English Parliament was conducted entirely in French until the 1400s. Even today, bills are formally passed into law with a French phrase: "Le Reyne le veult", meaning "The queen wills it." en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_…
The French revolution gave us the metric system and almost gave us metric clocks, too. They had 10 hours in the day, 10 days in the week, and an even 30 days each month. mentalfloss.com/article/3…
Today I learned about Lafayette,a french aristocrat proclaimed to be 'The Hero of Two Worlds.' He fought as a general For America during the American Revolution, then went to France and fought as a General for the People in the French Revolution. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gil…
By using a man in the middle, two brothers hacked the French optical telegraph system to gain advance information on the stock market. When they got caught two years later, they walked away as free men because in 1836 there were no laws against hacking nordvpn.com/blog/semaphor…
French Aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle is the only nuclear-powered carrier completed outside of the US Navy, and the only non-American carrier equipped with a catapult launch system. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fre…
The last recorded sword duel took place in France in 1967 after French politician Gaston Defferre yelled "Taisez-vous, abruti" (Shut up, stupid) at RenΓ© RibiΓ¨re after an argument at the French parliament. RibiΓ¨re demanded an apology, Defferre refuse, so RibiΓ¨re demanded a duel and lost. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gas…
There were over 1 million native French speakers in Louisiana in 1968; today Louisiana French is considered an endangered language. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lou…
On September 5, 1942, United States Navy Petty Officer First Class Charles Jackson French, of Omaha Nebraska, swam through the night for 6 - 8 hours pulling a raft of 15 wounded sailors with a rope around his stomach through shark-infested waters after the USS Gregory was hit en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cha…
Syphilis has had many names throughout history: In Germany, it was the "French Disease." In France, it was the "Italian Disease." In Holland, it was the "Spanish Disease." In Russia, it was the "Polish Disease." In Turkey, it was the "Christian Disease." ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/arti…
In English and German culture, Death is typically portrayed as male, but in French, Spanish, and Italian culture, it is not uncommon for Death to be female. In the Netherlands, Death is sometimes referred to as 'Uncle Hendrik'. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dea…
French astronomer and mathematician Urbain le Verrier used observational data from Uranus to deduce the position of an unknown planet, which German astronomer Johann Gottfried Galle used to find Neptune, within one hour of searching and within one degree of Verrier's prediction (1846). en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dis…
In 882 Louis III of France mounted his horse in pursuit of a girl who was running to seek refuge in her father's house. He then rode through a low door, hit his head on the lintel and fractured his skull. He died childless. He is one of two French kings to die from hitting a door lintel. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lou…
The British won the American Revolutionary War everywhere but North America, holding its own against the French, Dutch and Spanish Navies and maintained its territory in India, paving the way for future conquest. allthingsliberty.com/2015…
The only clear footage of the first plane hitting the World Trade Center on 9/11 was filmed by french filmmakers who were making a documentary on a Manhattan firehouse. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jul…
Today I learned of Eugene Bullard. America’s First Black fighter pilot who without the wager of a $2,000 bet would have never flown at all. Remarkably, he fought for the French, was a boxer, stevedore, jazz drummer, club manager and finally an elevator operator in NYC. historynet.com/eugene-bul…
When France increased the price of cigarettes by 66% over an eight-year period, the smoking rate among French executives and professionals declined. However, the smoking rate among manual laborers remained about the same and among the unemployed, it increased. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/arti…
Mary, Queen of Scots, was raised in France, was married to the French king, and signed documents that any son she bore would rule both realms. But for Elizabeth I's outmaneuvering of her rival, Scotland might well have spent the past four centuries as part of France instead of Britain. historytoday.com/archive/…
The youngest French resistance hero was a little boy who acted as a courier for resistance fighters, slipping past enemy patrols and carrying messages. In 1950, he was posthumously awarded the rank of sergeant of the resistance. He was Marcel Pinte, and he died for France at the age of 6. theguardian.com/world/202…
Today I learned about Decimal Time. Implemented during the French Revolution, it was thought up to simplify time and better regulate work. Clocks/calendars were changed so that a week now had 10 days, a day had 10 hours, an hour had a 100 minutes, and a minute had a 1000 seconds. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dec…
Today I learned of Guillaume Le Gentil, a French astronomer who attempted to observe the 1761 and 1769 transits of Venus. By the time he returned, he had been declared legally dead, his wife remarried, and his property had been plundered by his family. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gui…
Susan Travers, the only woman ever to serve in the French Foreign Legion, waited until she was 91 to write her autobiography so everyone mentioned had already died military.wikia.org/wiki/S…
Today I learned about Polish Haitians who date back to 1802 when they fought along side Haitian slaves during the Haitian Revolution which helped establish the world's first free black Republic. The Poles acquired Haitian citizenship for their support in overthrowing the French colonialists. friendlyborders.org/news/…
Today I learned of a French soldier who was taken as a POW and fed only potatoes during his captivity, and survived. Feeling like he should have died, he made it his life’s mission to convince the world of the nutritional value of potatoes, and his tomb in France is decorated with potatoes as a tribute. atlasobscura.com/places/g…
Madame Tussaud (of the famous wax museums) got her start casting guillotined heads during the French Revolution. theguardian.com/books/201…
French cavalry captured a Dutch warship fleet trapped in ice in 1795, "The only time in history that men on horseback captured a fleet of ships". smithsonianmag.com/smart-…
France had a referendum on the direct election of the President in 1962. It was approved by 62.3% of voters and abolished the electoral college in favor of direct suffrage. As a result, Charles de Gaulle remains the only French president elected by an electoral college. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/196…
In 1825 the French monarch Charles X demanded Haiti pay an "independence debt" of 150m gold francs – 10 times the fledgling nation's annual revenue. The original sum was reduced but Haiti still paid 90m gold francs – about €17bn today – to France. It was still paying off this debt in 1947. theguardian.com/world/201…
Today I learned of Adolfo Kaminsky, a 18 year-old French forger who faked IDs for Jews during WWII. He once worked for 3 days straight to make papers for 300 children until he passed out. He kept his work a secret - his own daughter only learned the details while writing a book about him. spiegel.de/international/…
The famous philosopher Voltaire's name is actually a pseudonym that has roots in the French phrase "determined little thing"; acting more like a modern avatar or screen-name. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vol…
A French bacteriologist trying to use a virus to kill rabbits on his property accidentally wiped out over 90% of the rabbits in Western Europe. He was prosecuted and fined, but the French government later gave him a medal depicting a dead rabbit. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pau…
The famous Madame Tussaud started out in Paris during the French Revolution. Marie Tussaud used to make 'death masks' of famous people who's heads had been chopped by the Guillotine. She went on tour to Britain for 30 years with her collection before setting up her waxworks in London. britannica.com/biography/…
The first person executed by guillotine was a French highwayman named Nicolas Pelletier in 1792. This was done because decapitation was the only legal method of capital punishment and the executioner preferred not to use a sword as it reminded him of the former privileges of the nobility. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nic…
Today I learned of the Hall-HΓ©roult process, an industrial method to produce aluminum, which was developed independently and patented by both Charles Hall, who was American, and Paul HΓ©roult, who was French, in the year 1886, when both men were 23 years old. Both were born in 1863, and both died in 1914. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hal…
With the Norman conquest of Britain in 1066 the French took over England. The lower-class were the hunters so animal names persist, and the upper-class French only saw the butchered meats. As a result, we refer to beef (boeuf), pork (porc) and mutton (mouton) instead of cow/pig/sheep. thedailymeal.com/eat/why-…
Canada has a French and English National Anthem, both to the same tune, with lyrics meaning completely different things. britannica.com/topic/O-Ca…
Ronald McDonald isn’t allowed to tell children where the hamburgers really come from, β€œif they asked where the food came from [we were told to say] that the hamburgers grow in a patch with the French fries next to them” mcspotlight.org/people/in…
On the first day the Suez Canal opened, Nov 17, 1869, a French ship named the PΓ©luse ran aground and blocked the canal, forcing ships stuck in the canal to wait until the next morning when the PΓ©luse was hauled away. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sue…
In 1991, 60 Minutes suggested red wine was the answer to the "French Paradox" (France enjoys a low incidence of heart disease despite a diet high in saturated fats). Within a year, American consumption of wine increased 40% and some wine sellers began promoting their products as "health food". en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fre…
Today I learned about a French chemist named Bertrand, who drank 5 grams of arsenic trioxide (a very poisonous substance) mixed with activated charcoal, just to demonstrate the adsorptive properties of activated charcoal and survived. poison.org/articles/2015-…
Today I learned of French telecom CEO Didier Lombard, who was found guilty of moral harassment after 18 employees committed suicide under his leadership from 2008 to 2010, including an employee who stabbed himself in the stomach during a staff meeting and a woman who threw herself out of a window. cbc.ca/news/world/french-…
Jean-Pierre Adams, a French professional footballer, underwent surgery in 1982 for a ligature rupture. The anaesthetic fucked up during surgery, and 39 years later Jean-Pierre Adams has still not woken up. theguardian.com/football/…
American literary icon Jack Kerouac grew up speaking French, until he was six. He also played football at Columbia. wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_K…
General Santa Ana's leg was lost fighting the French after the Texas Revolution, and his prosthesis was captured by the Americans in the Mexican-American war and is now displayed in an Illinois museum. grunge.com/307101/the-biz…
More than 380,000 African American soldiers served in the Army during WWI. THE U.S. Army wasn’t comfortable with the idea of training black men for combat, so they were assigned to train under/fight along side the French army.mil/article/199913/a…
French Guiana is legally part of France, and not a separate country, in a similar way to Hawaii being legally part of the USA. Technically all maps of France should probably have a window with French Guiana in the corner, the way Hawaii usually appears on maps of the USA. independent.co.uk/travel/…
A Frenchman known as Richebourg, who measured 58 cm (1' 11") as an adult, was employed by the aristocracy to act as a secret agent during the French Revolution, dispatching messages into and out of Paris, whilst disguised as an infant and carried by his 'nurse' guinnessworldrecords.com/…
Surya Bonaly, a French figure skater, landed a backflip on one blade in the 1998 Nagano Olympics. This was banned in 1976 and Bonaly did it despite knowing that it would negatively affect her score. It has not been repeated in the Olympics since. olympicchannel.com/en/sto…
In French dubs of the classic Looney Tunes cartoons, Pepe Le Pew was given a stereotypical Italian accent, specifically a vocal caricature of Italian-French singer and actor Yves Montand. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pep…
In 1940, on the way to their invasion or Ardennes, France, the massive German army got into a major traffic jam. French reconnaissance pilots spotted it and reported it to French High Command who promptly said "that can't be true" and ignored it. An aerial attack could have ended the war historyhit.com/how-a-coup…
Ore-Ida invented tater tots to make use of the leftover potato shavings from their French fries production. money.cnn.com/magazines/f…

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