January 22 in Russian history

1905: (Jan 9 Old Style) The Bloody Sunday. Beginning of the first revolution. In the beginning of January, the workers of Putilovsky factory began a strike, demanding for 8-hour working day, guaranteed minimum salary, abolishment of obligatory overtime, etc. The St. Petersburg committee of bolsheviks called on the workers of St.Petersburg for support of the strike. As a result, more than 150,000 people participated in the general strike. Without newspapers and electricity, the city was paralysed. The governement, trying to regain control, declared martial law and collected around 40,000 policemen and armed soldiers in the city. In spite of the tensions, the workers' committees adopted the plan of a mass peaceful demonstration proposed by a priest Father Gapon. A petition to the tsar was prepared, which included both economical and political requirements: convocation of the Constituent Assembly, freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of workers' unions, peace with Japan, separation of church from the state, etc. On the day before the demonstration, the bolsheviks issued a proclamation, saying that the workers will achieve liberation through the armed revolt only, but not by sending petitions. The perspective of a bloodshed was getting more inevitable. A group of intelligentsia, including Maxim Gorky, visited the prime-minister S. Vitte, asking him to do all possible to avoid violence. Vitte sent them to the minister of home affairs Svyatopolk-Mirsky, but he refused to admit them. In the morning of January 22, more than 140,000 people started moving to the tsar's palace. Women and children were put in the front rows to prevent the troops from attacking. At about noon, the cavalry attacked the demonstrants and gunmen started shooting. The wounded were killed by sabres or died under the horses' hooves. Father Gapon fled. Streets were covered with bodies. The official government news reported of 96 killed, but most sources give figures of 1000-4000 killed. As a response to the massacre, the workers started all-Russian strike, where around 440,000 people participated. The revolution began.

1908: Lev Landau, an outstanding Russian physicist, was born. Landau was one of the greatest Soviet physicists and a charismatic personality. The areas of physics where he worked include quantum physics, solid body physics, low temperature physics, cosmic rays, hydrodynamics, elementary particles, plasma and many others. In 1927 he graduated from the Leningrad university. In 1929 he went to Denmark, Britain and Switzerland for traineeship. He worked with Niels Bohr, whom he used to call his only teacher. In 1938, during the Stalin's purges, he was arrested and spent one year in Gulag, but was released after the interference of academician Pyotr Kapitsa. He discovered (or co-discovered)the density matrix method in quantum mechanics, the quantum mechanical theory of diamagnetism, the theory of superfluidity, the theory of second order phase transitions, the Ginzburg-Landau theory of superconductivity, the explanation of Landau damping in plasma physics, the Landau pole in quantum electrodynamics, and the two-component theory of neutrinos. In 1962, he became a Nober Prize laureate for the development of the theory of superfluidity. On the same year he suffered heavily in a car accident and six years later died during a surgical operation. Two most influential parts of his scientific heritage are the Course of Theoretical Physics in ten volumes and the founding of the brilliant scientific school, known as Landau school, which became a legend of the Soviet science.

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