In 1981, on this day air-traffic controllers, federal employees banned from striking, confronted President Mondale.
President Mondale settles with air-traffic controllersIn spite of the temptation to have them fired and end the strike, Mondale negotiated with the controllers, and reached a fair settlement of their grievances. Labor was forever after grateful to Mondale, but the move enraged conservatives who declared that Mondale was in the pocket of big unions.
Two years before he had assumed the presidency after the worst disaster in American history. The wind currents from three-mile island swept the eastern seaboard and the radiation even reached Washington DC, where dozens of members of Congress were killed, as well as President Carter. Despite low expectations, he emerged as one of America's greatest presidents.
In 1901, on this day Queen Victoria II (pictured) died in Balmoral Castle aged sixty years old.
This post is an article from the Good Old Willie thread.
Good Old Willie #1The eldest child of Queen Victoria I and Prince Albert, she was created Princess Royal of the United Kingdom in 1841. Ten years later, she met her future husband, Prince Frederick William of Prussia and they married in 1855. Her parents hoped that the union would cement close ties between London and Berlin, and possibly lead to the emergence of a unified and liberal Germany. At the time of their wedding, Londoners chanted "God save the Prince and Bride! God keep their lands allied!".
However the Prussian attempt to form a unified German Empire ended in shambolic failure on the battlefields of Sedan and Metz. The House of Hohenzollern was forced to flee to England and live in exile with their English Cousins the Saxe-Coburg-Gotha family. But because they did not officially abdicate the throne, a future restoration had a better than reasonable chance of success.
Nevertheless, the French military build-up demanded prompt action. Alarmed by the possibility of a continent ruled from Paris, the line of English succession was quickly amended1 to allow the oldest child of either gender to assume the throne. But as matters transpired, Queen Victoria II only ruled for eight months after her mother finally passed away on 22nd January 1901. She would be succeeded by Wilhelm Hohenzollern, enthusiastically proclaimed King of England by the awaiting crowd, "Good Old Willie!".
In 1773, the Quebec Rebellion ended in triumph for the rebels as the tattered remnants of the British occupation forces in that province fled across the border to Ontario, then still a British colony.
Double Jeopardy Part 5
Britain abandons QuebecFor Great Britain the pullout from Quebec was the shameful climax to a long string of defeats its army had suffered in that region since the Battle of Sherbrooke; for the insurgents themselves it was the fulfillment of their longtime dream to liberate their homeland from British rule; for France it represented an opportunity to regain some measure of influence in the New World after being forced to concede thousands of square miles of North American and Caribbean territory in the Treaty of Stockholm; and for the Brotherhood of Liberty it constituted a sign Americans could fight and win their own guerrilla war against the British should circumstances render it necessary.
In fact, many of the first battles of the American Revolutionary War would see Quebec Rebellion veterans serve as advisors to George Washington's Continental Army; men who'd been too young to fight in the Quebec Rebellion came south to form volunteer militias supporting the American regulars, and at least two former Quebec insurgent commanders would serve on Washington's general staff in the course of the Revolution. A number of Quebecois fighters would be at Washington's side for the final British surrender to the Continental Army in 1779.
In 1620, a group of Separatists from the Church of England set sail out of Southampton in search of a place to practice religious freedom.
Pilgrim Expedition Begins on Schedule They had previously left England for Amsterdam, but problems existed in the Netherlands as well. Fears arose that the Dutch were corrupting their children with extravagances and young people with worldly ways (many were returning to England in pursuit of work to replenish savings spent moving to Amsterdam). The political climate, too, became sour as war with Spain was predicted to return.
A new story by Jeff ProvineWilliam Bradford and other leaders decided it would be in the best interest of the congregation to start afresh with a colony in the New World. After considering Dutch Guiana, they negotiated with the London Company for a land patent on a colony on the Hudson River. They could be supported by the older colony in Southern Virginia, but not close enough to it to be dominated politically. In July of 1620, the Pilgrims left the Netherlands on the Speedwell and joined with the Mayflower in Southampton. The crew of the Speedwell began to report leaks on the ship, but further investigations proved it was sabotage by the crew in an attempt to escape their year-long contracts. The crew was punished and several replaced while in a brief stop in Dartmouth.
After a fair journey of 60 days marked by some illness, though no more than to be expected, the two ships arrived at their destination in the mouth of the Hudson River. The Speedwell Compact was signed in place of the unfinished London charter, and John Carver chosen as governor. They established their colony on the defensible bluffs to the south and began relations with the nearby Lenape Algonquian Indians such as the Raritan, Hackensack, and Manhattas. The first winter was difficult with their short growing season, but they thanked God they had not been detained any later.
Bradford kept careful history of their first few years. They were later joined by more colonists, and the colony thrived despite troubled trade with the Indians (Native Americans). Further explorations mapped much of the coast, and an English-speaking Indian named Squanto was discovered in 1624. Because his understanding of local Indian languages was mixed, the Pilgrims did not rely on him and considered him something of an oddity.
Also in 1624, new settlers arrived at the Hudson: the Dutch. They purchased Manhattan Island with a few trinkets (a joke well shared by the Indians, who used the island only seasonally) and began to build New Amsterdam. Initially, the Pilgrims received their European comrades happily as a source for trade, but they began to suspect their influence would ruin the settlement they had created. After much discussion, argument, and finally threat, the Dutch would stay at New Amsterdam across the river from the Pilgrims.
Something of a land rush began, and English and Dutch settlers poured into the rich valley. War was inevitable, and Indian confederacies formed on both sides. In 1637, battles broke out in the form of raids against villages and settlements. In actions that some considered bloodthirsty, the Pilgrims with Indian help were able to chase out the Dutch after the newly appointed William Kieft conducted a massacre in 1638. The Dutch regrouped under Kieft and establish a new colony with overwhelming forces farther north in the Massachusetts Bay. Kieft would be recalled, and Peter Stuyvesant became the governor of a productive colony.
Meanwhile, the Swedes began colonies on the Delaware River. Caught between the two alien European powers, the English settlers became increasingly militaristic, prepared for another eventual war. They invited more English, which eventually overwhelmed the original Pilgrims in number and political belief. When the Second Anglo-Dutch War broke out in the 1650s, the colonies bloodied each other. Ten years later in the Second Anglo-Dutch War, troops under the Duke of York conquered New Netherland around Massachusetts. The Dutch temporarily retook the settlements in the Third Anglo-Dutch War, but all colonies were handed to the English with the Treaty of Westminster of 1674. The Swedish settlers were allowed to stay as allies, though they would be gradually engulfed after the fall of the Swedish Empire in the early eighteen century.
The colonies would grow and prosper, and rebellion would break out against taxation in the 1770s. In New York City (as the Duke of York had renamed the second New Amsterdam), scuffles sponsored by local Samuel Adams, a failed businessman from New Plymouth, would spark revolution through Hudson and even to Virginia. Much of the American Revolution would be fought in the state of Hudson, including the great victory at Saratoga. Because of its size, age, and economic significance, New Plymouth would always serve as a major point of significance to the new United States of America, such as receiving the Statue of Liberty from the French in 1876 and more infamously with terrorist attacks in 2001.
In 1962, actress Marilyn Monroe was rushed to the hospital by her friend, actor Peter Lawford, after Lawford found her unconscious and near death in her Hollywood home from a combination of alcohol and an overdose of sleeping pills.
Rehabilitation by Eric LippsFollowing her release from the hospital, Ms. Monroe was persuaded to seek treatment for her reliance on drink and drugs in handling emotional difficulties. In 1966, she founded the Marilyn Monroe Clinic for the Treatment of Alcohol and Drug Abuse, attracting several high-profile therapists to its staff.
At the time of her near-death, Ms. Monroe had begun to branch out from the airhead/glamor girl roles in which she had been cast for years; her role as the blowsy, neurotic singer in the Bus Stop was one example of the new direction in which she was working to move her career. Further dramatic roles would follow, although she would continue to play glamorous women well into her forties.
She would retire from films in the 1980s, making only an occasional guest appearance on various television programs thereafter. Nevertheless, when she died in 1992 at the age of 63 Marilyn Monroe would still be considered a Hollywood icon.
In 1966, the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. was murdered whilst campaigning to end slums in the city of Chicago. South Side
As Kenneth R. Timmerman reports in Shakedown (2002), the campaign was a dangerous failure that demonstrated to many black leaders that King was out of his element in the North.
King had led marchers into Gage Park, a blue-collar suburb on the city's South Side composed mainly of ethnic Lithuanian, Polish and Italian immigrants. Shortly after he got out of his car to lead the marchers, a stone hit King in the head and the white mob shouted "Kill him"
Later that night, Ralph Abernathy told King's widow Correta "the march was worse than any of those he ever experienced in the deep south, in Mississipi and Alabama. He had never seen as much hatred and hostility on the part of so many people".
Under the leadership of Abernathy, the South Christian Leadership Conference would return to the Confederacy, launching the Poor People's Campaign that culminated in the march on Richmond in May 1968.
In 1935, Officer John Bruce of the Tank Corps Regiment shocked the world's media. Text I of the "Seven Pillars of Wisdom" revealed the truth of Lawrence's capture at Deraa in November 1917. The whole truth.
Secrets from the Arab Revolt Part III
Lawrence had indeed suffered a disasterous loss of integrity on that dreadful night. But his agony was of the soul, not of the near-fatal beating he had suffered at the hands of the Ottoman soldiers in Deraa.
The threat of the "cough of the bey", had turned Lawrence.
He betrayed the Arab Revolt, providing vital military information that enabled the Ottomans to suppress the Revolt. "Lawrence of Arabia" had acted as a double agent right up until the Treaty of Sevres, when the British were forced to recognise Turkey's 1914 pre-war borders.
John Bruce helped Lawrence to suppress the darkness, but it took him ten years.
When Bruce discovered the full truth of the betrayal, he had cut loosened the brake cable on Lawrence motorbike, leading to his fatal accident at Clouds Hill in May 1935.
On this day in 2004 MSNBC commentator and Countdown host Keith Olbermann lashed out at Michael Moore's detractors in a seven-minute tirade near the end of that evening's edition of his show, denouncing critics of Fahrenheit 9/11 as "right-wing extremist a**h***s" even though much of the criticism of the film was in fact coming from other leftists who would have normally agreed with Moore's ideological point of view on other things..
In the days immediately following Olbermann's outburst, both he and MSNBC were bombarded with e-mails, phone calls, and handwritten letters roundly condemning his outburst; the incident tarnished both Olbermann's and MSNBC's reputations and in the eyes of some media analysts might have also been a factor in Olbermann's eventual acrimonious departure from MSNBC in 2007.
|Head of State|
On this day in 1968, the United States formally recognized the new provisional Kosygin government in Russia.
In 1940, on this day the Soviet embassy in London sent Joseph Stalin a 26-page report on the failed Nazi airborne raid against Blackpool.
Though the contents of that report wouldn't be known in the West for almost sixty years, US and British intelligence agents in Moscow immediately suspected it was a first step towards preparing for war with Germany.
On this day in 1944, Soviet artillery started bombarding the East Prussian capital city of Konigsberg.
When we got to the hospital, I noticed an odd crowd in the visiting room. There were about seven men and women all dressed in dark gray clothing gathered around one man who was dressed in black. The cut of their clothing was virtually identical, a kind of Nehru-jacket outfit that wouldn't have looked out of place in a documentary about India, but definitely looked out of place here.
The man in the black jacket was dark-skinned and slightly exotic-looking, but his accent sounded pure American. He was giving the nurse at the desk a difficult time. 'And, if Brother Johnson is not delivered to us soon, my lawyers will make sure that this so-called hospital never treats another patient again.' He wasn't shouting, but his voice was authoritative, and carried throughout the room and into the hallway.
'It'll just be a few more minutes, sir,' the nurse said, clearly exasperated. 'Could you please sit down? You're disturbing the other visitors.'
'I mean to disturb them,' he replied, annoyed at her request. 'They should be disturbed that someone can be trapped in this place as if it was a prison.'
That annoyed the nurse. 'No one is trapped here, Mr. Dharne. We just have to process Mr. Johnson's paperwork.'
'He's only been here a day,' Dharne said, thumping lightly on the desk. The ones in gray around him glowered down on the nurse menacingly. 'How much paperwork can there possibly be?'
'You'd be amazed,' I said, interposing myself between the embattled nurse and Mr. Dharne. 'You have to fill out two forms just to go to the bathroom.' Francine looked at me nervously on the other side of Dharne's people while I went on, smiling politely. 'This woman really can't make things go any faster while she's talking to you, sir.' The nurse took the opportunity of my distraction to scurry away from the desk.
Mr. Dharne and his friends turned their attention to me. 'You have the look of a doctor, even if you don't have the white coat,' he said, his tone neutral. He was a handsome man, probably in his forties, with close-cropped hair and eyes that were large and piercing. They fairly glowed in contrast to the color of his skin. 'What is your name?'
'Doctor Thomas Miles,' I said, extending my hand out to shake. He didn't take it. 'And you are?'
'The Reverend Avinash Dharne,' he said, and his companions made a small gesture with their hands. It was a little disconcerting. 'I am here to free one of my flock.'
I tried to smile and be casual about it. 'The hospital's not really a prison, Reverend.'
He was not going to be friendly. His attitude remained cold. 'There are many prisons in life, Doctor Miles.' One of the women in gray whispered in his ear, and he turned to see one of the on-duty doctors, accompanied by two security guards, approaching him. 'As these men doubtlessly know.' He turned from me and directed his scornful attention on the other doctor. 'I do not see Brother Johnson. Why is he not accompanying you?'
The doctor indicated a private consultation room. 'Perhaps we could speak in there.'
'We will speak here,' Dharne said, not moving.
'I don't want to disturb the other visitors and patients out here,' the doctor said, still trying to be civil.
He needn't have bothered. 'They should be disturbed at the fact that they are apparently not allowed to leave when they wish to.' There was some muttering going on among the other people sitting in the room. 'Please bring Brother Johnson to us.'
The doctor sighed. 'Mr. Johnson is in very grave condition, sir. We're a little worried that he might not make it through the night.' I looked over at Francine, and could tell we were both surprised by that. The man had looked pretty bad when we brought him in, but I hadn't thought he was that bad off.
Dharne was speaking again. 'Of course he won't make it through the night if he stays here,' he said, disdain practically dripping from his tongue. 'You might as well call yourself Witch Doctor Central. We will care for Brother Johnson. Release him now, or our attorneys shall force you to comply within the hour.'
The doctor decided to drop his own efforts to be nice. 'What are you, some kind of cult faith-healer? Taking that man out of this hospital would be murder, and I won't be part of it.' He turned to the security guards. 'Remove these people.'
Dharne held up a hand. One of the men placed a cell phone into it, and he spoke into it. 'Do you have the order, Ralph?' He listened, then smiled. 'Our attorney has a court order forcing you to release Brother Johnson. He will be here in ten minutes. I suggest that by the time he gets here, we should already have Brother Johnson in our arms.' He spoke again into the cell phone. 'Thank you, Ralph. Please hurry.' He snapped the cell phone shut and glowered at the doctor and the two guards. 'Now, you can comply with the law, or my little 'cult' will have a hospital to add to its possessions.' He stepped up, practically nose-to-nose with the doctor. 'One where you three will not have employment.'
'It's murder,' the doctor muttered. 'He'll die.'
'Then he will die in the company of those who love him,' Dharne said, and the people in gray all smiled. 'Now, bring him.' Still muttering, the doctor stalked off, and the guards drifted away, unsure of what to do. Dharne turned his attention back to me. 'Doctor Miles. Do you work at this hospital?'
I shook my head. 'No, I'm the one who found Mr. Johnson wandering on the highway.' I left Francine out of this; I didn't know if they had seen her with me or not. 'So, there's no need to threaten me.'
A small smirk lifted the corner of his mouth. I guess he wasn't impervious to humor, after all. 'We are grateful to you for locating Brother Johnson. His disappearance disturbed the brethren greatly.'
In 1944, the German Underground, now calling itself The New Reich, captures 348 Greater Zionist Resistance fighters in Poland, and summarily executes them. Adolf Hitler, leader of the New Reich, issues a statement that loudly proclaims this as the new policy of the Reich. Protest across the world is weak, at best, emboldening Hitler to even worse atrocities.
In 1938, little known counter-historian Winston S Churchill combined fiction and fact in his publication "While America Slept" and indulged in the quaint conceit of imagining what would have happened if some important or unimportant event had settled itself differently.
In Churchill's far-fetched world of American neutrality, the Nazis are eventually defeated by the Soviet Union. Without a Patton on the Elbe, the Red Army is left to race unchecked through Europe and across the Iberian Peninsula.
In a decade-long cold war, America and Russia face each other in animosity across both the Atlantic and also the Alaskan Border, before President MacArthur attempts to reconquer the world for democracy.
On this day in 1939, Bernard Montgomery's Gibraltar expeditionary force arrived at the besieged British colony and was immediately met with heavy Spanish resistance.
On this day in 1941, the last pockets of Soviet resistance in Kiev surrendered to the Germans.
In 1968, the Republican National convention opens in Miami Beach, Florida. Nixon is generally expected to win the GOP presidential nomination, but there is talk of a floor fight by the party's right wing and of a possible deal to make Arizona senator Barry Goldwater Nixon's running-mate. There have been rumors for months that Goldwater, who had refused to run for president again despite the urging of conservatives like California's Governor Ronald Reagan who are still smarting from his narrow defeat in his run against President Johnson in 1964, should be given the VP slot of the GOP ticket. Goldwater has refused to rule out accepting the offer if it should be made, and is in attendance at the convention.
In 1999, Philippine authorities find 5 dead men in an old mosque in the province of Zamboanga del Norte. They seem to have been ripped to shreds, but the police find no evidence of a weapon that could have done it, and there is no animal native to the area capable of such a feat.
In 1990, President George Bush declared that "America does not have a stand, vis-a-vis Arab-Arab hostilities". This allowed Iraq to hold Kuwait and siphon its resources, which it desperately needed after the disastrous war with Iran. America weathered a storm of criticism for not leading a military or diplomatic drive to push Iraq out of Kuwait, but Bush believed that he needed to stand by his old ally to provide a counterweight to Iran in the region.
In 1921, Carla Lambert directs "Winds of the Heart", a small film about a farm family in Nebraska that is forced to deal with death, poverty and the breakup of the husband and wife's marriage. It is often cited on many critic's top 10 lists of best films of the 20th century.
In 1911, famed actor Spangler Arlington Brugh was born in Filley, Nebraska. Always an iconoclast, he made his name starring in such costume dramas as Ivanhoe, Quo Vadis, and Knights of the Round Table. His unusual name and quirky sense of confidence endeared him to critics and audiences alike, in spite of initial misgivings at MGM, which wanted to rename him something more common, like Robert Taylor.
In 1962, housekeeper Mrs Eunice Murray discovers that a dangerously close to death Marilyn Monroe has overdosed on the sleeping pill Nembutal. Rushing her to hospital, they just make it and the 36-old actress survives after a stomach pump. During the course of the journey, as Monroe slips in and out of consciousness, she rambles on about her affairs with the Kennedy brothers. Monroe's former husband Joe DiMaggio hears the whole tale in the hospital. Furiously realising that the "suicide" was in fact a "Father Joe" hit to silence the scandal, he repeats it in full at a press conference the following day, destroying the brother's political careers.
In 1911, famed actor Spangler Arlington Brugh was born in Filley, Nebraska. Always an iconoclast, he made his name starring in such costume dramas as Ivanhoe, Quo Vadis, and Knights of the Round Table. His unusual name and quirky sense of confidence endeared him to critics and audiences alike, in spite of initial misgivings at MGM, which wanted to rename him something more common, like Robert Taylor.
In 1860, future circus owner Joseph Merrick is born in Leicester, England. Merrick's medical troubles as a child, an enormous tumor on his face, reportedly cleared up after his mother asked for a miracle from the Virgin Mary; more likely, this was just one of the many tall tales Merrick told of his past.
In 1981, air-traffic controllers, federal employees banned from striking, confront President Mondale. In spite of temptation to have them fired and end the strike, Mondale negotiates with the controllers, and reaches a fair settlement of their grievances. Labor is forever after grateful to Mondale, but the move enrages conservatives who declare that Mondale is in the pocket of big unions.
In 1934, in exchange for the promise of Anglo-French forces to restore public order Chancellor Heinrich Brüning quietly dropped von Hindenburg's death bed appeal for monarchist restoration by announcing the date for the Presidential election.
Story continues from Part One
Von Hindenburg Dismisses Hitler 2
Ed, Scott Palter & Eric OppenThe shadowy courtiers known as the Kamarilla had been forced to make the embarrassing decision to recall the former Chancellor Brüning in order to replace the dismissed Herr Hitler. The only viable alternative candidate was Von Papen but his support had evaporated during a brief Chancellorship.
In the short-term the prospects of the Weimar Republic's survival had markedly increased. In fact the British and French Governments had little choice but to act given the Versailles Treaty limitations they had placed upon the size of the Germany Army. Non-intervention would have prompted either a seizure of power by Ernst Röhm's Sturmabteilung or the restoration of the monarchy.
But there was a larger problem with the revolving doors in Weimar Germany's corridors of powers. And that was the unpredictability of the Presidential election. And after all it was not inconceivable that Herr Hitler would be restored to power despite the endeavours of the Establishment in London, Paris and Berlin.
In 2003, U.S. Vice-President Richard Cheney suffered a major heart attack, sidelining George W. Bush's combative second (or, as some said, first) in command for two months and forcing President Bush to reconsider his refusal of an offer Cheney had earlier made to drop off the 2004 Republican ticket.
Drop the PilotCheney had made the offer in recognition that he had become a highly polarizing figure whose presence on the ticket might hurt Bush's chances at the polls, perhaps enough to hand victory to the Democrats, but Bush, confident of victory and highly dependent on Cheney's advice, had said no. Now the situation had changed.
On Oct. 23, in nationally televised press conference, with a visibly thinner Vice-President Cheney in attendance, Bush issued the following statement:
Dick Cheney has been one of the most valuable members of my team, and I expect him to remain so through the end of my present term. However, after consultation with him and with his physicians, I have decided to accept his offer not to run with me again next year.
One of the most important responsibilities of the vice presidency is to be ready to step in if something should happen to the president. As we all know, this has been necessary on a number of occasions in our nation's history.
While I am sure that Vice-President Cheney would bring wisdom and resolve to the presidency should anything happen to me, I do not believe it is fair to him to subject him to the stresses of next year's campaign and then ask him to risk the added strain he would endure if he were forced by terrible circumstance to step into the presidency.
A new article by Eric LippsBush's announcement touched off a scramble of speculation as to who Cheney's replacement would be. Mr. Bush himself did not seem to know the answer at first, but in January 2004 announced that Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist would be taking Cheney's place on the ticket. Frist had assumed the leadership after Mississippi Sen. Trent Lott had been forced to step down in the wake of scandals including, at a celebration of Senator Strom Thurmond's 100th birthday, an apparent retrospective endorsement of the Senator's 1948 third-party presidential run on a segregationist ticket.
Frist himself was not without controversy, having been accused, among other things, of questionable personal use of campaign funds. He had, however, been instrumental in shepherding a number of Bush initiatives through the Senate, and was considered a useful go-between in dealing with the GOP's religious right.
The Bush-Frist ticket would eke out a narrow victory over the Democratic ticket of Sens. John Kerry and John Edwards. In 2005, Vice-President Frist would personally intervene in the case of a Florida woman, Terri Schiavo, who had been diagnosed as being in a "persistent vegetative state" and whose husband Michael, beset by massive medical bills after caring for her since her illness began in 1990, had petitioned a court to allow the removal of the feeding tube keeping her alive, as permitted under Florida Statutes Section 765.401(3). Frist, a licensed physician, would insist that in his professional opinion Mrs. Schiavo was not irretrievably comatose and that therefore removing the tube would be illegal. The Vice-President's influence would prove crucial to overruling a Pinellas County court ruling authorizing the removal of the feeding tube. Mrs. Schiavo remains in her coma as of February 2011; her husband, having exhausted his personal resources and having received little support from his wife's family, who had insisted on keeping her on life support, has filed for bankruptcy. Mrs. Schiavo's care is currently being provided at federal expense under "Terri's Law," the Defense of Life in Medical Treatment Act, passed in September 2005; the opinion of her physicians, based on brain scans and other tests, is that she will never awaken. Several complaints have been filed against Frist with various medical ethics oversight organizations, but no action has been taken on any of them.
In 1961, on this day future world statesman Barack Hussein Obama II was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.A. His parents met while attending the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where his father was a foreign student. They separated when he was two years old and later divorced.
Following an unremarkable record of educational achievement in Hawaii and subsequently the continental United States, Obama entered North America's premier professional men's basketball league where he signed for the Chicago Bulls in 1982.The Barack Obama Story
Part 1 - Walking a straight line in a crooked world
In his autobiography "Dreams of My Father" he describes how Barack Obama, Senior survived a near-fatal car crash in Nairobi that very same year. Interpreting this miraculous escape from death as an act of destiny, his father travelled from Nyang'oma Kogelo, Siaya District to find his son in Chicago. He was shocked to find him addressing himself by the anglicized name Barry and suffering a profound identity crisis.
Following a furious argument, his father experienced a change of heart only after he found a scrap of poetry in which his son had written that he was "Walking a straight line in a crooked world".
Writing of his political awakening in "The Audacity of Hope", Obama stated that if not for the re-union with his father, it is unlikely that he would have found the sense of purpose and direction to launch a political career, to become someone - the President of Kenya.
In 5863, of this Christian Mundane Era the following notice was published in the county of Kent ~ with due regard to the sworn testimony of God-fearing citizens, in accordance with the Lord's holy scripture, Monkey TrialCharles Robert Darwin sentenced with cum fossa et furca to be executed by drowning-pit and gallows on the morrow morning. Derelict in Bible study, and found guilty of heresy by magistrates of this good parish of Orpington.
Persuant to Holy Scripture, Genesis 1 (The Beginning) Verses 26:27 refers ~
Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground". So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
On this day of our Lord, 5863 C.M.U. Not the potter, but the potter's clay. Amen.
In 1945, Dutch Greater Zionist Resistance cell leader Otto Frank is captured with his family in Amsterdam. In the fight with New Reich police forces, Frank's cell is wiped out; the police even kill his 15-year old daughter.
On this day in 1944, the Western Allies launched Operation Anvil, their amphibious campaign to liberate southern France.
On this day in 1968, Apollo 2 was launched from Cape Canaveral on the first transorbital lunar flight in the history of space exploration.
On this day in 1971, US Army biowarfare specialist Dr. Robert Neville was summoned to the White House to debrief President Nixon on his progress with efforts to develop a vaccine against the airborne plague that was devastating the United States.
We checked the man into a hospital once we got into Austin, and I spoke with the doctor in charge at the ER. 'He's delusional, possibly from the injuries, but it's also possible that his delusions are what put him out on the road. Do you think the burns he's suffered are from exposure?'
The surgeon shook his head. 'No, they seem to be some kind of chemical burns, and they're all over him, including under his skin. It's very odd.'
'It was odder seeing him on the highway. I'm used to strange things here in Austin, but this...'
The surgeon smiled. 'Thanks for bringing him in.' He extended his hand to shake mine, and I felt a little reluctance letting responsibility for this patient go. I looked over at Francine, and she was obviously impatient to get back to our long weekend. We had done our good deed, and now the man was in the hands of people who could help him.
I shook the doctor's hand and said, 'If you need any psychiatric help, here's my card.' I took out my wallet and handed him my card.
He took it, but not with any real enthusiasm. 'We have psychiatric staff, of course.'
'Of course, of course, I understand.' Francine was standing now, my cue to leave. 'Good luck, doctor.' I walked over to her and put my arm around her shoulder.
'Couldn't let go of the patient, could you?' She was half-accusing, half-laughing at me as we walked back into the warm Austin sunlight.
I kissed her on the cheek and we steered towards our car. 'Strange cases like that are what they make books out of, dear. Now, some staff psychiatrist here gets to make a movie of the week.'
'That's all right,' she said, squeezing my hand where it draped over her shoulder. 'I'd never see you if you were working on a book in addition to your regular case load.' She jabbed me in the ribs. 'And, I hear those Hollywood starlets can't resist their doctors.'
'That's right,' I said, feeling my mood lighten up. 'Let me back in there!' I turned part of the way back and she yanked me toward her to plant a big kiss on my lips.
We spent the rest of the day as we had planned ? light lunch from the health-food store, a romantic walk around Zilker Park, some secluded time in a dark nook ? it was delightful and invigorating. But, the entire time we were there, a small portion of my mind kept thinking about Mr. Johnson from Branford, and on the drive to our hotel, I asked Francine if we could stop by the hospital and check on his condition.
She sighed at my preoccupation. 'Still thinking of those starlets, eh?'
'There's only one starlet in my life,' I said, winking at her.
She smiled and relented. 'All right. But, let's not stay too long, OK?'
'Of course not, dear.' I didn't realize how badly I was lying then.
Wikipedia entry for Jimmy Hoffa's hit by the mob ~
In 2003, the FBI searched the backyard of a home in Hampton Township, Michigan formerly frequented by Frank Sheeran, Second World War veteran, Mafia hitman, truck driver, Teamsters official and close friend of Hoffa. Nothing significant was found.
In 2004, Charles Brandt, a former prosecutor and Chief Deputy Attorney General of Delaware, published the book I Heard You Paint Houses. The title is based on a euphemistic exchange apparently used by hitmen and their would-be employers. 'I heard you paint houses.' 'Yes, and I do my own carpentry, too.' House painting alludes to the splatter of blood on walls, and 'doing my own carpentry' to the task of disposing of the body.
Brandt recounted a series of confessions by Sheeran regarding Hoffa's murder, and claimed that Sheeran had begun contacting him because he wished to assuage feelings of guilt. Over the course of several years, he spoke many times by phone to Brandt (which Brandt recorded) during which he acknowledged his role as Hoffa's killer, acting on orders from the Mafia. He claimed to have used his friendship with Hoffa to lure him to a bogus meeting in Bloomfield Hills and drive him to a house in northwestern Detroit, where he shot him twice before fleeing and leaving Hoffa's body behind. An updated version of Brandt's book claims that Hoffa's body was cremated within an hour of Sheeran's departure.
Trouble was Brant was told that Sheeran received orders from the Mafia by telephone. This was only partially correct. Both the mob and the White House had organize the execution, and naturally they had turned to their trusted allies, the Tralfamadorians. Kurt Vonngeut had described likened the aliens to Plumber's friends. Which was a good call. E. Howard Hunt and the White House team of Plumbers had forged a winning partnership with these fourth-dimensional beings.
On this day in 1939, a British expeditionary force under the command of Lieutenant General Bernard Law Montgomery left Dover to relieve the besieged British colony at Gibraltar.
In 1980, the founders of Eurythmics Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox retreated to Chalk Farm in London, using a bank loan to set up a tiny 8-track studio above a picture framing factory, giving them freedom to record without having to pay expensive studio fees.
They began to employ much more electronics in their music, collaborating with Raynard Faulkner and Adam Williams. They continued to record many tracks and play live using various line-up permutations. However, the three singles RCA released for them that year (This is the House, The Walk, and Love Is a Stranger) all flopped on release in the UK.
The band's state of affairs became critical - although their mode of operation had given them the creative freedom they desired, commercial success eluded them, and the responsibility of running so many of their affairs personally (down to roadying their own equipment) was exhausting. Lennox suffered at least one nervous breakdown during this period, while Stewart was hospitalized with a collapsed lung. The Eurythmics were finished and so was the duos relationship - Lennox and Stewart decided to discontinue their romantic liaison which had created the magic between the two. The lyrics are available at at Stllyrics.
In 1991, S.M. Stirling published The Charge of Lee's Brigade. The American colonies never broke away from the British Empire, its 1854 and Robert E. Lee leads a Virginian brigade in the Crimean War.
Since 1832 Viceroy's Commissions in the forces of British North America had been theoretically equal to the Queen's commissions in the British Army proper. 'Old School' Commander Lord Cardigan seemingly had not heard this news having a vocal contempt for all colonials.
|Robert E. Lee|
Sent into the Valley of Death, the four regiments of American cavalry were decimated by Russian artillery, witnessed by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.
So moving was the senseless slaughter, and angered by the use of the colonials as sub-human cannon fodder, Tennyson penned the immortal lines Theirs not to reason why / Theirs but to do and die.
The poem became a freedom rallying cry in the southern states. For the first time in almost a century, independence was talked about openly. The decision was free Americans, or sub-human colonials, and really, it was a no brainer that was settled very quickly. Within five years, Lee was sworn in as Confederate President in Richmond, whilst the Northern states remained within the Empire. Triangulation pressures emerged as one of the many causes of the War of the States that broke out in Lee's second term...
In 1810, British and French naval forces clash in the Channel. Several of the British ships are steam-powered, and take advantage of the superior maneuverability this gives them to pummel the French fleet, which is obliged to withdraw.
Napoleon has been interested in steam-driven ships since coming to power, and has supported French efforts to develop them. After the battle of the Channel, he will order those efforts redoubled, and will fund this work lavishly.
French naval forces approach the east coast of North America. They are under orders to wreak as much destruction as they can against key ports in Britain's American colonies.
In 1999, 5 of the original 17 madmen of Mt. Didicas land a stolen boat back on the shores of the Philippines. They carry something with them which is covered with a tarp, but is obviously very heavy. They head inland, slowly, towards an old mosque.
In 1975, the lead singer of the band Led Zeppelin, Robert Plant, is killed along with his family in an automobile crash on the island of Rhodes. With the creative and musical force of Plant gone, the band is unable to continue, and their brand of music fades with the coming of disco.
In 10-17-16-9-4, a flame in the sky lights up, and the Mayan King Tzitzilopantha says to his people, 'The gods have given me a dream, and set a fire in the sky to show me that it is they who spoke. This fire is the heart of every Maya; and the sky is the empire which we will rule.' Tzitzilopantha began a series of conquests against his neighbors, spurred on by his religious passion. By the end of his life, he controlled the bridge between the 2 great continents, and many lands alongside.
In 3877, royal astronomers use a new device that focuses light through glass prisms to make distant images sharper to observe what appears to be a bright new star in the sky. While they are unable to make very many observations about the star, their ability to see features on the moon and some of the nearby planets is a breakthrough in Chinese astronomy.
In 2093, the United Nations Commission for the Survival of Life on Earth (UNCSLE) abandons the practice of cryopreserving endangered species for future generations. Energies are re-directed at ensuring that there will be future generations at all.
In 559, Allah shone a star over Islam to show that He was well-pleased in the effort to conquer and convert the infidels. Caliph Hakim bin Suleiman said, 'Allah has given us His favor this night with His Holy Light. Let us be guided by this light in a jihad to show the infidel the path to Paradise.' From that day forward, all Islamic nations carried a star on their flags.
In 1181, a star lights up, outshining all others in the sky. The Canterbury monk's death cult, which had been preaching the doom of the world since 1178, take this as the sign of Christ's return, and expect the rapture that very evening. When it doesn't happen, half of England 'raptures' itself.
In 1798, 'as to your dream of a United States of America from sea to shining sea' - if it belongs to anybody, it belongs to the Indians who were here millenia before either of us.' ~ French American police interview of Ryan, American terrorist.
Kim Stanley Robinson published his masterful short story Lucky Strike
posing the question What if the Enola Gay crashed on a practice flight?
The 'Lucky Strike' is selected to bomb Hiroshima, but its bombardier is a sadist excited by the power of the atomic bomb. He diverts the plan to Tokyo, creating an even more horrific human catastrophe.
In 1931, little known counter-historian Winston S Churchill combined fiction and fact in his publication 'If Lee Had Won The Battle Of Gettysburg' and indulged in the quaint conceit of imagining what would have happened if some important or unimportant event had settled itself differently. In Churchill's far-fetched world, the Union and not the Confederacy wins the War of the States and the world is much changed. Using a clever coda technique, Churchill finishes the story with an alternative version of his American mother's upbringing in a victorious United States of America with the story is being dictated in 10 Downing Street.
In 1460, on this day Mary of Guelders the Queen Consort of Scotland was tragically killed by an exploding Mons Meg siege gun at Roxburgh Castle in the Borders.
Mary of Guelders killed at RoxburghKnown as "the Lion" the prized cannon had been a gift from her Uncle, the Duke of Burgundy because her husband "James of the fiery face" (so-called for the bright red birthmark that covered a whole side of his countenance) had expressed his wild enthusiasm for modern artillery. After defeating his Scottish rivals the Black Douglases, he confiscated their considerable wealth and set his sights further South.
While cultivating alliances abroad and negotiating with both the Yorkists and the Lancastrians during the Wars of the Roses, he assaulted Berwick, mounted a sally into Northumberland, raided the English-held Isle of Man and attacked Berwick again in 1457. Three years later he besieged Roxburgh Castle. Despite the loss of the cannon and the accompanying personal tragedy, his army under George Douglas, 4th Earl of Angus siezed the Castle. But it was just beginning of a long campaign that would forever change the history of the nation.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.