100 Interesting Facts About France

51Holocaust

In France, it is illegal to deny that the holocaust happened.

52. The President of France is also the Co-Prince of Andorra. Therefore, Andorra is the only country in the world that has a democratically elected monarch.

53. Since 1997, a castle is being built in France with the same materials, tools, and methods used by people in the 13th century. Scheduled to be completed in the 2020's.

54. In 1956 Britain, France, and Israel invaded Egypt to get back the Suez Canal. Despite being a military success and having minor losses, it had so much political fallout that most historians consider it the end of Britain as a superpower.

55. When a French artist is killed during the war, the government has a "died for France" designation which extends their post-mortem copyrights by 30 years

56Louis Daguerre

In the mid-1800s France gave out a crucial patent in photography for free as a gift to the world except for Britain. They had to pay.

57. It was illegal for women of Paris to wear pants, till Feb/2013, when France lifted the 200-year-old ban

58. Mercury use in hat-making, which causes "Mad Hatters Disease", was banned in France in 1898, However, the practice continued in the US until 1941, despite 80% of hatmakers being diagnosed with "mercurial tremors", until it was abandoned due to the wartime need for mercury.

59. In 1978 France rolled out a pre-World Wide Web online service (Minitel) that gave its users access to online shopping, search engines, cybersex, message boards etc. France Telecom only retired the service in 2012 after 30 years and 800 000 units still in use.

60. Areas of France so polluted with vast amounts of human and animal remains and millions of items of unexploded ordnance from WWI that no human activity is allowed there.

61Articles of Confederation

The purpose of the Declaration of Independence was to gain the support of the monarchies of France and Spain, who would not support a rebellion against a legitimate monarchy (England), but they would support America as an independent nation.

62. The face on almost every CPR doll in existence is modeled after an unidentified woman who's dead body was found in the Seine river in France during the late 1880s.

63. In the 1924 Tour de France, riders used cocaine and chloroform as performance enhancing drugs.

64. Charles de Gaulle said of France, "How can you govern a country which has two hundred and forty-six varieties of cheese?"

65. It is illegal to name a pig Napoleon in France.

66Sued for not giving her enough sex

A woman in France sued her husband and won $15,000 for not giving her enough sex during their marriage.

67. Actor Christopher Lee (The Hobbit) witnessed the last public guillotine execution in France, 1939.

68. An apartment in Paris was left unoccupied, under lock and key for 70 years - the rent faithfully paid on time. Inside a painting worth 2 million Euros was discovered when the renter died.

69. British Matinee Idol Dirk Bogarde was painting in France when he realized the field in which he had set up was littered with children's skulls. They turned out to have died in a WW2 bombing raid he himself had ordered years earlier.

70. The US helped France improve its nuclear weapons. Since US law prevents sharing atomic-bomb information, France and the US used a method called "negative guidance" or "Twenty Questions"; French scientists described to Americans their research, and were told whether they were correct.

71Tour De France

From 1998-2006 the highest finish by a rider in the Tour de France not implicated in doping is 4th.

72. France Once Tried Simplifying Time By Using A Decimal Clock, In Which There Are Only 10 Hours In A Day

73. France used to be in the same time zone as Britain but during the German occupation the time zone was changed to Central European Time and remains unchanged.

74. During the Nazi occupation of France, the Nazis didn't remove the American flag flying over the Marquis de Lafayette's grave

75. In 1518 there was a 'Dancing Epidemic' in France. One woman started dancing in the street and within a month, some 400 people join her, many who later died of heart attacks, strokes, or exhaustion. Nobody knows why it started or why was it popular.

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