According to the "500TH Florida Discovery Council Round Table", on March 3, 1513, Juan Ponce de León, organized and commenced an expedition (with a Crew of 200-including Women and Free Blacks) departing from "Punta Aguada" Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico was the historic 1st gateway to the discovery of Florida which opened the doors to the advanced settlement of the USA.
Columbus named the island San Juan Bautista in honor of Saint John the Baptist.
After being named Governor, de León and the conquistadors forced the Tainos to work in the mines and to build fortifications; many Tainos died as a result of cruel treatment during their labor.
In 1510, upon Agüeybaná's death, his brother Güeybaná, better known as Agüeybaná II (The Brave), and a group of Tainos led Diego Salcedo, a Spaniard, to a river and drowned him, proving to his people that the white men were not gods.
Puerto Rico became a United States territory and the "Porto Rico Regiment" (Puerto Rico's name was changed to Porto Rico) was established on the island. As citizens of the United States, Puerto Ricans have participated in every major United States military engagement from World War I onward.
During World War II, Puerto Ricans participated in the Pacific and Atlantic theaters, not only as combatants, but also as commanders.
The rest of Puerto Rico, which had been reorganized in 1580 as a captaincy general, had to rely on only a handful of soldiers and the local volunteer militia to defend the island against militant and pirate attacks.