22 January 1984

The Apple Macintosh, the first consumer computer to popularize the computer mouse and the graphical user interface, is introduced during a Super Bowl XVIII television commercial.
[rdp-wiki-embed url=’https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macintosh’]

22 January 1999

The Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two sons are burned alive by radical Hindus while sleeping in their car in Eastern India.

Graham Stuart Staines 1941 – 23 January 1999 was an Australian Christian missionary who, along with his two sons Philip aged 10 and Timothy aged 6, was burnt to death by a gang of Hindu Bajrang Dal fundamentalists while sleeping in his station wagon at Manoharpur village in Kendujhar district in Odisha, India on 23 January 1999. In 2003, a Bajrang Dal activist, Dara Singh, was convicted of leading the gang that murdered Graham Staines and his sons, and was sentenced to life in prison.

He had been working in Odisha among the tribal poor and lepers since 1965. Some Hindu groups alleged that Staines had forcibly converted or lured many Hindus into Christianity; Staines’ widow Gladys denied these allegations. She continued to live in India caring for leprosy patients until she returned to Australia in 2004. In 2005 she was awarded the fourth highest civilian honor in India, Padma Shree, in recognition for her work with leprosy patients in Odisha. In 2016, she received the Mother Teresa Memorial International Award for Social Justice.

In 2019 the film The Least of These: The Graham Staines Story based on his life is set to be released.

On the night of 22 January 1999, he attended a jungle camp in Manoharpur, an annual gathering of Christians of the area for religious and social discourse. The village is situated on the border of the tribal-dominated Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar districts of Odisha. He was on his way to Kendujhar with his sons, who had come back on holiday from their school at Ooty. They broke the journey for the camp and decided to spend the night in Manoharpur. After that, they slept in the vehicle because of the severe cold. His wife and daughter had remained in Baripada.

According to reports, a mob of about 50 people, armed with axes and other implements, attacked the vehicle while Staines and the children were fast asleep and his station wagon where he was sleeping was set alight by the mob. Graham, Philip and Timothy Staines were burnt alive. Staines and his sons apparently tried to escape, but were prevented by the mob.

The murders were widely condemned by religious and civic leaders, politicians, and journalists. The US-based Human Rights Watch accused the then Indian Government of failing to prevent violence against Christians, and of exploiting sectarian tensions for political ends. Then-Prime Minister of India, Atal Behari Vajpayee, a leader of BJP, condemned the “ghastly attack” and called for swift action to catch the killers. Published reports stated that church leaders alleged the attacks were carried out at the behest of hardline Hindu organisations. Hindu hardliners accused Christian Missionary of forcibly converting poor and low-caste Hindus and tribals. The convicted killer Dara Singh was treated as a hero by hardline Hindus and reportedly protected by some villagers. In an interview with the Hindustan Times, one of the accused killers, Mahendra Hembram, stated that the killers “were provoked by the “corruption of tribal culture” by the missionaries, who they claimed fed villagers beef and gave women brassieres and sanitary towels.”

In her affidavit before the Commission on the death of her husband and two sons, Gladys Staines stated:

“The Lord God is always with me to guide me and help me to try to accomplish the work of Graham, but I sometimes wonder why Graham was killed and also what made his assassins behave in such a brutal manner on the night of 22nd/23rd January 1999. It is far from my mind to punish the persons who were responsible for the death of my husband Graham and my two children. But it is my desire and hope that they would repent and would be reformed.”

A movie titled “The Least of These” based on his killing will be released in January 2019.

22 January 1970

The world’s first “jumbo jet”, The Boeing 747, enters commercial service.

Thanks to its distinctive hump, Boeing’s 747 “jumbo jet” is the world’s most recognised aircraft. Since its first flight, on 22nd January 1970, it has carried the equivalent of 80% of the world’s population.

In the 1960s air travel was booming. Thanks to falling ticket prices, more people than ever were able to take to the skies. Boeing set about creating the largest commercial aeroplane yet, to take advantage of the growing market.

Around the same time, Boeing won a government contract to build the first supersonic transport plane. Had it come to fruition, the Boeing 2707 would have travelled at three times the speed of sound, carrying 300 passengers.

This new and exciting project was a major headache for the 747. Joseph Stutter, chief engineer on the 747, struggled to maintain funding and support for his 4,500-strong team.

The supersonic project was eventually scrapped but not before it exerted a significant impact on the design of the 747. At the time, Pan Am was one of Boeing’s best clients and the airline’s founder, Juan Trippe, had a great deal of influence. He was convinced that supersonic passenger transport was the future and that aircraft like the 747 would eventually be used as freighters. As a result, the designers mounted the flight deck on top of the passenger deck in order to allow for a hinged nose for loading cargo. Increasing the width of the fuselage also made loading freight easier and, in a passenger configuration, made the cabin more comfortable. Initial designs for the upper deck produced too much drag, so the shape was extended and refined into a teardrop shape.

But what to do with this added space? Trippe persuaded Boeing to use the space behind the cockpit as a bar and lounge. He was inspired by the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser of the 1940s that featured a lower deck lounge. However most airlines later converted the space back into extra seating.

22 January 1905

Bloody Sunday takes place in Saint Petersburg, starting the 1905 revolution.

That Sunday morning, 22th of January 1905 in St Petersburg, some 150,000 people gathered at the six designated assembly points to converge on the Winter Palace and present a petition to the Tsar, Nicholas II, who as the ‘little father’ of his people would surely be bound to sympathise with them. The march was organised by an Orthodox priest, Father George Gapon, head of the Assembly of Russian Factory and Mill Workers, one of several trade unions set up the previous year with the approval of the ministry of the interior to be a safety valve for grievances and to promote loyalty to the regime. Gapon, however, alarmed the authorities by his socialist attitude and took advice from the Union of Liberation, an organisation of middle-class liberal intellectuals campaigning for parliamentary democracy. At the beginning of January, when four of his members were sacked from their jobs, he started a strike which spread rapidly until 120,000 workers were out.

Thousands of armed troops were stationed at key points, but there was not expected to be any need for force. When the advancing columns appeared, however, while some of the soldiers fired warning shots into the air, some panicked and fired straight into the packed crowds. At the Narva Gate, where Father Gapon himself led the marchers, forty people were shot dead and the horrified Gapon cried out, ‘There is no God anymore, there is no Tsar’. At the Troitsky Bridge, marchers were charged and slashed with sabres by Cossack cavalry and on the Nevsky Prospect cannon were used against the crowd. The day’s total death toll is put at about 200 with some 800 more wounded.