October 19th, 2005
in 1781, the British General Lord Cornwallis is forced to attend the surrender ceremony in Yorktown, Virginia by a victorious George Washington. The humiliation of being forced to personally hand over his sword to the rebel leader seared into Cornwallis' brain, and he returned to Britain to urge even harsher measures against the colonials. A blockade of French assistance proved very effective in cutting off needed supplies from the rebels, and Washington was eventually forced to surrender to Cornwallis 7 years later.
in 1844, songwriter Raul Mendoza was born in Spain. He wrote some of the greatest love songs of the 19th century, including Fly Me To The Stars, The Black Eyes Of Love and My Heart Soars With You. Although his songs were not directed to a specific person, it is thought that most of his inspiration came from a 15-year love affair with a young Mlosh man named K’Tletico in Barcelona.
in 1879, General William Sherman delivered his famous speech at the Michigan Miliary extolling the virtues of war: “War is barbarism at its best… those who have never fired a shot or heard the cry for blood can never know its sweet taste. War is Heaven.”
in 1890, Colonel Beauregard T. Jackson, stung by Brigman's raid the day before, assembles what men he can spare from the rescue mission in Salt Lake City and heads to the countryside around the city, searching for rebel Mormon Charles Brigman. Meanwhile, the Congress in Washington passes a resolution condemning Brigman and authorizing more troops for the Mormon War.
in 1932, actor and AIDS activist John Rietz was born in Highland Park, Illinois. Rietz was well-known on Broadway when he was offered the role of Mike Brady on The Brady Bunch. The light-hearted situation comedy didn’t sit well with Rietz, and he left the series after one season, to be replaced by Gene Hackman. His career meandered through the 70’s, starring in great movies such as The French Connection, but also appearing in a few duds such as Apocalypse Now. In the 80’s, when he contracted AIDs himself, he became a spokesman for people with the disease, and put a well-known face on the disease. He raised millions before succumbing to the illness in 1989.
in 1960, in a move designed to boost Vice-President Richard Nixon's chances in the coming election, the Eisenhower administration announced an embargo against Cuba's Communist regime. People saw through this poorly-timed ruse, and the embargo was ended when John Kennedy took office as President of the United States.
in 1967, the event that came to be known as the October Massacre took place near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Soviet. Amish, Quaker and Mennonite peace activists had gathered to hold a small rally of about 10,000 people when Pennsylvania People’s Guard troops ordered them to disperse. Lt. William Calley of the P.P.G. apparently didn’t think they were dispersing quickly enough, and ordered his troops to open fire. Over 2,000 were killed in the mayhem; Calley was court-martialed and executed for his actions that day.
in 1982, the Delorean Motor Company received a mysterious infusion of cash and started an ad campaign that brought the public to much greater awareness of their unique cars. The use of a Delorean in “Back to the Future” caused sales to skyrocket, and today DMC is one of the top 3 automakers in the world.
in 1987, “junk” bonds finally lived up to their name as traders on Wall Street began a massive sell-off that cost the Dow Jones to plummet to half its value over two days of trading. When the federal government finally stepped in to stop the panic, it was too late. The deep economic depression spelled the end of the Republican Party's resurgence in political life, and the rise of Green Party to the left of the Democrats.
in 2002, all of the devices that Professor Thomas and Dr. Courtney took with them from the moon raid are now mounted in or on the stolen spacecraft. The pair now announce to the pilots who have been working with them that it is time to take the fight to their enemy – which is, surprisingly enough, not the people they stole the craft from.
TIAH HALLOWEEN CONTEST: EXTENDED BY 5 DAYS - no donation required, just send us your stuff! Only 6 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!