Editor says, for subscription users please follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Disqus or Google Plus. History runs along a different line in Today In Alternate History, a site which chronicles "important events in history that never occurred today". Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist superpower, aliens influencing human history in the 18th century and Teddy Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting fictional blog.
In 1964, on this day Texan satirist Eugene Wesley ("Gene") Roddenberry drafted a proposal for a science fiction series called Space Pirates.
Space PiratesThinly disguised as a derisory caricature of the military-industrial complex, the surprise factors was that the characters of the title were actually "knights in rusty armour" on the run from a dystopic military junta known as the Federation Council. And the real anti-heroes were the futuristically armed members of Starfleet, determined to bring to justice Kirk, Spock and his crew of mavericks. Because in this terrifying future world, power is concentrated into the hands of a single military organization making strategic decisions affecting the lives of billions on their own without civilian government involvement.
The curve ball nature of the short-lived programme was self-evident from the very beginning. During episode one, both Spock and Kirk look straight into the camera and in an unscripted soliloquy announce "We're Jewish". While this was quite true it was a rather shocking for the Christiano-Anglophile sensibilities of the day, the implication being that the members of the Federation Council were neo-Nazis.
In 2012, on this day the political drama film Game Change made its public debut on HBO two days after premiering at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.
Game ChangeThe final ten weeks of the 2008 United States presidential election campaign were dramatized from Danny Strong's 2010 book of the same name. But the two critical events neatly "book-end" the narrative being placed at the beginning and end of the film.
With Barack Obama's eloquent charisma dazzling the electorate, McCain desperately needed a running mate that can inject star quality into his campaign. The Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin ticks all the right boxes, but the selection process fails to consider her significant weakness on policy detail. And despite some brilliant speeches by Palin, her credibility as a president-in-waiting is destroyed by a series of interviews which reveal that she is ignorant about many political issues and grossly unprepared.
Increasingly desperate, McCain agreed to some small scale smear tactics but he is appalled by the hostility of the negative and angry reaction, despairingly telling Senior Strategist Steve Schmidt "This isn't the kind of campaign I had been hoping for". Obama wins in a landslide, but McCain, who had been overshadowed by Palin, had the decency to recognize that the Governor had tried her level best. Also, he needed to recover his reputation to fight for re-election in the Senate. And so in a clear break with tradition, he permitted Palin to make her own Concession Address, something that no other Vice Presidential Candidate had done since the dawn of the Republic. Despite the worst fears of Schmidt, this is a warm-hearted speech that politely thanked McCain for the opportunity and ensured that the campaign concluded on the honourable note that McCain sought from the very beginning. It was exactly the kind of maverick risk-taking that makes John McCain the American hero that he really is, even if, ultimately he is considered unsuitable for the painstaking due diligence of executive office (tellingly, a view shared by the Pentagon that refused to promote him to Rear Admiral).
In 241 B C, Carthaginian Fleet Victorious at Aegates Islands.
Carthagian Fleet Victorious at Aegates IslandsThe Roman Republic had expanded its control throughout Italy by conquest and forced treaties to create a potent confederation. Sicily, just beyond the tip of southern Italy, lay as a foreign land ruled by tyrants from powerful Syracuse and smaller cities in alliance with the Mediterranean naval power Carthage. The Greek king Pyrrhus attempted to carve out an empire in Southern Italy and Sicily, but the allied efforts of the Romans and Carthaginians managed to defeat him. In the wake of the war, mercenaries left behind in Sicily called Mamertines ("Sons of Mars") seized the northeastern city of Messana and sparked a war with Syracuse. The Mamertines called for aid from both Carthage and Rome hoping to secure themselves, but instead they caused the two superpowers to declare war upon one another in 264 BC.
The Romans were expert warriors in the field, and they landed their legions at Messana to begin a siege against Syracuse. The Carthaginians, meanwhile, maintained their navy and depended on holding a few key fortresses on the island with a small mercenary force to ensure control of the island. When the Romans stormed Syracuse, however, and caused it to switch sides, the Carthaginians lost their historical grip on the island. A relief force arrived to stop the Roman advance as they besieged Agrigentum, but the Carthaginians were stolidly defeated in the resulting battle. Meanwhile, the Romans adapted themselves to naval warfare, creating the corvus, a spiked plank that could grip enemy ships and allow foot soldiers to overwhelm opposing sailors. At the Battle of Mylae in 260 BC, the Romans shocked and defeated the Carthaginian fleet. The Carthaginian commander, Hannibal, was seized by his men and crucified for incompetence.
Over the next five years, Rome continued to advance, even raiding Africa itself. In 255, the Carthaginians hired Spartan general Xanthippus, who drove off the Romans at Tunis. The fleeing Roman ships were devastated in a sudden storm, wiping out the victorious Roman fleet. Still invigorated, the Romans built a new fleet of some 140 ships and continued to roll across Sicily until another storm destroyed that fleet, too. Storms destroyed ship after ship and raids on Africa proved ineffectual, stalling any great advantage of Roman naval superiority. The corvus was blamed and abandoned.
In 249 BC at Drepana, the war turned toward the good of Carthage. They won an overwhelming naval victory by pinning the Romans against the shore, and the newly arrived infantry general Hamilcar Barca ended Roman advantages on land. For years, Sicily would become a stalemate with sieges and counter-sieges giving neither empire a chance for a victory in the field.
In 244 BC, seeing the war with Rome as an unnecessary drain on the public wealth, Carthaginian leader Hanno the Great (who had earned his epithet with victories in Africa) pushed to decrease the navy. There had not been a naval battle in years, and most of the assembly agreed with him. As Carthage minimized its fleet, Rome determined in 242 to build up a new force and besiege the ports in Sicily that kept Barca in supply.
Carthage responded in haste by rebuilding their fleet. While most concerned themselves more about the number of ships involved, equating numerical might to victory, it became clear that the ships were undermanned. The two fleets met at the Aegates Islands as Carthaginian commander Hanno (not to be confused with Hanno the Great) was en route to relieve Barca's fortresses. Seeing the stripped-down Roman fleet had left its sails on shore and relying fully on rowers, Hanno recalled his defeats at Agrigentum and Cape Ecnomus and the Romans' impressive use of maneuverability. Using the favorable wind, Hanno ordered his fleet to feign retreat. The Romans, ready for final victory, gave pursuit. After several miles, when the Roman rowers became exhausted, the Carthaginians turned back with fresh rowers and annihilated the Roman fleet by ramming and fire ships.
Victory celebrations rang through Carthage, but word also trickled back about the grand promises Hamilcar had made to keep the mercenary army from rebelling. They had largely gone unpaid, living on rations and visions of great wealth from conquests. The years of stalemate had taken a toll, and already Hamilcar had to put down revolts. It became clear to the assembly that even taking a draw in the war would have severe consequences.
Hanno the Great's antiwar faction capitulated, and Carthage began to launch raids on the Italian coast to incite revolt from among the newly conquered Etrurians in the north and Greek city-states in the south. Rome found itself in a pincer as well as cut off from Sicily, which slid back under Carthaginian influence as mercenaries won their prizes. Worried about security at home, the Romans finally agreed to a truce with Carthage and returned to solidifying their control over the Italian peninsula.
Wars in the next years with Illyricum and Gaul caused expansion northward and east across the Adriatic Sea. Rome became embroiled with another Mediterranean power, Macedon, in wars through the second century BC that eventually gave Rome control over Greece. Carthage, meanwhile, continued to expand into Iberia and southward along Africa's western coast with their mighty navy and managed to avoid being pulled into the Roman-Macedonian conflicts. The two empires continued side-by-side until inevitable disputes arose over Gaul as Romans expanded past the Alps.
The Second Punic War (121-70 BC) would again see drawn-out sieges and bids for naval superiority with the Romans at last achieving domination over the western Mediterranean in addition to conquests in the east by the general Sulla in the 80s. The war proved a solidifying force for the Republic, whose heroes exhibited humility as well as glory. Necessity cleansed the bureaucracies, and Rome became effective at ruling its provinces. After the war, a younger set of would-be heroes, Crassus and his general Caesar, would march on Germania in a disastrous campaign in 54 BC. Largely the Republic wished for peace under leaders such as the military-minded Pompey, civic Cicero, and philosopher Cato. Centuries later, the peace would end as Germanic and Celtic hordes sacked and broke up the empire.
In 1953, on this day Winny Churchill, Al Schicklegruber and a host of other contemporary artists travelled to the town of Gori to attend the funeral of the diminutive Georgian Painter, Joe Stalin.
Death of the Little SquirtBorn Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili, as a rebellious young man he had adopted the pen name of Stalin, or "man of steel". Of course this characteristic was applied to the determination of his mind, rather than his body. Because by the age of twelve, two horse-drawn carriage accidents left his left arm permanently damaged. And during the Great War he was deemed unfit for service.
The forthright American painter Harry S. Truman labelled him the "Little Squirt" even though Stalin at five foot four was barely a head shorter than Truman, himself hardly a giant measuring just five foot nine.
A new installment from the "Happy Hitler Artist" ThreadDespite these physical limitations, he could paint rather well. And yet for evidence of Stalin's various frustrations one has only to look at his troubled output during his "red rage period". Churchill for one could surely understand Stalin's schizophrenic mental state, the two sides separated by the artistic expression which he labelled an "iron curtain". Winny reflected upon his own challenges; during his period of isolation in the early nineteen thirties, he recalled that he quit painting altogether to work as an illustrator for various Science Fiction and Fantasy pulps of the Depression Era.
Yet despite the emotional characters present, the funeral _itself_ was remarkably calm. And the highlight perhaps was the reading of a delightful verse by the Chinese poet, Mao Zedong. Of course afterwards was a different matter, Churchill for one got riotously drunk, although Schicklegruber, being teetotal, departed early rather than watch his colleagues get blitzkrieged.
In 1778, fatally pierced by splinters from the mizzen yard, John Adams murmoured "I ought to do my Share of fighting" before expiring in the arms of his ten-year old son John Quincy onboard the Continental Navy frigate Boston.
Heavy Metal by Ed & David TennerAlthough the Boston had been chased by Royal Navy warships ever since she departed for France on February 15th, the decision to engage a British letter of marque had been Captain John Tucker's alone. The prize was the Martha, a privateer en route to New York with eighty thousand guineas worth of cargo that would be an immensely profitable capture for the revolutionaries. And perhaps because of that overexcitement, Adams rashly disobeyed Tucker's order for passengers to remain below deck - he had just come topside when the Martha fired its fateful shot. The Boston then turned broadside towards the Martha which promptly struck her colours. After ordering his officers not to fire, Tucker, not accustomed to being disobeyed, hurried angrily toward John Quincey and demanded to know why his father had exposed himself to danger.
Over fifty years later as President, he would describe that moment when the iron entered his soul and gave him the strength to prevent the dissolution of the Union in the midst of the bloody slave insurrections he had foreseen.
In 2002, appearing on NBC's Meet the Press, Vice-President Joseph Lieberman is peppered with questions regarding the bin Laden video.
Lieberman meets the Press by Eric LippsThe VP insists that the Administration is certain the body found at Tora Bora is that of the terrorist leader, and, noting that intelligence analysts have still been unable to determine when the video was made, assures his questioners that it must have been assembled some time before the assault on the cave complex.
It does little good. Administration opponents demand a full congressional investigation of what they call the 'coverup' of how President Gore has "let Osama bin Laden get away"
In 2008, Leon Greenman, the only Englishman sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp, died Friday, London's Jewish Museum said. He was 97.
Strange Blue LightGreenman was born in London in 1910 but was living in the Netherlands with his Dutch wife and young son when the family was sent by the occupying Nazi forces to the camp in 1943. His wife Esther and three-year-old son Barney died there but Greenman managed to survive the war and committed the rest of his life to telling the public about the horrors he had witnessed at Auschwitz and the five other camps he was sent to. He published a memoir, An Englishman in Auschwitz, and continued to lecture well into old age. In 1988 he received the prestigious Order of the British Empire from Queen Elizabeth II for his work fighting racism. Greenman was liberated from the Buchenwald camp in April 1945 by the American 3rd Army.
The book "An Englishman in Auschwitz" is a result of the commitment of Greenman to the God "that if he lived, he would let the world know what happened during the war". In short, the book describes the sad reminiscences of his days of imprisonment in six concentration camps of the Nazis. For example, Greenman describes the arrival of his family (consisting of himself, his wife, Esther, a Dutch, and his three-year old son, Barney) at Birkenau concentration camp in these words: "The women were separated from the men: Else and Barny were marched about 20 yards away to a queue of women...I tried to watch Else. I could see her clearly against the blue lights. She could see me too for she threw me a kiss and held up our child for me to see. What was going through her mind I will never know. Perhaps she was pleased that the journey had come to an end".
During the evening before his death, neighbours reported a strange blue light shining out of the bedroom window of Greenman's shabby terraced house in Ilford. Leon's long journey had finally come to an end.
In 1984, in the first of three scheduled debates among the Republican presidential contenders, former California governor Ronald Reagan delivers an oddly disjointed closing statement musing about what one might see driving down the Pacific Coast Highway in a hundred years' time. Even some pundits sympathetic to Reagan are taken aback, and there is talk that, at age 73, the conservative stalwart may simply be too old to serve as president.
In 2004, the crew of the ship carrying the Huygens, just crash-landed on its return from Titan, begin seeing strange things moving around the ship. Scientist Jacob Sheridan, brought in to investigate the Huygens, sees a huge crab-like creature while examining the hold; the creature disappears into the water before Sheridan can alert anyone.
In 12-17-15-10-8, Meqtulae, a peasant of the Cherokee, confessed to assassinating Richeco, passionate peasant's advocate in the Oueztecan Empire. Richeco had spoken out for years for the need to allow peasants rights on the order of lesser nobles, and traditionalists within the court hired Meqtulae to end his agitation.
In 1952, Mikhail von Heflin and Velma Porter emerge from the cave where they had taken refuge from pursuit two days before. Miss Porter is unconscious, and the Baron is worried that the strange encounter has damaged her. He carries her and starts traveling east. He hopes that he can find Heflin again, and that his ancestral home can help Miss Porter.
In 1951, J. Edgar Hoover, who had led the F.B.I. since its inception, left the agency to become the Commissioner of Town Ball. It was a reluctant move for Hoover, but President Truman had not been very supportive of his office, and he felt that he would enjoy the work as Town Ball Commissioner more.
In 1948, the Foreign Secretary of Venezuela, Hugo Martinez, dies in an apparent suicide. Senor Martinez had been a capitalist inside the American-supported Communist government, and had opposed the close relationship the government had with the Soviet States of America. Many of the European monarchies remarked at how strange it was that a man with no signs of depression or mental stress should choose to commit suicide.
In 1849, lawyer Abe Lincoln received a patent for a device he had created for lifting boats over shoals. After this device sold successful, Lincoln left his law practice in Illinois and founded his company Lincoln & Son in 1852. He became a successful man, making and selling many devices to aid in the shipping trade.
In 1704, Conquerors of the Speaker's Line burn down the library in Kenya that held most of the research being done on fulfilling the Speaker's Dream. Centuries of knowledge were lost in moments. When news of this reached the rest of the Speaker's Children, the Conquerors quickly disavowed those who had done it, and asked for forgiveness. Their support among the Line faded for some time after this.
In 790 AUC, Emperor Tiberius dies in Rome. The elderly emperor had worked up to his death, doing such things as authorizing a new aqueduct in Germany and countermanding the death sentence his Judean Governor had imposed on a rebel in that territory.
In 1783, turmoil in the Continental Army caused by the Newburgh Conspiracy enabled the British to use the opportunity to attack and re-establish control over their former colonies.
With the end of the war and hence likely the resultant dissolution of the Continental Army obviously approaching, there seemed to the soldiers, many of whom were now deeply indebted from their term of service, a strong chance that Congress would not meet previous promises on back pay and pensions.
Congress, at the mercy of the states for all revenue, did not seem to have any way of meeting these promises. The result was that by March 1783, officers launched a coup, setting up martial law to secure what had been promised to them.
The winter of 1783 had seen the end of hostilities between the young nation and Britain, but a formal peace treaty had not yet been signed.
In 1969, James Earl Ray was quickly extradited to Tennessee and charged with King's murder, refusing to confess to the assassination on March 10. Ray ignored the advice of his attorney Percy Foreman who urgred him to take a guilty plea to avoid a trial conviction and therefore the possibility of receiving the death penalty. Why should he, he was innocent. The 'musicians' in the Parking Lot chatting with Jesse Jackson had executed Martin Luther King. Oh, and also lured Ray to Memphis with a phoney 'job' offer of a robbery to set him up as a patsy.
In 1841, the U.S. Supreme Court rules in United States v. Libellants and Claimants of the Schooner Amistad case that captive Africans who had seized control of the ship carrying them had been taken into slavery illegally.
The Amistad turns the tideThe thirty-six men and boys and three girls were taken to Farmington, a village considered "Grand Central Station" on the Underground Railroad. A well-meaning bunch of abolitionists then prepared them for the long journey to Freetown, Sierra Leone in the shameful knowledge that because the Adams-Onís Treaty did not apply President Martin van Buren was not required to return them home to Africa.
But the leader of the group, Joseph Cinqué had a rather different point of view about what constituted a positive result for justice and so he made a bold uncompromising pledge "Slaves no more". He told the abolitionists that the Amistad survivors would be staying on to fight the wickedness of the slave trade in the United States. In this struggle for humanity their chief weapon would be Poro a form of tribal self-government that had enabled them to organize the slave revolt despite their dialectical differences.
Because of the dramatic events that followed little is known with certainty about the fate of the Amistad survivors. All we know for sure from the testimony of US marine commander Robert E. Lee is that it was Joseph Cinqué that carried the wounded John Brown away to safety from the abolitionist raid on Harpers Ferry. And of course, there is the famous picture, two men of their likeness smiling broadly at Abraham Lincoln's farewell address. Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.
In 1918, on this day founder of the American Nazi Party George Lincoln Rockwell was born in Bloomington, Illinois. An installment from the Fascist USA thread on Althistory Wiki.
Birth of an American NaziHe was a major figure in the American Freedom Party for much of his lifetime, a career which culminated in a twenty-eight year rule as Chief of State for the New United States.
He succeeded to that office upon the death of NUS founder William Dudley Pelley, of whom he was considered a protege, on July 1, 1965. He served in the office until his death, during which time he arguably held more power than Pelley and any other American leader in history - his 38-year term of office is the longest in American history. Rockwell had been Deputy Chief of State under Pelley from 1962 to 1965, and before this had been the Commander of the Silver Legion, the state militia, since 1957.
In 1916, on this day five hundred Mexican raiders led by Pancho Villa attack Columbus, New Mexico.
President Champ Clark vs The Centaur of the NorthWhen President Champ Clark threatens a belligerent response, his Secretary of State James Michael Curley is forced to resign.
A first generation Irish American who was raised on the horrors of the Irish Potato Famine and the stories of British oppression, Curley had played a major part in keeping the United States out of the Great War. However he had not bargained on a Border War with Mexico, and was quickly forced to reconsider his position as the crisis began to escalate.
But Curley is proven right and the whole nasty business backfires on Clark. Because matters turn full circle when British Intelligence intercept the Zimmermann Telegram, a diplomatic proposal from the German Empire to Mexico to make war against the United States. Revelation of the contents outrage American public opinion and help generate support for a declaration of war.
In 1566, on this day an incredible demonstration of will power and steely resolve by Mary, Queen of Scots saved the life of her Torinese private secretary, David Rizzio.
Mary, Queen of Scots defends David Rizzio
Part 1Rebels had entered the Palace of Holyroodhouse and overpowered the royal guards while they took supper in the Queen's chambers. Led by Patrick Ruthven, 3rd Lord Ruthven they burst into the private dining room and demanded at gun point that the heavily pregnant monarch hand Rizzio over. But her hysterical screams alerted the people of Edinburgh and several hundred local men poured out of the local taverns and ran to Holyrood with makeshift weapons. At this point the iron dripped into the Queen's soul when the rebels tried to force her to go to the window and dismiss them.
The showdown had positive consequences for the respect of Stuart authority, and also enabled Rizzio to achieve his desired elevation to Secretary of State.
This story continues in Part 2.
In 1566, on this day David Rizzio defended Mary, Queen of Scots.
David Rizzio Defends Mary, Queen of ScotsThe life of Mary I of Scotland (pictured) was surrounded by intrigue from the beginning. Less than a week after she was born as the only legitimate offspring of James V to survive, her father died, leaving the infant Mary as monarch in 1542. At fifteen, she was married to Francis II of France (two years her junior), strengthening the Auld Alliance between France and Scotland that had gone on for more than 250 years. Francis soon became king, but his reign lasted only a year before illness took him. The throne passed to his younger brother Charles IX, while real power was held by the Queen Consort, Catherine de Medici. Mary returned to presumed security in Scotland while France descended into the Wars of Religion between the Huguenots and Catholics. Meanwhile, England faced its own religious turmoil during the years of Henry VIII, Bloody Mary, and Protestant Elizabeth I. Mary Stuart claimed the throne of England herself through the Third Succession Act, though Henry VIII's last will had excluded the Stuarts.
Scotland also felt the tension between the Catholics and Calvinist Protestants. Mary was a devout Catholic, but she tolerated Protestants and had a majority of them in her privy counsel. In 1562, she allied herself with the Earl of Moray (her illegitimate half-brother) to break the Catholic rebellion in the Highlands led by Lord Hunt. While she settled into power in Scotland, tensions with her cousin Elizabeth in England remained troubled. Mary refused to ratify the Treaty of Edinburgh in 1560, which her secretaries had approved and would limit the alliance between Scotland and France while acknowledging Elizabeth as the rightful queen of England. Visits between the queens were canceled, and Mary turned down Elizabeth's suggestion that she marry the Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester. Instead, to secure her position in Scotland at the cost of outraging Elizabeth, she married her cousin, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, in 1565.
The marriage proved a bad match. Although initially filled with affection, the two soon turned to jealousy. Darnley demanded more and more power while despising Mary's relationship with her secretary, David Rizzio, an Italian courtier she had met while in France who used his talent in music to work his way into courtly politics. Rumors swarmed around Rizzio and Mary, fed further by the general dissatisfaction among the increasingly Protestant Scottish lords with their Catholic queen. Finally Darnley chose to act, joining with the rebelling lords who had been beaten down at the Chaseabout Raid in August of 1526 to overthrow Mary. While soldiers stalled guards, Patrick Ruthven, Darnley, and others burst into Mary's supper chamber where she was meeting with Rizzio. The Italian jumped to his feet and defended the seven-month-pregnant queen even before they could make their demands known. Mary's screams from Holyroodhouse Palace awoke the people of Edinburgh, who arrived by the hundreds with makeshift weapons. The rebels found themselves surrounded, and, while Rizzio fought single-handedly to keep the lords at the narrow point of the doorway, Mary ordered the people of Edinburgh to free them.
The conspirators were captured and executed, wiping out a generation of rebels. Darnley was stripped of his title and imprisoned for life in Edinburgh Castle. Their marriage could not be annulled as James VI arrived that June and would be declared illegitimate without Darnley as his father (though it was widely believed that James VI was in fact Rizzio's, even to the point Henry IV of France noted that he could only hope that "he was not David the fiddler's son"). Moray, who had fled Scotland after Chaseabout, was spared and even pardoned by Mary upon his return. Many called for him to lead a new rebellion to support the Protestants, but Mary managed to convince him of her intentions to keep Scotland religiously tolerant, meeting with popular preacher John Knox even though he routinely rebuked her habits of dancing and lavish living. Moray would serve as her secretary of domestic affairs while Rizzio continued his position as secretary of foreign matters, primarily continuing diplomacy with France and other Catholic nations.
In 1569, the Rising of the North began in England as Catholics supporting Mary were eager to overthrow Elizabeth. While the rebellion was put down by Elizabeth and the Earl of Sussex, Mary was implicated in sending support to the rebels. The tensions grew worse as the rebellion had prompted Pope Pius V to excommunicate Elizabeth and declare Mary the rightful queen. Plots to assassinate Elizabeth, such as that headed by Roberto di Ridolfi, prompted swift action, such as the execution of the Duke of Norfolk. Many in Mary's camp wished to go to war, but she realized doing so would prompt another Protestant uprising, and so she remained neutral, even after the Anglo-Spanish War broke out in 1585. Her neutrality proved beneficial to Scotland, whose economy improved while the English and Spanish badgered one another in the Atlantic.
Mary I died in 1596, giving James VI reign over Scotland after a mixed Catholic-Protestant upbringing. Elizabeth followed her cousin in death in 1603, leaving behind a declaration that the Stuarts would be cut out of English succession, akin to her father's will the generation before, as Mary had never ratified the Treaty of Edinburgh. Due to numerous deaths of relatives during Elizabeth's long life and the invalid marriage of Lady Catherine Grey to Edward Seymour, the crown was passed to the unmarried Anne Stanley with Robert Cecil as Secretary of State. Queen Anne was courted by numerous Europeans, including a planned match with Ulrik of Denmark, but would ultimately marry an Englishman in 1607, Grey Brydges, 5th Baron Chandos. Their first son, Robert, died in 1611, and the surviving George, born in 1620, assumed the throne upon his mother's death in 1647. With a stable English line of succession, England lived through the seventeenth century quietly other than colonial wars with the Spanish, French, and Dutch, with whom they fought as each gradually spread into North America.
Scotland, meanwhile, erupted in civil wars as lords contested James' beliefs on absolute rule as outlined in The True Law of Free Monarchies and Basilikon Doron. While many considered him a great patron, others blamed him for the constant bankruptcy of Scotland.
In 297 AD, bolstered by his decisive victory over the Persians, Caesar Galerius overthrew Diocletian, executing the senior Emperor and his traditor wife and daughter.
Galerius overthrows DiocletianDriven by a burning desire to restore past Roman glory, his deceased predecessor had re-introduced traditional religious practices. This action had threatened the purist non-traditors, schismatic Christian sects such as the Donatists and Meletians who absolutely refused to be "handed over" to imperial authority. Consequently he had been unwilling to subdue the anti-Christian anger of the crowd, refusing to intervene with official authority to confront the popular hostility that drove the early persecutions.
Where Diocletian sought only "to correct all things according to the ancient laws and public disciplines of the Romans" Galerius however was bitterly opposed to the Christians in principle. Less than a year into his reign, an ugly scene took place in Antioch that provided him with the pretext to massively escalate the persecutions to the point of genocide.
"The servants of God are those who are hated by the world" ~ Donatist SloganWith pagan priests accusing Christians of disrupting sacrifies at the Temple, the new Emperor responded with a set of uncompromising imperial edicts that rendered the traditor position untenable. Service in the Roman Army became impossible. Christianity was driven to the brink of oblivion; places of worship were destroyed, scriptures confiscated and the offering of sacrifices was compelled on pain of death. Communities in Africa, Egypt and Palestine were wiped out.
A fiery debate about how to treat those traditors who lapsed under persecution led to a permanent split in the North African Church. The purists were later eliminated by the Muslim invasion of North Africa.
In 738 ZRE, on this day in Hebron, Elisheva the six-month pregnant wife of the old man Zechariah received the joyous news that her cousin Miriam was also with child.
The VisitationThree traditional Zoroastrian monks would spirit the child Yeshua-ben-Joseph away to Medes in northern Persia. Her own son, Yohanan would also survive the Herodian Massacre of the Innocents. But his leadership of a messianic cult would ultimately lead to his arrest on the orders of the Roman Client King's succesor, his son Herod Antipas.
During the imprisonment his daughter Salome pleased her father with her dancing, and when offered anything she desired, asked for Yohanan's head on a plate. Appalled, Herod Antipas agreed, fully aware that such a bloodthirsty action would instigate a local rebellion. Instead, he secretly arranged for his escape. What he could not know was that he had created the conditions for a political and religious earthquake. Because Yohanan would head to northern Persia in search of his cousin who had been raised in the Zoroastrian faith. As foretold in a dream in which he had learnt of his own divine purpose, to make straight the path of the Messiah. A crooked path that had been diverted by the flight to Persia and needed to be straightened out. This article is part of the Zoroastrian Jesus thread.
In 1961, on this day the Yankees announced they would dedicate their upcoming season to the late Casey Stengel. This would prove to be a powerful motivator for the Bronx Bombers; New York would win an MLB-record 132 regular season games that year and sweep the Cincinnati Reds in the 1961 World Series.
In 1988, the 'Super Tuesday' regional Democratic presidential primary held. President Hart wins in Maryland, Texas and Massachusetts. Rev. Jesse Jackson takes Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi. Richard Gephardt wins Florida, Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky and Oklahoma, as well as his home state of Missouri.
The Hart campaign is badly disappointed by the primary results, which indicate a further slippage in the President's political support even within his own party. Moreover, the split outcome suggests that the Democrats will be at a disadvantage in November no matter whom they nominate: in geberal, the party whose presidential nomination is locked up earlier tends to win, and it appears the Democrats may go all the way to their convention without settling the matter.
In 1931, Alfred Hugenberg meets with Nazi leader Ernst Roehm to inform him that he and the others present at the meeting a week earlier are withdrawing their support for the Nazis. The Nazis' leader is furious, and warns of "dire consequences" for this "betrayal". Hugenberg coolly responds that he is prepared for anything the Nazis might try.
In 2004, Jacob and Livinia Sheridan locate the Huygens, which looks remarkably intact for a vessel that crash-landed in the Pacific Ocean from outer space. They are in a large enough sea-going ship, the Athena, to carry the Huygens, so they put it into the cargo hold. 'Quarantine the hold,' Jacob suggests to the captain, 'and we'll open it when we get back to Darwin.' The captain should have followed the good doctor's prescription.
In 1996, African forces begin carpet-bombing Pretoria, South Africa. With their American allies consumed with protecting their own borders, South Africa is left to defend itself. After conquering half of the southern hemisphere, they no longer even control their old borders, and the end is written on the wall for them.
In 1954, his fellow Communists criticize Comrade Senator Ted Astley of Washington, saying he was 'doing his best to shatter that party whose label he wears.' Comrade Astley had become overly zealous in hunting reactionary capitalists in the Soviet States of America, and his own party members had to step in and restrain him.
In 1943, Greek fighters for the Greater Zionist Resistance liberate Salonika briefly, and manage to evacuate a few thousand former G.Z.R. citizens before the German Underground cuts off the city and lays siege to it.
In 1862, the battle of the Ironclads, a new class of warship invented by the North American Confederation, takes place over the moon as the Lunar separatists of Brahe fight off an invading fleet from The Netherlands.
In 1684, experiments with the submarine show the Speaker's Line that air can be transported in a vehicle into places that have no air. This breakthrough, which should have advanced the Speaker's Dream, is instead lost because of the Secret War between the two main factions in the Speaker's Line.
In 1562, a public ban on kissing is proclaimed in the city of Naples, Italy. It lasts for about a day before the local nobleman is forced to rescind it because so many in his own palace are violating the law.
In 1451, Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci is born in Florence. He corrected the mistaken assumption that Columbus had discovered a new route to India, and had in fact stumbled upon a pair of continents previously unknown to Europeans, for the most part. In his honor, Europeans named the twin continents after him, North and South Vespuccia.
In 2005, after Chelsea Perkins agrees to turn over Morris Perkins' spell book to the Council of Wisdom, Alma May Watson asks them for a counterspell to the one that has so affected young Miss Perkins' vision. The Council promises to work on it and get back to them. Meanwhile, Chelsea has some fun watching television - on the other side of the continent.
In 1921, on this day the veteran Spanish Premier Eduardo Dato Iradier narrowly survived an attempt to assassinate him while exiting the parliament building in Madrid.
Iradier LivesA vastly experience political leader, he had the necessary experience to guide the nation through the traumas of the third and fourth decades of the twentieth century when the country bordered on the verge of civil war. Because just two years later, he prevented General Primo de Rivera from establishing a military dictatorship.
At the time of the attempt on his life he had already served three times as Spanish Prime Minister: from 27 October 1913 to 9 December 1915, from 11 June 1917 to 3 November 1917, and from 28 April 1920 onwards. Also he held eleven cabinet ministries, and was four times President of the Spanish Congress of Deputies (a role approximating to that of parliamentary Speaker).
In 1874, on this day Millard Fillmore the 13th President of the United States and the last member of the Whig Party to hold that office died in Buffalo, New York. He was seventy-four years old.
Birth of VP FillmoreHe is consistently included in the bottom 10 of historical rankings of Presidents of the United States. But what if..
April 17th, 1850
For several weeks, a personal animosity had deepened between Senator Henry Foote of Mississippi and Senator Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri; the former supporting Senator Clay's compromise legislation and the latter vehemently opposing it.
Matters came to a head that afternoon when Senator Foote began making personal accusations and remarks against Senator Benton in one of his speeches.
Senator Benton abruptly stood up from his desk, knocking his chair violently aside, and started towards Senator Foote in an unmistakable posture of physical confrontation.
Senator Foote (who was of much slighter build than the outraged Senator Benton) fled down the aisle towards the Vice President's desk, behind which he took cover and aimed a revolver at Senator Benton. Chaos erupted at the sight of the drawn weapon: visitors fled the galleries, and Senators shouted for someone to fetch the Sargeant-at-Arms. Senator Benton continued his foolhardy advance, shouting that Senator Footefor a coward and daring him to shoot.
[POD] Seeing Senator Foote's attention distracted for an instant, Senator Dickinson of New York tries to grab the revolver away from him. As they struggle, a single gunshot rings out. Vice President Millard Fillmore (who had stood only a few yards away, shouting in vain for the Senate to come to order) abruptly drops his gavel, staggers and falls to the floor. "Oh my God! You've killed Fillmore! You b*stards!" shouts Senator Benton.
Assuming Zachary Taylor still gets sick and dies that summer...
Depending on which chamber selects a leader first, the Presidential succession falls to either Senate President Pro Tempore William R. King (D-Alabama), or House Speaker Howell Cobb (D-Georgia), both of whom are strongly pro-slavery.
* Under the terms of the Succession Act of 1792, there will need to be a Presidential election in November 1850; so anti-slavery Whigs and Democrats probably work together to block any Compromise from passing until after the election (when hopefully someone more reasonable is in the White House).
* William Seward has a good chance of being elected, which may mean no Compromise of 1851, 1852, 1853, or 1854 either.
In 1655, what started as a private disagreement, this monumental case in the young American colonies would establish precedence for the clarity of indentured servitude and all but end the notion of slavery for the Virginia Colony.
John Casor Declared an Indentured Servant Anthony Johnson, a Black colonist who came to America in 1619 as an indentured servant, one from the first "20 and odd negroes", had realized his freedom and was granted fifty acres as was customary in the colonial settlement. Through "hard labor and known service" (as described in another, later legal case), Anthony and his wife Mary had grown fairly wealthy with a farm of 250 acres. As part of this, he was able to take on five indentured servants, one of whom was John Casor.
After several years of work, John determined that he had earned his freedom and paid back his debts from being brought over to the colonies. Anthony "was in a feare. Upon this his sonne in lawe, his wife and his two sonnes perswaded the said Anthony Johnson to sett the said John Casor free", which should have ended the matter. However, after a debilitating fire on his plantation in 1653, Anthony sought to rebuild, and he needed help of the servant he had given freedom. He took up a case against Robert Parker, a neighboring White planter who had taken on John Casor as a hired hand. In Johnson vs Parker, Anthony called for the return of Casor as well as damages for having lost his "servant for life". After much deliberation, it was determined that there was no paperwork in the matter (having been lost or nonexistent, a possibility as Anthony Johnson was illiterate), and that having one's word against another was a wobbly groundwork for law in the colonies. A man would not be a slave unless rigorously documented, which made indentured servitude the much more viable option.
Casor remained a free man working under Parker while Anthony sold the remainder of his farm and moved to Somerset County, where he would lease a 300-acre farm for ninety-nine years. Meanwhile, the influx of indentured servants bolstered the expansion of the colony as each would be granted 50 acres upon their freedom. The Virginia Colony exploded with growth, and soon other colonies would be founded, most emulating the anti-slave law, though fewer would agree with the easy citizenship of Blacks, as granted in another case concerning Anthony Johnson's land upon his death in 1670 in which his grandchildren were able to establish landowning rights.
Without slaves, it was argued, the building up of the colonies was slowed, but modern historians disagree, stating that a firmer, wider population of farmers maximized land use rather than plantations, as was seen in the Free Soil movement of the mid-1800s. As part of the transitory period between 1719 and 1729, South Carolina amended its laws to allow widespread slavery, which was crucial to building its economy on rice-harvesting since the skills of imported slaves were key to cultivation. In one of his many fiery essays in 1775, Thomas Paine would publish "African Slavery in America," a work condemning slavery in an age of enlightenment. Anti-slavery became a key part of the movement for independence, which would ignite the South, particularly South Carolina, in disagreement. The matter would finally be solved by the war effort, promising freedom to slaves who volunteered for the army and declaring restrictive masters to be "Tories".
After several decades of growth, the United States would again be torn apart by the Nullification Crisis over the Tariff of 1828 (also known as the "Tariff of Abominations" by detractors). The question of central federal power over states' rights in confederation again was raised forty years after the Constitution had replaced the Articles of Confederation. South Carolina led the charge in declaring "nullification" rights and was followed by the agricultural states of the South. President Andrew Jackson and his preparedness for a fight led to the fast-moving Civil War with U.S. Army troops collecting taxes while defeating opposing militias. Fear of overwhelming federal power struck the country, but, upon Martin Van Buren's election in 1836 near the closing days of the war, the nation came back together.
Although the United States was one of the earliest modern nations to abolish slavery, racial tensions would continue through the nineteenth century. Gradually through the work of conferences, African Americans and even women would be granted full rights and non-restricted votes by the turn of the twentieth century.
In 1803, because the proposed marriage of Jerome Bonaparte and the "Duchess of Baltimore" Betsy Patterson of Maryland would confer an illegal Title of Nobility on a US Citizen the constitution temporarily halted the Federal Government from purchasing the Louisiana Territory.
Duchess of Baltimore
Co-written with Mike Ulkowski Matters were further complicated when their child Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte born on July 7, 1805 received aristocratic recognition from France in addition to gaining U.S. citizenship through his American-born mother.
Nevertheless, for different reasons both the French and US Governments needed the Purchase to go ahead. And so Napoleon petitioned Pope Pius VII to annul their marriage, whilst Representative Nathaniel Macon of North Carolina drafted a constitutional amendment that would prevent US citizens from holding a foreign title of nobility.
Ultimately, the Pope refused to comply, and a constitutional amendment was indeed required prior to the completion of the Purchase.
In 1995, during a joint rally between President Clinton and Vice President Gore in Charleston, South Carolina, McVeigh detonates a large truck bomb, instantly killing President Clinton and Vice President Gore.
A shocked Newt Gingrich is sworn in as President of the United States. McVeigh is swiftly tracked down and is killed in a firefight with FBI agents.
President GingrichGingrich's first act as President is to order two weeks of mourning for President Clinton and Vice President Gore. A state funeral is held for both the President and Vice President.
A new article from Althistory WikiaIn the media many liberal pundits who are angry with the immediate shift in power, call for Gingrich to step down as President. Calling the liberal pundits "ghoulish", Gingrich refuses and two weeks later appoints Gulf War hero Collin Powell to be the next Vice President of the United States. On April 22, 1995 Collin Powell is sworn in as the 46th and first African American Vice President of the United States of America. President Gingrich begins to lay the groundwork for his new administration. Fearing liberal backlash, Gingrich insures that few members of the former Clinton cabinet will be replaced.
In a speech before a crowded Missouri state capitol Richard Gephardt declares his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States of America. In a statement on national television President Gingrich announces that he will be seeking the Republican nomination for President in 1996. Gephardt immediately takes to the campaign trail and begins to blast Gingrich for his far-right stance on the issues.
Opinion polls show that exactly 50 percent of people approve of the job that Gingrich is doing. Colin Powell announces he will not seek another term. Many liberal pundits speculate that he is having disagreements with Gingrich. Privately, however, it is only because Powell has never had any desire to be Vice President of the United States.
In 1862, the ironclad _Virginia_ made its first sortie against the Union ships at the sea lanes of Hampton Roads, Virginia. The _Virginia_ exchanged a round of cannon with the wooden _Cumberland_ and then rammed the _Cumberland_ as per doctrine.
The Scrooge Contribution Part IVThe relatively feeble engnes of the _Virginia_ were then shown inadequate for the _Virginia_ to back out of a ram as expected. Losing its prow, _Virginia_ backed enough to give the _Congress_ a devastating barrage from the ironclad's cannons. Another ship, _Minnesota_ went to shallow water to escape proximity to the _Virginia_. The first day of action (March 8) did not involve the British ironclad _Warrior_, held in reserve that day, or the Union _Monitor_, hurrying south for its encounter with the _Virginia__. The beginning of the battle of the second day was lit by the light of the still burning _Congress._ The least impressive ship that second day was the _Virginia_ which was underengined and poorly built. The _Warrior_, struck several times at its unarmored rudder, began leaking badly and was stuck in the shallows of Hampton Roads, while the _Monitor_ was paralyzed by several direct hits to its gun turret. The outcome was that all three ironclads were rendered incapable of combat and withdrawn from further action.
As military fortunes swelled along the lines of General McClellan's peninsular campaign against Richmond, the British Army had invaded across the border with America in March 1862. Sir James Hope Grant lead five thousand sepoys (transferred, like him, from India) into Seattle. The British took the town, though much of the city was burned down.
In the next month (April 1862), Grant received fifteen thousand reinforcements from across the Pacific Ocean. General Grant planned to go south along the coast and clear out American resistance sloowly and methodically.
Meanwhile, the Pacific Squadron of Admiral Sir Thomas Maitland had been occupied in making the Pearl Harbor port of Honolulu, Hawaii, a British base. On April 1, 1862, the Squadron had attempted to occupy San Francisco during the early morning fog but had been beaten off in a week of fighting. In May, the Royal Navy made a second attempt that was again overcome by an onslaught of numbers. The civilians of San Francisco far outnumbered their adversaries in the Royal Navy and Marines.
On June 21, 1862, General James Hope Grant was defeated in the Rogue's River battles of southern Oregon, and his forces dispersed and retreated following the General's capture by a guerilla organization called the "Lake Tahoe Grizzlies".
In 1837, the House of Representatives votes for president of the United States.
The vote does not go smoothly. A number of Webster's Northern supporters prove unwilling to vote for Jackson despite their man's urgings. Meanwhile, Southerners in the House denounce Webster's withdrawal as a scheme designed to keep the White House from once more being occupied by a 'Southern gentleman.' Tempers flare, and the House's sergeant-at-arms is forced to intervene in two separate physical confrontations.
When the votes are finally counted, it is discovered that once again, there is no majority: some of Webster's former supporters, as well as some of Calhoun's partisans, have cast blank ballots. Since the Constitution specifies that the winner of the presidency is decided by a majority vote of 'the whole House,' not merely the majority of those voting, there is no winner. What's more, informal polling of the dissident Representatives indicates that they are prepared to continue casting blank ballots. Since neither Jackson nor Calhoun can muster a majority vote in that case, there seems to be no prospect of breaking the deadlock.
It is now clear that there will have to be a vote in the Senate. What is not clear is what that will mean: with Webster's withdrawal, the Federalists in the upper house are a wild card in any such balloting.
In 2004, Jacob and Livinia Sheridan reluctantly leave their retirement home in Darwin, Australia to examine the wreckage of the Huygens, a ship that crashed into the Pacific on its return from the Saturnian moon, Titan. The first ship they encounter is the quarantine ship that had gone up to meet the Huygens, ISA 21. It bears the marks of weapon fire, and its entire crew is dead.
In 2005, Chelsea Perkins performs the spell Lights of the night sky enhanced, and suddenly finds herself possessed of telescopic vision; unfortunately, this means that her normal vision is gone, and when she looks at objects close to her, she sees them at a microscopic level. She is reluctantly forced to agree with Alma May Watson that she should have burned the spell book she got this one out of.
In 1962, international superstar Pete Best made his television debut on the BBC, performing with his old band The Silver Beatles on the musical show Teenager's Turn. Best would soon decide to go his own way, which turned out to be disastrous for his old bandmates, but a bonanza for him.
In 1952, hiding from East German soldiers and an extra-dimensional entity in a hillside cave, Mikhail von Heflin and Velma Porter slip through a hole they find in the cave into another dimension. While von Heflin has been exposed to this sort of thing before, Miss Porter is too new to her present state of existence, and loses consciousness.
In 1935, following up on the success of his scientific romance Look Homeward, Angel, Thomas Wolfe publishes its sequel, Of Time And The River. The series followed the exploits of the fallen angel Gant after leaving his home in the village of Ash, and has become a classic of S.R.
In 1852, Denmark and Spain joined the Congress of Nations. The last two holdouts in Europe, they paved the way for the other isolationist countries of the earth to finally give in and begin joining the C.N.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.