There was a feeling that the underhand and internationally illegal way in which the Americans had contrived the revolution had somehow sullied America's reputation. In the eyes of most of the world, Panama was a miserable sinkhole -- a place synonymous with corruption, disease and death. I think Stevens was utterly exhausted. Julie Greene, Historian: The rains are coming down. His name was John Stevens -- and his reputation preceded him. Sold by deboutique and ships from Amazon Fulfillment. Engineering at its simplest and most brilliant. Narrator: In early July 1905, an American steamship made its way toward the isthmus of Panama -- the narrow ribbon of land between North and South America, and the two largest oceans in the world. Patricia Yusah, An Insignia Films production for AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, (c) 2010 They had to put lids on water cisterns. With the segregation that was a whole dehumanizing strategy and that gave the moral justification for viewing them as beasts of labor. At the time, no single effort in American history had exacted such a price in dollars or in human life. Knowing that it was one of the biggest enterprise that the world had ever seen, and that they have participated in that. The Panama Canal is an artificial 77 km (48 mi) waterway in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean. Narrator: For Rose and Jan, the inducement to stay came in the summer of 1908, in the form of a newly-built cottage on a pretty, tree-lined street. And after they get down to a certain depth they fill it with dynamite. "We drew together in a sort of a compact clique," Rose recalled. In 2007, the Panamanian government launched a $5.25 billion, seven-year project to update and improve the canal. I grew careless last week and before I realized it, I was one sick hombre -- stomach out of order, and my blood full of malaria bugs… I'm taking no more chances than I can help of being sent home wrapped in a wooden overcoat. Narrator: To build the lock canal in Panama, the Americans would not only have to dam the turbulent Chagres and create the largest artificial lake in the world, they also would have to design locks nearly three times longer than the longest ever constructed. It's a story of humanity. He'd fought wolves and Indians. Rose van Hardeveld (Carolyn McCormick): Your Papa is helping to build the big canal, the waterway that has been in the minds of men for centuries. You know, we are just now like the Europeans who grab land whenever they want. Streamline Films, Inc. It's an amazing, beautiful, dramatic experience. In 1534 a Spanish bureaucrat suggested a canal route close to that of the now present canal & shortly abandoned its interest in the canal. To me, the canal is only a big ditch….". Archives & Special Collections, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia They had to screen gutters. In September 2007, work began on a $5.2 billion project to expand the Panama Canal. It was a daily situation that today, this morning, you have breakfast, and somebody at that table having breakfast may not be there for that evening so it is that type of situation. Matthew Parker, Author: And all of the time there was this huge clamor from back at home to make the dirt fly. The failure of the French effort was very much the sort of the dying gasp of the Victorian age that had been dominated by Europe. In 1534, after no such passage across the isthmus had been found, Charles V, the Holy Roman emperor, ordered a survey to determine if one could be built, but the s… Exclusive corporate funding for AMERICAN EXPERIENCE is provided by Liberty Mutual. God knows the French were arrogant. Victor Chen, Office Production Assistants Matthew Parker, Author: George Goethals became known as the Czar of Panama. That's how it's gotta be from now on." All the time I was becoming lower and lower in spirits and less able to cope…. He had snuck away from his boat and was poking around in the hospitals, and in the barrack rooms. Narrator: The canal's official opening was scheduled for August 15th, 1914. Paul Taylor, Additional Cinematography The locks themselves are of uniform length, width, and depth and were built in pairs to permit the simultaneous transit of vessels in either direction. Ten cents an hour was much more than they would make in the Caribbean. "I am thoroughly sick of this country and everything to do with the canal," one American wrote his mother. It was the first house built here by the French, and is marked "House Number One. Sign up for the American Experience newsletter! The locks were the mechanical marvel of the canal. And it's with pride that my grandfather and his contemporaries look across at that. On the appearance of the place I felt like I'll go right back home because everything looked so strange and there no different to being brought up at home so I felt like I'd go back home, but it wasn’t so easy to do that. He'd overseen the construction of thousands of buildings, hired thousands of men, spent thousands upon thousands on new equipment and supplies. He considered that to be the best. Matthew Parker, Author: This was far bigger locks than had ever been constructed before. A very Long video, but an excellent presentation,  showing the history of the PANAMA CANAL during the days of its construction, that was authorized by the former US president, TEDDY ROOSEVELT, who had liberated PANAMA from the clutches of COLOMBIA, and took over the construction of the PANAMA CANAL, when FRANCE´s  engineer, DE LESSEPS could NOT continue to construct the CANAL,  because he could not get rid of the yellow fever transmitted by mosquitoes bites, which was causing the death of hundreds of canal construction workers, who were digging the ditch across the ISTHMUS OF PANAMA, to unite the ATLANTIC OCEAN, with the PACIFIC OCEAN, WEST of the ISTHMUS…, A US doctor,  by the name of GORGAS,  discovered that it was the bites of the mosquitoes that had transmitted the YELLOW FEVER to the construction workers, and he found the solution for  exterminating the mosquitoes from the ISTHMUS, and developed a serum that cured the workers, and  saved them from dying, and thereby,  completed the construction of the PANAMA CANAL…, The ” BELIEVE IT or NOT” , had classified the PANAMA CANAL, as one of the 8th WONDERS OF THE WORLD,,,,along with the PYRAMIDS  in EGYPT, along with then other 6 WONDERS OF THE WORLD…. 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