FRANCE: Gustave's Baby

Last week Parisian notables assembled to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Eiffel Tower, built to attract visitors to the Paris exposition of 1889. François Carnot hoisted above it the same gold-fringed tricolor, which, as the son of France's President Sadi Carnot, he had first raised on March 29, 1889.

The original idea for the Eiffel Tower came from America, where a similar structure was proposed for the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition of 1876. Parisians jeered at Engineer Gustave Eiffel's "monster of the imagination," predicted that it would fall down. Alexandre Dumas, fils, called it a "horror." Because...

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