As the 250th anniversary of the American Revolution in 2026 approaches, the nation is gearing up to commemorate a pivotal moment in our history.
Two and a half centuries ago, a courageous band of patriots dared to challenge the status quo, advocating for liberty and independence from colonial rule. The spark they ignited spread like wildfire, uniting disparate colonies under a common cause and setting in motion events that would alter the course of history.
The significance of this anniversary lies not just in celebrating a bygone era but in reflecting on the principles and ideals that continue to define the nation. The values of democracy, equality, and freedom, championed by those revolutionary visionaries, remain the bedrock of American society, guiding its aspirations and shaping its identity. These principles are also the ties that bind the relationship between the United States and France.
Another significant Franco-American milestone that is quickly approaching is the 200th anniversary of Marquis de Lafayette’s return to the United States for a farewell tour. The French nobleman’s support in America’s fight for independence was a gesture that would forge a lifelong bond between him and our young nation.
President James Monroe invited Lafayette on a tour of American cities in 1824. As the “Nation’s Guest,” Lafayette attended parades, balls, dinners, and other celebratory events over a 13-month period. The American Friends of Lafayette will be hosting festivals, educational programing, and remembrances to commemorate the tour starting in 2024.
Celebrations of the enduring Franco-American relationship are also the subject of a series of documentaries that have been conceived by the French American Documentary Enterprise. The films will explore the following topics:
- The Lafayette Escadrille: The American Volunteers Who Flew for France in World War One
- Rhythm as Democracy: Improvising Life and Art in the City of Light
- Under Siege: The Lone American during the Siege of Paris and the Paris Commune
- En Route to Revolution
“The Lafayette Escadrille” film has already been completed and can be viewed on PBS. It is a story about American volunteers who fought for France during World War I and launched a great American tradition of combat aviation. Within weeks of the outbreak of war, young Americans began enlisting in France’s Service Aeronautique. By early 1916, an all-American squadron, the Lafayette Escadrille, had been formed.
The French American Documentary Enterprise is seeking resources and support to continue developing their important slate of films to be finished in time for America’s 250th anniversary of independence in 2026. The group is working as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and all donations are fully tax deductible. Please contact us if you are interested in supporting these projects.