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History of 17th May- Bengal, Chaplin, Antikythera

History of 17th May- Bengal, Chaplin, Antikythera

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17th May History

This episode of the series includes the imposition of restrictions on the weavers of Bengal in the year 1769, the discovery of Charlie Chaplin’s coffin which was stolen, and finally the discovery of Antikythera in 1902.

Bengal, which was originally known as Bongo, is a region with a rich history that can be traced back to the first millennium BCE. Over the years, it has experienced numerous changes in governance, including rulers such as the Palas, Sens, Sultans, Mughals, and the British. Despite these changes, one thing has remained constant – the suffering of the people. This suffering is the focus of my first story in the History of 17th May.

The East India Company destroys Bengal’s Textile Industry.

History of 17th May in the year 1769. On this day, the East India Company imposed a series of restrictions on the weavers of Bengal intending to destroy the region’s flourishing textile industry. The British sought to dominate the global textile market and viewed the weavers of Bengal as a significant obstacle to their goals.

The restrictions imposed by the East India Company included limiting the production and sale of certain types of textiles, forbidding the use of certain materials and designs, and imposing harsh penalties for non-compliance. These restrictions had a devastating effect on the weavers of Bengal, who were left with limited options for making a living.

The British strategy of destroying the textile industry in Bengal was part of a broader colonial policy that sought to exploit the resources and labor of the region for the benefit of the British Empire. The restrictions imposed by the East India Company led to widespread poverty and hardship among the weavers of Bengal, who had previously been able to support themselves and their families through their craft.

Despite the challenges they faced, the weavers of Bengal continued to resist British colonial rule and the oppressive economic policies imposed by the East India Company. Their struggle for economic and political independence played a crucial role in the broader movement for Indian independence, which ultimately led to the end of British colonial rule in India.

With this, I come to my next story from the history of 17th May.

Charlie Chaplin come back

Well, it seems like even in death, Charlie Chaplin couldn’t escape the limelight! After he died in 1977 he was buried in a small cemetery in Corsier-sur-Vevey, near Lake Geneva. But then two men dug up his coffin and escaped. I mean, who steals a coffin? It’s not exactly a hot commodity on the black market.

But I suppose these thieves saw an opportunity to make a quick buck. Maybe they were hoping to hold the coffin for ransom and negotiate a hefty payout from Charlie’s family. Or maybe they just wanted to give him a proper send-off and figured they could do it in style with a stolen coffin.

Either way, I bet Charlie would have gotten a good laugh out of this whole situation. After all, he was a comedian at heart, and he always had a knack for finding the humor in life’s absurdities. Who knows, maybe he’ll even write a skit about it and perform it in the afterlife. I bet it would be a real coffin classic!

But thanks to a prompt action by the police, who discovered the stolen coffin on 17th May 1978. It was discovered by police in a field near Noville, Switzerland, around 10 miles from his grave.

The grave robbery was discovered on March 2, 1978, when the caretaker of the cemetery noticed that the grave had been disturbed. The Chaplin family received a ransom demand from an anonymous caller who claimed to have stolen the coffin. The family contacted the police, who began an extensive investigation.

The police were able to identify the two thieves, who were named Roman Wardas and Gantcho Ganev. They had been involved in a string of robberies in the area and were eventually caught in a hotel room in Luxembourg. The stolen coffin was not found in their possession, but the police were able to trace them to the field where they had buried it.

The thieves had reportedly intended to sell the coffin to a wealthy foreign collector, but the media attention surrounding the theft had made it too risky. They decided to demand a ransom from the Chaplin family instead.

The discovery of the stolen coffin was a relief to Chaplin’s family and fans around the world. His body was re-interred in the same grave, but this time, a concrete slab was placed over the coffin to prevent any further attempts at theft.

The theft of Chaplin’s coffin was a bizarre and shocking event that captured the attention of the world. It was a reminder of the enduring popularity of one of the greatest entertainers of the 20th century and the lengths that some people will go to for financial gain.

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With this, I come to another fascinating story from the history of 17th May.

Antikythera discovered  

We know that the first computer was made by Charles Babbage sometime in the mid 1830s. However, there are many things from the past which is yet to be discovered. One such thing was discovered on the 17th of May 1902. Greek archaeologist Valerios Stais discovered the Antikythera mechanism, an ancient mechanical analog computer. The mechanism was found among the wreckage of an ancient Greek shipwreck off the coast of the Greek island of Antikythera.

The Antikythera mechanism is considered to be one of the most important archaeological discoveries of the 20th century. It was a complex device, consisting of a series of gears and dials, and was used to track astronomical positions and calculate the timing of the Olympic games.

The mechanism was believed to have been constructed around 100 BCE, making it over 2,000 years old. It was likely used by ancient Greek astronomers and was the first known example of a geared mechanism capable of performing calculations.

The discovery of the Antikythera mechanism revolutionized our understanding of ancient Greek technology and astronomy. It remains one of the most intriguing artifacts from the ancient world and continues to fascinate scientists and scholars to this day.

That’s all for today. See you all tomorrow.


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