The Panama Canal

Monday, January 24, 2011

Stephen Ives, producer and director of “Panama Canal,” tells of the drama behind the creation of the canal, which opened August 15, 1914, connecting the world’s two largest oceans and ushering in America as a global superpower. Building the canal took over a decade of grinding work, cost $350 million, and took more than 5,000 lives. “Panama Canal,” part of the PBS series American Experience, airs January 24, at 9 pm.


Stephen Ives

Comments [5]

Pana from USA

The Cuban scientist's name is Carlos Juan Finlay

Jan. 25 2011 10:12 PM
Pana from USA

I saw the show and was dissapointed of the portrayal of the independence of Panama as "made in the USA" without any mention of previous attempts at independence from Colombia. Panama is just a province of Colombia but there is no mention that Panama unilaterally joined LA GRAN COLOMBIA alongside Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela and Peru when the Spanish left Panama without a fight around1821. Those other countries ceased their union to LA GRAN COLOMBIA later on without a fight but when Panama tried to detach itself from what remained of that political union the last remaining country, Colombia, prevented it. Panamanians were never Colombians.
Also, the CUBAN scientist (medical doctor)who discovered and proved in an "obscure" scientific paper (yes, obscure because he was not an american scientist but a cuban one) that mosquitoes were the main culprits for yellos fever was NEVER mentioned on this show. Gorgas earns full credit for the fight against yellow fever when all he did was to take a implement a solution using a fully proven discovery by a real scientist.

Jan. 25 2011 10:06 PM

No mention of the current widening project of today, the lovely museum there and how you can trace your family members who may have worked on it, the workers who came from europe, the poor of Ireland for example. Famous people like the artist Paul Gauguin who worked as a common labourer on the canal, etc. Lets see if this get covered on the show tonight?

Jan. 24 2011 01:41 PM
Joseph Bell

Many of the Carribean "diggers" stayed in Panama. Especially along the Atlantic Coast. The city of Colon, Panama is evidence of this. There are also substantial numbers of their descendants in NY today.

Jan. 24 2011 01:26 PM
margo nash

In the 1970's i did an oral history and interviewed a very old man who from the West Indies, who lilved in Harlem and had worked on the panama canal. He was still collecting his small pension and very happyt to get it. His memories of the Canal work, "squish, squish, the sound they made with their boots"

Jan. 24 2011 01:26 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.