Today marks the day 230 years ago that ordinary citizens of Paris took to the streets to storm the infamous Bastille prison. Long a symbol of royal despotism in France, the Bastille held valuable stores of gunpowder in its vaults. The mob killed the guards and governor, seized the powder, and later tore the hated dungeon apart brick by brick. Three tumultuous years later, the centuries-old Bourbon monarchy was replaced by a new French Republic.
July 14 has become as important a day in France as July 4 is in the United States. The national holiday is celebrated by huge crowds with parades, parties, and a spectacular fireworks show from the Eiffel Tower. Today France is the sixth largest economy on earth and a leader in the 28-member European Union. People around the world still admire the French revolutionary ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity.
Today also marks the one year anniversary of my retirement from full-time classroom teaching and the inauguration of Mr. Finney’s History Blog here in San Diego. I hope you find my blog entries and postings on Instagram helpful as you strive for success in learning.
Raise a glass today to the heroes of 1789 and the birth of modern Europe’s first republic. Vive la France!
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