Soviet leader Joseph Stalin dies, March 5th, 1953
The Russian dictator ruled the Soviet Union for thirty years, dying at the age of seventy-four from a stroke and complications of heart disease brought on by years of heavy smoking. Ironically, his life might have been lengthened if doctors had reached him more quickly after his stroke, but Stalin’s standing orders that his guards never enter his room worked against him. Once, just to test them, he lay on his bed and screamed in agony. The guards rushed into the room to save his life. Stalin’s screams were fake. Each man was then executed for failure to follow orders.