Object of the Day

Mrs. Richard Nixon and BHS students

We know that Pat Nixon visited Balboa High School on February 24, 1955.


Were you at Balboa High School when she visited or do you recognize any of the students photographed?

What can you tell us about visits to the Canal Zone from individuals like the former First Lady?

Please share with us in the comments section below!


    • John E Schmidt Jr

      For the first times in 62 years, I am seeing this Newsreel of the Queen’s visit in 1953,

      For me it is personal as I participated in the Honor Guard that she and Prince Phillip inspected on the pier at Cristobal. I have several photos of that event and if the Library at UofF would to have copies, be happy to send.

      Thanks Robert Dryja

  • Peggy Huff

    My grandfather, Kenneth Edwards, was a lock master at Pedro Miguel. He was on the wall when the royal yacht transited the canal. As the chamber filled and the yacht rose, the Queen could be seen in her cabin in her royal underwear. Her lady-in-waiting quickly drew the curtains.

  • Nina (BHS 55)

    I was standing on the Prado as Elizabeth & Phillip rode by in an open convertible en route to their formal hello to the Governor & then the President of Panama. Took a good look at her just to say I saw her , but kept eyes mostly on him — good looking guy.

    Then there was the special visit of Dwight Eisenhower when he was president (he’d been in the Zone before as military). He also rode down the Prado in an open convertible, Secret Service at all four corners, but the sides wide open. Also in that entourage were some really bad men — Stroessner, Batista, Trujillo & Somoza. Occasion was meeting of all American states. I really did like Ike!

    In those much more innocent times, their limos were wide open to bad-intentioned people. Never happen today.

    Although unhappy & under-appreciated by all, Pat Nixon was a very nice woman & honored the position of Firest Lady.

  • Joe Wood

    Mrs. Nixon was visiting the Canal Zone with her husband, Vice President Richard Nixon on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Panama Railroad. VP Nixon gave a speech at the Balboa RR station on the back of a railroad car. In attendance were dignitaries from Panama, the US Military, US Embassy and the Canal Zone. The Balboa High School band played for the occasion, and the Balboa High School ROTC officers and cadets provided honor guard and usher service for the occasion.

  • Bob Zumbado BHS 1955

    You’re correct, Joe! As Company Commander of A Company, of the BHS Jr ROTC Battalion, I was one of the escorts along with other Officers. We wore our khaki uniforms with white gloves and swords. The boy in the white trousers and hands in pockets above is Dean Washburn, a junior in the class of 1956. I was a senior that year, class of BHS 55. Nina Brown Kosik was my Sponsor with Company A. I don’t recall whether the sponsors were given an assignment for this ceremonial visit by veep RMN or not.

    • Nina (BHS 55)

      Bob — Maybe Pat Quinn was there as Battalion Sponsor, but Dixie Humes (B Co)., Jane Jennison (C Co) & I (your A Co) were not. Also there, Chuck Hummer (Bn Cdr), & his staff of Doug Schmidt & Mike Drennan.

  • Ray Crucet (BHS"52)

    I recognize the two girls in the photo greeting Mrs. Nixon. Wearing the earrings is Elke Altman and to her right is Jacque McCoy.

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