Interesting facts about awards

In 1711, Emperor Peter the First established the Order of the Holy Great Martyr Catherine. Only women were awarded it, and the Grand Duchesses received it already at baptism. During the entire reign of the Romanov dynasty, the Order was awarded 734 times. And among the awardees there was one man - Alexander Menshikov, the son of the favorite of Peter the Great A.D. Menshikov. He received this award from Catherine I in 1727, when the boy was 13 years old. The reason for the award was the child's overly shy nature.

A medal in memory of the Battle of Chesme, which took place in June 1770, was awarded to all the lower ranks who took part in it. The award was made of silver, on the obverse there is a portrait of Catherine II, and on the reverse - four warships, with the inscription below: CHESME. 1770. YEAR JULY. 24 D. And in the upper part there is a laconic inscription - "BYL".

The very first award that Yuri Gagarin received after his legendary flight was the medal "For the development of virgin lands." Moreover, he was awarded not in an official setting, but right in the field. The case was quite curious: the device with the world's first cosmonaut landed in the Saratov region near the village of Smelovka. The chairman of the local collective farm in delight took off his medal for the virgin lands and "awarded" Gagarin.

Olympic champion in marathon running in 1896 Spiridon Luis received a medal, an olive branch and a cup for his victory. But this is only from the International Olympic Committee. The Greek fellow countrymen gave it much more generously. From grateful compatriots, the marathon runner received a ton of chocolate, a new home, jewelry, the opportunity to shave in a hairdresser for free throughout his life and other pleasant "little things".

Order of the Million Elephants and the White Umbrella. Such an unusual award was officially approved in 1909 in Laos. The knight of the order receives only a document on awarding, but the order itself had to be paid for. It was a good way to replenish the budget of a poor country.

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin in his entire life was awarded only the Order of Labor of the Khorezm People's Socialist Republic. Vladimir Ilyich received this award in 1922. And the republic itself did not exist for long, four years from 1920 to 1924. Ilyich still had a chance to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, such an initiative was put forward in 1917 by the Norwegian Social Democratic Party. True, that year they did not manage to register Lenin's candidacy in time, and soon the Civil War began in Russia.

In 1944, Romania withdrew from the allies of Nazi Germany and, together with the USSR, began to fight the Nazi army. Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin awarded the Romanian King Mihai I the Order of Victory, the highest military award of the Soviet Union. Mihai I died in 2017, having outlived all the holders of this order.

Until 1977, the orders of the Soviet Union, after the death of the awarded, could not remain with relatives, but had to return to the state. An exception was made only for the Order of the Patriotic War.