In 1864, in one of the final military encoutners of the Civil War, the
Union II Corps under Maj. Gen. Winfield S. Hancock stormed a small
Confederate force at "Henagan's Redoubt" to seize the Chesterfield
Bridge crossing on the Telegraph Road, but did not advance further
south across the river. An installment of the Federal's Lost Cause thread.
Federal Lost Cause Part 4: Decisive Confederate Victory at North AnnaThat night, Lee and his engineers devised a masterful scheme for
defensive earthworks in the shape of an inverted "V" that
could split the Union army when it advanced and allow the Confederates
to use interior lines to attack and defeat one wing, preventing the
other wing from reinforcing it in time. Grant fell into this trap. As
Hancock's men failed to carry the Confederate works on the eastern leg
of the V on May 24, a brigade under the drunken Brig. Gen. James H.
Ledlie was repulsed from an ill-conceived assault against a strong
position at Ox Ford, the apex of the V.
Although Lee was disabled with an intestinal illness, fortunately for
the Confederates "Stonewall" Jackson was able to execute his
planned attack. News of this improbable field victory moved the
Northern electorate firmly into the Peace Camp. Months later,
"Little Mac" edged Lincoln at the Polls, and the Civil War
was at an end. By then, the myth of the Federal "Lost
Cause" had taken hold of the American pscyhe. And yet the reality
was that Lee had fought on for a stalemate, holding out until the
electoral cycle forced a decision upon the weary population of the
North. Grant meanwhile had fruitlessly butchered the troops of the
Union armies in a pointless meat grinder. And although Rosecrans
accepted the personal criticism for the disaster at Chickamauga, the
bigger picture was that his predecessor as Command of the Union Armies
McClellan had been right to hold back in the earlier phase of the war.
For this, "Little Mac" had been chosen by the peace camp,
even if he himself was equivocal on the issue of a settlement short of
victory. Regardless, that is the scenario he inherited in 1865 when
Lincoln - the man who had fired him - left office. And after all, the
whole confrontation had begun when Lincoln was elected, so in a sense,
the wheel had turned full circle, and more than once.
In 1789, on this day Irish Rebels Take Dublin. For centuries, the English maintained rule in Ireland. The two had been joined politically after the Norman invasion of Ireland in 1169 and 1171 under Henry II with permission of Pope Adrian IV (the only English Pope in Catholic history) to aid Dermot MacMurrough in retaking his lost throne in Leinster.
Irish Rebels Take DublinHenry made further conquests in Dublin and created the Lordship of Ireland, making much of the island vassal states with relative independence. Henry VIII, as part of his Protestantizing of England, was named King of Ireland to assure his political dominance over the vast Catholic majority. When Ireland supported the Catholic James II against the incoming Protestant Mary and her husband, William of Orange, and lost the Williamite War in 1691, rule became systematized through the Ascendancy, the Protestant minority who controlled the Church of Ireland.
New ideas of liberty came to Ireland in the Enlightenment just as they had America and France. These ideas came later, as thousands of Irish were quick to join the Volunteers against the Americans in the 1770s, and, in the 1780s, most were pleased with the gradual freedoms won by politician Henry Grattan such overturning Poyning's Law that forced approval from London and granting Catholics of property voting rights (though they would not be able to hold office). By the 1790s, however, the Irish were ready for a rebellion to win their freedom.
In 1791, the Society of United Irishmen was founded in Belfast by liberal-minded Protestants who sought togetherness through Irish nationalism and an end to religious divisiveness. The success of the revolution in France excited the Irish in Ulster to find unity, which was a stark difference to the typical thinking that inspired sectarian warfare such as that between the Protestant Peep o' Day Boys and the Catholic Defenders. Loyalists fanned the flames of violence between them and contributed to founding the Orange Order as another society to counterbalance the efforts of the United Irishmen. When it became obvious that the goal of universal suffrage was not to be found politically, the United Irishmen looked for help in 1794 from revolutionary France, who dispatched an army of 14,000 soldiers in 1796 that never landed due to inclement weather and poor leadership. Uprising continued in Ireland without them, and the British reacted with violent measures such as execution, arson, torture, and pitchcapping. Martial law spread over much of the island, and loyalist spies among the rebels led to the capture of much of the Irish leadership.
On the night of May 23, the British military received late notice of an Irish march on Dublin. Samuel Neilson and Lord Edward FitzGerald, two of the remaining Irish leadership, decided to capitalize on the unrest born from martial law. British soldiers marched en masse to capture rebel meeting places, but they found them already held by the Irish. In furious firefights throughout the city's alleys and squares, the cunning and local knowledge of the rebels won out over superior British firepower. The city fell along with hundreds of British dead and thousands captured. Rebels intercepted mail-carriages, which was the secret signal to alert their allies in the surrounding counties.
While the British stopped a similar uprising at Carlow, the rebellion won out at Tara Hill and spread to the north, where it turned into guerrilla warfare among those seeking independence and those loyalists and Catholics who had come to distrust revolution after the French's capture of Rome three months before. Wexford (where the Normans had come into Ireland some 600 years before) became the center of Irish success, and the rest of the island became embroiled in war. In September, France finally made good on its promise of support, sending thousands of troops by sea into County Mayo on the northwest, giving all but Ulster to the revolution. The British, now wary of French intervention, began a blockade of the island, and a second expedition in October was intercepted. While the French were scattered, a few made it to shore, including Theobald Wolfe Tone, one of the original leaders of the United Irishmen who had been in exile since 1793 after the first discovery of communications with the French.
Wolfe soared through the ranks of the Irish with great promises, using to his advantage his theatrical leanings and firsthand knowledge of the French Revolution as well as interviews with General Napoleon (who himself did not much believe in the success of an Irish movement). Among some of his first actions were to remove the strength the Anglican Church, and then to weaken the Catholic church, placing as much property and money into government hands loyal to him. Wolfe dispatched Robert Emmet to the newly crowned Emperor Napoleon for additional aid, which was supplied, though the British redoubled their efforts to find a foothold among loyalists frustrated with Wolfe's rule. Napoleon was dubbed the greater enemy, however, and the fighting in Ireland grew into a stalemate until 1812 with Allied success in the Peninsular War and Napoleon's disastrous invasion of Russia.
After forced abdication in France, the British turned on Ireland, where Wolfe was hastily overthrown. The chaos continued until the newly made Duke of Wellington, Arthur Wellesley, an Irishman, was made military governor. While he was very popular in London because of his war service, he became immensely popular in Ireland after championing reforms, particularly Catholic Emancipation. With a better balance of political rule, reinforced by groundbreaking social services instituted during the Great Famine of the 1840s. Wellington's liberal nature, applauded by the Tories, would prove too much for British sensibilities, hamstringing his chances of a prime ministership.
Since its turbulent, short-lived republic, Ireland has been a key member of the British Commonwealth. It aided greatly in many of the Empire's international concerns including both world wars, although a renewed independence movement out of the Lost Generation in the 1920s that came mainly as social reforms and literary marvels.
In 1985, on this day the Head of the Macintosh Division Steve Jobs was relieved of managerial duties at a board meeting of Apple Inc.; he would leave the company five months later.
Bad for AppleAlthough respected as a persuasive and charismatic leader, he had invited criticism for being an erratic and temperamental executive, notorious for keeping meetings running past midnight, sending out lengthy faxes and then calling new meetings at 7:00 am. The perception of ill discipine reinforced by poor standards of personal hygiene when combined with a series of bungled technical and marketing decisions was enough to convince President John Sculley that he was "bad for apple".
Of course the bigger picture was disappointing sales volumes; Sculley and Jobs blamed each other, concluding that neither man was right to lead the company. Matters came to a head when Sculley learnt that Jobs had been attempting to organize a boardroom coup and he called the fateful directors meeting to resolve the matter.
A year later, Jobs bought The Graphics Group (later renamed Pixar) from Lucasfilm's computer graphics division for the price of $10 million. An unintended consequence of the purchase was the building of a life-long relationship with George Lucas that would eventually change his whole outlook towards the American working man.
This article is part of the Blue Collar Fightback thread.
In 2016, on this day first reports from the Middle East of massive civilian casaulties caused by unmanned drone aircrafts were received in a 3 am telephone phone call to the White House. This nightmare scenario would test every ounce of the foreign policy experience of US President Hillary Rodham Clinton which the "Big Girl" had claimed during her election campaign eight long years before.
Click to watch the Campaign Advert
The Big GirlThe vision of developing smarter unmanned aircraft that could make life-and-death combat decisions on their own was a proposal from "Unmanned Aircraft Systems Flight Plan, 2009-2047", a thirty-eight year road map plan authored by the US Air Force during the Presidency of George W. Bush. At that time, drones had been remotely controlled from Air Force Personnel based in the contintental United States, mainly to provide ground troops with constant overhead video. And there seemed little imperative to change, with senior policy makers playing down the ultimate objective of drone autonomy "because it's a plan. And having a plan is better than not having a plan".
In 2010 the Defense Department had planned to spend $5.4 billion on unmanned aircraft development, procurement and operations - about $2.5 billion more than the military spent on UAVs during the 1990s. Then the world financial crisis had forced Clinton's Administration to take some brutal cuts in the military budget.
A decision had been made to accelerate the development of next-generation unmanned aircraft for a slate of new missions, including air strikes, aerial refueling, cargo transport and long-range bombing. Before Clinton's re-election, just one control crew - airborne or ground-based - was able to control multiple UAVs at once. Soon after the "Big Girl" returned to the White House, she signed the fateful order that provided executive approval for developing smarter unmanned aircraft that could make life-and-death combat decisions on their own. Investigations at the Creech Air Force Base would later reveal that the drone had been "hacked" by al-qaeda operatives and that the decision to fire had not after all been a malfunction.
In 1940, Churchill and the five members of his War Cabinet listened in the basement of the House of Commons for news of the BEF's extrication from Dunkirk.
Disaster at Dunkirk by Raymond SpeerForeign Minister Halifax suggested that Britain should accept an offer from Mussolini that Italy would broker a peace between Britain and Germany. "Maybe we will get decent terms," Halifax said, and Churchill had a temper tantrum, predicting that Germany would insist on Britian's enslavement.
Referring to Hitler as "That Man", Churchill said that Hitler would insist on the surrender of the Fleet and would elevate Mosley to be his lieutenant in London. Churchill stated that "I am convinced that every man of you would rise up and tear me down from my place if I was for one mment to contemplate parley or surrender. If our long island story of ours is to end at last, let it end only when each one of us lies choking in his own blood upon the ground".
In 1962, the New York Police Department interviewed the sixteen-piece band which had played five shows a day until the recent murder of lead singer James Brown.
The mysterious death of James BrownIn the three years since his first opening gig at the Apollo in 1959, Brown had turned his band into one of the tightest groups in all of R&B.
One reason was that the band played more than 300 shows a year. Another was the harsh fines Brown imposed on band members for everything from flubbed notes and missed dance steps to scuffed shoes. The Apollo gig in October was fast approaching, and the pressure was really climbing. Recently, though, the fines were especially harsh. "You made a mistake one night," says Bobby Byrd, "the fine would move from five or ten dollars to fifty or a hundred dollars". Police suspected that the pressure had provoked one member of the band into killing James Brown, but were forced to drop charges due to lack of evidence.
In 1948, the very toughest reporters and writers were women who had taken over the jobs of men who'd gone to war.
And the first story Kurt Vonnegut covered he had to dictate over the telephone to one of those beastly girls. It was about a young veteran who had taken a job running an old-fashioned elevator in an office building. The elevator door on the first floor was ornamental iron lace. Iron ivy snaked in and out of the holes. There was an iron twig with two iron lovebirds perched upon it.The making of Slaughterhouse-Five, Part 2This veteran decided to take his car into the basement, and he closed the door and started down, but his wedding ring was caught in all the ornaments. So he was hoisted into the air and the floor of the car went down, dropped out from under him, and the top of the car squashed him.
So it goes. So I phoned this in, and the woman who was going to cut the stencil asked me. "What did his wife say?" "She doesn't know yet," I said. "It just happened". "Call her up and get a statement". "What?" "Tell her you're Captain Finn of the Police Department. Say you have some sad news. Give her the news, and see what she say"
So I did. She said about what you would expect her to say. There was a baby. And so on. When I got back to the office, the woman writer asked me, just for her own information, what the squashed guy had looked like when he was squashed. I told her.
"Did it bother you?" she said. She was eating a Three Musketeers Candy Bar. "Heck no, Nancy," I said. "I've seen lots worse than that in the war".
In 1940, UK War Leader Winston Churchill delivered his final radio broadcast before fleeing to the Falkland Islands with the remnants of the British Navy.
Parting WordsHis last words to the defeated British nation were a fragment of His last words to the defeated British nation were a fragment of Samuel Taylor Coleridge' poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
"The Sun's rim dips ; the stars rush out : At one stride comes the dark ;..
Fear at my heart, as at a cup, My life-blood seemed to sip !
One after one, by the star-dogged Moon,Too quick for groan or sigh,
Each turned his face with a ghastly pang, And cursed me with his eye".
In 2015, on this day the United States began taking possession of the former United Kingdom's nuclear arsenal under the terms of a secret agreement made two years earlier between the Cameron government and the administration of President Mike Huckabee.
The pact was intended to keep British nuclear weapons from falling into the wrong hands if the UK collapsed.
In 2009, on this day the Russian leader and Mr Putin declare to the world that due to current events it must update its current preemptive strike with or without nuclear weapons.
On this day in 1976, Carrie White was formally indicted on over 100 criminal counts related to her murder/arson spree.
On this day in 1940, Belgium's King Leopold III made a radio broadcast rejecting German demands for his nation's surrender and calling on his fellow Belgians to "fight until our last bullet has been fired and our last bomb dropped". Just hours after this speech, Allied tanks assaulted the German left flank near Tillburg.
|King Leopold III|
On this day in 1967, IDF ground troops in northern Israel repulsed an attack by Syrian forces from the Golan Heights; earlier that day, the Syrian government had announced it was declaring war on Israel in defense of Egypt against what was called 'blatant Zionist aggression' by Radio Damascus.
In 2004, the first Smartnet nodes began operation around the country. Concentrated in college towns and large industrial centers at first, the Smartnet wireless connections to the internet prove so popular that Congress expands the funding for them. President Al Gore basks in the glow of the popular program, and his approval ratings soar.
In 1986, the boy band The Monkees finally called it quits on their 20th Anniversary tour. They had lost original members Mike Nesmith in '74 and Davy Jones in '79, and Mickey Dolenz and Peter Tork were ready to move on to other projects. Their legions of fans were saddened, but after 20 years together, it did seem to be time for them to part.
In 1964, Ed Sullivan played a taped performance of Pete Best on his show 'in order to avoid all the screaming girls.' The international superstar played his hit song Love & Money from his upcoming movie All Night Long.
In 1913, the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad learned that the U.S. Department of Labor was going to stand firmly on the side of the workers in America as they ended a Railroad Clerks Union strike in favor of the union. Socialist President Woodrow Wilson, in spite of intense lobbying from the owners of several trusts, stands behind his Labor Secretary, and capitalists in America wake up to their new reality.
In 1910, the Jovian Mlosh alliance begins negotiating with the Congress of Nations for transport ships to help move the Q'Bar from the Mlosh home system to the Kantar star system. It appears that the Q'Bar will soon be vacating the system that has been their home since the Mlosh created them.
In 1822, the Spanish military defeats revolutionary Simon Bolivar at Pichincha, and captures the legendary Creole himself. While being transported back to Spain, the ship carrying Bolivar is attacked by pirates who swear allegiance to Bolivar. He builds these two ships into a small fleet that liberates many Spanish possessions across the world.
In 1775, Bostonian John Hancock was elected president of the Continental Congress by a mere 3 votes, showing how thin support for the rebel cause was.
Although Hancock used his time in office to declare the independence of the American colonies, by 1778 he was ousted in favor of the more conciliatory John Jay, who negotiated a peace with the British.
In 1764, Boston lawyer James Otis decried the British Parliament?s taxation without representation, which he attempted to make a rallying cry for colonial resistance against English rule; the utter lack of support he gathered for this cause demonstrated how little people cared about a few cents in taxes.
In 1543, Nicolaus Copernicus, heretical astronomer, was hunted down by good Christians and burned at the stake. His treatise Six Books Concerning the Revolution of the Heavenly Orbs maintained that the earth was not at the center of the universe, contradicting the Bible and angering the Church fathers of his native Poland.
In 1999, in a private audience with King Arthur II and Queen Gwen of Great Britain, Sir Lance du Lac implores the monarchs to accept the offers coming in from several former Central European Empire vassal states. "They only wish to chart their own courses now, to have the freedom that we enjoy," he says. They are willing to lay down arms against us and turn over any CEE imperial representatives that are seeking refuge in their countries.' King Arthur mulls over the proposal. "It does sound like an ideal way to preserve our forces for those nations that are unwilling to be freed. However," he continues, much to Queen Gwen's consternation, "we should be cautious about this. Accept the offer from the Hungarians, but let us keep prosecuting the war on all other fronts. Once we see if the Hungarians are behaving themselves, then we shall consider the offers from the other nations".
In 1891, the first trains full of Union soldiers pull into the train station at Hebron, Nebraska, where they are met by Major Mark Wainwright and prepared for the march down to the fort at Concordia, Kansas."You're about to enter hostile territory, fellows," he warns them, "so, keep your wits about you and maybe you'll live through this. Let your guard down, and these Kansans'll have no hesitation about making you pay for it. Believe me - I've lost more men than you'll ever know on this campaign". With a slight catch in his throat, he concludes, "You're going to help me end it".
In 2001, Senator James Jeffords of Vermont tells a reporter for the Washington Post that he had been considering leaving the Republican Party and becoming an independent due to his disagreements with the GOP's right-wing leadership, but has decided not to do so because, with former Vice-President Al Gore now occupying the Oval Office as a result of the Supreme Court's controversial 5-4 decision in Bush v. Gore, he feels this action would give too much control of the federal government to the Democrats.
This leaves the Senate split 50-50, with Vice-President Joseph Lieberman in position to cast the deciding vote in case of a tie.
In 1968, in a televised address to the nation, President of France, Charles de Gaulle asked the French people to accept his resignation. Striking students and workers had brought the country to a standstill during three weeks of violent demonstrations. In the speech, he said the nation was 'on the brink of paralysis', and warned of civil war if the situation continued.
an historian in a fifth-rate 1952 CSA, overshadowed by the USA and the Germanic Union, obtained a position at an academic commune near Gettysburg, and one day he is offered the chance to travel back in time to July 1, 1863. In Bring the Jubilee
author Ward Moore casts a fresh perspective on the War of Northern Aggression - for the twenty-six breakaway states would defeat have been worse than stalemate?
Britain's last completed battlecruiser, the HMS Hood was sunk during the Battle of the Denmark Strait
. She was one of four Admiral-class battlecruisers ordered in mid-1916 under the Emergency War Programme. Although the design was drastically revised after the Battle of Jutland, it was realised that there were serious limitations even to the revised design; for this reason, and because of evidence that the German battlecruisers that they were designed to counter were unlikely to be completed, work on her sister ships was suspended in 1917. The Admiralty had catastrophically failed to anticipate the impact that the Graf Zeppelin performed against the Royal Navy in terms of the ship design and aircraft carried.
In 1975, a hostage crisis loomed when a group of eighty reporters and cameramen - including nine Britons - were refused leave Saigon. No Westerners to leave the capital of South Vietnam since it fell to communist forces on 29 April. President Nixon was said to be considering his options. Significant military assets are in country, supporting the insurgency led by former officers of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam.
In 1999, Lawrence Dallaglio resigned as England's rugby union captain following newspaper allegations that he took and dealt hard drugs.
The Rugby Football Union made the announcement at Twickenham after a three-hour meeting with the London Wasps star at a secret location in London on Monday. The 26-year-old told the RFU he would be withdrawing from the England squad to tour Australia this summer after the News of the World reported that he had admitted he had used and sold drugs before taking up rugby.
The tabloid newspaper also reported he had boasted of taking drugs at a party during the Lions' successful tour of South Africa. Dallaglio 'regrettably confirmed' the principal claims in the News of the World that he had dealt in drugs, including cocaine and ecstasy.
In 1864, the Yankees finally caught up with Confederate Gen. Robert E.
Lee's Army of Northern Virginia at the North Anna River. An installment of the Federal's Lost Cause thread.
Federal Lost Cause Part 3: - Decisive Confederate Victory at North AnnaSince he ordered the disengagement of Federal forces from the Battle
of the Wilderness, Commanding General of the Union Army, Ulysses S.
Grant had attempted to lure his opponents into a decisive battle on
open ground. But instead he found them dug in to defensive positions
on the south bank of the River. The location of the meeting point was
considered a disappointing setback, but in fact the final chance to
win the Civil War had just been taken away from the Union.
Although he had devised a brilliant battle plan, Lee had reason to curse his own rotten luck. Firstly, the commander of First Corps  of the Army of Northern Virginia Lt Gen James Longstreet had been killed
by friendly fire at the Battle of the Wilderness - and at a critical
junction when the ANV might well have won. Because panic was fairly
underway in Hancock's II Corps and Longstreet might well have been
able to force Grant to retreat back across the Rapidan . Instead, the
Yankees disengaged and headed south. And secondly, he had developed an
intestinal infection that forced him to pass command to a
But on balance, the Confederates had the greater reason for cheer. The
disciplined Jackson was alive despite a near-fatal discharge of firearms at Chancellorsville. And evidence that the Civil War would become the Federal's Lost Cause had been mounting ever since
Chickamauga . Because on the eve of Battle, POTCS Davis had replaced
the incompetent Gen Braxton Bragg with Longstreet . He pulled off a
masterstroke; instead of assaulting Gen Thomas Union Forces head-on he flowed around them, capturing the entire Army of the Cumberland (caught between Thomas's Corps on the field and the rest on the pursuit back to Chattanooga). The Confederate advance had continued
through Nashville and Knoxville with major cavalry raids as far as Memphis and Louisville. Grant saved Memphis but his advance from there on Nashville ended in another bloody stalemate (for this reason, the loss of the war was blamed on Rosecrans in particular and the regular army officers in general).
That was the situation when the Union V Corps under Maj. Gen.
Gouverneur K. Warren forded the river at Jericho Mills only to be repulsed by Confederate division from the corps of Lt. Gen. Jackson .
In 1934, in a move that in some ways continued their murderous lives of crime and in others returned the air of Robin Hood with which they had surrounded themselves, notorious gangsters Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker joined the strike at the Auto-Lite factory in Toledo, Ohio.
Bonnie & Clyde Join Battle of ToledoTheir encouragement of heavy weaponry and fearlessness turned what was largely a riot into an unstoppable force that would firmly establish a federation of unions as the major political force in the United States.
Bonnie and Clyde reportedly first met at a mutual friend's house in the slum of West Dallas in 1930. Bonnie, nineteen at the time, was staying with her friend who had broken an arm, making hot chocolate when twenty-year-old Clyde dropped by. He was the fifth child in a family of nine that had come to Dallas after their farm failed. Clyde routinely had minor altercations with the law, first being questioned over failing to return a rental car and stealing turkeys, but he seemed to pursue a life of crime only for fun, stealing and robbing even while holding legitimate jobs. The two instantly fell in love, despite Bonnie having an estranged husband, Roy Thornton, who himself was often arrested.
A new story by Jeff ProvineFour months after their meeting, Clyde was sentenced to a stint at Eastham Prison Farm. There, he was sexually assaulted and emotionally hardened by the prison system, returning home as a bitter criminal with a lethal chip on his shoulder. His sisters noticed the dark change in him, and fellow gang member Ralph Fults called him "a rattlesnake". Historians would argue that Clyde's resulting crime spree would be an act of vengeance on a system that had abused him so deeply.
Upon his release in February 1932, Clyde formed a loose gang that would add and dismiss members in an increasingly frantic trend of robberies, innumerable small jobs such as gas stations and grocery stores and around a dozen bank robberies, which would make him famous. While comrades such as Ralph Fults, Henry Methvin, and Clyde's brother Buck were among the most popular joiners, the core of the gang would always be Clyde and his "gun moll" Bonnie. Rumors of her participating in the murders were later disproven, and Bonnie's role was shown as following Clyde out of her love for him.
As their rampage across the central states continued over two years, their luck gradually began to run out. Buck was killed in a shootout, and Clyde's strategies of using state lines as legal barriers were trumped by improved police communication and pursuit by Texas Rangers. In 1934, Clyde pulled his boldest move: a breakout from Eastham where Fults and Methvin were being held. Texas was booed in the press for its lackluster prisons, and Clyde finally felt some revenge against the system, but he could not be satiated. On Easter Sunday, Clyde and Methvin gunned down two highway patrolmen in Grapevine, TX, and public sentiment turned against the gang. In Commerce, OK, the gang struck again with the murder of a police constable and kidnapping of Police Chief Percy Boyd, whom they dropped off in Kansas with gifts of a clean shirt and money. Bonnie requested that Boyd tell the papers that she didn't actually smoke cigars, referring to an old picture found in their Joplin hideout where Bonnie had taken a humorous pose.
When Boyd issued warrants for Clyde as well as Bonnie, the reality of their negative press struck her. She begged Clyde to reconsider his increasing madness and instead use his rage against the corrupt system for good. Finally, instead of visiting Methvin's parents outside of Shreveport, LA, Bonnie and Clyde broke with the rest of their gang and headed toward another item in the papers: the ongoing strike at the Auto-Lite plant in Ohio, where they hoped to do some good or at least hide out among the crowds.
The Great Depression had gutted Toledo with massive layoffs and increasing frustration by workers as banks collapsed and factories closed. When the Auto-Lite management refused to sign the contract they had promised recognizing Federal Labor Union 18384 and a 5 percent wage increase after a five-day strike in February, a much larger strike began in April. Picketers from the American Workers Party joined in, and the strikers effectively laid siege to the factory. Auto-Lite began bringing in strikebreakers, which only prompted the union to fight harder.
On May 23, police arrested five strike-leaders, and a deputy strike an elderly man, which set off the temper of the 10,000-strong crowd to full riot. Rocks were thrown and fire hoses attempting to cool the riot were captured and turned on police. Gunfire soon began as police tried to take out the legs of the rioters, and Clyde Darrow's ears perked at the familiar sound. Arriving on the scene in a stolen Ford V8, he collected his favored Browning Automatic Rifle and joined the fight. Handing out extra weapons from his arsenal to men he had never met, Clyde led the charge that allowed the rioters to break into the factory and seize control. Young National Guardsmen arrived early the next morning, and the use of tear gas quickly escalated to bayonets and then raw gunfire, but the strike could not be broken.
Much of the crowd fled the battlefield, spreading the word of Clyde's unexpected and heroic appearance. Bonnie, who had excelled in writing in school, wrote her famed poem "Take a Stand" and soon fell in with union leadership. The two had swung public opinion from being cold-blooded killers back to roguish thieves standing against corruption. After the successful Battle of Toledo, union power surged in the United States, dismissing FDR's plan of labor boards and instead creating the non-socialist American Labor Party that would sweep elections in 1936 and become the dominant of the three political parties in America for the next twenty-five years.
In 1789, on this day Benjamin Franklin opened the inaugural meeting of the plural executive that he had successfully argued for at the Philadelphia Convention.
Franklin UnboundFranklin also chaired that convention due to the tragic death of George Washington, and to the great surprise of the delegates, applied forceful outspoken authority to strongly advocate a national government based upon the principles of the Pennsylvania Constitution which he had so recently played a major role in drafting.
Instead of a a presidency, the new constitution proposed an unpaid, plural executive without veto or salary and a single house with states represented by population size. And no Senate, an unnecessary House that Franklin warned would be filled by landowners.
Of course the loss of Washington removed both the principal candidate for head of the state and also the very man who could have shaped the office of the presidency. And perhaps with the General in the chair, both Washington and Franklin might have chosen to remain silent, adding gravitas but little direction to the proceedings. But instead Franklin was in the chair, demonstrating firm leadership. And the mastery of political genius that he had used to negotiate an endless series of loans in Paris that had ultimately bankrupted the French Monarchy and driven that nation into a state of revolution.
During that nine year service, the Continental Congress had forced a series of self-serving individuals upon him that had greatly hindered his progress. Understanding that good governance could so easily be undermined by human weakness, Franklin realised a great truth, that the direction of the United States could never be bestowed upon a single individual. Better that a small committee, with representation from across the States, worked through the critical decisions that would inevitably confront the infant republic.
In 1985, in recognition of twenty-five years of staunch support for the Republican Party, the Conservative Actor Ronald Reagan was invited to the White House by the fortieth President of the United States, James M. Stewart.
Acting for RealClosely associated with organized labour for much of his entertainment career, Reagan switched his political affiliation after being fired for criticizing the Tennessee Valley Authority for "big government". His employers considered the comments were inappropriate from a company spokesman given that General Electric had contracts worth millions of dollars with the Authority.
And so a promising career in politics that had begun as president of the Screen Actors Guild, and later developed as G.E. spokesman was finished, and at age fifty, a return to the screen appeared wildy improbable. Yet, cast as the villain of the 1964 movie "The Killers", he delivered a memorable performance1, and Reagan was able to launch the second, and infinitely more rewarding phase of his acting career.
If the evergreen Ronald Reagan was successfully adjusting to late middle age during the mid sixties, then surely Jimmy Stewart knew his best days in acting were well and truly over by then (at age fifty he insisted on playing the part of twenty-five year old Charles Lindburgh). Yet his hesitant screen persona constrasted sharply with his radical right wing views. In fact in 1947, a heated political argument with his friend Henry Fonda escalated into a fist fight, briefly revealing the concealed inner steel that enabled him to gain high rank in the Second World War. Running for Governor of California in 1966, his friend John Wayne declared his support in a political advert "I could speak of many in my profession who have helped to mould the destiny of this nation. Time limits me to a few. In World War II, Colonel James Stewart (pictured, right) led 900 heavy bombers over Berlin. Does anyone think that was because he's a fine actor? I'd say it was because Jimmy was acting for real2".
With Reagan back in Hollywood and still laying into big government, Jimmy Stewart was reverting to the character of the Air Force Colonel. A "hawk" on the Vietnam War he shocked an interviewer by saying that he "absolutely hated" students who dodged the draft, condemning them as "cowards". Finding a soul mate in President Nixon, Stewart was sent on a number of overseas diplomatic missions in the late sixties and early seventies. Declining to run for a third term as Governor in 1975, Stewart dedicated his time to winning the real Academy Award, the ultimate acting role of President. Ironically he achieved this goal in a close fought election in 1980 against another Jimmy, and surely President Carter was a man almost as hesitant and awkward as one of his own acting parts.
In 2009, the newly appointed NATO commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal was given his first mission objective, to search and destroy the US supplied F-16 bombers across the border in the former Pakistan.
The War on Terror Plus, Part 3 ~ Search and DestroyBecause forty F-16s were supplied to Pakistan during 1981 in the aftermath of the Soviet invasion of Afganistan. Four years later, the U.S. Senate banned military aid for Pakistan unless it halted its efforts to develop a nuclear bomb. In fact the Senate rightly feared that Pakistan's F-16s would be the main vehicle for annihilating Indian cities in an all-out war.
Nevertheless in 1989, George H.W. Bush sold Pakistan another twenty-eight of the jets for $22 million apiece.
But then the Soviets retreated from Afghanistan, and so the jets were mothballed at a military base in the Arizona desert known as "The Boneyard". Washington refused to reimburse Pakistan for the $656 million it had paid to U.S. defense contractors, even charging Pakistan for storage and maintenance costs.
During 2008, "the Fort of Islam" descended into anarchy climaxing in the dramatic resignation of General Musharraf. The most powerful successor state was Sindhistan, with its new Head of State, Asif Ali Zardari (pictured right). And it would be "the Black Widower" himself that would warn President Barack Obama that the nuclear-armed F-16s were in imminent danger of falling into the hands of Al-Qaeda.
In 1937, on this day in Paris was the opening of the Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne (International Exposition dedicated to Art and Technology in Modern Life). Chief Architect Adolf Schickelgruber designed the German Pavilion, located directly across from the Soviet Pavilion and was designed to represent a massive defence against the onslaught of Communism. Both pavilions were awarded gold medals for their designs.
International Exposition '37 Opens in Paris
"In a few days I myself knew that I should some day become an architect. To be sure, it was an incredibly hard road; for the studies I had neglected out of spite at the Realschule were sorely needed. One could not attend the Academy's architectural school without having attended the building school at the Technic, and the latter required a high-school degree. I had none of all this. The fulfillment of my artistic dream seemed physically impossible" ~ My Days at the Vienna School of Arts, Adolf Schicklegruber.
On this day in 1983, Rick Steamboat and Roddy Piper fought in an NWA world heavyweight title match aired on WCW; Steamboat won by disqualification when Rick Rude interfered on Piper's behalf. That same evening on Monday Night Raw, former WWF world heavyweight champion "Psycho" Tommy Rich demanded a rematch against reigning champion Terry "Hulk" Hogan.
On this day in 1967, Israeli ground troops captured the Egyptian Sinai cities of Taba and Port Said.
In 2003, President Al Gore's Smartnet initiative reaches the U.S. Congress. In it, President Gore calls for a national wireless system of connectivity to the internet. It is derided by Republicans as 'technobabble', but it passes both House and Senate by good majorities, and proves to be a large boon to the laptop computer industry.
In 1964, international sensation Pete Best's song Can't Get Enough Love was remade by American singer Ella Fitzgerald and hit the top 50 on the U.K. charts. She was the first artist to chart with a cover of a Pete Best song.
In 1945, Chief of Police for the German Reich, Heinrich Himmler, was assassinated by Greater Zionist Resistance sympathizers in Berlin, Germany. Himmler needed no assistance from the G.Z.R. to be hated; his repression made him universally despised across the Reich, and there was little effort put into finding his killers.
In 1934, Sheriff Clyde Barrow led the capture of noted gangsters J. Edgar 'Sweety' Hoover and Clyde 'Gunner' Tolson. Barrow and his posse of deputies were forced to wound both of the outlaws, but were able to take them alive, in spite of a barrage of gunfire from the pair. Hoover and Tolson spent their rest of their days behind bars, dying in the early 1970's.
In 1910, Jovian Mlosh capture the Li'Kek'Uma moon in the Mlosh home system, and with it, millions of Q'Barian supporters of Q'B'Ton'ra. With this defeat, the last few military leaders who had been fighting the Q'Barian rebels and the Jovians surrender, and the Barnard's Star talks move towards terms of surrender.
In 4600, Star Sailor Ouyang Ziyuan of the Chinese Star Fleet was launched to the moon. This first manned mission to the earth's satellite was the beginning of Emperor Chengzu's Star Fleet's greatest period, culminating in a small lunar colony and eventual contact with an alien race. Ironically, it also led to the end of the hereditary line of emperors and to the burgeoning of democracy in the empire.
In 1872, construction completed on Thomas Edison's Edison Difference Engine, or Eddie as they became known popularly. The Eddie was a newer, better version of Charles Babbage's difference engine, and Edison scheduled an unveiling for the following Monday to present his latest invention to the world.
In 1777, one of the rebels' few victories was scored against the British when Colonel Meigs and his Connecticut raiders sacked Sag Harbor, New York, capturing some vessels and supplies.These were transferred to the Canadian independence movement after Meigs was ordered to surrender to the British in 1778, and some of the ships Meigs captured were even used in the Battle of Hudson Bay to defeat their former masters.
In 1701, Captain William Kidd was knighted by King William III for his diligence in defending English ships against piracy on the American coast. He had been commissioned with the task 6 years earlier by the governor of New York, and had proven wonderfully adept at it. 'It's almost as if he has a pirate's mind himself,' King William said during the ceremony.
On this day in 1961, James Robert Boone, young author and last surviving male member of the Boone family, inherited an old map of a deserted town called Jersualem's Lot just a few miles outside Preacher's Corners, Maine. This town was once the headquarters of Philip Boone's demonic cult - though James didn't know it at the time he inherited the map - and the town's name would later be adopted as the title for Stephen King's bestselling history about the Boones.
In 1937, the first report of a mysterious New York City vigilante appeared in the Times. Paul Rogers, of the Apex Chemical Corporation, claimed his life was saved from a murderous plot by a Black Bat or demon figure. More stories surfaced of the vigilante, mainly from criminals found tied to lamp posts. Sightings waned in the late forties but resurged in the sixties.
the Indochina War neared its end in Vietnam, and the French Union offered to surrender to the United States. The British, eager to keep the Chinese out of the Gulf of Tonkin, urged President Stevenson to accept. A month later, a small American force steamed into Saigon. At the Paris Peace Conference, America accepted a League of Nations Mandate over Vietnam
. General of the Armies Dwight David Eisenhower commanded American forces.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.