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Alternate Timeline of the 20th Century Part IV (1951-1975)
Alternate Timeline of the 20th Century Part IV (1951-1975)
Published by BigBlue2
Default 1960's

20/1/1961 – John F. Kennedy is sworn in as the 34th President of the United States. In his inaugural address he urges the American people to “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”.

1/2/1961 – In his first State of the Union address, President Kennedy issues the challenge that America should “before this decade is out, put a man on the moon, and return him safely to earth”.

4/3/1961 – Britain begins negotiations with the EEC with a view of joining the Organisation.

16/4/1961 – President Kennedy signs the national highways bill vetoed by Richard Nixon the previous year. “I see nothing wrong in helping to facilitate interstate commerce”, he states.

8/5/1961 – A delegation of Cuban exiles asks the Kennedy administration for help in launching an invasion of Cuba to overthrow Castro. They are sent home with a flea in their ear. Kennedy is not pleased with a communist country on America’s doorstep, but rejects a military invasion as the solution to this problem.

22/6/1961 – British Prime Minister Wilson asks his Australian counterpart for an opinion on joining the EEC. Menzies, fearing the loss of Australia’s biggest trading partner, advises Wilson against joining the Community.

28/7/1961 – Russia’s economy since World War 2 has steadily improved on the back of its manufacturing sector, especially weapons manufacturing. The main export market for these arms has been China, but supply is beginning to exceed demand. Tsar Feodor IV writes to the governments of Britain, France, Germany and Austria-Hungary, asking them to approve the formation of a small “self-defence” force which can absorb excess weapons stock. The answer is a flat refusal from all four nations, so Russia sets up a paramilitary force of around 100,000 men, which is tolerated by the NATO powers.

2/8/1961 – Russia asks China for assistance in procuring more customers for its weapons. Soon thereafter, orders from Cuba, Egypt, North Korea, North Vietnam, Pakistan, Central Asia and other nations pour in.

12/9/1961 – With Britain’s entry into the EEC almost inevitable, Australia begins to cast around for new trading partners in the region.

24/10/1961 – The first major multi-country European company is established as a result of the easier EEC rules. The company is an aircraft manufacturer called Airbus, based in Hamburg, Germany and Toulouse, France.

10/11/1961 – Prime Minister Wilson announces that Britain will join the EEC from January 1, 1962. “We should have joined two years ago”, Wilson says.

5/12/1961 – The US Government begins Congressional hearings into organised crime. The hearings are led by Attorney-General Robert F. Kennedy, the younger brother of the President.

10/1/1962 – Australian Aviation’s transition to the jet age is completed as the last long- and medium-range turboprops owned by Qantas and the domestic airlines are replaced by Boeing 707’s, Boeing 727’s and Convair 880’s and 990’s.

16/2/1962 – Russian Prime Minister Brezhnev invites representatives from Poland and the Balkan States to Moscow to discuss a free-trade agreement.

30/3/1962 – Robert Menzies wins his fifth election in a row, defeating the Australian Labour Party by a comfortable margin. Menzies is already the longest serving Prime Minister in history and gives no indication that he wishes to retire. The ALP and the breakaway Democratic Labour Party begin serious negotiations for reunification.

18/4/1962 – Albert Einstein, author of the theory of relativity, dies in Princeton, New Jersey, aged 83. He is given a State funeral.

11/5/1962 – A private expeditionary force of 1511 Cuban exiles attempt a landing at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba. Their aim is to provoke a popular uprising against Fidel Castro’s government. However, Castro has advance warning through his spies in the US and the invaders are met by the full force of the Cuban military. Only 49 of the exiles are captured, the rest are killed. Cuban deaths amount to 2634, with 5689 injured. President Kennedy is furious at the invasion but nevertheless demands the return of the captured exiles.

4/6/1962 – The world’s most famous actress, Marilyn Monroe, dies in Los Angeles from a suspected drug overdose. She is not given a State funeral.

9/7/1962 – A US spy plane snaps pictures of what look like missiles stationed in central Cuba. President Kennedy orders the CIA to investigate further, while repeating his demand that the Cuban exiles captured in the Bay of Pigs invasion be returned.

13/8/1962 – Castro responds to Kennedy’s demand by executing the 49 exiles, some of them severely wounded, as part of his (Castro’s) 36th birthday celebrations. It takes Kennedy three days to calm down, but there is no immediate reaction from the US.

23/9/1962 – The CIA reports that the missiles that were photographed in July are Chinese-made chemical weapons capable of reaching major cities in the American South.

1/10/1962 – Overnight, a major US airstrike carried out by B-52 bombers hits the Cuban missile sites. This is followed 24 hours later by another airstrike that wallops any sites that the first strike missed, as well as suspicious factories, and transport and communication links.

3/10/1962 – President Kennedy announces that a blockade of Cuba is in place. Any ship approaching Cuban ports will be searched and turned back if they are carrying weapons or anything that can be used to make weapons. No Cuban exports are permitted and travel by US Citizens or from US soil to the island is prohibited.

4/11/1962 – Former President and Vice-President Richard Nixon is elected Governor of California. Despite his assurances, nobody believes that his ambitions end there.

15/12/1962 – The US Navy intercepts a ship trying to run the Cuban blockade. On board, the US authorities discover more Chinese-made missile parts. President Kennedy announces that any further attempts by China to bring missiles to Cuba or any other Central or South American country will be seen as an act of aggression against the United States. Kennedy warns that the consequences would be “severe”.

10/1/1963 – After two years of testing, the contraceptive pill hits the market in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and most of Europe. It revolutionises the way in which women see themselves and their role in society.

16/2/1963 – President de Gaulle of France announces that the war in Algeria is lost. Algeria will gain independence on July 1, along with Morocco and Tunisia. The time lag is to allow proper parliaments to be set up. De Gaulle states that other French African colonies will be granted independence from January 1, 1964. He further announces that only white, non-Muslim residents in the three countries will be allowed to return to France as citizens.

22/3/1963 – The Socialist party in Romania gains power in elections. Its leader, Nicolae Ceausescu, immediately starts to tighten his grip on power by censoring the media, stronger control of security forces and banning, at first, small opposition parties.

11/4/1963 – Two major American crime bosses, one from Chicago and one from New York, are sentenced to death for multiple murder. More than 20 underlings are sentenced to long prison terms. The convictions are seen as major victories by the US Justice Department over the American Mafia.

14/5/1963 – Joachim Marseille, a dual German-French citizen, becomes the first European in space when he is launched into orbit from French Guiana. He spends more than 12 hours in space, orbiting the earth many times before landing safely.

4/6/1963 – On the anniversary of Marilyn Monroe’s death, a New York Times article alleges that the death was murder and hints at connections with the Mafia and the Kennedy’s. President Kennedy refuses to comment before leaving on a tour of Australia, New Zealand and the Far East a few days later.

2/7/1963 – During a speech at the demilitarised zone separating North and South Korea, Kennedy utters one of his most famous quotes “Two thousand years ago the proudest boast was civis romanus sum [I am a Roman citizen]. Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is 'I am Korean'...All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Korea, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words I am Korean!'”. He says the words “I am Korean” in fluent, accent-free Korean.

4/8/1963 – Tens of thousands of French citizens are leaving the newly independent French colonies of Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco and Libya. Algeria becomes a Islamic Republic, Tunisia a secular Republic, Morocco a Islamic Kingdom and power in Libya is seized by a military strongman, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

20/9/1963 – Morocco offers to purchase the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla for $US15 million, paid for out of the pocket of the Moroccan king. However, after some negotiations, the deal falls through and Franco takes steps to fortify the enclaves from possible attacks.

2/10/1963 – Vietnamese Prime Minister Ngo Dinh Diem is assassinated in a coup conducted by the military and aided by the CIA. America has 12,000 military “advisors” in the country and the removal of Diem was meant to stabilise the country by stopping Diem’s autocratic rule and helping the military crush an increasing communist insurgency. The reality would turn out to be much different.

22/11/1963 – President Kennedy narrowly avoids being assassinated while on a visit to Dallas. While driving along in a motorcade a number of shots are fired from a building along the route. One bullet hits Kennedy in the shoulder, another in the arm. The Texas governor, John Connolly, riding in the car alongside Kennedy, is not so lucky. He is hit in the head and dies almost immediately. Kennedy is rushed to hospital in a serious, but not life threatening condition. The assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, is arrested an hour later, after shooting a policeman while attempting to escape.

6/12/1963 – While Oswald is being transferred from one jail to another on live television, a nightclub owner named Jack Ruby tries to shoot him. He misses, hitting a policeman instead. Other policemen draw their weapons and gun Jack Ruby down, while Oswald uses the confusion to grab the dead policeman’s gun and tries to shoot his way to freedom. After a vicious 5-minute fire fight beamed into the homes of millions around the world, Oswald, Ruby, three police officers and a television reporter are dead.

6/1/1964 – President Kennedy returns to work full-time, as separate enquiries by the White House, the Justice Department and Congress are underway into the attempted assassination and its aftermath.

1/2/1964 – A Melbourne Cup field of candidates are running for the Republican nomination for President, with Congressman and former Vice-President Prescott Bush and Senator Barry Goldwater the early favourites. A notable absentee is former President and now Governor of California Richard Nixon.

5/3/1964 – The US launches the second phase of its space program with the launch of its Gemini mission. Two astronauts are sent into space. Over the next two years, ten more missions would follow. A week later, the Australians replicate the American efforts with their Didymus project.

27/4/1964 – The French navy turns back three boatloads of North African refugees from Algeria. On the same day, four Palestinian terrorists hijack a German plane en route from Berlin to Rome and demand the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails. The plane flies to Amman in Jordan, where German commandos storm the plane, kill three hijackers and manage to get the plane off the ground. The fourth hijacker is taken back to Germany and executed.

18/5/1964 – Viet Cong guerrillas butcher nearly 200 people, including Westerners, at a market in the city of Hue. In response, America sends 2000 more military advisors, and Australia sends 500 advisors as well.

4/6/1964 – On the second anniversary of Marilyn Monroe’s death, a number of newspapers in major cities expose President Kennedy’s affairs with women going back to the 1940’s. They include affairs with movie stars, including Monroe, spies for the former Soviet Union, gangster molls and other women with unsavoury connections. Kennedy makes no comment beyond “my private life has no bearing on my political life”. The leading Republican presidential candidates condemn the affairs and promise to bring “honour and integrity” back to the White House.

2/7/1964 - President Kennedy signs the Civil Rights and Voting Act into law. It is one of the most sweeping pieces of legislation in American history, prohibiting discrimination in public facilities, government, housing, and employment; outlawing literacy tests and poll taxes for voter qualification, and providing for federal registration of voters all over the United States.

28/8/1964 – The Republican convention selects Prescott Bush as its candidate for president. Bush’s running mate is Nelson Rockefeller after a bunfight with the extremist Barry Goldwater.

24/9/1964 – North Vietnamese frigates attack American and Australian Navy ships in the Gulf of Tonkin. One American destroyer is sunk and two Australian destroyers severely damaged before the North Vietnamese ships are obliterated by a hail of US and Australian cruise missiles.

5/10/1964 – Retaliatory air strikes by US and Australian bombers pound Hanoi and other North Vietnamese cities. Harbour installations, roads, bridges, railway lines and other infrastructure are targeted.

3/11/1964 – After a bitter campaign marred by accusations of sleaze from both sides, Prescott Bush narrowly defeats incumbent President Kennedy by a margin of 276-262 electoral votes. On the same day Kennedy’s brother Robert is elected junior Senator of New York after resigning as Attorney-General.

10/12/1964 – The long-awaited congressional report into the attempted assassination of John F. Kennedy is released. It finds that Lee Harvey Oswald was trained by Cuba as an assassin and hired by the US Mafia in retaliation for the Kennedy administration’s pursuit of its upper echelon. Incoming President Bush vows that “the perpetrators of this cold-blooded evil will not escape justice”.

20/1/1965 – Prescott Bush is sworn in as the 35th President of the United States of America. Nelson Rockefeller is his Vice-President.

3/2/1965 – Retribution for the failed Kennedy assassination gets under way. Three of the five major heads of New Yorks Mafia are arrested, the other two die in a hail of bullets. Major Mafia bosses in other large cities like Chicago, Miami, Las Vegas and Philadelphia suffer the same fate. The arrests break the back of Italian-based organised crime in the USA. At the same time, President Bush warns any foreigners to get out of Cuba as soon as possible and announces that the blockade against the island will be tightened. All travel to and from Cuba is banned, and any exports or imports to and from Cuba are prohibited. Cuba is effectively isolated from the rest of the world.

6/3/1965 – Fidel Castro calls the America blockade an unprovoked act of aggression and declares war on the United States. This is followed by a massive attack on the America base in Guantanamo Bay. Nearly 100 Americans lose their lives in the attack before the rest are evacuated. A subsequent American air strike kills more than 6,000 Cuban soldiers. This air strike is followed by a second, much bigger, strike which destroys most of Cuba’s infrastructure in a similar that the bombardment of 3 years earlier did. More then 90,000 Cubans die in that attack although Fidel Castro survives.

18/4/1965 – Australia Prime Minister Robert Menzies wins his sixth election in a row by 9 seats and promptly announces that he will retire on July 1. His designated successor is Treasurer John Gorton. The Labour Party also changes leaders, replacing Herbert Evatt with Gough Whitlam.

20/5/1965 – Elections in Britain and, a week later, in France return incumbents Harold Wilson and Charles de Gaulle to power.

23/6/1965 – Austria-Hungary changes government from Social Democrat to conservative. The following week Germany re-elects the CDU and its leader Ludwig Erhard for a second 5-year term.

15/7/1965 – The last two major European powers, Russia and Italy, return their incumbents to power in elections held on the same day.

8/8/1965 – Vietnamese Prime Minister Bao Dai meets US President Bush and Australian Prime Minister John Gorton in Guam to discuss the deteriorating situation in Vietnam. Gorton and Bush promise a massive troop increase to fight Viet Cong guerrillas and North Vietnamese insurgents.

17/9/1965 – Despite protests by the Labour Party, the first Australian conscripts arrive in Vietnam. Thousands of American conscripts also arrive in the country.

20/10/1965 - Nicolae Ceausescu of Romania assumes absolute power by suspending parliament and appointing himself President for life. The EEC imposes economic sanctions against the country, but Russia, Poland and the Balkan countries continue to trade with Romania.

19/11/1965 – A number of senior Mafia bosses are executed in the United States for their roles in the botched Kennedy assassination.

14/12/1965 – One of Fidel Castro’s senior henchmen, Che Guevara, manages to slip through the US blockade of Cuba and make it to Guatemala, where he disappears.

10/1/1966 – After the success of the Gemini project, the US begins the mission that will hopefully see a man on the moon. The project is code named Apollo.

12/2/1966 – The first major battle between American and North Vietnamese/Viet Cong forces takes place at Ia Drang in South Vietnam. The battle is effectively a draw with both sides forced to leave the battlefield. The Americans lose 305 men, Vietnamese dead number more than 1,500.

28/3/1966 – The hijacking of an Israeli airliner ends violently in Entebbe, Uganda, when Israeli commando’s storm the plane. One hostage, one commando and all seven hijackers are killed.

2/4/1966 – Israel executes 10 Palestinian prisoners and warns Egypt and Jordan, which house most of the Palestinians, that any further acts of terror against Israel will be met with “severe retaliation”.

16/5/1966 – China launches its “Cultural Revolution” officially as a campaign to rid China of its "liberal bourgeoisie" elements and to continue revolutionary class struggle. In other nations however, it is widely recognized as a method to regain control of the party after the disastrous Great Leap Forward policy of the 1950’s. The policy would manifest itself into wide-scale social, political, and economic chaos, growing to include large sections of Chinese society and eventually brought the entire country to the brink of civil war. The policy is officially abandoned in 1969 but in reality lasts until the mid-1970s.

6/6/1966 - With the Central African Republic in economic turmoil, military chief General Bokassa overthrows the autocratic President Dacko in a swift coup d'état and assumes power. Bokassa abolishes the constitution of 1961 a few days later and begins to rule by decree. It soon becomes a reign of terror no better than that of his predecessor.

21/7/1966 – The head of Indonesia’s military, General Soeharto, takes a leaf out of Bokassa’s book and overthrows the politically ailing President Sukarno. To say that Australian Prime Minister Gorton is displeased by this turn of events is putting it mildly.

18/8/1966 – A company of Australian soldiers is ambushed by a Viet Cong regiment in a rubber plantation near Long Tan about 80 kilometres northeast of Saigon. A 12-hour fire fight breaks out in which the Australians, supported by heavy artillery, manage to hold out until an armoured regiment comes to their rescue. The Australians lose 18 men; the Vietnamese suffer at least 250 dead.

7/9/1966 – Australia joins the race for the moon in a project codenamed “Minerva”. Prime Minister Gorton cautions the scientists that safety is paramount and that shortcuts will not be tolerated.

20/10/1966 – The last pre-World War 2 President of the United States, Herbert Hoover, dies in New York, aged 92. His funeral is attended by every ex-president as well as the current one.

8/11/1966 – Left-wing Japanese terrorists trained by the PLO shoot up Vienna and Athens airports simultaneously. More than 50 people are killed before Austrian and Greek security forces hunt down and kill the terrorists. Japan apologises profusely and vows to uncover and destroy any terror cells in its country.

30/12/1966 – The year has seen a serious escalation in the US and Australian commitment to Vietnam. The US has around 320,000 soldiers in Vietnam, while Australia’s commitment amounts to approximately 85,000 personnel.

6/1/1967 – The south-eastern Nigerian province of Biafra declares its independence after a minority tribe living there is persecuted. The Nigerian government cuts of all supplies of food, petrol and other essentials. Famine soon breaks out.

1/2/1967 – A massacre in the black township of Soweto near Johannesburg in which 150 black youths are murdered by mostly white police and soldiers finally forces the British Commonwealth to act against South Africa’s oppressive Apartheid policies instituted in 1950. South Africa is booted from the Commonwealth and strict economic, sporting and travel sanctions are imposed.

12/3/1967 – The leaders of Egypt, Jordan and Syria meet in secret in Luxor, Egypt, to discuss the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question”, as it will become known. In other words, they try to determine a way to eliminate Israel once and for all.

9/4/1967 – The Israeli Prime Minister receives news of the secret summit, although the details of what was discussed are vague. At the same time US spy satellites notice a slow, but steady build-up of military forces in the Sinai desert, the East Bank of the Jordan River and the Golan Heights which are Syrian territory.

22/5/1967 – Egypt announces the closure of the Straits of Tiran to all Israeli shipping. While most of Israel's commerce used Mediterranean ports, oil carried to the Israeli harbour of Eilat was a very significant import. Israel calls the blockade illegal and unacceptable and warns of severe consequences should it continue. Israel also states that it knows about the various military build-ups. A few days later Egyptian President Nasser states that “If Israel embarks on an aggression against Syria or Egypt, the battle against Israel will be a general one and not confined to one spot on the Syrian or Egyptian borders. The battle will be a general one and our basic objective will be to destroy Israel."

5/6/1967 – Further manoeuvrings by Egypt cause Israel to strike, and strike hard. A surprise air strike by the Israeli Air forces all but destroys the Egyptian Air Force and many of its airfields. Strikes against the Syrian and Jordanian air forces meet with similar success. At the same time, Israel launches a three-pronged invasion of the Sinai, West Bank and Golan heights. Over the next six days, Israel’s superior technology, better training and leadership as well as its air superiority manages to rout the Egyptian, Jordanian and Syrian armies. A ceasefire is signed on June 11. Israel seizes the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula, the West Bank of the Jordan River (including all of Jerusalem), and the Golan Heights. Overall, Israel's territory grows by a factor of 3, including about one million Arabs placed under Israel's direct control in the newly captured territories. Israel suffers 779 killed, 2580 wounded; the Arabs suffer about 21,000 dead and 45,000 wounded.

2/7/1967 – Israel does not take long to exploit its victory in the 6-Day War. Captured senior Arab officers supply Israel with details of the “Final Solution” and punishment is swift. Over the next few months, the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are rounded up and deported to Jordan and out of the occupied Sinai into Egypt. Their Mosques are razed; their land and homes are seized and sold or auctioned off to Jewish settlers. By the end of the year, the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Sinai are devoid of Palestinians or other Arabs.

8/8/1967 – Ernesto “Che” Guevara, who had vanished in Guatemala in 1965, is captured by the Bolivian Army after trying to start a communist revolution there. He is executed two days later.

30/9/1967 – US troop presence in Vietnam reaches 400,000 men, while Australia has kept its presence at 75,000. Most of the war is conducted as a guerrilla war with patrolling, minor skirmishes, ambushes and the occasional full scale battle. Casualties for the two Western powers are low compared to the Communist Vietnamese losses, but they are relentless. US deaths number in the 100’s per week, while the Australians lose a couple of dozen a week.

11/10/1967 – The first manned Apollo mission, Apollo 4, is launched from Cape Canaveral. The first 3 Apollo missions were unmanned test flights. Apollo 4 is a success.

7/11/1967 – Australian Opposition Leader Gough Whitlam announces that the Australian Labour Party and Democratic Labour Party will merge on January 1. The 2 sitting DLP Senators will join the ALP. The DLP has no lower house members.

22/12/1967 – The forced removal of Palestinians from the occupied territories is complete. This removal, and the destruction of the Arab armies in June, leaves Israel as the dominant military and economic power in the Middle East.

30/1/1968 – North Vietnamese regulars and Viet Cong guerrillas launch a massive offensive to coincide with the Vietnamese New Year or Tet. After years of being promised that victory was just around the corner, the sight of the enemy in the grounds of the US Embassy shocks ordinary Americans.

22/2/1968 – The crew of Apollo 6 becomes the first manned spacecraft to reach the moon. Astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and William A. Anders become the first humans to see the far side of the Moon and planet Earth as a whole. They orbit the moon a number of times before returning safely.

14/3/1968 - President Prescott Bush announces that, due to his age (and the propaganda defeat of the Tet offensive) he does “not seek, and will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your President”.

21/4/1968 – Australian Prime Minister John Gorton wins the election against Gough Whitlam by a margin of 64 seats to 61. The Labour Party does win control of the Senate, which had previously been held by the DLP, minor parties and Independents.

5/5/1968 – The scare at the election prompts a change in the policy on the Vietnam War. The Australian government decides to slowly withdraw regular and conscript soldiers and replace them with Special Forces more versed in guerrilla warfare. The aim is to meet the Viet Cong on its terms and fight “fire with fire” as Prime Minister Gorton puts it.

18/6/1968 – “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”, says Neil Armstrong as he becomes the first human to set foot on the moon. His colleague Buzz Aldrin follows a short time later, while Michael Collins pilots the Apollo 8 command module overhead. The three astronauts return safely to Earth a few days later.

10/7/1968 – Israel announces the formal annexation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Golan Heights and Sinai peninsular. The annexations more than double Israel’s territory. Israel’s population is 5.2 million, with fewer than 100,000 of those being Arabs. The announcement also sees the end of the Suez Protection Force that was created in 1956, as both Israel and Egypt ask that the Scandinavian and Canadian troops leave as soon as possible. The withdrawal is completed by October.

20/8/1968 – The humiliation of losing the Sinai as a result of the 6-Day War defeat is too much for Egyptian President Nasser. He commits suicide and is succeeded to the Presidency by Foreign Minister Anwar al-Sadat.

5/9/1968 – The Republican convention endorses former President Richard Nixon as its candidate for the election. Nixon had entered the race after the withdrawal of Prescott Bush. A week later, the Democrats nominate Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota as their candidate.

8/10/1968 – Lebanese elections marred by fraud and intimidation bring a Syrian-backed government and president to power.

5/11/1968 – Richard Nixon becomes the second man (after Grover Cleveland) to be elected to two non-consecutive terms as President. Nixon beats Humphrey by an Electoral College margin of 312-225.

13/12/1968 – Nigeria, fed up with its renegade province of Biafra, invades the territory in force. The province and its starving inhabitants are quickly overrun. Biafran leaders are summarily executed and the province is reintegrated into Nigeria.

20/1/1969 – Eight Years after leaving office as the 33rd President, Richard Nixon is sworn in as the 36th President of the United States. His vice-president is Gerald Ford.

18/2/1969 – Otto Hahn, the great Australian scientist, dies of throat cancer in Sydney, two weeks short of his 90th Birthday.

30/3/1969 – The Communist party of Cambodia, dubbed “Khmer Rouge” by Cambodia’s Prince Sihanouk, begins an insurgency after failing to gain any seats in the Cambodian parliament.

3/4/1969 – Prince Sihanouk asks America and Australia for help in countering the insurgency. Nixon sends Special Forces and advisers, but Gorton does nothing.

14/5/1969 – A coup in Iraq overthrows the ruling sheik and brings Saddam Hussein and his Baath party to power. Saddam Hussein soon establishes himself as dictator.

8/6/1969 - Edward Kennedy, the youngest brother of former President John Kennedy and New York Senator Robert Kennedy drives off a bridge on his way home from a party on Chappaquiddick Island, Massachusetts. After saving himself, he dives back into the water to rescue Mary Jo Kopechne, a former campaign aide to his brother Robert who was in the car with him. This incident does more than almost any other to restore the prestige of the Kennedy family after the sex scandals that plagued the last year of the John Kennedy administration.

20/7/1969 – Australians Charles Kingsford and Hudson Fysh become the seventh and eighth men, and the first non-Americans to walk on the moon. The Minerva 6 mission returns home safely a few days later.

10/8/1969 – An attempt at transparency by the Montenegrin government backfires when voters annihilate the otherwise corrupt Socialist government at the polls. The attempt at transparency involved letting Austrian officials observe the election. The Austrians certify that the election is free and fair so the President has no choice but to let the result stand. The Socialist party is demolished and its membership reduced from 26 seats to just three seats in the 47-member parliament. It is replaced by a centre-right government which immediately moves to lift Montenegro’s economy out of the doldrums and strengthen relations with its giant neighbour, Austria-Hungary.

11/9/1969 – Two more African countries turn to rule by dictatorship. First, the former Belgian Congo, now called Zaire, falls to General Mobuto, and, a week later, military strongman Idi Amin takes power in Uganda.

22/10/1969 – Australia completes its withdrawal of regular army troops from Vietnam. However, some 20,000 special forces remain in the country to train South Vietnamese forces and carry out guerrilla activities against the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese.

6/11/1969 – American soldiers massacre more than 200 Vietnamese civilians at a village called My Lai in central South Vietnam. The soldiers conducting the massacre are transferred out of Vietnam but suffer no further punishment.

8/12/1969 – The Americans lose 508 soldiers when they attack a hill nicknamed “Hamburger Hill”. They take the hill while killing 2536 North Vietnamese, but it is abandoned two days later as “strategically unimportant”. This battle, and the aftermath of the My Lai massacre is beamed live into American homes causing support for the war to plummet even further.

16/1/1970 – Stalinist opposition leader Enver Hoxha seizes power in Albania after a loose coalition government in the country collapses. With the military in his pocket (literally – Hoxha is one of the richest men in Albania), he begins exiling or imprisoning political opponents and starts to isolate the country from the rest of Europe, just like Kim Il-Sung has done with North Korea.

22/2/1970 – Female astronaut Gabrielle Kennard becomes the first woman to set foot on the moon when she and her colleague Richard Smith complete the Australian Minerva 8 mission.

8/3/1970 – The French Intelligence services deliver a report to Charles de Gaulle, confirming reports of a reign of terror by the Central African Republics President, Bokassa. De Gaulle is not planning to stand for re-election in May, and decides to leave any action up to his successor.

16/4/1970 – The European election season gets under way, with Germans ending the long reign of the CDU and voting the SPD and their leader Willy Brandt into power. A week later, Austria-Hungary goes to the polls with the Conservative Party retaining office.

26/5/1970 – Outgoing President Charles de Gaulle, a conservative republican is replaced by Valery Giscard D’Estaing, a centre-left Democrat.

17/6/1970 – A security guard at the Watergate Office and Apartment Complex in Washington notices tape covering the locks on several doors in the complex. He calls the police and within minutes, five men are arrested inside the Democratic National Committee's office. The five are charged with attempted burglary and attempted interception of telephone and other communications.

10/7/1970 – Voters in Britain dump the Labour government of Harold Wilson and elect the Tories under Edward Heath. A few days later elections in Italy replace the Social democrats with a Centre-right coalition, while voters in Russia elect Leonid Brezhnev to his third successive term in office.

5/8/1970 – New French President Giscard D’Estaing sends more spies to the Central African Republic to further investigate reports of atrocities under Bokassa’s regime.

15/9/1970 – Citing repeated armed incursions by Pakistan into Indian-controlled Kashmir, India launches an all-out offensive in the region. Surprise air raids wipe out most of Pakistan’s command structure in the region, leaving the Pakistani forces without a unified command. As a result, Indian forces make rapid progress in the mountainous terrain.

20/10/1970 – After five weeks of vicious fighting, Pakistan asks for an armistice. Indian troops occupy the region bordered by the Indus River, Afghanistan and China. A treaty signed a few months’ later enables India to annex the region, which they immediately fortify. Some 23,000 Pakistanis and 5,500 Indians die in the brief war.

29/11/1970 – President Nixon’s secret orders for US Forces to cross into neutral Cambodia, which threaten to widen the Vietnam War, are splashed all over the New York Times sparking nation wide protests.

6/12/1970 - Four students at Kent State University in Ohio are killed and 9 wounded by Ohio State National Guardsmen at a protest against the incursion into Cambodia. President Nixon is unsympathetic, calling the dead students “communist sympathisers and troublemakers”.

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Thanks, from:
Dingfod (05-22-2009), Stormlight (05-22-2009)
By MonCapitan2002 on 05-22-2009, 08:22 AM
Default Re: Alternate Timeline of the 20th Century Part IV (1951-1975)

Well this is interesting. You have an imperialist Isreal that has managed to triple its territory and annex one nation while taking territory from another. I wonder why no other nations have responded. One thing I find interesting is the larger population of Isreal. Consdering how the Holocaust never happened in this timeline, I can see how a considerably larger Isreali population would be able to support controlling a greater amount of territory.

I look forward to seeing how the end of the century turns out. It is interesting how Russia has become a mediator of several conflicts already. It will also be interesting to see how relations between Cuba and US will develop.
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By lpetrich on 05-26-2009, 03:55 AM
Default Re: Alternate Timeline of the 20th Century Part IV (1951-1975)

Another nit to pick: as to the US probe landing on the Moon, I think that the first US probe to make it there would likely be a flyby, as the Ranger spacecraft had been in our timeline. The later Rangers got closeups by crashing into the Moon and radioing back pictures as it approached.

Australia as an advanced country is interesting, but landing people on the Moon may have been a bit too expensive. I think that a more likely direction would have been what the US, the Soviet Union, and the ESA have done in our timeline and yours -- send automated spacecraft farther and farther, competing with other nations that were doing so.

I think that Australia may have been doing what Japan has been doing in our timeline -- investing heavily in automation and industrial robotics -- because of a shortage of cheap labor. So automated spacecraft would be a good proof-of-concept, especially automated interplanetary ones.
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By MonCapitan2002 on 05-26-2009, 05:06 AM
Default Re: Alternate Timeline of the 20th Century Part IV (1951-1975)

Don't forget that in this alternate timeline, Australia has about 40,000,000 people living there in 2000.
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By BigBlue2 on 05-26-2009, 06:29 AM
Default Re: Alternate Timeline of the 20th Century Part IV (1951-1975)

Originally Posted by lpetrich View Post
Another nit to pick: as to the US probe landing on the Moon, I think that the first US probe to make it there would likely be a flyby, as the Ranger spacecraft had been in our timeline. The later Rangers got closeups by crashing into the Moon and radioing back pictures as it approached.
They would have done that, it just wasn't mentioned.

Originally Posted by lpetrich View Post
Australia as an advanced country is interesting, but landing people on the Moon may have been a bit too expensive. I think that a more likely direction would have been what the US, the Soviet Union, and the ESA have done in our timeline and yours -- send automated spacecraft farther and farther, competing with other nations that were doing so.

I think that Australia may have been doing what Japan has been doing in our timeline -- investing heavily in automation and industrial robotics -- because of a shortage of cheap labor. So automated spacecraft would be a good proof-of-concept, especially automated interplanetary ones.
All good points. As MonCapitan mentioned, Australia's population is significantly higher than in OTL (in the late sixties it would have been around 24 million) and the government has poured an enormous amount of money into scientific research since the 1930's. Australia takes the place of the Soviet Union as America's rival in the space race (as do the French and Germans), so they would think that the expense of getting somone to the moon is money well spent. Once the moon missions are complete, both countries join the Franco-German agency in sending unmanned probes to various planets. The three major agencies also collaborate in building a space station by the end of the 1970's.
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