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King Albert I of Belgium
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Monarch
    (April 8, 1875-February 17, 1934)
    Born in Brussels, Belgium
    Full name was Albert Leopold Clement Marie Meinrad
    Grandson of King Leopold I
    Nephew of King Leopold II
    King of Belgium (1909-34)
    Died in a mountain climbing accident in the Ardennes
    During WWI, he tried to negotiate a peace on a 'no victors, no vanquished' basis, but was rebuffed by both sides.
    He warned against imposing a punitive treaty against Germany, but gladly accepted hefty reparation payments from the country.
    He is the namesake for a particularly hard to win form of solitaire.
    He undertook an extensive tour of the Belgian Congo (1908) and advocated reforms to protect the natives.
    When the Germans demanded free passage through Belgium for their army during WWI, he replied, 'Belgium is a nation, not a road.'
    He personally commanded the Belgian army during World War I.
    He was the first reigning European monarch to visit the US (1919).
    An ardent conservationist, he founded Africa's first national park, Virunga Park in the Belgian Congo (1925).

Credit: C. Fishel


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