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May 1, 2011 / jmeuropeana

Stefan Batory, Penny Black, Ayrton Senna

On the 1st of May –

Stefan Batory, prince of Transsylvania becomes co-ruler of the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth by marrying Anna Jagiellon.
[Ubiory w Polsce 1200-1795. Przez J. Matejkę, 1576-1586, ryc. 50].
Warhaffte [...] Beschreibung des Krieges welchen der nechstgewesene König zu Polen Stephan Batori [...] wider [...] Iwan Wasilowitzen geführet [...].

The ‘Penny Black‘, the first official postage stamp, was issued for the first time in the UK in 1840. This democratised access to the postal service, allowing many more people to send and recieve letters. A joyous occasion therefore, which warranted a song:
The New Penny Postage part 01
The Penny Post system followed an earlier, London based, penny post scheme which was very popular, with over 500 distribution points (we would call them post offices) indicated on this map:
CARY's New POCKET PLAN OF LONDON, WESTMINSTER and SOUTHWARK; with all the adjacent buildings in ST. GEORGE'S FIELDS andc.andc.
We do not at present have an image of the actual stamp, but here is one from Wikimedia:
the Penny Black, the first official postage stamp
The Penny Black, while being the first stamp, is not by any means a rare stamp – a used specimen can be bought for as little as £ 10-15.

Ayrton Senna, Brazilian Formula-1 driver and former world champion, dies in a crash at the Imola circuit during the San Marino 1994 Grand-Prix.
Ayrton Senna and Gerhard Berger


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