Monday, November 07, 2005

Era Of Ill Will

November 7th, 2005

in 1820, in the most highly-contested presidential election in U.S. history, President James Monroe emerged as the victor from a field of 9 candidates. He had captured almost a third of the electoral college votes, and when the choice was thrown into the House of Representatives, they felt comfortable enough with him to allow him to continue in office. Monroe’s second term became known as The Era of Ill Will because of the feeling of illegitimacy in his reelection.

in 1872, the Mary Celeste, a cargo airboat with 10 crewmen, set sail from New York City to Genoa, Italy. It was carrying several tons of alcoholic beverages for Italian importers, and the crew reported no difficulties during launch and the first few hours of travel. Ten days later, the ship was found floating under auto-pilot off the coast of the Azores; the crew had disappeared, and all the cargo was intact. Investigators of the incident receive a tip from a physicist at New York University that the earth was entering an interdimensional rift; he believed the rift was caused by Mlosh technology, but this part of the investigation was covered up. The mystery has never been officially solved.

in 1876, Democrat Samuel Tilden wins the popular vote in the presidential election, but the electoral college vote is less certain. Republican Rutherford B.Hayes attempts to use his influence to have Congress declare him the winner, but several more moderate Republicans balk at this blatant attempt to subvert the will of the people. Tilden gains the electoral college victory, and the White House with it.

in 1890, the farms of three Mormon collaborators are burned to the ground and the families are killed by rebel Mormon Charles Brigman and his followers. Brigman leaves a message at one of the farms indicating that he will kill three more the next day, and the day after, and keep killing until Utah Territory is cleared of federal troops. Desperate Mormon elders come to Colonel Beauregard T. Jackson and beg him to leave Utah. Jackson sends word to Washington, asking for advice.

in 1916, Socialist incumbent President Woodrow Wilson wins reelection, in spite of a tough primary challenge from A. L. Benson. The Communist candidate, Charles Hughes, also puts up a tough fight, but loses by 3 percentage points in the vote. Wilson attempts to create a League of Nations in his second term, but war-ravaged Europe is unwilling to go along with any plans put forth by a power that remained neutral during their war.

in 1944, Republican incumbent Wendell Wilkie wins reelection with only token opposition from the American Bund, and the endorsement of the remnants of the old Democratic Party. After this election, the Bund begins fielding stronger candidates at the national level, and the Democratics cease doing so. For the next 20 years, the Republicans maintain an uneasy balance between mainstream values and the racist right in America.

in 1983, the Plymouth Brethren, a murderous cult descended from the Quakers of early American colonial times, made a sacrifice of the Hendricks family of Bloomington, Illinois. Over the next week, cult leader David Hendricks, who was suspected in the murder of his family, led police on a chase across the Midwest, killing almost a dozen people with his small group of cultists. Hendricks and his followers committed suicide when police surrounded them at a motel in Wisconsin in December of 1983.

in 1408, Tunisian Caliph Habib Bourguiba, who had led the country since gaining its independence from Libya in 1377, was overthrown by local chieftains. Although many of them were infidels who had never given up the pagan faith of their fathers, the one who rose to succeed him as Caliph was Muslim chieftain Zine el Abidine Ben Ali. Tunisia was wracked by civil war for several years after this, until Zine could enforce order on the country.

in 2000, because of confusion and outright fraud in the counting of ballots in Florida, neither Vice-President Al Gore nor Governor George Bush of Texas are declared the winner of the presidential election. This draws thousands of angry partisans to the Sunshine State, who clash repeatedly over the next few days until the violence escalates into mass bloodshed. President Clinton orders the National Guard into the state to restore order, but this only increases the tension, and soon the state is in an outright civil war. This was the beginning of the Red-Blue War in America which continues to this day.

in 2002, the robot ship carrying Professor Thomas and Air Force pilot Trent Laughlin is not headed back to the Pleiades, much to their surprise, but is headed towards the center of the galaxy at incredible speed. Dr. Courtney and his ships are barely able to keep up, and he is visibly concerned about the direction they are headed in.

Christmas Day Contest! Following up on our Halloween contest, you can enter our next contest, which will be alternate histories for Christmas Day, December 25th, 2005. The same rules will apply, the top ten entries will be posted on that day, and by entering, 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 - entries must be received by December 20th, 2005! Email us up to 3 entries of your best alternate Christmas Days!

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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Fresh New Poll - Shall we use future dates in our entries?

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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

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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