On This Day
The Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic (Transcaucasian SFSR or TSFSR), also known as the Transcaucasian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, was a constituent republic of the Soviet Union that existed from 1922 to 1936. It embraced Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. As they were separated from Russia by the Caucasus Mountains, they were known traditionally as the Transcaucasian Republics. Created ostensibly to consolidate the economic situation of the region, the TSFSR was also useful in consolidating Bolshevik control over the states. It was one of the four republics to sign the treaty establishing the Soviet Union in 1922.
Names in the local languages
Armenian: Անդրկովկասի Խորհրդային Սոցիալիստական Դաշնային (Ֆեդերատիվ) Հանրապետություն
Andrkovkasi Khorhrdayin Soc‘ialistakan Dashnayin (Federativ) Hanrapetut‘yun
Azerbaijani: Загафгазија Сосиалист Федератив Совет Республикасы
Zaqafqaziya Sosialist Federativ Sovet Respublikası
Georgian: ამიერკავკასიის საბჭოთა ფედერაციული სოციალისტური რესპუბლიკა
Amierk’avk’asiis Sabch’ota Pederatsiuli Sotsialist’uri Resp’ublik’a
Russian: Закавказская Социалистическая Федеративная Советская Республика (ЗСФСР)
Zakavkazskaya Sotsalisticheskaya Federativnaya Sovetskaya Respublika (ZSFSR)
The roots of a Transcaucasian condominium state trace back to the dissolution of the Russian Empire in 1918, following the October Revolution, when the provinces of the Caucasus seceded and formed their own state called the Transcaucasian Federation. Competing ethno-national interests and confrontation with the Ottoman Empire in World War I led to the dissolution of the Transcaucasian Federation only two months later, in April 1918.
The three successor states: the First Republic of Armenia, the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan, and the Democratic Republic of Georgia, lasted until the end of the Russian Civil War that was being fought across the mountains, when they were invaded by the Red Army and sovietized. Following the proposal by Vladimir Lenin the three now Soviet Republics, the Armenian, Azerbaijani and Georgian SSRs, were united into the Federative Union of Socialist Soviet Republics of Transcaucasia on March 12, 1922. In the same year, on December 13, the First Transcaucasian Congress of Soviets transformed this federation of states into a federative state and renamed it into the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, though keeping formally the autonomy of the constituent republics. The congress also adopted the constitution, appointed the Central Executive Committee (the highest legislative body), and the Council of People’s Commissars (the government). Mamia Orakhelashvili, a Georgian Bolshevik leader, became the first chairman of the Transcaucasian SFSR Council of People’s Commissars. Tbilisi was the capital of the republic.
The republic became a founding member of the Soviet Union on December 30 along with the Russian SFSR, the Ukrainian SSR, and the Byelorussian SSR. In 1936, the Transcaucasian SFSR was dissolved and divided again among the Georgian, Armenian and Azerbaijani SSRs.
Born On This Day
1919 – Mike Stepovich, American lawyer and politician, Governor of the Territory of Alaska (d. 2014)
Michael Anthony “Mike” Stepovich (March 12, 1919 – February 14, 2014) was an American lawyer who, from 1957 to 1958, served as the last non-acting Governor of Alaska Territory. Following his education and military service during World War II, Stepovich established a law practice in his home town of Fairbanks, Alaska and began his political career by winning three terms in the Alaska Territorial legislature. During his term as governor, he was a leading advocate in the effort to gain statehood for Alaska. Following Alaska’s admission to the Union, he made an unsuccessful run for a U.S. Senate seat and two unsuccessful attempts to be elected Governor of Alaska.
Stepovich was born to a well-known Montenegrin miner father, Michael, “Wise Mike” Stepovich,, and a Montenegrin Croat mother, Olga, in Fairbanks, Alaska on March 12, 1919. His parents divorced when he was 6 months old and his mother took him to Portland, Oregon, where he was raised by his mother and stepfather. Stepovich was educated in parochial schools and Portland’s Columbia Preparatory School before enrolling at the University of Portland in 1937. He graduated from Gonzaga University with a Bachelor of Arts in 1940 and from the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Laws in 1943.
After completing his law degree, Stepovich enlisted in the United States Navy and was assigned to Camp Parks’ legal office. After three-and-a-half years of military service, he was discharged as a yeoman third class. Following his discharge in 1947, he returned to Portland for a short time to court his future wife before moving to Fairbanks, Alaska. In Fairbanks he took his bar examination and was appointed city attorney by the end of the year and establishing a private practice.
He married Matilda Baricevic in November 1947. The marriage produced thirteen children: Antonia, Maria, Michael, Peter, Christopher, Dominic, Theodore, Nicholas, James, Laura, Nada, Andrea, and Melissa. His daughter Nada married NBA player John Stockton.
Stepovich began his political career in 1950 when, running as a Republican, he won a seat in the Alaska Territorial House of Representatives. Two year later he advanced to take a seat in the Alaska Territorial Senate. He remained in the senate for two terms, becoming the minority leader in 1955.
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