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Today in history:December 21

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发表于 2016-7-9 23:19:51 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
  December 21
          General de Gaulle broadcasting to the French people
          1958: Easy victory for de Gaulle
          England have
          General Charles de Gaulle has been elected President of France with an
overwhelming majority.
          At 1715 this afternoon President Rene Coty telephoned his congratulations
to General de Gaulle at his country home at Colombey-les-Deux Eglises.
          At 2300 the unofficial results were announced. General de Gaulle had polled
77.5% for metropolitan France, 81.45% for overseas departments and 97.04% for
the States of the French Community.
          Under the new constitution it means he becomes the first leader of the
Fifth Republic with US-style presidential powers.
          It is a remarkable comeback for a man who led the victory parade into Paris
in 1944 but resigned in a disagreement over the constitution for the Fourth
Republic and in 1953 announced his retirement from politics.
          With France facing a huge economic crisis and a looming civil war in
Algeria, he was recalled as prime minister six months ago.
          He was given wide powers to draw up a new constitution, establishing a more
powerful presidency, which was given the overwhelming endorsement of the public
in September"s referendum.
          Today is the first time the electoral college, as laid down by the new
constitution, has voted.
          It includes members of parliament, members of county and municipal
councils, mayors of all villages and the members of local assemblies from
overseas territories.
          The biggest challenge facing the General is Algeria. Tonight he has made
public the contents of a letter he has written to the new delegate-general of
the government in Algeria.
          In it he speaks of pacifying, administering and transforming Algeria, but
he avoids potentially contentious words like integration.
          He also says there will be a clampdown on policing in Algeria following
claims officers have been using repressive measures.
          General de Gaulle will formally take over as president on 8 January.
          His first task will be the appointment of a new prime minister. Michael
Debre is believed to be the most likely choice.
          The US President and British Prime Minister cement a "special
relationship"
          1962: America to sell Polaris to Britain
          Artificially 1969:
          The President Kennedy and British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan have
announced the formation of a multilateral Nato nuclear force after talks in
Nassau, in the Bahamas.
          The agreement means the United States will sell Polaris missiles to the
UK.
          The President has made a similar offer to France in the hope of
establishing a tripartite nuclear deterrent against the countries of the Eastern
Bloc.
          Polaris, a two-stage solid-fuelled rocket system, is designed to be fired
underwater from a submarine. It carries a half-megaton nuclear warhead at a
speed of 17,500 mph (28,160 kph).
          The British Government would construct the submarines and develop warheads
for Polaris with technical support from the US.
          The deal has been described in the US press as a landmark in military and
political development in the Western world.
          It is also regarded as the most constructive meeting held between President
Kennedy and Mr Macmillan.
          However, there are now fears Britain will be too reliant on the US for its
nuclear deterrent in spite of the fact that the nuclear element of the weapons
system will be supplied by Britain.
          At the end of the three-day summit, the two leaders issued a joint
statement.
          In it, Mr Macmillan made it clear that Polaris missiles would be used for
international defence of Nato countries, except where Britain"s "supreme
national interests are at stake".
          This phrase is designed to show the British nuclear force is politically
independent of the US.
          President Kennedy also sent a letter to France"s President Charles de
Gaulle offering to sell Polaris as well as provide technical support.
          It is hoped this will not only heal the current rift between France and
Britain over Mr Macmillan"s "special relationship" with the US and Britain"s
wish to enter the EEC, but also strengthen Nato as a whole and allow France a
greater role within it.
          If France rejects the agreement, it will still be valid between Britain and
America.
          The talks come just two months after the Cuban missile crisis when it was
revealed the Soviet Union"s leader, Nikita Khrushchev, had set up nuclear
missile bases on America"s doorstep.
          In this context, President Kennedy and Mr Macmillan emphasised the need for
a unified defence programme.
          "In strategic terms, this defence is indivisible and it is their
conviction," said the statement, "that in all ordinary circumstances of crisis
or danger it is this very unity which is the best protection of the west."
          The controversial American Skybolt missile project will be abandoned due
its high cost and questions about how long it would have taken to complete.
          The US currently has five Polaris A-1 submarines in service with a range of
1,200 miles (1,931 km).
          The A-2 version is being tested from improved Polaris submarines and can
reach 1,500 miles (2,414km).
          A-3 missiles are due to be ready for use in 1964 and have a range of 2,500
miles (4,023km).
          Compared with Skybolt missiles which carry warheads of nearly two megatons,
Polaris rockets are less powerful.
          But they are also less vulnerable because Skybolts are dropped from
aircraft while Polaris submarines are much harder to locate.
          Vocabulary:
          staunch: firm and dependable especially in loyalty(坚定的)
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