The indisputable highlight of July is one day of patriotic fireworks, parades, and red-white-and-blue flags waving in national fervor. I’m speaking, of course, of July 14—Bastille Day, the most important holiday in France. So crank “La Marseillaise” and allow quiz show champ Ken Jennings to help you out with his formidable! knowledge of all things French.
French Myth #4: King Louis XIV said, “L’État, c’est moi.”
Louis XIV ruled France for over 72 years, so long that he was succeeded on the throne not by his son or his grandson, but by his great-grandson. It was the longest reign in the history of any major European throne, and it took place at the height of belief in the “divine right of kings,” to rule as solely and autocratically as they chose. So it comes as no surprise that his famous historical catchphrase would be “L’État, c’est moi”—literally, “I am the State.”