On 5 November, Panamanians celebrate Colón Day, a very important date in the story of how Panama became an independent nation.
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November in general is a kind of “independence month” in Panama. On 3 November, it’s Separation Day, commemorating the separation from Colombia. On 5 November is Colón Day. On 10 November, the uprising against Spain by the village of Los Santos is remembered, while on 28 November, it is Panamanian Independence Day (from Spain).
Just where does 5 November, Colón Day, fit in? It was in connection with the separation of Panama from Colombia. Panama had already wanted to become independent, but the U.S.A. got involved to assist Panama in order to get permission to build the Panama Canal, after Colombia refused to cooperate.
On 3 November, 1903, Panama officially declared its independence from Colombia. Colombia ordered troops to put down the rebellion by invading Panama and seizing Panama City. But Panama’s defence forces at the border in Colón convinced the invading army to “cancel the invasion”. This was a huge victory for Panama without ever firing a shot.