Habib Bourguiba - basking in Independence in Tunis - 1955.

The View From Tunisia – A View From The Bowling Alley – March 18, 1958

Habib Bourguiba - basking in Independence in Tunis - 1955.

Habib Bourguiba – basking in Independence in Tunis – 1955.

Click on the link here for Audio Player: Life and The World – March 18, 1958

News on this day in 1958 was something of a mixed bag, at least from mainstream media’s point of view. Word from North Africa had trouble brewing in newly independent Tunisia where tensions were mounting between Tunis and Paris. Tunisian President Habib Bourguiba wanted the U.S. to side with Tunisia or risk a break in relations between Tunis and the West.  The former French colony gained independence in 1955, but neighboring Algeria,still a French colony, was in the grips of a struggle for independence themselves, and France was unwilling  to give up two colonies. The Tunisians wanted the French troops out of the region in order to restore peace. Bourguiba handed Washington a deadline of March 20th to come up with an answer. The scramble was on for a solution.

In other news (?) via this edition of Life and The World, the subject of Bowling Alley‘s and the sudden explosion in their popularity was discussed. Hardly thought-provoking or urgent, this latest uptick in Pop-Culture came in the form of a flood of newly constructed and plush bowling alleys dotting the country. The resurgence in this age-old pastime no doubt came from the wave of abandoned and deteriorating movie theaters, whose popularity gave way to television slowly over recent years. But it was one more indication of just how badly in need America was for distractions from pressing problems and fears such as the story that preceded it.

And rounding out this survey of weekly news was the story of Doc Webb in St. Petersburg Florida. Webb was the owner of Webb’s City, a six-block long pharmacy touted as the “world’s most unusual Drug Store“. It had some 77 different departments under one roof, in many ways anticipating the Shopping Center to come only a few years later. Webb established the store in 1924 and it grew in steady popularity over the years. The report was in response to news of the worsening economic situation in Florida, with one of the few bright spots being Webb’s City, which was still raking in some $3 million a year in profits.

And that’s part of what went on this March 18, 1958 as reported on NBC Radio’s Life And The World. So now you know.

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