Bastille Day

Apparently there were only seven prisoners being held in the Bastille when the mob stormed it. They, the mob, were more interested in the munitions stored there. Not that they weren’t thinking about the prisoners at all, mind you. They did release them after all. Just wasn’t on the top of their list.

4 thoughts on “Bastille Day

  1. I think I remember seeing the key to the Bastille hanging in a presentation box at Mount Vernon, or the home of one of the founding fathers from VA. Can that be true? Maybe it was some other ceremonial key. This merits some investigation.

  2. Bastille Key
    March 17, 1790
    Marquis de Lafayette to GW

    “Give me leave, my dear General to present you with a picture of the Bastille, just as it looked a few days after I had ordered its demolition,- with the main key of the fortress of despotism. It is a tribute, which I owe, as a son to my adoptive father, as an Aide – de – Camp to my General, as a Missionary of liberty to its Patriarch.” –Marquis de Lafayette

    This historic symbol of liberty still hangs in the hall of Mount Vernon where George Washington placed it. It is the key to the west portal of the Bastille, long used as a political prison, in France. When the Paris prison was stormed, it marked the beginning of the French Revolution. The Marquis de Lafayette, who had served under Washington in the Revolutionary War, sent the key to Washington in 1790.

  3. CPC was indeed right, as he shows in his follow up. I knew it, too, but I just hadn’t had a chance to respond.

    Seems like Dawn and I go to Mount Vernon every year. We love the grounds and gardens. We tour the house, too, of course, and on the tour they always point out the Bastille key.

    And it’s always funny, to me, actually. It’s the key. But, like, was that the only key? What if someone had lost it? Can you imagine them standing around, asking each other, “Huh? I thought you had it.” “No, I thought you had it.”

  4. Westley: Give us the gate key.
    Yellin: I have no gate key.
    Inigo Montoya: Fezzik, tear his arms off.
    Yellin: Oh, you mean *this* gate key.

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