Thursday, July 14, 2011

Today in History: Bastille Day

La Fete Nationale (Bastille Day)

Held every year on July 14, this is France's most important national holiday. The event marks the day in 1789 that Parisian mobs stormed the massive Bastille—a notorious prison and symbol of the excesses of French aristocracy—the act that inspired most of the nation's people to join the French Revolution. The French view the storming of the Bastille as an emblem of French independence and they honor the day with a national holiday, which they celebrate with parades, parties, and fireworks.

The Bastille was a medieval fortress in Paris, France that was used as a prison in the 18th century. As an act signifying the rebellion of the people against the injustices of the ancien régime (French for "former regime"), on July 14, 1789, a crowd stormed the Bastille, freed the prisoners, and destroyed the fortress.

"Bastille." World History: The Modern Era. ABC-CLIO, 2011. Web. 14 July 2011.
"France: Food and Holidays." World Geography: Understanding a Changing World. ABC-CLIO, 2011. Web. 14 July 2011.


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