Historama, September 15

The best animated film of all time, the first bicycle to hit Russia’s roads, and a bulldozed exhibition made this day in Russian history.

­Author of Russia’s most touching cartoon born

Celebrated Russian animator Yury Norstein was born on this day in 1941.

He began working for the Soyuzmultfilm animation studio at the age of 20.

His most famous work is the philosophical and enigmatic “Hedgehog in the Fog” – a deeply touching story about fears, friendship and love that helps to overcome all the difficulties you face.

In 2003, a panel of 140 critics named it the greatest animated film of all time.

Watch the cartoon on YouTube in English

­First bicycle hits roads of Russian empire

On this day 210 years ago, a peasant named Efim Artamonov presented his invention – the world’s first bicycle – to Russia’s Tsar Alexander I.

Then it was called a “kostotryas,” or “the bone-shaker.”

The bicycle was built out of iron. It had two wheels, with the front one almost three times bigger than the back one.

It was so durable that the inventor was able to use it to travel nearly 2,000 kilometers to St. Petersburg from a town in the Urals.

Artamonov cycled at an average speed of 10 kilometers per hour, surprising the locals and frightening horses.

The engineering wonder astonished Tsar Alexander so much that he freed Artamonov and his entire family from serfdom.

Read more on this event in Russian history

­Soviet painters’ exhibition bulldozed off

Today in 1974, the so-called “Bulldozer Exhibition” took place in Moscow.

Twenty avant-garde painters – who were not in favor in those days – organized an outdoor exhibition of their works near the Belyaevo metro station.

The gathering was dispersed by police using bulldozers, diggers and water cannons.

Many painters and spectators were arrested, and the paintings were either confiscated or damaged.

Western media condemned the crackdown.

Two weeks later, the Soviet government permitted a similar outdoor exhibition.

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