History of Puerto Rico

From Academic Kids

Located at the north east of the Caribbean Sea, Puerto Rico was key to the Spanish Empire since the early years of conquest and colonization of the New World. The smallest of the Greater Antilles, Puerto Rico was a major military post during many wars between Spain and the other European powers for control of the region during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; a stepping stone in the passage from Europe to Cuba, Mexico, Central America, and the northern territories of South America. Throughout most of the nineteenth century, Puerto Rico and Cuba remained the last two Spanish colonies in the New World and served as the final outposts in Spanish strategies to regain control of the American continents. Toward the end of the 19th century, Puerto Rico would be invaded and become a possession of the United States of America. The first part of the 20th century would be marked with the struggle to obtain greater democratic rights from the United States. Still, the political status of Puerto Rico is a struggle which continues to this day more than 500 years after the first Europeans settled the island.


Pre-Colonial Puerto Rico

Taíno Indians originally inhabited the island, calling it Boriken or Borinquen meaning "the great land of the valiant and noble Lord" or "land of the great lords". The natives lived in small clans led by a cacique (or chief) in small villages. They where mainly peaceful people who possessed limited knowledge of agriculture. Taíno lived on tropical crops, cassava (a type of bread) and sweet potatoes supplemented with seafood. The native inhabitants were often in conflict with the Carib Indians which mainly occupied the Lesser Antilles.

Spanish Rule 1493-1898

Colonization Begins

After the success of his first voyage, Christopher Columbus set sail from Cádiz, Spain with 17 ships and almost 1,500 men for his second voyage. On November 19, 1493, Columbus landed and claimed the island in the name of the king and queen of Spain, naming it San Juan Bautista in honor of Saint John the Baptist. At the time, the island was occupied by about 50,000 Taíno Indians. The Spanish colonization effort began in 1508, with the establishment of the settlement of Caparra on August 8, 1508. Juan Ponce de León, a lieutenant under Columbus, became governor of the island. The following year, the settlement was abandoned and moved to an isle situated in the entrance to the bay.

With the colonization process, the first encomienda settlements on the island were established, in which lands and their indigenous peoples were alloted to the conquistadors. Under the encomienda system coquistadors were able to use the native people as laborers and in return provide them with military protection. However many conquistadors abused their power and enslaved the native people. The Spanish Crown, under pressure of the Roman Catholic Church, instituted the repartimiento system, which was a modification of the encomienda system. Under the repartimiento system, the conquistadors were to pay the Indians for their labor and to teach them Christian beliefs. (However the Spanish Crown did not enforce the payment of the indigenous peoples.) The system did not last and the Taínos were forced back to a condition of abject slavery under threat of corporal punishment or death.

By 1511, the Taínos began to revolt against the Spanish settlers. It is believed that the Cacique Urayoán ordered his warriors to drown Diego Salcedo to determine whether or not the Spaniards were immortal, as they believed that Spanish colonizers had divine powers. After they drowned Diego, they kept watch over his body for several days until they were sure that he was dead. The Taínos, after learning through the drowning of Diego Salcedo that the Spanish were mortal, revolted against Spaniards. The revolt was easily crushed by Ponce de León, who orderd 6,000 shot; survivors fled to mountains or left the island.

That same year, Diego Columbus won rights to all land discovered by his father after presenting his case to the courts in Madrid. Years before, Cristopher Columbus had been stripped of rights over the lands he discovered. King Ferdinand of Spain ordered Juan Ponce de León to be replaced as governor by Diego Columbus. Not wishing to serve under the new governor, Ponce de León obtained title to explore the Upper Bahamas and areas to the north.

On August 8, 1511, Pope Julius II established two dioceses in the New World, one in Puerto Rico and the other one on the island of Hispaniola under the archbishop of Seville. The Canon of Salamanca, Alonso Manso, was appointed bishop of the Puerto Rican diocese, taking possession in 1513 and becoming the first bishop to arrive in America. On September 26, 1512 the first school of advanced studies was established by the bishop.

On December 27, the Burgos Law was issued by Ferdinand II of Aragon. This law regulated relations between Spaniards and the conquered natives, particularly to ensure the spiritual and material welfare of the natives, who were often poorly treated. That same year, the settlement of San Germán was founded on the south western part of the island. On January 27, 1513, African slaves were introduced onto the island. In 1514, Carib Indians attacked settlements along the banks of the Daguao and Macao rivers that had been founded by Diego Columbus. As the number of natives decreased due to disease and genocide, and the number of colonists grew, Carlos I authorized the importation of 4,000 slaves to the Caribbean in 1517. Puerto Rico would also become the first ecclesiastical headquarters in the New World during the reign of Pope Leo X; it would also be declared the general headquarters of the Inquisition in the New World.

In 1521, Carib Indians attacked the south coast; that same year the city and the island exchanged names, and the City of San Juan Bautista de Puerto Rico became the official capital. That same year, the Casa Blanca ("White House") was built. The house would later be owned by Juan Ponce de León's family until the late 18th century.

By this time, Puerto Rico saw an almost continuous influx of Spanish settlers in the quest for gold; the vast majority were men. Still, the local population continued to grow even with the lack of women, since many Spaniards took Taíno women and later African women as wives with the arrival of slaves from Africa.

European Threats

In 1528 the French, recognizing the strategic value of Puerto Rico, attacked many settlements. On October 11, the French sacked and burned San Germán. All the other first settlements - Guanica, Sotomayor, Daguao and Loiza - had since disappeared; only the capital of San Juan remained. In 1532, construction of the first fortifications would begin with the construction of La Fortaleza ("the Fortress") near the entrance to San Juan bay. Still, Spanish engineers saw the defenses as inadequate, and in 1539 construction of massive defenses around San Juan began. Construction of a newer fort in the entrance of San Juan bay named Fort San Felipe del Morro began. The fort featured 18-foot-thick walls. Later, Fort San Cristóbal and Fort San Geronimo also garrisoned troops and defended against land attacks; these forts were built with a financial subsidy from the Mexican mines.

In 1587 engineers Juan de Tejada and Juan Bautista Antonelli present a new redesign for Fort San Felipe del Morro, which is still seen today.

On November 22, 1595 Sir Francis Drake, hero of the battle of the Spanish Armada, sailed with 27 vessels and 2,500 troops in the company of Sir John Hawkins, tried and failed to conquer the island by sailing into San Juan's harbour. In the process they set San Juan ablaze. During the battle it is said that a cannon ball ripped through the Drake's cabin splintering a stool underneath him and killing two men.

Aware of Drake's failed strategy of assaulting San Juan by sea, on June 15, 1598, the British Navy led by George Clifford, Earl of Cumberland, anchorded 21 ships and landed troops in Santurce. They where met by Spanish resistance while attempting to cross the San Antonio bridge, near what today is known as Condado. It is said that Cumberland nearly drowned after falling into the water in heavy armour. The British conquered the island and held it for several months. They were forced to abandon this conquest owing to an outbreak of plague among the troops. The following year, Spain sent 400 soldiers, 46 cannons and a new governor, Alonso de Mercado, to rebuild the city of San Juan.

On September 25, 1625 the Dutch attack San Juan, under the leadership of Boudewijn Hendrick (Balduino Enrico), besieging Fort San Felipe del Morro and La Fortaleza. Residents fled the city and the Spanish, led by Governor Juan de Haro were able to repel the Dutch troops from Fort San Felipe del Morro. The dutch set city ablaze in their retreat.

The fortification of San Juan continued. In 1634 Philip IV of Spain fortified Fort San Cristóbal, along with six fortresses linked by a line of sandstone walls surrounding the city. In 1702, the British assaulted the town of Arecibo with no success.

Commissioned by Charles III of Spain to investigate contraband activity, Lieutenant General Alexander O'Reilly conducted a census. Puerto Rico's population had reached 44,883, of whom 5,037, or 11.2 percent were slaves - a very low ratio, considered the lowest for the Caribbean.

The first history of Puerto Rico was published in 1786 by Brother Iñigo Abbad y Lasierra. The book, titled Historia Geográfica, Civil y Política de Puerto Rico, was published in Madrid, and constitutes a complete history of Puerto Rico from the time of its discovery in 1493 until 1783.

In 1797, the French and Spanish declared war on England. The British attempted again to conquer the island, attacking San Juan with an invasion force of 7,000 British troops and an armada consisting of 64 warships under the command of General Ralph Abercromby. Captain General Don Ramón de Castro and his army successfully resisted the attack.

New Rights

In 1809, Puerto Rico was recognized as an overseas province of Spain with the right to send representatives to the Cortes. The representatives would have the right to a vote in the Spanish Cortes, known as the Cortes de Cádiz or Junta Suprema. Ramón Power y Giralt was sent to Spain as a delegate the following year. The Power Law soon followed, which designated five ports for free commerce - Fajardo, Mayagüez, Aguadilla, Cabo Rojo and Ponce. In 1812 the Cádiz Constitution was adopted, establishing the division of Spain and its territories into provinces, each with a local corporation or council to promote its prosperity and defend its interests, which granted Puerto Ricans conditional citizenship.

In 1810, Don Salvador Meléndez, then governor of Puerto Rico, sent military commander Juan Rosselló to begin the take-over of Vieques, a smaller island near the east coast of Puerto Rico.

On August 10, 1815, the Royal Decree of Grace was issued, allowing all foreigners to be admitted to Puerto Rico and the inhabitants of the island to trade with other nations. At the same time, Puerto Rico's gold supply was exhausted, and islanders struggled to develop an agricultural economy. Cattle, sugar cane, tobacco and coffee were the main agricultural investments that arose.

A few years later, Spain restored absolute power to the king, revoking the Cádiz Constitution and reinstating Puerto Rico to its former condition of a colony subject to the unrestricted power of the Spanish monarch. The Cádiz Constitution would be reinstated in 1820 by Fernando VII, King of Spain.

Simón Bolívar, the Great Liberator of the Americas, landed on the island of Vieques in 1816.


The island became a host to pirates and smugglers. One of them was the Puerto Rican pirate Roberto Cofresi, who is said to have shared his spoils with the poor. Cofresi and his crew attacked 8 ships. One of the ship was an American vessel. The United States Navy was then prompted to send the schooner USS Grampus to pursue Cofresi. The Grampus engaged Cofresi's ship in battle, and he and his crew were captured by Captain John Sloat. On March 25, 1825, Roberto Cofresi was executed on the fields of Fort San Felipe del Morro.

Culture Flourishes

On June 25, 1835, Queen María Cristina abolished the slave trade to Spanish colonies. In 1851, Governor Juan de la Pezuela Cevallos founded the Royal Academy of Belles Letters. This institution contributed greatly to the intellectual and literary progress of the island. The school licensed primary school teachers, formulated school methods, and held literary contests. In 1858, the telegraph was introduced into the island with the assistance of Samuel Morse when he installed a telegraph line in the town of Arroyo at Havienda La Enriqueta.

Political Reforms

By 1867 Puerto Rico had reached a population of 656,328; its population recorded as 346,437 whites and 309,891 "of color", which included Blacks, Mulattos and Mestizos. The majority of Puerto Ricans were living in extreme poverty. The agriculture industry, which at the time was the main source of income, was hampered by lack of roads, rudimentary tools and equipment, and natural disasters, such as hurricanes and periods of drought. The intellectual minority remained relatively active within the limitations imposed by local Spanish authorities, and illiteracy was 83.7 percent.

On September 23, 1868, several hundred women and men revolted against Spanish rule seeking Puerto Rican independence. The event, which took place in the mountain town of Lares, would be known as "El Grito de Lares" ("Lares Cry" or "Lares Uprising"). The rebellion was planned by a group led by Dr. Ramón Emeterio Betances, who at the time of the revolt was in exile in the Dominican Republic, and Segundo Ruiz Belvis. Dr. Betances had founded the Revolutionary Committee of Puerto Rico (Comité Revolucionario de Puerto Rico) in January 1868. The most important figures in the uprising were Manuel Rojas, Mathias Bruckman, Mariana Bracetti, and Francisco Ramirez Medina. Rojas' plantation, located in Lares, became the headquarters for like-minded revolutionaries who would push for a split from Spain.

Political reforms would occur toward the end of the 19th century. In 1869, the first political parties are formed in the island. The following year, on June 4, 1870 as a result of the efforts of Roman Baldorioty de Castro, Luis Padial and Julio Vizcarrondo, the Moret Law is approved, in which liberty was given to slaves born after September 17, 1868 and to slaves over 60 years old. In November, the Liberal Reformist Party was founded. Two factions were which formed first true political organizations in the island:

  1. The Traditionalists advocated assimilation into the political party system of Spain. They wnown as the Partido Liberal Conservador (Liberal Conservative Party), led by José R. Fernández, Pablo Ubarri and Francisco Paula Acuña.
  1. The Autonomists advocated decentralization away from the Spanish control. Known as the Partido Liberal Reformista (Liberal Reformist Party), they were led by Román Baldorioty de Castro, José Julián Acosta, Nicolás Aguayo and Pedro Gerónimo Goico.

On March 22, 1873, the Spanish National Assembly abolished slavery in Puerto Rico. The owners were compensated with 35 million pesetas per slave, and slaves were required to continue working for three more years.

The Liberal Reformist Party changed its name to Partido Federal Reformista (Reformist Federal Party). The Liberal Conservative Party changed its name to Partido Español Incondicional (Unconditional Spanish Party). In March 1887, the Partido Federal Reformista was reformed and named the Partido Autonomista Puertorriqueño (Puerto Rican Autonomist Party); it tried to create a political and legal identity for Puerto Rico while emulating Spain in all political matters. It was led by Román Baldorioty de Castro, José Celso Barbosa, Rosendo Matienzo Cintrón and Luis Muñoz Rivera.

On November 25, 1897, the Carta Autonómica (Autonomic Charter) was approved in which Spain conceded political and administrative autonomy to the island. It allowed the island to retain its representation in the Spanish Cortes, and provided for a bicameral legislature. This legislature consisted of a Council of Administration with eight elected and seven appointed members, and a Chamber of Representatives with one member for every 25,000 inhabitants. That same year, the Partido Autonomista Ortodoxo (Orthodox Autonomist Party) would be founded, led by José Celso Barbosa and Manuel Fernández Juncos.

On February 9, 1898, the new government officially started. Governor General Manuel Macías inaugurated the new government of Puerto Rico under the Autonomous Charter which gave town councils complete autonomy in local matters. Subsequently, the governor had no authority to intervene in civil and political matters unless authorized to do so by the Cabinet.

On March 10, Dr. Julio J. Henna and Robert H. Todd, prominent leaders of the Puerto Rican section of the Cuban Revolutionary Party, began to correspond with United States President William McKinley and the United States Senate in hopes that they would consider including Puerto Rico in whatever intervention was planned for Cuba. Henna and Todd also provided the U.S. government with information about the Spanish military presence on the island.

On April 24, Spanish Minister of Defense Segismundo Bermejo sent instructions to Spanish Admiral Cervera to proceed with his fleet from Cape Verde to the Caribbean, Cuba and Puerto Rico.

Invasion of 1898

In May, Lt. Henry H. Whitney of the United States Fourth Artillery was sent to Puerto Rico on a reconnaissance mission, sponsored by the Army's Bureau of Military Intelligence. He provided maps and information on the Spanish military forces to the U.S. government prior to the invasion. On May 10, Spanish forces at Fort San Cristóbal in San Juan exchange fire with USS Yale under the command of Capt. William C. Wise. Two days later on May 12, a squadron of 12 U.S. ships commanded by Rear Adm. William T. Sampson bombards San Juan. During the bombardment, many buildings were shelled and the residents of San Juan are terrified. On June 25, USS Yosemite blocked San Juan harbor.

On July 18, General Nelson A. Miles, commander of the invading forces, received orders to sail for Puerto Rico to land his troops. On July 21 a convoy of 3,300 soldiers and nine transports, escorted by USS Massachusetts (BB-2), sailed for Puerto Rico from Guantánamo.

General Nelson Miles came ashore on July 25, 1898 with the first contingent of 16,000 American troops, landed unopposed at the town of Guánica in the South of Puerto Rico. Upon arrival, the ship met with Spanish resistance the morning of August 26. By August, the whole island was under United States control. On August 12, peace protocols were signed in Washington, D.C.

U.S. and Spanish Commissions met in San Juan on September 9, to discuss the details of the withdrawal of Spanish troops and the cession of the island to the United States.

The Spanish and United States commissioners held their initial meeting in Paris to draft the Peace Treaty on October 1 and on December 10, 1898 the Treaty of Peace in Paris is signed (ratified by the U.S. Senate February 6, 1899). Governor Macías officially announced that Puerto Rico had been ceded to the United States on September 29. The Spanish withdrawal from Puerto Rico would be complete by October 18 as the final troops left San Juan for Spain. General John R. Brooke became the first United States military governor of the island. With the treaty the Spanish-American War officially ended.

The American peace commission consisted of William R. Day, Sen. Cushman K. Davis, Sen. William P. Frye, Sen. George Gray, and the Honorable Whitelaw Reid. The Spanish commission was headed by Don Eugenio Montero Ríos, the President of the Senate. Jules Cambon, a French diplomat, also negotiated on Spain's behalf. Spain renounced all claim to Cuba, ceded Guam and Puerto Rico and its dependent islets to United States, and transferred sovereignty over the Philippines to the United States for $20,000,000.[1] (

Rule under the United States of America (1898-Present)

Military Government

In 1899, Puerto Rico was now under the military control of the United States of America. The federal military forces changed the name of the island to Porto Rico (The name would be changed back to Puerto Rico in 1932) and the currency was changed from the Puerto Rican peso to the United States dollar. On May, General George W. Davis succeeded to Island command. Freedom of assembly, speech, press, and religion were decreed and an eight-hour day for government employees was established. A public school system was started and the U.S. Postal service was extended to the Island. The highway system was enlarged, and bridges over the more important rivers were constructed. The government lottery was abolished, cockfighting was forbidden, and a beginning was made toward the establishment of a centralized public health service.

New political groups form when on July 4, Jose Celso Barbosa creates the "Partido Republicano" (Republican Party). The party embraced the idea of annexation to the United States as a solution to the colonial situation. In October 1899, the American Federal Party ("Partido Federal Americano") was founded, led by Luis Muñoz Rivera. Two natural disasters ravage the island in August when on August 8, Hurricane San Ciriaco strikes and on August 22 another hurricane stikes. Approximately 3,400 people died in the floods and thousands were left without shelter, food, or work. The sugar and coffee industry where devastated.

Foraker Law of 1900

The military government was disbanded on April 2, 1900 when the Organic Act of 1900 was passed by Congress. Senator Joseph B. Foraker proposed the legislation and the law is commonly known by his name. The Foraker Law established a civil government and free commerce between the island and United States. Puerto Rico became the first unincorporated territory in United States history. The first U.S. appointed civil governor under the Foraker Act, Charles H. Allen, was inaugurated on May 1, 1900 in San Juan.

On March 19, President McKinley asserts the need for free trade with Puerto Rico. On June 5, President McKinley creates an Executive Cabinet under Gov. Charles H. Allen that included five Puerto Rican members--José Celso Barbosa, Rosendo Matienzo Cintrón, José de Diego, Manuel Camuñas and Andrés Crosas, and six U.S members -- William H. Hunt, Secretary; J. H. Hollander, Treasurer; J. R. Garrison, Auditor; W. B. Eliot, Interiors; James A. Harlan, Attorney General; and Dr. Martin G. Brumbaugh, Secretary of Education.

The Department of Education is then formed with Dr. M. G. Braumbaugh (later governor of Pennsylvania) the first Commissioner of Education. Teaching was conducted entirely in English with the Spanish language treated as a special subject.

The "Partido Federal" (Federal Party) was founded. The party campaigns for Puerto Rico to become one of the States in the United States.

On November 6, the first elections under Foraker Act were celebrated with 123,140 registered voters. On December 3, the first Legislative Assembly took office. The first company of native born Puerto Ricans is organized as part of the American Colonial Army.

With the approval of Hollander Law in the United States, Puerto Rico was allowed to send a Resident Commissioner as a representative to Wasington. Federico Degetau takes office in Washington as the first Resident Commissioner from Porto Rico on March 14 and on November 4, the second elections under Foraker Act were celebrated with 158,924 registered voters.

In 1904, Luis Muñoz Rivera and José de Diego founded the "Partido Unionista de Puerto Rico" (Unionist Party of Puerto Rico) to fight against the colonial government established under the Foraker Act (reformation of the Federal Party).

The Federacion Libre de Trabajadores (Free Federation of Puerto Rican) was founded in 1906, which was affiliated with the American Federation of Labor, led by socialist Santiago Iglesias, among others.

On November 6, 1904, President Theodore Roosevelt leaves Washington, D.C. for a 17 day trip to Panama and Puerto Rico, becoming the first president to make an official visit outside of the U.S. During his visit to Puerto Rico, Roosevelt addressed the Puerto Rican Congress and suggested Puerto Ricans become United States citizens.

The Foraker Act was modified in 1909 by the Olmsted Amendment. This act placed the supervision of Puerto Rican affairs in the jurisdiction of an executive department to be designated by the president. The legislation was a response to a governmental crisis in Puerto Rico in early 1909.

Rosendo Matienzo Cintrón, Manuel Zeno Gandía, Luis Llorens Torres, Eugenio Benítez Castaño, and Pedro Franceschi founded the "Partido Independentista" (Independence Party) which was the first party in the history of the island to exclusively want Puerto Rican independence. Though short-lived, it established a precedent for future organizations with similar ideologies.

In 1914 the first Puerto Rican officers are assigned to the Executive Cabinet, allowing islanders a majority. The officers were Martin Travieso, Secretary, and Manuel V. Domenech, Commissioner of Interiors. A 1915 delegation from Puerto Rico, accompanied by the Gov. Arthur Yager, traveled to Washington in order to ask Congress to grant the island more autonomy.

Jones Act of 1917

The Jones Act was approved on December 5, 1916, and signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson on March 2, 1917. The law made Puerto Rico a U.S. territory which is "organized but unincorporated," . It also made all Puerto Ricans U.S. citizens. As citizens, Puerto Ricans were now allowed to join the army. Over 20,000 Puerto Ricans served during World War I, most weredrafted.

The law also separated the three governmental powers into a structure which mimic the U.S. government with the legislative, the executive and the judicial. A bill of rights was also created, and established that elections were to be held every four years. With this act English is also decreed the official language of Puerto Rico.

The Organic Act was approved. This gave the island a legislature (19 senators, 39 representatives) elected freely by the Puerto Rican people. The governor of Puerto Rico was still appointed by the President of the United States.

On October 11, an earthquake occurred, with an approximate magnitude of 7.5 on the Richter scale and was accompanied by a tsunami which got up to 6 meters (19.5 feet) high. The epicenter was located northwest of Aguadilla in the Mona Canyon (between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic), causing great damage and loss of life at Mayagüez, and lesser damage along the west coast. The tremors continued for several weeks.

The "Partido Sociliasta Puertorriqueño" (Socialist Puerto Rican Party) was founded by Santiago Iglesias Pantín in June 1920. He is then elected senator, becoming the first Socialist senator, and marking the rise of the Socialist Party as a major party in insular politics.

In the 1922 case of Balzac v. Porto Rico (258 U.S. 308) the U.S. Supreme Court declared that Puerto Rico was a territory rather than a part of the Union. The decision stated that the U.S. constitution did not apply in Puerto Rico.

On September 17, 1922 the "Partido Nacionalista de Puerto Rico" (Puerto Rican Nationalist Party) was founded.

The 1929 Wall Street stock-market crash which precipitated into the Great Depression and the worst economic downturn in the history of the United States would greatly impact Puerto Rico. The economic situation was aggravated when on September 30, Hurricane "San Ciprián" strikes the island. Two hundred people were killed, a thousand injured, and property damage reached $40,000,000. The agriculture industry (the principal economic driver for the island) was nearly completely destroyed. Economic relief programs such as the program for economic assistance known as Puerto Rican Emergency Relief Administration (PRERA) begins to be implemented. President Franklin D. Roosevelt visited the island in 1934 and in on May 28, 1935 he created the Puerto Rican Reconstruction Administration (PRRA), which provided for agricultural development, public works, and electrification of the island.

The 1930s saw a rise in the armed insurrgency in favor of Puerto Rican independence. In 1933, Blanton Winship was appointed Governor of Puerto Rico, Elisha Francis Riggs Chief of Police, and Robert A. Cooper Judge of the Tribunal of the United States in Puerto Rico. On February 23, Puerto Rican Nationalists Hiram Rosado and Elias Beauchamp, in retaliation for the "Rio Piedras Massacre", kill Police Chief Riggs in San Juan. They were captured and killed in the police headquarters of Old San Juan. On July 31, 1936 Pedro Albizu Campos, Juan Antonio Corretjer, Clemente Soto Vélez and other Nationalists were sentenced to 6-10 years in federal prison. Later in 1937, at the beginning of the "Nacionalista de Puerto Rico" Party parade, in Ponce, the "Ponce Massacre" occurred where 20 people were killed and 100 van Puerto Rico


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