This Day In History : August 15

1519 Panama

Panama City founded by Spanish conquistador Pedro Arias Dávila

Panama City, Panama, was officially founded on August 15, 1519, by Spanish conquistador Pedro Arias Dávila. Panama City became an important center for Spanish colonial administration and trade in the region, serving as a key port for the shipment of gold and silver from South America to Spain. Today, Panama City remains the capital and largest city of Panama, known for its modern skyline, historic sites, and the Panama Canal.

Also on This Day in History August 15

Discover what happened on August 15 with HISTORY's summaries of major events, anniversaries,
famous births and notable deaths.

Births on This Day, August 15
  • 1893 Leslie Comrie

    Leslie (John) Comrie was a New Zealand astronomer and pioneer in the application of punched-card machinery to astronomical calculations.

  • 1892 Prince Louis-Victor de Broglie

    Louis Victor Pierre Raymond duc de Broglie was a French physicist best known for his research on quantum theory and for his discovery of the wave nature of electrons.

  • 1891 Tor Bergeron

    Tor Harold Percival Bergeron was a Swedish meteorologist best known for his work on cloud physics.

  • 1890 Elvin Morton Jellinek

    Elvin Morton Jellinek was an American physiologist who was a pioneer in the scientific study of the nature and causes of alcoholism and in descriptions of its symptomatology.

  • 1836 R. J. Lechmere Guppy

    Robert John Lechmere was an English civil engineer, geologist, conchologist and paleontologist whose name was given to the guppy fish, a small livebearer.

Deaths on This Day, August 15
  • 1935 Wiley Post

    American aviator who was one of the most colourful figures of the early years of U.S. aviation, and set many records.

  • 1852 Johan Gadolin

    Finnish chemist who discovered the element yttrium (1794). This was the first of a family of 15 rare earth elements called the lanthanides.

  • 1953 Ludwig Prandtl

    German physicist who is remembered for his studies of both aerodynamics and hydrodynamics.

  • 1884 Julius Cohnheim

    Julius Friedrich Cohnheim was a German pioneer of experimental pathology who helped determine the morbid changes that occur in animal tissue affected by inflammation, tuberculosis, and other disease states.

  • 1758 Pierre Bouguer

    French physicist whose work founded photometry, the measurement of light intensity.


Coronation of Louis XI

1461 Louis XI is crowned King of France at Reims cathedral after the death of his father Charles VII.

Battle of Dinant

1914 Dinant, Belgium, destroyed by German bombs. Lt Charles de Gaulle (24), injured

Victory over Japan

1945 Victory over Japan Day, Surrender of Japan marks the end of World War II (August 14 in the Americas due to the time zone difference)

Panama Canal opened

The Panama Canal officially opened on August 15, 1914. It was a monumental engineering achievement that connected the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans through the isthmus of Panama, revolutionizing global trade and transportation. The canal shortened the sea voyage between the east and west coasts of the United States and enabled ships to avoid the lengthy and hazardous route around the southern tip of South America.
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