The Bastille was one of the subjects at the middle school debate this morning. I had the honor of being asked to sit in and listen to the 7th and 8th graders debate several subjects. In addition to the Bastille debate, the students also debated if the 1700s were the best or worst of times, and whether or not the statement “You’re either with us or against us” is fair/accurate in times of political or religious strife.
I learned several interesting things, for example, there were not many prisoners in residence at the time the Bastille was stormed in 1789. From Wikipedia: “At this point, the Bastille was nearly empty of prisoners, housing only seven old men annoyed by all the disturbance: four forgers, two “lunatics” and one “deviant” aristocrat, the comte de Solages (the Marquis de Sade had been transferred out ten days earlier). I also learned that there was a ship, the SS Californian, nearby when the Titanic sank – if it had responded to the distress calls, more lives might have been spared.