In 1809, on this day Abraham Lincoln the last president of the united nation founded by Virginians and New England patriots was born in the Hardin County, Kentucky (then USA).
Last President of an Undivided USWhen he was ten his family moved to Illinois where he was home schooled and then elected to the State Legislature. While working as a self taught circuit lawyer he was elected to the US House of Representatives, however when he ran for the US Senate he was defeated twice. However, in the process of the campaigns, he had proven a formidable opponent to the expansion of slavery in the United States. When the Republican party was created to combat slavery, Lincoln was a delegate to the first statewide convention (in neighboring Illinois)in 1854. In 1856, the party nominated John C. Fremont for president. Though Fremont lost, the party became a movement to be reckoned with. In 1860, Lincoln was selected as nominee for president, and was elected to be the last president of an undivided United States.
Events leading to his election as president had caused political dissent in the states which resulted in an official secession of several southern states. Reacting to this as an act of rebellion, Lincoln had asked for and got a declaration of war. Failing to secure the loyalty of Virginia, the remaining United States were locked in a war that lasted for most of his two terms. After a propaganda campaign to defeat a popular General in the 1864, he was to live in seclusion for fear of Confederate assassins rumored to be in the Washington. In 1865, he saw the CSA hold its boundaries secure and sue for armistice after his failed attempt to "slash and burn" the farmland of the deep south.
A new article from the "Two Americas" thread on Althistory WikiaAfter the ceasefire, Lincoln worked with the generals in his army to secure border cities to assure a peaceful transition and rebuilding of his beloved Union. He worked to assure that the Republican Party would hold office in what were certain to be tumultuous years ahead. Having successfully abolished slavery within the United States, Lincoln began a campaign to abolish what he saw as another great evil -- the manufacture and distribution of alcoholic beverage. The hero of the western campaign, and one time head of the whole Union Army, General U.S. Grant, was opposed to this campaign, painting it as an attack on free enterprise and civil liberties.
In March of 1869, Lincoln left office, turning over the reins of a much smaller nation to Ulysses Grant. He was a broken man, in failing health, and with very few friends. The New York Temperance League, with whom he had worked for the later part of his presidency, promised him and his family a place to stay in New York City, where he died in June 19, 1881, of what was called "consumption" (a form of Tuberculosis, according to forensic experts of today) at the age of 72.
The whole alternate biography is available Althistory Wiki.
In 1554, after a troubling eight months in which her claim to the English throne seemed questionable at best, Jane Grey was formally crowned queen in Westminster Abbey (pictured from 1986 movie starring Helena Bonham-Carter).
Coronation of Queen JaneThe matter had arisen as Henry VIII's son Edward VI had fallen deathly ill while still only 15 years old. Without an heir, his crown would pass along the lines established by the Third Succession Act of 1543, in which Parliament had reestablished Edward's half-sisters. The later Treason Act of 1547 declared that anyone interrupting the line of succession was to be guilty of high treason and subject to the severe punishment that followed. Despite this, as Edward approached his death, he hoped to circumvent Catholic Mary's takeover of England by his "Devise for the Succession" on June 21, 1553. In this will, he named his successor to be his Protestant cousin Jane Grey, wife of Lord Guildford Dudley and granddaughter of Henry VII.
A new story by Jeff ProvineEdward's will was carried by 102 signatories, including the entire Privy Council. He planned to make the announcement formally in September, but he would die July 6 despite the best efforts of physicians, conjurers, and an Oxford professor. On July 10, sixteen-year-old Jane was proclaimed queen, though she initially refused and had to be persuaded by her parents. While things seemed in order in London for her to take the throne, there were great rumblings as to where exactly Edward's adviser the Duke of Northumberland, and Jane's father-in-law, stood. To some, he seemed to be causing a coup to set his son up as king.
The rumors were exacerbated as Northumberland sent troops to capture Mary, who had been staying in Hertfordshire. Mary, however, had gone at news of her brother's illness to her holdings in East Anglia to gather support. She raised a formidable army and sent a letter to London demanding her right as queen. Northumberland was torn between maintaining Jane's position in London or marching out to defeat Mary. Finally the issue was decided as Jane demanded that Northumberland stay with her, and he determined to force the Council to continue its loyalty. In major legal concessions all that winter, Northumberland guided Jane in granting Parliament greater powers, winning their support enough to override the Succession Act with a new one honoring Edward's will.
Mary meanwhile took her march on London, which unified the people against her. Her assault was repelled, and she fell back toward Cambridge to regroup. She was a staunch Catholic and used the remaining Papists who had survived her father's purges as strength. Protestants, however, formed up against her. The Reformation had spread through preachers to England, particularly in Kent where Sir Thomas Wyatt led the support for Protestant Jane. The thought of returning to Catholicism created a schism in the country with a short civil war.
After major defeats in January, Mary was forced to flee the country and attempted to find asylum in Spain. While there, she fell in love with King Philip II, who eventually married her. In London, Jane would be crowned sole ruler while her husband served as Duke of Clarence. War erupted as Philip attempted to seize the English throne for Mary, but Mary's death in childbirth in 1558 cut his claim short. Jane would rely primarily on her Council and Parliament, establishing a growing tradition of popular rule that harkened back to the days of the Magna Carta. Parliament would be expanded in the next century by leaders such as Sir Oliver Cromwell.
Rather than ruling overtly, Jane's seemingly greatest accomplishment on the throne was producing strong, healthy heirs, two boys and a girl, the eldest growing to become King Henry IX upon Jane's death in 1579. The question of religion served as Jane's second matter of interest, stomping out Catholic strength, though it would go underground, striking back in such attacks as the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 in which twenty members of Parliament were slain.
In 1809, on this day Confederate President Abraham Lincoln was born in a log cabin in Hodgkins Creek, Hardin County less than eight months after, and one hundred miles distance from, the more salubrious birthplace of his fellow Kentuckian Jefferson Davis. Despite these proximities, the distances in circumstance were huge, and Lincoln would depend upon the sponsorship of the Davis family for his entire adult life.
An unexpected PresidencyDue to their lack of prospects, and opposition to the practice of slavery, his father Thomas Lincoln decided to head north, to move the family across the Ohio river into Indiana. Their fortunes would be lost to history, but before they left, he sought out a wealthy family that was looking to settle in the south. One that would adopt a son who was so poor that he "only had friends".
In a contradiction of that era that is hard to understand in the modern age, Lincoln was effectively sold as a white slave to the Davis family, who then moved to a plantation in northern Mississippi. But in a triumph of expedience over principle that would foreshadow his whole career, the move worked out pretty well for him. Lincoln established himself as a Rail Road Lawyer before becoming involved in Whig politics. Meanwhile Jeff Davis served in the Mexican War as Colonel in the Missississippi Rifles before rising to the position of US Secretary of State for War.
Fate intervened on the eve of the civil war when Davis was arrested in Washington attempting to purchase one thousand rifles from the arms manufacturer Eli Whitney. A natural (if reluctant) candidate for Confederate President, the Constitutional Convention in Montgomery Alabama accepted the absent Davis recommendation that Lincoln was a more suitable leader due to his enhanced political skills. Instead, after his release, Davis would fill the office of Confederate Secretary of War, a position that ultimately he was far better suited to.
In 1863, a General Election was held for Parliament's House of Commons. Viscount Palmerston, Prime Minister since 1855, was ousted from office and Conservative Leader Lord Derby became Prime Minister. As Derby is a member of the House of Lords, Benjamin Disraeli is the leader of the Conservative Party in Commons.
The Scrooge Contribution Part VIIGiven the results from the battlefields, the political transition had been anticipated for over a year. Two invasions of San Francisco had been resisted and pushed back in 1862, and Grant's Expedition had suffered a sharp setback on the banks of the Rogue River of southern Oregon. Those developments pretty well dismantled the Palmerston Plan for an easy acquisition of California by the British.
Lord Palmerston acknowledged his defeat. "I ought to have listened to my guts rather than Ebenezer Scrooge". In his own constituency, Mr. Scrooge lost his election by 60% of the vote going to his Conservative opponent.
Lord Derby defers to his leader in the House, Benjamin Disraeli, whose
chief policy is the closure of the plan to annex California. William E. Gladstone, who is working with Lord John Russell among the remaining Liberals, cautions that British honor is tied to the promises of independence made to the several States of the Southern Confederacy.
Jubilation sweeps down the St. Laurence on both sides of the Canadian-American border on news of the General Election results. US President Abraham Lincoln, accused of frustrating American military plans by his delay in authorizing an invasion of Canada, issued new orders approving of the dissolution of the Army of the Niagara & the Army of the Hudson.
In Richmond, Virginia, Admiral Sir Alexander Milne visited Jefferson Davis in his office at the Confederate White House. The Admiral told the President that he expected new orders to withdraw his hundred ships from blockade duties, and that the Confederacy would once again have to confront the Union with its own resources.
The President was cold and rude, stating that he did not expect "our ally, our mother country, to desert us in the middle of this war".
President Davis had another appointment in two hours. He and his Cabinet, assisted by input from General Lee, would decide on Confederate policy on British withdraw.
Further afield, where the French had been quartered in VeraCruz for more than a year, news arrived that the French were finally going home.
Tortured by indecision ((should Napoleon III take the opportunity to conquer Mexico? should France join with England in seizing California? should France take the field against the Union?)), the French forces had done nothing but sit in the Mexican port. Benito Juarez received news of the French departure with courtesy and concealed relief. He had long feared that the French might try to get involved in internal Mexican politics.
In 1979, Confederate President Jimmy Carter sends a letter of congratulations to Ayatollah Khomeini and his revolutionaries for securing control of their country following prolonged hostilities to bring about a new "Islamic Republic" in Iran. The letter also contains a note of hope that both the CSA and Iran can now begin a new era of friendliness and co-operation, and begin a new relationship that would be beneficial for them both.
A post from the two Americas Reunification 80 thread by Gerry Shannon.
"To the Revolution, Our Congrats" by Gerry ShannonThe letter is read out on state media and printed in Iranian national newspapers, and it's chief theme is the similarities - however forced - that Carter demonstrates between the revolutionary roots of the Confederacy and this new Islamic Republic. Carter ends with a flourish by quoting the words of Robert E. Lee, the second President of the Confederate States of America, who once wrote: "You can be anything you want to be, have anything you desire, accomplish anything you set out to accomplish - if you hold to that desire with a singleness of purpose".
Though Carter's letter gets guarded praise from the Ayatollah, the reaction in the government of the United States is one of fury. US President Ted Kennedy (pictured, right) and his cabinet feel Carter is being too opportunistic after the collapse of the US-backed Iranian government, and that the Confederacy is clearly hoping to gain from the financial interests that it's neighbour has now lost and ultimately have a foothold in the troubled Middle East.
However, Kennedy's deeper concern - as he relates to his Chief of Staff Mary Kopechne - is that relations between the United States and Confederacy will be damaged enough to put his dream of reunification of the two countries indefinitely on hold. Though Kennedy himself could not have foreseen these fraught relations becoming even further strained when the United States embassy in Iran would be seized by Iranian forces nine months later in a prolonged hostage crisis.
In 2010, at a little after seven o'clock in the evening, a rather dejected looking cardiologist appeared on the steps outside the Columbia Campus of New York Presbyterian Hospital with his hands uncharacteristically buried in the pockets of his lab coat. Whilst his body language said it all, Dr Allan Schwartz proceeded to deliver a short, impromptu speech hurriedly prepared for the press, confirming the tragic news that sixty-three year old Bill Clinton had passed away during an emergency heart procedure.
Slick Willy gets his manSix years before, a quadruple-bypass operation had been performed, forcing Mr Clinton to resign from office during the final year of his third term1. The catalist for Mr Clinton's recent ill-health had surely been overexertion resulting from his vigourous attempts to organise humanitarian relief efforts for the people of Haiti.
But it was widely suspected that the underlying cause of the blocked coronary arteries was years of stress and junk food eating during his eleven years in the White House. And surely the pressure of those health disorders had piled up very quickly in the final three years, despite the President's pursuit of leisure activities such as jogging and also horn-blowing.
Because after September 11th the Administration pursued the ultimately successful mission to capture and bring to justice the arch-terrorist Osama Bin Laden. It was a deeply personal goal for Clinton, who was widely seen as having ignored the threat from al-qaeda during his first two terms in office.
Ironically for a politician renowned for his pursuit of women, "Slick Willy" had finally got his man.
In 2000, on this day the American cartoonist Charles Monroe Schulz died in Santa Rosa, California; he was best known worldwide for his "Peanuts" comic strip which he had run for five decades without interruption, appearing in more than 2,600 newspapers in 75 countries.
Dirty TrickIt was originally planned that the strip would outlive him, but due to a stroke the previous December he had been unable to continue producing it. Nevertheless, the day after he died a final edition was published in which Charlie Brown finally got to kick that football after so many decades. "Good shot, Charlie Brown!" says Franklin in the final frame.
"I felt like Franklin from The Charlie Brown Show. You've seen Franklin for 25 years and not one line! Nothing. Twenty five years!" ~ Chris RockSchultz original response to the suggestion had been dismissive "Oh, no! Definitely not! I couldn't have Charlie Brown kick that football; that would be a terrible disservice to him after nearly half a century". Yet, in a December 1999 interview, holding back tears, he recounted the moment when he signed the panel of his final strip, saying, "All of a sudden I thought, You know, that poor, poor kid, he never even got to kick the football. What a dirty trick - he never had a chance to kick the football".
In 2010, on this day the Prime Minister of Canada became personally involved in the First Nations' demonstrations which were severely disrupting the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
We were made for thisIronically, many Canadians were displeased with the look of the new Olympic mascots because they represented a minority population of Vancouver, being inspired by traditional First Nations creatures such as the sasquatch. And surely the protests were in stark constrast to the official image (pictured) "We Were Made for This".
Watch the Youtube Video
The first sign that the smooth operation of Games would be imperilled appeared the previous December at the Assembly of First Nations special chiefs assembly. Because Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl was presented with an ultimatum which warned the Olympics would face a prolonged campaign of disruptions unless the federal government immediately moved to resolve long-standing grievances. The chiefs had demanded the federal government commit to supporting major improvements to native education. Bill Erasums, AFN regional chief for the Northwest Territories, warning, "They have told the minister that he will have to work with the people ... [or] they will do it. There will be roadblocks, and other things".
Fortunately for the organizers, athletes were mostly unaffected because Security Forces had constructed a Baghdad-style Green Zone around the Olympic Village, but protestor's road-blocks largely prevented spectators from arriving in good time for the events. And worse, the Games were a media disaster, with televised coverage portraying a Government locked in a bitter dispute with "a country within a country". Because a terrible truth that had remained partially hidden for so long, was suddenly thrust into the public spotlight, and there was almost nothing the Canadian Government could do about it. That truth was the broad diversity celebrated by recent Canadian immigrants had never been extended to those that were here first, the First Nations. And the question was, did the Federal Government of Canada have the right to host the Olympics, because surely only an owner can invite guests to their property.
A wildcard emerged to break the long-standing deadlock. Because Head of Government Stephen Harper had been recently replaced by Raymond Chan, the first ethnic Chinese to be appointed into the cabinet, after winning the riding of Richmond in the 1993 federal election. Recognised that the history of the Chinese in Canada was every bit as horrific as their own tragedy, Special chiefs accepted Chan's good word to address the matters presented in the ultimatum.
In 2010, on this day Romeo Dallaire, Jr. completed the Olympic Torch Relay which had been conducted by thousands of Canadians of all ages and cultural backgrounds: on foot, dog sled, snowmobile, horse, plane and virtually every means of transport known to the people of Canada. The flame was first lit in Olympia in late 2009, travelling from Greece, over the North Pole to Canada's high Arctic and on to the West Coast and Vancouver.
A Son Never ForgetsDallaire's entry into BC Place Stadium commenced the XXI Olympic Winter Games (or the 21st Winter Olympics) and ended an even more remarkable and symbolic journey that had begun sixteen years before when his guardian / father had been the Commanding Officer of United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR), the ill-fated United Nations peacekeeping force charged with stopping the genocide that was being waged by Hutu extremists against Tutsis and Hutu moderates.
"Having delivered our precious cargo of souls, we were headed back to Kigali in a white UN Land Cruiser. Suddenly up ahead we saw a child wandering across the road. He was about three years old, dressed in a filthy T-shirt, the ragged remants of underwear, little more than a loincloth, dropping from his distended belly .. As I stumbled into the hut, a swarm of flies invaded my nose and mouth. The little boy was crouched beside what was left of his mother, still suckling on his biscuit. I made up my mind, this boy would be the fourth child in the Dallaire family. I couldn't save Rwanda, but I could save this child". ~ Lieutenant-General Romeo Alain Dallaire, OC, CMM, GOQ, MSC, CD
In 2010, the opening ceremony of the XXI Olympic Winter Games (or the 21st Winter Olympics) was held in Robertstown, British Columbia, Canada.Part 2 of Madness, Betrayal and the Lash repurposed content from Doug Grant, Stephen R. Bown
The 2010 Winter Olympics was the third Olympics hosted by Canada, and the first by the province of British Columbia. Previously, Canada was home to the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal and the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary. The villages of Whistler and Garibaldi bid for the games in 1976 but failed to win. This was also the first games to be held in an NHL market since the league allowed its players to participate starting in 1998.
In an opening address, Prime Minister Stephen Harper paid tribute to Captain Henry Roberts, who had commanded the Nootka Mission. This was re-launched in 1796 after Captain George Vancouver's by-the-book style of leadership terminated the original mission with the crew's mutiny at the Canary Islands.
In 2002, Battle for Mazari Sharif begins. U.S. forces, working with Kurdish rebels from northern Afghanistan, seize the city. Taliban resistance has been crippled by prior cluster bombing of troop positions and vehicle convoys. By nightfall, the city is in the hands of the U.S. and its Kurdish allies.
In 1844, Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel addresses the British Parliament regarding the Colonial Reform Act, startling his Conservative colleagues by offering support for it.
Arguing from his experiences in police reform, he observes that the ability of the government to maintain control without excessive use of physical force depends on public support, and "public support itself depends upon the public's sense that it has options for redress of grievances short of defying established authorities".
Peel observes that both the general colonial revolt of the 1770s and the Southern rebellion of 1838-'41 arose from a sense on the part of those involved that, without representation, they had no such options; as evidence, he reminds his listeners that one of the key slogans of the first rebellion was 'No taxation without representation.'
In 1814, with the violence which had erupted in Tennessee following the so-called 'Fort Coxeboro Massacre' finally subsiding, the commander of the British garrison lifts martial law.
Military rule had been of only limited effectiveness anyway in the thinly-settled colony. The commander does, however, request a permanent increase in the number of troops allotted to his command.
Andrew Jackson, who as leader of the colonial delegation sent to Fort Coxeboro in May of 1813 to present a list of colonists' grievances to the colonial authorities had been first humiliated and then killed following the outbreak of fighting, has been memorialized among the settlers despite strong official disapproval. Colonial authorities fear that he will become a symbol around whom would-be rebels may rally in the future.
In 1999, on a nearly straight party-line vote, President Hillary Clinton is acquitted in her impeachment trial. The nation's first woman president was a target for the Republican Party from the day she was elected in 1996, and they thought that charges of illegality in an old land deal, long since proven false, could provide cover for them to remove her from office. The nation thought otherwise; she won reelection in 2000 by a landslide.
In 1809, a boy named Abraham Lincoln was born in a small cabin in Hodgenville, Kentucky. He grew up to become President of the United States, lead the country through a civil war, and survive not one but two assassination attempts in his three terms in office. Although the rights of the freed slaves in the former Confederacy suffered in the lax occupation he forced on them, he did ensure their freedom, and helped millions of them emigrate to the northern states.
in Baltimore, Maryland the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
was founded on this day by a diverse group composed of W. E. B. Du Bois (African American), Ida B. Wells (African American), Archibald Grimke (African American), Henry Moskowitz (Jewish), Mary White Ovington (White), Oswald Garrison Villard (German-born White), and William English Walling (White, and son of a former slave owning family), to work on behalf of the rights of African Americans. During the nineteen forties, the rise of Hitler forced the NAACP to join forces with other indigenes, creating the Semitic-African Resistance (S.A.R). The S.A.R. were the heirs to the legacy of the Greater Zionist Resistance, attempting to protect their people after the G.Z.R. dream of conquest had been defeated.
In 2003, an uneasy truce settles into place along the borders of Washington and Idaho as troops of the Soviet States blockade the last two soviets of the People's Republic of America. Negotiations in Washington, D.C. progress, but very slowly.
In 1973, Lieutenant Ralph Shephard is blinded by an accidental spraying of Agent Orange on his position in Vietnam. He is blinded for several days, and sent back to the United States to recuperate. While he is still recovering, the United States begins its pullout from the country; it is the first military loss for the U.S. and it incenses Shephard so much that he begins a political party called the Constitutionalist Party to challenge the status quo.
In 1952, Juan Escobar is surprised in his Bryan motel room by Velma Porter and Mikhail von Heflin. They abduct him, stuff him into the trunk of their car, and drive him deep into the countryside north of the small Texas town. Much to Escobar's surprise, von Heflin and Porter attempt to reason with him when they take him from the trunk. The three of them discuss Escobar's situation deep into the night.
In 4608, Hsuan T'ung, cousin to Emperor Chengzu and prince of the Manchurian Province, abdicates his throne and enters the monastery. His spiritual leadership sparks a revival of the flagging monastic life, and rebirth of religious life in the Chinese Empire.
In 1904, Q'B'Ton'ra's fleet enter's the Oort cloud at the edge of earth's solar system, where they are engaged by the Congress of Nations' defensive force. Admiral Hamid gives Q'B'Ton'ra a choice - Leave our solar system alive, or leave your spirit here. Q'B'Ton'ra's response is to order his vessels to fire on Hamid's ship, and the battle begins.
the Williamite Army abandons the siege of Dublin. By now the war in Ireland is seen as more or less a stalemate. It is clear that James will not be able to invade England and remount the throne, but it seems increasingly unlikely that William will gain control over Ireland. James' advisors are beginning to convince him to accept William's control over England and Scotland, in the short time at least. And consoladate control over Ireland. King William is facing similar calls to 'let the papists go' [continued from July 1st 1690
, continues October 3rd 1691
In 1994, BBC News reported: Art thieves snatch Scream - 'One of the world's best-known paintings, The Scream by Edvard Munch, is stolen from a museum in Norway. Two men took just 50 seconds to climb a ladder, smash through a window of the National Art Museum in Oslo and cut The Scream, by Edvard Munch, from the wall with wire cutters. The cutters were left behind along with a short ladder as the men fled with the painting.
The entire incident was filmed by security cameras. The director of the museum, Knut Berg, said, 'It is impossible to estimate the value of the painting. 'But it is Norway's most valuable, Munch's most renowned, and it would be impossible to sell.'
The canvass was discovered in Oslo a few hours later, there were now four figures standing behind the protagonist.
In, 4082 BCE, a descendant of Telka the Speaker named Icarus, a Hellene, constructs the first working flying machine that has been successful for the Speaker's Line. He demonstrates it for his clan, and during the leap from a cliff, he manages to soar over a hundred feet in the area. A support breaks while he is flying, though, and he falls to his death. The Speaker's Line learns from his example, and moves on.
In 1921, on this day 1988 Democratic Party Presidential Nominee Lloyd Millard Bentsen, Jr. born in Mission, Hidalgo County, Texas. During World War Two, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and promoted to the rank of Major in the Air Force.
Birth of Lloyd BentsenHe served in both the House of Representatives and also the Senate, interrupted by a business career in the Houston insurance industry. His first race for the Presidency was in 1972, and a dozen years later he was considered for VP Nominee by Walter Mondale. And although he pipped Michael Dukakis to the nomination and ran a close fought campaign on the issues alongside running mate Michigan Governor James Blanchard he crashed to defeat at the hands of fellow Texan (and war-time pilot) George H.W. Bush.
He decided not to run again in 1992 due to the President's popularity after the Gulf War. This was somewhat ironic because after the resignation of Les Aspin in early 1994, he was chosen for the position of Secretary of Defense ahead of William Perry.
In 1936, on this day at the Winter Olympics in Bavaria, Great Britain upset 1932 gold medalists Canada to win the final round of the men's ice hockey.
The Right Honourable Arnold Hiller, M.P
A second teaser by Ed & Chris OakleyThe winning goal was scored by Edgar Brenchley, a native of Sittingbourne in England who had emigrated to Canada as a child. He had learned the craft of ice hockey in Niagara Falls, Ontario before returning home as an adult to join the English Hockey League.
The game was watched by another emigre, British Prime Minister Arnold Hiller (pictured) whose German family had moved to South London, some forty miles from Sittingbourne. Because the Schicklegrubers had actually originated from Braunau am Inn, just across the border in Austria and only one hundred and thirty miles from the market town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen where the Games were being held. It was a small world, and Hiller was a megalomaniac who wanted it all for himself.
Despite these proximities, their paths would never cross again; in 1940 Hiller learned that Brenchley had perished in combat1. The British invasion of France not only took the lives of several players in both the English and Canadian ice hockey teams, it would be the precipitative event that touched off the Second World War.
You can read read the latest installment of Chris Oakley's time at The Right Honourable Arnold Hiller MP at Changing the Times Magazine.
In 1945, on this day at the Livadia Palace near Yalta the shape of the post-war German occupation zones was laid down at the Argonaut Conference. The result was the quadrapartite decision to create a contiguous Soviet Occupation Zone with an undivided Berlin as its capital.
Achilles HeelAlthough this ruthless decision was the source of bitter controversy, and indeed blamed for the creation of a Soviet Prussian State by the German dissident Willy Brandt1, it was based upon sound, reasoned logic. Because the truth was that the Soviet Union had steadfastly refused to offer sufficiently firm guarantees to maintain a Western garrison. But instead of gaining this "Achilles Heel", the Western Allies had wrung some important concessions; the retention of Saxony and the Thuringia; the scrapping of plans to grant the lands east of the Oder and Neisse rivers to Poland and the absorption of northern East Prussia into the Soviet Union.
This blog is a reboot of an article with the Berlin Airlift Begins World War III.
In 2012, Suite 434 of the Beverly Hilton Hotel was entered by a notorious criminal who robbed America of an irreplaceable national treasure that by comparison diminished the Statue of Liberty to the value of a cheap French souvenir.
Listen to "My Heart" from Just Whitney
MamaWhitney Houston's gasp of surprise revealed that the intruder was not altogether unexpected. Nevertheless, a brief struggle ensued, but there could only be one winner. Shortly afterwards, her bruised and lifeless body was found submerged in the bathtub.
Even if the tortured soul of Whitney Houston could be perhaps forgiven for the release, then her death came as a profound emotional shock to her family. For many months, her ex-husband would suffer crying fits, while her daughter would call out to an empty home. But these matters were of no concern to the killer who hurriedly stepped out of the hotel room in pursuit of the other victims that he had targeted for the evening. Although his identity is well known to the Government, there is no reason to believe that his centuries-long killing spree will end any time soon.
In 1854, Commodore Matthew C Perry returned to Tokyo Bay with a fleet of eight warships on this day to accept the reply of the Japanese Shogun Tokugawa Iesada to a letter from American President Millard Fillmore.
Commodore Perry Rebuffed in the Battle of OdaibaThe letter, delivered by Commodore Perry a year before, contained the demand by Fillmore the Japan accept America's terms of opening trade relations between the two nations. At the time, the trade policy of Japan was that of "Sakoku", which among other things limited Japan's trade dealings with other nations. Only China, with its proximity and resources, and the Netherlands could trade with Japan. As had been promised if the Japanese chose not to cooperate with the United States, Perry ordered the eight ships, with their combined 80 guns and 2,000 marines, to steam toward Uruga and prepare to attack. Since the Japanese capital of Edo was out of range of the frigates' cannons, Uruga had been marked for "utter destruction" to demonstrate the seriousness of American resolve.
Unknown to Perry, while Perry had been in China awaited the Japanese reply, the Shogunate had ordered the island of Odaiba to be armed and ready to attack the Americans when they returned. A new post by Andrew BeaneEleven batteries of smooth-bore 80 pound cannons were placed on the island, supplemented by dozens of "wood cannons", hollowed-out tree trunks held together by iron bands and used as actual cannons. They were ready to give President Fillmore his answer.
Perry's fleet was greeted with a barrage of cannon fire, though the ill-trained Japanese defenders had trouble finding their targets. Nevertheless, with the Mississippi and the Saratoga sunk, and the Plymouth badly damaged, Perry decided to cut his losses and return to the United States. After the long journey back to Norfolk, Virginia, Perry reported his failure to President Franklin Pierce, who had taken office while Perry was in Asia, and was promptly relieved of command. Congress would not allow the money required to send a larger force to Japan, so the United States left Japan alone in its self-imposed isolation.
In 1803, the law of the young United States was only a little more than a decade old since its formal establishment with the ratification of the Constitution.
Marshall Forced to Recuse Himself Older law stretched back by precedent in the days of the Articles of Confederation and even colonial charters, creating the base of English common law that would judge how the basic affairs of personal matters could be handled. However, the highest echelons of the government were new and undecided. In a pivotal case for the Supreme Court, Congress won its position as highest power of the land, outranking even the Constitution itself, out of the character assassination of Chief Justice John Marshall.
The matter at hand was that of the "Midnight Judges" who had been appointed in the last hours of the Federalist Party controlling the government. Jeffersonian Republicans had won the elections in 1800 handily, meaning that the power of the Federalist Congress and President John Adams would simply disappear. A new story by Jeff ProvineIn order to maintain what they felt as a sense of sanity for the young nation, John Adams used the newly passed Judiciary Act of 1801 to appoint Federalist-leaning men to some 58 positions as circuit judges and justices of the peace. After approval by the Senate, Secretary of State John Marshall (who had also been appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, but stayed in his executive position at Adams' request) was able to deliver the majority of the appointments. A few would-be judges, however, were unable to be reached, and upon March 4, Jefferson was formally sworn in as president. Among his first actions to Levi Lincoln, Attorney General and acting Secretary of State, ordering him not to deliver the remaining appointments.
One of the ousted appointees was wealthy Marylander financier William Marbury, who demanded his position. He petitioned the Supreme Court, whose position was stalled as the new Democratic-Republican Congress limited the Court to one session the next February. As the court finally convened to hear the case, the questions at hand stretched further than whether they could order the Executive Branch to give Marbury his appointment. The legal issues seemed clear enough with Marbury to win, but lawyers opposing decided a radical strategy of removing the Federalist influence. They argued that Marshall could not sit as he was currently Secretary of State during the delivery and cited English Chief Justice Edward Coke's 1610 opinion that "no person should be a judge in his own case".
The legal standing of the citation was questionable, but public outcry driven by Jeffersonian newspapers gave the Federalist Party a blemish as ignoble tyrants holding any position they could grab. Due to the outpouring of disdain, Marshall sat aside.
Two weeks later, the split decision would be handed down as affirmative toward Marbury. However, Marshall's intended interpretation of judicial review for law fell short. Instead, legal precedence would build so that the Supreme Court's position would be to judge the Executive Branch and that Congress would sit atop a platform described by the Constitution. The so-called "Supremacy Clause" of the Constitution would be interpreted more to support the position of the federal government over those of states in the judicial system, a point that would be used to solve the Nullification Crisis in 1832 and deem secession only legal if approved by Congress. The federal government would be a "living government" rather than one restrained by an unchanging piece of paper.
Marshall, though upset, would continue as Chief Justice and do his best to support Federalist ideals. He challenged Jefferson in declaring Aaron Burr free from any overt act of treason in 1807. In 1810's Fletcher v. Peck, he judged that the Georgia government must support its dealings of its former legislature (unless authorized by the US Congress, now seen as equivalent to the Constitution). He also affirmed the position of the Executive Branch in international dealings, especially with those of the Native Americans.
Decades later, the matter of Congressional Supremacy would be key to the 1857 Dred Scott case proving that Congress had the right to prohibit slavery in US territories. With the substantial legal victory, the matter of slavery came to congressional attention, spurring the Emancipation Act of 1859 that prescribed the methods for a slave to free himself while paying his worth to his master, thus preventing any deprivation of property. The act is widely believed to have headed off a war as it was widely known Congress held the right to abolish slavery. Societies throughout the North (and South) collected money to be given to slaves, many of whom returned to work for former masters for wages.
Through the latter course of the nineteenth century, however, rampant corruption would bring about the Progressive Revolution led by, among others, General Theodore Roosevelt as renewed State Militias defending the Constitution, especially its Second Amendment, clashed with Federal troops.
In 1812, on this day the second Confederate President Alexander Hamilton Stephens was born in Crawfordville, Georgia.
Alexander H. Stevens
2nd Confederate President
March 4, 1867 - 1873 Alexander Hamilton Stephens (February 11, 1812 - March 4, 1883) was an American politician from Georgia. He was President of the Confederate States of America immediately following the American Civil War. He also served as a U.S. Representative from Georgia before the Civil War and as the 50th Governor of Georgia from 1882 until his death in 1883.
Early Life and Career
Born Alexander Stephens to Andrew and Margaret Stephens in Crawfordville, Georgia, Stephens grew up poor. But thanks to the generosity of Rev. Alexander Hamilton Webster, a Presbyterian minister, he was educated at Franklin College (later the University of Georgia), where he graduated at the top of his class in 1832. He went on to study law on his own, being admitted to the bar in 1834.
A new article from the "Two Americas" thread on Althistory WikiaStephens was a very successful lawyer and land owner in his native Taliaferro County, becoming wealthy and subsequently generous with that wealth. Though a sickly man, weighing only 96 pounds, his intellect and strength of character gained his the compliment from a northern newspaper as "the strongest man in the south". He was known as an able defender of the falsely accused, and generous to a fault with his home and wealth.
Early on, Stephens gained the respect of his fellow Georgians, being first elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1836 and then the Georgia Senate in 1842. In 1843, he resigned the State Senate when he was elected in a special election to fill a vacant seat in the US House of Representatives.
In 1843, Stephens was elected U.S. Representative as a Whig, in a special election to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Mark A. Cooper. This seat was an at-large seat, as Georgia did not have House districts until 1844. In 1844, 1846, and 1848, Stephens was re-elected Representative from the 7th District as a Whig. In 1851 he was re-elected as a Unionist, in 1853 as a Whig (from the 8th District), and in 1855 and 1857 as a Democrat. He served from October 2, 1843 to March 3, 1859, in the 28th Congress through the 35th Congress.
As a national lawmaker during the crucial two decades before the Civil War, Stephens was involved in all the major sectional battles. He began as a moderate defender of slavery, but later accepted all of the prevailing Southern rationales used to defend the institution.
Elected as a Whig, Stephens was instrumental in the creation of the Constitutional Unionist party in Georgia in 1850. The party replaced the Whig party in the 1850 congressional elections, and he fought hard to save the party before it dissolved in 1851. A Whig once more, he fought for the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which proved the undoing of the Whig party. Elected as a Democrat in 1854, he became a rising voice of sanity from the south. Leaving office in 1859, he worked for the election of Stephen Douglas in the 1860 presidential campaign. When elected a member of the convention to decide on secession, he voiced his objections, likening the national union as a leaking ship that only needed mending.
National politics in the Confederacy
In spite his opposition to secession, Stephens was selected by the Congress of the Confederacy to be the vice president of the provisional government, being sworn into office on February 11, 1861 (his 49th birthday). The President, Jefferson Davis, was to be sworn in February 18th, meaning Stephens would be the longest serving executive in Confederate history. The Constitution would establish the date of March 4th as inauguration day after standard election. Elected to fill the same post, he would serve along side Davis during the whole active war against the US. He would, though, be a constant voice for peace from his office in Richmond and on more than one occasion in Washington.
On February 3, 1865, he was one of three Confederate commissioners who met with Lincoln on the steamer River Queen at the Hampton Roads Conference, to discuss measures to bring an end to the war. Lincoln had predetermined that no agreement short of a restoration of the union with the abolition of slavery would be reached. The report from that conference would result in a covert operation to assassinate the US president. This was to be a shock to Stephens, though he suspected that Davis may have known of the plan.
In spite of the tension between Stephens and Davis, the president supported his vice president as the best man to heal the nation after the ceasefire in 1866. The opposition was futile in November of that year as Stephens' reputation preceded him. In 1868, his vice president, Gen. Robert E. Lee, made a passionate plea for the abolition of slavery in the Confederacy. Stephens had been a staunch supporter of the institution, but understood the plight of the slave, having defended many of them in court in the years before the war.
The primary accomplishment of the Stephens' administration though, was the attempted liberation of Cuba from the domination of Spain. As word from refugees reaching Key West and mainland Florida, Stephens ordered the Confederate Navy to blockade the island in November of 1868, just weeks after the "10th of October Manifesto" that declared independence from Spain. With the recognition of the rebellion, the Confederacy was embroiled in an unpopular war that was costing the Confederacy lives and money they could not afford. Near the end of his administration Stephens would have to withdraw the Confederate forces to defend the border with Mexico due to that country's political unrest.
After leaving office, Stephens was appointed to be Ambassador to Mexico in 1874. Being recalled after the coupe in 1876, he would be sent to Cuba in an attempt to mend the broken relations with Spain. Having little success in that venture, he would return to Georgia for a slight reprieve from public service.
Governor of Georgia
In a move unusual for a former President, Stephens would run for governor of his home state. He would be elected and serve from the capital at Milledgeville from 1878 until his death in 1883.
In his first term, He would oversee the plans to move the capital to the modern city of Atlanta, which had suffered damage in Sherman's attempts to disrupt the economy of the Confederacy in the "scorched earth" policy on 1865. Confederate forces had brought that campaign to an end in the Battle of Atlanta. US President Johnson had withdrawn all forces to the border soon after that. By the end of 1880, the foundation of the new capitol building had been lain. 1881 would see the International Cotton Exposition would draw attention to the vital textile industry. Mechanization had largely reduced the need for slave labor, promoting the late Vice President Lee's dream for emancipation of slaves.
After being re-elected in November of 1882, he would be injured in an accident on his estate in Taliaferro County, dying of complications on March 4, 1883. At his death, James S. Boynton, president of the Georgia senate, became governor until a special election could be held.
In 1994, on this day "the tree shaker", septuagenarian Thembu rebel leader Rolihlahla Mandela boarded a stolen Xhosa transport ship, finally escaping from the windswept island where he had been imprisoned for the past thirty-one years.
The Return of the KingThe first time he had travelled the seven short miles from the Cape of Storms to the island, he had sat below the decks of the wooden ferry chained hand and foot whilst the prison guards amused themselves by urinating through the air vent onto the prisoners.
Despite his long incarceration, he had not lose an ounce of spirit, standing on deck tall and stiff as a flagpole. Characteristically, his mouth was turned down in a mournful frown whilst his brown eyes sparkled with mischief. Although much time had been lost, it was not yet too late to shake his country of Azania to its very roots.
In 2006, the conservative political commentator Rush Limbaugh was accidentally peppered in the face with birdshot pellets by Vice President Dick Cheney during a hunt in the north-western United States.
The Right to Arm BearsCheney had turned to shoot what he thought was a fat grizzly bear but fortunately Limbaugh escaped unscathed as the majority of the bird-shot lodged in his jowls.
When asked for a comment in his hospital bed, Rush chirped that it was an honor to be shot by such a great American.
In 2009, on this day the leader of the ultra-right wing Yisrael Beiteinu Party, Mr Avigdor Lieberman (born Evet Lvovich Liberman) unexpectedly emerged from the Israeli General election in the terrifying guise of kingmaker.
Pillar of SaltLieberman has called for Israel to redraw its borders to push out heavily Arab areas and require Arabs remaining in Israel to sign loyalty oaths or lose their right to vote, being quoted as saying, "I've always been controversial because I offer new ideas. For me to be controversial, I think this is positive".
A coalition agreement had been signed with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in October 2006, under which Lieberman became the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Strategic Affairs. Not only did this politically expedient appointment permit Lieberman to gain respectability as a mainstream politician, it placed the bloody stamp of the Yisrael Beiteinu Party on the invasion of Gaza City in December 2008. An insatiable appetite for extreme action had just been whetted. In Lieberman's fundamentalist view there could be no looking back for the State of Israel. Gaza and Ramallah were the modern day equivalent of Sodom and Gomorrah, and just like Lot's wife in the Book of Genesis, looking back would turn the State of Israel into a pillar of salt.
Only later would it become clear that events now began to further escalate inside a vicious, inescapable circle of violence that gripped the region. The end-game in a fifty year tragedy was fast approaching.
Because the perceived success in bringing Hamas to heel had delivered a huge surge in support for the Defence Minister and Leader of the Labour Party, Mr Ehud Barak. A former Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defence Force, Mr Barak would be increasingly seen as the natural heir to Ariel Sharon, a military professional who could reverse the sense of drift that had permeated Ehud Olmert's civilian government.
With no clear winner emerging from the General election, it was inevitable that the leader of the majority Israeli party would need to seek at least one coalition partner to form a new cabinet. Accordingly President Shimon Peres now invited Barak to form a government of unity with Yisrael Beiteinu Party. Although its rival in the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority, did not expressed a preference for any candidate, senior negotiator Mr Saeb Erakat expressed dismay right-wing parties that oppose the traditional land-for-peace formula had performed so well. Matters were worse than Mr Erakat feared. Far worse. During the horse-trading that followed, Lieberman introduced his key pre-condition for entering a new Barak administration - the launching of Operation Final Victory at all Costs.
This story is a continuation of a previous headline, Old Testament Times.
In 1979, the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (pictured) was captured by agents of Iran's feared secret police, SAVAK.
Ayatollah Captured by Eric LippsKhomeini had been the leader of a revolutionary movement grounded in fundamentalist Shiite Islam which had sought to overthrow the secular, modernizing Shah Reza Pahlevi.
In January 1979, they had briefly forced the Shah to flee the country, but infighting between the fundamentalists and more moderate factions had led to the collapse of the coup. The Shah had returned to Teheran on February 1 as Iranian military and SAVAK forces asserted control, hunting down the would-be revolutionaries. Those not killed immediately will be placed on trial and either sentenced to death or imprisoned for indeterminate periods.
The Shah's survival and the subsequent crackdown were applauded by U.S. conservatives but greeted with distinct ambivalence on the left; liberals tended to see Iran's ruler as a despot, however little they cared for Khomeini's religious zealotry.
On this day in 1945, as millions of people around the Allied world celebrated the end of World War II in Europe and scientists in the New Mexico desert began preparations for the first experimental atomic bomb detonation, deposed former German chancellor Adolf Hitler was handed over to a detachment of U.S. Army MPs under the terms of the surrender articles signed by the German government the previous day.
The Führer, who'd been incarcerated in a secret Luftwaffe detention camp since his overthrow by Hermann Goering back in January, would be indicted for war crimes two months later as the first of dozens of defendants scheduled to be prosecuted by a multi-national tribunal in the city of Nuremburg.
On this day in 1959, Sandy Koufax scored his 1000th NBA career point in a 121-118 Boston Celtics win against Philadelphia at Boston Garden.
On this day in 1957, Sandy Koufax notched his 500th NBA career assist in a 91-85 Celtics loss to the Syracuse Nationals in Philadelphia.
In 2003, a small incident almost blows up the delicate peace negotiations between the People's Republic of America and the Soviet States of America, as a small band of revolutionaries explode an S.S.A. base in Montana. When P.R.A. troops capture the men responsible and hand them over to the S.S.A., negotiations resume.
In 1963, Pete Best, international superstar, records his huge hit album When Youre My Love. The album shoots to the second spot on the British charts days after its release, and there is talk across Europe and America of the new sensation from Liverpool.
In 1952, while his host Carl Thompson recuperates in the local hospital, Mikhail von Heflin and Velma Porter seek out Juan Escobar, self-styled hunter of the paranormal. Escobar, injured in the struggle the night before himself, is in a small motel on the north side of the town, contemplating a return to his native Mexico.
In 1847, the world's greatest inventor, Thomas Alva Edison, was born in Milan, Ohio. Edison's adaption of Babbage's Difference Engine became a world-transforming tool that allowed for the storage and transmission of vast amounts of information instantaneously. His work was directly responsible for the Knowledge Railroad that connects all of humanity today.
In 1988, Nelson Mandela, the symbol for anti-apartheid movements across the globe, died in his Robben Island Prison. He had been placed in solitary confinement on Robben Island after leading the other inmates in civil disobedience against the hideous conditions in the prison, and was never seen again. Bloody riots after his death overthrew the rule of the white minority in South Africa.
In 1970, Japan launches the satellite Ohsumi from its Kagoshima Space Center, joining the western powers of America, France and the Soviet Union in the heavens. Their national will to exceed soon pushes them past the other nations, and Japan lands the first human on Mars, Ryoko Kikuchi, in 1984.
In 1904, the defensive fleet of the human and Mlosh from earth rendezvous at the Plutonian defensive perimeter to meet the incoming fleet from the Mlosh homeworld. They now realize that they are facing an offshoot of the Mlosh, possibly bred for battle. The children of the earth brace for a hard fight.
In 1567, on this day Mary, Queen of Scots murdered Lord Darnley (pictured), her cousin, estranged husband and also the father of her infant son James Stuart. His body (and that of his servant) was secretly buried in the orchard of Kirk o' Field, Edinburgh, where they had been staying.
Mary, Queen of Scots defends David Rizzio
Part 2 by Ed & Eric OppenDescribed as "the best proportioned long man she ever saw", her majesty had become passionately infatuated with him during her first years in Scotland. However, she soon discovered that he was power-hungry, vicious and totally unreliable. His transparent desire to seize the thrown for himself and his own branch of the Stuart family infuriated many of the Scottish nobility who required little encourage to revert to lawlessness, violence, feuds and rapacity. The consequence was a loyalist rebellion led by Mary's right-hand man, Lord James Stewart.
However the motive was much simpler. It was the shocking discovery of his leading role in the attempt to murder her Torinese private secretary, David Rizzio that had occurred when she was seven months pregnant with the future King of Scots, James VI. But despite the suspicions of many, Henry Stewart's death was attributed to natural causes because he had been sick at the time of his murder, and it was known in court circles that was why he and Mary were sleeping apart.
In 1639, on this day King Robert II lost the Tudor's greatest living servant when the iconic Monarchist General Oliver Cromwell (pictured) was killed defending Newcastle from the latest Scottish attack.
Essex Rebellion #2At the climax of the English Succession Crisis, the Earl's Counter-plot had prevented the Cecils from passing the throne to King James IV of Scotland, the son of Elizabeth's first cousin once removed, Mary Stuart. Instead they had placed a Tudor B*stard on the throne, Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex.
The enraged Scottish monarch responded by invading England. And instead of the two crowns being united, both monarchs became locked in a bitter dynastic struggle that was continued by their children well into the third decade of the seventeenth century. In Cromwell, the Tudors believed that they had found the military commander that could finally end the Jacobite menace, but with his tragic death the conflict seemed destined to stretch into the 1640s.
This post is a reversal of Robbie Taylor's King Robert article and continues the Tudor B*stards thread.
In 1846, the Sikh Empire had one of its greatest military triumphs and began its second imperial age with the defeat another great imperial force, Britain.
Sikhs Defeat British East India CompanyAlthough Sikhs as a culture had begun some three centuries before in the Punjab region of India, it would not be until the fall of the Mughal in the mid-1700s that the Khalsa (Sikh army) was organized to support a confederacy of newly freed Sikh misls. Ranjit Singh rose to power from leader of one misl into uniting the Sikhs into an empire in 1801. He modernized the Khalsa, even including Western artillery and mercenaries, and expanded his control by conquest of Afghan territory as well as the kingdoms of Jammu and Kashmir.
At about the same time, the British Empire through the East India Company worked to extend its control in the region. Afraid of Russian interference, the British fought the initially successful but later disastrous Anglo-Afghan War, which had been supported by Ranjit Singh. After the death of Ranjit in 1839, however, the Sikh Empire began to wane as centralized control dissipated. Many applauded the return to the ideal confederacy, but unrest was common. The Khalsa tripled in size to maintain order, even though they themselves were responsible for much of it, such as killing viziers who proved to be thieves or cowardly or holding a riot to find anyone who spoke Persian and executing them on grounds they might be corrupt administrators in charge of financing. The court, known as the Durbar, faced its own turmoil with intrigues and assassinations that caused the throne to change hands quickly between sons and regents until finally settling on eight-year-old Duleep Singh with his mother, Maharani Jind Kaur, in control of real power. Seeing the chaos just over the border in what British visitors described as a "dangerous military democracy", combined with the sudden and ultimately rebuffed Sikh invasion of Tibet in the Sino-Sikh War (1841-42), the East India Company built up military forces near the Punjab for protection of their holdings.
A new story by Jeff ProvineThe British massing caused tension to build further with the Durbar disagreeing with both the Khalsa and the representatives from the East India Company working to keep trade free of the hang-ups of corruption. In December 1845, a British force made up largely from units of the legendary Bengal Army under Sir Hugh Gough began maneuvers to join units already stationed along the border at Ferozepur, and the Khalsa responded with their own armies led by the rajas Tej Singh and Lal Singh. The two generals meandered: Tej refused to attack an exposed British division at Ferozepur that became instrumental in the close British victory at the Battle of Ferozeshah, where he appeared late and withdrew upon misinterpreting the retreat of the British cavalry as a flanking maneuver. Lal, meanwhile, failed to reorganize his troops after a few British soldiers broke Sikh defenses. After the battle, both armies retired with the British exhausted and the Sikhs in disarray. In Lahore, the Sikh capital, Jind Kaur blamed the cowardice of officers rather than her commanders, even dismissively throwing garments in their faces.
Upon this insult, Khalsa tempers rose and became embodied the Sham Singh Attariwala, a hero who had served in the Sikh army since enlisting in 1817, whose daughter had married Nau Nihal Singh (the second in line for the throne after the death of Ranjit and died from wounds after a building fell), and who served on the council that observed the regency for Duleep Singh. He ordered corrupt prime minister Gulab Singh exiled and Jind Kaur placed under house arrest, naming himself regent for Duleep. Sham also began a purge of the lackluster command of the Sikh army, finding both Tej and Lal Singh, upper-caste Hindu Dogras rather than Sikh, not only futile but treacherous, having sold battle plans to the British. Both were executed, and Sham himself took command of the army, reinforced with troops from the western part of the empire. The British, themselves reinforced, attacked the pontoon bridge at Sobraon, trading artillery fire before Gough was told his cannons were low on ammunition and he replied, "Thank God! Then I'll be at them with the bayonet". The resulting attack, however, would prove a repeated failure to break through Sikh lines. When the British began to withdraw, the Sikhs counter-attacked and routed them.
The expedition would prove a disaster for the British, but it cemented the Khalsa in control of what would become known as Sikhistan to the West. Sham Singh Attariwala himself ruled until Duleep Singh came of age and ruled until his death in 1893. He westernized his country as per his tutelage under Sham and maintained it as the richest part of India, many historians believing due to the secular nature of the diverse country. Duleep traveled to Europe a number of times and was on good terms with Queen Victoria, creating a peaceful coexistence of the Sikhs alongside British India. India would not see independence from Britain until 1947, when it was divided into predominantly Hindu India and Muslim Pakistan. The resulting Partition of India would be largely calm in the north as Khalsa watched over the borders, and the population of Sikhistan surged as refugees were taken in after escaping brutal clashes in the south.
Today Sikhistan is an economic leader in the region as well as its territory of the Punjab considered "the breadbasket of India". While there have been some border altercations, the military strength of the Khalsa has maintained order in what otherwise could be an area of violent tension.
In 1763, on this day the signing of the Treaty of Paris by the Kingdoms of Great Britain, France and Spain (with Portugal in agreement) marked the beginning of an extensive period of Catholic dominance outside Europe. Because in combination with the separate Treaty of Hubertusburg signed by Prussia, Austria and Saxony, the so-called "Peace of Paris" concluded the world-wide conflict known as the Seven Years' War, an outcome which particularly favoured the French and Spanish.
Catholic Victory in the Seven Years War
written by John LipkaThe fighting between Great Britain, France, and their respective allies in North America (known in the United States as the French and Indian War) had broken out in 1754, two years before the general conflict, as part of an Imperial rivalry.
In hindsight, it was clear that the premature loss of the talented General James Wolfe at Louisbourg was a catastrophic setback for the British. As portrayed in the iconic painting "The Death of General Wolfe" (pictured), artist Benjamin West symbolised the loss of such a ruthlessly talented officer which ultimately cost the British the War (West had originally planned to replace Wolfe with Britannia to further emphasise the point).
Ordered to capture Quebec, their forces were thrown into such dissarray that France was able to seize New England, New York City, New Jersey and Pennslyvania. With the south also seized by Spanish forces, all of colonial continental North America was now in French and Spanish hands.
Ironically, the Catholic allies suffered their own near-fatal setback at the outset of the Seven Year's War. The delayed arrival on the Russian Throne of Czar Peter III was too late for his potential ally Frederick the Great who had already committed suicide. And because France did not want Russian power overly extended on the risk of offending their friends the Ottomans, it would be agreed that Russia only gained East Prussia at the Treaty of Versailles (with the rest of Prussia being divided between Austria regaining Silesia, Saxony-Poland gaining Prussian Saxony (Anhalt) and Brandenburg). To be continued..
In 2010, Charles Nesbitt Wilson died on this day in Lufkin, Texas aged seventy-five; the highly controversial phase of his fifty-year political career was explored in the non-fiction book "Good Time Charlie's War" by George Crile subsequently adaptated for the cinema in a film starring Tom Hanks.
Good Time Charlie's WarFrom 1973 to 1996, Wilson served twelve terms as the Democratic United States Representative from the 2nd congressional district in Texas. His was a constant voice advocating Operation Cyclone; this largest-ever CIA covert operation provided critical support to the Mujahideen during the Soviet war in Afghanistan.
"The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan is the greatest threat to peace since the Second World War"Funding began with $20-$30 million per year in 1980 and rose to $630 million per year in 1987. Because what began as the supply of military equipment soon extended into the provision of anti-aircraft weapons such as Stinger antiaircraft missiles; paramilitary officers were dispatched from the Special Activities Division. And finally the US was organising raids from across the border in Pakistan.
The program relied heavily on using the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence as an intermediary for funds distribution, passing of weapons, military training and financial support to Afghan resistance groups. The ISI armed and trained over 100,000 insurgents between 1978 and 1992. They encouraged the volunteers from the Arab states to join the Afghan resistance in its struggle against the Soviet troops based in Afghanistan. The Soviet troops completely pulled out of Afghanistan on February 15, 1989.
In late 1992, Wilson emerged as the preferred candidate for the position of Secretary of Defence. Because of his own lack of military experience, Clinton had deliberately sought out another Democrat politician (and party animal) who had a military background and considerable experience with military and foreign policy matters. Fortunately for both Clinton and Wilson, his Senate hearings were unopposed despite rumous surrounding his notorious personal life, particularly drinking, cocaine use, and womanizing, which resulted in him picking up the nickname "Good Time Charlie". Wilson's checkered past was of no concern to the key decision-makers, because he was self-evidently a man whose positions were correctly aligned with top military brass and defense contractors.
In office, he soon discovered that "Good Time Charlie's War". had not ended with the Soviet departure, rather he had created conditions for a regional instability that would last for generations. But how to keep the party going, whilst avoiding the blame? Unprepared to be the villain of the piece, Wilson leaned upon his experience, grasping the old truism that the group unites behind a common enemy. And so he created a new villain straight out of a comic book - Osama Bin Laden, a fictional bogieman who could endlessly avoid capture and draw the fury of the American people. And even by the time of Wilsons death in 2010, numerous "right hand men" of Bin Laden's would continue to be paraded across the media.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.