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

Sunday, April 05, 2020

April 5th in stamps Chiang Kai-shek, Roggeveen, Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach, Louis Spohr

Here are some events that happened on April 5th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day

1722 – The Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen discovers Easter Island.

Jacob Roggeveen (1 February 1659 – 31 January 1729) was a Dutch explorer who was sent to find Terra Australis, but instead came across Easter Island (called so because he landed there on Easter Sunday). Jacob Roggeveen also encountered Bora Bora and Maupiti of the Society Islands and Samoa. He planned the expedition along with his brother Jan Roggeveen, who stayed in the Netherlands.


Stamps issued to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the discovery of Samoa

Jacob Roggeveen Samoa

Jacob Roggeveen Samoa

Jacob Roggeveen Samoa FDC




1723 Died: Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach, Austrian architect, sculptor and historian (b. 1656)

Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach (20 July 1656 – 5 April 1723) was an Austrian architect, sculptor, and architectural historian whose Baroque architecture profoundly influenced and shaped the tastes of the Habsburg Empire. His influential book A Plan of Civil and Historical Architecture (1721) was one of the first and most popular comparative studies of world architecture. His major works include Schönbrunn Palace, Karlskirche, and the Austrian National Library in Vienna, and Schloss Klessheim, Holy Trinity Church, and the Kollegienkirche in Salzburg.

Austrian stamp depicting Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach

Austria  1956 Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach


1784 Born: Louis Spohr, German violinist and composer (d. 1859 )

Louis Spohr (5 April 1784 – 22 October 1859), baptized Ludewig Spohr, later often in the modern German form of the name Ludwig, was a German composer, violinist and conductor. Highly regarded during his lifetime, Spohr composed ten symphonies, ten operas, eighteen violin concerti, four clarinet concerti, four oratorios, and various works for small ensemble, chamber music, and art songs. Spohr invented the violin chinrest and the orchestral rehearsal mark. His output occupies a pivotal position between Classicism and Romanticism, but fell into obscurity following his death, when his music was rarely heard. The late 20th century saw a revival of interest in his oeuvre, especially in Europe.

Though obscure today, Spohr's operas Faust (1816), Zemire und Azor (1819) and Jessonda (1823) remained in the popular repertoire through the 19th century and well into the 20th, when Jessonda was banned by the Nazis because it depicted a European hero in love with an Indian princess. Spohr also wrote 105 songs and duets, many of them collected as Deutsche Lieder (German Songs), as well as a mass and other choral works. Most of his operas were little known outside of Germany, but his oratorios, particularly Die letzten Dinge (1825–1826) were greatly admired during the 19th century in England and America. This oratorio was translated by Edward Taylor (1784–1863) and performed as The Last Judgment in 1830 for the first time. During the Victorian era Gilbert and Sullivan mentioned him in act 2 of The Mikado in a song by the title character.

Spohr, with his eighteen violin concertos, won a conspicuous place in the musical literature of the nineteenth century. He endeavored (without any good result) to make the concerto a substantial and superior composition free from the artificial bravura of the time. He achieved a new romantic mode of expression. The weaker sides of Spohr’s violin compositions are observed in his somewhat monotonous rhythmic structures; in his rejection of certain piquant bowing styles, and artificial harmonics; and in the deficiency of contrapuntal textures.

Spohr was a noted violinist, and invented the violin chinrest, about 1820. He was also a significant conductor, being one of the first to use a baton and also inventing rehearsal letters, which are placed periodically throughout a piece of sheet music so that a conductor may save time by asking the orchestra or singers to start playing "from letter C", for example.

In addition to musical works, Spohr is remembered particularly for his Violinschule (The Violin School), a treatise on violin playing which codified many of the latest advances in violin technique, such as the use of spiccato. It became a standard work of instruction. In addition, he wrote an entertaining and informative autobiography, published posthumously in 1860. A museum is devoted to his memory in Kassel.

German stamp depicting Louis Spohr

Louis Spohr 15 PF from Block 2 Beethoven


1975 Died: Chiang Kai-shek, Chinese general and politician, 1st President of the Republic of China (b. 1887)

Chiang Kai-shek (31 October 1887 – 5 April 1975), also known as Chiang Chung-cheng and romanized via Mandarin as Chiang Chieh-shih and Jiang Jieshi, was a Chinese nationalist politician, revolutionary and military leader who served as the leader of the Republic of China between 1928 and 1975, first in mainland China until 1949 and then in Taiwan until his death.

Born in Chekiang (Zhejiang) Province, Chiang was a member of the Kuomintang and a lieutenant of Sun Yat-sen in the revolution to overthrow the Beiyang government and reunify China. With Soviet and communist (CPC) help, Chiang organized the military for Sun's Canton Nationalist Government and headed the Whampoa Military Academy. Commander in chief of the National Revolutionary Army (from which he came to be known as Generalissimo), he led the Northern Expedition from 1926 to 1928, before defeating a coalition of warlords and nominally reunifying China under a new Nationalist government. Midway through the campaign, the KMT–CPC alliance broke down and Chiang purged the communists inside the party, triggering a civil war with the CCP, which he eventually lost in 1949.

As leader of the Republic of China in the Nanjing decade, Chiang sought to strike a difficult balance between the modernizing China while also devoting resources to defending the nation against the impending Japanese threat. Trying to avoid a war with Japan while hostilities with CCP continued, he was kidnapped in the Xi'an Incident and obliged to form an Anti-Japanese United Front with the CCP. Following the Marco Polo Bridge Incident in 1937, he mobilized China for the Second Sino-Japanese War. For eight years he led the war of resistance against a vastly superior enemy, mostly from the wartime capital Chongqing. As the leader of a major Allied power, Chiang met with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the Cairo Conference to discuss terms for Japanese surrender. No sooner had the Second World War ended than the Civil War with the communists, by then led by Mao Zedong, resumed. Chiang's nationalists were mostly defeated in a few decisive battles in 1948.

In 1949 Chiang's government and army retreated to Taiwan, where Chiang imposed martial law and persecuted critics during the White Terror. Presiding over a period of social reforms and economic prosperity, Chiang won five elections to six-year terms as President of the Republic of China and was Director-General of the Kuomintang until his death in 1975, three years into his fifth term as President and just one year before Mao's death.

One of the longest-serving non-royal heads of state in the 20th century, Chiang was the longest-serving non-royal ruler of China having held the post for 46 years. Like Mao, he is regarded as a controversial figure. Supporters credit him with playing a major part in unifying the nation and leading the Chinese resistance against Japan, as well as with countering Soviet-communist encroachment. Detractors and critics denounce him as a dictator at the front of an authoritarian regime who suppressed opponents.

Stamps depicting Chiang Kai-shek

1945 Inauguration of Chiang Kai-Shek complete set

1952 $2 Pres. Chiang Kai-Shek, block of 4

China Chiang Kai-Shek 1946



Saturday, April 04, 2020

April 4th in stamps Basel University, Francis Drake, William Henry Harrison, Karl Benz

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


1460 – Basel University is founded.

The University of Basel is located in Basel, Switzerland. Founded on 4 April 1460, it is Switzerland's oldest university and among the world's oldest surviving universities. The university is traditionally counted among the leading institutions of higher learning in the country.

The associated Basel University Library is the largest and among the most important libraries in the country. The university hosts the faculties of theology, law, medicine, humanities and social sciences, science, psychology, and business and economics, as well as numerous cross-disciplinary subjects and institutes, such as the Biozentrum for biomedical research and the Institute for European Global Studies. In 2016, the University boasted 12,852 students and 377 professors. International students accounted for 24 percent of the student body.

In its over 500-year history the university has been home to Erasmus of Rotterdam, Paracelsus, Daniel Bernoulli, Leonhard Euler, Jacob Burckhardt, Friedrich Nietzsche, Tadeusz Reichstein, Karl Jaspers, Carl Gustav Jung, Karl Barth and Jeanne Hersch. The institution is associated with nine Nobel prize winners and two Presidents of the Swiss Confederation.

Swiss stamps issued to commemorate Basel University

Switzerland University of Basel, 500th anniv. 1960

Switzerland University of Basel, 550th anniv. 2010


1581 – Francis Drake is knighted for completing a circumnavigation of the world.

Sir Francis Drake (c. 1540 – 28 January 1596) was an English sea captain, privateer, slave trader, pirate, naval officer and explorer of the Elizabethan era. Drake carried out the second circumnavigation of the world in a single expedition, from 1577 to 1580, and was the first to complete the voyage as captain while leading the expedition throughout the entire circumnavigation. With his incursion into the Pacific Ocean, he claimed what is now California for the English and inaugurated an era of conflict with the Spanish on the western coast of the Americas, an area that had previously been largely unexplored by western shipping.

Elizabeth I awarded Drake a knighthood in 1581 which he received on the Golden Hind in Deptford. In the same year he was appointed mayor of Plymouth. As a Vice Admiral, he was second-in-command of the English fleet in the victorious battle against the Spanish Armada in 1588. He died of dysentery in January 1596, after unsuccessfully attacking San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Drake's exploits made him a hero to the English, but his privateering led the Spanish to brand him a pirate, known to them as El Draque. King Philip II allegedly offered a reward for his capture or death of 20,000 ducats, about £6 million (US$8 million) in modern currency.

Stamps from Great Britain depicting Francis Drake

Francis Drake 2009

Francis Drake


1841 – William Henry Harrison dies of pneumonia, becoming the first President of the United States to die in office, and setting the record for the briefest administration. Vice President John Tyler succeeds Harrison as President.

William Henry Harrison (February 9, 1773 – April 4, 1841) was an American military officer and politician who served as the ninth president of the United States in 1841. He died of typhoid, pneumonia or paratyphoid fever 31 days into his term (the shortest tenure), becoming the first president to die in office. His death sparked a brief constitutional crisis regarding succession to the presidency, because the Constitution was unclear as to whether Vice President John Tyler should assume the office of president or merely execute the duties of the vacant office. Tyler claimed a constitutional mandate to become the new president and took the presidential oath of office, setting an important precedent for an orderly transfer of the presidency and its full powers when the previous president fails to complete the elected term.

Harrison was born in Charles City County, Virginia, the son of Founding Father Benjamin Harrison V and the paternal grandfather of Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd president of the United States. He was the last president born as a British subject in the Thirteen Colonies before the start of the Revolutionary War in 1775. During his early military career, he participated in the 1794 Battle of Fallen Timbers, an American military victory that effectively ended the Northwest Indian War. Later, he led a military force against Tecumseh's Confederacy at the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811, where he earned the nickname "Old Tippecanoe". He was promoted to major general in the Army in the War of 1812, and in 1813 led American infantry and cavalry at the Battle of the Thames in Upper Canada.

Harrison began his political career in 1798, when he was appointed Secretary of the Northwest Territory, and in 1799 he was elected as the territory's delegate in the House of Representatives. Two years later, President John Adams named him governor of the newly established Indiana Territory, a post he held until 1812. After the War of 1812, he moved to Ohio where he was elected to represent the state's 1st district in the House in 1816. In 1824, the state legislature elected him to the U.S. Senate; his term was truncated by his appointment as Minister Plenipotentiary to Gran Colombia in May 1828. Afterward, he returned to private life in North Bend, Ohio until he was nominated as the Whig Party candidate for president in the 1836 election; he was defeated by Democratic vice president Martin Van Buren. Four years later, the party nominated him again with John Tyler as his running mate, and the Whig campaign slogan was "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too". They defeated Van Buren in the 1840 election, making Harrison the first Whig to win the presidency.

At 68 years, 23 days of age at the time of his inauguration, Harrison was the oldest person to assume the U.S. presidency, a distinction he held until 1981, when Ronald Reagan was inaugurated at age 69 years, 349 days. Due to his brief tenure, scholars and historians often forgo listing him in historical presidential rankings. However, historian William W. Freehling calls him "the most dominant figure in the evolution of the Northwest territories into the Upper Midwest today".

US stamps and First Day Cover depicting William Henry Harrison

William Henry Harrison

William Henry Harrison FDC



1929 Died: Karl Benz, German engineer and businessman, founded Mercedes-Benz (b. 1844)

Karl Friedrich Benz or Carl Friedrich Benz (25 November 1844 – 4 April 1929) was a German engine designer, automobile engineer. His Benz Patent Motorcar from 1885 is considered the first practical automobile. He received a patent for the motorcar in 1886

Benz's lifelong hobby brought him to a bicycle repair shop in Mannheim owned by Max Rose and Friedrich Wilhelm Eßlinger. In 1883, the three founded a new company producing industrial machines: Benz & Companie Rheinische Gasmotoren-Fabrik, usually referred to as Benz & Cie. Quickly growing to twenty-five employees, it soon began to produce static gas engines as well.

The success of the company gave Benz the opportunity to indulge in his old passion of designing a horseless carriage. Based on his experience with, and fondness for, bicycles, he used similar technology when he created an automobile. It featured wire wheels (unlike carriages' wooden ones)  with a four-stroke engine of his own design between the rear wheels, with a very advanced coil ignition and evaporative cooling rather than a radiator. Power was transmitted by means of two roller chains to the rear axle. Karl Benz finished his creation in 1885 and named it "Benz Patent Motorwagen".

It was the first automobile entirely designed as such to generate its own power, not simply a motorized stage coach or horse carriage, which is why Karl Benz was granted his patent and is regarded as its inventor.

The Motorwagen was patented on 29 January 1886 as DRP-37435: "automobile fueled by gas". The 1885 version was difficult to control, leading to a collision with a wall during a public demonstration. The first successful tests on public roads were carried out in the early summer of 1886. The next year Benz created the Motorwagen Model 2, which had several modifications, and in 1889, the definitive Model 3 with wooden wheels was introduced, showing at the Paris Expo the same year.

German stamps depicting Karl Benz or his cars

Germany 1939 WW2 War Auto Exposition Mercedes Benz

Early Benz car

Karl Benz

Friday, April 03, 2020

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Swedish stamps commemorating Franz Berwald

Sweden  Franz Berwald, composer. Violin, Music



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

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

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

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

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

German and Hungarian stamps depicting Gottlieb Daimler or his cars

Gottlieb Daimler German Reich

Germany Early Daimler Car
Hungary Daimler 1886


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

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

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

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

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

Stamps from Russia and China depicting Stalin




Thursday, April 02, 2020

April 2nd in stamps H.C. Andersen, Émile Zola, Max Ernst

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


1805 Born: Hans Christian Andersen, Danish novelist, short story writer, and poet (d. 1875)

Hans Christian Andersen (2 April 1805 – 4 August 1875), in Denmark usually called H.C. Andersen, was a Danish author. Although a prolific writer of plays, travelogues, novels, and poems, he is best remembered for his fairy tales. Andersen's popularity is not limited to children; his stories express themes that transcend age and nationality.

Andersen's fairy tales, consisting of 3381 works and translated into more than 125 languages, have become culturally embedded in the West's collective consciousness, readily accessible to children, but presenting lessons of virtue and resilience in the face of adversity for mature readers as well. His most famous fairy tales include "The Emperor's New Clothes," "The Little Mermaid," "The Nightingale," "The Steadfast Tin Soldier", "The Red Shoes", "The Princess and the Pea," "The Snow Queen," "The Ugly Duckling," "The Little Match Girl," and "Thumbelina." His stories have inspired ballets, plays, and animated and live-action films. One of Copenhagen's widest and busiest boulevards, skirting Copenhagen City Hall Square at the corner of which Andersen's larger-than-life bronze statue sits, is named "H.C. Andersens Boulevard."

Stamps from Denmark, Poland and Germany depicting Hans Christian Andersen or his works

Denmark 1935 Hans Christian Andersen Set

Denmark 1935 Hans Christian Andersen Set

Denmark - 2005 - 4.50 Krone Hans Christian Andersen Commemorative Issue

Germany 2005 - Hans Christian Andersen

Poland 2005 - Hans Christian Andersen


1840 Born: Émile Zola, French novelist, playwright, journalist (d. 1902)

Émile Édouard Charles Antoine Zola (2 April 1840 – 29 September 1902) was a French novelist, playwright, journalist, the best-known practitioner of the literary school of naturalism, and an important contributor to the development of theatrical naturalism. He was a major figure in the political liberalization of France and in the exoneration of the falsely accused and convicted army officer Alfred Dreyfus, which is encapsulated in the renowned newspaper headline J'Accuse…! Zola was nominated for the first and second Nobel Prize in Literature in 1901 and 1902

More than half of Zola's novels were part of a set of 20 collectively known as Les Rougon-Macquart, about a family under the Second Empire. Unlike Balzac, who in the midst of his literary career resynthesized his work into La Comédie Humaine, Zola from the start, at the age of 28, had thought of the complete layout of the series. Set in France's Second Empire, in the context of Baron Haussman's changing Paris, the series traces the "environmental" influences of violence, alcohol, and prostitution which became more prevalent during the second wave of the Industrial Revolution. The series examines two branches of a family—the respectable (that is, legitimate) Rougons and the disreputable (illegitimate) Macquarts—for five generations.

As he described his plans for the series, "I want to portray, at the outset of a century of liberty and truth, a family that cannot restrain itself in its rush to possess all the good things that progress is making available and is derailed by its own momentum, the fatal convulsions that accompany the birth of a new world."

He is considered to be a significant influence on those writers that are credited with the creation of the so-called new journalism; Wolfe, Capote, Thompson, Mailer, Didion, Talese and others. Tom Wolfe wrote that his goal in writing fiction was to document contemporary society in the tradition of John Steinbeck, Charles Dickens, and Émile Zola.

Emile Zola - L'Assommoir, Germinal, J'Beschuldigt - Paris

France 2002 - Death of Emile Zola, 1840-1902

France Emile Zola


1891 Born: Max Ernst, German painter, sculptor, and poet (d. 1976)

Max Ernst (2 April 1891 – 1 April 1976) was a German (naturalized American in 1948 and French in 1958) painter, sculptor, graphic artist, and poet. A prolific artist, Ernst was a primary pioneer of the Dada movement and surrealism. He had no formal artistic training, but his experimental attitude toward the making of art resulted in his invention of frottage—a technique that uses pencil rubbings of objects as a source of images—and grattage, an analogous technique in which paint is scraped across canvas to reveal the imprints of the objects placed beneath. He is also noted for his novels consisting of collages.

Some stamps from various countries depicting Max Ernst's paintings

Czechoslovakia 1991 Everyday Homelife by Max Ernst

France  1991 Birth Centenary Max Ernst

Germany. 1991. Birth Centenary Of Max Ernst Commemorative



Wednesday, April 01, 2020

April 1st in stamps Karl I, Bismarck, George II, Max Ernst

Here are some events that happened on April 1st. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day
1815 Born:  Otto von Bismarck, German lawyer and politician, 1st Chancellor of the German Empire (d. 1898)

Otto Eduard Leopold, Prince of Bismarck, Duke of Lauenburg (Born von Bismarck-Schönhausen; German: Otto Eduard Leopold Fürst von Bismarck, Herzog zu Lauenburg; 1 April 1815 – 30 July 1898), known as Otto von Bismarck, was a conservative Prussian statesman who dominated German and European affairs from the 1860s until 1890 and was the first Chancellor of the German Empire between 1871 and 1890. In 1862, King Wilhelm I appointed him as Minister President of Prussia, a position he would hold until 1890, with the exception of a short break in 1873.

He provoked three short, decisive wars against Denmark, Austria, and France. Following the victory against Austria, he abolished the supranational German Confederation and instead formed the North German Confederation as the first German national state in 1867, leading it as Federal Chancellor. This aligned the smaller North German states behind Prussia. Later receiving the support of the independent South German states in the Confederation's defeat of France, he formed the German Empire in 1871, unifying Germany with himself as Imperial Chancellor, while retaining control of Prussia at the same time. The new German nation excluded Austria, which had been Prussia's main opponent for predominance among the German states.


German First Day Cover issued for the 150 birthday anniversary of Otto von Bismarck


German First Day Cover issued for the 150 birthday anniversary of Otto von Bismarck



1922 Died: Charles I, emperor of Austria (b. 1887)

Charles I or Karl I (Karl Franz Joseph Ludwig Hubert Georg Otto Maria; 17 August 1887 – 1 April 1922) was the last Emperor of Austria, the last King of Hungary (as Charles IV, Hungarian: IV. Károly), the last King of Bohemia (as Charles III, Czech: Karel III.), and the last monarch belonging to the House of Habsburg-Lorraine before the dissolution of Austria-Hungary. The son of Archduke Otto of Austria and Princess Maria Josepha of Saxony, Charles became heir presumptive of Emperor Franz Joseph after his uncle Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated in 1914. In 1911, he married Princess Zita of Bourbon-Parma.

Charles succeeded to the thrones in November 1916 following the death of Franz Joseph. He made secret attempts to negotiate Austria-Hungary's exit from the First World War but was unsuccessful. Despite Charles' intention to preserve the empire by transforming it into a federal union, Austria-Hungary headed rapidly towards complete dissolution; Czechoslovakia, the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs were proclaimed and Hungary declared to cease her monarchic ties to Austria by the end of October 1918. Following the Armistice of 11 November 1918, Charles "renounced participation" in state affairs, but did not abdicate. The Republic of German-Austria was proclaimed the following day, and in April 1919 he was formally dethroned by the Austrian Parliament and exiled to Switzerland.

Charles spent the remaining years of his life attempting to restore the monarchy. He made two attempts to reclaim the Hungarian throne in 1921; both failed due to a lack of support from Hungary's regent Miklós Horthy. Charles was exiled for a second time to the Portuguese island of Madeira, where he soon fell ill and died of respiratory failure in 1922.

Beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2004, Charles is known to the Catholic Church as Blessed Karl of Austria


Austrian military stamps and Bosnian stamps depicting Karl I


Feldpost Karl I 2K

Feldpost Karl I

Bosnia Karl I Military Stamps


1947 Died: George II, king of Greece (b. 1890)

George II (Greek: Γεώργιος Βʹ, Geórgios II; 19 July 1890 – 1 April 1947) reigned as King of Greece from 1922 to 1924 and from 1935 to 1947. He was a paternal first cousin of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.


Greek stamps depicting George II

Greece: George II  Mourning stamps with black edges/perforations






1976 Died:  Max Ernst, German painter, sculptor, and poet (b. 1891)

Max Ernst (2 April 1891 – 1 April 1976) was a German (naturalized American in 1948 and French in 1958) painter, sculptor, graphic artist, and poet. A prolific artist, Ernst was a primary pioneer of the Dada movement and surrealism. He had no formal artistic training, but his experimental attitude toward the making of art resulted in his invention of frottage—a technique that uses pencil rubbings of objects as a source of images—and grattage, an analogous technique in which paint is scraped across canvas to reveal the imprints of the objects placed beneath. He is also noted for his novels consisting of collages.

Some stamps from various countries depicting Max Ernst's paintings

Czechoslovakia 1991 Everyday Homelife by Max Ernst

France  1991 Birth Centenary Max Ernst

Germany. 1991. Birth Centenary Of Max Ernst Commemorative