September 30th, 2005
in 1399, Henry Bolingbroke attempts to ascend to the English throne after King Richard II abdicates, but the majority of the nobles refuse to recognize him. Civil war breaks out across the land, and Henry is forced to release former King Richard from prison and reinstate him in order to calm the country.
in 856, the newly-invented printing presses of Baghdad produce the first machine-made copies of the Koran. The faithful need no longer puzzle out mistakes of handwriting; all versions of the holiest book of Islam are invariant from this point on.
in 1890, federal troops arriving in Utah Territory are ambushed by Mormons who had been warned of their arrival by one of their own in Washington. The short battle leaves almost 30 Mormon rebels dead, along with 16 soldiers. The troops under the command of Colonel Beauregard T. Jackson ride on to Salt Lake City; Colonel Jackson intends to arrest the territorial governor there and declare martial law.
in 1924, Truman Persons was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. A flamboyant homosexual activist, he spearheaded homosexual rights movements in the 50’s and 60’s, famously declaring, “I refuse to be labeled a criminal because of who I love.” Persons was lynched by Ku Klux Klansmen in 1968 after he had begun speaking out for the rights of African-Americans throughout the south.
in 1934, future Israeli Prime Minister Elie Wiesel is born in Romania. Like many of Israel’s first leaders, he survived the Holocaust but lost dozens of family members, including his parents. He made his own way to Israel, where he became a staunch Likudnik, taking a hard line against all of Israel’s enemies in his years as Prime Minister in the late 70’s.
in 1960, the first animated series to appear in prime-time, The Flagstones, appeared on this evening on ABC. The show about cavemen leading surprisingly modern lives among dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures was a ratings hit for the network, even if the critics detested it. It lasted 9 seasons and gave birth to a generation of American animation.
in 1962, the University of Mississippi, often a bastion of reaction in what was otherwise a solidly communist soviet, is forced to integrate black students by marshals of the Soviet States of America. The presence of the marshals helps calm a riot that had threatened the lives of many of the young comrades entering the school for the first time. Nowadays, of course, Ole Miss, as it is nicknamed, is a shining example of the virtues of communist education.
in 1982, several bottles of the pain-killer Tylenol are found to be laced with cyanide after a half-dozen people in Chicago die mysteriously. A police investigation into the culprit behind the murders is shut down suddenly when the detectives find that their chief suspect has a business address in Langley, Virginia.
in 4697, a Chinese colonist on Feng-huang sees something crash outside his dome and goes to investigate. The Y’T’T’li debris seizes him and takes control of his body. This poor man’s body is used to establish communication with other Y’T’T’li units and form a front against the Chinese on Feng-huang.
in 2002, after returning from their meeting with the Pentagon, Dr. Courtney and Professor Thomas tell the pilots they have been working with that it is time to go someplace where they can put their lessons to a practical use. Everyone of them is issued a space suit, and they are then crowded into the object, which takes off with Professor Thomas at the controls. It leaves earth’s atmosphere in seconds and begins flying away from the solar system.
TIAH HALLOWEEN CONTEST - no donation required, just send us your stuff!
In order to give us a tad more time for Halloween, 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!