Posted by Maria Arias on June 25, 2017 | About Panama | 0

Amazing Panama Canal Facts

  • Panama signed a treaty with the U.S. allowing for canal construction, and giving the U.S. sovereignty over a strip of land on either side of the structure (known as the Panama Canal Zone).

  • The Panama Canal was built by the U.S. between 1904 and 1914 with more than 75,000 workers. The canal allows ships to sail between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans without having to go all the way around South American.

  • Panama Canal construction was started by the French in 1881. The French efforts were plagued by engineering challenges and tropical diseases including malaria and yellow fever, and they eventually abandoned the project in 1889.

  • When the French began work on a canal, Panama was a province of Colombia. In 1903, after Colombia refused to sign a treaty granting the United States control of a canal zone, Teddy Roosevelt’s administration backed Panamanian rebels in a revolt. 

  • US Army doctor Walter Reed conducted research in Cuba in the late 1800’s saved thousands of canal workers.

  • The Ancon cargo ship was the first vessel to transit the Canal on August 15, 1914.

  • In 1977, an agreement was signed  by President Jimmy Carter for the complete transfer of the Canal from the U.S. to Panama by the end of the century. 

  • In October 2006, Panamanians approved an ambitious $5.3 billion plan to expand the Canal. The Panama Canal Expansion create a new lane of traffic along the Canal through a new set of locks, doubling the waterway’s capacity.  

  • The expanded canal began commercial operation on 26 June 2016.

  • The biggest users of the Canal are United States and China.