Monday, May 23, 2011

On May 23

On this day in ...
... 1962, in what the BBC termed a surprise result, a military tribunal in Paris sentenced a former French general to life imprisonment rather than ordering his execution as expected. The 62-year-old, French-born defendant, Raoul Salan, had been convicted of leading the Organisation de l'armée secrète, responsible for acts of terrorism in France committed on account of its violent opposition to Algerian independence. Earlier that year, Time magazine had written that this "Not So Secret Army" was "an ugly, desperate new force" comprising "renegade army officers dreaming of old flags and vanished glories, and of hard-boiled European settlers determined to hold on to their possessions and privileges in Algeria," who "would not hesitate to destroy the present France to build the new France of their muddled dreams." Algeria would gain independence in July of the same year.

(Prior May 23 posts are here, here, here, and here.)

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