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Meet the Filmmaker

Meet the Filmmaker: Sumner Jules Glimcher

“The Panama Canal: History & Operation”

Date: Thursday, November 17, 2011
Location: NY NATAS, 1375 Broadway (between 37thand 38thStreets), Suite 2103
Reception: 6:00-6:30 PM ~ Program: 6:30-8:00 PM
*Free to NY NATAS Members!
$15 for those without current NY NATAS membership.
The creation of the Panama Canal has been described as perhaps the most significant engineering feat of the past several hundred years.  Very early in its history, an exploratory trip by several US naval vessels was instituted by President Ulysses S. Grant.  He sent ships to explore the possibility of a canal somewhere in Central America to connect the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific.  Later, in 1880, the French engineer Ferdinand de Lessups, who had built the Suez Canal, at age 60, decided to build a canal connecting the two oceans.  He raised millions of French francs and created a corporation to achieve this feat.  After the loss of 22,000 men due to illness, mostly Malaria and Yellow Fever, he abandoned his dream.  The enormous financial loss almost bankrupted the French Empire.  When Teddy Roosevelt became President after the assassination of William McKinley, this larger than life figure once again took up the challenge.  The first item on his agenda was to eradicate the two diseases, which had rendered the French effort such a massive defeat.  Teddy sent Surgeon General William Gorgas south.  Gorgas had thought that the tiny mosquito was the carrier of both Yellow Fever and Malaria and screened all the windows in the dwellings and offices of the existing buildings. He covered all the standing water with oil and within three months, both diseases had disappeared.  Then the digging began and the story of its construction, amply documented by the staff photographers dispatched by TR, told the story of this massive engineering feat.  From 1904 to 1914 this effort dominated world history.  Since most world trade travels by ship, the Canal shortened the trip from Asia to the American east coast and Europe.  The Canal became central to world trade.  Now, after the construction of  supertankers and enormous vessels, the Canal is being rebuilt with locks twice the length and width of the earlier locks.  This documentary tells the entire story of its construction and how it works.
Sumner Jules Glimcher, whose entire career has been in media, began as a Page at NBC, where six years provided his background in radio and television.  Later working at Radio Free Europe, he gained knowledge of international broadcasting, which he used as Manager of Foreign News at WOR and RKO General.  He later worked for PBS and taught at Harvard, his alma mater, Columbia and NYU.  He has been a consultant to the President of Harvard, the United Nations and for more than twenty years, the Consulate General of Japan.  Now retired he has brought “Meet The Filmmaker” to NATAS for the past several years.

Please RSVP via email to reserve a seat. Space is limited.
Produced & Moderated by Sumner Jules Glimcher.


Thu, Nov. 17, 2011
noon - 2 p.m.
(GMT-0400) US/Eastern


1375 Broadway
New York, NY 10018