Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Beckett Is Martyred; Civil War In Cambodia

December 29th, 2004

in 47,392 BCE, Telka the Speaker and her great-granddaughter Swikolay reach the foothills of the Himalayas and begin their ascent. Full of optimism, the Speaker says, “The sky will be ours. All your children will look down from heaven.”

in 1170, Thomas Beckett, the Archbishop of Canterbury and rival for Pope Henry II of the Holy British Empire, is murdered by four priests as he knelt in prayer. Beckett and the pope had been friends for decades, but as Henry veered towards liberalization of the Holy Mother Church, Beckett began to oppose him, and he swayed many bishops and cardinals to his side. After his death, Pope Henry ruled with unquestioned authority.

in 1769, a French patisserie began offering its bread sliced to its patrons. It was the greatest thing ever.

in 1813, the North American Confederation city of Buffalo was burned to the ground when a plant manufacturing an experimental propellant exploded. The horrific flames resisted all attempts to put them out until the local governor was able to order in enough demolitions to level the town. The N.A.C. adopted the world’s most stringent regulations on the handling of propellants after this disaster.

in 4607, Emperor Chengzu named Sun Yat-Sen his Prime Minister. Sun pursued a policy of expansion in space and consolidation on earth. It was under Sun Yat-Sen’s direction that the Star Sailor corps began accepting non-Chinese subjects of the empire.

in 1940, German bombers raided London in the worst bombing of the war to that point. After a particularly powerful cluster of explosions, the sky filled with the planes of dozens of nations, as well as air ships that were unrecognizable. The huge dogfight that resulted ended when one of the planes dropped a weapon that blew up the entire city of London; all that was left was a multi-colored cloud that pulsed as if a heart beat within it. Physicist Richard Tolman sought and was given a meeting with President Roosevelt to discuss these events. This resulted in an unprecedented ceasefire declaration between the Axis and Allied powers to hear what Tolman had to say.

in 1997, Chinese authorities in Hong Kong, fearful of the economic damage that would result from killing all chickens possibly infected with influenza, disregard the recommendations of health professionals around the world and let the sale of chickens continue. The resulting epidemic of flu kills over 20 million Chinese, as well as an additional 2 million worldwide. The sanctions against Chinese food products that follow send China spiraling into the worst depression in its history.

in 1998, Cambodian strongman Pol Pot dies. The hated Khmer Rouge that had placed him in power begin a civil war for power that devastates the small Asian nation for the next three years. After the death toll of the war passes a million, Vietnam invades to put an end to it. The move is surprisingly supported by the international community, and marks a turning point for both nations; Cambodia, although it remains communist, becomes a freer country, and Vietnam is accepted into the community of nations.

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Anonymous said...

Surely the incident in the N.A.C. timeline and the existence and popularity of the appetizer "Fiery Buffalo Wings" today no longer seems like mere coincidence?

Anonymous said...

Great stuff. A rather optimistically low death count for flu though....

Robbie Taylor said...

The flu can be quite deadly, but I was thinking that resources to combat it would be mustered more quickly now than they were in, say, 1918. I may be somewhat optimistic, but I've already destroyed the world a few times, and who needs that on New Year's Week?

jeff said...

I know it would be a lot more work, but on some of these I wish (short of google & guess) there was info available on what really happened. For instance, I know that Thomas Beckett was killed (Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest...) but how is that different than what happened in TIAH?

Do you have a comprehensive "On this day in History" site that you reference for ideas that might have the non-alternative stories?

That's the thing about Alternative History - it can get you interested in what really happened!

Robbie Taylor said...

I have several reference sites, which I have to give LOTS of credit to. The History Channel is the most accurate of the ones I use, but my other favorites are Dr. Mac's Cultural Calendar (cause he's from Texas), On This Day for musical stuff, Today In Literature and some others that I use a little less frequently. I'll try to post them and the links to them tomorrow, and I'll have them in my links page when I get it put up. I won't be at my home computer till the morning, unfortunately, and that's where I keep all my links.

Ree said...

Sliced bread! That's pricelessly funny.

Anonymous said...

Well, the WHO give a "best case" estimate for a major outbreak of 7 million dead, but the flipside is the Russian estimate, which according to Pravda a month ago is as high as 1 billion fatalities worldwide. Given there's no stock of antivirals to be used, and a vaccine would take 3-6 months to develop (then you have production time) and a fatality rate of the current strain of about 60%... I think the WHO is being optimistic.

Er... happy new year.

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