Dia da Bandeira Nacional
(Brazilian Flag Day). The colorful Brazilian flag is well-known. Less known are the facts about the flag. The stars represent the constellations in the southern hemisphere that was observed from Rio de Janeiro, on 15 November 1889, at 8.30 a.m. local time, the exact time of the proclamation of the Brazilian Republic. The stars represent the states and the Federal District. The most recent modification dates from 1992, when Tocantins became a new state. The flag is designed by Raimundo Teixeira Mendes and Miguel Lemos, and created by Décio Vilares. Four days following the proclamation of the Republic, Benjamin Constant issued Decree no. 4, about he Brazilian flag. The motto “Ordem e Progresso” on the flag, is a quote from Benjamin Constant:
“O amor por princípio, a ordem por base, o progresso por fim”
Dia Internacional do Xadrez
(International Chess Day). Although this day isn’t included on the International Chess Federation (FIDE) calendar, the day is celebrated in South America. This day is the birthday of the first South-American chess grandmaster, José Raul Capablanca (1888-1942) from Cuba. José was one of the first unofficial grandmasters, and was chess world champion from 1921 to 1927. He is considered as one of the best players of all times. Besides playing chess, José was a diplomat and author of books about chess. José died of a cardiac arrest while he was analyzing a chess match.
Introduction of the Seal of the Brazilian Republic.
Article 3 of Decree No. 4 – that also ratified the introduction of the Brazilian flag – details about the Seal of the Republic.
Thousandth goal scored by soccer player Pelé.
Pelé scored his thousandth goal for his team Santos in the match against Vasco (Santos won with 2-1) in the Maracanã Stadium. He scored in the 33rd minute of the second half. The match was interrupted to allow Pelé run a lap of honor.
Elevation of Recife to the status of Vila, per Carta Régia.
In 1537, Recife was founded by Portuguese colonists. Neighboring Olinda was founded two years earlier. One century later, during the Dutch invasion, the city of Olinda was set on fire and completely destroyed. The inhabitants fled to Recife. Dutch governor Maurice of Nassau built a new city, which was named after him: Mauriciópolis. This city was destroyed by the Dutch themselves when they had to give up the colony in 1654. In 1709, Recife was elevated to the status of Via by Royal Decree, and thereby gained independence from Olinda. In 1823, Recife became a city. Four years later, Recife became capital of the province of Pernambuco. Recife, now hosting more than 1.5 million inhabitants, is widely known as “Venice of Brazil”.
Death of Father Bartolomeu Lourenço de Gusmão (1685-1724), a Brazilian-Portuguese aviation pioneer.
The priest was born in Santos (Brazil) and went to the seminary in Bahia. At the age of fifteen, he moved to Portugal, in order to complete his studies in Religious Law. Bartolomeu also studied Physics and Maths. When he was back in Brazil, he constructed a water pump, which was able to pump up river water to the abbey, where he stayed. He got the idea to use hot air to elevate objects in the air. His first experiment with a hot air balloon caught fire immediately, but his second attempt was successful: the object reached a height of four meters. This experiment was done on 5 August 1709. Because of these experiments, he gained the nickname “Padre Voador”, the flying priest. He also had stayed in Holland, were one of his inventions was registered: ” A system of lenses with which meat can be roasted by sunlight” (“Sistema de lentes para assar carne ao Sol”). Unfortunately, Father Bartolomeu became one of the many victims of the Inquisition and fled to Spain. In Toledo, he died at the age of 39.
By Adriano Antoine Robbesom © 2007, 2015