In 1941, on this day the 42nd President of the United States Paul Efthemios Tsongas was born in Lowell, Massachusetts.
An abbreviated version of President Tsongas on Althist web site.
Birth of President TsongasFollowing the New Hampshire primary, Clinton was unable to match Tsongas's fundraising. Paul Tsongas later went to win most of the Super Tuesday primaries. Clinton did go on to win delegate contests in Delaware, Maryland, Arizona, Washington, Utah, and Massachusetts, but his campaign never recovered from Tsongas's early victory; Tsongas won the primaries of most of the more populous and delegate-rich states as well.
Eventually, Clinton pulled out of the race and endorsed Tsongas. However, a number of the Clinton delegates continued to support the Governor, and voted for Clinton at the convention. The roll call yielded 289 votes for Clinton, placing him in third place, behind Tsongas and former California governor Jerry Brown. In a move that can only be described as brilliant, Tsongas picked this same Clinton to be his running mate at the convention and they branded themselves "The Comeback Kids" .. Tsongas for surviving his cancer and Clinton for surviving his scandals. Despite Tsongas being portrayed as "Dukakis number two" and concerns about his cancer reoccurring, they went on to pull a squeaker out against President Bush, winning 296 electoral votes to President Bush's 242 and with 51% of the vote to Bush's 48% of the vote.
In 1400, on this day deposed monarch Richard of Bordeaux escaped from Pontefract Castle where he had been imprisoned by the usurper Henry of Bolingbroke.
Richard of Bordeaux makes his bold escapeHe had almost been restored by the Earls during the Epiphany Rising. Realizing that he could not permit Richard to live, Henry decided to murder him. But Richard had made the very same realization and wisely chose to make his escape.
He fled north to Stirling Castle calling for his eleven year old wife Isabella of Valois. With French support, they set about recovering the throne.
In 2010, on this day at the XXI Olympic Winter Games, Vice President Joe Biden and his future boss Governor Mitt Romney watched the women's ice hockey preliminary game between United States and China at the UBC Thunderbird Arena in Vancouver, Canada.
An article from the Deadlocked 2012 Election thread.
Deadlocked Election prevents America going over Fiscal Cliff Part 4Because within three years, a historic tie in the 2012 General Election would see Romney elected president and Joe Biden re-elected vice-president. Under the US constitution, if the electoral college ends in a tie the election is sent to the House of Representatives. And as this was currently Republican-controlled, Romney was chosen. But under the same clause, the Democrat-led Senate had chosen the incumbent vice-president - Joe Biden. And Paul Ryan was forced to accept the consolation prize of Secretary of the Treasury.
However when it became clear that a bipartisan deal had failed to materialize, Biden became tempted to undermine Romney at every turn.  By the mid-terms, there was even speculation that Ryan would replace Biden, although the US Constitution holds no provision for such a succession.
In 1915, on this day the First Conference of the Zimmerwald Movement was opened in London, England.
An article from the Comrade Arnold Hiller cross-over thread.
The Rise and Fall of Comrade Arnold Hiller
Part 2Among the many individuals and organizations present was twenty-six year Comrade Arnold Hiller. Like Karl Marx, he was a German Émigré to London and even though he hardly had the same breadth of historical perspective, it was apparently clear to him that matters had gone awry.
Because according to Marxist thought, Internationalism was the answer, and worker's republics the historically inevitable outcome of any attempt by Capitalist Governments to prosecute a common European conflict. But instead the workers had not united, rather they had picked up arms and marched off to war to fight each other as their bourgeois masters had demanded.
Needless to say, it was all rather discouraging. And not much later, the whole Second International broke up. But as events were to transpired, Communist Revolution would succeed in Russia, a country which according to Marxist thought, had not even passed through the necessary period of industrialization. And then revolution moved West, to Germany itself...
In 1891, on this day former Union President William Tecumseh Sherman died in New York City. He was seventy-one.
Passing of President ShermanDuring the 1876 campaign he was a reluctant candidate, but had finally been persuaded to run by his friend and fellow commander in the War of the States, General George H. Thomas, who warned that the U.S. had become dangerously politically unstable in the decade following Southern secession and needed "a strong hand in these times of trial". Sherman was one of the few prominent Union commanders to escape disgrace in defeat, despite having been involved in the debacle of April 6-7, 1862 at Shiloh, Tennessee. Badly wounded in the Confederate assault on the 6th, he was unable to function effectively the next day, when what might have been an orderly Union retreat turned into a full-scale rout. Historians would later identify Shiloh as a crucial turning-point in the war, but it would be Sherman's junior, Hiram Ulysses Grant - more commonly known as Ulysses S. Grant - who would take the bulk of the blame for the disaster.
Grant's reputation would never recover, and after the war he would prove unsuccessful in private life, slowly sinking into alcoholism. By contrast, Sherman would find powerful patrons among wealthy businessmen who, surviving the postwar financial panic and the disgrace of the Republican Party, would organize the Union Party in 1873. But until the 1876 presidential race, Sherman had resisted entering politics; not only did he find the field appalling for its corruption, but in addition he feared the commingling of military and civilian authority a presidential general might produce in a humiliated United States desperate for a strong authority figure. "Rome begged Caesar to become its emperor, and he obliged her, and that was the end of the republic," he observed. "I have no wish to play a similar role in these United States".
And yet in the end he did, swayed by Thomas's warning that if he did not there was no one else who could prevent the civil unrest plaguing the beaten nation from exploding into full-scale insurrection. "Better to take what measures need be taken now," Thomas had written in a letter to Sherman, "than wait, and hope someone else does what I am confident you will do as president while there is still time". Addressing Sherman's fears of "the end of the republic," Thomas wrote, "These United States have already been disunited in part, by the late war; if things proceed as they are going, our Union may be shattered altogether".
On Nov. 7, 1876, Sherman would become the first candidate from the Union Party to be elected U.S. president, easily defeating Democrat Samuel J. Tilden, who carried only his home state. Tilden would be the last Democratic nominee; already near ruin due to charge of treason hung on it because of the large number of Southern Democrats and Northern so-called "Copperheads" who had supported the Confederate cause and what many saw as its excessive willingness to accept the verdict of the war and deal with the newly-independent CSA on friendly terms, the Democratic Party would splinter after the Tilden debacle; in the 1880s, most of its former membership would join the new People's Party, a rural-based party favoring high tariffs, nationalization of the railroads and bimetallism, the use of silver as well as gold as currency. The Populists would remain largely opposed to the burgeoning urbanization and industrialization of the United States well into the twentieth century, and would win no presidential elections until the upset victory of Massachusetts governor Eugene R. Foss in 1912. Perhaps not coincidentally, Foss would win as the leader of the party's emerging pro-urban wing, which argued for making common cause between agricultural and industrial interests.
In office, Sherman would struggle with the legacy of Southern secession. Only five years before his run, California had tried to break away in its ill-fated second Bear Flag Rebellion (the first, in 1846, had been against Mexico), and separatist sentiment continued to run high in that state and elsewhere, particularly as the economy struggled to right itself. Some of the measures the Sherman administration would take would be viewed as extreme, and anger against, for example, the use of the military to "maintain order" in particularly rebellious areas and the employment of private detective agencies as de facto secret police ferreting out dissent would play a role in Sherman"s defeat for renomination in 1880. During his term,. however, the foundations were laid for the later recovery which by the 1890s would produce the prosperous period known as the Gilded Age.
In 1915, on this day Gottlieb von Jagow the Secretary of Foreign Affairs for the German Empire sent a telegram to Washington protesting the illegal naval blockade imposed by Great Britain in blatant contravention of international law.
Killing Two BirdsAlthough little support existed for the Kaiser, the US Congress was increasingly critical of Great Britain for ruthlessly pursuing her own narrow policy of national interest. Threatened by the German development of modest colonial aspirations, a naval arms race had developed and by 1914 the two great powers were at each others throats for no good reason at all.
Privately, American politicians were already saying that the British mindset has scarcely changed since 1776. Matters might have been otherwise, but for a crucial decision at the outset of the conflict.
Quite clearly not a neutral, Belgium had forts on the German (but not French) border also holding a long-standing agreement with Britain and France that guaranteed her sovereign territory. But to the huge disappointment of the Allied Powers, the Belgian Government had followed the lead of Luxemberg in permitting the German Army to pass through their territory en route to the invasion of France. And the German Government had honoured her commitment to recompensate Belgian for any damages or victuals caused along the way.
Britain now committed a real atrocity of her own attempting to starve Germany into defeat by declaring that food itself was contraband. This objective was to be achieved by the ruthless expedient of mining the North Sea so that even neutral ships would travel in peril. And some of those neutral ships were vessels of the Royal Navy who in contravention of the "misuse of neutral flags" protocols were decorating their own ships with the flags of neutral countries to shield them from attack. The author of these dastardly plans was of course the arch-imperialist, Winston Churchill.
The telegram of 1915 was of course little more than a diplomatic maneourve of zero military significance. Change would only come three months later when the Royal Navy made the catastrophic error of accidentally sinking the Lusitania.
In 1779, in one of his last discoveries in a monumental career, James Cook set foot upon a small atoll in the northern Pacific that he dubbed "Bligh Island" after a junior officer on the expedition, though it would ultimately be renamed "Midway".
James Cook Makes Landfall at Midway The small island was nearly missed as the flagship HMS Resolution had cracked its foremast, which a full break would have prompted a return to the recently discovered Sandwich Islands for repairs. Instead, Cook set forth continually northwest, pressing again to discover the elusive Northwest Passage. Again, the Bering Strait proved impassable, and he begrudgingly ordered a return to London for his crews on the verge of mutiny. They sailed past Nippon, attempting trade but being shooed by the Sakoku policy, and successfully traded with the Chinese, Javanese, and Africans around the Cape of Good Hope.
A new story by Jeff ProvineUpon his return up the Thames, Cook was lauded as a hero. His was an impressive climb from being the second child of a farm laborer in northern Yorkshire. Cook had become an apprentice in the merchant navy as a young man and learned the skills of navigation that would make him famous. During the arms race leading to the Seven Years' War, Cook volunteered for the Royal Navy and served as Mate aboard HMS Eagle. After successful battles with the French, Cook continued to climb the ranks and was sent to the New World, where his skills in navigation proved also to include cartography. Recognized for his maps of the Saint Lawrence River and Newfoundland, Cook was given a position by the Royal Society to command an expedition to the Pacific for charting the transit of Venus across the Sun in 1766. Along with his astronomical records, Cook would also explore New Zealand and put Britain into contact with the Aborigines of Terra Australis. Cook lost several crewmen to native diseases such as malaria but not a single one to scurvy. His techniques of scurvy prevention would become a model for ships throughout the Navy.
Arriving back to much acclaim in 1771, he left again in 1772 to explore more of the South Pacific. Although what would become known as Australia was located, many members of the Royal Society believed a much larger (and wealthier) continent must lie even further south. Cook explored nearly reached Antarctica, but he turned north again for need of supplies. Instead of a great continent, he discovered numerous small islands in Polynesia such as Easter Island, New Caledonia, and Vanuatu as well as explorations in the southern Atlantic. Again hailed as a hero upon his return in 1775, he set out to explore the North Pacific the next year. There he would discover the Sandwich Islands, explore much of the northwest coast of North America, and travel north through the Bering Strait. When they came upon a twelve foot wall of ice across the whole horizon, the expedition was forced to turn south with the Northwest Passage proven a myth. They explored the eastern coast of Russia before wintering in the Sandwiches, where they had once been welcomed and Cook practically venerated as the god Lono. As the festival season of Lono had now passed, however, the Hawaiians were increasingly hostile, and Cook left, deciding even not to return despite his damaged foremast.
Cook pursued a Northwest Passage across Russia, but the Arctic proved too icy for wooden ships. He returned to London in 1780, finding the world turned upside-down by the riotous Americans. After serving for three years as admiral until the end of the war, Cook retired from his life at sea and set upon a new life's project to restore Britain's glory. The American revolt had left them without a great deal of wealth and possibilities for westward expansion, but the whole of the Pacific lay beyond practically unconquered. While Captain Arthur Phillip led the colonization of Australia, Cook campaigned for small outposts on every island available, conquering the sea lanes for Britain. Using his own fortune from the sales of his popular journals, he funded missionaries, farmers, and merchants alike to form small colonies that would meet with varying luck.
As the Industrial Revolution took hold, however, each of these colonies suddenly sprang to life as coaling stations. Needed by the Royal Navy as well as the vast merchant fleet of Britain, the Pacific colonies became key bases and transformed international trade. Tahiti, which would later be contested by the French, became a key British station. Gradually, native populations that were devastated by plagues would come under British rule and become colonies themselves, such as the Royal House of Hawaiians, who would be taken in as part of British aristocracy.
In the Second World War, the powerful Japanese Navy would sweep out over the British Pacific, conquering millions of square miles as the stretched Royal Navy struggled to fight back. The Japanese sneak-attack at Luzon in the Philippines would bring the United States into the war, and intensive island-hopping campaigns would go for years as dug-in Japanese were rooted out by Allied Marines. After the war, Britain would decolonize many of the islands into the Commonwealth, while others such as Hawaii and Tahiti would gain independence.
In 1880, on this day the fourth President of the Confederate States of America, Pierre G.T. Beauregard of Louisiana was sworn into office in Montgomery, Alabama, on the elevated porch of the Alabama capitol building. The second president, Ruffin, had died of natural causes, but the other presidents (Davis and Longstreet) were there to see Beauregard be sworn into office by Chief Justice Judah Benjamin.
Gettysburg Prayer Part Seven by Raymond SpeerMuch of the argument in Confederate politics came from President Beauregard's insistance on a lottery run by the central government and sold in all CSA states. Uniformly, the rival Ctizens Party abhorred the notion that the central government would profit by gambling, and Virginia Senator John B. Gordon said that he and the men who fought for the South would prefer to be camping in a forest than relaxing in a hospital funded by gambling. The Readjusters passed their lottery proposal in the House that they dominated,but the Citizens used their CS Senate majority to stop dead the lottery.
More serious were state laws that the Citizens were enthusiastic for that curtailed the rights of Negroes. The South Carolina and Texas laws forbid Negroes to be lawyers, or doctors, or dentists and the South Carolinians restricted Negro teachers to Negro pupils only. Such laws were claimed to be a matter of the public's safety, though Readjusters noted early and often that there was no study that showed Negroes got into trouble by entering the law or medicine.
In the new State of Arizona, professional restrictions were rejected automatically, and the laws did not pass the legislatures of MS, AL, GA, TN due to Readjuster opposition. The State of Virginia, though usually aligned with the Citizens Party, did go contrary to the advice of their CS Senator, J.B. Gordon . and restored by a vote of the legislature suffrage for Negroes of thirty years oof age (while whites could vote at 21).
Beauregard got congressional approval to add the chief of the Soldier's and Sailor's Support Services to his Cabinet, and brought about an uproar in Richmond when he named Booker T. Washington to that post. The first Negro in the Cabinet was confirmed with a bare minimum of CS Senators "advising and consenting" to his selection, and many observers were surprised that Beauregard had chosen Washington, even though the Negro had performed excellently in raising a school for young Blacks in Tuskegee, Alabama.
The president had been worried that Citizens Party inclinations like alcohol prohibition and gambling bans were speading in Negro communities and thought that a favor to Booker Washington might act against that influence.
Up North, James Garfield held control of the Republican Party in 1880 and thwarted an attempt by ex-President Grant to be nominated for a third term. Congressman Garfield was elected President of the United States but lived only 200 days as President. Shot by a deranged office seeker, Garfield died 6 days after a bullet went into his back, and Vice President Chester Allan Arthur was sworn in as US President. (At Arthur's request, which had been confidentially relayed to Beauregard, there was no appearence by the CS President at Arthur's swearing in, as Arthur was loathe to give an support to conspiracy theories about a Rebel role in Guiteau's shooting.)
Far, far away in California, George Armstrong Custer, senior US general alive in the 1880s after Sherman and Sheridan died in a railcar accident, met and liked William Randolph Hearst. Blessed with the railroad and mining fortunes bequested him by his father, young Hearst threw his considerable weight behind the aging General, who still had presidential ambitions.
Following the death by natural causes of Benito Juarez, Mexico had passed into the possession of generals, who had again despoiled their land by separately seeking supreme power for themselves. Diaz died in a battle at the end of 1882 and Hearst had carried stories that California was threatened by the tyrant d'jour, the Governor of Baja California.
Chester Alan Arthur, we knoow from reading his confidential notes to his aides, was very skeptical of danger being present in the long desert pennisula at California's southern base. Aware of his weakness over the opposing wings of his Republican Party and mindful of the resolution passed by the Sacramento legislature warning of a "savage army" getting ready to penetrate southern California, Arthur sent an order to Custer authorizing a peace keeping misson to Baja.
In four months in 1883, General George Custer had marched from Tijuana to Cabo San Lucas, conquering Baja California with 15,000 men and two battles. Over at Richmond, Virginia, and in Texas and Arizona, both Confederate Parties had decided that the USA would not be allowed to seize Baja California, though there was no sane reason why the USA would be mightier because California was larger.
On orders of President Beauregard, backed not by a declaration of war but by a resolution in both Houses of the Confederate Congress, the Army of Further Arizona was assembled and sent to Baja with the co-operation of the local Mexicans. In amphibious landings at Santa Rosalina and Loreto, CS General Frederick Benteen brought serious war to the peninsula.
Hearst's propagandists speedily revised their theories as to why the War was necessary to include a proposal that the Confederacy was planning to open annex all of Mexico on word that the United States had given up on Baja. At the same time, the Confederacy and the British and French media which was against the US grab for power reported that the North hoped the War would lead to the destruction of the CS. Inside of a month of the AFA's victories at Loreto, both sides hurried more cannon fodder to the previous quiet province.
Not until March of 1885 did the Two Powers agree to end their fighting.Thirty five thousand Union soldiers had fought thirty thousand CSA soldiers in Baja California. English Cemetaries contained ten thousand Union men and seven thousand Confederates, indicating a tendency among the Southerners to use their men to "charge and die"" in fighting the foe. The good news was that, in spite of ceaseless worry about the War getting wider distribution from the Pacific to the Atlantic, the peace had been maintained along the main borders between the belligerants.
Also importantly, Senator Gordon of Virginia, who had once gone so far as to recommend the expulsion of Negroes from the regular Army had been greatly impressed by the performance and enthusiasm of the South's Negro troops. After the Baja California War, the Citizen Party went along with benefits and pensions for the Negro soldiers and sailors who needed it, though they still stymied plans for a nation wide lottery contest every month.
In 2010, Baroness Tonge (pictured), the former opposition frontbencher and spokeswoman for health, has not responded to press reports that her two attackers have branded her face with Nazi swastikas.
Fork Tonge by Stan BrinLady Tonge was removed from her position last week for suggesting that Israeli physicians working in Haiti following last months earthquake, used to opportunity to harvest organs for sale.
"She appears to require a face transplant," a hospital worker said. Lady Tonge is currently in hospital recovering from a massive beating, administered by at least two men. She described them as resembling the actors Quentin Tarantino and Brad Pitt, neither of whom is Jewish. According to the Mail, she may never walk again.
In 1866, the second Philadelphia Convention opened on this day under the Chairmanship of Walter Bagehot.
Second Philadelphia ConventionLess than a century before, another English journalist, Thomas Paine had stood at the apex of American political thought. But unlike Paine, Bagehot had never crossed the Atlantic, and perhaps this remoteness provided the broad perspective that enabled him to discern the constitutional issues that lay behind the outbreak of the American Civil War. "It is impossible", he wrote in 1861, "not to observe that the whole mischief has been, not caused but painfully exacerbated by the unfortunate mixture of flexibility and inflexibility in the United States Constitution".
America's stability had depended upon a voluntary union of the states. This was no longer true by the time Andrew Jackson left office. The result was a string of ineffectual Presidencies, because in the absence of broad agreement on issues of which the Constitution was largely silent, notably secession, the Chief Magistrate was simply unable to wield the kind of extra-legal authority envisaged by James Madison et al at the Philadelphia Convention. Quite simply, a sacred document and an unhereditary substitute for an uncrowned king was not a strong enough framework for the US Government.
That was the theory at least, a luxury Bagehot enjoyed whilst he wrote "The English Constitution" in 1865. And then he received the historic invitation from President Abraham Lincoln.
In 1876, Elisha Gray files with the U.S. Patent Office a "Caveat" announcing his intention to file for a patent within three months, for "the art of transmitting vocal sounds or conversations telegraphically through an electric circuit", the working apparatus of which would become known as the "telephone", although the word appears nowhere in Gray's filing.
Controversial Invention of the Telephone
Two hours later, lawyer Marcellus Bailey, representing rival inventor Alexander Graham Bell, arrives to file for a patent on an essentially identical device. The dueling claims will result in an epic lawsuit involving Gray, Bell and Edison - who will provide a key technological innovation which will make the telephone practical for long-distance communication - along with telegraph titan Western Union, which in 1877 will attempt to buy out both Gray and Bell, as well as making a royalty arrangement with Edison.
On Nov. 10, 1879, on the strength of his two hours' priority and the fact that at the time Bell filed he could not provide a working device (which would have been an automatic disqualifier for a patent prior to 1870), Elisha Gray will win his lawsuit. The fledgling Bell Telephone Company will be forced to give up its equipment and subscribers, essentially going out of business. The defeat of Bell will mark an era of communications dominance for Western union and its increasingly important subsidiary Gray Telephonics (later Gray Communications) which will endure until the telecommunications colossus is broken up in the 1980s. By then, Western Union's original business of telegraphy will be a mere appendage of the company, which will be formally disbanded at last in 2005.
In 1961, on this day the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in Manhattan hosted a special Valentine's Day banquet for firemen, police officers, and emergency services personnel who'd been involved in the post-Jamaica Bay Hurricane recovery effort. This banquet would become an annual event at the hotel over the next three and a half decades.
On this day in 1983, in a 2-out of-3 falls bout aptly nicknamed the "St. Valentine's Day Massacre", "Psycho" Tommy Rich defeated "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka to retain the WWF world heavyweight title.
But what truly made the night memorable was Rich's actions after the match was over: he piledrived Snuka twice on the concrete floor outside the ring and spat on him in front of horrified fans at ringside.
In 1415, Pope Henry V commissions a host of poets to compose a series of love notes to Catherine of Valois, in order to woo her into agreeing to become his Papal Consort. After the success of the poems, it became a standard practice in the Holy British Empire to compose poetry for a loved one on St. Valentine's Day.
In 1952, Mikhail von Heflin and Velma Porter, alone in Carl Thompson's house since he is hospitalized, discover more than companionship for each other. Porter has fallen in love with the Baron, and von Heflin more than returns the emotion. He prepares to join her to him eternally, in the ritual blood-exchange he was taught in his youth.
In 1847, Esther Howland of Worcester, Massachussetts, thinks up a unique way to celebrate the romantic holiday of St. Valentine's Day. She constructs heart-shaped cards and decorations of red scrap and sells them from her college apartment. Most people whom she approaches to buy this feel that this cheapens the holiday, and she never manages to make a going concern of it.
In 1167 AUC, the Lupercalia Festival is finally made a separate holiday from the festival celebrating the founding of Rome. This festival of ritual matchmaking, popular for hundreds of years, was certainly the highlight of the 2-day celebration at the ides of February, and most Romans felt that it deserved separation from the more staid founding ceremony.
In 1965, the Soviet States of America bans the unofficial Valentines Day holiday. Comrade Representative O'Hare of Chicago, in her statement calling for the ban, said, 'No other holiday so cheapens the idea of romantic love, or saps the will to fight of our comrades in the street, as this so-called Valentines Day.'
On February 14, 2003, a group of high ranking Iraqi generals, fearing the disastrous effects of U:S. invasion stage a coup. They know that Sadam as a sentimental guy would be distracted at big party for his family. The succeed in killing their President and his sons. The new junta is composed of Sunni Baathists, but they extend the hand of friendship to the world community and invite weapons inspectors. What would the last half of a decade have brought to Iraq ?
In 2021, a rare form of cosmic radiation enters Earth's atmosphere, concentrated in and around Chicago. 99.9% of the city only feels a slight tingling, but one man, Eddie Valens, finds his reflexes and running speed amplified tenfold - plus, he is now able to evoke feelings of love and peace in nearly anyone with but a word. Putting these two together, and donning a pink costume, Eddie takes the name Saint Valentine and proceeds to fight crime in Chicago for nearly a decade as one of the only real superheroes in the 21st century.
In 498, Pope Gelasius names this day the Feast of Saint Valentine. In his honor, prisoners across the land were given a meal of ox-hearts and red wine, to signify the blood that the saint had shed while a prisoner of the pagan Romans. The traditional feast of hearts and wine continues to this day across Christendom, although the practice has spread from the jailhouse to all those who might need a prayer for more freedom.
In, 47421 BCE, Telka the Speaker is wooed by and mated with the father of her first children, the man she names Komar. She learns to count the days in a year by the anniversary of this day each year that she was with him. His love for her led him to throw himself in front of a boar that was charging her; although he saved her and killed the boar, he died from injuries he received. Telka made sure that each of her descendants celebrated this day out of her love for him.
In 269, Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriage for young men, in order to make them a better pool to draft soldiers from. The Christian cleric Valentius was known for his defiance of Rome, and many young couples came to him in order to wed. Valentius performed the ceremonies gladly until the local centurion told him that he would be executed after the next one. Valentius relented, but the decree was rescinded in 271 after Claudius' death, anyway, so nothing ever really came of it.
In 1956, at the XX Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in Moscow, Premier Nikita Khruschev revealed than Lenin was a shape-shifting Vampire. A number of strokes in the 1920s forced the undead nosferatu to possess the body of Comrade Stalin to permit him to continue his misrule. He had even maintained his corpse in a Kremlin mausoleum just in case a Dracula style exit was necessary.
In 1639, on this day King Robert II's second-choice military commander John Lilburne took charge of the Tudor Army defending Newcastle from the latest Scottish attack in the decades-long "War of the Crosses".
Essex Rebellion #3
co-written with Richard RoperUpon arrival he was shocked to discover that contrary to first reports his first choice predecessor Oliver Cromwell was very much alive. Astonishingly, the iconic Monarchist General had turned his coat and joined the Jacobite forces of the pretender to the English throne Charles Stuart, King of Scotland.
Fundamentally, this personal decision was driven by considerations of faith rather than politics. A devoutly religious man who answered first and foremost to God, Cromwell had formed an unshakeable reformist mentality as he matured in years. And during his prayers before the Battle of Newcastle, he had mistakenly determined that the Stuarts rather than the Tudors were better placed to uphold true religion and virtue.
It was quite true that the Stuarts had repeatedly played the Calvanist Card throughout the seventeenth century. But before too long, he would discover a shattering deeper truth. That just about the only thing the Stuarts wanted in life was the throne of England. It was a bitter revelation that would force Cromwell to depart for the Virginian Colonies and open up a brand new chapter in the "Essex Rebellion".
This post is a reversal of Robbie Taylor's King Robert article and continues the Tudor B*stards thread.
In 1945, on this day the United States Army Air Force dropped the first atomic bomb on Dresden, Hitler suffered a fatal stroke and the Second World War was over before the Red Army could cross the River Vistula.
Carnage Unfathomable at ElbflorenzA 1953 USAF report written by Joseph W. Angell defended the operation as the justified bombing of a military and industrial target, which was a major rail transportation and communication centre, housing 110 factories and 50,000 workers in support of the Nazi war effort. Humanists argued that Dresden was a cultural landmark of little or no military significance, a "Florence on the Elbe" (Elbflorenz).
Regardless this "shot across Stalin's bows" prevented the Soviet domination of post-war Eastern Europe enabling the Western Allies to honour their 1939 pledge to the Polish Government which had triggered the conflict.
In 1503, as the Second Italian War raged, Louis XII's knights pressed southward into Naples to confirm the king's claim to the Italian throne.
Firearms Drawn at BarlettaHe had taken Ferdinand II of Spain as an ally, offering to divide the spoils once Louis dominated Italy.
Ferdinand had agreed, but once Naples was taken, the two bickered over which lands would go to whom. Aragon and France turned on each other, each taking up allies and mercenaries from the locals.
A new story by Jeff ProvineDuring the war, a group of French knights were out imbibing the local wine, Rosso Barletta, and began raucously remarking about the quality of Italian knights, namely the lack thereof. Hearing that Charles de la Motte had called them cowards, the Italian knights challenged the French to a tournament. The thirteen-on-thirteen contest went well for the Italians, so much so that unsportsmanlike activity broke out. During a scuffle, an Italian page pulled an arquebus and fired, spooking the horses and injuring one of the French knights. The Italians broke off the contest, embarrassed at the break of chivalry, and the French learned a valuable lesson about the effective power of small arms.
They returned to the French army, and word of the fight worked its way up to the Duke of Nemours. He and his advisers discerned the effectiveness of the small arms, just as they had for the long range cannon, of which the French had much more than the Spanish. Over the next months, he encouraged his pike-wielding Swiss to emulate the Spanish Coronelias, which fought with mixed pikes, swords, and arquebuses.
In late April, Nemours moved on the Spanish at Cerignola. The French outnumbered them 32,000 to 8,000 and had twice as many cannon, but the Spanish "El Gran Capitan" Gonzalo Fernandez de Cordoba had expertly fortified the high ground with trenches, walls, and stakes. Heavy Spanish artillery fire broke up the initial French charges, and Nemours first planned an attack on the right flank against arquebusiers. However, as he recalled the effectiveness of the arquebus against a knight from the tournament a couple of months before, he decided on a new strategy. War had changed, and to be victorious, the French army would have to adapt beyond artillery.
Nemours moved his artillery and began pounding the Spanish infantry. When they seemed softened, he moved forward the Swiss and assaulted, taking the first volley from the arquebuses with an exchange of fire. Before the Spanish could reload, the French knights charged past the Swiss and stormed the trench. The Swiss followed after the breach, and the numbers of the French army overwhelmed the Spanish defenders. While the French took massive casualties, the Spanish were thoroughly defeated, and expert commander Cordoba was captured.
The next year, the Louis signed the Treaty of Lyon with Ferdinand, securing French control over mainland Italy. Spain still held Sicily, but Louis had built a league with Venice and the Papal States that would dominate Italy and, perhaps more importantly, the growing trade with the East. During the rebuilding of Italy, Francis I instituted imperialistic laws to dominate the Italian banking, shifting the financial center of Europe from northern Italy to Paris. Portugal flourished with trade from India, and Spain grew wealthy on gold from the New World, and France launched its own expeditions to dominate Africa and the Mediterranean, interrupting the expansion of the Ottomans, as well as colonizing much of what would become North America.
During the nationalistic revolutions toward the end of the Age of Enlightenment, the Italians would rally to unify themselves in revolt against France in 1798, creating a new state and key player in Europe.
In 2007, on this day the bipartisan Presidency of John Kerry ended with his tragic death in office and ironically, the elevation of VP John McCain caused such a political earthquake that just twelve months later, three parties would race for the White House.
A Stronger America
Co-written with Scott PalterFrom the outset, polling had strongly indicated that McCain was the only running mate who could overturn a Bush/Cheney re-election.
Driven by the desperate urge to keep Bush and Cheney from returning to office, leading Democrats were forced to agree. And ultimately, McCain was a controversial, some would say maverick, figure who could create a new bipartisan consensus for change.
- "...if John Kerry said that's who he wanted, and McCain - I'd encourage McCain to say yes. .... you know, we need some unity here, man. The red states and the blue states - we've got to have something to coalesce around here" ~ Joe Biden
- "I'm a big admirer of John McCain's" ~ Hillary Clinton
- He is a very bipartisan figure, he would be accepted by the Democratic party" ~ Dick Gephardt
A CBS poll showed a Kerry-McCain ticket destroying the Bush-Cheney ticket 53%-39%, other polls showed the ticket touching 60%. "John Kerry is a close friend of mine. We have been friends for years," McCain said on Good Morning America "Obviously I would entertain it". But McCain only broke his relationship with Bush over disagreements about reversing the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan. And Kerry saw the opportunity to drive the wedge between the two Republican by offering McCain a super-ministry to oversee both defence and national security.
Political commentators would speculatively compare McCain's actual record in office with the probable actions of a Bush/Cheney second term. But by then the focus on neocons had been replaced by the emerging Tea Party led by Ron Paul, a grassroots movement would would surely have emerged more powerfully if Kerry-McCain had not regulated Wall Street and thus prevented a financial armaggedon in 2008. And on the left, the McCain-Lieberman ticket had to confront a resurgent left-wing led by the charismatic Illinois Sentator, Barack Obama..
On this day in 1921, the Chicago White Sox released Ray Schalk from their roster; Schalk would spend most of the next 18 months on the semi-pro circuit before returning to the American League in 1923 as a reserve catcher with the St. Louis Browns.
On this day in 1957, Les Harrison, owner of the NBA's Rochester Royals, finalized a deal with a trio of Texas millionaires to relocate his franchise to the Houston area for the 1957-58 NBA season. In tribute to Houston's role in the Texas oil boom of the early 20th century, the team would subsequently be renamed the Houston Oilers.
In 1955, Israel acquired half of the Dead Sea Scrolls, including the one purportedly written by Jesus himself, which began, 'In the name of the most holy, we renounce all the faiths of man, because the one true God cannot be contained within the pages of a book.' Representatives of the Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu and various Animist faiths met secretly in Jerusalem to destroy this tract in particular.
In 1952, in the early morning hours, Mikhail von Heflin gives Juan Escobar a choice - ride back to Mexico and never bother the Baron again, or die. Escobar chooses the former, and the Baron and his companion Velma Porter deposit the Mexican paranormalist back at his motel. As they watch him leave, von Heflin cannot shake the feeling that he will see Escobar again.
In 1940, Dresden, a Greater Zionist Resistance stronghold in Germany, is destroyed by a nuclear blast. Although the German Underground seeks to blame the G.Z.R., the whole world knows that it was one of their weapons, and sanctions are briefly enacted against the rogue regime.
In 1904, Q'B'Ton'ra is driven from the earth's solar system by a defensive force he clearly did not expect to be more advanced than his own. The Congress of Nations embassy ship manages to break through the back of his line and reach the sanctuary of Pluto. Although the earth's people are cheered by the return of the ship, they are saddened at the loss of Ambassador Li'Kanto'Mk, and he is memorialized with full honors.
In 1882, the Social-Democratic Union, a labor organization inspired by and partially funded by the Communist and Socialist parties in America, is organized in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The reactionaries in that monarchy quickly attack the fledgling labor movement, hoping to keep their immoral grasp on power a little longer.
In 1984, Soviet leader Yuri Andropov, recovering from the poison that rival Konstantin Chernenko had slipped him, orders a purge of all the Brezhnevians within the Kremlin, beginning with Chernenko. Although the power struggle results in a brief revolt against his authority, Andropov is ultimately successful, and his reform policies help the Soviet Union integrate its economy more effectively into the growing global marketplace. Andropov is often hailed as the man who saved the Soviet Union from a financial apocalypse.
In 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt of the U.S. delivered his most influential speech, decrying the 'race problem' in America. He announced that his Justice Department would immediately begin prosecuting lynchings, and pushed for law which guaranteed the rights of minorities in the country. The flabbergasted elite of the New York Republican Club, where he delivered the speech, denounced Roosevelt as a 'dangerous radical' for the speech, but later generations saw him as a visionary.
In 1892, surrealist Grant Wood was born in Anamosa, Iowa. Although his early work was fairly conventional, he entered the company of the surrealists when he moved to New York in 1928, and his mishmash of midwestern America with strange shapes and creations sprung from his imagination captured the attention of the world. His most famous piece, American Gothic, depicting a devil, complete with pitchfork, alongside a frumpy Iowa farmwoman, has been parodied so many times that people who have never seen the original recognize the tableau instantly.
In 1939, director George Cukor was released from the production of Gone With The Wind being filmed by David O. Selznick and starring Clark Gable. Both Gable and Selznick had difficulties with Cukor, but he turned out to be the only one willing to take on the huge project. The film fell apart and production was abandoned, financially ruining Selznick's studio. To add insult to injury, Cukor won the Academy Award for direction that year for The Women, the picture he went on to direct after leaving GWTW.
In 1689, a mere generation removed from the last Parliamentary-led revolution, William of Orange and his wife Mary, King James II's daughter, are invited to replaced Mary's father by his opposition in the Parliament. Unfortunately for the Parliament, the royal couple brought 15,000 soldiers with them, and refused to become the toothless monarchs that were envisioned in their invitation. The war that followed shattered the institution of the monarchy as Parliament won the hard-fought struggle and declared Great Britain a republic and 'a kingdom no more,' in 1695.
In 1542, Pope Henry VIII executed a fifth consort for heresy. In spite of the rather horrendous ends met by his other consorts, women across Christendom still clamored to join themselves to the leader of the Holy British Empire, and Sister Catherine Parr, author of the devotional tracks Prayers and Meditations and Lamentations of a Sinner, became the Papal Consort in 1543.
In 1809, on this day Abraham Lincoln the last president of the united nation founded by Virginians and New England patriots was born in the Hardin County, Kentucky (then USA).
Last President of an Undivided USWhen he was ten his family moved to Illinois where he was home schooled and then elected to the State Legislature. While working as a self taught circuit lawyer he was elected to the US House of Representatives, however when he ran for the US Senate he was defeated twice. However, in the process of the campaigns, he had proven a formidable opponent to the expansion of slavery in the United States. When the Republican party was created to combat slavery, Lincoln was a delegate to the first statewide convention (in neighboring Illinois)in 1854. In 1856, the party nominated John C. Fremont for president. Though Fremont lost, the party became a movement to be reckoned with. In 1860, Lincoln was selected as nominee for president, and was elected to be the last president of an undivided United States.
Events leading to his election as president had caused political dissent in the states which resulted in an official secession of several southern states. Reacting to this as an act of rebellion, Lincoln had asked for and got a declaration of war. Failing to secure the loyalty of Virginia, the remaining United States were locked in a war that lasted for most of his two terms. After a propaganda campaign to defeat a popular General in the 1864, he was to live in seclusion for fear of Confederate assassins rumored to be in the Washington. In 1865, he saw the CSA hold its boundaries secure and sue for armistice after his failed attempt to "slash and burn" the farmland of the deep south.
A new article from the "Two Americas" thread on Althistory WikiaAfter the ceasefire, Lincoln worked with the generals in his army to secure border cities to assure a peaceful transition and rebuilding of his beloved Union. He worked to assure that the Republican Party would hold office in what were certain to be tumultuous years ahead. Having successfully abolished slavery within the United States, Lincoln began a campaign to abolish what he saw as another great evil -- the manufacture and distribution of alcoholic beverage. The hero of the western campaign, and one time head of the whole Union Army, General U.S. Grant, was opposed to this campaign, painting it as an attack on free enterprise and civil liberties.
In March of 1869, Lincoln left office, turning over the reins of a much smaller nation to Ulysses Grant. He was a broken man, in failing health, and with very few friends. The New York Temperance League, with whom he had worked for the later part of his presidency, promised him and his family a place to stay in New York City, where he died in June 19, 1881, of what was called "consumption" (a form of Tuberculosis, according to forensic experts of today) at the age of 72.
The whole alternate biography is available Althistory Wiki.
In 1554, after a troubling eight months in which her claim to the English throne seemed questionable at best, Jane Grey was formally crowned queen in Westminster Abbey (pictured from 1986 movie starring Helena Bonham-Carter).
Coronation of Queen JaneThe matter had arisen as Henry VIII's son Edward VI had fallen deathly ill while still only 15 years old. Without an heir, his crown would pass along the lines established by the Third Succession Act of 1543, in which Parliament had reestablished Edward's half-sisters. The later Treason Act of 1547 declared that anyone interrupting the line of succession was to be guilty of high treason and subject to the severe punishment that followed. Despite this, as Edward approached his death, he hoped to circumvent Catholic Mary's takeover of England by his "Devise for the Succession" on June 21, 1553. In this will, he named his successor to be his Protestant cousin Jane Grey, wife of Lord Guildford Dudley and granddaughter of Henry VII.
A new story by Jeff ProvineEdward's will was carried by 102 signatories, including the entire Privy Council. He planned to make the announcement formally in September, but he would die July 6 despite the best efforts of physicians, conjurers, and an Oxford professor. On July 10, sixteen-year-old Jane was proclaimed queen, though she initially refused and had to be persuaded by her parents. While things seemed in order in London for her to take the throne, there were great rumblings as to where exactly Edward's adviser the Duke of Northumberland, and Jane's father-in-law, stood. To some, he seemed to be causing a coup to set his son up as king.
The rumors were exacerbated as Northumberland sent troops to capture Mary, who had been staying in Hertfordshire. Mary, however, had gone at news of her brother's illness to her holdings in East Anglia to gather support. She raised a formidable army and sent a letter to London demanding her right as queen. Northumberland was torn between maintaining Jane's position in London or marching out to defeat Mary. Finally the issue was decided as Jane demanded that Northumberland stay with her, and he determined to force the Council to continue its loyalty. In major legal concessions all that winter, Northumberland guided Jane in granting Parliament greater powers, winning their support enough to override the Succession Act with a new one honoring Edward's will.
Mary meanwhile took her march on London, which unified the people against her. Her assault was repelled, and she fell back toward Cambridge to regroup. She was a staunch Catholic and used the remaining Papists who had survived her father's purges as strength. Protestants, however, formed up against her. The Reformation had spread through preachers to England, particularly in Kent where Sir Thomas Wyatt led the support for Protestant Jane. The thought of returning to Catholicism created a schism in the country with a short civil war.
After major defeats in January, Mary was forced to flee the country and attempted to find asylum in Spain. While there, she fell in love with King Philip II, who eventually married her. In London, Jane would be crowned sole ruler while her husband served as Duke of Clarence. War erupted as Philip attempted to seize the English throne for Mary, but Mary's death in childbirth in 1558 cut his claim short. Jane would rely primarily on her Council and Parliament, establishing a growing tradition of popular rule that harkened back to the days of the Magna Carta. Parliament would be expanded in the next century by leaders such as Sir Oliver Cromwell.
Rather than ruling overtly, Jane's seemingly greatest accomplishment on the throne was producing strong, healthy heirs, two boys and a girl, the eldest growing to become King Henry IX upon Jane's death in 1579. The question of religion served as Jane's second matter of interest, stomping out Catholic strength, though it would go underground, striking back in such attacks as the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 in which twenty members of Parliament were slain.
In 1809, on this day Confederate President Abraham Lincoln was born in a log cabin in Hodgkins Creek, Hardin County less than eight months after, and one hundred miles distance from, the more salubrious birthplace of his fellow Kentuckian Jefferson Davis. Despite these proximities, the distances in circumstance were huge, and Lincoln would depend upon the sponsorship of the Davis family for his entire adult life.
An unexpected PresidencyDue to their lack of prospects, and opposition to the practice of slavery, his father Thomas Lincoln decided to head north, to move the family across the Ohio river into Indiana. Their fortunes would be lost to history, but before they left, he sought out a wealthy family that was looking to settle in the south. One that would adopt a son who was so poor that he "only had friends".
In a contradiction of that era that is hard to understand in the modern age, Lincoln was effectively sold as a white slave to the Davis family, who then moved to a plantation in northern Mississippi. But in a triumph of expedience over principle that would foreshadow his whole career, the move worked out pretty well for him. Lincoln established himself as a Rail Road Lawyer before becoming involved in Whig politics. Meanwhile Jeff Davis served in the Mexican War as Colonel in the Missississippi Rifles before rising to the position of US Secretary of State for War.
Fate intervened on the eve of the civil war when Davis was arrested in Washington attempting to purchase one thousand rifles from the arms manufacturer Eli Whitney. A natural (if reluctant) candidate for Confederate President, the Constitutional Convention in Montgomery Alabama accepted the absent Davis recommendation that Lincoln was a more suitable leader due to his enhanced political skills. Instead, after his release, Davis would fill the office of Confederate Secretary of War, a position that ultimately he was far better suited to.
In 1863, a General Election was held for Parliament's House of Commons. Viscount Palmerston, Prime Minister since 1855, was ousted from office and Conservative Leader Lord Derby became Prime Minister. As Derby is a member of the House of Lords, Benjamin Disraeli is the leader of the Conservative Party in Commons.
The Scrooge Contribution Part VIIGiven the results from the battlefields, the political transition had been anticipated for over a year. Two invasions of San Francisco had been resisted and pushed back in 1862, and Grant's Expedition had suffered a sharp setback on the banks of the Rogue River of southern Oregon. Those developments pretty well dismantled the Palmerston Plan for an easy acquisition of California by the British.
Lord Palmerston acknowledged his defeat. "I ought to have listened to my guts rather than Ebenezer Scrooge". In his own constituency, Mr. Scrooge lost his election by 60% of the vote going to his Conservative opponent.
Lord Derby defers to his leader in the House, Benjamin Disraeli, whose
chief policy is the closure of the plan to annex California. William E. Gladstone, who is working with Lord John Russell among the remaining Liberals, cautions that British honor is tied to the promises of independence made to the several States of the Southern Confederacy.
Jubilation sweeps down the St. Laurence on both sides of the Canadian-American border on news of the General Election results. US President Abraham Lincoln, accused of frustrating American military plans by his delay in authorizing an invasion of Canada, issued new orders approving of the dissolution of the Army of the Niagara & the Army of the Hudson.
In Richmond, Virginia, Admiral Sir Alexander Milne visited Jefferson Davis in his office at the Confederate White House. The Admiral told the President that he expected new orders to withdraw his hundred ships from blockade duties, and that the Confederacy would once again have to confront the Union with its own resources.
The President was cold and rude, stating that he did not expect "our ally, our mother country, to desert us in the middle of this war".
President Davis had another appointment in two hours. He and his Cabinet, assisted by input from General Lee, would decide on Confederate policy on British withdraw.
Further afield, where the French had been quartered in VeraCruz for more than a year, news arrived that the French were finally going home.
Tortured by indecision ((should Napoleon III take the opportunity to conquer Mexico? should France join with England in seizing California? should France take the field against the Union?)), the French forces had done nothing but sit in the Mexican port. Benito Juarez received news of the French departure with courtesy and concealed relief. He had long feared that the French might try to get involved in internal Mexican politics.
In 1979, Confederate President Jimmy Carter sends a letter of congratulations to Ayatollah Khomeini and his revolutionaries for securing control of their country following prolonged hostilities to bring about a new "Islamic Republic" in Iran. The letter also contains a note of hope that both the CSA and Iran can now begin a new era of friendliness and co-operation, and begin a new relationship that would be beneficial for them both.
A post from the two Americas Reunification 80 thread by Gerry Shannon.
"To the Revolution, Our Congrats" by Gerry ShannonThe letter is read out on state media and printed in Iranian national newspapers, and it's chief theme is the similarities - however forced - that Carter demonstrates between the revolutionary roots of the Confederacy and this new Islamic Republic. Carter ends with a flourish by quoting the words of Robert E. Lee, the second President of the Confederate States of America, who once wrote: "You can be anything you want to be, have anything you desire, accomplish anything you set out to accomplish - if you hold to that desire with a singleness of purpose".
Though Carter's letter gets guarded praise from the Ayatollah, the reaction in the government of the United States is one of fury. US President Ted Kennedy (pictured, right) and his cabinet feel Carter is being too opportunistic after the collapse of the US-backed Iranian government, and that the Confederacy is clearly hoping to gain from the financial interests that it's neighbour has now lost and ultimately have a foothold in the troubled Middle East.
However, Kennedy's deeper concern - as he relates to his Chief of Staff Mary Kopechne - is that relations between the United States and Confederacy will be damaged enough to put his dream of reunification of the two countries indefinitely on hold. Though Kennedy himself could not have foreseen these fraught relations becoming even further strained when the United States embassy in Iran would be seized by Iranian forces nine months later in a prolonged hostage crisis.
In 2010, at a little after seven o'clock in the evening, a rather dejected looking cardiologist appeared on the steps outside the Columbia Campus of New York Presbyterian Hospital with his hands uncharacteristically buried in the pockets of his lab coat. Whilst his body language said it all, Dr Allan Schwartz proceeded to deliver a short, impromptu speech hurriedly prepared for the press, confirming the tragic news that sixty-three year old Bill Clinton had passed away during an emergency heart procedure.
Slick Willy gets his manSix years before, a quadruple-bypass operation had been performed, forcing Mr Clinton to resign from office during the final year of his third term1. The catalist for Mr Clinton's recent ill-health had surely been overexertion resulting from his vigourous attempts to organise humanitarian relief efforts for the people of Haiti.
But it was widely suspected that the underlying cause of the blocked coronary arteries was years of stress and junk food eating during his eleven years in the White House. And surely the pressure of those health disorders had piled up very quickly in the final three years, despite the President's pursuit of leisure activities such as jogging and also horn-blowing.
Because after September 11th the Administration pursued the ultimately successful mission to capture and bring to justice the arch-terrorist Osama Bin Laden. It was a deeply personal goal for Clinton, who was widely seen as having ignored the threat from al-qaeda during his first two terms in office.
Ironically for a politician renowned for his pursuit of women, "Slick Willy" had finally got his man.
In 2000, on this day the American cartoonist Charles Monroe Schulz died in Santa Rosa, California; he was best known worldwide for his "Peanuts" comic strip which he had run for five decades without interruption, appearing in more than 2,600 newspapers in 75 countries.
Dirty TrickIt was originally planned that the strip would outlive him, but due to a stroke the previous December he had been unable to continue producing it. Nevertheless, the day after he died a final edition was published in which Charlie Brown finally got to kick that football after so many decades. "Good shot, Charlie Brown!" says Franklin in the final frame.
"I felt like Franklin from The Charlie Brown Show. You've seen Franklin for 25 years and not one line! Nothing. Twenty five years!" ~ Chris RockSchultz original response to the suggestion had been dismissive "Oh, no! Definitely not! I couldn't have Charlie Brown kick that football; that would be a terrible disservice to him after nearly half a century". Yet, in a December 1999 interview, holding back tears, he recounted the moment when he signed the panel of his final strip, saying, "All of a sudden I thought, You know, that poor, poor kid, he never even got to kick the football. What a dirty trick - he never had a chance to kick the football".
In 2010, on this day the Prime Minister of Canada became personally involved in the First Nations' demonstrations which were severely disrupting the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
We were made for thisIronically, many Canadians were displeased with the look of the new Olympic mascots because they represented a minority population of Vancouver, being inspired by traditional First Nations creatures such as the sasquatch. And surely the protests were in stark constrast to the official image (pictured) "We Were Made for This".
Watch the Youtube Video
The first sign that the smooth operation of Games would be imperilled appeared the previous December at the Assembly of First Nations special chiefs assembly. Because Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl was presented with an ultimatum which warned the Olympics would face a prolonged campaign of disruptions unless the federal government immediately moved to resolve long-standing grievances. The chiefs had demanded the federal government commit to supporting major improvements to native education. Bill Erasums, AFN regional chief for the Northwest Territories, warning, "They have told the minister that he will have to work with the people ... [or] they will do it. There will be roadblocks, and other things".
Fortunately for the organizers, athletes were mostly unaffected because Security Forces had constructed a Baghdad-style Green Zone around the Olympic Village, but protestor's road-blocks largely prevented spectators from arriving in good time for the events. And worse, the Games were a media disaster, with televised coverage portraying a Government locked in a bitter dispute with "a country within a country". Because a terrible truth that had remained partially hidden for so long, was suddenly thrust into the public spotlight, and there was almost nothing the Canadian Government could do about it. That truth was the broad diversity celebrated by recent Canadian immigrants had never been extended to those that were here first, the First Nations. And the question was, did the Federal Government of Canada have the right to host the Olympics, because surely only an owner can invite guests to their property.
A wildcard emerged to break the long-standing deadlock. Because Head of Government Stephen Harper had been recently replaced by Raymond Chan, the first ethnic Chinese to be appointed into the cabinet, after winning the riding of Richmond in the 1993 federal election. Recognised that the history of the Chinese in Canada was every bit as horrific as their own tragedy, Special chiefs accepted Chan's good word to address the matters presented in the ultimatum.
In 2010, on this day Romeo Dallaire, Jr. completed the Olympic Torch Relay which had been conducted by thousands of Canadians of all ages and cultural backgrounds: on foot, dog sled, snowmobile, horse, plane and virtually every means of transport known to the people of Canada. The flame was first lit in Olympia in late 2009, travelling from Greece, over the North Pole to Canada's high Arctic and on to the West Coast and Vancouver.
A Son Never ForgetsDallaire's entry into BC Place Stadium commenced the XXI Olympic Winter Games (or the 21st Winter Olympics) and ended an even more remarkable and symbolic journey that had begun sixteen years before when his guardian / father had been the Commanding Officer of United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR), the ill-fated United Nations peacekeeping force charged with stopping the genocide that was being waged by Hutu extremists against Tutsis and Hutu moderates.
"Having delivered our precious cargo of souls, we were headed back to Kigali in a white UN Land Cruiser. Suddenly up ahead we saw a child wandering across the road. He was about three years old, dressed in a filthy T-shirt, the ragged remants of underwear, little more than a loincloth, dropping from his distended belly .. As I stumbled into the hut, a swarm of flies invaded my nose and mouth. The little boy was crouched beside what was left of his mother, still suckling on his biscuit. I made up my mind, this boy would be the fourth child in the Dallaire family. I couldn't save Rwanda, but I could save this child". ~ Lieutenant-General Romeo Alain Dallaire, OC, CMM, GOQ, MSC, CD
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.