U.S. Capitol Visitor Center

Welcome to the U.S. Capitol

Exploring Panama

The Panama Canal awakened widespread interest in the region, but it was not only tourists who were curious. The United States had rights to control the Canal Zone in perpetuity under the 1904 treaty with Panama, and in 1923 scientists founded a biological laboratory there. Under a new treaty, ratified in 1978 with the consent of the U.S. Senate, the United States returned the zone to Panama in 1979. Yet the laboratory––now named the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute––continues its important work, expanding our understanding of biodiversity.

1 Image Western Hemisphere . . . Showing Routes for Steam and Sail,... View All Images
1 Image Panama Canal, poster, 1913 View All Images
1 Image Open for Business, drawing by Clifford Berryman, August 15,... View All Images
1 Image Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, photograph, ca. 2011 View All Images
2 Images Canal Zone Pilot: Guide to the Republic of Panama, by William... View All Images