Year
1977
Month Day
December 10

Soviets arrest dissidents on United Nations Human Rights Day

In Moscow, Soviet officials arrest four dissidents and prevent at least 20 others from attending a peaceful protest against communist political oppression on United Nations Human Rights Day. According to some of the protesters, Soviet officials threatened them with violence should the protest be held. The incident was more evidence of an increasingly hard line being taken by the Soviet government against any political protest.

Approximately 25 protesters met at the statue of the Russian poet Pushkin in Moscow to assert their right to freedom of assembly, which had been guaranteed by the new Soviet constitution approved in October. Twenty other dissidents had been dissuaded from attending when they saw Soviet plainclothes police stationed outside their apartments. In addition, Soviet officials detained four other known dissidents to keep them from the protest. Andrei Sakharov, perhaps the most famous Soviet political dissident, refrained from attending because he feared that violence would break out. The protest, however, was peaceful and uneventful. Nevertheless, the Soviet actions were a chilling reminder that political freedom in Russia was still far from being a reality. Human rights abuses in the Soviet Union continued to be a sore point in U.S.-Soviet relations into the Gorbachev years of the 1980s.

FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! HISTORY reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate.

ALSO ON THIS DAY

Treaty of Paris ends Spanish-American War

In France, the Treaty of Paris is signed, formally ending the Spanish-American War and granting the United States its first overseas empire. The Spanish-American War had its origins in the rebellion against Spanish rule that began in Cuba in 1895. The repressive measures that ...read more

Frank Sinatra Jr. endures a frightening ordeal

Frank Sinatra Jr., who was kidnapped in Lake Tahoe, California, on December 8, is allowed to talk to his father briefly. The 19-year-old man, who was trying to follow in his father’s footsteps by pursuing a singing career, was abducted at gunpoint from his hotel room at Harrah’s ...read more

Ford builds its 1 millionth car

On December 10, 1915, the 1 millionth Ford car rolls off the assembly line at the River Rouge plant in Detroit. At first, Henry Ford had built his cars like every other automaker did: one at a time. But his factories’ efficiency and output steadily increased, and after he ...read more

Red Cross is awarded Nobel Peace Prize

After three years of war, during which there had been no Nobel Peace Prize awarded, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awards the 1917 prize to the International Committee of the Red Cross. From the outbreak of World War I, the Nobel Committee had decided not to award its annual peace ...read more