Historama, December 12

Tonight’s history show recalls the day Russia introduced its current Constitution, and celebrates the birthday of a prominent Russian writer and historian.

­Referendum adopts new Russian constitution

Today’s constitution was adopted following a national referendum on this day in 1993. Since then, December 12 is marked as “Constitution Day” in Russia.

This version received a 54.5 percent approval rating in a national vote, while less than half of one percent of Russians voted against it. It replaced Soviet-era legislation dating back to the Brezhnev era, and remains the country’s principal legal document.

Read more on this event in Russian history

­Father of 12-volume history

­Prominent Russian writer and historian Nikolay Karamzin was born today in 1766.

While Karamzin is most famous for his 12-volume History of the Russian State, his short stories – especially “Poor Liza” and “Natalia, the Boyar’s Daughter” – introduced Russian readers to the new, European literary genre of sentimentalism.

Karamzin was admired by the great Russian poet Alexander Pushkin and later, by novelist Vladimir Nabokov.

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