CONTEXT

July 16, 2010

Back in the USSR

Interior of Peter and Paul Cathedral.

Catcher in the Rye was published on this date in 1951, which means that Holden Caulfield is 75.

Czar Nicholas and his family were executed on July 16 in 1918; their bodies may or may not have been buried in Siberia.  Eighty years later – almost to the day – they were honored with a state funeral at the Peter and Paul Cathederal in St. Petersburg, although there are those who say the bones were not those of the Romanovs.

It’s all a bit iffy because there are conflicting reports of what happened on the day, as well as arguments pro and con as to how the forensics of the remains were handled.  And there were varying opinions as to whether or not an official public funeral service was really a good idea.  Boris Yeltsin decided to go for it.

More details than you probably need are available in an article by Peter Kurth for Vanity Fair in 1993.

Nicholas and Alexandra and children.

Why it all matters is debatable, but as W. Bruce Lincoln of Northern Illinois University said in an interview, “the Russians are starting to discover their past in ways that they couldn’t have 20 or 30 years ago. They’d lost sight of much of their past because it had been so manipulated. And now…they’re rediscovering it, but they’re rediscovering it sequentially in reverse, as it were, starting with the President and working back. . .”

Prince Nicholas Romanov, head of the Romanov Family Association, claims to be the heir to the throne but so does Princess Maria, a Romanov living in Spain.  Both are distant cousins of the original Nicholas, many times removed.

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, 1935.

And finally, today is Ginger Roger’s birthday – she was born in 1911 and died in 1995.  Thank you, Fred and Ginger, for all the good times.

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1 Comment »

  1. My mother,born on this day in 1887,died in 1972.

    Comment by GALYA TARMU — July 16, 2010 @ 9:08 pm | Reply


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