Friday, June 29, 2007

Ever hear of a boy named George Washington Goethals ??

No one had a clue that the baby boy named George Washington Goethals, born on this day in 1858 in Brooklyn, NY, would someday change the way the world did business.

As an adult, Mr. Goethals became army officer and chief engineer over thousands of workers who completed the passage we know as the Panama Canal. The engineering marvel took eleven years to complete at a cost of $337 million. The U.S. President at the time, Theodore Roosevelt, said it was “the greatest task of its own kind that has ever been performed in the world.”

The United States government maintained control and payed rent to the Panamanian government until December 31, 1999, when it relinquished control of the canal to Panama.

We wonder if even Col. George W. Goethals knew how important the Panama Canal would be, both strategically and in commercial trade throughout the century.

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