9 Nov: Roosevelt’s Panamanian Photoshoot

Presidential diplomacy now routinely involves hundreds of trips on Air Force One – but, until Theodore Roosevelt travelled to inspect the Panama Canal on 9th November, 1906, no serving US President had ever ventured abroad.

It was the biggest infrastructure project a President had ever undertaken, costing hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of thousands of lives. To reassure Americans he was at the helm, Roosevelt was photographed sitting atop a steam shovel, wearing a pristine white suit.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly reveal the most recent President to remain ‘at home’ throughout his Presidency; consider whether Roosevelt had ADHD; and explain why one of George H W Bush’s foreign trips inadvertently inspired the Japanese to create a new word for vomiting. 

Further Reading:

• ‘7 Little-Known Legacies of Teddy Roosevelt’ (HISTORY, 2020): https://www.history.com/news/teddy-roosevelt-legacies

• ‘The Panama Canal’s Forgotten Casualties’ (The Conversation, 2018): https://theconversation.com/the-panama-canals-forgotten-casualties-93536

• ‘George H.W. Bush Vomits’ (January 8, 1992):

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