On this day – November 18, 1903: The United States Signs a Treaty to Build the Panama Canal

As early as the sixteenth century, nations sought passage by water through the Isthmus of Panama, a slim stretch of land bridging the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. But it was not until 1881 that a French company headed by Ferdinand de Lesseps, who had built the Suez Canal, began to dig a canal of similar construction across Panama. Plagued by engineering problems, tropical diseases, and scandal, in 1889 de Lessep’s company went bankrupt. ... Read More >