1949 3¢ Puerto Rico Elections Issue
Issue Date: April 27, 1949
City: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Printed By: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Rotary Press
Perforations: 11 x 10 ½
U.S. #983 was issued to commemorate the 1948 election of Luis Muñoz Marin as the first governor of Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico’s First Governors
Puerto Rico held its first election for their governor in 1948. Previously, either the King of Spain or the President of the United States appointed the Governor of Puerto Rico. It wasn’t until 1946 that the first Puerto Rican became full-time Governor of Puerto Rico, when President Harry S. Truman named Jesus T. Piñero as governor.
However, twice previously a Puerto Rican had temporarily served as governor. The first time was in 1579, when Juan Ponce de León II, the grandson of explorer Ponce de León, served as interim governor until the arrival of Spanish Governor Jerónimo De Aguero Campuzano. Also, in 1923, Juan Bernado Huyke temporarily held the position in between the administrations of Americans Emmet Montgomery Reilly and Horace Mann Towner.
In 1947, the United States Congress passed the Elective Governors Act, allowing Puerto Rico to elect its own governor. On November 2, 1947, the first elections for Governor of Puerto Rico were held. Luis Muñoz Marin, a member of the Popular Democratic Party, emerged victorious, with 61.2% of the vote. Previously he had held the position of President of the Senate of Puerto Rico, from 1941-1949. Marin served as governor from 1948-1965.
Puerto Rico became a Commonwealth of the United States in 1952, and Congress approved the first Constitution of Puerto Rico. The Constitution listed rules on how Puerto Rico’s governors could be elected, including one that states if the margin of victory is less than half a percent, then a full recount must occur. This happened in 1980 and 2004.
Sila Calderón became the first woman to be elected Governor of Puerto Rico when she won the 2000 election. She served from 2001-2005. Calderón previously served as Mayor of San Juan from 1997-2001.