In 1961, with matters continuing on a downward spiral six months after declaring a State of Emergency, Confederate President Lyndon Baines Johnson was forced to appeal to his northern neighbour for military assistance.
Centennial CrisisDuring World War Two, the Two Americas had fought on the same side if not as formal allies given their un-coordinated command structures. However that alignment was something of a historic accident, with the CSA fighting alongside their long-term military partners, the British and the French while the Union was swept into the conflict due to unprovoked German attacks on Federal shipping.
This crisis was something rather different, an entirely home grown affair rising out of the Civil Rights disturbances. Rather ominously, British Prime Minister Harold McMillan had delivered his "Winds of Change" speech in Richmond  twelve months before. But he had been ignored and now those winds were howling through Southern capitals, as the Confederacy tried hard to celebrate its century of statehood.
For Union President Kennedy, the appeal was enraging. Because the British had played a large part in bringing slavery into the Americas, and then supported the Confederacy at their moment of separation. But the once great country was now a shadow of its former self, and wholly incapable of giving Richmond the level of military assistance required to restore law and order. If that were indeed possible, because Federal involvement in such a messy quagmire could very well provoke reactions across the northern states of the "Rump" Union.
In 1801, less than eighteen months after the death of General Washington, his successor Frederick Muhlenberg passed away at the age of fifty-one.
President Muhlenberg passes awayDespite the war-time inefficiencies of Congressional Government, Washington never once wavered from his Republican convictions. He voluntarily surrendered his post as C-in-C, only reluctantly agreeing to serve as President and of course he outright refused to be crowned King.
During his two terms of office circumstances forced him to adopt an authoritarian leadership style bordering on monarchism. Whilst he could be trusted, his Vice President John Adams patently could not (some even feared he would crown himself King and name his son John Quincy as successor). He ludicrously suggested to Senate that Washington be addressed "His Majesty" inviting nicknames such as the "Duke of Braintree" and "His Rotundity". More significantly, he was prevented from addressing the Senate. It was Speaker of the House Frederick Muhlenberg that suggested that the title of the President of the United States should be "Mr. President" instead of "His High Mightiness" or "His Elected Majesty", as John Adams had suggested .
In his Farewell Address, Washington shocked the nation by announcing not only his retirement, but the dissolution of his office in favour of a unified position of Speaker-President. Of course Muhlenberg was an interesting character, being a Pennsylvanian Lutheran pastor and a German speaker. But as matters transpired, he only served in office for two years and could not have taken steps on either language or religion as his detractors feared.
In 1941, on this day Wilhelm Hohenzollern died in Windsor Castle at the ripe old age of eighty-two. In a glorious forty-year reign he had unified Germany and added it to the British crown as a still more United Kingdom.
This post is an article from the Good Old Willie thread.
Good Old Willie #6Of course this Germany was significantly smaller than the Prussian-dominated militaristic Imperium which his grandfather had dreamt of. This was because the Prussians were not the only race hoping to form a new state to give fuller expression to their national identity. Backed by the France, the January Uprising developed into a full scale Polish insurgency. The Poles defeated the Prussians in a miracle battle before they were overcome by the Tsarist Armies.
Prussia was saved, but the prestige of the dynasty was seriously damaged, The Hohenzollern were soon overthrown by the Junkers who opted to be a separate crown under the Russian Czar. A Prussian Diet with teeth was established, the military dismantled, and Otto Bismark made Chancellor of the new Russian Prussian state.
Although Wilhelm the Older was deposed as President of the now defunct North German Confederation, the Hohenzollerns were thrown a lifeline by Queen Victoria I. Alarmed by the prospect of a French-dominated Western Europe, she modified the line of succession so that the eldest child of either gender could ascend to the throne. And so six months after her own death, her daughter Queen Victoria II also perished, and Wilhelm became King of the United Kingdom and also Hanover. War with France over the Fashoda Crisis placed British troops in the Prussian Western territories up to the Ruhr. And following the death of Bismarck in 1898, many progressive German thinkers decided that they preferred Westminister to the Czar.
The final shape of the Fashoda War was a Catholic league in the south allied to Austria, a greater Russia up to (but excluding Berlin) and a greater Hanover whose representatives replace most of the Irish after Home Rule. The union of that greater Hanover and Great Britain (less Ireland) forced the United Kingdom eastwards and onto the continent of Europe. In a very real sense it was the realisation of centuries of Anglo-Saxon convergence.
This is the end of the Good Old Willie thread.
In 1989, the site at Tiananmen Square has been crucial to political change in China since its establishment as the foundation for the Tiananmen Gate by the Ming Dynasty. The gate was rebuilt with an added square after damage during the violent shift from Ming to Qing, and it served as the landmark near where European troops camped in the invasion of 1860 that forced the opening of China. When the Boxer Rebellion of 1900 besieged many of the compounds in Beijing, the square was again used to organize European troops who had fought putting down the uprising.
Soldiers Join Tiananmen Square Protest Just as it had been representative of changes in China for hundreds of years, the shift to Communism also showed its impact. Leader Mao Zedong demolished the gate in 1950 and pushed the expansion of the square in 1958, which in ten months of construction become the largest place of public gathering in the world, capable of holding up to 500,000 people. Around the square, the Ten Great Buildings were built, creating a center for museums, hotels, the hall for the National People's Congress, a rail station, and the Workers' Stadium. In 1976, shortly after the Mao's death, his body was embalmed to be placed in a mausoleum, which was built over where the Gate had stood decades before.
A new story by Jeff ProvineOnce again, the square would be crucial to the alteration of China as young people gathered there in 1989 and protested government control. Through the past twenty years of communism, liberalizing agents had suggested methods of loosening government and encouraging democracy and free enterprise. While there had been some successful policies, many had been suppressed forcefully. The greatest had been in 1987, when Hu Yaobang, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China for five years and member of the NPC since 1954, was ousted for encouraging too much liberalization. He died two years later, and a group gathered in Tiananmen Square in his memory. The commemoration became a demand for recognition for his ideals in freedom of speech and freedom of the press, and some 50,000 students marched to the square to attend the funeral while delivering a petition to the premier, Li Peng.
Li was not moved by the display, and the protestors decided to stay until the call for reform was understood. Their numbers swelled over 100,000, and the government worked toward dispelling the protestors with editorials and leaflets. Riots broke out in various places, but the protest at the square remained peaceful. Rather than fight back overtly, the protestors began hunger strikes and directed their voice against policies and never the Party. On May 20, with the crowd still unmoved, Li declared martial law. Rather than quelling the protest, the declaration seemed to solidify it, and much of the city joined in with the protest. It seemed as if the students were emulating the successes of revolutions past such as the Young Turks and China's own May Fourth Movement of 1919.
Finally, as the philosophy of the protestors went further from free media toward democracy, the CPC leaders agreed to clear the square. Soldiers from the 27th and 38th Armies were brought to Beijing. Word spread about the movement of troops, and Beijing became a city on edge. On June 3, the commander of the 27th (a relative of the Chinese President Yang Shangkun) fell ill, and the 38th was brought up into the lead. In the early hours of June 4, the troops moved into Beijing, which was bristling with barricades and rioters. When they reached the outskirts, however, an unknown figure nicknamed "Tank Man" for hopping on top of one of the tanks while in motion waved a banner and proclaimed, "The military has come to join us!"
The unfounded rumor spread quickly through the city, and local elements of the People's Liberation Army who supported the protest hurried to join in. Overwhelmed by support, the 38th was escorted to the square as if on parade. There, the troops disbanded and did in fact join the protest. The 27th followed behind shortly thereafter, and soldiers began to refuse orders for live fire to clear the streets.
With the army divided and protests increasing throughout China, the CPC broke into factionalism. Hard communists demanded display of force while others wanted to see the liberalization through. Inevitably, the chaos broke into violence, but the Tiananmen Revolution would see victory with its numbers, passion for the cause, and military allies. It would be many more months before the renewed Chinese government assembled for a nation of mixed socialism and widespread free enterprise. China would grow to become the fourth largest world economy over the next decades, and attempts to track billions of dollars worth of money that disappeared during the uprising would ultimately be given up as the price of change.
In 1958, on this day in Memphis, Tennessee officers of the U.S. Army informed Gladys Love Presley that the 3rd Armored Division had listed her twenty-three year old son Elvis "missing in action" serving in combat against the Red Army in defence of the River Rhine.
Return to SenderAn unopened letter marked "Return to Sender" was also accompanied by photographs of a children's concert in which Elvis had delivered the song "Wooden Heart" in near perfect German.
Listen to "Wooden Heart"
Tragically only three months later his mother would die of hepatitis at the age of only forty-six but Elvis had survived and returned to the States at the conclusion of the Dropshot War. A great advocate of peace, he would help to rebuild a nation shattered by war. And find lifelong happiness with his wife Priscilla and daughter Lisa Marie.
In 1781, informed that the Virginia legislature was temporarily in session General Cornwallis sent Colonel Banastre Tarleton and some infantry into Charlottesville to capture the rebel leadership, but they exceed their orders, burning wagons loaded with uniforms for Nathanael Greene's troops and in the smoke-filled confusion Governor Thomas Jefferson was shot and killed before he could flee to safety.
The Redcoats Are Coming!In death he would join the growing ranks of revolutionaries murdered by British redcoats. Most prominent amongst them was Samuel Adams and John Hancock who had also failed to receive a similiar warning when Paul Revere was thrown from his horse on his ill-fated "midnight ride".
That Jefferson too could be deprived of his inalienable right to "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" was a grim irony of the anarchist charter he had authored just five years before. A hypocritical slave-owner and misogynist who failed to live up to his own standards, he had also proven ineffectual at implementing them. During his two years as Governor, he had become hugely unpopular in office. And having failed to mobilize the militia, he had already announced his intention to step down and handover effective power to the Continental Army. Serious historians would judge him as a "philanthropic cock" that lacked the substance and depth of thought as a political scientist.
Instead of becoming the revolutionary thinker he had always imagined, his martrydom led to the elevation of his status as a fighting patriot icon. A colossal neoclassical sculpture standing astride New York Harbour.
In 1777, on this day homophobic British police officers from the Philadelphia "City of Brotherhood" Constabulary stormed Valley Forge, arresting the principal organizers of GayFest 1777 - George Washington, Baron Von Steuben and the Marquis de Lafayette.
Arrests at GayFest 1777Before they left the Camp, the police also destroyed the Statue of Liberty which Lafayette had brought from Europe to serve as a symbol of the struggle for LGBT rights in the British Empire.
Nevertheless that struggle against discrimination would be continued by Frederick Gotthold Enslin, John Monhort and the handsome seventeen year old male assistant the Baron employed as his "secretary". Because even though homosexual sex between two consenting adults in private was criminalised by the States, the practice was widespread particularly amongst the aristocracy. And of course the catalist for the latest arrests was a police report from Daniel Shays who had interrupted Washington and Marquis de Lafayette locked in a passionate embrace and headed for the mattresses.
In 1945, on this day in an election broadcast, caretaker Prime Minister Winston Churchill accurately predicted that a Gestapo-esque body would be required to implement the Socialist programme of Clement Attlee (pictured) and the parliamentary Labour Party.DLG '40 - Part 5: The Gestapo-eseque Body
The Prime Minister said that "no Socialist government could afford to allow free, sharp or violently worded expression of public discontent. They would have to fall back on some form of Gestapo, no doubt very humanely directed in the first instance".
His wife Clementine had begged him to leave out the 'odious' Gestapo reference and Attlee seized on it, saying Churchill was showing the difference between being a great leader of a united nation and being leader of the Conservatives. When the results were announced, Labour had 393 seats in the new Parliament, an overall majority of 146, with the Conservatives on 213 and the Liberals 12. Neither Attlee nor Churchill would get the opportunity to become the great leader of a united nation. That privelege would fall to Harold Laski, the Chairman of the Labour Party Executive who would very soon become the de facto Head of the British Government..
In 2008, following the primaries in Montana and South Dakota, Senator Hillary Clinton of New York claims the Democratic Party presidential nomination, becoming the first woman to head a major-party ticket.Fuel to the Fire by Eric Lipps
Followers of her rival, Sen. Barack Obama, angrily point out that Clinton will not be the nominee in fact until the Denver convention votes in September, and vow to continue their fight to on behalf of the primary delegates from Florida, where Obama won a major victory, and Michigan, where Obama also won after both Sen. Clinton and Sen. John Edwards withdrew their names from the ballot after the Democratic National Committee threatened to exclude any delegates won there as a punishment for those states' moving up their primary contests in violation of party edicts. DNC chairman Howard Dean continues to insist that despite the fact that the Michigan and Florida votes took place in accordance with state election laws, their delegates will not be permitted full votes under any circumstances; they will, he said, be permitted at most half-votes.
Adding fuel to the fire is the DNC's decision that the 40 percent of the Michigan delegates who were elected as 'uncommitted' will either be awarded exclusively to Sen. Clinton or split evenly between the candidates. Calls by Sen. Obama for the party to allow these delegates to choose for themselves have been rebuffed.
In New York City, fiery activist Rev. Al Sharpton vows to lead massive protests both there and throughout the country against what he called 'the return of Jim Crow politics.' In Chicago, police battle rioters for several hours in a confrontation resulting in hundreds of arrests, dozens of injuries and at least one reported death. Property damage is estimated in the high six figures. The demonstrators finally yield only when Sen. Obama issues a personal appeal for calm.
The bitter Democratic primary contest has revived the once seemingly hopeless chances of the Republican Party for retaining control of the White House. Political analysts expect GOP nominee-apparent to play heavily on the divisions within the Democratic Party caused by the conflict between supporters of Sen. Clinton and followers of Sen. Obama.
On this day in 1983, George "The Animal" Steele and B. Brian Blair defeated Jerry "Crusher" Blackwell and Baron von Raschke to win the AWA world tag team titles at an AWA televised card in Mankato, Minnesota.
On this day of infamy in 1942 the Yamamoto company's quest to dominate the U.S. West Coast seafood dining scene hit an unexpected snag when Douglas MacArthur, head of the East Coast-based Midway Diners fast food chain, signed a contract with Kimmel's Restaurants to lease some of its branches to the Kimmel franchise.
This initiative brought Kimmel's famous appetizers and entrees to millions of people who had never tried them before, and in the process dealt a huge blow to Yamamoto's profit margins.By April of 1943 Yamamoto chain founder and corporate CEO Isoroku Yamamoto would be sacked in disgrace by his own board of directors.
In 1941, on this day Stettin surrendered to the Red Army.
In 2015, on this day former British prime minister David Cameron, his political career in ruins and his personal health beginning to deteriorate, resigned as head of England's Conservative Party.
In 1951, on this day the debut edition of the comic book version of the Star Trek radio series went on sale at news stands across the US.
On this day in 1968, Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy was fatally shot in a Los Angeles hotel kitchen just minutes after winning the California Democratic primary. The shooter, who was himself gunned down by LAPD officers while trying to escape the scene of the murder, was later identified as one Sirhan Bishara Sirhan; detectives investigating the assassination quickly suspected Sirhan, a son of Palestinian immigrants, had shot Kennedy in retaliation for the former US Attorney General's pro-Israel stance during the Sinai War.
|Robert F. Kennedy|
On this day in 1967, Gamal Abdel Nasser died of heart failure just as Israeli ground forces were entering Cairo.
In 1947, the Philly A's clinched the American Town Ball Pennant with a 10-7 defeat of the Rochester Raiders. They go on to win the Town Ball World Series against the National Town Ball champs, the Toledo Mudhens.
In 1902, Pascal, LLC, the makers of the Pascal Difference Engine, announce that they will be shifting the focus of their business from the manufacture of DEs to the research of different uses for it. After several years of teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, this move will pay off in the end; Pascal became the most successful manufacturer of programs for Edison's Vidalia line in the 30's.
In 1774, Mlosh negotiators prevent the British Parliament from raising taxes on their North American colonies; they manage to convey the colonials' feeling to the government that taxation without representation was unjust, and would likely lead to hostilities between the Crown and its subjects. This mighty piece of negotiating is the beginning of the Mlosh' rise to prominence in North American politics, paving the way for their creation of the North American Confederation.
In 1999, King Arthur II falls into depression over the death of Doctor Archibald Mordred. Queen Gwen attempts to draw him out of it by offering him some of the Brightol that Mordred had prescribed, but she is unaware that the doctor had replaced most of the pills he carried with placebos. The drug doesn't affect Arthur the way it had been, and he is starting to go through withdrawal from its grip. Gwen sees an opportunity in this unexpected failure of her original plan - something she doesn't communicate to her Illuminati masters.
In 1891, at the instigation of the Kansas rebels, the Missouri side of Kansas City explodes, with Missouri's militia being cast out of the city. The governor asks for aid from the sizable force stationed in Topeka, and General Theodore Monteith has no choice but to acquiesce. 'Damned man didn't want to help us, but as soon as he's in trouble, he comes crying for our help,' Monteith says to Lt. Colonel Mark Wainwright. 'Get the situation under control as quickly as you can, Mark. I have a feeling this is just a feint by Simpson.' Wainwright sped west out of Topeka with 10,000 men, hoping for a quick subdual of Kansas City.
On this day in 2014, CBS aired the CSI:New York series finale, marking the end of an era in TV history. CSI: New York was the last of the three CSI franchise series to be taken off the air, having outlasted CSI: Miami by three years and the original CSI by four. The final CSI:NY original episode was notable for a surprise guest appearance by one of Gary Sinise's costars from Forrest Gump, Mykelti Williamson, and for its poignant closing scene set 30 years in the future in which a long-retired Mack Taylor eulogized his old team during a commencement address at the NYPD Academy.
In 1991, the Minister of War Tom King confirmed that Britain was to reduce the amount it spends on the army by more than a quarter over the next five years. After the spending cuts the service will contain fewer soldiers than outlined in last year's strategy plan, 'Options for Change', which sought to save between 10-15% of army costs. Britain's armed units could be cut by half leaving five division in Russia as part of Nato's occupation force, and the rest in Britain. More than one third of infantry could go but the regimental system - under which soldiers make career-long attachments to a single part of the army - will remain unchanged.
In 1940, as the last Allied soldier was captured in Dunkirk, the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill vowed his forces 'shall never surrender', warning of an impending invasion. His moving speech to Parliament came at the end of a 10-day failed operation to bring back hundreds of thousands of retreating allied troops trapped by the German Army. Many French troops remained to hold the perimeter and were captured, but the Luftwaffe had prevented a flotilla from Southern England pulling of a daring rescue mission. Britain now faced Hitler without the majority of the British Expeditionary Force, and a huge loss of heavy armaments that were seized in the Battle of France.
In 1884, the Democratic Party, the oldest in America, finally gives up the ghost and announces it will not be fielding any candidates in the general elections that year. Instead, it urges its supporters to stand behind the Socialist Party, which has emerged as a conservative alternative to the Marxist Communists. In response to this call, Socialist Grover Cleveland defeated Communist President Chester A. Arthur in the general election.
In 2003, NASA detects movement in the Cydonia region of Mars as the Martian natives begin to rise from their centuries-long sleep. The first of many hostile ships is launched from the surface of the planet towards Earth.
In 1919, an amendment to the US Constitution guaranteeing women the right to vote was defeated in the Congress. Opponents had called passage a sure road to anarchy, but the reverse seemed true; at the announcement of the amendment's defeat, suffragists took to the streets of Washington, and the town burned for 3 days.
In 4561, the shocked Emperor Min-Yuan refuses to use one of his remaining Sun Bombs against Hanoi, in spite of the urgings of angry generals. 'In the act of ruling my people, I shall not destroy them,' declared Min-Yuan. Black rain began falling on Hanoi; both sides took this as a bad omen.
In 2003, NASA detects movement in the Cydonia region of Mars as the Martian natives begin to rise from their centuries-long sleep. The first of many hostile ships is launched from the surface of the planet towards Earth.
In 1989, the Communist government of China flees Beijing, and the People's Revolutionary Movement declares itself the true government. Fighting in the streets continues, though, and none of the foreign representatives present for an international conference recognize the revolutionaries.
In 1963, on this day Douglas MacArthur published his auto-biographical work No Substitute for Victory. By way of introduction, Brass Hat stated his Christian ethic as follows: 'By profession I am a soldier and take pride in that fact. But I am prouder, infinitely prouder, to be a father ... It is my hope that my son, when I am gone, will remember me not from the battle but in the home repeating with him our simple daily prayer'. Many would question whether he was in fact a man of peace rather than a megalomaniac psychopath. The dual focus of his one-term Presidency was the reunification of the Korean Peninsula and reinstatement of Kuomintang Leader Chiang Kai-shek in Beijing as Chairman of the National Government. Both bacteriologic weapons and hydrogen bombs had been used throughout Manchuria to defeat Chairman Mao and re-establish American hegemony in Asia Pacific at a cost of tens of millions of Chinese lives. Former President Harry Truman could disagree violently, yet his authorisation of Hiroshima meant that he was defeated by his own logic. Secretly, he blamed Roosevelt's decision to move the Pacific Fleet out of San Diego and towards Hawaii in 1941, that was the real catalist for this apocalypse.
In 1896, Henry Ford is killed after losing control of his new automobile. Americans take this lesson to heart and ban the horseless carriage from the streets of the nation.
In 1861, on this day Stephen Arnold Douglas the fifteenth President of the United States died in Chicago, Illinois.
Death of The Little GiantBecause he was only forty-eight years old, he broke two unenviable records, becoming the youngest President to be elected and also the youngest to die. His tragic death was caused by a combination of exhaustion and stress from his failed re-election attempt in 1860.
Ironically, the challenger was a wiry fellow called Abraham Lincoln, a little known lawyer from his home state of Illinois. Coming at the election as a complete unknown, Lincoln had somehow managed to get the majority of the North on-board and at the same time create a schism in the ranks of the Democrat Party. It was the old story of the David vs Goliath fight in which the heavy weight loses to agility.
But the wounds to the Democrats cut deeper than party lines. And of course no sooner had Douglas lost, than the Southern states began to secede.
In the last months of his life, Douglas exercised his full potential for political genius. He issued orders preventing Southern officers from leaving the Federal Army. And, he also called immediately for 200,000 volunteers. The result was that Virginia was coerced into rejecting secession and the Confederacy was limited to Deep South States. He still lost to Lincoln in 1860. The South seceded, but Virginia was a northern state, effectively reducing the duration of the war.
In 1808, Civil War-era Brigadier General Jefferson Davis was born on this day in Fairview, Kentucky.
Jeff and Abe ride againHis lookalike half-brother Abraham was born eight months later, conceived out of wedlock by his father Samuel and Nancy Hanks Lincoln after a chance meeting at a horse sale in Elizabethtown. Similar in conviction, yet very different in practical matters, both men served in the military during the War with Mexico, although Lincoln was wholly unsuited to regimental life. Nevertheless, on the eve of the Civil War, they volunteered together for the state militia.
Naturally, the well-equipped regiment was pro-Southern in line with the political convictions of Governor Beriah Magoffin. Problem was that the Ohio River Business Trade meant that the States' future prosperity was entirely dependent upon the Union. A struggle ensued and the pro-Union Legislature attempted to force the resignation of Magoffin. Eventually, he did resign, but not before a secession by emergency decree.
From a purely military perspective, this would have been unhelpful to the Southern cause in the long-term, because the opening up of a Western theatre created a war on two fronts. And Kentuckian regiments could still have fought alongside the Confederate Army. But as Magoffin had intended, this secession provided a short window of diplomatic opportunity, permitting the Confederacy to appoint a Kentuckian, the former Union Vice President, John C. Breckinridge, as their Rebel President. And the breakaway state therefore secured a legitimacy, a new level of political credibility that forced Britain and France to more seriously consider recognition. They had to be quick because Union forces under Polk and Pillow surged into the State. But while London and Paris deliberated, it was enough provocation for the brothers to make up their own minds. They crossed the border and enlisted in the Confederate Army; Lincoln boldly declared "Breckinridge can do it without God but he must have Kentucky!" .
In 1540, on this day De Soto Discovers Gold North of Florida. Conquistador Hernando de Soto had been born to a poverty-stricken area of Spain and left to seek his fortune, which he did in the New World. He sailed to Panama in 1514 and accompanied Pizarro on the expedition to conquer the Inca in 1532.
De Soto Discovers Gold North of FloridaDe Soto, who had proven himself as an able, cunning, and ruthless commander, returned to Spain in 1534 with vast wealth from his share of the plunder. He married and petitioned the king to return to the New World as governor of Guatemala so he could explore further into the Pacific Ocean, but Charles V awarded him Cuba instead with an order to colonize Florida to the north. Ponce de Leon had discovered the vast lands to the north in 1521, but attempts colonize up the coast over the next decade had all failed due to disease, lack of supplies, and hostile natives.
In 1539, de Soto put together a 600-man expedition with ample provisions and livestock for an ongoing expedition to discover gold. He studied the stories of Cabeza de Vaca, one of the four survivors of the ill-fated Narváez expedition into North America in 1527, which suffered endless attacks from natives, shipwreck, enslavement, and finally fame among natives for healing techniques. Upon their arrival in Florida, the de Soto expedition came upon Juan Ortiz, who had been dispatched years before to find the lost Narváez and was captured by locals. De Soto took on Ortiz as a guide and friend to local Indians, which served the expedition much more smoothly than the natives Narváez had captured and forced to be guides, resulting in them leading his men in circles through the roughest territories possible with ample ground for ambushes.
After months of exploring up the Florida peninsula, the expedition wintered in Anhaica, the greatest city of the Apalachee people, whom Narváez had been falsely told were wealthy with gold. Rumors now said there was gold "toward the sun's rising". They traveled inland through the spring, northeasterly across a number of rivers and through several realms of native peoples. Finally among the Cofitachequi, they met "The Lady of the Cofitachequi", their queen. She treated the well armed men kindly with gifts of pearls, food, and, at last, gold. Rather than being native gold, however, the men recognized the items as Spanish, most likely abandoned from the nearby failed settlement by Lucas Vézquez de Ayllón that lasted only three months in 1526. Disturbed by the bad luck with gold, the expedition departed, bringing the Lady with them as an involuntary escort as they came through the lands of the Joara, what she considered her western province. There they found the "Chelaque", who were described in the later annuals translated by Londoner Richard Hakluyt, as eating "roots and herbs, which they seek in the fields, and upon wild beasts, which they kill with their bows and arrows, and are a very gentle people. All of them go naked and are very lean". The civilization was rudimentary at best, "the poorest country of maize that was seen in Florida". De Soto wanted to go further into the mountains and rest his horses there, but he determined to rest first using supplies ransomed for the Lady. During the month-lost rest, many of his soldiers searched ahead for gold, while at least one stayed and taught agricultural techniques to the locals.
During a plowing session using a horse, which the natives had never seen before, they struck a large yellow rock. The natives worked to free it and throw it away, but the conquistador recognized it as a 17-pound gold nugget. De Soto was shocked by the find, as were the natives, who had never considered the inedible metal worth anything. He immediately built a fort and dispatched men back to Cuba for reinforcements. Meanwhile, de Soto and the bulk of his force captured the Lady of the Cofitachequi again and seized her kingdom. The Spanish built a settlement at the mouth of the Santee River called Port Carlos (for Charles V) as well as another farther inland, where mining of the placer deposits of gold began. Other deposits of gold were discovered in the region, spurring a gold rush to the area. A short-lived war broke out with King Tuscaloosa in the west, but the area was quickly depopulated of natives due to disease from the Columbian Exchange.
De Soto's gold fields proved to be shallower than he hoped, but the Spanish presence in Florida was affirmed. Plantations grew up as planters experimented with what grew best, eventually settling on tobacco as a cash crop. With the seventeenth century, the English began to block the spread of Spanish influence with colonies in Virginia and Plymouth, eventually assigning a border along the James River. The French challenged Spanish control over the Mississippi River and dominated much of Canada until the Seven Years' War caused Britain to annex Canada and force France to give the Louisiana to the Spanish, dividing North America between the Spanish and British Empires.
Due to heavy taxation following the war, Enlightenment ideals caused many in the American Colonies to call for resistance and even independence. However, with a strong Spanish bastion just to the south, the outcry never spread beyond the Boston Insurrection. Instead, the American Union would gain marginal self-rule, which would be successfully tested with the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833. The expansive state of Florida, meanwhile, would undergo a bloody fifteen year war of independence from Spain.
In 1844, on this day the twenty-sixth President of the United States Garret Augustus Hobart (pictured) was born in Long Branch, New Jersey.
President HobartAfter attending Rutgers College, Hobart read law with prominent Paterson attorney Socrates Tuttle. Although he rarely set foot in a courtroom, Hobart became wealthy as a corporate lawyer. Hobart served in local governmental positions, and then successfully ran for office as a Republican, serving in both the New Jersey General Assembly and the New Jersey Senate. He became Speaker of the first, and president of the latter.
Hobart was a longtime party official, and New Jersey delegates went to the 1896 Republican National Convention determined to nominate the popular lawyer for vice president. Hobart's political views were similar to those of McKinley, who was the presumptive Republican presidential candidate. With New Jersey a key state in the upcoming election, McKinley and his close adviser, future senator Mark Hanna, decided to have the convention select Hobart. The vice-presidential candidate emulated his running mate with a front porch campaign, though spending much time at the campaign's New York City office. McKinley and Hobart were elected.
He worked very closely with McKinley, so much so that he was informally known as the "Assistant President". As a result of this partnership, he was widely acknowledged as the of the most powerful vice presidents in history. Perhaps his most memorable moment in office was casting the tie breaking vote against Philippine independence. He was also a proponent of sound finance, famous for the sound bite "An honest dollar, worth 100 cents everywhere, cannot be coined out of fifty-three cents of silver, plus a legislative fiat".
Hobart rose unexpectedly to the Presidency on September 14th, 1901 when McKinley was assassinated at the Pan-American Exposition. Shot by the anarchist Leon Czolgosz in Buffalo, the most reknowned surgeon of the day, Dr. Roswell Park was unable to save his life even with the use of an experimental X-Ray machine which was on show at the exhibition.
To be continued.
In 1722, on this day the incomparable Highland rebel Flora MacDonald was born in Milton South Uist, Scotland.
Hard Woman, Reboot
by Ed, Bagpipelover & Jackie RoseHer father died when she was a child, and her mother was abducted and married by Hugh MacDonald of Armadale, Skye. She was brought up under the care of the chief of her clan, the MacDonalds of Clanranald, and was partly educated in Edinburgh.
During the Jacobite Risings she was living on the island of Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides when Bonnie Prince Charlie took refuge there. In despair the Young Pretender had left the still undefeated Jacobite Army in the hands of his trusted companion, Captain Francis O'Neill. Planning to flee Scotland forever, the Prince sought her assistance only to discover that the MacDonalds were secretly sympathetic with the Jacobite cause.
She convinced the Prince to rejoin the Jacobite Army by promising to organize reinforcements from her own Clan. With fresh resolve, he inspired the "forty-five" rebels with a fiery new leadership that turned the tables on the Hanoverians.
This article is a reversal of the Jackie Rose story Hard Man which focuses on Captain Francis O'Neill.
In 2008, retired radio-TV journalist Jeff A. Davis wrote ~ on the 199th birthday celebration of President Jefferson Davis, I pause to think what it will be in the public recognition of this monumental American during the coming year and after.
President Jefferson DavisWhat if the New England Democrats in 1860 had convinced Jefferson Davis to be a candidate for president, as they tried to do, unsuccessfully? What if the Democrats in 1860 had the sense to know they couldn't split their voting power in the nation three ways and hope to win? What if in some wise meeting of the minds, John Breckinridge had seen the likelihood of the Whigs, who had become Republicans, might prevail in a U. S. election with only a fraction of the vote because of fragmented opposition? What if Stephen Douglas acknowledged the same real scenario? What if John Bell acknowledged the same scenario? What if all three agreed they couldn't run three separate opposition campaigns and hope to win? What if they all agreed to get behind the overwhelming consensus choice, Jefferson Davis, who wouldn't run because he was committed to John Breckinridge? What if all the Democrats came together behind the one candidate they could all agree on, a devoted Southerner, who also was a unionist?"I love the Union and the Constitution, but I would rather leave the Union with the Constitution than remain in the Union without it". - Jefferson Davis Now, you may be saying this is all foolish, it didn't happen. It is meaningless. You've got a good point.
Let me show you how we lost our way and then consider the horrendous effect it has had on our country and its future.
Abraham Lincoln was the nominee of the then recently formed Republican Party. He didn't win the nomination easily. As a matter of fact, he trailed in votes until the third ballot. Some historians have claimed he would have never won the nomination without the packing of the convention with Marxist immigrants of the recent German Revolution.
Now we come to what is meaningful, and we no longer rely on supposition.
Lincoln won the election by less than ten electoral votes. [ Correction: It was 57 electoral votes per the National Archives.]
Anyone who believes he was the favorite of the North and West needs to examine states like California, Ohio, Oregon, New Jersey and Wisconsin which he failed to carry a majority. He carried a Michigan majority by around 2,000 votes.
Correction: See Results by State. ]
Lincoln won the election on less than 40% of the popular vote.
What if, just what if, Jefferson Davis had been the consensus Democrat candidate? No one can say, but most students of electoral politics in America conclude that Lincoln may not have carried states in the East that openly favored Davis. Speculation though it is, the likelihood of Jefferson Davis as a consolidated Democrat candidate points to far more than the few electoral votes needed to defeat Lincoln.
Back to reality, It is clear that the majority of the voters, 60%, did not favor Lincoln for president.
Now, consider this:
If Jefferson Davis were elected in 1860, would there have been a War Between the States?
If Mr. Davis were elected would we have seen the vibrant expanse of opportunity in the USA? Look at my previous commentary about his accomplishments at Secretary of War to President Franklin Pierce, of New Hampshire, who, by the way felt Jefferson Davis should be president in 1861 but the situation was delicate because of the candidacy of Vice President, John Breckinridge.
If Mr. Davis were elected do you suppose we would have seen the deterioration of the Constitution we have witnessed? In his essay entitled, The Imaginary Abe, Joseph Sobran writes,
How could Lincoln be so wrong? Well, he was a product of a later generation of rising nationalism, typified by Daniel Webster and Henry Clay, that was out of touch with the Founders and the Framers of the Constitution. As a matter of fact, the longer I study Lincoln, the more I am convinced that he was simply ignorant of the greatest body of American political thought; I seriously doubt that he ever read even The Federalist Papers. If he did, he never assimilated their thinking about the problems of "confederation," "consolidation," "usurpation," and the like. Jefferson Davis was steeped in these ideas and completely mastered them, as his memoirs show. Lincoln, however, couldn?t have carried on an intelligent conversation with Madison, Hamilton, or his hero Jefferson (whose Kentucky Resolutions he also seems ignorant of).
Finally, if Jefferson Davis had been our president in 1861, do you think the politicians of today might have a little more respect for both his name and great visions he had for the country he loved and gave large part of his life in serving?
Well, he wasn't US president in 1861 but why should that change the appropriate respect for what Davis did for his country and what he stood for?
I have tried to follow his advice though at times my will gets tested by those who have little understanding of the man or his philosophy and guidance to us of this and other generations. Then there are those who intentionally distort history to defame his character.
In this way I have tried to be a patriotic American, serving my country in many ways. For all its faults, and they increase every day, it is still our last and best hope on the face of this earth. Yes, I believe if the era beginning 1861 had changed, our lives and our country today would be what our Founders envisioned. We should never stop working to restore that grand experiment.
We are today at the edge of a precipice where our Republic's sovereignty is at stake. We need loyal unhypenated Americans more than ever. We are perilously close to being rolled into a world government with philosophies totally alien to anything resembling our Founders ideals.
The time may be coming, as Mr. Davis predicted, that there will be a new dawning of liberty though it may take a new and different form.
Happy birthday, Mr. President. We really do wonder how it would have been if you could have met Mr. Lincoln at the ballot box rather than the terrible ordeal on hundreds of battlefields our Republic suffered then, and still suffers today as the direct result of one of the most significant blunders in American history.
In 2009, on this day, Terminator Salvation, the fourth installation in the film sequence was released in movie theatres across the United Kingdom.
Terminator Salvation released in the UKWritten by John Brancato and Michael Ferris and directed by McG, this American science fiction movie would receive critical acclaim for its appropriately noir intepretation of the central protagonists set in the context of their "End Begins" post-apocalypse timeframe.
You survived the nuclear holocaust and you crawl out of the hole after three-to-five years and say, "Well, I know what's going on - I'm the one!" Some SAS guy isn't going to say, "Where do I go, boss?" He'd say, "Shut the f**k up and get in line". ~ McG The success of the movie was surely due to McG's ingenius casting - and the reaction from the principle actors. Although he would later receive an Academy Award for the part, Josh Bolin had initially rejected the role of John Connor, telling McG "[the character was] interesting and dark, [but] ultimately, though, I didn't think it felt right".
But McG forced the actor to reconsider, agreeing that Brolin could develop the central character in new and unexpected ways. And so in the revised screenplay, John Connor is portrayed by Brolin as a tragic anti-hero who dies at the climax of the movie.
Christian Bale was considered by McG to be "the most credible action star in the world" but for reasons he "can't really remember why" had originally sought the role of the main character as well. Instead, McG convinced Bale he was better suited to play the part of Marcus Wright, a mysterious man who donated his body to Cyberdyne Systems for experimentation. His last memory is of being on death row in 2003, before he returns in 2018 as the cyborg whose hidden programming lures Connor to his death at Skynet headquarters.
In 1861, Stephen A. Douglas (pictured), 16th president of the United States, died.
The Death of President Douglas by Eric LippsIn the divisive four-way 1860 election, in which h his opponents were the Republican Abraham Lincoln, Southern Democrat John C. Breckinridge and John Bell of the Constitutional Union Party, Douglas had been seen as a unifying figure who could head off the threat of Southern secession. And indeed it seemed as though he might succeed.
When South Carolina demanded that the U.S. government turn over its outpost fort Sumter to the state, Douglas managed to pacify Charleston by assuring the state legislature that the Sumter garrison would not be used against its people. "The United States are united because they stand together of their own free will," he declared in his inaugural address on March 4, 1861. "The moment the government of this Union must use force to hold the country together, the bonds which hold the states together shall have dissolved. Such differences as we have must be resolved by peaceful means".
Douglas's words angered many in the North, as did his announced refusal to send reinforcements to Fort Sumter when its commander requested them in early April.
"The United States are united because they stand together of their own free will. The moment the government of this Union must use force to hold the country together, the bonds which hold the states together shall have dissolved. Such differences as we have must be resolved by peaceful means" ~ President DouglasDouglas's death brought Vice-President Herschel V. Johnson to the White House. A native Georgian, he was if anything more sympathetic to the South than his predecessor had been. He became an outspoken opponent of abolitionist "radicalism," declaring that the states must decide the issue of slavery individually. "I am confident," he declared in a speech at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on July 4, 1863, "that good faith and good judgement shall prevail in this vexing matter if allowed to do so under law and the Constitution".
President Johnson's pro-Southernism would lead to an unsuccessful attempt at his impeachment in early 1864, spearheaded by former Attorney General Edwin M. Stanton, who after Johnson's acquittal in the Senate would declare his own candidacy for the presidency. Capitalizing on Northern resentment of Johnson's "softness" toward the south, Stanton would defeat the Georgian that November.
Stanton's election would burst the dam which had been holding back secession, and in March of 1864, just after his inauguration, the War of the States would begin. By the time it ended, five bloody years later, it would have taken over 700,000 lives.
In 2008, the United States military judge overseeing the Canadian's war-crimes case called a sensational press conference at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. An appearance of interference, repurposed contract from the Globe and the Mail
It was alleged that determined attempts had been made to suddenly remove Col. Peter C Brownback from the new military-commission system for suspected terrorists held at Guantanamo after he had quarrelled with the prosecution. Col. Brownback had been recalled from retirement by the military in 2004 to serve for one year on the Guantanamo military commissions. Three times, the military extended his recall orders,a year at a time, and Col. Ralph Kohlman had personally requested an extension so Col. Brownback could see the Khadr Trial through to its completion. At the press conference Brownback insisted that he would continue in the service of his country for as long as deemed appropriate by the cognizant authorities. He insisted that he would not retire before justice was served for both Canadian Omar Khadr and the U.S. soldier he was alleged to have killed with a grenade, Christopher Speer. Those choice of words fueled speculation began by Khadr's lawyer Lt-Col William Kuebler that fresh evidence suggests the innocence of Khahr, and political pressures have been brought to bear to force an unjust conviction. Interrogators at Guantanamo Bay - including those assigned to Canadian Omar Khadr - were encouraged to destroy handwritten notes from interview sessions to protect them from future legal action, according to newly released documents.
In 1931, the alleged mysognist John Frederick Lange, Jr. was born on this day in Chicago. Better known as John Norman he is a professor of philosophy, holding a Ph.D. from Princeton University and is a professor at Queens College of the City University of New York in New York City.
Frequently in trouble over political correctness, especially feminism, Lange was allegedly connected with a cult known as the Goreans uncovered by Police in 2006.Birth of an Alleged Mysognist
- "Swords are often drawn on Gor over women, and particularly over lovely slaves. Women are prizes, perfections and treasures. It is no wonder that men fight over them with ferocity. Wars have been fought to recover a stolen slave". ~ Renegades of Gor, page 397.
- "No woman can be fully fulfilled and happy until she finds herself at the feet of her master". ~ Witness of Gor, page 544.
- "To take the most brilliant, the most imaginative, the most beautiful women, and put them at your feet, impassioned, helpless slaves is victory". ~ Tribesmen of Gor, page 128.
In 1937, King Edward VIII marries a much younger noble woman, Lady Edwina Goddard, in a lavish ceremony at Westminster Abbey.
Queen EdwinaKing Edward had been convinced by several Parliamentary leaders to give up his relationship with the American divorcee, Wallis Simpson, and settle down with a nice English girl. Although to all outward appearances this is exactly what he did, the reality of his relationship with Queen Edwina was that she had little interest in him, preferring the company of other ladies; so, she raised no objections to the continuance of his affair with Simpson.
The affair threw the country into turmoil in 1972, when Edward died without having produced an heir by his Queen; Edward's niece Elizabeth claimed the crown at first, but was challenged by Edward and Simpson's illegitimate son, George. The scandal very nearly brought down the monarchy, but Parliament decided to crown Elizabeth. Conservative MP Trenton Stokes famously stated the Parliamentary position on the matter when he muttered, "No b*stard is going to sit on the throne of England while I live".
In 2015, on this day London's Imperial War Museum, running a deficit of over 200 million pounds sterling, closed its doors for good.
In 1902, the Vidalia Eddie is introduced. The Vidalia has a small movie screen on it that allows the user to see the output of the Vidalia prior to printing it. This innovation rocks the world and spells the end of Edison's French competitors, who cannot match this technological advance.
In 1602, Francis Bacon's A Midsummer Night's Dream is performed for the royal court. Shortly thereafter, Bacon is arrested and charged with witchcraft; after a personal meeting with the crown, he is freed.
In 899, Pope Pius III met with King Arthur of Britain and declared him to be God's Apostle on earth. He crowned him Pope Arthur I, abdicating his own position, and Arthur renamed his kingdom the Holy British Empire. It included many disparate areas of Europe at its beginning, but by Arthur's death in 932, it stretched from Scotland to the Italian boot.
In 1999, Queen Gwen reads the message from Dr. Archibald Mordred that Sir Lance du Lac forwarded her, and growls at an assistant to have the doctor brought to her chambers. Once he is there, though, she puts on her sweetest face for him. 'My good doctor,' she says, 'I wanted to thank you for your discretion about the king's condition - and mine, too, of course. I was possibly feeling the hormonal shift a little too much when I snapped at you.' The doctor is put off-balance by the gentleness of her disposition, and relaxes slightly. 'Of course, Your Majesty. I should think nothing of it.' Queen Gwen demurs, saying, 'No, no, I must apologize for my rudeness to you. Forgive me?' He bows and says, 'Certainly, My Queen.' She smiles at him as he straightens up, and extends a hand out to him, which he takes. He feels a small sharp pain in his finger, then looks at her in horror as he feels his own heart stopping. 'I'm sorry, doctor, but I can't have you interfering with my plans at this late stage of the game.' She waits several moments until the doctor is good and still, then cries out in desperation for her people to summon medical help. Doctor Mordred is already beyond their help by the time they arrive.
In 1891, 'Sockless' Simpson rallies his Kansan volunteers at Abilene. 'We still outnumber them,' he tells the huge throng. 'We still have right on our side. They surprised us at Topeka, but we will be careful from now on. They brought in allies from our neighboring states; they will be surprised to learn that we, too, have allies in those states, whom we are sending word to right now. This war, my friends, is far from over.' The assembled multitudes cheered loudly, mollified that they were only experiencing a temporary setback.
In 1810, French Emperor Napoleon I, who has spent the last three years furiously arming his country, issues an ultimatum to Britain demanding the immediate return of Louisiana to France.
England's acting monarch, George, Prince of Wales, recently established as regent for his ailing father King George III, is incensed at the peremptory tone taken by Napoleon and sends an official reply which concludes, 'If the Corsican usurper believes he can wrest from Britain what the legitimate monarch of his country was unable to hold against her, he is welcome to try.'
Napoleon's response upon receiving the British note is, 'Of course, you understand this means war.' And it does: the French emperor immediately orders mobilization of France's military forces, including the assembly and launching of a large fleet to strike at New Orleans and a second to cross the Channel and strike England itself.
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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.