Marie AntoinetteIt was 1793 and France was torn by a bloody revolution that saw the ranks of the aristocracy considerably thinned by a peasantry fed up with subsidizing the decadent wealthy while they starved. The French Revolution had been brewing for decades, but what lit the powder keg that made everything go kablooey were the remarks of today’s honoree on


Marie Antoinette was an Austrian Princess given as a teenaged bride to the soon-to-be French King, Louis XVI, by her Daddy, the Holy Roman Emperor Francis I, to cement relations between their two realms.

Louis and Marie were by all accounts a magnificent king and queen, leading decadent battalions of foppish nobility, squandering the nation’s wealth on ruinous wars, gigantic palaces and costume balls while the rest of the country went ragged and hungry, until one day the people of Paris ran out of bread. When chief party girl Marie Antoinette was informed the peasants had no bread, she thought she was being very clever when she blurted out; “Then let them eat cake!”

Turns out the joke was on Marie and her whole family on October 16, 1793, and a whole lot of other Viscounts, Barons and other assorted one-percenters. That day they were victims of the Guillotine, the killing machine that put the terror in The Reign of Terror. Before long, “The National Razor” turned on its owners, equally efficient at chopping off the heads of commoners and queens. The moral of the story is – Never piss off the hungry!

•Suggested Activities: Storming the Bastille for old time’s sake.

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