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In celebration of the 100 year anniversary of the Panama Canal inauguration, the United States Embassy in Panama will highlight 100 historic facts, figures and anecdotes relevant to the joint history of our people. The Canal is a fundamental piece in this cooperative relationship.
1. The stamp that hanged history
Due to the complex political situation in Panama in the year 1902, the Government of the U.S., presided over by President Theodore Roosevelt, was inclined to build the Interoceanic canal in Nicaragua.
2. Spooner Act
The Spooner Act was approved in June 1902 by the Congress of the United States. The law authorized President Theodore Roosevelt to acquire all French properties (mainly the property of the Panama railway) amounting to 40 million dollars.
3. The Hay-Herran Treaty
Approved on January 22, 1903, the Hay-Herran treaty takes its name from the Colombian doctor Tomas Herran and the American Secretary of State John Hay, who signed the treaty.
4. Signing of the Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty
A few days after Panama’s independence from Colombia, the diplomatic representative of Panama, the Frenchman Philippe-Jean Bunau-Varilla and the Secretary of State John Hay, signed the Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty.
5. The Panama Canal Railway
The Panama Canal railroad was constructed by the American Government, in what at the time was still a territory of “La Gran Colombia.” Despite the fact that the first to devise a railway on the Isthmus of Panama was Simón Bolívar, the technological limitations at the time and the aggressive terrain complicated the construction process.