It is 2013, and America has indeed fallen over the fiscal cliff...to the point where the government has failed to raise the debt limit or pass a budget. Now it is in complete default, to the point at which there is no longer any money to pay the Armed Forces.
Lord Protector ObamaNaturally, the Army is close to mutiny...until their generals solve the problem by invading both the House and Senate at the same time. Paraphrasing the immortal words of the famed Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell, the leading general steps up to the Congressional podium and announces, "Out on you, you are no Congress".
When the president is notified, he rushes there, too. In his most eloquent and persuasive tones, he tells the generals that he supports them completely as their commander in chief. Knowing that the alternative might be their trial for high treason, they acclaim him as their leader.
Thanks to an emergency tax, the soldiers are paid...and the government's other beneficiaries soon share the wealth provided by the new military administration.
In 1917, on this day 26th President of the United States William F. Cody died in Denver, Colorado. He was seventy years old.
President William F. Cody Based on a suggestion by Mark TaylorBorn near LeClaire in the Iowa Territory; his parents Isaac and Mary Cody were Canadian Quakers that could scarcely have imagined such a colourful career for their newborn son - decorated Civil War hero, bison hunter and of course the ultimate platform for showmanship, that of US President.
Cody earned his most popular nickname after the American Civil War by slaughtering four thousand two hundred American bison to service a contract to supply Kansas Pacific Railroad workers with buffalo meat.
But more significant was the Indian name of "Long Hair" a mark of respect that was earned at a time when Indians were facing the very real possibility of their own slaughter. Because at the age of just twelve he was captured by Sioux Indians. Fearing for his life, was released by Chief Rain-in-the-Face creating a special connection that he would sustain throughout his long life.
Hoping to exploit this connection, General Nelson A. Miles called on Cody to go to the Standing Rock Reservation and meet with Sitting Bull in the autumn of 1890. He was met en route by a military courier who carried instructions from President Benjamin Harrison personally ordering him to step down from General Miles' assignment to capture Sitting Bull1. Neither Miles or Harrison understood that Cody shared a profound sense of destiny with the Indians because he blatantly ignored the orders and negotated the surrender of the Lakotah leader.
Later in that decade he moved to Wyoming where he eventually became State Governor. Blessed by destiny, successful investments in the water irrigation business provided him with the funding for a race for the Presidency in 1904. In that campaign, he was matched for showmanship and charisma by the incumbent Vice President, Teddy Roosevelt but managed to pull off a narrow victory in the polls. And set about finally answering that call of destiny and repaying his debt to Chief Rain-in-the-Face by seeking justice for the plains Indians.
In 704 AUC, rather than live with the ignominy of being named an Enemy of Rome, Julius Caesar surrendered to the Senate and disbanded his army.
Enemy of the State
by Robbie TaylorDuring his trial in the Senate, though, Caesar proved an orator of such skill that the senators declared him innocent of all charges of treason, and bade him take up his army again.
Although Caesar led the Republic again as Consul, he was always wary in the uses of power, and future consuls followed his example.
In 1815, on this day the minor writer of travel books John Alexander Macdonald was born in Glasgow, Scotland.
John A. Macdonald goes to UniversityHis father was Hugh Macdonald, an unsuccessful merchant, whose business ventures left him in debt and in 1820 the family emigrated to Kingston, in Upper Canada. John initially attended local schools. When he was aged ten, his family scraped together the money to send him to Midland District Grammar School in Kingston. Even though Macdonald's formal schooling ended at fifteen, a common school-leaving age at a time when only children from the most prosperous families were able to attend university, additional funds were obtained to send him to University.
As a young man he pursued the arts, entered journalism and then specialised in travel writing. He is perhaps best known for his descriptions of that improbable northern statelet known as Canada, which, after an age of failures saw one in five of the population head south to the United States in pursuit of a better life . The remaining four in five finally came around to that way of thinking, and Canada was finally absorbed into the Union. This outcome suited the British Government, who were by then much more concerned with reinforcing their defences against the emerging German State, than sending troops to hold the 49th parallel.
In 1948, on this day a long-term plan to uniformly recognize academic qualifications throughout the British Commonwealth was announced by the Secretary of Education Ernest Bevin (pictured).
Children of "the Few"Just eight years before, an international force of servicemen known as "the Few" had saved the home islands from German invasion. These brave men from Poland, New Zealand, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Australia, Belgium, South Africa, France, Ireland, America, Jamaica, the British Mandate of Palestine and Southern Rhodesia had risked their lives to fly the Spitfires and Hurricans that won the Battle of Britain.
Churchill said it was our "Finest Hour", but that was yet to come. Because the future was theirs, and surely if their qualifications were good enough for the Royal Air Force, then their childrens qualifications should be good enough for future employers. In the decades to come the Bevin Plan would ultimately create a free labour market that would enable qualified professionals to migrate to other Commonwealth countries without experiencing prejudicial local barriers to employment. It was nothing less than the creation of a glorious multi-racial Commonwealth of Socialist worker rights, built upon the smoldering ashes of a racist Empire sustained by slavery.
In 1981, at a closed meeting held in the UN Security Council Chamber on this day the Soviet Permanent Representative Oleg Troyanovsky insisted upon a full and frank disclosure of the Anglo-American technology exchange with Grey Aliens that had been revealed by the Rendlesham Forest Incident.
Rendlesham Forest IncidentThe original idea for an alien false flag operation had been conceived during a 1975 review of Project Blue Book, the USAF's systematic investigation into UFO activity. CIA Director George Bush had realised that a strategic advantage might be gained if the Soviet Union actually believed that United States had formed the kind of technology alliance which was being conjectured.
Following an indiscrete leakage of information orchestrated by Bush, for over five years a small army of Soviet agents attempted - with no success whatsover - to infiltrate Area 51 and capture the kind of technology secrets that their predecessors had stolen from the Manhattan Project.
By the time of 1980 election, the temperature of the Cold War had chilled considerably, and America was looking for easy answers and fast. Reagan's big idea was to accelerate strategic military spending to the point where it bankcrupted the Soviet Union. His incoming VP then refined the idea by suggesting that America might further accelerate this process with an alien false flag operation. British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher wholeheartedly agreed, and tentative plans for a British Roswell Incident were drawn up in a remote part of south-east England.
But even before the inauguration could take place, a nuclear accident occured at RAF Bentwater. With a plausible cover-up story desperately needed the high-ranking members of the US infrastructure known collectively as "The Enterprise" came forward with a tried and tested recommendation: blame the explosion on a "craft of unknown origin" crashing in a remote location.
In 1475, the premature death of King Stephen III of Moldavia prompted an Ottoman Victory at Vaslui on this day.
Death of Stephen III Prompts Ottoman Victory Since the fall of Constantinople to Mehmed II in 1453, the Ottomans had worked to extend their power deeper into Christendom through the Balkans. For a century, they had made conquests in Greece and Serbia, taking hold of the power vacuum as Venice declined, and they pressed as far as Hungary. The Christians had been working to oppose Ottoman expansion, though many of their wars were against one another. Matthias Corvinus, King of Hungary, stood as the heavyweight of the land, but his defeat in 1467 by Stephen III of Moldavia proved a great new leader with impressive military clout.
A new story by Jeff ProvineCorvinus gave up his plans of conquest in Moldavia and took Stephen as an ally, supplying troops and allowing him to campaign in Transylvania and Wallacia, where the Ottoman-supported Radu III, half-brother of Vlad Dracul (pictured), reigned. Mehmed II planned an invasion to conquer the upstart Stephen, and the Ottoman forces met the Moldavians at the Vaslui in 1475. Stephen had weakened the invading army with scorched earth tactics, and he sent musicians to draw out the Ottoman army on a foggy morning. The Ottomans might have charged into the fog, but, seeing the exhaustion from his troops, General Suleiman decided to rest and fight defensively.
Stephen was caught with eager troops and his trap empty. He made a rash decision to attack, noted later by Pope Sixtus IV as his failure in not consulting God first. The armies met, but the Moldavians had gone outside of the useful range of their artillery and archers. Fighting raged for nearly a day until Stephen was killed and the Moldavian generals ordered retreat. The Ottomans pursued and wiped out the army, seizing the capital Suceava and effectively conquering Moldavia.
Christendom flew into a panic at the major Ottoman advance. The Genoese, who had been orchestrating Tartar advances from the north against Stephen's influence over their Black Sea colonies, appealed to Corvinus for help. A council was called, and the Pope blessed Corvinus with a new crusade to liberate Moldavia. The Poles offered forces (in exchange for their own piece of Moldavia), and Corvinus endorsed Prince Vlad of Wallacia, whom he had once arrested on pretenses of working with the Ottomans but now trusted enough to allow him to marry his cousin, Ilona Szilagyi. While the main force fought in Moldavia, Vlad would undercut support in the more southern Wallacia, which had been ruled the last year by the Ottoman Basarab Laiot? the Old due to the treaty his half-brother had signed.
Vlad was welcomed as a liberator by the High Council, though many of the boyars again distrusted him as he had slain so many of them the last time he had come to power. Civil war raged, but Vlad was granted with ample knights and Hungarian troops, which gave him an impressive victory at Bucharest in 1476. Mehmed, seeing the key provinces for military security becoming lost, launched counter-invasions, which ended in Corvinus's great victory at the Battle of Breadfield in 1479 with nearly 100,000 Turks slain.
Corvinus and Mehmed signed a treaty stabilizing the new, more southern borders, including Serbia being transferred to Corvinus as a vassal. The sultan planned a new expedition once he had secured fresh troops, but his death in 1481 (supposedly by poisoning at the hand of his Italian doctor) ended the campaign. His successor Bayezid II maintained the border and focused more southeasterly, fighting long campaigns to put down the Safavid rebellions in Persia that would ultimately break the Ottoman Empire. Corvinus, meanwhile, established his own empire, which grew out of Balkan conquests as Ottoman power fell over the next century.
Wallacia continued as a key vassal in the Hungarian Empire, sporting Vlad III as one of its greatest, though strictest, leaders. Vlad III, more often referred to as Dracula ("son of Drakul"), is remembered for his legacy of minimizing bureaucratic corruption, harsh punishments for crimes, and promoting trade. He would be immortalized by Bram Stoker in 1897's Dracula about a harsh Transylvanian industrialist, literally a robber-baron, who comes to London and begins to drain the blood of its banks and exchanges through supernatural hypnotism and control of natural forces.
In 2011, Mark Grimsley wrote ~ The wartime relationship between President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill is famous. Some have praised it as "the partnership that saved the west," and even "a friendship that saved the world". While most historians take a more measured view of the relationship, all agree that FDR and Churchill worked unusually well together.
What If Roosevelt Had Disliked Churchill?Their friendship carried them through serious differences in wartime strategy and goals for the postwar world-Churchill was determined to preserve Great Britain's colonial empire, FDR to get rid of colonialism altogether. It also made possible the extraordinarily tight cooperation between Great Britain and the United States, in which the two created a military command for the western Allies-the Combined Chiefs of Staff-and agreed that an American Supreme Commander would control all assets, British as well as American, needed for the amphibious assault on northwestern Europe. The two powers even shared scientific research concerning the atomic bomb.
But what if this relationship had failed to develop?
Logically, when two leaders share common interests they should work together harmoniously regardless of how they feel about one another. But it seldom happens that way. Although a poor working relationship does not preclude collaboration, it often creates a low grade but comprehensive friction-lack of confidence in the other's good faith, a sense of being played, misinterpretation of the other's motivations, reluctance to take advice from the other-so the synergy characteristic of a true partnership does not emerge. A classic example from history is the troubled relationship between President Abraham Lincoln and Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan, which may have scuttled the chance for an early Union victory in 1862. It is surprisingly easy to imagine a scenario in which these traits might have characterized the relationship between Churchill and FDR, leaving them at loggerheads and possibly changing the course of history:
From 1937-38 Churchill publishes essays critical of FDR and his New Deal's "ruthless war on private enterprise". During the 1940 presidential campaign, Republican nominee Wendell Willkie uses Churchill's words against FDR. Although Churchill knows that Willkie is quoting him out of context to achieve maximum impact, he does nothing to set the record straight.
On the eve of the election, FDR uncharacteristically ignores an important letter from Churchill, and a chastened Churchill asks the British Foreign Office to correct Willkie's misuse of his words. Instructed to do so, a diplomat stationed in Washington warns that such an action will be seen as an intervention in the election-one that would be "too late to do any good but so timed as to be extremely suspicious". No matter who wins, the diplomat continues, there is "serious danger of queering the pitch with those with whom we may have to be working after November 5th". Churchill insists on a correction nonetheless, and the diplomat's prediction proves correct: The action indeed "queers the pitch" with FDR. He begins to regard Churchill's barrage of cordial messages as two-faced and conniving.
A new article by Mark GrimsleyIn August 1941, the two leaders secretly meet aboard ships anchored in a quiet Newfoundland bay to discuss cooperation against Germany at a critical moment when Hitler seems on the verge of crushing the Soviet Union. Churchill greets FDR for what he plainly believes is the first time. FDR replies that they have met once before-in 1918. Churchill initially persists that the two have never met, much to FDR's displeasure. The president's annoyance deepens when during their talks Churchill-hoping to spur the president toward more aggressive actions against Germany than FDR seems willing to take-warns that he "would not answer for the consequences if Russia were compelled to sue for peace". Still irritated with Churchill, and influenced by Churchill's ham-handed last minute intervention in the presidential election, FDR views this warning as blatantly manipulative.
The chill he feels toward Churchill becomes permanent when, in the wake of the Pearl Harbor disaster and the Axis declarations of war upon the United States, he gets wind of a tasteless Churchillian wisecrack. Cautioned that he ought to maintain a diplomatic tone with the United States now that the two countries were both at war, the prime minister has blithely replied: "Oh! That is the way we talked to her while we were wooing her; now that she is in the harem, we talk to her quite differently".
Everything in the above scenario occurred, with three exceptions: Churchill heeded the advice not to correct Willkie's twisting of his essays critical of the New Deal, FDR soon got over his annoyance at Churchill's failure to recall their 1918 meeting, and the president never heard of Churchill's crass remark about the United States being "in the harem" even as the bodies of over 2,000 Americans killed in the Pearl Harbor attack lay in improvised morgues or entombed in sunken ships.
What would have ensued if FDR had disliked Churchill? Most likely, the two would have continued to cooperate in the destruction of Nazi Germany, but the exceptional "special relationship" between the United States and Great Britain would not have materialized. This would have intensified the serious differences between the United States and Great Britain with regard to the shape of the postwar world. It could also have had major effects on the Cold War. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization might never have come into being. If it did, Great Britain might have adopted a posture akin to that of France after 1966; that is to say, a member of NATO but with its military forces not under NATO command.
But it is also possible that if FDR had mistrusted Churchill, the Second World War itself would have played out differently. Historically, in July 1942 Secretary of War Henry Stimson and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, frustrated by British resistance to an early cross-Channel attack, recommended shifting to the defensive in Europe and adopting a "Pacific First" strategy. While a "Germany First" strategy remained preferable, they argued, it was pointless if British intransigence barred a direct attack on Germany at the earliest possible moment. In 1942 the Soviet Union was in serious trouble. Without an early cross-Channel attack, little could be done in Europe to assist the beleaguered ally, whereas greater pressure in the Pacific would at least ensure against a potential-and potentially fatal-Japanese attack on the Soviet Union.
FDR angrily overruled Stimson and the Joint Chiefs and insisted on pursuing the British preference for the invasion of western North Africa, Operation Torch. Influenced by Churchill, he saw real potential in a Mediterranean theater. Had FDR distrusted Churchill, he would probably have done as his senior military advisers recommended.
In that event, a cross-Channel attack might have been deferred well past June 1944, until the Soviet Union had overrun all of Germany, occupied central as well as eastern Europe, and consolidated its sphere of influence more aggressively. Thanks to Churchill's clumsiness in handling a crucial ally, the "iron curtain" that he warned against in 1946 would have descended sooner and more absolutely.
On this day in 1974, Cowboys head coach Tom Landy said in an interview for CBS Sports that Roger Staubach would return as Dallas starting quarterback for the 1974 NFL season; however, lingering medical problems stemming from Staubach's concussion would force Landry to bench him before the season was over.
In 1904, a small fleet of ships from the Mlosh homeworld is seen approaching the outer solar system. The ships are completely unlike the Mlosh "beehive" colony ships; they have the sleek look of warships. The Congress of Nations braces the entire system for their arrival.
In 1889, Mikhail von Heflin battles the Tsombie, a man who had attempted to cross over the planes of existence and trapped himself in the area between. Its hideous powers were almost a match for von Helfin's but the Baron of Death prevailed in the end, and banished the Tsombie from this dimension forever.
On this day in 1945, Hermann Goering ousted Adolf Hitler as chancellor of the Third Reich; propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels was shot and killed when he tried to stop the coup d'etat. SS chief Heinrich Himmler, who could have nipped the mutiny in the bud, chose instead to back Goering after learning that Hitler planned to have the SS leader executed for alleged complicity in Hermann Fegelein's non-existent collaboration with the Allies.
On this day in 1990, Nicolae Ceaucescu and his wife Elena committed suicide while in police custody.
|Nicholae Ceaucescu|In 1980,
Comrade Secretary George Meany
, who had served since 1956 as Secretary of Labor, died at his home in Washington, D.C. Comrade Meany had been a young man when Comrade President Joel Rosenberg appointed him to the office, and the comrade grew into it as no man before or since ever had. American labor was unified and strengthened by his strong hand at the wheel.
In 1904, a small fleet of ships from the Mlosh homeworld is seen approaching the outer solar system. The ships are completely unlike the Mlosh 'beehive' colony ships; they have the sleek look of warships. The Congress of Nations braces the entire system for their arrival.
In 1889, Mikhail von Heflin battles the Tsombie, a man who had attempted to cross over the planes of existence and trapped himself in the area between. Its hideous powers were almost a match for von Helfin?s but the Baron of Death prevailed in the end, and banished the Tsombie from this dimension forever.
In 47,373 BCE, after her second rainy season with the Australian tribe she had married into, Telka the Speaker falls ill, and calls out for her great-granddaughter. Swikolay had been traveling around the continent, and it took several days for Telka?s tribesmen to find her. By the time she arrived, the Speaker was almost dead. 'I will not touch the sky,' she told Swikolay. 'Touch it for me.' Those were her last words; she lapsed into a coma and died within hours. Swikolay asked that she be burnt and her ashes thrown into the wind so that she might touch the sky in death.
On this day in 1948, John Ford completed final editing of his documentary film about the 1947 Roswell asteroid strike.
On this day in 1942, US Army Capt. Francis Urquhart was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds sustained while defending his division commander's jeep from a Japanese strafing attack.
On this date in 1986, BBC-TV began airing the third series of 'The X-Files'.
In 1972, President Hubert Humphrey welcomes the last American soldiers home from Vietnam. Although the withdrawal was slow, the peace secured by President Lyndon Johnson in 1968 seemed to be holding. Humphrey had crushed his opponent in '68, former Vice-President Richard Nixon, and with America finally out of the conflict in southeast Asia, was cruising to reelection in November.
In 1921, Zion City, Illinois, made smoking, drinking, and listening to jazz music mandatory for all citizens over the age of 21. The town fathers had grown very tired of Prohibitionists in their community.
In 1920, the League of Nations formed in Geneva, Switzerland. The European-led organization has provided an alternative to war for over 8 decades, and has provided the framework for international trade and commerce that has made the world run so smoothly. Although the League could have been torn apart in its early days, its swift action against Japan and Germany in the 1930's proved that it was capable of providing a voice for all nations, large and small.
In 1779, Quebec's British governor attempts to rally what few loyalists remain in the province to the cause by issuing a call for a militia to defend the province from the Canadian nationalists. Lord Weatherby's militia is so shot through with spies that it quickly becomes of more use to the nationalists than to the British fighting to keep them down.
In 12-7-19-10-17, Caohtchihuan of Tegucigalpa, renowned for his plain speech and rational thought, published the tome that has come to be known as Rationality. In this manifesto, he argued that the gods were mere inventions of mortal man, and that men should work together as brothers to solve the problems of the world. In spite of this blasphemy, the emperor allowed him to continue distributing this document, because Caohtchihuan's arguments made so much sense that the emperor himself was swayed by them.
In 1861, on this day a cadet of The Citadel stationed at the Morris Island battery 1st Lt. George Edward "Tuck" Haynesworth fired an artillery shell at the Star of the West; the sloop suffered catastrophic damage and sunk in Charleston Harbor.
Star of the WestNeither outgoing President James Buchanan (pictured) nor President-elect Abraham Lincoln had issued a substantive response in the six weeks since South Carolina had seceded and it seemed certain that decisive executive action would be delayed until after the inauguration. But the problem was that a number of Union facilities were now isolated and in growing need of resupply that could not wait until April.
On the previous day, Federal Troops at Fort Pickens had opened fire on Floridians attempting to seize the fort. And now this situation had arisen. In an attempt to dampen tensions, the War Department had hired a civilian steamship to transport military supplies and reinforcements to the garrison of Fort Sumter stategically located in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina. Because of the sinking, the owners subsequently received £250,000 in compensation from the US Government. But the deaths of Captain John McGowan and his crew created a political firestorm that began to engulf President James Buchanan. The only conceivable peaceful outcome would require the immediate sale of Federal facilities to the seceded states in which they were based. From Buchanan's perspective such a "sell out", accompanied by compensation and a formal apology from South Carolina was an unthinkable solution for his successor, but might well be preferable to the immediate outbreak of hostilities.
In 1945, as the war with Japan neared its end -- and as efforts began to avoid an ensuing civil war within China -- Mao Zedong asked to fly to Washington for secret talks with President Roosevelt, and spoke in glowing terms of future relations with the US.
If Mao had met Roosevelt: An alternative view of US-China relations by John GittingsIt was a quite remarkable request from the leader of Asia's largest communist party which owed allegiance, formally at any rate, to the Soviet Union: Stalin would surely have been furious if such a visit had occurred. In the event nothing came of the proposal and for a quarter of a century even the fact it had been made was ignored. No one was interested in asking whether relations between a communist China and the US could have taken a better course than the mutual hostility of the 1950s and 1960s -- until they did actually improve in the 1970s.
Once in the White House, what would Mao have wanted to discuss? First, Mao wanted the US to treat the Communist Party (CCP) as an equal partner with Chiang Kai-shek's Kuomintang (KMT) including the distribution of arms, and to put pressure on Chiang to cooperate with the CCP to avoid civil war.
Second, Mao would downplay his party's relationship with the Soviet Union. Third, Mao would hold out a tempting prospect of a future relationship which at last provided a real Open Door (the unvarying goal of US policy in China) for the capital and goods of America. China must industrialise. This can be done - in China - only by free enterprise and with the aid of foreign capital. Finally, Mao would stress the need for dialogue and understanding.
What might have happened?
Whaetever the level, the mere fact of such contacts taking place in the US capital -- rather than in the remote loess highlands of Yan'an -- could have improved significantly the chance of further and more fruitful dialogue between the CCP and the US, and would have put Chiang Kai-shek on notice that he could no longer take Washington's support for granted. This would then have created a different atmosphere for the efforts made by General Marshall to bring the two Chinese sides together and avert a civil war. Contrary to the arguments of many scholars today, such a conflict was not inevitable as far as the Communists were concerned.
If "Mao had met Roosevelt", this might have led to one of two outcomes. First,US mediation would then have forced Chiang Kai-shek to accept a coalition government. This development could paradoxically have (a) delayed the CCP victory in 1949; and (b) resulted in an effective division of China into spheres of influence between the US and the Soviet Union. However such a result -- which was Stalin's goal -- might then have exacerbated CCP-Soviet tensions, resulting in a weaker and more fraught relationship than actually emerged in the Sino-Soviet Alliance signed by Mao in Moscow (February 1950).
Second and alternatively, on the assumption that the civil war still occurred, the more favourable climate already created in US-Communist relations could have influenced Washington to take a more neutral line.
This shortened article is an abbreviated form of the longer essay
In 1916, after nine grueling months of combat, ANZAC troops led the charge into the capital of the Ottoman Empire and brought about its surrender.
Gallipoli Campaign Ends with Occupation of Istanbul It was a campaign that was conceived initially by First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill and solved many of the Allies' problems after the opening of the World War had come to stalemate. Trench warfare in France had come to a standstill, and the Allies needed a new front to break into the territory of the Central Powers. First Sea Lord John Fisher suggested an amphibious landing in Germany itself to break the Kaiser's strength at home, but Churchill suggested taking the Dardanelles, which would break up the Ottoman Empire while also making use of outdated naval ships unfit for combat against the German fleet as well as establishing supply lines to Russia, which was effectively cut off from the rest of the Allies by the Central fronts, German ships, and ice.
A new story by Jeff ProvineChurchill won the debate, and an Allied fleet made its first attack on February 19, 1915. Initial bombardment weakened the fortresses along the Dardanelles, so Admiral Carden cabled Churchill that victory would be assured by a major push in early March. Fisher and others in the Navy noted that losses would be severe, and Fisher repeatedly threatened to resign over the matter. Churchill initially dismissed the notion, saying that war was war, but he finally conceded and asked Fisher to outline a battle plan with minimal loss. Instead of the direct attack planned, the navy would give support while covert agents swept for mines and destroyed mobile artillery that could attack from anywhere along the shore.
Rather than the direct attack, the British and French fleets moved slowly and methodically, eliminating any possible mines while the Ottomans continued to patrol and strike whenever possible. The latter struggled constantly with low ammunition, and the Allies gradually made their way upward to the forts guarding the narrow-most corridor of the Dardanelles. Under naval artillery support, troops were landed at Cape Helles, most notably the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps, who had been training in Egypt for battle in France and suddenly reassigned. Also among them were elite troops in the British Gurkhas, the Jewish Legion, and many English and Irish. The Ottomans fought back fiercely, such as the stand of the 57th Infantry Regiment under the command Lieutenant-Colonel Mustafa Kemal, who said, "I do not expect you to attack, I order you to die. In the time which passes until we die, other troops and commanders can come forward and take our places".
Over the course of the next months, battle after battle would press the Allies forward. Both armies would suffer from intense heat in the summer, mosquitoes and vermin, storms, flooding, and frostbite during the winter. That spring, the navy would break through the strait and gain open water in the Sea of Marmara, setting up a new stage for the campaign in besieging and assaulting Istanbul. Joined by the Russian fleet from across the Black Sea, the city would be cut off from the rest of the empire, which would shatter over the course of 1916. The Armenians, who had been executed en masse for their volunteer forces in Russia, rebelled openly and were promised their own nation-state. The Young Turk movement, which had been suppressed and even turned to fight against the invasion of the Allies, now declared the caliphate abolished, establishing a new republic. Other territories of the Ottomans were broken apart, though diplomats were busy solidifying the entrances of Romania and Greece into the war and left the divisions to the Arab Bureau of the Foreign Office, working primarily with archeologist / Intelligence Officer T.E. Lawrence and General Archibald Murray of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force. The new national lines followed the division of people groups, notoriously spawning wars in the Middle East throughout the twentieth century, though rarely violent internal matters.
The collapse of the Ottoman Empire seemed a great boon for the Allies, but the fall of Russia later that year would bring the war to another standstill until won after the entrance of the United States and devastating Spanish Flu pandemic. The signing of the Treaty of Versailles would be the first great note of Sir Winston Churchill's career as Prime Minister.
In 1905, in one of the defining moments of the Russian Empire, 300,000 workers marched in St. Petersburg to deliver a petition requesting rights from the Tsar.
Glorious Sunday March Takes Place in Russia Such a request had been made a decade before when Nicholas II had taken the throne, but the young Tsar refused to give up the ideals of benevolent autocracy, declaring he believed in them "as firmly and as strongly as did my late lamented father". Alexander III was known for his repressive and reactionary stance against movements by the people, and Nicholas seemed hell-bent on following in his footsteps. While the leadership refused reform, change was flowing through the suffering masses.
A new story by Jeff ProvineMarxists traded literature and met in rallies, Leo Tolstoy spread his ideals of Christian anarchy, and a Russian Orthodox priest named Georgy Gapon sought to bring the people together in reconciliation with their iron-handed leaders. Newly graduated from seminary, Gapon came to teach at an orphanage and work firsthand with impoverished workers. He began to organize, creating the police-approved "Assembly of Russian Factory and Mill Workers of St. Petersburg" and even cooperating with radicals to maintain peace during progress. On January 8, 1905, a general strike protesting conditions and the Russo-Japanese War brought St. Petersburg to a standstill. Seizing the opportunity, Gapon gathered his followers and further volunteers totaling more than 300,000 for a delivery of petition for rights. Members calling for violence were not permitted to join, and every one was checked for weapons. They began a march to the Winter Palace where the Tsar was staying, singing patriotically on the way.
Nicholas had planned to leave St. Petersburg the day before as the strike seemed to become dangerous, but a fierce headache forced him to stay in bed. The next morning, he awoke to see the people gathering, and he watched as the hundreds of thousands approached. The Imperial Guard posted shot into the air to encourage the people to disperse and then prepared to fire into the crowd to force them away. Nicholas, seeing a new light as so many implored him to give them rights, conceded. He called the guards to stand down and made an impromptu speech from his balcony assuring his people that he would read their petition. Father Gapon was summoned, and Nicholas spent the evening questioning the priest and his ideals. Gapon convinced him to follow more in the footsteps of his grandfather, the conciliatory Alexander II.
The people returned to their homes and, that following Monday, to work. Nicholas began reform slowly, resisting political change, but allowing Gapon great power in organizing aid via the church and gifting him with substantial donations. As the war in the East continued poorly for Russia, Nicholas used propaganda based on the good deeds to keep the people in a tolerant mood. That August, he sent a delegation of Roman Rosen, Ambassador to Japan, and Sergei Witte, at one time Nicholas' most valued adviser and who had resigned because of the Russian efforts toward the East, to America to work a treaty with the Japanese. News of the end of the war brought great joy to Russia, especially with the generous terms the Russians were able to gain. Witte returned to Nicholas' government and guided the Tsar in formulating the October Constitution, creating a universally elected Duma less than two months later. While Marxists cried that the Constitution had not gone far enough, they were in the small minority as most held faith in their Tsar.
Over the next decade, Russia would see numerous reforms and public works projects, ending the depression that swept over the empire. The military was modernized, opening many new factories and well as academies where soldiers were trained in tactics rather than rushed through boot camps. Public schools opened in 1912, funded by taxation but built and initially operated by donation from Nicholas. Services became a large source of reform, managing food banks and coal repositories for long Russian winters, and pogroms were ended against the Jews while granting new rights to minorities. Gapon increased in influence with the Tsar, even eclipsing the Tsarina's favorite Rasputin.
During the World War, the Russian army was outmatched by the pressing forces of the Germans, but tactics enabled the soldiers to duplicate the defensive trench warfare strategy seen on the Western Front. While the war became essentially a draw, the Russians were able to secure good terms during the Treaty of Versailles in 1917. New stability followed Russia through the next ten years with booming trade in Russia's rich resources as Europe struggled to rebuild itself. During the Long Depression of the 1930s, Tsar Nicholas II would be admired for his government's organization in relief and building programs. His funeral in 1941 would be attended by nearly a million Russians while the nation mourned for a week over the lost Nicholas the Great.
In 2010, on this day President Barack Obama announced a massive overhaul of homeland security following an embarrassing series of breaches inside the continental United States. On Christmas Day, a Nigerian national, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab attempted to blow up a Detroit-bound Northwest Airlines flight. And just a week later, the remaining detainees from Guatanemo Bay escaped whilst en route to trial in New York City.
The Worst of the WorstThe ten Yemeni and Uighur terrorists were considered the "worst of the worse" with this stigmatization due in part to the US Government's failure to convince other friendly nations to accept the prisoners at any price. Under pressure to make a self-imposed deadline of emptying Gitmo by January 2010, the White House unwisely decided to ship the prisoners to a maximum security prison where they be taken to a criminal trial in New York City.
"I heard you were dead"Obama announced that the task of recapturing the terrorists had been assigned to S.D. "Snake" Plissken (pictured). A former U.S. Army Lieutenant who obtained two Purple Hearts whilst serving under Special Forces Unit Black Flight, Plissken had been reactivated from obscurity for this mission. At the press conference, Obama presented Plissken with the statement "I heard you were dead", to which he retorted "I heard you were taller".
Click to Watch Trailer of Escape from New York
In 2000, US Four Star Admiral (retd.) John McCain III described the prelude to the Kamikaze Attack at Tokyo Bay that eliminated the US Pacific Leadership.
Disaster at Tokyo Bay"In the days immediately following the announcement that Emperor Hirohito had agreed to surrender, a few of the emperor's pilots bad either not received or not believed the message. Occasionally, a few Japanese planes would mount attacks on the ships of my grandfather's task force. He directed his fighter pilots to shoot down any approaching enemy planes. "But do it in a friendly sort of way," he added.
I have a picture I prize of my grandfather and father, John Sidney McCain Senior and Junior, taken on the bridge of a submarine tender, the USS Proteus, in Tokyo Bay a few hours after the Second World War had ended. They had just finished meeting privately in one of the ship's small staterooms and were about to depart for separate destinations. They would never see each other again.
On the day of their reunion, my father, a thirty-four-year-old submarine commander, and his crew had just brought a surrendered Japanese submarine into Tokyo Bay. My grandfather, whom Admiral Halsey once referred to as "not much more than my right arm," had just relinquished command of Halsey's renowned fast carrier task force, and had attended the signing of the surrender aboard the USS Missouri that morning. He can be seen in a famous photograph of the occasion standing with his head bowed in the first rank of officers observing the ceremony". ~ Faith of Our Fathers (1999) published 9th January 2000.
In 1952, in his last State of the Union address, U.S. President Harry Truman informs Congress and the nation that the threat of Communism has been vastly overrated, and that, though American is still "moving through a perilous time," he is canceling the projects that he instigated at the behest of the anti-Communists, such as the CIA and some of the more draconian secrecy acts. With this new openness in government, America faces the future with a clear head and open eyes, and faces down the minor threat that leftist governments presented.
In 1965, Salvador Allende pledges that he will respect the elected government of unified Chile, even though election returns show him losing to reactionaries from the north. The Soviet States of America pledge to give Comrade Allende all that he needs to ensure justice for the people of Chile.
In 1889, Mikhail von Heflin reaches New Orleans. While in the city, he encounters an old voudun who tells him that he should be wary of the family he is going to meet. She thinks that they will become something that he will fear, in time.
In 1861, the Star of the West, the North American Confederation's deep-space exploratory vessel, reaches the Tua Ceti solar system, and encounters its first hostiles. The natives of Tau Ceti are being used as slaves by a race from beyond the system, and the crewmen of the Star will not stand for such injustice. The mixed crew of Mlosh and human spur the Tau Cetians to rebellion and freedom.
In 2007, actor Jason Alexander rubbished reports in a press interview that comedian Jerry Seinfeld is disrespecting Seinfeld co-creator Larry David's contribution to the popular sitcom, considering the latter has nothing to do with the development of the feature-length spin-off.
"That's just speculation that cropped up online. We all still talk to Larry a lot", Jason explains,
"And I know he suggested one or two ideas in the writing process. Funnily enough, me and Jerry were saying only recently it was Larry's own show, Curb Your Enthusiasm, that really got us confident a movie of Seinfeld could work... considering a lot of it is the same humour done with really great style". The Seinfeld Movie sees worldwide release on the 7th February, 2007.
After(cont.) ~ Most of their day was spent dodging various checkpoints that had been set up along the highways between the cities. If the Guard had been able to concentrate on a single area, they probably would have had a problem, but the Guard was obviously spread pretty thin and was unable to man these posts properly. Jake was able to slip through every one of them.
'Man, I'm ashamed at how easy it is to get through our security,' Jake said as they left behind yet another checkpoint about 40 miles from Crawford.
'Texas is a big state,' Janice said. 'They've got a lot to watch, and not that many guys to watch with.'
'Still. When we get the president out, I'm gonna mention how much we need to beef up the Guard.'
Eli, disgust on his face, said, 'You know, you don't need to give pointers to the other side, Sergeant.'
'They're not the other side,' Kevin said to him, with a look of anger in his eyes. 'They just don't know the truth. They've been lied to.'
'You don't know the half of it, soldier-boy,' Eli began. 'The whole military-industrial complex is based on the big lie - '
Janice put a hand on his shoulder and shook her head. 'Best not to get into the big lie with Kevin, here, Eli. I don't think he's ready for it.'
'Not ready for it?' Eli was outraged. 'We're living in a manifestation of it right now, and he's not ready for it?'
Eli sat back in a huff, and Kevin smirked at Janice. 'Thanks for sparing me.'
'Just remember who your friends are when the shooting starts.'
'Well, if we're lucky, we may not need to do any shooting.' Jake scanned the highway for the next checkpoint, then looked at her in the rear view mirror. 'If we have to start shooting, odds are that we won't be makin' it outta Crawford alive.'
'How do you figure that, Jake?'
'Well, if I'm a big lie conspiracy guy, I'm gonna put my best shots on guard around the pres. We start shooting, they'll all hear ? Crawford's not exactly a loud place ? and they'll come running. If we're still there to give 'em targets, we're dead.'
'So, we need to not be targets.' Janice slapped Eli on the back, startling him. 'Piece o'cake.'
'We're gonna need to do serious recon when we get to Crawford,' Jake continued. 'If we rush in without a plan, we won't be rushin' out.'
'I've studied special forces tactics for years,' Eli said, confidently. 'I can come up with something.'
'That just fills me with confidence,' Kevin said.
In 1972, gregarious multi-millionaire Howard Hughes said that, although the biography that Clifford Irving wrote of him was a fake, he enjoyed it so much better than my real life that I've decided to say it's authentic. Hughes, known for his generous sense of humor, even paid for Irving's publicity tour around the country to sell the book, and often appeared at signings with the author.
In 1913, 3-term president Richard M. Nixon was born in Yorba Linda, California. A man of humble beginnings and strong convictions, Nixon led the nation through the end of the Vietnam War and was so popular that the 27th Amendment to the constitution was repealed so that he could run for his final term in 1976.
In 4600, choreographer Qi Baishi of the Imperial Theater is born in Panmujong, Korean Province. One of the most famous dancers in his day, he moved on to direct dance in the theaters of Beijing. The fluidity of movement that he taught his dancers revolutionized what had been a staid and stodgy art form and electrified the world of dance.
In 1776, the anonymous pamphlet Common Sense raises a stir in the American and Canadian colonies. Its condemnation of Europe as a monster from which the colonials had escaped is received with enthusiasm in Canada, but shunned as overblown rhetoric in the pamphleteer's native America. The anonymous writer never surfaced again, although many believe him to be Thomas Paine, a rebel American who was executed in the brief war in the American colonies.
In 1914, Seattle evangelist Rose Hovick was born. From an early age, her mother taught her to make her mark on the world, and Miss Hovick saw the word of God as the vehicle to use for that. Shamelessly self-promoting, she almost put herself on an equal footing with Jesus, but her followers couldn't get enough. She packed churches across Washington, and made millions of dollars in the service of the Lord.
In 1880, on this day Joshua A. Norton, Emperor of the United States, Protector of Mexico died on his way to give a charity lecture at the California Academy of Sciences.
Joshua Norton, Emperor of these United States passes awayHe had began his reign as Emperor in 1859 out of necessity to cure problems that had plagued the young nation during its republic. Norton himself was English, born in London and spending most of his life in South Africa before coming to San Francisco as a businessman.
In a deal gone wrong where a dealer had misled him on the quality of his rice and the justice system denied his rights during his lawsuit to void his contract, leaving Norton financially destroyed in 1858 at age 39. He left the city in self-imposed exile, returning with his political dream in 1859.
The United States surely had its troubles if a hard working man such as Norton could be destroyed, and the system had to be fixed. He delivered a notice to the newspapers stating, "At the peremptory request and desire of a large majority of the citizens of these United States, I, Joshua Norton... declare and proclaim myself Emperor of these U. S". On February 1, representatives of each state were to meet him at the Music Hall in San Francisco "and there to make such alterations in the existing laws of the Union as may ameliorate the evils under which the country is laboring, and thereby cause confidence to exist".
A new story by Jeff ProvineSeveral editors published the notice as humorous, and a few newspapers back East picked it up as well. On October 12, he released another notice, dissolving the United States Congress in stating that the "universal suffrage, as now existing through the Union, is abused; that fraud and corruption prevent a fair and proper expression of the public voice; that open violation of the laws are constantly occurring, caused by mobs, parties, factions and undue influence of political sects; that the citizen has not that protection of person and property which he is entitled to by paying his pro rata of the expense of Government". While Congress did not immediately disband, the notion of reform was picked up by several Midwesterners who had also been overtaxed and under-supported by the government. Though voted as a lark, the state legislature of Indiana decided to send James Herriman, a businessman who was going to San Francisco anyway, as representative. Upon word that Norton had been taken semi-seriously, South Carolina sent a delegation of representatives, hoping that their political maneuver would show the Union that they could do as they pleased under states' rights.
More states for various reasons began plans to send representatives to San Francisco. Proposals of every kind were put on the ballot for elections, and, by November, eighteen states planned to attend. The idea spread that it would be a kind of convention, perhaps even ground to discuss an end to the slavery question as well as trade and tariff disputes. In January, Norton released an edict to "hereby Order and Direct Major-General Scott, the Command-in-Chief of our Armies, immediately upon receipt of this, our Decree, to proceed with a suitable force and clear the Halls of Congress". Winfield Scott did not move the Army, nor did he make action to arrest the Emperor on grounds of treason.
At the 1860 February San Francisco Convention, Mayor Henry F. Teschemacher gave Norton permission to use the Music Hall, impressed with the publicity and income San Francisco was having with the arrival of politics and journalists. Presiding over the convention, Norton addressed each issue tirelessly, repeatedly overturning calls for recess. Economic, judicial, domestic, and international policies were closely examined, appropriated into committee, and then voted upon under the emperor's direction. By the end of the month, newspapers began to address Norton as "emperor" not out of humor but genuine honor from his efforts to support the common man. The convention ended with the writing of a Constitution, which, like the previous US Constitution, required ratification by two-thirds of the states.
The Constitution was largely ignored by the political powers that were, holding their own elections in later 1860 with Abraham Lincoln winning the office of presidency. The South went up in arms over the North's perceived aggression, and talk of secession began. Norton sent another edict, saying that there was no need for a War Between the States over matters of a derelict Congress. States simply needed to appoint representatives to his National Parliament as described in his Constitution. He ended with a reminder General Scott that he was overdue in his elimination of Congress. This time, Scott gave the notice more thought, finally approaching Lincoln, who refused to give up Republicanism to a tyrant.
The South began to send delegates, as did California, formally turning away from the government in Washington. More states followed, and, in April, South Carolina fired upon Union troops at Fort Sumter. Upon hearing the news, Norton immediately called for the arrest of the men who had tried to begin a war. Forgiveness was begged, and Norton called Lincoln and his increasingly illegal government to meet with him in San Francisco before things grew worse. Lincoln, willing to try anything to avoid a bloody war and the separation of the states, agreed to go. After a month-long conference, Norton persuaded Lincoln to surrender Washington and join the National Parliament.
Although there would be uprisings in various parts of the country, Norton would be swift in controlling issues and meeting with rebel commanders, usually persuading them to join him in the new empire. With a civil war avoided, the problems of slavery were solved by Norton's program of freeing skilled slaves with financial compensation to their former masters and installing mandated education programs to free yet more. Education, as well as simple steadfastness in what was right, cured many of the racial ills of the US. During the anti-Chinese riots of the 1870s, Norton stepped around his bodyguards and placed himself between the rioters and their intended victims, bowing his head and reciting the Lord's Prayer until the embarrassed rioters fled or formally apologized. Rumors stated that he planned to marry Queen Victoria of Britain, but Norton never seemed to find the time with such activities as personal inspections of the city's cable car system.
Much of Norton's reign was spent on improvements, such as the suspension bridge between Oakland and San Francisco as well as the long-term project of a tunnel under the bay. While San Francisco was given special consideration as the new capital, numerous projects were carried out throughout the country, like the transcontinental railroad completed in 1864. Late in his reign, Norton turned to international diplomacy, as he had when he had become Protector of Mexico in using the US Army to fight imperialistic advances on Mexico from France. In 1871, Norton called for an Assembly of Nations to meet and discuss issues in a convention he would preside. By 1877, the Assembly of Nations was a continuous facility that would soon outlaw the use of war in diplomacy.
Emperor Norton died in 1880 on his way to give a charity lecture at the California Academy of Sciences. Norton had not appointed a successor, instead leaving a detailed will for power to return to the hands of the Parliament, but forever banning political parties and an unbalanced budget (except in the case of military emergency). Thirty thousand San Franciscans attended his funeral, and the country remained in mourning for a month, though many can say that we are still in mourning of the lost Emperor. His legacy has even continued internationally, such as the Assembly of Nations' diffusing of the Sarajevo Affair in which the assassination of the Archduke may well have led to war.
In 1919, fantasy writer Ned Lawrence published his final Arabian Tale ~ "The earth trembled with the wrath of the warring nations, as Shaw's fame spread fast and with the momentum of the fabulous through Asia. All the metals were molten. Everything was in motion. No one could say what was impossible. Shaw realised Napoleon's young dream of conquering the East; he arrived in Constantinople in 1919 with most of the tribes and races of Asia Minor and Arabia at his back". ~ epic coda to Byzantium, © Oxford University Press, 1919. Byzantium
The protagonist Shaw was loosely based on Ned Lawrence's own modest adventures in Arabia during the second decade of the twentieth century. And Shaw's own super-hero machismo was in sharp contrast to the author's own private life as a man of letters with an ambiguous sexual orientation.
On completing his degree (1910), Ned Lawrence commenced postgraduate research in medieval pottery with a Senior Demy at Magdalen College, Oxford, which he abandoned after he was offered the opportunity to become a practising archaeologist in the Middle East. In December 1910 he sailed for Beirut, and on arrival went to Jbail (Byblos), where he studied Arabic. He then went to work on the excavations at Carchemish, near Jerablus in northern Syria, where he worked under D.G. Hogarth and R. Campbell-Thompson of the British Museum. He would later state that everything he accomplished as a fantasy author he owed to Hogarth. While excavating ancient Mesopotamian sites, Lawrence met Gertrude Bell, who was to influence him for much of his time in the Middle East.
In late summer 1911, Lawrence returned to England for a brief sojourn. By November he was en route to Beirut for a second season at Carchemish, where he was to work with Leonard Woolley. Prior to resuming work there, however, he briefly worked with William Flinders Petrie at Kafr Ammar in Egypt.
Lawrence continued making trips to the Middle East as a field archaeologist until the outbreak of World War I. In January 1914, Woolley and Lawrence were co-opted by the British military as an archaeological smokescreen for a British military survey of the Negev Desert. They were funded by the Palestine Exploration Fund to search for an area referred to in the Bible as the 'Wilderness of Zin'; along the way, they undertook an archaeological survey of the Negev Desert. The Negev was of strategic importance, as it would have to be crossed by any Ottoman army attacking Egypt in the event of war. Woolley and Lawrence subsequently published a report of the expedition's archaeological findings, but a more important result was an updated mapping of the area, with special attention to features of military relevance such as water sources. At this time, Lawrence visited Aqaba and Petra.
From March to May, Lawrence worked again at Carchemish. Following the outbreak of hostilities in August 1914, on the advice of S. F. Newcombe, Lawrence did not enlist in the British Army but held back until October, when he was commissioned in the Royal Flying Corps. During this period, he wrote a series of fantasy novels that were published after the war when he resumed his education.
In 1885, on this day just one term short of his graduation from Harvard, William Randolph Hearst was killed in a traffic accident.
William Randolph Hearst Killed in Traffic Accident He was son of George Hearst, the mining engineer who had made his millions in California during the Gold Rush and investments afterward. While the death of an industrialist's son is historically little more than tabloid pop culture, William was given a headline, three-page obituary in the San Francisco Examiner, a newspaper the elder Hearst had purchased (though rumor holds he won in a poker game) in 1880. From the glowing report the "would that it were" speculations of Hearst's survival in the obituary painted a young man who would rise to lead his nation out of corruption and into a bright new age of liberty and enlightenment.
A new story by Jeff ProvineAccording to eye-witnesses, however, Hearst seemed to be more of a trouble-maker than a golden boy. He played pranks through his youth and was a notorious frustration to his teachers. While attending Harvard, he gifted several professors (specifically ones he did not like) with chamber pots made of gold featuring engravings of their names. The impropriety toward faculty called Hearst into a behavioral review, but, after much deliberation and supposed bribery, Hearst was allowed to continue his schooling. While wandering drunkenly through Cambridge, Mass, with friends, he halted to vomit into a public trash can, then stumbled into the street where he was struck by a car, dying shortly thereafter of injuries.
George Hearst went on to serve as US Senator from California until his death in 1891. The famous Examiner, which Hearst had used to fuel his political campaigns, folded shortly afterward. His wife Phoebe Apperson Hearst, now widowed and childless, turned his great fortunes and investments toward charities following her faith of Baha'i. She followed her husband in dead in 1919 during the influenza epidemic, but her many philanthropic agencies continue to today.
Of course, as life goes on with so many deaths, life continued without William Randolph. The United States continued expansionism but never slid back into its barbaric ways of imperialistic invasion. In 1898, after an accidental explosion of the USS Maine nearly caused war between the US and Spain, the investigative journalistic talents of Joseph Pulitzer were nationally recognized and stand as one of the hallmarks of American journalism, known worldwide for its precision and fairness as well as its expense.
During the debates of the criminalization of marijuana in the 1930s, solid scientific study based in this journalism overcame anti-Hispanic suspicions and industrial influence. Marijuana was to remain legal, though routinely cautioned against by the Surgeon General much like alcohol and cigarettes. Suggestion of banning marijuana returned in the 1950s and '60s, but was generally met with Vice-President Nixon's opinion, "We don't want another Prohibition".
While refraining from international war, the US did, however, broker a treaty between Spain and Cuba, freeing it and several other colonies such as Puerto Rico and the Philippines by making loans based on bonds sponsored by the newly found nations. Rather than a costly military empire, the United States would build a commonwealth of economically tied satellites, a strategy accelerated by the Cold War into a worldwide influence that some pundits describe as the "American Empire" and others as the "Pax Americana".
In 2010, Elvis Presley, the legendary "King of Rock 'n' Roll," celebrated his 75th birthday at his Graceland manor outside Memphis, Tennessee.
Life of the King by Eric LippsPresley had narrowly survived an overdose of prescription medication on August 16, 1977, during a period when he had been experiencing a number of health problems, including what would subsequently be diagnosed as the early stages of degenerative arthritis. After that incident, he finally yielded to the pleadings of intimates, withdrawing from performance for over two years. It would later be learned that during this time the pop icon underwent a rigorous detoxification program to wean him off the painkillers to which he had become addicted.
By the spring of 1980, a reinvigorated and slimmed-down Presley would be ready to re-enter the spotlight. His singing engagements, however, would slowly be overshadowed by the star's newly aggressive political involvement: Presley would be an outspoken supporter of Ronald Reagan both that year and in 1984, and would court right-wing televangelists Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, who in turn would use their TV ministries to promote him.
Presley was no latter-day convert to conservatism. As early as 1970 he had met privately with then-President Richard Nixon, denouncing the hippie culture and asking to be given a Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs badge to add to similar souvenirs had been collecting. He had also been outspokenly hostile to the Beatles, though whether from political motives or out of resentment at their having displaced him in the 1960s limelight is difficult to say. By 1988, however, he had moved far enough rightward to endorse Pat Robertson in that year's GOP primaries. Cynics, noting the TV preacher's promotion of Presley on his "700 Club" talk show, suggested that Presley was merely paying off a debt, but the two men's friendship was apparently genuine.
By the 1990s, however, the onetime King was ready to abdicate, this time for good. Advancing age had brought a new round of health problems, and younger performers such as Michael Jackson were displacing Presley among all but a dwindling set of aging fans. In August of 1998, Elvis formally announced his retirement. Thereafter, he would make only occasional appearances, generally as a guest on late-night talk programs, though he did briefly appear (as himself) in the 2003 feature biopic Life of the King.
In 1815, on this day American forces, led by General Andrew Jackson (pictured), surrendered to the British Army on the west bank of the Mississippi River, near Chalmette Plantation. After sixteen days of fighting, and fifteen days after the signing of the Treaty of Ghent that formally ended the so-called War of 1812, the British Empire scored a decisive victory against the United States.
US Defeated at New Orleans, Andrew BeaneIn the early hours of January 8, British Major-General Edward Pakenham ordered a two-pronged assault against the remainder of Jackson's force. The American soldiers, who had been pushed to the west bank of the river, had no time to prepare earthwork defenses or artillery before the British assault. Lt-Col Thomas Mullins, the commander of Britain?s 44th (East Essex) Regiment of Foot, lead the main attack against Jackson under the cover of fog. Despite heavy losses on the part of British forces, the Americans were only able to mount minimal resistance. Major General Mullins was able to capture General Jackson and secure the west bank in time to fend off the newly-arrived American 7th Infantry.
This was a stunning victory for the British, after over two years of bitter fighting. The fall of New Orleans, which serves as the gateway to the Louisiana territory, places America?s western holdings in jeopardy. The British victory was so strong that it could effectively nullify the Treaty of Ghent. As British veterans from the recently-ended war against Napoleon Bonaparte begin to arrive in Louisiana, America will be forced to organize a properly-mobilized counter attack or risk a prolonged struggle against the British Crown.
In 1912, at the first meeting of the South African Native National Congress, Indian-born lawyer Mohandas K. Gandhi, who had been persuaded to attend by a South African friend, delivers a powerful speech in support of what he calls "satyagraha", or passive resistance, as a weapon against racial oppression.Satyagraha
Gandhi's speech angers some of his hearers, who favor a more militant approach. However, it appeals to many, especially since armed resistance is certain to be met with unrestrained violence. Over the next several years, Gandhi's growing number of followers stage peaceful demonstrations throughout South Africa.
In 1915, Pretoria ordered Gandhi deported to his native country. "It was a foolish mistake," he would later say. "Had the authorities not acted as they did, I might have left for India on my own. Being ejected by force from the country, however, made me determined to continue the struggle there. In 1919, through the intercession of white South African citizens who opposed their government's high-handed actions, I was permitted to return".
And the rest, of course, is history: the long years of quiet struggle, the clashes with the pro-Nazi Afrikaner Nationalist Party, and at last, in 1949, the rise to power of the SANNC's electoral arm, the South African People's Party.
Tragically, Gandhi's birth country fared less well. There, the nationalist movement was tainted by association with violent elements including, after 1939, with the pro-Japanese 'Indian National Army.' Even weakened as it was at the close of World War II, Britain refused to yield to the Indian zealots, and years of bloody guerrilla war followed. Not until 1963 did India finally achieve its independence under Jawaharlal Nehru, who would die a year later, plunging his infant country into bloody communal strife in which an estimated three million would perish by the time peace was restored in 1967 with the partition of the country into Muslim, Hindu and Sikh homelands.
In 1961, the New York Knicks held their first annual charity raffle to raise funds for the families of Madison Square Garden employees killed in the Jamaica Bay hurricane.
On this day in 1945, Pierre Laval was convicted of treason and executed by firing squad.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.