Tsar Nicholas II, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias (1868 - 1918)
“What am I going to do? What is going to happen to me, to you, to Alix, to Mother, to all Russia?“
Nikolai Aleksandrovich Romanov was born on May 6, 1868, in the Alexander Palace in Tsarskoye Selo, south of St. Petersburg. He was the eldest son of his parents, Alexander Alexandrovich, the heir to the Russian throne, and Princess Dagmar of Denmark. Nicolas’s grandfather was the Tsar, Alexander II, known as the Liberator for emancipating Russia’s serfs in 1863. Their family, the Romanov dynasty, had ruled Russia for three hundred years. Nicholas would be the last emperor.
Unlike his soft-hearted, liberal grandfather, Nicholas’s father was a reactionary, whose conservative and religious values strongly influenced Nicholas’s beliefs. In 1891, Nicholas’s father acceded to the throne when Alexander II was murdered by an anarchist revolutionary. This murder convinced both Alexander III, and his son, against offering further reforms. Yet Nicholas’s education did not prepare him at all for his future role as Russian emperor.
Although he had a close relationship with his mother, Nicholas’s father believed his son to be silly and weak. Tsar Alexander III was a very strong ruler and saw no need to share a job with his uninterested heir. He refused to let him participate in any affairs of state; once, when Nicholas was twenty-five, a minister suggested that he be allowed to head a committee to supervise the completion of the Trans-Siberian Railway. Alexander III was incredulous. “Have you ever tried to discuss anything of consequence with him?” asked the Tsar about his son and heir. “He is still absolutely a child; he has only infantile judgements. How would he be able to become president of a committee?”
The Romanov family in 1893. From left to right: Tsarevich Nicholas, Grand Duke George, Empress Maria
Feodorovna (Princess Dagmar of Denmark), Grand Duchess Olga, Grand Duchess Xenia, Grand Duke
Michael, Tsar Alexander III seated.
In neither his education nor his temperament did Nicholas show much aptitude to be emperor. He enjoyed foreign languages and history, but struggled with economics and politics. In general he preferred sport to books, when older he delighted in the military and served for a year when he was nine-teen. In 1894 he married Princess Alexandra of Hesse-Darmstadt, a German noble, with whom he had four daughters and a son, Alexei. Alexandra was an assertive woman whose personality dominated the weaker Nicholas, and she strongly reinforced his belief in autocratic rule and his resistance to democratic reforms. In contrast to his political life, Nicholas’s home life was serene. He was a wonderful family man, a devout Orthodox Christian, and devoted to his wife and children.
The same year that he married, Nicholas became the Tsar when his father died of kidney disease. The newly-crowned emperor had not expected to be thrust into the role so soon, and he panicked about running the vast Russian empire all by himself. It was the moment, he wrote, that he “had dreaded all his life.” He confessed his fears to a cousin: “Sandro, what am I going to do? What is going to happen to me, to you, to Alix, to Mother, to all Russia? I am not prepared to be Tsar. I never wanted to become one. I know nothing of the business of ruling. I have no idea of even how to talk to ministers.”
Nicholas determined to uphold the status quo as Tsar, but unfortunately evens abroad and at home forced his hand. Hoping not to be left out of the imperial scramble, Russia grew its industry in the Far East, and forced concessions from China in Manchuria. Yet Russian’s expansion provoked the Japanese, who attacked Russia’s eastern border in 1904, beginning the Russo-Japanese War. Europeans were convinced that the white Russians would easily triumph over the “yellow” Japanese, but the Japanese embarked on a series of victories ending in the total destruction of the Russian fleet at the Battle of Tshushima in 1905.
Nicholas and Alix’s engagement photo, 1894.
The defeat was a stunning humiliation for Russian prestige. At home it sparked outrage and crisis that turned to strikes and riots. In January 1905, Russian troops opened fire on demonstrators in front of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, killing many. Outrage turned to outright revolution, and eventually the Tsar was forced to grant concessions in a constitution, as well as establish an elected parliament, the Duma.
Despite some elements of democratic reform, Nicholas tightened his autocratic rule. Secret police crushed revolutionary elements in the cities, and voting laws prevented the election of radicals. A travel guide for foreigners published in 1914 warned against taking photos in rail stations - offenders would be arrested.
The Tsar’s most pressing crisis, however, was at home. His son and heir, the Tsarevich Alexei, had hemophilia, the scourge of interbred European royal families. Nicholas and Alexandra despaired for their child and sought any means to help him. They turned to an unlikely source, a disheveled mysticfrom Siberia named Grigori Rasputin. Rasputin’s monasticism belied his true character, that of a debauched womanizer and con-man. Russian noble society despised him, but Alexandra especially confided in him, and Rasputin strengthened her belief in Nicholas’s divine right to rule. His influence steadily eroded the trust Russian people felt for their Tsar.
Nicholas (left) with his cousin King George V of England. They are wearing German military uniforms while on a visit to Berlin. Despite their likeness, George refused to help Nicholas or offer him asylum during the Russian Revolution, fearing that he might be toppled as well.
Nicholas’s failing popularity received a boost in 1914, when Russia went to war against Germany and Austria. Although Nicholas was close to his cousin, the Kaiser (they wrote to each other as “Nicky” and “Willy”), Russians enlisted en masse and displayed loyalty and love for their royal family. Yet endless failures at the front burst newfound support for the Tsar, especially when Nicholas took over from his cousin as supreme commander in 1915, a position in which he demonstrated no talent. The unending string of military disaster was now firmly pinned on him. Worse, economic deprivations at home soon turned into crisis. Russia was deeply in debt and many were starving. Approval of the royal family soured; they were thought to be living in luxury while ordinary Russians died at the front or starved at home.
In March 1917 (February of the old Russian calendar), demonstrations in St. Petersburg (now Petrograd) again turned to revolution. This time, Nicholas had no army to turn to - the military was in a state of collapse, with many soldiers deserting to go back home and take part in the revolution. Helpless, Nicholas abdicated on March 15, 1917. He hoped to go to England for asylum, but the British government (fearing he might provoke the British left) refused his request. Five hundred years of Russian Tsardom ended with NIcholas.
A shaky liberal-socialist Provisional Government was set up to replace the monarchy, but the war continued to go badly. Nicholas went into house arrest in the Urals with his family. His situation worsened in the fall of 1917, when a radical communist party, the Bolsheviks, ousted the Provisional Government. Civil war began in Russia between the Bolshevik “Reds” and the “Whites”, a complex mix of warlords and political parties who opposed the Bolsheviks.
The Russian royals played no role in the Civil War, but the Bolsheviks feared that the Tsar and his family could become a symbol for the White armies to rally around. Nicholas, Alexandra, and their children were transported to a house in Yekaterinburg for safe-keeping, but in the summer of 1918 the war was going poorly for the Reds and the Czech Legion, a unit of the White army, was rapidly advancing towards Yekaterinburg.
Nicholas in captivity at Tsarskoye Selo. This is one of the last photos taken in his life.
On the night of July 16-17, as the Czechs neared, Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin ordered the execution of the royal family. What actually happened is still shrouded in some state secrecy, but what is known is that a truckload of local Bolsheviks and foreign soldiers entered the house and ordered the ex-Tsar and his family to the basement. The Empress asked for chairs for her and thirteen-year-old Alexei to sit upon. The Red commander brought in two chairs, and then informed the stunned Tsar that he had been condemned to death. “What? What?” asked the Tsar. The executioners brought out revolvers and began shooting the family. The four daughters, between twenty-two and seven-teen years old, had been hiding some of their jewels in their clothes which deflected the bullets. The Bolshevik shooters stabbed them with bayonets and shot them in their heads, and stabbed to death their maid, who had shielded herself with a pillow full of jewels.
The executioners burnt, dismembered, and buried the bodies. In 1976 a team of investigators found their grave, but did not release the information until the collapse of the Soviet Union. Rumors had long abounded that one of the daughters, seven-teen year-old Anastasia, had survived and escaped the massacre, which were put to rest. In 2000 the Russian Orthodox Church canonized the family as saints; today the place where they were buried is the site of a church.
Summary: Jughead is infatuated by a photography student named Y/N, what happens when y/n possibly captures Jason Blossom’s killer on camera.
Warnings: Probably swearing. Hardcore fluff, so prepare I’m about to dish some serious feels
After that night at the drive in Jughead and I had been hanging out almost everyday. We had worked on intently looking through all of my photos taken from the July 4th weekend to see if we could find anything else interesting or unusual. But there was nothing to be found. Except from the one photo, that I didn’t even realise at the time would be so significant in the Jason Blossom case.
The crew M4A2 “Sherman” with the proper name “La Moscowa” (“Moscow”) of the 2nd French armored division of General Philippe Leclerc. From left to right: Jean Fabre, Louis Decherchi — gunner, Sergeant Robert Boccardo — tank commander, Charles Kartner, unknown. Girl — “godmother” (marraine) of the crew (name not known). Each crew of the tank divisions had a godmother, who corresponded with the crew, sent them parcels and gifts. The photo was taken between 31 July and 1 November 1944.
“The procession started outside the church, on Church Row. The lorry was pointed downhill and we were on the back of the lorry. I can still feel the lurch as the driver let the handbrake off on the way down, because you’re standing on the back of a lorry and it’s quite precarious!
“When we were going down King’s Drive, some of the other guys were playing - I don’t know why I wasn’t playing. We didn’t notice him [Rod’s Dad, James Davis] take the photograph. There’s one photograph where John is singing with his eyes closed. I’m standing, leaning against the back of the cab, and it must have been a hot, sticky day because my glasses have slipped down my nose. I’m pushing my glasses back up my nose and the banjo’s at my feet, in the case. Then we noticed it was my dad so there’s a second photograph where we’ve all turned around to look at him, but John unfortunately is obscured by Len. That particular photograph had been undiscovered from 1957 until 2009.
“Paul McCartney arrived on his bicycle and saw us playing. I met Paul in 2005, bumped into him on the seafront in Brighton. He said, “Oh, you must have been there on the day I first met John at St. Peter’s?”
“I said, “Yeah, in the famous photograph, I’m standing behind John’s right shoulder.” So he remembers it, I don’t remember him!
“Apparently at some stage during the day - and there are various contradictory versions of what happened - John and Paul were introduced by Ivan Vaughn (there doesn’t seem to be any doubt about that bit). No one invited Paul to join that night. Lennon is on record in an interview saying, “I immediately saw how fantastic he was and I asked him to join there and then!” Well, no, that didn’t happen. Pete and John were walking home because they both lived very close to each other, and John said to Pete (this is from Pete’s own mouth), “What did you think to Ivan’s friend then? Should we have him in the group?” and Pete said, “Yeah, I think he’s good. We should have him in the group.” So if Pete hadn’t said that, if Pete had said, “No, I think he’s an idiot,” then he wouldn’t have been in!
“I remember going to Aunt Mimi’s and there was somebody else there. I said to John, “Who’s that? Who’s this?” and he said, “Oh this is Paul. He’s come to listen to us practice,” so obviously by that time, he’d been invited to join the group.”
[Rod Davis, Banjo player in The Quarraymen, via The Liverpool Echo, 2017]
Photos - James Davis, taken on 6th July, 1957, the day John met Paul. (John with his eyes closed in the centre of the first photo)
Lesser-seen photo of Ted Bundy’s wife, Carole Ann Boone, offering solace to Bundy’s mother, Louise. The photo was taken in late July, 1979 at the Dade County Courthouse during the Chi Omega trial. 32-year-old Bundy was convicted on July 24, 1979 for the murders of Margaret Bowman and Lisa Levy. In addition to the murders, Bundy was charged for three counts of attempted first-degree murder for his assaults on Kathy Kleiner, Karen Chandler, and Cheryl Thomas as well as two counts of burglary.
Jamaican Plant :: ROYAL POINCIANA TREE (Delonix regia) is native to Madagascar. The brilliant red blooms of this tree are so spectacular, it’s also known in some Latin American countries as the Flamboyant or Flame tree. If you have a large yard, the Poinciana is a wonderful shade tree with its unique feathery leaves. The Poinciana is perfect for Jamaica’s subtropical coastal area: it is drought and salt tolerant. It usually blooms between May and July. | Photo taken at Goldeneye Hotel & Resort
[Sidenote: This tree might just be the national tree of Spanish Town apart from Common Mango Tree].
VOLTRON ANIMATORS NASA CONSPIRACY THEORY??????????
IS PLUTO’S MOON KERBEROS. YOU NERDS MAY KNOW IT AS THE MOON THAT SHIRO, MATT AND MR. HOLT WERE ABDUCTED FROM.
KERBEROS WAS DISCOVERED ON 28/06/2011 BY THE HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE BUT WAS ONLY OFFICIALLY NAMED IN JULY 2013.
THE IMAGE WE HAVE OF IT WAS ONLY TAKEN IN JULY 2015, AND THIS PHOTO WAS RELEASED TO THE PUBLIC IN OCTOBER 2015. BEFORE THE PHOTOS WERE RELEASED, SCIENTISTS HAD ASSUMED KERBEROS WAS A DARK MOON AND DIDN’T HAVE MUCH ALBEDO (LIGHT REFLECTION FROM ICE).
BUT AS WE SEE HERE
IN VOLTRON: LEGENDARY DEFENDER KERBEROS IS PORTRAYED AS VERY BRIGHT AND WHITE, AND COVERED IN ICE (hence the ice core samples taken by Shiro and the team).
HOW DID THE VOLTRON ANIMATING TEAM KNOW HOW TO ANIMATE KERBEROS? THE SERIES WAS RELEASED ON 10/06/2016, SURELY THEY WOULD HAVE HAD TO ANIMATE IT AND AT LEAST COME UP WITH THE STORYBOARD SEVERAL MONTHS EARLIER. HOW DID THEY DO THIS BEFORE THE NEW PHOTOGRAPHS AND INFORMATION ABOUT KERBEROS WAS RELEASED? ARE THEY IN LEAGUE WITH NASA? DID THEY GAIN ACCESS TO PRIVATE INFORMATION? THIS IS CLEARLY A SERIOUS COVER-UP. I CAN’T BELIEVE THE KORRA ANIMATORS ARE BEING FED TOP-SECRET INTERGALACTIC INFORMATION BY NASA.
Wladyslaw Grabowski (1846-1917), Julja Wronskich Grabowska (1850-1930, Stanislaw Krawczyk (1880-1935), and Wldayslawa Grabowskich Krawczykowa (d. 1946).
Cmentarz Rakowicki, Krakow, Poland. Photo taken 13 July 2016.
Julie Murphy stopped by the Smith Public Library to talk all things from her new release Ramona Blue to her journey becoming the New York Times bestselling author, to teen life. We had a great time! Thank you, Julie!
Photos taken by Chad Withers at Native Process Films