April 18th History is marked by significant events that have changed the course of history. This date has marked numerous occasions worth remembering. Let’s take a glimpse into the past and explore some of the noteworthy events that have taken place on this day in history.
Today is World Heritage Day, also known as International Day for Monuments and Sites. This day is observed to raise awareness about the significance of preserving cultural heritage sites and monuments around the world since 1983. Talking of heritage brings me to one of the most renowned heritage sites in India, The Taj Mahal which was built by Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. When I look at the 18th April history, I find that it was this day when Shah Jahan and Mumtaz got married which is my first story for today.
The Royal Wedding
On April 18, 1612, the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan married Mumtaz Mahal, who was his third wife and his favorite. Mumtaz Mahal was a Persian princess who was renowned for her beauty and her intellect. Shah Jahan was deeply in love with her, and she was his constant companion and confidante.
The marriage of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal was a love match, which was unusual for the time, as most marriages among the nobility were arranged for political or strategic reasons. However, Shah Jahan was determined to marry Mumtaz Mahal, despite the objections of his father, Emperor Jahangir, and his stepmother, Nur Jahan.
After their marriage, Mumtaz Mahal became an influential and powerful figure in court, and she accompanied Shah Jahan on his military campaigns and diplomatic missions. She bore him 14 children, and she was pregnant with their 15th child when she died in 1631.
Shah Jahan was devastated by Mumtaz Mahal’s death, and he commissioned the construction of the Taj Mahal in her memory. The Taj Mahal is considered one of the most beautiful buildings in the world and is a symbol of the enduring love between Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal.
We talked about the wedding now let’s talk about another significant event from the pages of 18th April history in the year 1930.
Master Da Strikes
On 18 April 1930, Surya Sen, also known as Master Da, led a group of 62 men from the Indian Republican Army in a daring raid on the Chittagong Shastragar, which was a British armory in present-day Bangladesh. The objective of the raid was to capture weapons and ammunition to initiate an armed rebellion against British colonial rule.
The raid was meticulously planned and executed, with the group dividing into four teams and attacking the armory from different directions. They managed to overwhelm the British guards and seize control of the armory but were unable to find as much ammunition as they had hoped for.
Despite this setback, the raid had a significant impact on the Indian independence movement, as it demonstrated that the British were not invincible and could be challenged militarily. The raid also inspired other revolutionary groups and individuals to take up arms against British rule.
However, the British authorities were quick to respond, and within a few days, they had captured and executed several of the leaders of the raid, including Surya Sen. Despite this, the Chittagong raid remains an important event in the history of the Indian independence movement and is remembered as a symbol of the bravery and sacrifice of those who fought for India’s freedom.
Now let us fly to Independent India. The year 1971…
Fly Jumbo Fly
On April 18, 1971, a significant event took place in Indian aviation history when the first jumbo jet plane, the Boeing 747, landed in Mumbai. The aircraft was named “Emperor Ashok” and belonged to Air India, the country’s national airline.
The arrival of the Boeing 747 marked a new era in Indian aviation, as it was the first time a jumbo jet plane had been introduced in the country. The aircraft was capable of carrying over 300 passengers and had a range of almost 9,000 km, making it suitable for long-haul flights.
The Boeing 747 quickly became popular among passengers due to its spaciousness, comfort, and advanced features. Its arrival also helped Air India expand its route network and increase its capacity to handle more passengers.
Today, more than 50 years after “Emperor Ashok” first landed in Mumbai, the Boeing 747 remains an iconic aircraft that has played a crucial role in shaping the aviation industry.
That’s all for today, but don’t forget to wish a happy birthday to Poonam Dhillon. I would also request you to join me in paying our respect to Henry Louis Vivian Derozio on his birth Anniversary. He was an Indian poet and assistant headmaster of Hindu College (Now Presidency University), Kolkata. He was a radical thinker of his time and one of the first Indian educators to disseminate Western learning and science among the young men of Bengal.
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A devoted foodie with keen interest in wild life, music, cinema and travel Somashis has evolved over time . Being an enthusiastic reader he has recently started making occasional contribution to write-ups.