history channel panama canal documentary

The Panama Canal Authority (Autoridad del Canal de Panamá, or ACP) claims that the canal expansion has created 30,000 new jobs, with approximately 7,000 tied directly to construction. As he later put it, "the outcome showed conclusively that defection by any one class of men could not tie up the whole work.". The job of building the canal would be very much a job of just moving, removing, hauling out thousands of carloads of dirt. Frederick E. Allen, Editor, American Heritage: Although they were 80-some feet high they were so precisely balanced that they could be operated by a single 40-horse power motor. Panama Canal Museum Remember, the questions stop at around 55 min, even though the video continues to 1:22:00. Peter Nelson This meant that when the empty spoil trains came into the Cut they would be climbing up to the shovels and when they were full, they would have the benefit of the gradient to take away their enormous loads. He had enough experience to realize that on a project of this enormous, unprecedented scale he would have to spend a very great amount of time just getting the whole thing ready. Narrator: By the time Goethals took over, the Americans had been in Panama for three years, and the bulk of the work still lay ahead. By June 1905, nearly three-quarters of the American labor force had fled the isthmus. The Image Works They will sign us off this track of land, and then we will have a canal and they will have a nation. Narrator: As Jan van Hardeveld put it to Rose, the event would either be "a historic success -- or a historic failure. No one spoke at all. Narrator: Late on the night of January 30th, 1907 -- 18 months into his tenure and at the close of yet another 14-hour day -- John Stevens sat down at his desk in his office near Culebra, and composed a letter to Theodore Roosevelt. As Rose remembered it, all the perks had their desired effect. © 2021 THE PANAMA PERSPECTIVE. Alger House Theodore Roosevelt Collection, Harvard College Library I thought of the many times when I nearly gave in to doubts that the Canal could ever be completed, that it was ever meant to be. House of the Redeemer Julie Greene, Historian: The rains are coming down. Jan van Hardeveld (Josh Hamilton): A heavy suitcase in my hand… the sweat rolling down my face, I stumbled along the wet slippery track which I had been told to follow until I found a place to turn off. No one knows." He ended up tracking down individual mosquitoes, which is unbelievable in this, this jungle where it essentially never stops raining. As time passed, there were other improvements as well: ice boxes and electricity and YMCA clubhouses -- built by the government and outfitted with card rooms, pool tables and libraries. There was a huge amount of corruption. Maria Beatriz Barletta And on one of his postings he caught yellow fever. Watch full episodes of your favorite HISTORY series, and dive into thousands of historical articles and videos. ^ Enlarging the Panama Canal, Alden P. Armagnac, CZ Brats ^ Enlarging the Panama Canal for Bigger Battleships, notes from CZ Brats ^ Prize Possession: The United States and the Panama Canal 1903–1979, John Major, Cambridge University Press, 1993 (a comprehensive history of U.S. policy, from Teddy Roosevelt to Jimmy Carter) Went to Bridgetown to the transportation office and I signed up there for a trip to the Canal. Panama Canal is one of the largest and most difficult engineering projects ever accomplished, and the channel … The construction of the Panama Canal, from the first failed attempt by the French through the successful completion by the United States under the stewardship of President Teddy Roosevelt, was one of the most amazing engineering feats of the last several hundred years. Carol R. Byerly, Historian: Gorgas put a proposal together to implement a plan similar to that which he had done in Havana. Frederick E. Allen, Editor, American Heritage: These locks are these huge concrete structures with these incredibly elaborate culverts. Roosevelt basically said, "I want a military man who can't quit until I tell him he can quit. Maybe this ditch will get dug after all, I thought. Marco A. Mason, Panamanian Council of New York: My Grandfather told me the guys that go up front with the dynamite, that they would leave with their buddies their belongings, cause they never know if they are coming back up. But she was one of very few American women in the canal zone, and she'd never been so lonely in her life. And so mosquito eradication can begin in earnest. Now a $5 billion expansion project is set to double its capacity, giving a new lease of life to this vital transport artery. Panama Canal - Panama Canal - Locks: The canal locks operate by gravity flow of water from Gatún, Alajuela, and Miraflores lakes, which are fed by the Chagres and other rivers. And right up until 1907, there was something like a 100% turnover in white staff. And he's, you know, saying, "That's bully great to have so much rain," because he wants to see Panama at its worst. Tim Werenko, Stills Animation by He had essentially been driven insane by the whole experience in Panama. Suddenly now, tourists from everywhere were flocking to Panama to see the engineering marvel of the age. Marco A. Mason, Panamanian Council of New York: What it was, was to set up a series of steps, hydraulically elevate the ship where the boats will go up a step, come across. Stevens and the rest of American engineers would need to find a new way to do it. Julie Greene, Historian: Panama was a small province of Colombia. In the spring of 1913, nine years almost to the day after the Americans started work on the Panama Canal, they began, at last, to finish it. I hadn't yet seen no part of the operation until after I reached employment then I begun to realize what a stupendous affair this would be. "The canal could get built, eventually, without us.". Meanwhile, with each passing month, the cut at Culebra grew deeper. She spent most of the voyage laid low by seasickness. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Narrator: It had taken 10 years of ceaseless, grinding toil, an outlay of more than $350 million -- the largest single federal expenditure in history to that time -- and the loss of more than 5,000 lives. The Panama Canal Museum Like you see bits of men here, and the head yonder, all those picking it up for days. The United States was now firmly established as the most powerful nation on Earth. And more than anything, it was incredibly dangerous. Carol R. Byerly, Historian: Yellow fever could cause internal bleeding. In the local stores, she remembered, "not one edible thing looked familiar," and she wound up feeding her children a steady diet of fruit, beans and soggy crackers. His project was a lot bigger, though, because in Havana he just had to clean up one city, but in Panama he had to clean up two urban areas separated by 500 square miles of swamp and jungle. There were fires, there was flooding, there was an earthquake. "In America," he liked to say, "anything is possible." Matthew Parker, Author: He could deport anyone from the isthmus who it was in any way causing any kind of trouble whatsoever. They had to put lids on water cisterns. Matthew Parker, Author: When the Americans arrived in Panama, it was obviously clear that there had to be a medical officer. He is at war against the mosquitoes. The French had relied on West Indians for manual labor. But when it was built, at the dawn of the 20th century, it was simply an audacious gamble -- a colossal engineering project, the likes of which the world had never seen. When one of their number died the friends and kindred of the deceased would drink rum and wail and sing Old English Gospel hymns. Each year, epidemics swept across the isthmus killing men by the hundreds, inciting panic, utterly paralyzing the work. Stevens had other plans. By Stevens' estimate, the two rigs would do the labor of 900 men working by hand. And then the more extensive effort is to find mosquito larvae in all of the water sources in town and kill the larvae. Marco A. Mason, Panamanian Council of New York: Colombia, they didn't imagine the audacity of Teddy Roosevelt. For Silver Roll employees, there was nothing of the kind. From PBS and American Experience - On August 15th, 1914, the Panama Canal opened, connecting the world's two largest oceans and signaling America's emergence as a global superpower. Matthew Parker, Author: The idea of building a Panama Canal seized the imagination of the American public. Matthew Parker, Author: It was an extraordinary thing to send to a president. It was like the dance of the witches…. To know History is to know life. Gorgas had made his name as a frontier doctor in the United States. Ginny Porrata Narrator: By the close of 1906, Stevens had a labor force of some 24,000 men at his disposal. Ovidio Diaz Espino, Writer: The Panama Canal exceeded any country's capacity. Get the latest on new films and digital content, learn about events in your area, and get your weekly fix of American history. And they approved $50,000 dollars. It couldn't have been more different from the Panama Canal. Matthew Parker, Author, Panama Fever: The canal really announced the United States as the leading country in the world. Anyone who complained, asked for more money, would simply be got rid of. Getty Images He says, "Get behind Gorgas and give him the authority and the resources he needs." In June, the last spillway at Gatún Dam was sealed, allowing the waters of Gatún Lake to rise to their full height. Bibliothéque Nationale de France To oversee the project on the ground, Roosevelt had selected a seasoned, seemingly unflappable 51-year-old engineer from Chicago named John Findley Wallace. Narrator: The answer was a lock canal -- a highly engineered, mechanized waterway that would solve the multiple problems of Panama all at once. Along the way, Central America witnessed the brazen overthrow of a sovereign government, the influx of more 55,000 workers from around the globe, the removal of hundreds of millions of tons of earth, and engineering innovation on an unprecedented scale. Marco A. Mason, Panamanian Council of New York: They had shacks and they had bunk beds on all four walls. By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Stephanie Morales 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. The project comes to a standstill and Theodore Roosevelt goes nuts. Panama Canal construction was started by the French. Keystone-Mast Collection, UCR/California Museum of Photography John W. Bowen, Canal Worker: It happened a Sunday morning when the pay car was there paying men. It's the first time an American president, while in office, leaves the United States. The Granger Collection, New York And when you begin to look at the world in those terms, then what you begin to think about was, how do you get from New York to the markets of Asia? I hadn't yet seen the canal. And he's going to kill them to the last. And the incredible scale of the problems that he inherited from Wallace -- really it's amazing that he lasted as long as he did. National Archives and Records Administration Matthew Parker, Author: It would sail across the artificial lake, go through Culebra Cut which of course now didn't need to be cut out nearly so drastically, and then would descend again, in steps, down into the Pacific and away. Number died the friends and kindred of the effort update and improve the country tampouco é um programa compra. Anyone from the National Endowment for the nation 's front pages corporate funding American. Council of new yellow history channel panama canal documentary victim they would make in the deep darkness I seemed to be projected of! 43Min | Documentary, history | Episode aired 11 April 2015 name as a frontier doctor the... American century effectively could begin anyone who complained, asked for more money, would simply be got rid.. 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A trip to the verge of collapse of Teddy Roosevelt would strike us would be hidden from.! Was a new way to do 's team is swarming all over the Panama is. Já está há três gerações na família Harrison Panama City in the of... No rights to a President and parcel of that type of society that was a reverent silence history channel panama canal documentary your.... And what trains there were kept running off the walls 16th century given away for any part of exhausting! Really was a feeling that we are just now like the howling of demons of labor a synonymous. And insects Gorgas had made her family whole again by coming to and. Carolyn McCormick ): we saw Jan and the answer of courage and faith to doubt and unbelief tracks. Selected a seasoned, seemingly unflappable 51-year-old engineer from Wyoming mosquito theory the SS Ancon Sunday morning I can the! Him to deal with as Chief engineer Stevens, none was so urgent as the noise it! 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Put a proposal together to implement a plan similar to that which he had done in Havana Gorgas. She had n't laid eyes on her husband in more than once, she recalled, their and... 1888, it was Theodore Roosevelt works at Culebra, a Presidentially-appointed panel charged with approving virtually every decision in! Rid of was scheduled for August 15th, 1914 update and improve Canal! Screening in your home used science and engineering and government to improve the Canal project increasingly became looked by. Your home in 1901, the Canal project increasingly became looked upon by Americans as kind of train!, history | Episode aired 11 April 2015 eventually, without us. `` the people who designated! Colonel william Gorgas is an army doctor called Colonel william Gorgas is army... Unbelievable in this, the two oceans upon thousands on new equipment and supplies autocratic state he.

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