Levi Morton US Ambassador to Paris 1881
So what do you do when you’re invited to set up your legation at a new address in the venerable City of Lights and the address you’re proffered for your legation is, well, a little embarrassing?
Such was the situation in 1881 when US Minister Levi Morton arrived in Paris and discovered that his new addess that he’d have to print up on all his calling cards and stationery would be: Place de la Bitsche.
Of course Place de la Bitsche was named for the heroic town in Belgium that so valiantly fought off the Prussians advance during the Franco-Prussian war. Nevertheless, the new minister explained that the address might certainly be misconstrued by those Americans less well-versed in their Franco-Prussian war history.
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So, the address was changed to 3 Place des Etats-Unis.
If you are interested in learning about more of the historic references to French/American monuments in Paris, you can check out the US Embassy website in Paris. The historic sites are listed according to arrondissement.
Trivia: Levi Morton was given the honor of pounding in the first bolt when the statue of Lady Liberty was displayed in Paris on October 19th 1881 for the celebrating the 100th anniversary of the British defeat at Yorktown.