Return to home1968 Jan 8,
The documentary series “The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau"
first aired on US network TV.
1968 Feb 10, Peggy Fleming of
the United States won the gold medal in women's figure skating at
the Winter Olympic Games in Grenoble, France.
1968 May 3-1958 May 17, Student
riots and strikes hit France. 10 million workers went on strike.
Workers struck the Renault factory on Seguin Island for 33 days
until the government recognized their union.
(WUD, 1994, p.1687)(SFC, 5/22/98, p.C12)(WSJ,
1968 May 6, In Paris violent
fighting took place in the morning and then from 2 p.m. in the
afternoon to 1 a.m. the next morning on the Boulevard Saint-Michel
and Saint-Germain. Close to 600 students and police were wounded.
Student strikes spread to the provinces.
1968 May 10, Preliminary
Vietnam peace talks began in Paris.
1968 May 11, In France PM
Georges Pompidou made a speech conceding to the demand to reopen the
universities and implied the government would release arrested
students. The night of May 10-11 became known as the ``Night of the
Barricades.’ These events galvanized public support for the
1968 May 13, Peace talks
between the US and North Vietnam began in Paris.
(WUD, 1994, p.1687)(HN, 5/13/98)
1968 May 13, In France a
general strike and monster demonstration took place in Paris. Some
1,000,000 French demonstrated in support of student protesters.
1968 May 24, France’s Pres.
Charles de Gaulle issued an ultimatum to striking students and
workers who have brought the country to a standstill during 3 weeks
of violent demonstrations.
1968 May 30, French Pres.
Charles de Gaulle delivered a forceful televised address in order to
regain control of public opinion, thrown into confusion by the
political events resulting from a student protest.
1968 cMay, Foreign minister
Maurice Couve de Murville took charge as prime minister following
the May riots.
(SFC, 12/25/99, p.B4)
1968 Aug 24, France became the
world's fifth thermonuclear power as it exploded a hydrogen bomb in
the South Pacific.
1968 Oct 2, Marcel Duchamp
(b.1887), French painter, died. He was known best for his 1915 "Nude
Descending a Staircase."
1968 Charles de Gaulle switched
sides to align France with the Arabs. This laid the foundation for
Israel’s high-tech industry.
(Econ 5/20/17, SR p.4)
1968 Kourou, French Guiana,
launched its 1st commercial satellite. A space center opened there
1969 Jan 1, President Nixon
nominated Henry Cabot Lodge as negotiator at the Paris Peace Talks.
1969 Jan 5, Henry Cabot Lodge
replaced Harriman as chief US negotiator at Paris.
1969 Jan 25, US-North
Vietnamese peace talks began in Paris.
1969 Apr 9, The 1st flight of
Concorde 002 was from Filton to Bristol.
1969 Apr 28, French President
Charles de Gaulle resigned his office after a referendum on the
reform of the Senate and local government failed. Alain Pohrer
(1909-1996), as president of the Senate, then served as interim
president for 7 weeks.
(SFC, 12/12/96, p.C8)(AP, 4/28/97)(Econ, 6/19/10,
1969 Jun 20, Georges Jean
Raymond Pompidou (1911-1974) former PM of France (1962 to 1968)
began serving as president and continued until his death in 1974.
1969 Jun 20, Jacques
Chaban-Delmas (1915-2000) began serving as prime minister of France
under Georges Pompidou and continued to July 6, 1972. He was a hero
of the French Resistance and served as the mayor of Bordeaux for 48
1969 Oct 1, The prototype
Concorde 001, designed by the British and French, broke the sound
barrier during a test flight. Commercial service began in 1976.
(WSJ, 7/26/00, p.B1)(MC, 10/1/01)
1969 Dec 1, On the initiative
of the French President, Georges Pompidou, the Heads of State or
Government of 6 European countries met in The Hague in order to
define the methods of reviving the European integration process. The
Hague Summit was held to establish the goal of European monetary
1969 The film "La Femme Douce"
was directed by Robert Bresson.
(SFC, 12/22/99, p.A27)
1969 The film "The Wild Child"
was directed by Francois Truffaut. He also acted in the film.
(WSJ, 7/11/97, p.A12)
1969-1973 In France Maurice Schumann (1911-1998 at
86) served as foreign minister under Pres. Georges Pompidou. He was
also a novelist and writer on religion and other topics.
1970 Mar 4, The French
submarine Eurydice exploded and sank in the Mediterranean off Cape
Camarat killing all 57 of its crew.
1970 Mar 5, A nuclear
non-proliferation treaty went into effect after 43 nations ratified
it. France and China only signed on in 1992.
(AP, 3/5/98)(Econ, 6/10/06, p.21)
1970 Mar 25, The Concorde, an
Anglo-French airplane, made its first supersonic flight.
1970 Apr 20, Paul Celan (49),
Romania born poet, drowned himself in the Seine. English
translations of his poems were published in 2001.
(SSFC, 4/1/01, BR p.5)
1970 Jul 15, Frederik Lugt
(b.1884), Dutch founder of the Fondation Custodia (1947), died in
Paris. The foundation, which he founded with his wife, kept intact
his collection of Old Master drawings at the Institut Neederlandais,
the Dutch cultural center in Paris.
1970 Sep 13, The supersonic
airliner Concorde landed for the 1st time at Heathrow airport.
1970 Oct 10, Edouard Daladier
(b.1884), 3 time premier of France (1933, 1934, 1938-40), died.
1970 Oct, The Nobel Prize for
Physics was won by Louis Neel (d.2000 at 95) of France for
discoveries about magnetic fields and Hanes Alfven of Sweden for
work on interactions between plasmas and magnetic fields.
(SFC, 11/25/00, p.A23)
1970 Nov 1, A discotheque near
Grenoble, France, burned. All exits were padlocked and 142 people
1970 Nov 9, Charles De Gaulle
(b.1890), former French president (1959-1969), died. In 1996 Daniel
Mahoney published "De Gaulle: Statesmanship, Grandeur, and Modern
Democracy." Michel Droit (d.2000 at 77) authored the 5-volume
“Man of Destiny" (1972), widely regarded as the most thorough
examination of de Gaulle’s life and work.
(AP, 11/9/97)(WSJ, 1/19/98,
1970 Dec 23, French journalist
Regis Debray was freed in Bolivia.
1970 Michel Crozier
(1922-2013), French sociologist, authored “The Blocked Society".
1970 Airbus Industrie was
formally set up following an agreement between Aerospatiale (France)
and Deutsche Aerospace (Germany). In 1971 it was joined by CASA
(Spain). The name "Airbus" was taken from a nonproprietary term used
by the airline industry in the 1960s to refer to a commercial
aircraft of a certain size and range, as term was acceptable to the
1970 The first radioactive
pacemaker was put into a patient in France.
(Econ, 3/7/09, TQ p.26)
1970 An International
Federation ruled current depth records too dangerous and refused to
accept further records after French diver Jacques Mayol (1927-2001)
and Italian diver Enzo Maiorca (1931-2016) reached 249 feet (about
73m). Their rivalry inspired much of the 1988 film, "Big Blue,"
directed by Luc Besson.
1970s Presidents Georges
Pompidou [1969-1974] and Valery Giscard d’Estaing [1974-1981]
incorporated the former Belgian colonies of Africa into France’s
(WSJ, 1/24/97, p.A14)
1971 Jan 10, Gabrielle "Coco"
Chanel (b.1883), French fashion designer, died in Paris. In 2011 Hal
Vaughan authored “Sleeping With the Enemy: Coco Chanel’s Secret
1971 Feb 24, Algeria
nationalized French oil companies.
1971 Mar 10, In France a group
of homosexuals of both sexes disrupted a live general public radio
show, devoted to “Homosexuality, that painful problem," and put the
newly-born gay movement on the French political map.
1971 Jun 16, Francois
Mitterrand (1916-1996) became the new leader of the French Socialist
Party at the Socialist Party Congress in Epinay. Over the next few
years he embarked on a strategy of electoral union with the
Communist Party. Jean Poperen (1925-1997) was present at the
inception of the modern-day Socialist Party. He served twice as a
minister of parliamentary relations and as a deputy for more than 15
1971 Jul 3, James Douglas
Morrison (b.1943), singer for the Doors rock group, died of an
apparent heart attack in Paris, France. Jim Morrison (27) was buried
at the Pere Lachaise cemetery.
(SFC, 7/4/96, p.D2)(AP, 7/3/97)
1971 Jul 4, France performed a
nuclear test at Muruora Island.
1971 Jul 24, The Berne
Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works was
promulgated in Paris. It was first accepted in Berne in 1886 at the
instigation of Victor Hugo.
1971 Sep 3, The Quadripartite
Agreement on Berlin, between the United States, the Soviet Union,
the United Kingdom and France. ended a long time source of tension.
(WUD, 1994, p.
1971 Dec 20, Ten French
physicians created a team that later became known as "Doctors
Without Borders" (Medecins Sans Frontieres) to help the people in
the Nigerian region of Biafra. They formed in frustration with the
neutrality of the Int'l. Committee of the Red Cross. Bernard
Kouchner (1939), later French foreign minister, was among the
(SFC, 10/16/99, p.A17)(SFEC, 12/19/99,
1971 Dec 22, Aid group Doctors
Without Borders, known by its French acronym MSF, was founded in
1971 There was an exhibition of
Musicalist art at the Salpetriere Basilica in Paris.
(Exc, 6/96, p.118)
1971 The French film “Le
Chagrin et la Pitie" was directed by Marcel Ophuls. It was banned in
France for years because it showed how many Frenchmen collaborated
with the German occupation forces under the Vichy regime of WW II.
(WSJ, 8/7/00, p.A13)
1971 The film “Murmur of the
Heart" starred Benoit Ferreux and Lea Massari. It was directed by
Louis Malle. The French comedy was set in 1954.
(SFEC, 4/13/97, DB p.42)(WSJ, 3/23/00, p.W8)
1971 Peter Brook (b.1925),
British stage and film director, founded his Int’l. Center for
Theater Research in Paris. In 1998 Brook published his memoir
"Threads of Time: Recollections."
(SFEC, 6/14/98, BR
1971 Franklin Louffrani, French
journalist, registered the mark for the yellow "smiley face," which
he began using in 1968 to show good news after the student riots.
The very earliest known examples of the graphic are attributed to
Harvey Ball, a commercial artist in Worcester, Massachusetts. He
devised the face in 1963 for an insurance firm that wanted an
internal campaign to improve employee morale. In 2006 the Web site
http://www.mysmiley.net/ came online to provide a broad range of
1971 French politicians
challenged IRIA, a state funded computer science institute, to begin
research into a national computer network. Louis Pouzin was chosen
to head the project, which became known as CYCLADES. The project’s
first connection debuted in 1973.
(Econ, 11/30/13, TQ p.20)
1972 Jan 1, Maurice Chevalier
(b.1888), French actor, singer and dancer, died in Paris. He sang
“Thank Heaven for Little Girls" in the 1958 film “Gigi."
(SSFC, 8/8/04, Par p.2)(www.jimpoz.com)
1972 Apr 24, Natalie Clifford
Barney (b.1876), lesbian writer and US expatriate, died in Paris. In
2002 Suzanne Rodriguez authored "Wild Heart, A Life: Natalie
Clifford Barney’s Journey From Victorian America to the Literary
Salons of Paris."
1972 May 28, Edward VIII, the
Duke of Windsor (b.1894), died of throat cancer in Paris. He had
abdicated the English throne (1936) to marry Wallis Warfield Simpson
1972 Jul 6, Pierre Messmer
(1916-2007), former member of the French Resistance, began serving
as prime minister of France under President Georges Pompidou.
1972 Jul 22, Eddy Merckx
(b.1945)), Belgian professional cyclist, won his 4th consecutive
Tour de France.
1972 Aug 29, Rene Leibowitz
(b.1913), Warsaw-born French conductor and composer, died in Paris.
1972 Sep 19, Robert M
Casadesus, French pianist and composer (Prix DiAmer), died at 73.
1972 Oct 24, Henry Kissinger in
secret unauthorized talks in Paris proposed to end the war in
Vietnam by this date, but was urged by Pres. Nixon to stretch the
timing a few months so as to insure re-election in Nov. A drama was
made in 1995 depicting these events based on the book by Walter
Isaacson: “Kissinger: A Biography." The peace agreement allowed
North Vietnam to keep its army in the South.
(WSJ, 11/30/95, p.A-20)(WSJ, 1/23/96, p.A-15)
1972 Dec 11, In Paris peace
negotiations between Kissinger and Le Duc Tho collapsed after
Kissinger presented a list of 69 changes demanded by South
Vietnamese President Thieu. President Nixon now issues an ultimatum
to North Vietnam that serious negotiations must resume within 72
hours. Hanoi does not respond. As a result Nixon ordered Operation
Linebacker II (see Dec 18), eleven days and nights of maximum force
bombing against military targets in Hanoi by B-52 bombers.
1972 Janet Flanner wrote her
book “Paris Was Yesterday."
(SFC, 6/16/96, T-5)
1972 The film “Two English
Girls" with Jean-Pierre Leaud was directed by Francois Truffaut.
(SFEC, 5/11/97, DB p.37)
1972 In France Jean-Marie Le
Pen, a former paratrooper, founded the National Front (FN) party.
(Econ., 3/14/15, p.53)
1972 France made it a crime to
incite to racial or religious hatred.
(Econ, 1/24/15, p.53)
1972 A French government decree
fixed Wednesday as a mandatory day off for students. A day off on
Thursday had since 1882 provided for students to attend religious
education outside the school.
(Econ, 9/21/13, p.55)
1972 David McTaggart (d.2001),
one of the founders of Greenpeace Int’l., sailed his small boat into
the French nuclear-testing site at Mururoa atoll in the South
(SFC, 3/24/01, p.A22)(SSFC, 10/19/03, p.A31)
1973 Jan 8, Secret peace talks
between the US and North Vietnam resumed near Paris.
1973 Jan 27, The Paris
Agreement froze the status quo on the ground in South Vietnam. The
agreement by the United States and North Vietnam included a ban on
infiltration of arms or personnel to reinforce North Vietnamese
troops in the South, as well as a ban on the use of Laotian or
Cambodian territory for that purpose. The Paris Agreement provided
for continued US supply of the army of the Republic of Vietnam.
Peace Accords were signed in Paris over events in Vietnam.
(WSJ, 2/5/96, p.A-19)(WSJ, 11/30/95, p.A-23)(HN,
1973 Apr 8, Pablo Picasso
(b.1881), Spanish artist, died at his home near Mougins, France, at
age 91. He left some 50,000 works that included 1,885 paintings,
1,228 sculptures, 2,880 ceramics, 18,095 engravings, 6,112
lithographs, 3,181 linocuts, 7,089 drawings plus 4,669 drawings and
sketches in 149 notebooks, 11 tapestries and 8 rugs. Two books of a
planned 4-volume biography were published by John Richardson, who
then interrupted the series in 2000 with "The Sorcerer’s Apprentice:
Picasso, Provence, and Douglas Cooper." Picasso’s estate owed so
much in death duties that many of his works fell into government
hands. In 2007 John Richardson authored “A Life of Picasso: The
Triumphant Years, 1917-1932."
(AP, 4/8/97)(SFEC, 1/30/00, BR p.6)(SSFC,
5/20/01, p.T8)(Econ, 11/17/07, p.99)
1973 Apr 12, Viet Nam and
France officially established diplomatic relations.
1973 Jun 3, A Soviet supersonic
Tupelov 144, nicknamed Concordski, exploded in flight at the Paris
Air Show and crashed into a nearby village, killing the six-man crew
and seven people on the ground. The plane beat the French and
English through the sound barrier.
(SFEC, 10/10/99, p.T4)(AP,
1973 Aug 25, France
performed a nuclear test at Muruora Island.
1973 Sep 26, Concorde flew from
Washington DC to Paris in 3hr. 33m.
1973 Dec 13, Claude Vorilhon,
former French race car driver, began the Rael movement in France.
While commuting to his job as a sportswriter, he decided to drive
past the office and stop at a nearby volcano in Auvergne. During his
stop, Vorilhon saw the flashing red light of a space ship, which
opened its hatch to reveal a green alien with longish dark hair.
Once aboard the spaceship, he said he was entertained by voluptuous
female robots and learned that the first human beings were created
by aliens called Elohim, who cloned themselves. Vorilhon said that
he was instructed to take the name Rael and spread the news that
humans were placed on Earth by extraterrestrials who had engineered
our DNA. In 1997 Rael founded Clonaid, a company dedicated to
cloning people. In 2001 the Raelian movement numbered about 55,000
(WSJ, 8/24/01, p.W14)(Reuters, 12/28/02)
1973 French singer Maxime le
Forrestier produced his song “La Maison Bleue" (The Blue House). It
was based on a house at 3841 18th St. in San Francisco, where he
lived in 1971.
1973 The film "Day for Night"
starred Jean-Pierre Aumont (d.2001 at 90). It was directed by
Francois Truffaut. It won a best foreign film Oscar in 1974.
(SFEC, 10/11/97, DB p.35)(SFEC, 5/9/99, DB
p.53)(SFC, 1/31/01, p.C2)
1973 The 215 min. film “The
Mother and the Whore" starred Jean-Pierre Leaud, Francoise Lebrun
and Bernadette Lafont. It was directed by Jean Eustache.
(SFC, 7/17/98, p.D3)
1973 French wines were
re-ranked according to taste, rather than price, and Mouton
Rothschild was elevated to the first rank.
(SFEC, 2/1/98, p.T4)
1973 A Frenchman invented a
standard Eurobarometer poll to show how various member countries
agreed and disagreed. The first poll was published in 1974.
1973 Antoine Riboud (1918-2002)
merged his glassware company BSN with the dairy business Gervais
Danone, creating Danone, the biggest food group in France. The group
stopped making glass in 1981.
(http://tinyurl.com/7zxts)(Econ, 11/19/05, p.70)
1973-1980 Rolf Liebermann (d.1998 at 88), Swiss
composer, led the Paris opera.
(SFC, 1/4/99, p.D2)
1974 Mar 3, A Turkish Airlines
DC-10 crashed shortly after takeoff from Orly Airport in Paris and
346 people were killed. It was the worst air disaster to date.
1974 Mar 8, Charles the Gaulle
Airport (aka Roissy I) opened outside of Paris.
1974 Apr 2,
French President Georges Pompidou (62) died in Paris. Alain Pohrer
(1909-1996) as president of the Senate then served as interim
president for 7 weeks.
(SFC, 12/12/96, p.C8)(AP, 4/2/97)
1974 Apr 18, Marcel Pagnol
(b.1895), French writer and film director, died.
1974 May 19, Valeri Giscard
d'Estaing won French presidential elections.
1974 May 27, In France Valerie
Giscard d’Estaing began serving as president. He nominated Jacques
Chirac (b.1932) to serve as prime minister. Chirac served his 1st
term as prime minister to Aug 26, 1976.
1974 Aug 7, French stuntman
Philippe Petit walked a tightrope strung between the twin towers of
New York's World Trade Center. In 2002 Petit authored "To Reach the
Clouds: My High Wire Walk Between the Twin Towers." In 2003 Steven
Galloway authored "Ascension," a novel that featured a fictional
Gypsy tightrope walker named Ursari, who makes a final, fateful
skywalk between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center on July 4,
1976. In 2008 James Marsh produced his documentary film of the
event: Man On Wire."
(AP, 8/7/97)(SSFC, 9/8/02, p.M4)(SSFC, 10/11/03,
p.M3)(WSJ, 8/8/08, p.W1)
1974 Aug 24, France
performed another nuclear test at Muruora Island.
1974 Sep 13, In the Netherlands
the French embassy at the Hague was taken over by Haruo Wako and 2
other Japanese Red Army militants. A 4-day standoff ended with the
release of comrade Yutaka Suyaka from a French jail. The attack was
linked to Carlos the Jackal, aka Ilich Ramirez Sanchez. In 2005 a
Tokyo District Court sentenced Wako to life imprisonment.
p.C2)(SFC, 11/9/00, p.C2)
1974 Oct 27, Chantal Langlace
of France ran a female world record marathon (2:46:24).
1974 The French film “Touche
Pas a la Femme Blanche" (Don't Touch the White Woman) was directed
by Marco Ferreri. It was a Western satire with Marcello Mastroianni,
Michel Piccoli, Ugo Tognazzi and Catherine Deneuve.
(SFC, 7/7/99, p.E3)
1974 In France Rene Dumont
(d.2001 at 97) was the 1st candidate ever to run on an environmental
(SFC, 6/22/01, p.D5)
1974 France's health minister
Simone Veil (1927-2017) led the battle to get parliament to legalize
abortion. The law became known as the "Loi Veil."
1974 The economy slowed
following the Arab oil embargo and the policy of recruiting foreign
(NG, 5/93, p.110)
1974 General Electric began a
joint venture with Snecma, a French state-owned enterprise, to
produce jet engines. Snecma was privatized in 2004.
(Econ, 5/5/07, p.79)
1974 Motorola helped launch the
smartcard market by building the first smartcard chip with Groupe
Bull of France.
(FT, 3/4/98, p.21)
1974 The Int'l. Energy Agency
was formed in Paris to coordinate oil sharing.
(WSJ, 9/13/99, p.R4)
1974 The Suresnes Congress in
France handed power over the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party to
Felipe Gonzalez (b.1942), who became prime minister of Spain four
1974 Mayotte Island was the
only part of the Comoros archipelago that voted to remain part of
France in a referendum.
1975 Mar 2, Madeleine Vionnet
(b.1876), French dressmaker, died at age 98. In 1999 Betty Kirke
published the biography: "Madeleine Vionnet."
(SFEC, 5/16/99, BR
1975 Apr 12, Josephine Baker
(b.1906), US-French revue artist (Folies-Bergere), died in Paris,
1975 Jun 2, In Lyon, France,
more than a hundred sex workers occupation of Église
Saint-Nizier to draw attention to their inhumane working
conditions. In 1976 this day became celebrated as International
Whores' Day or International Sex Workers Day.
1975 Jun 27, Two French
intelligence agents, Raymond Dous and Jean Donatini, who were
investigating attacks on planes of Israel’s El Al airline at Orly
Airport, were killed by Carlos the Jackal, aka Ilich Ramirez
Sanchez. Sanchez was identified by an arrested Palestinian
Front militant, Michel Moukharbal, who was also killed.
(SFC,12/11/97, p.C2)(SFC,12/13/97, p.A10)
1975 Aug 21, A 3 truck pile up
killed 10 and injured 26 on a French highway.
1975 Nov 15, The first Summit
of 6 leading industrialist nations, G-6, met in Rambouillet, France,
for discussions on currency and oil prices. The Group of Six
included leaders from Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the
United States. They were joined a year later by Canada making the
"G7". The group was originally established as a vehicle for leading
industrialized democracies to discuss the global economy. It later
expanded its scope to issues such as peace, the environment and
terrorism. Russia, which attended the summit as a guest in 1992, was
in 1998 allowed for the first time to attend all summit meetings.
The grouping was officially renamed the "G8". In 2014 Vladimir
Putin's Russia was suspended from the G8 after it annexed Ukraine's
Crimea peninsula and sanctions were imposed on Moscow.
6/20/97, p.A16)(AFP, 6/9/18)
1975 Jacques Pepin published "A
French Chef Cooks at Home."
(SFC, 10/20/99, Z1p.4)
1975 The film "The Happy
Hooker" starred Jean-Pierre Aumont.
(SFC, 1/31/01, p.C2)
1975 The French film “The Story
of Adele H" with Isabelle Adjani was directed by Francois Truffaut.
It was based on the story of Adele Hugo, daughter of Victor Hugo.
(WSJ, 3/13/98, p.A14)
1975 French law began to permit
(SFC, 8/25/97, p.A8)
1975 French retailer Carrefour
began operating in Brazil.
(Econ, 10/10/09, p.68)
1975 In France Ricard merged
with Pernod, another French maker of the pastis apertif.
(Econ, 11/12/05, p.66)
1976 Jan 21, The supersonic
Concorde jet was put into service by Britain and France.
1976 Feb 13, Lily Pons
(b.1898), French, US soprano, opera diva (Met Opera), died.
1976 Mar 3, Pierre Moliniere
(b.1900), French artist and photographer, shot himself to death
rather than face prostate surgery and a reduced sex life.
1976 Apr 1, Max Ernst (b.1891),
German-French surrealist painter, sculptor, died in Paris.
1976 May 11, Col. Joaquin
Zenteno Anaya, Bolivia’s ambassador to France, was assassinated in
Paris. Members of the Che Guevara brigade claim credit. Zenteno had
led the army division that captured and executed Che Guevara in
1976 May 24, Britain and France
opened trans-Atlantic Concorde service to Washington. This was the
1st commercial supersonic transport (SST).
1976 May 24, In France 2
California wines won a tasting event over several French classics
for the 1st time. Stephen Spurrier, English owner of a wine shop and
wine school in Paris, held a competition tasting of French and
American wines. The best white wine was a 1973 Napa Valley
Chardonnay from Chateau Montelena, owned by Jim Barrett (1926-2013).
The best red wine was a 1973 Cabernet Sauvignon from Stag’s Leap
Wine Cellars. Winemaker Miljenko Grgich created the Napa Chardonnay
that beat French wines in the legendary Paris Tasting. In 2005
George M. Taber authored “Judgement of Paris," an account of the
(SFC, 5/29/96, ZZ1 p.4)(SSFC, 1/21/01, p.T8)(WSJ,
5/24/01, p.A20)(SFC, 6/16/05, p.F4)(SSFC, 2/17/13, p.C2)
1976 Jun 27, An Air France
Airbus flight AF139, from Tel Aviv to Paris, was hijacked shortly
after departing Athens and taken to Uganda. It was hijacked by
members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and a
German radical group. The hijackers released 148 non-Israeli
passengers after the plane landed in Uganda. French pilot Michel
Bacos (d.2019) remained with the hostages despite offers of release.
1976 Jul 3, Israel launched its
daring mission to rescue 103 passengers and Air France crew members
being held at Entebbe Airport in Uganda by pro-Palestinian
1976 Jul 4, Jonathan Netanyahu,
brother of Benjamin, led and was killed in an Israeli raid called
Operation Thunderball that rescued the  hostages held at
Entebbe Airport in Uganda. The raid was by Sayeret Matkal, Israel’s
elite counter-terrorist unit led by Muki Betser, and it freed all
but 3 of the 104 Israeli and Jewish hostages and crew of an Air
France jetliner seized by pro-Palestinian hijackers. A total of 45
Ugandan soldiers were killed during the raid. The events are
described by Muki Betser and Robert Rosenberg in "Secret Soldier,
The True Life of Israel’s Greatest Commando." The hijacking was
linked to Carlos the Jackal, aka Ilich Ramirez Sanchez.
1976 Jul 16, In the "Spaggiari
Affair," a heist masterminded by Albert Spaggiari (1932-1989), a
gang tunneled into the vault of a branch of Societe Generale in Nice
during a public holiday, spent two days and two nights there and
made off with about 24 million euros (21 million pounds) worth of
cash and valuables. The heist spawned several books and movies.
1976 Aug 26, In France Raymond
Barre (1924-2007) began serving as prime minister and continued to
1976 Oct 25, Raymond Queneau
(b.1903), Parisian surrealist, died. His work included the prewar
novel "Les Enfants du Limon." In 1998 it was translated to English
as "Children of Clay."
(SFEC, 8/2/98, BR
1976 Nov 18, Man Ray (b.1890),
American Dada artist, died in Paris. He was born as Emmanuel
Radnitzky in Philadelphia and spent much of his time in
France. He fled to the United States from France during World
War II and returned to Paris in the early 1950s where he lived until
his death. His relationship with photographer Lee Miller inspired
both his painting and her photography.
p.A16)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man_Ray)(SFC, 7/14/12, p.E2)
1976 Nov 23, Andre Malraux
(b.1901), author (Conquerors) and French Minister of Culture
1976 James Monaco authored “The
New Wave," an examination of the new French films.
(SSFC, 12/22/02, p.M2)
1976 Alain Peyrefitte
(1925-1999), French scholar, authored “Le Mal Francaise," which
addresses the question of whether there is something unique to the
French character or gene pool that has caused some of the country's
peculiar recurring problems.
1976 French composer Pierre
Boulez (b.1925) wrote "Messagesquisse." Boulez had studied under
1976 Composer Philip Glass and
director/designer Robert Wilson collaborated on their production of
"Einstein on the Beach" at the NY Met. The opera had premiered in
(SFC, 12/30/99, p.E1)(Econ, 7/22/06, p.82)(Econ,
1976 Composers Gerard Grisey
(d.1998 at 52), Michael Levinas and Tristan Murail formed the group
L’Iteneraire and pioneered what they called “spectral music."
(SFEC, 11/22/98, p.D10)
1976 The French film "Mr.
Klein" starred Alain Delon and Jeanne Moreau and was directed by
American Joseph Losey. Delon played an art director during WWII who
takes advantage of Jews fleeing the country, buying their art
collections at bargain prices.
(SFC, 12/6/19, p.E6)
1977 Jan 11, France set off an
international uproar by releasing Abu Daoud, a Palestinian suspected
of involvement in the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972
Munich Olympics. In 1999 Mohammed Oudeh, aka Abu Daoud, published an
autobiography in France in which he admitted to playing a mastermind
role in the 1972 Munich hostage episode.
(AP, 1/11/98)(SFC, 6/14/99, p.A14)
1977 Jan 12, Anti-French
demonstrations took place in Israel after Paris released Abu Daoud,
responsible for the 1972 Munich massacre of Israeli athletes.
1977 Jan 12, Henri-Georges
Clouzot (b.1907), French film director and producer, died. His films
included “Les Diaboliques" (1955) and “La Verite" (1960).
1977 Apr 11, Jacques Prevert
(b.1900), French poet (La puil et le beau), died.
1977 Jun 8, The final run of
the Paris to Istanbul Orient Express, begun in 1883, took place.
1977 Jun 27, Djibouti gained
independence from France.
1977 Sep 10, Convicted murderer
Hamida Djandoubi, a Tunisian immigrant, became the last person to
date to be executed by the guillotine in France.
(SFEC, 2/9/97, Z1 p.6)(AP, 9/10/97)
1977 Oct 19, The body of West
German industrialist Hanns Martin Schleyer, who had been kidnapped
by left-wing extremists, was found in the trunk of a car in
1977 Nov 21, The 1st commercial
flight of the Anglo-French Concorde jet was from London to Bahrain.
1977 Nov 22, Regular passenger
service between New York and Europe on the supersonic Concorde began
on a trial basis.
1977 Dec 8, In Argentina Leonie
Duquet, a French nun, was abducted in a commando-style operation by
state security agents. Alice Domon, another French nun, was abducted
later this month, but her remains were never recovered. They were
killed after befriending mothers of detained dissidents, who were
among the first victims of a crackdown on dissent against the
1977 The Georges Pompidou
Center, designed by British architect Richard Rogers and Italian
architect Renzo Piano, opened in Paris.
(SFEC, 4/20/98, p.A12)(WSJ, 2/3/00, p.A24)
1977 France’s 1st nuclear
plant, built by Areva, began operations near Colmar. It was rated at
(www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,1564,1369259,00.html)(Econ, 9/8/07, TQ
1977 France banned frog fishing
to protect the local green and red varieties. Poaching remained a
(WSJ, 4/2/02, p.A1)
1977 Philippe de Villiers
(b.1949), French student and later politician, created the Puy du
Fou historical theme park in the Vendee region.
(Econ, 10/27/12, p.86)
1977-1995 Jacques Chirac served as mayor of Paris,
(Econ, 7/14/07, p.56)
1978 Mar 16, The Amoco-Cadiz
oil tanker spilled a record 1.6 million barrels of crude oil off the
coast of France.
1978 Aug 17, The first
successful trans-Atlantic balloon flight ended as Americans Maxie
Anderson, Ben Abruzzo and Larry Newman landed their Double Eagle II
(AP, 8/17/97)(HN, 8/17/98)
1978 Aug, PSA Group, the French
owner of Citroen and Peugeot, acquired Chrysler Europe for a nominal
$1. All former Chrysler products registered in Britain after 1
August 1979 bore the Talbot badge. The tie-up crashed a few years
later with the demise of Talbot.
1978 Oct 3, Ayatollah Khomeini
(1902-1989) left Iraq for Kuwait after the Shah sought his
deportation. He was refused entry in Kuwait and moved to Paris.
1978 Oct 9, Jacques Brel
(b.1929), Belgian-born French cabaret singer, died. He was buried at
Atuona on the Marquesas Island of Hiva Oa. An American musical revue
of his songs, “Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris,"
debuted in 1968 and has played around the world since.
1978 The film “Robert and
Robert" starred Germaine Montero and was directed by Claude Lelouch.
(SFC, 7/1/00, p.C2)
1978 French Pres. Valery
Giscard d’Estaing (b.1926) created the centrist UDF party. He served
as president from 1974 to 1981.
1978-1981 Maurice Papon served as the French
(SFC, 10/13/97, p.A12)
1979 Feb 12, Jean Renoir
(b.1894), French actor and director (Rules of the Game), died in
Beverly Hills, Ca. His body was returned to France.
1979 Mar 16, Jean Omer Marie
Gabriel Monnet (b.1888), French entrepreneur, diplomat, financier,
administrator, and political visionary, died in France. He was an
influential supporter of European unity and is considered as one of
the founding fathers of the European Union. "Europe is forged in
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Monnet)(Econ., 8/1/20, p.43)
1979 Jun 28, Philippe Cousteau
(b.1940), the youngest son of Jacques Cousteau, was killed while
testing a seaplane near Lisbon.
(SFC, 6/26/97, p.A7)
1979 Jul 17, Simone Veil
(1927-2017) of France began serving as the 12th president of the
1979 Aug 30, Jean Dorothy
Seberg (b.1938), American actress who lived half her life in
France, disappeared in Paris. On Sep 8 her decomposing body was
found wrapped in a blanket in the back seat of her Renault, parked
close to her Paris apartment. Romain Gary, Seberg's second husband,
called a press conference shortly after her death where he publicly
blamed the FBI's campaign against Seberg for her deteriorating
1979 Oct 10, Paul Paray
(b.1886), French composer, died at age 93. He was the resident
conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (1951-1962) for more
than a decade.
1979 Nov 20, Some 200 armed men
and women, Mahadiists, seized the Grand Mosque in Mecca. They
denounced the monarchy and demanded an end to corrupting
modernization and "foreign ways." Saudi preacher Juhayman al Uteybi
(Juhayman al-Otaibi) led the radicals. After two weeks French
special forces shot dead all the Wahhabi extremists.
p.C3)(WSJ, 11/12/03, p.A18)(WSJ, 9/18/07, p.A8)
1979 Martin Bouygues founded
Maison Bouygues to sell prefabricated homes in France. By 1984 the
firm was France’s 2nd largest of its kind.
(Econ, 12/2/06, p.72)
1979 Claude Tabet (b.1924),
French painter and illustrator, died.
(SFC, 1/25/06, p.G2)
1980 Feb 25, Roland Barthes
(b.1915), French philosopher and writer, died. His books included
“Mythologies" (1957), a collection of his essays.
1980 Apr 15, Jean-Paul Sartre
(b.1905), Existentialist philosopher, novelist and dramatist, died
in Paris. His work included "Being and Time" (1927) and "Nausea"
(1938). He won the 1964 Nobel Prize for literature and his work
included "Being and Nothingness." Philosophical replies to this work
were written by Claude Levi-Strauss: "The Raw and the Cooked," a
book that popularized structuralism in France, and by Michael
Foucault: "Words and Things," ("The Order of Things" in the American
edition). "If you're lonely while you’re alone, you’re in bad
company." In 2000 Bernard-Henri Levy authored "Sartre: The
Philosopher of the Twentieth Century." In 2015 Thomas R. Flynn
authored “Sartre: A Philosophical Biography."
(SFEC, 4/19/98, BR p.8)(SFEC, 6/21/98, Z1
p.8)(AP, 4/15/99)(Econ, 8/30/03, p.60)(Econ., 2/21/15, p.82)
1980 May 30, Pope John Paul II
arrived in France on the first visit by the head of the Roman
Catholic Church since the early 19th century.
1980 Aug 14, It was reported
that France’s Moet-Hennessy is buying Schieffelin & Co., its New
York based US distributor. The deal also included the Simi Winery in
(SFC, 8/12/05, p.F3)
1980 Sep 17, The musical Les
Miserables opened at the Palais des Sports in Paris. Boublil &
Schonberg composed the music.
1980 Oct 3, In France a Paris
synagogue bombing killed 3 French men and one Israeli woman. In 2008
Canadian police arrested Hassan Diab in response to a request from
France, where he was wanted on charges of murder and attempted
murder in the bombing. Diab denied guilt and stamps in his 1980
passport indicated he was not in France at the time of the bombing.
In April 2012 Canada’s then-justice minister Rob Nicholson signed an
extradition order surrendering Diab to France. On Nov 15, 2014, Diab
was charged in Paris. He has claimed that he was studying in Beirut
at the time of the bombing and has said that he had been confused
with someone with the same name.
(AP, 11/13/14)(AFP, 11/15/14)
1980 Dec 2, Romain Gary, born
as Roman Kacew, (aka Romain Gary, Émile Ajar, Fosco Sinibaldi,
Shatan Boga) died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Paris. Gary
was born in 1914 in Vilnius, Lithuania, to Jewish parents. He was
one of France's most popular and prolific writers, authoring more
than 30 novels, essays and memoirs, some of which he wrote under a
pseudonym. He also wrote the screenplay for the motion picture "The
Longest Day" and co-wrote and directed the film "Kill!" (1971),
which starred his wife at the time, Jean Seberg (d.1979).
1980 Gisele Freund (d.2000 at
91) won France’s national Grand Prize for Photography.
(SFC, 4/1/00, p.A26)
1980 Jean Dausset (1916-2009),
French immunologist, shared the Nobel Prize for medicine with
Americans George D. Snell and Baruj Benacerraf for their work on
genetically determined structures on cell surfaces that regulate
immunological reactions. Dausset's discovery in 1958 of the human
leukocyte antigen (HLA) tissue system allowed doctors to verify
compatibility between donor and receiver for an organ transplant.
1980 Pernod Ricard SA acquired
the US bourbon Wild Turkey.
(WSJ, 9/7/05, p.B2)
1980 French oil giant Total SA
leased an oil patch in southern Sudan the size of Pennsylvania. In
2005 the lease came under dispute as southern Sudan gained limited
autonomy and signed an oil deal with London-based White Nile Ltd.
1980 Marius Giuge (b.1909),
French potter, died. He had begun working in the Vallouris around
(SFC, 12/10/08, p.G4)
1980 The 2,032 passenger SS
France became the SS Norway, flagship of the Norwegian Cruise Lines.
1981 Feb 26, The French
Trainset 16 averaged 380 kph as part of Operation TGV 100.
1981 Mar 15, Rene Clair
(b.1898), French director (It Happened Tomorrow), died.
1981 May 10, Socialist Francois
Mitterrand defeated Valery Giscard d’Estaing for Pres. of
France in the second round of presidential elections. When the
socialists took power they increased the money supply and the
deficit. The franc collapsed and inflation accelerated.
(SFC, 10/24/96, p.C3)(SFC, 6/25/97, p.A8)(AP,
1981 May 21, Francois
Mitterrand began serving as president of France. He was the first
socialist president of the Fifth Republic and the first left-wing
head of government since 1957.
1981 Jul 7, The 1st
solar-powered aircraft, Solar Challenger, crossed the English
Channel flying 163 miles from Paris to Canterbury. It was created by
Dupont and Paul MacCready.
1981 Sep 5, Aime Maeght
(b.1906), French painter and art dealer, died. In 1964 he and his
wife founded the Marguerite and Aime Maeght Foundation in honor of a
son lost to leukemia in the 1950s.
(http://tinyurl.com/kqt5ow2)(Econ, 7/26/14, p.71)
1981 Sep 18, The French
National Assembly voted to abolish the death penalty. This in effect
outlawed execution by the guillotine.
2/9/97, Z1 p.6)
1981 Sep 24, Four Armenian
gunmen seized the Turkish consulate in Paris, holding 60 hostages
for 15 hours before surrendering.
1981 Sep, Pres. Mitterrand
announced the Grand Louvre Project to renovate and modernize the
exhibition spaces of the museum.
(WSJ, 10/7/98, p.A20)
1981 Nov 10, Abel Gance
(b.1889), French movie director, died in Paris. In 1919 he achieved
international recognition for his 3 hour epic “J’Accuse," a powerful
anti-war film which included location filming of battles shot
towards the end of World War I. His films also included “Napoleon"
1981 Nov, Pres. Francois
Mitterrand was diagnosed with prostate cancer but the information
was kept secret until disclosed by his physician, Dr. Claude Gubler,
in his 1996 book “The Great Secret." A court banned release of the
(SFC, 10/24/96, p.C3)
1981 The French film “Diva" was
(SFC, 2/20/98, p.C13)
1981 French Pres. Mitterrand
(1916-1996) nationalized the country’s banks. Similar rounds of
nationalization had taken place in 1936 and 1945-46.
(Econ, 10/18/08, p.15)(Econ, 10/25/08, p.18)
1981 French Pres. Mitterrand
introduced a tax on great wealth (impot sur les grandes fortunes).
It was abolished in 1986 under PM Jacques Chirac and reintroduced in
1988 under the name impot de solidarite sur la fortune (ISF) and
applied to total assets greater than $850,000.
(Econ, 7/16/05, p.45)
1981 The wartime role of
Maurice Papon was revealed by a satirical weekly. A committee
composed of top French resistance figures said Papon gave occasional
service to the underground, but concluded he should have resigned
when the roundup of Jews began in July 1942.
1981 The club Les Henokiens was
formed in France as a fraternity of companies whose members were at
least 200 years old.
(Econ, 12/18/04, p.104)
1981 The Trains Grand Vitesse
(TGVs) were initiated with speeds of 168 mph on the Paris-Lyon line.
(SFEC, 4/25/99, p.T8)
1981-1984 In France PM Pierre Mauroy (d.2013 at
84) served under Socialist President Francois Mitterrand. His
reforms included cutting the legal work week, lowering the
retirement age and raising the number of paid holidays.
1982 Feb 16, In France
Magdalena Kopp, lover of Carlos the Jackal, aka Ilich Ramirez
Sanchez, was captured by French officials.
1982 Mar 1, In France Patrice
Hyvert (23), an aspiring guide, went for a solo ascent on Mont Blanc
and disappeared in a snowstorm. On July 3, 2014, climbers found his
1982 Mar 2, The French term
"région" was officially created by the Law of Decentralization, when
by the same act their legal status was conferred. The first direct
regional elections for representatives took place on 16 March 1986.
France is administratively divided into 26 regions (French:
régions), of which 22 are on mainland France, and four are overseas.
1982 Mar 3, Georges Perec
(b.1932), French novelist born as George Peretz, died of lung cancer
in Ivry-sur-Seine. He was also a filmmaker, documentalist, and
essayist. Many of his works deal with absence, loss, and identity,
often through word play. Perec urged other authors to describe the
streets and objects around them.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georges_Perec)(Econ., 5/9/20, p.68)
1982 Mar 29, The Paris-Toulouse
express train was bombed. 5 people were killed and 15 injured. The
attack was attributed to Carlos the Jackal, aka Ilich Ramirez
1982 Apr 22, A bombing in Paris
killed a pregnant woman and injured 63 people. The attack was
attributed to Carlos the Jackal, aka Ilich Ramirez Sanchez.
1982 May 29, Romy Schneider
(b.1938), Austrian-born actress, died in Paris of cardiac arrest.
Her many films included “The Cardinal" (1963). Her death came one
year after her son (14) died in a freak accident. The actress had
been unwell after a kidney operation. French film idol Alain Delon
later called her the love of his life.
1982 Jul 10, In Germany Kalinka
Bamberski (14) was found dead in her bed in the home of Dr. Dieter
Krombach. The girl and her mother had moved in with Krombach after
her parents' separation. The girl's father, Andre Bamberski,
believed that Krombach gave his daughter a dangerous injection to
make her lose consciousness so he could rape her, leading to her
death. France convicted Krombach in absentia in 1995 of "intentional
violence that led to unintentional death" and sentenced him to 15
years in prison. In 1997 Krombach was convicted in a German court to
a two-year suspended sentence and suspended from medical practice
after pleading guilty to drugging and raping a 16-year-old girl in
his office. In 2009 Krombach (74) was kidnapped from his German
town, tied up, and appeared near the courthouse in the eastern
French city of Mulhouse. Andre Bamberski later acknowledged
involvement, and was hit with preliminary charges of kidnapping. In
2011 Krombach was sentenced to 15 years in prison for "intentional
violence that led to unintentional death." On Dec 20, 2012, a French
court upheld the conviction against Krombach. Kidnapping charges
were still pending against Bamberski.
1982 Aug 9, In France
grenade-throwing Palestinians burst into the Jo Goldenberg deli in
Paris, and sprayed machine-gun fire. 6 people, including two
Americans, were killed, and 21 injured. In 2015 international arrest
warrants were issued for three suspects, who were believed to be
members of the Abu Nidal group. On June 1, 2015, Souhaur Mouhamad
Hassan Khalil Al-Abbassi, the alleged chief of the attack, was
arrested in Jordan. In 2020 a Norwegian citizen in his 60s was
arrested in southern Norway at the request of France as a suspect in
(AP, 3/4/15)(SFC, 6/18/15, p.A3)(AP, 9/9/20)
1982 Sep 24, US, Italian and
French peacekeeping troops began arriving in Lebanon. Some 400,000
Israelis gathered at the first of many demonstrations to protest the
1982 Oct 18, Pierre
Mendes-France (b.1907), premier of France (1954-55), died. "Let them
1982 Nov 4, Jacques Tati
(b.1909), French mime and director, died.
1982 Nov 28, The United States
led by John McEnroe beat France 4-1 to win the Davis Cup.
1982 Thich Nhat Hanh, a
Vietnamese Zen master, founded Plum Village, a Buddhist community in
(SFC, 10/12/97, Z1 p.3)
1982 Holocaust victims filed
suit against Maurice Papon and Bordeaux prosecutors opened
1982 The French firm JC Decaux
invented the self-cleaning toilet.
(SFC, 8/18/96, p.B5)
1982 France launched Minitel, a
national videotex communications network. It became outdated with
the rise of the Internet and was scheduled to close in 2011. During
the first half of 1982, the Division of l'lnformatique Parlementaire
studied the feasibility of an internal videotex system for the
Chamber of Deputies in France and in September 1982, M. Louis
Mexandeau, Minister of the PTT gave his support to the project. On
30 October 1982, the Bureau of the Assemblée Nationale approved
implementation in two phases; first of 100 terminals; and secondly
equipment to support all deputies with constituencies in
1983 Jan 25, Klaus Barbie, SS
chief of Lyon in Nazi-France, was arrested in Bolivia.
1983 Feb 5, Former Nazi Gestapo
official Klaus Barbie (1913-1991), expelled from Bolivia, was
brought to trial in Lyon, France. He was convicted and sentenced to
life in prison.
1983 Mar 7, In France Claude
Vivier (b.1948), a French-Canadian composer, was found stabbed to
death. A 19-year-old man was convicted of the murder. Vivier left
behind 48 completed scores and part of a 49th. His 1976 "Siddartha"
was a 30 minute orchestral piece written on commission from the CBC.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claude_Vivier)(SFEC, 1/4/98, DB. p.31)
1983 Apr 5, France threw out 47
1983 May 25, France performed a
nuclear test at Mururoa Atoll in the South Pacific.
1983 Jul 15, In France a bomb
explodes in front of the THY counter at Orly airport. 8 people were
killed and more than sixty injured. A 29 years old Syrian-Armenian
named Varadjian Garbidjian (d.2019) confessed to having planted the
bomb. He admitted that the bomb was intended to have exploded once
the plane was airborne. Karapetian (d.2019), who headed the French
branch of the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia,
later confessed to paying a passenger to check a bomb-carrying bag
for him onto a Turkish Airlines flight, claiming he had too much
luggage himself. Karapetian was sentenced to life imprisonment in
France, but was released in 2001 on condition of his being deported
1983 Aug 25, The French
cultural center in West Berlin was bombed. One person was killed and
23 injured. The attack was attributed to Carlos the Jackal, aka
Ilich Ramirez Sanchez.
1983 Oct 23, A truck filled
with explosives, driven by a Moslem suicide terrorist, crashed into
the US Marine barracks near the Beirut International Airport in
Lebanon. The bomb killed 241 Marines and sailors and injured 80.
Almost simultaneously, a similar incident occurred at French
military headquarters, where 58 died and 15 were injured. Hezbollah
leader Imad Mughniyah was suspected of involvement. In 2007 under a
law allowing foreign governments to be sued in US courts, US federal
judge Royce Lamberth ordered Iran to pay $2.65 billion to victims'
(WSJ, 8/1/96/p.B1)(AP, 10/23/97)(WSJ, 9/19/01,
1983 Dec 12, A truck bomb
exploded at the US Embassy in Kuwait. Shiite Muslims backed by Iran
drove bomb-laden trucks into six targets. The most deadly of these
struck the US Embassy, killing five persons and wounding 62. Other
trucks destroyed the French embassy and several Kuwaiti
(WSJ, 4/28/05, p.A1)
1983 Dec 31, In France bombings
in the main railroad terminal in Marseilles and on the
Paris-Marseilles express train killed 5 people and injured 50. The
attack was attributed to Carlos the Jackal, aka Ilich Ramirez
1983 The opera “St. Francis
d’Assise" by Olivier Messiaen premiered in Paris.
(SFC, 9/30/02, p.D1)
1983 The French film “The
Balance" starred Philippe Leotard (d.2001 at 60).
(SFC, 9/13/01, p.C7)
1983 The French film “Sans
Soleil" was directed by Chris Marker.
(SFEC, 4/11/99, DB p.38)
1983 The French Green Party was
(SFC, 6/22/01, p.D5)
1983 French Pres. Francois
Mitterrand in a U-turn jettisoned hyper-taxation and accepted the
(Econ, 10/3/15, p.58)
1983 French Pres. Francois
Mitterrand lowered the retirement age from 65 to 60.
(Econ, 9/11/10, p.31)
1983 Maurice Papon was first
charged with crimes against humanity. Thirty-seven new families file
suit and Papon was again charged.
1983 In France Dr. Luc
Montagnier and his team, which included Dr. Francoise
Barre-Sinoussi, published a paper fingering HIV as the cause of
(Econ, 10/11/08, p.110)
1984 Feb 8, Philippe Aries
(b.1914), French medievalist and historian of the family and
childhood, died. His books included Essais sur l'histoire de la mort
en Occident: du Moyen Âge à nos jours, Seuil (1975). English
translation: Western Attitudes Toward Death from the Middle Ages to
the Present. Patricia M. Ranum (translation). Johns Hopkins
University Press. 1974.
1984 Apr 22, The US Centers for
Disease Control (CDC) said French researchers had discovered that a
virus causes AIDS. Scientists identified a retrovirus named human
immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as the cause of AIDS.
(SSFC, 6/3/01, p.A20)(www.avert.org/his81_86.htm)
1984 Jul 3, Raoul Salan
(b.1899), French general, OAS leader (Algeria), died. Salan was one
of the four Generals who organized the 1961 Algiers Putsch
operation, and then founded the Organization armée secrète (OAS)
1984 Oct 16, In France Gregory
Villemin (4) was found drowned in the Vologne River in the eastern
Vosges region with his hands and feet tied. A suspect identified as
“the Crow" was never caught. On June 16, 2017, The great aunt and
uncle of boy were charged with his kidnapping, raising hopes that a
case that has gripped the country could finally be solved.
Jacqueline Jacob (72) and her husband Marcel Jacob (71) were
arrested on June 14 following handwriting analysis of an anonymous
threatening letter sent to Gregory's father in 1983.
(SFC, 6/15/00, p.C3)(AFP, 6/16/17)
1984 Oct 18, Henri Michaux
(b.1899), Belgian poet and painter, died. In 1954 he became a
citizen of France, and he lived the rest of his life there along
with his family. In 1965 he won the National Prize of Literature,
which he refused to accept. His books included “Miserable Miracle"
and “The Major Ordeals of the Mind and the Countless Minor Ones."
1984 Oct 21, Francois Truffaut
(b.1932), French film director (Fahrenheit 451), died of brain
cancer. In 1999 Antoine de Baecque and Serge Toubiana published
"Truffaut: A Biography."
DB p.53)(SFEC, 6/27/99, BR p.4)
1984 French composer Oliver
Messiaen composed his 5-hour opera “Saint Francis d’Assise."
(SFC, 9/5/96, p.B1)
1984 Isabelle Adjani won the
best actress award at the Cannes Film Festival for “Deadly Summer."
(SFC, 11/8/96, p.C13)
1984 France-based Hermes
introduced its Birkin handbag, named after British actress Jane
Birkin, at a starting price of around $7,000. In 2008 Michael
Tonello authored “Bringing Home the Birkin."
1984 Pres. Francois Mitterrand
appointed Laurent Fabius (38) as Prime Minister.
(SFC, 2/9/99, p.A1)
1984 French Pres. Francois
Mitterrand visited California’s Silicon Valley and met with Steve
Jobs. Soon after the French government promised a microcomputer in
every French school.
(Econ, 2/8/14, p.50)
1984 Gyula Halasz, Hungarian
born photographer aka Brassai, died. He was a friend of Picasso and
Henry Miller and was known as the "Eye of Paris" for his night time
photographs in the 1930s. His "Secret Paris of the 30s" was
published in 1976. He published 2 books on Henry Miller and
"Conversations With Picasso."
(WSJ, 1/15/98, p.W12)
1985 Mar 28, Marc Chagall
(b.1887), Belarus-born French painter, died.
1985 May 9, Laurent Fabius,
head of the French Socialist government, blocked the sale of an AIDS
virus detection test made by Abbott Laboratories. Fabius and others
were later charged with criminal negligence and manslaughter in the
deaths of hundreds who died from transfusions of tainted blood. In
1999 Fabius and Georgina Dufoix were cleared of the charges. Edmond
Herve, the health minister under Dufoix, was convicted of negligence
in 2 cases.
(SFEC, 2/7/99, p.A2)(SFC, 3/10/99, p.A1)
1985 Jul 10, French security
forces sank the Rainbow Warrior, a ship operated by Greenpeace near
NZ. Fernando Pereira, a Dutch photographer, was killed in the
sinking. In 2015 a retired French secret service agent apologized
for planting the bombs. Jean-Luc Kister said that he and his
colleagues never meant to kill anybody.
1985 Aug 1, The French
government began to require the testing of all donated blood for
AIDS following the launch of a test by Diagnostic Pasteur. By this
time some 1,300 hemophiliacs were contaminated with AIDS-tainted
blood. By 1997 over 500 had died, most of them children. Four health
officials were charged and convicted in the case.
(SFEC, 2/7/99, p.A2)
1985 Aug 26, French government
claimed no knowledge of assault on Rainbow Warrior.
1985 Sep 1, A US-French
expedition located the wreckage of the Titanic, sunk in 1915, about
560 miles off Newfoundland, Canada. Oceanographer Robert Ballard
used the ship Knorr to pinpoint the location of the Titanic. The
Knorr was decommissioned in 2014 and in 2016 was transferred to the
1985 Sep 2, It was announced
that a U.S.-French expedition had located the wreckage of the
Titanic about 560 miles off Newfoundland. [see Sep 1]
1985 Sep 22, In France the
premier confessed to the June 10 attack of Green Peace's Rainbow
1985 Sep 30, Simone Signoret,
German-French actress (Room at Top, Gina), died at 64.
1985 Nov 27, Fernand Braudel
(b.1902), French historian, died. Braudel has been considered one of
the greatest of the modern historians who have emphasized the role
of large-scale socioeconomic factors in the making and writing of
1985 Dec 13, France sued the
U.S. over the discovery of an AIDS serum.
1985 Christo wrapped the 12
arches of Pont-Neuf in Paris with some 450,000 square-feet of
fabric. The project cost some $3.5 million.
(SFC, 3/2/97, p.E4)(SSFC, 2/13/05, p.A10)
1985 Georges Vigarello
(b.1941), French historian and sociologist, authored “Le Propre et
le Sale" (The Clean and the Dirty).
(www.iiac.cnrs.fr/cetsah/spip.php?article35)(Econ, 12/19/09, p.139)
1985 The 9-hour film “Shoah," a
French documentary on the Holocaust, was directed by Claude
(SFC,11/28/97, p.C6)(SFEC, 10/31/99, DB
p.44)(Econ, 3/20/10, p.60)
1985 Claude Simon (1913-2005,
French novelist, won the Nobel Prize in Literature.
1985 A French law prohibited
the demolition of the classy Parisian facades along the
(SSFC, 2/11/07, p.G3)
1985 Magdalena Kopp, the wife
of Carlos the Jackal, aka Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, was freed after a
series of bloody attacks against France.
1985 Pernod Ricard SA acquired
the Italian bitters group Ramazzotti.
(WSJ, 9/7/05, p.B2)
1985 In France Seamus Ruddy
(32), a Northern Ireland activist, vanished while working as an
English teacher in Paris. He was reportedly murdered by republican
1985-1995 Frenchman Jacques Delors served as
president of the European Commission.
(Econ, 2/14/04, p.50)
1986 Jan 20, Britain and France
announced plans to build the Channel Tunnel.
1986 Feb, Jean-Claude “Baby
Doc" Duvalier was ousted from power ending 28 years of family
dictatorship. He fled to France with his wife and mother.
(TMC, 1994, p.1986)(SFC,12/31/97, p.A17)
1986 Mar 7, In France thieves
made off with 1.5 million francs in an armored car robbery. In 2007
Jean Pierre Belkalem, a former Cartier employee, was arrested in San
Francisco on charges of aiding and abetting in the robbery.
(SSFC, 4/1/07, p.D3)
1986 Mar 16, In France the
first direct regional elections for representatives took place. The
French term "région" was officially created by March 2, 1982, Law of
1986 Mar 8, Four French
television crew members were abducted in west Beirut; a caller
claimed the Islamic Jihad was responsible. All four were eventually
1986 Apr 14, Simone de Beauvoir
(b.1908), French feminist author, died in Paris. Her books included
“The Second Sex" (1949). In 2008 her Wartime Diary was published in
(AP, 4/14/02)(SFC, 12/23/08, p.E3)
1986 Apr 15, Jean Genet (75),
French playwright (Lesson Negres), was found dead in Paris.
1986 Apr 24, Bessie Wallis
Warfield Simpson (b.6/19/1896), the Duchess of Windsor, for whom
King Edward VIII gave up the British throne, died in Paris at age
89. Wallis Simpson was King Edward VIII's wife. In the early 1950s
Simpson engaged in an affair with playboy Jimmy Donahue. In 2000
Christopher Wilson authored "Dancing with the Devil: The Windsors
and Jimmy Donahue."
(AP, 4/24/97)(SFC, 2/28/98, p.A5)(SFC, 1/4/01,
1986 Sep 17, A bomb attack in
Paris killed 5 people. This began a 10 month series of bomb attacks
in France attributed to Lebanese and Armenian terrorists.
1986 Nov 17, Renault President
Georges Besse was shot to death by leftists of the Direct Action
Group in Paris.
1986 Dec 1, Musee d'Orsay
opened in Paris.
1986 African art was brought to
Paris by the Dapper Foundation of Amsterdam and housed in an elegant
private museum at 50 Avenue Victor Hugo.
(SFEC, 1/4/98, p.T7)
1986-1988 Jacques Chirac served his 2nd term as
prime minister of France.
(Econ, 3/17/07, p.28)
1986 In France Michel Lescanne,
in response to the crises in Ethiopia, founded Nutriset to develop a
product for feeding malnourished children. An initial product met
WHO standards F-75 and F-100 for therapeutic milk products that
needed to be mixed with water. In 1997 he hit upon a peanut-based
spread and called the new product Plumpy’nut.
(WSJ, 4/12/05, p.A14)
1987 Jan 22, France named
Manuel Noriega, head of Panama, a Commander of the Legion of Honor
1987 Feb 22, The Finance
Ministers and Central Bank Governors of six major industrial
countries (Canada, France, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom, United
States, G6) met in Paris and agreed in the Louvre Accord to bring
down the value of the dollar.
1987 Mar 24, French Premier
Jacques Chirac signed a contract with Walt Disney Productions for
the creation of a Disneyland amusement park, the first in Europe.
1987 Apr 7, Ali Mecili, a
lawyer active in Algeria's human rights movement, was killed by
three gunshots in the foyer of his Paris apartment. Colleagues
accused the Algerian government of involvement. In 2008 Algerian
diplomat Mohamed Ziane Hasseni was arrested at an airport in the
French port city of Marseille, based on an international arrest
warrant. A Paris judge had signed the orders for the arrest of
Hassani and the suspected killer, Abdelmalek Amellouet, in December
last year. Hasseni was released on Feb 27.
1987 May 11, The trial of
former Gestapo official Klaus Barbie began in Lyons, France.
1987 Jun 30, The prosecutor at
the trial of Klaus Barbie in Lyon, France, denounced the crimes of
the former Nazi Gestapo official and demanded the maximum sentence
of life in prison. Barbie died in 1991 at age 77.
1987 Aug 11, Britain and
France ordered minesweepers to the Persian Gulf, but said they would
not be used in combined operations with the United States as it
escorted reflagged Kuwaiti ships.
1987 Aug, In central France the
body of a girl (4), bearing the signs of horrific abuse including
burns from an iron and human bite marks, was found in a ditch
alongside the A10 motorway. It remained a cold case until the 2016
arrest of her brother in an assault probe that allowed police to
identify her through DNA, leading in 2018 to the arrest of their
1987 Oct 3, Jean Anouilh (77),
French playwright (Ball of the Voleurs), died.
1987 Nov 27, French hostages
Jean-Louis Normandin and Roger Auque were freed by their pro-Iranian
captors in west Beirut, Lebanon.
1987 Dec 1, Digging of the
Eurotunnel began on the English side to link England and France,
under co-chairman Alastair Morton (d.2004).
1987 The French film “36
Fillette" was directed by Catherine Breillat. It was about a
14-year-old girl's quest to lose her virginity.
(SFC, 9/29/99, p.D1)
1987 The Monde Arabe (The Arab
World Institute) was opened in Paris. The building at 1 Rue des
Fosses Saint-Bernard was designed by Jean Nouvel.
(SFEC, 1/4/98, p.T7)
1987 La Bellevilleuse was a
grass-roots group founded to protect residents in their Paris
quarter and improve living conditions.
(SFEC, 6/28/98, p.T9)
1987 France ousted Libyan
troops from a disputed area of northern Chad. In the proxy war,
code-named Arid Farmer, France and the US backed government forces
against Libyan troops.
(SFC, 6/22/99, p.A12)(WSJ, 2/11/03, p.D8)
1987 An appeals court dismissed
the case against Maurice Papon case for procedural irregularities.
1987 The French CAC-40 stock
market index began.
(Econ, 11/17/12, SR p.3)
1987 Eurotunnel started trading
on the Paris Bourse for $6.35 a share. It peaked in 1989 at $23.04,
but in 2004 was down to 44 cents.
(WSJ, 5/19/04, p.A1)
1987-2001 In France Michel Fourniret, dubbed the
"Ogre of the Ardennes", admitted in his trial to murdering, raping
and kidnapping seven young girls and women during this period. His
wife, Monique Olivier, was accused of helping him trap the victims.
In 2008 Fourniret (66) and Olivier (59) were convicted and sentenced
to life in prison for the murders.
(AFP, 5/26/08)(AFP, 5/28/08)
1988 Jan 20, Philippe de
Rothschild (b.1902), Bordeaux Vineyard manager, died in Paris.
1988 May 8, French President
Francois Mitterrand was elected to a second seven-year term,
defeating conservative challenger Jacques Chirac.
1988 May 10, The Edgar Degas
sculpture "Danseresie of 14" (Little Dancer at 14 years of Age) sold
for $10,120,000. In 1996 it sold for nearly $12 million.
(http://tinyurl.com/lx277)(SFC, 11/13/96, p.A3)
1988 Jun 12, In runoff
elections in France, President Francois Mitterrand's Socialist Party
fell short of a majority in the National Assembly. But a right-wing
coalition also failed to retain its legislative control.
1988 Jun 26, Three people were
killed when a new Airbus A-320 jetliner carrying more than 130
people crashed into a forest during an air show demonstration flight
in Mulhouse, France.
1988 Jun 26, The Matignon
Agreements were agreements signed in the Hôtel Matignon by
Jean-Marie Tjibaou and Jacques Lafleur between loyalists who wanted
to keep New Caledonia as a part of the French Fifth Republic, and
separatists, who did not. The agreements were arranged under the
aegis of the Government of France as a result of discussions and
compromises arranged by Christian Blanc, the negotiator for Michel
1988 Jun 27, Fifty-seven people
were killed in a train collision in Paris.
1988 Aug 11, Jean-Pierre
Ponnelle (b.1932), French opera director (Figaro, Barber of Seville,
numerous operas in Europe, Bayreuth, Met Opera), died in Munich,
1988 Oct 18, Maurice Allais of
France won the Nobel Prize in economics for contributions to the
theory of markets and the efficient use of resources.
(SFC, 10/15/98, p.A2)(AP, 10/18/98)(AP, 10/11/09)
1988 Oct 26, A French
pharmaceutical company, Roussel Uclaf, announced it would halt
worldwide distribution of RU-486, a pill to induce abortions,
because of "an outcry of opinion at home and abroad." The French
government ordered the company to reverse itself two days later.
1988 Oct 28, A French
pharmaceutical company that manufactured the abortion pill RU-486
announced it would resume distribution on command of the French
1988 Michel Deville made his
film “La Lectrice" with Maria Casares (1922-1996).
(SFC, 11/25/96, p.B2)
1988 The French TV show “Les
Guignols de l’Info" was launched. It was based on the British show
“Spitting Image" (1988-1991) and used puppets to lampoon
(Econ, 7/11/15, p.49)
1988 Controls on capital
movement across borders were abandoned by France, Italy and other
member states of the European Community.
(WSJ, 5/28/96, p. R-44)
1988 Maurice Papon was again
charged with crimes against humanity.
1988 French Archbishop Marcel
Lefebvre was expelled for defying the liberal reforms of the 1962-65
Vatican Council. The Vatican excommunicated Lefebvre after he
consecrated four bishops without Rome's consent. The bishops also
1988 George Soros, billionaire
financier, traded shares of French bank Societe Generale prior to a
takeover. A court in 2002 alleged insider knowledge and fined him
$2.2 million. Soros had declined to participate in takeover deal but
bought shares that gained him $2.28 million.
(SFC, 12/21/02, p.B1)
1988 Pernod Ricard SA acquired
the Irish whiskies Jameson, Paddy and Bushmills.
(WSJ, 9/7/05, p.B2)
1988 Albert Fert of France and
Peter Grunberg of Germany independently discovered the phenomenon of
giant magnetoresistance. It was later adopted for use in computer
hard-drives. In 2007 they won the Nobel Prize in Physics for their
(Econ, 10/13/07, p.94)
1988 Patrice Vic (31) jumped
out of his 12th story apartment window. His death was linked to
counseling sessions and charges to the Church of Scientology.
(SFC, 11/23/96, p.A10)
1988-1993 Jacques Chirac was mayor of Paris and
Alain Juppe was the finance director.
(SFC, 8/26/98, p.A10)
1989 Mar 29, I.M. Pei's glass
pyramidal entrance to the Louvre opened in Paris.
(SFC, 6/16/96, T-5)(http://tinyurl.com/emvfc)
1989 May 24, French war
criminal Paul Touvier was arrested in a monastery in Nice.
1989 Jul 2, Jean Painleve
(b.1902), French film maker, died. His science and nature films
inspired the Surrealists.
(WSJ, 6/19/00, p.A44)(http://tinyurl.com/z8n2m)
1989 Jul 12, A farmer in
eastern France went on a shooting rampage, killing 14 people before
1989 Jul 15, Leaders of the
seven major industrial democracies, meeting in Paris, voiced support
for democracy behind the Iron Curtain and condemned repression in
1989 Jul 23, Greg LeMond of the
United States won the Tour de France.
1989 Sep 6, The Guardian
reported that a French police computer had mixed codes and accused
41,000 Parisians of murder and prostitution rather than traffic
1989 Sep 19, A Paris-bound
French DC-10, UTA Flight 772, was bombed over the Sahara desert of
Niger and all 170 passengers died. French authorities placed the
blame on Libya’s Abdallah Senoussi, brother-in-law of Moammar
Khadafy and chief of foreign operations for the Libyan secret
service. The six Libyan suspects were named by a French judge in
1998 and tried in absentia in 1999. The attack was in retaliation
for French intervention on behalf of Chad in a war with Libya since
the mid 1980s. In 2004 Libya signed a $170 million compensation
accord with families of the people killed. In 2008 a federal judge
in Washington ordered Libya and six of its officials to pay more
than $6 billion in damages to the families of 7 Americans killed in
(SFC, 5/7/97, p.C3)(SFEC,10/19/97, p.A26)(WSJ,
1/30/98, p.A1)(SFC, 6/13/98, p.A11)(SFC, 3/9/99, p.B10)(AP,
9/19/99)(AP, 1/9/04)(Reuters, 1/16/08)
1989 Oct 6, Actress Bette Davis
(81) died in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. In 1962 she authored her
memoir “The Lonely Life." In 2006 Charlotte Chandler authored “The
Girl Who Walked Home Alone," a personal biography of Davis.
(AP, 10/6/97)(WSJ, 3/4/06, p.P8)(WSJ, 2/21/09,
1989 Nov 26, In the Comoro
Islands Pres. Ahmed Abdallah was assassinated in his presidential
palace in Moroni. In 1999 Bob Denard (Gilbert Bourgeaud), a French
mercenary and head of the presidential guard, and Dominique
Malacrino were put on trial for the killing. Denard was acquitted.
(SFC, 5/6/99, p.A15) (SFC, 5/20/99,
1989 Dec 5, A French TGV train
reached a world record speed of 482.4 kph.
1989 Dec 22, Samuel Beckett
(83, playwright, died in Paris. His work included the novel "The
Unnamable." In 1997 2 biographies of Beckett were published: "Damned
to Fame" by James Knowlson and "Samuel Beckett: The Last Modernist,"
by Anthony Cronin. In 1999 Maurice Harmon published "No Author
Better Served: The Correspondence of Samuel Beckett and Alan
Schneider." Schneider (d.1984) was Beckett's American director.
(SFEC, 9/30/96, p.A23)(WSJ, 7/11/97, p.A12)(SFEC,
1/17/99, BR p.7)(AP, 12/22/99)
1989 Patrick Rance (d.1999)
authored "The French Cheese Book."
(SFC, 8/30/99, p.A24)
1989 Construction of the new
Tres Grand Bibliotheque (aka TGB, the national library) was begun.
It was designed by Dominique Perrault and the first quarter was
scheduled to open in 1997.
(WSJ, 8/28/97, p.A12)
1989 Maria Casares (1922-1996)
won the Moliere prize for best comedienne.
(SFC, 11/25/96, p.B2)
1989 Christine Deviers-Joncour
was hired by state-owned Elf oil company to use her wiles on foreign
minister Roland Dumas to go along with a sale of 6 French-made
warships to Taiwan. In 1998 she published “The Whore of the
Republic," and told her story.
(SFC, 11/28/98, p.A14)
1989 Gerard Fusil, a French
journalist, conceived “adventure racing" as a sport.
(WSJ, 5/19/00, p.A1)
1989 France ruled that the
school ban on religious symbols was illegal.
(WPR, 3/04, p.9)
1989 Pernod Ricard SA acquired
the Australian wine brand Jacob’s Creek.
(WSJ, 9/7/05, p.B2)
1989 A cable car accident
killed 8 people in the Isere region of the French Alps.
(SFC, 7/2/99, p.A10)
1989 Bernard Villemot (b.1911),
French poster artist, died. In 1945-1946 he carried out many posters
for the Red Cross.
1990 Apr 18, A Franco-German
proposal was made at the Dublin summit for the political union of
the 12 European Community member countries.
1990 May 18, The French
TGV-train hit record speed of 515.3 kph.
1990 Jul 3, Maurice Girodias
(71), French publisher, died.
1990 Jul 4, France performed
nuclear test at Muruora Island.
1990 Sep 15, France announced
it would send 4,000 more soldiers to the Persian Gulf and expel
Iraqi military attaches in Paris in response to Iraq’s raids on
French, Belgian and Canadian diplomatic compounds in Kuwait.
1990 Oct 22, Louis Althusser
(b.1918), Algeria-born French Marxist philosopher, died.
1990 Oct 23, Iraq announced the
release of 330 French hostages.
1990 Oct, French Pres. Francois
Mitterrand called for an economic government of Europe during a
Franco-German summit in Paris.
(Econ, 7/14/07, p.58)
1990 Nov 19, Leaders of 16 NATO
members and the remaining six Warsaw Pact nations signed treaties in
Paris making sweeping cuts in conventional arms throughout Europe
and pledging non-aggression toward one another. The Treaty on
Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) was signed by the United
States and 21 other NATO and WTO countries at a CSCE summit in
1990 Dec 1, British and French
workers digging the Channel Tunnel between their countries finally
met after knocking out a passage in a service tunnel.
1990 Maria Casares (1922-1996)
won the French National Grand prix of Theater.
(SFC, 11/25/96, p.B2)
1990 The Australian firm Thomas
Hardy & Sons, a family firm that had made wine for 160 years,
entered the market in Europe with an investment in Domaine de la
Baume in Languedoc, France.
(WSJ, 5/30/03, p.A3)
1990 Bui Tin, a former
Vietnamese army journalist, defected to France during a trip for a
meeting organized by l'Humanite communist newspaper in Paris.
1990-1993 Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana,
an ethnic Hutu, requested French troops to help block an ethnic
Tutsi exile force that was penetrating the country from Uganda.
French troops were present over the next 3 1/2 years.
(WSJ, 1/24/97, p.A14)
1991 Feb 23, French forces
unofficially started the Persian Gulf ground war by crossing the
Saudi-Iraqi border. Lessons learned in the savage 1972 Eastertide
Offensive paid off at the Battle of Khafji in the Gulf War.
1991 Mar 2, Serge Gainsbourg
(b.1928), French singer-songwriter, actor and director, died of a
heart attack. His extremely varied musical style and individuality
make him difficult to categorize. His legacy has been firmly
established, and he is often regarded as one of the world's most
influential popular musicians.
1991 Mar, Sartrouville, France,
was badly scarred by riots after the killing of Djamel Chettouh (18)
by a Euromarche supermarket security guard.
(Econ, 4/7/07, p.50)(http://tinyurl.com/25eqm7)
1991 May 15, French President
Francois Mitterrand appointed Edith Cresson to be France’s first
1991 May 18, France performed a
nuclear test at Muruora Island.
1991 Jun 10, Vercors (b.1902)
[Jean Bruller], French writer (Silence of Mer), died.
1991 Jul 28, Miguel Indurain of
Spain won the Tour de France bicycle race.
1991 Aug 6, Former Iranian PM
Shahpour Bakhtiar and his chief of staff were killed in Bakhtiar’s
residence outside Paris. Their bodies were found 2 days later. In
1994 Ali Vakili Rad was arrested in Switzerland and sentenced to
life in prison for stabbing Shapour Bakhtiar to death. In 2010
France issued a deportation order to send Rad back to Iran shortly
after Tehran freed a young French academic accused of spying.
(AP, 8/8/01)(AP, 5/17/10)
1991 Sep 25, Nazi war criminal
Klaus Barbie died in Lyon, France, at age 77.
1991 Nov 9, Singer-actor Yves
Montand died near Paris at age 70. His body was exhumed in 1998 for
DNA tests in a paternity suit filed by Aurore Drossard (22).
(SFC, 3/13/98, p.A17)(AP, 11/9/01)
1991 Nov 18, France deported
Marlon Brando's daughter Cheyenne (21) to Tahiti to face charges of
acting as an accomplice in the killing of her lover last year.
1991 Pierre Pflimlin (d.2000 at
93), former mayor of Strasbourg, published his memoirs: “Memoirs of
a European under the Fourth and Fifth Republic." Pflimlin served as
president of the European Parliament from 1984-1987.
(SFC, 6/28/00, p.A21)
1991 The French film "The
Lovers on the Bridge" starred Denis Lavant and Juliette Binoche. It
was set in 1989 on the Pont Neuf. It was directed by Leos Carax.
(SFC, 10/8/99, p.C3)
1991 The French film “Tous les
Matins du Monde" was based on the life of composer Marin Marais
(1656-1728) and his teacher Monsieur de Sainte Colombe. Jordi
Savall, artist of the viola da gamba, performed on the soundtrack.
1991 The French satirical
magazine La Grosse Berthe was launched.
(Econ, 12/20/03, p.76)
1991 Edith Cresson became the
first female prime minister in France.
(SFC, 3/2/00, p.A11)
1991 Jen-Pierre Chevenement
resigned as defense minister over France’s involvement in the Gulf
War against Iraq. He later became head of the center-left Citizens’
(SSFC, 3/24/02, p.A14)
1991 French frigates were sold
to Taiwan. In 2004 a fake list of French public figures (including
later president Nicolas Sarkozy), who allegedly held accounts at a
Luxembourg-based clearing house (Clearstream Banking S.A.), was
leaked to a French judge. This came to be known as the 2nd
1991 Executive Life, a large
California insurer, collapsed under the stewardship of Frederick
Carr. He had invested premiums of policy holders in junk bonds,
whose value plunged as the US economy tanked. Credit Lyonnais, a
French bank, made an illegal arrangement to purchase the depressed
bonds and together with French billionaire Francois Pinault reaped a
$2.54 billion profit. In 2004 the French government pleaded guilty
to fraud for its role.
(WSJ, 4/16/04, p.A1)
1992 Jan 20, A French Airbus
A-320 crashed near Strasbourg, killing 87 people.
1992 Feb 7, Russian President
Boris N. Yeltsin and President Francois Mitterrand signed a
cooperation treaty in Paris.
1992 Feb 8, The 16th Olympic
Winter Games opened in Albertville, France.
1992 Feb 13, Donna Weinbrecht
of the United States won the gold medal in women's freestyle skiing
moguls at the Olympic games in Albertville, France.
1992 Feb 14, American speed
skater Bonnie Blair won her second gold medal of the Albertville
Olympics, in the 1,000 meters event.
1992 Feb 21, Kristi Yamaguchi
of the United States won the gold medal in women's figure skating at
the Albertville Olympics; Midori Ito of Japan won the silver, Nancy
Kerrigan of the United States the bronze.
1992 Feb 22, At the Winter
Olympics in Albertville, France, American speedskater Cathy Turner
won the women's 500-meter race.
1992 Feb 23, The XVI Winter
Olympic Games ended in Albertville, France.
1992 Mar 14, Jean Poiret (65),
French actor, writer (La Cage aux Folles), died.
1992 Mar 22, France's governing
Socialist Party was rebuffed in regional elections.
1992 Apr 2, French Premier
Edith Cresson, who had served 10 turbulent months as France's first
woman prime minister, resigned after election setbacks for the
1992 Apr 12, After five years
in the making, Euro Disneyland, a theme park costing $4 billion,
opened in Marne-La-Vallee, France, amid controversy as French
intellectuals bemoaned the invasion of American pop culture.
1992 Apr 27, Olivier Messiaen
(b.1908), French composer, died. His work included the 1983 opera
"St. Francis d’Assise."
1992 May 6, Actress Marlene
Dietrich (b.1901), film star and singer, died at her Paris home at
age 90. She was buried in Germany on May 16.
(SFC, 5/8/96, p.D-2)(AP, 5/16/97)
1992 Jul 26, Miguel Indurain of
Spain won cycling's Tour de France for the second year in a row.
1992 Aug 26, The United States,
Britain and France imposed a 2nd no-fly zone south of the 32nd
parallel, the southern one-third of Iraq aimed at protecting Iraqi
(AP, 8/26/97)(SFC, 9/24/02, p.A11)
1992 Sep 20, French voters
narrowly approved the Maastricht Treaty on European union.
1992 Sep, The French finance
ministry placed Credit Lyonnais under administrative control. A 1998
bailout of the company ended up costing French taxpayers twice the
bank’s 1991 published capital.
(Econ, 5/20/06, Survey
1992 Oct 14, The Nobel Prize
for physics went to George Charpak of France.
1992 Oct 19, Maurice le Roux,
French conductor and composer (Contes immoraux), died.
1992 Marc Sautet, philosophy
professor and writer, started philosophy debates at the Cafe des
Phares in Paris. Success encouraged him to export the idea of
philosophy cafes around the world.
(SFEC, 4/21/97, p.A9)
1992 Foreign investors account
for more than 20% of shareholdings in French companies, up from 12%
(WSJ, 10/17/95, A-20)
1992 Total, a France-based oil
and gas company, was privatized. It was founded in 1924 as the
Compagnie française des pétroles (CFP).
1992 Elf-Aquitaine purchased
the former East German Leuna refinery. It was later alleged that
bribes totaling $44 million were paid by the French government to
the German Social Democrats under Helmut Kohl.
(SFC, 1/24/00, p.A6)
1992 An Italian court sentenced
Marina Petrella, a member of the Red Brigades, in absentia to life
in prison on charges including murder and kidnapping. In 2007 French
police arrested Petrella for a petty crime and planned to extradite
her to Italy. In 2008 a French court ordered her that she be freed
from prison because of health problems.
(AP, 8/23/07)(AP, 8/5/08)
1993 Jan 6, Ballet dancer
Rudolf Nureyev died of AIDS in Paris at age 54. In 1961 his
defection from the Soviet Union made headline news. In 2007 Julie
Kavanagh authored “Nureyev: The Life."
(AP, 1/6/98)(WSJ, 10/1/98, p.A20)(SSFC, 10/14/07,
1993 Jan 9, In France
Jean-Claude Romand killed his parents, wife and children in an
effort to save his pride following years of lies. He had spent
nearly 20 years pretending he was a successful doctor and researcher
working for the Geneva-based World Health Organization. In 2001
Emmanuel Carrere authored “The Adversary: A True Story of Murder and
6/9/07, p.P8)(AFP, 6/28/19)
1993 Jan 15, In Paris a
historic disarmament ceremony ended with the last of 125 countries
signing a treaty banning chemical weapons.
1993 Mar 21, Voters in France
handed the Socialist government a devastating defeat in first-round
1993 May 13, In suburban Paris,
a masked man armed with dynamite took a roomful of nursery school
children hostage, demanding $18.5 million. The man was shot to death
by police two days later.
1993 Aug 30, The 150 millionth
person visited the Eiffel Tower.
1993 Sep 5, Claude Renoir,
French cinematographer (Spy Who Loved Me), died at 78.
1993 Sep 6, Automakers Renault
of France and Volvo of Sweden announced they would merge; however,
Volvo canceled the deal the following December.
1993 Nov 23, Record cold was
blamed for at least 34 deaths in parts of Europe and prompted the
French army to send out troops to feed the homeless in Paris.
1993 Amin Maalouf (b.1949),
Lebanese writer, won France’s Prix Goncourt for his novel “The Rock
(Econ, 7/5/08, p.91)
1993 French Pres. Mitterrand
moved the offices of the Ministry of Finance out of the Louvre’s
Richelieu Wing to free 245,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space.
(WSJ, 10/7/98, p.A20)
1993 France forbade polygamy as
it tightened immigration laws to stop husbands from bringing extra
wives into the country.
(Econ, 5/8/10, p.55)
1993 France scrapped its
saint-strewn list of acceptable names.
(Econ, 1/14/12, p.59)
1993 French Dr. Luc Montagnier
created the World Foundation for AIDS Research and Prevention under
the auspices of UNESCO. He was one of the first to isolate the AIDS
(SFC, 11/16/96, p.A1)
1993 Sanofi-Aventis of France
introduced its Ambien sleeping pill to the US.
(SFC, 3/3/06, p.D1)
1994 Jan 22, Jean-Louis
Barrault (83), French actor (La Ronde), died.
1994 Jan 30, Pierre Boulle
(b.1912), French writer (Executioner), died.
1994 Feb 24, Jean Sablon (87),
French crooner, died.
1994 Mar 28, Absurdist
playwright Eugene Ionesco died in Paris at age 81.
1994 Apr 6, The presidents of
Rwanda and Burundi were killed on a return trip from Tanzania in a
mysterious plane crash near Kigali, Rwanda; widespread violence
erupted in Rwanda over claims the plane had been shot down: Agatha
Uwilingiyimana, Rwanda’s and Africa’s 1st female PM, Cyprian
Niayamira (Ntaryamira), president of Burundi (1993-94) and Juvenal
Habyarimana, president of Rwanda (1973) were killed along with the
French aircrew. In Rwanda the Interhamwe, an extremist organization,
and the Rwandan armed forces, FAR, launched a massacre of Tutsis and
sympathizers that killed some 800,000. [see Aug 1, 1997] A French
report in 2004 concluded that Paul Kagame, Tutsi rebel leader, was
behind the crash. In 2010 a Rwandan government-commissioned inquiry
said Rwandan Hutu soldiers shot down the Hutu president's plane and
sparked the slaughter of more than 500,000 people. In 2012 a French
judge determined that the missile fire that brought down the plane
and sparked the Rwanda genocide came from a military camp, and not
Tutsi rebels. This finding supported the theory that Habyarimana was
killed by extremist members of his own ethnic Hutu camp.
(WSJ, 11/15/96, p.A16)(SFC, 2/21/97, p.A26)(AP,
4/6/99)(SFC, 2/11/04, p.A8)(AP, 1/12/10)(AFP, 1/11/12)
1994 May 6, Britain's Queen
Elizabeth II and French President Francois Mitterrand formally
opened the Channel Tunnel between their countries. A first dividend
to shareholders, promised in 1995, was paid in 2009.
(AP, 5/6/04)(Econ, 5/10/14, p.68)
1994 Jun 6, President Clinton
joined leaders from America's World War II allies to mark the 50th
anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Normandy.
1994 Jun 14, Marcel Mouloudji
(b.1922), Algeria-born French actor/chansonnier, died in Paris.
1994 Jun 23, French marines and
Foreign Legionnaires headed into Rwanda to try to stem the country's
1995 Jul 25, A bomb exploded at
the Paris subway St. Michel station, killing seven people and
injuring at least 60. The Armed Islamic Group claimed
responsibility. In 1999 five people linked to Algerian militants
were sentenced to 10-year prison terms for the attacks. 16 others
received lesser sentences. In 2002 Boualem Bensaid and Smain Ait Ali
Belkacem, Islamic militants, were convicted and sentenced to life in
prison for their roles in the bombings. British police arrested
Rachid Ramda (25) at the request of the French government due to his
connections with Bensaid. In 2005 Ramda was still in Belmarsh prison
7/25/00)(Econ, 10/22/05, p.61)
1994 Aug 14, Ilich Ramirez
Sanchez, the terrorist known as "Carlos the Jackal," was captured in
Khartoum, Sudan. He was jailed in France the next day.
(SFC,12/17/97, p.A18)(AP, 8/15/97)
1994 Aug 15, Ilich Ramirez
Sanchez, the terrorist known as "Carlos the Jackal," was jailed in
France after being captured in Sudan. By his own count he had killed
83 people before being captured. Bernard Violet is the author
of “Carlos - The Secret networks of Int’l. Terrorism."
(AP, 8/15/97)(SFC,12/11/97, p.C2,4)
1994 Oct 4, Florence Rey (19),
a literature student, participated in a bungled holdup that left 3
police officers, a taxi driver, and her accomplice-lover dead
following a car chase. In 1998 she was sentenced to 20 years in
(SFC, 10/2/98, p.B3)
1994 Nov 14, The 1st trains for
public ran in Channel Tunnel under the English Channel.
1994 Nov 30, Guy Debord
(b.1931), French political theorist and filmmaker, died. His books
included “Society of the Spectacle" (1967).
1994 Nov, The Var River
overflowed and washed away bridges and stretches of the Nice-Digne
railroad track. Rail service was not restored until Apr 1996 at a
cost of F50 Million (US$10 mil).
(Hem., 1/97, p.116)
1994 Dec 24, Armed Islamic
fundamentalists hijacked an Air France Airbus A-300 carrying 227
passengers at the Algiers airport; three passengers were killed
before the hijackers were killed by French commandos in Marseille
two days later.
(SFC, 9/27/97, p.A10)(AP, 12/24/99)
1994 Dec 26, French commandos
stormed a hijacked Air France jetliner on the ground in Marseille,
killing four Algerian hijackers and freeing 170 hostages. The Air
France plane was hijacked by the Armed Islamic Group of Algeria.
(SFC, 9/27/97, p.A10)(AP, 12/26/99)
1994 Dec 27, Four Roman
Catholic priests—three French and a Belgian—were shot to death in
their rectory in Algiers, a day after French commandos killed four
radicals who had hijacked an Air France jet from Algiers to
1994 Dana Facaros and Michael
Pauls authored their guidebook “The South of France: Provence, Cote
d’Azur & Languedoc-Rousillon."
(SSFC, 6/17/01, p.T10)
1994 In France the Cartier
Foundation building at 261 Boulevard Raspail was opened. It was
designed by Jean Nouvel with 7 floors above ground and 8 below.
(SFEC, 1/4/98, p.T7)
1994 The French education
minister ruled that public schools could ban “ostentatious"
(WPR, 3/04, p.9)
1994 Elf Aquitaine, a
state-owned oil company, was privatized.
(SFC, 2/5/02, p.A6)
1994 The French government
rescued Credit Lyonnais. In 2013 the government authorized the
borrowing of €4.5 billion to pay off the last of the debt incurred
in the bank rescue. The total cost to taxpayers hit almost €15
(Econ, 11/16/13, p.77)
1994 In France Baron Edmond
Adolphe Maurice Jules Jacques de Rothschild (d.1997 at 71) was named
an officer in the Legion of Honor.
1994 Three French explorers
discovered the stone-age Chauvet Cave with paintings that dated back
more than 30,000 years. In 1996 they published "Chauvet Cave: The
Discovery of the World’s Oldest Paintings."
(NH, 7/96, p.73)
1994 France was the No. 1
supplier of arms to the developing world.
(SFC, 8/21/96, p.A10)
1994 French legislator Yann
Piat of the UDF was shot to death in her car by 2 men on motorcycle.
A 1997 book, “The Yann Piat Case" by Andre Rougeot and Jean-Michel
Verne," says that she was killed by the French secret service to
keep her from revealing a plot to sell military land to the Mafia.
The book was suspended after its first printing sold out. Many
believe the tale to be disinformation. Seven men were on trial in
1998 for the murder.
(SFC,10/17/97, p.A25)(SFC, 5/15/98, p.A14)
1994 Pakistan’s military
purchased three Agosta 90 B submarines from France. PM Edouard
Balladur’s 1995 campaign for the French presidency was later
suspected of having been financed in part from kickbacks in the
6/25/09)(www.digitaljournal.com/article/274427)(Econ, 10/1/11, p.54)
1995 Feb 22, France accused
four American diplomats and a fifth U.S. citizen of spying, and
asked them to leave the country.
1995 May 1, In France Brahim
Bouarram (29), a father of two, was thrown into the Seine by a group
of skinheads leaving a May Day rally held nearby in Paris by Nation
al Front Party leader Jean-Marie Le Pen.
1995 May 7, Jacques Chirac, the
conservative mayor of Paris, won France's presidency in his third
attempt, defeating Lionel Jospin in a runoff to end 14 years of
1995 May 17, Jacques Chirac was
sworn in as president of France, ending the 14-year tenure of
Socialist Francois Mitterrand.
1995 May 27, In Bosnia General
Mladic launched an assault against the UN observation point of the
Vrbanja bridge. French soldiers Marcel Amaru and Jacky Humboldt were
killed in the operation of liberating the Vrbanja Bridge under siege
in Sarajevo. They became the symbol of the 84 French soldiers, who
gave their lives for Bosnia.
1995 Jun 3, Jean-Patrick
Manchette (b.1942), French novelist, died. His 11 novels included
the "Three to Kill," (1976).
1995 Jun 13, France announced
it would abandon its 1992 moratorium on nuclear testing and conduct
eight more tests between September and May.
1995 Jul 25, A bomb exploded at
the Paris subway St. Michel station, killing 8 people and injuring
some 200. The Armed Islamic Group claimed responsibility. In 1999
five people linked to Algerian militants were sentenced to 10-year
prison terms for the attacks. 16 others received lesser sentences.
In 2002 Boualem Bensaid and Smain Ait Ali Belkacem, Islamic
militants, were convicted and sentenced to life in prison for their
roles in the bombings. British police arrested Rachid Ramda (25) at
the request of the French government due to his connections with
Bensaid. In 2005 Ramda was still in Belmarsh prison awaiting
extradition. In 2007 Ramda (38) was sentenced to life in prison with
no possibility of parole for 22 years.
7/25/00)(Econ, 10/22/05, p.61)(AP, 10/26/07)
1995 Sep 5, France under Pres.
Chirac resumed nuclear testing, after a three-year moratorium, in
the French South Pacific atoll of Mururoa. World-wide protests
failed to stop testing.
(WSJ, 9/8/95, p.A-8)(AP, 9/5/00)
1995 Sep 24, A 16-year-old boy
in Cuers, France, killed 13 people before turning a gun on himself.
1995 Sep, Bob Denard, a French
mercenary soldier, and accomplices overthrew Comoran President
Mohammed Djohar, and put opposition leaders Mohammed Taki and
Said-Ali Kemal in power in the Indian Ocean state. The French army
intervened in October under bilateral accords with the Comoros
islands, a former French colony, and captured the mercenaries.
In 2006 Denard was found guilty for his part in the coup and given a
suspended five-year prison sentence. His 26 accomplices were found
guilty but were given suspended sentences or were not penalized.
1995 Oct 1, France detonated
another nuclear device, 5 times more powerful than the last one, on
Fangatouga Atoll in the South Pacific.
(WSJ, 10/2/95, P.A-1)
1995 Nov, In France weeks of
chaos in the streets and paralysis to the railways began as Pres.
Chirac tried to end the country’s “special regimes" for public
(Econ, 11/17/07, p.57)
1995 Nov, France conducted its
4th nuclear test at the Mururoa atoll in French Polynesia.
(WSJ, 11/22/95, p.A-1)
1995 Dec 23, 16 cult members
of the Order of the Solar Temple were found dead in an Alpine
clearing in eastern France. This was the same cult in the 1994 mass
suicide in Switzerland and Canada.
(WSJ, 12/26/95, p. A-1)
1995 Dec 27, France set off a
fifth nuclear bomb at a South Pacific Atoll.
(WSJ, 12/28/95, p. A-1)
1995 Dec, A wave of strikes
lasted weeks as the French government struggled to establish cuts to
rein in its $65.5 bil. deficit. Led by the railroad workers, the
strikes bring transport to a halt. France was attempting to
restructure its finances in time to meet the deadline for European
monetary union in 1999.
(WSJ, 11/30/95, p.A-12)(Econ, 9/22/07, p.63)
1995 Dec, France’s PM Alain
Juppe backed down from a bid to force public sectors workers to work
40 years instead of 37.5 for full pension benefits. Cost cutting
plans for the state railway are also set aside for re-negotiation.
(WSJ, 12/18/95, p.A-10)
1995 Jacques Foccart
(1913-1997), architect of French policy in Africa, published
“Foccart Speaks," a book on French policymaking in Africa under
Charles de Gaulle.
(SFC, 3/20/97, p.A24)
1995 The French film “La Heine"
(Hatred) was written and directed by Matthieu Kassovitz (26). The
film opened French eyes to the rage on the housing estates on the
(Econ, 5/31/08, p.89) (Econ, 5/16/15, p.79)
1995 The French film “Son of
Gascogne" starred Gregoire Colin and was directed by Pascal Aubier.
It was about a young man mistaken for the son of a fabled New Wave
(SFC, 5/22/98, p.C3)
1995 France imposed lengthy
cross-checks for Algerians traveling to Europe due to the war with
Islamist rebels. The weeks long wait was finally reduced in 2006.
(Econ, 11/18/06, p.48)
1995 State prosecutors in
Bordeaux reduced charges against Maurice Papon to complicity in
crimes against humanity.
1995 French retailer Carrefour
began operating in China.
(Econ, 10/10/09, p.68)
1995 British income per head
overtook the French.
(Econ, 5/28/05, p.28)
1995 The Vatican dismissed
bishop Jacques Gaillot of Paris for preaching liberal views on
homosexuality, priest celibacy and other touchy issues.
(SFC, 9/5/96, p.A9)
1995 The population of France
was about 57 million people. The 1995 budget-deficit target under PM
Alain Juppe was $322 bil.
(WSJ, 11/17/95, p.A-10)
1995-1997 Alain Juppe served as prime minister of
(Econ, 7/31/04, p.44)
1996 Jan 8, Francois
Mitterrand (79), former Socialist president of France (1981-1995),
died of prostate cancer. He had been in office for 14 years and
helped to make France an engine of European unity and changed the
face of Paris with his grand projects. In 2013 Philip Short authored
“Mitterrand: A Study in Ambiguity."
(WSJ, 1/9/96, p.A-1)(SFC, 10/24/96, p.C3)(Econ,
1996 Jan 27, The sixth and
most powerful nuclear bomb was detonated. In 1998 the Int’l. Atomic
Energy Agency confirmed that the test sites in the South Pacific
would be contaminated for centuries. Plutonium particles were
scattered in the sediment of the lagoons at Mururoa and Fangatoufa.
(WSJ, 1/30/96, p.A-16)(SFC, 6/27/98, p.A7)
1996 Jan 29, French President
Jacques Chirac ordered an early end to underground nuclear tests in
the South Pacific.
1996 Mar 3, Marguerite Duras,
French writer, died at age 81 in Paris. She was very prolific and
was best known for her novel “The Lover." In 2008 her Wartime
Writings: 1943-1949," translated by Linda Coverdale, was published.
(WSJ, 3/4/96, p. A-1)(SSFC, 3/30/08, Books p.1)
1996 Mar 27, In Algeria
seven French Trappist monks were kidnapped overnight from the Notre
Dame del’Atlas monastery near Medea. The monks were abducted from
the Priory of Our Lady of Atlas in Tibehirine, about 80 km (50
miles) south of Algiers, by members of the insurgent Armed Islamic
Group of Algeria (GIA). Their heads were discovered two months later
and their death was announced by the GIA. On Jan. 26, 2018, Pope
Francis declared the monks to be martyrs.
(SFC, 5/24/96, p.A14)(AFP, 1/27/18)
1996 Apr, Pres. Jacques Chirac
announced that the draft would be phased out over the next 5 years.
The army would be shrunk from 500,000 to 350,000.
(SFC, 6/11/96, p.A15)
1996 May 1, François Chalais
(b.1919), prominent French reporter, journalist, writer and film
historian, died. In 1997 the François Chalais Prize at the annual
Cannes Film Festival was named after him.
1996 May 14, Renault outlined a
plan to become majority owned by private investors after more than 5
decades of state control.
(WSJ, 1/2/97, p.R2)
1996 May 16, French unions
scheduled a series of strikes to protest Prime Minister Juppe’s
plans to eliminate thousands of civil service jobs.
(WSJ, 5/16/96, p.A-1)
1996 May 20, Two French
soldiers were shot and wounded as they assisted French citizens to
evacuate from Bangui in the Central African Republic. This was the
second uprising by the army in two months with 7 people killed since
(SFC, 5/21/96, p.A-11)
1996 May 23, The Armed Islamic
Group said that it had killed 7 French Trappist monks who were
kidnapped two months ago from the Notre Dame de l’Atlas monastery at
Tibhirine near Medea on Mar 27. Only their decapitated heads were
found. In 2002 John W. Kister authored "The Monks of Tibhirine." In
2010 this story was covered in the French film “Of Gods and Men."
(SFC, 5/24/96, p.A14)(WSJ, 2/19/02, p.A24)(Econ,
1996 Jun 3, Prime Minister
Juppe proposed a major reform of the tax system over 5 years and
shift the cost of health care from wages onto savings.
(SFC, 6/4/96, p.A11)
1996 Jun 9, The latest
unemployment rate was 11.6%.
(SFC, 6/9/96, Parade, p.9)
1996 Jun 28, In France
immigrants began a hunger strike at St. Bernard’s Church in Paris in
protest to new hard-line immigration policies.
(SFC, 8/13/96, p.A3)
1996 Jul 7, The average cost of
a Big Mac in France was $3.41.
(SFC, 7/7/96, Parade, p.17)
1996 Jul 21, Danish cyclist
Bjarne Riis won the Tour de France. In 2007 he admitted to using
performance enhancing drugs to win the race.
1996 Jul, Caroline Dickinson, a
13-year-old British girl, was raped and strangled at a youth hostel
in the town of Pleine-Fougeres. A DNA test was planned to be
performed on volunteers of the 170 young men in the town who fit an
age profile of the murderer.
(SFC, 10/11/97, p.A8)
1996 Aug 17, The first French
woman in space, Claudie Andre-Deshays (later Haignere), took off
from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in a Soyuz-U rocket.
(SFC, 8/18/96, p.A2)
1996 Aug 21, Thousands marched
in support of illegal immigrants and called for the removal of newly
appointed Interior Minister Jean Louis-Debre.
(SFC, 8/22/96, p.E2)
1996 Sep 4, France said it will
stop changing its clocks twice a year.
(SFC, 9/5/96, p.A10)
1996 Sep 5, Prime Minister
Alain Juppe proposed a tax cut. It would reduce the top marginal
rate to 54% next year from 56.8%, and to 47% in 2000.
(WSJ, 9/66/96, p.A11)
1996 Sep 17, In France Maurice
Papon, a member of the Vichy government of WW II, was declared
eligible for trial for his role in arresting and deporting 1,690
Jews during WW II.
(SFC, 9/19/96, p.A10)
1996 Sep 18, The 1997 budget
was unveiled with total spending of $301.88 bil.
(WSJ, 9/19/96, p.A14)
1996 Oct 5, A bomb exploded in
the mayoral offices of French Prime Minister Alain Juppe. There were
(SFEC, 10/6/96, A12)
1996 Oct 17, A one-day strike
was held by about 1.6 million public employees, a third of the total
public service sector. French unemployment stood at 12.5%.
(SFC, 10/18/96, A14)
1996 Nov 15, The SF Symphony
performed in Paris and Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas was
awarded the Chevalier des Arts et Lettres, France’s highest arts
(SFC, 11/16/96, p.A15)
1996 Nov 22, Truckers continued
their Operation Escargot strike for higher pay and earlier
retirement for a 5th day.
(SFC, 11/23/96, p.A10)
1996 Nov 29, Truckers signed
agreements to end a 12-day strike. The government agreed to allow
early retirement at age 55 with boosts in sick pay. An issue of work
hours was still pending.
(SFC, 11/30/96, p.A14)
1996 Dec 2, The Roussel Uclaf
SA of France, a pharmaceutical firm mostly owned by Hoechst of
Germany, agreed to reduce the workweek for 7,000 domestic employees
to 35 from 38 hours without pay cuts. Employees will also get less
in profit sharing but more vacation.
(WSJ, 12/3/96, p.A17)
1996 Dec 3, In France a bomb
exploded in the Paris subway at the Port-Royal station. Two (4)
people were killed and dozens injured. It appeared to be the work of
(WSJ, 12/4/96, p.A1)(AP, 12/3/97)
1996 Dec 6, The National
Assembly approved tax breaks for Corsica.
(SFC, 12/7/96, p.A10)
1996 Dec 10, The African aid
budget was more than $3 billion, nearly 4 times that of the US aid
to Africa. French troops were garrisoned in Cameroon, the CAR, Chad,
Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Gabon and Senegal.
(WSJ, 12/10/96, p.A22)
1996 Dec 23, Sophie Toscan du
Plantier (b.1957), the wife of high-profile French filmmaker Daniel
Toscan du Plantier (d.2003), was beaten to death near her remote
home in Schull. On Mar 1, 2012, Ian Bailey, a British journalist and
the chief suspect in the murder, won his appeal against extradition
to France. Ireland's Supreme Court refused the extradition of
suspect Ian Bailey on the grounds that France had at the time not
taken the decision to send him to trial. In 2019 the murder trial of
Bailey began in absentia in France on May 27.
1996 Dec 27, The foreign
ministry said that it would no longer participate in the Operation
Provide Comfort after the end of the year. The operation was a
multi-national air reconnaissance effort to safeguard Kurdish
civilians in northern Iraq.
(SFC, 12/28/96, p.A12)
1996 Andre Comte-Sponville
authored “A Small Treatise on the Great Virtues." The English
translation was published in 2001.
(WSJ, 9/5/01, p.A24)
1996 The French film “For Ever
Mozart" by John-Luc Godard starred Madeleine Assas.
(SFC, 3/20/98, p.D5)
1996 The French film “Ponette"
by Jacques Doillon starred little Victoire Thivisol as a 4-year-old
who has lost her mother in a car accident. She won the best actress
award at the Venice Film Festival.
(SFEC, 6/29/97, DB p.11)
1996 The Francis Poulenc Museum
of Sacred Art opened in Rocamadour. It featured a collection
religious objects spanning 8 centuries.
(SFEC, 7/26/98, p.T11)
1996 Jean-Claude Mery (d.1999),
an aide to Pres. Chirac, made a video tape that accused Chirac of
operating a slush fund through kickbacks while mayor of Paris. The
tape was made public in 2000.
(SFC, 9/22/00, p.D2)
1996 The French firm Ecco
merged with Adia of Switzerland to form Adecco. The merger made
Adecco the world’s largest employment firm ahead of Manpower.
(Econ, 1/6/07, p.57)
1996 Louis Vuitton Moet
Hennessy purchased Duty Free Shopper (DFS), founded in the 1960s by
Chuck Feeney (b.1931) and partners. In the 1980s Feeney had put most
of his one-third share and other assets into charitable trusts in
Bermuda operating as Atlantic Philanthropies. Feeney scheduled the
foundation to go out of business by 2016. In 2007 Connor O’Clery
authored “The Billionaire Who Wasn’t: How Chuck Feeney Secretly Made
And Gave Away a Fortune.
(WSJ, 9/26/07, p.D13)(Econ, 10/6/07, p.99)
1997 Jan 7, It was announced
that a 20.6% value-added tax would be placed on telephone services
offered by phone companies outside the European Union. The charge
was directed at “call-back" services mainly in the US.
(WSJ, 1/7/97, p.A14)
1997 Jan, The Paris Music
Museum, Musee de la Musique, opened as part of the Cite de la
Musique complex at 221 avenue Jean-Jaures.
(SFEC, 9/14/97, p.T7)
1997 Feb 17, Striking bus and
tram drivers in Lille returned to work after an agreement was
reached to reduce their workweek to 35 hours from 38, without a pay
reduction, along with an extra 2 weeks annual vacation.
(SFC, 2/18/96, p.A10)
1997 Feb 17, The National Front
was the fastest growing political party in the country and was led
by Bruno Megret (47), a former student at UC Berkeley. The party
championed a national preference program where jobs, public housing
and univ. slots would be reserved for the ethnic French majority.
(SFC, 2/18/96, p.A1)
1997 Feb-Mar, Over 700 dolphins
and whales piled up on the Atlantic coast of France. They had been
discarded by mid-water commercial fishing trawlers as bycatch.
(NG, 12/97, p.149)
1997 Mar 9, French journalist
Jean-Dominique Bauby died in Paris. He had been completely paralyzed
in Dec 1995 and had recently finished dictating the book: “Le
Scaphandre et le Papillon" (The Diving Suit and the Butterfly) by
blinking his left eyelid, the only moveable part of his body. The
book was published 2 days before he died. The film “The Diving Bell
and the Butterfly," based on the book, was directed by Julian
Schnabel and opened in the US in 2007.
(SFC, 3/11/97, p.A20)(Econ, 12/1/07, p.100)
1997 Mar 22, Etienne Bacrat,
“the Mozart of Chess," became a grand master at the age of 14.
(SFEC, 3/23/97, p.A13)
1997 Mar 29, Over 25,000 people
demonstrated against the convention of the racist National
Front Party led by Jean-Pierre Le Pen.
(SFEC, 3/30/97, p.A18)
1997 Apr 24, The French film
“When the Cat’s Away" opened at the SF film festival.
(SFC, 4/25/97, p.D6)
1997 May 1, The French film “La
Promesse" was shown at the SF Film Festival.
(SFC, 4/23/97, p.D3)
1997 May 25, The Socialist
Party and allies claimed 42.8% of the popular vote in elections. In
the first round of parliamentary elections, French voters gave the
leftist opposition the biggest share of votes in a surprising
setback for President Jacques Chirac's conservatives.
(SFC, 5/26/97, p.A10) (AP, 5/25/98)
1997 May 26, France's deeply
unpopular prime minister, Alain Juppe, announced he would resign, a
day after the country's governing center-right coalition suffered
major losses in first-round parliamentary elections.
(SFC, 5/27/97, p.A1)(AP, 5/26/98)
1997 May 27, In Paris, Russian
President Boris Yeltsin joined 16 NATO leaders, including President
Clinton, to sign a historic agreement giving Moscow a voice in NATO
affairs. Boris Yeltsin joined Bill Clinton and the leaders of the 15
other NATO member states in signing the "Founding Act on Mutual
Relations, Cooperation and Security between NATO and the Russian
1997 Jun 1, The Socialists won
control of the government and party leader Lionel Jospin was
expected to become prime minister. New conditions for creating the
new European Union and new common currency were expected. Value
added taxes on common purchases were expected to be slashed; plans
to privatize France Telecom were expected to be abolished and the
legal workweek was expected to be reduced to 35 hours without
paycuts to provide more jobs.
(SFC, 6/2/97, p.A1,9)
1997 Jun 2, Lionel Jospin was
handed the premiership by Pres. Chirac.
(SFC, 6/3/97, p.A12)
1997 Jun 4, In France PM Lionel
Jospin appointed women to 6 of 16 ministerial positions.
(SFC, 6/5/97, p.C2)
1997 Jun 6, The French film “A
Single Girl" opened in SF. It was directed by Benoit Jacquot and
starred Virginie Ledoyen and Benoit Magimel.
(SFC, 6/6/97, p.D7)
1997 Jun 25, Oceanographer
Jacques-Yves Cousteau (b.1910) died in Paris. In 2009 Brad Matsen
authored “Jacques Cousteau: The Sea King."
(AP, 6/25/98)(Econ, 10/31/09, p.97)
1997 Jun, Ira Einhorn was
arrested in France. A French court ruled against extradition and
released Einhorn. Einhorn was arrested in 1998 under a new
extradition warrant. The events were broadcast as a TV crime story
in 1999 titled "The Hunt for the Unicorn Killer." In 1999 The French
Supreme Court ruled that Einhorn should be returned to the US. In
Sep 1977, in Philadelphia Helen “Holly" Maddux, a Bryn Mawr College
graduate from Tyler, Texas, was murdered and stuffed into a steamer
trunk for 18 months until her body was discovered. Ira Einhorn,
“hippie guru" was arrested for the murder in 1979 but released on
bail. He fled to hide in France. Fred Maddux, Holly's father,
committed suicide in 1988. Einhorn was convicted in absentia in
(SFC, 6/17/97, p.A2)(SFC,12/5/97, p.A17)(SFC,
9/22/98, p.A3)(WSJ, 5/3/99, p.A20)(WSJ, 5/12/99, p.A23)(SFC,
1997 Aug 4, In France the
world’s oldest person, Jeanne Calment (b.1875), died in Arles at the
record age of 122. The title was passed on to Christien Mortensen of
San Rafael, Ca., (115). It was later found that Marie-Louise
Febronie Meilleur of Ontario was to turn 117 in August.
p.A18)(SFC, 8/15/97, p.A20)
1997 Aug 21, Pope John Paul II
began a visit to Paris with an outdoor encounter with 500,000 young
people from around the world.
(SFC, 8/22/97, p.A14)
1997 Aug 24, In France Pope
John Paul II offered tough challenges and affectionate encouragement
to more than 1 million faithful attending Mass during closing World
Youth Day ceremonies in Paris.
1997 Aug 31, Princess Diana
(36) and Dodi al-Fayed were killed in a car crash in Paris while
trying to evade paparazzi photographers.
(SFEC, 8/31/97, p.A1)
1997 Sep 8, In France a
passenger train collided with a gasoline truck in Perigord town and
killed at least 12 people and injured 39.
(WSJ, 9/9/97, p.A1)
1997 Sep 29, The oil company
Total signed a $2 billion contract to explore for gas in Iran
despite warnings from the Clinton administration.
(SFC, 9/30/97, p.A14)
1997 Oct 27, In the Comoros the
island of Anjouan held a referendum to re-unite with France and
voters overwhelmingly approved the measure. France refused to accept
1997 Nov 30, In Tajikistan
Karine Mane of France and 5 of her suspected abductors were killed
by a grenade during a confrontation with government forces trying to
free her. A companion had been released hours earlier. Faction
leader Rezvon Sadirov was accused of the kidnapping, staged to seek
freedom for his brother, Bakhrom, who was awaiting trial on
(SFC, 12/1/97, p.A13)(AP, 11/30/98)
1997 Oct 4, It was reported
that France banned 20% of all cars from the streets of Paris for one
day last week due to smog.
(SFC, 10/4/97, p.A17)
1997 Oct 4, It was reported
that Greenpeace had found crabs contaminated with twice Europe’s
allowed radiation level near the La Hague nuclear waste reprocessing
plant near Cherbourg in northwestern France.
(SFC, 10/4/97, p.A17)
1997 Oct 6, In Vitrolles the
cafe Sous-marin was shut down for criticism of the National Front, a
far-right party in control of the town.
(SFC, 10/7/97, p.A15)
1997 Oct 8, The trial of
Maurice Papon opened in Bordeaux after a court rejected his appeal.
During the trial the judge called 4 historians to explain the
background to the jury. These included Robert O. Paxton, who in 2004
authored The Anatomy of Fascism."
(AP, 9/18/02)(Econ, 3/13/04, p.85)
1997 Oct 8, A 36-hour rail
strike disrupted travelers.
(SFC, 10/9/97, p.A17)
1997 Oct 10, Prime Minister
Lionel Jospin proposed a law to cut the workweek to 35 hours from 39
as a means to create jobs by Jan 1, 2000.
(SFC, 10/11/97, p.A9)
1997 Nov 2, Some 250,000 union
truckers began a strike over pay and work hours. Huge traffic
1997 Nov 5, Trucker barricades
went up in Paris. Unions representing France’s 300,000 truckers
demanded pay raises up to 7% and a guaranteed salary 0f $1,600 for
200 hours work per month plus compensation for downtime during
1997 Nov 6, Paul Ricard, the
aperitif king, died at age 88. [see 1932]
1997 Nov 7, Most truckers ended
their strike after the largest signed an agreement for a 6% raise by
year 2000 and a guaranteed $1700 for 200 hours of work per month.
1997 Nov 24, Singer Monique
Serf, stage-name Barbara, died at 67. She was famous for her songs
“Aigle Noir," “Nantes," “La Solitude," and “Une Petite Cantate."
1997 Nov 30, It was reported
that Stephane Courtois led 11 scholars in the publication of the
“Black Book of Communism." It was called the first global balance
sheet of the “crimes, terror and repression" committed under
1997 Dec 1, Stephane Grappelli,
jazz violinist, died in Paris. In the mid-30s the Quintet of the Hot
Club of France, with Grappelli and Django Reinhardt, recorded “Tiger
Rag," “Dinah," and “Lady Be Good." His albums included “Live at
Carnegie Hall, “Jazz Round Midnight," “Plays Jerome Kern," “Tivoli
Gardens" (1979), “Satin Doll," ‘’Stardust," ‘For Django," and “Plays
(SFC, 12/2/97, p.A22)(SFC, 12/4/97, p.E3)
1997 Dec 4, It was reported
that Paul Cezanne graces the new 100 franc bill. He replaces Eugene
Delacroix, who was on the old bill with his painting depicting the
French Revolution and its topless symbol Marianne.
(SFC, 12/4/97, p.C5)
1997 Dec 12, Ilich Ramirez
Sanchez, the international terrorist known as "Carlos the Jackal,"
went on trial in Paris on charges of killing two French
investigators and a Lebanese national. He was convicted and began
serving a life prison sentence.
1997 Dec 17, In France Salima
Ghezali, Algerian human rights campaigner, received the European
Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought.
1997 Dec 17, The US and 33
other countries signed a convention in Paris aimed at eradicating
bribery in international business. Turkey was one of 34 signatories
of the OECD’s anti-corruption convention. By 2008 38 countries had
(AP, 12/17/98)(Econ, 3/19/05, Survey p.14)(Econ,
1997 Dec 23, In France "Carlos
the Jackal," aka Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, was convicted in the murder
of 2 French agents and a Lebanese informant on Jun 27, 1975. He was
sentenced the next day to life in prison.
1997 Dec 24, Ilich Ramirez
Sanchez, the aging revolutionary known as "Carlos the Jackal," was
sentenced by a French court to life in prison for the 1975 murders
of two French investigators and a Lebanese national.
1997 Jean Guitton (d.1999 at
97), Catholic philosopher and author, published "The Spiritual
Genius of St. Therese."
(SFC, 3/27/99, p.C2)
1997 The sci-fi film by Luc
Besson “The Fifth Element" was set in Manhattan in the year 2259.
The film used a song by Khaled Hadj Brahim, the Algerian-born singer
who combined western and African music in a style called “rai." His
latest song, “Aicha," has sold more than 1.5 million copies. Besson
won a 1998 French Cesar Award for best director. The film was
France’s top box-office hit.
(SFEC, 5/4/97, DB p.39)(SFEC, 9/14/97, Par
p.14)(SFC, 3/3/98, p.B5)
1997 The French film “Irma Vep"
with Maggie Cheung was written and directed by Olivier Assayas. It
was a remake of the 1915-1916 10-part silent serial “Les Vampires"
by Louis Feuillade.
(SFC, 8/8/97, p.D3)
1997 The French comedy film
“Les Visiteurs" was about 2 men transplanted from the Middle Ages to
(WSJ, 11/5/97, p.B1)
1997 The film “Marius et
Jeannette" was a love story by Robert Guediguian.
(SFC, 3/3/98, p.B5)
1997 The French film “On
Cunnait la Chanson" (Same Old Song) won the 1998 Cesar Award for
best French film of the year.
(SFC, 3/3/98, p.B5)
1997 The French film “A
Self-Made Hero" starred Matthieu Kassovitz and was directed by
Jacques Audiard. It was about a man who joins the French underground
near the end of the war.
(SFEC,11/23/97, DB p.43)(SFC,12/5/97, p.C3)
1997 The French film “Un Air de
Famille" (Family Resemblances) was directed by Cedric Klapisch. It
was based on the play by Agnes Jaoui and Jean-Pierre Bacri.
(WSJ, 6/12/98, p.W5)(SFC, 1/29/99, p.D3)
1997 The French film “When the
Cat’s Away" was directed by Cedric Klapisch. One of its songs was
"Mona Ki Ngi Xica" by Barcelo de Carvalho, aka “Bongo," recorded on
the album “Angola 72."
(SFC, 4/25/97, p.D6)(WSJ, 6/20/97, p.A16)
1997 Jacques Pepin, gourmet
chef, received the Chevalier de L'Ordre des Arts from the French
(SFC, 10/20/99, Z1p.4)
1997 France-based Pernod Ricard
SA acquired the Spanish gin Larios.
(WSJ, 9/7/05, p.B2)
1997 Mario Sandoval obtained
French citizenship. The Argentine ex-police officer had moved to
France after the fall of Argentina's 1976-1983 military dictatorship
and was later accused by Buenos Aires of over 600 human rights
violations. Argentina began seeking his extradition in 2012.
1997 Francois Furet, French
historian, died. He was the acknowledged pre-eminent historian of
the French Revolution and in 1995 authored "The Passing of an
Illusion." It was translated by his wife into English in 1999.
(WSJ, 5/11/99, p.A20)
1998 Jan 8, Prime Minister
Lionel Jospin was forced to meet with protestors angry over the
nation’s 12.4% unemployment.
(SFC, 1/9/98, p.A11)
1998 Jan 9, Prime Minister
Jospin pledged $160 million to help the unemployed, in an attempt to
end over a month of sit-ins at unemployment offices across the
(SFC, 1/10/98, p.A8)
1998 Jan 23, In France a
massive avalanche killed at least 11 people near the Italian border.
(SFC, 1/24/98, p.A9)
1998 Feb 6, In Corsica Claude
Erignac, the French governor, was shot a killed by 2 gunmen. In 2003
French police arrested Yvan Colonna for the murder.
(SFC, 2/7/98, p.A11)(SSFC, 7/6/03, p.A3)
1998 Feb 10, French legislators
approved a reduction in the workweek from 39 to 35 hours.
(SFC, 2/11/98, p.B3)
1998 Mar 17, Alain Bosquet,
poet, novelist and critic, died at 78. He was born as Anatole Bisk
in Odessa in the Ukraine. His autobiographical novel “A Russian
Mother" was a best-seller in France and translated to English in
(SFC, 4/9/98, p.C14)
1998 Mar 28, In France tens of
thousands marched in demonstrations against the right-wing National
Front, which made gains in recent regional elections.
(SFEC, 3/29/98, p.A12)
1998 Mar 31, In Lille an
18-year-old boy was shot dead by a fellow student in front of his
classmates and teacher.
(SFC, 4/22/98, p.A10)
1998 Apr 2, A French court
found Maurice Papon (1910-2007), a career civil servant, guilty of
deporting Jews from Bordeaux in 1942-1943, when he was
secretary-general of the Gironde Prefecture. He was sentenced to 10
years in prison, but served only 3 due to ill health.
(SFC, 4/2/98, p.C2)(SFC, 4/3/98, p.B2)(Econ,
1998 May 8, A bomb exploded in
Marseilles and damaged the Regional Council building. Corsican
militants were suspected.
(SFEC, 5/10/98, p.A22)
1998 May 9, A bomb exploded
near the Spanish border at Siant-Pierre d’Irube and caused damage to
a bank branch and the City Hall. Basque militants were suspected.
(SFEC, 5/10/98, p.A22)
1998 May 20, The EU approved a
rescue package to save the French Credit Lyonnais banking group. In
exchange the state bank would be privatized and assets would have to
(SFC, 5/22/98, p.D4)
1998 May 24, At the 51st Cannes
Film Festival the Golden Palm award went to the Greek film “Mia
Eoniotita Ke Mia Mera (Eternity and a Day), directed by Theo
Angelopoulos. The Grand Prize went to the Italian film “La Vita e
Bella" (Life Is Beautiful) by director Roberto Benigni.
(SFC, 5/25/98, p.E5)
1998 May 26, Police in 5
European countries arrested 74 alleged Algerian separatists. 53 were
arrested in France and 21 in Belgium, Germany, Italy and
Switzerland. The idea was to dismantle terrorist networks prior to
the World Cup.
(SFC, 5/27/98, p.A10)
1998 Jun 1, In France pilots of
Air France began a pay-dispute strike.
(SFC, 6/2/98, p.A11)
1998 Jun 10, Pilots agreed to
end their strike after accepting shares in Air France in exchange
for salary cuts.
(SFC, 6/11/98, p.A10)
1998 Jun 12, Jean-Paul Guerlain
(63), renowned perfumer, was shot and his mansion was plundered when
some 12 armed and masked men invaded his home.
(SFC, 6/13/98, p.A11)
1998 Jun 10-1998 Jul 12, The
World Cup soccer championships were held in France.
(SFEC, 5/10/98, p.A22)
1998 Jul 12, The French soccer
team beat Brazil 3-0 in the World Cup finals.
(SFC, 7/13/98, p.A1)
1998 Jul 30, A Proteus Airlines
Beechcraft collided with a Cessna off the west coast and 15 people
(SFC, 8/1/98, p.A11)
1998 Jun, Rhone-Poulenc, a
French pharmaceutical maker later acquired by Sanofi-Aventis, spun
off Rhodia SA. It was later alleged that costly environmental and
pension liabilities were dumped on the Rhodia and not disclosed to
(WSJ, 6/30/05, p.C1)
1998 Aug 13, Julien Green (97),
the first American to be elected to the Academie Francaise, died in
Paris. The Catholic and homosexual writer produced 18 novels that
included “Moira" and “Each in his Darkness." He also published
14 volumes of journals and 5 volumes of memoirs.
(SFC, 8/18/98, p.A18)
1998 Sep 24, French doctors
performed a hand transplant on a New Zealand man, Clint Hallam (48).
He had lost his hand in a sawing accident in a New Zealand prison
where he was serving a 2-year sentence for fraud. The hand was
removed in 2001 due to alleged failure to follow correct
(SFC, 10/16/98, p.D2)(SSFC, 2/4/01, p.A5)
1998 Sep 25, Frenchman Benoit
Lecomte reached the Brittany coast after a 72-day swim across the
Atlantic that began Jul 16 at Hyannis, Mass.
(SFC, 9/26/98, p.A11)
1998 Sep 30, Gerhard Schroeder
visited with Socialist leaders in France and endorsed controls on
(WSJ, 10/1/98, p.A1)
1998 Oct 8, A wildcat
transportation strike went into its 3rd day.
(USAT, 10/9/98, p.13A)
1998 Oct 12, In France
thousands of high-school students demonstrated for more teachers and
(WSJ, 10/13/98, p.A1)
1998 Oct 15, Over 200,000
high-school students protested overcrowded classes, a shortage of
teachers, over-loaded schedules, and ill-equipped, unsafe schools.
(SFC, 10/16/98, p.D2)
1998 Oct 20, Over 300,000
high-school students demonstrated for smaller classes and more
teachers. There was scattered violence.
(WSJ, 10/21/98, p.A1)
1998 Oct 21, In France the
government announced emergency plans to improve conditions in the
(SFC, 10/22/98, p.C3)
1998 Nov 8, Jean Marais, French
actor, died at age 84. His films included the 1946 “Beauty and the
Beast" by Jean Cocteau (d.1963).
(SFC, 11/10/98, p.A24)
1998 Nov 21, Rail workers in
southern France extended their strike for the 12th day. A
Europe-wide rail strike was planned for Nov 27.
(SFEC, 11/22/98, p.A26)
1998 Nov 28, Countries fighting
in Congo agreed to a cease-fire during an African summit in Paris.
The deal was brokered by UN Sec. Gen’l. Kofi Annan. Rebel leaders
were not present.
(SFEC, 11/29/98, p.A21)
1998 Dec 4, Britain and France
signed an agreement for greater cooperation in crises management and
military operations. At the Anglo-French summit in St Malo, the
leaders of the UK and France decided on the need for a "capacity for
autonomous action, backed up by credible military forces." This led
to the establishment of the European Security and Defense Policy
(www.heritage.org/Research/Europe/bg2053.cfm)(SFC, 12/5/98, p.A10)
1998 Dec 9, In France the
National Assembly instituted the Civil Solidarity Pact, a bill to
improve the lot of cohabiting gay and unmarried couples.
(SFC, 12/10/98, p.C7)
1998 Dec 13, Riots erupted in
the Reynerie suburb of Toulouse after a teenager was killed by a
stray police bullet during an alleged car theft arrest.
(SFC, 12/14/98, p.C2)
1998 Dec 23, In Belgium the top
court convicted former NATO chief Willy Claes, French aerospace
tycoon Serge Dessault and 2 ex-aides of corruption in the Agusta
scandal. All got suspended sentences. Guy Spitaels (1931-2012), a
Belgian socialist leader, was also convicted in the bribery scandal
linked to the purchase of Italian helicopters for the air force.
(WSJ, 12/24/98, p.A1)(AP, 8/21/12)
1998 Dec 30, Jean-Claude
Forest, creator of the Barbarella sci-fi comic character, died at
age 68 in Paris.
(SFC, 1/2/99, p.C2)
1998 Dec, The Explor@dome
opened in the Jardin d'Acclimatation, a children's park in the
suburbs of Paris. It was modeled after the Exploratorium in San
(SFC, 4/1/99, p.E1)
1998 In France Eric Baratay and
Elisabeth Hardouin-Fugier authored “Zoo: A History of Zoological
Gardens in the West." An English translation by Oliver Welsh was
published in 2002.
(SSFC, 8/4/02, p.M6)
1998 Christine Deviers-Joncour
(51) published “The Whore of the Republic." In it she told how she
had been hired in 1989 by state-owned Elf oil company to use her
wiles on foreign minister Roland Dumas to go along with a sale of 6
French-made warships to Taiwan.
(SFC, 11/28/98, p.A14)
1998 Michel Houellebecq
authored “Les Particules Elementaires" (The Elementary Particles), a
nihilist novel that looked at the current era from the year 2079. In
it 2 half brothers served as emblems of 2 self-destructive
tendencies in modern life: radical individual autonomy and
technological perfection. It created a literary scandal in France
and was denounced as racist, fascist, sexist, and homophobic. An
English translation came out in 2000.
(WSJ, 11/15/00, p.A24)(Econ, 9/17/05, p.87)(WSJ,
1998 The French book “The City
of Man," by Pierre Manent was translated to English by Marc A.
LePain. It was a philosophical assault on the principles of
modernity that began with the Enlightenment.
(WSJ, 6/18/98, p.A16)
1998 Michael Tournier’s book,
“The Mirror of Ideas," was translated into English from the French.
The 58 essays revived the ancient notion that a limited number of
concepts and categories govern all our thoughts, and that their
staying power is owed to our custom of pairing them off.
(SFEC, 4/19/98, BR p.8)
1998 The French film “Diary of
a Seducer" starred Chiara Mastroianni and Melvil Oiupaud. It was
directed by Daniele Dubroux.
(SFC, 9/4/98, p.C5)
1998 The French film “Full
Speed" was directed by Gael Morel. It was about a young writer who
undergoes a rite of passage with the publication of his latest
(SFC, 3/23/98, p.E2)
1998 The French film
“Geneologies of a Crime" starred Catherine Deneuve and was directed
by Raoul Ruiz. It was a psychological mystery of a killer whose
crime was predicted by his victim.
(SFC, 8/28/98, p.B6)
1998 The French film “Marie
Baie des Anges" starred Frederic Malgras and Vahina Giocante. It was
about teenage passion on the Riviera.
(SFEC, 7/12/98, DB p.10)
1998 The French film “Post
Coitum" was directed by Brigitte Rouan.
(WSJ, 3/13/98, p.A14)
1998 The French film “La
Separation" starred Isabelle Huppert and Daniel Auteuil and was
directed by Christian Vincent.
(WSJ, 10/13/98, p.A20)
1998 The French comedy film
“Western" was written and directed by Manuel Poirier. It starred
Sergi Lopez and Sacha Bourdo.
(WSJ, 8/18/98, p.A20)
1998-2002 Thierry Breton, Rhodia SA director,
chaired the chemicals group’s audit committee.
(WSJ, 6/30/05, p.C1)
1999 Jan 1, The Maastricht
Treaty specified that a monetary union will be established by this
date, and laid down several criteria that EU nations must fulfill in
order to join. Some of the criteria included: maximum budget
deficits of 3% of GDP, a cap on government debt of 60% of GDP. The
European economic and monetary union (EMU) was scheduled to start
with a new "Euro" currency. Austria, Belgium, Finland, France,
Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and
Spain made the transition. Public use was set for Jan 1, 2002.
(WSJ, 9/25/95, p.A-12)(WSJ, 12/5/95, p.A-14)(SFC,
11/16/96, p.A1)(SFC, 1/1/99, p.A8)
1999 Jan 19, In France 8 men
were sentenced to prison for providing arms and logistics to the
banned Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) in Algeria.
(SFC, 1/20/99, p.A10)
1999 Jan 22, France convicted
107 people for supporting insurgents in Algeria.
(SFC, 1/23/99, p.C1)
1999 Jan, Raymond Peynet,
cartoon illustrator, died at age 90. He was known for the
starry-eyed "Lovers" created during World War II.
(SFC, 1/16/99, p.A18)
1999 Feb 8, A French helicopter
crashed in Antarctica and 3 people were killed.
(SFC, 2/9/99, p.A7)
1999 Feb 9, In Europe heavy
snows caused avalanches that killed at least 5 people. Ten people
were killed in the French Alps.
(WSJ, 2/10/99, p.A1)(WSJ, 2/11/99, p.A1)
1999 Feb 14, In Rambouillet,
France, Madeline Albright brought together the Serb and Albanian
sides in the Kosovo peace talks and the talks were extended one
week. The plan for a 3-year interim settlement included a NATO force
of some 25,000 troops, who would collect the weapons of the Albanian
(SFC, 2/15/99, p.A8)
1999 Feb 23, In France the
Kosovo Albanians agreed in principle to a peace settlement but asked
for 2 more weeks for consultations at home.
(SFC, 2/24/99, p.A1)
1999 Feb 23, Heavy rain and
snow in the Alps left 5 people dead and 13 missing in Austria,
Switzerland, France and Germany. An avalanche in the Austrian Alps
at Galtuer killed 9 people and at least 30 were missing.
(WSJ, 2/23/99, p.A1)(SFC, 2/24/99, p.A8)
1999 Mar 9, French police
arrested Javier Arizcuren-Ruiz, aka Kantauri, leader of the military
wing of the Basque ETA along with 5 other ETA members.
(SFC, 3/10/99, p.A14)
1999 Mar 14, In Kosovo heavy
fighting preceded the resumption of peace talks in Paris.
(SFC, 3/15/99, p.A1)
1999 Mar 20, In Paris thousands
of French teachers marched to demand a greater say in educational
(SFEC, 3/21/99, p.A22)
1999 Mar 24, In the 7-mile Mt.
Blanc tunnel between France and Italy a fire erupted from a truck
transporting flour. The death toll was raised to 9 with 24 injured.
The fire was extinguished after 3 days and the death toll rose to
35. Identification of the remains of at least 40 people began Mar
28. Thirty-nine people were killed when fire erupted in the Mont
Blanc tunnel in France and burned for two days. It re-opened in
2002. In 2005 a French court convicted 10 people and 3 companies for
safety lapses in the 2-day fire.
(SFC, 3/26/99, p.A14)(SFC, 3/27/99, p.A10)(SFC,
3/29/99, p.A8)(AP, 3/24/00)(SSFC, 3/17/02, p.C4)(AP, 3/24/04)(WSJ,
1999 May 4, Prime Minister
Jospin dissolved an antiterrorist squad linked to the firebombing of
a restaurant in Corsica frequented by nationalists.
(WSJ, 5/5/99, p.A1)
1999 May 19, Employees of the
Culture Ministry went on strike and shut down the government-owned
museums and historic chateaus.
(SFEC, 5/23/99, p.A26)
1999 Jun 1, Olivier Debre,
abstract painter, died in Paris at age 79. His work included the
stage curtain at the Comedie Francaise. He attempted to evoke
emotion through abstraction in what he called figurative and
landscape signs: "signes personnages" and "signes paysages."
(SFC, 6/7/99, p.A20)
1999 Jun 21, Mayor Jean Tiberi
inaugurated a sundial at the Place de la Concorde. The Obelisk of
Luxor was the pointer (gnomon), and the base was the northern half
of the Place de la Concorde.
(WSJ, 10/26/99, p.A24)
1999 Jul 1, In France a cable
car crashed and killed 21 people in Grenoble.
(SFC, 7/1/99, p.A15)
1999 Jul 13, Merhan Karini
Nasseri (54), a resident of Charles DeGaulle Airport for the last 11
years, was granted refugee credentials by Belgium.
(SFC, 7/14/99, p.A6)
1999 Jul 14, In France robbers
raided the Draguignan Museum during Bastille Day celebrations. A
stolen Rembrandt painting, “Child With a Soap Bubble," was recovered
in Nice in 2014 and two suspects were detained.
(SFC, 3/22/14, p.A2)
1999 Jul 21, David Ogilvy (88),
British-born American advertising executive, died in Bonnes, France.
In 2009 Kenneth Roman authored “the King of Madison Avenue: David
Ogilvy and the making of Modern Advertising."
(AP, 7/21/00)(WSJ, 1/21/08, p.A15)
1999 Jul 25, Lance Armstrong
won the Tour de France cycling race for his 1st time. In 2005 a
French sports newspaper reported that frozen urine specimens
indicated that Armstrong had used EPO (erythropoietin), a hormone
drug that boosts production of red cells.
(AP, 7/25/00)(SFC, 8/26/05, p.A1)
1999 Aug 21, The St.
Pierre-de-Trivisy town council, home of Roquefort cheese, imposed a
100% tax on Coca Cola in retaliation for American tariffs on
(SFC, 8/27/99, p.D4)
1999 Aug, Jose Bove and 9
others were arrested after trashing a soon-to-open McDonald’s. Bove
was the author of the book “The World Is Not Merchandise." In 2000
Bove was sentenced to 3 months in prison.
(SFC, 6/30/00, p.A18)(SFC, 9/14/00, p.C2)
1999 Sep 29, Euro Disney
unveiled plans for a movie theme park outside Paris next door to its
Magic Kingdom park.
(WSJ, 9/30/99, p.A18)
1999 Oct 4, Bernard Buffet,
painter, killed himself at age 71. The prolific figurative painter
often completed a work every other day and was respected abroad but
not at home.
(SFC, 10/5/99, p.A26)
1999 Oct 20, In France it was
reported that Maurice Papon (89), convicted for collaboration with
the Nazis, had fled the country.
(SFC, 10/21/99, p.A12)
1999 Oct 21, France’s highest
court upheld the conviction of Maurice Papon, the former Vichy
official who had fled France rather than face prison for his role in
sending Jews to Nazi death camps; Papon was captured in Switzerland
and deported the following day to begin a 10-year sentence.
(AP, 10/21/00)(AP, 9/18/02)
1999 Oct, In France thousands
of fish were killed when the residue of seasonal pressing for
champagne grapes was washed into the Marne River by heavy rains.
Dead fish were piled 6 feet high along a 20-mile stretch and
fisherman said it could take 10 years for stocks to return to
(SFC, 10/9/99, p.C1)
1999 Oct 11, In Paris riot
police used tear gas against egg-throwing chefs, who demanded that
the government lift a 20.6% tax on restaurant meals.
(SFC, 10/12/99, p.A1)
1999 Oct 13, France legalized
same sex unions under legislation called "civil solidarity pacts"
pushed through by the Socialist-dominated National Assembly.
(SFC, 10/14/99, p.A12)
1999 Oct 15, The French
organization "Doctors Without Borders" (Medecins Sans Frontieres)
won the Nobel Peace Prize.
(SFC, 10/16/99, p.A1)
1999 Oct 20, In France it was
reported that Maurice Papon (89), convicted for collaboration with
the Nazis, had fled the country.
(SFC, 10/21/99, p.A12)
1999 Oct 20, Nathalie Sarraute,
a Russian-born French novelist, died at age 99. Her 17 books
included 10 novels and her form was characterized by Sartre as the
"antinovel." In 1983 she authored her autobiographical "Childhood."
(SFC, 10/21/99, p.A25)
1999 Oct 22, Maurice Papon
(89), was arrested in Gstaad, Switzerland, and turned over to French
(SFC, 10/23/99, p.A10)
1999 Oct 23, Pres. Jiang Zemin
of China visited France and signed a $2.5 billion deal that included
an order for 28 Airbus planes.
(SFEC, 10/24/99, p.A28)
1999 Oct 29, A EU Commission
ruled that British beef was safe to eat despite French arguments for
a ban to guard against mad cow disease.
(SFC, 10/30/99, p.A12)
1999 Nov 2, In France the
Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the finance minister, resigned in a
(SFC, 11/3/99, p.C3)
1999 Nov 13, Heavy rains in
southeastern France caused mudslides that left at least 22 people
dead in the Tarn Aude, Eastern Pyranees and Herault regions.
(SFEC, 11/14/99, p.A15)
1999 Nov, The French government
decided to make morning-after contraception pills available to
teenage girls through school nurses. 10,000 girls under 18 were
becoming pregnant each year and 6,000 were having abortions.
(SFC, 12/1/99, p.A15)
1999 Dec 5, In France Michele
Alliot-Marie (53) was elected as the 1st female leader of the
conservative Rally for the Republic.
(SFC, 12/6/99, p.A14)
1999 Dec 8, In France a court
ruled that Seita, the maker of Gauloise and Gitane cigarettes, was
partly responsible for the death of a Richard Gourlain, a
(SFC, 12/9/99, p.C8)
1999 Dec 12, The Erika, a
Maltese registered oil tanker, broke in two during a storm off the
coast of Brest, France, with 8 million gallons of diesel oil. Half
the ship was towed to deeper waters and 3 million gallons were
spilled. In 2008 a French court found Total SA guilty of maritime
pollution and fined it the maximum penalty of $560,000. It also
ordered Total and three other defendants to pay total damages of
(SFC, 12/13/99, p.A13)(WSJ, 12/13/99, p.A1)(SFC,
11/20/02, p.A14)(AP, 1/16/08)
1999 Dec 18, Robert Bresson,
film director, died at age 98. His films included "La Femme Douce"
(SFC, 12/22/99, p.A27)
1999 Dec 26, In Europe heavy
winds and rain killed 88 people in France, 17 dead in Germany and 13
dead in Switzerland. A 2nd storm hit a day later. Damages from the
storms were later estimated to be at least $4 billion. The storms
destroyed an estimated 400 million trees across France.
(SFC, 12/27/99, p.A12)(WSJ, 12/27/99, p.A1)(SFC,
12/28/99, p.A8)(SFC, 1/4/00, p.A11)(SFC, 1/15/00, p.A1)(AP, 1/25/09)
1999 Jean Douchet authored
“French New Wave."
(SSFC, 12/22/02, p.M2)
1999 Jonathan Fenby, English
journalist, published "France on the Brink," a diagnosis of what
ails French society.
(WSJ, 8/4/99, p.A20)
1999 Bruce LeFavour authored
"France on Foot, Village to Village, Hotel to Hotel: How to Walk the
French Trail System on Your Own" with photographs by Faith
(SFEC, 1/9/00, BR p.8)
1999 The French psychological
drama film “Dry Cleaning" starred Miou Miou, Charles Berling and
Stanislas Merhar. It was directed by Anne Fontaine. A reserved
couple get involved with a group of sexually ambiguous nightclub
(SFC, 5/31/99, p.D3)
1999 The French film “I Stand
Alone" was directed by Gaspar Noe. It was about an unemployed
(SFEC, 4/11/99, DB p.39)
1999 The French musical film
“Jeanne and the Perfect Guy" starred Oliver Duscatel and Jacques
(SFC, 7/26/99, p.E3)
1999 The French film "Late
August, Early September" starred Mathieu Amalric and Virginie
Ledoyen. It was directed by Olivier Assayas.
(SFC, 7/23/99, p.C5)
1999 The French film "Romance"
was written and directed by Catherine Breillat. It was about a
woman's sexual journey and starred Italian porn star Rocco Siffredi
and Caroline Ducey.
(SFEC, 8/29/99, DB p.60)(SFC, 9/29/99, p.D1)
1999 The French film "Same Old
Song" was directed by Alain Resnais.
(SFEC, 4/11/99, DB p.37)
1999 The French film "Sitcom"
was directed by Francois Ozon.
(SFC, 7/5/99, p.B3)
1999 The French film "The
School of Flesh" was directed by Benoit Jacquot.
(SFC, 3/26/99, p.C3)
1999 The French romantic comedy
film "Seventh Heaven" starred Sandrina Kimberlain and Vincent Lindon
and was directed by Benoir Jacquot.
(SFC, 4/9/99, p.C7)
1999 The French film “So Be it"
starred Gerard Blain.
(SFC, 12/19/00, p.B5)
1999 The French film "Soleil"
starred Sophie Loren and Philippe Noiret. It was directed by Roger
Hanin. It was about Jewish mother and her family pushed to
Algiers during WW II.
(SFC, 8/6/99, p.C6)
1999 The French film "Women"
starred Carmen Maura, Miou-Miou, and Marisa Berenson. It was
directed by Luis Glavao Teles.
(SFC, 12/3/99, p.C3)
1999 In France the Sangatte Red
Cross center, near the 33-mile Channel Tunnel, was set up to house
(SFC, 12/27/01, p.A4)
1999 France finally called the
Algerian conflict a "war." Prior to this France referred only to
operations to "maintain order."
1999 France tried Manuel
Noriega, former dictator of Panama, in absentia on money laundering
charges. He was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison.
1999 French retailer Carrefour
merged with Promodes, a French supermarket chain, to form the
world’s 2nd biggest retailer. This marked the beginning of problems
(Econ, 10/22/05, p.71)(Econ, 3/17/07, p.72)
1999 Renault of France spent
$50 million to acquire a controlling stake in Dacia, a sickly
Romanian car maker formerly owned by the state. The first
Renault-Dacia Logan was produced in 2004. The millionth Logan was
produced in mid 2008.
(Econ, 11/15/08, SR p.14)
1999 French bank BNP bought
Paribas forming BNP Paribas. 60% of the bank’s activity was in
France. BNCI and CNEP were merged in 1966 to form BNP. BNP was
privatized in 1993. Originally the Compagnie Financière de Paris et
des Pays-Bas (Finance Corporation of Paris and the Netherlands), the
Compagnie Financière de Paribas became simply Paribas in 1998 after
acquiring the Compagnie Bancaire.