Napoleon's Day

Napoleon's Day

May 5
Napoleon Bonaparte, emperor of France from 1804-15, is one of the most celebrated individuals in European history and still has many admirers in France. Often referred to as "Le Corse" (from Corsica, where he was born) or "Le Petit Caporal" (the little corporal) for his short stature, Napoleon is best known for the zeal with which he pursued the military expansion of France and for his reforms, which left a lasting mark on the judicial, financial, administrative, and educational institutions of not only France, but much of western Europe.
After finally abdicating in favor of his son on June 22, 1815, Napoleon was exiled to the island of St. Helena in the southern Atlantic with a small group of followers. He died there on May 5, 1821, at the age of only 51. But his legend grew, and in 1840 his remains were taken from St. Helena back to Paris, where a magnificent funeral was held. He was finally entombed under the gold-plated dome of the Church of Saint-Louis, one of the buildings in the compound of the Hôtel des Invalides, where his descendants and admirers still congregate on May 5 each year to attend a commemorative mass.
See also Cape Vincent French Festival
CONTACTS:
Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau
25 rue des Pyramides
Paris, 75001 France
33-8-9268-3000; fax: 33-1-4952-5300
en.parisinfo.com
Napoleon Foundation
148 Blvd. Haussmann
Paris, 75008 France
33-1-5643-4600; fax: 33-1-5643-4601
www.napoleon.org
SOURCES:
AnnivHol-2000, p. 77
(c)
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