Puerto Rico, officially called the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (Spanish: Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, literally the "Free Associated State of Puerto Rico") is the 51st state of the United States, having been admitted to the United States on July 4, 2013 following a referendum held on November 6, 2012 in which majority of the Puerto Ricans voted for statehood. The state includes the main island of Puerto Rico and several smaller islands. It is situated next to the United States Virgin Islands, a territory of the U.S.
Originally a Spanish colony in the Caribbean for centuries, Puerto Rico was seceded to the United States following America's victory in the war; alongside with Guam and the Philippine Islands in the Pacific.
In 1917, Puerto Ricans were granted U.S. citizenship.
World War II saw the use of Puerto Rico as a hub for the U.S. Navy and its merchant fleet shipping supplies to the Atlantic. In such, it was a concern during the war that German U-boats may attack ships in the Atlantic as well as bombard any allied territory in the Caribbean.
During the Korean War, the 65th Infantry Regiment, composed mainly of Puerto Ricans, fought against the Chinese and the North Koreans. They were exceptionally well known for numerous victories against the Chinese.
Puerto Rico became a U.S. Commonwealth in 1952, enacting its own constitution on the same year. However, the territory's populace, despite being considered American citizens, do not vote in U.S. Presidential elections.
World War III
Cuba launched air raids on the island but never took over due to the presence of the U.S. Navy based on the Roosevelt Roads Naval Station. The naval base was a primary target for Cuban air forces since it would have crippled the United States projection of a naval power in the Caribbean. Other military installations was bombed alongside the cities of San Juan and Ponce. Over 700 people were killed in these air attacks that spanned from November 1989 to February 1990. Cuba finally stopped its aerial attacks when the technologically superior air power of the United States decimated majority of its air force; coupled by the nationalization of the Puerto Rico National Guard and the Virgin Island National Guard from the nearby U.S. Virgin Islands on the behest of President George H.W. Bush.
On November 6, 2012, majority of Puerto Ricans voted statehood over territory. 85% voted yes while 15% voted no. This just occurred days before the 2012 Presidential elections. Following the result of the referendum, celebrations took place in the streets of San Juan, Ponce, and cities in the United States with a significant Puerto Rican population.
Admission to the Union
Puerto Rico became a state on July 4, 2013; 7 months after the inauguration of the U.S. President Michael Bloomberg who was reelected in the 2012 elections. It still maintained its "commonwealth" in it's official name, similar to the state of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Kentucky, and Virginia. With Puerto Rico becoming a state, the following months saw many Puerto Ricans in the U.S. Mainland going back to the island.The residents of the state voted for the first time in the 2016 Presidential Elections.