Thanks to radiofreebc for this awesome time lapse video of Panama Canal Crossing Running time 1:52

canal.jpgBack in 1534 Charles V Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain was the first to suggest a shipping canal in Panama to ease travel to and from Ecuador and Peru.  In 1698 the Kingdom of Scotland and its Darien scheme, an attempt at an overland trade route across the isthmus of Panama failed and was abandoned in 1700 due to the harsh and inhospitable conditions of the area.  The route of the canal that would later be built, had a lot to do with the route of the Panama Railway that had its opening in 1855.  The railroad was a success and increased trade greatly across the isthmus.  The French made an attempt at building a canal between 1881 and 1889 but the difficulty of a sea level canal and the high toll of mosquito born diseases, such as malaria and yellow fever had quite a toll on the employees of the project.  It is estimated that as many as 22,000 workers died during the main period of construction.   After helping Panama achieve independence from Colombia, the United States, under Theodore Roosevelt bought out the French excavation and equipment and began work on May 4, 1904.  The Americans gradually replaced the French machinery with equipment of a larger scale that quickened construction.  With disease under control due to recent discoveries and health measurements that were implemented, the construction of an elevated canal with locks started to see progress.  In 1907 U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt appointed George Washington Goethals as chief engineer and the canal was completed ahead of its target date of June 1, 1916.  panamacanaldiagram.jpgThe Panama Canal officially opened on this day August 15, 1914.  Even with the advancement of knowledge in disease control, many workers still lost their lives, the death toll between 1904 and 1914 was around 27,500.  canal museum

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