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Storming of the Bastille

The Storming of the Bastille occurred in Paris, France, on the afternoon of 14 July 1789. The medieval armory and political prison known as the Bastille represented royal authority in the centre of Paris; the prison contained only seven inmates at the time of its storming but was seen by the revolutionaries as a symbol of the monarchy's abuse of power. In France, Le quatorze juillet is a public holiday called Bastille Day in English. During the reign of Louis XVI, France faced a major economic crisis; this crisis was caused in part by the cost of intervening in the American Revolution and exacerbated by a regressive system of taxation. On 5 May 1789, the Estates General of 1789 convened to deal with this issue, but were held back by archaic protocols and the conservatism of the second estate: representing the nobility who made up less than 2% of France's population. On 17 June 1789, the third estate, with its representatives drawn from the commoners, reconstituted themselves as the National Assembly, a body whose purpose was the creation of a French constitution.

The king opposed this development, but was forced to acknowledge the authority of the assembly, which renamed itself the National Constituent Assembly on 9 July. Paris, close to insurrection and in François Mignet's words, "intoxicated with liberty and enthusiasm", showed wide support for the Assembly; the press published the Assembly's debates. The Palais-Royal and its grounds became the site of an ongoing meeting; the crowd, on the authority of the meeting at the Palais-Royal, broke open the prisons of the Abbaye to release some grenadiers of the French guards imprisoned for refusing to fire on the people. The Assembly recommended the imprisoned guardsmen to the clemency of the king; the rank and file of the regiment considered reliable, now leaned toward the popular cause. On 11 July 1789, Louis XVI—acting under the influence of the conservative nobles of his privy council—dismissed and banished his finance minister, Jacques Necker and reconstructed the ministry; the marshals Victor-François, duc de Broglie, la Galissonnière, the duc de la Vauguyon, the Baron Louis de Breteuil, the intendant Foulon, took over the posts of Puységur, Armand Marc, comte de Montmorin, La Luzerne, Saint-Priest, Necker.

News of Necker's dismissal reached Paris on the afternoon of 12 July. The Parisians presumed that the dismissal marked the start of a coup by conservative elements. Liberal Parisians were further enraged by the fear that a concentration of Royal troops—brought in from frontier garrisons to Versailles, Sèvres, the Champ de Mars, Saint-Denis—would attempt to shut down the National Constituent Assembly, meeting in Versailles. Crowds gathered including more than ten thousand at the Palais-Royal. Camille Desmoulins rallied the crowd by "mounting a table, pistol in hand, exclaiming:'Citizens, there is no time to lose; this night all the Swiss and German battalions will leave the Champ de Mars to massacre us all. By early July half of the 25,000 regular troops in Paris and Versailles were drawn from these foreign regiments; the French regiments included in the concentration appear to have been selected either because of the proximity of their garrisons to Paris or because their colonels were supporters of the reactionary "court party" opposed to reform.

During the public demonstrations that started on 12 July, the multitude displayed busts of Necker and of Louis Philippe II, Duke of Orléans marched from the Palais Royal through the theater district before continuing westward along the boulevards. The crowd clashed with the Royal German Cavalry Regiment between the Place Vendôme and the Tuileries Palace. From atop the Champs-Élysées, the Prince de Lambesc unleashed a cavalry charge that dispersed the remaining protesters at Place Louis XV—now Place de la Concorde; the Royal commander, Baron de Besenval, fearing the results of a blood bath amongst the poorly armed crowds or defections among his own men withdrew the cavalry towards Sèvres. Meanwhile, unrest was growing among the people of Paris who expressed their hostility against state authorities by attacking customs posts blamed for causing increased food and wine prices; the people of Paris started to plunder any place where food and supplies could be hoarded. That night, rumors spread that supplies were being hoarded at Saint-Lazare, a huge property of the clergy, which functioned as convent, school and as a jail.

An angry mob broke in and plundered the property, seizing 52 wagons of wheat, which were taken to the public market. That same day multitudes of people plundered many other places including weapon arsenals; the Royal troops did nothing to stop the spreading of social chaos in Paris during those days. The regiment of Gardes Françaises formed the permanent garrison of Paris and, with many local ties, was favourably disposed towards the popular cause; this regiment had remained confined to its barracks during the initial stages of the mid-July disturbances. With Paris becoming the scene

Philadelphia Commercial Museum

The Philadelphia Commercial Museum was established in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1895. Its permanent home was a neo-classical building situated at 34th Street and Civic Center Blvd, erected as part of the 1899 National Export Exposition; the museum had business offices at 332 South Fourth Street. The museum's purpose was to promote domestic and foreign commerce, as well as to collect products and information regarding world trade, it was the first US institution that promoted the country's industry and business in foreign markets. In 1893, botanist William P. Wilson, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, attended the World's Columbian Exposition and suggested the development of a "permanent world's fair museum." He purchased much of the fair's exhibits and after shipping them back to Philadelphia, the museum opened in temporary spaces. Four years after Wilson founded the museum, its official building opened, in 1899, it was dedicated. William Pepper was the first president of the board of trustees.

The old offices of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company were leased, exhibits were secured from Latin America, Australia and India, forming the largest permanent collection of raw products in existence. It was Pepper's idea to have the University of Pennsylvania Museum and the Commercial Museum situated near each other, on the plan of the South Kensington Museum. To this end, the City Councils, in 1896, passed an ordinance giving over to the trustees of the Commercial Museum 16 acres of land for the erection of suitable buildings; the buildings cost US$1,000,000 to erect. Of this amount Congress appropriated $300,000, with the understanding that the permanent buildings were to become, after the Export Exposition, the home of the Commercial Museum; the state of Pennsylvania appropriated $75,000. Other sums were brought together by general subscriptions from the citizens of Philadelphia, of Pennsylvania, of the country at large; the institution had a name change to the Museum of the Philadelphia Civic Center in 1966.

The museum closed on July 1, 1994. This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Bonnier Corporation's "Popular Science" This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: A. Johnson, C. Bickford, W. Hudson, N. Dole's "Cyclopedic Review of Current History"

Steve Gilliard

Steve Gilliard was an American freelance journalist and left-wing political blogger who ran the website The News Blog. An outspoken and at times controversial figure, he was an influential voice in the leftwing political blogosphere. Born and raised in New York City, Gilliard attended Hunter College Elementary and Hunter College High School, laboratory schools for the gifted operated by Hunter College, he was a graduate of NYU, where he studied journalism. He worked as a freelance writer for various print publications from 1986 to 1992, after which he spent two years on the New Jersey Democratic State Committee campaign staff. From 1994 to 1996, Gilliard worked as a researcher, returned to writing—this time for the on-line medium—as a freelancer on various projects for the next two years. In 1998, Gilliard joined the netslaves.com website as featured Web writer and "Media Operative"—a position he held through 2003. The site chronicled poor business practices and employee conditions in dot-com companies the Silicon Alley tech companies of New York.

Among his more influential columns for the site was the "How to Read a 10Q" series, which took a reader-friendly investigative approach to dissecting SEC-mandated corporate financial and governance reports. Steve wrote more broadly on topics deemed to be of interest to the NY-based geek, from love issues to how to install a new motherboard. In 2003, Steve was tasked with contributing to and moderating netslaves.com's online bulletin board, which had grown in usership after instances of homophobia and racism alienated a large group of users from Philip Kaplan's FuckedCompany.com. These users flocked to netslaves, but two feuding users created situations in which Steve would have to arbitrate discussions. In June 2004, Steve banned both users, causing a boycott, a massive defection of users, the closure of netslaves.com. After the demise of Netslaves, Gilliard spent several months as a diarist and contributing editor to the Daily Kos site. In August 2003, in addition to occasional contributions to sites such as The Huffington Post, he began his own independent site.

Gilliard was the primary writer and operator of The News Blog, which he maintained until his hospitalization and subsequent death in June 2007. Gilliard died on June 2, 2007 following a series of heart and kidney problems. In a tribute posted on June 3, Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas wrote about Gilliard's influence on his own site: Steve Gillard, on his blog, brought frequent attention to the military history concerning previous military interventions in the Middle East the British Mandate of Mesopotamia in Iraq, how the British experience was relevant to the current US occupation of Iraq; when Michael S. Steele announced his candidacy for the U. S. Senate election of 2006, Gilliard mocked Steele's perceived subservience to the Republican Party by posting a photoshopped picture of Steele in minstrel makeup; this was picked up by Jeff Jacoby, a columnist with the Boston Globe, so incensed by Gilliard's comments about Black Americans that he dedicated a column criticizing him in December 2005.

Gilliard reproduced the relevant portion of Jacoby's column on his own website, along with a copy of the response he had emailed to Jacoby, in which he said that he and most other blacks held black conservatives "in complete and utter contempt". Earlier in his career, Gilliard was threatened with legal action by representatives of Rosie O'Donnell when he "wrote something about Rosie leering at Peta Wilson, the tall blonde bosomy star of the La Femme Nikita series." He responded. Gilliard crossed swords with Pulitzer-prize winning author Sydney Schanberg in 2001 when he attacked APBNews.com, Schanberg's employer, for encouraging its writers and editors to work without pay after the site got into financial trouble. Schanberg's response was interpreted as an invitation to personal fisticuffs, but the offer was declined. According to Matt Bai, a political reporter for the New York Times Magazine, "some right-wing bloggers over his death" and his burial place is kept confidential to avoid vandalism.

"I'm a Fighting Liberal", "We told you so". TWU wins major victory. "Steve Gilliard: Web Writer and Damn' Proud of It" The News Blog - Steve Gilliard's blog site The News Blog archives - Steve Gilliard's archived blog site New York Times obituary New York Times 2007 Tribute to Steve Gilliard Huffington Post - Revered Blogger Steve Gilliard Dies At Age 41 Daily Kos announces Gilliard's death. Daily Kos diary about Gilliard's death. Comments from Kos readers included New York Times Political Blog reports on Gilliard's death hillaryclinton.com announces Steve's death Selection of Gilliard Netslaves Articles Archived Netslaves articles and memories of Gilliard from Netslaves' Steve Baldwin Sara Robinson's obituary at Orcinus The Writings of Steve Gilliard -- 101, by Jesse Wendel at Group News Blog