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
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
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
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.