Home -> Samuel Levinson -> What We Saw at Madame World's Fair - Preface

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For many years it has been the dream of Madame World to have a canal cut through the narrow strip of land between the East and the West, so that folks might visit each other without having to go so far around.

Also she thought that one family might have something which another family might use if there were a short way to send it across.

And there were other reasons: Families should know each other, and be able to share each other's joys and sorrows.

Madame World said so much about it, that one of her older daughters tried to get the work done, without success, and, finally, Uncle Sam said, "Very well, Mother, I believe you are right about this; and though I am your very youngest son, if you will let me try, I promise you that I will cut a canal through that swampy back yard of yours, and that your biggest ships shall float safely through."

Then Madame World said: "Those are brave words, my son, but you have not taken account of the difficulties in the way. Things called Fevers lurk in the swamps ready to spring upon you, and there is also a monster whose name is Malaria."

"Nonsense, Mother mine," replied Uncle Sam, "those things are born of Fear, and I do not know Fear and will not listen to him. I will cut the canal for you."

So Madame World gave her son permission to go to work, and in a short time the work was finished, and Uncle Sam presented his lady mother with the Panama Canal.

Madame World decided to celebrate the event, and sent out invitations to her families to come to a big party which she would give. She asked them to bring their families, and their work, and their fruits and grains, and learn to know each other.

Then she looked around for a place to picnic, where this big family could be fed and housed, and where the elements were most friendly.

Away out on the edge of the Pacific Ocean she saw the golden glow of California's magic city of San Francisco, and she said, "These people have been brave under many difficulties, and they area faithful people. They shall have the honor."

So that is why Madame World has given us this big beautiful Fair, which everybody will always remember. It is the celebration of a dream come true.

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