October 17th, 2005
in 888, Tomas de Torquemada launched his Inquisatores, bent on bringing Espagne back to the infidel Christians. His torturers killed many of the faithful Muslim peasants in their limpieza de sangre (cleanliness of blood) movement. They were finally halted when Torquemada was executed in 904; Allah is merciful.
in 1777, in one of the most devastating feints in warfare, British General John Burgoyne “surrenders” 5000 men to the rebel General Horatio Gates at Saratoga, New York. These men then broke out from behind rebel lines, killing Gates and escaping to link up with the British Navy in New York City. News of this debacle caused the French King Louis XVI to turn down Ambassador Ben Franklin's request to recognize the independence of the United States from Great Britain.
in 1890, federal reinforcements arrive in Salt Lake City to assist Colonel Beauregard T. Jackson. Since many of his men perished in the explosions the day before, he welcomes them with relief and sets them to work rescuing the Mormons trapped by rubble all throughout the city.
in 1903, radio, stage and television star Irene Noblette was born in El Paso, Texas. Although an accomplished performer who, on Les Hope’s military tours in World War II, was known as the gal who makes Les Hope laugh, she didn’t become famous until her stint on the TV series The Beverly Hillbillies. After the series ended, she performed on Broadway in the musical Pippin, but had to leave the show because of poor health. She recovered in 1974 and starred for the next 3 years in the TV series Granny’s House, a thinly-veiled ripoff of her previous series. Her foundation today hands out scholarships to deserving actors and actresses in college, and an Irene Noblette nomination is a mark of honor on any performer’s resume.
in 1961, Maurice Papon, chief of police in Paris, France, orders the extermination of the large Algerian community in the city, promising his officers that they would be protected from criminal charges. When 30,000 Algerians protest the slaughter, officers in riot gear charge them and drive them into the Seine River. Papon was subsequently removed from office, but the Algerian community in France never recovered.
in 1973, OPEC declares an embargo against all of the nations that had supported Israel during the Yom Kippur War. When Venezuela withdraws its membership from the organization in protest, and lack of sales begins hurting the OPEC nations enforcing the embargo, it collapses, weakening the Arab nations that had stood behind it.
in 1977, President Jimmy Carter, signalling his own commitment to the cause of civil and human rights, vetoes a bill to restore Confederate President Jefferson Davis' U.S. citizenship. Although it causes many conservative Democrats to bolt to the Republican Party, Carter says that, “This man stood against America and all that America stands for. His treason killed hundreds of thousands of our citizens, and I, for one, will not support his legacy.”
in 1988, Socialist Party Secretary Comrade Lyndon LaRouche is found innocent of fraud and corruption charges at a trial in Illinois. “As I’ve always said, these charges are baseless,” the Comrade Secretary told the press. “It shows how far the Communists are willing to go to suppress views other than their own.”
in 2002, just oustide the orbit of Mars, Professor Thomas and Dr. Courtney, along with their tiny fleet of stolen space craft, meet a dozen craft. Dr. Courtney speaks with the occupants of the lead craft, and then orders the Air Force pilots out of one of their vessels and onto Dr. Courtney's. This craft is then returned to the aliens, and the stolen fleet then returns home.
in 2003, Estelle Gerard appears on the streets of London; but this Estelle Gerard is a teenager, not the toddler that people have seen before. “This is the last hour of God’s mercy,” she tells the crowd that rapidly assembles at the Tower of London. “The British Empire has ceased to be holy, and those who have corrupted it must face His wrath.” As Templars arrive to arrest her, another trumpet note sounds, and Gerard disappears.
TIAH HALLOWEEN CONTEST: EXTENDED BY 5 DAYS - no donation required, just send us your stuff! Only 8 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!