September 16th, 2005
in 1524, Tomas de Torquemada, High Inquisitor, is approached by a man dressed entirely in red while meeting with the Pope. This man claims to have possession of Torquemada’s soul, and in full view of many priests, bishops, cardinals and His Holiness, is dragged by the man in red into a flaming hole that appears in the floor.
in 1845, after the implementation of the doctrine of blood atonement on the hapless Mormon practioner Phineas Wilcox, Latter-Day Saints across Illinois begin making others “atone” for their sins in a bloody spree that lasts four weeks. Although repudiated by the leaders of the Mormon Church, the small sect of Atoners continues to exist in the shadow of the main church through the 20th century.
in 1920, Enrico Caruso recorded his first album for Edison Records, Thomas Edison’s record company. Edison himself had negotiated the deal which brought Caruso in, because of the enormous prestige the greatest singer in the world could give to his company. Unfortunately, Caruso’s first record with Edison was also his last, as he died a few days later.
in 1924, iconic actress Betty Joan Perske was born in the Bronx, New York. Her on and off-screen relationship with husband Humphrey Bogart produced some of the most memorable lines in film myth, such as, “You know how to whistle, don’t you? You put your lips together and blow.”
in 1940, Communist Representative Bill Munro of Texas became the Speaker of the House. He held this position until he retired from his seat in 1962 to teach at the University of Texas. Comrade Munro was responsible for Texas’ leading role in electronics, space travel and computers.
in 1949, German Reich forces in Lebanon massacre the civilians of Sabra and Shatila. This area becomes a jump point for the attack on the holy land itself; by Christmas, they control Jerusalem, and are moving forces into position to take Mecca.
in 1968, attempting to show his lighter side to the voters, Republican presidential candidate Richard Nixon appears on the comedy-variety show Laugh-In, voicing their stock line, “Sock it to me.” After he loses the election, Nixon decides to leave politics. His fun with the Laugh-In crowd leads him to pursue television production, and he produces several hit series in the 70’s, such as Charlie’s Angels and M*A*S*H.
in 1982, Israeli forces intercept their erstwhile allies, Lebanese Phalangists, as they move threateningly towards the Palestinian refugee camp at Sabra, Lebanon. It proves to be a wise move, as another company of the Christian militia massacres the Palestinians at Shatila, Lebanon. Shocked Israelis demand the withdrawal of their invading force from Lebanon.
in 2002, the two hairy men who were able to break into President Bush’s office in the White House are escorted by Secret Service agents to NASA, where they speak with the administrator for several hours. At the end of the day, they are driven back to the White House, where they stay the night.
in 2004, Dr. Emilio Carrera is placed on board the ELS-1 and taken off earth to keep him safe, hopefully, from the Elders while President Gore negotiates with them. During the talks, Washington is evacuated; none too soon, because the Elders show their dissatisfaction with Gore’s actions by destroying the city. Dr. Carrera and the crew of ELS-1 work on adapting his device to make it work from their ship.
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 make up your own mind by seeing the pilots at http://aol.com/situationcomedy
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!