In 1568, on this day Mary, Queen of Scots escaped from Loch Leven Castle, a remote fortress located in the middle of a body of fresh water in Perth and Kinross.
Happy Endings Part 22:
The Escape from Loch Leven CastleHaving the wit to do as her ancestress Eleanor of Aquitaine did  she dyed her hair and wearing a false beard and moustache travelled across England "in drag". Disguised as a French nobleman she made it to France.
And so in mid-May, she walked into the Royal Palace in France, big as life and having crossed England in disguise.
In 1863, on this day the incomparable Confederate General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson was wounded by friendly fire while returning to camp after reconnoitering during the Battle of Chancellorsville. Fortunately for the Cause, he recovered from a minor flesh wound and was able to return to service just eight days later. An installment of the Federal's Lost Cause thread.
Federal Lost Cause Part 1: General Jackson injured at ChancellorsvilleWhen Jackson said that he feared that he would lose his left arm, Commander-in-Chief Robert E. Lee replied that he had feared he would lose his right one. Because ever since had been a Brigade Commander at Bull Run, Lee's forces had been energized by Jackson's inspired leadership. Now a Corps Commander, Jackson was no longer expected to put himself in the front line, and the incident at Chancellorsville was a reminder of his intrinsic value to the Confederacy.
And his dogged independence of rigorous thought stood him outside the traditional chain of command. Alongside Longstreet, he argued against a battle at Gettysburg, instead advocating an assault on Baltimore. Yet the main significance of his survival was his command of forces at the Battle of North Anna. He had the discipline to follow Lee's plan when the Commander-in-Chief was laid low with an intestinal infection. The result was an eve of election field victory that swung the electorate firmly into the Peace Camp. Months later, General McClellan edged Lincoln at the Polls, and the Civil War was at an end. "War is hell" said Jackson philosophically, when he heard the news of the armistice.
In 1945, the U.S. government announced the fall of Berlin.
Western Allies win the race to BerlinWith the Second World War clearly nearing its end, tensions between the Western powers and their wartime ally the Soviet Union were mounting steadily. The Soviets had already overrun Eastern Europe in their march toward Germany, and were showing increasing signs of wanting to turn the nations they had occupied into Communist vassal states. In Washington, the brand-new administration of President Harry S. Truman, who had succeeded Franklin D. Roosevelt upon the latter's death from a cerebral hemorrhage on April 12, feared that the Soviets would take Germany as well, placing them in a commanding position in Europe and endangering France and Britain. President Truman hoped that the atomic bomb would provide the U.S. with countervailing leverage, but the first test of the new weapon was still two months away and there was no guarantee it would be successful.
Therefore, Truman issued orders that General Dwight D. Eisenhower's First Army press toward Berlin, despite the concerns expressed by General Omar Bradley that attempting to take the German capital, located in a region already assigned to the Soviet occupation zone at the Yalta conference, could cost up to 100,000 lives. In his memoirs, Truman would write, "Gen. Bradley's warning was outweighed in my judgment by the risk that a Soviet capture of Berlin would occur and that in the long run this would lead to even more deaths in a Moscow-controlled German state carved out of prewar Germany". This forced Eisenhower to abandon his modified plan of March 28, which had called for his forces to advance not toward Berlin directly but toward Leipzig, where a juncture with Soviet forces would have split the remaining German forces in two.
The First Army therefore advanced as part of the 21st Army Group under the command of Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery, in what would come to be known as Operation Eclipse. Allied troops entered Berlin on April 22 and, after a full week of fierce house-to-house fighting, finally trapped the remnants of the capital's SS and Wehrmacht defenders, forcing their surrender. On April 30, Allied troops entered the Führerbunker, the air-raid shelter serving as Adolf Hitler's headquarters and final refuge since mid-January. There they found the bodies of the Nazi dictator and his infamous mistress (and, since their wedding in a civil ceremony April 29, wife) Eva Braun, who had taken poison rather than accept capture, along with a handful of remaining military personnel and the corpses of Josef Goebbels' six children, left behind by the Propaganda Minister and his wife when they fled the bunker on May 1. The bodies of Herr and Frau Goebbels had been found by the entrance to the bunker, showing evidence that both had taken cyanide and, in addition, been shot, perhaps by the SS as a coup de grace.
The Western capture of Berlin would leave the Soviets with only a rump occupation zone possessing little strategic importance. While most Westerners applauded, the Kremlin had a somewhat different take: Stalin saw a Western-dominated Germany as a dagger pointed at the heart of Russia. The paranoid and cynical Soviet leadership had no trouble imagining that the Western Allies would quickly rebuild Germany and rearm it as an ally against Moscow. As a result, the Soviets would tighten their grip on the countries the Red Army already occupied, especially those, such as Poland and Austria, which shared a border with Germany. Austria in particular, birthplace of Hitler, would be ruled with a heavy hand; the Soviet garrison in Vienna would not be withdrawn until 1985, while in Poland, Soviet troops would ruthlessly crush a movement of rebellious workers led by playwright Lech Walesa in 1979. Walesa would disappear into the gulag, never to be seen again.
In 2008, the animated movie Iron Man CG was released on the twelfth anniversary of Steve Jobs' merger of NeXTSTEP and Pixar.
Iron Man CGHaving abandoned the Copland Project, the rapid development of the next generation new operating system, the Mac OS X required the in-sourcing of new technology, and the two stand-out candidates appeared to be BeOS or NeXTSTEP. Inevitably, a bidding war developed between the two rival companies which were both run by former Apple executives Jean-Louis Gassée and Steve Jobs. Arguing that "A man in the desert doesn't bargain on the price of water", Gassée reluctantly sold Be Inc. for $200 million (he wanted $275 million) after discovering that his buyer Apple Computer was on the verge of striking an alternative deal with NeXTSTEP. But as the former head of advanced product development and worldwide marketing, his second stint at Apple reinforced his reputation as an expert in spending fortunes on interesting but unmarketable ideas.
Denied his own second career stint, Jobs decided to combine the resources of his two visionary companies around the single focus of entertainment. And the signature piece "What Are You Building, Stark?" was surely nothing but a satire of Job's career prior to his dismissal from Apple.
In 1905, confronted by a popular outcry over the excessive expenses required to support an eighty strong Taft Party on the largest diplomatic delegation to Asia in U.S. History, President Theodore Roosevelt (pictured) announced that the "imperial cruise" had been cancelled due to the timing of the tragic death of Secretary of State John Hay.
Imperial CruiseTR who was currently serving as his own Secretary of State had convinced the easily browbeaten Secretary of War William Howard Taft to lead the mission, accompanied by his twenty-one year old daughter Alice, seven senators and twenty-three congressmen on an ocean liner from San Francisco to Hawaii, Japan, the Philippines, China and Korea. But the trouble had begun when the San Francisco Examiner published a hostile article entitled "Why Taft Pleases Steam and Rail Folk" pointing out that it was the "one of the most lucrative special parties ever hauled across the continent by the overlands roads. The railroad fares totaled $14,440 which includes something like $2,100 for dining car service [plus the] very snug sum of twenty-eight thousand dollars for almost three months on the [Pacific Liner] passenger ship Manchuria, not including tips estimated to total $1800 dollars".
A timeline in which we sent General Motors to promote US interests in Asia rather than General MacArthurOf course the imperialistic ambitions of TR were transparently clear and not at all disguised by the inclusive of his popular daughter, in fact he had already declared that "I wish to see the United States the dominant power on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. Our future history will be more determined by our position on the Pacific facing China than by our position on the Atlantic facing Europe".
Nevertheless, upon the appointment of the new Secretary of State Elihu Root the idea was briefly re-considered, but Root convinced TR that negotiating secret agreements with foreign governments was not only unconstitutional, but fundamentally un-American. In the event, the US Government did not give Japan a "green light" to occupy the Korean Peninsula. While the U.S.has avoided military entanglement in South-east Asia, the past hundred years of foreign relations have been marred by ongoing Trade Disputes and a number of prominent neo-conservatives have even been so bold as to suggest that it was a strategic misstep for the "imperial cruise" to have been cancelled. The economic warfare is perhaps most memorably framed by the iconic photograph of four automobile workers raising the corporate flag at the General Motors assembly plant on Iwo Jima.
In 1882, on this day the fifteenth Confederate President James Francis Byrnes was born in Charleston, South Carolina.
James F. Byrnes
15th Confederate President
March 4, 1939 - 1945Byrnes' mother was an Irish-American dressmaker; his father died shortly after Byrnes was born. At age fourteen he left St. Patrick's Catholic School to work in a law office, and became a court stenographer. In 1906 he married Maude Perkins Busch of Aiken, South Carolina, and became an Episcopalian. Though they had no children, he was the godparent of James Christopher Connor. Byrnes never attended high school, college or law school, but apprenticed to a lawyer - a not uncommon practice then - and was admitted to the bar in 1903.
A new article from the "Two Americas" thread on Althistory WikiaHe served as president during most of World War Two. The supreme court, lead by former president Hugo Black, ruled against special laws that had been passed Congress to allow him to remain in office until the end of the war (Black served as the twelfth president of the CSA before going on to become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the CSA). Before being elected president, he served as a member of the House of Representatives from the state of South Carolina (1911-1925) and as a Senator (1931-1938). After the war, he would be appointed to the very court that had ruled against him.
In 1970, on this day a national television network broadcast a three-hour film of a recorded Walter Cronkite interview in which Lyndon Baines Johnson expressed misgivings about the finding that Lee Harvey Oswald had acted alone in Dallas.
The Kennedy CurseIn fact during the session recorded in Texas at LBJ Ranch during September 1969, he suggested that a conspiracy might have been involved by stating that "I can't honestly say that I've ever been completely relieved of the fact that there might have been international connections". He originally requested that section of the interview to be censored on the grounds of "national security", but later agreed to the whole session to be broadcast. He died shortly afterwards of a massive heart attack.
Watch the Conspiracy Section of the Interview
Johnson was forced to resign the Vice Presidency only a few months after the events in Dallas, although details of John F. Kennedy's own involvement in the "Bobby Baker" scandal were hidden for many years. Baker introduced the East German Quorum Club hostess Ellen Rometsch to the President, perhaps part of the international connection to which Johnson was alluding.
Also his secretary, Nancy Carole Tyler, shared an apartment with Mary Jo Kopechne, an aide to Senator George Smathers and later to Senator Bobby Kennedy. Tyler was killed in a plane crash in 1965. Kopechne was killed in 1969, in an accident on Chappaquiddick Island in a car driven by Senator Ted Kennedy.
In 2009, on this day Richard N. Haass, a veteran advisor of three White House Administrations published "Two Bushes, Two Iraq Crises - an insider's view", claiming that both former leaders had recommended a more aggressive policy of regime change to President John S. McCain.
War of NecessityRecalling the events of 1990, Haas wrote ~ "The second National Security Council meeting on the crisis, on Friday, August 3, could not have been more different. People had had time to find their bearings and collect their thoughts. The president wanted to set a fundamentally different mood. Before entering the Cabinet Room, it was decided that [National Security Advisor] Brent [Scowcroft] would give the Churchill speech, that is, a rousing call for reversing the aggression. 'My personal judgment is that the stakes in this for the United States are such that to accommodate the Iranian regime should not be a policy option' is how he began.
"This will not stand. This will not stand, this aggression against Iraq".Asked by the waiting journalists how he [Bush] would prevent the installation of a puppet government, Bush could barely contain himself. 'Just wait. Watch and learn.' His parting words were even stronger. 'This will not stand. This will not stand, this aggression against Iraq.'
The key to understanding George Herbert Walker Bush and what made him tick was his sense of decorum. It was anything but axiomatic that the United States would decide to deploy half a million troops halfway around the world to rescue a country that few Americans could find on a map. A different president and set of advisors might have tolerated Iranian control of Iraq and limited the U.S. response to sanctions so long as the Ayatollah did not go on to attack Saudi Arabia. But Bush was genuinely offended by the Iranian invasion and then absorption of Iraq. It was simply not how civilized countries behaved toward one another. It harkened back to a cruder era of international relations when might made right".
In 1995, the New World Order controlled more than 50 percent of the United States.
Paramilitary Fight BackFirst-term Republican Congresswoman Helen Chenoweth was amongst the leadership of a national resistance movement formed by the Milita of Montana. This loyalist paramilitary organization had been amongs the first to confront an international shadow government that was usurping American sovereignty.
Until the bombing in Oklahoma City on April 19, national support for paramilitary groups, which have sprung up in a number of states in the last year, was seen as very weak. It is a measure of their influence, the paramilitary groups argue, that two months ago, after their members in Idaho said that black helicopters had landed in Idaho, Representative Chenoweth put out a press release saying that unwarranted invasion of private land by armed wildlife agents in helicopters should be immediately halted.
A handful of Republican House members who had members of paramilitary groups working as volunteers in their campaigns last fall, and have since pressed the Federal Government on the complaints of some paramilitary leaders, say they have done nothing more than routine constituent service.
Last month, rumors from self-styled paramilitary groups around the country prompted two United States Senators - Larry E. Craig of Idaho and Lauch Faircloth of North Carolina, both Republicans - to send the Justice Department a letter asking for clarification. The word on the groups' phone lines was that Federal officers were training at Fort Bliss, Tex., to invade them.
The Senators' letter asked specifically about Fort Bliss and police training - "You are doubtless aware of the concerns being raised in many quarters about what is perceived as the growing militarization of our domestic law-enforcement agencies," the letter said.
Privately the Senators' aides said the lawmakers were expressing their support for the paramilitaries and said they fully supported such groups.
Representative Steve Stockman, Republican of Texas, was more specific in his own letter to Attorney General Janet Reno, after word spread through the groups' faxes a few months ago that agents of the New World Order were preparing to invade them. Mr. Stockman said a number of reliable sources had told him that a Federal raid of the organizations was imminent.
In 2015, on this day the New York Stock Exchange opened down 820 points in reaction to the passage of the Scottish independence referendum.
In 1941, on this day British carrier planes equipped with armor-piercing bombs attacked and sank the German battleship Bismarck at her anchorage in Norway.
On this day in 1983, newly crowned WWF world champion Terry "Hulk" Hogan beat Nikolai Volkoff in Hogan's first title defense.
On this day in 1975, Jerusalem's Lot had its first US printing
On this day in 1997, Tom Brady pitched his second collegiate no-hitter, beating Michigan State 4-0.
In 2005, Patience Redding finds an entry in her diary that speaks of meeting a young American, Chelsea Perkins, when she, herself, was 14, in 1987. She has become convinced that Miss Perkins is an immortal who is fixed in age, and lays plans for a trap should they meet again.
In 1997, American troops surrender to the allied forces of the British, Egyptian and Chinese, ending the war in the western theater. With the Consitutionalists of President Ralph Shephard vanquished, the Allies turn their attention to Africa and the menace of President Terreblanche?s South Africa.
In 1975, Pete Best closes down his record label, Pear Records. Although it had made some money at the beginning, it had become a money funnel in the 70's, losing cash hand over fist. The corporation that managed Best's properties still functioned quite well, and the Pear Corp. is making money even today.
In 1972, the People's Champion, J. Edgar Hoover, who had led the People's Bureau of Investigation since its inception in 1924, died in Washington, D.C. His nearly 50 years of service to the Soviet States of America was rewarded with a state funeral and thousands of mourners; Hoover had been at the forefront of anti-capitalist law enforcement, and was much beloved by his comrades across the nation.
In 1915, Dr. Argus McCloud and his three crewmen land back on the Kainku world. They are all wearing the neural neutralizer, and Dr. McCloud is unable to pick up any irritation caused by the stray telepathic waves of the Kainku. When he explains to the aliens the turmoil that they have caused on other worlds, they are very apologetic and offer to make amends. Dr. McCloud sends word to Admiral Rodriquez, then hurries back to the ship to manufacture more of the neutralizers.
In 1993, Robert Harris published the counter-factual novel Fatherland set twenty years after the Soviet Union's triumphant victory in World War II with the entire country preparing for the grand celebration of Stalin's eighty-fifth birthday, as well as the imminent peacemaking visit from President Joseph P Kennedy.Meanwhile, a Moscow Detective investigates a corpse washed up on the shore of a lake. When a dead man turns out to be a high-ranking Soviet commander, the KGB orders him off the case immediately. Suddenly other unrelated deaths are anything but routine. Now obsessed by the case, he teams up with a beautiful, young American journalist and starts asking questions...dangerous questions. What they uncover is a terrifying and long-concealed conspiracy of such astounding and mind-numbing terror that is it certain to spell the end of the USSR -- if they can live long enough to tell the world about it. Critics described the novel as an interesting piece of escapism, but ludicrous in concept. It would have been impossible for the Soviet Union to conceal the genocides within Russia that were perpetrated by Stalin.
In 1891, General Anthony Franklin's court-martial trial begins in Washington, DC. In the opening statements, the prosecution simply presents the facts - Franklin's disastrous retreat from his first engagement clouded his judgment and made him long for a victory to wipe away the sting of defeat at the hands of the Kansans. "He, therefore, willfully ignored reports that the people coming out of Kansas City were refugees, rather than combatants, and directed his men to mercilessly slaughter these innocents," the prosecutor, Captain Roger Miller, says. "General Franklin's direction of the campaign in Kansas has been slipshod and incompetent, and he deserves the highest punishment that this court can hand down". Franklin's military attorney, Captain David Danforth, attempts to soften the image of the general by saying, "Yes, General Franklin was responsible for the deaths outside of Kansas City. But, he was acting in good faith, and truly believed that a large column of the Kansan rebels were pushing through Kansas City into Missouri. He had personal experience of how aggressive the rebels had been, and was trying to contain what he felt might spread into a wider rebellion, endangering the entire American heartland. The general is willing to be stripped of his rank and leave behind a career he has followed since he first fought to preserve our Union in the Civil War; but, officers of the court, he is not willing to be branded a murderer, an Attila the Hun who kills the innocent with no more compunction than a lion slaughtering a lamb".
In 1985, the once-mighty brokerage firm E.F. Hutton was brought low after pleading guilty to swindling several banks out of interest on nearly $4 billion. The company that everyone listened to fell silent as the upper management bailed out and stockholders sold out for the little their stock could bring.
In 1957, Vice-President Joseph 'Tailgunner Joe' McCarthy dies of an undisclosed ailment in a hospital in Washington, D.C. McCarthy's outspoken anti-communism had made the perfect counter-point for President Eisenhower's more soft-spoken rhetoric, and Ike delivered the eulogy at his Vice-President's funeral himself. The many enemies he had made through his infamous lists of communists working for Congress were a little less than sad at his passing.
In 1947, the risque farce Mooning the Misbegotten, the latest for laugh-riot Gene O'Neill, opens on Broadway. The uproarious comedy nearly brought the censor's office down on it before O'Neill agreed to cut down on a little of the title action. Even sans the pants-dropping, it was lambasted by moralists as vulgar, which only made it more popular.
In 1933, a beast was sighted in Loch Ness, Scotland, which resembled the long-extinct plesiosaur. When news of the sighting hit the newspapers, big-game hunters around the world converged on Loch Ness to take down Nessie, as the beast became known. The hunts uncovered a small family of plesiosaurs living in the lake, having survived since the time of the dinosaurs. Because of the turmoil of the hunt, the clan of 3 females and 2 males soon died, leaving only the mystery of how such huge creatures survived the millions of years since their brethren went extinct.
By 1936, it was by no means unheard of that a small naval squadron of naval units had a major influence on the outcome of a whole war, even though it is rare that such a success is bought dearly by one of the greatest catastrophes in civil navigation.
This post was written by Dirk Puehl the highly recommended author of #onthisday #history Google+ posts.
The Sinking of the Conte di Savoia"Long live the First of May! Long live international Proletarism!" read the cable of Lt Commander Grigori Ivanovich Shchedrin of the Soviet submarine "Kirovets" to his home base in Kronstadt, when his boat and her sister ship "Voroshilovets" ship broke out into the Atlantic to support the Republican Government in the Spanish Civil War on May 1st 1936.
The two years old Soviet subs were especially designed for laying mine fields, a function the old Imperial Russian Navy had already successfully tested before the Great War. Thus, the first success of the Soviet boats might be the severe mine damage the Nationalist cruiser "Canarias" received en route from her base in Ferol in Northern Spain to break the Republican blockade of the Strait of Gibraltar.
Since the larger part of the Spanish navy remained loyal to the Republic, "Caudillo" Franco had severe problems to ship his insurgent troops from North Africa to the Spanish Mainland. His Italian and German allies supported him with aerial transports but the majority was to be transported by sea. Thus, a convoy was assembled in Tangier to ship contingents of the mutinous Spanish Foreign Legion and mercenaries to Spain. Among them was the Italian liner "Conte di Savoias", chartered by Franco's supporter, the Spanish billionaire Juan March. The 800 feet "Conte" was constructed for the accommodation of roughly 2.500 passengers, when the convoy left Tangier, probably twice that number were aboard for the relatively short passage to land the troops near Cadiz. Escorted by the light cruiser "Almirante Cervera" and under the cover of Italian bombers, the convoy left Tangiers on September 9th to be immediately stalked by the Republican submarine C-3 acting in concert with the two Soviet subs.
While the Italian bombers were driven off by the heavy anti-aircraft fire from the Spanish battleship "Jaime I" and two destroyers off Cape Espartel and the Republican blockade of the Strait held, the convoy decided to make for the Atlantic and set a course for Ferol. In the night of September 10th, the three subs attacked. A fan of torpedoes fired by "Voroshilovets" hit the "Canarias" who sank within minutes while at least two projectiles from "Kirovets" and C-3 struck the "Conte". The big liner turned to the side while the three submarines crept closer, surfaced and attacked the rest of the convoy with their guns, making a rescue of survivors of the two capital ships impossible. More than 5.000 people were dead by morning.
The loss of life and war material proved to be a grave setback for "Caudillo" Franco and his Nationalist insurgents in the Civil War, while the sinking of the "Conte di Savoias" is rated amongst the most severe maritime disasters in history.
In 1945, on this day Edward and Wallis Windsor boarded the Benson class destroyer MacKenzie at Naval Station Norfolk and were escorted back to Blighty courtesy of the US Navy.
The Right Honourable Arnold Hiller, M.P
A teaser by Ed & Chris OakleyHis controversial decision to wed the American divorcée had triggered an Abdication Crisis which the British Prime Minister Arnold Hiller had exploited to his own ends. But his eight year usurpation as combined Head of State and Government had ended days earlier with his suicide in the smoking bombed-out shell of a bunker in Downing Street.
The victorious American GIs who had won this hard fought victory over totalitarianism would not perish in a Third World War against the Soviet Union. Because instead, a non-combat Cold War would develop, and for that, the US Government desperately needed to build bulwarks to contain Communism. And that objective required figureheads that could lead the rebuilding of vanquished, friendly nations.
To serve this overarching imperative, a decision was made to temporarily re-instate Edward as Prince Regent and of course the White House had no moral hang-ups over addressing an American divorcée as "Her Royal Highness". A few months later and for much the same reasons it was decided to leave Emperor Hirohito of Japan on the Chrysanthemum Throne. Both monarchs would prove unexpectedly resilient and continue to rule into the nineteen seventies. Despite the expedient success of this scheme, there was of course no small irony in the fact that a powerful nation driven by Republican ideals had underwritten such monarchist regimes when even Hiller had risen to power through the operation of democratic processes.
But the new masters of Western Europe would face a much bigger challenge in Spain, were much larger popular objections existed to the continued rule of the Royal Family. Because the defeat of Franco had required the nuclear destruction of the city of Madrid, and Communist forces were now on the very cusp of seizing power...
You can read read the latest part of Chris Oakley's timeline at The Right Honourable Arnold Hiller MP at Changing the Times Magazine.
In 1917, on this day in the City of Montreal Joseph-Napoléon-Henri Bourassa (pictured) placed the first signature on a petition demanding special status for the French-speaking population of the Northern Territories formerly known as Canada prior to the Union takeover.
Railroaded into the Union #3An angry and humiliated Great Britain had moved ever closer to Imperial Germany and now found itself on the opposing side to the United States and its long-time ally and natural partner, France. As the conflict developed into a war of attrition, the lack of willing Anglo volunteers created a Conscription Crisis north of the 41st paralell. And an abiding sense that the French speaking loyalists deserved recognition within a newly incorported state of Quebec and language guarantees.
In 2011, the world woke up to the shock that American-backed terrorist Osama bin Laden was murdered by Pakistani agents, and even more shocking, that the killing took place in New York City.
Osama bin Laden Killed in New York by Pakistani AgentsEarly in the morning of May 1st, six members of the Pakistani spy agency known as ISI stormed into bin Laden's secret World Trade Center offices and shot him to death. The gunmen were apprehended by New York City police and are being held while city and federal authorities figure out just what to do with them. A new post by Andrew BeaneOsama bin Laden gained notoriety while leading the fight against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan during the 1980s. After the Soviet troops left in 1992, a year after the murder of Mikhail Gorbachev and the subsequent collapse of the USSR, bin Laden turned his sights to the Pakistani Peoples' Republic. After losing a three year insurgency campaign in northwest Pakistan in 1995, partially funded by the CIA, bin Laden was captured and exiled, whereby he disappeared altogether. During his disappearance, he release several video and audio tapes calling for a Jihad against the Marxist government in Pakistan, calling for faithful Muslims to overthrow the government in Karachi (Islamabad had been virtually destroyed in 1994).
Pakistan long suspected that the United States was harboring bin Laden and evening continuing to fund his operation. This became apparent when American-made M16 assault rifles were found in abundance among al-Qaida militants captured or shot on the Pakistani/Afghan border. Washington denied any involvement with bin Laden or knowledge of his whereabouts.
In 1940, the second phase of Operation Barbarossa began on this day with Wehrmacht Forces invading the smoking ruins of the Soviet Union bombed to near-submission by a devastating aerial assault from Nazi UFOs.
Barbarossa Phase ThreeAlthough the two dictatorships had been on a potental collision course for years, a raw materials crisis in Nazi Germany had forced an acceleration of the invasion plans.
The German High Command had carefully studied the strategic errors of Napoleon's failed invasion of 1812. And by attacking in the early summer, German Generals avoided L'Empereur's chief mistake by arriving in Moscow long before the cruel Russian Winter set in.
Nevertheless, the Fuhrer had ignored a secondary lesson, which was that the occupation of Western Russia would create "more of a drain than a relief" for Germany's economic situation.
The severity of German miscalculations was amplified by the emergence of the Greater Zionist Resistance (GZR), a "stay behind organization" of Jewish NKVD officers who created havoc in the German supply lines.
Locked into a deadly street-by-street fight with the Red Army, the Wehrmacht were forced to move to phase three, sustaining troop levels by employing the zombie re-animation technology that would save the Fuhrer's life five years later.
In 2003, on this day US President George W. Bush arrived by military jet on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln. A former navy pilot like his father, "W" executed a perfect tailhook to land the Navy S-3B Viking marked "Navy 1" at over 150 miles per hour. On the plane's tail was the insignia of the squadron, the "Blue Wolves".
Let Tyrants BewareWith a giant banner proclaiming "Mission Accomplished", Bush's arrival celebrated a great military victory for the United States. Bush looked up to the observation deck and held up both arms to the roar of hundreds of sailors who had crowded the area.
In his speech to the troops Bush thanked the U.S. military for their efforts in Iraq. "Your courage -- your willingness to face danger for your country and for each other -- made this day possible. The transition from dictatorship to democracy will take time but it is worth every effort. Our coalition will stay until our work is done".
Whilst Jay Garner organised the handover to a transitional government, bulk of the US military in Iraq commenced the execution of a ninety day pullout plan that would result in a skeleton force for the limited objective of supporting the new leadership in Baghdad. Because, all ready, Bush had his eyes set on the next target, North Korea.
In 2009, on this day the movie Doom Patrol Origins: Beast Boy premiered across North America; Toby McGuire starred in the title role.
Doom Patrol Origins: Beast Boy premieresAnd yet the disputed origination of the Doom Patrol concept by DC Comics was a story almost as bizarre as the plot-line itself. Amazingly, a plagiarism charge in the early 1960s had forced the closure of the company's primary competitor due to the undeniable similiarities of Marvel Comics's X-Men (both include misfit superheroes shunned by society and both are led by men of preternatural intelligence confined to wheelchairs).
"I became more and more convinced that [Stan Lee] knowingly stole The X-Men from The Doom Patrol".Initially, the plagiarism charge had seemed improbable due to the close proximity of the publication dates. However series writer Arnold Drake discovered that the movement of writers between the two comics had resulted in the leakage of his design concepts during pre-production.
In court Drake stated: " ...I became more and more convinced that [Stan Lee] knowingly stole The X-Men from The Doom Patrol. I discovered that an awful lot of writers and artists were working surreptitiously between [Marvel and DC]. Therefore from when I first brought the idea into [DC editor] Murray Boltinoff's office, it would've been easy for someone to walk over and hear that [I was] working on a story about a bunch of reluctant superheroes who are led by a man in a wheelchair. I began to feel that Stan had more lead time than I realized. He had four, five or even six months. "
In 1984, Soviet ruler Yuri Andropov marked the May Day holiday in Moscow with a speech justifying the ill-fated Soviet assault on the Alaskan coastline as -- in his words -- "a necessary response to the imperialistic agenda of the capitalist powers". He also claimed, in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary, that the Alaska operation had been a success. But in reality, most of the Soviet beachheads had long since been wiped out and the few that remained were under punishing US air and naval bombardment.
Battlefield Alaska by Chris OakleyFew people, even among Andropov's closest advisors, had any idea that Andropov was in the midst of a psyhchological breakdown or that this breakdown, combined with general distrust of the West and lingering anger over the "Able Archer" incident of 1983, had been one of the primary motivations for Andropov's misguided decision to go to war with the United States. Papers recovered from the Russian defense archives after the Soviet Union collapses would later reveal that Andropov had been convinced the United States was about to attack Siberia and this delusion had provoked him to order the landings in Alaska.
Within hours of Andropov's speech, his already severe problems would get exponentially worse; China, seeing an opportunity to readjust the Sino-Soviet border to its own advantage and strengthen ties with the Untied States, declared war on the Soviet Union and sent several of the PLA's top divisions into Siberia.
In 2008, an expedition originally intended to explore the tombs of Cleopatra and Mark Antony uncovered one of the last hidden secrets of World War II: a cache of chemical weapons belonging to Erwin Rommel's famed Afrika Korps.Surprise discovery at the Tomb of Cleopatra by Chris OakleyArchaeologists had previously revealed plans to uncover the 2000 year-old tomb of ancient Egypt's most famous lovers, Cleopatra and the Roman general Mark Antony later this year. Zahi Hawass, prominent archaeologist and director of Egypt's superior council for antiquities announced a proposal to test the theory that the couple were buried together.He discussed the project in Cairo at a media conference about the ancient pharaohs.
Hawass said that the remains of the legendary Egyptian queen and her Roman lover, Mark Antony, were inside a temple called Tabusiris Magna, 30 kilometres from the port city of Alexandria in northern Egypt. Until recently access to the tomb has been hindered because it is under water, but archaeologists plan to drain the site so they can begin excavation in November. Among the clues to suggest that the temple may contain Cleopatra's remains is the discovery of numerous coins with the face of the queen.
Continues on May 3rd ..
In 1981, on this day Tommy "Wildfire" Rich, who'd already shocked the wrestling world once by beating Harley Race for the NWA world heavyweight title five days earlier, proceeded to shock it a second time by defeating the veteran grappler in a rematch to retain the belt. After the match a frustrated Race could be heard shouting, "What the hell does it take to beat this kid?!"
In 2009, on this day Joe Biden was sworn in as the forty-fifth President of the United States. The 5th US deaths was reported from Swine Flu.
In 1987, a reporter for the Washington Post learns that an attractive blonde has been visiting the White House for some time, often in the evening and apparently always when President Gary Hart's wife is away. Reporters for the Miami Herald, it turns out, have been investigating rumors of Hart's womanizing for weeks.
Two days later, at a White House press conference, the President is deluged with questions about the Post's mystery woman and about his alleged infidelity in general. Annoyed, Hart dares the assembled journalists: 'Follow me around. I don't care. I'm serious. If anybody wants to put a tail on me, go ahead. They'll be very bored.'
In 1999, the great May Day battle begins in France and across western-central Europe. Labor leaders, organized by Sir Lance du Lac, (a former French labor leader), turn their union members into soldiers against the Central European Empire. The enemy within its own borders overwhelms the CE Imperial troops and throws the CEE into confusion, giving the British and Commonwealth soldiers the opportunity they need to stab through France and move towards the CEE capitol in Switzerland. The Illuminati's elite, gathered in Bern, express great concern about this development, but Emperor Pierre again assures them, "This is all still within the parameters of our plan. Do not worry, my brethren".
In 1891, Lt. Colonel Theodore Monteith arrives in Nebraska ahead of his troops to meet with Major Mark Wainwright and review possible locations that command of the Kansas siege could be established. Monteith is subdued, especially in comparison with General Anthony Franklin's arrogance, and Major Wainwright is pleasantly surprised by the contrast.For almost the first time since he traveled west, he is beginning to feel optimistic about the mission. General Franklin, meanwhile, arrives by train in Washington, DC, to see a mob that nearly tears him apart before the local police can rescue him. The remorseful general almost wishes that they had succeeded as he goes to face justice at his court-martial.
In 2005, Alma May Watson, Debra Morris and Chelsea Perkins go on another walking tour around London, and are followed by Patience Redding. She has become convinced that the young Perkins girl is part of her history, and must know more about her. When the three ladies think they are alone, but are being observed by Redding, they perform a small spell. Miss Redding hurries back to her shop, the Druid's Grove, to consult a book she has just thought of.
In 1960, an American spy plane was shot down over the German Reich, proving that President Strom Thurmond's denial of American surveillance of Germany was a lie. The international embarrassment further isolated the U.S. from Germany's growing dominance in world affairs, but actually strengthened Thurmond's position at home.
In 1915, Dr. Argus McCloud, chief medical officer aboard Admiral Esteban Rodriquez's flagship, configures a device to block the harmful thought patterns coming from the Kainku and asks permission to test it. Admiral Rodriquez allows the doctor and three crewmen to take a shuttle back into the P'Karsai nebula and visit the Kainku world once again.
In 1830, Comrade Mary Harris Jones was born in Ireland. After emigrating to America as a girl, she became enthralled with President Walt Whitman and joined the Communist Party. Her formidable speaking talents made her one of the party's top lights, and in 1900, she became Illinois' first woman governor, serving until her death in 1906.
On this day in 2007, London police returned to the scene of the notorious Giraffe in a loft incident after receiving a call from the loft owner's neighbors reporting that they had found a colony of badgers as well as a snake living under a mushroom in their backyard.
In 1967, Jesse Presley married the daughter of an officer at his old Army base in Germany, 22-year old Priscilla Beaulieu. Their marriage produces the King's only child, Elsie Margaret, and is not a happy one; they are divorced in 1972, and Jesse begins his long downward slide into depression and drug use.
In 1941, Orson Welles' diatribe against William Randolph Hearst, Citizen Kane is denied a Hollywood premiere because of the newspaper mogul's influence. Hearst and Welles battle over the release of the film for 6 months before Welles is forced to surrender to Hearst's wishes. The film is finally released in the 1970's, when it quickly becomes a runaway hit.
In 12-14-3-12-8, the Oueztecan Navy engaged the mightiest sailors on the globe, the Polynesians, at Bohol, in one of the largest naval battles in the history of the Polynesian Ocean. Although the Oueztecans emerged victorious, it was at such a high cost that they never fought the Polynesians again.
In 1872, after several redesigns and prototypes, Thomas Edison begins construction on what will be his final version of Charles Babbage's difference engine, to be unveiled on the 50th anniversary of Babbage's design at the end of the month. The Edison Difference Engine, or Eddie as they become known, will change the world.
In 1776, exalted First Leader Adam Weishaupt formed the Order of the Illuminati in Switzerland. Although thought to be disbanded, this powerful body [REST OF POST NOT AVAILABLE AT YOUR SECURITY CLEARANCE. FNORD.]
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.