In 1968, two Murfeesboro, Tennessee residents visiting Memphis on a vacation were admitted to St. Joseph's Hospital after complaining of high fevers and severe headaches.
Dead Serious - World War Z: The Vietnam Edition:
Part 1Within just hours after their admission they would both be dead and six other people infected with a mystery virus so lethal then-Memphis mayor Henry Loeb soon had to order the entire hospital and the two blocks immediately adjacent to it quarantined. The quarantine would prove of little use, however; the contagion nicknamed "the Memphis virus" spread rapidly across the rest of Tennessee and within a month would be devastating much of the rest of the southern United States. Eventually there would be outbreaks of the disease all across North America thanks to genetic mutations that made it even easier for the virus to spread, and by summer the plague had jumped the Atlantic to sweep through Europe; crossed the Pacific to wreak havoc on Asia; and was spreading below the equator to threaten South America.
The true danger posed by the Memphis virus, however, was its effect on its victims after their deaths. Their corpses were reanimated and turned into mindless killing machines that attacked any living thing they found and decimated nearly every human community in their path. As the plague-- now officially reclassified "Memphis re-animation syndrome" --spread around the world, so did these rampaging monster. By December entire countries had been wiped out of existence; President of the United States Lyndon Johnson had been forced to evacuate to an emergency command bunker west of the Rockies; and the human race itself would be facing extinction as the un-dead overran larger and larger swaths of the earth. It wasn't until a team of U.N.-supervised biologists in Hawaii discovered a cure for the Memphis virus just before New Year's Day 1969 that the tide finally began to turn back in humanity's favor.
In 1473, on this day King James IV of Scotland was born at Stirling Castle, the son of James III and Margaret of Denmark.
Birth of James IV of ScotlandAs heir apparent to the Scottish crown, he became Duke of Rothesay. In 1474, his father arranged his betrothal to Princess Cecily of England. His father was not a popular king and faced two major rebellions during his reign. The marriage negotiations and dowry payments led to the invasion of Scotland and capture of Berwick in 1482 by his uncle Alexander, Duke of Albany and Richard, Duke of Gloucester while James remained at Stirling. James III's army rebelled against him and the English army reached Edinburgh.
During the second rebellion, the rebels set up the 15-year-old James as their nominal leader. His father was killed fighting rebels at the Battle of Sauchieburn on 11 June 1488, and James took the throne and was crowned at Scone on 24 June.
More of the same way to follow. On September 9, 1513, an invading Scottish army under King James IV and an English army commanded by Thomas Howard Earl of Surrey clashed near Flodden field in Northumberland. James IV, who had a much larger army, emerged victorious from this battle. This unexpected outcome scared the English enough to withdraw troops from France and form a hasty peace treaty with Louis XII. Of course the Pope emerged stronger from this conflict with the power to prevent Henry VIII from daring to challenge the Catholic union of marriage.
In 180 AD, on this day Marcus Aurelius died leaving his two sons Titus and Commodus the co-emperors of the Roman Empire.
Death of Marcus AureliusTheir accession as senior and junior emperors was the first time in Roman history that a son had succeeded his father since Titus succeeded Vespasian in 79. But of course the key difference was that this time around both co-rulers were "born in the purple". This proved vital, because it became increasingly clear that the younger twin was a flawed individual quite undeserving of his birth name Commodus, which means "obliging". Because he was anything but, a self-serving individual who required constant correction from his elder brother.
And fortunately for Rome, Titus survived a near death experience aged only four. He ruled alongside his brother and proved the better ruler, leaving his lazy and possibly mad twin to indulge his penchants for parties and gladiator fights.
In 180, after having ruled for 19 years, Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus died while campaigning against the Germans.
Pompeianus Succeeds Marcus Aurelius as Co-RulerMarcus Aurelius had completed a stellar career, succeeding at nearly everything he attempted since his induction into the equestrian order at age six. The Emperor Hadrian seemed impressed by Aurelius' abilities and groomed him to rule: waiving requirements for entry into the priesthood and recommending that the Senate make exemption for him for the post of quaestor even though he was not 24. He was first made consul at the age of 18, and regained the position many times afterward. Upon the death of Emperor Antonius Pius in 161, Marcus Aurelius became co-ruler alongside his adopted brother Lucius Verus.
The two emperors were an odd couple. Marcus focused on the necessities of administration and carried more authority despite their political equality. Lucius, on the other hand, enjoyed the games and chariot racing. Both, however, carried an informality that endeared them to the people. They handled firsthand crises in Rome such as the flooding of the Tiber, and Lucius was dispatched to the east to battle the Parthians, who had begun an invasion. Lucius was at first accused of luxury and gambling, but he proved an able commander, and the Parthians were defeated by 167. Plague flowed through the empire after, wiping out thousands. Lucius died in 169, possibly as a casualty of the plague.
A new article by Jeff ProvineFrom 169 to 177, Marcus ruled alone. He spent his years away from Rome, campaigning against Germanic incursions across the imperial border. At age 52, he thought of the coming generation and elevated his surviving son Commodus, only sixteen years old, to co-ruler. Commodus had been born "in the purple" months after Marcus became emperor, never knowing a life outside of near-absolute authority. Commodus would be the first non-adopted son to succeed his father as emperor in generations. From the days of Vespasian, no male heirs had been born, creating a system of adoption. It arguably became a system of meritocracy, but Marcus felt that Commodus, despite his youth, would make an able ruler. Still on campaign in 180, Marcus died in Vindobona (modern day Vienna) on the Danube.
While he carried out his civic duties well, Marcus Aurelius considered himself a philosopher at heart. He had been very close with his teachers, especially Marcus Cornelius Fronto. Fronto, a Numidian-Lybian, had become famous in Rome for his oratory, believed to be next to that of the great Cicero, which spurred Antonius Pius to hire him as the tutor for Marcus and Lucius. Poor health troubled Fronto most of his adult life, ending chances at a career in politics, but instead giving him more time to write. Lucius did not appreciate the education on the level that Marcus did, who even imitated Fronto and carried out single-sided conversations with himself about the necessity of discipline. Fronto often played devil's advocate and tried to steer Marcus away from philosophy with the old saying, "Better never to have touched the teaching of philosophy .. than to have tasted it superficially, with the edge of the lips&". Another teacher, Quintus Junius Rusticus, would introduce Marcus Aurelius to Stoicism, in which he found his true calling.
In his last years of campaigning, Aurelius wrote his Meditations. While Fronto had taught him to speak, he thanked Rusticus for teaching him to think clearly. He took upon himself to be the philosopher-king, fulfilling his requirements of office while still having time to write reflections on philosophy, life, and the world. Like many Stoics, he focused on discipline and self direction, writing "If thou art pained by any external thing, it is not this that disturbs thee, but thy own judgment about it. And it is in thy power to wipe out this judgment now" (VIII. 47) and "Do not act as if thou wert going to live ten thousand years. Death hangs over thee. While thou livest, while it is in thy power, be good" (IV. 17).
None of Aurelius' reflections seemed to settle on his son Commodus, who acted a great deal like Lucius. They made an effective pair as rulers, however, with Aurelius' administrative mind while Commodus, like Lucius, held a sense of public mood. This thought settled on Aurelius, who summoned Tiberius Claudius Pompeianus, one of his best generals and the second husband of Lucius' widow, Lucilla. He had apparently offered Caesarship to Pompeianus to continue the tradition of co-rule, but Pompeianus had declined. Now Aurelius pleaded with Pompeianus to take the position should anything ever happen to Aurelius. After a great deal of convincing and a Stoic discussion of duty, Pompeianus accepted the order and the will was changed just before Aurelius' death.
Returning to Rome, Commodus seemed upset by the invasion of his rule, but Pompeianus maintained a tight grip on the young emperor. Though they bickered, the rule proved for the good: Pompeianus handling administration while Commodus won the support of the people with games and victories in the field. Pompeianus died in 195, giving rule over to Publius Helvius Pertinax, who in turn passed his title to the great general Septimius Severus. A new tradition of separation of powers continued for centuries until 406, when pressure from Hun invaders tempted German allies to revolt and flee rather than serving as the buffer Rome intended them to be. The stable empire persuaded the Germans to stay and even push back against the Huns.
Four hundred years later, another wave of invasion by Maygars and Vikings proved too much for Rome, which toppled as was carved into Viking kingdoms at sea an a Maygar empire in eastern Europe. With vast wealth behind them, the Vikings continued to explore and plunder, reaching as far as southern African, Native American, and Mayan lands.
It is 1947, the British have the Jewish and Muslim prisoners locked up together .. and the soldiers decide to taunt their captives by feeding them only pork.
Anti-Pork PactThis proves to be a bad idea, because the former bitter enemies are soon standing shoulder to shoulder, vowing to die together rather than defile themselves for eternity. Their protest sweeps like wildfire through both populations .. and it spreads throughout the world. Even the Grand Mufti and the Orthodox Jewish rabbis must call a press conference to grudgingly praise them all of their followers for observing the true sacred law.
When the UN votes for the partition into two states, the two groups greet it together. Following the American example, they vote to become two states in one nation...the United States of Abrahamia, paying tribute to their common ancestor, Abraham. Arab population growth combines with Israeli technology to create one of the most powerful nations on Earth. A famous American developer builds new suburban Levittowns there, welcoming both groups. Intermarriage soon brings them even closer together with very few objections, since all the men are circumcised, after all .. and Mohammed himself had a Jewish wife.
In 1214 AUC, on this day the Brittanic fanatic known as Patriclus died while trying to incite the Celts of Eire to rebel against Rome.
The Day Of PatriclusLike many other members of the Christosian messiah cult, Patriclus chafed under Roman toleration of all gods, and secretly struggled to make his single god dominant in Eire and Brittania. The Celts had little use for the Christosians, but often used them as fodder in struggles with Roman soldiers. Patriclus was a little different - he was charismatic enough to draw followers, which made the commander of the local Roman garrison nervous.
On this day, the commander dispatched men to arrest Patriclus, who resisted along with 20 of his own followers. The Romans killed most of them in the fight, making Patriclus a martyr to his faith. The few surviving Christosians of Eire still celebrate The Day of Patriclus in vain hope of someday throwing off Roman rule.
In 1992, on this day former President Sam Walton was given America's highest civilian award: the Presidential Medal of Freedom by his successor George Bush.
Wal-mart People save America, Part 2 By Ed, Jen Greenup & Timothy McFaddenDuring his epic two-term Presidency, Walton fought a determined but only partly successful battle to get protectionist legislation through the U.S. Congress. The result was a batch of semi-voluntary measures that rewarded U.S. Companies for domestic sourcing.
Throughout his long business career, he had stuck doggedly to his core belief in "buying American" insisting that Wal-Mart stores only sold American-made products.
Tragically, he died only weeks after received the award. His successors on the board of Wal-mart committed the long-term future of the retailer to American-made merchandise. Even though Wal-mart had lost ground to competitors such as Dollar General and Family Dollar, protectionists argued that tens of thousands of U.S. manufacturing jobs had been saved by "Uncle Sam".
In 1966, President John F. Kennedy paid tribute to Neil Armstrong and David Scott in a televised speech to the nation which re-affirmed the goal of landing on the moon during this decade. Yet the tragic loss of the Gemini 8 astronauts forced a return to the X-15 space plane concept, delaying the program by five years.
Gemini 8 Crash by Ed, Eric Oppen & Joel BaderGemini 8 was the sixth manned spaceflight in NASA's program, but the first to attempt the docking of two spacecraft in orbit. And the first critical in-space system failure led to a disintegration after the spacecraft spun out of control, and was then lost as were the lives of the two astronauts Neil Armstrong and David Scott.
The failure of the Gemini 8 space mission forced a complete re-evaluation in which a congressional inquiry concluded that the technology was in fact a dead-end. This conclusion was bitterly contested by NASA, who had determined that the mission failure was entirely due to a subsystem failure.
In fact there was some suspicion on the ground that the Agena attitude system was acting up and might not have the correct program stored in it. Just before they went off contact with the ground, the crew of Gemini 8 were informed that if anything strange were to happen, they were to turn off the Agena. After Scott had instructed the Agena to turn them 90° to the right, he noticed that they were in a roll. Armstrong used the Gemini's Orbit Attitude and Maneuvering System (OAMS) to stop the roll, but the moment he stopped using the thrusters, it started again. They immediately turned off the Agena and this seemed to stop the problem for a few minutes. Then suddenly it started again.
Scott noticed that the Gemini attitude fuel had dropped to 30% indicating that it was a problem on their own spacecraft. They would have to undock. After transferring control of the Agena back to the ground they undocked and with a long burst of translation thrusters moved away from the Agena.
It was at that point that the Gemini spacecraft began to roll even faster, and approached one revolution per second. The astronauts were now in danger of impaired vision and loss of consciousness due to the violent motion. At this point Armstrong tried to shut down the OAMS and used the Re-entry Control System reaction control system (RCS) to stop the spin, but unfortunately he failed to execute.
In 1892, at the cemetery of the Baptist Church in Exeter, Rhode Island George Brown exhumed the undead corpse of his eldest daughter, seventeen-year-old Mercy on this day. Friends and neighbors of the family had long suspected that one of his dead family members was a vampire, feasting upon his son, Edwin's illness. Tragically, their mother, Mary, was the first to die of the disease, followed in 1888 by their eldest daughter, Mary Olive. Two years later, in 1890, their son Edwin also became sick. In 1891, Mercy, contracted the disease and died in January 1892. And now three months later the discovery blood in Mercy's heart was taken as an unmistakeable sign that the teenager was undead and the agent of young Edwin's condition.
Vampire Siege by Eric OppenDuring the spring of 1892, the Rhode Island and Connecticut militia were called up to deal with an outbreak of vampirism. The first known case was Mercy Brown. After she was identified as a vampire (although that term was not used; it came into general use only later, when foreign correspondents drew Americans' attention to the long-standing problems facing Eastern Europeans) her father and some other men tried to put her to rest, unsuccessfully. Their methods didn't work, and she continued her depredations, turning her own brother Edwin, among others, into her eternal vampire slaves.
By April, 1892, fear of vampirism had all but paralyzed Rhode Island and neighboring Connecticut. The factories that were still open closed well before dark, and after sundown, nobody could expect admittance to any inhabited building --- knocks were likely to be answered with gunfire. The legislatures and governors of the two-state region called up the militia, and prepared to ask for help from Massachussetts.
After several weeks, it was officially announced that the vampire siege had been lifted. The Lizzie Borden case, in August, 1892, was at first feared to be the work of a surviving vampire, possibly mad with hunger from having hidden for too long. To this day, many houses in rural Connecticut, Rhode Island and nearby parts of Massachussetts display anti-vampire precautions, such as cloves of fresh garlic near doors and windows.
In 2006, director Andy Ackerman is forced to call a temporary halt to filming of The Seinfeld Movie on location in New York, and only after the first week of shooting.
This is due to constant disruption caused by those taking part in the Seinfeld Reality Tours, which is run by comedian Kenny Kramer - he being the inspiration for the Cosmo Kramer character. Jerry Seinfeld, meanwhile, is reportedly furious over the real-life Kramer's actions and he and Dreamworks Studios threaten to sue.
In 1991, the "Monetary Standard Act" passes the House. It will pass in the Senate two days later. Under its terms, the United States returns to the gold standard. Gold coins will be issued on a limited basis, and the government will print "gold certificate" bills, currency which may either be spent directly or redeemed for its face value in gold.
Over the next few days, gold prices rise to new highs. Thanks to his insider tip, James Sinclair, the Connecticut-based investor and gold speculator, stands to make a killing.
On this day in 1956, Sandy Koufax scored a then-NBA record of 63 points in his first playoff game as the Boston Celtics rolled to a 126-102 blowout of the Syracuse Nationals in the first game of the 1956 NBA Eastern Division semi-finals. Koufaxs single-game record would stand until 1986, when Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls scored 65 in the fourth and final game of a Celtics second-round sweep of the Bulls.
In 2004, the Sheridans return to Darwin for a quiet St. Patrick's Day after their mission to retrieve the Titanian methane crabs ended in the destruction of the ship carrying them. Unfortunately, Darwin's quiet is shattered when the tide brings in hundreds of the crabs to the small town's shores, and the Australian military is called out.
In 1939, the St. Patrick's Day Revolt swept across Ireland as Great Britain joined with the German Underground to fight the Greater Zionist Resistance. The Irish, who had been treated well by the G.Z.R., felt that the British would use their loyalty as an excuse to suppress many of the freedoms they had been granted. Irish leaders began a revolution against British rule on this most famous of Irish holidays.
In 1901, Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh begins a tour of Ireland. The artist had been saved from a severe depression by a Mlosh doctor, and had created many paintings that held a Christian theme of salvation, which he thought went well with the legend of St. Patrick and Ireland.
In 1762, Irish soldiers serving in New York City march to celebrate St. Patrick's Day and their own heritage. The British governor of New York decides that this display of nationalism is unseemly and orders them stopped. After a bloody riot, known as the St. Patrick's Day Massacre, the Irish soldiers are imprisoned and Irish immigrants in the city are forbidden from celebrating the holiday.
In 460, the Speaker's Line lost several of their Irish family as they converted to Christianity. The new converts lost interest in fulfilling the dreams of Telka, and Ireland became less hospitable to those of the Line who were traveling in Europe. In a few generations, though, the Speaker's Children would recover much of what they had lost, due to the general spread of Christianity through their ranks.
In 460, Patrick, a wealthy British Christian who had single-handedly converted the whole of Ireland to Christianity, died in his adopted homeland. In a few centuries, the Holy British Empire would use the legend of Patrick to convince the Irish to bow to their rule; the Irish became very loyal subjects of the Holy British Empire because of St. Patrick.
In 460, Patrick I, King of Eire, died in his castle in Dublin. With his influence, the Irish had been able to conquer England and Wales, and started spreading across the world over the following centuries. Today, everyone is Irish.
In 1213 AUC, a Brittanian slave attempting to escape to Eire was put to the death. The slave had been part of the underground cult of Christos which still had some few adherents even after 4 centuries of suppression by the Roman Empire. This slave, Patriclus according to some documents, had wanted to convert the people of Eire to his religion.
In 1751, on this day the fourth President of the United States James Madison, Jr. was born in Port Conway, Virginia Colony.
Birth of President MadisonHe is quite rightly hailed as the "Father of the Constitution" for being instrumental in the drafting of the United States Constitution and as the key champion and author of the United States Bill of Rights. However his controversial legacy is derived from the second part of his career.
Because by 1814 the War of 1812 had turned to a fiasco. America's invasion of Canada had been rebuffed despite taking the city of York twice (and burning public buildings there the second time). Naval victories in the Great Lakes had stalled Canadian counter-invasions.
A flotilla of ships in a British expedition blockaded the Atlantic, but, even with the defeat of Napoleon, there were too few troops to do much more than raid coastal shipping. For the most part, the war was over, and commissioners had begun to meet in Ghent to discuss a treaty.
In the meantime, the raiding continued. Alexandria, Virginia, had been looted by the British, and American forces worked to defend the militarily significant Baltimore from full invasion. British General Robert Ross, however, had a different aim: the center of politics and morale for the young nation, Washington, D.C. As British landed on August 21, Americans scurried to put together militia to oppose them. On August 24, a haphazard collection of 7,000 men, including President James Madison himself armed with a collection of pistols, met with the British at Bladensburg.
The battle was yet another fiasco for the Americans. Brigadier General Tobias Stansbury had moved his exhausted men away from well defended positions to prevent a possible, but unlikely, flanking maneuver. As officials from Washington arrived, Secretary of State James Monroe ordered troops to different positions, creating confusion and weak gaps in the line. American regulars fought valiantly, but the rest were quickly routed without clear evacuation plans, and the British marched on Washington unopposed.
Returning to Washington, James Madison had planned to grab papers and escape into the countryside like most of his cabinet and Congress were doing. As he saw the evacuation of the city, he decided that the war had gone long enough. When an advance guard of British arrived under the white flag, Madison rode out to meet them. Patriots looked as if they were ready to ambush the Redcoats, but Madison's presence stopped them. After a brief discussion, the British returned to Ross with Madison and his entourage of diplomats and soldiers.
Madison met with Ross, and the two began to discuss ceasefire. On the 25th, Admiral Cockburn arrived, giving more clout to the discussion. Vice-Admiral Alexander Cochrane, the Commaner-in-Chief of the North American Station was preparing for the bombardment of Baltimore, but messages from Ross and Cockburn about the Americans' request for peace stopped the altercation. By the end of the month, word of armistice began to spread throughout the war-weary country. Diplomacy would take many more months to sort out, but the Treaty of Ghent would officially end the war December 24, 1814.
Feeling officially independent of Britain, the Americans settled about their affairs. Madison would pass his presidency to James Monroe, who would in turn pass it to John Quincy Adams, and then to the firebrand John C. Calhoun of South Carolina (who narrowly defeated Andrew Jackson of Indian-fighting fame in party conventions). Calhoun vetoed often, such as the Tariff of 1828 and the Tariff of 1832, keeping Southern ideals of states rights in place over the more Federal-thinking Whigs.
After Calhoun's presidency, the workable federation of the United States went to war with Mexico while he still served as senator. Polk's War ended favorably with large gains in the Southwest, but this sudden gain of territory stressed the question of slavery for the nation. After countless arguments and debates in Congress, the idea of secession finally came up. The North and the South would never agree, so perhaps they would best seek their fortunes as neighbors rather than housemates. The Constitution never addressed secession completely, so legal precedent allowed the peaceful separation of the United States with the consent of Congress, which had never happened before in the minor uprisings of territories decades before. Henry Clay and Stephen Douglas, under the guidance of an ancient Calhoun too weak to speak but able to write powerful pages, crafted the Act of Disunion of 1850, separating the United States of America in the North and the Confederated States of America in the South with a westward border compromised at 36 degrees, 30 minutes north.
With a stronger industrial base, the USA quickly outpaced its southern neighbor, who spent much of its political time and energy with expansionism toward Latin America, adding Cuba, Puerto Rico, and other Caribbean islands to its domain in the Spanish-American War in the 1880s. World War I would see the South enter on the side of the Allies early in 1916 while the USA sat out. In 1941, when the Confederate base at Pearl Harbor was bombed by Japan, CSA President "Cactus Jack" Garner asked USA President Franklin Roosevelt to acknowledge various treaties between the two brotherly countries and join them in battle. FDR agreed, and the two nations fought alongside one another for the first time since the Mexican War that had ended up driving them apart.
After WWII, many asked if the two nations would rejoin, but, despite its troubled economy, the South sought to maintain its independence. Racial subjugation rejected in the North under two-term president JFK was still accepted as legal in the South with gradual concessions such as the Civil Rights Act of 1968 signed by President George Wallace guaranteeing separate but equal segregation.
Despite their differences, the two American nations remain, for the most part, friendly. Their fiercest competition come in the Olympics, when the anthems of "My Country, "Tis of Thee" and "God Save the South" are often heard.
In 1971, on this day thirty-fourth President of the United States Thomas Edmund Dewey passed away in Miami, Florida. After playing a round of golf on vacation with Boston Red Sox player Carl Yastrzemski he had suffered a massive heart attack, expiring just a week before his sixty-ninth birthday.
Death of President DeweyHe gained the Republican nomination managing to win the 1948 presidential election by a landslide after picking popular World War II general Dwight Eisenhower as his running mate. His opponent was the incumbent ticket of President Harry Truman and Vice President Alben Barkely.
Drawn into the quagmire of the conflict in Korea, his legacy also included the controversial appointment of J. Edgar Hoover as Attorney General and Supreme Court Justice.
In 1919, in Oryol Russian doctors managed to nurse Chairman of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee (VTsIK) Yakov Mikhaylovich Sverdlov back to health from the Spanish Flu that had been threatening his life.
Yakov Sverdlov SurvivesSet once again at the centre of memorable events, Sverdlov is trusted with greater functions by Lenin and appointed General Secretary in 1922 when the Soviet Union came into existence, formalising his role as the First Head of State.
He was born in Nizhny Novgorod to Jewish parents, his father being an engraver. He joined the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party in 1902, and then the Bolshevik faction, supporting Vladimir Lenin. He was involved in the 1905 revolution.
After his arrest in June 1906, for most of the time until 1917 he was either imprisoned or exiled.
After the 1917 February Revolution he returned to Petrograd from exile and was re-elected to the Central Committee. He played an important role in planning the October Revolution. Research in 1990 by the Moscow playwright and historian Edvard Radzinsky uncovered Sverdlov's role in the execution of Tsar Nicholas II and his family. Sverdlov ordered their execution on July 16, 1918.
A close ally of Vladimir Lenin, Sverdlov played an important role in persuading leading Bolsheviks to accept the controversial decisions to close down the Constituent Assembly and the signing of the Brest-Litovsk Treaty. It was claimed that Lenin provided the theories and Sverdlov made sure they worked.
In 1889, on this day the German-American War begans in the Pacific.
German-American War Begins in PacificAs imperialism spread through the Pacific in the nineteenth century, three Western powers settled on the Samoan Islands. Although it was first sighted by the Dutch, the British, Germans, and Americans competed among the local tribes for control of the strategic island chain. Germans established numerous plantations while Britain created a consulship and Americans began trading extensively from posts around Pago Pago harbor. All three nations claimed the entirety of the island group and sold weapons to the locals, sparking a civil war in 1886.
As the war continued among the tribes, the diplomats of Germany, Britain, and America met in attempt to sort out the issue in Washington in 1887. They were unable to come to any agreement, however, and left with no progress made. Instead, more warships sailed for Samoa. In 1889, German foreign minister Count Herbert von Bismarck called for a meeting in Berlin that April for a new try to calm international tensions.
A new article by Jeff ProvineIn March, however, a literal storm was brewing. A tropical cyclone of massive proportions rolled toward Apia, and natives warned the fleets anchored in its harbor with tales of a storm that had struck three years before. The captains could clearly see the signs of storms and the telltale plummet in barometric pressure. Sailing out into open sea would give the ships a chance of bracing themselves through the storm. However, each nation looked at each other to move first, and a game of chicken began.
A sudden south-westerly wind came up, pushing the cyclone farther to the north and giving the ships a chance to escape. The large British HMS Calliope managed to push its way to safety, but the smaller Germans and Americans were slower to follow. As they came to the entrance to the harbor on the north side, their engines bolstered by the wind, the two fleets became tangled up. Tempers rose to match the fury of the storm, and ships were fired upon to sabotage engines. Disabled ships were pushed back by the storm tide and smashed against the reef to the south. Hundreds ended up dead on both sides, and each blamed the other. The scuffle became a full battle, and the Americans became overwhelmed by the Germans who were able to call up reinforcements from their plantations.
Americans became infuriated. While former President Grover Cleveland had been anti-imperialist, Benjamin Harrison's term had begun eleven days before, and he took this as his first great act. After leading Congress to declare war, Harrison called the American Navy to action, assembling a fleet in San Francisco to retake Samoa once and for all.
Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, thirty-year-old Kaiser Wilhelm II had been on the throne less than a year. He had already begun to chafe with his ministers, particularly Chancellor Otto von Bismarck. Bismarck suggested patience and to continue the planned meeting, but Wilhelm saw this war as a chance to prove German military prowess and strength in colonizing. He called for the resignation of both Bismarcks and assembled his own military advisers.
Both nations hurried to modernize their fleets, stalling the expansion of the war for months. Harrison's fleet succeeded in chasing off the Germans in Samoa, but the Kaiser was ready to dispatch a new wave of his own, and the Kaiserliche Marine was twice the size of the US Navy. Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson had moved to Samoa on an extended tour of the Pacific only months before and wrote a detailed account of the battles at sea as well as the chaos among native factions. Newspapers picked up the violent tales and contributed to the failing popularity of the war. Nearly one-third of American farmers had German backgrounds, and anti-German sentiment spread the violence to the United States as well. German immigration had halted, as had a good deal of business in trade. Harrison's "first great act" turned into a political nightmare from which he could not back down.
Finally, in 1892, Grover Cleveland was swept back into the White House, vowing to end the war. Britain hosted peace talks, saving face for both nations. While the war ended, German-American relations did not heal rapidly. Decades' worth of immigrants bent on coming to America were refused, instead heading to Germany's many colonies in Africa and the Pacific, where Samoa had been split into east-west spheres of influence. Wilhelm claimed victory in the war and successfully pursued his ideals of colonies and navy, which made a stunning show at the Fleet Review in his grandmother Victoria's Diamond Jubilee.
The United States, meanwhile, struggled in an economic depression. The nation yearned for hope, and they found it in McKinley's renewed imperialism. The Spanish-American War reaffirmed America's reputation and brought Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Guam, and Cuba into the fold. When the World War broke out in Europe, however, war-weariness from Americans already facing quagmire in Cuba and the Philippines refused to participate. It finally ended in 1919 as a general draw, and Wilhelm II seemed to have his fill of war, instead focusing on empire-building in Germany's many colonies.
In 1801, continuing to exercise power without a popular mandate since the deadlock in the Electoral College, the Federalist Pretender John Marshall and his precessor's "midnight judges" called upon sixty thousand regulars from the Massachusetts militia to restore order in Washington City.
Federalist PretenderThe Republican Governors of Pennsylvania and Virginia respond immediately by dispatching their own militias to the half-built Capital with orders to force their man, Thomas Jefferson into the Presidency.
The scenario of three armies fighting it out banana-republic style shocked the living framers of the Constitution yet those Founding Fathers had singularly failed to anticipate the circumstances of the election of 1800. In fact they had failed to anticipate the rise of multi-party democracy naively assuming that executive positions would be filled by Washingtonesque political notables who could be trusted to interpret Constitutional processes in the national interest. Problem was that due to drafting errors and perhaps the critical absence of Benjamin Franklin from Philadelphia those processes were frightfully unclear. Worse, they initiated a chain of events that now forced America onto the road to dissolution.
With votes between the Republican Candidates Jefferson and Colonel Aaron Burr tied in a dead heat, the job of counting out the electoral college resided with the President of the Senate. However this position was currently filled by none other than Jefferson himself who attempted to count out his rival whilst he attempted to horse-trade with the opposition Federalist Party that still dominated the Congress.
Because the House was required to choose a President "immediately" Congress turned to the next in succession, the Secretary of State John Marshall. Problem was that his term of office was due to expire 4th of March 1801, and in anticipation of an imminent departure from the Cabinet on 31st of January 1801 he had accepted a new appointment as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. And to protect his Federalist legacy the departing President John Adams filled the Court with "Midnight Judges" who were also members of the Federalist Party.
The last complication was that Jefferson and Marshall were cousins, and they detested each other. Despite this, Marshall did the right thing and offered to set-up a Second Constitutional Convention, this time in Washington, and chaired by Jefferson.
But as the details of this political compromise were being hammered out Washington descended into chaos and the infant republic faced imminent dissolution. The outcome was a finely balanced decision that mght never have arisen through the normal course of events. In the future, the position of Vice President would be filled by the opposition party's main candidate.
And so after a short interregnum, the Adams-Jefferson Presidency would be followed by the Jefferson-Adams Presidency, forcing the bad-tempered loser of the 1800 election to unpack his bags and serve again in a role he had utterly detested for eight years. Adams precondition was a modification of Senate procedure to enable the President of the Senate to speak on national issues, a liberty that had been taken away from him in 1793 due to his annoying habit of speaking out of turn.
The wheel of revolution continued to turn, and in a larger sense, the events of 1800 had once again demonstrated the vibrance of republican democracy: "government of the people, for the people, by the people.".
In 2004, on this day President George W. Bush announced that he had presented Congress with a bill which, if passed, would allow the reestablishment of the CIA forty years after that agency had been dismanted by John F. Kennedy in response to the Warren Commission report.
Cover-up 2Despite withering criticism from his political foes, Bush defended the revival of the CIA as a necessary measure in light of suspected efforts by the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq to acquire nuclear weapons.
In 1949, on this day the General Secretary of the Australian Communist Party and de facto Head of State Lawrence (Lance) Louis Sharkey issued a Directive for the Establishment and Maintenance of a Security Service, appointing Justice Geoffrey Reed as the first Director-General of the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO).O Tempora, O Mores Part 5 - The Case
Following the conclusion of World War II, the Australian Communist Party uncovered sensitive government data being transmitted through British diplomatic channels. The operation became internally known as 'The Case'. Officers from the KGB were dispatched to Australia to assist local investigations. The leak was eventually tracked to a spy ring operating from the British Embassy in Canberra.
Later that year, Sharkey gave instructions to the Malayan Communist Party to conduct insurgency against their British colonial masters.
On July 6th 1950, a new charter was formed giving the ASIO wider powers for the protection of the country and its citizens from espionage, sabotage (especially sabotage of critical infrastructure), politically-motivated violence, attacks on the Australian defence system, terrorism and acts of foreign interference
Sharkey and his successor Laurence 'Laurie' Aarons (pictured) would push the definition of that charter to the very boundaries of its definition during 1966-7. To them Mr Harold Holt's speaking tour of America, and in particular his vociferous support for American intervention in Vietnam (the notorious 'All the way with LBJ speech') placed that gentleman in most of the defined threat categories.
During August, Aarons would visit North Vietnam to offer the support of Australian workers to Ho Chi Minh in his struggles against imperialism. This included a personal assurance that something would be 'done' about Mr Holt before he could create further trouble in the region.
In 2004, Livinia Sheridan orders the 7 ships they have with them to do a visual search of the Athena without using their sensors. Since the Titanian methane crabs seem to be invisible to tracking devices, the only way to find them will be to see them. After several long hours without leaving their ships, the Australians report no sighting of the crabs. The Sheridans, under pressure from the Australian government, then destroy the Athena and the Huygens, the spaceship it is carrying.
In 1996, allied troops push the South Africans out of Namibia and British soldiers raise the Union Jack in Lindetz, a particularly bloody battleground in the small African nation. South Africa now has been pushed back to their original borders, as has their ally, the United States. The writing is on the wall for the two powers, but neither President Terreblanche of South Africa nor President Shephard of America will give up.
In 1968, a platoon of Marines destroy the small North Chilean village of Chiu Chiu. Led by Comrade Lieutenant Bill Calley, the platoon razed the small settlement, thinking that capitalist guerillos were using it as a base from which to attack soldiers from the Soviet States. As one observer put it later, 'After that massacre, every surviving man in that village who wasn't a capitalist became one.'
In 1964, Pete Best's album Your Love Is Mine was released, and immediately started breaking music industry records. It shattered Elvis Presley's record of concurrent hits on the Top 100, it held all 5 top spots at one point, and it was the best-selling record of its time, among others.
In 1952, Velma Porter awakens in Heflin, the ruined village that had been the capitol of her lover Mikhail von Heflin's barony. They had taken refuge in a hidden room in his old mansion after fleeing the mad Doctor Menchekov's village. She felt her strength returning here, and left her lover asleep to wander about the ruins of his old home. On awaking, he joined her, saying, 'Just think, my love, all this is yours, now.'
In 1962, the American plane Constitution disappears while flying over the Pacific Ocean. The 167 people on board are presumed dead until the plane lands the next day in Bombay, India, thousands of miles off-course and unable to account for the time they were missing.
In 1861, the Arizona Territory leaves the Union and joins with the Confederate states. This begins an exodus of western territories to the Confederate side, including California. Within the year, the Union is isolated to a handful of northeastern states struggling to hold together in the face of an enemy who surrounds them from all sides but the north.
In 1792, King Gustavus III of Sweden was killed by Count Ankarstom as they attended a ball at the Royal Opera. The Count then seized the throne, plunging Sweden into a bloody, 6-year civil war. Most of Scandinavia was drawn into the conflict, which devastated the northern lands of Europe and reduced their influence in world affairs considerably.
In 44 B C, Conspirators Assassinate Caesar and Antony.
Conspirators Assassinate Caesar and AntonyThe rise of Julius Caesar had been meteoric. He was born to a comfortable, but hardly powerful, patrician family in 100 BC and spent much of his youth away from Rome as the dictator Sulla committed his purges. Young Caesar surrendered his title in the priesthood and instead joined the army to further his career in politics. In potentially corrupt elections, Caesar began to win titles such as quaestor, Pontifex Maximus, and governor of Spain. His victories over barbarians there earned him a triumph, which catapulted his fame and earned him spots in the circles of General Pompey the Great and Crassus, the wealthiest man in Rome. Caesar managed to bring the two, who had long been opponents, into an informal political alliance known as the Triumvirate. He was made consul for a year and then dispatched to Gaul where his conquests would make him legendary.
A new article by Jeff ProvineCaesar returned to Rome in 49 BC on order of the Senate. Rather than disband his army, Caesar brought with him his most loyal legion, crossing the Rubicon, which was an illegal movement of troops. Civil war erupted as the Senate fled and built up forces to defeat the wildly popular Caesar on the field of battle. Caesar, meanwhile, established himself as dictator and made Mark Antony his second-in-command. Antony came from a famous and powerful family and had served on Caesar's staff in Gaul. He proved an effective administrator of Italy while Caesar traveled abroad, destroying the Senate's armies and conquering Egypt. At the celebration of Lupercalia in 44 BC, Antony won a footrace and offered his diadem to Caesar, who refused it. The political show excited the people, who were overwhelmed by Caesar's humility, but the thinly veiled hubris also infuriated Caesar's enemies. They determined to kill him.
This group of senators dubbed themselves the "Liberators" who would free Rome of Caesar, the would-be tyrant. Conspirators Brutus, Cassius, and Casca met the night before their planned assassination on the Ides of March to discuss the political fallout. Other conspirators suggested wiping out Caesar's whole faction, especially the fiery Mark Antony. Brutus and his cohorts, however, determined that only Caesar should die, which would make clear their just action as protection of the Republic. Casca, nervous about the ordeal, let slip to Antony that Caesar would meet his end the next day at the games at Pompey's theater. Antony immediately hurried to warn Caesar, who accepted his company but refused to appear fearful. Antony suggested carrying weapons and bringing bodyguards, but Caesar again refused. On the way to the games, the Liberators ambushed Caesar and stabbed him repeatedly. Antony attempted to defend him and in fact killed Casca's brother Publius, but the Liberators struck him down as well, practically in self-defense against the raging onslaught of the young veteran soldier.
Chaos came over Rome, and the bodies of Antony and Caesar lay in the Forum for hours before being collected. Days later when Caesar's will was read, the senators were surprised to learn that Caesar had named his eighteen-year-old grandnephew Octavian as his heir. If it had been Antony, Caesar's legacy would have been wiped out. Instead, Caesar's power continued through the new, ambitious boy. Unlike Antony, who seemed the embodiment of Mars, Octavian had little military experience but great cunning and potential. The senators determined that the best way to be rid of him was to proceed with Caesar's plans of a campaign against Parthia to retrieve aquilae standards lost in 53 BC.
Some were fearful that a stunning victory in Parthia would make Octavian even more famous than his predecessor, but the war turned into a stalemate. The Romans made initial gains, but Parthian counterattack pushed them back in 40 BC. Octavian and generals such as Ventidius managed to take back their losses, but nearly a decade of fighting put them back where they had begun. While Octavian was away, the Senate under Cicero allowed Octavian's titles to expire, reducing his political might. When the war finally ended in 20 BC, Octavian returned to Rome with the lost legions' standards, but his triumph did not last long. Octavian served as a reformer in the Senate until his death in AD 14 with a huge expansion of public works projects but would only be known to Roman history enthusiasts.
The Roman Republic continued until 70, when generals fresh from fighting in the First Roman-Jewish War returned and settled unrest in Gaul by establishing a strong central imperator. Military control continued as more and more rebellions occurred in Caledonia, Germania, and Dacia, as well as further issues with the Jews and Parthians in the East. Eventually Rome's resources became stretched too thinly, and it broke apart into a series of kingdoms, smaller empires, and vacuums of power invaders quickly seized.
In 44 B.C., Marcus Junius Brutus betrayed a group of conspirators who had plotted to kill Julius Caesar, whose appointment as "dictator for life" - in Rome of the period, dictatorship was an elective office conferred by the Senate for limited periods during emergencies - had aroused resentment not only among Caesar's many enemies but even among his friends.
Julius Caesar Survives the Ides of MarchIronically, it was the latter from among whom the would-be assassins would come, as did Brutus1.
Initially a reluctant supporter of the conspiracy, Brutus had come to worry about what might follow. Rome had already endured civil war as a result of the conflict between Caesar and Pompey, whom the Senate had made sole consul in 52 B.C. The prospect of a renewal of internal strife came to outweigh in Brutus' mind the dangers of allowing Caesar to remain in power.
Unfortunately, the plot's failure triggered disaster. Caesar first had the conspirators rounded up and slain, and, to avoid the risk of revenge schemes, their families and friends as well. The dictator's ruthless purge predictably resulted in the growth of new schemes, leading to still further bloodbaths as Caesar suppressed each in turn. Even Brutus, who had saved Caesar's life by exposing the first assassination plot against him, finally fell victim to his suspicions, as did his great-nephew Octavian, whom Caesar feared intended to take his place2.
A new article by Eric LippsBy the time of Julius Caesar's death in his mid-nineties in 4 B.C., the Roman Republic was a memory. Influenced by the Egyptian culture of his paramour Cleopatra VII3, the mother of his son Caesarion4 Caesar had not only transformed the dictatorship into a hereditary monarchy but had himself declared a god. The Senate remained in place, but only as a shell; all real power now lay with Caesar, who besides claiming divinity had also taken the formal title of emperor. He would be succeeded by his forty-three-year-old son by Cleopatra, Caesarion, born Ptolemy XV Philopator Philometor Caesar, whom Julius Caesar had acknowledged as his issue in 40 B.C.5 and who, by reason of his parentage, was already Pharaoh of Egypt by the time he became Roman emperor, having served as co-ruler with his mother from 26 B.C. until her death seven years later at age 506. On assuming the emperorship, Caesarion would formally change his name to Augustus and, like his father, would have himself declared divine7.
In 1919, on this day Russian troops crossed the border into Socialist Hungary after the rejection of a Russian ultimatum, marking the beginning of the Ten Week War.
Article continues from Part #3.
The Last Chance for Peace #4 By Steven FisherThe direct cause of the war was establishment of a socialist government in Hungary. Another harsh winter had rocked the Balkan region,and had further harmed the popularity of the Hungarian government. In the bitter cold, radical elements had decided to make their move. On February 7, the Hungarian government was overthrown, and a new government was put in power with the socialist Bela Kun as it's head. In the weeks following Kuns rise to power, he set about establishing his brand of socialism on the Hungarian population.
The Russian government looked on Kun's activity in alarm. A sucessful socialist state in Hungary would surely inflame radical elements in Russia. the decision was made to remove Kun's government through force. the Russian army massed on the Hungarian border, in preparation for the invasion. The Hungarians saw this large marshalling of force, and began their own mass mobilization, and began preparations for fierce resistance of a Russian invasion.
Things finally came to a head on March 1, when the Russian government sent an ultimatum to the Hungrian government, demanding the dissolvement of the socialist government, and the turning over of Bela Kun to Russian authorities for trial on charges of terrorism. When these demands were rejected, the Russians declared war.
Russian troops under Aleksei Brusilov crossed the Hungarian border, but only made it a few miles before Hungarian defenses brought their drive to a halt. As the Russians geared up to crack the Hungarian defenses, they were caught by large-scale peasant uprisings, armed by the hungarians and demanding greater freedom, and by a sharp Hungarian offensive. While Russian troops crushed the revolts, the Hungarian offenasive was skillfully fought to a halt by Brusilov.
With the return of Russian troops who had been dispatched to crush the revolts, Brusilov initiated his offensive. The Hungarian defense lines crumbled under overwhelming Russian force, and the Hungarian Army continually had to fall back. The offensive slowed when the Hungarians drew Brusilov into a devastating city battle in Budapest. However, Brusilov managed to encircle Budapest, mitigating the amount of casualities that the Russians took.
The End came quickly for the hungarians. After a coup attempt against the socialist government, Bela Kun knew that nothing would stop the Russians. Diplomatic efforts to involve the Germans had failed, since the Kaiser didn't want to see a sucessful socialist state either. Kun fled the nation through austria to Switzerland, where he took up residence with Lenin and other socialist exiles. The new Hungarian government sued for peace, and the war ended on May 24.
With peace, a Pro-Russian government was set up in Hungary. This contributed to the increasing polarization of the Balkans, especially when the Balkan Entente between Hungary, Romania, Serbia, and Russia was set up later that year. It would be especially important when World War One started in 1921.
The whole thread is available at the Alt History Wikia.
In 44 BC, Gaius Julius Caesar was warned by Marcus Junius Brutus that his fellow senators were planning to assassinate him that very day.
Ides of MarchBecause a corrupt nobility had benefited from Senatorial control of the Republic for the four centuries since the explusion of Tarquin, the last of the seven legendary kings of Rome. But Caesar had changed all that, seizing control with the powerful army that he had formed in Gaul. With the support of the army and the peasants he established a dictatorship. And even if he had declined the title of King, he had no hesitation in declaring himself a God.
Despite this conflict, Caesar and the Senate shared a mutual interest that enabled them to quickly reach a compromise. Within days, Caesar would march on Parthia. Now in his late fifties, this was probably his final chance to revisit his spectacular success as a soldier-general. And there was an aspect of destiny waiting to be fulfilled, because after all he claimed to be descended from the goddess Venus and the legendary hero Aeneas. In short, five years of civilian rule in the Roman capital had bored him to distraction and he meant to bring an end to his salad days.
The nobility had long enjoyed reaping the rewards of Roman expansion and in reality their key interest in political control was but a means to an end. Assured of their continuation of at least the benefits of their kleptocracy, they had little hesitation in agreeing that the eighteen-year old adopted son Octavian should rule in name only while his father launched a glorious military conquest promising to return the material rewards of that enterprise to the nobility.
If the Senators congratulated themselves on converting Caesar into the "cash cow" that they had always dreamt of, then events were to prove otherwise. Hoping to expand the Roman Empire by up to a third and perhaps return in glory via the Persian Gulf, the mission collapsed into farce and the dying Caesar would be forced to concede "we came, we saw, we got our asses whipped".
As soon as this terrible news reached Rome, Octavian's days were numbered, and he was soon replaced by Marc Anthony, a man also grasping his last chance at destiny. In his famous play "Alexander the Great", William Shakespeare would make a disfavourable reference to the two generals attempts to subdue the Persians, rightly describing Caesar's fall as a Greco-Roman tragedy.
In 1983, on this day filming of The Terminator resumed in Toronto with the Dutch actor Rutger Hauer recast in the title role.
Filming of "The Terminator" Resumes in TorontoThe future of the movie had been thrown into jeopardy when producer Dino De Laurentiis applied an option in Arnold Schwarzenegger's contract that would make him unattainable for nine months while he was filming Conan the Destroyer. Director Cameron was then contracted to write the script for Rambo: First Blood Part II and had also initiated a series of intense meetings with producers David Giler and Walter Hill to discuss a sequel to Alien. The Terminator Project was unravelling .. fast.
A tour de force performance in Blade Runner as the replicant Roy Batty made Hauer the natural choice for the role. But a junior executive at Orion Pictures actually made the connection. Because in the "Time to Die" he utters the famous line "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tanhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. [pause] Time to die".
In 2012, on this day Palestine exercised it right as a UN member state to raise a motion in the General Assembly condemning the latest security crackdown in the West Bank the area which had become Israeli sovereign territory on January 1st.
Buyer's Remorse By Ed and Bruce Michael AndersonThe guarded optimism which followed the negotiated agreement on a two-state solution had soon been replaced by a sense of buyer's remorse. Because it soon emerged that the $billion dollar buyout of the "occupied territories" included a secret assurance from the International Quarter that attacks carried out by large organized forces of Palestinian-Israelis would be considered an "Act of War" being the assault of one nation upon another.
And resistance to the buyout had been raging for six months such that small scale strikes on the Islamic Gangs had now escalated into batallion-sized counter attacks by the Israeli Defence Force.
In 1865, on this day President Abraham Lincoln sent word to Gen. William T. Sherman, his commander of the Western army, ordering him to "take Atlanta," deep in the heart of the Confederacy.
Take Atlanta!Though he had won the election, the war in the east had come to a standstill. The war Union forces were largely successful in occupying Confederate lands west of the Mississippi, though. Texas, though, had resisted invasion from the north and east, and had succeeded in defending lands to its east from attacks coming from California. On March 4, 1865, Lincoln took the oath of office under heavy guard within the chambers of the Supreme Court building, for rumors of assassination plots were being taken very seriously.
On March 15, 1865, Lincoln had sent word to Gen. William T. Sherman, his commander of the Western army, ordering him to "take Atlanta," deep in the heart of the Confederacy. A plan to amass forces in an assault of major southern population centers was to begin within weeks. Such a threat, aimed at the people of the south and not just the troops along the border, was too much for the Davis administration in Richmond. A direct order from his office authorized the assassination of his rival president. Subsequent investigation would show, however, that Jefferson Davis had not given the order himself.
A new article from the "Two Americas" thread on Althistory WikiaThe services of John Wilkes Booth were procured and the rebel spy network in Washington began to look for opportunities to remove the "threat" to peace, that Lincoln had become. The opportunity appeared to have come when Lincoln took his wife to in a night at the theater. It was a trap, for the Confederate spy ring had double agents embedded deep in its operations.
On the evening of April 14, 1865, Booth at successfully made his way to Ford's Theater and past a surprisingly lax security, into Lincoln's balcony seat. As Booth raised his derringer to take what looked like a sure shot, another shot rang out, striking the would-be assassin in the left temple and lodging behind his left eye. The next day, the body of John Wilkes Booth was hanged publicly as a warning to all other conspirators. Lincoln's anger burned toward the rebel forces as he dispatched new orders to Sherman.
The whole alternate biography is available Althistory Wiki.
In 1965, in a powerful demonstration of the healing power of brahmacharya the African American religious leader Malcolm Little symbolically reconnected the broken chains at the foot of the Statue of Liberty.
BrahmacharyaA religious awakening started with a spiritual visitation in his prison cell.
Click to watch the Scene on Youtube
Determined to find the keys to freedom he became a disciple of Elijah Muhammed and at his master's request, journeyed to India to study the control of the senses in thought, word and deed.
Because the awesome power of brahmacharya had been demonstrated by the soul-deep Master Mohandas K. Gandh when he disarmed a clumsy assassination attempt by Nathuram Godse in 1948.
In 1865, on this day Lincoln sent word to Gen. William T. Sherman, his commander of the Western army, ordering him to "take Atlanta," deep in the heart of the Confederacy. A plan to amass forces in an assault of major southern population centers was to begin within weeks.
Threat to PeaceSuch a threat, aimed at the people of the south and not just the troops along the border, was too much for the Davis administration in Richmond. A direct order from his office authorized the assassination of his rival president. Subsequent investigation would show, however, that Jefferson Davis had not given the order himself.
The services of John Wilkes Booth were procured and the rebel spy network in Washington began to look for opportunities to remove the "threat" to peace, that Lincoln had become. That opportunity came when Lincoln made the ill-advised decision to take in a night at the theater. With the war at a standstill near home, Lincoln had thought it safe to enjoy a night out with his wife. He had been assured by Sherman that Atlanta would be in Union hands by June. They both had been wrong.
From the two Americas thread on Alt WikiaOn the evening of April 14, 1865, Booth at successfully made his way to Ford's Theater and past a surprisingly lax security, into Lincoln's balcony seat. A single shot to the back of Lincoln's head began a day-long death watch in a nearby inn. On April 15, 1865, the sixteenth president of the United States was dead.
In 1783, 500 officers of the Continental Army of the United States met at Newburgh, New York to decide whether to abandon the fight against the British, now nearly won, and either move out West and "mock" the Continental Congress for its refusal to provide back pay and pensions it had promised or to march on Philadelphia.
Newburgh Conspiracy by Eric LippsThe meeting had been called for by two anonymous letters which had appeared on March 10. Originally intended for the following day, it had been delayed four days at the urging of George Washington, ostensibly to allow time for "mature deliberation" on the issues. It would later be suggested that Washington had intended to make a personal appeal to the officers not to go through with either option.
He never did so. On the morning of March 13, the fifty-one-year-old Washington was fund to have died in his sleep sometime during the night, from what is now believed to have been an aortic aneurysm.
The revered general's unexpected death was a body blow to military morale.
Gen. Horatio Gates (pictured) assumed supreme command pending confirmation by Congress, but the officers assembled at Newburgh proved unwilling to listen to his pleas for patience. On March 17, they voted to march against Congress and compel that body to pay at gunpoint what they considered themselves owed, "or take authority unto ourselves to better provide for the needs of the country".
It would prove to be a fateful decision. Although the war with Britain was all but over, offering the foreign foe little opportunity to use the rebellion to salvage victory from defeat, the march on Philadelphia would mark the infant nation from then on. Congress fled to Princeton, New Jersey in mid-April ahead of the advancing rebels, who by this time had gathered the support not only of their own troops but of the Pennsylvania militia. Arriving in the capital, the troops established a provisional government under General Gates's unwilling leadership. Gates had agreed to take the position only in hopes of restoring order and returning authority to Congress; however, he quickly found himself riding a whirlwind of military and civil unrest, to which he responded with steadily harsher measures.
No one, of course, was more pleased with these developments than the British, who exploited the turmoil to extract concessions at the peace negotiations in Paris. The eventual peace treaty would leave Britain with a military presence along the Mississippi River which it would use to promote trouble between frontier settlers and the Native American tribes, force the infant United States to pay crippling indemnities to the tens of thousands of Loyalists who presented claims for wartime property losses, and impose restrictions on U.S. trade and foreign relations "in the interests of maintaining the peace," a veiled threat of renewed military hostilities.
The bitterest legacy of the Newburgh insurrection, however, would be domestic. The revolt established the superiority of military authority over its civilian counterpart--ironically, one of the things listed as grievances against the Crown in the Declaration of Independence. That the military in question was American rather than British did little to soften the blow against the democratic ideals expressed in the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation. Indeed, the Articles would assist the military in retaining control, for the civilian r?gime created under their provisions was all but powerless. That powerlessness, in fact, had helped set the stage for Newburgh: Congress had had few means of raising the revenue it would have needed to pay the army, a fact the rebels discovered for themselves upon taking control.
By 1790, the once bright promise of American democracy was fading, never to be fully regained. Between domestic unrest, the continued threat of British attacks, and the depredations of pirates and privateers upon U.S. Shipping, the military government had plenty of excuses for crushing political
dissent and for squeezing the populace for taxes to pay for national defense. Shortly before his death, Benjamin Franklin, who had been forced to flee to France after being charged with "sedition" for criticizing military rule, observed bitterly: "Better we had remained under a king who at least could claim the authority of tradition, than to submit to men whose power erupts from the muzzle of a gun".
In 2008, Hillary Clinton's fading campaign for the White House received an unexpectedly suspicious burst of energy on this day when a close inspection of video footage revealed the presence of Barack and Michele Obama, both cheering enthusistically during the Reverend Jeremiah Wright's infamous "God Damn America " sermon in which he apportioned blame on the U.S. for 9/11.
Click to watch the ABC News Bulletin
In it to win itCandidate Obama had previously dismissed voters concerns by telling a Jewish Group that "I don't think my church is actually particularly controversial. [Rev. Wright] is like an old uncle who says things I don't always agree with".
That position was now untenable with the fiery Reverend's sermons being broadcast back to back on the national media. "The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing 'God Bless America.' No, no, no, God damn America, that's in the Bible for killing innocent people," he said in a 2003 sermon. "God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme".
"God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme"In addition to damning America, he told his congregation on the Sunday after Sept. 11, 2001 that the United States had brought on al Qaeda's attacks because of its own terrorism. "We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye," Rev. Wright said in a sermon on Sept. 16, 2001.
After Clinton's inauguration, Obama was able to gradually rebuild his battered reputation through his appointment as Secretary of State. Because during four years of patient negotiation with Israelis and Palestinians, he succeeded in finding a two-state resolution in the Middle East amongst a troubled group of people that might perhaps have a degree of sympathy for the Reverend's opinions.
In 1931, the German Reichstag is bombed. The explosion will kill several people and result in a fire gutting part of the building. The bomber is captured and identified as Walter Stennes, a captain in the SA. Reichstag Bombed by Eric LippsThis terror attack, coming only months after the violence of the Christmas Week riots, further poisons the reputation of the Nazi Party. Top businessmen now fear that aiding the Nazis may lead to social chaos, perhaps even revolution; memories of the Nazis' abortive putsch in Munich in 1923 are still relatively fresh, and it does not escape notice that the Party now has a lot more troops and guns than it did at that time. Military officers, including the aged but still influential General Paul von Hindenburg and his former deputy Erich Ludendorff, also begin to question the wisdom of backing a political movement seemingly unable to maintain internal discipline. Business and military leaders begin quietly considering alternatives to the Nazis.
On this day in 1958, the Houston Oilers recorded their first postseason victory at Sam Houston Coliseum, beating the St. Louis Hawks 110-89 in the opener of a best-of-three NBA Western Division first round series. The Oilers would go on to win that series two games to one and advance to the 1958 NBA Western Division finals; their pedal-to-the-metal playing style would attract a host of new fans to the team.
Four years later, that same style would bring Houston its first NBA world championship.
In 1988,, Lloyd Bentsen, who has not won a single primary or caucus in his quest for the Democratic presidential nomination, announces he is withdrawing from the race. Several commentators lament the departure of this 'voice of maturity' on the Democratic side. In an op-ed article the following day, syndicated columnist George F. Will asserts that Bentsen's failure to catch fire with voters is a sign that 'Kennedy-McGovern liberals' remain in control of the Democratic Party, and predicts that this means a Republican win in November because 'after the debacle of the Hart administration, the American people are looking for responsible leadership.'
In 1955, Congress appropriates $1.3 billion for development of a manned suborbital fighter-bomber, nicknamed the 'Dyna-Soar.' The craft is designed as a three-stage vehicle, a hypersonic aerodynamic glider atop by a powerful two-stage rocket, which will drop away after accelerating the glider to operational velocity. The program is controversial, because neither the glider nor the booster has yet been developed. However, initial plans call for the use of an upgraded version of the booster used to throw MOUSE into orbit; the upgraded missile is dubbed Colossus.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.