Showing posts with label Netherlands Antilles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Netherlands Antilles. 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



Sunday, December 15, 2019

December 15th in stamps Vermeer, Eiffel, Oscar Niemeyer, Tower of Pisa, Henri Becquerel

Here are some events that happened on December 15th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day


1675 Died: Johannes Vermeer, Dutch painter and educator (b. 1632)

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


1832 Born: Gustave Eiffel, French architect and engineer, co-designed the Eiffel Tower (d. 1923)

Alexandre Gustave Eiffel (15 December 1832 – 27 December 1923) was a French civil engineer. A graduate of École Centrale Paris, he made his name building various bridges for the French railway network, most famously the Garabit viaduct. He is best known for the world-famous Eiffel Tower, built for the 1889 Universal Exposition in Paris, and his contribution to building the Statue of Liberty in New York.

In 1881 Eiffel was contacted by Auguste Bartholdi who was in need of an engineer to help him to realise the Statue of Liberty. Some work had already been carried out by Eugène Viollet-Le-Duc, but he had died in 1879. Eiffel was selected because of his experience with wind stresses. Eiffel devised a structure consisting of a four-legged pylon to support the copper sheeting which made up the body of the statue. The entire statue was erected at the Eiffel works in Paris before being dismantled and shipped to the United States.

After his retirement from engineering, Eiffel focused on research into meteorology and aerodynamics, making significant contributions in both fields.

Stamps depicting Eiffel. the Eiffel tower and the Statue of Liberty

France 1982 FDC Gustave Eiffel

France-Post 1939 Eiffel Tower

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



1852 Born: Henri Becquerel, French physicist and chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1908)

Antoine Henri Becquerel (15 December 1852 – 25 August 1908) was a French engineer, physicist, scientist, Nobel laureate, and the first person to discover evidence of radioactivity. For work in this field he, along with Marie Skłodowska-Curie (Marie Curie) and Pierre Curie, received the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics. 

In 1889, Becquerel became a member of the Académie des Sciences. In 1900, Becquerel won the Rumford Medal for his discovery of the radioactivity of uranium and he was made an Officer of the Legion of Honour. The Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities awarded him the Helmholtz Medal in 1901. In 1903, Henri shared a Nobel Prize in Physics with Pierre Curie and Marie Curie for the discovery of spontaneous radioactivity. In 1905, he was awarded the Barnard Medal by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. In 1906, Henri was elected Vice Chairman of the academy, and in 1908, the year of his death, Becquerel was elected Permanent Secretary of the Académie des Sciences. During his lifetime, Becquerel was honored with membership into the Accademia dei Lincei and the Royal Academy of Berlin.  Becquerel was elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society (ForMemRS) in 1908. Becquerel has been honored with being the namesake of many different scientific discoveries. The SI unit for radioactivity, the becquerel (Bq), is named after him. There is a crater named Becquerel on the Moon and also a crater named Becquerel on Mars. The uranium-based mineral becquerelite was named after Henri. 

French stamp depicting Henri Becquerel

France Henri Becquerel nobel prize in physics

1907 Born: Oscar Niemeyer, Brazilian architect, designed the United Nations Headquarters and the Cathedral of Brasília (d. 2012)


Oscar Ribeiro de Almeida Niemeyer Soares Filho (December 15, 1907 – December 5, 2012), known as Oscar Niemeyer, was a Brazilian architect considered to be one of the key figures in the development of modern architecture. Niemeyer was best known for his design of civic buildings for Brasília, a planned city that became Brazil's capital in 1960, as well as his collaboration with other architects on the headquarters of the United Nations in New York. His exploration of the aesthetic possibilities of reinforced concrete was highly influential in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

Both lauded and criticized for being a "sculptor of monuments", Niemeyer was hailed as a great artist and one of the greatest architects of his generation by his supporters. He said his architecture was strongly influenced by Le Corbusier, but in an interview, assured that this "didn't prevent [his] architecture from going in a different direction". Niemeyer was most famous for his use of abstract forms and curves and wrote in his memoirs:

I am not attracted to straight angles or to the straight line, hard and inflexible, created by man. I am attracted to free-flowing, sensual curves. The curves that I find in the mountains of my country, in the sinuousness of its rivers, in the waves of the ocean, and on the body of the beloved woman. Curves make up the entire Universe, the curved Universe of Einstein.

Niemeyer was educated at the Escola Nacional de Belas Artes at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, and after graduating, he worked at his father's typography house and as a draftsman for local architectural firms. In the 1930s, he interned with Lúcio Costa, with the pair collaborating on the design for the Palácio Gustavo Capanema in Rio de Janeiro. Niemeyer's first major project was a series of buildings for Pampulha, a planned suburb north of Belo Horizonte. His work, especially on the Church of Saint Francis of Assisi, received critical acclaim and drew international attention. Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, Niemeyer became one of Brazil's most prolific architects, working both domestically and overseas. This included the design of the Edifício Copan (a large residential building in São Paulo) and a collaboration with Le Corbusier (and others) on the United Nations Headquarters, which yielded invitations to teach at Yale University and the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

In 1956, Niemeyer was invited by Brazil's new president, Juscelino Kubitschek, to design the civic buildings for Brazil's new capital, which was to be built in the centre of the country, far from any existing cities. His designs for the National Congress of Brazil, the Cathedral of Brasília, the Palácio da Alvorada, the Palácio do Planalto, and the Supreme Federal Court, all designed by 1960, were experimental and linked by common design elements. This work led to his appointment as inaugural head of architecture at the University of Brasília, as well as honorary membership of the American Institute of Architects. Due to his largely left-wing ideology, and involvement with the Brazilian Communist Party (PCB), Niemeyer left the country after the 1964 military coup and opened an office in Paris. He returned to Brazil in 1985, and was awarded the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1988. A socialist and atheist from an early age, Niemeyer had spent time in both Cuba and the Soviet Union during his exile, and on his return served as the PCB's president from 1992 to 1996. Niemeyer continued working at the end of the 20th and early 21st century, notably designing the Niterói Contemporary Art Museum (1996) and the Oscar Niemeyer Museum (2002). Over a career of 78 years he designed approximately 600 projects. Niemeyer died in Rio de Janeiro on December 5, 2012, at the age of 104.

Brazil 2014 Tribute To Oscar Niemeyer, Architecture, Monuments



2001 – The Leaning Tower of Pisa reopens after 11 years and $27,000,000 spent to stabilize it, without fixing its famous lean.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa (Italian: Torre pendente di Pisa) or simply the Tower of Pisa (Torre di Pisa) is the campanile, or freestanding bell tower, of the cathedral of the Italian city of Pisa, known worldwide for its nearly four-degree lean, the result of an unstable foundation. The tower is situated behind the Pisa Cathedral and is the third-oldest structure in the city's Cathedral Square (Piazza del Duomo), after the cathedral and the Pisa Baptistry.

The height of the tower is 55.86 metres (183.27 feet) from the ground on the low side and 56.67 metres (185.93 feet) on the high side. The width of the walls at the base is 2.44 m (8 ft 0.06 in). Its weight is estimated at 14,500 metric tons (16,000 short tons). The tower has 296 or 294 steps; the seventh floor has two fewer steps on the north-facing staircase.

The tower began to lean during construction in the 12th century, due to soft ground which could not properly support the structure's weight, and it worsened through the completion of construction in the 14th century. By 1990 the tilt had reached 5.5 degrees. The structure was stabilized by remedial work between 1993 and 2001, which reduced the tilt to 3.97 degrees.


Italy Famous Architecture Pisa Leaning Tower stamp 1973

Italy Famous Architecture Pisa Leaning Tower stamp 1973 Maximum Card