With the Panama Canal in full swing, Manhattan native Teddy Roosevelt sought to extend his influence as America's First Ditch Digger by turning the borough of Brooklyn into a maritime power that could curb the growing arrogance of his hometown, with its own vital trade route. TR broke ground in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of begin-de-siecle Brooklyn with plans to gouge all the way to Astoria, Queens. Sadly, his dreams were put on hold as Panamanian workers bitten by Yellow Fever flies started dropping like, well, flies. Upstart labor unions, afraid of what diseases might lurk in then-unexplored Brooklyn, put the brakes on Roosevelt's vision of a Venice-on-Bedford.

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