JFK+50: Volume 6, No. 2084
PRESIDENT'S TELEGRAPH SIGNAL DESTROYS SECTION OF GAMBOA DIKE
President Woodrow Wilson sent a signal by telegraph from the White House which detonated the explosives which, in turn, destroyed a section of the Gamboa Dike.
The first ship to complete a trip through the Panama Canal was the Alexandre La Valley on January 7, 1914.
Unfortunately the big celebration in honor of the opening of the canal had to be cancelled due to the outbreak of World War I.
According to the State Department, however, the Panama Canal symbolized American "technical prowess and economic power." Although the canal was completed on President Wilson's watch, it was President Theodore Roosevelt who "oversaw the realization of the long-term...goal (of) a trans-isthmian canal."
"Building the Panama Canal, 1903-1914," Office of the Historian, Department of State, www.history.state.gov/