Today in History – January 22

Courtesy of our friends at History.com, I am pleased to begin each and every day of the week here at Bulldog Pundit with a snippet of some important event that occurred on this date sometime in the past. Some events might come readily to mind while others may take a bit of effort to recall. Not all are historically portentous and some may even seem whimsical. Nevertheless, each and every one is a grain in the hourglass of human history.

In Russia, the revolution of 1905 begins when czarist troops open fire on a peaceful group of workers marching to the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg to petition their grievances to Czar Nicholas II. Some 500 protestors were massacred on “Bloody Sunday,” setting off months of protest and disorder throughout Russia.

By January 1905, discontent with the czar’s regime permeated nearly all classes in Russia, especially after the crushing January 2 defeat of the Russian navy at Port Arthur during the Russo-Japanese War. In October 1905, Nicholas, embattled on all sides, was forced to grant basic civil liberties and a representative national body, which would be elected by narrowly limited suffrage. However, this Parliament, known as the Duma, was dissolved after it opposed Nicholas’ authority, and the remnants of the revolutionary movement were brutally suppressed by czarist troops.

A decade later, czarist Russia was bogged down in the mire of World War I, prompting the Bolshevik-led Russian Revolution of 1917, which crushed the czar’s opposition and proclaimed Russia the world’s first Marxist state.

In 1925 Soviet film director Sergei Eisenstein released Battleship Potemkin a motion picture that, despite its obvious function as agitprop for the new Bolshevik regime, became a classic because of the ground-breaking cinematography. Perhaps the most memorable moment from the film is the Odessa Steps sequence, shown here:

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One Response to Today in History – January 22

  1. Nadia says:

    For those who feel a bit of deja vu when watching this clip, in Brian De Palma’s the Untouchables he pays homage to this scene at the end of the movie.