1964: January 1, 1964 onwards—The last German soldiers are withdrawn from Northwestern France, ending the twenty-year military occupation of the strategic region. The British and French economies, burdened by the high costs of rebuilding and paying restitutions to the Central Powers, also begin what will be known as their “faster recoveries” this year, as American, German, and Austro-Hungarian firms begin to increase their business in the two nations, though it will still be many years before prewar levels of prosperity are reached. January 10, 1964 onwards—The Treaty of Potsdam ends the fighting between the Russian Republic and the Ottoman and Persian Empires. The Ottomans and Persians agree to recognize the ceasefire line as the new international boundaries. The Russians, however, refuse to recognize the independence of the newly proclaimed nations of Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan (whose northern half has largely been occupied by Moscow), Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, or Turkmenistan. They also threaten to renew hostilities if any foreign troops are deployed to this region. This will not stop the Ottomans from supplying the new countries (who immediately join the Independence Movement in the days after the Treaty is signed) with weapons and advisors to train their new militaries, however. January 19, 1964 onwards—Several Russian envoys arrive in Washington, D.C. for a meeting with President Humphrey. In the first of what will be several meetings, the Americans and the Russians eventually come to some major agreements: The United States will sign a security agreement with the Russian Republic that will see American advisors assigned to train their new “Grand Army of the Republic.” America also agrees to sell certain weapons to Russia, and the technologies necessary to manufacture them. In exchange a reduction in trade barriers, and vital American shipments of high technology, Russia agrees to finally recognize the U.S. jurisdiction over Alaska. The meetings aren’t without tension, however: President Humphrey refuses to offer any assistance for what the Russians claim is a “peaceful” nuclear program, out of fears of creating a wide rift with the Germans. The Russians in turn refuse an offer of ascension into the Compact of Democratic States. In a separate development, the end of the Second Russian Civil War will see the beginnings of a long period of rapid economic expansion for the Russian Republic, as that nation becomes a major competitor with the German Empire and even, in the long term, with the United States. This growth is primarily driven by rapid industrialization, mineral extraction, and the reduction of trade barriers with America. January 29-February 9, 1964—The Ninth Winter Olympics are held in Innsbruck, Austria-Hungary. February, 1964 onwards—Afghanistan, Algeria, Bengal, Bharat, Ethiopia, Hyderabad, Kenya, Morocco, Nepal, Pakistan, Persia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and Uganda announce their own “Great Rebuilding” programs, in imitation of the previously announced Ottoman and Egyptian projects. The Persians will become notable for their refusal to accept funding from the Alliance for Peace and Friendship to complete their goals (which includes a dramatic expansion and rebuilding of the ports of Abadan and Bandar Abbas, and massive urban renewal and restoration projects), funding them instead through their own oil revenue. February 1, 1964—Russia’s Constitutional Convention opens in Moscow, with Premier Turov presiding over the day’s events. Turov reminds the Convention’s attendants, a mixture some of the nation’s most distinguished minds, that, “Let us ensure that future generations thank us for this momentous day; the eyes of everyone are upon you.” March 1964 onwards—The first cases of what will later be designated as Fleischer’s Syndrome are diagnosed outside of Africa, in Hamburg, Germany. The victims, a sea captain and his family, had been suffering from extensive skin lesions, and all ultimately die due to failures in their respective immune systems. Throughout 1964 and into 1965, similar cases are diagnosed by hospitals in Wilhelmshaven, Bremen, and Danzig. Dr. Fleischer himself will be appointed by the government to head a task force to investigate the deaths, and will reach a horrifying conclusion by early 1965 that this outbreak is similar to what he witnessed in the Congo. March 7, 1964—The first American advisors arrive in Russia, where they begin a vigorous training program for the Republic’s planned Grand Army. Despite Moscow’s assurances that this new force will respect the Treaty of Aachen’s restrictions in terms of size, and its assertions that a professional force is needed due to the Japanese and Ottoman “looming dangers,” Germany reacts negatively to this development, and protests (in vain) to Washington to annul the deal. March 27, 1964—The Great Alaska Earthquake ravages the south-central portions of Alaska Territory, severely damaging Alaska City [OTL Anchorage] and killing almost 100 people. April 2, 1964 onwards—In the first of a series of summits commissioned by President Rodrigo Salgueiro in Lisbon, the Portuguese government begins discussing the possibilities of reforming its empire, in light of the protest movements that have sprung up in southern and east Africa. April 8, 1964 onwards—The German government, increasingly worried at the long-term projections that show their nation becoming more and more reliant on foreign sources of petroleum (especially from the Ottoman Empire and Russia, and even the United States), approves a new plan at a cabinet meeting to invest increasingly in nuclear, solar, and wind technology. Joint projects with Austria-Hungary will also be pursued, in line with existing plans such as Project Zeus. May 1, 1964—After a year of strikes and mass rallies, the German administration (with Berlin’s approval) in Tanganyika agrees to many of the TPU’s economic demands, including the creation of a “minimum wage,” along with numerous urban improvement projects throughout the colony (to relieve congestion and to ease the crippling poverty that exists in both the big cities and the shantytowns that surround them). In Berlin, the Reichstag begins debate on legislation that would devalue numerous powers in the colony to a “Advisory Council.” However, in spite of these victories, Mathias Neyere vows to continue demonstrations until full autonomy is granted to German East Africa, and ultimately, “until our people can gain control over our own limitless futures.” In Rhodesia, police brutally disperse peaceful protests in Salisbury, Bulawayo, Lusaka, and Livingstone calling for greater political and economic freedoms. The events, led by the Methodist preacher Josiah T. Muzorewa and his newly created Rhodesian People’s Union (RPU), are directly inspired by the developments in German East Africa, and the continuing protests rocking South Africa. However, in addition to his struggles against the ruling government in Salisbury, Muzorewa has to contend with a very vocal militant wing in the RPU that advocates armed struggle over nonviolent protests. Muzorewa himself is arrested for the first time after this first round of protests, though this only brings the Rhodesian government strong protests from the Americans, Ottomans, and Brazilians. May 9, 1964 onwards—The Germans and Austro-Hungarians launch the world’s first satellite (which they name “Frederick the Great”) into space, where it will orbit the Earth for four years before destructing in the atmosphere. This causes something of an uproar in the United States, as major political and media figures angrily question why America always seems to be one step behind the Germans and Austro-Hungarians (first in nuclear and now space-borne technology). In response to this, Congress will pass several major pieces of legislation; these include so-called “Scientific Advancement for America Act,” (which will dramatically increase funding for new math and science course in the nation’s schools and universities), and the American Aeronautics Act, which establishes the United States Aeronautics and Interplanetary Agency (USAIA), to oversee and coordinate all space-related projects. May 15, 1964 onwards—In Constantinople, Ottoman and Brazilian officials announce that the Independence Movement will construct two rocketry bases—one somewhere in the Arabian Peninsula, and the other in Brazil’s Bahia Province. This announcement, made in reaction to the launch of “Frederick the Great,” has been a long time in coming; there had been an unusually acrimonious series of meetings between the Brazilians and Ottomans as to where the Independence Movement’s prospective space program would be located, before the belated compromise of two bases was agreed to. Ultimately, it is hoped that this will give the I.M. something of a strategic edge over anything that the Americans, Germans, or Japanese come ultimately decide to pursue. Construction will begin on the two bases in early 1965, with the groundbreaking ceremony dramatically pushed forward. Meanwhile, the Japanese begin planning to build a rocketry base of their own, somewhere in the Philippines. Ultimately, Tayabas Bay will be the site of their base, and construction will begin in late 1965. June 16, 1964—Construction of the La Follette Space Center is completed in Cuba. The tracking center, at Santa Fe, New Mexico, will be finished in January of 1965. July 4, 1964—President Humphrey, in a ceremony at the White House, marks Independence Day with the signing of the Clean America Act, which mandates strict air and water pollution controls, creates a new government agency to enforce environmental laws (the American Environmental Bureau, or AEB), and mandates funds for urban beautification and development projects. The Act also adds even more land under Federal protection, establishing another ten national parks and national monuments in the process. As the President remarks at the ceremony, “There is no better way to celebrate our heritage and values than by protecting the very lands and waterways which made our nation a possibility in the first place.” July 17, 1964 onwards—American and German officials gather in both New York and Berlin to celebrate the inauguration of the new supersonic Eagle Airways, a joint project between the two nations that had been in development since the Truman Administration. Eagle Airways will become most notable for greatly reducing the flight time between the two cities, utilizing the latest cutting edge turbojet technology in the process. Eagle Airways will prove to be very popular amongst the increasingly science and technology infatuated public on both sides of the Atlantic (coming into service in the same climate as the Space Race, after all). It will later be expanded to include flights reaching Washington, Philadelphia, Boston, Hamburg, Munich, Vienna, and Budapest. August 31, 1964 onwards—With assistance from the O.S.S., agents from Cassius Madison’s Remembrance Center manage to capture the notorious Freedom Party Guard colonel Kurt Barnaby, known as the “Butcher of the Caribbean” for his work overseeing the destruction of Haiti’s population. Caught in Peru and handed over to Haiti, Barnaby will be tried in Port-au-Prince, the verdict a forgone conclusion. September 5, 1964—Ground is broken, symbolically, at the sites of what will one day be the Crescent Star Base, near the town of Al Mukalla in the Ottoman Empire, and the Atlantic Star Center (outside of the Brazilian city of Salvador). Tracking stations will also be built in support of the new facilities, in Aden and Porto Seguro, respectively. October 1, 1964 onwards—The Russian Republic’s Constitutional Convention comes to a close in Moscow. The newly ratified document includes: The guarantee of religious liberty (including the separation of church and state), freedom of assembly, and freedom of speech. The outlawing of torture, all “cruel and unusual punishment,” the death penalty, and the secret police. The Republic will be led by a President, elected to one seven year term by the Duma. The Duma itself will have the ability to remove the President from office with three quarters support, while the President, in turn, will have the ability to veto unliked legislation (though that too, can be overridden). An independent judiciary will be established as well, consisting of judges nominated by the President for lifetime appointments, and approved by the Duma. The old Russian Empire’s provinces will be reorganized into more manageable entities. The elections for the First Duma will be in February. Observers expect that the Socialist Party (led by Turov), will easily win the contest, given that their only real competitors are from the more radical Communist Party. In the meantime, Vasily Rebikov announces (after resigning from the army) that he will stand as the Socialist Party’s candidate to represent his home district in Moscow (opposite Turov, who represents another district in the new capital). Smaller anarchist, ethnic-based, and nationalist parties also announce that they will compete, though the vast majority of observers don’t give them much hope at all in picking up more than a few seats. October 10-24, 1964—The twenty-eighth Olympiad is held in Tokyo, Japan. Due to the rising tensions between the United States and the Japanese Empire (along with other political tensions which exist across the globe), the Tokyo Olympics will be remembered for being perhaps the most politically charged international sporting event since the 1936 Richmond games. This is evident in the particular acrimony that exists between the American and Japanese athletes, as well as between the Russians and Ottomans. In another development, due to respective pressure from the Independence Movement members, as well as the United States, the International Olympic Committee bans South Africa from competing in the games, because of that nation’s refusal to desegregate its team. November 3, 1964—President Humphrey and Vice President Magnuson win an easy reelection victory over their opponents, the Democratic Governor of Massachusetts, Henry Lodge, Jr., and Republican Congressman Walter Judd of Minnesota. The booming economy (continuing its long post-Second Great War expansion), and President Humphrey’s numerous domestic achievements made the overall campaign a fairly placid one, with the outcome long expected. The Socialist Party continues its hold on Congress, and actually gains a number of seats (particularly in the new Canadian states), though the Democrats also gain in Congress, thanks to the recent readmission of Virginia. The Republicans also manage to pick up a few additional seats in the Midwest and former Canada, though this will not be nearly enough to make much of an impact, yet. December 5, 1964—In Berlin, the Reichstag begins preliminary debates on the government’s proposed Energies Security Act. ~~~~~ Comments?