Friday, October 16, 2020

October 16th in stamps Noah Webster, Robert Stephenson, Leonid Brezhnev

Here are some events that happened on October 16th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day


1758 Born: Noah Webster, American lexicographer (d. 1843)

Noah Webster Jr. (October 16, 1758 – May 28, 1843) was an American lexicographer, textbook pioneer, English-language spelling reformer, political writer, editor, and prolific author. He has been called the "Father of American Scholarship and Education". His "Blue-backed Speller" books taught five generations of American children how to spell and read. Webster's name has become synonymous with "dictionary" in the United States, especially the modern Merriam-Webster dictionary that was first published in 1828 as An American Dictionary of the English Language.

Born in West Hartford, Connecticut, Webster was graduated from Yale College in 1778. He passed the bar examination after studying law under Oliver Ellsworth and others, but was unable to find work as a lawyer. He found some financial success by opening a private school and writing a series of educational books, including the "Blue-Backed Speller." A strong supporter of the American Revolution and the ratification of the United States Constitution, Webster later criticized American society for being in need of an intellectual foundation. He believed that American nationalism was superior to Europe because American values were superior.

In 1793, Alexander Hamilton recruited Webster to move to New York City and become an editor for a Federalist Party newspaper. He became a prolific author, publishing newspaper articles, political essays, and textbooks. He returned to Connecticut in 1798 and served in the Connecticut House of Representatives. Webster founded the Connecticut Society for the Abolition of Slavery in 1791 but later became somewhat disillusioned with the abolitionist movement.

In 1806, Webster published his first dictionary, A Compendious Dictionary of the English Language. The following year, he started working on an expanded and comprehensive dictionary, finally publishing it in 1828. He was very influential in popularizing certain spellings in the United States. He was also influential in establishing the Copyright Act of 1831, the first major statutory revision of U.S. copyright law. While working on a second volume of his dictionary, Webster died in 1843, and the rights to the dictionary were acquired by George and Charles Merriam.

US stamp depicting Noah Webster

Noah Webster US Stamp



1803 Born: Robert Stephenson, English railway and civil engineer (d. 1859)

Robert Stephenson (16 October 1803 – 12 October 1859) was an English railway and civil engineer. The only son of George Stephenson, the "Father of Railways", he built on the achievements of his father. Robert has been called the greatest engineer of the 19th century.

Stamp from Great Britain with a postmark to commemorate Robert Stephenson's 125 year death anniversary

Robert Stephenson Death 125 years Newcastle 1984


1964 – Leonid Brezhnev becomes leader of the Soviet Communist Party, while Alexei Kosygin becomes the head of government.

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




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