Construction of the Panama Canal connecting the Caribbean Ocean with the Pacific Ocean. Views of abandoned and failed first attempt by French team led by Ferdinand de Lesseps, with scenes of Panama natives cutting vegetation with machetes. Scene of abandoned canal work area. Scenes of United States work to build the canal beginning in 1903. Steam shovels digging and moving earth. Laborers construct railroad for use in canal building. General Glen Edgerton talks about the construction difficulties from malaria, and the worker prescription of quinine three times daily. Views of British and French workers on the site working and arriving by rail to work. Dynamite explosion removes rumble for railroad construction. View of locks under construction 1000 feet long and 110 feet wide. Excerpt from interview with former Canal Zone Governor and Congressman Maurice Thatcher, who characterizes the project as the greatest liberty that man had ever taken with nature. (Thatcher was honored when the first bridge connecting both sides of the Panama Canal was named after him as "Thatcher Ferry Bridge". In 1979 the name was officially changed to the Bridge of the Americas.) Clip next shows 1970's aerial view of the Panama Canal. Ships moving through the Panama Canal.
U.S. military canal defense and base security requirements and future requirements regarding proposed canal relocations in Panama. A U.S. officer conducts a JCS (Joint Chiefs of Staff) briefing in the United States. A map of Panama shows military training areas. The map shows Pecora-Chepo, Pina-Range, Mandinga and Madden as military training areas. An officer speaks. A map shows Costa Rica border, present canal zone in Eastern Panama and Atrato River in Columbia. The officers speak about canal relocations and future requirements in Panama. A map of Panama shows present canal zone. An officer speaks.
Aerial views of Atlantic and Pacific Oceans in the Panama Canal Zone. Lush green fields, tower and buildings in the Canal zones. Shoreline, a ship anchored at the canal, vehicles move along the border between the Panama Canal Zone and Republic of Panama. Fort Gulick on the Atlantic side of the Canal. Palm trees, buildings, cars move along the border. Cars parked alongside of the road that forms the border between Republic of Panama and Canal Zone.
Secretary of War John Wingate Weeks and Representative Julius Kahn board the U.S. Army Transport Ship "Cambrai", in Canal Zone, Panama. Local U.S. Army Commander, Major General william S. Graves, and his wife bid adieu to them and move down the ramp. Other dignitaries also see them off and move down the ramp. Passengers on board the ship wave from the railings, as ship moves away. Army officer and others watch as ship departs.
Secretary of War, John Weeks and Kahn Congressman Julius Kahn, standing on wharf, with those seeing them off, before boarding the ship.
Construction of the Panama Canal. A view of the Panama Canal constructed by U.S. Army engineers. The engineers work at the Culebra Cut. A train on tracks. Smoke comes out. A crane lifts up rubble. Two engineers stand and one of them holds a shovel in his hands. The engineers work at Gold Hill. They use a hydraulic excavation cylinder and spray. A view of the Culebra Cut before the water entered. A boat underway in the Culebra Cut. A spillway at Gatun Lake. Water is controlled by the spillway. A sign reads 'Gatun Locks'. A liner in Gatun Locks. People at the dock along the Panama Canal. A view of Panama City, with people and traffic on the streets. Buildings on a street of Panama City. Mountains in the background.
U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower's 175th press conference in Washington DC, United States. President Eisenhower stands in front of a microphone before the newsmen during the press conference. One of the press women asks the President if he agrees to the internationalizing of the Panama Canal and whether he was considering building another canal in that area and if they did would they be able to hold it. Pressmen seated at the conference. The President says that the second question takes a lot of study but for the previous 14 years he has been in favor of building another canal, but that was something that he shall not recommend. Regarding the internationalizing of the Panama Canal he says that it is something he would not even think of at that moment. He says that they have got a treaty with Panama, the provisions of which have been obeyed and they have had a model relationship with Panama for the last 50 years. He says that he believes that a particular incident should not become a reason for breaking a relationship that has worked so well. View of the pressmen talking. The President talking to the officials and the pressmen.