A gold rush that sparked a Star
The greed for gold has placed indelible marks on Panama’s historyThe Spanish colonialists brought the yellow seductress from all parts o...
The greed for gold has placed indelible marks on Panama’s historyThe Spanish colonialists brought the yellow seductress from all parts of their New World empire to be carried on the Camino Real across the Isthmus to Portobello for shipment to Spain or, courtesy of British privateers to the English treasury
Two centuries later the lure of the Californian goldfields brought the 49ersTheir arrival spurred the building of the wolrd’s first trans-continental railway, the Panama Railroad and the founding of The Panama Star
Three Americans in the vanguard of the gold rush, waiting for passage to California decided to pass over gambling, carousing and debauchery or, as the first editorial declaimed “to relieve their tedium” , launched the PANAMA STAR
The first four page edition appeared February 24 1849, with two columns to a page, 8 ins by 12 1/2 with a promise of more columns to comeUnder a masthead including the prophetic words, Press OnThe founders did just that and by year’s end had shipped out.
The paper moved from a weekly to bi-weekly in March 1851, the same month that a rival publication, The Panama Herald, was launchedTwo years later, in February 1853, the Star added a Spanish section, La Estrella de Panama
Soon after the Panama Herald faced financial problems and was, as it said in its final edition “condemned to suffer death”
The two papers merged and appeared as The Star and Herald on May 2 1854With La Estrella still intact
The new paper went on until 1985 to record the major events that shaped Panama’s history, completion of the railroad, independence, the building of the Canal and the dictatorshipsWhen it closed, La Estrella continued the tradition
The Star returned a year ago
The story moves on.