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Puerto Rico
The History in English


Los hechos básicos
La Historia/The History
La Gente
El Aspecto Político
La Cultura
Las Fotografías
Ahora en Puerto Rico/Now in Puerto Rico...
La bibliografía
Here you can find more on the history of Puerto Rico including the Taíno Natives, Christopher Columbus and the present day governer Síla María Calderón.

Más información de Los Taínos

The Beginning History

15th Century: The Tainos live on in island named Borinquen. They live in villages directed by chiefs or "Caciques." They are a peaceful people who know much about agriculture.


                          arte de los Taínos
1493:Christopher Colombus discovers the island and because the Taínos believe that he is sent by the gods, they offer him gold. (At first the island was named San Juan Bautista and a town on the island was named Puerto Rico but later those names changed.)

Christopher Colombus

1508: Spain sends the first group of colonists to the colony which is lead by Juan Ponce de Leon. The colonists establish a village in the north east, named Caparra and Ponce de Leon ruled as the first Spanish governor of San Juan Bautista.(Puerto Rico)
The Spanish construct a factory where sugar cane is changed to sugar. The factory is called "un ingenigo."
The name of the island is officially changed to Puerto Rico.
Ponce de Leon has died and his colony is moved to San Juan
1530: The first defense building, La Casa Blanca, is constructed
Puerto Rico begins to send sugar to Spain and because Spain wants more, more slaves are needed.
La Fortaleza is built
El Morro is built
1580's: The governor, Diego Menéndez de Valdes tries to improve the defense of the island through other defense buildings.
The flu kills the majority of the indigenous workers. Ginger is now the main commercial export.
 A capitan from Holand tries to capture San Juan but gives up after one month. 
1630's-1640's: The Spanish King Philip IV wants more defense buildings and they are built.
1765:The population is now a little over 45,000
The English try to capture San Juan but they give up their plan after three weeks.
1812:Spain gives conditional citizenship to the residents of Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico's commerical industry develops to eight times its original size.
1823:Miguel de la Torres is now governor
1868:The rebellion "Grito de Lares" begins the independist movement
1887:Luis Muñoz Rivera funds the autonomist party
1897:Spain declares Puerto Rico an autonomic island. .

 The United States and Puerto Rico

1898: The war between the United States and Spain begins. The United States troops arrive at  Guánica and the island is now under United States rule.
1899: The hurricane San Ciriaco ruins the sugar and coffee industry. Jose Celso Barbosa creates the Republican Party.
1900: The"Foraker Act" officially creates the colony of Puerto Rico.
1904: Luis Muñoz Rivera founds the Unionist Party
1917: The "Jones Act" allows United States citizenship to Puerto Ricans and Pablo Iglesias is elected to the Senate.
1922: The Nationalist Party is created.
1936: Two gunman kill Puerto Rico's chief of police
1937: The police kill 20 nationalist protestors in the Massacre of Ponce.
1938: The son of Luis Muñoz Rivera, Luis Muñoz Marín creates the popular democratic party
Luis Muñoz Marín (
1942: The "Compañía de Desarrollo Industrial" is created.
1946: President Truman designates Jesús Piñero as governor. Piñero is the first native Puerto Rican governor.
1948: Muñoz Marín is elected for governor.
1950: People from the nationalist party try to kill President Truman in D.C.
1952: Puerto Rico now is a repulic of the United States
1954: People from the nationalist party shoot and wound five members of Congress. 
Modern Times
1960's: "Operation Bootstrap" is a program that tries to help Puerto Rico's economy by encouraging other countries to open factories on the island.
1964: Muñoz Marín renounces his position as governor.
1967: More than 60% of voters choose to remain as a republic of the United States.
1968: Luis A. Ferré is elected for governor
1976: Carlos Romero-Barceló is elected for governor
1978: The police kill two young independists creating the Cerro Maravilla Scandal.
1983: The Renovation Puerto Rican party is created 
1986: A fire kills over 97 people
1989: Hurricane Hugo damages se  Vieques and Culebra
              Huracán  Hugo (
1991: The governor Hernádez Colón negates English as the official language of Puerto Rico
1992: The new governor Pedro Rosselló restore English as an official Puerto Rican language.
1993: Again, the majority of the voters wish to remain as a United States Republic.
1998: Hurricane George damages the island and the majority of voters do not want to be a state of the United States.
2000: Síla María Calderón is elected for governor.Síla María Calderón  (

Puerto Rico