Stephen I (c. 975 – 15 August 1038) was the last Grand Prince of the Hungarians and the first King of Hungary (from 1000 or 1001 until his death). The first member of his family to become a devout Christian, he married Gisela of Bavaria, a scion of the imperial Ottonian dynasty. After succeeding his father in 997, Stephen had to defend the throne, with aid from foreign knights, against his relative Koppány. In a series of wars against semi-independent tribes and chieftains—including the Black Hungarians and his uncle, Gyula the Younger—Stephen unified the Carpathian Basin. He established at least one archbishopric, six bishoprics and three Benedictine monasteries, all independent of the archbishops of the Holy Roman Empire. Hungary enjoyed lasting peace during his reign, and became a preferred route for pilgrims and merchants traveling between Western Europe and the Holy Land or Constantinople. Stephen was canonized by Pope Gregory VII in 1083. In Hungary, his feast day (celebrated on 20 August) is a public holiday commemorating the foundation of the state. (Full article...)
August 15: Independence Day in India (1947)
Nikephoros Phokas Barytrachelos (d. 1022) · Charles Comiskey (b. 1859) · Rosalía Mera (d. 2013)
A Passiflora caerulea flower, photographed at Ljubljana Botanical Garden in Slovenia. This species of flowering plant is native to South America. It is a vigorous, deciduous or semi-evergreen tendril vine, with palmate leaves and fragrant, blue-white flowers with a prominent fringe of coronal filaments in bands of blue, white, and brown. It may grow to 10 m (33 ft) or more.
Photograph: Petar Milošević
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