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July 19, 1900 The Parisian Métro opens its first line during the Exposition Universelle (World Fair), which took place in the French capital from April to November 1900.

The Métro was originally named La Compagnie du chemin de fer métropolitain de Paris (Parisian Metropolitan Railway Company) shortened to ‘Le Métropolitain’ and finally ‘Métro’.

The underground railway has become a symbol of the city and is famous for its unique architecture, influenced by Art Nouveau.

The system was completed by 1920 and further expansion into the suburbs took place in the 1930s.

The Métro now has 214 km of track, including 16 lines serving 303 stations and 62 transfer points for other lines. It is the second busiest metro in Europe, after Moscow, and one of the most compact systems in the world.

Also on July 19: The English win over the Scots in the Battle of Halidon Hill during the Wars of Scottish Independence (1333); Lady Jane Grey is replaced by Mary I as Queen of England after reigning for only nine days (1533); The British Medical Association is founded (1832); A two-day Women’s Rights Convention opens in Seneca Falls, New York (1848); France declares war on Prussia which starts the Franco-Prussian War (1870); Maurice Garin wins the first Tour de France (1903); The 1952 Summer Olympics were opened in Helsinki, Finland (1952); Joe Walker flies a North American X-15 at a record altitude of 106,010 metres, qualifying it as a human spaceflight (1963); French prime minister reveals the existence of the Farewell Dossier to US President Ronald Reagan, showing that the Soviets had been stealing American technological research and development (1981).

Born on July 19: John Martin (1789), Edgar Degas (1834), Vladimir Mayakovsky (1893), Isabel Jewell (1907), William Scranton (1917), Aldo Protti (1920), Sue Thompson (1925), Dennis Cole (1940), Freddy Moore (1950), Jayson Stark (1951), Allen Collins (1952), Robert Gibson (1958), Lisa Lampanelli and Campbell Scott (1961), Nancy Carell (1966).

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