The James V. Brown Library, 19 E. Fourth St., will host the presentation, "The Big Dig Turns 100: The Story of the Panama Canal," by historian Col. (Retired) John Maietta at 6 p.m. Aug. 11.
In the 16th century, Spain dreamed of a canal across the Isthmus of Panama. In the 19th century, 20,000 workers died in a doomed French attempt to realize that goal. Finally, American know-how, gumption and "gunboat diplomacy" brought success: on Aug. 15, 1914, one of the "seven wonders of the modern world" officially opened for business.
The program charts the dramatic history of the canal-building effort, spotlights the colorful characters who led it, and brings us right up to the present, as shipping fleets await the completion of a new set of locks in 2016 - guarantee of another century of service from "The Big Dig."
The James V. Brown Library will host a program on the Panama Canal on Aug. 11.
Maietta has been a passionate fan of history his entire life.
A native of Williamsport, he worked for many years as a freelance photographer and public relations specialist in the Harrisburg area, where he makes his current home.
At the same time, he served as a public affairs officer with the National Guard, volunteering for numerous active-duty assignments in Washington, D.C., Europe and Iraq.
Now retired from both the military and business professions, he has launched a third career in adult and community education, bolstered by his recent receipt of a master's degree in applied history from Shippensburg University.
The program is free and open to the public.
It will be held in the Lowry Room on the third floor of the Welch Family Wing at the library.
Registration is suggested, but not required.
For more information or to register, visit www.jvbrown.edu or call 570-326-0536.