What happens when:
- A graduate from the University of Chicago moves to Plattsburgh, New York?
- An Indian-born PhD graduate is offered a position as a professor at Mount Royal University in Calgary?
- An estranged father fails to make it in the United States, and reunites with his family in Alberta?
- One media company outbids another for a newspaper in New England?
- And the first black Governor of Virginia mounts a long-shot bid for the U.S. Senate?
Not much, at first.
At least in the grand scheme, nothing happens immediately following these five events - they are bolded for reference. The world, however, is slowly and permanently altered.
For better or for worse, history lurches away from our present.
Some background information can be found here.
Timeline of Events
- University of Chicago graduate Bernard Sanders graduates and moves to Plattsburgh, New York.
- Ajit Singh Randhawa earns a PhD degree from the University of British Columbia, and receives an offer for a position as a professor at Mount Royal University, Calgary.
- Sanders first runs for political office in the New York Senate election as the Socialist Labor nominee. He comes in fourth place, against James Buckley, Richard Ottinger, and Charles Goodell.
- Rafael "Felito" Cruz is born in Calgary to Rafael Cruz and Elanor Wilson.
- Nimrata Randhawa is born in Banff, Alberta.
- Cruz’s father leaves his family and moves to Texas. Later in the year, after Cruz Sr. is inspired by a Baptist Bible study session, he reaches out to Elanor. They reconcile and relocate their family to Edmonton.
- After a series of unsuccessful political campaigns, Sanders wins election as Mayor of Plattsburgh, New York.
- Sanders wins election to the House of Representatives from New York’s 21st district.
- Governor Doug Wilder of Virginia continues his campaign for U.S. Senator, deciding against dropping out of the race.
- The Providence Journal Company is sold to Gatehouse Media for $1.6 billion.
- Summer: Nikki Randhawa marries Lawrence Pedersen, a technician at RCAF Station High River, Alberta.
- Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan announces his retirement; New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani is seen as the front runner and likely Republican nominee.
- New York Democrats attempt to recruit First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton to run against Giuliani, but she opts instead to launch a campaign against Oliver North for his Senate seat. She buys a home in Culpeper, Virginia.
- Representative Sanders announces his run for the Senate seat as an independent.
- Following the passing of Senator John Chafee, Lincoln Chafee, Mayor of Warwick, is appointed to his father's Senate seat.
- Despite a tumultuous four weeks, including the revelation of early-stage prostate cancer and separation from his wife, Mayor Rudy Giuliani continues with his Senate campaign.
- Hillary Clinton wins election to the United States Senate from Virginia against Oliver North, despite Republican presidential nominee George W. Bush carrying the state and winning the White House.
- Rudy Giuliani wins election to the United States Senate from New York, defeating Sanders and Representative Nita Lowry.
- May: Cruz becomes Chief Crown Prosecutor of Edmonton.
- Hillary Clinton wins re-election to the Senate, defeating Republican nominee Representative Jo Ann Davis.
- Incumbent Republican Senator Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island is defeated in his re-election bid against former state Attorney General Sheldon Whitehouse.
- Chafee joins the advisory board of J Street, a lobbying group that promotes diplomatic relations between Israel and its neighbors and supports an independent Palestinian state.
- Lincoln Chafee announces his candidacy for Governor of Rhode Island as an independent.
- Illinois Comptroller Dan Hynes wins a narrow Democratic gubernatorial primary against incumbent Governor Pat Quinn.
- Andre Bauer wins the Republican gubernatorial primary runoff election in South Carolina.
- Hynes wins the Illinois gubernatorial election against State Senator Bill Brady.
- Democratic State Senator Vincent Sheheen defeats Bauer in the South Carolina gubernatorial election.
- Lincoln Chafee wins his bid for Governor.
- Chafee enlists the support of Paradigm Media Consultants in his office, who persuade him not to adopt an "avoidance policy" of not giving interviews on the radio.
- Governor Chafee unveils his budget plan - he does not extend a tax to newspapers, and he maintains an amicable relationship with the press.
- Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal announces his candidacy for the Republican nomination for President.
- Robert Mugabe steps down as President of Zimbabwe, and becomes Senator-for-Life in a constitutional rewrite that protects him from prosecution; Vice President Joice Mujuru becomes President.
- Lincoln Chafee is announced as a campaign co-chair for President Barack Obama’s re-election bid, and declares his registration as a member of the Democrat Party.
- Chelsea Clinton wins election to the House of Representatives from Arkansas’ 2nd district.
- President Mujuru is expelled from her party during the ZANU-PF Annual Conference; former First Lady Grace Mugabe succeeds her as party leader.
- Grace Mugabe is elected President of Zimbabwe; many international monitors describe the vote as "highly flawed" and "fraudulent."
- Former Ambassador Eric Bost founds Our Opportunity, to advocate for foreign aid and conservative policy.
- Hurricane Gonzalo makes landfall in Kingston, Jamaica. It veers towards the Atlantic coast.
- President Obama, the Governors of Atlantic states from Florida through Massachusetts, and the Mayor of D.C. declare states of emergency.
- Evacuations begin.
- Hurricane Gonzalo dissipates: a total of 306 Americans die directly or indirectly from the storm. There's $112 billion in damages and losses, making it the costliest hurricane in U.S. history.
- Governor Lincoln Chafee wins re-election against the Republican nominee, Cranston Mayor Alan Fung, and Moderate Party nominee Robert J. Healey.
- Lieutenant Governor of Maryland Anthony Brown wins the gubernatorial election against Republican Larry Hogan.
- Vince Shaheen, incumbent Governor of South Carolina, wins re-election against former Lieutenant Governor Glenn F. McConnell.
- Dan Hynes, incumbent Governor of Illinois, wins re-election against businessman Bruce Rauner.
- Felito Cruz runs for and wins in the Wildrose Party leadership election.
- Chafee announces his exploratory committee for the 2016 Presidential election.
- Former Secretary of State and former Senator from Virginia Hillary Clinton announces her candidacy for the Democrat nomination for President.
- Cruz wins election as Premier of Alberta. Without a majority, the Wildrose Party forms the first minority government in Albertan history.
- After becoming disillusioned with Sanders’ campaign for President, Harvard Professor Lawrence Lessig decides against a presidential run of his own. He reaches out to the Chafee exploratory committee.
- Former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley announces his campaign for the Democrat Party presidential nomination.
- Chafee announces his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for President; Lessig is named General Chairman of his campaign.
- Former Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe announces his candidacy for the Democratic nomination in Searcy, Arkansas.
- Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush announces his candidacy for the Republican nomination in Miami.
- Businessman and reality show host Donald Trump announces his candidacy for the Republican nomination.
- Bobby Jindal announces his candidacy for the Republican nomination for President in New Orleans.
- Mansoor Dadullah, leader of the ISIL-allied Mullah Dadullah Front, survives an attack by the Taliban in Khak-e-Afghan.
- Hillary Clinton wins the Democratic caucuses in Iowa.
- Donald Trump wins the Republican caucuses in Iowa. Senator Rand Paul, former IRS Commissioner Mark Everson, and former Governor Mike Huckabee drop out of the race for the Republican nomination; Paul considers running for the Libertarian nomination.
- Bernie Sanders wins the New Hampshire Democratic Primary. Lincoln Chafee wins an unexpectedly strong second place.
- Donald Trump wins the New Hampshire Republican Primary. Carly Fiorina, Governor Chris Christie, and former Governor Jim Gilmore drop out of the race for the Republican nomination.
- The Super Tuesday contests take place.
- Clinton sweeps the popular vote and the majority of Democratic contests; Sanders, O'Malley, and Chafee continue their campaigns.
- Clashes erupt between supporters of the Sanders and Chafee campaigns at the University of Minnesota, following Clinton's victory in the state's caucuses.
- Trump sweeps a majority of the Republican contests and wins a plurality of the vote; Jindal emerges as his clearest rival for the nomination.
- Lincoln Chafee wins his first contest of the primary season, winning a plurality of votes in the Maine caucuses.
- Donald Trump wins the Republican primaries in Florida, North Carolina, Missouri, Illinois, and the Northern Mariana Islands; Kasich wins the primary in his home state of Ohio. Rubio suspends his campaign.
- Clinton wins the Ohio and North Carolina primaries, while O'Malley wins the Florida and Illinois primaries and Sanders wins the Missouri primary.
- Geert Wilders' Party for Freedom (PVV) wins a plurality in the Dutch parliamentary elections; Wilders becomes the 51st Prime Minister of the Netherlands and vows to remove the country from the European Union.
- A wildfire sweeps through Fort McMurray, Alberta, destroying approximately 2400 homes and buildings and forcing the largest wildfire evacuation in Albertan history.
- Michael Gove, UK Secretary of State for Justice, endorses Boris Johnson, former Mayor of London, for Leader of the Conservative Party, stating that Johnson would "provide the necessary leadership to build the team for the task ahead."
- King Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia abdicates the throne; the War of Saudi Succession begins.
- Former Mayor of London Boris Johnson wins the final ballot for Leader of the Conservative Party, defeating Theresa May, Andrea Leadsom, Stephen Crabb, and Liam Fox.
- Boris Johnson takes office as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
- The Peace at Home Council attempts a coup against the government of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of Turkey; the Turkish Civil War begins.
- The Council seizes control of Ankara and a handful of other cities across the country.
- Erdoğan is besieged while on vacation at the resort town of Marmaris; Council soldiers take control of Dalaman Airport and prevent Erdoğan from leaving the villa.
- Turkish government forces, in conjunction with Greek and British forces, work to remove the estimated 50,000 foreign tourists trapped in Marmaris and other resort towns in Turkey.
- Riyadh is captured by Muhammad bin Nayef; he becomes the undisputed monarch of Saudi Arabia.
- The Battle of Marmaris ends; Erdoğan and his staff escape to Istanbul, where he delivers a televised speech urging supporters to take to the streets against the Council.
- Cruz announces his intention to switch his affiliation to the Conservative Party, in order to run in the federal leadership election in 2017.
- Albertan opposition leader Rachel Notley, of the NDP, introduced a motion of no confidence. Three Progressive Conservative MLAs joined the Liberals and New Democrats in supporting the motion, violating a previous agreement between their party and the Cruz government.
- The Legislative Assembly of Alberta reconvenes, and the motion of no confidence is put to a vote; the Cruz government is sustained by a razor-thin 44-43 vote.
- Cruz reshuffles his cabinet, leading a coalition government of the Wildrose Party, Progressive Conservatives, and the Alberta Party.
- On the day of the Montenegrin parliamentary election, pro-Russian activist organizations take control of key buildings in Podgorica, alleging attempted electoral interference by Prime Minister Duško Marković; Marković and much of his government are arrested.
- Opposition leader Andrija Mandić and his electoral alliance, the Democratic Front, claim a majority in Parliament; Mandić becomes Prime Minister.
- NSA leaker Edward Snowden, who had been living in Tivat Airport, is detained by the new government.
- José Ramírez hits a home run for Cleveland in the second inning off of Jon Lester, and Rajai Davis scores a run off Lester in the sixth inning. The Indians clinch the World Series for Cleveland.
- Hillary Clinton wins the United States Presidential election.
- The Erdoğan government fully reclaims the last pockets of Council resistance in Ankara and Kars; the Turkish Civil War ends.
- Representatives Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Peter King (R-NY) introduce the Effective Capital for Long Term Growth Act, seeking to combat "quarterly capitalism." Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) introduces the Senate version of the bill.
- Bobby Jindal wins the runoff election for the Senate in Louisiana.
- Representative Charlie Dent (R-PA) is elected Speaker of the House of Representatives with bipartisan support, against the majority of his own party. Dent declares that he will do away with the Hastert Rule and speak on behalf of Congress as a whole.
- Hillary Clinton is inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States; Luis Gutiérrez is inaugurated as the 48th Vice President.
- Gary Locke takes office as Secretary of State; Martin O'Malley takes office as Secretary of Homeland Security.
- The Senate passes the Effective Capital Investment Act by a 58-42 margin.
- The Effective Capital Investment Act passes the House by a 231-198 margin.
- Tim Wu is appointed Commissioner and Chair of the Federal Trade Commission.
- President Clinton signs the ECIA into law.
- Clinton signs legislation enabling the creation of an independent commission to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 elections. It is chaired by Avril Haines, former Deputy National Security Advisor and former Deputy Director of the CIA, and Condoleeza Rice, former Secretary of State and former National Security Advisor.
- Lincoln Chafee's diplomatic credentials are received by Secretary-General Luis Almago; he becomes the United States Ambassador to the OAS.
- The Offshore Finances Repatriation and Reinvestment Act is introduced in the Senate, co-sponsored by Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Rob Portman (R-OH).
- The Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ) of Venezuela takes over legislative powers of the National Assembly.
- Following their meeting, Secretary of State Gary Locke and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu issue a joint statement, supporting a no-fly zone in Northern Syria. Discussion of U.S. support of Syrian Democratic Forces is left to a later time.
- Following mass protests and international condemnation, the TSJ reviews its decision, but decides to maintain its self-coup; protests continue.
- The Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad unleashes a chemical gas attack in the town of Khan Shaykhun, killing at least 74 people and injured more than 557.
- President Clinton announces joint air strikes on many of Assad's air fields with Turkish and Qatari forces; she sends a letter to Speaker of the House Charlie Dent and Senate President Pro Tempore Patrick Leahy, notifying them of the strike.
- In phone call with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Secretary Locke assures his counterpart that the Syrian governorates of Latakia, Tartus, and Damascus will not be targeted by the coalition airstrikes.
- The Turkish constitutional referendum passes with a contested 54% of the vote, greatly expanding the powers of the Turkish Presidency.
- President Maduro of Venezuela announces that his country will withdraw from the Organization of American States, kicking off a two-year process and worsening the diplomatic crisis.
- During a state visit to Washington, DC, bodyguards of Erdoğan clash violently with protesters; nine people are hospitalized; the Turkish Ambassador to the United States, Serdar Kılıç, is summoned to the State Department.
- The Clinton administration and the Locke State Department compels Ambassador Kılıç to return to Turkey; John Bass, the Ambassador to Turkey, is recalled to the United States.
- The United States Senate passes the Offshore Finances Repatriation and Reinvestment Act by a 58-39 margin; President Clinton signs it into law the same day.
- Nikki Pedersen wins the leadership election for the Conservative Party of Canada.
- Clinton announces the selection of Ellen Tauscher - former U.S. Representative from California and former Under Secretary of State - as her selection for the United States Ambassador to Turkey.
- Led by Saudi Arabia and Egypt, several countries across the Middle East, Africa, and Asia cut off diplomatic relations with Qatar.
- Felito Cruz announces the merger of the Progressive Conservative Party in Alberta with the Wildrose Party, and the creation of a new national party - One Canada.
- Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi declares that Mosul - the largest city occupied by the terrorist group - has been liberated from ISIL.
- Wikileaks publishes the documents from The New York Times. Among the revelations are:
- Undisclosed communications between the Turkish government and the United States Department of Education, including Secretary Randi Weingarten, seemingly targeting charter schools run by the Gülen movement.
- A an undisclosed $900 million of direct financing given to the Venezuelan government by Goldman Sachs, through the front company Paxehaknik Management.
- RNC Chairwoman Carly Fiorina calls for investigations into the document leaks and the Education Department, a sentiment later echoed by House Speaker Charlie Dent and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
- The Assyrian Democratic Movement proclaims the "Assyrian National Homeland," and elects Yonadam Kanna as President; he calls for Assyrians to take part in the Kurdish independence referendum, then hold a separate referendum later in 2017, in an "independence two-step."
- The Venezuelan opposition holds a symbolic referendum rejecting the Constitutional Assembly.
- Citing "interference of foreign powers", Maduro delays the planned Constitutional Assembly election indefinitely.
- The Unite the Right Rally occurs. Six people die; two police officers in a helicopter crash, and four civilians in a vehicle ramming attack.
August 28-September 19:
- Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria strike the United States in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico, displacing tens of thousands of people, or leaving them without power.
- The House Select Committee on Covert Communications is formed to investigate improper communications between the Republic of Turkey and the Department of Education.
- The 30th Albertan General election takes place; Felito Cruz' One Canada gains a majority of the seats.
- The Government Accountability Act is first proposed.
- After months of protests, the War in Belarus begins.
- President Aleksandr Lukashenko resigns under pressure and flees to Moscow.
- The Belorussian Democratic Assembly is established, led by Andrei Sannikov and Mikola Statkevich.
- A counter-coup begins, with Russian support, declaring Viktor Lukashenko the rightful President of Belarus.
- The Belorussian Democratic Forces is founded, led by Major-General Igor Rachkovsky.
- Iraqi Kurdistan holds a referendum supporting independence from Iraq.
- Iraq places an embargo on international airports flying to and from Kurdistan.
- Skirmishes begin along the border, but little territory changes hands.
- The 2017 Chicago Marathon is the site of the deadliest mass shooting in American history.
- The Healthcare Modernization Act of 2017 passes the United States House of Representatives, and is signed into law by Clinton the same day.
- The Government Accountability Act passes the Alberta Legislative Assembly.
- Zimbabwean President Grace Mugabe dismisses First Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa from both his post in the administration and in the ZANU-PF on accusations that he was plotting to topple her from power; Mnangagwa flees to Pretoria, South Africa.
- Education Secretary Randi Weingarten resigns from office, citing an "inability to effectively perform" her job; Deputy Secretary John DeStefano becomes Acting Secretary.
- The Zimbabwean Civil War begins as armored personnel carriers roll through major thoroughfares on the outskirts Harare, under the ultimate direction of Mnangagwa and Constantino Chiwenga, former head of the Zimbabwe Defense Force.
- At the 54th National Conference of the African National Congress, Jacob Zuma successfully remains the leader of the party, and thus remains President of South Africa.
- The Assyrian National Homeland holds a referendum supporting independence from Kurdistan; Yonadam Kanna becomes President.
- Russian President Vladamir Putin is shot at Khrabrovo Airport in Kaliningrad.
- Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev takes office as Acting President.
- NATO's Committee on Cyber Security is officially instituted.
- Acting President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev announces that the first round of the Russian Presidential election will still be held on March 18th, and that he intends to run for the United Russia nomination.
- Former Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau was sworn in as the 12th United States Secretary of Education.
- Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoygu resigns from his position, announcing his intention to run for the for President as an independent.
- The Bandarara Offensive begins in the Zimbabwean Civil War.
- The Second Battle of Bulawayo begins; the African Union convenes an emergency meeting.
- Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA) publishes a memo as Chairman of the House Select Committee on Covert Communications, alleging that the Department of Education, Office of Personnel Management, Department of State, and FBI used improper sources in the covert communications affair.
- The African Union, NATO, and the newly-created International Force for Zimbabwe begins intervention in Zimbabwe.
- Over 100 Russian mercenaries and unmarked troops in Syria are attacked by U.S. airstrikes at Deir ez-Zor; public sentiment against Medvedev's administration grows.
- Donald Trump Jr. announces his candidacy for Governor of New York.
- The Second Battle of Bulawayo ends; coalition forces surround Harare.
- Former Maryland Governor Bob Ehrlich launches his campaign for the Republican Presidential nomination
- Former Defence Minister Sergey Shoygu is elected President of the Russian Federation on the first ballot, with approximately 53% of the vote.
- Congressman Bernie Sanders launches his campaign for Governor of New York.
- Grace and Robert Mugabe flee Harare for Singapore; Emmerson Mnangagwa is recognized as President by the remainder of the former Mugabe government.
- A finalized agreement for crises in Venezuela is reached in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.
- The Venezuelan military seizes control of Caracas; General-in-Chief Vladimir Padrino López, formerly the Minister of Defense, is declared Acting President.
- The 8th Summit of the Americas takes place; the Lima Declaration is signed, condemning the coup in Venezuela.
- The 54th Special Session of the OAS is convened.
- President Jacob Zuma of South Africa grants asylum to the Mugabe family; widespread protests occur among the Zimbabwean population in the country.
- The March on Caracas takes place; the Padrino junta is forced from power and National Assembly President Omar Barboza assumes authority as Acting President.
- A chlorine gas attack is carried out in BDF-held areas of Minsk, killing 96 people, and injuring over five hundred, marking the deadliest chemical attack in Europe since the Second World War.
- Pro-Lukasheno forces capture Minsk.
- Investigators from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons are blocked from entering Minsk.
- Karen Kwiatkowski, Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs for Public Affairs, resigns in protest of VA facility safety in the aftermath of the Yountville shooting.
- An international summit is held in The Hague concerning the crisis in Belarus, at the headquarters of the OPCW; a ceasefire lasts for 27 hours before fighting resumes.
- Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom and Treasurer John Chiang, both Democrats, advance to the California gubernatorial election; Republican David Fennell and independent Gayle McLaughlin advance to the election for Lieutenant Governor.
- Facing pressure from Congress and the public, Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald resigns; Deputy Secretary Kristin Beck becomes Acting Secretary.
- Supreme Court Associate Justices Robert Kennedy and Ruth Bader Ginsburg announce their retirement.
- Former Rear Admiral Michelle Howard is sworn in as United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
- Clinton announces her nomination of Circuit Judge Jacqueline Nguyen and District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson for the vacancies on the Supreme Court.
- The Zimbabwean general election is held, with international observers declaring Susan Tsvangirai the victor with 50.8% of the vote; coalition-building talks begin with incumbent President Mnangagwa.
- As part of the peace process in the country, Parliament of Cameroon appointing a commission to study and rewrite the constitution.
- Leopoldo López wins the Venezuelan presidential election, defeating PSUV candidate Adán Chávez and Workers' Movement (MT) candidate Luisa Ortega.