On March 30, 1949, a large crowd convened behind a school in central Reykjavík. They were protesting the government’s decision to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, then in its infancy. Once a sizeable throng had formed, the group marched on Alþingi, Iceland’s parliament. They were met by a group of NATO supporters who had surrounded the parliament building, intending to defend it. A riot erupted between the two groups, who only dispersed after police deployed tear gas. Five days later, NATO was officially formed, with Iceland among its founding members.