1867 – The first ship passes through the Suez Canal
The Suez Canal (Arabic: قناة السويس qanāt as-suwēs) is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea through the Isthmus of Suez.
An Anchor Line ship, the S.S. Dido, became the first to pass through the Canal from South to North on February 17, 1867.
The canal offers watercraft a more direct route between the North Atlantic and northern Indian oceans via the Mediterranean and Red seas, thus avoiding the South Atlantic and southern Indian oceans and reducing the journey distance from the Arabian Sea to London, for example, by approximately 8,900 kilometres (5,500 mi).
Some sources estimate that over 30,000 people were working on the canal at any given period, that more than 1.5 million people from various countries were employed, and that thousands of labourers died, many of them from cholera and similar epidemics.
Source: 17th Day of February – Fatcowco