Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Airship Legacy - Part 10

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            After the Equal Rights Movement and the dark episode of the “Alabama War”, the landscape of American politics shifted drastically. Almost immediately after the crisis in Alabama, the Democratic Party began to disintegrate. By the end of 1974, the Democratic Conventions of Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, and South Carolina voted to leave the Democratic National Convention. On February 3, 1975, delegates from these seceding state conventions met in Atlanta for the formation of the Southern Democratic Party of the United States. By July of that year, the state democratic conventions in North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Texas voted to leave the DNC and Join the new Southern Democrats.
            The 1976 presidential elections were the most tense and interesting elections the USA had had in years, with three parties having candidates in the running for the first time since the 1936 elections. The Democratic Party at their convention in Philadelphia nominated President Kennedy on July 26. The Republicans nominated Barry Goldwater in Chicago on July 30.  The Southern Democrats nominated Orval Faubus, the party’s chairman and founder, at their convention in Little Rock on August 3. Kennedy’s high approval rating and the large support from African American’s across the country led to Kennedy’s close win over Goldwater. Kennedy ended up with 51% of the votes, with Goldwater having 32% and Faubus having 28%.
- Hallis, Dr. Robert. The Great Political Earthquake: 1974 and the End of the Two-Party System. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press: 1999

CAPE CANAVRIL, AUG 4-  The American Space Exploration Agency (ASEA) announced today that their first space station is in orbit, and that 4 American cosmonauts are aboard. President Kennedy hailed today’s event as “another positive step in the history of space exploration”.
            ASEA also announced today that they plan on having three more space stations up in orbit by the end of 1978, and that they are eyeing some sort of permanent structure on the Moon by the end of either this decade or the early part of the next. If this is so,  America would pull ahead of the German space program, which is lagging behind on its attempt to have a manned mission to Mars.
            When asked about a possible Mars mission, ASEA officials said that one was not currently planned, but that it wasn’t “off the table”. Germany had been ahead of the American’s in space up until 1974, when the A-19 test rocket exploded violently, followed later that year by the death of Warner von Braun, Germany’s leading rocket scientist. The Imperial Rocket Force hopes that their new A-20 rocket will be ready for testing sometime later this year. The purpose of the A-20 is for an eventual manned mission to Mars.
“Space Station in Orbit,” Washington Post, August 4, 1976.

HOLLYWOOD, MAY 9- One of the most famous and beloved actress of the Babelsberg Studios, Anne Frank, will be the star of the upcoming film Western Front, which will be set during the Great War.
            Frank, 48, began acting in 1950 with a small role in Neue Liebe. Her first staring role came in 1954 in Berliner Sommer. To date, what is considered her best film is the 1970 film Ostland, a gripping drama telling the story of a young woman caught in the upheaval of the Polish War.  Ostland won the 1971 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, and Frank’s acting is what made that award possible.
            Filming on Western Front is expected to begin next week, and producers hope to have the film ready by next summer.
“Famed German Actress to Star in First American Film,” The Los Angeles Times, May 9, 1977.

PEENAMUNDE, MAY 23- In the worst disaster to plague the beleaguered IRF to date, the new A-20 rocket exploded on the launch pad in a fiery blast that claimed the lives of 58 scientists and engineers, including all of the rocket’s principle design team.
            Emperor Louis Ferdinand I declared a state of mourning in honor of the lives lost in the disaster. Senior IRF officials say that despite disaster, their plan of going to Mars will not be scrapped. Many Germans are loosing their faith in the IRF’s ability to get past the loss of the A-19 and A-20 rockets, and have serious doubts as to whether or not the mission to Mars will ever occur.  Recent gains by the Americans in the so-called “Space Race” have made many people doubt the leadership of the IRF. One politician in the Reichstag stated that he thought that the IRF should be “reorganized and given completely new leadership, and should focus on goals closer to home, like lunar colonization.” Placing a permanent settlement on the Moon has been the subject of much debate by scientists throughout the Empire, some arguing that for the American’s to do so first would be a disgrace to the memory of von Braun, while other’s say the Moon isn’t as important as going to Mars.
-“A-20 Rocket Explodes, Kills 58,” Berliner Morgenpost, May 23, 1977.

TEHRAN, APRIL 12- The strikes and riots that began earlier this year have exploded into full-scale revolt against the British and American-backed Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. Rebels have been pushed out of the capital by loyal troops. There are several areas, however, that are totally in the hands of the rebels.
            The Shah’s government has requested British and American aid. Prime Minister Mosley has pledged that Great Britain and the Commonwealth will fully support the Shah’s government and help it crush the rebellious religious fanatics that are calling for the creation of an Islamic Republic in Iran.  So far, much to the disappointment of the United Kingdom and the Shah, the United States has not pledged any support, and our sources in Washington say that it is unlikely to come, that President Kennedy and the Liberty Party do not support the war nor it’s goals and intend to stay neutral.
-“Revolt in Iran,” The Times (London), April 12, 1978.

LONDON, MAY 1- Prime Minister Mosley announced today that Her Majesty’s Armed Forces will begin to invade Iran this morning, arriving in the Ports of Bushehr and Chabahar. It is expected that the armed forces of Australia, Canada, South Africa, and India will soon join British troops in the region. The Dominion of Pakistan has yet to pledge troops. The Iranian Shah has moved his seat of government from Tehran to Bushehr, due to increased activity of the Iranian rebels. Tehran has since fallen to the so-called “Islamic Republic of Iran.” In general, the rebels have occupied the northern part of Iran, and the south has stayed loyal to the Shah.
-“Troops to Iran,” The Daily Mail, May 1, 1978.

PEENAMUNDE, OCT 11- The scientists, engineers, and soldiers at the Peenemunde Rocket Facility are jubilant today, after the A-21 rocket successfully made it into Earth’s orbit. IRF spokesperson Joachim Frank told reporters that “the success of the A-21 rocket means that the Imperial Rocket Force is now back on track to launching a successful mission to the planet Mars within the next three to five years. Despite the past rocketry failures, our cosmonauts have been diligently training for the coming mission to Mars. Germany will win the race to Mars. There is no question of that in our minds.”
            One reporter from the KDF asked Frank if the IRF was going to consider Moon settlement in the near future. Frank replied that “at the moment, our focus remains Mars. However, now that this goal is within reach, discussions are moving forwards on an eventual Moon settlement, but this will probably be more than a decade away from now.”
-“Triumph in Peenemunde!” Frankfurter Zeitung, October 12,  1978.

LONDON, FEB 11- The newly formed Ministry of Information has released a press release today announcing that the British Space Agency has successfully launched Britain’s first satellite into space. “Her Majesty’s Government is pleased to inform her public and the world at large that yesterday morning at approximately 7:30 a.m. the E-1 rocket made a successful launch from the BSA Launch Center near Liverpool carrying Great Britain’s first satellite. A celebratory rally is planned for February 14th to honor the scientific and engineering success of the British people.”
            Prime Minister Oswald Mosley declared in a short speech on the BBC this evening that “Germany and America are no longer alone in Space. British astronauts (the Fascist government’s term for cosmonaut) WILL be on the Moon no later than 1985. We WILL catch up to our rivals in the Space Race!”
-“Brits in Space!” The Washington Post, February 12, 1979.

            The early part of the Iran war went very poorly for the British. By the start of 1979, as the nation celebrated it’s foray into the Space Race, Britain had only been able to secure the costal region of Iran. The rest of the country was up for grabs, and the north was fully under the control of the Islamic Republic. At the request of the Shah’s government, the British were not allowed to bomb Tehran, which greatly hindered the British ability to weaken the Republic’s government. In addition to these problems, Commonwealth assistance was slow to get off the ground. By March of 1979, only the South Africans and Australians had sent troops. Canada and India’s governments were having a change of heart, and Pakistan stood openly opposed to the war, and had declared it’s neutrality, much to the chagrin of Prime Minister Mosley.
-Hammon, Dr. Samuel. Iran: Twenty Years of War, Revolt and Chaos. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999.

            In 1972, the American People’s Party met in Seattle, Washington, for their first-ever national convention.  The Chairman, California Assembly Speaker Ronald Greer stated that, “at this early point in our movement, we will seek to organize party groups in every state, and to place our members in Congress. The Presidency shall come later.” This attitude angered some, but it was officially adopted as the party policy and would guide the party throughout the 1970s and 80s, and it would not be until the 1988 election that an APP candidate would even appear on the national presidential ballot.
            By 1975, both California and Oregon had Socialist majorities in their state legislatures, and socialist Thomas Camden had recently been sworn in as Governor of Oregon. Washington also had a large contingent of socialists in their legislature. Outside the Pacific Coast region, Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas were becoming major socialist centers. In 1976, both Texas and Oklahoma had APP majorities in their legislatures, and in Oklahoma socialist candidate Greg Sampson had narrowly been defeated in the gubernatorial elections. By this time, there were 5 APP members in the House of Representatives, and the APP had an operating party in 47 states, in all but Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana.
            In 1978, California sent it’s first APP senator, Ronald Greer, to Washington, and Arkansas elected future President William Clinton to the House of Representatives. In total, there were 45 Congressmen and 2 Senators that belonged to the APP in 1978. 7 states now boasted to have socialist majorities in their legislatures, including Florida, Arkansas, and New York.
            It was during the 1970s that the APP membership among African American’s really began to grow. After the split of the Democratic Party, the Southern Democrats intimidated the reestablishment of the National Democrats in their states, so many former Democrats who disagreed with the Southern Democratic Party began to join the APP. Although the African Americans tended to vote for the National Democrats in the Federal elections, they began to more and more identify with the socialist organizations in their states, and in the 1980s and 1990s would help catapult the APP into become one of the largest parties in the nation.
-Jennings, Dr. Karl. The Rebirth of American Socialism: The Growth and Success of the APP. Los Angeles: UCLA Academic Press, 2009.

WASHINGTON, NOV 12- Secretary of the Interior Martin L. King has announced that he intends to run for the Presidency in next year’s election. King has become a popular leader among the National Democrats and a favorite among President Kennedy’s advisors. This announcement comes a week after Republican Barry Goldwater announced his intention to run in the election as well. Although it has not yet been announced, it is widely expected that the Southern Democrats will again nominate Orval Faubus as their presidential candidate. Some political analysts for the National Democrats fear that this may detract votes away from King and give Goldwater the chance he would need to win the Presidency.
            There is talk amongst National Democratic leaders to possibly change the party name to distance themselves from the Southern Democrats, but as of yet there has been no action on this issue.
-“King Will Run in 1980,” The New York Times, November 13, 1979.

            The Election of 1980, although technically consisting of three candidates, was really just between Republican Barry Goldwater and Liberty Party candidate Martin L. King, Jr. The Republican’s were supporting an entry into the Iran War to help lower fuel prices that had begun to skyrocket in 1978.  King and the Liberty Party countered that getting involved in Iran would not be in the best interest of the American people, and that they should not support the “imperialistic war of the Fascist regime in Great Britain.”
            At the summer National Democratic Convention, the party officially voted to change it’s name to the American Liberty Party, on August 2, 1980. Also that month, the American People’s Party officially endorsed King as their choice for the Presidency, since they were not nominating a candidate of their own to run. King promised keeping the peace with Iran, increased integration efforts, and more funding to the ASEA. In the end, King received 58% of the popular vote, with Goldwater getting 32% and Faubus getting 10%.
            However, before the January inauguration, tragedy struck the President-elect. Armed men stormed his home in Atlanta while he was at a meeting in Washington. The men overwhelmed the secret service guards present and then killed King’s wife Coretta King and 18-year-old daughter Bernice on December 3, 1980.  The nation was shocked and appalled, and there was a great backlash against the Southern Democrats and white supremacy. Barry Goldwater was quoted in the Washington Post saying, “This dark and dirty dead is not the work of civilized men but of monsters who, for some unknown reason, seem to think that they are better than everyone else simply because their skin is a little lighter than other people on this planet. Racism is the single most lethal cancer known to mankind, and this tragedy proves it. My thoughts and prayers are going out to our President-elect and his children.” The funeral service was held at King’s church in Atlanta on December 9, 1980, and was nationally televised.
            SD leader Orval Faubus positioned himself at the center of a very nasty firestorm two days after the funeral when he remarked to a fellow member of Congress that, “it is too bad that Martin wasn’t home on the 3rd as well.” These comments ultimately led to Faubus being ejected from Congress before the start of the 1981 session, and destroyed whatever credibility the Southern Democrats had outside the South.
            Martin Luther King, Jr. was sworn in as President of the United States on January 20, 1981, becoming the United State’s first African American president.
-Johnson, Dr. Kyle. The King Presidency, 1981-1985. New York, American Press Company: 2000.

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