The Panama Canal is 100 years old today. To celebrate what this important international marine trade route has done for the economy, we put together a list of facts. Here’s a few things that your kids might not know:
- The United States uses the Panama Canal the most. 16% of U.S. trade traffic travels through the Canal each year.
- The Panama Canal is almost 50 miles long shore-to-shore.
- The Panama Canal has been open 24 hours a day since 1963. Since then, the Panama Canal has only closed twice: Once in December of 1989 when the U.S. entered Panama to overtake President Manuel Noriega’s regime and once in December of 2010 due to heavy rains.
- It took more than 60 million pounds of dynamite to excavate and construct the canal.
- During construction, nearly 20,000 French and 6,000 American workers gave their lives to complete the Canal.
- Today, the Panama Canal provides approximately 9,000 jobs to the Panama economy.
- Richard Halliburton swam the Panama Canal in 1928. His toll was only 36 cents, a travel expense that is tax-deductible according to current tax guidelines.
- A Disney cruise ship paid over $330,000 in tolls to use the waterway.