On This Day in History, July 24

In 1911, American academic and explorer Hiram Bingham III was guided by Peruvian locals to Machu Picchu. His ventures there, funded by Yale University, would be credited as the main method by which the “ancient city” was brought to world attention and would become the tourist destination it has become. He would later return three more times between 1912 and 1918.

In 1935, a heat wave connected to the Dust Bowl in the American Midwest peaked for the year, spiking temperatures in Chicago to 109 degrees F, and in Milwaukee to 104. A similar heat wave would come the following year, in part caused by the droughts that made the Dust Bowl possible during the Great Depression.

In 2001, Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha was sworn into office as the Prime Minster of Bulgaria. Having been born as the last Tsar of Bulgaria, he is the first monarch in history to regain political power through democratic means. He would only remain in the office until 2005, in which the next election ousted his party from power.

A Notable Birth

1783 – Simón Bolívar (d. 1830) was a Venezuelan military and political leader. Born to a rich family, he was educated in Europe and inspired to end Spanish colonial rule. He was heavily involved with the Latin American wars of independence throughout northern South America.

A Notable Death

1927 – Ryūnosuke Akutagawa (b. 1892) was a Japanese writer who focused primarily upon short stories, but also wrote haiku and was a reporter in China. Throughout his lifetime, he wrote 150 short stories, many of which dealt with the formation of culture.

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