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France

This tag is associated with 18 posts

January 7, 1785 – Two explorers become first to cross the English Channel in a balloon


Frenchman Jean-Pierre Blanchard and American John Jeffries travel from Dover, England, to Calais, France, in a gas balloon, becoming the first to cross the English Channel by air. The two men nearly crashed into the Channel along the way, however, as their balloon was weighed down by extraneous supplies such as anchors, a nonfunctional hand-operated … Continue reading

December 23, 1888 – Vincent van Gogh chops off his ear


On December 23, 1888, Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, suffering from severe depression, cuts off the lower part of his left ear with a razor while staying in Arles, France.  He later documented the event in a painting titled Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear. Today, Van Gogh is regarded as an artistic genius and his masterpieces sell for … Continue reading

December 14, 1503 – Physician, philosopher and seer, Nostradamus, is born


Michel de Nostredame, more commonly known as Nostradamus, was born on 14 December 1503, although some reports say he was born one week later. He was a well-educated man, studying mathematics, philosophy, astrology and medicine. Using his skills in astrology, Nostradamus wrote a series of books, consisting of “quatrains”, which were purported to be prophecies … Continue reading

December 2, 1804 – Napoleon Bonaparte crowns himself Emperor of France


Napoléon Bonaparte was born Napoleone Buonaparte in Ajaccio, Corsica, on 15 August 1769. His father, Carlo Buonaparte, was an attorney and Corsica’s representative to the court of Louis XVI of France in 1778, so Napoleon later adopted a more French form of his name. He began his military career at the age of 16, and … Continue reading

Gwyneth Paltrow writing book on how to properly get divorced


Gwyneth Paltrow announced today she is writing a self-help book for people going through a divorce. In a blog post on Goop, her personal website, the 41-year-old actress said she has signed a deal with a major publisher to write “Conscious Uncoupling: How to Survive Divorce With Style, Grace and Class,” which will draw from … Continue reading

December 25 1914 Christmas Truce


On December 25th 1914, just after midnight on Christmas morning, the majority of German troops engaged in World War I ceased firing their guns and artillery and commenced to sing Christmas carols. At certain points along the eastern and western fronts, the soldiers of Russia, France, and Britain even heard brass bands joining the Germans … Continue reading

December 2 1804 Napoleon declares himself Emperor of France


On December 2nd 1804, Napoleon Bonaparte became the first Emperor of France in a thousand years. The previous Emperors were Charlemagne‘s Carolingian Dynasty during the 8th and 9th centuries AD. Napoleon Bonaparte declared himself Emperor Napoleon I at the Notre Dame in Paris. Napoleon had served as First Consul to France, and effective French leader, … Continue reading

November 11 1918 World War I ends


On November 11th 1918, at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, the Great War ended. At 5 a.m. that morning, Germany, bereft of manpower and supplies and faced with imminent invasion, signed an armistice agreement with the Allies in a railroad car outside Compiégne, France. The First World War left … Continue reading

November 8 1793 Louvre Museum opens


On November 8th 1793, after more than two centuries as a royal palace, the Louvre is opened as a public museum in Paris by the French revolutionary government. Today, the Louvre’s collection is one of the richest in the world, with artwork and artefacts representative of 11,000 years of human civilisation and culture. The Louvre … Continue reading

September 20 1946 First Cannes Film Festival


On September 20th 1946, the first annual Cannes Film Festival opened at the resort city of Cannes on the French Riviera. The festival had intended to make its debut in September 1939, but the outbreak of World War II forced the cancellation of the inaugural Cannes. The world’s first annual international film festival was inaugurated … Continue reading

August 25 1875 Captain Webb swims the English Channel


Matthew Webb, a 27-year-old merchant navy captain, becomes the first known person to successfully swim the English Channel. Captain Webb accomplished the gruelling 21-mile crossing, which really entailed 39 miles of swimming because of tidal currents, in 21 hours and 45 minutes. During the overnight crossing from Dover, England, to Calais, France, Captain Webb drank … Continue reading

August 21 1911 Theft of Mona Lisa is discovered


On August 21st 1911, an amateur painter set up his easel near Leonardo da Vinci‘s Mona Lisa at the Louvre in Paris, only to discover that the masterpiece was missing. The day before, in perhaps the most brazen art theft of all time, Vincenzo Perugia had walked into the Louvre, removed the famed painting from the wall, hid … Continue reading

July 8 1951 Paris celebrates 2,000th birthday


On July 8th 1951, Paris, the capital city of France, celebrated turning 2,000 years old. In fact, a few more candles would’ve technically been required on the birthday cake, as the City of Lights was most likely founded around 250 B.C. The history of Paris can be traced back to a Gallic tribe known as the … Continue reading

May 16 1770 Louis marries Marie Antoinette


On May 16th 1770, at Versailles, Louis, the French dauphin, married Marie Antoinette, the daughter of Austrian Archduchess Maria Theresa and Holy Roman Emperor Francis I. France hoped their marriage would strengthen its alliance with Austria, its longtime enemy. In 1774, with the death of King Louis XV, Louis and Marie were crowned king and … Continue reading

May 15 1756 The Seven Years War begins


On May 15th 1756, the Seven Years War, a global conflict known in America as the French and Indian War, officially began when England declared war on France. However, fighting and skirmishes between England and France had been going on in North America for years. In the early 1750s, French expansion into the Ohio River … Continue reading

May 13 1568 Mary Queen of Scots defeated at Battle of Langeside


On May 13th 1568, at the Battle of Langside, the forces of Mary Queen of Scots were defeated by a confederacy of Scottish Protestants under James Stewart, the regent of her son, King James VI of Scotland. During the battle, which was fought out in the southern suburbs of Glasgow, a cavalry charge routed Mary’s … Continue reading

April 26 1954 Geneva Conference begins


On April 26th 1954, in an effort to resolve several problems in Asia, including the war between the French and Vietnamese nationalists in Indochina, representatives from the world’s powers met at the Geneva Conference. The conference marked a turning point in the United States’ involvement in Vietnam. The Soviet Union, the United States, France, the … Continue reading

April 11 1814 Napoleon Bonaparte Exiled To Elba


On April 11th 1814, Napoleon Bonaparte was banished to the Mediterranean island of Elba after abdicating his throne in the Treaty of Fontainebleau. Napoleon was the emperor of France and one of the greatest military leaders in history. The future emperor was born as Napoleone di Buonaparte in Ajaccio, Corsica, on August 15th 1769, the … Continue reading

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While the United States was wrapping up its Valiant Shield 2022 exercise on 17 June, China launched its third aircraft carrier with all the fanfare. The launch was postponed twice due to logistical and technical issues. The aircraft carrier has been named Fujian with the hull number 18. It has been under construction at the world’s largest […]

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United States outmanoeuvres Russia once again? 

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