Tunisia gained its independence on March 20th 1956 after a colonization that lasted 75 years under the flag of the French protectorate, which was signed on May 12th, 1881.
Independence was achieved after a long battle with the settler. A political fight, but also on the field, finally bore fruit: freedom. A fight led by the men of this country, who never stopped defending their homeland with weapons, writing and diplomatic efforts. After the general strike on January 22nd, 1952 and the acts of violence that followed, Pierre Mendès France grants the country internal autonomy in July 1954, which is only materialized in June 1955. In the mean time, violence continues, as well as negotiations, until the protocol of independence is finally signed in Paris by Taher Ben Ammar, Prime Minister and President of the Tunisian National Council, and Christian Pineau, French Minister of Foreign Affairs.
In addition to independence, March 20th 1956 represents the beginning of Tunisia’s entry to the modern institutions era. That date marked the beginning of the path towards the construction of a civil and free State, aspiring to be part of the developed countries. This path was led by the first President of the Republic of Tunisia: Habib Bourguiba.
In the Tunisians’ collective memory, March 20th, 1956 represents the accomplishment of a dream that lasted more than half a century. It is the fruit of a fight, led by this country’s men and women who refused a foreign grip on their wealth.