Panama Canal Stamp

US Postage Stamps: 1939

Pamana Canal Stamp

This stamp was issued on August 15, 1939 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the opening of the Panama Canal. It shows the canal with Theodore Roosevelt, the President of the United States when construction began and General George Goethals, the chief engineer of the project who also served as Governor of the Canal Zone.

Since the sixteenth century a canal connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans had been discussed by many nations.  Such a canal would greatly reduce shipping time and also make sailing between the oceans safer since ships would not need to pass around Cape Horn in South America or the Straits of Magellan in Africa.  It was not until the late 1800's that technology had advanced enough to make the attempt feasible.  The first actual attempt was by the French in the late 1800s, but it did not succeed due to inadequate equipment and the decimation of the workers by tropical diseases.

In 1903 the United States started construction on what was to eventually become the Panama Canal. A treaty had been signed by President Theodore Roosevelt with the newly created country of Panama (the country broke away from Columbia with the support of the United States).  The canal was completed eleven years later in 1914, and in August of that year the first of many ships passed through.  As per the treaty, the Panama Canal and ten miles around it was United States territory.  In 1979 the United States shared the administration of the Panama Canal with Panama and in 1999 Panama was given full control over the region.  During the period that the United States controlled the Canal a number of “Canal Zone” stamps were issued, some with original designs and others standard US Stamps with “Canal Zone” overprints.  Although specialized, Canal Zone stamps can make an interesting collection.

Buy a Panama Canal 25th Anniversary stamp for your stamp collection!

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25th Anniversary of the Panama Canal
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