Friday, August 05, 2005

Vegas Stands Still; The Signal Ends

August 5th, 2005

in the Dreaming, the mourning cry of the people is heard in the Heavens, and Wandjina descends to mourn Anansi with them. Other spirits from the Heavens descend, and soon the land is a reflection of the Heavens.

in 1860, future circus owner Joseph Merrick is born in Leicester, England. Merrick’s medical troubles as a child, an enormous tumor on his face, reportedly cleared up after his mother asked for a miracle from the Virgin Mary; more likely, this was just one of the many tall tales Merrick told of his past.

in 1891, the vulcanologists at Bandai, Japan, begin commandeering Mlosh-style space ships from around the world and converting them into cargo carriers. They will be traveling to the asteroid belt to gather raw material for a bold scheme – rebuilding the earth’s mantle!

in 1911, famed actor Spangler Arlington Brugh was born in Filley, Nebraska. Always an iconoclast, he made his name starring in such costume dramas as Ivanhoe, Quo Vadis, and Knights of the Round Table. His unusual name and quirky sense of confidence endeared him to critics and audiences alike, in spite of initial misgivings at MGM, which wanted to rename him something more common, like Robert Taylor.

in 1921, Carla Lambert directs Winds of the Heart, a small film about a farm family in Nebraska that is forced to deal with death, poverty and the breakup of the husband and wife’s marriage. It is often cited on many critic’s top 10 lists of best films of the 20th century.

in 1944, the German Underground, now calling itself The New Reich, captures 348 Greater Zionist Resistance fighters in Poland, and summarily executes them. Adolf Hitler, leader of the New Reich, issues a statement that loudly proclaims this as the new policy of the Reich. Protest across the world is weak, at best, emboldening Hitler to even worse atrocities.

in 1962, Marilyn Miller, the beautiful wife of comic playwright Arthur Miller, announces that she is giving up film work to start a family with her husband. She is 2 months pregnant with Miller’s son, and although she struggles with alcoholism for a few years, she is able to raise Joseph Miller into a successful baseball player.

in 1966, Pete Best released Drumsticks, an all-instrumental album. Best played most of the instruments, and all of the percussion, on the album, and the stirringly experimental sounds of the album captivated critics. Fans bought it out of a sense of loyalty, but it didn’t sell as well as Best’s more conventional albums.

in 1981, air-traffic controllers, federal employees banned from striking, confront President Mondale. In spite of the temptation to have them fired and end the strike, Mondale negotiates with the controllers, and reaches a fair settlement of their grievances. Labor is forever after grateful to Mondale, but the move enrages conservatives who declare that Mondale is in the pocket of big unions.

in 1990, President George Bush declared that “America does not have a stand, vis-à-vis Arab-Arab hostilities.” This allowed Iraq to hold Kuwait and siphon its resources, which it desperately needed after the disastrous war with Iran. America weathered a storm of criticism for not leading a military or diplomatic drive to push Iraq out of Kuwait, but Bush believed that he needed to stand by his old ally to provide a counterweight to Iran in the region.

in 1996, Strange News publishes Dr. Melvin Courtney’s paper on the Chimanimani object. Although the magazine’s hardcore readership believes it, Dr. Courtney’s fears of the magazine’s reputation tainting his own are instantly realized, and he is requested to meet with his department head at Cambridge the next day.

in 2000, the city of Las Vegas comes to a standstill as a strange presence seems to engulf the population. For several hours, everyone in the city seems linked together. Then, panic grips the human population of the city and chaos erupts.

in 2004, after the last of the personal information is broadcast, the operator of the signal from Lalande 25372 sends a farewell to the people of earth. “We have no idea how long it will be before they come for you. Live your lives well.” The signal then stops, and doesn’t resume.

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!

We have raised a lot from your donations, for which we are VERY grateful! Our situation is no longer as dire, so we don't need to beg for help - thanks so much! Because we like including our readers into the site, though, we will still keep our offer open - everybody who donates $10 or more through our Paypal link will become alternate history entries on the site. When you donate, I will email you asking your preference for a day & timeline; if you don't reply to me, I'll place you in a day that seems to fit your name :) Thanks for your continued support!

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