THE HISTORY OF
BASTILLE DAY

Bastille Day commemorates the initial uprising on July 14th 1789, of the French people against the monarchy that had oppressed them for centuries. The parallels between the French & American revolutions are a testament to the common history of our two countries.

A few examples:

• The Founding Fathers' Declaration of Independence was inspired by France's Declaration des Droits de l' Homme, penned almost entirely by Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

• Both the US and France are technically defined as a Republic.

• The Marquis de Lafayette came to the aid of the colonists rebelling against the British at a crucial time during the fighting when the colonies were in dire need of troops and supplies.

• Our two countries embarked upon a diplomatic relationship under Lafayette & Benjamin Franklin that continues to flourish.

In modern France, Bastille Day, much like our July 4th, is a fête du people, a celebration for the people. Towns and cities across France organize community events, the highlight of which is le bal des pompiers, or Fireman's Ball. It is a festive occasion enjoyed by one and all.