Posted on July 24, 2015
Even though Puerto Rico is not independent (it is a United States commonwealth), it has several patriotic holidays honoring people who worked...for independence! This includes Hostos Day (in January) and Birthday of Jose de Diego (in April).
Today Puerto Ricans honor another hero who worked for something that hasn't happened (at least yet) – Jose Barbosa, considered the father of the Statehood for Puerto Rico movement.
Barbosa was born in Puerto Rico on this date in 1857. He was the first Puerto Rican to earn a medical degree in the United States, and he was among the first African Americans to do so.
Going home to Puerto Rico with his M.D., Barbosa practiced medicine, became a member of the Red Cross, and even helped to create some early forms of health insurance. He risked his life to doctor injured soldiers during the Spanish-American War, and he served in the Puerto Rican Senate. He founded the first bilingual newspaper, El Tiempo.
By the way...
|Is there room for one more?|
The statehood-for-Puerto-Rico movement is still going strong. As a matter of fact, it seems to be picking up steam. Only a small percentage of Puerto Ricans, these days, want full independence, and more than half of the people who chose to cast their votes in a referendum on Puerto Rico's political status said that they wanted Puerto Rico to become a U.S. state.
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