105 years ago today, American academic Hiram Bingham III, after being guided by indigenous farmers, became the first Westerner to lay eyes on Machu Picchu, the 15th century Incan citadel set high on a peak in the Andes Mountains in Peru. His book Lost City of the Incas became an instant bestseller in 1948. (1911)
MORE Good News on this Day:
- Brigham Young led 148 Mormons fleeing from religious persecution into Salt Lake Valley, after 17 months of travel, and established Salt Lake City (1847)
- The Pact of Paris went into effect as an international treaty “providing for the renunciation of war as an instrument of national policy” (62 nations ultimately signed the Kellogg-Briand Pact – named for the French and American politicians who drafted the pact, which heavily influenced later international law (1929)
- U.S. President Richard Nixon was ordered by the Supreme Court to turn over subpoenaed White House tape recordings to the Watergate prosecutor (1974)
- Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, the last Tsar of Bulgaria, when he was a child, became the Prime Minister of Bulgaria, and the only monarch in history to regain political power through democratic election to a different office (2001)
- Lance Armstrong won a record-setting seventh Tour de France, nine years after being given a 50 percent chance of survival from testicular cancer (2005) Read GNN coverage of his first win
And, on this day in 1920, Bella Abzug was born in New York City. A lawyer nicknamed “Battling Bella”, she was a social activist for peace, a U.S. congresswoman and a fierce fighter for women’s rights —chairing White House commissions, and founding organizations that worked around the world. When she was 13 and her father died, Abzug was told that her orthodox synagogue did not permit women to say the Mourner’s Kaddish, since that rite was reserved for sons of the deceased. But because her father had no sons, she went to the synagogue every morning for a year to recite the prayer, defying the tradition of her orthodox congregation. She was the author of two successful books, including, Bella: Ms. Abzug Goes to Washington. She died at age 77 after complications from heart surgery.