Home Today's Reason to Drink May 18: The 124th anniversary of the Khodynka Tragedy

May 18: The 124th anniversary of the Khodynka Tragedy

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Today is the 124th anniversary of the Khodynka Tragedy. 1,389 people were trampled to death in a park in Moscow during the coronation celebrations of Russian Tsar Nicholas II in 1896. The tragedy served to make the Russian people think the reign of Nicholas II was cursed and eroded the public trust to the degree it made it that much easier for the Bolsheviks to seize power in 1917. So, what happened? Well, typically during coronation celebrations, the new Tsar lays a bunch of free stuff on the celebrators, particularly beer and pretzels. All well and good, I personally think our elected leaders should do the same, but this time false rumors began spreading through the huge crowd saying there weren’t enough pretzels and beer to go around, causing a mass panic and deadly trampling. So, what’s the lesson here? If you’re going to throw a shindig, always make sure the beer and pretzels are right up front, so no one gets the idea to freak out and start stepping on people.