12/09/1891View on timeline

Albizu was born out of wedlock to a local mestizo named Juliana Campos. His father, Don Alejandro Albizu Romero, was a wealthy Basque merchant who refused to acknowledge his dark-skinned son, so Albizu ran barefoot through the Barrio Tenerías of Ponce.

Juliana spent most days wandering through the streets of Ponce, talking to herself, and, oddly, burning garbage in their family hut. She took Albizu several times to the nearby Río Bucaná in order to drown them both, but family and friends interceded. Neighbors started calling her La Llorona (the Weeping Woman). One day, when Albizu was four years old, she tried to walk across the river and was carried out to sea.

For a four-year-old orphan, Albizu was remarkably carefree. He didn’t attend school until age twelve. His maternal aunt, Rosa Campos, adopted him, and for eight years he swam, fished, and threw mud balls in the same river that had carried his mother away. He stole coconut pies from La Panadería de Ponce and rigged the town bell to ring at 3 a.m. When he heard of a new sport called beísbol and that the Almendares Beísbol Club had trounced the US Infantry Regiment with a score of 32–18, Albizu learned everything he could about the game, cleared out a small field, and taught the local school kids to play. He made up half of the rules as he went along, but no one complained; this was his first lesson in leadership.

It was a lively, adventurous childhood, not unlike that of Tom Sawyer living with his Aunt Polly on the banks of the Mississippi River. Just like Polly, Aunt Rosa was a devout woman, and they walked several miles to the Catholic church every Sunday. She also made sure that even though Albizu’s clothes were hand-me-downs and a size too small, they were always clean and pressed.

Every morning, rising sleepily from his warm bed, Albizu found Aunt Rosa boiling eggs by the early morning light, his clothes hanging over a kitchen chair. Home from school, he found Rosa sewing and ironing, tending great brown pots on a little stove. She moved in clouds of steam like a humble god, disappearing and reappearing, smelling of warm cotton, sofrito sauce, and simmering rice and beans.

When Albizu entered the Percy Grammar School at the age of twelve, his classmates snickered at the overgrown first grader, but the tittering ended when he completed all eight grades in four and a half years. He graduated in two years from Ponce High School with a 96 percent average. He was the class valedictorian and captain of the debate team and received a scholarship to the University of Vermont.

— Excerpt from the book War Against All Puerto Ricans, by Nelson A. Denis.

Denis, Nelson. War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America's Colony (Locais do K...

The Pedro Albizu Campos Park in Machuelo Abajo, where he was born.

Link to the image

Map showing the location of Ponce and the Machuelo Abajo neighborhood.

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"He grew up in Ponce, the center of the U.S. occupation. The locals there were “the most friendly souls in the world,” wrote a U.S. journalist—they were “delirious” with enthusiasm for the United States."

Daniel Immerwahr. How to Hide an Empire (Locais do Kindle 1738-1740). Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Edi...

Ponce, Puerto Rico - La Perla del Sur - 4K Resolution
Who is Albizu Campos? Trailer
Who is Albizu Campos? Trailer



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Published in 20/06/2019

Updated in 19/02/2021

All events in the topic Life of Pedro Albizu Campos:

Invalid DateBirthBirth
Invalid DateScholarship to University of VermontScholarship to University of Vermont
Invalid DateTransferred to HarvardTransferred to Harvard
Invalid DateElected vice-president of the Cosmopolitan ClubElected vice-president of the Cosmopolitan Club
Invalid DateElected president of the Cosmopolitan Club
Invalid DateAlbizu Called House Attack "Heroism"
Invalid DateBrass Tacks
Invalid DateCommunication: Porto Rico and the WarCommunication: Porto Rico and the War
Invalid DateJoins the ArmyJoins the Army
Invalid DateFirst arrestFirst arrest
Invalid DateAttempt to raise money to send him to Paris
Invalid DateJourney to the mainlandJourney to the mainland
Invalid DateDeath
Invalid DateA recording of Pedro Albizu Campos is released
Invalid DateSpeech at the Municipal Meeting in Lares
Invalid DateCrossfire at Albizu's home
Invalid DateOur Political Status, by Pedro Albizu Campos
Invalid DatePuerto Rican Nationalism, an essay by Pedro Albizu CamposPuerto Rican Nationalism, an essay by Pedro Albizu Campos
Invalid DateBecomes president of the Puerto Rican Nationalist PartyBecomes president of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party
Invalid DateMarried Dr. Laura MenesesMarried Dr. Laura Meneses
Invalid DateJoins the Puerto Rican Nationalist PartyJoins the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party
Invalid DateRío Piedras Massacre
Invalid DateAssassination of Colonel RiggsAssassination of Colonel Riggs
Invalid DatePonce MassacrePonce Massacre
Invalid DateHospitalization at Columbus Hospital, New York
Invalid DatePuerto Rican Nationalist Party RevoltsPuerto Rican Nationalist Party Revolts
Invalid DateSecond arrest
Invalid DatePardoned by Luis Muñoz MarínPardoned by Luis Muñoz Marín
Invalid DateAttack on the United States House of RepresentativesAttack on the United States House of Representatives
Invalid DateThird arrestThird arrest
Invalid DateAttempt to assassinate president Harry TrumanAttempt to assassinate president Harry Truman
Invalid DateSuffered a stroke
Invalid DatePuerto Rican flags were illegalPuerto Rican flags were illegal
Invalid DateAdmitted to Harvard Law School
Invalid DateReturns to Harvard Law School
Invalid DateGraduates from Harvard and returns to Puerto Rico
Invalid DateTravels around Latin America
Invalid DateDefends the nationalist Luis Velasquez
Invalid DateRuns for the Puerto Rican Senate
Invalid DateSugar cane strikes
Invalid DateBarceloneta's Central Plazuela workers go on strike
Invalid Date1,200 workers from Central Coloso join the strike
Invalid Date8,000 workers join the Coloso strike
Invalid DateCentral Guánica goes on strike
Invalid DatePeak of the strike
Invalid DateAlbizu Campos speaks to a crowd of 6,000 people
Invalid DateAlbizu Campos has a lunch with Colonel E. Francis Riggs
Invalid DateThe sugar strike is settled
Invalid DateAlbizu Campos' trial
Invalid DateTrial
Invalid DateAlbizu Campos is flown to a prison in Atlanta
Invalid DateReleased on probation
Invalid DateReturns to Puerto Rico
Invalid DateThe Nationalist Party is targeted by the FBIThe Nationalist Party is targeted by the FBI
Invalid DatePublic Law 53 or "Gag Law"