The Fourth of July, also called Independence Day, is when we commemorate the Declaration of Independence of the colonies from the Kingdom of Great Britain. This federal event proceeds our French annual celebration, so it is an opportunity to pay tribute to our American counterparts and the impact which they had on the city of Bordeaux.
It is a time to set off fireworks for our transatlantic neighbors in memory of the 4th of July 1776. Let's go back in time to see the events leading up to this day. From the month of April 1775 the New-Englanders entered into conflict with Great Britain. After the hostilities on both sides lasted for over a year, the continental Congress voted for a first motion concerning independence.
The debate in question continued until the 2nd of July and the members of Congress agreed to separate from the English but kept this secret decision under lock and key for fear of reprisals. Thomas Jefferson of Virginia was appointed to draft the Declaration of Independence, which was adopted on the 4th of July 1776 when the 13 United Colonies annouced the birth of a new nation.
The relationship between France and America has always been a strong one with unforgettable common historical links. This past is also anchored in Bordeaux by people who have left their mark and found an attachment to the city of Bordeaux.
The strongest link between our two civilizations is the Marquis de Lafayette who from a very young age supported the Americans in their war of Independence. His enthusiasm and achievements earned him the name "The Hero of Two Nations". Lafayette arrived in Bordeaux in 1777 and set sail from Pauillac as an underaged clandestine on La Victoire, a commercial ship to America.
We may also refer to Thomas Jefferson, who was passionate about the vineyards of the region, and visited Bordeaux in May 1787. He established his own personal classification of Bordeaux: the first growth consisted of 4 wines from Château Haut Brion, Château Margaux, Château Latour Ségur and Château Lafite. In 1855, they would take up this same classification. Today several châteaux are American owned.
There are also similarities in architecture between the Bordeaux buildings and those in the US. For instance, the neoclassical style Institut Bernard Magrez can be paired with it's more modern Institute of Fine Arts of New York. There is also a replica of the statue of Liberty in Place Picard made/sculpted by Bartholdi himself. This was however, destroyed during the second World War and replaced in the year 2000 by another replica made out of a resin mould.
All these anecdotes and more will be provided by our accredited guides during our Americans in Bordeaux Tour available in both French and English. This 3 hour private tour will enlighten you on everything you need to know about the relationship between the Americans and our city.
For reservations : Americans in Bordeaux