|Hiram Bingham: A Featured Biography|
How many U.S. senators have been credited with rediscovering an ancient civilization? One--Hiram Bingham. An archaeologist, explorer, aviator, author, and senator from Connecticut, Bingham organized the Yale Peruvian Expedition. In 1911, guided by local farmers atop a Peruvian mountain, Bingham came upon the ruins of Machu Picchu. He led further expeditions for the National Geographic Society and published several books, including Lost City of the Incas (1948). After brief service as governor of Connecticut, he was elected as a Republican to the U.S. Senate. He served from 1924 until 1933, in a term marred by his censure in 1929 for allowing a lobbyist to attend a closed committee meeting.