Historama, November 23

Radical changes in the Russian state and symbolism are discussed in tonight’s Historama.

Bolsheviks get rid of the rich and the poor

Classes and ranks were abolished in Russia on this day in 1917.

The Communists appealed to the peasantry by giving people rights. Everyone was called a Citizen of the Russian Republic.

The upper-classes lost everything they owned overnight. All their possessions were confiscated and went to the Soviet state.

Large families would often be forced to live in one room, with strangers moving into their family home.

Wonderful adventures of Russian coat of arms

On this day in 1993, Moscow re-adopted its original heraldic symbol, established in 1781.

It was the image of St. George the Victorious killing a dragon against a burgundy background.

The city’s coat of arms looked slightly different in the 19th century. It had more colours, details and imperial symbols.

Everything changed after the revolution: the red star and hammer-and-sickle then took centre stage.

Read more on this day in Russian history

­Century’s most romantic novel

On this day in 1922, Romantic Russian author, Alexander Grin, finished a novel that took the USSR by storm.

“Scarlet Sails” tells the story of a poor sailor’s daughter. An old stranger tells her that one day a prince will come for her on a ship with scarlet sails. She believes him – and becomes the laughing-stock of the town.

As you can see now in this Soviet film adaptation, the story does have a happy ending.

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