Showing posts with label Sweden. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sweden. Show all posts

Saturday, September 19, 2020

September 19th in stamps James A. Garfield, Porsche, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, Ole Rømer

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

1710 Died: Ole Rømer, Danish astronomer and instrument maker (b. 1644)

Ole Christensen Rømer (25 September 1644 – 19 September 1710) was a Danish astronomer who, in 1676, made the first quantitative measurements of the speed of light.

Rømer also invented the modern thermometer showing the temperature between two fixed points, namely the points at which water respectively boils and freezes.

In addition to inventing the first street lights in Copenhagen, Rømer also invented the meridian circle, the altazimuth, and the passage instrument (also known as the transit instrument, a type of meridian circle whose horizontal axis is not fixed in the east-west direction).

In scientific literature, alternative spellings such as "Roemer", "Römer", or "Romer" are common.

Danish stamp depicting Ole Rømer

Denmark 1944 - Ole Romer


1881 Died: James A. Garfield, American general, lawyer, and politician, and the 20th President of the United States (b. 1831)

James Abram Garfield (November 19, 1831 – September 19, 1881) was the 20th president of the United States, serving from March 4, 1881, until his death by assassination six and a half months later. He is the only sitting member of the United States House of Representatives to be elected to the presidency.

Garfield entered politics as a Republican in 1857. He served as a member of the Ohio State Senate from 1859 to 1861. Garfield opposed Confederate secession, served as a major general in the Union Army during the American Civil War, and fought in the battles of Middle Creek, Shiloh, and Chickamauga. He was first elected to Congress in 1862 to represent Ohio's 19th district. Throughout Garfield's congressional service after the war, he firmly supported the gold standard and gained a reputation as a skilled orator. He initially agreed with Radical Republican views on Reconstruction, but later favored a moderate approach to civil rights enforcement for freedmen.

At the 1880 Republican National Convention, delegates chose Garfield, who had not sought the White House, as a compromise presidential nominee on the 36th ballot. In the 1880 presidential election, he conducted a low-key front porch campaign and narrowly defeated Democrat Winfield Scott Hancock. Garfield's accomplishments as president included a resurgence of presidential authority against senatorial courtesy in executive appointments, purging corruption in the Post Office, and appointing a U.S. Supreme Court justice. He enhanced the powers of the presidency when he defied the powerful New York senator Roscoe Conkling by appointing William H. Robertson to the lucrative post of Collector of the Port of New York, starting a fracas that ended with Robertson's confirmation and Conkling's resignation from the Senate. Garfield advocated agricultural technology, an educated electorate, and civil rights for African Americans. He also proposed substantial civil service reforms, which were passed by Congress in 1883 and signed into law by his successor, Chester A. Arthur, as the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act.

On July 2, 1881, Charles J. Guiteau, a disappointed and delusional office seeker, shot Garfield at the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad Station in Washington D.C. The wound was not immediately fatal, but he died on September 19, 1881, from infections caused by his doctors. Guiteau was executed for Garfield's murder in June 1882.

US stamps depicting James A. Garfield

6c James A. Garfield

James A Garfield - President 1881

US 5¢ 1882 James A. Garfield

US. 2218b. 22c. James A. Garfield


1909 Born: Ferdinand Porsche, Austrian engineer and businessman (d. 1998)

Ferdinand Porsche (3 September 1875 – 30 January 1951) was an Austrian automotive engineer and founder of the Porsche car company. He is best known for creating the first gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle (Lohner-Porsche), the Volkswagen Beetle, the Mercedes-Benz SS/SSK, several other important developments and Porsche automobiles.

An important contributor to the German war effort during World War II, Porsche was involved in the production of advanced tanks such as the VK 4501 (P), Tiger I, Tiger II, Elefant, and Panzer VIII Maus, as well as other weapon systems, including the V-1 flying bomb. Porsche was a member of the Nazi Party, and was called the "Great German Engineer" by Nazi officials. He was a recipient of the German National Prize for Art and Science, the SS-Ehrenring and the War Merit Cross.

Porsche was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1996 and won the Car Engineer of the Century award in 1999

Some stamps depicting Ferdinand Porsche or the Porsche car





1973 – King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden has his investiture.

Carl XVI Gustaf (Carl Gustaf Folke Hubertus; born 30 April 1946) is the King of Sweden. He ascended the throne on the death of his grandfather, King Gustaf VI Adolf, on 15 September 1973.

He is the youngest child and only son of Prince Gustaf Adolf, Duke of Västerbotten, and Princess Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. His father died on 26 January 1947 in an airplane crash in Denmark when Carl Gustaf was nine months old. Upon his father's death, he became second in line to the throne, after his grandfather, the then Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf. Following the death of his great-grandfather King Gustaf V in 1950, Gustaf Adolf ascended the throne and thus Carl Gustaf became Sweden's new crown prince and heir apparent to the throne at the age of four.

A short while after he became king in 1973, the new 1974 Instrument of Government took effect, formally stripping Carl XVI Gustaf of even a nominal role in governmental affairs. As a result, he no longer performs many of the duties normally accorded to a head of state, such as the formal appointment of the prime minister, signing off on legislation, and being commander-in-chief of the nation's military. The new instrument explicitly limits the king to ceremonial functions and, among other things, to be regularly informed of affairs of state. As head of the House of Bernadotte Carl Gustaf has also been able to make a number of decisions about the titles and positions of its members.

The king's heir apparent, after passage on 1 January 1980 of a new law establishing absolute primogeniture (the first such law passed in Western European history), is Crown Princess Victoria, the eldest child of the King and his wife, Queen Silvia. Before the passage of that law, Crown Princess Victoria's younger brother, Prince Carl Philip, was briefly the heir apparent, as of his birth in May 1979.

Carl XVI Gustaf is the longest-reigning monarch in Swedish history, having surpassed King Magnus IV's reign of 44 years and 222 days on 26 April 2018.

Swedish stamps depicting Carl XVI Gustaf


Sweden King Carl XVI Gustaf

Sweden King Carl XVI Gustaf

Friday, September 18, 2020

September 18th in stamps Leonhard Euler, Oscar II, Royal Opera House in London opens, Léon Foucault

Here are some events that happened on September 18th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day


1783 Died: Leonhard Euler, Swiss mathematician and physicist (b. 1707)

Leonhard Euler (15 April 1707 – 18 September 1783) was a Swiss mathematician, physicist, astronomer, geographer, logician and engineer who made important and influential discoveries in many branches of mathematics, such as infinitesimal calculus and graph theory, while also making pioneering contributions to several branches such as topology and analytic number theory. He also introduced much of the modern mathematical terminology and notation, particularly for mathematical analysis, such as the notion of a mathematical function. He is also known for his work in mechanics, fluid dynamics, optics, astronomy and music theory. 

Euler was one of the most eminent mathematicians of the 18th century and is held to be one of the greatest in history. He is also widely considered to be the most prolific, as his collected works fill 92 volumes, more than anyone else in the field. He spent most of his adult life in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and in Berlin, then the capital of Prussia.


Stamps from East Germany and Switzerland depicting Leonhard Euler

DDR  Leonhard Euler

DDR Germany 1957 Euler



1809 – The Royal Opera House in London opens.

The Royal Opera House (ROH) is an opera house and major performing arts venue in Covent Garden, central London. The large building is often referred to as simply "Covent Garden", after a previous use of the site of the opera house's original construction in 1732. It is the home of The Royal Opera, The Royal Ballet, and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. Originally called the Theatre Royal, it served primarily as a playhouse for the first hundred years of its history. In 1734, the first ballet was presented. A year later, Handel's first season of operas began. Many of his operas and oratorios were specifically written for Covent Garden and had their premieres there.

The current building is the third theatre on the site following disastrous fires in 1808 and 1856. The façade, foyer, and auditorium date from 1858, but almost every other element of the present complex dates from an extensive reconstruction in the 1990s. The main auditorium seats 2,256 people, making it the third largest in London, and consists of four tiers of boxes and balconies and the amphitheatre gallery. The proscenium is 12.20 m wide and 14.80 m high. The main auditorium is a Grade I listed building.

Stamp from Great Britain depicting the Royal Opera House

Great Britain -1980- London Landmarks - Royal Opera House


1819 Born: Léon Foucault, French physicist and academic (d. 1868)

Jean Bernard Léon Foucault (18 September 1819 – 11 February 1868) was a French physicist best known for his demonstration of the Foucault pendulum, a device demonstrating the effect of the Earth's rotation. He also made an early measurement of the speed of light, discovered eddy currents, and is credited with naming the gyroscope.

Foucault died of what was probably a rapidly developing case of multiple sclerosis on 11 February 1868 in Paris and was buried in the Montmartre Cemetery.

The asteroid 5668 Foucault was named for him.[10] His is one of the 72 names inscribed on the Eiffel Tower.

France great scientists Foucault


1872 – King Oscar II accedes to the throne of Sweden–Norway.

Oscar II (Oscar Fredrik; 21 January 1829 – 8 December 1907) was the King of Sweden from 1872 until his death, and was also the final King of Norway from the House of Bernadotte until being deposed in 1905.

Oscar II was King during a time when both Sweden and Norway were undergoing a period of industrialization and rapid technological progress. His reign also saw the gradual decline of the Union of Sweden and Norway, which culminated in its dissolution in 1905. He was subsequently succeeded as King of Norway by his grandnephew Prince Carl of Denmark under the regnal name Haakon VII, and as King of Sweden by his eldest son, Gustaf V.

Oscar II is the paternal great-great-grandfather of Carl XVI Gustaf, King of Sweden since 1973. Harald V, King of Norway since 1991, is a great-grandson of Oscar II, through his third son Prince Carl, Duke of Västergötland.

Swedish stamps depicting Oscar II

Sweden King Oscar I 30 Ore

Sweden King Oscar I 50 Ore

Sunday, August 30, 2020

August 30th in stamps Mary Shelley, Christopher Polhem

Here are some events that happened on August 30th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day

1751 Died: Christopher Polhem, Swedish physicist and engineer (b. 1661)

Christopher Polhammar (18 December 1661 – 30 August 1751) better known as Christopher Polhem, which he took after his ennoblement in 1716, was a Swedish scientist, inventor and industrialist. He made significant contributions to the economic and industrial development of Sweden, particularly mining. He was ennobled by King Charles XII of Sweden for his contributions to Swedish technological development.

Notable accomplishments
  • Founded Stjärnsunds manufakturverk in södra Dalarna during 1700.
  • Reinvented the Cardan joint under the name of "Polhem knot" (Swedish: Polhemknut) independently of Gerolamo Cardano, the pioneer inventor.
  • Organized machinery into a "mechanical alphabet" and provided examples of such. Of 80 models carved in wood, 32 are still in the collections of the National Museum of Science and Technology (Swedish:Tekniska Museet) in Stockholm. Another 13 models of the "mechanical alphabet" are to be found in the Falun Mining Museum, Sweden.
Swedish stamps depicting Christopher Polhem

Sweden Christopher Polhem Engineer


1797 Born: Mary Shelley, English novelist and playwright (d. 1851)

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (30 August 1797 – 1 February 1851) was an English novelist who wrote the Gothic novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus (1818). She also edited and promoted the works of her husband, the Romantic poet and philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley. Her father was the political philosopher William Godwin and her mother was the philosopher and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft.

Shelley's mother died less than a month after giving birth to her. She was raised by her father who provided her with a rich if informal education, encouraging her to adhere to his own anarchist political theories. When she was four, her father married a neighbour with whom Shelley came to have a troubled relationship. 

In 1814, Shelley began a romance with one of her father's political followers, Percy Bysshe Shelley, who was already married. Together with her stepsister, Claire Clairmont, she and Percy left for France and travelled through Europe. Upon their return to England, Shelley was pregnant with Percy's child. Over the next two years, she and Percy faced ostracism, constant debt and the death of their prematurely born daughter. They married in late 1816, after the suicide of Percy Shelley's first wife, Harriet.

In 1816, the couple famously spent a summer with Lord Byron, John William Polidori and Claire Clairmont near Geneva, Switzerland, where Shelley conceived the idea for her novel Frankenstein. The Shelleys left Britain in 1818 for Italy, where their second and third children died before Shelley gave birth to her last and only surviving child, Percy Florence Shelley. In 1822, her husband drowned when his sailing boat sank during a storm near Viareggio. A year later, Shelley returned to England and from then on devoted herself to the upbringing of her son and a career as a professional author. The last decade of her life was dogged by illness, most likely caused by the brain tumour which killed her at age 53.

Until the 1970s, Shelley was known mainly for her efforts to publish her husband's works and for her novel Frankenstein, which remains widely read and has inspired many theatrical and film adaptations. Recent scholarship has yielded a more comprehensive view of Shelley's achievements. Scholars have shown increasing interest in her literary output, particularly in her novels, which include the historical novels Valperga (1823) and Perkin Warbeck (1830), the apocalyptic novel The Last Man (1826) and her final two novels, Lodore (1835) and Falkner (1837). Studies of her lesser-known works, such as the travel book Rambles in Germany and Italy (1844) and the biographical articles for Dionysius Lardner's Cabinet Cyclopaedia (1829–1846), support the growing view that Shelley remained a political radical throughout her life. Shelley's works often argue that cooperation and sympathy, particularly as practised by women in the family, were the ways to reform civil society. This view was a direct challenge to the individualistic Romantic ethos promoted by Percy Shelley and the Enlightenment political theories articulated by her father, William Godwin.

Stamps and cover from Jersey and Great Britain depicting Shelley's Frankenstein

GB FDC Tales of Terror Frankenstein

Jersey Frankenstein-Mary Shelley min sheet

Saturday, August 29, 2020

August 29th in stamps Michael Faraday discovers electromagnetic induction, Maurice Maeterlinck, Reitwagen patented

Here are some events that happened on August 29th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day


1831 – Michael Faraday discovers electromagnetic induction.

Michael Faraday (22 September 1791 – 25 August 1867) was an English scientist who contributed to the study of electromagnetism and electrochemistry. His main discoveries include the principles underlying electromagnetic induction, diamagnetism and electrolysis.

Although Faraday received little formal education, he was one of the most influential scientists in history. It was by his research on the magnetic field around a conductor carrying a direct current that Faraday established the basis for the concept of the electromagnetic field in physics. Faraday also established that magnetism could affect rays of light and that there was an underlying relationship between the two phenomena. He similarly discovered the principles of electromagnetic induction and diamagnetism, and the laws of electrolysis. His inventions of electromagnetic rotary devices formed the foundation of electric motor technology, and it was largely due to his efforts that electricity became practical for use in technology.

As a chemist, Faraday discovered benzene, investigated the clathrate hydrate of chlorine, invented an early form of the Bunsen burner and the system of oxidation numbers, and popularised terminology such as "anode", "cathode", "electrode" and "ion". Faraday ultimately became the first and foremost Fullerian Professor of Chemistry at the Royal Institution, a lifetime position.

Faraday was an excellent experimentalist who conveyed his ideas in clear and simple language; his mathematical abilities, however, did not extend as far as trigonometry and were limited to the simplest algebra. James Clerk Maxwell took the work of Faraday and others and summarized it in a set of equations which is accepted as the basis of all modern theories of electromagnetic phenomena. On Faraday's uses of lines of force, Maxwell wrote that they show Faraday "to have been in reality a mathematician of a very high order – one from whom the mathematicians of the future may derive valuable and fertile methods." The SI unit of capacitance is named in his honour: the farad.

Albert Einstein kept a picture of Faraday on his study wall, alongside pictures of Isaac Newton and James Clerk Maxwell. Physicist Ernest Rutherford stated, "When we consider the magnitude and extent of his discoveries and their influence on the progress of science and of industry, there is no honour too great to pay to the memory of Faraday, one of the greatest scientific discoverers of all time."

Stamp and First Day Cover issued by Great Britain depicting Michael Faraday 

Michael Faraday Scientific Achievements

Michael Faraday Scientific Achievements FDC


1862 Born: Maurice Maeterlinck, Belgian poet and playwright, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1949)

Maurice Polydore Marie Bernard Maeterlinck (29 August 1862 – 6 May 1949), also known as Count (or Comte) Maeterlinck from 1932, was a Belgian playwright, poet, and essayist who was Flemish but wrote in French. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1911 "in appreciation of his many-sided literary activities, and especially of his dramatic works, which are distinguished by a wealth of imagination and by a poetic fancy, which reveals, sometimes in the guise of a fairy tale, a deep inspiration, while in a mysterious way they appeal to the readers' own feelings and stimulate their imaginations". The main themes in his work are death and the meaning of life. He was a leading member of La Jeune Belgique group and his plays form an important part of the Symbolist movement.

Swedish stamp depicting Maurice Maeterlinck

Sweden Maurice Maeterlinck


1885 – Gottlieb Daimler patents the world's first internal combustion motorcycle, the Reitwagen.

Gottlieb Wilhelm Daimler 17 March 1834 – 6 March 1900) was an engineer, industrial designer and industrialist born in Schorndorf (Kingdom of Württemberg, a federal state of the German Confederation), in what is now Germany. He was a pioneer of internal-combustion engines and automobile development. He invented the high-speed liquid petroleum-fuelled engine.

Daimler and his lifelong business partner Wilhelm Maybach were two inventors whose goal was to create small, high-speed engines to be mounted in any kind of locomotion device. In 1883 they designed a horizontal cylinder layout compressed charge liquid petroleum engine that fulfilled Daimler's desire for a high speed engine which could be throttled, making it useful in transportation applications. This engine was called Daimler's Dream.

In 1885 they designed a vertical cylinder version of this engine which they subsequently fitted to a two-wheeler, the first internal combustion motorcycle which was named the Petroleum Reitwagen (Riding Car) and, in the next year, to a coach, and a boat. Daimler called this engine the grandfather clock engine (Standuhr) because of its resemblance to a large pendulum clock.

In 1890, they converted their partnership into a stock company Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft (DMG, in English—Daimler Motors Corporation). They sold their first automobile in 1892. Daimler fell ill and took a break from the business. Upon his return he experienced difficulty with the other stockholders that led to his resignation in 1893. This was reversed in 1894. Maybach resigned at the same time, and also returned. In 1900 Daimler died and Wilhelm Maybach quit DMG in 1907.

German and Hungarian stamps depicting Gottlieb Daimler or his cars

Gottlieb Daimler German Reich

Germany Early Daimler Car
Hungary Daimler 1886

Friday, April 03, 2020

April 3rd in stamps Gottlieb Daimler patent, Joseph Stalin, Franz Berwald, James Clark Ross

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


1862 Died:  James Clark Ross, English captain and explorer (b. 1800)

Sir James Clark Ross (15 April 1800 – 3 April 1862) was a British Royal Navy officer and polar explorer known for his explorations of the Arctic, participating in two expeditions led by his uncle Sir John Ross, and four led by Sir William Parry, and, in particular, for his own Antarctic expedition from 1839 to 1843.

Ross was born in London, the nephew of Sir John Ross, under whom he entered the Royal Navy in 1812, accompanying him on Sir John's first Arctic voyage in search of a Northwest Passage in 1818. Between 1819 and 1827, Ross took part in four Arctic expeditions under Sir William Parry, and in 1829 to 1833, again served under his uncle on Sir John's second Arctic voyage. It was during this trip that a small party led by James Ross (including Thomas Abernethy) located the position of the North Magnetic Pole on 1 June 1831, on the Boothia Peninsula in the far north of Canada. It was on this trip, too, that Ross charted the Beaufort Islands, later renamed Clarence Islands by his uncle.

Stamps from Great Britain and French Southern & Antarctic Territories depicting James Clark Ross

Great Britain 1972 3p James Clark Ross & Map of South Polar Sea

French Southern & Antarctic Territory First climbing of Mount Ross, James Clark Ross


1868 Died: Franz Berwald, Swedish composer and surgeon (b. 1796)

Franz Adolf Berwald (23 July 1796 – 3 April 1868) was a Swedish Romantic composer. He made his living as an orthopedist and later as the manager of a saw mill and glass factory, and became more appreciated as a composer after his death than he had been in his lifetime.

One of his few operas to be staged in his lifetime, Estrella de Soria, was heartily applauded at its premiere at the Royal Theater in April 1862, and was given four more performances in the same month. Following this success, he wrote Drottningen av Golconda (The Queen of Golconda), which would have been premiered in 1864, but was not, due to a change of directors at the Royal Opera.

In 1866, Berwald received the Swedish Order of the Polar Star, in recognition of his musical achievements. The following year, the Board of the Royal Musical Academy appointed Berwald professor of musical composition at the Stockholm Conservatory, only to have the Conservatory Board reverse the decision a few days later, and appoint another. The royal family stepped in, and Berwald got the post. At around that time he was also given many important commissions, but he did not live to fulfill them all.

Berwald died in Stockholm in 1868 of pneumonia and was interred there in the Norra begravningsplatsen (Northern Cemetery). The second movement of the Symphony No. 1 was played at his funeral.

Swedish stamps commemorating Franz Berwald

Sweden  Franz Berwald, composer. Violin, Music



1885 – Gottlieb Daimler is granted a German patent for his engine design.

Gottlieb Wilhelm Daimler 17 March 1834 – 6 March 1900) was an engineer, industrial designer and industrialist born in Schorndorf (Kingdom of Württemberg, a federal state of the German Confederation), in what is now Germany. He was a pioneer of internal-combustion engines and automobile development. He invented the high-speed liquid petroleum-fuelled engine.

Daimler and his lifelong business partner Wilhelm Maybach were two inventors whose goal was to create small, high-speed engines to be mounted in any kind of locomotion device. In 1883 they designed a horizontal cylinder layout compressed charge liquid petroleum engine that fulfilled Daimler's desire for a high speed engine which could be throttled, making it useful in transportation applications. This engine was called Daimler's Dream.

In 1885 they designed a vertical cylinder version of this engine which they subsequently fitted to a two-wheeler, the first internal combustion motorcycle which was named the Petroleum Reitwagen (Riding Car) and, in the next year, to a coach, and a boat. Daimler called this engine the grandfather clock engine (Standuhr) because of its resemblance to a large pendulum clock.

In 1890, they converted their partnership into a stock company Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft (DMG, in English—Daimler Motors Corporation). They sold their first automobile in 1892. Daimler fell ill and took a break from the business. Upon his return he experienced difficulty with the other stockholders that led to his resignation in 1893. This was reversed in 1894. Maybach resigned at the same time, and also returned. In 1900 Daimler died and Wilhelm Maybach quit DMG in 1907.

German and Hungarian stamps depicting Gottlieb Daimler or his cars

Gottlieb Daimler German Reich

Germany Early Daimler Car
Hungary Daimler 1886


1922 – Joseph Stalin becomes the first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin (18 December 1878 – 5 March 1953) was a Georgian revolutionary and Soviet politician who led the Soviet Union from the mid–1920s until 1953 as the general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1922–1952) and premier of the Soviet Union (1941–1953). Despite initially governing the Soviet Union as part of a collective leadership, he eventually consolidated power to become the country's de facto dictator by the 1930s. A communist ideologically committed to the Leninist interpretation of Marxism, Stalin formalised these ideas as Marxism–Leninism, while his own policies are known as Stalinism.

Born to a poor family in Gori in the Russian Empire (now Georgia), Stalin joined the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party as a youth. He edited the party's newspaper, Pravda, and raised funds for Vladimir Lenin's Bolshevik faction via robberies, kidnappings, and protection rackets. Repeatedly arrested, he underwent several internal exiles. After the Bolsheviks seized power during the 1917 October Revolution and created a one-party state under Lenin's newly renamed Communist Party, Stalin joined its governing Politburo. Serving in the Russian Civil War before overseeing the Soviet Union's establishment in 1922, Stalin assumed leadership over the country following Lenin's 1924 death. Under Stalin, "Socialism in One Country" became a central tenet of the party's dogma. Through the Five-Year Plans, the country underwent agricultural collectivisation and rapid industrialisation, creating a centralised command economy. This led to significant disruptions in food production that contributed to the famine of 1932–33. To eradicate accused "enemies of the working class", Stalin instituted the "Great Purge", in which over a million were imprisoned and at least 700,000 executed between 1934 and 1939. By 1937, he had complete personal control over the party and state.

Stalin's government promoted Marxism–Leninism abroad through the Communist International and supported European anti-fascist movements during the 1930s, particularly in the Spanish Civil War. In 1939, it signed a non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany, resulting in the Soviet invasion of Poland. Germany ended the pact by invading the Soviet Union in 1941. Despite initial setbacks, the Soviet Red Army repelled the German incursion and captured Berlin in 1945, ending World War II in Europe. The Soviets annexed the Baltic states and helped establish Soviet-aligned governments throughout Central and Eastern Europe, China, and North Korea. The Soviet Union and the United States emerged from the war as global superpowers. Tensions arose between the Soviet-backed Eastern Bloc and U.S.-backed Western Bloc which became known as the Cold War. Stalin led his country through the post-war reconstruction, during which it developed a nuclear weapon in 1949. In these years, the country experienced another major famine and an anti-semitic campaign peaking in the doctors' plot. After Stalin's death in 1953 he was eventually succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev, who denounced his predecessor and initiated the de-Stalinisation of Soviet society.

Widely considered one of the 20th century's most significant figures, Stalin was the subject of a pervasive personality cult within the international Marxist–Leninist movement which revered him as a champion of the working class and socialism. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Stalin has retained popularity in Russia and Georgia as a victorious wartime leader who established the Soviet Union as a major world power. Conversely, his totalitarian government has been widely condemned for overseeing mass repressions, ethnic cleansing, deportations, hundreds of thousands of executions, and famines which killed millions.

Stamps from Russia and China depicting Stalin




Sunday, March 08, 2020

March 8th in stamps Oscar I, Łukasiewicz, Zeppelin, William Howard Taft

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


1822 Born: Ignacy Łukasiewicz, Polish inventor and businessman, invented the Kerosene lamp (d. 1882)


Jan Józef Ignacy Łukasiewicz (8 March 1822 – 7 January 1882) was a Polish pharmacist, engineer, businessman, inventor, and one of the most prominent philanthropists in the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria, crown land of Austria-Hungary. He was a pioneer who in 1856 built the world's first modern oil refinery. His achievements included the discovery of how to distill kerosene from seep oil, the invention of the modern kerosene lamp (1853), the introduction of the first modern street lamp in Europe (1853), and the construction of the world's first modern oil well (1854).

Polish stamps issued in 1982 to commemorate the 100th death anniversary of Ignacy Łukasiewicz

Poland 1982 Death Ignacy lukasiewicz


1844 – King Oscar I ascends to the thrones of Sweden and Norway.

Oscar I (4 July 1799 – 8 July 1859) was King of Sweden and Norway from 8 March 1844 until his death. He was the second monarch of the House of Bernadotte.

The only child of King Charles XIV & III John, Oscar inherited the thrones upon the death of his father. Throughout his reign he would pursue a liberal course in politics in contrast to Charles XIV, instituting reforms and improving ties between Sweden and Norway. In an address to him in 1857, the Riksdag declared that he had promoted the material prosperity of the kingdom more than any of his predecessors.

Norwegian stamps depicting Oscar I

Oscar I Norway

Oscar I Norway




1917 Died: Ferdinand von Zeppelin, German general and businessman, founded the Zeppelin Company (b. 1838)

Ferdinand Adolf Heinrich August Graf von Zeppelin (8 July 1838 – 8 March 1917) was a German general and later inventor of the Zeppelin rigid airships; he founded the company Luftschiffbau Zeppelin.


LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin (Deutsches Luftschiff Zeppelin #127; Registration: D-LZ 127) was a German-built and -operated, passenger-carrying, hydrogen-filled, rigid airship which operated commercially from 1928 to 1937. It was named after the German pioneer of airships, Ferdinand von Zeppelin, who was a Graf or Count in the German nobility. During its operating life, the airship made 590 flights covering more than a million miles (1.6 million km). It was designed to be operated by a crew of 36 officers and men. More about that here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LZ_127_Graf_Zeppelin

Some stamps from the US and Germany depicting Zeppelins

USA Zeppelin stamp


Germany Chicago Fair Zeppelin stamps 1 Mark Germany Chicago Fair Zeppelin stamps 2 Mark Germany Polar flight Zeppelin stamp 1 Mark


Germany Zeppelin stamp 3 Mark





More Zeppelin stamps can be found here: Zeppelin on stamps


1930 Died: William Howard Taft, American lawyer, jurist, and politician, 27th President of the United States (b. 1857)

William Howard Taft (September 15, 1857 – March 8, 1930) was the 27th president of the United States (1909–1913) and the tenth chief justice of the United States (1921–1930), the only person to have held both offices. Taft was elected president in 1908, the chosen successor of Theodore Roosevelt, but was defeated for re-election by Woodrow Wilson in 1912 after Roosevelt split the Republican vote by running as a third-party candidate. In 1921, President Warren G. Harding appointed Taft to be chief justice, a position in which he served until a month before his death.

Taft was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1857. His father, Alphonso Taft, was a U.S. Attorney General and Secretary of War. Taft attended Yale and, like his father, was a member of Skull and Bones. After becoming a lawyer, Taft was appointed a judge while still in his twenties. He continued a rapid rise, being named Solicitor General and as a judge of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. In 1901, President William McKinley appointed Taft civilian governor of the Philippines. In 1904, Roosevelt made him Secretary of War, and he became Roosevelt's hand-picked successor. Despite his personal ambition to become chief justice, Taft declined repeated offers of appointment to the Supreme Court of the United States, believing his political work to be more important.

With Roosevelt's help, Taft had little opposition for the Republican nomination for president in 1908 and easily defeated William Jennings Bryan for the presidency in that November's election. In the White House, he focused on East Asia more than European affairs and repeatedly intervened to prop up or remove Latin American governments. Taft sought reductions to trade tariffs, then a major source of governmental income, but the resulting bill was heavily influenced by special interests. His administration was filled with conflict between the conservative wing of the Republican Party, with which Taft often sympathized, and the progressive wing, toward which Roosevelt moved more and more. Controversies over conservation and antitrust cases filed by the Taft administration served to further separate the two men. Roosevelt challenged Taft for renomination in 1912. Taft used his control of the party machinery to gain a bare majority of delegates and Roosevelt bolted the party. The split left Taft with little chance of re-election and he took only Utah and Vermont in Wilson's victory.

After leaving office, Taft returned to Yale as a professor, continuing his political activity and working against war through the League to Enforce Peace. In 1921, President Harding appointed Taft as chief justice, an office he had long sought. Chief Justice Taft was a conservative on business issues and under him there were advances in individual rights. In poor health, he resigned in February 1930, and died the following month. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery, the first president and first Supreme Court justice to be interred there. Taft is generally listed near the middle in historians' rankings of U.S. presidents.

US stamps and a First Day Cover depicting William Howard Taft

1930 4c President William Howard Taft

William Howard Taft (1938) Presidential Series 50¢

William Howard Taft Ameripex 1986 FDC



Tuesday, February 11, 2020

February 11th in stamps Descartes, Bellman, Milan I, Léon Foucault

Here are some events that happened on February 11th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day


1650 Died: René Descartes, French mathematician and philosopher (b. 1596)

René Descartes (31 March 1596 – 11 February 1650) was a French philosopher, mathematician, and scientist. A native of the Kingdom of France, he spent about 20 years (1629–1649) of his life in the Dutch Republic after serving for a while in the Dutch States Army of Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange and the Stadtholder of the United Provinces. One of the most notable intellectual figures of the Dutch Golden Age, Descartes is also widely regarded as one of the founders of modern philosophy.

Many elements of Descartes' philosophy have precedents in late Aristotelianism, the revived Stoicism of the 16th century, or in earlier philosophers like Augustine. In his natural philosophy, he differed from the schools on two major points: first, he rejected the splitting of corporeal substance into matter and form; second, he rejected any appeal to final ends, divine or natural, in explaining natural phenomena. In his theology, he insists on the absolute freedom of God's act of creation. Refusing to accept the authority of previous philosophers, Descartes frequently set his views apart from the philosophers who preceded him. In the opening section of the Passions of the Soul, an early modern treatise on emotions, Descartes goes so far as to assert that he will write on this topic "as if no one had written on these matters before". His best known philosophical statement is "I think, therefore I am" (French: Je pense, donc je suis; Latin: cogito, ergo sum), found in Discourse on the Method (1637; written in French and Latin) and Principles of Philosophy (1644; written in Latin).

Descartes laid the foundation for 17th-century continental rationalism, later advocated by Spinoza and Leibniz, and was later opposed by the empiricist school of thought consisting of Hobbes, Locke, Berkeley, and Hume. Leibniz, Spinoza, and Descartes were all well-versed in mathematics as well as philosophy, and Descartes and Leibniz contributed greatly to science as well. Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy (1641) continues to be a standard text at most university philosophy departments. Descartes' influence in mathematics is equally apparent; the Cartesian coordinate system was named after him. He is credited as the father of analytical geometry, the bridge between algebra and geometry—used in the discovery of infinitesimal calculus and analysis. Descartes was also one of the key figures in the Scientific Revolution.

Stamps issued by France and Monaco commemorating René Descartes

France 1937 Rene Descartes, Discours

Monaco Rene Descartes


1795 Died: Carl Michael Bellman, Swedish poet and composer (b. 1740)

Carl Michael Bellman (4 February 1740 – 11 February 1795) was a Swedish songwriter, composer, musician, poet and entertainer. He is a central figure in the Swedish song tradition and remains a powerful influence in Swedish music, as well as in Scandinavian literature, to this day. He has been compared to Shakespeare, Beethoven, Mozart, and Hogarth, but his gift, using elegantly rococo classical references in comic contrast to sordid drinking and prostitution—at once regretted and celebrated in song—is unique.

Bellman is best known for two collections of poems set to music, Fredman's songs (Fredmans sånger) and Fredman's epistles (Fredmans epistlar). Each consists of about 70 songs. The general theme is drinking, but the songs "most ingeniously" combine words and music to express feelings and moods ranging from humorous to elegiac, romantic to satirical.

Bellman's patrons included King Gustav III of Sweden, who called him a master improviser. Bellman's songs continue to be performed and recorded by musicians from Scandinavia and in other languages, including English, French, German, Italian and Russian. Several of his songs including Gubben Noak and Fjäriln vingad are known by heart by many Swedes. His legacy further includes a museum in Stockholm and a society that fosters interest in him and his work.

Swedish stamps depicting Bellman

Sweden 1990 250th Anniversary Of Carl Michael Bellman

Sweden  Carl Michael Bellman Composer


1868 Died: Léon Foucault, French physicist and academic (b. 1819 )

Jean Bernard Léon Foucault (18 September 1819 – 11 February 1868) was a French physicist best known for his demonstration of the Foucault pendulum, a device demonstrating the effect of the Earth's rotation. He also made an early measurement of the speed of light, discovered eddy currents, and is credited with naming the gyroscope.

Foucault died of what was probably a rapidly developing case of multiple sclerosis on 11 February 1868 in Paris and was buried in the Montmartre Cemetery.

The asteroid 5668 Foucault was named for him.[10] His is one of the 72 names inscribed on the Eiffel Tower.

France great scientists Foucault



1901 Died: Milan I of Serbia (b. 1855)

Milan Obrenović (22 August 1854 – 11 February 1901) was the ruler of Serbia from 1868 to 1889, first as prince (1868-1882), subsequently as king (1882-1889).

Milan Obrenović was born in 1854 in Mărășești, Moldavia where his family lived in exile ever since the 1842 return of the rival House of Karađorđević to the Serbian throne when they managed to depose Milan's cousin Prince Mihailo Obrenović III.

Milan was the son of Miloš Obrenović (1829–1861) and his Moldavian wife Marija Obrenović (née Elena Maria Catargiu). Milan's paternal grandfather (Miloš's father) was Jevrem Obrenović (1790–1856), brother of Miloš Obrenović I, Prince of Serbia. Milan was therefore Prince Miloš's grandnephew. He had only one sibling — sister Tomanija.

Shortly after Milan's birth, his parents divorced. Several years later on 20 November 1861, at the age of seven, Milan's father Miloš died fighting the Turks near Bucharest as a foreign mercenary in the Romanian Army, meaning that his mother Marija got a legal custody. Marija, however, lived a lavish aristocratic lifestyle, soon becoming Romanian ruler Alexandru Ioan Cuza's mistress and bearing him two sons — Alexandru Al. Ioan Cuza (nicknamed Sașa) and Dimitrie. As a result, she showed little interest in her children from the previous marriage with Miloš. Therefore, an agreement was reached for young Milan to get legally adopted by his cousin Mihailo Obrenović. who in the meantime, following the 1858 expulsion of the Karađorđevićs, had returned to Serbia where he became the ruling prince in 1860.

Serbia Milan I 15 Para


On 10 June 1868, when Milan was only fourteen years of age, Prince Mihailo Obrenović III was assassinated. As the late prince did not have any male heirs, the question of who was to succeed him on the Serbian throne became a pressing one. In the post-assassination chaos and the resulting power vacuum, influential senior statesman Ilija Garašanin re-emerged in Serbian political life, despite only eight months earlier being removed by the late prince from the post of Prime Minister of Serbia and replaced with Jovan Ristić. While consolidating forces within the state to prevent the conspirators from taking over the power, Garašanin also reportedly contemplated solving the throne issue by starting a third royal dynasty. General political consensus was that the new ruler should be selected by the Visoka narodna skupština (Grand National Council). However, cabinet minister Milivoje Petrović Blaznavac was rapidly increasing his power and influence. He had managed to consolidate his control over the army and stage a coup d'état. So when Blaznavac suggested the young Milan as the successor to Prince Mihailo, Garašanin had no choice but to yield to the more powerful authority.

On 22 August 1872, Milan was declared of age, and he took government into his own hands. He soon demonstrated great intellectual capacity, coupled with a passionate headstrong character. Eugene Schuyler, who observed him about this time, found him to be a very remarkable, singularly intelligent and well-informed young man. The Principality of Serbia was still a de jure part of the Ottoman Empire though in reality it already had long functioned as a semi-independent state whose politics and economy was much more dependent on other Great Powers, particularly Austria-Hungary and Russian Empire, than on its formal ruler, the declining Ottomans. Milan carefully manoeuvred between the Austrian and Russian geopolitical interests in Serbia, with a judicious leaning towards the former.

Serbia Milan I 20 Para

On 3 January 1889, Milan adopted a new constitution much more liberal than the existing one of 1869. Two months later, on 6 March, thirty-four-year-old Milan suddenly abdicated the throne, handing it over to his twelve-year-old son. No satisfactory reason was assigned for this step. Milan settled in Paris as a private individual.

Serbia Milan I Newspaper stamp