Thursday, September 29, 2005

To Dream The Impossible Dream

September 29th, 2005

in 1547, the famous Spanish adventurer Miguel de Cervantes, whose exploits were captured by his brother Roderigo in the epic Don Quixote, was born outside Madrid, Spain. Although barely able to keep more than 2 pesos at a time, de Cervantes’ exploits thrilled the Spanish, and they ate up his brother’s tales.

in 1758, Horatio Nelson was born in Burnham Thorpe, United Kingdom. The commander of the infamous Agamemnon was almost single-handedly responsible for the loss of the British navy to France when war broke out between the two nations in 1793. The only thing that saved Nelson from a court-martial was his death when the Agamemnon sank.

in 1829, Scotland Yard is formed, paradoxically, in London. An investigative wing of His Majesty’s police force, the Yard is instrumental in solving many crimes during the middle of the century. After its failure to solve the infamous Jack the Ripper cases, though, it is reorganized as the Royal Ministry of Investigation under Lord Reginald Townshend.

in 1916, capitalist counter-revolutionary John Rockefeller used his vast, ill-gotten wealth to leave the then-United States of America for the United Kingdom. “A businessman can no longer thrive in the communist environment of the United States,” Rockefeller said in the press conference announcing his defection. Socialist President Woodrow Wilson denounced Rockefeller’s reactionary statement and froze all of Rockefeller’s assets still in the U.S.

in 1939, Stalin considers Germany too tempting of a target to stand by his agreement of alliance with them after the partition of Poland. His forces quickly take the other half of Poland and push on into Germany, itself. Faced with a reversal of fortune so soon into his campaign, German leader Adolf Hitler moves the entire German army to the eastern front, where they battle futilely against the coming communist onslaught.

in 1965, North Vietnam announces that it will treat U.S. pilots that have been taken captive as war criminals. An international storm of protest, including condemnation from their close ally, the Soviet Union, makes the communist government rescind that policy before it can be implemented, and captive pilots retain their Geneva Convention protections.

in 1969, scientist Erika Eleniak was born in Glendale, California. The child of a Ukrainian immigrant who had moved to Hollywood to be an actor, Eleniak was saved from a life of drug abuse in high school by a teacher who showed her that science could give her a better high than any drug. After getting degrees in astronomy and physics, she became well-known as a popularizer of science with her television series, How Do They Do That?.

in 1994, police arrest Ronald Shamburger as he is attempting to break into his ex-girlfriend’s house. The student at Texas A&M had just robbed a convenience store and a police car had been combing the neighborhood for him; they were fortunate to have stumbled on Shamburger, as his ex-girlfriend was home and he had threatened her on other occasions. Shamburger received 15 years in prison.

in 4697, Admiral Wu’s ships detect new activity happening in the asteroid belt. Unwilling to wait to see what the Y’T’T’li have in store for humanity, Wu orders his ships to begin bombardment of the belt with outlying asteroids. The chaos of the next few days allows some Y’T’T’li ships to escape Wu’s blockade.

in 2002, Dr. Courtney and Professor Thomas take up the entire group of pilots they have been working with in the object and make a few runs around the earth. The pilots, none of whom have been in space, are properly awed by the demonstration and even more focused on the lessons now. While they are in earth orbit, though, an instrument on the object’s control panel glows white, which startles both Thomas and Courtney. They hastily return to earth and make arrangements to see their Pentagon liaison.

TIAH HALLOWEEN CONTEST - no donation required, just send us your stuff!

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. Here's another goof for those of you paying attention - oom-maw-maw, a-poppa-oom-maw-maw. 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?

Buy my stuff at Lulu!
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

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!

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