President Theodore Roosevelt and the Panama Canal

President Theodore Roosevelt was keenly interested in Latin America — usually to advance US expansion and influence in the region. As a young cavalry officer, Roosevelt fought in the Spanish American War in Cuba. He actively supported the Panamanian Revolution against Colombia, which “coincidentally” succeeded in 1904 during his administration (1901-1909). A treaty with the new nation of Panama enabled Roosevelt and US business interests to proceed with construction of the Panama Canal. Roosevelt was a hands-on guy, and traveled to Panama to review the construction.  In this image from the Library of Congress taken on November 26, 1906, Roosevelt is operating an American steam-shovel at Culebra Cut, a major construction milestone in the building of the canal.

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