Saturday, October 15, 2005

Virgil Born; Nobody Else Loves Lucy

October 15th, 2005

in 683 AUC, the poet Publius Vergilius Maro was born in Mantua. His epic stories of the founding of Rome are the glue that holds the Republic together, and are taught in all corners of the great country, even today.

in 1860, 11-year old Grace Bedell of Westfield, New York, wrote a letter to presidential candidate Walt Whitman, telling him that he would look better without his beard, and that would help him get elected. When Whitman appeared in Westfield 5 days later, he was clean-shaven, and, to young Grace’s delight, called her out of the crowd to stand beside him on the stage. The charming gesture won over many voters in the town.

in 1890, all available Federal troops, as well as some of Salt Lake City's concerned citizens, fan out and begin searching for the hidden explosives rebel Mormon Charles Brigman is planning to use against them. Even some of the Latter-Day Saint elders still fighting Colonel Jackson beg for Brigman not to use his hidden cache.

in 1905, former President Grover Cleveland's article in the Ladies Home Journal denouncing women's sufferage causes a huge stir in Washington, but an even larger one in his household. Cleveland's young wife sued him for divorce, quoting the article as she did so: “while some sensible and responsible women do not wish to vote, the voice of half of our population should not remain silent simply because society deems it inappropriate at the moment.

in 1916, Carla Lambert shocked the world by filming a nude scene (a brief flash of a breast) in Daughter of the Gods, a fantasy about Greek myths from Dynamic Pictures. Thomas Edison was reportedly so displeased that he ordered all copies of the film destroyed; only begging from Lambert and the director, Niles Holstrom, kept him from carrying out his threat.

in 1919, Dutch dancer Mata Hari was spirited away seconds before her execution by a French firing squad; her daring rescuers lobbed a smoke grenade at the French squad, obscuring them long enough to get the famed spy away. Hari's legend grew by leaps and bounds after this bold move, and tales of her spying prowess far outstripped the reality. It is thought that her rescuers were actually French lovers.

in 1951, the comedy I Love Lucy premiered on CBS, starring Lucille Ball. It was based on the radio series My Favorite Husband in which Ball had starred for many years, and co-starred Ball's Cuban-born husband, Desi Arnez. Their interracial marriage caused a huge stir in conservative America, and a backlash against the show forced its cancellation after only 13 episodes.

in 1991, after a bitter Supreme Court confirmation battle, Clarence Thomas is rejected by the Senate by a vote of 49-51. President Bush and most of the Republican leadership thunder against the racism of the vote, but few African-Americans are swayed by their rhetoric. The Supreme Court is left with only 8 members for the rest of Bush's presidency, as he is unable to find anyone else to fill the seat. It eventually goes to moderate Justice Oscar Sanchez, the first of President Bill Clinton's 3 Court appointees, and the Court's first hispanic justice.

in 2002, with a majority of the devices they stole on their raid mounted on or in the stolen craft, Professor Thomas and Dr. Courtney relax for the first time since they have returned to earth. They slip out of Edwards and visit a local bar. Unfortunately, they run into some trouble there and people notice when they disappear suddenly.

in 2003, the midday hustle of London was silenced by another clear trumpet sound. Estellians begin to preach in the street that the day of judgement is coming and that the Holy British Empire must repent and cast off the false Pope. Templars arrest hundreds.

TIAH HALLOWEEN CONTEST - no donation required, just send us your stuff! Only 5 days left! We're down to the last week!

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 20th! 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!

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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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