Showing posts with label Berlin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Berlin. Show all posts

Thursday, June 04, 2020

June 4th in stamps montgolfière, Lafayette, Thorbecke, Emperor Wilhelm II

Here are some events that happened on June 4th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day


1783 – The Montgolfier brothers publicly demonstrate their montgolfière (hot air balloon).

Joseph-Michel Montgolfier (26 August 1740 – 26 June 1810) and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier (6 January 1745 – 2 August 1799) were paper manufacturers from Annonay, in Ardèche, France best known as inventors of the Montgolfière-style hot air balloon, globe aérostatique. They launched the first piloted ascent, carrying Jacques-Étienne. Joseph-Michel also invented the self-acting hydraulic ram (1796), Jacques-Étienne founded the first paper-making vocational school and the brothers invented a process to manufacture transparent paper.

Stamps from Austria and Berlin commemorating the montgolfière

Austria 1984 - First Manned Balloon Flight

Berlin Montgolfier Aviation History

Austria 1984 Maximum Card - First Manned Balloon Flight


1825 – General Lafayette, a French officer in the American Revolutionary War, speaks at what would become Lafayette Square, Buffalo, during his visit to the United States.

Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette (6 September 1757 – 20 May 1834), known in the United States simply as Lafayette, was a French aristocrat and military officer who fought in the American Revolutionary War, commanding American troops in several battles, including the Siege of Yorktown. After returning to France, he was a key figure in the French Revolution of 1789 and the July Revolution of 1830.

Lafayette was born into a wealthy land-owning family in Chavaniac in the province of Auvergne in south central France. He followed the family's martial tradition and was commissioned an officer at age 13. He became convinced that the American revolutionary cause was noble, and he traveled to the New World seeking glory in it. He was made a major general at age 19, but he was initially not given American troops to command. He was wounded during the Battle of Brandywine but still managed to organize an orderly retreat, and he served with distinction in the Battle of Rhode Island. In the middle of the war, he sailed for home to lobby for an increase in French support. He returned to America in 1780 and was given senior positions in the Continental Army. In 1781, troops under his command in Virginia blocked forces led by Cornwallis until other American and French forces could position themselves for the decisive Siege of Yorktown.

Lafayette returned to France and was appointed to the Assembly of Notables in 1787, convened in response to the fiscal crisis. He was elected a member of the Estates General of 1789, where representatives met from the three traditional orders of French society: the clergy, the nobility, and the commoners. After forming the National Constituent Assembly, he helped to write the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen with Thomas Jefferson's assistance. This document was inspired by the United States Declaration of Independence and invoked natural law to establish basic principles of the democratic nation-state. He also advocated the end of slavery, in keeping with the philosophy of natural liberty. After the storming of the Bastille, he was appointed commander-in-chief of France's National Guard and tried to steer a middle course through the years of revolution. In August 1792, radical factions ordered his arrest, and he fled into the Austrian Netherlands. He was captured by Austrian troops and spent more than five years in prison.

Lafayette returned to France after Napoleon Bonaparte secured his release in 1797, though he refused to participate in Napoleon's government. After the Bourbon Restoration of 1814, he became a liberal member of the Chamber of Deputies, a position which he held for most of the remainder of his life. In 1824, President James Monroe invited him to the United States as the nation's guest, and he visited all 24 states in the union and met a rapturous reception. During France's July Revolution of 1830, he declined an offer to become the French dictator. Instead, he supported Louis-Philippe as king, but turned against him when the monarch became autocratic. He died on 20 May 1834 and is buried in Picpus Cemetery in Paris, under soil from Bunker Hill. He is sometimes known as "The Hero of the Two Worlds" for his accomplishments in the service of both France and the United States.

US stamp and First Day Cover depicting Lafayette


Marquis de Lafayette US Single

Usa Fdc Marquis De Lafayette



1872 Died: Johan Rudolph Thorbecke, Dutch historian, jurist, and politician, Prime Minister of the Netherlands (b. 1798)

Johan Rudolph Thorbecke (14 January 1798 – 4 June 1872) was a Dutch statesman of a liberal bent, one of the most important Dutch politicians of the 19th century. In 1848, he virtually single-handedly drafted the revision of the Constitution of the Netherlands, giving less power to the king and more to the States General, and guaranteeing more religious, personal and political freedom to the people.

Hated by some (he was not a man of concessions), he is nowadays considered a towering figure in Dutch parliamentary history. There are three statues of Thorbecke (one in Amsterdam, one in The Hague and one in Zwolle) and a room in the Dutch parliament building is named after him.

Thorbecke wrote many articles on history and several newspaper articles (especially in the Journal de La Haye) on topics of the day. He published a study on the philosophy of history (in German). All of his speeches in parliament have been published.

Stamp and First Day Cover issued in the Netherlands commemorating Thorbecke

Netherlands - 1972 Thorbecke

Netherlands - 1972 Thorbecke First Day Cover


1941 Died: Wilhelm II, German Emperor (b. 1859)

Wilhelm II or William II (German: Friedrich Wilhelm Viktor Albert; 27 January 1859 – 4 June 1941) was the last German Emperor (Kaiser) and King of Prussia. He reigned from 15 June 1888 until his abdication on 9 November 1918 shortly before Germany's defeat in World War I.

The eldest grandchild of Queen Victoria, Wilhelm's first cousins included King George V of the United Kingdom and many princesses who, along with Wilhelm's sister Sophia, became European consorts. For most of his life before becoming emperor, he was second in line to succeed his grandfather Wilhelm I on the German and Prussian thrones after his father, Crown Prince Frederick. His grandfather and father both died in 1888, the Year of Three Emperors, making Wilhelm emperor and king. He dismissed the country's longtime chancellor, Otto von Bismarck, in 1890.

Upon consolidating power as emperor, Wilhelm launched Germany on a bellicose "New Course" to cement its status as a respected world power. However, he frequently undermined this aim by making tactless, alarming public statements without consulting his ministers. He also did much to alienate his country from the other Great Powers by initiating a massive build-up of the German Navy, challenging French control over Morocco, and backing the Austrian annexation of Bosnia in 1908. His turbulent reign ultimately culminated in his guarantee of military support to Austria-Hungary during the crisis of July 1914, resulting in the outbreak of World War I. A lax wartime leader, he left virtually all decision-making regarding military strategy and organisation of the war effort in the hands of the German General Staff. This broad delegation of authority gave rise to a de facto military dictatorship whose belligerent foreign policy led to the United States' entry into the war on April 6, 1917. After losing the support of the German military and his subjects in November 1918, Wilhelm abdicated and fled to exile in the Netherlands, where he died in 1941.

Stamp issued by Germany depicting Wilhelm II

 

Postcard depicting Wilhelm II



Thursday, May 14, 2020

May 14th in stamps Louis XIV, Otto Klemperer, Frederick VIII of Denmark

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


1643 – Four-year-old Louis XIV becomes King of France upon the death of his father, Louis XIII.

Louis XIV (Louis Dieudonné; 5 September 1638 – 1 September 1715), known as Louis the Great (Louis le Grand) or the Sun King (le Roi Soleil), was King of France from 14 May 1643 until his death in 1715. His reign of 72 years and 110 days is the longest recorded of any monarch of a sovereign country in European history. In the age of absolutism in Europe, Louis XIV's France was a leader in the growing centralization of power.

Louis began his personal rule of France in 1661, after the death of his chief minister, the Italian Cardinal Mazarin. An adherent of the concept of the divine right of kings, Louis continued his predecessors' work of creating a centralized state governed from the capital. He sought to eliminate the remnants of feudalism persisting in parts of France and, by compelling many members of the nobility to inhabit his lavish Palace of Versailles, succeeded in pacifying the aristocracy, many members of which had participated in the Fronde rebellion during Louis' minority. By these means he became one of the most powerful French monarchs and consolidated a system of absolute monarchical rule in France that endured until the French Revolution.

Some France stamps and a maximum card depicting Louis XIV

Louis XIV Maxicard

Louis XIV Orange

Louis XIV



1885 Born: Otto Klemperer, German composer and conductor (d. 1973)

Otto Nossan Klemperer (14 May 1885 – 6 July 1973) was a Jewish German-born conductor and composer, described as "the last of the few really great conductors of his generation."

Klemperer studied music first at the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt, and later at the Stern Conservatory in Berlin under James Kwast and Hans Pfitzner. He followed Kwast to three institutions and credited him with the whole basis of his musical development. In 1905, he met Gustav Mahler while conducting the off-stage brass at a performance of Mahler's Symphony No. 2, Resurrection. He also made a piano reduction of the second symphony. The two men became friends, and Klemperer became conductor at the German Opera in Prague in 1907 on Mahler's recommendation. Mahler wrote a short testimonial, recommending Klemperer, on a small card which Klemperer kept for the rest of his life. Later, in 1910, Klemperer assisted Mahler in the premiere of his Symphony No. 8, Symphony of a Thousand.

Klemperer went on to hold a number of positions, in Hamburg (1910–1912); in Barmen (1912–1913); the Strasbourg Opera (1914–1917); the Cologne Opera (1917–1924); and the Wiesbaden Opera House (1924–1927). From 1927 to 1931, he was conductor at the Kroll Opera in Berlin. In this post he enhanced his reputation as a champion of new music, playing a number of new works, including Janáček's From the House of the Dead, Schoenberg's Erwartung, Stravinsky's Oedipus rex, and Hindemith's Cardillac.

Klemperer is less well known as a composer, but like other famous conductors such as Furtwängler, Walter and Markevitch, he wrote a number of pieces, including six symphonies (only the first two were published), a Mass, nine string quartets, many lieder and the opera Das Ziel. He tried periodically to have his music performed, as he had hopes of being remembered as a composer as well as a conductor, but found little success. His works have generally fallen into neglect since his death, although commercial recordings of a few of his symphonic pieces have been issued. Four of his string quartets and a selection of piano pieces and songs have been recorded in two limited edition CDs.

Berlin stamps depicting Otto Klemperer

Germany Berlin 1985 Music Birth Centenary Conductor Otto Klemperer

Germany Berlin 1985 Music Birth Centenary Conductor Otto Klemperer FDC



1912 Died: Frederick VIII of Denmark (b. 1843)

Frederick VIII (Christian Frederik Vilhelm Carl) (3 June 1843 – 14 May 1912) was King of Denmark from 1906 to 1912. Before his accession to the throne at age 62, he served as crown prince for over 42 years. During the long reign of his father, King Christian IX, he was largely excluded from influence and political power.

Frederick became king of Denmark as Frederick VIII upon Christian IX's death on 29 January 1906. He was 62 years old at the time and had been Crown Prince for 43 years. In many ways Frederick VIII was a liberal ruler who was much more favorable to the new parliamentarian system than his father had been. He was reform-minded and democratically inclined. However, because of his very late accession to the throne he had only six years as regent and he was weakened by ill health.


On his return journey from a trip to Nice, King Frederick made a short stop in Hamburg, staying at the Hotel Hamburger Hof. The evening of his arrival on 14 May 1912, Frederick (incognito) took a walk on the Jungfernstieg. While walking he became faint and collapsed on a park bench and died. He was discovered by a police officer who took him to a Hafen hospital where he was pronounced dead. His cause of death was announced as a paralysis-attack. He was interred with other members of the Danish royal family in Roskilde Cathedral near Copenhagen.

Stamps from the Danish West Indies depicting Frederick VIII of Denmark

Danish West Indies 1907 50b yellow & brown King Frederick,

Danish West Indies 1907 King Frederick

Monday, January 06, 2020

January 6th in stamps Braille, Mendel, Wegener, Roosevelt

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


1852 Died: Louis Braille, French educator, invented Braille (b. 1809)

Louis Braille (4 January 1809 – 6 January 1852) was a French educator and inventor of a system of reading and writing for use by the blind or visually impaired. His system remains virtually unchanged to this day, and is known worldwide simply as braille.

Blinded in both eyes as a result of an early childhood accident, Braille mastered his disability while still a boy. He excelled in his education and received a scholarship to France's Royal Institute for Blind Youth. While still a student there, he began developing a system of tactile code that could allow blind people to read and write quickly and efficiently. Inspired by the military cryptography of Charles Barbier, Braille constructed a new method built specifically for the needs of the blind. He presented his work to his peers for the first time in 1824.

In adulthood, Braille served as a professor at the Institute and had an avocation as a musician, but he largely spent the remainder of his life refining and extending his system. It went unused by most educators for many years after his death, but posterity has recognized braille as a revolutionary invention, and it has been adapted for use in languages worldwide.

Stamps from France, Monaco, East Germany, Vatican, Serbia and Montenegro depicting Louis Braille 

France 1948 Louis Braille

France 2009 - 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Louis Braille

Germany DDR 1975 World Braille Year

Monaco 2009 Louis Braille

Montenegro 2009 Louis Braille

Serbia 2009 Louis Braille Luja Braja

Vatican City 2009 Louis Braille Blind Educator

1884 Died: Gregor Mendel, Czech geneticist and botanist (b. 1822)

Gregor Johann Mendel (Czech: Řehoř Jan Mendel;  20 July 1822  – 6 January 1884) was a scientist, Augustinian friar and abbot of St. Thomas' Abbey in Brno, Margraviate of Moravia. Mendel was born in a German-speaking family  in the Silesian part of the Austrian Empire (today's Czech Republic) and gained posthumous recognition as the founder of the modern science of genetics. Though farmers had known for millennia that crossbreeding of animals and plants could favor certain desirable traits, Mendel's pea plant experiments conducted between 1856 and 1863 established many of the rules of heredity, now referred to as the laws of Mendelian inheritance. 

Mendel worked with seven characteristics of pea plants: plant height, pod shape and color, seed shape and color, and flower position and color. Taking seed color as an example, Mendel showed that when a true-breeding yellow pea and a true-breeding green pea were cross-bred their offspring always produced yellow seeds. However, in the next generation, the green peas reappeared at a ratio of 1 green to 3 yellow. To explain this phenomenon, Mendel coined the terms "recessive" and "dominant" in reference to certain traits. (In the preceding example, the green trait, which seems to have vanished in the first filial generation, is recessive and the yellow is dominant.) He published his work in 1866, demonstrating the actions of invisible "factors"—now called genes—in predictably determining the traits of an organism.

The profound significance of Mendel's work was not recognized until the turn of the 20th century (more than three decades later) with the rediscovery of his laws.  Erich von Tschermak, Hugo de Vries, Carl Correns and William Jasper Spillman independently verified several of Mendel's experimental findings, ushering in the modern age of genetics.

Stamps from Austria, Germany and the Vatican depicting Mendel

Austria Gregor Mendel, Basic Laws of Heredity

Germany Gregor Mendel, Basic Laws of Heredity First Day Cover

Germany Gregor Mendel, Basic Laws of Heredity

Vatican Gregor Mendel, Basic Laws of Heredity First Day Cover


1912 – German geophysicist Alfred Wegener first presents his theory of continental drift.

Alfred Lothar Wegener (1 November 1880 – November 1930) was a German polar researcher, geophysicist and meteorologist.

During his lifetime he was primarily known for his achievements in meteorology and as a pioneer of polar research, but today he is most remembered as the originator of the theory of continental drift by hypothesizing in 1912 that the continents are slowly drifting around the Earth (German: Kontinentalverschiebung). His hypothesis was controversial and not widely accepted until the 1950s, when numerous discoveries such as palaeomagnetism provided strong support for continental drift, and thereby a substantial basis for today's model of plate tectonics.   Wegener was involved in several expeditions to Greenland to study polar air circulation before the existence of the jet stream was accepted. Expedition participants made many meteorological observations and were the first to overwinter on the inland Greenland ice sheet and the first to bore ice cores on a moving Arctic glacier.

Stamps from Austria, Berlin and Greenland picturing Wegener 

Austria 1980 - Alfred Wegener - German Polar Researcher

Germany Berlin 1980 Alfred Wegener Map Theory of Continental Drift

Greenland Explorer Alfred Wegener


1919 Died: Theodore Roosevelt, American colonel and politician, 26th President of the United States (b. 1858)

Theodore Roosevelt Jr. (October 27, 1858 – January 6, 1919) was an American statesman, politician, conservationist, naturalist, and writer who served as the 26th president of the United States from 1901 to 1909. He served as the 25th vice president from March to September 1901 and as the 33rd governor of New York from 1899 to 1900. As a leader of the Republican Party, he became a driving force for the Progressive Era in the United States in the early 20th century. His face is depicted on Mount Rushmore alongside George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln. He is generally ranked in polls of historians and political scientists as one of the five best presidents. 

Roosevelt was a sickly child with debilitating asthma, but he overcame his health problems by embracing a strenuous lifestyle, as well as growing out of his asthma naturally in his young adult years. He integrated his exuberant personality, vast range of interests, and world-famous achievements into a "cowboy" persona defined by robust masculinity. He was home-schooled, and he began a lifelong naturalist avocation before attending Harvard College. His book The Naval War of 1812 (1882) established his reputation as a learned historian and as a popular writer. Upon entering politics, he became the leader of the reform faction of Republicans in New York's state legislature. His wife and his mother both died in rapid succession, and he escaped to a cattle ranch in the Dakotas. He served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy under President William McKinley, but he resigned from that post to lead the Rough Riders during the Spanish–American War, returning a war hero. He was elected Governor of New York in 1898. Vice President Garret Hobart died, and the New York state party leadership convinced McKinley to accept Roosevelt as his running mate in the 1900 election. Roosevelt campaigned vigorously, and the McKinley-Roosevelt ticket won a landslide victory based on a platform of peace, prosperity, and conservation.

Roosevelt took office as vice president in March 1901 and assumed the presidency at age 42 after McKinley was assassinated the following September. He remains the youngest person to become President of the United States. Roosevelt was a leader of the Progressive movement, and he championed his "Square Deal" domestic policies, promising the average citizen fairness, breaking of trusts, regulation of railroads, and pure food and drugs. He made conservation a top priority and established many new national parks, forests, and monuments intended to preserve the nation's natural resources. In foreign policy, he focused on Central America where he began construction of the Panama Canal. He expanded the Navy and sent the Great White Fleet on a world tour to project the United States' naval power around the globe. His successful efforts to broker the end of the Russo-Japanese War won him the 1906 Nobel Peace Prize. He avoided controversial tariff and money issues. Roosevelt was elected to a full term in 1904 and continued to promote progressive policies, many of which were passed in Congress. He groomed his close friend William Howard Taft, and Taft won the 1908 presidential election to succeed him.

Roosevelt grew frustrated with Taft's conservatism and belatedly tried to win the 1912 Republican nomination. He failed, walked out, and founded the so-called "Bull Moose" Party which called for wide-ranging progressive reforms. He ran in the 1912 election and the split allowed the Democratic nominee Woodrow Wilson to win the election. Following the defeat, Roosevelt led a two-year expedition to the Amazon basin where he nearly died of tropical disease. During World War I, he criticized President Wilson for keeping the country out of the war with Germany, and his offer to lead volunteers to France was rejected. He considered running for president again in 1920, but his health continued to deteriorate and he died in 1919.

US stamps depicting Teddy Roosevelt

1927 5c Theodore Roosevelt, Dark Blue

1938 30c Theodore Roosevelt Jr

1955 6c Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Teddy Roosevelt  FDC


Sunday, December 15, 2019

December 16th in stamps Beethoven, Jane Austen, Leopold I, Grimm, Narutowicz

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



1770 Born: Ludwig van Beethoven, composer (d. 1827)

Ludwig van Beethoven (baptized 17 December 1770 – 26 March 1827) was a German composer and pianist. A crucial figure in the transition between the classical and romantic eras in classical music, he remains one of the most recognized and influential musicians of this period, and is considered to be one of the greatest composers of all time.

Beethoven was born in Bonn, the capital of the Electorate of Cologne, and part of the Holy Roman Empire. He displayed his musical talents at an early age and was vigorously taught by his father Johann van Beethoven, and was later taught by composer and conductor Christian Gottlob Neefe. At age 21, he moved to Vienna and studied composition with Joseph Haydn. Beethoven then gained a reputation as a virtuoso pianist, and was soon courted by Prince Lichnowsky for compositions, which resulted in Opus 1 in 1795.

The piece was a great critical and commercial success, and was followed by Symphony No. 1 in 1800. This composition was distinguished for its frequent use of sforzandi, as well as sudden shifts in tonal centers that were uncommon for traditional symphonic form, and the prominent, more independent use of wind instruments. In 1801, he also gained notoriety for his six String Quartets and for the ballet The Creatures of Prometheus. During this period, his hearing began to deteriorate, but he continued to conduct, premiering his third and fifth symphonies in 1804 and 1808, respectively. His condition worsened to almost complete deafness by 1811, and he then gave up performing and appearing in public.

During this period of self exile, Beethoven composed many of his most admired works; his seventh symphony premiered in 1813, with its second movement, Allegretto, achieving widespread critical acclaim. He composed the piece Missa Solemnis for a number of years until it premiered 1824, which preceded his ninth symphony, with the latter gaining fame for being among the first examples of a choral symphony. In 1826, his fourteenth String Quartet was noted for having seven linked movements played without a break, and is considered the final major piece performed before his death a year later.

His career is conventionally divided into early, middle, and late periods; the "early" period is typically seen to last until 1802, the "middle" period from 1802 to 1812, and the "late" period from 1812 to his death in 1827. During his life, he composed nine symphonies; five piano concertos; one violin concerto; thirty-two piano sonatas; sixteen string quartets; two masses; and the opera Fidelio. Other works, like Für Elise, were discovered after his death, and are also considered historical musical achievements. Beethoven's legacy is characterized for his innovative compositions, namely through the combinations of vocals and instruments, and also for widening the scope of sonata, symphony, concerto, and quartet, while he is also noted for his troublesome relationship with his contemporaries.

Stamps from Germany and Monaco featuring Beethoven

Germany 1926, Famous Germans, 20 Pf. Beethoven

Germany - Deutsche Post Berlin 1952 Beethoven

Germany Beethoven Sheet of 5

Monaco 1970 Beethoven Issue

West Germany Ludwig Van Beethoven


1775 Born: Jane Austen, English novelist (d. 1817)


Jane Austen (16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817) was an English novelist known primarily for her six major novels, which interpret, critique and comment upon the British landed gentry at the end of the 18th century. Austen's plots often explore the dependence of women on marriage in the pursuit of favorable social standing and economic security. Her works critique the novels of sensibility of the second half of the 18th century and are part of the transition to 19th-century literary realism. Her use of biting irony, along with her realism, humor, and social commentary, have long earned her acclaim among critics, scholars, and popular audiences alike.

With the publications of Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814) and Emma (1816), she achieved success as a published writer. She wrote two additional novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, both published posthumously in 1818, and began another, eventually titled Sanditon, but died before its completion. She also left behind three volumes of juvenile writings in manuscript, a short epistolary novel Lady Susan, and another unfinished novel, The Watsons. Her six full-length novels have rarely been out of print, although they were published anonymously and brought her moderate success and little fame during her lifetime.

A significant transition in her posthumous reputation occurred in 1833, when her novels were republished in Richard Bentley's Standard Novels series, illustrated by Ferdinand Pickering, and sold as a set. They gradually gained wider acclaim and popular readership. In 1869, fifty-two years after her death, her nephew's publication of A Memoir of Jane Austen introduced a compelling version of her writing career and supposedly uneventful life to an eager audience.

Austen has inspired many critical essays and literary anthologies. Her novels have inspired many films, from 1940's Pride and Prejudice to more recent productions like Sense and Sensibility (1995), Emma (1996), Mansfield Park (1999), Pride & Prejudice (2005), and Love & Friendship (2016).

Stamps from Great Britain featuring Austen's works

Great Britain 1975 Jane Austen

2013 Gb Jane Austen Set Of 6 Bicentenary Pride Prejudice


1790 Born: Leopold I of Belgium (d. 1865)

Leopold I (16 December 1790 – 10 December 1865) was a German prince who became the first King of the Belgians following the country's independence in 1830. He reigned between July 1831 and December 1865.

Born into the ruling family of the small German duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, Leopold took a commission in the Imperial Russian Army and fought against Napoleon after French troops overran Saxe-Coburg during the Napoleonic Wars. After Napoleon's defeat, Leopold moved to the United Kingdom where he married Princess Charlotte of Wales, who was second in line to the British throne and the only legitimate child of the Prince Regent (the future King George IV). Charlotte died after only a year of marriage, but Leopold continued to enjoy considerable status in Britain.

After the Greek War of Independence (1821–32), Leopold was offered the crown of Greece but turned it down, believing it to be too precarious. Instead, Leopold accepted the kingship of the newly established Kingdom of Belgium in 1831. The Belgian government offered the position to Leopold because of his diplomatic connections with royal houses across Europe, and because as the British-backed candidate, he was not affiliated with other powers, such as France, which were believed to have territorial ambitions in Belgium which might threaten the European balance of power created by the 1815 Congress of Vienna.

Some Leopold I stamps from Belgium

Leopold I of Belgium

Leopold I of Belgium


Leopold I of Belgium

Leopold I of Belgium

1859 Died: Wilhelm Grimm, German anthropologist and author (b. 1786)

Wilhelm was born in Hanau, in Hesse-Kassel. In 1803, he started studying law at the University of Marburg, one year after his brother Jacob started there. The two brothers spent their entire lives close together. In their school days, they had one bed and one table in common; as students, they had two beds and two tables in the same room. They always lived under one roof and had their books and property in common.


In 1825, 39-year-old Wilhelm married pharmacist's daughter Henriette Dorothea Wild, also known as Dortchen. Wilhelm's marriage did not change the harmony of the brothers. Richard Cleasby visited the brothers and observed, “they both live in the same house, and in such harmony and community that one might almost imagine the children were common property.”  Wilhelm and Henriette had four children together: Jacob (3 April 1826 – 15 December 1826), Herman Friedrich (6 January 1828 – 16 June 1901), Rudolf Georg (31 March 1830 – 13 November 1889), and Barbara Auguste Luise Pauline Marie (21 August 1832 – 9 February 1919).

Wilhelm's character was a complete contrast to that of his brother. As a boy, he was strong and healthy, but while growing up he suffered a long and severe illness which left him weak the rest of his life. He had a less comprehensive and energetic mind than his brother, and he had less of the spirit of investigation, preferring to confine himself to some limited and definitely bounded field of work. He utilized everything that bore directly on his own studies and ignored the rest. These studies were almost always of a literary nature.

Wilhelm took great delight in music, for which his brother had but a moderate liking, and he had a remarkable gift of story-telling. Cleasby relates that “Wilhelm read a sort of farce written in the Frankfort dialect, depicting the ‘malheurs’ of a rich Frankfort tradesman on a holiday jaunt on Sunday. It was very droll, and he read it admirably.” Cleasby describes him as “an uncommonly animated, jovial fellow.” He was, accordingly, much sought in society, which he frequented much more than his brother.

A collection of fairy tales was first published in 1812 by the Grimm brothers, known in English as Grimms' Fairy Tales.

From 1837–1841, the Grimm brothers joined five of their colleague professors at the University of Göttingen to form a group known as the Göttinger Sieben (The Göttingen Seven). They protested against Ernest Augustus, King of Hanover, whom they accused of violating the constitution. All seven were fired by the king.

Wilhelm Grimm died in Berlin of an infection at the age of 73.

Stamps from Germany, East Germany and Berlin featuring the Grimm brothers or their fairy tales

Germany, 1959 , Brothers Grimm

West-Germany 1985 Grimm Brothers

Germany Berlin 1966 - Fairytale Grimm

DDR 1970 - Fairy Tales Grimm Little Brother and Little Sister


1922 – President of Poland Gabriel Narutowicz is assassinated by Eligiusz Niewiadomski at the Zachęta Gallery in Warsaw.


Gabriel Narutowicz (17 March 1865 – 16 December 1922) was a Polish professor of hydroelectric engineering and politician who served as the 1st President of Poland from 11 December 1922 until his assassination on 16 December, five days after assuming office. He previously served as the Minister of Public Works from 1920 to 1921 and briefly as Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1922. A renowned engineer and politically independent, Narutowicz was the first elected head of state following Poland's regained sovereignty from partitioning powers.

Born into a noble family with strong patriotic sentiment, Narutowicz studied at the University of St. Petersburg before relocating to Zurich Polytechnic and completing his studies in Switzerland. An engineer by profession, he was a pioneer of electrification and his works were presented at exhibitions across Western Europe. Narutowicz also directed the construction of the first European hydroelectric power plants in Monthey, Mühleberg and Andelsbuch. In 1907 he was nominated a professor of hydroelectric and water engineering in Zurich, and was subsequently assigned in maintaining the Rhine. In September 1919 Narutowicz was invited by the Polish authorities in rebuilding the nation's infrastructure after devastation caused by World War I. On 23 June 1920 Narutowicz became the Minister of Public Works in Władysław Grabski’s government. Following his successful conduct of the Polish delegation at the Genoa Conference, on 28 June 1922 he became the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Artur Śliwiński’s cabinet.

During the elections in 1922, Narutowicz was supported by the center-left, most notably the Polish People's Party "Wyzwolenie", and by national minorities, but gained harsh criticism from the right wing National Democrats. Far-right zealots, ultra-Catholic unions and nationalists targeted him for sympathy towards Polish Jews. Upon defeating the other candidate, Maurycy Zamoyski, Gabriel Narutowicz was elected the first president of the Second Polish Republic. After only five days in office he was assassinated by oppositionist Eligiusz Niewiadomski while viewing paintings at the Zachęta Art Gallery. His funeral, attended by almost 500,000 people, was simultaneously a manifestation of peace which diminished the power of the far-right movement in the upcoming years. Narutowicz was buried with honors on 22 December 1922 in the vault of St. John's Cathedral in Warsaw.

Narutowicz was a non-practicing Catholic and an active Freemason; he participated in rituals throughout the whole country.

Stamps from Poland featuring Narutowicz

Poland-1938  Pilsudski Narutowicz Moscicki Smigly Rydz

Poland Narutowicz