RUSSIA: Beards

On April 26, 1698, Peter I called the leading Russians to his country place, Preobrazhenskoye, and told them they had to conform to Western custom by shaving off their beards. With his own hand Peter gave his noblemen's whiskers a rough-cut.

On March 15, 1946 Joseph Stalin called the leading Russians to the Kremlin and told them they would have to conform to Western custom by calling themselves ministers instead of commissars. With his own hand Stalin signed the suggestion to have his own title changed to prime minister.

In neither case was...

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