In 1875, on this day John Cabell Breckinridge died in Lexington, Kentucky. He was only fifty-four years old.
POTCS John C. Breckinridge diesA lawyer and politician from the U.S. state of Kentucky, he represented the state in both houses of Congress and in 1857, became the 14th and youngest-ever Vice President of the United States (1857-1861).
Serving in the U.S. Senate at the outbreak of the Civil War, he was expelled after joining the Confederate Army. He was appointed Confederate Secretary of War late in the war.
After the armistice brokered with United States President George McClellen, he was - after the premature death of Robert E. Lee - a rallying point for Southern Unity. Elected Confederate President, he implemented a series of economic reforms to make the Confederacy competitive on a global stage. But both he and his succesor James Longstreet failed, and thirteen years after his own premature death, President Fitzhugh Lee was forced by events to call for the legal dissolution of a confederacy that no longer had any members at all.
In 1822, over-absorbed by the preparations for the upcoming Congress of Verona, King George IV unwisely decided to announce the cancellation of his visit to Scotland planned for the late summer of the same year.
Scottish RevolutionDespite the gravity of events in Europe, matters at home were equally pressing and this situation was entirely due to the neglect of the Hanovers and their predecessors. Simply put, the first visit of a reigning monarch to Scotland since 1650 was desperately needed in order to turn his subjects away from the path of rebellious radicalism.
As the Hanovers had discovered to their cost in the Americas, an independent mindset once formed was unsuppressable. And within three years, Scotland would stand on the verge of either leaving the Union, or maybe even driving the transformation of the British Isles into a United Republic.
The man who might have prevented this was Sir Walter Scott. Based upon his insightful understanding of the situation, he had organized the visit in painstaking detail that he had hoped would ensure that the trip had a lasting influence north of the border. His connections with the local nobility had even indicated a positive response to his concept of elevating the tartan kilt to become part of Scotland's national identity (pictured). Instead, the tartan kilt, and much else besides, was swept away by the tide of fateful events of the 1820s.
In 1965, FBI Investigation Leads to Lyric Censorship. Back in 1955, doo-wop musician Richard Berry wrote a calypso-style song incorporating many of his newfound inspirations from R&B, particularly Rick Rillera and The Rhythm Rockers, with whom he worked while getting his band The Pharaohs together.
FBI Investigation Leads to Lyric Censorship "Louie, Louie" was written as a first-person lamenting of a lost love to a bartender in the Caribbean, musically referencing Latin influences as well as Chuck Berry's "Havana Moon". Almost a decade later, the Rock and Roll group The Kingsmen would record their own cover of the song, an almost unintelligible indecency that would cause panic and government crackdown.
A new story by Jeff ProvineA rumor started somewhere in America that the popular song (holding #2 on the Billboard's chart for six weeks) secretly held shocking and obscene lyrics portrayed in what seemed simply creative and energetic enunciation. As the uproar grew, the governor of Indiana banned the song, and parents demanded more. One concerned parent wrote to Attorney General Robert Kennedy, dated January 30, 1964, "Who do you turn to when your 'teen age daughter buys and brings home pornographic or obscene materials being sold along with objects directed and aimed at the 'teen age market in every City, Village, and Record shop in this Nation?" The letter further explained, "My daughter brought home a record of "LOUIE LOUIE" and I, after reading that the record had been banned from being played on the air because it was obscene, proceeded to try to decipher the jumble of words. The lyrics are so filthy that I can-not enclose them in this letter".
Such sentiments were echoed by others, and an investigation by the FBI was ordered. Obtaining a legitimate copy of the original 1963 recording by The Kingsmen took weeks, and it was clear how poor studio conditions had been, exacerbating the murkiness of the lyrics. Meanwhile, Kingsmen themselves were questioned, claiming according to FBI records that they were "clean, not obscene" and did not admit that "the words exist even accidentally", merely that "those who want to hear such things have apparently interpreted an unintelligible sounding of words which were honestly inserted for harmony".
Although later-declassified documents suggested "the FBI Laboratory advised that because the lyrics of the recording, "Louie Louie" could not be definitely determined in the Laboratory examination, it is not possible to determine whether this recording is obscene," the ultimate decision of recommendation to prosecute was handed to Director J. Edgar Hoover, who had served in his position for twenty-eight years with another decade of experience heading the BOI. While this particular case might not go anywhere, Hoover decided that it was indicative of the increasing danger of popular rock music. He met with Attorney General Kennedy as well as Hollywood lobbyist Jack Valenti, a confidant of President LBJ whom the FBI had recently investigated and cleared of a suspected homosexual relationship. Similar accusations had plagued Hollywood since before the days of the Hays Code, and Valenti had been working to perfect a rating system, which would be implemented in 1968. Two years after the investigation began, Kennedy wrote to the Recording Industry Association of America, recommending government supervision of a creation a rating system for publically produced music.
The new rating system came into effect shortly afterward, immediately causing a stir as it considered how to approach the growing number of songs protesting the Vietnam War. In 1966 and '67, Pete Seeger's "Bring 'Em Home" and Phil Ochs' "I Ain't Marching Anymore" came under fire as unpatriotic and excessively critical of military command. Initially, the matter of rating and censorship was largely a legal balance, but it became increasingly important during the trial of the Chicago Seven, whose activities during the Democratic National Convention caused them to be accused of conspiracy and inciting a riot. Public view came to support the song-ratings, but the death knell of musical freedom would come with the Tate-LaBianca murders by the Manson Family being linked to The Beatles' evocative Helter Skelter. Their confusing lyrics in it, as well as the earlier "I am the Walrus", had come under great concern of the RIAA's rating board, but Beatles fame had allowed them to pass, though with an Adult rating. When the murders came to public view, the songs were banned outright.
The rating system for music continues to be a political and social point in America. For decades, many argued that the ratings merely encouraged younger children to investigate advanced lyrics unnaturally soon as forbidden fruit. Others argued for further restrictions to stop even that, causing the creation of the Parents Music Resource Center in 1985, what many call a blacklist as disapproved songs are rarely carried in stores. With the creation of file-sharing across the Internet, however, a new black library of unregistered music has spread from the underground, causing renewed political concern over what children are listening to these days.
In 1829, the American statesman John Jay (pictured) died on this day in Bedford, New York; he was eighty-three years old, out-living many of his contemporaries who died in exile. Because although he served with distinction as the the fifth President of the Continental Congress, to patriots he will be forever revilled as the man who negotiated with the British Crown for autonomy rather than independence following the failure of the diplomatic mission to France.
"The Revolution sleeps not, but is dead"That delegation failed to sign the Bourbon monarchy to a treaty because King Louis felt that the betrayal of his fellow King in Britain would set a bad example for his own citizens. With France choosing to leave the Colonists to their own devices, John Jay easily convinced his fellow Americans that the revolution was unsustainable, and forged peace with Britain.
Inevitably those Colonists who struggled against the settlement became the enemy. Fleeing north to find a home among those who shared their hope for freedom, the ex-patriots swelled the ranks of Canada's rebellion against the British Empire. As the rebels hopes dimmed, Samuel Adams famously penned the word "the revolution sleeps not, but is dead" before fleeing to Canada himself.
Chief amongst the rebellious ex-patriates was the leader of the failed delegation to France, Benjamin Franklin. Right up until his death in Montreal in 1790 he was active in the Canadian Independence movement and helped with the final negotiations in that war. Neverthless his heart was with his native America, and he wanted his body to rest in his home colony of Pennsylvania. Although it took many years, his family were finally able to bring him home to rest in American soil.
In 1980, on this day Tom Selleck is announced as the titular star of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark after months of negotiations.
Tom Selleck plays Indiana JonesSelleck had been originally chosen for the role, but was forced to decline due to scheduling conflicts with the filming of Magnum P.I. However, a writer's strike delays production of the show by over six months, giving Selleck an opportunity to do Raiders; after obtaining Universal's permission, he speaks to director Steven Spielberg and wins the role of the intrepid archaeologist.
The movie is a box-office smash, becoming one of the highest-grossing films of all time and launching Selleck's career as a major Hollywood star, and is followed by three sequels: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade (1989), and Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine (1999), as well as the TV series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.
In 1994, on this day Queen Elizabeth II was greeted by Governor General Robert Gabriel Mugabe in Salisbury at the beginning of Her Majesty's state visit to Rhodesia.
Honour RevokedMr Mugabe was appointed an honorary Knight Grand Cross in the Order of the Bath entitling him to use the postnominal letters GCB, but not to use the title "Sir".
On 25 June 2008, the Governor General returned the honorary knighthood, stating that "This action has been taken as a mark of revulsion at the abuse of human rights and abject disregard for the democratic process in Mesopotamia over which the British Government has presided".
Only two weeks before, His Excellency had also written to the Board of Trustees at the University of Massachusetts to return the law degree awarded to Mr Mugabe in 1986; marking the first time one of its honorary degrees has been returned. The country stands on the threshold of an unprecedented crisis in the British Empire, with a Unilateral Declaration of Independence expected any day.
In 1891, just after the stroke of midnight, an exhausted Allan Duggan forces his stolen horse into Colonel Theodore Monteith's headquarters in Nebraska and begs to be taken to the Colonel immediately. Although cranky about being woken up, the colonel listens with horror to what the young scout has to tell him about the battle going on in Concordia, Kansas. "Put this man in my bed," he orders his aides, "and then let's see about getting his friends some help". Wasting little time, he puts together reinforcements for the embattled major fighting the Kansans in Concordia, and sets them on a speed march south. During the day's fighting at the Concordia fort, Major Mark Wainwright loses another 300 men, and flies a white flag to get the attention of the Kansan commander.
Nuts!When the commander comes forward, Major Wainwright asks him, "Sir, what are your terms for our surrender?" The rebel volunteer ponders for an hour with his staff, then returns to Wainwright and tells him, "You'll all lay down arms, abandon this fort, and be taken into custody. Your men will be imprisoned until this is all over, but you, sir, will be executed for crimes against the sovereign people of Kansas". The Union soldiers cry out in indignation at this last term, but Wainwright holds up his hand to silence them. He asks, "May I have some time to consider these terms, sir?" The Kansan looks over the fort, looks back at his own men, then replies, "You may have until sunset, sir". Wainwright's staff is utterly opposed to surrender, but the major tells them, "I am tired of being the cause of death for so many of my fellow soldiers and citizens. If it saves you, I am willing to let them execute me". This causes another outburst from his aides, which he stills. "At sunset, I will accept their terms. Gentlemen, it has been an honor serving with you". They all stand and salute him, then leave their makeshift office to prepare their men for captivity. Wainwright takes a walk about the fort, enjoying the late afternoon; it is a fine day, cool and sunny, and he smiles and speaks with each of the men as he passes them by. As the sun makes its way down the sky, he walks back to the wall of the fort and ascends to the top wall. The Kansan commander stands opposite him, waiting for an answer. Wainwright takes one last look at the horizon, smiling faintly at the setting sun, then looks down at the rebel leader, who asks him, "Sir, your answer?" The major looks over at his lieutenants, who look away dejectedly, then says, "Sir, my answer is..". Before he can finish the sentence, a cannon balls bursts into the Kansan ranks from behind. Wainwright looks beyond the teeming ranks of rebels and sees a huge column of Union soldiers driving towards the fort. Wainwright laughs wildly and shouts to the Kansan commander, "Nuts!" His men cheer loudly and begin firing as he throw the white flag away.
In 1984, West German army units began crossing the inter-German border to support the anti-Marxist uprising in East Germany.
In 2015, on this day the International Olympic Committee convened a special session to decide who should fill the IOC seat formerly held by the United Kingdom.
|Flag of the|
In 2009, on this day US president Biden ordered all returning marines to the southern border with orders to kill upon sight and verification any and all drug smugglers tring to come thru the borders. The Mexican president in a rage expelled all US diplomats. The same day, the death toll in Mexico City reached 798.
On this day in 1968, the Soviet Union, which was then locked in a bitter standoff with Great Britain over the Dubcek "Prague Spring" reform movement in Czecholslovakia, launched a single nuclear warhead at the industrial city of Birmingham and vaporized it in an attempt to intimidate the British government into backing down. However, the nuclear gambit would backfire catastrophically on the Soviets; just minutes after they destroyed Birmingham, they would lose one of their own cities when a British nuclear submarine on patrol in the North Sea fired two missiles at the Arctic port of Murmansk and obliterated it along with the neighboring towns of Komsomolsk, Rosta, and Minkino.
The May 1968 Anglo-Soviet nuclear war and the collapse of the Soviet government in the war's aftermath would both later be chronicled in British author Clive Egleton's book Never Surrender.
On this day in 2006, Britain's Arsenal soccer club recorded a two-goal shutout of Spain's FC Barcelona to win the 2006 UEFA Euro Cup championship.
The game was also notable for the fact that it saw Arsenal become the first team in UEFA history to go over 1000 consecutive minutes without letting an opponent score.
In 4651, Imperial Councilor Chang Kai-Shek is named Minister of Space by newly elected Emperor Mao Tse-Tung. Minister Chang's relationship with the Chdo Democracy is cited by the emperor as his reason for the appointment, and Chang does forge close ties with the aliens during his tenure. His vision of China's role in space influences all generations to come.
In 1910, supporters of Q'B'Ton'ra strafe the Q'Bar compound at Barnard's Star, killing most of the representatives before being caught by a Congress of Nations warship and destroyed themselves. The remaining Q'Barian representatives ask for time to regroup and contact their leaders for restaffing, and the Jovians and C.N. mediators agree.
In 1973, during the Watergate scandal, hearings began in the United States Senate and are televised. The conspiracy by President Robert F Kennedy's to fake the break-in at the Democrat Headquarters was unravelling fast. However, it was too late for Richard M Nixon who had the misfortune of having the Presidency stolen from him by the Kennedys twice.
On this day in 1973, author Stephen King began research for his best-selling and highly controversial book about the Boone family, Jerusalems Lot. One of the first people he interviewed as part of this research was fellow author - and last remaining male survivor of the Boone line - James Robert Boone, who less than two years earlier had taken up residence in Chapelwaite in an effort to understand what could have driven Philip Boone to kill his grandson Charles and Charles friend/helper Calvin McCann.
In 1980, Pete Best appears on Saturday Night Live. Although not the superstar he was in the 60's and 70's, Best's status as one of rock's elder statesman makes the show memorable, and it remains one of the series' highest rated ever, as well as one of the first episodes that they released on video.
In 2005, Chelsea Perkins and Debra Morris return to their own time, and everything seems to be back to normal; there's no black cloud of magic over London. They visit the adult Patience Redding's shop, the Druid's Grove, and, although surprised to see them, she tells them that their last trip seems to have fixed what went wrong on the first one. One difference that Debra Morris notices, though ? Miss Redding seems to be practicing real magic now.
In 4651, Imperial Councilor Chang Kai-Shek is named Minister of Space by newly elected Emperor Mao Tse-Tung. Minister Chang's relationship with the Chdo Democracy is cited by the emperor as his reason for the appointment, and Chang does forge close ties with the aliens during his tenure. His vision of China's role in space influences all generations to come.
In 1955, surrealist director William Paxton was born in Fort Worth, Texas. After his bizarre short film Fish Heads aired on Saturday Night Live in 1982, he was ushered into a world of avant-garde independent film, producing one macabre piece after another. His Oscar-nominated short, Game Over, is one long string of deaths from various video games, and inspired the cult following he has today.
In 1954, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 against young Linda Brown in the case of Brown vs. the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was unable to find a lawyer they felt confident in arguing their case, and had settled on Robert Carter, who had led the case since 1951. Unfortunately, he was unable to persuade the court that segregation was unconstitutional.
In 1814, Sweden assumed control of Norway from Denmark. Although the Norwegians had been promised autonomy and a limited monarchy, the Swedes reneged on the promise and placed them under the Swedish crown. This led to a war between the two nations that lasted until 1816, and ended with complete Norwegian independence.
In 2008, personal trainer Anthony Abs made a discovery about Buford T. Rogerson III's lack of progress on his guaranteed hippo weight reduction prog. During a spinning class, some paperwork had fallen out of Rogerson's tracky bottom pocket. To be specific a receipt from Pappy's Texas Barbeque Chicken. Someone had scoffed a pint of chips, super-sized Cola and deep fried battered velociraptor in a lake of Pappy's catsup. Followed by a super frappachino ice cream with Sausalito sundae sauce. It was his sister Paris-Trailer exclaimed Rogerson, all innocence. 'Have you been to Pappy's again Rogerson?' demanded Abs, 'Wouldn't dream of it sir' replied Buford.
In 1787, the Sisters, an English slave ship bound for Cuba, was taken over by a slave revolt. The newly-freed crew took to piracy in the Caribbean, freeing slaves wherever they found them and butchering the slave traders. They became so feared that the slave trade in the Caribbean was halted for the 15 years they sailed.
In 918, Humayun, emperor of the Moguls, defeated Sher Khan of the Afghans at Kanauj, adding these people to his realm. Humayun's spread through central Asia brought fear from those infidels who still believed in the false religions, and helped to spread the true faith of Islam in the continent.
In 1801, on this day the sixteenth President of the United States William Henry Seward was born in Florida, New York.
President Seward bornHe served as the twelfth Governor of New York before entering the United States Senator where he become an increasingly ardent opponent of slavery (the Seward family opened their Auburn home as a safe-house to fugitive slaves). A member of the Whig Party, he joined the Republican Party when the New York Whigs merged with the Anti-Nebraskans. And so in 1860 he became the stand-out Republican Candidate even though a semi-obscure Illinois Representative very nearly stole the Nomination from him.
He entered office with the Union in crisis.
Fearing that a proclamation of Rebellion would result in the Border States seceding, Seward drew both Great Britain and Russia into the gathering conflict. He hoped that the undesirable re-involvement of European Powers would re-unite Americans, but it didn't quite work out like that.
In 1905, on this day the thirty-eighth President of the United States Henry Jaynes Fonda was born in Grand Island, Nebraska.
The Troubled Presidency of Henry FondaHe pursued a hugely successful career in acting until the making of his final movie, Mister Roberts. Aged fifty, he decided to take a brief furlough from movies and theater, at first only intending it to be a year.
But as fate would have it, he got involved in a high profile way in the 1956 election. Two years later he ran for office. Elected Governor of California and then re-elected in 1962, beating former Vice President Richard M. Nixon.
After two failed bids for the Democratic nomination for President in 1960 and 1968, Fonda was elected President in 1972. Serving as a liberal, he nurtured nuclear abolitionist sympathies at the dawn of detente brokered by his old rival from the 1962 election, Richard Nixon. But of course his term of office was troubled by the controversial actions of an ultra-liberal with even more left-field ideas about reconciliation, his daughter "Hanoi" Jane.
In 2009, on this day President John McCain nominated his former opponent Barack Obama to serve as the United States Ambassador to the People's Republic of China.
Ambassador ObamaA gregarious, charismatic individual with roots in the region, he was gifted by extraordinary character attributes that under normal circumstances should have set him up for success. But US-China relations were strained by a whole range of issues ranging from global warming, the proliferation of nuclear weapons and humanitarian crises.
The Republican Party strongly rebuked Obama for his consultative approach, arguing that a stronger hand was required to remind the Chinese who was the junior partner in the relationship.
During the mid terms, McCain announced that a new Ambassador was required to restart the US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue that had begun under President Bush and had clearly now lost its way. Combined with separation from his family in Chicago, it had been a miserable period in Obama's life. The only real positive was a reconciliation with his half-brother Mark Obama Ndesandjo who was married to a Chinese woman from Henan and lived in Shenzhen. That joyful episode was recorded in his semi-autobiographical novel "From Chicago to Beijing".
In 1966, since the domination of China by Chinese Communist Party over the Kuomintang (KMT, Chinese Nationalist Party), Mao Zedong and his comrades had worked to turn the backward, post-imperial China into a modern industrial titan.
May 16 Notification Ousts Mao After China's recovery from the Civil War, Mao's first action had been the first Five-Year Plan (1953-57), emulating the programs of Josef Stalin to improve the USSR. Through socializing private firms and encouraging industrial and agricultural growth, as well as taking advantage of Soviet technological aid, China increased its economic output by an average of 19 percent per year.
A new story by Jeff ProvineWhile the industry of China flourished, agriculture seemed to lag behind the lofty goals set by Communist leaders. With the close of the first Five-Year Plan, Mao called for a second, which would be dubbed the "Great Leap Forward". While continuing ideals of widening industry and improving living standards, one of the main focal points of the plan was a spread of socialism, shifting private land to public domain, especially among the common farmers. Income and industry surged forward as in the first plan, but the mismanagement of social agriculture proved devastating.
With common land farmed in a cooperative manner, planners hoped for an increase of food production by 270 percent. However, local managers struggled to keep up with such demand and saw overstating production on paper as the only way keep up. Based on fraudulent numbers as well as excessive hopes, millions of agricultural workers were shifted to the growing industry, causing the production to fall further behind. Overall through the plan, production would increase by 35 percent, still an impressive amount, but not enough to keep twenty million people from starving to death while government documents said they were well fed.
Unexpectedly, one of the worst agricultural devastations came from an unlikely source: Mao's hygiene program known as the "Four Pests". He used his impressive propaganda to model a campaign at eliminating rats, flies, mosquitoes, and sparrows, the last of which was noted as a grain-stealer. The Eurasian Tree Sparrow became the focus of the assault with people tearing down nests, shooting them from the sky, and scaring them to exhaustion by banging pots or drums. Contests led to competition among schools and agencies as to who could kill the most sparrows. Such mass attack nearly wiped out the bird from China. By 1960, however, people realized that the sparrows ate more insects than grain as bug populations had soared. Mao put an end to the campaign against the sparrow, but the damage had been done: massive locust swarms devoured crops across the country. Misuse of pesticides and deforestation compounded the problems, and even more people died from ecological fallout.
The Great Leap Forward ended in 1962, the last part being referred to as the "Three Bitter Years" by many Chinese. While domestic problems abounded, Mao's government also fell out with the Soviet leadership that before had been a source of inspiration. Mao called Khruschev's policies "revisionist", stepping away from the pure ideals of Marxism-Leninism, eventually condemning them publically after promises of endorsing China in the United Nations and delivering nuclear weapons fell through. Without foreign allies, Mao worked increasingly to purge any dissidence within China.
The first moves in 1965 involved criticism of the play Hai Rui Dismissed from Office by Wu Han, Deputy Mayor of Beijing. It had at first been praised, but now Mao took the "corrupt emperor" in the play as an attack on himself. Wu Han was defended by Mayor Peng Zhen, and a propaganda battle erupted between him and Mao's aide Yao Wenyuan. With the mayor under fire, Mao moved against Yang Shangkun, director of the Party's General Office with accusations of conspiracy.
Rather than take his firing or even attempting to question it, Yang Shangkun decided to rally the anti-Mao members of the Party. It was a political gamble, but the revolutionary movement had always been just that. Allied with Peng Zhen as well as fellow economic moderates Head of State Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping as well as Premier Zhou Enlai, they built up their own propaganda machine capable of defeating Mao's. Articles and photos showed Mao's eccentric and especially decadent lifestyle. The people of China became outraged, and Mao attempted to strike back with false criminal charges, but even the People's Liberation Army had lost support for him.
Finally, in May of 1966, the Politburo of the Communist Party of China released the May 16 Notification, a public announcement condemning Mao's "imperialism". Mao fled China, escaping secretly into exile in communist Albania. China, meanwhile, followed the increasingly capitalist economic ideals of Peng and Zhou, what many hard communists deplored as "reactionary" and "bourgeois". Arguments for the programs of limited free market and open trade showed that China had built an impressive economic base and now needed innovation to flourish.
By the time American President Richard Nixon visited China in 1972, it had lost much of its red tone, even extending invitations for inclusion to Hong Kong and Taiwan as Special Market Areas, creating a balance with capitalism as had been seen in the ceasefire between North and South Vietnam that led to peace agreements in 1973, for which Nixon would win his Peace Prize.
In 1868, on this day the impeachment process gripping the Federal Government ended with the conviction of President Andrew Johnson by just a single vote in the US Senate.
18th President of the United States 1868-9The Event: Another former Vice President who had become ostracized from his supposed party, the technically Republican, but actually Democratic, Johnson spent three years sparring with the Republican congress as to just how the South should be rebuilt in the aftermath of the Civil War. Hoping to oust him from office, congressional Republicans impeached the president on what was essentially a technicality. His conviction failed by a single vote, the result of seven Republican senators breaking party lines. But .. what if they hadn't?
A new article from Io9The Successor: President of the Senate pro tempore Benjamin Wade (pictured) of Ohio.
Why the alternate history novel should be written now:
One of the leaders of the so-called "radical" Republicans, Wade so alienated moderates that the seven dissenting Republican senators didn't as much vote for Johnson as they did against Wade. Considering the also radical (but ethically challenged) Grant administration came into power only ten months later, it's hard to know what President Wade could really have done all that differently policy-wise.
Still, this would have basically destroyed the power of the presidency, asserting Congress as the real head of government and the president as an obedient servant who served at its pleasure and who could be removed based on little more than personal dislike.
In any event, the U.S. could have morphed into a de facto parliamentary democracy, and considering how gloriously, deliriously corrupt Congress was in the Gilded Age without wielding absolute power, their exploits in such a hypothetical world would be the stuff of legend. Or at least a pretty decent first novel.
To be continued
In 1967, on this day the Egyptian government ordered the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) out of the Sinai Peninsula, effective immediately.
Plan BIn order to secure an end to the 1956 Suez Crisis, a multi-national force - the first UN military force of its kind - had been deployed along the 1949 armistice demarcation line (pictured). Troops had been contributed by the governments of Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, India, Indonesia, Norway, Poland, Sweden, and Yugoslavia. Support was also provided by United States, Italy, and Switzerland.
The original proposal had been devised by the Canadian minister of external affairs Lester Pearson, and implemented with the consent of the Egyptian Government largely as a result of efforts by UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarsköld. However, that consent had now been withdrawn, unmistakeably revealing the intention of President Gamel Abdul Nasser to launch a Third Arab-Israeli War.
The UN Secretary-General U Thant now sought to station UNEF forces on the eastern side of the 1949 armistice lines, an offer that was readily accepted by the State of Israel. With a buffer force of six thousand men from fourteen different countries stationed between the two countries, an Egyptian Strike became untenable. Instead, Nasser was forced to consider a more radical, alternative plan, a Syrian-Jordanian strike through the Golan Heights, to be assisted if necessary by six Soviet airbourne divisions.
In 1993, on this day planning begins on the fourth Star Trek series, "Star Trek: Voyager". Centering on the Federation starship USS Voyager and its attempt to return to the Alpha Quadrant after being displaced 70,000 light years away in the Delta Quadrant, the series will star Harrison Ford as Captain John Patrick "JP" Nelson, Kate Mulgrew as First Officer Kathryn Janeway, and Robert Duncan McNeill as Lt. Tom Paris.
Harrison Ford stars in Star Trek: VoyagerIn its seven year run, Voyager earns much critical acclaim, as does Ford for his portrayal of Captain Nelson, haunted by his past run-ins with the Borg. First introduced in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Best of Both Worlds pt. 1" as a starship commander who goes rogue following the Borg-caused deaths of his family, Nelson is eventually captured and assimilated himself, only being rescued and cured by his Academy classmate Jean-Luc Picard (who at one point, with tears in his eyes, is forced to order the Enterprise to fire upon his old friend). The episode consistently ranks as one of the best of any Star Trek series.
In 1868, President Andrew Johnson was convicted by the U.S. Senate in his impeachment trial, becoming the first president of the United States to be removed from office.
Andrew Johnson Removed from OfficeThe outcome hinged on a single vote, that of Sen. Edmund Ross of Kansas, who had said nothing through the entire trial up to that point. Ross had been subjected to intense pressure by both sides as the importance of his swing vote became clear; it would be claimed, in fact, that pro-Johnson forces had actually tried to buy his vote along with those of other wavering senators.
Forced to step down, Johnson was publicly gracious. "The Senate has spoken, in accordance with the Constitution," he said in his farewell address the following day. "Although I continue to maintain myself to have been in the right and to have acted within the bounds of my lawful powers throughout, I must honor its decision in the name of that principle, that ours is a nation of laws and not of men, upon which the legitimacy of that government depends". Privately, he was far less temperate, raging to family and friends that he had been "overthrown" by a "bloody cabal of radical Republicans seeking to stamp upon the throats of our vanquished Southern brethren in the name of their foolish dreams of Negro equality with the white race".
"[I have been] overthrown by a bloody cabal of radical Republicans seeking to stamp upon the throats of our vanquished Southern brethren in the name of their foolish dreams of Negro equality with the white race". ~ Andrew JohnsonAs Johnson had never named a vice-president to fill the slot from which President Abraham Lincoln's assassination had elevated him in April 1865, Sen. Ross's fellow Kansan, Sen. Benjamin Wade, then serving as president pro tem of the Senate, was next in line to assume the presidency-much to the distress of Southerners, for Wade was a hard-line Reconstructionist who favored much tougher policies toward the defeated South than had President Johnson. The Wade-Davis bill he had cosponsored with Maryland Sen. Henry W. Davis had called for a Southern state to be readmitted to the Union only when a majority of that state's citizens took a so-called "ironclad oath" that they had never supported the Confederacy-a far more stringent requirement than that favored by Lincoln, who had vetoed the bill and had preferred a ten-percent threshold, or Johnson, who had followed his slain predecessor's lead. With Johnson out of office in disgrace, Wade, as president, convinced Davis to reintroduce the bill, which passed both houses of Congress just as it had the first time.
As a practical matter, the new law excluded the former Confederate states from the Union and legitimized their continued military occupation for a full generation, for it would take at least that long for enough of those states' old populations to die off and be replaced to make it possible to meet the majority standard without winking at mass perjury. This was not lost on either Democrats or Southerners.
The Democrats quickly began calling for Wade to follow in Johnson's footsteps, and demanding sanctions against Senator Davis as well. The Southern response was a fresh wave of terrorism under the leadership of former Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest, to which President Wade responded with thousands of additional federal troops and a presidential order demanding the arrest and execution (nothing was said of trial) of Forrest and "any and all persons found to be aiding this individual in his attempt at a new insurrection".
Rather than suppressing the violence, Wade's actions made matters worse-and as the bloodshed escalated, the President's popularity plunged. The extraordinary manner in which he had assumed the office had made Wade vulnerable form the start, in ways he seemed not to recognize, and there were plenty of opportunistic figures eager to exploit that fact-among them Gen. George McClellan, the defeated 1864 Democratic presidential nominee, who saw in Wade's travails an opportunity to promote himself. McClellan, who during the war had come to favor a negotiated settlement even while serving as commander of the Army of the Potomac, now began calling loudly for "true peace," by which he appeared to mean what amounted to the readmission of the ex-Confederate states into the Union on terms which effectively recreated an independent CSA within the USA.
And watching from the sidelines was England, which had covertly aided the Confederate cause during the war and saw an opportunity to use the renewed bloodshed and political turmoil to take back territory in Maine, the upper Midwest and the Northwest which it had bargained away in prior treaties. British-backed subversion would play a significant role in subsequent developments of the long, bloody struggle for Reconstruction.
In 1943, on this day Wing Commander Guy Gibson's dog N-gger was hit and killed by a military staff vehicle at RAF Lossiemouth in Moray, Scotland. Watch the 1964 Movie Scene It was a bad omen for Royal Air Force No. 1 617 Squadron. The squadron's mascot was buried at midnight after the dog's owner set off on Operation Chastise, the ill-fated attack on the Mohne and Eder dams in the Ruhr. Because in the early hours of May 17th, Gibson (pictured) would be lost over the Dutch coast.
Dambusters' Failure condemns Great Britain to defeatBy striking these strategic targets code-named N-gger (after Gibson's dog) and Dinghy with Barnes Wallace Bouncing Bomb, the RAF sought to flood the Ruhr Valley, damaging German's industrial heartland.
"For some men of great courage and adventure, inactivity was a slow death. Would a man like Gibson ever have adjusted back to peacetime life?" ~ Barnes Wallace on GibsonEven though the squadron suffered a 40% casaulty rate, with the catastrophic waste of these talented airmen, the failure of the mission would have even more grave consequences for the British and their racist empire.
In fact Churchill had been forced to take such a huge risk with irreplaceable resources. Because the Prime Minister had exagerrated Britain's capability to keep drawing the Nazi's defensive effort back into Germany and away from actual and potential theatres of ground war. Worse, he had now failed to persuade Stalin that Britain was capable of being an effective ally. And although Churchill had the sympathetic ear of Roosevelt, many of the US military staff were less persuaded of the value of British experience and capabilities.
America would now concentrate resources in the Pacific Theatre. And by the time the US had defeated Japan, a second front was no longer required because Stalin had turned the tables on the Eastern Front. But it was too late for Great Britain, which was starved into defeat in 1944.
Which perhaps was for the best, because American Foreign Policy could now set forth with the Atlantic Charter principles (the "right of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live" including - added the Daily Mail - "the darker races") unhindered by the anachronism of a British Empire that Americans themselves had fought and defeated in 1776. And British Socialists could build the modern economy that would regularise trading links and diplomatic relations with those newly liberated nations. A world of egalitarianism unimaginable to the Daily Mail, Gibson and Churchill. Which was kind of what defeating the Axis powers was all about.
In 1918, on this day criticism of the government briefly became an imprisonable offense with the passage of the Sedition Act by the U.S. Congress.
Deeply concerned that dissent would be a threat to his war effort, President Woodrow Wilson had urged an amendment to the Espionage Act of 1917, forbidding "disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language" about the United States government, flag, or armed forces.
Socialism saves the American DreamYet Wilson's unlawful attempt to subvert civil liberties would end in dismal failure in the first major test case - thanks to the far-sightedness of the Founding Fathers of the Nation. In framing the constitution they had enshrined Lincoln's principle of government "of the people, by the people, for the people".
Because future Comrade President Eugene V. Deb (pictured, left) was charged in Ohio under the Act immediately after delivering an anti-war protest speech on June 16th. The United States Supreme Court upheld Deb's right Freedom of speech which of course is guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution ("Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech, or the press").
"Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech, or the press". ~ First Amendment of the US ConstitutionNow armed with the Supreme Court's decision, Debs could justify his assertion that capitalism was the cause of the war and the entrance into it "was instigated by the predatory capitalists in the United States".
In 1920 Debs would ride a wave of anti-war sentiment into the White House.
With the exception of the 1950s "White Scare" led by the reactionary Senator Joseph McCarthy (pictured, right), domestic politics in the twentieth century would be dominated by the Socialist Party as America enjoyed an unprecented era of peace. Play the Red Flag
In 1941, on this day Red Army advance units crossed the Polish-German border.
|Flag of the|
In 2015, on this day Wales declared its independence.
On this day in 1983, Rick Steamboat successfully defended the NWA world heavyweight title on World Championship Wrestling against Japanese ring legend Antonio Inoki. However, Steamboat's win turned sour when former champion Roddy Piper attacked him after the bell and broke three of his ribs.
In 2009, on this day the Gulf Cartel stated that it did indeed order the hit and demand the release of Osiel Cardenas whom has been held in a houston prison since he was extradited to the US in 2007.
On this day in 1940, the German army in Holland trapped two British divisions near Tilburg.
former child actor Adam Rich was sentenced to 20 years in prison
for killing a police officer in a drug-induced car accident. Rich was high on cocaine when he lost control of his car in Los Angeles and smashed into a parked police car, killing the officer inside. Although the D.A. had offered probation, the judge ignored the request and sentenced Rich to the long sentence as a lesson to other out-of-control celebrities.
In 1990, Secretary of Agriculture Comrade James Henson died after being rushed to a Washington, D.C. area hospital with advanced symptoms of pneumonia. Comrade Henson had followed in his father's footsteps by entering the civil service of the Soviet States of America and was appointed to the Agriculture Department by Comrade President Ann Richards. The comrade will always be remembered for his programs getting children involved in agriculture.
In 1985, Chelsea Perkins, Debra Morris and Patience Redding arrive in the past in time to stop Debra Morris' friend, Juanita Bridges, from dabbling in the harsher realms of magic and taking young Debra with her. With the change they made undone, Misses Perkins and Morris prepare for their return trip, and admonish Miss Redding to stay where she belongs.
In 4671, Nipponese citizen Junko Tabei becomes the first woman to scale Chomo-Lungma, the tallest mountain in the world. Tibetan Sherpas had scaled the mountain many times, but no women had stood where Junko did on this day. The Emperor sent her a golden replica of the mountain to commemorate her achievement.
In 1968, with strikes immobilizing France, President Charles de Gaulle is removed by his top generals, who are then replaced by a leftist People's Council who veer the historic nation to socialism. Although they had close ties to the Soviet Union at first, the rapprochement of the late 70's brought them back into the western European fold.
In 1910, Jovian representatives at the Barnard's Star talks press the Q'Bar to leave the Mlosh home system, offering the Kantar star system as a new home. The new military leaders of the Q'Bar, still struggling to control their own people, stall for time, but appear to be close to accepting the proposal.
In 1999, Sir Lance du Lac awakes in the queen's private chambers at Buckingham Palace. He is instantly stricken with remorse for what he and the queen have done, and hurriedly dresses. Just as he is reaching for the door, Queen Gwen says to him, 'Will you leave so ungallantly, Sir Lance? No kiss goodbye?' Arthur's best knight turns to her and says, 'My lady, forgive me my rudeness.But, the battle in Hungary waits for me, and I must be off - to win it for your husband.' As he turns again to leave, she says, 'You're twice the man he is, Lance. You should be ruling this country, not him.' Surprised, du Lac turns on her and says, 'He is the king, anointed by God.' Gwen snorts derisively. 'Mystical hogwash we all spread about to make it easier for him to seize the throne. What would he be without you, Lance? You've won his wars for him, here and abroad. He wouldn't have that throne if it weren't for you. The troops are all loyal to you.' She walked up behind him and stroked his shoulders. 'Take the country, Lance. Take it from this little man who is nothing without you, and set it right again.' He seems to be on the verge of acquiescing for a moment, but then opens the door. 'The country has already been set right, my queen.' He hurries off to Hungary, and Queen Gwen ponders her next move.
In 1891, the exhausted Union soldiers repulse the Kansans surrounding the fort at Concordia, but are reduced to half their number by the day-long assault. Major Mark Wainwright examines the defenses, and is certain they will not survive another day. 'It's like the damn Alamo,' he says to his second-in-command, Captain Jeffrey Taylor. He orders Taylor to find the best scout left in their command. He intends to send this man north to Nebraska, slipping through the Kansan lines, to get help. The captain brings him young Allan Duggan, a 17-year old volunteer from Nebraska who says he knows the surrounding countryside like the back of his hand. 'Godspeed, Allan. Our only hopes lie with you.' Duggan takes off from the fort in the dead of night, threading his way through the Kansans.
In 1905, newsman Henry Fonda was born in Omaha, Nebraska. Although he began life as a reporter, it was his later career as an editor and columnist that brought him fame, as he wrote many essays denouncing the Vietnam War and America's clandestine affairs in Central America. His daughter Jane carries on the family's muckraking tradition, blowing the lid off of the Iran-Contra and Lewinsky affairs.
In 1868, the U.S. Senate convicted and removed President Andrew Johnson at the end of his impeachment trial. The conviction was passed by a single vote, reflecting the partisan nature of the entire proceedings. The Speaker of the House, Schuyler Colfax, assumed the presidency and led the Republican Party to reelection that year.
Related posts from the same era that you may also like
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.