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May Meeting

Tour Exhibit: The Land Divided, The World United: Building the Panama Canal

Date: Wednesday May 21, 2014

Location: Atterbury Student Success Center Room 237                 5000 Holmes                 Kansas City, MO 64110  Park at the Linda Hall Library 

Time: 11:30 Social/Registration           12:00 Meal           12:30 Tour Menu: Boxed Lunch includes, sandwich, chips, a piece of fruit, and dessert

Cost: $15.00 per person

Exhibit:  The Land Divided, The World United: Building the Panama Canal

It was an audacious gamble that took more than 40 years and 42,000 workers to blast, dredge and excavate one of the greatest engineering triumphs connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Heralded as one of the seven wonders of the modern world, the Panama Canal opened in 1914 as a symbol of America’s innovation and emergence as a global superpower.

To celebrate the Panama Canal’s centennial in 2014, the Linda Hall Library – located on the campus of the University of Kansas City- will recount the development of the Panama Canal with its epic triumphs and tragedies.  The Linda Hall Library’s centennial exhibition will highlight the myriad of fascinating technological, social and political facets in the construction of the Panama Canal, including:

  1.     History of the Isthmus: Since the 16th century, the small isthmus between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans led explorers to search for a passage between the seas.

  2.     Life in the Trenches: Workers in the Canal Zone faced constant hardships: backbreaking work, social inequalities, and the relentless fear of infectious disease.

  3.     The French Attempt: The French began construction of a sea-level canal in Panama in the 1880s. Thousands died of malaria and yellow fever. Obstacles became insurmountable, forcing the French to abandon the project in the early 1890s.

  4.     The Panama Railroad: The railroad was essential for carrying people and supplies and hauling away the tremendous volume of excavated dirt and rock.

  5.     The American Achievement: The U.S. acquired rights to the Canal Zone in 1903, and a year later began building a lock canal 50 miles across the Isthmus. Completed in 1914, the Panama Canal shortened the distance for ocean-going freight and passengers traveling between U.S. east and west coasts by more than 8,000 miles.

RSVP by May 19th RSVP HERE

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