August 4 in Russian history

Russia’s first circumnavigation of the globe and construction of Moscow’s architectural pearl are recalled in tonight’s Historama.

­First Russian captains go around the world

On this day in 1806, the first Russian circumnavigation of the globe was completed.

The expedition began in August 1803 and was jointly led by Yury Lisyanksy and a German named Adam von Krusenstern.

The intention of the trip was to begin trade with China, Japan and South American countries and also to examine California as a possible colony.

Among the envoys was Fyodor Tolstoy, a known rogue and an ancestor of the writer Leo Tolstoy.

Von Krusenstern, the German captain, eventually lost his temper with Tolstoy and expelled him from the voyage due to his ongoing antics, which included teaching an orangutan to destroy all the captain’s records.

­Russian tsars’ beloved cathedral constructed

Construction of the Kremlin’s Cathedral of the Dormition began on this day in 1326.

In 1547, the coronation of Ivan the Terrible, the first Russian tsar, was held in the cathedral, which is located inside the Kremlin’s walls.

Russian tsars and emperors continued to be crowned there until the fall of the monarchy in 1917.

Legend has it that in 1941, when the Nazis reached the edge of Moscow, Joseph Stalin ordered that a secret service be held in the cathedral to pray for the salvation of the Soviet people.

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