Why Famous: Played a leading role in the October Revolution of 1917, overthrowing the Provisional Government and establishing a one-party state under the new Communist Party that became the Soviet Union.
Vladimir Lenin became interested in Marxism while at university and was later exiled to Siberia for sedition. After travelling through Europe Lenin returned to Russia to join the 1917 Russian Revolution, writing his April Theses for the Bolshevik Party on the way.
In power, Lenin began reforms to shift crown and private estates into soviet worker's control. He consolidated power through imposing censorship and authorizing the "Red Terror".
Ideologically a Marxist, his political theories are known as Leninism.
On his death in 1924, Saint Petersburg was renamed Leningrad in his honor and his body was embalmed and placed on display in a Mausoleum in Red Square.
- 1898-07-10 Russian revolutionary Vladimir Ilyich Lenin marries fellow revolutionary Nadezhda "Nadya" Krupskaya in Shushenskoye.
- 1911-11-20 The funeral of Paul and Laura Lafargue (daughter of Karl Marx) in Paris is attended by Lenin; the two socialists died in a suicide pact in the belief that their political usefulness was at an end
- 1916-07-02 Lenin says Imperialism is caused by capitalism
- 1917-04-03 Vladimir Lenin arrives in Petrograd from Switzerland [NS=April 16]
- 1917-04-16 [OS Apr 3] Lenin arrives back from exile in Russia at Finland Station, Petrograd to join the Russian Revolution
- 1917-04-16 Vladimir Lenin issues his radical "April Theses" calling for Soviets to take power during the Russian Revolution [OS Apr 4]
- 1917-11-07 [OS Oct 25] October Revolution in Russia; Lenin and the Bolsheviks seize power, capture the Winter Palace and overthrow the Provisional Government.
- 1917-11-07 The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic is proclaimed; first Council of People's Commissars is formed with Vladimir Lenin as leader and including Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin
- 1917-11-10 New bolshevik government under Lenin suspends freedom of press (temporary) during October Revolution
- 1917-11-17 Lenin defends "temporary" removal of freedom of the press
- 1917-11-21 Maxim Gorky calls Vladimir Lenin a blind fanatic and unthinking adventurer
- 1917-12-18 The Soviet government issues a decree recognizing Finland's newly-declared independence [N.S. December 31]
- 1917-12-20 Cheka formed - Soviet state security force and forerunner to the KGB, under Felix Dzerzhinsky after decree by Lenin
- 1918-08-30 Fanya Kaplan attempts but fails to assassinate Lenin, new leader of Soviet Russia
- 1919-03-23 8th Congress of the Russian Communist Party re-establishes a five-member Politburo which becomes the center of political power in the Soviet Union. Original members Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky, Joseph Stalin, Lev Kamenev and Nikolai Krestinsky
- 1921-03-17 Lenin proclaims New Economic Politics
- 1922-04-03 Joseph Stalin is appointed General Secretary of the Russian Communist Party by an ailing Vladimir Lenin
- 1922-05-26 Vladimir Lenin suffers a stroke
- 1922-12-25 -Dec 26] Lenin dictates his "Political testament"
- 1923-03-04 Lenin's last article in Pravda (about Soviet bureaucracy)
- 1923-03-15 Vladimir Lenin suffer his 3rd stroke
- 1924-01-21 Vladimir Lenin's Testament is handed over to the Communist Party; it calls for changes to the Soviet governing structure and criticizes Joseph Stalin, Leon Trotsky and other members
- 1924-01-27 Lenin placed in Mausoleum in Red Square, Moscow
- 1925-01-06 Mikhail Frunze replaces Leon Trotsky as People's Commissioner of Military and Native Affairs (Minister of Defence) as Trotsky and Joseph Stalin battle for power in the aftermath of Vladimir Lenin's death
- 1926-10-18 Frankfurter Zeitung publishes Lenin's political testament
- 1956-06-30 Lenin's politics testament (1923) published in Moscow
- 1993-10-05 Last honor guard at Lenin's mausoleum
- 1993-11-16 Russian President Yeltsin shuts Lenin museum