Historic Photos

Photography is a record of your living, for anyone who really sees.

                 – Paul Strand

Photography is truth. The cinema is truth twenty-four times per second.

                 – Jean-Luc Godard


The following photos document some of the key events and significant turning points in Puerto Rican history, commencing from the date of U.S. invasion in 1898.

The photos focus on the Ponce Massacre, the revolution of October 1950, and the life of Pedro Albizu Campos.

U.S. occupation

U.S. 17th Regiment raises a few eyebrows
SJ governor’s mansion 2
Inauguration of Charles H. Allen,
the first civilian governor of Puerto Rico from the U.S.

Sugarcane railroad circa 1915:
the sugarcane, land, and railroad are all owned by U.S. banks

Hiram Beauchamp, one hour before his police execution in San Juan, PR
El Imparcial6
Funeral march for Hiram Beauchamp and Hiram Rosado,
murdered by the Insular Police

The Ponce Massacre

The Ponce Massacre begins

Captain Soldevilla shoots at non-existent “Nationalist snipers”

Ponce Massacre victims

Ponce Massacre victims

Bolívar Márquez Telechea, Ponce Massacre victim

Márquez Telechea’s last words, written with his own blood
El Imparcial
Márquez Telechea’s last words,
on the front page of El Imparcial

Police Chief de Orbeta surveys the rooftops for “Nationalist snipers.”
This photo was staged after the Ponce Massacre, to suggest that
Governor Winship’s police department had acted in “self-defense.”
Cartoon in Florete magazine, ridiculing the staged “self-defense” photo

Family of Ponce Massacre victims. Bullet holes show in the wall.
20,000 people - San Juan Plaza
Funeral procession for Ponce Massacre victims.
Over 20,000 mourners participated.

FBI, U.S. Army, Insular Police

FBI Document
FBI document identifying Governor Muñoz Marín as a narcotics addict
Police find dangerous Puerto Rican flags
Gov.  Muñoz Marín’s police seize dangerous Puerto Rican flags
Police find more dangerous Puerto Rican flags
Police seize more dangerous Puerto Rican flags
Policeman with a Tommy gun, issued by Gov. Winship
The “tommy gun” police of Gov. Blanton Winship
US military celebrate their annual July 4th parade in Old San Juan
July 4th military parade through Old San Juan

The 1950 revolution

back ground pic 1 
National Guard troops deployed to stop the 1950 revolution
5,000 National Guard troops occupy the towns of Jayuya and Utuado
More U.S. National Guard troops arrive in Jayuya (November 1, 1950)
More U.S. National Guard troops arrive in Jayuya (November 1, 1950)
National Guard troops continue pouring into Jayuya and Utuado
“Air Force Bombards Utuado”
(front page of El Imparcial, November 1, 1950)
P-47 Thunderbolt fighter planes. Ten P-47s bombed Utuado and Jayuya

Guillermo González Ubides,
the first Nationalist killed in the 1950 revolution
steel drum barricades
Insular Police hide behind steel drums in Utuado
Hipólito Miranda Díaz, in the Arecibo police station
Hipólito Miranda Díaz, in the Arecibo police station

Attack on the Salón Boricua

U.S. National Guard assault the Salón Boricua
Police and National Guard surround the Salón Boricua
Salon Boricua1
Police and National Guard take cover from the barber’s gunfire
Vidal Santiago Diaz
Vidal Santiago Díaz (the barber) after the roof fell on him

Vidal Santiago Díaz (the barber) hauled out of Salón Boricua
National Guardsman
National Guardsmen search for guns, in the rubble of Salón Boricua
24-hour watch around the Salón Boricua
24-hour watch around the Salón Boricua

Attempted assassination of Pres. Harry Truman

 Oscar Collazo, after the attempted assassination of Pres. Harry Truman
 Diagram of the Truman assassination attempt
Truman Assassination Attempt

Attack on the governor’s mansion

Dead Nationalists in the courtyard of La Fortaleza
(the governor’s mansion) after the attempted assassination
of the Governor of Puerto Rico
“Goyito” Hernandez, the only Nationalist who survived
the failed assassination attempt in La Fortaleza.
He lost three fingers of his left hand.

Arrest of 3,000 Puerto Ricans

jibaros (1)
Women and children arrested as “suspected Nationalists”

Mass arrest of “suspected Nationalists” in San Juan

Farmers arrested as “suspected Nationalists” in Jayuya

Roadside arrest of “suspected Nationalists,” some still in their pajamas
FBI, National Guard, and Insular Police coordinate their arrest sweeps
FBI, National Guard, and Insular Police coordinate their arrest sweeps
Rio Piedras U of PR
Adults and children arrested in their own schools

Farmers arrested and detained by U.S. National Guard troops
Perez, Viscal, Reynolds
Carmen Perez, Olga Viscal, Ruth M. Reynolds
handcuffed and headed for La Princesa
Farmer arrested as a “suspected Nationalist”
Farmer arrested as a “suspected Nationalist”
Salvador Gonzalez Rivera
Salvador González Rivera arrested in San Juan
back ground pic 2
More mass arrests of “suspected Nationalists”

Lolita Lebrón and Nationalists

Lolita Lebrón and three Nationalists arrested,
after shooting five US congressmen  

Location of five congressmen shot by Lolita Lebrón and Nationalists
Political meeting at the University of Puerto Rico (Rio Piedras campus)
Political meeting at the University of Puerto Rico (Rio Piedras campus)

Life and death of Pedro Albizu Campos

Barrio Tenerías section of Ponce,
where Albizu Campos was born and raised
1916 Harvard class photo. Albizu Campos appears on the extreme left
1916 Harvard class photo. Albizu Campos appears on the extreme left.

Lieutenant Albizu Campos during Word War I

Albizu speaks to striking sugar cane workers 
Albizu advocates
Albizu advocates for independence in his hometown of Ponce, PR
first bond
Puerto Rico Liberty Bonds, created by Albizu Campos
Albizu Campos speaks at the University of Puerto Rico in Rio Piedras
Albizu advocates for independence in Rio Piedras
(the University of Puerto Rico)
Albizu at Sixto Escobar Stadium 2
Albizu at Sixto Escobar Stadium
Crowd swarms around Albizu, upon his return from prison
San Juan waterfront
15,000 people greet the SS Kathryn to cheer the return of Albizu Campos

Albizu arrested in San Juan  (1950)

Albizu tear-gassed, arrested, and sent to La Princesa
Albizu in La Princesa prison
Albizu in La Princesa prison, profoundly exhausted.
He spent 25 years in prison.
The dungeons (calabozos) of La Princesa
The dungeons (calabozos) of La Princesa
Albizu with burnt skin, all over his body
Albizu burns and lesions
Albizu shows his burns and lesions to reporters
Albizu after prison stroke
Albizu after his prison stroke…paralyzed on the
right side, unable to speak, silenced forever.
Albizu Campos unable to speak
Albizu unable to speak
Che Guevara speaks on behalf of Albizu
Che Guevara speaks on behalf of Albizu
at the 19th General Assembly of the U.N.
“Albizu Campos has died”
El Imparcial, April 23, 1965

Alginate mold is taken of Albizu’s face, prior to burial
Albizu Funeral
Honor guard salutes Albizu’s coffin outside the Ateneo Puertorriqueño
Albizu Campos Mourners
Funeral procession for Albizu Campos.
The streets of San Juan were lined with mourners.
Funeral Ceremonies Pedro Albizu Campos
Mourners line the streets for the funeral rites of Albizu Campos
radiation torture of Albizu Campos
“Investigation demanded into the death of Albizu Campos”
Enduring Image Albizu Campos
Enduring image of Pedro Albizu Campos

For a discussion of these photos, and how they integrated into the history of Puerto Rico, please read…

War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America’s ColonyBuy it now

12 Comments on “Photos

  1. La Revolucion empieza con educacion. Nuestrxs jovenes necesitan entender nuestra historia para entender el futuro. Este Libro debe de estar en todas casa Puertorriqueñas.


  2. Puerto Ricans will fight in peace, or to the death, for a free Puerto Rico.


  3. Ana,

    Esto seria possible…pero depende en la cantidad de estudiantes que vendrian. Tambien…se podrian vender algunos libros durante la feria?


  4. Trabajo en una escuela publica en Springfield, MA. La mayoria de nuestros estudiantes son descendientes de puertorriquenos y afroamericanos. Hace usted alguna presentacion gratuita en las escuelas? Tenemos una feria internacional y mis estudiantes y yo siempre representamos a Puerto Rico. Esta sera el 29 de abril. Podria usted asistir?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. La Madre Patria os dio vuestra autonomía e los gringos os arrebato em poco tiempo!!


  6. So much there is to learn from our land. My grandfather used to speak about this but as a very young child I can’t recall. All I know is that he lived in those times with his very large family. Thank you Nelson!


  7. When righteous by any standard fails to stop opression or tyranny, civilization regress further and further back. Good men must therefore act at the first sight of opression and tyranny for mankind to move forward towards a just and compassionate society.




  9. Puerto Rico no ha cambiado, siguen los lacayos del Imperio o los “pipiyanquis” haciendo el trabajo sucio en la colonia para beneficiar los intereses económicos del amo. Que verguensa!!


  10. La Segunda Marcha Oscar – Mandela en Nueva York 2015

    Tendremos nuestra 2da Marcha Oscar – Mandela en Nueva York el lunes, 22 de junio de 2015. Empezaremos a marchar pacíficamente a las 9 AM desde Hunter College, en la calle 68 y Avenida Lexington, hasta la Calle 43. Haremos una izquierda para continuar marchando en dirección Este para llegar al parque Ralph Bunche (al otro lado de la Organización de Naciones Unidas).

    Allí, repartiremos hojas sueltas para orientar al público sobre nuestro prisionero político Oscar Lopez Rivera y la relación colonial ente el gobierno de Estados Unidos y Puerto Rico. Estaremos en el parque hasta las 5 PM.

    La mayoría de la gente no sabe que, todos los años, usualmente el lunes después del Día de los Padres, la Organización de Naciones Unidas (ONU) celebra una vista para discutir la descolonización de Puerto Rico. Los peticionarios usualmente se unen a nuestra protesta después que terminan sus ponencias.

    La ONU determinó en el 1960, que el colonialismo es un crimen en contra de la humanidad. Desde entonces, la ONU ha emitido 33 resoluciones pidiéndole al gobierno de Estados Unidos (EEUU) que descolonice inmediatamente a Puerto Rico. EEUU ha ignorado esta voluntad de la comunidad internacional. ¿Qué tipo de democracia es eso?

    El gobierno de Estados Unidos trata de mantener nuestra relación colonial la más secreta posible. Lo que nosotros estamos tratando de hacer es sacarla del closet. La ONU está en su tercera década tratando de erradicar el colonialismo del mundo. ¡Por favor, ayudemos!

    La mayoría de gente tampoco no sabe que el Gobierno de Estados Unidos le saca 14 veces más dinero de lo que invierte en Puerto Rico. ¡Pero, para eso son las colonias!

    Esta explotación salvaje le impide a Puerto Rico ofrecerle oportunidades a los puertorriqueños en Puerto Rico. Por eso es que tenemos más puertorriqueños afuera de su isla que adentro.

    Oscar López Rivera ha estado encarcelado por 34 años por su lucha para descolonizar a su país. Por ser un crimen (el colonialismo), la ley internacional le da a Oscar el derecho de usar todo los medios necesarios para descolonizar a su nación. Nelson Mandela estuvo 27 años encarcelado por hacer exactamente lo mismo que Oscar. Por eso decimos, ¡Oscar López Rivera es nuestro Nelson Mandela!

    Compañeros Unidos para la Descolonización de Puerto Rico invita al público a ser parte del tsunami de gente que será necesario para obligar al gobierno de Estados Unidos a excarcelar a Oscar y a descolonizar a Puerto Rico. ¡Nuestras protestas anuales son absolutamente necesarias porque, los que mantienen colonias no creen en la justicia para todos!

    José M López Sierra,


  11. Lo mas triste de todo esta historia es los mismos Puertoriquenos haciendole dano a su propia gente. Me dolio hasta el Corazon ver a varios Puertoriquenos reirce al sufrimientos de otros puertoriquenos. Que triste nuestra historia.

    Of all the images I saw in this piece. The ones that stood out the most, that both hurt and disgusted me, were the ones of Puerto Ricans laughing at the pain and suffering of their brother Puerto Ricans.


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