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 1826, on this day Queen Victoria's lover and second husband John Brown was born in Crathie, Aberdeenshire.
This article is part of the Happy Endings thread.
Happy Endings Part 18
Mrs Brown's Ghillie Lover by Ed & Jackie RoseHe went to work as an outdoor servant (in Scots ghillie or gillie) at Balmoral Castle, which Queen Victoria and Prince Albert leased in February 1848 and purchased outright in November 1851.
Because of the growing size of their young family, Prince Albert increasingly took-on monarchical responsibilities as the Queen lost her powers due to her pregnancies. A once passionate relationship was fundamentally wrecked by this domination, and Victoria frequently withdrew herself in fury whilst Albert was reduced to posting notes of apology under her locked door.
John Brown saw all of this, and what is more the Queen welcomed the distraction of his company. They began a passionate love affair that had to be conducted in utter secrecy. But almost inevitably, a discovery was made, beginning with a mysterious written note in John's hand-writing, containing an odd remark that something had been missing in this harsh world, but finally, it had been fulfilled .
Needless to say, the "Mrs Brown Scandal" rocked the country, forcing Queen Victoria to choose between asking Albert to divorce her (and remaining monarch), or eloping and living in obscurity as Mr & Mrs Brown. Either way, she would keep her Ghillie Lover so it was a happy ending for the lovers after all, if not for her cousin Albert who would return to his former status as a minor German Princeling. After her abdication, the crown went to her eldest son, Edward the Seventh..who soon rocked the country with so many scandals that his mother's were soon forgotten.
In 1542, on this day Mary, Queen of Scotland, England and France, was born in Linlithgow Palace.
Queen Mary BornA canny and opportunistic politician, Queen Mary used her marriage to the French King to claim the throne of that country when he died in 1560, and assumed the Scottish throne by right of blood.
When her cousin Queen Elizabeth of England faltered slightly, Mary used a combination of military and political pressure to force her from power and added the English Crown to her possessions.
By 216 B.C., the Second Puno-Roman War had raged for two years, and Rome became desperate after a string of catastrophic defeats at the hand of Hannibal, son of Hamilcar Barca.
Hannibal Captures Rome Hamilcar had served as the great Carthaginian commander in the First Punic War and went into exile in Iberia after angrily killing Hanno II, leader of the peace-mongers of Carthage, who had demobilized the Carthaginian navy and allowed the Romans to rebuild their own fleet. Hamilcar had passed on his distrust and hatred of the Romans to Hannibal, who set off across Gaul in a surprise attack across the Alps that caught the Romans with their sandals untied. The Gauls of northern Italy rose up around him, and Hannibal began a years-long campaign around the Italian peninsula that would end with the defeat of Rome.
Most of the Romans were sent to Iberia or Sicily to fight an imperial war, and the consul Publius Cornelius Scipio scrounged what 42,000 men he could to meet Hannibal in battle at Trebia. Hannibal's cavalry and expert flanking defeated the Romans, sweeping them from northern Italy. They vowed to drive Hannibal from Italy and formed up an army of more than 50,000, which Hannibal ambushed them on the cliff-ringed shores of Lake Trasimene in one of the most famous flanking battles in history. By 216 BC, many of the Roman "allies" erupted in revolt, and Hannibal captured the key supply depot at Cannae, where he and his army rested on the eastern end of Italy.
The Romans were determined to have another, final battle with the largest army anyone had attempted on the peninsula. Working under both consuls, they formed up a force of nearly 90,000 men, which included quaestors, tribunes, and even senators from the 300. The enormous army attacked Hannibal, who feinted a retreat, catching the much larger army in an enveloping maneuver that allowed the Carthaginians to surrounded and again slaughter Romans by the tens of thousands. After the battle, some 50,000 Romans lay dead, including much of the governors of Rome itself. According to legend, every single Roman was related directly to someone killed in battle. Hannibal's army, meanwhile, had only lost some 8,000.
"At the victory, Hannibal's Nubian commander of cavalry, Mahrabal, approached him, saying that he would ride ahead of the main army and begin the attack on Rome. Hannibal, however, was slow to agree. His was a field army, and they did not have the siege weapons necessary to take Rome. Moreover, the Romans still had many allies as well as a seemingly unbreakable resolve, and moving on the city would potentially cut off his supply lines. Finally, Hannibal's men had fought long and hard, and he sought to reward them with three days of looting the corpses from the field. Mahrabal responded, "Truly the Gods have not bestowed all things upon the same person. Thou knowest indeed, Hannibal, how to conquer, but thou knowest not how to make use of your victory".
Hannibal,suffering a migraine from his strained vision after having lost an eye before the Battle of Lake Trasimene, responded that Mahrabal could do as he saw fit, and the Nubian took an army of volunteers to begin the siege of Rome with Hannibal's forces to follow after their days of rest. He sent a case of some 200 rings cut from the fingers of dead Roman nobles to the Carthaginian senate, asking for reinforcements and equipment necessary to finish the war. After much debate, Carthage agreed, and they gained new allies as Grecian Sicily revolted against Rome and Macedon joined Hannibal's cause.
Even with an upgraded army that summer, the siege of Rome was not easy. Rather than a uniform siege line, Hannibal stretched his resources and emulated Mahrabal's tactics of constant patrols on horseback with skirmishers defeating any supply trains attempting to sneak into Rome. The Romans attempted several times to piece together a larger force to drive away the Carthaginian raiders, but Hannibal's superior tactics defeated them over and over. Finally, as winter approached, the Romans gave in. They had done everything they could to resist even moderate peace talks, mobilizing the entire male population including slaves, outlawing the word "peace", and banning public crying while limited mourning periods to 30 days. Hannibal is noted by historians such as the Roman Livy as saying that want broke the Romans' back, but never military defeat.
The war ended very favorably to the Carthaginians, who raised up opposing cities such as Tarentum and Pisa to cow Roman influence on the peninsula. Carthage's empire would spread as the centuries progressed, south into Africa and eastward through the Mediterranean and Black Seas, using their famous navy to establish colonies and dominance in places such as Greece, Egypt, and Palestine. As a merchant people, their influence was largely cultural with an increase of child-sacrifice seen in archeology, and their empire did not go much beyond the navigable shores. After hundreds of years of dominance, the Carthaginians would eventually fall to invading Vandals, whose King Genseric would establish his capital and center of his state religion of Arian Christianity there in 439.
In 1542, on this day Mary, Queen of Scots (also known as Mary Stuart or Mary I of Scotland) was born in the Linlithgow Palace.
Birth of 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 1938, on this day the German Kriegsmarine aircraft carrier codename Flugzeugträger A was christened the Graf Zeppelin and launched from the Deutsche Werke in the port of Kiel.
Flugzeugträger Part 1: Launching of the Graf ZeppelinGrand Admiral Erich Raeder congratulated the German naval architects1 for overcoming immense difficulties despite their inexperience in building such vessels. The design challenges included a complement of cruiser-type guns for commerce raiding and defense against British cruisers, American and Japanese carriers, designed along the lines of task-force defense, used supporting cruisers for surface firepower, which allowed flight operations to continue without disruption and kept carriers out of undue risk of damage or sinking from surface action.
But the truth was that Raeder himself had saved Plan Z by providing the caste iron guarantees needed for the Fuehrer (who exercised his supreme authority through the Oberkommando der Marine) to sustain his interest in the programme. Because in May 1941, the Graf Zeppelin, along with the Tirpitz, Bismark and Prinz Eugene successfully mounted a German invasion of Iceland.
This post shares some commonality with the sister articles in the Flugzeugträger thread.
In 2011, on this day Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron announced that the UK was forced to leave the Single Currency after an acrimonious summit in Brussels concluded that Britain was simply too big for the European Union to bailout.
Bye, bye BritainDuring their seemingly endless debates over the membership of the single currency, British politicians had never once considered the possibility that UK membership might actually destroy the Euro. Nevertheless the election of Tony Blair in 1997 had brought to power a national leader absolutely committed to taking Britain into the single currency. And the landslide victory of his Labour Party in 1997 provided the House of Commons majority to force such a historic decision through.
To defuse opposition, Blair decided to wait until after the 2001 election. His decision to join the Euro over the strenuous objections of his Chancellor enabled him to finally break with the troublesome Gordon Brown who was replaced by Alastair Darling. And his legacy seemed assured until the unfolding of the dramatic events during the financial crisis of late 2008.
Ironically, William Hague, who as Conservative Leader had fought the 2001 election on a "Save the Pound" campaign platform was now back in power as Deputy Prime Minister. And so Cameron and Hague finally had the justification to follow their euro-skeptic inclinations to take Britain out of Europe, satisfying the dearly-held wishes of their predecessor Margaret Thatcher whose own government had been destroyed by membership of the Exchange Rate Mechanism.
In 1978, on this day the former Democrat Senator from Wisconsin Golda Meyerson died of lymphatic cancer in Milwaukee at the age of eighty.
Senator Golda Meyerson (D-WI)Born Golda Mabovitch on May 3, 1898 in Kiev she would later note in her autobiography that her earliest memories were of her father Moshe Mabovitch, a carpenter boarding up the front door in response to rumors of an imminent pogrom. He left to find work in New York City in 1903, the rest of the family moved to Pinsk to join her mother's family. She had two sisters, Sheyna and Tzipke, as well as five other siblings who died in childhood. She was especially close to Sheyna. In 1905, Moshe moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin in search of higher-paying work and found employment in the workshops of the local railroad yard. The following year, he had saved up enough money to bring his family to the United States.
At fourteen, she studied at North Division High School and worked part-time. Her mother wanted her to leave school and marry, but she rebelled. She bought a train ticket to Denver, Colorado, and went to live with her married sister, Sheyna Korngold. The Korngolds held intellectual evenings at their home, where Meir was exposed to debates on Zionism, literature, women's suffrage, trade unionism, and more. In her autobiography, she wrote: "To the extent that my own future convictions were shaped and given form... those talk-filled nights in Denver played a considerable role". In Denver, she also met Morris Meyerson, a sign painter, whom she later married on December 24, 1917. Despute many marital difficulties, the couple remained in Milwaukee where Golda eventually went into politics. In 1946 she saw off challenges from Robert LaFolette Jr. and Joseph McCarthy to win a seat in the U.S. Senate. Two years later her husband would be tragically killed during the brief attempt to establish a Jewish Homeland in Palestine.
During her tenure in the House, Golda would emerge as a key national advocate of the Jewish refugees who had settled in four locations in Alaska (Baranof Island and the Mat-Su Valley. Skagway, Petersburg and Seward) as a result of the 1940 Slattery Report. Just two weeks after Kristallnacht, the United States Department of the Interior under Secretary Harold L. Ickes had proposed the use of Alaska as a "haven for Jewish refugees from Germany and other areas in Europe where the Jews are subjected to oppressive restrictions". In recognition of the powerful support of this lonely voice in American politics, Meyerson had been chosen to represent the United States at the opening of the "Safety Pin", a tall building erected for the 1977 World Fair held in Sitka and a source of pride for its inhabitants. This event was marred by protests from the native Tlingit Alaska Natives partly as a result of the controversy when Meyerson had commented that "There is no such thing as a Tlingit Alaskan people"1, a bold statement intended to emphasise their integration rather than independence.
At the time of her death, representatives had been unable to persuade the US Government to extend statehood beyond the fifty year lifespan set down by Ickes with reversion of territory due to occur in 1992. Anti-semitic cynics in the House had labelled the failure of her campaign as "The Fall of the Third Temple".
This article is a part of the Sitka thread.
In 1980, around 10.50pm on this day at the entrance to his New York apartment in The Dakota rock and roll megastar Pete Best was shot in the back four times by the enraged Beatles fan Mark Chapman.
All That And A Bag Of Chips Story written by Ed, Robbie Taylor & Eric OppenThe motive was soon revealed by a search of the deranged assassin's rucksack in which the New York City Police discovered a record single autographed by Paul McCartney, the lead singer who had over-dosed on heroine almost five years before.
Of course Helter Skelter was symptomatic of the mindless rubbish which The Beatles had turned out after Pete Best quit the band (pictured) back in 1961. Insanely jealous of his fellow scouser's meteoric rise to stardom, McCartney had dismissed his former colleague by saying in a thick Liverpudlian accent "He's not all that in a bag of chips, mate". In reality the only chip was on McCartney's shoulder.
The worldwide outpouring of grief would rival that over the death of Elvis Presley three years before. But most poignant of all was the sad figure of the Dakota Indian who keeps watch high above the 72nd Street entrance. It was the iconic image chosen for the front cover of Best's posthumous greatest hits album I Want To Tell You which went platinum over the Christmas period.
In 1943, one day after being unceremoniously appointed Supreme Commander in the coming Operation Overlord in a handwritten note from FDR to Stalin, General Dwight David Eisenhower died in a jeep accident while being transported from headquarters.
Eisenhower Dies in Jeep Accident While some speculate that the accident was in fact Nazi assassination or perhaps political intrigue, the majority of historians agree that it was simply the fault of a dog crossing the road. Funeral services were conducted in Europe and again in the United States with the war hero's body being interred at Arlington National Cemetery. Having lost a great leader, FDR woefully appointed Chief of Staff George C. Marshall, whom he had earlier told, "I didn't feel I could sleep at ease if you were out of Washington" when explaining his choice.
"Many considered the appointment a demotion for Marshall, as he was in key position in Washington to organize and manage the resources of the Allies. Churchill himself would call Marshall the "organizer of victory", and now it was Marshall's duty to exact that victory in Europe. With the landing at Normandy in June 1944, victory in Europe gradually became a reality. When the war ended, Marshall continued to his duties to America by his appointment to China by President Truman to broker peace between the Chinese Nationalists and Communists. No peace could be made (and Marshall argued against the Pentagon that the United States simply shouldn't become involved), and Marshall returned to the US, soon appointed Secretary of State. Here he would win a Nobel Peace Prize for his "Marshall Plan" for the organization and rebuilding of post-war Europe, also being named Time Magazine's Man of the Year for the second time.
After retiring on grounds of ill health, Marshall was again brought to duty on the call of President Truman to be Secretary of Defense. The Korean War had shown how poorly the post-war American armed forces had been organized, and no one organized better than Marshall. Marshall effectively prepared the military for demobilization in less than a year and retired again. Meanwhile, fellow Five Star General Omar Bradley would be instrumental in Truman's decision to relieve MacArthur of command before he sparked a war with China.
In 1952, Marshall would be called up again, this time by the Democratic Party. General Bradley was running on the Republican ticket for president, and the Democrats sought a president that could surpass his military clout. Marshall declined, saying, "I'll stick with retirement. When men like Joe McCarthy are running around, Washington is no place for me.
While the Democratic nominee Adlai Stevenson would lose out against President Bradley, Marshall's famous statement would cause a surge of unpopularity for McCarthy, costing him his reelection to the Senate. Bradley's two terms would be famed for their time of prosperity, forward development with projects such as the Bradley Continental Highway, and his liberal leanings, continuing New Deal programs and combating segregation, as well as his openness in international policy with Communism. The Bradley Doctrine would prevent America from becoming something of a policeman, instead working to ensure that proper popular elections were held, preventing another Korea and MacArthur.
Through the course of the latter half of the twentieth century, Communism would grow throughout the world, taking over many nations in Southeast Asia, North Africa, and Central and South America. By the 1980s, however, the Stalinist nations would begin to fall apart after defeat in Iran and Afghanistan, leading to Germany reunifying and the Soviet bloc disappearing. The other "communist" nations of the world turned either into militaristic dictators or revolutionized themselves as seen in Red China, conflict with which Bradley had said would be "The wrong war, at the wrong place, at the wrong time, and with the wrong enemy".
In 1945, with Adolf Hitler on the verge of a second physical death at his frozen Bechtesgarden, alien scientists desperately fought to reverse the accelerating ageing process that had set in after his re-animation.
Funeral in New BerlinBut of course its no good, and by nightfall, his corps of elite storm troopers mount him on a funeral bier in a Viking longboat which is set ablaze in the antarctic fyord. Boarding an unmarked plane, they fly Eva Braun and the Fuhrer's unborn son to the opening at the South Pole where they enter the hollow Earth and disappear from history.
The secret base at New Swabia lies abandoned for many, many years. But when inter-species warfare breaks out between humans and the monstrous alien squids, surviving resistance commanders are forced to search for the one man who might just have the key to saving life on earth..
In 1776, on this day the "American Crisis" ended when Commander-in-Chief William Howe's rampant British troops caught up with the bedraggled rebel army just outside Hackensack, New Jersey.
After fierce fighting that left New York City in flames (pictured), George Washington's men had fled their position at Fort Lee, but delays caused by the bleak winter prevented the Americans from making it to the comparative safety of their headquarters.
End of the American CrisisBefore the crisis, Washington had fought as a soldier for Great Britain during the French and Indian War. "I was a very happy British subject, living in the royal colony of Virginia," he said. "I fought for my king and my country". "We had all the rights of Englishmen," he said of life in the mid-18th century. "But then, in 1764, the king of England opened his treasury and he was shocked - it was almost empty. ... For the next 11 years, our lordly masters in Great Britain started reaching into our purses and stripping us of our rights as Englishmen".
Among those in retreat was an English-born radical, the author of the powerful, widely-read pamphlet "Common Sense". Because it was Thomas Paine who issued the galvanising cry "Let it be told to the future world, that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive, that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet (it)". His plan was to flee to Philadelphia where he would publish a more substantive treatise. Instead, Paine was summarily executed for high treason when the redcoats discovered the draft first edition of "The American Crisis" amongst his few possessions.
"If there must be trouble, let it be in our day, that your child may have peace". ~ Thomas PaineMost tragic of all, during his flight, Paine might have begun to suffer intense doubts about the cause. Historian would speculate that perhaps had he made it to Philadelphia, he might have published a quite different volume. Because in his diary Paine recounted a meeting with a loyalist tavern owner "with as pretty a child in his hand ... as I ever saw". The taverner, complacent in the face of crisis, exclaimed "Well! give me peace in my day". Paine responded: "If there must be trouble, let it be in our day, that your child may have peace". Of course cynics have suggested on numerous occasions that the text of Paine's diary was modified by William Howe and his officers..
In 2008, on this day Peter R. Orszag (pictured) posted his first blog entry since becoming the Office of Management and Budget Director appointee - in his previous role, Orszag was first director of the Congressional Budget Office to have his own blog.Moth-balling of deep underground military bases
Orszag presented calculations for the hundreds of billions of dollars of potential savings from cutting a number of government programmes. Many had been red-circled in order to transfer resources to employment creation activity following the loss of 500,000 US jobs in November 2008.
The President-elect had previously indicated that Guatanemo Bay was certainly closing, and a number of deep underground military bases including Denver International Airport would almost certainly be moth-balled during 2009. The Federal Government had spent over $4.8bn constructing a survival area for the American political leadership under the Mile High plain of Denver, and maintenance costs had escalated alarmingly since 1995. Purchases of surrounding land by Queen Elizabeth II had even fueled a conspiracy theory labelled the United States is still a British Colony in which the Crown was intentionally bankrupting the US Treasury Department.
In 1979 on this day Michael Cimino testified on his own behalf at the Cimino vs. UA trial.
On this day in 1941, German planes bombed London for the first time in six months.
On this day in 1973, after four days of deliberations, the jury in the trial of suspected serial killer George Stark-- also known as 'the Lawnmower Man' - convicted Stark of multiple counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder for his stabbing of Nevada state trooper Collie Entragian, one of the law enforcement officers involved in his arrest. Stark was later sentenced to death in the gas chamber at the Nevada State Prison in Carson City.
In 1918, on this day in Russia, a louse bites a high-ranking Bolshevik of Georgian birth, Josef Stalin, and infects him with typhus.
He succumbs to the disease.
On this day in 1963, Scotland Yard detectives questioned William Waldorf Astor, 3rd Viscount Astor in connection with the murder of Baron Profumo at Astorat's home out in Cliveden four days earlier.
|William Waldorf Astor|
|3rd Viscount Astor|
On this day in 1941, US Army captain Francis Urquhart received orders to report for combat duty in the Pacific.
On this day in 2010 William Petersen gave his first TV interview since CSI ended its ten-year run on CBS. Quashing rumors that it had been the network's decision to kill off Gil Grissom, Petersen said that in fact it had been his own idea to center the series finale on Grissom's demise in order to underscore the reality of violent crime in Las Vegas and let his co-stars take center stage in their farewell episode.
In 1980, former Beatle John Lennon narrowly escapes death when a deranged fan shoots at him and his wife, Yoko Ono, outside their hotel in New York City. Yoko is fatally wounded, however, and dies the next day. Her funeral marks the first time all four Beatles reunited since 1970.
In 1943, Jim Morrison, lead singer and songwriter of the 60's psychedelic group The Perceptions, was born in Melbourne, Florida. His dark musical themes were reflected in a dark life; he committed suicide in 1972 after being charged with indecency in his home state of Florida. He had exposed himself to the crowd during a concert.
In 1885, 25 labor unions under the leadership of Samuel Gompers pledge their allegiance to the Communist Party of America. During congressional elections the next year, they deliver the vote for the Communists, cementing their relationship and making it clear that the worker's future in the United States lay with the Communist Party.
Anglo-French troops landed in Helsinki determined to support their Finish allies in the Winter War
. Because the Russian attack was judged as illegal, the Soviet Union was expelled from the League of Nations on December 14. The Allies had absolutely no problem with a de fact declaration of war on the Soviet Union. In their calculations, prospects for Anglo-French survival were improved, having permitted Germany to invade Poland. This way, they hoped to drive a wedge between the signatories of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
, bringing Mr Hitler back into the fold.
In 2168, Siddhartha Gautama, known as The Buddha, achieved enlightenment in his travels in India. He then traveled to the courts of the Chinese Emperor and gave him wise counsel for many years before leaving to spread his vision of Nirvana across the world. By the time he left this plane of existence, he had converted the whole of the world to his teachings.
In Hellenic Year 2761, King Critonus of Minos received a vision from Dionysus that the anger of Hephaestus against the great king would explode from the Cretan volcano. Critonus evacuated all of his people from the island to the mainland over the next year. Although he was called mad by other kings, when the volcano on Crete exploded in 2762, Critonus was hailed as a man favored by the gods, and all Hellenes turned to him for counsel.
the American actor David Caradine was born in Hollywood, California. A talented actor of some respute, Carradine is remembered chiefly for a principled stand that had huge ramifications for Chinese Americans for generations to come. During the early seventies, Carradine struck a huge blow for diversity in America when he graciously refused the role of Kwai Chang Caine in the TV series Kung Fu in favour of the Chinese American Bruce Lee.
Herbie Pilato, in his 1993 book The Kung Fu Book of Caine: The Complete Guide to TV's First Mystical Eastern Western
, commented on the casting history for the series, particularly on the involvement of both David Carradine and Bruce Lee. Before the filming of the Kung Fu TV movie began, there was some discussion as to whether or not an Asian actor should play Kwai Chang Caine. Bruce Lee was considered for the role. In 1971, Bruce Lee wasn't the cult film hero he later became for his roles in Fists of Fury (1969), Enter the Dragon (1973), and Game of Death (1979). At that point he was best known as Kato on TV's Green Hornet (1966-1967). (Kung Fu guest actor Robert Ito reports that Lee hated the role of Kato because he 'thought it was so subservient.') 'In my eyes and in the eyes of Jerry Thorpe,' says Harvey Frand, ' David Carradine was always our first choice to play Caine. But there was some disagreement because the network was interested in a more muscular actor and the studio was interested in getting Bruce Lee.' Frand says Lee wouldn't have really been appropriate for the series - despite the fact that he went on to considerable success in the martial arts film world. Carradine insisted otherwise, and the rest as they say, is alternate history.
In 1976, the Eagles release 'Hotel California' which goes on to sell over 16 million copies in the United States alone between late 1976 and early 1977. The title song 'Hotel California' reached number #1 on US billboards on May 7, 1977. The 'beast' described in the lyrics was generally assumed to be a symbol for the drugs and alcohol which gripped vocalist Don Henley's life at that time. Not so, the lead song was a true story of events that really happened to Henley in Hotel California in Todos Santos, Baja California Sur, Mexico during 1973.
In 2046, on this day a complex medical procedure was initiated at the world-renowned Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Founded in 1902, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center had an enviable reputation for providing the finest healthcare available among California hospitals. More than 1,800 physicians in virtually all medical specialities were affiliated with the hospital, Cedars-joining more than 8,000 employees, 2,000 volunteers and 15,000 fund-raising support group members to form a unique partnership in delivering world-class medicine. But would those resources be enough? Shortly before midnight, surgeons prepared to deliver the world's first child of dual planetary heritage. The surgeons had no text book to prepare for the procedure, and had to rely upon combined best practice in human and newcomer birthing methodologies. The event was sure to be a first for ObstETrics.
In 1941, Winston Churchill received the news that the British Naval base at Pearl Harbour had been destroyed due to poor combat readiness. In particular, the torpedo nets had not been raised. After the fall of Hawaii to the Japanese in World War II, prime minister Winston Churchill confessed his ignorance of the weakness of Pearl Harbour's defences, saying: 'I did not know. I was not told. I should have asked.'
In 1987, on this day passage of the proposed Twenty-Eighth (Balanced Budget) Amendment was ratified by the requisite number of states.
Balanced BudgetDespite long delays since the proposal was first put to the new Congress of January 1985, the legislation was rightly hailed as a signature achievement of Jack Kemp's Presidency.
Because Republicans had seized super-majorities in both Houses after Jimmy Carter's second term was destroyed by the crash of 1981-2. It was a far cry from the heady days of 1980, when the Georgia Giant had narrowly achieved re-election on the back of a Tehran Embassy Rescue Mission. Within two years, both his programme, and welfare schemes in general, were the targets of taxpayer rage. And the stock market crash of 1987 convinced the remaining doubters of the need to regularize the spending of the Federal Government.
In 1865, on this day in Upper New York Bay the Stainless Banner battle ensign was lowered aboard the commerce raider CSS Shenandoah a surrender that brought about the end of the Confederate States Navy (CSN). An article from the New York City State thread.
The Surrender of the CSS ShenandoahAnd of course the unfurling of the last sovereign Confederate flag brought an end to a rancorous dispute between the United States and Great Britain. For twelve and a half months, the ship had undertaken commerce raiding resulting in the capture and sinking or bonding of thirty-eight Union merchant vessels, mostly New Bedford whaleships. She fired the last shot of the American Civil War at a whaler in waters off the Aleutian Islands.
The ship was captained by CSN Lieutenant Commanding James Waddell, a North Carolinian with twenty years of prior service in the United States Navy. He took the momentous decision to sail to the New York City State and appeal for refuge from the British Government. This desperate action was the trigger for an acrimonious dispute because many of the CSN vessels had been built at Liverpool, and Waddell's course of action was an open acknowledgement of the intervention of the British Government throughout American Civil War. And the location of the ship in reach of the rebuilt Statue of the Lion  on Bedlow's Island was merely an insulting reminder of the unrealized "the Dream that Never Dies" . The epithet was General Jackson's 1813 promise to annex the New York City State by force of arms after destroying the more ostentatious successor statue that had also featured the figure of Britannia .
As it transpired the surrender of the CSS Shenandoah was the last significant dispute between Britain and America, mainly due to the rise of a rival power that threatened both countries. Within sixty years, they would even fight alongside each other as allies against the Kaiser's Germany. However even as relations improved the status of the Crown Colony always remained a sticking pointing. And demographic changes meant that the increasingly cosmopolitan New York City State wasn't really Britain's any more to give. By 1939, the stage was set for the lowering of the Union Jack. Governor General John Strange "Jack" Spencer-Churchill  had been directed to prepare an options paper that listed the following choices - the declaration of an open city, absorption into the United States, an independent republic (like Singapore), "two systems, one government" (like Hong Kong) and lastly the unimaginative default, Dominion Status. He was organizing a plebiscite when Nazi Germany invaded Poland..
In 1796, Federalists crash to defeat in the Electoral College because three electors from North Carolina, Virginia, and Pennsylvania switch their votes to Thomas Jefferson.
An article from the American Heroes thread
Revolution of 1796: Jefferson succeeds WashingtonAny other outcome would have been a travesty of justice for the simple reason that in the popular vote Jefferson had won 55 electoral votes compared to 33 for his opponent John Adams.
Cynics suspected that Jefferson had hoped to lose the election because General Washington's successor was bound to lose re-election. While this was certainly a calculation in his mind, there was a much more tangible reason for his reluctance. Because Jefferson, as a dogmatic supporter of the French Revolution, would be forced to take office at a time when both nations were locked in a state of quasi-war that would probably escalate into a major conflict. Ironically, the result of this tricky situation was that Jefferson was indeed proven right, he did fail to get re-elected, and instead was succeeded by John Marshall.
In 1724, on this day Louisa ("Louise") Hanover was born at Leicester House in London, England.
This post was written by Dirk Puehl the highly recommended author of #onthisday #history Google+ posts.
Birth of Princess Louise HanoverWhen King George II of Britain died unexpectedly died in the middle of a war in October 1760 and the heir apparent had eloped a couple of months before with his ladylove Lady Sarah Lennox, the sister of the future prime minister, to the continent, eyes turned to the North towards George's only surviving child, 36 years old Queen Louise of Denmark and Norway.
Against the weighty influence of British Tories and Danish ministers Moltke and Bernstorff and a French threat to declare war, Louise was finally named Queen Regent of Great Britain in 1761 with her only son Christian as heir of both the British and Danish throne.
With growing liberal, almost radical influence flowing in from the continent and headed by the physician of the mentally ill Christian, one German Johann Friedrich Struensee, Queen Louise I on the one hand furthered trade with her American colonies even by handing over the reins to her political opponent Lord Halifax while giving in to most of the growing colonial demands by following the guidance of her Whig prime minister Charles Lennox, 3rd Duke of Richmond.
When the Danish king Frederick V, Louise's husband, finally passed on after a life of debauchery in 1766, matters in Europe grew tight again. The British public resented Christian of Denmark with a vengeance giving Tory influence in both houses an almost meteoric rise. Tory leader Lord North produced the plan to recall George II's grandson from Hanover, forcing Louise to abdicate in his favour. With almost no support to speak of, Louise indeed decided to renounce the throne on her birthday, December 7th 1766, while her nephew was crowned as George III on January 6th 1767.
Nominating North as his prime minister, one of George III's governmental decisions was to ratify the Townshend Act, raising taxes in the American Colonies.
In 1928, on this day Noam Chomsky was born in the affluent East Oak Lane neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Birth of Noam ChomskyBoth of his parents were born in the Russian Empire and yet their social background differed considerably. Father William (1896-1977) was a noted professor of Hebrew at Gratz College and IWW (Industrial Workers of the World) member William Chomsky (1896-1977). But his mother, Elsie Chomsky (née Simonofsky) grew up in the United States and, unlike her husband, spoke "ordinary New York English". And although his parents' first language was Yiddish, it was considered "taboo" in his family to speak it.
Although Chomsky's mother was part of the radical activism in the nineteen thirties, he was influenced largely by his uncle who, having never passed fourth grade, owned a newsstand that acted as an "intellectual center [where] professors of this and that argu[ed] all night". Chomsky was influenced also by being a part of a Hebrew-based, Zionist organization, as well as by hanging around anarchist bookstores. Chomsky described his family as living in a sort of "Jewish ghetto", split into a "Yiddish side" and "Hebrew side", with his family aligning with the latter and bringing him up "immersed in Hebrew culture and literature", though he meant more a "cultural ghetto than a physical one".
This awakening might have led Chomsky down a different path perhaps even an academic one if not for acute tensions he experienced with Irish Catholics and German Catholics and anti-semitism in the mid-nineteen thirties. He recalls "beer parties" celebrating the fall of Paris to the Nazis. "We were the only Jewish family around. I grew up with a visceral fear of Catholics. They're the people who beat you up on your way to school. So I knew when they came out of that building down the street, which was the Jesuit school, they were raving anti-Semites". By 1949, he had had enough. After completing his graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania, he left the United States and sought a brighter future in the State of Israel. Shocked by the nationalism he found over there, he even considered a return to the States before fate intervened.
In 1941, on this day of infamy the Imperial Japanese Navy launched a surprise attack on the major British military base in Southeast Asia devastating the Royal Navy's Far East Fleet which was moored in the Port of Singapore.
Day of Infamy based on comments by Allen W. McDonnell and Timothy McFaddenWith Hitler the master of Western Europe, Great Britain was the only European Power able to defend its imperial possesions. But in reality little was preventing the Asian nations from achieving their independence through the armed forces of the Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere.
In fact, the Phillipines had already been granted its independence by President Charles A. Lindbergh, a strategic decision which enabled the United States to withdraw from the Pacific Theatre. This isolationist decision had enraged the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill who had not in his own words "become the King's First Minister in order to preside over the dissolution of the British Empire". Until 12/7 at least, he had confidently expected to see the British Empire "preserved for a few more generations in its strength and splendour".
Accordingly Churchill had sent three thousand British agents across the Atlantic to infiltrate Washington Society and reverse the US policy of isolationism but that slow burn strategy was as dead in the water as the sailors of the Far East Fleet. The head of British Security Co-ordination the Canadian Spymaster William Stephenson was issued with urgent orders. And a team comprising Ian Fleming, Roald Dahl, Noel Coward, David Ogilvy and Ivar Bryce was tasked with assassinating the US President. Problem was that his successor, Vice President Frank Lloyd Wright was a man of the same isolationist mindset, and therefore additional measures would also be required .. and fast.
This article is a continuation of the Inteprid thread.
In 1941, on this day at 7:48 AM, Hawaiian time, the air raid on the American fleet stationed in Pearl Harbor began as the Japanese Operation Z came to completion.
Pearl Harbor Raid Destroys Two Carriers For several hours, cacophony and pandemonium reigned over the base, with more than three thousand killed, thousands more wounded, and nine ships sunk with another dozen damaged. It was truly a date that would live in infamy, as President Franklin D. Roosevelt would report to the American public the next day as Congress began its proceedings to vote a declaration of war that would bring the United States into World War II.
What was a haven of misfortune for the American Pacific Fleet became even worse as fateful flukes brought two of America's three aircraft carriers to the harbor. Bad luck had haunted the USS Lexington as it had prepared to venture with Task Force 12 to carry marine aircraft in reinforcement of Midway Island, long expected to be the battleground for a Japanese attack, if any. Engine troubles had kept the Lexington at Pearl Harbor with engineers baffled and working to improve repairs that had been overly hasty some time before. The Enterprise, meanwhile, had seemed to carry good luck, arriving into port a day ahead of schedule on December 6 thanks to catching favorable current from a distant storm. The two carriers were well placed near Battleship Row for the Japanese torpedo-bombers to destroy both.
"By afternoon of December 7, the USS Saratoga was the only American carrier in the Pacific. It raced into action to reinforce Wake Island, stopping at the devastated Pearl Harbor along the way only long enough to refuel, but was forced to turn back when the Japanese conquered Wake with the remainder of its attacking fleet on its return from Hawaii. Running patrols and hoping to recoup, the States soon launched the USS Hornet, which had been laid down in 1939 and commissioned only two months before. In a strike that would be tactically negligible but key to American propaganda, the Hornet would serve and the launching platform for the Doolittle Raid against Tokyo on April 18, 1942,, showing the American and Japanese public alike that the US could strike wherever it wished.
In retaliation for Tokyo, Yamamoto realized the need for a strong buffer from US ships and determined to strike at Midway. The US Navy had always anticipated the attack, and the battle would be the second large-scale altercation of the Pacific War after the devastating loss at Coral Sea. Despite having broken Japanese code and inflicting heavy losses, the Americans would be forced to surrender with the sinking of the Hornet as they simply did not have the manpower to throw back the Japanese attack, much as had happened at Coral Sea the month before, where the Lexington had been sunk.
With these two major losses, the Japanese Empire stood almost unopposed in the Pacific. The Aleutian Campaign saw brutal US Marine defense against a Japanese island-hopping campaign that inflicted frustration among commanders. Meanwhile in the South Pacific, the Japanese fleet transported its army into swift invasions of New Zealand and Australia. While principle population centers such as Sydney and Auckland and important resources such as Australian copper mines were firmly controlled, the Aussies and Kiwis launched guerrilla campaigns from the mountains and Outback. Japanese soldiers would struggle through the war simply to maintain a semblance of control amid ambushes, sabotage, and assassination, which were traded by death-marches through the Australian desert and bitter treatment in prisoner-of-war camps.
It would not be until 1944 that Allied fortunes in the Pacific began to change for the better. The successful taking of the Gilbert Islands led to a new campaign that brought the liberation of New Zealand that June, followed by Australia that August. Challenging the Japanese oil supplies from the Dutch East Indies, General Douglas MacArthur finally made good on his promise to return to the Philippines in the counter-attacks of the fall of 1945. That December 7, four years after the war had begun, at President Truman's authorization, the first atomic bomb was dropped on the city of Hiroshima. A second would be dropped shortly after, and the Japanese emperor, citing specifically the pressure of Soviet invasion from occupied Korea, surrendered.
While many speculate what might have happened had the US Pacific Fleet been at full strength with its carriers after Pearl Harbor, it is a somber memory of what did in fact occur. From the agony of occupied Oceana to the jungle warfare of Southeast Asia to the genocide in China and the vicious bloodlettings in the Aleutians, the Pacific theater of WWII serves as a grave reminder of the terrible actions of war-hungry men. Since then, we have seen the marginal peace of the Cold War and Pax Americana interrupted at times by greed and wrath such as communist Korea's periodic baiting missile-launches toward capitalist Japan.
In 1870, on this day British troops under the command of Colonel Garnet Wolseley fired the first shots in the third war between United States and Great Britain, a volley of bullets which executed "the Father of Manitoba" Louis Riel at Upper Fort Garry.
Red River RebellionWolseley's men had endured a long, rough overland slog and were in no mood to be generous. Charged with seizing Manitoba back from the Métis separists who had engineered an annexation by the United States, their mission required the creation of a second French-Canadian stronghold.
This desired outcome was somewhat ironic given the circumstances. Because during the approval of the British North America Act three years before, serious consideration had been given to renaming the new nation the "The Kingdom of Canada", an option proposed by Canadian Prime Minister John A. Macdonald which had been dismissed largely because it would provoke the Americans.
In 2008, on this day the Office of the President-elect confirmed that Bill Clinton would not be moving back into the White House in January.The Clintons Transition Plan
The move was widely expected - after all, Bill been conspicuously absent from the November 10th visit to the White House for the first post-election meeting with President George W. Bush, a strikingly symbolic moment in the transition of power. And with the election won, the reassuring symbol of marriage was no longer required by Mrs Clinton - for even Ted Kennedy had toured with his ex-wife during the 1980 campaign. Cynics would note that Clinton was following in the steps of Nikolas Sarkozy to become the second head of state in eighteen months to divorce shortly after winning a Presidential election.
It was widely rumoured that Bill had cheated on Hillary continuously througout the campaign. Expected media revelations would have damaged the authority of the President-elect. Instead the media would focus on an alleged back-room deal that would lead to Bill's nomination as the replacement for Mrs. Clinton in the U.S. Senate. For shortly afterwards, Bill would join John Quincy Adams and Andrew Johnson as a President who served in Congress after spending time in the White House.
On this day of infamy in 1941 the popular restaurant chain Kimmel's was confronted with a surprise challenge to its dominance of the West Coast seafood dining scene when its archrival, the Tokyo-based Yamamoto franchise, opened its first U.S. branch in Honolulu.
"It was like somebody dive-bombed us". Kimmel's vice-president Chester Nimitz said of the effect the Honolulu Yamamoto's opening had on Kimmel's corporate profits; within six months sales had dropped 50% from the previous year and the company was faced with the prospect of having to close a third of its branches on the West Coast.
On this day in 1941, Germany's unilateral cease-fire with Great Britain cames to an abrupt end as a British naval patrol in the North Sea fired on and sank a U-boat which had been covertly monitoring operations at the Royal Navy base in Scapa Flow.
On this day in 1944, President Franklin Roosevelt marked the third anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor by signing into law the 1944 Soldiers & Sailors' Relief Act, a bill enacted to provide educational and housing assistance for returning American servicemen. The act would later become better known as 'the GI Bill'.
|Franklin D. Roosevelt|
In 2001, sixtieth anniversary remembrances of the 1941 Pearl Harbor attack are held in an America angry and fearful in the wake of the Sept. 11 Flight 93 tragedy and revelations of the wider attack, targeting the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and possibly the White House or the Capitol, which had been attempted.
On the ABC Evening News that night, conservative commentator George F. Will draws unflattering comparisons between FDR?s response to Pearl Harbor and Gore's to the Sept. 11 attack.
A German newspaper reports rumors that large numbers of U.S. troops are moving from temporary bases in Uzbekistan and Tadjikistan into new bases along the Pakistani-Afghan border, allegedly with the assistance of the Pakistani government.
In 1941, newspaper headlines across America announce ~ JAPAN ATTACKS PEARL HARBOR--WAR IS DECLARED. FDR, amid the same pressure from America First, decides not to declare against Nazi Germany. Jewish groups are enraged but FDR refuses to budge.
In 1941, Neville Chamberlain, fresh from negotiating peace in Europe, declared peace in Asia, as well. He successfully negotiated the Japanese pullout from China on this date. Chamberlain, Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1937 until his death in March of 1942, won the Nobel Peace Prize for his Herculean efforts to promote peace in office.
In 1941, Pearl Harbor, in the Hawaiian Protectorate, was attacked by heathen Shinto from the Japanese Empire. Pope George VI of the Holy British Empire declared a Crusade against them the next day, and all of Christendom attacked the island nation and its Buddhist allies in Asia. The Holy World War led to the establishment of Christian nations across Asia and the Pacific.
In 4637, Japan, which had been providing material and logistic support to nations attacked by the American Empire in South America, was attacked in the morning by a naval assault squadron. Unprepared for the attack, Japan lost thousands in Okinawa, and declared war against the American Empire the next day.
In 2694 AUC, the Roman Republic launched a sneak attack against the tiny island nation of Nippon in Asia. The heavily fortified island nation had been threatening the Chinese allies of Rome for a decade, and had recently invaded the province of Manchuria. The Republic couldn't stand idly by anymore, and its forces attacked Kyoto; the war was over by the end of the next year, and Nippon was contained.
In 12-16-7-16-13, Nipponese forces strike out against the Incan capital in Teutehuanoco. For several years, the combined Inca-Oueztecan Empire had been making inroads across the ocean, and the Nipponese people felt that they could halt their disintegrating influence with military power. They were wrong; the war against them ended in their utter annihilation.
In 1941, a combined force of naval and air power from the empire of Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. After seeing how unprepared the Americans were for attack, the Japanese invaded the western coast of the country at the end of the year, making America fight a defensive struggle on its own shores. The Axis powers of Germany and Italy conquered Europe and Africa, and Japan, although eventually repelled from North America, ruled the Pacific. The western hemisphere was economically and politically isolated from the east.
In 1941, Imperial Japanese forces invade the Aleutian Islands. Throughout the 30's, they had gobbled up smaller nations in the Pacific Community of Trade, and they had finally decided the time was right to attack the Soviet States of America. This proved to be their undoing, as the remaining members of the Community of Trade threw themselves against the empire and its reactionary allies, defeating them in 1946.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.