Daring French Revolutionary leader Georges Jacques Danton (1759–1794) was born on this day in Arcis-sur-Aube, France. He became a lawyer who was known for his grand physique, booming voice, and strong oratory skills.
"I put to one side all passions," he said. "They are all strangers to me save a passion for the public good."
At the heart of the revolution of ideas, he was a patriot and his improvised speeches advocated freedom for all. An excellent debater, he championed democracy and the rights of the common man.
With charismatic charm, Danton formed the radical Cordeliers Club, making popular the motto "Liberté, égalité, fraternité" (Liberty, Equality, Fraternity).
He helped organize the 1792 uprising and overthrow of the Louis XVI monarchy. His words inflamed the mob that stormed the Bastille. He said, “At last I perceive that in revolutions the supreme power rests with the most abandoned."
In 1793, he helped form the powerful Committee of Public Safety and believed in the moderate establishment of the new French government. His support, then opposition, to the Reign of Terror eventually led to his own death at the guillotine.
"Thou wilt show my head to the people: it is worth showing," he said.
Courage... and Dare Again!