This Alternate History is based on a POD in the
President Orson Welles

Orson Welles, after his inauguration in 1957

late 1940s when actor-director Orson Welles decided to quit the movie business and turn to politics as he always wanted. He served as a U.S. Senator of the Democratic Party and later got elected to President of the United States.

IN THE NEWS (07/11/2012)

For earlier news events see: World News (President Welles)


  • 1948: After the failure of The Lady from Shanghai, Welles leaves Columbia Pictures. He turns down Charles Chaplin's offer to sell his screenplay for a movie based on the life of serial killer Henri Désiré Landru. (A few months later Chaplin dies in a car accident near his home). He also turns down an offer from low-budget studio Republic Pictures for making an adaptation of Macbeth.
    • Welles published the statement to the press and radio that he retires from making films and doing theatre jobs completely.
    • Welles also divorces from his wife, actress Rita Hayworth.
    • Welles befriends with Sheridan Downey from the Democratic Party, then U.S. Senator Class 3 of California.
  • 1949: Welles uses some of his connections and Downey to gain support in the Democratic Party in California. He progresses very fast, and makes friends among high ranking members of the political elite.
  • 1950: After the end of Downey's service as a Senator, Welles defeats Republician candidate Richard M. Nixon and wins a seat in the Senate. Nixon turns away from politics and goes into oil business but cannot succeed over the years.
  • 1952: Welles marries Janet McHenry, daughter of a big New York-based industrialist. This gives him huge monetary backup and connections among the industrial and commercial elite.
    • He also uses his media talent and experience to gain support to him among the people and the political elite.
  • 1956: Welles runs against then-President Dwight Eisenhower in the elections. The liberal, young, good-looking Welles is popular among young people and intellectuals much more than the military-background Eisenhower. The whole liberal media stands out for him, including CBS television reporter Edward R. Murrow and his staff.


  • 1957: Welles is elected to President of the United States. At the age of 42 he is the youngest President to date. His first year in office is a fruitful one. He is generally popular among the public.
  • 1959: President Welles visits Fidel Castro and the newly formed Communist Cuba. Castro promises him peace if the United States does not bother with their government and politics.
    • Welles gains popularity among the American youth when he organizes a concert in the garden of the White House featuring rock 'n' roll idols Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and others in February.
  • 1960: Welles wins on the elections and is re-elected to President.


  • 1961: After the breakthrough space flight of Yuri Gagarin, President Welles announces his plans to create a successful and highly professional American space program and to send a man to the Moon until the end of the decade. He states that the nation's goal is "To reach the Cosmos and Beyond" which becomes NASA's motto.
  • 1962: Welles meets with Martin Luther King in the White House. Later that year Welles campaigns against racial segregation and for the civil rights movement.
  • 1963: Open conflict breaks out between Cuba and the United States after the missile crisis of late-1962. President Welles concentrates the military force on Cuba instead of helping the conflict in Vietnam.
    • Charles Welles dies at the age of 8 in a sailing accident. The President is deeply touched by the event.
  • 1964: Fidel Castro is murdered by an unknown assassin. Suspicion goes on the U.S. government in the case. His brother, Raúl and Ernesto "Che" Guevara are rivals for the leadership of the country.


  • Che Guevara with cigar

    Ernesto "Che" Guevara

    Republican candidate Spiro Agnew wins the elections and becomes President of the United States winning over Welles's ex-vice president, John F. Kennedy.
    • After the sudden death of Raúl Castro at his home Guevara takes charge of the Cuban military and declares the continuation of the fights (some say that he ordered the murder of Raúl).
    • President Agnew orders more US troops to handle the Cuban conflict.
  • 1966: Some protests from the youth are held this year against the Cuban conflict, but they are minor and unnoticed.
  • 1968: Without enough American support the North Vietnamese forces quickly gain power in South Vietnam and form the united Socialist Republic of Vietnam. The Western powers decide not to interfere in order not to provoke a Third World War.
    • Presidential candidate John F. Kennedy is murdered by a psychopathic young man named John Michael Osbourne while making a visit in London. His brother, Robert who's also running for President gains huge support from the public and wins against then-President Agnew.
  • Robert Kennedy Brezhnev

    Kennedy with Soviet Premier Leonyd Brezhnev in the early-1970s.

    Robert Kennedy becomes President.
    • The five-year conflict between the United States and Cuba ends, with a peace treaty between the two. Guevara agrees to stay out of the US's ways if they let him and the Communist regime in charge.
  • 1970: The Soviet space program successfully sends Soyuz 5 to the Moon. Vladimir Komarov is the first man to walk on the Moon.
  • 1972: Red China and Vietnam unite in a Communist state known as the United Socialist Republics of China and Vietnam (USRCV), which soon becomes the third major power, and enters a Cold War with both the United States and the Soviet Union.
  • 1976: An American-sponsored revolution overtakes the Communist regime of Cuba. Guevara is captured and imprisoned for political charges.
    • President Robert Kennedy announces that the United States will help the newly formed Cuban democracy.
    • Democrat Jimmy Carter wins the elections, mainly due to the popularity of former President Kennedy.
    • Mao Zedong dies, and is followed by Hua Goufeng as the leader of the USRCV.


  • 1980: Ronald Reagan is elected president in a landslide over incumbent Jimmy Carter.
  • 1981: Two American reporters, while doing investigative work in Beijing are captured, and severely tortured by the USRCV secret police. The event creates an outrage in US diplomatic relations. Finally, the reporters are returned free, in change for ten Chinese/Vietnamese political prisoners in the US.
    • Pope John Paul II is murdered by Turkish fanatic Mehmed Ali Agca in Rome. The conclave elects Gregory XVII as the next Pope.
  • 1982: Thousands of protesters in Beijing are murdered by government troops.
  • 1983: The USRCV invades Hong Kong, and expresses the intention to annex it as a province-state. The British government sends forces to protect the country. However, after five months of stationary situation, they withdraw. Prime minister Margaret Thatcher resigns soon afterwards.
  • 1984: Ronald Reagan is elected president for his second term.
  • 1986: Anti-communist Lutheran pastor Joachim Gauck is arrested and imprisoned in East Germany.
  • 1989: Osama bin Laden, and several leaders of a terrorist group fighting against the Soviet oppression in Afghanistan, are captured and later executed by USSR forces.


  • 1992: Republican candidate George H.W. Bush wins the elections and becomes President of the United States.
    • The National Front wins the elections in France. Jean-Marie Le Pen becomes President.
    • A revolution takes place in Romania, which is quickly overthrown by Soviet forces. Dictator Nicolae Ceausescu is replaced by Constantin Dascalescu as Secretary General.
  • 1993: An expedition led by Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gidzenko crash-lands on the Moon. Gidzenko survives, but all three other members die. Soviet authorities claim that it was the result of meeting with a hostile American spacecraft. However this can't be proven.
  • 1995: Chinese film director Zhang Yimou is captured when trying to disside to the West, and executed for treason in May. In response, the Cannes Film Festival shuts down as a sign of protest.
  • 1996: George H.W. Bush wins the presidential elections with a small majority, and begins his second term as president. Some controversy arises over the polls, which results in recounting the votes.
    • Riots in Paris, France, after two Muslim immigrants are arrested for the alleged murder of a French student. The riots end with brutal police intervention, resulting in several injuries, and a few deaths.
  • 1997: The USRCV space program sends its first spaceship, the Red Star to orbit.
    • Huge public outrage against the Bush administration's CSA (Communications Security Act), which allows the government to search into private web contents in search for Soviet or USRCV infiltration, and block websites of possible "suspicious contents".
  • 1998: Nation-wide protests are held in the US against the government's supposed restrictions of civil rights and free speech. As a counter-move, right-wing anti-communists form the Stand Up For American Ideals and Values Organization.


  • 2000: Lamar Alexander is elected to President, continuing the Republican majority in the United States. Although much more liberal than the preceding Bush administration, Alexander fails to make larger changes during his term.
  • 2003: The Garry Kasparov affair makes a break in US - USSR diplomatic relations.
  • 2004: Democrat John Kerry wins the elections, ending 12 years of Republican presidency. One of his most radical changes is opening much friendlier relations to the Soviet Union, and ending the "Second Red Scare".
  • 2005: Kerry makes his historical visit to Moscow. In return, Soviet Premier Vladimir Putin visits Washington D.C. and New York City.
    • Islam extremists place a bomb, and blow up portions of the Palais-Royal in Paris, as a protest terror action against the Le Pen government's anti-Muslim policies.
  • 2006: Kerry and Putin sign a non-aggression pact between the United States and the Soviet Union, in case of a nuclear armament race, provoked by the USRCV.
  • 2007: NASA announces that the first manned spaceship can be sent to Mars in ca. ten years, probably winning over the Soviets and the USRCV.
    • Pope Gregory XVII dies, and is succeeded by Pope Innocent XIV.
  • 2008: USRCV leader Hua Guofeng dies. His right-hand man, Hsiao-Peng takes over his position.
    • Republican John McCain wins the elections and becomes president.
    • Serial killer Dean Gatz is caught, and charged with the murder of eleven young women in New York City.

To be continued!

Presidents of the United States

Note, that in this timeline, the US is much more conservative and patriotic, like in the 1950s. There was no JFK assassination (well, at least not the "real one"), Vietnam, counter-culture, Watergate, 9/11... They're much less disillusioned. Also, the cold war is around as "heated" as in the 1960s. There was no Glasnost, and China-Vietnam is there are a dangerous enemy with the possibility of a Third World War.

World powers

United States of America

Warsaw Pact

European Communities

Socialist Federation of Asian Nations

Culture and world events

Academy Awards

Olympic Games

FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro Championship





Mass Media / Press


Media in the European Communities

Media in the United States

Media in the USRCV

Media in Warsaw Pact countries



To be continued...

Thanks for all those who edited this timeline! It's been quite a while since I've been here, and I've nearly forgotten all about it. I'll try to continue it in the future. -- Neonknights

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