Friday, May 4

The Panama Canal

President Theodore Roosevelt authorized the start of construction on the Panama Canal on this day in 1904.  The fifty mile canal crossed the Isthmus of Panama and enabled ships to travel from the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans without having to undertake the long voyage around South America.  The construction--which continued for just over a decade--involved many innovative engineering and medical advances, employed tens of thousands of workers, and cost an estimated $350 million.

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