A French citizen was arrested on disorderly conduct charges yesterday after he threw a bundle of papers over a gate of the White House, forcing police to call in the bomb squad, seal the area and close off Lafayette Square, authorities said.
The bundle turned out to contain nothing dangerous, but it took about an hour before authorities issued an all-clear.
The incident marked the second time that Cyrille Y. Morotte, 36, had caused trouble at the White House, authorities said. Morotte was taken into custody and deported after throwing another item over the White House fence in June 2004, authorities said. It was not clear yesterday how Morotte got back into the United States.
He was being held last night and probably will appear at a hearing in D.C. Superior Court today.
The episode began about 11 a.m., just after President Bush left the South Lawn of the White House grounds by helicopter for an event in Wheeling, W.Va.
Evidently, our nation has been irritated by anything French for quite some time. I have been doing some research on Milford, New Hampshire recently (my great-grandfather was born there) and discovered this little tidbit at the Milford Historical Society in a history written in 1901 by George A. Ramsdell.
DATE OF DECEASE OF SEVERAL OF THE FOUNDERS OF THE TOWN - RECORD OF IMPORTANT EVENTS DURING THE FIRST CENTURY OF THE TOWN’S EXISTENCE.
“August 9, 1798, Dr. John Peabody, of the north-west parish, now Mont Vernon, visited this town wearing a French cockade in his hat. A large collection of citizens of the place soon gathered around the house where he stopped, and requested him to remove the French emblem which they regarded as a badge of treason.
Upon his refusal to do this, and attempts to defend himself with a butcher knife, while cursing the constitution of the country, recourse was had to arguments stronger than requests; the cockade and hat were dismantled, and the doctor was seen parading through the doorway with his heels in the air.
The citizens then formed a circle around him and gave three cheers for the triumphs of Federalism, after which the doctor was dismissed, with an intimation that, if he visited the town again wearing a cockade, the mill pond would be at his service.” (Village Messenger, August 11, 1798.)
I wonder who still wears French Cockades in their hats?
Another French cockade wearer in spirit, Michael Ware.
Greg Gutfield has more on the French (as well as Venezuela)
Tip of the Cockade Hat to: Kathryn Lopez of The Corner