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Minuteman Minute | Marquis de Lafayette

The Marquis de Lafayette is a well-known hero of the American and French Revolutions. It is less commonly known that he also inspired the use of the term "National Guard" in the United States.

Hi, I’m Will Roulett, Director of the National Guard Memorial Museum, here in D.C., and this is YOUR Minuteman Minute!

Did you know the Marquis de Lafayette inspired the term, “National Guard?”

This print by Ken Riley depicts Lafayette greeting the 2nd Battalion, 11th New York Artillery, which adopted the title National Guard to honor his leadership of the National Guard of Paris.

Lafayette returned home from the American Revolution just in time for the French Revolution.

In July 1789, the French National Assembly formed the Garde Nationale in response to Louis XVI’s actions.

Lafayette was elected its first commander-in-chief.

Years later, President James Monroe invited Lafayette to tour the U.S. to mark the 50th anniversary of the American Revolution.

During his tour, Lafayette greeted the members of New York’s National Guard, thanking them for the honor.

The term “National Guard” grew in popularity until it became the legal name of the organized militia in 1903.

Come learn about this and a whole lot more at the National Guard Memorial Museum.

I’m Will Roulett, [Look at watch.] and that’s been your Minuteman Minute brought to you by the National Guard Educational Foundation.