This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.
Find the past “On This Day in History” here.
Click on images to enlarge
July 14 is the 195th day of the year (196th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 170 days remaining until the end of the year.
On this day in 1790, the citizens of Paris celebrate the constitutional monarchy and national reconciliation in the Fête de la Fédération.
The Fête de la Fédération of the 14 July 1790 was a huge feast and official event to celebrate the establishment of the short-lived constitutional monarchy in France and what people of the time considered to be the happy conclusion of the French Revolution, the outcome hoped for by the monarchiens.
The Fête de la Fédération in Paris was the most prominent event of a series of spontaneous celebrations all over France: from August 1789, Fédérations appeared in towns and countryside; on 5 June 1790, with lots of individual feasts to celebrate the new state of France, a constitutional monarchy. The National Assembly approved the suggestion by the Commune de Paris to organise a “general Federation”. Organised late, it was largely an improvisation. The idea was not to contest the legitimacy of the king Louis XVI, but to show the general will for stable institutions and a national reconciliation and unity. In the words of Jean Sylvain Bailly, astronomer and mayor of Paris: “We suggest that this meeting (…) be sworn on the next 14 July, which we shall all see as the time of liberty: this day shall be spent swearing to uphold and defend it”. Charon, President of the Commune of Paris, stated: “French, we are free! French, we are brothers!”.
The event took place on the Champ de Mars, which was at the time far outside Paris. The place had been transformed on a voluntary basis by the population of Paris itself, in what was recalled as the Journée des brouettes (“Wheelbarrow Day”).
The feast began as early as four in the morning, under a strong rain which would last the whole day (the Journal de Paris had predicted “frequent downpours”).
14 000 Federated (Fédérés) came from the province, every single National Guard unit having sent two men out of every hundred. They were ranged according to their département under 83 banners. They were brought to the place were the Bastille once stood, and went through Saint-Antoine, Saint-Denis and Saint-Honoré streets before crossing the temporary bridge and arriving at the Champ de Mars. Deputies from other nations, “Swedes, Spaniards, Polacks, Turks, Chaldeans, Greeks, and dwellers in Mesopotamia,” representatives of the human race, “with three hundred drummers, twelve hundred wind-musicians, and artillery planted on height after height to boom the tidings all over France, the highest recorded triumph of the Thespian art.”
A mass was celebrated by Charles Maurice de Talleyrand, bishop of Autun under the Ancien Régime. The very popular General marquis de La Fayette, as both captain of the National Guard of Paris and confident of the king, took his oath to the Constitution:
” We swear forever to be faithful to the Nation, to the Law and to the King, to uphold with all our might the Constitution as decided by the National Assembly and accepted by the King, and to protect according to the laws the safety of people and properties, transit of grains and food within the kingdom, the public contributions under whatever forms they might exist, and to stay united with all the French with the indestructible bounds of brotherhood[ ”
It is noticeable that at this time, the French Constitution of 1791 was not yet written; it would only take effect in September 1791. La Fayette was followed by the President of the National Assembly. Eventually, Louis XVI took his oath
” I, King of the French, I swear to use the power given to me by the constitutional law of the State, to maintain the Constitution as decided by the National Assembly and accepted by myself, and to enforce the laws. ”
The style “King of the French”, used for the first time instead of “King of France (and Navarre)”, was an innovation intended to inaugurate a “popular monarchy” which linked the monarch’s title to the people, not to the territory of France.
The Queen rose and showed the Dauphin, future Louis XVII, saying :
” This is my son, who, like me, joins in the same sentiments. ”
With the permission of the National Assembly, a delegation of the United States of America, led by John Paul Jones, founder of the US Navy, joined the feast. It also included Thomas Paine, James Swan, Georges Howell, Benjamin Jarvis, Samuel Blackden, Joel Barlow and William Henry Vernon. The delegation arrived at the Champ de Mars with its flag, the first instance ever of a US flag flown outside of the USA, and was cheered by the people.
1223 – Louis VIII becomes King of France upon the death of his father, Philip II of France.
1698 – The Darien scheme begins with five ships, bearing about 1,200 people, departing Leith for the Isthmus of Panama.
1769 – An expedition led by Gaspar de Portola establishes a base in California and sets out to find the Port of Monterey (now Monterey, California).
1771 – Foundation of the Mission San Antonio de Padua in modern California by the Franciscan friar Junipero Serra.
1789 – French Revolution: citizens of Paris storm the Bastille.
1790 – French Revolution: citizens of Paris celebrate the constitutional monarchy and national reconciliation in the Fête de la Fédération.
1791 – The Priestley Riots drive Joseph Priestley, a supporter of the French Revolution, out of Birmingham, England.
1798 – The Sedition Act becomes law in the United States making it a federal crime to write, publish, or utter false or malicious statements about the United States government.
1865 – First ascent of the Matterhorn by Edward Whymper and party, four of whom die on the descent.
1881 – Billy the Kid is shot and killed by Pat Garrett outside Fort Sumner.
1900 – Armies of the Eight-Nation Alliance capture Tientsin during the Boxer Rebellion.
1902 – The Campanile in St. Mark’s Square, Venice collapses, also demolishing the loggetta.
1911 – Harry Atwood, an exhibition pilot for the Wright Brothers lands his airplane at the South Lawn of the White House. He is later awarded a Gold medal from President Taft for this feat.
1916 – Start of the Battle of Delville Wood as an action within the Battle of the Somme, which was to last until 3 September 1916.
1933 – Gleichschaltung: in Germany, all political parties are outlawed except the Nazi Party.
1943 – In Joplin, Missouri, the George Washington Carver National Monument becomes the first United States National Monument in honor of an African American.
1948 – Palmiro Togliatti, leader of the Italian Communist Party, is shot and wounded near the Italian Parliament.
1950 – Korean War: North Korean troops initiate the Battle of Taejon.
1957 – Rawya Ateya takes her seat in the National Assembly of Egypt, thereby becoming the first female parliamentarian in the Arab world.
1958 – Iraqi Revolution: in Iraq the monarchy is overthrown by popular forces led by Abdul Karim Kassem, who becomes the nation’s new leader.
1960 – Jane Goodall arrives at the Gombe Stream Reserve in present-day Tanzania to begin her famous study of chimpanzees in the wild.
1965 – The Mariner 4 flyby of Mars takes the first close-up photos of another planet.
1969 – Football War: after Honduras loses a soccer match against El Salvador, riots break out in Honduras against Salvadoran migrant workers.
1969 – The United States $500, $1,000, $5,000 and $10,000 bills are officially withdrawn from circulation.
1987 Montreal, Canada, is hit by a series of thunderstorms causing the Montreal Flood of 1987.
1992 – 386BSD is released by Lynne Jolitz and William Jolitz beginning the Open Source Operating System Revolution. Linus Torvalds release his Linux soon afterwards.
2000 – A powerful solar flare, later named the Bastille Day event, causes a geomagnetic storm on Earth.
2002 – French President Jacques Chirac escapes an assassination attempt unscathed during Bastille Day celebrations.
2003 – In an effort to discredit U.S. Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson, who had written an article critical of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Washington Post columnist Robert Novak reveals that Wilson’s wife Valerie Plame is a CIA “operative”.
* Bastille Day (France and French dependencies)
* Birthday of Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden, an official flag day. (Sweden)
* Christian Feast Day:
* Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha (United States)
* Camillus de Lellis (Roman Catholic Church, except in the United States)
* Idus of Leinster
* Libert of Saint-Trond
* Ulrich of Zell
* July 14 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)
*Earliest day on which the first day of Gentse Feesten can fall, while July 20 is the latest; celebrated on Saturday before July 21. (Ghent)
* Republic Day (Iraq)