Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Celebrate Bastille Day!

Celebrate Bastille Day in the Bay with a long list of events! Viva La Belle France.


On July 14, 1789, the French people stormed the Bastille, a fortress in Paris that represented the ancien regime. People were sent to the Bastille on the basis of arbitrary orders from the monarch, orders which could not be appealed. At that time, the prison only held seven prisoners but the actions of the Parisian crowd held great political significance. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bastille_Day)

Celebrating the day came to represent all that the French Revolution had accomplished - the ending of the monarchy, the declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen and a new vision of government:

"The rights of man are held to be universal: valid at all times and in every place, pertaining to human nature itself. It became the basis for a nation of free individuals protected equally by law. It is included in the preamble of the constitutions of both the Fourth French Republic (1946) and Fifth Republic (1958) and is still current. Inspired in part by the American Revolution, and also by the Enlightenment philosophers, the Declaration was a core statement of the values of the French revolution and had a major impact on the development of liberty and democracy in Europe and worldwide.

How can we celebrate Bastille Day without singing the French National Anthem - La Marseillaise? "Allons enfants de la Patrie." This version is from one of my favorite movies of all time. You know the scene..

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