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

Pirate Attack

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

  • 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

Historic Event

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

  • 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, connecting 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

Historic Event

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

Music Premiere

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

  • 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

Historic Event

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

  • 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

Historic Event

1955-11-21 Argentina asks Panama for return of ex-president Juan 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

Historic Event

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

  • 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)

Historic Event

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

  • 1981-10-01 J Chodorov/N Panama's "Talent for Murder" premieres in London
  • 1982-04-01 US formally transfers Canal Zone to Panama

Historic Event

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

Historic Event

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

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)

George HeadleyGeorge Headley (1909-1983)

1909-05-30 West Indies Cricket Batsman (22 Tests; 2,190 runs @ 60.83; 10 x 100), born in Colón, Panama

  • 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 (d. 2020)
  • 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

Manuel NoriegaManuel Noriega (1934-2017)

1934-02-11 Panamanian general and dictator (1983-89), born in a Panama City slum, Panama

  • 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)

Roberto DuránRoberto Durán (71 years old)

1951-06-16 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
  • 1964-06-20 Carlos Lee, Panamanian baseball player
  • 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 Baseball HOF pitcher (13 × MLB All-Star; 5 × World Series; World Series MVP 1999; 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, Panamanian MLB pitcher (NY Yankees), born in Los Santos, Panama
  • 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)