Found my childhood stamp collection! Here’re some Canal Zone stamps. Heroes commemorated include:
- President Teddy Roosevelt, who championed the building of the Panamá Canal as a national security necessity.
- Dr Gorgas who discovered the source of Yellow Fever, which killed workers by the hundreds. Canal construction stopped for a year while they worked to eradicate the disease and eliminate mosquito breeding areas.
- Stevens and Gen. William Goethals, served as chief engineers in charge of the Panama Canal construction project at various times. Stevens focused on the civilian infrastructure before the canal digging started.
- West Indian Afro-Caribbean workers did most of the labor, living and working under Jim Crow conditions in the construction era.
The Canal Zone (1903-1999) forever links the national stories of the Republic of Panamá and the USA together.
In the USA, this history isn’t well known and not emphasized in school, it seems. But for those of us Zonians with mixed American/Panamanian parents, this history lives in our very blood.
Enjoy the stamps!