November 7th 1917: The October Revolution

The Gregorian calendar date of the October Revolution in Russia (Russia was using the Julian calendar at the time, thus why it is called the ‘October’ Revolution).

On this day in 1917, the Bolsheviks stormed the Winter Palace in Petrograd, previously home to the tsars of Russia, and now occupied by the Provisional Government, who had been in power since the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II in March 1917. The Bolshevik leader, Vladimir Lenin, led his leftist revolutionaries in a revolt against the ineffective and, according to Lenin, ‘bourgeois’ Provisional Government which was headed by Alexander Kerensky. They replaced the parliamentary Provisional Government with a government by the soviets (local councils elected by bodies of workers and peasants). This quickly became a Bolshevik dictatorship which, with Lenin at its helm, employed mass terror to crush dissenters.

The Revolution marked the birth of the Soviet Union, the first socialist state, which would last until 1991. This date was an official holiday in the Soviet Union from 1918 onwards.

11/07/11 at 4:00pm
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