August 16-19, 1954

DEATH OF DE GASPERI: London, 19 – According to an announcement in Rome, Alcide De Gasperi died suddenly this morning of a heart attack in his summer home at Sella Valsugana in northern Italy. The sad news was immediately reported to Prime Minister Mario Scelba, who canceled his holiday and left for Rome. It is expected that President Giovanni Gronchi and the government will make preparations for a state funeral for the greatest politician in post-fascist Italy. In De Gasperi, Italy is mourning the person who held power (as a Christian Democrat prime minister) continuously from 1946 to 1953 and who had directed his country’s foreign policy since the end of the war and contributed to the consolidation of democracy in Italy.PLOUMBIDIS EXECUTED: Nikolaos Ploumbidis, a senior official of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) was executed this morning. After being led before the firing squad, he turned to the royal commissioner, Lt Colonel N. Polychronopoulos and said: «I think I have left my child with a good name.» Ploumbidis then said to the members of the firing squad: «Boys, aim well. I am dying for my people and my country.»

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