Category Archives: People

Médecins sans Frontières

French politician and doctor Bernard Kouchner was born on November 1, 1939. He is best known as one of the founders of Médecins sans Frontières (maydsahn sahn fron-tea-air), or Doctors Without Borders, and Médecins du Monde (maydsahn due mohnd), Doctors … Continue reading

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L’État, c’est moi

Louis XIV was born on September 5, 1638. I feel about him much the way I do about Napoleon – equivocally. Both men marked the history of France more than virtually anyone else, and both men waged war on a … Continue reading

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Le courage, c’est de chercher la vérité et de la dire

When I was a student in Tours, the teacher who gave us an orientation visit around the city told us that virtually every city and town in France had a square or street named after French Socialist leader Jean Jaurès, just like … Continue reading

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Un homme de culture

French politician Jack Lang was born on September 2, 1939. He is best known for creating La Fête de la Musique, a massive open-air musical festival held on June 21 each year, when he was the Minister of Culture from … Continue reading

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Mondialement connu

  Few French actors are recognized by North American audiences, but Jean Reno is a notable exception. He was born Juan Moreno y Herrera-Jiménez on July 30, 1948 in Casablanca, Morocco. His Spanish parents had fled Franco’s regime and eventually … Continue reading

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Une histoire faite de gloire et de dignité

A couple of years ago, I saw the movie Lumumba, a biography of Patrice Émery Lumumba, the first Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo. It was the type of movie one never forgets. Lumumba, born July 2, 1925, … Continue reading

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De la musique avant toute chose

In addition to the Degas exhibit, the musée d’Orsay also has Misia, Reine de Paris. This one just opened and will be available until September 9, 2012. Misia sounds like the kind of person who would make a party a … Continue reading

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Payer les pots cassés

Today’s entry is by guest blogger Esther Montgomery, a student in my AP French class. Merci, Esther. The scandal that is Dominique Strauss-Kahn has unfolded across the world. By being such a prominent man in French society and allegedly sexually … Continue reading

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Rire au nez de quelqu’un

French dramatist and duelist Cyrano de Bergerac was born on March 6, 1619. De Bergerac wrote some early science fiction in addition to philosophical works. Edmond Rostand immortalized him in 1867 in a play inspired by his life and his nose. … Continue reading

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Conter fleurette à

Christian Dior was born on January 21, 1905 in the lovely seaside town of Granville, France. The family lived very nicely from the proceeds of the fertilizer business they owned. His father subsidized the art gallery Dior and a friend … Continue reading

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