Statutes: Wedding Knells

The Malpasset Dam, which broke on Dec. 2, 1959, nearly wiped out the French town of Fréjus and drowned more than 400 people. Among the dead was a young man named André Capra.

Among the living was his enceinte fian cee, Irène Jodart. "I shall marry him anyway!" proclaimed Irène.

Within a month, she was legally able to do just that. She had interested President de Gaulle in her plight, the press had rallied to her cause, and the Nation al Assembly had passed a unique law al lowing the President of the Republic to "authorize the celebration" of...

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