International Chess Day
- The International Chess Day is celebrated annually on July 20, the day the International Chess Federation (FIDE) was founded, in 1924.
- The idea to celebrate this day as the international chess day was proposed by UNESCO, and it has been celebrated as such since 1966, after it was established by FIDE.
- FIDE, which has 181 chess federations as its members,organizes chess events and competitions around the world on this day.
- As recently as 2013, the international chess day was celebrated in 178 countries, according to FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.
- The day is celebrated by many of the 605 million regular chess players around the world.
- A 2012 Yougov poll showed that “a surprisingly stable 70% of the adult population has played chess at some point during their lives”.
- This number holds at approximately the same level in countries as diverse as the US, UK, Germany, Russia, India.
- Apollo 11 was the first flight to send people to the moon. It was done by NASA, the American space group.
- It went up to space on July 16, 1969, carrying three astronauts: Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins.
- On July 20, 1969, Armstrong and Aldrin became the first humans to land on the moon, while Collins stayed in orbit around the Moon.
- The flight was part of the Space Race. It finished the plan set by John F. Kennedy in 1961 to “land a man on the moon, and return him safely to the Earth”, before the 1960s ended.
Birth Anniversary Of Gregor Mendel
- Gregor Johann Mendel was born on 20 July 1822.
- He was an Austrian monk and botanist.
- He founded genetics by his work cross-breeding pea plants.
- He discovered dominant and recessive characters (genes) from the crosses he performed on the plants in his greenhouse. What he learnt is known today as Mendelian inheritance.
- His work was not appreciated at first, but was ‘rediscovered’ in 1900 by Carl Correns and Hugo de Vries.
- Erich von Tschermak’s status as a third rediscoverer is now less convincing.
- Mendel used the edible peas (Pisum sativum) for his crosses.
- He published his work in 1866, but at the time no-one saw how significant it was. 35 years later, the papers were rediscovered and, immediately, modern genetics began.
Death: 6 January 1884.