Stalin was born in the Georgian town of Gori on 18 December 1878.

Stalin was baptised on 29 December.

He enrolled at the school in August 1894.

In October 1899, Stalin began work as a meteorologist at a Tiflis observatory.

Co-organised a secret workers' mass meeting for May Day 1900, at which he successfully encouraged many of the men to take strike action. By this point, the empire's secret police—the Okhrana—were aware of Stalin's activities within Tiflis' revolutionary milieu. They attempted to arrest him in March 1901, but he escaped and went into hiding, living off the donations of friends and sympathizers.

Remaining underground, he helped plan a demonstration for May Day 1901, in which 3,000 marchers clashed with the authorities.

In November 1901, he was elected to the Tiflis Committee of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP), a Marxist party founded in 1898.

In January 1905, government troops massacred protesters in Saint Petersburg. Unrest soon spread across the Russian Empire in what came to be known as the Revolution of 1905.

Stalin married Kato Svanidze in a church ceremony at Senaki in July 1906.

In February 1913, Stalin was arrested while back in Saint Petersburg. He was sentenced to four years exile in Turukhansk, a remote part of Siberia from which escape was particularly difficult.

Stalin was in the city when the February Revolution took place; uprisings broke out in Petrograd—as Saint Petersburg had been renamed—and Tsar Nicholas II abdicated to escape being violently overthrown. In Old style it was in 23/2/1917.

On 24 October, police raided the Bolshevik newspaper offices, smashing machinery and presses; Stalin salvaged some of this equipment to continue his activities. Date in old style 24/10.

In the early hours of 25 October, Stalin joined Lenin in a Central Committee meeting in the Smolny Institute, from where the Bolshevik coup—the October Revolution—was directed. in old style it was in 25/10

On 26 October, Lenin declared himself Chairman of a new government, the Council of People's Commissars ("Sovnarkom"). In old style it was in 26/10.

The Bolsheviks had won the civil war by late 1919.

At the 11th Party Congress in 1922, Lenin nominated Stalin as the party's new General Secretary. Although concerns were expressed that adopting this new post on top of his others would overstretch his workload and give him too much power, Stalin was appointed to the position.

Lenin died in January 1924

In October 1927, Zinoviev and Trotsky were removed from the Central Committee; the latter was exiled to Kazakhstan and later deported from the country in 1929. Some of those United Opposition members who were repentant were later rehabilitated and returned to government.

The Soviet Union signed a non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany on 23 August 1939.

Germany invaded Poland on 1 September 1939 starting World War II.

Became Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Soviet Union.

On 22 June 1941, Hitler launched an invasion of the Soviet Union.

In April 1945, the Red Army seized Berlin, Hitler committed suicide, and Germany surrendered.

Stalin died on 5 March 1953.