History/Milestones

Happy Bastille Day!

July 14th, 1789.

Citizens of Paris stormed and destroyed a prison fortress known as the Bastille. The event became known as the Storming of the Bastille. On that eventful morning, the prison contained just seven inmates excluding the infamous Marquis de Sade who had been transferred to another prison earlier in the month.

Today is a public holiday in France simply known as Le quatorze Juillet (14th July) which we simply call Bastille Day in English. Happy Bastille Day, not only to the French but to Francophiles everywhere.

“Liberty Leading the People,” by Eugène Delacroix.

Top 10 facts about the Bastille via express.co

1. The Bastille was originally a royal state prison built in the 1370s to defend Paris from the English during the Hundred Years War.

2. Once a busy state penitentiary, it only held seven prisoners when it was stormed.

3. The seven prisoners comprised four forgers, two lunatics and one aristocrat. 4. The aristocrat was Comte Hubert de Solages, whose family had asked for him to be imprisoned for committing incest with his sister.

5. One of the lunatics was an Anglo-Irish man named De Witt (or Whyte) who variously believed that he was either Julius Caesar, St. Louis, or God.

6. One freed prisoner is said to have refused to go until he had finished his roast pheasant dinner.

7. When the Bastille was demolished, a developer made a fortune selling off pieces as souvenirs.8. After the storming of the Bastille, its main key was given to the Marquis de Lafayette who later gave it to George Washington.

9. It can still be seen at the Washington mansion at Mount Vernon.

10. Billy the Kid was shot and killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett on Bastille Day 1881.

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