FIDES and a History of Tahiti

In 1956, many French colonies around the world participated in what is known as an omnibus issue to commemorate the 10th anniversary of an organization identified on the stamps as FIDES. In philately, an omnibus is an issue of stamps by several countries with a common subject and which may share a uniform design. Omnibus issues have often been made by countries under common political … Continue reading FIDES and a History of Tahiti

The Battle of Valmy

The Battle of Valmy was the first major victory by the army of France during the Revolutionary Wars that followed the French Revolution. The action took place on September 20, 1792, as Prussian troops commanded by the Duke of Brunswick attempted to march on Paris. Generals François Kellermann and Charles Dumouriez stopped the advance near the northern village of Valmy in Champagne-Ardenne. In this early … Continue reading The Battle of Valmy

The Liberation of Paris

The Liberation of Paris (Libération de Paris) was a military action that took place during World War II from August 19, 1944, until the German garrison surrendered the French capital on August 25, 1944. Paris had been ruled by Nazi Germany since the signing of the Second Compiègne Armistice on June 22, 1940, after which the Wehrmacht occupied northern and western France. The liberation began … Continue reading The Liberation of Paris

Arc de Triomphe, Paris

The inauguration of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France, occurred on July 29, 1836, following 30 years of construction. The Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile (Triumphal Arch of the Star) is one of the most famous monuments in Paris, standing at the western end of the Champs-Élysées at the center of Place Charles de Gaulle, formerly named Place de l’Étoile — the étoile or … Continue reading Arc de Triomphe, Paris

Louis Blériot and the First Flight Across the English Channel

On July 25, 1909, French aviator, inventor and engineer Louis Blériot made the first flight across the English Channel in a heavier-than-air machine from Calais, France to Dover, England, in 37 minutes. Unfortunately, due to my American-centric education I suppose and despite a boyhood interest in aviation as it pertained to the Wright Brothers and Lindbergh, I don’t recall ever hearing about Blériot until I … Continue reading Louis Blériot and the First Flight Across the English Channel

Le Mont-Saint-Michel

Mont-Saint-Michel is an island commune in Normandy, France. It is located about one kilometer (0.6 miles) off the country’s northwestern coast, at the mouth of the Couesnon River near Avranches and is 100 hectares (247 acres) in area. As of 2009, the island had a population of 44. The Mont has a circumference of about 960 meters (3,150 feet) and its highest point is 92 meters … Continue reading Le Mont-Saint-Michel

Lafayette Arrives in America

On June 13, 1977, Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette landed near Charleston, South Carolina, in order to help the Continental Congress to train its army during the American Revolutionary War. A French aristocrat and army officer, he embraced the republican ideals of the late eighteenth century. At first, the Continental Congress was unimpressed with Lafayette, who spoke little English. However, when he agreed to serve … Continue reading Lafayette Arrives in America

Lindbergh Takes Europe by Storm

At 10:22 PM local time on Saturday, May 21, 1927, Charles Augustus Lindbergh landed his Ryan single-engine monoplane Spirit of St. Louis on the ground at Aérodrome de Le Bourget in Paris, France, completing the first solo, non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean. He had begun his journey 33 hours, 30 minutes and 29.8 seconds before — lifting his aircraft from the muddy runway of Roosevelt Airfield … Continue reading Lindbergh Takes Europe by Storm