Today in History: Washington DC declared capital of the United States in 1790

Today in History: Washington DC declared capital of the United States in 1790

229 years ago today, the young American Congress declares that a swampy, humid, muddy and mosquito-infested site on the Potomac River between Maryland and Virginia will be the nation’s permanent capital. “Washington,” in the newly designated federal “District of Columbia,” was named after the leader of the American Revolution and the country’s first president: George Washington. It was Washington who saw the area’s potential economic and accessibility benefits due to the proximity of navigable rivers.

George Washington, who had been in office just over a year when the capital site was determined, asked a French architect and city planner named Pierre L Enfant to design the capital. In 1793, the first cornerstones of the president’s mansion, which was eventually renamed the “White House,” were laid. George Washington, however, never lived in the mansion as it was not inhabitable until 1800. Instead, President John Adams and his wife Abigail were the White House’s first residents. They lived there less than a year; Thomas Jefferson moved in in 1801.

Source: http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/

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Today in History: First successful Matterhorn ascent in 1865

Today in History: First successful Matterhorn ascent in 1865

153 years ago today, the Matterhorn (4,478 m, 14,692 ft) was first successfully ascended by Edward Whymper and his team of mountaineers, Michel Croz, Lord Francis Douglas, Charles Hudson, Douglas Hadow, and the two Zermatt guides, Peter Taugwalder father and son. During the descent, however, the day ended in tragedy when Douglas, Hudson, Hadow and Croz were killed after a supporting rope broke. One climber had slipped, pulling the three others with him. Taugwalder and Whymper had been alarmed by Croz’s warning shouts and when they grasped the rocks, the rope broke, causing the four others to plummet to their deaths.

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Today is Bastille Day!

Today is Bastille Day!

Bastille Day is a national holiday in France, celebrated annually on July 14. It is quite similar to the Independence Day festivities in the United States. The Bastille was a stronghold built in Paris in the 14th century. In fact, the word “bastille” means “fortress” in French. During his reign, Louis XVI used it as a prison and the structure became a symbol of his power. In 1789, rioters stormed the Bastille and proceeded to demolish it. It was an act of rebellion and marked the beginning of the French Revolution. Today, the French celebrate Bastille Day and their independence with parties, parades, and festivals. Uncork a bottle of French wine or dine at a French restaurant to join in the fun!

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Today in History: Paris celebrated its 2,000th birthday in 1951

Today in History: Paris celebrated its 2,000th birthday in 1951

And today? Happy 2,067th Birthday, Paris! On this day in 1951, Paris celebrated turning 2,000 years old. But it is likely that the City of Lights was already founded around 250 B.C. Paris is home to some 2 million residents, with an additional 10 million people living in the surrounding metropolitan area. The city retains its reputation as a center for food, fashion, commerce, and culture. Paris continues to be one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations.

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Today in History: The Bikini

Today in History: The Bikini
Two small pieces of fabric caused major turmoil at the beaches at the end of the 1940s. French fashion designer Louis Reard gave them a name: bikini. The first bikini was presented on July 5, 1946 at a Paris fashion show. The rest is history.

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Today in History: Cunard founded in 1840

Today in History: Cunard founded in 1840

179 years ago today, Samuel Cunard founded the first transatlantic boat service, a company called the British and North American Royal Mail Steam Packet Company, which quickly became known as the Cunard Line. Samuel Cunard himself took part in the maiden voyage on the Britannia, leaving Liverpool on July 4th and arriving in Halifax, Canada, 12 days later. The vessel hosted 115 passengers and included a ladies-only saloon. The fare of 34 guineas covered provisions and wine.

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Today in History: Paul Colin born in 1892

Today in History: Paul Colin born in 1892

127 years ago today, Paul Colin, prolific designer of art deco posters and stage sets was born in Nancy, France. Colin is considered to be among the masters of the modern French poster and may have created some 2000+ poster designs in his long career. He was the founder of the Paul Colin School of Design in Paris and continued working well into the 1970s. Colin passed away in 1985.

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