06
Nov
08

On This Day, 11-6-2008: Bolshevism

November 6, 1941

Stalin celebrates the Revolution’s anniversary

On this day in 1941, the 24th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution, Joseph Stalin, premier and dictator of the USSR, delivers a speech to a rally of Moscow Party workers.

The rally was held underground, in the marbled halls of the Mayakovsky train station. There, Stalin encouraged the assembled Communist Party workers with the promise that if the Germans “want a war of extermination, they shall have one.” The very next day, standing atop Lenin’s Mausoleum in Red Square, Stalin took the salute of his troops and encouraged them to defend “holy Russia”–even as German tanks, previously mired in mud, began to roll over now–frozen ground in their advance toward the Soviet capital.

But Stalin would have more than just his military to rely on. As the Red Army marched down Gorky Street, President Franklin Roosevelt officially extended the scope of the Lend-Lease Act to include the Soviet Union. The USSR would now be eligible for an influx of American arms-including British weaponry manufactured in the United States. What had begun as a military aid program for Great Britain was growing to include other allies in their fight against fascism-even fascism’s left-wing mirror image, Bolshevik Russia.

“Stalin celebrates the Revolution’s anniversary,” The History Channel website, 2008, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6372 [accessed Nov 6, 2008]

For more on the Bolshevik Revolution see:  Bolshevik Revolution

On This Day

1789 – Father John Carroll was appointed as the first Roman Catholic bishop in the United States of America.

1832 – Joseph Smith, III, was born. He was the first president of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He was also the son of Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism.

1860 – Abraham Lincoln was elected to be the sixteenth president of the United States.

1861 – Jefferson Davis was elected as the president of the Confederacy in the U.S.

1917 – During World War I, Canadian forces take the village of Passchendaele, Belgium, in the Third Battle of Ypres.

1986 – Former Navy radioman John A. Walker Jr., was sentenced in Baltimore to life imprisonment. Walker had admitted to being the head of a family spy ring.

1986 – U.S. intelligence sources confirmed a story run by the Lebanese magazine Ash Shiraa that reported the U.S. had been secretly selling arms to Iran in an effort to secure the release of seven American hostages.

 

November 6, 1988

Renowned Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov visits United States

Soviet scientist and well-known human rights activist Andrei Sakharov begins a two-week visit to the United States. During his visit, he pleaded with the American government and people to support Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s policies of glasnost (political openness) and perestroika (economic reforms), and so ensure the success of a new, more democratic, and friendlier Soviet system.

Sakharov had not always been a favorite of the Soviet government. During the late-1930s and 1940s, he was a respected physicist in the Soviet Union, and was part of the group of scientists who worked to develop Russia’s first hydrogen bomb in the 1950s. By the late 1950s, however, he began to have serious doubts about Russia’s open-air testing of nuclear weapons. He also began to protest for more scientific freedom in the Soviet Union. By the mid-1960s, he was openly criticizing the Stalinist legacy and current laws designed to muzzle political opponents. In 1968, he had an essay published in the New York Times calling for a system that merged socialism and capitalism. Because of this, Sakharov was stripped of his security clearance and job. In 1970, he co-founded the Moscow Committee for Human Rights. His work resulted in his winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1975.

Sakharov also urged the United States to pressure the Soviet Union concerning the latter’s human rights policies, and harshly criticized Russia’s invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. He and his wife were arrested and sentenced to internal exile. Despite his isolation, his supporters continued to smuggle his writings out of the country.

In December 1986, Gorbachev released Sakharov and his wife from exile. It was a pragmatic move on Gorbachev’s part: He desired closer relations with the West, and Sakharov had become a hero to many in the United States and elsewhere. Sakharov became a spokesman for the reforms Gorbachev was trying to push through, and praised the construction of the new Soviet Union. His November 1988 trip to the United States was part of this effort. Nevertheless, he continued to press for more democracy in the Soviet Union. On December 14, 1989, shortly after delivering a speech denouncing Russia’s one-party rule, Sakharov suffered a heart attack and died.

“Renowned Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov visits United States.” 2008. The History Channel website. 6 Nov 2008, 01:53 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2476.

On This Day in Wisconsin: November 6

1837 – Burlington, Iowa Selected as Temporary Capital
On this date Burlington, Iowa was chosen as a temporary capital of the Wisconsin Territory. A year earlier, legislators offered a bill making Madison the capital with a temporary capital in Dubuque until which time a permanent building could be constructed in Madison. Legislators also proposed the City of Belmont as a temporary capital. One month later, on December 12th, a fire destroyed the two-story temporary capital in Burlington. The new legislature moved its headquarters to the Webber and Remey’s store in Burlington where they conducted government affairs until June 1838.[Source: Wisconsin Legislature]

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