Showing posts with label netherlands. Show all posts
Showing posts with label netherlands. Show all posts

Thursday, June 04, 2020

June 4th in stamps montgolfière, Lafayette, Thorbecke, Emperor Wilhelm II

Here are some events that happened on June 4th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day


1783 – The Montgolfier brothers publicly demonstrate their montgolfière (hot air balloon).

Joseph-Michel Montgolfier (26 August 1740 – 26 June 1810) and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier (6 January 1745 – 2 August 1799) were paper manufacturers from Annonay, in Ardèche, France best known as inventors of the Montgolfière-style hot air balloon, globe aérostatique. They launched the first piloted ascent, carrying Jacques-Étienne. Joseph-Michel also invented the self-acting hydraulic ram (1796), Jacques-Étienne founded the first paper-making vocational school and the brothers invented a process to manufacture transparent paper.

Stamps from Austria and Berlin commemorating the montgolfière

Austria 1984 - First Manned Balloon Flight

Berlin Montgolfier Aviation History

Austria 1984 Maximum Card - First Manned Balloon Flight


1825 – General Lafayette, a French officer in the American Revolutionary War, speaks at what would become Lafayette Square, Buffalo, during his visit to the United States.

Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette (6 September 1757 – 20 May 1834), known in the United States simply as Lafayette, was a French aristocrat and military officer who fought in the American Revolutionary War, commanding American troops in several battles, including the Siege of Yorktown. After returning to France, he was a key figure in the French Revolution of 1789 and the July Revolution of 1830.

Lafayette was born into a wealthy land-owning family in Chavaniac in the province of Auvergne in south central France. He followed the family's martial tradition and was commissioned an officer at age 13. He became convinced that the American revolutionary cause was noble, and he traveled to the New World seeking glory in it. He was made a major general at age 19, but he was initially not given American troops to command. He was wounded during the Battle of Brandywine but still managed to organize an orderly retreat, and he served with distinction in the Battle of Rhode Island. In the middle of the war, he sailed for home to lobby for an increase in French support. He returned to America in 1780 and was given senior positions in the Continental Army. In 1781, troops under his command in Virginia blocked forces led by Cornwallis until other American and French forces could position themselves for the decisive Siege of Yorktown.

Lafayette returned to France and was appointed to the Assembly of Notables in 1787, convened in response to the fiscal crisis. He was elected a member of the Estates General of 1789, where representatives met from the three traditional orders of French society: the clergy, the nobility, and the commoners. After forming the National Constituent Assembly, he helped to write the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen with Thomas Jefferson's assistance. This document was inspired by the United States Declaration of Independence and invoked natural law to establish basic principles of the democratic nation-state. He also advocated the end of slavery, in keeping with the philosophy of natural liberty. After the storming of the Bastille, he was appointed commander-in-chief of France's National Guard and tried to steer a middle course through the years of revolution. In August 1792, radical factions ordered his arrest, and he fled into the Austrian Netherlands. He was captured by Austrian troops and spent more than five years in prison.

Lafayette returned to France after Napoleon Bonaparte secured his release in 1797, though he refused to participate in Napoleon's government. After the Bourbon Restoration of 1814, he became a liberal member of the Chamber of Deputies, a position which he held for most of the remainder of his life. In 1824, President James Monroe invited him to the United States as the nation's guest, and he visited all 24 states in the union and met a rapturous reception. During France's July Revolution of 1830, he declined an offer to become the French dictator. Instead, he supported Louis-Philippe as king, but turned against him when the monarch became autocratic. He died on 20 May 1834 and is buried in Picpus Cemetery in Paris, under soil from Bunker Hill. He is sometimes known as "The Hero of the Two Worlds" for his accomplishments in the service of both France and the United States.

US stamp and First Day Cover depicting Lafayette


Marquis de Lafayette US Single

Usa Fdc Marquis De Lafayette



1872 Died: Johan Rudolph Thorbecke, Dutch historian, jurist, and politician, Prime Minister of the Netherlands (b. 1798)

Johan Rudolph Thorbecke (14 January 1798 – 4 June 1872) was a Dutch statesman of a liberal bent, one of the most important Dutch politicians of the 19th century. In 1848, he virtually single-handedly drafted the revision of the Constitution of the Netherlands, giving less power to the king and more to the States General, and guaranteeing more religious, personal and political freedom to the people.

Hated by some (he was not a man of concessions), he is nowadays considered a towering figure in Dutch parliamentary history. There are three statues of Thorbecke (one in Amsterdam, one in The Hague and one in Zwolle) and a room in the Dutch parliament building is named after him.

Thorbecke wrote many articles on history and several newspaper articles (especially in the Journal de La Haye) on topics of the day. He published a study on the philosophy of history (in German). All of his speeches in parliament have been published.

Stamp and First Day Cover issued in the Netherlands commemorating Thorbecke

Netherlands - 1972 Thorbecke

Netherlands - 1972 Thorbecke First Day Cover


1941 Died: Wilhelm II, German Emperor (b. 1859)

Wilhelm II or William II (German: Friedrich Wilhelm Viktor Albert; 27 January 1859 – 4 June 1941) was the last German Emperor (Kaiser) and King of Prussia. He reigned from 15 June 1888 until his abdication on 9 November 1918 shortly before Germany's defeat in World War I.

The eldest grandchild of Queen Victoria, Wilhelm's first cousins included King George V of the United Kingdom and many princesses who, along with Wilhelm's sister Sophia, became European consorts. For most of his life before becoming emperor, he was second in line to succeed his grandfather Wilhelm I on the German and Prussian thrones after his father, Crown Prince Frederick. His grandfather and father both died in 1888, the Year of Three Emperors, making Wilhelm emperor and king. He dismissed the country's longtime chancellor, Otto von Bismarck, in 1890.

Upon consolidating power as emperor, Wilhelm launched Germany on a bellicose "New Course" to cement its status as a respected world power. However, he frequently undermined this aim by making tactless, alarming public statements without consulting his ministers. He also did much to alienate his country from the other Great Powers by initiating a massive build-up of the German Navy, challenging French control over Morocco, and backing the Austrian annexation of Bosnia in 1908. His turbulent reign ultimately culminated in his guarantee of military support to Austria-Hungary during the crisis of July 1914, resulting in the outbreak of World War I. A lax wartime leader, he left virtually all decision-making regarding military strategy and organisation of the war effort in the hands of the German General Staff. This broad delegation of authority gave rise to a de facto military dictatorship whose belligerent foreign policy led to the United States' entry into the war on April 6, 1917. After losing the support of the German military and his subjects in November 1918, Wilhelm abdicated and fled to exile in the Netherlands, where he died in 1941.

Stamp issued by Germany depicting Wilhelm II

 

Postcard depicting Wilhelm II



Tuesday, May 12, 2020

May 12th in stamps von Liebig, Józef Piłsudski, Konrad Zuse, Wilhelmina

Here are some events that happened on May 12th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day


1803 Born: Justus von Liebig, German chemist and academic (d. 1873)

Justus Freiherr von Liebig (12 May 1803 – 18 April 1873) was a German scientist who made major contributions to agricultural and biological chemistry, and was considered the founder of organic chemistry. As a professor at the University of Giessen, he devised the modern laboratory-oriented teaching method, and for such innovations, he is regarded as one of the greatest chemistry teachers of all time. He has been described as the "father of the fertilizer industry" for his emphasis on nitrogen and trace minerals as essential plant nutrients, and his formulation of the law of the minimum, which described how plant growth relied on the scarcest nutrient resource, rather than the total amount of resources available. He also developed a manufacturing process for beef extracts, and with his consent a company, called Liebig Extract of Meat Company, was founded to exploit the concept; it later introduced the Oxo brand beef bouillon cube. He popularized an earlier invention for condensing vapors, which came to be known as the Liebig condenser.

German stamp depicting Justus von Liebig

Justus von Liebig Chemist Germany


1935 Died: Józef Piłsudski, Polish field marshal and politician, 15th Prime Minister of Poland (b. 1867)

Józef Klemens Piłsudski, (5 December 1867 – 12 May 1935) was a Polish statesman who served as the Chief of State (1918–22) and First Marshal of Poland (from 1920). He was considered the de facto leader (1926–35) of the Second Polish Republic as the Minister of Military Affairs. From World War I he had great power in Polish politics and was a distinguished figure on the international scene. He is viewed as a father of the Second Polish Republic re-established in 1918, 123 years after the 1795 Partitions of Poland by Austria, Prussia and Russia.
By 1935, unbeknownst to the public, Piłsudski had for several years been in declining health. On 12 May 1935, he died of liver cancer at Warsaw's Belweder Palace

Polish stamps depicting Józef Piłsudski

Poland: Józef Klemens Piłsudski Mourning stamps with black edges/perforations


Poland  Polish Legion,25th Annoversary Marshal Pilsudski,Troops

Poland 1934, Jozef Pilsudski



1941 – Konrad Zuse presents the Z3, the world's first working programmable, fully automatic computer, in Berlin.

The Z3 was a German electromechanical computer designed by Konrad Zuse. It was the world's first working programmable, fully automatic digital computer. The Z3 was built with 2,600 relays, implementing a 22-bit word length that operated at a clock frequency of about 4–5 Hz. Program code was stored on punched film. Initial values were entered manually.

The Z3 was completed in Berlin in 1941 but was not considered vital, so it was never put into everyday operation. Based on the work of Hans Georg Küssner (cf. Küssner effect) e.g. a "Program to Compute a Complex Matrix" was written and used to solve wing flutter problems. Zuse asked the German government for funding to replace the relays with fully electronic switches, but funding was denied during World War II since such development was deemed "not war-important". The original Z3 was destroyed on 21 December 1943 during an Allied bombardment of Berlin. The Z3 was originally called V3 (Versuchsmodell 3 or Experimental Model 3) but was renamed to not be confused with Germany's V-weapons. A fully functioning replica was built in 1961 by Zuse's company, Zuse KG, and is on permanent display at Deutsches Museum in Munich.

The Z3 was demonstrated in 1998 to be, in principle, Turing-complete. However, because it lacked conditional branching, the Z3 only meets this definition by speculatively computing all possible outcomes of a calculation.

Thanks to this machine and its predecessors, Konrad Zuse is often regarded as the inventor of the computer.

German stamp depicting Konrad Zuse

Germany 2010 Konrad Zuse 1st day cancellation




1948 – Wilhelmina, Queen regnant of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, cedes the throne.

Wilhelmina (Wilhelmina Helena Pauline Maria; 31 August 1880 – 28 November 1962) was Queen of the Netherlands from 1890 until her abdication in 1948. She reigned for nearly 58 years, longer than any other Dutch monarch. Her reign saw the First and the Second world wars, the Dutch economic crisis of 1933, and the decline of the Netherlands as a major colonial power.

Wilhelmina was the only child of King William III and his second wife, Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont. On William's death in 1890, she ascended to the throne at the age of ten under the regency of her mother. In 1901, she married Duke Henry of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, with whom she had a daughter, Juliana. Wilhelmina was generally credited with maintaining Dutch neutrality during the First World War.

Following the German invasion of the Netherlands in 1940, Wilhelmina fled to Britain and took charge of the Dutch government-in-exile. She frequently spoke to the Dutch people over radio and came to be regarded as a symbol of the Dutch resistance. She returned to the Netherlands following its liberation in 1945.

Increasingly beset by poor health after the war, Wilhelmina abdicated in September 1948 in favour of Juliana. She retired to Het Loo Palace, where she died in 1962.

Dutch, Suriname and  Netherlands Indies stamps depicting Wilhelmina

1924 Queen Wilhelmina tête-bêche

1899 - 1921 Queen Wilhelmina 25 cents

1899-1905 Queen Wilhelmina 10 Guilders

Queen Wilhelmina Suriname

Netherlands Indies Wilhelmina

Netherlands Definitives Queen Wilhelmina 1947-1948

Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Did you know, I sold kinderzegels while in 6th grade?

When I was in elementary school, in 6th grade, the teacher came to use and told us we would be getting the opportunity to sell kinderzegels.  Kinderzegels are semi-postal stamps, the surcharge goes to child welfare organizations. I of course said yes, partly because I started collecting stamps a year or two before this time.

The teacher gave us an envelope with some order forms, you had to go to people and ask them if they would be interested in buying some of these stamps. If they said yes, you would write down how many and their address. After they stamps were delivered to school, you would go back to deliver the stamps and pick up the money.

I don't remember how many sets I sold but I think it was at least 10 or so.  I just went to one of those buildings that gad 10 floors and maybe 30 apartments per floor. Then I would just go from door to door like a traveling salesman and tried to sell my 'goods'

I still have fond memories when I look at these stamps


These stamps were sold from November 16th until December 30th 1983

The 4 stamps issued look like this

Kinderzegels 1983

Below are the NVPH catalog numbers for these stamps as well as the number of stamps sold

1295 Ox and Donkey   3,220,838 sold
1296 Snowman            2,826,497 sold
1297 Stars                    3,492,485 sold
1298 Three Kings         3,376,834 sold

Kinderzegels 1983  block


1299 Block with 6 stamps 4,498,933 blocks sold

Based on the numbers sold, you can calculate that a good amount of money went to a good cause. For each block sold it's was a guilder and 60 cents.  I believe there were about 16 million people living in the Netherlands at that point, that is a decent number of stamps.


Here is a First Day Cover and some used blocks of 4 and 6 of the stars stamp I own

Kinderzegels 1983  FDC

I love the cancellation on the First Day Cover, here it is again a bit bigger.

Kinderzegels 1983  FDC Cancellation

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

April 14th in stamps Second Spanish Republic, Christiaan Huygens, George Frideric Handel

Here are some events that happened on April 14th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day


1629 Born:  Christiaan Huygens, Dutch mathematician, astronomer, and physicist (d. 1695)

Christiaan Huygens (Latin: Hugenius; 14 April 1629 – 8 July 1695) was a Dutch physicist, mathematician, astronomer and inventor, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest scientists of all time and a major figure in the scientific revolution. In physics, Huygens made groundbreaking contributions in optics and mechanics, while as an astronomer he is chiefly known for his studies of the rings of Saturn and the discovery of its moon Titan. As an inventor, he improved the design of the telescope with the invention of the Huygenian eyepiece. His most famous invention, however, was the invention of the pendulum clock in 1656, which was a breakthrough in timekeeping and became the most accurate timekeeper for almost 300 years. Because he was the first to use mathematical formulae to describe the laws of physics, Huygens has been called the first theoretical physicist and the founder of mathematical physics

Here are some stamps from the Netherlands depicting Huygens and his clock

Christiaan Huygens, Dutch mathematician, astronomer, and physicist

Christiaan Huygens, Dutch mathematician, astronomer, and physicist

Christiaan Huygens, Dutch mathematician, astronomer, and physicist

Christiaan Huygens, Dutch mathematician, astronomer, and physicist



1759 Died: George Frideric Handel, German-English organist and composer (b. 1685)

George Frideric (or Frederick) Handel (born Georg Friederich Händel; 23 February 1685 – 14 April 1759) was a German, later British, Baroque composer who spent the bulk of his career in London, becoming well known for his operas, oratorios, anthems, concerti grossi and organ concertos. Handel received important training in Halle and worked as a composer in Hamburg and Italy before settling in London in 1712; he became a naturalised British subject in 1727. He was strongly influenced both by the great composers of the Italian Baroque and by the middle-German polyphonic choral tradition.

Within fifteen years, Handel had started three commercial opera companies to supply the English nobility with Italian opera. Musicologist Winton Dean writes that his operas show that "Handel was not only a great composer; he was a dramatic genius of the first order."  As Alexander's Feast (1736) was well received, Handel made a transition to English choral works. After his success with Messiah (1742) he never composed an Italian opera again. Almost blind, and having lived in England for nearly fifty years, he died in 1759, a respected and rich man. His funeral was given full state honours, and he was buried in Westminster Abbey in London.


Born the same year as Johann Sebastian Bach and Domenico Scarlatti, Handel is regarded as one of the greatest composers of the Baroque era, with works such as Messiah, Water Music, and Music for the Royal Fireworks remaining steadfastly popular. One of his four coronation anthems, Zadok the Priest (1727), composed for the coronation of George II, has been performed at every subsequent British coronation, traditionally during the sovereign's anointing. Another of his English oratorios, Solomon (1748), has also remained popular, with the Sinfonia that opens act 3 (known more commonly as "The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba") featuring at the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony. Handel composed more than forty opera serias in over thirty years, and since the late 1960s, with the revival of baroque music and historically informed musical performance, interest in Handel's operas has grown.

German  Reich  George Frederick Handel
Germany George Frederick Handel

DDR George Frederick Handel

Hungary George Frederick Handel


1931 – The Spanish Cortes deposes King Alfonso XIII and proclaims the Second Spanish Republic.

The Spanish Republic (Spanish: República Española), commonly known as the Second Spanish Republic (Spanish: Segunda República Española), was the form of government that existed in Spain from 1931 to 1939. The Republic was proclaimed on 14 April 1931, after the deposition of Alfonso XIII, and it lost the Spanish Civil War on 1 April 1939 to the rebel faction that would establish a military dictatorship under the rule of Francisco Franco.

After the proclamation of the Republic, a provisional government was established that lasted until December 1931, when the 1931 Constitution was approved and a Constitutional Republic was formally established. The republican government of Manuel Azaña initiated numerous reforms designed to modernize the country. After the 1933 general election, Alejandro Lerroux (Radical Party) formed a government with the confidence and support of the Spanish Confederation of Autonomous Right-wing Groups (CEDA). Under Lerroux's premiership, the Republic found itself facing an insurrection of anarchists and socialists that took on revolutionary dimensions in Asturias. The revolt was finally suppressed by the Republic with the intervention of the army. The Popular Front won the 1936 general election. On 17–18 July 1936, a coup d'état fractured the Spanish Republican Armed Forces, marking the beginning of the Spanish Civil War.

During the Spanish Civil War, there were three governments. The first was led by left-wing republican José Giral (from July to September 1936); however, a revolution inspired mostly on libertarian socialist, anarchist and communist principles broke within the Republic, which weakened the rule of the Republic. The second government was led by socialist Francisco Largo Caballero of the trade union General Union of Workers (UGT). The UGT, along with the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT), were the main forces behind the aforementioned social revolution. The third government was led by socialist Juan Negrín, who led the Republic until the military coup of Segismundo Casado, which ended republican resistance and ultimately led to the victory of the nationalists, who established a military dictatorship under the rule of Francisco Franco, known as Francoist Spain.

The Republican government survived in exile, and retained an embassy in Mexico City until 1976. After the restoration of democracy in Spain, the government formally dissolved the following year.


Spanish stamps issued in 1931 depicting Alfonso XIII overprinted with Republica Espanola


Monday, April 06, 2020

April 6th in stamps Raphael, Dürer, John Tyler, Fokker, Olympic Games 1896

Here are some events that happened on April 6th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day


1483 Born: Raphael, Italian painter and architect (d. 1520)

Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (March 28 or April 6, 1483 – April 6, 1520), known as Raphael, was an Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance. His work is admired for its clarity of form, ease of composition, and visual achievement of the Neoplatonic ideal of human grandeur. Together with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, he forms the traditional trinity of great masters of that period.

Raphael was enormously productive, running an unusually large workshop and, despite his early death at 37, leaving a large body of work. Many of his works are found in the Vatican Palace, where the frescoed Raphael Rooms were the central, and the largest, work of his career. The best known work is The School of Athens in the Vatican Stanza della Segnatura. After his early years in Rome, much of his work was executed by his workshop from his drawings, with considerable loss of quality. He was extremely influential in his lifetime, though outside Rome his work was mostly known from his collaborative printmaking.

After his death, the influence of his great rival Michelangelo was more widespread until the 18th and 19th centuries, when Raphael's more serene and harmonious qualities were again regarded as the highest models. His career falls naturally into three phases and three styles, first described by Giorgio Vasari: his early years in Umbria, then a period of about four years (1504–1508) absorbing the artistic traditions of Florence, followed by his last hectic and triumphant twelve years in Rome, working for two Popes and their close associates.

Stamps from Italy and the Vatican depicting Raphael's work


1983 Vatican City 5th Centenary of Birth of Raphael Sanzio

Italy - 1970, Serie Raffaello Santi On Maximumcard

Italy Christmas 500th Birth Anniversary of Raphael artist

Raffaello - Madonna del cardellino Painting


1528 Died: Albrecht Dürer, German painter, engraver, and mathematician (b. 1471)

Albrecht Dürer (21 May 1471 – 6 April 1528), sometimes spelt in English as Durer or Duerer, without umlaut, was a German painter, printmaker, and theorist of the German Renaissance. Born in Nuremberg, Dürer established his reputation and influence across Europe when he was in his twenties due to his high-quality woodcut prints. He was in communication with the major Italian artists of his time, including Raphael, Giovanni Bellini and Leonardo da Vinci, and from 1512 he was patronized by Emperor Maximilian I. Dürer is commemorated by both the Lutheran and Episcopal Churches.

Dürer's vast body of work includes engravings, his preferred technique in his later prints, altarpieces, portraits and self-portraits, watercolours and books. The woodcuts, such as the Apocalypse series (1498), are more Gothic than the rest of his work. His well-known engravings include the Knight, Death and the Devil (1513), Saint Jerome in his Study (1514) and Melencolia I (1514), which has been the subject of extensive analysis and interpretation. His watercolours also mark him as one of the first European landscape artists, while his ambitious woodcuts revolutionized the potential of that medium.

Dürer's introduction of classical motifs into Northern art, through his knowledge of Italian artists and German humanists, has secured his reputation as one of the most important figures of the Northern Renaissance. This is reinforced by his theoretical treatises, which involve principles of mathematics, perspective, and ideal proportions.

Albrecht Dürer has been credited with inventing the basic principle of ray tracing, a technique used in modern computer graphics.

German stamps depicting Dürer or his works


Germany 1939 Art Durer Venetian Woman

Germany Albrecht Dürer

Germany DDR 1971 Albrecht Dürer Painter Death Anniversary Set

Germany Deutsches Reich 1926 Famous Germans Albrecht Dürer


1829 Died: Niels Henrik Abel, Norwegian mathematician and theorist (b. 1802)

Niels Henrik Abel (5 August 1802 – 6 April 1829) was a Norwegian mathematician who made pioneering contributions in a variety of fields. His most famous single result is the first complete proof demonstrating the impossibility of solving the general quintic equation in radicals. This question was one of the outstanding open problems of his day, and had been unresolved for over 250 years. He was also an innovator in the field of elliptic functions, discoverer of Abelian functions. He made his discoveries while living in poverty and died at the age of 26 from tuberculosis.

Most of his work was done in six or seven years of his working life. Regarding Abel, the French mathematician Charles Hermite said: "Abel has left mathematicians enough to keep them busy for five hundred years." Another French mathematician, Adrien-Marie Legendre, said: "quelle tête celle du jeune Norvégien!" ("what a head the young Norwegian has!"). 

The Abel Prize in mathematics, originally proposed in 1899 to complement the Nobel Prizes, is named in his honour.


Norwegian stamps depicting Niels Henrik Abel

Niels Henrik Abel, mathematician Europa 1983

Niels Henrik Abel, mathematician,




1841 – U.S. President John Tyler is sworn in, two days after having become President upon William Henry Harrison's death.

John Tyler (March 29, 1790 – January 18, 1862) was the tenth president of the United States from 1841 to 1845 after briefly serving as the tenth vice president in 1841; he was elected vice president on the 1840 Whig ticket with President William Henry Harrison. Tyler ascended to the presidency after Harrison's death in April 1841, only a month after the start of the new administration. He was a stalwart supporter and advocate of states' rights, and he adopted nationalist policies as president only when they did not infringe on the powers of the states. His unexpected rise to the presidency posed a threat to the presidential ambitions of Henry Clay and other politicians, and left Tyler estranged from both major political parties.

Tyler was born to a prominent Virginia family and became a national figure at a time of political upheaval. In the 1820s, the nation's only political party was the Democratic-Republican Party, and it split into factions. Tyler was initially a Democrat, but he opposed Andrew Jackson during the Nullification Crisis, seeing Jackson's actions as infringing on states' rights, and he criticized Jackson's expansion of executive power during the Bank War. This led Tyler to ally with the Whig Party. He served as a Virginia state legislator, governor, U.S. representative, and U.S. senator. He was put on the 1840 presidential ticket to attract states' rights Southerners to a Whig coalition to defeat Martin Van Buren's re-election bid.

President Harrison died just one month after taking office, and Tyler became the first vice president to succeed to the presidency without election. He served longer than any president in U.S. history not elected to the office. To forestall constitutional uncertainty, Tyler immediately took the oath of office, moved into the White House, and assumed full presidential powers—a precedent that governed future successions and was codified in the Twenty-fifth Amendment. Tyler signed into law some of the Whig-controlled Congress's bills, but he was a strict constructionist and vetoed the party's bills to create a national bank and raise the tariff rates. He believed that the president should set policy rather than Congress, and he sought to bypass the Whig establishment, most notably senator Henry Clay of Kentucky. Most of Tyler's Cabinet resigned soon into his term, and the Whigs dubbed him His Accidency and expelled him from the party. Tyler was the first president to see his veto of legislation overridden by Congress. He faced a stalemate on domestic policy, although he had several foreign-policy achievements, including the Webster–Ashburton Treaty with Britain and the Treaty of Wanghia with Qing China.

The Republic of Texas separated from Mexico in 1836. Tyler was a firm believer in manifest destiny and saw its annexation as providing an economic advantage to the United States, so he worked diligently to make it happen. He initially sought election to a full term as president, but he failed to gain the support of either Whigs or Democrats and withdrew in support of Democrat James K. Polk, who favored the annexation of Texas. Polk won the election, Tyler signed a bill to annex Texas three days before leaving office, and Polk completed the process. When the American Civil War began in 1861, Tyler sided with the Confederacy and won election to the Confederate House of Representatives shortly before his death. Some scholars have praised Tyler's political resolve, but his presidency is generally held in low regard by historians. He is considered an obscure president, with little presence in American cultural memory.

US stamps and First Day cover depicting John Tyler

John Tyler, 10th President FDC

John Tyler, 10th President


1890 Born: Anthony Fokker, Dutch engineer and businessman, founded Fokker Aircraft Manufacturer (d. 1939)

Anton Herman Gerard "Anthony" Fokker (6 April 1890 – 23 December 1939) was a Dutch aviation pioneer and aircraft manufacturer. He is most famous for the fighter aircraft he produced in Germany during the First World War such as the Eindecker monoplanes, the Dr.1 triplane and the D.VII biplane.

After the Treaty of Versailles forbade Germany to produce airplanes, Fokker moved his business to the Netherlands. There his company was responsible for a variety of successful aircraft including the Fokker trimotor, a successful passenger aircraft of the inter-war years. He died in New York in 1939. Later authors suggest he was personally charismatic but unscrupulous in business and a controversial character.

Dutch stamps showing Fokker airplanes






1896 – In Athens, the opening of the first modern Olympic Games is celebrated, 1,500 years after the original games are banned by Roman emperor Theodosius I.


The 1896 Summer Olympics (Greek: Θερινοί Ολυμπιακοί Αγώνες 1896, romanized: Therinoí Olympiakoí Agónes 1896), officially known as the Games of the I Olympiad, was the first international Olympic Games held in modern history. Organised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which had been created by Pierre de Coubertin, it was held in Athens, Greece, from 6 to 15 April 1896.

Fourteen nations and 241, all male, athletes took part in the games. Participants were all European, or living in Europe, with the exception of the United States team. Winners were given a silver medal, while runners-up received a copper medal. Retroactively, the IOC has converted these to gold and silver, and awarded bronze medals to third placed athletes. Ten of the 14 participating nations earned medals. The United States won the most gold medals, 11, host nation Greece won the most medals overall, 46. The highlight for the Greeks was the marathon victory by their compatriot Spyridon Louis. The most successful competitor was German wrestler and gymnast Carl Schuhmann, who won four events. Over 65% of the competing athletes were Greek.

Athens had been unanimously chosen to stage the inaugural modern Games during a congress organised by Coubertin in Paris on 23 June 1894, during which the IOC was also created, because Greece was the birthplace of the Ancient Olympic Games. The main venue was the Panathenaic Stadium, where athletics and wrestling took place; other venues included the Neo Phaliron Velodrome for cycling, and the Zappeion for fencing. The opening ceremony was held in the Panathenaic Stadium on 6 April, during which most of the competing athletes were aligned on the infield, grouped by nation. After a speech by the president of the organising committee, Crown Prince Constantine, his father officially opened the Games. Afterwards, nine bands and 150 choir singers performed an Olympic Hymn, composed by Spyridon Samaras, with words by poet Kostis Palamas.

The 1896 Olympics were regarded as a great success. The Games had the largest international participation of any sporting event to that date. The Panathenaic Stadium overflowed with the largest crowd ever to watch a sporting event. After the Games, Coubertin and the IOC were petitioned by several prominent figures, including Greece's King George and some of the American competitors in Athens, to hold all the following Games in Athens. However, the 1900 Summer Olympics were already planned for Paris and, except for the Intercalated Games of 1906, the Olympics did not return to Greece until the 2004 Summer Olympics, 108 years later.

Greece stamps issued in 1896 to commemorate the 1896 Olympics

Greece 1896 First Olympic Games

Greece 1896 First Olympic Games

Greece 1896 First Olympic Games



2005 Died: Rainier III, Prince of Monaco (b. 1923)

Rainier III (Rainier Louis Henri Maxence Bertrand Grimaldi; 31 May 1923 – 6 April 2005) was the Prince of Monaco from 1949 to his death in 2005. Rainier ruled the Principality of Monaco for almost 56 years, making him one of the longest ruling monarchs in European history. Though internationally known for his marriage to American actress Grace Kelly, he was also responsible for reforms to Monaco's constitution and for expanding the principality's economy from its traditional casino gambling base to its current tax haven role. Gambling accounts for only approximately three per cent of the nation's annual revenue today; when Rainier ascended the throne in 1949, it accounted for more than 95 per cent.

Stamps from Monaco depicting Rainier III

Rainier III Prince of Monaco. 1951

Rainier III Prince of Monaco. 1991

Rainier III Prince of Monaco