Gorgas saved canal workers


Why was there no mention of Dr. William Crawford Gorgas in the Aug. 12 piece, Florida celebrates 100th anniversary of the Panama Canal? Yellow fever and malaria continued to plague workers on the canal when the United States took over the building of it. He was instrumental in conquering both those diseases, which reduced the death toll among workers during the construction period.

My fascination with the Panama Canal began in a high school American history class. Dr. Gorgas’ work in the Canal Zone was particularly interesting.

When I was a student at the University of Alabama, 1960-65, I often visited the Gorgas House, one of the five buildings not destroyed when the Union burned the campus during the Civil War.

I spent many an afternoon rocking on the porch of the low country designed house, which was built in 1840 and occupied by the Gorgas family from 1879-1953. After many years, I saw it recently. It’s as beautiful and as welcoming as ever.

Barbara Whiting Marcelius, Hallandale Beach

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