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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 1970's

11/1/1971 – The five men caught in the Watergate burglary are sentenced to between 18 months and 36 months in prison.

17/2/1971 – The absolute monarchy in Cambodia is overthrown by Cambodian general Lon Nol. Prince Sihanouk remains as a figurehead as the civil war between government forces (aided by the United States) and the communist Khmer Rouge heats up.

16/3/1971 – After hearing Intelligence confirmation that more than 300 Central African schoolgirls were massacred for refusing to wear a school uniform, French President Giscard D’Estaing acts. More than 40,000 French paratroopers rain down on the Central African Republics capital, quickly secure the airport and pave the way for tens of thousands of additional French troops.

14/4/1971 – France’s control of its former colony is complete. The Central African Republics military is disarmed and Bokassa is deceased after being lynched by outraged citizens. France sends an administrator and other bureaucrats to rule the country until elections can be held.

24/5/1971 – The Khmer Rouge, assisted by Chinese and North Korean advisors, collects their scattered units and establishes a frontline in northern Cambodia. The frontline stretches from Thailand to Vietnam.

3/6/1971 - Socialist Salvador Allende is elected President of Chile. Nixon calls the elections “flawed” and declares that “communism in South America has no future”.

14/7/1971 – Former French President and General, Charles de Gaulle, dies on Bastille Day in Paris.

19/8/1971 – New Zealand withdraws its 8,000 troops, mainly artillery gunners, helicopter pilots and medics, from Vietnam.

13/9/1971 – The Chilean military, backed by the CIA overthrows the Allende government. Allende disappears during the violent coup, and is presumed dead. Chief of the Chilean army, Augusto Pinochet, takes over.

24/10/1971 – James McCord, one of the five men convicted of the Watergate break-in, writes a letter to U.S. District Judge John Sirica (as well as several newspapers) stating that his plea and testimony, some of which he claimed was perjured, were compelled by pressure from White House counsel John Dean and former Attorney General John N. Mitchell.

27/11/1971 – In Australia, 21 years of Liberal rule come to an end as the Labour Party of Gough Whitlam defeats the Liberal/National party coalition of John Gorton by a margin of 8 seats.

18/12/1971 – Whitlam announces that Australian troops will begin to withdraw from Vietnam as soon as South Vietnamese troops are sufficiently trained to defend themselves against communist troops. He calls the process “Vietnamisation”.

6/1/1972 – The US Senate sets up the Watergate Committee to investigate the claims made by James McCord. A few days later, President Nixon announces that he intends to run for a third term.

26/1/1972 – Jordanian-based Palestinian terrorists hijack a Swiss, American and British plane and fly them to Jordan. The terrorists announce that the hijackings are intended "to teach the Americans a lesson because of their long-standing support of Israel". After all hostages are removed, the planes are demonstratively blown up in front of TV cameras, directly confronting and angering Jordan’s King.

11/3/1972 – Fighting breaks out in the streets of Amman between large groups of Palestinians, who had set up an effective mini-state within Jordan, and Jordanian security forces, killing about 300 people.

7/4/1972 – After a failed assassination attempt on King Hussein of Jordan, martial law is declared and Jordanian tanks attack the headquarters of Palestinian organizations in Amman; the army also attacks four Palestinian townships. After two weeks of heavy fighting, the Palestinians are driven out of Jordan into Syria and Lebanon.

19/5/1972 – Australian Prime Minister Whitlam announces that he will begin to withdraw the last 20,000 Australian troops from Vietnam.

22/6/1972 – The Watergate hearings, along with the ongoing quagmire in Vietnam and the withdrawal of America’s only remaining ally from it, is causing major damage to President Nixon’s already shaky poll numbers. Matters look even worse for Nixon when he refuses to release White House tape recordings, citing executive privilege.

17/7/1972 – After the Supreme Court orders the tapes to be released, Nixon complies. The tapes confirm most of the original evidence, even though some 18 minutes of crucial recordings have been erased. The US House of Representatives prepare articles of impeachment for Nixon.

28/8/1972 – The US House of Representatives impeaches President Nixon for obstruction of justice, abuse of power and contempt of Congress. The case is sent to Senate for trial and possible removal of the President. Two weeks later Robert Kennedy wins the nomination of the Democratic Party as their presidential candidate.

5/9/1972 – Palestinian terrorists kidnap 11 Israeli athletes from their rooms in the Olympic village in Munich, Germany, and keep them hostage in a cafeteria while negotiations begin. A few hours later, German commandos storm the cafeteria, kill 5 terrorists and capture 2 more. One commando and two Israeli athletes are also killed.

1/10/1972 – The Senate votes on the issue of removing President Nixon from office. The vote is 57-43 in favour of dismissal. This falls short of the 66 votes needed, therefore Nixon survives. Nixon does, however, withdraw his candidacy for the upcoming presidential election, and asks that the Republican Party endorse Vice-President Ford instead. The party complies, pitting Gerald Ford against Robert Kennedy in the election.

7/11/1972 – Even though Gerald Ford is relatively untainted by the Watergate scandal and Vietnam, he suffers a crushing defeat at the election. Robert Kennedy wins the poll with a margin of 490-47 Electoral College seats, taking every state except Michigan (Ford’s home state) and Texas.

5/12/1972 – Three months after the Munich hostage crisis, Germany takes revenge on the PLO by showering Palestinian suburbs of Beirut and other Lebanese cities with cruise missiles, napalm and bombs. More than 10,000 people die in the attack, but German Chancellor Willy Brandt is unrepentant. “Terror begets terror”, he says, “if the Palestinians conduct any more terrorist activities against Germany and its citizens, this raid will be just a taste of what is to come”.

20/1/1973 – Robert F. Kennedy is sworn in as the 37th President of the United States. His Vice-President is the ex-Governor of Georgia, Jimmy Carter.

6/2/1973 – King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom dies of a cerebral haemorrhage a few months short of his 79th birthday. His niece, 46-year-old Elizabeth succeeds him as Elizabeth II.

28/3/1973 – Former President Dwight Eisenhower dies in New York at the age of 82. He is given a State Funeral attended by all living presidents and buried in Arlington War cemetery in Virginia.

19/4/1973 – President Kennedy approaches Russian Premier Brezhnev for help in negotiating a “mutually acceptable outcome” to the Vietnam War. Brezhnev agrees to give it a shot.

10/5/1973 – North and South Vietnam as well as the United States agree to talks in Moscow, moderated by Russia.

30/6/1973 – The last Australian troops leave Vietnam. The nearly decade-long commitment has cost 6453 Australian lives and left another 20274 wounded.

25/7/1973 – Negotiations in Moscow are making slow, but steady progress, especially when President Kennedy declares that he will withdraw 100,000 troops from Vietnam by the end of the year. However, even with that withdrawal, there will still be 400,000 troops in the country.

15/8/1973 – The U.S. bombing of Cambodia ends, ordered by President Kennedy to keep the Moscow peace talks on track.

25/9/1973 – The Israeli secret intelligence agency informs Prime Minister Golda Meir of a large Syrian troop build-up in southern Lebanon, while Egypt conducts a military exercise on their side of the Suez Canal.

6/10/1973 – Egypt and Syria launch a two-pronged attack on Israel on the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur. Egyptian forces drive deep into the Sinai, while Syrian tanks reach the outskirts of the northern Israeli city of Haifa. Israel mobilises with lightning speed, and, while fighting a defensive campaign in the sparsely populated Sinai, launches an all-out counterattack against the Syrians. On October 10, the Syrians are driven back into Lebanon. The Israelis switch their forces to the Sinai and manage to encircle the Egyptians. On October 15, the Egyptian army is driven back across the Suez Canal, pursued by the Israeli Air Force. Egypt tries a number of times to re-cross the canal but each attempt is demolished by Israeli bombers and missiles. Israel again switches most troops from the Sinai to the Lebanese border and invades Lebanon with full force.

10/11/1973 – The Israeli conquest of Lebanon is complete, with Beirut occupied by Israeli troops and the Syrian forces driven back into Syria. The Palestinian militia groups which had attempted to join the war are either destroyed or driven into Syria as well. Syria and Egypt are forced to sue for a humiliating ceasefire, brokered by Italy. Israeli losses amount to 7256 killed and 8568 wounded, while the Arab nations have lost 19,547 killed and about 35,000 wounded.

1/12/1973 – Israel begins deporting Lebanese and Palestinian Muslims to Syria (who is in no position to refuse them entry), seizing their homes, businesses and land as well as installing a temporary administrator (General Ariel Sharon) in Beirut.

12/1/1974 – President Kennedy announces that some restriction on travel and trade with Cuba will be lifted. Americans are still prohibited from travelling to Cuba and vice versa, but restrictions on Cubans travelling to other countries, and travel by non-Americans to Cuba will be lifted. Limited trade by other countries with Cuba will also be allowed. There is no reaction from Castro to the changes.

27/2/1974 – Taking revenge for Israel’s victory in the Yom Kippur War and its subsequent deportations from Lebanon, the Arab members of OPEC, as well as Syria and Egypt place an embargo on oil shipments to the United States and the EEC. The results are immediate, with a tripling of petrol prices and a sharp downturn in the stock markets of the US and Europe.

10/3/1974 – The countries affected by the oil embargo hit back by placing trade embargos of their own, mainly with regards to wheat and other foodstuffs, weapons, technology and other manufactured goods. They also freeze the bank accounts of the Arab rulers and other officials and downgrade diplomatic relations. Countries not directly affected by the oil embargo, such as Russia, Australia and New Zealand, join the sanctions.

11/4/1974 – Energy Ministers and scientists from the US, Europe, Australia and New Zealand meet in San Francisco to discuss measures to lessen the dependency on oil. In the meantime, the economies of oil producing countries that have not joined the embargo, such as Iran, Nigeria and Venezuela are starting to boom.

15/5/1974 – The economies of western nations affected by the oil embargo are taking a hit, with higher inflation, petrol shortages and increased unemployment. These effects flow on to some other countries not directly affected by the embargo.

9/6/1974 - The economies of Arab countries involved in the trade war are faring worse. Basic food items are becoming scarce, oil refineries are slowing in production because western experts are leaving the countries, and cars, fridges and other items break down due to a lack of spare parts. The crisis drags on until the end of the year when sanctions by each side are progressively lifted.

1/7/1974 – A raft of social and economic laws come into effect in Australia. They include a broadening of public health insurance to cover the entire population, not just the elderly, under-18’s and unemployed or low income earners; the Trade Practices Act; the Corporations Act; legalisation of same-sex marriage; no-fault divorce laws; a reduction of the period of national service from 24 months to 17 months; a pardon of Vietnam War draft dodgers; and the introduction of compulsory superannuation payments by employers for employees.

14/8/1974 – With the oil crisis in hand, President Kennedy travels to Moscow to give Vietnam War negotiations a kick along. With Kennedy’s presence, the negotiations make rapid progress. Relations between the US and Russia also rapidly improve from frosty to lukewarm.

22/9/1974 – After years of stalemate and build-up, the Khmer Rouge launches a massive offensive in Cambodia. Without the US support they had previously enjoyed, Cambodian government resistance begins to collapse.

8/10/1974 – Former President Prescott Bush dies in New York at the age of 79. He is given a State Funeral with all current and former Presidents attending.

17/11/1974 – Gough Whitlam wins a tight election by a margin of 66 seats to 61 seats to be elected to his second term in office. However, the Coalition regains the balance of power in the Senate.

24/12/1974 – The Australian city of Darwin is hammered by Category 5 Cyclone “Tracy”. The cyclone kills 66 people, injures hundreds more, and demolishes most homes and the entire infrastructure of the city of 100,000 people. The army swings into action on Christmas Day and most of the city is evacuated by December 27. Rebuilding begins in the New Year, but it takes Darwin about two years to recover fully from one of Australia’s worst natural disasters.

15/1/1975 – Khmer Rouge Forces have sealed the Cambodian borders with Thailand, Laos and Vietnam, and are besieging the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh. Government forces are holding out in scattered areas of the country but are slowly being overcome.

4/2/1975 – The Cambodian government surrenders as Khmer Rouge troops march into the capital. Lon Nol and some of his minsters are executed, but others manage to escape and make their way to Thailand. Phnom Penh civilians are ordered to leave their homes and begin to be evacuated to camps in the countryside. The reign of terror has begun.

15/3/1975 – A stagnant economy in Russia causes Nationalist Party Premier Leonid Brezhnev to lose office and be replaced by Yuri Andropov of the Russian Socialist party.

17/4/1975 – In Britain, the Tories are voted out of office after one term when the Labour Party under James Callaghan wins government.

22/5/1975 – The next cabs off the election rank are France and Austria. France re-elects Giscard D’Estaing as its president, while the Austrian Conservative Party makes way for the Austrian Social Democrats.

23/6/1975 – Chancellor Willi Brandt retires at the election, which is won by the SPD. His deputy Helmut Schmidt becomes German chancellor. A week later, the conservative coalition in Italy retains power.

12/7/1975 – Two retiring Labour Senators in Australia are replaced by Coalition politicians. This is something that goes against the spirit, but not the letter, of the constitution. The Coalition cements its control of the Senate with the two new appointments.

9/8/1975 – President Robert Kennedy and Premier Yuri Andropov announce that an agreement on the Vietnam War has been reached. The United States will withdraw all military and diplomatic personnel by the end of 1976. Elections, monitored by Russian observers, will be held in February 1976, to decide whether country will be reunified or stay separated. The Russian observers will be protected by Austrian and Danish troops, who will stay no longer than July 1976.

22/9/1975 – Israel announces that it will annex Lebanon on January 1, 1976. Only isolated pockets of Lebanese Muslims remain in the country, along with nearly 1 million Lebanese Christians. The total population of Israel is about 8.5 million.

21/10/1975 – Citing financial mismanagement by the Whitlam government, Opposition leader Bill Snedden states that all supply bills will be blocked in the Senate. The announcement sparks a constitutional crisis.

11/11/1975 – With the Australian constitutional crisis dragging on, the Governor-General dissolves both houses of parliament and calls an election for December. Whitlam is not happy, but has no choice but to comply.

13/12/1975 – Whitlam retains office by the narrowest of margins winning 65 seats to the Coalitions 62 seats. The Coalition loses control of the Senate, with the balance of power going to the minor party Australian Democrats and Greens. Bill Snedden resigns and at a by-election in January, the seat goes to an independent. The new Opposition leader is Malcolm Fraser.

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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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