Garden at Giverny

Claude Monet: Garden at Giverny

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Marie Antoinette Guillotined

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Marie Antoinette was guillotined for treason this date in 1793. She was born an Austrian archduchess, the fifteenth and second youngest child of Empress Maria Theresa and Emperor Francis of the Hapsburg Empire. Upon her marriage to Louis-Auguste, heir apparent to the French throne, she became Dauphine of France and on May 10, 1774 when her husband ascended to the throne as Louis XVI, she became Queen of France and Navarre.

France’s financial problems were the basis of the French Revolution and were the result of a combination of factors: several expensive wars, a large royal family whose expenditures were paid by the state, and an unwillingness on the part of most members of the privileged classes, aristocracy and clergy to help defray the costs of the government out of their own pockets by relinquishing some of their financial privileges. Though sole fault for the financial crisis did not lie with her, Marie Antoinette was the biggest obstacle to any major reform and was extremely unpopular for many reasons with the general population of France.

On October 5, 1792, an attack by the populace forced the royal family to move to the Tuilleries Palace in Paris, where they lived under a form of house arrest. La Fayette, one of the former military leaders in the American War of Independence, served as the warden of the royal family in his position as commander-in-chief of the Garde National.

It’s a little-known fact that Marie-Antoinette played an important role in supporting the American Revolution by securing Austrian and Russian support, which resulted in the establishment of a neutral league that stopped Great Britain’s attack. She also was decisive in the nomination of the Minister of War and the Secretary of the Navy, both of whom helped George Washington in defeating the British in the American Revolutionary War.

Her involvement with Austria contributed to her later being accused of treason for passing French secrets to the enemy (of which she was guilty). After a two-day trial, Marie Antoinette was convicted by the Revolutionary Tribunal of high treason and executed by guillotine. (me and Wikipedia)

I Love Lucy

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I Love Lucy premiered on television in 1951.It was an American television sitcom starring Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance and William Frawley. The black-and-white series originally ran from October 15, 1951 to May 6, 1957 on CBS. After the series ended, however, a modified version continued for three more seasons with 13 one-hour specials that ran from 1957 to 1960.

The show, which was the first scripted television program to be shot in 35 mm film in front of a studio audience, won five Emmy Awards and received numerous nominations. The show is still syndicated in dozens of languages around the world and remains popular with an American audience of 40 million each year. I Love Lucy is often regarded as one of the greatest and most influential sitcoms in history. In 2012, it was voted the “Best TV Show of All Time” in a survey conducted by ABC News and People Magazine.

U. S. Continental Navy

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The Navy League of the United States organized the first Navy Day in 1922, holding it on October 27th because it was the birthday of President Theodore Roosevelt, who was a naval enthusiast. In 1923 over 50 major cities participated, and the U. S. Navy sent a number of its ships to various port cities for the occasion. The 1945 Navy Day was an especially large celebration, with President Harry S. Truman reviewing the fleet in New York Harbor.

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In1949, Louis A Johnson, secretary of the newly created Department of Defense, directed that the U. S. Navy participation occur on Armed Forces day in May, although as a civilian organization the Navy League was not affected by his directive. They continued to organize Navy Day celebrations to suit themselves until it was discovered in the 1970s that the “birthday” of the Continental Navy was actually October 13, 1775. Admiral Zumwalt worked with the Navy League to define October 13th as the new date of Navy Day, though some still celebrate it later as originally organized. (me and Wikipedia)

First Oktoberfest

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On this date in 1810, the first Oktoberfest was held in Munich, Bavaria, Germany.

Held annually, it is a 16-to-18 day folk festival, food, and traveling funfair that runs from mid or late September to the first weekend in October with visitors numbering more than six million from around the world. Other cities across the world also hold Oktoberfest celebrations modeled after the original Munich event.

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It all began as a celebration when King Ludwig married Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen on October 12, 1810. The citizens of Munich were invited to attend the festivities held on the fields in front of the city gates to celebrate the royal event. Horse races were held on October 17th to honor the newlyweds. The precise origins of the festival and horse races remain a matter of controversy, but the decision to repeat the horse races, spectacle and celebrations in 1811 launched what is now an annual Oktoberfest tradition. (from me and Wikipedia)