Important Events Of August 13th.

1) The 28th Olympic Summer Games began in Athens on 13th

August, 2004. It marked the first time since the 1996 Summer

Olympics that all countries with a National Olympic Committee

were in attedance. Olympic  Games started  on 776BC. at a place

called Olympia  in Greece.  The first Modern  Olympic Games

were held in Athens, Greece on 1896  and after 108 years of tour

worldwide  once again came back  to Athens, the birth place on

2004.  The motto of this 16 days event  was ”Welcome Home”.

Partcipating nations were 202. Medals-301 in 28 sports. Athletes

participating were 10,625. Two official Mascots of The Athens

Games (sister and brother) were  named after Athena, the

goddess of wisdom,strategy and war and Phoebus, the god

of light and music. A new medal obverse (front surface) with

the depiction of Panathinaika (beautifully marbled) stadium

was introduced at these games. It is the only  major athletic

stadium in Athens,built fully of white marbles, that hosted

the first modern Olympic games. George Ist, king of Greece

inaugurated the games on April 6, 1896. Silver medals and

olive branch crowns were  awarded to winners at  the first

modern Olympic in 1896, in which 300 male athlets from

13 countries participated Marathon was one  of the original

modern Olympic events  introduced in 1896. The event was

instituted in commemoration of the fabled run of the Greek

soldier Pheidippides, a messenger from the Battle of Marathon

to Athens. The legend says that he was sent from the battlefield

of Marathon to Athens to announce that the Persians had been

defeated in the Battle of Marathon, which took place in August

or September 490BC. It is said that he ran the entire distance

of about 25 miles(40 Km) without stopping and burst into

the assembly exclaiming, ”We have won”  before collapsing

and dying.The women’s Marathon was introduced at the 1984

Summer Olympics held in Los Angeles, U.S.A. and was won by Joan

Benoit of the U.S.A. The Athens Olympics, 2004  ended on 29th August.

The estimated expense of the  Olympics games was 8 to 12  billion dollars.

2)Shravana Purnima day falls on August 13, 2011 as per Gregorian calendar.

Raksha Bandhan, Sanskrit Diwas, Upakarma, Hayagriva Jayanthi and Samudra

Puja(worship of the sea) are  celebrated  today. Amarnath Yathra(pilgrimage)

ends on Shravana Purnima.

3)Birthday of  Vyjayanti Mala Bali (1936), a South Indian film actress,

Bharatnatyam dancer, singer (carnatic style), dance choreographer and

golfer. She was the beauty queen of yester years and captivated the

cine-goers  by her graceful dancing, natural acting and above all, by her

astounding angelic beauty.Born in an orthodox Tamil Brahmin family,

she was the first ever South Indian actress to become national star and

was one of the most successful bollywood  movie star in a career lasting

almost two decades (1950’s and 1960’s). She has appeared in approximately

62 movies,the majority of them  in the Hindi language. She was elected to

Lok Sabha (Lower House of Indian Parliament) twice and was  nominated

to the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of  the Parliament of India, in 1993

for a six years term. She was very close to the then Prime Minister of

India, Smt. Indira Gandhi.She was the first Indian Dancer to ever give a

Bharatnatyam recital at the United Nations, during the 20th anniversary

celebrations of U.N. Human Rights Day in 1969  in New York, U.S.A. She

even performed a classical  Indian dance at Vatican city before Pope Pius XII,

at the tender age of 4, in 1940. She was an excellent golf player and played in the

National Golf Championship. In 1982, she was honoured with the Sangeet

Natak (music and drama)  Academy Award by the National Academy of

Music, Dance and Drama, for her contributions in the field of Bharatnatyam.

She was also awarded the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995

for her contribution to Indian cinema. She won the Best Actress Filmfare

Award 3 times  for her roles in ”Ganga Jamuna”, ”Sadhna” and ”Sangam.”

She got married to Dr. Chamanlal Bali on 10, March 1968 and distanced

herself  from  the movie industries and Mumbai. She has a son named

Suchindra. She is the Founder Trustee of Dr. Bali Pharma Foundation –

a charitable trust to serve the poor, downtrodden and to look after the

welfare of  women and children. She wrote her autobiography titled

”Bonding”, taking the help of co-writer Jyoti Sabarwal. She believes

that art has now become less spiritual because of the attempts to

modernize it.

4)An earthquake with  magnitude of 8.5 struck  Ecuador and Peru

on 13 August, 1868 which killed 25,000 people and caused damage

of 300 million  dollar.

5)Birthday of Shoaib  Akhtar (1975), a legend of Pakistan cricket. He

is regarded as the fastest bowler in the history of cricket. His nickname

is Rawalpindi Express. He was born in Rawalpindi, Punjab.

6)Birthday of  Fidel Castro (1926 ), ex-Cuban President. He liberated

Cuba from  the British regime. He was the world’s third longest

serving head of the state, after the Queen of Britain & the king

of Thailand. Bongo, the IInd President of Gabon was the world’s

longest  serving non-monarch head of the state. He became

President of Gabon  after the death of Leon M’ba, the Ist President.

He was in office  for 42 years from 1967 until his death in 2009.

Fidel Castro  was Prime Minister of Cuba  from 1959 to 1976 and

thereafter  became the President from 1976 to 2008. He was a

Marxist-Leninist  and transformed Cuba into one-party socialist

state, with industry being nationalised  under state ownership.

Social reforms were implimented in all areas of society by him.

He introduced free health care and education for all. He stepped

down in February, 2008 because of his failing health.The National

Assembly of Cuba elected  Raul Castro as President on 24 February

2008.

7)Birthday of Sridevi (1963), the Dream Girl of Bollywood and South

Indian movies. The most glamorous lady of all time, she ruled the

Indian movies for about 20 years, with her beautiful look and dancing

and acting skills. She is the winner of 4 Filmfare Best Actress Awards.

She married film maker Boney Kapur and they have two daughters.

She is a member of the Board of Directors at the Asian Academy of

Film and Television. She was born at Sivkasi, in Tamilnadu.

8)Death anniversary (1795) of Rajmata (queen mother) Devi

Ahilyabai Holkar, the ”philosopher-queen” of  Indore in Malwa,

of Madhya Pradesh, in Central India. She was born on May 31, 1725

in the village of Chaundi in Ahmednagar district in Maharashtra.

Her father was a village headman with a meagre income.Women

then did not go to school but Ahilyabai’s father taught her to read

and write.  Malhar Rao Holkar, Subedar of Malva, enroute to Poona,

camped at  the village Chaundi. He saw the eight year girl Ahilyabai

at a local temple there.Impressed by her piety and character, Malhar

Rao Holkar, brought her to Holkar territory as a bride for his son

Khande Rao in 1733. He was a great soldier and was killed in a fierce

battle  with the Jats who rebelled against the Holkars, in 1754. The

young queen decided to perform Sati. But, Malhar Rao Holkar, the

father-in-law  begged Ahilyabai to stop. He was an old man and

needed help for running the kingdom. So she decided to live

after all. Malhar Rao Holkar  died after 12 years and her only

son Male Rao who succeeded to the gaddi (throne) of Holkar,

developed signs of insanity and did not long survive his grand

father. He died within a year of his succession, on 1767. Already

trained in both administrative and military matters by Malhar

Rao Holkar (father-in-law), Ahilyabai proceeded to rule Malva

in a most enlightened manner. She never observed purdah but

held daily, public audience and was accessible to anyone who

needed her. She was a very able ruler and organizer, highly

respected during her  lifetime and considered as a saint by a

grateful people after her death. The reign of Ahilyabai lasted

for 28  years, from 1767 until her death in 1795. During her rule,

trade flourished, craftsmen produced their best, finest clothes

were produced, farmers were at peace and oppression ceased.

She built forts and roads in Malava, sponsored festivals, gave

donations to temples, patronised the Marathi and Sanskrit

scholars, craftsmen, sculptors and artists. She developed

Indore from a small village into a prosperous and beautiful city.

She moved the capital Indore to Maheshwar, south of Indore on

the banks of Narmada river. She appointed Tukoji Rao Holkar,

the adopted son of Malhar Rao Holkar, as  her new military head.

She helped widows to retain  their husbands’ wealth. She made

it sure that a widow was allowed to adopt a son. Hindus and

Muslims alike revered her. She was blessed by every tongue.

As a tribute to the great ruler, Indore Domestic Airport has

been named, ”Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport” &  Indore

University  as ”Devi Ahilya Vshwavidyalaya.” The Holkar

dynasty ruled Malva until 1818, when the Marathas were

defeated by the British in the III Anglo-Maratha war.

9) The 28 mile (45km) barrier named  Berlin Wall was built

overnight by East German authorities on 13th August, 1961

which divided the Berlin city  into two. It was referred to as

”Anti-Fascist Protection Rampart” by the German Democratic

Republic authorities, East and ”Wall of Shame” by the West

Berlin  city government, which condemned the Wall’s restriction

on freedom of movement. The city of Berlin was devided after

World War II. Soviet controlled east German state, although

under communist rule was called The German Democratic

Republic (GDR) and a joint U.S, France, & Great Britain occupational

zone was known as  Federal Republic of Germany. GDR  had a  state

controlled economy.East Berlin was its Capital. But, West Berlin

remained part of west Germany which was under western control

and therefore capitalist and free. It  had a much stronger economy

than the East. West Berlin’s prosperity attracted many East German’s

to cross over to the other side of the city. Over two and a half million

people escaped to West Berlin between 1949 and 1960.This population

drain infuriated the East German Government which  constructed

a wall to prevent massive emigration and defection. The Berlin Wall

stood for 28 years. It was eventually dismantled and on 9th of November

1989, the border seperating Western from Eastern Germany was

effectively opened. The fall of 4 decade old mental wall of East German fear,

the ”Berlin Wall” at Leipzig on 3 October 1900, paved the way for German

re-unification.

10)Death anniversary of Madam Bhikaji Cama, a freedom fighter.

(b:24 September,1861; d:13, August 1936) She was born into a

well -off Parsi family. She stressed the role of  women in  building

a nation.  A fearless woman, she brought in  awareness of Indian

struggle for independence in Europe & America. She unfurled

the first Flag of Indian Independence, on 22 August 1907 at the

International Socialist Conference at Stuttgart (Germany). She

financed revolutionaries in and out of India. She informed

Americans about India’s  struggling for  independence and

about despotism of British. Her husband Rustom Cama was

a pro-British  lawyer. It was not a happy marriage and Bhikaji

spent  her life in philanthropic activities and social work.

In October 1896, when famine and bubonic plague hit Bombay

Presidency, she joined one of the many teams working out of

Grant Medical College, to serve the afflicted. She contracted the

plague herself, but survived. Severely weakened, she was sent

for medical care to Britain in 1901. She had to remain in exile

until 1935. The British prevented her from coming back to India.

They wanted a written statement from her promising not to

participate in  national activities. She refused. In  November 1935,

she became gravely ill and paralysed. She accepted to the

requirement that  she renounce seditionist activities.

She arrived in Bombay  and died 9 months later at Parsi

General Hospital on 13, August 1936.

11.Organ Donation Day is celebrated on 13th August by

the people, government organizations and related professions.

Source:Collection.

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