Street decoration with portraits of Heroes of Socialist Labour. Leningrad, 1984.
The Title "Hero of Socialist Labour" was introduced by decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union on December 27, 1938.
Originally, Heroes of Socialist Labour were awarded the highest decoration of the Soviet Union, the Order of Lenin, and a diploma from the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union. In order to distinguish the Heroes of Socialist Labour from other Order of Lenin recipients, the "Hammer and Sickle" gold medal was introduced by decree of the Presidium on 22 May 1940, to accompany the Order of Lenin and diploma.
The first recipient of the award was Joseph Stalin, awarded by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet on December 20, 1939. The second recipient was machine gun designer Vasily Degtyaryov (2 January 1940). The third (and the last before the onset of Operation Barbarossa) was issued to nine weapons designers, including Fedor Tokarev, Boris Shpitalny, Nikolai Polikarpov, Alexander Yakovlev and Vladimir Klimov. Post-1945 recipients include Mikhail Koshkin, Mikhail Kalashnikov, Nikolay Afanasyev, Emilian Bukov, Alexander Tselikov, Dmitri Shostakovich, German Korobov, Peter Andreevich Tkachev, and Andrei Tupolev.
By September 1, 1971, 16,245 people (11,748 men, 4,497 women) had been awarded the title of Hero of Socialist Labour. One hundred and five people (80 men, 25 women) have been awarded multiple "Hammer and Sickle" medals. By 1991, at the dissolution of the Soviet Union, over 20,000 people had been awarded the title.
The most famous Heroes of Socialist Labor
The first title of Hero of Socialist Labor was awarded to I. V. Stalin by Decree of December 20, 1939. In 1945, he was also awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union, but since Stalin did not consider himself worthy of this award, he never wore the Gold Star medal, while he wore the Hammer and Sickle medal all the time. V. A. Degtyarev became the second Hero of Socialist Labor on the basis of the Decree of January 2, 1940, the third - F. V. Tokarev (Decree of October 28, 1940). By decree of October 28, 1940, the title was also awarded to N. N. Polikarpov, B. G. Shpitalny, V. G. Grabin, A. S. Yakovlev, A. A. Mikulin, V. Ya. Klimov, I. I. Ivanov , M. Ya. Krupchatnikov. S. A. Chaplygin became the 12th Hero of Socialist Labor (Decree of 02/01/1941). 13th - A. G. Kostikov.
In 1949, the title of Hero of Socialist Labor was awarded several times to schoolchildren: Makhmud Ishnazarov, Tursunali Matkasimov for picking cotton and Natella Chelebadze for picking tea.
In the entire history of the USSR, 16 people became Heroes of Socialist Labor three times:
- Anatoly Alexandrov
- Boris Vannikov
- Nikolay Dukhov
- Yakov Zeldovich
- Sergey Ilyushin
- Mstislav Keldysh
- Dinmukhamed Kunayev
- Igor Kurchatov
- Andrei Sakharov
- Yefim Slavsky [ru]
- Andrei Tupolev
- Hamroqul Tursunqulov [ru]
- Yulii Khariton
- Nikita Khrushchev
- Konstantin Chernenko
- Kirill Shchelkin
In March 2013, Vladimir Putin issued a decree establishing a title considered to be its successor, "Hero of Labour of the Russian Federation".