Showing posts with label congo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label congo. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

December 17th in stamps Unfinished Symphony Franz Schubert, Leopold II, Douglas DC-3

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


1865 – First performance of the Unfinished Symphony by Franz Schubert.

Franz Peter Schubert (31 January 1797 – 19 November 1828) was an Austrian composer of the late Classical and early Romantic eras.
Despite his short lifetime, Schubert left behind a vast oeuvre, including more than 600 secular vocal works (mainly lieder), seven complete symphonies, sacred music, operas, incidental music and a large body of piano and chamber music.

His major works include the Piano Quintet in A major, D. 667 (Trout Quintet), the Symphony No. 8 in B minor, D. 759 (Unfinished Symphony), the ”Great” Symphony No. 9 in C major, D. 944, the three last piano sonatas (D. 958–960), the opera Fierrabras (D. 796), the incidental music to the play Rosamunde (D.797), and the song cycles Die schöne Müllerin (D. 795) and Winterreise (D.911).

Born in the Himmelpfortgrund suburb of Vienna, Schubert's uncommon gifts for music were evident from an early age. His father gave him his first violin lessons and his older brother gave him piano lessons, but Schubert soon exceeded their abilities. In 1808, at the age of eleven, he became a pupil at the Stadtkonvikt school, where he became acquainted with the orchestral music of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. He left the Stadtkonvikt at the end of 1813, and returned home to live with his father, where he began studying to become a schoolteacher; despite this, he continued his studies in composition with Antonio Salieri and still composed prolifically. In 1821, Schubert was granted admission to the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde as a performing member, which helped establish his name among the Viennese citizenry. He gave a concert of his own works to critical acclaim in March 1828, the only time he did so in his career. He died eight months later at the age of 31, the cause officially attributed to typhoid fever, but believed by some historians to be syphilis.

Appreciation of Schubert's music while he was alive was limited to a relatively small circle of admirers in Vienna, but interest in his work increased significantly in the decades following his death. Felix Mendelssohn, Robert Schumann, Franz Liszt, Johannes Brahms and other 19th-century composers discovered and championed his works. Today, Schubert is ranked among the grophetic of the later Romantic movement, with astonishing vertical spacing occurring for example at the beginning of the development.

Franz Schubert's Symphony No. 8 in B minor, D 759 (sometimes renumbered as Symphony No. 7, in accordance with the revised Deutsch catalogue and the Neue Schubert-Ausgabe), commonly known as the Unfinished Symphony (German: Unvollendete), is a musical composition that Schubert started in 1822 but left with only two movements—though he lived for another six years. A scherzo, nearly completed in piano score but with only two pages orchestrated, also survives.

Schubert's Eighth Symphony is sometimes called the first Romantic symphony due to its emphasis on the lyrical impulse within the dramatic structure of Classical sonata form. Furthermore, its orchestration is not solely tailored for functionality, but specific combinations of instrumental timbre that are prophetic of the later Romantic movement, with astonishing vertical spacing occurring for example at the beginning of the development.

To this day, musicologists still disagree as to why Schubert failed to complete the symphony. Some have speculated that he stopped work in the middle of the scherzo in the fall of 1822 because he associated it with his initial outbreak of syphilis—or that he was distracted by the inspiration for his Wanderer Fantasy for solo piano, which occupied his time and energy immediately afterward. It could have been a combination of both factors

Stamps from Austria and Germany depicting Schubert

Austria 1947 Franz Schubert  Composer Music

Austria 1978 Franz Schubert  Composer Music

Austria  Franz Schubert  Composer Music

Germany 1997 Franz Schubert


1909 Died: Leopold II of Belgium (b. 1835)

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

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

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

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

Stamps from Belgium and Belgian Congo depicting Leopold II

Belgium 1883 King Leopold II 10c Carmine

Belgium 1884 Leopold II 1 Franc

Belgium 1893 Leopold II, tab 1 franc

I887-94 Belgian Congo King Leopold II



1935 – First flight of the Douglas DC-3.

The Douglas DC-3 is a propeller-driven airliner which had a lasting effect on the airline industry in the 1930s/1940s and World War II. It was developed as a larger, improved 14-bed sleeper version of the Douglas DC-2. It is a low-wing metal monoplane with a tailwheel landing gear, powered by two 1,200 hp (890 kW) Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp radial piston engines. It has a cruise speed of 207 mph (333 km/h), capacity of 21 to 32 passengers or 6,000 lbs (2,700 kg) of cargo, a range of 1,500 mi (2,400 km), and could operate from short runways.

Before the war, it pioneered many air travel routes as it could cross the continental US and made worldwide flights possible, carried passengers in greater comfort, was reliable and easy to maintain. It is considered the first airliner that could profitably carry only passengers. Following the war, the airliner market was flooded with surplus military transport aircraft, and the DC-3 could not be upgraded by Douglas due to cost. It was made obsolete on main routes by more advanced types such as the Douglas DC-6 and Lockheed Constellation, but the design proved adaptable and useful.

Civil DC-3 production ended in 1942 at 607 aircraft. Military versions, including the C-47 Skytrain (the Dakota in British RAF service), and Soviet- and Japanese-built versions, brought total production to over 16,000. Many continue to see service in a variety of niche roles: 2,000 DC-3s and military derivatives were estimated to be still flying in 2013.

Stamps from Germany, France, Monaco, Egypt and Poland depicting the Douglas DC-3 airplane

Berlin Aviation History Douglas Dc3

Egypt Air Douglas Dc 3

France 1964, Plane Douglas DC-3

Monaco Air Douglas Dc 3 1000 F

Poland Air Douglas Dc 3

Sunday, April 14, 2019

July 1st in Stamps

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


1646 – Born: Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, German mathematician and philosopher (d. 1716)

Gottfried Wilhelm (von) Leibniz (sometimes spelled Leibnitz) or French: Godefroi Guillaume Leibnitz (1 July 1646 [O.S. 21 June] – 14 November 1716) was a prominent German (of Slavic origin) polymath and philosopher in the history of mathematics and the history of philosophy. His most notable accomplishment was conceiving the ideas of differential and integral calculus, independently of Isaac Newton's contemporaneous developments. Mathematical works have always favored Leibniz's notation as the conventional expression of calculus, while Newton's notation became unused. It was only in the 20th century that Leibniz's law of continuity and transcendental law of homogeneity found mathematical implementation (by means of non-standard analysis). He became one of the most prolific inventors in the field of mechanical calculators. While working on adding automatic multiplication and division to Pascal's calculator, he was the first to describe a pinwheel calculator in 1685 and invented the Leibniz wheel, used in the arithmometer, the first mass-produced mechanical calculator. He also refined the binary number system, which is the foundation of all digital computers.


Here are some stamps from Germany and Ukraine depicting Leibniz

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, German mathematician and philosopher 1966



Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, German mathematician and philosopher 1996

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, German mathematician and philosopher 1980

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, German mathematician and philosopher 1980 First Day Cover

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, German mathematician and philosopher German Reich Stamp

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, German mathematician and philosopher Ukranian Stamp

1867 – The British North America Act of 1867 takes effect as the Province of Canada,
New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia join into confederation to create the modern nation of Canada. 

Sir John A. Macdonald is sworn in as the first Prime Minister of Canada. This date is commemorated annually in Canada as Canada Day, a national holiday.

Here are the first Canadian stamps




1873 – Prince Edward Island joins into Canadian Confederation.

The first Prince Edward Island stamps

Canada Prince Edward Island Stamp 1

Canada Prince Edward Island Stamp 2

Canada Prince Edward Island Stamp 3

1878 – Canada joins the Universal Postal Union.

The Universal Postal Union (UPU, French: Union postale universelle), established by the Treaty of Bern of 1874, is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) that coordinates postal policies among member nations, in addition to the worldwide postal system. The UPU contains four bodies consisting of the Congress, the Council of Administration (CA), the Postal Operations Council (POC) and the International Bureau (IB). It also oversees the Telematics and Express Mail Service (EMS) cooperatives. Each member agrees to the same terms for conducting international postal duties. The UPU's headquarters are located in Bern, Switzerland.

Canada UPU stamp

1885 – The Congo Free State is established by King Leopold II of Belgium.

The Congo Free State also known as the Independent State of the Congo (French: État indépendant du Congo, Dutch: Kongo-Vrijstaat) was a large state in Central Africa from 1885 to 1908. It was ruled personally by Leopold II and not by the government of Belgium, of which he was the constitutional monarch. Leopold II was able to procure the region by convincing other Eurasian states at the Berlin Conference that he was involved in humanitarian and philanthropic work and would not tax trade.

Via the International Association of the Congo, he was able to lay claim to most of the Congo basin. On 29 May 1885, i.e. after the closure of the Berlin Conference, the king announced that he planned to name his possessions "the Congo Free State", an appellation which was not yet used at the Berlin Conference and which officially replaced "International Association of the Congo" on 1 August 1885. The Congo Free State operated as a corporate state privately controlled by Leopold II. The state included the entire area of the present Democratic Republic of the Congo and existed from 1885 to 1908, when the government of Belgium reluctantly annexed the area.

The Congo Free State is established by King Leopold II of Belgium.




1903 – Start of first Tour de France bicycle race.

The 1903 Tour de France was the first cycling race set up and sponsored by the newspaper L'Auto, ancestor of the current daily, L'Équipe. It ran from 1 to 19 July in six stages over 2,428 km (1,509 mi), and was won by Maurice Garin.


Here are some stamps from France, Luxembourg and the Isle of Man  showing the Tour de France





1960 – Independence of Somalia.


1963 – ZIP codes are introduced for United States mail.

A ZIP Code is a postal code used by the United States Postal Service (USPS) in a system it introduced in 1963. The term ZIP is an acronym for Zone Improvement Plan;[1] it was chosen to suggest that the mail travels more efficiently and quickly (zipping along) when senders use the code in the postal address. The basic format consists of five digits. An extended ZIP+4 code was introduced in 1983 which includes the five digits of the ZIP Code, followed by a hyphen and four additional digits that reference a more specific location.





1990 – German reunification: East Germany accepts the Deutsche Mark as its currency, thus uniting the economies of East and West Germany.

The German reunification (German: Deutsche Wiedervereinigung) was the process in 1990 in which the German Democratic Republic (GDR, colloquially East Germany; German: Deutsche Demokratische Republik/DDR) became part of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG, colloquially West Germany; German: Bundesrepublik Deutschland/BRD) to form the reunited nation of Germany, and when Berlin reunited into a single city, as provided by its then Grundgesetz (constitution) Article 23. The end of the unification process is officially referred to as German unity (German: Deutsche Einheit), celebrated on 3 October (German Unity Day) (German: Tag der deutschen Einheit). Following German reunification, Berlin was once again designated as the capital of united Germany.



1997 – China resumes sovereignty over the city-state of Hong Kong, ending 156 years of British colonial rule. The handover ceremony is attended by British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Prince Charles of Wales, Chinese President Jiang Zemin, and U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.



2013 – Croatia becomes the 28th member of the European Union.