1970 – Jochen Rindt becomes the only driver to posthumously win the Formula One World Drivers’ Championship (in 1970), after being killed in practice for the Italian Grand Prix.
Karl Jochen Rindt ([kaʁl ˈjɔχn̩ ʀɪnt]; 18 April 1942 – 5 September 1970) was a German-born racing driver who represented Austria during his career. In 1970, he was killed during practice for the Italian Grand Prix and became the only driver to be posthumously awarded the Formula One World Drivers’ Championship.
Rindt started motor racing in 1961. Switching to single-seaters in 1963, he was successful in both Formula Junior and Formula Two. In 1964, Rindt made his debut in Formula One at the Austrian Grand Prix, before securing a full drive with Cooper for 1965. After mixed results with the team, he moved to Brabham for 1968 and then Lotus in 1969. It was at Lotus that Rindt found a competitive car, although he was often concerned about the safety of the notoriously unreliable Lotus vehicles. He won his first Formula One race at the 1969 United States Grand Prix. He had a very successful 1970 season, mainly racing the revolutionary Lotus 72, and won five of the first nine races. In practice for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, he spun into the guardrails after a failure on his car’s brake shaft. Rindt was killed owing to severe throat injuries caused by his seat belt; he was pronounced dead while on the way to hospital. As his closest competitor Jacky Ickx was unable to score sufficient points in the remaining races of the season, Rindt was awarded the World Championship posthumously.
Overall, he competed in 62 Grands Prix, winning six and achieving 13 podium finishes. He was also successful in sports car racing, winning the 1965 24 Hours of Le Mans paired with Masten Gregory in a Ferrari 250LM.
Rindt was a popular figure in Austria and his success resulted in increased interest in motorsport and Formula One in particular. He hosted a monthly television show titled Motorama and set up a successful exhibition of racing cars in Vienna. During his time in Formula One, he was involved, alongside Jackie Stewart, in a campaign to improve safety in Formula One. Rindt left behind his wife, Nina, and a daughter, Natasha.
1500 – Maria of Jever, last ruler of the Lordship of Jever (d. 1575)
Maria of Jever, known in Jeverland as Fräulein Maria (5 September 1500 in Jever – 20 February 1575, Jever) was the last ruler of the Lordship of Jever from the Wiemken family.
Maria of Jever was a third child of the East Frisian chieftain Edo Wiemken the Younger. Her mother, Heilwig, was Edo’s second wife and was the sister of Count John V of Oldenburg. Heilwig died when Maria was one year old. Her father died about 10 years later. After her father’s death, a council of five village elders took up the regency and guardianship of his children. Her brother Christopher was given a suitable education to become the next Lord of Jeverland. Maria and her two sisters were raised to marry economically and politically favorable prospects.
However, Lord Christopher suddenly died at the age of 18. This drastically changed the situation. Since there was no male heir, Maria inherited the Jeverland. Edzard I, Count of East Frisia, demonstrated his military strength at the common border. With the approval of the regents, he concluded a marriage contract, which made him protector of Jeverland. Maria seemed destined to marry one of Edzard’s sons. However, the future counts Enno and John could not wait until the marriage and occupied Jever Castle in 1527, exposing Maria to severe humiliation. The East Frisian Landdrost Boing of Oldersum came to Maria’s rescue and drove the invaders out of Jeverland. He and Maria were probably in love. However, he died during a siege of Wittmund and Maria never married.
In the subsequent years, Maria managed to defend her father’s inheritance and gradually got a grip on the business of government. Some sources state that this was due to her strong will and growing desire for independence. Her unusual decisions also played a rôle. For example, she requested assistance from the regional opponent Emperor Charles V. As Count of Holland and Duke of Brabant, he took possession of the Jeverland and then gave it back to Maria as a fief. Thus Maria ended the imperial immediacy Jeverland had enjoyed since 1417.
Nevertheless Maria has done much for her territory. In 1536, she gave Jever city rights. She expanded Jever Castle, she enlarged her territory by creating new polders and locks and she stimulated the administration of justice. Commerce flourished during her reign. In 1556, Maria converted the choir of the city church, which had been damaged several times, into a grave chapel. Between 1561 and 1564, a Renaissance grave monument for her father was erected in the chapel. This monument still exists.
When she died in 1575, her death was initially kept secret, for fear that the Counts of East Frisia might grab power. Her room was sealed and food was placed outside her door. A servant is said to have secretly eaten the food, so no suspicion would arise, until Maria’s rightful heir, Count John VII of Oldenburg, had arrived.
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