Explore the history of 17th June, including the Siege of Calcutta led by Nawab Siraj-ud-daula in 1756 and the discovery of rocks on Mars similar to those on Earth in 2004. Learn about the significance of these events and their impact on British-Indian relations and our understanding of Mars’s geological history.
Welcome to the history of 17th June. Today marks several noteworthy occurrences. To begin with, on this day in the year 1885, the Statue of Liberty arrived in New York. It was sent by France as a symbol of friendship and the enduring values of liberty and democracy. Designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, this majestic statue stands tall at a height exceeding 300 feet.
Furthermore, we consider June 17th significant as Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi embraced martyred on this day in 1858. Her courage and sacrifice in the face of adversity remain an indelible part of Indian history.
Moreover, it was on this date that Germany surrendered in World War II, marking a pivotal moment in the conflict. The surrender signified the end of the war and a turning point in global history.
Additionally, June 17th witnessed a groundbreaking medical achievement—the completion of the first successful kidney transplant operation in Chicago by Dr. John P. Merrill. The patient, Mrs. Ruth Tucker, a 49-year-old woman, received this life-changing procedure.
In addition to these remarkable events, I would like to share two more significant incidents from the history of June 17th.
The Siege of Calcutta
On the 17th of June 1756, Nawab Siraj-ud-daula, the ruler of Bengal, launched a massive attack on the British-held city of Calcutta. Tensions had been brewing between the British East India Company and Nawab Siraj-ud-daula for some time. The British had established a significant presence in Bengal, primarily for their economic interests, which had led to growing animosity between the two powers. The conflict reached its peak when the British East India Company refused to stop fortifying their positions in Calcutta and acknowledge the Nawab’s authority.
In response to this the Nawab assembled a massive army, consisting of around 50 thousand soldiers, and marched towards the city of Calcutta. The British lacked adequate preparation for such an assault. The Nawab’s forces swiftly overwhelmed the British defenses, and after a brief resistance, the British surrendered.
The fall of Calcutta was a significant blow to British prestige in India. The Nawab’s victory led to capturing several prominent officials and military personnel, who were imprisoned. The Nabab’s troops held the British prisoners in a dungeon measuring 14 by 18 feet on the night of 20th June 1756. This incident is called the Black Hole of Calcutta.
This event, known as the Siege of Calcutta, marked a turning point in British-Indian relations and had far-reaching consequences. The defeat forced the British to reevaluate their approach and prompted them to seek alliances with local zamindars and strengthen their military capabilities in India. The subsequent years saw a series of conflicts between the British and the Nawab, ultimately leading to the Battle of Plassey in 1757, where a joint conspiracy by Mir Jafar, the society of Jagath Seth, Raja Krishna Chandra, and a few more led to the defeat of the Nabab.
With that I come to my second story from the history of 17th June in the year 2004.
From Earth to Mars: Unveiling Geological Clues to the Red Planet’s Past
On this day researchers discovered rocks on the surface of Mars that exhibited striking similarities to Earth’s rocks. This groundbreaking discovery provided compelling evidence of geological processes and conditions on Mars that might have been conducive to the formation and preservation of rock formations resembling those found on our planet.
The discovery was made possible by the Mars Exploration Rover mission, specifically, the Opportunity rover, which landed on Mars in January 2004 as part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program. The rover was equipped with an array of scientific instruments and tools to analyze the Martian environment and geology.
While exploring a region called Meridiani Planum, the Opportunity rover came across a peculiar outcrop of rocks dubbed the “Eagle Crater.” Detailed examination of these rocks revealed a composition similar to that of certain types of sedimentary rocks found on Earth, notably those formed in the presence of water.
Further investigation using the rover’s suite of scientific instruments confirmed the presence of minerals such as hematite, jarosite, and goethite within the rocks. These minerals are commonly associated with the alteration of iron-bearing minerals in the presence of liquid water.
The discovery of rocks with characteristics resembling those found on Earth provided valuable insights into the past environments on Mars. It strongly suggested that liquid water had once existed on the Martian surface, potentially for extended periods.
The presence of liquid water is a fundamental requirement for life as we know it. Therefore, the discovery of rocks similar to Earth’s rocks on Mars opened up exciting possibilities for the potential habitability of the red planet. Scientists were further motivated to explore Mars and investigate its geological history to unravel the mysteries surrounding the possibility of past life on the planet.
Subsequent missions and ongoing research have continued to build upon this discovery, deepening our knowledge of Mars and bringing us closer to answering the age-old question: Are we alone in the universe?
As I draw the curtains on today’s episode, I yearn to bid you farewell. But before I depart, I wish to pay homage to the illustrious troubadour, an artist of myriad talents, Jyoti Prasad Agarwala on his birth anniversary. A detailed article was shared on him on the 18th of June last year. You can read the same in the link below.
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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.