In commemoration of the centennial of its opening in 1914, Kiss of the Oceans will tell the fascinating story of the construction of the Panama Canal, one of the world's great technological achievements. Through artifacts, photographs, documents, and films, the exhibition will illustrate the Canal's story from sixteenth-century explorers to nineteenth-century debates, the failed French canal project of the 1880s, the massive American takeover in 1904, and finally the first official transit on August 15, 1914.
The show is on view at the Flagler Museum from Oct. 14 through Jan. 4.
Beginning in the sixteenth century, a number of countries attempted to find a convenient route from the Atlantic to the Pacific through the narrow land bridge connecting North and South America. It was widely recognized that a waterway across the Isthmus would have a major impact on world commerce and power. However, until the twentieth century, sailing around Cape Horn at the southern tip of South America remained the only water route between the two oceans.