Покойся с миром, Vladimir Komarov. One of the original cosmonauts in the Soviet space program, Komarov was killed on this date in 1967 when the parachute on his Soyuz 1 capsule failed to open on his reentry to Earth’s atmosphere. He was the first Soviet to travel to outer space multiple times (our Gus Grissom was the first human to do so) and was the first human to be killed on a space mission. He and Yuri Gagarin (and many others) had grave concerns about the Soyuz mission before he lifted off (Yuri was the backup crew), but for fear of sacrificing Gagarin’s life instead of his own, Komarov refused to back out of the flight. He did, however, plan his own funeral before flying, insisting on an open casket so that Soviet leadership could see what they’d done. And so it was. There are two memorials to Komarov (and the other fallen astro/cosmonauts) on the Moon–and today we pay homage again to your courage, Comrade Komarov. We and the Moon remember you.
Stamp details: Issued on: October 19, 1964 From: Moscow, USSR MC #2965
Rest in peace, May Morris. The younger daughter of Pre-Raphaelite William Morris, May (she was named Mary for having been born on the Feast of the Annunciation) Morris was a fine textile artist in her own right, including co-founding the Women’s Guild of Arts (the Art Workers Guild did not allow women to be members at the time). Morris was also great pals with George Bernard Shaw (and in fact, her marriage broke up after her post-nuptial affair with Shaw). She died on this date in 1938 at the age of 76.
Stamp details: Issued on: February 23, 2012 From: London, England MC #3213
Rest in peace, Florence Griffith Joyner. Even still, 30 years after her record-breaking (and -holding) performance at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul in the 100m and 200m dashes, Flo-Jo stole our hearts with more than just her speed–her style is even now indisputable and unmistakable. [And if you’re wondering, her husband’s sister-in-law was Jackie Joyner-Kersee.] Alas, alas, Flo-Jo died on this date in 1998 from an epileptic siezure in her sleep. She was 38.
Stamp details: Top left: Issued on: August 20, 1989 From: Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia MC #2075
Top right: Issued on: May 6, 1996 From: St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda MC #2354
Issued on: March 15, 1994 From: Vientiane, Laos MC #1398
Bottom right: Issued on: February 15, 1989 From: Georgetown, Guyana MC #2494
Rest in peace, Lottie Meade. As one of last year’s series of civilian heroes during the Great War issue, the above stamp shows Charlotte Meade, a munitions worker who contracted TNT poisoning on the job and died on this date in 1916 at the age of 27 from “coma due to disease of the liver, heart and kidneys consequent upon poisoning by tri nitro toluene,” as stated on her death certificate. She left behind her husband and four small children.
Stamp details: Issued on: June 21, 2016 From: London, England MC #3895