Panama 1914 – The Early Years of the Big Dig: The early years of the Big Dig

Written by Ken Rossignol
Category: · Children’s Books · History

PANAMA 1914 IS NOW BOARDING! Ripped from the headlines and original news stories from 100 years ago!
This book is a “must read” prior to taking a cruise through the Panama Canal, as the reader will not only learn the history of this project but will also learn how the canal operates.
Join this great voyage through the history of the Panama Canal, which is, one hundred years after its completion, on the eve of a new chapter in its spectacular history.
From the early explorers, many seeking a critical water connection between two of the world’s great oceans to the determination of the best engineers of America, the BIG DIG finally opened for shipping – you can be on board!
What stood in the way of making this canal a reality?
Dense jungle, bottomless swamps, snakes and wild animals, endless mountain slides, vicious mosquito borne illnesses, hostile Indians, marauding pirates and buccaneers, and jealous colonial-era world powers, just to name a few.
The story of the Panama Canal is told in this book through the original news reports of the day along with great photos of the construction efforts, gripping illustrations and editorial cartoons that appeared in many publications.
In addition, the detailed chronicles of veteran newspaperman Logan Marshall have been restored, edited and abridged by the author. The story told so well one hundred years ago has been newly enhanced, researched and the verbiage brought up to date.
PANAMA 1914 provides the reader with a full understanding of the aborted tries, the competing routes, and the lambasting of President Teddy Roosevelt at the hands of the press as well as interesting anecdotes of history.
For instance: learn about the practice of renting gravesites, much like today’s storage lockers. What happened when the relatives of the deceased failed to pay the rent?
Scotland sent settlers to establish a colony at Panama. What happened? Of eight hundred Chinese workers who arrived to work on the canal and railroad, hundreds committed suicide and all of them either died or left, due to pestilence and turmoil. Why did hundreds of them fling themselves into the ocean?

A custom-made $40,000 Pullman car for a French canal company big shot was only part of the way the funds of investors were squandered in the failed effort that led to the takeover by the United States. What was the real cost to build this spectacular ditch?
What happened when the U. S. House of Representatives had to decide whether to build the canal through Panama or plan a trip through Lake Nicaragua?
The desperate dash of the USS Oregon to travel the long distance from the west coast around South America to help defend the east coast from a Spanish Armada reportedly heading to attack!
That episode helped push the decision to enable America to quickly move ships from one ocean to the other – with the construction of the Panama Canal.
Corruption, charges and counter-charges went on for many years after this: in March, 1899, Marshall wrote “Congress authorized the President to make an exhaustive investigation as to the most practicable and feasible Isthmian route for a canal that should be under the complete control of the United States and the absolute property of the nation”.
A lobbyist stepped in and the key legislators learned about an explosive potential in one country which led to a decision being finally made to build the $375,000,000 water connection between the Atlantic and the Pacific.
Step aboard the ship of history and don’t forget your mosquito netting.
– Ken Rossignol

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