Tuesday, May 12, 2009

On May 12

On this day in ...
... 1881, by a treaty concluded on this day, Tunisia became a protectorate of France. The arrangement and resulting liabilities were subjects of litigation in this 1953 judgment.
... 1949 (60 years ago today), the Soviet Union lifted the blockade of Berlin that it had begun nearly 10 months earlier. At that time a refusal of the Soviets to let Allied convoys pass through East Germany without being searched brought "[s]hipments by rail and the autobahn ... to a halt." To avoid the cutting off of the Allied sectors of Berlin (map credit), supplies were delivered for many months by airlift. According to this account on the website of the Presidential Library of Harry S. Truman:
Surviving a normally harsh German winter, the airlift carried over two million tons of supplies in 270,000 flights. The blockade of Berlin was finally lifted by the Soviets on May 12, 1949. Berlin became a symbol of the United States resolve to stand up to the Soviet threat without being forced into a direct conflict.
(Prior May 12 posts are here and here.)

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