Nino Rota on paper!

Nino Rota born as Giovanni Rota Rinaldi into a musical family in Milan. Rota was a renowned child genius – his first oratorio, L’infanzia di San Giovanni Battista, was written at age 11 and performed in Milan and Paris as early as 1923!

That day, on his birthday, the calendar was on December 3, 1923.

Encouraged by Arturo Toscanini, Rota moved to the United States where he lived from 1930 to 1932.

Rota is best known for his film scores, notably for the films of Federico Fellini and Luchino Visconti. He also composed the music for two of Franco Zeffirelli’s Shakespeare films, and for the first two films of Francis Ford Coppola’s Godfather trilogy, receiving the Academy Award for Best Original Score for The Godfather Part II in 1974.


During his long career Rota was an extremely fruitful composer, especially of music for the cinema. He wrote more than 150 scores for Italian and international productions from the 1930s until his death in 1979. Alongside this great body of film work, he composed ten operas, five ballets and dozens of other orchestral, choral and chamber works, the best known being his string concerto. He also composed the music for many theater productions by Visconti, Zeffirelli and Eduardo De Filippo.

Some paper ideas from the same date from the past!

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Maria Callas: La Divina!

Maria Callas, was an American-born in New York City from Greek parents soprano and one of the most famous opera singers of the 20th century.

That day the calendar was on December 2, 1923.

Callas combined an imposing bel canto performance, a wide-ranging voice and great dramatic gifts. She was a tremendously adaptable singer, and she performed a repertoire ranged from classical opera to the bel canto operas! She sung Donizetti, Bellini, and Rossini further, to the works of Verdi and Puccini; and, in her early career, to the music dramas of Wagner. Her extraordinary musical and theatrical talents led to her being hailed as La Divina.

She was raised by an overbearing mother; she received her musical education in Greece and established her career in Italy. Forced to deal with the constraints of wartime poverty and with myopia that left her nearly blind onstage, she endured struggles and scandal over the course of her career. She turned herself from a heavy woman into a graceful and glamorous one after a weight loss, which might have contributed to her vocal decline and the premature end of her career.


The press exulted in publicizing Callas’s supposedly temperamental actions, her supposed rivalry with Renata Tebaldi and her love affair with Greek tycoon Aristotle Onassis. Her dramatic life and personal tragedy have often overshadowed Callas the artist in the popular press.

However, her artistic accomplishments were such that Leonard Bernstein called her “The Bible of opera”!

Some paper ideas from the same date from the past!

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The Iwo Jima Photo-Symbol

On 23rd February 1945 the battle of Iwo Jima was over. It was a major battle and that morning the US marines stepped on the summit of Souribaki mount. Six men – Shrier, Thomas, Hansen, Lindbergh, Michaels and Carlo- hoisted the American flag on the top of that mountain at 10:30. The scene was captured by Louis Lowery among the cheers of the rest.First_Iwo_Jima_Flag_RaisingHowever, the photograph depicted on the US stamp on the cover underneath, which is among the most celebrated ones in the 20th century, is not the one taken by Lowery!

FDC Iwo Jima

The cover bears a cancellation dated on the day following the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

The United States Administration had decided that the flag was rather too small and sent a larger one on the mount escorted by a different team of photographers!

This time the team comprised: Joe Rosenthal, an Associated Press photographer; Bill Genaust, a sergeant photographer; Private Bob Campbell, a  photographer; and, Bill Hipple, a Newsweek photographer as well as other marines who took part in that imaginary hoisting. They hauled down the small flag and replaced it with the large one with excellent cinematographic direction at noon time on the same day. It is, indeed, an expressionistic scene!

WW2_Iwo_Jima_flag_raisingThe photograph was taken by Rosenthal, who became known in the entire world through that photo. The cover depicted bears a cancellation dated on the day following the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

By James Makris for eCharta

Mark Twain’s birthday!

November 30, 1835, Mark Twain was born! Happy birthday Mark, wherever you are…

It’s really very hard to say just a few things about the life of this gigantic American writer. So we just write a tiny summary of his exciting life and we propose very few paper suggestions from the millions are in existence!portraits

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910), better known by his pen name Mark Twain,was an American writer and humorist. He is most noted for his novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885),the latter frequently called “the Great American Novel.”stamps

Twain grew up in Hannibal, Missouri, which would later offer the setting for Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. He apprenticed with a printer. He also worked as a typesetter and contributed articles to his older brother Orion’s newspaper. After working as a printer in various cities, he became a master riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River before heading west to join Orion. He was a disappointment at gold mining, so he next turned to journalism. While a reporter, he wrote a humorous story, “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” which became very popular and brought nationwide attention. His lectures were also well received. Twain finally had found his calling.

He accomplished great success as a writer and public speaker. His wit, sarcasm and satire earned admiration from critics and nobles, and he was a friend to presidents, artists, industrialists, and European royalty.

He lacked financial acumen, and though he made a great deal of money from his writings and lectures, he misspent it on various ventures, in particular the Paige Compositor, and was forced to declare bankruptcy. With the help of Henry Huttleston Rogers he eventually overcame his financial troubles. Twain worked hard to enbookssure that all of his creditors were paid in full, even though his bankruptcy had relieved him of the legal duty.

Twain was born during a visit by Halley’s Comet, and he predicted that he would “go out with it” as well. He died the day following the comet’s subsequent return. He was acclaimed as the “greatest American humorist of his age,” and William Faulkner called Twain “the father of American literature.”

Some paper ideas from the same date from the past!

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Polaroid captured human moments instantly

The instant camera is a type of camera that generates a developed film image. The most popular types to use self-developing film were formerly made by Polaroid Corporation.

Polaroid Corporation is an American-based international consumer electronics and eyewear company, originally founded in 1937 by Edwin H. Land. It is most famous for its instant film cameras, which reached the market in 1948, and continued to be the company’s flagship product line until the February 2008 decision to cease all production in favor of digital photography products.

On November 27, 1948 the 1st Polaroid camera sold!

Then the colossal story of this magnificent, human moment “recorder” began to reflect instantly upon billion small pieces of paper!

Some paper ideas from the same date from the past!

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Baby Face Nelson

Lester Joseph Gillis was born on December 6, 1908. He was known under the pseudonym George Nelson and he was a bank robber and murderer in the 1930s. Gillis was better known as Baby Face Nelson, a name given to him due to his youthful look and his small stature. He was usually referred by criminal associates as “Jimmy”.  Nelson entered into a partnership with John Dillinger, helping him escape from prison in the famed Crown Point, Indiana Jail escape, and was later considered along with the remaining gang members as public enemy number one.

Nelson was blamable for the murder of several people, and has the uncertain distinction of having killed more FBI agents in the line of duty than any other person. Nelson was shot by FBI agents and died after a shootout often called “The Battle of Barrington”. The Barrington gun battle exploded as Nelson, with Helen Gillis and John Paul Chase as passengers, drove a stolen V8 Ford South towards Chicago on State Highway 14.

The date was November 27, 1934 in a street in Barrington outside of Chicago.

Some paper ideas from the same date from the past!

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Casablanca in New York City!

Casablanca is a 1942 American romantic drama film directed by Michael Curtiz . The film stars Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and Paul Henreid. Set during World War II, it focuses on a man torn between, in the words of one character, love and virtue. He must choose between his love for a woman and helping her Czech Resistance leader husband escape from the Vichy-controlled Moroccan city of Casablanca to continue his fight against the Nazis.

Story editor Irene Diamond convinced producer Hal Wallis to purchase the film rights of the play in January 1942. Brothers Julius J. and Philip G. Epstein were initially assigned to write the script. However, the Epsteins left the project after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Howard Koch was assigned to continue writing the screenplay until the Epsteins returned to work on Casablanca. Wallis chose Curtiz to direct the film after his first choice, William Wyler, became unavailable. Filming began on May 25, 1942 and ended on August 3, and was shot entirely in the studio and Van Nuys Airport.

Despite the script writing difficulties, and Bogart attempting his first romantic leading role, Casablanca won three Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Its characters, dialogue, and music have become iconic, and the film has grown to the point that it now consistently ranks near the top of lists of the greatest films of all time.

Casablanca had its world premiere on November 26, 1942 in New York City, and was released on January 23, 1943 in the rest of United States.

Some paper ideas from the same date from the past!

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Splashdown of Apollo 12

Apollo 12 was the sixth manned flight in the United States Apollo program and the second mission to land on the Moon. It was launched on November 14, 1969 from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida known as Cape Canaveral four months after Apollo 11. Mission commander Charles “Pete” Conrad and Lunar Module Pilot Alan L. Bean performed just over one day and seven hours of lunar surface activity while Command Module Pilot Richard F. Gordon remained in lunar orbit waiting for the other guys to come back.

The landing site for the mission was located in the southeastern portion of the Ocean of Storms in our moon. Unlike the first landing on Apollo 11, Conrad and Bean achieved a precise landing at the site of the Surveyor 3, which had landed on April 20, 1967. They carried the first color television camera to the lunar surface on an Apollo flight, but transmission was lost after Bean accidentally destroyed the camera by pointing it at the Sun. On the second extravehicular activity, they examined the unmanned Surveyor III spacecraft. The television camera and several other components were taken from Surveyor III and brought back to earth for scientific analysis.

The mission ended on November 24, 1969 with a successful splashdown. An exciting time for humanity!

Some paper ideas from the same date from the past!
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Bolero by Maurice Ravel

Well, as of today in 1963 the President Kennedy assassinated. We were ready to write for it showing a lot of paper items related with the assassination. But then again we thought: macabre news that everyone will mention today, on Thanksgiving day.   

So we decided to write about music! Write about Joseph-Maurice Ravel the French composer known especially for his melodies, orchestral and instrumental textures and effects and his Boléro.

Ravel was born in the Basque town of Ciboure, France, near Biarritz, close to the border with Spain, in 1875. His mother, Marie Delouart, was of Basque descent and grew up in Madrid, Spain, while his father, Joseph Ravel, was a Swiss inventor and industrialist from French Haute-Savoie.

1928 Ravel made a four-month concert tour in North America, for a promised minimum of $10,000 (approximately $135,349, if we also make inflation adjustments). Ravel conducted most of the leading orchestras in the U.S. from coast to coast and visited twenty-five cities receiving a standing ovation. New Orleans visit caused him to include some jazz elements in a few of his later compositions.

After returning to France, Ravel composed his most famous and controversial orchestral work Boléro, originally called Fandango. Ravel called it “an experiment in a very special and limited direction”.

In 1928 on 22 November in Paris, “Bolero” by Maurice Ravel was first performed publicly.

It’s amazing the quantity and quality of paper items you can find about music! Small sheets or whole orchestra scores, even rare handwritten ones, photographs, stamps, postcards and so on. Music lovers be prepared: a lot of “music” paper comes to eCharta!

Some paper ideas from the same date from the past!

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Charles I and Hirohito. What do they have in common?

What happened on November 19, 1928 exactly 412 years ago? Or even 84 years ago?

Charles I was the King of England, King of Scotland, and King of Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649.

Charles was born in Dunfermline Palace, Fife, on 19 November 1600. Charles was accused of treason against England by using his power to pursue his personal interest rather than the good of England. So, the King was declared guilty at a public session on Saturday 27 January 1649 and sentenced to death. The execution took place at Whitehall on a scaffold in front of the Banqueting House. I’m sure you’re capable enough to find some of the King’s paper items!

On the other side of the Atlantic, in the same exact date – well some centuries later – TIME magazine on 19 November 1928 presented its cover in color for the first time. The subject was another monarch: Japanese Emperor Hirohito.

Hirohito, officially called in Japan Emperor Shōwa, was the 124th Emperor of Japan according to the traditional order, reigning from December 25, 1926 until his death in 1989.

You can find a lot of paper items original or reproductions on these two topics. Well, probably not Charles I manuscripts but you can make it for the TIME magazines!

Many people collect manuscripts, engravings, magazines and postage stamps. It’s really fun to collect!

Some paper ideas from the same date from the past!

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