A country is born -- and later expands, an "Iron Horse" retires, and we lose three presidents, all on this day.
1817: Construction on the Erie Canal begins at Rome, N.Y. The canal, shown here in this 1840 map, travels about 363 miles from Albany, N.Y., on the Hudson River to Buffalo, N.Y., at Lake Erie, and was the first transportation system between the eastern seaboard and the Great Lakes that did not require portage.
Warner Bros. Image
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