March 31: Celebrating The Eiffel Tower Day

Eiffel Tower Day is celebrated on March 31 to commemorate the Eiffel Tower’s first anniversary. This iconic monument, unveiled to the world on this day in 1889, remains one of the world’s most remarkable wonders. The Eiffel Tower, which stands 1,063 feet tall, overlooks Paris and represents the triumph of modern engineering and western civilization.

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As the country celebrated a century since the French Revolution, the French government planned an international fair to showcase the 19th century’s industrial progress. French government held a design competition in central Paris and over 100 artists submitted their concepts. 

Among those who contributed was Gustave Eiffel, who proposed a 1,000-foot-tall open-lattice iron tower. With a resume that included the Statue of Liberty, he was able to persuade the Centennial Committee that this unthinkable feat was achievable. In 1887, he was awarded the contract to construct the tower.

On January 28, 1887, he began to work on the project, despite years of skepticism, criticism, and even protests. He finished the tower in two years, two months, and five days and presented it to the French government for exposition. Gustave’s vision infused new life into the streets of Paris. He intended for the tower to be a symbol of the “great scientific movement of the eighteenth century and the Revolution of 1789,” in his own words.

Today, the tower attracts millions of visitors each year. Since 2000, the golden grandeur of the tower has been enhanced by 20,000 6W bulbs that flash on and off in rapid succession for five minutes during each twilight hour. 


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