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My son's Documentary "Theodore Roosevelt and the Completion of the Panama Canal". Kyrylo Pryma, PS/IS 104

Throughout the 19th century, American and British leaders and businessmen wanted to ship goods quickly and cheaply between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. It was also important for military purposes.

The first attempt to build a canal through Panama was made by French. They began excavating in 1880. Their campaign was led by Ferdinand de Lesseps. He was the builder of the famous Suez Canal in Egypt. But, malaria, yellow fever, and other tropical diseases in Panama conspired against the French campaign. After 9 years and a loss of approximately 20,000 lives and $300 million, the French attempt went bankrupt.

In 1903, US and the President Theodore Roosevelt took advantage of a revolution in Panama to launch the building of an American canal there. He sent US warships to Panama City from the Pacific ocean side and other warships to Colon city from the Atlantic ocean side in support of Panamanian independence.

The Panama Canal has been completed in 1914.

A Documentary "Theodore Roosevelt and the Completion of the Panama Canal"
Author: Kyrylo Pryma
School: PS/IS 104 (NYC)