Russia’s first round-the-world voyage is in the spotlight of tonight’s Historama.
Russian count sets up famous theater
On this day in 1795, the Ostankino Theater opened its doors.
It is located several kilometers north of Moscow, in a palace that belonged to Count Sheremetyev. This grandeur allowed the Ostankino Theater to compete with the Imperial Theater.
About 200 of the count’s serfs made up the original company of actors. The leading actress, despite her humble origins, later married Sheremetyev.
Today, the Ostankino Theater is one of the most perfectly preserved 18th-century theaters in the world. It still operates some of the original machinery.
Russia’s first round-the-world trip
Today in 1806, the first Russian trip around the world was completed.
Two ships, “Nadezhda” and “Neva,” sailed for three years before finally docking back at home.
Ivan Kruzenshtern was appointed sea captain, while Chamberlain Rezanov was in charge of the expedition.
However, Emperor Nicholas I had made a bad choice – the two men were like apples and oranges, and did not get along at all.
Rezanov even made an appeal that Kruzenshtern be executed – which, luckily, did not happen.
Nevertheless, the trip was a success: the ship sailed non-stop from China to England in just 142 days.
Soviet ace completes historic 56-hour flight
On this day in 1936, Soviet hero and pilot Valery Chkalov landed his plane on Udd island off Russia’s far eastern coast. He had just completed a historic 56-hour-long flight from Moscow.
Chkalov had originally intended to fly over the North Pole to the US.
Stalin feared failure that would harm the Soviet Union’s, so he ordered a change of route.
Chkalov was able to fulfill his dream a year later.
Read more on this day in Russia’s history