Friday, June 30, 2006

Tenochtitlan

The state of TIAH

June 30th, 2006

in 1520, Tenochtitlan becomes a large grave for the Spaniards who had been ruling it for a year. The Aztec citizens retook their capitol in a bloody attack on this day, killing all of the Spanish conquistadors and any Aztec who sided with them, including former Emperor Montezuma. Montezuma's brother, Cuitlahuac, assumed the throne and mobilized the great nation for a full attack on any Europeans who might follow in the footsteps of the hated Hernan Cortes, whose head Emperor Cuitlahuac had placed on a spear at the gates of Tenochtitlan. He also set his most learned priests the task of making more weapons like the Spaniards carried, and when a Spanish army arrived from Cuba two years later to check on Cortes, they were greeted with Aztec guns and routed from the mainland. With this great discovery, Emperor Cuitlahuac united all of Central America under the Aztec banner and struck fear in European hearts on the other side of the world.

in 1934, the German Nazi Party, in power for a mere two years, falls into a civil war with itself as competing factions attack each other throughout the country. The leader of the Sturm Abteilung, Ernst Roehm, was nearly killed by men under the command of Hermann Goering and Heinrich Himmler, both of whom wished to seize the mighty SA for their own. A small clique of industrialists attempted to oust a few of the other upper party leaders, and bands of the SA roamed the country, attacking people indiscriminately. After this night of long knives, it was readily apparent that the Nazis had lost control of themselves, and all of the elements of society that they had been repressing – labor movements, democrats, even some of the aristocrats – seized the moment and banded together in Berlin. An ambitious team was able to capture Hitler and assassinate him, which plunged the already-splintered Nazis into further infighting as all of their leaders tried to take control of the party. The revolutionary movement appointed former chancellor Kurt von Schleicher as Prime Minister of Germany and outlawed the Nazi Party. Prime Minister von Schleicher immediately asked for international assistance to quell the unrest in his country, and troops from around central and western Europe were soon putting the Nazis down. Prime Minister von Schleicher steered Germany away from the authoritarian nightmare the Nazis had been instituting and towards a more workable, French-style democracy, although he had to deal with Nazi remnants for many years after the coup.

in 2017, the Pokor arrives at the Dyson sphere in time to see the small craft they are following disappear into a bay, which seals behind it. Without a clear landing spot, even Captain Mawrao is reluctant to set down on the huge structure. “Perhaps we should look for a more apparent docking bay,” Commander Patterson suggests, and Mawrao agrees. The Pokor moves slowly across the outer surface of the sphere, scanning for any possible ingress. Now that they are this close, the crew can detect a dizzying level of activity from the sphere – strange, alien devices move about everywhere, and the space around the sphere is filled with small craft whizzing back and forth. “Nothing looks like a piloted craft,” Captain Mawrao said after they examined what must have been a hundred of the smaller ships. “Are they all automated?” Several of the scientists of both crews had been speculating about that, and brought out their theories for the Captain and Commander Patterson to hear, when a very large hole opened up directly in front of them. The Pokor's pilot said, “That not there a minute ago.” Captain Mawrao's eyes curved up, a Quarai smile. “Take us in.”


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Thursday, June 29, 2006

World Cup

The state of TIAH

June 29th, 2006

in 1613, London’s Globe Theatre burns down. Suspicion immediately falls on William Shakespeare, who had been presenting himself as the author of several plays penned by Francis Bacon until Bacon revealed himself as the author. Shakespeare’s life had taken a sharp downturn since that time, and the entire theatrical community knew that he harbored a deep grudge against Bacon for stealing that prestige from him. After the fire, Francis Bacon pledged to rebuild the theatre, and King James generously provided the funds for one of the most lavish theatres in all of Europe. With Bacon's reputation and the opulence of the New Globe, British theatre became the envy of the western world.

in 1776, South Carolinian Edward Rutledge writes what will become the most influential letter of the brief war for American independence to John Jay of New York. Rutledge urged Jay to find a way to turn his Continental Congress colleagues from independence, hoping that there was still a way to “effectively oppose” the headlong rush toward nationhood that the colonials were in. When Jay took control of the Continental Congress and began negotiating for a rapprochement with the Crown, he sent Rutledge to Great Britain to argue on behalf of increased autonomy for the colonies if they would yield to continued British rule. Rutledge found many in Britain's Parliament eager to accede to American demands in order to free up forces for the disastrous war in Canada, and his own affinity for the British won him enough allies to push his measures through and end the war between the American colonies and Great Britain.

in 1942, the 4th World Cup kicks off in Venezuela. Because Europe was raging in the middle of a war, it was thought that the European teams would want a postponement of the great football tournament, but after Germany announced it would be sending a team, the Allies felt obliged to follow. Held in Brazil, the tournament drew 16 nations, mostly from the western hemisphere; the only European teams that showed up were Germany, Ireland, Spain and Switzerland. Of the four, Germany and Ireland broke out of the first round, then Germany was eliminated by host Venezuela. Ireland made it all the way to the final, where they played the former world champions, Uruguay, to a 1-1 draw before losing 2:3 in penalty kicks. When Hitler received the news that not only had Germany been eliminated, but that a team from Great Britain came in second, he eliminated all funding for German football and said, “The German people will never again play this corrupt English game.” Of course, immediately after the war, West German football surged back from their years in the wilderness and captured the 5th World Cup in 1946 when the tournament was held in neighboring Switzerland, beating Brazil 2-0 in a game that became the newly democratic nation's baptism into the international community.

in 2017, the small craft from the Dyson sphere comes within a kilometer of the Pokor and scans them, then sends a brief message over their communication system. It is completely incomprehensible to the Quarai and humans on board the Pokor, but Captain Mawrao of the Pokor replies with a Quarai message of friendship. Once the small craft receives this message, it turns around and shoots back to the Dyson sphere. “Let's follow,” Captain Mawrao tells his crew. The human crew of the Eagle wonders if they can jettison their ship before the Pokor reaches the huge sphere.


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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Assassination In Sarajevo

The state of TIAH

June 28th, 2006

in 1914, Serbian nationalist Nedjelko Cabrinovic blows up the Austrian nobleman Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, along with their driver. A dozen people on the Sarajevo street where the Archduke was driving were injured. The Serbian terrorist had tossed his bomb into the Austrian car, and Ferdinand almost tossed it back out, but it went off before the nobleman could save himself and his wife. The horror of the bomb scene, with the mutilated bodies of the Austrians and injured Sarajevans, enraged the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and Emperor Franz Joseph wanted to move troops into Serbia immediately to hunt for the nationalists who killed his nephew. Russia was asked not to interfere, because they had a security pact with Serbia, and the Austrian negotiator took photographs of the Archduke's body to convince them. After seeing the consequences of this horrible attack, the Russians reluctantly worked with the Austrians to convince the Serbs to give up the nationalist elements in their society. The betrayed Serbians declared war on both Austria-Hungary and Russia, but the tiny nation was unable to keep these European giants from dispatching their own military in short order. Once Austria-Hungary had the nationalists who had assassinated the Archduke in custody, they withdrew from Serbia, but their attack proved more far-reaching; Serbians sympathetic to the nationalists began a campaign of terror attacks against Austro-Hungarian and Russian targets across Europe. Although Russia eventually toppled the Serbian government and replaced it with one more to their liking, the terror attacks continued until the Austro-Hungarians and Russians committed genocide against the Serbs in 1928, virtually annihilating the Serbian people. The two empires were condemned by the western democracies for this war crime, and lack of trade with civilized nations after this horrific transgression took them into a gradual decline; Russia's Tsar abdicated in 1934, and a parliamentary government headed by Alexander Kerensky took control and reestablished diplomatic and trade relations with the rest of the world. After Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria-Hungary died in 1936, the empire split into 6 minor countries, each of which repudiated their imperial past and rejoined the international community. This blossoming of democracy in the 1930's even spread to the powers that hadn't been involved in the Serbian atrocity – Germany, Spain and Italy all liberalized their governments into parliamentary democracies. “The flower of freedom has bloomed from the grave of Serbia,” Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany said as he turned over most of his power to the new German Chancellor, Friedrich Ebert.

in 1969, what had been planned as a simple raid on a New York night-club that was violating its liquor license turned into a neighborhood-wide riot as police were attacked by locals angered at the treatment of the night-club's homosexual patrons. The raiding policemen were shut up in the Stonewall Inn by the riot, and they desperately radioed for assistance. When riot police arrived, a few hotheads in the crowd began setting fire to buildings, including the Stonewall Inn, itself. With fires raging all around them, the riot police were unable to contain the situation, and withdrew. Fire trucks were allowed in to put out the blazes, but police were repelled when they attempted to follow the fire fighters into the community to restore order. This chaos continued for almost three days while the nation watched, and homosexuals across America became galvanized into action. When the New York cops finally put the riot down, 43 people were dead, over 300 were injured, and the nation saw for the first time that “Gays,” as they now referred to themselves, would no longer take the abuse they had been dealt in the past. The Stonewall Organization, dedicated to civil rights for homosexuals, was founded on the ashes of the night-club, and won their first major victory that year, as New York City voted to recognize the civil rights of homosexuals and decriminalize homosexuality. A storm of outrage from conservatives and fundamentalist Christians across America greeted this progressive move, but the Stonewall Organization was just getting started. In spite of many cultural battles over the '70's and '80's, homosexual rights won acceptance from the mainstream culture, and the Stonewall Act of 1987, signed into law by President Ronald Reagan, a one-time opponent, granted homosexuals full citizenship for the first time in American history.


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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Lynch Mob In Carthage

The state of TIAH

June 27th, 2006

in 1844, a lynch mob in Carthage, Illinois is dispersed from the jail holding Mormon leader Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum. Deputy Zachariah Jenkins, who had a Mormon brother-in-law, shot and killed Horace Wilson, the lead rabble-rouser who had been working the crowd up to lynch the Mormons inside. “Anybody else want more of the same, they can come on,” Deputy Jenkins told the crowd. “You want to live through the night, you go on home.” Jenkins fired once more into the air for effect, and the crowd reluctantly gave up its mission and went home. When the Smith brothers were brought to trial the next day, the judge laughed off the charges of treason, but found the charge of conspiracy somewhat more sound, and ordered the trial to proceed forward on that count. The religious leader proved to be fairly eloquent in his defense of arming his fellow Mormons against persecution by the “Gentiles” as he called them – and only had to point to the lynch mob that nearly claimed his life for proof. The jury agreed, and he was released. Illinois' Mormon communities increased in number after this incident, and Joseph Smith's thoughts turned again to politics. He abandoned his campaign for the presidency, and instead began to urge his followers to vote for him for governor of Illinois. He shocked the political establishment of the state by winning the office, and turning Illinois into a haven for many persecuted religions.

in 2017, the mixed crew of the Pokor and the Eagle approach the Dyson sphere that they have been transported to by the alien device. The Pokor is still transmitting messages of friendship, but there are no responses. As they come closer, they can see that there are a lot of docking areas on the outside of the sphere – and there are things moving around on the outside. “Could be automated devices,” Phil Armstrong said, “just doing maintenance on the outside.” Commander Patterson nodded, but Captain Mawrao of the Pokor said, “That automated device, as you say, is coming toward us.” Mawrao indicated a point of light on the Pokor's view screen that was growing larger by the minute. It was effortlessly moving at a higher speed than either of their ships could manage. Commander Patterson asked the team that had worked on the alien device, “You guys think that you could activate this thing again?” They all responded in the negative. “I think it has to recharge between jumps,” Dr. Hayazowa told her. She had anticipated a negative answer to her question, but Commander Patterson still felt apprehensive. Captain Mawrao attempted to cheer her up. “Hey, no worries, Elizabeth. We friendly to you, you friendly to us; why would anybody else be unfriendly?” Looking again at the object approaching them, she said, “I hope we don't have to find out.”


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Monday, June 26, 2006

The Piper Of Hamelin; The Judgment Of God

The state of TIAH

June 26th, 2006

in 1284, a man who claimed to be able to rid the German town of Hamelin of its rats struck a strange bargain with them – he would lure the rats away with the tunes from his pipe, and, if successful, the village would pay him 10,000 pieces of silver. If they failed to pay, he would do the same to their children. Amused at the audacity of this Pied Piper, the town fathers agreed to these terms, hoping for at least a little musical interlude among the squeaks of the rats crawling everywhere. When the piper began to play, though, they saw all the rats listen intently, and a great river of the little beasts began to flow from all corners of Hamelin towards the piper. When he was satisfied that he had all of the rats, he began walking to the Weser river, playing and dancing, followed by his own little army of rodents. Obviously enraptured by the music of this man, the rats didn't notice that they were drowning in the river until it was too late. The piper returned to the astonished townsfolk wet, but triumphant, and demanded his silver. They paid him quickly – a man of such obvious magical ability would be impossible to deny, they reasoned, and their children would follow him into the river as readily as the rats did.

in 1483, evidence is produced in Parliament that young Edward V, son of the late King Edward IV of England, is the product of a bigamous marriage, and therefore illegitimate and ineligible for the crown, as is his brother Richard. Their uncle, Richard of Gloucester, is urged by many nobles present to seize the crown for himself. Torn between love for his family and righteous indignation at the thought of a bastard on the throne of England, Richard proposes a compromise. He would adopt the boys as his own, rule as regent till Edward came of age, and then abdicate to the boy. After much wrangling, Parliament agreed to this, and Richard was crowned Richard III ten days later. He named Edward his son and heir, and upon his majority, willingly surrendered the crown to him. Richard’s reign is remembered for his fairness in civil matters and mercy to his enemies.

in 1807, a gunpowder factory in tiny Kirchberg, Luxembourg exploded violently after what surviving witnesses called “the judgment of God” struck it. Lightning from a clear sky hit the factory and destroyed it and large parts of the city around it in the resulting explosion. A local Catholic priest, Father Ludo Marberg, called it a sign from Heaven that God was displeased with Luxembourg's status as a vassal nation to the French Emperor Napoleon, and rallied most of the small country's men to his side. With the large amounts of ammunition that Napoleon had stored in their country, they fought a guerrilla war against the French, freeing their country and proving to be a thorn in Napoleon's side when the larger powers of Europe assembled against him later. After Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo, Father Marberg took control of Luxembourg and turned it into a theocracy to rival Vatican City, itself. There was a small movement within the church to have the Holy Father, as the Luxembourgers called him, named the next pope, but he died before the pope in Rome did. He was canonized almost immediately, and is the patron saint of Luxembourg and gunpowder.


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Sunday, June 25, 2006

Battle Of Little Big Horn

The state of TIAH

June 25th, 2006

in 1876, scouts inform Colonel George Custer that a massive number of natives, under the command of Sitting Bull, is poised to attack them at the Little Big Horn river. After hearing the report, he sent back to his superiors, Generals Alfred Terry and John Gibbon, for reinforcements. When they reached Custer with their two columns of soldiers, they then pressed forward to attack Sitting Bull. Their movements had given the Sioux Chief time to arrange his forces for an ambush, and he fell upon the American soldiers with great ferocity. However, just as it looked like Sitting Bull was on the verge of defeat, his secondary force under the command of Crazy Horse attacked the US soldiers from the rear. Trapped between the two mighty forces, General Terry was killed, and General Gibbon ordered a retreat. He limped out of the Little Big Horn with barely a hundred men and made it back to Fort Ellis. In his official report on the battle, General Gibbon blamed Lt. Colonel Custer for the disaster, claiming that if Custer had attacked the Sioux instead of waiting for reinforcements, the natives wouldn't have had time to move into the ambush that claimed so many American soldiers.

in 1921, President of the American Federation of Labor, Samuel Gompers, leaves behind the office he had held for 39 terms. Under his leadership, the AFL had spearheaded a new labor strategy that had been suggested to him by his father, a cigar maker. The Means of Production program, under which labor pooled its resources together and began buying major, and in some cases, controlling stakes in publicly held companies, gave the AFL a voice in America's boardrooms that it had never had before. After this program was adopted by other unions unaffiliated with the AFL, American companies attempted to push through a law forbidding the formation of unions, but congressman who announced their support for it were threatened with defeat in the elections of 1898. This highly-organized political campaign, which Gompers had masterminded, was the watershed moment in America's labor history. Today, thanks to this man's genius, companies in America realize that they exist for the enrichment of their employees and shareholders, not the aggrandizement of management.

in 2017, the Pokor, carrying the human spaceship the Eagle as well as the alien device that transported the humans to the Amandara system, reappears in orbit around a giant object in space. Commander Patterson, looking at the Quarai examining the object, says, “It's a Dyson sphere.” Her observation is seconded by her crew – the object does seem to be a shell around a sun. The Quarai of the Pokor immediately begin transmitting friendly messages to the sphere, much to the consternation of the human scientists. “You know, you guys could do with a little more caution,” Commander Patterson tells Captain Mawrao of the Pokor. Mawrao replies, “How can we pass up a chance to talk with civilization so advanced? Think what we can learn!” Commander Patterson acknowledges this, but tells Mawrao, “Think what they can do to us if they're not as friendly as you.”


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Saturday, June 24, 2006

The Grande Esercito Invades Russia

The state of TIAH

June 24th, 2006

in 1812, Italian Emperor Napoleon Buonaparte invades Russia with his Grande Esercito, a force of half a million men gathered from across Buonaparte's continental possessions. The Russians, seeing no way of defeating the mighty Italian force in a head-on confrontation, began a program of burn and retreat – leaving the Italians no supplies to loot from the locals and denying the Little Roman a battle in which he could decimate the Russian defenders. It wasn't until winter began, and Napoleon was forced to return to Rome, that the Russians began to attack, and in the snow they were far deadlier fighters than the Grande Esercito. By the time Buonaparte was able to bring his forces home to Rome, his half-million man army had been reduced to a mere 100,000.

in 1948, in a move that almost heats up the Cold War between the Soviet States of America and the European monarchies, the constant incursions of capitalists into the People's Democracy of Eastern Germany, under American control since the Great Patriotic War, force the Soviets to block travel into West Berlin from the monarchies. Berlin had been partitioned into a capitalist west and communist east by a hastily arranged treaty at the end of the war, in order to keep the SSA from claiming it all. With this foothold in the People's Democracy, the monarchies had been attempting to brainwash the Eastern Germans into believing that they were less free under communism than they would be as vassals to a reactionary feudal system. Although only a tiny percentage of the People's Democracy ever actually fled to West Berlin and then outside the PDEG, America felt that the harassment was bad enough to warrant sealing off their East German comrades from such harmful influence. Although the program was halted after the monarchies began using planes to bombard the Berliners with food and propaganda, it did lead to the formation of the great wall sealing off West Berlin from East Germany.

in 2017, the Pokor, the Quarai ship carrying the golden device that brought the human crew of the Eagle to the Amandara system, reaches the safe distance they had desired and set up their experiment with the crew of the human ship. Commander Patterson is still concerned that no one really understands what the device is capable of, and advises caution to her own team members who are assisting the Quarai scientists. Dr. Stephen Hayazowa, the Eagle's nuclear specialist, tells Commander Patterson, “Look, Commander. I don't think that an advanced society would make such a thing capable of blowing up – what purpose would that serve? No, it's much more likely that an accident will simply propel us all to some unknown destination.” That doesn't make the commander very happy, either. “This system is perfect for maintaining life – what if we end up someplace that's the space equivalent of the Sahara?” Dr. Hayazowa shrugged. “Then I guess we try like crazy to get it to jump us someplace else.” Commander Patterson assumed her position at the controls of the Eagle while the human and Quarai scientists ran their experiment on the device. To everyone's astonishment, the device began glowing, and both ships were enveloped in a great white glow.


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Friday, June 23, 2006

Coolidge's New Nations; Hitler's Demise

The state of TIAH

June 23rd, 2006

in 1927, President Calvin Coolidge was made an honorary member of the Sioux Nation, and a special ceremony was performed in a stone lodge on a North Dakota tribe's reservation. After this ceremony, President Coolidge officially apologized for the warfare between the United States and the various native nations that it had assimilated over the years, and vowed, “We can never give back to these people the lives lost nor the time spent imprisoned, but there is something we can give back.” Huge portions of the western United States were pledged by the Coolidge administration to any native nation that wished to claim them. This created the “Great Indian Rush” of '27 in which tens of thousands of Native Americans left their reservations to make a new life for themselves in the west. After the Great Depression hit, even more Native Americans took advantage of the western land, and the New Nations, as they became known, were the most prosperous region of the country. Many non-natives trekked to the New Nations to plead for work, and soon there was friction between the white man and the native again. This spilled over into physical violence after the Whitley Incident, which was allegedly staged by the Ku Klux Klan. For a few years in the 1930's the New Nations were able to handle their own territory, but as more whites came to battle them, they were forced to turn to the government in Washington, DC and ask for assistance. Although President Roosevelt would have preferred dealing with the war situation that was brewing in Europe, the internal strife in his nation forced him to send troops to keep order. In 1940, German and Japanese agents sparked a confrontation at Tashunka-Uitco in the Rockies, a couple of hundred miles north of Denver. This turned the tense situation into all-out war as both sides felt that they had been pushed too far – New Nations President Carl Sitting Bull ousted all white settlers in the New Nations, and the white settlers called out to Washington for help to keep their land; also, the states around the New Nations were agitating for Washington to “do something” about the trouble within their borders. President Roosevelt ordered in troops, much to his regret.

in 1940, while touring Paris after Germany's conquest of France, Adolf Hitler allows a little girl through his security detachment to hand him a small bouquet of flowers. The blond child smiles sweetly as the German leader pats her on the head and accepts the gift. The little girl then ran away at top speed, prompting some suspicion in Hitler's security. When the Fuhrer remarked at how heavy the flowers seemed, they had mere instants to regret their softness; the bomb contained in the bouquet exploded, killing Hitler and three of his men. Rudolf Hess seized control back in Berlin as soon as news reached them, but Herman Goering had other plans. A civil war erupted between Nazi factions, and all of their conquered territory became free as all of their troops became concentrated in der Vaterland, trying to maintain control of their own country.

in 1973, President Nixon's advisor, H.R. Haldeman, right before counseling a vastly illegal course of action regarding a team of saboteurs they had sicced on the Democratic Party Headquarters in the Watergate Hotel, said to the President, “Wait, are we being taped?” The tape of this conversation, heard in investigations later in the House, abruptly cuts off at this point, and comes back on to a rather benign conversation between Nixon and Haldeman about the president's resemblance to Abraham Lincoln. It was this kind of foresight in his aides that kept President Nixon's White House running smoothly through to the end of his second term in 1977.


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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Hudson Bay; Anne Morrow

The state of TIAH

Today In Alternate History

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in 1611, the crew of the Discovery stages a mutiny against Captain Henry Hudson. Captain Hudson had trapped the ship in the huge bay of the northern American continent trying to search for a northwestern passage to Asia, and the crew had finally had enough. They put the captain and a small party of his supporter, including his son, into a boat and set them adrift while they attempted to find their way back out of the bay and home to England. Hudson and the brave band of men who followed him were able to reach land, and a friendly tribe of natives took them in and nursed them back to health. Before winter set in, they were able to travel to the French settlement at Montreal and from there back to England. For his great discoveries, Hudson was made a lord and the great bay on North America was named after him. The Discovery, however, was never seen again, proving that mutiny was its own punishment.

in 1876, the Generalissimo, Emperor Antonion Lopez de Santa Anna, finally relinquished his grip on the throne of Greater Mexico with his death in his capitol, Mexico City. Considered the greatest general of his era, sparking comparisons to Napoleon, Emperor Santa Anna first achieved power by supplanting the old Mexican Republic with his Mexican Empire in 1833, after winning election as President of the old Republic. When gringos who had been allowed to colonize the Texas territory rebelled against him in 1836, he crushed them mercilessly, leading his northern neighbor, the United States, to attack him, supposedly in their defense. His war against the US gained Mexico almost half of that country in conquest, and further wars of conquest let the Generalissimo die as ruler of the largest country on the North American continent.

in 1906, literary queen Anne Morrow was born in Englewood, New Jersey. Deeply interested in travel and geography, she became one of the few women who wrote for the National Geographic Society, as well as an award-winning writer of fiction for such great novels as Gift from the Sea. Although her interest in becoming a pilot led her to a brief dalliance with famed aviator Charles Lindbergh, she never married, preferring a life of adventure to one of domesticity.

in 2017, after several days of study, the Quarai of Amandara 14 tell the human crew of the Eagle, transported to their solar system by a golden device that they had found in the Pindar-Asaki comet, that they have a test they would like to try. Commander Patterson and her crew fly off Amandara 14 with a Quarai crew because, in spite of their supposed recklessness, the Quarai scientists feel that this experiment might be a bit dangerous on a planet. This doesn't make Commander Patterson feel very good about participating, but she doesn't see an alternative if she and her crew are to make it home. The Eagle and the Amandaran Union ship Pokor fly several hundred thousand miles away from Amandara 14 to try activating the great device.


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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Pinkerton Agent Murdered

The state of TIAH

June 21st, 2006

in 1877, the body of James McParland, who had been using the alias of James McKenna to infiltrate the Pennsylvania miner's group known as the “Molly Maguires,” was found in a mine shaft in Schuykill county in Pennsylvania. A note saying, “This is the fate of all traitors” was found in his clothing, along with his Pinkerton Detective Agency identification. Although this killing was the most famous to date of the infamous Mollies, it was not their most audacious crime. In 1879, they kidnapped Franklin Gowen, President of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad, who had brought in the Pinkertons in the first place to bust the unions in Pennsylvania. The Mollies demanded $100,000 in return for Gowen. Even though the ransom was paid, the only part of Gowen that the Mollies returned was his head. Their reign of terror lasted for ten more years, until moderate unionists began taking over the coal mining and railroad work in the state; bosses were eager to encourage unions over the more violent Mollies. Once union reforms began taking the danger out of life as a worker in the mines, the Mollies faded away, except for one incident in 1892. Coal boss Arlo Mooney ordered several workers into a shaft that he knew to be unsafe, which collapsed and killed them. A jury packed by the coal company with the affluent cleared Mooney, but his body was found in front of the mine the next day with a note saying, “The Molly Maguires still watch over their brothers.”

in 1916, Mexican rebels under the command of the legendary Pancho Villa engaged US General John Pershing's expeditionary force at Carrizal, Mexico. A lucky shot by one of Villa's men brought down the general, and they carried his body away with them as they retreated from the more numerous American soldiers. When he heard of this incident, German Foreign Minister Arthur Zimmermann hatched a plan to embroil the United States in war with its southern neighbor, in order to keep it out of the war in Europe. German arms soon began flowing to Pancho Villa, who used them to stage raids on what he called “Mexico del Norte”, the southwestern United States. President Wilson, after seeing that the Mexican government could do nothing to stop Pancho Villa, sent in fully half of the US Army at the time, vowing to bring the Mexican revolutionary to justice. When American troops crossed the border with Mexico and began shooting Mexican citizens, the already weak government of Venustiano Carranza fell, and Pancho Villa stepped into the void. He rallied all of Mexico to his cause, and with German arms and an alliance with the Central Powers, was able to hold America to a stalemate over 7 harsh years of war. When the war in Europe ended, Villa sued for peace with the new administration of President Calvin Coolidge, promising an end to the raids and peace between the neighboring countries. Each side had acquired some territory from the other – Texas had expanded slightly across the Rio Grande, while New Mexico and Arizona's borders were now considerably north of where they had been at the start of the war – so, with much grumbling on both sides, they accepted the new borders, after much fortification, and declared peace on March 17, 1924.

Today's "Six Degrees of Star Trek" challenge: Connect Pancho Villa 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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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Compromise In France; War In Virginia

The state of TIAH

June 20th, 2006

in 1789, deputies of the Troisieme Estate-General, a national body that represented the commoners of France, rename themselves the National Assembly and send an ultimatum to King Louis XVI – accept a constitution limiting his powers or face revolt from the commoners. King Louis had been remarkably inept at managing French national affairs, and the common folk, as well as many of the lesser nobles, wanted a new government along the lines of the American one they had helped fight for at the beginning of the decade. King Louis was reportedly furious at this imposition on his authority, and threatened to send troops to quell this miniature rebellion, but his ablest minister, Jacques Necker, advised him to accept the Assembly's terms and work with them to create a new constitution – otherwise, he might see himself headed for the gallows as a deposed king. Although his court was outraged, Louis accepted Necker's advice and crafted a constitutional monarchy in France that resembled the one in Britain, keeping some small powers, as well as considerable wealth, for himself while doling out most governmental powers to the National Assembly. The other Estates-General, which represented the nobles and the clergy, protested at their own diminishment, but when the National Assembly threatened to abolish them completely, came back into line. This spirit of compromise has allowed France to maintain its powerless but decorative noble classes and royalty to the present day, while letting the common classes run the country efficiently.

in 1863, internal strife within Virginia led to a civil war within the civil war – loyal Unionists in the western part of the state, who had been suppressed and cajoled into joining the Confederacy when Virginia seceded in 1861, erupted into open rebellion against the Confederate government. The west Virginians had always been resentful of their eastern neighbors, and had never been an area conducive to the plantations that held most of the state's slaves. These differences with the east boiled up into war meetings across the mountains, and they became a steady sieve of information to the Union. When the Richmond government attempted to send troops to settle them down, the westerners took up arms and attacked the easterners. CSA President Jefferson Davis moved the capital back to Montgomery, Alabama out of fear that the war in Virginia would reach Richmond. General Robert E. Lee, who had pledged himself to the Confederate cause solely because Virginia had joined it, abandoned the CSA and joined the westerners, providing them with excellent leadership and organization against their more numerous eastern foes. The United States exploited the chaos in Virginia by encouraging loyalist factions throughout the former states to rise up in rebellion against their governments, which many did. Alabama itself split in two, with the pro-Union north fighting the south; Arkansas mirrored this situation, and Texas was convulsed by numerous factions within itself that fought for Union, Confederacy, independence and even a reunion with Mexico. By the end of the year, what had been the Confederate States of America was a handful of plantation owners seeking to keep their less affluent citizens in line and failing miserably. Throughout 1864, state after state rejoined the US in order to quell the disorder and save themselves from the chaos that they lay squarely at the feet of the southern elites.

Today's "Six Degrees of Star Trek" challenge: Connect the movie Marie Antoinette 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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Monday, June 19, 2006

Juneteenth

The state of TIAH

June 19th, 2006

in 1861, as he began his second term in office, President Walt Whitman issued the Emancipation Proclamation, famously declaring that, “The Constitution stands for all people, or it stands for no one.” The Proclamation made slavery illegal within the borders of the United States, bringing the young nation more in line with the European monarchies, most of whom had abolished slavery years or even decades before. Many citizens of the southern states were opposed to this new law, and mounted the infamous Southern Insurrection against Whitman, but without broad popular support, they were only able to sustain their fight for a couple of years before Comrade Whitman was able to bring them back within the American fold.

in 1862, with Union troops pressing on their border and a distinct lack of the support from Europe that they were expecting, the Confederate Congress reached a conclusion that had been bitterly debated for weeks. They issued the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring that any male slave within the borders of the Confederate States of America that took up arms for the CSA would, from that day forward, be freed from servitude, as well as all members of his immediate family and his descendants, if any. This swelled the ranks of the CSA as slaves joined in droves to free themselves and their families from their bondage, and with this new-found wealth of manpower, the Confederacy was able to drive off the Union and maintain their independence.

in 1865, news of the Emancipation Proclamation, issued 2 years before, reached slaves in Texas who were still in bondage. Since Texas had left the Confederacy in 1862, it had successfully fought off Union attempts to bring it back under American control, but with the prospect of freedom before them, the quarter-million people who were enslaved by Texas rose up and began their own civil war inside the Texas Republic. Besieged within and without, the Texas government had no choice. If they were to retain their independence, they could not fight both the slaves and the Union, so the government announced that slavery was abolished within the borders of the Texas Republic. June 19th became a national holiday for Texans of African descent, who then joined in the war against the Union to keep Texas independent.

Today's "Six Degrees of Star Trek" challenge: Connect The Civil War 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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Sunday, June 18, 2006

Happy Father's Day To The AH

The state of TIAH

June 18th, 2006

Alternate Historian's Note: Today is Father's Day in the US, so this new father is going to kick back and watch some World Cup action today (Go Soccaroos! Kick butt, Croatia!). For your own entertainment, I leave you with these Classic TIAH ™ entries...

in 1178, an explosion is seen on the moon by 5 Canterbury monks. Believing that this heralds the end of the world, they flee the monastery and exhort all about them to pray for deliverance. Within a week, all of England is paralyzed with fear of the end, and mass suicides begin happening across the country.

in 3874, Emperor Xiaozong Shen saw a star attack the moon, and the moon glow as bright as day for a moment. This vision seized him, and he summoned his royal astronomers. “Bend all your will towards getting us there,” he told them, pointing at the moon. “The Heavens must be ours.” It took over 700 years, but the vision of the emperors never wavered. Even as they controlled the earth, they knew that their destiny lay among the heavens.

in 556, a group of shepherds saw Allah smite the moon with a stone from his sling. They immediately ran to their Caliph and told him what they had seen, and he pondered the meaning of this for many days. He then sent messengers to other Caliphs, and they agreed that Allah was telling them that moon-worshipers would not enter paradise. A sense of responsibility for the men around them required them to strike out and convert all the pagans to the true worship of Allah.

in 1815, Napoleon defeated the allied forces of Britain, Belgium, Germany and Holland in the Battle of Waterloo, in Belgium. The emperor’s defeat of the Duke of Wellington and Gebhard Leberecht von Bl├╝cher, commander of the Prussian forces, was so crushing that the Austrian and Russian armies, arriving late to the battle, immediately retreated to their respective countries on seeing the carnage. France continued to dominate the continent until the emperor’s death in 1821.

in 1921, Thomas Edison unveils his latest invention; an electric car. The Jove can run for over 100 miles between recharges, and can achieve speeds of up to 35 miles per hour. Edison begins working with dozens of cities to establish public recharge stations for the Joves; (with power supplied by Edison Electric, of course).

in 1961, the long-running western Gunsmoke aired for the last time on the radio before moving to television. When viewers saw star William Conrad reprise his role from the radio show, they were less than impressed, and the television series ended after one season.

in 2003, Martian invaders attacked Alaska, northern Canada and northern Russia. The few people living in these areas fled south with horrifying stories of ten-foot tall monsters that breathed fire and could take a gunshot directly to the chest without even slowing down. Panic grips the world.

Today's "Six Degrees of Star Trek" challenge: Connect Gunsmoke 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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TIAH Editor says we'd like to move you off the blog, if you're browsing the archives - and most people are - more than half of them are already on the new site. We need to be sure the new web site accomodates your archive browsing needs because we don't want to lose any readers. Please supply any feedback or comments by email to the Editor and please note the blogger site is shutting on December 1st.