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Paris Diary: Lafayette et Washington
General John J. Pershing is supposed to have said, “Lafayette, nous voilà” (Lafayette, here we are) when he first set foot in France in 1917, but it ain’t so. The much-encompassing phrase was spoken in Paris’ PicPus cemetary by Colonel Charles E. Stanton on July 4, 1917 on the occasion of an Independence Day celebration by a batallion of American troops.
Lafayette came to George Washington’s aid during the Revolution, and Americans have been happily grateful ever since. The French were proud of their role, too, or so it seems, for a good many years, even after we helped them out in WWI. Perhaps the fact that our GI’s had to help the French again in WWII put the folks here uncomfortably into America’s debt, and the Gaullist élite seems never to have gotten over France’s diminished status. Tant pis.
The above monument stands in the Place des Etats-Unis in the 16th arrondissment. It was offered to the City of Paris in 1895 by Joseph Pulitzer. The laconic plaque reads:
Lafayette et Washington. Hommage à la France en reconnaissance de son généreux concours dans la lutte du peuple des Etats-Unis pour l’indépendance et la liberté.
[Lafayette et Washington. Homage to France in recognition of its generous participation in the American people’s fight for independence and freedom.]
Today, curiously, the French right is more reluctant to work with the U.S. than the left. François Hollande was publicly grateful for the ability to use American airlift capacity in France’s recent police action in Mali.
August 14, 2013
Breaking: Of Crips and Bloods and Memories of Ghetto Parties
History repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce, or sometimes it just repeats itself. From the New York Times on November 30, 1998: At Dartmouth College, white students at a ”ghetto party” dressed…
June 25, 2013
Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson’s War on Students Part (2/2)
Today’s post again recounts the events that befell the Freshman. However, the content of the Hanover Police department report reproduced in this space yesterday is supplemented by information from my own interviews, a review of…
October 18, 2009
When Love Beckoned in 52nd Street
We were at San Francisco’s BIX last evening, enjoying prosecco, cheese, and a bit of music. A full year of inhabitation in Northern California has unraveled to me no decent venue for proper lounging, but…
October 9, 2009
D Afraid of a Little Competish
So our colleague and Dartblog writer Joe Asch informed me that the D has rejected our cunning advertising campaign. Uh-oh. The Dartmouth is widely known as a breeding ground for instant New York Times successes,…
September 4, 2009
How Regents Should Reign
As Dartmouth alumni proceed through the legal hoops necessary to defuse a Board-packing plan—which put in unhappy desuetude an historic 1891 Agreement between alumni and the College guaranteeing a half-democratically-elected Board of Trustees—it strikes one…
August 29, 2009
Election Reform Study Committee
If you are an alum of the College on the Hill, you may have received a number of e-mails of late beseeching your input for a new arm of the College’s Alumni Control Apparatus called…