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During Teddy Roosevelt's time, an abortive war with the Spanish left the U.S. with a 3 island nations: Guam, Philippines, and most notably, Puerto Rico because it's going to be the 51st State. I didn't know much about it except that more Puerto Ricans lived in the U.S. than lived in Puerto Rico, and I certainly didn't know how far it is away from the Continental U.S., over 1000 miles; further than The Bahamas, Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti and the Dominican Republic. It's a cruise ship stop. Puerto Rico was acquired by Spain on Christopher Columbus' second voyage, and started it's Western heritage named, “San Juan Bautista,” after John the Baptist, but after gold was discovered, it was named “Rich Port.” The main port is still called “Old San Juan.” Ponce De Leon, explorer searching for the Fountain of Youth, was its governor. Puerto Rico stayed in Spanish hands despite attacks by the Dutch, French, British and pirate hordes; because of its stone fortifications; but was finally ceded to the U.S. more as an afterthought rather than real conquest.
The brick- streets are old, quaint & narrow. I can say that my novice understanding of Puerto Rico before my visit was that I didn't want it as a State, but now that I've been there; why not? The U.S. carries the place already, and from what I've read and heard, the corruption needs to be cleaned up. My grandson loved Puerto Rico: he dressed up like a pirate, went on a treasure hunt, saw a fort, and flew his first kite; however, the yogurt shop was his favorite attraction.
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