Showing posts with label DDR. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DDR. Show all posts

Sunday, February 21, 2021

February 21st in stamps Communist Manifesto, Washington Monument, Rezā Shāh takes control of Tehran, Malcolm X assassinated

Here are some events that happened on February 21st. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day


1848 – Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels publish The Communist Manifesto.

Karl Heinrich Marx (5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher, economist, historian, sociologist, political theorist, journalist and socialist revolutionary.

Born in Trier, Germany, Marx studied law and philosophy at university. He married Jenny von Westphalen in 1843. Due to his political publications, Marx became stateless and lived in exile with his wife and children in London for decades, where he continued to develop his thought in collaboration with German thinker Friedrich Engels and publish his writings, researching in the reading room of the British Museum. His best-known titles are the 1848 pamphlet, The Communist Manifesto, and the three-volume Das Kapital. His political and philosophical thought had enormous influence on subsequent intellectual, economic and political history, and his name has been used as an adjective, a noun and a school of social theory.

Marx's critical theories about society, economics and politics – collectively understood as Marxism – hold that human societies develop through class struggle. In capitalism, this manifests itself in the conflict between the ruling classes (known as the bourgeoisie) that control the means of production and the working classes (known as the proletariat) that enable these means by selling their labour power in return for wages. Employing a critical approach known as historical materialism, Marx predicted that, like previous socio-economic systems, capitalism produced internal tensions which would lead to its self-destruction and replacement by a new system known as socialism.

For Marx, class antagonisms under capitalism, owing in part to its instability and crisis-prone nature, would eventuate the working class' development of class consciousness, leading to their conquest of political power and eventually the establishment of a classless, communist society constituted by a free association of producers. Marx actively pressed for its implementation, arguing that the working class should carry out organised revolutionary action to topple capitalism and bring about socio-economic emancipation.

Marx has been described as one of the most influential figures in human history, and his work has been both lauded and criticised. His work in economics laid the basis for much of the current understanding of labour and its relation to capital, and subsequent economic thought. Many intellectuals, labour unions, artists and political parties worldwide have been influenced by Marx's work, with many modifying or adapting his ideas. Marx is typically cited as one of the principal architects of modern social science.

East and West German stamps depicting Karl Marx

Germany Marxism Communist Leader Karl Marx stamp 1946


DDR Karl Marx, 1953


DDR Karl Marx, Portrait, 1983


Germany Karl Marx


Friedrich Engels (28 November 1820 – 5 August 1895) was a German philosopher, historian, communist, social scientist, sociologist, journalist and businessman. His father was an owner of large textile factories in Salford, England, and Barmen, Prussia (now Wuppertal, Germany).

Engels developed what is now known as Marxist theory together with Karl Marx and in 1845 he published The Condition of the Working Class in England, based on personal observations and research in English cities. In 1848, Engels co-authored The Communist Manifesto with Marx and also authored and co-authored (primarily with Marx) many other works. Later, Engels supported Marx financially, allowing him to do research and write Das Kapital. After Marx's death, Engels edited the second and third volumes of Das Kapital. Additionally, Engels organised Marx's notes on the Theories of Surplus Value, which were later published as the "fourth volume" of Das Kapital. In 1884, he published The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State on the basis of Marx's ethnographic research.

Engels died in London on 5 August 1895, at the age of 74 of laryngeal cancer and following cremation his ashes were scattered off Beachy Head, near Eastbourne.

Stamps from East and West Germany depicting Friedrich Engels


German Democratic Republic 135th Birth of Friedrich Engels


Germany  Friedrich Engels, socialist, collaborator with Marx, 1970


Germany 1948 SBZ Famous People - Köpfe - Friedrich Engels


Russia Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels



1885 – The newly completed Washington Monument is dedicated.

The Washington Monument is an obelisk within the National Mall in Washington, D.C., built to commemorate George Washington, once commander-in-chief of the Continental Army (1775–1784) in the American Revolutionary War and the first President of the United States (1789–1797). Located almost due east of the Reflecting Pool and the Lincoln Memorial, the monument, made of marble, granite, and bluestone gneiss, is both the world's tallest predominantly stone structure and the world's tallest obelisk, standing 554 feet 7 11⁄32 inches (169.046 m) tall according to the U.S. National Geodetic Survey (measured 2013–14) or 555 feet 5 1⁄8 inches (169.294 m) tall according to the National Park Service (measured 1884). It is the tallest monumental column in the world if all are measured above their pedestrian entrances. Overtaking the Cologne Cathedral, it was the tallest structure in the world between 1884 and 1889, after which it was overtaken by the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Construction of the monument began in 1848 and was halted for a period of 23 years, from 1854 to 1877 due to a lack of funds, a struggle for control over the Washington National Monument Society, and the American Civil War. Although the stone structure was completed in 1884, internal ironwork, the knoll, and installation of memorial stones were not completed until 1888. A difference in shading of the marble, visible approximately 150 feet (46 m) or 27% up, shows where construction was halted and later resumed with marble from a different source. The original design was by Robert Mills (1781–1855) of South Carolina, but he did not include his proposed colonnade due to a lack of funds, proceeding only with a bare obelisk. The cornerstone was laid on July 4, 1848; the first stone was laid atop the unfinished stump on August 7, 1880; the capstone was set on December 6, 1884; the completed monument was dedicated on February 21, 1885; and officially opened October 9, 1888.

The Washington Monument is a hollow Egyptian style stone obelisk with a 500-foot (152.4 m) tall column surmounted by a 55-foot (16.8 m) tall pyramidion. Its walls are 15 feet (4.6 m) thick at its base and 1 1⁄2 feet (0.46 m) thick at their top. The marble pyramidion has thin walls only 7 inches (18 cm) thick supported by six arches, two between opposite walls that cross at the center of the pyramidion and four smaller corner arches. The top of the pyramidion is a large marble capstone with a small aluminum pyramid at its apex with inscriptions on all four sides. The lowest 150 feet (45.7 m) of the walls, constructed during the first phase 1848–1854, are composed of a pile of bluestone gneiss rubble stones (not finished stones) held together by a large amount of mortar with a facade of semi-finished marble stones about 1 1⁄4 feet (0.4 m) thick. The upper 350 feet (106.7 m) of the walls, constructed during the second phase 1880–1884, are composed of finished marble surface stones, half of which project into the walls, partially backed by finished granite stones.

The interior is occupied by iron stairs that spiral up the walls, with an elevator in the center, each supported by four iron columns, which do not support the stone structure. The stairs contain fifty sections, most on the north and south walls, with many long landings stretching between them along the east and west walls. These landings allowed many inscribed memorial stones of various materials and sizes to be easily viewed while the stairs were accessible (until 1976), plus one memorial stone between stairs that is difficult to view. The pyramidion has eight observation windows, two per side, and eight red aircraft warning lights, two per side. Two aluminum lightning rods connected via the elevator support columns to ground water protect the monument. The monument's present foundation is 37 feet (11.3 m) thick, consisting of half of its original bluestone gneiss rubble encased in concrete. At the northeast corner of the foundation, 21 feet (6.4 m) below ground, is the marble cornerstone, including a zinc case filled with memorabilia. Fifty American flags fly on a large circle of poles centered on the monument. In 2001, a temporary screening facility was added to the entrance to prevent a terrorist attack. An earthquake in 2011 slightly damaged the monument, and it was closed until 2014. It was closed again for elevator system repairs, security upgrades, and mitigation of soil contamination from August 2016 to September 2019.

US stamp depicting the Washington Monument

USA $12.25 Washington Monument 2001


1921 – Rezā Shāh takes control of Tehran during a successful coup.

Reza Shah Pahlavi (15 March 1878 – 26 July 1944), commonly known as Reza Shah, was the Shah of Iran from 15 December 1925 until he was forced to abdicate by the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran on 16 September 1941.

Two years after the 1921 Persian coup d'état, led by Zia'eddin Tabatabaee, Reza Pahlavi became Iran's prime minister. The appointment was backed by the compliant national assembly of Iran. In 1925 Reza Pahlavi was appointed as the legal monarch of Iran by decision of Iran's constituent assembly. The assembly deposed Ahmad Shah Qajar, the last Shah of the Qajar dynasty, and amended Iran’s 1906 constitution to allow selection of Reza Pahlavi. He founded the Pahlavi dynasty that lasted until overthrown in 1979 during the Iranian Revolution. Reza Shah introduced many social, economic, and political reforms during his reign, ultimately laying the foundation of the modern Iranian state.

His legacy remains controversial to this day. His defenders assert that he was an essential modernizing force for Iran (whose international prominence had sharply declined during Qajar rule), while his detractors assert that his reign was often despotic, with his failure to modernize Iran's large peasant population eventually sowing the seeds for the Iranian Revolution nearly four decades later, which ended 2,500 years of Persian monarchy. Moreover, his insistence on ethnic nationalism and cultural unitarism, along with forced detribalization and sedentarization, resulted in the suppression of several ethnic and social groups. Albeit he was himself of Mazandarani descent, his government carried out an extensive policy of Persianization trying to create a single, united and largely homogeneous nation, similar to Atatürk's policy of Turkification.

Turkish and Persian stamps depicting Reza Shah Pahlavi

1978 Turkey The Birth Centenary of Reza Shah Pahlavi

Persia Iran 1938 60th Birthday Set Reza Shah Pahlavi


1965 Died: Malcolm X, American minister and activist (b. 1925; assassinated)

Malcolm X (born Malcolm Little; May 19, 1925 – February 21, 1965) was an African American Muslim minister and human rights activist who was a popular figure during the civil rights movement. He is best known for his time spent as a vocal spokesman for the Nation of Islam.

Malcolm spent his adolescence living in a series of foster homes or with relatives after his father's death and his mother's hospitalization. He engaged in several illicit activities, eventually being sentenced to 10 years in prison in 1946 for larceny and breaking and entering. In prison, he joined the Nation of Islam, adopted the name Malcolm X (to symbolize his unknown African ancestral surname), and quickly became one of the organization's most influential leaders after being paroled in 1952. Malcolm X then served as the public face of the organization for a dozen years, where he advocated for black empowerment, black supremacy, and the separation of black and white Americans, and publicly criticized the mainstream civil rights movement for its emphasis on nonviolence and racial integration. Malcolm X also expressed pride in some of the Nation's social welfare achievements, namely its free drug rehabilitation program. Throughout his life beginning in the 1950s, Malcolm X endured surveillance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for the Nation's supposed links to communism.

In the 1960s, Malcolm X began to grow disillusioned with the Nation of Islam, as well as with its leader Elijah Muhammad. He subsequently embraced Sunni Islam and the civil rights movement after completing the Hajj to Mecca, and became known as el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz. After a brief period of travel across Africa, he publicly renounced the Nation of Islam and founded the Islamic Muslim Mosque, Inc. (MMI) and the Pan-African Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU). Throughout 1964, his conflict with the Nation of Islam intensified, and he was repeatedly sent death threats. On February 21, 1965, he was assassinated in New York City. Three Nation members were charged with the murder and given indeterminate life sentences. Speculation about the assassination and whether it was conceived or aided by leading or additional members of the Nation, or with law enforcement agencies, have persisted for decades after the shooting.

A controversial figure accused of preaching racism and violence, Malcolm X is also a widely celebrated figure within African-American and Muslim American communities for his pursuit of racial justice. He was posthumously honored with Malcolm X Day, on which he is commemorated in various cities across the United States. Hundreds of streets and schools in the U.S. have been renamed in his honor, while the Audubon Ballroom, the site of his assassination, was partly redeveloped in 2005 to accommodate the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center.


US stamps featuring Malcolm X

1999 Black Heritage Malcolm X Civil Rights

1999 Black Heritage Malcolm X Civil Rights Sheet Of 20


Saturday, November 28, 2020

November 28th in stamps Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, Friedrich Engels, Alfonso XII of Spain, Stefan Zweig, Albania declares its independence, Enrico Fermi, Wilhelmina

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


1794 Died: Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, Prussian-American general (b. 1730)

Friedrich Wilhelm August Heinrich Ferdinand von Steuben (born Friedrich Wilhelm Ludolf Gerhard Augustin von Steuben; September 17, 1730 – November 28, 1794), also referred to as Baron von Steuben, was a Prussian and later an American military officer. He served as Inspector General and a Major General of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. He was one of the fathers of the Continental Army in teaching them the essentials of military drills, tactics, and discipline. He wrote Regulations for the Order and Discipline of the Troops of the United States, the book that served as the Army's drill manual for decades. He served as General George Washington's chief of staff in the final years of the war.

Generally, Von Steuben Day takes place in September in many cities throughout the United States. It is often considered the German-American event of the year. Participants march, dance, wear German costumes and play German music, and the event is attended by millions of people. The German-American Steuben Parade is held annually in September in New York City. It is one of the largest parades in the city and is traditionally followed by an Oktoberfest in Central Park as well as celebrations in Yorkville, Manhattan, a historically German section of New York City. The German-American Steuben Parade has been taking place since 1958. Chicago also hosts a von Steuben Day parade, which is featured in the U.S. film Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Philadelphia hosts a smaller Steuben Parade in the Northeast section of the city.

Stamps from Germany, Berlin and the US depicting von Steuben

General Von Steuben

Berlin 1980 Friedrich Wilhelm Von Steuben


Germany 1994 Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben


Wilhelm von Steuben to Horse. FDC


1820 Born: Friedrich Engels, German-English philosopher, economist, and journalist (d. 1895)

Friedrich Engels (28 November 1820 – 5 August 1895) was a German philosopher, historian, communist, social scientist, sociologist, journalist and businessman. His father was an owner of large textile factories in Salford, England, and Barmen, Prussia (now Wuppertal, Germany).

Engels developed what is now known as Marxist theory together with Karl Marx and in 1845 he published The Condition of the Working Class in England, based on personal observations and research in English cities. In 1848, Engels co-authored The Communist Manifesto with Marx and also authored and co-authored (primarily with Marx) many other works. Later, Engels supported Marx financially, allowing him to do research and write Das Kapital. After Marx's death, Engels edited the second and third volumes of Das Kapital. Additionally, Engels organised Marx's notes on the Theories of Surplus Value, which were later published as the "fourth volume" of Das Kapital. In 1884, he published The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State on the basis of Marx's ethnographic research.

Engels died in London on 5 August 1895, at the age of 74 of laryngeal cancer and following cremation his ashes were scattered off Beachy Head, near Eastbourne.

Stamps from East and West Germany depicting Friedrich Engels


German Democratic Republic 135th Birth of Friedrich Engels


Germany  Friedrich Engels, socialist, collaborator with Marx, 1970


Germany 1948 SBZ Famous People - Köpfe - Friedrich Engels


Russia Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels



1857 Born: Alfonso XII of Spain (d. 1885)

Alfonso XII (Alfonso Francisco de Asís Fernando Pío Juan María de la Concepción Gregorio Pelayo; 28 November 1857 – 25 November 1885), also known as El Pacificador or the Peacemaker, was King of Spain, reigning from 1874 to 1885. After a revolution that deposed his mother Isabella II from the throne in 1868, Alfonso studied in Austria and France. His mother abdicated in his favour in 1870, and he returned to Spain as king in 1874 following a military coup against the First Republic. Alfonso died aged 27 in 1885, and was succeeded by his son, Alfonso XIII, who was born the following year. To date, he is the last monarch of Spain to have died whilst on the throne.

Spanish and Spanish Philippines stamps depicting Alfonso XII

Alfonso XII  Year 1879

Spain 1876 King Alfonso XII

Spain 1879, King Alfonso Xii

Spanish Philippines 1874 King Alfonso XII 2c Rose Imperf Proof



1881 Born: Stefan Zweig, Austrian author, playwright, and journalist (d. 1942)

Stefan Zweig (28 November 1881 – 22 February 1942) was an Austrian novelist, playwright, journalist and biographer. At the height of his literary career, in the 1920s and 1930s, he was one of the most widely translated and most popular writers in the world.

Zweig was raised in Vienna, Austria-Hungary. He wrote historical studies of famous literary figures, such as Honoré de Balzac, Charles Dickens, and Fyodor Dostoevsky in Drei Meister (1920; Three Masters), and decisive historical events in Sternstunden der Menschheit (1928; published in English in 1940 as The Tide of Fortune: Twelve Historical Miniatures). He wrote biographies of Joseph Fouché (1929), Mary Stuart (1935) and Marie Antoinette (Marie Antoinette: The Portrait of an Average Woman, 1932), among others. Zweig's best-known fiction includes Letter from an Unknown Woman (1922), Amok (1922), Fear (1925), Confusion of Feelings (1927), Twenty-Four Hours in the Life of a Woman (1927), the psychological novel Ungeduld des Herzens (Beware of Pity, 1939), and The Royal Game (1941).

In 1934, as a result of the Nazi Party's rise in Germany, Zweig emigrated to England and then, in 1940, moved briefly to New York and then to Brazil, where he settled. In his final years, he would declare himself in love with the country, writing about it in the book Brazil, Land of the Future. Nonetheless, as the years passed Zweig became increasingly disillusioned and despairing at the future of Europe, and he and his wife Lotte were found dead of a barbiturate overdose in their house in Petrópolis on 23 February 1942; they had died the previous day. His work has been the basis for several film adaptations. Zweig's memoir, Die Welt von Gestern (The World of Yesterday, 1942), is noted for its description of life during the waning years of the Austro-Hungarian Empire under Franz Joseph I and has been called the most famous book on the Habsburg Empire.

Austrian stamp depicting Zweig

Austria No. 1692  Stefan Zweig



1912 – Albania declares its independence from the Ottoman Empire.

The Albanian Declaration of Independence (Albanian: Deklarata e Pavarësisë) was the declaration of independence of Albania from the Ottoman Empire. Independent Albania was proclaimed in Vlorë on 28 November 1912. Six days later the Assembly of Vlorë formed the first Government of Albania which was led by Ismail Qemali and the Council of Elders (Pleqnia).

The success of the Albanian Revolt of 1912 sent a strong signal to the neighboring countries that the Ottoman Empire was weak. The Kingdom of Serbia opposed the plan for an Albanian Vilayet, preferring a partition of the European territory of the Ottoman Empire among the four Balkan allies. Balkan allies planned the partition of the European territory of the Ottoman Empire among them and in the meantime the territory conquered during First Balkan War was agreed to have status of the Condominium. That was the reason for Ismail Qemali to organize an All-Albanian Congress in Vlorë.

Stamps issued after Albanian independence

Albania 1913- Used stamp. . Mi Nr 5

Albania 1913- Used stamp. . Mi Nr 8

Albania stamps 1913 MI 6



1954 Died: Enrico Fermi, Italian-American physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1901)

Enrico Fermi (29 September 1901 – 28 November 1954) was an Italian (later naturalized American) physicist and the creator of the world's first nuclear reactor, the Chicago Pile-1. He has been called the "architect of the nuclear age" and the "architect of the atomic bomb". He was one of very few physicists to excel in both theoretical physics and experimental physics. Fermi was awarded the 1938 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on induced radioactivity by neutron bombardment and for the discovery of transuranium elements. With his colleagues, Fermi filed several patents related to the use of nuclear power, all of which were taken over by the US government. He made significant contributions to the development of statistical mechanics, quantum theory, and nuclear and particle physics.

Fermi's first major contribution involved the field of statistical mechanics. After Wolfgang Pauli formulated his exclusion principle in 1925, Fermi followed with a paper in which he applied the principle to an ideal gas, employing a statistical formulation now known as Fermi–Dirac statistics. Today, particles that obey the exclusion principle are called "fermions". Pauli later postulated the existence of an uncharged invisible particle emitted along with an electron during beta decay, to satisfy the law of conservation of energy. Fermi took up this idea, developing a model that incorporated the postulated particle, which he named the "neutrino". His theory, later referred to as Fermi's interaction and now called weak interaction, described one of the four fundamental interactions in nature. Through experiments inducing radioactivity with the recently discovered neutron, Fermi discovered that slow neutrons were more easily captured by atomic nuclei than fast ones, and he developed the Fermi age equation to describe this. After bombarding thorium and uranium with slow neutrons, he concluded that he had created new elements. Although he was awarded the Nobel Prize for this discovery, the new elements were later revealed to be nuclear fission products.

Fermi left Italy in 1938 to escape new Italian racial laws that affected his Jewish wife, Laura Capon. He emigrated to the United States, where he worked on the Manhattan Project during World War II. Fermi led the team that designed and built Chicago Pile-1, which went critical on 2 December 1942, demonstrating the first human-created, self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction. He was on hand when the X-10 Graphite Reactor at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, went critical in 1943, and when the B Reactor at the Hanford Site did so the next year. At Los Alamos, he headed F Division, part of which worked on Edward Teller's thermonuclear "Super" bomb. He was present at the Trinity test on 16 July 1945, where he used his Fermi method to estimate the bomb's yield.

After the war, Fermi served under J. Robert Oppenheimer on the General Advisory Committee, which advised the Atomic Energy Commission on nuclear matters. After the detonation of the first Soviet fission bomb in August 1949, he strongly opposed the development of a hydrogen bomb on both moral and technical grounds. He was among the scientists who testified on Oppenheimer's behalf at the 1954 hearing that resulted in the denial of Oppenheimer's security clearance. Fermi did important work in particle physics, especially related to pions and muons, and he speculated that cosmic rays arose when material was accelerated by magnetic fields in interstellar space. Many awards, concepts, and institutions are named after Fermi, including the Enrico Fermi Award, the Enrico Fermi Institute, the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, the Enrico Fermi Nuclear Generating Station, and the synthetic element fermium, making him one of 16 scientists who have elements named after them.

A great and beloved teacher, Fermi tutored or directly influenced no less than 8 young researchers who went on to win Nobel Prizes.

US stamp depicting Enrico Fermi



1962 Died: Wilhelmina of the Netherlands (b. 1880)

Wilhelmina (Wilhelmina Helena Pauline Maria; 31 August 1880 – 28 November 1962) was Queen of the Netherlands from 1890 until her abdication in 1948. She reigned for nearly 58 years, longer than any other Dutch monarch. Her reign saw the First and the Second world wars, the Dutch economic crisis of 1933, and the decline of the Netherlands as a major colonial power.

Wilhelmina was the only child of King William III and his second wife, Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont. On William's death in 1890, she ascended to the throne at the age of ten under the regency of her mother. In 1901, she married Duke Henry of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, with whom she had a daughter, Juliana. Wilhelmina was generally credited with maintaining Dutch neutrality during the First World War.

Following the German invasion of the Netherlands in 1940, Wilhelmina fled to Britain and took charge of the Dutch government-in-exile. She frequently spoke to the Dutch people over radio and came to be regarded as a symbol of the Dutch resistance. She returned to the Netherlands following its liberation in 1945.

Increasingly beset by poor health after the war, Wilhelmina abdicated in September 1948 in favour of Juliana. She retired to Het Loo Palace, where she died in 1962.

Dutch, Suriname and  Netherlands Indies stamps depicting Wilhelmina

1924 Queen Wilhelmina tête-bêche


1899 - 1921 Queen Wilhelmina 25 cents


1899-1905 Queen Wilhelmina 10 Guilders


Queen Wilhelmina Suriname

Netherlands Indies Wilhelmina

Netherlands Definitives Queen Wilhelmina 1947-1948

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

November 25th in stamps Julius Robert von Mayer, Andrew Carnegie, Karl Benz, Haakon VII, general relativity, Alfonso XII

Here are some events that happened on November 25th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day


1814 Born: Julius Robert von Mayer, German physician and physicist (d. 1878)

Julius Robert von Mayer (25 November 1814 – 20 March 1878) was a German physician, chemist and physicist and one of the founders of thermodynamics. He is best known for enunciating in 1841 one of the original statements of the conservation of energy or what is now known as one of the first versions of the first law of thermodynamics, namely that "energy can be neither created nor destroyed". In 1842, Mayer described the vital chemical process now referred to as oxidation as the primary source of energy for any living creature. His achievements were overlooked and priority for the discovery of the mechanical equivalent of heat was attributed to James Joule in the following year. He also proposed that plants convert light into chemical energy.

German stamp and First Day Cover commemorating Julius Robert von Mayer

BRD 2014, Julius Robert von Mayer

200 birthday of Julius Robert von Mayer FDC



1835 Born: Andrew Carnegie, Scottish-American businessman and philanthropist (d. 1919)

Andrew Carnegie (November 25, 1835 – August 11, 1919) was a Scottish-American industrialist and philanthropist. Carnegie led the expansion of the American steel industry in the late 19th century and became one of the richest Americans in history. He became a leading philanthropist in the United States and in the British Empire. During the last 18 years of his life, he gave away $350 million (conservatively $65 billion in 2019 dollars, based on percentage of GDP) to charities, foundations, and universities – almost 90 percent of his fortune. His 1889 article proclaiming "The Gospel of Wealth" called on the rich to use their wealth to improve society, and stimulated a wave of philanthropy.

Carnegie was born in Dunfermline, Scotland, and emigrated to the United States with his parents in 1848 at age 12. Carnegie started work as a telegrapher, and by the 1860s had investments in railroads, railroad sleeping cars, bridges, and oil derricks. He accumulated further wealth as a bond salesman, raising money for American enterprise in Europe. He built Pittsburgh's Carnegie Steel Company, which he sold to J. P. Morgan in 1901 for $303,450,000. It became the U.S. Steel Corporation. After selling Carnegie Steel, he surpassed John D. Rockefeller as the richest American for the next several years.

Carnegie devoted the remainder of his life to large-scale philanthropy, with special emphasis on local libraries, world peace, education, and scientific research. With the fortune he made from business, he built Carnegie Hall in New York, NY, and the Peace Palace and founded the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Carnegie Institution for Science, Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland, Carnegie Hero Fund, Carnegie Mellon University, and the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, among others.

US stamp depicting Carnegie

4c Andrew Carnegie



1844 – Karl Benz, German engineer and businessman, founded Mercedes-Benz (d. 1929)

Karl Friedrich Benz (25 November 1844 – 4 April 1929) was a German engine designer and automobile engineer.
The Benz Patent-Motorwagen ("patent motorcar"), built in 1885, is widely regarded as the world's first production automobile, that is, a vehicle designed to be propelled by an internal combustion engine. The original cost of the vehicle in 1885 was 600 imperial German marks, approximately 150 US dollars (equivalent to $4,183 in 2018). The vehicle was awarded the German patent number 37435, for which Karl Benz applied on 29 January 1886. Following official procedures, the date of the application became the patent date for the invention once the patent was granted, which occurred in November of that year.

Here are some stamps depicting Benz or his car from Germany and Hungary

Benz car Hungary

Benz car Germany

Karl Friedrich Benz German Reich

1885 Died: Alfonso XII of Spain (b. 1857)

Alfonso XII (Alfonso Francisco de Asís Fernando Pío Juan María de la Concepción Gregorio Pelayo; 28 November 1857 – 25 November 1885), also known as El Pacificador or the Peacemaker, was King of Spain, reigning from 1874 to 1885. After a revolution that deposed his mother Isabella II from the throne in 1868, Alfonso studied in Austria and France. His mother abdicated in his favour in 1870, and he returned to Spain as king in 1874 following a military coup against the First Republic. Alfonso died aged 27 in 1885, and was succeeded by his son, Alfonso XIII, who was born the following year. To date, he is the last monarch of Spain to have died whilst on the throne.

Spanish and Spanish Philippines stamps depicting Alfonso XII

Alfonso XII  Year 1879

Spain 1876 King Alfonso XII

Spain 1879, King Alfonso Xii

Spanish Philippines 1874 King Alfonso XII 2c Rose Imperf Proof



1905 – Prince Carl of Denmark arrives in Norway to become King Haakon VII of Norway.

Haakon VII (born Prince Carl of Denmark; 3 August 1872 – 21 September 1957) was the King of Norway from 1905 until his death in 1957.

Originally a Danish prince, he was born in Copenhagen as the son of the future Frederick VIII of Denmark and Louise of Sweden. Prince Carl was educated at the Royal Danish Naval Academy and served in the Royal Danish Navy. After the 1905 dissolution of the union between Sweden and Norway, Prince Carl was offered the Norwegian crown. Following a November plebiscite, he accepted the offer and was formally elected King of Norway by the Storting. He took the Old Norse name Haakon and ascended to the throne as Haakon VII, becoming the first independent Norwegian monarch since 1387. 

Norway was invaded by Nazi Germany in April 1940. Haakon rejected German demands to legitimise the Quisling regime's puppet government and refused to abdicate after going into exile in Great Britain. As such, he played a pivotal role in uniting the Norwegian nation in its resistance to the invasion and the subsequent five-year-long occupation during the Second World War. He returned to Norway in June 1945 after the defeat of Germany.

He became King of Norway when his grandfather, Christian IX was still reigning in Denmark; and before his father and older brother became kings of Denmark. During his reign he saw his father, his elder brother Christian X, and his nephew Frederick IX ascend the throne of Denmark, in 1906, 1912, and 1947 respectively. Haakon died at the age of 85 in September 1957, after having reigned for nearly 52 years. He was succeeded by his only son, who ascended to the throne as Olav V.

Stamps from Norway depicting King Haakon VII

Norway 1911-1918 Haakon VII

Norway 1951 King Haakon VII

Norway 1952 King Haakon VII


1915 – Albert Einstein presents the field equations of general relativity to the Prussian Academy of Sciences.

Albert Einstein (14 March 1879 – 18 April 1955) was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics (alongside quantum mechanics). His work is also known for its influence on the philosophy of science. He is best known to the general public for his mass–energy equivalence formula E = mc2, which has been dubbed "the world's most famous equation". He received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics "for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect", a pivotal step in the development of quantum theory.

The son of a salesman who later operated an electrochemical factory, Einstein was born in the German Empire but moved to Switzerland in 1895 and renounced his German citizenship in 1896. Specializing in physics and mathematics, he received his academic teaching diploma from the Swiss Federal Polytechnic School (German: eidgenössische polytechnische Schule) in Zürich in 1900. The following year, he acquired Swiss citizenship, which he kept for his entire life. After initially struggling to find work, from 1902 to 1909 he was employed as a patent examiner at the Swiss Patent Office in Bern.

Near the beginning of his career, Einstein thought that Newtonian mechanics was no longer enough to reconcile the laws of classical mechanics with the laws of the electromagnetic field. This led him to develop his special theory of relativity during his time at the Swiss Patent Office. In 1905, called his annus mirabilis (miracle year), he published four groundbreaking papers, which attracted the attention of the academic world; the first outlined the theory of the photoelectric effect, the second paper explained Brownian motion, the third paper introduced special relativity, and the fourth mass-energy equivalence. That year, at the age of 26, he was awarded a PhD by the University of Zurich.

Although initially treated with skepticism from many in the scientific community, Einstein's works gradually came to be recognised as significant advancements. He was invited to teach theoretical physics at the University of Bern in 1908 and the following year moved to the University of Zurich, then in 1911 to Charles University in Prague before returning to ETH (the newly renamed Federal Polytechnic School) in Zürich in 1912. In 1914, he was elected to the Prussian Academy of Sciences in Berlin, where he remained for 19 years. Soon after publishing his work on special relativity, Einstein began working to extend the theory to gravitational fields; he then published a paper on general relativity in 1916, introducing his theory of gravitation. He continued to deal with problems of statistical mechanics and quantum theory, which led to his explanations of particle theory and the motion of molecules. He also investigated the thermal properties of light and the quantum theory of radiation, the basis of the laser, which laid the foundation of the photon theory of light. In 1917, he applied the general theory of relativity to model the structure of the universe.

In 1933, while Einstein was visiting the United States, Adolf Hitler came to power. Because of his Jewish background, Einstein did not return to Germany. He settled in the United States and became an American citizen in 1940. On the eve of World War II, he endorsed a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt alerting FDR to the potential development of "extremely powerful bombs of a new type" and recommending that the US begin similar research. This eventually led to the Manhattan Project. Einstein supported the Allies, but he generally denounced the idea of using nuclear fission as a weapon. He signed the Russell–Einstein Manifesto with British philosopher Bertrand Russell, which highlighted the danger of nuclear weapons. He was affiliated with the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, until his death in 1955.

He published more than 300 scientific papers and more than 150 non-scientific works. His intellectual achievements and originality have made the word "Einstein" synonymous with "genius". Eugene Wigner compared him to his contemporaries, writing that "Einstein's understanding was deeper even than Jancsi von Neumann's. His mind was both more penetrating and more original".

Stamps from various countries depicting Albert Einstein

1966  ¢.08 Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein US 15c

Germany DDR 1979 Albert Einstein

Italy 1979 Birth Centenary of Albert Einstein

Monaco 1979 Birth Centenary of Albert Einstein

San Marino 1979 Birth Centenary of Albert Einstein