Sunday, January 09, 2011

San Juan, Puerto Rico - November 7th 2009

Part of the 16th century defensive walls
Municipio de la Ciudad Capital San Juan Bautista (San Juan), is the capital city of Puerto Rico ("rich port" in English), an unincorporated territory of the United States which, with 650,000 population, ranks as the 42nd largest US city. Founded by Spanish colonists in 1521, San Juan is the second oldest European-established city in the Americas, after Santo Domingo.
Christopher Columbus, on his second trip in 1493, named the island San Juan Bautista, in honor of Saint John the Baptist. Curiously, the ambiguous use of San Juan Bautista and Puerto Rico for both the city and the island led to a reversal in use, such that by 1746, the name for the city (Puerto Rico) had become that of the entire island, while the name for the Island (San Juan Bautista) had become the name for the city.
Spain ceded the island to the United States in 1898, an outcome of the Spanish-American war, and its citizens were afforded US citizenship in 1917. While said citizenship excluded the privilige of voting in presidential elections, it did qualify all islanders to participate in the draft during WWI and WWII. The island, the smallest island by land area of the Greater Antilles, endures a high humidity, year round average temperature close to 80 F with occasional highs of 90. In severe winter conditions in 1957, a record low of 60 F was recorded! Click here for Slideshow.

1 comment:

Rick Stone said...

Used to enjoy visiting San Juan back in the 1960's while sailing out of Norfolk. We were a flag ship that hosted Commander, Second Fleet, a Navy three-star Admiral. Regardless of where we were we always went home via San Juan, even in 1967 when we spent a week in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Each time we pulled in there was a nice looking blond waiting on the pier for a visit from the Admiral. ;->