Caption: "Breaking of Ground, Panama-Pacific International Exposition." See also 96-07-08-alb01-006, which includes the same caption. San Francisco, Oct 14, 1911. The 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition was held to celebrate the completion of the Panama Canal, as well as inventive technologies and new industries from around the world. It was also a chance for San Francisco to show the world how the great city had rebuilt and thrived after the devastation of the 1906 earthquake and fire.