Historama, September 12

Tune in to learn more about the deeds of the two weirdest leaders in Russian history.

­Peter I bans hobnailed boots

On this day in 1715, Peter the Great banned residents of St. Petersburg from attaching soles to their boots with nails, which was a common practice at the time.

The idea was to protect the streets of the capital. They were covered with wood, so the nails could easily damage them.

For those who refused to do their bit to keep the streets in top condition, the Peter introduced huge fines and even threatened to put them in jail.

­USSR’s ‘corn king’ becomes head of state

On this day in 1953, Nikita Khrushchev became head of the Soviet Union after a power struggle in the Presidium of the Communist Party.

It was Khrushchev who demolished Stalin’s reputation after his death, and tried to achieve better relations with the West. He also promised communism would be achieved by 1980.

To historians he was a very controversial figure, known for some absurd episodes.

For example, after visiting the United States for the first time Khrushchev saw corn fields and ordered that people should plant corn practically everywhere in the Soviet Union – unaware that it would not grow in the moderate climate.

Read more on this day in Russian history

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