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Historama, March 1

The first day of spring, March 1 also marks the founding of the first Russian cadet college, birth of a famous stage-designer and a fresh start for a future communist leader who returned from exile.

Alma mater for crème de la crème of Russian youth

On this day in 1732, the first Russian "cadet corps" was created in St Petersburg.

The idea was to mould a new erudite, creative and righteous citizen who embodied European high-culture and would carry Imperial values through society.

Cadets became highly-prized suitors for bourgeois Russian ladies and fought with the white army during the revolution

While cadet colleges were closed by the Bolsheviks, the rank was re-introduced in the early 1990s.

Birth of celebrated artist and stage-designer

Outstanding Russian artist Vladimir Golovin was born on this day in 1863 in Moscow.

His paintings reflected the influences of the Moscow school along with symbolism and modernism styles, both gaining popularity at that time.

Known as a stage-designer of unparalleled excellence, Golovin worked with legendary theatre directors Stanislavskiy and Sergey Diagilev.

Read more about Sergey Diagilev on Russiapedia

Golovin's work had a strong influence on film director Sergey Eisenstein, who was deeply impressed by his stage adaptation of Lermontov's drama Masquerade.

Lenin returns from exile

On this day in 1900, future Bolshevik and Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin returned from his 3-year exile in Siberia after being arrested for plotting against Tsar Alexander III.

Life in Siberia proved a productive time for Lenin. It was there he wrote the book “The Development of Capitalism in Russia”, soon after meeting Georgy Plekhanov, the Marxist who introduced socialism to Russia.

Today, thousands of travellers flock to the tiny Siberian village of Shushenskoe, where a museum dedicated to Lenin's time in Siberia was opened.

Read more about this day in Russian history in our “Russia Now” section