Friday, December 20, 2019

December 20th in stamps Elizabeth II, Boeing 707, Louisiana Purchase, Jamestown

Here are some events that happened on December 20th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day


1606 – The Virginia Company loads three ships with settlers and sets sail to establish Jamestown, Virginia, the first permanent English settlement in the Americas.


The Jamestown settlement in the Colony of Virginia was the first permanent English settlement in the Americas. It was located on the northeast bank of the James (Powhatan) River about 2.5 mi (4 km) southwest of the center of modern Williamsburg. It was established by the Virginia Company of London as "James Fort" on May 4, 1607 old style date; (May 14, 1607 new style date), and was considered permanent after a brief abandonment in 1610. It followed several failed attempts, including the Lost Colony of Roanoke, established in 1585 on Roanoke Island. Jamestown served as the colonial capital from 1616 until 1699.

The settlement was located within the country of Tsenacommacah, which belonged to the Powhatan Confederacy, and specifically in that of the Paspahegh tribe. The natives initially welcomed and provided crucial provisions and support for the colonists, who were not agriculturally inclined. Relations quickly soured, and the colonists would annihilate the Paspahegh in warfare within four years.

Despite the dispatch of more settlers and supplies, including the 1608 arrival of eight Polish and German colonists and the first two European women,more than 80 percent of the colonists died in 1609–10, mostly from starvation and disease. In mid-1610, the survivors abandoned Jamestown, though they returned after meeting a resupply convoy in the James River.

In August 1619, the first recorded slaves from Africa to British North America arrived in what is now Old Point Comfort near the Jamestown colony, on a British privateer ship flying a Dutch flag. The approximately 20 Africans from the present-day Angola had been removed by the British crew from a Portuguese slave ship, the "São João Bautista".

They most likely worked in the tobacco fields as slaves under a system of race-based indentured servitude. The modern conception of Slavery in the colonial United States was formalized in 1640 (the John Punch hearing) and was fully entrenched in Virginia by 1660.

The London Company's second settlement in Bermuda claims to be the site of the oldest town in the English New World, as St. George's, Bermuda was officially established in 1612 as New London, whereas James Fort in Virginia was not converted into James Towne until 1619, and further did not survive to the present day.

In 1676, Jamestown was deliberately burned during Bacon's Rebellion, though it was quickly rebuilt. In 1699, the colonial capital was moved to what is today Williamsburg, Virginia; Jamestown ceased to exist as a settlement, and remains today only as an archaeological site.

Today, Jamestown is one of three locations composing the Historic Triangle of Colonial Virginia, along with Williamsburg and Yorktown, with two primary heritage sites. Historic Jamestowne is the archaeological site on Jamestown Island and is a cooperative effort by Jamestown National Historic Site (part of Colonial National Historical Park) and Preservation Virginia. Jamestown Settlement, a living history interpretive site, is operated by the Jamestown Yorktown Foundation, a state agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

US stamp depicting the founding of Jamestown

The Virginia Company loads three ships with settlers and sets sail to establish Jamestown, Virginia, the first permanent English settlement in the Americas.



1803 – The Louisiana Purchase is completed at a ceremony in New Orleans.

The Louisiana Purchase (French: Vente de la Louisiane 'Sale of Louisiana') was the acquisition of the territory of Louisiana by the United States from France in 1803. In return for fifteen million dollars, the U.S. acquired a total of 828,000 sq mi (2,140,000 km2; 530,000,000 acres). The treaty was negotiated by French Treasury Minister François Barbé-Marbois (acting on behalf of Napoleon) and American delegates James Monroe and Robert R. Livingston (acting on behalf of President Thomas Jefferson).

The Kingdom of France had controlled the Louisiana territory from 1699 until it was ceded to Spain in 1762. In 1800, Napoleon, then the First Consul of the French Republic, regained ownership of Louisiana as part of a broader project to re-establish a French colonial empire in North America. However, France's failure to put down a revolt in Saint-Domingue, coupled with the prospect of renewed warfare with the United Kingdom, prompted Napoleon to consider selling Louisiana to the United States.

Here are some US stamps and a First Day Cover depicting the Louisiana Purchase

1953  U.S.Scott #1020 Louisiana Purchase



US Scott #327 Louisiana Purchase-10¢ Map of Purchase

2003 37c Louisiana Purchase Scott 3782

2003 37c Louisiana Purchase Scott 3782  FDC


1957 – The initial production version of the Boeing 707 makes its first flight.

The Boeing 707 is an American mid-sized, mid- to long-range, narrow-body, four-engine jet airliner built by Boeing Commercial Airplanes from 1958 to 1979. Versions of the aircraft have a capacity from 140 to 219 passengers and a range of 2,500 to 5,750 nautical miles (2,880 to 6,620 mi; 4,630 to 10,650 km).

Developed as Boeing's first jet airliner, the 707 is a swept-wing design with podded engines. Although it was not the first jetliner in service, the 707 was the first to be commercially successful. Dominating passenger air transport in the 1960s and remaining common through the 1970s, the 707 is generally credited with ushering in the Jet Age. It established Boeing as one of the largest manufacturers of passenger aircraft, and led to the later series of airliners with "7x7" designations. The later 720, 727, 737, and 757 share elements of the 707's fuselage design.

The 707 was developed from the Boeing 367-80, a prototype jet first flown in 1954. A larger fuselage cross-section and other modifications resulted in the initial-production 707-120, powered by Pratt & Whitney JT3C turbojet engines, which first flew on December 20, 1957. Pan American World Airways began regular 707 service on October 26, 1958. Later derivatives included the shortened long-range 707-138, "hot and high" 707-220 and the stretched 707-320, all of which entered service in 1959. A smaller short-range variant, the 720, was introduced in 1960. The 707-420, a version of the stretched 707 with Rolls-Royce Conway turbofans, debuted in 1960, while Pratt & Whitney JT3D turbofans debuted on the 707-120B and 707-320B models in 1961 and 1962, respectively.

The 707 has been used on domestic, transcontinental, and transatlantic flights, and for cargo and military applications. A convertible passenger-freighter model, the 707-320C, entered service in 1963, and passenger 707s have been modified to freighter configurations. Military derivatives include the E-3 Sentry airborne reconnaissance aircraft and the C-137 Stratoliner VIP transports. A total of 865 Boeing 707s were produced and delivered along with over 800 military versions.

Stamps from Ireland and San Marino depicting a Boeing 707

Ireland 1999 Douglas DC3 , Boeing 707

San Marino Boeing 707 Aircraft 1v 1000L Sheetlet


2007 – Elizabeth II becomes the oldest monarch of the United Kingdom, surpassing Queen Victoria, who lived for 81 years, seven months and 29 days.

Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor; born 21 April 1926) is Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms.

Elizabeth was born in London as the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York, later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, and she was educated privately at home. Her father acceded to the throne on the abdication of his brother King Edward VIII in 1936, from which time she was the heir presumptive. She began to undertake public duties during the Second World War, serving in the Auxiliary Territorial Service. In 1947, she married Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, a former prince of Greece and Denmark, with whom she has four children: Charles, Prince of Wales; Anne, Princess Royal; Prince Andrew, Duke of York; and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex

Stamps from Great Britain depicting Elizabeth II

Elizabeth II  1953 Sg 530 1s3d Green Tudor

GB SG y1801, Scott M281 2 pounds dull blue elliptical Machin

Guernsey Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee

Great Britain , 1952_54 , Queen Elizabeth II , Set Of 4

Thursday, December 19, 2019

December 19th in stamps Bering, Alzheimer, Constantine I, Leonid Brezhnev

Here are some events that happened on December 19th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day

1741 Died: Vitus Bering, Danish-Russian hydrographer and explorer (b. 1681)

Vitus Jonassen Bering (baptised 5 August 1681, died 19 December 1741), also known as Ivan Ivanovich Bering, was a Danish cartographer and explorer in Russian service, and an officer in the Russian Navy. He is known as a leader of two Russian expeditions, namely the First Kamchatka Expedition and the Great Northern Expedition, exploring the north-eastern coast of the Asian continent and from there the western coast on the North American continent. The Bering Strait, the Bering Sea, Bering Island, the Bering Glacier and the Bering Land Bridge were all named in his honor.

Taking to the seas at the age of 18, Bering travelled extensively over the next eight years, as well as taking naval training in Amsterdam. In 1704, he enrolled with the rapidly expanding Russian navy of Tsar Peter I (Peter the Great). After serving with the navy in significant but non-combat roles during the Great Northern War, Bering resigned in 1724 to avoid the continuing embarrassment of his low rank to Anna, his wife of eleven years; and upon retirement was promoted to First Captain. Bering was permitted to keep the rank as he rejoined the Russian navy later the same year.

He was selected by the Tsar to captain the First Kamchatka Expedition, an expedition set to sail north from Russian outposts on the Kamchatka peninsula, with the charge to map the new areas visited and to establish whether Asia and America shared a land border. Bering departed from St. Petersburg in February 1725 as the head of a 34-man expedition, aided by the expertise of Lieutenants Martin Spangberg and Aleksei Chirikov. The party took on men as it headed towards Okhotsk, encountering many difficulties (most notably a lack of food) before arriving at the settlement. From there, the men sailed to the Kamchatka peninsula, preparing new ships there and sailing north (repeating a little-documented journey of Semyon Dezhnyov eighty years previously). In August 1728, Bering decided that they had sufficient evidence that there was clear sea between Asia and America, which he did not sight during the trip. For the first expedition, Bering was rewarded with money, prestige, and a promotion to the noble rank of Captain Commander. He immediately started preparations for a second trip.

Having returned to Okhotsk with a much larger, better prepared, and much more ambitious expedition, Bering set off for an expedition towards North America in 1741. While doing so, the expedition spotted Mount Saint Elias, and sailed past Kodiak Island. A storm separated the ships, but Bering sighted the southern coast of Alaska, and a landing was made at Kayak Island or in the vicinity. Adverse conditions forced Bering to return, but he documented some of the Aleutian Islands on his way back. One of the sailors died and was buried on one of these islands, and Bering named the island group Shumagin Islands after him. Bering himself became too ill to command his ship, which was at last driven to seek refuge on an uninhabited island in the Commander Islands group (Komandorskiye Ostrova) in the southwest Bering Sea. On 19 December 1741 Vitus Bering died on the island, which was given the name Bering Island after him, near the Kamchatka Peninsula, reportedly from scurvy (although this has been contested), along with 28 men of his company.

Stamps from Russia and Denmark depicting Bering and the Bering Sea

Russia Death bicentenary of Vitus Bering

Denmark Death bicentenary of Vitus Bering

Vitus Bering - Russian Cartographer and Explorer


1915 Died: Alois Alzheimer, German psychiatrist and neuropathologist (b. 1864)

Aloysius Alzheimer (also known as Alois Alzheimer; June 14, 1864 – December 19, 1915) was a German psychiatrist and neuropathologist and a colleague of Emil Kraepelin. Alzheimer is credited with identifying the first published case of "presenile dementia", which Kraepelin would later identify as Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimer discussed his findings on the brain pathology and symptoms of presenile dementia publicly on 3 November 1906, at the Tübingen meeting of the Southwest German Psychiatrists. The attendees at this lecture seemed uninterested in what he had to say. The lecturer that followed Alzheimer was to speak on the topic of "compulsive masturbation", which the audience was so eagerly awaiting that they sent Alzheimer away without any questions or comments on his discovery of the pathology of a type of senile dementia.

Following the lecture, Alzheimer published a short paper summarizing his lecture; in 1907 he wrote a larger paper detailing the disease and his findings. The disease would not become known as Alzheimer's disease until 1910, when Kraepelin named it so in the chapter on "Presenile and Senile Dementia" in the 8th edition of his Handbook of Psychiatry. By 1911, his description of the disease was being used by European physicians to diagnose patients in the US.


Stamps from USA, Denmark and Spain issued to raise awareness to Alzheimer's disease

Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Full Sheet

Danmark Alzheimer Union

Spain 2010 day world Alzheimer


1920 – King Constantine I is restored as King of the Hellenes after the death of his son Alexander of Greece and a plebiscite.

Constantine I (2 August 1868 – 11 January 1923) was King of Greece from 1913 to 1917 and from 1920 to 1922. He was commander-in-chief of the Hellenic Army during the unsuccessful Greco-Turkish War of 1897 and led the Greek forces during the successful Balkan Wars of 1912–1913, in which Greece expanded to include Thessaloniki, doubling in area and population. He succeeded to the throne of Greece on 18 March 1913, following his father's assassination.

His disagreement with Eleftherios Venizelos over whether Greece should enter World War I led to the National Schism. Constantine forced Venizelos to resign twice, but in 1917 he left Greece, after threats by the Entente forces to bombard Athens; his second son, Alexander, became king. After Alexander's death, Venizelos' defeat in the 1920 legislative elections, and a plebiscite in favor of his return, Constantine was reinstated. He abdicated the throne for the second and last time in 1922, when Greece lost the Greco-Turkish War of 1919–1922, and was succeeded by his eldest son, George II. Constantine died in exile four months later, in Sicily.

Greek stamps depicting Constantine  I

Greece: Constantine I Mourning stamps with black edges/perforations


Greece. Statue of King Constantine on Horse Year : 1938



1906 Born: Leonid Brezhnev, Ukrainian-Russian marshal, engineer, and politician, 4th Head of State of the Soviet Union (d. 1982)

Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev (19 December 1906 – 10 November 1982) was a Soviet politician. The fifth leader of the Soviet Union, he served as General Secretary of the Central Committee of the governing Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) from 1964 until his death in 1982. His 18-year term as general secretary was second only to Joseph Stalin's in duration. While Brezhnev's rule was characterized by political stability and notable foreign policy successes, it was also marked by corruption, inefficiency, and rapidly growing technological gaps with the West.

Brezhnev's conservative, pragmatic approach to leadership significantly stabilized the position of the Soviet Union and its ruling party. Whereas Khrushchev routinely disregarded the rest of the Politburo while exercising his authority, Brezhnev was careful to minimize dissent among the Party membership by reaching decisions through consensus. Additionally, while pushing for détente between the two Cold War superpowers, he achieved Soviet nuclear parity with the United States and legitimized his country's hegemony over Eastern Europe. Furthermore, the massive arms buildup and widespread military interventionism under Brezhnev's regime significantly expanded the Soviet Union's global influence (particularly in the Middle East and Africa).

Conversely, Brezhnev's hostility to political reform ushered in an era of societal decline known as the Brezhnev Stagnation. In addition to pervasive corruption and falling economic growth, this period was characterized by an increasing technological gap between the Soviet Union and the West. Upon coming to power in 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev denounced Brezhnev's government for its pervasive inefficiency and inflexibility before implementing policies to liberalize the Soviet Union.

After 1975, Brezhnev's health rapidly deteriorated and he increasingly withdrew from international affairs. Following years of declining health, he died on 10 November 1982 and was succeeded as general secretary by Yuri Andropov.

Stamps from Russia and East Germany depicting Leonid Brezhnev

Germany DDR GDR 1972 25 Yrs Geman-Soviet Friendship Brezhnev Honecker
Russia 1977 1v from block Secretary General Brezhnev

Russia 1981 L Brezhnev Indira Gandhi India




Wednesday, December 18, 2019

December 18th in stamps Stradivari, Franz Ferdinand, Stalin, Brandt, Mohorovicic

Here are some events that happened on December 18th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day


1737 Died: Antonio Stradivari, Italian instrument maker (b. 1644)

Antonio Stradivari (1644 – 18 December 1737) was an Italian luthier and a crafter of string instruments such as violins, cellos, guitars, violas, and harps. The Latinized form of his surname, Stradivarius, as well as the colloquial Strad are terms often used to refer to his instruments. It is estimated that Stradivari produced 1,116 instruments, 960 of which were violins. Around 650 instruments survived, including 450 to 512 violins.

 Stamps from Italy and San Marino depicting Antonio Stradivari

Antonio Stradivari Italy 1937

Antonio Stradivari San Marino


1863 Born: Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria (d. 1914)

Archduke Franz Ferdinand Carl Ludwig Joseph Maria of Austria (18 December 1863 – 28 June 1914) was the heir presumptive to the throne of Austria-Hungary. His assassination in Sarajevo precipitated Austria-Hungary's declaration of war against Serbia, which in turn triggered a series of events that eventually led to Austria-Hungary's allies and Serbia's declaring war on each other, starting World War I.

Bosnian stamps issued in 1917 depicting Franz Ferdinand

Franz Ferdinand Bosnia 1917

Franz Ferdinand Bosnia 1917



1878 Born: Joseph Stalin, Georgian-Russian marshal and politician, 4th Premier of the Soviet Union (d. 1953)

Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin (18 December 1878 – 5 March 1953) was a Georgian revolutionary and Soviet politician who led the Soviet Union from the mid–1920s until 1953 as the general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1922–1952) and premier of the Soviet Union (1941–1953). Despite initially governing the Soviet Union as part of a collective leadership, he eventually consolidated power to become the country's de facto dictator by the 1930s. A communist ideologically committed to the Leninist interpretation of Marxism, Stalin formalised these ideas as Marxism–Leninism, while his own policies are known as Stalinism.

Born to a poor family in Gori in the Russian Empire (now Georgia), Stalin joined the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party as a youth. He edited the party's newspaper, Pravda, and raised funds for Vladimir Lenin's Bolshevik faction via robberies, kidnappings, and protection rackets. Repeatedly arrested, he underwent several internal exiles. After the Bolsheviks seized power during the 1917 October Revolution and created a one-party state under Lenin's newly renamed Communist Party, Stalin joined its governing Politburo. Serving in the Russian Civil War before overseeing the Soviet Union's establishment in 1922, Stalin assumed leadership over the country following Lenin's 1924 death. Under Stalin, "Socialism in One Country" became a central tenet of the party's dogma. Through the Five-Year Plans, the country underwent agricultural collectivisation and rapid industrialisation, creating a centralised command economy. This led to significant disruptions in food production that contributed to the famine of 1932–33. To eradicate accused "enemies of the working class", Stalin instituted the "Great Purge", in which over a million were imprisoned and at least 700,000 executed between 1934 and 1939. By 1937, he had complete personal control over the party and state.

Stalin's government promoted Marxism–Leninism abroad through the Communist International and supported European anti-fascist movements during the 1930s, particularly in the Spanish Civil War. In 1939, it signed a non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany, resulting in the Soviet invasion of Poland. Germany ended the pact by invading the Soviet Union in 1941. Despite initial setbacks, the Soviet Red Army repelled the German incursion and captured Berlin in 1945, ending World War II in Europe. The Soviets annexed the Baltic states and helped establish Soviet-aligned governments throughout Central and Eastern Europe, China, and North Korea. The Soviet Union and the United States emerged from the war as global superpowers. Tensions arose between the Soviet-backed Eastern Bloc and U.S.-backed Western Bloc which became known as the Cold War. Stalin led his country through the post-war reconstruction, during which it developed a nuclear weapon in 1949. In these years, the country experienced another major famine and an anti-semitic campaign peaking in the doctors' plot. After Stalin's death in 1953 he was eventually succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev, who denounced his predecessor and initiated the de-Stalinisation of Soviet society.

Widely considered one of the 20th century's most significant figures, Stalin was the subject of a pervasive personality cult within the international Marxist–Leninist movement which revered him as a champion of the working class and socialism. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Stalin has retained popularity in Russia and Georgia as a victorious wartime leader who established the Soviet Union as a major world power. Conversely, his totalitarian government has been widely condemned for overseeing mass repressions, ethnic cleansing, deportations, hundreds of thousands of executions, and famines which killed millions.

Stamps from Russia and China depicting Stalin






1913 Born: Willy Brandt, German politician, 4th Chancellor of Germany, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1992)

Willy Brandt (18 December 1913 – 8 October 1992) was a German statesman who was leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) from 1964 to 1987 and served as Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) from 1969 to 1974. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1971 for his efforts to strengthen cooperation in western Europe through the EEC and to achieve reconciliation between West Germany and the countries of Eastern Europe. He was the first Social Democrat chancellor since 1930.

Fleeing to Norway and then Sweden during the Nazi regime and working as a left-wing journalist, he took the name Willy Brandt as a pseudonym to avoid detection by Nazi agents, and then formally adopted the name in 1948. Brandt was originally considered one of the leaders of the right wing of the SPD, and earned initial fame as Governing Mayor of West Berlin. He served as Foreign Minister and as Vice Chancellor in Kurt Georg Kiesinger's cabinet, and became chancellor in 1969. As chancellor, he maintained West Germany's close alignment with the United States and focused on strengthening European integration in western Europe, while launching the new policy of Ostpolitik aimed at improving relations with Eastern Europe. Brandt was controversial on both the right wing, for his Ostpolitik, and on the left wing, for his support of American policies, including the Vietnam War, and right-wing authoritarian regimes. The Brandt Report became a recognised measure for describing the general North-South divide in world economics and politics between an affluent North and a poor South. Brandt was also known for his fierce anti-communist policies at the domestic level, culminating in the Radikalenerlass (Anti-Radical Decree) in 1972.

Brandt resigned as chancellor in 1974, after Günter Guillaume, one of his closest aides, was exposed as an agent of the Stasi, the East German secret service.

German stamps depicting Willy Brandt

80th Anniversary of the Birth of Willy Brandt

Willy Brandt, German lawyer and politician, 4th Chancellor of Germany, Nobel Prize laureate


1936 Died: Andrija Mohorovičić, Croatian meteorologist and seismologist (b. 1857)

Andrija Mohorovičić (23 January 1857 – 18 December 1936) was a Croatian meteorologist and seismologist. He is best known for the eponymous Mohorovičić discontinuity and is considered as one of the founders of modern seismology.

On 8 October 1909 there was an earthquake with its epicentre in the Pokuplje region, 39 km southeast of Zagreb. A number of seismographs had been installed beforehand and these provided invaluable data, upon which he made new discoveries. He concluded that when seismic waves strike the boundary between different types of material, they are reflected and refracted, just as light is when striking a prism, and that when earthquakes occur, two waves—longitudinal and transverse—propagate through the soil with different velocities. By analyzing data from more observation posts, Mohorovičić concluded that the Earth has several layers above a core. He was the first to establish, based on the evidence from seismic waves, the discontinuity that separates the Earth's crust from its mantle. This is now called the Mohorovičić discontinuity or (because of the complexity of that name) Moho. According to Mohorovičić, a layered structure would explain the observation of depths where seismic waves change speed and the difference in chemical composition between rocks from the crust and those from the mantle. From the data, he estimated the thickness of the upper layer (crust) to be 54 km. We know today that the crust is 5–9 km below the ocean floor and 25–60 km below the continents, which are carried on tectonic plates. Subsequent study of the Earth's interior confirmed the existence of the discontinuity under all continents and oceans.

Mohorovičić assumed that the velocity of seismic waves increases with the depth. The function he proposed to calculate the velocity of seismic waves is called the Mohorovičić law. He developed a method for determining earthquake epicenters and constructed curves giving the travel times of seismic waves over distances of up to 10,000 miles from the source. He also proposed the construction of a new type of seismograph for recording the ground horizontal movement, but due to lack of funds the project was never realized.

As early as 1909 Mohorovičić started giving lectures that both architects and building contractors should follow, ahead of his time setting some of the basic principles of earthquake-resistant design. Mohorovičić's theories were visionary and were only truly understood many years later from detailed observations of the effects of earthquakes on buildings, deep focus earthquakes, locating earthquake epicenters, Earth models, seismographs, harnessing the energy of the wind, hail defence and other related elements of the geological body of knowledge known as geoscience.

Yugoslavian stamp depicting Mohorovičić

Andrija_Mohorovičić_1963_Yugoslavia_stamp




Tuesday, December 17, 2019

December 17th in stamps Unfinished Symphony Franz Schubert, Leopold II, Douglas DC-3

Here are some events that happened on December 17th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day


1865 – First performance of the Unfinished Symphony by Franz Schubert.

Franz Peter Schubert (31 January 1797 – 19 November 1828) was an Austrian composer of the late Classical and early Romantic eras.
Despite his short lifetime, Schubert left behind a vast oeuvre, including more than 600 secular vocal works (mainly lieder), seven complete symphonies, sacred music, operas, incidental music and a large body of piano and chamber music.

His major works include the Piano Quintet in A major, D. 667 (Trout Quintet), the Symphony No. 8 in B minor, D. 759 (Unfinished Symphony), the ”Great” Symphony No. 9 in C major, D. 944, the three last piano sonatas (D. 958–960), the opera Fierrabras (D. 796), the incidental music to the play Rosamunde (D.797), and the song cycles Die schöne Müllerin (D. 795) and Winterreise (D.911).

Born in the Himmelpfortgrund suburb of Vienna, Schubert's uncommon gifts for music were evident from an early age. His father gave him his first violin lessons and his older brother gave him piano lessons, but Schubert soon exceeded their abilities. In 1808, at the age of eleven, he became a pupil at the Stadtkonvikt school, where he became acquainted with the orchestral music of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. He left the Stadtkonvikt at the end of 1813, and returned home to live with his father, where he began studying to become a schoolteacher; despite this, he continued his studies in composition with Antonio Salieri and still composed prolifically. In 1821, Schubert was granted admission to the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde as a performing member, which helped establish his name among the Viennese citizenry. He gave a concert of his own works to critical acclaim in March 1828, the only time he did so in his career. He died eight months later at the age of 31, the cause officially attributed to typhoid fever, but believed by some historians to be syphilis.

Appreciation of Schubert's music while he was alive was limited to a relatively small circle of admirers in Vienna, but interest in his work increased significantly in the decades following his death. Felix Mendelssohn, Robert Schumann, Franz Liszt, Johannes Brahms and other 19th-century composers discovered and championed his works. Today, Schubert is ranked among the grophetic of the later Romantic movement, with astonishing vertical spacing occurring for example at the beginning of the development.

Franz Schubert's Symphony No. 8 in B minor, D 759 (sometimes renumbered as Symphony No. 7, in accordance with the revised Deutsch catalogue and the Neue Schubert-Ausgabe), commonly known as the Unfinished Symphony (German: Unvollendete), is a musical composition that Schubert started in 1822 but left with only two movements—though he lived for another six years. A scherzo, nearly completed in piano score but with only two pages orchestrated, also survives.

Schubert's Eighth Symphony is sometimes called the first Romantic symphony due to its emphasis on the lyrical impulse within the dramatic structure of Classical sonata form. Furthermore, its orchestration is not solely tailored for functionality, but specific combinations of instrumental timbre that are prophetic of the later Romantic movement, with astonishing vertical spacing occurring for example at the beginning of the development.

To this day, musicologists still disagree as to why Schubert failed to complete the symphony. Some have speculated that he stopped work in the middle of the scherzo in the fall of 1822 because he associated it with his initial outbreak of syphilis—or that he was distracted by the inspiration for his Wanderer Fantasy for solo piano, which occupied his time and energy immediately afterward. It could have been a combination of both factors

Stamps from Austria and Germany depicting Schubert

Austria 1947 Franz Schubert  Composer Music

Austria 1978 Franz Schubert  Composer Music

Austria  Franz Schubert  Composer Music

Germany 1997 Franz Schubert


1909 Died: Leopold II of Belgium (b. 1835)

Leopold II (9 April 1835 – 17 December 1909) was King of the Belgians from 1865 to 1909. Born in Brussels as the second but eldest surviving son of Leopold I and Louise of Orléans, he succeeded his father to the Belgian throne in 1865 and reigned for 44 years until his death – the longest reign of any Belgian monarch. He died without surviving male heirs. The current Belgian king descends from his nephew and successor, Albert I.

Leopold was the founder and sole owner of the Congo Free State, a private project undertaken on his own behalf. He used Henry Morton Stanley to help him lay claim to the Congo, the present-day Democratic Republic of the Congo. At the Berlin Conference of 1884–1885, the colonial nations of Europe authorized his claim by committing the Congo Free State to improving the lives of the native inhabitants. Leopold ignored these conditions and ran the Congo using the mercenary Force Publique for his personal gain. He extracted a fortune from the territory, initially by the collection of ivory, and after a rise in the price of rubber in the 1890s, by forced labor from the native population to harvest and process rubber. He used great sums of the money from this exploitation for public and private construction projects in Belgium during this period. He donated the private buildings to the state before his death, to preserve them for Belgium.

Leopold's administration of the Congo was characterized by murder, torture, and atrocities, resulting from notorious systematic brutality. The hands of men, women, and children were amputated when the quota of rubber was not met. These and other facts were established at the time by eyewitness testimony and on site inspection by an international Commission of Inquiry (1904).
Millions of the Congolese people died: modern estimates range from 1 million to 15 million deaths, with a consensus growing around 10 million. Some historians argue against this figure, citing the absence of reliable censuses, the enormous mortality of diseases such as smallpox or sleeping sickness, and the fact that there were only 175 administrative agents in charge of rubber exploitation.

In 1908, the reports of deaths and abuse induced the Belgian government to take over the administration of the Congo from Leopold.

Stamps from Belgium and Belgian Congo depicting Leopold II

Belgium 1883 King Leopold II 10c Carmine

Belgium 1884 Leopold II 1 Franc

Belgium 1893 Leopold II, tab 1 franc

I887-94 Belgian Congo King Leopold II



1935 – First flight of the Douglas DC-3.

The Douglas DC-3 is a propeller-driven airliner which had a lasting effect on the airline industry in the 1930s/1940s and World War II. It was developed as a larger, improved 14-bed sleeper version of the Douglas DC-2. It is a low-wing metal monoplane with a tailwheel landing gear, powered by two 1,200 hp (890 kW) Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp radial piston engines. It has a cruise speed of 207 mph (333 km/h), capacity of 21 to 32 passengers or 6,000 lbs (2,700 kg) of cargo, a range of 1,500 mi (2,400 km), and could operate from short runways.

Before the war, it pioneered many air travel routes as it could cross the continental US and made worldwide flights possible, carried passengers in greater comfort, was reliable and easy to maintain. It is considered the first airliner that could profitably carry only passengers. Following the war, the airliner market was flooded with surplus military transport aircraft, and the DC-3 could not be upgraded by Douglas due to cost. It was made obsolete on main routes by more advanced types such as the Douglas DC-6 and Lockheed Constellation, but the design proved adaptable and useful.

Civil DC-3 production ended in 1942 at 607 aircraft. Military versions, including the C-47 Skytrain (the Dakota in British RAF service), and Soviet- and Japanese-built versions, brought total production to over 16,000. Many continue to see service in a variety of niche roles: 2,000 DC-3s and military derivatives were estimated to be still flying in 2013.

Stamps from Germany, France, Monaco, Egypt and Poland depicting the Douglas DC-3 airplane

Berlin Aviation History Douglas Dc3

Egypt Air Douglas Dc 3

France 1964, Plane Douglas DC-3

Monaco Air Douglas Dc 3 1000 F

Poland Air Douglas Dc 3

Sunday, December 15, 2019

December 15th in stamps Vermeer, Eiffel, Oscar Niemeyer, Tower of Pisa, Henri Becquerel

Here are some events that happened on December 15th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day


1675 Died: Johannes Vermeer, Dutch painter and educator (b. 1632)

Johannes Vermeer (October 1632 – December 1675) was a Dutch Baroque Period painter who specialized in domestic interior scenes of middle class life. He was a moderately successful provincial genre painter in his lifetime but evidently was not wealthy, leaving his wife and children in debt at his death, perhaps because he produced relatively few paintings.

Vermeer worked slowly and with great care, and frequently used very expensive pigments. He is particularly renowned for his masterly treatment and use of light in his work.

Vermeer painted mostly domestic interior scenes. "Almost all his paintings are apparently set in two smallish rooms in his house in Delft; they show the same furniture and decorations in various arrangements and they often portray the same people, mostly

He was recognized during his lifetime in Delft and The Hague, but his modest celebrity gave way to obscurity after his death. He was barely mentioned in Arnold Houbraken's major source book on 17th-century Dutch painting (Grand Theatre of Dutch Painters and Women Artists), and was thus omitted from subsequent surveys of Dutch art for nearly two centuries.  In the 19th century, Vermeer was rediscovered by Gustav Friedrich Waagen and Théophile Thoré-Bürger, who published an essay attributing 66 pictures to him, although only 34 paintings are universally attributed to him today. Since that time, Vermeer's reputation has grown, and he is now acknowledged as one of the greatest painters of the Dutch Golden Age. Like some major Dutch Golden Age artists such as Frans Hals and Rembrandt, Vermeer never went abroad. And like Rembrandt, he was an avid art collector and dealer.

In 2008, American entrepreneur and inventor Tim Jenison developed the theory that Vermeer had used a camera obscura along with a "comparator mirror", which is similar in concept to a camera lucida but much simpler and makes it easy to match color values. He later modified the theory to simply involve a concave mirror and a comparator mirror. He spent the next five years testing his theory by attempting to re-create The Music Lesson himself using these tools, a process captured in the 2013 documentary film Tim's Vermeer.

In December 1675, Vermeer died after a short illness. He was buried in the Protestant Old Church on 15 December 1675.

Stamps from France, Netherlands and Netherlands Antilles depicting Vermeer's works


France 1982 Painting “La Dentelliere” by Vermeer

Netherlands 1996 Johannes Vermeer Exhibition FDC

Netherlands 2014 Painting Vermeer Girl With a Pearl Earring Sheet

Netherlands Antilles 2008 Johannes Vermeer Painting Sheet


1832 Born: Gustave Eiffel, French architect and engineer, co-designed the Eiffel Tower (d. 1923)

Alexandre Gustave Eiffel (15 December 1832 – 27 December 1923) was a French civil engineer. A graduate of École Centrale Paris, he made his name building various bridges for the French railway network, most famously the Garabit viaduct. He is best known for the world-famous Eiffel Tower, built for the 1889 Universal Exposition in Paris, and his contribution to building the Statue of Liberty in New York.

In 1881 Eiffel was contacted by Auguste Bartholdi who was in need of an engineer to help him to realise the Statue of Liberty. Some work had already been carried out by Eugène Viollet-Le-Duc, but he had died in 1879. Eiffel was selected because of his experience with wind stresses. Eiffel devised a structure consisting of a four-legged pylon to support the copper sheeting which made up the body of the statue. The entire statue was erected at the Eiffel works in Paris before being dismantled and shipped to the United States.

After his retirement from engineering, Eiffel focused on research into meteorology and aerodynamics, making significant contributions in both fields.

Stamps depicting Eiffel. the Eiffel tower and the Statue of Liberty

France 1982 FDC Gustave Eiffel

France-Post 1939 Eiffel Tower

1956 Statue Of Liberty Souvenir Sheet 3c & 8c Fipex Sheet

1961 11c Statue of Liberty

2006 39c Statue of Liberty & Flag

France 1986 Statue Of Liberty



1852 Born: Henri Becquerel, French physicist and chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1908)

Antoine Henri Becquerel (15 December 1852 – 25 August 1908) was a French engineer, physicist, scientist, Nobel laureate, and the first person to discover evidence of radioactivity. For work in this field he, along with Marie Skłodowska-Curie (Marie Curie) and Pierre Curie, received the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics. 

In 1889, Becquerel became a member of the Académie des Sciences. In 1900, Becquerel won the Rumford Medal for his discovery of the radioactivity of uranium and he was made an Officer of the Legion of Honour. The Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities awarded him the Helmholtz Medal in 1901. In 1903, Henri shared a Nobel Prize in Physics with Pierre Curie and Marie Curie for the discovery of spontaneous radioactivity. In 1905, he was awarded the Barnard Medal by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. In 1906, Henri was elected Vice Chairman of the academy, and in 1908, the year of his death, Becquerel was elected Permanent Secretary of the Académie des Sciences. During his lifetime, Becquerel was honored with membership into the Accademia dei Lincei and the Royal Academy of Berlin.  Becquerel was elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society (ForMemRS) in 1908. Becquerel has been honored with being the namesake of many different scientific discoveries. The SI unit for radioactivity, the becquerel (Bq), is named after him. There is a crater named Becquerel on the Moon and also a crater named Becquerel on Mars. The uranium-based mineral becquerelite was named after Henri. 

French stamp depicting Henri Becquerel

France Henri Becquerel nobel prize in physics

1907 Born: Oscar Niemeyer, Brazilian architect, designed the United Nations Headquarters and the Cathedral of Brasília (d. 2012)


Oscar Ribeiro de Almeida Niemeyer Soares Filho (December 15, 1907 – December 5, 2012), known as Oscar Niemeyer, was a Brazilian architect considered to be one of the key figures in the development of modern architecture. Niemeyer was best known for his design of civic buildings for Brasília, a planned city that became Brazil's capital in 1960, as well as his collaboration with other architects on the headquarters of the United Nations in New York. His exploration of the aesthetic possibilities of reinforced concrete was highly influential in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

Both lauded and criticized for being a "sculptor of monuments", Niemeyer was hailed as a great artist and one of the greatest architects of his generation by his supporters. He said his architecture was strongly influenced by Le Corbusier, but in an interview, assured that this "didn't prevent [his] architecture from going in a different direction". Niemeyer was most famous for his use of abstract forms and curves and wrote in his memoirs:

I am not attracted to straight angles or to the straight line, hard and inflexible, created by man. I am attracted to free-flowing, sensual curves. The curves that I find in the mountains of my country, in the sinuousness of its rivers, in the waves of the ocean, and on the body of the beloved woman. Curves make up the entire Universe, the curved Universe of Einstein.

Niemeyer was educated at the Escola Nacional de Belas Artes at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, and after graduating, he worked at his father's typography house and as a draftsman for local architectural firms. In the 1930s, he interned with Lúcio Costa, with the pair collaborating on the design for the Palácio Gustavo Capanema in Rio de Janeiro. Niemeyer's first major project was a series of buildings for Pampulha, a planned suburb north of Belo Horizonte. His work, especially on the Church of Saint Francis of Assisi, received critical acclaim and drew international attention. Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, Niemeyer became one of Brazil's most prolific architects, working both domestically and overseas. This included the design of the Edifício Copan (a large residential building in São Paulo) and a collaboration with Le Corbusier (and others) on the United Nations Headquarters, which yielded invitations to teach at Yale University and the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

In 1956, Niemeyer was invited by Brazil's new president, Juscelino Kubitschek, to design the civic buildings for Brazil's new capital, which was to be built in the centre of the country, far from any existing cities. His designs for the National Congress of Brazil, the Cathedral of Brasília, the Palácio da Alvorada, the Palácio do Planalto, and the Supreme Federal Court, all designed by 1960, were experimental and linked by common design elements. This work led to his appointment as inaugural head of architecture at the University of Brasília, as well as honorary membership of the American Institute of Architects. Due to his largely left-wing ideology, and involvement with the Brazilian Communist Party (PCB), Niemeyer left the country after the 1964 military coup and opened an office in Paris. He returned to Brazil in 1985, and was awarded the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1988. A socialist and atheist from an early age, Niemeyer had spent time in both Cuba and the Soviet Union during his exile, and on his return served as the PCB's president from 1992 to 1996. Niemeyer continued working at the end of the 20th and early 21st century, notably designing the Niterói Contemporary Art Museum (1996) and the Oscar Niemeyer Museum (2002). Over a career of 78 years he designed approximately 600 projects. Niemeyer died in Rio de Janeiro on December 5, 2012, at the age of 104.

Brazil 2014 Tribute To Oscar Niemeyer, Architecture, Monuments



2001 – The Leaning Tower of Pisa reopens after 11 years and $27,000,000 spent to stabilize it, without fixing its famous lean.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa (Italian: Torre pendente di Pisa) or simply the Tower of Pisa (Torre di Pisa) is the campanile, or freestanding bell tower, of the cathedral of the Italian city of Pisa, known worldwide for its nearly four-degree lean, the result of an unstable foundation. The tower is situated behind the Pisa Cathedral and is the third-oldest structure in the city's Cathedral Square (Piazza del Duomo), after the cathedral and the Pisa Baptistry.

The height of the tower is 55.86 metres (183.27 feet) from the ground on the low side and 56.67 metres (185.93 feet) on the high side. The width of the walls at the base is 2.44 m (8 ft 0.06 in). Its weight is estimated at 14,500 metric tons (16,000 short tons). The tower has 296 or 294 steps; the seventh floor has two fewer steps on the north-facing staircase.

The tower began to lean during construction in the 12th century, due to soft ground which could not properly support the structure's weight, and it worsened through the completion of construction in the 14th century. By 1990 the tilt had reached 5.5 degrees. The structure was stabilized by remedial work between 1993 and 2001, which reduced the tilt to 3.97 degrees.


Italy Famous Architecture Pisa Leaning Tower stamp 1973

Italy Famous Architecture Pisa Leaning Tower stamp 1973 Maximum Card