ON THIS DAY...

Jan­uary 13, 1898

Sunday Express - - REVEALING INSIDE LOOK AT THE RED ARROWS TEAM - WITH SHAUN WAL­LACE

ONE HUN­DRED and 20 years ago, French news­pa­per L’Aurore pub­lished one of the most fa­mous front page head­lines in his­tory – “J’Ac­cuse...!” It was from a 4,000-word open let­ter to French Pres­i­dent Félix Faure writ­ten by nov­el­ist Émile Zola. It may have been one of the few news­pa­per ar­ti­cles in his­tory where the in­ten­tion was to get sued for li­bel.

Zola was in­censed by the treat­ment of Al­fred Drey­fus, an of­fi­cer ac­cused of trea­son by the French army. He was serv­ing life on Devil’s Is­land after be­ing con­victed in 1894 of spy­ing for Ger­many. The ev­i­dence, heard by closed court mar­tial, cen­tred on a doc­u­ment said to be writ­ten by Drey­fus. He was con­victed de­spite scant ev­i­dence that he was the au­thor, and much sug­gest­ing he wasn’t. More than a dozen wit­nesses tes­ti­fied to his pa­tri­o­tism.

Drey­fus was Jewish and, at the time, France was rife with anti-Semitism. In his let­ter, Zola

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