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Today in Latin American History

President Wilson Exploded the Gamboa Dike Ending Construction on the Panama Canal in 1913

President Wilson Exploded the Gamboa Dike Ending Construction on the Panama Canal in 1913

Photo: Gamboa Dike

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Today in Latin American history, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson exploded the Gamboa dike thus ending construction on the Panama Canal in 1913.

The building of the canal was completed in 1914, 401 years after Panama was first crossed by Vasco Núñez de Balboa.

The United States spent almost $375,000,000 (roughly equivalent to $8,600,000,000 now), including $12,000,000 to build facilities used to guard the canal, to finish the project. This was by far the largest American engineering project of that or any previous era.

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