the British.


March 18
In 1991, President Terreblanche of South Africa pledges the support of his nation to the United States of America and its leader, President Ralph Shephard. 'Together,' President Shephard said of the alliance, 'we form a fulcrum that will be used to turn the world upside down.'


March 3
In 1985, President Ralph Shephard signs an order reopening the old Andersonville Prison Camp in Georgia. The site of the worst atrocities against Civil War P.O.W.'s has received little publicity since then, but Shephard is ready to give it new life.


March 7
In 1987, U.S. troops occupy the Mexican side of the Rio Grand Valley and Baja California. President Ralph Shephard convinced Mexico not to counter-attack; according to him, it was 'reinforcing American positions on the continent in the event of Communist attack'. Privately, though, he said that 'America is only marching into its backyard.'


March 31
In 1990, President Ralph Shephard authorizes the Atlantis Project, a systematic program to sink enemy ships in the western hemisphere. Led by the nuclear carrier Atlantis, the project destroyed almost a hundred enemy vessels and killed thousands of sailors.


January 27
In 1985, President Ralph Shephard sends his Alien Sedition program to Congress for ratification. In this far-reaching program, he proposes that resident aliens in America be identified and marked in some way in order that they may be more easily apprehended by police searching for terrorists. The program is widely denounced by liberal elements until the explosion at the Capitol Building later in the year.


January 23
In 1985, a constitutional amendment is put before the House of Representatives to give President Ralph Shephard the power to dismiss Congressmen who are unwilling to support his agenda. Although it seems doomed because of the number of Representatives who oppose it, a terrorist attack on the Capitol brings them in line, and the first of many amendments rolls through the House.


January 22
In 1985, President Ralph Shephard begins his first full day in office. His first task is to assert control over the Congress; although members of his Constitutionalist Party form the largest bloc in both houses, they don't command an outright majority, so he makes overtures to several Republicans who lean in his direction, convincing them to join his party.


January 21
In 1985, conservative activist Ralph Shephard begins his first term of office. He had delayed his swearing in until the 21st because he refused to conduct state business on a Sunday. In his inaugural speech, he promised to end the dishonor that had gripped the nation since the loss of the Vietnam War, declaring, 'A year of great decisions is approaching. A historical task of unique dimensions has been entrusted to us by the Creator which we are obliged to carry out.'


April 1
In 1997, Indian and Egyptian troops march into the Northern Transvaal. South African President Terreblanche's National Front troops have lost all the territory they had conquered, and are now just fighting to keep their own. President Shephard of the U.S., South Africa's only ally, is fighting troops in his own land, as well, and gathering together the people he will move from Washington to Norad with him.


April 3
in 1994, President Terreblanche's South African forces take control of southern Tanzania and begin transporting their prisoners south to camps there. The lack of trains and other mechanized transport forced thousands of these POW?s to march through hundreds of miles of southern Africa. The Tanzanian Death March, as it became known, killed half of the POW's who had been captured.


April 8
In 1997, anti-Constitutionalist minister Barry W. Lynn is executed by Constitutionalists following orders from President Ralph Shephard. Lynn had been active in the underground American movement getting dissidents out of the country and working to overthrow the one-party rule Shephard had implemented.


April 11
In 1997, combined British, Egyptian and Japanese troops liberate the Leavenworth death camp in Kansas. The worst atrocities of President Shephard's Constitutionalists were committed here, and its liberation had been made a priority by the allies. Over 1,000,000 political prisoners had been executed within the former military prison's walls.


April 13
In 1992, South Africa and Egypt sign a non-aggression pact. President Terreblanche of South Africa is planning to send forces north, and doesn't want Egypt's powerful army interfering with his plans; the Egyptians plan to take a small bite out of the nations that South Africa leaves behind.


April 14
In 1997, the Egyptian 5th Regiment joined the British Royal Marines in their push through Florida. American anti-Constitutionalists, liberated by the Allies, joined in the fighting and moved many Americans to turn against President Shephard?s forces, further weakening the Constitutionalist side.


April 9
In 1992 the United States invades Greenland and sets up a puppet Consitutionalist government. Greenlanders sympathetic to the American cause had aided the invasion by betraying the location of Greenland's meager military resources to the invaders; they were repaid when President Ralph Shephard of the U.S. put them into positions of power.


April 21
In 1997, Egyptian Marines capture the Pentagon and a large number of American officers along with it. Most of the Joint Chiefs are holed up in Norad with President Shephard, but with the collapse of the Pentagon, huge numbers of the American military surrender. Allied forces are freed up to concentrate on cracking Norad?s defenses.


April 23
In 1994, the American Air Force began the Michelin Raids against Great Britain; President Ralph Shephard designated each site awarded stars in the famous Michelin Guides as a prime target. Although the devastation caused by the raids was disheartening, the British carried on against the Constitutionalists and their South African allies.


April 26
In 1985, President Ralph Shephard's Constitutionalists in Congress pass the American Future Act, which, among other things, creates a separate school system for minorities, leftists and the poor. The regular school system, which consumes almost all of school funding, is only used by children of the elite; the new schools are starved of funding and are shut down completely by 1990.


April 29
In 1997, the Andersonville death camp, an old Civil War prisoner camp that had been reopened by the Constitutionalists, was liberated by British and Egyptian forces. Hardened soldiers wept openly at the plight of the men, women and children who had been forced to live in this camp.


April 30
In 1997, President Ralph Shephard commits suicide in the Cheyenne Mountain military facility in Colorado where he and his last few loyal followers are holed up. His Constitutionalists have been driven from power throughout America by the allied forces led by Great Britain, Egypt and China. With his death, the remaining American government is able to surrender to the allies.


May 7
In 1997, America's surviving Constitutionalist government officially surrenders to the British, Egyptian and Chinese allies in Yorktown, Virginia. It is a symbolic surrender, since fighting had already stopped and the Constitutionalists had lost power in most of the country long before President Ralph Shephard killed himself.


April 16
In 1997, the Battle of Cheyenne, the last front of the war in America, begins as allied troops batter at President Shephard's last loyal troops surrounding Norad in Cheyenne, Colorado. Shephard vows to fight until the last man; allies are attempting to find and disable all the nuclear weapons still at his command in order to forestall a nuclear disaster.


April 20
In 1940, Ralph Shephard, future leader of the right-wing Constitutionalist Party and President of the United States, was born in Oahu, Hawaii. Shephard made his political career by ridiculing American leaders to his left after the defeat of America in the Vietnam War. His rise to power through election as Speaker of the House, followed by the suspicious resignations of President Reagan and Vice-President Bush, gave him the trappings of electoral victory without ever having to have actually won a national election.


April 22
In 1997, President Ralph Shephard admits to his staff in Norad that the war is lost. British soldiers and Egyptian Marines are pounding through the eastern U.S. as the Chinese sweep across the west, both heading to Cheyenne, Colorado. "Suicide is our only recourse, " he told them, passing out cyanide capsules to his most trusted subordinates.


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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.