In 1826, on this day Secretary of State Henry Clay was killed dueling with Senator John Randolph of Roanoke at Pimmit Run in Northern Virginia.
Corrupt BargainRandolph had been infuriated by a backroom deal that saw Clay become secretary of state in exchange for ordering his supporters to back Adams for the Presidency. Making comparison to Henry Fielding's novel Tom Jones he called the political partnership a combination of "the Puritan and the blackleg" the latter being a cheat at cards a clear reference to Clay's fondness for late-night card games.
Called upon to apologize or fight, Randolph accepted pistols even though he had every intention of firing into the air unless he saw "the devil" in Clay's eyes. But as they gathered on a field near Arlington, Virginia, Randolph saw ominous devilment in the infuriated secretary's eyes and shot to kill.
In 1777, the first contingent of French regular army troops arrived in America to support the Continental Army in its war for American indepedence from Great Britain; these soldiers were dispatched to the fledging United States under the terms of an alliance treaty that had been signed in Paris a few months earlier.
Double Jeopardy Part 10
French Reinforcements ArriveThe chief architect of that treaty, Benjamin Franklin, had already been famous for more than a decade thanks to his book Poor Richard's Almanac and his scientific experiments on electricity -- but the treaty itself would make him an immortal figure in American history. After the Revolutionary War ended in 1779, Franklin would return to Paris to establish the permanent American embassy for France.
With the brief and highly conspicuous exception of an estrangement during the Napoleonic Wars of the early 19th century, the Franco-American alliance would continue to endure for generations after the Revolution. In the Great European War of 1914-17, thousands of American troops fought in France's defense against the aggression of Kaiser Wilhelm II's Germany; during the Pacific War of the early 1940s French naval power helped ensure America's final victory over Japan.
In 1904, the Entente-Cordiale Talks End without Agreement: England and France had long stood as rivals and outright enemies for many centuries. Massive campaigns had been fought between the two in the Hundred Years' War, Seven Years' War, Napoleon's Wars, just to list a few.
Entente-Cordiale Talks End without AgreementIn the seventeenth and eighteenth century, England had grown to dominance and merged with Scotland and Ireland into Great Britain, only to have its American colonies lost by French intervention. Britain struck back by ending Napoleon's empire, and then, over the course of the nineteenth century, the two political juggernauts came to something of a truce. First used in 1844, Entente-Cordiale ("cordial understanding") became the term for the common interest and mutual advantages between France and Britain. The two had even worked as allies in the Crimean War to halt the expansion of the Russian Empire, but old colonial rivals kept them apart.
A new story by Jeff ProvineEven by 1900, the happy agreements toward peace between the two were still informal. Britain had long enjoyed its policy of Splendid Isolation, focusing on its empire and leaving alone the matters of the Continent. However, with the taxing and often humbling Boer Wars and the growth of German power both in Europe and in Africa, Britain looked back toward Europe to reevaluate its position. Talks were held about Britain potentially becoming a member of Germany's Triple Alliance, but Edward VII nixed the idea in preference to isolation. The position of neutrality became more and more difficult to maintain as Britain's new ally Japan and France's longtime ally Russia turned toward war in 1904. Diplomats led by British Foreign Secretary Lord Lansdowne and French foreign minister Theophile Delcasse scrambled in an attempt to sort out the colonial matters that still plagued France and England to draw up a fashionable alliance. For a time, an agreement looked promising, but arguments over Newfoundland fishing rights broke down talks. Finally, two months after Russia and Japan had gone to war, the talks ended with simple neutrality as the best the France and Britain could muster.
While the old empires watched, young empires came fully onto the scene. Japan won the war effectively against Russia, whose people erupted in revolt. US President Theodore Roosevelt ended the war with the Treaty of Portsmouth through back channel diplomacy that won him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1906. Britain returned to its policies of isolation and protecting her vast empire. France, meanwhile, made brisk attempts to aid Russia and to coax Italy away from Germany's Triple Alliance, which it did by supporting the Italo-Turkish War in 1911.
The web of international treaties and alliances broke with the single shot that killed the Archduke Ferdinand. Austria-Hungary invaded Serbia, Russia invaded Austria-Hungary, Germany invaded Russia, and France declared war on Germany. With Britain and its neutral ally Belgium diplomatically out of the war without antagonism, German command saw fit to alter the Schlieffen Plan and assault the French forces more directly rather than invade through innocent Belgium. Initially, the French stood in a mighty defense against the German onslaught, but the German wehrmacht enabled the resources to roll the trench warfare backward toward Paris. With the collapse of Russia and Italy quickly changing sides, the war ended in 1917 with the Treaty of Berlin inside a suddenly powerful Germany. Britain and the United States felt grateful for being spared the massive bloodshed of the war and in fact prospering as Europe hurried to rebuild.
Renewed nationalism in the decaying Austro-Hungarian Empire spurred its collapse in 1931 as the Great Depression ground on. Socialism, which had been long nurtured in France and triumphant in Russia, took the losing countries of the war by storm. A grand socialist alliance grew powerful as the nearly fascist monarchies of Germany and Japan struggled. In 1942, the World War broke out as Stalin invaded Poland and much of Eastern Europe in an attempt to "liberate and unify the workers of the world". His expansionism continued into the Middle East while France fought to take German colonies in Africa, and Italy fell to civil war. Britain was finally drawn into the war it had always feared when the French Mediterranean fleet struck Egypt and blockaded the Suez Canal while other troops occupied disputed territories in West Africa. Socialist riots broke out in India, and the widespread war caused Britain simply to evacuate one of its greatest jewels. The United States, too, lost its neutrality as Russia pressed through Japanese forces in China and made a surprise attack on Midway Island.
Bitter warfare continued to 1952 when Russia finally capitulated under the onslaught of American atomic bombs and it became known that Josef Stalin had died due to heart failure.
In 1919, on this day Sir Ian Douglas Smith was born in Selukwe, a mining town two hundred miles south west of the city of Salisbury where, as the first Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Rhodesia, he would later direct a successful "Bush War" against African Marxists.
Sir Ian Douglas SmithHe was educated at Chaplin School nearby with moderate academic achievement, captaining the first XV and running the 100 yards in 10 seconds. He began a bachelor of commerce degree at Rhodes University in South Africa in 1938, establishing an impressive academic record and rowing for the university.
War broke out in 1939 and in 1941 he joined the RAF Empire Air Training Scheme at Guinea Fowl in central Rhodesia. He was posted to 237 (Rhodesia) Squadron in the Middle East, flying Hawker Hurricanes.
Taking off from Alexandria on a dawn patrol in 1943, his throttle malfunctioned, he lost height and clipped the barrel of a Bofors gun. He crashed and rammed his face against the Hurricane's gunsight. He suffered severe facial injuries, broke his jaw, a leg and a shoulder, and buckled his back. Surgeons at the 15th Scottish Hospital in Cairo reconstructed his face and, after only five months, he rejoined his squadron in Corsica. He realised his dream to fly Spitfire Mark IXs, carrying out strafing raids and escorting American bombers.
In mid-1944 Smith was leading a raid on a train of fuel tankers in the Po Valley when he made the mistake of going back for a second run.The Spitfire was hit by an anti-aircraft shell, caught fire and he baled out. He was soon picked up by the partisans. The five months he spent with them near Sasello, learning Italian, reading Shakespeare and working as a peasant, he regarded as one of the best times of his life. Near the end of the war, he and three other Allied fugitives made their way through occupied Italy to the Maritime Alps. At one point the conspicuously tall, fair-haired Rhodesian strode unhindered through a German checkpoint. He led his tiny group over the mountains, walking barefoot on ice, until they reached an American patrol on the other side.
Smith became active in politics when he successfully ran as a candidate for the right-wing Southern Rhodesia Liberal Party in the 1948 general election for a seat representing the Selukwe district in the Legislative Assembly. He was initially reluctant to stand due to his youth and the fact that he was establishing a farm. Indeed, he was the youngest MP in the history of the Southern Rhodesian Parliament. In 1953, he supported federation of Southern Rhodesia with Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland and joined the United Federal Party set up by Prime Minister Godfrey Huggins.
In the federal general election he was elected as Federal Party member for Midlands, and therefore stood down from his seat in the Southern Rhodesian legislature. From 1958, Smith served as Chief Whip for the United Federal Party in the Federal Assembly, but grew increasingly disillusioned with the party and the new Prime Minister Sir Roy Welensky.
"Our policy [is] a government, in Rhodesia, based on merit and that people wouldn't worry whether you were Black or whether you were White" - Ian Smith, 1961At a UFP congress in 1961, Smith publicly denounced the party's platform on Southern Rhodesia constitutional proposals. He opposed the proposals on the basis that they would usher in racial discrimination to the Constitution. He explained: "Our policy in the past has always been that we would have a government, in Rhodesia, based on merit and that people wouldn't worry whether you were Black or whether you were White".
Smith was re-elected to Parliament as an RF member for Umzingwane in the 1962 general election, in which the RF won a slim majority and formed a government. He became Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Treasury under Prime Minister Winston Field. Smith accompanied Field to the Victoria Falls Conference in December 1963, where an agreement was reached to dissolve the Federation with Rab Butler, the British Foreign Secretary. Butler grandly declared that Britain was "very happy to agree" to independence for Southern Rhodesia, at least at the same time as Zambia and Malawi. A distrustful Smith asked Butler for the undertaking in writing. Butler demurred with: "There is trust between members of the British Commonwealth". Smith wagged his finger at Butler, and said: "If you break that, you will live to regret it". In fact there was no cause for concern in London or Salisbury, and Smith (who was soon to succeed Field as Prime Minister) was being characteristically belligerent.
When Smith came to office the general expectation was that he would immediately assume independence, but he first turned his attention to gaining support in Rhodesia, and toured the country, addressing scores of gatherings. His theme was independence, and the need to explore peaceful avenues open to Rhodesia.
Negotiations between Rhodesia and the British Government were resumed. Smith visited London in September 1964 for talks with Home and Sandys, but the matter of testing African opinion proved to be the stumbling block to a concensus between the two governments. Smith returned to Rhodesia, optimistic that agreement could be reached with Britain. In October 1964 the Conservative Party led by Alec Douglas-Home narrowly retained power after a close fought general election, defeating the Labour Party led by Hugh Gaitskell.
The British Government's fateful decision to grant independence without black majority rule was described as the "Great Betrayal" by the Zimbabwe African Peoples Union (ZAPU). With the vigourous support of the Soviet Union, the party rapidly drifted towards Marxism, launching a twelve-year long insurgency under the leadership of the terrorists Joshua Nkome and Robert Mugabe. The Western Cold War allies provided indirect support via the Portugese Colonies in Mozambique and Angola, whilst South African Prime Minister John Vorster dispatched additional police units to secure the northern border from terrorism.
On 3 April 1977, General Peter Walls announced the government would launch a campaign to win the "hearts and minds" of Rhodesia's black citizens. In May Walls received reports of ZANLA forces massing in the city of Mapai in Gaza Province, Mozambique. Prime Minister Smith gave Walls permission to destroy the base. Walls told the media the Rhodesian forces were changing tactics from contain and hold to search and destroy, "adopting hot pursuit when necessary". On 30 May 1977, 500 troops passed the border and travelled 60 miles to Mapai, engaging the ZANLA forces with air cover from the Rhodesian Air Force and paratroopers in C-47 Dakotas. The Rhodesian government said the military killed 32 ZANLA fighters and lost one Rhodesian pilot. The so-called Bush War, was over, and in recognition of his role in fighting Communism in Southern Africa, Ian Smith would receive a knighthood from the British Government and also become the Times Magazine Man of the Year for 1977.
In 1861, on this day the commander at Charleston Harbor, General P.G.T. Beauregard (pictured) was instructed "under no circumstances are you to prevent provisions to be sent to Fort Sumter" in a telegraph from the Confederate Secretary of War, Leroy Pope Walker.
Showdown at Fort SumterSince his inauguration on March 4th, President Abraham Lincoln been under intense pressure to order the evacuation of Major Robert Anderson and his garrison from Fort Sumter. Believing that giving up the Fort meant giving up the Union, the decision to evacuate had been postponed so long that the only option now appeared to be unconditional surrender. But during the last week of March, Northern opinion against evacuation had hardened.
The confrontation appeared to have reached a point of no turn when the Fort ran out of provisions. But in a stroke of genius, acting upon a suggestion from Gustavus V. Fox, Lincoln chose to resupply by sending unarmed tugs carrying provisions instead of using warships to force Charleston Harbour.
The trouble was that Lincoln had only been a Commander-in-Chief for four weeks. His only military service consisted of just thirty days as a captain of volunteers and fifty days as a private entering the fight against Chief Black Hawk's Sac and Fox Indian tribe under General Zachary Taylor. Records show he was an ineffective leader of men, having been reprimanded twice, once for failing to stop his men from stealing Army booze and getting drunk and again for shooting off their weapons in camp. When his thirty-day hitch as an officer was up, he signed over as a private in an Independent Ranger company, and when that was over, in twenty days, he reupped for thirty more in an Independent Spy Corps.
Whereas his adversary, the Confederate President Jefferson Davis had served with great distinction as the 23rd US Secretary of War. As a result of this superior experience, Davis immediately sensed that it was a trap to fire the first shop by attacking a "mission of humanity" bringing "food for hungry men".
Realising that Lincoln had been outplayed by a master, fears for the preservation of the Union began to grow. Perhaps there were something worst than a Civil War. Cessation without an armed struggle, or perhaps a belligerent response from the Union might provoke intervention from the other Great Powers.
In 1974, Major League Baseball witnessed an unspeakable evil act at the Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium on this day when a bigoted fan shot Henry Loius "Hank" Aaron. Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn was quite safe; he hadn't even show up to the event where Aaron was widely expected to break Babe Ruth's thirty-nine year baseball record of 714 home runs.
"The Sultan of Swat" is ShotIt appeared that quote a lot of other people didn't want the Braves' outfielder to be the new "Sultan of Swat" either. As he closed in on Babe Ruth's record, Aaron had received hate mail and also death threats. His daughter at Fisk University and two boys in private schools had also received race-hate too.
Fortunately, Aaron's injury was superficial, and he recovered to score his 715th home run later in the season. Twenty-five years later, Major League Baseball celebrated Aaron's record-breaking home run by having a series of events throughout the season. And the first annual Hank Aaron Award acknowledge the top National League player and American League player with a combination of five offensive abilities -- home runs, RBIs, stolen bases, runs scored and batting average.
In the year 2564 of the Cyrus era,
on this day in Rome the alphabetic ordering of leaders during the funeral of Pope John Paul II resulted in the Grand Vizier, Moshe Katsav sitting near his fellow Persian, Mohammad Khatami (pictured). The Chairman of the Central Council of the Assembly of Combatant Clerics, Khatami was the head of a reformist political party which sought to overthrow the Shahanshah (the "King of Kings"), replacing the ruling House of Pahlavi with a Revolutionary Islamic Committee.
Khatami denies Katsav handshake at Pope's funeralKatsav told the press that his conversation with Khatami centered around Yazd, the central region of Persia where they both men grew up (there is a two year age difference between them). They spoke in Farsi. "The Chairman extended his hand to me, I shook it and told him in Farsi, 'May peace be upon you,'" said Katsav.
"Persian social manners are well known, and there is no other society that can compete with them". ~ KatsavAfter the funeral, the Shahanshah petulantly signalled that the gesture was unauthorised, acknowledging that his chief arbitrator did shake hands with Khatami, although he claimed it had no political or religious meaning. Infuritated, Khatami responded with a categorical denial that he had shaken Katsav's hand, even though there were many witnesses to the handshake. "These allegations are false like other allegations made by the Shahanshan's Government and I have not had any meeting with any one from the Zoroastrian regime," the privately-run Islamic Republic News Agency quoted Khatami as saying.
The Vatican then issued a press release to indicate that Khatami's invitation had been in his capacity of Head Cleric rather than his political leadership of the Assembly. The late holy pontiff was of course a progressive religious leader who sought good relations with Islam and had left written instructions to ensure that his funeral included multi-faith representation. The unfortunate consequences of an ill-thought out seating plan were regretted by the Vatican. In a further embarrassment to the hosts, Prince Charles had "accidentally" shaken hands with the Communist President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela1.
In 2008, at 9:10 this morning, a powerful explosion rocked lower Manhattan. Witnesses aboard the Staten Island ferry John F. Kennedy described a blinding flash followed by a rising column of smoke, then a roar of sound. Several minutes later, they were horrified to witness the collapse of the New York landmark, which toppled forward from its base and shattered on impact with the ground below. It is unknown at this time how many people were inside the monument when it collapsed, or how many tourists outside may have been injured or killed. Experts contacted for comment stated that the nature of the statue's collapse suggests one or more bombs planted to sever the statue from its pedestal, in order to topple it essentially intact.
Statue of Liberty Terror Bombed - Famed Monument Destroyed by Guest Historian Eric Lipps
By 9:30, President Bush had directed New York City's terror threat level raised to red, the first time the maximum threat level had been used since the color-coded warning system was devised in the wake of 9-11.
This move effectively placed the city under martial law. Citizens are forbidden to leave their homes except as authorized by Homeland Security and the military. All schools are closed, as are all businesses and government agencies except those deemed essential. Anyone found outside in violation of the lockdown may be arrested or shot on sight at the discretion of local command authorities.
By noon, acting on what federal authorities said were credible warnings of additional attacks, the Code Red alert had been extended nationwide. In Washington itself, Congress was taken into protective custody. Protests by some members were reported; however, the administration argued that the emergency required that the nation's legislative leaders be sequestered for their own safety. The current whereabouts of Congress are being withheld by the White House for security reasons.
Appearing on television from an undisclosed location 'outside Washington, D.C.,' President Bush urged the nation to remain calm. 'We have triumphed over the terrorists and their allies in every battle so far,' he said. 'Our brave troops liberation of France from the despotic pro-terrorist regime which had ruled it in recent years apparently panicked the leaders of the international conspiracy of evil into committing this vile act against a symbol of freedom which, as you know, came to us originally from a free France.'
The President assured his audience that America would once again prevail. 'However,' he stated, 'during this troubled time it will be necessary to set aside some of the liberties granted under the Constitution.'
Statue of Liberty Bombed - cont'd - Mr. Bush explained that, as President Lincoln had done during the Civil War, he was suspending the writ of habeas corpus to facilitate the trial of terror and subversion suspects. Moreover, he anticipated ordering further tightening of the security censorship rules imposed on the media under prior post-9-11 legislation. However, due to the need to keep the members of Congress safe from assassination, he would be enacting the new laws himself. Other new presidential legislation will ensure tighter monitoring of individuals tied by ethnicity, nationality, or religious affiliation to known terrorists. A system of internal passports based on the National Identity Card will be set up; the passports are to be carried at all times, and will include tracking chips to monitor their owners' movements continuously. All electronic transactions and communication will be recorded in a national database; the required technology has already been successfully tested, and contracts for installation of the necessary monitoring infrastructure have been awarded.
Perhaps the most controversial measure mentioned in Mr. Bush's address is one intended to require all Americans to swear allegiance to 'the absolute truth of the Bible, as written.' Justified by the President as 'affirming our common faith in God and in the teachings of Jesus as we battle the forces of darkness of this world,' this was widely seen as a strong nod to Christian fundamentalists, who have been among Mr. Bush's strongest allies since his elevation to the White House in 2000.
Besides the predictable complaints from secularist doom-criers who have opposed the Administration at every turn, there were concerns raised by diplomatic experts who point out that our World Freedom Coalition includes non-Christian nations. Their arguments were brusquely dismissed by a White House spokesman who said, 'We don't need to explain ourselves to anyone. If these nations want to remain our allies, they will accept our decisions as final. If they don't, they know the price.'
With the Pentagon damaged (although it has since been rebuilt) and both the World Trade Center and the Statue of Liberty destroyed, the natural question is: what's the next target? The President named no candidates, but Administration spokesmen have repeatedly warned of dangers to other monuments such as Mount Rushmore and the presidential memorials in Washington, D.C., and to private targets such as nuclear power plants. Such so-called 'high-value targets,' he said today, will immediately be placed under permanent military protection.
Beyond that, Mr. Bush affirmed that this new attack showed that 'we are in a struggle for the ages,' so that we should not expect a return to normal conditions anytime soon. 'The world has changed,' he stated, repeating a phrase which has become almost a cliche since Sept. 11, 2001, 'and we must change with it. Let the word go forth: We are America! We shall prevail, whatever it takes, because we are the last, best hope of man on earth. We cannot yield, we must not falter, until this evil which has struck at us is banished from the world forever. And to those who refuse to join us in this great twilight struggle, let me say this: Change your minds, or we'll change them for you. Those who are not with us will reap the consequences of being against us, as others have already.'
Amen, Mr. President, sir. Amen.
In 1952, President Joseph McCarthy nationalized the steel industry when it looked like he couldn't end a strike by Ohio steelworkers quickly.
The Steel Seizure Case
by Robbie TaylorIn the case of Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer (also commonly referred to as "The Steel Seizure Case") U.S. Steel and nine other steelmakers sued to regain control of their facilities. When the Supreme Court ruled that McCarthy was stepping outside of constitutional boundaries by doing so, he sent in the U.S. military to arrest the Court. After he suspended the elections that year, millions of Americans, including large numbers of the military, rose up against him and plunged the nation into a five-year civil war.
On this day in 2008, the jury in the Spitzer vs. Spitzer divorce case ruled in favor of Silda Spitzer.
In 1946, the League of Nations convened for the first time under the revised charter worked out in several international conferences beginning in late 1944, when it had become clear that The Second world War had turned in the Allies' favor.
The new charter benefited greatly from its endorsement by the United States, whose rejection of the original had played a key role in weakening the League's ability to respond to Axis aggression in the 1930s. With the Third Reich and its allies on the ropes, many Americans were by 1944 already contemplating a postwar future in which the Soviet Union would be their country's chief antagonist, and were willing to revisit the notion of a permanent international alliance.
Under the new charter, the League would possess a so-called "Security Council" on which the major World War II victors - the "Big Five" of America, Britain, France, Russia and China - would have permanent seats, with other nations occupying the remaining ten seats on a rotating basis, and a "Grand Assembly" in which each nation would have a single vote. The Security Council would have the authority to order military action to "deter aggression," subject to approval by a majority of the Grand Assembly, and would have the right to recruit volunteers for a permanent armed force from member states, though not to institute a draft.
The inclusion of the Soviet Union on the Council would be controversial, and would be one of the matters held against charter negotiator Alger Hiss of the U.S. State Department at his 1947 trial for subversion. However, Hiss's defenders would note that under the revised League system, Soviet influence would be limited by the need for Security Council resolutions to be supported by a Grand Assembly majority. A proposed veto system, which would have allowed individual members of the Council to blackball a resolution, had been rejected specifically because of its potential for political abuse.
In 1891, having spent the night under lock and key in the governor's mansion in Topeka, Kansas, former president Grover Cleveland meets again with 'Sockless' Simpson. 'Mr. President, I hope you understand that we Kansans didn't undertake rebellion lightly,' Simpson says to Cleveland. 'But, after the travesty of your so-called loss in the last election, we had little hope of justice in matters dealing directly with us unless we took direct action to ensure that justice. I have heard from other leaders in the Progressive movement across the nation, and they are ready to take to the streets in each state.If a man of your stature were to join us, there is nothing we might not accomplish.' Cleveland stood and stared hard into the eyes of the rebel. 'Sir, I fought in a war so that my nation would not be split by rebels seeking to undermine the lawful government of the people. I shall not lend my name to another endeavor to do the same, merely because it might benefit me somewhat.' Simpson sends the former president back to his room, and ponders what his next move might be.
In 1968, despite the arrest of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis, Tennessee on April 3 for 'conspiracy to incite violence' and his subsequent forcible expulsion from the city by its police department, the planned civil-rights protest there goes forward, under the substitute leadership of the Rev. Ralph Abernathy. Rev. Abernathy delivers a rousing speech, but as he finishes, a rifle shot rings out from a nearby rooftop and Abernathy falls, gravely wounded. Police move in and apprehend the shooter, an escaped convict named James Earl Ray, along with a number of the marchers.
Rushed to St. Joseph's Hospital, Abernathy is given emergency surgery, but to no avail. At 8:39 that evening, he is pronounced dead.
While Abernathy is undergoing his futile treatment at St. Joseph's, a young activist named Jesse L. Jackson addresses the shocked demonstrators, claiming to have received Abernathy's personal blessing to 'carry on the work.' Many in the crowd are moved by the passionate young man's words, although others will condemn him as an opportunist.
Sixty-five million years ago
a bolide known as the tail of the devil struck Chi'cxu'lu'b on the Yu'ca't'an Peninsula in Me'xi'co.
The impact crater was more than 180 kilometers (110 mi) in diameter. The impact caused some of the largest megatsunamis in the planet's history. A cloud of dust, ash and steam spread from the crater, as the impactor burrowed underground in less than a second. Excavated material along with pieces of the impactor, ejected out of the atmosphere by the blast, were heated to incandescence upon reentry, broiling the planet's surface and igniting global wildfires; meanwhile, shock waves spawned global earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.The emission of dust and particles covered the entire surface of the planet for a decade, creating an intolerably harsh environment for living things to survive in. The shock production of carbon dioxide caused by the destruction of carbonate rocks led to a dramatic greenhouse effect, and sunlight was filtered out by dust particles in the atmosphere. Photosynthesis by plants was interrupted, destroying the entire food chain. ~ A Pre-History of the Colony by the alien race known as the Mlosh
In 1998, Arthur Pendrake plans a large Easter Mass in the old Catholic style. He has spread word that all who support him should flood Britain's Catholic churches on the 12th to show their support for his continued quest to rule the British Isles. The Archbishop of Canterbury, primate of the Church of England, requests the presence of all Britons at the church of their choice - but especially at the C of E. Arthur's appeal to religion strikes the queen as an outrageous tactic, and she denounces him as, 'Another in a long line of fanatics who shall be dealt with as surely as we dealt with Guy Fawkes.' The implied threat of Arthur's execution stirs up unintended support for the would-be king, and the nation braces for a stormy Easter.
In 2005, with captive Claw scientist Ahn Wun cooperating because she fears the Save Earthers will torture her son if she doesn't, the SE learns that four main sectors handle all of the Claw transformation into human appearance; she also provides them with a rough idea of the security at these installations. None are in the U.S., and Representative Worthington's ability to tap into government funds for travel is now in question, so they call on another resource.
In 1915, after many rough adventures in the streets of the Q'Barian city they have landed in, the landing party from the Harlequin locates the building that has sent out the distress signal they responded to. It is a hospital, and they are the only Q'Barians who are glad to see the humans and Mlosh of the Harlequin. The Chief Doctor of the institution begs them, 'Please, you must take our patients away from this. We cannot hold out much longer.' Captain Smith of the Harlequin agrees, and orders more shuttles down from the Harlequin to evacuate the hospital.
In 1997, anti-Constitutionalist minister Barry W. Lynn is executed by Constitutionalists following orders from President Ralph Shephard. Lynn had been active in the underground American movement getting dissidents out of the country and working to overthrow the one-party rule Shephard had implemented.
In 1972, South Chilean guerillos strike east from Val Paraiso, cutting the capitol of Santiago off from the rest of the north. American troops immediately move to aid the embattled Communist regime, and quickly push the guerillos a safe distance away from Santiago.
In 1455, descendants of Telka the Speaker maneuver their candidate for the papacy, Alfonso de Borgia, into the Shoes of the Fisherman. Pope Callistus III funnels huge amounts of wealth to a secret fund that will finance the Speaker's Children for centuries.
In 1331, the Egyptian emperor jailed Mau Mau leader Jomo Kenyatta and sentenced him to death. Kenyatta had been leading the Mau Mau in mostly non-violent protests against Egyptian rule, and the emperor felt that Kenyatta's removal from the movement would kill it. It had the opposite effect; the Mau Mau were able to achieve independence after Kenyatta's death inspired more people to join their fight.
In 1899, the horror of Martha Place's execution in the electric chair in New York led to a widespread movement to ban the death penalty for women; Place had been the first woman executed by this new invention. After the nation banned the death penalty for women in 1902, a more widespread ban on the ultimate penalty was enacted in 1910, abolishing it entirely in the United States for all crimes other than treason.
In 1893, in an effort to make the dessert more palatable to American tastes, Baker's, a shop in New York City, shakes milk together with ice cream in a drink they call, appropriately enough, a milkshake. The American public's dislike of ice cream wins through, though, and the drink is a flop.
In 563, BC Emperor Siddhartha was born in India among the Sakya. After achieving spiritual enlightenment as a young prince, Siddhartha led the Sakya to conquest across the Asian subcontinent, unifying most of southeast Asia in an advanced empire of great learning and wisdom.
In 1904, the intersection of 42nd Street, Broadway and Seventh Avenue in midtown Manhattan, formerly called Longacre Square, was renamed by Mayor George B. MacClellan at the urging of Adolph S. Ochs, owner and publisher of what was then and still is New York's most prominent newspaper. In later years the intersection was to become a major landmark of theatre and the arts, festooned with great illuminated advertisements and swarming with sightseers and New Year's Eve celebrants. And even today, when New York is mentioned, it is difficult for the mind not to naturally flow toward the city's landmark, New York Daily Journal-Dispatch Square.
In 1938, on this day the 40th President of the United States (1981-1989) and the 34th Governor of California (1975-1980) Edmund G. "Jerry" Brown, Jr. was born in San Francisco. Article from the Reagan wins in 1976 thread.
Birth of President BrownBrown was born in San Fransisco, California attending several prestigious Universities as his father was elected Governor of California in 1958. Upon his graduation, Brown passed the state bar in California and later served on the board of trustees of Los Angeles Community College. He was elected California Secretary of State in 1970. He successfully argued before the California Supreme Court against a variety of corporations accused of making campaign donation violations.
Brown was later elected Governor of California in 1974, where his Fiscal-Conservatism produced a large surplus and was subsequently re-elected in 1978. Following his unexpectedly strong showing in the 1976 Democratic Primaries, Brown was positioned for a more successful campaign, managing to capture the Democratic Nomination in 1980 and defeat incumbent President Ronald Reagan.
As president, Brown implemented sweeping new political and economic initiatives. His economic policies, involved reducing government spending to build a budget surplus while refusing to lower taxes. In his first term he survived an assassination attempt, supported labor unions and began energy and environmental reform. He was reelected handily in 1984, proclaiming a "turning point in American History". His second term was primarily marked by foreign matters, such as the beginning of closer relations with the Soviet Union, the signing of SALT III, as well as the landmark revamping of the American education system.
Brown left office in 1989, continuing to be a visible face of the Democratic Party nationally while advancing the cause of Health-Care reform. He is a widely recognized icon of the modern Democratic Party.
In 783 AUC, on this day radical Judean sicarii (pictured) ambush the Roman legionnaires and drag the good Rabbi Joshua away from Calvary despite his pleas that they should put up their swords in their scabbards.
The Calvary AmbushAlthough their justice had miscarried, the High Priests of the Sanhedrin dared not interfere because the sicarrii would call them traitors and cowards and then slit their throats in front of the crowd.
But instead the real resistance came from the rescue victim himself. He argued that he must do his father's bidding, but the sicarrii assured him that Joseph would never ask him to let himself be crucified. Nevertheless, even though their rash actions might have harmed all humanity, he knew that they performed them for the best of reasons and at great risk to themselves, so eternal blessings await them. That thought would comfort them during the Masada revolt, when they were all killed, along with the other defenders .. after telling the Good Rabbi to leave the country and keep preaching his word, perhaps across the sea.
In 1786, on this day the fourteenth President of the United States, William Rufus DeVane King (pictured) was born in Sampson County, North Carolina.
William R. King
14th US PresidentAfter graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he was admitted to the bar in 1806. He was a member of the North Carolina House of Commons and city solicitor of Wilmington, North Carolina, before his election to the Twelfth, Thirteenth and Fourteenth Congresses. He resigned to serve as Secretary of the Legation to William Pinkney at Naples, Italy, and later at St. Petersburg, Russia. He returned to the United States and purchased property in Alabama where he and his relatives were reportedly one of the largest slave-holding families, collectively owning as many as five hundred slaves.
He was a delegate to the convention which organized the Alabama state government, and upon the admission of Alabama as a State he was elected as a Democratic-Republican to the United States Senate, and was reelected as a Jacksonian in 1822, 1828, 1834, and 1841, serving from December 14, 1819, until April 15, 1844, when he resigned. He served as President pro tempore of the United States Senate during the 24th through 27th Congresses. King was Chairman of the Committee on Public Lands and the Committee on Commerce. He was Minister to France from 1844 to 1846.
King was elected Vice President of the United States on the Democratic ticket with Franklin Pierce in 1852. But fate intervened when Pierce and his family were crushed to death when the train car that they had boarded in Boston was derailed and then rolled down an embankment near Andover, Massachusetts. But King was dying of tuberculosis and succumbed to the disease just six weeks later, so that the presidency fell to the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, David Rice Atchison.
In 1950, the invasion of Germany by Soviet armored divisions commenced, marking the beginning of World War 3. Merely five years after the crushing of Hitler and the Nazi's, the climactic confrontation between Communism and Democracy would begin with an unbridled fury.
Operation Solstice #4
By Steven FisherSoviet tanks quickly encircle Berlin, despite fierce resistance from NATO troops, who are overwhelmed by the amount of Soviet forces. The soviets refrain from using their nuclear weapons, since Stalin is gambling that NATO would not use nuclear weapons first. Soviet spearheads also drive into Czechoslovakia, and crush the defenses there. Within hours of the invasion, every member of NATO declares war on the Warsaw Pact.
The basic NATO strategy is quickly agreed upon. Hold the line against the Soviets, keep them from taking all of Germany, and wait for the Americans to arrive. As the Soviets slammed forward, NATO made a stand on the Elbe River, which was bloodily crushed through large Soviet usage of artillery. Slovakia fell, and the Soviets rolled forward. However, NATO's strategy seemed to be working, as the Soviets were having to rely more on the concentration of force to break through as their supply lines stretched.
Three weeks after the Soviet invasion of Germany, the first American divisions arrived in France. With the arrival of the Americans, the face of the war changed drastically, as NATO now had to manpower to have a stand up fight with Russia. Things became increasingly more brutal as the Soviets began using chemical weapons as they neared the Rhine River. They knew that if they could cross it then NATO's back would be broken and they could sweep France.
NATO countered with their own usage of chemical weapons, and the main forces of the Soviets and the Americans clashed in the Rhine River Valley. On one side, the NATO forces under US General Patton. On the other side, the Soviet forces under Field Marshal Zhukov. The clash is one of the largest armored battles in world history, and by the end, over 5,000 tanks have engaged. It is the training of the respective commanders that decides it, and when the smoke clears, Zhukov stands master over the field. But it is a pyrrhic victory for him, as his armored spearheads have been stopped, and much of his armor destroyed. The Russians were forced to halt on the Rhine, giving NATO vital time to regroup their forces.
They would need it, because the war would soon expand in another, new direction.
The whole thread is available at the Operation Solstice.
In 1926, on this day His Excellency Benito Mussolini, Head of Government, Duce of Fascism, and Founder of the Empire was shot dead at close quarters in the Campidoglio Square in Central Rome.
A morbid, delirious impulseThe assassin who finally brought down Il Duce was fifty years old Violet Gibson who was born into a prominent and powerful Anglo-Protestant Family in 1876. Because of her innocuous appearance she was able to approach Mussolini while he sat in a car after leaving an assembly of the International Congress of Surgeons, to whom he had delivered a speech on the wonders of modern medicine. Incredible she was able to shoot at the Italian Fascist Leader three times twice hitting him in the head.
Even more amazingly, earlier in the year she had been spotted at the trial of the Fascists who murdered Socialist Deputy Giacomo Matteotti. The handing down of lenient sentences had caused a scandal across the world and ironically it was this absurb whitewash which had sealed Il Duce's fate.
Gibson had been treated in various mental institutions in England, France and Switzerland for her delusional belief that she had been given a moral duty to kill for a higher good. A 1923 medical report concluded "She might want to try again to kill someone else". And since arriving in Rome in November 1924, she had always carried a small revolver in her luggage.
After a brief hearing concluded that she had acted out of a "a morbid, delirious impulse" she was smuggled out of Italy in May 1927 and spent the rest of her life in an asylum in Northampton where she ranted insanely about a British Government plot to stop Fascism in its tracks.
In 2011, on this day the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association announced the chance discovery of the letters from the First US President George Washington to his wife Martha that she had claimed to have burnt following his death in 1799.
Washington's Missing LettersTo the surprise of many the correspondence confirmed the widely hinted suggestion that he did seriously consider (1) Becoming King instead of President (2) Negotiating with the British to reach a deal short of Independence
However dismissive the modern historian's view that "these things happened" no amount of cynicism could disguise the shock generated by the verifiable confirmation of behind the scenes involvement of both the centuries-old Count of St Germaine and also the Roscrucian Old Professor. Because without their careful shaping of events, Washington would have surely acquiesed to either of these two temptations. And therein lie the reason for Martha's concealment of the letters; not a man of destiny at all, Washington was a military leader whose governance actions were entirely guided by a secret political class. But reassuringly, his wife had protected his status as a necessary role model at the formation of the Republic when the Office of President was in very real danger of mis-definition, not least from George Washington himself.
In 1926, in Rome, the Englishwoman Violet Gibson, daughter of Edward Gibson, first Earl Ashbourne, fired three shots at Italian dictator Benito Mussolini while he sat in a car after leaving an assembly of the International Congress of Surgeons, to whom he had delivered a speech on the wonders of modern medicine.
Death of Il Duce by Eric LippsTwo of the shots struck Mussolini in the face, inflicting what would have been comparatively minor injuries had the third not struck him in the eye, penetrating the ocular cavity to reach his brain.
Mussolini was rushed to the hospital, but doctors were unable to save him. At 3:15 A.M., Rome time, on the morning of April 8, he was pronounced dead.
His assassin, who had been arrested by Rome police at the scene, did not give her reason for attacking the self-styled modern Caesar. She was sentenced to death, but after a diplomatic outcry she was deported to Britain on the condition that she be confined to a mental institution. She died at St. Andrews Hospital in Northampton, England, on May 2, 1956.
Mussolini's assassination destabilized Italian politics. After a round of what contemporary humorists dubbed "musical prime ministers", during which tensions between radicals of the right and left escalated into street warfare, a Communist uprising installed a government of the far left, which swiftly established an authoritarian regime at least as repressive as Mussolini's, justifying its actions by pointing to the real and alleged actions of its rightist opponents as threatening "the integrity of the Italian state". In 1929, the new regime signed a treaty of "socialist fraternity" with the Soviet Union.
The Communist order in Italy, however, would not survive for long. In March 1939, with the tacit approval of the West, Hitler's Wehrmacht invaded the country, swiftly overrunning it and instituting its own reign of terror, which would last until the Allied liberation in 1943. The Western acquiescence in Hitler's occupation of Italy would later be described by journalist and author William Shirer as the "last surrender" to the Nazis; in September 1939, following the invasion of Poland by Germany and the USSR, the West would finally move against Hitler, months too late to save Italians from being ground under the Reich's jackboots.
After World War II, U.S. General Mark Clark would prove instrumental in establishing a new government, as his colleague Douglas MacArthur would do in Japan. Italy's postwar government would be dominated by center-right parties, many with ties to the Catholic Church. Socialists would be relegated to the fringes, and Communists, while not formally banned, would be kept from regaining any political power via a variety of political maneuvers in the name of preserving Italy from absorption into the Soviet bloc. By 1955, the U.S.-supported Center Party had emerged as the leading political faction; it would dominate Italian politics until the mid-1980s, when a series of scandals would finally break its hold on power.
In 1893, CIA Director Allen Welsh Dulles was born on this day in Watertown, New York and grew up in a family where public service was valued and world affairs were a common topic of discussion.
Dulles was appointed by William J. Donovan to become head of operations in New York for the Coordinator of Information (COI), which was set up in Room 3603 of Rockefeller Center, taking over offices staffed by Britain's MI6. The COI was the precursor to the Office of Strategic Services, renamed in 1942.Sunrise for the Waffen-SS ~ re-armed for World War IIIDuring the 1930s Allen Dulles gained much experience in Germany. An early foe of Adolf Hitler, Dulles was transferred from Britain to Berne, Switzerland for the rest of World War II, and notably was heavily involved in the controversial and secret Operation Sunrise a series of secret negotiations conducted in March 1945 in Switzerland between representatives of the Nazi Germany and the U.S. to arrange a local surrender of German forces in northern Italy.
One of the most notable parts of the operation were secret negotiations between Waffen-SS General Karl Wolff and Allen Dulles on March 8, 1945 in Luzern. Wolff offered the following plan: Army Group C gets a possibility to go into Germany, while Allied Forces Commander Harold Alexander advances in Southern Alps direction. Subsequently, on March 15 and March 19, Wolff conducted further secret negotiations on the surrender with American general Lyman Lemnitzer and British general Terence Airey.
Although being an ally of the British and American Forces, the Soviet Union was not informed by them of the negotiations, but received information from Soviet spies and accused western powers of trying to reach a separate peace. Among Soviet intelligence officers, who uncovered the operation, was Kim Philby.
On March 12 the U.S. ambassador in the USSR, W. Averell Harriman, notified Vyacheslav Molotov of the possibility of Wolff's arrival in Lugano to conduct negotiations on the German Forces surrender in Italy. On the same day Molotov replied that the Soviet government would not object to negotiations between American and British officers and Wolff, provided that representatives of Soviet Military Command could also take part in them. However, on March 16 the Soviet side was informed that its representatives would not be allowed to take part in negotiations with Wolff in any case.
On March 22 Molotov, in his letter to the American ambassador, wrote that 'for two weeks, in Bern, behind the back of the Soviet Union, negotiations between representatives of the German Military Command on one side and representatives of American and British Command on the other side are conducted. The Soviet government considers this absolutely inadmissible.' This led to Roosevelt's letter to Stalin on March 25 and Stalin's reply on March 29. The actual surrender in Italy occurred on April 29, 1945.
As Dulles had rightly anticipated, Army Group C alongside irregulars such as the Nazi stay-behind forces (codename Werwolf) made a decisive contribution in the early battles of World War 3.
In 1963, Croatian partisan Josip Broz is captured by soldiers of the German Reich. Broz had led a 20-year campaign against the Reich in his native land, and even outlasted the Greater Zionist Resistance in Europe. His death at the hands of the Reich was the effective end of native resistance to the fascist regime.
On this day in 1914, future President of the United States Francis Urquhart was born in Greenwich, Connecticut.
Mockingly dubbed 'FU' by his critics, Urquhart was one of the most controversial--and effective--chief executives in US history, winning the Persian Gulf War against Iraq during his second term in the White House....a term which ended violently when Urquhart was assassinated less than six weeks after the 1992 presidential elections.
In 1891, the train carrying former President Grover Cleveland and his small company of soldiers pulls into the station at Kansas City, Missouri. The city is in chaos from the political turmoil in neighboring Kansas, and Cleveland's escort is forced to protect him from would-be kidnappers almost immediately. They commandeer another train heading to Topeka and force the engineer to leave the station at gunpoint. 'Quite the auspicious beginning to our mission of peace,' Cleveland says to the colonel commanding his escort. That night, they arrive in Topeka, where they are met by what seems to be the entire city, including Jerry 'Sockless' Simpson, leader of the revolt. 'Mr. President, welcome to the republic of Kansas,' Simpson says to Cleveland as he disembarks the train. 'I trust your stay here will be very rewarding.'
In 1998, the highest council of the Illuminati, the inner circle of Swiss Emperor Pierre Amory du Chaillot, meets in Bern to discuss the unfortunate defection of Merl Myrddin to the British pretender, Arthur Pendrake. 'Brother Myrddin knows many of our deepest secrets, but I believe that we can neutralize him,' the emperor tells the assembled illuminated ones. 'We have agents in place that are working to bring Arthur down even now.' One of the other councilors speaks up at this, saying, 'I have seen this plan. It will take over a year, and come perilously close to the Convergence.' Emperor Pierre tamps down the muttering by saying, 'As we all know, the best plans are those given time to come to full fruition. We will move forward with this plan - but, if something better presents itself, we can consider a different route. Our organization is nothing if not flexible.'
In 2005, the Save Earth leadership is beginning to think that the kidnapping of Ahn Wun was a mistake; the Claw scientist has given them no aid whatsoever. Dave Lange then goes to her and uses a last ruse - he tells her that unless she cooperates, her child will be tortured by the movement. Her anguished cry of 'You have my son?' lets him know that he has chosen the right tactic.
In 2004, the Sheridans manage a stable projection from a Titanian Projection Virii they have modified. For 30 minutes, they are able to keep up an image of Livinia Sheridan that is indistinguishable from the original doctor - and her husband Jacob is only able to tell the difference when the P.V.-generated one fades away.
In 1994, the U.N. hastily puts together several thousand troops to intervene in Rwanda after ethnic violence erupted between the Hutu and Tutsi clans. Hutu extremists went on a rampage against the Tutsi minority, killing almost 10,000 people before the U.N. could halt the genocide.
American ally Panama invades Jamaica
. They become so hopelessly bogged down in warfare in the island that they are of no assistance to U.S. President Ralph Shephard during the war he begins later in the year.
Croatian partisan Josip Broz
is captured by soldiers of the German Reich. Broz had led a 20-year campaign against the Reich in his native land, and even outlasted the Greater Zionist Resistance in Europe. His death at the hands of the Reich was the effective end of native resistance to the fascist regime.
In 1954, Comrade President Ben Davis delivered his famous Domino Theory speech during a press conference at the White House. "If more nations of South America were allowed to fall under capitalist rule", he said, "that might follow what you would call the falling domino principle. You have a row of dominoes set up, you knock over the first one, and what will happen to the last one is a certainty that it will go over very quickly".
In 1915, Captain Smith of the Harlequin makes landfall on the Q'Barian planet amid chaos. His shuttle had been fired upon several times during the landing, and only his skill as a pilot had saved his small landing party. When they saw the riots taking place on the streets of the Q'Barian cities, the small group urged Captain Smith to turn back, but he insisted that they offer aid to whoever was responsible for the distress signal. Once on land, they began searching for the source of the signal.
newspaper tycoon P.T. Barnum
died at his home in Danbury, Connecticut. Barnum had entered the news business as a boy when he had to support his family after his father's death. He made national headlines by publicly ridiculing a politician who sued him for libel, and his career in ink took off.
In 1712, slaves in New York City revolt against their captors, killing over 60 whites as they flee into the New York wilderness. Unable to return to their homeland, they establish a colony that other fleeing slaves expand on. When New York rebels against England, the city of Kafara joins the United States as a free state and strong advocate for the abolition of slavery.
In 783 AUC, in an act of mercy, Judean governon Pontius Pilate pardons a rabble-rouser named Yeshua ben Joseph who had been sentenced to crucifixion. The pardon seems to disappoint the flamboyant Yeshua for some reason
In 1453, with his capital city besieged by a vast Ottoman Turk force Byzantine Emperor Constantine XI Palaiologos reluctantly declared "Better the Cardinal's hat turban than the Sultan's turban!".
Better the Cardinal's hat than the Sultan's turban!Of course seven weeks later the siege was lifted by Venetian, German, and Genoese troops under the direct command of Pope Nicholas V. It would serve as the crowning moment of his impressive eight-year term as pope and herald a new age of military security in Christendom from outside threats.
But the inside story was simply incredible; even though the Tenth Crusade was the Byzantine's last hope, their plight was in no small part due to the earlier Crusades and caused by schismatic differences between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches. And much as Constantine XI had feared, the triumph meant the end of the Byzantine period and domination over the European Muslims. Eventually though the "Third Rome" would rise again, but not until the emergence of Tsarist Russia, the new vanguard of the Orthodox Church.
In 1937, the United States Government was outraged to discover that Nazi Germany had formed a contractual agreement for the supply of helium, a byproduct of oil from certain geological strata located in the Republic of Texas.
Hindenburg DisasterIn an attempt to defuse the diplomatic dispute escalating between the three Governments, a technical statement was issued to the public by industry sources in Berlin. Hindenburg Airship Designer, Herr Fritz August Breuhaus and the former head of the Zeppelin Company Dr. Hugo Eckener presented reasoned arguments that supply was absolutely necessary to ensure the safe continuation of transatlantic passenger travel. Both Germans politely reminded Americans that helium had been selected for the lifting gas because it was the safest to use in airships as it was not flammable.
However the US Government had designated the gas as a material with "military value" and banned exportation under the Neutrality Act. Accordingly, Washington advised the German Embassy that henceforth airships fueled by helium would be denied use of the hangar and mooring mast at the Lakehurst Naval Air Station in New Jersey (pictured).
For Germany, the cessation of the transatlantic lighter-than-air program was a transportation public relations disaster matched only by the Kriegsmarine sinking the Titanic. No longer would wealthy German Citizens travel in luxury to the East Coast. But it was not to be the last time that the swastika could be seen emblazening aircraft over New York City. Because the dispute was also just one step on the long road to war; within five years, anti-submarine patrol blimps were operated from Lakehurst and the only aircraft crossing the Atlantic were dispatched by the Luftwaffe.
In 1929, Huey Pierce Long, then governor of Louisiana, was impeached in the state's House of Representatives on a variety of charges ranging from corruption to "blasphemy". It was the beginning of a two-month drama which would end with his conviction in the Louisiana Senate by a single vote after the failure of an effort to derail the impeachment by obtaining sworn statements from one-third of the body?s members saying that they would vote to acquit regardless because the charges themselves were unconstitutional.
Kingfish Impeached by Eric LippsLong had run afoul of powerful business interests, in particular Standard Oil, which had been angered by his efforts to raise revenue for his ambitious social and construction programs through a five-cents-per-barrel tax on oil refining. Standard Oil had played a crucial role in building support for Long's impeachment. Ironically, though, this was to work to the ousted governor's advantage.
In October 1929, the stock market collapsed, touching off the cascade of economic failures which would produce the Great Depression. Long, quick to seize the moment, branded his Standard Oil adversaries as among those responsible for the spreading misery. In 1930, he won election to the U.S. Senate, and in 1932 ran for president of the United States, posing such a serious challenge to New York Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt that upon winning the Democratic nomination FDR offered the vice-presidential slot to Long.
Long accepted, despite privately sharing the pungent view of Texan John Nance Garner as to the worth of the vice-presidency. His acceptance, however, came with conditions: he demanded FDR's assurance that he would be allowed to speak and travel freely. Badly needing Long's support in the South, where he was viewed as deeply suspect for his liberal politics and Yankee background, FDR agreed.
Long would prove a capable second - so much so that Roosevelt would retain him through the 1936, 1940 and 1944 elections despite strong pressure from within the party to dump the outspoken and flamboyant Louisianan. As a result, when President Roosevelt died in April 1945, it would be Huey Long who would become the 33rd president of the United States.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.