Dutch-American Friendship Day

19th April
Dutch-American Friendship Day remembers the day in 1782 when John Adams, later to become the second president of the United States, was received by the States General in The Hague and recognized as Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States of America.
Fifteen years later, in 2007, Congress made this a repeating commemoration, and on March 12, 2007 the House of Representative officially established Dutch-American Friendship Day:

“The U.S./Dutch relationship has stood the test of time and has strengthened in the crucible of conflict as the Dutch have stood beside us in times of peace and war. The Dutch supported us in our war for independence. Sixty years ago Dutch and American servicemen stood side by side during World War II and today the Dutch stand by us still in the Global War on Terror. The debt we owe to our Dutch friends is seen not only in our people, and in the persons of such famous Dutch Americans as Presidents Martin VanBuren, and Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt, but also in our experience as a Nation. Our traditions of religious freedom and tolerance as well as our system of government, all have spiritual and legal roots in our relationship with the Dutch Republic. ”

Dutch-American Friendship Day is less well known than its cousin, Dutch-American Heritage Day (in November). Also, in April many Dutch clubs and organization in the States are focused on organizing their Queen’s Day celebration (April 30th).

It was also the day that the house he had purchased at Fluwelen Burgwal 18 in The Hague was to become the first American Embassy in the world. In 1982, two hundred years later, President Reagan proclaimed April 19, 1982, to be Dutch-American Friendship Day

The Foundation of Nieuw Zwolle and the Republic of New Holland


Things looked quite bleak at the end of the 17th century for the settlements of the Dutch West India Company’s settlements in North America. New Amsterdam, the company’s most important trade centre, was lost to the English in 1665 and it was a bold stroke that the Dutch naval captain Jurriaen Aernoutsz captured the French settlements of Acadia along the Kennebec River during the Franco-Dutch War of 1674.

Naming the place New Holland, Aernoutsz appointed a governor and went to the Dutch West Indies to find willing colonists for the WIC’s latest acquisition. Returning with a shipload of them, the experienced skipper managed to slip behind three English men-of-war out of Boston who tried to intercept him and land in what was to become the capital Nieuw Zwolle at the mouth of the Kennebec in Penobscot Bay. This day, April 19th 1674, marks the actual beginning of New Holland.

Settling various differences with His Majesty’s Colony of Massachusetts and the English, Aernoutsz and his new governor Cornelius van Steenwyk pushed northwards towards New France and the St Lawrence River valley. Without resources to speak of from the mother country, Aernoutsz rose above himself in diplomatic skill, managed to form an alliance with Massachusetts’ governor Josiah Winslow and the Iroquois Confederation and his colony of New Holland and captured Montreal in 1678 and Quebec early in 1679.
Teeth-gnashing, the French had to accept a major loss of their New France territory with the Treaty of Nijmegen. The Dutch Republic was with one stroke one of the players in the round of North American colonial powers again.
Grown rich on the fur trade, New Holland participated actively in the War of the Spanish Succession and gained the French territory of New Brunswick under the Treaty of Utrecht and the Seven Years’ War saw them expand to the Eastern shores of the Great Lakes.

The relationship between the New Hollanders and the English in Rupert’s Land on the Hudson Bay and the East Coast was never easy and took a while to heal after the colony joined the mother country in declaring war on the British during the American War of Independence, ending with a territorial status quo of the colonies after the Peace of Paris in 1783.

New Holland almost faced Civil War, when Napoleon occupied the Netherlands in 1795 between the pro-Napoleonic faction and the Onafhankelijkheid party who wanted their own, independent North American Republic. The later President of the Republic of New Holland, Willem van Steenwyk, a descendant of Cornelius, won the relatively bloodless conflict and the country was proclaimed a republic on June 21st 1796 in Nieuw Zwolle.

Relief in the Big Orange


On this day the Dutch defenders of Fort Amsterdam received first reports that the English invasion fleet had sunk in a storm. The capital of the New Netherlands had miraculously survived.

And to celebrate victory in the Third Anglo-Dutch War ten years later, the defense was renamed Fort Willem Hendrick (pictured) in honor of the Dutch leader who was Stadtholder and Prince of Orange.
An alternate history And New Amsterdam was renamed New Orange.

Due to the peaceful manner in which the region was later,transitioned to the United States, Dutch-American relationship remained warm. As a result, three hundred years later, the ten-lane elevated highway stretching from the East River to the Hudson River, connecting the Holland Tunnel on the west side to the Williamsburg and Manhattan bridges to the east was named the Willem Hendrick Expressway [1].

This article is re-purposed from a post by Lord Roel on the Alternate History web site. In reality, no shots were fired on August 27, 1664, when the Dutch surrendered the fort and Manhattan in what amounted to one of the skirmishes in the bigger Second Anglo-Dutch War. The fort was renamed Fort James in honor of James II of England. New Amsterdam was renamed New York in recognition of James's title as Duke of York. [1] never built due to objections in 1962.

Steampunk America #1

Chancellor Bismarck's arrival in a steam-powered exo-skeleton upstaged the dirigibles carrying mustachio-twirling German diplomats and monocled English & French civil servants to the Colonial Conference in New Amsterdam. Which was to say nothing of the majestic dapperness of the Russian contingent. The Dutch of course were already there.
Almost inevitably, the "Scramble for America" had created a large number of boundary issues between the European Colonies. Perhaps the most pressing of which was navigation of the Mississippi River, an issue that affected the co-existence of Spain, England and France. Also required was a common approach to liquidating Lee's rebels who were believed to be holed up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia refusing to accept the dissolution of the Union.

An alternate history But the remainder were in broad agreement that a growth spurt in the European Industrial Revolution spelled domination of the Americas for the foreseeable future. Because during the last decade, neo-colonials had reversed the American revolution and re-created a patchwork of assorted states ruled by European Governors. Nothing less than an all-out invasion of the USA by Russia, France, Spain, Britain, Prussia, and the Dutch Republic...

Dutch Convoy Defeats Spain off Lizard Point


The Dutch War of Independence had dragged on for some seventy years after the lowland provinces began their attempt to break away from Spain. There were numerous reasons for the rebellion, including cultural and religious differences exacerbated by the birth of Protestantism, political ideals, and, perhaps most importantly, the growth of the Dutch economy. While Spain had made tremendous wealth by conquering the lands of the Aztecs, Inca, and others, Dutch merchants prospered greatly from the increasing maritime trade. This income fueled Dutch desires for independence as well as giving it the ability to hire, train, and outfit some of the greatest soldiers Europe had seen.
In 1637, the Dutch economy was soaring. Spanish embargoes had limited Dutch trade for some time, but victories at sea lifting river blockades in 1629 came alongside the timely end of the Polish-Swedish War, which opened the Baltic to safe trading once again. When the Franco-Spanish War erupted in 1635, Spanish Flanders lost its southern trade and instead had to pay hefty tariffs for a route through the north.

An alternate history by Professor Jeff Provine Along the same time, demand for supplies for the Thirty Years’ War in Germany gave an enormous market, easily fed by the victories of the Dutch East India Company and the Dutch West India Company, which gave the Dutch extensive colonies, including vast sugar plantations in newly conquered regions of Brazil. This massive influx of money led to speculation, including the projects of draining land in Holland and famous spikes in luxury goods such as tulips.

The economy of the small nation depended upon trade at sea, which was readily targeted by the Spanish navy. Miguel de Horna, new commander of the Dunkirk squadron as his predecessor was captured and died of illness, was fresh from the capture of a merchant ship when his fleet came upon a convoy of 28 Dutch and 16 English merchant ships escorted by six Dutch men-of-war off Lizard Point, Great Britain’s most southerly tip. Horna’s fleet of six galleons and two frigates descended upon the Dutch, whose warships lined up to fight closely while artillery from the armed merchantmen gave support. Three of Horna’s ships, including his own flagship, assaulted the Dutch flagship, which was crippled early in the battle. Whether through accident or desperation not to be captured, the Dutch flagship was set aflame. Explosions riddled the Spanish ships when the fire reached the magazine, injuring Horna and turning the tide of battle. The remaining Dutch were able to disengage and make safely for port while the Spanish were forced to limp home for repairs.

The Battle off Lizard Point was said to wreck Horna’s nerves. He continued to harass Dutch shipping, though rarely again fighting closely enough to capture prize ships. Two years exactly after his fateful defeat off Lizard Point in 1639, Horna was due to leave Dunkirk and join Admiral Antonio de Oquendo's fleet, but he was pinned by the Dutch blockade under Admiral Maarten Tromp. Horna sailed close to the shore, using batteries from shore as cover. Tromp pursued and came into the shallow waters where the vice-flagship had lost its steerage and run aground. Though he was able to capture the ship, it limited the Dutch maneuvers, and the rest of the Spanish fleet escaped with fair damage.

That October, the fleet under Oquendo was set to escort a series of neutral English transports bringing fresh troops to relieve Dunkirk. Tromp arrived with over one hundred ships to block them, and the Battle of the Downs began. Tromp dispatched several squadrons on tasks of preventing escapes to the north or south and interference by the English populace (gathered to watch the battle) and attacked directly with his three remaining squadrons, using principally fire ships against the large, ungainly Spanish warships. Horna and his seven ships were placed as the vanguard due to their familiarity with the Channel, and Oquendo had already experienced a battle with Tromp that September. Horna’s slow hand recommended defensive tactics, and Oquendo had learned a lesson from his humiliation from bravado at the battle on September 16. The battle raged tightly with the Spanish troops meant for Dunkirk used to keep away the grapples of fire ships until a fog fell. Unable to use their artillery, the Dutch were drawn in close, and the Spanish swarmed them. With Tromp imprisoned, the Dutch fleet was in disarray, and the Spanish managed to escape the blockade.

While the war was largely over with Spain increasingly caught up in battles inside Germany and an uprising in Portugal, the Dutch were unable to confirm themselves as masters of the sea. The Republic affirmed its independence in 1648 with the Peace of Munster, and the economy gradually switched to peacetime. However, without maritime laurels to rest on, the Dutch found themselves needing to maintain their navy as protection from privateers. Although losing out in North America to the English, the Dutch would become the principle force in the Pacific, maintaining Formosa despite Chinese attack and expanding their East Indies colonies to include New Holland and New Zeeland.

In reality, Horna would be one of Spain’s most effective commanders. After seizing seventeen ships off Lizard Point, he would ravage Dutch shipping in the English Channel. Although his initial attempt to break the Dutch blockade in the Action of 18 February 1639 would fail, he injured the Dutch forces enough to force a retreat. Horna fought valiantly against tremendous odds at the Battle of the Downs and led his squadron to escape a blockade once again, though the rest of the Spanish fleet would be wiped out, establishing Dutch dominion over the sea for some sixty years but never again afterward. Horna was knighted further battles with the Dutch and French, but died in 1641 while on another convoy raid.

The Arrests at the Central Cafe


Imperial police arrest dozens of subversive intellectuals gathered at the Café Central, a notorious coffeehouse in the Old Town of Vienna.
In the struggle, an innocent member of the Viennese intellectual scene was killed. This was the famous Austrian neurologist Dr Sigmund Freud, who had the misfortune of temporarily abandoning his favourite haunt, the Cafe Landtmann on the Ring.
Drawn together into custody were an assorted group of trouble individuals including Josip Broz, Leon Bronstein, Adolf Schicklegruber and Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili. An alternate historyBrutalized by the senseless murder, they formed the inner core of a revolutionary ring and set about ending the polyglot rule of the Habsburg's and their dastardly suppression of multi-nationalities across Europe.

The events had been triggered by the expiry of Emperor Franz Joseph (pictured) who had ruled since the revolution of 1848. The crackdown ordered by his successor Franz Ferdinand would cause a second, much more bloody overthrow that would end centuries of Habsburg rule.
Famous Dutch Americans

  • David Petraeus
  • Martin Van Buren
  • Theodore Roosevelt
  • Walter Cronkite
  • Chris Van Hollen
  • Thomas Edison
  • Rebecca Romijn
  • Franklin Roosevelt
  • Dick Van Dyke
  • Humphrey Bogart
  • Gerard Kuiper
  • Cornelius Vanderbilt
  • Nina Foch
  • Eddie Van Halen
  • Nina Foch
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Jane Fonda

War in New Guinea


The status of New Guinea had been a bone of contention between the Netherlands and Indonesia since the independence of 1949. Shortly before the independence the Dutch government had unilaterally decided that New (West) Guinea would remain Dutch even after the official recognition of Indonesian independence.
In 1637, the Dutch economy was soaring. Spanish embargoes had limited Dutch trade for some time, but victories at sea lifting river blockades in 1629 came alongside the timely end of the Polish-Swedish War, which opened the Baltic to safe trading once again. When the Franco-Spanish War erupted in 1635, Spanish Flanders lost its southern trade and instead had to pay hefty tariffs for a route through the north.

An alternate history by Marko 'Lev' Bosscher In the decade that followed Indonesian president Sukarno would repeatedly call for annexation of New Guinea, and in 1958 the tensions started to boil over. A more conservative Dutch government, backed by guarantees from American minister of Foreign affairs John Foster Dulles, started reinforcing the Dutch military presence and created a law that would allow Dutch soldiers to be stationed overseas.

The Indonesian government also upped the stakes, parachutists were landed on New Guinea and leaflets dropped. Although direct confrontation was avoided for now the Indonesian military was clearly flexing it’s muscles.

The first combat action happened in january 1962, when three Indonesian motor torpedo boats loaded with infiltrators were intercepted by the Dutch navy. One MTB was sunk by a Dutch frigate another ran aground and the third was damaged by Dutch fire. In the intervening years Indonesia had gotten closer to the Soviet Union and the Soviets started sending troops to Indonesia started sending alongside the weapons that were already being sold to that country.

The Dutch government decided to up it’s military presence in the region with extra soldiers and an anti-aircraft battalion to bolsters it’s . While tensions mount the US tries to pressure both parties into a diplomatic solution, but in early august negotiations break down as Indonesia demands the transfer of New Guinea on 1 january of the next year. On 15 August the invasion fleet takes to the sea, and a Soviet submarines slips into the harbour while 5 others take up position to block any seagoing vessel entering or exiting the waters around New Guinea.

Although the Dutch forces were in a state of readiness the attack still takes them by surprise. The fuel tanks in Mankovari harbour go up in flames, followed shortly by the frigate anchored there, in the chaos the Soviet submarine escapes unnoticed. One of the other two frigates is badly damaged by a torpedo attack as it sails to Mankovari and barely manages to limp into port. The third frigate attempts to intercept the Indonesian invasion fleet, but is itself intercepted by the Soviet submarines and turned back. Meanwhile thousands of Inodensian and Soviet soldiers start disembarking.

Although US president John F. Kennedy sharply denounces the Indonesian actions no military aid will be forthcoming, and any mention of the Soviet forces is studiously avoided. With the Americans tied up in Vietnam the Dutch soldiers conduct a valiant but vain defence of the Island. Within two weeks the main Dutch positions have all been taken and the threat of Soviet submarines is preventing reinforcements. Even the Dutch aircraft carrier Karel Doorman which has hastily steamed towards the East is kept at bay by the submarine threat.

Back in the Netherlands the government unilaterally declares a ceasefire as it’s last act before resigning. Although Indonesia now holds all of New Guinea it will take months before this is officially recognized, the parliamentary elections fail to create a stable coalition. It is not until 19 april 1963 that a peace agreement is signed, and even then the agreement is little more than a recognition of the status quo in exchange for repatriation of all Dutch prisoners of war.

In reality, Under heavy US pressure the Dutch government accepts the August 1962 agreement. Foreign minister Luns delays signing the agreement until the 15th, just hours before the Indonesian invasion would have started.

Sir Francis Drake’s ships, devastated by a storm off the coast of Spain, still attempt to take on the Spanish fleet at Cadiz, but are destroyed. Drake is hung as a pirate after Queen Elizabeth claims no knowledge of the adventurer’s mission.

"Ratman" Robert A. Taylor
Robbie's #tweetfromalternatehistory now available on Twitter and his latest e-book "The Tree Of Knowledge (The Chelsea Perkins Trilogy)" on Amazon.

a tense situation is resolved in Lexington, Massachusetts, when British soldiers disperse an angry armed group of colonials without bloodshed. The possibility of armed revolt convinces Parliament and King George to reform their dealings with the American colonies and give them a limited degree of autonomy.

George Gordon Byron, an English baron, died in Paris, France of apparent alcohol poisoning. Byron had been a poet of some esteem before rumors of incest in his family drove him to exile in France, where he drank himself to death.

British novelist Benjamin Disraeli died in Beaconsfield. Although he had served as Chancellor of the Exchequer under Prime Minister Derby, his own political goals were limited by British law barring Jews from holding office in Parliament. He died before this law was finally stricken from the books in 1904.

A selection of alternate histories by Robbie Taylor 1903
the Midwestern gangster Eliot Ness was born in Chicago, Illinois. Ness had been raised by counter-revolutionaries who instilled a love of money in him, and he was drawn to the Chicago gangland scene in his youth. Good comrades of the Illinois soviet took him down during a bank robbery in 1947.

the few remaining Greater Zionist Resistance fighters in Warsaw, Poland, are finally captured and executed by the German Reich. They had made the capture of Warsaw a heavily pyrrhic victory for the Germans, killing thousands of soldiers during their 8 ½ month struggle.

Rather than give in to demands from hardliners in Congress who want her to storm the Branch Davidian compound in Mt. Carmel, Texas and end the standoff there, Attorney General Zoe Baird goes to Texas to negotiate personally with David Koresh. After a long week, she is able to talk him into surrendering, along with his followers. Republicans decry it as a sign of the Clinton administration’s weakness in dealing with crime.

Gulf War vet Timothy McVeigh is shot in a gas station robbery as he stops to fill up his Ryder rental truck in Junction City, Louisiana. The robbers took his truck with them, but must have punctured the gas tank in the shootout, because the truck blew up just outside of town. It was thought that McVeigh must have been running a fertilizer business, because he was carrying a load of it, which was the reason for the spectacular explosion.

Steampunk America #2


Lee's rebels, mistakenly believed to be holed up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, were actually in Battery Park City readying their steam-powered mecha-suits for an audacious surprise attack.
Because less than 2 miles away in mid town New Amsterdam, mustachio-twirling German diplomats, monocled English & French civil servants plus assorted Russian and Dutch dignitaries were finalising their retro plans for the future of North America. And needless to say, it had a distinctly imperial flavour.

An alternate history Due to the monarchical elitism of the Europeans, a final rubber-stamp approval was pending the arrival of the European Royal Families. And the stage was set for the German Emperor to arrive at the Peter Stuyvesant Airport in New Jersey in a steam-powered dirigible. But of course Robert E. Lee and his redoubtable Virginians had other plans for the evening - it would end in a fireball that would rekindle the spirit of liberty.
The story of Steampunk America will continue on Today in Alternate History.

Neiu Nederlanders back Americans


In response to unrestricted submarine warfare by the Germans, American President Woodrow Wilson delivered on April 18, 1916, an ultimatum that continued attack on American ships would provoke war. The next day, Neiu Nederlander President Theodoor van Rosevelt traveled to Washington to show his agreement. If the US went to war, the American Dutch would bravely join them.
The two nations had grown up alongside one another as Europeans colonized North America. The English threatened to eliminate the Dutch from their holdings of New Amsterdam when four frigates occupied the harbor. Director-General Peter Stuyvesant, after considering ceding the land in hopes of retaking it, decided to head off a Second Anglo-Dutch War and refused. After firing on the city, the frigates were rebuffed and returned to England empty-handed.

An alternate history by Professor Jeff Provine Since that time, New Amsterdam quickly expanded. Jews ousted from Brazil as Portugal retook Dutch conquests flooded into the city, and immigrants from all over the world were accepted. The economy flourished as pelts were harvested from the upper Hudson and established shipping. When the twin states of New England and Great Virginia declared independence from Britain, the Dutch granted support first financially and then through its impressive navy. When Napoleon conquered the Netherlands in Europe, Neiu Nederlands announced its own independence.

Relations between Neiu Nederlanders and Americans were amicable. They were particularly close with New England due to ties in shipping and manufacturing, although relations were at times strained while the United States to the south determining water rights of Lake Erie. When New England broke off trade with the US over slavery, the Nederlanders maintained a lucrative neutrality. The sudden surge of trade brought about a new golden age, which led to a great deal of corruption that responded in a powerful Progressive Movement, headed by the young Theodoor van Rosevelt.

Rosevelt was part of the wealthy and politically influential family that had begun with Claes Maartenszen van Rosevelt, who purchased a large farm on Manhattan Island that would translate into enormous wealth as the city grew. Theodoor was born in 1858 and struggled through his childhood suffering from asthma. He overcame the disease by determination and exercise with seeming limitless energy, features that would define his life. After his education, Theodoor traveled extensively to the American West as well as Dutch holdings in the Caribbean and South America. He returned and entered civil service, soon becoming Director of the Navy where he built a canal through Panama and led the Great White Fleet on its tour around the world. By 1910, he was elected President.

When war erupted in Europe, Rosevelt hoped to join quickly and use the impressive New Dutch fleet, but business was too good trading through the neutral Netherlands. Despite his extensive campaigning, it wasn't until the Americans threatened Germany that he finally gained the agreement of shipping interests who disapproved of attacks by uboats. In 1917, unrestricted submarine warfare resumed, and a joint declaration of war was announced. Thanks to Rosevelt's anticipation, New Dutch troops joined the front almost immediately.

Robbie Taylor, Creator of Today in Alternate History Scott Palter, guest writer on Today in Alternate History Dirk Puehl, Editor of #Onthisday Professor Jeff Provine, Editor of This Day in Alternate History
Eric Lipps, guest writer on Today in Alternate History Marko Bosscher, tours Natural History museums at Eruditorum. Alternate Historian, Editor of Today in Alternate History Andrew Beane, Editor of Voice of the Christian Worker

Today's six-way post includes contributions from Dirk Puehl, Marko Bosscher, Reverend Robbie A. Taylor, Eric Lipps, Professor Jeff Provine and the Editor.

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