Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité!
Back in 1789, the French underclass had had enough with the one percent of their time. The aristocracy had all the wealth, made all the decisions and basically didn't give a damn about the downtrodden and the hungry, you know, the other 99 percent. It was a time of kings and opulence, if you could afford it. But it was a time of want and uncertainty if you couldn't. Across the pond, about a decade earlier, a ragtag bunch of a new breed, called Americans, had told their British overlords to go to hell. And that was what a band of French rebels was about to do as well. On July 14, the gang stormed the Bastille prison, a gaudy, gothic monstrosity that at the time didn't even have a dozen prisoners incarcerated. But it was a symbol of all that was wrong with France, the rebels felt. Their raid ushered in the French Revolution, which dispatched with the monarchy and many of the aristocracy (King Louis XVI and his wife, Marie Antoinette both lost their heads) and changed the history of France.
Two-hundred-some years later, La Fete Nationale, or Bastille Day as we call it here in the States, is still celebrated in France – and in French-speaking countries across the world. In addition to its historic significance, the French holiday offers us a reason to embrace our own inner Frenchmen and women. Head out to some of these fantastic French spots to commemorate what mighty things can happen when people come together for a cause.