PARIS CELEBRATES FOURTH OF JULY
Paris, France (JFK+50) One hundred years ago on the Fourth of July of 1917, the first American expeditionary force bound for the Western Front was given its first official review in what became the center of a July 4th celebration in which the crowd was described as one "that no American city ever surpassed for size, enthusiasm and profusion of Stars and Stripes."
The festivities began with a field reveille conducted under General John J. Pershing's windows by the Republican Guards band. Later, in the chapel before Napoleon's Tomb, Pershing "received American flags and banners...from President Raymond Poincare*."
The General then passed along the reviewing line with the French president and Marshal Joffre. The American band played 'La Marseillaise'** and the French band played 'The Star Spangled Banner'.
*Raymond Nicholas Landry Poincare (1860-1934) was born in Bar-le-Duc, Meuse, France & educated at the University of Paris. He became the youngest lawyer in France at the age of 20 & was elected to the Congress of Deputies at age 26. RNLP served 3 times as Prime Minister and President of France 1913-1920.
**La Marseillaise, the national anthem of France, was written in 1792 by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle after France declared war on Austria.
"PARIS OUTDOES U.S. IN JULY 4 CELEBRATION," The Chicago Daily Tribune, July 5, 1917.