In 1943, on this day Newton ("Newt") Leroy McPherson was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He later adopted the surname of his step-father Robert Gingrich, a Union serviceman.
Gone OverRaised on the Hummelstown military base, he demonstrated a formidable intellect, excelling in history at the University of Pennsylvania before accepting the draft in 1965. Unsurprisingly, the stark contrast of governance in theory and practice was mindset-changing. In particular his miserable tour of duty on the Federal Zone of Cuba was a transformative experience that profoundly affected his strategic thinking.
Motivated by a grand desire to put the Union back on the path to greatness, he enrolled in the Future Leaders of America programme. Admired for his patriotism and respected for his political genius, he blazed a path to the Presidency. In office, he reached out to Confederate President Rick Santorum, believing that Mexican border control was the convergent "hot button" issue that could bring the Two Americas together. Trouble was, Santorum saw more opportunity in extending the hand of friendship to Mexican President Mitt Romney.
This article is part of the "Two Americas" thread.
In 1579, after pillaging the once-untouchable Pacific towns and sea lanes of the Spanish, Francis Drake and his fleet led by the Golden Hind continued northward.
Drake Founds New AlbionThey had captured cargoes estimated at some 37,000 ducats (~$57,000,000), but they had also cut off their escape. To return to England, the fleet would have to slip by numerous Spanish colonies and ships either rounding the Cape of Magellan or through the South Seas, and then return via friendly Portuguese ports. Instead, Drake decided to continue northward and explore where even the Spanish had not yet reached. Far into uncharted territory, he came upon a bay that reminded his crews of home.
A new story by Jeff ProvineFrancis Petty, one of Drake's gentlemen-at-arms, wrote, "Our General called this country Nova Albion, and that for two causes; the one in respect of the white banks and cliffs, which lie towards the sea, and the other, because it might have some affinity with our country in name, which sometime was so called. There is no part of earth here to be taken up, wherein there is not some probable show of gold or silver". Petty's prophecy of gold would come true as bad weather forced Drake and his expedition out of their bay and through the Golden Gate into what would become known as Saint George's Bay. Facing mutinous sailors who did not wish to continue north, Drake decided to conquer their foul spirits by taking some of them with him on expeditions up various rivers to chart the area. In early July, they would find gold flakes and even pebble-sized nuggets simply sitting in the riverbed.
Upon their return to the bay, Drake began construction of a fort to guard the area and solidify the English claim. The local natives were very amiable; French lawyer and historian Jules Verne wrote, citing Drake's logs, "They appeared to be greatly astonished, and showed us great respect, thinking we were gods, and they received us with a great deal of reverence". The Indians gave the Englishmen gifts of feathers and tobacco and always set aside their weapons before approaching. Their women stayed at a distance and scratched themselves to the point of bleeding, which Drake eventually learned was a method of sacrifice. With aid from the Indians, Drake completed Fort Elizabeth and staffed it with some of his most trusted advisors, including Petty.
Drake returned to England amid much aplomb in 1580. While the war with Spain had lulled into peace, his feat of circumnavigating the world gained him a knighthood. He became Mayor of Plymouth as well as a Member of Parliament and used his positions to begin the Albion Company, to which Elizabeth would grant a charter for a colony on the western coast of America. A well funded expedition left in 1584, shortly before the national attention would be shifted toward the Spanish Armada. The war would destroy Sir Walter Raleigh's attempts at creating an English colony in North America on the eastern coast, which would later be settled by Puritans and planters as well as French, Dutch, Swedes, and Scottish.
England's real hold on the Americas would turn to west. The West Indies and eastern seaboard remained important economic points for triangular trade in the Atlantic, but thousands of settlers would cross the Pacific for Albion, where gold seemed impossibly plentiful. England (and then Britain in 1707) explored the vast ocean, setting up important trading posts through Oceania and soon colonizing Hawai'i. Albion's population soared as gold-mining served as a base to numerous industries such as logging, fur trading, and agriculture.
In 1776, the culturally diverse Eastern American Colonies rebelled, and a small movement arose in Albion for independence as well, but fears of Spanish incursion determined that the Albionians would remain British. The remoteness of Albion, however, gave the region its own sense, distinguishing their society from Britons, Americans, or Canadians. Albion eventually clarified its frontier into borders stretching from Spanish Baja in the south to Canadian Yukon and Russian Alaska in the north. When the Mexican-American War handed the bulk of Mexico's northern territory to the land-hungry Americans, war to maintain independence from Manifest Destiny became inevitable. The Utah War involving Mormon settlers and the American Federal Government spilled over into Albion, and Albionian troops marched in support of Governor Brigham Young. Fears of going to war with Britain eventually brought the war to a diplomatic end with an independent Deseret dividing much of the border between Albion and the United States.
By maintaining neutrality in the American Civil War, Albion would return to good relations with the United States, who began to expand southward into the Caribbean in war with Spain. Albion, meanwhile, gained dominion status and began its own expansion across the Pacific, soon running afoul of the Japanese Empire, who would serve as their major nemesis in World War II.
In 1995, on this day the enduring image of "Buchanan's America" was unforgettably seared in the public consciousness when millions of viewers watched the incredible slow motion, nationally televised police chase which ended with the arrest of OJ Simpson by border patrol agents at the San Diego-Brownsville separation barrier.
Day of ReckoningDuring the 1988 election, the fortieth President had convinced America that it was necessary to install a hi-tec security fence to curb the flow of illegal immigrants from Mexico. And draconian measures to control illegal aliens had resulted in the largest reverse movement since 1954.
Due to waves of illegal immigration, it was of course a moot point as to whether or not the south-western region was effectively returning to Mexico. Or whether in fact the south-western regional rightfully belonged to Mexico. Contemporary historians were still arguing over the detail of whether Davy Crocket died in the defence of the Alamo, or having surrendered, was brutally executed on Santa Anna's orders.
Ironically, a border designed to prevent northern immigration had trapped a fugitive of justice heading south. And Buchanan's generalisations about brown-skinned individuals now hit a major snag because the alleged criminal was "The Juice" one of American's best-loved celebrities, accused of murdering his former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman in their Los Angeles condominium.
Buchanan might have been forgiven for wishing that Simpson had escaped across the border into Mexico. Because his double murder charge meant no bail and a possible death penalty verdict if convicted because double homicide is a capital offense in California. With a seemingly overwhelming volume of evidence strongly suggesting his guilt, Simpson hired the best criminal defence team money could buy. The country now faced a perculiarly American soul-searching crisis as the vectors of race, justice, power, religion and money converged on a common point.
In 1776, the Battle of Breed's Hill, also called the Battle of Bunker Hill, took place, pitting American colonial rebels against British troops commanded by Sir William Howe, Sir Henry Clinton, and John Burgoyne.
Watch the Youtube Clip of the Battle of Bunker Hill
Battle of Bunker Hill by Eric LippsIt is a disaster for the colonials, who had failed to learn until too late of the British plan to occupy the Dorchester and Charlestown heights. Colonial militia forces under the command of William Prescott were dispatched to attempt to occupy Bunker Hill outside Charlestown, but, finding it already in British hands, Prescott chose to attempt a stand at Breed's Hill - only to find that it, too, had been occupied by the British before he could reach it. Prescott was forced to wage a slaughterhouse of a battle simply to escape. The British victory played a key role in the breaking of the siege of Charlestown, which dealt a hard blow to the rebels' morale. That blow would be followed by others, leading at last to the surrender of the final holdouts under General George Washington outside the sacked and burning city of Philadelphia on July 4.
In 2008, officials of the Nepalese government disclosed that a car given to the late King Tribhuvan by Adolf Hitler had been found to contain a previously hidden treasure of gold bullion worth in excess of 800,000 USD.
Hitler's Car by Chris Oakley
The gold cache, never found during Tribhuvan's lifetime, had been intended as a bribe to convince the Nepalese king to
ally himself with Nazi Germany.
The discovery follows the declaration of a republic in which King Tribhuvan's grandson Gyanendra quit the palace after the Himalayan nation abolished the 239-year-old monarchy.
Officials said a 1939 Mercedes Benz presented by the Nazi leader is now rusting at Nepal's main Narayanhiti palace grounds. It has lain there for more than three years after an engineering college in Kathmandu, which was using it to train mechanics, said it did not have enough money and spare parts to restore the antique car.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, 83, attended the first public function ever organised inside the palace. Former Maoist leaders, who waged a decade-long civil war to overthrow the king, were also present.
Koirala said Nepal should be proud that the king had left the palace without bloodshed after the republic was declared. "This is a historic and unprecedented event," he said, as Nepal's new national flag was hoisted. " The world is watching us with awe and respect at this moment".
A sign reading 'Narayanhiti Palace Museum' was also unveiled, formally turning the palace into a museum. Both the vehicle and the gold bullion are on display paying silent testimony to the corrupt nature of the monarchy.
The Story continues..
In 2009, US Senatory Hillary Rodham Clinton issued divorce papers terminating her thirty-four year marriage.Clintons Divorce - repurposed content from Jeff Samuels
During the 2008 primary season, Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton had discovered that her most powerful rival was not her opponent, Senator Barack Obama, but husband Bill who harboured a secret wish that would lose.
"Deep down, Bill can`t stand not being the center of attention himself. If you think Bill Clinton will be content to live in Hillary`s shadow for the rest of his life, then you don`t know him very well". said one Washington insider.
Three particular pieces of evidence were sited in the divorce papers by way of evidence to substantial the claim of irreconciliable differences.
• Just when folks wre beginning to forget about Hillary`s big lie - that she narrowly escaped sniper fire during a visit to Bosnia - Bill brought the subject up again, reminding everyone of his wife`s embarrassing blunder.
• Bill constantly refers to our compaign and my time in office, as if Hillary couldn`t run on her own merits.
• He stirred things up by accusing Obama of playing the race card in South Carolina forcing Hillary to step forward later with an apology.
Hillary Clinton has confirmed her intention to run the 2012 election without her estranged husband`s legendary campaigning skills.
In 1775, American rebels faced off against British troops led by General William Howe (pictured) at Breed's Hill in Massachusetts. After his first charge against the rebel position was met with a volley of repelling fire, Howe organized a second, which met with just as little success.
Breed's HillNot knowing that the Americans were low on ammunition, General Howe ordered a retreat from the position, giving the day to the Americans. His superiors felt that he had given up Breed's Hill too easily, and recalled him to England, where he angrily resigned his commission, saying, "Am I to be a wizard, that I should know the state of the enemy's supplies?"
Howe had been personally opposed to the war against the colonies to begin with, and this reprimand encouraged him to join Parliament and push for reconciliation with the Americans. He was one of the driving forces in British government that accepted the proposals of American President John Jay and led to the end of the war and America's partial autonomy from British rule.
Recommendation: visit Robbie Taylor's Amazon Author Page.
In 2015, on this day the London Times published its final edition. The demise of the great newspaper, which had been teetering on the edge of bankruptcy since 2012, was yet another sign of how badly things had deterioriated in the former United Kingdom on David Cameron's watch.
Most former Times staffers either found work at other newspapers or started other publications; the rest found it necessary to change professions.
On this day in 1968, twenty Soviet navy sailors were court-martialed on charges of insubordination and conspiracy to commit mutiny after refusing orders to report for duty with a convoy transporting decontamination teams to the ruins of Murmansk. The sailors asserted that the anti-radiation suits they'd been issued did not sufficiently protect them from the lingering fallout from the British nuclear strike the previous month against the once-great Arctic port.
In 1972, five men are apprehended emerging from an apparent break-in at Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C.
Police will ascertain that the men are connected with the Committee to Re-Elect the President, President Richard M. Nixon's campaign organization.
In 1922, the Russian Civil War comes to an end, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is declared.
|Russian Civil War|
On this day in 1939, Francis Urquhart, as a test of his strategic planning abilities, was assigned by his division commander to write a four-page memo outlining a hypothetical scenario for a possible German invasion of Poland.
His scenario turned out to be a remarkably accurate foreshadowing of the real German invasion less than two months later, and Urquhart was subsequently promoted to captain and sent to the US Army's counterintelligence school for further intel training.
In 2003, Juan Diego, an Argentine scientist from Antarctica crashlanded in Tierra Del Fuego. He had heroically escaped from the Martians, and had come to warn his people that the alien invaders were coming.
In 4648, an Imperial Star Fleet ship sailed out to the agreed coordinates, just outside the orbit of Jupiter, to meet the Chdo Ambassador. Emperor Dao-Ming considered the meeting to be of such importance that he had been through Star Sailor training himself in Star City, and flew on the vessel.
In 1928, Janet Dixon, famed aviatrix, became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She later disappeared trying to fly solo across the Pacific.
In 1880, John Monte Ward has the best day of his life as he throws a perfect game of Town Ball, and his Providence Sailors beat the Buffalo Northmen 5-0. It is only the 2nd perfect game of Town Ball ever.
In 1856, the first national convention of the Communist Party, formerly known as the Republican Party, is held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At this raucus meeting of the people, Walt Whitman is nominated as the party's candidate for the presidency. Whitman's speech accepting the nomination, the first ever delivered at a national convention, brings tears to the eyes of the delegates. His moving, poetic words stir the nation, and he becomes the youngest man ever elected President of the United States.
In 1954, the so-called Army-McCarthy hearings end.
In their aftermath, the Army will quietly yield to McCarthy's demands regarding his protege Schine. Many military officers will resent this decision, and President Eisenhower will privately refer to it as 'not a proud moment for the U.S. armed forces.' There will, however, be little open opposition, owing to concerns that the powerful senator will drag any critic through the mud.
In 1999, the staff at the hospital where King Arthur II is being cared for notify Queen Gwen that the king is showing signs of coming out of his coma. 'Oh, thank you, thank you ever so much,' she tells them tearfully on the phone. Once she hangs up, though, her expression hardens. She calls Sir Lance du Lac and orders him to return to London. 'There is a task that must be done, my loyal knight, and you are the only one who can do it.'
In 1891, with the surrender of Topeka and the murder of 'Sockless' Jerry Simpson, General Theodore Monteith declares an amnesty for all the Kansas rebels who will turn themselves in during the coming week. Since the previous governor is dead, Monteith appoints Thaddeus Elridge, an erstwhile Farmers Councilor who had switched sides at the end of the conflict, political liaison between his forces and the Kansans.
Elridge makes a quick round of the state, tamping down the fires of rebellion that he had so recently stoked, and reducing the fighting to a few scattered pockets here and there. As this day winds to a close, General Monteith hosts Lt. Colonel Mark Wainwright at the governor's mansion. 'Much better than last time you were here, eh, Mark?' Wainwright had to agree. 'No one's pointing a gun at me this time, sir.' The leaders of the Union expeditionary forces went to sleep that night, secure in the knowledge that they had at last quelled the Kansas Rebellion.
On this day in 2007, the already bizarre 'Giraffe in a Loft' saga took yet another strange turn when an eccentric figure identifying himself as 'Magical Trevor' moved into a house just two doors down from the site of the original giraffe incident and made a whole herd of cows disappear from a nearby farm.
In 1579, Sir Francis Drake lands on the western coast of North America. The native people, at first welcoming to him, become hostile after one of his men rapes a young women. In the ensuing battle, Drake and most of his men are killed. One ship barely makes it back to England.
In 1972, shots rang out at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, DC. The Democratic National Committee headquarters was apparently broken into, and two policemen who arrived on the scene were shot and killed by the perpetrators. The Democrats called for an investigation by the FBI, and President Nixon announced that he was assigning a man from his own staff to head the investigation. James McCord, who had been the president's campaign security coordinator, became the focal point for local and federal police looking into the crime, and proved his worth when his team arrested three so-called 'hippies' who had a history of politically-motivated burglary. Although these long-haired, unwashed young thugs protested their innocence loudly during their trial - one of them, Jack Moscowitz, was even gagged by the judge's orders - they were found guilty because of the overwhelming mountain of evidence that McCord's team had been able to dig up. A nation grateful for such respect towards law and order returned President Nixon to the White House overwhelmingly in the November elections, and he continued his long battle against such disrespectful criminals until leaving office in 1977 after the election of his fellow Californian, Ronald Reagan.
In 4614, artist Cheng Shifa died in Shanghai. The great port city afforded Cheng with a great wealth of material, and became the basis of most of his vast body of work. His nearly-abstract portraits of Shanghai pulse with a love for the city that is almost palpable. His work is often cited as the reason so many people move to and write about Shanghai to this day.
In 1994, former football star O.J. Simpson, under suspicion for the murders of his ex-wife and a friend, flees capture with the help of his old friend, Al Cowlings. They blend into Los Angeles traffic and slip away from the police. Simpson is not seen again for 4 years.
In 1972, unknown assailants killed a night watchman at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C. The crime was never fully investigated for some reason. Conspiracy nuts continue to say 3-term President Richard Nixon had a hand in it, but who can believe those nattering nabobs of negativity?
In 1954, in an event that was part-literary pilgrimage and part-pub crawl, Envoy founder John Ryan and novelist Brian O'Nolan led writers Anthony Cronin and Patrick Kavanagh, James-Joyce-cousin Tom Joyce, and Registrar of Trinity College AJ Leventhal on a horse-drawn carriage ride through Dublin, Ireland, to recreate the day described in Ulysses now nicknamed "Bloomsday".
Fiftieth Anniversary of Joyce's Bad DateWritten expansively by James Joyce from shorter stories in 1907 to its full publication in 1922, the experimental novel broke new literary ground with its usage of stream of consciousness in narrative and, along with T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land, stood as the pinnacle of Modernist literature in the English language.
Taking place in Dublin on June 16, 1904, the story details a number of point-of- view characters including young writer Stephen Dedalus (who appeared earlier in Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man), Leopold Bloom, his wife Molly, and various Dubliners. While including fantastical events and hallucinations, the narrative largely displays the lives of the average people, complete with difficulties and happiness. Over the course of the story, however, Joyce's overall despondency toward the world is displayed. Dedalus begins his day leaving his apartment over tension with his roommate and ends it accidentally beaten to blindness by an English soldier over a perceived anti-Royalist remark, which is covered up by police. Bloom, who witnessed the crime, determines to believe it never happened and instead continues his day, which he had spent meandering across Dublin, attending a mass, visiting the baths, going to a funeral, attempting to sell an ad, having lunch at a pub, ogling nude statues at the National Museum, dinner at a hotel, another visit to another pub, dropping by the maternity ward, and finally returning home, peeking at various women along the way.
Molly Bloom, however, proved through history as the most provocative character and perhaps the villain, though the protagonist-antagonist standard of literary theory hardly is followed in the piece. Joyce later wrote that he used elements of a girl he dated once (on June 16, 1904), but that the date had gone sour due to a spat over art versus life with him believing her thinking of him merely as a toy. The topic is explored in Ulysses as Molly has an ongoing affair with her manager, "Blazes" Boylan, who is not given a perspective but is displayed as something more pet-like than human. In the final episode of the novel, nicknamed "Molly Bloom's Soliloquy", her stream-of-consciousness is shown as she and her husband retire for the night, concluding with her reflection that he is furniture to their marriage, "a useful hat rack" or "a door".
Scholars to this day debate whether the work is pro- or anti-woman, featuring both vivid and humanistic portrayals of female thought in "Episode 13, Nausicaa" and the conclusion "Episode 18, Penelope" as well as jovial discussions of misogyny in "Episode 16, Eumaeus" and throughout. While on his self-exile to Europe, Joyce married a student from Trieste, Amalia Popper, but fled the marriage to Paris when he took up a week-long invitation from Ezra Pound that became a stay for a lifetime. He came under the patronage of feminist and publisher Harriet Shaw Weaver, who took his female characters as greatly human. After the success of Ulysses, Joyce wrote Finnegans Wake, which he began after a year break and continued unfinished until his death in 1941.
Joyce commented on Ulysses as being "immortal" and that he "put in so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant". However, what gave the work great notice was its perceived obscenity. It had been serialized in The Little Review in the US until 1918, when it came under legal accusation of obscenity due to vividly displaying human sexuality. In the resulting bans in both the US and Britain, the book gained notoriety, surging the readership. Molly Bloom was picked up as a champion among Flappers of the era, inspiring gold-digging and establishing oneself as the dominant role in relationships as a matter of philosophy. Literary minds disagreed whether the portrayal of Molly is negative or positive as a strong figure. Whatever the case, "Mollies" began organizing, disrupting social norms and causing reprisals among conservatives. The Bloomsday celebration in 1954 would soon be joined by numerous latter-generation Mollies, and the festival would spread to dozens of other cities.
In 1939, on this day the Nippon Kaigun and Kriegsmarine began a summer-long joint exercise that resulted in the German double aircraft carrier group being stranded in the Far East at the outbreak of war.
Flugzeugträger Part 3: Convergence of Operation Z & Plan ZNeedless to say, the internment was a source of huge frustration to Grand Admiral Erich Raeder. His Plan Z rearmament program had been explicitly authorized by the Anglo-German Naval Agreement, but then the real negotiations had begun in earnest - with the Fuehrer.
But then fate intervened, and the Grand Admiral was finally given a historic opportunity to demonstrate that the German Navy could make a real difference. Because in late 1941, Raeder's patience was finally rewarded by a private visit from Chuichi Nagumo. The Japanese Admiral wanted to discuss the feasibility of German carriers Graf Zeppelin and Peter Strasser supporting his Kido Butai in a pre-emptive attack on an undisclosed allied military base. The success of the joint exercises had demonstrated that such a mission was operationally possible, although matters of command needed to be delicately discussed. And yet a complete coincidence gave Raeder the assurance that needed. Because Nagumo had chosen the codename Operation Z. It was more than the fickle finger of fate, it was destiny. Because the strike from the Axis third wave force destroyed drydocks and fuel storage depots, putting the eventual US victory back by two whole years.
This post shares some commonality with the sister articles in the Flugzeugträger thread.
In 1968, on this day the twenty-one year old son of Michigan Governor George W. Romney died in a car crash.
Il Est MortWillard Mitt Romney had been in France serving as a missionary, a traditional Mormon duty that both his father and relatives had also performed. By nature it was a character-building experience because the message was met with such outright rejection. Not easily discouraged by these evangelical challenges, he had recently been promoted to the most senior position available to a missionary. As the Assistant to the Head of the Paris Mission, he had overseen the work of 175 fellow members.
Upon his return to the States he planned to enroll in the Future Leaders of America. Utilizing his articulate fluency in French he aspired to serve in a diplomatic capacity that might rebuild the troubled relationship with the Union's principal ally.
The family tragedy brought an abrupt end to Governor Romney's participation in the Presidential campaign. His role would be taken by fellow Michiganer Bob Griffin who was selected as Richard Nixon's running mate after a kickback scandal eliminated the disgraced Spiro T. Agnew.
In 1813, on this day Elbridge Gerry suffered a fatal stroke caused by the shock of James Madison succumbing to malaria and in the absence of a President Pro Tempore of the Senate thirty-six year old Speaker of the House Henry Clay (pictured) entered the Oval Office.
Fifth US President, 1813-Elected at the height of his powers, Clay was seen as a "hawk" due to his increasingly outspoken criticisms of the conduct of the war with Great Britain. Having dismissed Madison as "wholly unfit for the storms of War" he was now presented with the challenge of having his own leadership abilities put to the harshest of tests.
Over-confident but time-boxed by the outcome of the Congressional debate on the mandatory election clause, Clay was forced to take the boldest of short-term decisions. The Acting President ordered Andrew Jackson to march north and take Niagara..
In 1720, just two weeks after the benign alien race known as the Mlosh landed on earth a deadly alien superbug outbreak appeared to justify the initial panic caused by their arrival amongst humanity.
Deadly Mlosh Superbug OutbreakWhen the infection rate reached one hundred percent, humanity stood on the brink of extinction - until teleporting monstrous alien squids rescue mankind. After administering the species-saving vaccine, the squids exterminate the unwitting alien visitors before suppressing the superbug that they had secretly infected the Mlosh with.
For the next two centuries, mankind is the beneficiary of accelerated technology developments. Alternate ending to a story by Robbie TaylorThe Mlosh, realising that they and humanity have been duped, attempt a second landing in the middle of the twentieth century. But a global conflict is triggered when the nations are forced to choose between two species of alien benefactors.
Both alien combatents are ultimately forced to withdraw, although the squids retain their technology sharing alliance with mankind, enabling the two species to co-exist peacefully for almost sixty years.
Robbie Taylor's ingenius novel "Warp" is available for purchase on the Lulu web site.
In 1940, the Vichy France Regime moved quickly to end the war with Nazi Germany. General Maxime Weygand, in his very first act as Minister for National Defence arrested his predecessor Charles de Gaulle whilst the forty-nine year old General inauspiciously hid behind a column on the ground floor of the govenment building in Bordeaux, attempting to hail the British Ambassador, Ronald Campbell.
L'Homme du DestinSince the publication of his military ideas in the book "France and Her Army", de Gaulle had been on bad terms with the Head of the Vichy Government, Henri-Philippe Petain who had accused the author of taking credit for work done by the staff of the French War College. Inevitably, this peacetime rivalry about military doctrine led to a major fracture in wartime when disagreement over tactics suddenly became a matter of life-or-death.
On the outbreak of the Second World War de Gaulle took over command of the 5th Army's tank force in Alsace. He soon became frustrated with the military hierarchy who had failed to grasp the importance of using tanks in mass-attacks with air support.
When the German Army broke through at Sedan he was given command of the recently formed 4th Armoured Division. With 200 tanks, de Gaulle attacked the German panzers at Montcornet on 17th May, 1940. Lacking air support, de Gaulle made little impact on halting the German advance. De Gaulle was more successful at Caumont (28th May) when he became the only French commanding officer to force the Germans to retreat during the German Invasion of France.
As a result of the success of this action, on the 5th of June, the French prime minister, Paul Reynaud, sacked Edouard Daladier and appointed de Gaulle as his minister of war. De Gaulle also visited London but when he returned to France on 16th June he discovered that Henri-Philippe Petain had ousted Paul Reynaud as premier and was forming a government that would seek an armistice with Germany.
In 2009, on this day disgraced former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney was ordered to return the Order of Canada pin by by Her Excellency, Governor General Michaelle Jean.
UnbelievableA law suit brought by the Government of Canada had established that the former Prime Minister had accepted cash from the German arms dealer Karlheinz Schreiber and then failed to declare it to the Canadian Revenue Agency.
The award is the centre-piece of Canada's honour system, recognizing a lifetime of achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. President Nicholas Sarkozy immediately decided that to allow Mulroney to continue to wear the symbol of this award would mock the outstanding achievements of other Order recipients, as well as being an affront to the honour of Francophone America.
In 1984, on this day the anti-Marxist rebellion in East Germany ended with the surrender of the last remaining pro-Marxist army units in East Berlin.
Within a year of the surrender, Germany would be reunified under the Helmut Kohl administration that had taken office in Bonn in the last West German parliamentary election before World War III began; within six months after the reunification was finalized Kohl would move his headquarters to Berlin.
One of the first people Kohl recruited to his post-unification transition team was a University of Leipzig graduate named Angela Merkel who had been one of the top civilian leaders of the anti-Marxist uprising; during the mid-1990s Merkel would go on to succeed Kohl as chancellor of the reunified Germany, in which capacity she would oversee the late stages of the country's post-World War III reconstruction programs.
On this day in 1967, UN peacekeepers began returning to their former bases in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula as part of the terms of the peace accord ending the Sinai War.
In 2002, a sensational story in the Washington Post exposes President Gore's secret efforts to ready a military strike against the newly installed Islamic fundamentalist r?gime in Pakistan.
The President and Vice-President both publicly claim the story is false. Privately, Gore is furious at the leak, which has undermined security for the operation and may have made it impossible to go forward.
In 1934, uranium is smuggled into Germany by Nazi time-travelers even as the Greater Zionist Resistance is battering at its borders. Plans for nuclear weaponry follow in short order, but Zionist sympathizers among the German scientists funnel them to the GZR. There will soon be a mushroom cloud over Berlin.
In 4582, the first female Star Sailor, Yueh Chan Juan, achieves orbit over the earth. She would also become the first woman on the moon 19 years later, as Imperial Administrator of the colony there.
In 1776, Tlamsita, Ml'Astra's First Chancellor, begins her campaign to establish a meeting place for representatives of all governments on the planet. Mlosh-friendly populations in North America, Asia and southern Africa are all receptive to her invitation, but the old guard countries in Europe, north Africa and South America resist. Tlamsita dies before seeing the culmination of her dreams, the Congress of Nations, established in 1864.
In 1999, Prime Minister Kay Ector returns from his Greek 'vacation' brimming with confidence in Queen Gwen's anti-Illuminati initiative, and quickly touches base with every country in the world that could be housing the once-powerful organization. He finds a host of nations ready and willing to give up those who once ruled them, and sends the list to Sir Lance du Lac, so that his Round Table Corps can make quick work of them. In the London hospital holding King Arthur II, meanwhile, a strange old man pays a visit to the fallen monarch. None of the staff remembers why they let him in, nor do they remember him when he is gone. But, the king dreams within his coma, and stirs ever so slightly.
In 1891, George Nelson, a lifelong Topeka resident and former supporter of 'Sockless' Jerry Simpson, approaches the Kansan leader in the middle of siege preparations and shoots him twice in the face. 'That's for Kansas,' Nelson shouts at Simpson as the leader writhes in agony on the ground. Although many people look menacingly towards Nelson as he walks away from Simpson's corpse, no one lays a finger on him. The town's leaders seize the opportunity to raise a white flag over the capitol building and ask the Union soldiers their terms for surrender.
in 1775, rebel colonial forces were routed by the British at the Battle of Breed's Hill near Boston, Massachusetts.
Rebel commander George Washington was almost captured, and the rebel army was thrown into disarray. Virtually all colonials gave up the idea of freedom at that point, with only a few hardcore rebels failing to acknowledge that the fight was over. They manage to battle on another 4 years, but never win another engagement.
In 1579, Sir Francis Drake lands on the western coast of North America. The native people, at first welcoming to him, become hostile after one of his men rapes a young woman. In the ensuing battle, Drake and most of his men are killed. One ship barely makes it back to England.
In 2003, the tension is finally broken as the first Martian ship lands in Antarctica. It returns when all contact with the international bases there is lost.
In 1978, the film adaptation of the Broadway hit Grease, premieres in New York City. Reprising their stage roles, Jeff Conaway as Danny Zuko and John Travolta as Kenickie turn the show into the top-grossing movie musical of all time. Conaway's film career takes off, with dozens of star turns. Travolta, who had seemed promising in the TV series Welcome Back Kotter and the movie Saturday Night Fever, fades into obscurity, his career ending in the science fiction series Babylon 5.
In 2002, a month had passed since Universal Pictures released The Bourne Identity, a film loosely based on Robert Ludlum's novel of the same name. Starring Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, the central character is an amnesiac attempting to discover the truth of his identity amidst a CIA-involved conspiracy of which he is the center.
Damon opens his mail. Another joker has written to him with a letter addressed Jason Bourne. It had stopped being funny some time ago. Now it was just .. disturbing. How could anyone be sure they had their own identify?
In 1976, students in Soweto, South Africa, begin a rebellion that topples the white government in 4 months time. The nation formerly known for its racism becomes a shining beacon of tolerance as the newly-freed leader of the nation, Nelson Mandela, embraces his former captors.
In 1959, George Reeves, an actor best-known as Superman up to that point, attempted suicide. Rushed to hospital, he was saved from a nearly-fatal gunshot wound, and began a slow recovery, both mental and physical. This produced such a profound change on him that he left acting to become a minister to the poor in Los Angeles.
In the 43rd year of Hammurabi's reign, Babylonia was destroyed and the great Priest-King himself was killed when the Hittites took the country. The great laws of the king were shattered, never to be seen again.
In 1815, on this day at Ligny in Belgium Napoleon Bonaparte defeated the Prussians under Gebhard Leberecht von Blucher. Aware that the Duke of Wellington's forces were but two days march away, the Little Corporal chose not to send forces in pursuit of the retreating Prussians.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.