Egypt Nationalizes Suez Canal, July 26, 1956
On July 26, 1956, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser announced the nationalization of the Suez Canal, which links the Mediterranean and Red seas, in retaliation for the withdrawal of U.S. and British construction funding for the Aswan Dam on the Nile River. Egypt claimed it would use revenues from the canal to pay for the dam. The spat arose in the larger context of the Cold War, in which Egypt had remained neutral under Nasser’s pan-Arab nationalist leadership. A deal to buy Soviet arms from Czechoslovakia and Egypt’s recognition of communist China were among the causes of the rift with Western nations.
“Diplomatic relations between Egypt and the British and French governments reached a crisis today over Egypt’s seizure of the Suez Canal Co. under a nationalization decree,” announced an article in the July 27, 1956, Janesville Daily Gazette of Janesville, Wis.
“The company was French-controlled and the British government held 44 percent of its stock. This dropped 21 percent on the Paris market and the French franc – already staggering under the impact of inflation – lost more of its value in relation to gold.”
Read more about the Suez Canal
An article in the Oct. 31, 1956, Delphos Courant of Delphos, Ohio, highlights the military effort to retake control of the canal. Nasser Mobilizes Against Israel
The April 25, 1874, edition of The Week’s News of London reports on a nineteenth-century crisis over increased fees to traverse the Suez Canal. Suez Canal