Today in History, July 29: 1836 – Originally designed in 1806, the Arch de Triomphe in Paris, France is inaugurated on this date in 1836 to commemorate French victories, mostly during the French Revolution and by Napoleon Bonaparte.
Intended for French armies to march through after military victories, it has since been used also by foreign armies celebrating their conquest of France. The Germans marched through (or around) the arch twice, the French have taken the march also, as have American and British forces liberating France after it’s conquest.
After WWI, the French tomb of the unknown soldier was entombed beneath the arch; as a sign of respect, armies have since marched around rather than through the Arch, including Hitler’s armies in 1940.
After WWI in 1919, Charles Godefroy flew his French Nieuport biplane through the Arch, giving us an idea of it’s size.