Today is the 44th Anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I thought you might be interested in what he did in my timeline (CTL). The text in orange is specific to CTL, the purple didn't happen in my world (OTL only). Information in black is common to both timelines.
Dr. Michael King, Jr.
Thirty-fifth President of the United States, and the first of African-American descent. He is the youngest president ever (age 39 at his inauguration).
Michael King, Jr, was born on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta, GA to Michael King, Sr. and Alberta Williams King. He was still alive in 2000 (Age 71).
King began his political career fighting against segregation in the US Eleventh District in the 1950's. He participated in the Bus Boycott of Mongomery in 1955, but quickly advanced to state-level politics. In 1958 he was elected to the Alabama State Senate. In 1962, he became the first African-American to be elected to the office of Governor of Alabama.
He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for his civil rights work.
King ran as Robert Kennedy's vice-presidential candidate in 1968 on the Freedom Party ticket. Shortly after inauguration, Kennedy was assassinated and King was sworn in as President.
He chose Dr. Benjamin Spock as his replacement, who was reluctantly confirmed by the Senate. Spock served as his vice-president from 1969 to 1973.
They ran again on the Freedom party ticket in 1972, but lost to Nixon by a narrow majority. The Freedom Party dissolved in 1973, due to internal strife.
King did not seek re-election again, and instead chose to endorse Spock-Hobson in the 1976 election.
In real life (OTL), Michael King and his father travelled to Germany in the inter-war years. The elder King was so impressed by a particular religious figure that he adopted his name for himself and his son. That man was Martin Luther.
In my story (CTL), there is no inter-war period because the Great War lasts from 1914-1942, so the Kings never travelled to Germany. Thus they stayed Michael King.
Neither he, nor John F. Kennedy were assassinated in my timeline.
Dr. Benjamin McLane Spock
Benjamin Spock was a noted pediatrician, author, political activist, and politician. He served as both Vice President (1969-73) and President of the United States (1976-81).
He was born on May 2, 1903 in New Haven Connecticut. He was the eldest of six children born to Benjamin Ives Spock (a lawyer) and Mildred Louise Stoughton Spock.
He went to Phillips and Yale, but ultimately took his degree from Columbia University in 1929. While in college, he attended the 1924 Olympics in Paris and won a gold medal in rowing, and married Jane Cheney in 1927.
Between 1946 and 1994, Dr. Spock wrote 13 books on the subjects of child-rearing and politics.
When President Kennedy was assassinated in 1969, Michael King became the president and nominated Spock for the vice-presidency. He was confirmed and served in that office until 1973.
King and Spock sought reelection in 1972, but were narrowly defeated, largely due to the large number of independent candidates. Shortly after, the Freedom Party dissolved and Spock joined the People's Party.
Spock ran for President in 1976, with Julius Hobson in the People's Party ticket, but the campaign was turbulent. He divorced his wife of 49 years and married a woman 40 years his junior during the campaign. This cost him heavily early in the season, but he came back to win, in an upset victory that came down to one electoral vote.
On March 23, 1977, just two months after taking office, Julius Hobson died, leaving the office vacant.
In real life (OTL), Spock did run for President in 1972, and he had been suggested as a VP candidate for Martin Luther King in 1967.
Politics and the South
The Political landscape in CTL is quite different from OTL, especially in the area of segregation.
Radical Reconstruction and the occupation of the south began approximately the same in both timelines, but depart after Johnson is removed by impeachment in 1869. His replacement, President Pro Tempore of the Senate Benjamin Wade, was the most radical of the new Republicans. He believed in abolition, equal rights for all people, including women. He was pro-union in his labor stance.
After an initial conflict with his Congress, he waited until they were in session and made many appointments. Two of his most controversial were appointing Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Macon Bolling Allen to the Supreme Court in defunct seats. Congress failed to confirm them, but their precedents were binding. Stanton was later nominated and confirmed and returned to the Court, this time as its Chief Justice in the 1880's.
He also intervened in Indian Territory when troops of the Indian Confederation soundly defeated and killed Ltn. Colonel Custer and elements of the 7th Cavalry in Cheyenne in November of 1869. Wade abrogated (with Congress's unwitting pre-approval in 1862) the unfavorable treaties that the tribes had been forced to sign in 1866, and appointed a half-Indian to the post of US Marshal and Territorial Judge.
Wade ran for president again, most famously with Stanton as his VP, in 1876, where the vote came down to a tie in Florida. A compromise was reached where Federal troops would be removed from the south and Grant would stay in office. Wade and Stanton's concession was the Wellsley Act of 1876, which denied State governments the right to impose segregation, but allowed Counties to be integrated with a supermajority of registered voters.
Southern states began interpreting this law to mean that unless a county votes itself integrated, it is by default segregated. The results were unexpected: by 1880, Southern Counties fell into three categories, White majority segregated, Integrated, and Black majority segregated. Many blacks in the South flocked to the latter categories.
This tended to concentrate political power, and since the State was denied the possibility of intervening in county affairs by the Wellsley Act, black majority counties tended to have black officials. As urbanization increased after 1895, regional trends began to emerge.
In the North, counties containing large cities were becoming more and more integrated.
In the South, the opposite tended to be true. Cities were divided sharply, and in each quarter, the cultural norms ruled. The majority tended to create the rules, and the status quo was a matter of equilibrium.
One thing was true after 1876, and that was that everybody votes. Women were granted the right on the Centennial, and played in important role in all elections after 1872.
Segregation tended to lesson racial tension because it isolates, but at the cost of toleration. By 1890, the New South had emerged, black majority in the West, around the Mississippi, with a few Counties integrated here and there, concentrated along the Gulf Coast. The one exception was Louisiana, which had one-third of its Counties integrated.
Polygamy was a hot issue in the 19th Century and it came to a head in 1875 with Reynolds v. United States, which upheld state bans on the practice with severe criminal penalties, among them disenfranchisement. Reynold's lawyers pointed out that the practice was tolerated in Indian Territory, but the court ruled that a special case.
In 1896, the Supreme Court heard Plessey v. Ferguson, which overturned twenty years of Segregation, but for the most part, the South ignored the Court.
This started coming to an end in 1901, when a young mulatto lawyer from Solomon, Florida (in St. Marks County, the only integrated county in the state) made her Freedom Ride from Florida to Washington aboard airship. She challenged the states and interstate carriers, and won a clear path between the two states.
In 1906, Congress passed the Gurley Act, which required all federal, state, and local lawmakers, executives, and judges to use a system of precedence with the US Constitution on top, regardless of state or local laws to the contrary. This law sparked off a legal war that would last until 1913.
In 1907 the new state of Oklahoma enshrined in its Constitution the dominance of the Indian Nation within the State. It was rather exclusive of whites and to some lesser extents, white. It did, however, allow for adoption into a tribe by acculturalization.
The State of Utah tried to take Oklahoma to court, but instead ended up suing the Federal goverment. The Supreme Court decided in 1909 in favor of the Union.
In response, the Congress, at odds with SCOTUS in this issue, passed the Cultural Integrity Act of 1909. The act allowed states not accepting public (federal) funds the right to define the laws within the context of their native culture.
President Roosevelt was unhappy with this decision and directed federal agents acting in the states to arrest polygamists in states outside Oklahoma.
The three way legal battle escalated and landed in federal court again. In 1911, SCOTUS overturned the Cultural Integrity Act.
This incensed Congress, which eventually ratified the XXth Amendment in 1913, which changed the way Senators were elected, required new states to be contiguous with one of the 48 states, and enshrined native cultural identity as a right.
After 1913, the political climate of the US evolved into the "Special Interest State" where there is Oklahoma, the Indian State, Texas, the Big Business State, and Utah and Nevada, the Mormon States. As long as the states did not violate the precepts of the Wellsley Act or take federal money, they could impose a culture on the entire population, as long as it could be justified as 'native' (which many states took to mean 'natural').
Special interest states became the norm until after the Great War. The US did not become involved until 1922 and fought until the economic collapse of 1940. In the aftermath of the collapse, the Union broke apart and a Second Civil War ensued.
The war had devastating costs, in human lives and property damage. In the absence of the revolting states, the Congress passes the XXIVth Amendment, which completely restructured the way voting was done in the US.
The Amendment gave positive or negative votes, gave the universal right of referendum.
After the war had ended, the Congress changed the number of senators the returning states would get, thus affecting the electoral college, and bolstered the authorities of the District Courts. It increased the number of Districts to 13 and redistributed the states according to their participation in the rebellion. It also created 13 seats in the SCOTUS and required the seat holder to be from the numbered district.
By the late 1940's the new District system was ensconced, and courts began to make unilateral rulings for states in their district. By 1950 a trend of the "Special Interest District" was emerging.
The Districts became more uniform over time, so there developed, for instance, the Black South District (V—AR, MS, LA) and the White South District (XI—SC, GA, AL, FL). From 1950 onward, the two regions exchange populations, but in District XI, segregation led to racial tension, especially in the cities, and a civil rights movement erupted there.