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Literature / Blue Skies in Camelot

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“It’s not snowing like it was last year, Jack. It’s warmer too. I think it’s a good sign.” She put her other hand over her husband’s and squeezed it tightly.
“There’s blue skies ahead for us, my love.”
—Jacqueline to John F. Kennedy, before his second inauguration

Blue Skies in Camelot: An Alternate 60's and Beyond is an alternate history timeline written by AlternateHistory.com user President_Lincoln. Set around the premise of Marilyn Monroe not dying in 1962 leading to JFK surviving his own assassination the following year.

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From political changes such as a joint American-Soviet Moon Mission and no Vietnam War, to pop culture changes such as Marylin Monroe as an early feminist icon, Elvis collaborating with the Beatles, and Star Trek not getting canceled, Blue Skies in Camelot highlights a more hopeful alternate 1960s with a surviving JFK at the helm.

It can be read here.


This work features the following tropes :

  • Allohistorical Allusion: This timeline's equivalent of the USS Liberty incident happened to a British ship, the HMS Hope, with similar consequences for Anglo-Israeli relations.
  • Alternate History: An obvious inclusion. Though the 1960's of this timeline do parallel our own in many ways, there are several differences:
    • Some figures live longer than in our timeline; John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe both survive their deaths, as do Otis Redding, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Randolph Churchill. While others are not so lucky... including Bob Dylan who dies in a Motorcycle crash in 1966, and the Animals, killed in a bus accident the year after that.
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    • The People's Republic of China is thrust into further upheaval in 1968 when Marshall Lin Biao assassinates Chairman Mao during a summit between Mao and Secretary of State Robert Mc Namara with the aim of opening relations with the west. The tragic result being The Cultural Revolution and its ensuing bloodshed are prolonged and intensified.
    • With a second term to pursue his agenda, President Kennedy enters into legend; becoming known as "the Second FDR" with his New Frontier programs of Medicare, Medicaid, Universal Guaranteed Income for American families, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and more. The 1960's subsequently earn the descriptor "The Wonder Years" to describe the progress and prosperity of the decade.
    • As the result of a failed coup attempt in 1964, Nikita Khrushchev remains in power in Soviet Union until 1967, when he is succeeded by Alexei Kosygin. Leonid Brezhnev, who attempted the coup, is quietly killed by a Khrushchev-loyal KGB.
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  • Black Dude Dies First: As IOTL, the Manson Family's first target is an African-American drug dealer named Bernard Crowe whom they mistakenly believe to be a Black Panther. Unlike IOTL, they succeed in killing him.
  • The Bus Came Back: Lyndon Johnson resigns as Vice-President in 1964 due to an ethics scandal. When Senator George Bush becomes Vice-President in 1968, LBJ wins the special election for his seat. He is currently running for President in 1972
  • Celebrity Paradox: Judy Garland as Mrs. Banks in Mary Poppins.
  • Different World, Different Movies: In a sense. Star Trek: The Original Series runs for five seasons.
  • Domestic Abuse: Manson is violently abusive to his lover "Mother Mary" Brunner.
  • Election Day Episode: First in 1964, on which JFK wins reelection handily over New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller.; then in 1968, when American Conservative Party Candidate George Wallace siphons just enough support from Democrat Hubert Humphrey to throw a plurality in several states, and the election, to Republican George Romney. Romney becomes the first President since Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876 to win the electoral, but not the popular vote.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Like any successful cult leader, Manson's a very charming and charismatic individual. But this doesn't change the fact that he's a brutal and depraved monster.
  • Fictional Political Party: George Wallace and Jerry Falwell create the American Conservative Party in 1967.
  • For Want of a Nail: Marylin Monroe doesn’t die in 1962, followed by JFK surviving in Dallas in 1963.
  • He's Back: After being forced to resign in 1964 due to a pending ethics investigation, Vice President Lyndon Johnson "retires" for several years before returning to the United States Senate in 1968. From there, he quickly plans to grow his own power once again.
  • Historical-Domain Character: Another obvious inclusion.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each chapter from the second onward is named after a song that was released in the year the chapter is set in (example: Chapter 2 is titled You've Really Got a Hold on Me, a Smokey Robinson song recorded in 1962).
  • The Kingslayer:
    • Marshall Lin Biao, who assassinates Mao Zedong.
    • The Manson Family graduates to this, murdering Pierre Trudeau.
    • Arthur Bremer, who in our world unsuccessfully attempted to assassinate George Wallace, manages to murder another George... President George Romney.
  • Mood Whiplash: "This Magic Moment", which details the joint US/Soviet moon landing mission and is optimistic in tone, is followed up by "Helter Skelter", wherein Charles Manson's Family murders Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, Barbra Streisand, and several others as part of their Reign of Terror.
  • Our Presidents Are Different: President Ace John F. Kennedy, an exceptional leader bordering on being President Mary Sue, survives the attempt on his life in 1963, going on to win reelection to a second term over Nelson Rockefeller in 1964. This leads to a prosperous, mostly peaceful four years which cement JFK's legacy as one of the nation's greatest Presidents. He is followed in 1968 by President Personable; Republican George Romney, a liberal in his party whose grandfatherly demeanor and moderate tendencies are soon put to the test by an increasingly hostile political environment.
  • Point of Divergence: Marilyn Monroe's barbiturate addiction is discovered the day before her fatal overdose by her housekeeper, Eunice Murray, producing a butterfly effect where JFK survives his assassination.
  • Richard Nixon the Used Car Salesman: A few interesting examples of this come about such as:
    • Bill Clinton never becomes a politician. Instead, he becomes a famous Saxophone player and later marries Raquel Welch.
    • Hillary Clinton stays Republican. She later enters a relationship with George W. Bush.
    • Elvis marries Ann-Margret instead of Priscilla. Avoiding many of the... less than stellar films of his later career, Presley instead focuses on recording excellent music, including collaborations with the Beatles and Jimi Hendrix.
    • Joe Di Maggio marries Marilyn once again shortly after her stint in rehab. Inspired by their newfound bliss and Monroe's decision to adopt a son and continue acting, Di Maggio becomes batting coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers throughout the 1960's and early 70's.
    • John Lennon begins an affair and eventually leaves his wife, Cynthia Powell, as per our timeline, only now its with Ursula Andress; not Yoko Ono, whom Lennon never meets. Paul McCartney marries Jane Asher and becomes something of a music industry bigwig, working closely with a surviving Brian Epstein to turn Apple Corps. into a legitimate record label. As a consequence of these changes, the Beatles remain closer as a group and do not break up... yet.
    • Former Child Star Shirley Temple is elected to represent California in Congress as a conservative Republican in 1967. Temple would later become Senator for California in 1974.
  • Sugar Bowl: The story plays on this a bit. While the 1960s of this timeline is shown to be so much better than the 60s of our own timeline, that doesn’t necessarily mean everything's hunky dory.
  • Together in Death: Pierre Trudeau and Barbra Streisand end up like this after they get killed by members of the Manson Family.
  • Tranquil Fury: Governor Ronald Reagan's address about the murders of Pierre Trudeau and multiple celebrities is described as being "controlled, but clearly enraged".
  • Wham Episode:
    • Chapter 53. Pierre Trudeau, Barbra Streisand, Omar Sharif, and four others are gruesomely murdered by members of the Manson Family.
    • Chapter 71. George Romney being assassinated in 1972 as he headed into re-election, which causes a pro-Republican wave of sympathy that propels George H W Bush into the White House in his own right (Bush was Romney's Vice President).

Alternative Title(s): Blue Skies In Camelot An Alternate60s And Beyond

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