Christopher Columbus Arrives In Puerto Rico
When Christopher Columbus arrived in Puerto Rico during his second voyage on November 19, 1493, the island was inhabited by a group of Arawak Indians known as Taínos.
They called the island "Borikén" or, in Spanish, "Borinquen". Columbus named the island San Juan Bautista, in honor of Saint John the Baptist. Later the island took the name of Puerto Rico (Spanish for "Rich Port") while the capital was named San Juan. In 1508, Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de León became the island's first governor to take office.
Puerto Rico, Guam, the Philippines, and Cuba, ceded by Spain after the Spanish-American War in 1898, and for which the United States compensated Spain an additional $20 million under the terms of Article 3 of the Treaty of Paris. All four of these areas were under United States Military Government (USMG) for extended periods. Cuba became an independent nation in 1902, and the Philippines became an independent nation in 1946.