Thursday, July 14, 2011

Quatorze Juillet

In "British" (as one comedian calls it), it translates to just the date, 14 July.

The year was 1979. The best place in Paris to watch the fireworks is the Champs de Mars, but it is so crowded there that our group went to Trocadero instead.

In the carnival type atmosphere, everyone you met was a friend, and one gentleman i remember distinctly. He had a unique way about him and kept everyone laughing, even though we spoke very little French. When he would decide he or someone near him needed a bit of fresh air in the crowd, he would start yelling, clapping and stomping his feet, encouraging others to form a circle and stamp and clap also. When the circle was big enough, he would jump in the middle or push someone else in and dramatically take a huge, deep breath, and everyone around would laugh.

It was a splendid, crowded, fun afternoon and evening, and we even looked upon the Metro ride home, crowded to where you didn't even sway much with the rocking of the vehicle, as an adventure.

If you ever get the chance, go see the fireworks on Bastille Day in Paris. Just call it Quatorse Juillet, as they prefer the term. Its connotation isn't so violent.

Today is

Bastille Day -- France

Birthday of Osiris -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar

Birthday of Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden -- an official Flag Day of Sweden

Feast of St. Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain

Get To Know Your Customers Day (celebrated quarterly)

Hot Dog Night -- Luverne, MN, US (free hot dogs to all comers!)

Nachi Himatsuri -- Kumano-Nachi Taisha, Nachi-Katsuura, Japan (grand summer festival and purification ritual, through tomorrow)

National Grand Marnier Day -- on Bastille day, to show the friendship between France and the US

National Nude Day

Oregon Trail Days -- Gering, NE, US (through the 17th, the oldest continuing celebration of the Oregon Trail)

Pandemonium Day -- internet generated; don't let the crazy things that happen in your life get you down, celebrate instead!

Pick Blueberries Day

Republic Day -- Iraq

Runic Half-Month Ur begins (primal strength)

San Francisc Silent Film Festival -- Castro Theatre, San Francisco, CA, US (through the 17th)

Shark Awareness Day

St. Deusdedit's Day (first Anglo-Saxon Archbishop of Canterbury, 655-664)

St. Procopius of Sazava's Day (patron of Bohemia)

Birthdays Today

Tommy Mottola, 1949
Roosevelt Grier, 1932
Polly Bergen, 1930
John Chancellor, 1927
Harry Dean Stanton, 1926
Dale Robertson, 1923
Ingmar Bergman, 1918
Gerald R. Ford, 1913
Woodie Guthrie, 1912
William Hanna, 1910
Dave Fleischer, 1893

Today in History

Foundation of the Mission San Antonio de Padua in modern California by the Franciscan friar Junípero Serra, 1771
Citizens of Paris storm the Bastille and free seven prisoners, 1789
First ascent of the Matterhorn, by Edward Whymper and party, four of whom die on the descent, 1865
The Campanile in St Mark's Square, Venice collapses, also demolishing the loggetta, 1902
The United States $500, $1,000, $5,000 and $10,000 bills are officially withdrawn from circulation, 1969
A powerful solar flare, later named the Bastille Day event, causes a geomagnetic storm on Earth, 2000
The United States Government admits to the existence of "Area 51", 2003

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