National Geographic : 1950 Jul
The National Geographic Magazine Andre de Dienes Flowers of Fire Blossom over Notre Dame on the Night of July 14, Bastille Day Shells and rockets shoot skyward from the Ile St. Louis, a small island in the Seine behind the illuminated Cathedral. France's national holiday commemorates the summer day in 1789 when the Bastille fortress-prison, symbol of autocratic authority, fell to liberty-loving mobs. For centuries Frenchmen have marked historic occa sions and national fetes with fireworks. In 1739, two Ruggieri brothers, first of a famous family of fireworks makers, set off magnificent "artificial fires" at Versailles. Today, the same house provides displays for its festivals.