1903 – The Kalki-Shimla Railway, known for the breathtaking view of surrounding mountainous region and villages along its line, was opened for traffic by Lord Curzon. This 97 Km long narrow-gauge line was constructed at an estimated cost of Rs.87 Lacs.
1924 – Renowned Classical Singer Chintaman Raghunath Vyas was born. During his training, Vyas was associated with different gharanas like the Kirana Gharana, Gwalior Gharana and Agra Gharana. He trained under scholarly musicians like Govindrao Bhatambrekar, Rajarambuva Paradkar, Jagannathbuwa Purohit, Acharya Ratanjankar and K.G. Ginde. With an open throat voice C R Vyas created a unique singing style which had the flavours of all the aforementioned gharanas. He performed at various concerts in India and outside, on radio and TV. He composed popular ragas like the Shiv-Abhogi, Sagera, Dhanakoni-Kalyan, Shuddha Ranjini, Sanjogiya etc. In 1987, he was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award while in 1992 he was honoured with the Padma Bhushan.
1925 – Former Chief of Air Staff and recipient of the Param Vishisht Seva Medal and Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Air Marshal Trilochan Singh Brar was born. He served as the Chief of IAF from 1981 to 1984.
1931 – Diplomat, Jurist, Scholar, Parliamentarian and Author Laxmi Mall Singhvi was born. He is credited with the introduction of the Lokpal bill in the 60s after a brief study on the role of the Ombudsman in Scandinivian countries. He was a member of the Lok Sabha from Jodhpur Constituency from 1962 to 1967 and a Rajya Sabha member from 1998 to 2004. He also served as the Advocate General of Rajasthan (1972-77) and was longest serving the High Commissioner for India in the United Kingdom (1991-97). In 1993 he received the country’s third highest civilian honour, the Padma Bhushan.
1947 – The Princely State of Junagadh was annexed and made a part of the State of Saurashtra.
2005 – Former President of India Kocheril Raman Narayanan passed away. He was the first Malayali and overall the tenth President of India. A Graduate of the London School of Economics, K R Narayanan joined the Indian Foreign Service on Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s request in 1949 and served as the Indian Ambassador to Thailand, Turkey, China and the United States of America. He later contested for a seat in the Lok Sabha as a representative of the Ottapalam Constituency in Kerala in 1984, 1989 and 1991. He served as a Minister of State under the Late.Rajiv Gandhi’s tenure as Prime Minister, holding portfolios of External Affairs, Planning and Science and Technology. In 1992 he was elected the ninth Vice President of India. He became the tenth President of India on July 17, 1997.
2011 – Eminent biochemist and Nobel Laureate Dr.Har Gobind Khorana passed away. Dr.Khorana was the first to synthesize oligonucleotides. He showed how nucleotides that carry genetic code of the cell control the synthesis of proteins in the cell. In 1968, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his work. The Government of India also honoured Dr. Khorana with the Padma Bhushan, country’s second highest civilian honour.