(Christopher Reynolds /…)
It's less than a month until we mark the 100th anniversary of the rediscovery of Machu Picchu in Peru. On July 24, 1911, Hiram Bingham III, a Yale professor, came upon the vine-covered ruins of the ancient Inca city, which the Spanish had overlooked for three centuries. For the 100 days leading to the anniversary, we've been publishing a fact a day. Here's a look at the site's country, history and players. Read from the bottom up.
73. President Harry Truman established the Civil Service Loyalty Review Board to show that he was not soft on communism. Hiram Bingham was a board member from 1951-53.
72. Hiram Bingham served on the Civil Service Loyalty Review Board. The board was established in 1947 by President Harry Truman. From the order establishing the body: "There shall be a loyalty investigation of every person entering the civilian employment of any department or agency of the executive branch of the federal government."
71. Hiram Bingham lost his 1932 reelection for the U.S. Senate.
70. According to the Biographical Dictionary of the U.S. Congress, Hiram Bingham was "censured by the Senate in 1929 on charges of placing of a lobbyist on his payroll."
69. Hiram Bingham took the Senate seat, made vacant by the suicide of Sen. Frank B. Brandegee, and won reelection in 1926.
68. Hiram Bingham was offered a U.S. Senate seat, made vacant by the suicide of Sen. Frank B. Brandegee, soon after Bingham assumed the governor's mantle.
67. In 1924, Hiram Bingham became governor of Connecticut. But even that wasn't enough.
66. A decade after Hiram Bingham's expedition to Peru, he was elected lieutenant governor of Connecticut. But he had more in mind.
65. Hiram Bingham's reputation apparently didn't suffer in the United States, which was helpful because he had political ambitions.
64. Hiram Bingham's reputation is said to have suffered -- at least among those who criticized his methods of gathering the treasures.
63. Hiram Bingham's collection of Peruvian artifacts, however, was criticized as haphazard.
62. Hiram Bingham III brought back more than 5,000 artifacts from Peru on an expedition funded by National Geographic and Yale University.
61. Critics say, somewhat disdainfully, that Hiram Bingham, who was a history professor, lacked the proper training to excavate Machu Picchu.
60. Some say that, like the Spanish, Hiram Bingham took what wasn't his on his trips to Peru.
59. Spain was, arguably, the wealthiest and most powerful country in the world at one time. Its coffers surely benefited from the infusion of riches from Peru.
58. Spain called its conquered lands the "Viceroyalty of Peru," ruling for 300 years.
57. It's unclear why Machu Picchu was abandoned, but some say it may have been because water was scarce. (That seems unlikely, given the attention to engineering and hydrology at the site, as evidenced, partly, by the irrigation system.) Others blame the Spanish conquest.
56. Machu Picchu was abandoned in the mid-16th century.
55. No one is certain exactly when Machu Picchu was built, but best guesses suggest it was some time around the mid-15th century.
54. Machu Picchu, it's postulated today, probably was a vacation spot for royalty.
53. Later research showed that the remains found at Machu Picchu were not all women, and the idea that it was a sanctuary of sorts for the Virgins of the Sun was discarded.
52. The Virgins of the Sun were an elite group who took a vow of chastity. They were not of noble blood, but their leader, a high priestess, was.
51. The early explorers, led by Hiram Bingham, were unclear about the purpose of Machu Picchu. Remains found at the site allegedly were all women, leading some to believe it was the sanctuary of the Virgins of the Sun.
50. Machu Picchu is hard to see from below. It is in a cloud forest (note to visitors: Mornings are often foggy) and has been overgrown.
49. If the Spaniards failed to find Machu Picchu, perhaps it's because they were distracted by their desire for the spoils of war, which is partly what led to disagreements between Diego de Almargo and Francisco and Hernando Pizarro.
48. Francisco Pizarro was killed by the son and supporters of his partner, Diego de Almargo, who had been executed by Pizarro's brother, Hernando.
47. Francisco Pizarro easily took over the city of Cuzco. Two years later, he founded Lima, where he died in 1541.
46. In 1533, Atahuallpa was executed, and explorer Francisco Pizarro began his march to Cuzco.
45. Amazingly, Francisco Pizarro's men, who numbered less than 200, overcame 4,000 or so Incans and captured Atahuallpa, the Incan ruler.
44. In November 1530, Francisco Pizarro and Atahualpa, the Incan ruler, were to meet in Cajamarca, an Incan city in northern Peru. Pizarro told Atahualpa to give himself to Christ and the Spaniards, and when he refused, Pizarro decided to attack.