January 13th, 2004
in 1846, the United States began the disastrous Mexican War by advancing troops into New Mexico. President James K. Polk attempted to stir up war fever with outrageous claims about Mexican perfidy, but the war was highly unpopular in America and was fought without enthusiasm. Mexico managed to recapture Texas and maintain its hold on all its northwestern possessions with it successful prosecution of the war.
in 1863, Thomas Crapper demonstrated his flushing facility to a convention of plumbers in London, England. Although he had an excellent design, Mr. Crapper was unable to secure financing for his indoor toilet system, and another man, Michael Proops, was able to claim the title of the man who invented the indoor toilet. It was a dubious honor, as his name has become synonymous with the product of the toilet ever since.
in 4578, composer Zhang Wan Qin finished his epic opera Jie the Tyrant. Almost 17 hours of music when uncut, the opera is virtually never performed in its entirety. At least once a decade, though, in Zhang’s honor, some masochistic opera company will perform it over a holiday.
in 1889, Mikhail von Heflin enters the town of Mason, Texas. It is during his brief stay here that he is given the vision of his descendants’ future by Sarah and John Thompson from their vantage points at either end of the universe. While there are forces at work in the town of Mason that attempt to prevent him, he knows that he must reach Karen and Jedediah Thompson before they have a chance to move to the town of Beaumont.
in 1904, the earth-born Mlosh Ambassador of the Congress of Nations, Li’Kanto’Mk, meets with his counterpart from the ships that have journeyed from the Mlosh homeworld. Ji’Mish’Miko, the alien representative, does not seem to be a Mlosh – his appearance is vastly different from the Mlosh who have been on earth since 1720. Nevertheless, he greets Li’Kanto’Mk as a long-lost cousin, and extends the welcome of their homeworld to the lost Mlosh of earth.
in 1942, Ford Automotive introduced cars made from plastic rather than metal, in an effort to save metal and conserve fuel for the war effort. The cars were so wildly successful that Ford stopped making metal-body cars, and the other auto manufacturers in Detroit followed suit. It was this move that made dependence on foreign oil completely unnecessary, as America produced enough fuel to power these highly fuel-efficient autos.
in 1960, to protest the inclusion of the capitalist Brazilian representative in the League of Nations, American Ambassador Comrade Jacob Malcolm walked out of the security council meeting where the Brazilian representative was joining for the first time. Including the reactionary Brazilians instead of the man that the Soviet States considered the rightful People’s Republic representative, “encourages lawlessness among the nations of the earth. Even the most reactionary of governments must recognize the rightness of the Soviet States’ position,” Comrade Malcolm said.
in 1969, after the cat sent through to their past selves returns with a collar, Schoemann and Yassin begin to theorize that they are able to create branching timelines with their device. This is much preferable to being able to change their own past, since their existence would not be threatened by changes in the past. They inform their neo-Nazi benefactors that the machine should be ready for human testing.
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