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Although the Panama Canal officially opened during the Woodrow Wilson administration in 1914, the digging had begun in 1879, under guidance of the French government. When the company directing the efforts went bankrupt ten years later, the path remained incomplete until American President Theodore Roosevelt signed a treaty with Panama to resume the work. But until yellow fever, the major health problem in this tropical climate, was eradicated by W. C. Gorgas in 1904, the progress was slow and the fatality rate was high. Finally, ten years later, in 1914, the Panama Canal, the path between the two great oceans, opened to ships.