The Canal That Almost Wasn’t
If you enjoy Chilean wine in New York or Italian olive oil in California, the odds are high it came through the Panama Canal. The 48-mile long passage at the isthmus between North and South America connects two oceans and saves tankers around 7,000 miles from going around Cape Horn at the bottom of the world. Even for cargo from Baltimore, Maryland, to Seattle, Washington, it’s sometimes cheaper for cargo to pass through Panama than in trains across the the U.S.
Built in 1914, the Canal turns a hundred this year—a birthday that Panama’s government hopes will turn into marketing gold. It’s story might be boiled down like this: Since the Teddy Roosevelt Administration, the canal has helped connect the world.