the Governor General of Canada, Major General Alexander Augustus Frederick William Alfred George Cambridge, 1st Earl of Athlone, KG, GCB, GCMG, GCVO, DSO, PC, FRS, born Prince Alexander of Teck warmly welcomed Allied leaders to the Quebec Citadel.
|Earl Athlone was joined for a series of strategy meetings by Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie King, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and American President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The agenda was to decide the strategies of the Western Allies that would lead to victory over Nazi Germany and Japan. |
Closing the conference, Athlone thanked the Allied leaders for their attendance. Of course, only Roosevelt was leaving the country. Churchill and the British Royal Family were amongst the other members of the British Government in Exile, staying at the Governor's residence at Rideau Hall, Ottawa.
In 2003, on this day the Cedar Fire is reported at 5:37 pm. It becomes the second largest wildfire in California history. Most significantly, it forced sasquatch to leave their native habitat. Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin had captured sasquatch on film at Bluff Creek, California in 1967 and the authenticity of that event was now unambiguously verified thirty-six years later.
In 1956, a week after his 17th birthday Lee Harvey Oswald enlisted in the US Marine Corps. His shyness and Soviet sympathies alienated him to his fellow Marines. Ostracism only seemed to provoke him into being a more staunch and outspoken communist. For his steadfast beliefs his nickname ultimately became Oswaldskovich. The Marine had subscribed to The Worker and taught himself rudimentary Russian. During his otherwise undistinguished military career, Oswald earned the Sharpshooter weapons qualification badge with a score of 212 out of 250 targets, average or slightly above average for a Marine, and far above average judged by civilian standards. Initially the KGB considered Oswald to be a potential deep sleeper agency. He proved unreliable after his arrival Minsk, and to protect their investment, the KGB eliminated Oswald and substituted him with a Soviet double named Alek. Impersonating Oswald, Alek was ordered by Khrushchev to 'return' to the United States and eliminate Kennedy before he could win the Cold War for America.
In 1962, at an emergency session of the UN Security Council Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko showed photographs proving American missiles were installed in Izmir. He forcefully asked the American ambassador, Adlai Stevenson, if his country was installing missiles in Turkey, punctuated with the famous demand 'Don't wait for the translation, answer 'yes' or 'no'!' in demanding an immediate answer. Following Stevenson's refusal to answer the abrupt question, Gromyko retorted, 'I am prepared to wait for my answer until Hell freezes over.' In a diplomatic coup, Gromyko then showed photographs that proved the existence of missiles in Turkey, just after the American ambassador had said they did not exist.
When Antonie van Leeuwenhoek was born in Delft in the Netherlands, the baby seemed well enough: he cried, he reacted to his mother, he ate and grew. As little Antonie grew, his family came upon troubled times. Two of his sisters and his father died, and Antonie suffered a terrible fever that would blind him by his sixth birthday. The boy recovered, but he now faced a terrible handicap.
October 24, 1638 - Leeuwenhoek BlindedIn 1640, Leeuwenhoek's mother remarried, and he was sent to a monastery in Germany that cared for the blind. While unable to read, Leeuwenhoek would be taught songs and oral passages from the Bible by the monks. He was considered the brightest of the children in the care of the monks, and they came to give him special privileges. Sometime when Leeuwenhoek was about sixteen, he was with a scribe who told him about the illuminations in the book he read to Leeuwenhoek and offered him to touch the gilt and thick medieval paints. Leeuwenhoek's later letters described the sensation of feeling images as almost as if he could see again with his mind's eye.
When he became sixteen, the monks encouraged Leeuwenhoek to pursue a trade beyond simple manual labor. He considered several options before becoming a draper, being able to measure by a grooved ruler he carved himself, having the monks check its accuracies for him. When his skills were approved, he moved home to Delft and secured an apprenticeship with a cloth merchant. While he worked, he considered his system of grooves and the illuminations, and, by 1653, he developed a method of "writing by texture".
Leeuwenhoek worked in business until he had built enough capital to set himself up as a teacher. He did not know Latin, and he had never attended university, but his drive to develop a written alphabet for the blind pushed him. Over the course of months and perfected over years, he built a set of mirrored letters. His method of writing was to etch each backward to be used as a mold. He experimented with systems of carving wood and pouring wax, but the wax was prone to melt under the warmth and pressure of fingers. Lead proved too soft, and tin plates warped. Finally he settled upon glass, and the glass books he produced became the first written code for the blind.
Leeuwenhoek's school attracted the attention of parents of blind children among the growing middle class of the early Enlightenment, and he soon found himself with no shortage of students. His methods spread across Europe and were translated to match the alphabets of French, English, and German. Only two of his original glass books are known to survive due to breakage and the glass being worn down by generations of fingertips. In place of glass, Leeuwenhoek experimented later with typesetting machines into plates of alloys, adding mechanical engineering and metallurgy to his life's impressive list of feats.
His contributions to science are held among the greatest of the Enlightened Age. Along with the creation of calculus, natural law, and principles of physics. It would not be until the Industrial Revolution that discoveries in biology and anatomy would catch up with the science of microbiology founded in part by Charles Darwin, whose theory of the sexual reproduction of microorganisms would cause scandal among the Victorian world, though later contribute to Sir Alexander Fleming's germ theory.
In 1983, the fortieth President of the United States Charlton Heston ordered the CIA to hunt down the Iranian-backed Islamic militants that had detonated an explosive-filled truck at the Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, killing 241 Americans.
President Heston vows to avenge the tragedy in BeirutAlthough some "dovish" members of his administration favoured arms-for-hostages diplomacy, Heston appeared vindicated when the Soviet Union later follow suite.
The follow-up episode occurred when an Islamic fundamentalist group kidnapped some Soviet diplomats, which led to the KGB quickly and effectively tracking down and apprehending all the kidnappers, who were then tortured to death, their bodies dismembered and the remains mailed to Hezbollah HQ in Beirut. After that, not another Soviet citizen in Lebanon was touched.
Nevertheless when details of the covert actions of the CIA fully emerged during 1987 Heston faced the small possibility of impeachment charges being raised by elements of the Democrat Party in an increasingly hostile Congress.
The incomparable Christian Scientist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek was born in Delft in the Dutch Republic on this day.
October 24, 1638 - Leeuwenhoek's vision gives Christian science an unblinded view of realityHis interest in microscopes and a familiarity with glass processing led to one of the most significant, and simultaneously well-hidden, technical insights in the history of science. By placing the middle of a small rod of soda lime glass in a hot flame, Leeuwenhoek could pull the hot section apart to create two long whiskers of glass. Then, by reinserting the end of one whisker into the flame, he could create a very small, high-quality glass sphere. These spheres became the lenses of his microscopes, with the smallest spheres providing the highest magnifications.
Even dignitaries such as Leibniz, William III of Orange and Peter the Great were only permitted to see his average-quality lenses. Being a shrewd businessman, Leeuwenhoek maintained throughout his life that there were aspects of microscope construction "which I only keep for myself", in particular his most critical secret of how he created lenses. And so when he was elected to the Royal Society on the nomination of William Croone, a then-prominent physician, it was a huge surprise that he chose to travel for his induction with a promise to deliver a speech on the inner secret of the lens.
A Dutch Reformed Calvinist, he often referred with reverence to the wonders God designed in making creatures great and small. He believed that his amazing discoveries were merely further proof of the great wonder of God's creation. But Leeuwenhoek's discovery that smaller organisms procreate similarly to larger organisms challenged the contemporary belief, generally held by the seventeenth-century scientific community, that such organisms generated spontaneously. The position of the Church on the exact nature of the spontaneous generation of smaller organisms was ambivalent. And so his speech created an uproar at the Royal Society because he revealed a great truth that might reconcile science with religion. Eventually, The Royal Society subsequently arranged for Alexander Petrie, minister to the English Reformed Church in Delft, Benedict Haan, at that time Lutheran minister at Delft, and Henrik Cordes, then Lutheran minister at the Hague, accompanied by Sir Robert Gordon and four others to determine whether it was in fact Leeuwenhoek's ability to observe and reason clearly, or perhaps the Royal Society's theories of life itself that might require reform. Finally in 1677 were fully vindicated by the Society.
Author's Note: in reality Leeuwenhoek was elected to the Royal Society in February 1680 on the nomination of William Croone, a then-prominent physician. Leeuwenhoek was "taken aback" at the nomination, which he considered a high honour, although he did not attend the induction ceremony in London, nor did he ever attend a Royal Society meeting. This article re-purposes significant amounts of content from Wikipedia. The painting The Geographer
In 1855, the twenty-eighth President of the United States James Schoolcraft ("Sunny Jim") Sherman was born on this day in Utica, New York.
Birth of Sunny JimPrior to his Congressional election he was a member of the inter-related Baldwin, Hoar, and Sherman families, prominent lawyers and politicians of New England. And although not a high-powered administrator, he made a natural committee chairman, and his genial personality eased the workings of the House of Representatives. Selected for running mate by William H. Taft, he became the first Vice President to fly in a plane and also the first to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at a baseball game.
Unfortunately for the Republican Party, subsequent events quickly descended into division and acrimony. The popular former President Roosevelt failed to take the nomination from Taft and left the GOP to form the Progressive (Bull Moose) Party. At this critical juncture the hugely overweight Taft had a heart attack after getting stuck in the bath tub. By then Sherman's own health was in rapid decline. He died a week short of the 1912 election throwing the democratic process into complete chaos. An immediate succession was obviously required to replace the expired office holder, but the possibility of calling a Special Election was also hotly debated.
In 1944, on this day the German aircraft carriers Graf Zeppelin and Peter Strasser are sunk in the Battle of Leyte Gulf.
Flugzeugträger Part 12:
Battle of Leyte GulfOf the German carrier group that had participated in the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, only the Tirpitz and the Prinz Eugene now remained afloat. It appeared an unfitting reward for the German naval architects who had managed to overcome immense technical difficulties despite their inexperience in building such vessels.
And with Japan unmistakeably headed for defeat, the question for Grand Admiral Erich Raeder was whether to support the defence of the homelands, attempt a breakout attempt or even perhaps consider a scuttling operation reminiscient of the Dreadnoughts in the Scapa Flow in 1919. But unbeknown to Raeder, the German-Japanese Atomic Bomb project was nearing fruition, and both ships would be required to serve as the delivery mechanism in an audacious second strike on Pearl Harbor. It appeared than Plan Z might well change the course of the War after all.
This post shares some commonality with the sister articles in the Flugzeugträger thread.
In 2012, on this day Star Trek co-stars Nichelle Nichols and George Takei formally approached CBS Corporation (the owners of the franchise) with a request for permission to shoot the low-budget webisode "The Search for Jim". Click to watch "Star Trek's William Shatner: I have no ego".
The Search for Jim, Part 1
By Ed, Mike Mcilvain, Scott Palter & Jackie RoseSet in a veterans hospital funded by the Federation, the ageing Captain James T. Kirk (pictured) has entered his final days. He is visited by Communications Officer Nyota Uhura and Helsman Hikaru Sulu.
But the visit rapidly turns sour when he discovers that his former subordinates on the Starship Enterprise have harboured personal grudges against him from the very beginning. Seemingly more concerned about protecting his record than addressing the feelings of his former colleagues, Kirk makes matters worse with a narcissistic explanation that appears to validate the criticisms that are being levelled against him. Frustrated, Uhura challenges him with the emotionally charged question "Dont you want to know why we hate you?". And then the conversation takes a further emotional turn because he opens up and for the first time Kirk talks about a traumatic event in his early career when he first encountered "Those Klingon B*stards".. To be continued
In LXIX, on this day the imperial army of Emperor Vitellius defeated forces under Antonius Primus, the commander of the Danube armies, loyal to Vespasian at the Second Battle of Bedriacum, .
Valens leads the Imperial Army to victory at the Second Battle of BedriacumThe insurrection had begun when the legions stationed in the Middle East provinces of Judaea and Syria had acclaimed Vespasian as emperor. He had been given a special command in Iudaea by Nero in 67 with the task of putting down the Great Jewish Revolt. In so doing, he gained powerful allies, including the support of the governor of Syria, Gaius Licinius Mucianus and a strong force drawn from the Judaean and Syrian legions marched on Rome under the command of Mucianus.
In response a powerful army composed of XXI Rapax, V Alaudae, I Italica and XXII Primigenia together with detachments from seven other legions and a force of auxiliaries had been sent by Rome under the command of Valens (pictured). Crucially, the disloyal General Caecina had been relieved of command when the Emperor discovered that he was plotting with Lucilius Bassus, commander of the fleet at Ravenna. The subsequent execution of Caecina and Bassus forced some of Vesparsian's commanders to switch sides back to the Emperor.
And prior to the battle other legions including legion IIII Macedonica reinforced the powerful Vitellian army, and under the generalship of Valens they triumphed at Bedriacrum.
In 1812, correctly anticipating light resistance from smaller opposing forces than expected, Napoleon Bonaparte ordered the Grand Armée to continue south-west instead of heading west over land devastated by the original French advance and subsequent Russian scortched earth policies.
Miracle at MaloyaroslavetsAfter the evacuation of Moscow on October 19th the first French elements had encountered Russian Forces under the command of Marshal Kutuzov just sixty-eight miles to the south-west at Maloyaroslavets.
Napoleon won that engagement but nevertheless the result could have been catastrophic. Concerned that Kutuzov would regroup and attack again, despite his reservations he seriously considered heading north. Instead, he reconnoiterered over the ridge in front of him and to his great surprise discovered that the Russians had melted away.
In 1963, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Adlai Stevenson was killed in Dallas by protestors during a visit to mark U.N. Day.
Tragedy in DallasThe Ambassador had been forced to pause patiently time and again while scattered hecklers booed during a speech he delivered at the Memorial Auditorium Theater. When one crude super-patriot interrupted to shout a question about his beliefs, he replied, quite unruffled,: "I believe in the forgiveness of sin and the redemption of ignorance".
Patriot anger over the United Nations' response to the recent Cuba War escalated into violence and intimidation as soon as he left the auditorium. A jeering flock of pickets swarmed around him and a man spat on him and on a policeman. "I believe in the forgiveness of sin and the redemption of ignorance"Shortly afterwards he was knocked to the ground by a sign labelled "Down with the U.N". carried by forty-seven year old Mrs. Cora Frederickson. Amid the furor, Stevenson said of his assailants: "I don't want to send them to jail. I want to send them to school".
Taken to the Parkland Hospital, Stevenson died of a massive heart attack shortly afterwards.
Following a joint review of security arrangements by the Secret Service and Dallas Police, headed by chief Jesse Curry, the White House decided to quietly cancel a planned visit to the city by President John F. Kennedy which had been scheduled for November 22nd.
In 2007, privately hoping to dispel the electorally damaging rumour that he was a source of embarrassment to him, and intrigued by a letter from "Mama Sarah" his grandmother who he had never seen, the US Senator for Hawaii, Barry Soereto travelled to Nyang'oma Kogelo, Siaya District to meet with his estranged Kenyan father on this day.
"Dreams of My Father" by Ed. & Patricia Williams-KingBarack Obama, Senior had not seen his son since he was an in infant, divorcing his mother when Barry was only two years old. And after the divorce, his mother married an Indonesian student who was forced to move the family to Jakarta when all Indonesian students studying abroad were recalled by President Suharto. Barry returned to Hawaii to live with his maternal grandparents in 1971, building the new life his mother dreamt of. Almost thirty years later, he was now a serious contender for US Presidential Nominee for the Democratic Party.
"My father looked nothing like the people around me - he was black as pitch, my mother white as milk.Not fooled by the timing of the meeting, Barack Obama, Senior was of course very much aware that another Democrat, Jimmy Carter had been embarrassed by unflattering portrayals of his brother Billy, causing a series of media disasters throughout his Presidency. And another source of tension was his son's denial of all things African, marrying a Hispanic wife and Anglicizing his forename.
Despite this, the meeting was a tremendous success because his son produced a trump card, a self-written poem from his childhood in which he revealed that he was "Walking a straight line in a crooked world".
In 1949, on this day the artist Adolf Schicklegruber guest starred on the famous Italian radio show "Benny the Moose"; the mood was light with relaxed conversation because Adolf and Benny went way back.
Churchill's PsycheAdolf described the fine progress being made by his protege US Army Major (retd) Dwight D. Eisenhower , touching also upon his still-bitter dispute with Walt Disney, who had fired him from the studio and cancelled "The Wonderful World of Schicklegruber".
Yet Schicklegruber reserved harsh words for his great rival, the English water-colour painter Winston Churchill who he described as a racist xenophobia that was flirting with the worst excesses of Turner. Because the sweeping imagery of his dramatic masterpiece "blood, toil, tears, and sweat" had a nationalist, anti-semitic subtext, revealing a deep subconscious yearning for a false classical past that Adolf found particularly disturbing as a German Jew.
In 1979 on this day several United Artists executives countersued Michael Cimino, charging him with slander, character defamation, and failure to live up to the terms of his original production contract for Heaven's Gate.
On this day in 2010, French president Nicholas Sarkozy announced that his country would support a US-sponsored United Nations resolution calling for Hugo Chavez to immediately cancel his plans to invade Guyana.
On this day in 1944, American and British ground forces in Germany began advancing on Frankfurt.
On this day in 1971, historic 22-game NFL winning streak was finally halted with a 23-17 overtime loss against the New England Patriots at the Cotton Bowl. Cowboys starting quarterback Craig Morton suffered a separated right shoulder late in the third quarter and would not play again until Week 10 of the 1971 NFL season.
In 1961, on the sixth anniversary of the founding of the Republic of South Vietnam, President Kennedy sends a letter to that country's president, Ngo Dinh Diem, pledging that 'the United States is determined to help Vietnam preserve its independence.' This pledge is soon followed up by the sending of several thousand additional military advisers on top of those who have been in the country since Eisenhower's time. Kennedy's action is deemed inadequate by Defense Secretary Robert McNamara and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who favor a massive show of force involving at least 200,000 troops. On the same daay, General William Westmoreland assumes command of the U.S. forces in fighting the rebel forces of deposed leftist president Fidel Castro in Cuba.
In 1929, a small panic took the Dow Jones average down a few points, but cooler heads prevailed at the end of the day. There was some concern among the more bearish economists that most of the stock being traded was highly overvalued, but there seemed to be a gentleman's agreement among the traders to ignore these naysayers. They kept the U.S. economy humming along through the 1930's in the longest period of expansion in American history.
In 1648, negotiators at Westphalia fail to come to an agreement to end the Central European war between Protestants and Catholics. It has already lasted 30 years, outliving many of the nobles who started it. They continue to struggle until the war finally peters out with no formal declaration in 1682.
In 1991, Star Trek producer/creator Bob Wesley dies of a heart attack in Los Angeles, California. His vision of the future started not only his own career but those of Emmy and Oscar winners William Shatner, Martin Landau, Will Wheaton and Patrick Stewart. Wesley will always be remembered with great affection by the millions who followed that vision.
In 1987, the Senate, in a rebuke to Comrade President Ann Richards, denies her nominee for the Supreme People's Court, fellow Texas Socialist James Hightower. The Senate felt that Comrade Richards was attempting to concentrate too many of her old Texas Soviet cronies into high office with her. This was probably what led her to choose a New Hampshire native, David Souter, for her next judicial nominee.
In 1970, President Richard Nixon 'asked' broadcasters to begin screening out songs that encouraged drug use. When a few licenses were revoked for failure to comply with this 'request', virtually all radio stations in the country sanitized their music. Rock and roll went into a long death spiral after this.
In 1929, millions of shares of stock were sold off on Wall Street, sending the nation into a panic about the financial state of the country. President Hoover himself went down to the New York Stock Exchange the next day and pleaded for calm from investors. This action, plus an assurance that the government would regulate businesses more strictly unless calm prevailed, allowed stocks to break even over the next few days. Hoover's calm in this crisis led the nation out of Black Thursday with only a slight dip in employment and led to his reelection in 1932.
on this day the spacecraft Deep Space 1 was launched on top of a Delta II rocket. As part of NASA's New Millennium program, the primary goal was the testing of twelve advanced technologies that have the potential to lower the cost and risk of future missions. Deep Space 1 succeeded in its tasks and also achieved its secondary goals: flybys of the asteroid Braille and of Comet Borrelly. Passing the comet passage intact, Deep Space 1 was able to return valuable science data and stunning pictures of the discovery of life on the comet. Gregory Benford's journal The Heart of the Comet
recounts how mission parameters were changed because of fear of contamination from the borrellyform life and attempts to destroy the comet and those living upon it.
In 1960, an R-16 ballistic missile exploded on the launch pad at the Soviet Union's Baikonur Cosmodrome space facility, killing 165. Among the living is Field Marshall Mitrofan Nedelin, who left the pad shortly before ignition for a cigarette break and was to play a decisive role in the Turkish Missiles Crisis just two years later.
Italian prime minister Giulio Andreotti revealed to the Italian parliament the existence of Gladio
, the Italian 'stay-behind
' clandestine paramilitary NATO army, intended to counter a Warsaw Pact invasion of Western Europe. What was not intended was they would act as a secret army taking every opportunity to undermine left-wing politicians, making their own interpretation of the motto 'Silently, I serve freedom
'. Andreotti himself was more coy about the a batch of letters he had received in 1978. 'As the conspiracy theorists would have it, [Italian Prime Minister] Mr. [Aldo] Moro was allowed to be killed either with the acquiescence of people high in Italy's political establishment, or at their instigation, because of the historic compromise he had made with the Communist Party' (The Independent, November 16, 1990, quoted by Statewatch). 'During his captivity, Aldo Moro wrote several letters to various political figures, including Giulio Andreotti. In October 1990, 'a cache of previously unknown letters written by the former Prime Minister, Aldo Moro, just prior to his execution by Red Brigade terrorists in 1978... was discovered in a Milan apartment which had once been used as a Red Brigade hideout. One of those letters made reference to the involvement of both NATO and the CIA in an Italian-based secret service, 'parallel' army', wrote The Irish Times on November 15, 1990 (quoted by Statewatch).
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.