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.