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Historama, November 22

Published time: November 22, 2011 17:05
Edited time: November 22, 2011 21:06

Zaporozhets car

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Early 1900s reforms that could have completely changed Russia and the country’s funniest car are recalled in tonight’s Historama.

Legendary set of reforms takes off

The Stolypin agrarian reforms were introduced on this day in 1906.

They enabled each peasant household to claim individual ownership of their land and to withdraw from the commune.

The reforms were passed by Chairman of the Council of Ministers Pyotr Stolypin.

Read more abut Pyotr Stolypin on Russiapedia

They were meant to improve living conditions for peasants and the economy.

Unfortunately, the plan fell apart after a turbulent succession of wars and the revolution.

Read more on this event in Russian history

First model of Russia’s funniest car assembled

The first batch of Zaporozhets cars came off the production line on this day in 1960.

Zaporozhets, using the legendary Fiat-600 as a prototype, was a sturdy and affordable car, costing just 1,200 rubles back then.

It could also be spotted on European roads – under the proud name of Yalta.

The Zaporozhets has since disappeared, due to EU environmental directives.

Now it lives on in numerous jokes about the Zaporozhets and the Mercedes.

­Avid lexicographer born

Today is the 210th birthday of Russia’s most famous lexicographer, Vladimir Dal.

Dal is the author of the famous "Dictionary of the Living Great Russian Language."

Besides giving the meanings of words, it also explains proverbs and sayings, as Dal was an avid collector of Russian folklore throughout the ages.

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