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 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 ShenandoahThe 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.
In 1941, a large Japanese strike force falls on Thailand, after American warnings to leave southeast Asia alone fail to persuade them. Although President Roosevelt wanted to join in the war against the Japanese and Germans, the lack of any direct threat to the U.S. kept him out.
In 1941, the moment of truth arrived at Unit 731 after many years of hard work in manufacturing and employing bacteriological weapons. General Otozoo Yamada was about to find out which of his weapons was most effective - the million man Japanese army occupying Manchuria or Germ warfare. In less than twenty-four hours, the decision would be for Germ warfare. But only because Pearl Harbour Rear Admiral Husband E. Kimmel had not received an order from Washington. General George Marshall had cabled Hawaii to raise Mosquito Nets, but the warning arrived too late to prevent the Day of Infamy.
In 1941, General George Marshall sent the famous warning message to Hawaii that morning. It was actually delivered by a young Japanese-American cycle messenger, to General Walter Short, commanding general of the Army post at Pearl Harbour Rear Admiral Husband E. Kimmel commander actioned the telegram in good time to save the U.S. Pacific Fleet from certain destruction by raising the torpedo nets.
In 1670, on this day a gang led by the well-known ruffian Thomas Blood murdered James Butler, the 1st Duke of Ormonde (pictured) while riding in his carriage in central London.
Eminence GriseWhile driving up St James's Street, Ormonde was attacked by Blood and his accomplices who dragged the Duke out of his coach, took him on horseback along Piccadilly and hung him at Tyburn. His son the Lord Ossory publically accused the inveterate schemer Duke of Buckingham of being the eminence grise behind Blood's gang. To settle this matter of honour, Buckingham, a noted duellist, answer this question with the inevitable challenge.
Even though he strongly disapproved of the King's Catholic sympathies, he was a childhood friend of Charles with whom he still enjoyed close ties. And many of his dirtier deeds had actually been performed on the King's behalf, enabling the Crown to distance itself from these most disreputable actions. But the plot exposed by Lord Ossory was far stranger.
From 1649 to 1650 Lord Ormonde was the leading commander of the Royalist forces fighting against the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland. In the 1650s he lived in exile in Europe with Charles II of England. Upon the restoration of Charles II to the British throne in 1660, Ormonde became a major figure in English and Irish politics, holding many high government offices. During 1670, he discovered that the Duke of Buckingham had pretensions to succeed the childless monarch (Charles' wife Catherine of Braganza bore him no offspring even though he admitted to twelve illegitimate children). This was confirmed when the Duke referred to himself as a "Prince" before dying from the shot from Lord Ossory's duelling pistol1.
In 1745, on this day Prince Charlie crossed the Swarkestone Bridge. In England's Revolution of 1688, often termed the "Glorious Revolution", the Stuart dynasty was removed from the English and Scottish thrones once more, this time deposed by William of Orange at the invitation of Parliament.
Prince Charlie Crosses Swarkestone Bridge The Catholic kings of a Protestant nation had been a struggle through the seventeenth century, but many in Britain felt that the Stuarts would be best upon the throne, especially as non-English-speaking Germans from Hanover began to rule. The Stuart Cause would continue, even after "The Fifteen", a bungled invasion by James III & VII after which the Old Pretender was no longer welcome in France as an embarrassment.
"Prince Charles Edward Stuart (fondly known as "Bonnie Prince Charlie") had been trained for war since his birth. He witnessed sieges, studied with commanders, and took up pursuit of the generalship that would win him back his throne. While his father was the exiled king, James III & VII still had enough influence to persuade France into sending an invasion fleet in 1744. In preparation, Prince Regent Charles went to Scotland and began to raise his army of supporters. While the French invasion never materialized, Charlie decided to carry out the reconquest of Britain himself in 1745.
With two ships and an army of eight men, Charlie landed at Eriskay on July 23. Finding great support among the Highlanders, Charlie raised his father's standard and formed up an army large enough to subdue Edinburgh. At Prestonpans on September 21, Charlie met with the only government army to stand against him in Scotland, which he soundly defeated, inflicting ten times the causalities his force took. From there, he pressed south, moving practically unopposed with 6,000 men through Cumbria and Derbyshire to Swarkestone Bridge. There, word said that few supported him in the south and, worse, the government was building a mass of force to counterattack. Charlie's commanders advised him to turn back and raise more of his own support.
Charlie decided to ignore them and pressed southward while momentum was with him. It was found that few did support him in the south, but few supported the Hannovers as well. As winter settled, Charlie made for London, hoping to besiege the city during its hungriest time. His only obstacle was a force comparable in size to his own, though hastily assembled, led by King George II's son, the Duke of Cumberland. They met at Hatfield on December 18, where Charlie's Highlanders made use of the ancient woods to minimize the effect of the government cannon. When the battle was won, Charlie seized the cannon and turned it on London for the winter siege.
By spring, the city was in an uproar against Parliament. Without hope of fresh food coming that spring, the winter starvation would grow even worse. Charlie welcomed anyone who would desert the city and join his cause, strengthening his ranks with generous Christmas and New Years' feasts. Finally, on April 16, Parliament conceded and voted to reinstate the House of Stuart and oust George II. Charlie's father James would be crowned later that year and rule until his death in 1766. The aged James was feared as being a Catholic tyrant, but he proved largely ineffectual, his most vivacious act being to keep Britain out of the Prussian War, where Frederick the Great established himself as a power on the Continent.
Charlie, meanwhile, traveled the British Colonies in hopes of expansion. He toured the Americas, also helping to establish the legitimacy of the Stuarts, and joined Robert Clive on his second journey in India. During his time in England, he converted to Anglicanism, which enraged his father but set many British minds at ease. Upon being crowned in 1766, Charles III began ambitious projects to expand British trade and endorsed exploration for new routes and potential settlements, especially in North America and in the Pacific with Admiral Cook's five voyages. His rigorous expansion inevitably led to further wars with the Dutch and French, expensive naval campaigns that drained the treasury of all.
When Parliament attempted to levy heavier taxes, uproar rose among the American colonists in the early 1780s with calls for representation, perhaps even independence. It is said that Charlie was fearful of losing his crown after fighting to win it, and he went quickly to work adding American seats to Parliament to guarantee his support. His "weakness" would be severely criticized by many Tories, but the heavy hand of the French king Louis XVI would lead to the brutal revolution in 1791.
Charlie stayed quiet through the remainder of his reign, depending more upon prime ministers such as William Pitt. His son Charles IV succeeded the throne upon his death in 1798, the same year the Egyptian War sparked as Republican France attempted to strike at India through the Suez. Upon the sound defeat of France and the seizure of many of its colonial claims, the nineteenth century would stand as the next golden age of Britain, continuing Charlie's legacy of progressive economics and social liberality.
In 1963, on this day at the Parkland Hospital in Dallas, twenty-seven year old Jim Tague of Plainfield, Indiana died as a result of complications arising from a wound to the right hand side of his face caused by a gunshot at the Dealey Plaza on November 22nd.
Truth WithheldThe deceased had been driving to downtown Dallas to have lunch with a friend when he came upon a traffic jam due to the presidential motorcade. This caused him to stop his car, get out of it, and stand by Dealey Plaza, at the south curb of Main Street, 520 feet (158 m) southwest of the Texas School Book Depository. He was a few feet east of the eastern edge of the triple overpass railroad bridge when he was critically wounded.
The Warren Commission would later determine that the cause of death was the stray bullets from security forces who had over-reacted to a firecracker being set off by three drunken tramps standing behind the grassy knoll. Despite the mysterious disappearance of those bullets, this version of events was supported by articles in Life Magazine and the Reader's Digest written by future Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford who would later be elected to the highest office to ensure that "government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth".
In 1889, on this day the first President of the Confederate States, eighty-one year old Jefferson Finis Davis died in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Jefferson F. Davis
1st Confederate President
February 18, 1961 - March 4, 1867He took office on February 18, 1861, and was elected as first president of the CSA in that election. His first official act was to appoint a Peace Commission to go to Washington. The plan was to offer payment for all federal property within the CSA and the portion of the national debt that the states owed. The Commission was not authorized, however, to discuss reunion. At the same time, though, he had made sure that federal troops stationed within Confederate borders were put on notice to vacate those posts.
A new article from the "Two Americas" thread on Althistory WikiaWhen US Army Major Robert Anderson abandoned Fort Moultrie and secretly moved into the unfinished Fort Sumter (both near Charleston, South Carolina), he had not intentions of surrendering to the new governments demands. By April, 1861, though, the fort was running out of supplies. When President Abraham Lincoln sent re-enforcements, the Battle for Fort Sumter began the War Between the States.
Part TwoThis War for Independence would wage for most of Davis' term as president. It saddened him as he saw men with whom he had served in politics and in battle fight each other to the death. He made frequent trips behind the lines to visit the troops and confer with his generals. Some analysts have even concluded that his decision to move the government to Richmond, Virginia, was the deciding factor in saving the Confederacy from destruction. His presence near the front lines would indeed prove the strongest factor in the determination and drive that kept the war out of the deep south until May of 1865 after the death of President Lincoln at the hands of John Wilkes Booth.
When General William T. Sherman had begun his march through Mississippi, however, he had stepped on "sacred ground" in the eyes of President Davis. The defense of Jackson became a priority as Davis personally traveled to within a hundred miles of the front. With General Robert E. Lee firmly in command of Virginia, and the Confederacy's best commanders facing Sherman in Mississippi, the Union forces were spread thin. Davis' choice to avoid crossing into US territory stood him well throughout 1865, though, and President Andrew Johnson began to send representatives to Richmond in January of 1866 to negotiate a cease fire.
Ambassadors from both England and France began to mediate between the warring Americans in March, and hostilities began to slow considerably throughout 1866. On August 8th, a ceasefire was declared, and all US troops withdrew across the borders that had been established by the individual states at the time of their joining of the Confederacy. An uneasy truce would hold for decades before an official "peace treaty" would be signed on May 8, 1885.
In 1921, on this day both the Irish and British government delegates sign the Anglo-Irish Treaty at Downing Street; thereby bringing an end to a conflict between British forces and Irish militants across the island of Ireland since April 1916, not to mention seven centuries of occupation of the British government over it's island neighbour.
A Republic With A Price by Gerry ShannonDays after the Truce that had ended the Anglo-Irish War, the President of the Irish Republic, Eamon De Valera met British Prime Minister Lloyd George in London four times in the week starting 14th July. Lloyd George sent his initial proposals on 20th July that were quite a departure from the Treaty that was eventually signed. This was followed by months of delay until October, when the Irish delegates set up headquarters in 22 Hand Pace, Knightsbridge.
The first two weeks of the negotiations were spent in formal sessions. Upon the request of De Valera and his Secretary of State for Finance (and Director of Intelligence in the Irish Republican Army), Michael Collins, the two delegations began informal negotiations, in which only two members of each negotiation team were allowed to attend (pictured). On the Irish side, these members were always Collins and De Valera, while on the British side, Neville Chamberlain always attended, though the second British negotiator would vary from day to day.
In late November, the Irish delegation returned to Dublin as per De Valera's promise to his cabinet colleagues to consult them, and again on 3rd December. Many points still had to be resolved, mainly surrounding the unionist allegiance to an Irish republic, but it was clear to all the politicians involved by this stage that it was not an option to partition the country into two states, north and south; thereby granting the unionist minority a majority in a six-county Northern Ireland state.
Collins, who would emerge in the new government as Commander of the Irish Republican Army, said later that at the last minute Lloyd George reminded his own delegation of a renewal of a "terrible and immediate war" from the Irish republicans if the Treaty was not signed at once. However, this was not mentioned as a fear in the Irish memorandum about the close of negotiations, merely a reflection of the reality; given the British forces having become increasingly overwhelmed by IRA activities across Ireland within the last few years.
Among noteworthy clauses of the Treaty were:
- British forces would withdraw from Ireland.
- The new country shall be known as the Republic of Ireland, and consist of the thirty-two counties of the island.
- It's parlimament, known as Dáil Eireann, would be responsible for governance and public services.
- Northern Ireland would not have the option of withdrawing from the Irish Republic once the Treaty came into effect. Instead, the elected representatives of the unionist minority were obliged to take their seats in the new Irish parliament.
- The Treaty would have superior status in Irish law, i.e., in the event of a conflict between it and the new 1922 constitution of the Irish Republic, the treaty would take precedence.
In Dublin, Vice-President of the Irish Republic, Arthur Griffith called a cabinet meeting to discuss the treaty on 8th December, the Vice-President himself supporting the Treaty as signed. The cabinet decided unanimously to recommend the Treaty to the Dáil on 14th December.
The Dáil voted to approve the Treaty, but this vote was problematic given the unionist minority, led by Edward Carson, still refused to recognize the government of the Irish Republic and were listed as being absent. The brewing discontent between nationalists and unionists would soon lead to the Irish Civil War. The refusal of the Irish delegation to allow the creation of a Northern Ireland state for the unionist minority would be a serious point of consternation between both sides; reverberating in conflicts political, social and violent for decades to follow.
In 1963, on this day the thirty-sixth1 President of the United States, John Fitzgerald Kennedy began a televised address from the Oval Office with the revelation that "the high office of the President has been used to foment a plot to destroy the American's freedom and before I leave office, I must inform the citizen of this plight2".Honest Dollar
A shadowy group of european bankers were "powers that exist[ed] behind U.S. and world finance" that had subverted the constitution of the United States to create the Federal Reserve System.
Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution specifically states that Congress is the only body that can "coin money and regulate the value thereof". Yet since the end of the free banking era in 1913 these usurers had exercised the power to loan money to the United States Federal Government at interest. For twenty-five years, finance had been illegally raised through taxation on private citizens. Then on November 28th 1937 the thirty-third President of the United States Huey Pierce Long set about implementing the Share Our Wealth program. The Federal Reserve would be abolished, instead wealth redistributed by levying asset tax on large corporations and individuals of great wealth.
US presidents had been warned not to interfere with the private Federal Reserve's control over the creation of money, Kennedy said. The assassination in the Capitol Building at Baton Rouge 3 was a precursor to the foiled attempt in Dallas the previous month.
Because on June 4, 1963, Executive Order 11110 authorised the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury to issue $4.29 billion in silver certificates.
At the stroke of a pen, the Federal Reserve Bank was stripped of its power to loan money to the United States Federal Government at interest. This virtually unknown Presidential decree gave the explicit authority: "to issue silver certificates against any silver bullion, silver, or standard silver dollars in the Treasury".
As a result, more than $4 billion in United States Notes were brought into circulation in $2 and $5 denominations. $10 and $20 United States Notes were being printed by the Treasury Department when Kennedy escaped the assassin's bullets in Dallas.
Yet another threat to America's freedom would finally defeat liberty. Costly defence spending forced Ronald Reagan to sign Executive Order 12608 in 1987, revoking Section 1(a) of Executive Order 11110 and reversing the decree.
Kennedy and Long might share socialist dreams of "Every Man a King". Reagan needed much more than $4.29 billion to prevent the communist nightmare of "Every American a Comrade".
On this day in 1944, American and British forces in western Germany entered Munich amid heavy German resistance.
An American Hero [Winston Churchill - American Hero by PJY continues] ~ Both Teddy Roosevelt and Winston Churchill became heroes in the USA for their part in the victory at San Juan Hill. That the 23 year old Churchill had inspired a brigade to follow him into battle amazed people back home and his success in being the first man to jump into the Spanish trenches at the top of San Juan Hill saw him celebrated. New York papers were especially happy to triumph the exploits of the 'New York Heroes' (Roosevelt and Churchill) and the two become well known all across the nation. Both men were awarded the Medal of Honour.
Churchill's participation in the Spanish-American War came to a rather inglorious end just after the Siege of Santiago when he contracted Yellow Fever and had to be evacuated along with some 4000 other soldiers in Cuba. Unlike many, Churchill recovered, though he was still in hospital when news of the Treaty of Paris filtered down to the soldiers.
Churchill wrote that - This is a glorious day and once again proves that the bravery and tenacity of American troops can contend against that of any in the world. We have seen the foundations set for an American Empire and so may it continue to grow.
On this day in 1982, Monday Night Raw debuted a new interview segment, 'The Psycho Ward', which featured Tommy Rich holding court on a set made up to resemble an insane asylum; the fact that Rich had his own segment after being with the WWF just over a month was a testament to his swiftly rising status in the WWF.
The inaugural edition of 'Psycho Ward' also solidified Rich's reputation as one of the WWF's most despised rulebreakers--he attacked Polynesian high-flyer Jimmy 'Superfly' Snuka with a coconut after repeated by mocking Snuka's heritage.
On this day in 1970, the Dallas Cowboys went to 12-0 with a 34-point home shutout of the Washington Redskins. The victory sparked talk that Dallas might tie or surpass the 15-game undefeated streak notched by the Cleveland Browns during the 1948 AAFC season.
On this day in 1955, Sandy Koufax earned his first NBA triple-double (45 points, 31 rebounds, 18 assists) in a Boston Celtics win over the Hawks at St. Louis.
In 1941, Admiral Husband E. Kimmel was aboard the USS Nevada right as the Japanese hit.
On the deck Kimmel gets hit by a round in the knee, and though he loses the limb in the end, gallently assumes a leadership possition first with the AA guns and eventually on the bridge. When the day is over he's a wounded hero and Gen Short gets all the blame for the attack (After all it was the ARMY that Had the RADAR and failed to Act!)
The cause of Kimmel's survival was simple. At the start of the XX Century, the US Navy set up their little base in Hawaii, and it becomes a tradition that every Sunday the local Commander (Eventually CinCPac) is aboard one of the ships in the fleet for the flag raiseing. Nothing major, just an odd quirk of the base, no one really cares until 1941.
Kimmel is in a position, with his minor fleet, to stay in command for a while and the Wake Island Relief Force goes off later in the month, still steaming towards the famed Atoll. The US Navy with its crippled commander run the Japanese Fleet and get the men off Wake.
San Juan Hill [Winston Churchill - American Hero by PJY continues] ~ In the meantime Hamilton Hawkins' brigade was faring no better than Roosevelt had in his original position. Hamilton was hit and badly wounded and in the confusion nobody stepped foward to claim command. In the void of command, the young impatient Lt. Churchill jumped from his trench line and charged. The entire brigade jumped up and followed him, evidently confused or inspired into charging the Spanish position and believing that the charging shouting Churchill was in fact a voice of command, not a lowly Second Lieutenant.
Seeing the spontaneous advances of Roosevelt and Churchill, Wheeler gave the order for Kent to advance with his whole division while he returned to the Cavalry Division. Kent sent forward Ewers' brigade to join Hawkins' men already approaching the hill. Kent's men discovered that the Spanish had placed their trenches in faulty positions and were actually covered from their fire while the attackers climbed the hill. Churchill, still in the lead, was among the first to reach the crest. The Spanish fled.
After losing Kettle Hill, Linares's men still on San Juan Hill began to fire on the cavaliers' newly won position. While Kent's secured a blockhouse to the south after hand-to-hand fighting, Sumner also charged San Juan Hill. Roosevelt personally led the attack but paused after charging a few feet with only a handful of men following. He turned around and inquired why no one had followed. His men replied they had not heard the order and quickly joined the attack. Kent's remaining brigade under Colonel E. P. Pearson arrived after Churchill and Ewers had already charged and moved further to the south and drove the Spanish off of a knoll on the Spanish right flank.
General Wood sent requests for Kent to send up infantry to strengthen his vulnerable position. General Wheeler reached the trenches and ordered breastworks constructed. Roosevelt's men did in fact repulse a minor counterattack on the northern flank. The Americans' position on San Juan Hill was exposed to artillery fire from within Santiago, and Shafter feared the vulnerability of the line and ordered the troops to withdraw. Wheeler assured Shafter that the position could be held; still Shafter ordered the withdrawal. Before the men could withdraw Wheeler called aside Kent and Sumner and reassured them that the line could be held, and during the night they worked at strengthening the lines while reinforcements arrived.
In 1980, a church secretary who had overheard televangelist Jim Bakker arrange a liaison with secretary Jessica Hahn called the local news station and told them where to find the pair that evening. When reporters burst in on Hahn and Bakker in a sexual tryst, Bakker's church empire was ruined, and all television evangelists sank in popularity.
In 1863, with the Southern Rebellion subdued, President Walt Whitman secured ratification of the 13th Amendment, ending slavery within the United States, and guaranteeing economic equality and freedom for all Americans, regardless of ethnicity, gender, philosophy or religion. The 13th Amendment stood as the greatest achievement of the Communist Party until President Haywood's Community of Trade united oppressed workers across the world in brotherhood.
In 1793, Madame Jeanne du Barry, who had been mistress to the former king, was dragged before the Parisian mob to be executed at the guillotine. She made an appeal to the crowd, calling upon their mercy and relating her own tale of woe as a poor child who had been used by men throughout her life. Moved to pity, the crowd surged forward and rescued her from the executioner. She went into exile in Great Britain, and founded a home for wayward girls there.
In 4225, master explorer Chang Shiao reached the Yucatanian Gulf after a nearly year-long voyage from his home port in the Chinese Empire. His encounter with the Oueztecan Empire there led to a diplomatic mission that forged a great alliance across the ocean between the Chinese and the Oueztecans.
In 1782, on this day Martin Van Buren was born in Kinderhook, New York.
Birth of Two Non-Consecutive Term President Martin Van BurenHe served two, non-consecutive terms as the eighth (1837-1841) tenth (1845-1849) President of the United States (he beat Democrat rival James K Polk to the nomination). And before his presidency, he was the eighth Vice President (1833-1837) and the tenth Secretary of State, under Andrew Jackson (1829-1831).
Van Buren was a key organizer of the Democratic Party, a dominant figure in the Second Party System, and the first president not of British or Irish descent-his family was Dutch. He was the first president to be born a United States citizen, his predecessors having been born British subjects before the American Revolution. He is also the only president not to have spoken English as his first language, having grown up speaking Dutch, and the first president from New York.
In 1813, on this fateful day Yankee army engineers landed on Bedlow's Island on a revenge mission to destroy the Statue of Britannia, that hated symbol of imperial power in Upper New York Bay. An article from the New York City State thread.
Patriot BacklashBut to their immense anger and frustration it would be a brief occupation because they were forced to withdraw under the obligations of the Treaty of Ghent. However before they left, General Jackson delivered a powerful "Dream that Never Dies" speech . The loyalists were left in absolutely no doubt that the Americans considered the possession of the New York City State. "Unfinished business leftover from the American Revolution by an accident of history".
However despite the bad blood caused by this and other atrocities such as the sacking of Yorktown, the United States and Great Britain slowly began to develop shared national interests. The day of forced annexation never came. And within a century, they would even fight alongside each other as allies against the Kaiser's Germany. However the status of the Crown Colony always remained a sticking pointing. Demographic changes meant that the increasingly cosmopolitan New York City State wasn't really Britain's any more to give.
Governor General John Strange "Jack" Spencer-Churchill  was 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 1957, on the anniversary of Nieuw Nederland President Martin Van Buren, his illustrious successor Quentin Rosevelt helped the mother country to negotiate a compromise deal with the Government of Indonesia. An article from the multi-author American Mini-states thread.
Dutch Courage Part 4President Sukarno was the leader of his country's struggle for independence from the Netherlands and was Indonesia's first president. He was a prominent leader of Indonesia's nationalist movement during the Dutch colonial period, and spent over a decade under Dutch detention until released by the invading Japanese forces.
By December 1957, Sukarno had begun to take decisive steps to enforce his authority over the country. On that month, he nationalised 246 Dutch companies which have been dominating Indonesian economy, most notably the NHM, Royal Dutch Shell subsidiary Bataafsche Petroleum Maatschappij, Escomptobank, and the "big five" Dutch trading corporations (NV Borneo Sumatra Maatschappij / Borsumij, NV Internationale Crediet- en Handelsvereeneging "Rotterdam" / Internatio, NV Jacobson van den Berg & Co, NV Lindeteves-Stokvis, and NV Geo Wehry & Co). More fatefully, he had threatened to expel 40,000 Dutch citizens remaining in Indonesia while confiscating their properties, due to the failure by the Dutch government to continue negotiations on the fate of Netherlands New Guinea as was promised in the 1949 Round Table Conference.
The Dutch Government had been forced into exile by the Nazis and their authority was blown. However Quentin was a former flying ace  who had personally impressed Sukharno as a fellow fighter for liberty and justice. This personal credibility generate a level of mutual respect that enabled "QR" to act as an honest broker finding a settlement between the two Governments.
In 1969, on this day CBS Evening News anchor Arnold Zenker announced that the US Ambassador to Ireland had been shot and killed by paramilitary gun-men in the Falls Road, Belfast.
An article from the No Chappaquiddick by Eric Lipps in which EMK's car only almost went off that bridge on July 18, 1969.
Uncle Arnold reports the tragedy in BelfastIn the six long months since his appointment by President Nixon, Jack Kennedy had worked tirelessly with community leaders to seek a resolution to the escalating sectarian violence sweeping the island of Ireland. But inevitably though he had invited criticism that he had failed to fully grasp the painful lessons of centuries of history.
His body was returned in state to Massachusetts where it was solemnly collected by members of the Kennedy Clan. They were still mourning Joe, Senior who had passed only three weeks earlier. But despite this heartbreak, they knew that matters could have been far far worse; because younger brother Ted had almost driven his car off a bridge on the evening of July, 18th. Although undetected at the time, the turbulent events of the second half of that year had made him turn the corner. And take the first steps on the long road to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
In 1757, on this day Austrian forces under Prince Charles Alexander of Lorraine triumphed at the Battle of Leuthen. Frederick II of Prussia was killed in the fighting.
Disaster at LeuthenThe Four Year's War, in Europe, began on 29th August 1756 when Prussian king Frederick II, having recently signed an alliance with Great Britain, invaded the German nation of Saxony in a move designed to pre-empt an Austro-French invasion of Silesia. The Prussian army won a series of battles against the Austro-Saxon forces, eventually culminating in the surrender of Saxony. The invasion of Saxony however was viewed negatively in the rest of Europe and soon Austria was joined by France and Russia in the war against Prussia. Great Britain joined their Prussian allies, and began sending aid to the Prussians as well as deploying an army under the Duke of Cumberland to Hannover.
Elsewhere in the world the colonial superpowers, Britain and France, battled against each other. In North America the conflict had begun two years ago, and had been going poorly for the British. The French continued to enjoy success, repelling various British assaults into Canada and into Louisiana. The French and their Indian allies maintained the upper hand against the British and the colonials and were even able to seize the British base at Fort Oswego. In India the conflict was known as the Third Carnatic War.
Meanwhile in Europe, Frederick II invaded Austrian Bohemia in attempt to knock Austria out of the war, as the Russians invaded East Prussia. The Prussian advance into Bohemia however was dealt a blow with defeat at the Battle of Kolin on June 18th 1757 and Fredrick was forced to withdraw back into Prussia. Meanwhile the French had moved west and attacked Hannover defeating the Duke of Cumberland's forces at the Battle of Hastenbeck, which resulted in the Convention of Klosterzeven and the surrender of Hannover and Cumberland's forces. The Prussian victory at the Battle of Rossbach however gave the Prussians hope that they could survive. Tragedy however followed shortly after with the surprise death of Frederick II following a fall from his horse and the subsequently decisive Austrian victory at the Battle of Leuthen. Frederick's heir apparent was his nephew the thirteen year old Frederick William. The sudden death of the king threw the Prussian government into a state of chaos.
The Prussian army that had been crushed at Leuthen withdrew north in disarray where it was again defeated by the Austrians at the Battle of Crossen in February 1758. This defeat resulted in the complete destruction of the Prussian Army. This, in addition to the Russian advances in the East and the French successes in the west caused the Prussian government, still in disarray, to ask for an armistice, which was accepted in early May 1758. Article continues at Disaster at Leuthen
In 1945, on this day Musa Qasab (pictured)  the first Jewish Grand Vizier of Persia was born in the city of Yazd in the Shir Kuh valley. His family brought him to Tehran when he was an infant.
Birth of Musa QasabAlthough he was the first ethnic Jew to be given the absolute power of attorney by the Shahanshah ("King of Kings"), Reza Pahlavi there was a historic precedent for such an appointment. Because Joseph, the eleventh son of Jacob, had serving as Vizier to the Egyptian Pharaoh.
In 1839, on this day 18th President of the United States, General George Armstrong Custer was born in New Rumley, Ohio.
American Heroes 3:
Triumph of "The Morning Star"During 1876 the problem of choosing a candidate to fill the boots of outgoing President Ulysses S. Grant appeared to be miraculously solved by the fortuitous arrival of George Armstrong Custer on the floor of the Democratic National Convention in St. Louis.
Positively beaming with the euphoria of his spectacular victory at the Little Big Horn, the "Morning Star" was very much a chip off the old block. A shameless self-promoter with a track record of show-boating, he was a genocidal, centennial poster boy for foolish men to rally around. Dripping with Indian blood, he too was an inhuman butcher devoid of respect for human life. Incredibly, his administration would make Grant's look good by comparison.
Only later during his impeachment trial would the grisly truth emerge amongst other evidence of malfeasance, corruption and deception.
One insight that the more cynical convention delegates had long suspected. Amongst a political generation that had fought the Civil War, those fomer servicemen had queried the logic of a three pronged attack which made no military sense. Because surely a concentration of forces was the best tactic for defeating a large hostile army ferociously defending its native homeland? At least until it was revealed that Custer and Major Marcus Reno had ordered their loyalist troopers to indiscriminately slaughter the helpless women and children in the village of White Deer, none of whom were committed Democrats voters anyway.
In 1921, threatened with a renewal of "terrible and immediate war" by British Prime Minister David Lloyd George if they failed to sign the Treaty at once, Irish delegates terminated negotiations at 22 Hans Place and returned to Dublin to consult the cabinet according to their instructions.
A terrible and immediate warAs the principal Irish revolutionary leader, Michael Collins was fully aware that his direct participation in the negotiations had been life-threatening; his explicit approval of an Irish Free State would mean "signing his own death warrant" whereas rejection would lead to arrest and execution by the British. In his diary that evening Winston Churchill would note that "Michael Collins rose up looking as if he was going to shoot someone, preferably himself. In all my life, I have never seen so much passion and suffering in restraint".
However Lloyd-George recalled that "From the very outset of our conversations [in June 1921] I told you that we looked to Ireland to own allegiance to the Throne, and to make her future as a member of the British Commonwealth. That was the basis of our proposals, and we cannot alter it. The status which you now claim in advance for your delegates is, in effect, a repudiation of that basis. I am prepared to meet your delegates as I met you in July, in the capacity of 'chosen spokesmen' for your people, to discuss the association of Ireland with the British Commonwealth".
Collins and Griffiths had sensed disunity and perhaps even design and intent when Éamon de Valera sent Irish plenipotentiaries rather than attend in person. As the self-styled President of the Government of the Republic of Ireland, he would probably reject the Treaty whereas Collins once identified could no longer continue as he had. Also, it appeared unlikely that a consensus would form around the controversial sanctioning of a twenty-six county Dominion within the Empire, and the creation of a statelet (Northern Ireland) comprising the other six counties under the British Crown. And therefore Collins was presented with a stark choice between a continuation of the War of Independence, or a Civil War. Although many feared that rejection of the Treaty would postpone any form of independence for a generation, Collins sensed otherwise because even The Times had also turned against the Irish war, saying in an editorial as early as 1919, "We deplore the fact that the authority of the British name in Ireland has come to rest upon military power".
In 1745, Prince Charles Edward Stuart stared wildly around the oak-paneled drawing room of Exeter House,wondering how he could be hearing such madness spoken in the most elegant mansion in Derby.
In Which His Royal Highness Charles Edward Stuart Receives Aid from an Unexpected Source"What reason have I to give orders, if they are not obeyed?" he demanded, fists clenched beside his tartan kilt. "You all plan to betray me!"
His commander, Lord George Murray, patiently repeated what the Prince already knew only too well. His supporters in England had not risen in any great numbers to join his Scottish invasion. Only a few, like Sir Francis Townley, had answered his call.
"They will join us when we advance on London," the Prince urged.
"We must go back to Scotland where our friends are and make our stand there," Lord George repeated calmly, as though speaking to an unreasonable child.
Prince Charles turned to Ranald MacGregor, "You were the first one to follow me. You said that you would come with me to London, even if we were the only two who went there".
Ran MacGregor nodded his shaggy red-brown head. "Aye, and I say it again," the young Highland chief proclaimed, his devotion showing clearly in his eyes. They were all the more compelling because they matched his thatch of hair. Stubborn determination showed just as clearly in the long, hard chin jutting forward from his square, wind-burned face.
An excerpt from the Jackie Rose's e-book Prince Charlie's Witch"Your Royal Highness is right, and these others are daft to oppose you," he said. Seeing that the others were listening, Ran MacGregor pressed on.
"What need we of English followers? Our men are fighting over who will be the first to have his sword sharpened in time for the march on London. All we need are your good Highlanders".
Reluctantly he added, with a nod at Captain Francis O'Neill, "and your loyal Irish regiments from France to help us".
The Irishman bowed and smiled in ironic thanks. Standing with his back to the fire on that raw December day, he seemed like a dandy in his fine red wool uniform with its shining emerald satin lining, among the Highland men in their tartan kilts. His smile was as deceptive as his dandified airs. It was warm and genial, while his blue eyes glittered like ice against his dark, hard, handsome, black-Irish face.
"And is there any English army that can stand against good Scottish and Irish men together, and them fighting for their rightful Prince?"
"The Irish were ever brave fighters but they cannot change the facts," Lord Elcho retorted. "The fact is, if we march on London, we will be in Newgate Prison within the week".
"And if we retreat to Scotland-" with growing desperation, the Prince began his reply.
A frantic female voice from outside interrupted him.
"I have ridden straight from London with news for the Prince!"
Ran flung the door open. Glenmoriston MacGregors were on guard that night. Once their young laird had welcomed the stranger, they would never have dreamed of trying to stop her.
Racing through the doorway, the girl stumbled on her skirts, as though unaccustomed to their length and weight. She jerked them shockingly high above her booted ankles and ran resolutely on, until she stood surrounded by the Prince's men. Her resolution failed her then, and she stared at them helplessly, as though frozen by wonder.
She was already frozen by the cold. Her lips were literally blue with the chill. Snowflakes clung to her long golden curls, which were a tangled mass peeking from beneath the hood of her russet wool cloak. The cold had also turned her pink-and-white Highland complexion into a rough red, just as Ran and the Prince had had their fair skins burned by the sun. Her numb hands struggled in vain to remove riding gloves that seemed frozen to her fingers.
The Prince drew her gloves off gently and gave her his own kerchief to dry her hands. Leading her to the marble mantel, he waited as patiently as he could for the heat to reach her.
"What news do you bring us, lass?" he asked kindly, as her violent shivering started to subside.
Her lips were returning to their normal pink, but she still seemed unable to answer. Instead, she stared down at her hand in his, as though that were the most wonderful sight in the world.
The Prince was used to seeing that look of awe on young ladies' faces-first in Scotland, now here in England as well, when they crowded the streets to see him. Her accent told him that she came from the American Colonies, and he was pleasantly surprised to learn that he had fair admirers so far away.
But if she did have any news, this was no time for feminine vapors. He hoped that she would not suddenly shriek and faint, as so many other young ladies had done at the touch of his hand.
"Go on, lass," he said, smiling encouragement at her. "What news have you for us?"
Still, she stared up at him in amazement, from great brown eyes that seemed much too large for her heart-shaped little face, giving her the look of a wild woodland creature.
Then she turned his gaze to his companions. They all seemed to amaze her-Lord George Murray, Ranald MacGregor, Lord Elcho, Francis O'Neill-but always, she turned back to Bonnie Prince Charlie himself, as the most astonishing sight of all.
Her eyes were almost level with most of their own. Taller than almost any other woman they had ever seen, she stood nearly as high as Murray and O'Neill. Only MacGregor and the Prince himself towered above her, and they stood over six feet.
As she continued to stare at Prince Charles, his interest gave way to impatience. She had come to him just as the other girls did, he decided irritably. She merely wanted to judge for herself if he really was as bonnie as they said, with his broad shoulders, his compelling brown eyes and his lion's mane of red-gold curls.
"She only wanted to see you, as all the lassies do," Lord George snapped, unpleasantly echoing the Prince's thoughts. "Well, Miss, you may see him tonight, at the public reception". He reached for her shoulder to put her out of the room.
The pressure of his hand stung her into frantic action. She pulled sharply away from his grip.
"Never mind the public reception, you can't stay here that long," she cried.
Once the words had started, there was no stopping them. They came tumbling out in a torrent, racing over each other in their rush to be heard.
"You must leave at once for London," she exclaimed. "It lies open before you".
Lord George parted his lips to object, but she raced heedlessly on.
"The banks are shut, the shops are closed, the streets are empty!" she cried. "No army stands between you and the capital. Cumberland is in the West, Wade is in the East, they could never intercept you if you head straight south right now".
Even more urgently, she rushed on, "Above all, you must not think of retreating back to the Scottish Highlands. Your enemies will follow you there, and you will be trapped and destroyed. You must not give them time to grow stronger".
Seeing Lord Elcho violently shaking his head, she added with frantic urgency, "Your time is now. Right now! King George-German Georgie the Usurper-has his yacht loaded and ready to take him back to Hanover".
She noted the annoyance on Lord George's womanish face. He could tell that the Prince was listening to her, so he demanded angrily, "Why should we believe you, Girl, when you could be a spy or a madwoman? We can't change our plans for your ravings!"
"Then change them for this!" From her cloak pocket, she produced a flintlock pistol and pressed it into Murray's side. To read a brief summary and enjoy another excerpt (reporting on the really enchanted evening that the victorious Prince Charlie shares with two famous London actresses), go to Extasy Books and search for Prince Charlie's Witch under the author's name, Jackie Rose.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.