News Journal archives, week of Aug. 14

“Pages of history” features excerpts from The News Journal archives including the Wilmington Morning News and the Evening Journal.

Aug. 15, 1914, The Evening Journal

Panama Canal formally open to commerce

Messages of congratulations were exchanged today between President Wilson and Secretary of War Garrison, Secretary of the Navy Daniels and Gov. Goethals of the Panama Canal zone upon the opening to commerce of the world of the “big ditch.”

A War Department vessel, the steamer Cristobal, loaded to the gunwales with Isthmian, war and navy officials, and a hefty cargo of newspapermen, was given the honor of being the first “official” vessel to go through the inter-oceanic waterway.

The formal opening of the canal will not occur until March 4, 1915, when President Wilson, Admiral Dewey, cabinet and congress members will head a gigantic fleet….

Smaller vessels…have been passing through for a couple of months.

Aug. 15, 1935, Wilmington Morning News

Roosevelt signs social security bill into law

President Roosevelt signed into law a social security program yesterday he said would “provide for the United States an economic structure of vastly greater soundness.”

Front page of the Wilmington Morning News from Aug. 15, 1935.

“This social security measure,” Mr. Roosevelt added, “gives at least some protection to 30 million of our citizens who will reap direct benefits through unemployment compensation, through old age pensions and through increased services for the protection of children and the prevention of ill health.”

The President spoke into sound cameras crowding the White House Cabinet Room after his pen welded to the statute books the security program molded in studies that began more than a year ago. It was seven months going through the House and Senate….

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