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.
Perhaps the old British bulldog might well have chuckled in private at the backfiring irony of the gesture because it was the moralizing American President that was embarrassed by a demonstration of his own citizens at the inaugural meeting of the United Nations.
White Man's Burden: FDR has to pull the rabbit out of the hatUsing the undeniable bully-club threat of with-holding military support, Franklin D. Roosevelt had forced Winston Churchill to acquiesce to an Atlantic Charter that guaranteed the right of representation to the "darker skinned" citizens of British overseas territories. The reluctant Churchill had of course previously stated that "he hadn't become the King's First Minister in order to dismantle the British Empire" but that unashamedly imperialistic message was delivered to a rather different audience (those words certainly didn't appear in his speech to the joint houses of the US Congress). In practice, he actually did oversee the final decline of the home nation's great power status, although one might perhaps argue that the international triumph of Commonwealth forces over the Axis Powers had merely accelerated the formation of a new partnership of equals. Because after all Her Majesty's Government never seemed to get too sentimental about the colouring of areas of the map when her ministers were closely scrutinizing the balance sheet.
And yet the men and women that had travelled to San Francisco were not British but rather from the US Overseas Territories of Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Philippines and Hawaii. Because for all the brave talk of liberty, an accidental American Empire had arisen during the last century and these intellectuals were keenly aware of the reluctance of Washington politicians to grant state-hood, an irreversible step that would allow "dark skinned citizens" to vote in their WASP Union.
The existence of American territories in the Far East was part of a projection of military power that had begun long ago under President McKinley. And matters in that region were further complicated by the rise of resistance movements that had helped defeat the Japanese after the European Colonial Empires had been rolled back. And yet in the Americas there had been no armed conflict, and the main interests were purely economic.
It would appear to be a major headache for FDR who required the moral high ground in order to demand free and fair elections in Soviet-occupied Eastern Europe. And yet FDR had an answer that would shock just about everyone; in his opening speech he announced that he would be resigning the Presidency in order to serve as UN Secretary General, a role in which he use the few remaining years of his life to seek justice for people all around the world.
In 1945, on this day fifty nations gathered in San Francisco, California to begin the United Nations Conference on International Organizations. The goal was to replace the League of Nations, to stop wars between countries, and to provide a platform for dialogue. It would contain multiple subsidiary organizations to carry out its missions.
New World OrderSeven years later, the UN's head-quarters was opened in the Bay Area. It was a controversial choice of location by the U.N. Interim Site Committee. They had been lobbied intensely by East Coast power-brokers who argued that New York City was a world capital with international transport routes. However their logic was self-defeating because the political elite wanted a structure that faced eastwards towards Asia.
The decision had a number of profound consequences. The development of infrastructure to support the UN was indeed a boon to the local economy. However this was matched by a fast-growing counter-culture. By the late 1960s, the UN headquarters was the focal point of anti-war protests and demonstrations that the U.N. Interim Site Committee had not anticipated. Nor had they considered the conspiracy angle, with many of the protestors starting to believe that the UN had been located to suite the needs of a shadowy government - a true New World Order.
In 1915, on this day the Battle of Gallipoli began with the invasion of the Turkish Peninsula by Australian, British, French and New Zealand troops landing at Anzac Cove and Cape Helles.
Gallipoli Campaign Ends with Occupation of Istanbul And after nine grueling months of combat, ANZAC troops led the charge into the capital of the Ottoman Empire and brought about its surrender. It was a campaign that was conceived initially by First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill and solved many of the Allies' problems after the opening of the World War had come to stalemate. Trench warfare in France had come to a standstill, and the Allies needed a new front to break into the territory of the Central Powers. First Sea Lord John Fisher suggested an amphibious landing in Germany itself to break the Kaiser's strength at home, but Churchill suggested taking the Dardanelles, which would break up the Ottoman Empire while also making use of outdated naval ships unfit for combat against the German fleet as well as establishing supply lines to Russia, which was effectively cut off from the rest of the Allies by the Central fronts, German ships, and ice.
Churchill won the debate, and an Allied fleet made its first attack on February 19, 1915. Initial bombardment weakened the fortresses along the Dardanelles, so Admiral Carden cabled Churchill that victory would be assured by a major push in early March. Fisher and others in the Navy noted that losses would be severe, and Fisher repeatedly threatened to resign over the matter. Churchill initially dismissed the notion, saying that war was war, but he finally conceded and asked Fisher to outline a battle plan with minimal loss. Instead of the direct attack planned, the navy would give support while covert agents swept for mines and destroyed mobile artillery that could attack from anywhere along the shore.
Rather than the direct attack, the British and French fleets moved slowly and methodically, eliminating any possible mines while the Ottomans continued to patrol and strike whenever possible. The latter struggled constantly with low ammunition, and the Allies gradually made their way upward to the forts guarding the narrow-most corridor of the Dardanelles. Under naval artillery support, troops were landed at Cape Helles, most notably the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps, who had been training in Egypt for battle in France and suddenly reassigned. Also among them were elite troops in the British Gurkhas, the Jewish Legion, and many English and Irish. The Ottomans fought back fiercely, such as the stand of the 57th Infantry Regiment under the command Lieutenant-Colonel Mustafa Kemal, who said, "I do not expect you to attack, I order you to die. In the time which passes until we die, other troops and commanders can come forward and take our places".
Over the course of the next months, battle after battle would press the Allies forward. Both armies would suffer from intense heat in the summer, mosquitoes and vermin, storms, flooding, and frostbite during the winter. That spring, the navy would break through the strait and gain open water in the Sea of Marmara, setting up a new stage for the campaign in besieging and assaulting Istanbul. Joined by the Russian fleet from across the Black Sea, the city would be cut off from the rest of the empire, which would shatter over the course of 1916. The Armenians, who had been executed en masse for their volunteer forces in Russia, rebelled openly and were promised their own nation-state. The Young Turk movement, which had been suppressed and even turned to fight against the invasion of the Allies, now declared the caliphate abolished, establishing a new republic. Other territories of the Ottomans were broken apart, though diplomats were busy solidifying the entrances of Romania and Greece into the war and left the divisions to the Arab Bureau of the Foreign Office, working primarily with archeologist / Intelligence Officer T.E. Lawrence and General Archibald Murray of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force. The new national lines followed the division of people groups, notoriously spawning wars in the Middle East throughout the twentieth century, though rarely violent internal matters.
The collapse of the Ottoman Empire seemed a great boon for the Allies, but the fall of Russia later that year would bring the war to another standstill until won after the entrance of the United States and devastating Spanish Flu pandemic. The signing of the Treaty of Versailles would be the first great note of Sir Winston Churchill's career as Prime Minister.
In 2010, on this day Sarah Louise Palin was sworn in as the first woman President of the United States after John McCain suffered a heart attack at the Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana where he had been overseeing the crisis management of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster.
Woman solves man-made disaster
Characteristically, McCain had been honouring a campaign pledge that had he been president during the Hurricane Katrina Disaster, he would have flown to the nearest Air Force base to oversee the response.
The Deepwater catastrophe had begun with the initial rig explosion on April 20. "And, unlike an earthquake or a hurricane, it is not a single event that does its damage in a matter of minutes or days" ~ former President Candidate Barack ObamaThe subsequent fire on a semi-submersible Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit created a massive ongoing offshore oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the largest in U.S. history and an environmental disaster.
Doubtless, what was required over the coming months was the deft crisis management of a national leader such as John F Kennedy. Instead having charged down to Louisiana McCain could hardly disengage with the crisis worstening.
In 1915, on this day Australian, British, French and New Zealand troops landed on the Turkish Gallipoli Peninsula; the Ottoman Dardanelle forts soon ran out of ammunition and within fourteen days Constantinople was in Allied hands.
Anzac DayThe fateful decision to open a second front at Anzac Cove and Cape Helles profoundly shaped the national leaderships of at least three nations. First Sea Lord Winston Churchill entered 10 Downing Street in 1924 and just two years later the Brigade Commander, and later Field Marshall John Monash became the Prime Minister of Australia. Together, they would lead the transformation of Imperial Defences. And of course it was Churchill and Monash who took the first step by bringing Mustafa Kemal to power in post-war Turkey.
But the true significance of the mission was the opening of the sea route to Russia which had been closed since October 1914. Without victory in the Dardanelles Campaign, the Tsar's Regime was surely doomed.
In 1997, following the agony of impeachment, Archbishop Desmond Tutu paid tribute to Mandela. South Africa's AgonyEmphasising of course the importance to the anti-apartheid struggle, at the same time he begged the former President to apologize and to admit mistakes. Graciously, the former President confessed that things went horribly wrong after her husband's death in custody a decade before.
In 2008, on this day Arizona senator and 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain introduced a bill in Congress which made provisions for Zimbabwean political refugees to immediately receive political asylum in the U.S.
In 1980, President Nelson Rockefeller suffers a severe heart attack. He is rushed to Walter Reed Hospital, where he will remain in intensive care for the next eight days.
On the 27th, with the President under sedation in the hospital and expected to remain so for several days, Vice-President Paul Laxalt meets with the Cabinet to draft a letter invoking the Twenty-fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution transferring the powers of the presidency to the Vice-President on grounds of the President's medical condition. The letter is delivered to the president pro tem of the Senate the following morning.
In 1945, on this day US President Charles Lindbergh declared Elbe Day. United States and Tsarist troops meet in Torgau along the River Elbe, cutting the Wehrmacht of Weimar Germany in two, a milestone in the approaching end of World War II in Europe.
In 2083, the African Union elects its first woman chairman, Dalila Lolosili, a powerful Kenyan who is responsible for the AU's emergence as a balancing force between the superpowers of India and China. Her space program, headed by Ronald Mabandla, becomes the envy of the two great powers in short order, because they don't have to worry about securing themselves against the other powers.
In 1997, the Chinese joined up with the British and Egyptians, splitting America down the center. President Ralph Shephard called for all Americans to fight the allies, but for all intents and purposes, his Constitutionalist government is finished. Many Americans welcome the invaders, since the Constitutionalists had been so repressive on their own people.
In 1983, Comrade President John Anderson wrote to 10-year old Helga Schmidt, a grade-school girl in Germany who had written him after Kaiser Louis-Ferdinand referred to the Soviet States of America as the 'Evil Empire'. Comrade Anderson used his reply to the young girl to show her the human side of America, and let her know that the Soviets were not the monsters that she had been raised to believe.
In 1968, in a decision that would earn him much goodwill, international superstar Pete Best announces that he will perform at the British Olympic Appeal Fund show. It sets the stage for other benefit concerts he gives in the 70's, making him music's benefit king.
In 1831, The Lion of the West opened in New York City. The play celebrated the life of Davy Crockett, who had been influential in negotiating the acquisition of several former Spanish territories by the North American Confederation. It particularly emphasized his acceptance by a Mlosh community as a young man after his parents had raised him to hate the aliens.
In 1599, the most successful Conqueror of the Speaker's Line, Oliver Cromwell, was born in Huntingdon, England. For a few years, he held control of the British Empire, and used it to further the goals of his faction as much as he could before his death and the loss of Britain back to those not descended from Telka.
On this day in 1982, Rick Steamboat, in a bid to thwart the Enforcers' agenda, joined forces with former NWA world champion Ric Flair, second-generation wrestler Barry Windham, and Scottish brawler Roddy Piper to form the Four Horsemen.
In 1999, now that the Commonwealth stands behind King Arthur, he issues a call for support of the kingdom to all loyal citizens. 'We are about to embark upon the greatest struggle of our history,' King Arthur says in the televised address. 'An enemy sits across the Channel from us; an implacable enemy who sees us as nothing but an impediment to their own plans, as tools in their overarching conspiracy to control our world. Today, we declare war against these Illuminati and their henchmen inside the Central European Empire. Today, we declare that we will live as free men and women in this world. Today, we declare that the United Kingdom of Great Britain shall fight to the death those that seek to extinguish the light of liberty from our land. We ask for your aid in this great conflict, and with God's help, we shall emerge victorious.' Hours after the address, Emperor Pierre of the Central European Empire declares war against Great Britain.
In 1891, troops begin heading west to reinforce General Anthony Franklin in Missouri, where he is planning a large-scale siege of Kansas. He sends messengers to the governors of the surrounding states for militia men to handle the main portion of the siege while he uses federal troops to penetrate into Kansas. 'Once we take Topeka, the rest of these rebels should fall like dominoes,' he told the messengers to tell the governors. Major Mark Wainwright, who had been involved in the struggle longer than Franklin, said, 'Sir, I fear that you're underestimating these men. They've proven themselves capable of fighting off trained military - more than once, as you know.' Franklin, stung by the memory of his own defeat at the hands of the Kansans, ordered Wainwright, 'Be quiet, sir. Your defeatist attitude has no place in this campaign - which will be short and successful. Understood?' Wainwright nodded, saluted, and left to see to the few men who had survived the trip to Kansas with him.
In 1995, the entertainment industry mourned the loss of one of its great leading ladies, the ever-graceful Virginia McMath, who had become famous as the dancing partner of hoofer Fred Austerlitz in several movies in the 30's and 40's. She became an unusual icon for feminism in later years, when the comment arose that she did everything that Austerlitz did, 'backwards - and in high heels.'
In 1989, new evidence coming to light proved that James Richardson, a Florida man convicted of poisoning his children in 1968, had been innocent, and that his neighbor had committed the crime. Unfortunately, harsh sentencing laws that had been enacted in 1965 had sped up his execution, and Richardson was electrocuted in 1974.
In 4340, a scandal erupted in the Forbidden City when royal cousin Ssu Tsung committed suicide. Unwilling to believe one in his bloodline could commit such an act, Emperor Po sealed off Beijing and ordered the interrogation of all who had contact with Ssu. When the evidence of his depression was undeniable, Po opened the city back up and ordered a mourning period for his cousin.
In 1507, Martin Waldseemuller, a German geographer, gave a name to the 2 mighty continents in the western hemisphere. Rather than naming it after the man who had established contact with them, he named them after the man who had proven they were new continents, calling them Vespuccia.
In 1942, on this day Richard Michael Daley was born in Bridgeport, an historically Irish-American neighborhood located south of the Chicago Loop. He was the fourth of seven children and eldest son of Richard J. and Eleanor Daley, the late Mayor and First Lady of America's Second City, Chicago.
Birth of Richard M. DaleyHe was elected fifty-fourth mayor at a moment in history when Chicago's Second City status was under pressure as never before. Of course many doom-cryers had predicted that such a decline was inevitable as far back as the 1945 World Series when the National League Chicago Cubs beat the American League Detroit Tigers . However events conspired to transition the blue collar "City of Broad Shoulders" to the modern day white collar mecca "Chi-Town". Firstly, the earthquake of 1964  held back the development of its rival city of Los Angeles. And secondly, his father invested all of his political capital in launching a long-term policy of suburban annexation  being forever associated with never-ending highway construction on I-94 through the Windy City and its suburbs .
Neverthless, by the late nineteen eighties Los Angeles was fast re-emerging, and Chicagoans began to look nervously at the relative decline of St. Louis. Of course Detroit had only been saved from haunting ruin by the action of local advocates who had lobbied the United Nations into basing their head-quarters on Belle-Isle. The issue was still unresolved when Daley left office and was succeeded by Barry Soetoro. He would govern a mega-city sprawling out into much of Cook County. And the appointment of an ex-Community Organizer was an intriguing development for a city where the term "Chicago Politician" was still being used to cynically describe connections to the Mob, a throwback to the bad old days of Al Capone .
In 1861, the Republic of Texas formally recognised the Confederate States of America in a keynote speech delivered by President William B. Travis on this day in Austin; whilst offering critical diplomatic support to his fellow South Carolinians, Travis carefully avoiding any direct comparison between the sieges of Fort Sumter and the Alamo.
Line in the SandNo longer the hot-headed twenty-six year old Lieutenant Colonel of the Texian Army, Travis had learnt a number of valuable lessons about leadership since he wrote the famous "Victory or Death" Letter on March 3rd, 1836.
Because having drawn a line in the sand, only one of the defenders of the Alamo had refused to cross it - Moses Rose, a French born former soldier in Napoleon Bonaparte's Grande Armée who insisted that he was not ready to die. And so during the late night hours of March 5th, Rose had snuck through enemy lines, broke into the Old Governor's Mansion and assassinated the Mexican general Antonio López de Santa Anna. Whereupon his successor, General Castrillon launched a disasterous strike on the east wall which was repelled by heavy cannon fire (that was in fact mostly shrapnel) but which caused the Mexican troops to despair and quit the siege.
In 1804, foiled in their dastardly plans to betray the founding principles of the American revolution, the disgraced Colonel Alexander Hamilton and his fellow Federalist plotters were transported to Hudson County, New Jersey where they were summarily executed on this day at the township of Weehawken.
Traitors to the American RevolutionPrima facie evidence had emerged from a vitriolic letter originally sent from Dr. Charles D. Cooper to Philip Schuyler, Hamilton's father-in-law. Published in the Albany Register, the letter revealed the existence of a vast and insidious conspiracy of soldiers, bankers and lawyers who sought to implement an American version of British mercantilism. Shockingly, the plans for a "congressional-military-industrial complex" had begun almost as soon as the Revolution was over.
"States' rights must be crushed, in the eyes of Hamilton and his followers"Prior to the execution, a charge sheet was read by Colonel Aaron Burr, reminding citizens that the war of independence had removed an evil "system of statism which employed economic fallacy to build up a structure of imperial state power, as well as special subsidy and monopolistic privilege to individuals or groups favored by the state". In short, Hamilton, et all were traitors to the American Revolution, the worst kind of corrupt, power-seeking political scoundrels no better than King George III of England. Because these evil mercantilists sought to introduce numerous taxes and interferences with international trade that benefited American businesses and the Federal Government while treating the American citizens like tax serfs.
In -70000, year by the pre-colony calendar, indigenous humanoid cousins of the Mlosh lost a battle with extinction, an extensive archeology study suggests.
Indigenous humanoids wiped out 70,000 years ago, study says.The human population at that time was reduced to small isolated groups in the central continent, apparently because of drought.
"Tiny bands of early humans, forced apart by harsh environmental conditions, forced to the brink of extinction. Truly an epic tragedy, written in our cousin's scattered remains". says the report.
In 1804, the "Cooper letter" is published in the Albany Register newspaper.
The Cooper Letter by Eric LippsIn private correspondence, Dr. Charles D. Cooper to President Hamilton's father-in-law Philip Schuyler expresses a venomously hostile opinion of Burr, then seeking the governorship of New Jersey, and claims to describe "a still more despicable opinion which President Hamilton has expressed of Mr. Burr" at a political dinner. When Burr learns of the letter, he will immediately demand an explanation, stating that "political opposition can never absolve gentlemen from the necessity of a rigid adherence to the laws of honor and the rules of decorum".
Hamilton's response will not help matters. "How such a gentleman as Mr. Burr can complain of the private opinions of others, made known to him, when he has taken it upon himself to deliver first from the concealment of an alias and then openly attacks upon this Administration and upon its President assaults of the most inflamed character, I cannot comprehend". His next words will prove fateful: "As to his remarks on honor and decorum, one cannot discern from his record in the matter of the so-called Cicero letters, or indeed from any other source, by what right he is fit to question others".
Matters steadily worsen over the following weeks, with both Burr and Hamilton claiming that "honor must be satisfied" between them. Both men have a history of dueling, and Hamilton's friends and advisers, in particular, try desperately to prevent such a contest between the pair, arguing that for a president to duel would be "injurious to the dignity and indeed the security of the nation, regardless of the result".
In 2015, on this day fearing for his life if he returned to Britain, entertainer and former Beatle Paul McCartney, who'd been touring continental Europe when David Cameron resigned as prime minister, went to the U.S. embassy in Madrid and requested political asylum in America for himself and his family.
That McCartney had considered such drastic action, much less actually gone through with it, was one of the clearest signs yet just how bad things had gotten in the swiftly and inexorably disintegrating United Kingdom. Indeed, even as McCartney was filing his asylum request dozens of London's top police officers had resigned their commissions in disgust over the sky-high crime rate in the British capital.
On this day in 1983, Terry "Hulk" Hogan demolished "Psycho" Tommy Rich in less than nine minutes in the main event at the first Wrestlemania to win the WWF world heavyweight title; in the biggest match on the undercard, Greg "The Hammer" Valentine and Adrian Adonis beat Pedro Morales and Rocky Johnson to win the WWF world tag team titles.
In 2001, most of Miller, Wisconsin goes up in flames as desperate National Guardsmen blow up building after building in an attempt to halt zombie Hitler on his rampage through the small town. During the chaos, Colby Ross and Samantha Robinson locate the hidden basement where their grandfathers had hidden the means to dispel Hitler and complete the ritual, banishing the Nazi forever.
In 1996, mere days after rescuing Sally Ann Moore from kidnappers at Aggiecon, Bartholomew Thompson, Moore, and several of Thompson's friends are approached by the alien race known as the B'han and asked to accompany them to their homeworld, where Thompson's peculiar talents are needed. The group agrees, to the misfortune of most of them.
In 1992, the British withdraw their meager forces from Zaire in the face of the brutal South African onslaught. With Terreblanche winning victories across Africa and Constitutionalist President Ralph Shephard consolidating his hold on the western hemisphere, it looks dark for the anti-Fulcrum allies. Fortunately, a new ally is just about to join them and turn the tide.
In 1915, Admiral Esteban Rodriquez's ships reach the P'Karsai nebula and find a habitable planet, populated by the race known to them as the Kainku. Rodriquez sends out a greeting asking for a meeting with the ruling government of the planet; it is responded to quickly in the affirmative.
Jacob Evert and George Dulty patent their soda fountain
, a machine which makes sweet carbonated beverages. They almost lose their shop when a smooth-talking inventor tries to get them to start selling ice cream sodas, but recover after knocking the unpopular sweet off of their menu.
In 1781, former American general Benedict Arnold, now fighting for the Canadians, clashes with British General William Phillips at the Battle of Hudson Bay. Phillips had wanted to establish a fort that he could begin moving troops from to strike at any point in Canada, but Arnold saved Canadian independence by defeating him soundly and driving his forces back to sea.
In 1999, Queen Elizabeth's Prime Minister-in-exile Oliver Pembroke begins shuttling about the Commonwealth in a desperate effort to keep them from recognizing the government of Arthur the usurper. He has the full diplomatic support of the Central European Empire, but is ultimately unsuccessful. He returns home to Amsterdam with nothing to show for his efforts but a further lessening of the Windsor's influence. His counterpart, Prime Minister Merl Myrddin, has much greater success - the entire Commonwealth recognizes King Arthur's government as the legitimate rulers of Great Britain.
In 1891, Congress authorizes a huge expenditure for an expeditionary force against Kansas. President Harrison's call for men to preserve the Union brings in thousands of volunteers, swelling the ranks of the army. 'Sockless' Simpson continues to drill his men in Kansas, hardening the border against the storm he sees coming. In Missouri, General Anthony Franklin and Major Mark Wainwright finally find a small town with a telegraph office. 'At last,' Franklin says, then orders Wainwright to report back to Washington and give their superiors his location. 'Now, we begin our counter-attack.'
In 1980, after reviewing intelligence reports on the emerging anti-Soviet mujaheddin resistance in Afghanistan, President Kennedy decides to direct U.S. aid primarily to secular Afghan factions.
This decision is sharply criticized by CIA Director Stansfield Turner, who points out that the most strongly anti-Communist groups are composed of militant Islamic fundamentalists. 'If we can get along with Khomeini,' Turner insists, 'we can deal with these guys--and we know they hate Moscow more than anything.' The President responds: 'And once they kick out the Soviets, if they do, what then? We manage to get along with Tehran, but isn't one Iran enough?'
Turner reluctantly gives in. However, he communicates his dissatisfaction to others. From there, word of Kennedy's decision, and of his remarks, reaches Afghanistan, where Islamic fighters are enraged at what they see as EMK's 'betrayal.' Among those angered is a wealthy Saudi extremist named Osama bin Laden who has devoted himself to the Afghan struggle out of religious zeal.
In the seventy-first year of the colony,
the great Mlosh poet Klekt't'kel was born in Ireland. Writer of the epic poem, This Empty World
, she is widely considered the greatest author of the first Mlosh century. She effectively communicated their profound sense of disappointment at the discovery that the colony's emerging sentient life had been destroyed by an extinction event. Klekt't'kel's sorrowful prose described the Chi'cxu'lu'b Event
in which the planet had been struck by the devil's tail.
In 1961, with U.S. troops ashore in Cuba following the mass landings at Bahia de Cochinos on the 17th, anti-American riots have erupted throughout the Caribbean and in Mexico. In Mexico City, the U.S. embassy is under siege, with angry crowds being kept at bay by U.S. Marines and Mexican federales.
In 1980, President Reagan sent a small team of Marines into Iran to attempt a rescue of the 50 American hostages being held in Tehran. Unfortunately, desert storms knocked the choppers out of commission, killing 8 of the Marines. President Reagan took full responsibility for the mission's failure, and this more than anything was why Senator Kennedy beat him in the presidential elections that year.
In 1942, David O. Selznick refuses to let Ingrid Bergman out of her contract and appear in Warner Brother's Casablanca. The producers use Olivia de Haviland instead, and her marvelous performance as Ilsa opposite Humphrey Bogart earns her an Oscar as best actress.
In 1833, Jacob Evert and George Dulty patent their soda fountain, a machine which makes sweet carbonated beverages. They almost lose their shop when a smooth-talking inventor tries to get them to start selling ice cream sodas, but recover after knocking the unpopular sweet off of their menu.
In 3881, the brilliant tactician Minamoto Yoshitsune finally meets his match at the Battle of Dan no ura as the Taira clan overpowers his forces in spite of his numerical advantage. This infighting is the reason that China was able to conquer the Nipponese with relative ease in the coming decades.
In 1061, a monk named Robert DeBerge at the Abbey of Bath saw a comet in the sky. He prayed the night through over this, and the following day told all of England that God was sending this errant star to destroy the nation. He was proven correct when the comet smashed into the earth, killing most life in northern Europe.
Operation Eagle Claw (or Operation Evening Light) the United States military operation to rescue the 53 hostages from the U.S. Embassy in Tehran was a stunning success. Privately, many Washington insiders believed the credit was due to Yonathan Netanyahu
, who had been on secondment from Israel Defense Forces elite Sayeret Matkal unit. The experience and valour he had demonstrated at the Raid on Entebbe
had made him a must-have member of the Eagle Claw team for Jimmy Carter, a former serviceman himself.
In 1903, the Great Russian émigré Vladimir Ulyanov died suddenly of an exacerbation of Erysipelas. Since his recent arrival in London, he had become infected by the flesh-eating red bug which had quickly spread into deeper tissue causing his demise.
A flesh-eating red bugUnder the pseudonym of "Lenin" he had penned the political pamphlet What Is to Be Done? Following this success he had travelled from Munich expecting to take a leading role on the editorial board for a Marxist newspaper called The Spark. But although these plans came to nought, he was fortunate enough to be introduced to two other remarkable intellectual émigrés, the mile-a-minute talker Lev Davidovich Bronshtein (who had also adopted a nom de guerre, going by the name of "Trotsky") and a quietly spoken Indian Lawyer called Mohandas K. Gandhi.
Gandhi was a student at the Inner Temple where he had met a radical thinker called Shyamji Krishna Varma, a highly educated gentleman who had served as the Divan of a number of princely states in India. But he had developed profound differences with Crown authority and was dismissed following a supposed conspiracy of local British officials at Junagadh. He chose to return to England where he founded the Indian Home Rule Society, India House and The Indian Sociologist.
Destiny swung a wide arc when this incomparable thought-leader and mentor welcomed the three younger men to the revolutionary hot-bed that was India House. Of course the Russians hardly needed to be sold on the point of view that "resistance to aggression was not simply justified, but imperative". And yet in Ulyanov opening up, sharing his own painful experiences - most tellingly, the execution of his beloved brother Sacha - a bigger picture began to take shape for Gandhi. And so when he passed away, Ulyanov had already extracted a death bed promise that Gandhi would take Marxism to India and liberate the down-trodden masses.
It is 1923, and two American boys are enjoying a European tour with a stop in Germany. Their trip was especially enjoyable because it had been so hard to get their wealthy Jewish parents to pay for their journey, especially since they were venturing into anti-Semitic territory.
The All-American BoysEven back in Chicago, though, they had enjoyed themselves by fantasizing
about committing the perfect murder. Hearing about the viciously
anti-Semitic political party organizer named Adolf Hitler, they decided he
was the perfect target for making their fantasies come true.
Since they also knew that he was an aspiring artist, they called on him
saying that they wanted to buy his paintings. He agreed to meet them in a
hotel room, where they had registered in disguise .. after swearing him to
total secrecy, by saying that having two Jews buy his artwork would
embarrass them all. When they showed up they strangled him and hid his body
beneath the mattress.
Their biggest challenge, of course, was getting out of Germany alive. Driving hell-for-leather to the airport, they managed their escape, hours before the corpse was found. One of them had left his glasses on the bed .. but fortunately for them, the other had spotted them just before they left the scene.
Hitler's death was blamed on everyone from the Communists to Kaiser Wilhelm, but it was only years later that the two boys decided to tell their stories.
It was true, they conceded, that Hitler had only been replaced by another Nazi leader named General Erich von Ludendorff, who was just as hateful as Hitler had been. He persecuted Jews and Christians alike, but had to stop short of killing them all, since there were so many Christians around, and they were naturally making common cause with the Jews. Still, the killers felt sure that the world was well rid of their original target .. and that all the world should admire the heroic deed of Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb.
In 1791, on this day the American statesman James Buchanan, Jr. was born to parents of Ulster Scots descent in a log cabin in Cove Gap, Franklin County, Pennsylvania. During an unstable period of vacillating national leaders, he stood out as as one of the few national politicians willing to take a principled stand on the integrity of the Union.
Birth of James BuchananAfter a successful career in local politics he was elected to the Senate and later became the chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations. Offered a position on the Supreme Court, he declined and served as Secretary of State under President Polk despite objections from Buchanan's rival, Vice President George Dallas. During this term of office he helped negotiate the 1846 Oregon Treaty which establishing the 49th parallel as the northern boundary of the western U.S.
He then served as minister to the Court of St. James's helping to draft the Ostend Manifesto. This document proposed the purchase from Spain of Cuba, then in the midst of revolution and near bankruptcy, declaring the island "as necessary to the North American republic as any of its present .. family of states". Against his recommendation, the final draft of the Manifesto suggested that "wresting it from Spain" if Spain refused to sell would be justified "by every law, human and Divine". When this clause was acted upon by the Pierce administration he resigned and returned to retirement with his beloved wife Anne  at his home in the Wheatland. He died in 1868. Of course long before then he had been vindicated because the slave island of Cuba became central to the disputes between the States.
In 1866, on this day Yankee soldiers arrested Mrs. Elizabeth Rutherford Ellis and other senior members of the Ladies Memorial Association in Columbus, Georgia.
The Arrests in ColumbusThe ladies had called for a Confederate Memorial Day on April 26th, scheduled to coincide with General Johnston's surrender at Bennett Place. The White House considered it a step too far. And to emphasize the point, a draconian ban was also put in place that outlawed the waving of the Confederate Flag, wearing of Dixie Uniforms or engaging in any form of re-enactment or commemoration whatsover.
The suppression of these freedoms would of course have long term effects upon the pursuit of liberty. By the second decade of the twenty-first century, President Michelle Obama would call for the banning of any form of foodstuff considered likely to lead to obesity. That announcement was made from the McDonald's store on Pennsylvania Avenue where the First Family indulged in a sugar free salad without dressing.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.