Imelda Marcos, 1929 –

July 2, 1929 – Birthdate of Imelda Marcos, widow of Ferdinand Marcos, the 10th president of the Philippines.

She served as First Lady from 1965 to 1986 during the presidency of her husband. She remains one of the richest politicians in the Philippines through her collection of clothing, artwork, and jewelry, along with money in offshore bank accounts under the pseudonym “Jane Ryan”. As a result, she has been called a kleptocrat by her critics who accuse her of plunder. (Wikipedia)

Pictured here today is a stamp showing Imelda, issued by the Philippines on June 12, 1966, as part of a set of 3 stamps (#950-52) commemorating the presidential inauguration of Ferdinand Marcos on December 30, 1965.

President Marcos and Imelda - Phil


Joseph Joachim, 1831 – 1907

June 28, 1831– Birthdate of Joseph Joachim, Austrian violinist, composer, and conductor.

Joachim was from Hungarian Jewish family.  He was a close collaborator of Johannes Brahms and is widely regarded as one of the most significant violinists of the 19th century.

Among the most notable of Joachim’s achievements were his revival of Beethoven’s violin concerto, the revival of Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin, and of Beethoven’s late string quartets.

Joachim’s own compositions are less well known. He gave opus numbers to 14 compositions and composed about an equal number of pieces without opus numbers. Among his compositions are various works for the violin (including three concerti) and overtures to Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Henry IV.  (from Wikipedia)

The West Berlin post office of West Germany issued a 30-pfennig stamp honoring Joachim in 1969 (Scott #9N280):


Cole Porter, 1891 – 1964

June 9, 1891 – Cole Porter is born in Peru, Indiana.  Porter was a composer and songwriter on Broadway and best known for his Tony Award-winning musical, “Kiss Me, Kate”.

Some of his well-loved hit songs include, “Night and Day”, “Begin the Beguine”, “I Get a Kick Out of You”, “Love for Sale” and “What Is This Thing Called Love?”.

In 1991, the United States issued a 29-cent stamp (Scott No. 2550) honoring Cole Porter:

Cole Porter SC2550





Frank Loesser’s “Guys & Dolls”

May 31, 1955: A revival of Frank Loesser’s “Guys & Dolls” opened today at the New York City Center starring Walter Matthau as Nathan Detroit.  (from “This Day … In Jewish History”, Mitchell A. Levin)

The music and lyrics for this musical were written by Frank Loesser and the book was written by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrow. It is based on “The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown” and “Blood Pressure” – two short stories by Damon Runyon – and also borrows characters and plot elements from other Runyon stories – most notably “Pick the Winner”.

The premiere on Broadway was in 1950. It ran for 1200 performances and won the Tony Award for Best Musical. The musical has had several Broadway and London revivals, as well as a 1955 film adaptation starring Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons, Frank Sinatra and Vivian Blaine. (from Wikipedia)

In 1999, the U.S. Postal Service issued a 33-cent stamp honoring Frank Loesser as part of its Legends of American Music series (Scott No. 3350):

Frank Loesser - SC3350

Bob Dylan – May 24, 1941

Born Robert Allen Zimmerman, Bob Dylan is one of the most influential American singer-songwriters.  A key player in the 1960s folk revival, he wrote political and poetic songs that challenged the establishment and became anthems to the anti-war movement.  Among his biggest hits were “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “The Times They Are a-Changin’.”  He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988 and received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016.  He delayed acceptance of the latter award until March 2017 – about 3 months after the formal awards ceremony.  (mostly from a calendar page printed by Universe Publishing)

Here’s a souvenir sheet honoring Dylan on the occasion of his Nobel Prize award.  It was issued by the tropical nation of Maldives on December 28, 2016:


Bob Dylan - Maldives 2016-12-28

Arthur Rubinstein, 1887 – 1982

January 28, 1887 – Birthdate of Arthur Rubinstein.

Rubinstein was a Polish American classical pianist. He received international acclaim for his performances of the music written by a variety of composers and many regard him as the greatest Chopin interpreter of his time.  He was described by The New York Times as one of the greatest pianists of the twentieth century.  He played in public for eight decades.

While he was an agnostic, Rubinstein was nevertheless proud of his Jewish heritage.  He was a great friend of Israel, which he visited several times with his wife and children, giving concerts with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, recitals, and master classes at the Jerusalem Music Centre. In 1949, Rubinstein—who lost family members in the Holocaust—along with other prominent musicians (including Horowitz and Heifetz) announced that he would not appear with the Chicago Symphony if it engaged the conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler, who had remained in Germany during the war.  (Yehudi Menuhin was upset with this boycott, declaring that some of the main organizers had admitted to him that they had organized it only to eliminate Furtwängler’s presence in North America)

Throughout his life, Rubinstein was deeply attached to Poland. At the inauguration of the United Nations in 1945, Rubinstein showed his Polish patriotism at a concert for the delegates. He began the concert by stating his deep disappointment that the conference did not have a delegation from Poland. Rubinstein later described becoming overwhelmed by a blind fury and angrily pointing out to the public the absence of the Polish flag. He then sat down at the piano and played the Polish national anthem loudly and slowly, repeating the final part in a great thunderous forte. When he had finished, the public rose to their feet and gave him a great ovation.  (from Wikipedia)

In 1986, Israel released a stamp with three portraits of Rubinstein drawn by Pablo Picasso:

arthur-rubinstein-israel-picasso 1986.jpg

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, 1756 – 1791

January 27,1756 – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Austrian pianist and composer.

Mozart, baptized as Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era.

Born in Salzburg, Austria, he showed prodigious ability from his earliest childhood. Already competent on keyboard and violin, he composed from the age of five and performed before European royalty. At 17, Mozart was engaged as a musician at the Salzburg court, but grew restless and traveled in search of a better position. While visiting Vienna in 1781, he was dismissed from his Salzburg position. He chose to stay in the capital, where he achieved fame but little financial security. During his final years in Vienna, he composed many of his best-known symphonies, concertos, and operas, and portions of the Requiem, which was largely unfinished at the time of his death. The circumstances of his early death have been much mythologized. He was survived by his wife Constanze and two sons.

He composed more than 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, operatic, and choral music. He is among the most enduringly popular of classical composers, and his influence is profound on subsequent Western art music. Ludwig van Beethoven composed his own early works in the shadow of Mozart, and Joseph Haydn wrote that “posterity will not see such a talent again in 100 years.” (from Wikipedia)

Mozart has been the subject of hundreds of postage stamps and his life and music have inspired an entire topical area of philately devoted to him.

Today, I will share just a few of the many examples issued by the postal authorities of the world:

Austria, 1956:


Vatican City, 2006:


West Germany, 1991:


Cyprus, 2011:


Vladimir Ze’ev Jabotinsky, 1880 – 1940

January 26, 1935: In a speech before 3,800 people at the Mecca Temple, Vladimir Jabotinsky, Zionist Revisionist leader urged his listeners to put the development of a Jewish national state in Palestine ahead of all other issues related to economic and political development.  (from “This Day … In Jewish History”, Mitch Levin).

Volumes have been written about Jabotinsky’s life and legacy, so I won’t elaborate in today’s post, but rather refer you to the Wikipedia article about him (he was known as Ze’ev or “wolf” Jabotinksy:’ev_Jabotinsky

In 1970, Israel issued an 80-agorot stamp in honor of Jabotinsky (Scott No. 410).  Shown here is a complete sheet of the stamp:



Sao Paulo, Brazil

January 25, 1554 – Founding of Sao Paulo city, Brazil.

São Paulo (Saint Paul in English) is a municipality located in the southeast region of Brazil. The metropolis is an alpha global city —as listed by the GaWC—and is the most populous city in Brazil, the Americas, and in the Southern Hemisphere. The municipality is also Earth’s 12th largest city proper by population. The city is the capital of the homonymous state of Sao Paulo, Brazil’s most populous and wealthiest state. It exerts strong international influence in commerce, finance, arts and entertainment. The name of the city honors Saint Paul of Tarsus. The city’s metropolitan area of Greater Sao Paulo ranks as the most populous in Brazil, the 11th most populous on Earth, and largest Portuguese-speaking city in the world. (from Wikipedia)

Shown today is a Brazilian stamp which commemorates the World Skills Sao Paulo 2015 competition and annual conference:



Bucharest, Romania Jewish Community

January 24, 1862:  Bucharest was proclaimed capital of Romania. The Jewish population of Bucharest had grown from 127 families in 1820 to 5,934 persons in 1860. By the turn of the century, the Jewish population would exceed 40,000 people making them almost 15% of the city’s total population. (from “This Day … In Jewish History”, Mitch Levin)

When Charles von Hohenzollern succeeded Cuza in 1866 as Carol I of Romania, the first event that confronted him in the capital was a riot against the Jews. A draft of a constitution was then submitted by the government, Article 6 of which declared that “religion is no obstacle to citizenship “; but, “with regard to the Jews, a special law will have to be framed in order to regulate their admission to naturalization and also to civil rights “. On June 30, 1866, the Bucharest Synagogue was desecrated and demolished (it was rebuilt in the same year, then restored in 1932 and 1945). Many Jews were beaten, maimed, and robbed. As a result, Article 6 was withdrawn and Article 7 was added to the 1866 Constitution; it read that “only such aliens as are of the Christian faith may obtain citizenship”.

For the following decades, the issue of Jewish rights occupied the forefront of the Regat’s political scene. With few notable exceptions (including some of Junimea affiliates — Petre P. Carp, George Panu, and Ion Luca Caragiale), most Romanian intellectuals began professing antisemitism; its most virulent form was the one present with advocates of Liberalism (in contradiction to their 1848 political roots), especially Moldavians, who argued that Jewish immigration had prevented the rise of an ethnic Romanian middle class. The first examples of modern prejudice were the Moldavian Fractiunea libera si independenta (later blended into the National Liberal Party, PNL) and the Bucharest group formed around Cezar Bolliac. Their discourse saw Jews as non-assimilated and perpetually foreign – this claim was, however, challenged by some contemporary sources, and by the eventual acceptance of all immigrants other than Jews.

Antisemitism was carried into the PNL’s mainstream, and was officially enforced under the premierships of Ion Bratianu. During his first years in office, Brătianu reinforced and applied old discrimination laws, insisting that Jews were not allowed to settle in the countryside (and relocating those that had done so), while declaring many Jewish urban inhabitants to be vagrants and expelling them from the country. According to the 1905 Jewish Encyclopedia: “A number of such Jews who proved their Romanian birth were forced across the Danube, and when [the Ottoman Empire] refused to receive them, were thrown into the river and drowned. Almost every country in Europe was shocked at these barbarities. The Romanian government was warned by the powers; and Brătianu was subsequently dismissed from office”. Cabinets formed by the Conservative Party, although including Junimea’s leaders, did not do much to improve the Jews’ condition – mainly due to PNL opposition.

Nonetheless, during this same era, Romania was the cradle of Yiddish theatre. The Russian-born Abraham Goldfaden started the first professional Yiddish theatre company in Iași in 1876 and for several years, especially during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878 Romania was the home of Yiddish theatre. While its center of gravity would move first to Russia, then London, then New York City, both Bucharest and Iași would continue to figure prominently in its history over the next century. (from Wikipedia)

Shown here is a joint Romania-Israel issue from 2009 which is a miniature sheet commemorating the first Yiddish Theatre in Iasi in 1876 and picturing Avram Goldfaden:




Also, shown here is a registered aerogramme posted from the Bucharest airport in 1959: