A Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today.
Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Written by Alternate Historian

November 26

In 1980, on this day Soviet Premier and world Communist leader Lavrenti Pavlovich Beria passed away at the age of eight-one. The Soviet Union lost in Beria one of its strongest and most controversial leaders.

Secretary Beria passes awayBeria was born on March 29, 1899 in Merkheuli, in the present-day Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic. He joined the Bolsheviks in 1917, gaining fame for leading the repression of Georgian nationalists that was said to have cost the lives of 10,000 people. It is said that he met his predecessor, Josef Stalin, while saving the then-Soviet dictator from a man playing a gunman during a staged assassination attempt. Whether or not the story is accurate, Beria quickly became one of Stalin's top lieutenants. Moving swiftly up the ranks as a proven leader of security forces, Beria replaced Nikolai Yezhov as head of the NKVD during the Great Purge, which Yezhov had administered until even he was swallowed-up in it.

During the Second World War, Beria oversaw a vast expansion of the security forces, as well as of the Gulag Archipelago system for political prisoners. The NKVD took on a life of its own under his tutelage, forming fighting divisions with sophisticated weaponry that was the envy of the regular military. Beria enforced Stalin's strict military disciplinary rules with impunity, ordering army units to fire on troops that retreated during battle. Even troops that fought heroically until their ammunition was spent before they fled a battle were shipped-off to hard labor camps in Siberia. Beria later became First Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers.

In later years, despite enjoying his status at the high table of Soviet Power, Beria grew to loath his boss. Stalin was an impulsive leader, ordering the deaths of anyone who crossed him in the slightest way or that he suspected of being a threat. Perhaps the only thing that saved Beria from a purge was the he was so dependable at carrying them out. He grew worried in 1952, however, upon learning that Stalin was planning to have trusted Party comrade Vyachislav Molotov purged in the following year.

In the early days of March, 1953, Josef Stalin suffered a massive stroke. Beria was the first person to arrive at Stalin's private dacha outside of Moscow. As other party leaders arrived to find out why they had not heard from their General Secretary, Beria forbade them from entering the house. "No one is to disturb Comrade Stalin!" said Beria, and none of the others were of a mind to disagree. Later, as they finally decided as a group to go in, they discovered Stalin lying on the floor, paralyzed. The doctor that arrived soon after said the condition was caused by age and poor health, though Beria was overheard saying that he had "done him in" perhaps meaning that he had initiated the stroke. As the men surrounded the dying Stalin's bed, Beria began cursing the leader he had so fervently served. When Stalin's eyes opened in a glare at his head of security, Beria pitifully fell to his knees and kissed Stalin's hands. once Stalin's eyes closed again, Beria rose to his feet and spat on the floor before returning to the cursing of his boss.

Stalin died on March 5, 1953, surrounded by his ministers in the Soviet government. A jubilant Beria immediately ran outside, calling for his driver. Politburo member Anastas Mikoyan leaned to Nikita Khrushchev and said: "There goes Beria, off to seize power". He had little idea how correct he was. The next day, four divisions of troops from Beria's NKVD had surrounded the city, armed with tanks and multiple rocket launch trucks. Khrushchev, Bulganin, Kaganovich and Mikoyan were arrested and relieved of their positions. They were executed in the cellars of the NKVD headquarters in Moscow.

Beria instituted a power-sharing deal with Molotov and Malenkov, forming what was known as the "Jewish Triumvirate" because of the partial Jewish heritage that each of the men shared. Despite this arrangement, Beria assumed the top leadership role of General Secretary, as announced on July 11, 1953, while retaining control over security. Malenkov was made Prime Minister and Molotov, famed for his role as Foreign Minister, became the President of the Politburo. This new leadership ushered the Soviet Union into an age known as the "Beria Thaw," which saw a institutional relaxation of Stalin's stringent economic and foreign affairs policies.

Beria promised to end the Cold War peacefully, while making certain that the Soviet Union was prepared militarily if things heated up. While the Army was strengthened and the Navy increased, Beria decided not to institute a massive buildup of nuclear weapons. They money for the development of both the warheads and their delivery systems, he argued, would be better spent on conventional forces and the rebuilding of Soviet Eastern Europe to its pre-war industrial strength. He said that it was no use trying to "out-nuke" the West if the result was the total annihilation of the world? Beria divided the military into division-sized military districts, which were scattered throughout the Soviet Bloc. The logic behind this was that in the even of a massive nuclear strike, at least some part of the military would survive to defend the USSR and perhaps take Western Europe as a consolation prize.

While the military was being revamped, Beria made surprising peace overtures to the West. East Germany was allowed to reunify with the rest of Germany. Beria and American President Dwight Eisenhower agreed that the US and the USSR should become the "parents" of a new, peaceful Germany. Both sides contributed to the rebuilding of the country, while agreeing that it would become a demilitarized zone.

Moreover, the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia became independent, though they remained under the control of their respective Communist parties and were no more free than say Poland or Czechoslovakia. Beria justified this surprising move by saying that the Baltic states had not been part of "the revolutionary experiment of Bolshevism". When Ukrainian protestors took to the street of Kiev and Odessa to demand their own autonomy, the Red Army reacted swiftly and brutally to suppress them. It was clear that no other nationalities would be allowed to escape from under Moscow's thumb.

Beria denounced the harshness of Stalin's rule, while doing little to change the relationship between the Soviet government and the people. The political prisoners were not released, and hard labor was used to "tame Siberia". The failure of his "Managed Partial-Privatization" program, coupled with high defense spending and the enormous amounts of money spent on strengthening China and Cuba, led to economic stagnation in the Soviet Union that lasted throughout the 1960s and into the '70s. The decision not to invade Afghanistan in 1979 to support the Communist government there is seen as one of the reasons that the USSR remained intact into the Twenty-first Century, as Beria said that "it would become our own 'Vietnam,' and perhaps destroy our great nation".

Lavrenti Beria died of a heart attack on November 26, 1980 at the age of 77. The last decade of his rule was marked by seclusion and the slow relaxation of his grip on power. He was replaced by his head of security, and the only man he trusted both for that post and to be his successor, Yuri Andropov. Beria's body has been preserved and put on permanent display next to the body of Lenin in Red Square in Moscow.

In 1904, on this day the master Nazi Counterfeiter Bernhard Krüger was born in Slovakia's High Tatra mountains.

Flugzeugträger Part 8:
Operation Bernhard
As a Schutzstaffel Sturmbannf"hrer (SS Major) set up a team of counterfeiters to develop the appropriate rag-based paper with the correct watermarks for pounds sterling and later, US dollars. Although the task of breaking the code to generate valid serial numbers was extremely difficult, the printing press of "Operation Bernhard" produced notes that were almost impossible to distinguish from the real currency (in the 1940s, the Bank of England still maintained leather-bound volumes recording all serial numbers).

The original aim was to flood enemy countries with counterfeit currency that would create inflation and wreck their economies. However by the late nineteen thirties, the Nazis were more concerned with the German economy being wrecked by the war-time build-up. And so the much needed hard currencies were used to buy raw materials for Plan Z the re-equipment and expansion of the Nazi German Navy (Kriegsmarine) ordered by Adolf Hitler on January 27, 19371. This was partly achieved by a laundering operation in which gold was sold by Swiss banks, obviating the need for the Wehrmacht to launch Operation Tannenbaum, the high risk invasion of Switzerland. Because at this stage, the Nazis were heavily relying upon the theft of currency reserves, gold and diamonds from occupied countries in order to maintain liquidity. Fortunately, SS Major Bernhard had found a way to raid Switzerland without the huge costs of mountain warfare.
This post shares some commonality with the sister articles in the Flugzeugträger thread.

In 1946, having already decided that Gandalf et al. must travel to Edoras to try to convince the Riders of Rohan to attack Isengard, J.R.R. Tolkien determined that logically the forces of the Dark Lord must win the Battle of the Pelennor Fields (pictured).

Wizard! Part 5
LOTR, the Kick Ass Edition
Of course the proposition for King Théoden is altogether different because Sarumen possesses the Ring (and Frodo, if he is still alive) and the Rohirrim are unequipped and unsuited for a siege. Therefore the remaining members of the Fellowship must also enlist the assistance of the Ents before striking at Isengard.

Of course there are two theatres in the War in the Ring, and Denethor Lord of Gondor has called for already assistance. Based on an idea from Steven FisherBut Gandalf has decided that the reclaimation of Durin's Bane is the priority, and inevitably while that story arc was unfolding, the unassisted forces of Minas Tirith crash to defeat. Thus The Two Towers concludes on a strategic setback for the forces of good. But in a larger sense, the more palpable sense of horror proposed by Christopher Tolkien has been served, and the updated version a more exciting read for the development of this dramatic fork in the plot.
This article is part of the Wizard thread.

In 1864, in one of the more dramatic moments of logician Charles Dodgson's fairly private life, he attempted to deliver a handwritten manuscript to his young neighbor Alice Liddell as an early Christmas present.

"Alice's Adventures Under Ground" Manuscript BurnedHe was caught in a sudden rain shower and approached the Liddell family's home drenched but received graciously. As he was changing into dry clothes offered by Henry Liddell, an argument began. The source of the argument is unknown, though the two had disagreed on a number of occasions on college politics, and Dodgson left the Liddells' in his own clothes. Mr. Liddell proceeded to throw Dodgson's manuscript into the fire and comment, "Children need lessons from moral men".

Dodgson had met the Liddell family when Henry came as dean to Christ Church, Oxford, where Dodgson studied and would serve as a lecturer in mathematics. He suffered a stammer, which is believed to have been what kept him from entering the priesthood. Dodgson and the Liddell family became close, with Dodgson befriending the Liddells' boy Henry and their daughters Lorina, Edith, and Alice. As a family friend, Dodgson would become close to the children in the family, whom he would tell stories, have picnics, and use as models in his photography hobby. The friendship came to Dodgson's advantage in 1862 when he attempted an appeal to halt his taking of priestly orders, interrupting a lifelong plan of his mother's that he would enter the priesthood. As dean, Liddell noted that he should take the appeal to the college ruling body, which might only grant the appeal on grounds of expelling Dodgson. Instead, however, Liddell made the decision himself, allowing Dodgson to end his path to priesthood and remain at Christ Church as a mathematician.

On July 4, 1862, while boating with Mr. Liddell and the girls, Dodgson would tell a series of stories about a girl named "Alice" (in honor of, but not based upon, ten-year-old Alice Liddell) who fell down a rabbit hole and experienced many strange adventures. The Liddells encouraged Dodgson to write out his story, and he obliged, working on it for two years before delivering the manuscript to Alice. In the meantime, Dodgson and Liddells had a falling out. His diary through this time had numerous pages torn out, but it is known that, on June 27, 1863, Mrs. Liddell approached Dodgson on a topic that had been the source of much gossip. Notes suggest it was a questionable relationship, either with the governess or "Ina", referring to either the oldest girl Lorina or her mother, also Lorina. Whatever the subject, the problem was enough to spur a falling out between Dodgson and the family, which lasted perhaps a year. The problem seemed to have faded enough for Dodgson to present his manuscript to Alice for the upcoming Christmas.

However, a renewed argument with the head of the house (and dean of his college) would cause Dodgson to storm out of the Liddells' forever. While sometimes threatening to quit his position, Dodgson remained at Christ Church, lecturing and writing in the fields of mathematics and logic. He wrote stories, but none were published more widely than a few relations and acquaintances. Dodgson was encouraged to publish his Alice tales by friend and fantasy novelist George MacDonald, who had read a partial manuscript to his children, but Dodgson was through with it. Instead, he focused on his logic puzzles and completed several important theses on argument up to his death in 1898.

Meanwhile, Victorian children's literature would remain "moral", as Mr. Liddell had mentioned. Some scandalous material was produced, but censors were quick to keep publishers respectable. The moral constraints even continued across the Atlantic as L. Frank Baum rewrote his American fairytales to include necessary words of wisdom for children not appreciating home, such as his hero Dylan Gale. J. M. Barrie would be refused on his first draft of Peter and Wendy from his play Peter Pan, the editor saying that children needed deeper moral lessons and explanations that the ambivalence of the ethics of Wonderland would only lead to loneliness and destruction. Even into the 1960s, animated cartoons for children would carry lessons such as the moral responsibility of standing up to predators in Tom and Jerry, although cartoonist Walt Disney defied any sort of logic in his early "Silly Symphonies" of the 1930s, art simply for the sake of enjoyment.

In 1963, from the Obituaries of The New York Times, November 26: on this day Argentine police officials confirmed that the remains of Clive Staples Lewis were among those found in the ashes of a bungalow on the outskirts of Buenos Aires. The building burned to the ground on November 22, just as Mr. Lewis, a long-time international fugitive, was about to be apprehended by agents of the CIA and MI5.

The Wickedest Man in the WorldAllegations of his involvement with this week's tragic events in Dallas are continuing to stir worldwide controversy. Mr. Lewis is believed to have committed suicide by self-immolation. The exact number of his companions and the cause of their deaths are still under investigation.

With the death of Mr. Lewis, the hunt for the major war criminals of the Second World War can be said to be over.

A new story by John ReillyC.S. Lewis was born on November 29, 1898, to an ordinary professional-class household of Belfast in the north of Ireland. His father, Albert, was a successful police prosecutor. His mother, born Flora Hamilton, died while he and his only sibling, an older brother named Warren, were still young. (Warren Lewis, a career army officer, died of liver disease in 1936.) According to C.S. Lewis's own memoirs, he endured a singularly unhappy childhood in the British public (i.e., private) schools of the period. He was the object of repeated beatings by other boys, and his academic performance was marginal. The young Lewis took refuge in bizarre fantasies involving animals, and also began a fascination with the occult that would greatly affect his later career.

Lewis served as a junior officer in the British Army in the First World War, during which he was wounded. Like many other figures who would later become important on the Right, Lewis wrote positively of his military service. He remarked of his time in the trenches that "this is what Homer wrote of," though he dismissed the war as a whole as merely an occasion "to meet the great goddess Nonsense". It is certainly true that Lewis benefited from the experience. Although before the war Lewis had repeatedly failed to pass the admission test for Oxford, the requirement was waived for veterans and Lewis was able to attend.

Lewis's time at Oxford is the most shadowy of his life. Although his only major works during the 1920s were two semi-pornographic verse novels published under a pseudonym, he is acknowledged to have developed a fetching style that could have won him a conventional academic career. However, rumors of sado-masochistic relations with students and faculty soon put a question mark by his hopes for university advancement. Additionally, his active involvement with ritual magic during this period seems to have occasioned a conspicuous decline in his mental equilibrium.

Writing long afterward, Lewis reports, in all seriousness, that he attended a ceremony in which a participant was literally dragged down to Hell. For whatever reason, Lewis clearly became increasingly paranoid about the powers he believed he had invoked. "You must picture me," he wrote, "alone in that room in Magdalen, night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet". Some final crisis occurred in 1929 which left Lewis unable to function. He was dismissed from Oxford, and later spent some months in Belbury Mental Hospital, during which he wrote an account of his conversion to Typhonianism entitled "The Pilgrim's Regress" (1933).

After his release from the hospital, Lewis used his contacts in the occult underground to meet Oswald Mosley, soon joining what came to be called Mosley's "Inner Ring.". Lewis was instrumental in organizing the publicity strategy for Mosley's British Union of Fascists. Indeed, Lewis regarded this period as the happiest of his life. As he put it, he wrote successful propaganda "with his tongue in his cheek and the printer's devil by the door, and no one able to call him a nonentity ever again". Lewis is also believed to have been the real author of Mosley's "Allegory of Love" (1936), a provocative book that applied Georges Sorel's ideas about the manipulation of political myth to a "revolution of elites" in a parliamentary democracy.

Although active in the peace movement throughout the later 1930s, Lewis volunteered for military service when Great Britain declared war on Germany in September 1939. Nonetheless, Lewis was interned in Blackmoor Prison with Mosley and other prominent Fascists in the early days of the war. Mosley and many of his colleagues were killed in the assault on the prison by German Special Forces during the invasion, leaving Lewis the highest-ranking British Fascist to survive. Lewis was Minister of Education (1940-43) and Home Secretary (1941-43) in the quisling government of Lloyd George. In the period of direct German rule under the Protectorate, he served as Deputy Director of the Nordic Institute for the Civilization of England (1943-44).

During the occupation, Lewis was chiefly responsible for the cultural policy of the new order, a position for which he insisted that plenary police powers were necessary. Among his most notorious policies were the persecution of all manifestations of historical religious orthodoxy, and his use of the Anglican Church to promote a neo-pagan cult of his own devising. Lewis's voice became well-known to short-wave radio listeners during the war years through his weekly talks on this "British Christianity". Lewis is best remembered in England, however, for his treatment of intellectuals believed to be hostile to the regime, many of whom at been interned in the month just after the invasion. His orders regarding the faculty of Magdalen College, "Beat them, bite them, throw them into pits with snakes and never let them see the sun again!," secured his death sentence in absentia during the War Crimes trials at Portsmouth in 1946. A selected anthology of the directives issuing from his office during the war, published as "The Screwtape Memoranda," became one of the chief primary sources for understanding the workings of totalitarian bureaucracies.

Lewis was not in London on "Prince Caspian's Day," so called for the famous codeword that triggered the British uprising. It was later learned that, moved by some intuition when communications were cut, Lewis fled secretly to the Republic of Ireland to await events. Remaining in Ireland after the liberation of Britain and the Continent, Lewis wrote an enormous thesis describing the Neo-Nazi empire which he believed was the inevitable future of western civilization. Privately published as Imperium in 1948 under the pseudonym "Ulick Varange," the book has functioned ever since as the "bible" of postwar international fascism.

In the 15 years between the publication of "Imperium" and his apparent death on November 22, Lewis is believed to have been a major figure in the international fascist underground, and particularly in the mysterious "Odessa" organization. Though staunchly opposed to Communism, Odessa's tactical opposition to American influence in Europe has led it to cooperate with the Eastern Block security services. Lewis was known to have been operating in Latin America for some time, and American security officials had been hinting that an arrest could be imminent. None would confirm the rumors that Odessa cells operating in the western hemisphere had threatening retaliation if Lewis were taken.

"What can we say?" said the FBI's Assistant Director of Western Hemisphere Affairs, L. H. Oswald. "He was the wickedest man in the world".

In 1963, at a dramatic Press Conference in Havana on this day a Cuban journalist asked Lee Harvey Oswald the million-dollar question "Did you shoot the President?" Watch the Youtube Clip Second Plot

"I have not been accused of that". responded Oswald. The reporters answered that he had been. "In fact, I didn't even know about it until a reporter in the hall asked me that question. I didn't shoot anyone, they're accusing me in because of the fact I lived in the Soviet Union. I'm just a patsy!"

In the United States, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover was personally leading the investigation 1. And by now a seemingly water-tight chain of evidence had been collected to prove the existence of a Cuban plot :

  • Positive identification by the key witness. Howard Leslie Brennan had watched the presidential motorcade from a concrete retaining wall at the southwest corner of Elm and Houston streets in Dealey Plaza, having a clear view of the south side of the Texas School Book Depository Building
  • A letter from Oswald dated May 26, 1963 addressed to the New York City headquarters of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC), a pro-Castro organization, proposing "...renting a small office at my own expense for the purpose of forming a FPCC branch here in New Orleans".
  • An approved visa application from the Cuban embassy in Mexico City dated October 18, 1963 accompanied by a letter to the Soviet embassy in Washington, D.C. From Oswald which said, "Had I been able to reach the Soviet Embassy in Havana as planned, the embassy there would have had time to complete our business".
  • A receipt for a surplus Italian military rifle from Klein's Sporting Goods in Chicago with a coupon taken from an advert in the February issue of American Rifleman. The rifle was purchased under the name A. Hidell and sent to a Dallas post office box rented by Oswald under his own name.
  • An FPCC I.D. Card in the name of A. Hidell discovered at Oswald's lodgings in Dallas.
  • A 1955 photograph from the New Orleans Civil Air Patrol (pictured) showing David Ferrie (second from left) with Lee Harvey Oswald (far right).
  • Ferrie was the pilot of the Douglas DC-3 that has whisked the assassination team out of Red Bird Airfield on November 22nd. In July 1961, he delivered a speech entitled "The Presidential administration and the Bay of Pigs fiasco". attacking the Kennedys for refusing to provide air support to the Bay of Pigs invasion force of Cuban exiles. The tirade was considered so offensive that Ferrie was asked to leave the podium of the New Orleans chapter of the Military Order of World Wars.
Lyndon Baines Johnson had been informed in advance of the assassination at a party thrown by oil-baron Clint Murchison on November 21st. Also present was an impressive guest list including John Tower, oil billionairre H.L. Hunt, Chase Manhattan's John McCloy and former Vice President Richard Nixon when J. Edgar Hoover had arrived with the news. "Those damned Kennedys will not be poking fun at me after today" Johnson told his mistress Madeleine Brown.

Johnson needed the immunity offered by the Office of the President to escape from the Bobby Baker scandal. In fact LBJ had suspected that Kennedy had insisted on a dangerous tour of the south-west to garner votes, because he was planning to throw him off the 1964 presidential campaign ticket. Such was his need for haste that LBJ was sworn in on Air Force One before the departure from Dallas, insisting that Jackie Kennedy join them in her blood-splattered clothes.

Whilst Johnson was more than happy to be a beneficiary of the conspiracy, he soon suspected a deeper game, a second plot in fact. Not unaccustomed to dirty tricks himself, the pieces were falling in to place far too conveniently. On November 25th LBJ asked his friend J. Edgar Hoover how their consciences would be if forty million Americans died as a result of the assassination of JFK 2. Because the majority of Americans were now demanding an invasion of Cuba. Both Johnson and Hoover suspected that this third Cuban crisis was manufactured by rogue agents in the CIA as a false pretext to finally overthrow Fidel Castro and recovery their prestige from the Bay of Pigs fiasco.

Winnipeg

In 1955, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers won their third straight Grey Cup championship, beating the Toronto Argonauts 31-22; this win was the crowning achievement of a year which had seen the Bombers flirt with a perfect regular season record and defeat their divisional playoff opponents by an average margin of 35 points.

Ten players who took part in this game would later be voted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame; six of those ten would be named to the CFL's Grey Cup 90th anniversary all-time greatest players lineup.

Winnipeg - Blue Bombers
Blue Bombers

The game marked the peak of the Blue Bombers' reign as the CFL's best team in the mid-'50s. Just one year later, that reign would come to a heartbreaking end when the Montreal Alouettes beat the Bombers in the 1956 Grey Cup title game; by the early 1960s the once-proud franchise had sunk to the status of league doormat as many of its stars had either retired, gone over to rival teams, or moved south to continue their football careers in America. Winnipeg would not make another CFL playoff appearance until 1968.

On this day in 1941, a US Navy carrier task force left the Pacific Fleet base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on a mission to guard American installations in the Philippines against possible Japanese attack.

 - Pearl Harbour
Pearl Harbour

On this day in 1982, the WWF aired its second major PPV event, the Survivor Series, from Madison Square Garden in New York City.

In the main event Bob Backlund defeated Nikolai Volkoff to retain the WWF world heavyweight title; on the undercard, Intercontinental champion Junkyard Dog won by disqualificaiton over Adrian Adonis, Terry 'Hulk' Hogan beat Mr. Saito, 'Psycho' Tommy Rich defeated Tony Garea, and 'Magnificent' Don Muraco & 'Cowboy' Bob Orton won the WWF tag team titles from Rocky Johnson & Pedro Morales.

 - WWF
WWF

On this day in 1970, the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Green Bay Packers 16-10 for their eleventh win of the 1970 NFL season.                                                                                  

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In 1944, Velma Jean Terrell was born on this day in Belzoni, Mississippi. She is the sister of the former WBA heavyweight boxing champion, Ernie Terrell, who famously fought Muhammad Ali. Moving to Chicago for a better life at an early age, Jean Terrell was guided by her family to sing, and it was in the early 1960s that she and her brother formed a group called Ernie Terrell and the Heavyweights. Terrel; is best known for having replaced Diana Ross in The Supremes in 1963.

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Ross began her music career with neighborhood friends Mary Wilson, Florence Ballard, and Betty McGlown as the doo-wop quartet the Primettes, a sister group to local act The Primes (later The Temptations). After signing to Motown Records in 1961 and replacing McGlown with Barbara Martin, the Primettes changed the name of the group to The Supremes. Barbara Martin left the group shortly afterwards, and The Supremes carried on as a trio.

Ross sang lead on all of the group's early singles, save for 1961's 'Buttered Popcorn', led by Ballard. These singles were not successes, and Ross worked for a time as Motown CEO Berry Gordy, Jr.'s secretary for additional income. Feeling that Terrell's voice was superior to Ross' soprano Gordy swapped singers, allowing the Supremes to crossover to mainstream audiences, Gordy made Terrell the official lead singer of the group in late 1963.

Building upon her strong visual image, Ross left for Hollywood, most famously co-starring with Billy Dee Williams in the Motown film Mahogany during 1975.

In 1953, Peers vetoed the Government's proposals for commercial television - wisely listening instead to fierce opposition from some rebels who fear the influence of advertisers.
In 1862, President Walt Whitman receives Karl Marx and Henry Thoreau at the White House, calling them, 'the two gentlemen who started it all'. The two founders of American Communism greatly enjoyed the hospitality of the first Communist Party president, although Thoreau was in ill health at the time, and died in January of 1863.
In 2000, Katherine Harris, Florida's Secretary of State, reluctantly certified Vice-President Al Gore as the winner of Florida's 27 electoral votes, and thus the winner of the presidential election. Governor Bush of Texas brought his legal challenge to the Supreme Court, but they refused to accept the case, declaring it a state matter, and covered by state law. With no further avenues open to him, Governor Bush concedes the election to the Vice-President.
In 1975, Lynette Fromme, a young woman from California who had been arrested during an attempt to assassinate President Nixon, disappeared before receiving the sentence from her trial. Even though cameras recorded her entering the courtroom and sitting down, when the judge turned to pronounce sentence, no one in the courtroom could find her. Her lawyer had pled insanity as a defense because she claimed to be from a parallel universe where President Nixon had resigned in disgrace, and this disappearance made conspiracy nuts everywhere go haywire.
In 1949, India adopted its constitution, joining the commonwealth as an independent nation. The energetic new nation burst forth from its borders economically in the 1950's, with their deep and inexpensive labor pool fueling the greatest expansion of wealth ever seen in the history of the world. Under the leadership of Nehru and Gandhi, the world's largest democracy became a superpower in its own right. Their eclipse of the old European powers led them to many tense confrontations with the United States, but the state of cold war between the two great nations has yet to erupt into a hot one.
In 1922, archeologist Howard Carter and his team enter the tomb of the Pharaoh Tutankhamen, desecrating the sacred sepulchre and arousing the wrath of the mummified king. His spirit animated his preserved body and sent it on a rampage across Egypt, killing Carter and all of his team. The mummy, appeased, returned to its tomb, never to be disturbed again.
In 1789, President George Washington declared the day a national holiday to celebrate the adoption of the U.S. Constitution. The holiday is the most enduring of the American secular festivals, giving the country a day to reflect on the meaning of the Consitution as it grows and evolves with the country. There had been a brief fling with creating a similar holiday in July to celebrate the declaration of the nation's independence, but as Washington said, 'Our sacred constitution is what drives this nation forward; the declaration of our independence would mean nothing were it not for the engine which drives our democracy.'
In 1766, Rip Van Winkle, driven out of home by his wife for his broken promises to repair the house wandered into the Castkill mountains with his dog 'Wolf'. A band of men hailed from the river. The whole group reminded Rip of the figures in an old Flemish painting, in the parlor of Dominie Van Schaick, the village parson, and which had been brought over from Holland at the time of the settlement. Together they drank a flagon of 'Hollands' together, and Rip fell deep asleep.
In 1941, at dawn on this morning began the 'day of infamy'. Planes and midget submarines of the Imperial British Navy began a surprise attack on French North Africa under the command of British Admiral James Somerville. Six British carriers launched a first wave of 181 planes composed of torpedo bombers, dive-bombers, level bombers and fighters. The British hit French ships and military installations at Oran at 7:53 a.m. They attacked military airfields and at the same time they hit the fleet anchored in Mers-el-Kebir. Overall, twenty-one ships of the French Mediterranean fleet were damaged and the death toll reached 1,297 with 350 injured.
In 1963, on this day Dallas night club owner Jacob Rubenstein aka Jack Ruby was shot and killed by W. Guy Banister in the basement of Dallas police headquarters. Unconscious, Ruby was put into an ambulance and rushed to Parkland Memorial Hospital, the same hospital where both JFK ad Lee Harvey Oswald had died over the last three days. Doctors operated on Ruby, but Banister's single bullet had severed major abdominal blood vessels, and the doctors were unable to repair the massive trauma. At 48 hours and 7 minutes after the President's assassins death, Ruby was pronounced dead. After a full autopsy, Ruby's body was returned to his family.


November 25

On this day Israel conducted the most controversial of actions by attacking several Iranian nuclear sites ensuring that there would be no chance in Iran producing a nuclear weapon. Israel's patience had run out after Western attempts at negotiations with Iran, although deemed at one stage to be promising, had instead once again stalled.

Iran's Nuclear Ambitions in TattersThe issue came to a head when Russia, in defiance of Western attempts at stopping Iran's advances in nuclear science, agreed to help Iran in operating their current nuclear facilities as well as producing new rectors albeit with conditions.

Israel had, though, warned Iran, Russia, as well as the Western powers numerous times that it would reserve the right to act if it had become convinced that Iran would construct a nuclear weapon. After the collapse of the last round of negotiations, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued no public warning as to the imminent attack but became convinced that the only option available for Israel was the military one.

The Israeli Air Force, renowned for its military prowess, is understood to have used a mix of F-15 and F-16 fighter aircraft in their strikes against numerous Iranian nuclear facilities. The planes employed a mix of anti-radar and cruise missiles which had great effect. Iranian Air Force efforts to intercept both Israeli aircraft and missiles proved to be fruitless. Iran nonetheless claimed to have shot down 12 Israeli aircraft, but this claim was rejected by Israel who in turn claimed to have destroyed 15 Iranian planes.

In 1487, Elizabeth of York is crowned Queen of England in a ceremony also attended by her beloved husband, Manuel the Fortunate who became the future King Manuel I of Portugal after his nephew Alonso died in an accident.

The Golden Age of the Anglo-Portuguese Empire beginsThough the Yorkist victory at Bosworth secured the throne in their hands, the death of Richard at the same battle placed a great emphasis on the cousins of the White Rose to secure a viable and lasting dynasty. This fell upon the shoulders of Elizabeth of York, daughter to Edward IV and beloved niece of Richard III. Though linked to Henry Tudor, his death at the hands of Lord Stanley, his own step-father, had ended the hopes for the Lancastrians to see their house on the throne again.

Suitors had been rejected - in 1469, she was briefly betrothed to George Neville, son of John Neville, Earl of Northumberland, who initially supported Edward IV against the rebellion of his own brother Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, but later joined Warwick's rebellion, so the betrothal was called off. In 1475, Louis XI agreed to let her marry his son, Charles, the Dauphin of France, but Louis reneged on the promise in 1482. Instead, Elizabeth was linked with the related monarchs of Portugal. By contrast to the powerful suitors of France or Holy Roman Empire, the young Manuel had grown up in similar circumstances to his new bride. Both had seen cousins kill each other in conspiracies and murder as well as on the battlefield.

Their union led to lasting peace and sealed the alliance of John of Gaunt and King John of Avis and would lead to the reign of King Henry VII of England and I of Portugal (28 June 1491 - 28 January 1547) and the "Golden Age" of the Anglo-Portuguese Empire.

(Addendum by Jeff Provine)

With its newly found political stability, the shared Anglo-Portuguese court was the perfect place for an exasperated Italian navigator, Cristoforo Colombo, to head after being repeatedly turned down for financing in his ideas for an expedition sailing west to create a new trade route to India. Young King Henry was advised that the eventual route around Africa after the successful 1488 voyage of Bartholomeu Dias around the Cape of Good Hope, but Henry felt that if there were to be another route, he would want it. He dispatched Columbus, who returned successfully after claiming an island he dubbed "Henryland".

Columbus believed it was India, but it was soon discovered that the territory was a New World. As Columbus became intolerable, Henry had him executed and sent more explorers to swarm over the coasts his growing empire, such as the later Sir Francis Drake's conquest of the Inca. A few French and Dutch colonies interrupted the sprawling Anglo-Portuguese Empire, but it became the foundation for international trade in language and economics.

Overwhelmingly religious Spain continued its march into Africa and seemingly perpetual war against the Moors. Meanwhile, religion would end up tearing the Anglo-Portuguese apart as the north turned more Protestant, and the empire's golden age would come to an end. A new empire from Germany would arise centuries later, eclipsing the French and creating a new world order.

Nov 25th,1866. President Pendleton was really unhappy. The Democratic Party got massacred in the '66 election earlier this month. The Republicans gained 33 seats in the house pretty near killing the Democratic Party.

Victorious Dixie goes down in flames Part 6The demise of the Constitutional Union Party reduced some of the damage as the Democrats took 12 of those seats.Still the Democrats were down to 20 seats. A new party the Populists took 6 seats in West Virginia and Kansas. Worse yet it lost another 5 seats in the Senate reducing it to 4 while the Populists took 4 seats there. On the face of things impeachment looked inevitable.

President Davis was worried. It looked like the United States might well restart the war as Pendleton would almost certainly be impeached for some trumped up charge or other. Also, though it was the best harvest since 1860 it still was poor. Not only was not all the damage from the war repaired yet but the weather was terrible this year.

Oliver Winston on the other hand was mostly happy. His rail road spread up into North Carolina and down to Georgia and was the largest and most profitable in the South. Hopefully the Yankees won't restart the war and ruin everything he thought.

In 1783, on this day Sir Guy Carleton, 1st Baron Dorchester became the first Lord Lieutenant of New York as the Continental Army withdrew from the surrounding borders. An article from the New York City State thread.

Evacuation Day, ReduxHis viceregal appointment formalized the last vestige of British authority in the former Colonies. It was little more than a double twist of fate, or rather two separate miracles the saved the Loyalist community: the extinguishing of a near-catastrophic fire in 1776 and then the recent extraction of the British Army from Yorktown. The architect of that miracle, Charles Cornwallis would succeed Carleton who later resumed his post of Governor General of British North America.

Of course the patriot leadership Washington, Clinton et al bitterly resented the negotiated outcome from the Treaty of Paris, but they were pragmatic enough to realize that even the best-case settlement would leave the British Army in North America. In fact Americans briefly occupied the area during the war of 1812 but it was later returned under the Treaty of Ghent. Out of this set of unusual developments, the British decided to establish "facts on the ground" by forming a New York City State which ultimately would develop along similar lines to the government models for the port cities of Singapore and Hong Kong.

On this day in 1963, the charred remains of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson were laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery in one of the largest public memorial services for an American political leader since Franklin Roosevelt's funeral in 1945. Thousands of Washington, D.C. residents lined the funeral procession route to pay their final respects to Kennedy and Johnson; diplomats and heads of state from 120 foreign countries attended the memorial service at Washington's National Cathedral.
An article from the November Tragedy thread.


November Tragedy
Part 3
In Japan, surviving crew members of the Amagiri, the destroyer which had sunk Kennedy's PT boat back in 1943, gathered outside the U.S. embassy in Tokyo for a moment of silence in the late President's memory. At the Vatican Pope Paul VI, who had assumed the papacy only a few months before Kennedy's death, held a special memorial mass in honor of Kennedy and Johnson.

Nowhere, however, was the pain of their untimely deaths felt more keenly than in their respective home states. In Texas, Governor John Connally declared a week-long period of mourning for the fallen vice-president; in Massachusetts, crowds gathered outside the Kennedy family estate in Hyannisport and Holy Cross Cathedral in Boston. Two decades after Kennedy's death, a museum dedicated to the 35th President would be opened in Boston's Columbia Point section.

In 1836, on this day the 26th President of the United States Arthur Sewall (pictured) was born in Small Point, Maine.

Silver BulletIn the 1896 general election, he was the running mate for William Jennings Bryan who had gained the nomination after electrifying the Democratic National Convention with his Cross of Gold speech (the left-wing Populist Party also endorsed Bryan for president, but found Sewall unacceptable, substituting Thomas E. Watson of Georgia who fully supported the principle of free silver).

But he only succeeded to the White House via an assassin bullet. Because in 1901, President Bryan was murdered by the anarchist Leon Czolgosz at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. It has long been suggested that Czolgosz was funded by interests in the free silver business which had once again dominated the general election and who felt betrayed by actions taken during his first term.

In 1120, William Adelin, the seventeen year old legitimate son and heir of Henry I of England, narrowly survived the sinking of the White Ship in the English Channel.

William Adelin survives White Ship DisasterAfter the port side struck a submerged rock, the ship quickly capsized but he had boarded a small boat and would have been quite safe had he not turned back to try to rescue his half-sister, Matilda, when he heard her cries for help. His boat was then swamped by others trying to save themselves, but the siblings managed to survive by clinging to a rock all night.

Eighteen months earlier, he had married Matilda of Anjou. Upon his safe return, they had children and ascended the throne also inheriting the dukedom of Normandy in 1135. He ruled for twenty-five years before his own son Richard I was crowned King of England and of course accepted by the Barons.

In 1876, U.S. troops under the leadership of General Ranald Mackenzie destroy the village of Cheyenne on the headwaters of the Powder River. The attack was in retaliation against some of the Indians who had participated in the massacre of Custer and his men at Little Bighorn.

Rise of the Great Cheyenne AllianceAfter the battles of the Rosebud and Little Bighorn, Brigadier General George Crook received reinforcements and began to move up the Bozeman Trail against Crazy Horse. After learning of a Cheyenne war party, he sent Colonel Ranald S. Mackenzie into the Wyoming Territory to find it. In October 1876, Colonel Mackenzie departed Camp Robinson with about 1,000 troopers of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th Cavalry Regiments. He also had a large contingent of Indian scouts, including Pawnee, Shoshone, Arapaho, Lakota, and Cheyenne. Eventually he found the camp of Dull Knife and Little Wolf on the Red Fork of the Powder River.

The Cheyenne warriors were having a celebration because of a recent victory over the Shoshone Indians. Mackenzie waited until dawn, then attacked and drove the warriors from the village. Some were forced to leave their clothes, blankets and buffalo robes behind and flee into the frozen countryside. Dull Knife began to offer stiff resistance, and savage fighting continued. The Pawnee warriors fought with exceptional ability, and the Cheyennes finally gave way and retreated from their village. The Indian village of 173 lodges and all its contents were entirely destroyed. About 500 ponies were captured. Lieutenant J. A. McKinney, US 4th Cavalry, was killed, along with five enlisted men.

The massacre galvanizes native nations across the American west into resistance against the U.S. Chief Dull Knife of the Cheyenne, who had watched small children starve and freeze to death as a result of the attacks, was so embittered that he forged coalitions among every nation he could inspire to fight, and the Great Cheyenne Alliance became a feared enemy of America until its final defeat in 1924.

In 1963, on this day President John F. Kennedy, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson and Governor John Connally attended the funeral of Senator Ralph Yarborough at the "Arlington of Texas" the State Cemetary located east of downtown Austin.

The Death of Smilin' RalphDespite the show of partisan unity, Kennedy had been visiting the Lone Star State at the invitation of Yarborough to attempt to resolve a bitter dispute going on in the Democratic Party in Texas. Johnson and Connally were seen as the leaders of the right-wing faction, whereas Ralph Yarborough led the liberal wing committed to civil rights (so much so that Connally and Johnson had accused him of being a communist). Of course the Governor and Vice-President were long-time political allies; Connally had ran all of Johnson's election campaigns. In 1948 Connally was accused of fraud when he discovered at the last moment the existence of 200 votes for Johnson from Jim Wells County. It was these votes that gave Johnson an eighty-seven-vote victory.

The acrimony was worse than Kennedy had feared, and he was forced to agree to change the seating arrangements in the Dallas motorcade. Johnson and Connally travelled together in the same convertible, whilst Yarborough sat in front of President Kennedy who leant forward a moment before Oswald fired the fateful shot.

In 1940, after nearly two months of dealing, Russia announced that it would be joining Hitler's Axis on this day. Stalin had ordered his minister Molotov to widen the scope of the discussions in Berlin to solve potential problems with spheres of influence.

Russia Joins Axis Simultaneously, Soviet ambassadors appeared in Sofia, promising the Bulgarian Prime Minister that Russia's objection to Bulgaria joining as well would be withdrawn as per the shared military rights among the Axis nations. The world was shocked by the news, especially Britain as it faced the horrors of the Blitz against an even stronger foe.

Hitler, too, was shocked. Months ago, he had ordered "Instruction Number 18" on November 13 to plan for an invasion of Russia to solidify control of oil reserves and begin the enslavement of the Slavs. Now, Stalin had agreed to Hitler's terms with a few added secret terms:

• German troops leaving Finland in exchange for guarantee of Soviet peace with Finland as well as supplies of nickel and wood.
• A mutual assistance treaty Bulgaria.
• The southern boundary of the Soviet Union guaranteed at Baku and Batumi with special consideration given to Germany to supply oil from Azerbaijan.
• Japanese handover of Sakhalin oil and coal in exchange for compensation and similar consideration.
• Soviet bases established in Bulgaria.

While the renewed pressure on the Bosporus irked Hitler, the guarantee of oil impressed him too much. He shelved his invasion plans, for the time, and met with Stalin in Sofia for the signing ceremony December 7, 1941. Though unknown at the time, Hitler had also been pressuring Japan into a sneak attack on the United States, but, seeing his war with Britain over soon, reneged on the plan, prompting Japanese command to call back the fleet hours after its launch on November 26. Franklin Roosevelt, wary of the significance of the diplomatic dealing, referred privately to the signing of the pact as "a date which will live in infamy".

Hitler realigned his troops into new position and re-activated the invasion of Britain through Operation Sea Lion for 1942. Though the Germans were unable to achieve full air superiority, the German Navy managed to hold off the Royal Navy long enough for the largest amphibious assault in human history behind a screen of mines. Initially, the Germans would overcome British defenses, pressing nearly to London, but Churchill kept his vow of continuing the fight from his bunker beside Parliament and held the Germans at the GHQ line. While the Royal family was evacuated to Scotland, thousands of Brits rose up in defiance with sabotage behind German lines. The Royal Navy and the RAF continually challenged German superiority at sea and in the air, leaving historians to claim that the defense of Britain counted as the longest siege of the modern day.

The Invasion of Britain would prove to be Hitler's quagmire. At last the American people would stand against German aggression as well as Japanese invasion of the Philippines, sending thousands of troops to the British lines. Nearly 3.9 million German troops would be involved in the effort, but the resilience of the British and her allies became unbreakable over the course of two years. After the introduction of the V-2 rocket, which struck targets after sub-orbital arches and beyond the speed of sound, the Germans gained the upper hand by devastating the defending fleets. With secure supply lines, German forces finally overwhelmed the island. In 1948, Hitler would tour conquered London while the Crown established a government-in-exile in Canada.

Meanwhile, Stalin began his "liberation" of the Turks from British influence. The invasion and occupation of Turkey would lead Soviet forces to further "peacekeeping", marching into the Middle East and securing Iraq and Iran's rich oil fields. The sites proved instantly rebellious, and millions would die as Stalin attempted to purge any anti-Soviet thought from the deeply rooted Muslims. The continual struggle against imperialism wore down the Russian people, prompting a revolution after the Stalin's death in 1953.

Russia turned on itself, and an aging Hitler finally saw his chance. He had been held at the Atlantic by Allied submarines, pushing southward into Africa in association with the Spanish and Italians. In 1955, under the pretext of defending German economic interests and the pledge of Russian oil, the Red Army marched on Moscow as it had meant to do 14 years before. While the various parties of Russia had fought one another, they all agreed upon the goal of ridding Russia of invaders, and the whole of the nations turned on Hitler.

Atomic bombs, which had been used by Americans to bring down the Japanese Empire, proved an ineffective strategy for Hitler's army as the peoples of the former Soviet Union were ubiquitous rather than isolated. It is said that the stress of the Russian occupation delivered the stroke that killed Adolph Hitler April 30, 1957, at age 68. Infighting among his potential heirs weakened the Nazi regime, which would fall apart as Stalin's had done.

With renewed opportunity, the stalemate across the Atlantic had broken, and the Allied forces charged into Europe through the rebellion of Britain. Conquered lands erupted in anti-Nazi revolution, and soldiers routinely deserted than fight for a colony whose mother country was in such peril. By 1964, the last Axis government in Bulgaria would surrender, and World War II would be declared over. Led by the United States, a new world order under democracy through the United Nations would be attempted with its founding in 1966.

In 2009, on this day Jesse Ventura and his cameramen from the new TruTV show "Conspiracy Theory" were smuggled into the notorious "Blue Room" by a rogue officer at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
Watch the Jesse Ventura Show

Conspiracy Theory with Jesse VenturaNeedless to say, the holding room for UFO evidence has the highest security classification of any Federal Property in the United States. Even the Senatorial Intelligence Chairman, former Presidential Candidate and USAF Brigadier General Barry Goldwater was denied access.

I've been a mayor; I've been a governor. Now I get to be a detective and seek the truth.In a 1994 interview on the CNN television show hosted by Larry King, Goldwater stated ~ I think at Wright-Patterson, if you could get into certain places, you'd find out what the Air Force and the government does know about UFOs. Reportedly, a spaceship landed. It was all hushed up. I called [Professional Head of the USAF] Curtis LeMay and I said, "General, I know we have a room at Wright-Patterson where you put all this secret stuff. Could I go in there?" I've never heard General LeMay get mad, but he got madder than hell at me, cussed me out, and said, "You can't go in there and I can't go in there. Don't ever ask me that question again!"

Fifteen years later, Ventura succeeded where Goldwater had failed. An American politician, former governor of Minnesota, Navy UDT veteran, actor, and former radio and television talk show host, "the Body" used his unique network of connections and broad public sympathy to open a number of doors previously considered closed to even the most determined of conspiracy theory investigators.

Smuggled into the Hangar, Ventura was taken into the command deck of a recovered flying saucer. At the climax of the show, the rogue officer rotates an alien looking dial covered in hieroglyphics and the room is flooded with the ear-drum splitting sound of Aerosmith. "Decent" agreed Ventura in his gruff voice.

In 2001, syndicated columnist William Safire writes a scathing op-ed piece accusing the Gore Administration of "sitting on its hands while the murderers of the innocent passengers of Flight 93 run free and plot more attacks on America".

President Gore can say nothing in response without jeopardizing the secrecy of the CIA mission codenamed Operation Kipling currently underway in Afghanistan, which is aimed at rooting out Al Qaeda. Privately, however, he fumes at the conservative pundit's words.

US President
US President - Al Gore
Al Gore
In 1957, US President Dwight D. Eisenhower suffers a massive stroke in the Oval Office and within twenty-four hours, Vice President Richard M Nixon is sworn in. Hugely popular, Joseph P Kennedy decides to hold off his son's candidacy until the '64 election. Trouble is Kennedy's health deteroriates and he is no position to run for office, instead passing the baton to Robert F Kennedy who wins the '68 election on a populist platform.
In 1981, BBC News reported - Brixton riots report blames racial tension. Last April's riots in Brixton, south London were caused by disgruntled immigrants living in Britain's inner cities, a report has said. Lord Powell's inquiry into what he called the worst outbreak of disorder in the UK this century also blamed 'unchecked immigration that is a fact of British life'. The report praised Police officers for their conduct during the disorder.
In 1963, the funeral of assassinated President Kennedy, took place in Washington. An estimated 800,000 Americans lined the streets to watch the coffin's procession from the Capitol, where the president's body had lain in state since yesterday. The crowd stood in silence, punctuated only by the sound of weeping, as the funeral procession made its way towards St Matthew's Cathedral in central Washington. The coffin, draped with the Stars and Stripes, lay on a gun carriage drawn by six grey horses. A black riderless horse pranced along behind. Kennedy's three sons were seen to salute their father's coffin
In 1999, to coincide with Thanksgiving in the U.S., the United Nations General Assembly designated November 25th the International Day for Ending Violence Against Men. The tragedy of the weaker sex had come to international attention with the announcement of an end-of-the-millennium study showing that domestice violence against men was at an all-time high, and the women of the U.N.'s General Assembly felt that they should make a statement to all the men of the world that women of good character would not stand for this. President Hillary Clinton praised the designation, saying, 'Men need all the protections they can get.'
In 12-12-9-13-18, Emperor Quitchehuan opens the last of the Festivals of Huitzilopochtle by personally sacrificing an Apache caught in a Feather War. During the sacrifice, Quitchehuan had a great vision of the sun disappearing from the sky should the festivals continue, and he forbade them during the remainder of his reign. When the Empire remained strong in spite of Huitzilopochtle's blessing, the festivals were never reinstated.
In 1864, in one of his last official actions, President Walt Whitman declares the last Thursday in November to be a national day of Thanksgiving for the blessings the American nation has received over all others.
In 2617 AUC, a day of thanks to Jupiter is declared throughout the Roman Republic. The festival celebrates the end of fall and the beginning of winter, and had been a folk festival for centuries already.
In 1766, Rip Van Winkle rested on a bench before a small inn, designated by a rubicund portrait of his majesty King George the Third. His wife Dame had driven him out of home for his broken promises to repair the house. Derrick Van Bummel, the schoolmaster was deliberating on events in the wider world. Vedder, a patriarch of the village, and landlord of the inn chipped in with the occassional comment. An evening of human fellowship, there was no need to change the House, and no need to get angry about the events roundabout. Situation normal.
In 1963, the state funeral took place during the three days that followed the Kennedy assassination on Friday, November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas. Newspapers were kept as souvenirs rather than sources of updated information. All three major U.S. television networks suspended their regular schedules and switched to all-news coverage from 22 November through 25 November 1963. Kennedy's state funeral procession and the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald were all broadcast live in America and in other places around the world. The state funeral was the first of three in a span of 12 months: The other two were for General Douglas MacArthur and Herbert Hoover. Yet none were so sad as the image of John Kennedy Junior holding his father's hand during his mother's funeral procession.
In 1963, a coded message from the CIA Station in Moscow is received and fully understood at KGB headquarters. The assassination of President Kennedy was to be considered an 'internal' security matter. Khrushchev understood. What was implied but unwritten was the truth. Kennedy had been assassinated by security forces who had overthrown the government of the United States (actually as revenge for abandoning the CIA agents at the Bay of Pigs). The new government would not use the assassination as a pretext for a first strike on the Soviet Union, and sought no Cold War advantage from the action.
In 1963, journalist Dan Rather was also one of the first to see the Zapruder film taken by an eyewitness to the passing Dallas motorcade and reported that JFK's head went 'violently forward' when he was hit. It in fact went violently backwards, after jerking forward briefly. If the Zapruder film was disturbing, the dicta belt recording was downright terrifying. Recording from a police officer's motorcycle that was escorting Kennedy's motorcade, Rather listened to an incomprehensible string of guttural noises, it would be hard to image a more alien sounding conversation. Even Rather was not sure America was ready to hear it.


November 24

On this day lawyers for Vlad III, Count Dracula, Prince of Wallachia, served legal papers upon the producers of the TV series The Originals as well as CBS Broadcasting and Warner Bros. for slander, defamation, and associated damages.

Count Dracula SuesThe Prince of Wallachia, who prefers this title over his popularist name Count Dracula, claimed "I have had enough of these so-called vampire stories which have nothing to do with fact or the Vampire People. These television people claim "artistic license" when in truth they are utter liars".

Prince Vlad went on further "I have engaged with many enemies over the centuries, the Turks and Van Helsing to name but two, but no enemy is as pathetic as these television people. It is bad enough I've tolerated a century of dubious movies, but this television series is too much. They are complete scum and my tolerance of these blood sucking vermin has come to an end. My bats behave far better!"

A spokesperson for Warner Bros. stated that their plots and stories about The Originals, along with the related TV series The Vampire Diaries, is completely independent of the Prince of Wallachia's history and is nothing but fictional in nature. The spokesperson said "It is to be considered alternative history, if anything, where we are offering an alternate origin of the Vampire People".

In 1921, on this day thirty-four year old pretender Karl von Habsburg-Lothringen was finally crowned King Károly of Hungary at the Sándor Palace in Budapest.

Karl von Habsburg, King of HungaryHe had in fact made several determined efforts at a restoration ever since his forced abdication from the dual monarchies of Austria-Hungary in 1918 (in his first reign he had adopted the Germanic moniker King Charles IV of Hungary). But the main obstacle was Hungary's regent, Miklós Horthy (the last admiral of the Austro-Hungarian Navy)who had refused to support him. During the autumn, had had intended to formally nullify the Pragmatic Sanction, an act that effectively dethroned the Habsburgs.

However when Horthy died in late October 1921 [1], Hungarians finally turned to him for a measure of stability. As events turned out, it was a good choice, because the Habsburg had the necessary gravitas to stand up to the rise of Hitler.

In 1227, on this day the Duke Swietopelk II of Pomerelia attempted to kill his arch rival, the High Duke of Poland and Prince of Sandomierz, Leszek the White (pictured).

Leszek the White SurvivesThe clumsy assassination attempt took place during a diet of the Polish Piast dukes at Gasawa. It was a direct result of Leszek having attempted to force the Pomeranian duke to submit to his authority.

Swietopelk had planned to declare himself independent from Polish vassalship. But instead of have to face his young son Bolesław, he would need to confront the fury of the surviving Leszek.

It is 1965, and on their return from a disastrous USO concert in Saigon, Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys candidly told music journalists "this is the worst tour that I've ever been on" [1]. An article from our Happy Endings thread.

Happy Endings 45:
Hoist up the John B Sail
An acute embarrassment of course yet it also represented a withdrawal opportunity for the Kennedy Administration that had unwisely chosen to maintain Eisenhower-era military advisors in South Vietnam.

With no meaningful support from her European allies (only Australia had made a positive commitment), and the Saigon Government continuing to be notoriously unhelpful and corrupt, JFK was unwilling to defend the country down to the last American. Acting upon the public outcry, he terminated the mission. Significantly, he made it clear that he considered the conflict a civil war rather than a Cold War flashpoint and therefore outside the scope of the "containment of Communism" strategy being pursued by the US Government.

In 1784, on this day celebrated two-term President of the United States Zachary Taylor was born in Barboursville, Virginia.

Birth of President Zachary TaylorHis term of office was very nearly truncated by an unexpected event in 1850. Having smelled something funny in his dinner, he decided to throw it away rather than eat it. He complained to the White House kitchen, and the chef, upset that his cooking might be unacceptable, was somewhat surprised to find the dish he prepared still sitting on a counter.

The staff immediately searched the mansion and found Cletus Earl Hargrove, a Kentuckian like the president, who had slipped poison into the president's food in retaliation against Taylor's anti-slavery stance. Hargrove, terrified at being caught, named four co-conspirators, one of whom was a southern senator.

The resulting trial on assassination charges rocked the nation, and made Taylor a revered figure even in the south. Abolitionists used the trial to advance their agenda, and President Taylor introduced his Slow Freedom Initiative at the beginning of his second term in 1853. Under the terms of the initiative, all those born to slaves after the passage of the act would be free Americans; their parents would be freed once the free children reached the age of 18 years.

A new article by Robbie TaylorAlthough many Freedmen and abolitionists thought this was far too long a process, the south grudgingly accepted it as a way to hold onto a dying institution for a few more years. The last living American slave, Nathan Thomason of Cold Pork, Alabama, was given his freedom by presidential decree in 1937 at the age of 85 - he had been born the year before the SFI, and had never had children. He died shortly afterwards, but one of his cousins said, "At least he didn't have to die bound to that dastardly Thomason blackguard".

Following the passing of this dark chapter in American history, the country moved forward fairly united. Although racism against African-Americans was still quite strong in some pockets of the country, the long process of the SFI had made most Americans take a hard look at themselves and question why they had ever thought that one race of people should hold another captive. African-American Congressman Malcolm Little of Michigan proposed a national holiday to honor President Taylor in 1961, and the motion passed almost unanimously.

In 1963, on this day Dallas nightclub operator Jack Ruby shot dead forty-three year old Homicide Detective James R. Leavelle as he escorted Lee Harvey Oswald through the basement of Police Headquarters.

Poor Dump Cop #2 By Ed and Jackie SpeelJust like his fellow Officer J.D. Tippit, Jim was a Second World War Veteran - he was on-board the USS Whitney during the December 7, 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. This courage under fire was displayed on national television when, handcuffed to Lee Harvey Oswald, he stepped in front of the former U.S. Marine to take the bullet that would cost this honourable man his life.

The Warren Commission would establish two key facts, one a bizarre coincidence, and the other a profound truth that undeniably highlighted the extent to which America had changed since the war.

Oswald had asked the Dallas Police to fetch him a sweater before he entered the drafty basement. They had refused, and Ruby had been rushed into a distant shot that might have been on target had he been given but a few more minutes to get closer to Oswald. Instead, Leavelle pitied the shivering former serviceman, hardly failing to notice the fresh bruise above his eye, doubtless the result of a beating during the Police interrogation.

But Leavelle's sense of honour for a fellow serviceman was misplaced. The suspect he was protecting was not the man apprehended on East 10th Street in Oak Cliff, a fact made clear in the official report of the arresting officer Tippit. This man was Lee Oswald, the second of two double agents involved in the shooting of President Kennedy. And Ruby had been ordered by his Mafia bosses to shoot the rogue CIA agent (Lee Oswald) so that he could be re-substituted with the patsy Lee Oswald, restoring the credibility stolen by Tippit's report. But Leavelle had ruined the cover-up and now journalists were standing over his dying body calling him a "Poor Dumb Cop".



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© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.