The centenary celebrations on 15 Aug 2014 for the Panama Canal will bring regional leaders and thousands of other official guests to the waterway.
Described as the greatest engineering feat ever attempted, the Panama Canal opened on 15 Aug 1914 after 34 years of construction. It is estimated that over 80,000 persons worked on it and that some 30,000 lives, French then American, were lost in the effort. The date invites historic photo displays and programs that illustrate the nightmare of cutting a 48-mile channel through the Continental Divide. A second great feat - construction of a third channel - won't be finished by the centenary, but the guests will see enough of it to appreciate its scale. The third channel has caused its own nightmares, and the original opening date of Oct 2014 has slipped to Apr 2015.
Date written/update: 2013-11-20