Saturday, February 13, 1960: France joins the nuclear club

France becomes the world's fourth nuclear power -- along with the United States, the Soviet Union and Great Britain -- when it explodes a atomic bomb in the skies above the Sahara Desert in Algeria (even as the Algerian war for independence was going on). The test was code-named "Gerboise Bleue," or "blue jerboa," a jerboa being a type of desert rat. France's president, Charles de Gaulle, said afterward, "Hurrah for France! Since this morning, she is stronger and prouder."

* Drawing of test site: @
* Short clip of the explosion: @
* Newspaper front page: @

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