Originally populated by the
indigenousTaíno people, Puerto Rico was colonized by
Spain following the arrival of
Christopher Columbus in 1493. It was contested by other European
powers, but remained a Spanish possession for the next four centuries. Spanish rule led to the displacement and assimilation of the native population, the forced migration of
African slaves, and settlement primarily from the
Canary Islands and
Andalusia. Within the
Spanish Empire, Puerto Rico played a secondary but strategic role compared to wealthier colonies like
New Spain. By the late 19th century, a distinct Puerto Rican identity began to emerge, centered around a fusion of indigenous, African, and European elements. In 1898, following the
Spanish–American War, the United States
acquired Puerto Rico.
Hurricane Erika was the strongest and longest-lasting
tropical cyclone in the
1997 Atlantic hurricane season. It developed from a
tropical wave on September 3 and moved west-northwestward across the tropical Atlantic Ocean, steadily intensifying until it attained
hurricane status on September 4, becoming the fifth named storm and third hurricane of the season. Erika passed a short distance to the north of the
Lesser Antilles, and later turned to the north in response to an approaching
trough. The hurricane quickly strengthened to become the only major hurricane of the
season, reaching maximum sustained winds of 125 mph (205 km/h) on September 8; after maintaining its peak strength for 24 hours, Erika began to weaken as it passed over cooler waters. It turned to the east, weakened to a
tropical storm, and became extratropical after passing near the
He was the first member of the U.S. Army to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions performed in Southeast Asia while in captivity. (Full article...)
Tropical Storm Dean was a strong tropical storm that affected at least twelve islands along its path from the tropical
Atlantic Ocean to east of
Atlantic Canada in August 2001. Dean developed from a
tropical wave on August 22 over the
Lesser Antilles, and was initially predicted to intensify further to reach hurricane status. However, strong
wind shear quickly weakened Dean to cause it to dissipate on August 23. The remnants turned northward, and redeveloped on August 26 to the north of
Bermuda. Located over warm waters and in an area of favorable conditions, Dean steadily strengthened while moving to the northeast, and peaked just below hurricane status on August 27 about 465 miles (750 km) southwest of
Newfoundland. The storm subsequently weakened over cooler waters, and became
extratropical on August 28.
The precursor tropical wave dropped heavy rainfall and produced moderate winds throughout the
Lesser Antilles, though no serious damage was reported. In
Puerto Rico, rainfall of up to 12.7 inches (322 mm) produced widespread flooding across the island. Thousands were left without power or water, and two houses lost their roofs from the storm. The passage of Dean resulted in $7.7 million (2001 USD, $9.4 million 2008 USD) in damage in Puerto Rico. The storm produced light to moderate rainfall in
Bermuda and later in
Newfoundland, though no damage was reported. (Full article...)
Anuel AA in 2018
Emmanuel Gazmey Santiago (born November 26, 1992), known professionally as Anuel AA, is a Puerto Rican rapper and singer. He is considered a pioneer of the
Latin trap movement and his lyrics often discuss crime and urban life in Puerto Rico. His music often contains samples and interpolations of songs that were popular during his youth. He is seen as a controversial figure in the Latin music scene for his legal troubles and feuds with fellow Puerto Rican rappers
Ivy Queen and with the American rapper
Carolina, Puerto Rico, he started recording music at age fourteen and began posting it online four years later in 2010, before eventually signing to the Latin division of American rapper
Maybach Music Group. His 2016
mixtapeReal Hasta la Muerte was well-received, but his success was put on hold the same year by a 30-month prison sentence for illegal firearm possession in Puerto Rico. He recorded the entirety of his debut album while incarcerated, during which time his genre of music surged in popularity. (Full article...)
Afro–Puerto Ricans are
Puerto Ricans who are of predominant or partial
African descent. The history of Puerto Ricans of African descent begins with free African men, known as libertos, who accompanied the Spanish
Conquistadors in the invasion of the island. The Spaniards enslaved the
Taínos (the native inhabitants of the island), many of whom died as a result of new
infectious diseases and the Spaniards' oppressive colonization efforts. Spain's royal government needed laborers and began to rely on African
slavery to staff their mining and fort-building operations. The Crown authorized importing enslaved
West Africans. As a result, the majority of the African peoples who entered Puerto Rico were the result of the
Atlantic slave trade, and came from many different cultures and peoples of the
When the gold mines in Puerto Rico were declared depleted, the Spanish Crown no longer considered the island to be a high colonial priority. Its chief ports served primarily as a garrison to support naval vessels. The
free people of color from British and French possessions in the Caribbean to emigrate to Puerto Rico, to provide a population base to support the Puerto Rican garrison. The Spanish decree of 1789 allowed slaves to earn or buy their freedom; however, this did little to help their situation. The expansion of
sugar cane plantations drove up demand for labor and the slave population increased dramatically as new slaves were imported. Throughout the years, there were many
slave revolts in the island. Slaves who were promised their freedom joined the 1868 uprising against Spanish colonial rule in what is known as the
Grito de Lares. On March 22, 1873, slavery was abolished in Puerto Rico. The contributions of ethnic Africans to the music, art, language, and heritage have been instrumental in Puerto Rican culture. (Full article...)
In Puerto Rico,
boxing is considered a major sport, having produced more
professional world champions than any other sport in its history. Puerto Rico ranks 5th worldwide between countries with most boxing world champions, and in year 2004, became the first country to have, at least, one world champion in every single one of the 17 current boxing weight divisions throughout the history. This number also places the archipelago in the global lead in terms of champions per capita. February 9, 2008 was the first time that boxers from Puerto Rico had held three of the four major welterweights titles (
World Boxing Association,
International Boxing Federation and
World Boxing Organization) when
Carlos Quintana defeated
Paul Williams to join
Miguel Cotto, and
Kermit Cintron as champions in the division.
Individually, Puerto Rican world champions have earned numerous achievements. These include,
Wilfredo Gómez's record for most defenses in the super bantamweight division and for most successive knockouts by a titleholder. On March 6, 1976, at age 17,
Wilfred Benítez became the youngest world champion in the history of the sport. On September 3, 1994,
Daniel Jiménez established a world record for the quickest knockout in a championship fight, defeating Harald Geier in 17 seconds (currently the second fastest).
Juan Manuel López is sixth in this category, having defeated César Figueroa in 47 seconds during his first defense.
Ossie Ocasio was the first World Boxing Association (WBA) cruiserweight champion, winning it on February 13, 1982. This accomplishment was mimicked in other organizations:
José de Jesús,
José Ruíz Matos,
John John Molina and
Héctor Camacho did it in their respective divisions in the World Boxing Organization (WBO), while Ángel Almena was the first pugilist to win the
International Boxing Organization's super flyweight title (recognized as a minor world title). On June 7, 2014, Miguel Cotto made history by becoming Puerto Rico's first
four-division world champion. In
women's boxing, Amanda Serrano was the first IBF super featherweight champion and the first Puerto Rican boxer (male or female) to win major world titles in seven different weight classes (Camacho made it first, but four of his titles were considered minor world titles). (Full article...)
Tropical Storm Erika was a short-lived
tropical cyclone that brought minor impacts to the
Lesser Antilles. The fifth named storm of the
2009 Atlantic hurricane season, Erika originated out of a
tropical wave on September 1 near the
Lesser Antilles. Although it was a disorganized system, it was immediately declared a tropical storm, rather than a tropical depression. Later that day, the system reached its peak intensity with winds of 50 mph (85 km/h) and a
barometric pressure of 1004 mbar (hPa; 29.65 inHg). Increased
wind shear caused the storm to weaken shortly thereafter, with Erika barely maintaining tropical storm-status by September 2. Later that day, the storm passed over the island of
Guadeloupe and entered the
Caribbean Sea. On September 3, Erika weakened to a tropical depression as the low pressure center became fully displaced from
convective activity. Later that day, the system degenerated into a remnant low before dissipating near
Puerto Rico on September 4.
Due to the storm's low intensity, Erika produced little damage in the
Lesser Antilles during its passage through the islands. Guadeloupe recorded up to 12.1 in (310 mm) of rain, leading to flooding and some landslides; 12,000 people on the island were left without power. Several other islands recorded moderate rainfall form the system before the tropical storm degenerated into a remnant low. In Puerto Rico, the cyclone's remnants produced heavy rainfall, peaking at 7.58 in (193 mm), that triggered flooding in several regions. (Full article...)
Román Baldorioty de Castro (23 February 1822 – 30 September 1889) was Puerto Rican
abolitionist and spokesman for the island's right to
self-determination. In 1870, he was elected as a deputy in the
Cortes Generales, the Spanish parliament, where he promoted abolition of slavery. In 1887, Baldorioty de Castro was the founder of the Partido Autonomista (Autonomist Party), also known as "Partido Autonomista Puro" (Pure Autonomous Party), "Partido Histórico" (Historic Party), and "Partido Ortodoxo" (Orthodox Party). (Full article...)
The 65th Infantry Regiment, nicknamed "The Borinqueneers" during the
Korean War for the original
Taíno Indian name for
Puerto Rico (Borinquen), is a
Puerto Rican regiment of the
United States Army. The regiment's motto is Honor et Fidelitas, Latin for Honor and Fidelity. The Army Appropriation Bill created by an act of
Congress on 2 March 1899, authorized the creation of the first body of native troops in Puerto Rico. On 30 June 1901, the "Porto Rico Provisional Regiment of Infantry" was organized. On 1 July 1908, Congress incorporated the regiment into the Regular Army as the Puerto Rico Regiment of Infantry, United States Army. On 14 May 1917, the regiment was activated and additional men were assigned, with the unit being sent to serve at Panama. On 4 June 1920, the regiment was renamed 65th Infantry. During World War II, the regiment saw action throughout Europe, especially France and Germany, participating in Naples-Foggia, Rome-Arno and Rhin. Several Purple Hearts were awarded posthumously to members of the 65th Regiment.
Ángel Daniel Vassallo Colón (born April 21, 1986) is a Puerto Rican professional
basketball player. After completing his high school education, he played for the Tigers of Hargrave Military Academy, reaching the preparatory national finals. Vassallo joined the
National Collegiate Athletic Association playing for
Virginia Tech. Throughout his college career, Vassallo received several recognitions, including two All-ACC second team inclusions. He finished fifth in the campus' all-time scoring list. In his first
Baloncesto Superior Nacional season, Vassallo averaged 25.6 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game for the
Criollos de Caguas. He made his LNB debut for
Paris-Levallois Basket, leading the team to the playoffs. Vassallo has been an All-Star player in both the BSN and LNB.
... that in 2003 José Miguel Agrelot's radio show, Alegre Despertar (Joyful Awakening), held the world's record for the longest-running still active radio show, running non-stop for fifty-three years?
... that in the classic film West Side Story, an epic Romeo and Juliet tale about the rivalry between a Puerto Rican and Italian-American gang, the only actual Puerto Rican cast was Rita Moreno?
... that the reggaetón was developed in Puerto Rico and has since then spread to other places around the world?
... that aside from a strong presence in music, sports, literature, politics, television, radio, etc., Puerto Rico also has a presence in the voice acting industry with voice actors such as Tony Oliver?
... that the myth of the Chupacabra has its origins in Puerto Rico?
... that after the United States, Puerto Rico is tied with Mexico in hosting the most Miss Universe contests and has the
third most titleholders following the United States and Venezuela?
And yet, despite this assault on their will and their historical destiny, the people of Puerto Rico have preserved their culture, their Latin character, their national feelings, which in themselves give proof of the implacable desire for independence lying within the masses on that Latin American island.