Thursday, July 14, 2011


Jail is a revolutionary four letter word.

On this date in 1789, French revolutionaries stormed the Bastille prison in an action that was later considered the start of the French Revolution and the beginning of the end of the French Monarchy and the start of French Democracy.

Never mind that the Bastille held only a few minor criminals at the time.  Or that the mob was there to get the gunpowder that it stored.  Or that there were far more revolutionary actions taking place among the National Assembly, which had been meeting since June.  Nor that, in the wake of the riots in Paris, the King embraced the crowd and its cause, taking up the tricolor cockade, and establishing the government, initially, as a constitutional monarchy.

Ignore all that.  For today is the day of La FĂȘte Nationale, no matter what its origin.

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