Why do Puerto Ricans celebrate El Grito de Lares and When?

The holiday known as El Grito de Lares commemorates the night of September 23, 1868, when Puerto Ricans took over the town of Lares and demanded independence from Spain.

The revolt was crushed, but the “cry of Lares” had been heard. Slavery was abolished in 1873, and in 1897 the Spanish crown agreed to give Puerto Rico limited autonomy.

The island would have its own lawmaking parliament, though Spain reserved the right to disband it at will. Would the new government have worked? No one knows.

On July 25, 1898, before the government could take power, the United States invaded Puerto Rico.

Cuban soldiers were among those who fought against the United States in the Spanish American War. When Spain lost the war, its colonies, including Puerto Rico, fell under U.S. control.