December 21, 1879: ·birth of Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, later
known as Stalin
September 1888: ·Stalin enters Gori Church School
September 1894: ·Stalin enrolls in Tiflis Theological Seminary
March 1898: ·First Congress of the Russian Social Democratic Labour
May 29, 1899: ·Stalin is expelled from the Seminary
April 5, 1902: ·Stalin arrested for the first time, exiled to Siberia
Summer 1903: ·the Social Democrats split into Bolsheviks and Mensheviks.
January 5, 1904: ·Stalin escapes from Siberia, the first of many escapes
from exile in the following decade.
1905: ·Revolution in Russia. Nicholas II announces constitutional
reforms, and the creation of the Duma, or elected assembly. Stalin
marries Yekaterina Svanidze.
December 1905: ·Stalin goes as a delegate to Bolshevik conference
in Finland, meets Lenin for the first time.
March 1907: ·Birth of Stalin's first child, Yakov
October 1907: ·Death of Yekaterina
January 1912: ·Bolsheviks officially separate from Social Democrats,
Stalin appointed to the Party's Central Committee by Lenin.
January 1913: ·Stalin co-writes, with Lenin, "Marxism and the National Question"
August-September 1914: ·Outbreak of World War I.
March 1917: ·Beginning of Russian Revolution. The Tsar's government
falls, replaced with a Provisional Government. Bolsheviks, including Stalin,
hasten to St. Petersburg
April 1917: ·Lenin returns from Switzerland, rebukes Stalin for
taking a conciliar line with the Provisional Government.
November 1917: ·Bolsheviks overthrow Provisional Government, seize
power. Stalin plays only a minor role.
February 1918: ·Stalin marries Nadezhda Alliluyeva
1918-1920: ·Civil war in Russia. Trotsky organizes Red Army;
Stalin commands forces in Tsaritsyn, Petrograd (St. Petersburg),
1921: ·Birth of Stalin's second child, Vasily
1922: ·Official founding of Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
April 1922: ·Stalin elected General Secretary of the Communist
May 25, 1922: ·Lenin suffers his first stroke
January 4, 1923: ·Lenin, in a postscript to his Testament, warns the
Party to remove Stalin from his position of power.
March 7, 1923: ·Lenin suffers final stroke, loses his powers of speech
January 21, 1924: ·Death of Lenin. Stalin survives the reading of the
Testament by the Central Committee in May.
1924-25: ·Stalin publicly attacks Trotsky for being unfaithful
December 1924: ·Stalin publicly articulates his theory of "Socialism
in One Country."
December 1925: ·Allied with Bukharin and the "Rightists," Stalin begins
attacks on Zinoviev.
February 28, 1926: ·Birth of Stalin's third child, Svetlana
October-November 1926: ·At the Fifteenth Party Congress, Stalin attacks the
"United Opposition" of Zinoviev, Kamenev, and Trotsky.
1927: ·Beginning of the first Five-Year Plan
November 1927: ·Kamenev and Zinoviev expelled from the Party; Trotsky expelled
and sent to Central Asia.
April 1929: ·Stalin begins assault on Bukharin
November 1929: ·Bukharin removed from the Politburo
December 1929: ·Stalin announces "liquidation of the kulaks as a class";
collectivization begins in earnest.
1931-32: ·Terrible famine across the Soviet Union; millions
November 8, 1932: ·Suicide of Nadezhda
December 1, 1934: ·Murder, by Stalin's agents, of Sergei Kirov. Beginning
of "Great Terror," which continues until 1938.
January 1935: ·Zinoviev, Kamenev, and others are arrested, accused
of complicity in Kirov's assassination.
August 1936: ·First "Show Trial." Zinoviev, Kamenev, and their
allies confess and are executed.
January 1937: ·Second Show Trial
June 1937: ·Purge of the army begins, top generals are tried and
March 1938: ·Third Show Trial, conviction and execution of Bukharin,
March 1939: ·At Eighteenth Party Congress, Stalin announces end
of the Great Terror.
August 23, 1939: ·Nazi-Soviet Pact is signed in Moscow
September 1939: ·Outbreak of World War II
August 20, 1940: ·Trotsky assassinated, by Stalin's agents, in Mexico
June 21, 1941: ·Hitler invades Soviet Union
August 1942-February 1943:· Battle of Stalingrad. Germans are defeated, marking
the turning point in the war.
November 1943:· Stalin meets with Roosevelt and Churchill in Teheran
February 1945: ·Stalin meets with Roosevelt and Churchill at Yalta
April 31, 1945: ·Hitler commits suicide in bombed-out Berlin, ending
war in Europe. Red Army controls all of Eastern Europe.
August 1945: ·United States uses atomic bomb against Japan, bringing
an end to the war in the Pacific.
February 1948: ·Communists seize power in Czechoslovakia, cementing
Soviet control of Eastern Europe.
Summer 1948: ·Soviets blockade East Berlin.
1949: ·Communists, under Mao, are victorious in Chinese Civil
September 1949: ·Soviets explode their first atomic bomb.
December 1949: ·Stalin celebrates his seventieth birthday.
February 1950: ·Sino-Soviet Treaty signed
1950-53: ·Korean War
January 1953: ·Announcement of Jewish "Doctors' Plot" against Stalin,
plans for new wave of terror.
March 5, 1953: ·Death of Stalin