People, Places and Events on Stamps

Puerto Rican Independence

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Founded in 1521, San Juan, Puerto Rico, is the oldest city flying the American flag. San Juan’s 450th anniversary was commemorated on a stamp on September 12, 1971.

After Puerto Ricans began to press for independence, Spain, in 1897, granted the island broad powers of self-government. But during the Spanish-American War of 1898, American troops invaded the island, and Spain ceded it to the United States. Since then, Puerto Rico has remained an unincorporated US territory. Puerto Ricans were granted American citizenship under the Jones Act in 1917; were permitted to elect their own governor, beginning in 1948; and now fully administer their internal affairs under a constitution approved by the US Congress in 1952.

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The Puerto Rico stamp was issued on November 25, 1937.