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Today in History, Dec. 6

A portrait of Empress Elizabeth by Georg Christoph Grooth.

272 years ago today, on Dec. 6, 1741, Elizabeth Petrovna, Peter I's daughter, became Empress of Russia following a bloodless coup. During her reign, she led Russia into two major European wars, while on the home front she ordered the establishment of some of Russia's leading academies and educational institutions.

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