Historama, November 17

A ground-breaking piece of Russian literature and revolutionary school of art were among the spotlights of this day in Russian history.

­First Soviet novel to depict victims of Stalin’s repressions

On this day in 1962, a Soviet magazine published “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.”

This novel by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was his first to reach a wide public.

Read more about Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn on Russiapedia

It depicts an ordinary day in a labour camp for Ivan Denisovich Shukhov, a Russian peasant and soldier, in January 1951.

Solzhenitsyn knew what he was writing about – he spent 11 years in the GULAG.

The novel was the first in Soviet literature to depict in detail the lives of the victims of Stalin’s purges.

Read more on this event in Russian history

Alma mater of Russia’s greatest artists opens

On this day in 1757, the Art Academy was founded in St. Petersburg.

It took students quite a while to get a degree there – the average length of a course was nine years.

On the syllabus were engraving, portrait painting, sculpture and architecture.

Some great names are among the alumni – the likes of Mikhail Lomonosov, Ilya Repin and Pavel Tretyakov.

The Bolsheviks closed the school in 1918.

It reopened in the 1930s and still provides higher education to budding young artists.

­Lenin and Stalin share mausoleum

On this day in 1953, there were was an extra dead body on display on Red Square.

Stalin’s embalmed corpse had been putin the Mausoleum right next to Lenin’s.

Originally the plan was to put it in a separate tomb, but this never happened. In October of 1961, Stalin’s body was removed as part of the de-Stalinisation process.

Soldiers buried him in the Kremlin wall during the night to avoid any public unrest.

Lunar rover taken Moon pictures

­In 1970, a Soviet lunar rover started its journey across the Moon.

The “Lunokhod-1” was the first remote-controlled robot to land on another planet.

It took more than 20,000 pictures of the Moon and more than 200 panoramic views. It also analyzed the lunar soil.

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