April 16 in Russian history

1803: Alexander I officially opens the Vilnius University. In 1804, 290 students were studying there, and in 1823 it grew into the largest university of Russia and Europe. In 1830, there were 1321 students. Probably, the most famous graduate of the university was Adam Mickiewicz, the legend of Polish literature. He, like many other students, was a member of a an organization demanding the independence of Poland and Lithuania. Participation of a large number of students in the rebellion of 1831 led to the closure of the university in 1832. The university buildings became the home of the Museum of Antiquities, the Public Library and two gymnasiums. Among the students of these gymnasiums were the first Polish Chief of the State and dictator Jozef Pilsudski, the father of the infamous Cheka Felix Dzerzhinsky and the theorist of literature Mikhail Bakhtin.

1866: Dmitri Karakozov attempts to shoot emperor Alexander II. In 1865 he joined a terrorist organization and was a proponent of the individual terrorism. He thought that the assassination of the tsar will lead to the social revolution. When Karakozov was ready to shoot, a passer-by pushed his hand and Karakozov missed. He was arrested, trialled and sentenced to hanging.

1905: The first Russian trade union is founded: the trade union of typography workers.

1911: The Black Sea navy experiment with the aeroplanes escorts. For the first time, a group of aeroplanes successfully convoy a group of ships.

1970: The museum of the red Latvian riflemen was opened in Riga, Latvia. The Latvian Riflemen Division was a part of the Russian army in the World War I and after the bolshevik uprising they joined the bolsheviks and became the watchdogs of the revolution. They guard the Council of People's Commissars, Lenin's personal train, Kremlin. In April 1918, the Latvian Soviet Division is created. The first commander of the division was I.Vacetis. They oppress the anti-bolshevik rebellions in Moscow, Yaroslavl, Murom, Rybinsk, Kaluga, Saratov, Novgorod and many other places. In 1919 they fought against the White armies of Denikin and Yudenich. In 1920 they fought against general Vrangel and stormed Perekop (a stripe of land connecting Crimea and mainland). After November 1920, when the division was disbanded, many riflemen became prominent members of Cheka and the Red army: I. Vacetis, R. Eideman, R. Berzins, Y. Berzins, K. Stucka, J. Lacis and many others. Ironically, the museum of the red Latvian riflemen in Riga was recently renamed into the museum of the 50 years of occupation. The occupation which might have never happened, had it not been for these riflemen.

Map of locations where the Latvian riflemen fought against the White army and anti-bolshevik uprisingsMap of locations where the Latvian riflemen fought against the White army and anti-bolshevik uprisings

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