National Geographic : 1951 Apr
420 Hamilton Wright Spain Four Centuries Ago Built El Morro's Thick Walls to Guard the Gate to San Juan Every ship entering the harbor must pass the historic fortress. In 1595 El Morro (The Headland) defied Sir Francis Drake. Obsolete as a military work, it remains a shrine to every Puerto Rican (page 423). Fort Brooke, an Army camp, is built around the old parade ground. Normally it is manned by the 65th U. S. Infantry, a regiment of Puerto Ricans lately fighting in Korea. Suburban Santurce lies beyond the harbor. distinguished themselves on the battlefields of Europe. Island regiments have also added new laurels fighting in Korea. On January 2, 1949, Sefior Luis Mufioz Marin was inaugurated as Governor. In the island's four and a half centuries of civilized history, its people had elected their own gov ernor for the first time. A quarter-century ago the influence of the United States was beginning to make itself felt in earnest.* A dozen years later the com mingling of old and new was so pronounced that Puerto Rico had become a study in con trasts.t Vivid contrasts still present themselves, but in decreasing numbers. Today, I soon learned, much of the island is modern. World War II gave it astonishing impetus. San Juan's Spanish heritage, its beauty, and its progress are revealed to a visitor soon after arrival. As Justin Locke, National Geo graphic staff photographer, and I entered the airport, announcement of a departing plane * See "Porto Rico, the Gate of Riches," by John Oliver La Gorce, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, December, 1924. t See "Puerto Rico: Watchdog of the Caribbean," by E. John Long, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, December, 1939.