It is 1995, and the world is horrified to hear that the Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin has been shot and seriously wounded by Yigal Amir, an Israeli fanatic.
Rabin nearly slainThe whole world breaths a sigh of relief when the hospital announces that Rabin will survive. He had, after all, played a key role in creating the Oslo Accords, which recognized the Palestinian National Authority. PLO Chairman Yassir Arafat had sent him a reply recognizing Israel's right to exist and abandoning violence against her.
Their agreement was immortalized by the famous photo of the two leaders shaking hands, with President Clinton literally drawing them together. As Rabin so eloquently put it on that memorable occasion, "We who have fought against you, the Palestinians, we say to you today, in a loud and clear voice, enough of blood and tears .. enough!"
Remembering that meeting, Rabin's close call brought the leading Jews and Arabs even closer together in their fervent prayers for his survival .. which was followed by equally widespread prayers of thanks, when they learned he would survive. Despite the continuing actions of extremists on both sides, the peaceful efforts to reach a permanent compromise continue to this day, and Rabin remains in office.
In 1605, the Dark Age of Britain began as the Houses of Parliament were destroyed in a single massive explosion during the State Opening, at which King James I, Queen Anne, Prince Henry, and virtually every Member of Parliament was instantly slain.
Gunpowder Plot by Jake DominguezThe person or persons behind the vicious act were never apprehended. Shortly thereafter a very small Catholic revolt was begun in the Midlands, suddenly giving the grieving populace a focus for their rage.
Within three months, every open Catholic in Britain was either murdered or deported. 4-year old Charles Stuart suddenly found himself crowned King Charles I, and by the time of his adulthood had cultivated both a totalitarian belief in absolute monarchy and a vast hatred of Catholics and foreigners, who were the second suspect group behind the murder of his family. Under Charles' reign, Britain was transformed into a oppressed, xenophobic state, responsible for both the near-genocide of the Irish people and a pall of fear pressed upon its citizens and the other nations of Europe.
Eventually, driven by the silent desperation of the cowed public, Oliver Cromwell came to power with the support of the reconstituted Parliament (which by then had been stripped of most of its power by the rampant Charles) and in a quick and decisive coup executed the King and the entire Royal Family. Cromwell was appointed Lord Protector in a move transforming Great Britain into a Republican Commonwealth, which it remains to this day.
In 1066, on this day King Harold's English Army stood poised on London bridge with the Viking and Norman invaders on either bank of the Thames.
The Battle of London Bridge by Ed, Jackie Speel & Scott PalterAs expected, William the B*stard had landed on the South coast, a location that meet his communication and logistical needs from Normandy. However, the Vikings had surprised the English by choosing a landing point out of the Danelaw (the invading Norwegian force was led by King Harald Hardrada of Norway and the English king's brother Tostig Godwinson).
Unable to march out and meet either invading army without leaving the Capital undefended, Harold had decided to stay in London. He also began to explore options for an accommodation with either or both usurpers. Incredibly, the best prospect appeared to be a deal with Tostig, who Harold had outlawed twelve months before. Such an unlikely settlement would permit a joint English-Viking attack on the Normans. Of course that outcome was Tostig's plan from the very beginning..
In 1956, on this day Hungarians began to fight back with American Arms.
Hungarians Fight Back with American Arms In the postlude to World War II, Soviet occupation forces came to dominate Eastern Europe. Churchill described the separation from the West as an Iron Curtain in 1946, and, in the decade following, Hungary had suffered under Stalinistic rule.
In 1956, what began as a demonstration by students became a nation-wide rebellion against Soviet authority. The students rallied around the statue of Hungarian hero Jozef Bem, cut the Soviet emblem from the Hungarian flag, read manifestos, sang, and began to march on Budapest's radio center. As they approached, the students were fired upon by the State Security Police with tear gas and live ammunition. The protestors retaliated, overwhelmed the police, and the Soviet-inspired government collapsed almost overnight.
A new story by Jeff ProvineWorking to maintain what order they could, Soviet tanks surrounded the Parliament, and reformist Imre Nagy (pictured) was given the place of the ousted prime minister, Andres Hegedus. Nagy called for an end to violence, but Molotov cocktails and what few weapons the people had were used on the police. Soviet forces stayed disengaged, seeking only to protect what little of the government was still in place. Throughout the country, rebels took over local government and began hurried elimination of Soviet emblems. On October 28, an uneasy armistice was declared, though often interrupted, and Khrushchev announced that the Soviet Union would remain only to defend Russian interests before withdrawal.
While the new Hungarian government seemed hopeful, the Soviets began plans to intervene. Khrushchev met with leaders of other communist nations in Eastern Europe, and it was said that Mao Zedong had given the recommendation to crush the rebellion. The United States was frozen in a neutral position due to the ongoing affair at the Suez Canal where they had allowed British and French intervention. The Eisenhower Administration knew it could not very well support international military efforts in Egypt then condemn it in Hungary, but raucous opinion from the press drowned out VP Nixon's more diplomatic approach. It was finally decided that, although not full military support, covert delivery of tank-busting rockets and small artillery mortars would be made. Though there was little time for training, the weapons were delivered by train and spread through the newly founded militias.
On November 1, Soviet tanks began to penetrate Hungary and move toward Budapest. Nagy and his cabinet responded by announcing Hungary's withdrawal from the Warsaw Pact, calling for the removal of Soviet troops, and appealing for United Nations support in maintaining neutrality. The political actions proved ineffective, and, in the early hours of November 4, the Soviets launched Operation Whirlwind with 17 divisions storming eastern Hungary. The militias gave a sudden and impressive counterattack, but the armored Soviets pushed through into Pest. Without orders from higher authority, Hungarian freedom fighters demolished the bridges by explosives and small-scale artillery, halting the Soviet advance at the Danube River.
Nagy praised his fellow countrymen via radio and called for resistance on the eastern side of Hungary. Soviet supply lines became cut repeatedly, and the need for defense hindered any attempt to make headway into territory. As November dragged on, the invasion stalemated, and international cries of foul play began to rise against Russia. Spain led the way in boycotting the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, along with the Netherlands, Switzerland, Norway, and more. Combined with the boycott by the Arab states because of military action at the Suez Canal and the Chinese boycott due to Formosa (Taiwan), it would be the least-attended Olympics in years with only 2,459 athletes, one-half of the originally planned participants.
As the Suez Crisis came to an end with Egyptian control of the Canal, the signal seemed to spread that small nations would not ascribe to imperialism any longer. Hungary became revitalized with international support, and the Soviets began discussions of drawing demilitarized zones, but Nagy refused. In 1958, the spirit of rebellion broke throughout the Warsaw Pact, and Russia suddenly saw itself losing the influence gained after the Second World War. Khruschev manipulated political damage control, breaking satellite nations away from Russia while keeping the Soviet Union itself intact, though severely weakened.
In his inaugural address, John F. Kennedy admitted that the Cold War had not ended, but said that the world had reached a new balance beyond a fallen Iron Curtain. America was not the unquestionable leader of the post-colonial world, although it now stood ahead of the rest, and he invited them to work together with, "My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man". Freedom, specifically capitalistic freedom, would win the day as the strength of Communism continued to wane.
In 1980, on this day American voters went to the polls in what would be the closest presidential election since the JFK-Nixon showdown in 1960. Incumbent president Jimmy Carter was seeking a second term in the White House, while Republican challenger Ronald Reagan sought to restore the Oval Office to GOP control for the first time since Carter beat Ford in the 1976 elections.
1980 Presidential ElectionAfter Iranian Islamic militants seized the U.S. embassy in Tehran in late 1979 Carter's approval rating had taken a steep dive; it started to rise again, however, as events in the Soviet Union appeared to be vindicating Carter's "soft" foreign policy rather than the "hard" policy advocated by Reagan. Sensing that attacking Carter on foreign policy matters might backfire, Reagan's campaign strategists opted instead to focus on the weaknesses in Carter's economic policy. This proved to be the right call given the recession which was plaguing the U.S. at the time; during the summer of 1980, as political unrest in the USSR spiraled out of control and the Summer Olympics in Moscow played to much smaller crowds than previously expected, Reagan gradually closed the gap on Carter.
A new installment in the Necessary Evil threadBy late September the former California governor was just four percentage points behind Carter in most opinion polls. What might have been the most critical moment of the final weeks of the '80 campaign came when, in what later became known as "the October surprise", Reagan campaign staffers got hold of a Carter debate strategy memo and used it to craft a devastating counterattack for Reagan when he and Carter squared off in their final presidential debate. On the morning of Election Day itself Carter and Reagan were locked in a statistical dead heat and would remain so for several hours as the returns came in on Election Night. Not until 1:32 AM Eastern on November 5th, more than two hours after the polls had closed on the West Coast, did Reagan begin to pull away from Carter-- and even then he had to wait another five hours before he could declare victory.
Reagan's win came as a surprise to many political experts, who had expected Carter to get a second term as president. But the GOP nominee turned President-elected had worked tirelessly to build support among moderate and conservative voters, particularly Americans of Eastern European descent who shared his anti-Communist ideals, and that ultimately helped tip the scales in his favor. The new president wouldn't have to wait long for an opportunity to demonstrate his commitment to ending Communist domination of Eastern Europe; just twenty days after he won the presidency, the Russian civil war began
In 1980, former movie and television personality and California governor Ronald Wilson Reagan defeated incumbent Democrat James Earl "Jimmy" Carter in the U.S. presidential election, becoming the second Catholic, after John F. Kennedy, to win the White House..
Catholic ReaganReagan was the product of a mixed household in which his father Jack Reagan was a mostly nonobservant Catholic and his mother Nelle a fervent Protestant evangelical of the Disciples of Christ denomination. According to Reagan, his father left to his mother his religious upbringing and that of his elder brother Neil. Nelle Reagan chose to honor both of the family's religious faiths by raising Neil as a Protestant and Ronald as a Catholic. As President Reagan would say in is autobiography, Where's The Rest of Me?, it could easily have gone the other way around; Mrs. Reagan's choice for her son Neil was as much a matter of chance as of any conscious desire to have the elder of her two sons join her own church.
A new story by Eric LippsMr. Reagan's religion would be counted by political analysts as a factor in his loss to President Gerald R. Ford in the 1976 GOP primaries. By 1980, however, increasing ties between such right-wing evangelical leaders as the Revs. Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson and the Roman Catholic Church on social issues, particularly abortion, would more than overcome anti-Catholic prejudice. Mr. Reagan would be further aided by the fury of Protestant fundamentalists at President Carter, whom many of them had supported in '76 on the strength of his own evangelicalism only to find that in office he pursed policies they found offensive, such as his failure to wholeheartedly support Israel and his alleged "weakness" in dealing with the Soviet Union and, after the seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran by Islamic militants on Nov. 4, 1979, the government of Iran.
Many liberals feared that as president Reagan would force through legislation enforcing Catholic positions on abortion and other issues. Reagan easily deflected such warnings by pointing to, and quoting from, President Kennedy's assurances to Protestants in 1960 that he would not let his church dictate his actions in office. On Election Day, Reagan carried 49 states, defeating Carter 55 percent to 45 in the popular vote.
In office, Reagan would at times seem to bear out his critics' warnings, forging a political alliance with the equally conservative Pope John Paul II, a native of Communist-ruled Poland, and refusing to act decisively against a wave of bombings and shootings targeting abortion providers or to commit significant federal resources to research against the new disease known as Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, or AIDS, until the ailment had spread well beyond its initial loci among homosexuals and intravenous-drug abusers. Eventually he found himself at odds on the latter issue with his own surgeon general, C. Everett Koop, whom Reagan had appointed precisely because of Dr. Koop's deeply conservative religious background. His early bellicose rhetoric toward the Soviet Union likewise echoed that of the Vatican. But by 1984 President Reagan would have changed his mind about AIDS, authorizing billions of dollars in NIH research funding to combat it, and in his second term, following the rise to power in Moscow of the reformist Mikhail Gorbachev, he would moderate his stand on U.S.-Soviet relations as well. By the time he left office in January 1989, he had largely assuaged the fears of those who had seen him as serving Rome, though at the cost of angering some former supporters who had hoped he would stick to the hard-line positions he and the Holy See had seemed to have in common.
In 1995, on this day Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin (pictured) was attacked and gravely wounded by a militant Jewish law student linked to far-right groups enraged at Rabin's attempts at negotiation with the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Rabin Assassination Attempt Backfires by Eric LippsThe failed assassination provoked a crisis within the Israeli government, weakening the right and strengthening both Rabin and peace factions within the Knesset. It played a significant role in Rabin's victory over hard-liner Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel's May 1996 elections.
In 1672, on this day the House of Commons re-instated Richard Cromwell as Lord Protector just two weeks after the beheading of King Charles II. Until his death in 1712, aged 85 Cromwell remained Protector in name only, living under house arrest in the Whitehall Palace (across the way from the Banqueting House where Charles was executed) with the army in control of the country.
Restoration of Queen DickThe demise of Charles Stuart was a self-inflicted wound caused by the Secret Treaty of Dover. To the shock of the English people, it was revealed that their King would receive a pension from Louis XIV of France in return for a secret undertaking to return England to the Catholic church.
"There is not a dog that wags his tongue, so great a calm are we in" - Secretary of State, John ThurloeIronically, Richard Cromwell himself was even less financially secure than Charles Stuart. And so now the House of Commons was saddled with the new Head of State's debts of £30,000 (equivalent to £4,000,000 in todays money) and forced to pay a full pension, pledges that had previously been made, but not honoured when Cromwell stood down on May 25th 1659. In fact creditors were now chasing Cromwell, and he had been forced to consider fleeing abroad to avoid payment.
Despite these rather unpalatable short-term costs, the restatement of "Tumbledown Dick" would provide the constancy that the Commonwealth needed to survive at its second attempt. Because the governing class had discovered that the stability of the nation relied upon politics without demi-god personalities, and after all, it was perhaps an advantage that "Queen Dick" was neither a military man, nor the dominating figure that his father (pictured) had been.
In 1995, on this day Yitzak Rabin miraculously survived a ruthless triple assassination attempt on his life when security officers at the Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv disarmed Yoram Rubin, the Israeli Prime Minister's own bodyguard.Song for Peace
At 9.30pm Rabin left a mass rally in Tel Aviv in support of the Oslo process where he had been singing Shir LaShalom (literally Song for Peace) with Israeli singer Miri Aloni.
At the Kikar Malkhei Yisrael (Kings of Israel Square), a former Hesder student and Orthodox far-right law student at Bar-Ilan University, Yigal Amir (pictured), fired three shots at the Prime Minister. Watch the Youtube Clip An unidentified witness shouted, "It's nothing ... they're blanks. It's a toy gun". A Shin Bet (secret service) agent testified that "I heard a policeman shout to people to calm down. The shot is a blank. I heard no cries of pain from the prime minister or his bodyguard and detected no signs of blood whatsoever".
The Prime Minister's wife, Leah Rabin stated that a security guard told her immediately after the incident that the bullets shot at her husband were blanks. She further stated that she was told by an Israeli security chief that she "should not worry as the whole thing had been staged".
With no evidence of blood loss, Rabin climbed into his government limousine unassisted for the two minute journey to Ichilov Hospital. Three police officers testified that "when Yitzhak Rabin was placed in the car, he showed no visible wounds".And Gordon Thomas in his book Gideon's Spies confirmed: "The surgeons insisted there was no possible gunshot wound that would have allowed Rabin to leave the attack site showing no evidence of a wound and arrive at the hospital with multiple damage ..".
Yet a deeper plot was soon revealed when the driver and bodyguard Yossi Herush fired two shots into the Prime Minister from inside the vehicle. Twenty-two minutes later, the vehicle arrived at Ichilov Hospital. Whilst seriously wounded, surgery on the operating table was a success and Rabin stood every chance of recovering from the assassination attempt. Watch the Youtube Clip Then, Yoram Rubin entered the hospital room with a silenced revolver, intending to finish the job.
Under interrogation, the 'patsy' Yigal Amir revealed that "When I tell the whole truth, the entire system will collapse. I know enough to destroy this country".. The truth emerged the following day - a plot by government forces loyal to Foreign Minister Shimon Peres had sought to discredit right-wing opponents of the Oslo Accords. Yet the Shin Bet 'sting' had gone terribly wrong, when rogue forces led by Carmi Gillon, the Head of the Shin Bet security service attempted to frame Amir and kill Rabin for real - to usher in a whole new form of Israeli Government. The attempt to murder the Oslo traitors had failed. Final status negotiations with the Palestinians were eventually signed in 2005 - by Israel's eight Prime Minister, Rabin's own daughter Dalia Rabin-Pelossof.
In 2008, Arizona Sen. John McCain defeated Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois to become the 44th President of the United States of America.Balanced Ticket by Eric Lipps
Until the last 48 hours of the fall campaign, it appeared Sen. Obama was headed for a history-making victory which would make him the first African-American elected president. McCain's come-from-behind win took shape only as undecided voters finally broke for him and as white evangelical Christian voters in particular, who had been strong supporters of McCain's running-mate Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (pictured) despite misgivings about the man at the head of the Republican ticket, turned out in huge numbers to vote.
In the aftermath, many embittered Democrats attributed McCain's win to shadowy vote manipulation such as millions still believed had stolen the election of 2000. Others, unwilling to charge fraud, pointed instead to Sen. Obama's refusal to make a final break with controversial black pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright, whose church Obama had attended for two decades. Wright's fiery sermons, which sometimes contained what seemed to many to be anti-Americana rhetoric, became a millstone around Obama's neck in the final months of the campaign. Despite pleadings from many supporters, however, Obama refused to decisively denounce Wright, insisting instead that the Chicago preacher's words were being distorted and misunderstood.
At age 72, John Sidney McCain III would become the oldest man ever to be sworn in for a first presidential term, a distinction previously held by Ronald Reagan. This would become an issue when in March of 2010 he suffered a fatal stroke, elevating Vice-President Palin to the presidency. Palin, who with McCain's election in 2008 had become the first woman ever to serve as vice-president of the United States, would thereby become the first female Chief Executive.
On this day in 1952, Francis Urquhart won election to the U.S. Senate despite allegations that he had used dirty tactics to force one of his campaign opponents to drop out of the race.
Traffic was bunching up early this morning. Steph sat in a line of several other cars. George, getting impatient in the back side, undid his safety belt and slid up behind Joan to read her magazine over her shoulder. Steph tried to crane her head around to see if there was anything blocking her progress that she could move around. She turned on the radio to see if she could find any traffic information, but only got static. "Radio's busted again," she told the kids.
"We should get one that can play MP3s," Joan said, not even looking up from her magazine.
"Or satellite radio - that'd be cool, wouldn't it, mom?" George slid over to her now, eagerly smiling at his own suggestion.
Steph looked at him disapprovingly. "I can't help notice you ain't got no seat belt on, boy".
He flopped back in his seat. "Mom, we haven't moved in, like, ten minutes".
"Doesn't matter. Your Uncle Chuck'd have an entirely different wife if his first fianc?e had just listened to me about that".
George groaned, but fastened his seat belt. "Not the dead lady story again".
"She'll keep tellin' it till you listen," Joan said, her face still buried in her magazine.
"Chuck loved that girl with all his heart," Steph said, lost in memory. "We all loved her; she was so sweet. But she believed that BS that you can survive a car crash better if you get thrown clear. Guess she learned the truth about that". The car in front of her backed up a tad, then pulled off a very imperfect 5-point turn and headed back the way they had come from. "I gotta learn a different way to get y'all to school". She looked around at the other cars in line. Traffic was heavier than usual today. Lots of people looked like they were packed up with junk. "Did the college session let out or something?"
"No, they're still going till December," Joan said, finally looking up and examining the cars around them. "Wow, they do look like they're moving. Is there another hurricane?"
"We're in the center of the state. Hurricanes can't reach us here".
"Rita went all the way up to Arkansas, didn't it?"
"Yeah, but it was following a river".
"Austin has a river".
"Not one that reaches the coast". Steph thought about following the guy who vacated his position in front of her, but didn't know another road into town. "Why did I have to live in the country?"
In 1980, after defeating incumbent President Ronald Reagan for the Republican presidential nomination, Representative John Anderson of Illinois takes on Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts in the general election and emerges triumphant. Anderson's liberal Republicanism is almost a 180 degree turn from Reagan's conservative activism, and it inspires many young people who had been turned off by the old-line conservatives to take a new look at the Republican Party. Anderson easily won reelection in 1984, and his ideals continued to shape the party for decades after.
In 1952, in an astonishingly tough campaign, Governor Adlai Stevenson of New York defeats General Dwight Eisenhower for the presidency. Governor Stevenson's slogan, "Let's talk sense to the American people" outshone the unimaginative "I like Ike" of the opposition, and his articulate vision for the future gave people far more confidence in his ability to lead the nation.
In 1924, Thomas Edison, who had run against his better judgement, is defeated in the presidential race by Progressive candidate Robert M. LaFollette of Wisconsin. Edison, who had run as a Democrat, was relieved to have lost, and in his memoirs even claimed to have deliberately sabotaged his campaign. He became a good friend of President LaFollette's even backing him in his 1928 race for reelection.
In 1922, Howard Carter discovers the tomb of Tutankhamen in Egypt. When Carter brings King "Tut's" mummy out, he brings to life an ancient curse along with it. Within a year, every member of Carter's expedition is dead, and the mummy of Tutankhamen has vanished. Bedouins in the desert often tell tales of seeing the ancient Pharoah returning to his dusty grave.
In 1856, Walt Whitman, 37-year old journalist from New York, is elected to the presidency at the head of the Communist Party ticket. Whitman brings the Marxist-Thoreauvian political theory of the 1840's to life, and leads America to a brave new world of social justice. While there are some bumps along the way, Comrade Whitman is still remembered as one of the finest presidents to serve the country.
In 1720, King George of Great Britain grants the Mlosh of the colony ship that landed in Ireland British citizenship. This moves rankles the Irish, who have been chafing under British rule for centuries. Before long, though, they come to appreciate their alien neighbors, as the Mlosh help them win independence from Britain.
On this day in 1973, the Dallas Cowboys gained their sixth win of the 1973 NFL season with a 37-10 drubbing of the Cincinnati Bengals. A moderate concussion forced Roger Staubach out of the game early in the third quarter; Craig Morton took over for him and quarterbacked the Cowboys the rest of the game, confronting Dallas head coach Tom Landry with a dilemma for the next week's game.
In 1979, Islamic militants overrun the U.S. embassy compound in the Iranian capital of Teheran. Critics of the Carter administration lose no time in suggesting that Carter's "retreat" from Southeast Asia, his withdrawal of U.S. forces from Cuba - occupied since the successful 1961 Bay of Pigs intervention - and his refusal to intervene to prevent the overthrow of Iran's autocratic but pro-American ruler Shah Reza Pahlevi in January have signaled American weakness and thus invited the embassy seizure.
On this day in 1957, the Houston Oilers earned their first NBA regular season victory at Sam Houston Coliseum, beating the New York Knicks 97-88. The win was dubbed "the Sputnik game" by Houston sportswriters because it took place on the same day that the Sputnik 2 space satellite was launched by the Soviet Union.
On this day in 1941, Wehrmacht troops in Russia began a two-pronged assault on the town of Prokhorovka near Kursk.
On this day in 2017 shooting on the third CSI movie had to be halted after a stuntman was injured during filming of a sequence in which leading man Laurence Fishburne's character shoots it out with a suspect in the murder of a Las Vegas casino owner.
On this day in 1962, President Kennedy ordered a 48-hour suspension of US military combat operations in Cuba pending further developments with the Kosygin coup d'etat in Moscow.
|John F. Kennedy|
In 1979, the U.S. embassy compound in Tehran is seized by Shiite militants, who denounce it as a "nest of spies". Ambassador Richard Helms's past history as director of the Central Intelligence Agency makes what might otherwise seem to be an outlandish charge more credible, especially after the militants, ransacking embassy files, discover documents describing CIA operations within Iran. President Rockefeller denounces the embassy seizure and calls on the Khomeini government to 'use all means at its disposal' to end the embassy occupation, which he describes as "tantamount to an act of war".
In 1979, in an interview on the Sunday interview show Meet the Press, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger condemns President Edward Kennedy for "betraying" the deposed Shah of Iran by refusing to allow him into America for medical treatment.
"After this", he intones, "who among our allies will be able to trust in our friendship?" He goes on to ask, "What can America possibly gain from this decision?"
Privately, Vice-President Henry Jackson shares Kissinger's opinion. With a presidential election looming, however, Jackson does not feel free to say so publicly.
In Tehran, a small knot of protesters assembles briefly outside the U.S. Embassy, shouting revolutionary slogans. After telephone complaints from embassy security, municipal police and Revolutionary Guard troops arrive and break up the demonstration, arresting a number of participants.
In 1922, Howard Carter discovers the tomb of Tutankhamen in Egypt. When Carter brings King "Tut's" mummy out, he brings to life an ancient curse along with it. Within a year, every member of Carter's expedition is dead, and the mummy of Tutankhamen has vanished. Bedouins in the desert often tell tales of seeing the ancient Pharoah returning to his dusty grave.
In 2637 AUC the first representatives from Vinland took their seats in the Senate in Rome. Vinland had been considered a barbaric province for so long that when the Vinlandians appeared in the latest Roman finery, several observers reported being shocked that they hadn't come in loincloths and tattoos. The sophistication that the first Vinlandians presented to the Senate helped them bring their province up to full equality in the Republic by the end of the decade.
In 1828, President Andrew Jackson wins reelection after the abolition of the Electoral College allows him to be popularly elected. The people support Jackson fanatically; so much so that, when he dissolves the Congress dominated by his opponents, they muster in the streets of Washington to keep the National Republicans from organizing support against him. When Jackson outlaws the opposition party, though, he goes too far, and it ignites a civil war between the rival political factions.
In 1963, on this day Winston Lawson was asked to prepare for the presidential trip to Dallas, Texas. This involved discussions with Kenneth O'Donnell (special assistant to Kennedy), Roy Kellerman and Jesse Curry (chief of police in Dallas). However, Curry always insisted that Winston G. Lawson was the person who made all the major decisions. This included the order that the proposed side escorts for the motorcade were to be redeployed to the rear of the cars. Lawson drove the presidential motorcade's lead car. In a statement he made later, Lawson commented: "As the lead car was passing under this bridge I heard the first loud, sharp report and in more rapid succession seven more sounds like gunfire. I could see persons to the left of the motorcade vehicles running away. I noticed Agent Hickey standing up in the follow-up car with the automatic weapon and first thought he had fired at someone. Both the President's car and our lead car rapidly accelerated almost simultaneously".
In 1963, General Duong Van "Big" Minh confessed his role in the conspiracy to overthrow the Government of the Republic of Vietnam two days before. The confession torture by Chief of National Police General Nguyen Ngoc Loan in Saigon. Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem and his younger brother, Ngo Dinh Nhu are enraged to learn of the CIA involvement in the plot and immediately commence back channel communication with the President of North Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh.
British Prime Minister Winston Churchill made a series of rash promises to Australian Prime Minister John Curtin. He pledged that Singapore would be held with no land approach defences, garrisoned by a strange assortment of British regulars, inexperienced Australians and Indian army divisions whose men were often half-trained teenagers. Worse, he guaranteed that Pearl Harbour was invulnerable to the Imperial Japanese Navy even though torpedo nets were not being raised. He had not become the King's First Minister in order to preside over the dissolution of the British Empire, said Churchill. However that is precisely what happened. After the fall of both Singapore and Pearl Harbour to the Japanese, prime minister Winston Churchill confessed his ignorance of the weakness British Imperial defences, saying: "I did not know. I was not told. I should have asked". It was a lesson he tried hard to learn from as he sought to plan the defence of Port Stanley
in the Falkland Islands, where he and the remnants of the British Royal Naval had fled to in 1942.
In 1941, retired Colonel T.E. Lawrence arrived for a meeting at Number 10 Downing Street where he would be reactivated. Ned was to receive orders from Winston Churchill to meet the German death squad menace threatening to bring the Final Solution to Palestine. The meeting got off to a bad start when Aaron Aarohnson kicked off with the Zionst sentiment 'Next year, in Jerusalem'. It brought back bad memories from 1918. General Allenby had told Prince Feisal (with Lawrence translating) that the British Government did not recognise his leadership, and would shortly be handing Damascus to the French.
In 1957, when Sputnik 2 left Earth, the Soviet spacecraft was the first vessel designed by humans carrying a living being into the universe. Aboard was the dog Laika, out there to test, if a complex organism would actually be able to survive in zero gravity for a longer period.
This post was written by Dirk Puehl the highly recommended author of #onthisday #history Google+ posts.
Space Age and Dog Years"Work with animals is a source of suffering to all of us. We treat them like babies who cannot speak. The more time passes, the more I'm sorry about it. We shouldn't have done it.. We did not learn enough from this mission to justify the death of the dog" (Oleg Georgovitch Gazenko, one of the Soviet animals in space programme, 1998).
Laika allegedly died after a few hours in, not from the state of weightlessness but of stress and noise and heat in the capsule. Since Sputnik 2 burned up during the re-entry into Earth's atmosphere, the actual fate of Laika remained officially unclear.
Three years later the Soviet Union started the next attempt to bring something living into space.. and back again. The two dogs Belka and Strelka were sent out in Sputnik 5 and everything seemed to work as expected, from the start of the craft in the Baikonur Cosmodrome until Sputnik V's first orbit. Then the life signs of the two dogs suddenly disappeared from Baikonur's measuring devices - from normal to simply gone in an instant.
Even though Sputnik 5 managed a soft landing, necessary for the planned manned space flights, the craft's hatch was open and everything inside destroyed. No clue about the two dogs could be found. Next year's plan to send a man into space had to be postponed for an indefinite time. The next unmanned flights, Soviet as well as those launched by the US, experienced serious setbacks, once they penetrated Earth's atmosphere. In 1961, Shepard reported three comet-like apparitions, accompanying him on his suborbital flight, a failure of his instruments after roughly 5 minutes and the apparitions following him until a height of roughly 30.000 feet.
The phenomenon continued to be visible, on clear nights even with bare eyes, while almost every attempt, Soviet, US, European, Japanese, Chinese and Indian, to launch something into space either inexplicably failed as soon as the object left Earth's atmosphere or downright exploded. The reporting of seeing the three comets ceased in 1985, as sudden as it began in 1960 and international space programmes slowly began to ramp up in the early 1990s again.
In 1902, on this day the steamship carrying nineteen year old Benito Mussolini docked at Ellis Island in Upper New York Bay.
Rise of Il DuceBorn in Dovia di Predappio, a small town in the province of Forli in Emilia-Romagna, he had emigrated from his native Italy in order to seek work and also to avoid military service. However he was unable to find a permanent job in New York and drifted into the criminal underclass of Little Italy.
Over many years he established a reputation for a unique boldness that eventually brought him to the attention of organized crime bosses. And by the 1930s, he had become the minor figure known as "Il Duce" - his rise restricted only by his non-Sicilian roots.
In 1964, on this day the emergence of damning photographic evidence that supported the continuing media revelations about his alleged affair with sister-in-law Jacky destroyed Robert Kennedy's electoral support and New Yorkers overwhelmingly re-elected the incumbent Republican Senator Kenneth Keating.
Article written by Ed & Amnah KhanThe Lancelot and Guinevere style tryst between the lovers signalled the bitter end of Camelot but in truth Kennedy had consistently polled two million less votes than Johnson and his prospects for election were always far from certain.
Fearing the emergence of a powerful new rival, Johnson had not taken any chances, allowing the "Jackiegate" scandal to leak to anti-Kennedy reporters in Boston, Washington and New York.
Of course Kennedy had no one to blame but himself. It was his own fear of this career-destroying revelation that was the sinister motive behind his decisions as US Attorney General that compromised the Warren Commission.
In 2011, following days of intense speculation in the media, US President Barack Obama confirmed that as a courtesy to Chinese Investors, an Independent Economics Professor from Beijing University who be permitted to attend the United States Congress Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction in an observer-only capacity.
Watch the Advert from "Citizens Against Government Waste"
Chinese ProfessorIn a barely disguised reference to the critical comments of Mark Steyn, Obama indicated that continued media speculation was unhelpful, causing further turmoil in the money markets.
In a prime time interview, the controversial book author had restated a series of disputed facts from his book "After America - Get Ready for Armageddon". The key allegation was that the Federal Government was spending huge "black budget" sums on underground shelters to protect the ruling elite from the expected eruption of the Yellowstone Park Supervolcano expected during 20121.
In 1939, on this day French president Eduoard Daladier (pictured) met with a delegation of Martian envoys near Paris to witness a demonstration of a directed energy weapon which the chief envoy said would enable France and its allies to better defend themselves against possible future attack by Germany.
This weapon, nicknamed a "heat ray" by an American newspaper correspondent who was covering the demonstration for the Chicago Tribune, was capable of vaporizing even the hardest targets in the blink of an eye; in its first test firing on Earth soil it disintegrated more than a dozen heavy tanks in barely two seconds.
Part Three of Parley Movie footage of the test firing was duly sent to the British embassy in Paris, which in turn dispatched it to the Ministry of Defence offices in London for further review.A new thread by Chris Oakley
One British leader who was especially fascinated by the heat ray demonstration film was ex-Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill. Churchll, a fervent opponent of the Nazis from the day Hitler first came into power in 1933, saw the weapon as a lethally effective countermeasure to the Third Reich's constantly expanding bomber force and submarine fleet. By the spring of 1939 Churchill would be personally overseeing the construction of nearly a hundred heat ray projectors in Great Britain, twenty-five of them lined up along the coast of the Straits of Dover to deter the Germans from mounting an invasion attempt.
In 1956, on this day the commander of the
revolutionary armed forced of Hungary Colonel Pál Maléter (pictured) escapes from Tököl, near Budapest after Soviet officers attempt to illegally detain him during negotiations.
Conjoined Crisis Part 4
Pál Maléter escapesHe returns to Budapest where the leaders of the Hungarian Uprising are locked in a time-wasting argument about whether to fight or flee. He exhorts them to fight, but his fatalism is all too apparent and his impassioned speech only serves to dissuade the undecided leaders.
Imre Nagy requests refuge at Harmincad utca 6, the address of the British Embassy in Budapest. Meanwhile his colleagues, led by Maléter hatch an audacious escape plot into mines which date back to the old Empire and extend across the border into Czechoslovakia. From their, they form a Hungarian Resistance Movement based upon the military doctrines of the Cursed Polish Soldiers who continued to fight Soviet rule well into the 1950s. Via Nagy in the British Embassy, they broadcast appeals to the International Community for assistance. On the eve of the Presidential election, Adlai Stevenson pledges his support and General Eisenhower is left with a moral dilemma. An article from the Conjoined Crisis thread.
In 1933, on this day the forty first President of the United States Michael Stanley Dukakis was born to Greek immigrants of partly Vlach origin in Brookline, Massachusetts.
41st President of the United States
January 20, 1989 - 1993Prior to being president he was the 65th and 67th governor of Massachusetts. He was born to Greek immigrants of partly Vlach origin in Brookline, Massachusetts, the same town as John F. Kennedy, and was the longest serving governor in Massachusetts' history. He was the first Greek American president and second Greek American governor in U.S. history after Spiro Agnew.
1988 Presidential Election
Using the phenomenon termed the "Massachusetts Miracle" to promote his campaign, Dukakis sought the Democratic Party nomination for President of the United States in the 1988 elections, prevailing over a primary field which included Jesse Jackson, Dick Gephardt, Gary Hart, and Al Gore, among others. Dukakis' success at the primary level has been largely attributed to John Sasso, his campaign manager. Sasso, however, was among two aides dismissed (Paul Tully was the other one) when a video showing plagiarism by rival candidate Joe Biden (D-Delaware) was made public and an embarrassed Biden was forced to withdraw from the race. This situation got uglier when Tully implied that it was Dick Gephardt's campaign (as opposed to Dukakis' campaign) that actually passed along the damaging information on Biden.
Despite the claims that Dukakis always "turned the other cheek", he did run a particularly effective commercial against rival Dick Gephardt that featured a tumbler doing somersaults while the announcer said, "Dick Gephardt has been flip-flopping over the issues". Dukakis finished third in the Iowa caucuses and then became the first candidate to ever win a contested New Hampshire primary by more than 10 points, with Gephardt finishing second. Dukakis finished first in Minnesota and second in South Dakota before winning five states on March 8, 1988, the "Super Tuesday" primaries. As his competition continued to fade, Dukakis wound up with a seven-week stretch of one-on-one elections between himself and civil rights leader Jesse Jackson. Dukakis lost the Michigan caucus to Jackson but then prevailed by margins of two to one in Wisconsin, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, California, and New Jersey, clinching the nomination on June 7, 1988.
Part 1 of a new article from Althistory WikiaTouching on his immigrant roots, Dukakis used Neil Diamond's ode to immigrants, "America", as the theme song for his campaign. Famed composer John Williams wrote "Fanfare for Michael Dukakis" in 1988 at the request of Dukakis' father-in-law, Harry Ellis Dickson. The piece was premiered under the baton of Dickson (then the Associated Conductor of the Boston Pops) at that year's Democratic National Convention in Atlanta. During the general election campaign, Vice President George H. W. Bush, the Republican nominee, criticized Dukakis for his traditionally liberal positions on many issues. These included Dukakis' statement during the primary season that he was "a card-carrying member of" the American Civil Liberties Union, his veto of legislation requiring public school teachers to lead pupils in the Pledge of Allegiance, and his opposition to the resumption of capital punishment in the United States.
Dukakis had trouble with the personality that he projected to the voting public. His reserved and stoic nature was easily interpreted to be a lack of passion (which went against the ethnic stereotype of his Greek American heritage). Dukakis was often referred to as "Zorba the Clerk". Nevertheless, Dukakis is considered to have done well in the first presidential debate with George Bush. In the second debate, Dukakis had been suffering from the flu and spent quite a bit of the day in bed. His performance was poor and played to his reputation as being cold.
During the campaign, Dukakis' mental health became an issue when he refused to release his full medical history and there were, according to The New York Times, "persistent suggestions" that he had undergone psychiatric treatment in the past. The issue even caused then-President Ronald Reagan, when asked whether the Democratic Presidential nominee should make his medical records public, to quip with a grin: "Look, I'm not going to pick on an invalid". Twenty minutes later, Reagan stated that he "attempted to make a joke in response to a question" and that "I think I was kidding, but I don't think I should have said what I said". Reagan continued, "I do believe that the medical history of a President is something that people have a right to know, and I speak from personal experience". Dr. Gerald R. Plotkin, Dukakis' physician since 1970, stated that "[Dukakis] has had no psychological symptoms, complaints or treatment". Story continues
In 644 (65 AH), on this day Caliph Omar was stabbed five times. The Muslim Caliphate had grown by leaps since its creation twelve years before at the Prophet's death. Omar, a Muhajir (Emigrant), had helped create the political structure after the funeral of Muhammad.
Caliph Omar Stabbed Five Times The Ansar (native helpers) planned to control the Muslim world themselves rather than letting foreigners rule, but Omar's politicking brought about disputes between the tribes, sparking scapegoatism and civil war that led to strong unification under the Caliph Abu Bakr. His reign would be two short years, during which Omar would serve as an adviser, recommending the writing of the Quran to ensure battled did not kill all memorizers of the word.
A new story by Jeff ProvineIn 634, Omar, soon to become known as Farooq the Great, was selected as the caliph to succeed Abu Bakr. He was a capable but very strict ruler, using harsh punishment for those refusing to support him. While many of political importance did not agree with him, they at least acknowledged with his skills as a legislator and reformer. Omar directed the growing nation through the famines and plagues of 638-9, expelled the Christians and Jews, and systematically conquered the Sassanid Empire. His brutality during the conquest and treatment of slaves afterward resulted in a new resurgence of distaste for the caliph.
Using propaganda for legitimacy, the Persians planned assassination as retaliation. In 644, Omar went for his Hajj to Mecca upon prophecies of never again seeing Mount Arafat and being hit with a rock during the ritual of Stoning the Devil. On November 3, Abu Lulu, who had faced the caliph due to tax issues, attacked with a knife, stabbing five times. He made for a sixth stab, but Omar's hand caught the blade and wrung it out of Abu Lulu's grip with much damage to his fingers. The assassin made to escape, but he was reportedly ripped apart by the hands of the crowd.
Over the next week, Omar would regain his strength. Seeing the damage done by his political enemies, he went on a new program of propaganda, investigation, exile, and execution to secure his place. Many of his allies disapproved of his position in what many considered a coup d'?tat against the Prophet's daughter Fatima. Through spies and torture, Omar determined who was truly loyal, and those that disagreed with his position were eliminated. Civil war broke out as a coup was attempted against him, but Omar was able to secure overwhelming support from the Bedouin tribes.
Omar the One-handed would spend the last of his reign planning further expansion. While he did not live to see his plans come to fruition, he did lay the groundwork for the conquest of the Byzantine Romans in 678 under the fourth caliph. Islam came to rule the center of the world, controlling vast trade routes and influencing cultures in every direction. While Viking pirates gave the Caliphate great trouble through the next centuries, the eventual religious conquest of Scandinavia would give great seafaring and exploration to the Muslim world. Additional military skills would be brought in upon the proselytization of much of the Mongol Horde.
Upon the discovery of the New World across the western Ocean, the Caliphate would come into a new golden age funded by gold secured in conquest from the natives. Muslim firearms and armor proved overwhelming to sun-worshiping, human sacrificing Inca and Mayans who wielded obsidian blades. The infidels faced plagues that served as a proving force that God was on the side of conquest. Using the wealth to invest in art and science, the Caliphate would spend the second millennium conquering eastward, unifying the world under Allah at Mecca. While pockets of dissidence are known to spring forth against the Caliph, they have always been dealt with in the manner that Omar would find most expedient.
In 1992, in a tightly contested three-way race, Reform Party candidate Ross Perot defeated incumbent Republican president George H.W. Bush and Democratic nominee Bill Clinton, becoming the 42nd President of the United States of America, as well as the first third party candidate to ever win a presidential election in the United States
President PerotUpon his swearing-in on January 20, 1993, Perot put forth measures to help the nation balance its federal budget, after the White House had been running record deficits for many years. In 1994, these efforts paid off, as the government recorded its first budget surplus since 1970, and the national debt began to shrink. Analysts project that the United States will have paid off all of its national debt by 2012, thanks in no small part to the Perot administration.
A new article from Althistory WikiaWhile the U.S. government was able to free itself of its dependence on other nations, the economic boom of the 90s gave way to a prosperous nation, thanks to the influence of the internet in job creation. As the U.S. felt a tidal wave of new jobs coming in, Perot's protectionist policies also recovered many jobs that had been previously outsourced by corporations.
Contrast to the 1992 election in which Perot won only 37 percent of the popular vote, his moderate appeal and successful policies won him 48 percent of the vote in the 1996 re-election against Republican candidate Bob Dole and Democratic candidate Al Gore, safely carrying him to a second term that oversaw stronger economic expansion than ever before. Perot's firm opposition to the Defense of Marriage Act and various anti-abortion legislature that reached his desk won the support of many Democrats. His popularity was propelled even further by the successful elimination of known terrorist Osama bin Laden, who Perot was alerted of before a planned, devastating attack on the World Trade Center.
Perot left office on January 20, 2001 with job approval exceeding 70 percent in several polls. He was succeeded by Joe Biden, a Democrat who continued the trend of fiscal responsbility in the government, carrying out Perot's legacy as a reform candidate.
In 1964, on this day John F. Kennedy was re-elected President of the United States. On the one hand, he accomplished the task of narrow passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the eventual passage of the 1966 Voting Rights Act, after much delay and compromise. But the White House soon found itself under fire when in 1964, the People's Republic of China detonated its first Atomic Bomb.
What if JFK Had Survived Dallas?These criticisms become even greater when the Kennedy, against the advice of his military advisors and his Secretary of State Robert MacNamara, orders the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Vietnam, during the lame duck year of 1967.
A new story by Jose Ricardo G. BondocBy 1968, the situation becomes even more grim for the Democrats. With the Soviets moving troops into Czechoslavakia, Viet Cong troops overrunning the capital of Saigon and the Chinese explosion of an H-Bomb, many Republicans and even some moderate Democrats are beginning to question whether the Kennedy administration's foreign policy should be considered a failure.
Based on these concerns, and the disillusionment many white Southerners due to the Civil Rights legislation of the administration, Governor Ronald Reagan of California is elected President and Senator Robert Dole is elected Vice-President in 1968. Upon his inauguration, Reagan seeks to assure the nation stating, "It is morning in America!". The national sense of pride is further boosted that summer with the launch of Apollo 11. Yet the situation returns to situation of grim struggle when in 1970, backed by Vietnamese and Chinese forces, Communist forces begin attacks against the Thai military government. Based on these attacks, Reagan orders 50,000 troops into Thailand in order to back the military government in the region. The situation in Asia begins to escalate even further when Reagan blocks the PRC's entrance into the United Nations.Winning by a further landslide in 1972, Ronald Reagan is swept back into the White House.
By the 1976, Dole is running for the Presidency. As such it is not entirely unexpected that in the need for a clear victory against in the Thai Communist forces, Reagan orders the bombing of Cambodia. Although Democrats are apt to protest the action, yet they are hampered by the 1974 revelations of extramarrital affairs of John F. Kennedy during his administration. Yet the darkest element of the situation is the further chilling of relations with China as Mao dies.
By 1978 the Dole adminstration has been in office for over a year, when a military coup d'etat takes over the nation of Thailand, ending the U.S. backed democratic coalition.
By 1979, the Dole administration is faced with even greater foreign policy crises. In Iran the U.S. embassy is taken over by followers of the Ayatollah Khomeini, angered by the Reagan/Dole administration's support of the Shah of Iran. The region is further inflamed by the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. In China, the situation nearly explodes as Chinese forces lay claim to Taiwan, causing the Taiwan Straits Crisis.
With this, the Democrats are elected back into the White House under Eugene McCarthy and Walter Mondale in 1980, promising peace in Southeast Asia and security against the now revived "Communist menace".
In 2006, following the revelation that whilst his wife Elizabeth was undertaking chemotherapy he had fathered a child out of wedlock, the now disgraced former "Golden Boy" John Edwards tearfully resigned the Vice Presidency on this day, admitting in trademark syrup-laden southern drawl that given the opportunity, he committed sin "every day".
Watch the Youtube Clip
Chilling OutHis boss John Kerry has entertained doubts about Edward's sincerity even before the VP selection process had ended. Because Kerry talked with several potential picks, including Gephardt and Edwards. He was comfortable after his conversations with Gephardt, but even queasier about Edwards after they met.
Edwards told ABC News that he met secretly with former lover Rielle Hunter as recently as last month in a California hotel room at her request because "she was having some trouble, she just wanted to talk".Because Edwards had told Kerry he was going to share a story with him that he'd never told anyone else - that after his son Wade had been killed, he climbed onto the slab at the funeral home, laid there and hugged his body, and promised that he'd do all he could to make life better for people, to live up to Wade's ideals of service. Kerry was stunned, not moved, because, Edwards had recounted the same exact story to him, almost in the exact same words, a year or two before - and with the same preface, that he'd never shared the memory with anyone else. Kerry said he found it chilling, and he decided he couldn't pick Edwards unless he met with him again.
When they did, Kerry tried to get a better personal feel for his potential number two; as rivals for national office since 2000, shortly after Edwards had entered the Senate, the two men hadn't spent a lot of time together. Kerry also wanted a specific reassurance. He asked Edwards for a commitment that if he was chosen and the ticket lost, Edwards wouldn't run against him in 2008.
Kerry, a divorcee himself, needed a dyed-in-the-wool family man to replace the philandering Edwards, and who could better fit the bill than "a skinny guy with a funny name"?.
In 1957, the USSR launches a second Sputnik, this one carrying a dog, Laika. Although the dog dies in orbit after a few hours from stress and overheating due to a malfunction in the capsule's environmental controls, her successful launch proves that animals, and therefore potentially humans, can survive an orbital launch and can endure weightlessness.Laika's Tale by Eric LippsIn the U.S., some space enthusiasts are angry that the Eisenhower administration has allowed the Soviets to steal a march on the U.S. by being first to put a living creature in orbit. The President, however, dismisses the launch as a 'cheap propaganda stunt' and points out reassuringly to reporters that after all, Laika died, indicating, he says, 'the Soviet disregard for life which derives from their atheistic Communist beliefs.'
At NASA, the mood is one of frustration. Space agency scientists have been planning for years how to get animals and then humans into orbit, but with the Administration pressing them to devote their efforts to countering the perceived Soviet ICBM threat, none of their plans have gotten past the technical study stage. And after the way NASA chief Glennan's October 11 meeting with the President went, neither Glennan nor anyone else is optimistic that this will change any time soon.
When the hour she had been promised was up, Janice pulled her cell phone out and called up the auto service again. She was a little steamed, and let the poor customer service rep have it. "In my business, when I promise a customer something within the hour, I mean the hour we were currently talking in," she spit at the young woman on the other end of the line.
"I do apologize, ma'am. It's been a busy morning for our - "
"I don't care about your problems. I care about mine. If I don't have some service this hour, I'm going to be taking my business elsewhere".
"I'll do what I can, ma'am".
Janice hung up and threw the cell back into her purse. A very small part of her felt bad about yelling at someone who was essentially powerless to do anything about her situation, but most of her felt better after venting the anger and frustration. The cat was back, purring and approaching her legs, and she dodged it before it could make her sneeze again. "Ha!" She taunted it with a leg, then withdrew the leg before it could reach her. It whipped its little white tail and crouched down to spring on her.
After a few minutes of cat and mouse, it gave up and moved down the street to find other prey. Janice went back to sitting on the curb and looking down the street expectantly. At least the morning was warming up - she didn't really need her sweater anymore. She took it off and wrapped it around her waist, then sat back down to wait.
A few more minutes later, she got back up and went inside her house. She opened the garage door so that the mechanic could get at her car, then grabbed her phone book and looked for mechanics-on-wheels. There were several, and she didn't know if she wanted to trust any of them. She flopped herself down on her couch and turned on the TV. Hopefully, the guy would honk when he got there.
The network channels were off the air, and after flipping for a second, she wondered if her cable was down, but then she got the SciFi channel. It was a Twilight Zone she had seen before - of course, she had seen them all before - but it was something to occupy her mind. She sat there and let Rod work his magic over her.
"I said, get up!" Steph popped a waffle into the toaster and pushed the lever down. She set the plate with the waffles already done on the kitchen table and grabbed the syrup from the fridge. Her youngest, George, shuffled to the table and piled a couple of waffles onto his plate, then drowned them in syrup. "Hey, hey, Georgie, easy on the sugar, babe".
Her daughter bounced in, saying, "Just some juice, please, mom".
Steph sighed. "Joanie, I just made all these waffles".
"You can eat 'em. You don't need to watch your weight anymore". After a withering glare from her mother, Joan added, "Sorry".
Steph picked up one of the spare waffles and munched at it. "Hurry up, OK? We gotta leave before the traffic to town gets too bad".
The kids grunted affirmatively. George went back to his soggy waffles and Joan pulled a juice carton out of the refrigerator and poured herself a tall glass. Steph saw her casting hungry glances at George's waffles, and slid a plate over to her.
"Less calories if you don't put syrup on 'em".
Joan picked up one of the unadorned waffles and gobbled it down. At least it's something on her stomach, Steph thought. After a few relatively silent moments of gulping down breakfast, Steph looked at the kitchen clock and started. "Hey, we gotta go". They flurried about the small house, grabbing bags and books and rushing out to the beat-up old car outside. The kids fought over the front seat before Joan won and George resigned himself to the back. Steph locked up the house and climbed into the driver's seat and buckled in. "Buckle it, Joanie," she said to her daughter, who always forgot to fasten her seat belt. The girl snapped her belt, then went back to the magazine she was reading.
Steph drove the car down the long driveway to the road and headed off to the highway into Austin.
In 1964, Comrade President Gus Hall was elected to his first full term as president after succeeding slain Comrade President Rosenberg. He defeated Socialist Senator Barry Goldwater of the Arizona Soviet. The two tickets were a repeat, of sorts; Comrades Hall and Goldwater had been the vice-presidential candidates in the 1960 election.
In 1941, German Underground operatives, with inside help from American Bundists, bomb the American naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. G.U. Fuehrer Adolf Hitler lets it be known that he believes America should refrain from entering the war in Eurasia, should it wish to prevent a repeat of Pearl Harbor.
In 1789, founding father George Clinton was elected the first President of the United States by the Congress. The general from New York narrowly defeated fellow general George Washington by virtue of his experience as a governor. Clinton led the nation to a rocky start, but was able to erase the war debt and establish relations with most of Europe by the end of his 3rd term in 1800. Clinton's 3 terms established that as the traditional limit for presidential administrations.
In 2002, in the midterm elections, Republicans maintain their hold on the House and Senate.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.