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On this day in 1883, the Star Theater of Kolkata was started. It is considered to be the first public theater in India. On 21 July 1883, a play called ‘Daksha Yagya’ was staged in this theater. The play was written by Girish Chandra Ghosh and he played the main character in it.
This theater was jointly opened by Girish Chandra Ghosh, Binodini Dasi, Amrutlal Basu and many others. It is said that earlier this theater was supposed to be named Binodini after Binodini Dasi, but at that time acting was not considered a decent profession for women, hence the name of the theater was changed to Star.
The money needed to start the theater was given by Gurmukh Roy. However, later due to some reasons Gurmukh Roy sold the theater for 11 thousand rupees. A total of 20 plays were staged in the theater from 1883 to 1887.
In 1888, the theater was shifted to its present location in Bidhan Sarani. This theater had given its stage to many eminent personalities. These include many names like Amrutlal Mitra, Amrita Mukherjee, Sarju Devi, Shishir Kumar Bhaduri, Soumitra Chatterjee, Uttam Kumar and Geeta Dey.
In 1898, Swami Vivekananda called a public meeting in this theater to introduce Margaret Noble (Sister Nivedita). On this occasion Shri Ramakrishna Paramhansa and Rabindranath Tagore were also present among the audience in the theater hall. When films started in India, the film made by Hiralal Sen was also shown in this theatre.
Manmath Roy’s play ‘Jail’ was staged in this theater in 1931. This was the last stage of any play in this theatre. At present it has been converted into a cinema hall. Although sometimes plays are also staged.
1884: First Test played at Lord’s
The first Test match was played on this day in 1884 at Lord’s ground, which is called the Mecca of cricket. In this match between England and Australia, England won by an innings and 5 runs under the captaincy of Lord Harris.
The Australian team won the toss and elected to bat first and were all out after scoring 229 runs in the first innings. Tup Scott of Australia scored 75 and George Giffen scored 63 runs. Teed Pete took 6 wickets for England.
At the same time, England batted 184.1 overs in the first innings and scored 379 runs. Middle order batsman Allan Steel played a brilliant innings of 148 runs for England.
In the first innings itself, the hosts England took a 150-run lead over Australia. Australian bowler Joy Palmer took 6 wickets in 75 overs. After this, the Australian team, who came out to bat in the second innings, could only score 145 runs and England won the match by an innings and 5 runs. This was the second match of the three-match series, which was won by England. The first and last match of the series ended in a draw. In this innings, George Ullett of England took 7 wickets.
Players of the Australian team during the tour of England.
The first match at Lord’s is remembered for another reason. Australia captain Billy Murdoch came to field as a substitute for an England player after an injury. He took the catch of Tap Scott of his own team. This happened for the first time in a test match.
India also played its first Test match on 25 June 1932 against England at Lord’s. England won this match by 158 runs.
1960: The world got the first woman prime minister
On July 21, 1960, for the first time a woman held the post of Prime Minister. On this day Sirimavo Bandaranaike became the Prime Minister of Ceylon (Sri Lanka).
Bandaranaike was born on 17 April 1916 in a prosperous Sri Lankan family. In 1940 she married Freedom Party leader SWRD Bandaranaike. The very next year, Sirimavo Bandaranaike joined the Lanka Mahila Samiti, the country’s largest women’s organization.
Sirimavo Bandaranaike campaigned all over the country for her husband during the 1952 parliamentary elections. However, the Freedom Party won only 9 seats during that election. SWRD was elected to the Parliament and became the Leader of the Opposition. In May 1960, Bandaranaike was unanimously elected President of the Freedom Party. The Freedom Party won the elections held in 1960 and Bandaranaike was sworn in as Prime Minister on 21 July 1960.
July 21 is also remembered in history because of these important events.
2007: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the last book in the Harry Potter series, was released.
2011: NASA’s orbiter Atlantis returns to Earth. With this, America closed the Space Shuttle program after 135 missions.
1983The temperature reached minus 89.2 degrees Celsius at Russia’s Vostok station. This is the lowest temperature ever recorded on any part of the Earth.
1977: Neelam Sanjiva Reddy was elected the President of India.
1988: Indian National Satellite (INSAT-1C) was launched.
1930: Anand Bakshi, the famous writer and lyricist of Hindi films, was born. He wrote more than 3 thousand songs for films.