Martin Luther King Jr – The Man Who Fought for Equal Rights

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

Martin Luther King Jr. was the most important voice of the American civil rights movement, which worked for equal rights for all.

He was famous for using nonviolent resistance to overcome injustice, and he never got tired of trying to end segregation laws (laws that prevented blacks from entering certain places, such as restaurants, hotels, and public schools).

He also did all he could to make people realize that “all men are created equal.” Because of his great work, in 1964 King received the Nobel Peace Prize — the youngest person ever to receive this high honor. King was also a Baptist minister.

King led the 1955 Montgomery bus boycottand in 1957 became the first president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference(SCLC). With the SCLC, he led an unsuccessful 1962 struggle against segregation in Albany, Georgia, and helped organize the nonviolent 1963 protests in Birmingham, Alabama. He also helped organize the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

On October 14, 1964, King won the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequalitythrough nonviolent resistance. In 1965, he helped organize the Selma to Montgomery marches. The following year, he and the SCLC took the movement north to Chicago to work on segregated housing. In his final years, he expanded his focus to include opposition towards poverty and the Vietnam War. He alienated many of his liberal allies with a 1967 speech titled “Beyond Vietnam”. J. Edgar

Hoover considered him a radical and made him an object of the FBI’s COINTELPRO from 1963 on. FBI agents investigated him for possible communist ties, recorded his extramarital liaisons and reported on them to government officials, and on one occasion mailed King a threatening anonymous letter, which he interpreted as an attempt to make him commit suicide.

In 1968, King was planning a national occupation of Washington, D.C., to be called the Poor People’s Campaign, when he was assassinated on April 4 in Memphis, Tennessee. His death was followed by riots in many U.S. cities. Allegations that James Earl Ray, the man convicted and imprisoned of killing King, had been framed or acted in concert with government agents persisted for decades after the shooting. Sentenced to 99 years in prison for King’s murder, effectively a life sentence as Ray was 41 at the time of conviction, Ray served 29 years of his sentence and died from hepatitis in 1998 while in prison.

King was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. Martin Luther King Jr. Day was established as a holiday in numerous cities and states beginning in 1971; the holiday was enacted at the federal level by legislation signed by President Ronald Reaganin 1986. Hundreds of streets in the U.S. have been renamed in his honor, and a county in Washington State was also rededicated for him. The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., was dedicated in 2011.


“I have a Dream”

The “I Have a Dream” speech by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was delivered during the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. He gave the speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.; this speech expresses King’s notorious hope for America and the need for change. He opens the speech by stating how happy he is to be with the marchers, and emphasizes the historical significance of their march by calling it “the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.”

He talks about Abraham Lincoln signing the Emancipation Proclamation one hundred years before the march. He calls that proclamation “a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity,” where “their” refers to those who were enslaved. King then comes to the problems faced by African Americans in 1963, saying that one hundred years later, they still are not free. Instead, they are “sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination.” He also discusses the poverty endured by black Americans. King talks about when the founders of the nation (“the architects of our republic”) wrote the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

He says they were writing a promissory note to every American, that all men were guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and that this included black men as well as white. He states that America defaulted on that check where black citizens are concerned by denying them those rights. “America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked insufficient funds,” he says.

King then adopts a more hopeful tone by adding that the “bank of justice” is not bankrupt. He also states that there is urgency in their cause: “This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.” He uses the seasons as a metaphor to describe this urgency by saying that the legitimate discontent of African Americans is a “sweltering summer,” and that freedom and equality will be an “invigorating autumn.” He also promises that this protest is not going away. It’s not about voicing grievances and then going back to the status quo: “The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges,” he states. King then cautions his people not to commit any wrongful deeds. He says, “Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.” This is a crucially important sentiment, as King’s leadership was defined by civil disobedience, not violence. He proved that real legal change could be made without resorting to violence. Though there was much violence during the Civil Rights movement, he was always for peace, and urged others to protest peacefully, what he calls in his speech “the high plane of dignity and discipline.” He also stresses the importance of recognizing white people who want to protest for this same cause—those allies that are necessary to its success. King provides some specific goals. He says they can’t stop marching so long as they suffer police brutality, so long as they’re turned away from hotels, so long as they’re confined to ghettos, so long as they’re subject to segregation, and so long as they do not have the right to vote. He then recognizes the struggles that many of the marchers have already endured, and asks them to undertake that struggle again, and to have hope that their situation can and will change.

Then comes the most famous part of this speech, for which it is titled. King says his dream is “deeply rooted in the American dream.” This reinforces the protestors’ rights to equality in America. He says he dreams that “the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.” This emphasizes the need for black and white Americans to work together.

Central to the message of this speech, and the Civil Rights movement more generally, is this line: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” He talks about the importance of faith, and that “all flesh shall see [the glory of the Lord] together.” That faith, he says, will help them in the struggles they’ve faced, the struggles they still face, and those struggles yet to come as they peacefully fight for liberty and equality. King then uses a line from the song, “My Country ‘Tis of Thee”: “This will be the day, this will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning: ‘My country, ‘tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!’” Only by realizing this as truth, King says, can America become a great nation.

He begins the next section by mentioning mountainsides throughout the country, repeating “Let freedom ring.” King closes the speech with another iconic line: “When all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing the words of the old Negro spiritual: ‘Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!’”

He was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, when he was just 39 years old. His birthday is now observed as a national holiday on the third Monday in January.

Last ‘blood moon’ eclipse of the decade – Super Blood Wolf Moon Lunar Eclipse January 2019

Few parts of the world are going to witness the rare cosmic event called Super Blood Wolf Moon Lunar Eclipse which is a result of three lunar phenomena happening together. And is the last ‘blood moon’ eclipse of the decade.

Let’s see why it is been called as “Super Blood Wolf Moon Lunar Eclipse” first.


Total Lunar Eclipse:

A total lunar eclipse takes place when the Earth comes between the Sun and the Moon and covers the Moon with its shadow.

Super Moon:

This is called as a ‘Super moon’ because during this the Moon is at its closest distance to the Earth in the orbit and this point is known as the “perigee”.

In a super moon, our planet’s satellite appears 14 per cent larger and almost 30 per cent brighter in the sky.

Blood Moon:

The reason this is called a Blood Moon is because during a total lunar eclipse, the moon appears to take a reddish colour, hence the name Blood Moon.

What makes the moon turn red?

So why does the Moon appear red? During the lunar eclipse, the Moon is blocked from the sunlight since the Earth is in the way. Instead of reflecting sunlight as the Moon would have done at any other point, the Earth casts a shadow on the satellite

However not all sunlight is blocked, and because the Earth’s atmosphere allows the red wavelength light to pass through, the Moon reflects those and appears to have a reddish colour. This is because red light has a longer wavelength and can travel a longer distance, rather than blue light, which the Earth’s atmosphere filters out.

Wolf Moon:

Finally, this is called a Wolf moon is a part of tradition of referring to January’s full moon. There’s no actually wolf connection to the moon here.


A blood moon as seen from Sydney, Australia on July 28, 2018 CAMERON SPENCER, GETTY IMAGES



Visibility of this eclipse:

According to NASA, if the skies are clear the eclipse will be visible across North America, South America, Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, Britain, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, France and Spain. The rest of Europe and Africa will also get a glimpse of the Super Blood Wolf Moon.

7 Stages of the Eclipse:

A total lunar eclipse usually happens within a few hours. Totality can range anywhere from a few seconds to about 100 minutes. The July 26, 1953 total lunar eclipse had one of the longest periods of totality in the 20th century—100 minutes and 43 seconds.

There are 7 stages of a total lunar eclipse:

  • Penumbral eclipse begins: This begins when the penumbral part of Earth’s shadow starts moving over the Moon. This phase is not easily seen by the naked eye.
  • Partial eclipse begins: Earth’s umbra starts covering the Moon, making the eclipse more visible.
  • Total eclipse begins: Earth’s umbra completely covers the Moon and the Moon is red, brown, or yellow in color.
  • Maximum eclipse: This is the middle of the total eclipse.
  • Total eclipse ends: At this stage, Earth’s umbra starts moving away from the Moon’s surface.
  • Partial eclipse ends: Earth’s umbra completely leaves the Moon’s surface.
  • Penumbral eclipse ends: At this point, the eclipse ends and Earth’s shadow completely moves away from the Moon.

When the Eclipse Happens Worldwide — Timeline

Lunar eclipses can be visible from everywhere on the night side of the Earth, if the sky is clear. From some places, the entire eclipse will be visible, while in other areas the Moon will rise or set during the eclipse.

Event UTC Time
Penumbral Eclipse begins 21 Jan, 02:36:29
Partial Eclipse begins 21 Jan, 03:33:54
Full Eclipse begins 21 Jan, 04:41:17
Maximum Eclipse 21 Jan, 05:12:14
Full Eclipse ends 21 Jan, 05:43:15
Partial Eclipse ends 21 Jan, 06:50:39
Penumbral Eclipse ends 21 Jan, 07:48:02


How long will the total lunar eclipse last?

The total lunar eclipse, which is also being called as a Super Blood Wolf Moon, will last around one hour and two minutes. This is peak eclipse or the greatest eclipse period, which is when Moon comes closest to the axis of Earth’s shadow

The entire eclipse will start at 7:34 pm PST / 11:41 pm EST and last till 10.50 pm PST and this includes partial and total eclipse. The peak eclipse will start at 8.41 pm PST and end at 9.43 pm PST. For India, this comes to 10.11 AM on the morning of January 21 and ending at 11.13 am IST on January 21, however, the eclipse will not be visible to people in India and other Asian countries. The entire event, which includes total as well as partial lunar eclipse will reportedly last for three and a half hours.

Appearance of Super Blood Wolf Moon

 In the first phase, no real difference will appear in the moon. In the second phase, a partial eclipse will appear. About 90 minutes later, it will reach totality. The moon will give a  reddish glow. The process then goes in reverse.

How to see Super Blood Wolf Moon

There’s no need of any special equipment to watch Super Blood Wolf Moon. If the weather is clear, stargazers will be able to enjoy this celestial show.


The world’s largest Religious Gathering Happening in India (Photos)

Many sadhus belong to monastic orders called Akharas and some live in remote caves, stepping out for the Ardh Kumbh Mela, generally held once every three years in four cities.

2019 Ardh Kumbh Mela, one of the largest religious gatherings in the world commenced on January 15 on Makar Sankranti – considered as the most auspicious day in the Hindu calendar.

Day one was for ascetics from various akharas and those who braved the surging crowds; day two on Wednesday (January 16) was for hundreds of thousands of people, including tourists, who lined up along the Sangam for a purifying dip.

The story behind

The mythological significance of Kumbh can be traced from the story of the ‘Samudra Manthan’ done by the gods and demons to obtain the pot of nectar /Amrit for attaining immortality.

During the struggle to gain this pot full of Amrit, a fight ensued between gods and demons and drops of Amrit spilled near Prayag, Nashik-Triyambakeshwar, Haridwar, and Ujjain.

The rivers situated in these areas are considered to be carrying the nectar that fell from the pot.

Kumbh Mela 2019, which started on January 15 and will continue till March 4, is spread across 32 square km and is expected to host around 150 million people from across the world.

It is the largest peaceful gathering of pilgrims who come together every three years in Haridwar, Prayagraj, Ujjain, and Nasik. The Kumbh Mela returns to each of these cities after every 12 years to mark the celebration of Hindu heritage.

From 247 km of streets inside the venue and parking capacity of 5.63 lakh to 1,22,500 toilets and 58 police outposts, the Mela ground is currently a world in itself. Moreover, 2,132 medical personnel and around 20,000 police officials, including home guards, PAC companies and central para-military forces have been deployed at the Kumbh Mela venue.

The BJP-led Yogi Adityanath government has renamed Ardh Kumbh as Kumbh and the Kumbh as Maha Kumbh.

During the eight-week festival at Prayagraj in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, up to 150 million people, including a million foreign visitors, are expected to bathe at the confluence of the Ganges, the Yamuna, and a mythical third river, the Saraswati.

More than 18 million pilgrims led by naked, ash-smeared ascetics had entered the grounds by 1600 local time (1130 GMT) on Tuesday, said a spokesman for the Kumbh Mela Adhikari, the main organizing committee.

Estimating crowd numbers at the site, two thirds the size of Manhattan is difficult.

However, if the trend continues, it would be the largest ever Kumbh.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, which governs the state, sees a successful festival as a way to burnish its credentials as a defender of the Hindu faith.

Giant cardboard cutouts of Modi, who faces a tough test in a general election due by May, adorned the sacred site.

Devout Hindus believe bathing in the waters of the Ganges absolves people of sins and at the time of the Kumbh Mela, or the “festival of the pot”, it brings salvation from the cycle of life and death.

A highlight is the appearance of the Naga sadhus, or ascetics, who worship Shiva and bathe on the first day.

Many sadhus belong to monastic orders called Akharas and some live in remote caves, stepping out for the Kumbh Mela, generally held once every three years in four cities.

Shortly before dawn on Tuesday, the first ascetics, the Panchayati, plunged into the water amid cries of “har har Mahadev”, or “everyone is Mahadev”, another name for Shiva.

“It is out of this world,” said Seth. “When you get in the water, you feel like you are alive.”

Members of the largest monastic order at the festival, the Juna Akhara, raced down to the water carrying tridents and spears as police held back throngs of spectators.

“The river gives us immortality,” said a naked sadhu from the Juna Akhara as he covered his body in ash after bathing.

Photo courtesy : Indian Media

Dhuni Sadhana – an Incredible Fire Practice by Indian Saints

‘Dhuni Sadhana’, one of the most incredible practices followed by some sects of Vaishnava Sadhus (Saints)

Vaishnava sadhu-s performing the fifth (‘kot dhuni’, कोट धूनी) and sixth (‘kot khappar dhuni’, कोट खप्पर धूनी) phases of the ‘dhuni sadhana’ (धूनी साधना), an 18-year-long penance.

They chant and meditate with dried ‘gobar’ cakes burning around them in a circle for several hours every day in the sun, for four months a year (spring and summer), for three years in every phase.

In both the fifth and sixth phases, the cakes are placed very close to each other. The word ‘kot’ (कोट) is from Sanskrit कोटि which means “a crore” and also “uncountably many”, here used in the latter sense. In the sixth phase, the sadhu places burning ‘gobar’ cakes in an clay vessel which is placed on the head, in addition to the circle of burning cakes. The word ‘khappar’ (खप्पर) is from Sanskrit कर्पर which means “a pot or bowl” and also “the head”.

The ‘dhuni sadhana’ is a very difficult penance where the sadhu experiences lot of heat and smoke under the scorching sun. Many sadhu-s do this 18-year-long penance even today.

At the 2016 Ujjain Kumbhamela, 8,000 Vaishnava sadhu-s performed various phases of ‘dhuni sadhana’ in 40 degree Celsius temperature.

Ancient Terracotta idols unearthed by the floods and reveals the existence of an ancient civilization

Sometimes the Natural disasters would do the job of revelation of our past, the outstanding discovery of ancient terracotta idols on the banks of the Pampa river at Edayaranmula, near Aranmula, Kerala State, India,  exploring the Ancient Pampa Valley civilisation, During the excavations of Archaeology Department of India.

A few fisher men had sighted terracotta figurines along a caved-in portion of the river bank near Anjilimoottilkadavu at Edayaranmula.

When a few fishers from Kerala decided to visit the Pamba basin in Aranmula In early  September 2018, little did they expect to stumble upon a piece of history hitherto unknown to the world.  As they rowed toward the part of the river bank that had sunken-in during the floods, they came across ancient terracotta artefacts stuck between roots of trees that were uprooted. Excited to discover a secret buried in the river bed for so long, the fishermen immediately contacted the archaeological department to further excavate the area.

Sapta Matrikas unearthed from Aranmula _ Photo By KrishnaRaj K

A month post this incident, the Kerala Department of Archaeology has begun a rescue excavation to uncover more hidden terracotta treasures.

As per the historian’s early observations these figurines pointed to a centuries-old rich civilisation that prevailed in the Pampa river basin. It is a first of a kind discovery from the banks of Pampa and invited deeper studies.

Terracotta Figures of Sapta Matrikas – Photo By KrishnaRaj K

The work, currently in progress at the Kozhipalam region in Aranmula, has led to several more terracotta idols being recovered from the trenches.

Krishnaraj, who is also part of the excavation team, said that the first samples of idols that were found by the fishermen were stuck inside the roots of trees that had been uprooted by a flood induced landslip in the region. Upon further excavation, the team recovered more clay idols, most of them having similar patterns.

The pieces include male and female figurines, snake heads, bust of a man and a twin female terracotta statue. The Aranmula-based Pampa Valley Civilisation Study and Research Centre has taken up the matter with Minister for Archaeology Kadannappally Ramachandran, who directed the Archaeology Department to conduct a detailed study and excavation of the site.

Stylized Naga, Found at Aramula – By Krishnaraj K

A team of experts comprising S. Bhoopesh, conservation engineer, and Rajeshkumar, curator, attached to the State Archaeology Department, visited Edayaranmula and examined the artefacts on October 1. Meanwhile, Mr. Puliyoor contacted historians M.R. Raghava Warrier and M.G.S. Narayanan. Prof. Warrier visited Edayaranmula in the first week of October and said that the artefacts might be 800-1200 years old.

Terracotta Figures – Courtesy The Hindu

As reported by The News Minute,  “Mostly, the idols had seven faces. A group of seven women sitting close together was a prominent kind of figurine. We also found male figurines and Naga (serpent) figurines. The idols look like they belonged to a place of worship — like a sacred grove for the naga gods (pambin kavu). The concept of Sapta Kanya (seven virgins) or Sapta Matrika (a group of mother goddesses) is a common theme in the idols. Votive sculptures or shilpams used for idol sacrifice was also excavated from the region,” he said.


“Saying that is a bit much. A civilisation stands as a huge era in history, consisting of many generations of people and their progress. Here we are talking about small tribes living close to the river. The idols found are mostly used for worship,” Krishnaraj added.

Naga idol found in Aranmula

A few of the figurines have been currently preserved at the Vasthu Vidya Gurukulam, a local institute in the area which teaches vastu, architecture, culture etc. Another small sample of the idols is with the Directorate of Archaeology as they were taken for initial inspection. The excavating team has also kept all the idols they found and unearthed from the basin.

The centuries-old terracotta pieces include parts of male figurines and Naga images Credits to Manorama Online


Cist burial site discovered on the opposite banks of the Pamba during excavations

A cist is a small stone-built coffin-like box or ossuary used to hold the bodies of the dead. Examples can be found across Europe and in the Middle East. A cist may have been associated with other monuments, perhaps under a cairn or long barrow.

Cist Burial Found Near the Excavation Site – Photo By KrishnaRaj K

“We are going to send them for Thermoluminescence dating, a process used to determine the exact age of the figurines by identifying the time elapsed since the material was exposed to sunlight or heat. We will be sending the samples to Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology in Dehradun,” he said Reported by The News Minute.

The team along with local conservationists group Aranmula Pamba Paithrika Samrakshana Samithi have decided to build a museum in the region to preserve the findings from the river basin. Dr. Mohanakshan Nair, linguist and Sanskrit scholar, said the 13th Century text, Tirunizhalmala, also mentioned the heritage village of Aranmula on the banks of Pampa and on the presence of education centres there.





Happy New Year 2019

Thanks to all readers and followers of our website and our Facebook Page “The October Sky

Like Einstein once said “The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know“, there is so much to learn in this life and much more to explore.

Nikola Tesla said “Its not the love you make. It’s the love you give“, let’s try to make a better tomorrow by loving eachother and living together with peace and harmony. Let’s make this world as a better place to live.

Hope to explore more in the coming year 2019 and wish you all a very happy new year.

Much Love. 💖


Great Gama Wrestler, who got Bruce Lee as his follower

This article is about a Gama wrestler, who got Bruce Lee as his follower.

The “Great” Gama (born 22 May 1878 (India)– 23 May 1960(Pakistan)) also known as “Gama Pehalwan” ,Ghulam Muhammad.

Born in Kashmir, he was awarded the Indian version of the World Heavyweight Championship on 15 October 1910. Undefeated in a career spanning more than 52 years, he is considered one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. After Independence in 1947, Gama moved to the newly created state of Pakistan.

Gama’s daily training consisted of grappling with forty of his fellow wrestlers in the court. He used to do five thousand Baithaks (squats) and three thousand Dands (push ups).Gama’s daily diet was 4 gallons (15 litres) of milk, a pound and a half of crushed almond paste made into a tonic drink along with fruit juice and other ingredients to promote good digestion. This high protein and high energy diet helped him accumulate muscle mass.

In London, Gama issued a challenge that he could throw any three wrestlers in thirty minutes of any weight class. This announcement however was seen as a bluff by the wrestlers and their wrestling promoter R. B. Benjamin. For a long time no one came forward to accept the challenge. To break the ice, Gama presented another challenge to specific heavy weight wrestlers. He challenged Stanislaus Zbyszko and Frank Gotch, either he would beat them or pay them the prize money and go home. The first professional wrestler to take his challenge was the American Benjamin Roller. In the bout, Gama pinned Roller in 1 minute 40 seconds the first time, and in 9 minutes 10 seconds the other. On the second day, he defeated 12 wrestlers and thus gained entry to official tournament.

Bruce Lee was an avid follower of Gama’s training routine. Lee read articles about Gama and how he employed his exercises to build his legendary strength for wrestling, and Lee quickly incorporated them into his own routine. The training routines Lee used included “the cat stretch”, “the squat” (known as “baithak”), and also known as the “deep-knee bend.

Moscow is all set to welcome the new year 2019

Moscow is all set to welcome the new year 2019 with it’s resplendent appearance enhanced by the winter snowfall decorating the city.

Moscow is the capital of Russia, the largest city in the country and Europe, and one of the largest cities in the world. Moscow refers to global cities having a great influence on the world because of its high economic level and population. It is the main transport hub of Russia, its political, economic, cultural, and scientific center.

Moscow in Numbers

Moscow is among the world’s largest cities, being the 14th largest metro area, the 18th largest agglomeration, the 14th largest urban area, and the 11th largest by population within city limits worldwide. According to Forbes 2013, Moscow has been ranked as the ninth most expensive city in the world by Mercer and has one of the world’s largest urban economies, being ranked as an alpha global city according to the Globalization and World Cities Research Network, and is also one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in the world according to the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index.

Winter’s Magic

Moscow is the northernmost and coldest megacity and metropolis on Earth.

Coming to the history of the Moscow city

The real age of Moscow is not known. There are some myths saying that the foundation of Moscow took place in ancient times. The first trustworthy chronicle which mentioned the settlement is the Ipatyev Chronicle, saying that on Saturday, April 4, 1147, the prince Yury Dolgoruky received his friends and allies headed by the prince Svyatoslav Olgovich in a small town called Moskov.

In the early 13th century, Moscow became the center of principality for the first time. In the first half of the 15th century, the town gradually became more and more important. This fact was directly bound with the Tatar-Mongol yoke. The Golden Horde put the Russian principalities under its tribute. Its systematic raids on the Rus’ destroyed the land, and the princes were obligated to get permissions to rule from the Horde.

At the end of the 15th century, Moscow became the capital of the largest Russian state, and, at the beginning of the 16th century – the capital of a unified Russian state. In 1712, the capital of Russia was moved to a newly built town of Saint Petersburg, but Moscow remained the place where emperors were crowned. In 1754, by Catherine’s II order, Michail Lomonosov founded the Moscow University.

During the War of 1812, Moscow was captured by Napoleon’s troops and heavily damaged by fire. According to various estimates, up to 80% of the buildings were destroyed. The recovery process lasted for more than thirty years. The Cathedral of Christ the Savior was built. By the end of the 19th century, trams appeared in Moscow.

In 1918, Moscow became the capital of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. A new Soviet epoch began in the history of the city. Moscow became the main city of the country, the importance of the city increased enormously.

In the winter of 1941-1942, the Moscow Battle took place. This was the first land victory over Nazi Germany in the Second World War.

In 1980, Moscow became the Olympic city. The 22nd Summer Olympic Games took place in the city.

In 1995, Moscow received new official symbols – coat of arms, flag, and anthem. In the 21st century, a number of international cultural and sports events took place in Moscow, including the final of the UEFA Champions League in 2008. 12 matches of FIFA World Cup 2018 were played in Moscow.

The coat of arms of Moscow depicts a horseman with a spear in his hand slaying a basilisk and is identified with Saint George and the Dragon. The heraldic emblem of Moscow has been an integral part of the coat of arms of Russia since the 16th century.

Moscow has been the largest transport hub of Russia throughout its history. The city is located in the very center of the hub of railways and highways.

Now, the whole city is decorated with lights and all set to welcome the new year 2019.

Special thanks to Yanina Nikitina for all these fantastic photos.