On the day that I was born, a hired assassin joined the Texas Rangers. Twenty four years later, a historical figure was assassinated. Exactly forty years later, a person with great fortune escaped such morbid fate. The lucky man was President De Gaulle of France. Interestingly, the President and his wife were saved by their car. The Citroen DS 19 — classic, elegant, reliable — shielded the two individuals against the rain of 140 bullets. According to the Wall Street Journal, the DS was the “most technically automobile of its time” (Neil). With its hydropneumatic suspension system, a design which automatically adjusts the height of the car for easier control, the Citroen was able to move out of the dangerous situation despite all its tires being punctured.
The man was not short of enemies at that time. To Winston Churchill, De Gaulle was a menacing and hostile presence; to some French citizens, a traitor. The assassination was a result of De Gaulle’s action of giving up Algeria to the Algerian nationalists. Feeling that the President was acting against the interest of his own nation, the OAS, a group called the Secret Army Organization in English, gathered in opposition of the French head figure.
It’s enlightening to find that my birthday is a good day for assassination related businesses. When I was born for the first time, I guess Monsieur De Gaulle was experiencing a moment of rebirth as he emerged from the battered Citroen.