June 1 – July 31
2nd Floor Library
Named one of the seven modern wonders of the world by the American Society of Engineers, the Panama Canal connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. This engineering marvel provides a shortcut of 8,000 miles for vessels travelling between oceans and eliminates the need to travel around the treacherous Cape Horn.
Canal excavation began in 1881 by the French who eventually abandoned the work in 1894 due to construction problems and a devastating number of fatalities of workers due to malaria and yellow fever. In 1904, the United States purchased the rights to the land from the Panamanian government, the equipment and excavations from the French, and continued construction of the Panama Canal. The Canal was completed and opened to international traffic on August 15, 1914.
The 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco was a celebration of the opening of the Panama Canal and the expanded trade that helped the Port of San Francisco to prosper.