Dorothy Parker, 1893 – 1967

August 22, 1893: Birthdate of Dorothy Parker. Born Dorothy Rothschild, she was an American writer and poet best known for her caustic wit, wisecracks, and sharp eye for twentieth century urban foibles.

Parker grew up on the Upper West Side of New York City and attended a Roman Catholic elementary school at the Convent of the Blessed Sacrament on West 79th Street.

She sold her first poem to Vanity Fair magazine in 1914 and some months later was hired as an editorial assistant for another Conde Nast magazine, Vogue.

In 1917, she met and married Edwin Pond Parker II (1893–1933), but they were separated by his army service in World War I. She had ambivalent feelings about her Jewish heritage given the strong anti-Semitism of that era and joked that she married to escape her name.

She passed away in 1967.

The stamp shown here, Scott No. 2698, was issued in 1992 by the United States Postal Service.

dorothy parker


Mona Lisa stolen!!

August 21, 1911 – The Mona Lisa is stolen by a Louvre employee.  The stamp pictured here was issued in 1999 by France’s postal service La Poste as a part of a souvenir sheet of three stamps, on the occasion of the Philexfrance 99 Stamp Exhibition.

mona lisa france

Purim Buda – “They tried to kill us. We won. Let’s eat.”

August 20, 1684: A riotous mob attacked the ghetto of Buda (that’s the half of Budapest that is on the right bank of the Danube, which was joined with Pest on the left bank in 1873). During the war between Venice and Turkey, the Jews were accused of praying for the Turks in their attack on Budapest. In actuality, it was the 9th of Av and all the Jews were in the synagogue mourning the destruction of the temple. Soon after, the attack on the Jewish ghetto began. When the gates were opened to allow for an emissary to the duke to leave, the crowd of attackers rushed in. As soon as the authorities heard about the disturbances, an order to forcibly curb them was given. That day of the order became a day of thanksgiving. In gratitude to G-d for being spared serious injury, the Jews celebrated Buda Purim on the 10th of Elul. This date became known as Purim Buda.

The stamp pictured here is a beautiful panoramic view of the city of Budapest issued in 1982 by Magyar Posta – the Hungarian Postal Authority.


Mae West

August 17, 1893 – Birthdate of Mae West, American actress, singer, and screenwriter (d. 1980)

Sadly, the U.S. Postal Service has not yet issued a stamp commemorating this brilliant performing artist.  The Republic of Congo, however, seems to be more progressive – or perhaps more business savvy (think of all the stamp collectors wanting to add this item to their collection).


Gabriel Lippmann

August 16, 1845: In Bonnevoie, Luxembourg, Miriam Rose (Lévy) and Isaïe Lippman, the manager of the family glove-making business gave birth to Gabriel Lippman, French physicist who won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1908.  The prize was awarded specifically for Lippmann’s invention of the interference method of reproducing colors in photography.

A stamp honoring Lippmann was issued by the Office de la poste guinéenne (Guinea) in February 2002.

gabriel lippmann - nobel prize winner 1908

Another issue produced by Sweden’s postal authority, Posten in 1968 as part of a set of booklet stamps featuring 1908 Nobel Prize winners, honors both Gabriel Lippmann and German philosopher Rudolph Eucken.

lippmann eucken booklet stamp

The Cologne Cathedral

August 15, 1248 – The foundation stone of Cologne Cathedral, built to house the relics of the Three Wise Men, is laid.  Construction is eventually completed in 1880.

The 2003 postage stamp shown here commemorates the Kolner Dom and was issued by Germany’s postal service, Deutsche Post AG.

Cologne Germany Cathedral

Marty Glickman – a Jewish Olympian and the 1936 Berlin games

August 14, 1917: In the Bronx, Harry and Molly Glickman give birth to Martin “Marty” Glickman. A graduate of Syracuse University, where he played football, Glickman was best known for his skills in track & field. In 1936, Glickman was one of two Jews on the U.S. 400 yard relay team at the 1936 Olympics.  The two were replaced just before the event. According to Glickman, this was in response to pressure from Avery Brundage, an anti-Semite and supporter of the Nazi regime. Glickman went on to a very successful career as a sports broadcaster. Glickman’s parents came from Jassy where the Germans and their Romanian allies slaughtered over 20,000 Jews during the summer of 1941.

Pictured here is a Semi-Postal stamp commemorating the 1936 Berlin Olympics issued by Nazi Germany’s state postal authority, the Reichspost.  A semi-postal stamp is one which has a surtax in addition to the regular postal rate.  The surtax typically is designated for donation to a charity or to help balance governments’ budget shortfalls.  In this case, the extra 6 Pfennig was used to “further German athletics”. For this reason, the German Sport Assistance organization was especially active in selling these stamps before, during and after the games.  The torch-runner stamp is one of a set of 8 semi-postals.

1936 Berlin Olympics Stamp

Yiddish Theatre in Romania

August 12, 1816: Birthdate of Ion Ghica, the five-time Prime Minister of Romania “a valuable ally for Yiddish theater in Bucharest” who on several occasions expressed his favorable view of the quality of acting, and even more of the technical aspects of the Yiddish theater. In 1881, he obtained for the National Theater the costumes that had been used for a Yiddish pageant on the coronation of King Solomon, which had been timed in tribute to the actual coronation of Carol I of Romania.

The stamps shown here were issued by Romfilatelia – the postal authority of Romania and the Israel Postal Authority as a joint issue.  They honor Avram Goldfaden (1840-1909), who founded the first Yiddish Theatre in the world in Bucharest, Romania in 1876.

yiddish theatre - romania

yiddish theatre - israel