1132 - Battle of Nocera between Ranulf II of Alife and Roger II of Sicily.
1863 - Battle at Battle Mountain, Virginia
1931 - George Gunn gets 183 and son of a gunn George Vernon 100* same innings
1938 - Instant coffee invented
1973 - All star MVP: Bobby Bonds (SF Giants)
1983 - Sonya Robinson, (Milwaukee), 23, crowned 16th Miss Black America
1803 - Alexander Jackson Davis, US, architect (gothic revivalist)
1935 - Les Reed, songwriter ("It's Not Unusual)
1939 - Bob Lilly, NFL defensive tackle (Dallas Cowboys)
1959 - Brian Fogt, Nike golfer (1992 Ft Wayne Open-7th), born in Dayton, Ohio
1963 - Karl Malone, Summeerfield LA, NBA forward (Utah, Oly-2 gold-92, 96)
1968 - John P Navin Jr, actor (Joey Elliot-Jennifer Slept Here), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1652 - Johann Weichmann, composer, dies at 32
1931 - Marie WF Treub, Dutch economist/minister of finance, dies at 75
1993 - Francis Bouygues, French entrepreneur/billionaire, dies at 70
1996 - Jock Wallace, Scottish football player and manager, dies at 60
1997 - Saw Maung, general/president of Myanmar (Burma) (1988-92), dies
2001 - Georges Dor, Canadian author, composer, singer and playwright (b. 1931)
On July 24, 1911, American archeologist Hiram Bingham gets his first look at Machu Picchu, an ancient Inca settlement in Peru that is now one of the world’s top tourist destinations.
Tucked away in the rocky countryside northwest of Cuzco, Machu Picchu is believed to have been a summer retreat for Inca leaders, whose civilization was virtually wiped out by Spanish invaders in the 16th century. For hundreds of years afterwards, its existence was a secret known only to the peasants living in the region. That all changed in the summer of 1911, when Bingham arrived with a small team of explorers to search for the famous “lost” cities of the Incas.
Traveling on foot and by mule, Bingham and his team made their way from Cuzco into the Urubamba Valley, where a local farmer told them of some ruins located at the top of a nearby mountain. The farmer called the mountain Machu Picchu, which meant “Old Peak” in the native Quechua language. The next day–July 24–after a tough climb to the mountain’s ridge in cold and drizzly weather, Bingham met a small group of peasants who showed him the rest of the way. Led by an 11-year-old boy, Bingham got his first glimpse of the intricate network of stone terraces marking the entrance to Machu Picchu.
The excited Bingham spread the word about his discovery in a best-selling book, sending hordes of eager tourists flocking to Peru to follow in his footsteps up the Inca trail. The site itself stretches an impressive five miles, with over 3,000 stone steps linking its many different levels. Today, more than 300,000 people tramp through Machu Picchu every year, braving crowds and landslides to see the sun set over the towering stone monuments of the “Sacred City” and marvel at the mysterious splendor of one of the world’s most famous man-made wonders.