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23 December

Dates in History
1991—The European Union accepts Russia as assignee of the USSR.

1953—Lavrenty Beria, Marshal of the Soviet Union, dies.
He is the chief of the Soviet secret police in 1939-1945. Starting 1944 he is in charge of the Nuclear Project and the creation of the first Soviet nuclear bomb. Following Joseph Stalins death, he is accused of conspiracy and thereby executed in 1953.

1953—The biggest shop in the USSR GUM in Moscow opens on this day.

1947—The Soviet Government declares January 1 to be a holiday and a day off.
In Russia the New Year was abolished in 1918 as a holiday and wasnt celebrated until 1935.

1799—Karl Bryullov, painter, is born.
In 18301833 Karl Bryullov paints The Last Day of Pompeii, which brings him international success. His name ranks with Rubens, Rembrandt, van Dyck.

1777—Alexander I, Russian Emperor, is born.
Alexander becomes Emperor in 1801 after his father, Paul I, dies. In 1812 he decides to leave Moscow to the French invaders led by Napoleon. Napoleon occupies Moscow, but fire, lack of food, and oncoming winter force him to retreat and flee from Russia leaving his army behind. In 1825 Alexander I mysteriously dies.

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