This Month , That Year

Here’s a look back at some events that made news around the world and in our own backyard in July

  • Published 1.07.16


1882- Bidhan Chandra Roy born on July 1. The renowned physician later becomes the second chief minister of West Bengal. One of his landmark projects is the creation of Salt Lake by ordering silt from the Hooghly to fill the water bodies here. Roy dies on July 1, 1962 and his birthday is now celebrated as Doctor’s Day in India. 

1999- Premier law school West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences opens in Sector III, under the guidance of founder-vice chancellor N.R. Madhava Menon, considered the father of modern legal education in India. 

2011- Krishna Chakraborty replaces Anita Mondal as chairperson of Bidhannagar Municipality. Mondal had been at the helm for a year after the TMC-led board came to power but resigned citing slow pace of work.  


1961- The first wristwatch made in India is presented to Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru by Hindustan Machine Tools (HMT) on July 28. HMT goes on to make many models but the most popular one is the mechanical hand-wound watch HMT Janata. In January 2016 the central government announces the closure of the watch division of the state-owned HMT. 

1997- Laloo Prasad Yadav resigns as Bihar chief minister on July 25 after a warrant is issued for his arrest regarding the fodder scam. The Rs 9.4 billion scam involved fabricating vast herds of ficticious livestock for which fodder and equipment were supposedly procured. Yadav is arrested and his wife Rabri Devi takes over as head of state. 

2001- Bandit queen Phoolan Devi is shot dead outside her New Delhi house. Phoolan, who was part of a gang of dacoits in Uttar Pradesh, had shot to infamy for shooting 22 Rajput men in Behmai as revenge against the atrocities against her. She surrendered to the police after two years, in 1983. After her release from prison she fought the elections and became a member of Parliament twice. She was shot on July 25 by former rival bandits seeking revenge for the Behmai incident. 

762 - The city of Baghdad is commissioned by Caliph Al-Mansur on July 30. The chosen site is north of the ancient city of Babylon, by the river Tigris, and engineers are called from around the world to build it. The city is designed as a circle, with a mosque and defence headquarters in the centre, and rings of residential and commercial areas around it. The design is in sharp contrast to the urban planning of the Greeks and Romans, who built their cities as squares and rectangles.

1776- Thirteen British colonies in the east coast of north America overthrow the authority of the British monarchy and declare themselves a new nation. The nation is called the United States of America and the day — Fourth of July — is henceforth celebrated as their independence day. The country later expands and has a total of 50 states. 

1789- French masses storm Bastille, a fortress-prison in Paris (picture below) to revolt against the monarch Louis XVI. The day marks the beginning of the French Revolution. Louis is overthrown and later executed. On the same day the next year, a celebration is held in honour of the unity of the French people during the revolution. July 14 is now known as Bastille Day to commemorate these two historic events in French history. 

1830- The Second French Revolution, also known as the July Revolution, takes place when the masses overthrow King Charles X, younger brother of Louis XVI. 


1977- The Champion-ships, Wimbledon completes 100 years. The women’s and men’s singles titles, in the UK tennis tournament, are won that year by Virginia Wade and Bjorn Borg respectively. The Swedish Borg later goes on to win five consecutive Wimbledon titles. 


1960- Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird is released on July 11. The book, that deals with racism in the 1930s, becomes a classic in modern American literature. Lee wins Pultizer Prizes the following year and the narrator’s father’s character, the righteous lawyer Atticus Finch, becomes a moral hero for readers.



2006 - Social networking site Twitter is launched on July 15. The site, started by three  entrepreneurs in San Francisco, allows users to post messages within 140 characters and for others to read them. With over 310 million users in 10 years, it has become a mouthpiece for celebrities to voice their opinion.



What are your personal memories of July?
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