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Originally populated by the indigenousTaíno people, Puerto Rico was colonized by Spain following the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1493. It was contested by various other European powers, 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 primarily 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. By the late 19th century, a distinct Puerto Rican identity began to emerge, with a distinctive creole Hispanic culture and language that combined indigenous, African, and European elements. In 1898, following the Spanish-American War, the United States acquired Puerto Rico, which remains an unincorporated territorial possession, making it the world's oldest colony.
Entries here consist of Good and Featured articles, which meet a core set of high editorial standards.
The Cerro Maravilla murders, also known as the Cerro Maravilla massacre, occurred on July 25, 1978, at Cerro Maravilla, a mountain in Puerto Rico, wherein two young Puerto Rican pro-independence activists, Carlos Enrique Soto-Arriví (1959-1978) and Arnaldo Darío Rosado-Torres (1953-1978), were murdered in a Puerto Rico Police ambush. The event sparked a series of political controversies where, in the end, the police officers were found guilty of murder and several high-ranking local government officials were accused of planning and/or covering up the incident.
Originally declared a police intervention against terrorists, the local media quickly questioned the officers' testimonies as well as the only surviving witness for inconsistencies. Carlos Romero Barceló (PNP), then Governor of Puerto Rico, ordered the local Justice Department to launch various investigations, and asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the US Justice Department to aid in the investigations, which concluded that there was no wrongdoing on the officers' part. However, after one of the local opposing political parties[which?] launched its own inquiries, new evidence and witness testimonies surfaced which uncovered gross negligence and murder on the officers' part, as well as the possibility of a local and federal cover-up. Trials were held and a total of 10 officers were convicted of various crimes. Read more...
The Arecibo Observatory is the world's largest single-aperture telescope ever constructed. The telescope's dish has a diameter of over 1,000 ft (305m) and covers over 18 acres. The receiver array is suspended 450 ft (150m) above the dish, supported by three concrete towers each measuring between 265 ft (80m) and 365 ft (110m).
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Ponce Creole is an architectural style created in Ponce, Puerto Rico, in the late 19th and early 20th century. This style of Puerto Rican buildings is found predominantly in residential homes in Ponce that developed between 1895 and 1920. Ponce Creole architecture borrows heavily from the traditions of the French, the Spaniards, and the Caribbean to create houses that were especially built to withstand the hot and dry climate of the region, and to take advantage of the sun and sea breezes characteristic of the southern Puerto Rico's Caribbean Sea coast. It is a blend of wood and masonry, incorporating architectural elements of other styles, from Neoclassical and Spanish Revival to Victorian. Read more...
Mendez grew up during a time when most southern and southwestern schools were segregated. In the case of California, Hispanics were not allowed to attend schools that were designated for "Whites" only and were sent to the so-called "Mexican schools." Mendez was denied enrollment to a "Whites" only school, an event which prompted her parents to take action and together organized various sectors of the Hispanic community who filed a lawsuit in the local federal court. The success of their action, of which Sylvia was the principal catalyst, would eventually bring to an end the era of segregated education. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States' highest civilian honor, on February 15, 2011. Read more...
... that Juan Emilio Viguié, a pioneer in Puerto Rico's film industry, produced "Romance Tropical" the first Puerto Rican film with sound which in itself was also the second Spanish movie in the world with sound?
... that Nine Puerto Ricans have been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, an award bestowed by the President of the United States and which is the highest civilian award in the United States?
... that Three Puerto Ricans have been awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal, an award bestowed by the President of the United States and which is the second highest civilian award in the United States?
... that Elsa Miranda, a native of Ponce, was a popular vocalist and that she participated in the first "Chiquita Banana" commercial where she sang the jingle? Puls, the she is considered to be the most famous Miss Chiquita?