Today In History July 11


History is the study of life in society in the past, in all its aspects, about present developments and future hopes. It is the story of the man in time, an inquiry into the past based on evidence. Indeed, the evidence is the raw material of history teaching and learning. It is an inquiry into what happened in the past, when it happened, and how it happened. It is an inquiry into the inevitable changes in human affairs in the past and how these changes affect, influence, or determine the patterns of social life. History is, or should be, an attempt to re-think the past. So let’s discover what happened on July 11 in world history.

Today’s Highlight in History: On July 11, 1972, the World Chess Championship opened as grandmasters Bobby Fischer of the U.S. and defending champion Boris Spassky of the Soviet Union began to play in Reykjavik, Iceland. (Fischer won after 21 games.)

1987: Soldiers remember Passchendaele

Veterans have returned to the scene of World War I’s bloodiest battle to commemorate its 70th Anniversary. In Belgium, the fields of Passchendaele claimed the lives of almost 250,000 troops of the British Commonwealth between July and November in the year 1917.

The battle was the most massive bombardment of the war, and few of its survivors are still alive and safe. In their 90s, the men paid their respects at the Commonwealth’s most significant war cemetery – Tyne Cot – where 11,908 soldiers are buried.

They also joined a formal parade through Ypres to the Menin Gate, which carries inscriptions of the 55,000 Allied soldiers who were never found. Many of the soldiers were also disappeared into the swamp created by continual shelling and rain on reclaimed Bogland.

All Commonwealth troops sent to the trenches at Passchendaele – also known as the 3rdBattle of Ypres – marched through the Menin Gate. Traffic is stopped there at 2000 BST (1900 GMT) every day for the local fire department to sound the Last Post.

2000: Britain pioneers HIV vaccine

The World Aids Conference in South Africa has announced trials for a new HIV vaccine was begin in Britain. Liberal Democrat MP Evan Harris will be one of 18 healthy volunteers who will participate in the 1sttoxicity tests.

The MP for Oxford West, Dr. Harris, 35, said: “I hope to be a small part of a process that will deliver something that will save Africa from further devastation.”

The vaccine has been developed by researchers at Oxford and Nairobi Universities who studied prostitutes in Kenya and found a group that resisted the disease despite daily exposure to it.

The Oxford-Nairobi project is one of eleven similar groups funded by the International Aids Vaccine Initiative (IAVI). It has received £14m from the British Government.IAVI estimates that three times more than the £200m currently spent on research programs are needed to find a vaccine within ten years.

Vaccination should provide a much cheaper and more effective means of tackling the pandemic, especially for the 3rd world, which cannot afford HIV drugs and is barred from developing generic variations.

According to IAVI, only 2% of the $20m spent annually on HIV around the world is for vaccine development.