Showing posts with label Poland. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Poland. Show all posts

Friday, February 19, 2021

February 19th in stamps Copernicus, Edison patents the phonograph, Multatuli

Here are some events that happened on February 19th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day


1473 Born: Nicolaus Copernicus, Polish mathematician and astronomer (d. 1543)

Nicolaus Copernicus (19 February 1473 – 24 May 1543) was a Renaissance-era mathematician, astronomer, and Catholic canon who formulated a model of the universe that placed the Sun rather than Earth at the center of the universe. In all likelihood, Copernicus developed his model independently of Aristarchus of Samos, an ancient Greek astronomer who had formulated such a model some eighteen centuries earlier.

The publication of Copernicus' model in his book De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres), just before his death in 1543, was a major event in the history of science, triggering the Copernican Revolution and making a pioneering contribution to the Scientific Revolution.

Copernicus was born and died in Royal Prussia, a region that had been part of the Kingdom of Poland since 1466. A polyglot and polymath, he obtained a doctorate in canon law and was a mathematician, astronomer, physician, classics scholar, translator, governor, diplomat, and economist. In 1517 he derived a quantity theory of money—a key concept in economics—and in 1519 he formulated an economic principle that later came to be called Gresham's law.

Stamps from Poland and General Gouvernement (occupied Poland) depicting Copernicus

GeneralGouvernement Nicolaus Copernicus

Poland Portrait of Copernicus and Heliocentric System

1973 Poland - Copernicus Birth Centenary


1878 – Thomas Edison patents the phonograph.

Thomas Alva Edison (February 11, 1847 – October 18, 1931) was an American inventor and businessman who has been described as America's greatest inventor. He developed many devices in fields such as electric power generation, mass communication, sound recording, and motion pictures. These inventions, which include the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and early versions of the electric light bulb, have had a widespread impact on the modern industrialized world. He was one of the first inventors to apply the principles of organized science and teamwork to the process of invention, working with many researchers and employees. He established the first industrial research laboratory.

Edison was raised in the American Midwest; early in his career he worked as a telegraph operator, which inspired some of his earliest inventions. In 1876, he established his first laboratory facility in Menlo Park, New Jersey, where many of his early inventions were developed. He later established a botanic laboratory in Fort Myers, Florida in collaboration with businessmen Henry Ford and Harvey S. Firestone, and a laboratory in West Orange, New Jersey that featured the world's first film studio, the Black Maria. He was a prolific inventor, holding 1,093 US patents in his name, as well as patents in other countries. Edison married twice and fathered six children. He died in 1931 of complications of diabetes.

US and Hungarian stamp featuring Edison and or his inventions

1977 Phonograph

Thomas A Edison 3c single FDC

Thomas A Edison 3c single

Thomas Edison First Lamp Coil

Thomas Edison Hungary


1887 Died: Multatuli, Dutch-German author and civil servant (b. 1820)

Eduard Douwes Dekker (2 March 1820 – 19 February 1887), better known by his pen name Multatuli (from Latin multa tulī, "I have suffered much"), was a Dutch writer best known for his satirical novel Max Havelaar (1860), which denounced the abuses of colonialism in the Dutch East Indies (today's Indonesia). He is considered one of the Netherlands' greatest authors.

Determined to expose the scandals he had witnessed during his years in the Dutch East Indies, Douwes Dekker began to write newspaper articles and pamphlets. Little notice was taken of these early publications until, in 1860, he published his satirical anticolonialist novel Max Havelaar: The Coffee Auctions of the Dutch Trading Company under the pseudonym Multatuli. Douwes Dekker's pen name is derived from the Latin phrase multa tuli, meaning "I have suffered much" (or more literally: "I have borne much"). It refers both to himself and to the victims of the injustices he saw.

Douwes Dekker was one of Sigmund Freud's favorite writers; his name heads a list of 'ten good books' that Freud drew up in 1907. Several other writers from different generations were appreciative of Multatuli, like Marx, Anatole France, Hermann Hesse, Willem Elsschot, Thomas and Heinrich Mann, and most of the first-wave feminists.

In June 2002, the Dutch Maatschappij der Nederlandse Letterkunde (Society of Dutch Literature) proclaimed Multatuli the most important Dutch writer of all time.
The annual Multatuli Prize, a Dutch literary prize, is named in his honor. The literary award Woutertje Pieterse Prijs is named after the character Woutertje Pieterse in Multatuli's De geschiedenis van Woutertje Pieterse.

The Mutatuli Museum is located in Amsterdam at Korsjespoortsteeg 20, where Eduard Douwes Dekker was born.

Stamp issued in the Netherlands depicting Multatuli

Netherlands - 1987 Literature: Multatuli

Saturday, December 26, 2020

December 26th in stamps Babbage, Mao Zedong, radium, Curse of the Bambino, Thanksgiving Day, Truman

Here are some events that happened on December 26th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day


1791 Born: Charles Babbage, English mathematician and engineer, invented the Difference engine (d. 1871)

Charles Babbage (26 December 1791 – 18 October 1871) was an English polymath. A mathematician, philosopher, inventor and mechanical engineer, Babbage originated the concept of a digital programmable computer.

Considered by some to be "father of the computer", Babbage is credited with inventing the first mechanical computer that eventually led to more complex electronic designs, though all the essential ideas of modern computers are to be found in Babbage's Analytical Engine. His varied work in other fields has led him to be described as "pre-eminent" among the many polymaths of his century.

Parts of Babbage's incomplete mechanisms are on display in the Science Museum in London. In 1991, a functioning difference engine was constructed from Babbage's original plans. Built to tolerances achievable in the 19th century, the success of the finished engine indicated that Babbage's machine would have worked.

Stamps from Great Britain commemorating Babbage


Babbage, Computer Science. Scientific Achievements



Great Britain Royal Society Charles Babbage



1893 Born: Mao Zedong, Chinese politician, Chairman of the Communist Party of China (d. 1976)

Mao Zedong (December 26, 1893 – September 9, 1976), also known as Chairman Mao, was a Chinese communist revolutionary who became the founding father of the People's Republic of China (PRC), which he ruled as the Chairman of the Communist Party of China from its establishment in 1949 until his death in 1976. Ideologically a Marxist–Leninist, his theories, military strategies, and political policies are collectively known as Maoism.


A controversial figure, Mao is regarded as one of the most important and influential individuals in modern world history. He is also known as a political intellect, theorist, military strategist, poet, and visionary. Supporters credit him with driving imperialism out of China, modernizing the nation and building it into a world power, promoting the status of women, improving education and health care, as well as increasing life expectancy as China's population grew from around 550 million to over 900 million under his leadership. Conversely, his regime has been called autocratic and totalitarian, and condemned for bringing about mass repression and destroying religious and cultural artifacts and sites. It was additionally responsible for vast numbers of deaths with estimates ranging from 30 to 70 million victims through starvation, prison labor and mass executions

China 1983 90th of Birth of Mao Zedong


DDR Germany China Communist Leader Mao Zedong stamp 1951


PR China 1950 (1955) C4 Inauguration of PRC, Mao ZeDong


PR China 1950 (1955) C4 Inauguration of PRC, Mao ZeDong


1898 – Marie and Pierre Curie announce the isolation of radium.

Pierre Curie (15 May 1859 – 19 April 1906) was a French physicist, a pioneer in crystallography, magnetism, piezoelectricity, and radioactivity. In 1903, he received the Nobel Prize in Physics with his wife, Marie Skłodowska-Curie, and Henri Becquerel, "in recognition of the extraordinary services they have rendered by their joint researches on the radiation phenomena discovered by Professor Henri Becquerel".

French stamp depicting Pierre and Marie Curie

France - 1938  Marie & Pierre Curie/Discovery of Radium

Bulgarian stamp depicting Pierre Curie

Bulgaria  Pierre Curie Scientist


Marie Skłodowska Curie(born Maria Salomea Skłodowska; 7 November 1867 – 4 July 1934) was a Polish and naturalized-French physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, is the only woman to win the Nobel prize twice, and is the only person to win the Nobel Prize in two different scientific fields. She was part of the Curie family legacy of five Nobel Prizes. She was also the first woman to become a professor at the University of Paris, and in 1995 became the first woman to be entombed on her own merits in the Panthéon in Paris.

She was born in Warsaw, in what was then the Kingdom of Poland, part of the Russian Empire. She studied at Warsaw's clandestine Flying University and began her practical scientific training in Warsaw. In 1891, aged 24, she followed her older sister Bronisława to study in Paris, where she earned her higher degrees and conducted her subsequent scientific work. She shared the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics with her husband Pierre Curie and physicist Henri Becquerel. She won the 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Her achievements included the development of the theory of radioactivity (a term she coined), techniques for isolating radioactive isotopes, and the discovery of two elements, polonium and radium. Under her direction, the world's first studies were conducted into the treatment of neoplasms using radioactive isotopes. She founded the Curie Institutes in Paris and in Warsaw, which remain major centres of medical research today. During World War I she developed mobile radiography units to provide X-ray services to field hospitals.

While a French citizen, Marie Skłodowska Curie, who used both surnames, never lost her sense of Polish identity. She taught her daughters the Polish language and took them on visits to Poland. She named the first chemical element she discovered polonium, after her native country.

Marie Curie died in 1934, aged 66, at a sanatorium in Sancellemoz (Haute-Savoie), France, of aplastic anemia from exposure to radiation in the course of her scientific research and in the course of her radiological work at field hospitals during World War I

Stamps from Monaco, France and Poland depicting Marie Curie


MONACO 1967 Marie Curie, Chemical Apparatus

France - 1938  Marie & Pierre Curie/Discovery of Radium

France 1967- Scientist - Marie Sklodowska-Curie

1967 Poland full set 3 stamps Birth Centenary of Marie Curie


1919 – Babe Ruth of the Boston Red Sox is sold to the New York Yankees by owner Harry Frazee, allegedly establishing the Curse of the Bambino superstition.

George Herman "Babe" Ruth Jr. (February 6, 1895 – August 16, 1948) was an American professional baseball player whose career in Major League Baseball (MLB) spanned 22 seasons, from 1914 through 1935. Nicknamed "The Bambino" and "The Sultan of Swat", he began his MLB career as a star left-handed pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, but achieved his greatest fame as a slugging outfielder for the New York Yankees. Ruth established many MLB batting (and some pitching) records, including career home runs (714), runs batted in (RBIs) (2,213), bases on balls (2,062), slugging percentage (.690), and on-base plus slugging (OPS) (1.164); the last two still stand as of 2019. Ruth is regarded as one of the greatest sports heroes in American culture and is considered by many to be the greatest baseball player of all time. In 1936, Ruth was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame as one of its "first five" inaugural members.

At age seven, Ruth was sent to St. Mary's Industrial School for Boys, a reformatory where he was mentored by Brother Matthias Boutlier of the Xaverian Brothers, the school's disciplinarian and a capable baseball player. In 1914, Ruth was signed to play minor-league baseball for the Baltimore Orioles but was soon sold to the Red Sox. By 1916, he had built a reputation as an outstanding pitcher who sometimes hit long home runs, a feat unusual for any player in the pre-1920 dead-ball era. Although Ruth twice won 23 games in a season as a pitcher and was a member of three World Series championship teams with the Red Sox, he wanted to play every day and was allowed to convert to an outfielder. With regular playing time, he broke the MLB single-season home run record in 1919.

Babe Ruth 20 c

After that season, Red Sox owner Harry Frazee sold Ruth to the Yankees amid controversy. The trade fueled Boston's subsequent 86-year championship drought and popularized the "Curse of the Bambino" superstition. In his 15 years with the Yankees, Ruth helped the team win seven American League (AL) pennants and four World Series championships. His big swing led to escalating home run totals that not only drew fans to the ballpark and boosted the sport's popularity but also helped usher in baseball's live-ball era, which evolved from a low-scoring game of strategy to a sport where the home run was a major factor. As part of the Yankees' vaunted "Murderers' Row" lineup of 1927, Ruth hit 60 home runs, which extended his MLB single-season record by a single home run. Ruth's last season with the Yankees was 1934; he retired from the game the following year, after a short stint with the Boston Braves. During his career, Ruth led the AL in home runs during a season 12 times.

Babe Ruth 32c


During Ruth's career, he was the target of intense press and public attention for his baseball exploits and off-field penchants for drinking and womanizing. After his retirement as a player, he was denied the opportunity to manage a major league club, most likely due to poor behavior during parts of his playing career. In his final years, Ruth made many public appearances, especially in support of American efforts in World War II. In 1946, he became ill with nasopharyngeal cancer and died from the disease two years later. Ruth remains a part of American culture, and in 2018 President Donald Trump posthumously awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Babe Ruth 32 c

Babe Ruth FDC


1941 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs a bill establishing the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day in the United States.

Thanksgiving is a federal holiday in the United States, celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. It is sometimes called American Thanksgiving (outside the United States) to distinguish it from the Canadian holiday of the same name. It originated as a harvest festival, and to this day the centerpiece of Thanksgiving celebrations remains Thanksgiving dinner. The dinner traditionally consists of foods and dishes indigenous to the Americas, namely turkey, potatoes (usually mashed), stuffing, squash, corn (maize), green beans, cranberries (typically in sauce form), and pumpkin pie. Thanksgiving is regarded as being the beginning of the fall–winter holiday season, along with Christmas and the New Year, in American culture.

The event that Americans commonly call the "First Thanksgiving" was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in October 1621. This feast lasted three days, and—as recounted by attendee Edward Winslow—was attended by 90 Native Americans and 53 Pilgrims. The New England colonists were accustomed to regularly celebrating "thanksgivings," days of prayer thanking God for blessings such as military victory or the end of a drought. Thanksgiving has been celebrated nationally on and off since 1789, with a proclamation by President George Washington after a request by Congress. President Thomas Jefferson chose not to observe the holiday, and its celebration was intermittent until President Abraham Lincoln, in 1863, proclaimed a national day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens", to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November. On June 28, 1870, President Ulysses S. Grant signed into law the Holidays Act that made Thanksgiving a yearly appointed federal holiday in Washington D.C. On January 6, 1885, an act by Congress made Thanksgiving, and other federal holidays, a paid holiday for all federal workers throughout the United States. Under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the date was changed between 1939 and 1941 amid significant controversy. From 1942 onwards, Thanksgiving, by an act of Congress, signed into law by FDR, received a permanent observation date, the fourth Thursday in November, no longer at the discretion of the President.

US Stamps  depicting Macy's Thanksgiving Day New York City Parade 

Thanksgiving Day Parade.


Thanksgiving Day Parade.


Macy's Thanksgiving Day New York City Parade 44 cent U.S. Postage Stamp Sheet



1972 Died: Harry S. Truman, American colonel and politician, 33rd President of the United States (b. 1884)

Harry S. Truman (May 8, 1884 – December 26, 1972) was the 33rd president of the United States from 1945 to 1953, succeeding upon the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt after serving as vice president. He implemented the Marshall Plan to rebuild the economy of Western Europe, and established the Truman Doctrine and NATO.


Truman grew up in Independence, Missouri, and during World War I was sent to France as a captain in the Field Artillery. Returning home, he opened a haberdashery in Kansas City, Missouri and was later elected as a Jackson County official in 1922. Truman was elected to the United States Senate from Missouri in 1934 and gained national prominence as chairman of the Truman Committee aimed at reducing waste and inefficiency in wartime contracts. Soon after succeeding to the presidency he authorized the first and only use of nuclear weapons in war. Truman's administration engaged in an internationalist foreign policy and renounced isolationism. He rallied his New Deal coalition during the 1948 presidential election and won a surprise victory that secured his own presidential term.

Truman oversaw the Berlin Airlift of 1948. When North Korea invaded South Korea in 1950, he gained United Nations approval to intervene in what became known as the Korean War. On domestic issues, bills endorsed by Truman faced opposition from a conservative Congress, but his administration successfully guided the U.S. economy through the post-war economic challenges. In 1948 he submitted the first comprehensive civil rights legislation and issued Executive Orders to start racial integration in the military and federal agencies.

Corruption in the Truman administration became a central campaign issue in the 1952 presidential election. After Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower's electoral victory against Democrat Adlai Stevenson II, Truman went into a financially-difficult retirement, marked by the founding of his presidential library and the publication of his memoirs. When he left office, Truman's presidency was criticized, but scholars rehabilitated his image in the 1960s and he is highly ranked by scholars.

US stamps depicting Truman

Harry S Truman 33rd President First Day Cover


Harry S Truman 33rd President


Truman block of 4

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

December 22nd in stamps Beethoven, Beatrix Potter, Brandenburg Gate re-opens, Lech Wałęsa

Here are some events that happened on December 22nd. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day


1808 – Ludwig van Beethoven conducts and performs in concert at the Theater an der Wien, Vienna, with the premiere of his Fifth Symphony, Sixth Symphony, Fourth Piano Concerto (performed by Beethoven himself) and Choral Fantasy (with Beethoven at the piano).

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

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

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

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

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

Stamps from Germany and Monaco featuring Beethoven

Germany 1926, Famous Germans, 20 Pf. Beethoven

Germany - Deutsche Post Berlin 1952 Beethoven

Germany Beethoven Sheet of 5

Monaco 1970 Beethoven Issue

West Germany Ludwig Van Beethoven



1943 Died: Beatrix Potter, English children's book writer and illustrator (b. 1866)

Beatrix Potter (28 July 1866 – 22 December 1943) was an English writer, illustrator, natural scientist, and conservationist best known for her children's books featuring animals, such as those in The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

Born into an upper-middle-class household, Potter was educated by governesses and grew up isolated from other children. She had numerous pets and spent holidays in Scotland and the Lake District, developing a love of landscape, flora, and fauna, all of which she closely observed and painted.

Though Potter was typical of women of her generation in having limited opportunities for higher education, her study and watercolours of fungi led to her being widely respected in the field of mycology. In her thirties, Potter self-published the highly successful children's book The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Following this, Potter began writing and illustrating children's books full-time.

In all, Potter wrote thirty books; the best known being her twenty-three children's tales. With the proceeds from the books and a legacy from an aunt, in 1905 Potter bought Hill Top Farm in Near Sawrey, a village in the Lake District which at that time was in Lancashire. Over the following decades, she purchased additional farms to preserve the unique hill country landscape. In 1913, at the age of 47, she married William Heelis, a respected local solicitor from Hawkshead. Potter was also a prize-winning breeder of Herdwick sheep and a prosperous farmer keenly interested in land preservation. She continued to write and illustrate, and to design spin-off merchandise based on her children's books for British publisher Warne until the duties of land management and her diminishing eyesight made it difficult to continue.

Potter died of pneumonia and heart disease on 22 December 1943 at her home in Near Sawrey at the age of 77, leaving almost all her property to the National Trust. She is credited with preserving much of the land that now constitutes the Lake District National Park. Potter's books continue to sell throughout the world in many languages with her stories being retold in song, film, ballet, and animation, and her life depicted in a feature film and television film.

Stamps from Great Britain and Isle of Man depicting Beatrix Potter's characters


Isle of Man Tales of Beatrix Potter

Great Britain Beatrix Potter Stories

Great Britain 2016 Beatrix Potter Miniature Sheet



1989 – Berlin's Brandenburg Gate re-opens after nearly 30 years, effectively ending the division of East and West Germany.

The Brandenburg Gate (German: Brandenburger Tor) is an 18th-century neoclassical monument in Berlin, built on the orders of Prussian king Frederick William II after the temporary restoration of order during the Batavian Revolution. One of the best-known landmarks of Germany, it was built on the site of a former city gate that marked the start of the road from Berlin to the town of Brandenburg an der Havel, which used to be capital of the Margraviate of Brandenburg.

It is located in the western part of the city centre of Berlin within Mitte, at the junction of Unter den Linden and Ebertstraße, immediately west of the Pariser Platz. One block to the north stands the Reichstag building, which houses the German parliament (Bundestag). The gate is the monumental entry to Unter den Linden, a boulevard of linden trees which led directly to the royal City Palace of the Prussian monarchs.

Throughout its existence, the Brandenburg Gate was often a site for major historical events and is today considered not only as a symbol of the tumultuous history of Europe and Germany, but also of European unity and peace.

German stamps depicting the Brandenburg Gate 

Germany Issue Of 1941 - Brandenburg Gatev


Germany Issue Of 1949 - Brandenburg Gate


Germany Post WW II- Brandenburg Gate

Germany - 1967 Brandenburg Gate

West-Germany 1967 Brandenburg Gate 100 Pf



1990 – Lech Wałęsa is elected President of Poland.

Lech Wałęsa (born 29 September 1943) is a Polish statesman, dissident, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who served as the first democratically elected president of Poland from 1990 to 1995. A shipyard electrician by trade, he became the leader of Solidarity, and led a successful pro-democratic effort which in 1989 ended the communist rule in Poland and ushered in the end of the Cold War.

While working at the Lenin Shipyard (now Gdańsk Shipyard), Wałęsa, an electrician, became a trade-union activist, for which he was persecuted by the Communist authorities, placed under surveillance, fired in 1976, and arrested several times. In August 1980, he was instrumental in political negotiations that led to the ground-breaking Gdańsk Agreement between striking workers and the government. He co-founded the Solidarity trade-union movement which membership rose to over ten million people.

After martial law was imposed in Poland and Solidarity was outlawed, Wałęsa was again arrested. Released from custody, he continued his activism and was prominent in the establishment of the 1989 Round Table Agreement that led to semi-free parliamentary elections in June 1989 and to a Solidarity-led government.

After winning the Polish presidential election of 1990, Wałęsa became the first President of Poland ever elected in a popular vote. He presided over Poland's successful transition from communism into a free-market liberal democracy, but his active role in Polish politics diminished after he narrowly lost the 1995 presidential election. In 1995, he established the Lech Wałęsa Institute.

Since 1980, Wałęsa has received hundreds of prizes, honors and awards from many countries of the world. He was named the Time Person of the Year (1981) and one of Time's 100 most important people of the 20th century (1999). He has received over forty honorary degrees, including from Harvard University and Columbia University, as well as dozens of the highest state orders, including: the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Knight Grand Cross of the British Order of the Bath, and the French Grand Cross of Legion of Honour. In 1989, Wałęsa was the first foreign non-head of state to address the Joint Meeting of the U.S. Congress. The Gdansk Lech Wałęsa Airport bears his name since 2004.

Polish stamps as well as an underground stamp depicting Lech Wałęsa

1982 Lech Walesa Poland Solidarity Underground Post Poczta Solidarnosc

Poland 2013 Sheet - 2013 70th Anniversary of Lech Walesa

Poland Lech Walesa 1990




Saturday, October 17, 2020

October 17th in stamps Jean-Jacques Dessalines, Chopin, Gustav Kirchhoff

Here are some events that happened on October 17th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day


1806 Died: Jean-Jacques Dessalines, Haitian commander and politician, Governor-General of Haiti (b. 1758)

Jean-Jacques Dessalines (Haitian Creole: Jan-Jak Desalin; 20 September 1758 – 17 October 1806) was a leader of the Haitian Revolution and the first ruler of an independent Haiti under the 1805 constitution. Under Dessalines, Haiti became the first country in the Americas to permanently abolish slavery. Initially regarded as governor-general, Dessalines was later named Emperor of Haiti as Jacques I (1804–1806) by generals of the Haitian Revolution Army and ruled in that capacity until being assassinated in 1806. He is regarded as one of the founding fathers of Haiti.

Dessalines served as an officer in the French army, when the colony was fending off Spanish and British incursions. Later he rose to become a commander in the revolt against France. As Toussaint Louverture's principal lieutenant, he led many successful engagements, including the Battle of Crête-à-Pierrot.

After the betrayal and capture of Toussaint Louverture in 1802, Dessalines became the leader of the revolution. He defeated a French army at the Battle of Vertières in 1803. Declaring Haiti an independent nation in 1804, Dessalines was chosen by a council of generals to assume the office of governor-general. He ordered the 1804 Haiti massacre of French settlers in Haiti, resulting in the deaths of between 3,000 and 5,000 people, but declared that the Polish foreign mercenaries who defected from the French Legion could remain in the new country. In September 1804, he was proclaimed emperor by the Generals of the Haitian Revolution Army and ruled in that capacity until being assassinated in 1806.


Stamps from Haiti depicting Jean-Jacques Dessalines

Haiti 1957 Jean-Jacques Dessalines

Haiti Imper Jean-Jacques Dessalines


1849 Died: Frédéric Chopin, Polish pianist and composer (b. 1810)

Frédéric François Chopin, born Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin (1 March 1810 – 17 October 1849), was a Polish composer and virtuoso pianist of the Romantic era who wrote primarily for solo piano. He has maintained worldwide renown as a leading musician of his era, one whose "poetic genius was based on a professional technique that was without equal in his generation."

Chopin was born in Żelazowa Wola in the Duchy of Warsaw and grew up in Warsaw, which in 1815 became part of Congress Poland. A child prodigy, he completed his musical education and composed his earlier works in Warsaw before leaving Poland at the age of 20, less than a month before the outbreak of the November 1830 Uprising. At 21, he settled in Paris. Thereafter—in the last 18 years of his life—he gave only 30 public performances, preferring the more intimate atmosphere of the salon. He supported himself by selling his compositions and by giving piano lessons, for which he was in high demand. Chopin formed a friendship with Franz Liszt and was admired by many of his other musical contemporaries, including Robert Schumann.

After a failed engagement to Maria Wodzińska from 1836 to 1837, he maintained an often troubled relationship with the French writer Amantine Dupin (known by her pen name, George Sand). A brief and unhappy visit to Majorca with Sand in 1838–39 would prove one of his most productive periods of composition. In his final years, he was supported financially by his admirer Jane Stirling, who also arranged for him to visit Scotland in 1848. For most of his life, Chopin was in poor health. He died in Paris in 1849 at the age of 39, probably of pericarditis aggravated by tuberculosis.

All of Chopin's compositions include the piano. Most are for solo piano, though he also wrote two piano concertos, a few chamber pieces, and some 19 songs set to Polish lyrics. His piano writing was technically demanding and expanded the limits of the instrument, his own performances noted for their nuance and sensitivity. His major piano works also include mazurkas, waltzes, nocturnes, polonaises, the instrumental ballade (which Chopin created as an instrumental genre), études, impromptus, scherzos, preludes and sonatas, some published only posthumously. Among the influences on his style of composition were Polish folk music, the classical tradition of J. S. Bach, Mozart, and Schubert, and the atmosphere of the Paris salons of which he was a frequent guest. His innovations in style, harmony, and musical form, and his association of music with nationalism, were influential throughout and after the late Romantic period.

Chopin's music, his status as one of music's earliest celebrities, his indirect association with political insurrection, his high-profile love-life, and his early death have made him a leading symbol of the Romantic era. His works remain popular, and he has been the subject of numerous films and biographies of varying historical fidelity.

Stamps from Poland and France depicting Chopin


Poland Chopin


France Chopin


France Poland Joint Issue Famous Composer Frédéric Chopin 199

Poland , 1975 , Frederic Chopin



1887 Died: Gustav Kirchhoff, German physicist and chemist (b. 1824)

Gustav Robert Kirchhoff (12 March 1824 – 17 October 1887) was a German physicist who contributed to the fundamental understanding of electrical circuits, spectroscopy, and the emission of black-body radiation by heated objects.

He coined the term black-body radiation in 1862. Several different sets of concepts are named "Kirchhoff's laws" after him, concerning such diverse subjects as black-body radiation and spectroscopy, electrical circuits, and thermochemistry. The Bunsen–Kirchhoff Award for spectroscopy is named after him and his colleague, Robert Bunsen.

Stamps from Berlin and East Germany depicting Gustav Kirchhoff

Germany-Berlin Gustav R.Kirchhoff, Physicist, 1974

DDR Robert Kirchhoff 5 PF