Marlene Dietrich – an American Star from Germany

As in today on 27 December, in 1901 a blonde star was born: Marie Magdalene Dietrich 

She was born in Berlin, Germany and was the younger of two daughters (her sister Elisabeth being a year older). Dietrich’s mother was from a prosperous Berlin family who owned a clock making firm and her father was a police lieutenant.

Around the age of 11, she contracted her two first names to form her famous name “Marlene”.

Dietrich was known to have strong political convictions and the awareness to speak them. In interviews, Dietrich stated that she had been approached by representatives of the Nazi Party to return to Germany, but had turned them her back. Dietrich, a loyal anti-Nazi, became an American citizen in 1939.

Marlene

From the early 1950’s until the mid-1970’s, Dietrich worked almost completely as a highly paid cabaret artist, performing live in large theaters in major cities worldwide. Her show business career largely ended on 29 September 1975, when she fell off the stage and broke her thigh during a performance in Sydney, Australia.

Dietrich remained popular throughout her long career by continually re-inventing herself, professionally and characteristically. In the Berlin of the 1920s, she acted on the stage and in silent films. Her performance as “Lola-Lola” in The Blue Angel, directed by Josef von Sternberg, brought her international fame and provided her a contract with Paramount Pictures in the US. Hollywood films such as Shanghai Express and Desire exploited on her glamour looks, making her one of the highest-paid actresses of the era.

In 1999, the American Film Institute named Dietrich the ninth-greatest female star of all time.

I let you enjoy the exotic view of Marlene through paper memorabilia…

Some paper ideas from the same date from the past!

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The first successful flight by the Wright brothers

On 17 December, in 1903 an essential achievement occurred for the future of the humanity: the first successful flight of the Wright Flyer, by the Wright brothers.

The Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur, were two Americans inventors, and aviation pioneers who were credited with inventing and building the world’s first successful airplane and making the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight, on today’s date in 1903. Although not the first to build and fly experimental aircraft, the Wright brothers were the first to invent aircraft controls that made fixed-wing powered flight possible.

In camp at Kill Devil Hills in North Carolina, they suffered weeks of delays caused by broken propeller shafts during engine tests. After many flight test and repairs, the Wrights finally took to the air on December 17, 1903, making two flights each from level ground into a freezing headwind gusting to 27 miles per hour (43 km/h). The first flight, by Orville, of 120 feet (37 m) in 12 seconds, at a speed of only 6.8 miles per hour (10.9 km/h) over the ground, was recorded in a famous photograph that we show underneath.

wright bros

Orville Wright’s wrote for the final flight of the day:

“Wilbur started the fourth and last flight at just about 12 o’clock. The first few hundred feet were up and down, as before, but by the time three hundred ft had been covered, the machine was under much better control. The course for the next four or five hundred feet had but little undulation. However, when out about eight hundred feet the machine began pitching again, and, in one of its darts downward, struck the ground. The distance over the ground was measured to be 852 feet; the time of the flight was 59 seconds. The frame supporting the front rudder was badly broken, but the main part of the machine was not injured at all. We estimated that the machine could be put in condition for flight again in about a day or two.”

Today we fly in a few hours in the other side of the globe. Just because of Wright brothers…

Some paper ideas from the same date from the past!

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Ludwig van Beethoven

Today on December 16, in 1770 a German composer and pianist that became the most crucial figure in the history of music was born. This was Ludwig van Beethoven!

It’s really hard to describe the life and work of this enormous musician and composer in just a couple of paragraphs. So we just write a few very generic words about him.

Beethoven was the grandson of Lodewijk van Beethoven (1712–73), a musician who came from Mechelen in present-day Belgium who moved at the age of twenty to Bonn. So Ludwig was born in Bonn, then the capital of the Electorate of Cologne and part of the Holy Roman Empire. He displayed his musical talents at an early age and was taught by his father Johann van Beethoven and Christian Gottlob Neefe. During his first 22 years in Bonn, Beethoven intended to study with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and befriended Joseph Haydn. Beethoven moved to Vienna in 1792 and began studying with Haydn, quickly gaining a reputation as a virtuoso pianist. He lived in Vienna until his death. During the late 18th century, his hearing began to deteriorate significantly, yet he continued to compose, conduct, and perform after becoming completely deaf.

beethoven

He died on 26 March 1827 at the age of 56 during a thunderstorm. His friend Anselm Hüttenbrenner, who was present at the time, said that there was a peal of thunder at the moment of death. An autopsy revealed significant liver damage, which may have been due to heavy alcohol consumption. But there is dispute about the cause of Beethoven’s death.

Everyone now probably sings inside him the scope from the fifth or the ninth symphony. Well… after almost 300 years his music power still exists!

Some paper ideas from the same date from the past!

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Gustave Eiffel, his Tower and the Statue of Liberty

On 15 December, in 1832 an extraordinary French civil engineer and architect was born: this was Alexandre Gustave Eiffel.

Eiffel was a graduate of the École Centrale des Arts et Manufactures of Paris, and he made a name with various bridges for the French railway network, most famously the Garabit viaduct.

He is best known for the world-famous Eiffel Tower, built for the 1889 Universal Exposition in Paris, France. The design of the Eiffel Tower was originated by Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier, who had discussed ideas for a centerpiece for the Expo. And since May 1884 that Koechlin, working at his home on an outline drawing of their scheme until the beginning of 1886 very little happened. On 12 May of the same year a commission was set up to examine Eiffel’s system and its competitors and on 12 June it presented its decision, which was that only Eiffel’s proposal met their requirements. After some arguments about the exact site for the tower, a contract was signed on 8 January 1887.

eiffel

The tower had been a subject of some controversy, attracting criticism both from those who did not believe it is feasible and from those who objected on artistic grounds and looks.

But before that, in 1881 Eiffel was contacted by Auguste Bartholdi who ha a need of an engineer to help him to realize another huge order, this time from the other side of the Atlantic, the Statue of Liberty. Eiffel was nominated because of his already involvement with wind stresses. Eiffel invented a structure consisting of a four-legged pylon to support the copper sheets that they made up the body of the statue. The entire statue was created at the Eiffel works in Paris before being pull to pieces and shipped to the United States.

Eiffel is a star through his extraordinary engineering works he accomplished in his time. This tower finally became the symbol of Paris and a huge touristic attraction for the whole France! Let’s go to the top guys and gals!

Some paper ideas from the same date from the past!

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The Russians on the Reichstag during WWII

Two stamps of DDR showing the flag on German Parliament

Two DDR stamps  showing the flag on German Parliament

Those two issues from East Germany were based on a photograph which was shot by the Ukrainian photographer Yevgeny Khaldei. However, the fact that the Russian flag was hoisted on top of the German parliament – Reichstag was considered to be a very serious matter: in fact, so serious that the photograph could not be left “intact” by the people in charge!

On 30th April 1945, a 24-year old Russian soldier raised the Russian flag above the German parliament. The Germans removed it but, after two days, they conceded a crushing defeat. Thus, on 2nd May, Yevgeny Khaldei climbed up the roof along with two “new” Russian soldiers, one giving a helping hand to the other, in order to secure the flag at the top of the building.

Nevertheless, upon closer examination, we notice that one of the soldiers is wearing two wrist watches: one around each of his wrists! This is, no doubt, undesirable evidence of looting that had to be erased by the photographer who added more dark smoke and increased the volume of the three-dimensional flag in order to do their superiors’ bidding. What is more, as the photographer realized that the soldiers had rather Asiatic facial features, he thought it a very good idea to substitute those soldiers for other ones with a better “appearance”. Finally, he fixed the picture as it had to be presented.

reichstag_original_retouched

Left the original photograph where we may notice the non-commissioned officer wearing the two wrist watches. At the right the retouched photograph with its smoke and the “right” soldiers!

This second retouching is still a symbol, today. Naturally, those postage stamps are the most important ones of World War II as they signal its end. As we know today, the only real thing in that photograph is the raise of the flag and even that took place two days later than the actual event. Everything was the product of a wonderfully spectacular staging.

german parliament postcard

A nice postcard of the German Parliament – Reichstag – in 1900

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Walt’s birthday. An epic day for comics and animation!

This day has to be dedicated in comics & animation!

Walter Elias “Walt” Disney was born as today on 5 December, 1901.

disney

This immense American film producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor, animator, entrepreneur, entertainer, international icon,and philanthropist, well-known for his influence in the field of entertainment during the 20th century, along with his brother Roy O. Disney, he was co-founder of Walt Disney Productions. One of the best-known motion picture producers in the world.

Disney is particularly noted as a film producer and a popular showman, as well as an innovator in animation and theme

park design. He and his staff created some of the world’s most well-known fictional characters including Mickey Mouse, for whom Disney himself provided the original voice.

During his lifetime he received four honorary Academy Awards and won 22 Academy Awards from a total of 59 nominations! Actually he made a record in one year that he gained 4, giving him more awards and nominations than any other individual in history. This enormous cartoonist and film maker also won seven Emmy Awards and gave his name to five theme parks around the world!

disney2

Amazing Walter!

We’re really supporting comics, cartooning, comic strips and animation! We support them for the great art they are..

We already have mention three times comic stories on this blog: Paper stories and Eric Castel, Steamboat Mickey! and Woody Woodpecker first appearance in Knock Knock ! Enjoy…

Some paper ideas from the same date from the past!

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1904 St. Louis 3rd Olympic games

The map, the official poster and a nice postcard from the Olympics in St. Louis

The 1904 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the III Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event which was celebrated in St. Louis, Missouri, in the United States from July 1 to November 23, 1904, at what is now known as Francis Field on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis. St. Louis organizers repeated the mistakes made at the 1900 Summer Olympics organized in Paris. Competitions were compacted to a side-show of the World’s Fair and were lost in the chaos of other, more popular cultural exhibits.

Officially, the games lasted for four and a half months; in fact, James Edward Sullivan tried to hold an event every day for the duration of the fair. The Olympic events were again mixed with other side sporting events, but Sullivan called all his sports events “Olympic.” The IOC later declared that only 94 of these events were Olympic Games.

The participants totaled 651 athletes – 645 men and 6 women representing 12 countries. However, only 42 events (less than half) actually included athletes who were not from the United States.

The marathon was the most bizarre event of the Games. It was run in inhumanly hot weather, over dirty roads, with horses and automobiles clearing the way and creating dust clouds.

A Thomas Hicks photo, a season pass, a regular ticket and a press pass show the paper treasures of this era!

The first to arrive at the finish line was Frederick Lorz, who actually rode part of the distance in a car (!).Frederick started the race with the rest of the athletes but not long after the 9th mile he dropped out. In order to retrieve his clothes, he rode on a car and headed to the finish line. But fate plays strange games sometimes and the car broke down on the 19th mile! Having no other choice he re-entered the race and jogged to the finish line and was announced winner of the Marathon. While on that day he was awarded the gold medal, his celebration did not last long as the scheme was unveiled and he was banned for a year by the AAU. Next year, Frederick Lorz came back and won the 1905 Boston Marathon, for real this time.

For US Thomas Hicks (a Briton running for the United States) was the first to cross the finish-line legally, after having received several doses of strychnine sulfate (a common rat poison, which arouses the nervous system in small doses) mixed with brandy from his trainers. No anti-doping control back then! He was supported by his trainers when he crossed the finish, but is still considered the winner. Hicks had to be carried off the track immediately after the run. He was so exhausted that possibly would have died in the stadium. But treated by several doctors he came back next year.

The Worlds Fair was scheduled to open in late 1903, which would have been the 100th anniversary of the Louisiana Purchase. However because of the preparations for the Olympic games the fair opening was delayed.

Stamps issued before and during the 3rd Olympics in St. Louis.

Before and during the expo and the Games were issued The Louisiana Purchase Exposition Stamps. The First Day of issue for this series of Postage was April 30, 1904. They were issued to promote the exposition.

On the stamps was depicted: Robert Livingston, who served as a delegate of New York and as a delegate to the Constitution Convention. Engraved image of Livingston is taken from a Gilbert Stuart (1783-1872) oil painting of 179. President Thomas Jefferson on 2c Issue. He was the architect of the Louisiana. James Monroe 3c Issue. This issue marked the first appearance of James Monroe on US Postage. Louisiana Purchase Map 10c Issue. This issue depicts an engraved map of the United States, showing the territory of the Louisiana Purchase in darker color, with the year of the purchase, “1803”, inscribed across the face of this area. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing printed only 4,011,200 of these issues and consequently surviving examples have been scarce, making it the most valuable stamp of this series to this day.

A stereo-view card along with the Olympics Award!

As today November 23, 1904 3rd Olympic games Closing ceremony in St. Louis took place!

The Olympics is an event that attracts a lot of people. To watch, to participate voluntarily, to share the athletes sorrow or joy, to …collect. Paper material form all Modern Olympics since 1986 are collected frantically!

Some paper ideas from the same date from the past!
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