Showing posts with label Czechoslovakia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Czechoslovakia. Show all posts

Saturday, October 31, 2020

October 31st in stamps Martin Luther posts his 95 Theses, Nevada statehood, Luís I of Portugal, Johannes Vermeer, Houdini

Here are some events that happened on October 31st. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day


1517 – Protestant Reformation: Martin Luther posts his 95 Theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg.

Martin Luther (10 November 1483 – 18 February 1546) was a German professor of theology, composer, priest, monk, and a seminal figure in the Protestant Reformation.

Luther was ordained to the priesthood in 1507. He came to reject several teachings and practices of the Roman Catholic Church; in particular, he disputed the view on indulgences. Luther proposed an academic discussion of the practice and efficacy of indulgences in his Ninety-five Theses of 1517. His refusal to renounce all of his writings at the demand of Pope Leo X in 1520 and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Worms in 1521 resulted in his excommunication by the pope and condemnation as an outlaw by the Holy Roman Emperor.

Luther taught that salvation and, consequently, eternal life are not earned by good deeds but are received only as the free gift of God's grace through the believer's faith in Jesus Christ as redeemer from sin. His theology challenged the authority and office of the Pope by teaching that the Bible is the only source of divinely revealed knowledge, and opposed sacerdotalism by considering all baptized Christians to be a holy priesthood. Those who identify with these, and all of Luther's wider teachings, are called Lutherans, though Luther insisted on Christian or Evangelical (German: evangelisch) as the only acceptable names for individuals who professed Christ.

His translation of the Bible into the German vernacular (instead of Latin) made it more accessible to the laity, an event that had a tremendous impact on both the church and German culture. It fostered the development of a standard version of the German language, added several principles to the art of translation, and influenced the writing of an English translation, the Tyndale Bible. His hymns influenced the development of singing in Protestant churches. His marriage to Katharina von Bora, a former nun, set a model for the practice of clerical marriage, allowing Protestant clergy to marry.

In two of his later works, Luther expressed antagonistic views towards Jews. His rhetoric was not directed at Jews alone, but also towards Roman Catholics, Anabaptists, and nontrinitarian Christians. Luther died in 1546 with Pope Leo X's excommunication still effective.


Stamps from several countries depicting Martin Luther

Czechoslovakia - 1983 Celebrities Anniversaries - Martin Luther


France 1983 Martin Luther FDC First Day Cover


Germany 1952 Martin Luther


Netherlands 1983 Martin Luther FDC First Day Cover


Postcard, Deutsches Reich, Martin Luther


1632 Born: Johannes Vermeer, Dutch painter (d. 1675)

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


1838 Born: Luís I of Portugal (d. 1889)

Dom Luís I (31 October 1838 in Lisbon  – 19 October 1889 in Cascais), known as The Popular (Portuguese: O Popular) was a member of the ruling House of Braganza, and King of Portugal from 1861 to 1889. The second son of Queen Maria II and her consort, King Ferdinand, he acceded to the throne upon the death of his elder brother King Pedro V.

Luís was a cultured man who wrote vernacular poetry, but had no distinguishing gifts in the political field into which he was thrust by the deaths of his brothers Pedro V and Fernando in 1861. Luís's domestic reign was a tedious and ineffective series of transitional governments called Rotativism formed at various times by the Progressistas (Liberals) and the Regeneradores (Conservatives), the party generally favoured by King Luís, who secured their long term in office after 1881. Despite a flirtation with the Spanish succession prior to the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71, Luís's reign was otherwise one of domestic stagnation as Portugal fell ever further behind the nations of western Europe in terms of public education, political stability, technological progress and economic prosperity. In colonial affairs, Delagoa Bay was confirmed as a Portuguese possession in 1875, whilst Belgian activities in the Congo (1880s) and a British Ultimatum in 1890 denied Portugal a land link between Portuguese Angola and Portuguese Mozambique at the peak of the Scramble for Africa.

Stamps from Portugal and Madeira depicting Luís I 

Portugal King Luis I 1866


Portugal luís I, 15 reis


Portugal Madeira King Luiz


Portugal-D. luís I, 5 reis



1864 – Nevada is admitted as the 36th U.S. state.

Nevada  is a state in the Western United States. It is bordered by Oregon to the northwest, Idaho to the northeast, California to the west, Arizona to the southeast, and Utah to the east. Nevada is the 7th most extensive, the 32nd most populous, but the 9th least densely populated of the U.S. states. Nearly three-quarters of Nevada's people live in Clark County, which contains the Las Vegas–Paradise metropolitan area, including three of the state's four largest incorporated cities. Nevada's capital is Carson City.

Nevada is officially known as the "Silver State" because of the importance of silver to its history and economy. It is also known as the "Battle Born State" because it achieved statehood during the Civil War (the words "Battle Born" also appear on the state flag); as the "Sagebrush State", for the native plant of the same name; and as the "Sage-hen State".

Nevada is largely desert and semi-arid, much of it within the Great Basin. Areas south of the Great Basin are within the Mojave Desert, while Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada lie on the western edge. About 86% of the state's land is managed by various jurisdictions of the U.S. federal government, both civilian and military.

Before European contact — and still today, American Indians of the Paiute, Shoshone, and Washoe tribes inhabited the land that is now Nevada. The first Europeans to explore the region were Spanish. They called the region Nevada (snowy) because of the snow which covered the mountains in winter like to Sierra Nevada in Spain. The area formed part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain, and became part of Mexico when it gained independence in 1821. The United States annexed the area in 1848 after its victory in the Mexican–American War, and it was incorporated as part of Utah Territory in 1850. The discovery of silver at the Comstock Lode in 1859 led to a population boom that became an impetus to the creation of Nevada Territory out of western Utah Territory in 1861. Nevada became the 36th state on October 31, 1864, as the second of two states added to the Union during the Civil War (the first being West Virginia).

US stamps commemorating Nevada's statehood

Nevada Statehood US

5c Nevada Statehood FDC

2014 USA Nevada Statehood Forever Stamp


1926 Died: Harry Houdini, American magician and stuntman (b. 1874)

Harry Houdini (born Erik Weisz, later Ehrich Weiss or Harry Weiss; March 24, 1874 – October 31, 1926) was a Hungarian-born American illusionist and stunt performer, noted for his sensational escape acts. He first attracted notice in vaudeville in the United States and then as "Harry 'Handcuff' Houdini" on a tour of Europe, where he challenged police forces to keep him locked up. Soon he extended his repertoire to include chains, ropes slung from skyscrapers, straitjackets under water, and having to escape from and hold his breath inside a sealed milk can with water in it.

In 1904, thousands watched as he tried to escape from special handcuffs commissioned by London's Daily Mirror, keeping them in suspense for an hour. Another stunt saw him buried alive and only just able to claw himself to the surface, emerging in a state of near-breakdown. While many suspected that these escapes were faked, Houdini presented himself as the scourge of fake spiritualists. As President of the Society of American Magicians, he was keen to uphold professional standards and expose fraudulent artists. He was also quick to sue anyone who imitated his escape stunts.

Houdini made several movies but quit acting when it failed to bring in money. He was also a keen aviator and aimed to become the first man to fly a plane in Australia.

US stamp and FDC depicting Houdini

2002  37¢ - Harry Houdini - Magician


2002  37¢ - Harry Houdini - Magician FDC



Wednesday, October 28, 2020

October 28th in stamps Erasmus, Cleveland dedicates the Statue of Liberty, First Czechoslovak Republic

Here are some events that happened on October 28th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day


1466 Born: Erasmus, Dutch philosopher (d. 1536)

Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus (28 October 1466 – 12 July 1536), known as Erasmus or Erasmus of Rotterdam, was a Dutch Christian humanist who is widely considered to have been the greatest scholar of the northern Renaissance. Originally trained as a Catholic priest, Erasmus was an important figure in classical scholarship who wrote in a pure Latin style.

Among humanists he enjoyed the sobriquet "Prince of the Humanists", and has been called "the crowning glory of the Christian humanists". Using humanist techniques for working on texts, he prepared important new Latin and Greek editions of the New Testament, which raised questions that would be influential in the Protestant Reformation and Catholic Counter-Reformation. He also wrote On Free Will,[5] In Praise of Folly, Handbook of a Christian Knight, On Civility in Children, Copia: Foundations of the Abundant Style, Julius Exclusus, and many other works


Below is a First Day Cover from the Netherlands and a stamp from Belgium depicting Erasmus



1886 – President Cleveland dedicates the Statue of Liberty.

The Statue of Liberty (Liberty Enlightening the World; French: La Liberté éclairant le monde) is a colossal neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island in New York Harbor within New York City, in the United States. The copper statue, a gift from the people of France to the people of the United States, was designed by French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and its metal framework was built by Gustave Eiffel. The statue was dedicated on October 28, 1886.

The statue is a figure of Libertas, a robed Roman liberty goddess. She holds a torch above her head with her right hand, and in her left hand carries a tabula ansata inscribed JULY IV MDCCLXXVI (July 4, 1776 in Roman numerals), the date of the U.S. Declaration of Independence. A broken shackle and chain lie at her feet as she walks forward, commemorating the recent national abolition of slavery. After its dedication, the statue became an icon of freedom and of the United States, seen as a symbol of welcome to immigrants arriving by sea.

Bartholdi was inspired by a French law professor and politician, Édouard René de Laboulaye, who is said to have commented in 1865 that any monument raised to U.S. independence would properly be a joint project of the French and U.S. peoples. The Franco-Prussian War delayed progress until 1875, when Laboulaye proposed that the French finance the statue and the U.S. provide the site and build the pedestal. Bartholdi completed the head and the torch-bearing arm before the statue was fully designed, and these pieces were exhibited for publicity at international expositions.

The torch-bearing arm was displayed at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876, and in Madison Square Park in Manhattan from 1876 to 1882. Fundraising proved difficult, especially for the Americans, and by 1885 work on the pedestal was threatened by lack of funds. Publisher Joseph Pulitzer, of the New York World, started a drive for donations to finish the project and attracted more than 120,000 contributors, most of whom gave less than a dollar. The statue was built in France, shipped overseas in crates, and assembled on the completed pedestal on what was then called Bedloe's Island. The statue's completion was marked by New York's first ticker-tape parade and a dedication ceremony presided over by President Grover Cleveland.

The statue was administered by the United States Lighthouse Board until 1901 and then by the Department of War; since 1933 it has been maintained by the National Park Service as part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument, and is a major tourist attraction. The monument was temporarily closed from March 16, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic until partially reopening on July 20, 2020. Public access to the balcony around the torch has been barred since 1916.

Stamps depicting the Statue of Liberty


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


1918 – First World War: Czech politicians peacefully take over the city of Prague, thus establishing the First Czechoslovak Republic.

The First Czechoslovak Republic (Czech: První československá republika, Slovak: Prvá česko-slovenská republika), often colloquially referred to as the First Republic (Czech: První Republika), was the first Czechoslovak state that existed from 1918 to 1938, dominated by ethnic Czechs and Slovaks, the country was commonly called Czechoslovakia (Czech and Slovak: Československo), a compound of Czech and Slovak; which gradually became the most widely used name for its successor states. It was composed of the territories of Austria-Hungary, having different system of administration of the former respective Austrian (Bohemia, Moravia, a small part of Silesia) and Hungarian territories (mostly Upper Hungary and Carpathian Ruthenia).

After 1933, Czechoslovakia remained the only de facto functioning democracy in Central Europe, organized as a parliamentary republic. Under pressure from its Sudeten German minority, supported by neighbouring Nazi Germany, Czechoslovakia was forced to cede its Sudetenland region to Germany on 1 October 1938 as part of the Munich Agreement. It also ceded southern parts of Slovakia and Carpathian Ruthenia to Hungary and the Zaolzie region in Silesia to Poland. This, in effect, ended the First Czechoslovak Republic. It was replaced by the Second Czechoslovak Republic, which lasted less than half a year before Germany occupied the rest of Czechoslovakia in March 1939.

Hradcany at Prague stamps issued in 1918 and 1919

Czechoslovakia, Hradcany 1-1000heller



Tuesday, April 07, 2020

April 7th in stamps Charles University, El Greco, Ford

Here are some events that happened on April 7th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day


1348 – Charles University is founded in Prague.

Charles University, known also as Charles University in Prague (Czech: Univerzita Karlova; Latin: Universitas Carolina; German: Karls-Universität) or historically as the University of Prague (Latin: Universitas Pragensis), is the oldest and largest university in the Czech Republic. Founded in 1348, it was the first university in Central Europe. It is one of the oldest universities in Europe in continuous operation. Today, the university consists of 17 faculties located in Prague, Hradec Králové and Pilsen. Its academic publishing house is Karolinum Press. The university also operates several museums and two botanical gardens.

Its seal shows its protector Emperor Charles IV, with his coats of arms as King of the Romans and King of Bohemia, kneeling in front of Saint Wenceslas, the patron saint of Bohemia. It is surrounded by the inscription, Sigillum Universitatis Scolarium Studii Pragensis (English: Seal of the Prague academia).

Charles University in Prague


1614 Died: El Greco, Greek-Spanish painter and sculptor (b. 1541)

Doménikos Theotokópoulos (Greek: Δομήνικος Θεοτοκόπουλος ; 1 October 1541 – 7 April 1614), most widely known as El Greco ("The Greek"), was a Greek painter, sculptor and architect of the Spanish Renaissance. "El Greco" was a nickname, a reference to his Greek origin, and the artist normally signed his paintings with his full birth name in Greek letters, Δομήνικος Θεοτοκόπουλος, Doménikos Theotokópoulos, often adding the word Κρής Krēs, Cretan.

El Greco was born in the Kingdom of Candia (modern Crete), which was at that time part of the Republic of Venice, and the center of Post-Byzantine art. He trained and became a master within that tradition before traveling at age 26 to Venice, as other Greek artists had done. In 1570, he moved to Rome, where he opened a workshop and executed a series of works. During his stay in Italy, El Greco enriched his style with elements of Mannerism and of the Venetian Renaissance taken from a number of great artists of the time, notably Tintoretto. In 1577, he moved to Toledo, Spain, where he lived and worked until his death. In Toledo, El Greco received several major commissions and produced his best-known paintings.

El Greco's dramatic and expressionistic style was met with puzzlement by his contemporaries but found appreciation in the 20th century. El Greco is regarded as a precursor of both Expressionism and Cubism, while his personality and works were a source of inspiration for poets and writers such as Rainer Maria Rilke and Nikos Kazantzakis. El Greco has been characterized by modern scholars as an artist so individual that he belongs to no conventional school. He is best known for tortuously elongated figures and often fantastic or phantasmagorical pigmentation, marrying Byzantine traditions with those of Western painting.

Stamps from Greece, Czechoslovakia  and Spain depicting El Greco's works

Greece. Anniv Death El Greco Stamp Set 1965

Czechoslovakia  1991 4k Head of Christ by El Greco

Spain EL Greco


1947 Died: Henry Ford, American engineer and businessman, founded the Ford Motor Company (b. 1863)

Henry Ford (July 30, 1863 – April 7, 1947) was an American industrialist and a business magnate, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, and the sponsor of the development of the assembly line technique of mass production.

Although Ford did not invent the automobile or the assembly line, he developed and manufactured the first automobile that many middle-class Americans could afford. In doing so, Ford converted the automobile from an expensive curiosity into a practical conveyance that would profoundly impact the landscape of the 20th century. His introduction of the Model T automobile revolutionized transportation and American industry. As the owner of the Ford Motor Company, he became one of the richest and best-known people in the world. He is credited with "Fordism": mass production of inexpensive goods coupled with high wages for workers. Ford had a global vision, with consumerism as the key to peace. His intense commitment to systematically lowering costs resulted in many technical and business innovations, including a franchise system that put dealerships throughout most of North America and in major cities on six continents. Ford left most of his vast wealth to the Ford Foundation and arranged for his family to control the company permanently.

Ford was also widely known for his pacifism during the first years of World War I, and for promoting antisemitic content, including The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, through his newspaper The Dearborn Independent and the book The International Jew, having an influence on the development of Nazism and Adolf Hitler.


Some stamps depicting Ford and or his automobile

The Ford Motor Company ships its first automobile Austria

The Ford Motor Company ships its first automobile Great Britain

The Ford Motor Company ships its first automobile Hungary

The Ford Motor Company ships its first automobile Ireland

Thursday, April 02, 2020

April 2nd in stamps H.C. Andersen, Émile Zola, Max Ernst

Here are some events that happened on April 2nd. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day


1805 Born: Hans Christian Andersen, Danish novelist, short story writer, and poet (d. 1875)

Hans Christian Andersen (2 April 1805 – 4 August 1875), in Denmark usually called H.C. Andersen, was a Danish author. Although a prolific writer of plays, travelogues, novels, and poems, he is best remembered for his fairy tales. Andersen's popularity is not limited to children; his stories express themes that transcend age and nationality.

Andersen's fairy tales, consisting of 3381 works and translated into more than 125 languages, have become culturally embedded in the West's collective consciousness, readily accessible to children, but presenting lessons of virtue and resilience in the face of adversity for mature readers as well. His most famous fairy tales include "The Emperor's New Clothes," "The Little Mermaid," "The Nightingale," "The Steadfast Tin Soldier", "The Red Shoes", "The Princess and the Pea," "The Snow Queen," "The Ugly Duckling," "The Little Match Girl," and "Thumbelina." His stories have inspired ballets, plays, and animated and live-action films. One of Copenhagen's widest and busiest boulevards, skirting Copenhagen City Hall Square at the corner of which Andersen's larger-than-life bronze statue sits, is named "H.C. Andersens Boulevard."

Stamps from Denmark, Poland and Germany depicting Hans Christian Andersen or his works

Denmark 1935 Hans Christian Andersen Set

Denmark 1935 Hans Christian Andersen Set

Denmark - 2005 - 4.50 Krone Hans Christian Andersen Commemorative Issue

Germany 2005 - Hans Christian Andersen

Poland 2005 - Hans Christian Andersen


1840 Born: Émile Zola, French novelist, playwright, journalist (d. 1902)

Émile Édouard Charles Antoine Zola (2 April 1840 – 29 September 1902) was a French novelist, playwright, journalist, the best-known practitioner of the literary school of naturalism, and an important contributor to the development of theatrical naturalism. He was a major figure in the political liberalization of France and in the exoneration of the falsely accused and convicted army officer Alfred Dreyfus, which is encapsulated in the renowned newspaper headline J'Accuse…! Zola was nominated for the first and second Nobel Prize in Literature in 1901 and 1902

More than half of Zola's novels were part of a set of 20 collectively known as Les Rougon-Macquart, about a family under the Second Empire. Unlike Balzac, who in the midst of his literary career resynthesized his work into La Comédie Humaine, Zola from the start, at the age of 28, had thought of the complete layout of the series. Set in France's Second Empire, in the context of Baron Haussman's changing Paris, the series traces the "environmental" influences of violence, alcohol, and prostitution which became more prevalent during the second wave of the Industrial Revolution. The series examines two branches of a family—the respectable (that is, legitimate) Rougons and the disreputable (illegitimate) Macquarts—for five generations.

As he described his plans for the series, "I want to portray, at the outset of a century of liberty and truth, a family that cannot restrain itself in its rush to possess all the good things that progress is making available and is derailed by its own momentum, the fatal convulsions that accompany the birth of a new world."

He is considered to be a significant influence on those writers that are credited with the creation of the so-called new journalism; Wolfe, Capote, Thompson, Mailer, Didion, Talese and others. Tom Wolfe wrote that his goal in writing fiction was to document contemporary society in the tradition of John Steinbeck, Charles Dickens, and Émile Zola.

Emile Zola - L'Assommoir, Germinal, J'Beschuldigt - Paris

France 2002 - Death of Emile Zola, 1840-1902

France Emile Zola


1891 Born: Max Ernst, German painter, sculptor, and poet (d. 1976)

Max Ernst (2 April 1891 – 1 April 1976) was a German (naturalized American in 1948 and French in 1958) painter, sculptor, graphic artist, and poet. A prolific artist, Ernst was a primary pioneer of the Dada movement and surrealism. He had no formal artistic training, but his experimental attitude toward the making of art resulted in his invention of frottage—a technique that uses pencil rubbings of objects as a source of images—and grattage, an analogous technique in which paint is scraped across canvas to reveal the imprints of the objects placed beneath. He is also noted for his novels consisting of collages.

Some stamps from various countries depicting Max Ernst's paintings

Czechoslovakia 1991 Everyday Homelife by Max Ernst

France  1991 Birth Centenary Max Ernst

Germany. 1991. Birth Centenary Of Max Ernst Commemorative



Friday, December 13, 2019

December 13th in stamps Donatello, Tasman, Siemens, Senoa


Here are some events that happened on December 13th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day


1466 Died: Donatello, Italian painter and sculptor (b. 1386)


Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi (c. 1386 – 13 December 1466), better known as Donatello was an Italian sculptor of the Renaissance. Born in Florence, he studied classical sculpture and used this to develop a complete Renaissance style in sculpture, whose periods in Rome, Padua and Siena introduced to other parts of Italy a long and productive career. He worked with stone, bronze, wood, clay, stucco and wax, and had several assistants, with four perhaps being a typical number. Though his best-known works were mostly statues in the round, he developed a new, very shallow, type of bas-relief for small works, and a good deal of his output was larger architectural reliefs.


Main works
St. Mark (1411–1413), Orsanmichele, Florence
St. George Tabernacle (c. 1415–1417) – Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence
Prophet Habakkuk (1423–1425) – Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Florence
The Feast of Herod (c. 1425) – Baptismal font, Baptistry of San Giovanni, Siena
David (c. 1425–1430) – Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence
Madonna of the Clouds (c. 1425–1435) marble relief, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Equestrian Monument of Gattamelata (1445–1450) – Piazza del Santo, Padua
Magdalene Penitent (c. 1455) – Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Florence
Judith and Holofernes (1455–1460) – Palazzo Vecchio, Florence
Virgin and Child with Four Angels or Chellini Madonna (1456), Victoria and Albert Museum

Donatello Italy FDC 1966

Donatello-1386-1466-Italian-sculptor

San Giorgio di Donatello Italy 1957



1642 – Abel Tasman is the first recorded European to sight New Zealand.

Abel Janszoon Tasman (1603 – 10 October 1659) was a Dutch seafarer, explorer, and merchant, best known for his voyages of 1642 and 1644 in the service of the Dutch East India Company (VOC). He was the first known European explorer to reach the islands of Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania) and New Zealand, and to sight the Fiji islands.

Tasman's ten-month voyage in 1642–43 had significant consequences. By circumnavigating Australia (albeit at a distance) Tasman proved that the small fifth continent was not joined to any larger sixth continent, such as the long-imagined Southern Continent. Further, Tasman's suggestion that New Zealand was the western side of that Southern Continent was seized upon by many European cartographers who, for the next century, depicted New Zealand as the west coast of a Terra Australis rising gradually from the waters around Tierra del Fuego. This theory was eventually disproved when Captain Cook circumnavigated New Zealand in 1769.


Abel Tasman, Dutch merchant and explorer Australia

Abel Tasman, Dutch merchant and explorer New Zealand

Abel Tasman, Dutch merchant and explorer Fiji


1816 Born: Werner von Siemens, German engineer and businessman, founded Siemens (d. 1892)

Ernst Werner Siemens (von Siemens from 1888; 13 December 1816 – 6 December 1892) was a German electrical engineer, inventor and industrialist. Siemens's name has been adopted as the SI unit of electrical conductance, the siemens. He was also the founder of the electrical and telecommunications company Siemens.

Ernst Werner Siemens was born in Lenthe, today part of Gehrden, near Hannover, in the Kingdom of Hanover in the German Confederation, the fourth child (of fourteen) of a tenant farmer of the Siemens family, an old family of Goslar, documented since 1384. He was a brother of Carl Heinrich von Siemens and Carl Wilhelm Siemens, sons of Christian Ferdinand Siemens (31 July 1787 – 16 January 1840) and wife Eleonore Deichmann (1792 – 8 July 1839).


After finishing school, Siemens intended to study at the Bauakademie Berlin. However, since his family was highly indebted and thus could not afford to pay the tuition fees, he chose to join the Prussian Military Academy's School of Artillery and Engineering, between the years 1835-1838, instead, where he received his officers training. Siemens was thought of as a good soldier, receiving various medals, and inventing electrically-charged sea mines, which were used to combat a Danish blockade of Kiel.

Upon returning home from war, he chose to work on perfecting technologies that had already been established and eventually became known worldwide for his advances in various technologies. In 1843 he sold the rights to his first invention to Elkington of Birmingham. Siemens invented a telegraph that used a needle to point to the right letter, instead of using Morse code. Based on this invention, he founded the company Telegraphen-Bauanstalt von Siemens & Halske on 1 October 1847, with the company opening a workshop on 12 October.

The company was internationalised soon after its founding. One brother of Werner represented him in England (Sir William Siemens) and another in St. Petersburg, Russia (Carl von Siemens), each earning recognition. Following his industrial career, he was ennobled in 1888, becoming Werner von Siemens. He retired from his company in 1890 and died in 1892 in Berlin.

The company, reorganized as Siemens & Halske AG, Siemens-Schuckertwerke and – since 1966 – Siemens AG was later led by his brother Carl, his sons Arnold, Wilhelm, and Carl Friedrich, his grandsons Hermann and Ernst and his great-grandson Peter von Siemens. Siemens AG is one of the largest electrotechnological firms in the world. The von Siemens family still owns 6% of the company shares (as of 2013) and holds a seat on the supervisory board, being the largest shareholder.

Apart from the pointer telegraph Siemens made several contributions to the development of electrical engineering and is therefore known as the founding father of the discipline in Germany. He built the world's first electric elevator in 1880. His company produced the tubes with which Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen investigated x-rays. He claimed invention of the dynamo although others invented it earlier. On 14 December 1877 he received German patent No. 2355 for an electromechanical "dynamic" or moving-coil transducer, which was adapted by A. L. Thuras and E. C. Wente for the Bell System in the late 1920s for use as a loudspeaker. Wente's adaptation was issued US patent 1,707,545 in 1929. Siemens is also the father of the trolleybus which he initially tried and tested with his "Elektromote" on 29 April 1882.


Stamps from Germany and Berlin depicting Siemens

Germany 1992 Werner von Siemens  Electrical Engineer

Germany Berlin 1952 20pf Von Siemens

Germany Werner von Siemens, Electrical Engineer and Inventor



1881 Died: August Šenoa, Croatian author and poet (b. 1838)

August Ivan Nepomuk Eduard Šenoa (14 November 1838 – 13 December 1881) was a novelist. Born to an ethnic German and Slovak family, Šenoa became a key figure in the develoment of an independent literary tradition in the Croatian language and shaping the emergence of the urban Croatian identity of Zagreb and its surroundings at a time when Austrian control was weaning. He was a literary transitional figure, who helped bring Croatian literature from Romanticism to Realism and introduced the historical novel to Croatia. He wrote more than ten novels, among which the most notable are:

Zlatarovo zlato (Goldsmith's gold; 1871)
Čuvaj se senjske ruke (Pirates of Senj; 1876)
Seljačka buna (Peasants' revolt; 1877)
Diogenes (1878)

Šenoa was one of the most popular Croatian novelists and the author of the popular patriotic song "Živila Hrvatska".

Yugoslavia 1981-Avgust Senoa -Croatia Writer