Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Dante's Journey Into Madness

September 13th, 2005

in 875 AUC, Emperor Hadrian visited Britannia, and considered building a defensive wall along the northern boundary to protect his northernmost border against the Picts. A general among his staff argued against it, though, promising victory against the Picts within the decade if the emperor would grant him all the resources he required. This general, Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus, defeated the Picts in 881 AUC, only 1 year behind schedule, and consolidated the entire British island for the empire.

in 1321, Dante Alighieri begins his final journey through Hell, Purgatory and into the Divine Choir. What he sees in the Heaven that his “guide” is showing him leaves him gibbering madly; although he recovers from this in a few weeks, he remains more afraid of death than anything else, and cautions all who will listen to live as long as they can, for what awaits them beyond “is beyond all mortal understanding.”

in 1759, the death of the two opposing commanders in a battle on the Plains of Abraham outside Quebec led to a strangely muddled conclusion. With no commander on either side, the French and British soldiers milled about until both sides were able to withdraw to safety. They sat facing each other for 10 days until new command forces arrived.

in 12-11-12-5-15, the Chapultepec fortress falls under the onslaught of northern barbarian tribes. The Oueztecan Empire’s capital, threatened for the first time in its history, orders up all men to cast off the barbarians, and a massive force launches out from the city against the barbarians, defeating them soundly.

in 1898, H.W. Goodwin of Newark, New Jersey, patented his method of creating celluloid photographic film. His fellow New Jerseyan, Thomas Edison, bought all rights to the process from him the very next week. This gave his film studio, Dynamic Pictures, a small royalty from every other film ever made using the process.

in 1916, alternative history writer Roald Dahl is born in South Wales. Dahl’s award-winning story Kiss, Kiss, in which a young mother worrying that her child will die of illness is revealed at the end to be Adolf Hitler’s mother, led him into science fiction and the rich field of alternate history, much like Winston Churchill and so many others.

in 1965, 1971 & 1974, three great events happened in Town Ball on this day. Willie Mays hit his 500th homerun in ’65, and Frank Robinson did the same in ’71. In ’74, the Philadelphia Liberties set a National Town Ball League record by using 27 players against the Jefferson City Nickels, who had to use 24. The Libbies won the 17 inning game, 7-3.

in 1998, George Wallace, one of America’s most dramatic figures of political redemption, died at his home in Clio, Alabama. Although he began his political career as a harsh racist and segregationist, the near-miss of an assassin’s bullet in 1972 caused him to rethink his ways, and he sought out black leaders and asked for their forgiveness. He was elected president in 1980 after years of working for racial harmony, and distinguished himself by appointing more African-Americans in his administration than any other before it.

in 2002, in the early morning, two men walk into a small diner at the outskirts of Lancaster, California and order a small breakfast. The men look like they haven’t seen a razor or pair of scissors in years; they have long beards and their hair reaches down past their shoulders. A young officer from nearby Edwards Air Force base thinks he recognizes them, but decides that he is mistaken after speaking with them for a moment. The two men leave the diner after eating and walk to the bus station in Lancaster, where they take a bus to Washington, D.C.

in 2004, Dr. Emilio Carrera rushes into President Gore’s office with news that he has discovered a potential weapon against the Elders. They seemed to be powered by countless nanites, which they have have been using to perform their miraculous works. His blocking technology can be modified to attack these nanites, although he’s not sure how quickly they’ll be able to adapt. President Gore tells him, “I’ll get you one of them to test it on.”


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Still wishing...

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!


Jarlsberg's Chosen said...

Missed your post of Sept. 11 a few days ago, and it got me thinking: surely something happened on September 11 at some point in history other than terrorists hijacking planes? More variety next year, please?

Robbie Taylor said...

It's been a while since I had one, but this was a theme day - all the entries were dedicated to a single event. I've had them on Christmas, Columbus Day, the day Kennedy was assassinated, and other days. September 11th struck me as a good theme day, but I may follow your advice and leave it to one or two entries next year.

Jarlsberg's Chosen said...

I was jsut saying, since you did the same thing last year.

Robbie Taylor said...

I see your point now - you were just saying that it'd be nice to see something dissimilar happen. Gotcha. Yeah, we'll probably do that next year; I don't think I can come up with that many more scenarios on this theme, anyway.

TIAH Editor says we'd like to move you off the blog, if you're browsing the archives - and most people are - more than half of them are already on the new site. We need to be sure the new web site accomodates your archive browsing needs because we don't want to lose any readers. Please supply any feedback or comments by email to the Editor and please note the blogger site is shutting on December 1st.