Joseph Stalin Is Born
Joseph Stalin, was born in Gori, Georgia on 21st December, 1879.
He was his mother's fourth child to be born in less than four years. The first three died and as Joseph was prone to bad health, his mother feared on several occasions that he would also die. Understandably, given this background, Joseph's mother was very protective towards him as a child.
Joseph's father was a bootmaker and his mother took in washing. As a child, Joseph experienced the poverty that most peasants had to endure in Russia at the end of the 19th century. At the age of seven he contacted smallpox. He survived but his face remained scarred for the rest of his life and other children cruelly called him "pocky".
Born in Gori, Georgia to illiterate peasant parents (who had been serfs at birth), his harsh spirit has been blamed on undeserved and severe beatings by his father, inspiring vengeful feelings towards anyone in a position to wield power over him (perhaps also a reason he became a revolutionary). His mother set him on a path to become a priest, and he studied Russian Orthodox Christianity until he was nearly twenty.
His involvement with the socialist movement began at seminary school, from which he was expelled in 1899. From there on he worked for a decade with the political underground in the Caucasus. He soon followed Vladimir Lenin's ideology about centralism and a strong party of "professional revolutionaries". His practical experience made him useful in Lenin's Bolshevik party leading up to the 1917 October Revolution (in which he played no direct part).
Although there is an inconsistency among published sources about Stalin's year and date of birth, Iosif Dzhugashvili is found in the records of the Uspensky Church in Gori, Georgia as born on 18 December (Old Style: 6 December) 1878. This birth date is maintained in his School Leaving Certificate, his extensive tsarist Russia police file, a police arrest record from 18 April 1902 which gave his age as 23 years, and all other surviving pre-Revolution documents. As late as 1921, Stalin himself listed his birthday as 18 December 1878 in a curriculum vitae in his own handwriting. However, after his coming to power in 1922, Stalin changed the date to December 21 [O.S. December 9] 1879. That became the day his birthday was celebrated in the Soviet Union.