Puerto Rico is an autonomous territory with special ties to the United States located in the northeastern Caribbean. Its official name is the Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico or The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
According to Thesciencetutor, Puerto Rico is located east of the Dominican Republic. The island is divided into 78 municipalities. The capital is San Juan.
Probably the world’s most famous drink, piña colada, is known as the official drink in Puerto Rico.
1000 BCE – Arawak Indianssettled on the island and called it Boriquen.
1493 – Columbus declares the island Spanish territory and names it San Juan Bautista (John the Baptist). Incidentally, the capital was ironically Puerto Rico.
1503 – Juan Ponce de Leon establishes the first Spanish settlement. He became the island’s first (1509) and fifth governor, and was probably also the first European after the Vikings to visit the current mainland of the United States – this happened in connection with his hunt for the source of youth in 1513.
1511 – European diseases and ill-treatment begin to ravage the Arawak (Taino) population. The natives revolt, but the better armed Spanish win. Ponce de León orders 6,000 shots; survivors either flee to the mountains or leave the island.
1513 – African slaves are brought to the island to work in the gold mines.
1520s – The island is now officially called Puerto Rico.
1570 – Gold mines are declared depleted.
1800 – The slave population reaches more than 13,300, although their share of the island’s total population declines due to the continued influx of European colonists.
1873 – Spain abolishes slavery after about 400 years; Puerto Rico is represented in the Spanish Parliament.
1898 – US forces invade Puerto Rico during the Spanish-American War, which results in the United States gaining control of Spanish possessions in the Caribbean and the Pacific. The possessions were: Cuba, the Philippines, Guam and Puerto Rico.
1900 – US President William McKinley signs the Foraker Treaty, which allows citizens to organize their own government.
1902 – A United States declares Puerto Rico a territory.
1917 – The Treaty of Jones grants American citizenship to Puerto Ricans.
1952 – Four Puerto Rican nationalists set fire to the US House of Representatives, injuring five members of Congress. They wanted to highlight their desire for Puerto Rico to become independent from the United States. Read here.
1963 – The radio observatory with the 305-meter telescope with an area of 70,000 square meters in Arecibo was completed and was the largest telescope in the world to date until July 2016, the 500-meter Five-hundred-meter Apature Spheical Telescope (FAST) was completed in China and is ready to work from September 2016. The telescope became seriously known in 1995 when it starred in the James Bond film GoldenEye.
1974 – On November 16, a message was sent from the Arecibo Observatory towards the M13 Sphere, which is located approx. 25,000 light-years from Earth. There has been no answer yet, although many claims have been made about possible answers given on a cornfield (crop circles).
1989 – Benicio Del Toro becomes the youngest actor (21 years) to play a villain in a James Bond film – License To Kill, which premiered in Denmark on July 7.
On September 9, Hurricane Hugo began moving thousands of miles across the Atlantic Ocean off Cape Verde.
1993 – Spanish and English are declared official languages.
1998 – Hurricane George spreads devastation from September 15 to October 1, resulting in 604 deaths, and just under $ 10 billion in damage mostly to St. Louis. Kitts and Nevis, Puerto Rico and Hispaniola.
2003 – The US Navy closes their May 1 bombing site, which they had held on Vieques since 1941. The island, along with Puerto Rico, became US in 1898 after Spain’s defeat in the war. Read here.
2005 – The Commander-in-Chief of the “secret” paramilitary organization (Boricua Popular Army), Filiberto Ojeda Rios, is assassinated on September 23, when members of the FBI are to redeem an arrest warrant for him. He was shot while the FBI had surrounded his house in Hormigueros, where he was hiding.
2006 – Puerto Rico has to close its public offices due to financial problems.
2009 – In October, an entire neighborhood in San Juan is evacuated after an explosion at an oil refinery triggered a major fire. The explosion was measured at a magnitude of 2.8. judge scales.
2010 – The largest police investigation in the history of the FBI detained dozens of PR police officers who protected drug traffickers. Read here.
2011 – In June, it will be the second time that Puerto Rico has been visited by a US president since John F. Kennedy. President Obama had promised during his campaign to visit the island. Read his speech here.
2015 – In October, President Obama calls on Congress to devise a plan for Puerto Rico’s massive debt to avoid a “humanitarian crisis.”