One of the most important holidays during the Soviet Era was Revolution Day. It was a time to honor and remember those who instigated the October Revolution of 1917, fought and died as a result of oppression and rebellion. On the new calendar, the date of this celebration was November 7.
On October 24, 1917 (old calendar), Lenin ordered the Smolny Institute, where the Red Guard was based, to begin the October Revolution. Battleship Aurora, came up the Neva River, firing blanks at the Hermitage, in Petrograd (St. Petersburg). Troops from the Red Army seized the Winter Palace and Bolsheviks began their control of the new Soviet state. The Bolshevik leader, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, changed the term Bolshevik to Communist. After his death, in 1924, Petrograd was renamed Leningrad.
In 1996, then President Boris Yeltsin signed a decree changing the focus of the November 7 holiday. In his opinion, Revolution Day was too negative as it focused on the countless victims of revolution. He, also, believed that the holiday split Russian society rather than unifying it. Wanting to promote the ideal that the Russian people have a common past and future, Yeltsin changed the name of the holiday to Day of Accord and Reconciliation.