2009 Puerto Rico Territory Quarters
The obverse will continue to bear the familiar restored 1932 John Flannagan image of George Washington.
Explorer Christopher Columbus arrived at Puerto Rico rich port in 1493, and it soon became a Spanish colony and important military outpost. Over the years, numerous unsuccessful attempts were made by the French, Dutch and English to conquer the island, but it remained an overseas province of Spain until the Spanish-American War. Under the Treaty of Paris of 1898, it was ceded to the United States, and its residents became American citizens in 1917. On July 3, 1950, Congress passed a law authorizing Puerto Rico to draft its own constitution, and it officially became a United States commonwealth on July 25, 1952. One of the most characteristic elements of San Juan, Puerto Rico, is its massive belt of walls of stone, built by the Spaniards in the early 16th century to protect the capital city from attacks from the sea. Of particular interest on these walls, which symbolize Puerto Rican strength and fortitude, are the sentry boxes, placed at strategic points along the walls. The sentry box and the walls of San Juan represent Puerto Rico’s rich history, geographical location and defensive role.