France: Nervous Host

Charles de Gaulle fussed like a nervous host. He recited to his Cabinet the list of official visitors. He lined the Champs Elysées with hundreds of the visitors' flags, authorized an unprecedented 101-gun salute and ordered up a 70-car motorcade and a 50-man motorcycle escort. He called for a gala performance by the Paris Opéra ballet company, even summoned Opéra Director Georges Auric to ask him to "do it right for us, because they always do it so well themselves."

"They" were the Russians, and all the fuss was about the nine-day state...

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