Seventy-five years ago today, on Sunday, May 23, 1943, the first issue of France-Amérique, “America’s French newspaper,” was published in New York.
At the outbreak of World War II, the French community in the United States no longer had a newspaper. The respected Courrier des Etats-Unis, founded in 1828, had ceased publication in 1938, ruined by the Great Depression. In 1943, exiled journalists Emile Buré and Henri Torres partnered up to create the weekly publication France-Amérique. Their goal was to raise awareness about Occupied France in the United States, and to support the Resistance movement led by Charles de Gaulle.
The newspaper was edited at the Free French Delegation in New York, at 626 5th Avenue. On its front page, the first issue bore a note of encouragement sent from London by De Gaulle himself. “I wish good luck to France-Amérique,” he wrote in his telegram. “I am positive that your newspaper will help tell our friend, the United States, what France is capable of and what France desires […]. It will help strengthen the ties of friendship between our two countries that are essential to the victory and the reconstruction of the world.”
May 23, 1993: France-Amérique turns 50