The Immortal Chaplains of S.S. Dorchester

On February 3, 1943, the United States War Shipping Administration troop ship S.S. Dorchester was sunk in the Labrador Sea by a torpedo from a German U-boat. Of the 904 on board, 675 died. Dorchester had been sailing to Greenland as part of naval convoy SG 19 when the U-boat attacked. The loss of the ship became especially famous because of the story of the … Continue reading The Immortal Chaplains of S.S. Dorchester

The Real Robinson Crusoe is Rescued!

On February 2, 1709, Scottish privateer and Royal Navy officer Alexander Selkirk was rescued by Duke, a privateering ship piloted by William Dampier, and its sailing companion Duchess, after being marooned by his captain on an uninhabited island in the South Pacific Ocean. After four years and four months without human company, Selkirk was almost incoherent with joy. Selkirk had become adept at hunting and … Continue reading The Real Robinson Crusoe is Rescued!

Franz Schubert

Franz Peter Schubert was born in Himmelpfortgrund (now a part of Alsergrund), Vienna, Archduchy of Austria on January 31, 1797, and baptized in the Catholic Church the following day. Schubert was an Austrian composer of the late Classical and early Romantic eras. Despite his short lifetime, Schubert left behind a vast oeuvre, including more than 600 secular vocal works (mainly Lieder), seven complete symphonies, sacred … Continue reading Franz Schubert

Claude Lorrain and the Seaport at Sunset

Arriving at today’s stamp was a bit of a process. First of all, I rejected all of the anniversaries I came across using Wikipedia’s Days of the Year category as resoundingly too gruesome (for those topics discarded, please see my “Weekly Phila-Bytes #2019-04” article on Philatelic Pursuits). The one anniversary for this date that interested me even remotely was one for which I didn’t have … Continue reading Claude Lorrain and the Seaport at Sunset

Stamford Raffles & the Founding of Modern Singapore

On January 29, 1819, Sir Thomas Stamford Bingley Raffles, FRS, arrived at Singapore after having landed on Saint John’s Island the previous day. He soon recognized the island as a natural choice for the new port.The establishment of a British trading post there by Raffles led to its founding as a British colony in 1824. This event has generally been understood to mark the founding … Continue reading Stamford Raffles & the Founding of Modern Singapore

King Henry VII of England

On January 28, 1457, Henry VII was born at Pembroke Castle in Pembrokeshire, Wales, on January 28, 1457, to Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond. His father, Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond, died three months before his birth. He was the King of England and Lord of Ireland from his seizure of the crown on August 22, 1485, to his death on April 21, 1509. … Continue reading King Henry VII of England

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart baptized as Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, was was born on January 27, 1756, 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 … Continue reading Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

General Douglas MacArthur

Douglas MacArthur was born January 26, 1880, at Little Rock Barracks, Little Rock, Arkansas, to Arthur MacArthur, Jr., a U.S. Army captain, and his wife, Mary Pinkney Hardy MacArthur (nicknamed “Pinky”). Arthur, Jr. was the son of Scottish-born jurist and politician Arthur MacArthur, Sr., Arthur would later receive the Medal of Honor for his actions with the Union Army in the Battle of Missionary Ridge … Continue reading General Douglas MacArthur