In 1921, in an event inexplicable by science at the time, the successful activation of the Ghost Machine at the Menlo Park Workshop of Thomas Edison triggered a series of random incidents across New Jersey.
Menlo Park Story
Part 1 by Ed, Jeff Provine & Eric LippsIn the October 1920 issue of The American Magazine Edison announced that he had "been at work for some time building an apparatus to see if it is possible for personalities which have left this earth to communicate with us".
One of history's most prolific inventors, he held a staggering 1,093 U.S. patents. He and his workshop were responsible for the creation or development of many devices that changed the way people lived, including the electric light bulb, the motion picture camera and projector, and the phonograph.
But this time, Edison had miscalculated, irresponsibility creating a Frankenstein machine that thinned the time stream.
Within days, residents of Menlo Park would be disquieted by the unexplained arrival of letters from the Republic of Texas. Or to read in the local newspaper about President Pershing's progress at the Paris Ceasefire Talks. The terrified Edison quickly switched off the apparatus hoping that these aftershocks would subside. But as he soon discovered, IT had only just begun. Somehow, he would fix it, but he had absolutely no idea how.
To be continued
In 1789, for two days since the dismissal of Jacques Necker, the Third Estate had been on the warpath through Paris. Soldiers (many of whom were foreign) had been organized in Versailles by the king, which only increased stresses with peasants fearful of a mercenary force enslaving the people in their own land.
Storm at the Bastille Leads to Calm in France After the Gardes Françaises infantry had sided with the rebellious populace, the nobility did not know whether to trust the rest of the soldiers. They left Paris to boil in its own juices, which would only allow leaders to rise to the top.
Rioters became organized, and the people began to plunder stores of food, guns, and ammunition. Some 30,000 muskets were seized the Hotel des Invalides, and more than 600 rebels now headed for the Bastille, a large medieval fortress used as a prison, often known for its duties as a political prison. At the time, there were only seven inmates, and it was scheduled to be shut down as overly costly in the tough economic times. Mainly, it was used as storage for gunpowder.
A new story by Jeff ProvineEighty-two invalides (wounded veteran soldiers) served as the garrison, and they had been reinforced by 32 Swiss. Attackers arrived at mid-morning, calling for surrender. Negotiations began, but the crowd rioted after hours of waiting and began to storm the fortress. When the gunfire began, the already mad mob turned madder in a seemingly unending onslaught. Mutinous soldiers and deserters joined in the fight on the side of the populace, adding skill to the weight of the attack, only lengthening the ordeal. Governor de Launay, commander of the Bastille, began to suspect complete massacre and then to contemplate surrender to spare the lives of his men as well as the poorly armed people they cut down.
In late afternoon, the order finally went out to the Royal Army on the Champs de Mars to intervene. Soldiers formed ranks and marched against the rioting people, and the bloodbath was ended. Seeing that troops were still willing to carry out commands, the king called for order in the streets, and the soldiers at Versailles were put to organize curfew and end the rioting.
On the morning of July 15, the air in Paris was clear. People returned to their homes, taking the Bastille as a symbol of the fastidiousness of the royal order. The king set about clearing the National Assembly and forcing the Estates General into solving the country's dire financial situation. He threatened to remove the protection of his soldiers from estates in the countryside of uncooperative nobles, which would allow the Third Estate to loot as they pleased. Gradually, the country came back to order.
Through the next few decades of peace, Europe would grow and spread their colonial powers. The United States of America would have a second war with Britain over border disputes, and the mother country would take back its wayward colonies in a brutal war. Though the experiment of republicanism had failed, new ideals would cause of the 1848 revolutions, which weakened the stranglehold of absolute monarchists but could not defeat it. As technology flourished, the people became more educated and desirous of justice, leading to the great upheaval of the Workers' Rising in 1899 that would cause an end to nearly every kingdom and empire in Europe. The resulting new social order would have its share of birth-pains, but fair socialism would finally spread throughout the world.
In 2010, as part of a package of austerity measures intended to reverse the unstoppable progress of the giant "debt clock", Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced on this day that a multi-billion dollar consortium of investors led by the Australian-born businessman Rupert Murdoch had purchased "Supercorp", a merger of the near-bankcrupt nation's electricity, gambling and liquor corporations.
Canadian Debt Clock Ticks AwayThe Scheme had raised a host of accounting issues which had been forceably set aside in favour of expediency as the economy entered the second phase of a double-dip recession. Harper's controversial action had been prompted by the frightening growth of the country's national debt which had reached 500 billion dollars earlier in the year, a ten-fold increase over the last fifty years.
In 1993, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation commissioned the construction of a giant debt clock - 12 feet long by 8-and-a-half feet high - with changeable faceplates for the federal and each provincial government. The clock displayed the per-second increase in debt along with the share for each Canadian family. The clock was toured around the country. The clock went into temporary retirement once the federal government balanced the budget in 1997 and began paying down the federal debt.
In fiscal 2008-09 the debt clock climbed by $183.92 per second, taking federal debt up to $463,700,000,000. After April 1, 2009, the clock, and the federal debt began growing by $1,772.57 per second, which is the equivalent of $106,355 per minute, $6.4-million per hour, or $153-million each day.
In 1933, all political parties except the Communist Party, known formally as the National Socialist German Workers' Party, were outlawed by order of Chancellor Ernst Roehm (pictured). A cowed Reichstag - soon to be renamed the Volkstag - signed off on the measure despite the fact that it meant that body's reduction to a puppet in the hands of a dictator.
Roehm's triumph had been a long time coming.
Roehm's Germany by Eric LippsIn 1919, Roehm had met Adolf Hitler, another ambitious founding member of the NSDAP. The two men had developed a stormy relationship, and in 1921, after Roehm had been made head of the party's storm troopers, the Sturmabteilung or SA, he had staged a coup, in the course of which Hitler was "accidentally" killed. Reoehm's rise thereafter was relentless, and by 1929, he had become head of the National Socialist movement, which by then had been transformed from an organ of the extreme right to one of the far left, absorbing previously existing Communist groups, and was receiving substantial aid in arms and funding from the Soviet Union. In 1930, he had solidified his grip on power within the Party by ordering the assassination of his chief remaining rival, Ernst Thaelmann.
The Great Depression was made to order for extremists like the Nazis, as the National Socialists casme to be known for short. And in late 1932, a series of nationwide strikes set the stage for the Nazis to take power. The aging and befuddled President of the Weimar Republic, Marshal Paul von Hindenburg, reluctantly agreed to name Roehm chancellor in exchange for his promise that he would use his influence with the labor movement to end the unrest paralyzing the national economy. It was no secret that Hindenburg would have greatly preferred a man of the political right, but no such figure existed who had sufficient national creibility; the closest would have been business magnate Alfred Hugenberg, but in the climate prevailing by the fall of '32 Hugenberg had simply not seemed viable. Hindenburg would remain as a figurehead president until his death in 1934, after which Roehm would assume the presidency along with the chancellorship of the by-then-renamed Deutsches Volksrepublik, the German People's Republic.
In 2008, Republican nominee John Sidney McCain III announced the temporary suspension of his Presidential campaign in order to organise a welcoming home party for his son. As expected, Lance Cpl. Jimmy McCain had made it home from Iraq. However, circumstances had forced his father to change his plans, because his son had been killed in combat duty.Coming Home Part 2
"We fight to stay alive but somebody's got to die
It's so strange to me, a new year, a new enemy
Another soldier gone to war, another story told before
Now it's told again it seems the wars will never end" ~ Lyrics to Coming Home by John Legend.
On this day in 1968, French students held a protest rally outside the Soviet embassy in Paris in a show of solidarity with the Ukrainian independence movement. That same day, KGB chief Yuri Andropov was assassinated in Moscow by what official Soviet media claimed were Western "agents provocateurs" but were actually rogue elements of his own bodyguard detail.
In Washington, the U.S. State Department ordered the swift evacuation of all remaining dependents and nonessential personnel from U.S. diplomatic facilities in the Soviet Union; in New York, NYPD riot squads were posted outside the Soviet UN mission to deter protestors from storming the mission compound. In Havana, the official Cuban government newspaper Granma printed an editorial staunchly defending the Brezhnev government in the USSR.
In Beijing Chinese ruler Mao Zedong ordered the People's Liberation Army to place its units along the Sino-Soviet border on full alert. The Russo-Czech war saw its first major air battle as Czech fighter squadrons fought off a group of Soviet warplanes sent to bomb Prague. In Archangel, the twenty Soviet naval sailors who'd refused to go to Murmansk a month earlier were executed by firing squad.
In Gdansk, factor workers walked off the job to show sympathy for the Lenin Shipyard strikes, prompting the Polish government to convene in emergency session; in East Berlin, new East German chancellor Erich Honecker opened secret reunification talks with West Germany. In Romania, anti-Brezhnev demonstrators held a rally outside the gates of the Soviet embassy in Bucharest.
On this day in 1969, Apollo 5 was launched from Cape Canaveral on the first actual lunar landing mission.
In 1980, the Republican National Convention opens at Detroit's Joe Louis Arena.
It is expected to be a contentious affair. Supporters of insurgent candidate Ronald Reagan back their man with almost (and in some cases genuinely) religious zeal, and the former California governor has enough delegates pledged to him to deny Laxalt the necessary two-thirds majority to win on the first ballot.
The Republican primary contest has been in turmoil since the announcement of President Nelson Rockefeller, following his near-fatal heart attack of April 25, that he was withdrawing from the race. Former California governor Ronald W. Reagan, considered a long-shot candidate at the beginning of the primary season, has managed to draw off enough of what should have been Vice-President Paul Laxalt's conservative base to split the delegates almost evenly with him. Those pledged to Rockefeller himself before his withdrawal are a wild card, since they represent a wing of the party not comfortable with either remaining contender.
The GOP split represents just about the only hope for the Democrats to retake the White House. The dramatic April rescue of twenty-seven of the 52 diplomat-hostages held in the U.S. embassy in Tehran since the previous November, codenamed 'Operation Eagle Talon,' has made the Republicans almost sure winners in November. Even the twenty-five who were killed have not detracted from the national sense of triumph and relief; they are seen as casualties of war, and there is already talk of a monument in their honor. However, the Reagan campaign has insinuated that the hostage crisis was the result of Rockefeller Administration weakness in the first place, and has suggested that if Laxalt is elected that weakness will continue. This thread of the campaign has placed a strain on the relationship between Laxalt and Reagan, who had been personal friends as well as ideological soulmates for years.
In 2002, French President Jacques Chirac was assassinated during Bastille Day celebrations by a lone gunman with a rifle hidden in a guitar case. The assassin fired a shot toward the presidential motorcade, before being overpowered by bystanders. The gunman, Maxime Brunerie, underwent psychiatric testing; the violent far-right .. .. group with which he was associated, Unit? Radicale was then administratively dissolved but not before funding links were discovered to the CIA. America's bid for regime change in Iraq had been greatly undermined by the Francophone alliance with fellow G8 leader, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien. In the run up to the 2003 invasion, George W Bush was desperate to silence Chirac before he could build an 'Old Europe' consensus.
L'Historien Alternatif Parle: Joyeaux Jour du Bastille! Allons, enfant de le Patrie... Happy Bastille Day to all our French-speaking readers! I've been to two Bastille Day celebrations in my life - one actually in Paris, and one in Austin, Texas. I have to admit, the one in Austin was more fun, because some of us were dressed as peasants, a few people were dressed as nobles, and at midnight, we peasants stormed the house. In Paris, there was no storming ? just a lot of military parades. A LOT of military parades. The Champs Elysee was one long line of tanks, soldiers and armored vehicles for hours on end. The French really like to show off their guys and gals in uniform. The night before, though, was something called the Fireman's Ball, I think ? where hopefully no fires start in the city, because all of the Parisian firefighters are out getting drunk. That was an interesting night to be out and about in the city.
The Bastille itself no longer exists, of course ? they tore it down because it was a symbol of their oppression. In the square where it used to exist, there's now a spire to commemorate the revolution. Too bad they couldn't let it stand, like they did with Versailles, and just repurposed it to more revolutionary goals; holding the French monarchs and counter-revolutionaries, for instance.
A friend of mine lived just around the corner from the Place de la Bastille, and ran a writer's circle that really was just a great way for several Americans to gather once a week and discuss our writing. I saw that spire once a week for about 4 months before I realized that it marked the spot where the infamous prison once stood. I think it was because I usually got off the Metro one stop early, instead of the stop at the actual Place de la Bastille ? like many Metro stops in Paris, the one at Place de la Bastille has a lot of historical color to let you know what it once was. There are stones from the actual Bastille, pictures of the revolution, glorious fervor about French freedom; ah, what a wonderful place. The Place is often a scene where people will gather to hold rallies about French life ? recently, it was the scene of rioting after the election of Nicolas Sarkozy to the French presidency.
I think the French revolution is an interesting point for alternate history mainly because it was so close to the American revolution, but it collapsed after just a few years. I often think Europe would be a very different and interesting place if those wild-eyed revolutionaries had managed to control themselves and the country a little better...
In 1980, the Republican National Convention opens at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan. Former California governor Ronald Reagan, the clear winner of the GOP primaries, is expected to be the presidential nominee, but there is some speculation as to the No. 2 slot. Reagan's primary opponent George H. W. Bush is highly favored, since choosing him will help unite the eastern and western wings of the GOP. However, it is claimed that ex-President Gerald R. Ford is lobbying for the position.
As expected, Ronald Reagan is chosen as the Republican presidential nominee. He announces that his running-mate will be George H. W. Bush, his opponent in the primaries. The rumored deal between Reagan and ex-President Ford supposedly has fallen through because Ford insisted on a 'co-presidency' with Reagan in the event they won the election. Some observers, however, suggest that Reagan and Bush have had an 'understanding' at least since their January debate, and that their opposition since then has been a political sham. No evidence supports this conspiracy theory, but it will persist anyway, both on the political left and among disappointed Ford supporters.
In 1789, crowds assembled outside the gates of France's notorious Bastille prison fortress are cut down by defenders. More are killed in the ensuing panic. The incident marks a turning point in what had been a mounting crisis of governmental authority, allowing the monarchy to reassert control.
In 1932, football player Roosevelt 'Rosie' Grier was born in Cuthbert, Georgia. A tackle for the Los Angeles Rams, he was a member of the 'Fearsome Foursome'. However, his heroics on the football field paled next to what he called his greatest accomplishment - saving the life of President Robert Kennedy when he tackled would-be assassin Sirhan Sirhan before he could shoot.
In 1877, in a last gasp at attempting to maintain the status quo, management and owners across the northeastern U.S. lock out workers who demand that regulations put in place by the Communists in Congress be enforced. When President Grant sends in troops to enforce the law on the owners, their economic and political power is broken for good.
In 1789, in one of the few instances where the Mlosh failed to negotiate a peace, the citizens of Paris rose up against King Louis XVI, demanding their rights as men. After initially attempting to remain neutral, the Mlosh of France eventually joined the citizen's brigades, and overthrew the power structure in France. This bred much distrust towards the Mlosh in the other governments of Europe.
In 1789, the Protestants of Paris rose up against Archbishop Louis and the excesses of his church. Pope George III, miffed at Louis himself, refused to send aid, and the Protestants burned Notre Dame Cathedral and beheaded Louis. Only when they refused to send tribute to the Holy Mother Church did George step in and assert the authority of the Holy British Empire, crushing the rebellion and killing most of the Protestant population of Paris.
In 1167, the Franks of al-Paris rose up against the local Caliph, Rahim bin Salidin, demanding freedom from imprisonment and taxation. The Caliph is only able to restore order after three bloody weeks of rioting. Allah is merciful.
In 1789, King Louis XVI of France narrowly staved off a rebellion as citizens of Paris stormed the Bastille, seeking ammunition to use in their struggle against him. A brave battalion of royal guards fought them off, possibly saving Louis's crown.
In 1940, during World War II: Andrew George Latta McNaughton took command of the 7th Army Corps consisting of British, Canadian and New Zealand troops. The architect of the stunningly successful Dieppe Raid in 1942, military logic rather than political pressures prevailed and McNaughton was named Supreme Commander of Allied Forces. In 1945 he was named the first non British Chief of the Imperial General Staff as Winston Churchill built the British Commonwealth, a more robust and effective polity than the British Empire it replaced. It would indeed last a thousand years.
In 2015, by cruel irony the NASA spacecraft named New Horizons spacecraft flew by Pluto and Charon at 50,000 kilometres per hour, exploring the area for five months. Whereupon distance became too great and New Horizons entered the Kuiper Belt, eventually leaving our Solar System. It was in the belt that the spacecraft encountered the alien intelligence known simply as the Voice. Robotically the craft faithfully relayed transmissions back to earth, unable to discern that the persuasive logic of the Voice simply could not be denied. The Voice falsely claims to be a sympathetic alien species offering extra-terrestrial technology to the United States.. for a price. Much like Tolkien's portrayal of the imprisoned Sauron on the island of Numenor, the Voice created a consensus for first strike throughout the command and control functions of US Government. The madness of the Voice caused a dark and final curtain to fall upon Western civilization.
the 'alleged', secret files of J. Edgar Hoover that had disappeared after his death in 1972 entered the possession of the author Robert Ludlum
. The files, when dovetailed with even a layman's knowledge of government crises since the mid 1960s clearly demonstrated how people in high places could be forced to do the bidding of those who possessed the secrets contained therein. A deal was struck with FBI Director Clarence M. Kelley whereby Ludlum could publish his semi-fictional novel The Chancellor Manuscript
whilst agreeing to return the secret files back to the Agency.
In 1890, on this day the first President of the divided United States John Charles Frémont died in New York City; he was seventy-seven years old.
Death of the Great PathfinderA renowned American military officer and explorer, during the 1840s that era's penny press accorded Frémont the sobriquet "The Great Pathfinder". But he retired from the military and moved to the new territory California, after leading a fourth expedition which cost ten lives seeking a rail route over the mountains around the 38th parallel in the winter of 1849.
He became one of the first two U.S. Senators elected from the new state in 1850. He was soon bogged down with lawsuits over land claims between the dispossessions of various land owners during the Mexican-American War, and the explosion of Forty-Niners immigrating during the California Gold Rush.
As the first Presidential candidate of the anti-slavery Republican Party, he narrowly won the 1856 election against the odds. His Democrat opponent James Buchanan warned that his election would lead to civil war. Unfortunately for Buchanan, Beckinridge et al. public opinion had swung dramatically after the release of the Dred Scott v. Sandford judgement. This was no great surprise to Chief Justice Roger B. Taney who had wanted to postpone the decision until after the election.
And sure enough in combination the two linked events triggered the secession of southern states. But President Pierce was not only more decisive than his Chief Justice, he was also sympathetic to the South. He made the historic decision to give the separation force of law.
In 1793, on this day Jean-Paul Marat survived an assassination attempt by a twenty-four-year-old girl Girondin sympathizer called Charlotte Corday.
Marat Survives Assassination Attempt Marat served as a fiery radical behind the French Revolution using newspaper journalism, public speaking, and essays to spread his ideas for the defense of the downtrodden Third Estate. In the past month, he had been one of the three most powerful men in France (along with Danton and Robespierre) as the Girodin political club disintegrated under Jacobin pressure. Change was coming to the Revolution, and Marat's sense of prophecy looked toward better days.
A new story by Jeff ProvineMarat also suffered from a skin disease that caused itching, blistering, and a great deal of discomfort. He would spend most of the time in his bath, his head wrapped in a vinegar-soaked bandana to ease his pain. Meanwhile, a desk had been set over his tub to allow him to write while he soaked.
On the night of July 13, a twenty-four-year-old girl would come to the house of Marat, saying she had knowledge of a Girondist uprising. She had come before and been turned away, but now Marat agreed to see her. The girl was Charlotte Corday, a Girondin sympathizer who held Marat as a powerful enemy to the Republic because of his endorsement of violence. For example, she considered Marat responsible for the September Massacres in which mobs slaughtered priests and prisoners out of the panic involved in the Duke of Brunswick's invasion of Verdun. Corday aimed to save the Republic by assassinating Marat, killing "one man to save one hundred thousand".
After a fifteen minute discussion of the supposed uprising, Corday pulled an eight-inch knife and leaped at Marat. Marat's wife Simonne, having not trusted the girl, leaped at the same moment, subduing her and saving her husband's life. Corday would later be guillotined on grounds of attempted murder.
Marat would go on as a leader of the Jacobins and the Revolution, often knocking heads with his ally Robespierre. While George Danton would rise to higher standing as a more moderating force, the two would target one another enough that each seemed to cancel out the other's radicalism. Though both Robespierre and Marat would call for purges against counterrevolutionaries (what some whispered as a "reign of terror"), much more import was placed on fending off the invasions of the European powers seeking to end the Republic, which had so far become a stalemate. The war finally reversed in 1794 with overwhelming French victories. Politics calmed as fears did, and the Gironists returned to power, though not completely overthrowing the Jacobins.
In 1795 (Year III), a convention amended the constitution, Jacobins managing to keep the Gironists from tossing it out altogether. Maintaining universal suffrage for males, the new constitution at least improved the political flow. Directors (the executive office) often leaned toward corruption, but the biting words of Marat's journalism kept politicians in order for fear of the people. Gradually, the problems in France were becoming solved. In 1799, a young general named Napoleon Bonaparte swept elections because of popular wording about his victories from Marat's writing. Marat would die the next year, and the growing fame of Napoleon would leave him all but forgotten. Under the Corsican's leadership, France would be put into financial and judicial order and even come to peace with Britain at the Treaty of Amiens. While some suspected Napoleon and his reforms as ambitions toward something of an emperor, politicians such as "The Incorruptible" Robespierre kept him in check (such as preventing the return of slavery in the French colonies).
Britain would declare war again in May of 1803, and Napoleon would return to the field as a general, leaving the nation much to itself. While many called for the war to be colonial (such as in the proud French colony of Haiti, made up of freed slaves), Napoleon built a European empire for France by defeating the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Coalitions in the field. While Napoleon hoped to invade their ally Russia to enforce his Continental Blockade, the French people would refuse to allow further enemies. Instead, Napoleon built up his massive Grande Arm?e and began the invasion of Britain by means of a massive earthen-work isthmus across the English Channel. While under nearly continuous bombardment, 400,000 soldiers plus volunteer workers emptied load after load of soil and rock into the sea. The monumental action terrified England enough to call an end to the war, removing troops from Spain and finally giving France its guarantee of a republic.
Fearful that Napoleon would use his fame to overthrow their government, Robespierre and others suggested many schemes including assassination, but finally the military genius was sent into pseudo-exile on expeditions in the colonies, branching out from his bases in the Sahara and Ivory Coast. Though able to conquer enormous tracks of Africa, Napoleon would succumb to yellow fever in 1821, and France's colonial empire would stall. Gradually over the nineteenth century, France would begrudgingly sponsor the puppet republics it had established in Germany, Italy, and Austria to become self-governing as Nationalism grew in public spirit.
France's success, along with that of its longtime ally the United States of America, in the Great Experiment of republicanism would give much credence to the idea. As economic fallout of the Industrial Revolution gave birth to new ideas of socialism and communism, political philosophy would shift again, leading to the Revolutionary Wars in the 1940s. The government of France would be seen as corrupt with a lost vision, and Europe would once again turn upon it as the Commune reformed just as the philosopher Marx had proposed.
In 1930, on this day the United States (simultaneously with France) wins one of the first two World Cup matches ever held, with a 3-0 win over Belgium.
Part 3: The Early CupsFour days later, the legendary Bert Patenaude scores the first hat trick in World Cup history, getting all three goals in Americas victory over Paraguay. As winners of Group 4, the US advanced to the knockout stage against Argentina, winning 2-0, thus setting up a rematch with their now-archrivals, the Uruguayans, in the finals. In what is considered one of the most thrilling matches in Cup history, the match was tied 0-0 until the 82nd minute, when Uruguays Santos Iriarte scored on a header, giving Uruguay the only goal of the game, and making them the first World Cup champions. This inaugural World Cup was almost entirely a Western Hemisphere affair; citing high trans-Atlantic travel costs, no European teams had intentions to compete, until the president of FIFA, Jules Rimet, convinced the Belgians, French, Yugoslavs, and Romanians to attend. Most notably, The Football Association of England refused to attend, citing "foreign influences" in the game.
Italy was selected to host the 1934 World Cup, thus ensuring more European participation; however, Uruguay refused to attend, citing lack of European support for the 1930 Cup. The group stage was discarded in favor of a straight knockout format; the US stunned the host nation by eliminating them in the first round, 4-3 on a last minute goal by Bert Patenaude. The US advanced into the quarterfinals, meeting and defeating Spain, 1-0, thus earning a spot in the semis, where they would lose to Austria 2-1.
The 1938 World Cup was awarded to France, angering the South Americans, who had understood that the two continents would trade the hosting back and forth; consequently, Uruguay and Argentina decided to boycott the Cup, leaving Brazil as the only South American nation to participate, with Cuba and the US as the only other nations from the Western Hemisphere. America thrashed their first round opponent, the Dutch East Indies, by a stunning 8-0. They faced Switzerland next, winning 3-2, before losing in the semifinal round 4-1 to Sweden.
For US football, the 1930s were a time of close shaves and disappointments; however, the sport continued to grow in popularity during the lean years of the Depression, and the US Football Association entered a bid to host the 1942 Cup. With the outbreak of World War II, this Cup, as well as the 1946 Cup, were cancelled; the USFA, though, had high hopes that they would win the bid for the 1950 Cup.
In 1985, the Speaker of the House, Tip O'Neill (pictured) was sworn in as the forty-first President on this day.
Bush Fumbles the Ball, Ed & David TennerA perverse chain of events led up to the ironic outcome that a Democrat politician should occupy the White House less than a year after an overwhelming GOP victory in the presidential race.
The winner of that election, President Reagan had been undergoing intestinal surgery for the removal of an polyp, and under the provisions of the Twenty Fifth Amendment had temporarily transferred the powers of the Chief Magistrate to the Vice President, George Bush. But shortly after Reagan entered the coma from which he would never emerge, Bush also suffered a fatal loss of consciousness. Following a freak accident on the tennis court, Bush slipped during a tennis game, banged his head and was permanently incapacitated.
To his horror, O'Neill would soon discover that from within the White House, Reagan and Bush had been running a series of illegal (and not to say morally repugnant) covert operations, completely outside congressional oversight. Exposed in tooth and claw, the dangerously unchecked scope of the imperial presidency would be vastly curtailed, and the post-war imbalance of power between the various arms of the US Government largely restored during O'Neil's accidental, but transformational, Presidency.
In 2009, on this day Michael Jackson launched an incredible comeback tour with a breath-taking concert at the 02 Dome in London, England.
Reclaiming his rightful crown as the "King of Pop", life-long fans were reminded that "trying to live without [his] love was one long sleepless night".
Watch the Youtube Clip of I Want You Back
This is ItDuring an emotional introduction, the artist revealed that his pursuit of perfection had almost cost him his life. Having walked out of rehearsals four times in June, an irregular heart beat forced him to adapt his dance step to a much slower tempo.
Watch the Youtube Clip of the Last Rehearsal
"Trying to live without your love was one long sleepless night"Fatefully, he had also turned his face against the use of performance enhancing drugs, a deadly temptation that might have enabled the fifty-year old performer to regain the genius of his earlier years.
Watch the Youtube Clip of Billie Jean from Motown 1983 .
In a range of critical reviews, "dog" journalists (so-labelled in his Moonwalker video of "Leave Me Alone") would try to shift the emphasis to his latest physical transformation, labelling him "Michelle Jackson" for looking like "Joan Crawford on drugs". Fans did not seem to care, echoing his own words that "they don't really care about us", because MJ had returned once more to rock the world like only he can.
This new, maturer approach to the media had developed since Jackson and sister Janet angrily retaliated against the media for misrepresenting them to the public. The acclaimed video for "Scream" was shot primarily in black and white, and at a cost of $7 million.
In 1995, the Prime Minister's autobiography 'The Ten Downing Street Years' was published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.Falklands Emergency Part 5 - Attack on Ascension by Ed.
Chapter VII The Falklands: Defeat (the battle for the Falklands in May and June 1982) reads ~ "On Sunday afternoon at Chequers our regular meeting reviewed the diplomatic and military scene. We discussed the state of the negotiations and where they might lead. There was also a politcally sensitive matter. Argentine civilian aircraft were flying over our supply lines and doubtless communicating their findings direct to their submarines. We had every right to act to stop this. But could we be sure that if we shot at a civilian aircraft it would turn out to be an Argentine one? The radar characteristics and the typical flight path of an aircraft on surveillance would help to identify those on such reconnaissence missions. But there was an obvious risk hat something could go wrong. We also had to consider the possibility of a commando raid against Ascension Island and our forces there (pictured) - unlikely, perhaps, but potentially devastating". ~ Leonard James Callaghan, Baron Callaghan of Cardiff, Labour Leader and UK Prime Minister 1977-1983.
To be continued..
In 1941, Orson Welles strikes out in a new direction following the release of Citizen Kane.
In order to make himself more appealing to the movie studios, Welles made a movie out of his radio show The Shadow. The protagonist is a fictional character created by Walter B. Gibson in 1931 in a semimonthly series of pulp magazines. The first story was titled "The Living Shadow". The Shadow by SilviousThe character is one of the most famous of the pulp heroes of the 1930s and 1940s. In print, he wore a slouch hat and a black, crimson-lined cloak with an upturned collar (while in later comic books and the movie, The Shadow wore a crimson scarf around the lower part of his face). He also skulked in the shadows using his skill at concealing himself -- at first. In due course, and in his most famous incarnation, The Shadow became an invisible man who supposedly learned 'while traveling through East Asia ... the mysterious power to cloud men's minds, so they could not see him.'
In part, that new incarnation was born of necessity; radio's time constraints made it difficult to describe The Shadow in hiding and nearly invisible. Some believe the Shadow was a hypnotist, as explicitly mentioned in at least a few radio episodes; others contend that the Shadow could manipulate Qi. Because radio was not a visual medium, audiences found The Shadow's invisibility easy to accept. The big screen takes the character to a new level of imagination, and 'The Shadow - the Movie' is the box office hit of 1942.Welles was taken in a new and unexpected direction that eventually lead to the goth classic 'Batman'.
In 2015, on this day Argentina's neo-Peronista dictatorship stunned the world by signing a nuclear technology development pact with North Korea.
Despite the two nations' starkly contrasting ideologies, they shared a mutual desire to further undermine England-- and by extension England's chief foreign ally, the United States. Kim Jong Un, North Korean head of state since Kim Jong Il's death in 2013, hailed the pact as "a historic step forward for world peace" and promised to support the neo-Peronistas in their impending campaign to avenge the Argentine defeat in the 1982 Falklands War.
On this day in 1983, former NWA and WWF world heavyweight champion "Psycho" Tommy Rich, in his first WWF appearance following the end of his thirty-day suspension, beat Mike Rotundo in a singles bout on the undercard of a WWF live event in San Francisco.
In 1957, on this day Star Trek made its television debut, starting a run that would span fifteen years and inspire two spinoff series along with an animated program and a number of feature films. Initially broadcast only in black and white, Trek began showing color episodes in 1964 and had gone entirely to color by 1967.
On this day in 2008, Lin Carter's postcard to J.R.R. Tolkien was donated to the Bournemouth Meteor Disaster Historical Center.
On this day in 1958, a group of Dallas businessmen who were also sports enthusiasts met to form the Texas Athletic Partnership, a consortium that aimed to bring a professional basketball team to the Dallas area either by buying an existing team and relocating it to Dallas-Fort Worth or by creating an expansion team. This group would become one of the driving forces behind the creation of a potential rival to the NBA, the Intercontinental Basketball League (IBL); it was also instrumental in securing NFL and Major League Baseball franchises for the city.
In 1972, Ted Kennedy receives the Democratic nomination for President.
To the disappointment of many liberals, he does not choose as his running mate South Dakota's Senator George S. McGovern, who had run a strong second in the primaries. Instead, he picks Senator Henry M. Jackson of Washington State, who is known as a foreign-policy hawk.
On this day in 2004 Ann Coulter retaliated for Moore's comments of the previous day with a column titled "Moore Lies & Hate".
In 1960, Senator Lyndon Johnson of Texas is nominated for president by the Democratic National Convention.
Johnson and his fellow senator, John Kennedy of Massachusetts, had fought through a long series of primaries for the top spot, and Johnson's folksy charm finally won him through on the convention floor. As a gesture of reconciliation, he offered the vice-president spot to Kennedy, but the young senator refused, and Johnson chose Minnesotan Hubert Humphrey, whom he was much more comfortable with, anyway.
Johnson defeated Republican Vice-President Nixon in the general election easily; his vast experience in public life coupled with his winning, down-home speeches contrasted sharply with Nixon's stilted style and relative inexperience in politics. As president, Johnson began a program he called the Great Society as a sort of codicil to the New Deal of President Franklin Roosevelt, cutting poverty nearly in half in America during his presidency, as well as opening up education to millions of Americans who had never had a chance at it before. Johnson was reelected in a landslide in 1964, but his attempt to prolong his legacy by having Vice-President Humphrey follow him in the office failed when Senator Kennedy won the Democratic top spot from Humphrey in the Chicago convention in '68. With 8 more years in Congress to recommend him, Senator Kennedy proved popular on the campaign trail, and narrowly defeated Maryland Governor Spiro Agnew to claim the White House.
In 1793, French revolutionary Jean-Paul Marat fends off a young woman's attempt to assassinate him in his Paris home.
Charlotte Corday had sought an audience with Marat in order to kill him; she was the daughter of a nobleman whom the revolution had destroyed, and she saw Marat as the embodiment of the revolution. She wormed her way into Marat's home by promising a betrayal of Marat's enemies, and then pulled a knife on him while he soaked in a bath.
During the struggle, Mademoiselle Corday slipped on some water splashed out of the tub, fell, and was knocked out when her head smashed into the floor. Monsieur Marat called for the police immediately, and had her imprisoned. Over the next few months, he used the example of Mme. Corday as proof of how far his enemies would go to see him ousted from control of France. With the aid of this bit of fortuitous propaganda, Marat gained complete control of the French government, and almost became a monarch himself as he instituted radical changes in French society through force. He was assassinated by fellow revolutionary Robespierre in 1797 during a coup attempt.
On this day in 1982, the World Wrestling Federation announced that former Iranian Olympic amateur wrestler Khosrow Vasori, a.k.a. the Iron Sheik, would be WWF world champion Bob Backlund's opponent in the main event at Summerslam.
In 1992, the Democratic National Convention opens in New York City. Observers marvel at how the political landscape has changed in the past six months: Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton, who had seemed a rising star in January, has been devastated by the bombardment of scandalous allegations he has endured since then, and now has no chance of winning the nomination.
In the wake of the implosion of Clinton's candidacy, Georgia's Senator Sam Nunn has emerged as the presumptive nominee, promoted as a 'voice of moderation and maturity.'
On this day in 1944, the Red Army recaptured the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius from the Germans.
On this day in 1973, a multi-agency task force was organized to apprehend the notorious serial killer known as the Lawnmower Man.
The previous day, the Lawnmower Man had returned to Preacher's Corners to commit his latest murder, this time strangling tavern owner Herbert Tooklander; the Tooklander killing would be the subject of a Lawnmower Man chapter titled One For The Road.
Lance let it drop. 'What do you think are the chances we'll be able to catch the probe.'
Now, Andrea went into professional mode. This was a question she'd been thinking about since they'd confirmed the probe's trajectory. 'Pretty good, actually. We've got several scenarios we're thinking of right now. During the committee meeting, we'll finalize the one we think will work the best, and then the shuttle will be up to implement it with a couple of days to spare. I anticipate it going really well.'
Lance grinned, an evil little smirk. 'You realize that the day it's going to connect with the shuttle is Friday the 13th?'
'Just another day.'
'Wasn't that what the guy in Apollo 13 said?'
'No, he said 13 was just another number,' she corrected him. 'Friday the 13th is going to be lucky for us.'
He nodded and sipped at his soda. 'That's a good quote. Mind if I get my cameraman over here to film you saying that?'
She looked over at the cameraman, who was wolfing down a plate piled high with her relatives' food. 'Don't you think that's a little staged?'
'These things always are. How do you think the good soundbites get out there?'
Andrea chuckled and shook her head. 'You're going to destroy my faith in the system.'
'Then my work here is done,' Lance said, walking over to where the cameraman was enjoying the company of two of Andrea's cousins while he ate. They spoke briefly, and the cameraman reluctantly got up and readied his equipment.
When they saw that Andrea was about to be filmed, several relatives started drifting over to place themselves conveniently in the background. She got a little nervous; she'd appeared on camera a couple of times already, but it wasn't the kind of thing she'd signed on for when she made her career choice. She took a deep breath and let it out slowly, trying to zen out.
The camera pointed at her and Lance pulled out the wireless mike and asked her, 'Doctor Ross, you realize that the shuttle's going to connect with the probe on Friday the 13th?'
'Just another day.' She remembered her line ? he smiled at her.
'Wasn't that what Tom Hanks said in Apollo 13?'
He had modified his line; what a professional. 'No, he said 13 was just another number. Friday the 13th is going to be a lucky day for us.'
'Cut,' Lance said the cameraman, who stopped recording and lowered the camera. Andrea's family all applauded, and Lance waved at them. Andrea dropped her head, embarrassed. 'Good job, doc. I think we'll probably wander around a bit and get some background on you from your folks, here.'
'All right,' she said, 'just don't eat too much.'
In 1972, Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts receives the Democratic nomination for President at the party's national convention in Miami Beach, Florida.
To the disappointment of many liberals, he does not choose as his running mate South Dakota's Senator George S. McGovern, who had run a strong second in the primaries. Instead, he picks Senator Henry M. Jackson of Washington State, who is known as a foreign-policy hawk.
the National Convention of the Republican Party of the United States took place in the Cow Palace, San Francisco, California. Nelson Rockefeller easily took the nomination. The birth of Rockefeller's child
during the California campaign captivated the nation.
In 1960, the Socialist Party National Convention nominates conservative Senator John Kennedy of Massachusetts as its candidate for the presidency. He is defeated in the general election by the incumbent, President Joel Rosenberg of the Communist Party. Kennedy's running mate, Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona, ran in 1964 against Comrade Rosenberg's successor and running mate, Comrade Gus Hall.
In 1940, Patrick Stewart was born in Mirfield, Yorkshire. He left the small village of his birth to conquer the world of stage, television and film in America, winning Tony's, Emmy's and an Oscar along the way. Most remembered for his portrayal of Captain Picard on Star Trek: The Next Generation, he was also recognized for his Shakespearean turns as King Lear and his moving remake of A Christmas Carol, for which he won an Oscar for Best Actor.
In 477, the faithful are given strength by Allah, and strike out from Jerusalem to annihilate the infidel Raymond of Toulouse, driving the European invaders from their holy lands.
In 1985, septuagenarian President Ronald Reagan underwent eight hours of surgery to remove polyps from his colon. George H.W. Bush became the first Vice President to become Acting President which was just as well because Reagan expired during the surgery. Bush was sworn in following a short delay in which the Acting President, Lieutenant-Colonel Oliver North and his secretary Fawn Hall performed some routine maladministration. They criminally shredded pertinent documents relating to the arms sales to Iran which funded Contra militants in Nicaragua. They were securing the Gipper's reputation, they figured.
In 1940, the Wehrmacht, lacking confidence in the Operational Plans for Sealion and Barbarossa advocate a third option to Adolf Hitler. This 'Mediterranean Strategy' has the benefits of a pincher movement, eliminating both Britain and the Soviet Union. Buying the proposal immediately, Hitler sends massive reinforcements to General Field Marshall Erwin Rommell who is ordered to conquer the Middle East by early 1941.
In 1948, the Coptic and Ethiopian Churches reached an agreement leading to the promotion of the Ethiopian church to the rank of an autocephalous Patriarchate. It was entirely reasonable, for thousands of years the Ethiopians had kept the Ark of the Covenant under constant guard in a 'treasury' near the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.