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The organization was founded in 1964 with the mission of achieving better representation and guaranteeing better opportunities for the whole Hispanic community, all via the annual Puerto Rican Parade.
The parade has been held in Humboldt Park since 1966.
It is held on or around the 24th of June each year to commemorate the patron saint of the capital of Puerto Rico, San Juan.
Puerto Rico was invaded and ceded to the United States by Spain after the Spanish American War of 1898.
Puerto Ricans were then made U.S. citizens by the Jones Act of 1917.
This citizenship established two things. One, that Puerto Ricans could be drafted into the US armed forces, and two, that they could travel freely to the United States without documentation.
The 1922 Supreme Court decision Balzac vs. the People of Puerto Rico stated clearly that “Puerto Rico belongs to, but is not a part of the United States.”
Attempts were made to reform the colonial economy including Operation Boot Strap, which sought to industrialize the island.
This caused major displacement of agricultural workers who had little choice but to become industrial workers or seasonal workers in the Northeastern US cities.
Cover photo credit _crystalrivera_ via Instagram.