In 1983, on this day the Utahian State Capital was miraculously spared by the malfunctioning of a Soviet Nuclear Missile which landed harmlessly in the Great Salt Lake. A variant installment of the fabulous 1983: Doomsday thread published on Althistory Wikia.
Doomsday Spares DeseretUnder the leadership of President Spencer W. Kimball and his successors, the Commonwealth of Deseret was established as a pre-eminent survivor nation in the Mountain West of the former United States of America.
Due to the intervention of the Godhead Elohim, the Latter Day Saints made sure that Deseret became a vibrant theocracy. Because rather than simply rehabilitate the land "back to a standard of civilization" they expanded Zion Park, aiming to build an earthly paradise based upon Planet Kolob as described in the Book of Abraham (the heavenly body nearest to the throne of God).
In 1789, on this day the Massachusian John Adams (pictured) was appointed US Secretary of State.
John Adams appointed US Secretary of StateThe returning Ambassasor to France, Thomas Jefferson, had been the preferred candidate, but an exploratory meeting with George Washington had exposed some sharp differences of opinion on the role of the Federal Government. Adams was offered the position, and to geographically balance the presidential ticket, an alternate New Englander, Henry Knox became VP instead.
Eight years later Adams moved on to the Supreme Court where he served with great distinction for two decades. Meanwhile, Knox succeeded Washington, and with Alexander Hamilton as de facto Prime Minister, declared war on France in 1798 and captured Florida, Louisiana, Texas and Cuba.
It is 1955, and the monarchies have been abolished in both Britain and Greece, leaving both Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip out of a job.
Princess Gloria, Happy at Last Lizzie Windsor RebootThe resourceful Lizzie Windsor has launched a new career as a TV newscaster...but Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark has higher ambitions in mind. Like so many British noblemen before him, he has decided to trade his royal fame for an American girl's fortune.
The girl he has chosen is the equally famous Gloria Vanderbilt, who was the subject of a notorious custody battle, leading to a best-selling book with the title of "Little Gloria, Happy at Last". With her $4 million estate, he is willing to overlook her divorces from Pat di Cicco, a brutal Hollywood hood, and Leopold Stowkowski, a celebrated British orchestra conductor almost 40 years her senior.
Leopold and Gloria are divorced in 1955..and she throws herself into the British social scene. There she meets the handsome and dashing prince, who is even more alluring in his Royal Navy officer's uniform.
Soon she is Princess Gloria Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksburg...but, once again, her happiness is very short lived. One of the reporters assigned to cover their wedding is none other than Lizzie Windsor..and the bridegroom sees in her the truly aristocratic creature that his own bride could never be.
They both fight off their feelings as long as they can...but as fate would have it, Lizzie is assigned to cover Princess Gloria's ship launching, with her royal husband at her side. The newshen and the nabob are re-united there.
A whispered assignation leads Philip and Lizzie to a seedy hotel room...where another enterprising reporter abruptly ends their romance, by photographing them sneaking into the lobby. The ensuing scandal engulfs them both, as she loses her job and he forfeits his income in his divorce. After a hasty wedding, they flee to a life of seclusion at her one remaining property, the palatial Essex House.
A Hollywood screenwriter named Wyatt Cooper is assigned to tell Gloria's story in 1963...and during the interviews, they soon fall in love. This third time proves to be the charm, and they remain happily married until his death in 1978..having left a son named Anderson Cooper, who will become America's most famous newscaster. Gloria will also distinguish herself in the journalistic field, with a series of tell-all autobiographies including "Black Knight, Black Prince"..the story of her marriages to Pat and Philip.
In 1960, what would have been the first-ever televised debate among presidential candidates came under technical difficulties that cut out the visual transmission, leaving only the audio and a test pattern, leading many Americans to turn off their televisions.
Nixon-Kennedy Debate Faces Technical Difficulties Television was fast becoming the dominant medium for mass communication. By 1960, the inclusion of televisions in American households had increased some tenfold to 88%. There had been presidential debates broadcast by radio for some time, but this would be the first live coverage of presidential candidates in what would prove to be one of the closest races of the twentieth century. It was estimated that some 70 million people had tuned in for the debate, though they would be disappointed and would have to wait another week to see their candidates.
The Republicans had dominated the White House since former general Dwight Eisenhower had taken over for Truman in '53. Eisenhower's two-time vice-president Richard Nixon was now up to bat, having practically clawed his way up to the top of politics from a childhood of poverty. An economic recession had come into play, weakening the Republican grip and turning the attention to the Democratic Party's new poster boy, John Fitzgerald Kennedy. He was son of Joseph Kennedy, Ambassador to Britain before World War II and millionaire spirits-importer. Kennedy was Catholic, which proved to make many Protestants wary of a potential Vatican-dominated Washington but also bolstered the polls with many Catholics who had not participated in politics much before. Both men were young and had served in the Navy, but Kennedy had the advantage of being obviously more physically attractive.
A new story by Jeff ProvineNixon, however, proved to carry the more powerful voice. At the time of what would have been the first televised debate, Nixon had just recovered from a hospital stay due to illness while campaigning and was pale, skinny, and still looked very exhausted. Attendees took great notice at the difference between the healthy, tanned playboy of Kennedy and the frail Nixon, but when the camera transmission failed, Nixon won handily. He would continue his luck when the second debate successfully went on the air (by this time he would be plumper from his famous "milkshake diet", well rested, and use professional stage makeup) as well as the third, though Kennedy would make up ground and cause the fourth to be pronounced a draw.
The election itself would be fraught with supposed corruption. Mob influence may have pushed Cook County in Chicago to be taken by Kennedy, which nearly tilted the whole of Illinois into his favor. Further questions were raised in Texas, the home of Kennedy's would-be vice-president, Senator Lyndon Johnson. Nixon reportedly refused to point fingers, which many believed would only lead to scandal on even his own end if investigations began about election fraud, such as the conspiracy that his aides had sabotaged the televised debate that September. Key Democratic votes were taken away from Kennedy by electors calling for conservative Democrat Senator Harry Byrd, and it would be enough for Nixon to take the White House the next year.
Nixon's term would be one of international turmoil. He would grant the order for air support at the Cuban exiles' victory at the Bay of Pigs, which would begin the Cuban War that lasted for almost two years before Castro's regime fell. Tensions with the Soviet Union would be constantly high, but the fighter in Nixon refused to ever back down. He poured resources into the American space program, paving the way for a Moon landing by the end of the decade. The Berlin Wall went up, strengthening the Iron Curtain, but Nixon would be instrumental in opening relations with the People's Republic of China, tilting the balance of world power into a wider mix than simply NATO against the Warsaw Pact.
While people debated his "soft on communism" approach, Nixon would continue to be popular and ever more so after his sudden assassination in Dallas while campaigning in November of 1963 with hopes of securing Texas for his next election. His vice-president Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr, would fill out his term and continue Nixon's international diplomacy with East Asia after his own election in 1964. Nixon is routinely ranked among the most loved of American presidents.
In 1983, the correct identification of an American First Strike by a Soviet orbital Missile Early Warning System was transmitted to the Serpukhov-15 bunker near Moscow where it was dismissed as a computer error by duty officer Lieutenant Colonel Stanislav Petrov.
Ruse of WarNATO had been set to launch a ten-day command post exercise known as "Able Archer 83" which was to incorporate a new, unique format of coded communication, radio silences, participation by heads of state, and a simulated DEFCON 1 nuclear alert.
On the eve of the exercise, the Soviet Union committed an unmistakeable act of war by shooting down South Korean civilian airliner Korean Air Lines Flight 007 over the Sea of Japan, killing all 269 passengers and crew aboard including Lawrence McDonald, a sitting member of the United States Congress.
As a result, President Reagan decided to use the exercise to obscure preparations for a genuine nuclear first strike. Ironically, KGB director Yuri Andropov had anticipated this move by creating Operation RYAN, a Soviet intelligence operation that monitored the likelihood of an American-led nuclear first strike against the Soviet Union. However the Ryan Planners had failed to anticipate that a duty officer would disregard two early warnings and compound the error by failing to report the matter to his superiors.
In 1777, acting upon the orders of General Howe, British regulars and Hessians mercenaries burned the City of Philadelphia to the ground before marching to the support of John Burgoynes forces to crush the Continental Army at Saratoga and effectively end the American revolution.
Let Freedom RingThe ruthless decision to destroy, rather than occupy was sound from a military perspective given that it mirrored the revolutionary's strategy of rapid movement. However there was another factor in the decision and that was the complete breakdown of the very structure of colonial society in the city. His horror at the gross misbehaviour he witnessed was shared in equal measure by the revolutionary leaders who had set up the Continental Congress, the de fact Republican Government in Philadelphia. James Warren spoke of "degenerate days", Alexander Hamilton labelled American behaviour "vile" and "vicious", Samuel Adams saw a "a torrent of vice [running through our new country".
"I mean the corruption which prevalent in so many American hears, a depravity that is more inconsistent with our republican government than light is with darkness" ~ John AdamsThe republican leaders had not anticipated that the rebellion would shatter deference to authority. "The Apppetites, Passions and Habits were a more dangerous army to American Liberty than Mr Howe's" proclaimed John Adams. But the renegades who had held the upper hand in Philadelphia had a very different concept of freedom that involved adultery, binge drinking, all night partying, racial integration, wild dancing and loud music. Howe's army entered a city in which there was an alcohol-serving tavern for every one hundred citizens. This "astonishing libertinism" was growing like wildfire in the American cities of New York, Charleston and Boston, encouraged by the pirates who frequented the port city.
Of course burning Philadelphia did not solve the problem, because the Revolution had taken its own direction by now and messrs Howe, Burgoyne, Adams, Hamilton, Washington et al could only watch in horror as American society embarked upon a new future that they could never have imagined in their small dispute over colonials rights to the historic privileges of Englishmen.
By 1983, the Cold War stood as the United States and Soviet Union armed each with far more missiles than needed to wipe out all life on the surface of the Earth. There would be no winner in World War 3.
Petrov Pushes The Button Both sides knew that the best they could hope was to destroy the other as brutally as they themselves were destroyed. Key to this idea of "mutual assured destruction" was finding out as quickly as possible that the other side had launched, thus enabling missiles to fire back before being destroyed in their silos.
While the US had its own systems, the Soviet Union developed the Oko satellite system to give early warning about missile launches. In 1982, the project was unveiled and declared ready. Detection happened within thirty seconds, leaving ample time for counterstrike, provided crews and leaders were ready at any time for launch.
A new story by Jeff ProvineIn the fall of 1983, political intelligence was on edge. The Soviets had shot down a South Korean airliner that had violated their airspace, killing 269 civilians, many of them American, including U.S. Congressman Larry McDonald. Although the diplomatic fires had been nearly put out, both sides were anxious, especially the Soviet Union with the seemingly gun-happy American President Reagan. Soon after, NATO began exercises in Able Archer 83, which simulated escalating conflict and a first-strike nuclear release. The matter was not strictly related, but the KGB did not want to risk the exercise being a cover for preparation to attack the Soviet Union.
Just after midnight on September 26, Lieutenant Colonel Stanislav Petrov (pictured) was on duty when the Oko system's computers reported a launch from the United States headed toward the Soviet Union. It was a single missile, and a nuclear attack would certainly be all-out, so Petrov noted the alarm but decided to declare it false. When more launches began to be detected, Petrov became nervous. Five missiles were now headed at the Soviet Union, and it was his duty to report. In a hurried decision, he called his superiors with the news.
Moscow immediately surged into activity. Panicked, sleepless people began to question the fallibility of the new system as well as their own lives, which very well could be at their ends. Land-based radar would not pick up incoming missiles until minutes before they arrived, leaving scant time to launch the counterstrike. With only slight information, the order to attack was given.
In reality, the missiles were glitches within the Oko system. This would not be determined until the next morning, long after the strike on the United States. In what had been the evening hours, the Americans were hit in major cities and military bases. Millions were vaporized as they sat down to dinner. The American systems had detected the launches, and so their own counter-assault began, slaughtering millions more in Russia. Electromagnetic interference destroyed most communications, leaving the rest of the world in frozen wonder at what had happened. As news came to light over the day, it was obvious that the worst had come.
Trade winds picked up the fallout, spreading it through the northern hemisphere. Europeans tried to flee en masse, which turned the entire continent into a war zone. For months, survivors would suffer radiation poisoning and widespread destruction simply trying to escape. Nothing remained of the vast continents of North America, Europe, and north Asia except deadly wastelands filled with wreckage that could not be harvested for years or centuries.
The southern hemisphere fared better, but fear, material shortages, and famines during the long Nuclear Winters would cause the deaths of billions more. Australia and South Africa led the nations of the British Commonwealth in restoring something of world order around the Indian Ocean. Much of their resources would be spent harboring refugees and helping to end the trauma of the millions poisoned in India. Meanwhile, Argentina stepped up as leader of South America, uniting the countries around it in fascist extremism. Enemies of the state were banished to northern Brazil, where the edge of livability was a horrid fringe of disease, famine, and death.
On this day in 1971, entertainment legend Elvis Presley was shot and killed defending his Graceland mansion against looters.
In 1970, newly installed Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston blasts antiwar congressional candidate Father Robert Drinan for 'overstepping the proper boundaries of his calling as a priest of the Catholic Church' by running for the House seat of Rep. Philip J. Philbin. The cardinal makes clear that he regards Drinan's opposition to the conflicts in Cuba and Southeast Asia 'contrary to the clear teachings of the Church in regard to the threat posed by atheistic Communism' and, while stopping short of demanding that Drinan abandon the race, urges 'all loyal sons and daughters of the Church' to vote for his opponent.
|Sean O Malley|
Cardinal O'Malley's comments inspire a sharp editorial rebuke in the next day's Boston Globe. 'Ten years ago,' it reads in part, 'a Catholic political candidate was forced to defend himself against charges that, if elected, he would take orders from his church. John F. Kennedy succeeded in defusing the issue, and went on to become president of the United States. Cardinal O'Malley's intrusion into the political contest between Father Drinan and Rep. Philbin threatens to reignite this controversy by suggesting that high officials of his church feel that politicians of his faith should in fact take orders from Rome. This, in our opinion, serves the interests neither of American democracy nor of the Catholic Church.'
In 1914, Germany wins battle along the Vitula River against Russia and starts talks with Polish nationalist for establishment of a Polish nation after the war.
In 1975, the gender-bending sendup of 1950's B-Movies, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, rocketed into American theaters. The outrageous farce blew away American cultural mores and made fish-net stockings very popular. In spite of (or perhaps because of) numerous protests by religious groups across the country, the film made $90 million at the box office.
In 1960, Comrade President Joel Rosenberg and Socialist candidate Lyndon Johnson of Texas engage in the first televised presidential debate. Johnson appeared distinctly uncomfortable with the cameras, where the Comrade President, who had been in front of cameras for years, appeared very relaxed. On substance, they were evenly matched, but on appearance, Comrade Rosenberg scored an easy win, just as when he carried the polls in November.
In 1889, German philosopher Martin Heidegger was born in Messkirch, Germany. Heidegger was one of the most vocal of Richard Tolman's followers, and wrote many papers on the subject of parallel universes crossing over into our own. Heidegger disappeared mysteriously in 1941.
In 1235, Isvar Chandra Vidyasagar, one of the most beautiful writers in the Hindi language, was born in Birsingha in the Caliphate of Midnapore. Although his writings skirted blasphemy of the Prophet, his work was so beautiful that he was not only allowed to keep his head, but the Caliph made him a court poet.
In 1774, Jonathan Chapman, known by the popular name Johnny Appleseed, was born in Leominster, Massachusetts. Even as a young man, Chapman had a love for growing things, and this served him in good stead when he was made the longest-serving Minister of Agriculture for the North American Confederation. He served from 1811-1836.
In 2007, the Musee du Luxembourg in Paris has withdrawn a major exhibit of work by the Mannerist Giuseppe Arcimboldo (1525-1593), famous in modern times for his brilliant paintings of people. The surreal imagery was seriously distressing a very large percentage of the visitors, who complained of super-amplified nightmares for weeks afterwards.
In 1907, New Zealand and Newfoundland each became an integrated part of metropolitan France within the French Union. The significance of the loss of these territories from France to Britain was revealed upon the surrender of France in 1940. Suddenly, both Australia and the United States had borders with satellite states of Vichy France, forcing those nations to make urgent engagement decisions. Had they not, Britain would have faced Hitler alone and thus the early loss of Colonies was in the famous words of Winston Churchill 'a cloud with a silver lining'.
Sir Francis Drake circumnavigated the globe, establishing himself as the sixteenth century role model for the Draka
, an aggressive militaristic slave-owning society. As described by historian S. M. Stirling, during the American Revolutionary War, the Netherlands declared war on Great Britain, resulting in the loss of its Cape Colony. After defeat in Revolutionary War, the Loyalists settled in the new Crown Colony of Drakia (later, the Dominion of Draka) in South Africa.
a paperback version of What If Booth's Bullet Had Killed Lincoln?
was published. In Fern Bryant Fadness dystopian world, the process in U.S. history known as Reconstruction goes awry. When both the Confederacy and slavery were destroyed, attempts to resolve the issues of the American Civil War are largely reversed by Lincoln's heirs. In this dramatic short story the Civil Rights movement is delayed by forty years to the 1960s, and Jesse Jackson never gains the White House.
Colonel T.E. Lawrence wrote in his diary - 'The people of England have been led in Palestine into a trap from which it will be hard to escape with dignity and honour. They have been tricked into it by a steady withholding of information.'. Some of that information had been withheld from Lawrence himself. Ned could remember very little of the Battle of Meggido. This was partly as a result of unfortunate resonances from revisiting Deraa
a week before to launch an irregular attack on the Turkish Eighth Army's supply lines.
In 1396, on this day the Danubian fortress of Nicopolis fell to an allied army of Hungarian, Wallachian, French, Burgundian, German and assorted troops (assisted by the Venetian navy).
Crusade of Nicopolis ends in TriumphThree years earlier the the Bulgarian tsar Ivan Shishman had lost his temporary capital, while his brother, Ivan Stratsimir, still held the Danubian port town of Vidin but had been reduced to an Ottoman vassal. A lurid description of how forty-thousand Turks despoiling and imperiling Christian lands was enough to secure the support of Charles VI. Acting in the self-appointed role of "chief of the Christian kings" he rallied the French nobility, filling the gap in Papal authority that had arisen from the schism in the church.
But of course he was only able to make such a commitment because of favourable timing, having recently secured a peace with England through the marriage of his daughter. And even more fortunately, the French nobility were able to persuade him to take siege equipment with them. Because Charles VI and his advisors had wildly underestimated the determination of the defenders, foolishly believe that siege ladders would be sufficient to complete the task. Perhaps he was overconsumed by the spirit of a chivalrous adventure, but the pride and vanity of the French King could have fatally undermined the glorious Crusade of Nicopolis.
In 1897, on this day writer and Nobel Prize laureate William Cuthbert Faulkner was born in New Albany, Mississippi.
Texan FaulknerHis father Murry had hoped to inherit and then run the family railroad business, but when that was sold, he became demoralized and sought1 a new start for his family by moving to Texas and becoming a rancher. They arrived in the Lone Star State four days before his fifth birthday, and he resided there on and off for the remainder of his life.
During his childhood, his mother introduced him to the classics, and he focused almost exclusively on poetry writing until 1925 when he started to write his eponymous classic novel Under a Texan Sky. Based in the fictional town of Jefferson, the declining fortunes of the Sartorious Family are a reflection of the Southern character in the difficult years following the Civil War. In particular, he explored the sense of nostalgia for the refinements of aristocratic lifestyle that the Faulkners had once enjoyed in Mississippi. Of course the book is the inspirational source for the 1939 blockbuster movie starring Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Leslie Howard, Olivia de Havilland and Hattie McDaniel.
Elected a member of the American Academy of Arts in Letter, then in 1949, he received the Nobel Prize. One year later he received the Howell's medal for the best work of fiction, and then the Pulitzer Prize in 1955. Faulker died in 1962, aged sixty-four.
In 1775, on this day an invasion force led by Colonel Ethan Allen crossed the St Lawrence River and forced the Governor-General of Canada Sir Guy Cartleon to abandon British Montreal.
The Fall of Montreal
Ethan Allen's Big AdventureThe British Force in Montreal was pitiful, comprising only thirty-four regulars and a handful of Mohawk Indians. But more tellingly, over one-third of the population were merchants and their employees originally from New England. Carleton's approach to gaining the support of the merchants was to threaten to burn down their warehouses full of furs and wheat if they refused to defend Montreal.
This clumsy attempt to encourage the townspeople to join the militia as "shirtmen" was caused by his own deployment misjudgements. He had started the war with just seven hundred regulars in the combined 26th Cameronian Regiment of Foot and the 7th Royal Fusiliers. But Allen's victories at Ticonderoga and Crown Point had reduced this force, which was then divided to defend Fort St John in the south-east.
Allen commanded the largest paramilitary force in British North America. But in truth only the eight-nine soldiers of the Green Mountain Boys from Vermont were the equals of the King's troops. This fact was unknown to Carleton, who was panicked by the size of the invading force which numbered in the hundreds. And last minute negotiations (including a desperate final offer to pay volunteers half a Portugese silver Johanna a day) were interrupted with the news that Allen's force had reached the suburbs of Longue-Pointe, less than two miles away.
In retrospect, we can see that Carleton was bluffed by the boldness of Allen's plan. His decision to bypass the Forts of St. John and Chambly accelerated the invasion by as much as two months, just enough time to capture Quebec before a northern winter could ruin General Washington's pincer movement.
This article is part of the American Heroes thread.
In 1066, on this day an invading Norwegian force led by King Harald Hardrada of Norway defeated an English army under King Harold Godwinson at the village of Stamford Bridge, East Riding of Yorkshire.
Battle of Stamford BridgeThe Anglo-Saxon Advisory Council known as the Witenagemot had no choice but to offer the English throne to Harold's estranged brother Tostig. He had only arrived in the country nineteen days before, landing in northern Yorkshire to fight the Earls of Mercia and Northumbria alongside Harald III Hardrada. At their meeting in Winchester, the wisemen foresaw that the worst case scenario was that England would be partitioned into areas of Anglo-Saxon and Viking interest with territory north of Leicestershire would be governed by the Danelaw.
But just three weeks later, the Normans landed unchallenged at Hastings in East Sussex and started marching northwards towards London. Their leader was William Duke of the Normans, a military genius who made imaginative use of the arrow, crossbowmen and light horse and he swept all before him. It was a bold tactic that neither the Anglo-Saxons nor the Vikings had an answer to because their common shield wall tactic proved ineffectual. It soon became clear that England would have a third monarch from a different ethnicity in the space of just one month.
In 1901, on this day General Sir Arthur James Lyon Fremantle, GCMG, CB died at the age of sixty-five in the Squadron's headquarters in Cowes Castle on the Isle of Wight.
Death of a TouristHe was a British soldier, a member of Her Majesty's Coldstream Guards, and a notable British witness to the Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War. Whilst holding the rank of "Captain and Lieutenant Colonel" he served as an official representative of the United Kingdom.
His death (caused by complications arising from asthma) led to the publication of a secret diary which included a report of his birdseye view of the Lee-Longstreet dispute which appeared to settle the the postwar Gettysburg controversy.
In the event Fremantle supported the Longstreet account of meetings with Lee that he had presented in published writing. He asserted that he had opposed the offensive movement but accepted it once Lee assented to fight a defensive battle when the two armies collided. "All that I could ask was that the policy of the campaign should be one of defensive tactics", Longstreet stated in his memoirs, "that we would work so as to force the enemy to attack us, in such a good position as we might find in his own country, so well adapted to that purpose - which might assure us of a grand triumph".
The revelation was a vindication to the family of the late Confederate President James Longstreet.
In 1971, following the stroke he suffered two days before, twelfth Confederate President Hugo LaFayette Black died at the age of eighty-five.
Hugo L. Black
12th Confederate President
March 4, 1927- 1933He was the youngest of the eight children of William Lafayette Black and Martha Toland Black. He was born on February 27, 1886, in a small wooden farmhouse in Ashland, Alabama, a poor, isolated rural Clay County town in the Appalachian foothills. Because his brother Orlando had become a medical doctor, Hugo decided at first to follow in his footsteps. At age seventeen, he left school and enrolled at Birmingham Medical School. However, it was Orlando who suggested that Hugo should enroll at the University of Alabama School of Law. After graduating in June 1906, he moved back to Ashland and established a legal practice. His legal practice was not a success, so Black moved to Birmingham in 1907 to continue his law practice, and came to specialize in labor law and personal injury cases.
A new article from the "Two Americas" thread on Althistory WikiaHe was elected to the Birmingham City Commission in 1911, serving as a police court judge, an experience that would be his only judicial experience prior to the Supreme Court. In 1912, Black resigned that seat in order to return to practicing law full-time. He was not done with public service; in 1914, he began a four-year term as the Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney.
Three years later, during World War I, he resigned in order to join the Confederate Army, eventually reaching the rank of captain. In 1921, Black would gain popular attention by defending E. R. Stephenson in the trial for the murder of Fr. James E. Coyle.
Black would first serve as the twelfth president of the CSA before going on to become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the CSA. As in our time line, he would be a textualist when it came to the CS Constitution. For this reason, full civil rights of black Confederates was not possible until after his death in 1971.
In 1690, on this day the oldest multi-page newspaper in North America, Publick Occurrences both Forreign and Domestick, began its life as a humble four pages of six inch by ten inch paper (one page blank for readers to write their own news and hand around).
Publick Occurrences begins its Eternal Publication Printed by Richard Pierce, the newspaper was published by Benjamin Harris, a well known publisher who had also done a paper in London but England in 1686 with the uprising of the Catholics under James II. Shortly after settling in America, Harris opened a coffeehouse and published the New England Primer, the Colonies' first textbook.
Single-sided newspapers had been printed for some time in Massachusetts, and Harris decided a new business venture in newspapers would be profitable. He would publish monthly, commenting on the significant happenings i.e., the news, though the early journalism was nearly gossip. One news article told of atrocities performed by Indians who were political allies of Britain, which became treated as seditious libel despite its truth. Shortly after its first edition, the government stepped in with a proclamation:
A new story by Jeff Provine"Whereas some have lately presumed to Print and Disperse a Pamphlet, Entitled, Publick Occurrences, both Forreign and Domestick: Boston, Thursday, Septemb. 25th, 1690. Without the least Privity and Countenace of Authority. The Governour and Council having had the perusal of said Pamphlet, and finding that therein contained Reflections of a very high nature: As also sundry doubtful and uncertain Reports, do hereby manifest and declare their high Resentment and Disallowance of said Pamphlet, and Order that the same be Suppressed and called in; strickly forbidden any person or persons for the future to Set forth any thing in Print without License first obtained from those that are or shall be appointed by the Government to grant the same".
Harris was shut down and briefly jailed. Everyone that knew him assumed he would turn back to the safer business of textbooks, but something had pushed Harris too far. He had fled England fearing government, and yet government had found him in Boston as well. If he backed down his whole life, he may be outwardly successful, but he could not call it a life well lived. Overtly, he continued his publication of the Primer and maintained a good life. Covertly, he prepared the second edition of Publick Occurrences.
Printed in late October and handed out on the street, the paper contained editorials as well as selections from John Locke's Two Treatises of Government, emphasizing the social contract and stating that men gave rights to the government and not the government to men. Further pages quoted John Milton's Aeropagitica, a tract against censorship written in 1644, with lines like "as good almost kill a man as kill a good book. Who kills a man kills a reasonable creature, God's image; but he who destroys a good book, kills reason itself, kills the image of God, as it were in the eye". The newspaper ended with another blank page excepting a line at the top from Milton, "Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties".
Though Harris had printed secretly and at a loss, the paper spread quickly through Boston and spilled into the rest of Massachusetts Colony. Furor arose from the liberty-minded colonists, especially as Publick Occurrences became known in Rhode Island where religious suppression had hurt many. The government hurried to destroy what copies they could find and jailed Harris again, though they had no proof that it was his paper.
Harris was acquitted when a third edition of Publick Occurrences was printed in November, quoting John 8:32, "The truth will set you free". The press had gone underground, as Harris had planned knowing that he would be arrested again, where it funded by donations from colonists who picked up the free copies. Unable to stop the paper, the government cracked down upon those who hated it, which caused uproar from even those who did not approve of printing without a license. After years of investigations and fruitless arrests, the colony finally removed its requirement for license in 1694.
Having won freedom of the press, Massachusetts went through a newspaper boom and bust. Harris made and lost a great fortune, returning to comfortable income with his coffee shop, textbooks, almanacs, and Publick Occurrences. He decided to stay in Boston, where he died in 1716. While most of his estate went to his son, he purchased a farm that he bequeathed to what would become the Publick Occurrences Foundation to maintain printing the newspaper for "aeternal publickation" with its harvests.
Publick Occurrences continued to report on all of the news of the day, helping to spark the American Revolution in 1775. It remained something of a "subversive" newspaper, speaking out against the War of 1812 as well as the Mexican War as outright imperialism. A new golden age broke out for the paper during and after the Civil War, but then it became largely drowned out by papers during the turn-of-the-century wars between Pulitzer and Hearst. The paper nearly folded during the 1930s, printing only a handful of copies per month. However, as American mood changed to oppose the Nazis, the strong words of Publick Occurrences began the war cry. Its popularity would fade again as the radicalism of the Sixties subsided.
In 1990, to celebrate the beginning of its fourth century, Publick Occurrences launched online the developing Information Superhighway. The re-branded PO quickly added electronic forums to its digital publication, allowing for the voice of all. Other newspapers and websites emulated the system, soon beginning a craze for individuals "pubbing" short articles with observations, opinions, and links to sites, photos, and video.
I 1066, på denne dagen, tok slaget ved Stamford Bridge sted ved landsbyen Stamford Bridge, East Riding of Yorkshire i England mellom en engelsk hær under kong Harald Godwinson og en invaderende norske styrkene ledet av kong Harald Hardråde av Norge (og den engelske Kongens bror Toste Godwinson).
Harald the ConquerorEtter en sta kamp, var kong Harald sammen med sin bror Toste drepte og den engelske hæren beseiret.
Kampen har tradisjonelt vært presentert som symboliserer slutten av vikingtiden, men faktisk større skandinaviske kampanjer på de britiske øyer skjedde i de følgende tiårene, spesielt de av kong Svein Estrithson av Danmark i 1069-1070, og kong Magnus Berrføtt av Norge i 1098 og 1102-3.
In 2009, in a press release on this day from Virtual Self Inc., CEO Dr. Lionel Canter confirmed that surrogate technology would be ready in time for the disabled athletes competing at the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London.
Click to watch the Movie Trailer on Youtube
Human PerfectionWheelbound himself, Canter invented surrogates in order for disabled people to lead a physically active life.
During the early part of the decade, Canter won a bitter board room battle with company directors who sought to commercialise the universal application of the technology. Human perfection. What could go wrong?Their ubiqituous vision sought to offer surrogates to all humans who could live a cyber-life inside a perfect human form.
However cultural and moral issues raised by the so-called "Human Coalition" caused such an application to be banned by the US Congress. In the compelling words of the head of the Human Coalition known as "The Prophet", VSI would in effect cause people to "live a lie".
In 2007, on this day nationalist extremist Steve Harper was arrested in his native city of Calgary.Dystopian Visionary charged with un-Canadian activities
Never far from controversy, Harper was charged immediately after he delivered a key-note speech in this most-American of cities. Describing a dystopian future vision of a "middle power on the world stage", ruling Liberals denounced Harper's Party, the National Citizens Coalition for un-Canadian activities.
"The moral majority recognize the power and progressive force for good Canada must be on the world stage in such critical times" said Premier Jean Chretien.
In 1770, Charles Cornwallis replaced William Pitt as the Lord Protector. Already in office as Lord President was Oliver Thurloe, 3rd Vicount Oxford. Both men skinned the American colonies for all they were worth.
Founding of the American Commonwealth by PJYA rebellion against this exploitation broke out in 1774. The Continental Congress convened and stated that there could be no taxation without the agreement of the Continentals themselves. As such, the Fourteen Colonies of Plymouth (roughly corresponding to Massachusetts), New Hampshire (New Hampshire plus some of Massachusetts and New York), Aquidneck Island (roughly Rhode Island), New Haven (Connecticut), Susquehanna (some of southern New York, most of Pennsylvania, some of Mayland), New Guernsey (New Jersey), Delaware (roughly the same as OTL), New Netherland (New York but with lots of territory cut off), Potomac (Maryland renamed), Virginia (same), Raleigh (North Carolina and some of South Carolina), Cromwell (South Carolina), Georgia (roughly the same as in OTL but named after Monck) and Quebec.
The war between Britain and the Continentals lasted four years, with France, Spain and the United Provinces backing them up. In the end, William Pitt became Chancellor again and was charged with ending the war. Despite frantic negotiations and efforts to bring the Americans back into the Empire, Pitt had to agree to let them go in 1778 or risk a prolonged and expensive war.
The breakaways formed the American Commonwealth or the "Confederated Commonwealths of America".
When the French Revolution began in 1785, opinions in Britain are mixed. Some wish to aid fellow revolutionaries while others wish to see the French suffer.
On this day in 1968, the South Vietnamese government assumed ownership of the former headquarters of the U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam in Saigon.
Following Vietnam's reunification in the early 1970s, the building would become the site of a new cadet training school for the post-Cold War Vietnamese army.
In 1960, on this day the New York Daily News printed a story about a write-in campaign to elect John Lindsay the new mayor of New York City; the story noted that this campaign had been gathering momentum since Lindsay's September 3rd speech to Congress.
On this day in 1944, Allied troops in Holland entered Amsterdam amid heavy German resistance.
In 1978, Californians were surprised to Governor Ronald Reagan's statement reprinted in the San Francisco Chronicle of September 24. 'The Gipper' was stating his convictions on California Proposition 6 or Proposition 6, more commonly known as The Briggs Initiative, an initiative on the California State ballot. Sponsored by John Briggs, a conservative state legislator from Orange County, the failed initiative would have banned gays and lesbians from teaching in California's public schools.
The Briggs Initiative followed similar legislation that had passed in Oklahoma and Arkansas, banning gays and lesbians from teaching in public schools. It stated that any teacher that was found to be 'advocating, imposing, encouraging or promoting' homosexual activity could be fired.
It was opposed by then-President Jimmy Carter. There were many 'gay Republican' groups and organization through the country beginning in the '70s. The most prominent of these, in 1977 California, founded Log Cabin Republicans, as a rallying point for Republicans opposed to the Briggs Initiative, which for a time was winning in polls conducted prior to the election with about 61% of voters supporting it while 31% opposed it. It was the first attempt to restrict gay and lesbian rights through a ballot measure.
The timing is significant for Reagan because he was then preparing to run for president, a race in which he would need broad support. As Lou Cannon (Reagan biographer) puts it, Reagan was 'well aware that there were those who wanted him to duck the issue' but nevertheless 'chose to chase the swing voter.'
Despite the legend, student worker, Grant Grays, at the Tretter Collection in GLBT Studies at the University of Minnesota Libraries discovered that there was no editorial penned by Reagan but rather he sent a letter to a pro-Briggs Initiative group in which he supported the initiative. The entire text of Reagan's letter of opposition was never printed in the public media. The most extensive excerpts from his statement were reprinted in the San Francisco Chronicle of September 24, 1978 where it was revealed that the future President supported the Briggs Initiative.
Reagan's actual letter allegedly stated, in part, 'Whatever else it is, homosexuality is not a contagious disease like the measles. Prevailing scientific opinion is that an individual's sexuality is determined at a very early age and that a child's teachers do not really influence this.' Assuming this is true, this was a remarkably progressive thing for a politician, especially a conservative one about to run for president, to say in 1978.
The Briggs Initiative was passed on a marginal vote, it was even close in Briggs' own Orange County. Its sponsors cited Reagan for the victory.
In 1066, at Stamford Bridge, Norwegians expecting Norman reinforcement from the continent are instead betrayed as Saxon King Harold's army is reinforced by the Normans. Although it cost Harold several choice coastal territories, Norman aid allowed him and his successors to keep invaders from Saxon shores for centuries.
In 2008, Chief Information Officer of Pappy's Barbeque Texas Chicken, David E. McGeek sent a status to the executive board. The recent round of redundancies was to be regretted. However, having stripped the company of 'fat', Pappy's had a lower cost platform to meet the fierce challenge from new competitors in the obesity food market. 'We're a lean, mean, keen machine' announced McGeek proudly.
In 1981, the first woman justice took her seat on the People's Supreme Court of the Soviet States of America. Comrade Justice Shirley Chisholm had long been a champion of the people in her native New York, and continues the fight on the people's highest court.
In 1952, quintessential action hero Christopher Reeve was born in New York City. Although classically trained at the prestigious Julliard School of Performing Arts, he made his name mainly in popular hero movies, such as 1978's Superman and its sequels, 1987's The Running Man and Rambo, and 1990's Total Recall.
In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson collapsed and died of a stroke while on a speaking tour to tout the League of Nations. His vice-president, Thomas Marshall, is sworn in as the 29th President of the United States of America.
In 1913, Dynamic Pictures scores another coup by signing comic film star Charlie Chaplin to an exclusive deal. Chaplin, possibly the finest comic talent in silent film, stars in and produces over 80 films for Edison's company.
In 1066, at Stamford Bridge, Norwegians slaughter the forces of Saxon King Harold and move southwest to assume control of most of the Saxon lands of England. They, in turn, are swept back across England by Norman forces invading from the continent a few days later.
George Zebrowski published Let Time Shape
. The counter-factual masterpiece examines the possibilities of Columbus finding the Turtle Island populated by indigenous first nation Americans and not
the technologically sophisticated descendants of refugees from Carthage. However, there is twist; the indigenes carry a lethal cocktail of diseases that wipe out the budding European colonists.
scientists investigated a significant fresh impact crater in a remote part of Siberia. The cause was presumed to have been caused by meteoroid or perhaps a 50-100m comet nucleus. Kosmopoisk sent an expedition in May 2003 led by V. Chernobrov which reached the presumed impact point about 50 km from Vitimsky settle point. The situation there looked similar to that of the Tunguska river after the Tunguska event
in 1908. Snow and water samples were analysed and found to contain an abnormal amount of tritium, as well as radioactive isotopes of cobalt and caesium. The led a trail to the actual settle point, where they discovered a scene straight out of H.P. Lovecraft's novel the Old Ones
Colonel T.E. Lawrence made a memorable entry in his diary. One that codified for futuure generations the nagging doubt he had felt since the Battle of Meggido. An event which had already left his memory, partly as a result of unfortunate resonances from revisiting Deraa
a week before to launch an irregular attack on the Turkish Eighth Army's supply lines.
In 1869, Grant Holds onto Federal Gold. The great expense of the Civil War and Reconstruction had prompted the federal government to pay expenses with bonds backed by credit alone. With such patriotic times, the public had no worry trusting the government to repay the bonds with gold upon maturity, solidifying not only the government's books but also its good name.
Grant Holds onto Federal GoldSpeculators, however, saw a chance to make off with millions of dollars in the market. James Fisk and Jay Gould led a group of investors in cornering the gold market, buying up every ounce they could collect. The price of gold shot up, topping a 30% increase in less than a year. Meanwhile, Fisk and Gould came into contact with Abel Corbin, President Ulysses Grant's brother-in-law, who took them into Grant's social circle. There, they argued against sale of federal gold (saving it for rainy days and continuing the controversial use of greenbacks), planting the seeds of thought into Grant's head. Corbin, meanwhile, brought in Daniel Butterfield, a former general, as a suggested assistant to the Treasury. Grant agreed to his appointment, and Butterfield promised to give advance word of the inevitable sale.
A new article by Jeff ProvineAccording to biographers, Grant became wary of the issue of gold sometime around September 20. Initially, he was outraged by men attempting to profit out of the shadows, but Corbin (who himself was deeply invested in gold) convinced the President that it would be for good. The businessmen could use the money to invest and diversify, which would help the general economy by building more infrastructure and capital. The wealth would "trickle down", and it would help the average American overall by providing jobs and wider markets. Grant begrudgingly and bewilderedly agreed.
Speculators made millions by selling just before the announcement of the huge federal sale. By the time the gold was sold, the government earned a significantly smaller amount than they would have and was forced to sell more to make the dollar-benchmark set. Word gradually went out about the sale and enraged the populace. Already fed up with the paternal system of back-patting among engrained Republicans as well as the "moiety" through which bureaucrats became wealthy, such as Tax Commission Officer Chester A. Arthur of New York making a salary of $10,000 while receiving upwards of $50,000 from kickbacks and trimming underling's salaries for granting choice assignments.
Scandal rocked the Republican Party, and an investigation led by Congressman James A. Garfield of Ohio indicted the president. Grant resigned, and the new President Schuyler Colfax prompted Congress to dismantle the political corruption known as the "Era of Good Stealings".
In 1645, on this day on this day their hard-fought victory at the Battle of Rowton Heath enabled Royalist forces to relieve the besieged port city of Chester.
Royalist Victory at the Battle of Rowton HeathThe victory was made possible by the link-up with the forces of Marquess of Montrose which had become an imperative after the main Royalist army had been destroyed at the Battle of Naseby. But the decisive factor was the accidental discovery that the Parliamentarian Commander Sydnam Poyntz and a huge force of three thousand horse had pursued King Charles (pictured) when he order the march on Chester, desperately needing to relieve his only remaining port.
The result, a decisive victory for the Royalist cavalry led by Commanders Marmaduke Langdale and Lord Bernard Stewart, was a dramatic reversal of fortune for the beleagured House of Stuart.
In 1948, on this day the Soviets successfully detonated a prototype nuclear bomb, codenamed First Lightning. This would herald a new phase in the relations between the Soviets and the Allies.
Operation Solstice #3
By Steven FisherTensions had been rising between the two ever since the Potsdam Conference, when the Allies had refused to hand over land that had been assigned to the Soviets during the Yalta Conference. The change had been brought about by Russian setbacks during the German Operation Solstice, which resulted in Patton seizing Berlin, and the Allies liberating Prague before the Soviets. Stalin had been furious over this, but he realized that the Soviet Union was not ready to fight the Allies yet. The USSR had been devastated in the war against the Nazi's, and the damage needed to be repaired before they could confront the Allies openly.
The alliance of convenience between the Allies and the Soviets had quickly collapsed after the end of World War 2. Conflicts had quickly flared up between communist and democratic factions around the globe. Wars had begun in the divided Korea, in Greece, and had resumed in China. Overt support by democracies in the form of military forces had been balanced by covert Soviet aid to communist factions by sending them weapons, and dispatching "volunteers" to warzones to help communist factions.
The nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War 2 sent a bold signal to the Soviets. It showed Stalin that the only way the Allies would have no qualms about using nuclear weapons against him in the event of war. To counter this, he accelerated the Soviets nuclear bomb program, pouring funds into it, and supplying it with information stolen from the Americans. This enormous effort paid dividends, and the Soviets finished their prototype in late 1948. With their efforts successful, the Soviets began producing a large stockpile of nuclear weapons, to counter the Americans.
Conflict would loom in late 1949, as the Communist forces of Mao Ze Dung drove Chiang Kai Shek's Kuomintang off the mainland. It would be coupled with the beginning of US efforts to develop the hydrogen bomb. A mutual defense pact between the USSR and China, coupled with the outbreak of pro-communist riots in France, and the formation of NATO and the Warsaw Pact, brought tensions to the forefront. On April 9, 1950, Stalin would send an ultimatum to NATO, demanding the turning over of the land forming the Soviet occupation zone as per the Yalta Conference. The American refusal was accompanied by an upgrading of alert status, and the mobilizing of reserves. It is to be the spark for World War 3
The whole thread is available at the Operation Solstice.
In 2001, in a televised address from the Oval Office US President Sandra Day O'Connor confirmed that it was an ad hoc civilian militia who seized control of United Airlines Flight 93 and crashed the Boeing 757 into the headquarters of the Federal Reserve on September 11th.
Lets RollThe perpetrators were acting under the false conviction that the Federal Reserve System was somehow transferring wealth from the poor and middle classes to a shadowy group of international bankers that wanted to own America, said the President.
But most alarming of all was a sound recording taken from the cabin which revealed reluctance to break into the cabin and overpower the pilots. But at this late stage an unidentified man with a commanding voice rallied the perpetrators with the calm, but firm words "Are you guys ready? Lets Roll".
Because it was precisely this form of devolved power sharing, this lawlessness in the American pysche that Federalists had fought ever since the beginning of the Republic, most decisively in John Adams razor-thin victory in 1800.
In 2010, on this day at the international athletes village in Delhi, a positively beaming Prince Charles was pleased to report that the royal couple had enjoyed an excellent night's sleep interrupted only by their tremendous excitement for the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
Royal Thumbs UpThe Games Village was located on the floodplains of Yamuna which had been flooded by the River Delhi during the recent monsoon season. The unavoidable result was a series of catastrophic construction delays which had threatened the whole event. Worse, the last minute urgency to throw labour at the problems had raised the spectre of security threats, as had the temporary accomodation for athletes in nearby hotels.
Advanced parties of the commonwealth nations described the state of the Games Village as uninhabitable, drawing an unfortunate comment that the accomodation would be to Indian, rather than Western standards.
"[you] afforded us the strength to move forward" - her brother Earl SpencerA number of athletes withdrew their participation, with the full support of elected politicians who raised unhelpful questions about the original decision to run the Games in Delhi. Members of the organising committees added further unnecessary emotion by suggesting that last minute rushes were a way of life in India, and suddenly, the divide between the haves, and the have nots appeared wider than ever. Ironically, the condition of the accomodation would have been considered palatial to the Indian masses who live in crushing poverty due to the unfair trade policies of Western Governments.
Fortunately, the situation was transformed by the arrival of the one person with the emotional intelligence to bridge that gap, Princess Diana. Walking freely amongst the poorest members of Indian society, and delighting so many with the warmth of her touch, the "Queen of Hearts" turned the page of history. Click to watch the Eulogy on Youtube
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.