Friday, March 09, 2007

One Small Step

The state of TIAH

March 9th, 2007

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Alternate Historian's Note: Our Guest Historian, Stephen Payne, suggested that it was time for a contest, so we're going to have an April Fool's Day Contest! Email us up to 3 entries for an alternate April 1st and we will post the best 10, with your own credit and link to your website (if you have one). My lovely Co-Historian says that if we can get 30 entrants, we can offer an ultimate winner a complimentary TIAH mug, but we only have 1 entrant so far! Get researching those alternate histories now, folks! The deadline is March 29th.

in 1953, Rosalind Franklin's apartment is searched thoroughly for evidence, and the police find the notes and papers she took from James Watson and Francis Crick's lab the night they were murdered. Professor William Hughes of Cambridge, who follows them as an unofficial advisor, looks through the notes and is fascinated. “My God, they did discover the secret of life,” he says after reading for some time. The prosecutor wishes to press charges against both Maurice Wilkins and Rosalind Franklin; after all, they have Dr. Wilkins' fingerprints on the murder weapon. Professor Hughes speaks with Wilkins again, to see if he can convince the errant scientist to give them any more information about the night that Watson and Crick died. Wilkins is remarkably close-mouthed until Hughes tells him that he is still under suspicion because of his fingerprints on the gun that killed the researchers. Wilkins deflates, and begins telling the story of that fateful night. “After their performance at the pub, I had a few more drinks, and then I went back to the department; you know, just to see if I could polish up some work of my own. After a bit, Rosalind came in, and we got into a bit of a row. She accused me of robbing her of her just desserts, which was true, I guess. So, after we yelled at each other for a while, she stormed out. She said she was going to get James and Francis to give her credit on their paper.” He looked up at Hughes. “Then, I heard her scream. I rushed out, as best I could with all the drinks I'd had, and I saw her standing at the doorway of James and Francis' office.” He passed his shaking hand over his face. “There were pools of blood all over the floor.” Professor Hughes stopped him. “Wait. They were already dead?” Dr. Wilkins nodded slowly.

Menachem Begin
Menachem Begin
In 1992 Menachem Begin died in Palestine. Polish-Jewish head of the Zionist underground group the Irgun during the critical period 1945-1948, he ordered the bombing of the British administrative headquarters at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, killing 91 people, including British officers ..
.. and troops as well as Arab and Jewish civilians. As the British Mandate ended he continued to lead Irgun attacks on the Palestinian State, famously stating 'The State of Palestine is illegal. It will never be recognized .... Jerusalem was and will for ever be our capital. Eretz Israel will be restored to the people of Israel. All of it. And for ever. '. However his organisation was eclipsed by the Israeli Liberation Organisation which became the stand-bearer for Zionist efforts to establish the State of Israel, a goal which was unachieved by the time of Begin's death. The importance of Menachem Begin in Israel's national identity cannot be contested since in 2005 a poll conducted showed him gaining the highest result as the leader that Israelis missed the most, outpolling even David Ben-Gurion and Yitzhak Rabin.

~ entry by Steve Payne from counter history in context - you're the judge!

In 2006 former British Minister of War John 'Jack' Profumo died in disgrace in South Africa surpassing even Philby and Maclean in traitorous infamy. In January 1961 at a party thrown by Viscount Astor at his home in Cliveden, Profumo met Christine Keeler, a call girl with whom he had an .. John Profumo
John Profumo
.. affair. Keeler was also involved with Yevgeny Ivanov, the senior naval attaché at the Soviet Embassy. Red Jack fled the country during 1963 shortly before the Profumo Affair hit the headlines. It emerged that the Profumo-Keeler-Ivanov channel had been used to transfer vital information that had resulted in the American defeat during Cuban Missiles Crisis the previous year.

~ entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!

Yuri Gagarin
Yuri Gagarin
In 1934 Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was born in Klushino near Gzhatsk. Gagarin was the first human in space, the first human to orbit the Earth and first man on the moon in which he famously announced 'That's one small step for a comrade, one giant leap for mankind.'.

~ entry by Steve Payne from counter history in context - you're the judge!

In 1945 American B-29 bombers attacked Tokyo, Japan with incendiary bombs. The resulting fire storm killed over 100,000 people and Japan's leaders (gozenkaigi) decided, in principle, to accept the uncompromising terms the Allies had set down for ending the war in the Potsdam Declaration. .. Tokyo Bombing
Tokyo Bombing
.. However it was only after several more days of behind-the-scenes negotiations and a failed coup attempt that Emperor Hirohito gave a radio address to the nation, the Imperial Rescript on Surrender, announcing the acceptance on March 15. The day is commemorated as Victory over Japan Day in the U.S. and Shusen-kinenbi (memorial day for the end of the war) in Japan.

~ entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!

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