The Puerto Rico Portal
Puerto Rico (Spanish for "Rich Port"; abbreviated PR), officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (Spanish: Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, lit. "Free Associated State of Puerto Rico") and briefly called Porto Rico, is an unincorporated territory of the United States located in the northeast Caribbean Sea, approximately 1,000 miles (1,600 km) southeast of Miami, Florida.
An archipelago among the Greater Antilles, located between the Dominican Republic and the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico includes the eponymous main island and several smaller islands, such as Mona, Culebra, and Vieques. The capital and most populous city is San Juan. The territory's total population is approximately 3.4 million. Spanish and English are the official languages of the executive branch of government, though Spanish predominates.
Originally populated by the indigenous Taíno people, Puerto Rico was colonized by Spain following the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1493. It was contested by the French, Dutch, and British, but remained a Spanish possession for the next four centuries. The island's cultural and demographic landscapes were shaped by the displacement and assimilation of the native population, the forced migration of African slaves, and settlement from the Canary Islands and Andalusia. In the Spanish Empire, Puerto Rico played a secondary but strategic role compared to wealthier colonies like Peru and New Spain. Spain's distant administrative control continued up to the end of the 19th century, producing a distinctive creole Hispanic culture and language that combined indigenous, African, and European elements. On September 23, 1868, Ramón Emeterio Betances unleashed a revolt against Spanish rule, declaring for the first time the idea of Puerto Ricans as a distinct people, with right to sovereignty. This revolt, known as El Grito de Lares, was eventually put down by Spanish forces, but the movement continued. In 1898, following the Spanish–American War, the United States acquired Puerto Rico under the terms of the Treaty of Paris. Since then, Puerto Rico has remained an unincorporated territorial possession, making it the world's oldest colony.
Puerto Ricans have been citizens of the United States since 1917, and can move freely between the island and the mainland. As it is not a state, Puerto Rico does not have a vote in the United States Congress, which governs the territory with full jurisdiction under the Puerto Rico Federal Relations Act of 1950. However, Puerto Rico does have one non-voting member of the House called a Resident Commissioner. As residents of a U.S. territory, American citizens in Puerto Rico are disenfranchised at the national level and do not vote for the president or vice president of the United States, and only some residents pay federal income tax. Like other territories and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico does not have U.S. senators. Congress approved a local constitution in 1952, allowing U.S. citizens of the territory to elect a governor. Puerto Rico's future political status has consistently been a matter of significant debate.
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Selected anniversaries for November
- November 1, 1912 - Birth of Alicia Moreda, television soap opera actress (d. 1983)
- November 1, 1950 - Two Puerto Rican nationalists try to storm the Blair House in a failed attempt to assassinate U.S. President Harry S. Truman.
- November 1, 1963 - The Arecibo Observatory, the largest single-aperture telescope, officially opened for operations.
- November 1, 1927 - Birth of Victor Pellot, former Mayor League Baseball player
- November 2, 2004 - General elections were held in Puerto Rico, with no clear victor for the Governor seat. On December 28, Aníbal Acevedo Vilá was declared the winner following several recounts and court rulings.
- November 3, 1867 - Death of Segundo Ruiz Belvis, abolitionist and political activist (b. 1829)
- November 5, 1934 - Birth of Victor Argo, actor (d. 2004)
- November 6, 1958 - The Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra performs in its first live concert in Mayagüez.
- November 7, 1944 - General elections were held in Puerto Rico. The Popular Democratic Party won by a landslide.
- November 7, 1944 - 16 passengers lost their lives and 50 were injured when a train derailed in Aguadilla, making it the worst disaster in Puerto Rico rail transport history.
- November 9, 1945 - The 65th Infantry arrive in Puerto Rico after their participation in World War II.
- November 16, 1952 - Death of Jesús T. Piñero, first native Governor of Puerto Rico (b. 1897)
- November 19, 1493 - Christopher Columbus discovers Puerto Rico, naming the island San Juan Bautista in honor of Saint John the Baptist. The day has since become a national holiday on the island.
- November 19, 1982 - Birth of Jonathan Sánchez, Mayor League Baseball pitcher
- November 20, 1878 - Birth of Félix Córdova Dávila, politician and Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico (d. 1938)
- November 22, 1595 - Sir Francis Drake, with 27 vessels and 2,500 troops, sails into San Juan Bay in an attempt to loot the city. His attack would ultimately fail.
- November 25, 1897 - The Carta Autonómica (Autonomic Charter) was approved in Spain, which conceded political and administrative autonomy to the island.
- November 29, 2005 - Death of Victor Pellot, as a result of cancer
- November 30, 1971 - Birth of Iván Rodríguez, Mayor League Baseball catcher
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The following are images from various Puerto Rico-related articles on Wikipedia.
Raising the US Flag over San Juan, October 18, 1898.
Picture by journalist Carlos Torres Morales of the Ponce massacre, March 21, 1937.
Flag flown by Fidel Vélez and his men during the "Intentona de Yauco" revolt.
The first Supreme Court of Puerto Rico, established in 1900 CE.
The Revolutionary flag of Lares.
"The first Puerto Rican Flag" used in the unsuccessful Grito de Lares (Lares Uprising).
Royal Decree of Graces, 1815, which allowed foreigners to enter Puerto Rico.
"El desastre es la colonia" (the disaster is the colony), words seen on light meter six months after Hurricane Maria
'La escuela del Maestro Cordero' by Puerto Rican artist Francisco Oller.
Sugar cane workers resting at the noon hour, Rio Piedras. Photograph by Jack Delano, a photographer for the Farm Security Administration. Ca. 1941.
Map of the departments of Puerto Rico during Spanish provincial times (1886).
The 45-star flag, used by the United States during the invasion of Puerto Rico, was also the official flag of Puerto Rico from 1899 to 1908.
El Imparcial headline: "Aviation (US) bombs Utuado" during Nationalist revolts.
Hurricanes Irma and Maria sharply reduced the availability of electricity throughout the island
US and Puerto Rico flags on a building in Puerto Rico
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||A lot of Puerto Rican Americans sometimes feel outside of the Puerto Rican experience..., and then they get ridiculed from that. Some people may call them a "fake Puerto Rican". And I don't think that that's fair, because they still grew up on rice and beans. They still listen to salsa and merengue.
You know, you may not be born in Puerto Rico, but Puerto Rican is definitely born in you.
|— Rosie Perez, April 27, 2006 interview with NPR.
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