The ramblings of a wargamer, originally up a valley in a wet and windy place and now back in civilisation.
I've just googled what you say to a French person on the 14th of July for this http://gloarmy.blogspot.com/2011/03/reminder-rappel.html?showComment%5Cx3d1299012130058Apparently it's Joyeux Quatorze Juillet, because The French aren't celebrating the storming of the Bastille. The holiday started in 1880 and commemorated a holiday in 1790. Apparently.Remember Google is your friend.
Steve, I think partly right. The present holiday seems to wrap up the 1790 and 1792 celebrations into one and was as you say introduced in 1880. I guess they were economising on public holidays 😜