March 2 in Russian history

Today's Day in Russian history will be unusual. It will be a collection of the events all over the world which happened on this day in 1960s, which afffected the lives of many people in the USSR and defined our mindsets for two-three decades

1964: The Beatles start filming The Hard Day's Night. The movie was not shown in the USSR, but the music became widely known and loved.

1965: USA begin operation "Rolling Thunder" in Northern Vietnam. The "American militarists and imperialists" became a cliché of the Soviet propaganda. Not without a reason, but by that time we already knew that the propaganda lies. Even in the cases when they were saying truth, we didn't believe them. For example, when we saw photos of poor districts of New York, we thought something like: "Ha, you won't cheat me anymore!" or "What they don't tell us is that their welfare payments are larger than our salary!" I sometimes think that if the Soviets didn't lie to their own citizens, USSR could have lasted much longer.

1968: Syd Barrett leaves Pink Floyd. Oh, we really loved PF. The Wall and the Dark Side of the Moon were the favourite albums of the intellectual wannabes. The sound of helicopter rolling from the speakers standing on a window-sill filled the yards. We knew a lot of legends about Syd Barrett, but as it turned out, none of them was even close to the reality.

1969: The incident on the Damansky (Zhenbao) island, when 30 Chinese soldiers crossed the border and killed a group of Soviet border guards. In the 1970s the war with China seemed inevitable. We sang humorous songs about Chinese paratroopers, told anecdotes about the Chinese crossing the border "in small groups, from 1 to 2 million men" and were reluctantly preparing to leave the dangerous cities to a village to wait till the war ends.

1970: Alexander Tvardovsky was forced to resign from the post of the editor-in-chief of the Novy Mir literary magazine. Tvardovsky was a writer and a poet. In 1962, he published "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" by Solzhenitsyn in Novy Mir and turned the magazine into the favourite reading of the Soviet intelligentsia. His resignation became another symbol of the end of the liberalization of 1960s.

And, of course, I can't forget this anniversary: in 1859, a boy named Sholom Rabinovich, was born in Pereyaslav, near Kiev. 25 years later he grows into Sholom-Aleichem, one of the greatest authors writing in Yiddish. He was often called "the Jewish Mark Twain", which says a lot about his style and writings. In 1905, after pogroms, he was forced to emigrate. He spent his last years in Geneva and New York, where he at last met Mark Twain, who said that he thinks of himself as of the American Sholom-Aleichem.

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