Saturday, May 20, 2006

Cristobal Colon Dies; R.D. Strawn Born

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May 20th, 2006

in 1506, crackpot sailor Cristobal Colon died in Valladolid, Spain. For over a decade, he had scoured Europe seeking financial backing for a planned trip across the Atlantic to India, rather than over land or south around Africa. He thought that Asia was a short distance across the Atlantic, but no one of any importance believed him.

in 1520, Hernando Cortes declared himself the new Emperor of the Aztecs after using them as shock troops to defeat Spanish soldiers sent to capture him. His New Aztec Empire became a thorn in the side of Spanish expansion in the New World, bringing in allies from the native population who preferred conquest by people of their own continent to European domination.

in 1774, in yet another rebuke to King George, Parliament refuses to pass his Coercive Acts to punish the American colonists. Their efforts at reconciliation, although constantly being sabotaged by the King’s efforts, are effective at appeasing the colonists and keeping them within the empire rather than attempting a revolution.

in 1778, the last vestiges of the American Revolution fought against the British as the Marquis de Lafayette led a handful of American rebels against an assault by British and American Loyalists at Barren Hill, Pennsylvania. Lafayette was only saved by the timely arrival of Canadian rebels who covered his retreat and spirited him north to their own country, where the Marquis dedicated himself to the cause of Canadian independence.

in 1910, Q’Bar rebels locate and destroy the headquarters of the Q’B’Ton’ran forces in the Mlosh home system, crippling their forces in the war. The rebels ask the Congress of Nations for assistance, but the C.N. is reluctant to be drawn further into the conflict. The Jovian Mlosh are actively fighting on their side, and giving them all the reinforcements they want.

in 1946, English poet W.H. Auden became a citizen of the Soviet States of America, defecting from his native Britain because of persecution against his leftist sympathies. He was never able to return to England, and died in America in 1973. He composed many of the greatest works of Soviet poetry, among them The Age of Socialism, which won the Pulitzer Prize.

in 1952, the German Reich completed its conquest of Burma, and the rest of Asia was feeling the pressure of their presence. China was already in combat with the Reich, but many southeast Asian nations were considering surrender to the Germans. This proved to be a bad strategy, as their populations were soon devastated by the “racial purification” programs of the Reich. All ended up fighting the Germans, sooner or later.

in 1959, enigmatic inventor R.D. Strawn was born in Alexandria, Virginia. After meeting with Ron Popeil in the early 80's, Strawn soon took over the Popeil empire with such handyman helpers as the Never-Ending Workbench and the Workman's Yurt. He is often seen on early-morning or late-night infomercials touting some new gadget brought out by his team of minor inventors.

in 1978, the film The Buddy Holly Story premiered in the music legend’s hometown of Lubbock, Texas. It documented Holly’s life up through 1975, when he reconciled with The Crickets and started touring with them again. Holly himself showed up for the premiere, which drew crowds from across America and snarled traffic in Lubbock for days.

in 1993, a 10 kilometer wide meteor strikes the Pacific Ocean, sending huge waves across Asia, the Americas and Australia. While the destruction is massive, with tens of millions dead and hundreds of cities wiped out, the world is thankful that it wasn’t worse, and struggles to rebuild what was lost in the devastation.

Timelines in today's post: Canadian Independence, the Mlosh, the GZR and Communist America

Today's "Six Degrees of Star Trek" challenge: Connect The Buddy Holly Story to Star Trek. Place your answers in the comments and see the Forum for previous results. For more on 6 degrees games, click here.

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