This article explores the history of 14th July which includes the display of the Bayeux Tapestry, the introduction of a standardized Roman Missal, and New Zealand’s first general elections. The feature story is about the beginning of the French Revolution, highlighting the significance of Bastille Day. The article concludes by discussing a groundbreaking discovery made at the Large Hadron Collider in 2015, unveiling a new class of particles called pentaquarks.
While I was reading the history of 14th July, I found an interesting event from the year 1077. It was on this day that the famous Bayeux Tapestry which is an embroidered cloth nearly 230 feet meters long and 20 inches tall was displayed for the first time. This piece of work depicts the events leading up to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. History of 14th July also reminds us that it was this day in 1570 when Pope Pius V introduced a standardized Roman Missal (text of the Latin mass), a reform of the Council of Trent. Will remain unchanged for 400 years. This was also the day New Zealand held its first general elections in 1853.
With this, I come to the feature story from the history of 14th July.
The Beginning of the French Revolution
Bastille Day is a holiday celebrated in France and its overseas départements and territories. It commemorates the anniversary of the fall of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, in Paris. The Bastille, originally a medieval fortress, later served as a state prison where political prisoners and citizens detained by the authorities were held, sometimes at the direct order of the king. Despite its limited use by the late 18th century and plans for demolition, the Bastille symbolized the oppressive rule of the Bourbon monarchy.
On July 14, 1789, during the unrest of the time, a mob approached the Bastille to obtain the weapons and ammunition stored there. When the guards resisted, the attackers successfully captured the prison and released its seven prisoners. This event marked the beginning of the French Revolution and symbolized the end of the old regime.
In 1880, July 14 officially became a holiday known as la fête nationale (National Day) in France. It has since been celebrated with speeches, military parades, fireworks, and public festivities. The slogan “Vive le 14 juillet!” (Long live the 14th of July!) has become associated with the day. The holiday is also observed in former French colonies and places maintaining links to France. French Polynesia, in particular, has adapted the celebration to its own culture, featuring singing, dancing, drumming performances, and competitions throughout July. Bastille Day is also embraced by Francophiles worldwide, who celebrate with French cuisine, concerts of French music, and other related activities.
So while France celebrates its national day let me tell you about another fascinating event which unfolded in the history of 14th July.
New Particle found
On this day in the year 2015, a groundbreaking discovery was made by scientists at the renowned Large Hadron Collider, located near Geneva. They have unveiled an entirely new class of particles, revealing the existence of a previously unknown state of matter.
As the Guardian reported the breakthrough came through the diligent efforts of researchers operating the LHCb detector at the collider. By closely examining data collected prior to the Large Hadron Collider’s reactivation in 2015 following a planned upgrade, they detected distinct signals generated when five subatomic particles, known as quarks, amalgamate to form pentaquarks.
This momentous revelation harks back to 1964 when Murray Gell-Mann, an esteemed American physicist, revolutionized our comprehension of matter’s structure. He proposed the existence of three novel particles called quarks, demonstrating that protons and neutrons were comprised of these constituent units. For his groundbreaking work, Gell-Mann was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1969.
Delving further into the study, researchers on the LHCb team investigated the decay of an unstable cluster of three quarks known as a Lambda baryon, ultimately unearthing compelling evidence for pentaquarks. These exotic pentaquarks exhibit a composition consisting of two up quarks, one down quark, one charm quark, and one anti-charm quark.
Benefiting from operating at higher energy levels than ever before, the Large Hadron Collider has provided scientists with an unprecedented opportunity to scrutinize these particles in greater detail and explore further variations of pentaquarks.
That brings us to the end of this episode of History of 14th July.
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A devoted foodie with keen interest in wild life, music, cinema and travel Somashis has evolved over time . Being an enthusiastic reader he has recently started making occasional contribution to write-ups.