Showing posts with label Belgian Congo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Belgian Congo. Show all posts

Thursday, April 09, 2020

April 9th in stamps de La Salle, Zog I, Leopold II, Charles Proteus Steinmetz, Baudelaire

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


1682 – Robert Cavelier de La Salle discovers the mouth of the Mississippi River, claims it for France and names it Louisiana.

René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle (November 22, 1643 – March 19, 1687) was a 17th-century French explorer and fur trader in North America. He explored the Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada, the Mississippi River, and the Gulf of Mexico. He is best known for an early 1682 expedition in which he canoed the lower Mississippi River from the mouth of the Illinois River to the Gulf of Mexico and claimed the entire Mississippi River basin for France.

La Salle is often credited with being the first European to traverse the Ohio River, and sometimes the Mississippi as well. It has now been established that Joliet and Marquette preceded him on the Mississippi in their journey of 1673–74, and the existing historical evidence does not indicate that La Salle ever reached the Ohio/Allegheny Valley.

In early 1679, La Salle's expedition built Fort Conti at the mouth of the Niagara River on Lake Ontario. There they loaded supplies from Fort Frontenac into smaller boats (canoes or bateaux), so they could continue up the shallow and swiftly flowing lower Niagara River to what is now the location of Lewiston, New York. There the Iroquois had a well-established portage route which bypassed the rapids and the cataract later known as Niagara Falls.

In addition to the forts, which also served as authorized agencies for the extensive fur trade, La Salle's visits to Illinois and other Indians cemented the French policy of alliance with Indians in the common causes of containing both Iroquois influence and Anglo-American settlement. He also gave the name Louisiana to the interior North American territory he claimed for France, which lives on in the name of a US state.

French and Canadian stamp depicting René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle

Canada René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle

France 1982 René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle


1821 Born:  Charles Baudelaire, French poet and critic (d. 1867)

Charles Pierre Baudelaire (9 April 1821 – 31 August 1867) was a French poet who also produced notable work as an essayist, art critic, and pioneering translator of Edgar Allan Poe.

His most famous work, a book of lyric poetry titled Les Fleurs du mal (The Flowers of Evil), expresses the changing nature of beauty in the rapidly industrializing Paris during the mid-19th century. Baudelaire's highly original style of prose-poetry influenced a whole generation of poets including Paul Verlaine, Arthur Rimbaud and Stéphane Mallarmé, among many others. He is credited with coining the term "modernity" (modernité) to designate the fleeting, ephemeral experience of life in an urban metropolis, and the responsibility of artistic expression to capture that experience.

Stamps from France and Monaco depicting Charles Baudelaire

France, 1951 Baudelaire

Monaco - 1972 - 150 th Anniversary of the birth of Charles Baudelaire


1835 Born: Leopold II of Belgium (d. 1909)

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


1865 Born: Charles Proteus Steinmetz, Polish-American mathematician and engineer (d. 1923)

Charles Proteus Steinmetz (born Karl August Rudolph Steinmetz, April 9, 1865 – October 26, 1923) was a German-born American mathematician and electrical engineer and professor at Union College. He fostered the development of alternating current that made possible the expansion of the electric power industry in the United States, formulating mathematical theories for engineers. He made ground-breaking discoveries in the understanding of hysteresis that enabled engineers to design better electromagnetic apparatus equipment including especially electric motors for use in industry.

At the time of his death, Steinmetz held over 200 patents. A genius in both mathematics and electronics, he did work that earned him the nicknames "Forger of Thunderbolts" and "The Wizard of Schenectady". Steinmetz's equation, Steinmetz solids, Steinmetz curves, and Steinmetz equivalent circuit theory are all named after him, as are numerous honors and scholarships, including the IEEE Charles Proteus Steinmetz Award, one of the highest technical recognition given by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers professional society.

US stamp and First Day Cover depicting Charles Proteus Steinmetz

USA Charles Steinmetz


Charles Steinmetz FDC


1961 Died: Zog I of Albania (b. 1895)

Zog I, King of the Albanians (Albanian: Naltmadhnija e tij Zogu I, Mbreti i Shqiptarëve,  8 October 1895 – 9 April 1961), born Ahmet Muhtar Zogolli, taking the surname Zogu in 1922, was the leader of Albania from 1922 to 1939. He first served as Prime Minister of Albania (1922–1924), then as President (1925–1928), and finally as the first and only King (1928–1939).

Albanian stamps depicting Zog I

Albania King Zog

Albania King Zog

Albania King Zog color error

Wednesday, February 05, 2020

February 5th in stamps Leopold II Congo, Citroën , Penkala

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


1885 – King Leopold II of Belgium establishes the Congo as a personal possession.

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




1878 Born: André Citroën, French engineer and businessman, founded Citroën (d. 1935)

André-Gustave Citroën (5 February 1878 – 3 July 1935) was a French industrialist and freemason of Dutch and Polish Jewish origin. He is remembered chiefly for the make of car named after him, but also for his application of double helical gears.

Citroën founded the Citroën automobile company in 1919, leading it to become the fourth largest automobile manufacturer in the world by the beginning of the 1930s. Costs for developing the model Traction Avant, which improved the sales for the company, led to bankruptcy in 1934. It was taken over by the main creditor Michelin, who had provided tires for the cars.

He died in Paris, France, of stomach cancer in 1935 and was interred in the Cimetière du Montparnasse, the funeral being led by the Chief Rabbi of Paris.

Stamps depicting Citroën cars

Andorra French  Automobile CITROËN CX

Citroen Stamp Stamp France

Citroën Typ H Van Transporter

France - 2019 Stamp Day  Citroen Traction Car Minisheet

France Citroën Type A



1922 Died: Slavoljub Eduard Penkala, Croatian engineer, invented the mechanical pencil (b. 1871)

Slavoljub Eduard Penkala (20 April 1871 – 5 February 1922) was a Croatian engineer and inventor of Dutch-Polish descent. Eduard Penkala was born in Liptószentmiklós (now Liptovský Mikuláš), then part of Austria-Hungary, to Franciszek Pękała, who was of Polish heritage, and Maria Pękała (née Hannel), who was of Dutch descent. He attended the University of Vienna and Royal Saxon Polytechnic Institute, graduating from the latter on March 25, 1898, and going on to earn a doctorate in organic chemistry. During his studies, he attended violin lessons where he met his future wife, pianist Emily Stoffregen. He then moved with his wife to Zagreb (which was then in the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia). To mark his loyalty to his new homeland, he took on the Croatian name Slavoljub (the equivalent of slavophile), becoming a naturalized Croat.

He became renowned for further development of the mechanical pencil (1906) - then called an "automatic pencil" - and the first solid-ink fountain pen (1907). Collaborating with an entrepreneur by the name of Edmund Moster, he started the Penkala-Moster Company and built a pen-and-pencil factory that was one of the biggest in the world at the time. The company, now called TOZ Penkala, still exists today.

Croatian stamp issued to commemorate Penkala

Croatia 1994 Europa Inventions Penkala pencil Writing

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