In 1809, Captain Meriwether Lewis rested at the "Grinder's Stand", an inn on the Natchez Trace, seventy miles south-west of Nashville, Tennessee.
Meriwether Lewis Defeats Muggers, Redux By Ed, Scott Palter and Jeff ProvineAfter leaving dinner, he retired only to be savagely attacked in his bedroom. He managed to drive off the unidentified muggers, but immediately discovered that they had made off with the journals that he was carrying to Washington, D.C. for publication.
Of course not long after his death in 1846, the "secret journals of Capt. Lewis" appeared. This narrative of the Lewis and Clark Expedition described the Corps of Discovery finding giants, the fountain of youth, and a tribe of "nearly white, blue-eyed" Indians descended from Prince Madoc of Wales.
Clearly at odds with the known facts, this account was of course a naked challenge to westward expansion. Conspiracy theorists suggested that the muggers were agents sent by the Federal Government to cover-up the truth of advanced indigenous civilization predating Columbus, but mainstream historians  suggested that too many people had traveled westward with Lewis and Clark for such revelations to be concealed.
In 1976, on this day the reputation of the American tyrant King Washington was partially restored by his posthumous appointment to the grade of General of the Armies. The appointment was by congressional joint resolution Public Law 94-479 and approved by the President of the Republic, Ronald Reagan.
All Hail King WashingtonThe unexpected coronation of King Washington was forced upon the General by the imprisonment of the Contintental Congress at a particularly low moment in the fortunes of the patriot cause. And of course the Continental Army had been chronically under-supplied due to the slow collegiate style decision-making processes of that body. Therefore the assumption of power in itself could be justified (or at least, excused) on the rational basis of both expedience and also fate.
And also chance. To ensure continuity of government, Washington had verbally agreed to become Life-term President of of the Continental Congress (the final name of this post was up for discussion and might have been either Cromwellian - Lord Protector of the American Colonies - or in the spirit of the times, even Roman Classical). But at this juncture, the British sprung a second surprise by offering to buy-out the Officer Corps. The take-it-or-leave-it never to be repeated deal was essentially a cessation of hostilties in return for back-pay for the Continental Army and local autonomy as a proto-dominion. Washington took the deal, terminated the French Alliance (a decision that resonated with the Continental Army) and then double-crossed the British.
Of course many patriots feared that an Army takeover was a killer blow for liberty, and events were soon to prove them right. During the heavy-handed response to the Whiskey Rebellion, he saw fit to personally lead an army to Western Pennsylvania where he was killed in action. But during the next two centuries, historians took a more measured view of his executions actions, and the result was a consensual decision to recognize his unquestionable military accomplishments during the War of Independence.
In 1937, on this day Adolf Hitler, a forty-eight year old disabled veteran of the 16th Bavarian Reserve Regiment was placed under arrest by political officers of the Munich Soviet.
The Plot Against GermanyHis reactionary piece of subversive artwork Dolchstoßlegende (a Wagnerian image of Hagen murdering his enemy Siegfried with a spear, hence "The Stab in the Back") was deemed a hateful, inciteful expression of Prussian militarism and therefore an offence to Communist Party doctrine. Because Herr Hitler, and indeed a considerable number of his fellow veterans, believed that the Kaiserreich had been betrayed by civilians on the home front, the so-called November Criminals.
But of course the imprisonment of Herr Hitler was part of a larger crackdown across Germany with lower ranking Stalinist forces attempting to seize power from Chancellor Ernst Thälmann. This second turn of the revolutionary wheel was of course being engineered by the Soviet Union, with November Criminals themselves being slowly forced out by the Comitern.
In 1973, on this day the sonar operatives of the USS Coontz detected "whooshing" sounds coming from a Soviet Yankee Class SLBM submarine in the North Atlantic Ocean.
World War III by David AtwellThe American commander had made a mistake in weapons control, as unbeknownst to the captain, the weapon's officer had taken off all "safeties" as according with the procedures under actual DEFCON 2. Thus, although the captain of the American destroyer assumed that nothing would happen combat wise, & even though he gave a firing order, he expected the usual drill to take place. But, because of the real DEFCON 2 conditions, & not that of a drill, the Coontz actually fired.
Within seconds of the captain's order an ASROC torpedo was launched, via its rocket phase, towards the location of the Soviet nuclear submarine. Panic soon took over the crew of the Coontz as they realised that for once they had actually fired a live weapon. To make matters worse, the sonar operator told the captain that he could hear noises coming from the Yankee boat. These were of a "whooshing" sound.
Fearing that the Yankee had fired torpedos at the Coontz, its captain ordered a 180 degree turn & flank speed. As the American destroyer was doing this, however, attention on the ASROC soon gave way to far more important things. As the crew watched the water, large missile after missile started to break the surface, fired its engines, & rose high into the sky. And so 16 nuclear armed missiles were on their way to the United States.
A Chapter from Hell on EarthIt only took a matter of moments before NORAD knew something was wrong. Early warning satellites picked up the launch of 16 missiles north-east of Iceland. Knowing full well that the Soviets often had their SLBM submarines in the area, it was not hard for NORAD to know who these missiles belonged. What was more, the Coontz quickly reported their encounter with the Soviet Yankee, but deliberately left out the fact that it was they who fired first thus provoking the response. This would be dealt with later. But for the moment, as far as anyone knew, the Soviets were trying a sneak attack in order to wipe out the United States ability to retaliate.
Nixon was made aware of the situation within a minute after NORAD became aware. As a result, Nixon was quickly moved from the White House to Air Force One. From there Nixon would be able to conduct World War III. The only problem with this arrangement was that, with Nixon on the move, ten vital minutes would go by before anything important could be done. And, far more importantly, it meant that the "hot phone" between the leadership of the two countries could not be used in an attempt to really understand the other side's situation. As a result, the Soviets had no idea of what had happened in the North Atlantic only a few minutes ago.
Time was now wasting away, although not for everyone. NORAD confirmed, using secondary measures, that 16 SLBMs were heading for the United States. Yet, as far as anyone really knew, a further 595 SLBM missiles, in other words the entire Soviet SLBM force, could also be heading their way. Interestingly enough, though, NORAD staff wondered why the entire Soviet ICBM force of 1462 missiles were doing nothing out of the usual. Nonetheless Nixon, cut off from the rest of the country & Kissinger, with only information coming in from NORAD, had a dreadful decision to make. Either let the US suffer a horrible attack, on the chance that this might be an awful mistake, or retaliate with everything America had.
In the end, Nixon waited until America had five minutes before being hit. With NORAD pushing him all the way, he finally relented ordering a full retaliative strike. Within a minute, the orders went out from NORAD to bases around America & elsewhere. Not long afterwards, America's arsenal of 1 000 Minuteman ICBMs started to shoot from their silos & were heading towards the Soviet Union. Not long afterwards, 650 SLBMs likewise flew into the sky from numerous American submarines. America was going to make the Soviets pay dearly for their "sneak" attack.
As said, the leadership of the Soviet Union had no idea that their Yankee Class submarine had launched the first salvo of deadly missiles first. And, due to the fact that the ASROC torpedo of the Coontz actually hit & sank the submarine in question, meant that it never even got the chance to report the situation. As a result, the first thing that Brezhnev knew of the predicament was when the Soviet Rocket Forces commander hastily phoned Brezhnev telling him that a massive missile launch had taken place, by the United States, & that these missiles were heading towards the USSR.
Unlike Nixon, though, Brezhnev did not have to think about matters much. All he asked was for the Soviet Rocket Forces commander to confirm, without doubt, the missile attack, which he did two minutes later. For Brezhnev that was enough. Without hesitating, he gave the order for the Soviet Union to counterattack. As a result, 1 462 ICBMs & 550 SLBMs were fired at the United States within five minutes of Brezhnev orders. Not longer afterwards, Brezhnev was taken to the Russian Presidential bunker, not far from Moscow, never to be seen or heard of again.
In the meantime, everyone forgot about Israel & the reasons which caused the Nuclear War of 1973.
Read the whole story on the Alternate History web site
In 1809, on this day Meriwether Lewis defeated some Muggers. The life of Meriwether Lewis had taken a sour turn. Growing up in rural Georgia, Lewis had found a keen mind in natural history and skills as an outdoorsman. After graduating from university at Liberty Hall and joining the Virginia militia, he joined the American military formally in 1795 as a lieutenant.
Meriwether Lewis Defeats Muggers Lewis would serve there for six years until being hand-selected as an aide by President Thomas Jefferson, where he would comment on political matters from the military's point of view. In 1803, he would begin his most famous project: the expedition to the Pacific along with his former fellow soldier, William Clark and the Corps of Discovery.
A new story by Jeff ProvineUpon their successful return to civilization in 1806, Lewis and Clark were hailed as heroes. Clark was made an agent of Indian Affairs and led militia in Missouri, including several campaigns in the War of 1812. Lewis, meanwhile, received a reward of 1,600 acres of land and appointment as Governor of the Louisiana Territory. He settled in St. Louis, where his administration met with mixed success. While he made great progress in the fur trade and road-building, the pressure of settlers against Indian uprisings as well as the inanity of politics and slow mail drove him to drink heavily.
In 1809, issues arose with his expense reports to the War Department, and questions of abuse of power were reviewed. Lewis set out for Washington to absolve these issues, at first planning a boat trip from New Orleans, but then deciding to go overland along the Natchez Trace. On October 10, he and his servants stopped at Grinder's Stand, an inn some 70 miles from Nashville.
He was agitated from the stress of his administration and the weight of arguing his case for expenses. The innkeeper's wife, Mrs. Grinder, would describe him as talking to himself, as if practicing conversation with a lawyer. He excused himself from dinner and retired early, though he was unable to sleep. After midnight and under the influence of a good deal of drink, he finally began to rest, but a noise startled him as robbers were infiltrating his room. He jumped to stop them, grabbing his pistol from its holster and firing.
By a great miracle, the charging Lewis dodged the robbers' counterattack except for a bullet that pierced his left arm. Much of their attention was drawn to a whiskey bottle he had thrown in their direction, which broke and emptied. He shot one in the leg and bludgeoned the other with the butt of his gun, causing them to flee into the night. Just after they left, he caught Mrs. Grinder's watchful eye peeking through the wallboards. Lewis summoned his servants and decided to leave immediately.
Facing what may have been his death, Lewis suddenly felt reinvigorated. His position as governor had stifled him, whereas it was nature that kept him strong. He vowed never to drink again and would conjure the image of the broken whiskey bottle whenever the urge struck him. Rather than staying in inns, he led his servants on an expeditious hike, following the trail but seeking new way stations hinted on the map. He arrived in Washington before expected and used the time for an appointment with President James Madison.
In an hours-long talk with Madison, Lewis resigned his position as governor and set forth a plan: a renewed Corps of Discovery aimed at furthering exploration and establishment of trails for effective settlement and, more importantly in his opinion, exploitation of natural resources. Madison approved, and the Department of Discovery would be later created under act of Congress. While the political matters were settled, Lewis sold land to pay his debts to the War Department and began to write in earnest to edit and publish the journals of the original Corps of Discovery. Money gained from the publication was routed into accounts to further Lewis's dream. Later publications would contribute to the financial success of his expeditions.
Lewis would direct the Corps until his death while attempting to navigate the Grand Canyon in 1841. His direct contributions to the natural history of the West would serve as a great foundation for the later work of botanists, biologists, and geologists. Indirectly, his efforts through the Discovery Department enabled the construction of the intercontinental railway in 1857 as well as the managed rushes to discoveries of mineral wealth being translated into established cities, navigable and irrigated waterways, and roadways that would enable the fast transport of goods and soldiers throughout the West.
Jefferson, while writing about Lewis in a letter, would sum him up effectively as, "A man made for planning but not for rule".
In 2010, on this day Britain entered a fresh political crisis after David Cameron rejected Nick Clegg's demand for an additional three Cabinet Ministerial Posts in the Coalition Government just one day after the British electorate voted overwhelmingly to endorse the Alternative Voting System (AVS).
The Cameron FormulaDuring the formation of a "strong, stable and legitmate" Government back in May, Cameron had devised an imaginative formula for the division of powers. As a result, almost half of Liberal Democrat Mps had received a Whitehall appointment, and Nick Clegg became Deputy Prime Minister. Effectively, the Parliamentary Party had been bought off.
However, in seeking to drive a harder bargain, Clegg had engaged with paralell talks with Gordon Brown. The fear of a Progressive Coalition being formed by Labour and the Liberal Democrats forced Cameron to up his "big, open and comprehensive offer". And as a deal-sweetener, Cameron went the "extra mile" by offering a referendum of AVS.
Cameron and Clegg had agreed to maintain the Coalition up until 2015, a full Parliamentary session. However the problem was that in the small print of the deal, Liberal Democrats could campaign independently during European and Local elections and so party politics remained a reality. And many Liberal Democrats were eager to fight a General Election under AVS in the expectation of at least doubling their number of Parliamentary seats. Such an outcome, would of course dramatically imbalance the Cameron formula because it would upgrade the Liberal Democrats to full partners.
In 1996, Neil Jordan's epic movie "Michael Collins" premiered on this day.
The Big Fellow by Gerry Shannon & Ed.In an Oscar-winning performance, actor Kevin Costner played the role of one of Ireland's most revered historical figures. Collins, also known as "the Big Fellow" was at the forefront in the fight for independence from Britain in the years 1919 - 1921, and would go on to play a leading role in the subsequent Irish Free State over the next five decades. The film covers much of the pivotal events in Collins' life over the course of three hours, including the War of Independence, his friendship with the first Irish Taoiseach, Arthur Griffith, and Collins' near-death as a result of an assassination attempt in his native Cork during the Civil War. Collins would eventually recover and be part of several cabinets in several governments led by the Fine Gael party.
The second half of the film deals with two of Collins' main achievements as Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) from 1937 - 54, and it's President from 1955 - 64. 1) Uncovering the existence of several child abuse scandals in the Roman Catholic Church, shocking the Western world and damaging the institution's grip on Irish society for the better and 2) Building strong social and economic relations with the Unionist government of the partioned Northern Ireland state, which text before the credits reveals ultimately paved the way for reunification of the country in 1969.
Though Jordon is criticized for embelishing several legends and myths surrounding the man who virtually created the Irish Free State, (particularly the suggestion Collins personally oversaw the execution of Irish republican Eamon De Valera in 1922), there is consensus the director had great foresight that Costner who had previously starred in "Robin Hood:Prince of Thieves", was the man to portray this catalyst of the Irish nation's history, this Irish Lawrence of Arabia, even it's Lincoln...
In 1985, on this day the Republic of South Africa finally acceded to a request first raised by the African National Congress (ANC) on its formation some seventy three years before in 1912; a representative of the white minority government would sit down with the ANC leadership to discuss the country's future together. And appropriately enough, if not with some irony also, that representative would be the gentleman to whom those letters had been addressed, the Minister of "Justice". The current incumbent was Mr Kobie Coetzee, "a small, chirpy fellow with big-framed glasses the air of of a small-town real-estate lawyer" was also in charge of prisons which of course was the only place he could meet the ANC leadership during the late apartheid era.
The TroublemakerMostly out of curiosity, and certainly not at his own suggestion, Coetzee had been ordered to the meeting by his boss, the "Great Crocodile", President P.W. Botha. Just six months before, Botha had offered prison release on the sole pre-condition that the ANC leadership renounce the arm struggle. With over 850 people dead from the political violence sweeping the townships this year alone, national opinion polls demonstrated that just about the only issue the combatants agreed upon was that the country was most assuredly heading for civil war. White people (who could afford to) were leaving country in a hurry, and so Botha ordered the meeting with little optimism, but short of other options.
"He [Mandela] was clearly in command of his surroundings"If Botha's main emotion was pessimism, Coetzee's was abject fear. The man he was to meet with was the "world's most famous, least known prisoner", Mr Nelson Mandela, whose Xhosa name Rolihlahla means "The Troublemaker". A former boxer that had developed serious muscles working under cover as the "gardening boy" David Motsamayi at the Littleleaf Farm in Rivonia, Mandela had a truly dominating command presence. And whilst at Robben Island, Mandala had continued intense physical training in his prison cell.
At six feet one, Mandela towered over Coetzee, who couldn't help but notice the ANC leader still wore his Che Guavera style beard. Adopting an erect posture, and without inclining his head, Mandela extended his arm through a single movement of the socket of the arm and shoulder. "Meet my honour guard" said Mandela, introducing the terrified Coetzee to his prison wardens.
On this day in 1958, the Oilers began looking for a suitable location on which to build their home arena, a proposed 40,000-seat facility to be called Harris County Fieldhouse.
On this day in 2010, Vice-President Sarah Palin appeared on 'Meet the Press' to denounce Hugo Chavez's refusal to back off his threat to invade Guyana.
On this day in 1944, People's Court chief judge Roland Friesler was killed during an American air raid on Berlin when his courtroom took a direct hit from a 1000-lb. high explosive bomb.
On this day in 1941, the German defenses around Strogino collapsed, enabling the Red Army to retake the city.
|Red Army insignia|
On this day in 1981, Ken Patera defeated Harley Race in a match televised on World Championship Wrestling to win the NWA United States singles title; on that same WCW broadcast Rick Rude & Bad News Allen beat Wahoo McDaniel & Brad Armstrong to become the #1 contenders for the NWA world tag team championship.
On this day in 1970, the Dallas Cowboys notched their fourth straight win of the 1970 NFL season with a 14-point shutout of the Atlanta Falcons.
In 1984, vice-presidential contenders John Glenn and Jack Kemp square off in a debate in Philadelphia. Neither candidate is judged to have committed any major gaffe or landed a knockout blow against the other. Kemp is considered far more charismatic than Glenn, but the former astronaut projects an air of quiet integrity.
The most dramatic moment of the debate comes when Kemp is questioned about his past advocacy of returning America to the gold standard to bolster the economy: Glenn, borrowing a phrase first used by George H. W. Bush against Ronald Reagan, calls this notion 'voodoo economics.' Kemp, however, recovers nicely, stating that the gold-standard proposal is only one of a number of actions he would consider as president to stabilize the dollar.
On this day in 1950, the Preacher's Corners city council unanimously approved a resolution ordering the removal of Philip Boones name from the city courthouse and the citys main street.
In 1979, after conferring with Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Ambassador to Iran Richard Helms and several other top advisers, President Nelson Rockefeller decides to allow the exiled Shah of Iran to come to the United States for medical treatment. The President's decision is sharply criticized by many people, both as an affront to the new regime in Tehran and because the Shah himself, a notorious autocrat, is deeply unpopular. Among the sharpest voices raised against Rockefeller's decision is that of Massachusetts Senator Edward M. 'Ted' Kennedy, who is widely expected to run for president himself in 1980.
In 2007, television networks re-ran footage of Elton John's performance at a ceremony of thanksgiving for Prince's release at St Paul's Cathedral. He sung 'Joy to the world, joy to all the boys and girls now, joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea, joy to you and me'. This highly appropriate and catchy tune dominated the British charts for three months.
In 1914, a cease fire on the western and colonial front is announced. 'We have the possibility of a peace on our continent in reach, we don't ask our youth to get there life in the balance when we are talking about peace. From 11.00 hour London time the guns on both sides of the front will cease fire and we will talk like civilised nations about the possibility of peace!'
In 1981, a young singer from Minnesota, Roger Nelson, opens for the Gathering Moss at their concert in the L.A. Coliseum. Moss lead singer Mike Jagger is so taken with Nelson's performance that he offers him an album deal. The album produced, Erotic City, is banned in many communities as obscene; this only furthers its sales everywhere else.
In 1975, dissidents W. Jefferson Blythe and Hillary Rodham married in the Arkansas Soviet. Jeff and Hill committed acts of aggression against Americans across the southeast during their career as counter-revolutionaries, trying to raise support for their capitalist cause. They were ultimately caught and sentenced to death in 1992.
In 1975, NBC presents a live late night comedy show on Saturday entitled, appropriately enough, Saturday Night Live. Although the comic talents of Corny Chase, Mimi Kennedy, John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd were brought into the project, no audience was found for the show, and it was cancelled in the first season.
In 1923, the German economy rounded a corner as the deutschmark rises to 2 billion to the dollar. Within a year, the mark restabilizes at 100 to the dollar, and Germany is out of its depression. Many in their society had feared that the economic instability would cause support to grow for fringe political elements, but there was no longer any fear of that. The Weimar Republic became one of Europe's leading democracies in the decades that followed.
In 1100, Pyotr ibn Alexei was named Caliph of Russ. The young Caliph, barely 17 years old, was strong in the faith, and Allah rewarded him well. He reigned for 36 years, and put half of Asia under the benevolent rule of Islam.
In 2007, the London office of Reuters reported that more than 130 Muslim scholars from around the globe called on Thursday for peace and understanding between Islam and Christianity, saying 'the very survival of the world itself is perhaps at stake'. In an unprecedented letter to Pope Benedict and other Christian leaders, 138 Muslim scholars said finding common ground between the world's biggest faiths was not simply a matter for polite dialogue between religious leaders. 'If Muslims and Christians are not at peace, the world cannot be at peace. With the terrible weaponry of the modern world; with Muslims and Christians intertwined everywhere as never before, no side can unilaterally win a conflict between more than half of the world's inhabitants,' the scholars wrote. 'Our common future is at stake. The very survival of the world itself is perhaps at stake,' they wrote, adding that Islam and Christianity already agreed that love of God and neighbour were the two most important commandments of their faiths. Relations between Muslims and Christians have been strained since the Frankish defeat at the Battle of Tours in 742 AD, consolidating Arab hegemony in Europe.
Nikola Tesla wrote a letter to U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt urging the study of Tunguska Impact Event
for military purposes because the Third Reich might well be developing a singularity as well. Roosevelt formed a committee to investigate and granted Dr. Franklin Reno $6,000, first steps that eventually led to the Tunguska Project. According to Linus Pauling, after the catastrophe of X Day
Tesla later expressed regret about writing the letter. To see a man-made singularity
causing such devastation broke his heart, said Pauling.
Albert Einstein and his former student Leo Szilard, a Hungarian physicist wrote a letter to U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt urging the study of teleportation
for military purposes because the Third Reich might well be developing the super weapon as well. Roosevelt formed a committee to investigate and granted Dr. Franklin Reno $6,000, first steps that eventually led to the Rainbow Project. According to Linus Pauling, after the catastrophe of X Day
Einstein later expressed regret about signing the Szilard-Einstein letter.
In 1995, the hanging of Ogoni activist Ken Saro-Wiwa on the orders of the Auta Tribunal resulted in the immediate suspension of Nigeria from the Commonwealth of Nations. It was an event with only a single precedent - tthe Suez Crisis of 1956. That disgraceful act of conspiratorial imperialism had resulted in the UK's expulsion from the Commonwealth.
In 1928, exactly twenty-four years after the Dogger Bank Incident brought Great Britain into the Russo-Japanese War, the beginnings of a functional Chinese state threatened the status quo in the Far East.
Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek named director of the State CouncilBecause the fall of the Tsar had created an Anglo-Japanese hegemony, an unlikely alliance of two sea-faring island nations that permitted the Royal Navy to redeploy its resources elsewhere safe in the knowledge that British Colonial possessions were un-threatened. Part of that redeployment of armed forces would eventually be used to defend the home islands from the rise of nationalism in Europe. And of course this turn of events was somewhat iconic, given the emergence of a nationalist strongman in China - "Generalissimo" Chiang Kai-shek. A discipline of Dr Sun Yat-sen, he saw China as the natural regional great power, seeing long-term opportunity by stepping into the vacuum left by the Tsar.
Although they failed to grasp that China was a civilization rather than a nation, the imperial governments in London and Tokyo did realize that they had a serious problem on their hands. The tried and tested solution was of course sowing disunity inside China. By process of elimination, a review of possible options was short-listed down to just feasible one - clandestine support for the opposition. This was funnelled through a minor military official called Mao Zedong, a dynamic individual who eventually emerged as the most influential leader of the Communist Party of China.
But despite this development, Chiang launched the so-called Republican Era, pressing ahead with a rebuilding programme based upon the principles of military rule, political tutelage, and constitutional rule. Before too long, it became apparent that in Peking the dragon seeds of World War Two were being sown by the "Red General".
In AD 19, in the Syrian City of Antioch a dastardly attempt by Tiberius' chief advisor, Sejanus to orchestrate the poisoning of Germanicus Julius Caesar was intercepted by the General's vigilant subordinates.
Germanicus wins out in SyriaHe had been sent to Asia to defeat the kingdoms of Cappadocia and Commagene and turn them into Roman provinces. But during a sightseeing trip to Egypt (not a regular province, but the personal property of the Emperor) he unwittingly usurped several imperial prerogatives. And he subsequently discovered that the governor of Syria, Gnaeus Calpurnius Piso, had canceled the provincial arrangements that he had made. Germanicus in turn ordered Piso's recall to Rome, although this action was beyond his authority.
The resulting conspiracy was quickly traced to Piso who later died while facing trial. This suspicious suicide prevented Germanicus from proving that Piso had acted under orders from Tiberius, but no matter because the General returned to Rome to proclaim himself Emperor.
In 1770, on this day in Frankfurt am Main, the Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel dismissed his Jewish financier, Mayer Amschel Rothschild (pictured). His duties had included the arrangement of funding for Hessian mercenaries, a highly lucrative business that would expand rapidly after the French Revolution.
An article from Robbie Taylor's Protocols of the Elders of Zion thread.
At the Sign of the Red ShieldBorn in the Frankfurt ghetto known as "Judengasse" (Jew Alley), the Rothschild ancestry traced back to the name of their family house zum roten Schild ("at the sign of the red shield"). Mayer Amschel was one of eight children of Amschel Moses Rothschild and his wife Schönche Rothschild née Lechnich.
His father had a business in the trade of goods and currency exchange and eventually became a personal supplier of coins to the Prince of Hesse. The family home above the shop had a front wall only eleven feet wide, where more than thirty people lived at that time. From this location, Mayer began to slowly rebuild his business career. He established a dealership in rare coins, largely recovering his reputation by his death in 1812. By then Hessian mercenaries were being transported in very large numbers to British North America. But by a quirk of fortune, the Rothschild's were drawn back into that business at the request of Astrid Pflaume. The architect of the Greater Zionist Resistance Movement (GZR), she had traveled back through time to create the enemy that the Nazis had always imagined. And of course, she needed a suitable financier.
All of Robbie Taylor's novels are available for download at Amazon.
In 113 AH, the defeat of the Frankish army at Tours (now Limotas, capital of the Emirate of Firanja) marked the final few years of existence for the Carolingian Kingdom, beset as she was by external pressures and domestic quarrels.
Charles Martel Loses the Battle of ToursAlthough the Umayyah Host was greatly overstretched by the battle, the death of Martel during its the final stages robbed the Frankish Kingdom of her final elements of a centralised authority. By the time that Commander Al Ghafiqi, buoyed by the victory, had reorganised his military strategy and mounted a formal conquest of the region by the Caliphate, Paris was already aflame as various local princelings fought for the leadership of northern Christendom.
The expansion of Al-Andalus to the border with the Province of Austrasia resulted in a major shift in the Christian world towards the north-east. The Frankish King, Theuderic IV was freed from his captivity by supporters and was finally able to re-establish his court in Mainz by the end of the next year, although he was to die shortly after, perhaps poisoned by one of his many rivals. His successor, Carloman I, was able to sign a peace with Al Ghafiqi at Cologne, although it would take many years before the Kingdom was able to formally settle the boundary between the Caliphate and Christendom at the Rhine. By 136 AH, the year in which both Carloman and Al Ghafiqi died, the Papacy, under pressure from the growing threat of naval blockade and invasion from the increasingly Umayyah dominated Bahr al-Rum had moved to Cologne. Following the Treaty of Aachen in 155 AH, the Papacy formally united with the Frankish Kingdom to become the Holy Roman Empire, inspired no doubt by the spiritually minded system of the Caliphate in Damascus.
Such imitation failed to preserve the Catholic bulwark against Islam however, over the next three centuries, the Italian Kingdoms and Central Francia had both been absorbed into what is now the Emirate of Roma. Only the dynastic struggles that emerged with the death of the final Umayyah Caliph, Umar V in 367 AH, halted the expansion of the Empire, which was irrevocably split into the six nations that exist to this day. Whilst the Caliphate was formally passed to the greatest of the successor states, Cordoba, all are nearly as large as the territory of the largest Christian nation, the militaristic Empire of Brandenburg which continues to dominate the Christian world.
The Papacy, thrown into a period of interregnum following the death of Pope Celestine V in 578 AH, now has its base in the Anglish capital of Winchester. King Henry XI holds the office of Holy Britannia Emperor co-currently with his own crown, although the position has become a largely sinecure one over the years with the majority of Christians looking towards the Orthodox faction of the Catholic Church which has its base in Great Kyiv. As 1431 AH draws to a close, it is the new Hua Dynasty that remains the dominant rival towards the Caliphate.
In 1973, on this day the Soviet Union prepared to ship four nuclear tactical weapons to Egypt just in case Israel resorted to the nuclear option one more time.
Time of The Diplomats by David AtwellKissinger had just arrived in Moscow. The talks which followed, though, clearly indicated that the Russians would get involved if Israel detonated any more nuclear weapons. Brezhnev never said what this involvement would be, but it was enough for Kissinger to know that several Soviet airborne divisions had been put on alert according to US atellite imaging. Clearly the Soviets were being serious as far as Kissinger was concerned. And this he conveyed to the Israelis the next day.
A Chapter from Hell on EarthBehind Kissinger's back, however, the Soviets were already involved. This would not have surprised Kissinger much, as it was already well known that the Syrians & Egyptians were using Soviet equipment. In fact the Americans also knew that there some 5 000 Soviet advisers in Egypt whilst Kissinger was in Moscow. What the Americans did not know, until the next morning, was the fact that the Soviets were prepared to ship four nuclear tactical weapons to Egypt just in case Israel resorted to the nuclear option one more time.
Thus, in these circumstances on 10th October, Kissinger arrived in Israel to try to do a deal with the Israeli's. Meir & Dayan were keen to met with Kissinger, but they were far more interested in getting American arms & not talk peace. Having said that, if Israel could regain lost territory, whilst not firing a shot in anger, this was completely acceptable to the Israeli Prime Minister. But one event would soon put this to an end. An American satellite, passing over Cairo that morning, spotted a Soviet Air Force cargo plane at Cairo's international airport. It was not, however, the plane which caught the American's attention, but the tell-tale radiation signs of its nuclear cargo.
News spread fast at the American Defence Intelligence Agency. Actually it went too fact. Although Israel would completely deny any such allegation, unlike the Soviets, the Israelis had been able to place a handful of spies high up the American military chain of command. Thus, not long after the discovery of the Soviet nuclear payload, word was sent to Israel. Thus, whilst Kissinger & Meir was discussing peace terms, which were acceptable to both, the war was about to escalate.
Thus, as a matter of course, the Israeli military viewed their attack on Cairo airport as a military & not a political decision. And this was besides the fact that, whilst it was known that Meir & Dayan were busy negotiating with Kissinger, it was likely that the Egyptians, & above all Soviets, would never expect such a outlandish attack.
Hence, at around midday Israel time on 10th October, a whole squadron of Skyhawks, escorted by a squadron of Mirage III fighters, left their air force base & headed out towards the Mediterranean Sea. From there the twenty Israeli planes turned to a course parallel to the coastline, all the while staying at a very low altitude. They did this until they were opposite the Nile Delta, off the coast of Egypt, & then turned inland heading directly towards Cairo. The Egyptians got about half a minute warning before the Israeli's attacked. But within a minute, the Soviet cargo plane, & its important cargo, was destroyed. The Israeli Air Force had done its job well, losing only two planes in the attack. Alas the Soviet reaction would be for the worse.
Read the whole story on the Alternate History web site
In 1471, on this day King Christian I secured Danish Rule over Kalmar Union. The Kalmar Union had formed thanks to the complicated intermarriages of Scandinavian royalty. Margret I of Denmark married Haakon VI of Norway (son of Magnus IV of Sweden and Norway), meaning that their son Olav had direct claim to the crown of Denmark and Norway as well as a strong bid for Sweden.
Christian I Secures Danish Rule over Kalmar Union Olav's young death meant that the crown would be given to an elected regent, who nearly always was Danish. While many Swedes balked, soldiers and fear of growing German power kept them in line. In 1397, the union was made formal by the Treaty of Kalmar, which created what hoped would be eternal united strength for all Scandinavia under one crown.
The crown passed from Margret of Denmark to Eric of Pomerania and back to John of Denmark. The Swedes struggled under Danish rule, specifically upset over routine wars against southern Baltic nations, disrupting trade and keeping valuable Swedish iron ore in storehouses. A new story by Jeff ProvineAll-out revolt sparked the Engelbrekt Rebellion, which ejected Danes from Sweden as new ideas of democracy were creeping in. The peasants were willing to fight for something they could call their own, and such a power base gave rise to election of Sten Sture the Elder. War broke out between his forces and the Dane-favored older aristocracy, prompting Christian I of Denmark to step in with Danish regulars and German mercenaries.
Their armies met at Brunkenberg, just north of Stockholm. Sten planned a pincer movement with his lieutenants: Sten would sweep in from the west while Nils Sture attacked from the forest on the northeast and Knut Posse marched from the city itself. Christian marched into the trap and suddenly found himself surrounded.
In the midst of battle, a musket ball hurled toward Christian's face, and he moved slightly enough for it to graze his cheek. The terror of near-death gave way to a feeling of powerful courage, as if God had given him a sign to cast out the rebels. He rallied his troops and began a charge toward Klara monastery, where some of his men had been cut off from the rest of the army. The other Danish forces held while Christian routed Nils and regrouped with the lost regiments. They moved from the north toward Sten, flanking him and causing his loyal army of farmers and miners to break under Danish might. When word spread that Sten had been killed in battle, the movement crumbled, and Knut Posse's army surrendered after considering a desperate defense in Stockholm.
The Battle of Brunkeberg would prove to be a great emblem for the Kalmar Union. Christian spread propaganda about his victory and commissioned sculptor Bernt Notke to carve a statue of Michael the Archangel slaying demons that had rebelled against Heaven. Refocusing Swedish economic policy toward autocracy, he squelched the growing ideals of democracy and reaffirmed Denmark as the leader of the Scandinavians. Wielding the might of the Kalmar Union, the Danes would gradually conquer southward and come to hold the Baltic Sea as their own.
Denmark would further its sphere of influence with great victories in the Fifteen Years' War (1618 to 1633), bringing about the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire and the establishment of free states within the Germanies and much of the Protestant north under their political sway. France, Spain, and Austria would unite against the growing Protestant threat over the next century in a series of wars that would ultimately lead to the forced breakup of the Union. They would attempt a new, more covert Holy Roman Empire under the guise of diplomacy and pitting Swedish, Danish, and Norwegian princes and dukes against one another for the next century.
During his conquests of Europe, Napoleon would reestablish unity for each of the people groups, but keep them under separate, hand-chosen kings. Disunited, but finally at peace, the Scandinavians would prosper greatly as they caught up to latter parts of the Industrial Revolution.
In 1918, on this day Germany won World War I. As a preliminary matter, we should note that the actual outcome of the First World War was a near thing, a far nearer thing than was the outcome of World War II after 1941.
If Germany Had Won World War IWhile it is true that the United States entered the war on the allied side in 1917, thus providing vast new potential sources of men and material, it is also true that Germany had knocked Russia out of the war at about the same time. This gave the Germans access to the resources of Eastern Europe and freed their troops for deployment to the West. The German Spring Offensive of 1918 actually succeeded in rupturing the Allied line at a point where the Allies had no significant reserves. (At about this time, British Prime Minister Lloyd George was heard to remark, "We are going to lose this war". He began to create a record which would shift the blame to others.) The British Summer Offensive of the same year similarly breached the German lines, but did a much better job of exploiting the breakthrough than the Germans had done a few months earlier. General Ludendorff panicked and demanded that the government seek an armistice. The German army did succeed in containing the Allied breakthrough, but meanwhile the German diplomats had opened tentative armistice discussions with the United States. Given U.S. President Wilson's penchant for diplomacy by press-release, the discussions could not be broken off even though the German military situation was no longer critical. While the Germans were not militarily defeated, or even economically desperate, the government and general public saw no prospect of winning. Presented with the possibility of negotiating a settlement, their willingness to continue the conflict simply dissolved.
A story by John ReillyThe Germans were defeated by exhaustion. This could as easily have happened to the Allies. When you read the diaries and reports of the French and British on the Western Front from early 1918, the writers seem to be perfectly lucid and in full command of their faculties. What the Americans noted when they started to arrive at about that time was that everyone at the front was not only dirty and malnourished, but half asleep. In addition to their other deleterious effects, the terrible trench warfare battles of that conflict were remarkably exhausting, and the capacity of the Allies to rotate out survivors diminished with the passage of time. Even with American assistance, France and Britain were societies that were slowly falling apart from lack of ordinary maintenance. Both faced food shortages from the diversion of farmers into the army and from attacks on oceanborne supplies. Had the Germans been able to exploit their breakthrough in the spring, or if the German Empire had held together long enough for Ludendorff's planned autumn offensive to take place, its quite likely that either the French or British would have sued for peace. Had one or the other even raised the question of an armistice, the same process of internal political collapse which destroyed Germany would have overtaken both of them.
Although today it is reasonably clear that Germany fought the war with the general aim of transforming itself from a merely continental power to a true world power, the fact is that at no point did the German government know just what its peace terms would be if it won. It might have annexed Belgium and part of the industrial regions of northern France, though bringing hostile, non-German populations into the Empire might not have seemed such a good idea if the occasion actually arose. More likely, or more rationally, the Germans would have contented themselves with demilitarizing these areas. From the British, they would probably have demanded nothing but more African colonies and the unrestricted right to expand the German High Seas Fleet. In Eastern Europe, they would be more likely to have established friendly satellite countries in areas formerly belonging to the defunct empires than to have directly annexed much territory. It seems to me that the Austrian and Ottoman Empires were just as likely to have fallen apart even if the Central Powers had won. The Hungarians were practically independent before the war, after all, and the chaos caused by the eclipse of Russia would have created opportunities for them which they could exploit only without the restraint of Vienna. As for the Ottoman Empire, most of it had already fallen to British invasion or native revolt. No one would have seen much benefit in putting it back together again, not even the Turks.
Communist agitation was an important factor in the dissolution of Imperial Germany, and it would probably have been important to the collapse of France and Britain, too. One can imagine Soviets being established in Glasglow and the north of England, a new Commune in Paris. This could even have happened in New York, dominated as it was by immigrant groups who were either highly radicalized or anti-British. It is unlikely that any of these rebellions would have succeeded in establishing durable Communist regimes in the West, however. The Soviets established in Germany and Eastern Europe after the war did not last, even though the central government had dissolved. In putting down such uprisings, France might have experienced a bout of military dictatorship, not unlike the Franco era in Spain, and Britain might have become a republic. Still, although the public life of these countries would have been polarized and degraded, they would probably have remained capitalist democracies. The U.S., one suspects, would have reacted to the surrender or forced withdrawal of its European expeditionary force by beginning to adopt the attitude toward German-dominated Europe which it did later in the century toward the victorious Soviet Union. Britain, possibly with its empire in premature dissolution, would have been forced to seek a strong Atlantic alliance. As for the Soviet Union in this scenario, it is hard to imagine the Germans putting up with its existence after it had served its purpose. Doubtless some surviving Romanov could have been put on the throne of a much- diminished Russia. If no Romanov was available, Germany has never lacked for princelings willing to be sent abroad to govern improvised countries.
This leaves us with the most interesting question: what would have happened to Germany itself? Before the war, the German constitution was working less and less well. Reich chancellors were not responsible to parliament but to the Kaiser. The system could work only when the Kaiser was himself a competent executive, or when he had the sense to appoint and support a chancellor who was. The reign of Wilhelm II showed that neither of these conditions need be the case. In the twenty years preceding the war, national policy was made more and more by the army and the bureaucracy. It is unlikely that this degree of drift could have continued after a victorious war. Two things would have happened which in fact happened in the real world: the monarchy would have lost prestige to the military, and electoral politics would have fallen more and more under the influence of populist veterans groups.
We should remember that to win a great war can be almost as disruptive for a combatant country as to lose it. There was a prolonged political crisis, indeed the whiff of revolution, in victorious Britain in the 1920s. Something similar seems to be happening in the United States today after the Cold War. While it is, of course, unlikely that the Kaiser would have been overthrown, it is highly probable that there would have been some constitutional crisis which would have drastically altered the relationship between the branches of government. It would have been in the military's interest to push for more democracy in the Reich government, since the people would have been conspicuously pro-military. The social and political roles of the old aristocracy would have declined, since the war would have brought forward so many men of humble origin. Again, this is very much what happened in real history. If Germany had won and the Allies lost, the emphasis in these developments would certainly have been different, but not the fundamental trends.
All the bad and strange things which happened in Germany in the 1920s are conventionally blamed on the harsh terms of the Versailles treaty. We forget, however, that the practical effect of these terms was really very limited. The diplomatic disabilities on Germany were eliminated by the Locarno Pact of 1925. The great Weimar inflation, which was engineered by the government to defeat French attempts to extract reparations, was ended in 1923. The reparations themselves, of course, were a humiliating drain on the German budget, but a system of financing with international loans was arranged which worked satisfactorily until the world financial system broke down in the early 1930s. Even arms development was continued through clandestine projects with the Soviet Union. It is also false to assert that German culture was driven to insanity by a pervasive sense of defeat. The 1920s were the age of the Lost Generation in America and the Bright Young Things in Britain. A reader ignorant of the history of the 20th century who was given samples from this literature that did not contain actual references to the war could reasonably conclude that he was reading the literature of defeated peoples. There was indeed insanity in culture in the 1920s, but the insanity pervaded the whole West.
Weimar culture would have happened even if there had been no Weimar Republic. We know this, since all the major themes of the Weimar period, the new art and revolutionary politics and sexual liberation, all began before the war. This was a major argument of the remarkable book, RITES OF SPRING, by the Canadian scholar, Modris Ekstein. There would still have been Bauhaus architecture and surrealist cinema and depressing war novels if the Kaiser had issued a victory proclamation in late 1918 rather than an instrument of abdication. There would even have been a DECLINE OF THE WEST by Oswald Spengler in 1918. He began working on it years before the war. The book was, in fact, written in part to explain the significance of a German victory. These things were simply extensions of the trends that had dominated German culture for a generation. They grew logically out of Nietzsche and Wagner and Freud. A different outcome in the First World War would probably have made the political right less suspicious of modernity, for the simple reason that left wing politics would not have been anywhere nearly as fashionable among artists as such politics were in defeat.
I would go so far as to say this: something very like the Nazi Party would still have come to power in Germany, even if that country had won the First World War. I realize that this assertion runs counter to the historiography of most of this century, but the conclusion is inescapable. Politics is a part of culture, and the Nazis represented a kind of politics which was integral with Weimar culture. Salvador Dali once said, perhaps ironically, that he approved of the Nazi Party because they represented the surrealists come to power. The connection is deep, as with the Nazi affinity for the modernist post-rationalism of the philosopher Heidigger, and also superficial, in the styles the party promoted. The Nuremberg Rallies, for instance, were masterpieces of Art Deco stagecraft, particularly Albert Speer's "cathedral of ice" effect, created with the use of searchlights. As a young hopeful in Vienna, Hitler once passed up the chance to work as a theatrical set designer because he was too shy to go to the interview. But whether he knew it or not, that is what he became. People with no fascist inclinations at all love to watch film footage produced by the Nazis, for the simple reason that it is very good cinema: it comes from the same artistic culture which gave us METROPOLIS and THE BLUE ANGEL. The Weimar Republic and the Third Reich formed a historical unit, one whose advent was not dependent on the accident of who won the First World War.
The Nazi Party was other things besides a right wing populist group with a penchant for snazzy uniforms. It was a millenarian movement. The term "Third Reich," "Drittes Reich," is an old term for the Millennium. The Party's core began as a sort of occult lodge, like the Thule Society of Munich to which so many of its important early members belonged. It promoted a racist theory of history not unlike that of the Theosophist, H.P. Blavatsky, whose movement also used the swastika as an emblem. The little-read ideological guidebook of the party, Alfred Rosenberg's MYTH OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY, begins its study of history in Atlantis. Like the Theosophists, they looked for a new "root race" of men to appear in the future, perhaps with some artificial help. When Hitler spoke of the Master Race, it is not entirely clear that he was thinking of contemporary Germans.
This is not to say that the Nazi Party was a conspiracy of evil magicians. A good, non- conspiratorial account of this disconcerting matter may be found in James Webb's THE OCCULT ESTABLISHMENT. I have two simple points to make here. The first is that the leadership had some very odd notions that, at least to some degree, explain the unique things they said and did. The other is that these ideas were not unique to them, that they were spreading among the German elites. General Von Moltke, the chief of the General Staff at the beginning of the war, was an Anthroposophist. (This group drew the peculiar ire of the SS, since Himmler believed that its leader, Rudolf Steiner, hypnotized the general so as to make him mismanage the invasion of France.) The Nazi Party was immensely popular on university campuses. The intellectual climate of early 20th century Germany was extraordinarily friendly to mysticism of all types, including in politics. The Nazi leadership were just particularly nasty people whose worldview bore a family resemblance to that of Herman Hesse and C.G. Jung. The same would probably have been true of anyone who ruled Germany in the 1930s.
Am I saying then that German defeat in the First World War made no difference? Hardly. If the war had not been lost, the establishment would have been much less discredited, and there would have been less room for the ignorant eccentrics who led the Nazi Party. Certainly people with no qualifications for higher command, such as Goering, would not have been put in charge of the Luftwaffe, nor would the Foreign Ministry have been given over to so empty-headed a man as Von Ribbentrop. As for the fate of Hitler himself, who can say?
The big difference would have been that Germany would been immensely stronger and more competent by the late 1930s than it was in the history we know. That another war would have been brewed by then we may be sure. Hitler was only secondarily interested in revenge for the First World War; his primary goal had always been geopolitical expansion into Eastern Europe and western Asia. This would have given Germany the Lebensraum to become a world power. His ideas on the subject were perfectly coherent, and not original with him: they were almost truisms. There is no reason to think that the heirs of a German victory in 1918 (or 1919, or 1920) would have been less likely to pursue these objectives.
These alternative German leaders would doubtless have been reacting in part to some new coalition aligned against them. Its obvious constituents would have been Britain, the United States and Russia, assuming Britain and Russia had a sufficient degree of independence to pursue such a policy. One suspects that if the Germans pursued a policy of aggressive colonial expansion in the 1920s and 30s, they might have succeeded in alienating the Japanese, who could have provided a fourth to the coalition. Germany for its part would begun the war with complete control of continental Europe and probably effective control of north Africa and the Near East. It would also have started with a real navy, so that Britain's position could have quickly become untenable. The coalition's chances in such a war would not have been hopeless, but they would been desperate.
It is commonly said of the First World War that it was pure waste, that it was an accident, that it accomplished nothing. The analysis I have just presented, on the contrary, suggests that the "war to end all war" may have been the most important war of the modern era after all.
In 1973, Spiro T. Agnew resigned the presidency to contest criminal charges of extortion, tax fraud, bribery and conspiracy; on the same day he was formally charged with accepting bribes totaling more than $100,000 whilst holding office since 1962 as Baltimore County Executive, Governor of Maryland and Vice President.
The President of the United States is a crookThe scandal quietly fizzled out over the next decade; Agnew was allowed to plead no contest to a single charge that he had failed to report $29,500 of income received in 1967. In January 1983, he paid the state of Maryland nearly $270,000 as a result of a civil suit that stemmed from the bribery allegations.
Whilst satirists published cartoon strips of Agnew and Nixon sharing a prison cell, leading journalists soundly condemned Nelson Rockefeller for failing to bring to bear the full force of law against either of his two predecessors.
Born Spiro Anagnostopoulos in 1918, he was the first Greek American to hold high political office, an achievement that would be repeated at the 1988 election which brought to power Michael Dukakis.
In 2002, the U.S. Congress narrowly rejected a resolution which would have empowered President George W. Bush to use military force against the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq if "all other options failed" to get the Iraqi dictator to surrender what the President insisted were his "vast" stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons and allow the dismantling of his "aggressive" effort to build nuclear weapons. Among the reasons for the rejection was the argument, made forcefully by Sen. Howard Dean (D-VT), that its language left the decision as to when force would be necessary up to Mr. Bush. "Which means," Dean predicted, "as soon as the ink is dry".
Congress rejects Iraqi War Resolution by Eric LippsPolitical conservatives were furious at what they called a "surrender to a genocidal dictator" any of them--notably syndicated columnist William Safire--accused of direct complicity in the Sept. 11, 2001 terror bombings which had destroyed the World Trade Center and left 2,925 Americans dead. They predicted that economic sanctions, even if tightened, would fail to prevent Saddam from acquiring nuclear bombs, which, they speculated, he would then use against Israel or hand to Al Qaeda for a "nuclear 9-11".
In the 2004 presidential election, Republicans attempted to use Democratic nominee John Kerry's vote against the resolution as a weapon against him, accusing him of being "soft on terrorists" and hostile to Israel. The charge proved insufficient to prevent him from eking out one of the narrowest victories in U.S. presidential history.
In 2007, Saddam Hussein was assassinated. The successor Iraqi government, hoping to bring about a relaxation of the sanctions regime, allowed international inspectors to canvass the country in search of the WMDs and WMD-development facilities Bush had charged were there. Only a handful of relics from Saddam Hussein's earlier efforts, dating back to before the post-1991 imposition of international sanctions, were found despite an exhaustive search. Conservatives, however, continued to claim that the weapons had existed, and said they had simply been successfully hidden, perhaps by being smuggled into such other countries as Syria. No evidence was found to support the earlier claim that Saddam Hussein had been involved in Sept. 11.
In 2009, on this the second Monday in October, thirty-three million citizens of Kanata celebrated the Harvest Thanksgiving.
Harvest Thanksgiving in KanataThe earliest recorded such event occured in what is now the province of Labrador in the year 1578. The English explorer Martin Frobisher had been attempting to find a northern passage to the Pacific Ocean, and held a formal ceremony to give thanks for surviving the long journey. The timing coincided with first nations Thanksgiving celebrations; the Pueblo, Cherokee, Cree and many others organized harvest festivals, ceremonial dances, and other celebrations of thanks for centuries before the arrival of Europeans on the Turtle Island.
Due to the higher latitude than the location of the pilgrims, the harvest was celebrated earlier but the result was the same, a fusion of Native American and European cultures. In fact, the pilgrims celebrated their first thanksgiving forty-three years later.
To the English Settlers at Thanksgiving Township in the modern day province of Wampanoag, the original title for the celebration was the "First Deliverance Day". Because catastrophic agricultural failures wiped out over half the English settlers in the first year of the Colony. The pilgrims realised two things very quickly. Firstly, that in the vastness of the Turtle Island, there was more than enough room for everyone. And secondly, without the support of the indigenes, they had a zero probability of survival; they had to join forces to defeat the Croatoan.
In 1998, the U.S. Department of Energy approved the construction of the so-called "superconducting supercollider" (SSC) to study ultra-high-energy physics.Wormholes by Eric Lipps
Shortly after its completion, the SSC would provide the first experimental proof of the existence of alternate universes, when its operation caused the intermittent opening of a wormhole which permitted the passage of what turned out to be broadcast radio signals from a station in the Republic of Texas, in a world in which Texas had remained independent after seceding from Mexico.
Actual travel between universes would not be possible until after the completion in July 2008 of a massive, internationally funded upgrade to the SSC. In the meantime, however, contact would be made with several other alternities.
In 1997, on this day US President Richard B. Cheney met a key election pledge to the American people by serving notice of an accelerated plan for the withdrawal of US Forces on the President of Iraq, Ahmad Chalabi.Out of the Quagmire
Back in 1991, as Defence Secretary, Cheney had strongly argued against the decision to go into Baghdad1, saying that America would simply install a puppet regime ~
"How long would we have to stay there to keep this regime in power? How effective would it be if it were perceived as the puppet regime of the United States military? It gets to be a very difficult, a very nebulous, a very long, drawn-out kind of committment, what I would describe as a quagmire. We have absolutely no interest in getting U.S. Military forces involved inside Iraq".
Cheney had been proved absolutely right, and the Clinton Presidency was sucked into this quagmire.
More profoundly, Cheney himself had been radically changed by the experience. During the Nixon Presidency, Cheney had served as White House Chief of Staff, earning the CIA codename Backseat for his style of withdrawal and disengagement. And through the Bush Presidency, had left the running of the Pentagon to Deputy Secretary of Defense Donald J. Atwood, Jr.
During the 1996 general election campaign, a new and revitalised Cheney arrived on the political scene. Defeating both Bill Clinton and Robert Dole, Cheney seized the Presidency on a radical ticket that included early withdrawal from Iraq.
On this day in 1971, U-2 recon flights over North Korea confirmed what U.S. and South Korean intelligence officials had suspected for weeks: the China virus had effectively wiped out the entire senior hierarchy of North Korea's Communist regime along with 99.7 percent of the population of the North Korean capital Pyongyang.
But South Korea's government had also taken some staggering blows as a result of the virus: most of the South Korean presidental cabinet was dead, and because of nearly endless rioting in Seoul the National Assembly was having to meet in Inchon.
In 1960, on this day the FDNY would revise its Jamaica Bay hurricane death toll up to 280 after the partly decomposed bodies of three firefighters previously reported missing were found in the ruins of a Queens apartment complex which had been one of the first buildings lost to the storm.
That figure of 280 would stand as the department's highest single-day body count until 9/11.
In 1882, Astrid Pflaume and Kurt Weimer, Neo-Nazi time travelers from the future, infiltrate the Congress for Safeguarding of Non-Jewish Interests, an anti-Semitic international conference being held in Dresden, Germany. They manage to steer the gathering of crackpots and bigots into establishing a paramilitary organization that Weimer utilizes in the 1920's to combat the Greater Zionist Resistance that Pflaume builds.
On this day in 1945, Francis Urquhart went to work for a prestigious Wall Street banking company; he was so successful in his new job that within just five years' time he was able to create his own firm and become a major player in the financial world.
In 1973, Vice-President Spiro T. Agnew resigns following revelations that as governor of Maryland in the 1960s, he had accepted bribes from state construction contractors to get their pet projects approved.
Agnew had continued to demand payments after moving to Washington as Nixon's VP, prompting the contractors to turn state's witness against him.
|Spiro T. Agnew|
He will eventually plead nolo contendere to felony charges of tax evasion and money laundering. President Nixon names Michigan Representative Gerald R. Ford to replace him. Ford is quickly confirmed as vice-president.
On this day in 1969, Apollo 6 blasted off from Cape Canaveral on the second lunar landing mission of the Apollo program.
On this day in 1944, Allied forces in Germany began advancing toward Dortmund and Munster.
On this day in 2010, President John McCain met with the Guyanan ambassador to the US and gave his personal guarantee the United States would use all the resources at its disposal to defend Guyana against threats of invasion by Hugo Chavez's Venezuela.
On this day in 1982, Bob Backlund regained the WWF world title from the Iron Sheik by winning a steel cage match at the Philadelphia Spectrum; in a risky move that would have fans talking about for years to come, Backlund clinched the victory by hitting Sheik with a death-defying splash from the top of the cage.
On this day in 1947, it was confirmed that the rock from which the Roswell asteroid had been composed did in fact contain elements vital to plant life.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.