On This Date In History: The Romanov Royal Family in Russia met its doom. Czar Nicholas II was put in a bad spot as he was not really trained to be the Czar. He took the throne in 1896 and was pretty aloof; detached from the needs of his subjects. He committed the nation to an ill-advised war war with the Japanese in 1904. The Russo-Japanese War ended pretty quickly with the Russian fleet annihilated quickly following a naval battle north of Japan.
About a decade later Russia, like other European countries, was bound by a series of complicated alliances that took Russia and much of the rest of Europe into World War I with an army that was completely ill-equipped for modern warfare. They had lots of guys but they were more suited for a war in 1814 instead of 1914. The people had gotten angry in 1905 and forced the Czar to create the Duma, a form of Congress. But he kept on dissolving the Duma whenever it came up with some sort of reforms. The war effort was denying the people basic necessities and Nick’s subjects became even angrier to the point of revolt though Nicholas remained oblivious to the people’s needs and their unrest. So, in 1917 the Russian Revolution broke out. In July 1918 they captured the royal family and on this date in 1918, the family was lined up for a photograph and then gunned down. A pit was alleged to have been dug and the bodies tossed in an burned.
Rumor was that the whole family was killed except for Anastasia, the young daughter. During the 20th century, several women showed up in Europe and even the United States claiming to be Anastasia. The most convincing of these Anastasias was a woman, Anna Anderson, who moved to the United States and died there in 1984. The gravesite for the family was a state secret during the time of the Soviet Union. But, with the end of communist rule the secret was revealed. In 1991, the bodies of the Royal Family were exhumed from their supposed grave near the town of Ekaterinburg only to find that the mystery was not solved. The grave of the Romanovs only had 5 bodies, not 7; two were missing. The missing bodies were that of the young male Romanov, Alexi Nikolaevich and one of his sisters. It was assumed that the missing girl was Anastasia. The bones in the grave were examined and DNA comparisons between Anna Anderson and the Royal Family proved she was not Anastasia. On July 17, 1998 a funeral was held for the 5 members of the Romanov family that had been found, almost exactly 80 years after they were killed. In January 2008, scientists in Russia claimed that they a few months before had found the charred remains of two children near Ekaterinburg. In April 2008, forensic experts claimed that they had confirmed that the remains were that one of Alelxi and one of his sisters. In March 2009, apublished report verified that all of the Romanov family had been identified and no one had survived the execution. Case close, right? Not exactly.
I wonder why the executioners would not put all of the bodies together. It also seems quite convenient that two sets of charred remains just happen to show up near the grave site. But, my musings aside, a Stanford University study released in 2004 questions the original assertion that the 5 sets of bones unearthed in 1991 belonged to the Romanov family to begin with. That would throw everything up in the air, including the claims of Anna Anderson. When news of the Stanford report hit the press, it caused somewhat of a stir among the scientists who had concluded that the case was closed. After all, part of the premise was that the investigation was flawed and that called into question the integrity and ability of the original scientists. It always seems that these conspiracies live on forever. Whenever a credible person produces evidence for one side of a story, another credible person counters the previous credible evidence. And then there are always unanswered questions such as why the two children were not buried with the rest or how the rumor of Anastasia’s survival even came up in the first place. I guess the saddest part of this sort of thing is that some folks spend most of their lives trying to disprove or prove points related to issues that really make little difference. Beside that, if the absolute truth of Anastasia were to be of total certainty, then the events in 1918 would not be nearly as interesting and perhaps forgotten. One thing Anna Anderson did do was to keep the memory of the murder of the Romanov family alive for nearly a century.
Weather Bottom Line:
On Thursday night there were a couple of shortwaves out to the west that were approaching the area. As they wound down, the also slowed down over the western parts of the viewing area and rained themselves out to the tune of 1-3 inches over places like Crawford and Dubois County. I had figured that was the rain chance for our area on Friday and, sure enough, by midday you could tell that there was very little in the way of vertical development of the clouds which indicated that there was a suppression going on and that rain chances would be limited. As I looked at the morning analysis, that was also the front so temperatures and humidity will be limited on Friday, though it still will be pretty warm. The front doesn’t get far and also more or less washes out to our south over the weekend. However, it should provide enough instability to give us some isolated or maybe scattered t’storms for the weekend. Highs will be in the low 90’s with somewhat humid conditions but nothing too extreme.