Western Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Year
The Western Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Year is a basketball award given to the Western Athletic Conference's most outstanding player. The award was first given following the 1980–81 season. Keith Van Horn of Utah and Nick Fazekas of Nevada are the only players to have won the award three times. Three other players—Michael Cage, Josh Grant and Melvin Ely—have won the award twice. Danny Ainge, the first WAC Player of the Year, was the John R. Wooden Award winner in 1980–81. Utah has the most all-time winners with seven. There have been four ties in the award's history, most notably in 1982–83 when there was a three-way tie. Due to major membership turnover from 2010 to 2014, only three current WAC members, New Mexico State, UMKC and Utah Valley, have had a winner
Argentina the Argentine Republic, is a country located in the southern half of South America. Sharing the bulk of the Southern Cone with Chile to the west, the country is bordered by Bolivia and Paraguay to the north, Brazil to the northeast and the South Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Drake Passage to the south. With a mainland area of 2,780,400 km2, Argentina is the eighth-largest country in the world, the fourth largest in the Americas, the largest Spanish-speaking nation; the sovereign state is subdivided into twenty-three provinces and one autonomous city, Buenos Aires, the federal capital of the nation as decided by Congress. The provinces and the capital exist under a federal system. Argentina claims sovereignty over part of Antarctica, the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; the earliest recorded human presence in modern-day Argentina dates back to the Paleolithic period. The Inca Empire expanded to the northwest of the country in Pre-Columbian times; the country has its roots in Spanish colonization of the region during the 16th century.
Argentina rose as the successor state of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, a Spanish overseas viceroyalty founded in 1776. The declaration and fight for independence was followed by an extended civil war that lasted until 1861, culminating in the country's reorganization as a federation of provinces with Buenos Aires as its capital city; the country thereafter enjoyed relative peace and stability, with several waves of European immigration radically reshaping its cultural and demographic outlook. The almost-unparalleled increase in prosperity led to Argentina becoming the seventh wealthiest nation in the world by the early 20th century. Following the Great Depression in the 1930s, Argentina descended into political instability and economic decline that pushed it back into underdevelopment, though it remained among the fifteen richest countries for several decades. Following the death of President Juan Perón in 1974, his widow, Isabel Martínez de Perón, ascended to the presidency, she was overthrown in 1976 by a U.
S.-backed coup which installed a right-wing military dictatorship. The military government persecuted and murdered numerous political critics and leftists in the Dirty War, a period of state terrorism that lasted until the election of Raúl Alfonsín as President in 1983. Several of the junta's leaders were convicted of their crimes and sentenced to imprisonment. Argentina is a prominent regional power in the Southern Cone and Latin America, retains its historic status as a middle power in international affairs. Argentina has the second largest economy in South America, the third-largest in Latin America, membership in the G-15 and G-20 major economies, it is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, World Trade Organization, Union of South American Nations, Community of Latin American and Caribbean States and the Organization of Ibero-American States. Despite its history of economic instability, it ranks second highest in the Human Development Index in Latin America; the description of the country by the word Argentina has been found on a Venetian map in 1536.
In English the name "Argentina" comes from the Spanish language, however the naming itself is not Spanish, but Italian. Argentina means in Italian " of silver, silver coloured" borrowed from the Old French adjective argentine " of silver" > "silver coloured" mentioned in the 12th century. The French word argentine is the feminine form of argentin and derives from argent "silver" with the suffix -in; the Italian naming "Argentina" for the country implies Terra Argentina "land of silver" or Costa Argentina "coast of silver". In Italian, the adjective or the proper noun is used in an autonomous way as a substantive and replaces it and it is said l'Argentina; the name Argentina was first given by the Venetian and Genoese navigators, such as Giovanni Caboto. In Spanish and Portuguese, the words for "silver" are plata and prata and " of silver" is said plateado and prateado. Argentina was first associated with the silver mountains legend, widespread among the first European explorers of the La Plata Basin.
The first written use of the name in Spanish can be traced to La Argentina, a 1602 poem by Martín del Barco Centenera describing the region. Although "Argentina" was in common usage by the 18th century, the country was formally named "Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata" by the Spanish Empire, "United Provinces of the Río de la Plata" after independence; the 1826 constitution included the first use of the name "Argentine Republic" in legal documents. The name "Argentine Confederation" was commonly used and was formalized in the Argentine Constitution of 1853. In 1860 a presidential decree settled the country's name as "Argentine Republic", that year's constitutional amendment ruled all the names since 1810 as valid. In the English language the country was traditionally called "the Argentine", mimicking the typical Spanish usage la Argentina and resulting from a mistaken shortening of the fuller name'Argentine Republic'.'The Argentine' fell out of fashion during the mid-to-late 20th century, now the country is referred to as "Argentina".
In the Spanish language "Argentina" is feminine, taking the feminine article "La" as the i
The Dallas Mavericks are an American professional basketball team based in Dallas, Texas. The Mavericks compete in the National Basketball Association as a member club of the league's Western Conference Southwest Division; the team plays its home games at the American Airlines Center, which it shares with the National Hockey League's Dallas Stars. As of the 2017 season, the Mavericks have sold out 704 consecutive games since December 15, 2001, the longest running sellout streak in North American major league sports. Since their inaugural 1980–81 season, the Mavericks have won three division titles, two conference championships, one NBA championship. In 1978, Californian businessman Garn Eckardt met Dallas lawyer Doug Adkins, mentioned he was trying to raise capital to move an NBA team to the city. Asking for a possible partner, Adkins recommended him one of his clients, Home Interiors and Gifts owner Don Carter. Negotiations with Eckardt fell through, but Carter remained interested in the enterprise as a gift to his wife Linda, who played basketball while at Duncanville High School.
At the same time, Buffalo Braves president and general manager Norm Sonju developed an interest in bringing the NBA to Dallas as he studied possible new locations for the ailing franchise. While the Braves went to California as the San Diego Clippers, Sonju returned to Texas, was introduced to Carter by mayor Robert Folsom, one of the owners and team president of the last professional basketball team in the city, the Dallas Chaparrals of the American Basketball Association, which moved to San Antonio in 1973 to become the San Antonio Spurs. Sonju and Carter tried purchasing both the Milwaukee Bucks and the Kansas City Kings, but disagreement on relocation stalled the negotiations, leading them to instead aim for an expansion team; the league was reluctant to expand to Dallas, given Texas had both the Spurs and Houston Rockets, the 1978–79 NBA season was proving unprofitable and unpopular. Still, during the 1979 NBA All-Star Game weekend, NBA commissioner Larry O'Brien announced the league would add two new teams in the 1980–81 season, with teams in Dallas and Minneapolis.
Once the Minnesota team backed out, only Dallas remained, through negotiations with general counselor and future commissioner David Stern, the expansion fee was settled on the $12.5 million. Carter would provide half the amount. At the 1980 NBA All-Star Game, league owners voted to admit the new team, with the team's name coming from the 1957–1962 TV western Maverick. James Garner, who played the namesake character, was a member of the ownership group; the University of Texas at Arlington, who uses the Mavericks nickname, had objections about a shared name, but did not attempt any legal action. They joined the Midwest Division of the Western Conference, where they would stay until the league went to six divisions for the 2004–05 season. Dick Motta, who had guided the Washington Bullets to the NBA Championship in 1977–78, was hired as the team's first head coach, he had a well-earned reputation of being a stern disciplinarian, but was a great teacher of the game. Kiki Vandeweghe of UCLA was drafted by the Mavs with the 11th pick of the 1980 NBA draft, but Vandeweghe refused to play for the expansion Mavericks and staged a holdout that lasted a month into the team's inaugural season.
Vandeweghe was traded to the Denver Nuggets, along with a first-round pick, in 1981, in exchange for two future first-round picks that materialized into Rolando Blackman in 1981 and Sam Perkins in 1984. In the Mavericks' debut game, taking place in the brand-new Reunion Arena, the Mavericks defeated the Spurs, 103–92, but the Mavs started the season with a 6–40 record on their way to finishing 15–67. However, the Mavericks did make a player acquisition that, while it seemed minor at the time, turned out to play a important role in the early years of their franchise. Journeyman 6 ft 3 in guard Brad Davis, who played for the Anchorage Northern Knights of the Continental Basketball Association, was tracked down and signed by the Mavs in December. At the time, there was no reason to expect that Davis would be any better than the expansion-level talent the Mavs had, but he started the Mavs' final 26 games, led the team in assists, his career soared. He spent the next twelve years with the Mavericks, his number 15 jersey was retired.
The Mavericks marked the first NBA team to have a profitable debut season, with an average of 7,789 spectators. The 1981 NBA Draft brought three players; the Mavs selected 6'6" forward Mark Aguirre with the first pick, 6'6" guard Rolando Blackman 9th, 6'7" forward Jay Vincent 24th. By the end of his seven-year Mavs career, Aguirre would average 24.6 points per game. Blackman contributed 19.2 points over his 11-year career in Dallas. But it was Jay Vincent who made the biggest difference for the Mavs in their second season, leading the team in scoring with 21.4 points per game and earning NBA All-Rookie Team honors. The Mavericks improved to 28–54, getting out of the Midwest Division cellar as they finished above the Utah Jazz. In 1982–83, the Mavericks were serious contenders for the first time. At the All-Star break, they had won 12 of their last 15 games, they could not sustain that momentum and finished seven games behind the Denver Nuggets for the sixth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
But the Mavs' 38–44 re
Arvada is a Home Rule Municipality in Jefferson and Adams counties, a part of the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area of the U. S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census the population was 106,433, in 2016 the estimated population was 117,453, ranking Arvada as the seventh most populous municipality in Colorado; the Olde Town Arvada historic district is 7 miles northwest of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. The first documented discovery of gold in the Rocky Mountain region occurred on June 22, 1850, when Lewis Ralston, a Georgia prospector headed for the California gold fields, dipped his sluice pan into a small stream near its mouth at Clear Creek. Ralston found about 1/4 ounce of gold worth about five dollars. Ralston's companions named the stream Ralston's Creek in his honor, but they all left the next morning, drawn by the lure of California gold. During the Pike's Peak Gold Rush in 1858, Ralston brought another group of prospectors back to the site of his first discovery.
The placer gold in the area soon played out, but hard rock deposits of gold were found in the mountains to the west. Some of the miners abandoned their search for gold and returned to farm the rich bottom land along Ralston Creek and Clear Creek, they found an eager market for their crops among other gold seekers. The Territory of Colorado was formed on February 28, 1861, the farms in the valley expanded to feed the growing population of the region. In 1870, the Colorado Central Railroad laid tracks through the area on its route from Golden to link up with the Kansas Pacific Railroad and the Denver Pacific Railroad at Jersey Junction, 3 miles north of Denver. On December 1, 1870, Benjamin F. Wadsworth and Louis A. Reno platted the Ralston Point townsite along the railroad. To avoid confusion with other communities along Ralston Creek, Ralston Point was soon renamed Arvada in honor of Hiram Arvada Haskin, brother-in-law of settler Mary Wadsworth, her husband, Benjamin Wadsworth, became the first postmaster of Arvada.
Colorado was granted statehood on August 1, 1876, the Town of Arvada was formally incorporated on August 14, 1904. A vibrant agricultural community, Arvada claimed the title "Celery Capital of the World." Arvada grew during the latter half of the 20th century as a suburb of nearby Denver, the state capital. Arvada became a Statutory City on October 31, 1951, a Home Rule Municipality on July 23, 1963. By the end of the millennium, the population of Arvada exceeded 100,000. On December 9, 2007, Matthew J. Murray walked into the Youth With a Mission Center in Arvada and, after he was refused his request to stay overnight in the dormitories, opened fire and killed two people, injuring two more. A memorial was held the following Wednesday, December 12, in which Youth With a Mission leaders forgave Murray's family for what happened; the city of Arvada is a Home Rule Municipality with a council-manager form of government. The Arvada City Council has seven members: a mayor and two councilmembers elected at large, four councilmembers elected from council districts.
The City Council selects the city manager. The Arvada City Manager is Mark Deven. Arvada is located in northeastern Jefferson County at 39°49′12″N 105°6′40″W. A small portion of the city extends east into Adams County. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 32.8 square miles. 32.7 square miles of it are land and 0.2 square miles are water. The climate is described as Humid Continental by abbreviated as Dfb. Arvada is the western terminus of Interstate 76, which begins at the intersection of Interstate 70 and State Highway 121. Other state highways in Arvada include SH 72, SH 93, SH 95. Major highways near Arvada include Interstate 25, Interstate 270, U. S. Highway 36 and U. S. Highway 287; the Amtrak California Zephyr passes through Arvada westbound each morning and eastbound each evening. This route through the scenic heart of the Rocky Mountains is one of the most popular rail routes in the United States. Full Amtrak passenger and parcel service is available at the nearby Denver Union Station.
The Denver Regional Transportation District serves Arvada with eight local bus routes, four express bus routes, one regional bus route. RTD plans to provide Arvada with a commuter rail Gold Line along the old Colorado Central Railroad route by 2015. Arvada is served by nearby Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport. In 2014 the League of American Bicyclists designated Arvada as a Silver Level Bicycle Friendly Community; as of the census of 2010, there were 106,433 people, 42,701 households, 28,927 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,028.1 people per square mile. There were 44,427 housing units at an average density of 1,216.7 per square mile with a median value of $240,000. The racial makeup of the city was 89.08% White, 0.9% African American, 0.8% Native American, 2.2% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 3.5% from other races, 2.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 13.7% of the population. There were 44,427 households out of which 31.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.5% were married couples living together, 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 32.3% were non-families.
26.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.8% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.00. In the city the population was spread out with 23.4% under the age of 18, 5.5% from 20 to 24, 25.1% from 25 to 44, 29.8% f
Jason Frederick Kidd is an American professional basketball coach and former player. He most served as the head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association. A point guard in the NBA, Kidd was a ten-time NBA All-Star, a five-time All-NBA First Team member, a nine-time NBA All-Defensive Team member, he won an NBA Championship in 2011 as a member of the Dallas Mavericks, was a two-time Olympic Gold Medal winner during his pro career, as part of Team USA in 2000 and 2008. He was inducted as a player into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Kidd played college basketball for the California Golden Bears and was drafted second overall by the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the 1994 NBA draft, he was named co-NBA Rookie of the Year in his first season with the Mavericks. From 1996 to 2001, Kidd played for the Phoenix Suns and for the New Jersey Nets from 2001 to 2008, he led the Nets to two consecutive NBA Finals appearances in 2002 and 2003. In the middle of the 2007–08 season, Kidd was traded back to Dallas.
At age 38, Kidd won his only NBA championship. He finished his playing career in 2013 with the New York Knicks; the following season, he became the head coach of the Nets, who had relocated from New Jersey to Brooklyn. After one season, he was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks, where he coached for four seasons until he was fired mid-season in 2018. Kidd's ability to pass and rebound made him a regular triple-double threat, he retired ranked third all-time in the NBA for regular season triple-doubles with a career total of 107 and third in playoff triple-doubles with a career total of 11, he ranks second on the NBA all-time lists in career assists and steals and ninth in 3-point field goals made. Kidd was born in San Francisco, raised in an upper middle class section of Oakland, his father, was African-American, his mother, Anne, is Irish-American. As a youth, Kidd was scouted for AAU teams and tourneys, garnering various all-star and MVP awards, he attended the East Oakland Youth Development Center and frequented the city courts of Oakland, where he found himself pitted against future NBA Hall of Famer Gary Payton.
At St. Joseph Notre Dame High School in Alameda, under the guidance of coach Frank LaPorte, Kidd led the Pilots to consecutive state championships, averaging 25 points, 10 assists, 7 rebounds and 7 steals his senior season. During that year, he received a host of individual honors, including the Naismith Award as the nation's top high school player, was named Player of the Year by PARADE and USA Today; the all-time prep leader in assists and the state's seventh-highest career scorer, Kidd was voted California Player of the Year for the second time and a McDonald's All-American. On January 31, 2012, Kidd was honored. After a publicized recruiting process, Kidd shocked many fans and pundits alike by choosing to attend the nearby University of California, Berkeley—a school, coming off a 10–18 season and had not won a conference title since 1960—over a number of top-ranked collegiate programs including the University of Arizona, the University of Kentucky, the University of Kansas, Ohio State University.
In his first year playing for the Golden Bears, Kidd averaged 13.0 points, 7.7 assists, 4.9 rebounds, 3.8 steals per game which earned him national Freshman of the Year honors and a spot on the All-Pac-10 team. His 110 steals set an NCAA record for most steals by a freshman and set school record for most steals in a season, while his 220 assists that season was a school record, his play was a key factor in the resurgence of Cal basketball and helped the Golden Bears earn an NCAA Tournament bid, where they upset two-time defending national champion Duke in the second round of that tournament before losing to Kansas in the Sweet 16. Kidd continued his success as a sophomore, tallying averages of 16.7 points, 6.9 rebounds, 3.1 steals and 9.1 assists, breaking his previous school record for most assists in a season with 272, while leading the nation in that category. He was selected a First Team All-American, the first Cal player to be so named since 1968, as well as Pac-10 Player of the Year, becoming the first sophomore to receive that honor.
The Golden Bears made the NCAA Tournament again as a fifth seed, but was upset in the first round by Dick Bennett's Wisconsin–Green Bay team 61–57. Kidd was named a finalist for both the Naismith and Wooden Awards as college basketball's top player and subsequently opted to enter the NBA draft in 1994. In 2004, Cal retired Kidd's number 5 jersey. Kidd was selected as the second pick overall by the Dallas Mavericks, behind Glenn Robinson of Purdue, just ahead of Duke's Grant Hill. In his first year, he averaged 11.7 points, 5.4 rebounds and 7.7 assists, led the NBA in triple doubles, sharing 1995 NBA Rookie of the Year honors with Hill of the Detroit Pistons. The year before the Mavericks drafted Kidd, they finished the season with the worst record in the NBA at 13–69. After Kidd's first season with the Mavericks, their record improved to 36–46, the largest improvement in the NBA. In the following season Kidd was voted a starter in the 1996 All-Star Game. In his first two years with the Mavericks, the move most people associated him with was "the baseball pass".
Kidd was a member of the "Three J's" in Dallas along with Jamal Mashburn. After promising beginnings, things turned sour among the trio. Mashburn's injury combined with deteriorated personal relations between the immature leaders of the team resulted in the Mavericks taking a step backwards instead of further development. Kidd's continued
2007 NBA draft
The 2007 NBA draft was held on June 28, 2007 at the WaMu Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. It was broadcast on television in 115 countries. In this draft, National Basketball Association teams took turns selecting amateur U. S. college basketball players and other eligible players, including international players. Freshman Greg Oden from Ohio State University was drafted first overall by the Portland Trail Blazers, who won the draft lottery. However, he missed the 2007–08 season due to microfracture surgery on his right knee during the pre-season. Another freshman, Kevin Durant, was drafted second overall from the University of Texas by the Seattle SuperSonics, went on to win the Rookie of the Year Award for the 2007–08 season. Oden and Durant became the first freshmen to be selected with the top two picks in the draft. Al Horford, the son of former NBA player Tito Horford, was drafted third by the Atlanta Hawks. Of the three top picks and Horford were able to enjoy solid All-Star careers, while Oden was beset by numerous microfracture surgeries on both knees that limited him to only 82 games from 2008 to 2010.
On the night after the draft, the Seattle SuperSonics traded seven-time All-Star Ray Allen along with the draft rights of the 35th pick Glen Davis to the Boston Celtics in exchange for Delonte West, Wally Szczerbiak, the draft rights to the 5th pick, Jeff Green. The Portland Trail Blazers and the New York Knicks were involved in a multi-player trade that sent Zach Randolph to the Knicks and Steve Francis to the Blazers. Apart from those two trades, nine further draft-day trades were announced; the 2007 draft marked the first time three players drafted in the top 10 came from the same school: the University of Florida. Florida, the 2007 National Collegiate Athletic Association Basketball champion, tied the record set by the University of Connecticut in 2006 with five players selected in the first two rounds of an NBA draft. Florida joined nine other schools, including Connecticut, that had five players selected in an NBA draft, second only to UNLV, which had six players selected in the eighth-round 1977 draft.
Five players who competed in the 2007 NCAA Basketball National Championship Final were selected in the top 10. This draft set the record number of freshmen drafted in the first round when eight freshmen were selected. Of the 60 players drafted, eight were freshmen, five were sophomores, 14 were juniors, 20 were seniors, 13 were international players without U. S. college basketball experience. The Cleveland Cavaliers, Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers and Toronto Raptors all did not have a draft pick this year, although Indiana and Toronto each acquired a drafted player's rights after the draft. ^ a: Yi Jianlian's year of birth has been disputed, with several sources claiming that Chinese basketball authorities falsified his year of birth from 1984 to 1987 to allow him a longer period of competition in international junior tournaments. A dedicated section of Yi's Wikipedia article discusses this issue and includes sources.^ b: Joakim Noah, born in the United States to a French father and a Swedish mother, has dual U.
S. and French citizenship. He has represented France internationally since 2011.^ c: Taurean Green, born in the United States, became a naturalized citizen of Georgia in 2010. He has represented Georgia internationally since 2010; these players were not selected in the 2007 NBA Draft but have played at least one game in the NBA. The basic requirements for draft eligibility are: All drafted players must be at least 19 years of age during the calendar year of the draft. Any player, not an "international player", as defined in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, must be at least one year removed from the graduation of his high school class; the CBA defines "international players" as players who permanently resided outside the U. S. for three years before the draft, did not complete high school in the U. S. and have never enrolled at a U. S. college or university. The basic requirement for automatic eligibility for a U. S. player is the completion of his college eligibility. Players who meet the CBA definition of "international players" are automatically eligible if their 22nd birthday falls during or before the calendar year of the draft.
A player, not automatically eligible must declare his eligibility for the draft by notifying the NBA offices in writing no than 60 days before the draft. An early entry candidate is allowed to withdraw his eligibility for the draft by notifying the NBA offices in writing no than 10 days before the draft. On June 19, 2007, NBA announced that 32 college players and 6 international players had filed as early-entry candidates for the 2007 Draft, while 46 players who had declared as early entry candidates had withdrawn from the draft; the first 14 picks in the draft belonged to teams. The lottery would determine the three teams; the remaining first-round picks and the second-round picks were assigned to teams in reverse order of their win-loss record in the previous season. On April 20, 2007, the NBA performed a tie-breaker to determine the order of the picks for teams with identical win-loss record; the lottery was held on May 2007 in Secaucus, New Jersey. The Portland Trail Blazers, who had the seventh-worst record in the previous season, won the lottery with just a 5.3% chance to win.
This was the fourth time that the Blazers had the first overall draft pick and the first time that the Blazers won the draf
The Soviet Union the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were centralized; the country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Minsk, Alma-Ata, Novosibirsk, it spanned over 10,000 kilometres east to west across 11 time zones, over 7,200 kilometres north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, steppes and mountains; the Soviet Union had its roots in the 1917 October Revolution, when the Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Russian Provisional Government which had replaced Tsar Nicholas II during World War I. In 1922, the Soviet Union was formed by a treaty which legalized the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian and Byelorussian republics that had occurred from 1918. Following Lenin's death in 1924 and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s.
Stalin committed the state's ideology to Marxism–Leninism and constructed a command economy which led to a period of rapid industrialization and collectivization. During his rule, political paranoia fermented and the Great Purge removed Stalin's opponents within and outside of the party via arbitrary arrests and persecutions of many people, resulting in at least 600,000 deaths. In 1933, a major famine struck the country. Before the start of World War II in 1939, the Soviets signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, agreeing to non-aggression with Nazi Germany, after which the USSR invaded Poland on 17 September 1939. In June 1941, Germany broke the pact and invaded the Soviet Union, opening the largest and bloodiest theatre of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the effort of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad and Kursk; the territories overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Soviet Union.
The post-war division of Europe into capitalist and communist halves would lead to increased tensions with the United States-led Western Bloc, known as the Cold War. Stalin died in 1953 and was succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev, who in 1956 denounced Stalin and began the de-Stalinization; the Cuban Missile Crisis occurred during Khrushchev's rule, among the many factors that led to his downfall in 1964. In the early 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed with the Soviet–Afghan War in 1979. In 1985, the last Soviet premier, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika, which caused political instability. In 1989, Soviet satellite states in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist governments; as part of an attempt to prevent the country's dissolution due to rising nationalist and separatist movements, a referendum was held in March 1991, boycotted by some republics, that resulted in a majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the union as a renewed federation.
Gorbachev's power was diminished after Russian President Boris Yeltsin's high-profile role in facing down a coup d'état attempted by Communist Party hardliners. In late 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union met and formally dissolved the Soviet Union; the remaining 12 constituent republics emerged as independent post-Soviet states, with the Russian Federation—formerly the Russian SFSR—assuming the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and being recognized as the successor state. The Soviet Union was a powerhouse of many significant technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus; the country had the largest standing military in the world. The Soviet Union was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states and possessed the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction, it was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact.
The word "Soviet" is derived from a Russian word сове́т meaning council, advice, harmony and all deriving from the proto-Slavic verbal stem of vět-iti, related to Slavic věst, English "wise", the root in "ad-vis-or", or the Dutch weten. The word sovietnik means "councillor". A number of organizations in Russian history were called "council". For example, in the Russian Empire the State Council, which functioned from 1810 to 1917, was referred to as a Council of Ministers after the revolt of 1905. During the Georgian Affair, Vladimir Lenin envisioned an expression of Great Russian ethnic chauvinism by Joseph Stalin and his supporters, calling for these nation-states to join Russia as semi-independent parts of a greater union, which he named as the Union of Soviet Republics of Europe and Asia. Stalin resisted the proposal, but accepted it, although with Lenin's agreement changed the name of the newly proposed sta