The origins of “V for Victory!”

Almost everyone is familiar with the phrase “V for Victory” and the two-fingered V-for-victory hand gesture popularized by Winston Churchill during World War II. But few people today are aware of their origin. The use of “V” as a symbolic message of defiant resistance to tyranny was first proposed by Victor de Laveleye, a member of … Read more

“No pasarán!” – They shall not pass!

During the long siege of Verdun in World War I, French military leaders urged their troops to fight the invading German army with the rallying cry “Ils ne passeront pas!” (“They shall not pass!”) Some books of quotations attribute this to General Robert Nivelle (1856-1924), some to Henri Phillipe Pétain (1856-1951). Others say it’s a … Read more