Showing posts with label USA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label USA. Show all posts

Thursday, August 13, 2020

August 13th in stamps Delacroix, Hitchcock, H. G. Wells


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


1863 Died: Eugène Delacroix, French painter and lithographer (b. 1798)

Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix (26 April 1798 – 13 August 1863) was a French Romantic artist regarded from the outset of his career as the leader of the French Romantic school.

As a painter and muralist, Delacroix's use of expressive brushstrokes and his study of the optical effects of colour profoundly shaped the work of the Impressionists, while his passion for the exotic inspired the artists of the Symbolist movement. A fine lithographer, Delacroix illustrated various works of William Shakespeare, the Scottish author Walter Scott and the German author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

In contrast to the Neoclassical perfectionism of his chief rival Ingres, Delacroix took for his inspiration the art of Rubens and painters of the Venetian Renaissance, with an attendant emphasis on colour and movement rather than clarity of outline and carefully modelled form. Dramatic and romantic content characterized the central themes of his maturity, and led him not to the classical models of Greek and Roman art, but to travel in North Africa, in search of the exotic. Friend and spiritual heir to Théodore Géricault, Delacroix was also inspired by Lord Byron, with whom he shared a strong identification with the "forces of the sublime", of nature in often violent action.

However, Delacroix was given to neither sentimentality nor bombast, and his Romanticism was that of an individualist. In the words of Baudelaire, "Delacroix was passionately in love with passion, but coldly determined to express passion as clearly as possible." Together with Ingres, Delacroix is considered one of the last old Masters of painting, and one of the few who was ever photographed.

Stamps from France depicting Delacroix's paintings or stamps depicting liberty based on Delacroix's painting Liberty Leading the People

Eugene Delacroix la liberte guidant le peuple

France Eugene Delacroix Painting

France Eugene Delacroix Painting

France Liberty, after Delacroix


1899 Born: Alfred Hitchcock, English-American director and producer (d. 1980)

Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock (13 August 1899 – 29 April 1980) was an English film director and producer. He is one of the most influential and extensively studied filmmakers in the history of cinema. Known as the "Master of Suspense", he directed over 50 feature films in a career spanning six decades, becoming as well known as any of his actors thanks to his many interviews, his cameo roles in most of his films, and his hosting and producing of the television anthology Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–1965). His films garnered a total of 46 Oscar nominations and 6 wins.

Born in Leytonstone, London, Hitchcock entered the film industry in 1919 as a title card designer after training as a technical clerk and copy writer for a telegraph-cable company. He made his directorial debut with the British-German silent film The Pleasure Garden (1925). His first successful film, The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (1927), helped to shape the thriller genre, while his 1929 film, Blackmail, was the first British "talkie". Two of his 1930s thrillers, The 39 Steps (1935) and The Lady Vanishes (1938), are ranked among the greatest British films of the 20th century.

By 1939, Hitchcock was a filmmaker of international importance, and film producer David O. Selznick persuaded him to move to Hollywood. A string of successful films followed, including Rebecca (1940), Foreign Correspondent (1940), Suspicion (1941), Shadow of a Doubt (1943), and Notorious (1946). Rebecca won the Academy Award for Best Picture, although Hitchcock himself was only nominated as Best Director; he was also nominated for Lifeboat (1944) and Spellbound (1945), although he never won the Best Director Academy Award.

The "Hitchcockian" style includes the use of camera movement to mimic a person's gaze, thereby turning viewers into voyeurs, and framing shots to maximise anxiety and fear. The film critic Robin Wood wrote that the meaning of a Hitchcock film "is there in the method, in the progression from shot to shot. A Hitchcock film is an organism, with the whole implied in every detail and every detail related to the whole."

After a brief lull of commercial success in the late 1940s, Hitchcock returned to form with Strangers on a Train (1951) and Dial M For Murder (1954). By 1960 Hitchcock had directed four films often ranked among the greatest of all time: Rear Window (1954), Vertigo (1958), North by Northwest (1959), and Psycho (1960), the first and last of these garnering him Best Director nominations. In 2012, Vertigo replaced Orson Welles's Citizen Kane (1941) as the British Film Institute's greatest film ever made based on its world-wide poll of hundreds of film critics. By 2018 eight of his films had been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry, including his personal favourite, Shadow of a Doubt (1943). He received the BAFTA Fellowship in 1971, the AFI Life Achievement Award in 1979 and was knighted in December that year, four months before he died.


US sheet depicting Hitchcock 

Alfred Hitchcock Legends Of Hollywood Sheet


1946 Died: H. G. Wells, English novelist, historian, and critic (b. 1866)

Herbert George Wells (21 September 1866 – 13 August 1946) was an English writer. Prolific in many genres, he wrote dozens of novels, short stories, and works of social commentary, history, satire, biography and autobiography. His work also included two books on recreational war games. Wells is now best remembered for his science fiction novels and is often called the "father of science fiction", along with Jules Verne and the publisher Hugo Gernsback.

During his own lifetime, however, he was most prominent as a forward-looking, even prophetic social critic who devoted his literary talents to the development of a progressive vision on a global scale. A futurist, he wrote a number of utopian works and foresaw the advent of aircraft, tanks, space travel, nuclear weapons, satellite television and something resembling the World Wide Web. His science fiction imagined time travel, alien invasion, invisibility, and biological engineering. Brian Aldiss referred to Wells as the "Shakespeare of science fiction". Wells rendered his works convincing by instilling commonplace detail alongside a single extraordinary assumption – dubbed “Wells's law” – leading Joseph Conrad to hail him in 1898 as "O Realist of the Fantastic!". His most notable science fiction works include The Time Machine (1895), The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896), The Invisible Man (1897), The War of the Worlds (1898) and the military science fiction The War in the Air (1907). Wells was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature four times. 

Wells's earliest specialized training was in biology, and his thinking on ethical matters took place in a specifically and fundamentally Darwinian context. He was also from an early date an outspoken socialist, often (but not always, as at the beginning of the First World War) sympathizing with pacifist views. His later works became increasingly political and didactic, and he wrote little science fiction, while he sometimes indicated on official documents that his profession was that of journalist. Novels such as Kipps and The History of Mr Polly, which describe lower-middle-class life, led to the suggestion that he was a worthy successor to Charles Dickens, but Wells described a range of social strata and even attempted, in Tono-Bungay (1909), a diagnosis of English society as a whole. Wells was a diabetic and co-founded the charity The Diabetic Association (known today as Diabetes UK) in 1934.

Set of stamps issued by Great Britain depicting H. G. Wells works

1995 GB Science Fiction Novels H.G. Wells Set Of 4

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

August 11th in stamps Babe Ruth, Pedro Nunes

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


1578 Died: Pedro Nunes, Portuguese mathematician and academic (b. 1502)

Pedro Nunes (1502 – 11 August 1578) was a Portuguese mathematician, cosmographer, and professor, from a New Christian (of Jewish origin) family. 

Considered one of the greatest mathematicians of his time  Nunes is best known for his contributions to the nautical sciences (navigation and cartography), which he approached, for the first time, in a mathematical way. He was the first to propose the idea of a loxodrome, and was the inventor of several measuring devices, including the nonius (from which Vernier scale was derived), named after his Latin surname.

Pedro Nunes lived in a transition period, during which science was changing from valuing theoretical knowledge (which defined the main role of a scientist/mathematician as commenting on previous authors), to providing experimental data, both as a source of information and as a method of confirming theories. Nunes was, above all, one of the last great commentators, as is shown by his first published work “Tratado da Esfera”, enriched with comments and additions that denote a profound knowledge of the difficult cosmography of the period. He also acknowledged the value of experimentation.

In his Tratado da sphera he argued for a common and universal diffusion of knowledge. Accordingly, he not only published works in Latin, at that time science's lingua franca, aiming for an audience of European scholars, but also in Portuguese, and Spanish (Livro de Algebra).

Navigation
Much of Nunes' work related to navigation. He was the first to understand why a ship maintaining a steady course would not travel along a great circle, the shortest path between two points on Earth, but would instead follow a spiral course, called a loxodrome. The later invention of logarithms allowed Leibniz to establish algebraic equations for the loxodrome. These lines —also called rhumb lines— maintain a fixed angle with the meridians. In other words, loxodromic curves are directly related to the construction of the Nunes connection —also called navigator connection. 

In his Treaty defending the sea chart, Nunes argued that a nautical chart should have its parallels and meridians shown as straight lines. Yet he was unsure how to solve the problems that this caused: a situation that lasted until Mercator developed the projection bearing his name. The Mercator Projection is the system which is still used.

Geometry
Nunes also solved the problem of finding the day with the shortest twilight duration, for any given position, and its duration. This problem per se is not greatly important, yet it shows the geometric genius of Nunes as it was a problem which was independently tackled by Johann and Jakob Bernoulli more than a century later with less success. They could find a solution to the problem of the shortest day, but failed to determine its duration, possibly because they got lost in the details of differential calculus which, at that time, had only recently been developed. The achievement also shows that Nunes was a pioneer in solving maxima and minima problems, which became a common requirement only in the next century using differential calculus. 

Stamps and cover issued by Portugal to commemorate Pedro Nunes

Portugal 500 Years Birthday Pedro Nunes Cover

Portugal 500 Years Birthday Pedro Nunes

Portugal Pedro Nunes


1929 – Babe Ruth becomes the first baseball player to hit 500 home runs in his career with a home run at League Park in Cleveland, Ohio.

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

Monday, August 10, 2020

August 10th in stamps Royal Greenwich Observatory, Louvre, Herbert Hoover

Here are some events that happened on August 10th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day


1675 – The foundation stone of the Royal Greenwich Observatory in London, England is laid.

The Royal Observatory, Greenwich (ROG; known as the Old Royal Observatory from 1957 to 1998, when the working Royal Greenwich Observatory, RGO, moved from Greenwich to Herstmonceux) is an observatory situated on a hill in Greenwich Park, overlooking the River Thames. It played a major role in the history of astronomy and navigation, and because the prime meridian passes through it, it gave its name to Greenwich Mean Time. The ROG has the IAU observatory code of 000, the first in the list. ROG, the National Maritime Museum, the Queen's House and Cutty Sark are collectively designated Royal Museums Greenwich.

The observatory was commissioned in 1675 by King Charles II, with the foundation stone being laid on 10 August. The site was chosen by Sir Christopher Wren. At that time the king also created the position of Astronomer Royal, to serve as the director of the observatory and to "apply himself with the most exact care and diligence to the rectifying of the tables of the motions of the heavens, and the places of the fixed stars, so as to find out the so much desired longitude of places for the perfecting of the art of navigation." He appointed John Flamsteed as the first Astronomer Royal. The building was completed in the summer of 1676. The building was often called "Flamsteed House", in reference to its first occupant.

The scientific work of the observatory was relocated elsewhere in stages in the first half of the 20th century, and the Greenwich site is now maintained almost exclusively as a museum, although the AMAT telescope became operational for astronomical research in 2018.


Stamps from Great Britain commemorating the Royal Greenwich Observatory and the prime meridian

GB FDC - Greenwich Meridian - The Old Observatory

Great Britain 1975 Royal Observatory


1793 – The Musée du Louvre is officially opened in Paris, France.

The Louvre, is the world's largest art museum and a historic monument in Paris, France. A central landmark of the city, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the city's 1st arrondissement (district or ward). Approximately 38,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century are exhibited over an area of 72,735 square meters (782,910 square feet). In 2019, the Louvre received 9.6 million visitors, making it the most visited museum in the world. 

The museum is housed in the Louvre Palace, originally built as the Louvre castle in the late 12th to 13th century under Philip II. Remnants of the fortress are visible in the basement of the museum. Due to urban expansion, the fortress eventually lost its defensive function, and in 1546 Francis I converted it into the primary residence of the French Kings. The building was extended many times to form the present Louvre Palace. In 1682, Louis XIV chose the Palace of Versailles for his household, leaving the Louvre primarily as a place to display the royal collection, including, from 1692, a collection of ancient Greek and Roman sculpture. In 1692, the building was occupied by the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres and the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, which in 1699 held the first of a series of salons. The Académie remained at the Louvre for 100 years. During the French Revolution, the National Assembly decreed that the Louvre should be used as a museum to display the nation's masterpieces.

The museum opened on 10 August 1793 with an exhibition of 537 paintings, the majority of the works being royal and confiscated church property. Because of structural problems with the building, the museum was closed in 1796 until 1801. The collection was increased under Napoleon and the museum was renamed Musée Napoléon, but after Napoleon's abdication, many works seized by his armies were returned to their original owners. The collection was further increased during the reigns of Louis XVIII and Charles X, and during the Second French Empire the museum gained 20,000 pieces. Holdings have grown steadily through donations and bequests since the Third Republic. The collection is divided among eight curatorial departments: Egyptian Antiquities; Near Eastern Antiquities; Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities; Islamic Art; Sculpture; Decorative Arts; Paintings; Prints and Drawings.

French stamps commemorating the Louvre


France 1937 Louvre Museum

France 1993 Louvre Museum - Bicentennial Joint Pair


1874 Born: Herbert Hoover, American engineer and politician, 31st President of the United States (d. 1964)

Herbert Clark Hoover (August 10, 1874 – October 20, 1964) was an American engineer, businessman, and politician who served as the 31st president of the United States from 1929 to 1933. A member of the Republican Party, he held office during the onset of the Great Depression. Before serving as president, Hoover led the Commission for Relief in Belgium, served as the director of the U.S. Food Administration, and served as the 3rd U.S. Secretary of Commerce.

Hoover was born to a Quaker family in West Branch, Iowa. He took a position with a London-based mining company after graduating from Stanford University in 1895. After the outbreak of World War I, he became the head of the Commission for Relief in Belgium, an international relief organization that provided food to occupied Belgium. When the U.S. entered the war, President Woodrow Wilson appointed Hoover to lead the Food Administration, and Hoover became known as the country's "food czar". After the war, Hoover led the American Relief Administration, which provided food to the inhabitants of Central Europe and Eastern Europe. Hoover's war-time service made him a favorite of many progressives, and he unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination in the 1920 presidential election.

After the 1920 election, newly elected Republican President Warren G. Harding appointed Hoover as Secretary of Commerce; Hoover continued to serve under President Calvin Coolidge after Harding died in 1923. Hoover was an unusually active and visible cabinet member, becoming known as "Secretary of Commerce and Under-Secretary of all other departments". He was influential in the development of radio and air travel and led the federal response to the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927. Hoover won the Republican nomination in the 1928 presidential election, and decisively defeated the Democratic candidate, Al Smith. The stock market crashed shortly after Hoover took office, and the Great Depression became the central issue of his presidency. Hoover pursued a variety of policies in an attempt to lift the economy, but opposed directly involving the federal government in relief efforts.

In the midst of the economic crisis, Hoover was decisively defeated by Democratic nominee Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1932 presidential election. After leaving office, Hoover enjoyed one of the longest retirements of any former president, and he authored numerous works in subsequent decades. Hoover became increasingly conservative in this time, and he strongly criticized Roosevelt's foreign policy and New Deal domestic agenda. In the 1940s and 1950s, Hoover's public reputation was slightly rehabilitated after serving in various assignments for Presidents Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower, including as chairman of the Hoover Commission. Though he managed somewhat to rehabilitate his legacy, Hoover is still widely regarded as an inadequate U.S. president, and most polls of historians and political scientists rank him in the bottom third overall.


US stamps and first day cover depicting  Herbert Hoover

Herbert Hoover US Postage Single

FDC, Honoring Herbert Hoover, 1965


Sunday, August 09, 2020

August 9th in stamps Henry David Thoreau, Edward VII, Edith Stein, Hermann Hesse

Here are some events that happened on August 9th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day



1854 – Henry David Thoreau publishes Walden.

Henry David Thoreau (July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862) was an American essayist, poet, and philosopher. A leading transcendentalist, he is best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and his essay "Civil Disobedience" (originally published as "Resistance to Civil Government"), an argument for disobedience to an unjust state.


Walden ( first published as Walden; or, Life in the Woods) is a book by transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau. The text is a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings. The work is part personal declaration of independence, social experiment, voyage of spiritual discovery, satire, and—to some degree—a manual for self-reliance.

First published in 1854, Walden details Thoreau's experiences over the course of two years, two months, and two days in a cabin he built near Walden Pond amidst woodland owned by his friend and mentor Ralph Waldo Emerson, near Concord, Massachusetts. Thoreau used this time (July 4, 1845 - September 6, 1847) to write his first book, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1849). The experience later inspired Walden, in which Thoreau compresses the time into a single calendar year and uses passages of four seasons to symbolize human development.

By immersing himself in nature, Thoreau hoped to gain a more objective understanding of society through personal introspection. Simple living and self-sufficiency were Thoreau's other goals, and the whole project was inspired by transcendentalist philosophy, a central theme of the American Romantic Period.

Thoreau makes precise scientific observations of nature as well as metaphorical and poetic uses of natural phenomena. He identifies many plants and animals by both their popular and scientific names, records in detail the color and clarity of different bodies of water, precisely dates and describes the freezing and thawing of the pond, and recounts his experiments to measure the depth and shape of the bottom of the supposedly "bottomless" Walden Pond.

US Stamps depicting Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau 5c single

Henry David Thoreau 2017


1902 – Edward VII and Alexandra of Denmark are crowned King and Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

Edward VII (Albert Edward; 9 November 1841 – 6 May 1910) was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910.

The eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Edward was related to royalty throughout Europe. He was heir apparent to the British throne and held the title of Prince of Wales for longer than any of his predecessors. During the long reign of his mother, he was largely excluded from political power, and came to personify the fashionable, leisured elite. He traveled throughout Britain performing ceremonial public duties, and represented Britain on visits abroad. His tours of North America in 1860 and the Indian subcontinent in 1875 were popular successes, but despite public approval his reputation as a playboy prince soured his relationship with his mother.

As king, Edward played a role in the modernization of the British Home Fleet and the reorganization of the British Army after the Second Boer War. He reinstituted traditional ceremonies as public displays and broadened the range of people with whom royalty socialized. He fostered good relations between Britain and other European countries, especially France, for which he was popularly called "Peacemaker", but his relationship with his nephew, the German Emperor Wilhelm II, was poor. The Edwardian era, which covered Edward's reign and was named after him, coincided with the start of a new century and heralded significant changes in technology and society, including steam turbine propulsion and the rise of socialism. He died in 1910 in the midst of a constitutional crisis that was resolved the following year by the Parliament Act 1911, which restricted the power of the unelected House of Lords.

Stamps issued by Great Britain depicting Edward VII

Edward VII 2d Dull Blue Green & Carmine Hendon Variety

Edward VII 9d Dull Purple & Ultramarine

Edward VII 10d Slate Purple & Deep Carmine


1942 Died: Edith Stein, German nun and saint (b. 1891)

Edith Stein (religious name Teresia Benedicta a Cruce OCD; also known as St. Edith Stein or St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross; 12 October 1891 – 9 August 1942) was a German Jewish philosopher who converted to Catholicism and became a Discalced Carmelite nun. She is canonized as a martyr and saint of the Catholic Church, and she is one of six co-patron saints of Europe.

She was born into an observant Jewish family, but had become an atheist by her teenage years. Moved by the tragedies of World War I, in 1915 she took lessons to become a nursing assistant and worked in an infectious diseases hospital. After completing her doctoral thesis from the University of Göttingen in 1916, she obtained an assistantship at the University of Freiburg.

From reading the works of the reformer of the Carmelite Order, Teresa of Ávila, she was drawn to the Catholic faith. She was baptized on 1 January 1922 into the Catholic Church. At that point, she wanted to become a Discalced Carmelite nun, but was dissuaded by her spiritual mentors. She then taught at a Catholic school of education in Speyer. As a result of the requirement of an "Aryan certificate" for civil servants promulgated by the Nazi government in April 1933 as part of its Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service, she had to quit her teaching position.

She was admitted to the Discalced Carmelite monastery in Cologne the following October. She received the religious habit of the Order as a novice in April 1934, taking the religious name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. In 1938, she and her sister Rosa, by then also a convert and an extern sister (tertiaries of the Order, who would handle the community′s needs outside the monastery), were sent to the Carmelite monastery in Echt, Netherlands, for their safety. Despite the Nazi invasion of that state in 1940, they remained undisturbed until they were arrested by the Nazis on 2 August 1942 and sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp, where they are alleged to have died in the gas chamber on 9 August 1942.

German stamps depicting Edith Stein

Germany 1983 Edith Stein

West-Germany 1988 Beatification of Edith Stein & Rupert Mayer



1962 Died: Hermann Hesse, German-born Swiss poet, novelist, and painter, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1877)

Hermann Karl Hesse (2 July 1877 – 9 August 1962) was a German-born Swiss poet, novelist, and painter. His best-known works include Demian, Steppenwolf, Siddhartha, and The Glass Bead Game, each of which explores an individual's search for authenticity, self-knowledge and spirituality. In 1946, he received the Nobel Prize in Literature.

In his time, Hesse was a popular and influential author in the German-speaking world; worldwide fame only came later. Hesse's first great novel, Peter Camenzind, was received enthusiastically by young Germans desiring a different and more "natural" way of life in this time of great economic and technological progress in the country. Demian had a strong and enduring influence on the generation returning home from the First World War. Similarly, The Glass Bead Game, with its disciplined intellectual world of Castalia and the powers of meditation and humanity, captivated Germans' longing for a new order amid the chaos of a broken nation following the loss in the Second World War. 

Towards the end of his life, German (born Bavarian) composer Richard Strauss (1864–1949) set three of Hesse's poems to music in his song cycle Four Last Songs for soprano and orchestra (composed 1948, first performed posthumously in 1950): "Frühling" ("Spring"), "September", and "Beim Schlafengehen" ("On Going to Sleep").

In the 1950s, Hesse's popularity began to wane, while literature critics and intellectuals turned their attention to other subjects. In 1955, the sales of Hesse's books by his publisher Suhrkamp reached an all-time low. However, after Hesse's death in 1962, posthumously published writings, including letters and previously unknown pieces of prose, contributed to a new level of understanding and appreciation of his works. 

By the time of Hesse's death in 1962, his works were still relatively little read in the United States, despite his status as a Nobel laureate. A memorial published in The New York Times went so far as to claim that Hesse's works were largely "inaccessible" to American readers. The situation changed in the mid-1960s, when Hesse's works suddenly became bestsellers in the United States. The revival in popularity of Hesse's works has been credited to their association with some of the popular themes of the 1960s counterculture (or hippie) movement. In particular, the quest-for-enlightenment theme of Siddhartha, Journey to the East, and Narcissus and Goldmund resonated with those espousing counter-cultural ideals. The "magic theatre" sequences in Steppenwolf were interpreted by some as drug-induced psychedelia although there is no evidence that Hesse ever took psychedelic drugs or recommended their use. To a large part, the Hesse boom in the United States can be traced back to enthusiastic writings by two influential counter-culture figures: Colin Wilson and Timothy Leary. From the United States, the Hesse renaissance spread to other parts of the world and even back to Germany: more than 800,000 copies were sold in the German-speaking world from 1972 to 1973. In a space of just a few years, Hesse became the most widely read and translated European author of the 20th century. Hesse was especially popular among young readers, a tendency which continues today. 

There is a quote from Demian on the cover of Santana's 1970 album Abraxas, revealing the source of the album's title.

Hesse's Siddhartha is one of the most popular Western novels set in India. An authorised translation of Siddhartha was published in the Malayalam language in 1990, the language that surrounded Hesse's grandfather, Hermann Gundert, for most of his life. A Hermann Hesse Society of India has also been formed. It aims to bring out authentic translations of Siddhartha in all Indian languages and has already prepared the Sanskrit, Malayalam and Hindi translations of Siddhartha. One enduring monument to Hesse's lasting popularity in the United States is the Magic Theatre in San Francisco. Referring to "The Magic Theatre for Madmen Only" in Steppenwolf (a kind of spiritual and somewhat nightmarish cabaret attended by some of the characters, including Harry Haller), the Magic Theatre was founded in 1967 to perform works by new playwrights. Founded by John Lion, the Magic Theatre has fulfilled that mission for many years, including the world premieres of many plays by Sam Shepard.

There is also a theater in Chicago named after the novel, Steppenwolf Theater.


German stamps depicting Hermann Hesse

Germany  125.Geb. Hermann Hesse

Hermann Hesse FDC Berlin


Saturday, August 08, 2020

August 8th in stamps Mont Blanc, Eugène Boudin, Stjepan Radić, Graf Zeppelin


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


1786 – Mont Blanc on the French-Italian border is climbed for the first time by Jacques Balmat and Dr. Michel-Gabriel Paccard.

Mont Blanc is the second-highest mountain in Europe after Mount Elbrus of Russia. It is the highest mountain in the Alps and Western Europe. It rises 4,808 m (15,774 ft) above sea level and is ranked 11th in the world in topographic prominence. The mountain stands in a range called the Graian Alps, between the regions of Aosta Valley, Italy, and Savoie and Haute-Savoie, France. The location of the summit is on the watershed line between the valleys of Ferret and Veny in Italy and the valleys of Montjoie, and Arve in France, on the border between the two countries.

The Mont Blanc massif is popular for outdoor activities like hiking, climbing, trail running and winter sports like skiing, and snowboarding. The most popular route is the Goûter Route, which typically takes two days.

The three towns and their communes which surround Mont Blanc are Courmayeur in Aosta Valley, Italy; and Saint-Gervais-les-Bains and Chamonix in Haute-Savoie, France. The latter town was the site of the first Winter Olympics. A cable car ascends and crosses the mountain range from Courmayeur to Chamonix, through the Col du Géant. The 11.6 km (7 1⁄4-mile) Mont Blanc Tunnel, constructed between 1957 and 1965, runs beneath the mountain and is a major trans-Alpine transport route.



Michel Gabriel Paccard (1757–1827) was a Savoyard doctor and alpinist, citizen of the Kingdom of Sardinia.

Born in Chamonix, he studied medicine in Turin. Due to his passion for botany and minerals, he met Horace-Bénédict de Saussure, who initiated the race to be the first to ascend Mont Blanc.

Gaston Rébuffat wrote "Like Saussure a devotee of the natural sciences, he has a dream: to carry a barometer to the summit and take a reading there. An excellent mountaineer, he has already made several attempts."  

Paccard had a first, unsuccessful, attempt in 1783 with Marc Theodore Bourrit. In 1784, he made several attempts with Jacques Balmat before they made the first ascent of Mont Blanc together on 8 August 1786.



Jacques Balmat, called Balmat du Mont Blanc (1762–1834) was a mountaineer, a Savoyard mountain guide, born in the Chamonix valley in Savoy, at this time part of the Kingdom of Sardinia.

A chamois hunter and collector of crystals, Balmat completed the first ascent of Mont Blanc with physician Michel-Gabriel Paccard on 8 August 1786. For this feat, King Victor Amadeus III gave him the honorary title du Mont Blanc.

Balmat and Paccard's ascent of Mont Blanc was a major accomplishment in the early history of mountaineering. C. Douglas Milner wrote "The ascent itself was magnificent; an amazing feat of endurance and sustained courage, carried through by these two men only, unroped and without ice axes, heavily burdened with scientific equipment and with long iron-pointed batons. The fortunate weather and a moon alone ensured their return alive."


Stamps issued by France and Monaco for the 200th anniversary of the first climbing

France 1986 Mountains Mt Blanc Jacques Balmat and Dr. Michel-Gabriel Paccard

Monaco 1986 Mountains Mt Blanc Jacques Balmat and Dr. Michel-Gabriel Paccard


1898 Died: Eugène Boudin, French painter (b. 1824)

Eugène Louis Boudin (12 July 1824 – 8 August 1898) was one of the first French landscape painters to paint outdoors. Boudin was a marine painter, and expert in the rendering of all that goes upon the sea and along its shores. His pastels, summary and economic, garnered the splendid eulogy of Baudelaire; and Corot called him the "King of the skies". 
Born at Honfleur, Boudin was the son of a harbor pilot, and at age 10 the young boy worked on a steamboat that ran between Le Havre and Honfleur. In 1835 the family moved to Le Havre, where Boudin's father opened a store for stationery and picture frames. Here the young Eugene worked, later opening his own small shop. Boudin's father had thus abandoned seafaring, and his son gave it up too, having no real vocation for it, though he preserved to his last days much of a sailor's character: frankness, accessibility, and open-heartedness. 

In his shop, in which pictures were framed, Boudin came into contact with artists working in the area and exhibited in the shop the paintings of Constant Troyon and Jean-François Millet, who, along with Jean-Baptiste Isabey and Thomas Couture whom he met during this time, encouraged young Boudin to follow an artistic career. At the age of 22 he abandoned the world of commerce, started painting full-time, and travelled to Paris the following year and then through Flanders. In 1850 he earned a scholarship that enabled him to move to Paris, where he enrolled as a student in the studio of Eugène Isabey and worked as a copyist at the Louvre. To supplement his income he often returned to paint in Normandy and, from 1855, made regular trips to Brittany. On 14 January 1863 he married the 28-year-old Breton woman Marie-Anne Guédès in Le Havre and set up home in Paris. 

Dutch 17th-century masters profoundly influenced him, and on meeting the Dutch painter Johan Jongkind, who had already made his mark in French artistic circles, Boudin was advised by his new friend to paint outdoors (en plein air). He also worked with Troyon and Isabey, and in 1859 met Gustave Courbet who introduced him to Charles Baudelaire, the first critic to draw Boudin's talents to public attention when the artist made his debut at the 1859 Paris Salon.

In 1857/58 Boudin befriended the young Claude Monet, then only 18, and persuaded him to give up his teenage caricature drawings and to become a landscape painter, helping to instill in him a love of bright hues and the play of light on water later evident in Monet's Impressionist paintings. The two remained lifelong friends and Monet later paid tribute to Boudin's early influence. Boudin joined Monet and his young friends in the first Impressionist exhibition in 1873, but never considered himself a radical or innovator.


Fair in Brittany, one of Boudin's "Brittany" paintings (1874), Corcoran Gallery of Art
Both Boudin and Monet lived abroad during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71, Boudin in Antwerp and Monet in London; from 1873 to 1880 the Boudins lived in Bordeaux. His growing reputation enabled him to travel extensively at that time, visiting Belgium, the Netherlands and southern France. He continued to exhibit at the Paris Salons, receiving a third place medal at the Paris Salon of 1881, and a gold medal at the 1889 Exposition Universelle. In 1892 Boudin was made a knight of the Légion d'honneur, a somewhat tardy recognition of his talents and influence on the art of his contemporaries.

French stamp and First Day Cover depicting Boudin's works

France 1987 Eugene Boudin

France 1987 FDC Eugene Boudin FDC


1928 Died: Stjepan Radić, Croatian politician (b. 1871)

Stjepan Radić (11 June 1871 – 8 August 1928) was a Croatian politician and founder of the Croatian People's Peasant Party (HPSS).

He is credited with galvanizing Croatian peasantry into a viable political force. Throughout his entire career, Radić was opposed to the union and later Serb hegemony in Yugoslavia and became an important political figure in that country. He was shot in parliament by the Serbian radical politician Puniša Račić. Radić died several weeks later from a serious stomach wound at the age of 57. This assassination further alienated the Croats and the Serbs and initiated the breakdown of the parliamentary system, culminating in the 6 January Dictatorship of 1931.

Croatian stamps issued to commemorate Radić

Croatia 1992 Stjepan Radić

Croatia 2004 Stjepan and Antun Radić


1929 – The German airship Graf Zeppelin begins a round-the-world flight.

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. 

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


Sunday, August 02, 2020

August 2nd in stamps signing of the United States Declaration of Independence, Constantine I, Calvin Coolidge


Here are some events that happened on August 2nd. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day


1776 – The signing of the United States Declaration of Independence took place.

The United States Declaration of Independence is the pronouncement adopted by the Second Continental Congress meeting at the Pennsylvania State House (now known as Independence Hall) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 4, 1776. The Declaration explained why the Thirteen Colonies at war with the Kingdom of Great Britain regarded themselves as thirteen independent sovereign states, no longer under British rule. With the Declaration, these new states took a collective first step toward forming the United States of America. The declaration was signed by representatives from New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.

The Lee Resolution for independence was passed on July 2 with no opposing votes. The Committee of Five had drafted the Declaration to be ready when Congress voted on independence. John Adams, a leader in pushing for independence, had persuaded the committee to select Thomas Jefferson to compose the original draft of the document,  which Congress edited to produce the final version. The Declaration was a formal explanation of why Congress had voted to declare independence from Great Britain, more than a year after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War. Adams wrote to his wife Abigail, "The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America"  – although Independence Day is actually celebrated on July 4, the date that the wording of the Declaration of Independence was approved.

After ratifying the text on July 4, Congress issued the Declaration of Independence in several forms. It was initially published as the printed Dunlap broadside that was widely distributed and read to the public. The source copy used for this printing has been lost and may have been a copy in Thomas Jefferson's hand. Jefferson's original draft is preserved at the Library of Congress, complete with changes made by John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, as well as Jefferson's notes of changes made by Congress. The best-known version of the Declaration is a signed copy that is displayed at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., and which is popularly regarded as the official document. This engrossed copy (finalized, calligraphic copy) was ordered by Congress on July 19 and signed primarily on August 2.

US stamp depicting the signing of the Declaration of Independence


The United States Declaration of Independence


1868 Born: Constantine I of Greece (d. 1923)

Constantine I (2 August 1868 – 11 January 1923) was King of Greece from 1913 to 1917 and from 1920 to 1922. He was commander-in-chief of the Hellenic Army during the unsuccessful Greco-Turkish War of 1897 and led the Greek forces during the successful Balkan Wars of 1912–1913, in which Greece expanded to include Thessaloniki, doubling in area and population. He succeeded to the throne of Greece on 18 March 1913, following his father's assassination.

His disagreement with Eleftherios Venizelos over whether Greece should enter World War I led to the National Schism. Constantine forced Venizelos to resign twice, but in 1917 he left Greece, after threats by the Entente forces to bombard Athens; his second son, Alexander, became king. After Alexander's death, Venizelos' defeat in the 1920 legislative elections, and a plebiscite in favor of his return, Constantine was reinstated. He abdicated the throne for the second and last time in 1922, when Greece lost the Greco-Turkish War of 1919–1922, and was succeeded by his eldest son, George II. Constantine died in exile four months later, in Sicily. 

Greek stamps depicting Constantine  I

Greece: Constantine I Mourning stamps with black edges/perforations


Greece. Statue of King Constantine on Horse Year : 1938



1923 – Vice President Calvin Coolidge becomes U.S. President upon the death of President Warren G. Harding.

Calvin Coolidge  (July 4, 1872 – January 5, 1933) was an American politician and lawyer who served as the 30th president of the United States from 1923 to 1929. A Republican lawyer from New England, born in Vermont, Coolidge worked his way up the ladder of Massachusetts state politics, eventually becoming governor of Massachusetts. His response to the Boston Police Strike of 1919 thrust him into the national spotlight and gave him a reputation as a man of decisive action. The next year, he was elected vice president of the United States, and he succeeded to the presidency upon the sudden death of Warren G. Harding in 1923. Elected in his own right in 1924, he gained a reputation as a small government conservative and also as a man who said very little and had a rather dry sense of humor.

Coolidge restored public confidence in the White House after the scandals of his predecessor's administration, and left office with considerable popularity.  As a Coolidge biographer wrote: "He embodied the spirit and hopes of the middle class, could interpret their longings and express their opinions. That he did represent the genius of the average is the most convincing proof of his strength".

Scholars have ranked Coolidge in the lower half of those presidents that they have assessed. He is praised by advocates of smaller government and laissez-faire economics, while supporters of an active central government generally view him less favorably, though most praise his stalwart support of racial equality.

US stamps depicting Coolidge

1986 US President Coolidge Artcraft Ameripex

US President Coolidge $5

Saturday, August 01, 2020

August 1st in stamps Colorado, 1936 Olympics, Richard Kuhn

Here are some events that happened on August 1st. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day


1876 – Colorado is admitted as the 38th U.S. state.

Colorado is a state of the Western United States encompassing most of the southern Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains. It is the 8th most extensive and 21st most populous U.S. state. The estimated population of Colorado is 5,758,736 as of 2019, an increase of 14.5% since the 2010 United States Census.

The Territory of Colorado was organized on February 28, 1861, and on August 1, 1876, U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant signed Proclamation 230 admitting Colorado to the Union as the 38th state. Colorado is nicknamed the "Centennial State" because it became a state one century after the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence.

US stamps issued to commemorate the statehood of Colorado

Colorado Statehood Bullseye

Colorado Statehood. Mount Holy Cross



1936 – The Olympics opened in Berlin with a ceremony presided over by Adolf Hitler.

The 1936 Summer Olympics (German: Olympische Sommerspiele 1936), officially known as the Games of the XI Olympiad (German: Spiele der XI. Olympiade), was an international multi-sport event held in 1936 in Berlin, Germany. Berlin won the bid to host the Games over Barcelona, Spain, on 26 April 1931, at the 29th IOC Session in Barcelona. It marked the second and most recent time the International Olympic Committee gathered to vote in a city that was bidding to host those Games.

To outdo the Los Angeles games of 1932, Reich Chancellor Adolf Hitler had a new 100,000-seat track and field stadium built, as well as six gymnasiums and many other smaller arenas. The games were the first to be televised, and radio broadcasts reached 41 countries. Filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl was commissioned by the German Olympic Committee to film the Games for $7 million. Her film, titled Olympia, pioneered many of the techniques now common in the filming of sports.

Hitler saw the Games as an opportunity to promote his government and ideals of racial supremacy and antisemitism, and the official Nazi party paper, the Völkischer Beobachter, wrote in the strongest terms that Jews should not be allowed to participate in the Games. German Jewish athletes were barred or prevented from taking part by a variety of methods, although some women swimmers from the Jewish sports club, Hakoah Vienna, did take part. Jewish athletes from other countries seem to have been side-lined in order not to offend the Nazi regime. 

Total ticket revenues were 7.5 million Reichsmark, generating a profit of over one million ℛℳ. The official budget did not include outlays by the city of Berlin (which issued an itemized report detailing its costs of 16.5 million ℛℳ) or outlays of the German national government (which did not make its costs public, but is estimated to have spent US$30 million). 

Jesse Owens won four gold medals in the sprint and long jump events and became the most successful athlete to compete in Berlin while Germany was the most successful country overall with 89 medals total, with the United States coming in second with 56 medals. These were the final Olympics under the presidency of Henri de Baillet-Latour and the final Olympic Games for 12 years due to the disruption of the Second World War. The next Olympic Games were held in 1948 (the Winter in Switzerland and then the Summer in London).


German stamps issued for the Berlin Olympics

Germany 1936 Berlin Olympics Mini-sheet

Third Reich 1936 Summer Olympics Stamp Set



1967 Died: Richard Kuhn, Austrian-German biochemist and academic, Nobel Prize Laureate (b. 1900)

Richard Johann Kuhn (3 December 1900 – 1 August 1967) was an Austrian-German biochemist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1938 "for his work on carotenoids and vitamins"

Kuhn's areas of study included: investigations of theoretical problems of organic chemistry (stereochemistry of aliphatic and aromatic compounds; syntheses of polyenes and cumulenes; constitution and colour; the acidity of hydrocarbons), as well as extensive fields in biochemistry (carotenoids; flavins; vitamins and enzymes). Specifically, he carried out important work on vitamin B2 and the antidermatitis vitamin B6.

In 1929 he became Principal of the Institute for Chemistry at the newly founded Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Medical Research (which, since 1950, has been renamed the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg). By 1937 he also took over the administration of this Institute.

In addition to these duties he also served as of Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Heidelberg, and for one year he was at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, as a Visiting Research Professor for Physiological Chemistry.

He was subsequently awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1938 for his "work on carotenoids and vitamins," but rejected the prize as Hitler had forbidden German citizens to accept it. In a hand-written letter, he even described the awarding of the prize to a German as an invitation to violate a decree of the Führer. He received the award after World War II. Kuhn is also credited with the discovery of the deadly nerve agent Soman in 1944. 

Kuhn collaborated with high-ranking Nazi officials and denounced three of his Jewish co-workers in 1936. 

In 2005, the Society of German Chemists (Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker, GDCh) declared their intention to no longer award the Richard Kuhn Medal: “The board of the GDCh intends to discontinue awarding the Medal named after the organic chemist, Nobel Prize laureate of the year 1938 and President of the GDCh in 1964–65, Richard Kuhn. The board thereby draws the consequences out of research on Richard Kuhn’s behaviour during National Socialism. Even though the question of whether Kuhn was a convinced National Socialist or just a career-oriented camp follower is not fully answered, he undisputably supported the Nazi-regime in administrative and organizational ways, especially by his scientific work. Despite his scientific achievements, Kuhn is not suitable to serve as a role model, and eponym for an important award, mainly due to his unreflected research on poison gas, but also due to his conduct towards Jewish colleagues”

Kuhn was editor of Justus Liebigs Annalen der Chemie from 1948.

Kuhn died in 1967 in Heidelberg, Germany, aged 66.

Austrian stamp depicting Richard Kuhn

Austria 1992 Richard Kuhn