29¢ Columbus Landing in Puerto Rico
Issue Date: November 19, 1993
City: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Printed By: Stamp Venturers
Printing Method: Photogravure
When Christopher Columbus returned from Hispaniola in 1493, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella were eager to finance a second expedition. Plans for his return voyage were ambitious - Columbus was to be placed in charge of 17 ships manned by an all-volunteer crew of 1,200 to 1,500 men. Many were colonists who dreamed of quick wealth and a rapid return home.
The expedition set sail on September 25, 1s493 and within a month and a half had reached its destination. During this second voyage Columbus discovered Puerto Rico. Claiming the fertile island for Spain, he named it San Juan Bautista after St. John the Baptist. Meaning rich port, the name Puerto Rico was used in colonial days to describe San Juan, the island’s capital and largest city. Eventually the name came to be used for the entire island. In 1898, following the Spanish-American War, Spain surrendered Puerto Rico to the United States.
In 1952, Puerto Rico became a U.S. commonwealth. Although the island receives assistance from the U.S. government, the local government retains authority over internal matters. This stamp commemorating the 500th anniversary of the landing of Columbus, and celebrates the cultural diversity Puerto Rico contributes to our national heritage.