Hurricane Coming - weekend posting may be delayed
Although the Alternate History Academy is 150 miles inland, a hurricane due to hit the coast of Texas this weekend is probably going to at least cause power outages here. Posting this weekend may be delayed while that is going on, but never fear - the Academy will return.
September 22nd, 2005
in 1554, Spanish explorer Francisco Coronado, lost and cut off from his people, wanders into a jungle; in the center of that jungle, he is taken captive by natives, who take him to their city; Coronado is amazed and excited to see that gold is used as if it was as cheap as the dirt itself in this city, and his heart swells with pride that he has finally found the city of gold. His execution at its native’s hands moments later brings that swelling down a little.
in 1692, the last 8 witches were to be executed after the infamous trials in Salem, Massachusetts. One of their number, though, turned out to be a real witch, and escaped from her captors with a mighty spell that turned half of the township into toads.
in 1828, Shaka, the crazed founder and leader of the Zulu nation, accuses his brothers Dingane and Mhlangana of plotting against him and has them killed. The sight of their lifeless bodies seems to snap something inside him, and he returns to sanity. He repents the actions he had taken against pregnant women and farmers, and vows to the Zulu that he will lead them back to greatness.
in 1903, Italo Marchiony patents his Gelato Cone, a thin cone used to hold the Italian iced dessert. The next year, Charles Menches uses a waffle-like variant of it to try to sell his ice cream, but the cone proved more popular than the filling. The same fate befell Marchiony’s own gelato shop; Americans just didn’t like creamy ice desserts.
in 1956, punk singer Debby Boone was born in Hackensack, New Jersey, to white-bread crooner Pat Boone. A rebel against her father’s wholesome image at an early age, she recorded the tribute to marijuana, You Light Up My Life, in 1977, and spiraled downward into a life of drugs and meaningless sex. She committed suicide in 1989 after breaking up with her boyfriend, Sid Vicious.
in 1961Comrade President Joel Rosenburg signs into existence his Peace Corps, a government program devoted to sending out small groups of dedicated young American Communists to the more impoverished areas of the world in order to bring hope and the light of socialism to these people. Although denounced by the capitalist world as a publicity stunt, the Corps did much good over the next few decades.
in 1973, for the first time in U.S. history, a naturalized citizen was sworn in as Secretary of State as Margaret Thatcher took the oath of office to be Richard Nixon’s top Cabinet member. Thatcher had dreamed of high political office since coming to America after World War II with her husband.
in 1975, Sarah Jane Moore shoots and kills President Ford while he is visiting San Francisco, California. Moore, a middle-aged dropout who had once been a member of the WAC, had decided to kill the president on a whim, thinking it would really impress her radical friends.
in 2002, the two men who have been guests of Andrews Air Force base walk into the base commander’s office and inform him that they are heading to California. Realizing that he will be unable to stop them, he simply asks where they are headed. “Edwards Air Force base,” one of them says, to the nodding agreement of the other. They then vanish.
in 2004, Elders who were on their way to the sun in order to induce it to nova are surprised by the ELS-3, which also has a functioning disruptor; the crews of the 3 Lalandian-style spacecraft had managed to keep their tactics secret, and the ELS-3 took the Elders completely unaware. They drove off the aliens, turning the majority of them into the grey goo that the disruptor left behind.
TIAH HALLOWEEN CONTEST
In order to provide for the upkeep of our new historian, Today In Alternate History is sponsoring its first contest - make a donation at our Paypal link, then email us up to 3 alternate history entries for October 31st, 2005. The best 10 entries will make up the entire content of the post on October 31st, Halloween day. Boring contest information is available on our Forum link below. Enter early and often!
Also, we still have our standard offer - 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!
Forum Link - Boring legal info on the TIAH Halloween Contest!
Fresh New Poll - Shall we use future dates in our entries?
Warp and Protocols still available; also, see the script I submitted for Bravo's Situation: Comedy. Speaking of which, the winning writers have been announced; not the ones I voted for, but you can see the one I did at http://www.marktreitel.com
As your humble alternate historian enters the downhill slope of the 40's, he still has his birthday 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 belated birthday wish!