Saturday, December 14, 2019

December 14th in stamps Quantum mechanics, Kitty Hawk, South Pole Expedition, Karl Rennen, George VI, Paul of Greece

Here are some events that happened on December 14th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day


1870 Born: Karl Renner, Austrian lawyer and politician, 4th President of Austria (d. 1950)

Karl Renner (14 December 1870 – 31 December 1950) was an Austrian politician of the Socialist Party. He is often referred to as the "Father of the Republic" because he led the first government of German-Austria and the First Austrian Republic in 1919 and 1920, and was once again decisive in establishing the present Second Republic after the fall of Nazi Germany in 1945, becoming its first President after World War II (and fourth overall).

In April 1945, just before the collapse of the Third Reich, the defeat of Germany and the end of the war, Renner set up a Provisional Government in Vienna with other politicians from the three revived parties Socialist Party (SPÖ), Austrian People's Party (ÖVP, a conservative successor to the Christian Social Party) and Communist Party (KPÖ). On 27 April, by a declaration, this Provisional Government separated Austria from Germany and campaigned for the country to be acknowledged as an independent republic. As a result of Renner's actions Austria was to benefit greatly in the eyes of the Allies as she had fulfilled the stipulation of the Moscow Declaration of 1943, where the Foreign Secretaries of US, UK and USSR declared that the annexation (Anschluss) of Austria by Germany was null and void calling for the establishment of a free Austria after the victory over Nazi Germany provided that Austria could demonstrate that she had undertaken suitable actions of her own in that direction. Thus Austria, having been invaded by Germany, was treated as an unwilling party and "the first victim" of Nazi Germany. Being suspicious of the fact that the Russians in Vienna were the first to accept Renner's Cabinet, the Western Allies hesitated half a year with their recognition, but his Provisional Government was in the end recognised by all Four Powers on October 20 and Renner was thus the first post-war Chancellor. In late 1945, he was elected the first President of the Second Republic.

Karl Renner died in 1950 in Vienna and was buried in the Presidential Tomb at the Zentralfriedhof.

Austrian stamps depicting Karl Renner

Austria 1946 Dr Karl Renner

Austria - Karl Renner  1951

Austria - Karl Renner  1948



1895 Born George VI of the United Kingdom (d. 1952)

George VI (Albert Frederick Arthur George; 14 December 1895 – 6 February 1952) was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 11 December 1936 until his death. He became known as a symbol of British determination to win the Second World War against Germany.

Known as "Bertie" among his family and close friends, George VI was born in the reign of his great-grandmother Queen Victoria and was named after his great-grandfather Albert, Prince Consort. As the second son of King George V, he was not expected to inherit the throne and spent his early life in the shadow of his elder brother, Edward. He attended naval college as a teenager, and served in the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force during the First World War. In 1920, he was made Duke of York. He married Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in 1923 and they had two daughters, Elizabeth and Margaret. In the mid-1920s, he had speech therapy for a stammer, which he never fully overcame.

George's elder brother ascended the throne as Edward VIII upon the death of their father in 1936. However, Edward was forced to choose between the crown and marriage to divorced American socialite Wallis Simpson. With the abdication of Edward to marry Simpson, George ascended the throne as the third monarch of the House of Windsor.

From 1939, the British Empire and Commonwealth – except Ireland – declared war on Nazi Germany. War with the Kingdom of Italy and the Empire of Japan followed in 1940 and 1941, respectively. The king and his family remained in London during the Blitz and his popularity soared as he shared the hardships of the common people. Britain and its allies were victorious in 1945, but the British Empire declined. Ireland had largely broken away, followed by independence of India and Pakistan in 1947. George relinquished the title of Emperor of India in June 1948 and instead adopted the new title of Head of the Commonwealth. He was beset by smoking-related health problems in the later years of his reign and died of coronary thrombosis in 1952. He was succeeded by his daughter, Elizabeth II.

Stamps from Bermuda, India, Hong Kong and Great Britain depicting George VI

Bermuda George VI 10

Great Britain 1939-48 10 Dark Blue

Hong Kong George VI 1938 $2 Red-orange & Green

Hong Kong Stamp 1938-52 $10 King George VI

India George VI 1935 10rs

India George VI 1937 5rs


1900 – Quantum mechanics: Max Planck presents a theoretical derivation of his black-body radiation law.

Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck (23 April 1858 – 4 October 1947) was a German theoretical physicist whose discovery of energy quanta won him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1918.

Planck made many contributions to theoretical physics, but his fame as a physicist rests primarily on his role as the originator of quantum theory, which revolutionized human understanding of atomic and subatomic processes. In 1948, the German scientific institution the Kaiser Wilhelm Society (of which Planck was twice president) was renamed the Max Planck Society (MPS). The MPS now includes 83 institutions representing a wide range of scientific directions.

Some stamps from Germany, East Germany and Berlin depicting Max Planck

50th Anniversary of the Max-Planck Society

Germany 2008 150th birthday of Max Planck

Germany (Berlin) - 1953, 30pf Max Planck stamp

Germany (East) DDR GDR 1958  Birth Centenary Max Planc



1901 Born: Paul of Greece (d. 1964)

Paul (Greek: Παύλος, Pávlos; 14 December 1901 – 6 March 1964) was King of Greece from 1947 until his death in 1964. He was succeeded by his son, Constantine II.

Paul was born at Tatoi Palace in Athens, the third son of King Constantine I of Greece and his wife, Princess Sophia of Prussia. He trained as an army officer at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst and later at the Hellenic Military Academy in Kypseli, Athens. Paul was an army officer cadet in the Coldstream Guards and Lieutenant with the Evzones.

Paul returned to Greece in 1946. He succeeded to the throne in 1947, on the death of his childless elder brother, King George II, during the Greek Civil War (between Greek Communists and the non-communist Greek government). In 1947 he was unable to attend the wedding of his first cousin, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh to the future Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom as he was suffering from typhoid fever.

By 1949 the Civil War was effectively over, with the Communist insurgents ceasing the majority of their operations, and the task of rebuilding the shattered north of the country began.

In the 1950s Greece recovered economically, and diplomatic and trade links were strengthened by Paul’s state visits abroad. He became the first Greek Monarch to visit a Turkish Head of State. However, links with Britain became strained over Cyprus, where the majority Greek population favored union with Greece, which Britain, as the colonial power, would not endorse. Eventually, Cyprus became an independent state in 1960.

In 1959, he had an operation for a cataract, and in 1963 an emergency operation for appendicitis. In late February 1964, he underwent a further operation for stomach cancer, and died about a week later in Athens. He was succeeded by his son, Constantine II.

Greek stamps depicting Paul

Greece 1952 King Paul Birthday

Greece  1964 King Paul

Greece King Paul Set



1903 – The Wright brothers make their first attempt to fly with the Wright Flyer at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

The Wright Flyer (often retrospectively referred to as Flyer I or 1903 Flyer) was the first successful heavier-than-air powered aircraft. It was designed and built by the Wright brothers. They flew it four times on December 17, 1903, near Kill Devil Hills, about four miles (6.4 km) south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Today, the airplane is exhibited in the National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. The U.S. Smithsonian Institution describes the aircraft as "the first powered, heavier-than-air machine to achieve controlled, sustained flight with a pilot aboard." The flight of Flyer I marks the beginning of the "pioneer era" of aviation.

Stamps issued by the US commemorating the first flight at Kitty Hawk


FDC Commemorating Kitty Hawk Stamp From Celebrate The Century

Wright Brothers First Flight.




1911 – Roald Amundsen's team, comprising himself, Olav Bjaaland, Helmer Hanssen, Sverre Hassel, and Oscar Wisting, becomes the first to reach the South Pole.


Roald Engelbregt Gravning Amundsen 16 July 1872 – c. 18 June 1928) was a Norwegian explorer of polar regions and a key figure of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. He led the first expedition to traverse the Northwest Passage by sea, from 1903 to 1906, and the first expedition to the South Pole in 1911. He led the first expedition to fly over the North Pole in a dirigible 1926. He disappeared while taking part in a rescue mission for the airship Italia in 1928.


Amundsen planned to take an expedition to the North Pole and explore the Arctic Basin. Finding it difficult to raise funds, when he heard in 1909 that the Americans Frederick Cook and Robert Peary had claimed to reach the North Pole as a result of two different expeditions, he decided to reroute to Antarctica. He was not clear about his intentions, and Robert F. Scott and the Norwegian supporters felt misled. Scott was planning his own expedition to the South Pole that year. Using the ship Fram, earlier used by Fridtjof Nansen, Amundsen left Oslo for the south on 3 June 1910.  At Madeira, Amundsen alerted his men that they would be heading to Antarctica, and sent a telegram to Scott: "Beg to inform you Fram proceeding Antarctic—Amundsen."

Nearly six months later, the expedition arrived at the eastern edge of the Ross Ice Shelf (then known as "the Great Ice Barrier"), at a large inlet called the Bay of Whales, on 14 January 1911. Amundsen established his base camp there, calling it Framheim. Amundsen eschewed the heavy wool clothing worn on earlier Antarctic attempts in favour of adopting Inuit-style furred skins.

Using skis and dog sleds for transportation, Amundsen and his men created supply depots at 80°, 81° and 82° South on the Barrier, along a line directly south to the Pole. Amundsen also planned to kill some of his dogs on the way and use them as a source for fresh meat. A small group, including Hjalmar Johansen, Kristian Prestrud and Jørgen Stubberud, set out on 8 September, but had to abandon their trek due to extreme temperatures. The painful retreat caused a quarrel within the group, and Amundsen sent Johansen and the other two men to explore King Edward VII Land.

A second attempt, with a team of five made up of Olav Bjaaland, Helmer Hanssen, Sverre Hassel, Oscar Wisting, and Amundsen, departed base camp on 19 October. They took four sledges and 52 dogs. Using a route along the previously unknown Axel Heiberg Glacier, they arrived at the edge of the Polar Plateau on 21 November after a four-day climb. The team and 16 dogs arrived at the pole on 14 December, a month before Scott's group. Amundsen named their South Pole camp Polheim. Amundsen renamed the Antarctic Plateau as King Haakon VII's Plateau. They left a small tent and letter stating their accomplishment, in case they did not return safely to Framheim.

The team arrived at Framheim on 25 January 1912, with 11 surviving dogs. They made their way off the continent and to Hobart, Australia, where Amundsen publicly announced his success on 7 March. He telegraphed news to backers.

Amundsen's expedition benefited from his careful preparation, good equipment, appropriate clothing, a simple primary task, an understanding of dogs and their handling, and the effective use of skis. In contrast to the misfortunes of Scott's team, Amundsen's trek proved relatively smooth and uneventful.


Stamps from Norway and Russia picturing Amundsen

2011 Norway South Pole, Roald Amundsen

Norway 1961, Roald Amundsen 50th anniv south pole arrival

Norway 1971, Roald Amundsen Antarctic Treaty

Russia Roald Amundsen, Norwegian Polar explorer, 1972

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