Wednesday, August 12, 2020

August 12th in stamps Schrödinger, Thomas Mann, George Stephenson

Here are some events that happened on August 12th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day

1848 Died: George Stephenson, English engineer and academic (b. 1781)

George Stephenson (9 June 1781 – 12 August 1848) was a British civil engineer and mechanical engineer. Renowned as the "Father of Railways", Stephenson was considered by the Victorians a great example of diligent application and thirst for improvement. Self-help advocate Samuel Smiles particularly praised his achievements. His chosen rail gauge, sometimes called 'Stephenson gauge', was the basis for the 4 feet 8 1⁄2 inches (1.435 m) standard gauge used by most of the world's railways.

Pioneered by Stephenson, rail transport was one of the most important technological inventions of the 19th century and a key component of the Industrial Revolution. Built by George and his son Robert's company Robert Stephenson and Company, the Locomotion No. 1 is the first steam locomotive to carry passengers on a public rail line, the Stockton and Darlington Railway in 1825. George also built the first public inter-city railway line in the world to use locomotives, the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, which opened in 1830.

Stamps from Great Britain and Hungary commemorating George Stephenson

GB  1981 Bicentenary of George Stephenson

George Stephenson Father Of Railways Steam Locomotives Inventor

George Stephenson, English engineer and academic

Hungary 1981 G.Stephenson,British Railroad Engineer



1887 Born: Erwin Schrödinger, Austrian physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1961)

Erwin Rudolf Josef Alexander Schrödinger (12 August 1887 – 4 January 1961), sometimes written as Erwin Schrodinger or Erwin Schroedinger, was a Nobel Prize-winning Austrian physicist who developed a number of fundamental results in the field of quantum theory: the Schrödinger equation provides a way to calculate the wave function of a system and how it changes dynamically in time.

In addition, he was the author of many works in various fields of physics: statistical mechanics and thermodynamics, physics of dielectrics, colour theory, electrodynamics, general relativity, and cosmology, and he made several attempts to construct a unified field theory. In his book What Is Life? Schrödinger addressed the problems of genetics, looking at the phenomenon of life from the point of view of physics. He paid great attention to the philosophical aspects of science, ancient and oriental philosophical concepts, ethics, and religion.He also wrote on philosophy and theoretical biology. He is also known for his "Schrödinger's cat" thought-experiment

Austrian stamp depicting Erwin Schrödinger

Austria 1987 Erwin Schrodinger First Day

Austria 1987 Erwin Schrodinger



1955 Died: Thomas Mann, German author and critic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1875)

Paul Thomas Mann (6 June 1875 – 12 August 1955) was a German novelist, short story writer, social critic, philanthropist, essayist, and the 1929 Nobel Prize in Literature laureate. His highly symbolic and ironic epic novels and novellas are noted for their insight into the psychology of the artist and the intellectual. His analysis and critique of the European and German soul used modernized versions of German and Biblical stories, as well as the ideas of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Friedrich Nietzsche and Arthur Schopenhauer.

Mann was a member of the Hanseatic Mann family and portrayed his family and class in his first novel, Buddenbrooks. His older brother was the radical writer Heinrich Mann and three of Mann's six children, Erika Mann, Klaus Mann and Golo Mann, also became significant German writers. When Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933, Mann fled to Switzerland. When World War II broke out in 1939, he moved to the United States, then returned to Switzerland in 1952. Mann is one of the best-known exponents of the so-called Exilliteratur, German literature written in exile by those who opposed the Hitler regime.

Mann's work influenced many later authors, including Heinrich Böll, Joseph Heller, and Yukio Mishima.

East and West German stamps depicting Thomas Mann

DDR Thomas Mann Novelist 1st Anniversary of Death Issue

West Germany Thomas Mann Novelist 1st Anniversary of Death Issue

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

August 11th in stamps Babe Ruth, Pedro Nunes

Here are some events that happened on August 11th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day


1578 Died: Pedro Nunes, Portuguese mathematician and academic (b. 1502)

Pedro Nunes (1502 – 11 August 1578) was a Portuguese mathematician, cosmographer, and professor, from a New Christian (of Jewish origin) family. 

Considered one of the greatest mathematicians of his time  Nunes is best known for his contributions to the nautical sciences (navigation and cartography), which he approached, for the first time, in a mathematical way. He was the first to propose the idea of a loxodrome, and was the inventor of several measuring devices, including the nonius (from which Vernier scale was derived), named after his Latin surname.

Pedro Nunes lived in a transition period, during which science was changing from valuing theoretical knowledge (which defined the main role of a scientist/mathematician as commenting on previous authors), to providing experimental data, both as a source of information and as a method of confirming theories. Nunes was, above all, one of the last great commentators, as is shown by his first published work “Tratado da Esfera”, enriched with comments and additions that denote a profound knowledge of the difficult cosmography of the period. He also acknowledged the value of experimentation.

In his Tratado da sphera he argued for a common and universal diffusion of knowledge. Accordingly, he not only published works in Latin, at that time science's lingua franca, aiming for an audience of European scholars, but also in Portuguese, and Spanish (Livro de Algebra).

Navigation
Much of Nunes' work related to navigation. He was the first to understand why a ship maintaining a steady course would not travel along a great circle, the shortest path between two points on Earth, but would instead follow a spiral course, called a loxodrome. The later invention of logarithms allowed Leibniz to establish algebraic equations for the loxodrome. These lines —also called rhumb lines— maintain a fixed angle with the meridians. In other words, loxodromic curves are directly related to the construction of the Nunes connection —also called navigator connection. 

In his Treaty defending the sea chart, Nunes argued that a nautical chart should have its parallels and meridians shown as straight lines. Yet he was unsure how to solve the problems that this caused: a situation that lasted until Mercator developed the projection bearing his name. The Mercator Projection is the system which is still used.

Geometry
Nunes also solved the problem of finding the day with the shortest twilight duration, for any given position, and its duration. This problem per se is not greatly important, yet it shows the geometric genius of Nunes as it was a problem which was independently tackled by Johann and Jakob Bernoulli more than a century later with less success. They could find a solution to the problem of the shortest day, but failed to determine its duration, possibly because they got lost in the details of differential calculus which, at that time, had only recently been developed. The achievement also shows that Nunes was a pioneer in solving maxima and minima problems, which became a common requirement only in the next century using differential calculus. 

Stamps and cover issued by Portugal to commemorate Pedro Nunes

Portugal 500 Years Birthday Pedro Nunes Cover

Portugal 500 Years Birthday Pedro Nunes

Portugal Pedro Nunes


1929 – Babe Ruth becomes the first baseball player to hit 500 home runs in his career with a home run at League Park in Cleveland, Ohio.

George Herman "Babe" Ruth Jr. (February 6, 1895 – August 16, 1948) was an American professional baseball player whose career in Major League Baseball (MLB) spanned 22 seasons, from 1914 through 1935. Nicknamed "The Bambino" and "The Sultan of Swat", he began his MLB career as a star left-handed pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, but achieved his greatest fame as a slugging outfielder for the New York Yankees. Ruth established many MLB batting (and some pitching) records, including career home runs (714), runs batted in (RBIs) (2,213), bases on balls (2,062), slugging percentage (.690), and on-base plus slugging (OPS) (1.164); the last two still stand as of 2019. Ruth is regarded as one of the greatest sports heroes in American culture and is considered by many to be the greatest baseball player of all time. In 1936, Ruth was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame as one of its "first five" inaugural members.

At age seven, Ruth was sent to St. Mary's Industrial School for Boys, a reformatory where he was mentored by Brother Matthias Boutlier of the Xaverian Brothers, the school's disciplinarian and a capable baseball player. In 1914, Ruth was signed to play minor-league baseball for the Baltimore Orioles but was soon sold to the Red Sox. By 1916, he had built a reputation as an outstanding pitcher who sometimes hit long home runs, a feat unusual for any player in the pre-1920 dead-ball era. Although Ruth twice won 23 games in a season as a pitcher and was a member of three World Series championship teams with the Red Sox, he wanted to play every day and was allowed to convert to an outfielder. With regular playing time, he broke the MLB single-season home run record in 1919.

Babe Ruth 20 c

After that season, Red Sox owner Harry Frazee sold Ruth to the Yankees amid controversy. The trade fueled Boston's subsequent 86-year championship drought and popularized the "Curse of the Bambino" superstition. In his 15 years with the Yankees, Ruth helped the team win seven American League (AL) pennants and four World Series championships. His big swing led to escalating home run totals that not only drew fans to the ballpark and boosted the sport's popularity but also helped usher in baseball's live-ball era, which evolved from a low-scoring game of strategy to a sport where the home run was a major factor. As part of the Yankees' vaunted "Murderers' Row" lineup of 1927, Ruth hit 60 home runs, which extended his MLB single-season record by a single home run. Ruth's last season with the Yankees was 1934; he retired from the game the following year, after a short stint with the Boston Braves. During his career, Ruth led the AL in home runs during a season 12 times.

Babe Ruth 32c


During Ruth's career, he was the target of intense press and public attention for his baseball exploits and off-field penchants for drinking and womanizing. After his retirement as a player, he was denied the opportunity to manage a major league club, most likely due to poor behavior during parts of his playing career. In his final years, Ruth made many public appearances, especially in support of American efforts in World War II. In 1946, he became ill with nasopharyngeal cancer and died from the disease two years later. Ruth remains a part of American culture, and in 2018 President Donald Trump posthumously awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Babe Ruth 32 c

Babe Ruth FDC

Monday, August 10, 2020

August 10th in stamps Royal Greenwich Observatory, Louvre, Herbert Hoover

Here are some events that happened on August 10th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day


1675 – The foundation stone of the Royal Greenwich Observatory in London, England is laid.

The Royal Observatory, Greenwich (ROG; known as the Old Royal Observatory from 1957 to 1998, when the working Royal Greenwich Observatory, RGO, moved from Greenwich to Herstmonceux) is an observatory situated on a hill in Greenwich Park, overlooking the River Thames. It played a major role in the history of astronomy and navigation, and because the prime meridian passes through it, it gave its name to Greenwich Mean Time. The ROG has the IAU observatory code of 000, the first in the list. ROG, the National Maritime Museum, the Queen's House and Cutty Sark are collectively designated Royal Museums Greenwich.

The observatory was commissioned in 1675 by King Charles II, with the foundation stone being laid on 10 August. The site was chosen by Sir Christopher Wren. At that time the king also created the position of Astronomer Royal, to serve as the director of the observatory and to "apply himself with the most exact care and diligence to the rectifying of the tables of the motions of the heavens, and the places of the fixed stars, so as to find out the so much desired longitude of places for the perfecting of the art of navigation." He appointed John Flamsteed as the first Astronomer Royal. The building was completed in the summer of 1676. The building was often called "Flamsteed House", in reference to its first occupant.

The scientific work of the observatory was relocated elsewhere in stages in the first half of the 20th century, and the Greenwich site is now maintained almost exclusively as a museum, although the AMAT telescope became operational for astronomical research in 2018.


Stamps from Great Britain commemorating the Royal Greenwich Observatory and the prime meridian

GB FDC - Greenwich Meridian - The Old Observatory

Great Britain 1975 Royal Observatory


1793 – The Musée du Louvre is officially opened in Paris, France.

The Louvre, is the world's largest art museum and a historic monument in Paris, France. A central landmark of the city, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the city's 1st arrondissement (district or ward). Approximately 38,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century are exhibited over an area of 72,735 square meters (782,910 square feet). In 2019, the Louvre received 9.6 million visitors, making it the most visited museum in the world. 

The museum is housed in the Louvre Palace, originally built as the Louvre castle in the late 12th to 13th century under Philip II. Remnants of the fortress are visible in the basement of the museum. Due to urban expansion, the fortress eventually lost its defensive function, and in 1546 Francis I converted it into the primary residence of the French Kings. The building was extended many times to form the present Louvre Palace. In 1682, Louis XIV chose the Palace of Versailles for his household, leaving the Louvre primarily as a place to display the royal collection, including, from 1692, a collection of ancient Greek and Roman sculpture. In 1692, the building was occupied by the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres and the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, which in 1699 held the first of a series of salons. The Académie remained at the Louvre for 100 years. During the French Revolution, the National Assembly decreed that the Louvre should be used as a museum to display the nation's masterpieces.

The museum opened on 10 August 1793 with an exhibition of 537 paintings, the majority of the works being royal and confiscated church property. Because of structural problems with the building, the museum was closed in 1796 until 1801. The collection was increased under Napoleon and the museum was renamed Musée Napoléon, but after Napoleon's abdication, many works seized by his armies were returned to their original owners. The collection was further increased during the reigns of Louis XVIII and Charles X, and during the Second French Empire the museum gained 20,000 pieces. Holdings have grown steadily through donations and bequests since the Third Republic. The collection is divided among eight curatorial departments: Egyptian Antiquities; Near Eastern Antiquities; Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities; Islamic Art; Sculpture; Decorative Arts; Paintings; Prints and Drawings.

French stamps commemorating the Louvre


France 1937 Louvre Museum

France 1993 Louvre Museum - Bicentennial Joint Pair


1874 Born: Herbert Hoover, American engineer and politician, 31st President of the United States (d. 1964)

Herbert Clark Hoover (August 10, 1874 – October 20, 1964) was an American engineer, businessman, and politician who served as the 31st president of the United States from 1929 to 1933. A member of the Republican Party, he held office during the onset of the Great Depression. Before serving as president, Hoover led the Commission for Relief in Belgium, served as the director of the U.S. Food Administration, and served as the 3rd U.S. Secretary of Commerce.

Hoover was born to a Quaker family in West Branch, Iowa. He took a position with a London-based mining company after graduating from Stanford University in 1895. After the outbreak of World War I, he became the head of the Commission for Relief in Belgium, an international relief organization that provided food to occupied Belgium. When the U.S. entered the war, President Woodrow Wilson appointed Hoover to lead the Food Administration, and Hoover became known as the country's "food czar". After the war, Hoover led the American Relief Administration, which provided food to the inhabitants of Central Europe and Eastern Europe. Hoover's war-time service made him a favorite of many progressives, and he unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination in the 1920 presidential election.

After the 1920 election, newly elected Republican President Warren G. Harding appointed Hoover as Secretary of Commerce; Hoover continued to serve under President Calvin Coolidge after Harding died in 1923. Hoover was an unusually active and visible cabinet member, becoming known as "Secretary of Commerce and Under-Secretary of all other departments". He was influential in the development of radio and air travel and led the federal response to the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927. Hoover won the Republican nomination in the 1928 presidential election, and decisively defeated the Democratic candidate, Al Smith. The stock market crashed shortly after Hoover took office, and the Great Depression became the central issue of his presidency. Hoover pursued a variety of policies in an attempt to lift the economy, but opposed directly involving the federal government in relief efforts.

In the midst of the economic crisis, Hoover was decisively defeated by Democratic nominee Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1932 presidential election. After leaving office, Hoover enjoyed one of the longest retirements of any former president, and he authored numerous works in subsequent decades. Hoover became increasingly conservative in this time, and he strongly criticized Roosevelt's foreign policy and New Deal domestic agenda. In the 1940s and 1950s, Hoover's public reputation was slightly rehabilitated after serving in various assignments for Presidents Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower, including as chairman of the Hoover Commission. Though he managed somewhat to rehabilitate his legacy, Hoover is still widely regarded as an inadequate U.S. president, and most polls of historians and political scientists rank him in the bottom third overall.


US stamps and first day cover depicting  Herbert Hoover

Herbert Hoover US Postage Single

FDC, Honoring Herbert Hoover, 1965


Sunday, August 09, 2020

August 9th in stamps Henry David Thoreau, Edward VII, Edith Stein, Hermann Hesse

Here are some events that happened on August 9th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day



1854 – Henry David Thoreau publishes Walden.

Henry David Thoreau (July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862) was an American essayist, poet, and philosopher. A leading transcendentalist, he is best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and his essay "Civil Disobedience" (originally published as "Resistance to Civil Government"), an argument for disobedience to an unjust state.


Walden ( first published as Walden; or, Life in the Woods) is a book by transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau. The text is a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings. The work is part personal declaration of independence, social experiment, voyage of spiritual discovery, satire, and—to some degree—a manual for self-reliance.

First published in 1854, Walden details Thoreau's experiences over the course of two years, two months, and two days in a cabin he built near Walden Pond amidst woodland owned by his friend and mentor Ralph Waldo Emerson, near Concord, Massachusetts. Thoreau used this time (July 4, 1845 - September 6, 1847) to write his first book, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1849). The experience later inspired Walden, in which Thoreau compresses the time into a single calendar year and uses passages of four seasons to symbolize human development.

By immersing himself in nature, Thoreau hoped to gain a more objective understanding of society through personal introspection. Simple living and self-sufficiency were Thoreau's other goals, and the whole project was inspired by transcendentalist philosophy, a central theme of the American Romantic Period.

Thoreau makes precise scientific observations of nature as well as metaphorical and poetic uses of natural phenomena. He identifies many plants and animals by both their popular and scientific names, records in detail the color and clarity of different bodies of water, precisely dates and describes the freezing and thawing of the pond, and recounts his experiments to measure the depth and shape of the bottom of the supposedly "bottomless" Walden Pond.

US Stamps depicting Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau 5c single

Henry David Thoreau 2017


1902 – Edward VII and Alexandra of Denmark are crowned King and Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

Edward VII (Albert Edward; 9 November 1841 – 6 May 1910) was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910.

The eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Edward was related to royalty throughout Europe. He was heir apparent to the British throne and held the title of Prince of Wales for longer than any of his predecessors. During the long reign of his mother, he was largely excluded from political power, and came to personify the fashionable, leisured elite. He traveled throughout Britain performing ceremonial public duties, and represented Britain on visits abroad. His tours of North America in 1860 and the Indian subcontinent in 1875 were popular successes, but despite public approval his reputation as a playboy prince soured his relationship with his mother.

As king, Edward played a role in the modernization of the British Home Fleet and the reorganization of the British Army after the Second Boer War. He reinstituted traditional ceremonies as public displays and broadened the range of people with whom royalty socialized. He fostered good relations between Britain and other European countries, especially France, for which he was popularly called "Peacemaker", but his relationship with his nephew, the German Emperor Wilhelm II, was poor. The Edwardian era, which covered Edward's reign and was named after him, coincided with the start of a new century and heralded significant changes in technology and society, including steam turbine propulsion and the rise of socialism. He died in 1910 in the midst of a constitutional crisis that was resolved the following year by the Parliament Act 1911, which restricted the power of the unelected House of Lords.

Stamps issued by Great Britain depicting Edward VII

Edward VII 2d Dull Blue Green & Carmine Hendon Variety

Edward VII 9d Dull Purple & Ultramarine

Edward VII 10d Slate Purple & Deep Carmine


1942 Died: Edith Stein, German nun and saint (b. 1891)

Edith Stein (religious name Teresia Benedicta a Cruce OCD; also known as St. Edith Stein or St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross; 12 October 1891 – 9 August 1942) was a German Jewish philosopher who converted to Catholicism and became a Discalced Carmelite nun. She is canonized as a martyr and saint of the Catholic Church, and she is one of six co-patron saints of Europe.

She was born into an observant Jewish family, but had become an atheist by her teenage years. Moved by the tragedies of World War I, in 1915 she took lessons to become a nursing assistant and worked in an infectious diseases hospital. After completing her doctoral thesis from the University of Göttingen in 1916, she obtained an assistantship at the University of Freiburg.

From reading the works of the reformer of the Carmelite Order, Teresa of Ávila, she was drawn to the Catholic faith. She was baptized on 1 January 1922 into the Catholic Church. At that point, she wanted to become a Discalced Carmelite nun, but was dissuaded by her spiritual mentors. She then taught at a Catholic school of education in Speyer. As a result of the requirement of an "Aryan certificate" for civil servants promulgated by the Nazi government in April 1933 as part of its Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service, she had to quit her teaching position.

She was admitted to the Discalced Carmelite monastery in Cologne the following October. She received the religious habit of the Order as a novice in April 1934, taking the religious name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. In 1938, she and her sister Rosa, by then also a convert and an extern sister (tertiaries of the Order, who would handle the community′s needs outside the monastery), were sent to the Carmelite monastery in Echt, Netherlands, for their safety. Despite the Nazi invasion of that state in 1940, they remained undisturbed until they were arrested by the Nazis on 2 August 1942 and sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp, where they are alleged to have died in the gas chamber on 9 August 1942.

German stamps depicting Edith Stein

Germany 1983 Edith Stein

West-Germany 1988 Beatification of Edith Stein & Rupert Mayer



1962 Died: Hermann Hesse, German-born Swiss poet, novelist, and painter, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1877)

Hermann Karl Hesse (2 July 1877 – 9 August 1962) was a German-born Swiss poet, novelist, and painter. His best-known works include Demian, Steppenwolf, Siddhartha, and The Glass Bead Game, each of which explores an individual's search for authenticity, self-knowledge and spirituality. In 1946, he received the Nobel Prize in Literature.

In his time, Hesse was a popular and influential author in the German-speaking world; worldwide fame only came later. Hesse's first great novel, Peter Camenzind, was received enthusiastically by young Germans desiring a different and more "natural" way of life in this time of great economic and technological progress in the country. Demian had a strong and enduring influence on the generation returning home from the First World War. Similarly, The Glass Bead Game, with its disciplined intellectual world of Castalia and the powers of meditation and humanity, captivated Germans' longing for a new order amid the chaos of a broken nation following the loss in the Second World War. 

Towards the end of his life, German (born Bavarian) composer Richard Strauss (1864–1949) set three of Hesse's poems to music in his song cycle Four Last Songs for soprano and orchestra (composed 1948, first performed posthumously in 1950): "Frühling" ("Spring"), "September", and "Beim Schlafengehen" ("On Going to Sleep").

In the 1950s, Hesse's popularity began to wane, while literature critics and intellectuals turned their attention to other subjects. In 1955, the sales of Hesse's books by his publisher Suhrkamp reached an all-time low. However, after Hesse's death in 1962, posthumously published writings, including letters and previously unknown pieces of prose, contributed to a new level of understanding and appreciation of his works. 

By the time of Hesse's death in 1962, his works were still relatively little read in the United States, despite his status as a Nobel laureate. A memorial published in The New York Times went so far as to claim that Hesse's works were largely "inaccessible" to American readers. The situation changed in the mid-1960s, when Hesse's works suddenly became bestsellers in the United States. The revival in popularity of Hesse's works has been credited to their association with some of the popular themes of the 1960s counterculture (or hippie) movement. In particular, the quest-for-enlightenment theme of Siddhartha, Journey to the East, and Narcissus and Goldmund resonated with those espousing counter-cultural ideals. The "magic theatre" sequences in Steppenwolf were interpreted by some as drug-induced psychedelia although there is no evidence that Hesse ever took psychedelic drugs or recommended their use. To a large part, the Hesse boom in the United States can be traced back to enthusiastic writings by two influential counter-culture figures: Colin Wilson and Timothy Leary. From the United States, the Hesse renaissance spread to other parts of the world and even back to Germany: more than 800,000 copies were sold in the German-speaking world from 1972 to 1973. In a space of just a few years, Hesse became the most widely read and translated European author of the 20th century. Hesse was especially popular among young readers, a tendency which continues today. 

There is a quote from Demian on the cover of Santana's 1970 album Abraxas, revealing the source of the album's title.

Hesse's Siddhartha is one of the most popular Western novels set in India. An authorised translation of Siddhartha was published in the Malayalam language in 1990, the language that surrounded Hesse's grandfather, Hermann Gundert, for most of his life. A Hermann Hesse Society of India has also been formed. It aims to bring out authentic translations of Siddhartha in all Indian languages and has already prepared the Sanskrit, Malayalam and Hindi translations of Siddhartha. One enduring monument to Hesse's lasting popularity in the United States is the Magic Theatre in San Francisco. Referring to "The Magic Theatre for Madmen Only" in Steppenwolf (a kind of spiritual and somewhat nightmarish cabaret attended by some of the characters, including Harry Haller), the Magic Theatre was founded in 1967 to perform works by new playwrights. Founded by John Lion, the Magic Theatre has fulfilled that mission for many years, including the world premieres of many plays by Sam Shepard.

There is also a theater in Chicago named after the novel, Steppenwolf Theater.


German stamps depicting Hermann Hesse

Germany  125.Geb. Hermann Hesse

Hermann Hesse FDC Berlin


Saturday, August 08, 2020

August 8th in stamps Mont Blanc, Eugène Boudin, Stjepan Radić, Graf Zeppelin


Here are some events that happened on August 8th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day


1786 – Mont Blanc on the French-Italian border is climbed for the first time by Jacques Balmat and Dr. Michel-Gabriel Paccard.

Mont Blanc is the second-highest mountain in Europe after Mount Elbrus of Russia. It is the highest mountain in the Alps and Western Europe. It rises 4,808 m (15,774 ft) above sea level and is ranked 11th in the world in topographic prominence. The mountain stands in a range called the Graian Alps, between the regions of Aosta Valley, Italy, and Savoie and Haute-Savoie, France. The location of the summit is on the watershed line between the valleys of Ferret and Veny in Italy and the valleys of Montjoie, and Arve in France, on the border between the two countries.

The Mont Blanc massif is popular for outdoor activities like hiking, climbing, trail running and winter sports like skiing, and snowboarding. The most popular route is the Goûter Route, which typically takes two days.

The three towns and their communes which surround Mont Blanc are Courmayeur in Aosta Valley, Italy; and Saint-Gervais-les-Bains and Chamonix in Haute-Savoie, France. The latter town was the site of the first Winter Olympics. A cable car ascends and crosses the mountain range from Courmayeur to Chamonix, through the Col du Géant. The 11.6 km (7 1⁄4-mile) Mont Blanc Tunnel, constructed between 1957 and 1965, runs beneath the mountain and is a major trans-Alpine transport route.



Michel Gabriel Paccard (1757–1827) was a Savoyard doctor and alpinist, citizen of the Kingdom of Sardinia.

Born in Chamonix, he studied medicine in Turin. Due to his passion for botany and minerals, he met Horace-Bénédict de Saussure, who initiated the race to be the first to ascend Mont Blanc.

Gaston Rébuffat wrote "Like Saussure a devotee of the natural sciences, he has a dream: to carry a barometer to the summit and take a reading there. An excellent mountaineer, he has already made several attempts."  

Paccard had a first, unsuccessful, attempt in 1783 with Marc Theodore Bourrit. In 1784, he made several attempts with Jacques Balmat before they made the first ascent of Mont Blanc together on 8 August 1786.



Jacques Balmat, called Balmat du Mont Blanc (1762–1834) was a mountaineer, a Savoyard mountain guide, born in the Chamonix valley in Savoy, at this time part of the Kingdom of Sardinia.

A chamois hunter and collector of crystals, Balmat completed the first ascent of Mont Blanc with physician Michel-Gabriel Paccard on 8 August 1786. For this feat, King Victor Amadeus III gave him the honorary title du Mont Blanc.

Balmat and Paccard's ascent of Mont Blanc was a major accomplishment in the early history of mountaineering. C. Douglas Milner wrote "The ascent itself was magnificent; an amazing feat of endurance and sustained courage, carried through by these two men only, unroped and without ice axes, heavily burdened with scientific equipment and with long iron-pointed batons. The fortunate weather and a moon alone ensured their return alive."


Stamps issued by France and Monaco for the 200th anniversary of the first climbing

France 1986 Mountains Mt Blanc Jacques Balmat and Dr. Michel-Gabriel Paccard

Monaco 1986 Mountains Mt Blanc Jacques Balmat and Dr. Michel-Gabriel Paccard


1898 Died: Eugène Boudin, French painter (b. 1824)

Eugène Louis Boudin (12 July 1824 – 8 August 1898) was one of the first French landscape painters to paint outdoors. Boudin was a marine painter, and expert in the rendering of all that goes upon the sea and along its shores. His pastels, summary and economic, garnered the splendid eulogy of Baudelaire; and Corot called him the "King of the skies". 
Born at Honfleur, Boudin was the son of a harbor pilot, and at age 10 the young boy worked on a steamboat that ran between Le Havre and Honfleur. In 1835 the family moved to Le Havre, where Boudin's father opened a store for stationery and picture frames. Here the young Eugene worked, later opening his own small shop. Boudin's father had thus abandoned seafaring, and his son gave it up too, having no real vocation for it, though he preserved to his last days much of a sailor's character: frankness, accessibility, and open-heartedness. 

In his shop, in which pictures were framed, Boudin came into contact with artists working in the area and exhibited in the shop the paintings of Constant Troyon and Jean-François Millet, who, along with Jean-Baptiste Isabey and Thomas Couture whom he met during this time, encouraged young Boudin to follow an artistic career. At the age of 22 he abandoned the world of commerce, started painting full-time, and travelled to Paris the following year and then through Flanders. In 1850 he earned a scholarship that enabled him to move to Paris, where he enrolled as a student in the studio of Eugène Isabey and worked as a copyist at the Louvre. To supplement his income he often returned to paint in Normandy and, from 1855, made regular trips to Brittany. On 14 January 1863 he married the 28-year-old Breton woman Marie-Anne Guédès in Le Havre and set up home in Paris. 

Dutch 17th-century masters profoundly influenced him, and on meeting the Dutch painter Johan Jongkind, who had already made his mark in French artistic circles, Boudin was advised by his new friend to paint outdoors (en plein air). He also worked with Troyon and Isabey, and in 1859 met Gustave Courbet who introduced him to Charles Baudelaire, the first critic to draw Boudin's talents to public attention when the artist made his debut at the 1859 Paris Salon.

In 1857/58 Boudin befriended the young Claude Monet, then only 18, and persuaded him to give up his teenage caricature drawings and to become a landscape painter, helping to instill in him a love of bright hues and the play of light on water later evident in Monet's Impressionist paintings. The two remained lifelong friends and Monet later paid tribute to Boudin's early influence. Boudin joined Monet and his young friends in the first Impressionist exhibition in 1873, but never considered himself a radical or innovator.


Fair in Brittany, one of Boudin's "Brittany" paintings (1874), Corcoran Gallery of Art
Both Boudin and Monet lived abroad during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71, Boudin in Antwerp and Monet in London; from 1873 to 1880 the Boudins lived in Bordeaux. His growing reputation enabled him to travel extensively at that time, visiting Belgium, the Netherlands and southern France. He continued to exhibit at the Paris Salons, receiving a third place medal at the Paris Salon of 1881, and a gold medal at the 1889 Exposition Universelle. In 1892 Boudin was made a knight of the Légion d'honneur, a somewhat tardy recognition of his talents and influence on the art of his contemporaries.

French stamp and First Day Cover depicting Boudin's works

France 1987 Eugene Boudin

France 1987 FDC Eugene Boudin FDC


1928 Died: Stjepan Radić, Croatian politician (b. 1871)

Stjepan Radić (11 June 1871 – 8 August 1928) was a Croatian politician and founder of the Croatian People's Peasant Party (HPSS).

He is credited with galvanizing Croatian peasantry into a viable political force. Throughout his entire career, Radić was opposed to the union and later Serb hegemony in Yugoslavia and became an important political figure in that country. He was shot in parliament by the Serbian radical politician Puniša Račić. Radić died several weeks later from a serious stomach wound at the age of 57. This assassination further alienated the Croats and the Serbs and initiated the breakdown of the parliamentary system, culminating in the 6 January Dictatorship of 1931.

Croatian stamps issued to commemorate Radić

Croatia 1992 Stjepan Radić

Croatia 2004 Stjepan and Antun Radić


1929 – The German airship Graf Zeppelin begins a round-the-world flight.

LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin (Deutsches Luftschiff Zeppelin #127; Registration: D-LZ 127) was a German-built and -operated, passenger-carrying, hydrogen-filled, rigid airship which operated commercially from 1928 to 1937. It was named after the German pioneer of airships, Ferdinand von Zeppelin, who was a Graf or Count in the German nobility. During its operating life, the airship made 590 flights covering more than a million miles (1.6 million km). It was designed to be operated by a crew of 36 officers and men. 

Some stamps from the US and Germany depicting Zeppelins

USA Zeppelin stamp


Germany Chicago Fair Zeppelin stamps 1 Mark Germany Chicago Fair Zeppelin stamps 2 Mark Germany Polar flight Zeppelin stamp 1 Mark


Germany Zeppelin stamp 3 Mark





More Zeppelin stamps can be found here: Zeppelin on stamps


Friday, August 07, 2020

August 7th in stamps Friedrich Spee, Joseph Marie Jacquard


Here are some events that happened on August 7th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day

1635 Died: Friedrich Spee, German poet and academic (b. 1591)

Friedrich Spee (also Friedrich Spee von Langenfeld; February 25, 1591 – August 7, 1635) was a German Jesuit priest, professor, and poet, most well-known as a forceful opponent of witch trials and one who was an insider writing from the epicenter of the European witch-phobia. Spee argued strongly against the use of torture, and as an eyewitness he gathered a book full of details regarding its cruelty and unreliability. He wrote, "Torture has the power to create witches where none exist."
Spee's literary activity was largely confined to the last years of his life, the details of which are relatively obscure. Two of his works were not published until after his death: Goldenes Tugendbuch (Golden Book of Virtues), a book of devotion highly prized by Leibniz, and Trutznachtigall (Rivaling the Nightingale), a collection of fifty to sixty sacred songs, which take a prominent place among religious lyrics of the 17th century and have been repeatedly printed and updated through the present.

German stamp depicting Friedrich Spee von Langenfeld

Germany Friedrich Spee von Langenfeld, Poet, 1991


1834 Died: Joseph Marie Jacquard, French weaver and inventor, invented the Jacquard loom (b. 1752)

Joseph Marie Charles  (called or nicknamed) Jacquard (7 July 1752 – 7 August 1834) was a French weaver and merchant. He played an important role in the development of the earliest programmable loom (the "Jacquard loom"), which in turn played an important role in the development of other programmable machines, such as an early version of digital compiler used by IBM to develop the modern day computer.

The Jacquard Loom is a mechanical loom that uses pasteboard cards with punched holes, each card corresponding to one row of the design. Multiple rows of holes are punched in the cards and the many cards that compose the design of the textile are strung together in order. It is based on earlier inventions by the Frenchmen Basile Bouchon (1725), Jean-Baptiste Falcon (1728) and Jacques Vaucanson (1740). 

To understand the Jacquard loom, some basic knowledge of weaving is necessary. Parallel threads (the “warp”) are stretched across a rectangular frame (the "loom"). For plain cloth, every other warp thread is raised. Another thread (the “weft thread”) is then passed (at a right angle to the warp) through the space (the “shed”) between the lower and the upper warp threads. Then the raised warp threads are lowered, the alternate warp threads are raised, and the weft thread is passed through the shed in the opposite direction. With hundreds of such cycles, the cloth is gradually created.

To stimulate the French textile industry, which was competing with Britain's industrialized industry, Napoleon Bonaparte placed large orders for Lyon's silk, starting in 1802. In 1804, at the urging of Lyon silk merchant Gabriel Detilleu, Jacquard studied Vaucanson's loom, which was stored at the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers in Paris. By 1805 Jacquard had eliminated the paper strip from Vaucanson's mechanism and returned to using Falcon's chain of punched cards. 

The potential of Jacquard's loom was immediately recognized. On April 12, 1805, Emperor Napoleon and Empress Josephine visited Lyon and viewed Jacquard's new loom. On April 15, 1805, the emperor granted the patent for Jacquard's loom to the city of Lyon. In return, Jacquard received a lifelong pension of 3,000 francs; furthermore, he received a royalty of 50 francs for each loom that was bought and used during the period from 1805 to 1811.


French stamp depicting Joseph Marie Charles

France 1934 Joseph Marie Jacquard





Thursday, August 06, 2020

August 6th in stamps Tjerk Hiddes de Vries, Alexander Fleming

Here are some events that happened on August 6th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day


1622 Born: Tjerk Hiddes de Vries, Dutch admiral (d. 1666)

Tjerk Hiddes de Vries (Sexbierum, 6 August 1622 - Flushing, 6 August 1666) was a naval hero and Dutch admiral from the seventeenth century. The French, who could not pronounce his name, called him Kiërkides. His name was also given as Tsjerk, Tierck or Tjerck.

During the Northern Wars Tjerk was appointed captain of a troop transport, the Judith, that in 1658 was part of Lieutenant-Admiral Jacob van Wassenaer Obdam's expeditionary fleet against Sweden to relief Copenhagen. In the Battle of the Sound the sea soldiers of the Judith boarded and captured three Swedish vessels. He was rewarded for this by being appointed extraordinary captain with the Admiralty of Frisia, one of the five autonomous Dutch admiralties.

During the Second Anglo-Dutch War Tjerk was appointed full captain on 27 March 1665. He commanded d' Elff Steden in the Battle of Lowestoft, managing with great personal courage to free his ship from an entanglement with several other burning Dutch vessels, set alight by an English fireship. This fight was a severe defeat for the Dutch and those who by their bravery set a contrast to the general incompetence shown during the battle, were hailed as heroes by the populace. Tjerk in a written report severely criticised his fallen supreme commander Van Obdam. The Frisian admiralty board, in need to replace the also killed Lieutenant-Admiral of the Frisian fleet, Auke Stellingwerf, and sensing the public mood, appointed Tjerk Lieutenant-Admiral of Frisia on 29 June 1665. He thus jumped two ranks, not an uncommon occurrence for the Dutch navy in that century.

Normally the Frisian fleet was rather small, but in view of the emergency the province made a strong war effort, building 28 new vessels, Tjerk supervising the formation of the strongest naval force Frisia would ever send out.

In the Four Days Battle of 1666, Tjerk, now calling himself De Vries ("The Frisian"), was second in command in the squadron of the Zealandic Lieutenant-Admiral Cornelis Evertsen the Elder. When the latter was killed on the first day, Tjerk became the squadron commander, still using as flagship his Groot Frisia. He specially fought well on the last, fourth, day, strongly contributing to the Dutch victory. Six weeks later during the St James's Day Battle he was second in command of the van under Lieutenant-Admiral Johan Evertsen. When this squadron failed to reform a proper keel line after a calm, and was mauled by the line of Admiral Rupert of the Rhine. Tjerk had an arm and a leg shot off; yet still in vain tried to rally his force. His crippled ship drifted away, only discovered by the Dutch rear under Cornelis Tromp the next day. The wounded Frisian admiral was speedily brought ashore in Flushing by a yacht - but died from his wounds on his birthday, 6 August 1666.

Dutch and Sint Maarten stamps depicting Tjerk Hiddes de Vries

Zeehelden Tjerk de Vries

St. Maarten 2016 Tjerk Hiddes de Vries Navy Admiral Friesland




1881 Born: Alexander Fleming, Scottish biologist, pharmacologist, and botanist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1955)

Sir Alexander Fleming (6 August 1881 – 11 March 1955) was a Scottish biologist, physician, microbiologist, and pharmacologist. His best-known discoveries are the enzyme lysozyme in 1923 and the world's first antibiotic substance benzylpenicillin (Penicillin G) from the mould Penicillium notatum in 1928, for which he shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1945 with Howard Florey and Ernst Boris Chain. He wrote many articles on bacteriology, immunology, and chemotherapy.

Fleming was knighted for his scientific achievements in 1944. In 1999, he was named in Time magazine's list of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th century. In 2002, he was chosen in the BBC's television poll for determining the 100 Greatest Britons, and in 2009, he was also voted third "greatest Scot" in an opinion poll conducted by STV, behind only Robert Burns and William Wallace.

Stamps issued in Great Britain to commemorate Alexander Fleming 
Great Britain FDC Patients Tale Alexander Fleming St Marys Hospital Paddington 1999

Wednesday, August 05, 2020

August 5th in stamps Niels Henrik Abel, Guy de Maupassant, Friedrich Engels

Here are some events that happened on August 5th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day


1802 Born: Niels Henrik Abel, Norwegian mathematician and theorist (d. 1829)

Niels Henrik Abel (5 August 1802 – 6 April 1829) was a Norwegian mathematician who made pioneering contributions in a variety of fields. His most famous single result is the first complete proof demonstrating the impossibility of solving the general quintic equation in radicals. This question was one of the outstanding open problems of his day, and had been unresolved for over 250 years. He was also an innovator in the field of elliptic functions, discoverer of Abelian functions. He made his discoveries while living in poverty and died at the age of 26 from tuberculosis.

Most of his work was done in six or seven years of his working life. Regarding Abel, the French mathematician Charles Hermite said: "Abel has left mathematicians enough to keep them busy for five hundred years." Another French mathematician, Adrien-Marie Legendre, said: "quelle tête celle du jeune Norvégien!" ("what a head the young Norwegian has!"). 

The Abel Prize in mathematics, originally proposed in 1899 to complement the Nobel Prizes, is named in his honour.


Norwegian stamps depicting Niels Henrik Abel

Niels Henrik Abel, mathematician Europa 1983

Niels Henrik Abel, mathematician,



1850 Born: Guy de Maupassant, French short story writer, novelist, and poet (d. 1893)

Henri René Albert Guy de Maupassant (5 August 1850 – 6 July 1893) was a 19th-century French author, remembered as a master of the short story form, and as a representative of the Naturalist school, who depicted human lives and destinies and social forces in disillusioned and often pessimistic terms.

Maupassant was a protégé of Gustave Flaubert and his stories are characterized by economy of style and efficient, seemingly effortless dénouements (outcomes). Many are set during the Franco-Prussian War of the 1870s, describing the futility of war and the innocent civilians who, caught up in events beyond their control, are permanently changed by their experiences. He wrote 300 short stories, six novels, three travel books, and one volume of verse. His first published story, "Boule de Suif" ("The Dumpling", 1880), is often considered his masterpiece.

French stamp and First Day Cover depicting Guy de Maupassant 

France 1993 Guy de Maupassant

France 1993 Guy de Maupassant FDC



1895 Died: Friedrich Engels, German philosopher (b. 1820)

Friedrich Engels (28 November 1820 – 5 August 1895) was a German philosopher, historian, communist, social scientist, sociologist, journalist and businessman. His father was an owner of large textile factories in Salford, England, and Barmen, Prussia (now Wuppertal, Germany).

Engels developed what is now known as Marxist theory together with Karl Marx and in 1845 he published The Condition of the Working Class in England, based on personal observations and research in English cities. In 1848, Engels co-authored The Communist Manifesto with Marx and also authored and co-authored (primarily with Marx) many other works. Later, Engels supported Marx financially, allowing him to do research and write Das Kapital. After Marx's death, Engels edited the second and third volumes of Das Kapital. Additionally, Engels organised Marx's notes on the Theories of Surplus Value, which were later published as the "fourth volume" of Das Kapital. In 1884, he published The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State on the basis of Marx's ethnographic research.

Engels died in London on 5 August 1895, at the age of 74 of laryngeal cancer and following cremation his ashes were scattered off Beachy Head, near Eastbourne.

Stamps from East and West Germany depicting Friedrich Engels


German Democratic Republic 135th Birth of Friedrich Engels

Germany  Friedrich Engels, socialist, collaborator with Marx, 1970

Germany 1948 SBZ Famous People - Köpfe - Friedrich Engels


Russia Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels