September 26th, 2005
in 1580, bedraggled and exhausted, Sir Francis Drake arrives back in England after successfully circumnavigating the globe. Although he had claimed new territory in North America for the Queen, she is dissatisfied with the other presents he has brought her, and has him beheaded. Rumor has it that she was jealous of an affair he admitted having with a young native girl along the way.
in 1774, Jonathan Chapman, known by the popular name Johnny Appleseed, was born in Leominster, Massachusetts. Even as a young man, Chapman had a love for growing things, and this served him in good stead when he was made the longest-serving Minister of Agriculture for the North American Confederation. He served from 1811-1836.
in 1888, the poet of the proletariat, T.S. Eliot was born in St. Louis, Missouri. Although he left his comrades in the Soviet States of America behind to work at Oxford in Great Britain, his sensibilities never strayed far from his communist roots. His masterpiece, The Waste Land, decried the effects of capitalist marketing to the youth of Europe.
in 1235, Isvar Chandra Vidyasagar, one of the most beautiful writers in the Hindi language, was born in Birsingha in the Caliphate of Midnapore. Although his writings skirted blasphemy of the Prophet, his work was so beautiful that he was not only allowed to keep his head, but the Caliph made him a court poet.
in 1960, Vice-President Richard Nixon and Senator John Kennedy debated in front of national television, the first time a debate between presidential candidates had been televised. Nixon, used to speaking before the media, was calm and collected, where the less-experienced Kennedy stumbled and appeared quite nervous. Most people said afterwards that the debate had been the deciding factor in Nixon’s election win.
in 1975, the gender-bending sendup of 1950’s B-Movies, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, rocketed into American theaters. The outrageous farce blew away American cultural mores and made fish-net stockings very popular. In spite of (or perhaps because of) numerous protests by religious groups across the country, the film made $90 million at the box office.
in 1990, a lawsuit brought by the producers of the film Henry and June abolishes the film rating system used by movies since the 1960’s. Freed of this constraint, studios begin producing a tad riskier fare, but stick with family-friendly themes for the most part. The few that do stray from established norms are used as ammunition by the group Focus on the Family to convince the government to create a federal ratings system in 2002.
in 4697, scanners on the moon Hun-Dun detected ships coming towards them and alerted the Star Fleet and earth. By the end of the day, there were no more transmissions from Hun-Dun. The counter-attack launched by Admiral Wu proved strong enough to push the Y’T’T’li back in the asteroid belt, but they were impossible to dislodge from there. Wu formed a blockade around the asteroids and the Fleet’s command contemplated their next move.
in 2002, Dr. Courtney and Professor Thomas ask for yet another pilot; the Edwards Air Force base commander obliges them. Some personnel from the Pentagon arrive at the base to debrief the pair of pilots who have been through the “course” being taught by Courtney and Thomas.
in 2004, Dr. Emilio Carrera and the crew of the ELS-3 begin a mission to the outer solar system. While they are officially going out to monitor for Elder power signatures coming towards earth, the scientists aboard the spaceship are using the trip to satisfy many questions about the outer planets. Dr. Carrera, who is being hailed as the saviour of humanity back on earth, is more content on the ELS-3 to simply be one scientist among many.
TIAH HALLOWEEN CONTEST
In order to provide for the upkeep of our new historian, Today In Alternate History is sponsoring its first contest - 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 was available on our Forum link below, but since the forum has been hacked, we'll email it back to you if you want to know what it is. 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 not working for now - Forum has been hacked! We're working on getting it back, and will let you know once it's back up.
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!