21 December 2016

Albizu Returns to Puerto Rico – 1947

War Against All Puerto Ricans by Nelson Denis, 2015, Excerpts

On December 11, 1947, he boarded the SS Kathryn and returned to Puerto Rico. From the moment Albizu set foot in San Juan, Hoover became obsessed with following and recording his every movement. Thousands of Puerto Ricans and dozens of FBI agents met Albizu at the dock. They packed into San Juan cathedral and followed him in a heaving mass to Sixto Excobar Stadium, where he would address a standing-room only crowd of 14,000. Albizu began his speech: “My name is Pedro Albizu Campos. You are my people. And this is our island.” A roar filled the stadium, For over an hour, he thundered about independence. Every newspaper on the island reported Albizu’s dramatic return.

Juan Emilio Viguie filmed Albizu’s return on the SS Kathryn, the tumultuous crowds, the march down Calle San Augustin, the flags, the motorcades, the speech to 14,000 supporters at Sixto Escobar Stadium. He made a short newsreel of it, Recibermiento a Don Pedro (Reception of Don Pedro). 

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