Kentucky Fried Politics: A Colonel Sanders Timeline

Ooh, trouble is a brewin' in China, Central Asia, and North Africa.

Steve Biko and Botha sitting in the same room is a wonderful ASB-seeming moment.
Speaking of 1983, is the nuclear war movie The Day After still made? That may have helped contribute to the arms treaties of 1987 between the Soviets and Americans IOTL...

More importantly, should it be given a theatrical release and a larger budget?
Chapter 50: January 1983 – December 1983
Chapter 50: January 1983 – December 1983

“God gave us relatives. Thank God we can choose our friends.”

– Ethel Mumford


The New York Times, 1/15/1983

…The premier of the Soviet Union passed away at the age of 79 after battling some undisclosed form of cancer for several months, taking a plethora of medical cocktails and various therapies while also overseeing a potential cooling of tensions between the politburo and rebelling soviets. Upon his death, the politburo opted to withhold the news of his passing until a successor could be confirmed. However, doing so only added to the rising number of voices accusing the government of being deceitful and dishonest.

Despite Gorbachev and Yakovlev becoming the two most visible members of Podgorny’s inner circle during the past year, the party’s Old Guard preferred one of their own, and with Andropov dead, the two reform-minded men lacked adequate support from other members at this point in time. After three days of discussions and maneuverings, a troika was formed. Representing a diplomatic but pessimistic approach to the West was the conservative Andrei Gromyko; representing the pro-reform faction of the party was Yegor Kigachyov, whom Gorbachev feared would promote watered-down and ineffective versions of the reformist policies of “perestroika” and “glasnost;” and representing a militaristic approach to issues both inside and outside of the nation was Marshal of the Soviet Union and Minister of Defense Dmitriy Fyodorovich Ustinov. With a few weeks of this assembly, though, it became perfectly clear that Ustinov was the leader of the three-man group.


Above: Ustinov

Assigned to be his bodyguard in early 1983, I quickly became aware that Ustinov was opposed to Podgorny’s reforms on a deep and personal level. He truly believed that brute strength was what would be needed to keep the country together, not a “corruption of our ideals,” as he put it.

– Alexander Korzhakov’s autobiography From Dawn to Dusk: A Cutthroat Career, St. Petersburg Press, 1997

…As the Gaddafi chapter of Libya’s history comes to a close, the next chapter has yet to be written, but it is starting off chaotically as multiple nationalist groups seek to fill the void. Several militias are still plaguing Libya’s villages and towns. 39-year-old activist Aguila Saleh Issa leading a slightly pro-west but still anti-US faction, and an anti-US and anti-west faction is being led by a one 41-year-old Sadiq Al-Ghariani. The current leader of Libya, as recognized by the US and most UN nations, is former Prime Minister Mustafa Ben Halim, who wants to develop and modernize Libya in order for its people to, quote “move forward from today into tomorrow.” However, many are taking Ben Halim’s rhetoric to mean “westernization,” including Gaddafi’s former Prime Minister, Islamic socialist Jadallah Azzuz at-Talhi, who was deposed and apprehended two months ago. Additionally, 40-year-old secularist Field Marshall and Gaddafi’s military chief of staff, Khalifa Haftar, remained at large and is leading the largest militia faction still operating inside Libya. While Denton has stopped himself short of outright declaring victory in the northern African nation, he has promoted Ben Halim as the legitimate successor to Gaddafi, and will remain in charge, quote, “until free elections can be held.” However, such talk is causing a stirring among the most conservative factions of Libyan society. Already, KNN can confirm the outbreak of minor riots in Benghazi and Tripoli over the President’s comments. It also seems that even many pro-US Libyan citizens do not approve of Ben Halim, even as a placeholder…

– KNN World News, 1/19/1983

Khomeini’s followers took things too far on January 20th when they took advantage of a member of the royal family making a fateful trip to Isfahan. The Shah’s younger sister, Princess Farahnaz Pahlavi, was visiting friends when her and her bodyguards were set upon by Islamic conservative radicals. Soon the Shah had learned that this party of men had kidnapped her in exchange for the release of prisoners vital to their cause.

The Shah and his advisors were in agreement. “We must not let them get away with this,” went the common phrase.

“I will never negotiate with them,” said the leader, “As far as I’m concerned, the Ayatollah and his followers killed my father," referring to his predecessor's assassination.

Instead of giving in the demands, the Shah sent in Iran’s Special Forces. The rescue operation fell through, though, when the troops fell into an ambush.

Back at the palace, the Shah and his advisors listened in on the radio for confirmation that the princess was safe.

“What’s happening?” the young ruler demanded a reply in the midst of gunfire and shouting filling up the airwaves.

“They spotted us as we were getting into position” the team leader shouted over the cacophony surrounding him. “Wait, I see the princess now and, what, oh Allah no – ”

As one of the radicals in the distance called out “This is what you get when you betray the Koran!” more gunfire and shouting overwhelmed the place until finally the discord died down.

Eventually, a soldier got to the radio.

“Did you get her? Is Farahnaz alright?” the Shah asked.

“We…we were too late, your highness. They killed her, they took her outside and shot her. We killed as many of them as we could but some of them got away in a truck. They’re heading south…”

The Shah stopped listening as he somberly slumped into his chair next to the radio. He could not believe that just five years after the death of his father, another family member was set to be buried.


Above: Princess Farahnaz, 12 March 1963 – 26 January 1983

The Shah’s advisors gave him a minute. After that, one of them asked “Sir?”

The leader sprang up. “Enough of this.”

“What is the plan, your highness?”

“To end this.”

Within a few hours, the men who had kidnapped and executed the princess were surrounded, holed up in a shack 10 kilometers south of Yasuj. In a demonstration of dramatic overkill, Iranian ground forces pulled back to make way for a massive air strike on the location. The lethal bombardment lit up the night sky. Herdsmen a few miles away saw what seemed like a second sunrise at 2:40 AM, local time.

The death of the princess and the immediate presentation of military might swelled support for the Shah even further. While his father’s death was celebrated, his sister was presented as being an innocent in all of it. The Iranian people now had a martyr to idolize, a leader to adore, and an enemy to bring to justice.

– Michael Axworthy’s A History of Iran: 1978-2008, Basic Books, 2019


– The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 1/30/1983


The Washington Post, 2/1/1983

“With Denton in the kitchen, the Cold War’s rising in temperature to a boiling point that could consume us all in scalding-hot doom. …War is never the answer, and war is never unavoidable, for war is not an occurrence found in nature but is in fact made my man – and so it can be controlled by man. Leaders can start wars or oversee wars, but truly good leaders are those who end wars, or even better, prevent war from starting in the first place.”

– Mike Gravel at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., Thursday, 2/3/1983

“It is useless to discuss peace when dealing with an enemy that objects to peace. The Ayatollah Khomeini objects to negotiations, to armistices, to treaties, and to compromise. That is why the Shah has our support.”

– President Denton to a reporter, 2/4/1983


…the legislation authorizes budget appropriations for the carrying out of the Head Start program, the Follow Through program, and the Negative Income Tax Rebate. Attempts by liberal Congressmen and Senators to boost the budget for community services block grants, and several federal community food and nutrition programs, bore little fruit during the last several weeks...

The Boston Globe, 2/7/1983


…Continuous cam bombs are slowing the “opening up” of Libya, as foreigners are being discouraged from traveling to the country as the security situation remains too disruptive…

The New York Post, 2/9/1983


…There was much controversy over where to try Gaddafi, as he is a Libyan citizen held responsible for the deaths of the over 200 Americans in the plane shot down in January 1982. The International Law Commission, a body of experts who codify international law, held a special session ahead of their 35th regular session from May to July 1983, to discuss the situation. Earlier today, the ILC permitted the US to trial Gaddafi with the understanding that he be extradited back to Libya to face trial for crimes committed over there. Additionally, the controversy has led to the UN establishing an “International Tribunal” rule for future international trials...

– The Washington Pot, 2/18/1983

CAM BOMBS HIT US EMBASSIES IN EGYPT, SAUDI ARABIA: At Least 2 Officers Killed, 9 Others Injured In Total

The New York Times, 2/27/1983

“The people of the Middle East stand in solidarity against the radicals of our lands. They do not represent us and they will not control any of us.”

– Tahir Yahya, President of Iraq (1979-1986), 2/28/1983

By early 1983, people were saying that I had made the EPA “my” department, but I disagree – I simply took charge of it, and kept it from falling into disarray. I ran a tight ship to ensure efficiency, emulating a fire station-type atmosphere in that workers were always instructed to be ready in a pinch. I also instructed that all incidents and reports, no matter how small, be given proper vetting and be investigated down to the smallest of details. This is how I was able to address The Times Beach Incident of the early 1970s while serving as Administrator of the National Roadways Safety Administration.

The chemical company NEPACCO produced herbicides [1] near the town of Times Beach, Missouri, starting in the late 1960s. The eastern Missourian town soon became the site of grossly incompetent waste disposal operations. In 1971, a thick waste oil with a pungent, burning odor began to kill birds and sicken horses in the nearby Shenandoah Stables. Within seven months, sixty horses were dead, and children in the area began to be diagnosed with dioxin poisoning. The CDC began investigations in 1971; as the situation involved the company hazardously transporting dangerous waste via roadways, the NRSA intervened in early 1972. I continued to play a role in seeking statewide and federal assistance in cleaning up the contaminated parts of the town as Secretary of Transportation while Missouri’s Justice Department worked with the federal Justice Department to persecute those responsible for creating the mess in the first place. Times Beach was also one of the first areas to be addressed upon my becoming EPA Director in early 1977. As a result, the agency was able to remove all the waste by the end of the 1970s. In 1983, all inhabitants ordered to temporarily move out were finally allowed to return, as contamination and sanitation levels had finally reached pre-1971 levels, the crisis having been corrected thanks to the collaborative efforts of watchful and responsible government agencies. [2]

– Ralph Nader in his autobiography All For The People: A Life’s Journey, 2019

On February 24, 1983, another historic achievement unfolded in Bermondsey, South London, UK. Following the resignation of Labour MP Bob Mellish, a special election (or “by-election” in the UK) was held to fill the role, with Peter Tatchell of the Labour Party running primarily against Simon Hughes of the Liberal Party. Rather than use the race as platform for his feud with the “old left” of the Labour party, Tatchell was convinced to instead campaign on local issues. Privately confessing to be a terrible campaigner himself, his bid was helped by endorsements from PM Dingle Foot, former PM Michael Foot, and even musician-turned-political activist John Lennon, while Hughes was criticized for having only moved to the constituency only in the past few months. As the campaign progressed, homophobic graffiti and hate mail led to Tatchell receiving sympathetic support from UK and even some American newspapers. A week before the election, Hughes was accused of being a homosexual himself, but this seemed to be a counter-claim that seemed to be ineffective, and one that would not be looked into further until years later. Capitalizing of PM Dingle Foot’s high approval ratings, Tatchell won the seat with 51.0% of the vote against Simon Hughes’ 47.1%, which represented a 40% swing in Liberal vote from the last election, one of the largest by-election swings in British political history. The Liberal Party blamed their loss on the presence of another Hughes on the ticket – Conservative candidate Robert Hughes – as possibly confusing some voters who voted for the wrong Hughes on election day. Nevertheless, the fact remained that despite the bitter and bigoted campaign that Simon Hughes had run on against Tatchell, Peter Tatchell became the first openly gay Briton ever elected to Parliament.

– Brandon Teena’s The Rise of BLUTAG Rights: The Story of the Bi-Lesbian-Undefined-Trans-Asexual-Gay Movement, Scholastic, 2019

“THE ‘LEPENIZATION’ OF SPIRITS”: Is The National Front Entering The Mainstream?

…As NF leader Jean-Marie Le Pen won re-election to the National Assembly last night, his hard-right party also won approximately 10.1% of the vote in the legislative elections, its best-ever showing…

Le Monde, French newspaper, 2/28/1983

M*A*S*H Finale Draws Record Number Of Viewers

…reaching a total audience of roughly 125 million, the series has broken the record for most watched television episode in history…

The New York Times, 3/3/1983

In March of that year, [John Y.] Brown [Jr.] took a leave of absence from running the Buffalo Braves and from working as a panelist on The Overmyer Network to run for the US Senate (again) in that year’s special election. With Senator Morton dead, Brown saw one last opportunity to give politics a final try. The odds were against him from the get-go that he would lose, but his initial support and positive media attention made me believe that he would win.

I could not have that. Brown was not the man Kentucky deserved to have representing them in the US Senate. Throughout his life, Brown had always looked out exclusively for himself. He proved that whenever he abandoned a project the moment the weather stopped being fair for him. His betrayal of Ollie of Ollie’s Trolleys was the most recent example of this. Furthermore, the underhanded tactics he used to try and take over McDonald’s back in 1967 proved that he was not a man of ideals or principle. Kentuckians deserved a better candidate in the race.

And it just so happened that I was available, and that I still had the political bug in me, urging me to give election politics at shot…

– Harland David “Harley” Sanders Jr., In the Thick of It: The Story of The Colonel and His Son, Sunrise Publishing, 1991

Harley decided to kill three birds with one stone right before the filing deadline. He wanted to assure that a rational conservative with principles and morals won the election, he wanted to ensure that Brown didn’t take one foot in DC as a Senator, and he wanted to capitalize on the opportunity to pursue his political interests in the electoral sense, after spending almost eight year’s as Dad’s assistant during his time in the White House.

– Margaret Sanders’ The Colonel’s Secret: Eleven Herbs and a Spicy Daughter, StarGroup International, 1997

…In the world of politics, Harley Sanders, the 70-year-old former assistant to his father, US President Colonel Sanders, is taking leave of absence from the KFC parent corporation “Finger Lickin’ Good, Incorporated,” to launch a bid for an open US Senate in Kentucky. The businessman's candidacy seems to center on economic issues such as "responsible regulations" that protect public health, safety and interests without inhibiting entrepreneurial growth and developments…

– ABC Morning News, 3/10/1983

HAFTAR BOMBS KEY US-CONTROLLED OIL EXPORT TERMINAL IN EASTERN LIBYA: US-Backed Libyan Government Declares A State Of Emergency After Dozens Killed

The New York Post, 3/21/1983

With American plans for their own permanent Space Station being launched in parts and assembled in space, Podgorny was hesitant to approve of Star City’s proposal for a new, permanent version of the temporary Salyut 5 Space Station that we had once had in space. He wanted to focus on keeping the country together, and believed this was only possible through moderate reforms; he once told me, “We already lost Romania, do we want more to follow?!” However, under Ustinov, Star City’s budget for a planned “Mir” space station was approved, and scheduled for a 1986 completion date. In sharp contrast to Podgorny, Ustinov believed that heating up the space race was just what was needed to unify the people of the Soviet Union.

Among the Stars: The Autobiography of Yuri Gagarin, 1995


…The bill revises the US criminal code concerning a wide range of topics, most notably focusing on heightening the penalties for vandalism, credit card fraud, possession of illegal recreadrugs, hostage taking, and civil forfeiture when such activities fall into federal jurisdiction…

The Washington Post, 4/2/1983

…this just in – Phillip Burton, the Governor of California since 1979, has died. The Governor was found unresponsive in his office and promptly taken to a local hospital, where doctors confirmed his death, most likely from an abdominal aortic aneurysm. …The new Governor of California is George Christopher, the Republican Lieutenant Governor from 1963 to 1975 and since 1979, who previously served as the moderate Mayor of San Francisco from 1956 to 1963 before briefly running for Governor in 1966 and again in 1970...

– KNN, 4/10/1983 broadcast


…the solar energy deal is a landmark achievement for the two nations… Israel will the supply the technology for massive “sun farms” in the middle of Oman. In turn, Oman will supply Israel with oil. …At the ceremony, Sultan Qaboos called the agreement “a mutually beneficial accord,” and added “Other regional powers who didn’t sign the [1978 Atlanta] Peace Treaty are missing out on incredible opportunities – they all could benefit greatly from working with Israel to promote their own interests. I urge my fellow Muslim leaders to put their people above religious differences. We can kill each other after we feed our families, not before.”…

The New York Times, 4/12/1983


The Washington Post, 4/19/1983


…Emperor Amha Selassie abdicated the throne to his 29-year-old son due to the steadily continuous unpopularity of Amha over his role in ending the civil war that encumbered the African nation during the mid-1970s…

The Guardian, UK newspaper, 24/4/1983

A major development occurred earlier tonight in the central European nation of Austria. Taking to the polls for their first legislative parliamentary elections since 1979, the Austrian people have narrowly given victory to the Austrian People’s Party, a Christian-Democratic political party led by the conservative Alois Mock, in a rejection of the incumbent Chancellor of Austria Bruno Kreisky of the Socialist Party. This shift in Austrian politics demonstrates the continuation of a trend in recent years of central and eastern European nations opposing or even outright rejecting socialist incumbents…

– BBC, 24/4/1983 broadcast

“When I was five, I sent a letter to Queen Elizabeth telling her how much I admired her. Five years later, I sent a letter to Dmitriy Ustinov. I didn’t get a reply back to either one, but it was understandable. I knew they were both leaders with important work to do, taking care of their respective countries. Ustinov was especially busy at the time. I wrote to him because everyone in the media and in town kept saying Ustinov was going to start a war. Denton and Dmitriy were playing chicken with our planet, trying to put missiles on satellites or fighting a proxy war in Iran. It was a busy and hectic time, but a lot of people were getting apprehensive over what would happen next. So, after weeks of waiting for a reply but to not avail, I wrote to Senator Muskie, and I did get a reply back. He even invited me to his office in D.C., and my parents and I accepted. We sat in on a meeting of the Senate foreign affairs committee, of which Muskie was a member, and we took in the sights. The part of the trip that reassured me that our politicians were everything they could to prevent war with Russia was getting to meet Russia’s Ambassador to the US. That convinced me that things were going to be alright, and the trip's affect on me was really long-lasting...”

– Samantha Reed Smith, 2020 interview [3]

Protestors converged on the streets of Moscow in early 1983 when the nation’s longtime decline in tobacco production finally led to a shortage of cigarettes. Demonstrations were held, and the Minister of Agriculture, Vladilen Nikitin, was sacked for failing to stop the decline in tobacco production. However, despite announcing Nikitin’s dismissal to them, the crowds would not disperse. Instead, more protestors arrive, only these new activists were angry about other shortages such as food and basic necessities such as toilet paper.

Soon, Ustinov introduced yet another Five-Year Plan to combat the seemingly-perpetual popular unrest and economic stagnation. While Podgorny had sought to restructure the Soviet economy through moderate reform to decentralize production and distribution systems, Ustinov believed this would encourage secession from the Soviet Union, and instead went in the exact opposite direction – complete central control over all aspects of the economy. This only worsened the situation and turned even more Russians against Communist rule, as riots again sprung up in the spring.

Once again, Alex Yakovlev, the former Soviet Ambassador to Canada and the intellectual force behind the reform efforts of 1982, sought to convince Ustinov to give reforms a try. And once again, Ustinov refused, seeing the notion of liberties of individual and marketplace variety to be part of a Western imperialist plot to undermine the country. Instead of dismissing the May demonstrators, Ustinov listened to the advice of fellow military man and the new Minister of Defense, Marshal of the Soviet Union Viktor Kulikov, believed that a military response to the demonstrators would “weed out” the misinformed from the true dissenting “traitors.” This “intervention” led to Red Army tanks and men rolling into the streets of Moscow on May 2, in turn leading to the protests and demonstrations turning into riots. Rocks and Molotov cocktails were thrown, glass windows were broken and soldiers were bruised. Ultimately shots were fired. By May 3, at least 31 people have become a part of history by being the casualties of the 1983 “Moscow Massacre.”

– Alexander Korzhakov’s autobiography From Dawn to Dusk: A Cutthroat Career, St. Petersburg Press, 1997


Denton: “I Pray For Our Russian Brothers That Such Senseless Ceases Over There”

The New York Times, 5/3/1983


The Sacramento Union, 5/4/1983

…Oh, yes, I remember the controversy surrounding my winning the Hosea Williams Humanitarian Award in 1983. Everyone remembers the actions of my husband, but seem to purposefully forget or overlook that’s happened since then. The tours promoting world peace, all proceeds from my autobiography going to children’s hospitals and low-income housing projects, that time in ’82 when I spoke on the House floor about police gun violence. I worked hard for forgiveness and will not apologize for earning that award…

– Marceline Jones (1927-2018), 1990 interview


…this new law aims to crack down on the sexual molestation of children on Indian reservations… the law stems from the 1970 trial and conviction of William "Bill" Janklow, a South Dakota lawyer on the Rosebud Indian Reservation who was accused and ultimately found guilty of and imprisoned for raping a 15-year-old Lakota Indian schoolgirl in 1967…

The Washington Times, 5/16/1983

IT’S LARRY!: Labour Candidate, A Jewish Immigrant From The States, Makes It To Parliament In Upset

The Daily Sketch, UK newspaper, 17/5/1983


The Richmond Times-Dispatch, 5/21/1983


The New York Times, 5/22/1983

In the May 24 primaries, Governor Martha Layne Osborne won the nomination for a full term with only token opposition, pitting her in November against Jim Bunning, who won the GOP nomination over two minor candidates, Ben Auxier Jr. and Elizabeth Wickham. The primaries for the Senate special election, though, garnered considerably more media attention. In them, John Y. Brown Jr. won over Mayor of Louisville Harvey I. Sloane and W. Grady Stumbo in a narrow three-way race, and Harley Sanders won over Lester H. Burns and Don Wiggins in a landslide.

– Lowell Harrison and James Klotter’s A History of Kentucky, University Press of Kentucky, 1997


The Los Angeles Times, 5/30/1983


…the deposed dictator was unruly throughout the trial, repeatedly describing the process as a sort of “kangaroo court,” and claiming “my Muslim brothers sold their souls,” both by signing the 1978 Atlanta Peace Treaty and by not opposing US forces in Libya. …Gaddafi will be extradited to Libya once security forces can be assured in order for him to stand trial for crime committed in his home country. In the meantime, the ousted leader will be kept at an undisclosed maximum security prison inside the United States…

– The San Antonio Express-News, 6/7/1983


…After Gaddafi supporter Khalifa Haftar replied to the conviction of Gaddafi by launching a ground-and-air attack on US troops in Benghazi two days ago, an attack which killed 22 U.S. soldiers, several Muslim leaders have condemned Haftar for prolonging the conflict inundating Libya…

The Washington Post, 6/10/1983

THE GREEN PARTY: A Positive Idea With Negative Roots

…On June 17, 1983, environmentalists, conservationists, and former supporters of the 1980 Progressive Party gathered together in Oregon’s Willamette National Forest to found a political party dedicated first and foremost to “the protection and preservation of all aspects of nature on this, our only home planet.” …The party was named after activist Dorothy Green, the martyr of the March 3, 1982 Snake River Riot Incident, “not the color of grass, because Mother Nature is more than just green. When left unviolated, her water is blue, her canyons are red, her deserts are golden, her soil is brown, and her mountains are purple and her snow is pure-white.” …The party leaders took the wise decision of fielding candidates in local and statewide elections in 1983 and 1984 before mounting bids for federal offices, starting in 1986 and in earnest in 1988 and 1990...


After Arias retired, he was succeeded by Demetrio Lakas, the son of Greek immigrants. However, the former military leader Manuel Noriega was displeased with Lakas’ approval of continuing the 1970 agreement to hand over control of the Panama Canal to the Panamanians in 1979 and 1980 in exchange for US preference in Panamanian markets via trade deals. After a bombing campaign (mainly minor dynamite explosions in pro-US Panama offices, killing one and injuring five in the long run) against the U.S. was overshadowed by the U.S. invasion of Libya, Noriega planned to bomb the Panama Canal’s locks. After over two years of attempts, Noriega abandoned the endeavor. Instead, Noriega launched a second coup against the Presidency on June 24, 1983. This time, the attempt was successful. Lakas, out of the country on a diplomatic trip to Cuba, soon found himself in exile, unable to return to the capital, and with his former ally turned rival declaring himself the new ruler of Panamas.

– Ashley Carse’s Beyond the Big Ditch: Politics, Ecology, and Infrastructure at the Panama Canal, MIT Press, 2014

Late June of that year saw Mexico’s President Miguel de la Madrid formally declare a “War on Recreadrugs” by launching police investigations into the rise in recreadrug-related crime. Mexico, still in shambles after the ’78 economic crash, also received millions of dollars from the US to combat drug transportation endeavors. A second funding request less than a month later infuriated the US Treasury Department, as American overseers of the money initially assumed that the Mexican government was being irresponsible with the money. They did not anticipate the war to be so costly...

– Paul Kengor and Peter Schweizer’s The Denton Presidency: Assessing the Man and His Actions, Simon & Schuster, 2005

UP IN SMOKE: Good For Laughs And Good For Its Base, But Less So For Its Cause


…Comedian George Carlin co-stars as Tony Stony, a marijuana-loving guitar player who can’t keep a job, and is best friends with Pedro de Pacas (fellow writer, producer and co-star Cheech Marin). In their efforts to find the most secure place to smoke marijuana, the two end up crashing a wedding at a lavish estate in northern California, leading to two hot-tempered New England elitists (played by Mills Watson and Stacy Keach) to accidently consume “pot bronwies” and become laid-back and understanding humanitarians. Soon I.N.S. agents (led by SNL star John Belushi in a “special guest” role) chase after Tony and Pedro, leading to fears of being deported to “the bad part of Mexico,” and a plan to smuggle “fiberweed” into America.

This late summer release utilizes claims of the “War on Recreadrugs” being unfair to wealthy users of recreadrugs to highlight the positive effects of marijuana usage. However, by focusing primarily on “Mary Jane,” the filmmakers ignore the dangers of using illegal drugs, especially heroin and cocaine, to instead celebrate the rewards. Like Mr. Marin, the film’s protagonists throw caution (and some smoke, “real good air” as Tony calls it) to the wind in a road trip adventure that may appeal to pro-recreadrug audiences, but may do little to win over anti-recreadrug viewers. Nevertheless, Mr. Marin must also be applauded for assembling a star-studded work on his first filmmaking outing, with Frank Zappa for music and cameo appearances by several leading labor organizers, and for the film’s on-set crew consisting almost entirely of immigrant workers…

– Richard Schickel, author and film critic, Time Magazine article, early August 1983 issue

HAFTAR KILLED IN AIRSTRIKE: Anti-Ben Halim Militias In Disarray

The Boston Globe, 7/8/1983


…As the US economy grows, economic prosperity is spurring growth across the Middle East as well. Regional outlook reports project growth to rise 1.7% next year, compared to just 0.4% last year. Increased activity in the oil, gas, and solar sectors is expected to generate this growth. Other projections are even more optimistic. Reports take into account imports and exports... Oil-producing regional countries such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia are not feeling the effects of this growth. As non-signatories of the 1978 Atlanta Treaty, they are excluded from the economic deals from which Jordan and Egypt businessmen are benefiting. …Conversely, crude oil prices have lowered in the US but have risen in Saudi Arabia, prompting some members of the House of Saud to denounce the leaders of Egypt, Jordan and Iraq for doing business with Israel, while the Saudi’s new Sultan, the possibly anti-American Fahd bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, remains publicly neutral, saying recently that his country is “above” Cold War politics. …OPEC’s leaders whom are more permissive of doing business with Israel, though, are looking to continue working with American oil companies and to continue expanding business prospects and opportunities with the governments of Red China and the Soviet Union…

The Houston Chronicle, 7/14/1983

In July 1983, Ben and I moved to Perth, Western Australia to work as senior registrar at the Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital there. It was truly fun discovering firsthand all the wonderful things we had only heard about before. We noted with fascination the way the water circled down the drain in the opposite direction from the way it does in the Northern Hemisphere… I also love Western Australia’s nursing centers where new mums could get advice on child care, have their babies weighed, get diaper rash cream, et cetera, all for free and on a daily basis… [5]

– Candy Carson’s A Doctor In The House: My Life With Ben Carson, Penguin Random House, 2012

Historians are quick to note how the Colonel’s likeness is so well reserved all these years later, most likely due to his public fame and historical importance. When alive, the Colonel allowed studios to use his likeness in works not even related to KFC, stating “there’s fifty years of material to cover before you even get to the start of my chicken.” This unofficial blessing of his led to the 1983 theatrical film “The Colonel President,” starring Howard Duff (1913-1990), a tough and ruggedly handsome character actor which facial hair similar to the Colonel’s, as Harland Sanders during his time as President from 1965 to 1972. KFC is never mentioned by name, and no visual references are made to it outside of some archival footage from the 1968 campaign. The real-life Colonel praised the film but it did not receive such positive reviews from others, most likely due to liberal Hollywood disliking the film’s religious elements and themes. Indeed, the film focuses greatly on the Colonel’s devotion to his faith during several trying times…

– Mark Pendergrast’s “For God, Country, and Kentucky Fried Chicken,” Perfect Formula Publishing, 2027 edition


...the Soviet buildup of nuclear arms slowed during the pro-détente policies of Kosygin, leading to them having less than 15,000 warheads at the time of Kosygin’s death in December 1976. Since then, the USSR has nearly doubled that number, reaching 28,000 by December 1982. Meanwhile, the United States actually saw its number of warheads drop under President Mondale, from 25,000 in December 1972 to 22,000 in December 1980. Under Denton, America’s warhead supply has jumped to its current number, which is estimated to be somewhere between 26,000 and 31,000… [6]

The San Francisco Chronicle, 7/29/1983

Governor Dukakis began the month of August 1983 by holding a press conference to announce that he was not going to run for President next year. “Mike could have easily won the primaries,” the Duke’s longtime campaign manager John Sasso told us, “but he simply doesn’t want the job. His entire early life, he aimed for one job, and that was Governor of Massachusetts. Now that he’s got it, he’s not giving it up unless the people vote him out.” A feat that seemed impossible in 1983, when Dukakis’ approval ratings were above 70 percent… Already, news pundits were projecting a crowded field for the 1984 Democratic primaries…

– Charles Kenney and Robert L. Turner’s Dukakis: An American Odyssey, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1988

On August 18, the small but powerful tropical cyclone Hurricane Alicia hits the coast of Texas. …During the intense storm, only 12 people were killed, thanks to the collaborative efforts of the Governors of Texas and Louisiana to peaceful evacuate the roughly 60-to-80 thousand people endangered by Alicia. However, in its aftermath it became apparent that $3.5 billion dollars in damage was done during the storm’s rage. Thousands of home were destroyed, power outages were widespread, and streets were littered with debris. Immediately, ODERCA went into cleanup operations. US Senators Lloyd Bentsen (D-TX) and Jack P. F. Gremillion Sr. (D-LA) worked tirelessly to obtain federal assistance funding for the needed cleanup services. Notably, US Senator Ron Paul (R-TX) opposed the call for federal intervention, claiming the Texas people “are tough enough to take what Mother Nature dishes out.” This sentiment received much backlash, and possibly contributed to him deciding against mounting a primary challenge against President Denton in 1984 to instead run for a second term that year...

– Charles L. Sullivan’s Hurricanes of the Mississippi Gulf Coast: 1717 to Present, Gulf Publishing Company, 1985


…Karaganda, one of the largest cities in the Russian soviet of Kazakhstan, was the site of massive anti-Soviet demonstrations… The city’s population is split almost evenly between ethnic Kazakh and Russian, but the Soviet politburo considered the region to be, to use Ustinov’s own alleged words, “swarming with traitorous disruptors of our ideals.” …The Soviet military’s low-range missiles, whether intentional or not, hit two civilian hospitals in Karaganda… at least 23 people have been killed in this bombardment on alleged gathering places of pro-reform and pro-secession activists and other alleged “hot spots” of anti-Soviet activities…

The New York Times, 8/19/1983


…Article 25 of the Hague Convention of 1907 clearly states that “The attack or bombardment, by whatever means, of towns, villages, dwellings, or buildings which are undefended is prohibited.” Furthermore, Article 18 of the Fourth Geneva Convention clarifies that “Civilian hospitals organized to give care to the wounded and sick, the infirm and maternity cases, may in no circumstances be the object of attack, but at all times be respected and protected by the Parties to the conflict.” …The atrocious “overreaction,” according to US Defense Department experts, is a show of force that may have many consequences for the Ustinov-Gromyko- Kigachyov Troika. With 36 people killed – 19 of them being ethnic Russians, local Russians are reportedly voicing criticism of the soviet leadership. “Many of these locals may even be starting to side with the local separatists now,” according to our foreign affairs correspondence office…

The Guardian, UK newspaper, 8/20/1983


…in the lead-up to Gaddafi’s trial in Libya, the Ben Talim Government was released documentary evidence that non-Muslims hailing from over a dozen middle eastern nations were systematically rounded up and executed during Gaddafi’s reign. Egyptian Christians, Syrian Christians, and even pro-western Muslims were targeted by Gaddafi’s strict dictatorship regardless of their exact citizenship and/or allegiance(s)…

The Washington Post, 8/23/1983

The Ayatollah once said that he would surrender “When fish climb trees,” quoting a common Iranian saying. The Shah Reza Pahlavi never planned to wait that long. The king’s vengeance was exacted on August 30, 1983, when the Ayatollah Khomeini was finally killed in a raid on his base of operations 20 kilometers outside of the city of Zahedan, just outside of the border of Pakistan. Khomeini was attempting to flee to the Baluchistani region of Pakistan when the jet flew in, bombing him into oblivion. With his preferred successors previously killed or captured, the anti-Shah militias and organizations were left with a martyr, but without an effective leader. In the void, several small local elders attempted to obtain influence outside their respective spheres of interests, leading to internal fighting. Leaderless and inept, the anti-Shah forces were easily dealt with – by the end of 1983, the war was coming to a close.

Princess Farahnez Pahlavi would be remembered as a symbol of lost youth and innocence. Due to her beauty, the Disney Corporation used her likeness as a model for the character of Jasmine in the 1992 animated film “Aladdin”…

– Michael Axworthy’s A History of Iran: 1978-2008, Basic Books, 2019

…Ustinov’s chaotic reign continued to be on-brand at the start of September when an improperly stored collections of munitions created a fire that broke out at a munitions depot at the Baltic Fleet’s headquarters in the city of Kaliningrad. The fire quick grew out of control and caused 2/3rds of all munitions stockpiled at the naval shipyard to detonate, creating a giant fireball that damaged several buildings and killed at least 120 soldiers before the fire was put out. [7]

The silver lining – that no nuclear weapons were hit by the fire – was overshadowed at the Kremlin as Ustinov threw a fit. During some of these angry tirades, he complained about the perceived incompetence of his nation’s military leaders. In others, he convinced himself that the fire was the result of American sabotage, as were the Moscow riots from earlier in the year. But then he’d correct himself, as claiming foreign trickery would, in his eyes, be admitting that American intelligence had penetrated security measurements and had infiltrated the system, a sure sign of weakness that Ustinov would not accept. Strength was the word of the day all year long, as far as he was concerned…

– Alexander Korzhakov’s autobiography From Dawn to Dusk: A Cutthroat Career, St. Petersburg Press, 1997


– On his 93rd birthday, Colonel Sanders prepares chicken at a charity dinner in Prestonsburg, eastern Kentucky, while wearing a Chef’s hat, 9/9/1983

…After less than three months in power, Noriega’s reign’s human rights abuses were exposed by investigative reporters on September 10th. Over a month later, as the situation worsened and economy-based fears rose over the possible risks that Noriega posed to the Panama Canal, President Denton decided to nip the situation in the bud the same way he did with the situation in Grenada. Denton and Congressional leadership immediately approved of Operation Talonbeak, which culminated in Noriega being killed in a US-backed countercoup in late December 1983. Lakas was reinstated President, but quickly announced that new elections would be held in 1984 to “confirm the peoples’ democratic desires”…

– Ashley Carse’s Beyond the Big Ditch: Politics, Ecology, and Infrastructure at the Panama Canal, MIT Press, 2014

“American security forces will remain in Libya until internal divisions are healed and general elections are held, most likely in the spring of 1984.”

– White House Press Secretary Donald Lambro, 9/12/1983

Dingle Foot was old and tired. At 78, he had served as UK’s PM for just over ten years, since April 7, 1973. His party wanted him to call a snap election, but Foot knew that he could not mount one, let alone spend more time in office, without only worsening his health. Having suffered pneumonia in December 1982, Foot decided the best thing for him to do was to ensure his country had a leader that was not so pre-occupied with their own health that they could not properly govern. On August 1, Sir Dingle M. Foot announced that he was stepping down as Prime Minister and as the head of the Labour party.

Immediately the party organized a leadership election. Foot’s preferred successor was fellow moderate MP Shirley Williams, age 53, who if selected, would become the UK’s first-ever female Prime Minister. The growing number of left-wing members of the party were very unhappy with her likely ascension, but failed to rally behind a more popular opponent such as former moderate Tony Benn. On September 15, Williams officially entered office.

– Kenneth O. Morgan’s Putting Our Foots Down: The Days of Michael And The Years of Dingle, Guardian publications, 2011


…while past Presidents were typically of the Christian religion, Lebanon opted for a shift in unofficial policy due to al-Sadr’s message of unity. …President Al-Sadr received praise for saying “all government representatives here are very much aware of the fact that, were it not for these meetings opening up channels of communication between our governments and their people, any one of our lands could look like Libya’s right now – torn and divided, with death and madness reigning supreme.”

The Los Angeles Times, 9/22/1983


…After running in 1968 and 1972, US Senator Mario Biaggi (D-NY), 66, has decided to mount a third bid for the US Presidency after months of speculation that he would not do so due to Biaggi’s support of President Denton’s socially and fiscally conservative policies, and of his handling of foreign affairs. Such approbation puts the conservative at odds with the more left-leaning Democratic Party base. However, that very well may be the reason behind his run: to push the party further to the right and to win Denton supporters over to the Democratic Party…

– The New York Post, 9/30/1983

On October 1, Gravel announced a Presidential bid that sought to rebel against the complex and embarrassing “Imperial Imbroglio that is America’s foreign policy.” The message was fierce, but the messenger was certainly of a more humble manner. Perhaps his 1981 divorce has made him take stock of his life’s priorities, along with the damage he made to his political connections in the years prior in order to remain loyally committed to his ideals, refusing to compromise despite it leaving him with nothing instead of with something. This refection, which he took during his two-year hiatus from politics, may have also been the inspiration behind the site he chose at which to announce his candidacy. Gravel launched his progressive campaign at an unconventional and seemingly non-noteworthy place – an average soup kitchen in Queens, the New York City borough in which Gravel worked as a cab driver during the 1950s. “As President, I will do more to help the families struggling day to day,” Gravel told the assembled crowd, “We have unprecedented prosperity and wealth in this country, and it is high time we finally share it with those in this country who still have none or not enough!”

– Ted White’s The Making of the President: 1984, Atheneum Publishers, 1985

APAN’S TECH BOOM: What The US Could Learn From Japan’s Newfound Prosperity

…With record-low unemployment and advancements in technology, Japan is leading the world in several markets and industries… their “lean production” method of perfecting items by listening to the critiques and comments of workers at every stage of the production and development process is trumping the US’s current “mass production” system…

Businessweek, early October 1983 issue

Additional peace talks in October 1983 culminated in two more milestones ahead of the 1984 elections: press freedom being introduced, and prisoners not guilty of common law crimes being released, including Nelson Mandela. After 21 years behind bars, the leader became a free man once again. To most, the iconic image of him exiting the prison to an adoring crowd led by his wife Winnie was uplifting and hopeful. To some hard-right whites, it was the final straw: several small riots occurred, and several conservative members of the National Assembly left Botha’s party for several fringe radical parties. In the streets, white activists became more violent while Black activists, inspired by Mandela, became more nonviolent. This shift in actions only increased South African public support for the end of Apartheid.

– Julian Brown’s The Road to Soweto: Resistance & Revolution in Post-Soweto South Africa, Jacana Publishers, 2016


…the new federal law raises criminal penalties for the unlawful aerial transportation of controlled substances and for the transit of illicitly used drugs, and extents the statute of limitations for the reissuance of airman certificates by the US Secretary of Transportation…

The Washington Post, 10/12/1983 [8]

Each time the media reported American casualties in Iran or Libya, Gravel would see his polling numbers rise as the perceived impasse in Libya reminded older voters of Cuba…

– Ted White’s The Making of the President: 1984, Atheneum Publishers, 1985

…In late 1983, Bowie Kuhn, MLB Commissioner since 1969, had his contract renewed for three years; he would finally retire in early 1987…

– John Helyar’s Lords of the Realm: The Real History of Baseball, Ballantine Books, 1994


…Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, who rules Pakistan with an iron fist, was at times a supporter of Gaddafi, and reportedly offered political asylum to Gaddafi and his family before they were captured in January of this year…

The New York Times, 10/26/1983

On November 2, 1983, we [at Chrysler] introduced the Dodge Caravan, the very first “minivan” automobile...

– Lee Iacocca (with William Novak)’s Iacocca: An Autobiography, Bantam Books, 1984

…Tonight, Americans in several cities and two states – Mississippi and Kentucky – went to the polls for various offices… On October 22, Louisiana elected Democrat Gillis Long to a second, non-consecutive term over Republican challenger Henson Moore with 55% of the vote. Tonight saw similar results unfold in Mississippi, as the people of that state voted for Democratic state senator Cliff Finch over Republican challenger Wayne Dowdy...

– The Overmyer Network, 11/8/1983

Kentucky’s elections were most-watched races of the night. In the end, Kentuckians split their ballots: Democrat Martha Layne Osborne won a full gubernatorial term over Republican Jim Bunning by a 5% margin, but Republican nominee Harley Sanders defeated the Democratic John Y. Brown Jr. in a landside, 62%-to-37%.


[pic: ]
Above: Harley Sanders celebrating victory

– Lowell Harrison and James Klotter’s A History of Kentucky, University Press of Kentucky, 1997


…Judging by Carter’s speech, it seems the former Secretary of State is seeking to appeal to conservative and highly-religious voters, offering himself up as a Democratic alternative to the socially conservative President Denton…

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 11/18/1983

…Director Nicholas Meyer presents a sensationalized exaggeration of nuclear war to frighten Americans into tuning in to ABC… why is Meyer doing the work of the KGB instead of supporting the work of the President? I thought yellow-journalism-like fearmongering tactics went out of style a long time ago…

The New York Post’s negative review of “The Day After,” opinion section, 11/21/1983

Only occasionally do motion pictures directly influence Presidential campaigns. In 1948, the Spencer Tracy drama film “State of the Union” encouraged Harry Truman to run for a full term [9]. In 1983, “The Day After” jumpstarted the Gravel campaign.

ABC aired the grim depiction of the aftermath of a nuclear exchange NATO and the Warsaw Pact on November 20, and over 100 million people and nearly 39 million households watched it. An impressive but controversial undertaking, [10] production on the well-budgeted two-and-a-half-hour coast-to-coast TV presentation fought with ABC censors over the amount of bodies and burn victims allowed to be shown. While some frightening graphic imagery such as melting eyes and limbs blown off were cut from the film, other imagery such as hanging skin and people set on fire are in the film, however briefly.

While President Denton called the film “a disturbing look at what could be if our enemies are left unchecked,” Gravel’s response to it was much more on the mark as to what reaction the filmmakers had hoped to stir up in major politicians. Appearing in a live post-film debate on ABC’s Nightline alongside scientist Carl Sagan, former US Ambassador to the USSR Joe Karth and others, Gravel exclaimed “This is exactly what I’ve been talking about – politicians on both sides of the Iron Curtain must cease and desist this irresponsible and childish missile-measuring contest before it is too late.” In retrospect, such a comment seemed like that of an alarmist, but in the immediate hype of the record-shattering realistic portrayal of the US-USSR Arms Race spun out of control, it not only was appropriate, but it shot Gravel to the top of the polls.

– Ted White’s The Making of the President: 1984, Atheneum Publishers, 1985

…In November 1983, under the advice of his Ministry member Pierre Trudeau, PM Jean Chretien began to renovate 24 Sussex Drive, the official residence of the PM of Canada – a long and costly endeavor that would soon prove to be very unpopular to the people of the dominion…

– Richard Johnston’s The Canadian Party System: An Analytic History, UBC Press, 2017


…The House is set “most likely” to vote on the controversial bill early next year, followed it progressing on to the Senate, which will also likely pass the bill. If this happen, 38 state legislatures will have to approve of it within the next seven years in order for it to become a part of the US Constitution…

– The Washington Post, 11/21/1983

…In late November 1983, Dad toured the country of India to see if KFC would do well in the less known/touristy parts of the country. He told me he did not enjoy most of the trip due to Indian sanitation levels being less than satisfactory to him more times than not. He did, however, get the chance to another Colonel Sanders – specifically, Colonel Peter Sanders (b. 1911), a retired Indian Army officer – for a photo-op and a brief discussion on the growing tension in India over Pakistan’s dictator and the disputed Kashmir region. Dad told the other Colonel, and several other military officials preset at the photo-op, that “swords can’t sign treaties any more than you can keep water in a sieve. The people in charge have to at least try to find a peaceful resolution before resorting to warfare.”…

– Margaret Sanders’ The Colonel’s Secret: Eleven Herbs and a Spicy Daughter, StarGroup International, 1997

RATHER: …We now have an update on tonight’s Presidential election in Venezuela. It appears that Jose Rangel, a journalist, a state senator, and a populist independent candidate, has defeated the two dominant political parties in a major upset. Rangel, who has previously run for President in 973 and 1978, received international attention for his coverage of the Jeb Bush kidnapping story that dominated headlines in 1977. What does his election mean for the US election next year? Does it mean anything at all? And what can we learn from it? CBS’s Martin Agronsky, live from Venezuela, has more on this story. Martin?

AGRONSKY: Thanks, Dan. The people here in the pro-Rangel city of Caracas are ecstatic about the underdog’s surprise victory, likely brought about by both Rangel’s energetic campaign and a series of scandals that plagued the campaigns of Jaime Lusinchi and Rafael Caldera…

– CBS World News report, transcript, 12/4/1983


…thanks to local and statewide low-income assistance policies lowering youth crime, not mention the business incentives set up during the late 1960s and early 1970s keeping vices such as casinos and prostitution from sullying the streets of Louisville…

The Courier-Journal, Louisville-based Kentucky newspaper, 12/8/1983


... As the royal family came close to losing power during the Ethiopian Civil War of the 90s, Ethiopia’s Kings have since ended the ethnic persecution of minorities in order to maintain popularity and redirect resources to water- and energy- based projects… while drought is a historical problem for Ethiopia, the most recent one to hit the Horn of Africa threatens the lives of over half-a-million people [11] unless immediate and relief is brought into the region…

– The Washington Post, 12/12/1983

…Whenever state congress is not in session, Governor Coya Knutson likes to keep herself busy by doing both large and small tasks. Keeping herself immersed in the lives of her employees, she often attends the weddings and wedding receptions of past and current interns and aides that get married – a habit of sorts that she has performed ever since doing so for a staff worker in 1957…

– ABC News report, “Meet the candidates” [12] segment, 12/15/1983

was an American sitcom satirical dramedy TV series that aired 115 episodes over five seasons from September 13, 1977 to March 29, 1982, with a Christmas Special airing on December 21, 1983. The series parodied soap operas and their tropes, and featured a large ensemble cast of regular and recurring characters.


[see regular cast list here, and guest star list here]


List of Episodes:

SEASON 1 (9/13/1977-3/28/1978, 25 episodes)

SEASON 2 (9/14/1978-3/15/1979, 23 episodes)

SEASON 3 (9/13/1979-3/27/1980, 23 episodes)

SEASON 4 (9/25/1980-3/21/1981, 22 episodes)

SEASON 5 (9/29/1980-3/29/1982, 22 episode)

Episode 1
The season picks up right where the last season left off – with Jessica Tate being seemingly shot by a firing squad led by Communist Gen. Sandria (the dictator of Malaguay), Chester holding his son Danny and Chester’s new wife Annie at gunpoint in a jealous rage, and Burt Campbell the Sheriff walking into an ambush. The opening scene reveals that resistance leader El Puerco and his men are the ones that fired the bullets, hitting the executioners. This makes sense, as El Puerco and his men were strangely absent from the latter half of the last episode; they were also three days absent within the episode’s timeline; this suggests that they went ahead with the suggested rescue mission after all.
Back home in Connecticut, Chester is about to pull the trigger when Chuck swings open the door to asks them if they have seen Bob the Ventriloquist Dummy before quickly leaving due to being preoccupied with looking for his ventriloquist dummy, Bob (Chester was standing next to the door, after all; and this makes sense because Chuck and Bob were absent for most of the episode, and the last time they were mentioned, Bob was looking for Chuck). The door knocks over Chester and the gun falls out of his hand onto the bed, allowing Annie to grab it. Chester immediately states he was only kidding, but they do not buy it; but instead of calling the police, they order him to leave, and he reluctantly does so. Before the scene ends, Chuck returns to the room once more to inform Danny and Annie that he found a “drunk” Bob.
At the ambush, Burt trips on the “one size hits all” Bat Campbell baseball bat in his leg holster, causing him to stumble into the room and onto the floor while still holding onto the door handle. The assassin behind him lunging forward with a knife falls forward into the line of fire, and is killed by the assassins waiting for Burt in the room; one replies “oops. Sorry!” Burt quickly skedaddles out of the room (while closing the door behind him) as the assassins renew firing at him, and, fearing for his life, Burt runs away while making his typical high-pitched squealing noises (which, interestingly, haven’t been heard since he became Sheriff). Turning around the corner, though, he becomes aware that he was hit, and collapses.
Distraught over everything, Mary gets drunk at a bar, where she punches out a man who hits on her; right after leaving the bar, she is hit by a car (off-screen). At the hospital, her bed is placed right next to Burt’s bed, giving them the chance to spend time talking to each other, and they promise to work to save their marriage.
Roaming the streets in despair, a despondent Chester attempts to shoot himself in an alley, but Dutch spots him and tries to stop him, causing Dutch to be accidently shot; Chester takes Dutch to the hospital, where they meet up with Burt and Mary just as Annie and Danny arrive to check on Burt and Mary. Chester again apologizes for the homicidal outburst but is still not forgiven.
Back in Malaguay, fellow revolutionaries Juan One, Juan Two, Juan Three, Billy, the Major, and Saunders capture the Communist leader, General Sandria, and they cheer, but then Jessica collapses. They soon realize that Jessica did not faint at the start of the episode from the excitement as believed, but instead was hit by one of the bullets via ricochet and after a delayed reaction has slipped into a coma.
Benson, who still had the spinoff series “Benson,” does not appear in this episode.

Episode 2
During the preparation of moving the comatose Jessica back to Connecticut, she is kidnapped by surviving Communists and is spirited away to a hideaway deep in the dense jungle. To the surprise of everyone, Saunders the butler leads the charge into the rugged terrain, revealing a bit of his mysterious past.
Upon hearing the news of the kidnapping via a phone call from Juan One, Chester is distraught, but suddenly moves to declare her legally dead after learning she left money to him in her will. Soon afterwards, though, Benson (in connection to the episode of the TV show “Benson” where Jessica, in an out-of-body experience, appears to him as a specter and tells him where she is) reappears at the Tate mansion to help the gang in the jungle coordinate searching for Jessica over the radio.
At the hospital, Burt apologizes to Mary; “while trying to protect other people’s families, I’ve hurt my own more than any bullets could. Well, unless there were a lot of bullets, but you know what I mean.” Soon after release from the hospital, a TV report broadcasts security camera footage of Burt screaming while in retreat, and claims that Burt is a coward. With his reputation now in question, the Governor rescinds his offer to make Burt Lieutenant Governor, and tells Burt he’s “Well done. Wait, that’s for my burger. You, Bat, you’re just done.”
Meanwhile, Danny and Annie interact with Jodie, who still thinks due to the botched hypnosis that he is an elderly man named Julius.

Episode 3
The Tates and Campbells in Malaguay find the comatose Jessica at a temple the jungle, guarded by diminutive natives that quickly take offense to the group’s stereotypical assumptions about them.
Back in the US, Mary channels her frustrations into boxing after the bartender from the bar from before visits her at the hospital. While practicing boxing moves, Mary accidently strikes Jodie (there to cheer her on) and sends him falling down a long flight stairs (off-screen), causing him to regain his memory (alongside seeing Wendy again, since Jodie’s “Julius” identity never saw Wendy).
Meanwhile, the embarrassing video causes the criminals to no longer consider Burt a threat, but Burt is upset that his fame and career are practically over.
Benson does not appear in this episode.

Episode 4
With Jodie Dallas having regained his memory after Mary knocked the Julius Kassendorf right out of him, he returns to trying to determine his sexual identity.
The “jungle gang” bring Jessica back to Connecticut but fail to bring her out of the coma. Blaming El Puerco for her condition, an enraged Chester tries to duel with El Puerco, only to fail to shoot himself, which Juan One considers to count as a duel. Unsatisfied, Chester demands a second duel. El Puerco takes him up on this offer, but Chester decides to run away (“well, limp away”) in fear.
Finding little in common, Danny and Annie decide to break up but remain friends, with a guy and a girl being friends being a new concept for Danny.
Distraught over Jessica’s condition, Benson, having a moment alone with Jessica, reveals his love for her and kisses her hand. This wakes her out of her coma, but she does not know exactly what Benson said. Fearing how she would react, Benson claims he said he “misses” her.

Episode 5
El Puerco decides that the life he lives is too dangerous for Jessica, and he tearfully prepares to return to Malaguay. Billy reveals to Benson that he overheard his confession and calls him a coward for hiding his feelings. Benson replies he believes Jessica would lose her social standing should she date him, her African-American former butler, and that perhaps they are better off as friends.
Meanwhile, Chester finally agrees to duel El Puerco over Jessica, but Jessica demands they not. Despite this, the two men fire at each other as soon as she leaves the room. They shoot each other in the foot, but pretend that everything is fine when Jessica returns upon hearing the gunshots.
Tired of marriage to Dutch, Eunice leaves Dutch again (and thus leaves the show, as suggested by her unhappiness married to Dutch shown in the last season).
And Jodie decides (after meeting gay character Sal Vadore (guest star Ron Palillo), who tells him “you’re you” to address Jodie’s frustration over his unclear sexual preferences) that labels (gay, straight, etc.) don’t matter as he is comfortable being himself, regardless of how others and society may label him.

Episode 6
Billy decides to return to Malaguay to rebuild democracy with El Puerco. Mary reveals to Jessica that she overheard Benson telling Billy that he “love that woman,” believing erroneously that he is talking about her (Mary). This leads to Mary having a humorous and well-written conversation with and turning down a confused Benson.
Annie divorces Chester over him attempting suicide several times over her infidelity with Danny. After failing to win back Eunice, Dutch join Chester on a ledge during Chester’s latest suicide attempt, but each convinces the other to step down off of it.
Benson does not appear in this episode.

Episode 7
Chester overhears Billy talking to Danny about Benson loving Jessica but only hears certain parts of the conversation, making him believe that Billy is in love with Annie and that Danny supports it. Enraged, Chester gets into a fight with Annie over it in public and gets arrested. Chester agrees to finally seek some professional help.
Meanwhile, Mary and Burt reconnect and strengthen their love for each other in several ways, and Jodie dates a person who has no gender, and Saunders and the Major form an unlikely rapport.
Benson does not appear in this episode.

Episode 8
During his therapy sessions, Chester claims his rage issues is due to PTSD only for it to be revealed that he was a draft dodger during the Cuba War; this leads to him being booted from the therapy group, leaving the source of Chester’s anger issues still unknown.
Back at the Tate mansion, Benson discusses his feelings for Jessica with Saunders, who advises that he “proceed with caution.”
Meanwhile, Burt considers resigning from being Sheriff, but this would make Danny the new Sheriff. However, after a few instances where Danny shows that his unorthodox thought process is effective in combating crime, Burt hands over the badge and announces his decision to return to his construction company, much to the relief of Dutch, whom had been struggling to run the company with the mentally preoccupied Chester.

Episode 9
Jessica mishears a discussion Dutch is having with Burt about Benson being in love with Jessica and mistakenly believes Eunice is in love with Benson, leading to another series of misunderstandings during a family get-together.
Jodie forms a new religious movement that quickly devolves into a cult.
Chester is haunted by the ghost of Peter (from Season 1), only for Peter to forgive him for murdering him after Chester helps him with his unfinished business so that he can move on.
Benson does not appear in this episode.

Episode 10
Jodie disbands his cult and renews a relationship with Maggie, while Burt meets a man who claims he is his long-lost son.
El Puerco returns to court Jessica, revealing that due to Billy’s intelligence and youthful charm, he has become more popular among the people than El Puerco.
After another misunderstanding concerning Benson’s love for Jessica, the family and El Puerco gets into an argument during their time at a fancy fundraiser event where Chuck and Bob are the entertainment. The arguing causes a chain reaction of calamities (including the Major accidently caning the fundraising organizers (guest stars James Garner and Jack Elam)) that escalates the disarray and results in the whole family being arrested (including Chuck and Bob, for “crimes against comedy”).
Benson does not appear in this episode.

Episode 11
This is a “bottle episode” that times place entirely within the town’s jail. After everyone is place in a holding cell in jail (including Burt the ex-sheriff and Danny the new sheriff), their conversation leads to accusations and counteraccusations of characters being in love with other characters. The arguing ends when Benson finally confronts his feelings for Jessica, and she reciprocates them. The two share an on-screen kiss (one often erroneously cited as the first interracial kiss shown on a national TV show). The group is then let out on a technicality, after Bob the Ventriloquist Dummy takes the blame for all the trouble.

Episode 12
Jessica experiences culture shock when she decides to visit Benson’s hometown in the run-down section of Bridgeport, causing her to re-examine her lifestyle of wealth and splendor. She goes overboard by selling off her antique furniture, leading to Benson having to convince her to not sell the house. Jessica instead founds and funds a charity for low-income families.
Meanwhile, Burt discovers his long-lost son was actually a con artist trying to use his construction business as a cover for a jewel heist, while nobody believes the Majors claim that the next-door neighbor is a Nazi.

Episode 13
Ingrid Svenson returns to the series and teams up with Carol David to try to win custody of both Wendy and Scott by claiming the Tates’ connections to Malaguay and the Campbell’s connection to crime-related violence prove the babies are in dangerous living quarters. The Major walking in with the neighbor tied up and gagged only worsens the situation.
Meanwhile, Jodie marries Maggie in an impromptu manner and Chester takes up Jessica’s advice of going under hypnosis to discover the reason behind his anger issues.
Benson does not appear in the episode.

Episode 14
Authorities inspect the Tate and Campbell houses and threaten to take the children away if certain aspects are not amended.
In a clear jab at the TV show Dallas, Dutch and Burt get into the oil business, where they meet several colorful characters that unintentionally scare them into abandoning their idea of making it big in oil.
The neighbor from before reveals to the Major that he is in fact a former Nazi, but in a twist it is revealed that the moment was a set-up, and the police have caught his confession on tape after Saunders and Danny came to the Major’s defense.
Meanwhile, in a dramatic moment, Chester travels to his family home to confront his aging father’s history of violence and alcoholism.
Benson does not appear in the episode.

Episode 15
Having addressed his anger issues and believing he is now a better man, Chester once more tries to reconcile with Jessica. Benson sees the two interacting and gets the wrong idea, walking away sadly.
Mary serves a supportive role for Burt, Dutch, and Danny, and possibly becomes accepting of the fact that so far nobody has seen her baby Scott demonstrate any “extraterrestrial” capabilities.
Meanwhile, Jodie deals with the responsibilities of marriage and fatherhood, while Burt deals with a rival architect using underhanded tactics.

Episode 16
The custody court case rules in favor of the Campbells and leads to Ingrid and Carol receiving restraining orders.
Mary and Burt try to help Chuck deal with being separated from Bob while the dummy is in the shop for repairs by getting him a temporary replacement dummy that Bob reportedly grows jealous of quickly.
Jessica tells Benson that because Chester will not leave her alone she wants to hire security guards, but the Major is instead given a hyper-realistic prop gun and is convinced that Chester has “joined the Axis powers.”
At the end of the episode, Benson proposes to Jessica in the family kitchen.

Episode 17
An elated Jessica says she will marry Benson. Chester becomes even more depressed over his ex-wife remarrying, and ends up in the seedy business of adult film production, where he sleeps with several adult film actresses, all of whom remind Chester in some way or another of Jessica.
After Jessica chooses Benson over El Puerco, El Puerco returns to Malaguay, where “El Billy” tries to help him move on, but because his presence only reminds El Puerco of Jessica, Billy voluntary moves back to Connecticut, much to the dismay of the Malaguayan people. El Puerco is last shown trying to win over the people of Malaguay; him being barraged by vegetables suggests that while democracy is popular, El Puerco is not as popular as he thought he was.
Meanwhile, Dutch mistakenly believes that he has been drafted to fight in the Libya War at a time when Burt’s business is suffering from his rival’s increasingly aggressive advertising tactics.

Episode 18
Danny digs up dirt on Burt’s rival and Burt faces a moral dilemma over whether he should use the information to get said rival off his back, or confront the dishonest competition in a more honest way.
Chester begins an unlikely friendship with a brothel owner, Maxine.
Jodie and Maggie argue over both of them checking out the same guys at a restaurant, but in the end they reaffirm their love for each other.
Meanwhile, impressed by his combat skills when dealing with a bank robber, Dutch and Billy bond over their respect for Saunders’ feats during his “earlier years,” as demonstrated during their time in Malaguay.
Benson does not appear in this episode.

Episode 19
Jessica plans her wedding to Benson with Mary. She soon meets his family, leading to tension over racial concerns in a self-aware retread of a previous episode’s premise and themes.
Maxine and Chester sleep together, but when she sleeps with another man an hour later, Chester finally knows how Jessica felt about his infidelity.
Eunice and Corrine return home for Jessica and Benson’s wedding, creating an awkward situation for them and Dutch.
Mary finally stops making the claims that her baby is part-alien, shrugging to a floating pacifier under the belief she is simply imagining it.
To the surprise of Burt, who chose to not use the dirt he had on his business rival, said rival is arrested for tax evasion, which Burt reveals to Billy “was nothing” when compared to the dirt that Burt did have on him (but did not include the tax evasion).
Benson does not appear in this episode.

Episode 20
After months of being separated, Chester and Annie divorce off-screen, allowing her to remarry. While trying to prove himself as Sheriff, Danny visits the alleged attackers of Burt from the start of the season and promise to come after them if they ever attack his family again. His biological father’s attempt on his life at the start of the season also has kept a strain on their relationship, but Danny now shows that he forgives Chester by not arresting Chester during a raid on an adult film set.
The family tries some experimental anti-senility drugs on the Major, but it has several highly unusual side effects that make life with him unbearable; the family rejects the medication to bring back the old Major they all know and love.
Just before the festivities, Jessica is kidnapped by unseen individuals on her wedding day, making everything think she stood up Benson, who doesn’t know if something has happened to her or if she has broken his heart.

Episode 21
The Tates and the Campbells put their plotlines on hold to work together to follow a series of clues that lead them to Jessica, who was kidnapped by former members of Jodie’s cult as part of a ploy to lure Jodie to their hideout so they could sacrifice him. Jodie gives a speech condemning misguided religion and blind faith (a speech which received much controversy from religious groups) that distracts the cult members and allows everyone to escape, including Jodie.
A despondent Benson is about to leave at the airport when Jessica arrives and explains she was kidnapped. The wedding is back on.
Believing Maxine is actually good for her, Chester and Maxine begin an open relationship.
Both Eunice and Corrine reconcile after Dutch rejects both of them for a new girlfriend that shares both of their personality traits (quite literally, as she seems to be schizophrenic).
Ingrid and Carol sneak into the Campbell’s house to steal the babies while only Bob and Chuck are home. Off screen, after the two have crept upstairs, we hear slapping and crashing noises, followed by the two falling down the stairs and running away from the house with looks of shock and horror on their faces; Ingrid proclaims “this time, you really have seen the last of me!” Chuck and Bob then walk down the stairs while talking about Baby Scotty’s strength, and it is again left ambiguous whether Chuck scared them away somehow and is pretending/goofing off with Bob (as Chuck talks to Bob like he’s real even when nobody else is in the room), or if Mary’s baby does indeed have incredible alien powers and that Chuck and Bob have been aware of them for some time.

Episode 22
In the series finale, Benson and Jessica marry at the Tate house, with Saunders revealing that he is an ordained minister after a previous character meant to marry them off is called away on an emergency exorcism.
On the day of the wedding, Mary denies ever having made the alien baby claims; this makes Dutch wonder aloud if the claims were real, or if they were an expression of Mary’s subconscious fears that Burt’s political career would lead to him not being a father to the child, which would be alright if the baby’s real father was actually Alien Burt.
Just before the wedding starts, Mary and Jessica discuss the importance of love and family in a private conversation.
Maxine discusses the possibility of Chester marrying her, but Chester indicates that he has been diagnosed with an STD (Billy is seen in attendance at the wedding, flanked by Malaguayan groupies, and Chester warns him “it’s a slippery slope…that becomes an itchy one.”).
A terrorist attack at the wedding, led by a former ally of General Sandria, is thwarted – by the Major, no less, as his prop gun was real the whole time – and the wedding continues on.
Benson and Jessica are married and kiss. In one final showing of his Sheriff Skills, Danny punches out cold a now completely unhinged Leslie before she can try to kill Billy again; it is implied that she’ll be sent to therapy.
The series ends on Jessica and Benson leaving on their honeymoon, only for the rest of the family to be told by a panicked Chuck that Bob has run away with another ventriloquist and he needs their help to get him back, causing the Tates and Campbells to all groan and roll their eyes – except for the Major, who simply shouts “onward!” before crashing into some furniture.


Christmas Special

Jodie, Mary, Jessica, Burt, and other cast members return to the set to conclude lingering questions and plot-points in in-universe "shorts" and with the actors revealing behind-the-scenes footage and their favorite moments. The special ends with an extended short showing the aliens from Season 3 arriving to wish Mary and Burt happy holidays while the other characters are preoccupied with various yuletide activities.

– [13]

After months of debate, after years of lies from the Kremlin concerning the radiation poisoning our people and our land, after the heartless killing of innocents in Karaganda, and after decades of oppression and persecution, the time had finally arrived. On December 27th, 1983, in a showing of solidarity and unity, the respective aforementioned “rebel” leaders of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan together formally declared independence from the Soviet Union...

– Ke Wang’s Turkestanis Unite!: The Rise And Execution of An Idea, Cambridge University Press, 2013 [14]

[1] IOTL, the company also created Agent Orange starting in the late 1960s, but here, as covered way back when, President Sanders ended the use of Agent Orange and as such NEPACCO produces chemical agents for herbicidal purposes.
[2] IOTL, the EPA did not become heavily involved until 1979, but by then it was too late; in February 1983, the feds had to buy out and evacuate the dioxin-contaminated community, the place left a deadly Ghost Town.
[3] As for what Samantha’s career turns out to be, Wikipedia suggests the following (sources 59 and 60 on Smith’s page): “Speculation as to what a surviving Samantha might have done in adulthood was dismissed by her mother Jane as unanswerable in 2003, given Samantha was only thirteen when she died and her ambitions had varied from a veterinarian working with animals to a tutu-and-tights-clad ballerina.[59] The notion, which had been put to Samantha herself in the eighties, that she could be President of the United States in adulthood, was dismissed by her in the Disney Channel special that she hosted, with the words "being President is not a job i would like to have".[60]” The point here that I’m making is simply this: at least she’s still alive ITTL.
[4] Based on what we did with Noriega. The shot-down plane was from Tampa and belonged to Tampa airlines, and so that’s where he’s being tried; even though it technically is a federal case, the rules as to its physical location for the trial is kind of ambiguous as far as I can tell (I’m not an expert on international law – is there a lawyer here that can weigh in on this?).
[5] OTL, and italicized parts are from here:
[6] Statistics based on OTL: and adjusted to account for butterflies such as the détente of the Sanders and Mondale administrations (1968-1977).
[7] Similar to the Severomorsk Disaster of May 1984:
[8] One year earlier than in OTL due to more immediate concern by President Denton and a higher number of Republicans in Congress than in OTL.
[9] Apparently so!: (the article “Film That Changed History?” (in the bottom-right corner of the page): )
[10] Interesting tidbit: When doing research for the film, Director Nicholas Meyer found FEMA’s survival plans to be inept and called the organization “a complete joke,” according to Wikipedia. But ITTL, ODERCA is a bit more competent and Meyer is a bit less pessimistic about them.
[11] So it’s still a problem, but not nearly as bad as the OTL famine of 1983-1985, which was so bad because a naturally-occurring problem was worsened by the Derg dictatorship restricting food supplies and mismanaging the whole thing in general.

[12] Speaking of which, ahead of the 1984 Democratic primaries, I made a preference poll. Please vote now! :) :

A quick breakdown of the 20 candidates on the poll:
Mario Biaggi, 67, was Governor of New York from 1966 to 1981 as has been a US Senator since 1981; an unapologetic conservative, he agrees with Denton on most things except Biaggi is further to the left on civil/equal rights, and is more to the left of Denton on the issues of taxes and government regulations.
Bill Bradley, 41, a former professional basketball player for the New York Knicks, has served as the Governor of his home state of Missouri since 1977; term-limited, he is running for President on a liberal campaign with a focus on campaign finance reform.
George L. Brown, 58, the most prominent African-American politician in the race, is a former Tuskegee Airman first elected to the Senate from Colorado in 1975, after spending eighteen years in the state senate; his campaign covers a wide array of topics and is hard to place into a single ideology due to his maverick voting record; he is known for allegedly having trouble working with and/or getting along well with several other Senators.
Jimmy Carter, 60, the former US Secretary of State and former US Senator from Georgia, can easily tout his foreign policy expertise and diplomatic achievements; a social moderate, he believes he can win over the relatively new evangelical vote and secure Southern States for the Democratic column.
Happy Chandler, 86, the former Governor of Kentucky, US Senator, MLB Commissioner, and, most recently, US Ambassador to Argentina, is running a somewhat moderate-to-conservative “low-key” campaign using the outdated tactic of winning delegates instead of primaries.
Bill Clinton, 38, the young and energetic “carpetbagger” centrist Governor of Alaska since 1978, believes he can break through the lack of name recognition outside of Alaska to win the election by running a campaign focused more on his "unifying" personality than any one specific policy.
Linda Ellerbee, 40, is a progressive author and investigative reporter hailing from Texas; she is calling for government transparency and more defense of women's rights and minority rights, among other issues.
James Florio, 47, the Governor of New Jersey since 1978, is running on his success combating the Garden State’s tax-and-services problems during his first term; he has also been praised for separating state school funding from local property taxes, and will likely campaign on it as being a means of lessening urban-rural and white-nonwhite wealth gaps; he believes he can win over white suburban voters, minority voters, and young voters.
Nick Galifianakis, 56, the junior US Senator from North Carolina since 1975, is running on a moderate campaign designed to broaden the base of the party; he aims to appeal to minority and immigrant voters in "a celebration of America's past, present, and future."
John Glenn, 63, the former astronaut, first American to go to outer space, and a US Senator from Ohio since 1971, is a moderate technocrat with mid-western appeal and is an obvious supporter of NASA; having won elections in 1970, 1976, and 1982 by large margins, he seems to be an excellent candidate on paper; his leadership skills in the Senate, however, may have difficulty translating from campaigning in Ohio to campaigning nationwide, especially since debates are a weak spot for him.
Mike Gravel, 54, the former US Vice President and a US Senator from 1970 to 1973, is more cautious and less divisive this time around, and is seeking to convince primary voters to give him one more chance, as each time his candidacy has pushed the Overton Window a bit more to the left; ergo, his “peace abroad and freedom at home” campaign is considered to be very much progressive, but very possibly no longer so progressive that Democratic primary voters reject it outright.
Jack P. F. Gremillion Sr., 70, a US Senator from Louisiana, is one of the most socially conservative candidates in the race, if not the most socially conservative, but nevertheless received praise for obtaining federal relief funds for Texas in the wake of Hurricane Alicia.
Daniel Inouye, 60, the senior US Senator from Hawaii since 1963, is running a moderate-leaning campaign focused on “sensible defense” and combating “domestic prejudice;” he is being passionately endorsed by many war veterans and Asian-American groups and individuals.
Maynard Jackson, 46, the African-American Mayor of Atlanta, Georgia from 1974 to 1982, is running on his civil rights activism and his executive experience; he aims to appeal to all ethnic groups, but also wishes to reach out to white voters as well.
Coya Knutson, 72, recently elected to her fourth non-consecutive term as Governor of Minnesota, has both feminist and Mid-Western appeal; a moderate who survived marriage to a violently abusive alcoholic husband, she is a regional icon to many women's rights groups.
John Kerry, 41, has continuously served in the US House of Representatives from Massachusetts since his first election to Congress in 1968 at the age of 25; he is a moderate and a war veteran who could end up being on a national ticket with Inouye in one way or the other.
Peter Kyros, 59, the Governor of Maine from 1971 to 1979, is a progressive technocrat looking “long term,” wanting to prepare the nation for the 21st century before it leaves the 20th century by investing in science, medical. research and technology.
Albert Rossellini, 74, the Governor of Washington from 1957 to 1965 and the US Secretary of Education and Welfare from 1973 to 1981, seeks to inform undecided voters of his time as Governor, and that he is the same age as the Colonel when Sanders was elected President.
Louis Stokes, 59, an anti-corruption African-American candidate, has continuously served in the US House of Representatives from Ohio since 1969; he believes he could appeal to suburban voters "of all kinds."
Charles Woods, 64, the Governor of Alabama from 1981 to 1983, is a WWII veteran whose face and hands were severely burned in a plane accident in 1944; with disabled hand and his iconic eyepatch, he is mounting a grassroots campaign in a rejection of "corporate money;" he is running on a moderate-to-conservative platform and, like Biaggi, is supportive of some of Denton's policies, most noticeably agreeing with most of the President’s law-and-order decisions.

Also: OTL candidates in this TL: Walter Mondale can’t run for a third Presidential term; Gary Hart lost two Senate bids and has been a US Congressman since 1981; Jesse Jackson lost a bid for Mayor of Washington, DC in 1982; Fritz Hollings underperformed when he ran for President in 1980; Alan Cranston has not been in office since the 1960s; Reubin Askew and George McGovern keep losing elections.

[13] So I recently finished re-watching the old satirical TV show “Soap,” and I’m still kind of disappointed that there’s very little information online on how Season 5 would have gone had it not been cancelled after Season 4, so here’s my take on it. (caution: spoilers).
[14] EDITED (Removed Tajikistan from the list)

EDIT: Oh, and one other thing: @farmerted555, about that prior comment over the fates of Henry Lee Lucas and Richard Ramirez:
IOTL, Henry Lee Lucas was sentenced to 20-to-40 years in prison in 1960, but was released in 1970 due to prison overcrowding. ITTL, crime rates in Michigan were not so bad (as the late ’60s were less turbulent ITTL), and with Governor Biaggi talking about how building prisons creates jobs to his fellow Governors such as Romney and Romney’s successors during NGA meetings, the overcrowding is at the least not big enough of an issue to merit his early release. As a result, ITTL, Lucas stays in prison until 1971, when his attempt to copycat the hostage crisis at Attica leads to him being killed via blunt force trauma from a security guard he tries to shiv during a quickly-subdued prison riot.
Meanwhile, IOTL, Richard Ramirez’s father was a physically abusive police officer and later railroad laborer. However, Ramirez became messed up primarily by hanging out with an older cousin, Miguel. Miguel was a Green Beret who bragged about the atrocities he performed while serving in the Vietnam War, even showing Richard in 1972, when he was 12, photos in which Miguel posed with the severed heads of Vietnamese women that he had raped and killed. ITTL, though, Miguel was killed during the Invasion of Hanoi in early 1967. As a result, Richard Ramirez grows up less disturbed (possibly idolizing the deceased Miguel for dying for his country without knowing much about him), but he still has some troublesome tendencies. For example, he joins the Army upon turning 18, but is repeatedly reprimanded for violent outbursts. He is currently stationed in Benghazi, Libya, contemplating a career in the armed forces.
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Good update.

When you killed the princess, what's Farsi for "you done fucked up." Ayatollah? Because you did that ITTL (on a side note, theories that the princess was killed by friendly fire will be talked about, but mostly by conspiracy theorists--speaking of which, what's happened to Alex Jones and Glenn Beck, assuming they're still born ITTL)...

Bye, bye, Gaddafi; hope you get the death penalty...

Well, Denton is doing some things I like (such as protecting children on Indian reservations from abuse)...

Glad Gravel is trying one more time to be president...

Well, looks like Sanders's son is going to be a politician in his own right; hope he succeeds...

Bye, bye, Noriega and Khomeini; no one will miss you or care about you ITTL...

Ron Paul opposed to government aid? Well, that's just Ron being...never mind....

Nice to see Samantha Smith is still alive ITTL...

Good to see that The Day After is as good as OTL (on a side note, it's an intriguing film because many members of the cast became famous after the film came out for other movie roles)...

Wonder what effect a balanced budget amendment will have ITTL...

Meanwhile, poor Ustinov--the Soviet Union is coming down around his ears. Let me play the world's smallest violin for Ustinov...

Again, it's a good chapter, and a lot of stuff happened, so keep it up!!!
So the USSR goes through the new leader dance again- hardline crackdown coming?
Libya = optimistic?
Strong Shah and Khomeini forces on the defensive- got get rid of the scum!
Does the National Prayer Breakfast include non-Christian faiths?
Good clean-up there Ralph Nader, hope you have more than one success!
GO Peter Tatchell MP!
Another Sanders Senator? Cool. Isn't this another McDonald's vs KFC race?
Mir is a good idea, perhaps the USSR can avoid the cash wasted on their shuttle this time, or just get it done sooner so it can have manned flights and survive if the USSR collapses like OTL, as that sort of big lifting capacity and reusable ship is still a good idea
Israel-Oman Solar deal is a Big Thing! Something the Colonel helped make possible. Very cool
Is the 1983 Moscow Massacre caused by Ustinov, Russia's Tiananmen Square?
Hopefully the NATIVE AMERICAN CHILD PROTECTION BILL will pave the way for fundamental reform of the Reservation system and how laws work across the borders
Bye Gaddafi!
Panama intervention soon? I can see a UN intervention
UP IN SMOKE sounds like a laid back movie. Hope Carlin lasts longer ITTL
Cruise Missile stockpile rise is not going to please the Greenham Common CND protesters...
Shirley Williams as PM? Well that's cool. I suspect she will be a different leader to Foot- will probably still win an quick election though
Wonder if Japan can avoid the recession this time round?
Mandela freed early- well thats a good sign. KFC in J'Berg soon!
"missile-measuring contest" sounds like it will become a category on TV Tropes...
Can Sanders solve Kashmir?
Does a 'better' Ethiopian famine butterfly Live Aid? Esp Queen's awesome performance?
The 'stan's finally did it and declared themselves independent? Oh, man that is going to cause... problems!
OK. Here's my prediction. John Glenn gets the nomination and fails by the narrowest of margins, leading the Democrats to swing future to the left and technocracy as a whole, leading to victory in 1988 with a more sold left technocrat as the new president.
Continuing with my comment about how I confuse the Ustinovs, I best comedians at the time had lots of fun with the tobaccco situation in the USSR and an Agriculture Secretary whose name sounds like "nicotine."

Samantha Smith's survival is great - she became a journalist but also a minor celebrity on various TV shows (like "FUll House" encouraging women in "Sweet Dreams - 1983 US ISOT to 1783" - there really were all sorts of things she could do.Although the meeting with Muskie could get her into some politics, even if she never desires the Presidency.

I speculated a few years ago timeline-wise if the Penn State scandal could happen erly and get that guy out of there. It is hard to say if Paterno could have won a title without his defensive co-ordinator there in '82 - I think that team was better balanced and probably could have anyway - but it'll be fun over the next year or two to see if the guy is found out early in a comical way, as I mentioned. And, I wonder if that child protection act will come into play to cause the butterflies that lead to it.

Give Penn State a loss or two more in those mid-80s years, you could have Oklahoma and Miami playing for the national title 3 years in a row in the Orange BNowl - which would do something to college football, I'm just not sure what.

Then again, Michigan would have a chance, with their only loss to Iowa, to play Oklahoma one year - though they'd likely lose (Their loss would be their only one in the Big Ten, while Iowa tied a game and lost another so they went to the4 Rose Bowl but were slightly lower ranked OTL.) Yes, I said that because I'm an Ohio State fan. :)

I always liked Louis Stokes when I'd hear him discussed on local new, so I voted for him, but I really think Ohio's other favorite son, John Glenn, has a much better shot.

Nice to see Sanders' son also entering politics - though he's pretty old for a first-timer, you never know.

I wonder who Kuhn serving till '87 ope3ns the door for - Giamatti (sp?) again or maybe someone like Iacocca, who I think would be great. Then again, I remember hearing his name floated as Presidential material in the late 80s.

Soviet Tiennaman (sp?) Square is interesting; I suspect with Ustinov around, they are about to have a war with he Stan countries. So much for no Afghanistan meaning their economy is a bit better.
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As long as you could make it to where University of Kentucky football is consistently finishing above .500 (at least 6-5) during the regular season, I’m good...

Also, it’d be cool to see the Louisville Colonels still drawing well (and playing well), as the OTL Cardinals farm club, after moving toLouisville, became known for being the only minor league team to draw over a million fans per season for several years...forgive me if I’m wrong on the numbers; I don’t have access to the minor league attendance figures during the 1980s at the moment.
So, when can we expect to see the next update? I'm pretty sure that at this point, Gravel is going to be the nominee, which probably means that Denton gets a 2nd term.
So, when can we expect to see the next update? I'm pretty sure that at this point, Gravel is going to be the nominee, which probably means that Denton gets a 2nd term.

Given there's a book called 1984: Making of the President, written by "Ted White", who I can only assume is otls sci-fi author of the same name, I expect a much more surprising result
Given there's a book called 1984: Making of the President, written by "Ted White", who I can only assume is otls sci-fi author of the same name, I expect a much more surprising result

Theodore H. White, not Ted White.

edit: my best wager is that Ted plays much better on book covers than Theodore by the time 1984 rolls around—hence the in-universe switch of names.
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Chapter 51: January 1984 – July 1984
Chapter 51: January 1984 – July 1984

“In the moment of crisis, the wise build bridges and the foolish build dams.”

– Nigerian proverb, c. 1650

“New business for a new year,” Denton described the situation at the close of the cabinet meeting. “So let’s see – we’re keeping an eye on recreadrugs coming in from Mexico, and we’ll meet with more Governors over school delinquency laws,” Denton thought aloud.

“Especially in the summer, during the state legislative session breaks,” Vice President Alexander noted.

“Right, right,” Denton mused before addressing another topic: “how’s work coming on that bill to make it illegal to outlaw prayer in public schools?” He directed the question to Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker (R-TN).

“We’re getting it through the committees. We’ll likely vote on it by the end of the year, before November. Same with the Balanced Budget Amendment,” the moderate loyalist informed his President.

Secretary of State Lukens added, “If it helps, I can talk to Nixon; we go way back. I can get him to draw up the support we need on it from some of the more conservative Democrats.”

“Thank you Buz, any little bit could help,” Denton acknowledged the offer, “Lamar, you should drum up some allies too if you find the time.”

Alexander assured his friend, “Sure thing!”

“Okay then, now – any other business before we retire for the evening?” Denton asked the room.

“Yes, sir,” his Communications Director Newt Gingrich (R-GA) chimed in from nearby, “the Girl Scouts of Western Ohio want to meet with someone – anyone, really, but preferably you – to discuss issues they’ve had with selling cookies overseas. They want to meet ASAP.”

Rolling his eyes, Denton inquired, “Alright, who wants to tackle international cookie-selling?”

“I’ll do it,” answered Lukens, the Ohioan Secretary of State.

“Really. You sure?” Denton queried.

“Oh, I know you’re busy, most of us here have full plates, but I have a little pocket of time later on in this week. I’ll be glad to see them then.”

“Alright then, thank you, Buz.”

“It’ll be fun to meet with them. I like their…cookies.”

As the room emptied out, Denton proclaimed quietly to Alexander, “You know, buddy, he may be rough around the edges, but Buz is a real class act.”

“If you say so, Jer,” the mentally-preoccupied Vice President said as he went to deal with his own full plate.


[pic: ]

Above: Then-Congressman Buz Lukens and Senator Richard Nixon in 1968

– John Ehrman and Michael W. Flamm’s Jeremiah: The Denton Presidency, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Inc., 2002

“Just as President Denton broke the political barrier on religion and destroyed once and for all anti-Catholic political bigotry in 1980, I am seeking to try and break the political barrier on gender and win the Democratic nomination for President. This is a serious campaign, but if I do not win, then I will have at least paved the way for more American women candidates for President in the future.”

– Governor Coya Knutson (D-MN) at the Women’s National Press Club, Washington DC, 1/5/1964


The Washington Post, 1/6/1984


– The Wall Street Journal, 1/7/1984

…as their populations grow more hostile and actively against their communist governments in an expansive expression of political dissent, the nations of Eastern Europe are experiencing significant political reforms in regards to individual liberties and market liberalism. …In reaction to this, communist attempts to isolate the people in East Berlin from these external development has led to unrests in the city becoming a daily element, ranging from graffiti and gestures to more violent acts of vandalism; arrests are becoming commonplace. …Even Western Europe is feeling the effects of what Prime Minister Williams has called “the continental sentiment.” In France, for instance, socialist President Mouray is facing protests to suggested tax hikes and more red tape for small businesses as his approval ratings consistently stay below 50%... A glimmer of hope shines for the freedom-loving people of Yugoslavia, as Grand Marshal Josip Broz Tito is laid to rest in a lavish state funeral at the age of 91, having spent the last thirty of his years as the President of the diverse Balkan country. Tito had spent the final years of his life working hard to rebuild his nation’s economy through decentralization while concurrently promoting national unity to keep all provinces together after his passing. Tito’s successor, the more moderate Montenegrin politician Veselin Duranovic, today gave what is being called the “Six Peoples, One Flag” speech, in which Duranovic called for the country to be, quote, “one where Serbs, Croats, Bosnians, Slovenians, Montenegrins, and Macedonians are free together and equal together.”

– Transcript of BBC World News, 1/9/1984 newsreel broadcast


…Since suffering a minor heart attack this last September [1], the senior US Senator of Washington has cut down on his Senate duties and campaign trips. His endorsement could nevertheless still carry much weight in the primaries. It seems the candidate most likely to win his support will be either former Secretary of State Jimmy Carter, Senator John Glenn, or Senator Daniel Inouye…

– The Spokesman-Review, Washington state newspaper, 1/11/1984


– The New York Times, 1/14/1984

"I'm honestly gonna miss fightin' with the ol' devil ...may he and his soul rest easy now and in heaven and in peace forever."

- Colonel Sanders, 1/14/1984

CARTER: “We need a candidate who can win over not just Democrats, but Republicans and Independents as well.”

MODERATOR: “Congressman Stokes, you wish to rebuttal?”

STOKES: “Yes. Jimmy, the last time we nominated a centrist, we lost the progressive voters and we lost the election. We need a candidate who can keep this party strong and united, and that will lead us to victory.”


GRAVEL: “As President, I will issue a freeze on all testing and production of nuclear weapons.”


CARTER: “I’m a realist. In fact, I think I’m the most realistic candidate on this stage.”

GRAVEL: “And I think I’m the boldest candidate on this stage.”

MODERATOR: “Mr. Vice President, please wait your turn.”


GLENN: “Congressman, your proposals are outlandish and, with all due respect, ridiculous.”

STOKES: “John, sending a man to space was a ridiculous proposal no more than fifty years ago, and yet, there you sit, the first American to go to space, saying that America cannot afford to try brave new things. In light of this, I must correct an earlier statement: your campaign isn’t uninspiring – it’s uninspiring and ironic.”


BIAGGI: “As a member of several the Senate’s committees and subcommittees pertaining to foreign policy, I think I can look at this situation on Capitol Hill with fresh eyes. [snip] This election needs to be about domestic policy, about who gets what and much how of it, and we can’t do that if we are constantly talking about the problems we have with the President. He is our commander-in-chief, and while we can all disagree with him, I think we are still all obligated to respect him.”


GLENN: “The events unfolding in Russia make us pause and reflect on the very fragile and very grave state of world affairs that lie before us all today. When Premier Podgorny died last year, our President had never met with him, spoken to him, shaken his hand, or even looked him in the eye. Relations with Russia have never been as bad as they are now. Our foreign policy record during the past year was not good either, as our men remain in Libya. The president says he is withdrawing our troops from overseas, only for Westmoreland to say pre-deployment home could take months, even though it could be done in just a matter of hours. [snip] Radical retribution from deadly local extremists endangers the lives of not only our men stationed overseas but also the lives of the men, women and children in the countries that have allied with us against dangerous local elements in these countries.” [2]


INOUYE: “Prudently invested contributions to the Social Security fund may bring greater dividends, but those contributions would also face a greater risk. It would be like gambling. We should not gamble with the investments and the future of the citizens of this land.” [3]

– First Democratic Primary Debate of 1984 transcript, University of Cambridge, MA, Tuesday 1/24/1984


The San Francisco Chronicle, 1/25/1984


The Washington Post, 1/29/1984

…In the race for the White House, the GOP’s Organization For Re-electing Denton (or OFRED) has announced that it has pulled in over $13million [4] in the past two months...

– NBC News, 2/1/1984

The National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 is a federal law in the United States that punishes every state that allows persons below 22 years of age to purchase, publicly possess, and/or publicly distribute alcoholic beverages by reducing any part of the state’s annual budget apportionment or apportionments by as much as 20 percent. The bill was narrowly passed in both chambers of the US Congress despite fiery opposition from dissenting politicians and signed into law by President Denton on February 2, 1984. The age of 22 was chosen in order for it to coincide with the age at which most American students graduate from college, and thus in order to lower intoxication incidents on school campuses nationwide, which – the lawmakers hoped – would lead to higher test scores. The key reason for it passing was the fact that the act did not outlaw direct or indirect consumption of alcoholic beverages by those under the age of 22 – only its purchase, public possession and/or public distribution by those under said age. Soon after the act’s passing, Alabama, Indiana, Michigan, Kansas, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and the District of Columbia extended the law into an outright ban on underage drinking. Conversely, other state legislatures took advantage of the bill’s wording to allow underage consumption when under adult or parental supervision or written consent.



…after approval by the House by the narrow margin of 225 voting “yea,” 204 voting “no,” and 2 voting “present” (some seats are vacant, which is a very common occurrence) on January 29, the Senate is now set to vote on the bill prior to the chamber’s Summer Break. The Senate will most likely pass the bill…

The Washington Post, 2/3/1984

…we have the latest update on the terrible tragedy. Again, for those just tuning in, an American Airlines commercial passenger flight has just crashed 20 miles outside Vancouver, Canada. Many if not most of the people onboard were travelling to Vancouver to be spectators watching the Winter Olympics being held there in four days. …The names of the victims that have been cleared for public release so far are the following: Margaret Corfield, Milton Hamilton, James Hartford, Stephanie Jamieson, James Millerton, Lawrence Nassar, Abigail Smith, and Maryanne Thomson. We will continue to keep you updated on this terrible tragedy as it is developing story…

The Overmyer Network, Nighttime News segment, 2/4/1984 broadcast

…and over in Central Asia, the army of the Soviet Union has taken the city of Makirsk in their war with United Turkestan. Five weeks ago, the red army’s tanks rolled into the western and northern borders of United Turkestan, a loose and decentralized confederation of breakaway soviet republics, declaring their secession from the USSR to be illegal. Soviet troops and heavy truck and tank units have been combating anti-Soviet locals primarily in the more populous northern half of the region known as Kazakhstan, and in southern Uzbekistan and southwestern Kyrgyzstan…

– CBS Morning News, 2/9/1984 broadcast

Ustinov hoped the war would reinvigorate patriotism back on the western side of the Ural Mountains. Instead, it only deepened the divide, with even some supporters of the USSR criticizing Ustinov’s “warmongering-like” action against “our wayward comrades”

Back in Moscow, one more member of the old guard bit the dust when Andrei Gromyko died from pneumonia after leaving a politburo meeting to discuss the war effort without closing up his jacket and without a proper hat. This left only the increasingly ineffective Yegor Kigachyov to oppose Ustinov’s policies, meaning Ustinov seemed to effectively dominate inner party decisions in the aftermath of Gromyko’s demise. Those of the old guard still remaining, old enough to have fought in WWII, were increasingly at odds with the younger generation of would-be premiers such as Minister Gorbachev, and the rising star that was Alexander Yakovlev…

– Ke Wang’s Turkestanis Unite!: The Rise And Execution of An Idea, Cambridge University Press, 2013

…Oh, yes, Harland and I were in the audience during opening day of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. I want to say the eighth, February I think. Oh, Harland was always a huge fan of our neighbor to the north, and visited Canada several times while President and businessman, but always on politics- or business- related issues. But at least not then, during the Olympics. That time, it was for fun. When we went then, Harland really got to see Canada, the sights and all. “It’s a beautiful country with wonderful people and excellent food!” Is what I remember him saying at one point… [5]

– Claudia Price Sanders, TNB (Trinity National Broadcasting) interview, 1992


…Alongside Canada, the U.S. did exceptionally well, winning more gold medals than Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and even the usually-formidable nation of Austria…

– The New York Times, 2/19/1984

…Peace talks were suspended for six weeks after hardline white radicals killed 14 unarmed blacks in Grahamstown on the 20th of February. However, the large public showing of sympathy from white community leaders led to Mandela calling for the peace talks to continue on again, leading to negotiations resuming in early April, the schedules for the 1984 election and the slow dismantling of Apartheid being left unaffected by the Grahamstown Massacre...

– Julian Brown’s The Road to Soweto: Resistance & Revolution in Post-Soweto South Africa, Jacana Publishers, 2016

The Gravel campaign received more press attention on February 22, when a reclusive and destitute former P.O.W. veteran from the Korean War was arrested outside of a Gravel rally in Janesville, Wisconsin, for attempting to smuggle a pistol past security. The man, a one 69-year-old Ralph O. Davis of Mount Pleasant, Iowa, [6] confessed to police that h wanted to kill Gravel he was outraged at the former Vice President’s allegedly “un-American” language. Gravel reacted to the incident in a dignified and forgiving manner, claiming Davis was “a product of jingoism.” In a speech on the 24th, Gravel explained that Davis was “misguided,” as “questioning the morals and priorities of your country and/or even its leaders, is not treason. It is proof that you are observant enough to see that there is something you don’t agree with, and care enough about your country to try and look for a way to do something about it. Violence, though, is never the answer to the problems found in any country. The answer, I believe, is transparency, honesty, integrity and building the ability to tolerate those whose opinions are not the same as yours. Collaborations, cooperation, and the bravery to pursue these things allowed the people of the free world to come together during World War Two, and allowed the people of the USA to come together to put men and women on the moon. All I had suggested is that we should have more of this transparency, honesty, and integrity and a peaceful collaborative building of greatness, both at home and abroad. To share with the world the best America that America can offer. How’s that un-American?”

– Ted White’s The Making of the President: 1984, Atheneum Publishers, 1985


…The bill was introduced by Congressman Patrick Moynihan (D-NY) in response to the feared long-term effects of the Trojan Tower Nuclear Meltdown disaster that hit northern Oregon and southern Washington five years ago …Sulfur dioxide is a main cause of acid rain and is a major health concern. This new federal law regulates the use, transportation, and disposal of such chemicals in the US and requires all public schools to teach acid rain avoidance and prevention in health class. …Critiques of the bill range from those who say it goes too far by imposing elements onto school curricula while other claim it does not go far enough to address the potential dangers of nuclear power plants. Others also call it an overreaction, especially when one considers the possible influence of generic and campy acid rain B-movie horror films of late, most infamously the film “Deadly Cloud Tears” that came out in 1981...

– The Billings Gazette, Montana newspaper, 2/25/1984

GRAVEL WINS NEW HAMPSHIRE PRIMARY: Kyros Comes In Second, Glenn In Third

The New York Times, 2/28/1984


The Star-Ledger, 2/29/1984

“…the committees and reforms that Carl [Sanders of Georgia] and I pushed through created the modern primary system, with New Hampshire as the first election of the primary season and being followed by Maryland, then Nevada and Georgia as the 3rd and 4th primaries, right before the ‘March Cluster’…”

– F. Grant Sawyer, KNN interview, 1995


…one passionate supporter loudly claims “Our War Hero President is a good ol’ home boy who’s fighting for us against the communism, atheism, abortionism, BLUTAGism, divorceism, and Free Love-ism peacenik bunk that’s been spreading diseases everywhere.”…

The New York Post, 3/1/1984


…discrepancies concerning the Presidential candidate’s connections to a savings and loan business that failed in 1972 are the source of the inquiry…

The Times-Picayune, 3/2/1984

HOLLYWOOD ENDORSEMENTS: Do They Help or Hurt Presidential Campaigns?

...As the actor/activist Peter Duel joins Mike Gravel on the stage at a campaign rally in Bethesda, one might be reminded of Bob Dylan speaking at the 1968 RNC, and how that allegedly contributed to the Colonel winning over the youth vote that November. One might also think of Ronald Reagan, who went from being a character actor in several embarrassing b-movies to leading the GOP to an embarrassing defeat in 1976.

In this election cycle, Hollywood stars and starlets have shown their political side by endorsing several politicians at the state and national level, from the flighty Shirley MacLaine to the grounded Charlton Heston…


…“Celebrities have no place in politics because it is not their profession. They are not experts, so they don’t fully know what they are talking about, but because people recognize who they are, people listen to what they have to say,” suggests former Congressman Walter Judd (R-MN), “and as a result, they delegitimize the very campaign they support.”

The former campaign manager of the Elmo Zumwalt Presidential campaign of 1980 differs, telling us “they can introduce more voters and potential supporters to the candidate, and bring that showmanship style of pizzazz and excitement to the race. It makes the talk of economics that can be dry and boring to the average voter and make it seem exciting to them.”

With the primaries’ “March Cluster” set for the 20th, we’ll find out soon enough how much weight a celebrity endorsement carries…

– The Dayton Daily News, 3/4/1984

GLENN WINS MARYLAND PRIMARY; Gravel Easily Carries Vermont

…the astronaut-turned-Senator’s centrist campaign won over many Republican-leaning primary voters in Glenn’s first victory of the Democratic primary season…

The Grand Rapids Press, 3/6/1984

DEM. PRIMARIES: Carter Wins Home State of Georgia, Gravel Wins Nevada

The Oregonian, 3/13/1984

I don’t see that I’m any less religious that I can appreciate the fact that science just records that we change with evolution and time, and that’s a fact. It doesn’t mean it’s less wondrous and it doesn’t mean that there can’t be some power greater than any of us that has been behind and is behind whatever is going on.[7]

– John Glenn, at a campaign stop in Demopolis, Alabama, 3/17/1984

March 20th saw the voters of ten states go to the polls in what the media labeled a “cluster” of primary contests. Denton won all of the GOP elections without incident. In the Democratic Party, Stokes made history by becoming the first Black Democrat to win a primary via achieving victory in Mississippi. Carter edged out Glenn in Iowa, but the former Secretary of State failed to win any other contests that evening. Some conservative Democrats such as Gremillion and Biaggi failed to make inroads in any of the southern states. Glenn, on the other hand, handily won Alabama [7], Florida and Michigan, but failed to catch on in any other states. In fact, the night was clearly Gravel’s from the beginning: after the former Vice President achieved first place in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, Gravel proved he had Midwestern appeal by winning Illinois and Minnesota, then proved he could win over western state voters by coming in first in Wyoming (albeit by a very narrow plurality, with Carter and Glenn spitting the more conservative vote – a recurring theme for several primaries in this election cycle)…

– Ted White’s The Making of the President: 1984, Atheneum Publishers, 1985


…the announcement comes days after the Governor of Alaska failed to even reach third place in any of the several primary contests held in this month’s primary “cluster”…

The Washington Post, 3/23/1984

“Yeah, big news coming in from Louisiana today, with Glenn winning in Louisiana last night. Apparently, uh, Stokes came in second place, Carter in third, Gravel wasn’t on the ballot, but Gremillion – the Senator from Louisiana – came in fourth place, and that was so bad that he just announced that he’s quitting the race. Now, uh, so what do you think this means for the race going forward, Senator?”

“I think the narrowness of the contest – Stokes came within striking distance of winning – proves that the party has to win over lack voters. They are a powerful voting block, one that could make or break the election for the Democrats in November.”

– Colorado talk show host Alan Berg (1934-2018) and US Senator George L. Brown, KOA-AM (850 kHz) radio, 3/28/1984 broadcast


…”Prisoners serving life, even for violent crimes, should have the chance to get parole because any of us can be saved from sin or failure,” the leading Presidential candidate proposed in a very controversial speech in Brooklyn… The belief in human redemption is behind the proposal, but so is a genuine fiscal concern. Allowing remorseful prisoners to be paroled would allow state and federal governments to save money on housing inmates costs. …Gravel may be either ahead of his time, or out-of-touch with the priorities of the voter. In what may be very ironic, “Family Safety” advocacy groups are already calling Gravel “dangerously uniformed”…

– Paul Schrade in Newsday, New York newspaper, 3/29/1984

…In the midst of political instability, Star City shut out the trouble and pressed on. On April 2, 1984 – in the last major action performed by Star City that year – the Indian Squadron Leader Rakesh Sharma was launched into space aboard the Soyuz T-12…

Among the Stars: The Autobiography of Yuri Gagarin, 1995

…Alright, tonight has been a hectic night for the Democratic Party, but here is the breakdown of how the American people voted tonight. On the Republican side, President Denton won all states with ease. On the Democratic side, two contests were held – one in New York, the other in Wisconsin. In New York, Gravel, with the endorsement of Mayor Bellamy of New York City and several blue-collar unions, defeated Senators John Glenn and Mario Biaggi in a narrow three-way split. Biaggi, who came in third place in his only strong showing of the primary season thus far, seems to have split the state’s anti-Gravel vote. A fourth candidate, Jimmy Carter, underperformed significantly. In the anti-war state of Wisconsin, Gravel fared better, as did Carter, who came in second place behind Gravel, while Senator Glenn underperformed…

– NBC News, 4/3/1984 broadcast


…the new law will prohibit all family members of known recreadrug users and transporters from immigrating to the US unless the relatives in question agree to be “actively helpful” in “combating the recreadrug epidemic” as described by the bill’s most supportive co-sponsor, Senator Dick Obenshain. The bill was derided by some politicians such as Senator Pedro Jimenez, who claims “this [law] appeals to suburban voters easily scared of Hispanic stereotypes and goes against the inclusive and welcoming nature of the United States government.”…

The Washington Post, 4/4/1984

..With Jeb’s experience in Venezuela in mind along with the fact that the situation had been long overlooked by Denton, I sat down with the President and convinced him that we needed to intervene in Colombia. The violence, spilling into the neighboring countries and tearing Colombia apart, had been ongoing for over twenty years by then, and to do nothing would be to drag through the mud the principles and concepts of the Monroe Doctrine. However, since the Denton administration’s primary focus at the time was on “urban youth malaise,” and the situations in Libya and Iran, Denton instead instructed US diplomats to organize peace talks with the help of Colombian President Belisario Betancur, who had been attempting peace talks with several guerilla groups since taking office in August 1982...

– George H. W. Bush’s autobiography, 2015 edition


The New York Times, 4/5/1984

The violent bombing forced Denton to take note, and within a few weeks, the US military was leading U.N. peacekeeping forces wanting to “intervene” on the Colombia Civil War…

– Paul Kengor and Peter Schweizer’s The Denton Presidency: Assessing the Man and His Actions, Simon & Schuster, 2005


– The Idaho Press-Tribune, 4/7/1984

…In tonight’s Presidential primaries, President Denton easily won in Pennsylvania and Indiana, while the situation was starkly different for the Democrats, as Mike Gravel won Pennsylvania in very narrow margin over John Glenn, whom many assumed would win the state contest. Glenn did win Indiana over Gravel, though, but this too was a narrow contest due to a strong third-place showing by former Secretary of State Jimmy Carter…

– KNN, 4/10/1984 broadcast


The Birmingham News, 4/12/1984

Well, on April 18 – well, it was the early hours of April 19 for them, late hours of the 18th for us – the people of western Ukraine experienced a massive power outage. Similar to America’s own power outage back the 1960s – the big one that plunged New York and several other states into darkness – this outage knocked out all power from Kyiv to Lviv, including Derazhnia. Now the USSR’s Minister of Energy and Electrification, an old guy named Pjotr Neporozhny, who’d held that job since late 1962, he was busy vacationing in Crimea when this went down, so when this happened, the relatively less experienced Minister of the Gas Industry, I believe his name was Vasili Dinkov, tried to oversee things, get some backup generators started at whatnot. Now that should have been it, just another example of how the Soviet government had fallen into such inefficiency that they couldn’t even power the towns and cities anymore.

Except that the blackout hit Derzhnia. And Derzhnia was the location of secret nuclear missile bases for SS-19 ICBM missiles at the time [8]. When the power went out there, the Soviet military went on full alert because several nuclear bomb detectors being used at the time could not distinguish between a regular power outage of this unusually large scale and an outage caused by a nuclear attack.

– Lt. Gen. (retired) Arthur D. Nicholson (1947-2027), US military intelligence expert, 2004 interview

Just past midnight, at 12:23, Moscow Time, The Great Ukrainian Blackout created malfunctioning circuit breakers and other circuit errors that in turn created the illusion in Moscow that their silos in Derzhnia, western Ukraine, had gone dark due to a nuclear attack. Ustinov, upon being informed of the inability of the Kremlin’s communications operators t contact Kviv, immediately believed it to be an act of war. “I knew, only a matter of time before that crazy Admiral snapped,” Ustinov thought aloud about his American counterpart. Ustinov was already paranoid, convinced the “uprisings” in the Warsaw Pact, the Baltic soviets, and Central Asia were all founded and funded by American agents when they had actually developed organically and were merely supported by the US. With Soviet nuclear submarines carrying ICBM missiles, non-military missiles, and other missiles within striking distance of several cities along the western coast of the United States, Ustinov declared “A nuclear counter-strike must be launched!”

ICBMs, even those of 18 years ago, are practically impossible to shoot down, especially when initially launched. Simply put, the velocity is too fast for them to be shot down by antiballistic counter-weaponry. When at the middle of the projected voyage or on descent, there is a better chance, but even then, it is a very narrow window of opportunity.

In Washington, D.C., Denton was called into the White House War Room and informed that increased activities and mobilizations had been detected. The U.S. military monitored the situation closely while Denton repeatedly attempted to contact Ustinov through the Moscow-Washington hotline. However, Ustinov refused to engage in conversation with “the enemy…unless they are willing to surrender.” To the lack of communication, Denton frustratingly asked “Didn’t they learn anything from the Turkish Missile Crisis?!”

With Westmoreland calling for a pre-emptive strike to “make ’em learn,” Denton instead had the cruise and Pershing II missiles the U.S. had deployed in Europe placed on standby as a precaution.

The final step of the launching of a nuclear strike was the captain of the submarine carrying out the order, whom was to be given the order by his commanding officer. This man in question, the man in charge of the Soviet submarines lying in wait in the Pacific Ocean, was a man named Vasiliy Ivanovich Petrov, the 67-year-old Commander of the Far East Military District [9]. An Army General, Petrov had overseen the region’s activities since his appointment to the position in 1972, and was an experienced leader. As a result, Petrov questioned the bombing of only one nuclear silo, and soon contacted the USSR’s commander of the Air Defense forces in the Ukraine, who could not visually confirm that Derzhnia had been destroyed. A request to send out an aerial recon team was denied by the Air Defense forces leader, who explained “The Americans must be punished now, before they strike again.”

To this, Petrov asked “Why again? Why not wipe us out in one fell swoop. If they’ve really attacked us, they’ve done so very stupidly.” With this in his mind, Petrov ordered the submarine captains to hold fire until Derzhnia’s destruction could be visually confirmed.

Meanwhile, Gas Minister Dinkov, having failed to contact Electrification Minister Neporozhny at the Crimean resort of Foros, in an opulent dacha, and was granted permission by local law enforcement to temporarily oversee the restarting of the local power grid. As the minutes passed in a way that felt like an eternity for Petrov as he awaited confirmation, Ustinov demanded an explanation for Petrov’s “procrastination,” and threatened to have him tried for treason if he did not launch the missiles by 3:00 AM.

At 2:53 AM, Moscow time, Kviv phone line operators finally made contact with Kiev, who immediately contacted Moscow with the revelation that the missile silo had gone undisturbed in what had just been another power outage. It was been commonly told that when informed of the misunderstanding, Ustinov was found sleeping at his desk, having exhausted himself with rants about the assumed attack. However, this may be merely anecdotal.

– John Ehrman and Michael W. Flamm’s Jeremiah: The Denton Presidency, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Inc., 2002


The Washington Post, 4/19/1984

The Power Outage Nuclear Scare may have been the final straw for many within the politburo, as General Petrov was seen as having better reasoning and leadership skills than Ustinov. Behind closed doors, talks quickly began of “coercing” Ustinov into early retirement…

– John Ehrman and Michael W. Flamm’s Jeremiah: The Denton Presidency, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Inc., 2002

MODERATOR: “Senator Glenn, do you agree with former Vice President Gravel’s statement from before that we need a freeze on plutonium production?”

GLENN: “I think we need to ensure a more secure future for ourselves and our children, and, possibly, that may include briefly limiting the building our nuclear defenses, though, albeit briefly. I mean, of course, our military and scientific leaders would have a say in it, I mean in regards to such a freeze being implemented if proposed under a Glenn Administration.”


BIAGGI: “If I’m President during an international incident, trust me, nothing’s off the table.”

GRAVEL: “Mario, when you say ‘nothing’s off the table,’ I hope to God you do not mean nukes” [10]

GLENN: “And I hope you don’t mean surrender.”

MODERATOR: “Gentlemen, please wait for your respective turns.”


CARTER: “Whether the borders that divide us are picket fences or national boundaries, we are all neighbors in a global community.” [11]

– Transcript snippets of the final Democratic Presidential primary debate of 1984, Tuesday 4/22/1984

…The Democratic Party hosted several Presidential primaries today, and it has become clear that former Vice President Mike Gravel is well on his way to winning the nomination. Gravel has been declared the winners of Colorado and Idaho, while Senator John Glenn won Utah and Virginia. Former Secretary of State Jimmy Carter edged out both men in Arizona. But the biggest win of the night was Texas, where all three frontrunners vied for top place. In the end, it seems Carter may have acted as a spoiler to Glenn, as Gravel has won the Lone Star State in a plurality. The upset victory may very well knock the wind out of the Glenn and Carter campaigns, who have been claiming that former Vice President Gravel cannot win the southern states in a general election…

The Overmyer Network Night-Time News, 4/24/1984 broadcast

TONIGHT’S DEMOCRAT PARTY PRIMARIES: Carter Wins Tennessee By A Hair, Stokes Wins D.C. In Landslide

The Courier-Journal, Louisville-based Kentucky newspaper, 5/1/1984


…the candidate that was often called the “friendliest” to Senator Scoop Jackson carried Scoop’s state by a narrow plurality despite receiving kind words from Jackson must never an official endorsement…

– The Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 5/4/1984

…On May 5, 1984, South Africa, Mozambique and Portugal signed a multinational energy treaty. As determined by this agreement, Portugal assisted Mozambique in the distribution of electricity generated from Mozambique’s Cahora Bassa Lake Dam in exchange for a share of the profits and other energy company investments. The jobs and higher quality of living created by this and other public works projects gave momentum to the Namibia-Botswana waterworks building plans supported by South Africa politician Steve Biko during his stay in Botswana during the late 1970s. In turn, the Botswanan and Mozambique governments began developing stronger relations in the hopes of linking the two nations together via an ambitious water transportation system similar to the one developed by Gaddafi in Libya. The only thing in their way was a literal one, the country of Zimbabwe. As a result, that nation, led at the time by Prime Minister Joshua Nkomo, was brought in on the multinational project as well…



The Washington Post, 5/6/1984


The Cincinnati Enquirer, 5/7/1984

“These past few years have brought about massive changes, and like most historic moments that affect entire nations, they have been important but exhausting. The people of South Africa are aware of the responsibilities that this government has laid own before them. They are humble in the face of the challenge of reconciliation, but are determined to move forward with conviction and faith in their fellow countrymen. I have already played my part in moving forward this country that I love, and a such I will not request for any more time in this office.”

– South African President Pieter W. Botha, announcing his decision to not run in the upcoming South African Presidential election, 5/7/1984


The Atlantis, Greek-American newspaper, 5/8/1984

USTINOV OUSTED! Forced Out Of Kremlin With Armed Escort As Tanks Line Moscow’s Streets

– The New York Times, 5/9/1984

…reports are coming in of a changing of the guard that comes with the support of the Soviet military, ironic given Premier Ustinov’s military background, but the shift in loyalties for the Soviet Union’s military leaders most likely stem from Soviet forces facing stronger-than-expected resistance in the war being fought in United Turkestan…

[pic: ]

– CBS News coverage of the May 1984 Soviet Leadership Coup, 5/9/1984

The “New Generation” Coup of May 1984 replaced Ustinov and his fellow hardliners in response to Ustinov’s perceived incompetence during the Power Outage Nuclear Crisis. At the age of 75, Ustinov was rumored to be feeble and possibly senile, and members of the politburo were starting to believe that he was not the symbol of strength for the nation that they thought the man would be.

Aided by initial Anatoly Lukyanov, alongside Boris Gostev, Nikolai Ryzhkov, Valentin Pavlov and other younger members of the political establishment along with the leaders of the Soviet military, Yakovlev and Gorbachev confronted Ustinov and demanded he step down. When he refused, he was arrested. Ustinov officially was “forced into retirement,” but he was effectively placed under house arrest, as the bellicose leader was followed at all times.

Ahead of the announcement of the sudden changing of the guard, the Red Army took the cautious step of lining Moscow’s streets with tanks to intimidate would-be rebels into submission. However, upon learning of Ustinov’s ousting, the response was much more positive, with many locals hoping with would be a positive change of pace. Most however, were ambivalent to the event, and continued on with their day.

The new temporary leader, serving for only a few days, was pro-Vakovlev career politician Vladimir Orlov. On May 15, Yakovlev was named the new premier. He then shocked the military that had brought him to power by announcing a withdrawal of soviet military forces from Turkestan. Yakovlev believed the union could be preserved if the Kremlin made reparations to the wars fought, and believed that “send[ing] our men back to work” in factories and farmlands would revitalize industries and in turn the economy, only for the military and for veterans to view the withdrawal as a betrayal. The high casualty count made it seem like a retreat. Furthermore, the withdrawal – a seemingly greatly victorious outcome for Turkestan – only grew further nationalist and anti-politburo sentiments and public protests. Yakovlev upset both the military and conservative members of the politburo by releasing the USSR’s political prisoners…

– Alexander Korzhakov’s autobiography From Dawn to Dusk: A Cutthroat Career, St. Petersburg Press, 1997

“What do you think about what’s happening?” the official asked.

“What do you mean?”

Ustinov has been overthrown.”

“You’re joking.”

When the official assured him that he was serious, they returned to Latishev’s car, turned on the engine, and began listening to the news on the car radio, which featured the mechanical repetition of the first proclamations of the coup committee. The committee was promising to reduce prices and to give land to city dwellers by
the end of 1985. Listening to the announcements, Latishev became enraged. He knew it was absurd to talk about reducing prices when there were no goods in the stores. [12]

– David Satter’s Age of Delirium: The Decline And Fall of The Soviet Union, Random House, 1996


…recent geopolitical develops failed to give Glenn a last-minute boost strong enough to overpower Gravel’s lead in the delegate count…

The New York Times, 5/15/1984


…A major piece of legislation was approved by Hawaii’s Governor Jean King earlier today, one that will restructure the state health care system into one the is “universal” in nature that covers pre-existing conditions, military-related issues, daycare, dental, and other aspects of medical care... Hawaii joins Vermont, Massachusetts, Oregon, Maine, Minnesota, Rhode Island, and California in an unofficial universal healthcare “pact” of sorts, in that all the aforementioned state governments have passed laws that allow citizens to, for example, not have to worry about health insurance issues if they live in Vermont but are injured in Maine. …This universal health care movement has its origins in the health care system established in Canada under then-Prime Minister Paul Hellyer in 1969. The immediate popular of the system in Canada led to then-Governor Phil Hoff passing a similar healthcare system in Vermont in the early 1970s…

The Los Angeles Times, 5/19/1984


– The Dayton Daily News, 5/22/1984

PUSSER LAUNCHES “PRECAUTIONARY PROBE” INTO PAST 3 TENNESSEE GOVERNORS; Anti-Corruption Crusade Continues In Sweep Of All Federal Offices

– The Knoxville News Sentinel, 5/25/1984

FLASH FLOOD KILLS 9 IN TULSA, OK: Gov. McCaleb’s Swift Response Is Praised

The Los Angeles Times, 5/27/1984


The Chicago Tribune, 6/1/1984


The Washington Post, 6/2/1984

Harley always sought to come to work early, laying out photocopies of the latest version of the bills he was supporting or had yet to form an opinion on in piles across his desk. He kept things less tidy than his father would, but as the Colonel sought to be the cleanest person in the room – to the point of it almost being seen as an obsession with him by some folk – this was not unexpected [13]. So rather than spend his time on something as persnickety as avoiding clutter the younger Sanders man focused on securing finances for Kentucky in order for the commonwealth to be capable of building new roads, hospitals and colleges.


With the Father’s pride, and the Son’s optimism, Harley introduced legislation in 1984 and was working to get other Senators to sign onto it; it was a bill concerning insurance and protection for firefighters that was being supported by Ralph Nader, Senator Michael Rockefeller and several statewide and national unions.



[pic: ]
Above: Senator Harley Sanders meets with his father in Harley’s office in early June 1984.

In June 1984, southern Democrat leader Robert C. Byrd informally accused Harley of “being up to something” on Meet the Press after Colonel Sanders visited Harley’s office, with Byrd claiming the meeting was “possibly” over Harley’s connections to KFC. Harley rebuked the accusations, and announced in a press statement “I have in the past and always will in the future excuse myself from voting on any laws that directly benefit me. I sold my shares in Finger Lickin’ Good Incorporated when I got this job in order to serve my country with a clear and impartial mind – not to be distracted from doing my job by having to address the baseless lies of badgerin’ jack-a-dandies [14].”

– Paul Ozersky’s Colonel Sanders and the American Dream, University of Texas Press, 2012

On June 5, in the final cluster of primaries, Denton once again faced token opposition from Bergland and McCloskey. On the Democratic side, Gravel easily won California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Dakota and West Virginia. The former Vice President’s only opposition came in the form of “favorite son” candidate Jim Florio, who only received 25% of the vote in New Jersey.

– Ted White’s The Making of the President: 1984, Atheneum Publishers, 1985


…the first F5 tornado to hit Wisconsin since the 1958 Colfax Tornado has cost the state millions in damages. Fortunately for many residents, early warning sirens and emergency response procedures implemented during the administrations of former Governor Bronson La Follette and incumbent Governor Paul Soglin assured an orderly organized evacuation of endangered areas and helped rescue dozens of people injured or trapped in the post-twister wreckage…

The Chicago Tribune, 6/8/1984

FIERCE GUNFIGHT AT GOLDEN TEMPLE LEAVES OVER 70 DEAD; Religious Leader Bhindranwale Killed In Operation Blue Star; Sikh Communities Are Outraged

– The Hindustan Times, 6/8/1984

…It seems India’s leaders may have taken note of what Dad said that November, as just a few months later, Indian President Indira Gandhi attempted to negotiate with the controversial Sikh leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale over his stockpiling of weaponry in Amritsar, Punjab, with the support of Pakistani elements. However, these negotiations failed, and the Amritsar complex was besieged by the Indian Army. The intense week-long battle saw several hundred people killed in what some viewed as an attack on the Sikh religion, while others saw it as a defense of India from Pakistani machinations.

Dad’s response to the subcontinent’s problems throughout the years was consistently one of cautious admonishment. After US-Indian relations soured under Lyndon Johnson over his disapproval of India’s military buildup [15], Dad treated both Pakistan and India fairly and equally, without picking a clear favorite. However, when India went to war with Pakistan in December 1971, Dad urged both governments to call a ceasefire; instead, India defeated Pakistan after 13 days of fighting, a blow to Pakistan that contributed to Zia ul-Haq rising to power years later. Even after leaving office, Dad was critical of both nations’ leaders’ inability to be “civil” and “get along with one another;” his response to India developing nuclear weapons in 1974, and Pakistan failing to follow suit, reflected this rebuking of the subcontinent’s recalcitrant ways…

– Margaret Sanders’ The Colonel’s Secret: Eleven Herbs And a Spicy Daughter, StarGroup International, 1997

…“Used Cars” was a Columbia Pictures satirical black comedy film about a pair of rival used car salesmen outside of Las Vegas, Nevada. The idea for the film came from producer John Milius, who pitched it to Gale and Zemeckis while they were writing the script for “1941,” which came out to critical acclaim but mixed box office results in 1981. After years of script rewrites to properly balance the tone of the film – ensuring the jokes worked, the satire was sharp, and the characters had redeeming qualities – the film was finally released in June 1984. It was less successful than 1941, but still received fair reviews and made just enough money for the studio to consider the work successful. With “Used Cars” finally behind him, Zemeckis finally returned his focus to another film that had been “on the back-burner” for a very long while – a science fiction project entitled “Back to the Future”…

– Norman Kagan’s The Cinema of Robert Zemeckis, 2003


– The Argus Leader, South Dakota newspaper, 6/12/1984

June 19, 1984: as part of the Pacific Northwest's efforts to minimize families and businesses leaving the region in the aftermath of the Trojan Tower Nuclear Disaster of the late 1970s, the Portland Trailblazers successfully choose the increasingly-impressive player Michael Jordan in their NBA draft [16]



The Washington Post, 6/23/1984

…US Senator Mario Biaggi of New York, who ran for the Democratic nomination for President this year, today announced that he would not run for President on a third-party ticket, effectively putting an end to weeks of speculation that the maverick conservative Democrat would form a bipartisan “unity ticket” with Republican politician Louis Bafalis, the like-minded former Governor of Florida…

– NBC News, 6/25/1984 broadcast


The Sentence Conflicts the US Sentencing Gaddafi To Life In Prison In June 1983

Tripoli, LIBYA – An international dispute has erupted over the sentencing of ousted dictator Muammar Gaddafi. The former ruler of Libya is to be put to death according to a Libyan court ruling, but he also is to spend the rest of his life behind bars according to a U.S. court ruling. …Libyan representatives claim the Libyan ruling carries more weight as Gaddafi is still a Libyan national… Representatives of each legal team are currently set to meet with members of the UN in "a few weeks or months" to discuss a possible resolution to this problematic issue...

The New York Times, 6/26/1984


…In a startling announcement, the imprisoned ex-leader of Libya claims that he identifies as an American. An obvious ploy, the announcement comes just over two weeks after a Libyan court sentenced Gaddafi to death, which clashes with a US court sentencing him to life in prison…

The Washington Post, 7/12/1984

On July 19, 1984, a record-breaking earthquake was felt across the British Isles, the 5.4 quake’s epicenter being in northern Wales. While nobody was killed, it was nevertheless the largest onshore earthquake to ever occur in the UK. More importantly, the post-quake efforts collaborated between the UK and Ireland highlighted how far the two nations had come since the Troubles of the 1960s and early 1970s, and highlighted the successful pro-peace Foreign Policy endeavors of PMs Foot and Williams...

– Andrew Marr’s Modern Britain: A History, Pan Macmillan Publishers, 2002 edition


[pic: ]
Peter Kyros – 580,370 (3.2%)
Mario Biaggi – 562,234 (3.1%)
Nick Galifianakis – 362,732 (2.0%)
Bill Bradley – 344,595 (1.9%)
Jim Florio – 272,048 (1.5%)
Coya Knutson – 163,229 (0.9%)
Jack Gremillion – 54,409 (0.3%)
All other votes cast – 0.4%

Total Delegates: 4,105
Votes Needed for Nomination: 2,054
Results (President):
Mike Gravel – 2,981 (72.6%)
John Glenn – 767 (18.7%)
James Carter – 213 (5.2%)
Louis Stokes – 88 (2.1%)
Mario Biaggi – 41 (1.0%)
All others – 15 (0.4%)
No. of Ballots: 1


…Prior to the official counting, former candidate Peter Kyros relinquished his delegates to Gravel, but declined Gravel’s offer to be his running mate in order to instead continue his focus on running for the US Senate that same November. Stokes was also a speculated candidate for the number-two spot on the ticket, until he publicly declined the offer on July the 14th...

The party’s progressive platform called for a National Initiative And Referendum Amendment and a vague foreign policy plank that called for a policy of "wiser warfare;" advocated investments into science, medicine and technology (thanks to the Kyros delegation); promised a higher budget for NASA (thanks to the Glenn delegates); and called for separating state school funding from property taxes in all states and territories in order for school funds to be determined by performance and necessity instead of legal loopholes that led to systemic discrimination, in order to lower the wealth gaps among races, between men and woman, and between urban and rural communities (thanks to the Florio delegation). The work of Congresswomen Barbara Jordan and Marcy Kaptur also led to the DNC’s passage that called for “fair and equal treatment of all Americans regardless of race, religion, creed, or orientation,” the last part referring to the BLUTAG community.


GRAVEL PICKS US REP. J. CHARLES JONES FOR RUNNING MATE: Will Be First-Ever Black VP Nominee of A Major Party Ticket

…Joseph Charles Jones, D-NC, was born on August 23, 1937 in South Carolina. Jones was a civil rights leader, attorney and freedom rider in Alabama during the 1950s and 1960s. After passing the North Carolina state bar in 1970, he served as the first Black mayor of Charlotte, N.C., from 1977 to 1981, before winning election to the US House of Representatives in 1980 and again in 1982. A consistently liberal voice in a relatively moderate Southern state, Jones could help Gravel win over Southern voters, minority voters who backed Stokes in the primaries, and quite possibly some more moderate voters as well. …Other names rumored to have been considered for running mate included former Governor Peter Kyros of Maine, U.S. Representative Parren Mitchell of Maryland, U.S. Representative Louis Stokes of Ohio, former Governor Jim Florio of New Jersey, Governor Coya Knutson of Minnesota, former US Secretary of Commerce John Moss of California, and former Governor Bronson LaFollette of Wisconsin…

The New York Times, 7/16/1984


[pic: ]

– Governor Coya Knutson (D-MN), attending the 1984 Democratic National Convention, 7/17/1984

“No More Wars” / “Give Peace A Chance” / “Let The People Decide” / “Power To The People” / “Go Gravel Go”

– Slogans for the Gravel/Jones’84 campaign, first seen on 7/18/1984, the day Gravel and jones were officially nominated (the third day of the 1984 DNC)


Benghazi Air Base, Libya – President Denton visited Libya for the third time since entering office, arriving unannounced on Air Force One to congratulate remaining forces for helping the freedom-loving natives keep the peace. “Y’all are doing an amazing job, and if all goes well, y’all will be back home before you know it!” the President declared…

The New York Post, 7/21/1984


[pic: ]

The strongly anti-communist Armando Valladares of the Conservative Party, age 47, was anti-Castro from the start of the 1950s conflict, and was imprisoned by the Castro regime from 1960 to 1965, during which time he became an accomplished poet. Released from prison after the fall of communism on the island in 1965, he became a diplomat and human rights activist. After serving as Cuba’s Ambassador to the UN under Cuban President Erneido Oliva from 1975 to 1978, Valladares became a member of Cuban parliament by winning a seat in a 1979 special election.

Dr. Emilio Ochoa of the New Authority Party, age 77, was a signer of the 1940 constitution. For being opposed to both Batista and Castro, he was arrested multiple times under the first and exiled under the second. Ochoa served in the nation’s parliament from 1967 to 1981, and previously ran for President in 1972 and 1978.

The controversial Huber Matos of the Stability Party, age 65, was a polarizing figure, as he fought alongside the Castro brothers, Guevara, and Cienfuegos, but then was imprisoned in 1959 for opposing the leaders’ turn to Marxist principles. Matos apologized for his early role as a military leader, and campaigned on his work as a political dissident, activist, writer, editor, publisher, party secretary, two terms in the national assembly, and a stint as Chief of Staff to outgoing President Boitel.


While Huber’s surprising success in the weeks leading up the election worried some, enough voters were discouraged by Ochoa’s advanced age for Valladares to win the July round with over 50% of the voting, meaning that an August 10 runoff was not required for this election…


“That Denton visit to Libya the other day just completely stole the thunder away from the post-DNC poll boost. You’ve seen the polls, it was just a blip. Very clever of Denton, very clever, I’ll give him that.”

– Gravel/Jones supporter Warren Beatty, 7/28/1984 KNN interview

Sergei Latishev had not doubted that all the blood that was spilled in Turkestan was justified in the interests of protecting the Soviet Union from treasonous domestic terrorists, but as he looked for work and a place to live in his hometown of Nikopol in the Ukraine, he became aware of his rightlessness in dealing with bureaucratic organizations. He saw that they were completely independent of him, would not listen to him, and that at the head of every bureaucratic organization was a member of the Communist Party. He began to wonder if, when he fought in Turkestan, he had been defending the patriotic Turkestan people or only the Communist Party leaders of the seceding soviets that made up Turkestan. …He had left part of himself in Turkestan and he believed that he had fought for a worthy cause, but his sacrifice seemed to melt away in the face of the inertia of a system run by the few for the few, with little regard for anyone else. He began to be overwhelmed with the feeling that nothing could ever change in the Soviet Union. [12]

– David Satter’s Age of Delirium: The Decline And Fall of The Soviet Union, Random House, 1996

Freedom of the press exposed the motives behind Soviet actions in Cuba, Indochina, Angola, Ethiopia, Poland, Romania, Turkey and Turkestan during the previous 24 years, primarily concerning the initial lack of popular support for Soviet actions, and the atrocities committed by Soviet soldiers in these countries. This frank openness had a traumatic sort of effect on many former soldiers, making them feel and grow increasingly disillusioned. Many veterans began to discuss amongst themselves the possibility that they had participated in immoral warfare. Questions began to rise: were these wars necessary? Had Soviet soldiers died in vain? And what should be done about all of this?

With the domestic struggle for human rights only growing in strength, and decades of international tension running its course, the country was becoming unmanageable. In July 1984, Yakovlev formed a Committee for the State of Emergency that was given the task of searching for solutions to the issues threatening to liquidate the country. The committee’s official findings were declared “inconclusive,” but behind closed doors, it was understood that the consensus was that the currently outdated and corrupted system needed either to be completely reconstructed, or completely discarded.

– Alexander Korzhakov’s autobiography From Dawn to Dusk: A Cutthroat Career, St. Petersburg Press, 1997


The Washington Post, 7/31/1984

[1] Jackson’s health is a bit better ITTL because he cut down on inner-party activities after losing the Presidential election. Plus, the lack of the USSR shooting down Korean Air Lines Flight 007 or any other plane like in OTL means Jackson pays more attention to any pain in the left side of his chest that day, as in OTL he was likely distracted by the aforementioned OTL international incident, at least contributing marginally to his OTL death from an aortic aneurysm. OTL.
[2] Based on what he said here, with italicized parts being verbatim or near-verbatim, starting at the 2:11 mark:
[3] OTL Inouye quote, found here:
[4] The OTL 2019 equivalent of $34,000,000, according to the inflation calculator on
[5] IOTL, the Colonel actually moved to Canada and lived there from 1965 until his death; he purchased and lived in a bungalow at 1337 Melton Drive in the Lakeview area of Mississauga, Ontario, from 1965 to 1980, according to this: Interestingly, though, in 1957 IOTL, the Colonel thought Canadian cuisine had potential, saying the locals should capitalize on the fish in local lakes and season the food sooner so it can “permeate” the dish more before it is served, but he was overall seemingly disappointed by the food not being very exemplary. However, since he moved there eight years later (again, IOTL), my guess is either he though Canadian cuisine needed his presence, or he came around to the food or found Canadian food that he did enjoy in the end:
[6] Who? This guy:
[7] Glenn said the italicized bit IOTL according to the source given on his wiki page, and he actually won a large chunk of the vote in the Alabama primary IOTL!
[8] At least according to the map found here:
[9] This:
[10] Based on a Gravel line found here:
[11] OTL Quote!
[12] All of these italicized bits are pulled directly from here:
[13] Italicized bits found here: : “Sanders’ nephew, Joe Ledington, says he worked in his uncle’s café as a young boy in the ’50s. ‘He was absolutely the cleanest person,’ added Ledington. ‘It was an obsession with him.’”
[14] “Jack-a-dandy” (noun): a little foppish impertinent fellow
[15] According to this wiki article:
[16] I know even less about professional basketball than I do about professional baseball; GentlemanBiaggi requested this, but since he’s gotten himself banned since then, please let me know if it is too ASB-ish, so that way I can change or delete it.

(I posted this today because I might be too busy tomorrow to post it then)
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Chapter 52: August 1984 - January 1985
Chapter 52: August 1984 – January 1985

“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there”

– Lewis Carroll


[pic: ]
– Colonel Sanders overlooks a preserved field outside of Hong Linh, Vietnam, the site of a bloody 1965 battle between US-allied and Communist forces, during a business-oriented visit, 8/3/1984


…As the 1984 Olympics continue on in Athens – the first Olympic Games held in the Balkans since the first modern Games were held in Athens in 1896 – support for the Greek royal family is at its highest in decades… The King of Greece’s hard-fought battle for the games in 1977 boosted support for the monarchy among the Greek populace at a much-needed time, with Greece suffering from “pockets” of recession during much of the 1970s amidst Greece absorbing Cyprus. Under King Constantine II, Greece has strengthened its connections within the EEC, controversially “Americanizing” the value of the Greek drachma currency, but has allowed Greek businesses to expand into European markets and afford large-scale endeavor – including construction of the Athena Stadium built for these games...

The Atlantis, Greek-American newspaper, 8/9/1984

…With the conclusion of the 1984 Summer Olympics on August 12, white South Africans had once again been reminded of what they were missing out on by maintaining Apartheid, and the prospect of being in the Olympics once the policy was lifted only increased their support for the end of the system…

– Julian Brown’s The Road to Soweto: Resistance & Revolution in Post-Soweto South Africa, Jacana Publishers, 2016


…Former US Commerce Secretary Milton Friedman credits the Negative Income Tax Rebate law passed under President Sanders for the historic drop over the past several years [1], although others point to the Great Society programs of the Lyndon Johnson Presidency lowering the rate considerably during the 1960s as a major factor as well…

– The Wall Street Journal, 8/13/1984


– Gallup poll, 8/14/1984

As Podgorny’s and Yakovlev’s loosening of individual and market freedoms throughout 1982 and in mid-1984 had proven to only empower anti-Soviet activities, KGB leader Vitaly Fedorchuk failed miserably to lead a military coup against Yakovlev on August 17, 1984. While the military leaders had lost the respect of many of their soldiers, even fellow generals and admirals were at odds with one another, as, under Ustinov, competition for promotions had trumped collaboration and trust, which also factored into the Soviet military underperforming in Turkestan.


Amid international tension, Yakovlev also failed to return the nation to détente. Years later, in 1995, Yakovlev would claim that Denton was unwilling to meet with him until stability returned to the Kremlin, as Yakovlev was the USSR’s fourth leader in three years…

– Alexander Korzhakov’s autobiography From Dawn to Dusk: A Cutthroat Career, St. Petersburg Press, 1997

…Denton’s sole opponent in the primaries were two anti-war candidates, both of whom were former Republican U.S. Congressmen from California: Pete McCloskey (who served from 1967 to 1981) and David Bergland (who served from 1979 to 1983). While McCloskey ran to promote “Rockefeller Republican” ideas in his party, Bergland was recruited to run by Senator Ron Paul, who opted to run for a second term in the US Senate amid troublesome approval ratings coming in from the Lone Star state. Neither McCloskey nor Bergland won a single primary, with both of their strongest showings being in New Hampshire, where each won roughly 7% of the primary vote. …The Republican National Convention of 1984 lasted from August 20 to August 23. Denton received over 90% of the convention delegates, with the remaining 10% being split almost evenly between Bergland and McCloskey. As a small collection of anti-war protestors outside the convention floor failed to make a lasting impression on the delegates, Denton was re-nominated without major incident...

– Ted White’s The Making of the President: 1984, Atheneum Publishers, 1985

“On Your Side” / “Control Your Destiny” / “Always On Duty” / "Presidenton"

– Slogans for the Denton/Alexander’84 campaign, first seen 8/22/1984

…By 1984, “food insecurity” had risen from a very minor issue in America to being a national crisis that was being completely ignored by the media due to more exciting events occurring both at home and overseas…

– Jim McGovern, 2009 interview

Called early, as one was not required until five years after last one, South Africa’s first general election to have universal adult suffrage was held on August 25, 1984. With incumbent Botha stepping down, there was no clear frontrunner. F. W. de Klerk of the National Party was tied to unpopular former backers of Apartheid; while Constand Viljoen of the Freedom Front was commended for his role in cooling tensions in the months leading up to the election, he nevertheless had limited support; Zach de Beer of the Democratic Party was uninspiring; Harry Schwarz of the Progressive Party suffered from anti-Semitism; and Helen Suzman of the Democratic Alliance suffered from sexism. Nelson Mandela of the ANC and Steve Biko of the BCM/Inkatha Freedom (People’s) Party, however, were seen as the top contenders.

As de Klerk, Viljoen, de Beer, Schwarz, and Suzman divided the white vote, the race essentially came down to just Biko and Mandela. Soon it became a debate between two generations of activists and two different pools of thought – two groups that nevertheless had both removed Apartheid from South Africa. Biko, at the age of 37, appealed to younger voters, but was considered too controversial and belligerent to many whites. Mandela, on the other hand, convinced enough whites to sign on to his candidacy via reconciliatory rhetoric, but was rejected by remaining radicals for that same rhetoric. The US favored Mandela to Biko, as most radical members of the ANC had shifted to the BCM during the preceding years. After the counting concluded, it was clear that Mandela had been elected South Africa’s first Black chief executive, winning 58% of the vote against Biko’s 30%, and the five other candidates making up the remaining 12%.

Walter Sisulu, a leader of the ANC who, like Mandela, had spent over 20 years in prison for political activism, became the nation’s new Deputy President soon afterward. The new rules gave no term limits to either the President or the Deputy President in order to encourage the incumbent to do a good job in order to win re-election. There was also a new law that allows the people to “recall” the President at any point in their term. Impeachment, requiring three-fourths of the members of parliament agrees to remove one from power, became another option as well.

– Julian Brown’s The Road to Soweto: Resistance & Revolution in Post-Soweto South Africa, Jacana Publishers, 2016

“Rather than impose government regulation and 'overtaxation' onto the economy and the American taxpayer, Denton has utilized the tax code to incentivize economic expansion. At lower tax rates, the economy has flourished, and collections into the US Treasury has actually increased for the first time since Colonel Sanders left the White House.”

– William F. Buckley Jr. on Meet the Press, 8/26/1984


…When the Cuban War began in 1961, the Federal Aviation Administration raised security measures over fears of Communist Cuban terrorists planting bombs on airplanes. Since then, long lines and multiple restrictions at airports have significantly lowered American air travel rates. Fearing a further decline in profits, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and other carriers successfully lobbied for the lifting of discouraging security measurements, citing the lack of major incidents over the last twenty years, which saw American military forces go to war in several nations in Indochina and Africa. “We may just see a return to the golden age of flying,” says the CEO of American Airlines… Denton solved the debate between convenience and safety by increasing funding for airport security programs via the F.A.A. and deregulating the airline industry, allowing airports to hire more employees for checkpoints and desks in order to shorten lines. …Airports are also now purchasing more sophisticated X-ray machine so passenger may no longer have to unpack their belongings before boarding flights...

The Miami Herald, 8/30/1984


– Gallup poll, 9/1/1984

The members of the crowd sang Russian folk songs, recited poetry, and prayed.
The sky was iron gray and it was freezing cold as the bells of the St. Yuri Cathedral announced the victory of independence in the September 1 referendum. The Ukrainian population had voted everywhere for an independent state, officially confirming the decision of the parliament. In Lvov, the vote in favor was 92 percent. In some parts of the Lvov district, the vote for independence reached 99.5 percent. …Thousands of people were packed together in the interior of the church holding candles or kneeling on the stone floor. In the courtyard, thousands more stood in furs and greatcoats in the slowly falling snow. In the crowd were former human rights campaigners as well as the resisters of an earlier generation, partisans who had fought in the woods after the Second World War and, after years in Soviet labor camps, were only now beginning to speak in public about their previous role. [2]

– David Satter’s Age of Delirium: The Decline And Fall of The Soviet Union, Random House, 1996


…with the Soviet economy continuing to worsen, it seems the reformers in the Kremlin have completely lost the ability to influence or even oppress the populations of USSR’s republics…

The New York Post, 9/3/1984

“I would like to make it clear that it completely went against the wishes of Gorbachev and I. But at the time, even the military was losing faith in the system. There was nothing left for us to do in the moment of crisis but to yield to the clamoring masses.”

– Alexander Yakovlev, 1995 interview

SOVIET UNION DISSOLVES!: Provisional Government Assembled In Its Wake In Moscow!


[pic: ]
Above: a map of the new nations born out of the USSR

The New York Times, 9/15/1984

Legally speaking, there was nothing to stopping secession of the soviets of the Baltic and other regions after the September collapse because it is not possible to secede from an entity that no longer exists.

– Alexander Korzhakov’s autobiography From Dawn to Dusk: A Cutthroat Career, St. Petersburg Press, 1997


Communist Flag Removed; New Interim Russia Leader Vlad Orlov Gets Nuclear Controls, Claims Will Begin Dismantling Arsenal “Soon”


[pic: ]
Moscow, former USSR – Alexander Yakovlev, the cerebral trailblazer of the USSR’s retreat from the Cold War and the catalyst for the democratic reforms that have inadvertently ended 67 years of Communist tyranny, told Russians tonight that he was stepping down from power after failing to preserve the union. “I hereby discontinue my activities at the post of General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, declared the 60-year-old politician, the last leader of a totalitarian empire that was undone across the past six years as soviets declared independence and ethnic Russians across the union’s lands demanded an “end of the old ways” and the “start of newer, better ways” amid political turmoil in the Kremlin, the crumbling of the Eastern Bloc, and a military quagmire engulfing Central Asia.

“Yakovlev ending the mad militarization seen under Suslov and Ustinov and advancing the reform of Podgorny only hastened the inevitable pace of the Russian people capitulating their abusive and destructive government,” suggests political commentator William J. Buckley Jr. …

…party leader Vladimir Orlov will serve as the head of a provisional government for Russia proper, once called Russian SFSR, which will now likely be reconstituted into another political composition, though the exact nature of Russia’s new government remains to be seen…

The Washington Post, 9/16/1984

HOST: “You seein’ this? Apparently the Soviet Union’s just up and freakin’ collapsed!”

GUEST 1: “Whoa, this is unreal.”

HOST: “I know, that was my reaction, too. I mean, wow, it’s crazy.”

GUEST 2: “Eh, the signs were there. Been there for years in fact.”

GUEST 1: “What signs?”

GUEST 2: “The Sino-Soviet split, repeated failures to expand communism to other areas, and all those ethnic groups around Russia’s, like, edges, all demanding more autonomy, especially over the Aktar Disaster. Moscow’s handling of that fiasco really struck a nerve with the locals, it seems. You also had the Russian people being upset over the food shortages – breadlines, toilet paper running out – stuff like that was commonplace. Every day, I mean, heck – a whole bunch of ’em got slaughtered last year when the government ran out of cigarettes, for crying out loud! You remember that? It was inevitable!”

HOST: “Yeah, they also had all that political instability. Just think of how many leaders they’ve gone through recently. Suslov, he died in ’82. Then that bald guy, Podgorny, ran things until he died about a year later in ’83. Then Ustinov takes over but gets overthrown in ’84. Then finally they had that other bald guy, Orlov, then Yakovlev, with the glasses and the wild hair on the sides, and now he’s been replaced with, uh, Orlov again, as a placeholder of sorts, right?”

GUEST 1: “Well I for one am just glad it’s finally over – the Cold War’s kept everyone on edge for, let’s see, 40 years or so. About time it came to an end!”

– WRKO AM 680 casual talk radio, 9/17/1984 broadcast


– Gallup poll, 9/22/1984


– The New York Post, 9/23/1984


President Cites Yakovlev And Gorbachev’s “History-Making” Roles

The Washington Post, 9/28/1984


The San Francisco Chronicle, 9/30/1984

The collapse of the USSR put the “Mir” Space Station project on hold. Meanwhile, the British space agency UKSA began working with us on our Skylab Space Station. Soon after, talks of a possible international space station, or, alternately, a space program for the UN, began to make their rounds among the international community…

– NASA scientist Farouk El-Baz’s Up and Away: How The Cold War Competition Pushed Us Into The Stars, MacFarland & Company, 1994


In a series of statements issued after a two-day meeting at a government retreat, leaders of the Yugoslavia-style Central Asia confederation have declared a new “commonwealth of independent states” with the former soviet republics of Tajikistan, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Belarus, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia. The declaration puts into place “a new coordinated body of defense” against any and all hostile elements and to create stability for a region still reeling from the collapse of the Soviet Union...

The New York Times, 10/4/1984

On October 5, the 1984 American League Championship Series saw the East Division Kentucky Colonels go up against the West Division San Diego Padres. The Colonels underperformed unexpectedly, and lost 4-to-3. That night, amidst the rowdy victory celebrations across the city of San Diego, an unidentified group of Padres fans – likely inebriated by both booze and euphoric elation – vandalized a local KFC outlet that featured a life-size statue of the Colonel himself. After damaging a window, the assailants removed the Colonel statue from its base and drove away with it. The left hand of the statue was found on a riverbank roughly 20 miles northeast of the city the next morning, alongside tire tracks, spilled beer cups, and a Padres ball cap. Most believe the statue was pushed into the river and floated away from the area during the night.…

– Paul Ozersky’s Colonel Sanders and the American Dream, University of Texas Press, 2012

“Somethin’s not right here. For the last fifteen years or so we’ve lost every game of the series by at least 5 runs, and we’ve only finished above .500 once since 1985 or so. I’m tellin’ ya, it’s like we’re f@#kin’ cursed or somethin’!”

– Tony Gwynn of the San Diego Padres, 1999

…all attempts to locate the allegedly cursed Colonel statue have failed, leading to Padres fans creating a wide multitude of theories and speculations concerning how “The Colonel Curse” can be lifted…

– Paul Ozersky’s Colonel Sanders and the American Dream, University of Texas Press, 2012


[pic: ]
– Colonel Sanders attending the 1984 Chicken Dinner Peace Summit in Jerusalem, 10/6/1984

The first of two Presidential debates was held on Tuesday, the 9th of October. Despite the collapse of the USSR being on everyone’s minds, moderator Barbara Walter firmly stuck to the previously-determined topics, all of which focused on domestic policy. While Denton repeatedly shifted focus to matters overseas, Gravel took the opportunity to express his progressive ideas and proposals.

The most noteworthy parts of the debate were as follows:

GRAVEL: “Does anyone here think that it is an accident that the wealthy are no longer paying their fair share? The only way they are going to is to reverse the tax policies of the past four years or to wipe out the income tax, because it is corrupting our society. If we need a tax, we need a retail sales tax.” [3]

DENTON: “We're in a ball game at a certain juncture, at this point, where we have to continue efforts in bipartisanship in looking at not only domestic policy but also foreign policy, be we conservatives or liberals, or Democrats or Republicans, lest we allow our nation to erode away into nothingness, like a rather paralyzed giant, one ripe to fall off the tree like an over-ripe plum, like what has happened to the USSR.” [4]

GRAVEL: “I’m a political maverick, and while I am forever grateful to the Democrats for their support in this race and in my past endeavors and accomplishments, let me remind the audience here that I worked with Republicans during my time in the Senate, and let me be clear that as President I would not be an enemy to the Republicans, because I care more about getting things done and doing what’s right than I do about any sense of blind partisan loyalty.”

DENTON: “With the woes of the ’78 crash behind us, we have been in a process of attaining a great degree of luxury, degrees of luxury which distract us from the dangers of vices. As we are consumed with such matters as cordless phones and eight-track tapes and the most popular automobiles and so forth, we are becoming quite sophisticated with respect to non-necessities. This has happened to nations in the past, and it is my belief that man can cope with adversity, and that his most difficult problem in the forthcoming years will be coping with prosperity.[4]

GRAVEL: “America is a representative government, not a direct democracy, but it can be if we give the American people the ability to introduce law proposals at the federal level. We need to implement a Constitutional Amendment that is far more important than the Balanced Budget Amendment set to go to the state legislators fairly soon. We need a Direct Democracy Amendment to make America’s voices heard through a two-step Power Process: the ability to introduce an initiative, and then the ability to vote on it, via a referendum, something the Europeans call a plebiscite. Some states have this sort of this, but that’s just it, it’s only at the state and local level. And most of the time, it is just a referendum a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on content decided by legislators, not directly by the people themselves. If we are to truly be a democracy, then the people must be able to bypass the slow pace of congress and implement the laws and freedoms that they want implemented at the federal level.” [5]

DENTON: “I know what it is like to be in a hopeless situation. I know how it feels when it feels you’ve been dealt a bad hand. I respect Mike for his service in the Armed Forces, but while he was serving in Alaska’s state congress, I was being tortured and imprisoned during the final years of the Cuba War, and despite everything, I held onto my faith in my God and my belief in this country. And I still have faith in the opportunities that this country has to offer anybody willing to show up and work hard for them.”

Additionally, Gravel called for a change in voter registration so that a citizen who registers to vote is registered for life, and does not have to re-register when they move. The former Vice President also made the claim that Denton was “dangerously infringing on the rights of the people” by supporting legislation that attacked “entertainment mediums depicting sexual promiscuity,” spent millions of dollars in an effort to “enforce sexual restraint” onto the nation’s youth (a.k.a., the controversial “Chastity Bill”) [6], and raised the federal drinking age to 22, which Gravel confessed “has made even more young Americans register as Democrats.” Gravel was clearly the favorite of young people, both in the audience and nationally, for openly opposing Denton’s handling of youth crime and “the recreadrug epidemic,” causing Democratic US Senator Mario Biaggi of New York to finally openly endorse the incumbent Republican President on October 10.

Initial post-debate polls showed that Gravel had significantly narrowed the gap between the two men, but alas, Gravel still trailed the President by roughly five points.

– Theodore H. White’s The Making of the President: 1984, Atheneum Publishers, 1985


– Gallup poll, 10/10/1984


…The Department of Veterans’ Affairs will provide healthcare services and assistance in regards to education, insurance, and financial concerns, along with other veteran needs…

The Washington Post, 10/11/1984


The Chicago Tribune, 10/14/1984

ALEXANDER: “…And that’s why same-sex relationships should not be encouraged.”

MODERATOR (Sander Vanocur): “Congressman Jones, your rebuttal?”

JONES: “Thank you. Lamar, you have made many remarks in the past that are libertarian in nature [7]. But isn’t it anti-libertarian and a violation of one’s right to privacy to force fellow Americans to behave exactly how someone else might behind closed doors? And does it not contrast with your anti-regulations rhetoric to try to regulate what goes on in the privacy of one’s own home?”


MODERATOR: “Mr. Vice President, last year you led the call for organized voluntary prayer in public schools, an action defended by a recent bill passed by congress after the Supreme Court declined to hear a case against it. Do you think this bill is an infringement on others who do not wish religion to enter school any more than others do not wish evolution and science be mentioned in church?”

ALEXANDER: “No, because ensuring the First Amendment right to free speech for someone is not the same as removing said right from someone else. The bill promotes keeping God in the public sphere, but it does not demand allegiance to any specific God, far from it. It protects freedom of religion and that’s that.”


JONES: “I agree with Lamar over here that prayer is important, but I think it is more important that our children are taught to do more than to pray at church and provide lip service. They should feel compelled to do good deeds outside of church, in their communities, to do more than to just do what we tell them to do.”


JONES: “We need to ensure every child in this country has access to learn. Greater access to books, through bookmobiles, better funding for public libraries and school libraries, and the establishing of more bookstores.”

ALEXANDER: “And how are you possibly going to regulate such a thing?”


ALEXANDER: “In fact, Denton and I are working on a possible Constitutional Amendment that would ban the desecration of the American flag. That’s the destruction of the flag, mainly, not patriotically wearing the flag – or at least not wearing it in a respectful manner, that is.”

JONES: “And how are you possibly going to regulate such a thing?”


JONES: “I applaud the efforts of several states that are passing state universal health care laws and forming pacts together so someone injured in one state will not have to worry about their out-of-state insurance. We need to expand this idea to all fifty states.”

MODERATOR: “Mr. Vice President, I see you raised your hand, you wish to rebuttal?”

ALEXANDER: “Yes. I have the responsibility to reveal to this audience that this public option, this ‘all-inclusive’ idea would cost American voters large tax hikes that they would never agree to, as a government cannot possibly afford such a massive medical payments coverage program without substantially raising taxes overall. I support additional church-based Health Care Networks instead [7]. Additionally, we should also really crack down on medical insurance fraud and allow certain groups such as religious groups and tribal Indians to opt out of any federal healthcare laws, period.”


ALEXANDER: “We should allow workers to manage their own retirement funds, and allow for individual security accounts [7].”


ALEXANDER: “Congressman Jones, we won’t have to regulate recreadrug use once – I mean if – if we ban recreadrug use altogether.”


ALEXANDER: “On this, I actually agree with Congressman Jones – we should expand health insurance programs for children, but to expand healthcare overall is too much. We should instead continue doing what Denton and I and the rest of the good people in the White House today are doing – cutting taxes and spending to stimulate market growth.”


JONES: “Let me finally just say this – we need to have mutual respect for each other, for our fellow Americans, and for people in all other countries because the American government never goes to war with the people, but with the other governments. This is important to remember, because under a Gravel Administration, Gravel will fight for democracy to flourish around the world – and the mighty pen will be his sword.”

– Transcript snippets of the Alexander-Jones debate, the US’s first-ever (televised) Vice Presidential debate, Tuesday 10/16/1984


[pic: ]

– In a demonstration of placing personal friendship above partisan politics, former US President Colonel Sanders, a “compassionate conservative” Republican, campaigns for his longtime friend and political ally, US Senator Lawrence Wetherby, a moderate Democrat; here, he meets with locals at an antique store in Paducah, KY to stump for Wetherby’s re-election bid (but, noticeably, without ever truly criticizing Wetherby’s GOP opponent, or even mentioning him unless The Colonel is directly asked about him), 10/17/1984


As USSR Deflates, East Berlin's Communist Regime Bows To International Pressure And Years Of Internal Unrest!

…while West Germany’s economy is very prosperous, the same could not be said for the thousands trapped behind the Berlin Wall, held hostage by their government until now… It has been suggested that, under the right leadership, Germany could even capitalize on this stunning event’s momentum to become a united country once again, though its leaders would likely try to stay away from inviting the economic recession and turmoil to which Russia has succumbed…

– The Washington Post, 10/20/1984

“The people of West Germany have stood up to tyranny despite not having any weapons, let alone any nuclear weapons. If anything, the true weapon they wielded was their bravery and their resolve to stand firm and oppose their oppressors.”

– Mike Gravel, 10/21/1984 stump speech

The second Presidential debate was held on Tuesday, the 21st of October, and moderated by Edwin Newman, with Georgie Anne Geyer, Morton Kondracke and Marvin Kalb as panelists.

Gravel crumbled in this second debate, as it focused entirely on foreign policy. Denton claimed repeatedly that Gravel had poor judgement when it came to “what’s necessary to protect and defend this nation.” To drive home the point that Gravel was at times at odds with even pro-détente policies, Denton brought up the rhetoric of Gravel’s 1968 presidential run, in which the then-US Congressman asserted in a stump speech that the historic US-Soviet arms reduction treaty of 1968 was “an organizing of the rules of war and death,” [8] despite many analysts recently praising it as a contributing factor in the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Gravel countered with “It is immoral and arrogant to tell others how to run their country. Already, this government is trying to undermine the efforts of Gorbachev and Yakovlev to get the Russian people out of poverty but opposing the Interim Russian Government’s Ambassador at the UN. We shouldn’t ever kick a country when it’s down. …It’s their country, not ours.” He later swore that “America will have no further enemies if we treat the Russians – if we treat everyone, in fact – if even treat them as equals, as fellow human beings.” [9]

Later on, Gravel ended an anti-war rant by turning to President Denton and asking him, “Who are you going to tell us to be afraid of now, now that the Soviet Union is gone?” Denton ignored the question as the audience let out a combination of cheers and jeers. While praised years later, the statement at the time was considered petty and unprofessional, as it seemed Gravel was accusing the President of fearmongering at a time when his approval ratings were at an all-time high.

In his defense, Gravel did have his moments once the panelists brought up the situations in Libya and Iran, along with American support for anti-socialist groups in Nicaragua. “How do these wars benefit the U.S. if it leads to our boys in uniform coming back in caskets? …If I was President, I would make it illegal for American troops to occupy any foreign power without congressional support and just cause, no matter how hostile.”

In the end, though, Denton successfully presented himself as a wise and strong leader on the world stage, almost taking personal credit for the end of the Cold War – but stopping himself short by crediting “America’s armed forces and diplomats” for doing so – and presented Gravel as an out-of-touch peacenik with ideas that had not been updated in 16 years.

Days later, in the response to William F. Buckley’s claims that a Gravel Presidency would prove to be “an incompetent mess,” Gravel’84 supporter Shirley MacLaine infamously told a reporter and TV cameraman “I’d rather follow an incompetent hero than a competent villain,” a gaffe that was soon picked up by the Denton campaign, and not exactly to Gravel’s advantage.

– Theodore H. White’s The Making of the President: 1984, Atheneum Publishers, 1985


– Gallup poll, 10/22/1984

When Indian President Indira Gandhi was assassinated on October 31, 1984 by her own Sikh security guards to avenge the Amritsar Siege that killed dozens of Sikhs several months earlier, President Denton offered his condolences but kept his mind on his re-election bid. Former President Mondale also voiced his sympathies but otherwise remained focused on his Presidential library’s recent renovations. Former President Colonel Sanders, however, was saddened by the loss of life, while privately (and, years later, quite controversially), angrily fumed “She shouldn’t have brought this upon herself, but she did – the chickens came home to roost for her – and now, if I was a gamblin’ man, I’d bet things will only get worse for them Sikh folks.” Indeed, the Indian government responded to the assassination with a wave of anti-Sikh persecution in India, affecting thousands.

Pakistani President Zia ul-Haq considered taking the moment of chaos to “liberate” Jammu and Kashmir from India as Pakistan’s ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) believed that the country was in enough disarray to be taken. India’s new President, Rajiv Gandhi, suspected as much, and mobilized Army forces to indicate that an invasion would be met with a swift counter-invasion. Not wanting a repeat of the 1971 India-Pakistan War, in which Pakistan failed to overcome India’s superior firepower, Zia ul-Haq put the “liberation plans” for Kashmir on hold. Metaphorically-speaking, he put the option down, but did not remove it from the table.

Concurrently, seeing the UN as being partially at fault for negotiating a stalemate in 1965 that ultimately failed to resolve the conflict in Kashmir, and rightfully believing that Zia ul-Haq was “just buckin’ to try an’ pull something now,” Colonel Sanders contacted the multinational Chicken Dinner Jerusalem Summit Planning Organization, and the heads of state of several relevant Middle Eastern nations. The contacts concerned the feasibility of both India and Pakistan officials being invited to the 1985 Summit in order to encourage a peaceful solution to the recurring conflicts over Kashmir. The suggestion was encouraged by some international leaders, but initially received lukewarm responses from most Indian, Pakistani, and Middle Eastern leaders...

– David Tal’s US Strategic Arms Policy in the Cold War: Negotiation & Confrontation, Routledge, 2017


The Washington Times, 10/31/1984


…The U.S. Ambassador to Nicaragua Bert Nettles agrees with international observer groups such as the E.E.C. and several religious organizations that claim the yesterday’s Presidential Election in Nicaragua was a “free and fair” execution of the democratic process... …With the collapse of the USSR, some pundits believed that incumbent President Daniel Ortega of the socialist Sandinista National Liberation Front would lose to the Democratic Conservative party’s nominee, Clemente Guido Chavez. Instead, Ortega won the election with 61.7% of the vote…

– The Washington Post, 11/5/1984


…It seems yesterday’s re-election of a socialist President in the diminutive nation of Nicaragua has had minimal to no effect on the numbers…

– Gallup poll, 11/5/1984

“As more troops return home from Iran, reuniting American heroes with their families and loved ones, President Denton’s approval ratings continue to rise.”

– CBS News, 11/6/1984

“F@#k. I am going to lose badly tonight, aren’t I?”

– Mike Gravel, to campaign worker Warren Beatty, upon seeing the latest Presidential poll numbers, 11/6/1984


[pic: ]
…California, Wisconsin, Maine, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Delaware, Illinois, and New York all had a margin of victory of less than 5%... The electorally bulky state of California was too narrow to determine until 7:13 AM the next day – roughly eight hours after Denton surpassed the 270 threshold – with Denton winning it by a margin of 1.15%...



[pic: ]
– Mike Gravel on Election Night '84

United States Senate election results, 1984

Date: November 6, 1984
Seats: 35 of 100
Seats needed for majority: 51
Senate majority leader: Howard Baker (R-TN)
Senate minority leader: Robert Byrd (D-WV)
Seats before election: 59 (R), 40 (D), 1 (I)
Seats after election: 58 (R), 41 (D), 1 (I)
Seat change: R v 1, D ^ 1, I - 1

Full List:
Alabama: Albert Lee Smith Jr. (R) over Howell Heflin (D); incumbent John Sparkman (D) retired
Alabama (special): incumbent appointee William Jackson “Jack” Edwards (R) over Richard Shelby (D)
Alaska: incumbent Hazel P. Heath (R) over Steve Cowper (D) and William D. “Bill” Overstreet (Independent)
Arkansas: incumbent Jim Guy Tucker (D) over Ed Bethune (R)
Colorado: incumbent William L. Armstrong (R) over Nancy E. Dick (D)
Delaware: Joe Biden (D) over incumbent J. Caleb Boggs (R)
Georgia: incumbent Sam Nunn (D) over Jon M. Hicks (R)
Idaho: incumbent George V. Hansen (R) over Peter M. Busch (D)
Idaho (special): incumbent appointee Bethine Clark Church (D) over Donald Billings (R)
Illinois: Paul Simon (D) over Paul Findley (R); incumbent Charles Percy (R) retired
Iowa: incumbent Roger Jespen (R) over Tom Harkin (D)
Kansas: incumbent Nancy Landon Kassebaum (R) over James R. Maher (D)
Kentucky: incumbent Lawrence W. Wetherby (D) over Harold Dallas “Hal” Rogers (R)
Louisiana: Clyde Cecil Holloway (R) over Jerry Huckaby (D); incumbent Jack P. F. Gremillion Sr. (D) retired to unsuccessfully run for President
Maine: Peter Kyros (D) over incumbent William Cohen (R)
Massachusetts: incumbent Ed Brooke (R) over James Shannon (D)
Michigan: Jack R. Lousma (R) over Donald J. Albosta (D); incumbent Robert Griffin (R) retired
Minnesota: incumbent appointee Mark Dayton (D) over Tom Hagedorn (R)
Mississippi: incumbent James H. Meredith (R) over Maurice Dantin (D)
Montana: incumbent Larry Williams (R) over John Driscoll (D)
Nebraska: incumbent Orrin Hatch (R) over J. James Exon (D)
New Hampshire: Endicott Peabody (D) over incumbent Hugh Gregg (R)
New Jersey: incumbent Mary V. Mochary (R) over Alexander J. Menza (D)
New Mexico: incumbent Roberto Mondragon (D) over Pete Domenici (R)
North Carolina: incumbent Terry Sanford (D) over Jesse Helms (R)
Oklahoma: incumbent Bud Wilkinson (R) over David Boren (D)
Oregon: incumbent Mark Hatfield (R) over Mary Wendy Roberts (D)
Rhode Island: incumbent Claiborne Pell (D) over Barbara Leonard (R)
South Carolina: incumbent Strom Thurmond (R) over Melvin Purvis Jr. (D)
South Dakota: incumbent Larry Pressler (R) over George V. Cunningham (D)
Tennessee: incumbent Howard Baker (R) over Jane Eskind (D) and Ed McAteer (Salvation)
Texas: incumbent Ron Paul (R) over Sam Johnson (D) and Silvestre “Silver” Reyes (La Raza Unida)
Virginia: incumbent Richard Dudley Obenshain (R) over Edythe C. Harrison (D)
West Virginia: John Raese (R) over Jay Rockefeller (D); incumbent Jennings Randolph (D) retired
Wyoming: incumbent Gale W. McGee (D) over Gordon H. Barrows (R)


Biden decided to run for the US Senate again because he was aware that he was not relevant on the national level even among Democratic politicians; according to his son Hunter, “Even some of his fellow Governors couldn’t remember who he was.” Biden considered a run for the Senate, a body closer to more nationwide issues, would be an easier undertaking than facing off against the candidates running in the crowded Democratic primaries. Additionally, incumbent Senator J. Caleb Boggs was now 75, and considered vulnerable due to recent health scares and his record of missed votes. Finally, Biden’s wife, Neilia Hunter, did not think their family was “ready” for the White House. With five children – Beau, b. 1969; Hunter, b. 1970; Naomi, b. 1971; Catherine, b. 1973; and Mary, b. 1975 – and their youngest suffering from numerous health issues, Neilia believed that a run for the Senate would place considerably less pressure and stress on the family than would a Presidential run “at that point in time,” according to Hunter Biden, “but if things got better, Ma thought, then Dad could run ’88 or ’92.”


United States House of Representatives results, 1984

Date: November 6, 1984
Seats: All 435
Seats needed for majority: 218
New House majority leader: Robert H. Michel (R-IL)
New House minority leader: Hale Boggs (D-LA)
Last election: 248 (R), 187 (D)
Seats won: 254 (R), 181 (D)
Seat change: R ^ 6, D v 6


Another notable Democratic loss in the South was that of Victoria Gray Adams, Democratic Representative from Mississippi since 1977. The African-American female politician called for people to “vote, vote, vote [their] way out of poverty,” and as such was an early supporter of Mike Gravel and his “direct democracy” National Initiative proposal. She lost her seat during the Denton Wave of ’84 by a four-percent margin...


In Texas, former state representative Democrat Sarah Weddington lost her bid for a third term. A member of the US Congress since 1981, Weddington was an openly progressive and feminist mother of two who was both a fierce critic of President Denton in a pro-Denton state, and an early advocate of legalizing abortion in all fifty states despite hailing from a strongly anti-abortion state. Her loss was considered tragic due to her being labeled a rising star in the progressive wing of the party, with there even being rumors of her planning to run for Governor in 1986; those plans, if even true, were dashed in light of her defeat. Weddington went on to became a more outspoken advocate for legalizing abortion in all 50 states in the late 1980s and early 1990s culminating in...

– Gary C. Jacobson’s The Power and the Politics of Congressional Elections, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2015

United States Governor election results, 1984

Date: November 6, 1984
Number of state gubernatorial elections held: 12
Seats before: 28 (D), 20 (R), 1 (P), 1 (I)
Seats after: 26 (D), 22 (R), 1 (P), 1 (I)
Seat change: D v 2, R ^ 2, I - 1, P - 1

Full list:
Arkansas: incumbent Orval Faubus (D) over Elwood A. “Woody” Freeman (R)
Delaware: Michael Castle (R) over William J. Quillen (D); incumbent Joseph Biden (D) was term-limited
Indiana: incumbent Dan Quayle (R) over Richard Gordon Hatcher (D)
Missouri: Betty Cooper Hearnes (D) over Gene McNary (R) and Ken Rothman (Independent); incumbent Bill Bradley (D) was term-limited
Montana: Dorothy Bradley (D) over Pat M. Goodover (R) and incumbent Martin J. “Red” Beckman (Independent after losing re-nomination to Bradley)
New Hampshire: Calvin Warburton (“Dove” R) over Chris Spirou (D); incumbent Walter Rutherford Peterson Jr. (“Hawk” R) lost re-nomination
North Carolina: Elizabeth Gardner (R) over Rufus L. Edmisten (D); incumbent Jim Hunt (D) was term-limited
North Dakota: incumbent Ruth Meiers (D) over Anna Bourgois (R)
Utah: Wayne Owens (D) over incumbent Vernon Bradford Romney (R)
Vermont: incumbent Richard A. Snelling (R) over Madeleine M. Kunin (D), and Peter Diamondstone (Liberty Union)
Washington: incumbent Daniel J. Evans (R) over Booth Gardner (D)
West Virginia: Cecil Underwood (R) over Clyde M. See Jr. (D); incumbent Jay Rockefeller (D) retired



…The humanitarian former MLB right fielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates served as Goodwill Ambassador under Mondale, and was the Chairman of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports from 1981 to 1983… Clemente, running on the Popular Democratic ticket (the Commonwealth’s version of the Democratic Party), defeated incumbent Carlos Romero (NP), who was running for a second term, by a five-percent margin…

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 11/6/1984

…As such, instead of forming a Presidential ticket, the Green Party worked to secure seats on city councils and state legislatures, elected either directly as Green nominees or with party endorsement/fusion tickets, such as in NYC, where, for example, two Green nominees became city aldermen...


Bernhard “Bernie” Goetz
(b. 11/7/1947 in Queens, NYC, NY)… [snip] …Goetz was raised in upstate New York, where his father ran a dairy farm and a bookbinding business. At the age of twelve, Goetz was sent to Switzerland for boarding school, and returned to the United States in 1965 for college, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and another in nuclear engineering from NYU. By this time, his family had moved to Florida, and so Goetz began working at his father’s new residential development business there in 1969. In November 1984, Goetz moved to Denver, Colorado for “a change of scenery,” soon after the “bitter” conclusion of a romantic relationship. According to some historians, Goetz also moved to Colorado to “get away from the high number of Hispanics in Florida and the higher number of non-whites in New York City.” Goetz used his savings to invest in a local hardware store; he took over the business and made it his own “Bernie’s Bolts And Stuff” by mid-1987, and soon after began to use business connections and a loan borrowed from his father to expand into residential housing in Denver…



Premiered: December 1, 1984
Genre(s): war-action-drama
Directed by: Edward Zwick
Written by: Michael Herr, Bo Gritz, Gustav Hasford

Robert Vaughn as William Westmoreland
Steve McQueen as Creighton Abrams
Dale Alan Dye Jr. as George Scratchley Brown
Leonard Nimoy as Che Guevara
Nestor Serrano as Camilo Cienfuegos
James Woods as Fred Wayand
Caitlyn Jenner (billed at the time as Bruce Jenner) as Bruce Palmer Jr.
Don Patrick Harvey as Charles Whitmore
See Full List Here

The key events of the Cuba War and the Indochinese Wars of the 1960s are told from the eyes of the pivotal American military personnel involved in them.

While some critics called the film “blatant propaganda,” most celebrated its portrayal of both the drama of military leaders with opposing views and ideas and the intensity of the on-the-ground battles. Premiering at a time when the US was exiting foreign disputes in Libya and Iran, the film was a fairly decent hit with audiences. The film’s profits almost doubled its budget, and it quickly gained a large cult following.

Trivia Facts:
1) This was McQueen’s final film role, succumbing to pleural mesothelioma roughly two months before the film’s release. [10]
2) This was the film many claim launched the acting career of Caitlyn Jenner, billed at the time as Bruce Jenner; the thespian would act in several major films in the 1980s and 1990s. Jenner is the only person ever to win both an Oscar for Best Actor and an Oscar for Best Actress... _Overseers


…the state lawmakers involved in new official state investigations include state representative Robert J. Fisher (R), accused of accepting a bribe to oppose a state bill in 1980; state representative Emmitt Ford (D), accused of some undisclosed form of fraud; and state representative Tommy Burentt (D), accussed of tax evasion…

The Chattanooga Times Free Press, 12/3/1984


…Senate leader Howard Baker and House Speaker Michel lead a party looking forward to another two years of political domination in D.C., with President Denton meeting with prominent House and Senate members in recent weeks to discuss legislation proposals for the 99th (1985-1987) congress…

– The Washington Post, 12/10/1984

Janice R. Fine was eight years old when the Ms. Arkansas Scandal broke out. She thought back to how her parents reacted to the revelations, causing her mind to think back to how her mother, before she lost her to cancer, and to her father, before he lost himself after losing the love of his life to cancer. Returning to her tiny workspace, Janice sank into her chair, discouraged by what felt like her ten-millionth phone call of the day. Another attempt to confront an alleged pervert through court procedural justice had ended in failure, the judge ruling the evidence was too “she said-he said” in nature. She thought of going outside despite the cold to light a cig, or sneaking in a sip of scotch before the lunch break. Any little thing to distract her from the fearful buzzing voice in the back of her mind suggesting to her that the naysayers were right, that she truly was wasting her time here in D.C.

Born in mid-November 1961, Janice, the 23-year-old daughter of a G. I. Bill-using WWII veteran, who was originally from Long Island, but later based in Brooklyn, had graduated from law school just the year before. [snip] Janice got her start working against redlining in the late 1970s and early 1980s, organizing and mobilizing black-majority areas in NYC. She beamed with pride over her contributions to the cause when Governor Cuomo passed a law making it so when banks merge, they have to disclose all information, allowing studiers to access data to prove violations. From this, she shifted back to more feminist-based causes, landing a job at a D.C. law firm.

Janice also dabbled lightly in politics from time to time. However, apart from being a face in the crowd at several rallies against Governor-turned-Senator Mario Biaggi and several other rallies for NYC Mayor Carol Bellamy, she had never been a prominent player.

Then, on that fateful December morning, a woman entered the law firm requesting she become a client. The woman had what Janice would call “some major beef” with a high-ranking member of the Denton White House. Unfortunately, nobody believed the woman’s claims but Janice. Now, she could have let the buzzing voice in the back of her head tell her to not pursue the claims, to assume the woman was an attention-seeking liar. But how would that make her any better than the enablers of the perverts Janice was just bucking to take down?

Janice’s decision to run after the woman, get her phone number, and promise her that she would look into the matter was in of itself a simple task, but, in larger context, it was the spark that began one of the biggest and most defining events of the 1980s.

– Andrew Boyd and D. O. Mitchell’s Glorious Chaos: A Guide for The Revolutionary in You, Sparkstarters Publications, 2013

DMITRIY USTINOV IS DEAD; Ousted Ani-Reform USSR Leader Was 76

…reportedly having contracted pneumonia shortly after being overthrown earlier this year, he was granted emergency surgery to correct an aneurysm in his aortic valve weeks ago, only for him to die from cardiac arrest. At the time of his surgery, his liver and kidney were reportedly deteriorating…

The New York Times, 12/24/1984

The perceived victory of United Turkestan in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet stranglehold on them gave rise to similar calls for independence in other, even less populous ethnic regions within Russia proper. Bashkortostan, a region just to the northwest of Kazakhstan, had been the victim of Red Tanks plowing through on their way to Turkestan; in December 1984, pro-independence rallies began to sprout up in earnest. This contrasted with the rhetoric that came from the Buddhist region of Kalmykia, which favored peaceful measures to obtain further autonomy if not full independence. Calls for North Ossetia to become united with Georgia’s South Ossetia region began to be heard around this time as well. Before the year was out, the loudest people of the regions of Tuva, Dagestan, Chechnya, Ingushetia, and Karelia were mirroring “the voices of Turkestan.”

At the time, it looked as if all of these efforts could feasibly succeed as “Russia proper” was in complete shambles, still attempting to fix themselves and re-establish a stable and popular government. However, the secession efforts had many obstacles in their ways. First off, many of these regions had low populations, low military weaponry or military experience, little diplomatic relations or even immediate recognition, and poor geographic locations. Most importantly, though, was the lack of majority support in many of these regions, where a large chunk of the populations were of Russian descent or spoke the Russian language. Not only were nearly all of these ethnic/linguistically Russian citizens opposed to the further splintering of the former USSR, but it seems that even large slices of the respective “local” ethnic groups of each region were opposed to secession, creating internal debates over how to proceed as the new year – and the new era of Russian history – began…

– Ivan Ivanovich Zassoursky’s After 1984: The Lands and Would-Be Lands of The Post-Soviet Era, 1985-2005, Milton Park Publishers, 2016

Deng Xiaoping was shocked, but not saddened, by the collapse of the Soviet Union. He was convinced in the end that the USSR fell because they refused to open up their markets to the US and Western Europe. Concurrently, the Chinese Communist Party members had mixed emotions overall as national leaders weighed the positive and negative consequences of their geopolitical frenemy. On the one hand, some such as Bo Yibo saw it as a warning of what could happen in China if they did not reform; Russia’s downfall also meant that China would now be the number-one go-to nation for aspiring communist and socialist groups and individuals, which had good and bad aspects on its own. On the other hand, the Chinese military believed the collapse would encourage anti-communist elements within China to rebel, seeing as it turned out rather well for the people of Central Asia.

Speaking of which, this latter concern was likely the reason behind Xiaoping increasing efforts to “conform” the native people of Xinjiang into Red China society. Now that China was to be dealing with a new neighbor in the form of United Turkestan, the need to make Red China’s westernmost province “fully” Han Chinese became an even greater “high-ranking priority.”

– Thomas DuBois’ Chinese Modern History: A Look At The People And Their Narratives, 2019


The Knoxville News Sentinel, 1/14/1985

This ceremony takes place for each new presidential term, even if the president is continuing in office for a second term. Since 1937, it has taken place at noon EST on January 20, the first day of the new term, some 72 to 78 days after the presidential election, except for those occasions when January 20 falls on a Sunday. In those years, the presidential oath of office is administered on that day in a private ceremony and then again in a public ceremony the next day, on Monday, January 21. [11]


“The next four years are going to be another four years stability, high morality, community camaraderie, peace, and prosperity, both at home and abroad, only to an even greater and more glorious extent. Thank you, and God bless you all!”

– President Denton’s Second Inaugural Address, 1/21/1985


Secretary of State: incumbent Secretary of State and former Governor Donald Edgar “Buz” Lukens (R-OH)
Secretary of the Treasury: incumbent Secretary of the Treasury and former Undersecretary of the Treasury Thelma Stovall (R-KY)
Undersecretary of the Treasury: incumbent Undersecretary of the Treasury and former C.O.O. of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board Preston Martin (R-DC)
Secretary of Defense: incumbent Secretary of Defense and former Governor William Westmoreland (R-SC)
Attorney General: incumbent Attorney General Providence Mayor Vincent Albert “Buddy” Cianci Jr. (R-RI)
Postmaster General: incumbent Postmaster General William F. Bolger (D-WI)
Secretary of the Interior: actor, preservation activist, conservation philanthropist and former President of the Screen Actors Guild Charlton Heston (R-CA) (incumbent Jay Hammond retired)
Secretary of Agriculture: former director of the US Agriculture Department’s Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Committee and incumbent Undersecretary of Agriculture Harold Guy Hunt (R-AL) (incumbent Richard Roudebush retired)
Secretary of Commerce: incumbent Secretary of Commerce Alfred Hayes Jr. (I-NY)
Secretary of Labor: US Representative William David Ford (D-MI) (incumbent Whitney Young retired)
Secretary of Health and Welfare: US Representative Virginia Dodd Smith (R-NE) (incumbent Robert John Cornell retired)
Secretary of Education: head of the United Negro College Fund and former Governor Arthur Allen Fletcher (R-WA) (incumbent William S. Broomfield retired)
Secretary of Transportation: incumbent Secretary of Transportation James D. Martin (R-AL)
Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs: actor, songwriter, rancher, former US Ambassador to Morocco, guest lecturer at The Citadel and West Point, and Veterans’ Rights activist First Lieutenant Audie Leon Murphy (R-TX) (position created in late 1984)

Cabinet-Level Positions:
Director of Central Intelligence (the CIA): incumbent Director George H. W. Bush (R-TX)
Director of the Federal Bureau of Information (FBI): incumbent Director William Mark Felt Sr. (D-ID)
US Trade Representative (TR): financial author, former US Representative, conservative advocate, and legal counselor for the US Department of the Treasury Robert E. Bauman (R-MD) (incumbent Hugh Gallen retired)
Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA): incumbent Administrator Thomas Beverley Evans Jr. (R-DE)
Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): incumbent EPA Administrator, former NRSA Administrator, and former Secretary of Transportation Ralph Nader (I-CT)
Administrator of the Overwhelming Disaster Emergency Response Coordination Agency (ODERCA): incumbent Administrator Rudolf Anderson Jr. (R-SC)

The President’s Executive Office:
White House Chief of Staff: former state senator and outgoing Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget Richard E. Schermerhorn (R-NY) (incumbent Cliff White retired)
White House Counsel: political organizer Jesse Helms (R-NC)
Counselor to the President: former RNC Chairperson Mary Louise Smith (R-IA)
Chief Domestic Policy Advisor: professor of surgery at the Boston University School of Medicine and political activist Dr. Mildred Fay Jefferson (R-MA)
Chief Economic Policy Advisor: banker and former Undersecretary of the Treasury for International Affairs Paul Adolph Volcker Jr. (D-NJ)
Chief Foreign Policy Advisor: retired US Army Colonel and former advisor to California Governor Ronald Reagan Louis O. Giuffrida (R-CA)
Chief National Security Advisor: retired US Air Force General and former US Air Force Chief of Staff Curtis Emerson LeMay (R-OH)
Director of the Office of Management and Budget: former Governor Crawford Fairbanks Parker (R-IN)
White House Communications Director: political activist and GOP nominee for a US Congressional seat in 1978 and 1980 Newton Gingrich (R-GA)
White House Press Secretary: journalist and syndicated columnist for The Wall Street Journal Peggy Noonan (R-NY) (incumbent Don Lambro retired)

Other Notable Members:
Solicitor General (representative of the Federal Government before the US Supreme Court): Dean of the J. Reuben Clark Law School Rex Edwin Lee (R-UT)
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: US Army Major General John Kirk Singlaub (R-CA)
Federal Reserve Chairman: academic heterodox economist and political theorist Murray Newton Rothbard (R-NY)
NASA Director: community advocate, academic trustee and consultant, former Chairman of Caltech’s Board of Trustees, head of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, former First Lady of Pennsylvania and former Second Lady of the United States Mary Lowe Scranton (R-PA); incumbent Harold Brown retired)

Notable US Ambassadors (in alphabetical order):
To Austria: outgoing Ambassador to Indonesia and former Ambassador to Ghana Shirley Temple Black (R-CA)
To China: incumbent Ambassador Caspar Willard Weinberger (R-CA)
To France: incumbent Ambassador Joan Margaret Clark (I-NJ)
To Ireland: incumbent Ambassador John L. Saltonstall Jr. (R-MA)
To Mexico: incumbent Ambassador Benjamin “Boxcar Ben” Fernandez (R-CA)
To Russia: former Ambassador to Turkey Robert Strausz-Hupé (R-DC)
To South Africa: political science professor Merwin Crawford Young (I-WI)
To the UK: incumbent Ambassador J. Herbert Burke (R-FL)
To the UN: incumbent Ambassador Rozanne Lejeanne Ridgway (R-MN)



…with the support of Governor Charles Thone and both chambers of the state legislature, the amendment very well could become a part of the US Constitution “by the end of the decade,” says Senator Orrin Hatch (R-NE)…

The New York Times, 1/28/1985

“For a moment, America was on top of the world. Then the s#*t hit the fan.”

– Professor Alan Ira Abramowitz, political scientist and author, class lecture at Stanford University, early 2002

[1] Based on this article: Also, for comparison’s sake to OTL, the poverty rate in the US was at its lowest in 1973 at 11.1% according to
[2] All of these italicized bits are pulled directly from here:
[3] Based on what he said at a debate in 2007 IOTL:
[4] Italicized bits are OTL quotes found here:
[5] Based on what he discusses here:
[6] OTL!:
[7] Source:
[8] See late June 1968 entry in this TL.
[9] Based on a line from here:
[10] Died four years later than in OTL due to Admiral Zumwalt’s 1976 campaign raising awareness of asbestos exposure, prompting McQueen to get an early medical checkup. This, and some butterflies, prolongs his death by a few more years, long enough to star in just a few more films.
[11] Entire passage pulled from here:

(also posted a day earlier due tomorrow being busy for me)

@Frank_Hart – whoops, that’s a typo: that should say Makinsk, a town in north-central Kazakhstan, a ways north of the capital!
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Jesus, Gravel got put in the fucking trash. I guess that's what happens when your geopolitical archnemesis/potential world-ender collapses in your opponent's term.
Rajiv Gandhi still becomes Prime Minister of India?

If you have... unsavoury plans for India ITTL, butterflying away Sanjay's OTL death (which was a completely unexpected occurrence anyway) would be better.