In 1945, in the final days of the German People's Republic, Buchenwald concentration camp guards murdered Reichwehr Paymaster Karl Mayr on the executive orders of his former agent Comrade Adolf Hitler.
Death of a PaymasterTwenty five years before, Mayr; headed-up the Education and Propaganda Department of the Bavarian Reichswehr Group Command. Tasked with preventing the formation of a Bavarian Soviet Republic, he encouraged demobilizing servicemen to spy on right-wing organizations such as the German Workers Party.
A reactionary from the Imperial era, he was no friend of the German working class. However he went too far by encouraging Corporal Hitler to express profoundly racist views on the Jewish Question, creating a grudge that lasted for over two decades. Stung by rejection, he spread filthy lies that Hitler himself had Jewish ancestry, pushing him into the arms of the Communist Party that he was charged with undermining. And after Hitler's Communist Party seized power in 1933, Mayr fled to France. But after the German invasion of France in 1940, he was arrested in Paris by the Secret Police. Mayr was taken back to Germany, where on 9 February 1945 he was killed in Buchenwald concentration camp. This is a teaser for Chris Oakley's Comrade Hitler thread.
In 1773, on this day ninth President of the United States William Henry Harrison was born in Charles City, Virginia Colony.
Harrison Recovers From IllnessHe was rather fortunate to recover from a small cold that he had contracted on his inaugural day. Although he had intended to show his stamina by remaining outdoors as much as possible, the bitter cold of the day had forced him to rethink that decision, otherwise the cold he caught might have been much worse.
Another of his decisions that might have deserved a rethink was the Treaty of Guadeloupe Hidalgo. Based on a story by Robbie TaylorWelcomed at the time as a skillfully negotiated settlement that avoided unnecessary conflict with Mexico, in some quarters the Treaty sparked fierce criticism that the guarantee of Texas as an independent state would create an obstacle to westward expansion.
To the dismay of Harrison, the frustrated supporters of a coast-to-coast vision were soon proven correct. Because the discovery of Gold in California ensured that for decades to come Mexico would retain a strategic long-term interest in the south-western region. And as the Mexicans had intended, Texas would serve as a buffer state with the US.
In 1814, on this day the nineteenth President of the United States, Samuel Jones Tilden (pictured) was born in the town of New Lebanon, Columbia County in New York State.
Samuel J. Tilden
19th US PresidentHe studied law at Yale and New York Universities before being admitted to the bar. A skilled corporate lawyer, he became rich representing many railroad companies during the shaky railroad boom decade of the 1850s. He also was a member of the New York State Assembly and a delegate to the New York State Constitutional Convention of 1846. In 1848, largely on account of his personal attachment to Martin Van Buren, he participated in the revolt of the "Barnburners" or Free-Soil faction of the New York Democrats. He was among the few such who did not join the Republican Party and, in 1855, was the candidate of the Soft faction for New York State Attorney General.
Tilden became chairman of the Democratic State Committee after the Civil War. After having good relations to William M. Tweed and working closely together with him in the Democratic Party, Tilden came into conflict with the Tweed ring of New York City. Corrupt New York judges were the ring's tools, and Tilden, after entering the New York State Assembly in 1872 to promote the cause of reform, took a leading part in the judges' impeachment trials. By analyzing the bank accounts of certain members of the ring, he obtained legal proof of the principle on which the spoils had been divided. As a reform-spirited Governor in 1874, he turned his attention to a second set of plunderers, the "Canal Ring", made up of members of both parties who had been systematically robbing New York State through the maladministration of its canals. Tilden succeeded in breaking them up.
His successful service as governor gained him the presidential nomination. In one of the closest contests in American Presidential history, he narrowly won the general election, beating Republican Candidate Rutherford B. Hayes only by gaining a majority of the districts in the State of Pennsylvania. The outcome was heavy with consequence, because the disposition and outlook of this man could shape the future of the nation. Because he entered office with the need to confront the explosive issue of whether Reconstruction should continue.
In 2008, at his muted arrival on the Moon Colony, the outspoken austeritarian GOP candidate Rick Santorum provoked an instant reaction by telling reporters that the purpose of his visit was to "find out exactly what America had got for its hundred billion bucks" and lay bare that truth at the Lunar Presidential Debate.
Lunar Liberty Part FourThroughout the campaign Santorum had faced sharp criticism from advocates of the Space Program who pointed to American history for examples where costly outlays had been followed by long-term payback from unexpected developments. Dismissed by Horace Greeley of the New York Tribune as a "frozen wasteland" Alaska became one of the best investments America ever made. The passage of the Transcontinental Pacific Railroad Act created a roadmap to world hegemony, even though at the time it was impossible to justify the investment with a sound business case. And the Kelly Airmail Act opened the door to ubiquitous passenger flight.
Nevertheless it seemed inevitable that these Kennedyesque "new frontier" aspirational arguments would fail to prevent austerity budget cuts from mothballing the base. But then something totally unexpected happened and it transpired that Space Exploration really had opened a new doorway.
During his visit, Santorum received a top security briefing and was advised of the recent discovery of an alien monitoring probe. According to archivist Newton Leroy Gingrich, this device was tens of thousands of years old and had been left at the dawn of mankind in a location on the Moon where it would be undisturbed. Somewhat alarmingly, it had just begun transmitting a tightly-beamed signal to a remote part of the Galaxy. Potentially including photographic images of Gingrich's over-sized cranium which suggested a tangential development in human evolution. Of course it was more widespread coverage than Santorum had been expecting when he boarded the space plane.
This post is an article from the Lunar Liberty thread.
In 1861, in a surprising turn, longtime Congressional Representative Alexander Stephens was chosen as President for the provisional government of the Confederate States of America to hold office until formal elections could be held.
Alexander Stephens Elected CSA PresidentThe constitutional convention meeting in Montgomery, Alabama, had been expected to choose Jefferson Davis, who had twice served as senator from Mississippi as well as being the Secretary of War under Franklin Pierce. However, it became clear that Davis would rather serve his country as a general, and so Stephens was chosen, as he was also a moderate, instead of fiery secessionists Howell Cobb and Robert Toombs. While Toombs had called for war almost immediately (his farewell speech to the US Senate had included, "as one man would meet you upon the border with the sword in one hand and the torch in the other"), Stephens was slow to raise arms. Earlier in the convention that elected him, he campaigned against secession and detailed the American political system with the Republicans holding a minority in Congress and, even if any laws were to be passed around them, the Supreme Court would continue the status quo, as it had in its 7-2 decision in the Dred Scott case four years before.
A new story by Jeff ProvineGeorgia native Stephens had always seemed to best understand the mechanics behind the obvious. Despite growing up poor, benefactors had paid for his education, and he passed the Georgia bar at age 24 after graduating at the top of his class. He was routinely ill, even from childhood, but he was a masterful lawyer who, in his 34 years of practice, never had a client charged with a capital crime meet the death penalty. As he became wealthy and established himself with land and slaves, he returned the generosity he had been given by opening his own home to the homeless and paying for more than one hundred students' educations. Even though he was constantly thin from illness, he earned the nickname "The Strongest Man in the South" from his intelligence and craftiness. Stephens went on to Washington as a Representative as a Whig, Unionist, and finally Democrat. His self-described "greatest glory of my life" would be the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act in the House by use of rare point of order, thus bringing popular sovereignty to the territory despite the Missouri Compromise limiting slavery to the South.
After the election of 1860 gave Lincoln the White House, Stephens was sent as a delegate to the convention judging the question of secession. Stephens opposed it, arguing that the South bide its time, but was eventually convinced on the grounds of the North not abiding by the Fugitive Slave Law. As one of his first acts in the presidency, Stephens gave his impromptu "Cornerstone Speech" in Savannah describing the new constitution the convention had written, clarifying its differences from that of the United States. While Lincoln referred to the famous line "all men are created equal" in the Declaration of Independence, Stephens replied, "Our new Government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas" and called slavery a "natural and moral condition". Stephens also outlined economic independence rather than the Federalism of the North, stating, "If Charleston harbor needs improvement, let the commerce of Charleston bear the burden. If the mouth of the Savannah river has to be cleared out, let the sea-going navigation which is benefited by it, bear the burden".
Finally, Stephens also noted the significance of Fort Sumter, which would prove the first issue of his presidency. Lincoln, only a month into his own presidency, ordered a relief expedition after skillfully dodging any agreements with the South that would have served as a political recognition of the CSA instead of considering it a rogue government. He notified South Carolina's Governor Pickens of a delivery of "provisions only", and Pickens turned to General P.G.T. Beauregard, who relayed the information to Stephens. While his cabinet (interestingly, though, not Secretary of State Robert Toombs) called for an attack to clear out the fort, Stephens ordered the CSA to stand down, and Lincoln achieved his goal of feeding Sumter. Stephens was declared "yellow" by many, but the political tide turned back to favor the South a month later when the heavy-handed actions of Union General Lyon in the West attacked parading Missouri State Militia called up by secessionist Governor Claiborne "Fox" Jackson.
While not enough to swing Virginia's support to the South, Yankees were increasingly perceived as brutes, tarnishing Lincoln's image, who sent additional troops to Missouri and Kansas, resulting in secession by Arkansas. Guerilla fighting continued, but it was never enough to make a full move against the South without seeming the aggressor. The quasi-war dragged on for years until Lincoln lost his bid at reelection in 1864, and President Horace Greeley was elected by Copperheads to end the war.
Stephens retired the presidency after his single term (as per the CSA constitution) in 1867 as a hero who had "waited out the Union" and became governor of Georgia, confirming the supremacy of the states. The Confederacy continued on its states' rights, later seeing the secession of the Republic of Texas in 1874 (who later had a number of military disputes with both the US and CS as the West became settled). Attempts were made to add Caribbean and Middle American states to the Confederacy, but each turned into either military blunders or economic burdens. By the 1890s, the South was seen as economically and culturally stunted compared to the great wealth and strength of the industrialized North. A movement began around the turn of the century to rejoin the Union, but many on both sides would refuse. President Theodore Roosevelt's 1907 Goodwill Tour proved for naught after it brought international attention to the deplorable poverty of newly freed Africans and entrenched the crippling conservatism of the nation.
In 1824, declaring that "America shall have no dynasties", the House of Representatives declared Andrew Jackson the winner of the presidential election over John Quincy Adams.
No DynastiesAdams, the son of former president John Adams, bowed to the decision gracefully, and entered the judiciary as a Jackson appointee.
Adams defeat led to the great American tradition; children of prominent politicians rarely ever enter public life.
In 1903, Theodore Herzl begins lobbying among his fellow Zionists in favor of an offer received in August from the British government to facilitate a substantial Jewish settlement in British East Africa. Herzl's effort at once provokes a split within the Zionist movement. Many reject the proposal outright, insisting that only the Holy Land, to which Zionist settlers had been emigrating since the 1880s, will do for a Jewish homeland. Others, however, see practical value in accepting the offer, since efforts to persuade either the British or the Ottoman Sultan to allow large-scale Jewish settlement of Palestine have failed. At a crucial meeting of the Zionist Congress in Basel in 1905, the proposal receives the approval of a bare majority of the organization.The Curse of Ham by Eric LippsOver the next decade, growing numbers of Jews choose to emigrate to British East Africa, where the British soon find themselves committed to protecting the settlers from attacks by Masai 'savages' who resent any sort of white occupation of their land. The cost of this effort leads the British government to reluctantly agree to allow the settlers to arm themselves, creating the nucleus of the Zionist Freedom Army.
The rise of Hitler gave renewed impetus to the Uganda Project as well as to Zionist dreams of settling in Palestine itself. Winston Churchill himself, anxious to foster a haven for Jews fleeing the Nazis but unwilling to allow them to enter the Mandate of Palestine in large numbers, lends political support to efforts to create a full-fledged Ugandan Army, the Uganda Defense Force. UDL resistance will play a significant role in hindering the Wehrmacht's efforts in East Africa.
The end of the war and the revelation of the Holocaust produce a conundrum for the Zionist movement. By this time, the last Masai resistance has been defeated and Uganda has been developed into a successful Jewish-ruled state--but the 'Palestine faction,' including David Ben-Gurion, remains strong and committed to driving the British from what its members see as land belonging to the Jewish people by divine decree. Meanwhile, the Jewish colonizers of Uganda are no longer what they once were: shaped by decades of conflict with black Africans and trade with other white-ruled states in sub-Saharan Africa, they have evolved an apartheid state, borrowing the word itself from South Africa's Nationalist Party. Heavily outnumbered by the Masai and other native blacks, they have adopted a martial lifestyle involving universal military service, and tend to elevate top-ranking military officers to the prime minister ship and other key positions.
Meanwhile, in Palestine, a fierce guerrilla war drags on. Drained of men and resources which might otherwise have brought victory, Ben-Gurion's movement fights on. Leaders of this guerrilla force bitterly resent their Ugandan cousins' refusal to come to their aid. In fact, though, the Ugandans' aloofness from the Palestinian conflict is based on their fears that if they divert any significant portion of their military strength from their own defense, the black 'enemies' they see as encircling them on all sides with the crumbling of the old colonial empires will close in and destroy them.
Another factor also plays a role. The Ugandans have evolved a strongly right-wing political order, while the Zionists of Palestine are heavily influenced by socialism. With the coming of the Cold War, that ideological split has assumed political importance, trumping even the two factions? shared Jewish identity. It does not help that the Soviet Union, seeking influence and hoping to undermine British and American power in the region, has supported the Palestinian Zionists, supplying them with arms, food and other aid.
In 1957, aided by Gama Abdel Nasser of Egypt, the Palestinian Zionists finally succeed in taking control of most of the former British mandate, with the exception of a rump state on the opposing side of the Jordan River which will soon be taken over by a Hashemite Arab monarchy. The newly proclaimed 'State of Israel,' dependent upon support from Cairo as well as Moscow, will not expel its Arab residents. Instead, over the course of years, a system of subtle favoritism will evolve under which, despite the government's official commitment to 'socialist equality,' Jews will receive the best jobs, the best educations, and other advantages.
Despite the unfairness of this system, Israel's Arabs will be better off than Uganda's blacks, who will be subjected to far more stringent controls reflecting the fears of their much more heavily outnumbered rulers. Native Ugandans will be increasingly confined to menial labor, especially in the mineral-rich country's mines. Among the Jews of Uganda, some will object to this racial stratification of society; more, however, will accept it uncritically, aided by the Ugandan government's fostering of the 'curse of Ham' myth that God Himself had ordained black servitude.
On this day in 1945, Grand Admiral Karl Doenitz, acting chancellor of the Third Reich since Hermann Goering's suicide the previous day, ordered the remnants of the German armed forces to surrender to the Allies.
At the time he issued this directive Allied troops had completely encircled his underground headquarters in the ruins of Berlin; one infantry platoon was less than two blocks from Admiral Doenitz's headquarters.
In 1986, space shuttle Challenger lifts off from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida, carrying Francis R. Scobee as commander, Michael J. Smith as pilot, mission specialists Judith A. Resnik, Ronald E. McNair and Ellison Onizuka, and 'teacher in space' Christa McAuliffe. The weather at Canaveral is considerably warmer than it had been on their original liftoff date of Jan. 28. Its mission, officially dubbed STS-51-L, will prove uneventful except for the publicity surrounding Ms. McAuliffe's presence as the first civilian in orbit, the so-called teacher in space.
In 1950, Comrade Senator Ted Astley of Washington Soviet accused the State Department of harboring known capitalists and fellow-travelers. He claimed to have a list of dozens of card-carrying capitalists, which he never made public, but which helped to make life hard for many Americans who had flirted with capitalist ideology in their youth.
In 1993, following his unexpected success in classical music, former Pete Best bandmate Paul McCartney releases his operetta Off The Ground. It follows the theme he had laid out in his Liverpool Oratorio of the dignity and beauty of love of the people of Liverpool in post-war England. The mature sound he was able to create delighted classical critics and audiences alike, and McCartney left popular music behind after this.
In 1952, Juan Escobar drives his rented car from Houston into the small town of Bryan, Texas. He visits the site of Toledo's, a diner burned down by mysterious forces, in the words of the fire marshall. He speaks with the owner and gets a good picture of those forces.
In 12-14-12-10-13, the Voice of the Gods, Tsiropoctli of Uaxactun, was born. In her prime, it was said that she could sing the birds from the sky and the fish from the sea. Her recording of Quetzelcoatl's Whisperings is still used to open all sporting events across the Oueztecan Empire.
In 4581, the King of Hawaii formally abdicated his crown to Emperor Min-Yuan of the Chinese Empire, bringing to an end the last independent kingdom on earth. Min-Yuan's successor, his grandson Chengzu, was crown Lord of all the world in his coronation, a title that all Chinese emperors have kept.
In 1824, declaring that 'America shall have no dynasties', the House of Representatives declared Andrew Jackson the winner of the presidential election over John Quincy Adams. Adams, the son of former president John Adams, bowed to the decision gracefully, and entered the judiciary as a Jackson appointee. Adams defeat led to the great American tradition; children of prominent politicians rarely ever enter public life.
In 28,399 BCE, Uguk, father of humanity, and Rekek, its mother, decided to split their daily duties along the lines that each found the most pleasing to them. Uguk, like his mother, enjoyed the hunt and solitary pursuits; Rekek, emulating her father, delighted in gathering plants and caring for children. Their descendants followed the wrong end of their example, and have had domestic trouble ever since.
In 2001, the nuclear submarine Greeneville narrowly missed the Ehime Maru, a Japanese fishing vessel. Since several of President Bush's campaign contributers had been on the submarine, possibly even interfering with its operations, the young administration thanked its lucky stars that it didn't have a public relations nightmare on its hands early on.
In 1820, on this day Union General and later President of the United States William Tecumseh Sherman was born in Lancaster, Ohio, near the banks of the Hocking River.
Birth of President ShermanA West Point graduate, he received recognition for his outstanding command of military strategy as well as criticism for the harshness of the "scorched earth" policies that he implemented in conducting total war against the Confederate States. But to his troops, he was known simple as Cump, and Uncle Billy.
He received the Thanks of Congress two years running. And after his elevation to the Presidency, he pursued reconstruction with the same vigour. In 1883 in accordance with Article V of the Constitution, he called upon Congress to repeal the tenth amendment. Because the Founding Fathers had envisaged a system of dual sovereignty under which the general government would (only) enjoy a delegated sphere of power. And in the tenth amendment, Anti-Federalists thought they had won a legal safeguard against central encroachment.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
But the legal safeguard was put aside in 1798 by the passage of the Sedition Act. And the central government and the states then entered a sixty year period of jockeying for authority including threats and then finally moves to nullify legislation and then finally secede from the Union. Both of which were priveleges that the Founding Fathers believed were enshrined by States Rights. The decision was finally settled by the seven year States War . The political elite searched for means to prevent the repeat of such a terrible cycle of destructive violence. And they concluded that the answer was to eliminate state sovereignty by repealing the the tenth amendment.
In 1952, on this day Elizabeth II was proclaimed Queen of the United Kingdom.
This post was written by Dirk Puehl the highly recommended author of #onthisday #history Google+ posts.
Elizabeth Mountbatten-Windsor, Queen of HeartsDirk Puehl writes - "The sovereign has under a constitutional monarchy such as ours, three rights - the right to be consulted, the right to encourage, the right to warn". (Walter Bagehot, 1867)
When the "Maléter Note" reached the British Foreign Ministry, a warning by the commander of an armoured division stationed in Budapest that the Soviets were about to crush the Hungarian insurgents on October 29th, the young Queen Elizabeth II, in office for just three years was shown top secret government papers for the first time - in this particular case the plans of the imminent Anglo-French invasion of Egypt.
It was probably her estrangement towards Winston Churchill and his opposition against the dismemberment of the Empire that made the young Queen remind Prime Minister Anthony Eden of his promise "peace comes first, always" - and a remarkably farsighted assessment of Great Britain's post-war role. The US and Soviets already struggling for influence in the Near and Middle East would not let a war against Egypt go unpunished - and the US special allies could hardly condemn a Soviet invasion of Hungary and support a Western attack on Egypt, especially with Eisenhower's support of the decolonisation process.
The young queen's exertion of influence behind the scenes did cause some upheaval in British and French military circles, but the task force of 6 six allied aircraft carriers and a battleship did nothing but threaten off the Egyptian coast - while Khrushchev threatened the UK, France and Israel with a massive "rocket attack" should they dare to attack Nasser's Egypt or the Suez Canal - and invaded Hungary. A signal towards potential Arab allies about how the Soviet Union would treat their foederati if they didn't toe the line. A major setback for Soviet influence in the Middle East.
The first immediate lesson the U.K. as well as France learned beyond ultra-conservative sabre-rattling was the necessity of a third power in the emerging cold war if both ex world powers wouldn't want to be on the drip of either the US and the USSR forever - the latter's foreign minister Molotov made France an offer almost too good to refuse: French neutrality and withdrawal from the NATO versus cessation of Soviet support for Algerian rebels.
But Prime Minister Guy Mollet decided to stick to the West - and, not without the leverage of the new "Queen of Hearts", arranged the quiet integration of France into the Commonwealth of Nations - with Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway following within the next five years. The third power, the Commonwealth, had indeed been established in the Mid-Sixties.
In 1936, on this day 31st President of the United States Charles Curtis passed away in Washington, D.C. aged seventy-six. He was the first person with significant acknowledged Native American ancestry and the first person with significant acknowledged non-European ancestry to reach the White House.
Passing of President CurtisHe was a United States Representative, a longtime United States Senator from Kansas later chosen as Senate Majority Leader by his Republican colleagues, and the 31st Vice President-elect of the United States (Curtis ran for Vice-President with Herbert Hoover as President in 1928. They won a landslide victory).
Cruel fate intervened when President-elect Hoover was killed in December 1928. During a seven week tour of Latin American, Argentine anarchists led by Severino Di Giovanni blew up the railroad car in which he was travelling. Ironically, the purpose of the tour was to explain his economic and trade policies to other nations in the Western hemisphere. Because less than nine months into his term of office, President Curtis was confronted with the Wall Street Crash.
By 1601, Tudor England stood on the cusp of dissolution, but the insidious forces of commercialism that had been nurtured by unscrupulous politicians such as the Cecil Family were suppressed at the last by those noblemen of ancient lineage that Queen Elizabeth had unwisely chosen to ignore throughout her long reign.
Tudor B*stards end the English Succession CrisisWith Protestantism restricted to the north-west of Europe the monarch had been advised to remain unmarried thus giving the Catholic Powers false hope of a union with England. Secretary of State William Cecil (pictured) and son Robert orchestrated a sinister plot to yield the throne to James VI of Scotland, the son of Elizabeth's first cousin once removed, Mary Stuart. But a union of the English and Scottish crowns could only occur if Elizabeth's out of wedlock offspring were denied their inheritance.
For fifteen years, the two factions had fought a cat and mouse game to gain ascendancy. But with the Queen in terminal decline, the Earls were compelled into action. They executed a counter-plot that forced the country to decide whether a Tudor B*stard was preferable to a Scottish overlord. It was a decision that had been postponed for too long because of the catastrophic damage it would cause to the reputation of "Good Queen Bess".
This post is a reversal of Robbie Taylor's King Robert article and continues the Tudor B*stards thread.
In 1601, on this morning Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex led a party of nobles and gentlemen into the city of London in an attempt to force an audience at Court only to discover that the Queen had expired during the night and the Government was in the hands of his chief adversary Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury.
Essex RebellionHis status of court favourite destroyed by the Cecil Family, he had attempted to restore his support amongst the aristocracy by talking himself into the leadership of the military expedition to Ireland. By the end of his time as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, more than half the knights in England owed their rank to Essex. The rebels were said to have joked that "he never drew sword but to make knights".
Relying on his general warrant given under the great seal, Essex sailed from Ireland even though the Queen had expressly forbidden his return and was surprised when he presented himself in her bedchamber one morning at Nonsuch Palace, before she was properly wigged or gowned. On that day, the Privy Council met three times, and it seemed his disobedience might go unpunished, although the Queen did confine him to his rooms with the comment that "an unruly beast must be stopped of his provender".
Brought before the Privy Council and cross-examined by Robert Cecil, he was stripped of public office and confined to York House. In August his freedom was granted, but the source of his basic income, the sweet wines monopoly was not renewed. His situation had become desperate, and he shifted "from sorrow and repentance to rage and rebellion". In early 1601, he began to fortify Essex House, his town mansion on the Strand, and gathered his followers. And persuaded the Sheriff of London call out the Trayned Bands on his behalf.
As the Essex Rebellion reached a bloody climax, King James VI of Scotland struck across the border.
This post is a reversal of Robbie Taylor's King Robert article and continues the Tudor B*stards thread.
In 1807, at the height of the War of the Fourth Coalition against Napoleon, France came under defeat by Russia because of a simple failed charge.
Napoleon Defeated at EylauNapoleon had already defeated three such coalitions, finishing off Austria in 1805 at Austerlitz and forcing them to become his ally. Prussia stood to take Austria's place among the allies against him, and Napoleon swiftly overran the Prussians, taking their capital Berlin in October of 1806. From there he marched eastward against the Russians, the final European power on the Continent to stand against him. He pursued their fleeing army until they stood to fight outside the East Prussian town of Preußisch Eylau.
The battle began in the afternoon of February 7 with unproductive French assaults on the heights and spilled over into the town itself as both sides attempted to take it, arguably for the simple reason that the soldiers were trying to find warm shelter from the snowstorm. The fighting died off at 10 PM when the Russians began a retreat and waiting for the French to attack again the next morning. The French obliged with Napoleon giving an attack from the center and his general Augereau, gravely ill at the time, advancing from the left just as a blizzard began. Artillery was blinded; the French firing on Augereau's men and the Russians waiting until they fired point-blank as the French came out of the snow. Augereau fell back, and Napoleon was caught too far advanced as Russians pursued the retreating French. He had used the town church's tower as a command post, and that is where the Russians caught him, taking him prisoner before the Imperial Guard could arrive.
The French army frantically assaulted the Russian lines to get Napoleon back, but the Russians had spirited him away from the battle while chaos reigned among the French. The battle crumbled into defeat, although the counterattack by the remaining Prussians under L'Estocq was repelled by the French cavalry under Marshal Ney, saving the French from a route. Ney united the French and organized them to wait for the terms from Russian General Bennigsen. Bennigsen, who held the enviable position as the first to have suffered Napoleon a reversal at the Battle of Pultusk the previous December, determined to hold Napoleon under strict guard and await the arrival of Tsar Alexander, commenting to his secretary that he had no idea what to do having caught the man known as "the oppressor of Europe and the disturber of the world's peace".
A new story by Jeff ProvineAlexander soon arrived in Tilsit, where Napoleon was imprisoned in luxury. The younger Tsar had come to the throne at approximately the same time as Napoleon, and the two found that they shared similar ideals about autocracy as well as upholding the freedoms of the people. Alexander held great respect for Napoleon, though he had determined him to be "the most famous tyrant the world has produced" after the execution of the duc d'Enghien, which had prompted Alexander to join Britain on what he believed to be a mission from God. After Austerlitz, Napoleon had attempted to reopen diplomatic relations with Alexander, but the Tsar had waited until he suddenly had the upper hand. The two conferred terms of surrender, and, during the discussion, Napoleon astonished Alexander with visions of a world reined over by a French-Russian alliance. The talks concluded with Alexander exclaiming, "What is Europe? Where is it, if it is not you and we?"
The British demanded Napoleon be handed to them or at the very least dethroned, but Alexander understood that, with the tyrant of Europe in his possession, he was the new authority. A treaty was produced in July that protected Austria from being broken up and assured military assistance in the colonial dreams of an "Empires of the East and West" in which Napoleon controlled the Danubian states west, Russia held sway over Finland, and the two worked together to drive out the Ottomans and eventually conquer India. Alexander further drew up terms to end the Fourth Coalition, leaving Britain alone in its refusal to make peace with Napoleon.
Defeated in the east, Napoleon begrudgingly returned to Paris to find Spain in flames as its people rose up against his attempts to conquer the Peninsula. The British embarked a vicious guerilla war, and it was more than enough to occupy Napoleon's time defeating it finally in 1813. War-weary Britain was at last forced to make peace with France and focus on the second war with its lost colonies in America. Afterward, Napoleon made good on his word to the idealistic Alexander (whom he called a "shifty Byzantine"), joining in the Russo-Turkish War with a Grande Arm?e of 450,000 soldiers. He rode through the Balkans, liberating the Serbs, Bulgars, and Greeks who had been awaiting arrival of Russian troops that had moved only as far as Bucharest. Although the campaign succeeded in besieging Constantinople, malaria and other diseases devastated the French troops, and Napoleon eventually retreated.
Europe came under peace for a time until a wave of revolution struck in the 1820s following Napoleon's death in 1821. Spain and Portugal again rebelled, as did Rome, the Piedmontese, German students, and the Kingdoms of Naples and Sicily. Revolutionary sentiments struck Ireland with the attempts of Catholic Emancipation, but Britain held fast while the French Empire under the ten-year-old Napoleon II shattered. Russia, who had been the diplomatic giant of Europe for over a decade, also came into trouble with the Decemberists seizing power after the unclear succession upon the death of Alexander and a revolt of the Polish in the 1830s. Europe remained without a clear superpower until the gradual rise of Britain with its industrial empire eventually controlling nearly a fifth of the surface of the Earth.
In 1943, Brig. Gen. William J. "Wild Bill" Donovan, director of the U.S. Office of Strategic Services (OSS), asks Walter C. Langer, a prominent psychoanalyst, to produce a psychological profile of Adolf Hitler.
WerewolvesLanger scrutinizes a mountain of documentary evidence about Hitler and interviews a score of German refugees who have known Hitler personally. The resulting report covers Hitler's troubled childhood, his megalomania, even his sexual pathologies, and concludes with an assessment of his likely future behavior.
One course that Hitler could choose strikes Langer as both "a real possibility" and, from an Allied perspective, the most dangerous. "When he is convinced that he cannot win," Langer writes, "he may lead his troops into battle and expose himself as the fearless and fanatical leader". Langer presumes that Hitler would fight at the head of Wehrmacht or Waffen SS units and would die in combat-an end that would inspire his followers to fight on with "fanatical, death-defying determination to the bitter end" and "would do more to bind the German people to the Hitler legend and insure his immortality than any other course he could pursue".
A new story by Mark Grimsley But what happens in the spring of 1945, as Allied armies invade Germany from east and west, is even worse. Hitler indeed leads his troops into battle, but not in a way that Langer could ever have anticipated. Moreover, his "troops" belong to no conventional military force. Rather, they are shadows that seem everywhere and nowhere: the "Werewolves".
Werewolves can be anyone at all: SS members and army veterans; officers who remain devoted to their oath of loyalty to Hitler; and, above all, civilian men, women, and even children who pick up any of the millions of rifles, grenades, and antitank weapons that litter the ruins of the Third Reich. The Werewolves have no organization. They have no officers in the normal sense. Their leader is a voice on the clandestine but ubiquitous "Werewolf Radio": the voice of Adolf Hitler, the voice of their unconquered and unconquerable fuhrer.
"All means are right to harm the enemy," the voice declaims. "Our towns in the west, destroyed by cruel air terror, the hungry men and women along the Rhine, have taught us to hate the enemy. Our raped women and murdered children in the occupied east territories scream for revenge". Werewolves must ambush the enemy's soldiers and sabotage his supply lines, the voice continues, and kill without mercy all collaborators. "Hate is our prayer," the voice concludes, "revenge our battle cry!"
In the months that follow, Werewolves slay hundreds of Allied soldiers. They murder thousands of "traitors". They sabotage supply dumps and derail trains. An orderly occupation of the country is impossible, for Nazi Germany, though entirely overrun, has not surrendered-cannot surrender-in any legitimate sense. Instead American, British, French, and Soviet soldiers must conduct an intensive search for the Werewolves-and for Hitler. In time Werewolf Radio falls silent, and it is whispered that Hitler has died. But no one can prove it. Fueled by the Hitler mystique, the Werewolf insurgency continues for years.
The above scenario is historically accurate in several details. Psychoanalyst Walter C. Langer did indeed produce an extensive report for the OSS, speculating that Hitler might choose to fight on. As evidence of such a possibility, he pointed to apocalyptic statements by Hitler such as one declaring that "we shall not capitulate .. no, never. We may be destroyed, but if we are, we shall drag a world with us .. a world in flames".
And the Werewolves did indeed exist. Initially conceived by Reichsfuhrer-SS Heinrich Himmler as highly trained guerrillas supporting the conventional war effort, but then became an umbrella group including any German involved in partisan resistance against the Allies. The change occurred primarily through the efforts of propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, who believed that the same underground resistance the Wehrmacht had encountered in occupied countries-especially the Soviet Union and France-could arise in Germany and, fueled by Nazi fanaticism, increase exponentially.
It was Goebbels who founded Werewolf Radio. Ostensibly a chain of clandestine mobile radio stations in the occupied territories, it was really a single transmitter that, historically, was overrun by the Red Army on April 23, 1945. It was Goebbels, not Hitler, who made the incendiary broadcast that ended "Hate is our prayer, revenge our battle cry!" And, to a limited extent, the Werewolf popular resistance did operate in postwar Germany. Their symbol was an ancient rune sign resembling a lightning bolt. The leading historian of the movement, Perry Biddiscombe, estimates that "hundreds of people-perhaps over a thousand-died as a direct result of Werewolf attacks," and that Werewolves continued to operate as late as 1947.
The Werewolf movement never became a serious impediment to the Allies, however, in large measure because Hitler refused to concede the possibility of a German military downfall. For that reason any centralized attempt to organize a post-occupation resistance movement was squelched because it seemed inherently defeatist.
Had Hitler chosen to embrace the idea of a massive partisan uprising to continue the struggle even after Germany had been overrun and conventional military defense ended, however, he could have made it a reality, in the same way that the Baathist regime of Saddam Hussein made plans for continued resistance after the occupation of Iraq by American and British forces in 2003. That effort flowered into a full-fledged insurgency by the end of 2004. True, the Allies had at least four million troops in Germany-nearly one for every 20 Germans. Even so, the ratio for a successful occupation in the face of continued guerrilla resistance is one for every 10.
Could such an insurgency have defeated the Allied occupiers? The answer is almost certainly no. But it would have been an obstacle to a substantial drawdown of Allied forces in the country, delayed the reunion of millions of displaced persons with surviving relatives, and vastly complicated efforts to restore normal government. Fortunately for the Allies, Langer proved correct in his prediction of the "most plausible" course Hitler would take. Hitler, he believed, would commit suicide.
In 1961, on this day Union President John F. Kennedy arrived in Richmond, Virginia to celebrate the Confederate Centennial along with a galaxy of heads of state most notably the fiery Texan President Lyndon Baines Johnson.
Confederate CentennialHis predecessor Richard Nixon had sharply criticised the decision to extend de facto recognition to the breakaway states he disparagingly referred to as the "lower eleven".
Despite some uncomfortable demonstrations of pro-Dixie sentiment (pictured), he eloquently delivered a conciliatory speech, appealing to the three continental American nations to "to join together to fight what he called the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself".
In his memoirs Kennedy would describe the day as truly insufferable, yet still short of the humiliating experience of wearing cowboy hats at Lyndon's ranch1.
In 1861, on this day the Confederate States of America was formed. The nation comprises of 21 states and several territories within the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. The nation was officially recognized globally on November 28, 1947. The Confederate States is the only modern and developed nation continuing to have some limits on human rights to minorities.
Birth of a NationThe Confederate States formed on February 8, 1861, with the reunification of seven states that previously made up the southern United States. In part of this, the United States and the Confederate States would go into a Civil War. By 1866, France and the United Kingdom began to throw themselves into the war in order to bring peace. In 1885, the four would sign the London Treaty, in which the Confederate States would be recognized by France and the United Kingdom as an independent nation from the United States. The United States never officially recognized this, and would continue to declare the CSA a rogue territory of the US until 1947.
A new article from the "Two Americas" thread on Althistory WikiaWorld War II and the Axis
Several politicians in the Confederate States gave support for the rise of Adolf Hitler in Germany, and claimed that the CS should show stronger alliances with the new Germany. Presidents Huey Long and John N. Garner wished to remain neutral on the topic, though wished to gain better relations with Germany and the former Central powers of World War I. In 1936, Adolf Hitler would travel to both Argentina, and than the Confederate States, attempting to gain support from both nations on what will soon become a world war. Despite gaining a diplomatic and warm welcome from the CS and its citizens, President Garner showed very little support for Hitler. With the beginning of World War II in Europe in late 1939, the Confederate States wished to remain neutral on the matter.
In late 1940, the "United Brothers under God bill" was spread around Congress. If passed, it would turn the Confederate States into a stronger alliance with Germany and Italy, and would have most likely lead to a four-way alliance with the three and Japan. The bill would be voted against the idea, and the CSA remained neutral, to the relief of the Allies.
With the Japanese sneak attack at Pearl Harbor in US Hawaii on December 7, 1941, the United States declared war on Japan and Germany. Though the CS had no relationship with the United States, they still considered this an act against the Americas, and the CSA would declare war solely on Japan. The CS would officially declare war on Germany in mid 1943.
The Confederacy would place most of its efforts in the European theater, while the Union fought in the Pacific. On June 6, 1944, an allied invasion of Normandy took place in what would become known as D-Day. The liberation of France and the defeat of Germany would take place months later. Several key CS officers and solders would later volunteer to assist the United States in Japan. The war in Japan would end in August 1945 with the dropping of two atomic bombs over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
In 2010, the New York Times ran the following obituary for Rep. John Murtha (D-PA): HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- Rep. John Murtha, the tall, gruff-mannered former Marine who became the de facto voice of veterans on Capitol Hill and later an outspoken and influential supporter of the Iraq War, died Monday following complications from gallbladder surgery. He was 77.
Death of John Murtha by Eric LippsRep. Bob Brady, a longtime friend, said the late congressman's large intestine was damaged during surgery and an infection led him to be hospitalized with a fever.
"There will never be another Jack Murtha," Brady said. "He went out on top of his game".
The Pennsylvania Democrat died at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, Va., where he was admitted on Jan. 31. The gallbladder surgery was performed days earlier at the National Naval Medical Center, in Bethesda, Md., which didn't immediately return messages seeking comment.
In 1974, Murtha, then an officer in the Marine Reserves, became the first Vietnam War combat veteran elected to Congress. Ethical questions often shadowed his congressional service, but he was best known for being among Congress' most hawkish Democrats. He wielded considerable clout for two decades as the ranking Democrat on the House subcommittee that oversees Pentagon spending.
Murtha voted in 2002 to authorize President George W. Bush to use military force in Iraq. His growing frustration with the Bush administration's handling of the war, however, prompted him in November 2005 to insist that the administration either "get serious' about the conflict or "bring our folks home".
"The war in Iraq is not going as advertised. It is a flawed policy wrapped in illusion," he said. "It's time for the President to decide whether he wants to win this fight or not. If he does, we need a new and more effective strategy; the administration should realize that we cannot win on the cheap, or with too few troops on the ground, and should commit himself to sending as many additional troops as may be needed". Murtha noted that Bush's military advisers had initially recommended sending in as many as 300,000 troops to successfully pacify Iraq, but that Bush had chosen to send in roughly half that number because he reportedly believed the Iraqi army would quickly fold and that there would be no significant resistance thereafter. "Clearly," he observed, "that was mistaken". Murtha's words were the first full articulation of the call for what came to be known as the "surge" in Iraq.
Murtha's call for an increase in troops for the Iraq war rattled Washington, where he enjoyed bipartisan respect for his work on military issues. His fellow Democrats, in particular, were upset at this break with the party's growing antiwar consensus on the part of a congressman widely seen as speaking for those in uniform when it came to military matters.
Murtha "was the first Vietnam veteran to serve in Congress, and he was incredibly effective in his service in the House," said Rep. David Obey, a Democrat and chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. "He understood the misery of war. Every person who serves in the military has lost an advocate and a good friend today".
Murtha was known in his home state for helping bring money and projects to areas depressed by the decline of the coal and steel industries, "a steadfast advocate for the people of Pennsylvania for nearly 40 years" with a "tough-as-nails" reputation.
Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, remembered Murtha as a tireless advocate for veterans and the military.
"From health care to weapons procurement, from shipbuilding to pay and benefits, no one understood the needs of our modern military better than he did," Mullen said in a statement.
"That we remain the greatest military in the history of world is testament in no small part to his vigilance and stewardship," he said.
Known for his seriousness, Murtha also had a lighter side. Gov. Ed Rendell recalled Monday that "he was a funny guy, he always enjoyed a good laugh and he was somebody who was a great and loyal friend".
Rendell said Monday that he has not decided when to schedule a special election to replace Murtha. He has 10 days by law; the political parties must come up with their own candidates. The governor said that it would save taxpayer money to hold the election on May 18, the state's planned primary date, but that he might set it sooner in the event of urgent congressional issues.
Murtha was born June 17, 1932. The former newspaper delivery boy left college in 1952 to join the Marines, where he rose through the ranks to become a drill instructor at Parris Island, S.C., and later served in the 2nd Marine Division. He settled in Johnstown, then volunteered for Vietnam, where he served as an intelligence officer and earned a Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.
He was serving in the Pennsylvania House in Harrisburg when he was elected to Congress in a special election in 1974. In 1990, he retired from the Marine Reserves as a colonel. "Ever since I was a young boy, I had two goals in life -- I wanted to be a colonel in the Marine Corps and a member of Congress," Murtha wrote in his 2004 book, "From Vietnam to 9/11".
Murtha's defense of the Iraq war extended to the troops. When in 2006 Marines were accused of murdering Iraqi civilians "in cold blood" at Haditha after one Marine died and two were wounded by a roadside bomb, the Congressman was among their most vocal supporters, demanding that what he called "reckless charges' against the troops in question be dismissed. Critics said Murtha ignored evidence of misconduct in his zeal to protect fellow soldiers. He said that the accusations were unfair and helped fuel Iraqi hostility to U.S. forces.
"This is the kind of war you have to win the hearts and minds of the people," Murtha said. "And we're set back every time something like this happens".
As the Iraq war became increasingly unpopular within the Democratic Party, speculation mounted that Murtha might switch to the GOP. Whenever asked, however, he denied any intention to do so. "My constituents elected me as a Democrat, knowing my political views," he said in a January 2007 interview. "To cross the aisle now would be a slap in the face to those who voted for me in the primary". That statement were widely seen as a shot at Connecticut Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, who in 2006 was defeated in his state's Democratic primary and who won re-election as an independent after receiving the open support of the national Republican Party, which essentially abandoned its own nominee in Lieberman's favor.
Murtha was a perennial target of critics of so-called pay-to-play politics. He routinely drew the attention of ethical watchdogs with off-the-floor activities, from his entanglement in the Abscam corruption probe three decades ago to the more recent scrutiny of the connection between special-interest spending known as earmarks and the raising of cash for campaigns.
Murtha defended the practice of earmarking. The money, he said, benefited his constituents.
He became chairman of the House Appropriations defense subcommittee in 1989.
Murtha's critics recall the Abscam corruption probe, in which the FBI caught him on videotape in a 1980 sting operation turning down a $50,000 bribe offer while holding out the possibility that he might take money in the future.
"We do business for a while, maybe I'll be interested and maybe I won't," Murtha said on the tape.
Six congressmen and one senator were convicted in that case. Murtha was not charged, but the government named him as an unindicted co-conspirator and he testified against two other congressmen.
Murtha's district encompasses all or part of nine counties in southwestern Pennsylvania and embodies the region's stereotypes of coal mines, steel mills and blue-collar values.
State Sen. Don White, an Army veteran and a Republican who represents a portion of Murtha's district, said he and Murtha were longtime friends, despite belonging to opposing parties and serving in different branches of the military.
"He made sure that Washington, D.C., knew where Johnstown, Indiana, Kittanning and a lot of other sites in western Pennsylvania were located," White said.
Survivors include his wife of nearly 55 years, Joyce, and three children.
In 1963, Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz, nationalist leader and the primary proponent of abolitionism in the Caribbean, was proclaimed Prime Minister of the new Cuban Republic today. Castro's first official act as prime minister was to free all negro slaves on the island, which was largely ceremonial since the revolution had made slave-owning a very hazardous venture as a total of 158 slave-owners had been murdered by Castro's followers.
One Giant Step by Andrew BeaneThe Confederate States of America, who operated Cuba as a puppet state while maintaining the island's independence, condemned the proclamation and the precedent that the liberation of the island's slaves may set for slavery in Confederate territory as a whole.
"We choose to support freedom. We choose to make certain that every man, woman and child in North America is free in this decade" ~ JFKCastro's rise to power, following a six-year revolution, is being celebrated by both anti-Confederate Cuban nationalists and abolitionists alike. A general strike was called for the day by nationalist union leaders, and millions poured into the streets of Habana to cheer for the freedom of the nation and for that of its negro citizens. The sound of automobile horns played like a symphony in the cities. Pro-Confederate President-elect Manuel Urrutia Lleo, who took over for former-President Fulgencio Batista, was forced to flee to Florida as Castro's rebel army were marching on the capitol.
John F. Kennedy, the President of the United States, welcomed the news of Castro's official capture of power. He had already admitted at the beginning of the year that the CIA had been secretly funneling weapons to the nationalists. In 1962, Kennedy appeared at Rice Stadium and told the nation "We choose to support freedom. We choose to make certain that every man, woman and child in North America is free in this decade". On hearing of the news out of Cuba this morning, Kennedy was quoted as saying we are "One giant leap closer to that goal".
"We choose to support freedom. We choose to make certain that every man, woman and child in North America is free in this decade" ~ JFKConfederate President Strom Thurmond issued a sharp rebuke against the Cuban nationalists, promising an embargo on the island if Castro " .. did not step back from profaning the right and sacred institution of slavery". Thurmond's' words carry little weight. The CSA's economy is still struggling to pull out of a near-twenty year slump following the loss of the Second World War against the Allies. Wide-spread unemployment, the building of the new national capitol in Augusta, Georgia, and the occupation of Panama since the assassination of Cantera have left little finances to allow for an invasion of Cuba. An embargo would be difficult, as merchant vessels in the Caribbean usually enjoy an escort by Union Navy gunboats.
In 1504, on this day Pope Julius II refused to grant dispensation for the thirteen year old Prince of Wales, Henry Tudor to marry Catherine of Aragon, widow of his death brother Arthur.England beheaded
Upon his death from the sweating sickness in 1502, Arthur had only been sixteen years old and Catherine swore that her marriage had not been consummated. Nevertheless, a dispensation from the Pope was normally required to overrule the impediment of affinity and both the English and Spanish parties sought to remove all doubt regarding the legitimacy of the marriage. Infuriated by the Pope's refusal, Henry VII lost interest in a Spanish alliance, and the younger Henry declared that his betrothal had been proposed by Queen Isabella I without his consent.
Having denied the authority of the Pope, inevitably events began to escalate as Great Britain and the Vatican became locked in a bitter power struggle. Fearful of appearing a weak vassal of Rome, Henry VII then declared himself "the only Supreme Head in Earth of the Church of England and the Treasons Act 1504 made it high treason, punishable by death, to refuse to acknowledge the King as such.
Within months, the armies of Catholic Europe landed in southern england and marched on London to put down this fiendish anti-popish plot. Blaming religious intolerance, the Tudor Royal Family fled the country, carrying the seeds of their schismatic protest with them to North America. Henry VIII later founded the Kingdom of Deseret, based upon the new Mormon religion which conveniently permitted him to marry six times before his death in 1547.
On this day in 1945, Hermann Goering, last chancellor of the Third Reich, committed suicide in his underground bunker in Berlin.
On this day in 1960, the American Football League's Boston Patriots hired Weeb Ewbank as their first head coach.
In 1988, Democrat Richard Gephardt and Republican Rep. Jack Kemp win their respective parties' Iowa caucuses.
President Gary Hart's defeat by Senator Gephardt sends shock waves through the Democratic Party. Although the President's supporters try to argue that Iowa is unrepresentative of the nation as a whole, the result points up the erosion in his political support since the Donna Rice scandal emerged.
Talk that he will be denied renomination intensifies.
On the Republican side, the real shocker is the second-place finish by right-wing TV preacher Rev. Pat Robertson. George H. W. Bush finishes third. Robertson's strong showing is taken as a sign of the rising power of evangelical and fundamentalist Protestant voters in the GOP.
In 1969, Wilhelm Schoemann returns from his trip to see himself in the alternate, Nazi-dominated timeline he has created. He has also been to see himself in his own past; he radios Faisal Yassin, waiting with Israeli agents, that 'the door is closed.'
In 2003, the soviet of Montana surrenders to the Soviet States of America, reducing the People's Republic of America to Idaho and Washington. With all hope of resistance against the S.S.A. crushed by the loss of their fellow soviets, they send an embassy to Washington D.C. to negotiate for peace.
In 12-13-12-5-8, Emperor Calzotz allows the conquered northern nations to use their land in their traditional ways, instead of assigning nobles to rule over them. This act of mercy pays off for Ouezteca in reduced rebellions, and is continued by his successors.
In 1802, the banjo clock is patented by Simon Willard of Massachusetts. This phenomenally successful product led to other musical instruments being made into clocks; antique guitar clocks from this era often sell for thousands of dollars at auctions.
In 1777, Major Timothy Bigelow of the American rebels is recaptured, just 6 months after being released from a prisoner-of-war camp. The Massachusetts blacksmith is put to the death by the British as an example to other colonials. Many men from Bigelow's regiment joined the growing exodus to Canada, to join the nascent independence movement there.
In 1725, Pyotr the Great, last Tsar of Russia, died in captivity in Istanbul. He had been captured during a war with the Ottoman Empire in 1710, and held in disgrace ever since. His death finally quieted loyalists who had been attempting to overthrow the Ottomans and restore him to his throne.
In 1692, Abigail Williams and Betty Paris uncover a coven of witches within the community of Salem, Massachusetts. For their great service to the crown, they are made Royal Witch-Hunters for the colony on reaching their majority. Through their diligence, hundreds of witches are driven from Massachusetts.
In 9816 BCE, Egyptian taskmasters, looking for a way to keep their slaves both happy and nourished, concoct a beverage that is essentially liquid fermented bread, from grains, yeast and water. Slaves cannot stomach the bitter, foul drink, and the recipe is lost to time.
In 1952, Juan Escobar, a man who has made a small living studying the paranormal in Mexico and eastern Europe, hears of the destruction of a small diner in Bryan, Texas by a tall, dark German man. He has heard of this man before, the Baron von Todt, and immediately travels to Texas to find him.
In 1920, on this fateful day the Siberian City of Irkutsk was relieved by White Forces under the command of General Vladimir Kappel, Prime Minister, Viktor Pepelyayev and Admiral Alexander Vasilyevich Kolchak rescued from execution .
White Forces relieve IrkutskBut despite this reprieve, the situation was fundamentally unchanged: the Reds had gotten a hold of the middle of Russia, the industrial heartland, which combined with their advantages in organisational unity put the Whites, a divided and peripheral movement, in a hopeless position. Also, Kolchak had aroused the dislike of potential allies including the Czechoslovak Legion and the Polish 5th Rifle Division.
Setting off on the Trans-Siberian Railway, Kolchak set off the gain more support for the White cause. But by the time he arrived in Paris, it was all over and he chose to stay with his wife and son. A lifetime of obscurity appeared certain, until twenty years later a second chance arose when he was invited to lead local forces during Operation Barbarossa. It would be a bloody nemesis.
In 1242, the inevitable consequence of sending an undersized army finally caught up with the Mongols invaders when their conquest of Europe eventually faltered in Eastern France.
Mongol Conquest of Europe FaltersAlthough they had run out of steam, the Mongol Empire had expanded westward under the command of Batu Khan to subdue the Russian steppe and later the rest of Europe. And in reality the disunited European nations were acutely vulnerable. But the weakened force sent by the Supreme Khan reflected a lack of collective political will. Because there was an understandable reluctance amongst the Commanders to fight in the wetter weather that affected the glue and sinew of the Mongol bows. Or in a territory of forests and castles that provided ample opportunities for the European heavy cavalry to counter-attack. Essentially, the terrain did not suit their "archers on horseback" mobile raiding style of fast moving combat.
Batu Khan was not able to resume his plans for conquest to the "Great Sea" (the Atlantic Ocean) until 1255, after the turmoil after Ögedei's death had finally subsided with the election of Möngke Khan. But he was not capable nor interested in launching an invasion of Western Europe even though it was still recovering from catastrophic damage.
This post is a twist on Jeff Provine's article Mongke Khan Recovers.
In 2017, on this day London's famed Big Ben clock ground to a halt after going nearly five years without maintenance.
Big Ben StopsThe Cameron government's ill-advised 2012 decision to postpone major repairs on Big Ben (pictured) until 2020, which had been highly controversial to begin with, soon came to be regarded as an insult to England bordering on treason and ex-prime minister David Cameron was made the target of multiple death threats.
Cameron was so alarmed at this turn of events that at one point he even considered leaving the British Isles altogether.
This article is part of the God Save the Queen? - Not this Time! thread.
In 1913, on this day in the capital city of Danzig, Catholic Refugees shot dead the heir to the combined thrones of Sweden and Poland, an assassination that brought the Royal Houses of Bernadotte and Hapsburg to the very brink of war.
A Shot Heard Around the World by Scott Palter, Jeff Provine & EdIn the two centuries since the Great Northern War divisive internal forces had threatened the continued supremacy of North Central Europe. A Greater Sweden had proven unviable, and instead the consolidation of victory had led to the larger Polish-Lithuanian State effectively swallowing the Scandinavian countries of Sweden, Finland Norway. And yet the Catholic minority considered a Lutheran Poland to be wholly unacceptable and had continued to forment nationalist pressure.
Because that pressure was now at boiling point it was considered safer to identify the Hapsburgs as the assassins' real paymasters. True or false, such an accusation would have the desired effect of pushing the blame outside the borders of the Swedish Empire, thus avoiding a unwanted new source of ethnic-religous tension. In the event, this misjudgement would prove catastrophic, and within five years, North Central Europe would shatter into a dozen successor states.
But on this day in February 1913 that nightmarish vision was obscured in an unforeseeable future. Within forty-eight hours, Swedish Detectives arrived in Antwerp, the capital of the Holy Roman Empire ever since Charles V bequeated his Burgundian inheritance to his brother.
The Hapsburgs soon decided that they did not want any trouble either. The Ultimatum from Danzig was acceptable, with one sole exception: the demand that Swedish Detectives conduct an investigation on Habsburg soil. Nevertheless, they relented, and within forty-eight hours, Swedish Detectives arrived in Antwerp, the capital of the Holy Roman Empire ever since Charles V bequeated his Burgundian inheritance to his brother. And yet the investigations would lead to the revelation of shocking new evidence that would put both Empires on the road to the Great War.
In 1964, just after stepping onto the tarmac from their plane arriving in New York City, the famed British rock band "The Beatles" were mobbed by nearly three thousand screaming fans..
"Beatle Bomber" StrikesJohn Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr waved to their fans while police struggled to keep the roaring approval from turning into a riot. Before reaching their car, the pressing crowd broke through the police barriers and swarmed the stars, which was when an explosion tore through the mob. One of history's most famous unsolved mysteries resulted as the unknown bomber blew himself up just behind the band. The brunt of the blast would be absorbed by the crowd, resulting in twelve deaths. The tallest Beatle, Paul, sustained trauma to his head. While being rushed to the hospital, he died en route from his injuries. Starr and Harrison were both injured, but not critically. Lennon, who was standing in front of McCartney, escaped with only a few scratches. Numerous interviews throughout his life gave hints toward survivor guilt that would plague him especially later in life as he cycled through rehab and mental asylums.
A new story by Jeff ProvineThe news rocked the nation. Only months after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, a sense of unease about the security of America in any public place overwhelmed the populace. It became a key issue of the election that November with winning incumbent LBJ organizing a new system of "National Security" on the small scale featuring metal detectors.
Meanwhile, the Beatles began a new chapter of their careers. The band was scheduled to perform on the Ed Sullivan Show on the 9th, and there was some debate over cancelling the performance. Ultimately Lennon insisted on a solo performance in honor of Paul, accompanying himself on guitar while giving a tear-choked rendition of Fain and Kahal's "I'll Be Seeing You" made famous in Britain and America as a tribute to those serving overseas during WWII. Despite the loss of a key member, Beatlemania continued to spread with their records unable to stay on shelves. Though they were a wild financial success, the Lennon-McCartney creative team had been broken, and they would produce very little over the next few months.
In 1965, while enjoying a dinner invitation to their dentist's, Lennon and Harrison would be introduced to LSD. The drug would prove transformative, and Lennon's songwriting would become nearly incomprehensible. Tours continued until 1966, at which point the bandmates judged their futures together and ultimately decided to go their separate ways. Their fame would die as Beatlemania gave way to the Rolling Stones, who would be regularly listed as the greatest rock group of all time.
Conspiracy theorists routinely pore over the explosion from surviving footage and photographs. Witness reports are notably contradictory, which has led many to suspect a cover-up. Speculation holds that extreme conservatives attempted to head-off the "British Invasion" of challenging given morals, using Lennon's famed line, "more popular than Jesus now," though that was delivered much later. Others suspect it was competing American musicians knowing that they would be blocked off by the coming storm of Beatlemania. Still others suggest that it was the action of a lone fan driven to insanity by the wilds of their music.
In 1775, the publication of Benjamin Franklin's "An Imaginary Speech" in London, in which he rebutted slanders against the American colonists with such statements as, "Indiscriminate Accusations against the Absent are cowardly Calumnies", causes Sir Reginald Beckwith, a minor noble who had first published the anti-American sentiments, to challenge him to a duel.
Imaginary SpeechFranklin's "speech" was intended to counter an unnamed officers comments to Parliament that the British need not fear the colonial rebels, because "Americans are unequal to the People of this Country [Britain] in Devotion to Women, and in Courage, and worse than all, they are religious".
Franklin responded to the three-pronged critique with his usual wit and acuity. Noting that the colonial population had increased while the British population had declined, Franklin concluded that American men must therefore be more "effectually devoted to the Fair Sex" than their British brethren.
As for American courage, Franklin relayed a history of the Seven Years War in which the colonial militia forever saved blundering British regulars from strategic error and cowardice. With poetic flare, Franklin declared, "Indiscriminate Accusations against the Absent are cowardly Calumnies". In truth, the colonial militias were notoriously undisciplined and ineffective at the beginning of the Seven Years War. New Englanders, unused to taking orders and unfamiliar with the necessary elements of military life, brought illness upon themselves when they refused to build latrines and were sickened by their own sewage. During the American Revolution, Washington repeated many of the same complaints spoken by British officers when he attempted to organize American farmers into an effective army.
With regard to religion, Franklin overcame his own distaste for the devout and reminded his readers that it was zealous Puritans that had rid Britain of the despised King Charles I. Franklin surmised that his critic was a Stuart [i.e. Catholic] sympathizer, and therefore disliked American Protestants, "who inherit from those Ancestors, not only the same Religion, but the same Love of Liberty and Spirit?".
Sir Reginald, though wounded by Franklin's gunshot, aims true and drops the American statesman. Howls of protest from across the water become battle cries that rally the colonials. "Remember Franklin!" and "For Ben!" became familiar to British soldiers hearing their last words in the war that led to colonial independence in 1779.
In 1961, on this day construction workers started the final stage of repairs on the UN's Turtle Bay headquarters..
On this day in 1983, 'Superfly' Jimmy Snuka confronted Tommy Rich during one of Rich's 'Psycho Ward' segments on Raw and challenged Rich to face him in a best 2-of-3 falls match on the following week's Raw to settle the score between them once and for all.
The match was officially booked the next day and made a WWF world title defense.
In 2003, the soviets of Oregon and British Columbia surrender to the Soviet States of America after popular uprisings topple their leaders. Diehard revolutionaries in the Idaho Soviet invade Oregon briefly, but are driven out by good comrades inside the soviet who are unwilling to belong to the People's Republic of America anymore.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.