Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Southern Rebels Attack Manassas Junction

July 21st, 2004

in 1831, Pope William IV put down the Belgian rebellion as Cardinal Leopold attempted to win independence for his people. William had Leopold executed and replaced with an English cardinal to underscore his disdain for the needs of Belgium.

in 1862, Southern rebels attack the U.S. military at Manassas Junction, Virginia. Poorly organized and hopelessly outgunned, the rebels are dispatched in short order by the Union army, but they inspire others who hope to bring down the Communist government of President Walt Whitman.

in 1899, hack writer Ernest Hemingway was born in Oak Park, Illinois. Never a serious author, Hemingway made his name with such melodramatic fare as Old Man & The Sea, The Sun Also Rises, and For Whom The Bell Tolls. While popular with the general public, his work faded quickly after his suicide in 1958.

in 4603, General Zuo Zongtang, conqueror of Hanoi, dies. Although he never lost a battle, his name has become synonymous with a victory that is more costly than a defeat. He left the military in 4563, published his bestselling memoirs in 4571 on the 10th anniversary of the Battle of Hanoi, and retired to life as a restaurant owner in Beijing.

in 1963, Carla Lambert dies in New Jersey at the age of 81. On her deathbed, she confesses that Thomas Edison was not her lover, but was, in fact, her father. She had kept the secret all these years out of respect for the man, not wishing him to be tarnished by the stain of affair.

in 1989, parodist “Weird” Al Yankovic’s first movie, UHF is released. It becomes the highest grossing comedy of all time, outpacing The Blues Brothers with over $258 million in receipts. Yankovic goes on to score other big-screen hits such as Running With Scissors and Long, Long Time Ago, his parody of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.

in 1998, several of the researchers working on the undersea ruins near Mt. Didicas in the Philippines seem to go spontaneously mad, and have to be evacuated back to Manila. Curiously, they all are chanting the same thing as they are taken back; “He is waking.

in 2003, a coalition of 10 nations, including the United States, Russia, Canada and Australia, begin battering at the defenses of the Martians at either pole. The Martians respond with their most devastating weapon – they begin warming the poles, wreaking havoc on the earth’s weather systems. In many ways, the attack was more harmful to the earth than it was to the Martians, although the aliens are hurt severely.



11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh my God, UHF! So much love for that movie. If only that was an alternate history that actually came true.

--t.a.d.

Anonymous said...

UHF! UHF! One of my top 10 movies of all time!

I feel kind of sheepish, actually, that I don't comment on all the great historical stuff you're doing, but do comment on UHF.

I am curious...you seem to be writing several different timelines in this. Are you constructing several separate ones, or just generally picking out points where the world could have gone differently?

Robbie Taylor said...

I have over a dozen timelines that occur more than once, (some of which are major repeating timelines that are collected on this page - http://www.communitygaming.org/today-in-history/recurring.html), but I try to put in a lot of one-shots, as well.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for the comments!

Anonymous said...

What I am wondering is whether you are going to diverge your own constructed timelines into further sub-timelines? For example, a world where Emperor Dao-Ming's democracy experiment goes one way, and another where it goes another (perhaps using a different dating system to avoid confusion).

Another idea is that some of the less major timelines and one-ofs could turn out to be in the same universe... Maybe the "Nobody Screams For Ice Cream" line is the same as the one where Pete Best is a superstar? (Sensing a void in the convenience-dessert market, his father promoted baked-yams-on-a-stick, starting a worldwide industry, and was able to afford to send his son to a private music school which influenced his artistic development... Okay, you could probably do better, but this is just an example of how some apparently one-off timelines could be connected.)

Anonymous said...

I’m not sure what’s “alternate” about the Hemmingway one:
Hack writer: Real
Melodramatic: Real
Unserious: Real

Andrew Cory

http://www.punningpundit.com/
Punningpundit@gmail.com/

Robbie Taylor said...

I'm probably not going to do the multiple branching of timelines, because that would quickly become hideously complicated; but, I LOVE your name for my non-ice-cream-eating timeline, and will henceforth refer to it as the "Nobody screams for ice cream" timeline. I also like the idea of incorporating a few of the one-offs together into other timelines, and I'll have to give it a bit of thought as to how to accomplish it.

One thing to warn you guys about - when you make a suggestion, it may take a while for it to appear, even if I rave about it, because I've already written a couple of months in advance.

Thanks for the great suggestion!

Robbie Taylor said...

I’m not sure what’s “alternate” about the Hemmingway one:
Hack writer: Real
Melodramatic: Real
Unserious: Real


No Nobel Prize, of course! And no being forced to read him in literature classes in school...

Anonymous said...

Follow up to the UHF item:

1990: Cashing in on the success of UHF star Michael Richards lauches a new sitcom, "Richards". Although the show struggles at first, it soon becomes a monster hit, also making a star of the man who plays Richard's wacky neighbor, hertofore unknown club comic Jerry Seinfeld.

Anonymous said...

I just found this blog thanks to Wikipedia... It's utterly supernal! You have such a fantastic imagination - I'm going to have to add this page to my Favorites list.

Robbie Taylor said...

While I have only the vaguest idea what supernal means, I know that it's complimentary - so thanks! :) And thanks for reading!

Thomas said...

Info on picture of zoroastrianism

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