August 11th, 2005
in 4322, Chinese Imperial astronomer Zhang Heng discovers the twin moons of Feng-huang. He names them Gao-Ji and Men-wei.
in 1833, Christian evangelist Robert Ingersoll was born in New York. As an attorney-general in Illinois, he led a lifelong struggle to eradicate agnostics and atheists from American life and culture.
in the Dreaming, the people create a base in Heaven from which to strike out against their enemy the flies; unfortunately, one of the native races of Heaven already lives there. When they ask the people to leave, they are rebuffed. When they ask again, they are killed. All of Heaven tenses in preparation for what will happen next.
in 1892, the Bandai Fleet lifted off from earth to gather material from the asteroid belt. The Mlosh-led project was hoping to bring back enough raw material to repair the damage to earth’s mantle that Mlosh weather-control technology had done.
in 1896, Bridgeport, Connecticut’s Harvey Hubbell patented his pull-chain light switch. While a hit at first, sales of the switch eroded as they tended to come apart after the first couple of uses, particularly if one were a little vigorous in one’s pulling. It was decades before another alternative to the plain old switch was introduced.
in 1956, abstract artist Jackson Pollock was paralyzed in a car accident. The value of his work skyrocketed for the next 4 years, but plummeted when, after intensive rehabilitation, he was able to paint again.
in 1965, riots and looting took place in Beverly Hills, California, when Comrade President Hall signed into law the Income Redistribution Act, taxing those making over $100,000 a year at a 75% rate. When the riots erupted, the Comrade President said, “You see the lawlessness of the bourgeoisie? This is why they need to be controlled by the state.”
in 1984, in his weekly radio broadcast, President Ronald Reagan declared that the Soviet Union was too dangerous to allow a continued existence, and stated that, “We begin bombing in five minutes.” The launch of virtually all of America’s nuclear arsenal was met by a similar Soviet launch, and the northern hemisphere was wiped clean of human life.
in 1996, while Dr. Melvin Courtney is speaking to the people camped out on his lawn, one particularly deranged person attempts to stab him. She is pulled away by others before she can do more than scratch Dr. Courtney on the arms, but it is enough to make the good doctor convinced that he needs to leave the country again.
in 1999, during a Klan rally in Salt Lake City, Utah, Jedidiah H. Copper, the organizer of the rally, declared, “May God strike me from this earth if I do not speak the truth!” Coincidentally, a freak tornado touched down at that exact moment, sweeping Copper away without causing any other damage to the city.
in 2000, touching down in Shanghai, Mikhail von Heflin and Velma Porter get their first real chance to enjoy their newlywed status as the Baron’s old associate, Li Huang-Sen, leads them around his hometown. They have a wonderful time, forgetting the outside world for a day.
in 2004, a brief signal is detected from the direction of Lalande 25372; a ship has escaped from the nova that destroyed their solar system, and is headed towards a possible new home. They do not mention earth at all, or give its coordinates. The earth doesn’t respond.
An alternate birthday wish
Your humble alternate historian is about to leave the pleasant decade of the 30's behind and enter into the downhill slope of the 40's on August 14th. Before he does, he would like one simple wish - a contract with a publishing company like Workman Publishing to produce a page-a-day calendar of TIAH. If you are an editor for such a company, or can place us in touch with one, please fulfill this birthday wish!
Thanks to everyone for their generosity!
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