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These featured pictures have previously appeared (or will appear) as picture of the day (POTD) on the Main Page, as scheduled below. You can add the automatically updating picture of the day to your userpage or talk page using {{Pic of the day}} (version with blurb) or {{POTD}} (version without blurb). For instructions on how to make custom POTD layouts, see Wikipedia:Picture of the day.Purge server cache


January 1
Mantella baroni

Mantella baroni, commonly known as Baron's mantella, variegated golden frog or Madagascar poison frog, is a species of frog in the family Mantellidae. It is native to Madagascar and is seen here in Ranomafana National Park in the southeastern part of the country. The species was described in 1888 by George Albert Boulenger, who named it after its collector, Richard Baron. It has been classified as a least-concern species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature due to its relatively wide distribution, but is threatened by habitat loss. The frog's diet includes mites, which cause it to accumulate a high alkaloid concentration in its skin, making it toxic. The bright colours may serve as a warning sign to potential predators of the frog's toxicity.

Photograph credit: Charles J. Sharp


January 2
Vaxholm Fortress

Vaxholm Fortress is a historic fortification on the island of Vaxholmen in the Stockholm archipelago just east of the Swedish town of Vaxholm. The first structure, a wooden blockhouse, was constructed by King Gustav I in 1548 as a defensive structure and customs post at this strategic site on the sea approach to Stockholm. It was replaced by a round stone tower during John III's reign. The present buildings date to 1833; their design was inspired by ideas on fortifications propounded by French engineers the marquis de Montalembert and Lazare Carnot. The fortress has been listed as a state monument since 1935 and now houses the Vaxholm Fortress Museum.

Photograph credit: Arild Vågen


January 3
Climate of Alaska

The climate of Alaska is influenced by its maritime position and its location partly within the Arctic Circle. In the southeast, Alaska has an oceanic climate, in the central region, a subarctic climate and, in the north, a polar climate.

Seen here in winter from NASA's Aqua satellite, some 700 km (430 mi) up, the Alaskan ground is blanketed by snow, and ice is creeping out over the sea, with some of the coastline being indistinct. The tundra appears white, while the evergreen trees of the boreal forest make the forested areas appear darker, and the sinuous courses of rivers can be seen. The greenish color of the Bering Sea may indicate a phytoplankton bloom or may be the result of turbulence caused by winter storms.

Photograph credit: NASA / MODIS / Jeff Schmaltz


January 4
Louis d'or

A Louis d'or is a French gold coin, first introduced by Louis XIII in 1640, featuring a depiction of the head of a King Louis on one side of the coin, from which its name derives. The coin was replaced by the French franc at the time of the revolution and later by the similarly valued Napoléon.

This picture shows a coin worth half a Louis d'or, minted in 1643, during the reign of Louis XIII. To prevent the illegal practice of shaving slivers of gold from the edge of the coin, Jean Varin installed machinery in the Paris Mint that made perfectly round coins so that such damage could be readily detected. The obverse (left) features the king's head in profile and an abbreviated Latin inscription translating to 'Louis XIII, by the grace of God, King of France and Navarre', while the reverse (right) features four royal monograms (double "L"s surmounted by a crown) and four fleurs-de-lis, with the abbreviated Latin for 'Christ reigns, conquers, commands'. This coin is part of the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.

Other Louis d'or coins: Louis XIV, Louis XV, Louis XVI

Coin design credit: Jean Varin; photographed by the National Numismatic Collection

Louis d'or

A Louis d'or is a French gold coin, first introduced by Louis XIII in 1640, featuring a depiction of the head of a King Louis on one side of the coin, from which its name derives. The coin was replaced by the French franc at the time of the revolution and later by the similarly valued Napoléon.

This picture shows a coin worth one Louis d'or, minted in 1709, during the reign of Louis XIV. Like its predecessor under Louis XIII, it was made of 22-carat gold, was 25 mm (1 in) in diameter and weighed 6.75 g (0.24 oz). The obverse (left) features the king's head in profile and an abbreviated Latin inscription translating to 'Louis XIV, by the grace of God, King of France and Navarre', while the reverse (right) features four royal monograms (double "L"s surmounted by a crown) and four fleurs-de-lis, with the abbreviated Latin for 'Christ reigns, conquers, commands'. This coin is part of the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.

Other Louis d'or coins: Louis XIII, Louis XV, Louis XVI

Coin design credit: Jean Varin; photographed by the National Numismatic Collection

Louis d'or

A Louis d'or is a French gold coin, first introduced by Louis XIII in 1640, featuring a depiction of the head of a King Louis on one side of the coin, from which its name derives. The coin was replaced by the French franc at the time of the revolution and later by the similarly valued Napoléon.

This picture shows a coin worth two Louis d'or, minted in 1717, during the reign of Louis XV. During his rule, mintage of the coin was reduced at first while John Law introduced paper money. After Law's system failed, France returned to a policy of sound money and the mintage of the Louis d'or returned to previous levels, with the weight of a coin being increased from 6.75 g (0.238 oz) to 8.1580 g (0.288 oz). The obverse (left) features the king's head in profile and an abbreviated Latin inscription translating to 'Louis XV, by the grace of God, King of France and Navarre', while the reverse (right) features two French and two Navarrese coats of arms, each surmounted by a crown, and four fleurs-de-lis, with the abbreviated Latin for 'Christ reigns, conquers, commands'. This coin is part of the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.

Other Louis d'or coins: Louis XIII, Louis XIV, Louis XVI

Coin design credit: Norbert Roettiers; photographed by the National Numismatic Collection

Louis d'or

A Louis d'or is a French gold coin, first introduced by Louis XIII in 1640, featuring a depiction of the head of a King Louis on one side of the coin, from which its name derives. The coin was replaced by the French franc at the time of the revolution and later by the similarly valued Napoléon.

This picture shows a coin worth one Louis d'or, minted in 1788, during the reign of Louis XVI. His rule saw the last of the Louis d'or coinage to be minted, with the franc being established as the national currency in 1795 by the revolutionary National Convention. The obverse (left) features the king's head in profile and an abbreviated Latin inscription translating to 'Louis XVI, by the grace of God, King of France and Navarre', while the reverse (right) features the French and Navarrese coats of arms, surmounted by a crown, with the abbreviated Latin for 'Christ reigns, conquers, commands'. This coin is part of the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.

Other Louis d'or coins: Louis XIII, Louis XIV, Louis XV

Coin design credit: Pierre-Simon-Benjamin Duvivier; photographed by the National Numismatic Collection


January 5
Harvest

Harvest is one of a series of paintings by Dutch Post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh depicting country life. It is subtitled Harvest at La Crau, with Montmajour in the Background. A wheat field is shown in the foreground, with farmhouses, ricks, ladders, carts and activities associated with harvest, and in the distance, purple-blue mountains are set against a turquoise sky. The work was painted in oils on canvas in June 1888, with van Gogh writing that he found the landscape at La Crau in Provence to be as "beautiful and endless as the sea". The painting is held by the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, which houses the largest Van Gogh collection in the world, with around 200 paintings, 400 drawings and 700 letters by the artist.

Painting credit: Vincent van Gogh


January 6
Dormition Cathedral, Moscow

The Dormition Cathedral is a Russian Orthodox church in Moscow dedicated to the Dormition of the Mother of God. The present building, with its five domes representing Jesus and the Four Evangelists, dates to 1475. Since then, it has suffered many disasters, including fires in 1518, 1547, 1682 and 1737, looting, and being used as a stable and as a museum. Several periods of restoration and repair occurred, with the building being restored to the Russian Orthodox Church in 1991.

This picture shows the processional northern doorway of the Dormition Cathedral, surrounded by fresco decoration, which also dominates the light and spacious interior of the building.

Photograph credit: Joaquim Alves Gaspar


January 7
Kifli

Kifli or kipfel is a traditional yeast bread roll that is rolled and formed into a crescent shape before baking. Crescent-shaped pastries are considered the oldest surviving pastry shape and are believed to represent an ancient pagan tradition involving offerings to the moon goddess, Selene. Pastries of similar shape have been baked since at least the 10th century. Kifli was likely traditionally baked in monasteries for Easter. It is a common type of bread roll throughout much of central Europe and nearby countries, where it is called by various names. It is likely the inspiration for the French croissant, which has a similar shape but is made with a different type of dough.

This picture shows five Serbian kifli made with spelt flour, filled with sheep cheese and topped with sesame seeds, baked for Eastern Christmas, which falls on 7 January according to the Julian calendar.

Photograph credit: Petar Milošević


January 8
Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking (8 January 1942 – 14 March 2018) was an English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author. He was the director of research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology and previously the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge. His scientific works included a collaboration with Roger Penrose on gravitational singularity theorems in the framework of general relativity and the theoretical prediction that black holes emit radiation, often called Hawking radiation. He was the first to set out a theory of cosmology explained by a union of general relativity and quantum mechanics, and was a supporter of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics. Hawking achieved commercial success with several works of popular science in which he discusses his own theories and cosmology in general, including his 1988 book A Brief History of Time.

Hawking was diagnosed with a rare early-onset slow-progressing form of motor neurone disease (also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) that gradually paralysed him. He is pictured here in 2007 being rotated in mid-air while experiencing weightlessness in a reduced-gravity aircraft, a modified Boeing 727.

Photograph credit: NASA / Jim Campbell / Aero-News Network


January 9
Caleb Strong

Caleb Strong (January 9, 1745 – November 7, 1819) was an American lawyer and politician who twice served as Governor of Massachusetts, once from 1800 to 1807, and again from 1812 until 1816. He assisted in drafting the Constitution of Massachusetts in 1779, and served in the Massachusetts Senate and on the Massachusetts Governor's Council, before being elected to the inaugural United States Senate in 1789. The War of 1812 influenced Strong to come out of retirement and run again for governor. It was largely his policies during the war that aroused secessionist sentiment in Maine, when Massachusetts's pro-British merchants opposed the war and refused to defend Maine from British invaders.

Engraving credit: James Bannister of the American Bank Note Company; restored by Andrew Shiva


January 10
Malayan banded pitta

The Malayan banded pitta (Hydrornis irena) is a small woodland bird in the Pittidae family from tropical south-eastern Asia, seen here in Si Phang Nga National Park, Thailand. Although common in parts of its range, its forest habitat is threatened by logging and conversion to agricultural land, and populations are also declining because of illegal collection for the cage-bird trade. Pittas are a popular group of birds among birdwatchers, due to their bright-coloured plumage and the relative difficulty of seeing these retiring birds in dark forest habitats.

Photograph credit: John Harrison

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January 11
Aggstein Castle

Aggstein Castle is a ruined castle on the right bank of the Danube in Wachau, Austria. It was built in a strategic position on a rocky crag in the 12th century, but little of the original structure remains. In 1429, it was razed and rebuilt by Jörg Scheck von Wald, and the three-storey women's tower, the palace and the Gothic chapel date back to this period, as does the famous rose garden. Anna Freiin von Polheim und Parz carried out renovations in the early 17th century, but after her death, the building deteriorated and stones and timber were removed for use in the construction of a nearby Servite convent.

Photograph credit: Uoaei1


January 12
François-Henri d'Harcourt

François-Henri d'Harcourt (12 January 1726 – 22 July 1802) was a French general, administrator and peer of the realm. Living in turbulent times, he emigrated to Britain during the French Revolution and became a representative of Louis XVIII to the British government.

This picture is a half-length oil-on-canvas portrait, painted around 1769 by French painter Jean-Honoré Fragonard, depicting d'Harcourt looking over his left shoulder. One of Fragonard's Fantastical Portraits, it was sold in 1971 for £340,000 (equivalent to £3,972,000 in 2016), when the d'Harcourt family collection was dispersed. It was sold again in 2013 for £17,106,500, setting a world-record price for the artist at auction.

Painting credit: Jean-Honoré Fragonard


January 13
Finnish markka

The Finnish markka was the currency of Finland from 1860 to 2002. The currency was divided into 100 pennies and was first introduced by the Bank of Finland to replace the Russian ruble at a rate of four markkaa to one ruble. The markka was replaced by the euro on 1 January 2002 and ceased to be legal tender on 28 February later that year.

This picture shows a 20-markka banknote issued in 1862, as part of the first issue of markka banknotes (1860 to 1862), for the Grand Duchy of Finland, then an autonomous part of the Russian Empire; 1862 was also the first year of issue for this particular denomination. The banknote's obverse depicts the coat of arms of Finland on a Russian double-headed eagle, and was personally signed by the director and the cashier of the Bank of Finland. The text on the obverse is in Swedish, whereas the reverse is primarily in Russian and Finnish.

Banknote credit: Bank of Finland; photographed by Andrew Shiva


January 14
Rhinogobius flumineus

Rhinogobius flumineus, also known as the lizard goby, is a species of goby in the family Oxudercidae endemic to Japan, seen here in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture. A small freshwater fish found in fast-flowing streams, it maintains its position against the current by gripping a rock with a sucker formed from two of its fins. The fish's mouth is slightly asymmetric; dextral (right-sided) fish tend to curve their bodies to the right as they rest, while sinistral (left-sided) fish tend to adopt a left-curving posture. The fish are omnivorous, picking edible items off the stream bed with the side of the mouth, but dextral and sinistral fish show no preference for which side of the mouth they use for this purpose.

Photograph credit: Seotaro


January 15
Ivor Novello

Ivor Novello (15 January 1893 – 6 March 1951) was a Welsh songwriter, composer and actor who became one of the most popular British entertainers in the first half of the 20th century. His first big hit was "Keep the Home Fires Burning", remembered as among the greatest of World War I songs. Later he contributed numbers to several successful musical comedies, and wrote the scores of complete shows. In the 1920s, he turned to acting, first in British films and then on stage, achieving considerable fame, and in the 1930s he had some of his biggest successes with stage musicals.

This image forms part of the George Grantham Bain Collection at the Library of Congress, which includes photographs taken by Bain and images covering worldwide events gathered by him for news distribution purposes; the date, location and photographer of this nonchalant portrait are unknown.

Photograph credit: unknown; restored by Adam Cuerden


January 16
Sunrise, Inverness Copse

Sunrise, Inverness Copse, is a 1918 artwork by the British war artist Paul Nash. It shows a desolate Western Front landscape at Inverness Copse, near Ypres in Belgium; the sun is rising over the hills to reveal shattered trees standing among mounds of earth and an expanse of mud, pock-marked by shell-holes and devoid of vegetation. The pen-and-ink drawing, with watercolour and chalk, is held by the Imperial War Museum in London.

After a period serving in the Artists Rifles following the outbreak of the First World War, Nash was commissioned as an officer in the Hampshire Regiment. He was sent to Flanders in February 1917, but was invalided back to London in May 1917, a few days before his unit was nearly obliterated at the Battle of Messines. Nash became an official war artist and returned to the Ypres Salient, where he was shocked by the devastation caused by war. In six weeks on the Western Front, he completed what he called "fifty drawings of muddy places". He later used this drawing as the basis for his 1918 oil painting We Are Making a New World.

Drawing credit: Paul Nash


January 17
Scissors

Scissors are hand-operated cutting tools consisting of two blades, each sharpened on one side, joined at a pivot that acts as a fulcrum. Scissors cut material by applying local shear stress that exceeds the material's shear strength at the cutting location. The earliest known scissors appeared in Mesopotamia some 3,000 to 4,000 years ago; they were of the "spring" type, the blades being connected at the handle end by a thin, flexible strip of metal. These spring scissors continued in use in Europe until the 16th century, but were then superseded by scissors with a central pivot, which had been invented by the Romans around AD 100. Modern scissors, with holes in the handles for finger control, come in a range of types designed for various purposes, with left-handed scissors being designed for use with the left hand. Larger tools tend to be called "shears".

Photograph credit: Chris Woodrich


January 18
Reverse genetics

Reverse genetics is a method in molecular genetics that is used to help understand the function of a gene by analysing the phenotypic effects of specific nucleic acid sequences after being genetically engineered. The process usually proceeds in the opposite direction to so-called forward genetic screens of classical genetics. In other words, while forward genetics seeks to find the genetic basis of a phenotype or trait, reverse genetics seeks to find what phenotypes arise as a result of particular genetic sequences. For instance, such procedures allow scientists to manipulate the genomes of influenza viruses by transferring genes between different strains. The novel genotypes of the viruses produced in this way have greatly diminished pathogenic potency but can still induce protective immunity in a host. Using this technique, vaccines can be created, as illustrated in this diagram depicting the development of an avian flu vaccine.

Diagram credit: Mouagip


January 19
White-faced plover

The white-faced plover (Charadrius alexandrinus dealbatus) is a small shorebird, usually considered to be a subspecies of the Kentish plover. With a length of about 17 cm (6.7 in), it differs from the latter in having a thicker, blunter beak, white lores, paler crown and overparts, less black on the lateral breast patches and a larger white wingbar. The bird is found in south-eastern China, Vietnam, Thailand, peninsular Malaysia and Sumatra, and is partially migratory.

Seen here on the mudflats of Laem Phak Bia in Thailand, the white-faced plover feeds on the foreshore, searching visually for prey then dashing forward to catch the animal or probe in the substrate with its beak. Its diet consists of small invertebrates such as insects and their larvae, spiders, molluscs, crustaceans and marine worms. Its breeding habits are not known.

Photograph credit: John Harrison


January 20
Bracket

In architecture, a bracket is a structural or decorative member that attaches a smaller object to a larger one. It projects from a wall, usually to carry weight and sometimes to strengthen an angle. Corbels and consoles are types of brackets. This picture shows a classical decorative bracket, attaching the base of a balcony to the walls of the chapel at Greenwich Hospital, London. The plasterwork was created by hand in situ by the eminent stuccoist John Papworth.

Greenwich Hospital (originally the Royal Hospital for Seamen) was founded in 1694 to provide a home for retired seamen of the Royal Navy, support for their widows and education for their children. Designed by Sir Christopher Wren, the chapel was not completed until 1742. The present chapel dates from 1779 to 1789, having been rebuilt to a design by James Stuart following a devastating fire that gutted the previous structure. The buildings of the hospital were later used by the Royal Naval College and the University of Greenwich, and are now known as the Old Royal Naval College, a World Heritage Site.

Photograph credit: Daniel Case


January 21
Cologne Stadtbahn

The underground station Rochusplatz on the Cologne Stadtbahn, a light rail system in the German city of Cologne. The station entrance is at the junction of Venloer Straße with Äußere Kanalstraße in the district of Ehrenfeld. It was opened in 1992 and consists of a mezzanine and one island platform with two rail tracks. The station was previously known as Äußere Kanalstraße, but was renamed to its present title on 15 December 2019. The system uses pairs of K5000/K5200 units built by Bombardier Transportation, which are almost identical to the M5000 trams used by Metrolink in Manchester, England.

Photograph credit: Martin Falbisoner


January 22
Lord Byron

This portrait of Lord Byron (22 January 1788 – 19 April 1824), by the English artist Richard Westall, is an oil-on-canvas work painted in 1813. Byron was an English poet, peer, and politician who became a revolutionary in the Greek War of Independence. He contributed generously to this cause, and despite his military inexperience, took a section of the rebel army under his own command. He fell ill while planning an attack on the Turkish-held fortress of Lepanto, rallied a little, developed a fever, and died a few weeks later.

This is one of a number of portraits of Byron painted by Richard Westall, who also painted Horatio Nelson, John Milton, and other well-known figures, as well as landscapes in watercolour and book illustrations. This picture hangs in the National Portrait Gallery, London.

Painting credit: Richard Westall


January 23
William Allen Rogers

This picture shows a United States Navy recruitment poster from 1917, based on a cartoon by William Allen Rogers (1854–1931) published in the New York Herald during World War I. It shows a personified Germany wading through a sea of dead bodies, with the slogan "Only the Navy Can Stop This" below the drawing, presumably a reference to the U-boat campaign and the sinking of civilian ships such as the Lusitania.

Rogers was a self-taught artist and began submitting political cartoons to Midwestern newspapers during his teens. He was employed for twenty-five years by Harper's Weekly to illustrate the magazine's editorials; this was followed by daily contributions of political cartoons to the New York Herald for twenty years.

Poster credit: William Allen Rogers; restored by Adam Cuerden


January 24
Greenback

Greenbacks were paper currency issued by the Union government from 1862 to 1865, during the American Civil War. Issued in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 dollars, they were legal tender but were not backed by gold or silver. The obverse of the banknotes was printed in green, black and red, while the reverse was printed in green, giving the notes their popular name of "greenbacks". They were signed by Lucius E. Chittenden, Register of the Treasury, and Francis E. Spinner, Treasurer of the United States.

This picture shows a one-dollar greenback issued in 1862, featuring a portrait of Salmon P. Chase, the secretary of the treasury at the time, on the obverse. This banknote is part of the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.

Other denominations: $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100, $500, $1000

Banknote design credit: National Bank Note Company; photographed by Andrew Shiva

Greenback

Greenbacks were paper currency issued by the Union government from 1862 to 1865, during the American Civil War. Issued in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 dollars, they were legal tender but were not backed by gold or silver. The obverse of the banknotes was printed in green, black and red, while the reverse was printed in green, giving the notes their popular name of "greenbacks". They were signed by Lucius E. Chittenden, Register of the Treasury, and Francis E. Spinner, Treasurer of the United States.

This picture shows a two-dollar greenback issued in 1862, featuring a portrait of Alexander Hamilton, one of the Founding Fathers and the first secretary of the treasury, on the obverse. This banknote is part of the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.

Other denominations: $1, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100, $500, $1000

Banknote design credit: National Bank Note Company; photographed by Andrew Shiva

Greenback

Greenbacks were paper currency issued by the Union government from 1862 to 1865, during the American Civil War. Issued in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 dollars, they were legal tender but were not backed by gold or silver. The obverse of the banknotes was printed in green, black and red, while the reverse was printed in green, giving the notes their popular name of "greenbacks". They were signed by Lucius E. Chittenden, Register of the Treasury, and Francis E. Spinner, Treasurer of the United States.

This picture shows a five-dollar greenback issued in 1862, featuring the Statue of Freedom and a portrait of Alexander Hamilton, one of the Founding Fathers and the first secretary of the treasury, on the obverse. This banknote is part of the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.

Other denominations: $1, $2, $10, $20, $50, $100, $500, $1000

Banknote design credit: American Bank Note Company; photographed by Andrew Shiva

Greenback

Greenbacks were paper currency issued by the Union government from 1862 to 1865, during the American Civil War. Issued in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 dollars, they were legal tender but were not backed by gold or silver. The obverse of the banknotes was printed in green, black and red, while the reverse was printed in green, giving the notes their popular name of "greenbacks". They were signed by Lucius E. Chittenden, Register of the Treasury, and Francis E. Spinner, Treasurer of the United States.

This picture shows a ten-dollar greenback issued in 1863, featuring a portrait of Abraham Lincoln, the president at the time, and a bald eagle, the national bird of the United States, on the obverse. This banknote is part of the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.

Other denominations: $1, $2, $5, $20, $50, $100, $500, $1000

Banknote design credit: American Bank Note Company; photographed by Andrew Shiva

Greenback

Greenbacks were paper currency issued by the Union government from 1862 to 1865, during the American Civil War. Issued in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 dollars, they were legal tender but were not backed by gold or silver. The obverse of the banknotes was printed in green, black and red, while the reverse was printed in green, giving the notes their popular name of "greenbacks". They were signed by Lucius E. Chittenden, Register of the Treasury, and Francis E. Spinner, Treasurer of the United States.

This picture shows a twenty-dollar greenback issued in 1863, featuring a personification of Liberty bearing a sword and a shield on the obverse. This banknote is part of the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.

Other denominations: $1, $2, $5, $10, $50, $100, $500, $1000

Banknote design credit: American Bank Note Company; photographed by Andrew Shiva

Greenback

Greenbacks were paper currency issued by the Union government from 1862 to 1865, during the American Civil War. Issued in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 dollars, they were legal tender but were not backed by gold or silver. The obverse of the banknotes was printed in green, black and red, while the reverse was printed in green, giving the notes their popular name of "greenbacks". They were signed by Lucius E. Chittenden, Register of the Treasury, and Francis E. Spinner, Treasurer of the United States.

This picture shows a fifty-dollar greenback issued in 1862, featuring a portrait of Alexander Hamilton, one of the Founding Fathers and the first secretary of the treasury, on the obverse. This banknote is part of the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.

Other denominations: $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $100, $500, $1000

Banknote design credit: National Bank Note Company; photographed by Andrew Shiva

Greenback

Greenbacks were paper currency issued by the Union government from 1862 to 1865, during the American Civil War. Issued in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 dollars, they were legal tender but were not backed by gold or silver. The obverse of the banknotes was printed in green, black and red, while the reverse was printed in green, giving the notes their popular name of "greenbacks". They were signed by Lucius E. Chittenden, Register of the Treasury, and Francis E. Spinner, Treasurer of the United States.

This picture shows a hundred-dollar greenback issued in 1863, featuring a bald eagle, the national bird of the United States, perched with wings spread, on the obverse. This banknote is part of the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.

Other denominations: $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, $500, $1000

Banknote design credit: National Bank Note Company; photographed by Andrew Shiva

Greenback

Greenbacks were paper currency issued by the Union government from 1862 to 1865, during the American Civil War. Issued in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 dollars, they were legal tender but were not backed by gold or silver. The obverse of the banknotes was printed in green, black and red, while the reverse was printed in green, giving the notes their popular name of "greenbacks". They were signed by Lucius E. Chittenden, Register of the Treasury, and Francis E. Spinner, Treasurer of the United States.

This picture shows a five-hundred-dollar greenback issued in 1863, featuring a portrait of Albert Gallatin, the longest-serving secretary of the treasury, on the obverse. This banknote is part of the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.

Other denominations: $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100, $1000

Banknote design credit: American Bank Note Company; photographed by Andrew Shiva

Greenback

Greenbacks were paper currency issued by the Union government from 1862 to 1865, during the American Civil War. Issued in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 dollars, they were legal tender but were not backed by gold or silver. The obverse of the banknotes was printed in green, black and red, while the reverse was printed in green, giving the notes their popular name of "greenbacks". They were signed by Lucius E. Chittenden, Register of the Treasury, and Francis E. Spinner, Treasurer of the United States.

This picture shows a thousand-dollar greenback issued in 1863, featuring a portrait of Robert Morris, one of the Founding Fathers and the only person to hold the office of superintendent of finance, on the obverse. This banknote is part of the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.

Other denominations: $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100, $500

Banknote design credit: American Bank Note Company; photographed by Andrew Shiva


January 25
Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf (25 January 1882 – 28 March 1941) was an English writer, considered one of the most important modernist authors of the 20th century. Having lost her mother, her half-sister and then her father early in life, her family moved within London from Kensington to the more bohemian Bloomsbury, where they adopted a free-spirited lifestyle. She began writing professionally in 1900, and it was in Bloomsbury that, in conjunction with her brothers and their intellectual friends, the artistic and literary Bloomsbury Group was formed. In 1912, she married political theorist and author Leonard Woolf. Her reputation was at its greatest during the 1930s, but declined following World War II. The growth of feminist criticism in the 1970s helped re-establish her reputation. She suffered from ongoing mental health issues and drowned herself during a fit of depression in 1941.

This picture is a studio portrait of Woolf at the age of 20, then known before her marriage as Virginia Stephen, taken in 1902 by British photographer George Charles Beresford.

Photograph credit: George Charles Beresford; restored by Adam Cuerden


January 26
Guillaume Budé

Guillaume Budé (26 January 1467 – 23 August 1540) was a French scholar and humanist. He was involved in the founding of Collegium Trilingue, which later became the Collège de France. Budé was also the first keeper of the royal library at the Palace of Fontainebleau, which was later moved to Paris, where it became the Bibliothèque nationale de France. He was an ambassador to Rome and held several important judicial and civil administrative posts.

This picture is an oil-on-panel portrait of Budé, produced around 1536 by Jean Clouet, a painter at the court of King Francis I of France. He was a very skilful painter and many fine portraits are attributed to him, but his picture of Budé is his only documented work, being mentioned in Budé's handwritten notes. The painting is now held by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Painting credit: Jean Clouet


January 27
The Voyage of Life: Childhood

Childhood is the first in a series of allegorical oil-on-canvas paintings by American artist Thomas Cole, entitled The Voyage of Life, which represent man's journey through life. In the painting, an infant sits in a boat guided by an angel. The vessel glides out of a dark, craggy cave, which Cole described as being "emblematic of our earthly origin, and the mysterious past". The landscape is lush; everything is calm and basking in warm sunshine, reflecting the innocence and joy of childhood. The river is smooth and narrow, symbolizing the sheltered experience of childhood, and the figurehead on the prow holds an hourglass aloft. This painting, along with the other three in the series, was painted in 1842 and is held by the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Painting credit: Thomas Cole


January 28
Tropical kingbird

The tropical kingbird (Tyrannus melancholicus) is a large tyrant flycatcher, growing to a length of about 22 cm (8.7 in). It feeds on insects, either catching them in flight, or gleaning them from the surface of foliage, and also eats some fruit. The birds remain in pairs all year round, and drive intruders from their territories, including birds much larger than them. It nests high in trees, usually in the fork of a branch, building a bulky, untidy structure. The female incubates the typical clutch of two to four eggs and the young fledge in about 18 days. Its breeding range extends from the southern United States to central Argentina, with birds near the northern and southern limits of the range being migratory. This picture shows a T. m. melancholicus individual in the Pantanal, Brazil.

Photograph credit: Charles J. Sharp


January 29
Alice Catherine Evans

Alice Catherine Evans (January 29, 1881 – September 5, 1975) was a pioneering American microbiologist who conducted research at the United States Department of Agriculture. She worked on refining manufacturing processes for cheese and butter and investigated the sources of bacterial contamination in milk products. She studied the disease brucellosis, then known as undulant fever, linking it to the consumption of cow's milk containing the bacterium Brucella abortus. Evans advocated the pasteurization of milk, but her results were greeted with skepticism, partially because she was a woman and did not have a PhD, only being accepted when scientists around the world confirmed her findings in the 1920s.

This photograph shows Evans at work in a laboratory at the Dairy Division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, taken some time between 1913 and 1918.

Photograph credit: National Photo Company; restored by Adam Cuerden


January 30
Franklin D. Roosevelt

Franklin D. Roosevelt (January 30, 1882 – April 12, 1945) was an American politician who served as the 32nd president of the United States. Following an illness in 1921, he was left permanently paralyzed from the waist down, but he was careful never to be seen using his wheelchair in public. Returning to public life, Roosevelt served two terms as Governor of New York before becoming U.S. president in 1933 at the height of the Great Depression. By the time his two terms concluded in 1941, World War II was at its height and he was re-elected in 1940 and 1944. In 1945, he suffered a massive intracerebral hemorrhage and died in office shortly before the end of the war. Roosevelt has been rated by scholars as one of the three greatest U.S. presidents.

This picture is a gelatin silver print of a photograph of Roosevelt, taken by Italian photographer Vincenzo Laviosa around 1932. The print is in the collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

Photograph credit: Vincenzo Laviosa; restored by Yann Forget


January 31
Ophiuchus

Ophiuchus is a constellation commonly represented in the form of a man grasping a large snake, and was formerly referred to as Serpentarius. It is a large constellation straddling the celestial equator and near the centre of the Milky Way, being surrounded by Aquila, Serpens, Scorpius, Sagittarius, and Hercules. Above the tail of the serpent is the now-obsolete constellation Taurus Poniatovii while below it is Scutum. The brightest star, Alpha Ophiuchi, represented here by the right eye of the snake charmer, was traditionally known as Rasalhague, from the Arabic meaning "head of the serpent charmer".

This illustration was included in Urania's Mirror, a set of 32 astronomical star chart cards illustrated by Sidney Hall and first published in 1824.

Illustration: Sidney Hall; restoration: Adam Cuerden


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