Updated:
Original:
Year
1934
Month Day
December 01

Sergey Kirov murdered

Sergey Kirov, a leader of the Russian Revolution and a high-ranking member of the Politburo, is shot to death at his Leningrad office by Communist Party member Leonid Nikolayev, likely at the instigation of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin.

Whatever Stalin’s precise role in the assassination of his political rival Kirov, he used the murder as a pretext for eliminating many of his opponents in the Communist Party, the government, the armed forces, and the intelligentsia. Kirov’s assassination served as the basis for seven separate trials and the arrest and execution of hundreds of notable figures in Soviet political, military, and cultural life. Each trial contradicted the others in fundamental details, and different individuals were found guilty of organizing the murder of Kirov by different means and for varying political motives.

The Kirov assassination trials marked the beginning of Stalin’s massive four-year purge of Soviet society, in which millions of people were imprisoned, exiled, or killed.

FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us!

ALSO ON THIS DAY

Rosa Parks ignites bus boycott

In Montgomery, Alabama, Rosa Parks is jailed for refusing to give up her seat on a public bus to a white man, a violation of the city’s racial segregation laws. The successful Montgomery Bus Boycott, organized by a young Baptist minister named Martin Luther King, Jr., followed ...read more

Presidential election goes to the House

As no presidential candidate had received a majority of the total electoral votes in the election of 1824, Congress decides to turn over the presidential election to the House of Representatives, as dictated by the 12th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In the November 1824 ...read more

Chunnel makes breakthrough

Shortly after 11 a.m. on December 1, 1990, 132 feet below the English Channel, workers drill an opening the size of a car through a wall of rock. This was no ordinary hole–it connected the two ends of an underwater tunnel linking Great Britain with the European mainland for the ...read more

Antarctica made a military-free continent

Twelve nations, including the United States and the Soviet Union, sign the Antarctica Treaty, which bans military activity and weapons testing on that continent. It was the first arms control agreement signed in the Cold War period. Since the 1800s a number of nations, including ...read more

Lincoln’s State of the Union address

On this day in 1862, President Abraham Lincoln addresses the U.S. Congress and speaks some of his most memorable words as he discusses the Northern war effort. Lincoln used the address to present a moderate message concerning his policy towards slavery. Just10 weeks before, he ...read more