May 7 in Russian history

1713: The first large campaign of the new-born Russian fleet begins. Russian galleys led by admiral Apraksin depart from St.Petersburg. Two weeks later they come to Helsingfors (Helsinki). On May 10, after a short siege, the city surrendered. Later, in August, Russian descent takes the capital of Finlad, Åbo (Turku). This war (The Great Northern War) was successful for Russia, but in the end, according to the Treaty of Nystad, Russia returned Finland to Sweden. Less than 100 years later, in 1809, Finland finally joined Russia.

1743: (April 26 Old style) Famous Russian scientist Mikhail Lomonosov got drunk, came to the university conference room, where a meeting led by professor Winsheim was in progress, without taking his hat off, cursed the professor, cocked him a snook and followed to the geographic department. Upon entering the aforementioned department, he continued cursing and insulting professor Winsheim and all other professors, calling them schemers. He also threatened to "fix the teeth" of the aforementioned professor and called advisor Schumacher a thief. Then he returned to the conference room and called all professors thieves, since they refused to grant Lomonosov the title of the professor. Witnesses also mentioned him saying: "I am like them, I am equal. I'm even better, I am Russian!" Lomonosov was arrested, but later released and fined 50% of his fee.

1895: Another famous scientist, Alexander Popov, demonstrates the first radio receiver in the world. In Russia, he is named the inventor of radio. This day, May 7, is officially celebrated as the Day of Radio. Congratulations to all ham radio operators! 73.

1906: Poet Alexander Blok writes one of his best known verses, Neznakomka (The Stranger Lady). Full Russian text is here. There are more than one translations online, but I likes this one (PDF) best:

These evenings over the restaurants
the air is hot and strangely cloying,
and shouts drift from the drunkards' haunts
on the putrid breath of spring.

Far off, over dusty side-streets can be seen--
over snug villas mile on mile--
the golden glint of a baker's sign,
and one can hear the children wail.

And every evening, past the level--
crossing, the jocular swells,
bowlers tilted at a rakish angle,
stroll between ditches with their girls.

Over the lake the rowlocks scraping
and women screeching can be heard,
and in a sky inured to everything
the moon leers down like a drunkard.

Each evening my one and only friend,
reflected at my glass's brink,
like me is fuddled and constrained
by the thick, mysterious drink.

And next to us, at the tables beside
our table, somnolent waiters pass
and drunks to one another, rabbit-eyed,
call out 'In vino veritas.'

Each evening, at the appointed moment
( Or is this only in a dream ? )
a girl's shape in a silken garment
shows dark against the window's steam.

And slowly between the drunkards weaving,
as always unescorted, there
she sits down by the window, leaving
a mist of perfume in the air.

And a breath of ancient legends gathers
about her silk dress as it swings,
about her hat with its mourning feathers,
and her slender hand with its rings.

And rooted there by this curious presence,
I search the shadowy veil once more
and through it see an enchanted distanct:
beyond an enchanted shore.

Vague confidences in my ear are loosed,
and the sun is suddenly mine,
and every crevice of my soul is sluiced
and flooded by the sticky wine.

And now the nodding ostrich-feather plume
begins to hypnotize my brain,
and eyes that are unfathomable bloom
blue on a distant shore again.

Deep in my soul there lies a treasure;
the only key to it is mine!
And you are right, you drunken monster!
I know now: there is truth in wine.

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