Charles De Gaulle

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Rare color scenes from the Liberation of Paris, August 25, 1944, including an intact Eiffel Tower flying the French Tricolour, General Charles De Gaulle marching down the Champs Elysees, and Allied troops marching in front of the Arc de Triomphe.

Excerpted from: D-Day to Germany, 1944

From the series: Motion Picture Films Relating to the Invasion of Normandy (D-Day) and Commemorative Visits After the War, compiled 1944 - 1969Collection LIEB: Jack Lieb Collection, 1944 - 1969

Taken by newsreel cameraman Jack Lieb, this color home movie was donated by the Lieb family to the National Archives in 1984. You’ll see World War II from a perspective different than the official military film or commercial newsreel. With his personal footage, Lieb takes the viewer through the preparations in England, where he spent time with war correspondents Ernie PyleJack Thompson, and Larry LaSueur, to the liberation of Paris and finally into Germany. Along the way, Lieb captured his experience on 16mm Kodachrome, filming everyday people in France and the occasional celebrity, such as Edward G. Robinson or Ernest Hemingway

Via The Unwritten Record » A Newsreel Cameraman’s View of D-Day

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Is Paris Getting a Bouncy Castle?

OK, so it’s not a bouncy castle per se – it’s more like a design for a trampoline bridge. That doesn’t stop it from being perhaps one the better ideas the French have come up with. I mean the most consistent perhaps clichéd travel advice you’ll get when visiting Paris is to walk pass all the bridges. 

And it’s completely true…you should. But now it’s gonna be like “Don’t forget to cross the trampoline bridge.” Or at least that’s what the architects at Atelier Zundel Cristea imagine for the future  - a series of three inflatable trampolines that would enable you to cross the Seine in what would no doubt bring hordes more tourists piling out of Charles de Gaulle just to experience.

Probably won’t happen, but dang those cool Persians…a freaking trampoline bridge?! Come on!!

via Fastcodesign

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November 22nd 1890: Charles de Gaulle born

On this day in 1890, French military and political leader Charles de Gaulle was born in Lille. De Gaulle was raised in Paris, and in 1909 enrolled in the prestigious Saint-Cyr military academy. In his first deployment, de Gaulle was commanded by Colonel Philippe Pétain, who would later became famous for his leadership of the collaborationist Vichy regime. De Gaulle served with distinction during the First World War, and was captured during the Battle of Verdun in 1916. After the war, de Gaulle advanced through the ranks to serve on France’s Supreme War Council, and wrote widely about what he perceived to be France’s military weaknesses, largely due to an overreliance on the Maginot Line. After the outbreak of the Second World War, de Gaulle continued to advance professionally, becoming brigadier general and undersecretary for defense and war. However, after France’s invasion by the Nazis in 1940 and the subseqeunt surrender and collaboration of Petain’s regime, de Gaulle fled to England rather than accept France’s capitulation. With support from Prime Minister Winston Churchill, de Gaulle led the Free French movement and a government in exile, urging his countrymen to resist the Nazis and organising colonial soldiers to continue the fight. After liberation in 1944, the popular de Gaulle - who received a hero’s welcome in liberated Paris - became president of the French provisional government. At the war’s close, de Gaulle successfully secured his nation an occupation zone in the defeated Germany and a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council. De Gaulle soon resigned the presidency, however, after his desires for a strong executive were rejected, and retired from politics in 1953. However, as the government crumbled, the famed leader stepped in and became president of the Fifth Republic government in 1959. A dedicated nationalist, President de Gaulle pushed for French independence from the two Cold War superpowers, even withdrawing from NATO in 1966, and asserted French military strength through a nuclear weapons programme. Controversially, he also supported Algerian independence following a series of colonial uprisings. De Gaulle retired in 1969, amid rising protests and calls for reform, and died in November 1970. Charles de Gaulle was mourned as a national hero who, even in the dark days of the Second World War, dedicated himself to the freedom and independence of France.

“Paris outraged! Paris broken! Paris martyred! But Paris liberated! Liberated by itself, liberated by its people with the help of the French armies, with the support and the help of all France, of the France that fights, of the only France, of the real France, of the eternal France!”
- Charles de Gaulle after the liberation of Paris on August 25th 1944

Charles de Gaulle was the leader of the French resistance in World War II, founder of the French Fifth Republic and one of the most notorious presidents in the history of France (if not the most notorious). Oh, and there were 31 recorded attempts to assassinate him.

Seriously, at one point an actual SPECTRE-like terrorist organization was formed by his worst enemies, and one of their primary goals was to end de Gaulle’s life. Despite the ever-present threat of death, de Gaulle remained a man of the people, constantly appearing in public, continually giving them new chances.

5 People From History Who Were Absurdly Hard to Kill