Cecil Whig - - ACCENT -

July 24, 1911 was a day in the mak­ing for hun­dreds of years.

On this day, Amer­i­can arche­ol­o­gist Hi­ram Bing­ham first dis­cov­ered Machu Pic­chu, an an­cient Inca set­tle­ment in Peru that is now one of the world’s top tourist des­ti­na­tions. Lo- cated 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.

A lit­tle bit of magic was lost on July 21, 2007 when the sev­enth and fi­nal Harry Pot­ter book, “Harry Pot­ter and the Deathly Hal­lows” was re­leased. Over 40 mil­lion Harry Pot­ter books have been sold and the se­ries has been trans­lated into more than 60 lan­guages.

A dif­fer­ent kind of magic oc­curred on July 25, 1978 with the birth of the first baby con­ceived through in vitro fer­til­iza­tion ( IVF). Louise Joy Brown was born at Old­ham and Dis­trict Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal in Manch­ester, Eng­land, to par­ents Les­ley and Peter Brown. She was de­liv­ered by cae­sarean sec­tion and weighed in at five pounds, 12 ounces.

Com­mu­ni­ca­tion greatly im­proved on July 26, 1775 with the es­tab­lish­ment of the U. S. postal sys­tem by the Sec­ond Con­ti­nen­tal Congress. Ben­jamin Franklin was named the first post­mas­ter gen­eral and put in place the foun­da­tion for many as­pects of to­day’s mail sys­tem. To­day, the United States has over 40,000 post of­fices and the postal ser­vice de­liv­ers 212 bil­lion pieces of mail each year to over 144 mil­lion homes.

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