Kentucky Fried Politics: A Colonel Sanders Timeline

Great update.

You seem to be missing a few words in some places- it’s obvious what you mean eg ‘shot down the plan’ but your missing the key words.


Maybe there could be a Congressional Resolution added to the updated to give LBJ some cover for escalation in Cuba to "protect its national interests" like the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution? Possibly insert it between the excerpt from the RFK book and the NYT article about US troops landing in Cuba.
Wit, I thought Kennedy was at State, not Defense.

He still has Addison's Disease but doesn't know how bad, he probably figures he'll move from there to President in '68, so it is a very good position for him.

Ilike the slow increase in antagonism by Cuba as leading to Johnson okaying the move in the Bay of Pigs - I gree some sort of Gulf of Tonkin-type resolution would help. This will be very interesting.
Chapter 12: April 1961 – August 1961
Waiting for more...

A thousand apologies for not posting last week; I was hit by a double-whammy of college Finals and a cold, and I just couldn't get to it. I hope this was not an inconvenience or disappointment to anyone, and I sincerely thank you for your patience. So, finally, here's the next chapter:

Chapter 12: April 1961 – August 1961

“Remember that God has enabled you to become an example of love, forgiveness, and brotherly co-existence.”

– Saddam Hussein (OTL)

The story’s rather simple. The Colonel was restless. He wanted to travel back to the Old Homestead of Corbin, so after another round of visits across California, the Colonel took a flight and touched down at Florence’s large Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, which has been around since the 1940s. But when the Colonel arrived at C/NKIA, “or Sinkia” as he called it, there were no flights to Corbin. The Colonel soon came up with a solution to the town’s physical isolation – he planned to build the town an airport of its very own [1]. Not a giant international airport, but more of a glorified airfield. Something that would produce revenue for the town and make him see his old waterin’ hole grow out of being a backwater hole-in-the-wall type of place.

Thing is, though, there’s a lot of steps you have to go through to get an airport built. First, you have to get a local government or authority to sponsor the project. Then there’s the big hurdle – the “feasibility study.” The state and federal aviation organizations have to review your plans for location and funding. They look at if the area even needs an airport by looking at local transportation accessibility and its proximity to other airports.

Now Corbin was farther east than all of Kentucky’s major airports, and the closest one was Somerset-Pulaski County Airport, also known as J. T. Wilson Airfield, and while it was 30 miles away, Corbin was separated from it – and all the other airports – by a skinny range belonging to the Appalachians, meaning it’d take just over half-an-hour to drive from the one airport to the next.

Next up, the local land use had to be considered. You can’t build an airport in the middle of a city; planes need plenty of room to land and whatnot. Then you got operating costs, public usability, state licensing standards, hiring policies, construction company hirings, state and federal grant assurances, charts upon charts upon charts – and after that, guess what? Even more charts! – about operatin’ projectories or what have you. And of course, the FAA sends out men of their own to check out the possible sites for the airport, and then the actual facility plannin’ starts [2]. And then finally, you get to build it. But the thing is, all those steps can take up to years to complete, even for a simple stretch of runway, a tiny control tower and a humble hanger. But when the Colonel went around Corbin at the beginning of it all, he promised the townsfolk that he would get them that airport. “I always keep my promises – that’s a promise!” is what he said. And the Colonel did. Harley, Maggie and Dave Thomas all helped out. By April, it looked like Corbin could get one by the end of the decade. All what was needed was patience.

But of course, the Colonel was never a patient man, and he soon moved his primary focus to other ventures.

– John F. Ruggles, WMOR 1330 AM radio, 1/8/1981 program broadcast

33RD ACADEMY AWARDS CEREMONY WRAPS UP IN SANTA MONICA: Jules Dassin Wins Best Original Screenplay For “Never On Sunday”

The Los Angeles Times, entertainment section, 4/17/1961

18 April 1961: On this day in history, the Twenty-Third Amendment to the United States Constitution officially took effect; granting citizens in the US’s District of Columbia the right to vote in Presidential elections, the amendment took effect upon certification by John L. Moore, the U.S.’s Administrator of General Services; the amendment had been ratified by 38 states (the minimum number of state ratifications required to amend the US Constitution) as of March 29...



[ ]
– Star and Stripes, US military newspaper, 4/25/1961


Washington, DC – Two days after the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services committees heard testimony from the US Secretary of Defense Homer Litzenburg and the US Secretary of State Jack Kennedy, the House of Representatives unanimously approved of a resolution to “promote the maintenance of international peace and security in the Caribbean,” authorizing the President to do so through American armed forces if necessary. US Vice-President Hubert Humphrey supported the resolution with the comment that “the United States will always come to the aid and defense of those fighting for freedom, including the democratists of Cuba.” After the House made the move official, the Senate approved the resolution ten hours later, 89-to-1. Senate leader Mike Mansfield of Montana arranged for a swift voting procedure after several other speeches were “efficiently scheduled” for Wednesday and Thursday, according to a Congressional staffer for Mansfield…

– The New York Times, 4/25/1961


Washington, DC – By a 231-197 vote, the House of Representatives today raised the U.S. federal minimum wage to $1.25 per hour. Earlier this month, the U.S. Senate approved the same measure by a 63-27 vote, after President Johnson voiced strong support for it…

The Washington Post, 5/3/1961

INTERVIEWER: Senator, on the night of April 24, the night when Congress approved of the Florida Straits Resolution, why were you the sole Senator to vote against it?

WAYNE MORSE: In the three weeks or so since then we have sent nearly 500 men to Cuba to assist in the efforts made by the anti-Castro Cubans, who are now calling themselves the Cuban Democratic Revolutionary Front, or the DRF. However, an overwhelming number of the Cuban people are now more united than ever against us despite this administration’s claims to the contrary. We are repeatedly receiving reports, not just from Tad Szulc but other journalists brave enough to venture to the front lines as well, and all the reports have a common theme: a strong amount of resistance. Each village, each acre of land the US and DRF armies occupy, is won over painstakingly from ardent locals. It is due to overwhelming evidence that I do not believe it when the Johnson administration proclaims that a majority of Cubans are against Castro. The anti-Cuban exiles are essentially the only Cubans on the island that are actually on the, uh, pro-democracy side. This is also evident in the lack of advancement into Cuba; over the past month, the current borders of the DRF’s territory in Cuba have only expanded roughly five miles farther inland. That why I believe this resolution [was] a historic mistake [3]. And for the record, Senator Ernest Gruening was on the fence about it, but ultimately yielded to the siren call of the rattling sabres because of Cuba’s close proximity to Florida.

INTERVIEW: Is Cuba’s proximity to Florida not an issue, in your opinion?

WAYNE MORSE: If it is, Clark must also be worried about Alaska’s close proximity to the Soviet Union. The Gold Marlin was tragic, yes, but it would not have happened under less hostile geopolitical circumstances. So, no, it’s only an issue if America’s current aggressive foreign policy keeps making it an issue.

– Face the Nation, 5/16/1961 radio broadcast

REPORTER 1: “What about Senator Wayne Morse's comments concerning the war in Cuba?”

CLIFFORD: “Well, I was informed of them, and, um, well, there will always be opposition to what ultimately turns out to have been the right choice all along.”

REPORTER 2: “How soon can we expect the Communists in Cuba to fall?”

CLIFFORD: “That’s a good question, but at this stage, it’s too early to be definitive. Still, judging by the rate of progress at the current time, I would surmise that the war should be won by Christmas.”

– exchange at a D.C. press conference between US National Security Advisor Clark Clifford and two unidentified reporters, 5/16/1961

On April 25, just thirteen days late of beating the Soviets, Alan Shepard became the second man and the first American in space. Upon his arrival back to Earth, LBJ proudly celebrated the mission’s success. Away from the press, though, he was just as outraged as the rest of us – Yuri Gagarin and Khrushchev had once again stolen our thunder. He was determined to see the US beat them at the next giant leap in the space race, telling Director Webb in private what he would not reveal to the public for another few months: “So help me, we will make it to the moon before them, if we have to use a giant f@#kin’ slingshot to get there!”

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

April 26, 1961
To: Director Dulles
From: The President

Give Miro all the help he needs.

– Private telegram response from President Lyndon Johnson to CIA Director Allen Dulles, declassified and disclosed in 1992

Determined to have as few bills as possible for the Dixiecrats to threaten to hold back when the time came to push for Civil Rights, Johnson implemented the most productive first 100 days of any US President since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. One of the first things he tackled was immigration. The U.S. Immigration Nationality Act of April 1961 did away with the Asiatic Barred Zone and the hundred-person quotas of the early 1950s. It opened America to the people of Africa, as under the old system less than 3,000 immigrants from the entire continent had moved to the US. Johnson thought it “stupid” to shut out Africa, a continent rich with natural resources. He reportedly once said, “Africa’s interior is just waiting for some adventurous entrepreneur to dig somewhere new and make himself, and a village, and a country, impressively wealthy. I’d prefer the adventurer to be an American. Both the US and African nations would benefit from our doors being made open a little wider,” if you can call quadrupling numbers a little. The only place that suffered from the new law was the Caribbean, which, due to the increasing hostilities with Cuba, was understandable.

– Robert Caro’s The Years of Lyndon: Book Four: The Power of the Presidency, A. A. Knopf Inc., 2018

The Economic Opportunity Act of May 1961 was nicknamed “The Teach a Man to Fish Act,” after Republican Congressman Howard Buffett of Nebraska’s April 27, 1961 speech calling for its passage. The legislation provides federal programs focusing on vocational education in order to give people “the tools of knowledge needed for them to continually maintain employment.” The legislation also allowed for the development of “E.T.P.” programs – social gatherings of concerned volunteer citizens and community organizers meant to “Empower The Poor,” a notion supported on bipartisan lines and endorsed by politicians, celebrities, and Colonel Sanders, a man belonging to both categories…

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


…the act creates funds for minor stations to create “innovative programing” in order to increase quality, diversity, and public interest in public broadcasting…

Business Weekly, 5/26/1961


– The Washington Post, 5/27/1961


Austin, TX – Despite President Johnson’s fair approval ratings, his post-election shift to calling for “strong and lasting” Civil Rights has soured his reputation in his home state, allowing Republican John G. Tower to pull off a narrow victory late last night, winning by a roughly half-a-percent margin… Tower will be the first Republican U.S. Senator to hail from Texas since Morgan Hamilton retired in 1877…

– The Houston Chronicle, 5/28/1961

Tommy Chong Recalls Where He Was at The Start of The Rise of The Beatniks

INTERVIEWER: When did you first start playing music in the U.S.?

CHONG: Hmm, I think it was around May of ’61, cause it was when all the college kids were wrapping up their classes and everything. We [Calgary soul group The Shades] had been in Vancouver for a few weeks when [band member] Bobby [Taylor] got us a gig at some peaceful war protest scene over in Seattle. It was a small thing, no one really paid attention to it, but it was good pay and it was a real good time. We started playing at the early beatnik hotspots long before that culture grew to become bigger and louder, so at the time our music for them was real soft and mellow. We played our song “Junior’s Jerk” and we kind of took offense to them doing that clapping think instead of actually applauding, but they let us hang out afterwards and it was all ’kay.

INTERVIEWER: So how were coffeehouses back then?

CHONG: Well the coffee always sucked, but the people had a great jive, a real natural and calm groove to them, man. A feel that, hey, they thought the war in Cuba was bad, but they were just normal average people, what could they do? The best they could do at the time was to just send out good vibes to the world. And those places could have great vibes, really, like they could just suck you right in. [4]

–, 2014

My fellow patriots: I am pleased to inform you all that our brave soldiers fighting to release our island home from the clutches of the Castro Brothers’ oppressive regime have successfully captured the city of Cienfuegos. The battle to liberate our homeland from the despotic rule of mayhem creators has only just begun, but it is more than obvious that the regime will fall and that ultimately we will be victorious!

– unofficial leader of “the democratists” opposition, Dr. Jose Miro Cardona’s 5/29/1961 radio announcement


Moscow, U.S.S.R. – Spokesmen for The Kremlin announced today that Nikita Khrushchev, leader of the Soviet Union, will refuse to meet with President Johnson later this year. The official release statement cited the War in Cuba, or as they put it, “the unprovoked and wanton invasion of a peaceful Communist state,” as being “a significant” factor…

– From the New York Times, 6/1/1961

US, DRF Territory Gains Slower Than Expected

…while the troops on the “Democratist” side of this war are advancing slowly, the White house remains confident in the abilities of America’s Armed Forces…

– The Orange County Register, 6/1/1961

We are prevailing over the Americans and our traitorous cousins greatly in the forests, so tonight I celebrated with my comrades by firing our weapons into the sky instead of fireworks.

– 1 June 1961 entry of The Diary of the Unknown Fighter, published 1996


[ ]
– Several new KFC locations featuring the standardized appearance of the era, c. June 1961

After the first KFC spots opened up in the UK, I was convinced that we could expand into continental Europe, starting, of course, with France. Our sales pitch in Paris was all about the company’s positive atmosphere, which was key to the franchise’s regional successes. What really worked was the delightful labor force in France. It was very reminiscent of the good, hardworking people found across the state of in Utah. People in both France and Utah believe in working, and they’re friendly – that’s the culture that got KFC off the ground and into the whole world, and that’s why KFC was able to catch on in France. [5]

– Pete Harman, 60 Minutes interview, early 1992

From: Director Dulles
To: President Johnson
Change in activities of Cuban airplanes detected.

U-2 planes have detected an increase in training exercises in Castro air force. The evidence suggests they are testing long-range travel capabilities. Suspicion of planned attack on DRF territories in northern Cuba. Will continue to monitor the situation.

– CIA transmission, 6/2/1961, declassified and disclosed in 1991

While Jack and Bobby mastered politics, Ted set his sights on mastering the spreading of honest information through the trusted media of print. In June of 1961, Ted purchased The Sacramento Union, a newspaper [6] circulating an area stretching across northern California that at the time was facing some financial troubles despite having only a small amount of competition from the then-afternoon paper of their home city, The Sacramento Bee. In his first test of leadership, Ted expanded the paper’s range and doubled its staff size, and invested money borrowed from the banks to streamline the newspaper production process, allowing the people of northern California to know of breaking news stories much quicker than before. Within the first quarter, overhead was down, and all projections pointed skyward. With the pop of a champagne cork, Ted celebrated the venture’s rousing success. “Things are looking up!”

– Joan Bennett Kennedy’s There Are Always Two Tomorrows: My Life in an American Dynasty, Centurion Publishers, 1999

“Get down!” I pushed my friend to the deck. There was fire overwhelming us within seconds. We followed protocol and made our way to the remaining lifeboats, only for one of the plane to turn back around and fire at us again. We collapsed as the bullets penetrated us. My friend’s body fell onto me, and as I began to pass out I could feel the blood exiting the wounds. I was certain I would never wake up again.

– Anonymous navy seaman describing the Attack on Guantanamo, 1979 footage for 1981 documentary


[ ]

“My heart gives out to the military personnel and their families at Guantanamo Bay… Romans 12-12: ‘Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.’ …In the past several weeks Castro has coaxed us into direct combat with a series of heinous acts of aggression. But yesterday, their attack on US-administered military port of Guantanamo is an attack that cannot be ignored. The freedom-loving people of Cuba, no longer under the spell of Communism, are rising up, and Castro’s threats to discourage us in helping them only strengthen our resolve. I have asked congress to formally declare war on the Castro regime, and begin deploying troops to Cuba’s shores as soon as possible. If it is war they want, defeat they shall have instead.”

– President Johnson in an emergency address to the nation, 6/12/1961

“Remember the Guantanamo!”

– pro-Cuban War phrase, c. June 1961


...Pope John XXIII today excommunicated Cuban dictator Fidel Castro for Castro's ongoing and continual efforts to systematically suppress Catholic institutions in the island nation of Cuba. Castro, who was born and raised Catholic, has recently publicly criticized the Catholic Church and the Bible, accusing church leaders of being complicit in allowing certain elements from the Bible to be used to justify the oppression of women and people of African descent throughout world history...

– The Daily Mirror, 6/29/1961

We celebrated the night with much hubris. We drank, we danced, we gambled, and we spent the nights with the ladies. We are rejoicing over today’s successful capture of another vital town, the city of Jovellanos. We have cut the island nearly in half, and we are closer to Castro’s headquarters in the capital city of Havana now more than ever before. We have fought through farmland and swampland two weeks straight and so are more than glad for the well-deserved rest from all this warfare.

– 7/17/1961 Journal Entry of Mario Zuniga, DRF soldier (translated)

The post-Guantanamo plan for the US-marine-led "rebel invasion" of Trinidad called for the advance frogmen to light a beacon to show our boys where to land, but someone in the war room – I forget who exactly – realized that the beacon could also alert the local militia to their presence. So, we sent more frogmen who were trained snipers to go around and take out any witnesses. We allegedly had to silence over a dozen civilians. But we were humane. One of the frogmen, for example, came across a ten-year-old boy, but he didn’t kill him, he simply knocked him out and hid the unconscious boy in a nearby toolshed, even propping him up to make it look like he bumped his head and fell asleep. See? We were the merciful ones there. But did the Commie-Cubans do that sort of thing? No, when it came to the innocent children caught in the crossfire of our war games, they went in the opposite direction. Those monsters spared no one…

– Former US Air Force Secretary Eugene M. Zukert’s chapter in Ron Keeva Unz’s anthology They Were There: First-Hand Accounts of the War on Cuba, 2001


– The Sacramento Union, 7/21/1961

With his approval ratings spiking over recent military victories in Cuba, Johnson announced publicly his support for the Civil Rights Bill introduced by Congressman Emmanuel Celler (D-NY) earlier in the year. The Colonel, impatient with the slow pace of founding an airport in Kentucky and wanting to distract himself from the increasing number of McDonald’s outlets “popping up like spring daisies,” met with prominent businessmen of the time to drum up their support for the bill. The Chicago Post’s July 29 headline read “Sanders, Getty, Other Millionaires Back Civil Rights Bill.” The Colonel gave numerous television addresses at stations across the country, explaining later that “I knew from experience that a simple op-ed would be less effective than people actually seeing and hearing me and the others talk about it.” The Colonel reasoned “the government should help businesses help the economy. Now, I’ve gone over a copy of the bill in its current form and, contrary to what some politicians on the hill have said, this bill will not interfere with the hiring practices of honest businessmen and businesses.”… Colonel Sanders was more than just keeping himself busy; he was reacting to the problems of the U.S. he genuinely cared about, and was feeling compelled to help fix them in any way possible.

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


[ ]
– Colonel Sanders marching with MLK and others in support a Civil Rights march, 8/1/1961

[1] according to this article:, Sanders lost $38,000 trying to open an airport in Corbin “[l]ater in his life”.
[2] Information found in the first PDF found after typing in “Eight Steps to Building a New Airport” through Google (from
[3] quote taken directly from here:
[4] The speaking style of Chong (who really did start off in a Calgary soul band) is (only sort of) based on this interview:
[5] Italicized bits are from a quote from Harman himself, found here:
[6] Why founding a newspaper? Because it was their plan IOTL, as mentioned here:

Maybe there could be a Congressional Resolution added to the updated to give LBJ some cover for escalation in Cuba to "protect its national interests" like the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution? Possibly insert it between the excerpt from the RFK book and the NYT article about US troops landing in Cuba.

Great idea, thanks!

Great update.

You seem to be missing a few words in some places- it’s obvious what you mean eg ‘shot down the plan’ but your missing the key words.

Thank you, I'll go back and check; sometimes when I write quickly unknowingly leave out key words.

Just curious, is anything like Operation Northwoods proposed ITTL?

With Jack Kennedy as Defense State, I'm guessing he would reject such notions, and possibly talk LBJ out of such tactic as well. Instead I wanted to give the impression that LBJ and Camilo's saber-rattling is causing tensions to naturally escalate via border dispute. Any ideas on how I can improve this impression? Thanks a bunch!

Wit, I thought Kennedy was at State, not Defense.

Good eye! Fixed
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That is an interesting update indeed. Cuba looks like it won’t be a Vietnam, but not a walk over either.

Is building an Airport still as difficult in 1961 as more modern times? Esp for a millionaire?

How long before Ted buys a TV station one wonders...
Why am I picturing Ted kennedy as TTL's Ted Turner?

Interesting trivia bit - after a long deadlock someone floated a general's name for baseball commissioner in 1965, and William Eckert was chosen because they got his name confused with the above-quoted Zukert, who, as it turned out, probasbly would have been a lot better than Eckert.

I don't think they'd want to put Batiste (sp?) back, would they? People clearly didn't like him either, and there is oposition to America. I wonder if there's a leader of the exiles who they'd try to put in charge.


I think any attempts to bring back Batista would be disastrous. Castro rose to power because of how terrible they guy was; returning him to power would just lead to another revolution...
Terrible is relative. He jailed and executed far fewer over his whole time in power than Fidel did the first couple years after the Revolution. He was no Papa Doc.
Chapter 13: August 1961 – December 1961
Chapter 13: August 1961 – December 1961

“Those who have a ‘why’ to live can bear with any ‘how’”

– Victor Frankl (OTL)

"It really took all of us by surprise - not the wall itself, the speed at which it was set up …After being informed of the Berlin Wall going up practically overnight, Walt [Jenkins] had to calm him [Johnson] down and keep him from ordering something rash…"

– Bobby Baker, RNN interview, 1979

“This is obviously Khrushchev’s response to Cuba. …No, I agree with Clark [Clifford], I advise just monitoring the situation for now. If anything, this could work to our advantage. Think about it: Khrushchev just screwed the pooch by saying we are the oppressors while setting up a blockade to keep people apart!”

– US Secretary of State Jack Kennedy, in a telephone conversation between him and President Lyndon Johnson, concerning the surprise construction of the Berlin Wall, 8/13/1961

…On August 18, Johnson retreated to Camp David for a meeting with French President Charles de Gaulle at Camp David. De Gaulle, the first chief of state to support American assistance to Cuban democratists, discussed military tactics and trade before sharing war stories during dinner with their wives. A week later, Johnson welcomed British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan to the quiet retreat, primarily to discuss potential military use of the British-owned Cayman Islands, located just south of Cuba. While the bombastic de Gaulle and Johnson shared an amiable correspondence, MacMillan and Johnson had a more professional relationship with only some forays into a more friendly rapport. Johnson surely would have gotten along better with the mercurial Sir Anthony Eden than with the cool and collected personality of Prime Minister “Supermac.” Regardless, Macmillan, determined to continue distancing himself from the foreign policy follies of his predecessor, supported Johnson’s “treatment of activities” in Cuba, though he was far more contemplative than was his American counterpart. …

– Antiwar activist Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Lyndon Johnson: the Promises and Realities of the American Dream, St. Martin’s Griffin Publishing House, 1991

Camilo Cienfuegos is not just the Chief of Staff of the Cuban Army; he is a battlefield master! His cat-like reflexes in battle make him the stuff of living legend for a reason. Just today, he plowed down several dirty Americans in one fell swoop, spinning his semi around and taking each one out, almost like a deadly samba. While his infectious smile and bravery inflates the confidence of all around him, tonight I saw how he is human like all comrades. While sharing a bucket of K.F.C. smuggled in from Jamaica, Cam confided in me his suspicion that his famous near-brush with death in 1959 was no accident. “An aircraft was following mine. It fired machine guns at me. I don’t know if there were any witnesses, but if there were, there aren’t any more… I trust no one.” [1] His concern for his life contradicted his demeanor when facing the enemy, but I could tell it was genuine.

Early today, Cam met with Fidel to discuss local politics, a topic in which I have no knowledge or interest. And while Cam is a military marvel, he is politically moderate, and is much less politically sophisticated than Fidel and Raul. Working within earshot of the door, I overheard him arguing with Fidel over how to handle captured traitors. I heard him shout that “we cannot torture and assassinate prisoners in the manner of our opponents; we cannot as men of honor and as dignified Cubans use the low and undignified procedures that our opponents use against us.” [2] Fidel seemed unconvinced and stuck to his eye-to-eye philosophy. Their squabbling worries me a little.

– 19 August and 20 August 1961 entry of The Diary of the Unknown Fighter, published 1996


– The Miami Herald, 8/21/1961

We all waited outside the room for the President’s “private talk,” but either NASA’s inner walls are thinner than they seem to be, or the President is even louder than one might think. We could hear him shouting and cursing up a storm about how the incident could cost the US the space race. Finally, he bellowed, “Alright, you know what? I’m increasing your funding 50% and I better see progress if you don’t want to see the f@#kin’ unemployment line!” He really did not want to lose the race to the Moon, as did we all. We just didn’t swear that much about it.

– mathematician Dorothy Vaughn’s Human Computers: Me and The Other Women at NASA, Langley Publishers, 1997


…the sheer narrowness of the passing of the Fair Rental Supplements and Subsidies Bill, the Truth in Packaging Bill, and the Urban Mass Transit Bill arguably stems from the President’s increasing rhetoric favoring Civil Rights, which “worries many of the southern Democrats,” according to one anonymous intern...

– The Chicago Tribune, 8/22/1961


…Kroc stated “the President is mounting a crusade against honest businesses with the Truth in Packaging Bill… this legislation will hurt American companies even worse than the Great Steel Strike of ’59!”...

– The Financial Times, 8/23/1961


Miami, Florida – Over the past several months, the Sunshine state has seen a rise in Cuban refugees, as hundreds flee the island nation. …Doctors and teachers seek better employment opportunities, free from communist authoritarianism… Social classes are a major concern for Communists, and the Castro regime is quick to punish anyone who opposes their “distribution of wealth” as they have called it… Members of Cuba’s middle and lower classes arrive at America’s shores, pleading to be let in, and many Floridians are answering the call with donations and organizing humanitarian efforts... Local churches are offering assistance in any way they can… However, some locals are very wary of these new arrivals. “Before the war, there were limits to the amount of people let in. But now with the war and [President] Johnson opening up the borders, and no quotas existing anymore, a scenario quite unique to Cuba is unfolding. As more Cubans come in, more resources are needed to house, clothe and feed them,” Governor Bryant explained at a dinner event yesterday, “They require employment to pay for these things, but this creates new issues as they obtain jobs that should be going to local Floridians.” Other politicians even question whether or not Communist spies could be infiltrating the most recent waves of refugees: “Fidel must be aware of how many are escaping, and we shouldn’t put it past him to try something like that,” says one anonymous state assemblyman…

– The Tampa Bay Times, 8/23/1961 Special Report

DEADLY RIOT IN HIALEAH, FLORIDA: Byrant Sends In State Guard To Maintain Law And Order

Hialeah, FL – …the community is experiencing a riot that has reportedly resulted in the deaths of two people in the most fatal clash between Cuban refugees and US citizens in Florida during the last two weeks. While the specifics are not yet in, it seems that two Cuban men were killed in a confrontation in downtown Hialeah after a local merchant hired a group of Cuban ex-pats, which apparently angered a group of unemployed local residents; the outbreak of violence is possibly also linked to the noticeable rise in recent anti-Cuban sentiment in Florida. Hialeah now joins nearly two dozen other cities, mostly in that state, to have reported minor or major incidents of anti-Cuban Refugee violence over the past several months...

– The New York Times, 8/26/1961


Port Charlotte, FL – …the fighting finally ceased after almost 48 hours of abject anarchy… allegedly, it was a minor spat over a “stolen job” at a grocery store that snowballed into the tempest of lawlessness…

The San Diego Union-Tribune, 8/27/1961



INTERVIEWER: And then what happened?

HUNTER: Well, that Mario Savio, who was just a kid in college at the time, he took his shoutin’ up a notch and was just by more youngsters who thought fighting at home and abroad or either or wasn’t a great idea. First there were just nobodies, just pampered idiots who thought it was now the cool thing to wear shades and use any surface like it was a drum, like smoking a blew would really stick it to their parents. Then came the real idealists, honestly passionate for what the Savios and Beatniks and San Francisco Staircase activists of the world stood for. And then soon you saw big names join in the organizing and the mobilizing, like Saul Alinsky, Frances Fox Pivens, and future big-shot Eleanor Holmes. They saw a fire start in that H.U.A.C. ’60 debacle and the Cuban War was wafting the flames. And they weren’t going to let it get snuffed out by anything.

– Anita Thompson’s Ancient Gonzo Wisdom: Interviews with Hunter S. Thompson, Da Capo Press, 2009 [3]


… with each news snippet of Southerners attacking black people, more northerners and moderate southerners voice support for the end of segregation… the latest string of polls show support has risen 5% each week over the past six weeks… Southern leaders, however, see the situation in reverse. Mississippi Governor Ross Barnett claims racial violence is being instigated by “Blacks violating the right to separation”…

– reporter Ralph McGill (a friend to Jack Kennedy, Colonel Sanders and Dr. King), Atlanta Constitution, 8/29/1961

K.F.C. CELEBRATES 700th OUTLET: The Chicken King Himself Attends Grand Opening in Genoa, Italy

– The Daily Mirror, UK newspaper, 9/1/1961

Billy Graham, that young Southern Baptist fellow, came to visit Lyndon today yet again. They spent over an hour talking about religious philosophy and common majority, about how moral principles influence government decisions, and the importance of spirituality and inner strength. Then they prayed together in silence for a short while. They seem to get along very well with each other, which, knowing how religious Lyndon is, is no surprise.

– The diary of Mildred Stegall, personal secretary to Lyndon Johnson, 9/1/1961 entry

On September 2, The Colonel attended an NAACP-funded rally in North Carolina, where he proclaimed “It’s well past the time to adhere to the words of the Constitution, some of the greatest words put to parchment: ‘all men are created equal.’”… Concerning business practices in the South, the Colonel stated “when it comes to hiring people, we should focus on only our true differences – years of experience, points of view, and things like that – and work with those differences, not against ’em.”

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


[ ]
– Colonel Sanders, spotted participating in a Civil Rights march in Chicago, 9/9/1961


By Warren Unna, WP Staff Writer. Washington, DC – The U.S. house of Representatives passed the civil rights bill tonight by a narrow vote… President Johnson remarked, “We are more than halfway through the twentieth century, and yet there are still millions in the land of the free who are ordered which restaurants they can and can't eat at, which water fountains they must and mustn't drink from, which schools they must attend, which homes they must buy or rent, and at which part of the bus they must sit in. No one should have to live such totalitarian and authoritarian conditions – not overseas, and especially not here. This bill will be a major legislative step in righting this historic legal wrong.” ...Johnson, whom had met with multiple congressional leaders during the debating process, cautioned that “the work to transform the will of the people into the rule of the land is only half done,” referring to the U.S. Senate’s upcoming treatment of the bill…

– The Washington Post, 9/11/1961


Clio, AL – Outside his home town’s City Hall building, State Circuit Judge George Wallace today announced his second bid for Alabama Governor, sharing with a crowd of supporters a fairly moderate political platform. …At the announcement, Wallace declared “Let us have integration tomorrow and forever,” and discussed the issues affecting both farmers and city dwellers, such as food, rent and mortgages, and schooling the young…

The Birmingham News, 9/12/1961

After the Civil Rights Bill got passed in the House in September, George knew that running as a segregationist would doom him at the national level. “The old ways are on their way out, and me with them if I stick by them,” he told me. In light of this change in the wind, George decided to look at his 1958 campaign and figure out how to make a more reconciliatory message, a “peaceful-but-powerful populist” kind of message that would appeal to White and Black folks alike. “Nobody listened to me [in 1958] when I talked about roads and schools because I wasn’t outspoken enough. This time, I’ll make ’em all listen! White or Black, they’ll vote for me, just you wait, honey!”

– Lurleen Wallace (1926-1996), 1989 interview

CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER MURDERED!: Organizer Aaron Henry Found Lynched Outside Biloxi, MS

…Henry, 39, had been the President of the Mississippi state chapter of the NAACP since 1959. Henry worked tirelessly to heighten national awareness of the racial violence that Blacks regularly experience, and help to grow support for civil right legislation. At a time when most Blacks want racial reconciliation and some Black want racial retribution, Henry backed the former...

– Chicago Tribune, 9/14/1961

10,000 people, including Dr. King and Hosea Williams, attended Aaron Henry’s funeral procession for a reason. His gruesome murder stirred up outrage that this was still a way of life for us. Despite King’s calls for nonviolence, riots did sprout up in the wake of a lack in justice for Henry, who’s killer where never found. We all felt so angry at white people back then, that Dr. King’s method of passivity was too slow and deadly. We had to fight back, we had to make our voices heard. We tried talking, but after Henry’s lynching, we resorted to screaming.

Then thing went overboard. Neighborhoods went up in flames. It soon became very dangerous to be on the streets at night…

– Wellington Webb and Cindy Brovsky’s Wellington Webb: The Man, the Mayor and the Making of a Better Colorado, Fulcrum Publishing, 1997


– Nonviolent protestors seen outside the White House (right) after the murder of Aaron Henry (left), 9/16/1961

After September 11, anti-Black violence, coupled by riots and acts of violence towards anyone even resembling a Cuban or a person of Cuban ancestry, broke out in northern cities like New York City, along with several areas of the south and southwestern United States. In Texas, a state with large Black and Latino populations, the destruction of property in “anti-race wars” overwhelming several cities became so severe that the Governor at the time, Price Daniel, requested assistance from the National Guard on September 23. This, however, only made the situation worse in places such as San Antonio and Corpus Christi, as many citizens – Black, White, and Hispanic – opposed the guardsmen with makeshift weapons. Several neighborhoods descended into multisided bedlam. By the time the violence died down in all of these cities (well over a full week later), dozens were dead, hundreds were hospitalized, and millions of dollars’ worth of property was damaged.

The 1960s: A History, Scholastic, 2007

US Sen. Margaret Chase Smith: “…This bill is a long time coming and these riots prove it is needed.”

US Sen. Strom Thurmond: “No, the riots prove the opposite: a clear showing of public disapproval. It is government overreach to force people to conform to a different culture and way of life. Separation of the races promotes racial harmony by allowing each race to pursue their own respective goals. Man has a right to associate with whom he wants to and if he wants to associate exclusively within his own race, there is nothing wrong with that!”

Former Gov. Colonel Sanders: “What are you talkin’ about, Strom? ’Cause this is a talk on lettin’ people eat, drink, sit and work together. That’s fairness, and the government wants fairness. But it’s diehard folks like yourself that’d rather set the building on fire than have to clean it. Now I get people have trouble lettin’ things go, but segregation is a lovable dog with rabies. You might feel some shock from puttin’ it down, but it’s better than keepin’ it ’round.”

Smith: “Yes, separation inhibits any pursuits that could happen between races, Senator. It – ”

Thurmond: “One minute, ma’am – Colonel, you should really let the actual politicians handle national events; you stick with your chicken.”

Sanders: “Oh, you so–Strom, you forget I served four years as a governor, same as you except I learned from the experience; I learned proof-positive that people will care for each other when they are allowed to.”

Thurmond: “Listen you – ”

Smith: “Now cut it out, the both of you, name-calling will get us nowhere. Mr. Sanders.”

Moderator: “Yes, gentlemen, please, let’s stick to the subject.”

Sanders: “Right. Strom, its time your radical friends stopped pushin’ everyone down, but Smith, you do have to admit that old habits die hard.”

Thurmond: “It’s tradition!”

Sanders: “So was burnin’ witches; people move on, Stromy.”

– NBC round table discussion segment, 9/28/1961

[ watch?v=YWjRgzFeE_8 ]

Rocky and Bullwinkle segment, Saturday 9/30/1961 [4],

INTERVIEWER: When did you start playing in Los Angeles?

CHONG: We moved from Vancouver in October ’61 because that was where it was at. We started to reinvent ourselves; we changed our name from The Shades to “the Vancouvers,” and we evolved our music. Together with the beatniks, we developed a new, mellower form of rock and roll that paradoxically was abstract and a more direct, open form of peaceful opposition to authority and warfare. I guess you could call some of our early songs passive-aggressive, but we called them ambient.


CONG: Yeah, it’s Latin for going around or something like that. Lot’s of possible names for the new kind of music was tossed around. First it was Baked Rock, then Mellow Rock, then Roller Rock, Roast Rock, Unairable Rock, Urine Luck Rock, in the U.K. they briefly called it Yukay Rock, then Weed Rock, Yang Rock, Yoko Rock, Zong Rock, Zoodo Rock, Beatnik Rock… whole bunch of labels for it, really. I really like the one that caught on a stuck, though, personally, man.

–, 2014

…In the land of windmills and roses, Colonel Sanders introduces his world-famous Kentucky Fried Chicken to the Dutch, attending the unveiling of the Netherlands’ first K.F.C. outlet in Amsterdam on Monday…

– BBC World News, Wednesday 18/10/1961


Paul Edward Osborne of central Kentucky, 22, and Martha Layne Hall of north-central Kentucky, 25, were married today in a private ceremony in Paint Lick, near Lancaster...

– The Lexington Herald-Leader, Celebrations Section, Saturday 10/22/1961

I met Martha in 1959, at the swearing-in ceremony of Governor Combs. I took her out for some ice cream. Then we saw a movie. Then another thing lead to another and three years later we were engaged.

– Paul Osborne, 1992 interview

The next wave of Southern opposition hit the President in October, led by Senator John Stennis of Mississippi. Stennis ranted to one reporter for The Mississippi Daily that “when LBJ ran for president, this liberal agenda was not his sales pitch; if it had been, I would not have voted for him.” The state’s other Senator, James Eastland, also received media attention for opposing the bill, as Eastland is known to be friends with President Johnson. The main legislation still up for debate was the last one most likely to be voted on before the midterms – the Highway Aesthetics Renovation Bill. Also known as the Highway Beautification bill, and, most commonly, the Ladybird Bill, the work of law was pushed by First Lady Ladybird to “strengthen the looks” of our national roadways…

– Robert Caro’s The Years of Lyndon: Book Four: The Power of the Presidency, A. A. Knopf Inc., 2018


...calling the legislation an "insult to the core American concepts of free enterprise and personal choice," Patterson has met with every single US Representative from his home state...

The Tuscaloosa News, 10/23/1961

…earlier today, U.S. Senators Al Gore and Estes Kefauver announced their support for the CRA… Senator Gore proclaimed “the South is ready for this social structure shift.” Both Gore and Kefauver are Democrats representing Tennessee, where segregated schools was mandatory until 1954, but the segregation of public businesses is still legal… Their announcement comes two days after meeting with Senate leaders and President Johnson in Washington, D.C. …

– CBS, 10/28/1961 broadcast


Athens, Greece – Tonight’s Greek legislative elections resulted in victory for the National Radical Union (or E.R.E.) party, strengthening the power of Prime Minister Konstantinos Karamanlis. The Results saw Karamnlis achieve victory for the third consecutive time, winning 57.1% of the vote and 189 seats, besting George Papandreou of the brand new Centre Union-Progressive (E.K.) party, whom won 31.8% and 97 seats. The leftist All-Democratic Agricultural Front (or P.A.M.E.) party headed by Ioannis Passalidis, won only 9.6% of the vote, and lost over two-thirds their seats, from 60 to 14; nearly all of those seats were picked up by the E.K.

Karamanlis, whom prefers stronger ties with Europe than with the U.S. for his nation, successfully obtained for it EEC Associate Member status – and subsequently, major financial loans – earlier in the year. A possible rise in Karamanlis support over his main challenger, George Papandreou, was due to Papandreou’s criticism of “America’s war against Cuba” in the days and weeks ahead of the election. Papandreou alleged that news of the war has “cut open old wounds,” as many Greek citizens still remember the atrocities of the post-WWII Greek Civil War, in which loyalists defeated communists in a conflict that left thousands dead. Papandreou’s comments, though, were deemed “pro-communist” by some Karamanlis supporters, and seemed to have spurred support for Karamanlis, whom called to “look to the future by healing, not unearthing the scars of the past.”

At the time of this writing, Papandreou still refuses to concede the election, allegedly due to unfounded claims of voter discrepancy.

The Guardian, 29/10/1961


[ ]
– The New York Times, 10/31/1961

…Nations across the globe are condemning Russia’s nuclear test …Tsar Bomba, the most-powerful recorded manmade explosion in history, was detonated north of Arctic Circle… scientists believe the explosion to be equal to over 50 million tons of TNT… …the event comes one day after the United States military reportedly performed an underground nuclear test, according to our American correspondents…

– BBC World News, 31/10/1961 broadcast

United States Governor election results, 1961
Date: November 7, 1961
State governorships: 2
Last election: 35 (D), 15 (R)
Seats before: 35 (D), 15 (R)
Seat changes: D – 0, R – 0


ALBERTIS HARRISON SECURES GOVERNORSHIP: Former State Attorney General Beats GOP Foe 62.7%-to-37.3%

– The Richmond Times-Dispatch, Virginia newspaper, 11/8/1961

IT’S HUGHES!: State Prosecutor Edges Out Favorite In an Upset

Trenton, NJ – Richard Hughes narrowly won last night’s election over the better-known G.O.P. candidate James Mitchell by a margin of roughly 2%. Hughes was a relatively unknown candidate when state party officials nominated him in the summer, but an endorsement from President Johnson in September, coupled with campaign appearance by the popular term-limited incumbent Governor Robert Meyner, helped bring attention to candidacy in the race’s final weeks. Seven other candidates appeared on the ballot, but is appears none of them received more than 0.5% of the total vote…

The Star-Ledger, New Jersey newspaper, 11/8/1961

Nixon Seeking California Governorship Next Year

– Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune, 11/9/1961

In December 1961, Ray Kroc finally purchased McDonald’s from the McDonald brothers. A meeting was set up, and Kroc matched their selling price.

“This is an extremely high amount of money for a franchise,” he reportedly told the brothers over the phone, “I had to borrow from several investors for it.”

“Knowing your business acumen, you’ll bounce back,” Maurice McDonald shot back.

When the trio sat down to finalize things, though, Richard revealed, “You know we are receiving offers from others, you know.”

Kroc went on defense “We shook hands on this – 2.7 mill and 1% royalty on gross sales.”

“We’re not backing out of the deal, Kroc,” Maurice explained, “It’s just that after what you’ve done to us, we’d prefer having it all in writing.” The brothers then revealed pre-assembled documents to confirm the agreement. After a shouting match lasting several minutes, roc finally conceded, read the documents thoroughly, signed them, and left in a huff.

With the matter settled, Richard said to Maurice, “I still agree Colonel Sanders. A man’s handshake is a sacred action; I really think he would have kept his end of the bargain.” Maurice replied, “Yes, but the man also said not to trust a backstabber – fool me once, shame on you; ‘fool me twice, shame on me,’ he told us. I’m not going to argue with the logic coming from a smart guy like the Colonel, are you?”

Looking over the documents, Richard yielded, “guess not.”

Chef Wars: The Start of an American Pop Culture Craze, 2021

“I was 23 years old when the Cuba War began. I graduated from Berkeley that year with a Bachelor of Arts degree and was thinking of applying to Harvard Law. But when I visited a shelter in Florida for Cuban refugees, I didn’t see any lawyers; I saw pastors and reverends and sisters of the church caring for the displaced. They were giving the food, clothes, and most importantly, hope. And I came to realize that I would be able to help more people from the church. I soon returned to my original goal, the one that had lead me to the Sacred Heart Novitiate in 1956. I entered the priesthood and immediately began my participation in the global effort of making our world a better place for all...”

– Rev. Jerry Brown, 1978 interview


[ ]
– LBJ celebrating Christmas at the White House, 12/25/1961


[ ]
– KFC advertisement, c. December 12/25/1961

[1] Based on the claim made by the El Nuevo Herald mentioned here:
[2] Italicized line also taken from as well
[3] OTL book, ATL excerpt
[4] Please note that I am actually unsure of the exact airing of this bit IOTL at this time.

That is an interesting update indeed. Cuba looks like it won’t be a Vietnam, but not a walk over either.

Is building an Airport still as difficult in 1961 as more modern times? Esp for a millionaire?

How long before Ted buys a TV station one wonders...

I'm happy that you find it interesting!

It still takes several years for everything to be reviewed/approved/planned out even nowadays, but due to how F.A.A. (founded in 1958) procedures have become more complex since their early years, my guess is takes even longer nowadays than it would have in 1961. I think the Colonel would be able to speed up some of the federal bureaucracy with his millions and his connections, but not significantly; it would still take a while.

Ted-TV? Hmm...

Why am I picturing Ted kennedy as TTL's Ted Turner?

Interesting trivia bit - after a long deadlock someone floated a general's name for baseball commissioner in 1965, and William Eckert was chosen because they got his name confused with the above-quoted Zukert, who, as it turned out, probasbly would have been a lot better than Eckert.

I don't think they'd want to put Batiste (sp?) back, would they? People clearly didn't like him either, and there is oposition to America. I wonder if there's a leader of the exiles who they'd try to put in charge.

Interesting! I'll be sure to keep that in mind when this TL gets to 1965!

I think any attempts to bring back Batista would be disastrous. Castro rose to power because of how terrible they guy was; returning him to power would just lead to another revolution...

Good that Cuba isn't becoming Vietnam, at least not so far.
Interesting idea with Ted Kennedy becoming something of a media mogle here.

Don't see the paths crossing, unless the Colonel planned on opening Casinos and/or Hotels
The Colonel was vehemently against all the kind of vices found in Casinos, but he did operate a very successful Hotel from the 1930s to the 1950s ITTL/IOTL. However, Trump did receive accusations of racist hotel tenant practices during the 1970s; the Colonel, by then in his 80s, could admonish Trump for giving businessmen a bad name over that. And that's if Trump isn't hit by the butterfly affect by then. Hmm, we'll see...

Terrible is relative. He jailed and executed far fewer over his whole time in power than Fidel did the first couple years after the Revolution. He was no Papa Doc.

Fair point! :)

NOTE: I'm posting this a day early due to a scheduling conflict. And due to family coming over for Christmas, the ETA for the next post is 1/3/2019. Enjoy the winter holidays, everyone!
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First of Reverend Moonbeam? Well didn't see that one coming. Second off I'm ashamed to admit this was the update where I realized the photos of Colonel Sanders were photoshopped.
Reverend Moonbeam? Interesting...

Sanders and Thurmond facing off is awesome, especially since I'm on Sanders' side here...

Like the Dorothy Vaughan appearance; Hidden Figures is a fascinating film IOTL. Hope NASA uses their money wisely; BTW, Johnson's cussing them out is in-character...

Like the little world-building details you are using ITTL...

Corpus Christi's my hometown; hope you didn't wreck it too badly...

Hope the McDonald brothers are OK...

Good update, waiting for more, and Merry Christmas, @gap80...