Panama Canal Turns 100 Years Old

The Panama Canal, named one of the "seven wonders of the modern world" by the American Society of Civil Engineers, is turning 100. The engineering feat had its debut on August 15, 1914, and today it gives passage to 38-40 ships daily, carrying some 5 percent of world maritime trade.

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    Workers on the Panama Canal project deal with a landslide. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
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    Ships passing through Gatun Lock in the Panama Canal. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
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    The tug boat 'Gatun' passing through Gatun Lock in the Panama Canal at the opening in 1913. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
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    A reception in Cathedral Place, Panama, for the French engineer, Ferdinand Marie De Lesseps after he inspected the Panama Canal Works. Original Artwork: The Graphic - pub. 1886 (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
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    Ships in the Gaillard Cut of the Panama Canal. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
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    The first P&O Orient liner Oriana returns to Southampton after her maiden voyage to the Panama Canal. She was the largest vessel to pass through the canal since the German liner Bremen in 1938. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)
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    Construction work during the making of the Panama Canal, engineered by French diplomat Vicomte Ferdinand Marie de Lesseps (1805 - 1894). (Photo by Spencer Arnold/Getty Images)
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    A steam shovel at work in the Bas Obispo Cut of the Panama Canal. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
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    A steam shovel at work in the Bas Obispo Cut of the Panama Canal. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
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    A shovel vehicle operates during the construction of the Panama Canal, Panama, circa 1906. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
    2004 Getty Images
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    16th June 1888: An excavator at work on the Panama Ship canal at Tabemilla (Tavernilla). Original Publication: Illustrated London News Sketched by Melton Prior (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
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    18th February 1940: US 'Doughboy' Troops manning a 37 mm anti-tank gun in the jungle of the Panama during manoeuvres near the Panama Canal Zone. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
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    1937: The control house of the double Gatun locks on the Panama Canal. The locks are on the Gatun Lake formed by the damming of the Chagres River by the Gatun dam. (Photo by Hugh D. Martineau/Fox Photos/Getty Images)
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    circa 1910: Colonel G W Goethals (1858 - 1928), chief engineer for the Panama canal. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
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    19th November 1918: Two of the locks on the route of the Panama Canal. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
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    circa 1935: A view of Panama City and the Panama Canal. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
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    19th July 1940: A merchant navigates the Panama Canal, the man made channel that links the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)
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    circa 1950: A ship passes through Gatun Lock on the Panama Canal. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
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    1st March 1927: Gatun Locks on the Panama Canal. (Photo by J. H. Helsby/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
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    15th April 1942: US Secretary of War, Henry Stimson (1867 - 1950), watching a US troopship pass through a lock in the Panama canal on its way to a theatre of war. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
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    UNITED STATES - CIRCA 1950s: Cargo ship, Panama Canal. (Photo by George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images)
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    A controlled explosion marks the beginning of the Panama Canal expansion project in Paraiso on the outskirts of Panama City, Monday, Sept. 3, 2007. Panama blasted away part of a hillside next to the canal to mark the start of the waterway's biggest expansion project since it opened 93 years ago. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)
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    16 June 98: On its way through the Panama Canal going under the Puente de Las Americas at the entrance of the canal the Cable and Wireless Adventurer the British built Vessel which is on course to break the record to circumnavigate the globe in less then 80 days. The vessel sets off on its next leg to Kingston Mandatory Credit: Graham Chadwick/ALLSPORT
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    16 June 98: The Cable and Wireless Adventurer the British built Vessel which is on course to break the record to circumnavigate the globe in less then 80 days. The vessel enters last lock in the Panama canal the Gatun Lock as the vessel sets off on itsnext leg to Kingston Mandatory Credit: Graham Chadwick/ALLSPORT
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    A map of Central America showing the Panama Canal (centre) and three proposed routes for new and larger capacity canals to the north and south of the existing channel. The US government, under President Lyndon B. Johnson, is considering the use of atomic blasting to save time and cost. (Photo by Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
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    A flag flying from a ship on the Panama Canal, 5th January 2012. (Photo by Francis Tsang/Cover/Getty Images)
    FRANCIS TSANG
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    A container ship on the Panama Canal, 5th January 2012. (Photo by Francis Tsang/Cover/Getty Images)
    FRANCIS TSANG
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