Subscribe

Tag: History

Ford-Model-A-Speedster-1929-Jack-Crabtree
From New York to Paris… by Car!

As part of the 110th anniversary of the legendary New York-Paris automobile race, six vintage vehicles will be leaving Rhinebeck, New York on June 20. The first stop is in Oakland, California, before they make their way to France! The roaring of the eight-cylinder engine drowns out any conversation at the start of the phone interview. On the other end of...

America-Maison-Orleans-Etats-Unis-chateau-de-chantilly-france
Images: French-American Friendship in the 19th Century

A major collection of rare objects exhibited at the Château de Chantilly in France through June 30 retraces a century of Franco-American relations. Franco-American friendship is far more than just the War of Independence! The exhibition America ! La Maison d’Orléans et les Etats-Unis looks back over the transatlantic exchanges of the 19th century, a lesser-known period of Franco-American history but...

Franco-Route-New-England
Building Roads Through French-Speaking New England

A tourist route linking French-speaking cities in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island will be inaugurated at the end of the summer in 2019. What do Lewiston and Biddeford in Maine, Manchester in New Hampshire, and Woonsocket in Rhode Island all have in common? More than half of the populations of these American cities spoke French just a century...

Battle-of-Cantigny-france-1918
The Hundred-Year Anniversary of the Battle of Cantigny

This weekend will see France and the United States commemorate the hundred-year anniversary of the Battle of Cantigny, named after a little village in the Somme. This particular event was one of many during World War 1, but marked the first U.S. military offensive in Europe. Some 199 American soldiers were killed during the Battle of Cantigny between May 28...

Acte Guadeloupe esclavage
A Memorial for Guadeloupe Slaves Becomes a Flashpoint for France’s Colonial Legacy

In the Caribbean, the French island of Guadeloupe is celebrating this year the 170th anniversary of the abolition of slavery. The former colony, however, is still struggling with unresolved social and economic grievances with France. A memorial for the slaves, inaugurated in 2015, has become a flashpoint for France's colonial legacy. Read more at The Atlantic.  

Paris 1968 France protests bruno barbey
Such a Pretty Month of May

The demonstrations of May 1968, fifty years ago this month, brought a moral metamorphosis such as France had not known since the Romantic era. Fifty years ago in Paris, the weather was beautiful. Everyone who participated in what has since been called "the events" at least has this memory in common. Evenings were particularly mild and seemingly endless on the...[Subscriber]

les-murs-ont-la-parole-slogans-mai-68-julien-besancon
May ’68: All Power to the Slogans!

Whether scribbled on tables, put up on posters in the streets, or chanted during protests, the slogans from May ’68 have become a part of French popular culture. As part of the 50th anniversary of the “events,” a collection of the slogans has been translated into English and published by the MIT Press. The spirit of May ’68 may have...

visitors-to-versailles-met
A Stroll Through Versailles During the Time of Kings

During the 17th and 18th centuries, the Court of Versailles was open to the public and welcomed artists, ambassadors, and diplomats from all over the world. The "Visitors to Versailles (1682-1789)" exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum in New York until July 29 offers the chance to walk in these visitors’ shoes. In 1682, Louis XIV moved the seat of royal...

strike-france-paris-2010
The French Tradition of Striking

The French once expressed their discontent by putting up barricades. Today, they go on strike. It is true that barricades have not been seen in Paris since May 1968. Charles de Gaulle, who was president at the time, decided to remove the cobblestones and cover the streets with asphalt instead. No more stones, no more barricades. But going head to...[Subscriber]

scarf-evasion-escape-map-bonhomme-WW2
Iconic: The Escape Scarf

Before becoming a collector’s item, silk scarves adorned with map prints were actually distributed in World War II to allied pilots, who would hide them under their collars and use them to find their way through occupied territory. In 1939, the British secret service created a covert organization — MI9 — responsible for giving Royal Air Force pilots flying over...

andre-roussimof-geant-catch-documentaire-hbo
A Documentary on the French Giant of American Wrestling

Frenchman André René Roussimoff was worshipped in the United States as the greatest wrestler in living memory. He passed away in 1993, and remains a figure shrouded in mystery. In an HBO documentary beginning on April 10, American director Jason Hehir offers an intimate portrayal of the man everyone knew as "André the Giant." Twenty-five years following his death, André...

Bretagne BZH New York Gwenn ha Du
Gwenn ha Du, the Breton Cousin of the Stars and Stripes

At the Saint Patrick’s Day parade held every March 17 on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, it is common to see Bretons flying their black and white flag, which is in fact inspired by the Star-Spangled Banner of the United States. The French and American flags share the same colors, but the Stars and Stripes actually have more in common with...

great-cat-massacre-paris-1730
The Great Cat Massacre: French History Revealed by the Americans

In 1730 in Paris, two apprentice printers staged a trial for their masters’ cats, condemned them to death by hanging, and carried out the sentence. This tragic event in the history of France continues to fascinate American historians and actors today. The Great Cat Massacre on the Rue Saint-Séverin was, in the words of the perpetrators, "the funniest thing that ever...

saint-valentin
The Gruesome Origins of Valentine’s Day

Let’s take a look at the origins of Valentine’s Day, which over the years has been a pagan festival, a Catholic celebration, a sordid medieval custom, a romantic tradition, and a commercial ritual marketed by U.S. postcard vendors. The United States has a taste for festivities, and far more so than France. Americans constantly move from one event to the...

bessie-coleman-avion-biplan
Bessie Coleman: Black Wings Over France

On June 15, 1921, Bessie Coleman became the world’s first Afro-American woman pilot. At a time when no school in America was ready to admit a colored student, she earned her license from Le Crotoy in Northern France. Seen today as a pioneer of emancipation of women and Blacks, Bessie Coleman is a legend in the United States. In 1915,...

santa-claus-pere-noel-coca-cola-coke-christmas
The Invention of Santa Claus: From Thomas Nast to Coca-Cola

Père Janvier, Father Christmas, Christkindl, Santa Claus…Whatever name you happen to give him, Father Christmas and his origins still spur controversy. Coca-Cola may have claimed ownership of the symbol and widely circulated the image of a bearded and smiling Father Christmas, yet the brand didn’t actually invent anything. Much earlier, the American cartoonist Thomas Nast (1840-1902) fashioned Father Christmas’s image...[Subscriber]

besancon-indiana-panneau-route-billy-fumey
In Search of the Franc-Comtois People of America

Billy Fumey dreamed of being a cowboy when he was a child, but the young man has actually become an American "emissary" for his native French region of Franche-Comté. Guitar in hand, he tours Missouri, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, following in the footsteps of the first Franc-Comtois settlers. The inhabitants of Besançon in Eastern France know that their city shares...

cimetiere-militaire-americain-aisne-marne-bois-belleau
Remembering the Americans Who Gave Their Lives for France

A U.S. government agency founded in 1923 with offices outside of Paris continues to preserve the memory of the 67,629 American soldiers killed during the two World Wars and buried in France. The 150 students from the elementary school in Charly-sur-Marne have just left, and the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery falls silent once again. This military cemetery covers 42 acres of...

revolution-francaise-femmes-feministe-feminisme
The French Revolution and the Birth of American Feminism
OZY

On January 24, 1793, when France officially broke ties with England during a bloody revolution that had just seen the beheading of King Louis XVI, cannons rang out in Boston to celebrate the new French Republic’s first victory. Although the American government did not support the revolution, everyday Bostonians celebrated their allies across the Atlantic. Exceptionally, women gathered and rejoiced...

harlem-hellfighters-ww1-premiere-guerre-mondiale
The Harlem Hellfighters: African-American Fighters in French Uniforms

Some 4,500 Black American soldiers, victims of segregation laws in force in the U.S. army, fought in French uniforms during World War I. Nicknamed the Harlem Hellfighters, these soldiers displayed exceptional valor in combat. Here is their incredible yet little-known story. "Up the wide avenue they swung. Their smiles outshone the golden sunlight […]. New York turned out to tender...[Subscriber]

Nungesser-Coli-oiseau-blanc
The First Transatlantic Flight is French, Claims Paris

The city of Paris claimed that two French pilots were the first to make a non-stop flight between mainland Europe and America, a title that for decades has belonged to American legend Charles Lindbergh. In the 16th arrondissement of Paris, a plaque in the street named after French aviators Charles Nungesser and François Coli has been recently changed to read...