Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Duchy Of Ohio; Berlin Wall Opens

Christmas Day Contest! LAST CHANCE!! 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 December 25th, 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. Today, December 20th, 2005, is the last day for you to enter! The contest is over once the post for December 21st, 2005 goes up. Email us up to 3 entries of your best alternate Christmas Days!

December 20th, 2005

in 1579, England's greatest playwright was baptized in Sussex. John Fletcher took over writing for the King's Men and the Blackfriars from the unsuccessful hack William Shakespeare, and the magical settings of his writing enchanted the court. Since then, his star has never faded, and such gems as Wild Goose Chase are still performed today.

in 1783, Lord Stephen Dumont-Warrington is given the newly-created Duchy of Ohio, created from the western possessions of the Virginian commonwealth. Dumont-Warrington is famous for raising an army among the natives of his new duchy and using it to fight the Canadian nationalists; the fight proved foolhardy, as the natives abandoned him when the fight went badly, and he was killed by the Canadians in 1786.

in 1812, the North American Confederation started a minor war against its Sioux neighbors when a group of N.A.C. colonists moved into land they mistakenly believed to have been ceded to them by the Sioux. Nearly 50 colonists were killed, along with an equal number of Sioux, before the dispute was settled and the N.A.C. colonists withdrew.

in 1888, Mikhail von Helfin set sail from Brest, France, for the United States. The few descendants of his who had managed to stay in contact with him had immigrated to a place called Texas, and he had decided to join them.

in 1892, New York inventors Alexander Brown and George Stillman patented their design for an inflatable tire, in order to make auto travel a little less bumpy. Auto manufacturers refuse to use it, though, because of the ease with which they wear out compared to the standard solid rubber tire. This does spur the development of shock absorbers, giving the nation's auto-riding public a bit more comfort.

in 1929, American courts had the good sense to ban that British pornographic tome, Lady Chatterly’s Lover. Once it was settled that the moral health of the nation stood to gain from the government determining what was good for the citizenry to read, the Department of Censorship was created and its secretary made a full Cabinet officer. Now, we only read what’s good for us.

in 1946, with World War II over and Japan safely out of his country, Indochinese leader Ho Chi Minh begins his long crusade to free his native land from French colonial rule. With the aid of such unlikely allies as Joseph Stalin and Dwight Eisenhower, Ho secures freedom for his people, although the French negotiate the use of the Indochinese coast for several naval bases.

in 1965, years after Comrade President Joel Rosenberg's famous speech, the Berlin Wall is opened to foot and auto traffic between East and West Berlin. Although the German monarchy still fears the communists of the east, the cries of the people to be reunited with their loved ones has become too loud.

in 1980, wealthy socialite Sunny von Bulow flees her Rhode Island mansion, pursued by her husband. Although he catches her, several neighbors in their suburb witness his attack and call the police. When the cops arrive, Claus von Bulow flees, never to be seen again.

in 1989, when President George Bush attempts to order American troops into Panama in order to “enforce American law” against dictator Manuel Noriega, Congress halts the operation and expands the so-called Iran-Contra hearings to include events in Panama. When it comes out that the Panamanian strongman was one of the conduits through which the Contras sold drugs in order to support their war efforts, impeachment proceedings began in the House.

in 2003, a pale rider on a pale horse rode through London, and all who stood within his path died. The horse was seen galloping towards Buckingham Cathedral after an Estellian in his way had called upon her to save him. He was the lone survivor of that horseman’s hideous ride.

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