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[VIDEO] Jan. 9, 1964 | Panama Crisis Newsreel

Jan. 9, 1964 - Massive rioting broke out in the Canal Zone over flying the Panamanian flag tonight and spread to other points along the vital waterway. The Panamanian Government recalled its ambassador to Washington, charging that American police had shot down unarmed Panamanian students. Santo Tomas Hospital reported that six Panamanian students had been killed and at least 91 other persons injured in rioting that broke out there and spread to other border points as far as 200 miles away. Martial law was declared in the Canal Zone. U.S. Army Lieut. Gen. Andrew O’Meara, commander in the Zone, ordered U.S. Army tanks and armored cars to positions and armored cars to positions on the Thatcher-Ferry Bridge and along the border between Panama City and the Canal Zone. A mob of about 400 marching on the U.S Information Service in Panama City was reportedly dispersed by Panamanian national guardsmen. Buildings belong to Pan American World Airways and the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. were set afire. The rioting began soon after Panamanian students had tried to run their flag up on a U.S. high school in the Canal Zone. American students ripped it down. A report spread that the flag had been trampled and defiled, and angry crowds of Panamanians repeatedly tried to storm into the Zone. The Acting Governor of the Zone, Col. David Parker, called on Lieut. Gen. O’Meara to take over. U.S. Army armored cars then moved in.


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