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    Hetch Hetchy undammed, 1987

    For those unfamiliar, the Hetch Hetchy Valley lies towards the northern end of Yosemite National Park. Formed by the Tuolumne River, which flows from the glaciers of the Sierra down into the Central Valley of California, it resembles nothing so much as a smaller version of the famous Yosemite...
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    Simplified (English) Spelling

    Organized English spelling reform has been around since at least Noah Webster, but the closest it came to programmatic adoption, as far as I know, was in the Progressive Era USA. The Carnegie-funded Simplified Spelling Board was a typical project of the era's drive for efficiency, and it had the...
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    AH and the Great Man Theory

    Apparently UnHerd is starting a counterfactual series. I am not expecting anything great from them, but their introductory article implicitly brings up an element of AH I've considered a few times. The author claims that counterfactuals are disdained by serious historians because they are "prone...
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    WI: John W. Bricker assassinated in 1947

    Yes, another thread about a political figure's death. I'm a lot of fun. On July 12, 1947, Senator John W. Bricker was shot at in the Capitol complex by a former Capitol Police officer named William Louis Kaiser. Kaiser was a fellow Ohioan and had petitioned Bricker for help after he lost money...
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    Bend in the River, 1974

    In 1974, the novelist and psychedelic evangelist Ken Kesey got a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to run an event he called the Bend in the River Council. This was an experiment in state-level direct democracy: town meetings across Oregon would elect a slate of 100 or so...
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    Bill Haywood hanged in 1907

    Big Bill Haywood and two other leaders of the Western Federation of Miners were indicted for conspiracy in the 1905 assassination of Idaho governor Frank Steunenberg, but they were ultimately exonerated after a sensational trial that made the careers of defense attorney Clarence Darrow and...
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    His Dark Materials

    I haven't been watching the show, but I have been rereading the books for the first time since I was a kid. They still hold up really well and will retake their position among my favorites - but naturally I've been paying more attention to the alternate history elements this time around...
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    Mayor Henry George

    I'll let Mazda's blog article introduce Henry George and his ideas for those who are unfamiliar. We think of George today (when we think of him at all) as an intellectual rather than a politician, but he did make a few bids for office in his own right. The most successful of those was his first...
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    The Pacific Republic and the Golden Circle

    I've mentioned a few times on here that I've been working (very slowly) on a project about an independent republic in the Oregon Country, founded in the 1840s in response to slower US expansion. While researching, I've come across a side topic that I won't be using but which is interesting in...
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    Fire on the Mountain and utopian AH

    I recently came across Terry Bisson's Fire on the Mountain in the local anarchist bookstore, and I thought I'd recommend you all check it out if you haven't already. I've admitted before that most published alternate history doesn't interest me, but I really enjoyed this one. The POD is a...
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    Bombs, Brains, and the Bay Area

    A small and ghoulish POD here. In December 1976, Dianne Feinstein - then a San Francisco supervisor - was targeted by a bomb hidden in the flower planters outside her apartment. It misfired and was found later by a maid. The New World Liberation Front claimed responsibility in a communique...
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    Tom McCall and the Third Force

    Just finished Oregon governor Tom McCall's TOM McCALL: MAVERICK, a short and grandiosely titled memoir chock full of potential PODs. Apparently McCall considered running for mayor of Moscow, Idaho while working there as a cub reporter but was shot down by his boss; he also escaped a mysterious...
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    Map Commons

    I'm not sure my personal output of maps is prodigious enough to warrant a whole dedicated thread, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. So here's a map playground for all!
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    The Phoenix Foundation: Libertarian colonialism

    Ayn Rand's Objectivist Katanga made for a fun AH story, but required some creative PODs to get the ball rolling - Rand never had direct ties to Congolese politics. However, I've been doing some reading and it seems as though the idea of American libertarians engaging in neocolonial adventurism...
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    Article V Convention in 1969

    I posted this WI a while back on the other website but didn't generate much discussion, which is a shame as I think it's a unique idea. During the Sixties, several Supreme Court decisions (Reynolds v. Sims, Wesberry v. Sanders) mandated one-man, one-vote (ie, equal in population) districts for...
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    Architectural AH

    While I am very, very far from anything resembling expertise, architectural history is a fertile field for AH, and I thought it might be good to have a central thread for it. Major published writers have dabbled in alt-itechture - I believe Fatherland touches on a completed Germania plan for...