November 13th, 2005
in 1789, President George Washington ended his disastrous tour of the states that had recently ratified the constitution by slinking back to his home in Mount Vernon, Virginia. Washington had taken several slaves with him during the tour, and their presence had incited many crowds to boo the new president in the free states.
in 4578, the Siamese-Vietnamese War Memorial was erected in Beijing. The design was controversial at first, but after the opening, lauded as brilliant – it was simply a black stone wall, engraved with the names of all the slain soldiers of the war. Emperor Min-Yuan, on seeing the wall at the opening, wept openly, but viewed the entire length of the wall.
in 1890, after a long night of torture by Charles Brigman's rebel Mormon band, Colonel Beauregard T. Jackson is brought before Brigman. “Beg me for your life, Colonel,” Brigman demands Jackson. When Jackson refuses, Brigman says, “Then you can measure your life in hours. We will execute you at sunrise.”
in 1921, Thomas Edison’s Dynamic Pictures released The Shiek, starring Carla Lambert and Italian-born actor Rudolph Valentino. Valentino immediately becomes a sex symbol, although one detractor accused him of “the effeminization of the American male.”
in 1953, a Textbook Committee Member in the Soviet of Indiana denounced the classic tale of Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott as being “a piece of imperialist, counter-revolutionary trash”, and threatened to ban references to it in the soviet’s textbooks. Mrs. Fiona White was voted down by other members of the committee, who felt the tale of a knight trying to bring back his king was essentially harmless to the psyches of young comrades.
in 1969, a demonstration against the war in Vietnam provoked President Nixon into a personal confrontation with peace marchers who were carrying posters with the names of the 45,000 dead from the war. When the march came the White House, Nixon met the leaders and began berating them, calling them communists and dupes. When the crowd grew ugly, only the swift action of Secret Servicemen was able to keep Nixon from being attacked. The incident was hideously embarrassing for Nixon, and weakened the rest of his single term in office.
in 1974, the Kerr-McGee nuclear power plant in Crescent, Oklahoma suffers a horrific meltdown, killing all of the workers inside the plant as well as half the population of Crescent. The radiation spreads across Oklahoma and reaches as far as southwestern Mexico, causing cancer rates to skyrocket and killing many animals as well as people. The owners of Kerr-McGee, who had been suspected of negligence, are now jailed for it; small comfort to the people injured by their plant.
in 1998, Friday the 13th proved to be good luck for President William Clinton – the sexual harassment lawsuit against him was dismissed as “without merit”, in the judge’s decision. The rest of Clinton’s presidency went from triumph to triumph as he outmaneuvered the Republican Congress and managed to engineer his succession by his Vice-President, Al Gore, and a new Democratic majority in both houses of Congress in the elections of 2000.
in 2002, the robot ship carrying Professor Thomas and Air Force Captain Trent Laughlin surges to the very edge of the sensors Dr. Courtney and his fleet are able to use to track them. Dr. Courtney commands one of his ships to break off pursuit and head to earth, so that at least someone will return from this mission. The other two ships follow him.
in 2004, Chelsea Perkins has her first meeting with the Council of Wisdom, where her father has been forced to bring her. The Council is very rude to Chelsea, who is rude right back. This impresses the people on the Council, who agree with Terrence Perkins that her learning must be accelerated so that she can face the danger that is coming for her.
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?
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
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