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A monthly archive of Wikipedia's pictures of the day

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.

March 1 – Fri

The first issue (1939) of paper currency in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, an unissued 1938 Republic of Czechoslovakia five-koruna note originally intended for the Czech army. During the beginning of the German occupation of Czechoslovakia, a stamp was applied to the unissued 1938 stock of notes, identifying the currency as valid in the Protectorate. The overprint reads "Protektorat Böhmen und Mähren, Protektorát Čechy a Morava".Banknote: Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia

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March 2 – Sat

John Biddle (March 2, 1792 – August 25, 1859) was an American military officer, politician, and businessman. He served as a delegate to the United States Congress from the Michigan Territory, as the speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives, and as mayor of Detroit.Painting: Thomas Sully

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March 3 – Sun

How a Mosquito Operates (1912) is a silent animated film by American cartoonist Winsor McCay. The six-minute short, about a giant mosquito tormenting a dozing man who tries in vain to shoo it away, is one of the earliest works of animation. It is considered far ahead of its contemporaries in its technical quality. McCay had a reputation for his proficiency as a cartoonist, exemplified in the children's comic strip Little Nemo in Slumberland. He delved into the infant art of animation with the 1911 film Little Nemo, and followed its success by adapting an episode of his comic strip Dream of the Rarebit Fiend into How a Mosquito Operates. McCay gives the animation naturalistic timing, motion, and weight, and displays a more coherent story and developed character than in Little Nemo. The film was enthusiastically received when McCay first unveiled it during a chalk talk (a vaudeville act with drawings) and in a theatrical release that soon followed. In 1914 McCay further developed his character animation style in his best-known animated work, Gertie the Dinosaur.Film: Winsor McCay

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March 4 – Mon

Lightning is a powerful natural electrostatic discharge produced during a thunderstorm. Lightning's abrupt electric discharge is accompanied by the emission of visible light and other forms of electromagnetic radiation. The electric current passing through the discharge channels rapidly heats and expands the air into a plasma, producing acoustic shock waves (thunder) in the atmosphere.Photograph: Mircea Madau; retouched by Diego pmc

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March 5 – Tue

Shrovetide Revellers is a painting by the Dutch Golden Age painter Frans Hals, painted in around 1616-17 and now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The painting shows people enjoying festivities at Shrovetide, an annual carnival of food and jollity which takes place before the Christian fasting season of Lent.Painting: Frans Hals

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March 6 – Wed

Canterbury Cathedral is a Church of England cathedral located in the city of Canterbury, Kent. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury, who is symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The cathedral was founded in 597 by Augustine of Canterbury, who had been sent to England as a missionary by Pope Gregory the Great. It was completely rebuilt between 1070 and 1077, and then largely rebuilt again in the Gothic style following a fire in 1174, with significant extensions to accommodate the flow of pilgrims visiting the shrine of Thomas Becket, the archbishop who was murdered in the cathedral in 1170. The Norman nave and transepts survived until the late 14th century, when they were demolished to make way for the present structures.

This photograph shows the choir of the cathedral.

Other images: nave · rood screen · Trinity Chapel (south side) · Corona · cloisterPhotograph: David Iliff

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March 7 – Thu

An African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) male with a cattle egret on its back, in Chobe National Park, Botswana. Cattle egrets accompany cattle and other large mammals, eating insects and ticks as well as small prey disturbed by the mammals as they graze.Photograph: Charles J. Sharp

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March 8 – Fri

The Costa Rican colón is the national currency of Costa Rica; it replaced the Costa Rican peso at par in 1896. It is named after Christopher Columbus, who is known as Cristóbal Colón in Spanish. Colóns were issued by a variety of banks in the first half of the twentieth century, but since 1951 have been produced solely by the Central Bank of Costa Rica. The currency was subject to a crawling peg against the United States dollar from 2006 to 2015, but has been floating since then.

This picture shows an 1897 coin with a value of 20 colones. The coin shows the Costa Rican coat of arms on the obverse and a profile of Columbus on the reverse.

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March 9 – Sat

Pittsburgh is the second-largest city in the American state of Pennsylvania and the urban core of the Greater Pittsburgh Region. It is located in the southwest of the state, at the confluence where the Allegheny and Monongahela join to form the Ohio. The city was named in 1758 by General John Forbes, in honor of British statesman William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, and incorporated as a borough in 1794. It developed as a link between the Atlantic coast and the Midwest, and its nicknames include the "Steel City", for its more than 300 steel-related businesses, and the "City of Bridges" for its 446 bridges.

This picture shows downtown Pittsburgh and the Duquesne Incline funicular, viewed from Mount Washington on the city's south side.Photograph: Dllu

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March 10 – Sun

Female topi (Damaliscus lunatus jimela) in the Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda. A subspecies of the common tsessebe antelope, the topi is native to several countries in eastern Africa and lives primarily in grassland habitats, ranging from treeless plains to savannas. It is a tall species, with individuals ranging in height from 100 to 130 cm (39 to 51 in) at the shoulder. Predators of topi include lions and spotted hyenas, with jackals being predators of newborns.Photograph: Charles J. Sharp

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March 11 – Mon

Rigoletto is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi. The Italian libretto was written by Francesco Maria Piave, based on the play Le roi s'amuse by Victor Hugo. Despite serious initial problems with the Austrian censors who had control over northern Italian theatres at the time, the opera had a triumphant premiere at La Fenice in Venice on 11 March 1851. The story is a tragedy which revolves around the licentious Duke of Mantua, his hunch-backed court jester Rigoletto, and Rigoletto's beautiful daughter Gilda.

This picture is Roberto Focosi's illustration to the variant first edition of Rigoletto's vocal score. It depicts the opera's Bella figlia dell'amore scene.Artwork: Roberto Focosi; Lithograph: Francesco Corbetta; Restoration: Adam Cuerden

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March 12 – Tue

Portrait of a Lady with a Squirrel and a Starling is an oil-on-oak portrait completed around 1526–1528 by German Renaissance painter Hans Holbein the Younger. The subject of this portrait is believed to be Anne Lovell, wife of Sir Francis Lovell (d. 1551), an esquire of the body to Henry VIII. The evidence for this was uncovered by stained-glass historian David J. King while studying the windows of the church in East Harling, Norfolk, the Lovell family's seat. King noted the Lovell family's coat of arms alongside squirrels in the stained glass, and also that the starlings in the painting are a pun on the name of the village.Painting: Hans Holbein the Younger

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March 13 – Wed

The fruit of Syzygium samarangense, a tree of the myrtle family. Known in English as the wax apple, Java apple, Semarang rose-apple, or wax jambu, the fruit is a bell-shaped edible berry and appears in crops of up to 700. S. samarangense is a tropical tree, growing to a height of 12 m (39 ft), with evergreen leaves. Its flowers are white, 2.5 cm (1 in) in diameter, and feature four petals and numerous stamens.Photograph: Basile Morin

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March 14 – Thu

Simone Biles (born March 14, 1997), after receiving the gold medal for the all-around event at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Biles also won golds in the vault and the floor events in Rio, a bronze medal on the balance beam, and a gold in the team all-around event as part of a U.S. team dubbed the "Final Five".Photograph: Agência Brasil Fotografias

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March 15 – Fri

Woman Reading a Letter is an oil-on-canvas painting by the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer, produced in around 1663. The central element of the painting is a woman in blue standing in front of an unseen window, reading a letter. The woman appears to be pregnant, although as pregnancy was rarely depicted in art during this period, some scholars have argued that the woman's rounded figure is simply a result of the fashions of the day. While the contents of the letter are not depicted, the composition of the painting is revealing. The map of the Netherlands on the wall behind the woman has been interpreted as suggesting that the letter she reads was written by a traveling husband. Alternatively, the box of pearls barely visible on the table before the woman might suggest a lover, as pearls are sometimes a symbol of vanity. The painting is unique among Vermeer's interiors in that no fragment of corner, floor or ceiling can be seen. Part of the collection of the city of Amsterdam as part of the Van der Hoop bequest, it has been in the Rijksmuseum since its inception.Painting: Johannes Vermeer

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March 16 – Sat

The Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) is a research reactor at the Idaho National Laboratory in the United States. Constructed in 1967, the ATR is the second oldest of three reactors still in operation at the site. Its primary function is the intense bombardment of materials and fuels with neutrons to replicate long-term exposure to high levels of radiation, as would be present after years in a commercial nuclear reactor. The ATR is one of only four test reactors in the world with this capability. The reactor also produces rare isotopes for use in medicine and industry.

In this picture the ATR is glowing bright blue. This is due to Cherenkov radiation, which emits photons in the blue and ultraviolet range.Photograph: Argonne National Laboratory

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March 17 – Sun

MS Marina is a cruise ship which was constructed at Fincantieri's Sestri Ponente yards in Italy for Oceania Cruises. Launched in 2011, Marina is the first in a duo of cruise ships, the other being MS Riviera, which entered service the following year. Marina was designed by Norwegian architectural firm Yran & Storbraaten and has a diesel-electric powerplant with a pair of fixed pitch propellers. As part of its construction, a U.S. silver dollar coin and a pre-Castro Cuban peso coin were welded into the keel; according to shipbuilding tradition, it is believed to bring fortune to the ship, its passengers and crew.Photograph: Christian Ferrer

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March 18 – Mon

Under the Horse Chestnut Tree (1898), a drypoint and aquatint print by Mary Cassatt, an American painter and printmaker who lived much of her adult life in France, where she first befriended Edgar Degas and later exhibited among the Impressionists. Cassatt often created images of the social and private lives of women, with particular emphasis on the intimate bonds between mothers and children, on which her reputation is largely based. In recognition of her contributions to the arts, France awarded her the Légion d'honneur in 1904, but she never had as much success in her homeland, having been overshadowed by her brother, railroad magnate Alexander Cassatt.Print: Mary Cassatt

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March 19 – Tue

An animation showing examples of capturing pieces in atomic chess. The game is played using the standard rules of chess, but with the variation that all captures result in an "explosion" in which all surrounding white and black pieces, other than pawns, are removed from play. Some variations additionally remove rules concerning check such that the king may be able to move into or remain in check. The game was introduced in 1995 by the German Internet Chess Server, based on rules one of its users collected from friends who played offline. Since then it has been implemented at Chess Live, the Internet Chess Club, Free Internet Chess Server, and Lichess.Animation: Rhododendrites

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March 20 – Wed

An illustration showing the Stade Français rugby union team, wearing dark blue jerseys, playing against Racing Club (now known as Racing 92) in 1906. On 20 March 1892, the two teams played in the first ever French rugby championship in a one-off game.Photograph: Georges Scott; Restoration: Adam Cuerden

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March 21 – Thu

Plum Brandy, also known as The Plum (French: La Prune), is an oil-on-canvas painting by the French modernist artist Édouard Manet. It is undated but thought to have been painted about 1877. It depicts a woman seated alone at a table in a cafe, in a lethargic pose similar to that of the woman in Degas' L'Absinthe. The woman may be a prostitute, but unlike the subject of Degas' work she appears more dreamy than depressed. She holds an unlit cigarette and her plum brandy appears untouched. Plum Brandy is now in the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.Painting: Édouard Manet

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March 22 – Fri

Mochtar Lubis (1922–2004) was an Indonesian Batak journalist and novelist who co-founded Indonesia Raya and monthly literary magazine Horison. His novel Senja di Jakarta (Twilight in Jakarta in English) was the first Indonesian novel to be translated into English. Born on Sumatra, he began writing as a child, with his children's stories published in a local newspaper. After spells as a teacher, a banker, and a translator for the occupying Japanese forces during World War II, he became a journalist after the country's independence in 1945. He was a critic of the first Indonesian president, Sukarno, who imprisoned him without a trial from 1957 to 1966. He was also imprisoned for a few months by President Suharto in 1975. He spoke out frequently in favour of press freedom in the country.Photograph: Rob Bogaerts; restoration: Chris Woodrich

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March 23 – Sat

Denver is the capital and most populous municipality of the U.S. state of Colorado. It is located in the South Platte River Valley on the western edge of the High Plains, just east of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. Founded in 1858, the city is named after James W. Denver, a governor of the Kansas Territory, and it is nicknamed the Mile High City because its official elevation is exactly one mile (5280 feet or 1609.3 meters) above sea level. Formerly part of Arapahoe County, Denver became a consolidated city-county in 1902.

This picture shows a panorama of Denver in around 1898, viewed from the top of the Colorado State Capitol, facing northwest and looking down 16th St. The domed building on the left is the former Arapahoe County Courthouse, demolished in 1933, and the Brown Palace Hotel is visible on the righthand side.Photograph: William Henry Jackson; Restoration: Bammesk

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March 24 – Sun

Katie Swan (born 24 March 1999) is a British tennis player. Born in Bristol, she discovered the sport at the age of seven, during a family holiday in Portugal. She then took lessons and received support and funding from the Lawn Tennis Association from the age of eight. She achieved her first victories on the tour in 2015, coming through the qualifying draw to win an International Tennis Federation tournament in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. In 2018 she recorded her first win in a Grand Slam tournament with victory over world number 36 Irina-Camelia Begu in the first round of Wimbledon.Photograph: David Iliff

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March 25 – Mon

A 2004 test of the sound suppression system on NASA's Mobile Launcher Platform (MLP) at the Kennedy Space Center. Used in both the Apollo and Space Shuttle programs, the three MLPs supported the vehicle stack throughout the build-up and launch process.Credit: NASA

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March 26 – Tue

Portrait of a Man is a painting by the Italian Renaissance painter Domenico Ghirlandaio (1449 – 1494), executed in tempera on wood. One of Ghirlandaio's early works, it was probably painted at the same time as he painted the frescos in the church of San Gimignano. The identity of the man depicted in the painting is unknown. Portrait of a Man is in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.Painting: Domenico Ghirlandaio

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March 27 – Wed

Lyriothemis acigastra is a species of dragonfly in the family Libellulidae, found in India. Until 2013 it was thought to be restricted to the northeastern states of Assam and West Bengal, but it has now also been recorded in the southern state of Kerala. It is a small dragonfly with brown-capped greenish-yellow eyes and a blackish-brown thorax marked with yellow. Laterally there are three stripes. Its wings are transparent, palely tinted with yellow at the base. The female is similar to the male but the abdomen cylindrical instead of tapered from base to end and reddish yellow instead of blood red.

This photograph shows a female L. acigastra in Kadavoor, Kerala.Photograph: Jeevan Jose

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March 28 – Thu

Oleg, also known as "the dance of the bumblebees", is a form of love dance in the Indonesian province of Bali. It is performed by a male and female dancer and is intended to be evocative of a garden, in which bees fly around and collect nectar from flowers. The dancers represent a male and female bee, with the obsessively flirtatious male chasing the female from one flower to another. Although the female bee at first appears coquettish, she eventually accepts the male's advances. The two dancers wear different costumes with the female clad in a traditional fabric known as a prada, which is covered in gold paint and has a long sheer scarf to serve as wings, while the male wears a similar fabric but arranged differently on his body so that it trails behind him. Oleg was first choreographed by I Ketut Marya of Tabanan in 1952, at the request of the music presenter John Coast. It was initially controversial among traditionalists, but has now been absorbed into the canon of Balinese dance.Photograph: Chris Woodrich

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March 29 – Fri

Still Life with Cheeses, Almonds and Pretzels is an oil-on-wood painting by the Dutch artist Clara Peeters, dated around 1615. Peeters specialised in still life pictures featuring beautiful objects, delicious fruits and expensive food. This type of still life is called banketje (banquet) in Dutch. In addition to the objects named in the title there are also curls of butter, figs and a bread roll. In the background is a gold-plated Venetian glass. The almonds and figs are lying in a dish of Chinese Wanli porcelain. The painting is in the permanent collection of the Mauritshuis museum in The Hague.Painting: Clara Peeters

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March 30 – Sat

The Eckert VI projection is an equal-area pseudocylindrical map projection. The length of the polar line is half that of the equator, and lines of longitude are sinusoids. It was first described by Max Eckert in 1906 as one of a series of three pairs of pseudocylindrical projections. In each pair, the meridians have the same shape, and the odd-numbered projection has equally spaced parallels, whereas the even-numbered projection has parallels spaced to preserve area. The pair to Eckert VI is the Eckert V projection.Map: Strebe, using Geocart

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March 31 – Sun

The Doorway from Moutiers-Saint-Jean is a portal dating from around 1250, originally for the abbey of Moutiers-Saint-Jean, near the French city of Dijon. It was designed in the Gothic style and carved from white oolitic limestone. The abbey was founded in the 5th century and became a major center of influence, patronised by a line of kings and nobles over the centuries. At one time it was financed by the dukes of Burgundy. Art historians detect at least two different hands working simultaneously on the structure's architectural elements, in particular the two outer pier capitals on either side which are of a different style and type. However, it is thought that both sculptors worked on either embrasure, so that neither right nor left can be fully attributed to either hand. Given the size and form of the outer piers, it is likely that the portal was originally beneath vaulting covering an ambulatory passage. It has been installed at The Cloisters in New York City since 1932.Creator: Unknown

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Picture of the day archive

Today is Sunday, September 15, 2019; it is now 18:48 UTC