August 25 in Russian history

Tragic fate of anti-Bolshevik African explorer and sudden death of youngest ever peace campaigner are recalled in tonight’s Historama.

­Great poet and explorer lost in USSR’s death machine

Russian poet, adventurer and husband of renowned poet Anna Akhmatova, Nikolay Gumilyov died on this day 90 years ago.

He was the first Russian poet to write extensively about Africa, travelling there every year and in 1921 he published his collection “The Tent” about his time there.

He fought for Russia in World War I and was awarded two Crosses of St. George for military heroism.

A famous anti-Bolshevik, he was killed in St Petersburg in 1921, having been accused of involvement in an anti-government conspiracy.

­Youngest world peace campaigner killed in plane accident

On this day in 1985, American child actress and world peace campaigner, Samantha Smith died at the age of just 13.

In 1982, 10-year-old Smith wrote a letter to Soviet leader Yury Andropov, asking why he wanted to “conquer the world – or at least America.”

Andropov replied, saying that he did not want to do anything of the sort and invited Samantha to the USSR where she spent two weeks and was followed by a media storm.

She died three years later in a plane crash on the way to Maine and was mourned by over 1,000 people at her funeral.

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