It’s Thomas Jefferson’s birthday:

Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American Founding Father who was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence and later served as the third President of the United States from 1801 to 1809. Previously, he was elected the second Vice President of the United States, serving under John Adams from 1797 to 1801. A proponent of democracy, republicanism, and individual rights motivating American colonists to break from Great Britain and form a new nation, he produced formative documents and decisions at both the state and national level. He was a land owner and farmer.

Though obviously a major figure in the history of the United States, he is also someone whose name is not unknown here in France, and even in Lyon:

A l’initiative de l’association les Ponts du Cœur qui cherche à rassembler les territoires, et avec le soutien de la Ville de Lyon, une plaque a été dévoilé le 2 juillet sur les rives de Saône, quai Tilsitt, à la mémoire de Thomas Jefferson, ambassadeur des Etats-Unis en France, de 1787 à 1789.

Roughly translated:

On the initiative of the association Les Ponts du Coeur, which seeks to bring together the territories, and with the support of the City of Lyon, a plaque was unveiled on July 2 on the banks of the Saone at Quay Tilsitt , in memory of Thomas Jefferson, Ambassador of the United States in France, from 1787 to 1789.

It’s one of those memorials that, unless you are keeping your eyes open, you’ll likely miss it, and with the flooding of the Saone in recent months it has been all but impossible to actually descend to the water’s edge and see it. Still, it’s well placed opposite the edge of the Old City and Saint Georges, and worth a few minutes of your time if you are passing through Lyon one day.

Happy birthday, Mr Jefferson.

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