Important Events Of July 31st.

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

October 8,1936.

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

in London.

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.



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