Good morning, Whitewater.
Thursday in town will be mostly sunny with a high of eighty-four. Sunrise is 5:30 AM and sunset 8:31 PM, for 15h 01m 02s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 72.5% of its visible disk illuminated.
It’s Bastille Day:
On the morning of 14 July 1789, the city of Paris was in a state of alarm. The partisans of the Third Estate in France, now under the control of the Bourgeois Militia of Paris (soon to become Revolutionary France’s National Guard), had earlier stormed the Hôtel des Invalides without meeting significant opposition. Their intention had been to gather the weapons held there (29,000 to 32,000 muskets, but without powder or shot). The commandant at the Invalides had in the previous few days taken the precaution of transferring 250 barrels of gunpowder to the Bastille for safer storage.
At this point, the Bastille was nearly empty of prisoners, housing only seven old men annoyed by all the disturbance: four forgers, two “lunatics” and one “deviant” aristocrat, the Comte de Solages (the Marquis de Sade had been transferred out ten days earlier). The cost of maintaining a garrisoned medieval fortress for so limited a purpose, had led to a decision being taken to replace it with an open public space, shortly before the disturbances began….
The firing continued, and after 3pm the attackers were reinforced by mutinous gardes françaises, along with two cannons. A substantial force of Royal Army troops encamped on the Champs de Mars did not intervene. With the possibility of mutual carnage suddenly apparent, Governor de Launay ordered a cease-fire at 5:00. A letter offering his terms was handed out to the besiegers through a gap in the inner gate. His demands were refused, but de Launay nonetheless capitulated, as he realised that with limited food stocks and no water supply his troops could not hold out much longer. He accordingly opened the gates to the inner courtyard, and the vainqueurs swept in to liberate the fortress at 5:30….
The king first learned of the storming only the next morning through the Duke of La Rochefoucauld. “Is it a revolt?” asked Louis XVI. The duke replied: “No sire, it’s not a revolt; it’s a revolution.”
On this day in 1948, Janesville tries its hand at insect-control:
On this date, intending to create a bug-free environment, Janesville tested a DDT fogging machine that quickly emitted a “smokescreen of insect-killing fog.” City officials hoped to persuade the county to buy the machine for use by all municipalities or to buy it jointly with Beloit. [Source: Janesville Gazette]
A Google a Day asks a history question: “What treaty was responsible for the creation of the intergovernmental organization that would eventually be replaced by the UN?”