Showing posts with label Luxembourg. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Luxembourg. Show all posts

Thursday, February 13, 2020

February 13th in stamps Galileo, Boscovich,Wagner, German reunification

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


1633 – Galileo Galilei arrives in Rome for his trial before the Inquisition.

Galileo di Vincenzo Bonaulti de Galilei (15 February 1564 – 8 January 1642) was an Italian astronomer, physicist and engineer, sometimes described as a polymath, from Pisa. Galileo has been called the "father of observational astronomy", the "father of modern physics", the "father of the scientific method", and the "father of modern science".

Galileo studied speed and velocity, gravity and free fall, the principle of relativity, inertia, projectile motion and also worked in applied science and technology, describing the properties of pendulums and "hydrostatic balances", inventing the thermoscope and various military compasses, and using the telescope for scientific observations of celestial objects. His contributions to observational astronomy include the telescopic confirmation of the phases of Venus, the observation of the four largest satellites of Jupiter, the observation of Saturn's rings, and the analysis of sunspots.

Galileo's championing of heliocentrism and Copernicanism was controversial during his lifetime, when most subscribed to geocentric models such as the Tychonic system. He met with opposition from astronomers, who doubted heliocentrism because of the absence of an observed stellar parallax. The matter was investigated by the Roman Inquisition in 1615, which concluded that heliocentrism was "foolish and absurd in philosophy, and formally heretical since it explicitly contradicts in many places the sense of Holy Scripture".

Galileo later defended his views in Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems (1632), which appeared to attack Pope Urban VIII and thus alienated him and the Jesuits, who had both supported Galileo up until this point. He was tried by the Inquisition, found "vehemently suspect of heresy", and forced to recant. He spent the rest of his life under house arrest. While under house arrest, he wrote Two New Sciences, in which he summarized work he had done some forty years earlier on the two sciences now called kinematics and strength of materials.

Stamps from Hungary, Italy and Luxembourg depicting Galileo

Hungary 1964 Galileo

Italy 1964 Galileo Galilei Astronomer And Physicist

Italy Galileo Galilei Blocks of 4

Luxembourg 2009 Europa Space Astronomy Galileo Set


1787 Died: Roger Joseph Boscovich, Croatian physicist, astronomer, mathematician, and philosopher (b. 1711)

Roger Joseph Boscovich (18 May 1711 – 13 February 1787) was a physicist, astronomer, mathematician, philosopher, diplomat, poet, theologian, Jesuit priest, and a polymath from the Republic of Ragusa (modern-day Dubrovnik, Croatia). He studied and lived in Italy and France where he also published many of his works.

Boscovich produced a precursor of atomic theory and made many contributions to astronomy, including the first geometric procedure for determining the equator of a rotating planet from three observations of a surface feature and for computing the orbit of a planet from three observations of its position. In 1753 he also discovered the absence of atmosphere on the Moon.

Stamps from Croatia, the Vatican and Yugoslavia depicting Boscovich

Croatia NDH 1943 Ruder Boskovic

Vatican Rudjer Boscovic Astronomer

Yugoslavia 1987 - Maxicard Ruder Boskovic


1883 Died: Richard Wagner, German composer (b. 1813)

Wilhelm Richard Wagner (22 May 1813 – 13 February 1883) was a German composer, theatre director, polemicist, and conductor who is chiefly known for his operas (or, as some of his mature works were later known, "music dramas"). Unlike most opera composers, Wagner wrote both the libretto and the music for each of his stage works. Initially establishing his reputation as a composer of works in the romantic vein of Carl Maria von Weber and Giacomo Meyerbeer, Wagner revolutionised opera through his concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk ("total work of art"), by which he sought to synthesise the poetic, visual, musical and dramatic arts, with music subsidiary to drama. He described this vision in a series of essays published between 1849 and 1852. Wagner realised these ideas most fully in the first half of the four-opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung).

His compositions, particularly those of his later period, are notable for their complex textures, rich harmonies and orchestration, and the elaborate use of leitmotifs—musical phrases associated with individual characters, places, ideas, or plot elements. His advances in musical language, such as extreme chromaticism and quickly shifting tonal centres, greatly influenced the development of classical music. His Tristan und Isolde is sometimes described as marking the start of modern music.

Wagner had his own opera house built, the Bayreuth Festspielhaus, which embodied many novel design features. The Ring and Parsifal were premiered here and his most important stage works continue to be performed at the annual Bayreuth Festival, run by his descendants. His thoughts on the relative contributions of music and drama in opera were to change again, and he reintroduced some traditional forms into his last few stage works, including Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (The Mastersingers of Nuremberg).

Until his final years, Wagner's life was characterised by political exile, turbulent love affairs, poverty and repeated flight from his creditors. His controversial writings on music, drama and politics have attracted extensive comment, notably, since the late 20th century, where they express antisemitic sentiments. The effect of his ideas can be traced in many of the arts throughout the 20th century; his influence spread beyond composition into conducting, philosophy, literature, the visual arts and theatre.

Bohemia and Moravia protectorate stamp depicting Wagner

Wagner BOhemia

Below is a set of German Reich stamps commemorating Richard Wagner as well as the Parsifal  stamp on its own

Wagner Zusammendrucke


Richard Wagner's opera Parsifal Geman Reich Michel 507

Richard Wagner Geman Reich Scott B49-B57





1990 – German reunification: An agreement is reached on a two-stage plan to reunite Germany.

German reunification (German: Deutsche Wiedervereinigung) was the process in 1990 in which the German Democratic Republic became part of the Federal Republic of Germany to form the reunited nation of Germany, as provided by Article 23 of the Federal Republic of Germany's then constitution (Grundgesetz). The end of the unification process is officially referred to as German unity (German: Deutsche Einheit), celebrated each year on 3 October as German Unity Day (German: Tag der deutschen Einheit). Berlin was reunited into a single city, and was once again designated as the capital of united Germany.

The East German government started to falter in May 1989, when the removal of Hungary's border fence with Austria opened a hole in the Iron Curtain. It caused an exodus of thousands of East Germans fleeing to West Germany and Austria via Hungary. The Peaceful Revolution, a series of protests by East Germans, led to the GDR's first free elections on 18 March 1990, and to the negotiations between the GDR and FRG that culminated in a Unification Treaty. Other negotiations between the GDR and FRG and the four occupying powers produced the so-called "Two Plus Four Treaty" (Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany) granting full sovereignty to a unified German state, whose two parts were previously bound by a number of limitations stemming from their post-World War II status as occupied regions.

The 1945 Potsdam Agreement had specified that a full peace treaty concluding World War II, including the exact delimitation of Germany's postwar boundaries, required to be "accepted by the Government of Germany when a government adequate for the purpose is established." The Federal Republic had always maintained that no such government could be said to have been established until East and West Germany had been united within a free democratic state; but in 1990 a range of opinions continued to be maintained over whether a unified West Germany, East Germany, and Berlin could be said to represent "Germany as a whole" for this purpose. The key question was whether a Germany that remained bounded to the east by the Oder–Neisse line could act as a "united Germany" in signing the peace treaty without qualification. Under the "Two Plus Four Treaty" both the Federal Republic and the Democratic Republic committed themselves and their unified continuation to the principle that their joint pre-1990 boundaries constituted the entire territory that could be claimed by a Government of Germany, and hence that there were no further lands outside those boundaries that were parts of Germany as a whole.

The post-1990 united Germany is not a successor state, but an enlarged continuation of the former West Germany. As such, the enlarged Federal Republic of Germany retained the West German seats in international organizations including the European Community (later the European Union) and NATO, while relinquishing membership in the Warsaw Pact and other international organizations to which only East Germany belonged. It also maintains the United Nations membership of the old West Germany.

Stamps depicting German reunification as well as the tearing down of the Berlin Wall

German Reunification

Germany 1998 Europa and German Reunification Day

Maxi Card Germany 1990 - Fall of Berlin Wall

Vatican Fall of the Berlin Wall, 25th anniv. 2014

West Germany 1990 Berlin Wall Mini Sheet


Wednesday, February 05, 2020

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

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


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

Leopold II (9 April 1835 – 17 December 1909) was King of the Belgians from 1865 to 1909. Born in Brussels as the second but eldest surviving son of Leopold I and Louise of Orléans, he succeeded his father to the Belgian throne in 1865 and reigned for 44 years until his death – the longest reign of any Belgian monarch. He died without surviving male heirs. The current Belgian king descends from his nephew and successor, Albert I.

Leopold was the founder and sole owner of the Congo Free State, a private project undertaken on his own behalf. He used Henry Morton Stanley to help him lay claim to the Congo, the present-day Democratic Republic of the Congo. At the Berlin Conference of 1884–1885, the colonial nations of Europe authorized his claim by committing the Congo Free State to improving the lives of the native inhabitants. Leopold ignored these conditions and ran the Congo using the mercenary Force Publique for his personal gain. He extracted a fortune from the territory, initially by the collection of ivory, and after a rise in the price of rubber in the 1890s, by forced labor from the native population to harvest and process rubber. He used great sums of the money from this exploitation for public and private construction projects in Belgium during this period. He donated the private buildings to the state before his death, to preserve them for Belgium.

Leopold's administration of the Congo was characterized by murder, torture, and atrocities, resulting from notorious systematic brutality. The hands of men, women, and children were amputated when the quota of rubber was not met. These and other facts were established at the time by eyewitness testimony and on site inspection by an international Commission of Inquiry (1904).
Millions of the Congolese people died: modern estimates range from 1 million to 15 million deaths, with a consensus growing around 10 million. Some historians argue against this figure, citing the absence of reliable censuses, the enormous mortality of diseases such as smallpox or sleeping sickness, and the fact that there were only 175 administrative agents in charge of rubber exploitation.

In 1908, the reports of deaths and abuse induced the Belgian government to take over the administration of the Congo from Leopold.

Stamps from Belgium and Belgian Congo depicting Leopold II

Belgium 1883 King Leopold II 10c Carmine

Belgium 1884 Leopold II 1 Franc

Belgium 1893 Leopold II, tab 1 franc

I887-94 Belgian Congo King Leopold II




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

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

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

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

Stamps depicting Citroën cars

Andorra French  Automobile CITROËN CX

Citroen Stamp Stamp France

Citroën Typ H Van Transporter

France - 2019 Stamp Day  Citroen Traction Car Minisheet

France Citroën Type A



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

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

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

Croatian stamp issued to commemorate Penkala

Croatia 1994 Europa Inventions Penkala pencil Writing

Monday, February 03, 2020

February 3rd in stamps Mendelssohn Junkers, Wilson, Benelux



Here are some events that happened on February 3rd. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day


1809 Born:  Felix Mendelssohn, German pianist, composer, and conductor (d. 1847)

Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (3 February 1809 – 4 November 1847), born and widely known as Felix Mendelssohn, was a German composer, pianist, organist and conductor of the early Romantic period. Mendelssohn's compositions include symphonies, concertos, piano music and chamber music. His best-known works include his Overture and incidental music for A Midsummer Night's Dream, the Italian Symphony, the Scottish Symphony, the oratorio Elijah, the overture The Hebrides, his mature Violin Concerto, and his String Octet. The melody for the Christmas carol "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" is also his. Mendelssohn's Songs Without Words are his most famous solo piano compositions.

A grandson of the philosopher Moses Mendelssohn, Felix Mendelssohn was born into a prominent Jewish family. He was brought up without religion until the age of seven, when he was baptized as a Reformed Christian. Felix was recognized early as a musical prodigy, but his parents were cautious and did not seek to capitalize on his talent.

Mendelssohn enjoyed early success in Germany, and revived interest in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, notably with his performance of the St Matthew Passion in 1829. He became well received in his travels throughout Europe as a composer, conductor and soloist; his ten visits to Britain – during which many of his major works were premiered – form an important part of his adult career. His essentially conservative musical tastes set him apart from more adventurous musical contemporaries such as Franz Liszt, Richard Wagner, Charles-Valentin Alkan and Hector Berlioz. The Leipzig Conservatory, which he founded, became a bastion of this anti-radical outlook. After a long period of relative denigration due to changing musical tastes and antisemitism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, his creative originality has been re-evaluated. He is now among the most popular composers of the Romantic era.

Stamps from Vatican, East Germany and Germany depicting Felix Mendelssohn

East Germany Felix Mendelssohn

Germany Felix Mendelssohn

Vatican Felix Mendelssohn 


1859 Born: Hugo Junkers, German engineer, designed the Junkers J 1 (d. 1935)

Hugo Junkers (3 February 1859 – 3 February 1935) was a German aircraft engineer and aircraft designer who pioneered the design of all-metal airplanes and flying wings. His company, Junkers Flugzeug- und Motorenwerke AG (Junkers Aircraft and Motor Works), was one of the mainstays of the German aircraft industry in the years between World War I and World War II. His multi-engined, all-metal passenger- and freight planes helped establish airlines in Germany and around the world.

In addition to aircraft, Junkers also built both diesel and petrol engines and held various thermodynamic and metallurgical patents. He was also one of the main sponsors of the Bauhaus movement and facilitated the move of the Bauhaus from Weimar to Dessau (where his factory was situated) in 1925.

Amongst the highlights of his career were the Junkers J 1 of 1915, the world's first practical all-metal aircraft, incorporating a cantilever wing design with virtually no external bracing, the Junkers F 13 of 1919 (the world's first all-metal passenger aircraft), the Junkers W 33 (which made the first successful heavier-than-air east-to-west crossing of the Atlantic Ocean), the Junkers G.38 "flying wing", and the Junkers Ju 52, affectionately nicknamed "Tante Ju", one of the most famous airliners of the 1930s.

When the Nazis came into power in 1933 they requested Junkers and his businesses aid in the German re-armament. When Junkers declined, the Nazis responded by demanding ownership of all patents and market shares from his remaining companies, under threat of imprisonment on the grounds of High Treason. In 1934 Junkers was placed under house arrest, and died at home in 1935 during negotiations to give up the remaining stock and interests in Junkers. Under Nazi control, his company produced some of the most successful German warplanes of the Second World War.

Some German and Bulgarian stamps depicting Junkers planes

Bulgaria-1932 Junkers over Rila monastery

Germany 1969 50th Anniversary German Airmail Junkers

Germany 1976  Transport Aviation Lufthansa Junkers F-13 Herta

Junker Military Air Post 1942



1924 Died: Woodrow Wilson, American historian, academic, and politician, 28th President of the United States, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1856)

Thomas Woodrow Wilson (December 28, 1856 – February 3, 1924) was an American statesman, lawyer, and academic who served as the 28th president of the United States from 1913 to 1921. A member of the Democratic Party, Wilson served as the president of Princeton University and as the 34th governor of New Jersey before winning the 1912 presidential election. As president, he oversaw the passage of progressive legislative policies unparalleled until the New Deal in 1933. He also led the United States into World War I in 1917, establishing an activist foreign policy known as "Wilsonianism." He was the leading architect of the League of Nations.

Born in Staunton, Virginia, Wilson spent his early years in Augusta, Georgia, and Columbia, South Carolina. After earning a Ph.D. in political science from Johns Hopkins University, Wilson taught at various schools before becoming the president of Princeton. As governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913, Wilson broke with party bosses and won the passage of several progressive reforms. His success in New Jersey gave him a national reputation as a progressive reformer, and he won the presidential nomination at the 1912 Democratic National Convention. Wilson defeated incumbent Republican President William Howard Taft and Progressive Party nominee Theodore Roosevelt to win the 1912 presidential election, becoming the first Southerner to be elected president since the American Civil War.

During his first term, Wilson presided over the passage of his progressive New Freedom domestic agenda. His first major priority was the passage of the Revenue Act of 1913, which lowered tariffs and implemented a federal income tax. Later tax acts implemented a federal estate tax and raised the top income tax rate to 77 percent. Wilson also presided over the passage of the Federal Reserve Act, which created a central banking system in the form of the Federal Reserve System. Two major laws, the Federal Trade Commission Act and the Clayton Antitrust Act, were passed to regulate and break up large business interests known as trusts. To the disappointment of his African-American supporters, Wilson allowed some of his Cabinet members to segregate their departments. Upon the outbreak of World War I in 1914, Wilson maintained a policy of neutrality between the Allied Powers and the Central Powers. He won re-election by a narrow margin in the presidential election of 1916, defeating Republican nominee Charles Evans Hughes.

In early 1917, Wilson asked Congress for a declaration of war against Germany after Germany implemented a policy of unrestricted submarine warfare, and Congress complied. Wilson presided over war-time mobilization but devoted much of his efforts to foreign affairs, developing the Fourteen Points as a basis for post-war peace. After Germany signed an armistice in November 1918, Wilson and other Allied leaders took part in the Paris Peace Conference, where Wilson advocated for the establishment of a multilateral organization, per his "fourteenth point". The resulting League of Nations was incorporated into the Treaty of Versailles and other treaties with the defeated Central Powers, but Wilson was subsequently unable to convince the Senate to ratify that treaty or allow the United States to join the League. Wilson suffered a severe stroke in October 1919 and was incapacitated for the remainder of his presidency. He retired from public office in 1921 and died in 1924. Scholars have generally ranked Wilson as one of the better U.S. presidents, though he has received strong criticism for his actions regarding racial segregation.

US stamps depicting Woodrow Wilson

Woodrow Wilson - Liberty Series

Woodrow Wilson Blk of 4

1938 $1 Woodrow Wilson, 28th President





1958 – Founding of the Benelux Economic Union, creating a testing ground for a later European Economic Community.

The Benelux Union (Dutch: Benelux Unie; French: Union Benelux; Luxembourgish: Benelux-Unioun), also known as simply Benelux, is a politico-economic union and formal international intergovernmental cooperation of three neighboring states in western Europe: Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. The name Benelux is a portmanteau formed from joining the first two or three letters of each country's name – Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg – and was first used to name the customs agreement that initiated the union (signed in 1944). It is now used more generally to refer to the geographic, economic, and cultural grouping of the three countries.

Since 1944, when a customs union was introduced, cooperation among the governments of Belgium, the Netherlands, and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg has been a firmly established practice. The initial form of economic cooperation expanded steadily over time, leading in 1958 to the signing of the Treaty establishing the Benelux Economic Union. Initially, the purpose of cooperation among the three partners was to put an end to customs barriers at their borders and ensure free movement of persons, goods and services among the three countries. It was the first example of international economic integration in Europe since the Second World War. The three countries therefore foreshadowed and provided the model for future European integration, such as the European Coal and Steel Community, the European Economic Community (EEC), and the European Community/European Union (EC/EU). The three partners continue to play this pioneering role. They also launched the Schengen process, which came into operation in 1985, promoting it from the outset. Benelux cooperation has been constantly adapted and now goes much further than mere economic cooperation, extending to new and topical policy areas connected with security, sustainable development, and the economy. Benelux models its cooperation on that of the European Union and is able to take up and pursue original ideas. The Benelux countries also work together in the so called 'The Pentalateral Energy Forum' a regional cooperation group formed of five members - the Benelux states, France, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Formed ten years ago, the ministers for energy from the various countries represent a total of 200 million residents and 40% of the European electricity network.

On 17 June 2008 Belgium (in all its component parts), the Netherlands, and Luxembourg signed a new Benelux Treaty in The Hague. The purpose of the Benelux Union is to deepen and expand cooperation among the three countries so that it can continue its role as precursor within the European Union and strengthen and improve cross-border cooperation at every level. Through better cooperation between the countries the Benelux strives to promote the prosperity and welfare of the citizens of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

Benelux works together on the basis of an annual plan embedded in a four-year joint work programme.

Benelux seeks region-to-region cooperation, be it with France and Germany (North-Rhine-Westphalia) or beyond with the Baltic States, the Nordic Council, the Visegrad countries, or even further. In 2018 a renewed political declaration was adopted between Benelux and North-Rhine-Westphalia to give the cooperation a further impetus.

Some examples of recent results of Benelux cooperation : automatic level recognition of all diplomas and degrees within the Benelux, a new Benelux Treaty on Police cooperation, common road inspections and a Benelux pilot with digital consignment notes. The Benelux is also committed to working together on adaptation to climate change. On 5 June 2018 the Benelux (Treaty) celebrated its 60 years of existence. In 2018, a Benelux Youth Parliament was created.

The main institutions of the Union are the Committee of Ministers, the Council of the Union, the General Secretariat, the InterParliamentary Consultative Council and the Benelux Court of Justice while the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property cover the same territory but are not part of the Benelux Union.

The Benelux General Secretariat is located in Brussels. It is the central platform of the Benelux Union cooperation. It handles the secretariat of the Committee of Ministers, the Council of Benelux Union and the various committees and working parties. The General Secretariat provides day-to-day support for the Benelux cooperation on the substantive, procedural, diplomatic and logistical levels.

The presidency of the Benelux is held in turn by the three countries for a period of one year. Luxembourg holds the presidency in 2019.


In addition to cooperation based on a Treaty, there is also political cooperation in the Benelux context, including summits of the Benelux government leaders. In 2019 a Benelux summit was held in Luxembourg.


Benelux stamps issued by Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg

Netherlands 1974 Benelux

Luxembourg 1974 Benelux

Belgium 1974 Benelux
Netherlands 1964 Benelux

Netherlands 1969 Benelux

Netherlands 1969 Benelux First Day Cover


Wednesday, January 08, 2020

January 8th in stamps Gundulic, Crazy Horse, Cape Colony, Kolbe, Mitterrand, Galileo

Here are some events that happened on January 8th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day


1589 Born: Ivan Gundulić, Croatian poet and playwright (d. 1638)

Ivan Franov Gundulić also Gianfrancesco Gondola (8 January 1589 – 8 December 1638), better known today as Ivan Gundulić, was the most prominent Baroque poet from the Republic of Ragusa.  His work embodies central characteristics of Roman Catholic Counter-Reformation: religious fervor, insistence on "vanity of this world" and zeal in opposition to "infidels". Gundulić's major works—the epic poem Osman, the pastoral play Dubravka, and the religious poem Tears of the Prodigal Son (based on the Parable of the Prodigal Son) are examples of Baroque stylistic richness and, frequently, rhetorical excess. In Croatia, Gundulić is considered to be the most notable Croatian Baroqoe poet, while in Serbia he is seen as an integral part of Serbian literature

Yugoslavia: Writer Ivan Gundulic Giovanni Gondola


1642 – Galileo Galilei, Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher (b. 1564)

Galileo di Vincenzo Bonaulti de Galilei (15 February 1564 – 8 January 1642) was an Italian astronomer, physicist and engineer, sometimes described as a polymath, from Pisa. Galileo has been called the "father of observational astronomy", the "father of modern physics", the "father of the scientific method", and the "father of modern science".

Galileo studied speed and velocity, gravity and free fall, the principle of relativity, inertia, projectile motion and also worked in applied science and technology, describing the properties of pendulums and "hydrostatic balances", inventing the thermoscope and various military compasses, and using the telescope for scientific observations of celestial objects. His contributions to observational astronomy include the telescopic confirmation of the phases of Venus, the observation of the four largest satellites of Jupiter, the observation of Saturn's rings, and the analysis of sunspots.

Galileo's championing of heliocentrism and Copernicanism was controversial during his lifetime, when most subscribed to geocentric models such as the Tychonic system. He met with opposition from astronomers, who doubted heliocentrism because of the absence of an observed stellar parallax. The matter was investigated by the Roman Inquisition in 1615, which concluded that heliocentrism was "foolish and absurd in philosophy, and formally heretical since it explicitly contradicts in many places the sense of Holy Scripture".

Galileo later defended his views in Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems (1632), which appeared to attack Pope Urban VIII and thus alienated him and the Jesuits, who had both supported Galileo up until this point. He was tried by the Inquisition, found "vehemently suspect of heresy", and forced to recant. He spent the rest of his life under house arrest. While under house arrest, he wrote Two New Sciences, in which he summarized work he had done some forty years earlier on the two sciences now called kinematics and strength of materials.

Stamps from Hungary, Italy and Luxembourg depicting Galileo

Hungary 1964 Galileo

Italy 1964 Galileo Galilei Astronomer And Physicist

Italy Galileo Galilei Blocks of 4

Luxembourg 2009 Europa Space Astronomy Galileo Set


1806 – Cape Colony becomes a British colony.

The Cape of Good Hope, also known as the Cape Colony (Dutch: Kaapkolonie), was a British colony in present-day South Africa, named after the Cape of Good Hope. The British colony was preceded by an earlier Dutch colony of the same name, the Kaap de Goede Hoop, established in 1652 by the Dutch East India Company. The Cape was under Dutch rule from 1652 to 1795 and again from 1803 to 1806. The Dutch lost the colony to Great Britain following the 1795 Battle of Muizenberg, but had it returned following the 1802 Peace of Amiens. It was re-occupied by the UK following the Battle of Blaauwberg in 1806, and British possession affirmed with the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814.

The Cape of Good Hope then remained in the British Empire, becoming self-governing in 1872, and uniting with three other colonies to form the Union of South Africa in 1910. It then was renamed the Province of the Cape of Good Hope. South Africa became a sovereign state in 1931 by the Statute of Westminster. In 1961 it became the Republic of South Africa and obtained its own monetary unit called the Rand. Following the 1994 creation of the present-day South African provinces, the Cape Province was partitioned into the Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, and Western Cape, with smaller parts in North West province.

The Cape of Good Hope was coextensive with the later Cape Province, stretching from the Atlantic coast inland and eastward along the southern coast, constituting about half of modern South Africa: the final eastern boundary, after several wars against the Xhosa, stood at the Fish River. In the north, the Orange River, also known as the Gariep River, served as the boundary for some time, although some land between the river and the southern boundary of Botswana was later added to it. From 1878, the colony also included the enclave of Walvis Bay and the Penguin Islands, both in what is now Namibia.

Early stamps from the Cape of Good Hope

Cape of Good Hope 1887 QV 5s orange

Cape of Good Hope  brown-orange

Cape Of Good Hope-1853 4d Blue

Cape Of Good Hope-1855-63 4d Blue

Cape Of Good Hope-1863-4 6d Bright Mauve


1877 – Crazy Horse and his warriors fight their last battle against the United States Cavalry at Wolf Mountain, Montana Territory.

The Battle of Wolf Mountain, also known the Battle of the Wolf Mountains, Miles's Battle on the Tongue River, the Battle of the Butte and called the Battle of Belly Butte by the Northern Cheyenne, occurred January 8, 1877, in southern Montana Territory between soldiers of the United States Army against Lakota Sioux and Northern Cheyenne warriors during the Great Sioux War of 1876. It was fought about four miles southwest of modern-day Birney, along the Tongue River. In 2001, the Wolf Mountains Battlefield was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was raised to the status of National Historic Landmark in 2008.


In September 1877, four months after surrendering to U.S. troops under General George Crook, Crazy Horse was fatally wounded by a bayonet-wielding military guard while allegedly resisting imprisonment at Camp Robinson in present-day Nebraska. He ranks among the most notable and iconic of Native American warriors and was honored by the U.S. Postal Service in 1982 with a 13¢ Great Americans series postage stamp.

You can see that stamp below

Crazy Horse stamp 1982

Crazy Horse stamp 1982 First Day Cover




1894 Born: Maximilian Kolbe, Polish martyr and saint (d. 1941)

Maximilian Kolbe (8 January 1894 – 14 August 1941) was a Polish Conventual Franciscan friar who volunteered to die in place of a stranger in the German death camp of Auschwitz, located in German-occupied Poland during World War II. He had been active in promoting the veneration of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, founding and supervising the monastery of Niepokalanów near Warsaw, operating an amateur-radio station (SP3RN), and founding or running several other organizations and publications.

On 10 October 1982 Pope John Paul II canonized Father Kolbe and declared him a martyr of charity. The Catholic Church venerates him as the patron saint of amateur-radio operators, of drug addicts, of political prisoners, of families, of journalists, of prisoners, and of the pro-life movement. John Paul II declared him "The Patron Saint of Our Difficult Century". His feast day is 14 August, the day of his death.

Due to Kolbe's efforts to promote consecration and entrustment to Mary, he is known as the Apostle of Consecration to Mary.

Polish and German stamps depicting Kolbe

Deutsche Bundespost 1973 Maximilian Kolbe

Poland 2001 - St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe

Poland 2011 - Maximilian Kolbe


1996 Died: François Mitterrand, French sergeant and politician, 21st President of France (b. 1916)

François Maurice Adrien Marie Mitterrand (26 October 1916 – 8 January 1996) was a French statesman who served as President of France from 1981 to 1995, the longest time in office in the history of France. As First Secretary of the Socialist Party, he was the first left-wing politician to assume the presidency under the Fifth Republic.

Reflecting family influences, Mitterrand started political life on the Catholic nationalist right. He served under the Vichy Regime during its earlier years. Subsequently he joined the Resistance, moved to the left, and held ministerial office several times under the Fourth Republic. He opposed de Gaulle's establishment of the Fifth Republic. Although at times a politically isolated figure, Mitterrand outmanoeuvered rivals to become the left's standard bearer at every presidential election from 1965–88; with the exception of 1969. Mitterrand was elected President at the 1981 presidential election. He was re-elected in 1988 and remained in office until 1995.

Mitterrand invited the Communist Party into his first government, which was a controversial decision at the time. In the event, the Communists were boxed in as junior partners and, rather than taking advantage, saw their support erode. They left the cabinet in 1984. Early in his first term, Mitterrand followed a radical left-wing economic agenda, including nationalisation of key firms, but after two years, with the economy in crisis, he reversed course. He pushed a socially liberal agenda with reforms such as the abolition of the death penalty, the 39-hour work week, and the end of a government monopoly in radio and television broadcasting. His foreign and defense policies built on those of his Gaullist predecessors.

His partnership with German Chancellor Helmut Kohl advanced European integration via the Maastricht Treaty, but he reluctantly accepted German reunification. During his time in office, he was a strong promoter of culture and implemented a range of costly "Grands Projets". He is the only French President to ever have named a female Prime Minister, Édith Cresson, in 1991. He was twice forced by the loss of a parliamentary majority into "cohabitation governments" with conservative cabinets led, respectively, by Jacques Chirac (1986–1988), and Édouard Balladur (1993–1995). Less than eight months after leaving office, Mitterrand died from the prostate cancer he had successfully concealed for most of his presidency.

Beyond making the French left electable, Mitterrand presided over the rise of the Socialist Party to dominance of the left, and the decline of the once-mighty Communist Party (as a share of the popular vote in the first presidential round, the Communists shrank from a peak of 21.27% in 1969 to 8.66% in 1995, at the end of Mitterrand's second term).

French First Day Cover depicting François Mitterrand

François Mitterrand 1997 FDC