Panamanian History

Historical Events

  • 1519-08-15 Panama City founded by Spanish conquistador Pedro Arias Dávila
  • 1624-05-03 Spanish silver fleet sails to Panama

<b>Pirate</b> AttackPirate Attack

1671-01-27 Welsh pirate Henry Morgan lands at the gates of Panama City

Pirate Henry Morgan
Henry Morgan
  • 1671-01-28 Welsh pirate Henry Morgan captures Panama City from its Spanish defenders
  • 1698-07-14 The Darien scheme begins with five ships, bearing about 1,200 people, departing Leith for the Isthmus of Panama
  • 1698-11-02 Scottish settlers make landfall in Panama, establishing the ill-fated 'Darien Venture' colony
  • 1821-11-28 Panama declares independence from Spain
  • 1826-03-14 General Congress of South American States assembles at Panama
  • 1848-12-26 1st gold seekers arrive in Panama en route to San Francisco
  • 1855-01-28 The first locomotive runs from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean on the Panama Railway
  • 1873-05-07 US marines attack Panama
  • 1879-08-17 Ferdinand de Lesseps forms French Panama Canal Company
  • 1880-01-01 Building of Panama Canal begins
  • 1881-02-24 De Lesseps' Company begins work on Panama Canal
  • 1888-12-11 French Panama Canal Company fails
  • 1900-02-05 The United States and the United Kingdom sign treaty for Panama Canal

  • 1900-11-30 The First Isthmian Canal Commission, appointed by the President having examined possible routes for a canal, issues its report favoring that through Nicaragua over the Panama route
  • 1902-01-04 The French Panama Canal Company offers to sell its right to build a canal to the US for 40 million, tipping the balance away from those favoring a canal through Nicaragua
  • 1902-01-18 Despite reports that favor the US building a route through Nicaragua for a canal, a 'supplementary report' recommends the route through Panama
  • 1902-06-28 US buys concession to build Panama canal from French for $40 million
  • 1903-01-22 The Hay-Herran Treaty concerning the USA's right to the Panama Canal is signed by the Colombian Charge d'affaires in Washington, D.C. (never ratified)
  • 1903-11-03 Colombia grants independence to Panama
  • 1903-11-04 Panama and Colombia wake up to news that the insurrectionists have declared an independent Republic of Panama
  • 1903-11-06 USA recognizes independence of Panama
  • 1903-11-18 Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty gives US exclusive canal rights in Panama
  • 1904-02-23 United States acquires control of the Panama Canal Zone for $10 million

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1904-02-29 Theodore Roosevelt, appoints 7-man Panama Canal Commission to proceed with completing a canal at the Isthmus

26th US President Theodore Roosevelt
26th US President
Theodore Roosevelt
  • 1904-05-04 Construction begins by the United States on the Panama Canal
  • 1904-07-28 Rafael Reyes becomes dictator of Colombia after losing Panama
  • 1904-11-18 General Esteban Huertas steps down after the government of Panama fears he wants to stage a coup
  • 1906-11-09 Theodore Roosevelt is 1st US President to visit another country (Puerto Rico and Panama)
  • 1906-11-14 US President Theodore Roosevelt visits Panama
  • 1908-05-01 World's most intense shower (2.47" in 3 minutes) at Portobelo, Panama
  • 1909-01-05 Colombia recognizes Panama's independence
  • 1909-08-24 Workers start pouring concrete for Panama Canal
  • 1911-01-31 Congress names San Francisco as Panama Canal opening celebration site

  • 1913-10-10 Gamboa Dam in Panama blown up; Atlantic & Pacific waters mix
  • 1913-11-17 The first ship sails through the Panama Canal, which connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans
  • 1914-04-08 US & Colombia sign a treaty concerning Panama Canal Zone
  • 1914-08-03 1st unofficial trip through the Panama Canal by the SS Christobel
  • 1914-08-15 Panama Canal opens (under cost) with the SS Ancon making the 1st official steamship through the canal
  • 1914-08-29 Arizonian is 1st vessel to arrive in San Francisco via Panama Canal
  • 1914-11-17 US declares Panama Canal Zone neutral
  • 1915-01-16 Congress authorizes $1 & $50 Panama-Pacific Intl Expo gold coin
  • 1915-02-20 Panama-Pacific International Exposition (World's Fair) opens in San Francisco
  • 1915-06-15 US government mints 1st $50 gold pieces, for Panama Pacific Expo
  • 1915-12-04 Panama-Pacific International Exposition closes in San Francisco
  • 1921-03-05 The US warns Costa Rica and Panama to settle disputes peacefully
  • 1926-07-28 US & Panamanian pact about safeguard of Panama Canal
  • 1930-04-04 The Communist Party of Panama is founded
  • 1930-11-09 1st nonstop airplane flight from NY to Panama

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1934-07-11 FDR became 1st US President to travel through Panama Canal

32nd US President Franklin D. Roosevelt
32nd US President
Franklin D. Roosevelt

Music releaseMusic Premiere

1940-10-30 Cole Porter's musical "Panama Hattie" opens at 46th Street Theatre, NYC; runs 501 performances

Composer and Lyricist Cole Porter
Composer and Lyricist
Cole Porter
  • 1941-10-09 Coup in Panama declares Ricardo Adolfo de la Guardia Arango the new president.
  • 1946-03-01 Panama accepts its new constitution
  • 1948-06-19 Panama and Costa Rica recognize Israel

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1953-07-07 Che Guevara sets out on a trip through Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador

Argentine Revolutionary Che Guevara
Argentine Revolutionary
Che Guevara
  • 1953-12-15 WJHG TV channel 7 in Panama City, FL (NBC/ABC) begins broadcasting
  • 1955-01-02 Panamanian president Jose Antonio Remon is assassinated.
  • 1955-01-03 Jose Ramon Guizado becomes president of Panama
  • 1955-01-25 US & Panama sign canal treaty
  • 1955-11-21 Argentina asks Panama for return of ex-president Peron
  • 1964-01-09 Anti-US rioting broke out in Panama Canal Zone
  • 1964-01-10 Panama severs diplomatic relations with US
  • 1964-01-11 Panama ends diplomatic relations with US
  • 1964-04-03 US & Panama agree to resume diplomatic relations
  • 1968-10-11 Coup d'état in Panama against President Arnulfo Arias
  • 1971-05-24 A commuter bus plunges into Panama Canal, killing 38 of 43 aboard
  • 1972-06-19 -29] Tropical storm Agnes upgraded to a hurricane, makes landfall in Panama City (would kill 128)
  • 1972-10-11 Panama adopts constitution
  • 1974-12-31 Gold legal in US, Franklin Mint strikes Panama's Gold 100 balboa coin
  • 1976-05-03 Panama 747SP lands after record flight around world (46:26)
  • 1977-08-10 US & Panama sign Panama Canal Zone accord

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1977-09-07 US President Jimmy Carter and Panama's General Omar Torrijos sign the Panama Canal treaties, guaranteeing Panama control of the Panama Canal after 1999

39th US President Jimmy Carter
39th US President
Jimmy Carter
  • 1977-10-23 Panamanians vote 2:1 to approve new Canal treaties
  • 1977-10-30 Panama 747SP lands after polar flight around Earth in record 54:07

  • 1978-03-16 US Senate accepts Panama Canal treaty
  • 1978-04-18 Senate votes to turn Panama Canal over to Panama on Dec 31, 1999
  • 1978-10-11 Aristides Royo elected president of Panama
  • 1979-10-01 US returns Canal Zone (but not the canal) to Panama after 75 years
  • 1979-10-10 Panama assumes sovereignty over Canal Area (ie Canal Zone)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1979-12-15 Deposed Shah of Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi leaves US for Panama

Last Shah of Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
Last Shah of Iran
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
  • 1981-10-01 J Chodorov/N Panama's "Talent for Murder" premieres in London
  • 1982-04-01 US formally transfers Canal Zone to Panama

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1983-08-12 General Manuel Noriega becomes commander of Panamanian army

Panamanian General and Dictator Manuel Noriega
Panamanian General and Dictator
Manuel Noriega

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1989-05-11 US President George H. W. Bush orders nearly 2,000 troops to Panama

41st US President George H. W. Bush
41st US President
George H. W. Bush

Famous Birthdays

  • 1858-06-29 George Washington Goethals, American army general and civil engineer who supervised the construction of the Panama Canal, born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 1928)
  • 1860-07-26 Philippe J Bunau-Varilla, French engineer (Colombia-Panama), born in Paris (d. 1940)
  • 1899-10-20 Evelyn Brent, American actress (Panama Lady, Last Command), born in Tampa, Florida (d. 1975)
  • 1901-08-15 Arias Arnulfo, 3 time president of Panama (1940-41, 49-51, 68), born in Penonomé, Coclé, Panama (d. 1988)
  • 1904-05-30 Ernesto de la Guardia Jr, President of Panama (1956-60)
  • 1907-08-03 Adrienne Ames, American actress (Death Kiss, Panama Patrol), born in Fort Worth, Texas (d. 1947)
  • 1909-05-30 George Headley OD MBE, West Indies cricket batsman (22 Tests; 2,190 runs @ 60.83; 10 x 100), born in Colón, Panama (d. 1983)
  • 1914-04-21 Norman Panama, American screenwriter (d. 2003)
  • 1917-08-16 Roque Cordero, Panamanian composer (Sonata Breve), born in Panama City (d. 2008)
  • 1923-06-28 Lloyd Labeach, 100m/200m runner (Olympic bronze 1948), born in Panama City, Panama
  • 1926-05-12 Earl Hutto, American politician (Rep-D-Florida, 1979-95), born in Panama City, Florida
  • 1928-11-11 Carlos Fuentes, Mexican author (The Death of Artemio Cruz), born in Panama City, Panama (d. 2012)
  • 1929-02-13 Omar Torrijos Herrera, president Panama

Person of interestManuel Noriega

1934-02-11 Manuel Noriega, Panamanian general and dictator (1983-89), born in a Panama City slum, Panama (d. 2017)

Panamanian General and Dictator Manuel Noriega
Panamanian General and Dictator
Manuel Noriega
  • 1936-05-12 Guillermo Endara, President of Panama (1989-94), born in Panama City, Panama (d. 2009)
  • 1944-05-16 Billy Cobham, Panamanian-American jazz drummer (Mahavishnu Orchestra), born in Colón, Panama
  • 1946-06-29 Ernesto Pérez Balladares, President of Panama (1994-99), born in Panama City, Panama
  • 1948-07-16 Rubén Blades, Panamanian singer and actor, born in Panama City, Panama
  • 1950-11-01 Dan Peek, American rock vocalist and guitarist (America), born in Panama City, Florida (d. 2011)

Person of interestRoberto Durán

1951-06-16 Roberto Durán, Panamanian boxer (4-weight world champion), born in El Chorrillo, Panama

  • 1951-12-19 Fred W Leslie, Ancon Panama, PhD/astronaut (STS 73)
  • 1956-04-03 Miguel Bose, Panamanian-born Spanish singer and actor (El Avaro, Queen Margot), born in Panama City
  • 1963-07-18 Martín Torrijos Espino, President of Panama
  • 1963-12-12 Juan Carlos Varela, President of Panama (2014-), born in Panama City
  • 1964-03-25 Alex Solls, American jockey, born in Panama City, Panama
  • 1964-10-01 Roberto Kelly, Panamanian baseball outfielder and coach (NY Yankees; MLB All Star 1992-93), born in Panama City, Panama
  • 1967-03-12 Julio Dely Valdes, Panamanian footballer
  • 1969-01-13 Orlando Miller, Changionola Panama, infielder (Houston Astros)
  • 1969-11-29 Mariano Rivera, Panamanian-American pitcher (NY Yankees), born in Panama City, Panama
  • 1970-01-23 Sherman Obando, Panamanian baseball outfielder (Montreal Expos), born in Bocas del Toro Province, Panama
  • 1972-06-15 Ramiro Mendoza, Los Santos Panama, pitcher (NY Yankees)
  • 1976-06-20 Carlos Lee, Panamanian baseball player
  • 1980-04-26 Jordana Brewster, American actress (Nikki Graves-As the World Turns), born in Panama City
  • 1983-03-30 Davis Romero, Panamanian baseball player
  • 1987-12-18 Fernando Jara, Panamanian-American jockey

Famous Deaths

  • 1955-01-02 Jose Antonio Remon, President of Panama (1952-55), assassinated at 46
  • 1981-07-31 Gen Omar Torrijos, leader of Panama, dies in plane crash
  • 1988-08-10 Arias Arnulfo, 3 time president of Panama (1940-41, 49-51, 68), dies at 86
  • 1993-03-15 Ricardo M Arias Espinosa, president of Panama (1955-56), dies
  • 2002-06-23 Pedro 'El Rockero' Alcazar, Panamanian boxer (b. 1975)
  • 2003-01-13 Norman Panama, American screenwriter and director (b. 1914)
  • 2009-09-28 Guillermo Endara, former President of Panama (b. 1936)