In 1933, on this day Germany's Reichstag passed the Enabling Act of 1933 ("Law to Remedy the Distress of People and Reich"), President Paul von Hindenburg signed it into law and made Reichskanzler Anton Drexler (pictured) dictator of Germany.
Enabling Act makes Drexler dictatorDrexler had depicted the burning of the Reichstag as the beginning of a communist revolution, passing an emergency decree resulted which (among other things) suspended civil liberties and habeas corpus rights. The Communist Party's offices were raided and its representatives arrested, in an attempt to eliminate them as a political force.
But the Nazi's plans only partially succeeded because Comrade Adolf Hitler evaded arrest and went into hiding. He only re-emerged upon the death of von Hindenburg when Drexler briefly attempted to combine the offices of Head of Government and Head of State into the single role of Fuhrer. But instead it was a miscalculation that opened the door of the Chancellery to Comrade Adolf Hitler. This is a teaser for Chris Oakley's Comrade Hitler thread.
In 1937, on this day in Republican Spain the former head of the defunct National German Workers' Party Adolf Hitler was killed in action while serving in the Freikorps "Ludendorff" Division at the Battle of Guadalajara continues from Part 4.
The Plot Against Germany 5His erstwhile colleague the former Commander of the Sturmabteilung, Ernst Röhm was also involved in the fighting in the University quarters - but on the other side, backing the Communists by serving in the German Spartikist Division.
Both men had become persona non grata when Chancellor Ernst Thalmänn took office after the death of President Hindeburg. The size of the Communist Party landslide majority even dispensed with the need for a coalition pact with the Socialist German Workers' Party. Consequently, its leader, "Club Foot" Joey Goebbels quit politics and subsequently became a Red Star Radio Berlin reporter. And as a result of entering that front-line role, he became increasingly aware of the Plot Against Germany. To be continued
In 1430, on this day the future wife of King Henry VI of England, Margaret of Anjou was born in Pont-a-Mousson, Lorraine.
Birth of Margaret of Anjou, Queen consort of EnglandTheir only child - a girl - Elizabeth of Westminister was born in 1453. But members of the Court immediately began to speculate that either Edmund Beaufort, 2nd Duke of Somerset, or James Butler, Earl of Wiltshire, both staunch allies of Margaret, were the young princess's actual father.
Because by the time he married Margaret, the King's mental condition was already unstable and he had suffered a complete breakdown even before Elizabeth was born. And so rumours were rife that he was incapable of fathering a child. Certainly a second male child appeared to be highly unlikely. And in the absence of a male heir the Lancastrians were denied a credible claimant to the throne. And despite their seniority in years, Elizabeth was promised to one of the Duke of York's sons.
In 1801, a Conspiracy to Murder the Tsar was stopped.
March 23, 1801 - Conspiracy to Murder the Tsar StoppedPaul, the son of Catherine the Great, was born in 1754, when Catherine was still Grand Duchess during Elizabeth's reign. Elizabeth immediately took Paul as her own, attempting to indoctrinate him with her own tutors. Her care was minimal at best; stories were told of the infant Paul falling out of his crib and sleeping on the floor through the night until morning when his lackluster caregivers noticed. As he grew, Paul proved to be quite intelligent and made up for his uncaring home-life by immersing himself in stories of chivalry and fantasy.
Upon the death of Peter III after only a few months of rule, Catherine became autocrat of Russia. Paul disagreed with many of her mother's stances, particularly her wars of expansion into the Middle East and Central Asia. He followed his Peter in appreciation of the new Prussian style, focusing on reform and defensive war. Although he attended Catherine's council meetings early on, he later spent most of his time on his estates drilling soldiers along the model of Frederick the Great. Paul wrote a work of military reform, Reflections, which proved to be a criticism of his mother's policies. Catherine ended much of her attention to Paul.A new article by Jeff ProvineThe distance between mother and son was finalized when Paul's son Alexander was born. Catherine took Alexander from Paul as he had been taken from her and trained him with her own tutors. It became clear that Catherine wished to pass over Paul, even contacting his mother Maria for confirmation, but all parties seemed to agree that traditional succession meant Paul would have his time to rule. When Catherine suffered a stroke in 1796, Paul became Tsar of All Russias.
Even before his rule, Paul was known as an eccentric. He was fascinated by chivalry and immediately began laws reforming the ruling class. Paul repealed his mother's legalization of corporal punishment for nobles (a popular move) but also enacted new policies attempting to forge a new age of noble knights, dispensing generous gifts on those who agreed and banishing those who opposed him. He reformed the army, dismissing many generals and recreating the uniforms to emulate the stylish, if ineffectual, Prussians. Paul also welcomed the Knights Hospitaller, who had fled their home in Malta from General Napoleon, and they elected him Grand Master, a title in which he reveled.
While his domestic policy caused turmoil, Paul struggled with foreign affairs. He first recalled his mother's final expedition of 13,000 troops who were prepared to march on Iran, ending expansionism. Paul also had inherited an alliance with Austria and Britain against Republican France, whom he despised as an illegitimate uprising against nobility. While first enthusiastic about battling to return order to Europe, Paul was soon betrayed. It became clear that Austria was attempting territorial gain in Italy. The Austro-Russian campaign in Switzerland proved fruitless, and the Austrians retreated, leaving the Russians to fight as rearguard with heavy losses. Meanwhile, an Anglo-Russian invasion of the Netherlands also turned to a retreat, and Paul was disappointed with the efforts of allied troops. When Britain seized a Danish frigate in violation of Scandinavian neutrality and refused to return Malta to the Knights Hospitaller, Paul ended his alliance with Britain as he had Austria.
Meanwhile, foreign relations with France improved dramatically. Napoleon had overthrown the republic's Directory and installed himself as First Consul, which matched Paul's worldview of noble rule much more closely. After Napoleon generously returned 7,000 Russian prisoners despite Britain's failure to pay promised ransom, Paul began secret communications for an anti-British alliance. The two concocted a scheme to march overland through Persia to harass India, Britain's valued market. In January of 1801, Paul ordered Ataman Orlov and 20,000 Cossack cavalry to begin the preliminary march to India to map an invasion route.
Two months later, a contingent of drunken dismissed officers burst into Paul's rooms in the newly constructed St. Michael's Castle. Paul hid behind the curtains but was found, and the officers attempted to force him to sign an abdication. Paul refused and, during the scuffle, managed to escape his room. He called for guards, finally finding those loyal enough to defend him. His attackers were executed and an investigation found, tracing some funding from British agents reacting to Paul's seizure of British ships and factories in Russia.
Anti-British fervor swept the country, coinciding with the arrival of British Admiral Horatio Nelson's fleet in Reval that May. He was fresh from Copenhagen, where the ships had bombarded the city and forced the Danes to comply in Britain's destruction of the Armed Neutrality Coaltion between the Scandinavian countries. Russia attempted to fight off the fleet, but the British ships overcame them at the Battle of Reval and sailed for St. Petersburg. Paul remained in the city despite suggestions to flee and organized the use of small fire ships piloted toward Nelson's fleet, emulating the battle against the Spanish Armada. Nelson refused to be defeated by Russians, going down with his flagship as the sabotaged ships eventually retreated.
Paul and Napoleon dispatched their invasion in August of 1801 in Astrabad on the Caspian Sea. Napoleon contributed scientists and artists, much as he had done with his Egyptian expedition, while Paul dispatched brightly colored cloth for sale and fireworks for displays. They passed into Persia, where Fath Ali Shah had signed an Anglo-Persian treaty earlier that year, stating,"Should it ever happen that an army of the French nation attempts to settle on any of the islands or shores of Persia, a conjunct force shall be appointed by the two high contracted parties, to act in cooperation, to destroy it". A British force marched out from India, but the Persians, upon recognizing that neither France nor Russia intended conquest thanks to Paul's rejection of expansionistic warfare, capitulated and signed a new alliance with France and Russia. The British were defeated at the Battle of Kandahar, and the Russo-French force marched into India.
Britain began to panic and struggled to create a new coalition. Scandinavia refused and again ousted British authority with a coalition of neutrality. Austro-Hungary joined with Britain as Napoleon expanded again into Italy; Prussia joined later as the war spread to Germany. At the indecisive Battle of Trafalgar, Britain attempted to destroy the combined French-Spanish navy but merely wounded it before returning to protect the Channel. Meanwhile, at Paul's encouragement, Napoleon dispatched the fleets to harass Britain's colonies where they would be most vulnerable. As colony after colony fell or became disrupted, Britain's economy crashed. Finally in 1812, the world came to peace with a final armistice requested by Britain.
Through the nineteenth century, Europe recuperated and began a new wave of colonization began in Africa and Asia. Paul, however, worked to continue his reforms inside Russia, welcoming French technological improvements while solidifying his chivalric order. After the death of his son Alexander due to typhus in 1825, Paul began to groom his grandson Alexander II for rule, but the tsar died the next year. Eight-year-old Alexander II was made tsar, advised by a council whose powers were expanded during the wave of revolutions following the death of Napoleon II in 1848. Russia came late into the race to colonize, taking only a few areas in Central Asia while France dominated the Middle East and Britain took hold of much of China, paring it with Prussia and Batavia as they had in Africa. Paul's legacy of reform improved much in the lives of the average Russians, but finally his aged chivalric order was overthrown in 1919 by revolts calling for a greater share of wealth for the populace.
In 1683, just a week before race day, the citizens of Newmarket extinguished a major fire which was threatening to destroy half the town. Indirectly, the brave actions of the townsfolk led to the downfall of the Royal House of Stuart.
The Regicide at Rye House Because King Charles II and his brother James, Duke of York were killed north-east of Hoddesdon on their return from the races. The ambush had been well-organized by an extremist Whig group who had concealed a band of one hundred armed men in the grounds of the Rye House.
Contrary to the hopes of the conspirators, the country did not rise in rebellion against the Restored Stuart Monarchy and their crypto-Catholicism. And yet their was some cold comfort to be taken in the undeniable force of Parliamentary Power. Because twenty-one year old Mary II was placed on the throne of England, Scotland and Ireland on terms very different from those of her executed grandfather King Charles I.
Thoughts now turned to the task of marrying the Queen to a suitable European monarch. Her father had plans to form a personal union with the Protestant House of Orange, but it soon became clear that Willem would insist on a co-monarchy, and this led Parliamentarians to the conclusion that a French noble was a more strategic choice.
In 517 AD, on this day Artorius Ambrosius Arelianus rode out of the north gate of Cirinium (Cirencester) at the head of what was left of his Cataphracti (heavy Roman cavalry), the rest of the army tagging along behind. The Draco, a windsock with a dragon's metal head, which mades a noise as they ride along, the late Roman cavalry banner, was at the head.
Battle of Camlann, Reboot Part #1 by Ed & Richard RoperHe had to put down the rebellion and in any case his wife had been assaulted. There was also the problem of his child-heir. which Moderatus and Artorius's half-sister Anna were challenging as heir.
At camp on the way, his cousin Ambrosius (aka Merlin) rode in with the South Wales1 contingent. He persuaded Artorius to turn back and make the rebels come to him in Cirinium whilst their Angle allies arrive. This is backed up by Galerius Hadrianus (aka Sir Galahad). Modred (aka Moderatus), Morgana (Anna) and their supporters and , the Cunnedda eventually arrived and besiged Cirinium. Meanwhile Cissa, King of Sussex, as Bretwalda (overall Saxon ruler of Britain) marched up the Roman road from the east with their Saxon allies.
Also meanwhile King Loegerange, Winifrith's father, and King of the Angles in East Anglia declared a blood-feud because an Angle princess has been insulted by being assaulted in her own palace. Back in Angeln, Uncle Icel, King of Angeln declared a blood-feud. In any case it was politically convenient since a new home is needed for the Angles, something had to be done about the Saxons and Ciisa claiming to be Bretwalda and there were old scores to be settled with the Saxons, Hengist was an experience warlord used by the Danes agianst them.
The Angle fleet sailed up the Humber, having taken in the reinforcements from East Anglia and Bernicia ? North East England. They marched from the upper waters of the Trent to Crinium2. The Saxon-rebel host were beseiging Cirinium when the warhorns sound. Over the rise came the Angle3 host, in Roman order in Maniples in three lines and more or less keeping step.
Leodegrace and Ecil's standards were at the centre of the line, with their warbands and themselves in Roman style armour and Tufa Roman-style standards.
Cissa was killed as the Saxons are caught against the wall and ditch of Cirinium. Modred and Morgana tried to flee. The Cataphracti ring out to support the Angles. The Saxons are cut down in a pursuit down the Roman road.
This article continues in Part 2.
In 296 AD, on this day a Roman Army under the command of Caesar Gaius Galerius Valerius Maximianus Augustus ("Galerius the Great") inflicted a crushing defeat on the Persians at the Second Battle of Carrhae ("Carrhae II").
Battle of Carrhae II
by Ed & Richard RoperAfter making sure that the Saracen tribes were loyal he inherited a significant force of horse archers that enabled him to capture the Treasury, haarem and wife of the Hah. Bolstered by this prestige, he overthrew the senior emperor Diocletian and then proceeded to buy off the Western Caesar.
For political reasons, he quickly ended Dioclesian's persecution of the Christian population by issuing an Edict of Toleration. This astute move enabled him to deal with the Western Co-Emperor more easily. Declaring himself the sole Emperor, he renamed the capital of the Eastern Empire to Galerinople and became known to history as "Galerius the Great".
This article is an alternate outcome to the Greater Persecution in which Galerius also wins out but instead unleashes genocide on the Christians.
In 207 B.C., not a man to be fooled by the treachery of his worthless guides, Hasdrubal Barca quietly led the Carthaginian army out of camp before marching to Gaul where he safely re-established communications with his brother Hannibal.
Hasdrubal Barca retreats from the Metauro RiverThe retreat from the Metauro River was the latest in a serious of deft (some would safe fortunate) moves in a campaign that was going remarkably well. Having escaped Publius Scipio in Hispania, the fearful Gauls had permitted the Carthaginian army to pass unchallenged through the Alps.
Fortunately for the invaders, the tell-tale sound of a double trumpet from the opposition camp revealed that two Roman Armies were waiting for them (Claudius Nero had just fought Hannibal in Grumentum, some hundreds of kilometers south of the Metaurus river, and reached Marcus Livius with a forced march which went unnoticed by both Hannibal and Hasdrubal, so that the Carthaginians suddenly found themselves outnumbered). Problems with fording the river, coupled with the suspicious behaviour of the guides forced Hasdrubal to make the difficult but correct decision to return to head back through the Alps and return to Gaul.
Even though his brother Hannibal was undefeated on the Italian Peninsula, the ultimate success of the Carthaginian campaign depended on the availability of siege equipment and reinforcements brought by Hasdrubal. Fortunately for the sons of Hamilcar Barca, they were able to re-establish communication in Gaul and plan for the successful capture of Rome later in the year.
In 1823, on this day the eighteenth President of the United States Schuyler Colfax, Jr. was born in New York City.
May 16th, 1868 - 1873His grandfather, William Colfax served in George Washington's Life Guard during the American Revolution, becoming a general in the New Jersey militia and married Hester Schuyler, a cousin of general Philip Schuyler. In 1836, Colfax moved with his mother and stepfather to New Carlisle, Indiana. As a young man, Colfax contributed articles on Indiana politics to the New York Tribune and formed a friendship with the editor, Horace Greeley. He established a reputation as rising young Whig and at 19 became the editor of the pro-Whig South Bend Free Press. In 1845, Colfax purchased the newspaper and changed its name to the St. Joseph Valley Register.
Based on an original story by Robbie TaylorColfax was a delegate to the Whig Party Convention of 1848 and the Indiana Constitutional Convention of 1849. He was a member of the state constitutional convention in 1850. Colfax was nominated for Congress in 1850, but narrowly lost to his Democratic opponent. He ran again two years later, this time successfully, in 1854 as an Anti-Nebraska candidate in opposition to the Kansas-Nebraska Act.
When the Whig Party collapsed, Colfax briefly considered the Know-Nothing Party, but finally joined the new Republican Party that was formed as a fusion of northern Whigs, Anti-Nebraska Act Democrats, Know Nothings, and Free Soilers. After the Republicans gained the majority in the House of Representatives in the mid-term elections of 1858, Colfax became chairman of the Committee on Post Offices and Post Roads.
He was an energetic opponent of slavery and his speech attacking the pro-slavery Lecompton Legislature in Kansas became the most widely requested Republican campaign document in the election. In 1862, following the electoral defeat of House Speaker Galusha Grow, Colfax was elected Speaker of the House. During his term as Speaker, he announced the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865.
In 1868, the U.S. Senate convicted and removed President Andrew Johnson at the end of his impeachment trial. The conviction was passed by a single vote, reflecting the partisan nature of the entire proceedings. As the Speaker of the House, Colfax assumed the presidency and led the Republican Party to reelection that year.
In 2013, on this day a solar flare destroys all but one of the arks carrying humanity away from the cataclysmic events unfolding on Earth.
The Mlosh are back, again!Lacking the critical mass of resources required to colonize an Earth-like planet, distress signals are transmitted to the friendly Q'Barian sector of the Galaxy. But to the dismay of the remaining survivors the rescue ship that arrives is of Mlosh origin.
The alien race known as the Mlosh had landed on earth in 1720, announcing that they only wished to join earth and its cultures, and be treated as equals among us. After some initial panic, they were welcomed, (begrudgingly in some quarters), into the company of man. Chief amongst that minority was Brent Carpenter who founded a radical terrorist group called the Human League.
The Mlosh introduced labor-saving machinery and by 1765 slavery was abolished. Emboldened by this success, they experiment with weather control technology but due to subtle differences with the Mlosh world, the results were catastrophic. Following a series of earthquakes, the fickle support of mankind swung to the Human League and after the nuclear destruction of the Mlosh city of Qu'Mar the aliens decided to quit the planet altogether.
Long after this explosive parting of the ways, human scientists had begun to speculate that the 2012 catastrophe might not be a Mayan prophecy, but rather a delayed reaction from the weather control technology. The Mlosh had their own suspicions and dispatched a rescue ship just in case. And so this element of doubt in the minds of scientists of both races opened the possibility of a reformed alliance between human and Mlosh.
Unfortunately human weakness revealed itself once again when the issue of trust quickly rose to the surface. Because calculations that the Earth would be unhabitable for centuries would require the human survivors to be placed in a state of near-death suspended animation..
Robbie Taylor's novel Warp is the story of a band of anti-Mlosh terrorists and the authorities who attempt to hunt them down. You can download on the novel Lulu web site. The author is hoping to release some titles on Kindle some time soon.
In 1607, on this day Britain's second permanent colony in North America, Jamestown, was established in Virginia.
|State of Virginia|
In 1775, Virginian Patrick Henry declares before the Virginia Convention, "I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!". The British governor, incensed at this presumption, has Henry arrested and executed. His death becomes a rallying point for American revolutionaries, and his famous words become the motto of the new United States of America.
In 1983, Comrade President John Anderson initiates a new missile defense program he calls the Shield of Liberty to defend the Soviet States of America from nuclear attack by the European monarchies. In his speech announcing the program, the Comrade President says that his nation will turn from the despair of mutual assured destruction to 'a vision of the future which offers hope.'
In 1933, the German Reichstag adopted the Enabling Act, which effectively granted Adolf Hitler dictatorial legislative powers. During the evening, President Paul Ludwig Hans Anton von Beneckendorff und von Hindenburg shot Hitler dead with his Prussian service revolver. A bitter dispute had begun when Hindenburg - in a rare moment of old age lucidity - had refused to counter-sign the legislation, and both men had characteristically refused to back down.
In 2007, the Navy of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards surrounded HMS Cornwall. Fifteen British Royal Navy personnel were seized in Iraqi waters and held prisoner off the Iran-Iraq Coast. The team of eight sailors and seven Royal Marines in two rigid-hulled inflatable boats had been searching a merchant dhow for smuggled automobiles when they were detained at roughly 10:30 Iraqi time (07:30 GMT; 11:00 Iranian time) by the crews of two Iranian boats; a further six Iranian boats then assisted in the seizure. The British personnel were subsequently taken to an Iranian Revolutionary Guards base in Tehran for questioning. Iranian officials claimed that the British sailors were in Iranian waters.
The University of Durham analysis of the initial Iranian identification of the location of the boats showed that the position given was in Iraqi waters. According to the Ministry of Defence, the Iranians allegedly issued a 'corrected' location, which placed the boats in Iranian waters.Information provided by Britain initially consistently placed the boats in Iraqi waters. However, the subsequent report by the British House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee confirmed that the Ministry of Defence map presented to the worldwide media was 'inaccurate' as it presented a boundary line when no maritime boundary between the two countries has been agreed upon, and so . The UK Government was unfortunate that Iran chose to contest the accuracy of the map.' Conspiracy theorists and hawks agreed on one point however, the first step on the road to war had been taken..
In 2004, the Australian army releases the modified nanovirus against the Titanian organisms on their shore. As the Titanian organisms die, the 'methane crabs' that they have been projecting around themselves disappear. The Sheridans save the day again.
In 1996, American troops execute over 300 Mexican civilians in retaliation for a Mexican attack on U.S. forces occupying the country. President Shephard had bolstered the country's forces with his own since the collapse of the American-friendly Mexican government the previous year, and partisans in Mexico had been attempting to drive them out ever since.
In 1925, the legislature of Tennessee narrowly defeated a law that would have made it a crime to teach the theory of evolution in the state's schools. Enough legislators were convinced that the state needed to enhance its educational standards in order to do business in the modern world to keep the law from passing by 4 votes.
In 1808, Napoleon Buonaparte places his brother Guiseppe on the throne of Spain. Guiseppe is a virtual cipher as the Spanish king, simply enacting policy from Buonaparte's capitol in Rome and funneling Spanish treasure to the Italian Empire.
In 1994, an Aeroflot Airbus A310-300, flying from Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport (SVO) to Hong Kong's former Hong Kong international airport (Kai Tak Airport) almost crashed into a hillside in Siberia. All 75 passengers and crew survived. The flight cockpit voice recorder revealed that the pilot's 15-year-old son had been at the controls at the time. Aeroflot Flight 593 returned to SVO where the pilot Yaroslav Kudrinsky was startled to see the branding Royal Tupolev running down the side of the aircraft.
In 1919, the black-shirted Italian Fascisti are born from the mind of Great War veteran Benito Mussolini. His violent tactics and intimidation of political opponents leads the Italian King Emmanuel III to appoint Mussolini his prime minister in 1922. King Emmanuel disliked the parliament, and felt them weak; he preferred Mussolini's bully tactics. The people disagreed, and in 1924, the Socialist Party, (where, ironically, Mussolini began his political life), led a popular revolt against the King and the Prime Minister, deposing both of them in a bloody, 4-month struggle. The new government, although composed of leftists, survives by aligning itself with the more moderate governments in Germany and Austria, as well as making overtures to their political counterparts in Great Britain and France. When fascist movements attempts to rise in Germany and Spain, they provide invaluable tactical support in defeating them. Socialist Italy also proves itself a leader economically - the New Rome economic alliance it creates in central Europe weathers the world-wide depression of the 1930's more easily than Europe's non-members. Indeed, Germany and Italy emerge from the 30's as economic powerhouses, and many envious smaller countries joined the New Rome treaty in order to get a taste of the prosperity that they represented. Some of the more envious denounced New Rome, though - in fact, in Great Britain, there were many that referred to Italy as the Beast from the Christian Book of Revelation, and New Rome as the mark of the beast.
In 1979, the trial of Guillermo Novo and Alvin Ross is suspended by President Ronald Reagan for 'national security reasons' as Judge Barrington Parker prepares to deliver a blistering indictment of the CIA and the American government for the rather blatant assassination of former Chilean ambassador Orlando Letelier. Parker's public feud with Reagan's administration fed the public's dislike of Reagan and contributed to his defeat in the following year's election.
In 1964, Hungarian psychiatrist Laszlo Lorre died in Geneva, Switzerland. Inspired by Sigmund Freud in his youth in Vienna, he followed the acclaimed psychologist into the field. During World War II, he was driven to Switzerland by Nazi politics, and continued his practice there.
In 1994, the PRI's leading candidate for President of Mexico, Luis Donaldo Colosio, narrowly escapes an assassin's bullet as he campaigns in Tijuana. Colosio, who had promised reform of the PRI, initiates an investigation on winning the presidency, and finds that his predecessor and mentor, Carlos Salinas de Gortari, was responsible for the attempt. The revelation shatters the PRI, and President Colosio leaves it and forms the New Revolutionaries, or NR.
In 1857, Joseph McTavish, a restaurateur newly arrived from Scotland, accidentally fried a large spider that fell into a batch of breading he had made for chicken. Curious, McTavish tasted the spider, and liked the taste. Offering the dish as a 'taste of adventure', McTavish's in New York City soon had everyone in the northeast eating Scottish Fried Spiders.
In 1808, Napoleon Buonaparte places his brother Guiseppe on the throne of Spain. Guiseppe is a virtual cipher as the Spanish king, simply enacting policy from Buonaparte's capitol in Rome and funneling Spanish treasure to the Italian Empire.
In 1991, British Prime Minister launch the 'citizen charter', the greatest step forward in constitutional rights since the Magna Carta. Failing public service providers would be forced to offer customers cash refunds or face government budget cuts, the Prime Minister announced as examples of sweeping changes to help the nation become 'at ease with itself'..
In 1948, in Dhaka the sister of Muhammed Ali Jinnah delivered a key message to the Muslims of Bengal. The Government of Pakistan had been expected to ordain Urdu as the sole national language. The notes of Jinnah's undelivered speech said otherwise. He was going to recommend a 'one country, two languages' solution to maintain the integrity and security of East and West Pakistan.
In 1983, President Ronald Reagan made his initial proposal to develop technology to intercept enemy missiles: Strategic Defense Initiative, also known as 'Star Wars'. Luckily, it was not needed as Presidents were under pressure to justify huge military expenditure and gloss over technical failure. During the Gulf War, George Bush's exhortation that the Patriot Missile Batteries in Israel had a 100% success rate proved fatally wrong when it was discovered that the Scud missiles were actually duds. It is too easy to imagine a scenario when decisions were based on SDI, when the technology was known to be defective..
In 1989, at the University of Utah Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann announced cold fusion, a nuclear reaction that occurs near room temperature and pressure using relatively simple devices. The research posed a problem for the US Government, because the simplification of the process would inevitably lead to more widespread application by non-desirable governments. The research stopped abruptly and mysteriously in 1990.
In 1989, the 300 metre (1,000-foot) diameter Apollo asteroid 4581 Asclepius (1989 FC) struck the Earth creating the largest explosion in recorded history, equivalent to 1 Hiroshima-sized atomic bomb detonating every second for 50 days. Subsequent discoveries revealed that a whole class of such objects exists, and that an object the size of the one which struck the Earth in March, 1989, probably comes by undetected once every two or three years. 'On the cosmic scale of things, that was a close call, we just got unlucky' said Dr. Henry Holt from an underground bunker under Kitt Peak Observatory in Arizona.
In 1765, it might have been pure ignorance paired with a certain amount of overconfidence that made the British general Jeffrey Amherst act like he had an army of 10.000 behind him when he triggered the Great Indian War, because, actually, Amherst had no army to speak of.
This post was written by Dirk Puehl the highly recommended author of #onthisday #history Google+ posts.
Great Indian WarAfter the end of the Seven Years' War that brought Great Britain immense territorial gains but had cost a fortune, Lord Bute's Tory government had decided in 1762 to demote most of the large army still stationed in North America to cut expenses but to severe many officers' connections with the former Whig government as well. Bute had just survived a beginning political debacle due to a well aimed shot from the Secretary of Treasure Samuel Martin into the chest of the radical journalist John Wilkes during a duel and decided to root out any Whiggish tendencies wherever they might be found.
Besides the political hotbed, the cost of maintaining a large standing army overseas could probably not have been financed without additional taxation of the American colonies, such as a Stamp Act, in brief discussion in 1764 but finally dismissed for various reasons. However, the 2.000 soldiers Amherst had at his disposal were neither enough to much impress the French settlers in Canada who refused to swear their allegiance to King George to move places to their new settlements in Louisiana nor to lend weight or even credibility to the policy the British general pursued on the new Indian frontier.
When various Cherokee and Great Lakes people, mainly the Ottawa chief Pontiac, decided they'd had it with Amherst's arrogance and bullying and attacked settlements and undermanned British forts, a large portion of the continents English speaking population from Illinois to the Ohio and the Appalachians was fleeing for the East Coast. The war raged on for two years with almost genocidal dimensions on both sides, the Native's forces more or less openly supported with materiel by France until finally fresh British regiments arriving in Boston and New York were able to at least stop Pontiac from invading the East Coast.
In 1766 The following Treaty of Fort Ticonderoga drove a coach and six horses through the British gains of the Seven Years' War, in the former French territories of North America and Canada where the rebellion of the Franco-Canadians already had begun. The impotence of King George to protect his American subjects was one of the main reasons for the American Rebellion 10 years later.
In 1820, on this day USN Lieutenant Stephen Decatur, Jr. died in Washington, D.C. aged forty-one. He had achieved widespread notoriety for the failed American Raid on Tripoli.
American Raid on Tripoli FailsIn the early days of the new United States, the nation struggled to establish itself with global credibility. Many assumed that Britain would eventually reabsorb its colonies, while France had even anticipated conquering the colonies after they were weakened by separation from Britain.
One of the keys to achieving recognition internationally was establishing a navy to protect American interests abroad, but for the first few decades, the Unites States struggled. After the creation of the Continental Navy in 1775, Benedict Arnold's fleet of hastily built ships was wiped out in the Battle of Valcour Island but was strategically successful with slowing down the British support to the Army on land. Except for the legendary stand by John Paul Jones, the early US depended upon privateers and, most significantly, the navy of the French. While allies for a time, the US refused to pay debts to Republican France on money borrowed from the Crown, and France began to prey on American merchants at sea in the Quasi-War. The US had newly restarted its Navy after defunding it from 1785-94, first building six frigates to battle the Barbary Pirates, who had ended the Portuguese blockade holding them within the Mediterranean after Portugal was weakened with the French Revolutionary Wars.
A new story by Jeff ProvineThe Quasi-War had given the American Navy a handful of notable victories and ended with the Convention of 1800 with French recognition of the Americans' rights at sea, but piracy from the Barbary Coast continued. While America again scaled down its navy to six ships in 1800 as the Federalists left office, the Pasha of Tripoli demanded $225,000 tribute from the incoming President Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson refused, and the Pasha declared war by cutting down the flag of the US Consulate. Congress did not officially return the declaration, but they did grant Jefferson powers to give defensive commands to Americans at sea. An attempt was made to blockade Tripoli, but it was largely unsuccessful aside from the morale-boosting victory of the USS Enterprise over the Tripoli. Commodore Edward Preble established short blockades and launched attacks against the Berbers with varying success until the USS Philadelphia ran aground in Tripoli's harbor and was captured intact in October of 1803.
Tripolitans took the Americans prisoner and turned Philadelphia into another shore battery to keep Americans at sea. After nightfall on February 16, 1804, a team of US Marines under Lieutenant Stephen Decatur (pictured) sneaked into harbor with a captured Tripolitan ship, attempting to float close enough to the Philadelphia to storm her. Unfortunately, their position was deemed suspicious, and the Tripolitans opened fire at point blank range, decimating the Americans and nearly killing Lt. Decatur. Humbled, the Americans returned to heir blockade. Washington fell into a political quagmire with some suggesting America pay a tribute while others called for a simple withdrawal, and Jefferson's plans of reinforcement under Commodore Samuel Barron were put on hold. On his own, Preble grew more daring in his attacks, even launching a fire ship into the Tripolitan fleet, but most actions proved unsuccessful. It was not until the overland attack on Derne by mercenaries and 100 Marines under William Eaton, formal consul to Tunis, through the desert that the Americans gained an upper hand.
Preble saw his opportunity to press for victory, and he reinvested his sailors into further Marines to press the overland attack. Eaton had with him Hamet Karamanli, the Pasha's ousted brother who had claim to Tripoli's throne, and Preble encouraged him to march quickly for the capital. Coordinating with naval attacks learned from British assaults, the Americans swept into the city and took it on June 10, 1805. Many felt that Yussif Karamanli had attempted to make peace and the hungry-for-victory Americans had quashed him, but Jefferson and Congress were satisfied that the problem of pirates had been resolved in what became known as the Barbary War.
Naval problems continued with Britain as the Royal Navy pressed captured Americans into service and even seized the USS Chesapeake in 1807 after Captain James Barron refused an illegal search. This, along with US expansionism, led to the War of 1812 with Britain, which saw another wave of American struggles at sea. One of the most disastrous was the American attempt to run the blockade at New London, Connecticut, in 1813, which led to the capture of three ships, including the Macedonian, which the US had captured from the British only the year before. By the end of the war, Americans had had enough of naval battle and decided to focus on a transport fleet for a wider number of Marines.
These Marines would be instrumental in the cleanup of pirates in the Caribbean in the 1820s. Many of the estimated 3000 ships captured there were taken by privateers, and so the Marines dealt with them in a similar manner as Tripoli: attacking primarily on land while supported at sea and using large numbers of local mercenaries. The strategy was successful, and brought American imperial influence southward, making a number of newly liberated states from Spain into virtual American colonies. The Mexican War saw another use of the transport fleet as 12,000 soldiers invaded Veracruz and captured Mexico City, with the resulting treaty giving the US its Southwest quarter.
While having strong diplomatic measures close to home, the US did not participate in much foreign activity, such as the 1862 Opening of Japan by British forces newly victorious from the Second Opium War in China.
In 1914, on this day the thirty-seventh President of the United States, William Edward Miller (pictured) was born in Lockport, New York, of Irish and German ancestry, the son of Edward J. Miller, a factory floor sweeper, and Elizabeth Hinch, who owned a small millinery shop.
William E. Miller
37th US PresidentHe attended the University of Notre Dame and Albany Law School before served in the United States Army during World War II. At the Nuremberg trials he helped prosecute German war criminals before returning to the States. In 1948, Governor Thomas E. Dewey appointed him district attorney of Niagara County, New York.
He served in the United States House of Representatives from 1951 to 1965 and was chairman of the Republican National Committee from 1961 to 1964. At the Republican Convention at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, Barry Goldwater chose Miller as his running mate. Despite being considered an extremely obscure congressman from Western New York, he was nominated unanimously on a roll call vote. He was chosen because, as Goldwater remarked: "he drives Johnson nuts". In his acceptance speech, he declared communism as a "principal disturber of the peace in the world today" and said, "I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue". Despite the preponderance of Conservatives, some people, including those within his own campaign staff, believed this weakened Goldwater's chances, as he effectively severed ties with the moderates and liberals of the Republican Party. They were plain wrong, and their platform ("A Choice not an Echo") resonated with an American public tired of the stories of sleaze surrounding President Johnson.
Unfortunately, Johnson and his immediately predecessors left a much bigger legacy problem than sleaze: VIETNAM. And the real problem was, Johnson drove Goldwater nuts. Because this developing conflict placed a great strain upon Goldwater. He suffered a third nervous breakdown during 1966. Forced to resign, he was succeeed by his Vice President and fellow scourge of Communism, William E. Miller.
In 1962, with copies of The Redemption of Susan Pevensie flying off the shelves, the renowned children's author Clive Staples ("Jack") Lewis returned to the Unfinished Narnian Tale referred to simply as the "Lefay Fragment".
Out of the Shadowlands #2: CS Lewis finishes the "Lefay Fragment"Because having explored the interwoven destinies of his wife Helen Joy Davidman and the protagonist, he mustered the emotional strength to re-open an even more painful chapter in his life: the premature death of his mother Flora Lewis. That childhood trauma had instilled a profound sense of anger with God that had not fully abated until the fateful evening of 19th September, 1929 when Hugo Dyson and JRR Tolkien brought Lewis back to Christianity.
Of course The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe had started off merely as a romp, and certainly Lewis had no intention of writing a sequel. He struggled to do so, and in the event wrote the sequence of Chronicles in a non sequential order. In The Magicians Nephew the mischievous protagonist Digory Kirke is able to save the life of his dying mother. And yet his original intention was to frame the protagonist as an orphan under the influence of Mrs Lefay, an evil godmother who leads him into the trouble that opens The Magicians Nephew. But the "LeFay Fragment" was abandoned for reasons that had much to do with Lewis refusing to accept God's will in taking his mother's life. After his wife's recovery from bone cancer, he chose now to explore that trauma, and if necessary, substantially edit The Magicians Nephew to accomodate a major plot change.
In 1661, undone by the boldness of his republican activities during the Interregnum that followed the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, John Milton was executed at the Tower of London by order of the restored Stuart monarch, King Charles II.
Paradise StolenThough Cromwell's death in 1658 caused the English Republic to collapse into feuding military and political factions, Milton stubbornly clung to the beliefs that had originally inspired him to write for the Commonwealth.
In 1659 he published A Treatise of Civil Power, attacking the concept of a state-dominated church (the position known as Erastianism), as well as Considerations touching the likeliest means to remove hirelings, denouncing corrupt practises in church governance. As the Republic disintegrated, Milton wrote several proposals to retain a non-monarchical government against the wishes of parliament, soldiers and the people.
Upon the Restoration, he went into hiding for his life, while a warrant was issued for his arrest and his writings burnt. He re-emerged after a general pardon was issued, but was nevertheless arrested and imprisoned as an undesirable ring-leader of the defunct Commonwealth. Despite his soaring achievements in poetry, he would be remembered chiefly for his political theory and pamphlet-writing ability. His martyrdom would lead to a second and more successful attempt to establish solid foundations for a viable Republic.
This article explores an original idea on Discussion Boards and also repurposes content from Wikipedia.
In 1912, on this day the famous Serbian-American basketball player and coach Mladen G. Sekulovich1 was born in Chicago, Illinois.
The offbeat dreams of immigrantsHe was raised in Gary, Indiana where by 1931, he was the star of the Emerson High School basketball team. Due to his high level of contact he broke his nose twice while playing, taking elbows to the face which resulted in his trademark bulbous nose. After graduating, he left for the University of Arkansas where he won an athletic scholarship despite initial resistance from college officials because of his refusal to play any sport besides basketball.
After turning professional he launched a three decade long career with the San Francisco Warriors and was frequently to be seen coaching kids in the city. The end came abruptly in 1977 with a bad sequence of results following the resignation of his diminutive Belarusian-American star player Issur Danielovitch, Junior2 (pictured, left). The coach himself graciously accepted the outcome, having known for many years that his role was to support great players, rather than to lead from the front. Sekulovich's father agreed, in fact he was delighted about his son's career being in San Francisco, as he had intended to settle the family in that city, but had to change his plans as he had arrived on the day of the 1906 earthquake.
Returning to his home city of Chicago, his son continued to play a meaningful coaching role in the community, working with some of the NBA Stars of the future, most famously the African-American Barry Soereto3 (pictured, right).
In 1976, on this day the filming of the planet Tatooine scenes for the cult movie "A New Hope" began in the Tunisian desert. Seeking to replicate the plot and characters of the jidai-geki film "the Hidden Fortress", Director George Lucas had cast an Asian actor, Toshiro Mifune for the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi.
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Toshiro Mifune plays Obi-Wan KenobiFinancial backers had strongly urged Lucas to cast a caucasian actor for the principal roles. But greatly impressed by his masterful portrayal of the "roving warrior" archetype General Rokurota, Lucas had disregarded that advice, choosing instead to focus on the artistic depiction of a Jedi Knight. In any case, he had already offered the role of Han Solo to the African American actor Billy Dee Williams who was also considered for the secondary role of Lando Calrissian.
Fortunately, Lucas sustained the financial support of the backers by persuading Christopher Lee to play the part of Grand Moff Tarkin. Having examine the script, Lee had been initially dismissive, instead recommending that Lucas approach another English actor, his friend Peter Cushing. However the inclusion of Mifune changed his mind, having seen a fresh and compelling opportunity to participate in a neo-classic movie rather than the American space opera film that the plotline had initially suggested to him.
In 2003, Russian president Vladimir Putin (pictured) delivered a speech condemning US president George W. Bush as 'a second Mark Thatcher' for his decision to send American combat troops to invade Iraq. Falklands Emergency Part 7 - Looking Back Again by Chris Oakley
Putin, who as a KGB officer had run 'black propaganda' operations against Great Britain during the Falklands Emergency, also criticized then-British prime minister Tony Blair as 'the reincarnation of James Callaghan' . To be continued..
On this day in 1971, Israel and Syria took one step closer to going to war with each other when IDF border guards engaged Syrian commandos along the Golan Heights; three Israelis and four Syrians were killed in the skirmish.
The next day Syria's official government radio broadcast service falsely claimed the four commandos had died defending Syria from an alleged Israeli invasion attempt.
In 1961, on this day former neighbors of the late Kitty Genovese pooled their money to establish a college scholarship fund in her memory.
On this day in 1982, two-time NWA world heavyweight champion Tommy Rich hired Louisville native Jim Cornette as his manager.
Cornette would later become notorious among NWA fans for using the tennis racket he always carried with him to give Rich an unfair advantage against his opponents.
In 1968, a New York publishing company printed what would later be called the definitive book on the U.S. Army Rangers' role at Stalingrad. Titled Volga Snow, it revealed a number of previously classified details about the tortuous route the Rangers used to get first from Hawaii to Siberia and then from Siberia to the banks of the Volga.
The book also shed new light on the difficult negotiations between the White House and the Kremlin which cleared the war for the Rangers to enter the Soviet Union.
In 2004, the Sheridans manage to modify their Martian nanovirus enough to kill the few captive Titanian organisms they have in their lab. Jacob Sheridan informs the Australian army that they have a means to kill the Titanian organisms currently impersonating methane crabs on Australia's shores.
In 1993, American forces smash through Iceland. Constitutionalist President Ralph Shephard warns that Europe will be next in his speech congratulating the soldiers; 'Today, Iceland, tomorrow, the world.'
In 1947, at the height of the White Scare, Comrade President William Foster issues an executive order forcing all federal employees to take a loyalty oath to the Soviet States of America and to the socialist way in general. Although it is a gross violation of federal employees' civil rights, the nation is in such a panic about capitalist infiltration that few protests are heard.
In 12-0-3-10-1, the Powhattan of the northeastern coastal possessions of the Ouezteca massacre a settlement of the Oueztec that has been stealing water and food from them for several months. The overwhelming response from Ouezteca destroys the Powhattan.
In 1942, Sir Stanford Cripps of the British government-in-exile meets with Indian terrorist Mohandas Gandhi to recruit his help against the Third Reich. Although Gandhi despises the Nazis, he is unwilling to assist the British, and the meeting ends without producing a treaty.
In 1908, noted classical scholar Louis L'Amour was born in Jamestown, North Dakota. After struggling in school during his teen years, a teacher introduced L'Amour to the plays of Aeschylus and a lifelong love of Greek and Roman work was born. His popular book, The Origins Of The West, is still used a text in Classics courses taught across the country.
In 1887, world-famous harpist Leonard Marx was born in New York City. Young Leonard started in vaudeville in his youth, but left it for the legitimate concert stage after discovering his natural talent for the harp in his twenties. He never took a lesson, but was considered the greatest musician of his age.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.