Oct 9 - ON THIS DAY in 1975, Andrei Sakharov, the Soviet physicist who helped build the USSR's first hydrogen bomb, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of his struggle against "the abuse of power and violations of human dignity in all its forms."
1989: On March 26, the people of the Soviet Union vote in free elections for the first time since 1917 and elect a new Congress of Peoples Deputies. While the majority of Communist Party-endorsed candidates are elected, over 300 candidates win out over the endorsed candidates. Among them are Boris Yeltsin, physicist Andrei Sakharov (shown), and lawyer Anatoly Sobchak.
May 21, 1921 - Andrei Sakharov (d. 1989), Soviet nuclear physicist, dissident and human rights activist, is born (the Sakharov Prize, which is awarded annually by the European Parliament for people and organizations dedicated to human rights and freedoms, is named in his honor)