It was inevitable it was going to get nasty.
It was inevitable it was going to get nasty.

. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – The Situation in Tunisia and Algeria – February 14, 1958 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection.

With the growing movement towards independence and self-determination on the parts of those former colonies of European countries in the post World War 2 years, much of it was steeped in violent overthrow and vicious reprisals.

In the late 1950s much of Africa and the Middle East was in some form of turmoil or another, much of it having to do with colonial rule. With the rise of Egypt’s Gamal Abdul Nassar and the groundswell of Arab Nationalism, countries like Tunisia and Algeria were in the grips of domestic turmoil and civil war.

In February 1958, the bubbling pot of dissension boiled over when French aircraft attacked and bombed a Tunisian border town of Sakhiet-Sidi-Youssef, which the French claimed was being used as a training facility for rebel raids into Algeria. The bombings caused a considerable number of casualties and it created a diplomatic uproar which resulted in Tunisia withdrawing their diplomats from Paris and an appeal going out to the United Nations Security Council to settle the matter and to condemn the bombings as an act of aggression.

The crisis became a point of world concern – as always, the fear of yet another Cold-War provocation brought about fear things could only get worse. And so the news was dominated by these events, and the networks spent a goodly amount of time examining the crisis.

In the middle of that Algerian-Tunisian crisis, NBC Radio and their Life And The World series, devoted two nights to the crisis with interviews and analysis. Here is the second night (we ran the first night last year at this time), from February 14, 1958.

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