Category Archives: History

Qui ne continue pas à apprendre

I have a 3 x 5 card on my desk at school with a quotation by Gaston Bachelard that says, “Qui ne continue pas à apprendre est indigne d’enseigner” (key nuh kohn-tin-u pah ah ap-ren-druh et an-dean-yuh dohn-sen-yay), which means … Continue reading

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Un Aide-mémoire

The exhibit that I liked the best while I was in Paris this summer was Paris Libéré, Paris Photographie, Paris Exhibé at the musée Carnavalet in the Marais. Although it’s particularly pertinent right now, as Paris was liberated 70 years … Continue reading

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Au destin

When I get to Paris in June, I’ll be just on time to see Joséphine at the musée du Luxembourg. The former Empress of France was an interesting woman. Born on the island of Martinique to a family of sugarcane planters, Joséphine … Continue reading

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La Mystère de Tjipetir

For the past year, from Spain to Denmark, mysterious rubbery tablets with the word “Tjipetir” inscribed in them have washed ashore on European beaches after storms. In February 2013, a family from Normandy was strolling along the beach when they … Continue reading

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À cheval donné, on ne regarde pas la denture

The story begins in 1829. The viceroy of Egypt, Mehemet-Ali, wanted to thank France for the aid of engineers sent by King Louis-Philippe. What’s the appropriate gift for helping to modernize a country? Well, how about a couple of ancient … Continue reading

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Ligne jaune

I’ve long heard about the Maginot Line, the military fortifications meant to prevent France from ever falling again to German invasion, but I didn’t know anything about the details. The ill-fated line was named after André Maginot, born on February … Continue reading

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Siècle d’or de l’éventail

Our favorite exhibit during our weekend in Paris was not one we’d planned to see, but one we happened upon. We were supposed to fly out on Sunday morning, but an airline strike canceled our flight. We were re-booked to … Continue reading

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