In 1921, on this day 1988 Democratic Party Presidential Nominee Lloyd Millard Bentsen, Jr. born in Mission, Hidalgo County, Texas. During World War Two, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and promoted to the rank of Major in the Air Force.
Birth of Lloyd BentsenHe served in both the House of Representatives and also the Senate, interrupted by a business career in the Houston insurance industry. His first race for the Presidency was in 1972, and a dozen years later he was considered for VP Nominee by Walter Mondale. And although he pipped Michael Dukakis to the nomination and ran a close fought campaign on the issues alongside running mate Michigan Governor James Blanchard he crashed to defeat at the hands of fellow Texan (and war-time pilot) George H.W. Bush.
He decided not to run again in 1992 due to the President's popularity after the Gulf War. This was somewhat ironic because after the resignation of Les Aspin in early 1994, he was chosen for the position of Secretary of Defense ahead of William Perry.
In 1936, on this day at the Winter Olympics in Bavaria, Great Britain upset 1932 gold medalists Canada to win the final round of the men's ice hockey.
The Right Honourable Arnold Hiller, M.P
A second teaser by Ed & Chris OakleyThe winning goal was scored by Edgar Brenchley, a native of Sittingbourne in England who had emigrated to Canada as a child. He had learned the craft of ice hockey in Niagara Falls, Ontario before returning home as an adult to join the English Hockey League.
The game was watched by another emigre, British Prime Minister Arnold Hiller (pictured) whose German family had moved to South London, some forty miles from Sittingbourne. Because the Schicklegrubers had actually originated from Braunau am Inn, just across the border in Austria and only one hundred and thirty miles from the market town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen where the Games were being held. It was a small world, and Hiller was a megalomaniac who wanted it all for himself.
Despite these proximities, their paths would never cross again; in 1940 Hiller learned that Brenchley had perished in combat1. The British invasion of France not only took the lives of several players in both the English and Canadian ice hockey teams, it would be the precipitative event that touched off the Second World War.
You can read read the latest installment of Chris Oakley's time at The Right Honourable Arnold Hiller MP at Changing the Times Magazine.
In 1945, on this day at the Livadia Palace near Yalta the shape of the post-war German occupation zones was laid down at the Argonaut Conference. The result was the quadrapartite decision to create a contiguous Soviet Occupation Zone with an undivided Berlin as its capital.
Achilles HeelAlthough this ruthless decision was the source of bitter controversy, and indeed blamed for the creation of a Soviet Prussian State by the German dissident Willy Brandt1, it was based upon sound, reasoned logic. Because the truth was that the Soviet Union had steadfastly refused to offer sufficiently firm guarantees to maintain a Western garrison. But instead of gaining this "Achilles Heel", the Western Allies had wrung some important concessions; the retention of Saxony and the Thuringia; the scrapping of plans to grant the lands east of the Oder and Neisse rivers to Poland and the absorption of northern East Prussia into the Soviet Union.
This blog is a reboot of an article with the Berlin Airlift Begins World War III.
In 2012, Suite 434 of the Beverly Hilton Hotel was entered by a notorious criminal who robbed America of an irreplaceable national treasure that by comparison diminished the Statue of Liberty to the value of a cheap French souvenir.
Listen to "My Heart" from Just Whitney
MamaWhitney Houston's gasp of surprise revealed that the intruder was not altogether unexpected. Nevertheless, a brief struggle ensued, but there could only be one winner. Shortly afterwards, her bruised and lifeless body was found submerged in the bathtub.
Even if the tortured soul of Whitney Houston could be perhaps forgiven for the release, then her death came as a profound emotional shock to her family. For many months, her ex-husband would suffer crying fits, while her daughter would call out to an empty home. But these matters were of no concern to the killer who hurriedly stepped out of the hotel room in pursuit of the other victims that he had targeted for the evening. Although his identity is well known to the Government, there is no reason to believe that his centuries-long killing spree will end any time soon.
In 1854, Commodore Matthew C Perry returned to Tokyo Bay with a fleet of eight warships on this day to accept the reply of the Japanese Shogun Tokugawa Iesada to a letter from American President Millard Fillmore.
Commodore Perry Rebuffed in the Battle of OdaibaThe letter, delivered by Commodore Perry a year before, contained the demand by Fillmore the Japan accept America's terms of opening trade relations between the two nations. At the time, the trade policy of Japan was that of "Sakoku", which among other things limited Japan's trade dealings with other nations. Only China, with its proximity and resources, and the Netherlands could trade with Japan. As had been promised if the Japanese chose not to cooperate with the United States, Perry ordered the eight ships, with their combined 80 guns and 2,000 marines, to steam toward Uruga and prepare to attack. Since the Japanese capital of Edo was out of range of the frigates' cannons, Uruga had been marked for "utter destruction" to demonstrate the seriousness of American resolve.
Unknown to Perry, while Perry had been in China awaited the Japanese reply, the Shogunate had ordered the island of Odaiba to be armed and ready to attack the Americans when they returned. A new post by Andrew BeaneEleven batteries of smooth-bore 80 pound cannons were placed on the island, supplemented by dozens of "wood cannons", hollowed-out tree trunks held together by iron bands and used as actual cannons. They were ready to give President Fillmore his answer.
Perry's fleet was greeted with a barrage of cannon fire, though the ill-trained Japanese defenders had trouble finding their targets. Nevertheless, with the Mississippi and the Saratoga sunk, and the Plymouth badly damaged, Perry decided to cut his losses and return to the United States. After the long journey back to Norfolk, Virginia, Perry reported his failure to President Franklin Pierce, who had taken office while Perry was in Asia, and was promptly relieved of command. Congress would not allow the money required to send a larger force to Japan, so the United States left Japan alone in its self-imposed isolation.
In 1803, the law of the young United States was only a little more than a decade old since its formal establishment with the ratification of the Constitution.
Marshall Forced to Recuse Himself Older law stretched back by precedent in the days of the Articles of Confederation and even colonial charters, creating the base of English common law that would judge how the basic affairs of personal matters could be handled. However, the highest echelons of the government were new and undecided. In a pivotal case for the Supreme Court, Congress won its position as highest power of the land, outranking even the Constitution itself, out of the character assassination of Chief Justice John Marshall.
The matter at hand was that of the "Midnight Judges" who had been appointed in the last hours of the Federalist Party controlling the government. Jeffersonian Republicans had won the elections in 1800 handily, meaning that the power of the Federalist Congress and President John Adams would simply disappear. A new story by Jeff ProvineIn order to maintain what they felt as a sense of sanity for the young nation, John Adams used the newly passed Judiciary Act of 1801 to appoint Federalist-leaning men to some 58 positions as circuit judges and justices of the peace. After approval by the Senate, Secretary of State John Marshall (who had also been appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, but stayed in his executive position at Adams' request) was able to deliver the majority of the appointments. A few would-be judges, however, were unable to be reached, and upon March 4, Jefferson was formally sworn in as president. Among his first actions to Levi Lincoln, Attorney General and acting Secretary of State, ordering him not to deliver the remaining appointments.
One of the ousted appointees was wealthy Marylander financier William Marbury, who demanded his position. He petitioned the Supreme Court, whose position was stalled as the new Democratic-Republican Congress limited the Court to one session the next February. As the court finally convened to hear the case, the questions at hand stretched further than whether they could order the Executive Branch to give Marbury his appointment. The legal issues seemed clear enough with Marbury to win, but lawyers opposing decided a radical strategy of removing the Federalist influence. They argued that Marshall could not sit as he was currently Secretary of State during the delivery and cited English Chief Justice Edward Coke's 1610 opinion that "no person should be a judge in his own case".
The legal standing of the citation was questionable, but public outcry driven by Jeffersonian newspapers gave the Federalist Party a blemish as ignoble tyrants holding any position they could grab. Due to the outpouring of disdain, Marshall sat aside.
Two weeks later, the split decision would be handed down as affirmative toward Marbury. However, Marshall's intended interpretation of judicial review for law fell short. Instead, legal precedence would build so that the Supreme Court's position would be to judge the Executive Branch and that Congress would sit atop a platform described by the Constitution. The so-called "Supremacy Clause" of the Constitution would be interpreted more to support the position of the federal government over those of states in the judicial system, a point that would be used to solve the Nullification Crisis in 1832 and deem secession only legal if approved by Congress. The federal government would be a "living government" rather than one restrained by an unchanging piece of paper.
Marshall, though upset, would continue as Chief Justice and do his best to support Federalist ideals. He challenged Jefferson in declaring Aaron Burr free from any overt act of treason in 1807. In 1810's Fletcher v. Peck, he judged that the Georgia government must support its dealings of its former legislature (unless authorized by the US Congress, now seen as equivalent to the Constitution). He also affirmed the position of the Executive Branch in international dealings, especially with those of the Native Americans.
Decades later, the matter of Congressional Supremacy would be key to the 1857 Dred Scott case proving that Congress had the right to prohibit slavery in US territories. With the substantial legal victory, the matter of slavery came to congressional attention, spurring the Emancipation Act of 1859 that prescribed the methods for a slave to free himself while paying his worth to his master, thus preventing any deprivation of property. The act is widely believed to have headed off a war as it was widely known Congress held the right to abolish slavery. Societies throughout the North (and South) collected money to be given to slaves, many of whom returned to work for former masters for wages.
Through the latter course of the nineteenth century, however, rampant corruption would bring about the Progressive Revolution led by, among others, General Theodore Roosevelt as renewed State Militias defending the Constitution, especially its Second Amendment, clashed with Federal troops.
In 1812, on this day the second Confederate President Alexander Hamilton Stephens was born in Crawfordville, Georgia.
Alexander H. Stevens
2nd Confederate President
March 4, 1867 - 1873 Alexander Hamilton Stephens (February 11, 1812 - March 4, 1883) was an American politician from Georgia. He was President of the Confederate States of America immediately following the American Civil War. He also served as a U.S. Representative from Georgia before the Civil War and as the 50th Governor of Georgia from 1882 until his death in 1883.
Early Life and Career
Born Alexander Stephens to Andrew and Margaret Stephens in Crawfordville, Georgia, Stephens grew up poor. But thanks to the generosity of Rev. Alexander Hamilton Webster, a Presbyterian minister, he was educated at Franklin College (later the University of Georgia), where he graduated at the top of his class in 1832. He went on to study law on his own, being admitted to the bar in 1834.
A new article from the "Two Americas" thread on Althistory WikiaStephens was a very successful lawyer and land owner in his native Taliaferro County, becoming wealthy and subsequently generous with that wealth. Though a sickly man, weighing only 96 pounds, his intellect and strength of character gained his the compliment from a northern newspaper as "the strongest man in the south". He was known as an able defender of the falsely accused, and generous to a fault with his home and wealth.
Early on, Stephens gained the respect of his fellow Georgians, being first elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1836 and then the Georgia Senate in 1842. In 1843, he resigned the State Senate when he was elected in a special election to fill a vacant seat in the US House of Representatives.
In 1843, Stephens was elected U.S. Representative as a Whig, in a special election to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Mark A. Cooper. This seat was an at-large seat, as Georgia did not have House districts until 1844. In 1844, 1846, and 1848, Stephens was re-elected Representative from the 7th District as a Whig. In 1851 he was re-elected as a Unionist, in 1853 as a Whig (from the 8th District), and in 1855 and 1857 as a Democrat. He served from October 2, 1843 to March 3, 1859, in the 28th Congress through the 35th Congress.
As a national lawmaker during the crucial two decades before the Civil War, Stephens was involved in all the major sectional battles. He began as a moderate defender of slavery, but later accepted all of the prevailing Southern rationales used to defend the institution.
Elected as a Whig, Stephens was instrumental in the creation of the Constitutional Unionist party in Georgia in 1850. The party replaced the Whig party in the 1850 congressional elections, and he fought hard to save the party before it dissolved in 1851. A Whig once more, he fought for the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which proved the undoing of the Whig party. Elected as a Democrat in 1854, he became a rising voice of sanity from the south. Leaving office in 1859, he worked for the election of Stephen Douglas in the 1860 presidential campaign. When elected a member of the convention to decide on secession, he voiced his objections, likening the national union as a leaking ship that only needed mending.
National politics in the Confederacy
In spite his opposition to secession, Stephens was selected by the Congress of the Confederacy to be the vice president of the provisional government, being sworn into office on February 11, 1861 (his 49th birthday). The President, Jefferson Davis, was to be sworn in February 18th, meaning Stephens would be the longest serving executive in Confederate history. The Constitution would establish the date of March 4th as inauguration day after standard election. Elected to fill the same post, he would serve along side Davis during the whole active war against the US. He would, though, be a constant voice for peace from his office in Richmond and on more than one occasion in Washington.
On February 3, 1865, he was one of three Confederate commissioners who met with Lincoln on the steamer River Queen at the Hampton Roads Conference, to discuss measures to bring an end to the war. Lincoln had predetermined that no agreement short of a restoration of the union with the abolition of slavery would be reached. The report from that conference would result in a covert operation to assassinate the US president. This was to be a shock to Stephens, though he suspected that Davis may have known of the plan.
In spite of the tension between Stephens and Davis, the president supported his vice president as the best man to heal the nation after the ceasefire in 1866. The opposition was futile in November of that year as Stephens' reputation preceded him. In 1868, his vice president, Gen. Robert E. Lee, made a passionate plea for the abolition of slavery in the Confederacy. Stephens had been a staunch supporter of the institution, but understood the plight of the slave, having defended many of them in court in the years before the war.
The primary accomplishment of the Stephens' administration though, was the attempted liberation of Cuba from the domination of Spain. As word from refugees reaching Key West and mainland Florida, Stephens ordered the Confederate Navy to blockade the island in November of 1868, just weeks after the "10th of October Manifesto" that declared independence from Spain. With the recognition of the rebellion, the Confederacy was embroiled in an unpopular war that was costing the Confederacy lives and money they could not afford. Near the end of his administration Stephens would have to withdraw the Confederate forces to defend the border with Mexico due to that country's political unrest.
After leaving office, Stephens was appointed to be Ambassador to Mexico in 1874. Being recalled after the coupe in 1876, he would be sent to Cuba in an attempt to mend the broken relations with Spain. Having little success in that venture, he would return to Georgia for a slight reprieve from public service.
Governor of Georgia
In a move unusual for a former President, Stephens would run for governor of his home state. He would be elected and serve from the capital at Milledgeville from 1878 until his death in 1883.
In his first term, He would oversee the plans to move the capital to the modern city of Atlanta, which had suffered damage in Sherman's attempts to disrupt the economy of the Confederacy in the "scorched earth" policy on 1865. Confederate forces had brought that campaign to an end in the Battle of Atlanta. US President Johnson had withdrawn all forces to the border soon after that. By the end of 1880, the foundation of the new capitol building had been lain. 1881 would see the International Cotton Exposition would draw attention to the vital textile industry. Mechanization had largely reduced the need for slave labor, promoting the late Vice President Lee's dream for emancipation of slaves.
After being re-elected in November of 1882, he would be injured in an accident on his estate in Taliaferro County, dying of complications on March 4, 1883. At his death, James S. Boynton, president of the Georgia senate, became governor until a special election could be held.
In 1994, on this day "the tree shaker", septuagenarian Thembu rebel leader Rolihlahla Mandela boarded a stolen Xhosa transport ship, finally escaping from the windswept island where he had been imprisoned for the past thirty-one years.
The Return of the KingThe first time he had travelled the seven short miles from the Cape of Storms to the island, he had sat below the decks of the wooden ferry chained hand and foot whilst the prison guards amused themselves by urinating through the air vent onto the prisoners.
Despite his long incarceration, he had not lose an ounce of spirit, standing on deck tall and stiff as a flagpole. Characteristically, his mouth was turned down in a mournful frown whilst his brown eyes sparkled with mischief. Although much time had been lost, it was not yet too late to shake his country of Azania to its very roots.
In 2006, the conservative political commentator Rush Limbaugh was accidentally peppered in the face with birdshot pellets by Vice President Dick Cheney during a hunt in the north-western United States.
The Right to Arm BearsCheney had turned to shoot what he thought was a fat grizzly bear but fortunately Limbaugh escaped unscathed as the majority of the bird-shot lodged in his jowls.
When asked for a comment in his hospital bed, Rush chirped that it was an honor to be shot by such a great American.
In 2009, on this day the leader of the ultra-right wing Yisrael Beiteinu Party, Mr Avigdor Lieberman (born Evet Lvovich Liberman) unexpectedly emerged from the Israeli General election in the terrifying guise of kingmaker.
Pillar of SaltLieberman has called for Israel to redraw its borders to push out heavily Arab areas and require Arabs remaining in Israel to sign loyalty oaths or lose their right to vote, being quoted as saying, "I've always been controversial because I offer new ideas. For me to be controversial, I think this is positive".
A coalition agreement had been signed with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in October 2006, under which Lieberman became the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Strategic Affairs. Not only did this politically expedient appointment permit Lieberman to gain respectability as a mainstream politician, it placed the bloody stamp of the Yisrael Beiteinu Party on the invasion of Gaza City in December 2008. An insatiable appetite for extreme action had just been whetted. In Lieberman's fundamentalist view there could be no looking back for the State of Israel. Gaza and Ramallah were the modern day equivalent of Sodom and Gomorrah, and just like Lot's wife in the Book of Genesis, looking back would turn the State of Israel into a pillar of salt.
Only later would it become clear that events now began to further escalate inside a vicious, inescapable circle of violence that gripped the region. The end-game in a fifty year tragedy was fast approaching.
Because the perceived success in bringing Hamas to heel had delivered a huge surge in support for the Defence Minister and Leader of the Labour Party, Mr Ehud Barak. A former Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defence Force, Mr Barak would be increasingly seen as the natural heir to Ariel Sharon, a military professional who could reverse the sense of drift that had permeated Ehud Olmert's civilian government.
With no clear winner emerging from the General election, it was inevitable that the leader of the majority Israeli party would need to seek at least one coalition partner to form a new cabinet. Accordingly President Shimon Peres now invited Barak to form a government of unity with Yisrael Beiteinu Party. Although its rival in the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority, did not expressed a preference for any candidate, senior negotiator Mr Saeb Erakat expressed dismay right-wing parties that oppose the traditional land-for-peace formula had performed so well. Matters were worse than Mr Erakat feared. Far worse. During the horse-trading that followed, Lieberman introduced his key pre-condition for entering a new Barak administration - the launching of Operation Final Victory at all Costs.
This story is a continuation of a previous headline, Old Testament Times.
In 1979, the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (pictured) was captured by agents of Iran's feared secret police, SAVAK.
Ayatollah Captured by Eric LippsKhomeini had been the leader of a revolutionary movement grounded in fundamentalist Shiite Islam which had sought to overthrow the secular, modernizing Shah Reza Pahlevi.
In January 1979, they had briefly forced the Shah to flee the country, but infighting between the fundamentalists and more moderate factions had led to the collapse of the coup. The Shah had returned to Teheran on February 1 as Iranian military and SAVAK forces asserted control, hunting down the would-be revolutionaries. Those not killed immediately will be placed on trial and either sentenced to death or imprisoned for indeterminate periods.
The Shah's survival and the subsequent crackdown were applauded by U.S. conservatives but greeted with distinct ambivalence on the left; liberals tended to see Iran's ruler as a despot, however little they cared for Khomeini's religious zealotry.
On this day in 1945, as millions of people around the Allied world celebrated the end of World War II in Europe and scientists in the New Mexico desert began preparations for the first experimental atomic bomb detonation, deposed former German chancellor Adolf Hitler was handed over to a detachment of U.S. Army MPs under the terms of the surrender articles signed by the German government the previous day.
The Führer, who'd been incarcerated in a secret Luftwaffe detention camp since his overthrow by Hermann Goering back in January, would be indicted for war crimes two months later as the first of dozens of defendants scheduled to be prosecuted by a multi-national tribunal in the city of Nuremburg.
On this day in 1959, Sandy Koufax scored his 1000th NBA career point in a 121-118 Boston Celtics win against Philadelphia at Boston Garden.
On this day in 1957, Sandy Koufax notched his 500th NBA career assist in a 91-85 Celtics loss to the Syracuse Nationals in Philadelphia.
In 2003, a small incident almost blows up the delicate peace negotiations between the People's Republic of America and the Soviet States of America, as a small band of revolutionaries explode an S.S.A. base in Montana. When P.R.A. troops capture the men responsible and hand them over to the S.S.A., negotiations resume.
In 1963, Pete Best, international superstar, records his huge hit album When Youre My Love. The album shoots to the second spot on the British charts days after its release, and there is talk across Europe and America of the new sensation from Liverpool.
In 1952, while his host Carl Thompson recuperates in the local hospital, Mikhail von Heflin and Velma Porter seek out Juan Escobar, self-styled hunter of the paranormal. Escobar, injured in the struggle the night before himself, is in a small motel on the north side of the town, contemplating a return to his native Mexico.
In 1847, the world's greatest inventor, Thomas Alva Edison, was born in Milan, Ohio. Edison's adaption of Babbage's Difference Engine became a world-transforming tool that allowed for the storage and transmission of vast amounts of information instantaneously. His work was directly responsible for the Knowledge Railroad that connects all of humanity today.
In 1988, Nelson Mandela, the symbol for anti-apartheid movements across the globe, died in his Robben Island Prison. He had been placed in solitary confinement on Robben Island after leading the other inmates in civil disobedience against the hideous conditions in the prison, and was never seen again. Bloody riots after his death overthrew the rule of the white minority in South Africa.
In 1970, Japan launches the satellite Ohsumi from its Kagoshima Space Center, joining the western powers of America, France and the Soviet Union in the heavens. Their national will to exceed soon pushes them past the other nations, and Japan lands the first human on Mars, Ryoko Kikuchi, in 1984.
In 1904, the defensive fleet of the human and Mlosh from earth rendezvous at the Plutonian defensive perimeter to meet the incoming fleet from the Mlosh homeworld. They now realize that they are facing an offshoot of the Mlosh, possibly bred for battle. The children of the earth brace for a hard fight.
In 1567, on this day Mary, Queen of Scots murdered Lord Darnley (pictured), her cousin, estranged husband and also the father of her infant son James Stuart. His body (and that of his servant) was secretly buried in the orchard of Kirk o' Field, Edinburgh, where they had been staying.
Mary, Queen of Scots defends David Rizzio
Part 2 by Ed & Eric OppenDescribed as "the best proportioned long man she ever saw", her majesty had become passionately infatuated with him during her first years in Scotland. However, she soon discovered that he was power-hungry, vicious and totally unreliable. His transparent desire to seize the thrown for himself and his own branch of the Stuart family infuriated many of the Scottish nobility who required little encourage to revert to lawlessness, violence, feuds and rapacity. The consequence was a loyalist rebellion led by Mary's right-hand man, Lord James Stewart.
However the motive was much simpler. It was the shocking discovery of his leading role in the attempt to murder her Torinese private secretary, David Rizzio that had occurred when she was seven months pregnant with the future King of Scots, James VI. But despite the suspicions of many, Henry Stewart's death was attributed to natural causes because he had been sick at the time of his murder, and it was known in court circles that was why he and Mary were sleeping apart.
In 1639, on this day King Robert II lost the Tudor's greatest living servant when the iconic Monarchist General Oliver Cromwell (pictured) was killed defending Newcastle from the latest Scottish attack.
Essex Rebellion #2At the climax of the English Succession Crisis, the Earl's Counter-plot had prevented the Cecils from passing the throne to King James IV of Scotland, the son of Elizabeth's first cousin once removed, Mary Stuart. Instead they had placed a Tudor B*stard on the throne, Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex.
The enraged Scottish monarch responded by invading England. And instead of the two crowns being united, both monarchs became locked in a bitter dynastic struggle that was continued by their children well into the third decade of the seventeenth century. In Cromwell, the Tudors believed that they had found the military commander that could finally end the Jacobite menace, but with his tragic death the conflict seemed destined to stretch into the 1640s.
This post is a reversal of Robbie Taylor's King Robert article and continues the Tudor B*stards thread.
In 1846, the Sikh Empire had one of its greatest military triumphs and began its second imperial age with the defeat another great imperial force, Britain.
Sikhs Defeat British East India CompanyAlthough Sikhs as a culture had begun some three centuries before in the Punjab region of India, it would not be until the fall of the Mughal in the mid-1700s that the Khalsa (Sikh army) was organized to support a confederacy of newly freed Sikh misls. Ranjit Singh rose to power from leader of one misl into uniting the Sikhs into an empire in 1801. He modernized the Khalsa, even including Western artillery and mercenaries, and expanded his control by conquest of Afghan territory as well as the kingdoms of Jammu and Kashmir.
At about the same time, the British Empire through the East India Company worked to extend its control in the region. Afraid of Russian interference, the British fought the initially successful but later disastrous Anglo-Afghan War, which had been supported by Ranjit Singh. After the death of Ranjit in 1839, however, the Sikh Empire began to wane as centralized control dissipated. Many applauded the return to the ideal confederacy, but unrest was common. The Khalsa tripled in size to maintain order, even though they themselves were responsible for much of it, such as killing viziers who proved to be thieves or cowardly or holding a riot to find anyone who spoke Persian and executing them on grounds they might be corrupt administrators in charge of financing. The court, known as the Durbar, faced its own turmoil with intrigues and assassinations that caused the throne to change hands quickly between sons and regents until finally settling on eight-year-old Duleep Singh with his mother, Maharani Jind Kaur, in control of real power. Seeing the chaos just over the border in what British visitors described as a "dangerous military democracy", combined with the sudden and ultimately rebuffed Sikh invasion of Tibet in the Sino-Sikh War (1841-42), the East India Company built up military forces near the Punjab for protection of their holdings.
A new story by Jeff ProvineThe British massing caused tension to build further with the Durbar disagreeing with both the Khalsa and the representatives from the East India Company working to keep trade free of the hang-ups of corruption. In December 1845, a British force made up largely from units of the legendary Bengal Army under Sir Hugh Gough began maneuvers to join units already stationed along the border at Ferozepur, and the Khalsa responded with their own armies led by the rajas Tej Singh and Lal Singh. The two generals meandered: Tej refused to attack an exposed British division at Ferozepur that became instrumental in the close British victory at the Battle of Ferozeshah, where he appeared late and withdrew upon misinterpreting the retreat of the British cavalry as a flanking maneuver. Lal, meanwhile, failed to reorganize his troops after a few British soldiers broke Sikh defenses. After the battle, both armies retired with the British exhausted and the Sikhs in disarray. In Lahore, the Sikh capital, Jind Kaur blamed the cowardice of officers rather than her commanders, even dismissively throwing garments in their faces.
Upon this insult, Khalsa tempers rose and became embodied the Sham Singh Attariwala, a hero who had served in the Sikh army since enlisting in 1817, whose daughter had married Nau Nihal Singh (the second in line for the throne after the death of Ranjit and died from wounds after a building fell), and who served on the council that observed the regency for Duleep Singh. He ordered corrupt prime minister Gulab Singh exiled and Jind Kaur placed under house arrest, naming himself regent for Duleep. Sham also began a purge of the lackluster command of the Sikh army, finding both Tej and Lal Singh, upper-caste Hindu Dogras rather than Sikh, not only futile but treacherous, having sold battle plans to the British. Both were executed, and Sham himself took command of the army, reinforced with troops from the western part of the empire. The British, themselves reinforced, attacked the pontoon bridge at Sobraon, trading artillery fire before Gough was told his cannons were low on ammunition and he replied, "Thank God! Then I'll be at them with the bayonet". The resulting attack, however, would prove a repeated failure to break through Sikh lines. When the British began to withdraw, the Sikhs counter-attacked and routed them.
The expedition would prove a disaster for the British, but it cemented the Khalsa in control of what would become known as Sikhistan to the West. Sham Singh Attariwala himself ruled until Duleep Singh came of age and ruled until his death in 1893. He westernized his country as per his tutelage under Sham and maintained it as the richest part of India, many historians believing due to the secular nature of the diverse country. Duleep traveled to Europe a number of times and was on good terms with Queen Victoria, creating a peaceful coexistence of the Sikhs alongside British India. India would not see independence from Britain until 1947, when it was divided into predominantly Hindu India and Muslim Pakistan. The resulting Partition of India would be largely calm in the north as Khalsa watched over the borders, and the population of Sikhistan surged as refugees were taken in after escaping brutal clashes in the south.
Today Sikhistan is an economic leader in the region as well as its territory of the Punjab considered "the breadbasket of India". While there have been some border altercations, the military strength of the Khalsa has maintained order in what otherwise could be an area of violent tension.
In 1763, on this day the signing of the Treaty of Paris by the Kingdoms of Great Britain, France and Spain (with Portugal in agreement) marked the beginning of an extensive period of Catholic dominance outside Europe. Because in combination with the separate Treaty of Hubertusburg signed by Prussia, Austria and Saxony, the so-called "Peace of Paris" concluded the world-wide conflict known as the Seven Years' War, an outcome which particularly favoured the French and Spanish.
Catholic Victory in the Seven Years War
written by John LipkaThe fighting between Great Britain, France, and their respective allies in North America (known in the United States as the French and Indian War) had broken out in 1754, two years before the general conflict, as part of an Imperial rivalry.
In hindsight, it was clear that the premature loss of the talented General James Wolfe at Louisbourg was a catastrophic setback for the British. As portrayed in the iconic painting "The Death of General Wolfe" (pictured), artist Benjamin West symbolised the loss of such a ruthlessly talented officer which ultimately cost the British the War (West had originally planned to replace Wolfe with Britannia to further emphasise the point).
Ordered to capture Quebec, their forces were thrown into such dissarray that France was able to seize New England, New York City, New Jersey and Pennslyvania. With the south also seized by Spanish forces, all of colonial continental North America was now in French and Spanish hands.
Ironically, the Catholic allies suffered their own near-fatal setback at the outset of the Seven Year's War. The delayed arrival on the Russian Throne of Czar Peter III was too late for his potential ally Frederick the Great who had already committed suicide. And because France did not want Russian power overly extended on the risk of offending their friends the Ottomans, it would be agreed that Russia only gained East Prussia at the Treaty of Versailles (with the rest of Prussia being divided between Austria regaining Silesia, Saxony-Poland gaining Prussian Saxony (Anhalt) and Brandenburg). To be continued..
In 2010, Charles Nesbitt Wilson died on this day in Lufkin, Texas aged seventy-five; the highly controversial phase of his fifty-year political career was explored in the non-fiction book "Good Time Charlie's War" by George Crile subsequently adaptated for the cinema in a film starring Tom Hanks.
Good Time Charlie's WarFrom 1973 to 1996, Wilson served twelve terms as the Democratic United States Representative from the 2nd congressional district in Texas. His was a constant voice advocating Operation Cyclone; this largest-ever CIA covert operation provided critical support to the Mujahideen during the Soviet war in Afghanistan.
"The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan is the greatest threat to peace since the Second World War"Funding began with $20-$30 million per year in 1980 and rose to $630 million per year in 1987. Because what began as the supply of military equipment soon extended into the provision of anti-aircraft weapons such as Stinger antiaircraft missiles; paramilitary officers were dispatched from the Special Activities Division. And finally the US was organising raids from across the border in Pakistan.
The program relied heavily on using the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence as an intermediary for funds distribution, passing of weapons, military training and financial support to Afghan resistance groups. The ISI armed and trained over 100,000 insurgents between 1978 and 1992. They encouraged the volunteers from the Arab states to join the Afghan resistance in its struggle against the Soviet troops based in Afghanistan. The Soviet troops completely pulled out of Afghanistan on February 15, 1989.
In late 1992, Wilson emerged as the preferred candidate for the position of Secretary of Defence. Because of his own lack of military experience, Clinton had deliberately sought out another Democrat politician (and party animal) who had a military background and considerable experience with military and foreign policy matters. Fortunately for both Clinton and Wilson, his Senate hearings were unopposed despite rumous surrounding his notorious personal life, particularly drinking, cocaine use, and womanizing, which resulted in him picking up the nickname "Good Time Charlie". Wilson's checkered past was of no concern to the key decision-makers, because he was self-evidently a man whose positions were correctly aligned with top military brass and defense contractors.
In office, he soon discovered that "Good Time Charlie's War". had not ended with the Soviet departure, rather he had created conditions for a regional instability that would last for generations. But how to keep the party going, whilst avoiding the blame? Unprepared to be the villain of the piece, Wilson leaned upon his experience, grasping the old truism that the group unites behind a common enemy. And so he created a new villain straight out of a comic book - Osama Bin Laden, a fictional bogieman who could endlessly avoid capture and draw the fury of the American people. And even by the time of Wilsons death in 2010, numerous "right hand men" of Bin Laden's would continue to be paraded across the media.
In 1985, on this day the battle lines of the anti-apartheid struggle were finally and tragically drawn across the ANC Leadership, shattering both the marriage of Nelson Mandela and his second wife Winnie, and also his life-long friendships with both Walter Sisulu and Oliver Tambo. And by accepting a secret deal with Prime Minister P.W. Botha, Mandela would be freed on the single pre-condition of "unconditionally rejecting violence as a political instrument".
Mandela FreePowerlessly watching the destruction of Sophiatown in February 1955, the bitter truth that Gandhi's doctrine of non-violence could not defeat apartheid had been painfully demonstrated to the ANC leadership. But thirty years later, political violence, and a new and terrifying development - black-on-black violence - was now sweeping South Africa, threatening to make the country ungovernable even to a future black majority government in Pretoria. And Mandela himself had entertained serious doubts about the long-term consequences of the armed struggle after the death of Steve Biko. Because the new class of political detainees at Robben Island were different, they punched the guards and argued amongst themselves. And when the Bishop of Johannesburg, Desmond Tutu had been awarded the Noble Peace Prize in 1984, his mind had been set on a new course.
"I am not a violent man, let Botha now renounce violence. Let him say that he will dismantle apartheid .. your freedom and mine cannot be separated. I will return"And so his daugher Zindzi announced the news before a packed stadium in Soweto, the first time anyone in South Africa had heard his words legally in twenty-three years. "I am not a violent man, let Botha now renounce violence. Let him say that he will dismantle apartheid .. your freedom and mine cannot be separated. I will return".
Whilst Nelson's daughter attempted to redefine black consciousness, the former social worker Winnie Mandela was not present, she was articulating a rather different vision for Amandla! (power): "We have no guns - we have only stones, boxes of matches, and petrol. Together, hand-in-hand, with our boxes of matches, and our necklaces we shall liberate this country". In fact his wife's wild behaviour had distressed and embarrassed Mandela for some time, having taken a few wrong turns, she was now surrounded by "Mandela United", a personal army of bodyguard manned by young Soweto gang members.
"Together, hand-in-hand, with our boxes of matches, and our necklaces we shall liberate this country"Yet there was a deeper truth to Mandela's change of heart - he was fast running out of time. Because Nelson Mandela was a desperately sick man that had developed a cough that would not go away. Soon after his release, doctors discovered that the damp prison cells on Robben Island were the cause of Mandela's tuberculosis. Realizing that "the only thing worse than a free Mandela is a dead Mandela", P.W. Botha was forced to honour his end of the bargan. Because if a government of national unity could not be formed and quickly, then surely a terrifying civil war with Winnie's "Mandela United" must follow.
In 2007, "the first night of Nine Inch Nails' European tour, T-shirts went on sale at a 19th-century Lisbon concert hall with what looked to be a printing error: Random letters in the tour schedule on the back seemed slightly boldfaced. Petraeus' Knot to Untie, Part 3 - Secret Websites, Coded Messages
Then a 27-year-old Lisbon photographer named Nuno Foros realized that, strung together, the boldface letters spelled i am trying to believe. Foros posted a photo of his T-shirt on the Spiral, the Nine Inch Nails fan forum. People started typing iamtryingtobelieve.com into their Web browsers. That led them to a site denouncing something called Parepin, a drug apparently introduced into the US water supply. Ostensibly, Parepin was an antidote to bioterror agents, but in reality, the page declared, it was part of a government plot to confuse and sedate citizens. Email sent to the site's contact link generated a cryptic auto-response: I'm drinking the water. So should you. Online, fans worldwide debated what this had to do with Nine Inch Nails. A setup for the next album? Some kind of interactive game? Or what?". ~ Secret Websites, Coded Messages: The New World of Immersive Games, by Frank Rose
The story continues in Part Four
On this day in 1945, Allied and German representatives met in Potsdam to sign the surrender articles officially ending the European phase of the Second World War.
That same day in Tokyo, Japan's Emperor Hirohito convened a special emergency session of his war cabinet to get their candid views of what the surrender meant for the Japanese empire. Their response was alarming: their unanimous view was that within weeks, months at the most, the United States and Britain would begin a final push towards the home islands and the Soviet Union would declare war on Japan. The already grim atmosphere of that cabinet meeting would have been even gloomier had the participants known that the U.S. was only 90 days away from being able to successfully test-detonate an atomic bomb.
In, 47,391 BCE, Swikolay and her clan settle in a small jungle near Kilimanjaro, and she begins studying the birds. During the remainder of her life, she makes many wings that she attaches to the smaller members of her clan to see if it will help them fly. For the most part, each attempt fails, but the clan remains dedicated to the Speaker's Dream.
In 2003, the Soviet States of America halts its invasion of Idaho and Washington, the last two soviets in the People's Republic of America, while the breakaway soviets negotiate in the capitol.
In 1992, Alex Haley, secretary to Malcolm Little of the Semitic-African Resistance, dies in exile in Namibia. Haley's biographies of Little, Martin King, and himself had been very popular underground hits in the United States and occupied Africa, and had given hope to millions that someday the New Reich might be defeated.
In 1968, Best, Ltd. begins handling all of international superstar Pete Best's financial affairs. He regrets this in a few years when the company comes close to bankruptcy. In 1973, he allowed a new CEO, Michael Milkin, to take over the company, and Milkin's unwise investments nearly led to Best's ruin.
In 1952, after his detective work uncovers Mikhail von Heflin's whereabouts, Juan Escobar breaks into the home of Carl Thompson and confronts the Baron. During the struggle, Thompson is injured, and Escobar flees while von Heflin is concerned with helping his host.
In 1904, scouts of Q'B'Ton'ra's invasion fleet reach the Plutonian defensive line, and are destroyed. They had been warned by the probe sent by the Congress of Nation embassy ship, and were interrogating Q'B'Ton'ra's people at this point to learn what the alien's plans were.
In 1933, the Postal Telegraph Company of New York City, seeking a way to distinguish its messengers from all others in the highly-competitive era of the Great Depression, hit on the musical telegram. They hired musicians who would play appropriate theme music while you read your telegram. It was a huge hit, and spawned copycats all over the nation.
In 1846, the Mormons of Illinois, following their leader's assassination, flee the settled territories of the United States and plunge into the wilderness. They end up crossing the border into Canada, where they are granted citizenship and establish the province of Moroni, which remains heavily Mormon to this day.
In 1928, the first murmurs of controversy surround the publication of D.H. Lawrence novel Lord Chatterleys Lover. In England Heterophobia was still rife even in the swinging twenties and the heterosexual love scene between Lady Chatterley and the Gardener Mellors was not considered acceptable.
In 1945, in the final days of the German People's Republic, Buchenwald concentration camp guards murdered Reichwehr Paymaster Karl Mayr on the executive orders of his former agent Comrade Adolf Hitler.
Death of a PaymasterTwenty five years before, Mayr; headed-up the Education and Propaganda Department of the Bavarian Reichswehr Group Command. Tasked with preventing the formation of a Bavarian Soviet Republic, he encouraged demobilizing servicemen to spy on right-wing organizations such as the German Workers Party.
A reactionary from the Imperial era, he was no friend of the German working class. However he went too far by encouraging Corporal Hitler to express profoundly racist views on the Jewish Question, creating a grudge that lasted for over two decades. Stung by rejection, he spread filthy lies that Hitler himself had Jewish ancestry, pushing him into the arms of the Communist Party that he was charged with undermining. And after Hitler's Communist Party seized power in 1933, Mayr fled to France. But after the German invasion of France in 1940, he was arrested in Paris by the Secret Police. Mayr was taken back to Germany, where on 9 February 1945 he was killed in Buchenwald concentration camp. This is a teaser for Chris Oakley's Comrade Hitler thread.
In 1773, on this day ninth President of the United States William Henry Harrison was born in Charles City, Virginia Colony.
Harrison Recovers From IllnessHe was rather fortunate to recover from a small cold that he had contracted on his inaugural day. Although he had intended to show his stamina by remaining outdoors as much as possible, the bitter cold of the day had forced him to rethink that decision, otherwise the cold he caught might have been much worse.
Another of his decisions that might have deserved a rethink was the Treaty of Guadeloupe Hidalgo. Based on a story by Robbie TaylorWelcomed at the time as a skillfully negotiated settlement that avoided unnecessary conflict with Mexico, in some quarters the Treaty sparked fierce criticism that the guarantee of Texas as an independent state would create an obstacle to westward expansion.
To the dismay of Harrison, the frustrated supporters of a coast-to-coast vision were soon proven correct. Because the discovery of Gold in California ensured that for decades to come Mexico would retain a strategic long-term interest in the south-western region. And as the Mexicans had intended, Texas would serve as a buffer state with the US.
In 1814, on this day the nineteenth President of the United States, Samuel Jones Tilden (pictured) was born in the town of New Lebanon, Columbia County in New York State.
Samuel J. Tilden
19th US PresidentHe studied law at Yale and New York Universities before being admitted to the bar. A skilled corporate lawyer, he became rich representing many railroad companies during the shaky railroad boom decade of the 1850s. He also was a member of the New York State Assembly and a delegate to the New York State Constitutional Convention of 1846. In 1848, largely on account of his personal attachment to Martin Van Buren, he participated in the revolt of the "Barnburners" or Free-Soil faction of the New York Democrats. He was among the few such who did not join the Republican Party and, in 1855, was the candidate of the Soft faction for New York State Attorney General.
Tilden became chairman of the Democratic State Committee after the Civil War. After having good relations to William M. Tweed and working closely together with him in the Democratic Party, Tilden came into conflict with the Tweed ring of New York City. Corrupt New York judges were the ring's tools, and Tilden, after entering the New York State Assembly in 1872 to promote the cause of reform, took a leading part in the judges' impeachment trials. By analyzing the bank accounts of certain members of the ring, he obtained legal proof of the principle on which the spoils had been divided. As a reform-spirited Governor in 1874, he turned his attention to a second set of plunderers, the "Canal Ring", made up of members of both parties who had been systematically robbing New York State through the maladministration of its canals. Tilden succeeded in breaking them up.
His successful service as governor gained him the presidential nomination. In one of the closest contests in American Presidential history, he narrowly won the general election, beating Republican Candidate Rutherford B. Hayes only by gaining a majority of the districts in the State of Pennsylvania. The outcome was heavy with consequence, because the disposition and outlook of this man could shape the future of the nation. Because he entered office with the need to confront the explosive issue of whether Reconstruction should continue.
In 2008, at his muted arrival on the Moon Colony, the outspoken austeritarian GOP candidate Rick Santorum provoked an instant reaction by telling reporters that the purpose of his visit was to "find out exactly what America had got for its hundred billion bucks" and lay bare that truth at the Lunar Presidential Debate.
Lunar Liberty Part FourThroughout the campaign Santorum had faced sharp criticism from advocates of the Space Program who pointed to American history for examples where costly outlays had been followed by long-term payback from unexpected developments. Dismissed by Horace Greeley of the New York Tribune as a "frozen wasteland" Alaska became one of the best investments America ever made. The passage of the Transcontinental Pacific Railroad Act created a roadmap to world hegemony, even though at the time it was impossible to justify the investment with a sound business case. And the Kelly Airmail Act opened the door to ubiquitous passenger flight.
Nevertheless it seemed inevitable that these Kennedyesque "new frontier" aspirational arguments would fail to prevent austerity budget cuts from mothballing the base. But then something totally unexpected happened and it transpired that Space Exploration really had opened a new doorway.
During his visit, Santorum received a top security briefing and was advised of the recent discovery of an alien monitoring probe. According to archivist Newton Leroy Gingrich, this device was tens of thousands of years old and had been left at the dawn of mankind in a location on the Moon where it would be undisturbed. Somewhat alarmingly, it had just begun transmitting a tightly-beamed signal to a remote part of the Galaxy. Potentially including photographic images of Gingrich's over-sized cranium which suggested a tangential development in human evolution. Of course it was more widespread coverage than Santorum had been expecting when he boarded the space plane.
This post is an article from the Lunar Liberty thread.
In 1861, in a surprising turn, longtime Congressional Representative Alexander Stephens was chosen as President for the provisional government of the Confederate States of America to hold office until formal elections could be held.
Alexander Stephens Elected CSA PresidentThe constitutional convention meeting in Montgomery, Alabama, had been expected to choose Jefferson Davis, who had twice served as senator from Mississippi as well as being the Secretary of War under Franklin Pierce. However, it became clear that Davis would rather serve his country as a general, and so Stephens was chosen, as he was also a moderate, instead of fiery secessionists Howell Cobb and Robert Toombs. While Toombs had called for war almost immediately (his farewell speech to the US Senate had included, "as one man would meet you upon the border with the sword in one hand and the torch in the other"), Stephens was slow to raise arms. Earlier in the convention that elected him, he campaigned against secession and detailed the American political system with the Republicans holding a minority in Congress and, even if any laws were to be passed around them, the Supreme Court would continue the status quo, as it had in its 7-2 decision in the Dred Scott case four years before.
A new story by Jeff ProvineGeorgia native Stephens had always seemed to best understand the mechanics behind the obvious. Despite growing up poor, benefactors had paid for his education, and he passed the Georgia bar at age 24 after graduating at the top of his class. He was routinely ill, even from childhood, but he was a masterful lawyer who, in his 34 years of practice, never had a client charged with a capital crime meet the death penalty. As he became wealthy and established himself with land and slaves, he returned the generosity he had been given by opening his own home to the homeless and paying for more than one hundred students' educations. Even though he was constantly thin from illness, he earned the nickname "The Strongest Man in the South" from his intelligence and craftiness. Stephens went on to Washington as a Representative as a Whig, Unionist, and finally Democrat. His self-described "greatest glory of my life" would be the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act in the House by use of rare point of order, thus bringing popular sovereignty to the territory despite the Missouri Compromise limiting slavery to the South.
After the election of 1860 gave Lincoln the White House, Stephens was sent as a delegate to the convention judging the question of secession. Stephens opposed it, arguing that the South bide its time, but was eventually convinced on the grounds of the North not abiding by the Fugitive Slave Law. As one of his first acts in the presidency, Stephens gave his impromptu "Cornerstone Speech" in Savannah describing the new constitution the convention had written, clarifying its differences from that of the United States. While Lincoln referred to the famous line "all men are created equal" in the Declaration of Independence, Stephens replied, "Our new Government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas" and called slavery a "natural and moral condition". Stephens also outlined economic independence rather than the Federalism of the North, stating, "If Charleston harbor needs improvement, let the commerce of Charleston bear the burden. If the mouth of the Savannah river has to be cleared out, let the sea-going navigation which is benefited by it, bear the burden".
Finally, Stephens also noted the significance of Fort Sumter, which would prove the first issue of his presidency. Lincoln, only a month into his own presidency, ordered a relief expedition after skillfully dodging any agreements with the South that would have served as a political recognition of the CSA instead of considering it a rogue government. He notified South Carolina's Governor Pickens of a delivery of "provisions only", and Pickens turned to General P.G.T. Beauregard, who relayed the information to Stephens. While his cabinet (interestingly, though, not Secretary of State Robert Toombs) called for an attack to clear out the fort, Stephens ordered the CSA to stand down, and Lincoln achieved his goal of feeding Sumter. Stephens was declared "yellow" by many, but the political tide turned back to favor the South a month later when the heavy-handed actions of Union General Lyon in the West attacked parading Missouri State Militia called up by secessionist Governor Claiborne "Fox" Jackson.
While not enough to swing Virginia's support to the South, Yankees were increasingly perceived as brutes, tarnishing Lincoln's image, who sent additional troops to Missouri and Kansas, resulting in secession by Arkansas. Guerilla fighting continued, but it was never enough to make a full move against the South without seeming the aggressor. The quasi-war dragged on for years until Lincoln lost his bid at reelection in 1864, and President Horace Greeley was elected by Copperheads to end the war.
Stephens retired the presidency after his single term (as per the CSA constitution) in 1867 as a hero who had "waited out the Union" and became governor of Georgia, confirming the supremacy of the states. The Confederacy continued on its states' rights, later seeing the secession of the Republic of Texas in 1874 (who later had a number of military disputes with both the US and CS as the West became settled). Attempts were made to add Caribbean and Middle American states to the Confederacy, but each turned into either military blunders or economic burdens. By the 1890s, the South was seen as economically and culturally stunted compared to the great wealth and strength of the industrialized North. A movement began around the turn of the century to rejoin the Union, but many on both sides would refuse. President Theodore Roosevelt's 1907 Goodwill Tour proved for naught after it brought international attention to the deplorable poverty of newly freed Africans and entrenched the crippling conservatism of the nation.
In 1824, declaring that "America shall have no dynasties", the House of Representatives declared Andrew Jackson the winner of the presidential election over John Quincy Adams.
No DynastiesAdams, the son of former president John Adams, bowed to the decision gracefully, and entered the judiciary as a Jackson appointee.
Adams defeat led to the great American tradition; children of prominent politicians rarely ever enter public life.
In 1903, Theodore Herzl begins lobbying among his fellow Zionists in favor of an offer received in August from the British government to facilitate a substantial Jewish settlement in British East Africa. Herzl's effort at once provokes a split within the Zionist movement. Many reject the proposal outright, insisting that only the Holy Land, to which Zionist settlers had been emigrating since the 1880s, will do for a Jewish homeland. Others, however, see practical value in accepting the offer, since efforts to persuade either the British or the Ottoman Sultan to allow large-scale Jewish settlement of Palestine have failed. At a crucial meeting of the Zionist Congress in Basel in 1905, the proposal receives the approval of a bare majority of the organization.The Curse of Ham by Eric LippsOver the next decade, growing numbers of Jews choose to emigrate to British East Africa, where the British soon find themselves committed to protecting the settlers from attacks by Masai 'savages' who resent any sort of white occupation of their land. The cost of this effort leads the British government to reluctantly agree to allow the settlers to arm themselves, creating the nucleus of the Zionist Freedom Army.
The rise of Hitler gave renewed impetus to the Uganda Project as well as to Zionist dreams of settling in Palestine itself. Winston Churchill himself, anxious to foster a haven for Jews fleeing the Nazis but unwilling to allow them to enter the Mandate of Palestine in large numbers, lends political support to efforts to create a full-fledged Ugandan Army, the Uganda Defense Force. UDL resistance will play a significant role in hindering the Wehrmacht's efforts in East Africa.
The end of the war and the revelation of the Holocaust produce a conundrum for the Zionist movement. By this time, the last Masai resistance has been defeated and Uganda has been developed into a successful Jewish-ruled state--but the 'Palestine faction,' including David Ben-Gurion, remains strong and committed to driving the British from what its members see as land belonging to the Jewish people by divine decree. Meanwhile, the Jewish colonizers of Uganda are no longer what they once were: shaped by decades of conflict with black Africans and trade with other white-ruled states in sub-Saharan Africa, they have evolved an apartheid state, borrowing the word itself from South Africa's Nationalist Party. Heavily outnumbered by the Masai and other native blacks, they have adopted a martial lifestyle involving universal military service, and tend to elevate top-ranking military officers to the prime minister ship and other key positions.
Meanwhile, in Palestine, a fierce guerrilla war drags on. Drained of men and resources which might otherwise have brought victory, Ben-Gurion's movement fights on. Leaders of this guerrilla force bitterly resent their Ugandan cousins' refusal to come to their aid. In fact, though, the Ugandans' aloofness from the Palestinian conflict is based on their fears that if they divert any significant portion of their military strength from their own defense, the black 'enemies' they see as encircling them on all sides with the crumbling of the old colonial empires will close in and destroy them.
Another factor also plays a role. The Ugandans have evolved a strongly right-wing political order, while the Zionists of Palestine are heavily influenced by socialism. With the coming of the Cold War, that ideological split has assumed political importance, trumping even the two factions? shared Jewish identity. It does not help that the Soviet Union, seeking influence and hoping to undermine British and American power in the region, has supported the Palestinian Zionists, supplying them with arms, food and other aid.
In 1957, aided by Gama Abdel Nasser of Egypt, the Palestinian Zionists finally succeed in taking control of most of the former British mandate, with the exception of a rump state on the opposing side of the Jordan River which will soon be taken over by a Hashemite Arab monarchy. The newly proclaimed 'State of Israel,' dependent upon support from Cairo as well as Moscow, will not expel its Arab residents. Instead, over the course of years, a system of subtle favoritism will evolve under which, despite the government's official commitment to 'socialist equality,' Jews will receive the best jobs, the best educations, and other advantages.
Despite the unfairness of this system, Israel's Arabs will be better off than Uganda's blacks, who will be subjected to far more stringent controls reflecting the fears of their much more heavily outnumbered rulers. Native Ugandans will be increasingly confined to menial labor, especially in the mineral-rich country's mines. Among the Jews of Uganda, some will object to this racial stratification of society; more, however, will accept it uncritically, aided by the Ugandan government's fostering of the 'curse of Ham' myth that God Himself had ordained black servitude.
On this day in 1945, Grand Admiral Karl Doenitz, acting chancellor of the Third Reich since Hermann Goering's suicide the previous day, ordered the remnants of the German armed forces to surrender to the Allies.
At the time he issued this directive Allied troops had completely encircled his underground headquarters in the ruins of Berlin; one infantry platoon was less than two blocks from Admiral Doenitz's headquarters.
In 1986, space shuttle Challenger lifts off from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida, carrying Francis R. Scobee as commander, Michael J. Smith as pilot, mission specialists Judith A. Resnik, Ronald E. McNair and Ellison Onizuka, and 'teacher in space' Christa McAuliffe. The weather at Canaveral is considerably warmer than it had been on their original liftoff date of Jan. 28. Its mission, officially dubbed STS-51-L, will prove uneventful except for the publicity surrounding Ms. McAuliffe's presence as the first civilian in orbit, the so-called teacher in space.
In 1950, Comrade Senator Ted Astley of Washington Soviet accused the State Department of harboring known capitalists and fellow-travelers. He claimed to have a list of dozens of card-carrying capitalists, which he never made public, but which helped to make life hard for many Americans who had flirted with capitalist ideology in their youth.
In 1993, following his unexpected success in classical music, former Pete Best bandmate Paul McCartney releases his operetta Off The Ground. It follows the theme he had laid out in his Liverpool Oratorio of the dignity and beauty of love of the people of Liverpool in post-war England. The mature sound he was able to create delighted classical critics and audiences alike, and McCartney left popular music behind after this.
In 1952, Juan Escobar drives his rented car from Houston into the small town of Bryan, Texas. He visits the site of Toledo's, a diner burned down by mysterious forces, in the words of the fire marshall. He speaks with the owner and gets a good picture of those forces.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.