October 20th, 2005
in 1592, William Shakespeare entered his play Richard III into the Stationer’s Register. Although it is widely believed to be one of his top 3 plays, it was never performed in his own time because of its favorable portrayal of King Richard, whom the reigning Tudor family had unlawfully usurped at the end of the War of the Roses.
in 1803, in a show of defiance against what many in the Congress considered a somewhat imperial decision to buy land on the president's authority alone, Congress refuses to ratify President Jefferson's treaty purchasing Louisiana from France. Relations sour between the two old allies, and the young United States never grows beyond the eastern coast of North America as a consequence.
in 1890, men across the U.S. join the army to fight in the Mormon War. Many of the Latter-Day Saints outside of Utah Territory begin to feel the persecution that drove their brethren west, and a resolution is introduced into the House to forcibly move all Mormons to the territory, at least for the duration of the war.
in 12-14-5-3-5, Utehuanoco charts the motions of the planets and devises his theory of stellar dance. He explains that stars are objects of great mass which distort the space around them, causing anything within the distorted space to move and sway to the rhythms of the stars. This revolutionizes astronomy in the Oueztecan Empire, and leads to advances in their study of space.
in 1942, a conference of African-Americans at the North Carolina College for Negroes issues the Durham Manifesto, a demand for equal rights for all people, regardless of race, color, creed or gender. This sweeping civil rights document drew support from across the nation, including many women and people of minority religions – the motto of the movement became Civil Rights For All.
in 1950, Wilson Whitaker of Hadenfield, New Jersey, started a company selling treats to children from a truck he drove around his town. One of the treats he sold was an old recipe that he was surprised had never caught on - ice cream, a confection made by freezing cream mixed with plenty of sugar and flavorings. Whitaker wrapped the cream around sticks and covered them with chocolate, but always ended up with plenty left over at the end of the day. He stopped selling them after a few weeks; but his Candy Van, as it became known, has become a neighborhood fixture across America.
in 1975, in a thawing of the cold war with the European monarchies, Comrade President John Anderson agrees to sell millions of tons of American grain to Russia and several Central European nations. Although he is denounced by the Communist Party as a sellout, the Socialist president uses the food to ease the long-standing tensions with Europe and tries to bring about his plan of peace through commerce.
in 1995, anti-U.N. members of the U.S. Congress, which has just recently come under the control of the Republican Party, see an opportunity to force the country out of the organization by refusing to appropriate funds to pay America's dues. Since the U.N. charter forces members to give up their vote if they are more than two years past due on contributions, the Republican's delaying tactic makes the international body take the unthinkable step of expelling a permanent member from its body.
in 2002, after informing the Pentagon that they are leaving, Professor Thomas and Dr. Courtney take their pilots and the stolen spacecraft off earth and head towards the Pleiades star system. It is a long journey, so they have brought some supplies that will be necessary for the trip, although the ships are capable of synthesizing much of what they need.
in 2003, rumors of Estelle Gerard fly around London as the Templars tear the city apart to find her. They do succeed in finding her mother, Sylvie, who is brought to Buckingham Cathedral in chains. Pope Righteous I announces that she will be burned at the stake for witchcraft the next morning, and commands all good Christians within the Holy British Empire to view her suffering.
TIAH HALLOWEEN CONTEST: EXTENDED BY 5 DAYS - no donation required, just send us your stuff! Only 5 days left! We're extending the deadline to October 25th to give you more time to get in those entries!
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. Entries must be received by October 25th! Boring Legal Info - By entering the contest, you grant TIAH the right to electronically print your writing on October 31st, 2005, maintain your writing in our archives, and reprint your entry should we decide to reuse it in the future. TIAH only maintains full copyright over material it has originated that has been used by contestants in writing their own entries. 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!