Daily Archives: September 4, 2014

Greetings from Panama

Postcard to Nell Baird, 1947

Postcard to Nell Baird, 1947

In May 1947, Mrs. Nell Baird of Bowling Green, Kentucky found in her mailbox a postcard from a friend visiting Panama.  During a trip to the interior, moving from seashore to jungle to mountains in one day, the writer sighted a “small boa constrictor snake and orchids growing wild.”  The card itself pictured a native village that the visitor found “very picturesque,” with its huts “made of bamboo poles and palm branches.”  Observe, however: “no windows on account of mosquitoes,” added the writer, referring to the carriers of yellow fever and malaria that had felled tens of thousands of laborers during construction of the Panama Canal from 1904-1914.

Panama Canal LogoNell Baird’s postcard is part of the Manuscripts & Folklife Archives collections of WKU’s Department of Library Special Collections and is one of our featured collections as we observe the Panama Canal Centennial.

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