The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the easternmost island of the Greater Antilles in the West Indies, has an area of 3,435 sq. mi. (9,104 sq. km.) and a population of 3.3 million. Capital: San Juan. The commonwealth has its own constitution and elects its own governor. Its people are citizens of the United States, liable to the draft ? but not to federal taxation. The chief industries of Puerto Rico are manufacturing, agriculture, and tourism. Manufacture goods, cement, dairy and livestock products, sugar, rum, and coffee are exported, mainly to the United States.
,Puerto Rico (?Rich Port?) was discovered by Columbus who landed on the island and took possession for Spain on Oct. 19, 1492 ? the only time Columbus set foot on the soil of what is now a possession of the United States. The first settlement, Caparra, was established by Ponce de Leon in 1508. The early years of the colony were not promising. Considerable gold was found, but the supply was soon exhausted. Efforts to enslave the Indians caused violent reprisals. Hurricanes destroyed crops and homes. French, Dutch, and English freebooters burned the towns. Puerto Rico remained a Spanish possession until 1898, when it was ceded to the United States following the Spanish-American War. Puerto Ricans were granted a measure of self-government and U.S. citizenship in 1917. Effective July 25, 1952, a Congressional resolution elevated Puerto Rico to the status of a free commonwealth associated with the United States.,,
,Vieque (or Crab Island), located to the east of Puerto Rico, is the largest of the Commonwealth?s major offshore islands. The others are Culebra, a naval station to the east, and Mona to the west.,,
,United States, 1898-present,,
,1 Peso = 5 Pesetas = 100 Centavos to 1898,,
,1 Dollar = 100 Cents, 1898-,,