Today in World History: July 24th

Machu Picchu, an Inca city high in the Andes, was rediscovered by American explorer Hiram Bingham on this day in 1911. Born on November 19, 1875, in Honolulu, Bingham studied history and politics at Yale, Berkeley, and Harvard, eventually studying under Woodrow Wilson, to become a lecturer on South American history at Yale by 1907. He visited Peru in 1908 for a conference, and eventually returned in 1911 with a Yale expedition team. Bent on discovering lost Inca cities, specifically the last Inca capital of Choquequirao, Bingham, along with his local guide, Melchor Arteaga, climbed the Andes to discover the city on this day in 1911. Hiram returned to Peru several times in 1912, 1914, and 1915 with the help of the National Geographic Society, and eventually made his discoveries public, transforming Machu Picchu into a tourist destination. Upon the end of his final trip to Peru, Hiram started his political career. In 1922, he was elected into the Senate, and eventually re-elected. For one day, the shortest term length in Connecticut history, he served as Governor, before being elected as Senator and giving up his other role. Bingham died in June of 1956, at the age of eighty.

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