CSA Today by Gerry Shannon
Author says: how would the breakaway Confederate States of America, continuing to exist after the resolution of the Civil War, have endured alongside the United States in the 20th and 21st centuries?
In 1963,on this day Lyndon Baines Johnson, President of the Confederate States of America, (pictured) is assassinated in Dallas whilst travelling in a presidential limousine along a designated motorcade route.
Part 1: Johnson Assassinated by Union Sympathizer
A chief suspect soon emerges: Lee Harvey Oswald, a US sympathizer who had previously defected to the Union after receiving a dishonourable discharge from the Confederate Army. Oswald would later claim at his trial - and right up to his execution - he was being set-up as the perfect "patsy" for Johnson's murder, because of his outspoken beliefs on civil rights and affirmative action.
However, Oswald's argument would prove ironic with hindsight. Since being sworn in ten months before, Johnson had pursued several progressive policies in relation to civil rights for African-Americans during his administration. It would be his Vice-President and successor, John Connolly, who would succeed in convincing the Confederate Congress at Richmond to pass a historic Civil Rights bill in 1964.
In 1968,on this day Martin Luther King, Jr., civil rights leader and third-party presidential candidate, is assassinated at Lorraine Hotel, Memphis. King was struck by a single bullet fired from a rifle. The bullet travelled through the right side of his neck, smashing his throat and then going down his spinal cord before lodging in his shoulder.
Part 2: King Dies for "No Lost Cause"
Though he had been trailing far behind both the Conservative and Democratic-Republican candidates in the national polls, King had hoped to use his candidacy as a platform for his long-standing campaign of civil rights for African-Americans in the CSA.
Only coming five years after the assassination of CS President Lyndon Johnson, King's murder would have an even profounder effect on society. Riots ignited across the state capitals, not the least of which in Richmond, for several weeks. CS President John Connolly releases a statement, "Dr. King would often tell me our Confederacy was built on a Lost Cause, but I know he was content to die for what he regarded as a more noble one. A cause dedicated to love and peace towards his fellow man, black and white; and one that can only improve the lives of all of us living in these Confederate States".
On June 10, 1968, James Earl Ray, a fugitive from a Missouri prison, was arrested at London's Heathrow Airport, extradited to the Confederate States, and chared with the crime. On March 10th, 1969, Ray entered a plea of guilty and sentenced to 99 years in the Tennessee state penitentiary. Following his incarceration, Ray would suddenly deny all charges and claim a mysterious individual named "Raoul" set him up; he would put forward this version of events until his death in 1998.
In 1972,on this day two men are apprehended following a break in and attempted bugging of the offices of the Confederate States of America embassy in Washington D.C. Confederate authorities reveal the two men, Howard E. Hunt and Frank Sturgis, are in fact CIA operatives and under interrogation have revealed other attempts to burgle the embassy offices.
Part 3: Break-In at the CS Embassy
US President Barry Goldwater demands that CS President George Wallace order their immediate release, but privately is shocked to learn Hunt and Sturgis' activities were funded by the Richard Nixon presidential campaign. Not only that, but it was former Vice-President Nixon himself who ordered the burglary.
Aware of the out-going President's fury, Nixon quickly has his aides leak the details of his involvement in the break-in to Washington Post reporter, Bob Woodward; who subsequently reports it. The claim that the former Vice-President had ordered the burglary to investigate "Confederate plots against the Union" lead to an upsurge of support in the polls for Nixon for his apparent patriotic intentions. Though the incident sours relations between the governments of the Union and Confederacy for at least the next decade, it is deemed a considerable factor in Nixon's subsequent victory over Democratic candidate Robert Kennedy.
However, in the intervening decades, conspiracy theorists make allegations of a link between the embassy break-in and the assassination of CS President Johnson. Two men looking remarkably similar to Hunt and Sturgis were photographed several times in Dealey Plaza on 22nd, November 1963.
In 1980,on the final day of the Democratic convention in New York, US President Teddy Kennedy addresses the delegates in one of the finest instances of oratory in US history. It would be a speech that would be widely credited with ensuring Kennedy's re-election.
Part 4: Dream Never Dies
In a stirring finish to the speech, Kennedy looked to the countries' shared pasts and their future: "For many in the United States, over a century ago, the possibility of reunification came to an end. For all those in both the US and CS whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die".
In 1998,in an interview on NBC's Today Show, Confederate First Lady Hillary Clinton claims the existence of a "vast Union conspiracy" to destroy her husband's presidency of the Confederate States.
Part 5: Vast Union Conspiracy by Gerry Shannon
Her claim arose following a comment from host Matt Lauer: "You have said, I understand, to some close friends that this is the last great battle, and that one side or the other is going down here".
Clinton responded, "Well, I don't know if I've been that dramatic. That would sound like a good line from a movie. But I do believe that this is a battle. I mean, look at the very people who are involved in this - they have popped up in other settings. This is - the great story here for anybody willing to find it and write about it and explain it is this vast Union conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for presiden". The "people involved in this" referred chiefly to Monica Lewinsky, a graduate of Lewis & Clark college in Portland, Oregon; and of course, a citizen of the United States working as an intern in the Confederate White House.
Journalist Bob Woodward previously wrote in his book "The Agenda" (1994) that Mrs. Clinton recalled that when her husband was making his decision to run for the president in 1992, he reported receiving "a direct threat from someone in the administration of US President Dick Cheney, warning that if he ran, the CIA would go after him. "Will will do everything we can to destroy you", she recalled that the Cheney White House man had said".
Why out-going US President Cheney would wish to stop a Clinton presidency, Woodward speculates that it was clear that Clinton would wish to work with Cheney's successor to cool tensions between the Confederacy and Union should he win.
In any case, Lewinsky is quietly deported back to the United States soon after Mrs. Clinton's comments - assisted by the administration of US President Al Gore - and the threat of impeachment for CS President Clinton in his final year of office gradually passes.
Author says, please note that this thread is will develop further and can be accessed on the Today in Alternate History web site.
Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist superpower, aliens influencing human history in the 18th century and Teddy Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting fictional blog.