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American Citizenship Day 2024 (Puerto Rico): History, Activities, FAQs, Dates, and Facts About Puerto Rico

American Citizenship Day 2024 in Puerto Rico commemorates the 1917 Jones-Shafroth Act, granting Puerto Rican citizens statutory U.S. citizenship.

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American Citizenship Day 2024 (Puerto Rico) History, Activities, FAQs, Dates, and Facts About Puerto Rico

American Citizenship Day 2024 (Puerto Rico): American Citizenship Day is annually observed in Puerto Rico on March 2. In observance of the date on which Puerto Ricans were bestowed with U.S. citizenship in 1917, this day is a national holiday. President Woodrow Wilson ratified the Jones-Shafroth Act on this date, thereby granting Puerto Rican citizens statutory U.S. citizenship.

American Citizenship Day History

Puerto Rico is an archipelago situated one thousand miles to the southeast of Miami, Florida, in the Caribbean region. Late in the 15th century, Christopher Columbus made his initial visit to the island. In the sixteenth century, the Spanish colonized it expeditiously thereafter. Spanish rule persisted in Puerto Rico until the outbreak of the Spanish-American War in 1898. Before that time, every resident of Puerto Rico was a citizen of Spain.

The United States invaded Puerto Rico during the Spanish-American War; Spain ultimately ceded the island to the United States under the Treaty of Paris. The United States acquired Puerto Rico and three additional territories after the conflict. The United States military and individuals chosen by the president of the United States oversaw Puerto Rico during its formative years. The restructuring of the judicial system brought it into line with that of the United States.

The issue of citizenship continued to be distinct. Initially, Spanish nationals born in Spain had the option to make a formal declaration to retain their Spanish citizenship. Foreign nationals continued to be foreigners. Individuals born in Puerto Rico held U.S. citizenship; however, they lacked “any form of recognized citizenship under international law or even municipal law of the United States,” according to scholar John L. A. de Passalacqua.

Subsequently, new codes and acts were enacted with minor modifications. The U.S. Congress enacted the Jones–Shafroth Act in 1917, granting citizenship to Puerto Ricans born on or after April 25, 1898. The act granted statutory U.S. citizenship to U.S. nationals of Puerto Rico and those who, at the time of U.S. acquisition, may have been AWOL from the territory but have since returned. Although the act encountered criticism and skepticism, it continues to be enforced at present. Annually, Puerto Rico observes American Citizenship Day on March 2, the date of the signing. During the holiday, offices are closed and it is observed publicly.

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FAQs on American Citizenship Day

Is the island of Puerto Rico patriotic in nature?

Indeed, akin to the duality of other aspects of the island, English and Spanish constitute its two official languages.

Are American citizens permitted to visit Puerto Rico?

Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, so citizens of the United States are not required to possess a visa or passport to visit at any moment.

Puerto Rico as a nation-state?

In contrast to conventional wisdom, Puerto Rico does not qualify as a sovereign nation. It is a commonwealth under the administration of the United States. Nonetheless, numerous of Puerto Rico’s actions resemble those of a nation.

American Citizenship Day 2024 (Puerto Rico) Activities

Gain knowledge of American citizenship

A great deal of historical significance surrounds the nationality and citizenship of Puerto Rico’s inhabitants. Presently, numerous criteria and particulars are used to distinguish citizens from non-citizens. Use the day to familiarize yourself with the technicalities and history of this subject.

Participate in American Citizenship activities

The Government of Puerto Rico organizes specific activities on the island on this day. If you are eligible and in the area, attend one on this day.

Constitute the United States

On American Citizenship Day, there is no greater occasion to express one’s inner American spirit. Enjoy some American munchies while donning your finest red, white, and blue attire. You may even stream a popular American television program that has been on your mind for some time. Take pleasure in it.

Five Puerto Rico facts that you almost certainly did not know

Individuals without a voice

Although they are U.S. citizens, Puerto Ricans are not eligible to vote for the president and vice president.

The attainment of dual citizenship is feasible.

Additionally, Puerto Ricans who meet the requirements may acquire Puerto Rican citizenship.

The earliest colony on earth

Puerto Rico continues to be recognized as the oldest extant colony in the globe.

Uninhabited islands exist.

A considerable number of lesser islands in Puerto Rico are reportedly uninhabited.

True pirate of the Caribbean territory

The renowned Cofresí Pirate is considered the most renowned pirate in Puerto Rico and is even credited with inventing the pina colada.


Year Date Day
2024 March 2 Saturday
2025 March 2 Sunday
2026 March 2 Monday
2027 March 2 Tuesday
2028 March 2 Thursday