Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Horse Wager, May in Paris and Highland Park '68

On this day in 1431, 19 year old Joan of Arc was burned at the stake. After leading the French army to several important victories during the Hundred Years' War against England, (see our 5/7 post - "A war cry against you as shall be remembered forever"), she was captured by the Burgundians (another reason I don't drink wine), sold to the English, put on trial and burned at the stake as a heretic.

Twenty-five years later an inquisitorial court authorized by Pope Callixtus III reviewed the trial, and declared her an innocent and a martyr.


On this day in 1806, Charles Dickinson (an expert marksman and duelist) falls dead from a shot fired by Andrew Jackson in a duel. The two had been arguing for months about a wager on a horse race and the supposed accusation Dickinson had made of bigamy towards Jackson's wife. If you have time, please read the hyperlink story.

1968 was a heady time for much of the world.  Mayor Daley had his Chicago.  Alexander Dubček had his Prague Spring, but Charles de Gaulle had his hands full with May in Paris.

On May 29th, President Charles de Gaulle boards a helicopter, reportedly to fly to his summer home in Colombey. He leaves behind a capital city in chaos, Paris streets are barricaded by rioters, major universities are closed and almost all of the countries' workers are on a wildcat strike. When it was finally reported that the helicopter never arrived in Colombey but touched down in Baden-Baden, Germany, at the headquarters of the French military there, rumors abounded of resignation. Meanwhile, back in Paris, as the black smoke of documents being burned rose from the chimneys of Élysée Palace, the members of government were considering how to get out of town before the rioters stormed the building.

On this day in 1968, Charles de Gaulle reappears publicly after his sudden flight to Baden-Baden, (where he secured the full support of the French military) and announces he is dissolving the French National Assembly and calls for new elections to begin on June 23rd.   Immediately after the announcement, approximately one million of his supporters march on the Champs-Élysées in Paris. The Mouvement du 22 Mars (Movement of 22 March) was over.

Paris, May 1968

For an interesting take on the events:

For some of the posters featured on paris streets at the time (with translations)

The Historical Inebriant:  Highland Park 1968
                            (it wasn't a bad year everywhere)                   

A $4,000 bottle of Single Malt Scotch for the revolutionaries from 1968...
who didn't stay revolutionaries.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post Comment: