1)A Spanish treasure fleet of 10 ships, bearing the Peruvian
and Colombian treasure, brought from Panama and Cartagena,
leaves Havana, Cuba for Spain on July 24, 1715. The precious
cargoes consisted of gold, silver, jewels, tobacco, spices, indigo etc.
A violent hurricane struck the ships off the east coast of Florida on
July 31 and and drove them on to the shallow reefs and hard rock
bottom. More than 1,000 people died in the storm. In the following
months, Spanish officials in Havana sent ships to salvage the treasure.
About 80 percent had been recovered by April 1716, but the rest remained
lost until 1960’s.
2)Christopher Columbus discovered Trinidad on 1498.
3)Birthday of J.K.Rowling (1965), author-Scotland’s most successful
writer, Mistress of magic, the reclusive creator of Henry Potter and
4)Birthday of Mumtaz (1947),Bollywood actress of yester years.
She is best remembered for her roles in ”Khilona” (toys} and
”Tere Mere Sapne.” Her performance in ”Khilona” got her the
”Filmfare Best Actress Award”(1970}. She is often cited as the
most beautiful actresses of her time.
5)Death Anniversary of Mohammed Rafi (1980), playback singer
of Bollywood. He was born on December 24,1924. He has sung
4516 Hindi songs,112 non-Hindi songs and 328 non-film songs
between 1945 to 1980. Government of India awarded him
”Padma Shri” award on 1967. He also helped producers financially.
”He always gave without thinking of the returns”-as music director
Laxmikant observed. An article in Times of India, published on 24th
July 2010, sums up his voice as ”If there are 101 ways of saying,
”I love you”, in a song, Mohammed Rafi knew them all”.
6)Birthday of Munshi Premchand (1880), unrivalled giant of
Indian literature, both in Hindi and Urdu. He was a novelist,
dramatist and pioneer of modern short stories. He is known as
”Upanyas (novels) Samrat (emperor)”. ”Godaan” (gift of cow),
his last novel, is considered as one of the finest Hindi novels.
The novel shows his pure and unerred talent in writing Hindi
literature.His well-known works are:-Gaban,Karmabhoomi,
Pratigya (novels); Atmaram, Udhar-ki-Ghadi, Bade-Ghar-ki
-Beti etc (short stories). He wrote about 300 short stories,
14 novels as well as many essays & letters, plays and translations.
Many of his stories have been translated into English and Russian.
He was a great critic of social evils. He also emphasized the unity of
Hindus and Muslims. He was born in a village named Lamhi near
Varanasi in a Kayastha family. He lost his mother at the tender age
of eight and his father married again. He grew up without the love
of his parents, since his grand mother, the care taker,also died soon
and he was left with no one to take care of him. He breathed his last on
7)American inventor, Samuel Hopkins of Philadelphia( Dec.9,1743 to 1818},
received the first U.S. patent in 1790 by the President Washington, for an
improvement in the making of Potash and Pearl ash by a new apparatus and
8}Birthday of Keshav Shankar Pillai (1902},an Indian cartoonist. He was
born at Kayamkulam, Kerala. After schooling, he studied painting at Ravi
Varma school of painting at Mavelikara. Better known as Shankar, he is
considered as the father of political cartooning in India. He founded
”Shankar’s Weekly”, India’s punch in 1948 which also produced
cartoonists like Abu Abraham, Ranga and Kutty. He closed down
the magazine in 1975 due to Emergency & focussed on children’s work.
Children in the world see him as their uncle, who did much to
make them laugh & enjoy life. Today, he is most remembered
for setting up ”Children’s Book Trust” (established on 1957}
and ”Shankar’s International Doll Museum ” (founded on 1965}.
The museum has a collection of about 6,500 dolls from over 85
countries. The museum is in Bahadur Shah Jafar Marg, New Delhi.
Government of India awarded him ”Padma Vibhushana”, the second
highest civilian award , in 1976. He died on 26, December 1989.
9}Birthday of Madhura Chenna (1903 to 1953} a great poet, who
was born in a village named Halasangi in the Indi taluk of Bijapur
district. His real name is Channamallappa Siddalingappa Galagali.
He is credited with the first published article in Kannada on folklore.
His cotributions to folklore consists of two important anthologies–
a}Garatiya Hadu (song of housewife}, b}Malligeya dande (garland
of jasmine}.Some of his famous publications are–a} Nanna nalle(My
Sweetheart},Kalaratri (dark night},Belagu(early morning}, Atma
Samshodhane (searching of the soul}. He translated Aurobindo’s
literature in English into Kannada.Behind his success, was the
support of his devote wife Smt.Basamma.
10)Death anniversary of Kirthinath Kurtakoti (October 13,
1928—July 31, 2003}, a Kannada writer, critic and winner
of the Central Sahitya (literature} Academy Award of India
for his book, ”Uriya Nalage” (the tongue of the flame} in 1995.
He was also well–versed in Hindi and sanskrit. He was born
in Gadag, Karnataka. He was employed at the Sardar Patel
University in Gujarat. His most important Kannada work is
”Marathi Samskruti-Kelavu Samasyegalu” (Marathi culture-
some problems}.Some of his noted works are-”Nadedu Banda
Dari” (The path traversed },”Bhringada Benneri”(Riding on the
back of a bee}.He died of cardiac arrest just about three hours
after his wife’s death.
11}Death anniversary of Udham Singh (Dec.26, 1899 to July 31,
1940}. He was one of the scores of young firebrand freedom
fighters. He changed his name to Ram Mohammed Singh Azad,
symbolising the unification of the three major religions of India,
namely Hinduism, Islam and Sikhism. He assassinated Michael
O’Dwyer (on March 13, 1940}, who had been the Governor of Punjab
in 1919, when the Jallianwalla Bagh Massacre happened. With no
warning to the crowd to disperse,General Dyer mercilessly ordered
the British troops to open fire on a congregation of over twenty
thousand peaceful and unarmed Indians, who had gathered at the
Jallianwalla Bagh on the holy day of Baisakhi (April 13, 1919}, to
condemn the arrest and deportation of Dr.Satya Pal and Dr. Saifuddin
Kitchlew. The crowd included Sikhs, Muslims, Hindus and Christians.
The firing continued upto ten minutes. About 1800 people died and 1208
people injured. Udham Singh, took a silent oath to wreak a vengence on
the perpatrators of the crime and to restore honour to the humiliated nation.
He was sentenced to death and hanged on 31st July 1940, at Pentonville prison
12}World Rangers Day is celebrated on 31st July each year on the anniversary
of the founding of ”The International Ranger Federation” (IMF}, an organisation
that supports the work of rangers, as the key protectors of parks and conservation.
World Rangers Day will also be a day to remember the many rangers, who have
been injured or killed in the line of duty, while protecting national and state parks.
They risk their lives everyday at the forefront of conservation. While some are
exposed to hazardous environmental conditions such as floods or dangerous
animals, others are targeted because they stand up to poachers, drug
warlords and criminals.