January 9, 1959

DE GAULLE BECOMES FRENCH PRESIDENT: Paris, 8 – General Charles de Gaulle was sworn in this morning as the first president of the Fifth French Republic, in a glittering ceremony. Later, Michel Debre, an avid nationalist and a follower of de Gaulle for many years, was sworn in as prime minister. De Gaulle arrived at the Elysee Palace at about 11 a.m. and was welcomed by the outgoing president, Rene Coty, who was waiting for him at the top of the palace stairs. The two presidents exchanged a few words and then walked into the hall. CASTRO: Havana, 8 – The leader of the Cuban revolution, Fidel Castro, arrived here today to a tumultuous welcome and a 21-gun salute. All shops and offices were closed and the sale of alcohol has been banned in Havana and nearby towns to avert incidents. Castro said earlier that he is not a communist and that Cuba will not restore diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union nor any other state in the Soviet bloc and that existing links with dictatorial regimes would be severed. He said paid informers in the previous Batista regime would be sentenced to work on draining the Zapata marshes. Cuba would also be claiming the 5 million dollars Batista had deposited in Swiss banks.

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Enter your information below to receive our weekly newsletters with the latest insights, opinion pieces and current events straight to your inbox.

By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.