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Today in history - Suez Canal opens
Suez Canal opens - 17.11.1869
TVs > Today in History > November 17 - Suez Canal opens
Suez Canal opens - 17.11.1869
Today in history - November 17, 1869



The Suez Canal, connecting the Mediterranean and the Red seas, is inaugurated in an elaborate ceremony attended by French Empress Eugénie, wife of Napoleon III. The Suez Canal is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea. Opened 17 November 1869.

Construction began in April 1859, and at first digging was done by hand with picks and shovels wielded by forced laborers. Later, European workers with dredgers and steam shovels arrived. Labor disputes and a cholera epidemic slowed construction, and the Suez Canal was not completed until 1869 - four years behind schedule. On November 17, 1869, the Suez Canal was opened to navigation.



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