Saturday, July 14

Posted on 14th Jul 2012 by ian under On This Day | No Comments »

It’s Bastille Day!

French Baby

Oui!  Aujourd’hui, il est Jour de la Bastille!

In France, today is formally called La Fête Nationale (The National Celebration) and commonly le quatorze juillet (the fourteenth of July). It commemorates the 1790 Fête de la Federation, held on the first anniversary of the storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789 – the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille fortress-prison was seen as a symbol of the uprising of the modern nation.

And on this day in 2002, the French President, Jacques Chirac escaped an assassination attempt unscathed during Bastille Day celebrations.

Right.  Note to self.  Resist temptation to post anything about the lack of French military victories… I know!  “Waiter, do you have frogs’ legs?”  “Oui.”  “Well hop over there and get me a menu!”

Frog in Wheelchair

Yeah… whew… that was in okay taste…

On this day in 1881, Billy the Kid was shot and killed by Pat Garrett – Billy was 21 and was meant to have killed one man for every birthday he’d had, but the actual number was probably less than half that.  More like neuf.  Just don’t mention the wars…

French Accent

Born on this day in 1911, across the English Channel from France, gap-toothed British actor, Terry Thomas (d 1990) – I can almost hear him saying ‘dastardly’ or ‘beastly’.

In 1912, folk muso Woodie Guthrie (d 1967)… in 1913, Gerald Ford, the 38th US President (d 2006) and Swedish director Ingmar Bergman in 1918 (d 2007).  I bet he could speak French…

Merde!Enough of those no longer with us – Aussie actor John Wood celebrates his 66th birthday today (‘Jean Bois’ en français n’est-il pas?), former Queensland premier, Anna Bligh, is 52 today and British guitarist, Nick McCabe (The Verve) turns 41.  Just throwing that out there because The Verve’s Bittersweet Symphony has been judged as the best rock song of all time.  Come on, it has to be Stairway to Heaven puhleese!  And La Marseillaise is by far the best national anthem…

French Army Knife

(I may have made a subtle reference, but I think I got away with it!)