July 14, 2003
Happy 14th July, France!

Today, July 14th, is Bastille Day in France; celebrating the end of the monarchy in France and the beginning of the First Republic, during the French Revolution in 1789.

On June 20 [1789] the deputies of the Third Estate took the oath of the "Jeu de Paume" (named after the place where they had gathered which was a place where an an ancestor of tennis, the "Jeu de Paume" was played), swearing not to separate until a Constitution had been established. To show their support, the people of Paris stormed the Bastille, a state prison representing the absolutism of the monarchy.
One of the 7 prisoners freed was the reasonably famous Marquis de Sade (I only learned that today - a fun fact ;-)

Happy Fête Nationale, France!

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